Walk of shame

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The story so far

Quentin, sprawled in the doctor’s king ranch bed, listened to the young nurse hastily gathering her things. Whatever arrangement she had with Dr. Payne was shattered with Quentin’s response to her attempts at intimacy. She whimpered as she picked up her discarded clothing. Any questions were ignored, or dismissed with a contemptuous guffaw

An unfortunate consequence for any female close to a host, Quentin brought his own brand of cruelty into the mix. Women were only for his entertainment. Except Abigail. He was willing to give up everything for her, then she betrayed him.

Once he was through with the woman who appeared earlier at his door, at the doctor’s door, he told her to leave.

He wasn’t worried about any rumors that were sure to begin after his bad behavior. This host was temporary, and once no longer of any use, he would be discarded. Just like the nurse, and just like Abigail.

Waiting for her to finally make her way down the private elevator, Quentin set the security alarm. Alone, he inspected the loft, taking inventory of his host’s clothing and accessories. Payne had an impressive collection of luxury watches, and cufflinks.

A computer sat on a large, but plain oak desk in a dark corner of the apartment. Logging into Payne’s personal account, Quentin perused various email and document files. Then he checked his surgery and appointment schedules for the week. He didn’t have anything on his calendar for two days. For a moment, he struggled to remember the password for his bank account, but as more memories fell into place, Quentin took on more of Payne’s persona.

Working quickly, he transferred money from the doctor’s accounts to a bank in the Principality of Andorra. The funds Quentin already had there had grown substantially during his dormancy. He accessed the computer file titled “Loft” and read over the property’s mortgage details. It would be a simple matter to transfer ownership to a new host when the need arose.

Satisfied with his work, Quentin changed the passwords to his various accounts and the computer. He felt exhausted, all he wanted now was to sleep for next 48 hours.

Barlowe, drinking bad coffee to help him stay awake, started his car when he saw the automatic shutters closing off the wall of windows in Payne’s loft. The nurse who arrived earlier in the evening had left, crying and carrying her shoes. She ran by his car without noticing him.

His phone began to vibrate on the seat beside him, it was 3 a.m. The caller ID only showed a number without a name.

“Detective Barlowe?”

Jack’s stomach tightened.

“Ms. Dolan.”

He made plans to talk with Iona/Abigail later that afternoon, barely remembering exactly what he said to her when their call ended. Pulling away from Payne’s apartment, Barlowe wondered if his good suit was clean, and wished he had invited her to breakfast. He didn’t stop smiling the entire drive home.

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Inspiration: Candlelit Breakfast

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