Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The family that preys together…- 20

A couple of hours before Gerard and Crispin were discussing him over the breakfast table Bryant was looking down at what Crispin had called ‘his latest conquest’. She really was a lovely woman with long blonde hair and a lithe body that had wrapped around him in several interesting positions late the previous night.

Now she was spread-eagled on the bed in his flat, gagged and with her hands and feet cuffed and tethered to the bedposts. Her hair was blood-streaked, her deep blue eyes filled with pain as she looked at him.

“Are we having fun yet?” he asked, his voice seductive as he traced the tip of his knife along the bottom of her foot. “They say the foot is one of the most sensitive places when it comes to pain. Do you believe that?”

She shook her head wildly, her eyes pleading with him to stop.

“Or was it the palms of the hands?” He took one of her hands in his, forcing her fingers open. Slowly he sliced an ‘X’ into the palm while she mewled behind the gag.

An hour later he was wrapping the thick plastic sheet that had covered the bed around her body, feeling quite satisfied with himself. She had lasted for much longer than the last one. The only thing he regretted was the need to gag his victims. Screams coming from the flat would undoubted worry the other tenants of the building.

When he was finished taping the sheet firmly closed he went into the bathroom to shower off the small spatters of blood that had, unavoidably, landed on his arms and chest. As he dried off a few minutes later he stared at himself in the mirror on the back of the door. His full, sensual lips curved up in a grin as his eyes, as dark green as his father’s, took in his slender, well-muscled body. For someone past the age of thirty who lived the life that he did he considered himself in very good shape.

Once he was dressed again he looked around the bedroom. Other than the package in the center of the bed all was as it should be. And the package would be taken away as soon as he ate some breakfast. The nice thing about the flat, the reason he had bought it, was that it had a private side entrance. He could pull his car up within a few feet of the door, making removal of unwanted items easily done without any of the other tenants being the wiser.

Now, after downing the last of his coffee he went to get the car. An hour later he was in a secluded spot south of the city by the banks of the river which was in full flood stage. Taking the sheet-wrapped body from the trunk of his car he carried it to the river’s edge and sliced the tape, letting the body roll into the swiftly moving water.  As he watched it slammed against some rocks and then sank slowly. When it was out of sight he used his knife to cut the sheet into pieces, being careful not to get any of the blood on his hands or clothes and then one by one dropped the pieces into the water as well. Finally he rinsed off the knife and then returned to his car.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The family that preys together…- 19

Two days after his foray into Minneapolis, Gerard was sitting in the breakfast room reading the newspaper obituary column and smiling. His prey had died of a massive, if unexpected heart attack.

When Crispin strolled in, stopping to pour himself a cup of coffee, Gerard asked where Bryant was.

Crispin shrugged. “As I’m not his keeper I really have no idea.”

“Did he even come home last night?”

“Not by the time I went to bed. He’s probably off with one of his lady friends.”

“His cheap pickups you mean,” Gerard said with a derisive snort. 

Sitting, reaching for a sweet roll and buttering it, Crispin replied, “Either/or. At least it keeps him busy and out of trouble.”

“And you?”

“Me what? Do I play around? You know I don’t father.”

“Crispin…” Gerard shook his head. “You are thirty-six and, as far as I can tell virtually celibate. That’s almost unnatural.”

Crispin smiled ruefully. “First off I haven’t met anyone that remotely interests me. Secondly I can sublimate my urges by playing the game.”

“And in between times?”

“To put it crassly, I have a good right hand, father.”

Gerard chuckled. “I suppose that works, and at least with you I don’t have to worry. Every time Bryant vanishes for an evening I get a cold knot in my stomach wondering if somehow someone had caught on to what we do and he’d been arrested.”

“He’s too clever to let that happen, father. He’ll show up any moment now, ready to regale us with stories about his latest conquest.”

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Out today - 'Never Again', and coming soon......

