It took about thirty minutes to scrub off the day's grime and sweat off her body when Elle arrived at her hotel room. Using the bright yellow loofah sponge and her favorite citrus scented body wash, she used the soapy water to rub against her newly shaved long legs. At six-foot-seven, Elle thought them to be a gift and showed them off whenever she got the chance. At the club. Dinner with friends. She wondered if her secret admirer knew that. Did he know how she secretly got off on figuring him out as much he loved taunting her? It was the reason her sexual drive had increased drastically since she got to Miami. She'd learned the hard way her dark thoughts should never be said out loud, even to the strangers she invited into her bed.
Sarah's porcelain skin flashed across her mind, and Elle smirked at how easily her fingers were now dipping underneath the water to touch herself at the thought of her. Her wide-eyed personality didn't match her gory profession. Nor did the daring move she pulled earlier that day in her office. But Elle was convinced she was innocent when she did a background check on the sexy blonde earlier and came to the conclusion that Sarah was nothing but a kind woman, who spends her weekends volunteering at the local hospital and her vacation time offering medical care to countries who have citizens with no health insurance.
A murderer like her secret admirer wouldn't be that selfless. He'd be hiding out in a dark room like a coward, watching, waiting for the opportunity to strike, planning out his next move.
If Elle's plan worked tonight, she'd get him right where she wanted him.
She went about her normal nightly routine. Ate some chips for dinner and some iced tea to wash them down, watched some late night television and turned it off as soon as it hit midnight. She always left her table lamp on, and her gun underneath her pillow in close range, just in case someone decided to act a fool and dare to enter her room. She was an excellent shot, according to all of her former partners and she took pride in taking down her targets with just one bullet.
She closed her eyes, and waited for any kind of noise outside her locked door. The footsteps came no less than ten minutes after midnight and Elle swiftly took her gun out from underneath her pillow and stealthily got herself out of bed, heading towards the door. She pressed her ear against it and focused on trying to make out what he was doing before she opened the door.
The first sound she could make out was the whistling. It was carrying a familiar tune but she couldn't remember the name of it. Then, silence. She looked down at her feet, to see if she could see his shadow from underneath the crack of the door. Nothing. He was gone.
Elle quickly opened the door, and aimed her gun out into the hallway before she exited. Both directions of the dimly lit hallway were empty and Elle cursed underneath her breath as she turned back towards her room, and caught her breath when the lights went out and a hand slipped harshly around her throat. The back of her head met the wall and she winced at the dull pain now forming against her skull.
"What do you want from me?" Elle croaked out, while his fingers still squeezed at her windpipe. The dark figure before her shook his head and leaned in closer to her, as if he were enjoying sniffing at her scent like a dog with his owner, figuring out who else I'd been with tonight. But he didn't say a word. Nothing to indicate any emotion other than the anger he used to deprive her of air.
"Why did you use someone else's blood to pour it all over that innocent woman?" she continued her questioning, and it seemed to have struck a nerve because his hand released her throat immediately.
"There was nothing innocent about her. She’s a crier, just like you," his voice sounded odd, as if it didn’t pertain to him. This guy was a piece of work and it only intrigued her further.
"I don’t have an innocent bone in my body. But I’m sure you already knew that. Right, Sebastian?” she added, testing him as she rubbed at her bruised neck, stepping closer to him, showing him no fear. It would piss him off enough to make a mistake.
"Your hands are shaking. Is that reaction just for me?" she enticed, and tried to shake off the adrenaline pumping in her veins. She needed to stay calm enough to take this guy down.
"Why don't you turn on the lights, Sebastian? Let me see the coward hiding in the shadows," she taunted, and when he reached to pull at the hand that gripped the gun, he pulled her closer to him, then twisted it hard enough for her to groan in pain and make her drop it onto the carpet in the hallway. She caught a glimpse of his cool, green eyes as she struggled to bring him into the light in her hotel room. But the sound of Carter charging out of his hiding place in her room, caused him to step away quickly and release her.
