The Light of Day

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A faint light has begun off to the east, creeping its way slowly across the dark fields of wheat and corn. The light reaches the side of a single level ranch style home. There is a small tear in the screen of the kitchen window that has been left open. A lazy, fat horse fly makes his way through the tear and into the kitchen, gliding over the yellow formica countertops, and landing on one of the dark stained cupboard doors with worn brass handles. The morning sun streams through the kitchen window illuminating the clean but worn area. Upon entering the kitchen John rolls up the morning paper and smacks the lazy horsefly, it falls to the countertop and John sweeps it into the trash bin. 

He opens one of the cupboards doors, pulling out a tin of Folgers coffee and goes about filling and starting the Mr. Coffee 12 cup coffee pot that he and Ann received last year form Lucy as an anniversary present. Lucy being Ann’s much younger sister by a full sixteen years, had just received her first paycheck from her after school job, and wanted to get John and Ann something that they could use everyday. John poured himself a cup, tossed some sugar and half & half in and took a seat at the kitchen table to skim the morning paper before heading out to the Henderson’s Ranch to get started for the day. Ann entered the kitchen wearing her faded pale blue bathrobe. “Morning.” She said before coughing and clearing her throat. “How are you feeling?” John asked. “OK, just have this nagging cough that doesn’t seem to want to go away.” Ann said pouring herself a cup of coffee. “You can always give Dr. Baker a call, I’m sure he would do a house call for you.” He said rinsing out his coffee cup and grabbing his keys from the hook on the wooden plaque that says ‘KEYS’ that is hung on the wall next to the backdoor. Ann shrugged. “We’ll see how the day goes.” John kissed her on the cheek and walked out to his 67’ Chevy pickup that Clive Henderson had sold to him for a decent price. It wasn’t much to look at but it was reliable, and being out in farmland away from town that’s what mattered.

Ann made her way into the living room, with her coffee, shuffling her bare feet over the shaggy green carpet and taking a seat in the brown easy chair, with worn arms. She sat back pulling on the wooden handle to extend the foot rest. When she was comfortable she found herself a copy of Redbook and thumbed through the magazine, as she sipped her coffee. 

Ann awoke to a violent coughing fit. She managed to get herself up, out of the easy chair, making her way down the hallway leaning against the dark wood paneling, and into the bathroom. Her coughs shook her body, causing her eyes to water, and her nose to run. She spit into the bathroom sink, the phlegm was a dark yellow. Ann gagged, dropped to her knees and leaned over the toilet, she held her long dark hair back as she expelled her morning coffee. She sat on the bathroom floor taking slow deep breaths.

Dr. Baker knocked on the door at a quarter past one. Ann had showered, dressed and straightened up the house, in anticipation of his arrival. “Ann, how are we doing today?” Dr. Baker said stepping inside as Ann held the door open. “I’d be better if this cough would go away.” She said showing him into the living room. He took a seat on the faded burgundy couch, putting his doctors bag down on the oak coffee table. “Have a seat, I’ll take a listen.” Ann sat beside him, as he took out his stethoscope. Dr. Baker held the stethoscope to Ann’s chest. “Deep breath. And again.” He said. “OK, now your back.” Ann turned her back towards him. “Deep breath.” He said listening as she exhaled. “And again. And once more.” He said listening to each side of her lungs. He put the stethoscope down and took her wrist, he watched the second hand of his watch as he took her pulse. He then looked into her eyes, as he ran his fingers down the side of her neck and over her collarbone. He retrieved a small flashlight from his bag. “Say ahh.” Ann cleared her throat and said “Ahh.” Dr. Baker shined the light into her mouth. “OK, good.” 

He put his stethoscope and flashlight away and took out a small notebook and pen. “Just a few questions. How long have you had this cough?” He asked. Ann thought about it for a second. “Hum…Let’s see. It was after Easter. So maybe three months now.” She said. He made a few notes and then asked. “Do you smoke?” Ann shrugged her shoulders. “I do have one or two of John’s Winston’s, once in a while.” He nodded his head making another note. “On a scale of one to ten, how bad do you feel today? Ten being the worst.” “I would say maybe an eight for the last few days.” She said. “I think you have a case of acute bronchitis, drink plenty of water, rest and eat soups. I’ll leave you some cough syrup with a pain reliever.” Dr. Baker said gathering his things. Ann walked him to the door. “Thank you for coming out.” She said. “No, problem. Give me a call if you need anything else, and give this to John when he gets home.” He said handing her a folded note.

Ann put the note for John on the kitchen table and opened the pantry doors. She glanced over the assortment of canned goods, grabbing herself a can of Campbell’s chicken noodles. She warmed up the soup and made some toast. After eating she looked at the bottle of cough syrup, poured a spoon full and swallowed. “Eww..” Ann said twisting her face at the bitter taste.

The house was dark and quiet when John got back from the Henderson’s Ranch, he read over the note Dr. Baker had left him while sipping on a bottle of Coke. 

John,

Ann has a bad case of bronchitis, see that she gets plenty of water, and rest. I left her some cough syrup that should help her when resting. Let me know if her condition changes. 

Sincerely,

Dr. Baker           

John finished off his drink and went to check on Ann.

~ ~ ~ ~ 

Three Weeks Later 

John sat at the kitchen table fidgeting with the pen in his hand. Ann wasn’t getting any better, Dr. Baker had been back out to see her, he examined her, took more notes and was going to discuss it with a colleague of his in Topeka. That was ten days ago. Ann was no longer able to leave her bed for more than an hour or two, before she would become winded and over come with a deep, harsh coughing fit. 

John straightened the blank piece of notepaper in front of him. “How do I even start this letter?” He mumbled to the empty room. He got up and walked into the living room, he stood staring at the framed piece of artwork. The ‘Singing Cowboy’ by Gary Patterson, he found it strangely calming with it’s faint yellow undertone. John went out onto the porch, it was late and the moon was full. He lit a cigarette and took a long deep drag, exhaling slowly. It was just him and Ann, out here among the corn and wheat.

Dear Lucy,

I don’t even know where to begin in making this request to you.

Ann isn’t getting any better, and I fear she is not going to be with us much longer.

It pains me to have to write this to you. 

Can you please come, for Ann.

Always, 

John  

~ ~ ~ ~

Lucy stood at the front door to the single level ranch home. There was a note on the door addressed to her. Lucy let yourself in, Ann is in her bedroom. We’ll talk when I get back. John  

Lucy let herself in, taking her bag to the spare bedroom. The house was stuffy and in need of a good once over. Lucy tapped on Ann’s bedroom door before opening it. “Ann?” She said entering the room. “Lucy? Is that you?” Ann asked clearing her throat and trying to sit up. “Yes, dear.” Lucy said taking her sisters hand in hers. Ann let out a sigh, before engaging in a coughing fit. “Let’s get some light and fresh air in here.” Lucy said heading over to the window. She pulled back the heavy gold colored drapes and opened the window. “That’s better. Now I’m going to make you some food, then straighten up.” Lucy said heading towards the bedroom door. “Lucy.” Ann said in a hushed voice as not to cough. “Yes?” “Thank you for coming.” Lucy gave her a smile and headed to the kitchen.

John opened the backdoor entering into the kitchen, as he hung up his keys the best smell hit him. “Damn, that smells good.” He said taking a seat at the kitchen table. “Thanks, it’s beef stew with lots of veggies.” Lucy said pouring a ladle of stew into a bowl for him. She set the bowl down in front of him and returned to the oven, pulling out hot fresh rolls. She poured two tall glasses of ice tea, tossed the rolls into a dish and took a seat at the table.

John ate like he hadn’t eaten in days. “Thanks for this, and that.” He said nodding towards the now clean living room. “You’re welcome, and that’s what I’m here for.” She said giving John’s hand a quick squeeze.

John and Lucy spent their days attending to Ann, spending time talking with her when she was able and reading to her while she rested. Lucy would sit with her during the day while John was out working on the Henderson’s Ranch, and John would sit with her in the evening, telling her about his day out on the ranch.

During one of their evening chats, as the three of them were in Ann’s bedroom reminiscing about school days past, laughing and enjoying each others company. Ann said. “I want the two of you to promise me something.” “What would that be?” Lucy said still giggling from the previous conversations. Ann cleared her throat. “I want the two of you to take care of each other, when I’m gone.” She said. Lucy looked at her sister, it felt as if all the air had been sucked out of the room. It was the first time Ann had said anything about it being the time after. Lucy swallowed hard trying to regain her voice. John got up and leaned over Ann, kissing her on the forehead, and left the room. “Do you want to add to that?” Lucy said. “Not really, I think the two of you will need each other. You know after.” Ann said.

~ ~ ~ ~

Lucy found John out on the porch. “Would you like one?” She asked holding a bottle of Whisky. “Yeah.” He said wiping the back of his hand across his cheek. Lucy opened the bottle and took a drink. She then handed it to John, he took a long pull from the bottle. “That was…ugh…out of left field.” Lucy said taking the bottle back from John. “Yeah, I wasn’t expecting her to say that.” He said. “Have you thought about after?” She asked, taking another hit off the bottle. John looked at her and lit a cigarette. “Have you?” He asked. Lucy took the cigarette from in between John’s fingers, and took a drag. “Not really.” She answered handing back the cigarette.

Lucy went back inside. When John came back in she was standing in front of the ‘Singing Cowboy’ “What is it about this picture? It’s strangely comforting.” She said. John scoffed as he headed to bed.

The following days bleed into each other, cooking, cleaning, attending to Ann’s needs. The end was coming quickly. It was a Saturday morning in early September, the summer heat had let up and the rains had begun. Lucy went into Ann’s bedroom to open the drapes, like she had done every morning for the last three weeks. She opened the drapes and window, looking out at the steady morning downpour. “Morning Ann.” She said as she turned to face the bed. She looked at Ann laying there on the bed, tears started to run down her cheeks as the realization set in. “John!” She screamed. John came rushing into the bedroom. “What?” He looked at Ann’s bed and then at Lucy. He walked over to the bed, closing Ann’s eyes and covering her with the bed sheet. He then walked over to Lucy, pulling her into a hug and taking her out of the room.

“Drink this.” He said handing Lucy a glass of Brandy. John downed a glass, cleared his throat and picked up the phone.

~ ~ ~ ~

One Week Later

“It’s a nice headstone. Ann would have approved.” Lucy said. John nodded as they stood in the rain looking down at Ann’s resting place. Lucy placed a bouquet of white lilies next to the single red rose that John had left. “So are you staying?” John asked, not looking up. Lucy took his hand, interlacing her fingers with his. “As long as you want me to.” She answered. 

Grace’s Story- by request

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Grace Ann

In a farmhouse surrounded by acres of sweet corn on a warm summer’s day in late June, Grace Ann Chapman came into this world screaming.

Local paper birth announcements:

The community of Ridgeville Nebraska would like to welcome Grace Ann born June 22nd, 1974 to William and Martha Chapman. Congratulations on your healthy baby girl. Martha clipped out the announcement form the Daily Sun Newspaper and taped it into Grace’s baby book.

William Chapman worked the land that had been handed down to him from his father. It was hard daily grueling work to keep the corn crops heath and on schedule for harvest. He took pride in what his family had established over the past three generations of Chapman’s and did his best to keep it going. With the birth of his first child, Grace Ann he knew that there would need to be more children, he loved and adored his daughter but knew that a son would be needed to keep the farm in the Chapman name.

Grace Ann was a sweet helpful child that was always full of questions. Always asking why this or why that. When her brother William Joseph was born five years later, Grace became a little quieter, but still helping Martha clean and cook, just not asking as many questions. Two years later Grace’s youngest brother was born, Jonathan Michael was a loud baby he cried and screamed about everything. Grace tried to be helpful, but Jonathan’s constant crying wore on her, she stopped asking questions all together.

Grace had a few classmates that she considered friends, although she wasn’t close to any of them. Shawna Wilson was a round faced, dark haired girl that talked all the time. She was what Grace called bossy, she was always directing how people should play. Grace and Shawna would walk to the general store after school and then over to Shawna’s house to play. On a particular spring afternoons after school they walked over to the general store as usual, Grace always had a few dollars from her allowance in her backpack, Shawna dared Grace to “Just take it,” Grace knew it was wrong to steal but she had a strange need to want to please Shawna. To fit in, to be accepted. So Grace did it she slipped the Kit Kat into her jacket pocket and they walked out of the store.

The girls split the Kit Kat while they walked to Shawna’s house. It being Friday Grace was going to spend the night at Shawna’s, after having dinner with Shawna and her family Grace felt ill. She asked if she could call her dad and go home. Grace’s dad came and picked her up from Shawna’s house.

“So what’s wrong, why didn’t you want to stay the night at Shawna’s?” he asked as they drove home.

“If I tell you, will you promise not to tell mom?”

William looked at his daughter, thinking this request over.

“Yes, it will be between me and you,”

“She made me steal a Kit Kat from the general store, I didn’t want to…but I couldn’t tell her no, I’m sorry dad,” tears welled up in Grace’s eyes the whole thing made her stomach hurt.

“Well, that is something, you know that even though it’s hard, you can’t let others, even friends make you do things that you know are wrong,”

“I know,” Grace dropped her chin to her chest and took a deep breath. A weight had been lifted, she now understood the concept of confession.

Grace’s first crush was on a boy in her class named Matt, she spent a lot of time daydreaming about running her fingers through his wavy brown hair, and wondering what it would be like to kiss him. Grace kept her fantasies to herself, playing scenes over and over in her mind. When she did find it within herself to talk to Matt he treated her as a friend, wanting to know if she thought that Tamera was “into him,” her daydreams of Matt came to a quick end.

During the summer of Grace’s thirteenth year she meet and spent a lot of time with Jenny Donovan and her older sister Rebecca they had a lot to tell Grace about anatomy and sex. Grace found it enlightening, especially since her parents didn’t really go into detail about “the birds and the bees.” When Grace got her period for the first time her mother pulled out two books from way back when, one titled Where Babies Come From and the other one explaining the joys of your first menstrual cycle it was blue and had a rainbow with the figure of a girl dancing around on it. Grace read them and had a light bulb moment, the biology of life made sense, she kinda wished her mom would have been able to just tell her. Jenny and Rebecca explained and sometimes demonstrated, the how, where and what of sex.

Grace spent her time going to school, helping out around the house and working at the general store. She kept things simple, family, school, friends and work. Towards the end of her last year of high school things changed quickly. She started for a lack of a better word dating a nice guy from school named James, he was cute, kind and ignited something within Grace. She couldn’t keep her hands off of him when they were together, his smell, his look, how she got butterflies in her stomach when he touched her. She loved it all, the anticipation of getting to see him, the adrenaline rush when he touched her, and ultimately the orgasm when he fucked her. She was hooked, and sex was the drug.

Once awakened sexually Grace had an inability to stay faithful. She enjoyed getting to know new people on a sexual level. She worked with a guy named Kyle and after many weeks of inappropriate flirting, she found herself with him in the back store room making out. Grace found that each person she was sexually involved with had something new and different to offer her.

When Grace turned twenty one she made a decision, she would take the money that she had saved up from working at the general store and go see the world. One early morning in July of her twenty first year she told her family goodbye, boarded a bus and left Ridgeville Nebraska.

 

Intertwined

Grace

Grace sat on the patio and lit a cigarette, she took a deep drag and exhaled. The first light of day had begun to show, it had been a long night. She looked down at her hands looking past the dirt she noticed that a few of her manicured nails were broken.

“I’ll have to trim them all down.” she thought as she poured a glass of Jack and downed it.

Finishing her cigarette and letting out a sigh, she arose from the patio chair. She wandered inside and up the stairs. Taking her clothes off and dropping them into the hamper. Standing in the bathroom she took out the fingernail clippers from her make-up bag and trimmed her fingernails. She stepped into the shower and turned on the water.

Tears started to stream down her face as she slid down and sat in the corner of the tub, crying.

“I am so sorry, it should have never turned out like this.”

She pulled on her robe that was hanging on the back of the bathroom door and crawled into bed. She fumbled for a bottle of water on her nightstand, sat up and drank. She laid back down and fell asleep.

Grace awoke to the beeping of the answering machine. Sunlight streamed through the window. She wondered how long she had been asleep. She got up and stumbled into the bathroom.

Catching her reflection in the mirror, her hair a red stringy mess, dark circles under her eyes and a pale complexion. She splashed cold water on her face and tried to become conscious.

She dressed in dark jeans, a conservative blue blouse, grabbed a pair of tan flats and headed downstairs to the kitchen.

She poured herself a cup of coffee. Added two spoonfuls of sugar, a splash of cream and grabbed a cranberry muffin from the counter-top.

She pushed the blinking red button on the answering machine.

The first message was from her husband’s assistant.

“John it’s 9 am and you’re not here, where are you? Please call me,”

The second was from John’s boss.

“Hey John, it’s 4 pm on Monday and no one has heard from you since Friday. Let us know what’s up before we send a search party after you,”

Grace sighed and got ready to go.

As she entered the garage and got into her car, she glanced over at John’s car.

“I’ll have to deal with that later,” She thought to herself.

She drove downtown and parked in a parking garage and walked over towards the police station.

 

John

It was 10 am on Tuesday when Grace entered the police station.

“I need to file a missing person’s report,” she informed the front desk attendant.

The attendant handed her a form and told her to give as much detail as possible. She read over what she had written:

Missing John Summers age 45,

height 6 ft,

215 lbs,

eyes brown,

hair dark brown streaks of gray,

last seen Sunday April 27th.

“Do you have a picture?” the desk attendant asked.

“Yes,” Grace had remembered to grab a picture before leaving the house.

She chose a candid one from last summer’s barque with the neighbors. She submitted the missing person’s report and left.

She wandered through the art district downtown. Taking her time to look at the sculptures and displays.

She had met John during her summer of slumming in Seattle. In a club downtown during the late 90’s. She was introduced to John through a friend. She found herself in a bathroom stall with John. Getting to know him real well, she recalls Metallica playing over the speakers.

Sure that the drugs and alcohol helped to spark their relationship into the whirlwind that it became shortly after meeting. John Summers had graduated with a degree in business and graphic design. It was all a blur they met, partied, and got married at City Hall. John took a job under the title of v.p. of a software company and they were off and running.

They had built a life together a nice house with two cars. They played the happy couple at social events. Even though their love had burned out after the first three years. During the last two years they had lived like roommates rather than lovers.

Grace found herself getting hungry and tired.  She chose to stop at a bar and grill.

She took a seat at the bar and ordered a plate of nachos, an ice tea and a shot of Jack. She had not realized how long she had been walking around, it was now happy hour. She ate her nachos, drank her ice tea, then downed the shot and ordered another.

A guy took the seat next to her and gave her a friendly smile.

“You look like you could use some cheering up,” he said.

Grace smiled. He ordered a beer and they sat there in silence.

She finished her second shot of Jack and headed to the lady’s room. He followed her…she stood at the sink gazing into the mirror.

He entered the room and locked the door behind him. Nothing was said between them, she moved towards the door to leave. He stopped her. He dropped to his knees and pulled her towards him. He unbuttoned her jeans and pulled them down along with her panties.

He pulled her to him and began enjoying her, sliding his tongue into her, making her moan. She swooned and held herself up against the door. He enjoyed and she came, not a word was spoken. Grace returned to her seat and ordered another shot of Jack. She downed it and left.

 

Eric

Grace awoke to the phone ringing and answered it.

“Mrs. Summers?”

“Yes,” she said.

“Would you be able to come down and discuss your husband’s case around noon today?”

“Sure,” she answers.

It had been a few months since Grace had made the missing person’s report on her husband. It didn’t surprise her that it had taken this long for them to get back to her.

Detective Eric Stone a well build guy with good hair in his early forties entered the room. She looked at him and knew she was in for it now, Detective Eric Stone her friendly stranger from the bar.

“Karma is a bitch,” she thought to herself.

“Have a seat Mrs. Summers,” Detective Stone said.

“Do you know why you are here?”

“Yes,” answered Grace.

“Why don’t you tell me what happened to your husband John Summers,”

“Alright, I was watching the rain. I like to watch the rain and it was so beautiful with all the lightning. May I have a glass of water?” she asked.

“Sure, just a minute,” Detective Stone left the room.

She checked her make-up on her compact mirror while he was gone.

“Here you go, now please go on,” Detective Stone said.

She opened the bottle of water, took a drink and continued.

“Well I was waiting for John to come home. When he did finally show up he stumbled in smelling of cigarettes, women and booze. He didn’t even say anything just tripped up the stairs to the master bedroom. I went up after him and he was sprawled out on the bed. He didn’t even bother to take his shoes off,” she took another sip of her water and cleared her throat.

“So I left him there and went downstairs to sleep in the guest room. When I got up the next morning he was gone, like he had never even come home,” Grace sat staring at detective Stone.

“And when was this?” Detective Stone asked.

“About two months ago,”

“So now you are declaring him missing so that you can move on with your life?” Stone asked.

“Yes, that’s right I need to move on, I don’t believe he is ever coming back,” she said.

“Well thank you for coming in today. We will keep you informed if anything else come up in your husband’s disappearance,” Detective Stone held the door for Grace. She gathered her things and left.

 

Matt

While heading back to her car she thought of a guy she once knew and what they had done one afternoon. As they entered the hotel room, Grace’s heart was racing and she had a feeling of butterflies in her stomach. She knew what she was doing but it still seems surreal.

They had had a sexual relationship way back during her first year of college. There was a serious sexual attraction between them that they acted on. Now so many years later she is in a hotel room with him ready to act on this attraction once again.

Grace keeps reminding herself that she has John and that they made a commitment to each other. But that rush of adrenaline and excitement of being with Matt once again is giving her such a wonderful high.

“You do only live once,” she thinks to herself.

As she is standing in a very nice hotel room in the middle of the day. Matt is also married which make this all the more strange of a thing to be doing.

Matt takes a seat on the edge of the bed, she pulls a chair from the table and sits in front of him.

“You know how crazy this all is, don’t you?”

“Yes I do, but we’re here, we have come this far,” Matt says.

She takes his hands and takes a deep breath.

“It was so long ago and we never even kissed,”

Their relationship was one of two people needing each other physically. The no kissing was one of those rules that you give yourself so that you don’t have an emotional attachment to someone. One of those thing that you figure out much later in life that was complete bullshit.

“No time like the present,” he says and he leans in to her.

Their lips meet and she feels his tongue slide into her mouth. She sucks on his tongue, then slips her tongue into his mouth. He lets out a moan.

Grace moves back and says. “Not bad, guess it was worth waiting for,”

It crosses her mind once more about how this is crossing a line. How there are excuses of not being that close with John. How at this moment she has some suspicions about John’s relationship with his assistant Jenny.

But those are excuses. She knows what she is doing and why, because she needs the high that comes with the passion, excitement and orgasm.

Grace stands up,and puts the chair back. She kicks off her shoes and starts to undress.

“So are we going to do this?” she asks.

Matt gets up and moves towards her, kisses her.

They undress and lay on the bed, he runs his hands along her thighs pausing at her pussy. He slides his fingers inside of her. She arches her back and lets out a moan. He leans down and sucks her nipple as he pushes his fingers into her making her wet.

She pushes him back and moves down to take his cock into her mouth. She sucks lightly at first, then harder. Running her hand up and down along his shaft making him moan. She straddles his hips sliding his cock into her pussy.

She sits up and thrusts her hips against him. As she leans back, he reaches up grabbing her breasts, squeezing and pinching her nipples. She moves quicker letting his cock slide almost all the way out of her pussy and then thrusting him back into her.

He grabs her by the hips and rolls her off of him, so that she is now on her back. He kisses her, moving down her body. Kissing her neck and breasts as he moves down to her pussy. He spreads her legs and slides his tongue into her. Tasting her, licking at her clit making her moan.

A shudder runs through her, from the feeling of his tongue in her. Making her want to come. He moves up, and kisses her she can taste herself on his lips. He slides his cock into her pussy and thrusts. She arches her back and pushes back against him. He kisses her deeply as he comes in her.

They lay on the bed letting what had occurred sink in. He moves over and holds her, feeling her breath next to him. Like any good affair it ends. They shower and walk away.  Back to living their lives as before.

 

Jack Daniels

Grace sat straight up out of a deep sleep, not sure of where she was. She tried to swallow, it felt like razor blades slicing into the back of her throat. She reached for a glass of water on the nightstand and realized where she had awoken.  A crappy motel room. She got out of bed and made her way to the bathroom. She filled a glass with water and took a sip. The pain in her throat soothed.

She stood in the bathroom and closed her eyes.  A woman from her past floated into her mind, the one she watched shower every day after swimming. Tiffany was slim, short and had long brown hair that fell to her waist. Her breast were small and perky. She watched Tiffany shower wanting to approach her. To move her long wet hair from the back of her neck and kiss it, to cup her small soft breasts to taste her. She thought about taking her into the sauna, laying her down, and licking her pussy. She moaned to herself and got into the shower.

She glanced around the trashed motel room and spotted a note with a folded $50 under it next to the t.v.

The note read “Enjoyed the ride” -B.

She noticed the cigarette butts overflowing in the ashtray and the almost empty bottle of Jack Daniels on the nightstand. No wonder her throat hurt. Along with a few open condom wrappers.

“Well that’s reassuring,” she thought.

Her clothes from the night before were scattered around the room. Her jeans, that were a size to small on purpose, and the black low cut top were next to the bed. Her black lace bra was laying across the chair in the corner.

She had gone down the street to a bar to unwind, before having to deal with Detective Eric Stone. The night’s events started to seep back into her mind. There was a pool table and many shots of Jack. Then there was a B that was grabbing her ass all night. What was it Bob or Billy she couldn’t remember and it didn’t matter. The previous nights events were usually hazy in the light of day.

She got ready to go see Detective Stone. Dressing in dark slacks, a green blouse, a pair of pumps and her conservative white satin bra. She pulled her shoulder length red hair back and secured it with a clip.

“Good enough,” she thought and headed out to her car.

She got into her little Honda that she adored. She headed downtown to the cop shop to see Detective Stone. When she arrived downtown she parked in the parking garage and hit the deli across from City Hall. She grabbed a breakfast sandwich and an orange juice.

She finished off her orange juice along with two aspirin and headed into the police station. Grace checked in at the front desk and was escorted back to a room.

“How are you Mrs. Summers?”

“Do you really want to know or are you just being polite?” she asked.

“I have some papers for you to sign,” he said.

Grace signed the papers and left.

As she was walking through the lobby passed the handicap restroom Stone grabbed her arm and led her into the restroom. He locked the door behind them.

“Now that we have some privacy,” he said.

“What did you have in mind?”

He moved towards her and kissed her. She let out a moan.

He lowered himself down in front of her and took down her slacks and panties. He pulled her to him sliding his tongue into her. She put her hands on the wall to keep her balance, as she felt his tongue push into her. Making her wet and gasp for air.

He stopped and stood up in front of her. He put his hands on her shoulders and lowered her to her knees. She undid his pants and took his cock into her mouth. As she sucked his cock, he moaned and leaned back against the wall.

He ran his hands through her hair, making her clip fall to the floor. She sucked harder, letting him come in her mouth. She felt his cum hit the back of her throat and she swallowed. She keep sucking till he pushed her back, she stood up and kissed him tasting her cum on his lips.

She picked up her hair clip and faced the mirror. She reapplied her coral lipstick, re-clipped her hair, and popped a few breath mints.

“Want some?” she asked handing Stone the container of breath mints.

“Thanks,” he grinned as he took the container.

Stone followed her out of the restroom.

“Are you going to tell me what you did with him?” he asked.

“Nope,” she answered.

Grace returned to the motel room to collect her things and survey the damage from the night before. As she packed up her clothes an image of Billy her pool buddy from the previous night flashed into her mind. She was laying on the bed naked and he was sucking Jack Daniels out off her belly button.

She shook her head and mumble to herself. “Should really stop drinking, it gets me into trouble.”

 

The Ring

Grace parked in front of the garage and decided to start with John’s car that was still parked in the garage. As she was going through the glove box she came across a little black ring box. She opened it and there staring back at her was a very nice gold banded engagement ring.

“Must be for his assistant Jenny,” she thought.

She took the found ring and her own wedding ring set to a pawn shop and got a nice little chunk of change for both.

After spending the week cleaning out the house she found herself drinking and smoking more than the usual. From the memories attached to the things in the house and the stress of trying to get it all done.

She was sitting on the floor of the walk-in closet in the master bedroom. The Goodwill truck had left with what was left of John’s clothes and some small furniture.

Feeling like she needed a drink Grace picked up the phone and dialed 211. She asked the very friendly operator when and where the next AA meeting would be. She informed her that by her home address the next meeting would be tomorrow morning at 11am at St. Matthews.

Grace took a deep breath as she entered the community room at St. Matthews. She took a seat towards the back and watched as a dozen people wandered in. They each got coffee and a doughnut, then took a seat. The meeting was welcoming and she stood when asked if there were any new faces today.

“Hi, my name is Grace and I am an alcoholic.” Grace heard the words coming out of her mouth but was very unsure of why she was needing to confide in these strangers.

She continued to attend the daily morning meetings at St. Matthews listening to tales of woe and heartache caused by to much indulgence. She had surveyed the crowd and made friendly chit chat and a little flirting with the group.

 

Sam

On her way out after the fourth meeting Sam grabbed her by the arm and led her into the empty hallway. Sam was a good looking guy in his early thirties with a nicely trimmed beard and mustache.

“You have got to stop looking at me that way,” he said.

“What way am I looking at you?” she asked.

“You know Grace,” he said.

Grace grinned she had found Sam quite cute and had made eye contact with him throughout the last few days. He moved closer to her and took her hand and ran it over his crotch.

“The way that makes that happen,” he said.

She rubbed at his hard cock and pushed into him. She slid her tongue into his mouth and he kissed her back.

“You know I can help you with that,” she said.

“Now?” he asked.

She lead him into an empty room. There was a large wooden desk towards the front of the room and some folding chairs laid out around the room. Grace closed and locked the door behind them. She stood in front of Sam and ran her fingers through his hair, leaned in and kissed him. Sliding her tongue into his mouth and sucking on his tongue. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her into him.

She dropped to her knees and unfastened his pants. She took his erect cock into her mouth and sucked. He let out a moan and ran his hands through her hair. She sucked harder and he moaned louder. He stopped her and she got to her feet.

He kissed her deep and moved towards the desk. He removed her jeans and panties, then lowered himself in front of her. He slid his tongue inside her, tasting her, she let out a moan.

He stood up and turned her around and laid her on her stomach across the desk. He slid his fingers into her wet pussy, sliding them in and out of her. Making her arch her back and push back against him, coming on his fingers. He removed his fingers and thrust his cock into her making her yell out, fucking her hard and fast. He came deep in her. He moved away from her and she got off the desk and redressed.

“Told you I could help you,” She smiled at him as she left the room. She walked to her car and lit a cigarette.

“I don’t think AA is what I need,”

 

Road Trip

As soon as the house was emptied and listed, Grace decided that it was time for a road trip. She packed up her things and hit the road with cash in hand.

First a quick stop, to say goodbye to Detective Stone. She knew she needed a fix before setting off into the big bad world. She had come to the relational that sex was like a drug once you get a taste you will always crave more.

Detective Eric Stone lived in a nice little apartment close to downtown. She knocked on his door. Eric answered.

“Never expected to see you again,” he said.

“Can I come in?”  

He looked her up and down she was in her skin tight jeans and low cut black top that displayed her ample chest very nicely.

“Why not I am sucker for punishment,” he said.

“Thanks you won’t be disappointed,”

Grace entered the apartment and headed towards the stereo. She put on something soothing in the background. She intended to put on a show for dear Eric before saying goodbye. Eric fixed them each a drink and they moved to the couch. She downed her glass of whisky and stood in front of him.

She took off her shoes, swayed back and forth in front of him, running her fingers through her hair. She straddled his hips, leaned in to kiss him, and slid her tongue into his mouth. He moaned and grabbed her ass, running his hands over those skintight jeans.

She leaned back and took off her top, he reached around and unfastened her bra for her. He took her breasts into his hands and rubbed his thumbs over her nipples. She moaned and moved her hips back and forth on his lap. She reached down and rubbed his cock through his jeans. She got up and removed her jeans and panties.

He stood up and she helped him shed his clothes. She led him over towards the kitchen table, she leaned over the table onto her stomach. He came up behind her rubbing her ass and sliding his fingers into her. As she felt his fingers slide into her she let out a moan. He rubbed her pussy making her wet. He removed his fingers from her and slid his cock into her. She tighten around him making him groan. She felt him thrusting deeper into her. Making her come.

He moved away from her, she turned towards him, and dropped to her knees. She took his cock into her mouth letting him slide in and out. She ran her hand along his shaft as she sucked. She could taste his pre-cum, she stopped got up and walked towards the bedroom, he followed.

She pushed him down onto the bed. She got on top of him and slid his cock into her pussy. She sat up, moving her hips back and forth. She leaned back, thrusting against him. He reached up grabbing her breasts and pinching her nipples. She let out a moan and moved faster. She keep fucking him till he finally grabbed her and moved her off of him.

“Fuck Grace,” he said getting up off the bed and reaching towards the nightstand to get a condom.

“There now it’s my turn,” he grabbed her, pulling her to the middle of the bed.

He leaned over kissing her, while running his hand down her thigh and sliding his fingers into her pussy, he rubbed her clit making her squirm.

He flipped her over onto her stomach. She got up on her hands and knees. He rammed his cock into her hard and fast. She held in a yell and moved with him. He moaned as he came in her.

Nothing more was said between them. She showered, dressed and headed towards the door. He stopped her, kissed her deeply, she gave him a smile and left.

~ ~ ~ ~

Grace drove north out of town. Watching the sun set in the early August night. A bright orange hue cascaded over the open fields, as she headed off to find a new path to take.

Listening to the radio and letting the warm air stream through her open window, she sighed to herself. Open road money on hand letting the wind take me to wherever.

A roommate she once had wandered into her mind as she drove. Kelly who looked like the innocent girl next door, had shared an apartment with her one semester in college. She heard them come in, they had to know she was home.

She listened to them stumble into Kelly’s bedroom. She quietly entered the hallway and looked into the other room, the desk lamp was on and she could see them lying on the bed naked. Kelly and whoever she had brought home for the night. He was on top of her and she was moaning.

She crept closer to the slightly open door and watched as he sucked on her nipples and slipped his fingers into her pussy, he then thrust his cock into her and she let out a moan of pleasure. Grace was watching intensely and found that her own hand had slipped between her thighs and her fingers were rubbing her pussy.

Grace let out a moan and he looked at her. She froze as their eyes meet. She caught her breath and returned to her room, she listened as they finished with moans and screams of pleasure. As she was laying in bed, he came into her room wearing a towel and closed the door behind him.

He held his finger to his lips and gestured shh… He approached her bed and removed her blanket and sheet. He gently spread her legs and lowered himself down to her, he licked and sucked her pussy making her moan. She laid back and took it. Feeling his tongue in her, making her wet. He stopped dropped the towel and moved up to her mouth. He kissed her deeply. He slid his cock into her and she let out a moan. Feeling him fuck her deep and hard. She came with him.

He kissed her and whispered to her… “Didn’t want you to feel left out,”

 

James Dean

Grace drove into the night till she spotted a sign that read:

Barney’s Bar & Grill come join us for a drink and excellent BBQ next exit

“Well I could use some entertainment,” she said to herself.

She pulled off at the next exit and headed down the dusty road. There it was sitting in the middle of a large dirt lot Barney’s Bar & Grill in bright red neon. She pulled into the parking lot and stopped, she glanced at the cars, trucks and motorcycles all parked around the building.

“Should be an interesting crowd,”

She had dressed in dark jeans, a plain grey tee-shirt, and a pair of black flats. She looked in the rear-view mirror and applied her coral lipstick. She removed the clip from her hair letting her hair fall over her shoulders.

“Good enough,” she said as she headed inside.

The bar was warm, crowded and loud. Grace made her way to the bar and ordered a beer, she figured she should start slow it would be a long night. She surveyed the crowd of cowboys, bikers, workers and couples all drinking, talking and getting along with each other. She ordered a BBQ bacon burger and fries, the smell from the kitchen was enough to make you drool.

She ate her meal and watched the guy playing pool. He was good, not as good as her but good. She finished off her second beer and ordered a shot of Jack. She downed it and headed over to the pool table.

“Interested in a real game, best out of seven,” she asked.

The good looking guy, dressed in jeans, and a white tee-shirt with the sleeves rolled up. How James Dean of him she thought.

“Sure, why not,” he answered.

They played one game after another. He took notice of how far she would bend over the table to make a shot. She would brush up against him when walking around the table.

It was tied three games apiece, she was on her fourth shot of Jack and about to break for the seventh game. She bend over the table to line up the break and he stepped in behind her and put his hand around her waist.

“How about we call it a tie and settle up in the restroom,” he said.

She could feel him push up against her and got a rush of adrenaline.

“OK, in the lady’s room in five,” she put down the pool cue and walked towards the restrooms.

Grace splashed some cold water on her face and took a deep breath. He came in and they entered the large bathroom stall and locked the door. He leaned into her and kissed her.

“You know I don’t even know your name,”

“Does it matter?” He asked.

“Not really,” she said.

She took off her shirt, she had stepped it up and was wearing her purple satin bra. He moved into her kissing her neck and rubbing her breast. He reached around unfastened her bra and moved down to suck on her nipples. She undid his pants and rubbed his cock. She lowered herself to her knees, slid his cock into her mouth and sucked. He let out a moan and ran his fingers through her hair. She sucked harder. He pulled away from her.

She got to her feet and he kissed her. She sucked on his tongue making him moan.

“I think we need to finish this somewhere else,” he said.

Grace agreed. They redressed and left the restroom. Grace stopped at the bar and downed another shot of Jack.

She went to her car and he followed, he put out his hand and said,

“My name is Aaron,”

“Grace,” she said and shook his hand.

“There is a motel about a half mile up on the left, care to join me there?” Aaron said.

She looked at him and considered this for a second.

“Why the hell not,” she said. He kissed her and headed towards his truck.

They arrived at the Northward Inn a small rundown side of the road motel that advertised clean rooms and free HBO.

“All they need is hourly rates available,” she thought to herself as she pulled into the parking lot.

Aaron registered for a room and they parked and entered room 17. It was a typical motel room t.v., dresser, small table, two chairs, a night stand and those lamps that are attached to the wall between the two double beds.

The beds always had those dark colored paisley prints this one had a dark burgundy with gold trim paisley pattern and dark wood paneling. Making the room darker than it needed to be. Aaron switched on a lamp.

“You get what you pay for,” he sighed.

Grace took her overnight bag in with her and headed towards the bathroom, the small but clean bathroom. She changed into an oversized dark blue tee-shirt that came down to her upper thighs. She brushed her teeth and combed her hair.

She gazed into the mirror, looking past her tired eyes and pale complexion. She put her bag on the luggage rack in the closet and walked over to the bed.

Aaron stood up when she came over, he slid his arms around her and kissed her. He then went into the bathroom.

Grace pulled down the bedspread, “at least the sheets are clean” she thought to herself.

She locked the door. Closed the curtains, those heavy, rusty gold colored curtains, standard in any motel. She laid on the bed and Aaron came out of the bathroom only wearing a pair of boxers. He came over and joined her on the bed. He leaned over her kissed her and ran his hand up the inside of her thigh. He slid his fingers inside he, she moaned and kissed him.

She let his fingers slid in and out of her rubbing her clit. Making her wet. She ran her hand down to his cock and rubbed. He stopped, got up and took off his boxers. She got up on her knees in front of him and removed her shirt. He rubbed her breasts pinching her nipples.

He got a condom out of his jeans pocket, then pushed her back onto the bed and got on top of her. He slid his cock into her pussy, feeling her, so wet and tight. He let out a moan, kissed her neck and rubbed her breasts, while he pushed into her deeper.

She moaned and pushed into him. Moving in and out of her. Feeling her breath quicken and shudder under him, they moved together till she couldn’t stand it any longer. She yelled out and came, he pushed harder into her and came in her. They laid there breathing each other in and feel asleep wrapped up in each others arms.

Grace awoke trying to think, trying to remember where she was. Who was laying next to her, she looked at Aaron still asleep and moved to get up. He tightened his grip around her, pulled her close to him and kissed her.

She got up and went to shower. She stepped into the shower and felt the warm water wash over her. She soaped up and rinsed off. As she was enjoying the warmth of the water Aaron joined her in the shower. He put his arms around her and kissed the back of her neck. She turned to face him and he lowered himself to his knees. He pulled her to him, he slid his tongue into her pussy licking and sucking on her clit.

She moaned and held herself up against the shower wall. Feeling his tongue slide into her, she let herself come. He got up and kissed her. She got out of the shower grabbed a towel and laid on the bed. Aaron showered and joined her on the bed.

“So we going to say anything about this little experience?” Aaron asked.

“I am not sure,”

Aaron leaned over and kissed her, she let out a sigh.

“It’s been a wonderful experience, but looking at reality I am afraid it’s time to go,” she said.

“I know,”

It was 9 am, time to continue on Grace dressed, packed up and said goodbye to Aaron. She got into her Honda and set out back to the highway to head further north. She thought about Aaron and how bittersweet the encounter had been. Grace knew she was treating sex like a drug, but at that moment she didn’t care. She had gotten her fix, now it was on to a new place.

She drove till she came to a little out of the way town.

 

Overland

“Typical hometown look,” she thought.

Small businesses, bars, restaurants, churches, banks all the usual things. She found motel row and picked the least to get you mugged looking one. Close to a Everyday Foods store. The Candlelight Inn what a name Grace thought as she checked in and paid for a week up front. Figuring since she was here she would take some time and look around get a feel for the little town in the middle of nowhere.

“Well Overland let’s see what you have to offer a girl,” she said as she thumbed through the phone book.

She found that one of the best ways to find things was to skim the phone book. She ventured over to the Everyday Foods store and picked up some snacks.

She drifted off thinking about a lost summer day from a lifetime ago. Grace and James drove out of town towards the ocean. It was a sun filled hot summer day and heading out to feel the cool breeze of the ocean is just what she needed. She had picked up James, a good looking guy in his mid 30’s at a bar.

