KILLING ME SOFTLY - Teenage Assassin - Chapter 37

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CHAPTER 37: 

ANNABELLE’S  POV: 

I tie the belt of my black satin trench coat and give Jackson an exasperated look, “You act like this is the first job like this, Jackson!”

“This seems more dangerous, that’s all,” he’s pacing back and forth in front of the door of our hotel suite. 

I tilt my head and give him an ‘oh really?’ look.  “My first kill was a pedophile porn king.  It doesn’t get much worse than that.”

“Yeah, but I was there, Annabelle, I had it all under control,” he tries to argue. 

“And you’ll be there tonight.  Why don’t you admit what’s really bothering you?” I egg him on. 

He gives me a dirty look, “Fine!  I don’t like you being the same city as him!”

Playing with the belt of my coat, I shrug, “It’s a big city, it’s not like he knows where I’m at.”

“He’s rich, he’ll hire people to find you.”

“I took care of him last night.”  And I’m happier for it, I assure myself. 

“Are you sorry for what we did?”  He looks genuinely concerned. 

I give him a firm, “No.”  But, when he still looks worried, I go on, “Jackson, you did what was right.  I even told you so when I woke up in the hospital.  Never have I questioned your decision.  At that point, what else could I have done?”

Looking suspicious, he asks, “And at this point?  What now?”

Throwing my hands up in the air, I march over to my little black purse, snatching it up, “At this point nothing!  It’s over!”

As I edge around him to open the hotel door, he puts a hand on my shoulder, “I still don’t like this job, Annie.  I’ll be ten minutes behind you.”

Before slamming the door shut in his face, I make sure he hears my snide remark, “And I don’t need a babysitter, Jackson.”

Wishing we were staying at our apartment in the city, instead of a hotel, I take the elevator down to the lobby.  I get a few looks because of my appearance.  Lustful from the men, envious or disapproving from the women.  My black heeled leather boots go just over the knee, so there is only a few bare inches between the top of them and the bottom of my black coat.  I decided to keep my hair down, but curled it to give it a bouncy, more innocent look.  Hopefully my target will be drawn to the conflicting image I’m portraying.  My makeup is done up heavily on the eyes to make me look doe-eyed, but my lipstick is light pink and glossy.

There are taxis parked on the curb in front of the hotel.  Getting into one, I give the cabbie an address in the Tribeca area of Manhattan.  The club is called Rapture and a favorite of the target’s.  We have information that he goes there regularly, every Saturday night. 

There isn’t a line at this sort of club.  Either you get in or you don’t, the doorman will let you know up front.  Un-belting my trench coat, I smile and walk right past the guy.  Living in New York, having seen just about everything I’m sure, the guys only reaction is to nod and open the door for me. 

After walking down a long black hallway, lit only by a few wall sconces made to look like candles are burning inside, but are really light bulbs, I come to the main area of the club.  Trance music is playing loudly and people are lounging around on leather couches and velvet armchairs, sitting in booths and at the bar. 

A quick scan lets me know that my target is sitting alone in one of the booths, but an aggressive approach would most likely be a turnoff, so I instead go over to the bar and order a drink.  If all goes well, he’ll come to me. 

GABRIEL’S  POV: 

When Annabelle came out the lobby doors of the hotel, I just about fell off my motorcycle.  The combination of the black coat and the black boots had me sweating even more than I already was under my helmet.

I discreetly followed her taxi to a club that I’d never heard of or heard Max mention, even though I’ve lived in the city for a year now.  Parking my bike around the corner from the club, I get off and lock my helmet onto the bike.  Wearing dark blue jeans, a black t-shirt, motorcycle boots and a leather jacket, I wonder if I might be underdressed for the club. 

When I get to the door, I slip a fifty in the hand of  the big bouncer standing out front.  He doesn’t say anything, but opens the door for me.  So, I guess I’m in.  After going down a dim hallway, I get to the club part.  At first glance, I see the back of Anna’s head at the bar.  Slipping into an empty booth near the entrance, I slide back into the darkest corner. 

