Consuela Reyes hoped she looked slutty enough. At least, for the purpose.
She’d picked the gentlemen’s club strategically. The killer had last struck at another strip joint in Valasia, which was just off the 415 Freeway South. Consuela figured he wouldn’t hit that neighborhood again for a while. If her calculations were correct, Big Joe’s was his next pick-up spot. So she was there too, shaking her ass, kill-bait with curves.
Ogling herself in the bathroom mirror three hours’ previously, Consuela felt certain she had the tawdry goods to snare a murderer of working girls. Pink vinyl boots with platform heels, a black microskirt that left nothing to the imagination, white lace stockings, a blue thong bikini, lacy white halter top. From what she’d grasped from the headlines, he liked them dark, a little primitive maybe. Well, that was her. Masses of dark, curly hair flowed down her back; her face was narrow, Indian, her eyes black as obsidian chips. Her makeup was subtle, accenting her natural colors, her leonine cheekbones. Except for the “Fuck Me Red” lipstick—she couldn’t resist.
She noted the twisted tube of toothpaste “for sensitive gums” on her sink next to her amber-handled hairbrush. That relationship had been brief. The man was vainer than any woman she knew. But not in a hot, self-assured way. Consuela gingerly removed the toothpaste and popped it in the trash. Then, with one final glance around her living room—piles of Anatomy and Physiology textbooks on the glass-topped coffee table, a well-thumbed paperback entitled Extreme Self-Defense—she shouldered her Joosy handbag. From the wall, Ramirez, Dahmer and Bundy—real guys—seemed to give her a collective wink.
Go to it, Sister. We can’t wait for your report.
Now, standing on the sidewalk just outside Big Joe’s parking lot, she wondered. Maybe he’d be able to sense it. Something not right about her, or too right. A set-up. An undercover cop.
WWTD…What would Ted do?
There had been rain, and the neon letters that sat atop the club’s awning smeared their reflection across pools in the asphalt. Consuela lit a cigarette, even though she didn’t smoke. She waited, watching the cars cruising down the boulevard, standing well back from the curb so she wouldn’t get splashed.
Nothing. She flicked the smoking butt onto the ground, where it expired with a hiss. She shivered, wished she’d worn something warmer. That she wasn’t subject to dangerous whims. In a way, she and the killer weren’t that different. Except for the killing part. So far.
Consuela’s hybrid was parked on the other side of the street, down the road a ways. She was just about to pack it in—terrible idea, she could actually be murdered—when a silver Corvette coupe slowed to a stop.
Casually, like she did this all the time, Consuela sauntered over to the car. It matched the description from the police reports and the flyers plastered all over the three-city area the killer was crawling. A zagged scratch extending over the right wheel well exposed the primer like a scar. The windows were smoked.
The driver’s side window rolled down. She leaned in. For a moment, she felt a surge of terror—
it was so dark inside the Corvette. Then a piece of the darkness lifted on a white, white face. He was wearing a hoody.
Her man. He even dressed the part, like one of those signs asking you to watch for suspicious characters.
“Looking for a date?” she asked, batting her eyes. Wasn’t that what pros said in movies and on TV?
The man nodded. “Get in,” he said in a voice surprisingly soft. Consuela slid into the car next to him.
The coupe’s interior smelled acrid, smoky. Adrenaline jazz. She smiled, licked her lips and crossed her legs. He was checking out the package.
They drove for a while in silence. He seemed moody, and she couldn’t get a fix on what he might be thinking. He flicked on the radio: “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” by AC/DC. The flicker of a grin teased his lips. He began to keep time on the steering wheel to the classic song.
“Now this is rock and roll,” he said.
“Right fucking on,” she responded. So far, so good.
“I’ve got a flask in the glove compartment, if you want a drink,” he said. She thought she’d seen this neighborhood before. But it was hard to tell. The same liquor marts, gas stations, bail bondsmen. Were they going around in circles? She flipped through the glove compartment, found the silver flask and took a pop. Cheap bourbon. Well, it hit the spot.
“You want to talk some business?” he asked.
“What kind of business?” Doing her best to sound hard. The alcohol was going straight to her brain. She wished she’d eaten something before, but she’d been so keyed up. “You’re not 5-0, are you?”
He frowned. Had she hit a sour note? At least she hadn’t said “po-po.”
“No, I’m not the police,” he said. “How much?”
What was the industry standard, and for what? “Two hundred,” she said, making her voice husky, blasé. “You can do anything you want, but no rough stuff. And no pee.”
Consuela had really impressed herself with that last note. She hoped he bought it. Two hundred bucks sounded like a reasonable fee for fucking her, or whatever. She was young and pretty, after all, not some gap-toothed slag. She imagined a drop-down menu of hardcore services provided, a naughty fridge magnet poem maker. “Rough teabagging.” “Light anal.” “Bondage shit.” The man grunted. “No worries. I’m not a weirdo like the President.”