Never Again

During the Civil War Joseph Moncure, shifter and newspaper owner, lost the only man he ever loved and he vowed it wouldn't happen again.

Cal Gilbert, a homeless veteran of the Iraq War, found a purpose in life when he created Rebuild NOLA, an organization which refurbishes derelict houses for the homeless.

Joseph, tired of purveying the news, decides it's time to find somewhere else to channel his time and energy. When he learns about Rebuild he joins the organization, despite the instant antipathy between him and Cal.

Antipathy turns to grudging respect then friendship between the two men. Now Joseph must decide if he can once again allow love into his life after swearing 'Never Again'.

Coming May 11th

If  You Run From Me
(Winterfield - Book 4)

Grady Marlow and his father Leland, pediatric doctors, seem to have it all despite the fact that Randolph Marlow, Leland's husband and Grady's other father, has vanished from their lives. When they hire a new receptionist, Jeremy Audley, he convinces Grady to become the on-call doctor at a local shelter for street kids.

Then, someone starts stalking Grady and Leland. Randolph is the only one person knows who the man is, and he's on the run from the stalker. Now, he may be drawn back to the city to save the family he loves, before the man destroys them.

It will take the combined efforts of all the Marlows, and private detective Megan Arthur, to stop a mad man from killing again.



Friday, April 26, 2013

The family that preys together…- 18

Gerard watched for his target from the entrance of an alley across the street from the man’s building. Anyone seeing him now would be hard put to recognize the dapper, well-dressed gentleman who ran in some of the more elite circles of St. Cloud. Now his usually well-coifed hair was lank, hanging in unkempt, dirty strands around his face. His beard had the same unclean look, scraggly and sporting a few shreds of dropped food. His layers of clothes appeared not better, old, tattered and torn. On the ground in front of him was a well-worn hat with a few paltry coins sitting in the bottom.

However underneath the outer fa├žade was the hunter, the game player, carrying the tools of his ‘trade’. His dark eyes were alert, taking in everything around him, noting the people he might someday go after if he had the time. If not he might point his sons in their directions. Not the specific people, he wasn’t about to track them down, but the kind, the fools whose actions bothered others to one degree or another. Like the man who made a half-hearted attempt to throw his trash into a litter bin, not bothering to stop and pick it up when it missed.

But that was for the future. Now Gerard was after specific prey. He had dealt with the man when trying to return a purchase that didn’t work the way it claimed on the outside of the box. The man, middle-aged and obviously bored with his job and all it entailed, had been very rude and demeaning even after he’d finally agreed to give Gerard either a replacement or a voucher to cover the cost as long as he used it at that store.

As he watched, he saw four people leaving the store, his target among them. They walked down the street and into a fast-food place. Ten minutes later they were back, carrying drinks and bags of food as they headed towards a small park on his side of the street.

He picked up his hat, pocketing the coins before putting it on. Then he staggered towards the park. The man he was interested in sat at one end of a bench talking to his companions while he ate. Gerard flopped down against a tree a few yards away, scratching under one armpit.

“People like that shouldn’t be allowed here,” Gerard’s prey said loudly enough to be heard halfway across the park, looking pointedly at Gerard.

The man’s friends seemed slightly embarrassed at his outburst and obviously were trying to calm him down and change the subject. The man allowed that but kept turning to glare at Gerard. Soon two of them left, saying they needed to get back to work. The remaining man continued talking to Gerard’s prey for a few minutes more before standing. Gerard heard him say, “Well if it bothers you so much get a cop to have him removed or taken in to detox.”

“I just might do that,” was the growled reply as the man watched his companion head back across the street towards the store. Then he glanced around as if looking for a cop. Not seeing one he got up and strode over to where Gerard sat. “You are disgusting. Get a job,” he said angrily.

