***Chapter Three***



Cherry Hill Municipal Building



"You will have all permissions ready to go before we get back. Am I clear?"

"Agent Scully . . . "

"Do you want our help or not? Or should Agent Mulder and I go home?"

"Agent Mulder . . . " The ASAC looked at me in desperation. I just grinned and folded my arms.

"Well?" I was very glad she aimed that look at him, not me.

"We'll do our best, Agent Scully." I believe he was shivering. He topped her by at least a foot, was twice her weight and was maybe her father's age, but she had him shaking in his boots. There are times I think she got around the Bureau's height restriction because no one noticed how short she actually was.

"Good." She picked up the folders for the victims' families. "We'll be back after we do proper interviews." She turned on her heel and left. I followed.

There was no one home in the first place we visited. There was a for-sale sign in the front yard, and the house looked like it was a model for a housing development - neatly kept and furnished but no one lived there. On the second floor, I could see a baby's crib mobile in a window.

I looked at Scully. "He never went home. He's staying with friends or his parents until he sells the house and he can afford to move. He sent his mother to pack his clothes and give away hers. There's a fully furnished nursery. The file says there were no other children."

"There's no other address or phone number in his file, Mulder. We'll have to track him down at work. Idiots." She stared at the mobile for a moment and walked back to the car.

I shook off memories of a different house and got behind the wheel.

"Who's next, Scully?"

"William Browne. His wife was the second one killed. He has other kids, so I don't think he's moved."

* * *

Liam Browne seated us in his kitchen and, without asking, put up a pot of coffee and poured a box of cookies into a bowl, which he put on the table before he sat down.

"Why has it taken so long for the FBI to be involved?"

Scully and I looked at each other in confusion and anger.

"Mr. Browne . . . "

"As I said at the door, please call me Liam."

Scully nodded. "Liam, I'm Dana. The Philadelphia office has been involved in this case since shortly after Mrs. Browne died. Are you telling us that no one has eit