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Authors: S.E. Chardou

Killing Time (5 page)

BOOK: Killing Time
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“Where are you staying?” I inquired though it was none of my business.

“The Waldorf Astoria. My family has a permanent suite there at their disposal.”

I thought.

Gray leaned over and whispered in my ear, “I’m not comfortable with you going off with him. I’ve heard things about him from my brother and he isn’t to be trusted.”

“You heard the police,” I whispered back. “He wasn’t in the country when Trésor was murdered. Her stuff is all I have, goddamn it. I will be back before you know it.”

He smiled, his blue eyes glazed over as if he were thinking about other issues. “Hurry back.”

Gray chastely kissed my cheek, stood and left the room without a word.

The large impersonal box known as O’Neill and Wozniak’s office seemed to close in around me and I suddenly felt claustrophobic and disoriented. My breathing had sped up slightly and I didn’t really like being here trapped with these three men, regardless whether two of them were NYPD Detectives or not.

O’Neill leaned over and gave me his business card. “If you have any questions or concerns, please give us a call at that number. In the meantime, we will try to get this taken care of as quietly and discretely as possible. Your sister’s body will be returned to the family when the medical examiner has ruled out any issues of foul play.”

“I thought . . . you said it was a cut and dry suicide.”

“The inquiry was made by me,” Rory said out loud. I could hear a faint trace of a German accent beneath his impeccable English. “Trésor wasn’t suicidal and I still don’t buy she killed herself. She would have never done anything without my permission. She was committed to me.”

I laughed though it sounded inappropriate. “Did it ever occur to you perhaps suicide was the only way she thought she could get away from you?”

He smiled back but his expression matched his voice of pure ice. “I won’t try to explain a lifestyle to you that you will never understand living in your ultra vanilla world where everyone fucks with the lights out in missionary position . . . and the most adventurous sexual endeavor you’ve probably allowed yourself was giving your fiancé a blow job while you ran your finger up and down his perineum. For some of us, a life like that won’t do. Hell, it’s a fate worse than death.”

My face burned; I knew from the neck up, my crimson complexion acknowledged feelings of inadequacy and embarrassment, and I hated him at that particular moment.

He’d read me, read my fucking love life like an open book as if he had my journal open in front of him.

My sex life with Gray was basic and boring but in our own way, we were fond of one another and willing to make a life together though there wasn’t any real love there. We were a power couple in the making. I was an ambitious reporter with ties to a very old French family who could trace a partial amount of my lineage back to the aristocracy that wasn’t beheaded.

Grayson, a man who came from one of the oldest American families in existence, had a bright future ahead of him and someone any woman would be proud to show off to her friends and family. They could trace their journey over on the Mayflower from Scotland on his father’s side and his mother was a mixture of French, German and Welsh, though both sides of the family had been in the country for over two hundred years.

It was true, we didn’t have a wild and crazy time with one another and although we didn’t always have sex in missionary position, neither one of us could be called adventurous or “out there” when it came to matters of sex or the heart. We both played it safe and that was okay. We understood one another and that would hold a marriage together a lot longer than feelings of extreme love and warmth.

“You’re blushing, Ms. Segler-DeMarche,” Rory began as if we were the only two people in the room. “If you would like to pick up your sister’s belongings, we really should be on our way.”

I tried to smile but my face fell short.

I was tired, hungry since I hadn’t matched my food intake with my alcohol consumption and I only looked forward to a comfortable bed.

“Yes, I think that would be best.”

He stood and I did the same before I followed him out of that room.

The moment we stepped outside the police precinct, I could breathe again but it was only the lush air, which bounced off the trees from Central Park.

It was the start of late autumn and soon, winter would be upon us. Was it really a few weeks before Thanksgiving? I wasn’t expected in France until Christmas but I had an idea I would be going back sooner rather than later now that my poor sister had met her demise. My parents would never settle for anything less than her being buried in the Segler-DeMarche plot. The problem was it happened to be in the Alsatian region of France which meant we would all have to travel for her funeral though they were a lot closer than I.