Pushing to his feet Gerard stared at him bleary-eyed. “Spare a dollar for a cuppa?” he muttered. Then he staggered, slamming into the man hard. The man was so angry and disgusted he didn’t feel it as Gerard pressed the plunger on the syringe he held hidden in one hand, injecting a lethal mix of Levitra and amyl nitrite into the man’s arm. He shoved Gerard away hard; looking down as if to make certain Gerard’s filthy clothing hadn’t left any detritus on his suit.

“You belong in jail. If there was cop around…but there never are when you need them,” the man spat out. Then turning sharply he almost ran out of the park.

Gerard watched him, a feral smile on his face, and then headed in the opposite direction towards the parking garage where he’d left the van.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The family that preys together…- 17

‘The Cell Phone Killer strikes again’ the headlines screamed.

Bryant shook his head as he tossed it to Crispin. “A bit dramatic, but it works.”

After reading the accompanying story Crispin nodded in agreement. “We’ll have to lay back for a couple of weeks though. The cops are going to be out in force.”

“True.” Bryant sighed. “But,” his face lit up, “that’ll give us time to plan who to go after next and for what.”

Booting up the computer, Crispin brought up their list. “It’s getting shorter,” he muttered.

“When we get to the end we start over. After all up until now no one knows about what we’ve been doing.”

“Very good point.” While Bryant stood beside him Crispin ran the cursor down the list. Finally he stopped, looking up at his brother. “This one? It really could actually make life easier for some people.”

Bryant nodded. “I like.” Glancing at his watch he turned away, picking up his jacket from the back of the sofa. “Time for us to get moving.”

“Yep. Got to keep up appearances. I swear I’m half tempted to see if I can work from home.”

With a grin Bryant tapped the newspaper. “We do.”

“That’s not what I meant and you know it, you nut. That won’t pay the bills.”

“Too true, too true.” Bryant waited while his brother shut down the computer and gathered up what he needed.

They walked companionably downstairs, stopping in the kitchen to pick up the travel mugs of coffee the cook had left for them. When they reached the four-car garage they noted that the van was missing.

“Guess father felt the urge again,” Crispin said.

“Not surprising. It has been a while.” Bryant saluted the empty space with a smile. “Good hunting, father.”

Monday, April 22, 2013

The family that preys together…- 16

“Talk!” Bryant looked down at the man kneeling in front of him. The man’s ankles and his left hand were bound tightly together with thin wire. Only his right hand was free, a cell phone epoxied to it.

The man shook in fear, his voice tremulous as he asked, “What…what do I say?”

“Are you stupid? I've already told you what to say!” With the point of his knife Bryant punched in the phone number of one of the local television stations, again. With his trembling, the man’s fingers had disconnected the call before he could say more than a few words. “Ask for the news desk again.”

The man did as he was ordered. Then, terror filling his voice he told the person who answered, “They are going…they’ll kill me because…because I was in a store talking on…oh God…help me! Please you have to… They’re going to kill me for talking in…in public on my phone…” He broke then, sobbing, clutching the phone to his chest.

Crispin shook his head. “You didn’t do a terribly good job of that. Perhaps my brother can persuade you to talk more clearly?” His smile was evil as he looked Bryant.

“With pleasure.” Bryant pressed the blade of the knife to the man’s bare chest, drawing it slowly from clavicle to navel.

The man looked down in horror as his skin separated and blood flowed in a thick stream, following the course of the blade. “No!” he screamed. “I’ll do whatever you want but please don’t hurt me any more.”

Bryant looked at his brother. “What do you think?”

“I’m quite enjoying his pleading actually.”

Again Bryant sliced the man, this time from nipple to nipple. The man sobbed, begging again for him to stop.

“Are you going to deliver the message without all the hysterics?” Bryant asked.

“I’ll try, I swear it. I will.”

Punching in another number, this time to the newspaper, Bryant told him to ask for the city desk. It took a few moments for the man to reach someone who would listen to what he had to say. Then, his eyes following the tip of the knife blade as Bryant moved it slowly in front of his face, he gave the reporter the same message he had the person at the television station, but much more clearly. When he was finished but before he could disconnect the blade sliced him from his forehead to the tip of his nose. He screamed in anguish and then passed out. Bryant grabbed the hand with the phone, saying tersely, “He’ll die for his sins,” and then hung up.

