MJ 6A: Case of the Curse Pt 1bymadam_noe©
The paintings were real, I could see a near-priceless prime example of Fauvism that made me almost forget my purpose. Unframed and on stands covered with aging paint they were charmingly displayed at random intervals. I'd majored in art history in college and early Matisse and other Fauvists had always caught my fancy, though more mid-20th century artists like Tooker were my favorite.
Other than that the space was Spartan. A futon, milk crates, a drum kit that looked overly-complicated, three guitars on stands with complimentary amps, and a microphone, all leading to a mixing board and computer on a cracked folding table. Near the kitchen wall was a small scarred wood table and 2 chairs. The view was excellent.
It was three in the afternoon but I sensed he was a fellow night owl and like me, this was his morning.
"Please, black. Mr. Meyers-"
"Nick, I'm here about Ellie."
His paused, coffee pot in one hand and mug in the other. Recovering quickly, he poured but still gave me his broad back, hiding his face. "What happened now?"
I sat on the futon. "Now? Has she been in trouble before?"
He made a show of searching his own cabinets which seemed to me to be perfectly ordered, almost obsessively, still hiding. "Drugs," he said so softly I almost didn't hear.
"Drugs? What kind of drugs?" I knew the answer but wanted to hear his.
"She did lots of things, so did I. Light stuff, but lately she got deeper and deeper into heroin. I tried to get her to stop, but she wouldn't listen."
He finally turned and brought the coffee over passing me a mug before moving rock and roll magazines off the milk crates.
"And just what was Ellie to you?"
He bent over, face close to mine, and looked up sharply, his green eyes piercing. "My lover."
Despite my best efforts I felt something low turn over and warm and my chest constricted. He was quite good looking and I was a healthy woman with a sizeable sex drive.
However, he had also fucked someone who did heroin, and liked cutting. I suspected she took it via needle. On that thought my body cooled and from his slight frown, so did my gaze.
"When did you last see her?"
He straightened and took a sip of coffee. "About a month ago. We had a disagreement and she never called me again."
"You ever meet any of her friends?"
He sat next to me. "Society types, she changed friends as often as-"
"She changed men?"
His eye ticked, and guessed he'd had feelings for her. Too bad she sounded like a girl without any feelings to share.
He nodded. "she was into some kinky stuff, even for...a vampire." He glanced out the corner of his eye, waiting for my reaction. I'd noted the expensive dental implants earlier and just shrugged.
"She liked gangbangs, only not your usual ones?"
He shook his head. "They all would drink, but everyone took a turn, only one of them would fuck. I was Ellie's regular."
"Pardon me, but with the fangs I'd assume you'd be the biter and not the bitee."
He smiled. "One in the same in my world."
He had a good voice; probably sang baritone, and it made it sound like he came from some dark, secret place instead of a ritzy North Shore suburb. "So you shagged often, did some kink, and she stopped calling after a fight. What did you fight about?"
He sat back and sighed. "Heroin. I didn't want her doing it but she got hooked. This other guy she brought into the...meet-ups, and he got her hooked."
"What is his name?"
"Albert. Albert Cray, calls himself Albert Kraven with a K. Works the door at Exit some weekends. He doesn't deal per se, but he buys and uses a lot. He got her hooked and she bought from him or his dealer, I never did figure it out."
My spidey sense was tingling, but I sensed I had to play this one cool. I'd get more information out of him being an enigma myself. It would take time, but I'd get what I needed.
"Thanks for your time, here's my card." I passed him one and stood, smoothing the jacket of my tailored pantsuit. He stood as well, looming over me despite my heels making me a cool 6'1".
I turned and headed for the door without another word when he stopped me. "Who hired you?"
I turned with a Mona Lisa smile. "A friend of hers."
I left quietly and ran down the stairs, emerging into downtown Chicago traffic as rush hour began. Orgies, blood, and heroin. I'd prefer believing in a curse.
I couldn't work just one case at a time, no matter how good the pay, so I retired to my office to use the computer and order Indian.
Sitting at my desk I took off my jacket and slung it over the chair when the food arrived, rolled my sleeves up, and put my hair back in a ponytail.