Once I feel hidden well enough, I take another look around the club.  And barely register that my jaw has dropped open.  This is a freaking s*x club!  What the hell is Anna doing here?  Taking it all in, the half naked people, the collars, the whips currently being used, people disappearing into back rooms in twos and threes, even fours, I stare hard at Anna.  Wishing I could drag her out by her curly hair.  This had better be for a job.  First sign that it isn’t, I’m outta here, with her.  Right at this moment, I’d be more than happy to spank her if that’s what she’s wanting. 

I see Anna stand up and slip the coat off her shoulders.  I only have a side view, but her outfit has me clenching my fists.  Along with the over-the-knee boots, she’s wearing tiny black shorts, practically underwear, and a black and pink corset.  She showed up in jeans and a tank top to my place last night? 

When Jackson walks in a few minutes later, it confirms that this is a job.  But still . . .

Jackson sits down in an armchair, ordering a drink by a passing server.  The server is wearing a studded collar for Christ’s sake!  The woman’s dress looks like it’s made of plastic.  When a couple near me starts doing it for everyone to see, I look at Anna to see her reaction.  She looks at them with wide eyes and blushes, but something about her reaction seems off, almost fake. 

I know she’s seen worse than a little exhibitionism, but I don’t like the fact that she’s here.  I have to wonder how Jackson can stand it.  My eyes switch back to Jackson, to see him staring right back at me.  He casually stands up and starts walking my way.  I’m not about to back down or apologize, no matter how he tries to intimidate me. 

Sliding across from me, he calls out to a server, “He’ll have a Smith & Wesson.”  As if ordering me a drink named after a gun company is going to scare me.  Try again, Jackson.

I lean back, crossing my arms, “Just because you buy me a drink doesn’t mean I’m going to sleep with you, Jackson.”

He raises one eyebrow, “I’m surprised you’re not still licking your wounds.”  I don’t appreciate his reference to last night, to the tape recording. 

I give him the same smartass look, “Pimping out your sister now?”

The twitch of his jaw lets me know that I’ve pissed him off, “It’s none of your concern.”

“And what if I make it my concern?”

Giving me the coldest look I’ve ever received, he reminds me of why I’m lucky to be alive, “She stopped being your concern the day you tried to kill her.”

“I wasn’t trying to kill her,” I defend myself once again.  I know how stupid it sounds, but it’s true.  Temporary insanity is what I call it.  Pure stupidity. 

Jackson ignores me and leans forward, “Don’t mess this up for her tonight.  She has a job to do and you showing up at the restaurant has already made it hard enough.”

I flick my gaze back over to Anna to see her looking at us.  And does she look mad.  My view of her is cut off as the waitress brings my drink.  When I see her again, she’s no longer looking our way, but instead talking to some guy in a suit who’s come up to her. 

When the douche fingers a strand of Anna’s hair, I start to slide out of the booth.  Jackson’s foot coming up between me and the end of the leather seat stops me.  “I’m warning you, Gabriel.  Leave it be.  That’s the target.”

His threat doesn’t stop me, but Anna’s anger does.  Plus, causing a scene could be dangerous to her.  I can’t risk her getting hurt.  I have no idea who this guy is, but he could be carrying a gun. 

Sliding back against the wall, I pick up my drink and take a big gulp.  When Jackson says, “Good boy,” I contemplate whether or not to throw the rest of the drink in his face.  I decide not to when, for just a brief moment, I can see in his face how much this is bothering him too. 

“Why can’t you just kill him?” I ask Jackson. 

“It’s not that simple this time,” he says cryptically. 

“If he’s so bad, I’ll do it,” I offer, totally meaning it.

His eyes narrow, “Of that, I have no doubt.”

I give him a dirty look, “What’s that supposed to mean?”