“Die for his sins?” Crispin’s lips quirked up in amusement.

“It, umm, sounded dramatic, and with the ‘cross’ on his chest it fit.” Bryant knelt beside the man, pulling him onto his side while avoiding the blood pooled on the tarp. “Any objections if I kill him now or would you like the honors?”

“Be my guest.”

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The family that preys together…- 15

‘The partially nude, tortured body of a young woman was discovered early this morning on the front steps of a national cell phone company. It was obviously a message to the company and the people who use their products as cell phones were glued to both her ears, her hands and over her mouth.’

Crispin frowned, handing the newspaper article to Bryant. “I guess next time we have to spell it out in words of one syllable.”

“I told you so, but let’s see how the television news is handling it.” Bryant surfed through the channels until he came to a news update. As they listened he smiled. “Guess TV reporters have more brains, or they just had more time to figure it out,” he said.

“We’re still going to do at least one more, just to make certain the message gets across.”

Bryant smiled gleefully. “I say the next one we do on the spot, down and dirty. Pick a man and carve the message onto his chest.”   

“Bryant!” Gerard’s voice rang out as he entered the room. “Have you lost what little mind you have left?”

“I was kidding, father. I’m not that stupid.”

“Well I would hope not. Using a male would be good though, so that people understand this is not sexual, that the message you’re sending it real.”

Bryant leaned back, looking at his father. “Are you going to help this time?”

“Absolutely not.”

Bryant smirked. “Lost your touch, or your taste for killing?”

“Bry,” Crispin cautioned.

“I think we have the right to know. He brought us up to do this, even worked with us for a while, and then he stopped.” He looked at Gerard. “I know you say you still hunt, but do you?”

“I do.” Gerard twisted his beard between his fingers as he stared at his younger son, a sure sign he was considering his words carefully before speaking. “The desire to kill is ingrained in me as surely as it is in the two of you. Being older I have learned to control it but there are times when I have to hunt, to play the game.”

“But not with us.”

Gerard shook his head. “Your style is different, yours especially Bryant. I come from an older, kinder time when you just eliminated the person that deserved it quickly and painlessly. You two are a product of your times; you have no fear of violence and what it entails.”

Crispin tapped his lips, nodding in agreement. “And now, as we are going public with our messages, I think the violence is even more necessary. That’s what people understand and fear. Perhaps they will listen and alter their behaviors as a result if they know there is someone out there who will deal with them if they don’t.”

“Perhaps,” Gerard agreed with a wry smile. “It is certainly worth finding out.”

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The family that preys together…- 14

“Practice makes perfect,” Bryant said with a chuckle as he drove them back to the restaurant. The girl was in the trunk of his car, wrapped in the same tarp that they’d used to carry their last victim up to the lake.

“We’ll have to be careful however. Since she was on the phone whoever she was talking to might already be calling the cops.”

Bryant shrugged. “By the time they get there we’ll be on our way home.”

“Or not,” Crispin said, hearing sirens as he got out of the car. “Drive carefully, Bry, you don’t want to be pulled over. I’ll be right behind you.”

Just over an hour later they were letting themselves into the mansion through the back door. After checking to make certain none of the servants were around Bryant unlocked the basement door, waiting for Crispin with his burden to start down the stairs before closing and locking the door behind them.

Crispin put the girl down in the center of the floor and unwrapped her, spreading the tarp out as he did. She moaned slightly, coming to, and then struggled against the cords that bound her. Her eyes were full of terror as she looked up at her captors, widening with shock when she recognized Crispin.

He smiled, kneeling down beside her. “If you think we’re going to rape you rest easy, we’re not.”

“We’re just going to kill you,” Bryant told her. “Whether it’s quickly or slowly depends entirely on you.”