Which left a lot of room for the bizarre.
The possibilities excited her. All the things she hadn’t tried. Multiple penetration—cocks fore and aft, wriggling inside her. Suspension. Toys. She was starting to get wet. She lifted the edge of her microskirt and slid a finger down her panties.
The man’s face went cold, rigid. His lips curled over his teeth as her scent filled the car. Chewing down the panic—she hadn’t meant to do that, she was probably pissing him the fuck off—she pushed things a step further. With her other hand she reached over and curled her fingers around his thigh. He was big, but soft, like some kind of Loofah. His eyes went dark. “Cut that out,” he said. His knuckles whitened as he gripped the steering wheel.
“Sorry,” she said, pulling away her hand. She was really, really turned on. The prospect of imminent death aroused her like a drug.
They’d left the city proper and were driving through an unincorporated industrial area. He indicated a field next to an abandoned factory. She shrugged. “Do you have a tarp or something? Looks a little muddy.”
He was silent.
“Well, they say the customer is always right.” She waited for him to get out and open her door. The sky was a profound gray and the rays of the dying sun streaked it like fragments of shattered, bloody glass. They stood at the base of a set of concrete stairs that ended on a ten foot square platform, part of some building project sacrificed to the economy. Weeds jutted through cracks in the platform like wire sculpture. About ten feet away to the left stood a corrugated aluminum shack, and behind a thicket of bushes, a hand-pump.
She timed it perfectly. Turning her back to him, she pretended to fish in her handbag for a pack of cigarettes. Consuela felt his hot breath on her neck, and her hands curled around the can of Mace. Suddenly she crouched, crippling his forward attack. Going to one knee, she kicked out sideways. He struck the platform hard, and the ball-peen hammer he was holding flew from his hand and landed harmlessly on the concrete.
The killer was out cold. While he was unconscious, she tugged off the hoody, pulled his jeans around his ankles, inched down his boxers and bound his wrists and ankles with zip-ties. When his eyes fluttered open, she gave him the spray full in the face. “You fucking cunt!” he shrieked.
“Wow,” she said. “That was so not cool. Apologize.”
His eyes streamed tears from the pepper spray.
“You like to kill prostitutes,” she said. A flat statement. He sputtered and swore at her. “Yes, I know,” she said, pretending this was a reasonable, ordinary conversation. “Mommy was a pro, she abused you, something something. You, sir, are a cliché.”
Consuela suppressed a peal of giggles. She hadn’t intended the last part. But her blood was on fire, the cold was tonic, the moon was out, and she was pretty sure she was going to do and say some other things that were just as much out of character, or flat-out weird coming from anybody.
“You can’t get it up, and when they see your little handicap, they laugh. Right? Not that it’s little…” She kneeled down and took his cock in her hand. At last she was at leisure to examine it, caress it. She kissed the tip. Still soft. “A shame, all that meat and no spine.”
She noted a small trickle of blood oozing from his scalp, like an ooze of black pudding. She swiped a finger across the head wound and brought it to her lips. “Mmm…that’s good. Maybe that’s why you’re so flaccid…your blood is flowing through the wrong head.”
“I’ll kill you, bitch!” he shrieked.
“Maybe,” said Consuela. She rolled off him and grabbed the ball peen hammer. Then she straddled his chest and turned the hammer over in her hands so it caught splinters of moonlight. “This the one you use on your victims?” She placed the haft of the hammer against his throat, and pressed experimentally. He gurgled. “I know you’re into overkill,” she said. “I prefer a more subtle approach.” She pressed harder.
His face grew red, and his eyes bulged. She caressed his neck with the hammer-head. “You like the way that feels against your skin, the cold steel?” He was struggling to speak, but no words came out. Bubbles of saliva burst from his lips.
Consuela slid down her body till she found his cock again. Now it was fuller. Not full enough, but on its way. She began to stroke the shaft with one hand, keeping the hammer pressed against his throat with the other. As her hand moved faster, he grew, filling her palm.
“Houston, we have hard-on!” she squealed. She rolled down her panties and squatted down on him, sighing with relief as his full erection filled her up.
“I seem to be a little dry,” she said.
Her hips grinding against him, up and down, up and down, she picked up the hammer again.
With precise, unerring strokes, she turned his skull to jelly. Riding the spasms as an electrical storm tore through his nervous system, she held on like an experienced jockey, daubing herself with the sweet, sticky blood that bubbled from the wreckage of his face.
She couldn’t wait to tell the boys the story, down to the last toothsome detail.