“I didn’t seduce you. I was trying to get your attention, since you ignored my text!”
“And you thought showing me your tits would do it?” “Well, it worked, didn’t it?” she shoots back.
I’m silent for a moment, because she’s right. It did work. I don’t even have the mental bandwidth to try to dissect what that says about me as a person. Likely nothing good.
“What do you want from me?” I finally ask.
“Really? How can I simplify this even more?” she asks, her voice laced with obvious irritation. “Ten-million-dollar bounty on my head. I need you to figure out who the hell wants me and why. Your father was obsessed with this case. I know he kept detailed notes. Maybe there’s something in his notes that will lead us to figure out who the hell wants me so badly.”
Her mention of my father and his obsession strikes a nerve, and I feel my blood chill. I harden my voice. “Okay, hold on one second. First of all, there is no ‘us.’ And second, why not go to the police if you’re so concerned about this?”
She laughs, but it’s hollow, and there’s a hint of her voice trembling beneath her false bravado. “The police can’t do anything and will only force me back outside. I’m safer where I am, but I know I’m running out of time. Ten million dollars is a lot of money, and all I can do is try to run the clock out.”
Though I can tell she’s trying to fight it, the sadness and helplessness is clear in her words, and it hits me on a cellular level. She’s terrified. And while I want to blow her off, to tell her to leave me the hell alone, I can’t, though I’m not sure why. Because yes, she gave me one of the best orgasms of my life without even being in the same room, but there’s still something else. I feel drawn to helping her—maybe because of the fear in her voice, or my need to figure out what it is about her that seems to wake something inside me.
She lets out a long breath. “Look, I know you hate me. I know you probably blame me—or my father—for your dad becoming so obsessed with the case and eventually…” she trails off, not daring to say what we’ve all been too scared— too polite—to say out loud. “But I don’t have anyone else. I can’t leave my apartment. I can’t do this on my own. I need someone on the outside who knows the case and can help me. If I figure out who is ordering this, I might have a chance at surviving.”