Ivy figured that the second time Flynn ran out of the room when she tried to talk to him meant that he really wasn't interested in talking to her, but she wasn't about to let him go so easily. Ivy went to the treehouse every afternoon at their usual time for the next couple of days, but he never showed up. She felt guilty bringing his friends into her problems again. Besides, showing up at Harvey's house again wouldn't make a difference. It would just be harassment at that point.

Ivy didn't have much of a relationship with the Radcliffe family. They tended to stick with their own inner circle for the most part, and while Ginny got some occasional attention, they often considered their father to be a little too open-minded for their taste. Meaning that he didn't force his daughters into some sort of finishing school princess mold. They had some other children besides Flynn, but Ivy didn't know them well. She had spoken to the shy one a few times, but even he was a bit difficult to talk to.

She sat on the floor of the treehouse, tapping her fingers on the ground as she read the notes spread around her. She couldn't focus much on the case, but it was an attempt at a distraction.

"There could be other victims, but they weren't displayed like the other two," she said out loud. "What do you think?"

She looked up at the stuffed rabbit sitting across from her, which just limply flopped to the side. He wasn't a very chatty partner.

"You're not much help, Mr. Rabbit," she said. "I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to fire you."

She sorted the papers together with a sigh and tucked them into their folder. It had gotten dark, and she needed to get home. She held the folder of her notes under her arm as she left the clubhouse and started back towards town. There weren't many people out, which made her uneasy. Especially after her near-drowning situation. Her father was going to kill her for being out alone so late, but he had yet to find out about the one who tried to actually kill her. Not to mention, he didn't know about Flynn, either. Soon he'd be asking Ivy why Flynn never came around anymore. And what was she supposed to tell him? He'd be infuriated, and Ivy had plenty of feelings in her own heart to sort out without everyone else influencing them. She still wasn't entirely sure why he stuck around, but he had given her an idea. And she didn't know if that made her happy or not.

She had been so lost in thought that she didn't notice footsteps coming up behind her. She was startled by the sudden hand on her shoulder, yelping and spinning around defensively. The person who touched her also made a surprised little shriek, eyes wide. Ivy gave him a look up and down, not recognizing him at first.

"Sheldon Radcliffe?" Ivy questioned. "What are you doing here?"

"I-I'm sorry," he stammered. "I just saw you walking alone and... are you alone?"

"Look I know about your family and Flynn and all of that," Ivy sighed. "It's not my business, and I won't go around telling people. If that's what you're worried about."

"Right," Sheldon said slowly. "Um, I was actually wondering if you'd come talk to Flynn. Father... he's not doing well. We're worried he might not make it through the night, and we just want Flynn to come inside and see him. But he's refusing."

"What?" Ivy frowned. "That doesn't sound like him at all. It's too cold. Besides, that's the reason he came here in the first place."

She noticed Sheldon's eyes flit briefly to the folder under her arm. Almost like he knew what it was.

"I have to go home," Ivy said. "I'm sorry about your father."

Ivy turned to leave, but Sheldon grabbed her arm. His entire demeanor changed at that moment.

"You don't need to go home," he snapped. "You want to go home. Just to get away from me. Even though my father is dying."

"And so what if I do?" Ivy said, jerking her arm away.

She tried to get away again, but she was grabbed again and felt something hard hit her head. And then everything went dark.


Ivy woke up in a dark, dank room she didn't recognize. There was no furniture other than some dim lighting from oil lamps and a dirty table with various knives, scissors, and razor blades laid out on it. Her arms and legs were tied to the chair she was sitting on.

As her vision came back, she noticed there was a figure standing there. Sheldon was leaning against the table, flipping through the notes from her folder. He looked at Ivy when she started to struggle against the bindings and set aside the folder. He tapped on it gently.

"Quite a collection of notes," he remarked. "With such little evidence. It's impressive, really."

"Untie me you son of a bitch," Ivy growled. "First you tried drowning me from behind, and now you have me tied up? You must be a real coward if you can't fight me like a man."

"I am a man!" he snapped. "And I'm not a coward! I'm the only person in this damn world who knows what it means to be a man!"

Ivy had clearly struck a nerve with him, and the wild look in the once timid boy's eyes was unrecognizable.

"You were always on my good side," he said. "You were like me. You didn't feed into the parties and the fashions. You weren't blinded by the glimmer of jewels. You were true to yourself, even if that meant you were shunned. I admired you, Ivy. I did. I even thought that maybe... once I have my father's money and business... we could have been friends. But then you- you changed. At the first sign of flattery, suddenly you were tightening your corset and flaunting yourself. For attention."

"What I did was for myself," Ivy argued. "And it's not up to you to decide what is right and what is wrong."

"No," he said. "No, it is up to me. You see? Because I'm the one holding the knife. And as long as you sit there and I hold this knife, the decision is up to me. I am the one to decide whether you live or die."

"And then what?" she questioned. "What will you prove? That you can kill someone with no defenses?
Will you display me, like you did the others?"

"I'm still working on my plans for you," Sheldon admitted. "Something quiet, I think. I didn't have plans for, at first. Not until you started sticking your nose where it didn't belong. I had plans ready for your sister. Genevieve would lay on a pile of golden autumn leaves, with roses in her hair. I heard she always smelled nice. Like roses."

Ivy felt like vomiting at the way he spoke of her sister. Instead she struggled against the binds again, then screamed bloody murder in hopes of someone hearing her. Sheldon cringed and covered his ears in panic. He kicked the chair, causing Ivy to fall onto her side.

"Shut up!" he yelled. "No one can hear you! Do you think I did all my work out in public? Stop screaming! It hurts my ears!"

"I hope it did!" Ivy yelled back. "It's nothing compared to where else I'm going to hurt you!"

Sheldon scowled in frustration.

"You weren't supposed to be this loud and spirited!" he complained. "And now- Now all my plans are ruined! My display won't match you at all! I have to start all my planning again!"

"You're going to keep me here?" Ivy said through clenched teeth.

"Of course I am!" Sheldon said. "But I can't think with all this shouting. Are you going to be quiet? Please?"

"I'm going to wear your eyeballs as earrings at your funeral!"

Sheldon made a sort of growling sound, then took a cloth and dumped some kind of substance on it. Ivy struggled again, but he held the cloth over her nose and mouth tightly. Soon after, everything went dark again.