Art by Celene Petrulak
‘In that case … you can try me for free,’ she seductively whispered into his ear.
Her sensual voice made the hairs on his neck stand on end. He raised his eyebrows at her.
She nodded at him slowly, her glossy ruby lips smiling. ‘Follow me,’ she insisted. She took his hot, damp hand into her cool, silky one and walked him past the writhing bodies, dancing under the pulsing lights of the club. Clad in his first-ever designer suit, he was mesmerised by this place.
‘Live dangerously,’ they had told him at work, ‘it’s your birthday!’
He stumbled past his manager, Paul, whose glazed blue eyes were hypnotically fixed on a blonde, Amazonian-sized woman’s cleavage. Paul briefly raised his head up to flash him an approving smile and give him the thumbs up. It had been Paul North’s thirty-fifth birthday the day before. This was a double celebration for the both of them.
All their other colleagues had long since left as they had wives and girlfriends to report home to. He’d never been to a place like this before. His manager had thrust a toy gun loaded with three bullets of glitter into his hand; ‘Private dances – on the house. Fire at the dancer you like the look of and away ya go my son!’ A birthday treat. It made him feel heady, like a kid with free reign in a candy store.
He’d first spotted her at the bar, fanning herself with a brilliant plume of blue feathers that matched the colour of her eyes. She’d flashed a hint of a wicked smile, strode over to him and, unthinkingly, he fired the gun at her. His second bullet of the night.
A gunshot of twinkling silver glitter exploded through the air. It grazed her cheek, she wiped a shimmer of sparkle from her face and traced it across his nose. ‘You are so mine,’ she said, pulling his tie, chuckling at his wide-eyed response.
He was a boy from Pickering in North Yorkshire, now making huge strides in the heart of London. This was all new territory for him: the cocaine tingling in his nostrils, the absinthe in his glass, the euphoria surging joyfully through his veins. He had never felt so alive or out of control. Anything was possible. Barack Obama had just been elected president. The world, despite the recession, felt like a place suffused with hope.
She had told him her name was Cornelia. It was an unusual name for a girl with the face of a ‘50s screen goddess, but suited her somehow. He told her his name was Liam and today, November 7th, was his twenty-first birthday.
‘Happy birthday, Liam. That makes you a Scorpio, like me. We are hands down the sexiest sign of the Zodiac.’ He’d nodded, struck dumb by her.
‘You have very striking eyes, has anyone ever told you that?’ she’d whispered into his ear, gently stroking his eyebrows.
‘You have too. Your eyes I mean, they’re so…they’re so blue. So when’s your birthday?’ he’d managed to stutter, blushing hard.
‘Oh, it’s soon, very soon…’
Neither of them was sure if the other was telling the truth. Nor did it matter. Gunshot Glitter on Brewer Street in Soho was now the place to be on a Friday night. Everyone who was anyone in London knew that. The pouting faces swivelling on the podium, the burlesque artists teasing with coquettish routines, and lap dancers gyrating over aroused, wealthy bodies changed each week.
Tips alone each night could run into thousands. There was always the hearsay of a better, more exclusive gig to chase, a new club to conquer and more money to make, but tonight, beneath the neon lights, every performer was a star and they glittered at their finest.
The club was fast becoming infamous for being a cult celebrity playground for the influx of rising Hollywood stars hitting the West End. Just yesterday, sex kitten screen diva Kristen Elliot had been papped with her rockstar boyfriend, Jamie Eucrow. His band, The Euchrid Eurows, had played a secret gig, and then at the afterparty, it had been reported he had bought her five lap dances and a private performance with Azriel – a dazzling girl, glistening in body glitter, whose routine climaxed in her pulling a string of pearls out of her pussy. Kristen Elliot ended the night swinging on a trapeze undressed to her Agent Provocateur sponsored panties to the delight of The Mirror’s 3am Girls.
‘Where are you taking me?’ Liam shouted above the throbbing music.
‘I’m going to surprise you.’ Cornelia replied with a sexy, confident smile.
‘I love surprises!’ he grinned. ‘Goody,’ she said to herself.
Cornelia took him through swinging glitter-covered doors into the ‘Staff Only’ area. Liam did not notice. She sashayed into the dressing room and waved to the gaggle of girls preparing to take over the next session.
