"THE BITCH WILL PAY for what she did to me," she swore, while furiously pounding out the exposé on the keyboard. Shifting her eyes from the computer monitor for a few moments, she glanced out the window hung with tatty red brocade drapes that had seen their best days come and gone. The snow continued to cover the decrepit porch and the roof of the equally decrepit flat next door, and for a few hours their blackened shabbiness would be disguised in a clean white blanket, until the filthy city air laid a grey haze over it.
Looking around in utter distaste that the shabby room which was never warm enough, she cursed at the circumstances that had brought her down to living in this place, and the person she blamed for placing her in those deplorable circumstances. The person who now resided in one of the most affluent sections outside the city, the person who had everything she wanted while she had nothing, the person who had taken everything from her. "Well, no more. This is where it ends!"
Glancing once more at the eviction notice and the pile of unpaid bills beside her computer, she got up and started to get dressed….all in black… as a heinous plot materialized in her head.
METRO TORONTO POLICE DETECTIVE Lisa Mayne jack-knifed on her bed, cold-sweating from the dream. It was one of those very lucid ones where she saw events unfold through the eyes of someone else. It was a gift she had been born with passed from a grandmother who was a seventh child of a seventh child. It had also made Lisa the division's best kept secret and trump card with cases that would have been otherwise unsolvable. It had taken her a long time to come to terms with it, and to accept the fact that she was different.
It was also what had got her turned on to the "games" as she so euphemistically referred to the activity. During one of those dreams she had found herself in a dungeon where a bondage session was taking place between a couple…a tall drop dead gorgeous blonde Englishman and an equally impressively tall and voluptuous raven haired woman who was the bottom in the session. Lisa's empathic abilities had allowed her enter the woman's psyche and experience every nuance of pain and pleasure she felt while restrained to a leather covered bench, being whipped by the man.
After fifteen years missing and everyone assuming he had returned to the UK, a few years ago the man had been discovered shackled and walled up in the dungeon and the woman was promptly arrested for the crime following an investigation. Tried, convicted and sentenced to life in prison, the woman had cheated the justice system by hanging herself in her cell after a couple weeks. The case had continued to haunt Lisa, along with those sensations she had experienced in her dream so long ago, and invariably sent her anonymously to the fetish clubs in the city as a certain need had awakened within her. It had been a while since she'd had a play partner, and every part of her was beginning to crave the feel of the leather collar around her neck while she was allowed to totally relinquish the control she was required to maintain in her ordinary daily life.
"Shit! Enough already damn it!" Lisa swore while, the phone continued to ring without the Voicemail picking it up. Reluctantly she reached over to the night table and grabbed the black cordless phone out of its cradle and pressed the answer key, grumbling, "Whoever you are do you have any bloody idea what time it is, and that you're disturbing my beauty sleep?"
"Like you need it sweetheart," Staff Superintendent's Willard's voice came over the other end. Oh, oh, Lisa was immediately on alert whenever the Division Superintendent was being beguiling like this. It generally meant something serious was coming down, and that dream she just had might have only served to validate that fact in her brains. Still she whined, "Aw, come on chief it's my weekend off."
"I really need your unique talent for this one Lees sweetheart. I promise you can have a whole month off after. So just get your pretty arse down here on the double. On your way, don't forget a large double cream triple sugar and a maple glazed, along with an extra large regular."
"What did your last maid die of?" She growled.
"Forgetting to bring me just what I asked you for sweetheart," he chuckled.
"All that damned sugar is going to kill you, then who the hell's going to be the bane of my existence?"
"I can think of worse ways to go, and I can always find you a replacement before I kick the bucket."
They had an easy familiarity between them stemming from him being a long time family friend and his filling the place of her father in her life after he was gunned down during a drug bust gone awry. And he was the only one who could get away with addressing her as sweetheart. However, amongst others he always treated her with the same respect as he treated any of the officers under his command. And he was careful not to show her any overt favouritism, not that she would have allowed it anyway. Lisa thrived on earning her perks in life by her own merits.
