Chapter 19Dawn

It wasn't my style to stay somewhere sexual. If I remained until morning it was usually incidental, either through being too busy or too asleep to leave. And with the additional confusion brought on by the note, it was a curious little detail that I wanted to remain where I was. But this was a different moment. My mistress was kind enough to be cuddled for a little longer, helping me calm down from the agitation brought about by the note. The feelings of being with her worried me somewhat, already having the wish to see her again some time. It was not an easy thing to do, as my disguise was rather specific.

Had she seen through it already?

Her arms welcomed me warmly as I returned, the note easily hidden between the folds of my clothes. Sleep returned smoothly, sneaking subtly through my subconscious until my body faded away. Dreams were mostly re-imagined memories of the evening before, shifting in color, sound and physical sensations. It was not unlikely that my body had an orgasm while I slept, but such things are incredibly difficult to remember. It was all a blur of fantastical feelings, flowing freely through the recesses of my random mind.

Until morning arrived.

And with it the fuzziness of waking up slowly, the confusion of arms and legs, earlier intertwined, unravelling. The room's warmth again addressed my attention, the pleasant freedom from clothes appreciated. Curtains closed, sunlight breathing, naked skin moving in the display of electric and natural light. Coffee was made and shared, a welcome warmth in the palms of my hands. While it wasn't exactly common for me to drink a cup of coffee, this early or at all, it was nice to have one after a night like this, together with a beautiful woman that smiled above the steaming liquid. We returned to the same sofa, smells of the night still lingering and mixing with the new smells of fresh coffee.

I didn't stay for breakfast.

But, contrary to my usual behavior, I asked for her phone number with the genuine intent to see her again. It was important for me to keep normal life and the amorous adventures apart. It was my only grip on sanity, the firm rule that business and pleasure did not belong together. She gladly gave it to me, writing it on a piece of paper that in no way matched the note hidden among my clothes. Both of us got dressed, my efforts a little more complicated as she decided to simply get a gown from upstairs. However, it gave me the chance to put the note in my bag, next to the number she'd given me. Different paper, color, style, pen.

My mind registered it automatically.

The goodbye was simple enough, in the opening of the door she waved at me while I walked along the street. She did offer to bring me back to the club, but as she had to have breakfast and get dressed, I preferred to walk. It was only half an hour on foot, maybe less, and the sun was shining. Her deep kiss still lingered on my lips while my mind was already churning around all the possibilities of the strange message.

Not the most ideal thing to do.

The note was bugging me. Not just the word on it, which was already ominous and suggestive, but also the method of delivery. The person must have been spying on me quite specifically to know that it was me going to the bathroom, even though the curtains were closed. It would have caused an interesting discussion if she had found that note, delivered right in the middle of the night, timed perfectly with a potty break. Though it was possible she'd never tell me, and write it off as just one of those weird things.

Unless it was her...

While it was an interesting thought, as such, it was unlikely. She did have the opportunity for it, if she could be as noiseless as she was wild, by sneaking past and moving the flap of the letterbox after dropping the note in the right place. Possible, but improbable. There was one important thing missing from her that made it very clear that she wasn't the one handling those notes.

The smell.

The note had a very distinctive but subtle smell. She had such a rich and vivid scent to her, especially after the fluids that had coated our bodies. If she had moved the note by hand, it would have been quite noticeable. Though it was an option to move the note with something other than fingers, minimizing contact with her skin and thus her smell, it would have communicated some of it. But this was paranoid thinking, rather than my sensible mind. She was a mistress and did not know about all of this. The one who spied on me knew me well enough to recognize me by my car, maybe more. But someone spying on me brought impressive implications. It was almost unthinkable to consider the amount of time spent on it. Hours upon hours just to watch, observe. It brought to mind an image of a creepy stalker, someone anti-social, uncouth. But the cards were subtle, clean and elegant.

It was somewhat flattering to have this much attention.

While the walk back to my car was refreshing for my body, my mind was decidedly disappointed with the absence of any curious communication near my car. It was undisturbed, unlike the dark sides of my mind. The sun had been putting some effort into heating it and succeeded in the most pleasant of ways. Warm but not baking. The slightly tinted windows probably helped with that, making me wonder if that was their reason for existence. There was not much going on otherwise, no suspicious things in or around my car. The few people that walked by looked at me with a proportionate lack of understanding; they probably thought there was something on the ground that I'd lost.

And, in this case, not to be found.