James had broad shoulders and sandy blond hair that he wore slightly shaggy. He had been long distance runner in college and still had the body to show for it. He had bought her a drink and explained his outlook on life. How it was an open road full of possibility. She was sure this was a pick up line, but he was good looking and a well spoken individual. So being Grace she thought what the hell.

They drove out towards Seaside to enjoy the day by the water. He was driving and she was running her hand up and down his leg. She ran her hand over to his crotch and gave him a generous rub though his cargo shorts. She was wearing a light blue bikini under an open over shirt and shorts. He moaned as she rubbed harder at his crotch. He turned into a rest stop, he shut off the car and leaned over towards her, he kissed her letting her suck at his tongue.

He slid her shirt off and rubbed her breasts. She moved over to remove her top and bottoms. He leaned over to her and sucked on her nipple, while rubbing and pinching the other one. He ran his fingers down to her pussy, he slid his fingers into her.

She arched her back, let out a moan, letting his fingers slide deeper into her. He fingered her rubbing at her clit, making her wet. He kissed her, sat back into his seat, she leaned over and undid his shorts. Taking his cock into her mouth and letting him slide in and out of her mouth. She sucked harder while running her hand up and down his shaft. Making him moan, she sucked and rubbed till he pushed her away from him.

“Please fuck me,” he begged.

She straddled his hips and slowly slid his hard cock into her wet pussy. They both let out a moan as she moved back and forth, thrusting his cock deeper into her.

She moved faster and he pushed deeper into her. He kissed her and felt her pussy tighten around his cock as he came in her. She moved off of him and into her seat she redressed and smiled

“There now can we go to the beach?” James just smiled started the car and continued on towards Seaside.

She awoke around 8am the next morning. “Time to face the day,” she said to herself.

She showered and dressed in comfy jeans, a long sleeve tee-shirt and walking shoes. She picked up a map from the front office and had written down some points of interest to check out.

She headed towards the downtown area and found a place to park, she walked down the Main Street area and checked out some of the hometown charm. Nothing of interest caught Grace’s eye. It was all very normal looking craft shops, ice cream shops, home decor, antiques and beauty shops.

Grace wandered around for a while and figured it was time for some lunch. She stopped at a little deli and had a turkey on wheat with a pickle, chips and an ice tea. She sat out on the patio of the deli and watched the people of this little town going about their lives.

 

The Backdoor

Grace stopped by a convent store on her way back to The Candlelight Inn to grab a pack of cigarettes. She asked the younger looking 20 something girl running the register where the nightlife was in this little town. The girl offered up that out behind the truck-stop, off route 18 there was a bar where all the locals hangout.

“It’s called The Backdoor,” the girl said.

She hung out in the motel room till around 9 pm, she dressed in her tight jeans, low cut black top and black ankle boots. She put on her coral lipstick and clipped her hair back.

She looked in the mirror and let out a sigh “anything for a fix,” she drove out to route 18 and past the truck-stop.

There it was about a quarter mile past, a large warehouse looking building, surrounded by a small dirt parking lot that stretched out into a field of forgotten wheat.

A simple small wooden sign hung over the door The Backdoor it read. She parked among all the other cars, SUVs, trucks and motorcycles. She glanced around there were small groups of people standing around talking, smoking and drinking. She got out of her Honda locked the door put her keys, id and money into her pockets and headed towards the door.

The unmistakable smell of pot hit her as she passed a group of people, Grace took deep breath as she passed “awe memories” she thought.

She paid the large man that looked like a bodybuilder the $10 cover charge. The open floor of the warehouse had a bar, tables with chairs, a few pool tables and a dance floor. All lighted by a number of moving blue and red spotlights. A mix of classic rock and adult contemporary played just loud enough that you had to raise your voice to a dull yell to be heard. She made her way to the bar and ordered a shot of Jack and a beer. She downed the shot and took a seat at the bar to watch the crowd.

 

Sean

Grace’s beer was just past half empty when a voice asked “Would you like another, or something stronger?”

She turned to see an older guy, mid 50’s, in good shape with a little more gray than brown left in his hair asking if she would like another drink.

Grace smiled at him and said “Sure how about a shot of Jack?”

He ordered two and introduced himself  “Sean,”

He put out his hand and she said “Grace, thanks for the drink,” and shook his hand.

“So what do you think of our little town?” Sean asked. Grace gave him a confused look.

“You don’t look as if you’re from around here,” he said.

“True,” she answered.

They chatted about the town and what keep it running and why people choose to call it home. Typical mundane small talk, Grace ordered another beer.

“Care for a game of pool?” she asked him.

“Not my thing,” he answered.

“Your loss,” she said and headed over to the table.

She played a couple games with the guys that were hanging around. After deciding that this night was not really going anywhere she returned to the bar and ordered one more shot of Jack.

“Let me get that for you,” Sean said.

“Sure why not,”

Sean handed Grace her shot “Cheers,”

“Cheers,”

 

Ouch

Grace slowly opened her eyes the light was bright. She shut them again, her head pounded and her body ached. She tried to move and was stopped by shooting pain through her shoulders and back.

“What the hell happened,” she said to the empty room.

She managed to sit up and let her eyes adjust to the bright sunlight streaming in through the window. She was in what appeared to be a bedroom, sitting in the middle of a large bed.

Looking around, there was a nightstand with a clock radio that read 8:12 am, a dresser with a mirror, a chair in the corner and the door was closed. She had no idea where she was, she was wearing a man’s gray button down shirt that was open and nothing else. She got off the bed and stood in front of the mirror that was on the dresser.

“Oh my God,” she mouthed the words as she examined herself in the mirror.

Her hair was a mess, her eyes were bloodshot, there were red rough marks around her wrists and ankles. Along with bruises and blood on her inner thighs.

She scanned the room for her clothes, they were in a pile on the floor to the side of the bed, at least her shirt, jeans and boots were there no socks or underwear.

“Go figure,” Grace mumbled to herself.

She dressed and left the room, she stumbled down a hall and into a living-room. She found the front door and went outside. She found herself standing in a driveway not quite believing what she saw, her Honda parked right there. She opened the door and her keys were sitting on the passenger seat.

Grace drove away from the house found route 18 and made her way back to The Candlelight Inn, she packed up her room and started driving south. Soon as she felt she was far enough out of town she pulled over into a rest stop. Her hands shook as she lit a cigarette and tried to think of the last thing she remembered from the night before.

She remembered going to The Backdoor, playing pool having a few drinks, talking to the older guy, Sean. But didn’t remember leaving or anything else except waking up in that strange house.

She decided to drive south into the next big city and visit a hospital. She pulled up outside of St. Anthony’s Hospital, locked the Honda and walked into the emergency room entrance. She approached the check in desk and the attendant behind the glass asked what she was there for.

“I was drugged and sexually assaulted,” she said.

The attendant looked up at her, handed her a clipboard and asked her to have a seat. She took a seat and filled out the form, a nurse came over to her and offered her a bottle of water.

“It will be just a few minutes, would you like us to call in a police officer as well?” the nurse asked.

“Yes, thank you,”

 

Sarah

Grace sat and sipped on the water and waited, a women in a pants suit walked in and approached the check in desk. The attendant motion towards Grace and the woman walked over to her.

“Mrs. Summers, I am detective Sarah Miller,” she said.

Grace made eye contact with her and tried to smile, tears were welling up in her eyes. She knew she was exhausted and just wanted all of this over with. Detective Miller accompanied her back to an exam room, where she made her statement of what she could remember, photos were taken, blood was drawn and a rape kit collected.

Grace didn’t want to think too much about what was being done to her she just knew that it hurt and she wanted it over. She was allowed to shower and given clothes from the lost and found to wear. A dark blue tee-shirt, a pair of gray sweets and some slip on shoes. Detective Miller gave Grace her card and told her to keep in touch. She went to her Honda and sat trying to process what had just happened.

“I know it is the right thing to do, especially since I can’t remember,”

 

Home

Grace knew she needed to get somewhere safe where she could rest. She drove south and knocked on Eric’s door.

“Grace, what the hell?” Eric said.

She entered Eric’s apartment handed him the large envelope that contained a copy of the police report she had filed. Made her way to the couch, laid down and closed her eyes.

“Just read it,” she said and fell into a sleep of exhaustion.

Eric walked over to the couch, slipped her shoes off and covered her with a blanket. Eric sat at the table and slowly read the police report.

“Jesus Christ,” he said to himself.

Grace awoke to the smell of coffee and bacon. She sat up slowly realizing how sore she was.

“Morning.” Eric said.

“Morning.” she moaned getting herself to sit upright.

“Eat and take the meds that were prescribed for you,” he said.

She took the plate of scrambled eggs, toast and bacon and slowly ate it all along with a cup of coffee. She took the morning after pills, some antibiotics, and ibuprofen. Eric came over and kissed her on the forehead.

“Doing OK so far?” he asked.

“As good as can be expected. Still can’t remember anything,” she answered.

Grace’s cell phone rang it was St. Anthony’s Hospital with her test results. She had been drugged with Rohypnol the date rape drug, no DNA was found in her rape kit and she was clear of any STD’s. She didn’t know Sean’s last name nor did she take note of where she woke up. She had given as much information as she could remember from her night at The Backdoor.

Grace got up and went to take a shower. She thought about John and what had really happened that night so many months ago. He came home drunk and started in on her the second he hit the door saying how he didn’t love her anymore and that he and his whore of an assistant Jenny were going to get married as soon as he could file for a divorce. She remembered how the thunder rolled and the lightning sparked through the sky that night as John rambled on and on about leaving her and moving on with his happy little life.

When John headed towards the stairs to go up to the bedroom how he tripped, somehow, it happened all so quickly, he was yelling and going up the stairs and then there was a noise, a loud thump followed by a cracking sound.

She stood in the kitchen for a moment after that horrible sound and tried to wrap her mind around what had just happened.

She thought about their life together the falling out of love and how he had become so hateful over the last few years. The money and assets that she helped him build up and how now she was deciding to hide his body take it all and run. She went into the living room towards the staircase and there laying like a rag doll on the floor was John, or at least his body. The color draining from his face, he was not breathing, not moving.

She knew he was already gone, the cracking sound was John’s head splitting open on the marble tile that surrounded the base of the staircase.

She managed to wrap the body in garbage bags and drug it out to the backyard. They had started to dig a hole for a pool to be put in, she dumped the body into the hole and covered it up. It was a long, tiring, messy night but it had to be done.

Grace stood over the covered body in the backyard and said, “It wasn’t all bad John we just grew apart and you became rotten, like a piece of fruit left out to long on the counter,”

She made a mental note to make sure the foundation for the pool would be poured by weeks end and so it was.

John was forever sealed away under the new backyard pool.

She stood in the shower looking over the red marks and bruises left by the night she couldn’t and didn’t want to remember and thought to herself “Karma is a bitch,”

 

John’s Side

“Fuck, where is my tie, I am late for the 1:30 pm meeting,” John said.

“Relax, they will wait for you,” Jenny said, as she picked up his navy blue neck tie off the floor of the hotel room and put it around his neck.

“See there you go all dressed,” she said.

“Thank you, I love you,” he kissed her.

“Love you too,”

John gathered his wallet, keys, phone, and briefcase and left the hotel room. He took the elevator down to the parking garage and got into his car. His phone beeped while he was exiting the garage, one missed call, from Grace. John sighed

“Suppose I should call the wife back,” he mumbled to himself.

After his meeting, Jenny his assistant, came into his office.

“How did it go?”

“Good, they will send over a contract next week,” he answered.

His phone rang it was Grace, he pushed ignore call, and looked at Jenny.

“When are you going to tell her?”

“Soon,”

He sat at his desk looking at the portrait of Grace, thinking about how they had fallen out of love years ago and now just tolerated each other.

John and his assistant Jenny had been sleeping together for two years now. He had started out by saying he would never indulge with someone at work, but over the time spent together they had fallen in love. He had tried to ignore the butterflies he felt in his gut when she had first started working for him, the stolen glances across the room, the accidental touches in passing.

He ignored it till that one day, he had started his morning having an argument with Grace about never spending any time together. He had stormed out of the house and gone to the office.

Jenny was there looking so pretty, with her long legs, bright blue eyes and bouncy blonde hair, there to listen. He had broke down in front of her and they ended up in a hotel room together during lunch. He talked, she comforted and listened. Jenny made the first move, kissing him on the cheek, it turned into a make out session followed by an afternoon fling.

John tried to push her away and not feel the warmth and comfort of her. Telling himself it was just once, a moment of weakness. But it was there a connection between them. That hole in his heart that he had been carrying around for years was now filled with her. Her passion for life, her understanding, her love.

He had started to prepare what he needed to say to Grace. How he needed to be let go, that they both needed to move on. That they were just suffocating each other by staying in a stalled relationship. It always sounded good in his head, but every time he started to get ready to confront her he chickened out.

“You know instead of hotel rooms at noon we could be together in our own home,” Jenny said, after yet another lunch hour spent in a hotel room.

“I know, I want to tell her,”

Jenny stood in front of him, slid her arms around his waist and kissed him.

“Please do it tonight, I can’t wait any longer, I want to be home with you,”

“OK, tonight,” he said.

John had a stop to make before going home to confront Grace. He drove out to the mall and went into The Jewelry Palace and picked up the engagement ring he had ordered for Jenny. He looked it over in the car and put it in the glove box.

He drove around for a while rehearsing in his head what he was going to say to Grace. He decided to stop and grab a drink hoping that it would help settle his nerves. He entered the Bar & Grill on main, ordered a hamburger with fries, a beer and a shot of Jameson.

About four shots and two beers later he felt ready to go talk to Grace. He parked his car in the garage and entered the house. Grace was standing in the kitchen and he just started talking.  Wanting to get it all out and over with quickly, so that he could go back to Jenny.

“Grace, we’re done, I am leaving, I want a divorce. You are suffocating me, we need to move on. Jenny and I want to get married,” It all came out quickly, his heart was racing and he was shaking.

He walked through the kitchen to the stairs to go up and grab a few things, before leaving. His shoes were wet from the rain, he misjudged the step and slipped. Unable to regain his balance, his head hit the marble tile that surrounded the base of the staircase.

“Missing John Summers age 45, wt. 215 lbs, eyes brown, hair short, dark brown with streaks of grey,” Jenny read to herself, as she hung up another flyer.

“I wish I knew where you were,” Jenny brushed a tear away and continued hanging up missing person flyers.

 

Jenny and James

Jenny continued to hand out flyers on her way back to her apartment. She slowly climbed up the steps to her studio apartment on the third floor of an older historical building downtown. As she stood in the center of the room a small navy blue gym bag in the closet caught her eye, John’s ‘gym’ bag she smiled to herself, John going to the gym was there cover for the past year. Every Wednesday night and Saturday afternoon John would come here and for the first while he carried the gym bag back and forth, then it just ended up in the closet.

Jenny let out a sigh and sat on the bed.

“I just want to know where you are,” she said to the empty room.

She scrolled through her contacts on her phone, stopped, “I wonder,” she said and pushed call contact name James.

“Hello this is James Andrews, how can I help you?

“James it’s Jenny,”

“Hey, sis what’s up?” he answered.

She explained her relationship with John and that he was now missing. She didn’t know what else she could do. James took all this in and thought it over.

“Let me see if my friend from the academy is still around, last I remember he was out your way he should be a detective by now,”

“OK, thank you James, anything to help me find him. I just don’t understand what could have happened to him,” she said.

James sat his desk and thumbed through a stack of business cards till he found the one he was looking for.

“Thought so,” he said and dialed the phone.

“Hello, this is Detective Eric Stone,”

“Hey, detective this is Private Investigator James Andrews,”

“Wow, hi James, long time, so what’s up?” Eric asked.

James explained his sister’s predicament. It didn’t take long for Eric to put it all together. James hung up with Eric and packed his bag for a quick road trip. He was not only curious about what had happened to John but also felt it was past time to catch up with his sister and old friend.

Detective Stone sat at his desk in the downtown police station taking in that his old friend from the academy, was now involved. All because John Summers assistant was Jenny Andrews. “Small world,” he muttered to himself. Trying to figure out if Grace needed to be brought in on any of this.

 

Grace and James

James and Jenny arrived at Eric’s apartment. James knocked.

Eric answered the door.

“Hey, come in, take a seat. Can I get either of you a drink?” Eric asked.

“Sure I’ll take a scotch,” James said.

“No thanks,” Jenny answered.

Grace came into the living room, Eric started to make the introductions but was cut off by James.

“Grace?” James asked.

“James? From Seaside? It’s been a while,” she answered moving forward to shake his hand.

Grace had picked up James in a bar in downtown Portland about thirteen years ago.

“Seriously, Grace is there anyone you haven’t slept with? I’ll take that drink now,” Jenny said.

Eric handed her a shot of Jack and she downed it.

 

Route 18

“Hello, this is Detective Miller,” Sarah answered the phone.

“Hey, Sarah, It’s Detective Mark Thomas from Overland, I have a question for you about a report you took last fall concerning The Backdoor,”  

Detective Thomas explained the discovery of a female body not to far from The Backdoor and had found Sarah’s incident report on Grace.

Sarah called Grace.

Grace awoke to her phone beeping, she reached over to the nightstand. It said one missed call from Sarah Miller.  

“What the hell, does she want,” Grace said sitting up in bed.  

“What does who want?” Eric asked from the other room. Grace got up and joined Eric in the kitchen.  

“Detective Sarah Miller,”

Grace sat at the kitchen table and dialed the phone.

“This is Detective Miller,”

“It’s Grace Summers, you called?’  

“Thanks for calling back, they found a body of a young women, out on route 18, just outside of Overland,” Sarah said.

“This has to do with me how?”

“She had similar markings on her, that match your report from last fall,”  

Grace just sat for a moment taking in what Sarah was saying. Another woman had gone to The Backdoor for a good time and now she is dead. She had tried not to remember that night, but pieces of it had begun to float back into her mind.

“You are the only one that has made a report about The Backdoor,” Sarah said.

“If you happen to remember anything else about that night it could help. Grace, she was only 23,”

“I will think about it,” Grace said and hung up the phone.

“What was that about?” Eric asked.

“A dead woman, was found out on route 18, I think I know who did it,”

Since coming back to Eric’s apartment after that forgotten night at The Backdoor, Grace and Eric had been playing house with each other like an old married couple. She felt comfortable and safe with him and he enjoyed having her around.  

They decided to take a road trip out to route 18, to see if It would jog Grace’s memory. They drove north out of town, past Barney’s Bar & Grill, past The Northward Inn and into downtown Overland. It had been a while but it all looked the same, a quiet little town, of ordinary looking people going about their daily lives.  

They drove out towards route 18 and the truck stop. Then there it was the large warehouse looking building, surrounded by a small dirt parking lot that stretched out into a field of forgotten wheat.

With just a simple small wooden sign over the door, The Backdoor it read. The parking lot was empty and it looked run down. They pulled into the parking lot and Grace pulled out a map of the area. She was looking for where she had woken up after that forgotten night.  

“This may be something,” she said to Eric as they looked at a road that turned off of route 18 about a mile down.

“Let’s go check it out,” Eric started the car and they drove further down route 18.

They turned off onto a dirt road that twisted and turned into the woods. It was an overcast day but the dense trees made the road darker than it was. Eric flipped the switch for the headlights in Grace’s little Honda, as they continued along the dirt road. They came to a dead stop, a shiver ran up Grace’s back, making her shudder. A large two story, log cabin house stood in front of them.  

“That’s it. That is the house I woke up in,” she said. Eric took note of the house number and the name of the road they had turned on.

“We need to go talk to Sarah,” Eric agreed and they headed back out of Overland.

 

Anna

Grace and Eric sat in the police station waiting to speak with Detective Sarah Miller.

“You can come back now,” An Officer escorted them into an interview room, where Sarah was waiting.

“So what do we have?” Sarah asked.

“We drove out to The Backdoor and we found the house off of Route 18,” Grace answered.

“The house you woke up in, but didn’t know where you were?”  

“Yep that one, it has an address, 870 West Ridge Rd. off of Route 18,” Eric said.

“Can we see the report on the dead woman?”  

“Only because you are also a Detective and Grace was the only one to come forward,” She handed the file to Eric.  

They read over the report. Woman found naked, bruises on wrists and ankles. Scratches and bruising on inner thighs. Bruising around eyes and mouth, skin under fingernails. Identified as Anna Miller age 23. Eric looked at Sarah.

“Relation?” he asked her.

“She’s my niece,” Sarah answered.  

“I will run the address and see if we can find and owner. I will let you know what I find,” Sarah showed them back out to the front entrance.

~ ~ ~ ~

When Grace and Eric returned home, she wrapped her arms around him and kissed him.  

“Thanks for helping me find the house,”  

She lead him into the bedroom and pushed him down onto the bed. She un-clipped her hair letting it fall over her shoulders. As she slowly started to take off her clothes, sliding off her shoes. She swayed back and forth while unbuttoning her jeans, sliding them down to her ankles and stepping out of them.  

She pulled her shirt off over her head and then unfastened her bra and slipped off her panties. She moved to the bed and helped Eric take off his pants and shirt. She pulled down his boxers and discarded them to the floor.

She lowered herself over his cock and slid it into her mouth, rubbing her hand along his shaft. He let out a moan and leaned back on the bed. He ran his hands through her hair. She sucked harder letting his cock slide in and out of her mouth.

She stopped, and moved up straddling his hips and sliding his cock into her. She let out a moan, and he reached up and caressed her breasts, pinching her nipples. She pushed against him letting his cock slide deeper into her. She quickly moved her hips back and forth, thrusting faster and deeper. Fucking him till they came together.

 

Closure

The next morning Grace awoke to the smell of coffee brewing and the sound of bacon frying. She got up pulled on her robe and went into the kitchen.  

“Morning,” Eric said as he gave her a kiss and put a plate of scrambled eggs, toast and bacon down in front of her.

She started eating as he poured her coffee.

“So what’s up?” she asked in between bites.

“Sarah called this morning. She found a name,”  

She stopped eating and looked up at him.  

“It’s Sean isn’t it?” she asked, Eric just nodded.

“Finish eating and then we will figure out what you want to do next,”

Grace entered The Backdoor wearing her tight jeans, low cut black top and ankle boots. She headed over to the bar and ordered a shot of Jack, she downed the shot and hit the pool tables. A good looking guy in jeans and a t-shirt was shooting a game. She picked up a cue stick and make eye contact with the guy.

“Care for a game, best out of five?” she asked.

“Sure,” he said and racked the balls for a new game.

She took her time shooting, watching the room and taking note of the older grey haired guy sitting towards the back of the room.  

A woman in her mid 30’s with shoulder length dark hair entered The Backdoor, she was dressed in dark jeans and a tight t-shirt that helped accent her chest. She took a seat at the bar ordered a beer and a BLT. While she ate her sandwich and drank her beer, she watched the crowd of people, some dancing, others eating and a few playing pool.  

“Would you like another or something stronger?” A male voice said beside her. She cleared her throat.

“I wouldn’t say no to a shot of Jack,” The woman answered. She gave him a smile and he ordered her a shot and took the seat next to her at the bar.

“I am Sarah,” she said and put out her hand.

“Sean,” he answered shaking her hand.

They chatted about how warm it was getting so early into spring and other mundane daily small talk.

“One for the road?” Sean asked.

“Sure,” Sarah said.

Grace had finished her game of pool and was now standing behind Sean looking at Sarah. Sean ordered two more shots of Jack and turned away from Sarah before handing her the drink. Grace just watched as he slipped a small pill into the drink, it dissolved instantly. He turned back towards Sarah and handed her the shot.

“Cheers,” Sean said.  

“I don’t think so,” Grace said from behind Sean. He turned around to face her.

“We can take this outside,” she said. Sean agreed and walked out with Grace and Sarah into the parking lot.  

“Let’s go to your place, Sean,” Grace said.  

They walked over to Grace’s Honda, Sean and Sarah got in the back. Eric was behind the wheel Grace got in and they headed down Route 18, and turned onto West Ridge Rd. The car was dead silent, then Grace spoke.

“I want to see where you took me,” she said looking at Sean.

They pulled up in front of the house and they all got out.

“Let’s go,” Eric said taking Sean by the elbow and leading him to the front door. Sean took out his keys and unlocked the door.  

“Show me,” Grace said.

He led them through the kitchen to a door that had a padlock on it. Sean unlocked it, opened the door, flipped the light switch and they headed downstairs to the basement.

The cinder block walls were cold and damp. There was a faint smell of burnt candles, vanilla Grace thought to herself. There was a queen size bed against the far wall, it had a wooden foot and headboard. There were strands of red stained rope hanging off the four corner posts of the bed. The sheets on the bed were smeared with streaks of blood. Grace took a wooden kitchen chair from the side of the bed and placed it next to the foot of the bed.

“Sit,” she told Sean.

He took a seat on the chair, Grace then handcuffed his arms behind him and tied his ankles to the legs of the chair. Sarah and Eric just watched, allowing her to get her answers.  

“Why?” Grace asked.

“Why, not it was easy.” Sean said.

She moved towards him and straddled his lap. She leaned into him and whispered.

“Like it’s easy for me to make you hard,” she rubbed her hand along his crotch, he tried to move away. She could feel his cock starting to get hard.  

“What exactly did you do to me?” she asked.

He looked at her and smiled.

“Nothing you didn’t want or enjoyed,” he answered.

Grace moved off of him.

“You know what, I think we are done here,”

She walked over to Eric, and kissed him as he handed her his gun. Grace turned to look at Sarah, she nodded.  

Grace raised the gun and shot Sean in the head, his body when limp. Eric uncuffed and untied him. His body fell to the floor.

Eric, Grace and Sarah went upstairs, putting the padlock back on the basement door. They went out to Grace’s Honda and drove back to The Backdoor to drop Sarah off at her vehicle.

Grace got out and gave Sarah a hug. She smiled at Grace and got into her car and drove away.  

As Grace and Eric drove home he reached over and squeezed her hand.

“I love you,” he said.

She smiled.

“I know, I love you too.”  

 

Westside Motel

Grace opened her eyes, and tried to focus on the bedside alarm clock. It was flashing 12:00.

“Fuck,” she said as she sat up and looked around the room.

She was naked on a bed in a crappy motel room, except this time there were two other bodies in the room with her. Two guys laid naked on the bed with her. She got up off the bed and headed to the bathroom.

She splashed some water on her face, glanced in the mirror at her bloodshot eyes and pale complexion. She ran her fingers through her stringy red hair and got into the shower.

While she soaped up and washed off the night’s festivities, the details of last night’s events slowly seeped back to her.

She had gone out to a bar to shoot pool and have a good time, Grace had gotten to a point in her life where she wanted to embrace the now. She felt that her adventuring party days were fleeting. She needed to feed that craving, to get her fix, that sexual high that drove her more and more.

She entered the Late Night Spot around 10 pm, wearing her tight jeans and even tighter tee-shirt. She ordered her usual a beer followed by a shot of Jack. She sized up the room took note of the guys playing pool and made her decision to take at least one of them home.

The two guys shooting pool were good looking, average mid 40’s and appear to be enjoying their night out. Grace approached the pool table and invited herself to play the winner of the next game.

She did what she does best, flirting, leaning in over the table, rubbing up against each of them in passing. She won the first set of three games and then challenged them to a best of five. After about two hours of flirting, small talk and four more shots of Jack, she was more than ready to take one or both of them home.

She put her cue down on the pool table and invited the guys back to her motel room. They both agreed. In the parking lot Grace introduced herself to them.

“Grace,” she said as she put out her hand to the first guy.

“Tom,” he said and shook her hand. She then faced the other guy.

“Robert,” he said and also shook her hand.

“You can follow me, there’s a Westside Motel about a mile down,” she said and got into her Honda.

Tom and Robert got into their truck and followed her to the motel. She parked in front of room 14 and the three of them entered. Tom a good looking guy, made the first move.

He stood in front of Grace and kissed her. He slid his hands around her waist, ran his hands down to her ass and squeezed pulling her into him. She kissed him back and could feel his hard cock against her. She ran her hand down to his crotch and rubbed.

Tom let out a moan and ran his hand over her breast, pinching her nipples. She took a step back from Tom and removed her shirt, showing off her dark purple satin bra.

Robert who had been watching all this go down, moved across the room to them and stood behind Grace. He moved her red shoulder length hair to one side and leaned down to kiss her neck while rubbing her shoulders.

She stepped back into him and could feel his cock rub up against her. She let out a moan and Tom kissed her. Tom moved down the front of Grace unbuttoning her jeans and sliding them down to her ankles, she stepped out of them.

He then moved back up her legs kissing the inside of her thighs and removed her pink lace panties. Tom kissed and licked, sliding his tongue into her pussy.

Robert unfastened Grace’s bra and let it drop to the floor, he caressed her breasts and rubbed her nipples. She let out a moan and ran her hands through Tom’s hair pushing him deeper into her.

Tom stood up and kissed her, she moved over and sat on the edge of the bed. Robert took out a bottle of Jack Daniels from a bag of groceries that Grace had gotten earlier.

Opened it, took a drink, then handed it to Grace. She took a drink and handed it off to Tom who also took a hit and put the bottle down on the table. Tom then moved towards Robert and kissed him. The two guys then shed their clothes and joined her on the bed.

Grace laid in between the two of them she kissed Robert and then rolled over to kiss Tom. She moved down and took Tom’s cock into her mouth. Letting it slide in and out while running her hand up and down his shaft. Robert moved towards Tom and started kissing him. Grace keep sucking till she could taste his pre-cum.

She moved up and straddled Tom’s hips letting him slide into her. She moved her hips back and forth sliding him deep into her.

Robert sucked on her erect nipples, he ran his hand down rubbing her clit. Tom arched his back and came deep inside her. She leaned back letting Robert rub her clit till she came.

Grace moved off of Tom, taking a seat at the table and took a long drink from the bottle of Jack.

“Do either of you have a cigarette?” she asked.

Robert grabbed his jeans from the floor, pulled out a pack and tossed them to her. She lit a cigarette and took a long drag, Robert sat at the table with her and lit one as well.

Tom took the bottle of Jack off the table and took a few long drinks. They all sat in silence, breathing. Grace was deciding if she was done or if this was going to go to a next level.

“Does anyone need to be anywhere soon?” she asked. Tom and Robert exchanged glances.

“Not really,” Tom answered and downed another swallow of Jack. Grace smiled.

“Good so who’s up for round two?”

Tom got up and went into the bathroom. Robert stood up in front of Grace, took her hand and led her over to the bed.

She laid down on the bed, Robert lowered himself between her legs and enjoyed what Tom had left in her pussy. She arched her back and moaned when he slid his fingers into her while sucking on her clit.

He moved up her body kissing and caressing her. Robert let his cock slid into her and then pulled back teasing her with just the tip, making her squirm.

“How badly do you want it?” Robert asked.

“Please, please fuck me,” she begged.

He grinned at her then thrusted deep into her, Grace yelled out. He stopped, and turned her over onto her stomach.

Tom had come out of the bathroom and was watching, stroking his cock. He moved over to her and slid his cock into her mouth. She sucked eagerly letting him fuck her mouth.

Robert was behind her sliding his fingers in and out of her pussy, pushing deeper into her each time. He then slowly pushed the tip of his cock into her ass. She let out a moan, taking Tom’s cock deeper into her mouth. Robert slid his cock into her ass, fucking her slowly. He slapped her hard on the ass. She cried out letting go of Tom.

Tom looked at Robert, leaned in, kissed him and whispered something in his ear. Robert smiled and moved off the bed.

He picked up his jeans and pulled out his belt. He folded it in half, a loud snap rung out. Grace jumped, she turned and looked at Robert standing behind her with his thick leather belt in hand.

She knelled on the bed in front of him, he kissed her, and pushed her onto her back. Tom grabbed her wrists and Robert handed him the belt. He tied her hands together, then fastened the belt to the headboard.

Robert took a drink from the bottle of Jack then poured it over Grace’s body. She squirmed as it splashed across her breasts and stomach. Tom started licking up the spill off of her breasts, sucking on her hard nipples. As Robert sucked the Jack Daniels out of Grace’s belly button.

They worked their way up and down her body, licking and sucking up every drop. Her body tingled from the sensation, her pussy dripping with cum.

Tom unfasten the belt from the headboard, and untied Grace’s wrists.

“Fuck me,” he said.

Grace got up, kissed Tom and pushed him onto his back in the middle of the bed.

She stroked his cock, sliding it into her drenched pussy. Tom moaned and thrusted into her. Robert got behind Grace and rubbed her shoulders and kissed her neck as she fucked Tom.

Robert then tightened his grip around her neck, pushed her forward and slid his cock into her ass. Tom grabbed Grace’s neck and kissed her deeply while Robert pushed deeper into her ass.

She took them both, feeling Tom deep in her pussy, and having Robert in her ass. Grace’s pussy tighten around Tom’s cock as she pushed back against Robert taking him deeper, her body shuddered as she felt them come in her.

She collapsed laying on top of Tom, he kissed her and moved her off of him. Robert laid next to them running his hand up and down her back.

Robert and Tom went to take a shower and Grace feel asleep.

~ ~ ~ ~

Grace awoke to Robert kissing her, as he slid his fingers into her pussy. Thrusting them deep into her, Tom leaned over and kissed her, he was stroking his cock, laying up against her.

Tom stroked faster, while sucking on Grace’s nipple. She moaned and went to move her arm, only to find that her wrists were once again tied to the headboard with Robert’s belt.

“Just relax,” Robert told her. Grace closed her eyes as Robert continued to finger her, working more of his fingers deeper into her.

Robert watched as Tom moved on to his knees and continued to rub his cock, he came, all over Grace’s breasts. Robert moved on top of Grace slid his cock into her pussy, thrusting deep into her. He leaned over and kissed Tom while he fucked her.

They untied Grace finished off the bottle of Jack and passed out on the bed.

Grace stepped out of the shower, grabbed a towel and went to find her clothes. She got dressed and left the Westside motel and drove back home to Eric.

 

Desire

Grace unlocked the door to room 17 at the Pine Oaks Inn off of highway 25. She switched on the lamp next to the door and took in the $50 a night motel room.

“The things I do for a fix,” Grace muttered as she put her overnight bag in the closet next to the bathroom.

Grace showered and dressed, choosing her low-cut black top and tight fitting dark jeans, with a simple pair of navy blue pumps.

She clipped back her dark red hair and applied her favorite coral lipstick.

“Good enough,” she said to the room putting her ID and cash into her pockets.

Grace entered the rundown roadhouse, took a seat at the bar and ordered a shot of jack.

“You don’t have to do this,” a voice said from behind her.

Grace turned around Eric was standing there looking disappointed.

Grace stared at him, she couldn’t stop the tears from coming.  Eric put his arm around her and they headed back to the Pine Oaks Inn. Grace gathered her things and followed Eric home.

Eric handed Grace a drink and sat next to her on the couch. He downed his drink and faced her. He reached behind her and un-clipped her hair. He leaned in and kissed her tenderly on the lips.

“I love you,” he said, she moved forward and kissed him.

“I love you too,” Grace put her head on his shoulder.

He took her hand and lead her into the bedroom. Eric pulled her shirt over her head, unbuttoned her jeans and slid them down to her ankles. She stepped out of them. He hugged her, kissed her neck and unfastened her bra. She slid off her panties and laid on the bed.

Eric undressed and joined her, he slid his hand in-between her legs and rubbed her clit. Grace moaned and kissed him, she rubbed his cock. He slid his fingers into her making her pussy wet.

“Fuck me, please,” Grace begged.

Eric moved on top of her, he slid his tongue into her mouth and kissed her deeply. He kissed down her neck to her breasts, sucking on her erect nipples. Grace moaned and ran her hands through his hair. He slid his hard cock into her wet pussy she arched her back and pushed against him making herself come. Eric thrusted faster and harder, coming deep in her.

~ ~ ~ ~

Grace awoke the next morning with a purpose, to be here with Eric, to distance herself from the craving. That feeling of need and sexual desire that haunted her.

Grace dressed in a nice pair of jeans with a conservative top and a pair of walking shoes. She went out not sure of what she was looking for.

After hours of exploring around the downtown area, she found herself standing in front of St. Anthony’s. Grace took a deep breath and entered the church.

The building was lit by streams of sunlight passing through the stained glass windows. Creating rainbows falling over the pews.

Grace entered the confessional and poured her heart out to the priest. She told him about picking up random guys in bars, that she needed sex, craved the high. The adrenaline rush from being with a stranger. She even told him about wanting and having another woman.

Father Gabriel listened to her, he tried not to be aroused by her confession.  He explained to her that it wasn’t too late to save her soul.

As Grace was leaving St. Anthony’s Father Gabriel a clean-shaven, good looking guy, in his late thirties with short dark hair and even darker eyes stopped her.

“I lead a women’s group two nights a week if you would like to join us,” he handed her a flyer.

“Thank you, I will think about it,” she said taking the flyer.

“Please do,” Father Gabriel said, taking her hand and giving it a light squeeze. Grace smiled at him and left.

Father Gabriel entered his office he stood in front of his desk thinking about what Grace had confessed. He picked up a small silver bell and rang it. Sister Bernadette entered the office, her eyes glazed over and her voice void of feeling. “Yes Father?”

“I need you to relieve me,” he said. She nodded, she stood in front of him unbuckled, unbuttoned and unzipped his pants. Dropped to her knees and took his hard cock into her mouth. He leaned back against the desk and enjoyed feeling her suck his cock. She let him slide in and out of her mouth, sucking harder and harder. He grabbed her head and came in her mouth.

“Swallow,” Father Gabriel ordered. Sister Bernadette swallowed and stood up.

“Now hike up your skirt and take off your panties.” She obeyed pulling up her skirt and removing her white cotton panties.

“Good,” he smiled at her. He ran his hand up her bare leg and started to rub her pussy.

“Do you like that?” he asked.

“Yes Father,” she replied. He slid his fingers into her now wet pussy thrusting them in and out of her making her moan.

“Come for me,” he ordered.

“Yes Father,” she gasped. Her body tightened up a shudder ran through her, then her body went limp in Father Gabriel’s arms.

He removed his hand from in-between her legs, kissed her lightly on the lips and whispered something in her ear.

“You’re excused now,” he said. Sister Bernadette straighten her skirt, picked up her panties and left the office.

As Grace was making dinner, she keep glancing at the flyer. Thinking to herself “Why do I want this?”

She mentioned it to Eric.

“Check it out, see if it feels right,” he told her.

On the following Thursday night at 5:30 pm Grace entered St. Anthony’s rec room in the basement of the church. There were yellow plastic school chairs set out in a semicircle facing a podium and chalkboard.

“Hello Grace, it’s good to see you,” Father Gabriel said as he took her hand.

Grace smiled and took a seat.

“You appear to be the only one tonight,” he said pulling one of the chairs to sit in front of her.

“So we’ll just have a one on one conversation,” Father Gabriel smiled and took her hand.

Grace listened as Father Gabriel talked and talked. She felt very calm and relaxed while listening to him. Although she couldn’t quite recall exactly what he had said.

Grace continued to meet with Father Gabriel twice a week for the following three weeks. Each time she questioned why she felt so compelled to go.

It was after this third week of meetings that Eric started becoming aware that something was off. He had asked Grace how it was and what she thought of it. All he ever got was vague answers of it was fine.

Eric’s growing concern for Grace and suspicion of Father Gabriel lead him to begin an investigation of the Father.

On this Thursday night in late July Detective Eric Stone decided to follow Grace to St. Anthony’s. He made his way around to the back of the Church and found a window that looked into the basement rec room.

Grace was sitting in the one yellow school chair placed in the center of the room. Father Gabriel walked towards her and knelled down in front of her. He slid her shoes off and caressed her bare feet. He started talking to her. Eric couldn’t hear what was being said but it appeared to him that the Father was hypnotizing Grace.

Father Gabriel arose and walked over to the podium and took out a Polaroid camera. He addressed Grace, she stood up and removed her shirt and jeans.

Then she just stood there in her purple lace bra and panties. Eric then noticed a second woman standing next to the piano also only wearing a bra and panties.

Eric watched as this woman approached Grace and started kissing her. Meanwhile Father Gabriel had started taking pictures of the two women making out.

“What the fuck did you get yourself into Grace,” Eric mumbled to himself.

Eric turned over the clock on the nightstand read 1 am he got up, dressed and drove to the church. He managed to unlatch a basement window, he dropped down into the basement. Eric searched for the Polaroids that Father Gabriel had taken.

After not finding anything in the basement, he made his way upstairs to the Father’s office. There in the bottom right-hand drawer was a shoe box full of Polaroids. Eric flipped through the photos, under the Polaroids were three disks, Eric put them in his jacket pocket, he took the box and left.

Eric sat in front of his laptop watching the disks he had found. They were Father Gabriel’s home movies. Featuring Sister Bernadette, Grace and Father Gabriel. Eric decided that Grace didn’t need to know about the home movies.

~ ~ ~ ~

Grace awoke to the smell of bacon and coffee.

“What’s up?” she asked as she took a seat at the kitchen table.

“Morning, eat,” Eric said as he put a plate down in front of her and kissed her on the head.

Grace ate, then asked again, “What is up?”

Eric took out the shoe box, sat it on the table, took Grace’s hand and explained what he had found.

Grace looked at the photos.

“What the fuck, I don’t remember doing any of this,” she said. Grace looked at Eric.

“What do we do now?” she asked. Eric smiled at her, he leaned over and kissed her.

Eric entered Father Gabriel’s bedroom at 3 am he quickly duct taped the Father’s wrists and ankles together. Then he taped his mouth shut.

Father Gabriel awoke in a panic, Eric held him down.

“You brought this on yourself,” Eric told him.

Eric took Father Gabriel into the church’s kitchen and sat him on a chair placed in the walk-in fridge. While Eric was taping the Father’s legs to the yellow school chair, Grace was pulling knives out of the utensil drawer and laying them out across the counter.

“So Father, any last words?” Grace pulled the tape from his mouth.

“Don’t do this Grace, I beg you,” Father Gabriel pleaded.

