A mirror hung on the back wall of the office. Jack liked mirrors. He especially liked when he caught a glimpse of his own face in them; the strong jaw, the aquiline nose, and those flashing blue eyes gave him the look of a rakish anti-hero, a man equally confident wooing women in a bar or exchanging gunfire with crooked cops. Jack always made sure to take good care of his face. And whenever he saw his reflection, he would put on a brilliant white smile.
Jack was wearing a smile now, as his eyes lowered from the mirror down to the terrified woman slumped in the chair in front of it. The woman’s fine business suit was torn and disheveled; dark spots marked where the blood from Jack’s knife had seeped through. Her eyes, wide from a potent cocktail of fear and adrenaline, stared up at Jack without blinking.
Twirling the knife between his fingers with an ease borne of long practice, Jack squatted down to put himself at eye level with the woman. “Come on, now,” he coaxed, his voice sure and strong. Jack liked his voice. It was strong, deep and sultry, always filled with confidence. He could command a room, could make a woman gasp from the sound of his voice alone. “It’s just a couple numbers. And once you give them to me, all of the pain will stop. Don’t you want the pain to stop?”
Gently, almost tenderly, Jack raised his hand up to caress the woman’s left cheek. The knife, following behind his fingers, left a line of bright redness across her face as beads of blood appeared. She shivered; no way to know if it was the sting of the cut or the softness of his touch.
Again, Jack spun the knife between his fingers. The light danced along the blade, playing off the angles in a mesmerizing fashion. Jack liked sharp knives. There were so many uses for them, so many things that he could do with them. He understood knives. He brought his hand in a flick, and the woman’s jacket was split in half, falling to her sides. Another red line now ran down her breastbone, and drops of blood flowed along the exposed curves of her small breasts.
The ugly sound of a boot on the marble floor sounded behind Jack. Still keeping his brilliant smile pasted across his face, he turned his head to gaze over his shoulder.
Another man had stepped around the corner. This one was shorter than Jack, stockier, and his features were obscured by a plastic mask of Gerald Ford. Jack had picked out the masks himself; he liked knowing the history behind each face. An MP5 was cradled in the man’s arms.
“Boss, we’re running out of time,” the man said, his voice lower in pitch, ugly and filled with gravel. Jack suppressed a shudder. He hated to hear the ugliness, hated having to deal with these imbeciles.
“I’m sorry,” Jack responded pleasantly, rising back to his feet. He took a step towards the henchman, flicking the knife up to lay along his sleeve. “What were my instructions to you, again?”
The henchman took a half-step back, intimidated by Jack’s figure. Jack liked that he could command respect, even fear. “Er, you said to not interrupt you, sir, but I thought that you’d want to know-“
“You thought I’d want to know,” Jack repeated, taking over the conversation. One step closer, and he was finally within range. The slightest note of rage entered his tone. “You thought that you knew better than me. That’s okay. Excellent job, thinking on your feet. Allow me to reward you.”
A swift motion, and Jack’s knife was embedded in the henchman’s jaw, the point rising up to pierce through his face and into his brain. Vertically impaled, the tried to wheeze out something through his locked, pinned jaw. Blood coursed down the handle of the knife and between Jack’s fingers.
For a moment, Jack held the man upright, marveling at how the muscles in his arm bulged and flexed with the effort. Then he yanked the blade free, and the corpse tumbled to the floor. A spray of blood flew from Jack’s knife, a few droplets splattering across the horrified face of the woman in the chair. She flinched as they hit, but couldn’t take her eyes off Jack. He liked that, liked that she couldn’t pull her eyes from him.
“Now then,” he said, his tone once again pleasant and cordial, “I do still need that combination.”
This time, as he raised his blade to tickle the woman’s eye, her mouth finally opened. Jack listened carefully as she stumbled through a set of numbers, committing them to memory. Jack liked how he could remember everything he heard. He knew that he was a smart man. He was grateful for his many skills.
Pursing his lips, Jack let out a low, echoing whistle, and another masked henchman stepped around the corner. Jack caught the new man’s eyes flicking down to his dead compatriot, but this one was made of stronger stuff; he recovered quickly and raised his face to Jack.
Jack recited off the combination, and the man nodded. “Do you want to see the vault open?” he asked, before dashing off.
There was always a visceral thrill to watching the bank’s vault door swing open. “Not this time, I’m afraid,” Jack replied, putting on another smile. His eyes flicked briefly to the woman slumped in the chair. “I have a little business here to finish.”
The henchman wisely didn’t question his boss. Jack turned back to the woman as he left the office. “Now, what to do with you?” he mused. Another caress, and a matching cut appeared on the woman’s right cheek. Jack dropped his hand, dipping it inside the ruins of her blouse to caress her breast, feeling its hot weight on his palm. He felt a stirring in his pants, and a vision of this woman, naked and writhing, pinned beneath him, briefly filled his mind. “Maybe we could have a little fun. You’d be lucky – there are a lot of girls who want to be with me.”
The woman shivered at his touch. Jack’s eyes narrowed, his mouth twisting with distaste. Jack could admit that he wasn’t great at handling rejection. He worked hard to get everything he wanted; no one should be able to say no to him. He withdrew his hand from the woman’s breast. The vision inside his head was suddenly tinged in red.
“Too bad,” he offered, his voice still light and pleasant. He could have been a radio announcer, he thought, as he raised his hand. Heck, he could have been a TV star. People would happily pay money to see him act, to hear him speak. But Jack was a winner. He had followed his dreams, and now he was able to do whatever he wanted.
Once again, Jack’s lips pursed, and he began to whistle. A light tune, merry and upbeat. Something in three-four tempo. And as he worked, the woman beneath him finally found her voice again, and her wet, ragged screams provided a pleasant counterpoint.
Author’s note: I wanted to write a psychopath, a Patrick Bateman-type charmer with absolutely no qualms or hesitation. Someone with every single gift and privilege in life who abuses it all. Pretty nightmarish to me!