The drive home was without any excitement. The bumps in the road, only a few, rekindled my longing for release, but it could wait until I got home. What I wanted was a shower and the enjoyment of using the shower head's massage setting in a sensitive spot. Only a small part of my mind was even worried about finding some message at home. Front door, nothing, hallway, like normal. My whole house without change, exactly as I left it. No strange smells, coldness or otherwise. Just the familiar smells and sounds.

Status quo.

The shower welcomed me, as did the water, relaxing me instantly. After allowing ample aquatic caresses, a simple gown and a toastie brunch found me in front of the computer. I decided to look online at the news, wondering if the world had anything more to offer, even on a Sunday. It was rather rare for me to do so, as I didn't care much for the outside world, but it was important to know what was going on at times. It wasn't like I'd kept a low profile lately. The news was mostly dramatic drivel about things far away or silly. Some good news, but it was heavily outnumbered by the bad.

And there it was.

With pictures as well, censored (perhaps accidental) by the head of a police officer standing just in right place to occlude obviously unwanted body parts. It was a little shocking to read about the murder so soon. And then there was the fact that it was in the news. Not front-page, but still important enough to be found. Interesting story though, as the media appeared to be on my side (as well as the comments). The man was a serial rapist, moved away from another city to escape pursuit. Apparently they'd found him exactly like I'd left him, baffled by the state of affairs. It was immediately described as a revenge killing, of course, possibly by a female.

They must have had some fun with the knife.

It was one of the plainest ones I'd bought. Available in multiple stores and quite popular. And, considering how long ago it was bought, it was very unlikely that they'd find out. Even better, the knife was brand new, implying a more spontaneous assassination. On the other hand, I did manage to hit his heart, which is not as simple as it sounds. It was quite intriguing to read about this for a change, to see what they'd wrote. There were a few links to other, older articles as well, mostly concerned with revenge killings by a woman, killing her husband or similar. Nothing related to me.

Good.

The best thing about the article was the amount of insight I gained from all of it, it told a lot about what the police had found. So, with the article and an afternoon to waste, time was well spent reading up on detecting methods and trails. So far it matched with what I already knew, but it taught me some unfamiliar knowledge as well. Like the bluntness of the knife matching multiple killings. If I used a knife on someone else, it wouldn't just have to be cleaned, but sharpened as well. There were a lot of other details that didn't seem too important in the long run. As far as I could tell, the police didn't have much to go on as long as they couldn't place me as the perpetrator at the gas-station.

Even then...

It was a useful habit not to look up while wearing a disguise. Cameras tended to be above eye-level and only of basic quality. The whole digital enhancing thing they liked to do in movies was mostly madness. Shapes, yes, colors, maybe. But as long as I didn't directly look into the camera itself, they would not be able to see my eyes, reflections or not. The amount of information that had been absorbed was quite overwhelming at times, but it had to be done. It was for my own safety, literally.

A yawn punctuated the end of my studious voyages.

It was time to eat, enjoy the evening and prepare for the coming week. Not that there was much to prepare for. Work was always easily under control; well balanced so it looked like I was always too busy to take on more, but never so much that over-time was needed. People could depend on me and never had much to complain about. Results from me or my team were usually both perfect and punctual, the basis for a steady rise in office hierarchy. Everything would have been perfectly quiet if not for one word, nagging at the back of my mind, grating at the base of my soul.

Soon.

Perhaps my stalker was nearby, knowing my movements and thoughts, monitoring every action, reaction and response. Though there might be a different reason for why the two notes had been delivered so far away from my home. In a rush of curiosity, I took the note from the previous night and compared it to the first. Same writing, paper and ink. Straight, precise and neat, but still hand-written. Even the smell was identical.

Although.

Switching back and forth between the two, holding them as far apart as possible, I noticed a subtle difference between the two. It was still the same base scent, a manly cologne that wasn't applied abundantly, but the second one had a hint of sweat. It was very subtle, almost unnoticeable, but still there. No conclusions could be drawn from it, as the note had been between my clothes for half a night, clothes in which I had danced. Perhaps it was something, perhaps it was nothing.

The phone rang.

This was strange in itself, not many people had my number, and even less would call me out of the blue. But no sense in wondering who it would be. If it was my stalker, he'd know about my presence at home. If it was someone else, I had nothing to fear. So, with a bit of haste, I picked up the phone to see who it was. The voice on the other end of a line took a moment to respond.

Just my boss, nothing important.

He probably didn't hear my sigh of relief.