The Act of Murder

This is my horrible attempt of an opening chapter for a mystery/crime story – Enjoy!

***

Her voice resonated throughout the quiet dimly lit room of men sat at the edge of their seats, before a loud roar of applause cut through the silence and showered Cara Reinsworth; her rouge lips curved into a smile. The air was filled with the desire of the many men seated before her, all admiring the the way her velvet red dress hugged her figure so tightly and the manner in which her golden hair enticed them in the same way their own filthy golden wealth did to them.

As she walked off the stage many eyes continued to follow her; all like wolves hidden in the shadows of the light, preying on little red riding hood. But Cara preferred her own twist on the tale. As she gracefully made her way down the stairs her eyes surveyed the room for an interesting night, she savoured the hungry eyes that beckoned for her attention and begged her to bless them in early hours of the morning. She relished the prospect that so many filthy rich men desired her pure presence and that within minutes she’d have them at her feet and their money between her fingers. Yet she knew that tonight like many others, she had little control over the cast of this story; she only had a role to play and one job at hand.

Thomas sat there, patiently. The gangsters, dirty tricksters and dishonest scammers all surrounded him, gawking at her; he was practically invisible and perfectly integrated into the shady scene. The night was young but smoke clouded the room; glasses were being filled and hushed secrets of racketeering floated amongst the heavy waves of drunken laughter and yelling. Those who were not huddled suspiciously together were seated and captivated – not by her beautiful voice but her tempting lips. He ran his fingers around the rim of the bottle as he vigilantly observed her. He was about to play a risky game, one he knew was reigning champion at but one mistake and that title would be snatched away within seconds. The game was simple enough – capture the queen however the there was a whole chequered field stretched out before him. Every move was vital. She sang her last note and sauntered down the stairs, and glanced around the room. This was Thomas’s cue; he had one shot to initiate the game. He diverted his eyes to the seat opposite him and placed his hat across the table and waited. He didn’t look up, not even when the sound of her tapping red heels approached him, not even when her fingers curled over the gold bars of the chair. His hands gripped the cold glass of the empty bottle and her voice finally reached out to him.

“Hey there handsome,” He looked up and raised his brow,

“I was wondering when you’d come around,” he said coolly, gesturing to the seat opposite him.

“Sorry to keep you waiting, what did you think of the show?” She asked as she sat down and fluttered her eye lashes at him. The game had begun and just as he had anticipated she was already advancing the field, just as prepared to invade and attack as he was.

“Amazing,” he answered simply, she shifted in her seat and tilted her head. She was bored of hearing all the same things but her performance had not yet ended and her funds was better still when it was tainted by her own corrupt lies and cheats.

“Why thank you,” she giggled, just as she had rehearsed many times before.

“But your voice,” he said as she stirred her drink delicately in her cup, “It really is beautiful,”

“Oh you’re too sweet,” she smiled, quickly getting fed up of the conversation.

“How about we take this somewhere private,” He suggested tactfully sensing her irritated mood and placing his playing piece across the board.

“Why of course! I have a great hotel room specially reserved for you….” Cara drifted off…

“My name is Eddie, Eddie Hills,” Thomas said nonchalantly.

Thomas watched cautiously as Cara floated around the room, wisps of her curly blond hair hanging behind her, the hotel room was lit with candles and the busy, chattering city was muffled by the quiet of the room. She walked behind him and ran her hands up his back and let them waver on his shoulders, before she whispered in his ear, “We both know why we’re here,” she started, “I know what you want and I’ll be happy to give it you at a price,”

“You deserve nothing less,”

“Oh I know but I need to know I can trust you,”

“Whatever it takes,” he said, knowing he was getting closer to the trophy, he subtly reached into his pocket,

“Tell me something important, oh I don’t know… tell me about where you get your goods?”

“My goods?” Thomas questioned.

“Don’t play dumb with me Eddie, we’re both know you’ve got the best business in town next to Henry and his band, so just tell me and I’ll know I can trust you and we can start enjoying the night already,”

“And why would a lady like you want to know such things?” Thomas could feel he was on the verge of attaining what he had been waiting for the whole night. The last piece of information. The confession he had been after all along.

“I told you, just as something to make sure you pay me fairly,”

“Hah,” Thomas mused, “Maybe I could double the price, triple it even, all I need is a little honesty to seal the deal, perhaps even an alliance, you’re a beautifully smart woman… so tell me what you really do ” Thomas tempted. Cara smirked, she was indeed tempted, and this was something new. But she dithered at the offer, Thomas sensed this and immediately knew he had to act. He suavely lifted her chin gently to meet his eyes; two could play at that game.

And in that moment the blue of the ocean met with the deep green of the forest and both absorbed each other. Cara was taken aback. She was sent here to meet what was meant to be a foul rich old geezer who’d have nothing but money and women on his sleazy mind. Instead however, the empty chair and that signal came from dapper man with weary but honest green eyes and a dashingly handsome face. His dark blue attire made him look a million dollars and his charisma could have won him a million more. And all of this was abruptly realised within sudden seconds for Cara, for unlike others he seemed far more aware and slick with his moves. Perhaps this was why he was so good, perhaps this is how he gets his goods? That had to be it. But Cara suddenly realised who she was really playing with-

A scream shattered the silence and ricocheted through the hotel and echoed through the night. Both Thomas and Cara found themselves immobile – the scream had come from next-door. They both exchanged a confused expression; they both knew that voice as familiar. Cara had heard it over the phone and Thomas had only heard it hours earlier…. – They both rushed out the room and stood at the door adjacent to their own. Thomas knocked on the door but just as quickly as the silence had fleeted it returned again. Impatiently, he kicked in the door and stumbled into the cold room. Instantly, both Cara and Thomas was stuck by the distinct metallic smell of blood. A man who lay on the floor, eyes rolled back, lifeless.

Eddie Hills was dead.

The air that late December was thick with booze and nicotine and death and perhaps even chemistry. A tiny spark had ignited a flame between two souls that vanished from the scene that night. When Thomas turned back Cara was nowhere to be seen; confused by the happenings of that night he replayed the tape that was hidden in his pocket and listen to her voice. He was so close yet so far; and now with Eddie dead he seemed even further. However he knew he’d see her again because the story, the game, the crime and the capture; all had to go on for both of them. But the roles they play were yet to be determined…