“You know Father, when I sleep with people, it’s consensual,” Grace said picking up a knife and standing in front of Father Gabriel.

Eric watched as Grace slid the knife across Father Gabriel’s thigh.

“Fuck Grace,” Father Gabriel yelled.

“Anything you want to confess Father?” Eric asked.

Father Gabriel shook his head. Grace looked at Eric.

“I love you,” she said.

“I love you too,” he said. She kissed him.

Grace moved to stand behind Father Gabriel, she kissed him on the cheek and whispered,

“All you had to do was ask,” she pulled the knife across his neck letting it slice in deeply. Blood poured from his neck and he slumped over.

 

Absolution

Sister Bernadette was born Marie Ann Riggs of Iowa, an everyday ordinary average looking  girl, with dark brown shoulder length hair and green eyes. The only child of Joseph and Clara Riggs.  Her parents were kind, hard working individuals that knew early on that Marie was not a happy child. She was quite, shy and kept to herself.  When she turned 18 and announced to her parents that she would be joining a convent to take her vows, her parents were relieved that she had found her calling. They wished her well and let her go on her way.

Now named Sister Bernadette she found herself at St. Anthony’s, a small church with just herself and Father Gabriel inhabiting the grounds. Sister Bernadette was taken with Father Gabriel as soon as she laid eyes on him, a good looking man, clean-shaven, with short dark hair and even darker eyes, that just sucked her in. She was completely obedient to him, from the beginning.

Sister Bernadette sat straight up out of a deep sleep.

“What was that?” she strained to hear.

She got out of bed, sliding her bare feet into her slippers, grabbing her robe and slowly opened the door. The hallway was dimly lit by a nightlight shaped like a cross. She could have sworn there was a noise from Father Gabriel’s room.

Sister Bernadette made her way down the hallway, the door to Father Gabriel’s room was open.

“It’s never open at night,” she said to herself.

She peered in, his bed was empty. She took the back stairs down to the kitchen. As she reached the last step the kitchen light came on, she froze and watched as Eric carried Father Gabriel with his hands and ankles bound with duct tape into the walk-in fridge.

She listened, as Grace threatened Father Gabriel. When he yelled out, she covered her mouth to muffle a cry. After Grace and Eric had left, she crept towards the walk-in.

She stood looking at Father Gabriel taped to the yellow school chair, drenched in his blood, slumped over. She wanted to scream, but her voice was caught in her throat and no sound emerged.

Sister Bernadette fell to her knees in the walk-in fridge, moving her hands in the sign of the cross and mumbling prayers to herself.

Then there was a voice, she stopped praying and listened. The voice spoke to her, telling her what she needed to do now.

“Look at what they have done,” It said.

“You have to put him to rest,” It told her.

She knew what had to be done, Sister Bernadette obeyed the voice in her head. She worked quickly gathering sheets, garbage bags and the wheelbarrow from the gardening shed.

She wrapped him in sheets, covered him with the garbage bags and put him into the wheelbarrow. She scrubbed the walk-in and the yellow school chair, putting it back in the stack downstairs next to the piano in the rec room.

Sister Bernadette then wheeled Father Gabriel’s body out to the garden, she dug a shallow grave between the corn stalks and the zucchini. She dumped him in, covered him up and said a prayer. She took two small pieces of wood along with a piece of twine that she had found in the gardening shed and fashioned a small cross to mark his grave.

She stood in the laundry room taking off her robe, nightgown and slippers. She put them into the washer, added soap and started the cycle. She wandered back upstairs to the bathroom naked.

Sister Bernadette let the hot water wash away the dirt and blood. As she washed she listened to the voice.

“You have to punish them,” It said.

She let out a deep sigh, she thought about Father Gabriel and how she already missed him.

Sister Bernadette dressed in street clothes, she took out of the lost and found and headed out to find Eric and Grace. She spent the day wandering around downtown, she stopped by the deli across from the downtown police station and had a turkey sandwich. While she was enjoying her lunch outside in the warm summer sun she happened to see Detective Eric Stone leaving the station with a coworker.

“What a small world it is,” she said to herself.

She spent the next few days watching Eric and figuring out where and when she would confront him.

It was half past four on Saturday when there was a knock on Eric’s downtown apartment door.

He answered the door.

“Hello, may I help you,” Eric asked.

“I am Sister Bernadette, from St. Anthony’s. Can I talk to you?” she said.

Eric looked her over and realized that he did know her from Father Gabriel’s photos.

“Sure, come in,” he said holding the door open for her.

They entered Eric’s apartment and took a seat at the kitchen table.

“Would you like a water?” Eric asked. Sister Bernadette nodded Eric grabbed them each a bottle from the fridge.

“So what’s on your mind?” he asked.

“Where’s Grace?” she asked.

“She’ll be back soon,”

“You, know what Father Gabriel did to Grace, and to me?”

“Yes, I do,” Eric opened his water and took a drink.

The door to the apartment opened and as Grace entered the apartment, Sister Bernadette jumped out of her seat, pulled out the knife she was carrying and put it to Eric’s throat.

“Welcome home Grace,” she said.

Grace took all this in as she sat the bag of groceries down. Eric still sitting at the table, Sister Bernadette’s shaking hand pushing the blade slightly into Eric’s neck.

“Take a seat Grace,” she said.

Grace slowly sat down at the table watching Eric’s calm face. She took a deep breath.

“Sister Bernadette? That’s your name right?” Grace asked.

“Why, did you have to kill him, Grace why?” she cried out.

“Why, seriously, because he was manipulating people into performing sexual acts without their consent,”

Sister Bernadette’s hand shook more, her face was red and she couldn’t keep the tears from falling. Grace watched her become confused and conflicted.

The voice was still there telling her to punish them for taking Father Gabriel.

Grace looked at Eric, as she moved to grab Sister Bernadette, Eric grabbed the knife. Grace held her in a tight hug. Taking her over to the couch and sitting down with her.

“What was your name before?” Grace asked.

Sister Bernadette looked at her slightly confused.

“Marie,” she answered. Grace smiled at her.

“That’s a nice name, do you want to be Marie again?”

“Yes, please call me Marie,” she answered starting to cry harder, Grace held her as she cried and apologize.

Eric pulled out a bottle of Jack and poured three glasses. He handed one to Grace, and sat on the couch next to Marie. He rubbed her back, she turned towards him, he handed her the drink.

“Thanks,” she downed the drink.

“I am so sorry,” she said giving Eric a hug. Eric hugged her back.

Eric poured them another round. Eric and Grace talked to Marie, asking about her family and why she chose to join the church.

Grace kept telling her that it was over, that she could do whatever she wanted to. She could stay here with them for a while till she decided what she wanted. Eric offered that she could talk to a counselor if she wanted.

“It’s ok that I stay with you,” she asked Grace.

Grace kissed her on the forehead and smiled at her.

“Yes, it’s fine,”

Marie stayed with Grace and Eric, she saw a counselor twice a week and was reclaiming herself. Pushing Sister Bernadette further and further away, as she became a new Marie.

It was around September when Marie asked Grace, if she could join her and Eric in bed. Grace was slightly surprised by this request, but open to it, they had all gotten comfort with each other over the last three months.

Grace ran this request by Eric, and he agreed.

 

Good Night Grace

Eric was already in bed, when Marie entered the bedroom.

“Are you sure about this,” she asked.

“It will be fine,” Grace said as she placed her hands on her shoulders and led Marie over to the bed.

Grace knelled down behind Marie and ran her hands up Marie’s legs, under her night shirt and pulled down her white cotton panties.

“You won’t be needing these,” she said and tossed them in the hamper next to the door. Marie’s cheeks turn red. Eric smiled at her, pulled back the sheet that was covering him and patted the bed.

Marie joined him on the bed. She sat next to him, he put his arm around her shoulders and kissed her on the cheek. Then he placed his hand on her thigh, and slowly rubbed his thumb back and forth.

“Comfortable?” Eric asked.

Marie nodded, she leaned closer to him, he gently kissed her lips. Then she parted her lips and he slid his tongue into her mouth, she eagerly sucked on his tongue, kissing him back.

Marie let out a moan as Eric rubbed her breasts, gently pinching her nipple. Grace undressed and laid next to Eric’s legs, she ran her hands over his crotch, rubbing against his cock. She slid her fingers into the waistband of his lounge pants and pulled them off in one fluid movement. Grace made herself comfortable between Eric’s legs and begin, stroking his cock.

Eric moaned and helped Marie off with her night shirt, he moved down and took her firm breast into his mouth, sucking on her nipple. While thumbing and squeezing the other breast. Maria watched as Grace worked Eric’s cock, sliding her hands up and down, and licking from the base to the tip of his shaft.

Marie felt herself becoming more aroused, watching Grace suck Eric’s now hard cock, as Eric’s hand had now found its way between Marie’s legs. He was rubbing her clit, and sliding his fingers in and out of her now wet pussy.

“Grace, please,” Marie asked.

Grace stopped and sat up, “Please what?”

“Please let me,” she said getting flustered.

Grace smiled at her, “Please let you what?”

“Please let me fuck Eric,” she spouted out all in one breath.

Grace couldn’t help but laugh, Eric started laughing and then Marie found herself giggling along with them.

Grace moved towards Marie and kissed her on the lips.

“Yes,”

They re-positioned themselves, Eric laid flat on his back in the middle of the bed, Marie straddles his hips and Grace helps by taking Eric’s cock and rubs it along Marie’s pussy. Then Marie slowly sinks down onto his cock, taking in the incredible sensations she is feeling. How he is pushing into her and she is stretching to accommodate his thick, hard cock. Marie moves her hips back and forth, grinding her clit along Eric’s cock.

Grace kisses Marie and then moves down to kiss Eric. Eric grabs the back of Grace’s neck and thrusts his tongue into her mouth kissing her deeply. He is enjoying how wet and tight Marie is.

Grace starts rubbing her pussy, while watching Marie fuck Eric, she fingers her clit sending shivers of excitement up and down her spine. Then she slides her fingers into her wet pussy making herself come. As Marie is now riding Eric’s cock, he grabs her hips and thrusts himself into her, Marie screams out.

Eric moves Marie off of him and turns her over onto her stomach, he pulls her hips up so that she is now on her hands and knees. He leans down and licks her dripping pussy. Grace moves in front of Marie and spreads her legs, Marie smiles at Grace and lowers herself down between Grace’s legs. Marie starts licking and tasting Grace, sliding her tongue into her pussy.

Eric watches while Marie eats out Grace, then he slides his cock back into Marie’s pussy, slamming himself hard into her. He grabs her hips, watching Grace and fucks her, till she screams. Eric thrusts hard into her and comes deep in Marie.

Marie collapses on the bed, Eric moves over to Grace and kisses her.

“Good?” Grace asks Eric.

“Good,” he answers.

~ ~ ~ ~

Marie gets ready as usual to attend her counselling sessions to help her understand that what Father Gabriel was doing was wrong. But today just like the last three weeks she gets on bus 45 west instead of bus 23 south. The first time she did this, she just considered it a mistake. But now it has become a habit, she takes bus 45 west to the city park, she gets off the bus and sits on a bench staring out into the park.

Marie thinks she knows what’s going on, she can’t quite hear the voice yet, but she knows it’s there, whispering to her.

But today as she takes her seat on the bench, she closes her eyes and it’s there, no longer whispering.

“You know what must be done,” it says to her.

She opens her eyes and gazes out into the park.

“They are using you,” the voice echoes in her head.

“They must be punished,” it says.

Marie nods her head in agreement, she stands up and walks silently back to the bus stop.

Marie let’s herself into Eric’s apartment.

“Is that you Grace?” he calls from the bedroom.

“No, it’s just me,” Marie answers.

“You’re home early, how’s it going?”

Marie picks up a kitchen knife and walks towards the bedroom. She silently enters the bedroom, Eric is standing in front of the dresser. Marie doesn’t hesitate she moves behind him and runs the knife along his throat. Eric gasps for air, grabbing at his severed neck and falls to the floor. Marie watches as the blood pools around his body.

“Now for her,” the voice commands.

Marie waits standing in the bedroom with Eric’s lifeless body on the floor. She hears Grace open the door to the apartment.

“Anyone home?” she asks.

“We’re back here,” Marie answers.

Grace puts down her things and walks back to the bedroom. She enters the room, sees Eric’s body and starts to head for the door. Marie slams the door shut, grabs Grace from behind and hold the knife to her throat.

“Do you see what you made me do?” Marie asks.

“Why?” Grace asks trying to hold back tears.

“Because you took him away from me,” she screeched.

“Who, Father Gabriel?” Grace asked.

“Yes, good night Grace,” Marie pulled the knife along Grace’s neck spraying blood across the bedroom. Grace’s body fell to the floor.

Marie went into the bathroom, she undressed and stepped into the shower. As she washed she listened to the voice.

“Good girl,” it said.

“Now we can go home,”

Marie packed her things and left the apartment. She went to the Greyhound station and boarded a bus to Iowa.
The End

Consequence

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Three Days

The Call (Wednesday Night)

Jane’s phone rang, she looked at the incoming call: Charlie.

“Fuck! Only one reason for him to call,”

She took a deep breath and answered the phone.

There is only one reason for someone that hasn’t seen or spoken to you in over 20 yrs to call at night out of the blue. Someone has died.

Charlie is Jane’s younger brother, the middle child. The one who pushed the boundaries and broke the rules, but who was never punished. Unlike Jane, who was the oldest and only daughter. Who was given the responsibilities of starting dinner, helping her two younger brothers with their homework, and daily chores.

A constant loop of ‘get up go to school, come home do chores, eat dinner, go to bed.’ Rinse and repeat. Which she did. She followed the rules, did what was asked of her, gave lip-service. A regular people pleaser. Till she hit her breaking point.

After moving back home from spending a semester living in the dorms on campus. She was told by her mother that there was no reason for her, a 20 year old, to be going out at 9 pm on a Thursday night with her friends. Jane needed to get away and live her own life. She was tired of feeling suffocated, trapped, and used being in her mother’s house.

Jane left, she got as far away as she could and never looked back. Charlie was always trying to get away from the family. He ended up coming home, settling down and stayed. He married a woman 10 years older than him. He took an office job, and in Jane’s opinion was now chained to a desk and responsibility for life.

“Hey Charlie,” Jane said.

“Jane, mom’s gone,” Charlie said. Jane let out a sigh: maybe now she’s at peace with everything..

Arrangements were made. There would be a ticket home waiting at the airport for Jane.

Thursday Morning

Jane packed a bag and got on the plane. She was meet at the airport by Charlie, LeAnn his wife and their two girls. Jane was as polite as she could be, to get through this, the only upside would be getting to see her old friends from school.

They pulled up to the two story house tucked away in the woods and out of town. Scattered toys in the yard, along with a variety of flowers and plants all along the deck. Mom liked her flowers, Jane thought.

When Jane entered she was caught by surprise by the amount of stuff in the little house. It was packed wall to wall with furniture. An easy chair covered with a dark blue sheet tucked in as a makeshift slipcover, a full size couch with an over-sized purple and blue flower pattern on it. End tables with lamps and plants on them, scattered throughout the living room. Along with stacks of magazines, newspapers, books and boxes of various shapes and sizes.

“Mom had become quite the pack rat,” Jane said.

LeAnn gave here a look. That look of well if you had been around you would have known.

“Mom’s had a hard time since Paul, died,” Charlie said.

Paul was Jane’s youngest brother, he had gotten sick when he was 15 years old. He passed away shortly after finding out that he had cancer. Jane understands that losing a child is a devastating thing, but there is always help out there. All Jane’s mother would have had to do was ask for it. Instead, the people around her–LeAnn, Charlie, and her everyday friends–just let her slip away into her own world of delusions.

Thursday Night

Jane borrowed her mom’s car, and stopped by her friend Kate’s place of work.

“Surprise!” Jane walked into the office, holding out a bottle of Crown Royal.


“Yay, and yes, I get off in 10 mins,” Kate smiled at Jane.

They drove out to Kate’s house, a quaint cabin out in the woods, set away from the world. They ate and enjoyed the Crown Royal.

“Mind if I stay the night out here with you?” Jane handed Kate another drink.

“Not at all,” Kate said.

They talked, laughed, drank, and enjoyed hanging out. After the food was gone and the bottle of Crown was empty, they lay down on Kate’s bed. Jane propped herself up on one arm and leaned over towards Kate. She leaned in and kissed Kate on the lips, she moved back to see what the reaction would be. To her surprise Kate sat up, put her hand on the back of Jane’s neck and kissed her back.

“Always wondered what that would be like,” Kate said and turned over. Jane smiled laid down and went to sleep.

Friday Morning

Jane had to meet with LeAnn and Charlie at an attorney’s office, to go over assets, debts, life insurance, and the will. Jane showed wearing sunglasses and a ‘why am I even bothering’ kind of look. Her mother had written her off years ago. As Jane figured, everything had been left to LeAnn and Charlie.

“Well, look at that: no big surprise there. Why am I even here?” Jane said, getting up to leave the attorney’s office.

“Because she was your mother, and you owe her to at least be here,” LeAnn chimed in.

“I don’t owe her anything. She replaced me with you years ago,” Jane said, and left.

Friday Night

Jane checked into a hotel, and made a phone call. There was a knock at the hotel door. Jane answered it.

“Did you bring it?” she asked.

James, a former lover from Jane’s college days, held up a bottle of Jack and a pack of cigarettes. Jane let him in.

They caught up on small talk while Jane lit a cigarette, took a deep drag, and exhaled.

“Much better now, thank you,” she moved over to where James was sitting on the edge of the bed. She leaned in and kissed him.

Jane undressed and lay down on the bed. James leaned towards her, kissing her. He caressed her breast, taking her nipple into his mouth and sucked. He ran his hands down her body. Parting her legs, then re-positioned himself so he could first kiss, then lick Jane’s pussy. He sucked on her clit, making her moan. He slid his tongue deeper into her, making her wet.

James moved off of the bed, undressed, then came back to bed and lay over her. Sliding his hard, thick cock into her wet pussy. Jane sighed, and sat up to kiss him. She slid her tongue into his mouth. She could taste herself on his lips. He continued thrusting into her, moving faster and harder.

“Yes, please. Fuck me, harder,” she yelled out as she pushed against him.


James moved off of her, and flipped her over onto her stomach. She got up on her hands and knees. He moved behind her, and slid his cock deep inside of her. Fucking her hard and fast, until they came together, they collapsed on the bed.

Jane sat up, lit a cigarette, then took a drink from the bottle of Jack. She handed the bottle to James.

“So, worth it?” she asked. James took a drink and smiled.

“Yes, you are well worth it,” James moved over and kissed her.

“I am sure you wife wouldn’t agree,” Jane took another shot of Jack.

Saturday

Jane attended her mother’s funeral. Full of memories and thoughts of how it used to be and what it was now. She loved her mother, as anyone does. She thanked her for giving her life and trying her best. As an adult Jane came to the realization that she didn’t like her mother as a person.

She got up in front of the funeral attendees and said her peace.

“I loved my mother. I sincerely hope that she is now at peace. Although, I did not like the kind of person she was. She lost out on knowing me as an adult, because she couldn’t let go of the past and move on to a better future. We need to cherish those we have lost in life, not get lost within our own lives without them. And to LeAnn, you win; you’re the daughter she deserved, obedient to the end,” Jane held up her drink, toasted and downed it.

Jane made her rounds, thanking friends and acquaintances that showed up to say their condolences. Then she hit the bar. She was about to down her third shot of Jack when a familiar voice spoke up behind her.

“Hey, Jane,” Casey said.

“Hi,” Jane said and gave him a hug.

“It’s good to see you; thanks for coming,” she said. Casey was down to earth, with a good job and an ever growing family.

“So you ready to get out of here, and go to the real party?” he asked.

“Hell yes,” she answered.

Saturday Night

Everyone from Jane’s past who was still around came out to Casey’s. There was food, beer, and a big bonfire. Casey’s little piece of heaven was out away from town, with plenty of room for friends to come and hang out.

Jane drank, smoked, and enjoyed talking to everyone that she hadn’t seen in forever.

“So, we good?” Jane asked Kate as the night was winding down.

“Ya, we’re good,” Kate said, and kissed Jane on the cheek.

As the night was coming to an end, Casey gave Jane a surprise.

“Guess who’s here?” he asked her.

“Who?” Jane asked, Casey brought Richard into the room.

“Your chaperon home,” he said. Jane stuck her tongue out at Casey, and smiled at Richard.

“I don’t need a chaperon to get home,” she said.

“Yes, you do. We want to make sure you get home in one piece,” Casey said. Jane let out a sigh, and downed another shot of Jack.

“Fine, it will be fun,” she said, giving Richard a wink.

Sunday Morning

Casey drove Richard and Jane to the airport. Hugs and kisses given, and goodbyes said.

As Jane was getting comfortable in her seat, she asked Richard a question.

“So, any hope of visiting the mile high club today?” she smiled.

“No, not this time,” he answered and took her hand.

“Try to relax and sleep,” he said. She put her head on his shoulder, and rested her eyes. It had been an exhausting three days.

After they had landed, and gathered the bags, Richard and Jane were sitting in Richard’s truck in the underground parking lot at the airport.

“Before we go back to reality, can I make one more inappropriate request?” Jane asked, Richard smiled at her.

“Go ahead,” he said.

“Are you up for a blow job?” Jane smiled. Richard moved his arms and leaned back.

“I wouldn’t say no.” He smiled.

She moved towards him, kissed him, then moved down and unfastened his jeans. She ran her hand up and down his shaft making him hard. She slid the tip into her mouth, licking and sucking. She took his cock deep into her throat and sucked, making him moan. She sucked harder, until she could taste his cum, could feel it hit the back of her throat. She swallowed, then sat back up, licking her lips. Before giving Richard a deep kiss on the mouth.

“Guess you can take me home now. If you want,” she said.

“Or what?” Richard asked. Jane grinned.

“The world is full of possibilities,” she answered.

 

Deadly Ambition

Shane found his thirst for doing the unspeakable during his young adult life. His first was Heather. She was a adventurous active young woman with an open mind when it came to Shane. She let him tie her up even smack her around a little. Heather enjoyed the tingles of pleasure mixed with the stinging pain.

On this particular night Heather was laying on the bed naked with her hands tied behind her back. Shane flipped her over onto her back and straddled her hips, he leaned down over her and kissed her. He rubbed her breasts and caressed her neck.

Shane’s grip tightened around her slim neck, he could feel her heart racing under his hands. He spread her legs apart with his knees and slid his erect cock into her.

As her lips turned blue and her breath ceased Shane came deep in her. Watching her eyes glaze over and go dark.

~ ~ ~ ~

Shane was tall, and skinny with shaggy brown hair. He was a C average student in High School, who managed to graduate despite missing a far amount of school days. His parents Dave and Shelly Henderson were career driven individuals.

Dave Henderson owned a Ford dealership on the outskirts of town. He did ok for himself despite being over stressed. He kept a bottle of Jack in the bottom desk drawer, that came out many days before lunch, along with his two pack a day habit of Winston’s. Shelly was in real estate she loved showing houses and selling people on the American dream. They loved their son, and felt that he was doing fine.

After graduation Dave gave his son a choice, either go to college and live at home or move out and get a job. Shane choose to take a job in a warehouse loading trucks for Everyday Foods. It kept him busy, and gave him enough money to afford his studio apartment, located a few blocks from the warehouse, most days he skateboarded to work. He had an older white Chevy van that he used to move things for people, to make cash on the side.

Shane worked with a guy named Tommy, a stocky, short guy that had a short fuse when frustrated. Of which Shane had witnessed on more than one occasion, during his time working with him.

“My cousin is moving, on Saturday,” Tommy announced out of the blue during break on Thursday morning.

“OK, why do I need to know this?” Shane asked.

“He wants to know if you want to make a few bucks, helping move with your van,”

“Sure, have him give me a call on Saturday,”

After helping Tommy’s cousin move, Shane went out to grab a bite to eat and relax. Since he was out of town, he drove out Route 18 for a bit. Till came upon a roadhouse called The Backdoor.

He parked his van in the dirt parking lot and headed inside, it was loud and crowded. Shane took a seat at the bar, ordered a bacon cheeseburger with fries and a beer. He ate drank and relaxed, not really paying attention to anything in particular.

“Can I buy you another,” a woman sitting next to him asked, pointing to the empty bottle.

Slightly surprised Shane said “Sure, why not,” he smiled at her.

“I’m Heather,” she put out her hand.

“Shane,” he shook her hand.

Heather was a tall, pretty brunette, with deep green eyes and an inviting smile. They talked casually about life after school and future plans.

“So do you live in Overland?” Heather asked.

“Nope, just passing through,” Shane answered, finishing off his beer.

“Are you up for some fun, or do you need to get back?” she asked.

“Depends on what you consider fun,”

“Follow me, and I’ll show you,” she smiled, paying and heading for the door. Shane followed.

Heather stopped Shane in front of his van slid her arms around him and kissed him.

Heather got into her car and started driving down route 18, back towards Overland.

She pulled into a motel next to an Everyday Foods store. Shane parked his van, got out and joined her in front of room 7.

Heather unlocked the door and entered the room, it was your typical shabby $40 a night room. One queen size bed, with rust colored bedspread complete with a mysterious stain. A night stand, with a brass lamp, a pair of chairs around a small table, a t.v. with an over-sized mirror behind it attached to a chest of drawers.

“Quaint,” Shane said.

“It will do,” Heather said as she pulled the heavy gold curtains over the picture window.

She pulled the bedspread off and dropped it on the floor.

“At least the sheets are clean,” she smiled at Shane.

Heather stripped and laid out on the bed.

“Nice,” Shane commented as he shed his clothes and joined her.

Shane ran his hands along her body, taking her hard nipple into his mouth and sucking. She let out a moan. He moved down kissing his way to her pussy.

He spread her legs and started licking and sucking on her clit. She pushed  against him and ran her fingers through his hair as he thoroughly enjoyed her.

Shane moved up and kissed her as she rubbed his cock. She leaned over and took him into her mouth, sucking gently at first then letting him slide deeper.

He arched his back, grabbed her by the hair and pulled her off of him. He flipped her over onto her stomach, pulled her hips up, so that she was on her hands and knees. He rubbed her ass, smack, the sound hung in the air. Heather’s​ mouth hung open but no sound emerged.

Shane pushed his cock deep into her ass.

“Fuck,” she yelled out and pushed back.

He thrusted into her, fucking her, faster and harder. Till he came deep in her.

Shane collapse on the bed, Heather moved towards him. She slid her tongue into his mouth and kissed him. He kissed her back.

~ ~ ~ ~

A few weeks later there was a knock at Shane’s door, it was​ Heather.

 

Naked Yoga

Richard walked into the living room.

“What are you doing?” he asked Jane.

“Naked Yoga,” she answered as she bent forward from the waist and placed her hands on the floor.

Richard stood and watched, as Jane–with her petite frame, lean legs, and nice chest–bent, stretched, and twisted around on her yoga mat.

He made his way into the kitchen, took out the milk container, which was almost empty, and added a squeeze of chocolate syrup. He put the cap on and shook the milk jug.

Jane glared at him, from the living room.

“Put milk on the list,” she said. Richard turned took the pen off the counter and wrote ‘milk’ on the list that was hanging on the fridge.

He then drank the now chocolate milk from the jug, while watching Jane showcase her yoga skills.

Richard and Jane had been living together for about three months. Ever since Richard escorted Jane home from her mother’s funeral.

As Richard watched Jane he thought about just going over to her and having his way with her. He could feel his cock getting hard at the thought. He finished off the milk and wandered back into the living room.

She was sitting with her legs crossed and her eyes closed. He sat down on the floor in front of her. He moved in, and kissed her neck. She didn’t move, so he rubbed his hand along her exposed breast.

She opened her eyes, and gave him a grin. He proceeded to pinch her nipple, making it hard, then leaned in just enough to take her erect nipple into his mouth and suck on it. She let out a moan.

Richard gently pushed her over, onto her back. He continued to rub her breasts as he kissed his way down her stomach, and spread her legs. His lips brushed the inside of her thigh, slowly moving his thumb over her pussy, rubbing her clit.

He sucked softly on her clit, making her wet. She reached down and pushed him further into her.

He slid his tongue deeper, tasting her. He slid his fingers into her, thrusting them in and out.

She moaned, ran her hand down to her pussy, and rubbed her clit. Richard’s cock was so hard it throbbed against his jeans.

He moved back from her, took off his shirt and lay on the floor next to her. Jane sat up. She unbuttoned, unzipped, and removed Richard’s jeans, along with his boxers.

She stroked his cock, running her hand up and down his hard shaft. She leaned over, sliding it into her mouth, lightly sucking. he let out a moan, and grabbed her by her hair.

She sucked harder, letting his cock slide deeper into her mouth, then sliding it almost all the way out of her as she licked the tip, tasting him.

She straddled his hips and rubbed his cock against her pussy, letting him slid in just a little then pulled him out.

“Fuck, quit teasing, Jane,” he said. She smiled at him, leaned in, and kissed him.

She sat upright, letting her pussy sink down onto his cock. Jane leaned back. Richard grabbed her breasts, and squeezed. She let out a moan.

She moved her hips back and forth, faster and harder, until she came. He grabbed her hips, arched his back, and came deep in her. She got up, kissed him, and headed to the shower.

~ ~ ~ ~

“So, I have a friend that would like to join us,” Jane said while they were eating dinner.

Richard looked at her, swallowed the bite of chicken he had just taken, and cleared his throat.

“I am game,”

“Is tonight ok?”

“It’s fine,” Richard said, smiling at her.

It was a quarter past eight when there was a knock on the door. Jane answered it.

“Come in! Good to see you.” Jane led the pretty, blue eyed, long-legged blonde into the living room.

“Richard, this is Beth. Beth, this is Richard,” Jane said. Beth shook Richard’s hand, and smiled.

Jane pulled out a bottle of whiskey and poured three glasses.

Jane sat next to Beth on the couch, Beth’s erect nipples showed through her white tee-shirt. Jane put her hand on Beth’s bare leg and rubbed her thigh.

Beth looked over at Richard sitting in the easy chair and leaned in to kiss Jane. As she slid her tongue into Jane’s awaiting mouth, she could hear Richard let out a moan. Beth caressed Jane’s breast through her shirt as she continued to suck on her tongue.

Richard watched as Jane and Beth kissed and groped each other, he finished off his drink, stood up and walked over to the couch. He stood in front of Beth, he grabbed her by the ponytail and pulled her head back he leaned over and kissed her deeply. He let go of her and undressed.

Beth stroked his cock, taking it into her mouth and sucking eagerly. Jane stood up removing her shirt, bra, jeans and panties. She kissed Richard, running her hands along his shoulders and neck, kissing his bare chest.

Richard kissed Jane deeply grabbing the back of her neck and sucking on her tongue, while Beth was taking his cock deeper into her mouth.

Beth leaned back on the couch, Richard dropped to his knees in front of her, he ran his hands up her thighs, under her skirt and pulled off her white lace panties.

Jane helped Beth remove her shirt and bra tossing them to the floor. Jane leaned in and took Beth’s erect nipple into her mouth and sucked.

Richard moved in-between Beth’s legs and slipped his tongue into her pussy. Beth pushed back and moaned enjoying Richard’s tongue licking and sucking at her clit, along with Jane’s sucking and nibbling on her nipple. Beth couldn’t help herself and started to come as Richard ate her out.

Richard enjoyed tasting Beth he moved back from her and Jane leaned into Richard, licking Beth’s cum off his mouth.

Jane got up and poured another round of drinks.

“I think it’s time to move this party into the bedroom,” she said.

Jane took Beth by the hand and lead her down the hall. Richard finished off his drink and followed them.

Jane turned on the lamp, pulled off the bedspread and dropped it on the floor.

“That’s better,” she said. Beth laid down in the center of the king-sized bed.

Jane lowered herself in-between Beth’s legs, and licked Beth’s wet pussy. Richard watched from the doorway, stroking his hard throbbing cock. He moved in behind Jane and pulled her up on to her knees. He rubbed his cock along her pussy and then slapped her on the ass.
“Fuck!” Jane yelled.

Jane went back to eating Beth out, Richard slid his cock into Jane’s ass. Jane moaned and Richard moved deeper into her. Beth rubbed her clit as Jane’s tongue slid deep into her pussy.

Beth moaned and arched her back and came as she watched Richard slide in and out of Jane’s ass. Richard thrust faster and harder, while staring at Beth’s blue eyes, his body shuddered as he came. Jane pushed back against him, then collapsed on the bed.

Beth got up, went down the hall and into the bathroom. Richard sat on the bed next to the nightstand and lit a cigarette. Jane smiled at him, he handed her the cigarette she took a drag, and handed it back. Richard finished his cigarette, picked up the bedspread from the floor and laid it over Jane.

He went down the hall and into the bathroom. Beth was enjoying the hot water when Richard joined her in the shower.

He slid his arms around her and kissed the back of her neck. Beth turned and faced him, she kissed him deeply.

“Is she asleep?” she asked.

“Yep,” he answered.

Beth had been dancing at The Royal Flesh for almost a year before she meet Richard. They was an instant attraction between them.

It was a casual affair that had gone on for almost a year, then Richard was asked to escort Jane home from her mother’s funeral. Jane was fun Richard enjoyed her, but he loved Beth, and Jane had no interest in moving on.

Jane awoke to the aroma of coffee and bacon, she got up showered and dressed.

“Smells good,” she said as she joined Richard and Beth for breakfast.

“So where did you two meet?” Richard asked as he handed her a plate Jane smiled.

“Yoga class,” Jane answered smiling at Beth.

They ate and made conversation.

“Do you mind if I hang out with you today?” Beth asked, she looked at Jane, Jane looked at Richard.

“Fine with me,” he answered and took another bite of his eggs.

After breakfast Richard went out to run errands, Jane and Beth curled up on the couch together to watch a movie. When Richard returned they were both asleep.

When Jane woke from her nap she found that there was pizza, beer, whiskey and wine all laid out on the table.

“We having a party?” she asked looking at Richard.

“Sorta, I invited a friend over,” Beth said she handed Jane a drink.

“It will be fun, you’ll see,” Beth kissed Jane, slipping a pill into Jane’s mouth.

“Swallow,” Beth said Jane swallowed.

At half past six there was a knock on the door.

“I’ll get it,” Beth said she answered the door, a tall, skinny guy with shaggy brown hair and dark eyes came in.

“Jane, Richard this is Shane,” Beth said, Richard handed him a beer.

They ate, talked and drank. Beth and Jane finished off the bottle of wine. Richard poured four glasses of whiskey and handed them out.

“Cheers, now for the fun,” Richard toasted and downed his drink.

Richard took Jane’s hand and headed down the hall to the bedroom. Beth got up from the table, grabbed Shane’s hand and followed.

Richard stood in front of Jane and kissed her deeply, he took off her shirt and pulled off her pants. Shane stood behind her and kissed her neck.

Beth watched as they kissed and groped Jane’s body. Shane undid her bra and Richard took off her panties.

Richard undressed and laid on the bed, Jane moved on top of him, rubbing his cock along her pussy. Richard grabbed her hips and slid his cock into her.

Beth approached Shane kissing him and taking off his shirt. He unbuttoned his jeans, Beth pulled them off. He took off his boxers and Beth dropped to her knees taking his cock into her mouth and sucking.

Shane pulled Beth’s hair till she let go of his cock. She gave him a look, he moved past her and stood behind Jane. He pushed her forward and rubbed his cock along her ass.

Shane pushed into Jane’s ass.

“Fuck,” Jane screamed, Richard reached up grabbed the back of her neck and pulled her down to him.

“Just enjoy it,” he whispered to her, he kissed her and pushed harder into her.

Shane pushed deeper into her, making himself come in her ass as Richard thrust faster into her making her come with him.

Shane picked up his jeans, found his cigarettes and headed to the kitchen to get a drink.

Richard moved Jane, who was now passed out, off of him and sat up. Beth stood next to the nightstand picked up a cigarette, lit it, and handed it to Richard.

“Thanks,” he smiled at her.

Beth and Richard showered, dressed and got ready to leave Jane’s apartment.

Shane retrieved his black duffel bag from his van. Richard handed him an envelope, as they were leaving.

Shane sat in the easy chair smoking a cigarette and finishing off the bottle of whiskey, before attending to Jane.

Shane took his bag with him into the bedroom, he dropped it by the door, stripped and sat on the bed next to Jane.

She was laying across the bed on her stomach, he slowly ran his hands up the back of her legs and squeezed her ass. Jane moaned softly.

Shane moved his hands up her back, massaging her shoulders. She moved and turned over, he leaned down and slid his tongue into her mouth, kissed her deeply, while moving on top of her.

Shane looked into Jane’s green eyes, brushing her hair off her face. He moved her arms above her head and held her wrists with one hand. He caressed her breast with his other hand, and kissed her again.

He slid his cock into her and started thrusting, he let go of her wrists putting his hands around her neck. Shane started to squeeze.

Jane’s breath quickened as she clawed at his hands, he squeezed harder and fucked faster. He felt the pop from her neck under his hands, her arms went limp, her breath faded, he came in her as her eyes filled with tears, and everything went silent.

Shane wrapped her in the bedspread, cleaned up the apartment, put her in the back of his van and drove away.

 

Sweetie Pie

The air was warm and sticky in the club. Shane sat watching the girls dance, swinging their hips, and spinning around the pole. He downed his third shot of Jameson and was thirsting for something else.

It had been a hell of a week, work was chaotic with the bigwigs doing annual inspections and quality accountability reports. It all made Shane’s head hurt. He was just there to work a earn a paycheck.

A new girl came on stage, she was thin, wearing a blue halter top and a pair of denim short, shorts. She flung her shoulder length brunette hair from side to side as she spun around the pole.

“They must be hard up for talent these days,” A guy sitting next to Shane commented as he got up to leave.

Shane watched the new girl, who had been introduced as Sweetie Pie. Giving it her all, shimmy and shaking her non-existent breasts. Someone should put her out of her misery, he thought to himself.

As she exited the stage, Shane approached her. She was breathing hard, and sweat was running down the side of her face. Shane handed her a towel he had snached from behind the bar.

“Here,” he said as he handed her the towel.

“Thanks,” she said still trying to catch her breath.

“First time?”

“Yeah,”

Shane leaned in an whispered softly into her ear. She nodded in agreement as he moved back from her.

Shane let himself out of the side exit that led into the alley, behind The Royal Flesh. It was cooler outside, the alley was quiet, the small light above the doorway only illuminated the space in front of the door.

Sweetie Pie emerged from the doorway, dressed in a white tee-shirt with no bra and a short skirt with over-sized sunflowers printed on it. Shane took her by the wrist and pulled her over away from the door. He pushed her up against the wall, he kissed her, while running his hands up under her skirt.

He took a hold of her cotton panties and gave them a quick tug. The seams of her panties gave way as he pulled them off of her. He unbuttoned and unzipped his jeans, she dropped to her knees, and took his cock into her mouth. She sucked and licked working her hands up and down his shaft.

Shane enjoyed her efforts, but then pushed her off of his cock. He lifted her up, she hooked her legs around his hips. He slid his cock into her, thrusting himself deeply into her. He grabbed her breast, pinching her nipple through her tee-shirt, as he fucked her, hard and fast.

She held onto his shoulders, pushing herself back against the wall, gazing into his eyes. He caressed her neck, tighten his grip around her throat, he kept fucking her, watching as her breathing became labored, as he strangled her. He had both hands around her slim neck she was gasping for air, clawing at his arms. He came deep in her as she took her last breath and her body went limp.

Shane sat her down, she looked like a rag doll, slumped over against the wall. He buttoned and zipped up his jeans. Picked her up and carried her over to his van, where he put her in the back and covered her with a moving blanket.

 

Tommy’s Fuck Up

“Fuck!” Tommy yelled as the stack of boxes he was moving toppled over.

“You OK?” Shane asked helping Tommy stack the boxes back onto the pallet.

“Yeah, just distracted,”

“Anything you want to talk about?” Shane asked putting up the last box.

“Not really, but maybe later, do you want to go for a beer?”

“Sure, how about Lou’s after work?”

~ ~ ~ ~

“OK, what’s up?” Shane asked as he set two beers down, and took a seat.

Tommy took a sip of his beer.

“Well it’s like this, I picked up this redhead the other night. It was all cool in the beginning but then she just,” He took another drink.

“She what?” Shane asked, now slightly curious.

“She turned into a fucking psycho,”

Shane sat back and drank his beer.

“Do you want to elaborate on that?”

Tommy grinned and finished off his beer.

“Only if you want to get me another one,” He slid the empty mug towards Shane.

Shane returned with two more beers and two shots of Jameson. They downed the shots.

“OK, so elaborate,”

“Fine,” Tommy cleared his throat.

“She was cool in the beginning. Gave great head, was good in the sack. But then she did a thing,” Tommy took a drink of his beer.

Shane gave him a sideways look. “A thing?”

Tommy leaned over the table and spoke just above a whisper. “She was sucking my dick and she tried to put her finger up there,”

Shane held in a laugh.

“I jumped up and told her that’s an exit not an entrance,”

Shane broke out in a screaming laugh.

“I’m sorry, dude that’s just too funny,”

“Fuck you, she laughed too,” Tommy sat back and finished his beer.

“So what’s the problem?”

“I may have lost my temper…and done something that I need your help with,”

Shane finished off his beer.

“Where is she?”

~ ~ ~ ~

Samantha entered The Royal Flesh her friend Sweetie Pie was dancing tonight and she wanted to be there to cheer her on. Samantha took a seat towards the back of the club in one of the booths.

“Do you mind if I join you, it’s crowded tonight,” Samantha looked up to find a stocky, short guy asking her if he could take a seat. She smiled and he sat across from her.

“Thanks doll, I’m Tommy,” he extended his hand, she shook it.

“Samantha,”

They watch the dancers on the center stage, ordered a few drinks and made small talk. She found him strange but charming. Sweetie Pie took the stage, Samantha clapped for her.

“Why are you clapping she hasn’t done anything,”

“Because she’s my friend, and it’s very brave of her to be up there,”

Tommy shrugged and watch Sweetie Pie, struggle trying to move her hips in a seductive manner.

