DEATH OF PRIVILEGE - MICHAEL J. SOLENDER
The two inch headline in the Daily Observer was a one word question that the Viper instantly answered out loud to her steaming cup of Blue Mountain Coffee. “Of course, he is, that bastard,” she said to her Maine coon cat, Charlie. She hated the smug arrogance of those who thought their privilege could let them get away with anything.
Charlie couldn’t read the word Murderer? followed by the question mark that hovered over Martin Corvolier’s Polo Team photograph like a tarnished halo. The Antiguan paper had managed to find Corvolier’s most smarmy photo and plaster it on the front page of their fish wrap. The entire Caribbean was abuzz since the reported disappearance of the American high school senior reported missing just two days earlier from the spring break trip she and several classmates had taken to the neighboring St. Bart.
Corvolier, the twenty-three year-old playboy son of a French diplomat, was seen by security personnel with the teen walking along the beach outside of her hotel in the small hours of the morning. When her roommate reported that she never made it back and didn’t return for breakfast, a full scale search was launched turning up only the young girl’s halter-top and her small purse found just where the dunes met the shore, only yards from her hotel.
What wasn’t reported was the fact that the halter top was bloodied and intense questioning by the police of Corvolier had produced an admission that he had indeed been with the girl, smoked pot and made love with her on the beach where he said he left her before sunrise to walk back alone to her hotel.
With no other evidence, the police were forced to release him and search in vain for the missing, but presumed dead girl. Corvolier, being born into the dual privilege of wealth and diplomatic status immediately retreated to his home turf of Nevis, where he could attend to more pressing needs such as the million dollar celebrity filled Texas Hold ’Em Poker Tournament that was being held beginning that weekend.
At forty-three, the Viper had the body of women literally half her age. Rock-hard abs, toned and bronze arms and legs of a runner, she possessed an all-natural bust that sported firm and perfectly spheroid tits that never failed to disappoint their admirers. A beautiful brunette, her long flowing hair bounced gingerly on her shoulders and framed a radiant, slightly freckled face that men found both alluring and vexing. She worked at looking good and she excelled in this endeavor.
Her once hard life back in the States saw her grow up a fatherless child of a small time mafia hood to the stratosphere of murder for hire where she became, without question, the single most effective and highest paid hit man, or woman, ever. She had a special and stylized knack and a mystique that kept her out of the media’s spotlight and her identity unknown not only to her victims but to her employers and the FBI, Interpol and half a dozen other alphabet-soup agencies that wanted her either stopped or on their side.
She had three distinctions that pushed her into the million dollar plus per-hit range.
One, she never drew a drop of blood. All her victims had ‘natural’ or very inconvenient, yet ‘accidental’ deaths. Heart attacks, exposure, slips and falls, asthma attacks, allergic reactions - you name it, but she NEVER used a gun. She didn’t own one and couldn’t stand them. Not one had ever been formally investigated as a murder and the Viper had twenty-plus hits to her name. The mob knew it, the cops knew it, the Fibbies knew it but no one could pin it on her.
Two, she only took on jobs that were considered untouchable or too big/hot to touch by others. Oh sure, she cut her teeth on a few underbosses earlier in her career but the last dozen or so hits included the head of the Campagnello family, two U.S. Senators, two Supreme Court Justices, a University President and a very senior Mexican official.
Finally, she only worked through intermediaries, many of whom had never laid eyes on her, simply doing her bidding and communicating through a series of drops, untraceable phones and clandestine operations that would make the CIA drool at their efficiency. She only began a job with big-time cash confirmed in her Swiss bank account in advance. The Viper did NOT do C.O.D. She had never failed an assignment, never let her employers down.
Many had claimed to have seen her or that they’d be able to recognize her, but, in truth, no photos existed and for all anybody really knew, she was a ghost. That was just the way she wanted it.
She had retired two years ago to a huge estate on Antigua, only to be ‘pulled back in’ and settle the score with Campy Campagnello last year. The warm beaches of her new home were especially inviting after leaving that cold prick frozen in a snow-bank outside the University residence in Cornell last February.
The quiet, almost pedestrian life she enjoyed now consisted of daily personal training, tending her garden and hosting various and select jet-set pals around her open-air Caribbean manse. Weekends stateside in NYC or LA were easy enough with her private jet and she occasionally jumped down to Rio for Festival and the like. She would never spend all her money but had created a very luxurious life and would be very happy to die trying.
“Yes, Miss, the plane will be ready when you arrive,” the Viper’s personal pilot snapped into the receiver. He had one of the best gigs in the entire executive jet empire. His phone always answered on the first ring, the number known only to the Viper. Not even his wife called on that phone. “Nevis? Less than an hour, Miss. Did you want to land at the main strip at St. Kitts and take the ferry over or use the grass strip right on Nevis? Yes, Miss, Nevis.”
“Miss Smith, how nice to see you back at the Four Seasons, we weren’t expecting you.” The hotel manager was clearly flummoxed. He had been summoned as the bellman astutely recognized the well-heeled guest who had tipped him most handsomely on her last stay. “I’m afraid we are very full and I’m not sure I can accommodate you due to the poker tournament this weekend.”
