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 On the contrary. I expect he s at least average, prob-ably nice-looking. Well groomed and friendly on
the surface. He knows all the right things to say, all the right moves. But like everything else about him,
it s methodical, a programmed response. He maintains a good facade, but he s incapable of true
closeness or sus-taining a relationship romantic or otherwise. Emo-tionally, he s empty.
 Sounds like a real nice guy, Travis Kemp drawled.
 I also worked up a geographical profile. Helen tacked a map onto the bulletin board.  The blue circles
on this map represent the crime scenes. As you can see, the three are a very tight grouping. This area is
one of his comfort zones. He probably knows these woods like the back of his hand.
 Each green square is one of the victims residences, and in Ms. Belcamp s case, her place of business.
All of these sites are in the north part of town, within a very confined area. And all are within or adjacent
to this pre-cinct. Another familiar area for him.
 Organized serial killers tend to like a comfort zone. They commit their crimes in areas they know well
and where they feel at home. Even ones who move around a lot, like Bundy or the interstate killer, scope
out the area before making a move. Your man probably lives and/or works in this section, where the map
is high-lighted in red. He usually won t operate really close to his home, but he won t go too far, either.
It s probable that he travels these streets daily, she said, indicating the yellow highlighted areas.
 And that s it. My job here is done, at least for now. With the information that you ve given me, that s all
I can glean. If you turn up anything else, give me a call and I ll see if it alters the profile.
Helen had a flight out that evening, and when the shift ended she and Casey parted company outside the
station house.
 I like your style, Casey. I think you should con-sider joining the bureau. You ve got what it takes to
make a great agent, and I d be happy to put in a good word for you.
 Thanks, Helen. I appreciate that, but I m happy here. Besides, I don t think I could stand being away
from my family for very long.
 I understand. You ve got a great support system there. But if you ever change your mind, let me know.
You ve got my card. E-mail me sometime. I d like to keep in touch. And if you ever need help from the
bu-reau again, forget protocol. Just give me a call.
 I will. Thanks.
After stopping by the market for a few items, Casey arrived home just before dark. The answering
machine contained chatty messages from her mother and Fran-cis, a sharp demand from Mary Kate for
Casey to call her back, and a reminder from her dentist s reception-ist that she needed to set up an
appointment for a clean-ing. There was nothing from Mark.
Annoyed with herself for being so disappointed, she hit the erase button with more force than necessary.
 Idiot. Did you really think he would call? she mut-tered.  And say what?  I really admire the way you
beat up on those two thugs. 
Casey snorted.  Yeah, right. In your dreams, O Toole. It s time you started believing what you ve been
telling others all along. Dr. Mark Adams is not for you.
Determined to put him out of her mind, she forced herself to eat a light dinner, watch TV for a while,
then go to bed early. The next morning she followed her usual Saturday routine and went for a run,
cleaned the house, took a shower and ran errands. That evening she had just kicked off her sandals and
settled on the sofa with the book she was reading when the doorbell rang.
What now? she wondered, stomping barefoot to the door. Probably one of her brothers had found
himself without a Saturday-night date and, at loose ends, had de-cided to pay little sis a visit.
Though fairly certain she was right, her ingrained sense of caution made her take a peek through the
peep-hole before opening the door. When she saw who was standing on her front porch she gasped and
stepped back. Just as quickly she leaped forward again and opened the door.
 Mark. What re you doing here?
Chapter Fifteen
Wearing jeans, a casual crew-neck cotton sweater and a light suede jacket against the evening chill,
Mark stood with one hand braced against the door frame, the other hooked over the top of his hip bone,
his open jacket thrust back.
 Hi. His gaze took her in, from her bare feet and legs, up over her cotton wrap skirt and scoop-neck
tee to her loose hair. His somber gaze met hers again.  May I come in?
 Oh. Yes, of course. She stepped back and held the door wide. Her foolish heart began to boom like a
ket-tledrum. What was he doing here? She hadn t seen him or heard so much as a peep out of him in
more than two weeks.
Mark stepped past Casey, bringing with him the cool freshness of the Colorado night. Mingled with the
crisp smell was his own manly scent. Inhaling the heady com-bination, she felt almost woozy.
In the small foyer he peeled off his jacket and hung it on the antique hall tree, then, without a word,
strolled into the living room. He looked around at her home with interest.  Nice place.
 Thanks. I m just renting now, but the owner has of-fered to sell it to me. I m thinking about it. She
laced her fingers together in front of her, then realized how nervous she looked and pulled them apart.
 Uh, would you like something? Coffee? A soft drink? I m sorry, but I don t keep anything stronger.
 No thanks, I m fine. He continued to amble around the room, looking at the oil painting above the
fireplace that her brother Aiden had painted, the photos of her family scattered around the room.
He picked up a framed photo from one of the end ta-bles.  Is this your husband?
 Yes, that s Tim.
 Looks like a pleasant guy.
 He was.
He put the photo down, stuffed his fingers into the back pockets of his jeans and continued his aimless
in-spection. The soft cotton sweater draped over his shoul-ders, emphasizing their breadth, the muscles
that banded his back. The sleeves were pushed up to his elbows, re-vealing his strong forearms and
broad wrists.
Casey watched him, growing more antsy by the moment.
 Would you like to sit down? she asked, gesturing to-ward one of the overstuffed chairs flanking the
He glanced at her over his shoulder.  Sure.
Ignoring the chairs, he joined her on the sofa, leaving an empty cushion between them. He sat slumped
down on his spine, his long legs stretched out in front of him and crossed at the ankles, and stared straight
ahead at the unlit fireplace. Another thirty seconds ticked by in silence.
 You must have had a whole string of emergencies. I haven t seen you for a couple of weeks, Casey
said to fill the void.
 No emergencies. I ran somewhere else.
 Oh. I see. She felt as though she d been slapped. Which was just plain silly, she told herself, fiercely
fighting back the tears that threatened to fill her eyes. The man was free to run anywhere he liked. And he
cer-tainly didn t owe her an explanation.
Like Mark, she fixed her gaze on the fireplace.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw him turn his head and stare at her profile.  I had some thinking to
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