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Cotton FBI - Episode 07

Contents

  1. Cover
  2. What is COTTON FBI?
  3. The Author
  4. Title
  5. Copyright
  6. 1
  7. 2
  8. 3
  9. 4
  10. 5
  11. 6
  12. 7
  13. 8
  14. 9
  15. Nine Days Later
  16. Next on Cotton FBI

What is COTTON FBI?

Your name is Jeremiah Cotton. You are a small-time cop in the NYPD, a rookie that no one takes seriously. But you want more. You have a score to settle with the world. And anyone who calls you “Jerry” will be sorry.

A new time. A new hero. A new mission. Experience the birth of a digital cult-series: Cotton FBI is the remake of JERRY COTTON, the most successful series of German novels with more than one billion copies sold, and it tells an entirely new story in e-book form.

Cotton FBI is published twice a month, with each episode a self-contained story.

The Author

Mara Laue began writing at the age of twelve. Her first publications were short stories and poetry. Since 2005, she has been writing full-time, mainly working with crime/thriller, science fiction, dark romance, fantasy, as well as poetry and plays. She was co-author of the science fiction series “Sternenfaust" and launched two of her own online mystery series: “Succubus” (Sukkubus), which will continue as a book series in 2013, and “Shadow Wolf” (Schattenwolf). She also teaches creative writing in workshops and correspondence courses, and ghostwrites biographies and company histories. When she can afford the time from her writing, she also works as an artist and photographer.

1

John Saito had imagined Kumiko differently. More … Japanese. After all, she had a Japanese name, and he had explicitly ordered a Japanese woman from the escort service. Upon closer inspection, Kumiko’s almost Caucasian appearance was probably because she, like so many Japanese women, had undergone plastic surgery to make her eyes look bigger and more “western.” Although her black hair only fell to her ears, it was styled traditionally, and her eyes were such a dark brown that they almost seemed black.

Those eyes sent a pleasant shiver down Saito’s spine.

Kumiko bowed in perfect Japanese fashion with her hands flat on her thighs. “Konban wa, Saito-san. Kumiko desu. O genki desu ka?”

Perfect Japanese, better than his own, Saito had to admit. Okay, she was Japanese. Without a doubt.

“Good evening, Kumiko. Let’s speak English, please. Sit down. Would you like a drink?”

She smiled. “If you’d like.”

John Saito filled two glasses with whiskey and handed her one before taking a seat on the chair beside her. He was nervous, and not only because he was sitting next to an exceptionally beautiful woman. He cleared his throat.

“You’re familiar with the tea ceremony?” He wanted to make sure.

The woman nodded and leaned slightly towards him, as if presenting her neck to him to kiss — or bite. The single earring she was wearing, a massive gold piece in the shape of a palm-sized star, slid forward until it was resting on her cheek. She looked good enough to eat.

So desu. That’s right. Do you want the traditional ceremony? I brought everything necessary.” The woman pointed to the sports bag that she had set down beside the chair and looked John over from head to toe. “Even a kimono for you.”

Her English was just as perfect and accent-free as her Japanese.

Saito cleared his throat again. “Your agency informed me that I could book certain … um, extras. I’d just have to arrange everything with you personally.”

She nodded again in that inimitable way that — along with the look in her bottomless eyes — was driving him mad. He got an erection. He hoped that she didn’t notice, but who could be a cold fish around such a woman?

“Yes, I can offer you extras. But of course, we are only having the tea ceremony.” She winked at him.

“Of course.” Saito smiled in relief. “And how do we do that? Do I pay you before or after?”

“Before, please. Then we can really focus on the tea ceremony.”

He nodded. “Is five hundred dollars reasonable?”

She gave him a look that seemed concerned, smiled, and remained silent.

“Well, a thousand dollars. Because I want something special.”

She nodded gracefully. “I promise you an unforgettable experience, Saito-san.”

Her voice was like a caress. John Saito smiled. He took the money from the safe in his office, shoved it into an envelope, and handed it to the woman. She put it into her purse without counting the bills and stood up.

“I’ll prepare everything, Saito-san.”

“The bathroom is over there,” he said, pointing to a door. “And the dressing room is there.”

