The Hitman’s Sex Doll

I was back late that night. I’m not sure what time it was exactly, but it was well after one in the morning, because I remember Emily checking her watch as we left the bar. I hadn’t had much to drink, just those two glasses of Merlot with that hot guy who’d been checking me out at the bar.

Meeting random strangers in bars is not the kind of thing I normally do, unless there’s a story in it, but he was exactly my type: strong, broad shoulders, well over six foot, the sort of guy I could imagine overpowering me in bed. And the party at the News had been so dull that I wanted to make a night of it. As it turned out, I had quite the night after all. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The guy was cute, but boring as hell. His main topic of conversation was himself, followed by his workout regime, and then his ex-wife. I bailed after an hour or so, and was about to leave the bar when I saw my friend Emily. I hadn’t seen her in over a year, since she went to work for the Clarion. She was on her way home after a bad date, so we commiserated with one another over non-alcoholic fruit drinks, trashing men in general and agreeing that we both needed some romance in our lives. It was fun, but eventually she called it a night and, sober, tired and frustrated, I climbed the steps up to my apartment because the lift was out as usual.

In my bedroom I caught sight of myself in the mirror. Despite the fact that I had been out for six hours, I still looked good, which was some compensation for a generally boring night. Every year it was the same. The office held a staff get-together and I got dressed up. The first time, I was definitely trying to make an impression. But as time went by and I realized my career was stuck in a dead-end, I only carried on dressing up for these occasions out of a strange sense of duty. I was the youngest one in the place, and well, someone had to make the effort.

So once again I had squeezed into the tightest, second-shortest outfit in my wardrobe: a black, clingy, off the shoulder thing that reached maybe a third of the way down my thigh. As it was nearly holiday season, I thought I could get away with sparkly hold-ups, and glittery five inch heels, which I loved because they made a powerful thudding sound as I walked around the office, and they made me taller than my boss.

I looked good, no in fact, I looked hot. I turned round slowly, admiring myself in the mirror. I had always been gawky and awkward in high school, but now I looked damn good. My hips had filled out, I had great legs, and a cute butt and my breasts were just right. A real handful, as Emily had described them, giggling. I smiled, but then I sighed. I had no problem attracting hot guys, the problem was finding someone who fitted my needs. I had no time for timid or feminine men. I wanted a strong man, a guy who would take control, a masterful man.

That had been my fantasy since I was a teenager. It was why I had written those erotic stories about the innocent girl who gets kidnapped and turned into a sex slave by a strong man. They were pretty wild, and pretty hardcore. I really let my creative juices flow when I wrote them and surprised myself with how hot they were. I deleted them from the internet site where I’d uploaded them when I got the job at the News. Still, I’d often felt tempted to try out the fantasies. I’d even bought some bondage gear, but finding a man who fitted the bill, who would be able to help me fulfill my dreams; well I’d given up on that.

Sighing again, I slipped out of my heels and wandered out of my bedroom into the kitchen to make myself a snack. I’d just opened the refrigerator when I heard a strange noise, like one of the neighborhood cats scratching. The scratching grew louder, and there was a tapping noise too. I sighed and wandered over to the window. I couldn’t see anything, but I could still hear it, so I walked over to the balcony door and opened it, slowly. That was my first and last mistake.

It happened so quickly. A hand was clamped across my mouth, a hand in a leather glove and I felt the weight of someone pushing me backwards into the kitchen, slamming me against the refrigerator. Eyes wide, I tried to struggle, but it was no use. Whoever it was had me pinned tightly in the dark. And then I felt it. Something that made my blood run cold: the icy metal of a gun barrel pressed against my temple.

*  *  *  *

My name is Nikki. I was a journalist at the Daily News, the city’s seventh largest newspaper. I had been there for five years, though it felt longer. I worked hard, I mean, really hard. I had been focused on being a journalist for a long time. It wasn’t my first choice. I wanted to be a poet. But poetry doesn’t pay the bills, so journalism it was.

I worked hard, damned hard. From the day I started at the News I was always one of the first through the doors in the morning and the last to leave. I took every story that came my way. I attended hundreds of tedious municipal meetings, sat through endless boring court cases and pounded the streets looking for the big story. Some days I didn’t leave until two in the morning and was back in the next day at six.

That may sound extreme, but the newspaper industry is pretty competitive and if you aren’t getting ahead, then you’re falling behind. I was determined to be the best. But sometimes, your best isn’t good enough. It gradually dawned on me that the newspaper industry was all about who you knew, and at the News, that was the golden rule. Sure, I made contacts, I cultivated people, I tried to network, but some of the relationships in that office and across the city’s newspaper trade went back decades. All the best stories, all the best leads and all the profile went to the paper’s senior writers. Even if I did land a big story, it was taken away from me.