He shrugs nonchalantly and leans back into the cushion, “Well, you try to act all high and mighty, but underneath that false sense of morality, you’re just as capable of killing as me or Annabelle.  I even got to watch you do it in Australia.”  Then he adds, “Like father like son.”  As if the same couldn’t be said of him.

The urge to punch him is strong, but I brush off his insult, “Okay, it’s settled.  I’ll do it.”

Almost indifferently, he says, “We need information from him first.”

Seeing the yuppie perv now kissing her neck, I spit out, “Then why don’t you torture him for it?”

Jackson isn’t looking at me, but instead at the bar, when he answers, “That was a option, but even being a weirdo, if the guy is innocent, it wouldn’t be good for him to run to the police with crazy stories about me torturing him.”  He finally turns back to me, spreading his arms wide, “This is who we are, Gabriel.  Who Annabelle is.”

“And I accept her the way she is,” I say determinedly. 

His laugh has a hard edge to it, “I would say that you’re about two years and two months too late for that.”

“It’s not too late, Jackson.  She still loves me.”  With a condescending expression, I tell him, “You know, someday you’ll fall in love too.  What then?  What if you fall in love with someone who’s not from your world?”

Shaking his head, he laughs, “Never gonna happen, buddy.  I don’t have that kind of idiocy in me.”

With mock pity, I shake my head, “Even the hardest cynic has the ability to fall in love.  And you know what?  They’re the ones who fall the hardest.”

With a skeptical look, Jackson drawls out, “Yeah, cause you’re such an expert in love.”

Watching Anna play another guy right in front of me, I’m soon becoming one.  Today’s lesson of love is restraint.  Holding back from kicking another guy’s ass when he’s pawing your woman. 

ANNABELLE’S  POV: 

This guy smells like expensive cologne and cigarettes.  He slowly draws his finger along the bare skin on my stomach, between my corset and shorts.  I pretend that my shiver is one of desire.  He finally moves his lips from my neck, “Are you looking for a master?”  Figures I get a job where the guy is a Dom.  Why are most murderers also perverts? 

Biting my lip, I blush, which isn’t hard considering the fact that my brother and my ex-boyfriend are watching this play out.  I’d really like to know how Gabriel found me.  Then, I’d really like to get rid of him.  At first I was royally mad that he was here, but seeing that Jackson has him under control, I’m ready to get on with the assignment. 

William runs his fingers over my cheek, “How cute, you’re blushing.  Are you new at this sweetheart?”

Making sure my facial expression conveys embarrassment, I look down at the ground, “Is it that easy to tell?”  As he runs his fingers through my hair, palming my scalp, I think ‘creep’, but I say, “Do you think you could teach me?”

His excitement at my question is obvious, “Hmmm, I am going to have so much fun breaking you in.” 

Freaking creep!

I glance around the club nervously, “Do you think we could maybe go someplace more private?  I don’t think I’m ready for all this yet.”

William looks thoughtful, “We could use a backroom, but I think I’d rather take you someplace special.’

Putting a whole lot of naïve into my eyes, I look at him, “Do you think I’m special?”

The hand against the back of my head moves down my neck and back, to settle over my butt.  He pulls me forward so that our hips meet, “Very special, sweetheart.”  He grinds his hips against mine and I can feel the hardness of him, he grunts, “Come on, we’re leaving now.”

I grab my coat and cover myself back up.  We pass Jackson and Gabriel on our way out.  I can practically feel the tension emanating off of Gabriel.  Jackson doesn’t look happy, but I know he trusts me to be able to handle myself. 

William ushers me in to the back of a Bentley and tells his driver, “The East Village place.”  Yeah, I’m oh-so-special.  Don’t take me to your nice home in the Upper East Side, but instead take me to whatever place you have in the not-as-nice part of the city. 

