The Editor

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Mister D'Agostino pulled her close to him. Marie felt his hot breath on my neck. His teeth edged across her shoulder as he grabbed her arms. He fondled the elabroate tattoo on her upper arm, clearly enamored with it. He was forceful and overly forward, but he only wanted the services he paid for.

The dress was expensive. It was designer, though she barely took the time to look at the label. The long velvet gloves matched it. Mister D'Agostino clearly liked them as she held his neck.

His hands grabbed her shoulders. He pushed down, the message all too clear. She slowly lowered herself to her knees, her short strapless dress rising up around her hips. She reached out her left hand and found his zipper. As she unzipped it, she reached out with her right and found her shoes. She pulled the spike heel off even as she reached her hand into his pants.

He grunted at the attention. It was enough.

She shot her right arm upward, swinging the heel up and around. Before Mister D'Agostino could react, before he could even realize her hand was no longer on his crotch, it was done. The heel was buried deep in her jugular. He tried to speak, but his windpipe broke under the impact. He could barely get out a single groan before he toppled over.

She stepped back. He crumpled to the floor, his heavy stomach hitting the floor. He bled out quickly. She waited and watched him die. Mister D'Agostino wasn't the first person Marie had watched die. He wouldn't be the last either.

She ran a hand through her hair—or at least the hair of the wig she wore. She found the three pins she needed. She grabbed her purse and emptied it on to a table. D'Agostino's guards wouldn't just let her walk out of here with their boss dead. For that, a distraction was more than handy.

She opened the lipstick, pulled open the false end. She poured out the two ounces of plastique inside. The makeup compact contained the trigger. With the three wires contained inside the hairpins, she quickly connected the explosive. It wouldn't have tons of range, but it would be more than powerful to kill anyone in the room. She slipped it into the Mister D'Agostino's back pocket. She patted it flat and walked to the door.

Marie took one deep breath. She raised her hand and frantically beat against the door. "Help! Help! Something's wrong!"

The door opened in seconds. D'Agostino's men had guns drawn. They were ready for this kind of thing. They knew their boss's business. They knew he was a target.

"Something happened! I think—I think he had a heart attack or something." She pointed back towards him on the floor. From this angle, no one could see the blood. No one would know what happened.

They ran past her. Marie wasted no time. She closed the door and quickly ran down the hall. She counted to three as she ran.

One...

She jammed a finger into the elevator button.

Two...

The elevator dinged and opened. D'Agostino's private elevator worked to her advantage.

Three...

She heard the muffled explosion as the door closed and she whisked down to the ground floor.

She breathed deeply and let the adrenaline flow through her body. She felt alive. This was nearly as good as sex. She knew she couldn't let the euphoria overcome her. She wasn't free and clear yet.

The elevator slowed. The door dinged and opened. She walked barefoot into the lobby. She didn't make eye contact with anyone as she slipped out of the building. A few people might see her leave the hotel, but her trip in through the back meant no one but three dead men had seen her enter. No one would have a clue who was responsible for the murder upstairs—whenever they found it.

She walked out on to the street. It was barely two in the afternoon. Even someone like D'Agostino needed to go home to his wife at night. His liaisons were daylight affairs. Marie preferred her kills in daylight anyway. People paid a lot less attention to a single person when many were around.

The car pulled up as she approached the end of the sidewalk. Frank leaned over and opened the door for her. He was barely five and a half feet. He was getting a little hefty around the middle. But her husband could drive like no one else. Besides, it was the area beneath his gut she was most interested in now. She smiled and slipped in.

"Everything go all right?"

"Like perfection." Marie leaned in, pulled him in and kissed his dark lips deeply. Several seconds later, she pulled away. "Come on, let's get home."

Frank pointed at the clock as they started to drive. "As much as I would like to, we don't have time for that."

"Damn marks take too long sometimes."

"Better get changed."

She reached into the back of the car. A duffel bag sat open. She reached in and withdrew a simple cream blouse and a bra. Throwing the heavy wig aside, she pulled the shirt out over her pale skin and dress. With it in place, she sat up and pulled the dress down. She slid it down until the top was just above her waist. She reached down and stretched it out a bit to get it into a more comfortable form.

It took her only a second to get the bra into place. She gave Frank a smile as he pulled up to the school.

"I can go in if you want to take another minute to calm down," he said.

"No, I want to go in. The other moms expect me to come in."

She stood up and walked towards the preschool.

Jillian met her before she even got to the door. Marie found the woman insipid, a waste of air that only served to complicate everything around her. But she knew she had to be cordial to her.

"Marie, glad you could pull yourself away from your work to pick up Titus. I'm sure you had a lot of work to do and everything but—"

"Just because I work from home, doesn't mean I don't work," Marie said.

"I know you have a lot of editing to do. All the other mom's always tell me how good an editor you are. Your name pops up on all kinds of websites."

That name and several others, Marie thought. She just smiled and nodded.

The door opened and Titus came running through the door. "Mommy! Mommy!" The boy was nearly five and he seemed to only get more adorable everyday. His skin was the perfect mix of her pale flesh and Frank's darker complexion. His hair was almost orange, from her natural strawberry blonde locks and Frank's black hair.

"Hey, honey. Mommy's here. Did you have a fun day at school?"

Titus nodded furiously.

Jillian started to say something, but Marie was already pulling Titus away from the school. There was plenty of day left and she wouldn't waste another second on this woman.

Her family needed her. 

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