I honestly didn’t know how to feel about walking out of a police precinct with this strange man, someone my sister had been . . . well, what? A slave? A submissive or what ever they called it? Were they considered dating? Or was the arrangement between them more formal and officially referred to as a relationship? My mind swirled with too many questions and as a reporter, the stupid ones I just couldn’t ask.

I knew the Internet like the back of my hand and Google was my best friend. I would try to find out everything I could about this BDSM lifestyle. I’d texted Gray’s brother while Detective O’Neill—or was it Wozniak as I couldn’t remember now—prattled on about the specifics of my sister’s case and he’d recommended fictional and non-fiction BDSM material that was solid and could be trusted by several authors considered experts in the lifestyle.

I remembered his last text now and couldn’t help but chuckle:


Jason: For god’s sake, don’t you dare think of downloading that
Fifty Shades
shit. That’s what vanillas think BDSM is but they couldn’t be much wronger!!!



Yes, the exclamation points had been his, and not mine for emphasis. Jason was a good guy, sweet and full of life and love, unlike his cold fish brother. I sometimes thought Grayson had thrown it in my face because for a while, I was so close to Jason, he had honestly thought about leaving his wife for me.

Not that I was a home wrecker. I would have put a stop to it before it’d ever gone that far however, Grayson had told me half of the truth while we’d still been in the dating stage of our own courtship.

“Jay’s into some hard core shit and you don’t want anything to do with him, Aurélie. I swear, he could hurt you…and then I would have to kill him.”

I couldn’t possibly know that was as emotional as Gray could ever become but I knew it now and I still thought I was making the right decision for my career, my future and my life. Love was nice. Love was over the top and beautiful and full of walking on clouds and memories of a touch, the feel of skin, the smell of a body but I couldn’t risk my heart again. Not after Renaud. Love, to me, represented Renaud: something I could never have and never would be worthy of ever again.

“Are you going to be all right going inside?”

The smooth velvet voice, a mixture of dark chocolate and caramel, startled me out of my contemplation. I’d always thought of German-accented English to be harsh and French-accented English to be so smooth and sexy. I’d never been so wrong in my life.

I finally looked in Mr. Krieger’s direction and felt myself shudder though I played it off as if it were from the chilly evening and not the nearness of my proximity to him. This man might have had something to do with Trésor’s murder despite his pleas of innocence. Transatlantic flight or not, that didn’t make him fucking innocent or clear him of anything in my book.

“Yes, I should be fine,” I replied as our eyes met before I looked away as quickly as possible.

His former apartment building on Park Avenue was as formidable as ever. Tall, imposing and gleaming of nothing but money, this man was not hurting for a penny as far I could tell.

We stepped out on the sidewalk and walked past an astute doorman who welcomed Mr. Krieger by name.

“We’re just here to pick up Ms. DeMarche’s belongings, Harold. There is a showing tomorrow and no personal effects are to be left in the apartment.”

“Of course, Mr. Krieger but . . . you should know there is a showing going on at the moment. Mr. Haussmann told me to tell you he would not let the prospective buyers see the basement but he would let them know about it and show them photos.”

“That fucking greedy little shit,” Rory whispered under his breath though he said nothing further to the doorman and I walked as fast as my Chanel five-inch peep-toe heels would allow. He had a long purposeful stride that was beautiful to watch, and his clothes were absolutely impeccable. Expensive silks and vicuna knits were an arresting combination indeed, especially when everything he had on was black head to toe and matched to perfection.

The alcohol high was starting to wear off and I desperately needed another drink, for courage if not anything else. The thought of other people being in the apartment made me feel better but who in the world would want to view an apartment at this late of an hour?

Someone who desperately wanted the place for themselves and were intent on making an offer, that’s who.

Or perhaps the murderer?

Maybe it was the ultimate collector’s item knowing what they had in their possession and perhaps knowing what they’d done.

