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“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.”