MJ 6B: Case of the Curse Pt 2bymadam_noe©
I stepped outside and did what I thought I wouldn't do again; I called Finn.
"Marly," he purred into the phone with the warmth of a hungry tiger to a mouse.
"Finn. It's business. Nothing personal."
"Our mutual business is always personal. But as long as you have an open case I'm involved with, you're not going to let it get personal. That's the only reason I'll tell you this."
"Tell me what?"
"Dana got a package about an hour ago, sent by messenger, no return address. It's your jewels. My guess is Eleanor Bain will come to call on Dana in a few days."
"Can I pick those up?"
"Call Bain. I have them, I paid Dana well for them and her cooperation if Eleanor turns up. I'll meet you at Bain's in two hours."
He hung up then and I was shocked. Recovering quickly I called Bain's secretary and scheduled us, wondering how I'd feel around the incestuous bastard. Supposing Nikolas was right.
Knowing who to trust was always the hardest issue for me.
Finn emerged from his Mustang like an avenging angel. He wore a leather jacket, black jeans, boots, and a black t-shirt stretched taut over his muscles. His hair was clubbed back and his countenance was darker than I'd ever seen. The man looked damn good in tailored suits that cost more than my car, but I'd always remember him best out of the old uniform in a tight t-shirt and jeans. He always was, and forever would be, a walking wet dream.
"Marly." Damn it, the way he purred my name always had a disturbingly deep effect.
My response was a curt nod and a taut return. "Finn."
He pulled out a small box and opened it, lifting out a beautifully Gothic ruby necklace. There was something eerily beautiful to the jewels, and I was not a woman given over to pretty baubles. It was a simple long strand of small rubies in burnished settings, but the crown piece was a ruby the size of a baby's fist. It was outlined in scrollwork that would make any maudlin Victorian proud.
"That's it?" I peered closer and saw one ruby missing from a setting next to the main stone. "It's missing a ruby."
"The letter said that's how it came, the setting was added but the next stone would come in place with another Bain. We'll let the elder Bain decide but if so just another day or two and we'll have Eleanor."
"Finn...there are some things about this I don't like. It's too pat."
"It's logical. Not that many of your cases are, but sometimes you catch the breaks." He turned to head in.
I did all the time, actually, just never when he was involved. "Wait!"
"What is it, Marly?"
"I've learned some disturbing things about Bain. Something smells fishy."
"From who? Nikolas Meyers? Are you fucking him?"
He growled and stepped close. "Marly, I am spending my own money and I owe Dana a huge favor, and I'm doing all this so you and I can just be Michael and Marly. Yeah, this case smells bad, real bad, but here is a perfect place to jump off the dammed train. I want you off and for once I want to be just two people, a man and a woman. Why can't we ever be that!?"
I narrowed my eyes and stretched to my full height, still five inches short of his. "Because I am a private investigator, you are a retired pornographer and fence, and we were both crooked cops. Because I am a woman who likes her freedom, and you are nothing but a sparkly ball and chain. Because you think you want to ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after and you're too fucking stupid to realize people like us, poor Southside trash do not get to live that life!"
I turned on my heel and marched up the stairs fighting tears. There was a part of me that wanted that dream, the happily ever after movies and books were always telling us happened. Because if I ever had that shot, it was with Finn.
However, he was the one man who had more dead bodies in his wake than I could ever dream.
Bain was again in full performance. Austere, cold, and oddly beautiful his black hair was smoothed back, and his black suit was a fashionable undertaker's garb that set off his Gothic study to perfection.
He eyed Finn who pulled off the tall-dark-and-handsome routine with much more natural grace and frowned. Through eyes and handshake they did some kind of macho thing I'd never understand, and as they sat I had no idea who'd won.
We went through greetings, my sanitized report in which I made no mention of Nikolas and ignored Finn's raised eyebrow. And then Finn presented the necklace.
It was the first show of true emotion Bain had delivered. He cradled it like an old lover and stroked it, smiling like the Mona Lisa into the red depths of the ornate jewels. At long last he pulled a loupe and the silver pencil jewelers used to test the veracity of their wares.
Silent moments passed marked by the ticking of an ancient grandfather clock and finally Bain looked up. "It is back, we are almost safe, but without my daughter this curse is quite real, I fear. You say two days and we will find her?"
