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Masterful Malice: Malice, #5

Masterful Malice: Malice, #5

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Masterful Malice: Malice, #5

Länge:
241 Seiten
3 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Mar 28, 2017
ISBN:
9781497353039
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

When Alice receives a plea for help from her sister’s friend, will she be able to free her from the bonds of a sadistic man determined to have her all to himself?  What about the bonds that Kathy begins to place on Alice's cold, little heart.  How will they affect the killer in Alice?

This is the FIFTH book in the “MALICE” series about Alice, a serial killer with a mission to get justice where none would otherwise be served.

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Mar 28, 2017
ISBN:
9781497353039
Format:
Buch

Über den Autor

K’Anne Meinel is a prolific best-selling fiction writer with more than one hundred published works including shorts, novellas, and novels.  She is an American author born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and raised outside of Oconomowoc.  Upon early graduation from high school, she went to a private college in Milwaukee and then moved to California.  Many of her stories are noted for being realistic, with wonderfully detailed backgrounds and compelling storylines.  Called the Danielle Steel of her time, K’Anne continues to write interesting stories in a variety of genres in both the lesbian and mainstream fiction categories.  Her website is @ www.kannemeinel.com.  K’Anne is also the publisher and owner of Shadoe Publishing, LLC @ www.shadoepublishing.com and in December 2017 she started the Lesfic Bard Awards @ www.lesficbardawards.com.  In December 2018 she launched the Gay Scribe Awards @ www.gayscribeawards.com in hopes of duplicating the first year’s success of the Lesfic Bard Awards and to showcase more LGBT literature.

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Masterful Malice - K'Anne Meinel

http://ShadoePublishing.wordpress.com/.

MASTERFUL MALICE

Book 5

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You invited me in, Kathy.  You taunted me into this and now you must pay the price, his voice haunted her through the telephone lines.

I did no such thing, she returned angrily, shrilly, fearfully.  You put that Trojan virus on Kit’s computer.  There is no way a child could know that a stupid game would contain something so harmful.

All’s fair in love and war, Kathy.  I have all your personal information now.  It’s just a matter of time and you will be mine! he declared triumphantly.

Kathy was afraid, she was genuinely afraid.  This man had become her nightmare.  She didn’t know what to do anymore.  She didn’t know anyone who would or could help her.  The police didn’t believe her and she couldn’t afford to hire a private detective.  He was a menace and he had as good as threatened to enslave her.

Think of what I could offer Kit: the toys, the benefits, and in a few years who knows how grateful she would be, he taunted.

That was it!  She slammed the phone down, but then it immediately began to ring again.  She picked it up and slammed it down again, and then after listening for the dial tone, she left it off the hook.  She didn’t want it to go to the answering machine; she didn’t want it to be heard by her eight-year-old daughter, even accidentally.  She knew he would keep calling and he would show up eventually.  She would run!  And then she realized she couldn’t.  She had moved once to get them away in what she thought was this safe, little corner the world, but he had found them and stalked them.  He was convinced they were meant to be together, forever, until death parted them.  She shuddered at the thought.

Kathy had dated Eli once, and only once.  He had given her the creeps immediately and all her warning signals told her to get away from him.  By the end of the meal though, he had been charming, informed, and congenial, and she had relaxed for a moment.  Then on the ride home he had become nasty—masterful as he put it—and demanding.  He felt they had a connection, that she would make a perfect sub to his master.  He wanted her to obey him, to come home with him, to do absolutely anything he commanded.  He told her in no uncertain terms what he wanted her to do: strip for him and make herself available to him and his friends in any way he commanded, in any position and any deviant behavior he demanded.  She escaped at a stop light and ran out of the car.  She thought herself safe from the pervert, but the calls had begun immediately.  He had resources she didn’t realize existed.  From her phone number, he got her address.  He followed her to work, he followed Kit to school, and he compiled information on her until he turned her world upside down.  The thought of them being under his thumb, of what he would do to her, of what he would turn Kit into, made her truly frightened.

The police didn’t believe that Eli Watson was capable of this type of behavior.  He was a well-respected citizen and when she made her claims it was dismissed as a lover’s quarrel and no one believed her.  Someone in his position would certainly not jeopardize it and she was made to feel she was making unjustifiable claims against this honorable man.

She moved, she changed her phone numbers, she got a new job, she invested in security locks, but still he found her, stalked her, and preyed upon her.  She was more scared for her daughter than for herself and she was sure that was what he counted on.  She didn’t know what to do.

Kathy spent an uneasy evening jumping at every sound outside.  She had to try to be normal for Kit’s sake, but it was difficult.  Kit was a normal chatty eight-year-old with a sunny disposition.  The move had been hard on her, starting over with new friends, but she had adjusted.  The one phone call to an old friend had been harmless, or so Kathy had thought until the envelope with the video game had arrived.  It contained a Trojan virus that spread through her computer and when they went on the internet it sent information to Eli Watson about every aspect of their life.

