Her estranged husband, currently engrossed in a nasty divorce, was Charlie’s client. Frank said that the client would usually be female when there was a female victim, as if men found it emasculating to have someone else kill their wives and girlfriends. According to Charlie the client was anything but masculine; a house husband who was accustomed to his soon-to-be ex-wife buying him pretty things to apologize after abusing him. But since she had the income for a better lawyer and all he had was a trust fund that was running out, he decided to use his limited means more wisely and have her offed instead.
“So how do we do it?” I asked, lounging in a bath full of more bubbles than water. I tossed her photo over the side of the tub. The idea of a woman being present while I was naked made my skin crawl, even if she was just in photo form.
Frank leaned against the bathroom counter and picked up the hairdryer. “Accidental suicide.” He swung it at the bathtub.
I watched impassively as it swung back to him, his fingers gripping the cord.
“You don’t even fall for it anymore,” he complained.
“Oh, eeek, Frank.” I rolled my eyes. “Like you’d kill me in the water.” He was so afraid of me drowning that he had to be the one to fill the tub for me, as if I’d somehow screw it up and draw a riptide out of the faucet to drag me under. “Or in the nude for that matter. Get in with me.”
This time when he swung it I actually did flinch. There was something about the murderous look on his face that lent authenticity to the action. He set the dryer back down and firmly stated, “No.”
“Are you ever gonna tell me why you’re afraid of water?”
“I had a bad experience when I was younger.”
“So let’s have a good experience. Get in.”
“Let’s talk about the job.”
I sighed and relaxed back, sending a wave of bubbly water cascading over my body. “I had to wake up alone, wait four hours while you were out with Charlie, and now all you wanna do is talk about work?”
“I fucked you the moment I got up. It’s not my fault you went back to sleep.”
I dramatically draped a washcloth over my eyes and tilted my face away from him. “Talk about the job then.”
“The client says that she always has a glass of wine and a hot bath at the end of her workweek.”
“Hold up.” I took the washcloth off my face. “You mean we really are gonna kill her in the tub?”
“With a hairdryer?”
I glanced at the hairdryer, sitting innocently beside his hand. “So you’ve done this before? Killed someone in a tub?”
“Eeek,” he said dryly.
“Have you ever drowned anybody?”
I reached my hand out to him, suddenly mad with desire at the thought of him utterly fearless in his work mode. “Get in.”
He stared at the bathtub. His expression was completely impassive, but I knew I was about to get my way. Frank took a deep, determined breath and stepped forward. I tugged his pant leg to stop him. “What?”
“You may want to get undressed first.”
Frank blushed, then tried saving face by saying, “That wasn’t part of the deal.”
I stood up and pulled his shirt over his head. He shrugged it off like a little boy being forced to do something he didn’t want to, and I nearly gave up on my attempt to molest him in the tub until I caught sight of his bare chest. Molesting him was definitely back on the table.
I ran my hand through my wet hair, then tackled his fly, dripping water down the front of his pants to encourage him to help me speed up the process. He glowered at me red-faced and stepped out of them, ready to pick them up off the floor and fold them before I grabbed his arm. “Get in.”
“You know I’m only doing this because I love you.”
“And because I’m naked.” I took a step back and held his hands to guide him. “When’s the last time you took a bath?”
He glanced around himself at the water like he’d never see his feet and shins again now that they’d been submerged. “As a child.”
I began crouching down, pulling him along with me. He tensed, and I started to wonder whether this was what it was like to bathe a cat. “Tell me more about the job,” I said, attempting distraction.
“The client is still the beneficiary of her life insurance policy. She doesn’t have family, or friends, so he should get everything.”
“Lucky him.” I sat calmly in the tub while Frank was on all fours in front of me, ready to spring. This was a new level of intimacy for us, and not just because the bathtub was so cramped. “Turn around.”
He eyed me warily and did as instructed, keeping his hands on either side of the tub like the water was icky. I pulled him closer to me, extending my legs around his body and wrapping my arms under his. He slowly leaned back against me, finally calming just a little when I used one hand to put some bubbles in his hair and the other hand to stroke his cock.