The entire ride, his hands are all over me, but at least over the clothes and not under.  I’m hoping the place he’s taking me to is where I need to be to find out the information for the client.  After a long drive, the driver parks in front of a run-down apartment building.  William takes my hand and pulls me out of the car after him.  Going up the several concrete steps after him, when he unlocks the door and holds it open for me, I walk inside. 

His apartment is on the second floor, knowing the answer, but not being able to help myself, I ask, “Is this your place?”

He laughs sarcastically, “I’d never live in this dump.  This is just where I like to have fun.”

Having more fun with the role than I should, I pretend ignorance, “Your real home isn’t fun?”  Him thinking I’m a retard couldn’t hurt, either.  Being a Dom, he likes his women helpless compared to him in any way, even mentally helpless.

His answer is a sly smile and a, “You’ll see.”

Oh, and don’t I see as soon as I step through the door.  This guy would probably think that the Spanish Inquisition was fun.  William’s East Village apartment is really a torture chamber.  Instead of a living room, there is a dungeon.  Walls painted black, with shelves lining the them, filled with toys and whips.  Spread throughout the room are all sorts of sadistic devices, designed in the name of ‘pleasure’. 

Not. My. Thing. 

Reaching into my purse, I grip the needle, then spin around and give him a delighted smile, “I can’t believe this place.”

He slams the door closed and gives me a stern look, “On your knees, slave!”  He’s already unbuckling his belt, walking towards me.  I drop down to my knees like a good submissive.  Then, as I’m face to face with his crotch, and his pants start slipping down, I pull the needle out of my bag, bring my arm up around to his backside, then poke him right in the ass with it. 

William tenses up, mumbles some gibberish, and crumbles to his side onto the dirty floor.  I can’t help it, I start laughing.  Pulling out my phone, I call Jackson, “Okay, you can come up.”  Getting off my knees would be a good idea and I make sure to do it without touching my hands to the ground.  Not so easy with the heels on these boots. 

One rap on the door lets me know that Jackson has arrived.  I open it for him and he steps in.  As I’m closing it, a hand shoots out to stop me, pushing the door open again. 

Gabriel. 

GABRIEL’S  POV: 

Slipping through the door and quickly closing it, I turn around to face Anna.  Since she looks pissed, I decide to play dumb, “Need any help?”

With an annoyed look, she points to the guy on the floor, “Yeah, this guy wanted me to go down on him.  Will you do it for me?”

“Ha, ha, ha, so funny.”  I glance back down at the guy, “Is he dead?”

“Not yet.  Get lost Gabriel.  Go play video games with Max or study something.”  She’s definitely agitated.  Good. 

I nudge his bare butt, near where a needle is sticking out of it, “So, what’d he do?”

Anna is pulling a pair of gloves out of her bag, Jackson is pulling a pair out of his coat pocket.  I’m guessing it’s a good thing I still have my motorcycle gloves on.  Anna ignores me, but while her and Jackson rifle through this guys assortment of Kinky-R-Us toys, Jackson starts to fill me in.  “Two weeks ago, a debutante with a wild side by the name of Therese Sealy was found dead in a dumpster over in the Chelsea area.” 

Jackson is quiet for a moment, then continues, “The injuries to her body indicated that she may have gotten involved in this kind of scene.  It was rumored that this guy was with her that night, but nothing could be confirmed for sure.”  I stand in the middle of the room as he goes on, “Her family was embarrassed by the circumstances and chose to hush it up as soon as possible, not wanting their daughter to be known as some sort of freak.” 

Anna leaves the ‘living room’ area and goes into the bedroom.  This isn’t the place for a confrontation, so I don’t bother to approach her.  Later.

With a sour face, Jackson picks up an object that I don’t want to know the purpose of, then starts speaking again after setting it down., “Anyways, this place of his was rumored of too, but no one knew where it was, since he obviously doesn’t have it in his own name.  The girl’s family, being high-profile and all, didn’t want this to become a police matter, where every sordid detail would become public record, sooo that’s where we come in.  Instead of the usual get in, kill, get out, the family requested that we first find evidence of William Coster’s guilt, notify them, then make the kill at their direction.”