The woman took her sports bag and disappeared into the dressing room. Ten minutes later, she returned, dressed in a kimono under which she was clearly naked. Saito would have loved to pounce on her on the spot. But Kumiko had promised him something special, and he wanted to savor it.

“Where would you like to hold the tea ceremony, Saito-san?”

He pointed to a low Japanese table where the tea could be set out. The woman handed him a folded kimono.

“Would you like to change?”

Would he ever! He took the kimono and went into the dressing room. When he emerged, the woman had put a kettle on the stove in the corner and laid out the teacups, bamboo brush, and teapot. She knelt beside the small stove in a position that was pure seduction. God, how did she do it? And the look she gave him …

Saito swallowed and awkwardly complied with her invitation to sit by her. When he tried to take her hand, she pushed his arm back with a touch that was as light as a feather.

“Allow me to pamper you with all the methods of my art, Saito-san.”

“Please,” he said in a breathy voice. The anticipation of sex with this tantalizing woman was enjoyable but almost unbearable.

In fact, the show she presented him with was beyond compare. Like a geisha, she played a shakuhachi, the Japanese eight-tone flute, danced, sang, and perfectly performed the tea ceremony. She even composed a haiku, a short poem consisting of three lines of five, seven, and five syllables, although he did find the subject a little strange and inappropriate for the occasion.

The flower blooming
One last time with all its might.
Then death will follow.

When the woman got to the “extras,” Saito’s nervousness disappeared. She lured him to the bed, peeled his kimono off, and gave him an erotic massage with everything the art had to offer. Saito felt a sexual excitement like never before in his life. God, Kumiko really knew her craft. She was worth the whole thousand dollars, every cent of it.

Just as he thought he could barely endure it any longer, she undressed herself. Saito admired her perfect body, the flawless skin, and the beautiful legs with long slender muscles like a ballerina.

Instead of lying down, the woman pushed him onto the bed, bent over him, and slid a condom onto him with her mouth. Saito felt like he could walk on air. He moaned with desire as she knelt over him and slowly let his penis enter her body. Using targeted muscle contractions, she stimulated him and stroked his most sensitive areas. John Saito trembled. He felt like he was melting into a sea of pure pleasure as she slowly moved her pelvis up and down. He grabbed her hips, thrust into her, stroked her breasts, and gave himself over to her as he had never given himself to a woman before. When he reached his climax, he shut his eyes and enjoyed the feeling of endlessly pouring into her. It was wonderful, so wonderful, so …

A sharp pain near his heart made him gasp. He opened his eyes and saw the woman’s smiling face. She was holding something golden in her hand, something that looked like …

Saito’s vision blurred. Wasn’t that her earring? He blinked his eyes again and squinted. Yes, she was holding her star-shaped earring in her hand and smiling in a way that sent a shiver down his spine. When he felt a stabbing pain in his neck, he reflexively pulled his hand up and ran his fingers across the spot. When he held his hand in front of his eyes, he saw blood.

Glaring pain seared through his chest again, making him groan. He wanted to scream, but no sound came out. He was overcome with weakness.

“Wha…”

An even more agonizing pain ran from his neck down through his body. Poison — the word flashed in his mind. The tip of the earring had poison on it! She had stuck him in the throat with it. The flower blooming one last time with all its might. Then death will follow. Now Saito realized what the woman had meant. She had planned to kill him all along.

“Why …?” he asked in a fading voice.

If she answered, he didn’t hear it. The poison took effect. After one last horrifying pain that seemed to rip through his chest, his heart stopped beating.

*

Kumiko, whose real name was Yuki and who was anything but a woman from an escort service, enjoyed Saito’s death throes. For her, it was like another uncontrollable orgasm. She panted and her eyes glistened. She savored the feeling until his body went limp. Then she closed his dead, staring eyes, pulled away from him, and went to the bathroom to take a thorough shower. Yuki was aware that she had left fingerprints and traces of DNA throughout the entire apartment, but that didn’t bother her. There were no samples for comparison that could be connected to her, neither with the police nor anywhere else, since she had never been caught. Besides, no one knew her identity, and it would stay that way.