“Someone should put her out of her misery,” he said finishing off his drink.

Samantha scowled and finished her drink. She was going to get up when she saw Sweetie Pie going towards the back with a tall guy that was in need of a haircut.

“Weird,”

“What?” Tommy asked.

“She left with someone, dammit she was my ride home,”

“I can give you a lift,”

~ ~ ~ ~

Shane and Tommy entered Samantha’s apartment.

“She’s in the bedroom,” Tommy said pointing down the hallway.

Shane opened the bedroom door, a cat ran past him. He flipped on the overhead light.

“Fuck dude,”

The room was a mess, blood splattered across the dresser, her things scattered on the floor and Samantha naked, with her wrists and ankles tied together laying on the bed. Shane knelled on the bed and touched her neck. He closed his eyes and pushed harder up under her jawline. It was faint but it was there.

“Tommy you need to come and explain this,”

Tommy came to the bedroom doorway.

“Well, she was laughing at me so I struck her across the face, then she lunged at me and I pushed her back, that’s when she hit her head on the corner of the dresser,”

“Jesus Christ Tommy,”

“Is…is she dead?”

“Not yet, I need a drink,” Shane went to the kitchen, Tommy followed.

Shane found a bottle of Jack and lit a cigarette. He took a drink from the bottle and handed it to Tommy.

“There’s too much to try and clean up, we can make it look like a robbery gone bad,” Shane suggested.

“I can’t stay for this, if I give you five will you take care of it?” Tommy asked.

Shane looked at him “Five large for cleaning up your fuck up?” Shane took another drink.

“Fine, leave,”

Tommy put Samantha’s keys on the counter and left.

Shane lit another cigarette, flipped the deadbolt on the door, and took the bottle of Jack with him to the bedroom.

~ ~ ~ ~

He stood at the foot of the bed.

“Oh Samantha, let’s make you a little more comfortable shall we,” He untied her ankles, spread her legs apart and tied each foot to a corner of the foot-board. He then untied her wrists and raised her arms over her head and tied them to the headboard. He ran his finger along her bare side, feeling her soft skin. He caressed her breast and pinched her nipple between his finger and thumb. She moaned.

“Good,” He bent down and bit her nipple. She screamed.

“Nice to see your still with us Samantha,”

“What the fuck,” she squirmed realizing that she was restrained.

“Who the fuck are you?”

“Your angel of death, but first you should know why, do you want to know why?”

“Fuck you!”

Shane finished off the bottle of Jack and crawled up on the bed. He straddled her hips and leaned into her ear.

“You’re a little scrawny for my taste but a fuck is a fuck,” he unzipped his jeans and stroked his cock.

“Fuck you!” she screamed. Shane grabbed her by the throat and squeezed, she squirmed beneath him. He slid his cock into her and tightened his grip around her neck. He pushed deeper into her, fucking her as she thrashed around under him. He watched her eyes glaze over as he came in her.

 

An Unfamiliar Place

Bryce

The rain picked up, now coming down in sheets. Bryce flipped the wipers on his 82’ Pontiac Firebird to high. In the distance he spotted a flashing red neon sign, The Royal Flesh.

“I could use a drink,” he said to himself.

He slowed and pulled into the parking lot, looking the strip club over. He gave the large gentleman watching the door a friendly nod as he entered. The air was warm and the music loud.

“Take a seat anywhere, I’ll be right with you,” a cute, petite, dark haired waitress said as she hurried by with a tray of drinks.

Bryce took off his jacket and gave it a shake, hanging it on the back of the chair. He took a seat at a table, facing the main stage.

A thin, exhausted looking dancer left the stage and was being handed a towel from a tall, skinny guy, that was in need of a haircut.

“What can I get you?” the cute waitress asked.

“Scotch, please,” he smiled at her. As she walked back towards the bar, he noticed the tattoo of two roses intertwined on her lower back.

Bryce watched the tall, long-legged blonde, spin around the pole.

“Here you go,” she set the drink down on the table.

“I am Jade, let me know if I can get you anything else,”

“Thanks,” Bryce said picking up the drink.

The blonde left the stage and the announcer came on.

“Please welcome, our newest dancer to the stage. Miss Mary,”

A pretty, redhead, with a nice toned body and an ample chest took to the stage. She was wearing a short blue skirt, and a white button down shirt, with black stiletto heels. With her long red hair pulled up into a ponytail.

She spun around the pole, then stood in the middle of the stage and unbuttoned her shirt. Revealing her breasts in a dark blue satin bra, she pulled the shirt off and tossed it across the stage. She danced around, kicking off the stilettos, and moving seductively as she removed her skirt.

Bryce took another swallow of scotch, mesmerized by Mary’s striptease.

Jade came back by Bryce’s table.

“Another?”

Bryce looked up at her, “Yeah, and her,” he pointed at Mary.

Jade smiled. “Sure, give me a few,”

 

Mary

Jade made her way backstage and caught Mary by the elbow.

“Hey,”

“Do you want to make some money?” Jade asked

“Depends, what do I have to do?”

Jade pulled her over to the side of the stage.

“You see the guy? He wants to take you home with him,”

Mary looked him over, taking note of his build and appearance.

“OK, how much do I ask for?”

Jade smiled. “Tell him five,”

Bryce finished off his second drink when a voice asked.

“So what does that stand for?” she asked as she ran her fingers along the tattoo on his forearm.

A shiver ran up his back as she took a seat across from him. He cleared his throat.

“It’s the Celtic symbol for loyalty,” he answered her.

“So you wanted to see me?”

Bryce leaned in, gazing into her deep green eyes. “How much for the night?”

Mary smiled, “five,”

Bryce leaned back. “Sure,”

He got up and put his jacket on.

“Meet me outside,”

Mary nodded and headed back to the dressing room.

The rain had stopped, Bryce leaned against his car and took out a pack of cigarettes. He lit one and waited for Mary.

Mary exited the club by the side door facing the alley. She was wearing a pair of tight blue jeans and a low cut back top, with black ankle boots. Her hair was down falling past her shoulders.

Bryce opened the car door for her.

“Thanks,” she said as she got in. He closed her door, put out his cigarette and walked around to the drivers side.

“Nice car,”

“Thanks,”

He started the car and they drove away from the club. She turned on the radio and hummed along softly.

Bryce pulled into an apartment complex and parked under a carport. They exited the car and walked up to the building.

Bryce unlocked the door and they entered the apartment building. He led her up a flight of stairs and down the hall. He unlocked and opened the door to apartment 6 on the second floor.

Bryce’s one bedroom apartment had an open floor plan, a large living room. A small kitchen off to the side, along with a small bathroom and bedroom down the hall.

“Quaint,” Mary said.

“Thanks, so five?”

“Yep,”

He opened the center desk drawer and pulled out an envelope. He counted out five hundred dollar bills and laid them on the desk.

Mary smiled, she walked over to the desk and picked them up. She folded the stack in half and slid it into her back pocket.

“Now that, that’s done, should we begin?”

Bryce stood behind Mary, he moved her hair to the side and kissed her neck. She closed her eyes and leaned into him. He wrapped his arms around her, moving his hands over her breasts and caressing them.

She reached down behind her, and rubbed her hand along his crotch. He pushed into her hand while kissing down the side of her neck. He slipped his hand into her low cut top and ran his fingers over her nipple, giving it a pinch.

Mary pulled away from him, took his hand and led him over to the couch. She stood facing him and unfastened his belt, unbuttoned his jeans and slid her hand around his cock. She moved her hand up and down his shaft, then lowered herself to her knees, pulling down his jeans and boxers.

He steps out of his clothes and sat down on the couch, she moved in between his legs and took his cock into her mouth. She let him slide in and out of her mouth, while she sucked. He closed his eyes and laid his head back, enjoying the feeling of her mouth on him. He ran his hands through her hair and pulled her off of him. She stood up, leaned over and kissed him, sliding her tongue into his mouth.

Mary kicked off her shoes, pulled off her top, and unbuttoned her jeans. She slid them down and stepped out of them. She unfastened her purple satin bra, and removed her lace panties. Bryce took off his shirt, she straddled his lap, he rubbed her breasts and took her nipple into his mouth and sucked.

She rubbed his cock along her pussy, sliding the tip, into her, then pulling him out. He pushed her off of him, onto her back, and spread her legs apart. He kissed her inner thigh, running his thumb along her pussy then stroking her clit.

She let out a moan as he slid his tongue into her pussy and sucked on her clit. She ran her hands through his hair and pushed him deeper into her. He tasted her sweetness as she came.

Bryce stood up, took Mary’s hand and led her into the bedroom. He switched on the bedside lamp and pulled down the solid green comforter, exposing the dark gray satin sheets. Mary slid herself in between the soft, cool sheets.

“Mmm… very nice,” she said snuggling down on the king sized bed.

“Drink?”

“Sure,”

Bryce returned to the kitchen and pulled a bottle of Peppermint Schnapps from the freezer. He grabbed two glasses and tossed a few ice cubes in each glass.

“Here we go,” he said as he sat the glasses down on the nightstand, and pored. He handed her a glass.

“Cheers,” he raised his glass. She nodded and raised her glass.

They each downed their drink.

“Smooth,” Bryce coughed.

Mary put one of the ice cubes into her mouth and rolled it around. She slid over, pulled the sheet back and patted the side of the bed. Bryce got on the bed next to her.

She took the melting ice cube out of her mouth and ran it down the center of Bryce’s chest. She held the ice cube on his nipple, he watched as she lowered her head and then sucked on his chilled nipple.

She put the dripping ice cube back into her mouth and moved down to his cock. The ice cube finished melting in her mouth, leaving her lips cold.

Mary took his cock into her chilled mouth. Bryce moaned at the sensation as she began to suck, the coolness giving him an enjoyable experience. Mary sucked harder letting him slide deeper into her throat.

“Fuck me,” he said.

Mary lifted up her head, and smiled.

“Ask nicely,”

“Please, fuck me,” he said, running his fingers through her hair.

She moved up and slid his cock into her pussy. She leaned down and kissed him, he grabbed her hips and pushed into her. Mary sat up and moved her hips back and forth thrusting harder, each time.

Bryce reached up squeezing her breasts and pinching her nipples. Mary leaned back and slid her fingers down in between her legs and rubbed her clit, while she fucked him.

“Fuck, Mary,” Bryce said as he came deep inside of her.

Mary collapse on top of him, rubbing her hands over his bare chest and kissing his neck.

“Good?” she asked.

“Yeah,” he kissed her on the forehead.

Mary kissed him on the cheek and got out of bed.

“Mind if I take a shower?” she asked.

“No, go ahead,”

 

Holly the Hypnotist

“Bring him in. Put him in the chair,” Holly shut the door behind the three men.

“What’s his name?” she asked the guy in the baseball cap.

“John,” he answered.

“OK, you two can wait over there,” she waved her arm towards a couch on the far wall.

She bent down next to him and spoke softly in his ear.

“John, can you hear me?”

John grunted.

“John I want you to listen to my voice, take a deep breath,”

John inhaled deeply, held it for a second and then exhaled slowly.

“Very good John, now you are relaxed,” she took his hand and slowly rubbed her thumb back and forth against the inside of his palm.

“You are in a safe place, do you understand John?”

“Yes,” he answered with his head still down.

“Good John, now you will follow my instructions,”

Holly got up and headed over to the couch.

“And you two are?”

“I’m Kyle ma’am, and he’s Luke” the guy in the baseball cap said standing up and extending his hand. She shook his hand and he sat back down.

“How much did he have to drink?”

“Maybe six beers and three shots of Jameson,” Kyle answered.

“His phone,” Holly put out her hand. Kyle looked at Luke.

“Oh yeah,” he reached into his jacket pocket and handed her John’s phone.

“What’s the wife’s name?”

“Hannah” Luke answered.

“How long do we have?” she asked looking at the two of them.

“I told her that he would be home by 2 am,”

Holly glanced up at the clock above the couch that read 12:35 am and sighed.

“It will be close but I can make it,”

“Are you two staying?”

“Yes, ma’am,” Kyle answered.

“Who gave you my name and address?”

“Bryce Davis ma’am,”

“Go figure you help one ex-lover one time,”

Holly knelled in front of John.

“John can you hear me?”

“Yes,” he answered.

“Good, let’s see you, John can you look at me,”

John lifted his head and looked at Holly.

“There you are,” she said as she brushed his shaggy brown hair away from his face. She looked into his dark eyes.

“John can you see me?”

“Yes,”

“My name is Holly, can you say that John?” she took his head into her hands and stared into his eyes.

“Holly,”

“Yes John,” she leaned in a kissed him gently on the lips.

“Did you like that John?”

A slight smile slid across his mouth.

“Yes Holly, I did,”

“Good, do you want another?”

“Yes Holly,”

She leaned in and kissed him, this time he slid his tongue into her mouth and she sucked on his tongue.

“Good John,” she stood up and walked around the chair. Standing behind him she placed her hands on his shoulders and started to rub them. She ran her hands along his neck and rubbed pressing her thumbs into his muscles.

“John take off your jacket and shirt,”

He slipped off his jacket and removed his t-shirt. She ran her fingers along his bare skin from his shoulders and down his arm. She took in the tattoos on his arms, she picked up his hand and placed it on her breast.

“Do you like that, John?”

“Yes, Holly,”

She picked up his other hand and placed it on her other breast.

“Do I excite you, John?”

“Yes, Holly,”

She let go of his hands and they fell to his sides. She unbuttoned her blouse, sliding it off of her shoulders and letting it drop to the floor. She then slipped off her shoes, dropped her pants and stepped out of them.

“Do you like what you see, John,” she asked standing before him only wearing a black lace bra and panties.

“Yes, Holly,”

“Take off your clothes John,”

He stood in front of her, slipped off his shoes and socks. Unbuttoned his jeans and dropped them along with his boxers.

“Do you want me to suck your cock, John?”

“Yes, Holly,”

She dropped to her knees in front of him and took his cock into her hands. She ran her hands up and down his shaft, as she licked around the tip of his hardening cock. John let out a moan putting his hands on her head to steady himself. She slid his cock into her mouth and sucked feeling him grow even more. She slid her fingers around his balls and gently squeezed as she took him deeper into her throat. He gasped and curled his fingers into her hair. She slid him out of her mouth and motioned for him to sit down.

Holly walked over to a mini fridge next to the couch and opened it.

“Do either of you want a drink?”

Kyle and Luke both cleared their throats and answered over each other. She pulled out four bottles of water and handed two of them to Kyle. She walked back over to John and handed him a bottle.

“Drink up,” she said opening her own bottle and taking a long drink. John opened his bottle and drank the whole thing down in three gulps.

Holly finished off her water and stood in front of John.

“Do you want me to fuck you, John?”

John looked up at Holly and grinned.

“Yes, Holly,”

“I see you’re coming around, how are you feeling John?”

“Much better, Holly,”

“Good, do you want me to fuck you, John?”

“Yes, please, Holly,”

She unfastened her bra and slipped off her panties, discarding them to the floor. She stood in front of him and slid her fingers into her pussy. Sliding them in and out, and rubbing her thumb against her clit, make herself wet. She straddled his lap sliding his cock into her wet, tight pussy. John let out a groan and grabbed her by the hips, pushing himself into her. She moved up and down along his cock, he took one of her breasts into his mouth and sucked on her nipple. She moaned and moved faster, rubbing her clit against his cock. He reached up and grabbed the back of her neck, pulling her into a kiss.

“Let me fuck you,” he said staring into her dark green eyes.

“Yes, John,” she answered.

He moved her off of him, and she laid on the floor. He dropped down between her legs and kissed her pussy. Sliding his tongue into her, tasting her and sucking on her clit. Holly let out a moan and grabbed his head by the hair and pushed him deeper into her. A shiver ran through her body as she came from his tonguing.

John moved up her body caressing her breasts and sucking on her nipples, as he slid his cock into her thrusting deeply. Fucking her hard and fast he came in her. They laid there taking deep breaths together.

“Thank you Holly,” John said as he got dressed.

“Your welcome John, maybe don’t drink so much next time,”

He handed her an envelope and kissed her on the check.

“Ready to go?” he asked Kyle and Luke. They stood up and headed towards the door.

As they opened the door to leave a guy trying to hold up his friends pushed past them.

“Where’s Holly?” he asked frantically as he sat his friend down in a chair.

“She’s in the back, she will be out in a minute,” John said as they left.

“Sam can you hear me?”

 

Sarah and David

David opened the door to his apartment building and led Sarah down the hall.

“Is this it?” Sarah asked.

“Yep, nothing fancy just a place to call home,” David unlocked the door and Sarah entered the apartment.


It was a simple one bedroom apartment, with a small kitchen, living room and bathroom.


“Nice,”

“Thanks, would you like a drink?”

“Sure, what do you have?” she asked.

“Water or soda?”

“I’ll take a water,”

David reached into the fridge and pulled out two bottles of water. He handed one to Sarah.

“Would you like the tour?”

She smiled at him, ” Lead the way,”

“Let’s see, this is the kitchen,” he pointed to the right.

“This is the living room,” he pointed to the left.

David walked down the hall, “This is the bathroom,”

He continued down the hall, “And this is the bedroom,”

Sarah sat on the edge of the bed, and looked around. A simple layout queen-size bed, a couple of end tables, and a dresser with a mirror.

“Nice,”

“Thanks,”

“So should we get started?” he asked.

Sarah opened her bottle of water, took a long drink, closed the lid and set it down on the end table.

“Sure,”

David was a good looking guy in his mid twenties, fit, active and wanted to make films. For which he was taking some courses up at the local community college. Which is where he met Sarah, they happen to have a creative writing class together.

He was immediately taken with her, saw her as a potential actress in one of his films. All daydreams at this point, he had introduced himself to her over lunch one day and they hit it off, making small talk about future goals and dreams.

There was also an attraction, Sarah wasn’t sure why, but knew it was there a chemical response to him. Maybe it was just her wanting some attention, she had broken up with her boyfriend a while ago and now found herself enjoying David’s company.

David closed the blinds on the bedroom window and turned on the bedside lamp. He pulled the blue and grey striped bedspread down. Folding it back onto itself at the foot of the bed.

“Nice sheets,” Sarah said, as she took off her shoes, jeans and t-shirt.

She was wearing a matching set, purple satin panties and bra. Sarah was short, cute and cut, showing her defined muscles from years of biking and swimming.

“Very nice, but are you going to leave those on?” he pointed to her white socks.

She smiled and pulled them off.

He stood in front of her reached around the back of her head and pulled the elastic band out of her hair. Her dirty blonde hair fell across her shoulders.

“There that’s better,” he leaned in and gently kissed her. She raised up on her toes and kissed him back, wrapping her arms around him and pulling him into her.

 

He ran his hands down her sides, and grabbing her ass. He gave it a squeeze, she opened her mouth and let his tongue slide into her mouth. She sucked on his tongue, he let out a moan.

He stepped back from her and looked her over.

“Very nice indeed,”

Sarah laid on her back in the center of the bed. She ran her hand down between her legs and rubbed her pussy through her purple panties. David took off his shoes, socks, pants and shirt.

“Nice, boxers,”

Smiling he crawled from the foot of the bed up towards her. He spread her legs apart and kissed her inner thigh, while moving his thumb over the crotch of her purple panties.

He sat up, kneeling between her legs, he hooked his thumbs into her panties next to her hips and pulled them off in one quick move. Tossing them to the floor.

He lowered himself between her legs and began to lick her pussy. He slid his tongue into her, enjoying her scent and wetness.

Sarah moaned, arched her back and grabbed him by the hair, pushing him in deeper. He moved his head away from her, slid his thumb over her pussy and rubbed her clit. She closed her eyes and pushed against his thumb. He slid his finger inside her wet pussy and pushed against her, she shuddered from the sensation.

David made his way up to her breast, Sarah arched her back unfastened her bra and discarded it onto the floor. He caressed her breasts taking her nipple into his mouth and sucking on it, then lightly biting her erect nipple.

“Fuck, what was that for?”

“Just seeing if you were still with me,”

He kissed her deeply. She could taste herself on his lips. It excited her, she wanted to know what he tasted like.

“My turn,” she said as she pushed him onto his back.

Sarah pulled his boxes off and ran her hand along his hard cock. She lowered herself over him, still running her hand up and down his shaft. She licked the tip of his cock, slowly sliding it into her mouth.

“Fuck,” he breathed, pushing into her mouth.

She sucked harder, letting him slide in and out, enjoying the feeling of him. She raised her head and moved closer to him, so that she could slide his cock in between her breasts.

“Yes,” he panted moving up and down with her. She took notice of the pre-cum dripping from him and slid his cock into her mouth. She enjoyed the taste of him.

“Fuck, stop,” he pushed her back off of him.

David stood up, grabbed his bottle of water and finished it off in one long drink.

“We need to slow down,” he said.

Sarah sat up in the middle of the bed.

“Really?”

“Yes, really, just take a breath,”

“Fine, then will you fuck me?” she asked looking at him with her bright green eyes and pouting lips.

“Yes, but I have a proposition for you,”

She grabbed her bottle of water, “OK, I am listening,”

“I want to make a film,” David stated.

Sarah finished off her bottle of water. “OK, and?”

“I want you to be in it, with another woman and me,”

“Like a porno?”

“Exactly, you, me and my girlfriend, Vanessa,”

Sarah held up her empty water bottle, “Do you have anything stronger?”

David smiled at her, “Are you game?”

“I have to meet Vanessa first, and we have to finish what we started here,”

“Do you want that drink now or after?” he asked.

“What do you think?”

David slipped his boxers on and headed to the kitchen.

Sarah pulled the sheet up over herself and took in the proposition.

David returned with two glasses of Jack Daniel’s with a splash of Coke. He handed her one, Sarah took a sip.

“Not bad,”

“Want one?” he pulled out a pack of cigarettes from the dresser drawer.

“Sure,”

David lit the cigarette took a drag and handed it to Sarah.

“So do you have a script for this film of yours?”

David lit his own cigarette, nodded and went to the closet. He pulled down a file box, opened it and handed her a red folder.

Sarah thumbed through it while they finished of their drinks.

“Interesting, that’s one dirty little mind you have there,”

“Thanks, shall we get back to it?”

Sarah nodded, removed the sheet and stretched out on the bed.

“I’m all yours,”

David took his boxers off and laid next to her, he ran his fingers along her side and across her stomach. He leaned in and kissed her lips, cheeks and down her neck, to her breasts. He kissed each of them, then sucked on her nipple while thumbing the other one.

She slid her hand down to his crotch and rubbed his cock, making him moan. She moved her hand up and down his shaft, coming up and running her thumb across the tip.

He moved on top of her, and rubbed his cock against her pussy, sliding just the tip in then, pulling it back out.

“Tease,” she said pushing him off of her and onto his back.

She straddled his hips, grabbed his cock and slid it into her pussy. She sat up, and thrusted her hips back and forth, feeling him push deep inside her.

He reached up and squeezed her breasts, moving his hips to meet her thrusts. She fell forward onto his chest and kissed him long and hard, while she slid his cock out of her.

She moved off of him, got on her hands and knees in the center of the bed. He knelled behind her and slid his cock back into her and fucked her hard and fast.

*Smack* he slapped her ass.

“Fuck,” she cried out.

She pushed back against him, he pushed deep coming in her.

He collapsed on the bed next to her.

“So, ready to meet Vanessa?”

She turned over and kisses him. “Sure, but can I shower first?”

“Go ahead, the handle is a little temperamental,”

She got up and headed into the bathroom.

David lit a cigarette and called Vanessa.

Sarah showered and slipped on David’s bathrobe.

She took a seat on the bed, there was a knock on the front door.

Vanessa

David opened the door, a tall, slender woman with curly dark hair entered the apartment.

“How are you?” David asked her.

“Fine, fine, where is she?” Vanessa asked.

“She’s in the bedroom,”

Vanessa took off her coat, handed it to David and headed down the hall.

“Hello,” Sarah said.

“Stand up, let me see,” Vanessa ordered.

Sarah stood up, Vanessa pulled the belt of the robe, the bathrobe fell open.

“Hum… she’s a little mousy,”

“What?” Sarah started to pull the robe closed. Vanessa grabbed her wrist.

“Drop the robe,”

Sarah looked at her then over at David who was standing in front of the dresser.

David came over to Sarah and pulled the robe off of her.

Vanessa looked her over, putting her hand on her shoulder and turning her around.

“Maybe,” Vanessa said.

“Is she any good?”

“Yes, she is,” David answered.

Vanessa moved towards Sarah, putting her hand on the back of her neck, she pulled her in and kissed her, Sarah exhaled and kissed her back, sliding her tongue into Vanessa’s mouth.

“Maybe,” Vanessa smiled at Sarah.

Sarah picked up the robe and put it on.

“Get me a drink, I want to see what she can do,”

David went to the kitchen, grabbed another glass and the bottle of Jack.

He poured three glasses of Jack and handed them around. Vanessa sat in the over-sized arm chair in the corner of the bedroom. She raised her glass.

“Here’s to getting it done,” She downed the Jack and handed the glass back to David.

Sarah and David finished their drinks and sat on the bed.

“What do you want me to do?” Sarah asked Vanessa.

“First of all get rid of that stupid robe,”

Sarah knelled on the bed, took off the robe and dropped it on the floor.

“Better?”

“Good enough, get him hard and suck him off,”

Sarah moved over to David who was laying in the middle of the bed naked. She took his cock in her hands and began to stroke.

Moving her hands up and down his shaft, she leaned over him and ran her tongue around the tip. Then she ran her tongue down his shaft and sucked on his balls. David let out a moan.

Sarah looked up at Vanessa, she had made herself comfortable on the over-sized chair, and was running her hand down between her thighs.

Sarah licked up the side of his cock and slid it into her mouth. She moved her head up and down letting him slide in and out.

David reached down and ran his fingers through her hair, he grabbed a handful and pushed her deeper. She took him deeper into her throat, when she felt his cum hit the back of her throat, she swallowed.

Sarah sat up and looked at Vanessa.

“So how’d he taste?”

“Sweet,” Sarah answered.

Vanessa stood up removed her pants, shirt, bra and panties. Then sat back down on the chair, and spread her legs.

“Now you do me,” she said smiling at Sarah.

Sarah got up off of the bed, she poured herself a drink and downed it. She kneeled down in front of Vanessa and moved in between her legs.

She ran her hand along Vanessa’s shaved pussy, she pushed her legs further apart and leaned in. Sarah slid her tongue into her, sucking on her clit and tasting her. She pushed deeper into Vanessa making her moan.

Sarah moved back from her and slid her fingers into Vanessa’s wet pussy, moving them back and forth. Sarah moved up and took one of Vanessa’s nipples into her mouth and sucked while sliding her fingers in and out faster.

Vanessa arched her back, her breathing became quicker, she grabbed the back of Sarah’s head and pushed against her hand as she came.

Sarah stopped moving and kissed Vanessa on the lips.

“Good?”

Vanessa smiled “Good,”

Sarah got up and walked over to the bed, she laid out in the middle of the bed.

“My turn,” she looked at David, then over to Vanessa. She pointed and curled her finger at Vanessa in a come here motion.

Vanessa got up and joined them on the bed. David kissed Vanessa then kissed Sarah.

“So what do you want?” David asked Sarah.

“I want Vanessa here, to eat me out, while you fuck her,”

Vanessa move in between Sarah’s legs and started sucking on her clit. David moved behind Vanessa and rubbed his cock along her wet pussy. He looked into Sarah’s deep green eyes as he thrusted into Vanessa.

Sarah enjoyed feeling Vanessa’s tongue sliding in and out of her, while she watched David fucking her.

~ ~ ~ ~

A few days later there was a knock at Sarah’s door. She answered it.

“Can I come it?” David asked.

“Sure, come in,”

David entered the apartment and took a seat at the kitchen table. Sarah gave him a confused  look and sat down across from him.

“OK, what’s up?” she asked.

“I can’t stop thinking about you, I still want you to be in my film,”

“Not with her I won’t,” Sarah said.

David reached across the table and took her hands in his, he smiled at her.

“How about just you and me?”

“Maybe,” she answered grinning.

He got up and stood next to her, he leaned over a kissed her.

“Tonight, here?” he asked.

“Sure why not,”

David kissed her forehead and left.

At half past six, there was a frantic knock on Sarah’s door.

“I think I got everything,” David said as he sat two bags and a box down in her living room.

He started taking things out of the box, tripod, camera equipment, cables, and sheets.

“What are the sheets for?”

“Lighting,”

She watched as he moved on to emptying one of the bags. Candles, rope, a silk scarf, strawberries, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream.

“I’m going to go take a shower while you set up,”

“OK,” David answered lost in his unpacking of props.

Sarah stepped out of the shower, dried off, and slipped on her robe. She stood in the doorway of her bedroom and took in the set up.

The tripod and camera were set up to the side of the bed. The white corded rope was tied around the foot-board posts, and the silk scarf was tied to the headboard. The candles were lit, scattered around the room, the sheets were hung over the windows and along one wall. There was a silver tray with the strawberries, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream on the dresser.

“Ready,”

She dropped her robe and laid on her back in the center of the bed. He picked up the camera and panned up and down her body. He set the camera back on the tripod and picked up her ankle, he slid the rope over her foot and pulled it tight.

“That OK?”

“Yeah,”

He moved to her other foot and tied it down. He ran his hand along her bare leg as he moved to the top of the bed. He raised her arms over her head and looped the silk scarf around her wrists. He pulled it tight.

“Still OK?”

“Yes,”

He leaned down and kissed her.

“Are you ready?”

Sarah smiled at him and nodded.

David undressed and focused the camera on Sarah’s body. He stood at the foot of the bed and ran his finger along the bottom of her foot. She squirmed.

He grabbed her foot with both hands and rubbed his thumbs into the arch of her foot. She tried to move but the restraints were too tight. She let out a muffled grunt as he moved to the other foot and rubbed.

He smiled at her as he picked up the chocolate syrup, he opened the cap and drizzled the syrup over her toes. He leaned down and sucked the chocolate off of her big toe. He then drizzled the syrup up her leg, across her stomach and over her breasts.

He set the bottle down on the nightstand. He bent down and licked the chocolate off of her nipple, sucking it into his mouth and rolling his tongue over it. She let out a moan and he sucked harder.

He picked up the can of whipped cream and sprayed some on each breast. Then he held the can over her pussy and proceed to spray. He went over to the tray of strawberries and picked up a few large ripe ones.

He sat on the bed next to Sarah and dipped the strawberry into the whipped cream that was covering her pussy. He then reached over and held it in front of her mouth. She sucked the cream off of the strawberry.

He then dipped the strawberry back into the cream, this time sliding it back and forth over her clit. He feed her the strawberry, then took a second one and pushed it into her pussy and moved it in and out. She moaned and tried to push back against his hand.

He removed the strawberry and feed it to her. He moved down in between her legs and licked up the remaining cream. He flicked his tongue around her clit, sucking it into his mouth.

“Fuck!” Sarah yelled out.

He slid two fingers into her pussy and thrust them in and out of her, while sucking on her clit. She pushed against his mouth, feeling his tongue devour her, and his fingers work her. She couldn’t help herself, she came.

He moved up, and straddled her chest, he pushed her breasts together and rubbed his hard cock in between her breasts. He let out a moan as the pre-cum dripped from his cock. He slid his cock into her mouth and she eagerly sucked, till he came.

David shut the camera off.

“Need a drink?”

“Yes, please,”

He untied her wrists and went to get a bottle of water. She untied her ankles and sat up against the headboard. He handed her the bottle a sat next to her on the bed.

“Thank you for doing this with me,” he said.

“Your welcome, although that sounds weird,” she smiled at him.

He leaned over and kissed her. He moved her hair away from her face and kissed her again. He moved back from her.

“Can I film us…fucking?”

She finished off her water and smiled.

“Why not, I trust you, no harm, no foul,”

He got up and turned the camera on. She slid down on her back, he laid on top of her.

He kissed her, and slid his cock into her. He moved back and forth, thrusting deeper and harder into her. She kissed him, wrapped her legs around him, and pushed her hips up to meet his thrusts.

“Fuck, Sarah,” he gasped.

He put his head against her neck and whispered in her ear.

“Cum with me,”

She moaned and moved with him fucking him, coming with him.

~ ~ ~ ~

Sarah

“Hello?” Sarah answered the phone in that not quite awake voice.

“I know,” a woman’s voice states on the other end.

“You know what?” she croaked out while trying to sit up in bed.

“That you and David have been together, you home-wrecking bitch,” the voice blurts out.

“Vanessa? is that you, what are you talking about?”

Click, the line went dead.

“Fuck, that’s not good,” Sarah announced to the empty room.

“I don’t know why he married her, she’s psycho,” she mumbled to herself.

She glance at the illuminated clock radio, 3:56am.

She texted David:

So Vanessa just called me. WTF is going on.

Sarah laid back down, put her phone on silent and drifted off.

6am the alarm went off, playing some oldie but goodies song on KREX home of the golden oldies.

She smacked the snooze button, turned over and reached for her phone.

Two new texts: from David

Fuck, I came home from the opening I was covering for the paper, there was an empty bottle of wine along with the photo albums scattered on the table. Vanessa and I went round and round, apparently she hired a private investigator.

Second text: from David

Sorry, she threw me out, I am on your​ couch. Didn’t want to wake you.

“Ugh…” Sarah put the phone down, stretched, got up and went into the living room.

There on the couch was David fast asleep, she covered him with a blanket and went to take a shower.

She started the coffee, made scrambled eggs with cheese and toast.

“Morning,” a tired voice said from across the room.

She turned and smiled at him.

“Morning, there’s food,”

“You’re going to need your strength to explain to me what is going on,”

David put his arms around her, kissed her on the forehead and went into the bathroom.

They sat in silence eating their breakfast.

“So, care to fill me in?” she asked while clearing the table.

He took a very deep breath. She sat down across from him and took his hands in hers.

“OK, about two months ago Vanessa caught me in a lie that I couldn’t talk my way out of. Shortly after that she hired a private investigator to follow me around. I guess she received his report yesterday,”

“Wait two months ago, that was the mayor’s​ dinner event we covered for the paper, what did she catch you on,”

“She had gotten sick and wanted me to come home, but I had turned off my phone, so she had to call her sister,”

“Why did you have your phone…oh yeah, nevermind,” She smiled at David.

“Well, fuck, now what?” she asked. David shrugged his shoulders.

“I don’t know, wasn’t expecting this,”

“Go home and talk to Vanessa, I want to know what that PI told her, maybe we can explain a misunderstanding to her,”

“Or I can just move in with you,” David said.

“Go find out what she knows first,”

He kissed her goodbye, “I’ll call you later,”

Sarah got dressed and went to work.

David and Sarah both work for the local newspaper, The Daily Star, your source for local news and events.

Sarah sat at her desk, thinking over what David had said. She pulled out my daily planner, pretty much her diary of who, when and where, and flipped back to two months ago.

Being a little OCD when it comes to tracking things and keeping records. Two months ago on a Saturday the mayor’s dinner in the hotel ballroom. Notes on good food, who was there, what the mayor covered in his speech.

“Fuck,” she mumbled under her breath, a little blue heart in the lower right corner.

A notation to herself​. She thumbed through a few more weeks, three more little blue hearts.

Her phone buzzed, text from David:

Found out what the PI saw. Two weeks ago, parking garage.

Sarah turned to the date, there it was a little blue heart on a Tuesday in May.

She texted David back: Now what?

Her phone buzzed, David:

Don’t know, he took pictures.

Sarah put the phone down, leaned back and let out a sigh.

She decided to focus on work and deal with whatever fallout this caused. She collected her daily assignments and got started.

Her phone buzzed, David:

Sarah we need to talk, meet me for lunch 1:30 pm, the deli across the street.

Sure, but you’re buying. She answered.

They sat down with their lunch in hand, turkey sandwiches with chips and an ice tea.

“So, what now?” she asked taking a bite of her sandwich.

“She’s mad and hurt, called me every name in the book, called you a few names,”

“Nice, what does she want,”

“That’s where it gets tricky, I have to tell you something, but I don’t think I should tell you while you’re eating,” David said.

Sarah stopped eating, she was suddenly not hungry. She wrapped up the rest of her sandwich and put it along with the unopened chips back into the bag. She took a long drink of her ice tea.

“OK, tell me,”

He took​ her hands and looked her in the eye.

“I love being with you, you get me and you know me,”

She could feel her throat getting tighter, her vision started to blur. She did not want to cry, not in front of him.

“Vanessa’s pregnant and…”

That was it she was done. Sarah got up grabbed her lunch and walked away. She made it into the office, went to the ladies room, and lost her lunch.

She stood in front of the mirror sobbing like a schoolgirl, thinking about how stupid it was to get involved with him again.

She pulled herself together enough to finish her assignments and went home.

Her phone buzzed, David:

Can I please come over, I need to finish explaining everything to you.

Her phone buzzed, David:

Please, Sarah.

“Fuck,” she said wiping away fresh tears.

Sarah texted him back

You need to bring, a pack of cigarettes and a bottle of Jack. And you are going to answer all of my questions. Deal?

Her phone buzzed, David:

Deal. I be over in a few.

There was a knock at the door.

She opened it there was David holding a bottle of Jack Daniels and a pack of cigarettes.

“Fine, come in,”

David kissed her on the check on his way into the apartment.

“Thanks,” he grabbed two glasses and dropped an ice cube in each. Sarah opened the bottle and poured.

“Have a seat,” she motioned towards the kitchen table, while finding an ashtray and lighter in the junk drawer.

She opened the pack of cigarettes, took one out, lit it and took a deep drag. She exhaled slowly and took a seat across from him.

“Well, here we are,” she downed her drink and poured another.

“You know I never wanted to hurt you,”

“I know, but you won’t ever leave her,”

“I can’t, not now,” he took a sip of his drink and cleared his throat.

“I’m sorry,”

“Sorry that you’re ending it or that you got caught and have to end it?”

David sighed.

“Nevermind it doesn’t matter, we’re done,” she finished off her drink, put out her cigarette and got up.

As she set the glass down on the counter-top he came up behind her. He slid his arms around her and kissed the back of her neck. She closed her eyes and leaned into him.

His feel, his smell so familiar and comforting. As mad and frustrated with him as she was, she still wanted him.

She turned to face him, leaned in and kissed him slowly, deeply letting her tongue slide into his mouth and taste him one more time.

She took his hand and led him into the bedroom.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” he asked.

“Don’t talk, just enjoy it,” she took off her shirt and bra.

Then slid out of her pants and panties. She unbuttoned, unzipped and pulled off his jeans along with his boxers. He took off his shirt and sat on the edge of the bed.

Sarah knelled in front of him and rubbed his cock, making him hard. She slid his cock into her mouth and sucked. While running her hands up and down his shaft.

He ran his hands through her hair and let out a moan.

“Fuck, Sarah,”

She sucked harder, letting him slide deeper into her mouth. She could taste his pre-cum, she slid his cock out of her mouth and licked around the tip.

“Like that?” she asked as she stood up in front of him.

David grabbed her by the waist and pulled her onto the bed. He moved down in between her legs, rubbing and kissing the inside of her thighs.

He kissed and licked her clit, sliding his tongue into her pussy. She let out a moan and he pushed in deeper, making her wet from his tonguing.

He moved up her body, kissing and caressing. He ran his hand over her breast pinching her nipple, rolling his tongue over it then clamping down and sucking.

She reached down and rubbed his cock. He slid his fingers into her wet pussy, she arched her back as his fingers slid deep into her.

He kissed her, pushing his tongue into her mouth, she could taste herself on his lips.

“Fuck me, please,” Sarah begged.

He moved over her, spread her legs apart and slid his hard cock into her.

~ ~ ~ ~

Sarah woke​ up and ran to the bathroom. After throwing up nothing but stomach acid, she sat on the cold tile floor.

“Fuck,” she got up, found her daily planner on the kitchen table and started flipping pages back.

It had been about eight weeks since she had last seen David. He had taken a leave of absence from work and was freelancing from home.

Trying to fix his marriage with the now very pregnant Vanessa. Sarah had seen her in passing at an Everyday Food’s store about two weeks ago.

She sat mulling over her options: tell him, don’t tell him, keep it, don’t keep it.

Two days later she texted David: We need to talk.

Text from David: When and where?

Thursday 8pm my place.

There was a knock on the door, she let David in.

“Come in, take a seat,” she said closing the door behind him​.

“So, what do we need to talk about?” he sat down on the couch.

Sarah took a deep breath.

“I am two months pregnant and I am keeping the baby,” she blurted out all in one breath.

There was a long silence as David stared at Sarah.

“I am not sure what to say,” David got up walked over to her. He put his arms around her. She relaxed into his embrace as the tears streamed down her face.

They laid down on the bed and held each other, she fell asleep in his arms.

When Sarah awoke he was gone.

Her phone buzzed.

Text from David: I can’t be there for you, I have to tell Vanessa.

She got up showered and dressed for work.

~ ~ ~ ~

David and Vanessa

David took a deep breath and entered the house. Vanessa was sitting in the living room thumbing through a magazine. David took a seat on the ottoman in front of her.

“Sweetie,”

“Yes darling,” she answered mockingly without looking up.

“I need to tell you something, please look at me,”

Vanessa let out a sigh and put down the magazine and looked at David.

“Yes?”

He took a deep breath.

“Sarah is pregnant,” he exhaled.

She picked up the magazine and went back to flipping through it.

“Vanessa?”

“I heard you, now go away,”

~ ~ ~ ~

David awoke to the smell of bacon. He grabbed his robe, found his slippers and headed to the kitchen.

“What are you doing?”

“Making breakfast, what does it look like,” Vanessa answered.

David sat down at the table. “But you don’t like to cook,” he mumbled to himself.

“Eat up,” she placed a plate of bacon, toast and eggs down in front of him.

“Coffee?”

“Sure,” he said as he shoved the eggs into his mouth.

Vanessa sat across from him.

“I have a solution to our Sarah problem,” she announced.

David dropped his fork and coughed.

“Sarah problem?”

She slid a piece of folded paper towards him.

“What’s that?” he pointed to the piece of paper.

“Our solution,”

 

Shane

David entered The Royal Flesh, the air was warm and stale. He asked the bartender if he knew a guy named Shane.

