A high, hot wind had been blowing from the south for seven days.
Heat can cause a lot of damage. I know because I killed a man.
He'd driven in on the tail end of a tornado and he stirred up as much garbage. It hadn't been any of my business but I think the heat got to me. I'd taken it personally, so I had to do something about it.
His victims were left tortured but silent. They believed him when he said he'd come back to finish the job.
I was leaning against the bar, a vodka tonic in my hand, when he walked in. He strolled across the room, straight for the pretty little brunette as if she wore a homing device. I heard her tell him her name was Linda. Linda means beautiful and it was the reason I'd be leaving town.
All evening I watched him buy her drinks and lean close to whisper something in her ear that made her smile even as her cheeks turned pink. I knew when he sealed the deal. On the dance floor he brushed his lips across her brow, then leaned back to dazzle her with his too-practiced smile. I heard him say "It's just too damned hot to dance" as they went back to their table.
They left at midnight, their arms around each other.
I waited two minutes to step outside.
My lungs protested the foul heaviness I was forced to breathe. I leaned against the bricks of the bar, taking slow deep breaths. I'd looked forward to making it last, postpone the pleasure of the climax of my work, but that wasn't going to happen in this heat.
My feet slipped inside my stilettos and made a sucking noise that irritated me even more. The sharp staccato attracted his attention, and his eyes searched for the source of the sound. I stepped to the edge of the shadows. His eyes crawled over my body and the sweat at my lip felt greasy.
He turned from her, the girl, the child, as I had known he would. She quickly walked to a beat-up Chevy parked at the curb. I heard her sob as she glared at the two of us before pulling away in a fog.
"I thought she'd never leave."
I put more sway in my hips, closing the distance. I grinned against his lips as he asked, "So baby, want to dance in the dark?"
I chuckled as I kissed him, leaned against him, then guided him to a darkened corner between the buildings. His response was obvious but his moan changed timber as I slid the knife in just above his navel and slashed upward. I watched his eyes and when they glazed then clouded, my body shivered.
"No baby, it's just too damned hot to dance."