William paced the observation room. Lenny had placed the call twenty minutes ago. Forty minutes remained before he’d have Maria in a cell. He’d let security knock her around a little, wear her down. Then he’d have them bring her to the other wing, to one of the killing rooms. He wouldn’t just have a front-row seat to her pain; he’d be directing and producing the film.
Lenny sat in one of the leather armchairs, reading the newspaper. His suit, a charcoal gray single-breasted this time, looked freshly pressed. The red silk tie, tightly knotted and perfectly straight, tempted William. He wanted to grab hold of it, tug and squeeze that knot until Lenny’s face went from beet red to pale white. Until the air and life was drained, and his body slumped beneath the designer suit.
“New shoes?” William asked, as he stared down at Lenny’s feet.
Lenny lowered the newspaper. “Picked them up the other day,” he said. “Prada.”
“How many pairs does that make?”
Lenny ruffled the paper, looked back down at it as if he was going to ignore the question. With his eyes still focused on the print, he said, “Seventy-eight.”
William rolled his eyes. “What’s with you and the shoes? Did your mother make you walk barefoot over broken glass or something?”
“How many snuff films do you own, William?”
“What does that have to do with shoes?”
“You collect snuff, I collect shoes.” Lenny peered over the top of the paper. “Most people wouldn’t find my shoe collection nearly as disturbing as the several thousand snuff films in your vault.”
William bit back his retort and resumed pacing. The woman on the other side of the observation glass had finally stopped wailing. She sat perched on the edge of a chair. Her bottom lip quivered and her red, puffy eyes were wide with fear. William felt the stirrings of arousal. The woman, Stacy, with her honey blonde hair and high cheekbones, was a beauty. Soon, though, he’d have the real prize.
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