The bartender pointed out a tall, skinny, scruffy looking guy seated at the far end of the bar.

“Thanks,”

David made his way down to the end of the bar and took a seat next to Shane.

“Are you Shane? Vanessa sent me,”

Shane glanced over and nodded. “You David?”

“Yay,”

“Vanessa told me about your Sarah problem, just need to know when and where,”

David slid a piece of paper over to Shane.

“Half now, half after. Follow me,”

They exited through the side door into the alley. Shane took a pack of smokes out of his jacket pocket and offered one to David.

“No thanks,”

Shane lit up. David handed him an envelope, he thumbed through the stack of hundred dollar bills.

“Good enough, I will call you when it’s done,”

~ ~ ~ ~

Sarah entered her apartment building with her arms full of groceries. She tried to juggle her keys into the lock.

“Can I help you with that?” a voice asked from behind her.

Sarah was startled and almost dropped the groceries.

“I got it,” Shane said as he caught the bag before it hit the floor.

“Thanks,”

Sarah slid her keys into the lock and opened the door. She stepped inside and set the bag down on the table. She turned back to the door to accept the other grocery bag from Shane.

“Thanks again,” she said as she set the second bag down.

Shane had one foot inside of the apartment, as she got ready to close the door, he grabbed it and gave it a shove. The door hit Sarah in the face, she stumbled backwards and fell to the floor. Shane quickly entered the apartment, closed the door and flipped the deadbolt.

He stood over her as she tried to register what had just happened. The side of her face was red and her cheek was starting to swell. He grabbed her by the arm and walked her into the bedroom. He pushed her onto the bed and took the backpack he was carrying off of his shoulder.

“What do you want?” Sarah asked.

“Right now, for you to be quiet,” he pulled out a handful of large zip ties, a roll of duct tape and some nylon rope.

He took off her shoes and socks, zip tied her ankles together. Then removed her jacket and zip tied her wrists together. He laid her in the center of the bed, tying her arms above her head to the headboard and her feet security to the foot-board.

Shane started looking through her things, opening drawers and rummaging around.

“So, what did a nice looking woman like you do, that pissed someone off enough to send me here?” he asked.

“It’s in the top right drawer, under the clothes,”

Shane stopped, turned to face her, and grinned. He went over to the drawer and opened it. Reaching under the pairs of panties he pulled out a disk.

“This?” he held up the disk.

“Yes, that’s it,”

Shane took the disk into the living room, he sat at her desk, inserted the disk into her laptop and watched.

Sarah laid on the bed trying to wrap her mind around what was happening. Her face throbbed and no matter how she moved she couldn’t get out of the zip ties.

“Well you’re a naughty girl, aren’t you?”

Sarah looked over at the bedroom door, Shane was lighting a cigarette. He took a long drag, then exhaled. He opened his backpack and took out a knife.

Shane walked around the bed running the knife up and down her body. He stood at the foot of the bed and ran the tip of the knife along the bottom of her foot. She tried not to squirm. He smiled at her, and pushed the tip of the knife slightly into her foot.

She clenched her jaw trying not to yell out. He pulled the knife back and a trickle of blood ran down her foot. He set the knife down on the dresser and got on the bed. Straddling her hips, he slid his hands around her neck and began to squeeze. She squirmed and thrashed beneath him.

He kept squeezing, she stopped moving. He lowered his head to her chest, she was still breathing.

“Good,” he kissed her on the forehead and got off of her.

Shane worked quickly, untying her and undressing her. He stretched out her arms, and legs tying them to each of the bed posts. He went into the kitchen found a bottle of Jack, sat at her desk and watched the video again.

~ ~ ~ ~

Shane stood in the doorway to Sarah’s bedroom and looked her over.

“Have you watched it?” he asked her.

“What?” she looked over at him.

“Did you watch that video?”

Sarah let out a sigh. “No,”

Shane walked over to the bed, he put his hand on her lower abdomen. He gave it a light push.

“How long?”

Sarah looked up at him, she couldn’t hold back the tears. “Almost four months,”

Shane nodded and untied the ropes. “You need to see the video,”

Sarah sat up, he handed her the bathrobe off of the chair next to the closet. They went into the living room, Sarah sat at her desk. Shane reached over and clicked play.

Sarah watch as the video showed her living room, then it walked down the hall. A hand pushed the bathroom door open and zoomed in on the shower curtain that was slightly open. It was Sarah showering, then David’s voice spoke in a hush on the video.

“It’s all for you Vanessa, all for you,”

The camera moved sporadically for a second then it was pointing down at David stroking his cock.

Saying “It’s all for you,” over and over again.

His breath quickening till he moaned and recorded himself coming. While watching Sarah shower.

“What the fuck!”

“My thoughts exactly. There’s more,” Shane drug the cursor to the last five minutes of the video.

Sarah felt something cold on her cheek, she reached up to wipe it away. There was nothing there.

“Sarah, Saarrraah, Sarah!” Shane shouted.

Her eyes opened, she was still tied to the bed, naked. Shane was tapping the blade of the knife on her cheek.

“There you are, was starting to wonder if you were going to come back around,”

Shane took off his t-shirt and unbuttoned his jeans. He stood next to the head of the bed and ran the knife along Sarah’s neck, down to her collarbone. He swiped the knife along her shoulder leaving a shallow cut.

“Fuck!”

Shane swiped again leaving a cut along her breast bone.

“Fuuuck!” she screamed.

Shane made another swipe down her side and across her stomach. Sarah’s mouth fell open but no sound was made. Her breathing became shallow and labored. Shane moved to the foot of the bed, he put the knife down on the dresser and crawled up on the bed.

He knelled between her legs and ran his hands up her thighs. He slid his jeans down and stroked his cock.

“Do you know how much you are worth to me dead?” he asked while still stroking his now hard cock.

Sarah shook her head. He moved up and laid on top of her, he whispered in her ear.

“Ten thousand dollars,”

Shane sat up thrusting his cock into her as he grabbed her by the neck and squeezed. She thrashed around under him. He kept squeezing and fucking her, as her last breath left her, he came.

Shane called David.

“It’s done, meet me at The Royal Flesh,”

“Don’t forget the video,” David said.

~ ~ ~ ~

Detective James Andrews stood in the small one bedroom apartment on the north side of town.

“What do we have?” he asked the responding officer.

“Female, 30 years old, 5’4″ tall, weight 130 pounds, Sarah Fenton, according to her licence. Found here in her home, strangled, sexually assaulted, and laid out on the bed, ” the officer stated.

“Who found her?”

“Landlord a Mark Williams, came by to ask her about rent, because she was five days late.”

Detective Andrews entered the bedroom.

 

The Royal Flesh

Kent rolled over and glanced at the empty side of the bed.

“Guess she already left,” he mumbled as he staggered into the bathroom. He stepped into the shower and let the warm water flow over him.

While he got ready for another mundane routine day of work, he wondered how it got to this point.

Kent Miller had meet his wife Jennifer Daniels seven years ago he had been in and out of odd jobs over the years, at this time he was working as a bouncer at Jake’s Night Spot. Jennifer had come in with a bachelorette party, she was stylish, confident and cute.

Kent had found himself watching her most of the night, how she talked, what she drank, and how she played with her hair. Being someone that never lets an opportunity pass him by, he asked her to take his number. A few days later she called, they meet for coffee discussed life, goals and how they had a connection.

“But who doesn’t have a connection when trying to get laid?” Kent thought to himself.

Jennifer was building her career moving up within a small company with aspirations of being at the top. She had graduated with a degree in marketing and public relations. She had ambition, goals and a timeline to have that corner office by 40.  

They dated for a while, everything was storybook, flowers, dinners out. Kent got a steady job in customer service, one that he could still dress casual but be professional.

He proposed after a year and they moved into a nice two bedroom house outside the city. They had the traditional church wedding and two week honeymoon in the Bahamas.

They were hot and heavy in the Bahamas, Jennifer acted like she couldn’t get enough. The honeymoon suite was drenched in lace, satin and fresh cut roses Jennifer’s favorite. She laid out across the king sized bed.

“Leave the bags, and come here,” she said.

Kent put the bags down, kicked off his shoes and joined her on the bed. She kissed him long and deep he let out a moan as he kissed her back.

She rolled over on top of him, sat up straddling his hips, she removed her top, showing off her light blue lace bra and unzipped his pants. She moved down his body taking his pants with her. She stood at the end of the bed, swaying her hips back and forth letting her skirt fall to the floor. She stepped out of her shoes and skirt, and danced around in just her matching bra and panties.

Kent smiled at her from the bed, sitting up to take off his shirt and socks. Jennifer jumped back up on the bed and stroked his cock through his boxers, Kent leaned back and closed his eyes. She removed his boxers and took his cock into her mouth Kent let out a moan. They enjoyed each other thoroughly.

~ ~ ~ ~

Then it was all schedules, work and more work. Jennifer had goals to accomplish and was sticking to it, at any cost. After the first four years Kent started to feel taken advantage of, always expected to get it all done, work a full time job, stay on top of all the household chores and be her arm candy for dinners and special office events.

After one of these special black tie office affairs, Kent had hit a breaking point on the drive back to the house he pulled over to the side of the road and let her know how he felt about everything. Their relationship how everything was done on her schedule and there was no downtime, no spontaneous anything.

No enjoyment, hell even their sex life had become a standing appointment that she canceled most of the time. Jennifer listened to his rant and argued that this was all for the payoff later. Kent turned off the car took his house keys off of his key ring and got out of the car. He walked back into the city and found a bar. Jennifer drove herself home.

Kent spent three nights in a hotel drinking, watching porn and ordering room service. Then Jennifer called, explained that she needed him, and that things would be better. Maybe they needed a vacation and some time off work. They took a long weekend trip out to Seaside and lounged on the beach.

All was calm for a while. Then that one night happened, Jennifer had to go out of town overnight for a business conference. Kent headed out to enjoy a little time to himself, he ended up in a strip club called The Royal Flesh. He was enjoying the long legged blonde spinning around the poll on stage when he heard a voice.

“Can I get you a drink?”

Kent turned to see a friendly smile, she was cute, with short dark hair, deep green eyes, a toned petite body and nice perky breasts.

“Sure, I’ll have a shot of Jack,” Kent answered.

She returned with his shot and said.

“I am Jade, let me know if you need anything else,”

Kent smiled at her and watched her walk away, he took note of the tattoo showing on her lower back, just above her low cut jeans and below her midriff tee-shirt. Two roses with intertwining stems, highlighted with just a touch of red and green.

“Nice,” he thought to himself.

On her way back around the club Kent decided to strike up a conversation with her. He motioned to her.

“Need anything else?” Jade asked.

“What time do you get off?” Kent asked.

“I get off whenever I want, I clock out at 2 am,” she answered and gave him a devilish smile.

“So 2 am in the parking lot then?” He asked. Jade nodded and walked away.

They ended up at Jade’s studio apartment a few blocks from the club. She poured them each a drink and put on some background music. He sat on the couch and she striped for him. First the tee-shirt then the jeans, the pink lace bra and matching panties all discarded to the floor. Jade dropped to her knees undid Kent’s jeans, she ran her hand up and down his cock, stroking, licking and taking it into her mouth. She sucked his erect cock while massaging his balls.

Kent leaned his head back and moaned, as she sucked harder making him want to come. He ran his hands through her hair and pushed deeper into her mouth. He couldn’t stand it any longer and came, she felt his cum hit the back of her throat and she swallowed. She got up licking her lips and kissed him deeply.

“Up for some fun?” Jade asked.

“Always,” he answered. She leaned over to the end table, opened the drawer and pulled out a vial of coke. They each did a few lines and then she lead him over to the bed.

Jade laid out in the middle and spread her legs, she ran her hand down to her pussy and started to rub her clit, moaning to herself. Kent ran his hands up her legs and started to kiss and lick her pussy. Sliding his tongue deep into her making her moan and come.

He flipped her over onto her stomach and slid his fingers into her wet pussy, moving them faster and deeper.

“Fuck me,” Jade yelled out.

Kent got behind her running his hand along her tattoo, and slid his cock into her, thrusting harder and faster as she pushed back against him. He came deep in her and then collapsed onto the bed next to her. She moved up and kissed him, put her head on his shoulder and they fell asleep.

~ ~ ~ ~

Grace sat in the parking lot, “I could go in there and say my name is Mary. Mary, Mary quite ordinary.” She took a deep breath and entered The Royal Flesh.

“Is Katie available?” Grace asked the bouncer watching the door. He gave her a nod and she entered the strip club.

Katie an older lady with just a little too much eye makeup on offered Grace a job dancing three nights a week. Grace being only in her late twenties and still sporting an athletic cut to her body was looking for a fix, that thirst for something exciting and different.

Two nights later Grace went on as Miss Mary quite contrary, showing her long legs, muscular arms, long red hair and ample chest.

“Nice act,” A voice behind Grace said, as she was heading to the back to get changed. Grace turned around.

“Hi, I am Jade,” she held out her hand to Grace.

“Thanks, and nice to meet you,” Grace smiled.

Grace and Jade got to know each other over the next few weeks. After one of Grace’s performance as Mary, Jade followed her into the dressing room.

“I wonder what you taste like,” Jade said Grace turned around to face her.

“Do you want to find out, or was that a rhetorical question?” Grace grinned.

Jade moved towards Grace and kissed her lightly on the lips.

“So my place or yours?” Jade asked. Grace kissed her back and smiled.

Grace was staying at the Blue Horizon Motel off of route 21, in a charming room with worn carpeting, an over-sized painting of golden poppies and the standard dull colored curtains covering the window.

“It’s not much, just quiet and cheap,” Grace opened the door and let Jade in.

Jade shrugged. She moved to the bed, sat down and motioned to Grace to join her.

Grace stood in front of Jade, she unbuttoned Grace’s jeans and slid them down to the floor. She then removed Grace’s blue satin panties and pulled Grace to her and started licking and sucking her pussy. Grace moaned and let Jade enjoy her.

Jade moved back onto the bed, shedding her clothes. She laid back and Grace finished striping and joined her. Grace kissed Jade, rubbing and pinching her erect nipples. Grace rubbed her fingers lightly over Jade’s pussy, she slid her fingers into Jade making her moan. Slowly kissing her way down Jade’s body spreading her legs and slipping her tongue into her wet pussy. Jade and Grace enjoyed each other till they feel asleep.

Kent did everything possible to see Jade showing up at The Royal Flesh and taking her in the bathroom on multiple occasions. Jade was up for anything, giving him blow jobs in his car during lunch breaks and fucking him in alleys.

“Would you like to meet my new friend?” Jade asked Kent as they were finishing up in his car.

“Sure, I could use a new friend,” he smiled at her.

Kent knocked on Jade’s door. A nice looking red head answered the door.

“You must be Jade’s friend,” Grace said and let Kent in.

Jade had drinks laid out on the table.

“Here take this,” Jade handed Kent a drink and leaned in to kiss him, slipping a little pill into his mouth. Kent swallowed and downed the drink.

Jade led both Grace and Kent over to the bed. They all striped, Grace laid in the middle of the bed, Jade laid next to her and Kent watched the two of them kiss and grope each other. Kent laid next to Grace and kissed the back of her neck letting his hands explore her body.

Grace rolled over and started kissing Kent while stroking his cock. Jade moved down Grace’s body, spread her legs and enjoyed Grace’s pussy.

Kent moved behind Jade and slid his cock into her as she was enjoying Grace’s pussy. He fucked her hard and fast, coming deep in her.

Kent collapsed onto the bed, Grace moved over to him and kissed him. She moved down taking his cock into her mouth. Jade started kissing Kent while Grace sucked and rubbed his cock.

Grace then straddled Kent’s hips, sliding his hard cock into her wet pussy. She moved back and forth taking him deep into her. She fucked him till he came in her.

During one of these sex filled meetings Jade asked Kent a question.

“Would you be happier if your wife just disappeared?”

“Probably,” Kent answered without putting much thought into it.

She didn’t bring it up again.

~ ~ ~ ~

Kent had dressed for work and was pouring a cup of coffee when the phone rang, Kent answered.

“Hello,”

“So are you happy now?” Jade asked.

“What, do you mean?” Kent asked slightly confused as to where this conversation was going.

“You can be happy now,” Jade said and hung up.

Kent stood there letting this sink in.

“What the hell is she talking about?” He asked to the empty room.

He called Jennifer, there was no answer just her voice mail.

Kent wandered around the house, trying to remember the last time he saw or talked to Jennifer. He had stopped by The Royal Flesh last night around 9 pm had a drink, Jade was working.

He remembered parking the car, grabbing the mail and sitting in front of the t.v. He assumed that he had fallen asleep in the chair, then had moved to the bedroom sometime early this morning.

He noticed that Jennifer’s purse, work bag and keys were still sitting on the hallway table by the door.

His phone rang.

“Hello,”

“I taped it for you,”  Jade said.

“Taped what?” Kent asked Jade just giggled and hung up.

“Fuck!” Kent called Jade back, she answered.

“When can I see it and you?” he asked.

“9 pm my place. You can meet Shane,” she answered.

“Who’s Shane?”

“You’ll see,” she hung up giggling.

~ ~ ~ ~

The alarm went off, James reached over to the nightstand and slammed the snooze button the clock read 6:00 am.

“Ugh…” James sat up and rubbed his eyes, “Another day in paradise,” he mumbled as he headed into the bathroom. Detective James Andrews showered, dressed and headed into work.

He entered the downtown police station at 9 am sharp. “There’s a message for you,” the desk attendant said.

Report of a body found out in the woods south of the park. James read.

Detective Andrews filled his coffee cup grabbed his notepad and hit the road.

“What do we have?” he asked the responding officer on scene.

“A woman in her late 30’s, dark hair, around 140 lbs, approximately 5’6″ wearing only a light pink, satin nightgown. Lacerations on her legs, arms and face. Marks on her wrists and ankles. Possible sexual assault,” the officer reported.

Detective James Andrews sat at his desk reading over the autopsy report on the now identified Jane Doe.

“So who did you piss off Mrs. Jennifer Miller?” James asked himself.

Bruises, lacerations and sexual assault. He read over the report. James reached for the phone to call Kent Miller listed as next of kin.

“Hello,”

“Hello, is this Kent Miller?” James asked.

“Yes,” Kent answered.

“Mr. Miller, this is Detective James Andrews, I am afraid I have some unfortunate news for you concerning your wife Jennifer. Can you come in to the downtown police station?” James asked.

Kent closed his eyes, took a deep breath and cleared his throat.

“Is she dead?”

“Yes, she is, we need you to come in and identify the body,” James answered.

“OK, I’ll be there as soon as I can,” Kent said and hung up.

~ ~ ~ ~

After Kent had identified Jennifer’s body, and been asked so many questions he couldn’t think straight. He left the downtown police station and headed to Jade’s apartment.

Kent knocked on the door, Jade answered.

“You’re right on time, for tonight’s feature,” she said as he entered. A tall, skinny but strong looking guy was standing in the kitchen making popcorn.

“That’s Shane,” Jade said as she lead Kent to the couch facing the t.v.

Jade grabbed a bottle of Jack and three glasses off the counter. She sat the glasses down on the end table and poured.

“Drink,” she said as she handed Kent a glass.

“Ready?”

“Sure,” he answered, Jade hit play and a home movie started playing.

Jade was the camera operator, it featured Jade and Shane breaking in to Kent’s house. They tiptoed through the house, showing Kent fast asleep in the living room. Then they went to the bedroom, where Jennifer was sleeping. Shane put his hand over her mouth and snatched her out of the bed, quickly binding her hands and feet together with large zip ties.

“Popcorn?”

Shane handed Kent a bowl, Kent took it and sat it down on the end table. Slightly in shock as to what he was witnessing.

Then they were in the basement of Kent’s house. Jennifer was tied to a kitchen chair wearing her pink nightgown and Shane was pacing back and forth in front of her. He had a knife and was leaving shallow cuts along her arms and legs. Then he hit her across the face, Kent jumped at the sound and downed his drink.

Jade lit a cigarette and smiled at Shane. Then they were in the back of a van, Jennifer laid out on a blanket, her breathing was shallow but she was moaning.

Shane crawled over her, moved her nightgown up and…Kent closed his eyes, the anger and nausea hit him all at once.

Kent tried to get up, but couldn’t.

“Why would you do this?” he asked Jade.

“Because we fucking could,” she answered moving over towards Kent and kissing him on the cheek.

Kent pushed Jade back, stood up and left the apartment. He made it as far as his car, then leaned over and threw up.

~ ~ ~ ~

Shane left Jade’s apartment a little after 1am, he dropped his skateboard in the middle of the street and headed downhill towards 6th Ave. and the 24 hour convenience store.

“Of course he’s a skater heading out for a pack of cigarettes and a drink,” Kent mumbled to himself, from behind the wheel of a beat up old pickup truck he had purchased with cash from a rancher two towns over.

Kent dropped the truck into gear and followed Shane.

As Shane got ready to turn on to 6th Ave. Kent gunned the engine, he collided with Shane and just kept driving.

Straight down 6th Ave. and onto route 21 where he knew a place out by the river where a burned out old pickup truck wouldn’t gain any attention.

Jade answered the door.

“What do you want?” she asked Kent.

“You,” Kent pushed his way into her apartment, grabbing Jade by the waist and kissing her.

He lead her over to the bed, pushed her down so that she was laying on her back, looking up at him. Kent sat across her hips and pinned down her arms above her head.

He leaned down and kissed her, she smiled. Kent moved his hands down to her neck stroking it gently. Then his grip tightened Jade panicked and grabbed at Kent’s wrists. He squeezed and felt her twitching beneath him.

She fell lifeless like a rag-doll upon the bed. When his hands slipped from their grip around her throat.

Kent got off the bed and started looking around Jade’s apartment he found a shoe box sitting on the dresser. He opened it, there were hundreds of photos of Jade and Shane in a variety of sexual positions.

Kent picked one, it was Jade naked and bound. Her hands tied behind her back and a gag stuffed in her mouth.

“What the fuck,” Kent said to the silent room.

Kent brought an arrangement of flowers out to Jennifer’s grave.

“It’s done,” he said as he laid the flowers down in front of her head stone, roses her favorite.

An envelope addressed to one Detective James Andrews was delivered to the downtown police station.

James opened it, a videotape with a sticky note attached said “Jennifer Miller.”

 

Special Guest- JM Sullivan

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Today we have a special guest in the house, give a warm welcome to JM Sullivan:

Secrets don’t make friends. At least, that’s how the saying goes. I don’t know how much I agree with this statement, but I will say that I’ve made many more friends with confessions than I ever had secrets.

I can already see some of you tilting your head as you read this, so let me explain.

For those of you who I have never met (Hiiiii!), my name is JM Sullivan, and I am the host of the Twitter game #AuthorConfession, where we post daily prompts and writers from around the world ‘confess’ secrets to their WIP. It is a ton of fun and I have met so many incredible people this way (looking at you, Megan!).

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I love reading the confessions of our players and learning details about the wonderful worlds they are building. So, for my blog post today, I thought I might do the same.

Instead of just asking the questions, today I am also going to sit in the hot seat. I’ll give you completely honest answers to some of the same #AuthorConfession questions I have asked my players. The hardest part- to do it without *spoilers*

So here you have it 5 Top Secret confessions about Second Star- that nobody else has seen!

1. What is your MC’s deadly sin?
1. Wendy’s deadly sin would be wrath. She has a very even temperament and is very patient, but once her limits are pushed, she fights with a vengeance.
2. Peter’s sin is pride. Her is smart, talented, and not afraid to show it. While other character’s struggle with different sin’s Peter’s crowing vanity is what’s sure to get him in trouble.
2. What is your antagonist’s greatest regret?
1. He doesn’t know it yet, but Hooke’s greatest regret is finding the map to immortality. Chasing eternal life has ensnared the Captain, making a once renowned hero something else entirely.
3. Who does your MC love to hate?
1. Aidan Boyce. Although love is still probably a strong word. Honestly, she would just like to avoid him if she could. Unfortunately, her fellow recruit just won’t seem to let her.
4. How would your side character describe your MC?
1. With a glowing letter of recommendation. No, seriously. While Wendy would never approve of such a thing, her best friend Elias Johns makes sure that everyone realizes how qualified and talented Wendy is in a touching letter to the Fleet Admiral, Renee Toussant.
5. If you could only save one character in your book, who would it be?
1. Tootles. He is the smallest of the Lost Boys, and with his angelic face and sweet personality, he must be protected at all costs. The others are great, but Tootles will always hold a special place in my heart.

40MsW6PF

There you have it. My confessions. Hopefully this tells you a little bit more about Second Star.

I just have one more question, but this one’s for you: Now that we’ve shared secrets does that make us friends? 😉

*********************************************

Author Bio:
Teacher by day, award-winning author by night, J.M. Sullivan is a fairy tale fanatic who loves taking classic stories and turning them on their head. Although known to dabble in adulting, J.M. is a big kid at heart who still believes in true love, magic, and most of all, the power of coffee. If you would like to connect you can find her on social media at @jmsullivanbooks– she’d love to hear from you.

Buy Links:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1948583003

Online Retailers: http://books2read.com/Second-Star

Social Media handles:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jmsullivanbooks
FB: https://www.facebook.com/jmsullivanbooks/
IG: https://www.instagram.com/jmsullivanbooks/

Detective Stories -Complete

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Dark Corners
Betrayed
Deceit
Summer Solstice
Mr. Jones
Room 14
Fireweed
Vengeance
Following Fireweed
Secrets
Ginger and Spice
Autumn Equinox
Seasons of Change

Dark Corners

It was a warm windy day in early April, Detective James Andrews entered the downtown police precinct.
“Message for you,” the desk attendant said holding up a pink slip of paper.
“Thanks,” Detective Andrews said as he snatched the paper from the attendant and continued on to his desk.

Anonymous female caller reporting a death at the Cornerstone Estate off of Route 22. Deceased is Mrs. Emily Scott. Husband Mr. Donald Henderson.

Detective Andrews grabbed a cup of coffee with two sugars, a splash of cream, his notepad and a new black ballpoint pen. As he headed out to his car the desk attendant said.
“No rest for the wicked,” James flipped him off as he left the precinct.

It was a long drive out to Cornerstone, James switched on the radio, soft jazz played as he rolled down the window. The warm April breeze felt good, this winter had been fridged and unforgiving. He turned onto the driveway of the Cornerstone Estate and slowly made his way up to the two story farmhouse.

“Not sure why anyone would want to live this far out from civilization,” he mumbled to himself as he parked in front of the house.

“What do we have?” Detective Andrews asked the responding officer as he walked up the to the porch.
“Good Morning Sir, female 23, 5’6” red hair, green eyes identified as Emily Scott found deceased early this morning by her husband Donald Henderson,”

“Where was she found?” Detective Andrews asked.
“In the living room, she had sprained her ankle recently while out riding and was set up with a roll-away bed,”

They entered the living room making there way over to the roll-away bed that had been set up in the far corner next to the windows. James looked over Emily’s body, she was laying on the bed covered with a blanket. She could have been sleeping, except that her eyes were open and her lips had a slight blue color to them.

“And where is the husband now?” Detective Andrews asked as he closed Emily’s eyes.
“In the kitchen Sir,”

“Mr. Henderson, can you tell me about your wife Emily?” Detective Andrews asked as he took a seat across from Donald at the kitchen table.
“Emily was my heart, she loved this house, and to go riding, she was riding a stallion named Foxtail about two weeks ago when she was thrown, and sprained her ankle, which is why she was sleeping in the living room,” Donald answered.

“Was Emily depressed?”
“She was getting restless being stuck in bed while her ankle healed, but I don’t think she was depressed, her friend from college had been visiting and stayed to help out while she recovered,”
“Does this friend have a name and where abouts?”

“Laura White and she’s upstairs in the guest bedroom, she was very upset by Emily’s passing,” Donald answered.

Knock, knock.
“Miss White, Laura, my name is Detective Andrews may I speak with you for a moment about Emily?”
The door clicked.

Laura opened the door and let Detective Andrews into the guest bedroom.
“Thank you,” he said as he took a seat next to the bed.
Laura sat on the bed next to the nightstand and lit a cigarette, she took a deep drag before speaking.

“So what do you want to know?” she asked.
“How well did you know Emily?” Detective Andrews asked taking out his notepad and pen.

“Well, we were friends, we met at college, we both played for the women’s tennis team, and we shared an apartment towards the end of school,” she answered as she took another drag.
“Why did you come to visit Emily?”

“Because my ex-boyfriend is an asshole and I didn’t have anywhere else to go,” she said smashing her cigarette into the ashtray.

“How was Emily’s mood the last time you talked to her?”
“She seemed fine, maybe a little annoyed by how long it was taking her ankle to heal, I bought her breakfast that she ate, then I had to go run some errands, she was sleeping when I got back so I didn’t disturb her,”

“Thank you for your time Laura,” Detective Andrews said as he made his way towards the door.

Detective Andrews returned to the living room to look over Emily’s area. He looked through the side table that was closest to the bed, he found a red book with a gold rose embossed in the corner on the cover.

He thumbed through the book, it was full of journal entries written by Emily.
“Curious, hey come photograph this as evidence,” he asked the crime scene worker. He slipped it into an evidence envelope and took it with him.

James poured himself a Scotch and sat in his easychair.
“Ok, Emily lets see what you have to say,” he opened her journal and read.

September 7th
Oh my God…I have met the perfect guy. So cute and funny. He’s my TA for Economics 412 I asked him if anyone called him Don and he said no. He will be an interesting one to get to know.

James sipped on his Scotch and thumbed through a few more pages.

December 22nd
Taking Donald home for Christmas to meet mom and dad. Hope it goes well, I really, really like him.

June 15th
Yay! Wedding Day! I can’t believe it’s finally here.

June 20th
I love my dad so much he gave me Cornerstone, to have as my very own. I hope Donald loves it as much as I do.

July 6th
I am so happy, although Mrs. Newcome took forever to do the walk through at Cornerstone. But she’s mine and I am so ready to get to run the house and ride the horses.

James finished off his drink and poured another. He flipped further on into Emily’s journal.

March 5th
So Laura White called out of the blue, giving me a sob story about her and Mitch. We have room and I don’t mind her staying for a little while.

March 8th
Fuck, Dr. Edwards says my ankle isn’t broken just severely sprained. Can’t believe I am stuck downstairs in the living room. At least Laura is helpful.

March 22nd
I don’t know what Donald’s problem is, I am the one that can’t do anything. He’s spending a lot of time with Laura and I am starting to feel a little left out of the loop.

March 27th
Who the hell does she think she is, this is my house. I knew I had heard something the other night. I carefully hobbled into the downstairs bathroom and I heard her. I heard her with him through the air vent.

“Well that’s what we call motive,” James said as he finished off his second Scotch.

Detective Andrews was sitting at his desk when he was handed a large envelope.
“What’s this?”

“Your background checks on Donald Henderson, Laura White and Emily Scott, as well as the autopsy results on Mrs. Scott”
“Thanks,” James said and opened the envelope.

He flipped through the pages looking for anything that stood out. He read over the background checks and through the autopsy report.

“Wait a minute, St. Anthony’s orphanage for lost children, gotcha,” he gathered the papers and headed out.

Detective Andrews knocked on the door of the farmhouse on the Cornerstone estate.
“Yes?” Donald answered the door.
“Is Laura here?” James asked as he entered the house.
“Yes, she’s in the kitchen,”

Detective Andrews made his way to the kitchen with Donald on his heels.
“What’s this all about?” Donald asked.
“First and only chance to tell the truth Laura,”
Laura turned around from the sink.

“What?” she said looking at Donald and James.
“Have a seat Laura,”
She sat at the kitchen table.

“Would you like to tell me about St. Anthony’s?” Detective Andrews asked.
“Can I have a cigarette?”
“Sure, have a seat Mr. Henderson this concerns you to,”
Laura lit up and took a drag.

“What about it?” she asked.
“Did you know Donald at the orphanage?”
“Yes,”
“Did he promise you something, for getting rid of Emily?”

“Now wait a minute, don’t say anything Laura,” Donald said as he stood up.
“Sit down Mr. Henderson, or officer Roberts here will help you sit down,” James motioned towards the doorway where two uniformed officers were standing. Donald took a seat.

“Laura, did Donald promise you something?” James repeated his question.
Laura’s hands shook as she tried to take another drag. She put the cigarette out and cleared her throat.

“Yes, he promised me a life with him, if I killed Emily,”
“How did you do it?” James asked.

“I crushed up her Valium and mixed it into her oatmeal, when she was sleeping I covered her mouth and nose, she struggled then she just stopped,”

“You do understand that you will be arrested for first degree murder,” James said.
Laura nodded.
Betrayed

Tuesday Dinner

“Really, meatloaf again?” Henry said as he sat down at the table.
Ruth smiled, poured him a glass of milk and sat down to enjoy her dinner. Henry took three bites, and tossed his fork on to his plate.
“You know what Ruth? I’m done, I’m done with your dried out meatloaf and with you,” Henry declared as he got up and retrieved a large manila envelope from his briefcase. He handed Ruth the envelope.
“What’s this?” she asked.
“Divorce papers, I will pick up my stuff on Thursday,”
“Where are you going to stay?” she asked
“I’m moving in with my girlfriend, Trixie,” he stated as he grabbed his coat and left.

“Well fuck me,” Ruth said to the empty room as she got up, got a wine glass and the bottle of red from the fridge. She sat at the table, poured a glass, and finished her dinner.

After finished off the bottle of red and reading the divorce papers over and over again, Ruth passed out on the couch in the living room.

Wednesday Morning

Ruth woke up with a stiff neck and a screaming headache. She didn’t drink to often and polishing off the bottle of wine did her in. Stumbling into the bathroom and finding the shower Ruth stood in the water evaluating her life with Henry.

After college Ruth started volunteering for St. Anthony’s hot lunch program, she enjoyed being a part of her community and had majored in Culinary Arts along with a minor in Social Work. When she started Brenda Pierce was the coordinator of the lunch program, she helped Ruth learn the ropes of using the budget responsibly along with the donated non-perishables to make up monthly menus. As well as how to manage the volunteers, St. Anthony’s served hot lunch four days a week and a bagged lunch on Fridays, open to anyone in the community. Ruth enjoyed helping with and then running the program when Brenda moved on.

It had been about six months in to Ruth’s time at St. Anthony’s when Brenda suggested that Ruth should meet her cousin Henry. He was in banking and had just taken a manager position at First City Bank and Trust. Ruth hesitated at being set up with someone at first, but Brenda’s insisting finally got her to agree to one dinner in public. The evening of the set up Ruth dressed nicely, but kept it casual, in a blue top and black slacks. She left her dirty blonde, shoulder length hair down, adorned with a single blue rose clip on one side.

Promptly at six Henry knocked on the door to her modest one bedroom apartment. He was dressed in a white button down shirt and a pair of black dress pants. They had dinner at a retro 50’s dinner downtown, it’s decor popped with a paisley blue and pink coloring accented in black stripping. After being seated Henry ordered a steak medium rare with all the fixings and Ruth had a Cobb Salad with thousand island dressing on the side and a cup of Clam Chowder. They ate and made small talk about life goals, family and the future. Although Ruth was distracted by the rareness of Henry’s steak, not sure how anyone could eat such a bloody piece of meat. She enjoyed a good steak just didn’t care for it to be oozing so much redness.

The next morning Brenda asked for details of the ‘date’ Ruth said that it was nice, he was cute and yes maybe she would see him again.

Ruth stepped out of the shower and wrapped a towel around herself, she wiped the mirror off and looked at herself. If he can move on then so can I… And what kind of a name is Trixie?

Ruth and Henry dated for the next year and shortly after her 23rd birthday she married Henry Pierce, her only stipulation was that she would keep her maiden name of Davis. Because she just didn’t like how Ruth Pierce sounded, Henry agreed and they had a small wedding of family and friends. She enjoyed married life, they got along, had friends went out every other weekend and had a nice home just outside of town.

As Ruth got dressed to go in to work she did reflect back on the last year and how Henry may have become more distance than before. They went out less and he worked more, last time they went out to dinner was her 30th birthday which was well over four months ago. When did we even have sex last… Considering that she couldn’t recall the last time, maybe their marriage had slipped away without her noticing.

Thursday Evening

Henry pulled the old Samsonite suitcases out of the back of the walk in closet and started to pack up his belongings. Ruth stood in the doorway of the master bedroom sipping on her third glass of wine.
“So how’s Trix?” she asked.
Henry slightly caught off guard by her tone stopped folding the clothes and looked over at her.
“She’s fine, she’s is young, active, fit, beautiful and makes me happy,” he answered.
“Well then, what does she do, besides make you happy?”
“She’s an exotic dancer out at The Royal Flesh, if you must know,”
“She’s a stripper?” Ruth about choked on her wine.
“I need the divorce papers signed by Monday,” he said as he finished packing up and got ready to leave. He set his house keys on the kitchen counter on his way out.

Saturday Night

Ruth entered the warm musty smelling club, not quite knowing why she wanted to get a look at this Trixie person. A petite fit looking woman with short red hair rushed by her carrying a tray of drinks.
“I’ll be with you in a moment, take a seat anywhere,”
Ruth chose a table that faced the main stage.
“Hey sweetie, my name is Jade, what can I get for you?”
“A white wine, and is Trixie here tonight?” Ruth asked.
“She sure is, should be on stage in a bit,”
Ruth sipped on her wine while she surveyed the crowd of people. She took note of the guy with the tattoo on his forearm talking to a redhead, and a tall skinny guy in need of a haircut talking to the bartender. The announcer came on.
“Please welcome to the main stage our naughty school girl, Trixie,”
Ruth watched the tall slender woman with long raven black hair, twirl herself around the pole. She was dressed in a short schoolgirl plaid skirt and an unbuttoned white blouse. She danced around the stage losing the shirt and then the skirt, leaving her in a dark blue g-string and bra.
“Can I get you anything else?” Jade asked as she passed by Ruth’s table.
“Do you have a champagne room?”
“Actually, we do, it’s cash only one hundred dollars a bottle, who would you like to drink with?”
“Her,” Ruth pointed to the main stage where Trixie was finishing up her act.
“I will set that up for you, give me a minute,”

Trixie dressed in her schoolgirl uniform and carrying a bottle of champagne approached Ruth’s table.
“You asked for a bottle?” she said holding the bottle up.
“Yes, I did.”
“This way please,”
Trixie led Ruth towards the back of the main stage and turned down a hallway, she opened the door to a room lit by a red glow.
“Have a seat,” Trixie pointed towards a couch in the corner as she closed the door behind them. Ruth took a seat while Trixie popped open the champagne and turned on some soft music.
“Here you go,” she handed Ruth a glass of the champagne.
Trixie swayed back and forth in front of Ruth, running her hands through her long dark hair.
“So sweetie, what do you like,” Trixie asked.
Ruth took a sip of the champagne, setting it down on the side table.
“I like you,” she said moving forward and running her hands up the outside of Trixie’s bare legs.
Trixie smiled at Ruth, leaned down and kissed her gently on the lips. Trixie straddled Ruth’s lap moving back and forth against her. Ruth opened Trixie’s blouse and caressed her breasts, Trixie leaned back and let out a moan.
“So how far can we take it in here?” Ruth asked kissing Trixie’s neck.
“Not nearly far enough,” she answered sliding her hand in between Ruth’s legs.
“There’s a Westside motel off of route 21, meet me there in an hour,” Ruth said.
“Sure,” Trixie agreed kissing Ruth deeply before leaving the champagne room.
As Ruth was leaving The Royal Flesh she watched Trixie having a heated discussion with the guy that was in need of a haircut at the bar.

Monday Morning

Henry knocked on the door of what use to be their house promptly at eight.
“Here you go,” Ruth handed him the manila envelope.
“Thanks,” Henry was slightly taken aback by her abruptness.
“No time for a coffee?” he asked.
“Why not, for old times sake,”

They sat at the kitchen table sipping their coffees.
“So, how’s the new life going?” she asked.
“It’s fine,”
“Really, no red flags going up about anything,”
“Why are you being cryptic?”
“Do you even know her?”
“I’m getting to know her,”
“Just don’t do anything stupid,”
“Like?”
“Don’t marry her, you can play house with her and you can fuck her, just don’t marry her,”

Tuesday Night

“Hey, Jade can you give this to Trixie when she comes in?” Ruth handed Jade a plane white envelope with a single blue rose embossed in the corner.
“Sure, I don’t think she’s in till after 8 though,”
“That’s fine, thanks,” Ruth left The Royal Flesh.

Ruth was waiting in room 14 at the Westside Motel, at a quarter to one there was a knock on the door. She answered it.
“Come in, come in, thanks for coming,” Ruth kissed Trixie on the cheek as she entered the room. Ruth closed the door, and wrapped her arms around Trixie kissing her deeply.
“I made cupcakes, would you like one,”
“Um…sure,”
Ruth handed her one, it’s chocolate with a buttercream frosting. Trixie took a bite.
“Mmm…it’s good,” Trixie said while trying not to get crumbs all over. Ruth smiled at her.

Trixie felt a strange warmth wash over her, she tried to swallow and found that her lips and tongue were swelling up.

“What the..” she tired to say as she became light headed and fell to the floor.

Wednesday

Detective James Andrews stood in the doorway of room 14 at the Westside Motel.
“What do we have on this fine autumn day?” he asked sipping on his coffee.

“Deceased woman identified by her license as Beatrix Holiday, 25, of 452 West Ridge Dr. apartment #3 Overland, apparent cause of death was anaphylactic shock due to the peanut butter frosting on the cupcake, Sir,” the responding officer stated.

Detective Andrews stepped into the room and looked over the body.
“Was she registered to this room?”
“No, the room was paid for in cash by a Laura Hunt,”
Detective Andrews laughed to himself.
“Sir?”
“It’s a fictitious name from a movie,” he answered.
“Let’s dust the room and see if there is any security footage available,”

~ ~ ~ ~

It had been a week since Beatrix Holiday’s body had been found at the Westside Motel, and Detective Andrews was no closer to an answer as to why she was there and exactly what had happened.
“Sir, forensics report on the Holiday case, ” Officer Roberts handed him the file.
“Thanks,” James thumbed through the report.

