The Risk (Page 18)

They just don’t give a fuck, in short.

A dark smile curves my lips as he stares up at me in surprised horror.

He came into this alley as the predator.

He’ll die as the prey.

I tug the sweatshirt over my head, careful not to disturb my blonde wig from its careful placement on my head. I toss it into the dumpster, then shrug out of my sweatpants, revealing the dress I had concealed, and tug on my heels.

It’s time to do what I came to do and quit fucking with the scum in the dark that people try to run from. The monsters in here can’t compare to the monster I am.

A few eyes swing toward me, but I’m not concerned as I strut by them.

No one will talk about the blonde hooker that just killed a man with very little effort. They’ll pretend they never saw a thing.

Even the groups of guys scatter away, stumbling over their feet in their haste. A gun is tucked into the backs of most of their jeans, but they just saw me gut a guy with his own knife. I’m sure they’re not feeling too confident the same won’t happen to them.

True story: Most people are more terrified when they see a knife than when they see a gun. It’s a psychological thing, but it works out in my favor at the moment.

I turn the corner, emerging from the long alleyway onto the busy sidewalk. No one even bats an eye or notices me through the hustle and bustle as I toss the bloody gloves into my purse.

The darkness helps.

I smirk as I see Lawrence stepping out of the building, and I cross the street and slow my pace, letting him get behind me.

Lawrence is predictable.

He’s also a pervert.

A sick feeling and the taste of bile rises in my throat when the predictable happens. A warm hand is suddenly on my ass, and I whip my head around, trying to act surprised.

“You,” he says, grinning. “Thought that was you. No blind date tonight?” He grins like his joke is hilarious.

I bat my lashes at him, and start tugging on his tie, even though my stomach is ready to explode with disgust.

“No date tonight. You trying to pick me up, pretty boy?” I ask with that fake southern drawl I used the last time I was dressed like this.

“I think you must have wanted me to pick you up. New York is too big to run into each other by chance twice,” he says smugly, smirking down at me.

“Maybe it’s just fate.”

His smirk bleeds into a leering grin.

“Your place or mine?”

“Well, that was easy enough.” I arch an eyebrow, leading him by his tie as I start guiding him to a parking garage.

“Where are we going?”

“My car is just around the block,” I say sweetly.

Parked in a parking garage with no cameras. I leave that juicy morsel out of the conversation.

“You’re the kind of girl that makes a guy do something dangerous like get into a car with a stranger,” he says, though there’s a hint of teasing in his tone, as though he finds me too weak to be of any danger to him.

“You can back out,” I say, moving to the right. I release his tie, but he speeds up his steps, still following me into the parking garage.

“I’m not worried. I think I can handle you.”

I hold back the snort of derision.

“Baby, I can promise you that you won’t survive a girl like me.”

Chapter 14

I do not believe in the immorality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern without any superhuman authority behind it.

—Albert Einstein


“Hush little baby, don’t say a word. Momma’s gonna buy you a mocking bird. And if that mocking bird don’t sing, Momma’s gonna buy you a diamond ring.”

The song flows through the underground cellar, and I walk toward the side as Lawrence slowly rouses from his unconscious state. I watch with rapt fascination from the shadows as a myriad of emotions flicker across his face in sequence.

Confusion. Surprise. Recognition. And my favorite—panic.

He struggles against the chains that are holding his hands and arms out wide, keeping him bound and suspended midair. It’s a lovely position to die in. It also leaves you feeling weak and defenseless to be spread out and immobile.

I should know.

The song changes, and “Ring Around the Rosy” starts playing in that creepy kid voice it’s in. I love fucking with their heads.

“Who the fuck are you!?” he shouts, struggling as I remain tucked in the dark corner. The light overhead casts a circular glow beneath it, illuminating him and the chains dangling loosely in front of him as I await our second prisoner’s arrival.

As soon as I got him to my car, I slammed his head into the side door twice, making sure he was out cold before tossing his heavy ass into my car. He’s solid muscle, and I didn’t plan on him being quite so heavy as dead weight.

