"Would you like another Heineken, sweetie?"
I snapped my head up from the phone in my hand to give the hot, blonde bartender my best panty-dropping smile. It worked. She melted under my hooded gaze and crooked grin, and smiled back as her face flushed cherry red.
She wasn't my type, at all. I preferred petite, pretty brunettes most of the time, but tonight, I didn't really care. I was on the job.
"Um, no thank you..." I quirked in eyebrow at her, silently asking for her name.
"Kate," she responded. "Would you like to close out your tab?"
She twirled her blonde hair around her fingers and leaned in closer to me. She smelled of beer and strawberry lip gloss, and I inwardly cringed when she placed her hand on top of mine. But I didn't move it. I needed to ask her some questions, and hopefully, she could provide me the information that I needed. I wanted to catch the serial-killing-mother-fucker tonight.
"Yes, that would be wonderful. I was supposed to meet a friend of mine here over an hour ago, but he never showed." I swallowed the last of my beer and reached into my pocket for my credit card.
"Aww, that's too bad, sweetie. Maybe something more important came up, like a girl, or some shit," she said, batting her long lashes at me.
I sighed and scratched the back of my neck. "It's just not like him, you know. He would never not show up without calling. In fact, I haven't seen him in a couple of days, at least, not since we made plans to come here tonight. I'm a little worried. We've been friends since we were kids." I looked up at Kate and flashed her another one of my sexy grins. "Hey, he comes in here a lot. Maybe you've seen him recently."
I reached back into my pocket and pulled out my wallet. The bartender kept her eyes on me as I flipped through it, finally pulling out a totally photo-shopped picture of me and the perp I was hunting, with an arm around each other, posing for the camera.
The bartender plucked the photo from my hand, and her pretty face instantly lit up.
My brow furrowed with confusion, before I quickly wiped it off of my face. "Micheal? Uh, yeah, Michael." His real name was actually Riley Biers; he must have been using different aliases to keep us off of his trail. "Has he been in here recently?"
"Of course, honey. Last I saw him was about ten minutes ago in the back booth with some young, pretty thing."
My body tensed almost immediately as my senses went into high alert. I whipped out my phone and quickly typed out a text to my partner, who was sitting outside, letting him know this shit was going down and to call for back up. I grabbed my credit card off the stained and dirty wood of the bar and jumped out of my seat. My eyes quickly darted to the back booths, trying to catch a glimpse of the fucker in the dim lighting of the seedy bar, but not wanting to spook him into running.
"Are you okay?" Kate asked me, eyeing me carefully.
I could feel the adrenaline pumping through my veins. This was it. After months of tracking this sick fucker, who preyed on unsuspecting young women and girls and brutally murdered them, we had him. I was standing in the same bar with him. I was going to finally bring him to justice.
I shook my head clear of the visions of horrific crime scenes that flitted through my brain. Blood, lots of blood. The innocent victims, cold and frozen in death. Naked. Raped...
"Uh, yeah, I'm fine," I said absently, as I started making my way to the back of the bar.
I placed my right hand on my holster and fingered my glock underneath my jacket, as my eyes scanned the booths. In the corner of my eye, I could see my partner make his way into the bar, the look of pure intensity written all over his face.
The search of the booths came up empty, and I cursed silently under my breath. The bartender had said he was here ten minutes ago. Wait a minute ... with some pretty young thing. Shit!
"Jazz, take the side exit. I'm going out the back to the alley!" I hissed to my partner, who nodded and headed to the side door.
My heart pounded in my chest as I bypassed patrons and raced to the back door, pulling out my gun once I was out of view. The cold, metal door creaked as I yanked it open and felt the cool Chicago night air hit my face. The alley was dark, with only one dim light casting eerie shadows across the dirty pavement. The smell of trash immediately hit my nose, and I grimaced as I stepped silently out into the foul, chilly air.
As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I heard a soft moan come from behind the dumpster. Tensing, I pulled my gun in front of me and crept closer to the large, black receptacle. I could feel the sweat on my brow as my heart pounded furiously in my ears. My shoes were silent as I stepped carefully around some cardboard boxes. The sound of mice or some other vermin filled my ears, as I snaked around the dumpster, my eyes darting around, looking for danger.
A loud, strangling sound suddenly erupted somewhere in front of me, followed by a woman's voice. "Shut up, you stupid fuck!"
I quickly sprung into action, jumping out from behind the dumpster, my gun pointed at the scene in front of me. "Freeze, police!"