I had done some searches for one of my cheating spouse cases, and had enough evidence to go the straight route. Normally I double—dipped; followed the suspected spouse, videotaped them cheating, blackmailed them with it, then gave the tape to their cuckolded spouse anyway. These days with MySpace and LinkedIn I no longer had to tail them to find out their rendezvous. This time I'd just forward the information to his wife and collect the fee.
I turned now to "Kraven" though I held out little hope. The curtain of night fell and my office building emptied of tenants as I searched every credit database, DMV record, and Internet search available. Nothing. Not all that unusual for a drug dealer; men like Albert Cray tended to be cash-only businesses who kept their property under other people's names.
I searched for his legal name and nickname with Goth; no luck. I searched Neo, Exit, nothing. Then I searched with vampire and to my shock and horror an old Gold 'n' Rod production from three years prior came up.
Kraven had been a porn actor in Finn's company. This didn't surprise me. The man treated male actors like Kleenex and ran through them accordingly. Now that he was out of the game the actors had contracts as long as the actresses; but they were all out in La-La Land on the west coast.
I checked my watch as I polished off the last of my matar paneer. Just after ten; by the time I changed and made it to Exit they'd be open, and Kraven would hopefully be working the door.
I changed into a pair of leather pants I'd bought one day just to seem busy tailing someone for a case in a biker shop. Over that I put on a satin blouse and made sure to do my makeup dark, defined, and anything but natural stopping just short of garish.
I put on my Harley boots, grabbed a matching worn jacket, and locked up.
Exit was a shithole on North Avenue. One of the only few metal bars in town it was two stories, all too often populated by Psychobillies on the first floor, and the uopstairs had the smallest dance floor imaginable. Every Thursday they hosted a bondage night and 4 Dominaterixes would tie up and dominate patrons for 15 minutes, only $20.
Tonight, this early, it was dead. I parked on Throop, a little side street, and locked up tight. In another hour there's be security posted around the corner her to watch cars but for now it was empty, the mechanics on the corner closed.
I lit a cigarette and went for my leggy tough-girl walk. I'd been told it looked good, but I felt like a drunk platypus when I tried to walk any intentional way other than normal.
At the front the door was open and seated on a barstool next to it was Salty Pete. He had an eye patch, and endless source of dead baby jokes, and the survivor attitude of a weightlifting cockroach. Sadly back on the force I'd arrested him a few times and he had a memory like an elephant.
"You." He spat on the ground and that one blue eyes glared.
"Kraven working the door tonight?"
"Maybe, maybe not."
I reached into my coat for money and his hand snaked out. "No guns, bitch."
Ah, Pete. "Guns in an ankle holster. I like to live dangerously. I was going for a Benjamin, you idiot."
Suddenly a punk with ten pounds of metal in his face stepped outside, cell phone glued to his ear. "Hey, Kraven You're looking for Kraven?"
I jerked my wrist from Pete and stepped over to the punk. He nodded at my cigarette and I pulled my pack, offering him one and lighting it. "Sure am."
"Got the bill?"
I pulled a crisp hundred from my inside jacket pocket and held it up. "I get paid to find people. If this doesn't pan out, I'll find you. With green hair and piercings like that it won't be hard."
He nodded and finally closed the phone. "Kraven quit a couple of days ago. Said he was going out of town, some big score. And I know you'll ask but he didn't say where he was going, or what he was getting, but he did say something about a train ride."
That was all I was going to get out of him, his eyes said, so I gave him the hundred and stubbed out my cigarette butt on the ground.
A train ride to a dealer could mean the L or the Metra to the suburbs, or Amtrak. And he'd've paid cash so the only one I could search was Amtrak and it would be slow and painful. Slow as in days and painful as in staring at tapes of dozens of faces streaming past trying to pick out one.
I could re-question Nikolas, I could go back to JuJu who'd still be blitzed out of her mind, or...Finn. I padded back to my Oldsmobile and opened the trunk. Lock pick kit, rope, old black book of important numbers...good. With all this I wouldn't even have to see him face to face. And was all in black, most of it leather. Perfect for a night of breaking and entering.
It took ten minutes plus the drive over to find someone in Finn's security company who was a friend-of-a-friend. I downed another cigarette waiting for him to reset the system.
Finn lived in a brownstone that cost more money than most small airports. Inside it was all navy, cream, white, and black, perfect masculinity, outside it overlooked LSD with an unobscured view of Lake Michigan.
