(narrated by James Killavey)
“It’s my turn to take him lunch.”
“I don’t think so.” Sissy held the chef’s knife aloft, angling the blade toward the top of Gwen’s head. Gwen gave her a dark look, but moved out of the way. Sissy wasn’t about to let her talk to him first. Not after their latest debacle with that homeless ho from the first season.
“Good idea, switching plates on the car. Think she memorized the old ones?”
Sissy smiled to herself. Gwen was shifting tactics. She’s such a suck up. Sissy didn’t mind letting her have the leftovers. Not if it meant she could manipulate her into doing the jobs she didn’t like.
“If she did, they’ll come up with a sedan belonging to an old man who’s been missing for six weeks. No way they’ll be able to track it here.”
“What do you think he did with him?” Gwen whispered.
Sissy shrugged. It was none of her business what he did with the ‘offerings’ as they called them. She was pretty sure it wasn’t catch-and-release. As long as he let her stay she didn’t care.
Sissy finished making the salad and removed the now-hot bowl of soup from the microwave, setting them both on a tray with spotless silverware, a single rose (thorns removed) and the current Men’s Health magazine. She added a linen napkin and a bottle of pre-squeezed barley juice she’d picked up at Whole Foods before taking everything through the living room and up the stairs.
As she neared the top of the stairway her hands began to shake. The bowls on the tray rattled against each other. She stopped and took a deep breath, willing herself to be still. When she was sure her hands wouldn’t betray her excitement she continued down the hall to the closed door. Transferring the tray to one hand, she rapped on the door with the other.
Still holding the food in one hand, Sissy turned the door handle and entered the dark room. He used the extra bedroom as an office of sorts. At least, that’s what he’d told Gwen. Sissy knew it was really his trophy-slash-gaming room. Only she was allowed to go inside.
He sat at his computer console, playing a video game. The screams emanating from the screen told her it was his favorite, Sluts and Guns. One wall was covered in black and white photographs of young women, most of them no older than twenty. Their poses fascinated her—each was nude and looked as though asleep. He’d taken the photos from differing angles in order to capture every limb, every back, every buttock in minute detail. Sissy had no idea if or how each woman died although he’d told her he had no interest in them sexually. That’s what Sissy and Gwen were for, he assured her.
Sissy was still trying to figure a way to take Gwen out of the picture. She had to admit, the bitch did come in handy when one of their catches got a little too rambunctious, but most of the time she was more work than she was worth.
It was a tough job trying to keep her in second position. Besides, Sissy had access to a hypodermic needle filled with anesthetic to quiet the active ones.
This latest problem with the woman who’d escaped was going to take some finessing on Sissy’s part. She walked over to the filing cabinet next to him and set the tray on top, waiting for his acknowledgment. He was wearing one of her favorite shirts, a dark blue button down. Her tongue darted between her lips. She could almost taste him.
“I’ll eat later.”
The sound of his voice reverberated through her. The tingle from the adrenaline rush of standing so close to someone who wielded such power cascaded down her body in waves. Only she and Gwen could slake his desire. More often than not he called on Sissy. She couldn’t begin to describe how much it turned her on he needed her that way.
If she’d have stopped to think about it, she’d probably have to admit the sex wasn’t great. It was more the idea that was so exciting; the idea he chose her, Sissy Nelson, as his partner above all others. Gwen was an at-bat as far as she was concerned.
He hit the pause button on his console.
“You have something to tell me?”
Sissy averted her eyes, unsure how to spin it so she came out better than Gwen.
“We found the woman you told us about. The homeless one from last season?”
He remained silent, his attention on her. Sissy would’ve killed for this kind of focus from him and here he was, listening to her every word.
“There was a slight problem—” The words came out in a whisper. She cleared her throat.
He rose from the chair. Sissy backed up until her legs hit the filing cabinet, her palms wet. He placed his arm around her shoulder, dipping his head in order to hear her better.
“What do you mean, a slight problem?”
“I-I mean we don’t have her.”
“You don’t? Why?” He gripped her shoulder, hurting her.
“It was Gwen’s fault. It was her idea to put her in the trunk. The little bitch figured out how to trip the release.”
He let go of Sissy and stepped back, his dark eyes smoldering with anger. Sissy stared at the floor, her shoulders tense, inching their way up toward her ears.
“She escaped?” His tone was measured, but Sissy recognized intensity behind the words. “Why did you feel the need to put her in the trunk? We’ve talked about this at length. You’re not to arouse their suspicions. You can do anything else you deem necessary, but I reserve the right to witness their fear. It’s my reward since I’m letting you two find them for me.”
“I know, I know. I’m sorry. I have no idea what got into Gwen, but she started hinting at what was going to happen. The woman was no dummy. She figured it out and got scared. We had to restrain her, but Gwen didn’t put the ties back in the car from the last time, so we stuffed her in the trunk.” It was actually Sissy’s responsibility to make sure the car was stocked, but he didn’t have to know that.
“Did it not occur to you that there are built-in safety features in cars? Especially the trunk?” His rigid posture and clenched fists belied his soft, calm tone. Sissy wasn’t sure if she should stay and take the brunt of his anger in the hopes that he’d be aroused, or if she should go downstairs and find Gwen.
She didn’t have to make the choice.
“Get Gwen up here, now. There’s a way for you both to make amends.”
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