There in front of me was a small, petite brunette, dressed in tight, black leather pants and a flame red halter top. She had on shiny, black heels that were at least six inches high, and her long, dark hair was flowing down her back in waves. Her pale, ghostly white skin glimmered in the dim light. She turned to look at me, her strange topaz eyes, almost like the color of warm honey, burning into mine.
"It's about fucking time."
My mouth dropped open as I realized that she had her one long, sinewy arm in the air, and hanging from her hand, by the neck, was Riley Biers. I shook my head, trying to clear it, because what I was seeing could not possibly be real. He was dangling there, eyes wide, making strange, gurgling noises. Fear reflected in his face, as his hands desperately tried to remove her hand from his neck without success, his feet hanging a good foot off the ground. She didn't budge. Not an inch. She wasn't even struggling. She just smirked. Her beautiful face filled with annoyance and a little bit of amusement at my gaping jaw.
"Shut your mouth. You'll catch flies," she commented, and with the flick of her wrist, threw the man at my feet.
He landed with a loud thud and an "oomph," as my eyes flickered wildly between the two of them. My mind was a jumbled mess, as I tried to make sense out of what I was seeing. How in the hell did this tiny little woman just do what I witnessed? There was no fucking way.
She blinked at me, her long lashes brushing her cheeks as she smiled seductively. I was momentarily distracted by her ethereal beauty, forgetting for a second where we were and what I was supposed to be doing. I was still in shock over everything I had just seen, but for a moment, my mind drew up images of me throwing her up against the brick alley wall and fucking the shit out of her. Where the hell had that come from?
I shook my head again, clearing my thoughts. "Who are you?" I asked, my hand shaking slightly. I couldn't tell if it was from nerves, or the way she was affecting me.
She walked closer to me, reaching out to push down my hand that was still out, gun extended. When her pale, cold hand touched my skin, I felt a jolt of electricity shoot through it, traveling into my body like a lightening bolt.
Taken aback, I almost dropped the gun. She stepped closer and put her face close to mine, her cool breath blowing across my cheek. I was instantly entranced by her, frozen, not wanting to move away from her as she slid a petite finger down the side of my cheek. She smelled like vanilla and strawberries, the most amazing scent that I had ever smelled in my life. I took in a deep, shuddering breath, and as I breathed her in and tasted it on my tongue, I knew that scent would be scorched into my throat for the rest of my life. She smelled ... delicious.
"I'm no one," she replied quietly, her strange topaz eyes staring into mine so intensely, it felt like they were penetrating my soul. And then she turned, so fast I almost didn't see it. In a flash, she jumped from the ground, up onto a ledge that surrounded the alley, at least fifteen feet high, and then she was gone.
What the fuck?
I stared in disbelief, still feeling the effects of her presence throughout my entire body, completely oblivious to the man that was still writhing at my feet, trying to catch his breath. At that moment, Jasper busted through the door into the dank, smoggy alley, with several uniformed officers in tow.
"Dude, you okay?" he asked me, eyeing me warily as I just stared, dazed, at the last spot I'd seen the supernatural beauty.
Supernatural? Is that what she was? Yes. She had to be. I tried desperately to make sense of everything, to come up with answers to all of the questions that were swirling around in my head. How was she capable of the things she did? Where did that strength come from? She couldn't be much more than five feet tall, maybe a hundred pounds; there was no way. And how did she jump fifteen feet up to the ledge? How did she know I was coming and who I was? Her words "It's about fucking time" rang through my head. But the most important question of all ... why did I want her so badly?
I moved my eyes to Jasper, nodding. "Yeah, I'm fine." I wasn't fine.
Jasper's face broke out into a huge grin, and he clapped me on the back as the other officers surrounded the scumbag on the ground and placed him in cuffs. "You fucking did it, man. Riley Biers is finally off the street. All those months of hard work really paid off. I hope the fucker rots."
I nodded my head again and ran my fingers through my crazy, bronze hair. I knew if I told Jasper what I'd seen, he would think I was absolutely crazy. So I kept my mouth shut about the beautiful, strong goddess that had my head in a tailspin and gave him a crooked grin.
"Come on. Let's take him in, and then go get a drink and celebrate," Jasper said, heading to the door.
"Okay," I said, following him, only one thing on my mind at the moment. As I reached the door to the bar, I turned back, trying to catch a glimpse of the golden-eyed woman who I was sure would haunt my dreams.
Who was she?
Where did she go?
And how was I going to find her again?