Wicked Hunt (Dark Hearts Book 3)

BOOK: Wicked Hunt (Dark Hearts Book 3)
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Book 3, Dark Hearts

 

every man must face his darkness

 

 

by
Cari Silverwood

Chapter 1

Zorie

 

It began so wrong.

I never waltzed straight in anymore. I’d learned from the past mistakes. Fifteen men? Or was it sixteen I’d murdered? All of them mesmers, of course. A-grade assholes. Sadists of the worst variety. Men who needed killing.

This man had locked his gaze on me, smiled, and crooked his finger. I’d obeyed because he expected me to. He was bulky under his heavy gray coat, and bald, with a worn yet handsome face that could be used as an example of what a man could look like if he took good care of himself despite a misspent youth throwing orgies and doing drugs.

He held out his gloved hand, his smile fading, and his eyes dark and closed-in with evil, or so I imagined.

Not one of the people passing us, gave us more than a glance.

A man with his girlfriend, his wife, his mistress. We were normal.

We were the epitome of sin.

As if passing judgment, in the distance loomed the spires of Cologne’s Kölner Dom cathedral. Directly behind the man waited the entrance to a multi-story apartment building: glass and modern architecture, no doorman, and an electronic lock that clicked open at a wave of his key.

Whenever I caught the hint of an owned and collected woman, I never walked in without checking. Never like this.

Such women were red flags. I detected them before their mesmers registered, mostly. Questions would pile in. Who were their owners? Were they security conscious? Was there CCTV? Guards? Would anyone hear the noise when I stuck my knife in them, or my hairpin, or put a gun in their earhole and pulled the trigger?

I’d given up on hairpins, though. The coincidences had been alerting journalists if not the police, who thought they were copycat killers. So many countries...it baffled them. They would’ve caught on eventually, so now I rarely used a hairpin.

Just the once, I’d found a mesmer’s pile of cocktail sticks – cute ones made of translucent plastic, with little animals on the end, like starfish, squid, and sharks. Six of those sticks sprouting from the dead man’s ear had looked oddly festive.

So much blood was on my hands. And this man, this very large man in an overcoat, had beckoned me off the street. I’d been walking along, lonely in my surreal, serial killer world looking for a bus stop or an
U-bahn
subway entry. I had an apartment with an unclaimed, susceptible woman. She’d let me in, not knowing why, just that she had to.

Commanding others? It got to me. It was immoral, but I had no choice. The end did justify the means, sometimes. Nevertheless, every time I did it, it hurt me inside.

That tweak at the heart...god it was awful, like one day, you’ll have to pay for this.

And yet I’d done worse. Much, much worse. I’d done things that polluted my very sense of self. That made me wonder where all this darkness had come from. Every time I killed, my insides, my soul if you would call it that, became stickier, more nauseating, more wrong.

If I could reach inside my chest with my own limb, worm my fingers between my ribs, and grab a handful of what filled my heart and soul, then pull it out to inspect it, that handful would be black and horrible.


Danke
.” This bald man regarded me curiously. Why the possessive grip on my arm? I could feel his woman inside his apartment somewhere above us. He wasn’t a novice mesmer. He’d know a thought was enough to make a susceptible woman do anything for him...
anything
.

As the elevator ascended, I stared at his big fingers encircling my wrist. His white shirt cuff showed, as did a steel cufflink with a death’s head pattern. Not your average businessman then.

No cameras? I hadn’t spotted any on the way in, or in this elevator. If I was wrong, today might be the day I tripped up and put the cops on my trail.

Mistake to be with him. I knew it. But how to avoid the grasp of this clearly lust-affected man? He wanted my body, knew I was a collectible. Maybe he wanted two?

I’d show him what two could do.

“Here. You are British?
Sprechen Sie Deutsch
?” Then he laughed, not wanting my answer. He kicked open his front door then took my handbag and tossed it aside, so it hit the wall of the hallway and fell to the floor.

What did it matter if I spoke his language when he could force my acquiescence, make me do anything?


Zwei.
Eh? I always wanted two. Come.” He dragged me further, leaving behind my bag and the knife in my bag.