I'd go up the back, simple scaling, and pop the bedroom window. I'd called Finn's home phone and he had not answered. The lights were off and the security company confirmed he'd set the code then closed the door.
Finn was suspiciously anal about keeping records for a master criminal and former cop who should know better. Anyone who ever worked for him he tracked with an obsession. Never knew when one cum-shot cameo might become a senator and thus a potential blackmail victim.
His computer would be a treasure trove and I knew him well enough to know the password was likely my name, my birthday, or my measurements.
I scrabbled up the back porch post, grateful for the Gingerbread Gothic effect that meant stones perfect for scaling. Still, I broke a nail on the first floor and another on the second. Rubbing the rough edges against my zipper I filed them smooth and found his back door locked with two deadbolts as expected. The window would be easier.
I pressed my ear and fingertips to it. No noise, no vibrations. Good.
The man was smart and the window was locked. My pick kit wouldn't work well as the lock was inside, but I had a small tool that would work. The security system should be disabled, so I pulled the slim steel rod with the precision diamond tip out and zipped the kit back up.
I painstakingly cut a circles,, using my spit to keep it as quiet as possible but the sounds of the city slowly pulsing at night helped cover the screech. When done I took my jacket off and pressed it against the hole, made a fist, and punched it out.
Inside it crashed and I pulled back and pushed myself flush to the outer wall. After a 90 second count, no Finn or floozie had come running, no alarm had started, no un-done locks clicked into place. I reached in and unlocked the window then slid it slowly up.
Swinging one leg over I ducked and squeezed in. Suddenly, large hands grabbed me, yanked me through, and tossed me on the carpet.
I went for my gun and a body was on top of me, slapping my hands away and pinning my wrists to the carpet. When long legs settled between mine and a distinctive erection pressed against me, I growled.
"In the flesh," he bent down and tried to kiss me, so I bit him.
"You know I like it on top these days." I'd been training for situations like this; these days only Finn got the drop on me.
Twisting my hips I slipped one foot behind his ankle and bent my arms. Thanks to the power of 300 sit-ups per day I flexed my core and rolled him.
He still gripped my wrists but I landed on top and quickly moved my other leg to knee him in the balls. The bastard knew it was coming and hooked his foot behind my free ankle and straightened his legs, the same inseam as mine. I landed flush on him with a flop and felt that erection had grown larger.
"Marly, if I knew you wanted to play bandit girl I would have left my cuffs out."
I snorted. "Even if we played games like that I was always a better cop than you."
He smiled I the dim moonlight, a flash of perfect, white teeth in a shadowed face. "I was the better detective."
I snorted again, not giving a crap about being ladylike even if that slowly undulating hard piece of flesh was making my insides go liquid. "Which is why I still do this for a living."
"Exactly. I graduated."
This time he leaned up to kiss me and for some damn, lonely, horny, frustrated reason, I kissed him back. The man was good. You'd think he'd be a selfish bastard with no talent but he kissed the way women pretended men did in books, like it was the main event itself.
At some point while out lips had slanted against each other and our tongues had dueled he'd let go of my wrists. We started scrabbling at clothes and got my jacket off and our shoes kicked free, but we both had holsters and pieces. So we settled for unbuttoning his shirt and pulling mine up, my bra down, and then he sat up with abs that put mine to shame and captured one nipple with his teeth.
I groaned and clutched at his head, pulling his hair free of the ponytail holder. It felt cool against my breast and his mouth was so hot, sucking, licking, pulling. Electric waves radiated through my body and I wanted him inside me more than anything else at that moment.
Instead all he did was slide that devil's tongue to my other breast, so I tried to reach between us and undo his jeans. He responded by jamming his pelvis closer to mine, teasing me with promise and nothing more. I settled for clawing at his chest, raking my nails across his lightly furred skin. When I reached his nipples I pinched with nails and he pulled back gasping.
Quickly Finn bit my throat, drawing blood, and I could never explain why but this got me maddeningly wet. I rocked back and pulled him with me, reaching between us for our pants.
He bit the side of my neck and I got my zipped, fumbling with his. He had to help and we slid his pants halfway down his thighs, mine until they hanged from one ankle, and then he shoved into me.