She shook her head so wildly Bryant had to twist his hand in her hair to stop her so that he could remove the gag. She immediately screamed for help and Bryant backhanded her hard.

“I think I’ll take it slow, you definitely have screaming down to an art which really turns me on.”

She gasped, covering her mouth with her bound hands. “Why are you doing this?” she asked from behind them, her voice barely above a whisper.

“Because we can.” He took the cell phone from his pocket, “And because of this.”

“I don’t understand.”

Crispin pulled her hands away from her face, gripping her chin hard. “You my dear are going to go down in history as an example of what should happen to people who annoy the rest of us with their constant chattering on their phones in public.”

“But, but…” Her eyes welled with tears. “I promise I’ll never do that again. Please, please let me go.”

“Too late.” Standing, Crispin hauled her to her feet. Then he wrapped a rope around her bound hands, pulled them up and tied the other end to the hook in the ceiling. As Bryant came back from the workbench Crispin smiled. “Have fun, brother. Just remember we want her more or less in one piece when you’re finished.”

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The family that preys together…- 13

“I know where she lives. Meet me at Gino’s. We can eat and then deal with her.”

“That was fast, Spin,” Bryant replied. “Alright, I’ve got what we need for starters in my car. See you there in fifteen.”

After a good meal, during which they refrained from any mention of the project ahead, the brothers returned to their cars. At Bryant’s suggestion Crispin left his in the lot and they rode together to the girl’s apartment building. It was an older, solidly built place with two external fire escapes, each landing lit by an overhead light.

“Any idea which one leads to her apartment, or even which apartment is hers?” Bryant asked as he and Crispin pulled on gloves.

“She’s on the third floor; I watched where the elevator stopped. Give me a leg up and I’ll check what I can see, if anything, of the apartment opening onto this one.” Crispin nodded to the closer fire escape. Bryant paused, looking up at the neighboring building first to make certain no one was watching. Then he cupped his hands and Crispin stepped into them.

When he could reach the stairs Crispin tugged gently and the lower ones slid down quietly. “Well kept, well oiled, and not alarmed,” he murmured softly as he started up. At the door on the third landing he peered carefully through the window to find himself looking into a nice kitchen. The door was open on the far side and he knew this was her apartment. He could see the front door and sitting beside it was the gym bag she’d been carrying when she left the health club.

Pulling out his handkerchief he used it for extra padding so that he could unscrew the light bulb above the door. Then he waited for Bryant to join him. As it was his brother’s forte, Crispin waited while he dealt with getting the back door to the apartment open.

They slipped inside and Bryant closed the door silently, leaving it unlocked. Then they crossed to the door to the front room. They could hear the television; some comedy was on from the sound of it. Crispin cautiously looked into the room then shook his head, holding his hand up in the classic ‘on the phone’ gesture.

“Of course,” Bryant mouthed with look of amusement. At a gesture from his brother he stepped into the room. The girl’s back was to him as she sat on a sofa, her eyes glued to the television even as she chattered on the phone. In a matter of seconds he was behind her, one hand covering her mouth, the other wrapped around her throat, holding his fingers tight against the pressure points. She passed out before she could struggle enough to free herself from his grip or cry out.

After that it took no time at all to bind her hands and feet and gag her. Then Crispin hefted her over his shoulder, Bryant picked up the dropped cell phone, making certain it was off before pocketing it, and they left the way they’d come in.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The family that preys together…- 12

“Mr. Hill, welcome back.” Crispin nodded, acknowledging the words of the man at the front desk of the health club. “Will you be swimming again, sir?”

“Yes, though I might try the treadmill first.” Crispin took the locker key the man handed him and went to change.

He arrived at the workout room to find most of the equipment in use. After checking to see if the young woman he was searching for was there, which she wasn’t, he moved on to the pool. She wasn’t there either, and he knew that it could take several visits before they were both at the club at the same time. So, dropping his towel on a chair he dove into the water.

