He watched the Mustang pull out of the parking lot and weave onto the street, moving slowly as it headed on its way, the brake lights flickering every few feet and he imagined the driver trying to focus his bleary, drunken eyes. He smiled and fumbled in his trouser pockets for his keys. He dropped the keys and stooped to pick them up, nearly stumbling into the door. “Whoa,” he said to himself as he tried to clear his vision enough to guide the key to the lock.
He should have been dropped off at the rented house, where his wife waited and would clean him up and put him to bed, but he had the feeling that tonight was going to be a long one. That’s why he had the driver drop him here, at the “secret place”. He had rented this apartment as soon as he got to town, so he would have a place to carry on without having to deal with motels and such. After all, he was a famous man; he didn’t need rumors to begin flying about his off-duty escapades. He had been in the business too long—he knew how be discreet.
Sex had always been easy for him to procure, his deviant tastes a bit more difficult, but for a man in his position, certainly not impossible. He liked it rough and he liked it kinky. The advent of the home videotape cameras had been a Godsend—there was nothing he enjoyed more than viewing himself administering a brutal once-over to a helpless woman. If not him, then Pete. He had gone out and purchased one of the first home units on the market, paying far too much for the cumbersome machine. He had upgraded many times over the years, always buying top of the line—he craved quality. He loved to watch them squirm in discomfort on the screen as he stood over them, his famous face betraying no mercy—cold and unforgiving, the face that had made him one of the biggest box-office draws of the 80’s. Sometimes they cried, sometimes they begged and eventually they were allowed to go on their way, usually none worse for the wear, always captured on tape. Now there were computers, DVDs and high-definition televisions and cameras the size of a pack of cigarettes. There was no more hauling around of heavy, bulky equipment – he could fit everything he needed in a carry-on bag. Laptop, camera and accessories, all in a single, lightweight bag.
He let himself into the room—it was a studio apartment with a kitchenette—his needs here were very specific, and excess space was not one of them. He shuffled past a large flat screen high definition television and a small, expensive video camera mounted on a tripod and accidentally kicked over a stack of pornographic DVDs on the floor.
He sat on the bed and kicked off his shoes. He reached for the bottle of Chivas on the bedside table and poured himself a tall drink into a dirty glass that sat by the bottle. He drank half the scotch and removed his shirt and pants, throwing them on the chair in the corner. He stood up and weaved to the bathroom, nearly running into the digital camera and tripod on his way. “Careful,” he slurred to himself. “That would probably hurt…”
He giggled and made it to the bathroom and leaned over the toilet, one hand on the wall and tried to focus as he urinated, missing the bowl for the first two or three seconds, managing to soak his socks. “Fuck,” he muttered and tucked his meat back into his drawers, stroking it through the silk boxers out of sheer habit as he stumbled back into the bedroom. He sat on the edge of the bed like that for a few minutes, rubbing his dick, waiting for the spins to let up. He took a deep breath, then reached for the glass of scotch and the telephone. He dragged the phone onto the bed and drained the booze and tried to recall Pete’s number. “947…” He closed his eyes and didn’t like all the motion that was going on behind the lids. He fought off a sudden wave of nausea and set the glass down on the table by the bottle, where it had sat before.
He dialed a number on the phone and listened to it ring for a full minute before lying back on the covers, receiver to his ear. “Come on Petey,” he mumbled. “Goddamn it…” His eyes began to close and he was near passing out when a knock came to the door. He shot upright and nearly pitched forward. The room was spinning and he stood uncertainly and began to lurch toward the door. “That’s more like it,” he shouted, kicking the stack of DVDs once more with one piss-soaked sock. He opened the door and focused on the form before him. “Hey,” he said, breathing deeply, attempting to regain his equilibrium. The visitor swung a tire iron and too late, he raised his arm to defend himself. The metal bar caught him on the temple and he stumbled backward over the pile of DVDs, tripping over the camera and tripod on his way down. The next blow hit him in the mouth and he swallowed several teeth as he gasped for air. The third hit him over the eye and the room began to spin at a dizzying rate. The pain was tremendous and each swing of the tire iron felt like an explosion in his head. Again and again the iron came down, smashing his nose, then his finely-chiseled cheeks. At first, he was too shocked and drunk to resist, now he was simply battered beyond voluntary movement. The blood flowed down his face into his eyes and he choked on the blood running down his throat. The room grew quiet, save for the sound of his assailant’s heavy breathing. He coughed up blood and began to lose consciousness. His eyes tried to focus and he heard the door close and tried to scream, but only spit up more blood. Things went dark and within moments, Cash Decker was dead.