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  - Chapter 1
  - Chapter 2  
  - Chapter 4  


Even though the man in the shadows could not see it, he thought that if he listened hard enough, he could actually hear the partiers over on Ocean Drive, just a few short miles down the road. The collective charged murmur of hundreds of voices floating on the hot, humid air, the clatter of dozens of outdoor restaurants, the loud thumping of heavy bass music escaping the bars and clubs, and of, course, the irritating beeps and revved-up engines from the Porsches, Benzes, and Bentleys that lined Ocean and Washington searching for the impossible on a Friday night-a place to park.

Just because you can't see something, doesn't mean it's not there.

Miami Beach, where anything goes and the rich and famous-and not-so-famous-come to play. And, of course, be noticed. The beautiful girls with their fake breasts and tight low-low-cut shirts and warm brown tans, sans those annoying tan lines, of course. The beautiful boys, their hard, sculpted bodies decked out in Lycra, leather, snakeskin, spandex. They all mixed and mingled , drinking Cosmopolitans and Chocolate Martinis or chic tropical drinks like Mojitos. The exciting sexual energy that hangs in the heavy air is almost palpable.

He closed his eyes for a moment and simply listened.

Just a few miles away from all the decadence, here he was in this rotting shit hole. The floor of the alley was littered with trash and garbage, old beer cans and liquor bottles, discarded condoms, and empty fast-food bags. Most of the streetlights had been broken out long ago, and the city just never bothered fixing them, because this was not the end of town where tourists spent their money. The alley was a refuge for drunks and dopers. Though, right now, it was empty. The Miami Beach cops had already made a pass through, shooing away the homeless and the undesirables.

Just because you can't see something doesn't mean it's not there.

He heard the sound before he saw the car. The crunching of tires on cement, as they rolled slowly over glass and garbage. The purr of the engine followed by the squeak of a car door. The squawk of a radio and the slam of a door, and then footsteps falling heavy on cement. The sound echoed down the alley and off the walls of the closed businesses that surrounded it, sounding larger than life. But the footsteps quickly faded in the distance as the person turned and walked in the other direction, ignoring the alley and what lay in wait.

His heart raced with excitement, and he breathed in the very scent of the night. The humid air filled his lungs, the oxygen pulsing through his bloodstream, rushing to invigorate his mind. He waited patiently until the footsteps disappeared before he unwrapped himself from the shadows. He was careful as he came upon the car, his silent footsteps deftly maneuvering past the rusty cans and broken bottles. Inside his jacket, his latexed fingers found the blade, and he fingered it lightly and smiled. Electric blue and red lights danced silently off the walls of the alley in an almost mesmerizing sequence.

Let the games begin.

Copyright © 2007 Jilliane Hoffman  All Rights Reserved.
Digital MindSapes