< I don’t need this—not today! The woman poked a pink tongue out at herself and hurried off to dress for her first meeting.
Being predictable was one trait no one could assign to Em. As a young girl growing up in Papua New Guinea, what had started out as a game between herself and her parents in order for Em to keep them on their toes and for the young girl to maintain some modicum of control over her small world, Em learned the secret of being ever-changing.
In exasperation, Em’s mother would exclaim at least once every day that she “could never work her out;” that she couldn’t tell from one day to the next what devious new ways her daughter would devise to surprise both her and Em’s father, be it a new game of hide-n-seek, new imaginary friends, etc. So now, standing before the full-length mirror, Em smiled to herself as she ran a critical eye over her attire.
My staff never know what to expect me to wear to the office from one day to the next so they all regard me as somewhat of an enigma as far as bosses go. I even suspect someone of running an office pool on what I may turn up in, or at least what my “color for the day” may be. And today I am determined not to disappoint them.
Black was Em’s color for today. From head to toe she was clad in black semi-aniline leather. Her preferred choice of clothing fabric, leather doesn’t itch and it doesn’t scratch when you put it on. Leather is at first cool to the touch, then warms to your body temperature, forming to your shape, much like your favorite pair of jeans.
However, nothing smells quite like leather. All leather has its own aroma that is unmistakable. The smell of new expensive shoes or boots … the interior of a luxury car … Em loved it. The pants were tucked into knee-high boots with stiletto heels, the jacket with collar turned up in anticipation of the outside cold accentuated a wide-shouldered frame and was cinched in at the waist by a 3-inch-wide studded belt. Apart from the leather thong, Em wore nothing else under her outer shell.
To enhance the diabolic look, her lips sported a glossy fire-red. To finish off the ensemble, she slipped a Glock 28 subcompact pistol into its concealed holster inside the jacket. After all, a girl can never be sure when a dinner date may become overly amorous and not want to accept ‘no’ as a directive. Satisfied with the overall look, Em turned on her heel and headed down to the subterranean garage.
The spiral staircase between the main bedroom and the kitchen delivered the black-clad beauty into the garage. Sensors detected her descent and illuminated the spacious area with incandescent lighting.
The focal point of the garage was the sleek black Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren. Em’s new pet was a sports car and supercar automobile co-developed by DaimlerChrysler and McLaren Cars. It was one of the fastest automatic transmission cars in the world.
Most people presume “SLR” to stand for “Sportlich, Leicht, Rennsport” (German for “Sport; Light; Racing”), while it actually meant “super-leicht, Rennsport” (super-light, racing). The 722 Edition referred to the victory by Stirling Moss and his co-driver Denis Jenkinson in a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR with the starting number 722 (indicating a start time of 7:22 a.m.) at the Mille Miglia in 1955. The “722 Edition” created 650 bhp, with a top speed of 210 mph and 0-60mph in 3.6 seconds.
All in all a good match for Em’s life-style … besides, she just loved the gull-wing doors. The inside of the SLR was as exotic as the Batmobile exterior, with carbon-fiber seat shells covered in fine leather and a cockpit built of contrasting colors and textures.
Slipping on leather driving gloves, Em turned the stubby key, flipped a cover at the top of the gear selector, and thumbed the button that hid there to bring the 5.4-liter, V-8 rumbling to life.
The whisper-quiet garage door cycled opened and the sleek sports car, emerging like some black panther from its lair, slid out onto Mapleton Ave, now slick from a light drizzle and roared off into the misty grey morning. A shadow detached itself from an adjacent dark doorway and slit eyes watched as the car disappeared around a far corner, then shifted their intent gaze to the recently-vacated house.