By 9:00PM I was ready to go. Dark pants, shirt, shoes, and watch cap. The classic night on the town combo setup for a not so hip killer. But these days you could get away with it because gothic was a style. I didn’t bring my girl with me. I never kill on the first reconnaissance. I did pack a knife and 32MM Walthers just encase things got dicey. I took my time and slowly slipped up into the hills, no need to get pulled over by LAPD. As I closed in on the house I turned off the lights and the engine and glided to within 50 yards of the target. The upstairs lights were still on and I could see one or two shadows moving around. I would have to get closer. I figured I would give it about an hour after lights out and break in and get a lay out of the house and see who was there. It was dangerous but I had done it before and learned that moving slow was the key.
Lights went out at 11:30 PM on the nose. A man of habit I liked that in a mark. I smoked and waited another hour and then slipped out of the car and moved quickly toward the house. I went over the back fence and stopped and waited. No dog. Even better. Staying in the shadows I moved to the backdoor and picked the lock. Once inside I settled down for a few minutes to get my bearings and listen to the sounds of the house. It is very important to know how the house sounds, how it breathes, moves, and lives before you start to move around in it. It can give you away in heartbeat. I calmed my breathing and started moving slowly through the kitchen. I could smell fish and vinaigrette. Some one had been eating healthy. A bottle of wine was corked on the island. The dishes were put up and everything appeared spotless. Either there was a woman in the house or this guy was gay. I settled for the former and not the latter. There was definitely someone else in the house. A familiar scent caught my attention and then faded away. I needed to be careful. Something wasn’t right about it this hit. Once through the kitchen I made my way to the master bedroom, which would no doubt hold, my victim. He was asleep with a CPAP machine by the bedside and a mask over his face. Apparently he had sleep apnea, which means he was probably taking Ambien and a combination of other sleep drugs. I crept over to his bed stand and slowly took his medication bottles to see what he was taking. I was right. He was sleeping with the prince Ambien. He was out like a log. And even if he did wake he wouldn’t remember a thing. Suddenly I heard footsteps upstairs. I lay flat on the floor and froze. Within a few minutes I heard the toilet flush. He definitely had a friend. Time to chill and then go upstairs. I didn’t want to have to kill two people but sometimes it is necessary.
I don’t know how long I lay there on the floor but it seemed like an eternity. I checked my watch and it had been 30 minutes. Time to move upstairs. Stairs can be tricky because they always creek and groan. I have found that quickly but lightly moving up them causes the least amount of problems. I was on the second floor in a matter of seconds. Again I smelled a familiar odor. What was it? It seemed so familiar. There were three doors in the hallway one closed and the two open. I assumed the other person was behind the closed door. I quickly checked the other two rooms and nothing. A bathroom and a spare bedroom turned into a study. With the patience of a cat I slowly tested the knob on the third door, it opened without any resistance. I slowly pushed it open and stayed close to the floor. I could hear gently breathing in a slow rhythmic pattern. From the sound and the aroma I could tell it was a woman. I was beginning to think I new this woman. As I got closer I realized it was Anna. I hadn’t put it together the last name of Collins but there it was, right in front of me. I pulled up a chair and watched her breathing. All I could hear was her and the clock ticking out the seconds. Time seemed to stand to still. I had a problem. I needed to think.