Twenty minutes later he climbed out again. When he headed to his chair he saw the young man he’d talked to the last time he was there. As soon as he’d settled the young man came over, nodding at the chair beside Crispin as if asking for permission to sit. Crispin nodded in return then closed his eyes.

“Come on, surely you’re not worn out yet,” the young man said with a laugh.

Crispin smiled. “No. Just thinking.”

“Sorry. I’ll leave you alone then.”

Turning his head Crispin opened his eyes to look at the man. “It’s all right.”

“Work?” the young man asked, thus initiating a few minutes of chatting between them. Then he chuckled. “Looks like Miss ‘Phone glued to her ear’ has returned. I can’t imagine why she’s at the pool, she never swims.”

“Checking all of us males out I’d be willing to bet.”

“Yeah, I suspect you’re right.” The young man looked her over with the same kind of intensity with which she was studying one of the men at the far side of the pool. “She’s not bad looking, and probably knows it.”

Crispin laughed. “I dare you to make a move on her and see what happens.”

“You’re on.” Five minutes later he was back, grumbling that it was hard to get to know someone who only stopped talking on their cell long enough to say ‘Hi’ and ‘Hang on until I’m finished and then I'll...’ “Why doesn’t she just glue that thing to her ear?”

“Then she couldn’t change earrings,” Crispin replied with a grin.

They continued talking for a few minutes more and then the young man headed to the pool. Picking up his towel, Crispin went to change back into street clothes and leave.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The family that preys together…- 11

“What risks are we taking that we haven’t faced before?” Bryant’s voice rose in anger as he glared at his father.

“To begin with you won’t be disposing of the body in some out of the way spot like the lakes you’re so fond of. You will be leaving it in a very public venue.”

Crispin banged his hand down on the desk to get their attention. “We could still leave it somewhere hidden and then let the proper people know where to find it.”

“No,” Bryant countered. “I like the idea of putting it right on the front steps of the cell phone company. It reinforces exactly what we’re trying to get across.”

“You do realize that you will have to do more than one so that people understand it was not a random killing; that the killer wasn’t just angry at her per se and using that as a cover-up for murdering her.”

Bryant smiled wickedly at his father. “And that would be a problem why?”

“I agree, I see no problem at all,” Crispin said, feeling the adrenalin start to pump at the very idea that they seemed to be accepting his idea.

Gerard sighed to himself. They were, he realized, out of his control. Not that they hadn’t been for some time now. They had begun just as they had been taught, with simple killings to eliminate a particularly obnoxious person. Then Bryant had discovered the ‘joy’ of inflicting pain on a victim first, something that neither he nor Crispin had done anything to stop. Crispin seemed to find it fascinating to watch and Gerard had to admit that at times the punishment fit the crime.

“Do as you will,” Gerard said at last. “Just remember you are not to bring disgrace to the Hill name.” He smiled a bit. “Your aunt would spend the rest of her life on her knees in church praying for our souls.”

Crispin chuckled. “A waste of time and energy as I doubt we have souls any more.”

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The family that preys together…- 10

One floor above where his sons were planning and plotting Gerard sat in his study watching and listening. “Finally,” he murmured under his breath.

He had no qualms about spying on them. That had started years ago, soon after his wife’s untimely death, when he had deemed them old enough to be trained for the game. Crispin had been twenty-three, Bryant just twenty. Both boys had known there was something about their parents that was deeply hidden from them but it still came as a shock the day that Gerard sat them down and explained about the game.------

“It was your mother’s idea actually,” he told them. “You know she had no tolerance for what she called the ‘idiocy of the masses’ when it came to the small, annoying things we’re all faced with day in and day out perpetrated by them.”

“Like able-bodied people who take handicapped spaces,” Crispin said, catching on immediately.

“Precisely. Then, one day she came home to rant and rave at me about something of that order that had gotten her hackles up. ‘I wish we could just kill them all and be done with it,’ she said. And thus the game was born.”