Cause of death anaphylactic shock caused by a trace amount of peanut butter found in the butter cream icing. Four individuals prints found in room 14, Beatrix Holiday, Jade Matthews, Shane Henderson, Ruth Davis.

He looked over the security photos from Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, one car was parked in front of room 14 on Tuesday night. One car that matched up with one person’s prints, James grabbed his notepad and a ballpoint pen.

James knocked on the door of the older ranch style house that sat just outside of town.
“Mrs. Ruth Davis?”
“Yes,”
“Hello, I’m Detective James Andrews and I would like to ask you a few questions about last Tuesday night, do you mind if I come in?”

Ruth smiled at him and held the door open.
“Would you like some coffee?” she asked.
“Yes, that would be very nice, thank you,”

James took a seat at the kitchen table while Ruth started a fresh pot of coffee. He looked her over running his eyes up and down her hourglass figure. Her hair was pulled back into a french twist, she was wearing an a line navy blue skirt that came to her knee, dark stockings, a black pair of heels and a light blue silk blouse with the top two buttons open.

“Cream and sugar?” she asked.
“Yes, please,”
Ruth set the cup of coffee down in front of James and took a seat across from him. He took a sip of the coffee and smiled at her.
“Mmm…it’s good, much better than the stuff at the office,”
“So detective what’s on your mind,”

James gave her a grin and pulled out his notepad and ballpoint pen.
“You’re an intelligent, beautiful lady, Ruth, I think you know why I am here,”
“I may, James, can I call you James?”
“Sure, Ruth, you can call me James, so do you enjoy classic films?”
“As a matter of fact I do, James, have you seen Nightingale?”
“Yes, Ruth, I have, which is how I know it was you that used the name Laura Hunt at the Westside Motel last Tuesday night,”

Ruth took a sip of her coffee.
“Well aren’t you clever, James,”
“How did you know Beatrix Holiday was allergic to peanuts?”
“She had a medical ID keychain that identified her allergen, I happen to see it when we were together Saturday night,”
“Were you having an affair with Beatrix?”
“Nope, my husband was, he left me for her,”

James finished his coffee, closed his notepad and put his ballpoint pen back into his breast pocket.
“Here’s the thing Ruth,” he took her hand in his and looked into her eyes.
“Right now this is not a murder case, it’s an accidental death,”
She smiled at him and gave his hand a light squeeze.

Deceit
Scarlet keep step with the big brute that was Marco Bishop, through the city streets, she followed him up to his apartment building.
“Good evening, Mr. Bishop,” the doorman said.
“It should be,” Marco said nodding towards Scarlet, as he keyed in his door code.
Scarlet made eye contact with the doorman, while making a mental note of the door code.
63-30-41
Marco held the door for Scarlet.
“Why thank you Mr. Bishop,” she said giving him a quick peck on the cheek as she entered the building.
Marco took a moment to admire her hourglass figure, that was being hugged by a tight little red dress.
“Would you like a drink?” he asked as they entered the apartment.
“Sure, Scotch if you have it,” she answered sliding off her red pumps.
Marco poured two glasses, handed one to Scarlet and took his into the living room. He sat down in an overstuffed leather chair, downed his Scotch and raised his finger in a come here movement.
Scarlet finished off her drink, setting it down on the kitchen counter and walked over. She gave him a smile and dropped to her knees.
~ ~ ~ ~
Mac’s 24hr Diner advertised ‘Breakfast Available All Day’ John handed the menu back to the cute blonde waitress.
“Just a coffee for now, thanks,” he said watching as Scarlet entered the apartment building across the street.
~ ~ ~ ~
Scarlet ran her freshly manicured nails along Marco’s thighs, she unzipped and unbuttoned his pants. Sliding her hand into his pants as she moved up and kissed him, slipping her tongue into his mouth. Along with a little white pill.
He swallowed as she kissed him again deeply. As she repeated the door code to herself.
63-30-41
63-30-41
Marco’s breathing changed, his whole body fell limp. Scarlet checked to make sure he was still breathing. Then she made her way into the bedroom. She moved the nightstand away from the wall, giving the wall a light push. The panel popped out. She moved it over and found what she was after. Blueprints to the convention center and candidate elect Norman St. Johns’ campaign schedule. She thumbed through them then put them back into their hiding space.
She grabbed her shoes and left the apartment. She gave the doorman another smile as she ran across the street in her stocking to Mac’s Diner.
She sat down in front of John and motioned for the waitress.
“About time, Detective Marks” John said taking a sip of his second cup of coffee.
“Hey, I got what we need for tomorrow morning,” said Detective Josephine Marks.
“What can I get you?” the cute blonde waitress asked.
“Coffee, and a Denver omelette with wheat toast, please,”
“I’ll have the same,” John said.
“So how was it?” John asked as he took another bite of his omelette.
“It was fine, just part of working undercover,” Josephine gave him a smile and continued eating her meal.
~ ~ ~ ~
“He’s leaving,” Josephine said tapping John’s arm.
John looked over at the apartment building.
“Give him a few then we go in,”
Josephine and John walked across the street to the front of the apartment building. Josephine gave the doorman a smile and entered the door code.
63-30-41
She walked down the hall to Marco’s door.
“I hope this works,” she breathed as she turned the doorknob.
The door opened, she pushed the lock button back in so that it would lock this time, when she left.
She went to the sliding glass doors off of the living room, that open up to the side of the building and let John in.
“Nice apartment,”
Josephine went into the bedroom, moved the nightstand and opened the panel. She handed the blueprints and papers to John.
“At least the informant was right,” he took all the papers.
Josephine walked back into the living room finding her purse that she had left on the kitchen counter. John came up behind her, sliding his arms around her and pulling her into him. He kissed the back of her neck.
“I kinda like you as a redhead,”
She pushed back into him as he kissed down her neck.
Knock, Knock
“Fuck,” Josephine said jumping at the sound.
“Miss, are you still there?” the doorman asked.
John left through the sliding glass door and Josephine grabbed her purse and answered the door.
“Found it,” she said holding up her purse and walking quickly down the hallway.
~ ~ ~ ~
“You do know that we need to be at the briefing by 11 am?” John asked between spitting and brushing.
“Yes, I know,” Josephine answered from the shower.
“We have plenty of time, are you joining me before the hot water is gone?” she asked.
John shook his head, dropped his boxers and got into the shower.
~ ~ ~ ~
“Detective Marks and Detective Keen have confirmed that Marco Bishop is planning to attempt an assassination of candidate elect Norman St. Johns. At the moment we are just observing, Mr. St. Johns has been made aware and has increased his personal security. But he refuses to stop campaigning and is going ahead with his ‘Clean Streets Initiative’”
~ ~ ~ ~
It was to early for it to be this hot, June had just begun but it was already well over 80 degrees on this Thursday morning.
“So what do we have?” Detective James Andrews asked as he sipped his coffee.
“Male, 45 to 50 years old, approximately 6’ 5” and 245 to 255 lbs. No ID yet,” the responding officer answered.
“Well, how did you get out here, Mr. Doe?” Detective Andrews asked while he looked over the scene.
Detective Andrews gave the John Doe a once over.
No stab wounds, No bullet holes, No fresh lacerations or bruising.
He reached with a gloved hand, moving some hair away from his neck.
“Interesting, get a photo of this,”
James continued looking around the body, there were drag marks from John Doe’s shoes, that started where the tire tracks ended.
James walked away from the body and faced the dirt road. He lit a cigarette and walked down the road towards the highway. It was quiet, a faint breeze moved through the birch trees.
“Who found him?” he asked returning to the scene.
“Marjorie and Larry Nesbit were out walking their dogs, they live about a half mile down Route 18,”
“Well let me know as soon as we get his prints back, he’s gotta be somebody,”
~ ~ ~ ~
Wednesday Afternoon
“It won’t work,” John said standing in the bedroom doorway.
“Yes, it will,” Josephine said getting off the bed, wrapped in a bath towel.
She made her way over to John, dropping the towel as she wrapped her arms around his waist and looked him in the eye.
“It will work, trust me,”
She raised up on her bare toes and kissed him on the lips. He kissed her back, they moved over to the bed.
Josephine stretched out across the dark blue sheets, running her hand down her side and letting it slide in between her thighs.
“Having fun there?” John asked as he was shedding his clothes.
She let out a moan and rolled over onto her back.
“More if you join me,” she said.
John laid on the bed next to her and caressed her breast, he ran his tongue along her nipple, sliding it into his mouth and sucked. She let out a moan and slid her fingers into her pussy. He ran his hand down her body putting his hand over hers. Feeling her finger herself.
He moved down, spreading her legs apart, and kissed the inside of her thigh, moving up to her pussy. He slid his tongue into her, she ran her hands through his hair, arching her back and pushing into him.
Her body shuddered as she came from his tonguing.
~ ~ ~ ~
Wednesday Night
“Your sure about this?”
“Yes, it will be fine, trust me,”
Josephine kissed John and walked up to Marco Bishop’s apartment building. She walked up the steps, gave the doorman a smile and keyed in the door code.
63-30-41 the keypad let out a loud buzz. Josephine looked at the doorman, he stood behind her and keyed in another code.
“Mr. Bishop changes it regularly,” he said.
“Thanks,” she said and entered the apartment building.
She walked down the hall and knocked on Marco’s door.
“What the hell do you want?” Marco said as he opened the door.
“You,” she answered pushing her way into the apartment.
“What are you on about Scarlet?”
“Well, first of all I am not Scarlet, I am Detective Josephine Marks,”
Marco gave her a sideways look when she said the word detective. In that moment of confusion John entered the living room from the sliding glass door and tased Marco. Catching him in the side of the neck.
He jolted forward and then fell back missing the chair and landing on the floor.
“Jesus Christ how much did you hit him with?” she asked leaning down to check for a pulse.
“It’s on the standard setting,” John answered.
There were three quick knocks on the door.
“That’s Tom let him in,”
“Who the fuck is Tom?”
“Introductions later, let him in,”
John opened the door.
“Tom I presume,” he said as the doorman rushed past him.
“What the hell, you weren’t supposed to kill him,” Tom said kneeling beside Josephine.
“That wasn’t our intention,” she said.
“Ok, so now what?” John asked pouring himself a Scotch.
“You had might as well make it three,” she said getting up to take a glass of Scotch from the kitchen counter.
Josephine downed her Scotch.
“No time like the present for introductions, Detective John Keen meet Special Agent Thomas Ridge of the FBI,”
“Fuck Josephine what have you gotten us into?” John said as he downed another Scotch.
“I haven’t gotten us into anything, the plan was to take him in not kill him,” Josephine tossed back another Scotch.
“So Special Agent of the FBI, what now?” John asked.
Tom shot John a look that chilled Josephine to the bone.
“I guess a threesomes out of the question,” Josephine said as she walked back over to Marco’s body. She took his wallet, watch and rings off setting them up on the bookshelf.
“Well, we can’t leave him here,” she said.
“The easiest way to get him out of the building is going to be through the sliding glass doors, I am sure he will fit in the back of my SUV,” Tom said.
“Sounds like a plan,”
Tom gave the keys to his SUV to Josephine.
“It’s the black one half a block north, just pull into the alleyway, we’ll move him,” Tom gave John nod.
Josephine opened the sliding glass door and walked around to the front of the building and headed down the street.
John and Tom looked over Marco’s body.
“How heavy do you think he is?” John asked.
“I don’t know, probably around 250,” Tom answered.
John stood over Marco’s shoulders, took a deep breath and stretched.
“You ready?”
“Yeah, so you and Josephine?” John asked.
Tom shook his head and grabbed Marco’s legs, John slid his arms under Marco’s shoulders. They managed to move him out the doors and into the back of Tom’s SUV.
“Where are we going?” John asked from the backseat.
“Out of town,” Tom answered.
They drove through town, Tom turned onto Route 18. John nodded off in the backseat.
“What do you see in him?” Tom asked.
Josephine glanced back at John and smiled.
“He’s a good guy once you get to know him,”
She put her hand on Tom’s leg, rubbing her thumb back and forth. He gave her a smile, put his hand on the back of her neck, pulling her to him and kissed her.
Tom pulled off of Route 18 on to a dirt road and into the surrounding trees.
“This will work, John wake up,” Tom said.
John’s eyes opened to the sound of Tom’s voice.
“What,”
“Were here get out,”
Tom opened the back of the SUV and they pulled Marco’s body out and drug him away from the vehicle.
“Good enough,” Tom said.
~ ~ ~ ~
“Print’s are back,” Officer Roberts said, handing over the file.
“Thanks,” Detective Andrews said.
James opened the file, positive ID for Marco Bishop. Cause of death myocardial infarction most likely caused by a stun gun or taser.
~ ~ ~ ~
“What time is it?” Josephine asked as the three of them stumbled into her apartment.
“It’s 3:45 am,” Tom said.
John found a bottle of Jack Daniels in the cupboard above the fridge, and gave it a shake towards Tom.
“Sure,” Tom answered.
Josephine went to take a shower, leaving the two of them to finish off the bottle.
“Cigarette?” John asked pulling out a pack and holding it out to Tom.
Tom took one, lit it and took a deep drag. John poured two glasses, then held his glass up.
“Cheers,” John said.
Tom took another hit of the cigarette and raised his glass.
“What is wrong with you?” Tom asked as he downed his drink.
John looked him in the eye and said.
“I really don’t know,”
Josephine entered the living room, wearing a blue silk robe that barely covered her. She took a seat on the couch and proceed to comb out her hair.
John watched her from the kitchen as he poured another glass of Jack Daniels.
“Are you going to keep it red?” John asked.
Josephine looked over at John and Tom.
“What do you think Tom?” she asked giving them a smile.
Tom walked over to the couch and ran his fingers through her damp hair.
“Suite’s you,” Tom said leaning down and kissing her on the lips.
Tom took Josephine by the hand and led her down the hall towards the bedroom.
“Are you joining us John?” Tom asked from down the hall.
John finished off his drink and followed them into the bedroom.
~ ~ ~ ~
“Detective Andrews speaking,” James answered his phone.
“Detective, this is Norman St. Johns, do you know who I am?”
“Yes Sir I do,”
“The rumor is that Marco Bishop is no longer with us, is that correct?”
“Yes Sir it is,”
“Good, the city is better off without him, and as far as who helped him depart from this world, well they should get a medal,”
“Yes, Sir, can I help you with anything else?” James asked.
“No Detective, perhaps leave Mr. Bishop’s case on the back burner for now, have a good day Detective,”
“Ok, you too Sir,” James exhaled as he hung up the phone.
James stared at the case file in front of him, they had been through Marco’s apartment found some prints. Nothing that would lead to a slam dunk or quick convention. He put the file in his desk drawer.
“Sir, this is for you,” Officer Robert’s handed James a slip of paper. He read it over, found his notepad and a new ballpoint pen.
“No rest for the wicked,” he said as he left the precinct.

Summer Solstice
Laura sat alone at a booth in Mac’s 24hr Diner nursing her ice tea and picking at her half eaten BLT. Distracted by what she was watching. Jim and his girlfriend Kate were finishing their meal a few tables down.
She watched as Jim helped Kate with her coat, how he smiled at her, how he touched the small of her back as they walked out.
Laura fought back tears, as she finished off her ice tea, threw a twenty on the table and followed them out into the night. She took a second to light a cigarette before walking behind them.
She stayed far enough back as to not be heard, but close enough to watch their interactions. They slowed up in front of an apartment building, Jim pulled Kate to him and kissed her. She gave him a hug, a peck on the cheek and headed up the stairs. Laura’s tears turned to rage, and jealousy.
~ ~ ~ ~
Detective James Andrews got out of his car, wiping the sweat from his forehead.
Longest and hottest day of the year.
He made his way up to the front of St. Anthony’s church, ducking under the crime scene tape he entered the narthex.
“Ok, Officer Henderson, what do we have?” Detective Andrews asked.
“Female 20 to 25, approximately 5’ 6” 115 to 125 lbs. Found laying on the altar, apparent blunt force trauma to the back of the head. Along with some bruising and lacerations to her legs and arms, Sir,” Officer Henderson said as they walked up to the body.
James looked over the body, she was young, with pretty blonde hair and blue eyes. She was nicely dressed in a pair of dark blue walking shorts topped off with a white blouse with little blue flowers printed on it.
“Who found her?”
“Mrs. Chapman the church secretary, when she came in to open the office this morning,”
James knocked on the church office door.
“Mrs. Chapman? I am Detective James Andrews do you mind if I ask you a few questions?” he said as he entered the office.
“No, it’s fine, come in,” Mrs. Chapman said.
“Thank you, do you know the girl?”
“No, I don’t think so, she doesn’t look familiar, the church hired a security guard because there had been some break ins, have you talked to him yet?”
“No, we haven’t would you have his name?”
“It’s here somewhere,” she said moving some files and papers around on her desk.
“Oh, here it is, Shane O’Grady,”
~ ~ ~ ~
Shane had started his shift at 8 pm, by checking the doors and windows. As he moved his flashlight back and forth, walking around the far side of the church, he heard something. He turned towards the sound, and listened.
There was nothing, he shrugged it off and continued walking the perimeter. When he approached the front of the church he spotted a basket sitting next to the entrance.
Shane looked around, as he walked up to the basket. It was a simple wicker basket with a handle, it reminded him of something they used at Easter for the egg hunt.
There was a checkered red and white cloth laid over the contents of the basket. He pulled the cloth to the side looking down into the basket.
“Surprise!” a voice from behind him said.
Shane jumped raising his flashlight towards the voice.
“Fuck, Helen, what are you doing out here?” he asked.
“I wanted to bring you something to eat, it being your first night alone,” she answered, throwing her arms around him.
“Well thanks, but next time call, I could have hurt you,”
She squeezed him giving him a kiss.
“You’d never hurt me,” she said picking up the basket and leading him over to a bench outside of the front of St. Anthony’s.
“We ate the sandwiches that Helen had brought me and she went home,” Shane said.
“What time did she leave?” James asked.
“Had to be almost 10 pm,” Shane answered.
“What time do you think you were attacked?”
“Had to be close to one, I did my rounds again at midnight everything was quiet, then I woke up with a splitting headache around dawn,”
“Do you recognize this girl?” James asked handing Shane a picture of the girl found on the altar.
Shane stared at the photo.
“I want to say maybe, she looks like the Mcalester girl, I think her name is Kate, she was a few years younger than me in school,”
“Kate Mcalester, are you sure?”
“Pretty sure, her parents are Steve and Nancy, I think she was waiting tables at Mac’s Diner,”
“Thanks, for your time, if you think of anything else give me a call,” James said handing Shane his card.
~ ~ ~ ~
“Jim, it’s time to wake up,” a whisper caught in his ear.
“What?” Jim said, being pulled from his dreams.
“What’s going on?” he asked the darkness.
Laura turned on the lamp, Jim blinked repeatedly trying to focus his eyes.
“Laura? What are you doing here?” he asked sitting up.
Laura dropped to her knees by the side of the bed.
“I watched you with her. How you looked at her. How you spoke to her. How you touched the small of her back. How you kissed her good night. I watched you with her and I wanted to be her,”
She couldn’t hold back the tears anymore, as she stared up at Jim. He took a deep breath, reaching down to brush her hair away from her face.
“Oh Laura, you know that Kate and I are together,” he said.
She took his hands in hers, looking him in the eye.
“I fixed it, I can be her now,” she said.
Jim took a second to process what she had just said.
“Sweetie, Laura how did you fix it?”
~ ~ ~ ~
Kate finished her shift at Mac’s Diner at midnight and headed home. When she reached the steps to her apartment building a woman approached her.
“Kate?”
“Yes, can I help you?”
“You’ll never make him happy,”
“What?”
“Jim, he’ll never really love you,”
Kate turned to go up to her apartment when Laura swung, something hard hit Kate in the back. Out of instinct Kate started running, Laura chased after her.
They ended up outside of St. Anthony’s church, Kate saw Shane go around the side of the building, she tried to scream at him, just as Laura knocked her down.
Hitting her legs and arms with what she thought was a flat bat of some sort. Kate tried to protect herself crawling away and getting back to her feet. Then Laura swung the cricket bat with all her force catching Kate in the back of the head.

Mr. Jones

Brian Nelson lit his third cigarette, sitting in his station wagon parked across the street from the WestSide Motel. He read the sign advertising ‘clean rooms and free HBO’ All they need now is hourly rates available.

He laughed to himself as he took a long drag, he flipped open the box of Valentine’s Day candy he had bought for his wife, he took one of the chocolates and tossed it into his mouth. Mmmm…orange cream.

The door to room 14 opened and two people emerged into the chilly night. His wife Jennifer, and her boss Robert they kissed goodbye and got into separate cars.

Brian followed her home, thinking about their marriage, the time spent together building a future. All for her to just throw it away. He wanted to confront her, he wanted to kill her.

He sat in the driveway of their nice two story home. Letting the anger wash over him. Running what he wanted to say to her, what he wanted to do to her. He ate another piece of chocolate, mmmm…dark chocolate.

Valentine’s Day A Year Later

“Secret admirer?” Officer Roberts asked handing Detective James Andrews a red heart shaped box, wrapped with a white ribbon.
“Not likely,” James said taking the box, setting it down on the desk in front of him.
James pulled the white ribbon that made a bow around the box. He slid the top of the box up, lifting it off.

“What the…” James pushed back from his desk standing up.
“Get a crime scene kit up here,” He ordered.
James slid a pair of gloves on and picked up the lid, turning it over in his hand. There was a white envelope fixed to the inside of the lid. He gently pulled it off and opened it.

Detective Andrews,
Now that I have your undivided attention, I have a mystery for you to solve. This is Cherry, or at least this is Cherry’s heart.

‘You don’t have to put on the red light
Those days are over
You don’t have to sell your body to the night’

You can call me Mr. Jones

“Fuck,” James said to the room.
~ ~ ~ ~
A station wagon with faux wood paneling, came to a crawl beside Cherry as she strolled down High Street.
“Do you want to party?” she asked leaning into the passenger window.
“Yes,” the driver answered leaning over to open the door for her.
“What’s your name sweetie?”
“You can call me Cherry,”
“Ok, you can call me Mr. Jones,” the driver said heading down High Street and turning onto the highway.
~ ~ ~ ~
St. Patrick’s Day

“Detective Andrews,” James answered the phone.
“Sir, there’s a delivery out front for you,”
“Ok, give me a minute,”

James walked up front and signed for the package, not giving it much thought and took it back to his desk. Picking up a pair of scissors and opening the small brown box, he opened the top flap, the odor hit him, that distinct aroma of decomp. Stopped him in his tracks.

“Fuck, can I get a crime scene kit?”
“Another one, Sir?” Officer Roberts asked.
“Looks like it,” James handed him a copy of the note that was with the package.

Detective Andrews,
This one, this one was pure joy, I’ll give you a ‘hand’ in her identity.

‘Polly wants a cracker
Maybe she would like some food
She asks me to untie her
A chase would be nice for a few’

Mr. Jones

“Well that’s all sorts of fucked up, Sir,”
“Yes it is, hopefully they can pull some prints,”
~ ~ ~ ~
“Sir, the prints are back from the second package,” Officer Robert’s said handing James the file.
“About time,”
He thumbed through the report. Partial print from left index finger, identified as Stacy Dean age 22, 5’ 6” brunette, green eyes, reported missing March 18 th.

It was raining pretty steadily by the time Stacy clocked out of work at the Everyday Food’s Grocery Store. She tucked her bag under her arm, wrapped her jacket tightly around herself, and headed towards the bus stop at the other end of the parking lot.

“Hey, would you like a ride?” a male voice asked from a station wagon.
Stacy eyed the driver, he was older, kinda looked like one of her teachers from the community college. She was cold, wet and it was getting late.
“Sure, if you don’t mind,” she said getting into the station wagon.
~ ~ ~ ~
Easter

“Sir, there’s another package for you,” Officer Roberts said.
“Take it downstairs, I’ll be there in a few,” James said.

James put on a pair of gloves and carefully opened the egg shaped gift box. He pulled the lid off, expecting the worst. Instead there was some Easter grass, with jelly beans, chocolate bunnies and marshmallow peeps in the shape of little chicks.
“What the fuck,” Jame said as he pulled the envelope from inside the top of the box.

Detective Andrews,
I am very disappointed in your efforts to find me. So I am making this one easy for you, no pieces this time just a picture and address.

‘Hate me
Do it and do it again
Waste me
Rape me, my friend’

You have twenty four hours till Brenda here has a night she will never recover from.

Mr. Jones

James looked at the enclosed Polaroid with an address printed on the bottom.
~ ~ ~ ~
Detective James Andrews knocked on the door of room 14 at the WestSide Motel.
“It’s open Detective,” a male voice said from inside.
James carefully opened the door.
“Mr. Jones?” James said as he took a step into room 14.

“That’s far enough Detective,”
Mr. Jones was sitting in a chair positioned a few feet from the door, he was holding a shotgun pointed towards James.

“Where’s Brenda?” James asked.
Mr. Jones tilted his head towards the bed.
“I lack self control, I couldn’t wait, knowing that she would be my last,”
James glanced over towards the bed, all he could see was the side of Brenda’s head peeking out from under the comforter.

Mr. Jones took the shotgun, placed the barrel under his chin and pulled the trigger.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck!”
~ ~ ~ ~
Mother’s Day

“Mail call,” Officer Robert’s said handing James a large manila envelope.
“Thanks,”
James opened the envelope and slid out its contents.
“Ok then,” he said starting with the letter on top.

Detective Andrews,
I feel compelled to tell you my story. Enclosed you will find my journal, and a flash drive.

‘A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep’

Goodbye, Mr. Jones

Room 14

Jennifer Nelson and her boss Robert Hayse stood outside of room 14 at the WestSide Motel on Valentine’s Day. Robert unlocked the door and the two of them entered the motel room. Jennifer put down her purse and took off her jacket. Robert stood in front of her, he put his hand on the back of her neck and kissed her. She wrapped her arms around him and kissed him back, sliding her tongue into his mouth, he let out a moan. He broke off the kiss and held her to him.

“God I want you,” he breathed into her ear. She kissed his neck, slightly nibbling on him.
“I want you too,” she said holding him tightly.
They quickly undressed, Robert sat naked on the edge of the bed. Jennifer knelled down in front of him, taking his cock in her hand and stroking it. She then slid the tip in between her lips and licked. Robert let out a moan and ran his fingers through her hair.

She slowly took his hard cock into her mouth, letting it slide deep into her throat. As she ran her hand over his balls and gently squeezed.
“Fuck,” escaped his lips, as she moved her head up and down along his shaft.
Jennifer sucked till she could taste his pre-cum dripping on her tongue. She moved back from him and rubbed his cock in between her bare breasts. Allowing the tip to slip into her open mouth.

“God dammit, Jen, you’re driving me crazy,” Robert gasped in between thrusts.
“Good,” she said standing up in front of him.
He grabbed her hips and pulled her to him. He slid his tongue into her pussy, licking and sucking on her clit. She moved away from him and crawled onto the bed, positioning herself in the middle of the bed on her hands and knees.

Robert moved behind her, running his hand along her ass and sliding two fingers into her pussy. She let out a moan as he worked his finger inside her, making her wet. He moved his finger up to her clit and rubbed till she started to shudder from the sensation.
“Fuck me, please, fuck me,” she begged.

Robert slid his hard cock into her dripping pussy, moving in and out, teasing her till she screamed.
“Please, please fuck me,”
He thrusted deep into her, making her pussy tighten around his shaft, he pulled back from her and thrusted again, this time fucking her hard and fast. He grabbed her hips pushing as deep as he could into her, feeling her cum on his cock.
“Fuck, Jen,” he said as he came deep in her.

Robert collapsed onto the bed next to her, pulling her to him and kissing her. Jennifer moved down put her head against his chest and closed her eyes. Both of them laying there in room 14, breathing, letting what had occurred sink in.

Fireweed

Blood dripped off the side of the heavy bottomed crystal ashtray, in Corbin’s hand. Surrounded by exotic flowers in the Botanical Gardens Greenhouse, staring in disbelief over what had just occurred. Corbin had always considered himself an intelligent, rational man.

Hell he was Dr. Corbin Newcomb practicing Cardiologist with the University Medical Center.

Diana had done nothing wrong, they had spent a lovely day together looking at antiques, having lunch and touring the gardens. She had even picked out the ashtray that was now splattered with her blood as a gift for him. Corbin dropped the ashtray, turned and stumbled towards a bench. He sat staring at Diana’s body. Trying to remember why he had lost his temper with her. What had she said that set him off, why did he need to kill her, here and now.

~ ~ ~ ~

“You have a call on line 2,” the speaker on the desk phone announced.
“Hello, Detective Andrews speaking,”
“Detective James Andrews?” the voice asked.
“Yes, how can I help you?”
“I am Detective Benjamin Knowles, of the 45th precinct on Southside, and you have been requested in a homicide case we caught out here, do you know a Stella Henderson-Newcomb?” Detective Knowles asked.
“Now that’s a name I haven’t heard in a long time, what’s the case?”

~ ~ ~ ~

Stella looked herself over in the full length mirror that hung on the back of her bedroom door in her modest one bedroom apartment. It was her first day as Mr. Bridges personal assistant, she wanted to give a professional appearance. Stella ran her hands down her A-line navy skirt and finished buttoning up her light blue silk blouse. She had decided to wear her dark blonde hair down, it fell nicely on to her shoulders.

Good enough she sighed.

Mr. Bridges was a large man with broad shoulders that spent his days in business meetings and on conference calls. He was polite to Stella and always gave her exact instructions about how she should answer the phone and type up a correspondence. She enjoyed her job for the most part, although some days when Mr. Bridges would lean in to her, she would get a nose full of his liberal use of Brut cologne. It made her gag and she would move back or stand up.

Brenda and Violet who also worked in Mr. Bridges office took it upon themselves to set Stella up on a blind date. She protested at first but they wore her down and got her to agree to at least go to dinner. Stella entered Baxters Bar & Grill.
“Are you Stella?” a male voice asked.
Stella turned, facing a kind, tall, well built man.
“Yes, James?” she said extending her hand. He shook her hand and they were escorted to a booth against the wall. Drinks and food were ordered, small talk was made and plans to see each other again were made.

A few weeks after Stella has started dating James, Mr. Bridges called Stella into his office. It was a Thursday afternoon and Mr. Bridges was in a ripe mood. He had been yelling at the voice on the other end of the conference call earlier that day. When he had come back from a long lunch he reeked of cigarettes and alcohol.

“Yes, Mr. Bridges?” Stella asked entering his office.
“Close the door,”
She closed the door and stood to the side of his desk.
He sat back in his chair and looked her over.
“You’re looking pretty good these days,”
“Thank you, Sir, did you need something?”

He got out of his chair and stood in front of her, he ran his hand up her bare arm resting it on her shoulder.
“Soft,” he said looking deep into her green eyes.
“Sir, Mr. Bridges, Tom,” she said taking his hand from her shoulder and rubbing her thumb along the inside of his palm.
Hearing her address him by his first name caught him off guard.
“What did you call me,”
“Tom, you don’t want to do this, you’re a good boss, don’t cross this line, think about Charline and Katy,” Stella’s words were calm and direct. He took a deep breath, sat back down glancing at the portrait of his family that sat on his desk.
“Your right,”
“Sir, it was just a bad day, go home and we’ll start again tomorrow,”

~ ~ ~ ~

It was an overcast gloomy day, that called for rain when Detective James Andrews entered the 45th precinct.
“Detective Knowles?” he asked the front desk attendant flashing his badge and credentials.
“Yes sir, through the door to the left,” the attendant said as she pressed a button that buzzed the door open.
“Thanks,”

“Detective Andrews?” Benjamin asked as he headed towards James.
“In the flesh,”
“Nice to meet you, this way,”
They walked down between the cubicles of busy people.
“Cubicles?” James asked.
“Yeah, an HR thing for people’s privacy,”
“Here we are,”

Benjamin opened the door to conference room C, James was greeted by a whiteboard, a conference table with a few chairs scattered around it and a small table in the corner holding a coffee maker and box of doughnuts.
“Quaint,” James said.
“Have a seat, I will catch you up,” Benjamin said tossing a file towards James.

July 7th 3:45pm Officers respond to the Botanical Gardens on I-94 E one deceased female identified as Diana Miller 33, 5’6” 145 lbs, brown eyes, brunette hair home address 2068 Edge Water Drive Apartment D16 found with blunt force trauma to the back of the head.
Dr. Corbin Newcomb found in shock at scene holding apparent murder weapon, one antique crystal ashtray.
James continued to skim through the rest of the report.

“And Stella?”
“Mrs. Stella Henderson-Newcomb is Dr. Corbin Newcomb’s wife, she would like you to pay her a visit,” Benjamin handed James a sticky note with Stella’s information on it.
“I see, guess that’s where I will be then,”

~ ~ ~ ~

James sat in the driveway looking up at the extravagant two story colonial house that sat just outside of the city.

Quite the step up from the one bedroom on Lexington.

James strolled up to the door and rang the bell. A short older woman wearing a maids uniform answered.
“May I help you?” she asked.
James smiled. “Yes, Detective Andrews to see Mrs. Newcomb,”
“Just a minute,” she closed the door.
James took in the ornate details of the front porch, tall white pillars, flower pots all arranged symmetrically, with marigolds and pansies.

“James,” Stella said as she opened the door and stepped out onto the porch, embracing him in a hug.
James hugged her back and then stepped back from her.
“Stella, I see you’ve done well for yourself, so why am I here?” he asked.
“Yes, I have, come in we need to catch up,” she led him inside.

“Drink?” she asked.
“Sure, Jack on the rocks,”
Stella made her way over to the bar, dropped a few ice cubes into a glass and poured a splash of Jack Daniels over them.
“Here you go,”
James took the glass and downed it.
“Another?”
James handed the glass back and smiled.
“Make yourself comfortable,”
James took his coat off and wandered into the sitting room, he took a seat on the overstuffed olive colored couch. Stella handed him a second drink and took a seat next to him.
“So why am I here?”
“Well Corbin has gotten himself into a little situation,”
“That’s one way to put it,”

Stella faced James and took his hand in hers, she slowly rubbed her thumb along the inside of his palm.
“It’s so good to see you, it’s been to long,”
James smiled at her and squeezed her hand.
“So how’s your sister?” he asked taking his hand back to finish off his drink.
“Holly, she’s fine,”
“Once again Stella, why am I here?”
Stella let out a sigh.
“Honestly, because I wanted to see you, what Corbin did is on him, when I found out about Diana I wanted to kill him, but that would have been to easy on him,” she walked over to the bar, poured herself a shot of Jack and downed it.
“What did you do Stella?”
“What makes you think I did anything?”
James got up, walked over to her and took her hands in his, he looked into her green eyes.
“Because, Stella, dear I know you,”
She smiled at him and leaned into him, giving him a quick kiss on the lips.
“Wanna have some fun?” she asked with a mischievous smile. James kissed her gently on the lips.
“Maybe,” he answered.

~ ~ ~ ~

Diana Miller had a school girl crush on Dr. Corbin Newcomb, she spent her time daydreaming about being with him. Having his arms wrap around her as he kissed her pasionatly.
“Nurse Miller? Diana! You still with us?”
“What?” Diana answered being pulled out of her daydream by Nurse Keller.
“Are you working today? Mrs. Scott needs assistance in room 34,”
“Yes, Ma’am,” Diana said coming to and heading down the hall.

A critical patient came in and Dr. Newcomb was called down to assist.
“What do we have?” Dr. Newcomb asked grabbing a pair of gloves and brushing past Diana.
“Car accident, driver side struck by an oncoming SUV. He was alert and talking at the scene then he collapsed, cardiac arrest. He was revived in transit,” The EMT said.
It was fast and chaotic, Diana watched in awe as Corbin work quickly making his assessment and getting the patient stable enough for a transfer to the cardiac wing.

Afterwards Diana was sitting in the cafeteria picking at her cobb salad, when a familiar voice addressed her.
“Do you mind if I join you?” Dr. Corbin Newcomb asked holding a lunch tray.
Diana cleared her throat, “Sure, I mean please do,”
Corbin took a seat, sitting his tray down.
“That was quite the rush earlier,” he said.
“Yes, you were amazing,” Diana said her cheeks turning a deep shade of red.
He smiled at her as he took a bite of his tuna sandwich.

“You’re cute when you blush,” he said.
All Diana could do was smile.

~ ~ ~ ~

The sun flooded the room, James turned over and looked at the nightstand.
“Fuck,” he said realizing where he had woken up. He heard the shower turn on, he got up and started finding his clothes.
Boxers, pants, shoes, no socks, no shirt, or jacket.
“Dammit Stella,” he mumbled to himself.
He made his way downstairs finding his socks in the hall on the way down. His shirt and jacket were in the sitting room tosses on the floor. He finished getting dressed making sure he had everything that he had come in with.
“What no goodbye?” Stella asked from behind him.
He turned and faced her, gave her a kiss on the cheek.
“Bye, Stella,”

James sat in his car, regaining his composure.
“Some bad habits are just hard to break,” he said as he started the car.

~ ~ ~ ~

Corbin sat in a holding cell in the 45th police precinct, staring down at his hands. He kept replaying the days events over and over in his mind. He loved Diana, why would he hurt let alone kill her in such a way. He was a doctor, a surgeon dedicated to saving lives not taking them. He tried to remember what she had said. They were walking through the gardens and into the greenhouse, the warm floral scents filled is mind. What had she said. He ran his hands through his hair trying to recall her words, her last words.
“Mr. Newcomb?” the officer asked.
“Doctor Newcomb, yes,”
“Your free to go, your lawyer posted your bail,” the officer explained as he unlocked and opened the door.

Corbin gathered his things from the front desk.
“Dr. Newcomb,” a voice asked from behind him.
“Yes,” he answered turning towards the voice.
“Hello, I am Mr. Jacobson from the firm, I am here to take you home,”

Corbin exited Mr. Jacobson’s car thanking him for the lift and walked up the walkway to his house. As he reached for the door knob, the door opened.
“Welcome home Corbin,” Stella said coldly.
He entered the house and headed towards the bar, he poured himself a shot of Jameson.

He took a seat in his easy chair, and sipped his drink.
“You know she had to go?” Stella asked.
Corbin finished off his drink and held up the glass, Stella took it and poured him another one.
She handed it back to him.
“We could have worked it out,” he said.

Stella shook her head and kneeled before him, he put down his drink and she took his hands in hers. She ran her thumbs over the palms of his hands, as she looked into his eyes.
“Sweety, Corbin, she would have ruined us,”
He looked down at her.
“But she wouldn’t have, she just wanted to be included,”
“Corbin, it wasn’t going to happen, you are mine, she was just a distraction that got out of hand,”
She continued to rub his hands as she spoke calmly.
“Now have your drink,” she handed him the glass of Jameson.

~ ~ ~ ~

It was early, pre-dawn when Detective Andrews arrived at the Newcomb residence. Stella had made the call at 3:45 am when she had discovered that her husband Corbin had taken his own life during the night.
“Morning James,” Detective Knowles said as James entered the house.
“Morning,” James grunted.

“He’s in the sitting room, looks like he took a handful of sleeping pills, chased it with some Jameson and went quietly,” Benjamin said.

“Where’s Stella?”
“In the kitchen,”
James took a seat across from Stella at the kitchen table.
“Cigarette?” he offered.
“Yeah,” she took one from his pack and he held out the lighter, she inhaled lighting the cigarette.
James lit his own and took a deep drag.
“So it’s all tied up nicely isn’t it,”
Stella gave him a smile and took another drag.
“Unless you can prove otherwise, yes, it is,”
“Don’t tempt me, so what did Ms. Diana Miller have on you?”
Stella put the cigarette out in her empty cup of coffee.
“Stupid slut had gotten pregnant and wanted Corbin to claim responsibility, and that wasn’t going to happen,”

James sat back, taking another drag.
“Oh, Stella,”

Vengeance

August

The chalkboard read ‘Welcome New and Returning Teachers to Hamilton Elementary’ as he entered the teachers lounge, to attend the teachers mixer. This would be Ned Sneeds fifth year at Hamilton Elementary as the schools gym teacher.

Mr. Holt the principal of Hamilton Elementary was always preaching ‘Community Involvement’ organizing group events and retreats. You know the ones where you sit in a circle on metal folding chairs, and introduce yourself with a ‘Special Name’ like Spectacular Stacy the visual art’s teacher. Ned always had a hard time coming up with anything better than “I am Nice Ned, your physical education teacher,”

Ned made his way over to the beverage station picked up a plastic cup, and poured himself a lemon-lime soda. As he was sipping on his drink, he saw her, she was wearing a simple white summer dress that flattered her hourglass figure, patterned with little blue forget-me-nots, her brunette hair brushing the top of her shoulders. Ned watched as she was introduced around by Mr. Holt.
“This is Miss Leslie English, she comes to us from Madison Elementary, Leslie will be taking over Mr. Jacobs’ 4th grade class this year,”
Ned spent the rest of the evening watching Leslie, his mind drifting off, daydreaming, wondering about what color panties she had on under that dress.

September

As the new school year started Miss Leslie English was full of excitement, a new school with new students, parents and peers. It was her favorite time of the year, a fresh start full of possibilities. She had enjoyed her eight years at Madison Elementary, but was ready for a change. She had gotten to that point where your looking out the window at the same view year after year and you feel that you need a new window to look through. So when Mr. Holt called her and offered her Mr. Jacobs’ 4th grade class at Hamilton she jumped on it.

Leslie enjoyed her job, her students and her friends, she dated occasionally but hadn’t made it a priority. Although embracing change this year she had signed up for a singles meetup, figuring she would try it out. If only to meet some new people.

