Darling Nikki by LeBelleSongbird
Summary: Nicole Anderson, known as Nikki Delite by many, is an adult film star, aspiring to be something better. But when she meets a fan who is highly enamored with her work, she soon finds that being in the adult industry is dangerous business.
Categories: Fanfiction > Music > New Kids on the Block Characters: Group
Genres: Romance
Warnings: Sexual Content, Violence
Series: None
Chapters: 5 Completed: No Word count: 7070 Read: 6466 Published: 12/17/15 Updated: 12/26/15

1. Chapter 1: Work of Art by LeBelleSongbird

2. Chapter 2: Dead Silence by LeBelleSongbird

3. Chapter 3: One Step Ahead by LeBelleSongbird

4. Chapter 4: Rest: Assured by LeBelleSongbird

5. Chapter 5: Saved by LeBelleSongbird

Chapter 1: Work of Art by LeBelleSongbird

Amazing, isn't it? Every single day, it's the same thing: "Show some more sex appeal,toss your hair around more; squeeze your tits harder." It's too much work. Listen, don't get me wrong, I love the fact I have a worldwide fan base, but sometimes, I'd rather be remembered doing something worthwhile, as someone who's willing to help those who are down on their luck. i would hate to be remembered as the one outlet to quickly get a guy--or woman--off. Guess shouldn't have been a porn star, eh?

My name is Nicole Anderson, but everyone with a tape deck and monthly online subscription knows me as "Nikki Delite". I didn't choose this name, by the way; if I did, it would have been something a bit less sleazy. My boyfriend, Danny Wood, chose this name for me. Isn't he the sweetest? I hated it, but what can you do? He insisted it stick. Danny was very persistent. I hated THAT, too.

“Everyone loves your name!” he would say before I showed my stuff for the camera, or when I would complain. “You're worldwide now, Babe. Can't you just go with it?” Like I had a choice. I would tell him that Nikki Delite is not “My” name, but that would be a pointless argument where Danny believed in his heart of hearts that he won. I give him an A for effort, though; he always knew what to say to get my goat.

I wanted to be a lawyer. I wanted to give back to the community by saving those who were getting evicted, to suspects who were obviously innocent, but the justice system believed otherwise.

Unfortunately, since the penal system is so corrupt, I chose to fore go my dream in becoming a lawyer. I also wanted to be a therapist, but not a sensationalized one like Iyanla van Zandt or Jeff VanVondren. I prefer one-on-one sessions rather than having cameras following our every move. Instead of being someone who helps others cope, I sought after a 'better and less undermining' career.

I veered left when I needed to move straight ahead.

I was approached by a modeling agency one day in my sophomore year in college—it was where I also met Danny (who was a photographer at the time). The rest, dare I say it, was history. Posing nude was the last thing I wanted to do as a career, or side job...but my student loans started piling up, my rent was getting paid less and less, and I was on the verge of desperation. I needed the money. Bad.

After two successful spreads in local magazines, an adult film company called “Red Lite District Co.” chose me as the new face of the company. Who was I to turn THAT down?

Soon after, Danny and I moved to Florida in order to start our new jobs, and within two years, our faces and skills were globally recognized; we were set for life.

So now, here I am, finishing up a girl on girl set for my next feature film, and I'm no longer feeling it. “Nick,” Danny said while peering his head from behind the camera. “What's going on with you? Get your head out of your ass,” he oh, so politely ordered. My co-sta, who sat up to cover herself noticed I wasn't feeling it today, so she ran her hand past her throat signaling Danny to stop rolling.

“D, we don't have to shoot the final scene today. Let's wrap up for now, and we'll pick up tomorrow, okay?” Reluctantly, he moved away from the camera throwing his hands in the air. “Fine. We'll break until tomorrow afternoon. 2:00pm. SHARP. NO excuses.”

“Do you really have to be such an asshole?”

“Just be here,” he said before storming out of the room. Naturally, I wasn't intimidated by him. I didn't care how upset he got. I wanted to go home. I wanted out. Of everything.

Shayna and I grabbed our clothes and got dressed before heading out the door. “I'll see you tomorrow, Nikki. Make sure the Grouch gets his coffee before getting here,” she said with a laugh. I smile and nod, grabbing my purse from off the prop table.
Before I was able to leave, I felt my arm being tugged; I look up and I notice that Danny's eyes were icy black.