However, it was of great importance to her employers — her real employers — that she deliberately leave behind her DNA and fingerprints at various crime scenes so that the authorities would figure out that the murders and burglaries she had committed were part of a series. Why her employers were so intent on this, Yuki didn’t know. She just followed their orders. Anyway, she couldn’t be forced to say anything about what she didn’t know.

Not that she would’ve ever said anything to anybody. She and her kind were like shadows, neither seen nor heard. Shadows that slipped between the fingers of their erstwhile captors like the wind, finding a way out of almost any situation.

And if there was no way out, life and death were the same to Yuki, and death was the ultimate escape. This mindset made her all the more dangerous and unpredictable. But she had no intention of getting caught.

Yuki dried off, got dressed, and collected her things. Then she went to Saito’s office and looked around. There were paintings of various sizes hanging on the walls. Near one, the wall around the lower left corner was slightly darker than near the others, indicating that it had frequently been touched. She pulled at the corner of the picture, and it flipped open to the side. Behind it, as she had suspected, there was a safe in the wall. Smiling, she shook her head. How unimaginative people were when it came to choosing hiding places for their safes.

Using special equipment, Yuki cracked the combination in a matter of seconds and opened the safe. She was only interested in a thin, sealed folder that was stamped with a red spider, but she still emptied the safe completely. The police should have no doubts about the fact that something had been located inside the safe and that it was the reason for John Saito’s murder.

Yuki put everything into her duffel bag. She would hand the documents over to her employers. The cash was a personal bonus that she could keep: eight thousand dollars. She would deposit the sum in uneven amounts and on different days into the five accounts that she possessed here and abroad.

She left the safe standing wide open. The investigators should immediately notice that something had been removed.

Now, for the final detail. She took a black permanent marker and drew two symbols on Saito’s forehead. As soon as the New York police photographed these symbols and entered them into their database, they would discover that the characters she had drawn were associated with a series of murders that had begun in Cleveland.

Yuki smiled.

Despite all the evidence that she had left at the crime scenes, on the instructions of her employers, the authorities still hadn’t figured out any connection between the individual cases.

It was all the same to her. She left Saito’s apartment and set out to prepare for her next coup.

2

The bartender smiled at him as she pushed the whiskey towards him and placed a glass of water beside it. Cotton smiled back and handed her a bill that included a generous tip. She thanked him, tilted her head slightly, and seductively tucked a lock of hair behind her ear, without breaking eye contact.

The woman was flirting with him. She seemed nice and was very attractive. With her blond hair and slender athletic figure, she reminded Cotton a little of his partner, Philippa Decker. Except that Phil could easily outclass a bartender, Cotton thought, wondering if he should respond to the flirting.

He took a sip of whiskey and enjoyed the exquisite taste of the Talisker: peppery, spicy, and smoky, with a hint of sweetness and a whiff of sea salt on the nose. The light notes of seaweed gave the Talisker its distinctive flavor, which wasn’t to everyone’s taste. Cotton loved it. A small sip of water afterwards opened up additional hidden elements. It was a very sensual taste experience.

The ringing of his smartphone rudely interrupted this pleasure. The call was from Decker.

“What’s up?”

“We have a case. I’m on my way to the crime scene — a penthouse, 1240 Madison Avenue. The resident, John Saito, was murdered. I’ll explain the rest at the scene.”

Decker didn’t wait for him to reply, but merely hung up. Sighing, Cotton pocketed his phone. With that, any potential flirting was ruled out. He drank the rest of the Talisker, swished the water in his mouth, and left the bar. He had actually been looking forward to having a day off to relax. But duty came first, and Cotton wouldn’t have it any other way. Anyways, criminals didn’t get days off, either, at least when they were being hunted by the law.

“Some other time,” he said as he passed the bartender, who was visibly disappointed that he was leaving.

As he steered his car through the city in the increasingly dense traffic, he wondered what could be so special about the murder to get the G-Team involved. On the Upper East Side, murder was admittedly not the norm — there were much worse neighborhoods in New York — but it was rare that the FBI would be immediately called in, and certainly not the G-Team. Especially since no self-respecting homicide detective would voluntarily call the FBI and ask them to solve a case and take all the credit.

Half an hour later, when Cotton was standing with Phil Decker in front of the corpse, he knew why the FBI had taken the case.

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