"Guaranteed," Finn said before I could say anything.
"There is a missing stone. Was that the condition you lost it in?"
Bain moved the necklace like a sinner with a rosary. "A new stone is added with every Bain born. I added this in the hopes that my daughter would soon marry and give us an heir to the line."
"Just the hopes?" I asked and ignored Finn's sharp glance.
Bain pursed his lips and balled the necklace in his fist. "Wait here," he said and jumped from his desk with surprising litheness and strode from the room.
As soon as the door closed I fished into my purse and pulled it out. The little bug was not even a ¼" wide or long, and would be easy to miss, the battery that powered it was another issue.
"Watch the door," I whispered to Finn and ran around to the back of the desk. Feeling around the edge I found the best place and stuck the bug and battery.
"Hurry up, what the fuck do you think you're doing?" His whisper was harsh.
"He's coming!" Finn whispered back and I scrambled back to my seat just as the door opened. I stumbled a bit and Finn grabbed my arm, squeezing my bicep like he'd rather be strangling me.
"Miss Jackson, one million dollars will be wired to your account today. Mr. Finnegan a fee for half that can be wired to you upon receipt of my daughter. When she is returned, the rest of your fee, Miss Jackson. You will of course call me as soon as Eleanor agrees to meet Mr. Finnegan's friend."
"Of course. Thank you, I-"
"We do apologize but we need to go and begin making arrangements." Finn cut me off with a harsh squeeze and those curt words.
Bain frowned slightly but nodded. "I admire your dedication. Call me if anything changes, otherwise I expect you to deliver my daughter in two days' time."
We rose and the butler of death escorted us out. The whole time Finn gripped my arm with menace and kept that stiff smile on his face where his upper lip refused to move, making it a beautiful grimace.
Once outside Finn waited for the door to close and whipped around to face me. "What was that!?! Forty-eight hours, that's all. Forty-eight hours and Dana will call us, we'll pick up Eleanor and drop her off, we get our money, and you can retire with me and-"
I slapped him. "Snap out of it! Jesus Christ, do you not remember how cases go when we work together? All mine are smooth, boring, but you come along and there are guns and killers and bodies! Did you ever stop to think that Eleanor Bain is dead? That maybe her father killed her? That maybe the money he's giving us is setting us up? Wouldn't be the first time, Finn. The last time we worked together on a case I ended up facing two murder charges and they could come back to bite me in the ass any time! Get your head out of your ass!"
He sat there stunned as if blood came into his head for the first time in a few weeks. I wrenched free and slammed into my Olds, gunned the engine, and peeled out, leaving him in my wake.
The expression on his face was a beautiful mix of rage, lust, regret, and mostly confusion. It mirrored my own feelings.
Damn him for making me want what I can't have! I thought this as I changed the first 6 hour tape that had recorded Bains' study. The best way to get over someone was to get under someone and my mind flashed to Nikolas Meyers for a moment. Boy, that would frost Finn's ass, I thought with a smile.
I put in the new tape and left it attached to the receiver on my bookshelf. I went to the bar and poured myself a whiskey sour and went the leather pull-out couch and sat down, popping the tape into a player.
I grabbed my notebook and lit a cigarette and pressed play. Like most bugs it picked up pointless things. Bain ordering lunch, Bain doing a phone interview for the Trib, Bain meeting with a client who wanted some necklace modeled after one that had disappeared from Prussian Royalty years ago. I went through 3 cigarettes and 2 drinks before I heard something interesting.
He'd called the butler in and was dictating some errands not even a major domo would do, like a visit to a PI who also ran numbers. "Get me everything on Michael Finnegan and Marly Jackson. I know we have her file but find out everything about their connection. And call me Priestess Georgette, tell her three days time at the full moon. And where are we on Meyers?"
"He's being followed but no sign of Miss Bains."
"Make sure you buy a ticket for him, train, and then he disappears but not until Eleanor is back."
My bowels chilled and I felt the icy cold drink floating in my stomach. I was right. Bain was setting us up. He was going to kill Nikolas, do God knew what with his daughter, and he was going to take me and Finn down.
