|Pre And Post
Author: March PM
Before the red eye flight, he watches her. After, he longs to make her cry again.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama - Words: 2,286 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Published: 11-16-05 - id: 2662885
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
DISCLAIMER: I'm not Carl Ellsworth or Wes Craven or anyone involved. I'm just writing this as a hobby and I have no money, so it's not even worth suing me.
A/N: Mature themes. One-shot.
Pre And Post
The first time Stephen Johnson laid eyes on Lisa Reisert, he was surprised. She was going to be the latest in a series of women he'd harrassed, terrorized, and manipulated to get what he wanted.
First of all, Lisa was beautiful. And boring. That first night, she had the flu. She was watching Jeopardy and the bug in his van relayed everything she said back to him.
"What is the tuba," she croaked.
He wasn't sure which would have annoyed him more-- the fact that she knew the answer, or if she hadn't known the answer. And for God's sake, she even phrased everything in the form of a question.
"Who is Andrew Jackson," Lisa croaked again.
Jackson isn't a bad name, Stephen thought, cranking up the volume on his speaker. He was getting outside noise now. An annoying neighbor was apparently ignoring his loud dog as he mowed the grass. The name's little unorthodox, but it would match Joe's first initial.
"Who is Jack the Ripper," Lisa said groggily.
There you go. Jackson Ripper. Jackson the Ripper. A little bit too obvious. Jackson Rippner. Still a little obvious, but you can just pretend you're a guy with an unfortunate name.
He listened to the loud applause-- apparently someone had stumpled upon the Daily Double. Lisa was snoring on the couch.
Boring. Was she even deserving of meeting someone with such a clever last name?
Stephen drove away that night, but he always returned. God, he couldn't even describe how boring his newest victim was to his friends. If only they knew, they'd be fast asleep before you could say, "Keefe." Lisa got up early in the mornings, drove to the hotel, drove home, talked to the neighbor cat, cooked Easy Mac while watching a stupid movie on TV, and then fell asleep. Every so often she got interesting and cooked scrambled eggs at three in the morning. On Friday nights she let herself have one drink and by the third week of watching her he could predict what it would be-- a Seabreeze. When it was cold she drove out to the Starbucks and ordered coffee. 'Loner' didn't even seem to cover it; most of his friends would have called her a 'loser'.
As much as she frustrated him, she was kind of fun to watch. Only because she was so beautiful. She had really curly brown hair that often poofed out in the mornings so badly that Lisa always sighed at herself in the mirror before showering. She was petite and perky. Always dealt with the costumers in a pleasant tone. Laughed with her friends. She never seemed truly happy, but she was far from unhappy. That was the only thing that kept Stephen interested in her-- trying to pinpoint her emotions.
His chance to make his move didn't come on a business trip, or an invasion of the house, as he thought it would. It came late one night when someone called on his cell phone.
"Steve. I trust you know Lisa's grandmother died?"
"Yeah," he said, not removing his eyes from her window for one moment.
"She's flying out to Dallas. I need you to get there and we'll nail her on the way back. Get one of your men to wait outside the house in Miami and that's how--"
"--we'll use Joe as bait," Stephen finished, knowing exactly where they were going with this. "Someone grab his wallet. I've been tracing the Reisert house, too. At night when he takes showers he puts his wallet on the table by Lisa's graduation and field hockey photos."
"You have done your research, haven't you?" the man on the other end said gleefully. "Got it. Get real rested, my friend. You're going to Dallas tomorrow."
The Dallas airport seemed to make it it's mission to annoy costumers. Once Jackson had found his way (and his buddies had had to work really hard to get him on the same plane as Lisa) it turned out that the damn flight was going to be postponed.
He met her for the first time standing in line, waiting to be placed on the next flight out. They'd have to take the goddamn red eye. Well, he knew of at least one passenger who wouldn't be getting any sleep tonight. He hoped for her sake she was one of those women he could easily frighten into getting what he wanted done. Some cranky man in front of them was whining about something, and both he and Lisa stood up for the flight staff. Better to make a connection with the victim as early as possible. He had also just watched Lisa give an old woman a Dr. Phil book. Boring.
"I'm on this... really delayed flight to Miami," she said, laughing shyly. "You?"
"Sadly, yes," he said, ducking his head and pretending to be shy, too.
And suddenly he had to feign interest in what she had to say. Told him she was a hotel manager. That she worked at the Lux Atlantic. When he'd finished being bored, he told her that he knew it well. Better to drop the hints subtly at first.
He asked her if she wanted to get some Nachos at the Tex Mex. "Best Nachos arround," he said, smiling.
She was... avoiding him? That bitch. He wanted to strangle her right then and there, but, upon reflection, decided he should probably keep things on the down-low for awhile. What a liar. He doubted she had to make any phone calls.
He sat down by himself, wondering if she'd change her mind. She did, and for some odd reason, she had changed her clothes when he saw her again. He pretended to be interested again as she told him about her dead grandmother. He pretended to guess what her favorite drink was and that he was flirting with her. It was a game.
"A Seabreeze," he "guessed", knowing he was right on the money. He'd watched her order one every Friday night for six weeks.
Something flashed in her eyes, and she didn't make eye contact when she responded with, "Baybreeze. But that's good. That's quite a talent you have."
