Body Hunter

Free Body Hunter by Patricia Springer

Book: Body Hunter by Patricia Springer Read Free Book Online
Authors: Patricia Springer
dog and carried her back to her apartment.
    Minutes later, neighbors saw a tall, thin man, wearing a blue-and-white baseball cap, knock on Tina’s front door.
    The gangly man was coming down from a drug-induced high. He needed a fix. He knew Tina and thought she might be able to supply him with the narcotics he craved.
    Tina had met the man at the Stardust country-and-western club where he had worked as a bouncer and Danny Laughlin had once worked as a bar-back. Originally from Vernon, Texas, Tina had recently moved to Wichita Falls from Odessa, Texas, where she had been attending private school. She and her visitor had dated a couple of times, but it was nothing more than a casual relationship. Tina cordially opened the door to him.
    The young woman’s pleasant disposition changed as soon as the door closed behind the unkempt man. He grabbed her, forcing his lips to hers. Tina pulled away, pushing against his chest to release his viselike grip. Her dark brown hair swung swiftly to the side as her head rang with the impact of the man’s open hand against her cheek. Kimbrew stumbled backward, falling against a brown wicker table. The next blow was her attacker’s fist connecting with Tina’s right eye. It throbbed from the impact. Her knees buckled and she dropped to the floor.
    In seconds, the man she thought to be her friend was on top of her, slapping her, punching her face with quick-tempered blows. The right side of both her top and bottom lips swelled, immediately discoloring from the blood that rose just below the surface. She fought to regain her footing, clawing her way to the sofa. Tina Kimbrew pulled at the cushions to help her stand, but they tumbled to the carpet as her aggressor knocked her down.
    The incensed man pulled at Tina’s underpants, jerking them from her body. She continued to fight. Although he was more than one hundred pounds heavier and over a foot taller, Tina was determined to ward off the assault. The man’s greatest advantage was his intense anger. Rage that drove him to seek domination. To have complete control.
    Kimbrew pressed her elbows into the carpeted surface of the living room as she attempted to rise. The man pushed her back and slipped his hands around her neck, squeezing firmly. The thin gold necklace that encircled her throat pressed into her flesh, scraping the surface raw. Tina’s elbows dug deeply into the rug’s abrasive fibers.
    Kimbrew continued to struggle. The man slung his forearm over her nose and mouth, compressing tightly. Her small frame flailed beneath the strength of her attacker for no more than a few seconds. The blood vessels to her brain collapsed. Her eyes held but a flicker of light until the continued pressure on her throat extinguished it like a candle being snuffed out. She sank into total blackness.
    The man who had once called Tina Kimbrew his friend gaped at her lifeless body in disbelief. Quickly he fled the Park Regency Apartments and the sight of the white-gowned body stretched across the brown carpet. He returned to his own apartment. No one was there. He felt all alone. A familiar feeling, one he had felt since he was a kid. No one to talk to. No one to listen to his problems.
    He lay across his bed, staring at the ceiling. In the swirls of the textured dome he saw the face of Tina Kimbrew staring back at him. Closing his eyes was useless; he could still see her looking at him with questioning eyes. “Why?” she seemed to ask. He couldn’t tell her. He didn’t know why. All he knew was that he needed to get away. Out of Wichita Falls.
    The ocean, he thought. I’d like to see the ocean.
    Shelly Kelly and Tina Kimbrew were close—more like sisters than cousins. They had seen each other frequently since Kimbrew’s move to Wichita Falls from Odessa three months earlier. Kelly had expected to see Tina at the Wichita Falls hospital where Tina’s mother was recovering from back

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