‘Hey!’ a redhead exclaimed, spying his figure outside the door. ‘You know he’s not allowed back here!’
‘It’s okay, trust me,’ Cornelia murmured with a wink, picking up her velveteen gloves and reaching into her bag. A few of them raised their eyebrows and then carried on making up their faces.
‘I don’t remember seeing her here before,’ one of the girls remarked, curling her lashes. No one replied. Cornelia put on the gloves, refreshed her lipstick, and reclaimed Liam’s hand. Her grip was steely and firm.
The ambience changed. This area was darker, quieter and smelled a little damp. He turned to her; in the dim light he could barely see her face. She dropped his hand and her face hardened a little. ‘Follow me, baby, we’re almost there,’ she crooned, sensuously massaging his groin. His cock hardened quickly under her touch. He moaned softly. She led him through the fire exit doors at the back of the club, into a courtyard. There was no one there, only a few parked cars. The night was clear and, for November, unusually mild. Liam looked up to the sky, noting that the moon looked full and that he had never remembered seeing it so bright.
It had to be a good omen. He had been promoted to Senior Account Executive last week. Paul’s boss had told him he had the Midas touch; he was a natural and he’d never seen so much advertising revenue flood in, and in a recession! He pitched, he scored, and the clients loved him. This was Liam’s third promotion in sixteen months at Anderson Jacobs.
The sky was the veritable limit. Look where he was now. He was barely twenty-one, and probably about to have the most unforgettable night of his life with the sexiest woman he’d ever met. He’d watched her perform on stage, transfixed. She was a siren. Just stunning. He just hoped he didn’t make a fool of himself; despite his nerves he was feeling good.
She smiled, raised an arched brow and slowly unbuttoned his jacket, then the buttons of his shirt, exposing his smooth chest. She kissed him on his heartbeat, leaving a beautiful lip print. His skin tingled with anticipation. Liam closed his eyes, his head swimming a little, and leaned in to kiss her.
But her blue eyes flashed disdainfully and she recoiled in disgust. The look made his blood run cold. Before he had time to react, she swung round and punched her velveteen fist into his throat. He spluttered once, choked and tumbled to the ground, his brain completely confused; a lone, bewildered thought – why? Why did you do that to me? I thought you liked me? The very last thing he saw was Cornelia’s snarling face, swinging black hair and her spiky stiletto steel heel coming down over his heart…
He was most certainly dead, she was sure of it. She knew she had punctured his heart from the crunch of his breastbone and the meaty gore caught on her heel. It was her killer move, how she loved these shoes! Three strategic, hard stabs resulted in shock and internal bleeding. They really should have come with a safety warning. She watched his body twitch and jerk at her feet, the last throes of life ebbing away until eventually he lay still.
Just to be sure, she reached down and felt his pulse and, after the barely-there memory of a heartbeat receded into nothingness, she straightened up, satisfied. Killing him had been extraordinarily easy. She smiled in amusement when she noted the dark stain of urine flood across his crotch. This nearly always happened. She inspected the ground to see if there was any blood to betray her night’s work. She was satisfied to note that there wasn’t too much, but she would have to work fast.
Reaching into her cleavage, she withdrew a car key. Pressing on it, the sleek Japanese car parked behind her beeped back in response. Swiftly, she opened the boot and located a towel to clean her shoe and mop his blood. The boot was spacious and a swag of black tarpaulin was spread out, just as she had been promised. She went back to Liam’s limp body and, grabbing him under the armpits, dragged him over to the car. Bending at the knees she grasped him and stood up.
For a statuesque woman of almost ten stones she was extremely strong. Factoring in his dead weight, he weighed much more. She dropped him unceremoniously into the boot and threw his legs in afterwards. He lay sprawled in an undignified position, eyes closed, mouth slackly open.
Cornelia wiped his blood off her body, gazed at him speculatively and reached into his jacket pocket. His wallet contained eighty pounds. She had lied to him; nothing came for free. She took the money and emptied out his pockets. He had keys and a mobile phone. Shoving the empty wallet back into his jacket, Cornelia slapped his mouth shut, covered him up and brought the boot door down.
