The women passed before him like promenading poodles, all fluffed and overly eyelashed, wearing just enough fur to keep them out of jail. Not one will of the wisp among them. Nothing but hawkish women who kept their bunions trimmed so they could fit into their Manolos.
If this undercover crap didn't work out, Frank could always become the Bat Segundo of the fashion industry. Watching the dames parade down the runway in next-to-nothings fed his twisted attraction to the dominatrix kind of gal --the kind of gal who would stomp her stilettos down the throat of any man who suggested that her mother wears Army boots.
The curtain parted one last time. The designer minced his way onto centerstage, surrounded by his poodles. Frank was slow to get to his feet and join the rest of the crowd in their standing ovation. Ah, the roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd. Frank nearly missed the sound of the gunshot.
Blood splattered across the stage. The glitzy clients screamed and kissed the floor. Those in the back fled for the exits, knocking over folding chairs and slow-footed humans as they went.
Frank touched a sticky red spot on his shirt. Paint. Not blood. Nobody else noticed.
A female reporter jumped on stage, her pen scribbling notes as she mucked through the murder scene. A bodyguard with the face of a terrapin pushed her off the runway. She fell against Frank, who seized the day and copped a feel. No galleycat, she. She hit him with her notebook and aimed her unsheathed pen at his temple.
Frank caught her hand, having found love at first sight. "Can I consider this foreplay?"
She wrestled free and gave him a second glance. "What kind of snark are you? What makes you think I'd muddle with the likes of you?"
The squeal of a bullhorn ripped through the air, forcing the screaming audience to cover their ears. "Return to your seats! It's just part of the show!" The goon with the bullhorn pointed to the paint-gun toting shooter. "Don't let the anti-fur terrorists control your lives! If you don't indulge in your love of fur, the terrorists win!"
So much for the tip about some killer stalking the designer. Nothing but a damned publicity stunt. Frank looked at the reporter gal who kept writing through the melee. He recognized her from her book jackets. An investigative reporter. Pulitzer prize winner. Must have gotten a lousy tip, too.
Frank summoned up his cheesiest smile. "Why don't you go call the story in. I'll go to the bookstore next door. Meet you in the coffee shop there. Then you can drop everything and give me ten ... books worth of autographs before we see what other passions we share."
She tapped her pen against his chest. "You're no George Clooney, but I'll take your number." Frank smiled. The fashion show wasn't such a bust, you should pardon the expression, after all.
Miss Snark is quite impressed!
Scoring to come