The Viper was prepared for just such an occurrence but also knew the hotel had an adjacent executive property and very finely appointed ‘guest house’ kept in abeyance for just such an occasion. She slipped her black titanium Amex Card out of her purse and cooed sweetly to the manager she’d only be staying the one night and wanted the entire house for an intimate party. “Certainly you can arrange that, can’t you?” The Viper flashed just a bit of her cleavage as she bent down to kiss the balding man directly on his shining dome.
The small overnighter the Viper threw on the bed contained three items, a hair dryer, an extension cord and a grappling hook attached to fifty feet of rope. In staying at the guest house, she had avoided all the security cameras in the main lobby and those that led to the hotel’s main rooms. She was intimately familiar with the hotel’s security from a previous ‘engagement.’
Spotting Martin Corvolier in the hotel bar was easy. He was a celebrity of sorts, the ‘bad boy’ almost implicated in the St. Bart murder. The Viper couldn’t fathom why so many women would be attracted to someone who clearly was abusive and a killer, but here he was being swarmed by a bevy of babes that would rival the harems of Bon Jovi.
She had something the other girls couldn’t offer Martin Corvolier, something that fueled his desire and immediately attracted him to her. Sheer indifference. He was all about the conquest and she knew it. Of course, the tight black dress with no panties or bra didn’t hurt, either.
The Viper was still incredibly attractive and seductive, even when ignoring a much younger man. Her pheromones had never failed her and they would not let her down tonight. The Viper picked a corner table, turned her back towards the commotion, nursed her drink and waited. She didn’t wait long.
“Good evening.” Martin Corvolier set his scotch on the Viper’s table and sat down uninvited.
“It was. Look, I’m not interested in company, sorry.” She was reeling him in, a mere boy in a very dangerous game.
“Oh, I see, I just thought you might enjoy the company of a younger man and you do look awfully lonely.”
He was smooth, she had to admit. She didn’t want to drag it out and decided right there to finish the whole thing within the next thirty minutes.
“Let’s cut to the chase. I know who you are and I would like to fuck you. Actually, right this very moment.” She paused for effect.
Corvolier leaned in, his trousers tightening at the crotch. “You mean I don’t scare you? You’re not worried, even a little?” He was such a smug prick.
“No. Not even a little. You are the one who should be scared, as I am going to fuck you to within an inch of your life. Give me your room key. Go upstairs and wait for me, I have to run a five minute errand and I’ll meet you back at your room. What is the number?”
“Three-O-Five,” he said, breaking into a wide grin and handing her his card key. “Don’t take too long.”
She sprinted back to the guest house, grabbed her bag and ran around to the back of the hotel. She had to avoid the main lobby and guest elevators as she’d be leaving in a hurry and wanted no evidence of her showing up on camera. Just adjacent to the kitchen, she slipped unseen into the freight elevator and rode it up to the third floor.
When she opened his door, Corvolier was waiting and grabbed her, throwing her violently to the bed. He began tearing at her clothes and her overnight bag was strewn across the floor.
“Whoa, easy, boy. Not so rough. Let’s work up to this.” The Viper was calming and he knew instantly she would be ‘schooling him’ in a more tantric and longer lasting sexual experience than he was used to. “Draw us a hot bath,” she whispered in his ear, thrusting her tongue in behind her words.
“What’s in the bag? You moving in?” Corvolier asked.
“Toys, silly!” She smiled seductively as he nearly passed out at the thought.
The bath running, she began to strip and he followed suit. “Get in the tub, I’ll be right there.” The Viper hung back in the bedroom, but could see from her angle to the mirror that Corvolier was compliantly in the tub, the water running. She grabbed the extension cord and hair dryer from her bag and, after plugging it in, walked around the corner with the hair dryer behind her back.
“Whatcha got there, sweetie?” Corvolier was so clueless, he never saw it coming.
“I’ll tell you in a second, but first, I gotta know. Did you really kill that girl?”
“Yeah, honey, but she had it coming. No way I’m gonna hurt you. Now c’mon in.”
With that, the Viper flipped the ON switch and tossed the hair dryer into the tub. The exploding shock from the current blew every fuse on the third floor and fried Corvolier into a crusty piece of toast. With the fuses blown and power now all off, leaving that part of the hotel pitch black, the Viper worked quickly.
She snapped up the extension cord and re-plugged the hair dryer into a socket adjacent the tub, leaving the dryer in the water.
Next, she got dressed, hooked the grappling hook and rope on the balcony and rappelled down to the courtyard. A quick tug and no evidence other than an open balcony door, easily explainable on a balmy night, remained.
“But, Miss Smith, you’re leaving already? You just arrived!” The hotel manager was now worried about lost revenue.
“Please, I insist you bill me for the weekend. There is an urgent matter I must attend to back on Antigua.”
“I understand. I do hope you’ll return soon. You didn’t even stay long enough to see our fireworks display.”
“Oh, my good man, that is where you are wrong. I saw plenty of fireworks in my short stay. Goodbye.”
BIO: Michael J. Solender is frequently on someone's shit list. He blogs here.