Bea felt like she was on top of the world. She had just moved to Vancouver after mulling it over in her head for months. Her worldly belongings were packed. Then Bea did the unthinkable and moved across the country to a city she was a stranger in. Her daughter was off at college in Montreal and Bea needed a distraction, an adventure. Ever since the divorce several years ago Bea wanted to do something … She hadn’t known what but knew she needed to mix things up for a bit. Bea decided that the move would be temporary; she’d stay out on the coast for a year and then return to her home town.

What she hadn’t counted on was Jarrod.

Ten years younger than her, two feet taller, and the body of a god. Turning the coffee on she stopped and wondered again what he saw in her. She was pretty, but he looked like a model, the type of person who could have anyone they wanted. They had been dating for three weeks. When they were out in public women were swooning over him, slipping him their numbers–but she noticed he had eyes only for her. Bea felt special. It was something she hadn’t felt in decades. He made her feel young, vibrant and sexy. He was exactly what she needed. In the back of her mind she heard her mother’s nagging voice, he seemed too good to be true. Too perfect … Was he? Nah, she was just lucky to find this amazing guy.

“Coffee’s on,” she called out to him.

“Thanks babe!” he shouted back.

He was in the bathroom. She strolled down the hall to check up on him. It was something she did every so often. Checking her good luck out. Sneaking peeks of him when he wasn’t looking. Looking for some tell tale bad habit to prove the nagging voice in the back of her mind, something that would show that he wasn’t perfect, but he was a lovely in every way. She leaned against the wall and watched him brush his teeth. He didn’t see her watching. He rinsed his toothbrush. He picked up her hairbrush, slowly raised it to his face, and inhaled deeply. A grin creased her lips. God he was so sexy. Then he carefully pulled the hair from her brush, gently holding it in his hand he pulled out a plastic bag and stuffed it in. A knot in her stomach told her that was an odd behaviour. Kind of. Wasn’t it? Maybe he was saving it … To take with him … For what?

“Hey babe I didn’t see you there,” he came out grinning at her.

“I was watching you brush your teeth.”

“Yes all the better to eat you with,” he laughed as he wrapped an arm around her waist scooping her into a warm embrace as he nuzzled her neck. She suddenly forgot what she was concerned about.

Picking her up he carried her back to the bedroom where they had just finished marathon sex. Going in for a replay was so exciting. He had an insatiable appetite that she found overwhelming and exhilarating. They spent the rest of the afternoon wrapped up in each other, corporeal, hungry, experimenting with Karma Sutra moves that left them drained and tired. He pulled her close and nibbled an earlobe.

“You are the most exciting woman I have ever met,” he whispered.

She moaned in agreement.

“You are the only one who gets inside my head and gets me. I have never felt this way with anyone.”

She grinned. “I feel the same way baby.” Bea felt content in his large muscular arms. Jarrod held her close to his sweaty hairy chest and it felt like heaven. She had never felt safer in her life. The little voice in the back of her mind whispered, We don’t know him that well, don’t be so trusting, you’re always so trusting Bea!

She was heading home from work and felt the little hairs on the back of her neck standing on end. The unsettling feeling of being watched haunted her all day long. Working for a bank at the customer service counter she was openly visible to everyone that came in. Bea loved her job and the customers that she dealt with on a regular basis. Today she felt edgy, apprehensive and nervous. She kept watching the clock and couldn’t wait for her shift to be over. At times she was even a little jumpy. She didn’t like that feeling. In all honesty she couldn’t wait to get back to her apartment and close all the curtains. It was the oddest feeling … She hadn’t noticed anyone giving her any extra attention … Nothing more than normal. It could have been that there was another missing woman reported on the news this morning. Same height, hair colour, complexion, and age as she was. People were getting a little anxious: it was the fourth one in the last three months according to the news.

Trying not to give it any thought she stopped at the little corner store. Outside there were bins of fruit and a basket. Picking up a basket she surveyed what was available. She grabbed a pineapple, some strawberries and bananas. Then went inside. The bakery section was all homemade fresh pastries and breads made by the storeowner’s wife. She picked through and found some tarts and a loaf of grained bread. Near the back of the store was the meat section. One of the greatest things about living in the big city there was a slaughterhouse just down the road and the meat in this store was sold cheap. Jarrod actually worked for the place, she could have went there and picked it up directly but this was more convenient. Picking out some beef and chicken she headed back to the check out.

“Hi Bea, how was work today?”

“The usual. How was business today for you?”

“Steady, so I’m not complaining.” He laughed.

She passed him some money and he handed back her change and bagged up her goods.

“There is going to be a street festival tonight maybe you can bring your guy down to that. They will be closing off the street, there will be music, drinking, and a lot of partying.”

“Well, count us in,” she laughed and gave him a wink.