In my line of profession, the only hard and fast truth I’d ever learned about human nature was no one really knew what people might do given the right motive and circumstances. That is what made them so unpredictable, dangerous, arresting, fascinating and complete joy to study, observe and thus report about. It was the reason why I chose journalism as my profession.

Ethical journalism was more or less dead but digging dirt and exposing the rich and famous for what they truly were was absolutely priceless. It would continue to be as long as we lived in twenty-four-hours, seven-days-a-week news culture society.

The elevator actually had a gentleman inside who pressed the button for the floor where Mr. Krieger had lived and it was a penthouse apartment, naturally. Not that there was just one apartment on the penthouse floor but three with tenants who were all incredibly wealthy and enjoyed their privacy.

“Is Haussmann still in my former abode, Clinton?”

“I don’t think so, Mista K. ’cause he took them cats’ up there about two hours ago and I’m sure they took the service elevator. You know how some folks is about privacy and what not plus the media had arrived. Harold managed to get rid of them about twenty minutes ago.”

“Who were the prospective buyers?”

“Just a woman but she was with a man—her attorney I think. Only reason I remember her is cuz she snapped at me when I told her no one was supposed to be viewin’ your place tonight. I didn’t catch her first name but her last name was . . . Smitz or maybe it was Schmidt.”

“That fucking bitch,” Rory cursed underneath his breath.

I waited until we were clear of the elevator before I turned toward him and grabbed his arm. He glared at me with cool crystal blue-green eyes before I’d realized my faux pas. I held the edge of his vicuña sweater, which had obviously cost megabucks, in a death grip though it wasn’t like it couldn’t be replaced unlike my poor dead sister.

“Do you know this . . . Schmidt character?”

“Of course I do. Astrid Schmidt: dominatrix extraordinaire due to her height of five feet, ten inches, her predilection for six-inch thigh-high boots and her annoying presence at the club every time I happen to be in town. She’s German, our parents’ are friends and she is a bisexual who had a major crush on my sub. It got to the point where Trésor wouldn’t go to the club without me because her advances became over the top and bordered on harassment.”

“Could she be a suspect?” I licked my dry lips and knew I was grasping at straws but I needed something—anything at this point—to follow so I could start my research.

Rory pursed his lips. “I won’t tell you that. You’re a journalist and I know your type. You’re just itching to do a story on this and you plan to, don’t you? Expose the whole ‘sordid, dirty scene of BDSM’ when you know fuck all about it. You do your own fucking research.”

He snatched his arm from my grasp and walked towards his former apartment.

Rory Krieger was too smart for his own good. Any information I managed to pry from him would only be what he wanted me to know. I breathed deeply and followed him inside the apartment.

It was airy and dimly lit but didn’t feel unsafe. It smelled of different enticing flowers and looked perfectly ordinary. No one would have ever known what kind of lifestyle the owner indulged himself. Nor would they be privy to know he owned the most high profile yet exclusive BDSM club in New York City and others in different cities across the States and around the world, according to Jason, Gray’s brother.

Surely he didn’t spend all of his time on the East Coast? He had clubs all over and probably traveled often but if I was to get any information from him, I would have to approach it from an angle that would hurt us both: my sister.

“Did you . . . love her?”

Rory turned to face me. His breath was shallow but he was holding up just fine. “Of course I did or I would have never made her my full time submissive. It is true, I used other women and men but I didn’t share her—I would become too insanely jealous watching her with another man or woman.”

I stared at him and he seemed deep in reminiscence. It was the perfect time to get him to talk but I would have to keep my wording even, my inflection soft, reflective and pleasant. It was hard to do with my heart knocking in my chest at what seemed like one million miles per hour.

“How did you meet her? Trésor. I understood you allowed her to model even though you two were involved in this . . . TP—”

“You can just say it. You don’t have to use the initials since you didn’t even know what they meant an hour ago. Total power exchange.” He strode towards me and his eyes wandered from the top of my head down to the bottom of my toes though they were enclosed except for the open-toe part.

BOOK: Killing Time
13.64Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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