I should have brought a folding chair, I thought as I adjusted in my perch on top of the Motel California roof. Looking down, I saw that Cory was still lying on his bed, flipping through TV channels. The screen made the dark room flash blue every time he hit the button on the remote in his hand. On his bare chest, his cell phone laid. For the past two hours he’s laid there, looking at the phone but not dialing or speaking. Who was he afraid to call?
You might be wondering why I am stalking him now. It’s not because I am a freak who needs desperate help. Actually, that may be why. But in all reality, after the day at the beach, I just needed to think some. I figured it’d help if I could actually see what he was doing.
The trip home from the beach was light and fun. We talked and joked like we were old friends. Now as I sat here, I realized something that turned my stomach. I was in love with someone who had put me in the friendzone because he was already in love with me—The Savior Version. This meant that he had no clue that I was the woman he was in love with. Dr. Phil would have a field day with my love life. Sighing, I watched as he stood up and walked out the door of his room. He wore only a pair of black shorts and his hair was a mess on top of his head. He leaned against the rail outside of his room, looking down at the parking lot. I already knew what he was thinking. Where was the Savior? What was she doing? Did it involve him in any way? If he only knew the truth.
Deep down, I could feel a hatred brewing for something. At first, I thought it was him. I figured out that in all reality I was beginning to hate the alter ego I had created. The person I thought would help me help other people. The Savior of California children. A heroine for anyone who needed. Now all she was to me was a whore who was stealing my man away. Not that he was my man.
He pulled out his phone and dialed it, bringing it to his ear. In my pocket, I felt my phone vibrate. Stepping back a few feet, I pulled it out. His name and number popped up on the screen. Looking down, I watched as he bit his lip, waiting for me to answer. Was he nervous about talking to me? No. I was imagining it. He must have another girl in mind and just thought he’d call me instead. His safe friendzone. The phone stopped buzzing. I watched as he said something into it before hanging up. He went back into his room, shut off the TV and crawled under the covers. My phone buzzed again, and the screen read NEW VOICEMAIL MESSAGE on it. Hitting SEND, I brought it to my ear.
“Hey.” Cory’s voice said. “It’s just me. I was just thinking….I mean today was great. I had a lot of fun. I was hoping that…well maybe tomorrow we could do something. After work. We’ve been working hard. I think we deserve to. Let me know. Thanks again, Abz. I’m glad I have you.”
“Can I go please?” Liza asked as I grabbed my bag from Sam’s couch. I shook my head.
“Do you wanna die? I mean did you forget I have a drug lord out for my ass? One wrong move and I am a dead girl.” She nodded.
“How many more do you have?” Sam asked, finishing up his coffee. He set it on the kitchen table and stood.
“Two after tonight. And they are the biggest names on the list. After that we are done. Then Scorpio can spend all his time looking for a Savior who vanished. Thank God.”
“Aren’t you going to miss being the Savior, though?”
“I don’t think so.” I said softly. I hadn’t called Cory back. I didn’t even see him at the office. He called a few times, but I never answered it. I had to make sure my mind was in the game tonight and him as a distraction wasn’t helping me achieve that.
“Ready, kiddo?” Sam asked, breaking into my thoughts. I nodded and followed him out to the truck. Liza waved from the front porch as we pulled off. “Something on your mind, Abby?” he asked. I shook my head.
“No. It’s nothing.”
“Doesn’t look like nothing. Is it Cory?” I nodded. “What happened?”
“Sam, you don’t want to hear me talk about him, do you?” I asked, looking at him.
“Well, no. But I am your friend and that’s what friends do. So, what’s up?”
“I just realized that he’s in love with the wrong person; me.” He looked confused.
“Isn’t that what you want?” I shook my head.
“He’s in love with the wrong part of me. The Savior parts. Not the bookworm, CPS worker part.” Sam pulled up in front of a large mansion. My target, Erica Swanson lived in the pool house behind the mansion with her 4-month-old son Parker. She was accused of beating the poor kid to a pulp but if you haven’t noticed, money buys people a lot in these parts.
“Have you ever thought about telling him? What’s the worst that could happen?”
“He freaks out, tell the police and I get the death penalty. Does it get much worse than that?”
“Nah. He’d never turn ya in even if he was angry. Now get ongoing. Ash has school in the morning and I have a coffee date.”
“Ohhhhhh. With who?” He smiled.
“Does it matter?”
“Does it start with Lie and end with Za?” I asked, climbing out of the cab.
“Maybe.” He shrugged. I smiled, waving at him as I walked toward the back of the house. I was greeted with a gigantic pool and a pool house that was the size of my apartment building. I honestly believe some people deserve to be poor for a year. I walked quietly to the pool house, entering through a side door. It was a cute little set up which was trashed with garbage. Reminisce of a party I was guessing.
The bedroom was in the back. Parker was in his own room, sleeping on the floor. I shook my head when I saw him. There was crib two feet away. Picking him up gently, I put him inside. He didn’t even stir. I began to think about what I’d carve into Erica. Maybe a large picture of a whale. Something to represent her personality. Heading into her bedroom I found her passed out completely, snoring quite loudly. Easily, I bounded her hands and feet and plugged her mouth. She awoke as I pulled out my scalpel. “Ah. Morning, sunshine. I was afraid you’d sleep through the whole thing. That would be a horrible shame. I mean this is the greatest lesson you will ever learn, Erica.” Walking over to her, I cut her pajamas off of her body and began carving waves into her legs. She screamed like the others. No one heard her like the others.