"You know who I am," the man claimed angrily before he let her go and the lights flickered back on in the hallway. The sounds of her neighbors chattering echoed throughout the halls but he was gone again. It didn't matter. She was closer to finding out who he really was and when she did, that son of a bitch would be put behind bars for the rest of his miserable life.
Fortunately for her, she’d gotten more information from her encounter with her secret admirer last night. Which led to another sleep deprived night, going over everything he said, and his reactions to her questions. But of course, she just couldn’t catch a break. She woke up to the sound of Carter shaking her out of her deep sleep, informing her of the bodies of two more women found just outside the back alley of the hotel, and the press had gotten word of it this time.
"Who the hell called them in?" Elle asked Detective Nieves when she joined her outside in the alley twenty minutes later, along with the other members of the police department, and the CSI team.
"I did. The people have a right to know what this monster is doing." Nieves answered, as she crouched down next to the bodies, and cocked her head to the side.
"Did the other body have a tattoo behind the ear?" Camilla asked Sarah, who took a break from taking pictures of the bodies to answer her.
"Yeah, actually. They did. But the other woman, her tattoo was done with invisible ink. I almost missed it during the autopsy." Sarah informed, glancing briefly towards Elle before going back to her duties.
"Let me see." Elle ordered, and Sarah handed her the camera. Once she saw the Celtic tattoo of the Claddagh ring behind the ear, Elle cursed. This definitely wasn't a coincidence.
"You've seen this tattoo before?" Camilla asked Elle and she nodded as she brought out her phone and took pictures of their tattoos.
"Its the Celtic tattoo for loyalty. If I had to bet, I'd say these women belonged to a gang, possibly the Irish mob." Elle explained, as she sent the pictures she just finished taking to Carter. He was still up in her room, going over the notes, seeing if it took them towards a new lead.
"The Irish mob? Like the Dean O'Leary kind of mob?" Sarah asked with genuine shock and immediately covered her mouth when the press started to go nuts with the information behind the yellow tape. She mouthed the word sorry towards her and Elle dismissed it right away. The press were ruthless when it came to crime scenes. They would've gotten a hold of the information somehow anyway.
"I'm guessing you have a theory," the detective continued, taking her aside, and away from the press.
"Sebastian Hale. He has the tech background and knowledge of the Irish mob." Elle answered, but as she spoke, she barely bought into her own conclusion. Sebastian still had no motive to go after these women, or her for that matter. None that she could pick out just yet. He had no history of violence or prior offenses.
"Why start killing these women now?" Camilla wondered out loud.
"The only thing I can think of is revenge. Only its not against one specific gang, but to one person in particular. Somebody who made him snap a long time ago. These women, they all represent her, the woman who wronged him, and he's killing her over and over again."
"Why not just go after the source?
"Maybe...maybe she's not available to him." Elle explained, as she put the pieces together in her mind, keeping the rest of her theory to herself. And that theory involved her horribly incompetent mother.
“What was their official cause of death, Sarah?” Nieves asked the medical examiner.
“They were drugged with some kind of paralytic substance according to the tox screen. He left them tied up until their bodies gave out, basically quickening the dying process. The stab wounds were inflicted afterwards.” Sarah described, as she jotted down some notes for her report.
“The foreign blood not belonging to the victims is what needs to be accounted for. I believe you should start there.” Elle advised, while Camilla bit her tongue and no doubt held back a nasty remark.
“You’re the expert, Ms. Dubois. Let’s go guys.”
"Are you sure you want to go down this road?" Carter asked for the millionth time as they entered her office at the precinct. Elle was ready to throw her phone at him the moment he started to voice his concerns about her going to visit her mother in prison. His badgering got on her nerves but she knew he meant well. He was watching her back, like he'd always done, and probably always would.
"You're annoying when you care, Carter. Please focus on the task at hand here." Elle demanded as she placed her gun holster on her chair.