The struggle was worth it.

The bruises are forming nicely around his eyes and forehead. I’m sure the concussion kept him out longer than a usual cold-cock.

“Where are you? Where the fuck am I?” he barks, struggling in vain, making the chains rattle their unrelenting warning.

He jerks his head from side to side, trying to see something other than the light above him. It’s just four stone walls in a semi-large square of a cellar. It’s every creepy nightmare there is.

I should have started finding creepier places to kill them long ago, because I love the way his body is seizing in terror just from the surroundings.

I’m dressed in all black now. The red lipstick is gone, along with the blonde wig I was donning. The heels have been traded in for boots—the men’s boots I wear with the special toe-piece Jake designed for me to leave behind heel-to-toe impressions.

My backpack isn’t on, but it’s not necessary for this part, since there’s no dirt around. The stone floor under my feet will soon be painted with two shades of red. Then I’ll paint all four walls.

“Someone fucking answer me! Help!” he roars, only to be met with silence. Tyler’s old home is in the middle of nowhere. These are the easy kills. Lawrence would have been difficult to kill in his apartment that he shares with a roommate.

Tyler’s wife is out of town right now, after having a fight over the text messages I helped her stumble upon—anonymously of course. Tyler thinks Denise got jealous and sabotaged him. His wife thinks he’s a dick weasel—her words—and left in a fit of rage.

I’m currently tracking her cell phone with the clone phone I had made of Tyler’s.

Lawrence continues to scream and shout as “The Wheels on the Bus” plays now, drowning out most of his pleads.

His voice is almost hoarse a few hours later when he finally pisses on himself, losing his bladder. It’s step one of humiliation. It’s step one of stripping their dignity. They always piss and shit themselves.

A smile curves my lips.

He curses as the first tear falls from his eye. He’s trussed up and strung out, unable to wipe it away. I want all his tears. I want all his misery and terror.

I want him degraded to the point he has nothing but indignation and humiliation left. Then I want his screams.

Just an hour after that, he breaks, sobbing fiercely as he loses control of his bladder again. His jeans darken, and the smell wafts over me. It’s the smell of revenge. Well, it’s the smell of piss, but you get the idea.

He’s shirtless, and I can see the goosebumps that have pebbled on his skin from the cold. The colder the room, the worse the pain is when the strikes are received.

“The bitch is crying,” Morgan says, laughing under his breath as one solitary tear rolls down my cheek.

I’m restrained, unable to wipe it away, as I try to retreat into my mind and block out all the pain.

“Those tears won’t save you, whore,” Lawrence says close to my ear. “Beg me to stop.”

“Please…please stop,” I hear my brother crying.

“We have one begging!” I hear Tyler announce, laughing like a hyena.

My arms wiggle free from Tyler’s loosened grip, and I scream out as I slam my fist into the side of Lawrence’s face.

“You fucking cunt!”

He continues to straddle me as he shoves my hands back down into place.

“Hold this fucking bitch down, or I’ll let her claw your eyes out when it’s your turn!”

Tyler spits out a curse, and slams my hands back into the pavement. I cry out as my hands find the unforgiving surface, and feel the blood trickling. I focus on it and not on what Lawrence is doing to the rest of me.

“Those tears won’t save you, whore,” I say, causing Lawrence to jerk his head over to my corner as he squints into the darkness, trying to find me.

“Who the fuck are you?”

I take three steps, slowly letting the light filter across me until his brow pinches in confusion. Fury sweeps across his face, but the chains hold him steady.

“What the fucking hell do you want, bitch?”

“Beg me to stop.”

He starts to speak, but the door above us opens, and Tyler comes rolling down the stairs, crying out in agony as Jake takes the steps one at a time. Jake moves with grace, enjoying the fact revenge is finally finding these sons of bitches after the conversation we witnessed.

Tyler already looks half beaten to death. Did I forget to mention that Jake has been taking all the same classes I have? Our mixed martial arts list only grows, as does our black belt count.