*sigh* Hey, everybody. I'm sooooooo sorry for the biggest wait in the history of fanfic waiting. 8th grade, getting ready for high school, a busy busy summer. To everyone who is reading this now, thank you so much for staying with the story. I'll try to update more of this particular story. Again, so sorry for the long wait!

Well, 6 days until my freshman year of high school starts! I had 3 book reports to do, and 2 of them are basically done. If you haven't read The Secret Life of Bees, The House on Mango Street, or A Separate Peace, I highly recommend them. But they are YA books and there is language and certain situations, so judge your decision on that. Anyway, begin the reading!

Disclaimer: Does disclaimer ever reduce your happy mood at a time like this. It does to me.

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Chapter 4: Tricks

"Get this fingerprint run!" Cragen ordered. "Now! Only examine the bloody fingerprint."

Morales nodded and took the letter with his gloved hands. As Cragen left the lab, Morales carefully laid the bloody letter on a table. He took scissors and cut out the small square that had the fingerprint on it, and then laid it under a microscope. He adjusted the magnification and got a clean view of the fingerprint. It was somewhat smudged, but it could still be identified. He was able to identify the fingerprint of being the right middle finger. The fingerprint type was a double loop whorl, a whorl consisting of two separate and distinct loop formations with two separate and distinct shoulders for each core. That particular type was rare, meaning that it would be easier to pinpoint the guy.

Morales then scanned the fingerprint into the computer. After a series of buttons were pushed, the computer screen was zipping through faces and fingerprints to identify the bloody fingerprint with. An identity finally popped onto the screen, and it made Morales cringe in disgust.

PREDATOR

"There was no return address on the box," Cragen stated.

"Is there anything else we can look to for some evidence?" asked Olivia.

As if on cue, Elliot's phone on his desk rang. He picked it up, listening. As the rest of the squad watched him, his expression dropped into sadness and disgust. He hung up the phone.

"That was Morales. The test results on the blood and fingerprint came back. Neither of them were the sick bastard's. They were the victim's: Patty Winkard's."

Shaking heads and sighs were heard around his and Olivia's desk.

"Sick son-of-a-bitch," Olivia mumbled.

"I'm sick of this guy's tricks!" Elliot shouted. "Why can't we find this? We have to find him! No one else can get hurt!"

"Elliot, calm down!" Olivia said firmly but soothingly.

He shook his head. "I can't calm down! This guy is preying on little kids."

"It's always the ones with the kids that get us," said Fin.

Elliot seems to have settled down enough to speak in a regular tone. "Captain," he said. "This guy knows us by our names. If he knows that, and that we were hungry, he must be observing us or following us somehow. If he is, he knows I have kids. I've called them a couple times to check in on them. I hope it's alright if I take myself off this case. I need to watch my kids and Kathy."

Cragen nodded, understanding his detective's wishes. "Go ahead, Elliot. Keep your family safe, first."

"Thank you, Captain," replied Elliot as he grabbed his jacket, locked his gun in his locker, and looked at Olivia unconsciously for support. She nodded; she understand

She watched him leave in a hurry, eager to get home.

"Do we even know what this guy is hiding in?" shouted Cragen. "I mean, for God's sake, we're detectives here! If we don't know that then we're not doing our job properly!"

The detectives all around were silent. Cases like this pushed on everyone's stress levels.

Cragen sighed. "Everyone go back to work," he said, motioning to all those around him. Then he turned back to the detectives in front of him. "I'm sorry. We just need to get this guy out of the streets so we can at least get an hour's worth of shut-eye."

PREDATOR

Elliot returned home. As soon as he opened the door he shouted, "Kathy! Kathleen! Dick! Lizzie!" He didn't want to overreact if nothing had gone amiss, but he also wanted to make sure that this predator wandering the city hadn't gotten too close to his family.

He released some of the air that he was holding inside as he saw Kathy's and Kathleen's blonde heads appear.

"What's wrong, Dad?" asked Kathleen.

"Where's Dickie and Lizzie? And Eli?" asked Elliot.

"Honey, it's okay," Kathy said, trying to calm her husband down. "Eli's at the babysitter's and Dickie and Lizzie are in their rooms."

At this, Dickie and Lizzie walked in and stood by their mother.

"Dad, why are you shouting?" asked Dickie.

Lizzie was looking questioningly at him. Kathy was giving him a scared look, thinking something was seriously wrong.

"Is Olivia okay?" she asked. She knew how important Olivia was to him, and knew how he would be heartbroken if anything happened to her.

"Yeah. Yeah. Olivia's fine. I cut work and came home early. There's a case that's bothering me, but I don't want you guys to get involved. You all are my life. I couldn't stand myself if you were all gone."

"If only Maureen could hear this," came Kathleen. "She always thought you didn't love Mom and us as much as your work."

"What? Why?" asked Elliot.

Kathleen averted her eyes and looked at the wall behind him. "Well, you did divorce Mom. Even if you did come back, it still happened. And your job takes up so much of your time that you don't really give us a second thought. It's always this case, that case, your partner, your other partner, your captain, stuff we don't' really need to know on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes it seems like you spend the majority of your time there…But," she quickly added, "that's not me talking. That's what Maureen said."

"Okay. I'm going to have to talk with her about that. But right now, I need to talk with your mother. So you can go back to whatever you were doing."

"But Mom and I were talking…" Kathleen stated.

Elliot nodded. "She'll be there soon."

His daughter sighed, but didn't protest and led her other siblings away.

Elliot turned to Kathy. He started to talk, but Kathy interrupted.

"I don't want to hear it. Too much blue in the household."

"I know you don't want to hear it, but you need to. It's for your protection. There's a guy…he's killed children. He's still killing children. We think he befriends them, then kills them. The kids seem to be socially withdrawn. That's how he befriends them; he relates to them, then…then…" Elliot stopped, thinking of the horrors he saw. "Just be careful. If anything strange is going on, please call me or someone you know to come over and check it out. We don't know who this guy is, but his tricks and games are sick and twisted."

"And do you have any idea when it will be safe to not be so alert?"

A moment, then, "No. We have no idea what to expect."

"Then does this mean that I have to look over my shoulder for the rest of my life?" Kathy asked, throwing her hands up.

"No. He'll be gone by then. I promise. I'm not going to work today, and maybe not until we catch this guy, but I will tell you as soon as possible when he's put away. Okay?"

Kathy sighed. "Okay."

As she started to go back to Kathleen, Elliot asked, "What were you and Kathleen talking about?"

"Elliot!"

"I'm her father. If something's wrong, then she can come to me, too."

Kathy laughed. "No, nothing's wrong. We were talking about stuff. You know, women stuff."

Elliot then felt quite awkward. "Oh."

"Yes, 'oh'. Now go be on guard duty."

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You guys totally deserve a longer chapter, but I've had serious writer's block. Now that I've gotten back into it, hopefully you'll see another chapter soon.

Review! I love to see what you guys think!

-Chinagirl18