I feel an argument coming on.

“Why do I get the feeling that you're not telling me something?” he ask as if he could read me like a book. He never could. “What are you talking about?” “Don't, Nicole. You know damn well what I'm talking about. You keep pushing back the production dates, knowing full well I'm shooting for a all release to the sequel. What's going on?”

I look down and sigh inwardly. “Daniel...I don't want to do this anymore.” I break away from his tight hold and look away from him. “Is that right?” “Yes.” Danny was obviously unhappy and confused at the same time. “Why are you doing this now?” he knew of my past aspirations of being a lawyer or something of better quality. Pretty much, he told me to forget about ever getting back into the chase and keep every male fan wanting more of my material.

I was more of a work horse than a business partner and lover.

“I don't want to talk about it right now,” I said before finally making my exit and releasing the breath I held in for so long.

I guess I really wanted to get the hell outta dodge and head home, for I collided with an unsuspecting civilian. “Oh, shit! I'm so sorry!” I exclaimed while retriving my purse. “No, no, it was all my fault—I should have watch where I was going,” the male voice rebutted.

I looked up and was met with the most penetrating blue eyes I have ever seen. His face was fair, clean and full of youth, even though he looked to be quite older, no further than 40.

His face also lack emotion somehow. “Your purse,” he handed it back to me and I instinctively checked to see if everything was in place. “It's all there, Nikki,” he/ whispered. I felt a chill run through my body the minute he said my name. Where it came from? I haven't the faintest clue.

“You're a fan?” I asked, humoring him. “How can I not be? You're Nikki Delite! I have seen all of your movies; every last one is different and unique, just like you,” he smiled as he finished complimenting me. I laughed for I found myself nervous around him.

“Why are you laughing?” “I'm flattered,” I said. “You really like my work?” “I wouldn't lie about something like that. I'm not like any other fan you've met. I see you as a work of art,” he concluded, his gaze never falling away from me.

The way this guy looked at me let me further know he's easily amused by something beautiful. I never thought of myself as a work of art, but apparently, he knew the subject well. I still couldn't share his sentiment. “Stunning...” I heard him say in a breathless tone. It...unnerved me. I didn't know why, but...it did.

“Forgive me for not introducing myself. My name is Joseph McIntyre, but everyone calls me Joey. It was a pleasure finally meeting you, Nikki,” he said before turning around to walk away. Joey stopped to pass another glance at me, then walked down the street, his hands bundled in his coat pockets whistling. “Huh.” I thought. “Oh, well. I'll probably never see him again. A chance encounter at best,” I said to myself before getting in my car.

I sigh as I drive down the quiet, dusky road—all I could think about was getting a nice cool glass of white wine and a good book, and the mystery man. His voice...it's haunting and it gave me chills once again. Who was he? Was he really a fan of my work, or just another man trying to humor me again? Whoever he was, I hope to never see the likes of Joey McIntyre again.

Though, something tells me we'll meet again. Fate's a funny bitch, ya know.
Chapter 2: Dead Silence by LeBelleSongbird

“Hey, Knight, take a look at this.”

I turned to my partner and slowly trudged through the muck and mire located 20 feet from the crime scene. “What do we have here?” My partner pointed his pencil at a deceased, young woman, stark naked and half buried. She looked to be at the very least 22 years of age, and she looked to have been dead for two days. “Judging by the ligature marks on the side of her head, she seemed to have died from blunt force trauma. The fucker bludgeoned her to death,” he concluded. However, the distinct, red marks surrounding her neck told me otherwise.

“She was strangled,” I told him while getting a closer look at the body. Something inside wanted to make sure that I was right, but I honestly didn’t need to do that. “Damn. What are you, Matlock all of a sudden?” I look over at my partner and shake my head. “No, I tend to be inquisitive. Look here,” I squat down and set my fingers upon the decomposing welts on her neck. “The prep used a rope or nylon cord to take her out. The scratches below her neck indicate defensive wounds. She didn’t go down without a fight,” I said before getting up.