October

With the school year in full swing, and everything going well in Leslie’s eyes she decided to attend her first singles meetup event. She entered the downtown community center at 7pm dressed in a conservative navy blue dress, with her hair pulled up into a french twist.
“Name?” the lady at the front table asked her.
“Leslie English,” she answered. The lady checked her off the list and handed her a name tag.
“Welcome and have a good time,”

She entered the main room it was dimly lit, there were a few tables scattered around the edge of the room, Whitney Houston’s One Moment in Time played softly over the PA system. Reminding Leslie of a middle school dance, she made her way over to the refreshment bar.
“What can I get you?” the good looking guy attending the bar asked.
“An Old Fashioned, please,”
“A classic drink for a classy lady,” a male voice said from behind her.
Leslie turned and smiled at the tall well dressed man.
“Hello, Leslie,” he said reading off her name tag.
“I am Rob,” he extended his hand towards her.
“Nice to meet you Rob, what’s your poison?”
“I’ll have a Whisky Sour,” he told the bartender.

They took their drinks to one of the tables and sat down.
“So Leslie what is your chosen profession?”
“I am an elementary teacher, what about you?” she asked.
“I’m in finance, I help people secure home loans,”
Linda Ronstadt’s Don’t Know Much started playing.
“Would you like to dance?” Rob asked.
“Why not,”
They headed out onto the floor where a few other couples were dancing.
“I haven’t done this in a while,” she said.
Rob put his arm around her waist and held her to him.
“It’s just like falling off of a bike,” he said as they moved back and forth to Linda’s duet with Aaron Neville. It was nice, Leslie let herself enjoy the moment.

Rob and Leslie spent the rest of the evening talking and getting to know one another. They even made future plans to go out to dinner one night soon.

November

“How’s it going?” Ned asked Leslie one morning in the teacher’s lounge. Which caught her off guard a bit, she hadn’t really spoken to Ned except in passing. She found him to be a nice, polite older guy that seemed to keep to himself.
“Oh, fine, the kids are already getting anxious for winter break, but you know how it goes,”
“Yes, I do,”
Leslie finished fixing her coffee and got ready to head to her room.
“Have a good day Ned,” she said heading out the door.
Ned looked around the empty teachers lounge, before taking a small flask from his pocket. He unscrewed the top and poured it down his throat. He coughed, screwed the cap back on and returned it to his pocket. Have a good day he mimicked to himself as he headed towards the gymnasium.

The air was crisp but not cold, so Leslie and Rob decided to walk the few blocks home from their dinner date. They had enjoyed a lovely meal of authentic lasagna, fresh garlic bread and red wine from the Little House of Italy Restaurant. They walked arm in arm down the empty streets enjoying each others company. When they reached the door of Leslie’s apartment building, Rob leaned in and kissed her gently on the lips. Leslie smiled and kissed him back.
“Good night,” she said.
“Good night,” Rob answered. He waited while she let herself into her building and headed up the stairs to her apartment.

When he felt that she had made it inside safely Rob turned to walk back towards the restaurant where he had left his car. As he left Slater Dr. and started down Birch St. he found himself on his knees with the back of his head throbbing. He felt someone run past him as he came to the realization of what had occurred.

December/January

Leslie spent the winter break with her family, it was good to catch up and visit with everyone. It was also nice to be coming home. She had arranged to have her neighbor Laura pick her up from the airport.
“Thanks again for the ride home,” Leslie said as they walked up the stairs of the apartment building.
“It was my pleasure, I am glad you got to go home for Christmas,” Laura said.
Leslie unlocked and opened her apartment door, she stepped inside putting her suitcase down and switching on the overhead light. She let out an exhausted sigh and said good night to Laura. She closed the door, flipping the deadbolt. She took off her coat and shoes, dragging her suitcase to the bedroom.

~ ~ ~ ~

Detective James Andrews walked up to the taped off area of the public dump.
“What do we have?” he asked the responding officer.
“Female between 35 and 40 years of age, approximately 5’7” 140 lbs. Found this morning by a Mr. Jacobs when he came to drop off some trash,”

Detective Andrews looked over the body, she was fully dressed, placed face down on the old discarded mattress.
“Turn her over,”
Laying under her was a dark blue pocket book. Detective Andrews thumbed through it to find an ID.
“Miss Leslie English, 37, brown hair, green eyes, 5’6” 135 lbs. Of 2450 Slater Dr. apartment D 21, how did you get out here?”

“Carefully bag her hands and I will go check out her apartment,” Detective Andrews said as he headed back to his car.

Unfortunately there weren’t any key’s found at the scene, leaving James to inform the leasing office of the apartments that one of their tenants had been found deceased, and getting a key to her apartment. He made his way up the stairs to apartment D 21 slid the key into the lock and opened the door.

“Excuse me,” a female voice said from behind him. James turned to face a pretty blonde young lady.
“Yes?” he answered.
“Why are you going into Leslie’s apartment, mister?”
“Detective Andrews, miss?”
“Price, Laura Price, is Leslie in trouble?”
“Are you close with Miss English?”
“Not really close, just neighborly,” Laura answered.
“I am afraid Miss English was found deceased this morning,”
“Oh, no that’s terrible, she was a nice lady,”
“If you think of anything, feel free to give me a call,” James said handing her his business card.

James entered Leslie’s one bedroom apartment, he took his time looking through her things. He glanced through the kitchen, nothing unusual. He moved through her living room and desk area, nothing stuck out as out of place or strange. It was all very typical. He went through the bathroom and hall closet, once again nothing noticeable. He entered the bedroom, there was a suitcase sitting next to the dresser, the bed was made, but looked as if someone had sat or laid on it. James kneeled down next to the foot of the bed and looked underneath.
“Ahh…” he said reaching his gloved hand under the bed to retrieve the item he found. He pulled out a small dark plastic bottle, wrapped it into the glove and slid it into his jacket pocket.

~ ~ ~ ~

“Forensic and autopsy reports on Miss Leslie English,” Officer Johnson said as he handed James the file.
“Thanks,” James said.
James flipped through the report. No sexual assault, trace amounts of Chloroform found on Leslie’s mouth and nose. Cause of death asphyxiation.
Chloroform bottle found at apartment partial thumb print match to NED SNEEDS.

James closed the file and grabbed his jacket. As he pulled up to the house at 390 Queen St. there was a patrol car and ambulance on scene.
“So what do we have?” Detective Andrews asks climbing the narrow staircase into the attic.
“Ned Sneeds, 52, dead of apparent drug overdose,” the responding officer said.
He looked over the body, picking up the empty bottle.
“Triazolam, he wasn’t messing around, did you find anything else?” James asked.
“There is a note, it was bagged and taken downstairs,”
James headed down the stairs. “Who called it in?”
“He did, he started confessing to the 911 operator, before the pills took him,”

James flipped the bagged note over.

To anyone that gives a damn,
I didn’t mean to hurt her, I just wanted her to pay attention to me. She never saw me, and I wanted her to SEE ME! I wouldn’t have hurt her, but she just wouldn’t listen to me. I went to her apartment to talk to her, I didn’t want to hurt her, but she didn’t SEE ME! She just walked right by me, and went into her bedroom. I just wanted to talk to her, but she didn’t SEE ME! I only brought the chloroform to calm her down. I didn’t mean to hurt her. But after I covered her mouth with the rag, she stopped breathing. She was just laying there on the bed not breathing. So I took her to the dump. -Ned

James spent the afternoon examining Ned Sneeds home, he wasn’t much of a housekeeper, but nothing that stood out as unusual. On the nightstand next to Ned’s bed was a scrapbook, James thumbed through the pages. Pictures of Ned and pictures of other women, most of them taken from a distance. Some rambling poetry describing the women in the pictures and what Ned would like to be doing with them.

Towards the middle of the book there were many pictures of Leslie, at work, walking through town, going into her apartment building. Then there was a picture of Ned naked on Leslie’s bed in her apartment. James closed the scrapbook.

Following Fireweed

“This had better be important, do you know what time it is?” Detective James Andrews answered the phone.
“James, I need your help,” a female voice answered.
“Stella?”
“Please James, can you come?” Stella asked, her voice starting to quiver.
“What have you done Stella?”
“Please just come, I will explain everything,”
“I’ll be there soon,”
“Thank you, James,”

James hung up the phone laid back on the bed and looked at the alarm clock, the red display read 1:47am.
“Fuck,” he moaned as he got out of bed and stumbled to the shower.

“Hey, Tami?” James shook her shoulder, trying to wake her.
“It’s Tina,” she answered sleepy.
“I am sorry, Tina, I need to get going, so if you wouldn’t mind,” he gave her a smile.
She got up grabbed her clothes off the floor and headed towards the bathroom. James finished getting dressed and went to the kitchen to make coffee.

“Coffee?”
“No I am good thanks,” Tina said as she headed out the door.

I guess that’s a no on the second date then.
James poured the coffee into his travel mug, found his keys, grabbed his jacket and headed out the door.
~ ~ ~ ~
It was barely 5am when James pulled up outside of Stella’s extravagant two story colonial house. It had snowed the night before leaving the house looking like the front of a holiday card. James tapped the snow off of his shoes as he walked up the steps. He rang the doorbell.

“About time,” Stella said as she let James in.
“I don’t exactly live next door, Stella,”
“I know James, thank you for coming,”
“Drink?” she asked.
“It’s 5am, how about some coffee?”
James took his coat off and headed into the kitchen with Stella.
“Sit down, I’ll start a pot,”
Stella sat at the kitchen table and lit a cigarette. James started the coffee, and helped himself to one of her cigarettes.

“So how bad is it?” James asked taking a drag.
“Honestly, it’s bad, if I had any other options I wouldn’t have involved you,”
James poured two cups of coffee, dropped two scoops of sugar and a splash of cream in each and took them to the table.

“Ok, from the beginning Stella,” he said as he put out the cigarette and took a sip of coffee.

“Last night was our office holiday party. Mr. Bridges, Tom my boss, was hitting it pretty hard. We were all having a good time, I even did a few lines with Violet in the restroom,”

“I’m just going to let that slide, for the moment,” James said.

Stella took a sip of her coffee.
“Anyways, Violet and I were in the ladies room, enjoying ourselves, when Tom came in. He went into the first stall, did his thing and then he joined us. I offered him a line, we made out for a while. Then I walked him back to his office and put him on his couch and left,”

She lit another cigarette sitting back and taking a long deep drag. James got up and poured another round of coffee.

“Around 11:45 pm there was banging on my front door, it was Tom. He was going on and on about wanting me and needing to be with me. Charline his wife, had left him recently and he wouldn’t let up. I tried to talk him down, but he was so persistent. He was becoming more aggressive, I panicked and kneed him in the groin. You know the coffee table in the sitting room?”

“The solid oak one,” James answered staring into her eyes.

“That’s the one. He stumbled backwards and fell, catching the back of his head on the corner. I am pretty sure his neck is broken,”

“Jesus Christ Stella, way to bury the lead,”
James got up and walked into the sitting room, he turned on a lamp and looked over the scene. Stella followed.

“What do you think?” she asked.
“God Dammit Stella, I think you’ve waited to long to call it in. Kinda only leaves us with one option,”

James headed back towards the kitchen, Stella grabbed him by the arm, pulling him to her.
“James I didn’t mean for this to happen,” she put her head against his chest, he wrapped his arms around her, giving her a hug.
“I know, we’ll figure something out,”

~ ~ ~ ~
James and Stella managed to move Tom’s body out to his car. They put him in the passenger seat while James drove the SUV out to the boat landing. He parked the SUV down on the launch pad, moved Tom over to the driver’s seat and clicked the seat belt. He dropped it into neutral, closed the door, leaving all four windows slightly open, and pushed it down the landing and into the river. He watched as it flowed down river and then sank.

James walked back up the boat launch and got into Stella’s car. They drove back in silence. When they returned to the house they went upstairs to the master bathroom.

James stood in front of Stella, as she pulled off his shirt. She unbuttoned, unzipped and slid his jeans off of him. He lifted her shirt off over her head, and pulled her pants down to her ankles, letting her step out of them. James started the water, dropped his boxers and stepped into the shower. Stella took off her bra and panties, joining him.

They stood there for a moment letting the warm water wash away what they had done. Stella grabbed a cloth, squeezed some soap onto it and ran it across his shoulders and down his back. James dropped his head and let out a sigh.

Stella moved the cloth along the back of his arms and around his waist. James turned to face her, she continued to run the cloth over his chest and down his stomach. James took the cloth from her hand and ran it along her collarbone down her arms and across her chest.

He dropped the cloth and pulled her into him, kissing her deeply.
Secrets

“I’ll take that,” Detective Benjamin Knowles said, gently removing the freshly discharged revolver from Maria’s hands. She had an utter look of confusion on her face as her eyes rolled back in her head and her knees buckled.
“Catch her!” Benjamin said to Officer Roberts. He caught her and laid her on the sofa.
“Well this is quite the mess,” Benjamin said looking over the crime scene that they had walked in on.
~ ~ ~ ~
Maria Olson had worked for Mr. and Mrs. Miller for almost ten years. She kept their single level ranch style home in order, cooking and cleaning. The house was nicely situated at the end of a cul de sac in the Highlines suburb. Mr. Jonathan Miller worked in real estate, specializing in commercial properties found around the city.
He had fallen in love with the ranch style home with large backyard and quiet neighbors, it was his little piece of the American dream. A home that he saw as an investment in his family’s future. He had meet Christine shortly after receiving his real estate licence, there had been a singles mixer put on by some friends of his, and he was introduced to Christine.
She was confident, beautiful and took his attention immediately. After a short courtship and engagement they were married and ready to start their future together. Christine spent her days in the city with her longtime friend Candice. They ran C&C’s Antiques and Collectibles in the art district downtown. Christine and Candice were roommate in college, becoming fast friends and then business partners, shortly after graduation. Christine had a head for business, and Candice had an eye for design making them a balanced pair.

Dinner Party

Christine answered the door.
“Welcome, come in,” she greeted her dinner guests. Candice and her husband Gary had a standing invitation to the Miller’s weekly dinner party.
“Are the Keller’s not coming this week?” Candice asked as she hung up her coat.
“No, Stacy has a migraine, or at least that’s her excuse this week,” Christine grinned taking Candice’s arm and leading her into the living room. Gary followed, making a beeline for the bar.
“Hey, Gary what can I get you?” Jonathan asked.
“Scotch, please,”
“So how’s the used car business treating you these days?” Jonathan asked sitting the glass down in front of him.
Gary downed the Scotch, and nodded for another one.
“That good, then,” Jonathan said pouring him another.
“It’s been a slow quarter,” Gary said.
This week’s dinner was a traditional pot roast with carrots and potatoes Along with a tossed green salad and french bread, paired with a Cabernet Sauvignon.
“Your table is gorgeous, and it smells amazing, as usual,” Candice said as she took her seat.
“Thank you, Maria has outdone herself this time,”
About half way through their meal, Candice leaned over towards Gary who was pouring his third glass of wine.
“Don’t you think you’ve had enough?” she said under her breath.
“No I don’t,” he said at full volume, making her sit back abruptly.
Idle chit chat was made about the real estate and used car businesses along with some gossiping about their mutual friends.
“Join me out on the patio?” Jonathan asked Gary as he got up from the table.
“Sure,”
They headed out onto the back patio, Jonathan took out a pack of cigarettes and handed one to Gary, he flipped open his silver Zippo, lighting Gary then himself. Gary took a long drag, exhaling slowly.
“What a fucking week,”
Jonathan nodded in agreement. They stood in silence for a few, enjoying the cool night air, then Jonathan asked a question.
“Do you know Bryce Davis?”
“I don’t think so,”
“He has a…let’s call her a friend, that specializes in stress relief, she’ll cost you a little but she’s worth it,”
“Stress relief sounds like a good idea,” Gary said finishing off his cigarette.
As Christine and Candice were saying their goodbyes Jonathan slipped a piece of paper into Gary’s hand.
“Stress relief?” he asked giving him a smile. Jonathan gave him a nod and smiled back.
~ ~ ~ ~

Stress Relief

At 2:15pm there was a knock on Holly’s door.
“Are you Holly?” Gary asked.
“Yes, I am, who are you?”
“I am Gary, I talked to you last night,”
“Come in,” Holly said letting Gary in and closing the door behind him.
“Who gave you my name?” she asked as she laid two white towels across a massage table.
“Um…Jonathan Miller,” he answered clearing his throat.
“Well this is the table,” she said patting the massage table.
“Undress and get comfortable, I will be right with you,” she instructed as she walked into the other room.
“Ok,” Gary said as he took off his tie and unbuttoned his shirt.
“Are you allergic to Peppermint?” Holly asked from the other room.
“Um…I don’t think so,”
Holly came back into the room, with a bottle of peppermint oil. Gary was laying on his back with one of the towels draped over his hips.
“Comfortable?”
“Yeah,”
She stood at the top of the table, leaning over looking into his eyes, she rubbed his temples. Moving her fingers in small circles, then moving her hands down the sides of his face, and around his chin. She splashed a little bit of peppermint oil on her hands and rubbed his shoulders, working her thumbs into the tense muscles.
“Breath Gary,”
Gary took a deep breath.
“Again, deep breath, and slowly exhale,”
Holly’s voice was soft and soothing, Gary took another deep breath closing his eyes. She moved down his arm working her fingers into his muscles, when she got to his hand she rubbed her thumb into the palm of his hand, and spoke.
“You are relaxed, each breath is getting lighter, each time you exhale you feel lighter,”
Gary took another deep breath and exhaled slowly, a shudder ran through his body.
“Good, now taste the peppermint,” she leaned over and lightly kissed his lips. He licked them, tasting the peppermint oil.
Holly moved to the bottom of the table and rubbed his foot, working her thumbs into the arch of his foot. She rubbed his feet, and legs working her way up to his chest.
“How are you feeling Gary?”
“Relaxed,”
“What do you want?”
“To taste more peppermint,”
“Sit up,” she said. Gary sat up hanging his legs over the side of the massage table.
Holly took a peppermint candy, put it into her mouth and sucked on it. She stood in front of him, ran her fingers through his hair, put her hand on the back of his neck and kissed him. Opening her mouth and letting his tongue find the peppermint. She pushed the candy into his mouth.
“Mmm,”
“Good?”
“Yes, very good, thank you,”
~ ~ ~ ~

Laundry

Candice picked up the pair of dark slacks that were thrown over the chair in the bedroom. Like she does every Thursday afternoon. She slid her hand into the pocket expecting the usual receipt or business card. This time it was a small folded piece of paper, with a name and number on it, she looked at the paper mouthing the name.
Holly.
“Who the hell is Holly,” she said to the empty room.
~ ~ ~ ~
It was Friday afternoon and Candice still couldn’t shake the paper with Holly’s name on it.
“Do we know a Holly?” she asked Christine.
“What?” Christine said, being pulled out of the antiques magazine she had been reading.
“Do we know a Holly?”
“I don’t think so, why?”
“No reason, it’s just that I found this in Gary’s pocket,” she said holding up the slip of paper. Christine got up from her desk, walking over to the counter where Candice was standing. She looked at the paper.
“Well that’s definitely Jonathan’s handwriting, maybe she’s in the market for a used car,”
“Maybe,” Candice said, putting the paper into her handbag.
~ ~ ~ ~
Detective Andrews lit a cigarette as he approached the building that was being decorated with crime scene tape.
“James! James, I didn’t do this,” Holly said as soon as she caught sight of him. James quickly walked over to her, grabbing her upper arm and looking into her deep green eyes.
“Don’t say anything, nothing, do you understand?”
“Yes,”
“Good, call Stella when you get downtown, don’t talk to anyone,”
She nodded as the officer escorted her out of the building.
“What do we have?”
“Gary Webb, 38 years old, 5’8” 245 lbs, according to his ID found in his clothes on the floor. Deceased, found on the massage table, by the resident Holly Henderson,”
James made his way over to the table, lifting the corner of the sheet and looking over the naked body.
“Make sure we get a tox screen, and get a photo of his mouth,”
~ ~ ~ ~

Two months earlier

Candice unlocked the door to apartment 21 on the second floor of the Laurence Street Apartments.
“You’re late,”
“Well coming up with believable excuses for your wife is getting difficult,” she said setting down her keys and purse on the bar.
“So what’s the excuses for today?” Jonathan asked walking towards her and putting his arms around her waist.
“Doctors appointment, I even had to fake a phone conversation with a nurse,” Candice answered kissing him.
“Well then we should play doctor then,” he said picking her up and carrying her into the bedroom.
He laid her on the bed, pulled her ankle boots off, slid his hands up her legs and unbuttoned her jeans.
“So where is the pain Miss?” he asked playfully.
“Right here,” she answered pulling him onto her and kissing him deeply.
~ ~ ~ ~
“You know what would make this easier?” Candice asked while she pulled her ankle boots back on and tucked in her blouse.
“What?” Jonathan asked.
“If we could just get rid of Gary and Christine,”
Jonathan stopped tucking in his shirt and looked at her.
“Do you have something in mind or are you just venting?”
“I have a plan,” she said giving him a devilish smile.
~ ~ ~ ~

Caffeine and Nicotine

James let himself in to Stella’s, taking his jacket off and joining Stella and Holly in the kitchen.
“How are we all doing?” he asked grabbing a cup of coffee.
“About as good as can be expected,” Stella answered.
“Holly, do you feel up to telling me what happened?” James asked taking a seat across from them.
“Yeah, are you going to take notes?”
“Sure, just a sec,”
James went back into the sitting room, grabbing his notepad and ballpoint pen out of his jacket pocket.
“Ok, go ahead,” he said sitting back down.
“I went to grab some food from Dentz’s Deli on 5th, I was gone for maybe twenty minutes,” Holly cleared her throat and took a sip of her coffee.
“What did you order?” James asked.
“Is that really important?”
“Not really, just curious,” James smiled at her.
“Pastrami on rye, with extra mustard, a garlic dill pickle, with a bag of chips on the side and a tall iced tea with a wedge of lemon, satisfied,”
“Yeah, go on, please,”
“I came back with my food, unlocked the door and there he was, just laying on the table naked, so I went over to him, he was dead,” Holly reached for Stella’s pack of cigarettes taking one out and lighting it with her shaking hand.
“Did you recognize him?”
“Yeah, he had come in a few weeks ago as a new client, Gary, but I hadn’t seen him since his first visit, and he was very much alive when he left,”
“Since you don’t exactly advertise, how did he get your name?”
“He said he got it from Jonathan Miller, he has a standing appointment twice a month, he can get a little freaky but I don’t think he’s dangerous,” Holly took another drag and smashed the cigarette out in the ashtray.
Stella got up and poured another round of coffee, James pulled a cigarette from the pack on the table, lit it, took a long drag and sat back in his chair.
“Ok, now seriously, how are you doing?” he asked taking her hand and giving it a gentle squeeze.
Holly smiled at him. “I’ll be fine, the bigger question is what do you and Stella have going on?”
“What makes you think something is going on?”
“Well considering you didn’t even knock, I assume your what, staying here?”
James looked at Stella who was trying not to laugh.
“Yes, for the moment I guess I am, staying here,” he answered.
“Good,” Holly said getting up and kissing James on the cheek.
“You know your good for her,” she whispered into his ear as she left the kitchen.
~ ~ ~ ~
James blinked trying to focus on the red numbers glowing on the alarm clock.
5:45 am
He mumbled to himself, he went to sit up realizing that there was an arm draped over his side. Picking up the arm gently he moved it off of him, expecting to see Stella next to him, he was surprised when he came face to face with a sleeping Holly. James got up quietly, crept to the other side of the bed and kissed Stella on the cheek. He looked at the two sisters sleeping soundly and headed into the bathroom to shower.
~ ~ ~ ~
“Background and autopsy on Gary Webb,” Officer Williams said handing the file to James.
“Thanks,”
James thumbed through the report.
Gary Webb
No arrests, no warrants
Works for Affordable Motors
Married to Candice Webb – co-owner of C&C Antiques and Collectibles
Cause of death:
Arsenic Poisoning
“Interesting and little old school,” he said to himself.
He checked to see who the other C is in C&C Antiques, Christine Miller.
“I wonder if she is related to Mr. Jonathan Miller,”
He pulled up Jonathan Miller’s info.
“Oh look at that she is, what a small, small world it is,”
~ ~ ~ ~

The Housekeeper

“Here you go Miss Olson,” Detective Benjamin Knowles said as he handed her a bottle of water.
“Are you feeling better now?”
“Si..yes sir,” Maria answered.
“So why did you shoot Mrs. Christine Miller?”
Maria opened the bottle of water and took a long drink.
“I hear Mrs. Christine and Mrs. Candice talking about hurting Mr. Jonathan, I like Mr. Jonathan he has been very good to me since I came here,”
“Did you tell Mr. Miller what you overheard?” Detective Knowles asked.
“I tried, to tell Mr. Jonathan but Mrs. Christine kept interrupting me, I was worried about Mr. Jonathan, so I took the gun from the office closet and I shoot Mrs. Christine, is Mr. Jonathan ok?”
“Yes, Mr. Miller is fine, Christine on the other hand is quiet dead,”
~ ~ ~ ~

Laurence Street Apartments

Candice’s hands shook she fumbled the keys, dropping them in front of apartment 21’s door. As she bent down to pick them up the door opened.
“Aww Mrs. Candice Webb I presume, won’t you join us,” Detective James Andrews held the door open for her.
“What, who are you and what are you doing here?” Candice asked surprised and caught off guard. Jonathan was sitting on the couch and Detective Benjamin Knowles started talking as Candice entered the apartment.
“Well your boyfriend here has told us an interesting story, about how it was all your idea to get rid of Gary and Christine,”
“What, no that’s not true, Jonathan, tell them it was that woman, that Holly,” Candice pleaded.
“Too late, he’s already signed a statement that puts you as the mastermind of the whole thing, how you poisoned Gary with arsenic, and then staged the scene at Holly’s, the only thing you didn’t count on was Maria shooting Christine, or was that part of the set up as well?” Detective Andrews asked as he cuffed Candice.
“Candice Webb you are under arrest for the murder of Gary Webb…” Officer Roberts continued as he escorted her down the hallway.
“So can I buy you a drink?” Benjamin asked James.
“Fuck yes,” James answered.
“I know this place, I think you’ll like it, it’s called ‘The Royal Flesh’,” Benjamin said as they left the Laurence Street Apartments.

Ginger and Spice

The light drizzle was now a full blown downpour as Detective Benjamin Knowles pulled into the parking lot of The Royal Flesh. Detective James Andrews pulled up beside him. They made their way into the strip club.
“Hey Bruce how’s it going?” Benjamin asked the ex-body builder that was watching the door.
“It’s all good Detective,” Bruce answered holding the door open for them.
“No cover tonight?”
“Let’s call it Detective’s night,” Bruce smiled as they passed into the warm air of the club.
“Come here often?” James asked as they took a seat facing the main stage.
“Once in a while, helps to wash away the day,” Benjamin raised two fingers in the air, and the bartender nodded.
“Once in a while,” James scoffed as he lit a cigarette.
“Hey Ben, how’s it going?” the waitress asked as she set down two glasses of Jim Beam.
“Oh you know it’s going, your looking good Tammy,”
“Thanks hun, let me know if you need anything else,”
“Who’s on tonight?” Benjamin asked as he took a sip of his bourbon.
“Your in for a treat, we have a new act going on tonight, they call themselves Ginger and Spice,”
“How festive,” James chimed in picking up his glass and drinking it down.
James gave the club the once over as he sipped on his second Jim Beam. A guy sitting at a table, chatting up a long legged blonde, next to the stage caught his attention.
“Fuck, I’ll be right back,” James said getting up and heading towards the guy.
“Hey Bryce, we need to talk,”
Bryce looked up from his chat with the blonde.
“Get lost blondy,” James said as he took a seat next to Bryce.
The tall blonde gave James the once over, shook her head and headed over towards the bar.
“What’s up Detective?” Bryce said lighting a cigarette.
“You need to lose our mutual friends number,”
“How is Holly these days?” Bryce said grinning.
James grabbed Bryce by the forearm, and looked him in the eye.
“Lose her number, she needs a break, your last client referral almost got her time,”
“Ok, fine,” Bryce said pulling his arm away from James.
As James returned to Benjamin’s table, the announcer came on.
“Let’s give a warm welcome to our newest duo Ginger and Spice,”
Two women walked out on stage, their stilettos clicking on the stage. Ginger had fiery red hair, she was wearing a burgundy button down cardigan and thigh high white stockings. Spice had long dark hair and was wearing a dark green button down cardigan and black thigh high stockings. The two of them strutted around the stage, taking turns spinning around the center poll. Then they stood side by side and slowly unbuttoned their cardigan’s. Swinging their hips seductively as they discard the cardigans. Ginger wearing a white lace bra and g-string, Spice wearing a black lace bra and g-string. They turned to face each other, Ginger put her hand on the back of Spice’s neck and pulled her in for a long, deep kiss. As they continued their striptease and time on stage James asked.
“I wonder if they’re sisters?”
Benjamin shot him a look.
“We can find out,” he said putting his hand in the air and motioning to Tammy.
“What can I get you?” Tammy asked as she approached the table.
“Ginger and Spice, please,” Benjamin said.
“Ok, give me a minute,”
Ginger and Spice came over to the table wearing their cardigan’s.
“Hello,” Ginger said.
“My colleague here has a question for you,” Benjamin said getting up and offering his seat.
“Where are you going?” James asked.
“Home, to my wife, have a good night,” Benjamin said leaving.
James smiled.
“So ladies, nice show by the way,”
“Thanks,” Spice said.
“You had a question?” Ginger asked.
“Yes I did,” James said lighting another cigarette and leaning back in his chair.
“Are the two of you sisters?”
Ginger laughed. “No, we’re not,”
“So how much for the night?” James asked.
“Aren’t you a cop?” Spice asked.
“I’m a Detective and I am off duty, so how much for the two of you?”
Ginger gave Spice a look then answered.
“Six,”
“Deal,” James said getting up.
“I’ll meet you two outside,”
~ ~ ~ ~
Jame stood in the parking lot of The Royal Flesh and lit a cigarette.
At least it stopped raining
Ginger and Spice exited the club by the side door waking from the alley to the parking lot.
Ginger had added a red and gold plaid skirt to her burgundy cardigan, Spice was wearing a blue plaid skirt with her green cardigan.
“Ladies,” James said opening the passenger door of his car. Spice sat in back and Ginger sat up front, James pulled out of the parking lot and headed towards his apartment.
~ ~ ~ ~
James unlocked the door to his modest one bedroom apartment, the ladies entered, giving it a quick look around and setting their bags down on the small kitchen table next to the door.
“Quaint,” Ginger said.
“Thanks,” James said heading into the bedroom. He returned holding six crisp one hundred dollar bills.
“Mad money?” Ginger asked taking the money and putting it in her bag.
“Something like that, drink?” James flipped the kitchen light on and grabbed the bottle of Jack Daniels out of the freezer.
“Sure,” Spice said standing in front of the counter. James poured three shots.
“Bottoms up,”
They each downed the shots.
“Smooth,” Ginger said sitting the glass back down on the counter.
James wandered into the living room, and over to the stereo. He pushed the power button and flipped the CD player on.
I’m so addicted to all the things you do
When you’re rollin’ round with me in between the sheets
Oh the sounds you make, with every breath you take…
Started playing, filling the apartment. James made his way over to Ginger he kissed her, she kissed him back and removed her cardigan and skirt. She took his hand and they headed into the bedroom, Spice took another pull from the bottle of Jack and followed them.
~ ~ ~ ~
James was startled awake by the front door falling closed. He sat up finding himself naked, laid out in the middle of his bed, the comforter and sheets pushed to the floor.
“Fuck,”
The room spun, he blinked trying to focus on the blurry red light of the alarm clock. It was flashing 12:00 am.
“Well that’s helpful,” he mumbled getting up to find out what time it was.
He stumbled into the living room, turning on the floor lamp, then rolling the knob back to dim. Letting his eyes adjust. He found his pants crumpled up on the floor and searched the pockets for his phone. Finding his phone he checked the time, 3:45 am.
As he got a bottle of water out of the fridge he noticed a small glass vile laying on the counter. He ran his finger through the fine white powder that was left on the countertop, he rubbed his finger onto the inside of his lower lip.
“Fuck, when did we do coke,”
James downed the bottle of water, took his phone with him back into the bedroom, picked up his comforter and passed back out.
The phone vibrated across the nightstand, James reached out from under the comforter and picked it up, Stella, he pushed ignore and put the phone back down.
~ ~ ~ ~
The phone vibrated again sliding around on the nightstand. James picked it up, Benjamin, he answered it.
“Yeah,”
“You alive, if so we caught a body,” Benjamin said.
“What time is it?” James asked.
“6:30,”
“AM, PM and what day is it?”
“Jesus James, it’s Sunday 6:30 pm, are you sure your ok?”
“Yeah, I am up, send me the address,”
James got up showered, dressed, made coffee, popped some aspirin and headed out.
~ ~ ~ ~
James pulled up to the taped off alley. The raindrops stung against his skin and the chilly wind cut through him leaving him chilled.
“What do we have?” he asked approaching Detective Benjamin Knowles.
“Bethany Johnson, 22, 115, 5’4” found here in the alley,”
James went to look over the body, Officer Roberts pulled back the sheet that was covering her. James quickly turned away, managing a few steps before doubling over, losing the water, coffee and aspirin.
“Fuck,” Benjamin said walking over to him.
“Go home James,”
James made it into his apartment, kicked off his shoes, dropped his jacket and collapsed onto the couch.
~ ~ ~ ~
James awoke to someone rattling around in his kitchen, he moved to sit up.
“Relax it’s just me,” a female voice said.
“Holly, what are you doing here,”
“Bryce called me, said you had left with the floor show,” Holly said handing him a cup of hot tea.
James sat up taking the tea.
“Drink that and try to eat,” Holly sat a plate with a piece of toast with peanut butter on it and a banana down on the coffee table in front of him. James sipped the tea and slowly ate the toast and banana.
“What time is it?”
“It’s 10:30 am, Monday,” she answered taking a seat next to him on the couch.
She handed him a bottle of water and two aspirin.
“Those ladies party hard, rumor is that they lace their coke with Fentanyl,”
“Fuck, I don’t even remember doing any coke,” he said taking the two aspirin and downing the bottle of water.
James laid down, putting his head on Holly’s lap, she ran her fingers through his hair.
“Holly,”
“Yes, James,”
“I am sorry, I let the job, Stella, you, and all of it get to me,”
“It will be ok, we all have mis-steps,”
“Thank you,”
“You’re welcome, sweetie,”
James fell into a deep sleep, as Holly sat with him, running her fingers through his hair and humming quietly.
~ ~ ~ ~
“James, Jaammess,”
James opened his eyes.
“Feeling better?”
“Yeah, a bit,”
“Good, I need you to get up, take a shower and eat dinner,”
“Is that what that smell is?” he asked. Holly gave him a look.
“It smells good, what is it?”
“Beef stew with lots of veggies,”
James got up and made his way to the bathroom. Holly started the shower, helped James undress and then joined him in the shower. James let the hot water run over him, as his headache was letting up and he was starting to feel like himself. Holly lathered up a washcloth, ran it across his shoulders and down his back. He closed his eyes enjoying the feeling. She worked down his body, he turned around to face her and she worked the washcloth back up his body.
“Rinse,” she said.
James rinsed off the soap and faced her.
“Holly,”
“James,”
“Can I hold you for a minute?”
She smiled at him and moved into him, he wrapped his arms around her naked body. He let out a sigh and she gave him a squeeze.
~ ~ ~ ~
James stepped out of the shower, Holly handed him a towel.
“There are some clothes on the bed for you,” she said leaving the bathroom.
“Ok, thanks,”
As he got dressed he looked around and realized that she had cleaned up his apartment while he was incapacitated.
Damn Holly
James took a seat at the table, she set a bowl of stew, along with some rolls down in front of him, along with another bottle of water. She dished up a bowl for herself and joined him.
“Thank you for everything,” he said reaching across the table and giving her hand a squeeze. She gave him a smile.
“You’re welcome, now eat, back to work tomorrow,”
~ ~ ~ ~
“Holly,” he said turning over to face her, as they laid on the bed.
“James,”
He ran his hand over her belly.
“Are you pregnant?”
Holly moved her hand over his.
“Yes,”
“Does Stella know?”
“Yes she does,”
“Are you…happy?”
“That is not the question you wanted to ask, but yes I am,”
James gave her a sideways look.
“You want to know who,”
“Well yeah,”
“Don’t you remember coming to my place during the summer solstices?” she asked.
“What?”
“Oh my God, the look on your face,” Holly laughed giving him a kiss on the cheek.
“Relax it’s not yours,”
He laughed with her and gave her a hug.
“You know it wouldn’t matter if it was,” he whispered to her as he held her.
She kissed him on the cheek and whispered back.
“I know,”

Autumn Equinox

“Bless me father for I have sinned, it’s been three days since my last confession,” Sister Teresa said kneeling in the confessional at St. Anthony’s.
“Confess your sin my child and cleanse your soul,”
“I was weak father, the sins of the flesh over took my chastity,”
Sister Teresa pulled a handkerchief from the pocket of her skirt, she turned it over in her hands. Looking at the proof of her indiscretion. The white, lace embroidered handkerchief that had been given to her by her grandmother the day she took her vows was spotted with the blood of her sin.
~ ~ ~ ~
The clock clicked over to 7:00 am and started playing,
Do you remember the 21st night of September?
Love was changing the minds of pretenders
While chasing the clouds away
Our hearts were ringing
In the key that our souls were singing
As we danced in the night
Remember how the stars stole the night away
James reached out from under the comforter, giving the snooze button a smack.
“Ugh,” he moaned as he turned over to face the day.
~ ~ ~ ~
Detective James Andrews entered the downtown precinct with his coffee in hand.
“Morning Sir,” Officer Roberts said as James signed in for the day.
“Yes it is, what is that?” James asked pointing at Officer Roberts drink.
“This is a pumpkin spice latte, to mark the first day of autumn,” he said holding up the cup and smiling.
“You are aware that pumpkin spice anything doesn’t actually have pumpkin in it,”
“Yes Sir,” Officer Roberts said buzzing James in.
James sat his desk sipping on his coffee and flipping through an old case file.
Marco Bishop 47 years old, 6’5” 250 lbs
Cause of death myocardial infarction most likely caused by a stun gun or taser.
“Sir?” Officer Roberts interrupted.
“I hate loose ends,” James muttered.
“What is it Roberts?”
Officer Roberts handed James a slip of paper.
“Incident out at St. Anthony’s, Sister Teresa asked for you specifically,”
James took the slip of paper, his notepad, and a ballpoint pen.
~ ~ ~ ~
As Detective James Andrews made his way up to the front of St. Anthony’s a gust of wind scattered leaves from the tall oaks that surrounded the grounds of the church.
“Sister Teresa?” James asked as he approached the young woman who was being attended to by the responding officers.
“Yes, are you Detective Andrews?”
“I am, do I know you?” James asked taking a seat in the pew next to her.
The EMT was finishing up bandaging her right hand.
“In a way,” she said giving him a smile, and removing her habit.
James looked at her, trying to place the familiarity of her face and voice.
“Kimberly? Kimberly Williams, from Madison High School?”
“Wow you are good, yes, it’s been a while,”
“Yeah, you could say that, so why am I here?”
“Quick version is that I screwed up and now I have, for lack of a better term a stocker,”
“Maybe you should start at the beginning,”
“I will but can we do it somewhere else,”
“Sure, how about Mac’s Diner?” James asked.
“Sounds good, let me get changed and I’ll meet you out front,”
~ ~ ~ ~
James leaned against his car, smoking a cigarette and enjoying the cool but comfortable breeze. Kimberly exited St. Anthony’s wearing blue jeans, a white long sleeve t-shirt and navy blue kicks.
James looked her over as she approached.
“What?”
“Nothing, you look like you were just released from a correctional facility,”
“In a way I suppose I have been, so lunch?”
James opened the passenger door for Kimberly.
“Thanks, still a gentleman I see,” she said getting into the car.
“Always,” James muttered walking around the car.
~ ~ ~ ~
“Ok story time,” James said as he finished off his BLT and steak fries.
“I’ve been restless lately, struggling with my vows and trying to decide if the ‘Sisterhood’ is the right fit for me,”
“Understandable,” James said taking a sip of his vanilla coke.
“About a week ago I went out to a club, I had a drink, and meet a guy, short version we spent the night together,” Kimberly took a deep breath and sipped on her soda.
“He wanted to see me again and I explained to him where I am in my life, that I am Sister Teresa that the night we spent together was wrong and that I wanted to move past it,”
“I take it that he didn’t feel the same way?”
“Not in the least, he was at the church this morning, he threatened me with a knife, which is how this happened,” Kimberly held out her bandaged hand. James pulled the bandage to one side, exposing the shallow laceration across her right palm.
“He lunged, I grabbed,” she said moving her hand back.
“Do you want to file a restraining order against him?”
“I think so, I’m afraid he’s not going to stop,”
~ ~ ~ ~
James and Kimberly entered the downtown precinct.
“You still working on that?” James asked pointing to Officer Roberts coffee cup.
“No Sir,”
“Good,” James said signing himself and Kimberly in.
“Take a seat,”
James pulled out a form.
“Simple your name, his name and reason for the requested restraining order,” James said handing Kimberly a pen.
She read over the form, filling in the information needed and handed it back to James.
“Ok, Kimberly Williams, filing against Anthony Costello, for threatening violent behavior,”
“I’ll get this filed and he will be notified, do you feel comfortable going home?” James asked.
“I think so,”
“If anything else happens, call,”
“Got it, thanks,” Kimberly said leaving the precinct.
~ ~ ~ ~
James filed a restraining order, but couldn’t shake the name Anthony Costello, like he’d seen it somewhere lately.
Fuck
James pulled the Marco Bishop file back out and skimmed through the report from Marco’s apartment.
Prints found
Anthony Costello, known associate of Marco Bishop
James made a call to Detective Josephine Marks.

