“Merde!” the serial killer yelled in French.
Sapphire Dubois leered down at the man she’d chased from France to Italy. She’d gotten lucky; she didn’t even have to dig most of the hole this time. It was a grave yet to be filled. The ancient cemetery lay in darkness, but the glistening city below the hill gave her the light she needed.
“Who are you?” he yelled. “Why are you doing this to me?”
“That’s funny, Monsieur,” Sapphire said in her best French. “I’d bet my last baguette that’s exactly what the women asked you right before you killed them.”
He glared up at her with a look of guilt that lacked regret; the look of a sociopath. “Are you a cop?”
“Ha!” Sapphire slapped her knee, then turned serious. “I’m much worse than a cop, Monsieur. I’m… your toaster oven.”
His head cocked. “Huh?”
Sapphire scrambled for the French dictionary on her phone. “Ah crap! I totally meant to say ‘your worst nightmare.’ This app sucks.”
The man didn’t seem to care about the rating of her app; he was more concerned with getting out of the deep grave. Self-centered creatures, serial killers.
“Save your energy, the cops will be here to take you out in a bit. I’m sure even Interpol is eager to get their hands inside you.”
His face twisted in revulsion.
“I mean of you. No, hands on you… damn it. I swear I’m usually good at this stuff.” Sapphire’s years at Winchester Private Academy had made her semi-fluent in French. Had she studied text books as much as she’d secretly studied the psychology of serial killers, she may have been fluent.
Sapphire’s high heels dug into the dirt as she walked over to the bush and grabbed the barbed wire and a boom box manufactured in the Jurassic period.
As the Serial Catcher—the name the American police had given Sapphire—she would have dropped an anonymous call to give the cops the whereabouts, but she couldn’t stick to her routine. The cops back home had kept the Serial Catcher on the DL from the media. She wasn’t sure Interpol would, and she couldn’t have the news get back to a certain cop in the States. Though she was sure he had no idea Sapphire Dubois—the heiress he’d slept with—was the vigilante he’d been searching for, he knew the Serial Catcher’s M.O. better than anyone. Sapphire had led him to believe she was in Dubai by placing her cell in someone’s luggage at the airport, and that’s what he needed to keep believing.
“This look familiar?” She showed the killer the barbed wire then placed it so it’d be the first thing the cops saw.
“Merde.” He stared at the bundle. Of course it looked familiar. He’d been using it to cut women’s heads off all over Europe for the past six months. The British papers had dubbed him the Barbed-wire Butcher.
“You like heavy metal, Monsieur? Or are you more of a Kelly Clarkson type of guy?” Sapphire didn’t wait for an answer. She pushed play and the song Serial Killer filled the cemetery. “Fitting, isn’t it?”
“You’re crazy!” He shouted in French.
“Said the serial killer in the hole.”
It’d be easier to just kill him. Sapphire froze at the thought. She stared at the killer pacing his pen. It would be easier. Sapphire had trained in Mixed Martial Arts for years. She could take him out then dig deeper down in the grave. A casket would be placed on top and nobody would know there was a second body in there. It would be safer for her; she wouldn’t have to worry about potential exposure.
Sapphire shook her head to silence the thought. She turned the volume to max and picked up her prepaid phone to make an anonymous noise complaint to the police using her limited Italian. She hung up, then took in the view. The Leaning Tower of Pisa looked magnificent in the distance and made her smile. The summer had been amazing. The life of the old Sapphire—the Beverly Hills heiress who secretly captured serial killers and pined for the cop chasing her—felt like decades ago. That life had been complicated and full of duties she hated. She’d led a double life. She’d faked, fibbed, and sipped champagne at the country club by day, then hunted murderous men by night.
The new Sapphire didn’t have to lie. She’d chased the Barbed-wire Butcher around Europe, on and off during the summer, and not a single person had asked where she’d been or what she’d been doing. She had ultimate freedom, a dream life.
She’d connected the dots in Spain where she saw that a few of the victims had Liked and Favorited Moga: mobile yoga for people on the go. Two had mentioned a certain instructor they had the hots for. It was a classic case of Moga groupies. Sapphire found the French travelling Moga instructor’s schedule and raced ahead of him to Pisa. She went to eight of his classes and acted like a super-groupie, wearing short shorts and sports bras. She’d twirled her hair and giggled at whatever he said. By the time he’d asked her out on a “date,” she’d gotten pretty decent at Moga. It was a win-win.
“I’m afraid I have a train to catch.” Sapphire looked at the time. “But I’m sure you’ll love prison, plenty of barbed-wire there for you. And, oh…” She put her palms together and bowed. “Namasté.”
She jogged through the cemetery as the music and the man’s scream streamed into one. She’d stared at the leaning tower for too long and now had to haul ass in high heels and a mini skirt to catch the train back to Paris.
The dark gravestones panned by in her periphery and she decided to take a shortcut. An icy claw dragged down her spine and she picked up the pace. She knew it was just her imagination, but the cemetery was suddenly a menacing reminder of the ghosts of her past. She raced to the moss-covered wall and scaled it. When her feet hit the ground and the cemetery was behind her, the creepy chill eased and the warm July wind wrapped itself around her.
Life is good, she reminded herself as she headed for the station.
And as everyone knows, all good things last forever.