“What a way to go,” he told me, clicking his tongue. “Wait a minute…” he leaned back down and gasped slightly at the body. “I know her!” He looked back at me, his eyes shimmering with quasi sadness. “What do you mean?” “What do you mean, ‘what do I mean?’ That’s Sara Lourdez, the adult film star,” he exclaimed. “Damn…who did this shit?” he was highly insulted that his favorite porn star was taken so suddenly, though I was quite surprised he even watched the stuff.

“You really watch that mess?” “Well, for research sake, of course.” Sure.

“Look, check to see if she had any priors—was she anyone’s enemy, did she piss anyone off; find out who had it in for her. Oh, and Wahlberg?” “Yeah?” “Please, for the sake of the investigation and for the love of God, don’t go into a Sara Lourdez binge, alright? Focus.”

He rolled his eyes and scoffed, “Knight, I’m not some 13 year old who would get excited after seeing a tit for the first time. I know what I have to do,” he lied. I shake my head and walk away to let the coroners do their unfortunate dirty work. Who would do something so horrible? What did she do? I tried not to wrap my head around it TOO much for now, at least not until I get to the medical examiner and enough information on Sara.

This is the second murder of the same MO in a month: Call girls and porn stars seem to be this bastard’s forte. Why would they put them on display with no sexual assault? This leads me to believe the perp is female, but I’m slowly starting to doubt it. What could be a possibility, is the matter of who’s dying, his forte. They’re all women of the evening and adult stars. Maybe this person is trying to rid the world of all things disrespectful to pure morality, and body shaming. If this is the case, they’ve found a poor way of starting the ‘cause’.

Whatever the case may be, I must act fast before they strike again.

The moment I stepped into the MDPD Forensics lab, the M.E. stopped me dead in my tracks. “Not so fast,” she said, setting her hand on my chest. “What are you doing, Haynes?” “I should ask you the same question. Don’t you have a bottle of Jim Bean waiting for you at home?” “I stopped drinking a year ago. What are you getting at?” Haynes smirked while waving her finger at me. “Jordan, you’ve been working yourself ragged for like a thousand years. Don’t you ever rest?” “Crime doesn’t rest, so why should I?” Chuckling, she leads me back to the exit.

“You know your father must be really proud of you, working these cases and solving 88% of them. I mean, really proud. Don’t you think he rested after solving a case?” I shrugged and looked down, feeling a certain way when she brought up my father.

He was fearless. He never minded laying his life on the line to hunt down a hardened criminal; the worst of the worst. He was also admirable in his tasks inside and outside the force, especially when it came to family values. I loved him with every fiber of my being, and he was the only reason why I became a Level 2 Homicide Detective. His determination to succeed awakened the same attribute in me, and it never called out to the question of resting. I highly doubt he did; I know he didn’t. So, why should I?

“I’m fine,” I concluded. “You have to stop worrying about me, Allison.” “Nope,” she said while opening the door. “Go home, Jordan. The crow’s feet are creeping in!” I shove her in jest and step out. “Will yo—“ “Contact you the minute I get the CODIS results? Count on it.” “You and Donnie are the only people I can count on,” I tell her before leaving the lab.

I decided to take the long way home, and as I drove my mind went back to that poor young woman we found lifeless. Staggering. As of last month, we’ve had no lead in the case, but there has to be now that there’s a new victim on our hands. The first victim: Michelle Ann Vargas, had no priors; a clean record, just a lack of moral judgment. I can’t understand women and finding themselves in these predicaments; it’s tawdry, and I wish some of them would know their worth. Sure, they have to make a living, but still. My faith is showing again.

I stopped at a red light and turn to my left to find a young woman dressed for a night out. She looked to be about 5’5 and 20 years old. She tussled her hair about while popping her gum, her eyes burning a hole through me. She made her way over to my car, smiling impishly. “Hey,” her accent proved she was not from here. “Hello,” I acknowledged her with a smile of my own. She leaned into my car , looking around to see if I carried a badge or wads of cash—she found no badge or money, it didn’t assuage her from walking away.

“So…you lookin’ to get lucky tonight?” She asked, licking her lips and eyeing the front of my jeans. “No.” “Oh, come on…the first one’s on me. The second, well, we’ll come to a price as we go along.”