Seasons of Change

“The report on Bethany Johnson,” Officer Roberts said handing Detective Benjamin Knowles the folder.
“Thanks,” Benjamin said.
He took a sip of his coffee as he opened the report.
Bethany Johnson, age 22, weight 115, height 5’4”
Trace amounts of Fentanyl
Trace amounts of Cocaine
Cause of death asphyxiation
Blood Alcohol Content 0.10%
Benjamin closed the report and took a deep breath. He picked up the phone and called Detective James Andrews.
“Detective Andrews speaking,”
“Are you back to yourself?” Benjamin asked.
James smirked. “Yeah I am good, what do you have?”
“Bethany Johnson, I think she may lead to something,”
“You have my attention, what are we looking at?”
“I have a guy from vice, who’s been undercover for a while, he may have a connection to Miss Johnson,”
“Sounds promising,”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The desk phone buzzed, “Sir you have a visitor up front,”
“Thanks, I’ll be right up,”
James entered the front of the downtown precinct, Officer Roberts pointed to a tall fit guy, with shoulder length hair, wearing a leather jacket, and jeans.
“Can I help you?” James asked.
“Well actually I am here to help you, Detective Daniel Hayes, vice,” Detective Hayes extended his hand towards James.
“You’re Detective Knowles’ undercover guy,”
“Guess that’s one way to put it,”
“Come on back, lets see if we can’t connect some dots,”
“We’ll use this one,” James said as he held the door open to conference room C.
“The doughnuts are stale but the coffee is hot,”
“I’m good thanks,” Daniel said taking a seat at the conference table.
“So what do you have?” James asked sitting across from Detective Hayes.
“After Marco Bishop turned up dead, a low level thug named Tony Boy started running drugs through the strippers at The Royal Flesh, I was already in with Bishop so when he disappeared I got chummy with Tony, I’ve been his runner for the last six months,”
“The drugs being pushed by the strippers are laced with Fentanyl?”
“Yeah, nasty stuff, how’d you know that?”
“Had some first hand experience with Ginger and Spice,”
“Damn, those two party hard, Bethany was my CI, she was in tight with Katie, the woman that hires the strippers at the club, after my run the other night I lost track of her,”
“How close are you to making a case?”
“Close, I’d like to set a raid on The Royal Flesh at the end of the month, especially with Bethany turning up dead, I am afraid Anthony Costello is about to jump,”
“Wait who?”
“Anthony Costello, he’s Tony Boy, I think he’s about to bounce,”
“Fuck, I just filed a restraining order against him, he attacked a nun at St. Anthony’s,”
“Damn, that may change a few things, if anything does come up give me a call,” Daniel said handing James his card.
~ ~ ~ ~
James pulled up outside of Stella’s house, he put the car in park and wondered who the Harley parked in the driveway belonged to. He got out and lit a cigarette, taking a deep drag he walked by the bike.
Fuck, looks like a Dyna Wide Glide.
James let himself in, took off his coat and made his way towards the kitchen, where a chorus of voices were chatting away.
Stella was making a fresh pot of coffee, Holly and her guest were sitting at the kitchen table.
“Small world,” James said as he recognized Detective Daniel Hayes.
“Hey, apparently,” Daniel said slightly caught off guard.
“I see introductions aren’t needed,” Holly said getting up from the table and walking past James.
James caught her eye and mouthed, him? On her way back to the table with the fresh pot of coffee she whispered.
“Yes, him,”
James cleared his throat and took a seat at the kitchen table.
“Nice Harley it is a Dyna Wide?”
“Yes, actually it is,”
“Well dinner should be interesting,” Stella said taking a seat next to James, placing her hand on his thigh and rubbing her thumb back and forth. Jame gave her a smile.
“Yes it should be,”
~ ~ ~ ~
James brought the rest of the dinner dishes to the kitchen sink.
“Dinner was good,” he said giving Stella a kiss on the cheek as she was wiping down the countertop.
“Thanks, and thank you for being civil with Daniel,”
“He’s ok, just not who I pictured Holly with,”
“They’ve known each other since school and she’s happy, so I am happy for her,”
James wrapped his arms around Stella and pulled her into him, he kissed her.
“Aww…but are you happy?” he asked giving her another kiss.
“Yes, James, I am happy,” she answered kissing him back.
His phone buzzed, James let out a sigh and looked to see who was calling.
Restricted
He gave Stella another kiss on the cheek and walked out to the patio to answer the phone.
“Hello?”
“James,” the voice was faint and broken up.
“Yes,”
James tried to hear the voice on the other end, but couldn’t make out what was being said.
Dammit
He came back inside and joined the others in the living room.
“Who was it?” Stella asked.
“Don’t know I couldn’t hear them,”
Daniel’s phone rang, he answered it getting up and walking towards the front door.
“Hello,”
“Yes Sir, I understand,”
“Actually he’s here with me,”
“Just a minute,”
Daniel handed James the phone.
“It’s Benjamin,”
James took the phone.
“Yes,”
“The two of you need to get over to St. Anthony’s now,” Benjamin said.
“Yes, Sir,”
James hung up the phone, and handed it back to Daniel.
~ ~ ~ ~
Detective Daniel Hayes and Detective James Andrews arrived at St. Anthony’s shortly after 9 pm, as an Officer was taping off the front of the church.
“What happened?” James asked approaching the church.
“Dead body, in the kitchen, all the way back and to the left,”
Daniel and James entered St. Anthony’s walked down the corridor and took a left.
“James…I had no choice,” Kimberly said tears welling up in her eyes as she pointed over to the body slumped over in the corner.
“Is that Tony Boy?” James asked Daniel.
Daniel walked over to the body and looked it over.
“Yep, and he is most definitely dead,”
James took a seat across from Kimberly, she reached for his hand and he gave hers a light squeeze.
“Whenever your ready?” James said.
Kimberly cleared her throat and began.
“I was in here making some tea when he came up behind me,” She kept looking over to the body.
“Hey, look at me,” James said. Kimberly looked up at him, he gave her a slight smile.
“Ok, just tell me what happened,”
“He grabbed my habit and pulled it off of my head, then he pushed me up against the counter and was saying things, not good things, nasty things,” Kimberly’s hands started to shake as she spoke, James held her hands in his and rubbed his thumb over the back of her hand.
“You’re doing good, take a deep breath,” James watched her as she inhaled and then exhaled slowly.
“I threw my head back and I hit him in the face, he took a few steps back, the knife was just there on the counter, I picked it up and turned to face him,” She looked at James.
“What did I do?”
“It’s ok, what happened after you turned around?”
“He screamed and lunged towards me, I don’t think he even saw the knife, he grabbed my neck and was squeezing, the knife sunk into him when he came towards me, his hands fell away and he stumbled back, he looked down and pulled the knife out, he dropped it and fell back, I tried to call you,”
“I know, it’s ok we’re here now, are you ready to go to the hospital?”
“I think so, James, what did I do?”
“It will be ok, let’s go,” James said helping her stand up and walk out to the waiting ambulance.
~ ~ ~ ~
“Fuck,” James said coming back into the kitchen.
“Quite the mess,” Daniel said.
Photographs were taken, evidence was bagged and Anthony Costello’s body was taken away.
“What time is it?” James asked as they headed towards the car.
“Half past midnight,” Daniel answered.
They drove back to Stella’s in silence, the house was quiet when they entered.
“Drink?” James asked.
“Sure,”
They made there way into the living room, James turned on the lamp in the corner and headed to the bar. He poured two glasses of Jameson, he handed one to Daniel, they both downed the first drink and poured a second.
“So how long have you know Holly?” James asked lighting a cigarette.
“A while, I went to school with her and Stella, do you mind?” Daniel asked pointing to the pack of cigarettes on the bar. Jame handed him the pack, Daniel took one out and James held out his lit Zippo.
“One more for the road?” James asked holding up the bottle of Jameson. Daniel slid his glass over and James poured.
~ ~ ~ ~
James crawled into bed and wrapped his arms around Stella, kissing the back of her neck. She let out a moan and pushed into him.
“I love you,” he whispered.
“I love you too,” she muttered in her sleep, he held her tight and went to sleep.
~ ~ ~ ~
Detective James Andrews looked down at the slip of paper, that he held in his hand. He took a drag of his cigarette and mumbled to himself.
Why am I out here
The wind screamed through the surrounding trees, causing a cascade of yellow and orange leaves. James glanced at the clock on the dash, 8:05 PM, he turned the key back and stepped out into the chilly air.
It had better not snow
He thought as he pulled his coat tight and flipped up his collar. He made his way to the tall rod iron gate and found that it was slightly ajar. Pushing the gate open just enough for him to enter the Stony Hill Cemetery, one of the oldest cemeteries in the area, the last of its residence were buried in the late seventies.
“Detective,” a male voice said from behind James.
James turned around and faced the strangers voice.
“I assume you are the one that left me this rather cryptic note,” James said.
The man moved closer his face pale, with dark circles under his eyes. When he spoke James got a whiff of the alcohol on his breath.
“I need to tell someone…I haven’t been able to sleep since that night,”
“Since what night?” James asked keeping his distance.
“Since the night…we killed Marco Bishop,”
“Would you like to explain that statement, maybe somewhere warmer, how about Mac’s Diner?”
“Sure but not Mac’s do you know Henry’s?”
“Yeah that’s the one out on Riverside right?”
“Yep,”
They made their way back to the main gate of Sony Hill Cemetery and drove out to Henry’s Bar & Grill.
~ ~ ~ ~
“So do you have a name?” James asked as they walked into Henry’s.
“Huh…oh yeah,” he cleared his throat then answered.
“Detective John Keen,” John extended his hand and James gave him a quick shake.
James rubbed his hands together, as they took a seat at a booth towards the back of the restaurant.
“At least it’s warm in here,”
“Welcome to Henry’s, what can I get you to drink?” a perky young brunette with curly hair asked as she set down two menus.
“Two coffee’s to start, thanks,” James said.
~ ~ ~ ~
“Ok, explain yourself, Detective Keen,” Jame said finishing off his bacon cheeseburger, taking a sip of his coffee and leaning back.
John finished his burger, cleared his throat and took a sip of his coffee.
“Detective Josephine Marks and I had been watching Marco for a few weeks, the plan was to gain access to his apartment and arrest him, but it didn’t work out that way,” John sat back and took another sip of coffee.
“So what went wrong?’
“Fucker had a heart condition, I tased him and he died,”
“Who’s idea was it to move him?”
“Fucking, Special Agent Thomas Ridge’s” John replied.
“The FBI was in on this?”
“Apparently Detective Marks and Agent Ridge had plans that I was unaware of at the time,”
“Two things, why bring this up now and what do you want out of it?”
“Josephine and Thomas are in the wind, they were having an affair before all this went down with Marco, all I want is to clear my name officially and get back to work,”
“So you want to make a formal statement to the DA?”
“Yes, I wasn’t sure who was handling Marco’s case, hence the anonymous tip, can you help me?”
“I can make a few calls, but I suggest that you give up the bottle and go to a meeting, before you sit down with the DA,” James said flipping over the tab and tossing a twenty on the table.
“Can I drop you off somewhere?” James asked as they left Henry’s.
“No, I am going to walk this off, maybe hit the 10pm meeting out at the community center,”
James fished out his card from his coat pocket and handed it to John.
“Give me a call on Tuesday, we’ll see what we can figure out,”
John nodded and started walking back towards the center of town.
~ ~ ~ ~
John lit a cigarette as he left the community center. He had finished his third consecutive AA meeting in two days. He was heading towards the downtown precinct to catch up with James when he heard the squealing of tires from behind him. John instinctively turned towards the sound, the speeding black SUV struck him tossing him into the air. His limp body fell back, onto the cold asphalt as onlookers called 911.
~ ~ ~ ~
“Mail call,” Officer Roberts said as he handed James a large manila envelope.
“Thanks,”
James opened the envelope and pulled out a police file with a note attached on top.

James,
As a precaution this is my statement and all the info I have on the Marco case.
I know Josephine and Thomas screwed me over in all of this.
I’m trying to do the right thing.
John

“Detective Andrews you have a call on line two,”
James picked up the phone.
“This is Detective Andrews,”
“Hello, this is nurse Rebecca Miller from the Community Hospital, we have a Mr. John Keen in ICU, he had your card on him,”
“So you figured you would find out why,”
“Yes, Sir, we can’t find any listing of next of kin,”
“How is he?”
“He’s in a coma Sir,”
“Thank you for the call, I’ll see if I can find any family in the area and get back to you,”
James hung up the phone and took a deep breath.
Fuck
~ ~ ~ ~
“Are you going to the hospital?” Stella asked turning over and watching James get ready for work.
“Yeah, going to stop by before going in, see how John is doing,”
“Still nothing from his family?”
“Nope best I could find was a distant cousin that didn’t have a clue,”
“Well take a scarf it’s going to snow today,”
James leaned over the bed and kissed Stella on the cheek. On his way out the door he grabbed the navy blue scarf from the front closet and tossed it around his neck. The air had a definite bite to it this morning, even with the sun shining and the sky a bright blue. James could feel the approaching snowstorm in the distance, as he got into his car and drove to the hospital.
“Back again Detective?” Nurse Miller asked as James signed into the ICU.
“Yep, any change with him?”
“Nope, he’s still the same,”
James walked down the hallway to room 5, he lightly knocked on the door and then entered. Detective John Keen laid on the bed, lost in a coma since being hit by a speeding SUV three weeks ago. James pulled a chair up to John’s bedside and took a seat.
“How’s it going John, you know it’s almost Thanksgiving, and Stella says it will finally snow today,”
James took a deep breath and looked at John.
“I see they finally got around to shaving that sad excuse of a beard for you, Oh John I do hope that you wake up soon, I hate seeing you this way,”
James patted John’s arm as he got up to leave, he put the chair back against the wall and left room 5.
~ ~ ~ ~
James entered the downtown precinct around 9am.
“Morning Sir,” Officer Roberts said.
“Morning,” James said reaching for the pen to sign in for the day.
“Sir,” Officer Roberts held out a slip of paper.
“Already?”
“Yes Sir, just came in,”
James took the slip of paper, glanced at it, turned and headed back out the door. James sat in his car looking at the slip of paper.
It’s to fucking early for this.
As James pulled up in front of The Downtown Outreach Center, snowflakes started to lightly cover his windshield.
“Of course,” he mumbled getting out of the car. As he made his way up to the entrance of the building someone caught his eye.
“What are you doing out here?” he asked, Detective Daniel Hayes who was in the middle of a conversation with a distraught looking older lady wearing a pink cardigan.
“Excuse me, for a moment,” Daniel told the lady.
“Morning to you to James, I got a call from an old buddy of mine,” Daniel said walking over to James.
“So what’s the deal?” James asked lighting a cigarette and offering Daniel one.
“The Outreach Center serves breakfast to the homeless folks in the area at 8am,” he said taking a cigarette and lighting it.
“When the volunteer staff came in this morning to set up they found one Special Agent Thomas Ridge dead in the lobby,”
“Fuck,” James said taking a long drag of his cigarette.
“Figured I would get some info before the feds take over,”
“How long till they get here?”
“They will be here by 11am,”
James finished his cigarette and headed up to the doors. Thomas Ridge’s body was laying in the middle of the lobby. James walked around it looking over the area, he slipped a pair of gloves on and looked over the body.
No visible gunshots, or stab wounds, nothing on or around the neck or back of the head.
James ran his finger in between the bodies lips, they were a slight shade of blue with some light bleeding of the gums.
“Hey, get a photo of this,” James asked the crime scene photographer.
“And his hands, especially his nails,” James instructed getting up, taking off his gloves and heading back out to the entrance.
“Well that’s a mess, have fun with the feds,” James said heading back out to his car.
“Where are you going?” Daniel asked.
“To the office, need to find someone,”
~ ~ ~ ~
“Fuck,” James mumbled to himself as he continued digging into Detective Josephine Marks life. Deceased parents, not married, no children. But one older sibling a Barbara Marks of 2137 Old Riverside Drive.
I wonder…
Detective James Andrews grabbed his notepad, ballpoint pen and his jacket. He brushed the accumulated snow from his windshield, got in and turned over the engine.
Walking in a winter wonderland.
In the meadow we can build a snowman…
Played on the radio, James switched it off.
It’s way too early for that.
James pulled up outside of a small single level house, he flipped open his notepad and double checked the address.
Barbara Marks
2137 Old Riverside Drive
James made his way through the freshly fallen snow to the front door, and rang the bell.
A tall shapely blonde woman answered the door.
“Yes, can I help you?”
James held up his badge as he introduced himself.
“Detective James Andrews, Ms. Josephine Marks, we need to discuss a few things. May I come in?”
Josephine let out a sigh and held the door open for James.
“Have a seat Detective…”
“Andrews,” James said taking a seat on the rust colored sofa with a faded gold floral print. The small living room had a musty aroma to it, the dark wood paneling and green shag carpet made the room darker than it was. Josephine flipped the light switch and an old brass floor lamp came on in the corner, she took a seat in the well worn easy chair across from the sofa.
“So what do you want to discuss?”
“Detective John Keen and Special Agent Thomas Ridge,” James said looking her over.
“What about them?” She asked lighting a cigarette.
“There’s a rumor that the three of you disposed of Marco Bishop’s body, any comment on that?”
Josephine took a deep drag and looked James in the eye.
“Nope,”
An older lady with frizzy gray hair, wearing a white cotton nightgown came wandering into the living room from the hallway.
“Bobby is that you, did you remember to get the milk?”
Josephine quickly put out her cigarette and rushed over to the woman.
“Bobby?’
“That’s not Bobby,” Josephine said taking her confused sister by the arm and leading her back towards the hallway.
“Bobby?’ James asked as Josephine returned to the living room a few minutes later.
“Her son, he’s 35, married and lives about 2000 miles away,”
“And she is?”
“She is my older sister Barbara, she’s suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s, she has good days and bad days, today is a bad day,”
“All I know is that Special Agent Thomas Ridge is a hard man to say no to, he hit John with his SUV after he found out that John was talking to you, how is John?”
“In a coma,” James answered.
Josephine blinked back tears, trying to keep her emotions in check.
“Do you know what happened to Thomas?” James asked.
Josephine gave James a sly look.
“I am done talking Detective,” Josephine said moving towards the door.
“I’ll be back, by the way blonde suites you,” James said as he headed out the door.
~ ~ ~ ~
“You ok?” Stella asked James as they got ready for bed.
“What, yeah, just thinking,” James answered heading over to the bed.
He pulled the comforter and sheet back and laid down. Stella moved over next to him, she laid her head on his chest.
“Anything you want to share?”
“Been thinking about getting out, maybe going the private route,”
“That may not be a bad idea,”
James kissed the top of Stella’s head.
“I’m glad you think so, as soon as I can wrap up this mess with John and Special Agent Ridge, I am going to give notice,”
~ ~ ~ ~
“Morning Sir,” Officer Roberts said as James signed in.
“Yes it is, do you have anything for me?” James asked.
“Yes Sir, the report on Special Agent Thomas Ridge,” Officer Roberts handed James the file.
“Thanks,”
James sat at his desk reading over the findings.
Thomas Ridge cause of death poisoning by Rodenticide ‘Rat Poison’ lethal amounts found in the bloodstream. Forensic findings from under fingernails to be human skin, DNA match to one Josephine Marks.
~ ~ ~ ~
Two Weeks Later
“Detective Andrew you have a call on line two,” Officer Roberts said over the intercom.
James picked up the phone.
“This is Detective James Andrews,”
“Hello, it’s Nurse Miller, John Keen is awake Detective,”
“Good, how’s he doing?”
“He’s asking for you Sir,”
“Ok, tell him I am on my way over, and thank you,”
“You’re welcome, I’ll let him know,”
~ ~ ~ ~
James knocked on the door to room 5 and opened the door.
“So did I miss Thanksgiving?” John asked sitting up and looking much better.
“Yeah, I am afraid so,” James said pulling the chair to the bedside.
“Oh well, I don’t really like turkey anyways, what’s the date?”
“December 7th,”
“At least I didn’t miss Christmas, so what’s been happening?”
James gave John a smile and started filling him in on everything that he had missed.

Vivian and Francine

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Vivian opened her eyes, realizing that she was on the ground, she pushed herself up into a sitting position.

“What the hell,”

She was sitting on damp leaves, surrounded by trees. The wind gusted sending a shiver through her. Vivian ran her hands along her bare arms and wondered where her sweater had gotten to.
She stood up and the world spun. Forcing her to take a few steps quickly, she regained her balance, and began to look around.

Something caught her eye, in the distance, as she stumbled towards it she recognized the objects on the ground.

Vivian picked up her phone and her sweater. She pulled her arms through her sweater and buttoned it up.

“Of course no service,”

She found what seemed to be a path and headed out of the wooded area. She emerged from the woods onto a dirt road.

“Thank God,”

She walked along the road as she kept checking her phone for a sign of life. Twilight had begun and the sun was slipping beneath the horizon.

All of a sudden her phone chimed. 15 missed calls from Francine.

“What the fuck,”

She scrolled through the contact list and pushed call.

“Where the hell are you?” Francine answered.

“I’m not quite sure, I think I am somewhere off of route 18,”

“I’ll come find you,”

“What happened?” Vivian asked.

“I am not sure, we’ll discuss it when I get you,” Francine said.

Francine pulled up alongside Vivian, she opened the door and got in. Francine leaned across and gave her a hug.

“Are you ok?” Francine asked.

“I think so, but how did I end up out here?”

“You don’t remember?”

“Last thing I remember, we were going to the carnival,” Vivian answered.

Francine started to drive home towards Overland.

“We were at the carnival, we went to watch an act on the main stage, ring any bells?” Francine explained.

“Vaguely, it was a magician?”

“A hypnotist,”

“So what happened?”

“You went on stage, he whispered something in your ear and then you just…lost it. You picked up an arrow that had been left on stage from the last act, and you… you stabbed him in the neck with it,” Francine took a deep breath and looked at Vivian.

Vivian stared out the window.

“Then what happened?”

“You ran off stage, and disappeared,” Francine said.

“How long ago?”

“Three days,”

October

dark

I was walking through the woods on a dark and windy night. There was no moon in sight.

The cracking branches and crinkling leaves beneath my feet, something rushes past.

“What was that,” A shiver runs through my body.

Fingers fall upon my shoulder, cold and bony. I try to run, I trip and stumble.

I hit the ground. My mouth full of dead, wet leaves.

It grabs me by the ankles. I am being drug along the forest floor.

“No,” I scream, but no sound emerges from my mouth.

I open my eyes, it’s dark, and cold. I can’t focus on anything.

A shadowy figure moves across from me. I try to move, I am restrained.

It strikes a match, to light a lantern.

I get a glimpse of its grayish, pasty skin and those long bony fingers.

It looks at me.

 

The Bag

51546

The Trail

The trail had gone cold. That was the frustration which James Newton was feeling. He saw the target disappear into the woods but the trail went cold as soon as they hit the rocky cliff. If he had been more steadfast into making the jump down the steep incline, he would’ve had him. He could’ve then bargained for the woman whom they all knew was going to be harder to catch. Five long seconds of indecision and he lost his chance. He knew it. But, he wasn’t as desperate.
James was squatting over his boots and staring down at the muddy trail, squinting for any signs of fresh tracks. The well­packed hiking path was smooth as a consequence of the water cascading from the nearby hillsides eroded any signs of footprints in the drenched dirt. He knew they were close. He could feel it. Maybe it wasn’t this trail. Maybe they’re only a few feet off course and they’ll come up to the trailhead where the paths diverged. There might be signs of them there.
He turned around and spotted Thomas “Tommy” Russell stealthily stepping over the mud trail onto the side of a nearby embankment. His short stature and lanky build made him easy to lose in the thick forest. The camouflage was working. It also helped that Tommy had smeared mud to further obscure his appearance. Two nights ago that seemed like a good idea, but he was starting to regret it. In the brief breaks between bouts of intense precipitation, insects would swarm near his eyes and mouth. Leaves would stick to his skin. It made him look like a walking pile of foliage; real textbook Ranger School stuff, he thought to himself.
James then spotted Robert Todd, playing sentry over the scene, sweeping the area from atop the hill depositing water onto the trail where James was resting.
The fourth and final man was nowhere in sight. They might have thought that they’d lost him but could hear his footsteps. Unlike Tommy, Henry Walker was somewhat heavier on his feet. At 6’ 11”, north of 300 lbs., he was also larger than the other men. It was a major consideration in the decision to call him in to tag along in the search for the couple that ran into the woods.
Visibility had dropped as the cold humidity made the air thick with fog masking the ungodly stench of four men desperately in need of showers. They knew they were close. As unbearable as the weather had been the last few nights, the rain was letting up and with it, they’d have a better chance at tracking them. At least that’s what James was telling himself.
Robert started his slide to join Tommy and James on the trail, swiftly making his way down the hill, slowing his descent by keeping his body low and grabbing onto the limbs of every tree that would bear his weight. He finally arrived near James, stopping short of the trail which both men were careful to avoid.
Tommy joined them a moment later.
“Another night and I still don’t have that bag,” he mused aloud.
James looked at Robert for signs of shared frustration.
Tommy quipped stoically, “At least you look rested.”
Tommy looked back at Robert, possibly nonplussed. Any other day he’d be easier to read but his muddy face masked any facial expressions. James couldn’t help but crack a smile.
Tommy looked far from rested. His usual wiry behavior was curbed only by his obvious sleep deprivation. There was two possible outcomes for the end scenario. Both of them involved sleep. One was just slightly more permanent than the other.
“We’ll sleep when we’re dead. And I’m dead if we don’t get that bag,” James said. “Let’s keep moving. We’re close.”
A large mass approached from the direction they had come from, shuffling up the trail that they all so carefully sought to avoid spoiling. It was Henry who had staggered up. Tommy held out his hands palms ­up questioning the logic of coming directly up the trail.
“What are you doing,” James asked.
“I found them,” Henry responded, pointing back down the trail, drawing shapes as he spoke, panting, short of breath.
“They’re huddled under an embankment, thing, under a tree, near the river. They were huddled together.” It was enough for Robert to break character and look excited.
“And the bag,” Tommy shot back.
Henry nodded in acknowledgement.
James hurriedly stood up with a renewed sense of purpose. He turned his body towards the trail before the force of someone latching onto his arm pulled him backwards. It was Robert, his grip tightly holding James’s arm.
“We’re not going to hurt them,” he reaffirmed.
James begrudgingly nodded in agreement before jerking himself away.
Tommy looked back at Robert and then back at the ground then wondered out loud to no one in particular, “What happens if it’s gone?”
“If it’s gone, we’ll reconsider,” Robert answered.
The moon was bright. Brighter than it had been the better part of that week. It even forced itself through pockets of cloud cover from time to time. But, it still wasn’t enough to break through the heavy fog that’s synonymous with a cooler than usual early spring in a temperate forest. The crisp air coming from the mountains did little to move it. It felt stuffy at times. Most times, they were just as happy that they all had jackets. The weather could easily take a turn for the worse and they were lucky that the worst they were feeling was a little numb in their extremities.
The trees swayed as they walked up the path. Robert was able to catch a glimpse of the river beyond an outcropping. Ahead of them, the path went parallel with the waterway. Soon it would all be over. They’d have the bag, its contents intact. This would absolve Robert of any notion of misconduct, simultaneously clearing James’s debt.
They all had enough time to think about how they allowed it to happen and how a moment of inattention subjected them to this.

The Drop

Just three days ago they peacefully liberated the bag from James’s acquaintance. That morning, James, Robert, and Tommy arrived in the industrial park where they were to make the drop. Tommy’s bright red, late ­90’s model Oldsmobile Cutlass’ had seen better days. The paint was peppered with rust where it wasn’t peeling. It’s plastic body panels were cracked and scratched from years of bumps and scrapes, exhibiting signs of downright neglect. Its fatigued suspension nearly bottomed out as they pulled into the lot of a trucking company. But, it ran and that made it a reliable car in Tommy’s mind.
James had the small black duffle bag on his lap in the backseat. He compressed it like an accordion while leaning forward, directing his question at Robert, “You ready.”
Robert checked the mirrors and looked out over the lot filled with shipping containers of various sizes and colors. He thought for a moment about how this was the only time in his life where a situation didn’t warrant a weapon and how strange that had felt.
The drop was routine; as routine as a drop can be for a few seasoned criminals. The recipient was a trusted accomplice whom Robert had known for years. They didn’t really need three men, to be honest. Robert knew that but he trusted Tommy to be the driver.
For Robert, it was all about making things right. It was he who introduced James to the game. As his mentor, Robert felt that James needed to be set straight but shouldn’t bear the brunt of the consequences that could be directed at a criminal that can’t make good on their word. Trust, after all, is the bedrock of the lax criminal code. He wasn’t too worried. Robert’s experience gave him the audacity to feel relaxed in the moment.
James was a bit more anxious, “What if they don’t show?”
Robert opened the passenger door and stepped out. He gestured for James to get out. James scooted to the passenger side and opened the door. He initially thought about taking the bag. “Leave it,” Robert instructed as he walked towards the street. James threw the bag through the open window onto the passenger seat next to Tommy and warned, “Guard this with your life.”
Tommy shooed him away, turning the key in the ignition to accessory mode. He tuned the radio to a station that was going to calm him. He was also feeling a bit more anxious than usual.
James joined Robert in the street.
“What have we learned,” Robert asked.
“There’s easier ways to make money. I didn’t think it’d get this far, Robert. I don’t know what I was thinking.”
“Once they get it back, you’re going to be fine,” Robert reassured him. “Leave that shit to the professionals. You’re getting off lucky.”
In the car, Tommy readjusted his mirrors so that he could see Robert and James in the street. They looked to be 50 feet back, he estimated. He turned to his right and looked at the bag within arms’ reach to reassure himself. It’s right where James had left it. He took a deep breath as the mere sight of the bag triggered a strong cigarette craving. Reaching into the inside pocket of his olive jacket, Tommy began anticipating the quick hit of nicotine destined to calm his nerves. Getting the cigarette was easy but in the time he went back to reach for the lighter he had droped the ciggarette onto the floor. Looking to the floor, past the steering wheel and making way with his knees, he realized that he’d have to contort himself to feel out where it had fallen.
James looked at a car slowing down a block away, near an old brick warehouse. He couldn’t make out the make or model; something classic looking, maybe mid­ 60’s with a teal and white paint job, with white wall tires. It couldn’t be newer than that, he thought. It didn’t look like a car that belonged in an industrial park.
Tommy continued looking for the dropped cigarette. He laid the back of his hand flat against the floor mat and began to sweep.
“Is it them,” James asked.
“I don’t think so.”
Behind them, a short, skinny blonde woman in jeans and a red hoodie crept up to the passenger side of the red Oldsmobile. She slowly reached inside the open window, her eyes fixed on Tommy still searching for the lost cigarette. As soon as he turned towards her, she ripped the bag out of the car window and began running.
Tommy shot up, “Hey!”
James and Robert turned to see the woman running deeper into the shipping yard.
Tommy nearly kicked the driver door open with his knee and gave chase. James instinctively followed while Robert turned back to the car mid way down the block only to see it slowly make a right hand turn. It wasn’t their car. Robert gritted his teeth before involving himself in the pursuit of the bag thief.
The woman made her way between the rows of empty truck trailers, appearing and disappearing behind each meticulously parked 52’ long monstrosity. She eventually arrived at the gatehouse on the other side of the lot before throwing the bag over the fence as one might throw a grenade. Almost instantly after letting it go, she turned right and continued sprinting.
Why did she just ditch the bag? No sooner had Tommy asked himself that question then he realized the bag landed at a distance that appeared to be well out of reach. He beelined for the fence, coming to an abrupt stop and gripping the chain links to counteract its pushback.
James eventually caught up.
By now, Tommy had realized that this side of the lot had a mechanized sliding gate. This wasn’t a particularly helpful observation because he instinctively knew he wouldn’t be able to trigger it. He frantically looked for a safe spot to climb the nine feet it would take to make it to the other side. It didn’t exist. The top of the fence was tightly wound with barbed wire.
James turned his attention to the woman making her way past a field of debris on the side of the adjacent warehouse. It was a tight corridor with brick on both sides. Her red sweatshirt made her easy to follow as she weaved around multi­colored barrels, heaps of scrap metal, and unused sheet metal panels. He saw her climb up a stack of wooden pallets in the corner and quickly noticed a green blanket folded over the barbed wire where the brick wall met an adjacent building.
As she carefully positioned herself belly side down, sliding over the fence and disappearing out of view, a matte golden coupe with powdered black rims screeched to a halt shielding the bag from Tommy and James’s view. It looked like some type of import, Tommy noted.
Within a moment, the driver accelerated while simultaneously opening the door to pick up the woman at the other end of the street. She got in, and like that it was over. They had been had.
Tommy started to violently hit the fence with his palms, kicking and exclaiming obscenities.
Robert ran up in time to see James grab his head with both hands and drop backwards against the gatehouse, sliding down while shaking his head in disbelief. His first reaction was to get on his phone and call in what happened. They were expected to be at the drop point and now they didn’t even have the bag.
He spoke with a sense of focus and authority, “You’re not going to believe what happened. You’re going to have to take my cut of the next one and I’ll make good on it. I appreciate it.”
James would’ve felt relieved that Robert was covering for him, if his mind wasn’t spinning from the fear caused by losing something so valuable.
“We’re going to get that bag back. It’s your ass, James,” Robert pointed out.
They had to find the golden colored car with black rims. It was a deceptively easy task. They were in a part of the country that didn’t care much for imports. Of course, this was only a consideration if luck was on their side and the offending party didn’t already start to skip town. Robert was sincerely hoping that wouldn’t be the case.
Upon returning to the car, Tommy let out another bout of emotion. He began yelling at the top of his lungs and kicking nearly everything on the driver side of his car. He reached in and grabbed the cigarette from the under the brake pedal on the mat and threw it angrily on the ground while Robert and James settled back in the seats dejected. They entered with the package and now it was gone.

The Car

By the early afternoon, Tommy and James had split from Robert. He in turn enlisted the help of his close friend Henry to aid in the search. The search party now had two cars to canvas the area. They frantically drove up and down every street in the small mountain town. This was the only option. If they had driven out of town, there was very little they can do to track them down. They knew that they needed to get lucky. They had to try.
Night blanketed the valley. The street lights turned on to aide travellers before the skies opened up. In the nicer neighborhoods, asphalt absorbed the water into a mirror finish, reflecting lights from street lamps and those of nearby houses as the tracking party made their ways up and down their streets. Dogs wailed to inform their inattentive owners that they’d like back in and the town soon fell quiet.
It was the longest day of James’s life. And to no one’s astonishment it began to feel like it might be his last.
The second round of driving through one of the poorest areas proved profitable.
Tucked away in the middle of a pothole filled street, in a driveway lush with overgrowth from miskept bushes, they had found something.
The car was parked in the driveway of an unassuming run­down white Colonial house with white paint chipping off its centuries old cedar clapboards. The grass on this house seemed higher than that of its neighbors. It looked particularly abandoned. Perhaps they were squatting here.
James waited for Tommy to acknowledge him as he shook his head in stunned disbelief. What are the odds, he wondered. Tommy made his way back up the street and parked a few houses down a vacant lot. He turned off his lights and killed the engine before calling Robert.
“We found the car. Edgewood St.,” he directed. The two sat dormant until a car pulled up behind them and Robert emerged from the passenger side.
He approached James while keeping his eyes trained on the car, it’s warm colored paint accentuated by the glow from nearby light poles. The house itself was dark. Robert went to investigate motioning for James and Tommy to stay put.
He made his way up to the side of the house opposite the driveway, checking to see if there was any window showing signs of someone residing inside. He crouched down as he approached the backyard, noting to himself how the lot seemed to open into the abyss of a dense forest. At the back of the house there was nothing except a rickety deck in bad need of repair.
The driveway terminated in a garage which was a freestanding structure. Its roof was incomplete, missing shingles in places and appearing as pliable as a wet rag draped over the ribs of its rafters. The walls were a dark gray wood, with their horizontal boards highlighted by green moss, saturated in water. Nature continued to reclaim them, simultaneously undermining their structural integrity. Water could be seen making it’s way through a channel in the cracked concrete slab that was once its foundation. There was no way they could be in there.
Robert walked up the driveway making sure to look in the car. He eventually made his way back to the street holding his hands up. James was out of the car calmly walking in the rain towards Robert. Tommy rolled down his window to say, “Nothing?”
As if on queue, something in the back made a loud crashing noise. Robert turned back and ran towards the backyard; James followed.
It was hard to make out the details but Robert spotted two shadowy figures heading into the forest. As they ran past a light on the neighboring property, Robert spotted the red hoodie diapering into the rainy night. That feature was unmistakable. They had found them.

The Chase

They splashed through puddles made fresh by the April rain besieging the forest. They ended up running up to a small cliff. Robert let James run ahead of him. He was quicker and seemed to have a lot less trouble finding footing over the dense underbrush. They were also quick, but James had the tenacity of a man whose life was on the line. He ran stride for stride with them.
They came across a small ravine with a creek running through it. James ran in and quickly made his way up the other side. His legs burned at this point and he became conscious of his breathing. As he crested the hill, he nearly slipped on the fresh mud, steadying himself with one hand and pushing through to get up a knee­high limestone ledge. As he came up, he noticed he now only saw one of the figures and continued the chase until he watched them disappeared over the edge of a cliff. He paused and waited to watch whom he assumed was the man slowly getting up after taking a spill near the bottom of the ravine. He paused and waited. This moment of inattention would come back to haunt him.
Hours passed.
Robert got a phone call. He relayed the bad news, “He’s not taking the deal. He wants what you owe him, James. He said this wasn’t what he planned with you. If we don’t get it, we’re all screwed.”
The hours turned into days as the pursuit of the couple with the bag progressed. They picked up a trail of footprints and followed it to the river’s edge. Eventually they all fell out of contact from the outside world. Henry was the last to complain about his phone battery dying. Not having slept or eaten for days had begun to toll. All of them were cold and wet. But, they took solace in knowing that the targets were in the same predicament.

The Pickup

The water was rushing down from a nearby stream that fed the river. It felt wild. Each of the men was too tired to consider their fortunes. They had found the car in time pursue the bag thieves. But now, perhaps most improbably, had successfully tracked their whereabouts inside a vast wilderness during the grips of a multi­hour cold, unrelenting rainstorm.
Henry was at the head of the group. He turned back and whispered, “About 3 minutes away.”
“I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do when I see them,” James said turning to Robert. “Wait, how do we get the bag?”
“There’s a way we can drop in on them. If two of us wait deeper in, we can chase the one with the bag,” Henry explained. “They have to be just as tired as we are.”
“What if they have a weapon,” James asked.
“They haven’t used one, yet. They’re scared. But, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it,” Robert said.
Henry slowed his walk and began crouching. He started using arm gestures to tell the other three men to stop.
At the end of a bend in the river sits a tree with the soil around its roots all but eroded away. The rocky shore caught the roots which after finding purchase created a stable enough foundation to support its weight. A bit of ancient limestone carved smooth by the water was jutting out in an overhang, simultaneously adding support for the tree and shielding the couple from the elements. The woman in the red hoddie and her male accomplice lie huddled together, and save for their shallow breathing appear almost motionless.
The mans jacket was draped over them like a makeshift blanket. But from this distance, it was still hard to make out facial features.
Tommy began making his way to the incline behind the tree, trying desperately to steady his footing over the wet roots. Robert and James began moving to one side of the river bank while Henry dug in from the direction that they originally came. They were using the element of surprise to their advantage. It mattered very little to any of the men which one got the bag. What seemed to take priority in the minds was how to expel the least amount of energy to achieve that outcome.
The closer that Tommy was to the overhang, the more slippery the ground became. He tried in vain to find traction a handful of times but with the next step, he slipped into an unrecoverable slide. He dropped onto his side and began an uncontrolled descent, watching the ground rush up to meet him.
He made impact a mere six feet from the woman, instantly waking the couple. They have lost the element of surprise.
The woman turns, too groggy to realise what’s happening. Next to her, her male counterpart quickly springs to life and makes Tommy. He reaches for the bag and begins to stand on his feet as Robert uses the velocity of his entire two ­hundred pound frame to smash him into the wall of limestone. He flew out of nowhere, causing his target tremendous discomfort.
The woman attempts to withdraw as far away from the scuffle by scooting backwards. Robert has complete leverage over the man and grabs the bag. He gets up and looks at the man now holding his hands up. From here, he can clearly see his face; a kid, no more than fifteen years old. He just looked larger from a far.
“No,” the boy begins begging, “Please!”
Before he could say another word James slides in swinging at his face. Robert’s knocked to the side as James lands a punch on the nose, causing a spray of blood. Before he can swing again, Robert locks his forearm around James’s neck in a submissive hold. James struggles to squeak out a few vague threats as he’s losing his breath, his face turning red.
Robert jerks him back to the ground before stepping over his body and pointing his finger at him in a scornful manner, “You don’t get to do that!”
The boy begins crawling towards the girl, holding his nose, pleading back to Henry and Robert.
“Please, we’re sorry. Please don’t. Please.” The boy becomes more and more incoherent as the tears and emotion cut into his speech.
Henry helps Tommy to his feet.
“Leave him be,” Tommy says to James, panting while staring at the ground.
Henry looks at the two kids huddled together. He shoots back at Robert amused.
“You let these two do this to you? What kind of master criminals are you?”
Tommy is clutching his side as he begins to make sense of the situation. Robert grabbed the bag with one hand while helping James up with the other. He opened it to inspect its contents. It was all there. Everyone had questions, but it was probably best to just walk away.
Curiosity got the best of James, “Why did you take the bag?”
His query was met with brief silence. The boy had continued wiping his nose into the sleeve of his long­sleeve cotton shirt drenched in water, saturated with tears, and stained red with blood. He was shivering. It was either the cold, or the adrenaline, or both, James thought.
“We didn’t know,” said the girl.
The boy continued in a nasally voice, “We followed you after we saw you take it. It was stupid. We’re sorry.”
“Why did you stay out here,” Tommy asked. This is a question the men often asked of themselves as their stay in the woods continued.
“We figured you’d watch the car,” she answered.
“We wanted to leave but couldn’t get gas. We didn’t want any trouble. We were so stupid.”
The four men looked at each other and just now acknowledged that watching the only getaway vehicle would’ve probably been a good idea.
“So stupid,” she repeated as she continued sobbing, “We’re sorry, please.”
James was livid. But the adrenaline and sleep deprivation was doing a good job of keeping him even keeled.
“Let’s go,” Robert said.
“Let’s get some sleep and clear this up. We have the bag.”