Have you ever thought of how much information you keep on your computer and what data like that could do to you in the wrong hands?  Every letter you have written, every search engine you have used, every game you have played...all could be used against you by a deviant mind such as Eli’s.  And he did use every nuance, threatening dire things against her.  She became paranoid, seeing things around every corner, hearing things outside that never existed...or maybe they did.  Kathy became haggard over the loss of sleep, over the worry, over the fear that this man was going to get hold of her or her daughter.  She walked Kit to school every day, seemingly bright and cheerful as she delivered her safely into the hands of her teacher.  The school was aware that no one, and she stressed no one was to pick Kit up or take her from school for any reason.  Kit’s father was dead so it wasn’t a matter of custody, just an overzealous parent protective of their child and she let them believe that.

Kathy was isolated.  Her friends were gone or far away and her parents were dead.  How could she burden any of them with this?  How could any of them help?  No one would believe her.  Eli Watson was too prominent, too rich, and too secure in his little world of deception.  No one would believe that he was capable of such evil, of such despicable acts, of such terror to a woman and her child.

Kathy worked from home transcribing medical records for doctors from various firms. She was about to lose her job over the repeated interruptions to her work.  The quality of her work had suffered.  Not the work she did, but when she sent it out, viruses suddenly made it incomprehensible to those reading it.  It was Kathy’s work, so she was responsible for it.  She knew that somehow Eli, rich and devious Eli, had messed with her computer.  She looked around her home again that day to see if he had been in it; she already felt violated by him.  She had put a string across the door, but it was not disturbed and she didn’t know if she could figure out some way to trap him.  He was already in her computer.  She had wiped it once already, but still the work became suspect.  One doctor’s office had already told her that her services would no longer be necessary.  She needed every job that came her way to support them.  She was becoming frantic.  She didn’t know what to do, where to turn, or who to ask for help. 

It was then that she thought of Constance.  Connie had been a college roommate.  Funny, irreverent, and beautiful in her own way, she used that beauty to lure and trap men throughout her college years.  Kathy was certain she never did any of the work assigned her, instead she let the men do it for her.  She probably had blackmailed more than one college professor over the years.  But she was kind and considerate of her friends, sharing some of her surplus of men with her college roommate, as well as finding dates for anyone in their small group of friends.  Connie had died the previous year.  Kathy hadn’t been able to afford a trip to attend her funeral, but she had sent a loving card, remembering happier times.  She vaguely remembered meeting Connie’s sister once or twice.  What was her name?  Ali?  No.  Aileen?  Eileen?  She couldn’t remember and with Eli on the brain it was making it even more difficult to remember.

She wasn’t getting any work done, so she pulled out her college yearbooks.  As she paged through, she remembered happier times, fun times, irreverent times and the dates, the pranks, the absolute solidarity of these women.  They were all scattered now.  Connie had married many times, each man subsequently richer than the one before.  She had been a widow just like Kathy, the difference being that her husbands had been incredibly wealthy and Kathy’s husband had left a pitiful life insurance policy that barely covered his death bills.  She came across a picture of the five of them.  Five?  There had been four in their little group.  The fifth one was what drew her attention...that had to be Connie’s sister!  Hadn’t Connie written once that her sister was a successful stock broker or something?  She quickly looked for letters she had kept, the written word so much more valuable to her as computers stored things forever and these were so much more personal and meaningful to her.  She realized that Eli must have read all her letters on her computer by now and the intimate details she had shared with her friends were now in his decidedly dirty hands.  She shuddered, but kept looking for the packet of letters she had saved from her friends over the years.

There they were!  She quickly opened one and then another, quietly reading through them, looking for some clue, something that might help her.  She didn’t know of anything, but maybe someone, a stranger, could help her, could help Kit.  Maybe this sister of Connie’s could help.  There!  There was a reference to Alice, Alice Weaver!  She had it now.  She went to grab her phone to call information and then hesitated.  She was certain he had some sort of tracking device on her car.  She was also certain her phones were bugged or had tracking devices, at least the cell phone, but she wasn’t defeated.  She carefully packed away the letters, picked up her purse and phone, and walked outside, locking the door to the house behind her.  She headed down to the bus stop and waited for the next bus to take her downtown.  As she waited, she thought about Connie, and of course Alice.  They were equally pretty, not beautiful, but they were attractive in their own way.  Something about Alice though, had seemed more attractive.  She wasn’t with them much, but when she was, they all had a lot of fun.  Kathy’s bus arrived and she looked around, positive someone was following her.  She got off a block before she needed to so she could try and see if she was being followed.  She couldn’t tell, but then she wouldn’t, would she, if he was that good or if he had someone else following her.  She felt so paranoid that she almost hesitated at what she was about to do.  She very deliberately put her phone in the roadway and waited for a car to run it over.  The first car missed it and the second car missed it.  She was about to go out into the traffic and move it when a speeding car hit it dead on...the destruction was total and absolute.  She picked it up gleefully and put all the pieces she could find in a shopping bag, walking the extra block to the phone store.  May I help you? a pleasant-faced, young kid asked her.