Getting hold of a gun in each new country wasn’t easy and so I made do with a blade, sometimes augmented with a sedative taken from a pharmacy. Not every mesmer was simple to kill. I planned to get them without being detected by them or by the police afterwards. Fast and clean. A struggle would be my undoing.

An old friend who was a forensic pathologist had once told me that crime scene forensics was rarely as thorough as on the TV shows. The police, the laboratories, they didn’t have the resources. Though if anyone connected my fifteen or sixteen murders, then, for certain, those resources would be found.

He threw his overcoat and suit jacket over the shiny leather of an immense sofa, dragged off his tie, then unbuttoned his shirt and threw everything aside. All the while he examined me, stepping around me, as if deciding whether I passed some test.

Take off your clothes.
The command was clear in my mind.

I didn’t hesitate, because hesitation said maybe I wasn’t what he thought I was. I stripped off my plain jane shoes, my tights, my coat and blouse and short skirt, my underwear, my beanie, or as they called it here in Germany, my
Mütze
. So many layers. This city was far too cold for an Australian.

I did my best to leave no traces of palm or fingerprints at any of the scenes, no pubic hairs, no hairs...no spit, no sexual residue.


Ich mag das
. Nice. Short but sexy. Hmm?” He raised his brows at me then ran his hands through my red hair.

Nothing of me should be left behind, of any sort, if possible – DNA and all that. My pubic hair was nonexistent, but I couldn’t shave my scalp without looking odd. So it was only shorter than I’d ever worn it before.


Hände
.” He smiled flatly – amusement gone, nothing in his eyes now but concentrated intent.

He’d want sex, they all did, pain maybe too. Mesmers turned into sadistic sex addicts. Collectable women gave them their fix.

Hands.
Mesmers didn’t need translators. I gave him my left hand, though aware of the danger.

I didn’t like where this was going, but he didn’t know that his other woman was my accomplice. They all were. I could sink the fangs of my control deeper than his.

Still, I didn’t like giving him my hands.

But...careful. Always, careful. Men were stronger. My knife was in my bag.

I needed him off guard, like in the middle of having sex, or sedated. I needed a weapon, in my hand or hers, whoever she was – this woman whose presence I felt.

Time was on my side. Patience was on my side. I kept my rage ticking over, deep in the background. Rage freed me to disobey, but too much, too soon, and he would feel it inside me. I’d taught myself to be a good little collectable until it was safe to unleash myself.

He took my hand then my other, spun me away to face the sofa, then jammed my body down into the cushions while he roped my wrists together.

My heart sped up. I didn’t like this.

Then he stepped away, and simply stared down at me. “Pretty. You are very pretty. And perfect.
Kommen. Schnell
.”

When I had trouble rising he hooked a hand into the crook of my elbow and pulled me to my feet, then he walked me into the next room, his bedroom.

Mouth gaping, nipples scrunching in with fear, I studied what lay there.

The large square bed was empty of anything except a beautiful expanse of white linen sheet. Against the wall beyond though, there was his woman, naked and already chained to the wall by wrist and ankle, facing away, with red, dribbling stripes across her buttocks and back.

The bed was pure and unmarked.

Most of the breaths she took shivered across her skin. She was still hurting. Or perhaps it was anticipation. The man had throttled back his aura of control. A small, black whip curled on the floor near her bare feet.

She wasn’t any use to me, yet. I sucked in my own hard, shaking breath. I’d wait. I had to.

When he sat me on the bed and tied me up even more thoroughly, until I had my arms rope-wrapped at my back, my legs folded up, though separated, and one push would send me rolling onto my side or back, I let him.

One of us would be free and unwatched, eventually.

When he sat on the bed a couple of feet from me, wearing a crooked smile, I eyed him a little nervously, flexing my hands to keep the blood flowing. He wasn’t smothering me with his presence. He meant me to know...

Wrinkles formed about his eyes. “I have heard stories about a girl who could resist. A girl who killed. The one thing I haven’t done yet is killed anyone...”

BOOK: Wicked Hunt (Dark Hearts Book 3)
12.35Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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