Oh, to hurt her right now. To shove her into a wall and listen to her cry out in pain, to bruise her perfect back. Hell, even to slit her perfect little throat. But, of course, that would have to wait.
He focused instead on showing his pleasure when they announced that their flight was ready.
He longs for her to feel his pain. He'll always have a scar on his throat, although thanks to intense medical treatment, he'll be able to talk again. He wants to teach her a lesson, watch her fear, watch her cry again.
To her he's Jackson Rippner. She'd hurt every muscle, every tendon, every bone in his body, and she can't get away with any of it. He longs to make her hurt, too. A gun or a pen or a vase won't do it. He needs more.
She's gone for the day, but he knows she'll trudge in the door in ten minutes. He knows her routine. Lisa will walk into the kitchen for some Easy Mac or ramen and then trudge back out to find something on TV. Maybe tonight she has plans to watch the Weather Channel. Except none of that will happen tonight.
He stands, propped up against the kitchen counter, admiring her extensive collection of knives. Stephen knows only half of them are for cooking.
The door clicks open, and he hears Lisa talking to herself. "Okay," she says with a sigh, placing her purse in its normal spot. Sure enough, she trudges into the kitchen.
And proceeds to scream like a goddamn girl.
"Shut up," he tells her sternly. She's frozen in place, eyes full of horror. It's just what he wants. He loves seeing her eyes do that.
"Miss me, Lise?" he asks, smirking a little bit. Thank God it no longer hurts to smile.
"What are you doing here?" she asks, absently grabbing a vase from the desk next to her.
"I think turnabout's fair play," he says, stepping towards her. Before she has a chance to use the stupid thing, he jumps at her. The vase falls to the ground, and she trembles among shattered glass. They are a mixture of each other, the ground, and glass.
He lifts her shirt and presses down on one of her bruises. "That hurt, Lise?" he asks.
She bites her lip and refuses to talk.
Damn bitch. He'll get her to hurt. It's only a matter of time. He lifts the shirt further, revealing a bra and the scar. He pushes the top of the bra down and traces it "Hurt now?"
She shakes her head, and he decides to rattle her cage a bit, all the while tracing the scar. "How did it happen, Lise? I bet you were walking down the parking lot, so full of self interest you didn't even really notice what was happening. Bet you had some hot coffee in your hands. He knocked it out of them, didn't he? Held your wrists and spilled it on you. You didn't tell me on the plane, but I bet you've got burns. And what's this?" He holds her wrists, too. He rotates one of them so her forearm is showing and sees another scar. "You got burned that day." He squeezes her wrists hard, then releases them. Traces the scar again. "Got burned in more ways than one, I see."
She's crying now, sap that she is. She'll cry at the drop of a hat. He wishes she'd cry less-- no, he likes it that she cries so much. Lisa is surprisingly strong, though, and doesn't cry out. Just bottles it up. Her pride irritates him. She's not easy to break, and he likes it and hates it at the same time.
He lets her shirt back down and Lisa lets out a loud sob. She's in hysterics now, as he traces her arms, her neck, her face. Wipes some of the mascara off with his thumb. "Why, are you a little traumatized from that experience?" he asks, moving his hand up to her hair. When she doesn't respond, he yanks it a bit.
And then-- she kicks him. Hard. In the groin. He's been told about what that feels like, but it's never happened to him. He's just heard the stories. God. Damn. Bitch. He hates her. He's never hated anyone else as much as he hates Lisa Reisert. He's going to kill her.
She's up the stairs in a flash, all that field hockey training making her speedy. When he comes to, he remembers his goal-- to kill Lisa Reisert.
"What were you, a forward?" he pants, mocking her. "Did you score goals and wait for everyone to praise you?"
"I was a goalie," she says, at the top of the stairs. She's out of breath. And she's smirking. He hates her even more, if that's at all possible. "Imagine what I could do if I played a running position."
And she darts into her bedroom. She throws something at him, and he's had enough. He grabs her and shoves her against the wall, listening to her back thud against it. It's what he's been waiting for, since the last time he got to do it. He squeezes her throat, relishing in the fact that she looks panicked and certainly can't breathe.
The pitch of sirens rise and fall as he throttles her, yelling at her the whole time. He describes everything that might have happened that day in the parking lot, waiting for her to collapse in tears. Just as it looks as if she might, he makes his escape.
He runs as fast as he can to the bottom of the stairs, and Lisa is right behind him. The pitch of the sirens come to an almightly climax. "You called the police," he says quickly.
"Yes." She nods.
The woman really is quick.
And Stephen jumps out the back and makes a run for it. Everyone had poked fun at him for being stupid in the Lisa Reisert case. He'd never be able to live it down that he'd been outsmarted by a girl... twice. Luckily he'd been able to keep his job.
His cell phone rings, jarring him out of his thoughts.
"We've finally got another job for you," the deep voice says on the other end, as Stephen finds safety in his car and speeds away. "Name's Naomi Patterson. On a cruise to the Caribbean next week. Guess where you're going?"
"Haiti?" Stephen says, clutching the phone close to his ear and trying to ignore the adrenaline.
"Exactly. Do some snorkeling while you're there, okay? Oh, and don't screw this one up. Got that, Steve?"
"Yeah." Stephen turns off his phone and gets ready to go to the Caribbean.
Life goes on.