Gerard paused, studying his sons carefully for their reactions. After their initial horror that he and their mother had been involved in murder, many murders in point of fact, they seemed to become intrigued with the idea.

“It started as a sort of joke,” Gerard continued. “We’d vent our frustrations by planning how such and such a person could be done away with without our being caught. Then, as with all such things, we decided to test our theories. After our first success there was no stopping us. We didn’t confine ourselves to just St. Cloud. Too many people going missing would obviously raise red flags within the police community. Minneapolis/St. Paul became our hunting ground, as well as smaller cities in the state when we’d go there on business trips.” When Bryant raised an eyebrow at that Gerard said, “Real business trips, which you know I took several of a year.”

“Now you want us to carry on in your footsteps,” Crispin said cautiously.

Gerard smiled. “I do. Can you think of anything in life more challenging than ridding the world of those idiots that most people find annoying? And doing it successfully.”

And so his sons had become his students and then his partners. Finally he had ‘resigned’ and left the game to them, although he did very occasionally go out on his own when the urge became too strong. So he understood exactly what was bothering Crispin and why. Now all he had to do was decide whether he would allow them to go ‘public’ as Bryant had put it.

Monday, April 8, 2013

The family that preys together…- 9

“How do we get her?” Bryant asked.

Crispin snorted. “With that phone glued to her ear it should be no problem at all. The thing of it is…” he chewed his lip, hesitating to say what he had in mind.

“What? Spit it out Spin.”

“Just killing her doesn’t do much good if we don’t make an example of her. There are too many of them running around. We have to let people know that their actions won’t be tolerated.”

“Whoa up! This has always been a game of eliminating an unacceptable person. Not something to send a message.”

Leaning back Crispin looked at his brother. “Maybe it’s time to change the rules?”

“Father won’t allow it.”

“Father taught us, set us on this road, but he doesn’t own us, Bry. We’re our own people. Why not combine our needs, our passion, with something else. Something useful. Besides, think of the thrill of coming out of hiding so to speak. Think of the terror we can invoke not just in our victims but in the whole populace.”

“Spin, you’re crazy. You’re out of your fucking mind!”

“Scared little brother? Don’t you have any confidence in our abilities?”

“Confidence I have, but won’t that be daring fate to go public?”  

“No, it’s just upping the ante. We’ve been doing this for so long and damn it I’m beginning to get bored. Well, maybe bored isn’t the right word,” Crispin added when he saw the look of surprise on his brother’s face. “But the rush from the game is like a drug. You get used to and need more and more of just to stay high. Maybe by changing the rules of the game the symptoms of withdrawal, to stick with my analogy, will take longer to arrive.”

Bryant began pacing the library, deep in thought about what his brother had said. Finally he turned to him. “How would we send the message?”

Crispin smiled slowly, knowing his brother was hooked. “I can think of several ways. Something done to the body, a literal message on paper, where we leave the body, we can decide once we’ve got her in our hands.”

“Then I suggest we get to planning.”

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The family that preys together…- 8

“Welcome Mr…” the clerk at the front desk looked at Crispin’s paperwork again. “Mr. Hill. Is there anything specific you want to start with? Maybe the exercise machines or the pool?”

“The pool sounds good.”

“Excellent, it’s down that hall to your left.” He handed Crispin a key, telling him was for his locker.

Pocketing it, Crispin picked up his bag and strolled away from the desk, checking out what he could see of the health club on his way to the locker room. Large windows along the hall allowed him to see the various men and women as they worked out. He frowned when he saw several of them with cell phones glued to their ears while they rode the stationary bikes or walked on the treadmills. If there was one thing he hated it was people who thought they had the right to disturb everyone else with what should have been private conversations. 

As he entered the locker room three men looked over from what they were doing, nodding to acknowledge his presence. He nodded back, found his locker, and quickly changed into his swim trunks. Then he hurried out to the pool, ignoring the smile from one of the men. He was here to work off some of his tension, not add to it.