I could warn Finn but I trusted him to take care of his own skin. I knew my speech had made him think and he'd look into things. I could always trust Finn to survive but Meyers was in more grave danger. I shut the tape off, grabbed my gun and jacket, and pulled my phone from the charger.
Nikolas dwarfed my couch as he sat clutching the G&T I'd made him. He was pale, paler than usual as he listened to the tape.
When it was done he threw the glass and it shattered against the wall, luckily the liquid missed the Tooker print.
"Who is Priestess Georgette, Nikolas?"
He wore a black satin shirt above leather pants and even with the eye liner and necklaces managed not to look one bit girly. He smoothed his hair back as I retrieved the broom and dustpan from my closet.
"She's a Satanist, claims she studied under LeVay. She had a church or whatever they call it in the city for a while until it got shut down for prostitution. She's been tucked away writing books and no one has really heard of her otherwise in ten years that I know of."
"Why would Bain want to kill you?" I asked as I swept up the broken glass from the black and white tile floor and mourned yet anther highball glass lost to someone's temper in my office. No one cared about good wood and marble, it seemed, but me.
"Didn't you hear?"
I shook my head and dumped the trash into the basket.
"JuJu died early this morning. She OD'ed, and this was a girl who never took enough to get close. I think Bain is killing everyone who knew what his daughter was mixed up in. I though JuJu's death was what made you call. I'm scared, all right, and now I know for sure this bastard wants me dead."
"Someone should warn the Bobsey Twins."
"He'll pay them off," Nikolas grumbled and stood, beginning to pace. It was a neat trick in my small space.
"How do you know this?"
"Because he tried with me, or I thought he did. He offered me two million to keep quiet. Got a note this morning, anonymous, asking me to leave town and collect the money from a Swiss account. It came along with the paper announcing her death."
"Did you take it?"
"I called him myself and told him to go fuck himself, right before you called. I was tying up my concerns. I debated, but not over the money, only about his honesty."
"Why did you refuse?" I grabbed paper towels and finished up with the mess.
He laughed. "I'm worth twelve million already, I have no need of money, and Eleanor was- is my friend. I care more about her safety than my own. Look, I don't know if the curse is real or not, all I know is that family is fucked up and she needs out. I'd give her half my money just to get her out, keep her safe, and I need your help to do it."
"You love her, don't you?" I sat on the corner of my desk and reached for my own drink, watching him carefully.
He pushed his fair hair aside and looked at me with hawk-like intensity. "I love her, yes, but not the way you think. She is a beautiful creature but she has been warped and twisted by that demonic father of hers. She always spoke of secrets and conspiracies, and I never knew what was the truth and what wasn't. I love her and I want her to be happy, but I know we can't be together."
I nodded because I strangely understood. Loving someone you knew was pure and simple bad medicine...I was a goddamn expert at that.
He sat back on the couch with a loud plop. "I'm scared Marly. What if she's already dead? And me...I don't want to die. I want her safe, but I don't think I'm ready to die in the process."
I stood and walked to him, standing between his spread legs. He looked down to his clasped hands and hid between a curtain of hair.
I reached out and lifted his chin so his clear green eyes met mine. "Do as I say and I swear I will keep you safe. We will find Eleanor and I will kill that bastard father of hers. I swear it."
I couldn't say if it was his fragile expression, my need to separate myself from my feelings for Finn, or good old fashioned lust, but I found myself bending down slowly to kiss him, giving him time to get away, only Nikolas didn't.
His lips met mine and his eyes closed before mine did. It began as a soft kiss under my direction and when I realized that, unlike Finn, he wasn't going to lead this dance, I took charge.
Planting myself on his lap I raised my other hand to cup his face and forced his lips open with my tongue. He tasted of gin and good cigarettes, the kind of taste only a fellow smoker enjoyed. Underneath that was something fresh, and despite the fact he was a man who had done dark things he was still young and naïve, and that turned me on.
I slanted my lips against his, feeling his long hair brush my face as at long last he began to respond with calm desperation. His hands clutched my shoulders and I snuggled closer, pressing into his erection.
His body was warm and firm, not hard and sculpted, but the kind of body a woman could sink into like a plush bed. My hand moved to fist in the back of his hair and I yanked his head back, breaking our kiss to slide my mouth down his throat.
I knew his kink and delighted in the shivers as I nipped at his neck, the column and sides, and he moaned in that deep voice, nails digging into me.
