The evening anchors covered a robbery, a mall fashion show, and a dammed high school football game. Finally the anchor cut to a reporter on the side of the interstate. The neatly coiffed woman was on the other side of the highway, standing on the northbound access road, a good distance from the car.

He leaned forward and in the background saw police milling around the site as the reporter talked about an unexplained death.

“Unexplained, my ass. She was shot in the chest.”

On another television, Channel Two projected Gloria’s face. As the newscaster listed off her accomplishments, images appeared of her with politicians, school children, and in front of her car dealership.

Why hadn’t the cops told the media more?

Gloria wasn’t some low-class hooker or a junkie. She was the kind of woman people missed. All he could surmise was that the cops were scrambling as they tried to figure out if they’d arrested the wrong man or if there was another Samaritan. He didn’t care if they were confused or bumbling around as long as they’d spoken to Kate. The point of the text was to alert Kate. She was the one who needed to be on the scene. It wasn’t right if she wasn’t in the mix.

Frustrated, he rose and paced around the basement room. He flexed his fingers as he tried to expel the nervous energy cutting through his body. Times like this, it was all he could do to contain the feelings and racing thoughts. He paced. Clenched and unclenched his fingers.

It would be so easy to upload the video he’d taken and show the world what he’d done. His footage would send a ripple effect through the city, the state, and even the country. The Samaritan would again be feared and respected. Think of the panic!

But as tempting as it was, he paused.

He didn’t care about publicity or public fear. The goal was to control one particular person. He had to believe his text had reached Dr. Kate Hayden and she’d soon return to San Antonio.

This game, like chess, had to be played patiently and carefully. He didn’t need to rush. All the pieces were in position, ready to play. Though the media wasn’t covering him yet, they soon would.

He picked up the worn notebook, flipped to one of the last clean pages, and scribbled down the day’s date.

You have no idea how long I have planned our meeting, Kate. It has been a long journey, and now the final match is upon us.

He studied the note and circled the word final several times with a steady hand.

It was a matter of time before Kate’s return home.

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