A/N: As with many of my short stories, this is part of the 100 Theme Challenge. This one is Number 1 - Introduction. A bit...odd, I guess; let me know what you think, and I know some of it might not make sense as I changed the ending at the last minute but any thoughts on that would be great, as always. And I return all decent reviews.
A single flame appeared in the dark room, wrapping itself around the end of the stick, the tobacco falling out of the end as it started to burn. The now grey end glowed a bright orange as the woman inhaled, her face barely visible as she shifted her body, crossing one long, light brown leg over the other one. The tights rubbed together as she laughed.
"And I should help you...why?"
"Because I need it," the man gasped, leaning forward. "Because...because they told me to come to you. Please."
"You're in trouble," she laughed, "and they told you to come to me? Interesting. Everyone knows that by stepping through my door you get in more trouble than you're already in."
He scoffed. "That's barely possible."
"You need someone to cover up your tracks, I'm assuming?"
One delicate hand reached forward, a long elegant finger tapping at the cigarette. Ash dropped to the floor, small specks floating through the air. "Tell me," she inhaled deeply before continuing, "about yourself."
"Because how do I know if I can help you if I don't know you?"
"Right...well...my name's Rich Jenks."
"Anyone ever call you Dick?"
"All the time, but not because of my name."
She laughed, a high pitched noise that set him on edge. "A sense of humour – I like it. How old are you, Rich?"
"Twenty-seven, rock and roll death age."
"Any plans to die this year?"
He remained silent.
"Good. No plans on your part, then. Because, well, it would be pretty pointless to help you if you were just going to turn around and overdose on prescription pills, wouldn't it?" Her bright red lips lit up in the darkness as she sparked up the lighter once more. The cigarette dropped to the floor and before the flame died, another cigarette was in her mouth, the cherry glowing as the flame encompassed it. Her lips curled into a smile, slightly cruel and slightly twisted as her eyes flicked up to stare at him.
"Maybe...but, considering what I'm here for..."
"So, tell me, Rich, what is it that you've done?"
"I..." He took a deep breath. "I think I killed my girlfriend."
"You think?" she laughed. "How can you think you killed someone? Surely you must be aware if you pulled the trigger or not?"
"She wasn't killed by a gun."
"It's a metaphor, Dick."
"Oh, right, well....yeah, I don't know. We were...we were fooling around and, well, things got a bit kinky..."
She leant forward, eyes narrowed, studying him intently. Shadows flickered across her face, the cherry of the cigarette glowing brightly every time she inhaled. He found himself staring at the fag, entranced by it, scared to look into her eyes.
"She asked me to tie her up."
"Did she now?"
"And...well, did you?"
Rich took a deep, shuddering breath.
"From that, I assume you did. Rich, I can't help you unless I know what happened after you tied her up."
"Well, we'd talked about it before. In depth. She said she'd always wanted to try...try a bit of S&M. I agreed because, because..." he faltered, shaking his head before burying it in his hands. "I loved her."
"She is defiantly dead then?" Her voice was cold, ignoring the sobs that broke from him.
"So she wanted to try S&M. Lots of couples do it. My third husband was a big fan of it," she chuckled. "Of course, I was the dom."
"Of course," he mumbled.
"So, Dicky-boy, what happened then?"
"Well she...we were fooling around and stuff and...and...well she asked me to...to try strangling her...she said it would help her to...to...to or..."
"And she experienced the big O before, with you?"
Rich shook his head. "No. I don't think so. She faked it, but I didn't let her know that I knew she was faking it...I...I think that's why she was..." he trailed off, taking a deep shuddering breath before biting down on his lip. "She was so eager to try it. So there I was, just you know, on top of her and she says...says strangle me."
"And you thought that was a good idea?"
"I was hesitant. But she demanded..."
"I see. So you obliged?"
"Because you loved her?"
"Because I loved her."
He fell silent then, closing his eyes, unable to stop himself from reliving that moment again and again, the moment when she hissed just fucking do it, Rich. Strangle me. Rich had reached forward, gently wrapping his hands around her throat, lightly pressing down.
Harder, you pussy. Harder!
So he'd pressed harder and she had screamed then laughed, then asked him to stop...
"She asked me to stop," he choked out. "She asked me to stop and I didn't think she meant it, I thought she was playing up to the part!"
"Did you have a safe word?"
"Yes!" he cried. "It was...was..." he groaned. "It was Pulp Fiction, because we both love it and...and well you can't mistake it for something else can you?"
"But she didn't say it?"
"No," he choked out. "No! Of course she didn't. I would have stopped otherwise."
"Of course. So she died and you..."
"Freaked out. Left. Ran. Didn't know where to go – that was a few days ago now."
"Have the police found her body?"
"I see. So they're looking for you?"
She stood up then, dropping the cigarette to the floor and stubbing it out under her shoe. She sighed, running a hand through her hair before fixing her gaze on him. "So, Rich Jenks, you know what kind of solution I hand out to these problems?"
He nodded, standing up and taking a deep breath. "I...with what I've done..."
"Of course," she laughed. "Of course – I mean, a guy like you in prison? You'd be someone's bitch in seconds."
"It's not that..."
"It doesn't matter. Goodbye, Rich."
She pulled something out of her jacket and pointed it at his head.
"Goodbye, Dick," she sighed, pulling the trigger and shaking her head as the bullet tore through his skull, sending fragments everywhere, bits of brain and blood splattering over her. Ah well, she thought. Just part of the job.