"Have you ever been bitten?" He gasped out as I laved the bites with my tongue.
I had; Finn knew I liked it rough and when he was angry, when I had pushed him, he would bite me all over, drawing blood. I'd never been bitten by anyone with sharp dental implants and a taste for blood however, so I simply cooed "no."
"Let me," he gasped again as I bit harder. "I want to taste you, the real you."
Something about that was so much more darkly erotic that anything else he could said so I let go of his hair and ripped open my starched white shirt.
He didn't look at my breasts, decently sized and shown off to perfection in a lacy tan bra I'd worn to boost my confidence and match my panties. No, he gripped my head then and stared at the pulse in my neck.
He bent me back over the floor with surprising strength and kissed my chin, my throat. He bent over me hidden by that hair and I felt a frission of fear course through my body.
Then his teeth pierced and the sharp pain jerked me. Nikolas held me still and lapped at the blood, pressing his hips to mine with the hardest erection I think I'd ever felt. It was always so good when you knew someone's kink and enjoyed it too.
I tugged at his shirt and he raised us again to pull it off, baring a pale broad chest. My blood tickled from his lips and though vampires in the supernatural sense never turned me on, this very human one just did it for me.
He tugged me to him and bit the other side and I reached between our fused bodies and struggled to get at his pants. I gave up and simply stroked his reaction through the leather and he gasped and stopped me. "Please, I can't take much."
I smiled the smile of an older woman used to young men, and pulled back. "Bite my breast," I ordered and he grabbed one, pulled it from the bra and laved the nipple. Electric tingles coursed through me as he licked and suckled, making me wait for it.
I opened his zipper and he was naked beneath. He wasn't overly large or wide, but filled my palm. The second I skinned back his foreskin he bit my breast and the pain was deliciously intense.
I stoked him in time to his lapping tongue and he came, groaning, clutching me with his sharp nails and sucking the tip of my breast hard. I felt so wet, so hot, I wanted to shed my skin and jump into pure pleasure.
He came down with a groan and blushed. "It's been a little while, I'm sorry."
I rolled my eyes. "I seriously doubt you'll get bored in recovery time."
I got up and let him go to the bathroom to clean up. I stripped naked and left the blood trailing in slow rivulets down my skin. I turned the lights down and laid a spare black towel on the couch to keep the blood from the leather.
He came back naked and just as I hoped an erection twitched in thought at the sight of my naked bloody body. I worked out every now and again and got most of my calories from beer and whiskey so kept in decent shape, but I think it was the blood more than anything that peaked his interest.
"Lay down," I ordered softly and pointed to the couch. He did on his back and settled down with calm expectation.
I climbed up and sat on his face, rubbing my wet pussy against his lips. "Lick it," I commanded and he did.
He was decently good but the threatening pass of those sharp canines over sensitive skin was what made me shiver. I bent down and took his cock into my mouth working it with my tongue, lips, and hands, teasing him to full erection.
All the while a buzz or orgasm built slowly and steadily, requiring my concentration to spill over. I left his cock fully hard and gripped his thighs firmly. "Bite me there. Do it now, do it!" I urged and he did.
Flicking my clit with his tongue those teeth sunk in on either side and the pain was the first thing that made me scream, until that cry blended to the shriek of victorious orgasm. I pulsed and contracted, feeling him take the blood from my wounds with every spasm of my body, his lips brushing my clit in time and it seemed to go on forever.
I reached down and pulled the condom from my crumpled pants and ripped the foil packet open, rolling the condom down his pale erection.
I made him sit up against the back cushions and straddled him, watching blood and my own cum train down his cock as he slid in. Once seated we gabbed each other and he licked a closing wound open and then lapped.
I was caged by his arms and could not thrust so I settled for grinding, a much more pleasant sensation for me anyway. Every nerve felt on fire and I felt so alive, dancing with danger, the tangy scent of blood mixing with the spicy aroma of sex. His hands grabbed my hips and helped me grind against him, pulling wounded skin and bringing new sensations coursing through my entire body.
He drank and I ground, and we both made animal sounds of unholy lust. In this position our bodies were fused, force made it feel like he filled me. Sweat covered us and I threw my head back, closed my eyes, and surrendered to the feeling.