“Shawn, when are we going to move the big screen TV to our house like you promised? You told me it was going to be at the Psych office just until we were settled in. It’s been three months!” Juliet complained as they walked into the dark Psych office for their weekly movie night.
It had to be weekly because Juliet couldn’t find the time to come all the way down to the pier to the office every time she wanted to watch a movie with Shawn. Hence her complaint.
“But Jules, it’s nice to get out of the house a little bit every once and a while, isn’t it?” Shawn reasoned as he fumbled for the light switch, completely forgetting that Juliet was hardly ever home anyway. “Besides, we have a very comfy couch here that we can snuggle on…” He finally found the light switch and flooded the small office with soft incandescence. It took a second for their eyes to adjust to the sudden light, and when they did they couldn’t help but notice the bloody torso wrapped in plastic, propped up against the desk.
“Or we could just go to the theater.” Shawn said, his shock not outweighing his need to blurt things out when uncomfortable.
Juliet however, couldn’t breathe. She just stared wide eyed at the neatly wrapped, headless, armless, legless, body. It was wrapped up so tightly that the blood inside hadn’t so much as spilled one drop on the office floor. “Oh God Shawn, we have to call this in.” She said breathlessly and took out her phone.
Shawn’s reaction surprised her. He smacked the phone out of her hand and he took her by the shoulders. “No! Jules! You can’t! Please!”
“Shawn! There’s a dead body in your office!” Juliet wondered if maybe Shawn thought he’d be fingered and tried to reassure him. “Someone could be stalking you, or trying to frame you. We have to set the record straight before you become a suspect.”
“Jules it isn’t that, I just…” he paused for a moment, “don’t know how he’d react.”
Her eyes widened at Shawn’s statement. “How who would react? Shawn, do you know who did this?” He slowly nodded his head, not taking his eyes off of the wrapped corpse. “Shawn, tell me. We can get through this.”
“It’s Gus, Jules. He’s been this way ever since we were kids. I’ve tried to stop him. Every time I’ve tried to stop him, but it never works. He just. Keeps. Killing.” Shawn emphasized what was obviously his biggest frustration. His best friend was a murderer.
Juliet took hitching breaths, trying not to panic at the fact that a man that she’d known and trusted with her life, who had saved her life… was a cold blooded killer. “Shawn, please tell me this is a joke. This is Gus we’re talking about. He hates the sight of blood, let alone bodies.”
Shawn huffed out a humorless laugh and brushed a finger across his lips. “If it was, I’d be the first one laughing Jules.”
“How? Why does he do this, Shawn? Why don’t you say anything?”
“He’s not all bad. Most of the time he’s a good guy, but…one minute, he’s the nicest guy you could know, and the next he’ll kill with an axe while you sleep. He does it because he has to. When we were kids, he’d call it a yearning. He can’t help it.You know serial killers Jules, they can’t stop until they’re caught, and he’s never been caught.” He turned to face her, tears barely held back. “I don’t help him Jules. I’ve tried to stop him when I know about it. Believe me, if I wasn’t around more people would be dead.”
It was a miniscule comfort, but the fact remained that her boyfriend had been privy to the knowledge of countless murders, and didn’t report them. “Shawn, I’m going to turn this in. I’m a cop, and he has to be stopped.” Juliet moved to grab her phone, but he lunged and caught her hand.
“No! You don’t understand! If he knows that you know, he’ll kill you! That’s how he keeps people from finding out. You don’t know how many girlfriends he’s killed to keep his secret.” He gripped her hands tightly, whispering, “It’s why no one but me knows.”
Juliet wrinkled her nose. “Why doesn’t he kill you then?”
“He’s said he won’t. Maybe it’s because I’m his only friend… but now that I have you, I’m just not sure what he’ll do. He gets jealous so easy.”
Juliet still didn’t want to believe it, but everything Shawn said was making some kind of sick, morbid sense. Gus’ girlfriends seemed to be there one day, then gone the next, and countless other small coincidences that made the hair on the back of her neck stand up. “We’ll leave then. We’ll call it in anonymously, but please Shawn, let’s go.”
“Okay Jules. We’ll get out of here.” Shawn gave one more glance at Gus’ latest victim before turning his back and heading for the door.
“SHAWN! What are you doing here?!” Juliet jumped back and put her hand on her gun as Gus stepped around the corner with a large black plastic bag. “Do you have any idea what I’ve had to do to…” He trailed off once he saw Juliet, a look of horror crossing his face that she hadn’t expected. “What is she doing here?”
Recovering from the surprise, Juliet tried to take the initiative and stepped forward, trying to reason with him. He had saved her life after all, maybe she could get him to turn himself in and stop the killing. “Gus, please. I just want to help. It’s me, Juliet. No one is going to hurt you.”
“What are you talking about?” Gus’ eyes flicked to Shawn, who was facing away from her. “Juliet, come with me. Please.”
He took a step forward and Shawn got between them, blocking her.
“No, Shawn told me everything.” She was touched by her boyfriend’s protectiveness, but she didn’t want him getting hurt, so she stepped out again. “You don’t have to keep doing this. I know you can be a good man…”
“Shawn, what the hell did you tell her?”
“She knows what you’ve done. We’re going to the police.” Shawn said boldly.
Gus stared, seemingly dumbstruck. “What I’ve done!? I just spent the last hour cleaning up something you just forgot here!” Gus snapped angrily, and pointed at the body.
“What Shawn forgot…?” Juliet trailed off as Shawn turned around. The look in his eyes was sad, and determined. That was when Juliet realized that Shawn hadn’t been truthful with her. He wasn’t making an accusation, he’d been making a confession. It was him the whole time.
Gus must have known he’d done something to endanger her, “Oh no. Shawn, no! Not her.”
Shawn ignored his panicked friend, “Sorry Jules. You distracted me yesterday when you called about going grocery shopping. I’m usually a lot more careful about things like this.” He gestured casually towards the body. “I figured if you thought it was Gus, we could still have a life, just you and me.”
“Shawn, don’t! For once please don’t!” Gus pleaded. “You love her. She’s not like the others.” He made a move to grab and stop him, but Shawn punched Gus in the face, hitting him half way across the floor and knocking him out cold.
“No!” Juliet tried to pull out her gun, but Shawn was too close. His body pinned her against the wall while one hand held the gun at her side and the other grabbed her by the throat so tight she couldn’t even gasp.
“You know he’s right Jules, I do love you.” For a brief moment Juliet thought he’d let her go, until he purred in her ear, “So for you, I’ll make it quick.”