I step onto the porch, the screen door clacking loudly against the doorjam behind me. The wind howls loud as shit beyond the porch, the screen walls serving only to keep the snow from landing on the wood floor of this rinky old cabin.
Part of me hates that I'm about to willingly become part of an ageless horror trope of killing some blonde bitch in a cabin in the woods but the poetic justice driving my plans is enough to counter that hatred. At least enough to propel me the rest of the way to the front door, stomping snow off my boots as I go.
It wasn't supposed to storm for another two days but I'm not surprised. Weather patterns seem to follow some type of divine humor where me and a job are concerned. Not that I'm complaining, not really. I don't mind the cold — or the heat for that matter. Cold was often my friend in situations like this.
What was that saying? Oh yeah, that's right. A man ain't dead until he's warm and dead.
I slip out of my boots as I unlock the front door. I really only locked it for show. No one was gonna come to this cabin in this storm besides me and my employer. But my prey? Oh they had hope and what better way to dash that hope than to lock the door and put the "Do Not Disturb" sign on the handle. We'll just overlook the fact that the honeymoon cabin was so far removed from the rest of the resort — "for the newlyweds' privacy" — and the fact that this was the mountains of North Carolina. Small towns want gossip but not about those newly minted before God Almighty.
And enough green in the right palms always helped turn unwanted eyes and ears away.
I'm not even two steps through the door before muffled screaming and cursing assaults my ears.
"You're a mouthy bitch, ain't you?" I comment flippantly, tossing my bookbag to the recliner near the front door. Ignoring the continued screaming from the bedroom to the left, I turn right and cross behind the living room couch towards the kitchen. "You want a beer, babe?" I call and giggle when my latest toy yells a distinct curse at me, muffled as it is through the gag. "I'll take that as a 'no.'" Pulling out a long neck I unscrew the cap and knock back a gulp, tossing the cap in the air as I pivot and head towards the bedroom.
More screaming soon as she sees me in the doorway, arms trembling as she fights against the shackles holding her arms above her head, strung by a sturdy chain through a bolt on the ceiling. I raise an eyebrow at her, utterly unmoved by her antics. Her attempts to dislodge the bolt and her shackles is pointless, which I have told her several times to no avail. The bolt holding her up was tested to hold three times her weight and her buck twenty soaking wet ass wasn't going to budge it.
But watching her struggle despite the obvious futility was amusing so I wasn't of a mind to stop her, not when she first started and certainly not now.
She's beautiful, despite the bruising that's already blooming along her left cheekbone and up around a crystal green eye that seems too large for her face. Despite the white tank top that's barely keeping her breasts contained being browned from the blood that had dripped from her broken nose and split lip and the mud I'd drug her through on the way from the car to the cabin. Her beauty was the striking attention grabbing kind of the rich elite, bred into the females so they could entice males too stupid and dick envious to know a good female when they found one. If I had any interest in the curves her shirt and painted on blue jeans barely hid, this job would be far more challenging.
I was never more grateful for liking dick than the day I got her dossier, that much was certain.
I take another swig of the beer, fingers flipping the cap over the back of my knuckles as I appraise her. Those green eyes watch my every move, her screaming having trailed off with each second I spend just standing here. I'm not intimidated by her, the family she comes from, or the money she has access to. I took this job as a favor, a way to repay a debt, so she can't outbid my buyer. Not to say she didn't try. And I won't lie and say I didn't almost take her up on the offer for the chance to double cross her. But it was too close to betraying my word and I'm many things, foremost being a monster, but I'm not an oathbreaker.
"You done?" I ask when she's been silent for several minutes. I take another swig of beer and smile slow and sweet when she nods. "Good," I push off the doorjam and stalk towards her, my smile growing darker as she tries to shuffle back away from me. But her shackled hands prevent her from succeeding.
"Cuz I've only got twenty-four hours to prep you and I'm already five hours behind schedule. All because your ass just had to throw my supplies out the window. But no worries, I replaced what you cost me." Her eyes widen and I feel my smile shift, watching true terror skitter across her face as what I've said sinks in. "Time to turn your world into a beautiful nightmare, Mariah."