Slithering out from under the cocooning warmth of the thick cream coloured goose down-filled duvet she drew a blue satin robe around her spectacular naked body and trudged to the bathroom. Looking at her body, standing five feet and nine inches tall one would have never guessed she was thirty-seven: A taut, flat stomach thanks to never having given birth, full 38DD breasts that were still firm and nicely toned arms and legs thanks to twice weekly workouts at the gym and yoga. Her light olive skinned face was flawless with no sign of wrinkles, appearing ageless. Along with her grandmother's psychic gift Lisa had also inherited her spectacular Italian genes. While not classically beautiful, hers was an arresting face, with full pillow lips, a long straight nose and light grey eyes that looked like they could see right into a person's very soul. Some people remarked that she bore more than a passing resemblance to the mythical Lara Croft and she could have been the model for the character from the popular video game.
The house was cold and she shivered. "Damn it! The furnace must have kicked out again." As expected the water was ice cold when she stepped into the shower and turned it on. Like a scalded cat Lisa dashed out again and quickly grabbed a towel, shivering. She loved this big old house located in the Beaches with its lake view from her oversized bedroom with its now snow blanketed patio. It had been bequeathed to her by her grandmother and was in dire need of some remodelling and upgrading, like a new furnace and hot water tank to start, she decided with a scowl. No hot water, and that meant no early morning shower to wake her up; a fact that didn't thrill her at all, although she could have one down at the station….if there was time after the chief stated his urgent business. She would have to find some time during the day to sit and sort out her finances to see how much she could afford to spend before starting to look for a contractor to start work on the house.
It was prime Beaches property and even she was embarrassed at how she had allowed it to fall into disrepair because she had been too busy with her career. Her mother was always pestering her about having it renovated and she always had some excuse. Well no more Lisa thought as she envisioned having to take all her showers in the station locker room for the next month at least…well maybe that was an exaggeration. Either way, it wasn't a prospect she welcomed. Ten minutes later on the drive downtown to the station, a steady powdering of light snow was falling on the city blanketing the greyed and blackened piles that had accumulated from last week's dump of almost 25 centimetres. They didn't call Canada the 'Great White North' for nothing, she thought concentrating momentarily on how pristine and clean the newest snow fall made everything appear: Reflecting back to a couple winters before when Mother Nature had delivered a spectacular dump driving the City's mayor to call in the army to help out, thus earning Toronto scathing ridicule from the rest of the country even the perennially mild British Columbia, she smiled. "If they only knew, we're anything but a bunch of wimps. If anything I think we're more a bunch of persnickety hard asses under deceptively polite exteriors…yes, that's it; the portrait of Torontonians." Anything to take her mind of the dream she'd had. Lisa also knew that the rumble and the tight coil at the pit of her stomach weren't from hunger either. This sensation only came when she had very strong hunches that something absolutely dreadful had happened or was about to happen. Who was the person in the dream through whose eyes she saw? And what heinous plot was about to unfold?
Almost on autopilot now, she pulled into the Tim Horton's drive through at Leslie Street and the Lakeshore and waited behind a line of what must have been a dozen cars. Even on an early Saturday morning Canucks had to have their coffee and donuts, just like the chief, as she liked to refer to him. Waiting in line while listening to the hypnotic swishing of the wiper blades made her edgy and impatient, so she reached above the visor and took one of the CD's she kept in a pocket there and slipped it into the player, filling the car with the soft sultry crooning voice of Nora Jones.
Another ten minutes elapsed before she was on her way again, armed with the chief's coffee, donut, two extra large black coffees and garlic and herb cream cheese bagel for herself. Lisa considered herself extremely fortunate that she was able to indulge her appetite for food that other more weight conscious women would flee from in absolute horror, and never gained an ounce.
