A homeless man started to stalk a pretty socialite, but she didn’t know that his true motive was to save her life.
Kourtney Russell lived a charmed life. She literally had it all. She was young, beautiful, intelligent, wealthy, and married to a man she loved. Even though she had been born with a silver spoon in her mouth, Kourtney was a hard worker.
She had become social media’s #1 influencer as far as decor went, so she was also a successful businesswoman and family famous. But there was one thing that Kourtney had that she definitely didn’t want — a stalker.
Kourtney first noticed the man in the parking lot outside her favorite mall. The man was standing a few feet away from her car, watching her. He was young, maybe in his mid-thirties, and once, before whatever had driven him to the streets had destroyed him, he must have been handsome.
The man took one hesitant step towards her then stopped. He watched as she scrambled into the car and slammed the door shut. Through the windscreen, she saw his lips move again and again.
He was saying something, but there was no way Kourtney was getting out to ask him what it was. Kourtney released the handbrake, put her clutch on ‘drive’, and pulled away.
In her rearview mirror, she could still see the man in his ragged coat. He raised one hand in a gesture that was oddly threatening. Thankfully, Kourtney left him behind.
That night, she shared her experience with her beloved husband of six months, Daniel. “Hun, I tell you, this homeless man kept looking at me, and speaking, but I couldn’t hear a word. Then when I left, he pointed a finger at me. Like the ghost in those teen horrors, telling the victim her time has come.”
Daniel laughed, put his arms around Kourtney, and kissed her. “Hun, you have the most vivid imagination! I’m sure the guy was some disturbed veteran with PTSD. Poor guy was probably more scared of you than you of him.”
“Well, let me tell you, I’m plenty scared!” Kourtney said. At that moment their landline rang and Daniel answered. From the way his shoulders stiffened and his voice cooled, Kourtney knew it was her mother.
Her mother didn’t like Daniel, and he disliked her right back! Kourtney was caught in the middle of their skirmishes, during which they tugged at her emotions like two pit bulls with a soft toy in their jaws.
“It’s for you!” Daniel said, and passed her the phone. Kourtney sighed and smiled apologetically at him.
“Hey mom!” she said in her cheeriest tone. “How are you?”
“Hi my sweetie,” Mrs. Danvers said. “I just wanted to find out how my one and only child was doing, since you call so seldom and I hardly ever see you!”
“Mom!” cried Kourtney. “I called you yesterday, and we saw each other two weeks ago in Los Angeles…”
“I know,” sighed Mrs. Danvers. “But I saw you every day before that gigolo insisted you buy a house in Napa far away from me — and with your own money!”
A sweet and sexy smile can hide a rotten heart.
“Mom,” said Kourtney in an icy voice, “Daniel is my husband, and I won’t have you insulting him like that! Daniel is a gifted artist, and he has a growing reputation…”
“Is his bank account growing too?” asked Mrs. Danvers acidly. “Or do you still foot all the bills?”
“That’s enough mom,” cried Kourtney angrily, and hung up the phone. The tiff with her mother on top of the incident with the homeless man left her on edge.
“Have a drink, babe,” Daniel suggested, pouring himself a glass of wine.
“You know I don’t drink,” said Kourtney. “I’m taking a shower and going to bed.”
“Good ideas, babe,” Daniel said. “Don’t forget I’m going up to San Francisco tomorrow to talk things over with the art gallery and might only come back on Friday!”
With Daniel away, Kourtney felt more on edge than ever. She had wanted to do some shopping, but she decided to remain at home. She didn’t want to run into any stalkers again!
In the afternoon, Kourtney took a book and lay on an easy chair by the poolside. She fell asleep and woke to see the homeless man standing over her. Kourtney wanted to scream, but her voice refused to work.
“Please,” the man said quietly. “Please listen to me. Daniel Russell is a killer and he’s going to murder you just like he did my fiancée…”
Kourtney finally found her voice. “Get out,” she whispered, “OUT! Or I call the police!” The man raised his hands and backed away from Kourtney.
“Please, please believe me. You are in great danger…” he said before vanishing into the neighbor’s yard. A trembling Kourtney dialed Daniel’s number and told him the homeless man had shown up at their house.
She was about to tell him the homeless man’s accusations, but something stopped her. “Babe,” Daniel said. “Go into the house, set the house alarm, and don’t move. I’m coming back right away!”
Four hours later, Daniel was there, hugging and comforting her, making her feel safe and loved, as only he could. He made Kourtney take a sleeping pill, tucked her in, and went downstairs to make a few calls to the gallery in San Francisco.
“I made him change his plans, poor Daniel!” thought Kourtney. “And he was so hoping they’d agree to a show…” Then Kourtney realized she’d left her cell phone downstairs.
Putting on her slippers, she walked down the stairs and got her phone from the kitchen table. In the lounge, she could hear Daniel’s voice. He sounded irritated.
“The stupid slut invented some stalker to get me back here, babe, but I promise you, I’m taking care of business and it won’t be long before she’s just a memory…Don’t worry she doesn’t suspect a thing, and now the stalker will be the fall guy!”
With her heart thudding, Kourtney slipped back upstairs to her bathroom, stuck her fingers down her throat, and vomited up the pill Daniel had given her. She was covered in a cold sweat of fear. The homeless man had been telling her the truth!
Quietly, Kourtney slipped on some clothes, grabbed her bag, and stole down the back steps in her bare feet. She walked quite a ways in the dark before she called an Uber to pick her up.
What was happening to her life? Then a figure loomed in front of her and she nearly screamed before she recognized the man who’d warned her about Daniel. “You!” she gasped. “You told me the truth!”
The man nodded. “Yes, I’ve been watching out for you, trying to protect you,” he said.
“Who are you?” asked Kourtney.
“I’m the real Daniel Russell,” the man said. “I was doing well as an artist, and I was engaged to a beautiful girl from a wealthy family. The man you call Daniel was my best friend Fred.
“He started pouring me drinks when he came over, drinks that left me feeling strange. Soon, I couldn’t wait for Fred to come over, pour me a drink. By the time I realized he was drugging me, it was too late. I was addicted.
“Fred staged a scene in which May — my fiancée — and her parents saw me high. That was the end of our engagement. But then Fred moved in. He married May, and six months later she died in a fire.”
“Oh my God!” gasped Kourtney. “He killed her?”
“Yes,” said the real Daniel sadly, “and I was too far gone to save her. I kicked the drugs, but then I discovered he’d taken on my identity to find a new victim: you!”
“But what should we do?” asked Kourtney.
“I think he’d set up an incendiary device like the one he used to kill May. He was only going to be back on Friday, right? The device will still be in the house. We go to the police, and they will catch him red-handed.”
The real Daniel and Kourtney went to the police and managed to convince two officers to go with them to her house. But when they got there, they were in for a surprise. The whole house was in flames!
Fred/Daniel had been so irritated by the way Kourtney had ruined his scheme that he’d forgotten to dismantle the incendiary device and died the same horrific death he’d planned for Kourtney.
Kourtney got over it even though she had to hear a lot of ‘I told you sos’ from her mother. Daniel took back his name, his identity, and his career as an artist and became hugely successful.
He was actually very handsome, once he’d had a shave and some decent clothes, and eventually, Kourtney discovered she loved the real Daniel Russell a lot more than she’d ever liked the impostor, so she married him.
What can we learn from this story?
A sweet and sexy smile can hide a rotten heart. The man Kourtney thought was Daniel Russell was a conman and a killer and he nearly made her his second victim.
Don’t judge a book by its cover. Kourtney was frightened of the homeless man and thought he was a stalker, but he ended up saving her life.