“It all sounds so simple,” I say in a cynical tone. 

“Found something!” Anna shouts out from the bedroom.  Jackson beats me there, and as I go in behind him, I notice that he has a studded black baton in one hand.  Souvenir?

Anna’s looking down at objects spread out over the bed, then I notice she’s holding an empty purse in her right hand.  “Jackson, I found her purse, id, credit cards.” 

Jackson holds up the baton, “The star-shaped studs on this match the marks on her back.”

Anna walks around to her own small black purse, also on the bed and pulls our her phone.  After a moment, “Simon?”  Anna goes on to report their findings to ‘Uncle Simon’.  I know most of it already, but she catches my attention when she opens another wallet and tells him, “I also found the wallet of a woman named Stacia Gunther, will you look into it?” 

When she gets off the phone a minute later, her gaze zeros in on me.  “What are you still doing here?”

I shrug one shoulder, “This is where you are.”

“You should go, Annie,” Jackson says quietly, from where he’s leaning against the far wall. 

“I can handle it, Jackson,” she says harshly, shooting him a glare. 

“Maybe I don’t want you to,” Jackson takes a step forward and I feel as if I’m missing something.  “You know what the victim’s family is going to ask for.  They’ve made it clear from the beginning.”

“And I can do it,” she doesn’t back down. 

“Do what?” They both ignore me. 

“Can you?” Jackson looks oddly condescending, but tender at the same time.  “Simon will agree with me.  Their specific demands aren’t what you’re used to.”

“And you are?” She crosses her arms over the chest of her trench coat. 

“Dammit Anna!  You’re still a female, and my sister!  I won’t put this on you!” 

Anna opens her mouth to yell back, but is interrupted by her phone ringing.  Narrowing her eyes at Jackson, she answers, “Yeah?”  Long pause, “That’s what I figured.”  She runs her free hand across her forehead, looking stressed, “I’ll do it.”  When she begins to look mad, I guess she doesn’t like what Simon’s telling her, “You’re treating me like a child!”  Long pause, then she shouts, “Fine!” and hangs up. 

While she throws objects back inside what I guess is the victim’s purse, she tells Jackson, “I’m out of here.  Simon says for you to do it.  This other purse and wallet must be another victim of his, because the woman has been missing for six months.  I’ll leave her stuff for the police to find.  I’m taking Therese Sealy’s belongings to send back to her family.  They don’t want her connected with this place, even if this is probably where she died.” 

She stomps out of the room, me following her first, but I can sense Jackson right behind me.  She kicks William Coster as she passes him, “Piece of crap!”  Then spins around at the door, looking at Jackson, “For the record, I wanted to spare you from having to do it.” 

Jackson doesn’t respond, but walks over to a shelf to pick up a ball gag.  Then, going over to William Coster, leans over and places it into his mouth, securing it over his head.  Crouching over William, Jackson doesn’t look up, “Thank you for that Anna, but I’m better able to handle afterwards.  Go now, and take loverboy with you.”

Annabelle gives her brother a sad look, then turns to leave.  “He should wake up soon, Jackson.  See you back at the hotel.”

Before following her out, I have to ask Jackson, “What are you going to do?”  Even thought I have a feeling I know the answer. 

He looks up at me, looking almost sick, “Her family has requested that he meet his end the same way their daughter did.  They want him tortured and beaten to death.”

“Sorry,” I mumble inadequately and get out of there, closing the door behind me and hear Jackson lock the deadbolt behind me as I walk down the dingy hallway. 

I catch up with Anna on the steps of the building, pointing with my thumb over to my bike parked a block down, “I’ll give you a ride back to the hotel.”

Looking preoccupied, she just nods.

Now I'll have her to myself.

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