Sapphire

It was half-past eleven now and I was still trying to get used to the outfit. The heels were death and the bandage dress was so tight I was sure it had fused to my skin.

Suck it up Ani! If you can do a Brazilian, then by hell you can handle a night of thongs and spandex!

The only bearable thing about working tonight’s case was the fact that not wearing a bra was actually in the job description. I pretended to sip at my glass of chardonnay for the umpteenth time tonight. When Lorenzo looked away I’d dump it in the potted plant by the balcony like I’d been doing all night.

The sleek black bottle of oaked chardonnay was now drained well past halfway. I knew that he loved to drink. Lorenzo always ordered the most expensive bottle for every date we went on. Tonight was however more excessive. I had lost count of the number of wine bottles he had brought to the table so far.

This is good! Maybe this will be easier that I thought.

He’d been sweating through his mustache ever since the third bottle. His forehead glowed burnished bronze with beady crystals that betrayed the effect of countless drained glasses. Then there was the pointless banter in between smoked salmon with charred asparagus. Lorenzo bit into the flavorful fish, licked his lips, and grinned as his other hand, large and sweaty, groped my leg under the table.

I had half a heart to stick the end of my heel into his ball sack and watch him bleed to death, but I smiled and bit back the rage. Getting felt up was the least of my concerns. I had a job to do. Frisky as the horny rich bastard was, I had to put up with him rubbing my legs as long as it got me some answers.

Granted I’d never felt so nauseated in my life as his old scaly hand scoured my leg. It was warm, sweaty, and anything but gentle. I could feel his fingers travel higher, part the slit in my dress as his hand moved higher up my thigh. Still, I giggled in response, hating myself for it.

Faking it was part of the job.

“Okay, now remember…Focus Ani! Don’t break eye contact. We almost have the asshole. Daudi is bugging the room as we speak. Make sure that he offers to take you up to the room. He has to feel like you’re his bitch; like he’s in control of the entire situation. Drunk a motherfucker as the man is, he can smell a rat from all the way up the moon’s ass, so don’t give him a reason to question anything. Ok? Smile if you understand.” Lyb’s voice whispered in my ear from the transponder; a fake diamond stud pinned in my earlobe.

I smiled, feeling Lorenzo’s hand grip my leg tighter; shamelessly.

It was an appalling job, yes, but I couldn’t trust anyone else but me to do it well. Lyb was a great agent but didn’t have the patience to play the gullible seductive vixen. She’d more probably stab his hand with a butter knife than let him touch her.

‘Keep the earrings on you all night. They’ll keep me in your ear and out of trouble.’

Lyb had said as she fixed my transponder in the van earlier tonight.

Unlike Mr. Horny over here, her hands were buttery smooth. Yes, they were heavily tattooed, but I didn’t mind it at all, especially not when her fingers grazed my skin, tickling my neck. I told myself that as playful a gesture as it was, it was all unintentional.

Lyb’s only getting you ready for the bust, that’s it. Don’t read too much into it.

Then she smiled and winked at me and all I could think of was finding out how much more of her body was tattooed.

Then she fixed my hair as her wrists sent off that delicate scent of peppermint that always clung to her. When she was done she breathed out in satisfaction flooding my nostrils with minty breath mixed in with gin. It made my nipples tingle.

It was always hard to focus whenever she was around. Lybashe Laibynda or Lyb as she preferred being called, was special forces, a cadet from the Ethiopian Crime Investigation Agency. She was excellent at her job and had transferred to the Kenya Bureau of Investigative Services after her best friend Arika fell victim to Lorenzo.

Major Maruti never allowed agents on the case who were personally linked to the crime. It, therefore, went without saying that he wouldn’t let any of us get involved.

‘I want to take the case.’ I told Maruti the minute I heard that the case had crossed into KBIS jurisdiction.

‘And I want to be the president of KBIS. It’s not about what we want Mbaika! We have a job to do and you are compromised.’ Maruti growled.

I hated that name and he knew it, still he insisted on referring to me by my surname.

‘I’m a trained KBIS agent and I can offer valuable Intel regarding the victim.’ I argued.

‘So you fucked the girl a couple months ago. What does that have to do with the case?” Maruti shot back.

The response took me by surprise. I’d been so careful. How did he know?

‘It’s my job to know about my agents and I know you.’ Maruti said.

‘Then you know that I want to see justice served.’ I said.

‘Fuck justice! You’re on a revenge streak!’ Maruti said.

‘I can be valuable to this investigation and you know it.’ I insisted.

 ‘Look, what you do in your personal life is your business. But she’s dead now which means she’s no longer your business, she’s my crime scene and as your commanding officer I say stay the hell away from her.’ Maruti barked.

‘But I can help…’ I pleaded.

 ‘Enough! I have no time to deal with erratic emotional trigger happy vendettas Mbaika! You’re too invested in this case and if I’m being honest, you’re just not ready to go back to work. Take time off, mourn her and make peace or whatever. Come back when you’re ready to be an agent, not a revenge-seeking girlfriend.’ Maruti spat.

