Sample text for Sequence / Lori B. Andrews.

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Chapter One

The click of the key card eased his late-night entrance into the Wilmont Suite at the Au Contraire Resort in San Diego. Built three years earlier for the spa crowd, the castle-towered resort was now a favorite of high-end business travelers. The same discretion that attracted wealthy stars who were drying out, slimming down, or simply ducking their spouses appealed as well to deal makers who wanted to negotiate potential takeovers---or choose a new CEO---outside journalists’ glare or brokers’ speculation.

Wisps of moonlight illuminated the room through the beveled glass that led to the suite’s private garden. He set down his faded cotton duffel bag next to her monogrammed Louis Vuitton hatbox, right inside the door. As he passed the antique coatrack, the scent of her perfume radiated from the embroidered burgundy shawl hanging from one of the pegs.

The door to the bedroom was ajar, and he stood in the entryway for a moment, tongue darting over his top lip. The tousled sheet that covered her sleeping body dipped below one breast, exposing its compact shape and tender nipple. Her short dark hair spiked in all directions, punk rock--style. Quite a contrast to the buttoned-up photo of her in last month’s Forbes.

The hum of the ceiling fan disguised his approach. He began to pull the sheet gently back. She stirred slightly but didn’t awaken. He bent over her, staring intently at her face as a tiny furrow creased her forehead. A bad dream perhaps?

He dipped his head down and lightly licked her inviting nipple. The furrow vanished. Then he raked his top teeth gently over the nipple and her eyes squinted open.

Her mouth formed a scream, but his hands were quicker. Within seconds, he slid his fingers behind her neck, thumbs positioned in front. He rocked the weight of his body forward with 180 pounds of pressure on her fragile windpipe. A small thwack, like the sound of a light being extinguished, signaled that he’d crushed her trachea. Her head fell violently to the side and he began to whistle.

He returned to the living room for his duffel bag, threw it on the bed next to her, and unzipped it. The Crystal Method song didn’t lend itself to whistling. Few techno songs did. But he continued forming the discordant notes. Accustomed to being alone, he’d stopped noticing that his tastes were far different from most people’s.

With a strong tug, he unpeeled the sheet, exposing her entire body. He looked intently over her, cataloging each slope and nook of her frame. Her wrists were exceedingly thin, he thought, and her earlobes asymmetrical.

Once he had memorized her form, he took an antibacterial wipe from the bag and cleaned off the breast he had licked.

Then he began his work.

Copyright © 2006 by Lori Andrews

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Women geneticists -- Fiction.
Serial murderers -- Fiction.
Washington (D.C.) -- Fiction.