After the waves were finished, I began with the whale. It began on her left shoulder and came down her torso, its tail wrapping around her hip. I made sure it sank deeply in, the blood pouring out in a very deep red color. It looked black in the darkness. Putting the scalpel back, I stood up straight and through my pack on my shoulder. “Well, I am taking Parker to live with a nice family in Mississippi. They have a huge farm and lots of space for him to grow up in. Not like this party house you call a home. You have about an hour to live. That’s an estimate. My best guess is anywhere between twenty and forty-five minutes. I try to make you suffer the longest. At least as long as your son has.” I turned to walk out the room. That’s when I saw the very tall and lanky guy standing in the doorway. Aw fuck me.
“Charming, really.” He said in a deep thick English accent. “Almost poetic. Too bad I gotta kill you. I would bet money that you did a lot of writing in high school.”
“Let me guess; Scorpio’s thug?” I asked. He nodded.
“Why yes. Now, please just stand still and make this easy on me.” He said, pulling a handgun from his black suit coat pocket. Pointing at me, he smiled. There was no way out. There was no windows and he was in the only doorway. How in the hell was I going to manage this one? “I should kill you and take your body to the police and cash in on the million-dollar reward. I could use it.”
“Scorpio doesn’t pay well?” I asked. He shook his head.
“No. All those movies with the rich bad guys are wrong. Somewhat. The bad guys are rich. His employees on the other hand are poor as fuck. And you? Does this pay well?” I shook my head.
“I’m not in it for the money. Though, I’d make a killing. Especially here. And with that.” I pointed at a necklace on the dress next to me. It had to be worth about a grand. The setting was gold and the diamonds were very small but in a large number on the jewelry.
“I’ll be sure to take it with me before I hit the road.” His finger wrapped around the trigger. This is how I die? Great. Looking around, I saw a broken beer bottle by my foot. The neck was still intact and connected to the top of the bottle which was sharp and jagged. In a quick motion, I bent down and grabbed it, slashing the guy’s arm with the gun in it. He howled in pain, slamming against the wall. Blood poured over his hand and onto the floor. Reaching out again, I slashed him across the face. He crumpled to the floor in a large bloody mess. Jumping over him, I ran into Parker’s room and scooped him up in my arms. The thug’s blood was all over me. Bundling Parker in his blanket, I bee lined it out the door and to Sam’s truck.
“Holy hell. What the fuck happened?” he asked when he saw the blood.
“Scorpio’s thug. Step on it!” I said, climbing in. He hit the gas, speeding off into the night.
After dropping Parker with his new family Sam and I went back to his place. He suggested that Scorpio has guys at all of his customers’ houses just in case they are next. “You’re gonna have to lie low again.” He said, sipping his coffee. I shook my head.
“No. I’ve had enough. We have two more girls. Then we are done. I’ll just get in and out faster than the other hits. And if a thug shows up, I’ll kill him like the one I killed tonight. I am not giving up because of a drug dealer on a power trip.”
The next day, I got up earlier than usual. Taking it as an advantage, I headed to work. I would be able to do my work and get out of there a little bit early. I might be able to bypass Cory the entire time.
I heard arguing as I climbed off the elevator outside the office. Martha was standing there with a man a few feet taller than her. He was a balding man with glasses wearing a very nice-looking suit. I could tell he was in Martha’s face about something. No one ever gets in Martha’s face.
“Martha, I told you. Just one date and you can keep your job.” The man said. I recognized him after a minute. It was Mr. Baker. He is the top person here at the CPS. Executive Director or something. He rarely comes to the building though. Unless money or his image is involved, he doesn’t give two shits about this place.
“Mr. Baker, this is not right and completely unprofessional.” Martha said in a very meek tone. I suddenly saw Sophia in my mind trying to stand up to her mother’s boyfriend. I soon found myself walking towards the two.
“Excuse me. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but I could have sworn I heard you tell Martha that she needed to go on a date with you to keep her position.” I said, looking up at the guy. He smiled creepily at me as he looked my body over.
“I’ll change my mind if you will let me give you some anatomy lessons, my dear.” I smiled.
“You do realize that both of the statements that Martha and I have heard you say are excellent examples of sexual harassment which is a serious offense in the workplace. I believe that Martha agrees with me that we are equally and morally offended by your advances and feel that a nice lawsuit will help our pain and suffering. And you can’t even think of firing us for serving you because that would be wrongful termination, another offense we can choose to sue you for. So, if you do not mind, please stop pestering Martha and let us return back to work.” Turning, I wrapped an arm around Martha’s shoulders and pulled her toward her office.
“Abby Lee! Where did that come from?” She asked as the door to her office shut. Mr. Baker had turned and left, stomping the entire way to his car.
“I have no clue. It just really pissed me off how he was talking to you, so I just let him have it. It felt so great too.” She smiled, sitting at her desk.
“Well thank you. I put some invoices on your desk to sign. And a few more cases to look over for the case. Let me know what you come up with.” I nodded, turning to leave. “Savior.” I froze, looking at her.
“What?” I asked. She smiled, looking at me.
“I called you the Savior. Am I correct?” My eyes flashed to the window where I watched Cory walk by. “Don’t worry. Your secret is safe with me. I figured it was you to begin with. That’s why I put you with Agent Bowen and had you delete our worse offenders off the server.”
“So, I’d have a list.” I said. She nodded.
“I stand by what you are doing, Abby. How are the kids you saved?”
“They are all doing great. My oldest starts 5th grade in September out in Georgia. He’s a nice kid.” She smiled.
“What happens when you finish the list I gave you?”
“I am retiring. I figured 45 girls are enough of a message. Then I will go down in history with the other great unsolved serial killers.”
“I think you top the cake though. Morally of course.”