Sultry, dark, expressive. Mani Goza eyed the two detectives that sat opposite from her at her desk. She tapped her full lower lip with a long, black-stained nail, her dark grey eyes large, thoughtful, and framed in sooty lashes.
"Another one?" she asked. Her voice was deep, elegant, and husky. "So soon?"
Chris Gospel, the elder of the two detectives, narrowed his eyes at her. "Yes," he said, his voice strained.
Mani toyed with a lock of her blue-steel hair. "Do you have the file?"
Chris's partner, Danny Turner, pushed across the smooth table top the thick file that he'd brought. "It's all in here."
Mani reached out and took the file, her nails digging into the thick cardboard as she dragged it closer to her. A muscle in Danny's cheek twitched as she eased back her claws and flipped open the file. Her eyes lowered, lashes shadowing her cheeks, as she read page after page after page, taking in the bloody mutilated corpses in the crime scene photos.
"It is obvious that your killer prefers women," Mani said after a few moments. "He is most likely a misogynist as well, or a man with very deep-seated hate against women in general or more likely a certain woman." Her eyes flickered up to look at the two men. "But I assume that you already knew that."
"We did," Chris said.
Mani got to her feet and began to circle them in slow calculated steps, encompassing them in her sweet tangy perfume, her intoxicating aura that made them shake their heads to keep clear minded. "What do your... fellow co-workers think of your visits to me?" she asked, making her second circle. "No, wait, I know the answer. Some think that you are... odd for coming to what some people call a psychic or seer, to seek aid in solving crimes, while others silently applaude your bravado for stepping into this part of the city, a place where they would not risk their reputations to enter." The small smile that graced her lips curved up into something more predatory as she leaned down and looped her arms around the necks of the two stiff men. "Or perhaps they believe that you come here for inspiration to solve your cases, for... shall we say, kicks?" Danny's eyes slashed to her and Mani laughed, lilting, hypnotizing and chilling. She withdrew her arms and returned to her seat behind her desk. She crossed her legs and leaned back in her chair. "Let us see." She picked up the file and opened it again. "Open your minds to suggestion and we shall do a little bit of role-play."
Chris and Danny exchanged looks. They had been through this routine a few times and knew what was coming. It was just one of the heavy prices that they had to pay for Mani's help.
"Your killer, definitely male, in his prime," Mani started, "White. He's come from the lower class, clawed his way up the social ladder to become what he is now, which allows him to access the types of victims he desires, no, requires to fulfill the fantasies that get him through his very existence. This urge to kill, the hunt of it, is his nourishment!" She gave them a white smile, running a long nail along the soft curve of her breast that peaked out from the V-neck of the dress she wore. "His M.O., binding a woman in silken cord in that BDSM style, the burning of the genital area, then the tight binding of the legs together with wire, and then sealing them in coffins, paralyzed by drugs so all they can do is wait for death by suffocation. He has a deep-seated hate against a certain woman. I believe that the hate began with his mother. From the damage done to his victim's genitalia, she cuckolded the killer's father, broke the vows of fidelity but kept stringing the father on, which in turn not only ruined the marriage, but it also ruined the killer's view of marriage and relationships. He was poisoned." Mani picked up a random photo in the file. "When he grew up, he tried to heal himself. He tried to redeem his view of woman, but he had such a skewed view of the world. He might have been abused. Failure after failure of relationships, with loose women, the killer began to nurse that hate and he took it out on the women that ruined his life."
"Then how does he choose his victims?" Danny asked, "None of them have anything in common, physical feature-wise. The only thing that we can decide how he chooses his women is their sexual activity and it's hard to narrow the pool down from that."
Mani laid her hand flat on the file and closed her eyes. She leaned her head back and breathed slow. Chris and Danny exchanged looks. Mani gave a soft moan, her eyes moving beneath her lids and Danny looked away, feeling that unwanted stirring in his pants. His partner was experiencing the same discomfort but he couldn't muster the strength to look away. Mani's scent, that fruity tangy smell of her perfume or her shampoo had already hooked him long ago when they'd first come to her for help. Whenever he smelled an odor that was similar to Mani's own scent, he felt that need, thick and demanding in his veins. This time it was no different. His eyes watched her dusky cheeks color, sliding down to her delicately pointed chin, the long slender column of her neck that made his hands itch, down to the shadowed crevice of her rising and falling breasts. He licked his lips.
"I would look to the lower-levels of society," Mani said finally, her eyes fluttering open. "As I said before, he hunts these women, he looks for the type that reflects his mother and the women that he had relations with, so that he can deal out the punishment that he wanted to give so badly but did not have the power to give." She set down the file, got to her feet and came to stand beside Chris. She held out her hand. "Stand." He got to his feet, hoping that his body wouldn't betray to her his lust. "Put yourself in his shoes," she whispered. "You hate those loose women, women that string men on for their own gain, women that tease but do not ever give. Pretend that I am that sort of women. Where would you find me?"
"Uh... in a bar, maybe, a club," Chris mumbled.
"What would I be wearing? Close your eyes and let your imagination do the work."
Chris did and his imagination took off, hard and fast.
His was in a seedy bar, the patrons here heavy drinkers and heavy smokers. There were a few of the husky-type truckers, chilling their heels. Women spotted the crowd, the old and the young, some of them trolling for business. However, no, none of the women killed were prostitutes. That was too easy, that wasn't what the mother was. He was looking for something else. He found her. Dark hair curled over one shoulder to drape over one full breast that was put on display in a small tight tanktop, slim hands on the bare skin of her curved hips that were exposed in low-riding jeans. She's surrounded by three men by the pool tables, laughing at their dull jokes, occasionally caressing the neck of her beer bottle with her slender fingers in that provocative motion. She batted her eyes at them as they looked lustfully on at the cleavage on display and the tight ass. That was her. She was the one. She looked over her shoulder, caught his eyes, and gave him an inviting smile, one that brought his unwilling cock to a rock-hard state.
He watched her all night, flirting, leading the men on, but never, never, giving them an inch. He followed her outside, to her car, moving amidst the shadows. She was getting ready to stick her key into the door when he came up to her. He propositioned her. She flirted. She surrendered. They took his car, a non-descript pick-up, license plate obscured. He went the backloads, to his home, to the immaculate room he had created for just this purpose. And there, he punished her for her crimes.
"The bars," Chris said when he dropped himself heavily into his chair. "He's got to be hitting the bars."
"Did you bring what I asked you to bring?" Mani asked, returning to her own seat.
Danny took out of his jacket a small evidence bag. Inside it was one of the small silver crosses that the killer sealed in with his victim, laid upon their bellies. Mani took the bag from him, opened it and gently took out the cross. From her desk drawer, she took out a crystal and a map. The two detectives watched as she pressed the cross and crystal together, passing her hand over the two items before holding them over the map. Her hand turned and Mani gave that smile that told the two men that she had a location. Mani returned the cross to Danny and put away the crystal before addressing them.
"Try here," she said, taking out a pad of paper and pen. She scribbled something down, tore off the sheet, and slid it over to them. Danny picked up the sheet of paper. "Have a nice day, gentlemen.
Later on that night, Chris found his way back to Mani's. Her scent still lingered in his nostrils and it had been hard for him to concentrate at the matters of hand. Finally, off duty, his mind was able to focus on one thing and the only thing he wanted on his mind: Mani.
.... There is more of this story ...