“I’m sorry, but I’m not interested.” “You gay?” she blurted. “NO!” I exclaim and chuckle after. I eventually grabbed my wallet and show her my badge. “Shit!” she said in shock. Before she was able to run away from me, I called out to her. “Come back here.” I slipped into my wallet and took out two $100 bills. With a confused look on her face, she looked down at the bounty, then at me. “You’re…not arresting me?” “I should, but I won’t.” She smoother her dark hair behind her ear, still confused. “Why?”

“Because you don’t have to do this. Now, you take that, go home and better yourself. You’re worth more than that. Okay?” Before I could offer her a ride home, she thanked me and sped off into the darkness. . I smiled at my good deed ad pulled away after the light turned green a third time.

Her. She’s perfect. She may not be the one I want, but she’ll do for now.

A man with promising blue eyes stepped out from the shadows and made himself known to the young woman who was still in high spirits. “Hey, need a lift?”

She stopped dead in her tracks and saw him stand before her. “You bet I would. My feet are killing me!” she barked with a chortle. The man threw his arm over her slender shoulder, smiling as they walked to his car. “Thank you so much for the offer,” she said to him as they both disappeared back into the shadows.

“The pleasure’s all mine, my dear.”

Had Jordan gave the young girl a life back home, she would have been safe, sound, and alive. The woman’s screams fell upon sleeping ears. Soon, nothing but dead silence fell upon the warm, Miami streets—another girl lost.
Chapter 3: One Step Ahead by LeBelleSongbird
Nicole had the nagging feeling of being watched. She felt this way ever since her encounter with Joe McIntyre a few days prior. She wanted the feeling gone, but when she confronted Danny about it, he didn’t seem too enthralled with anything that’s happening to her that isn’t making money.

“It’s all in your head,” he’d say. “You’re reading too much into it, like a lot of things. Just focus on your work, alright?” Danny was way bitchy than normal, and she hated it. “Well, thanks for giving a shit, Your Highness,” she barked back before walking backstage to her dressing room.

“God, he is such an ASSHOLE!” I shout to no one—if anyone heard me, may a barrage of applause fill the studio. “He doesn’t even care about my well being, just as long as I make it to work on time and spread everything I got for the camera. Damn him. My fans actually give me more respect, and they don’t even know the real me! I’m done with him.”

The anger she had towards Danny blinded her momentarily, for she didn’t even notice the bouquet of pink and white roses settled atop her vanity. “What the--?” When she picked up the flowers, a card fell out from the inside of the gold and red wrappings. Nicole bent down to pick it up and read the contents:

To my Darling Nikki: These roses do not capture your beauty the way I expect them to, but they’re close. Enjoy them as I enjoy basking in your presence.”

The note was unsigned. “That’s weird,” she said upon putting the card down. A smile crept up on her face as she believed the flowers could have come from one person: Danny. That bastard,” she muttered under her breath with a chuckle. “Just when I thought I knew you...” Nicole left the dressing room and approached Danny while holding up the card. “Daniel,” she began. “You shouldn’t have.”

“What are you talking about?” he asked without bothering to look up at her, he was too busy analyzing the film tape. “This card and these flowers! How did you know I loved white and pink roses?” she couldn’t help but to take another whiff of the bouquet with a child like grin. “Nicole, I’m allergic to flowers. I didn’t send for those.” “But…you had to, the—“ “Trust me on this. I didn’t send the flowers.”

And in one fell swoop, her stomach dropped. Not the fact she didn’t know who gifted her the bouquet, but the fact Danny didn’t send them, and wouldn’t think of doing something so romantic and spontaneous; I guess he had a lot to learn from Danny Wood. The relationship is obviously one of convenience.

“Do you mind getting them away from me?” he asked through a few sneezes. Nicole threw the roses down on the ground and stormed out. The anger and frustration she felt not 5 minutes before returned to her in a huff.

“What was I thinking? Danny would never send me flowers. I should have known better.”

She always thought her boyfriend saw her as a meal ticket. With how he’s ‘showing appreciation’, she’s not that far off. Without the star, he’s nothing, so he’s only with her to save face…which brings back the question of ‘a relationship of convenience’. A shame really, you can ask anyone.

