Dwayne lit another cigarette. He took a deep drag and exhaled a large cloud of smoke. Even with the window cracked, his Honda Civic filled with the fumes. He sat in a parking lot waiting for her to come out. He looked at the clock; the neon green numbers read 4:57. She should be coming out any minute.
PT's was the club she worked at. He’d been in there a few times, though that’s not where he first saw her. He’d first laid eyes on her stunning beauty at a Walmart. She was wearing a tight, almost see through, white shirt and a small black miniskirt. She obviously was not wearing a bra because he could clearly see her nipple rings as if she were completely topless. And in her little hand basket she carried pizza rolls and a bottle of Jose Cuervo.
The way her long blond hair spilled over her shoulder and how she tilted her head a little when she spoke to someone was enticing… but it was the crooked little smile with the one dimple that won his heart. He knew that she was meant to be his.
He was compelled to follow her to her car, which was a late model Corvette, Fire Engine Red if he wasn’t mistaken, and wrote down her license plate number. Later he would have Max look up her information. But Dwayne couldn’t get enough of just looking at her. She was a paragon beauty. She was a goddess born in mortal flesh. He watched her get in the car and pull away. He remained standing in that parking for almost fifteen minutes after she had departed.
Kaitlyn Ross. She was a dancer at this club. And for the third time this week, he would escort her home; without her knowledge, of course. It was better this way. Dwayne felt he needed to really know her before they got….. more intimate.
He was almost finished with his smoke when he saw her unmistakable form move towards the Vette in the back parking lot. She was escorted, as usual, by a large man he didn’t know. That was ok. Better to keep her safe. Better to keep her untouched.
Dwayne’s engine was already running. He had his lights turned off so he didn’t look like some creepy guy sitting in the parking lot just waiting for the dancers to come out. As she pulled off so did he.
A short time later he watched her pull up to her house. It wasn’t a large place but it wasn’t small either. Her home looked a little run down but in the first stages of repair. It appeared that new siding was being installed on the older two-story place. The faded yellow was a stark contrast to the new dark gray. And there were buckets on the peaked roof as if it too were being replaced.
The light of the early morning was starting to tint the sky light shades of blue. Kaitlyn had a carport next to the house. Dwayne watched from half a block away as she backed into her spot and got out of the vehicle. As she walked to her front door she chirped her car alarm to be sure it was set. When she went to put the key in the door, she looked around suddenly as if she felt she was being watched. Shaking her head, she went inside and closed the door.
After a 20 minute drive back to his 2-bedroom condo, Dwayne went inside and flipped on the light. The living room was just as he’d left it: spotless. The carpet was vacuumed and dust covers on the couch and love seat were unruffled. He walked through the open dining room and casually ensured the salt and pepper shakers were touching each other and perfectly centered on the table. As he went to the kitchen, he turned off the light in the living room and turned on the kitchen. Under the florescent lights, the kitchen seemed to be one big reflective surface. The floor was waxed to a brilliant shine and the counter-tops and stove were immaculate.
Opening the fridge, he noted that there were seven beers aligned on the second shelf. His gaze flashed over the condiments in the door arranged from shortest bottle to tallest. He grabbed a beer, opened it, threw the cap in the trash bin inside a cabinet, and moved down the hall to his bedroom.
The bed was painstakingly made and centered in the room against the far wall. The low hum of his computer in “sleep mode” was the only noise. Dwayne liked quiet. He set his beer on a coaster on the computer desk and began to remove his clothing. He untucked and unbuttoned his shirt and removed it. Smoothing out the sleeves he laid it across the back of the computer chair. After unfastening his shirt suspenders, he did the same with his undershirt and pants; placing his shoes under the foot of his bed. Emptying his pants pockets, he carefully arranged the contents into the top drawer of the nightstand.
In only his boxer shorts, white socks pulled up to the knees, and eyeglasses, he left the room with his keys in hand. Dwayne went into the guest bedroom, which was an exact duplicate of his own room, minus the computer, and went strait to the closet.
The full length mirror on the closet reflected an image he wasn’t proud of. A man in his mid forty’s, he was balding on top but still had a thick crown of light brown hair around his head. Sharp eyes and a sharp nose were prominent facial features, as was a thick mustache. A clean shaven jaw, though it was double, was nicely squared. His belly had grown quite a bit in the last few years. And he knew he had never really been considered handsome.
He used his keys to unlock the bolt on the closet door. He opened it and reached in to turn the dial that would bring the lights up. The walk-in closet went about 8 feet deep and was about 4 feet wide. A light sent of cinnamon permeated here. All along the walls, perfectly at eye level, were picture frames. At the back of the closet was a small table.
Under each of the picture frames was a small name placard. The first read ‘Shelly Groves’ and the frame above held a picture of a strikingly attractive woman. Not much could be made out in the picture, though, because the glass was completely shattered as if someone punched the exact middle of the picture in anger. The second was engraved ‘Allison Stark’. But the frame above this one held only scraps of a picture in one corner that may or my not have been a person. And the third, ‘Grace Watson’, was another picture of an attractive woman, but this one had the face circled in thick red lines and a thick red ‘X’ through the center of her face.
Over the table at the very back hung a picture of Kaitlyn Ross. The picture was seemingly taken without her knowledge; it was a profile shot of her leaving a restaurant. Dwayne walked to this picture and raised his hand as if to touch her beautiful face, fingers just a hair's breadth from running down the glass. Then he turned his attention down to the table. He reached out and arranged the hairbrush, toe-ring, and nail polish that he had taken from her nightstand on the various occasions that he stood over her and watched her sleep.
“Finally!” he whispered to himself, “I found the right one!”
He turned to leave the closet, eyeballing the seven picture frames hung on the walls, to make sure that they were perfectly level. Dwayne rolled his palm across the dial to turn the lights off as he walked out and closed and bolted the door behind him.