Who Is Benjamin Reeves? (A Detective Series of Crime and Suspense Thrillers)
Book 5

Six year-old Benjamin Reeves’ parents were shockingly murdered. Detective Jacob Hayden soon discovers that someone is stalking Benjamin, but why? Using his gut instincts, experience, and knack for figuring out hard situations, Detective Hayden will do anything and everything in his power to protect Benjamin and solve his parent’s murders.  What Jacob doesn't know is that Benjamin has secrets of his own, which hold the key to solving this crime. These secrets not only killed his parents, but just may kill Benjamin and Detective Hayden too!

 

 

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Excerpt - Prologue

 

His breathing was heavy but consistent. Sometimes he snored when he slept on his back, but tonight he was on his side. He was in a peaceful sleep, lying snug under a blanket on which Spider-Man swung between buildings, his head resting on a matching pillow.

The room was quiet and dark with the exception of a faint glow from a night-light opposite his bed. His mouth was slightly agape, drool caught between the side of his mouth and the pillowcase. Cuddled between his arms was his favorite superhero, Spider-Man. His mother had bought him the two-foot doll for his fourth birthday and they’d been best friends ever since.

He cradled Spider-Man close whenever he woke from a bad dream. With the hero there to protect him, he didn’t have to call to his parents as often. Before he would go to sleep, he gripped Spidey’s wrist and sprayed an invisible web around the circumference of the bed, just like his dad had taught him; it kept away any monsters that might emerge from inside the closet or underneath the bed. He even dressed like Spider-Man when he slept, with the exception of the mask.

He didn’t wake immediately when his father shook him. He didn’t hear the stress and fear in his dad’s voice as he called his name. Benjamin Reeves was dreaming about his first day of school, just two days ago. He was beginning first grade, anxious to play with the kindergarten friends he hadn’t seen all summer. He knew that his first grade teacher was going to be Mrs. Saulters; he’d met her last week at the back to school festival. Her hair was the same blond color as his mom’s and she was tall; Benjamin had to bend his head way back to look up at her, just like he did with his dad.

Finally, he roused from sleep. He heard his name being called frantically. When he opened his eyes, his father stood over him, pulling off the blanket. He didn’t understand the look on his father’s face. He’d never seen it before. He was too young to understand that his father was scared. That something had frightened him enough to wake Benjamin up.

“What’s wrong, Daddy?” Benjamin asked softly.

His father reached down and picked him up, speaking faster than Benjamin was used to.

“You know the place that you like to hide from me and Mommy sometimes? Well, I want you to hide there right now and don’t make a sound, okay?”

“I’m sleepy, Daddy. I don’t want to play hide-and-seek now.”

Benjamin’s dad carried him out of the room and into the hall. The house was in darkness, but he made no move for the switches.

“Where’s Mommy?”

“Mommy’s playing too. She’s hiding right now.”

They reached the middle of the hall and stopped in front of a narrow glass table. Benjamin’s dad lowered him to the ground.

“Ben, you have to do something really important for Daddy, okay? Just like you do when you play hide-and-seek, I need you to be as quiet as you can. Can you do that for me?”

Benjamin nodded, yes.

“It doesn’t matter what you hear. You don’t say anything until either me or Mommy come for you. Understand?”

“Yes.”

His dad pushed the table aside. The lower halves of the walls in the hallway were covered with decorative wainscoting panels, and Benjamin’s father moved a panel aside to reveal a crawl space just big enough to accommodate his son.

“Remember, Ben, don’t make a sound.”

As Benjamin crawled in, he heard the sound of glass breaking.

“What’s that noise, Daddy?”

“Hurry, Ben! Get in.”

When Benjamin was finally snug in the crawl space, his dad put a finger over his mouth and covered the opening, leaving him in the dark. He heard the same sound of breaking glass again, and then he heard the creak of the front door. He knew the sound well; usually, it meant his dad was home from work.

Now, though, it meant something else. He didn’t recognize the voices he heard, but he could tell there were two of them. In his kindergarten class, he’d learned a few Spanish words like ‘Hola’ which meant ‘Hello’ and ‘Como te llamas?’ which meant ‘What’s your name?’, but he couldn’t make sense of the words coming from the deep voices.

His father’s voice cut in, but he spoke in the same way as the other two voices. He didn’t know his dad could speak like that. First, their voices were low, then one of the voices grew louder. It wasn’t his father’s.

Next, he heard a thump and his father yelled, “No!”

A loud bang came after that, and then he didn’t hear his father’s voice anymore.

Instead, he heard heavy footsteps. Wanting to be well-behaved, even during such an odd game, he didn’t make a sound. Soon, he heard the voices again, speaking in the way he didn’t understand. Seconds later, he heard his mother’s voice, but it wasn’t the way he was used to hearing it. She was crying, then screaming, then the loud bang sounded again. Benjamin didn’t hear his mother anymore.

The footsteps stomped down the hall and Benjamin knew they were walking to his room; the floor creaked the same right before his parents came to tuck him in. The voices came back, one quicker than it had been before, and then Benjamin heard all kinds of noises coming from his room. He decided that Daddy and the men must be doing something and, hearing things break, hoped they were being careful.

The noises continued for a while and then, after a short pause, the heavy footsteps walked back along the hall and down the stairs. More noises came from downstairs, more things breaking, though Benjamin was less worried because his best toys were in his room. Several minutes later, Benjamin heard the front door open. After that, he didn’t hear the men any more. He figured his dad would be coming for him soon, so he tried his best to stay awake.

Benjamin fell asleep in his favorite hiding space.

His dad never came to get him.