At the station fifteen minutes later, on her way to the chief's office, she passed a couple officers in conversation. One of them she didn't know, but the other was Detective John Bradley an attractive, dark haired and egotistical lout of a man, whose advances she had spurned. Apparently still chafing from the rejection, he shot a dirty look at her while his companion was noticeably intrigued by the tall, light grey-eyed brunette with the spectacular body now clad in skin tight jeans and white cashmere sweater under her electric blue leather blazer jacket.
"Forget it man," John remarked to his companion in a snide tone, "that one pisses standing up."
Lisa just shot him a withering glare and continued on her away to the chief's office. Sore losers weren't worth a smart retort. Also, she sensed that John Bradley had a mean streak and she had no wish to deal with him anymore than was absolutely necessary. Thank goodness this was his last week here as he was transferring to 51 Division.
"Just when I thought I was going to expire from an acute caffeine withdrawal, the lady arrives to save the day." Staff Superintendent Reginald Willard greeted her, like a starving man eagerly reaching for his coffee and donut out of the cardboard tray she placed on his desk. Standing about six feet tall, with a weathered fine bone structured face and a thick shock of white wavy hair, he still bore vestiges of the very attractive man he was in his younger years, despite the extra pounds he piled on from being in a desk job.
Also present in his office, accepting the extra cup of coffee that the chief offered to him was a drop dead handsome man with a lion's mane of dark blonde hair and the most piercing pair of blue eyes she had seen on any man. She wondered if he was wearing colour enhancing contacts. His glowing tanned complexion and the sun-streaked highlights in his hair bespoke his just having returned from vacation in some sunny climate..or did he acquire it all at a tanning studio? It was hard to tell these days. However, her college trained artist's eye immediately noted that his was a face worthy of Greek sculpture. Painting was still a past time she indulged in during her off time, as it helped her to retain her sanity and sense of balance after witnessing some of the atrocities human beings committed against one another. It saved her from succumbing to a state of misanthropy and scathing cynicism about the world she inhabited as a police detective. And Lisa was thinking now, how much she would have preferred putting brush to canvass instead of being here in the chief's office now. She had so been looking forward to the time off. Yet there was a bigger part of her that was infused with adrenalin at the thought of solving cases and putting away the bad guys where they belonged.
The man in the chief's office looked very familiar but she couldn't immediately place him, however, the one thing no one had to tell her; was that he was also a cop. Despite his GQ looks, expensive black leather jacket and black designer shirt, he had the look and aura of a cop. Good Lord, where do they put this one undercover? John bait for the queers on Church and Wellesley?
"Detective Lisa Mayne, meet Detective James McGuinn," the chief introduced them. "James is going to be taking Bradley's place, and he'll be your new partner." The man stood up from the chair in which he had been half lounging lazily with long jean-clad legs crossed over each other. He stood about six foot three.
"Is that all you woke me up for on my day off chief…?" Lisa scowled, irritated, barely acknowledging Detective McGuinn. He was a little too pretty for her taste despite the fact her that heart had skipped a beat when first saw him, and immediately sensed something else which she chose to ignore at that moment lest the need she had been suppressing, caused her face to redden like a beet if she gave any thought to it now. However, she couldn't ignore the sudden wetness in her jeans and quickly sat down as the vision of the collar swiftly flashed by her again. She drew her chair away from Detective McGuinn who just shot her a wry look and casually shrugged his shoulder.
"Before yer go getting yer knickers in a knot darlin'," Willard halted her with one hand in the air, reverting back to the English accent he had almost lost after forty years in Canada, as he always tended to do when he got overly excited, nervous or pissed off. Right now he was a combination of the second and the last. "There's another very serious reason I called you down here. This one's personal to me, and it involves a kidnapping…of a child. The interesting thing is that it's been over twenty four hours and the kidnapper hasn't demanded a ransom."
"Now that's weird….think it could be some kind of terrorist action? And by the way, whose child's been kidnapped?
As in 'The Eleventh Hour' Sandra Levenson"