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The two spent a lot more of that afternoon kissing before picking up Kaytlynn's six-year-old daughter for dinner at Japan Inn, a hibachi-style restaurant on North University Drive. The three hit it off famously. "I'm already in love with you and with your daughter," RJ told her. (RJ's mother, Cheryl Hahn, recalls a conversation she had with her son after the date: "My son said, 'You may have the grandchild you wanted from me.'")
Kaytlynn took RJ back to her apartment, where they fell on the couch and kissed some more. "Then he made me take him home because he was too tempted to take it further," she says. So she drove him back to Miami and said goodbye.
After that date, Kaytlynn was tempted to immediately end the relationship with her boyfriend. But RJ told her not to break his heart so close to Christmas. After finding text messages on her cell phone, Kaytlynn says, her boyfriend had a suspicion she was seeing someone else, but he thought it was an old lover. And she let it go at that, instead of explaining how she'd fallen for a stranger over the Internet.
So she and RJ gave themselves a deadline. They would wait until after the new year so Kaytlynn's daughter could spend Christmas at the apartment. It was only two weeks away, after all. They could wait two weeks. "'After Christmas is soon enough,' he told me. 'Stay a little longer. You know, we waited this long, we can wait a little bit longer. It's okay.'"
RJ also told her to get her house in order: "'I'm gonna give you till New Year's. But after that, look out 'cause I'm coming for you. You're gonna be mine.'"
Acquaintance Be Forgot You're a 27-year-old male, all alone on New Year's Eve. The wolf howling at the moon on your right shoulder is telling you to go out on the town. The geisha girl lounging across your back is whispering the same. You can't afford the big bucks to party at Space 34 with your friends, and all you have is a view of the vacant lot below, fenced in with barbed wire. But it's cool. You have your Xbox and your cell phone. The artist down the hall -- who lived in the other rental unit of the 10,000-square-foot loft -- has given you a full bottle of Absolut. And tomorrow you'll be starting a whole new life with the woman you love.
As far as your friends know, you have something lined up for later that evening. So what might keep you at home on the biggest night of the year? Two girls who were coming over to fuck you. At least that's what RJ Lockwood was telling friends he'd be doing at home on New Year's Eve.
According to records provided by Frank Wilt, RJ's former club construction boss from D.C., who owned RJ's cell phone and let him take it to Florida, RJ logged plenty of minutes with Kaytlynn on December 31. A 40-minute conversation a little after noon. A 30-minute call at 3:30. Fifteen minutes at 4:11. Forty-nine minutes at 4:56. A 66-minute conversation that ended at 7:30 p.m., his last call to her.
They talked mostly about their plans. Wilt had offered RJ a quick job in D.C. that would start in early January. He would earn enough money so that when he returned, he and Kaytlynn could get a place together in Fort Lauderdale. She would pick him up on New Year's Day, they would spend their first night together, and then she would take him to the airport early the next morning.
"New Year's Eve, we were a day away from being together," Kaytlynn says. "And that was all we talked about -- 'I'm gonna see you tomorrow. Tomorrow we're going to be together. I'm going to pick you up after I get off of work. I'm going to reserve the hotel tomorrow from work.' All about being together and what we were going to do. Some of it was very hot and heavy. We'd waited so long. And everything was finally cleared out of our way.... We were actually going to be someplace together, where we could lay in bed and make love and put our arms around each other, and be there."
The final roadblock was a party on New Year's Eve. Kaytlynn says she and her boyfriend had broken up "days before," but they were still going ahead with plans to host a birthday party for a friend at their apartment in Fort Lauderdale.
With his roommates, Christian Webb and Stefan VonFouts, back in the D.C. area for the holidays, RJ had the loft to himself that night. "His entire plan was to get a bottle of champagne and play on the PlayStation," Kaytlynn recounts. "I told him I'd call him if I could sneak away for a few minutes."
She couldn't, she says.
Eleven hundred miles away in Ocean City, Maryland, a friend of RJ named Caz was waiting in a hotel lobby with his New Year's date. With time to kill, he called RJ a little after 9:00 p.m. and asked about his plans for the night. Recalls Caz, who asked that his full name not be used: "He said, 'Nothing. I'm gonna stay at home. My girlfriend's gonna come over with one of her friends. Me and my girl and her girl. Come over and get freaky.'" Caz remains convinced RJ was expecting company. "The girls definitely called him that night," he says. "[I'm] 100 percent sure they were coming over."