I went to the bedroom got a backpack from the closet and threw in enough stuff for a couple of days. Jack and I couldn’t stay here and, these days, even the crappiest hotels required ID and money.
I lay on the floor, stomach down, parallel to my side of the bed, reached under my nightstand, and pressed a hidden release button. The decorative piece on the front popped out and I pulled open the hidden drawer. Of course Jack didn’t know about this. I’d hoped I would never need it. I removed a bundle of cash, some fake ID’s and credit cards, and a small black zippered case. There was also an untraceable gun, but why use it when I had the killers? I put everything back the way it was and returned to the kitchen.
I could see he was in a different position then when I left him. And the knife was teetering on the edge of the counter. God, what a stupid mistake. I was out of practice.
“Oh, so close. It must be killing you that you almost had that knife,” I said, squatting down next to him.
“You got your information. Just give me the knife,” he said.
“Why would I do that?” I asked smiling. “So you can come back and finish the job?”
I wonder what his last thought was before I shot him between the eyes.
The hard part of killing someone? No, it's not the actual killing. It's the cleanup. What a mess. Cleanup had never been part of my job, but now there was no choice. Luckily the rug had soaked up most of the blood and mess. He rolled up nicely in it. Like a pig in a blanket. Just a little blood on the floor, and on my clothes.
The sound of the doorbell startled me.
Startled by a doorbell? Man, I was out of practice.
Careful not to be seen by anyone who might be looking in the glass surrounding the door, I went into the second bedroom and looked out the window. In front of the house was a black and white cop car.
“Shit,” I whispered. The doorbell rang again.
“Just a minute.”
I ran to the kitchen and looked around. Blood on the floor and a dead body rolled up in a rug. No way to talk myself out of this one. But I had an idea. I stripped off my clothes and piled them on the rug.
I ran to the door and opened it a crack, just enough for them to see I was naked. “Yes?”
These two guys were good. They didn’t show any reaction, though the short one was suddenly very interested in something on his fingernail. “Sorry to bother you Ma’am, we had a call about possible shots fired. Can we come in?”
“Shots?” The surprise was real. Someone heard that and called the police. This was a better neighborhood than I thought.
“Oh, uh, sure. Could you just give me a second to grab some clothes? I had a little accident in the kitchen.”
“Sure,” the tall one nodded.
I closed the door and ran down the hall. Lucky for me Jack cared about the decor of the house and had a runner in the breakfast nook that matched the kitchen rug. I rolled the runner up tight and stuffed it into the end of the rug that was facing out. It wasn’t perfect, but on quick inspection, it would look like a large rolled up rug.
I opened the refrigerator and grabbed a jar of jelly.
Grape! And a plastic bottle. Why didn't I like strawberry? This is really not my day.
I dumped the jelly over the blood on the floor and smeared it around a little. I took a clear glass from the shelf, wrapped it in a towel, and tapped it with a rolling pin, then sprinkled the pieces around the jelly and the open end of the rug. After grabbing my bathrobe from the laundry room I returned to the door.
“Come on in,” I smiled.
“What’s your name, miss?” The tall one asked as they entered.
“Gwen. Gwen Michaels.”
“Did you hear any shots, Ms. Michaels?”
“No, I’m afraid not. I haven’t been home very long though,” I said, walking down the hall. They followed. “Just long enough to drop the jelly,” I laughed.
“Anyone else here?”
“No, my husband's not home yet,” I said.
“Just you and your husband live here? No one staying with you?”
“No, just us.” Shit. I saw some drops of blood in the hall. How did I miss that?
“Oh crap,” I said grabbing my finger then a towel from the counter. I find people like it less, subconsciously or not, when women swear. I don’t typically clean up my language for anyone, but I did have a dead body on the floor.
“What?” they both had their hands on their guns.
I wrapped the towel around my hand. “I must’ve cut my finger on the glass,” I said pointing to the drops of blood in the hall.
They looked, but weren’t very interested. “Mind if we look around?” the tall one again.
“Not at all.”
To their credit, they didn’t leave me alone. For all they knew I was a crazy lady with a gun. The short one stayed in the kitchen with me while I rinsed imaginary blood from my hand, while the tall one took his time looking around the living room. When he was done he nodded to the short one and he went to check out the bedrooms. They weren’t casual and they weren’t talking, so neither did I. Forcing small talk is a great way to say something stupid. Something that would make them suspicious.
Then again, wouldn’t a normal person express some curiosity? Wouldn’t they try to get some more information out of the cops? I wasn’t sure so I stayed quiet.
“Sorry to have bothered you,” the short one finally said when they finished looking around.
“No problem. Better safe then sorry, I always say.” God, could I sound like a bigger idiot? “Could you lock the door behind you?”
I tiptoed to the window in the bedroom and peeked out.
After they drove away, I double checked the door lock and breathed a sigh of relief.