“Cici looks so charming and pleasant. Why on earth doesn’t she have any friends?”
“Works too much I suppose.” For some reason, Frank didn’t seem all that interested in working too much himself.
“We’re gonna have to see her naked if we kill her in the bath, huh?”
“I imagine so.”
“Maybe she’ll have bubbles.” I layered some more on his head. “Lots of bubbles.”
“Women’s bodies can be beautiful, you know.”
I stopped stroking him. “Gross. Don’t make me drown you.”
“That is not funny.” He gave less of a physical reaction than I had at the second hairdryer swing, but I could tell by his voice that I was coming close to being Frank’s first drowning victim.
“You know I wouldn’t kill you.”
“Not on purpose.”
“Or accident!” I smacked him. “Don’t say that.”
“Then stop pointing guns at me,” he laughed.
“The first one’s a blank.”
“For good reason.”
I got out of the tub, leaving him staring at me wide-eyed like I’d just taken the last life raft. I held my hand out to him. “I wouldn’t kill you.”
He stood up on his own, sloughing off some of the bubbles before stepping out of the tub. “Did you or did you not threaten to drown me?”
“You threatened me first by talking about naked women.”
Frank clicked his tongue and pulled me into his arms. “I just took a bath with you. There’s absolutely no need to feel threatened.”
I ground my bare toes against Cici’s photograph anyway. “Can—May I do this job?”
“As long as you want to do it for the experience and not out of some sordid idea of revenge because I said women’s bodies could be beautiful.”
I took a moment to consider my real motive, and decided that I did need the experience. If I just happened to imagine Frank’s ex-girlfriend twitching about in the tub with the hairdryer in place of Cici Weston, all the better. “Agreed,” I said, and knelt down. There was more than one way to get him wet.
Cici Weston had a car that cost more than her life, but she only ever had two destinations. Work, and home. Work was a building downtown where she had her very own parking spot with her name on it, security cameras throughout every level of the garage. Home was far less monitored, with a doorman who slept on the job and took no notice of anyone passing by. Apparently Cici had picked the place specifically for the purpose, since she was used to taking and receiving bribes as well as physically and emotionally abusing her husband. She obviously didn’t want anything to be recorded. Neither did we.
We hung out in her spare bedroom until she came home, knowing from the previous spying sessions that she never even went near the room. According to Charlie’s client, it was there for the sole purpose of having somewhere to banish him when he was no longer welcome in their bed.
She slammed a few things around in the kitchen, then the sound of water running started on the other side of the apartment. Frank glanced at his watch. We’d timed this for the past two weeks so we’d know when it was safe to enter. She thankfully had plenty of bubble bath, and it smelled so good that Frank bought me some of my own, lest I be tempted to steal from the dead.
Frank asked, “Do you want to point your gun, or shall I?”
“I’ll do it.”
He nodded and we headed to the bathroom.
Cici let out a shriek when she saw us, shrinking back against the tub and crossing her arms across her fake breasts. Then she seemed to remember that she was a super bitch and started screaming at us to get the fuck out of her apartment or she’d have us killed.
“Who do you think we are, lady?” I scoffed, raising my gun a little higher in case she hadn’t seen it. I may have been short, but I wasn’t that short.
Frank pulled his gun since she obviously wasn’t afraid of mine, and said, “Stand up.” Cici slowly stood, covering herself and never taking her eyes off him. The bubbles that had been graciously hiding what her bone thin arms couldn’t slid down over her wet skin, exposing the horror that was the female form. If I was born a woman, I would’ve had a ton of plastic surgery too. “See?” he said to me. “She looks fine.”
I rolled my eyes in disgust and smacked the hairdryer into the tub. The lights in the bathroom flickered and Cici danced a little, then fell with a splash that Frank and I both stepped back to avoid.
“I’ll have you know that you just scarred me for life by making her stand up like that.”
“It’s more convincing if she falls. Looks like she slipped and grabbed it by accident.”
“Oh, so it wasn’t out of spite then?”
“Not entirely,” he said. “Now you know where babies come from.”