He wasn't overly long but very thick, and no matter how wet I was it always felt like an invasion. He knew to rest for a moment and let me adjust and I wrapped my legs around his hips. He licked the blood and kissed me so I tasted my own coppery essence. When I groaned he began to move, slowly, deeply.
"No," he grunted out. "I know you. We won't do this again for...a...while." Grunt. "So fuck what you want."
I bit him and he jammed himself so deep he touched my womb and the tinge of pain made me cry out and stiffen. He changed the angle then so his wiry hair rubbed my mons and parted the lips. Slickly my wetness spread and he slid back and forth across my clit and he surged ever so slowly in and out. He bent to capture a nipple and pull with his teeth, flick with his tongue, and the slowly building orgasm claimed me.
I raked my hands down his back under his shirt, screaming his name into the night. For a long, blissful, pulsing moment I didn't care who we were, I only cared that he fit so well, felt so good, and drove my body into ecstasy like the familiar old lover that he was.
Coming down my heart pounded and after shocks made me twinge as he still moved, and a moment of clarity caught me. I hated loving him, hated that I couldn't resist him, hated that I couldn't escape this need.
Then he began to grind his hips in a figure eight and instinctually my legs raised. Taking advantage he reached under me, collapsed his body back onto mind, and screwed a thumb into my ass with my own wetness.
We clutched at each other and ground faster and faster. My body felt so damn hot and our sweat made us slick. Every nerve ending tingled and his rough skin and body hair scraped me deliciously. My nipples were abraded by his chest hair and his mouth fused to mine. My brain went to that place of pure driving need and climbed the cliffs with lightning speed.
Finn managed to hold off and when screamed into his mouth he shouted back into mine, and we pulsed together, riding waves of pure immense pleasure.
For an eternity we were entangled, riding the storm out together. At long, long last we collapsed into a heap of sweat, breathlessness, and liquid muscles.
My gun was pressing into me, so was his, and though the carpet was soft the floor beneath was cold and hard. I still hadn't forgotten why I'd come, and a plan began to formulate.
"I need to pee."
He laughed and rolled off. "You know where the bathroom is, be my guest."
I pulled my pants up loosely and grabbed my jacket and shoes, heading for the bathroom and ignoring him. That was my usual way with Finn, the only protection I had against the urge to curl into the crook of his shoulder and stroke that magnificent body until we passed out.
In the bathroom I cleaned myself and lit a cigarette. Shit, we hadn't used a condom. I stared at myself in the mirror. My eyeliner had run and my red lipstick was smeared. My hair clearly said "just been fucked" and I looked like a cheap whore.
I turned away and fixed my clothes, pulling on my boots. I used his brush to painfully fix my light brown hair and wet tissues to clean up my makeup, avoiding eye contact with the slut in the mirror.
When I felt suited up I emerged from the master bath and the bedroom was empty, but still bore the musky scent of sex. A cork popped from the kitchen so I followed the sound to see Finn pouring two bottles of red wine on the high bar counter of his small kitchenette. Perfect.
In my coat I had a surprise for him.
"Why did you come here? And why did you break in?"
"How did you know?"
"My old assistant Carlos was in town, we were having a late dinner when my security company called to say my system had been turned off remotely. I pay them well to keep me informed." He passed me a glass and I sniffed, sipped, swirled.
"I tried calling you and got no answer. Thought I would come look around."
He paused and stared with dark blue eyes looking navy in his expert low lighting. "Kraven."
"You held out on me. We got that name and you never even blinked. Why didn't you tell me my missing girl's heroin dealer is one of your former employees?"
"It slipped my mind."
"Seriously, Marly. Male actors usually last one, maybe two pictures. In the years I ran Gold 'n' Rod I must have gone through hundreds."
"Yeah, how many were self-proclaimed vampires?"
His eyes slipped to my neck were two bites had stopped bleeding, but were quite raw. At his hooded smile I set my glass down and sidled up pressing into him and walking him back to the oven.
"There's no such thing as vampires, just bad boys who like to bite."
He smiled down at me. "And naughty girls too."
I kissed him and his hands came up to my face. I pushed them down, behind his back. It was hard to distract him without distracting myself, but I did it.
I pressed against him when the cuffs jingled against the oven handle. I moaned loudly to cover the sound of one locking around the handle. When he felt the cold metal on his wrist he fought me. We struggled, our mouths broke apart, but I won and sprung back.