"We both know it's only a matter of time before he works his way up to you and then your mother."
"He thinks I'm her. In his mind, I'm the bitch who ruined his life, and he wants to watch me fall apart. What would I do next if I were him?..." Elle ignored his words and trailed off into her own thoughts, closing her eyes as she put herself into the madman's position, contemplating his next move. "You called me by someone else's name. I'm insulted, furious and hurt that you refuse to acknowledge who I am after everything we've been through..." she continued, speaking as the dark figure who had her by the throat last night, "so I take my rage out on two women on the street, who just happened to have ties to the Irish mob..." she finished, and thought of him hiding in his vehicle, searching for the perfect woman with the same olive toned complexion she and her mother shared, along with the same dark colored hair and piercing brown eyes.
"Maybe he recognized the tattoos and they triggered him, brought him back to the moment he lost everything and he turned towards the little guy in the back of his mind, urging him to kill for guidance.” Carter interrupted and Elle turned suddenly towards him, grinning like the hungry wolf she was.
"Multiple personality disorder?" Elle asked and he scratched his scruff as he considered her words.
"I’m being dramatic but it’s possible. He had the perfect opportunity to kill you last night. But he didn't. Why?..."
"Maybe he has something bigger planned and killing me would disrupt his fantasy.” Elle realized and if that were the case, this had more to do with her mother than she thought. Stella Dubois had her share of secrets. It was time Elle got to the bottom of them, if only to stop this man from killing anyone else.
"You said he claimed the women weren't innocent. What if that's why he's pissed at your mother? What if she cried wolf and it ruined his life?" Carter concluded and Elle's mind exploded with desire, igniting her libido in ways she hadn't felt since their college days.
"You're a genius," she claimed with pride, locking her door as she wrapped an arm around his neck and pulled him closer. She took his bottom lip with her teeth and tugged lightly, making him groan and his dick hard against her stomach. She undid his belt quickly and tugged down his jeans, pinning him up against the wall, as she brought him out of his boxers and stroked at him. His hand gripped her ass and Elle smirked before he captured her lips in a hungry kiss. He switched their positions, as he pulled down the blinds to her office door and kept them from the prying eyes of everyone else at the police station.
He pushed her up against her door and pulled down her jeans, then drove his eager cock into her wet folds, causing her to moan deeply into his mouth. He fucked her good, and he fucked her hard. No apologies, no soul baring glances at each other as they became one. She lived for moments like this that held no meaning, or provided her with the pounding uncertainty and doom love usually offered. She wasn’t always this cynical. Elle Dubois had fallen in love before and experienced the hardest crash of the strongest kind of drug out there. She landed quick and hard, causing the softer side of her to die and wither within her past.
Carter's thumb rubbed at her clit furiously, bringing her attention back to the pleasure he enjoyed indulging her with, while his dick continued to grind into her slick walls and her hips rode him in desperation. She pulled at the hair on the nape of his neck and gasped as her muscles contracted and her juices spilled along his thick shaft. He bit down onto her shoulder before he pulled out and she got on her knees to suck on his tip, draining him of every last drop of come he had in him.
When she was done, they fixed their clothes in silence and she kissed his cheek in gratitude.
"Call her. I know you want to." Elle mentioned, referring to Hazel, when she noticed the sadness in his gaze. She knew he was still in love with her, but Haze wasn't even looking in his direction anymore. Not since Dante showed up and took back what obviously belonged to him.
"She made her decision. And I've made mine." Carter stated, holding her gaze steadily as he stepped closer to her and brought her close enough to kiss her deeply. Elle swallowed hard when she pulled away and watched him walk out of her office. Carter Murphy was the type to fall hard, and fall fast. He'd done so with her in college, then again with Hazel. He was lonely. That's all it was. That's all she wanted it to be.
Love was inconvenient, and came with scattered moments of mind-numbing pain. Why would anyone want to put themselves through that torture?
Not her. And certainly never again.