That was it. I was off the case and it didn’t matter how much I tried to change his mind. Maruti was as stubborn as they came. His no was no and there was no changing that.

However, luck seemed to be on my side.

A week later I happened to be at the Hilton Hotel just as Nya, the KIBS agent Maruti had actually chosen to handle the case was to meet with Lorenzo. The Sapphire chiffon blouse was damn expensive and pairing it with the Sapphire perfume meant that I’d be late paying rent this month. But it was worth it.

It would be more than enough to bait him.

As soon as Nya left for the ladies, I met Lorenzo’s eyes and smiled. He smiled back. He ordered a drink for me and I refused, stating very clearly that I was engaged. I then left for the lobby and he followed right after. By the time Nya was coming back to the bar, I was leaving with his card and intel on where he’d be staying for the next couple of months.

A month later it was my personal vendetta that had me working rogue as the principal-agent over the case. As my secondary, I’d chosen to go with Lybashe. Like me, she was more than willing to see the bastard go down and she was the best at what she did. Most of all, she understood what it meant to lose someone you loved because you didn’t act sooner. With or without Maruti’s permission, I was going to make sure Lorenzo wouldn’t hurt any other woman ever again.

Finding a way to steer clear of the watchful eyes of KBIS and Maruti was not easy. It took a lot of encrypted messaging, back alley entrances, and no small measure of batted eyelashes. In the end, we got Daudi, the Head of the Surveillance Division on our side and he came with a lot of fancy gadgets Lyb was ecstatic to try out.

At the start, it was easy enough to bond over common hatred and finishing the mission with Lyb, if you could call it that. I just never anticipated how hard it would be to stay focused around her.

 It was hard when her husky voice in my ear taunted many hushed forbidden thoughts. She made me perk up every time she whispering instructions from the transponder and let’s just say my fingers were very busy in the wee hours of the night.

It was by some miracle that I hadn’t already blown the whole operation with being distracted. If we managed to deal with Lorenzo quickly, then maybe my nights would be satisfied with a lot more buttery soft hands.

“Do you like it?”

Lorenzo asked as his wrinkled hand slid an inch higher, slipping groping fingers under my thong.

I jerked, the feel of his fingers making my stomach churn.

Relax Ani. Just…play it cool. The bastard will have what’s coming to him soon enough.

“Enzo…here…?” I asked forcing another girlish giggle.

“Why not…no one’s looking… Come on Ani…I’ve been a good boy, haven’t I. Let daddy have his reward.” Lorenzo begged.

I threw up in my mouth and swallowed.

On any other mission, I’d have gone through the trouble of changing my identity. However, I wanted him to know who I was. Whether from having his goons dig information about me or simply from telling him myself. I wanted to be Anita Mbaika when I made him pay for what he did to Seline.

“Enzo, you know that’s the wine talking, and I must say you’ve had quite enough of it tonight, any more and we’ll be scraping you off the floor.” I continued.

I wanted to shove his hand away or simply break his wrist.

It would be quick, very painful but I would enjoy the hell out of it. However, it would undo months of hard work and Maruti might already be making headway to arrest him. Jail was too good for him. He needed to suffer and I’d make sure it was long, slow, and dreadful.

“Forget the floor Tesoro; I’m more interested in scraping these off of you. My god, is that silk? Mmmmmmmh…” Lorenzo moaned his fingers cold and dry in between my legs.

“Enzo…stop it!” I said giggling and loathing myself for playing this prissy bimbo model a minute longer.

Don Lorenzo Martinez owned Sapphire, the largest fashion house in Milan. It was the crown jewel of the fashion capital and Lorenzo had built the brand to the status of ‘the must-have brand in all of Italy’.

Yet deep underground, behind the haute couture and glamorous models that flooded Milan just to grace the runways of the ‘Don of Italy’, a dark secret brooded. Lorenzo’s multibillion-dollar brand was built upon the back of beautiful women; dead beautiful women.

For years, the Sapphire Fashion House had generated quite a lot of controversial headlines. They were all dismissed as a common scandal in the competitive high stakes arena that was the fashion industry. The accidents were explained away and no one thought to dig a little further because these things happened.

There was Arika for one, Lorenzo’s 20-year-old Ethiopian blonde bombshell with the signature Sapphire look. She was 6 foot 2, lean, and previously engaged, all qualities Lorenzo sought out in his lovers. Like me, he liked to collect women he shouldn’t have; women who were not his to have.

Arika had supposedly tripped and fallen from the balcony of the staircase of the presidential penthouse suite in Burj Al Arab, Dubai after what the tabloids suitably titled ‘a crushing end’.

Lorenzo’s PR people termed it the result of a long night of hard partying. Arika’s long struggle with alcohol addiction coupled with a fast life was supposed to have reached a point of no return. With all of Arika’s scandals in the recent past and temper tantrums as Lorenzo’s star face of Sapphire, it was easily digestible.

She was crippled and lost her place as the face of Sapphire and her modeling career ended before it had even begun. Three months later she was found hanging from a rope in her rented apartment’s bedroom in Addis Ababa.

