Perfectly Seduced - Lacey Silks

Chapter 1

April

There’s nothing better than cutting into a skull. The sound of bone giving into the pressure of my hand, the slight vibration in my wrist as the saw finds that perfect path to grind through, maybe a piece of bone chips off and bounces off my face-mask: they all give me a rush. It’s been that way ever since I saw my grandfather exhume a body when I was eight. That’s when I decided to become a forensic pathologist. I wanted to know all the secrets a person withheld before they died. Only my career path led me to be much more than that. I solve crimes, investigate murders and suspicious deaths, bring peace to the victim’s families, and help put those responsible behind bars.

At the time, I didn’t know that I would follow in the exact footsteps of my father, and my grandfather, who both worked in the field. Grandpa has since retired, but he held onto knowledge and skills that only a few could dream of. Growing old sucked, especially when your memory began fading as well. On the good days, when Grandpa experienced a flashback, listening to him talk about corpses and tools and how important it was to respect a deceased body was better than listening to fairy tales. Around Christmas, he’d reminisce over those few once-in-a-lifetime cases. His work skills showed up in domestic ways as well, like when at Thanksgiving he taught me how to properly hold a knife in my hand to carve a turkey. Learning to cut into the bird without losing much meat and coming as close to the bone as possible without shaving it off was sort of a test — one I passed quite early. My father looked on with pride sparkling in his eyes.

Dad would often bring me to work. He hadn’t wanted to at first; small children and dead bodies didn’t exactly go hand in hand. Dad eventually caved in. As a young girl I’d questioned him daily about his cases, and after Mom died the day after my eighth birthday, we became inseparable. Soon, I was examining different marks on a corpses body, learning about their meaning, in my mind recreating the last few moments in the deceased’s life. It was always about science to me, not about the victim’s death. I developed a special skill and instinct, and my enthusiasm together with Dad’s guidance made me the best forensic pathologist and analyst in the field.

“April, he’s already dead.”

“What?” Millie startled me, but instinct kept my hands steady. I turned off the saw, set it aside, and headed for the sink.

“You’re cutting into him like you want to murder him.”

My best friend was, of course, exaggerating, but I had to agree that since I’d returned from Hawaii two weeks ago, my usual level of calmness while examining a corpse was a bit off.

“You shouldn’t be here, Millie. It’s a dead body.”

“Looks a lot like my last boyfriend. Limp and cold.”

“Did my dad let you in again?”

“You know he loves me like his own daughter.”

“I doubt it. But I must say I’ve heard him say he could never have a better daughter-in-law than you.” Millie was a foster child and at one point lived with us for a while. Dave brought her in one night and she stayed at our house until Dad was sure her new foster home was safe and secure where both parents were willing to raise a teenager.

“Your dad is hoping for a miracle.”

“Come on, you and Dave were so good together.”

She lifted her hand before I had a chance to continue. “Your brother must have been adopted. There’s no other way someone like him could belong to a nice family like yours.”

I laughed. If my brother had been adopted, how would he have a twin? Dave and Justin were fraternal, each inheriting their good looks from our handsome father and gorgeous mother. Besides, if he’d been adopted, he and I wouldn’t share the same features, and our dad would be able to differentiate between our baby pictures. Even I sometimes couldn’t tell the three of us apart in those.

“My other theory is that he’s been abducted by aliens and probed with an ‘asshole’ transmitter. And I hope that probe was meant for a giant’s ass.”

“Okay, okay. I get it. You don’t like each other – which let me say again I don’t get, because you two belong together. Whatever happened was a long time ago. There’d be nothing better than having you