Without Danny noticing, Nicole snuck out of the studio through the back entrance, got in her SUV and drove off. She needed time to unwind and for a moment, forget about everything, including the earlier fear of being watched. “I hope it’s just a feeling,” Nicole thought before switching the radio to the AM dial.

“And in other news, a local woman was found strangled to death nearby a Stock Hut grocery store. 22 year old Sahaira Al Haddad was last seen two days ago by friends as well as her mother, a well known politician. Authorities say she had been dead for at least 27 hours, and sadly, had been contacted to identify her. We’ll have more on this story as it develops.”

Shakily, Nicole switched off the radio. “Another one…?” she thought. The sensation of being watched crept back up on her, with a dose of fright. “My God…” she said aloud. “Who’s next?”

* * * * * * * * * * *

Jordan’s eyes were sunken in once Detective Wahlberg tossed the Miami Sun down in front of him. “The fuck is going on here, man?” he asked, his hands on his hims, his brow furrowed. “I…I don’t know,” Jordan said wistfully. “What’s with you?”

Knight looked up at his partner, his bottom lip pursed between his teeth. “I could have taken her home,” he said softly. “Who?” “Saihara. She approached me minutes before she…” he trailed off, his eyes had the deer caught in the headlights stare as he looked at a blank wall. “I could have saved her,” he finished.

“Jordan, you can’t save ‘em all. They chose their p—“ “Don’t. Spare me your shitty lecture.” Detective Wahlberg backed away without saying a wor, leaving Jordan alone with his thoughts.

She would have been one less victim; one less family having to bury their child. One less death. I’m not even close in catching this son of a bitch. Who is this maniac?” Jordan’s face found his tired hands and leaned back, slowly giving up.

But he, like Nicole, knew better than to give out the slightest hint of weakness. He would not give up until the perp was in chains.
Chapter 4: Rest: Assured by LeBelleSongbird
“Nicole, come on! We’re not call girls! The killer is not coming for us. We’ve nothing to worry about.” Gina reassured her, albeit a bit catty in her way of calming Nik down.

“Maybe…maybe Nicole has a point; maybe we’re next,” said Violet, clutching her purse strap tightly. Scoffing, Gina retorted, “Ya see what ya started? You’re a queen when it comes to deepthroating, but you are so fucking paranoid!”

“Shut your fuckin’ mouth, Gina. God, you’re such a bitch!” As Vi and Gina continued to bicker back and forth like school kids, their exclamations fell upon deaf ears.

Nicole was in another world. Four. Four more women were found dead here in Miami. One by one. Each one a memer of the seedy underbelly known as the “Rich City After Dark”; right now, the streets are stained in blood. Each girl was an escort, all but two: Sara O’Neil (Sara Lourdez) and Abigail “Abby” Schall, a fellow colleague of Nicole’s. A porn star.

She was also a dear friend to everyone, including Nicole. She was visibly shaken. “Excuse me,” she grabbed her belongings and removed herself from their company. “No one believes me,” she thought. Not een my own boyfriend; he thinks I’m crazy. My own friends are letting the fur fly about the whole thing. This lets me further know that none of us are safe.”

“Where are you going?” I turned to see Danny walking up to me, his face hard and void of emotion. “I need to go home. I need to clear my head.” “Here,” he hands me a glass of wine and wryly smiled at me. “Drink this. You’re gonna need it to calm yourself.” For a second, it sounded as if Danny actually gave a damn about her well being. She was floored. “I don’t drink, you know that.”

He still held the glass up to me, asking me to take it with slight annoyance in his voice. I took the glass and sit down on the casting couch clutching it tight. “Nicole, I know the news is creeping you out, but you need to get a hold of yourself. These recent killings are tragic, I know this. Abby…she—“

“She was my only friend, Danny. I don’t understand it…why her? Why all of those other women?”

“Who knows, Nik. Maybe they were in the wrong place, at the wrong time. You know how Abby was.” The way he made my skin crawl just then was riveting.

“I highly doubt that, Daniel.” “You doubt everything I say.” “That’s because, since day one, you’ve been full of shit. “

I left the glass on the table and got up. “I’m going home. Don’t call me, or text me, my phone will be off. The last thing I need to hear, is you bad-mouthing my friend, and anything else you may wish to tell me. I’ve got too much shit to deal with right now.”