After swimming laps until he began to feel the strain he climbed out of the pool, wrapping a towel around his waist after drying off. Then he found a vacant seat and settled in it to people watch.

Too soon the seat next to him was taken. He refrained from sighing when a perky young voice asked, “Are you new here? I don’t think I’ve seen you around before.”

Smiling at the cute little blonde he replied, “Just joined today. I decided it was time to workout before my muscle turned to flab.”

She looked him over with open appraisal. “I don’t think you have anything to worry about.”

Before he had a chance to reply her cell rang. She answered immediately and began talking about her day to whoever was on the other end. Crispin rolled his eyes in annoyance, trying to shut out her voice.

“Very rude,” a man said from the other side of him as he dried off, his shoulder-length hair still dripping from his swim.

“Definitely,” Crispin agreed wholeheartedly. “There should be a law that says if you do that you get incarcerated for thirty days, for the first offense, and work up from there.”

The man laughed. “You really do hate that don’t you?”

“Sorry, but yes. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves.”

“Though I might not be quite as rough on women like that I can sympathize. You should see them when I’m standing in line at the coffee shop, women and men, making people behind them wait while they blabber away and try to place an order at the same time.”

“Maybe we should start a ‘Ban the Cell Phone’ group, like ‘Ban the Bomb’.”

The young man frowned, puzzled. “Ban the Bomb?”

“It’s a slogan from the 60’s.”

“You can’t be that old.”

“Oh God no, I just know my history.” Since the young man seemed willing to listen Crispin explained.

When he’d finished the young man nodded. “If we tried to ban cell phones we’d probably have just about as much luck as they did.”

“Yes,” Crispin replied, chuckling a bit morosely. “Probably.”

They continued to talk for a while, trying valiantly to ignore the young woman who was still talking incessantly on her cell. Finally Crispin gave up in disgust. Standing he grabbed his towel and after excusing himself he headed to the locker room.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The family that preys together…- 7

While Crispin was bemoaning his life or lack thereof, Bryant was staring in amusement at his secretary. “They want what?”

“To talk to you about their new line of men's clothing.”

“Tell them to send me photos. If I think they have something worth talking about then they get an appointment, not before.”

“Yes sir.”

She smiled at him before leaving and he watched her tight, curvy ass with appreciation until she’d closed the door behind her. Only common sense and the knowledge that fraternizing with his employees wasn’t the wisest thing he could do on many fronts had kept him from asking her out a long time ago.

But that didn’t mean there weren’t females in his life. He hit up the bars often enough of an evening when the urge hit, picking up some pretty, gullible young woman or another, perhaps taking them back to the flat he owned in the city instead of going to their places. The flat his brother and father knew nothing about. Whenever that happened he just blamed his late arrival home on needing to take a potential client out to supper to finalize a deal. Those rare times when he didn’t make it home until morning he would reluctantly admit that he’d spent the night with a female he’d met at a club. They couldn’t fault him for that; after all he was human and male with a male’s needs.

And tonight would be one of those nights, if the day would ever end. Which it did finally. After locking up he hurried down to the parking garage, tossed his suit jacket in the back seat of his car, and took off for his favorite watering hole.

“What’ll it be, Bry?” the bartender asked.

“The usual.” Bryant looked around as he waited. The bar was quickly filling up with young singles stopping on their way home from work for a drink and maybe a hook-up if they got lucky. When his drink appeared he turned to ask the bartender, “Seen Judy around recently?”

“Not for, hell a couple of weeks. Guess she finally found herself someone.”

“Not surprising, she was cute. Thought a bit much of herself though, but I guess that’s the norm around here.” Bryant chuckled, “That kind, or the poor losers looking for a wink and a nod from some dude to make their day.” 

“Name of the game, Bry, name of the game.” The bartender went back to work leaving Bryant to savor his drink while he decided which woman would get lucky and get him tonight. The one thing he knew for certain, it wouldn’t be Judy. She was history now.