Heading back outside she walked two doors down and entered the door that led up to her apartment. She hurried inside and locked the door. Sighing she looked around her apartment and heaved a sigh of relief … Safe, she was safe. Home safe. No eyes watching her here.

“Hey babes,” Jarrod came out of the bedroom. She screamed.

She nearly dropped her bags. Laughing, she looked at his startled face. “Sorry baby, I didn’t know you would be here.”

“Let me help you with those.” He came over and took the bags.

“There’s a festival going on downstairs tonight. Do you want to go check it out?”

“Sure.” He began putting things away for her.

“How was your day?”

“It was alright. Nothing eventful, how about you?”

“Same. I’m going to go grab a quick shower and change.”

“Sure I’ll make us something to eat.”

The hot water felt like heaven on her tired skin. Bea let the day wash down the drain. She was at home, safe in her apartment, Jarrod was there and making dinner. What more could a woman ask for?

The thought of someone watching her began to feel absurd. An over active imagination … Maybe it was watching too many of those CSI shows. The thought of watching Jarrod take her hair and put it in a baggie popped into her mind. Why would he do that? She laughed at the thought. Was he being romantic? Perhaps she should just come out and ask him. What if it embarrassed him? She knew from experience that some men didn’t like to be embarrassed. Should she just let it go?

Turning the water off she stepped out onto the bathroom mat and began drying off. Staring at herself in the mirror and decided not to let it bother her. Shake off those weird feelings; unless she had proof of something … Then there was nothing there but her imagination running wild. Taking the blow dryer out she plugged it in and dried her hair. There was going to be a party downstairs, maybe that’s exactly what she needed: to take her fella out on the town, have some drinks and go dancing. It was beginning to sound like a lot like something that she didn’t want to pass up. Running the brush through her hair she pulled it back and tied it up in a knot. Gathering up her cloths she dumped them in the laundry basket then headed to the bedroom. Slipping into lace underwear and her skinny jeans she leafed through her soft satin and laced blouses that hung in the closet. She picked out a soft blue that would bring out the colour in her eyes. Bea slipped it on and joined Jarrod out in the kitchen. He was just finishing up dinner so she set the table.

“Looks delicious,” she sat down beside him. Jarrod filled her plate and then his.

“Thanks,” he began to dig in.

“Did you hear, another woman went missing?”

He nodded and continued eating as if she was talking about the weather.

“Someone at work pointed out that these ladies look like me. What do you think?”

He paused, looked at her and finished chewing slowly. Shaking his head. “No baby they don’t look anything like you. You’re my angel.”

She half smiled, “Thanks baby.”

“Stick with me babes, you’ll be safe.” He changed the subject and talked about a couple new movies that were coming out that he wanted to see with her. She enjoyed the distraction and let the subject go.

They danced and drank with new friends until four in the morning. Dragging themselves upstairs they couldn’t stop laughing. As they stumbled into her apartment, he pulled her into his arms.

“You’re the best time I have ever had,” she grinned at him.

He looked at her like she had just slapped him then his features soften. “I have never been anyone’s best time.” Jarrod danced her to the bedroom and she fell asleep in his arms feeling content.

Rousing awake she felt chilled and disoriented. She tried to stretch but her hands, arms and legs were restricted. Bea’s eyes blinked as she looked around her. She was sitting on a cold floor … Where was she? It looked like an empty cellar. It was a 12 by 12 room, all cement. There was a dim light in the corner, the only light that was provided. She couldn’t see a window, only a large metal door. Bea began to scream but her mouth was gagged. What was going on?

The door creaked open and a large man stood in the doorway wearing a rubber clown mask. The light glinted of the cold metal of the large knife he held. What happen? The last thing she remembered was falling asleep in Jarrod’s arms. Jarrod! Oh god, this man killed him! Her mind was racing all over the map. Jarrod was dead somewhere and here she was about to die. All she wanted was a little adventure. The man came into the room and slowly walked over to her. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she sobbed, pleading with him to let her go. He couldn’t make out what she was saying, a small part of her brain understood this, but she couldn’t stop herself.

He came to a stop and knelt down beside her. The tip of the blade he caressed against her cheek, which sent her into another fit of wailing. He gently dragged his knife down her body to her shirt, cutting her favourite blouse. Blinded by fear and tears she felt the blade caress her breast as he ran it over and down to her lacy bra. With one quick movement he cut her bra. The cool air licked her skin.

He leaned in close to her and pulled the mask up part ways as he licked the tears off her cheek. That tongue felt familiar! Oh god Jarrod? Could it really be him? Blinking back the tears she tried to focus on his eyes.

The man chuckled, “I know you know.”

Jarrod! NO!

He pulled off his mask and her heart sank as she realized that this was her boyfriend. By the look in his eyes she wasn’t leaving this cellar alive. 

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