“You’re not going anywhere, Nicole. We’ve got work to do.”

“To hell with work. I’m out of here. Sometimes, I wonder why Abby took your place.” I walked out without permitting him the last word.

For the first time in a long time, she felt liberated from Danny in a sense, but at the same time felt that her life could be in danger. Since no one believed a word she said about the killer having his eye on adult film stars, she felt alone.
And Danny... She couldn’t believe how heartless he’s become. All he cared about was money, and how much of it could be made—nothing else mattered. Nicole felt the only way she could feel safe is to have protection, but where could she go? After plopping down on her warm, inviting couch, she started to think of alternatives in keeping herself out of harm’s way.

I could get a gun, but it could take a week for my registration to clear. By then, I’ll be worm chow. The police? I could hardly call them ‘safe’, since they haven’t caught the sick bastard yet. I guess I can’t fault them in that, since they don’t have any leads in the case. It’s gonna grow cold if they don’t act fast. Maybe I should hire a bodyguard to protect me? Nah. The last time I had a bodyguard…let’s just say giving him a free unlimited pass to the Playboy Mansion was a REALLY bad idea. He did, however, look great in Stilettos. I don’t know what to do.

Nicole turned on her TV and immediately saw a man standing at a podium giving a press conference. The man had a staunch, intimidating look about him, though his frame was well built. He looked to be about 50, though she’d be surprised if he was a lot younger. “Detective Wahlberg, huh?” she said to herself while tapping the remote against the armrest.

“As of right now, we have no new leads to go on in this case, so the investigation is still open. We do know however, that the perp is male from the DNA sample we swabbed from the fingernails of the last victim, Abigail Schall.”

“Huh. No surprises there, Chief,” she concluded.

“We’re doing everything we can to track the killer down.” Donnie had to say that, since there were still no suspects in the case. They’ve nothing to go on. He was also tired of the press conferences and having to be the one to relay the same message over and over again after being asked the same, monotonous questions.

“Why is the killer only targeting prostitutes and adult film stars?” Finally, a new question, but Donnie wasn’t the one who would answer it. Detective Knight stepped up to the podium, clutching the sides of it, clearing his throat.

Nicole sat up and got a closer look at him. The way he stood and the way he tried to compose himself on live TV proved to her that he was exhausted. He looked like he hadn’t slept in days trying to track down the killer. She also saw nothing but sorrow in his big, dark eyes.

Jordan could only speculate to the press, wishing he knew the true reason the killer is hunting these women down.

“We believe the perp is trying to rid the streets of Miami of corruption by eliminating all threats towards a moral code—in this case, prostitution and pornographic films. This is most likely his MO, since there are no other homicides linked to it. Once we figure out his whereabouts and is apprehended, we will notify the victim’s families first, then the press. Thank you.” Quickly, he stepped down and made a dramatic exit, the cries of the press fading away with each step he took.

Jordan found himself leaning against the wall, feeling faint, breathing erratically. His hand clung onto the wall as he started to bowl over in pain halfway. Stress started to get the better of him, and he could feel it all over his body, though the source of it was his chest. “K—Knight!” Donnie called out to him and rushed to his friend’s aid. Jordan turned to face him and chortled through a sweaty appearance. “I guess Allison was right—I do need some rest…”

“What you need is a doctor—“ “No doctors. I’ll be fine, it’s just stress from the case. Just get me home.” Donnie nodded, helping him to his feet and out theback exit.

As they pull up in front of Jordan’s apartment, Donnie looked over at him, feeling worried. “You okay now?” “Much better. Thanks again.” “No problem. You scared the shit outta me back there. Don’t do that again!” he exclaimed. “I’ll try.”

Donnie patted him on the shoulder, sighing in relief. “So, you’re finally gonna take the week off Allison suggested?” “Do I have a choice? If I’m gonna do desk work, the least I can do is handle business at home. Make sure to forward all calls pertaining to the case to me. I can handle those.”

“No work, Knight. REST. You’re worse than your old man.” Looking down, he smiled lightly. “I guess you’re right.” “Need help getting in?” “I’m fine, Donnie…” He started the car after Jordan got out. “Whether you like it or not, I’m gonna check on ya.” “I’d rather you didn’t.”

