As was the style, Sonya wore a black pencil skirt
with her striped white buttoned blouse. She kept her hair in a
professional updo, even though she was off work. Sonya kept her
heels on in hopes that tonight was the night she would succeed in
that elusive hotel bar pickup. She told her husband she would be
in negotiations late into the night, and hoped he wouldn't be
suspicious that it was supposedly the fifty-third night of
The fact was that she was weary of
Harry's…everything. He became boring to her, his style, his
dress, his mannerisms, and she wanted something new and exciting.
Even his job as a boring old account executive, whatever that
meant, was grating on her. This was what drove her to lie to him
and to pick up strangers in hotel bars. She'd been successful
about a dozen times, but for the past couple weeks she'd hit a
She hoped that tonight was the night. Sonya ordered a
vodka martini and propped herself on a stool. She faced the
television but wasn't paying attention to it. After her fourth
martini, she decided she was done and would be going home. Just
as she was settling up her tab, she saw him.
He stood by a stool and ordered an ice water. Sonya
was instantly attracted to him. "Hello," she said to him. "I'm
Sonya." She approached him slowly, seductively, one foot
decisively in front of the other, mostly to hide the fact that
she was very off-balance and quite tipsy, but mostly because she
wanted to turn this handsome stranger on.
The handsome stranger glanced at her from the corner
of his eye, almost perturbed at being interrupted from his glass
of ice water. He shook some ice down the side of the glass to his
mouth and offered "Hi" with a feeble, quick, half-smile. He
returned to his ice water.
"What's your name?" she asked with a sigh.
The stranger looked at his watch, then took another
sip. "Matt," he said in a hurry.
"You come here often?" she knew the answer was no
because she'd been there every night for the past two months.
"I'm from out of town…another one?" Matt asked of the
"Where are you from?" she asked.
"Oh, a Californian! What are you doing in town?"
Sonya saw that Matt would be a tough nut to crack.
She continued to flirt with him, hoping she wasn't pestering him.
"How long are you in town?" She examined his appearance, liking
what she saw. He wore a black turtleneck, black leather gloves
and black slacks. He had long, wild, gray hair, down to the
middle of his back that he tried to keep tame by putting it in a
ponytail. He had cold blue eyes and a nose that could belong to a
Barrymore. He took off his dark gray overcoat and hung it on his
"I'm here for a couple of days," he answered. "You
guys got a kitchen?" he asked the bartender.
"Yeah, here's what we got," the bartender said,
giving him a menu, a one page affair with a half-dozen basics but
nothing earth-shattering except for the price. He looked over the
page quickly and asked for a plain bag of chips from the ones
clipped and hanging behind the counter.
"You want something?" Matt asked Sonya, almost in
pity. She was surprised at the offer, and agreed to a veggie
plate, hoping to absorb some of the alcohol in her belly. Sonya
discreetly unbuttoned two more buttons on her blouse. But it
didn't seem to work. "Well, I gotta go. It was nice to meet you."
He tossed the empty bag on the bar, nodded at Sonya and moved
toward the exit.
Sonya sat down at the bar, slumping over her carrots
and celery. She began to weep, first silently, then with sobs.
Her shoulders rose and fell with each heave. Matt stopped just
before the exit, turned around, and sighed, almost as if he was
being imposed upon. "What's wrong?"
"Oh, it's nothing," Sonya said with a laugh between
"Yes…it is. What's wrong?"
Sonya sighed in exasperation. "It's just that I've
been coming here for the past few weeks trying to get a guy to
notice me and I've failed miserably. I'm starting to wonder if
it's my looks or my personality or what." She sobbed a little
more. "I'm sorry, you're really sweet for listening, but I
shouldn't dump on you,"
"It's okay," Matt said warmly, even gently. "Why
don't you come up to my room and we can talk more in private?"
She agreed and they headed out of the bar together.
"So what are you doing in town for business?" she
"You don't want to know…Are you married?" He pointed
at her ring finger, as where her wedding band would be was
lighter than the rest of her finger.
"Are things really that bad?" Matt asked in a caring,
"Maybe I don't love my husband anymore."
"Just the old seven year itch, I guess, but I'm
acting on it after ten years."
"Your husband…what's his name?" he asked this as if
he were about to make a point.
"Does Harry love you still?"
"Did he ever love me at all is what you should be
"What would he do if he found out?"
"I don't know. Part of me wants to be caught just to
"Well that's a risky move. What if he kills you?"
"Then I'll know he cares," Sonya said with a weak
They walked by a series of darkened conference rooms.
"You're really a beautiful lady, Sonya." He rubbed her upper arm,
went down to her hand and held it, looking her in the eye. He
kissed her. She felt the butterflies in her stomach.
"Tell me what you do," she begged him.
"All right." They made their way to an empty coat
check room, constantly kissing breathlessly. "You're not gonna
believe this but…" Sonya took off her scarf and blouse. She stood
there in her bra and skirt. They kissed again. "I'm a contract
killer," Matt said in between passionate kisses.
"A hit man?" This excited Sonya to no end. "That is
"In my line of work…I don't get a lot of
opportunities to meet people…and make relationships. It's been…so
long…since I've been with a woman…" Sonya had shimmied out of her
skirt and shoes, and now laid down on the floor in her underwear.
Matt brought her scarf up to his nose and inhaled deeply. "You
smell…so good…" He took the scarf in both hands and smelled
again. "Mmmm…I can't get enough."
"Matt, tell me…who are you going to kill next?" Sonya
asked, deep in lust, crazy in the forbidden nature of the tryst.
"Who's gonna die by your hand next?"
Matt crawled up over Sonya, still fully clothed,
kissed her deeply again, looked her in the eyes like a tiger and
said "you." Sonya laughed in delight.
But Matt was not talking dirty, flirting or even
lying. He pressed her scarf tight around her neck and wound it
around, choking her breath away. She gasped her last, then her
body collapsed on the floor, limp and lifeless.
Matt stood up and made his way out the hotel. He
turned on his cell phone, pressed some buttons and the phone
began to ring on the other end. "Hey Harry? Mission accomplished.
Yes. You know where to put the cash too, right? Good. It was a
pleasure doing business." He hung up and disappeared into the