I had just finished doing the dishes, when Ricky shouted my name from the living room. My first, very panicked, thought was something had happened to him, so I was there seconds later.
He was pointing to the TV. "There's been another one."
It took a moment to realize what he meant. Then I heard the reporter saying, "…stabbed to death in a parking lot behind the Elite Gym. We take you to our Jim Haskins on the scene for the latest update."
The gym was across town from the one Ms Engel had worked for, but the details as they emerged were eerily the same. The woman had been stabbed several times, and according to the officer Mr Haskins was interviewing, she hadn't appeared to defend herself.
"At least she wasn't holding your business card," Ricky said in relief when the report was over.
"Not that they said anyway," I pointed out. "But that particular bit of information didn't make it into the stories about Ms Engel's murder either."
Ricky nodded, asking, "Does this mean the Engel killing wasn't due to her search for Ben?"
"Not necessarily. This could be a copycat, or her killer trying to muddy the waters."
He smiled weakly. "I guess I'm safe enough if he's doing that and going after women who go to or work at gyms. I don't fit either category."
"Maybe not, but don't drop your guard when you're anywhere outside of here or at work."
"I know, and I won't."
"Good, because I'll shoot you if you do and something happens to you."
"Before or after you deal with whoever was the first one to kill me?"
"Huh? Oh." I chuckled. "Yeah that was sort a stupid way to put it. But you get the picture."
"I do, and I promise I'll be real careful. You have enough going on without worrying about me."
"I always worry about you. It comes with the territory."
"I know," Ricky replied quietly. "I worry too. About you I mean." He hugged me tightly. "So be careful out there."
"Always, babe. Because I have you to come home to. So—yeah, always."