Welcome to the world of Rachel Carmichael, self-employed Private Detective and Security Consultant. Join us as we follow Rachel on her adventures and, hopefully, on the path to quitting smoking!
The Night Is A Harsh Mistress
Rachel Carmichael stubbed out her cigarette grumpily. She kept quitting, but kept starting back up. Stupid habit. She smoothed her lips together, deciding there was still enough lip gloss to be respectable. She popped a mint in her mouth and pushed off the wall.
Seven different bars tonight, and so far, none of them were the right one. A peel of laughter split the night ahead of her and she froze. Maybe her luck was changing.
Her quarry had great taste in shoes, and a better budget than Rachel. Maybe if she quit smoking, she could afford shoes like that, she thought sourly. The woman was tall, even with the four-inch come-fuck-me stilettos. Her long blond hair spilled down her back in a perfect curtain, cut off in a neat line and hardly moving in the breeze.
The man with her was short but muscular. He still wore his suit, but the tie was stuck in a pocket. He was liable to lose it, carrying it like that; but from the look in his eye as he watched the woman, he didn’t care about his tie. He followed her, stumbling a little, toward the parking lot.
Rachel snapped four pictures of them before they were even in sight of his car. He had a nice ride; a black Mercedes that was deceptively large and spacious. The windows were tinted and allowed little light through, but they obliged by engaging in a prolonged make-out session right against the side of the car. His hand disappeared up the slit in her dress and she moaned. Rachel would have bet money the sound was faked, theatricality at its best. She snapped another two shots and returned to the shadows.
She added up what she had so far and decided to call it a night. Her watch told her accusingly it was nearly four in the morning. She sighed bitterly. Yet another night she’d been up past the witching hour. At least this time, she’d caught the quarry. This paycheck would pay the rent on her office for the next three months.
Since she lived there, that was a good thing.
She parked in the lot below the building, the early morning hush closing in around her like a hand. She rode the elevator up to her floor, hardly speaking to Jim in the guard station. She unlocked the door, the inset window proclaiming, “Rachel Carmichael, Private Detection and Security Consultation.” Funny, but she’d thought the second part of her company name would attract more clients, and more interesting work. So far, all she’d gotten were three angry husbands and a missing teenager. She was bored, but at least it was her own business.
She threw her purse on her desk and pulled another cigarette out of the dwindling pack. As the flame bloomed and she took a deep breath, she wondered for the fifth time that night if she ought to quit. She inhaled again, staring out the window.