She nodded.  I seem to have dropped my phone.  I have insurance on it and I’d like to get another, she held up the bag and the boy took it from her gingerly.

You sure did this one in, he joked admiringly as he reached for the only piece large enough to hold up, the cover.  The rest was damaged beyond use.  You say you have insurance? he asked her and she nodded again.  Well, let’s take a look.  He put the piece back in the bag and put it on the counter as he pulled up something on his computer screen.  What’s your phone number? he asked.

She hesitated, but knew he would put that down to the fact that people didn’t remember their own phone numbers readily.  She gave it to him and then asked, I’d like a second phone for emergencies on my line, or can I change my number?

They discussed several possibilities.  Her number and account were in good order and he convinced her to buy a second phone.  It would only cost an additional $10 on her bill per month and offer her peace of mind.  ‘If he only knew,’ she thought.  The replacement on her phone was $100 and she nearly reeled at the cost, but hoped she was doing right by getting rid of the other phone.  What if he could somehow trace the number though?  She was only getting a second phone as she hoped it would help her, then she could call someone without Eli knowing.  When she left the phone store, she had two new, identical phones.  She had marked one with a sharpie so she knew which was the original number and which one was the new number.  Using the new number, she called information to try to find one Alice Weaver in the Los Angeles area.

It took some doing.  She had to stop by the library to use their computer and got a new library card in the process.  She didn’t dare use her own computer, she didn’t trust it.  She thought she found Weaver Investments and crossed her fingers as she typed the number into her new spare phone.

Weaver Investments.  I’m sorry, we are unable to take your call at this moment.  Please leave your name and number at the tone, an impersonal voice came over the line.  Kathy left her name and number and nothing else, hoping she had the right Weaver and hoping it would be Alice that called her back.  Then she realized she had left her regular number and not the new cell phone number!  She called right back, waited for the voice mail to go through its spiel, and left the new number, stressing that she needed to be called back on that number instead of the first one.  She felt like a fool, like she was grasping at straws.  She headed home.  She might as well do some of the work she still had left and hope that the last wiping of her computer had eliminated some of what Eli was doing to her work.

Alice heard the machine pick up.  She was busy surfing the net for information on an investment she was considering and didn’t want to be disturbed, but she couldn’t help but hear the message.  She frowned when she heard the name.  It sounded familiar and yet she wasn’t sure why.  When the woman called back a second time and stressed that any return phone call be to the second number only, Alice stopped what she was doing to concentrate.  The name...the name.  She wasn’t sure where, but she knew it from somewhere.  She hated when she couldn’t place where she knew something from.  It was a sign of stress, or being too busy, or age...she wasn’t sure which, but she didn’t like it.

Since she was at the computer, she put Kathy’s name into a search engine.  This wasn’t Google or Yahoo, she had a unique search engine installed on her computer.  It was a little better than what the police had, but not quite up to what the FBI had in their database, although she knew where she could get that information if she wanted it.  Kathy Jenson was a common name, but sorting through the data, she narrowed her eyes as she began to see pictures and one caught her eye.  She went downstairs to her garage and began sorting through some of Constance’s boxes.  Finding a set of college yearbooks, she began to sort through them rapidly, looking for the name Kathy, something that would tell her why this woman was so damn familiar.  She was sure she had met her through Connie, but wanted to be sure before she returned the woman’s phone call.  There!  There was a picture of the four amigos, Connie’s roommates in college.  They had been so tight and had welcomed Alice in as a fifth wheel, although they never made her feel that way and had shared their friendship whenever she visited her sister.  There were their names spelled out: Constance Weaver, Andie Wilson, Portia Spiros, and Kathy Potter, now Jenson.  Kathy was a pert little brunette with a great straight smile and a hint of dimples on her cheeks as well as a vague hint of a cleft on her chin.  Her eyebrows were as dark as her hair and her eyes seemed to be a dark brown with long, brown eyelashes.  It was a pleasant-looking package.  With that name and now a photo imprinted in her mind, she put the books away and went to another box that contained the cards she had received for Connie’s funeral.  Paging through them, she came across one from Kathy Jenson.  It was a heartfelt letter of condolence, a plea for her understanding that she just couldn’t afford to travel, and how much she missed her friend and how sad she was for her passing.  Alice nearly cried over its simplicity and sweet sentiments.  That wasn’t like her, but she still felt a little raw over the way her sister had died.  Revenge had been sweet, but not necessarily healing.

Thinking for a moment, she wondered why Kathy was calling her after all this time...and why her?  She had been Connie’s friend, not hers.  She shrugged.  These three women had been Connie’s best friends.  She had shared everything with them in the four years they went to college together.  And she had shared everything they did with her own sister, whose single-mindedness hadn’t allowed her

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