She leaned against the car and looked around. The fire exit door opened. Cornelia held her breath. The Amazonian blonde strode out towards her. Her gaze was hard. ‘So, did you do it?’ Cornelia opened the boot for her client’s approval. The blonde looked in, nodded approvingly and went into the front to pick up a shoulder bag and a bottle of bleach. Cornelia closed the boot. ‘Show me where you did it.’ They walked over to the spot. The blonde pulled out a towel, got onto her knees and began rubbing at the concrete.
‘So you’re telling me Paul really has no idea?’ Cornelia eventually said.
‘None whatsoever, maybe he’ll start sleeping at night again now Boy Wonder’s out of the way,’ she said, carefully surveying the scene. Tomorrow she would stay late and double check for fibres and hairs with the kit she’d bought off the internet. The blonde looked up at the moon with her feline eyes and smiled to herself. Cornelia stifled a laugh as she began to sing Happy Birthday for Paul.
‘Sera Logan!’ Cornelia chided.
Sera chuckled softly, cupped her face and planted an ardent kiss on her lips. Cornelia could taste the sweetness of amaretto on her breath. ‘I did it for him,’ Sera said, ‘it’s better than a tacky Ed Hardy top don’t you think? I can’t keep him out of those.’ Even though she loved Paul, and by God did she love him, enough to kill for him – this woman, Charlotte, working under the new alias ‘Cornelia’, still entranced her, and probably always would. They went back a long way.
‘Did you clean your shoes? Have you checked there’s nothing on you, no blood?’ Sera said, stroking her raven locks.
‘Yeah, of course I did,’ Cornelia murmured, ‘I know the drill, I’m the professional, it’s you who’s got to come back and cover the area with Luminol.’
‘Can you stay tomorrow?’ Sera whispered into her hair.
‘No, sorry, I have my stuff coming into Manchester this morning,’ she said, feeling her face flush with desire as Sera’s fingers lingered over the skin of her collarbones. ‘Sera, do you really have this covered? I’ve put his personal effects in the boot, remember you destroy those too; you don’t want anything of his on you or in the car. Be smart. Leave no trace.’ Cornelia was pleased to see it was clear and quiet; this had gone without a hitch.
Sera nodded confidently. ‘Larry’s going to take care of it; but I really, you know… wanted to see you.’
‘I know you did, maybe next time when I’m in London? Go, I’ll tell Ray you got sick if he asks and that you’ll pop in and settle up tomorrow. Now get going!’ Cornelia said, taking one last look around, as they kissed.
‘Listen, thanks again. I know it was a hassle coming down, but trust me it’s worth it. I’ll do a transfer of the balance tonight, to the Cornelia Friend account. Nice name by the way. I like it more than Rebecca. Are you sure you’re ready to go back in?’ Sera said, getting in the car.
‘Yes,’ Cornelia said, she was positively impatient to get back inside. Killing had become a serious adrenaline rush and in a club like this an involuntary aphrodisiac. There was a sea of eager bodies to direct her sexual energy at and she was going to make the most of it.
At 2am, she got a cab back to her hotel with a lithe, straight dancer called Syreeta, and almost two grand in her red leather clutch bag. By 8am, she was already on her way back to Manchester.
*Gunshot Glitter is out now on Amazon Kindle around the world. You can read it on Kindle or download a FREE app to read it on PC, Smartphone, iPod or iPad. Download the full, free sample of chapters 1-7 to read even more. Click HERE to go to Amazon.
* Write to GunshotGlitter2012@yahoo.co.uk to reserve a First Edition printed copy, or to request a Word attachment of the free Amazon sample. Paperback copies of the novel will go into production soon with a full colour cover.
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Thank you for your support, Yasmin Selena Butt x
Your name is Celine Silver. But no one has called you that in eight years.
You’re a classically trained musician and an Honours graduate.
You come from a nice, middle-class family.
You kill people for money.
And no one knows you anymore.
Fate throws the man you abandoned right back into your path – the man who knew you before you got blood on your hands, before you changed your name.
And he’s demanding answers.
But is there a way back to the path of normal?
What price do you have to pay when you realise you no longer want to be monster? And who are the real monsters and victims anyway?
And what about the incinerated boy who will never quite go away…