“Too fuckin’ bad!” he shouted as he pulled out of the driveway. As Jordan walked up to his stoop, he sighed shaking his head. “The fucker almost got me. When I recuperate, you’re mine.”
Chapter 5: Saved by LeBelleSongbird
The sun barely splashed the city with radiant gold when Nicole woke up from her slumber. All night long she tossed and turned, thinking about who could be next in the string of murders. She checked her phone, and, despite her firm warning, Danny called her. Eight times with 6 voice messages. She groaned and tossed her cell onto the bed before getting up. “Wow. Grouchy and hardheaded. I sure can pick ‘em, eh?”

Her thoughts on Danny soon faded, as she had more pressing matter to attend to. She had to figure out how on earth she can get some form of protection for herself, since no one around her believes her—all but Violet. However, she can’t take her words for truth anymore: She found out Violet’s a pathological liar, and the argument she had with Gina was possibly an act to make Nicole feel better. It didn’t matter, since her mind was elsewhere, and still is.

Nicole made sure she didn’t listen to the voice messages, so she instantly erased them in one quick swipe. “What a lowlife. I’m ending it when I see him later today,” she thought to herself. Again, she put her thoughts on Danny and his lackluster emotions behind her for now and dialed the tip hotline number a news reporter recited after last night’s live press conference. “I sure hope this will work,” she said.

“Miami Dade, this is Karly. How may I help you?”
“Hello, I would like to keep my identity private, if that’s alright?”
“You’d like to make an anonymous tip?”
“Wha? No, I…I would like to have some protection for myself. I’ve heard about the “Rich City Slayer” all over the news, and I’m very worried about what would happen next.”
“I see, and I understand your worry, Ma’am.” Wow. Thanks for making me feel old, lady.
“Why don’t you come by the precinct, and ask for Detective Donnie Wahlberg. He’ll help you with what you’re looking for.”
Elated, she thanked the receptionist and hung up.

Nicole threw on a few things and stood in front of the long mirror attached to the back of her door. Not bad, she thought before setting on a pair of shades, hoping they’ll disguise her well enough. She suddenly felt a rush of empathy for herself and who she’s become: the adult film life has its share of ups and downs, but at the end of the day, she still wanted out of that life. She thought of going back to school after the ruckus about the Rich City Slayer dies down, or at least until he’s in cuffs, rotting in a cell for the rest of his life.

She decided to walk since the precinct is only 5 blocks away—she could use the extra exercise, not that she needed it; walks always cleared her head. A smile crept up on her face once her mind started to clear. “Much better,” she said to herself as she continued to make her way down the street. Upon crossing, she didn’t hear the commotion down the road as she had on her earbuds. There were cars honking and pedestrians shouting obscenities to a wacky driver. “Watch where you’re goin’! Open your fuckin’ eyes!” The driver did not stop, and kept going, blazing like a bat out of hell down the street, approaching and unsuspecting Nicole. She turned left and the moment and stopped dead in the middle of the street, frozen. She put her arms up and screamed; before the car ended her life, she was tackled down on the other side of the street. Someone saved her. Someone actually cared for her.

“Whoa! Fucking idiot!! Are you alright?” Nicole grunted and sat up on her hands, shaking her head. “Wh…what the hell…?” still winded, she didn’t look up to see who was hovering over her. The second she did, she was instantly met with the familiar shimmering pair of blue eyes. “Are you alright, Nicole?”

“Joe McIntyre?” “Yeah…a—are you hurt?” His eyes searched for any trauma on her person, and sighed with a smile when he found nothing. “Th—thanks…” Joey’s hands sat upon her shoulders, his eyes smoldering as he looked upon her once again. “Let me help you up,” he told her, but she tried to resist. “No, I’m fine,” as she tried to get up, her foot slipped and he captures her into his arms.

“This…was all I wanted…Darling Nikki…you make me do this.”

Joey sat her up, smiling once again. “We have to stop meeting like this,” he said. “You got that right,” Nicole said with a chuckle. “You live around here?” “Well, no…I come around this part of town every once in a while—there’s this real nice all day breakfast restaurant I love dining at. Would it be too forward if I asked you to join me in a cup of coffee?”

“That oughta do it for now.”

