“That’s right,” he whispered against her ear. “Give in. It’ll be so much easier if you just let go.”
She tried to shake her head, but the movement was slight. Finally her hands dropped to her sides, her keys clinked against the ground, and her face tipped forward.
“That’s a good girl,” he said.
He grabbed her under her arms, and snatching up her keys, he dragged her toward the car’s trunk. He opened it and placed her inside. She lay helpless before him, her head turned, her neck exposed, her full breasts pressing against a white blouse.
He laid his hand on her breast, savoring the softness. He grew hard and wondered what it would be like to strip her naked and slide into her as he pretended she was Kate.
Drawing in a breath, he squeezed her breast once more and pulled back. Rape was not on his list.
He slammed the trunk closed, savoring a rush of excitement that was more potent than any opiate. Killing was so sweet, so intoxicating; he knew he would never stop unless Kate caught him.
He slid behind the wheel of the car and started the engine. He’d already mapped out where he was going and what would happen next. It was all falling into place.
He drove through town and onto the southbound interstate, driving until he found the barren stretch of road where he had planned to finish his evening’s work.
He pulled off onto the access road and wound his way along a side street past fields of scrub, rock, and red soil. He slowly drove off the road and parked.
He popped the trunk and found the woman still lying on her side. The drug he’d chosen wouldn’t last long, and if he judged her weight correctly, she’d be awake in minutes.
A soft moan rose in her chest as he hoisted her on his shoulder and carried her to the spot that had been so carefully staged.
He placed her on the ground and spread her arms and legs wide. He tied her feet first and moved to her right hand. As he fumbled with the knot, she looked at him with hazy eyes and screamed. She reached out with her left hand and scraped his arm. He slapped her hard on her face, stunning her. He finished securing her right hand.
Her eyes were wide and full of fear as he carefully fanned out her dark hair. She tried to raise her head, but he hit her again. “Don’t move or it’ll be far worse.”
“Why are you doing this?”
“Payback is a bitch.”
His fingers brushed the sheath hooked to his belt, and he removed the long knife. She screamed again, and this time he jerked a rag from his back pocket and shoved it in her mouth. Tears welled in her eyes.
Straddling the woman, he carefully unbuttoned her blouse, slid the tip of the knife under her bra, and exposed her breasts. Her nipples hardened in the cool night air and made him want her so badly.
The surge of power filled him as he stared up at the crescent moon. He gripped the knife in his hand. The woman moaned and her eyes fluttered. He waited a beat, knowing she needed to see him.
The rag muffled more screams as he scraped the tip of the knife along her bare skin. She flinched. “Time to pay the piper.”
She jerked hard against her restraints several times before the tight ropes cut into the flesh of her wrists.
When she stared up at him, pure panic sharpened her gaze. She would have given him anything, absolutely anything to gain her freedom.
He adored that look of shock and terror. “It’s not a bad dream,” he said. “It’s quite beautiful.”
She croaked out a strangled cry as he pressed the knife slowly into her right breast, between the rib cage and her lung. Then quickly he yanked the knife free and studied her face. It was all he could do not to come.
There was a pattern to the remaining cuts he would place on her beautiful body. This was the next item on the list.
He jabbed the knife over and over into her body, finishing at number thirteen with a slice across her neck. He was breathless, and his hands were wet with her blood. As she struggled to breathe he drew closer to her face as her last breath brushed over her lips.
He whispered, “Goodbye.”