I wanted to leave. But to leave, like Emily, I needed a big story, otherwise I’d be just moving sideways to the Bugle or the Chronicle, and I knew from the girls who worked there that those papers were no different. I wanted to move up into the big leagues, and I wasn’t going to do that with articles about the Mayor’s budgetary reconciliation plan or write-ups of shoplifting cases.

So when I got a lead, a big lead, to one of the biggest stories the city had seen for years, I grabbed it. We were supposed to update the editor about what we were working on every day, but I kept it quiet. My plan was to do the research, do the write up, get it ready to go, and then confront the editor. If he tried to take the story off me, I would walk, and take it to the Post or the Times.

The story had started with a call from a clerk at city hall. I had chatted to him about the budgetary reconciliation story and, in between his attempts to look down my blouse, he had explained to me how the budget committee worked.

Out of the blue, one morning, he called me at work. He sounded very nervous. He said that he had a big story, a huge story, but that he couldn’t talk on the phone and wanted to meet me, alone, in a place where we couldn’t be overheard. When I asked where, he suggested a parking area of the National Forest about five miles out of the city.

The prospect of meeting him alone didn’t exactly delight me, and the fact that he suggested meeting in a secluded woodland rang all my alarm bells. But he did claim to have a big story, and he did genuinely sound frightened, so I took the chance. I borrowed a car from a friend and drove out to meet him in the woods. I was right. He was terrified. He refused to get out of his car, and kept looking behind him. Through the window he passed me an envelope and told me that the Mayor was involved in money laundering and was siphoning public funds into his own account. He wouldn’t let me question him and drove off after he’d given me the documents.

I didn’t entirely believe him. Mayor Ferguson was one of the most popular politicians in the country. Why would he jeopardize that for the sake of a few thousand dollars? Turns out, it wasn’t a few thousand. It was more like a few million. As I looked through the documents I felt a shiver go through me. It was all true. There was clear evidence: bank statements, deleted emails, screenshots from accounting programs. And there were transcripts of phone calls between the Mayor and others, discussing how to launder the money.

I didn’t tell anyone I was working on it. This was going to be my story alone, and I was going to get the credit for it. As the days went by and I dug deeper, I couldn’t believe the information I was getting. Everything checked out. I was able to lay out a chronology of events that conclusively implicated the Mayor, not just in money laundering for Russian and Chinese gangs, but also the siphoning of millions of dollars from various city funds into his own account. The story was dynamite, and I was sure it would make my name. It was my ticket to the big time.

But about two weeks after I’d got the documents, things started to get weird. First, the clerk skipped town. His wife said he’d left on work business, but that didn’t make sense. I finally tracked him down on his mobile. He spoke to me for about thirty seconds, telling me to drop the story, that he was in danger; that I was in danger. That was the last I heard from him.

The next day I had the first anonymous phone call. At the beginning, these calls were just odd. I would answer, but there would be nothing at the other end. Then the calls started happening in the middle of the night. I got into the habit of turning off my phone, but I couldn’t turn it off during the day, and the frequency of the phone calls increased. On one call, a man threatened to break my legs, and then hung up. The threats grew worse, more intimidating. They were going to kill me, they were going to rape me, they were going to throw me in the river.

I was scared, but I couldn’t tell anyone. If I went to my editor, he would take the story off me, and would think I lacked courage into the bargain. He was an old-school editor, who believed journalists had to be tough, physically brave and mentally strong. I wasn’t going to be labelled as a lightweight and pulled off the story. I would probably never get another story like this.

I could go to the police, but how could I be sure they would take it seriously? Mayor Ferguson was tight with all the senior police figures; their support had played a big role in his election. I couldn’t trust the police. Hell, for all I knew, they were the ones behind the calls.

But it wasn’t just calls. I started receiving letters. They were usually short but always contained explicit, violent threats, written in red ink. Every time I got one, I took a deep breath, read it, then screwed it up and threw it in the bin. I pushed on. I wasn’t going to be intimidated and I was going to finish my story. The night of the paper’s get together I had nearly done. But I needed to get out the house, away from my phone and away from the increasingly paranoid fears that had been taking me over. The night out was a disappointment but it had taken my mind off my fears, particularly the nagging feeling that I was being watched, stalked, that I wasn’t safe.

Want more?  Grab a copy on Amazon

* this book includes bonus book: Blackmailed By My Husband’s Brother

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