“Thank you for the invite, Joe, but…I have somewhere I need to be right now. Maybe some other time?”
“I hope so,” he told her, slipping his hands into his jacket pockets. “I don’t want to keep you. Just be careful out here—New York drivers tend to go nuts during the weekends, no matter the time.”

“Again, thanks…” she picked up her purse and walked past him without giving a second look.

Well, maybe just one. Nicole almost lost her life several minutes ago, and blue eyes saved her. She soon started feeling guilty for thinking he was a bit creepy weeks ago. She walked back over to Joe and stood in front of him. “You saved my life. I don’t know how to repay you.”
“Just having the opportunity to bask in your presence again is reward enough, Nicole. Thank you.”

She couldn’t help but blush. She isn’t use to compliments outside of her line of work; it was a breath of fresh air, and she very much needed it. Nicole reached up and touched his face, smiling. “You know what? I may not know you, but I like that.” “Like what?” “Your smile. Life would mean a lot more if you would smile every once in a while. It can’t hurt.”

“You’re right.” They shared a moment of silence as they looked upon one another. “Well, I gotta get going,” she said, breaking the silence. “Yeah…I’ll see you around…” Nicole smiled at him again before walking away.

Every step I’ve taken. Every move I’ve made. Every kill. It’s all your fault. I don’t want anyone near you but me. You’ll soon see, Darling Nikki. Soon.

“Hello, I’m here to see Detective Wahlberg?” Nicole made it to the precinct without a hitch or a broken back. She watched as the receptionist picked up the phone and requested the detective to come down. “He’ll be with you shortly, why don’t you have a seat?” she said with a smile. Nik sat down and waited for the Detective’s arrival. It didn’t take long for him to come downstairs, and it seemed that his day didn’t start off well. “This better be good, Karly,” he said with an intimidating glare towards her. “Um, excuse me,” Nicole stood up and made her way over to Detective Wahlberg, half smiling. He looked her up and down, then turned back to his files in hand. “What do you want?”

This was a bad idea.

“Um…I came down here looking for you, because…well…I need protection.” He turns to her, his eyebrows raised. “Protection? From who? Did you witness a murder?” “Well, not exactly, but—“

“Then, I can’t help you,” Wahlberg said in a huff before walking towards the records office.

“Please!” Her cry stopped him dead in his tracks and turned to face her again, this time with a more listening ear. “You’ve got to help me. I don’t know what to do. I…I saw the press conference you and your partner held last night, and…I’m afraid the killer will strike again. You see, he killed my friend Abigail Schall, and…I’m afraid more of my friends and colleagues will be next,” she finished, looking down at her feet.

Donnie gave Nicole a closer look. “Are you Nikki Delight?” Sighing, she replied, “Yes. But please, call me Nicole. Will you help me? Please?” He felt more sympathetic to her, not because she’s a well known adult movie star, as the genre is his second niche next to police work, but because he could tell she was scared shitless. Since they had no leads in the case, and the fact she knew Abby Schall personally, it was only crucial to protect Nik. “I’ll do it.” With a light-hearted smile, she thanked Donnie. “What do I do next?”

“Well, you can come to my office later today, and sign some paperwork. Detective Knight oversees that department for the time being, but since he’s out sick, Officer Schultz will handle that for you,” he said to her, his eyes softening at her worry.

“I see. Is he alright?” “Well, I think he’s doing just fine.” Nicole’s eyes looked over at the entrance of Donnie’s office and found Detective Knight leaning against the doorframe, smiling. “Jordan, the hell are you doing here? I thought you were staying i—“ “All I needed was a night’s rest and a hot cup of joe. I feel great now, but thanks for your concern,” he winked at him, much to Donnie’s chagrin. “You never shut off, do you?”

“Not on your life,” Jordan finished before Donnie made his exit.

Jordan walked around the desk and sat down across from Nicole, hands folded, a smile on his face. For a brief moment, she couldn’t help but notice the glow of life around him. Just last night, he was barely enthusiastic, broken down and sad, but today, his spirits were high. She liked that. She hoped to meet THIS Detective Knight face to face—in a way, it was comforting for her, and she only just met him.

“So…you will help me, right?”
“I will. Tell me what’s going on. I’m all ears,” he said, leaning closer to her, this time with a serious gaze. It’s game time.