Then there was Imani, the new face of Sapphire. She was a19 year old stunningly beautiful vixen whose long legs and curvaceous Sudanese hips could melt the strongest of men and women. After only a month at Sapphire, Imani was rushed to hospital after almost drowning in the deep end of Lorenzo’s Rio de Janeiro beach house pool.

The family took Lorenzo to court and the case underwent a repetitive back and forth. It was dismissed as attempted suicide after Imani was found floating in the scarlet tainted bathtub of her parents’ house bungalow in Juba. Her slit wrist dangled lifeless against the marble tub and her body was wrinkled and lifeless.

The family doctor who later changed his statement presented the court with official health records documenting her treatments. Imani apparently suffered from Dissociative Identity Disorder and an unstable mental disposition. As the disorder is characterized by two or more distinct personality states, it explained why her behavior at home differed from her behavior at work. His conclusion was that though the treatment could help, the condition could not be cured and that the model had begun to become irresponsive to her medication.

 The family denied the claims but were charged for breach of contract at keeping preexisting medical conditions secret from Sapphire to prolong her contract with the fashion house. In the end, Lorenzo left scot-free and the family was stuck paying damages to him.

Finally, there was Seline, the reason why I was here, why I had taken this job in spite of Maruti’s advice. Seline was the reason why I had let Lorenzo’s filthy murderous hands touch me the way that Seline had…should have been…would have touched me.

“This is your chance Ani, but only if you’re ready. We’ll be right on the other side in case anything gets out of hand. Make sure to check that it’s in your bag before you leave. Smile if we’re a go with it all.”

Lyb’s comforting voice spoke again through the transponder as I smiled back at Lorenzo, receiving his own sickeningly hungry grin.

Summoning every last ounce of composure within me, I drained the glass of chardonnay for the very first time tonight.

It was time to set the ball rolling.

Gently nudging his hand away, I stood up, straightening the length of my black Rayon bandage stretch dress. I was deliberate, intentional enough to graze the tips of my nipples that could faintly be made out from the hugging fabric. I saw him swallow, blinking up at me in a stupor of mixed pleasure and confusion. I wanted to kill him there and then and a part of me didn’t care that there would be witnesses.

For Seline! You’re doing this for Seline!

“Amore…are…are you leaving already? But…the night is still young. We haven’t even had dessert yet. Don’t leave daddy all alone…and horny.” Lorenzo whispered up at me.

“But Enzo, I need to take a bath and change into something more, comfortable, Plus I’m so tiiiiiiiired.”

I emphasized the last words in the most sickeningly girlish voice that I could muster. It was physically painful to execute.

“Then…let me uhm…help you…unwind principessa. You there!”

Lorenzo shouted at a timid looking waitress.

The frightened girl jumped slightly, spilling the contents of her tray as she made her way to our table. He barked at her in Italian to grab our coats, his sweaty palm outstretched in my direction. The girl stood looking confused as Lorenzo shouted at her some more, now in English. She raced off shortly after, stumbling as she went.

“It’s so hard to get good help these days!” Lorenzo spat after the girl.

Fucking bastard! Always thinking with your dick rather than your head!

“Very hard!” I replied.

“Shall we…tesoro?”

Lorenzo asked supplanting his frustration with the waitress with a devilish grin.

“Just a moment Enzo…my bag…”

I said as I reached for the Sapphire clutch bag hanging from my seat, a gift from Lorenzo. I opened it, the Smith and Wesson Shield 9mm shining up at me, tucked neatly between my phone and lip gloss. It was my back up plan, just in case things didn’t go according to plan and the situation forced me to end the torture early.

“We can still let the cops take over after he hands you his confession Ani. Are you sure you want to do this?”

Lyb’s voice spoke again from the transponder.

She was right. I didn’t have to do this. I could let him fall into the hands of the law and trust in it to let him pay for all those women he had killed. I could hope for justice for all those women he had let suffer under his hand for…for… No!

 Fuck the police! If they had not been there to help Arika, Imani or Seline then they sure as hell couldn’t be counted on to bring this murderer to justice. Just one more smile Ani. You’re almost there.

“Is that all Ani?” Lorenzo asked with his sickening grin as he stretched out his hand.

“Yes! Yes, I’m sure…” I said as I took it.

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Author’s Note

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Hey love. Thank you so much for dropping by and for reading Sapphire. I had so much fun working on this project. One because I had never done such a piece before and two because it involved a female lead who had to not only be a badass cop, but a cop gone rogue. I was a bit hesitant of course what with juggling revenge and the sultry teasing of romance in the air. I go on about all of that on my Patreon page of course as usual.

For a donation of as little as $3 all the way to $11 a month, you can get exclusive access to patron-only content including but not limited to poetry, flash fiction, short stories, author’s notes, downloadable content, and much much more. Your contribution helps keep the WI-FI on and the delicious fiction streaming in.

As always, you likes, comments and company are appreciated. Thank you so much for you time and love.

Eli

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