Dead Heat: Stormbringer Ch. 02byvelvetpie©
The phone call came at 7:45 in the morning, a full two hours before Taima was due at the station. Mahalo's words were terse. "Mr. Rhodes is here and wants to see the body. Get here right away."
Cursing in half-sleep, she forced herself out of bed, into uniform and squealed around all corners until she reached the police station. Nathan Rhodes, resplendent in business garb, sat on a perp bench in the outer entryway, nursing a styrofoam cup of cop sludge, the station's version of coffee.
"Good morning, Mr. Rhodes." He looked up, his expression showing his surprise, and arose, extending his hand. "It's very good of you to come so quickly."
He ignored her unstated implication and sucked on the foam cup's opening. "Thank you."
"If you would have called me, I would have been glad to arrange a convenient time for you."
Rhodes sputtered. "Well, I was on my way to work... "
"Taima, glad you're here." Mahalo winked at her and turned to Rhodes. "Mr. Rhodes came down to identify the body."
"I know. I told him that we were grateful. Is Manny ready?"
"Yes. Come with me, Mr. Rhodes."
Jenkins led the way with Rhodes and Taima following. The large picture window of the showing room stretched to the right and Mahalo ushered the civilian and officer inside. A body laid on the steel gurney, covered with a cotton sheet, a grayish-blue toe with a wire toe tag. BENNY RHODES was etched on it in big, black block letters. Taima saw Nathan's eyes fall on the tag and move quickly away.
Mahalo moved to stand by the head of the corpse, poised to lift the cotton sheet. Nathan moved beside the gurney, nervously looking at the shrouded body. "Are you ready, Mr. Rhodes?"
Rhodes nodded. Jenkins lifted the sheet and Nathan Rhodes turned a rather unnatural shade of white and dropped backwards, quickly caught by Taima, who slid to the floor with his weight. Mahalo dropped the sheet and helped her carry Rhodes to a bench, scowling as he went. Rhodes left when he awakened, more embarrassed than upset. Taima took a deep breath.
"Whew! Glad he's gone!"
Mahalo nodded. "He just showed up, Taima. Sorry to wake you so early."
"That's okay." She glanced up at the window. "So that's really Benny Rhodes, who was supposed to have been buried a week ago. Do we have any idea on how that might have happened?"
"Yeah. I have the funeral information." He shoved a lined square of paper at her. "I want you to go there and find out how Benny Rhodes cheated death."
* * * * *
Anyone entering the Petersen-Givens Funeral Home could tell that the services would be expensive. Oriental carpets, King Louis chairs and marble arches adorned the waiting area, along with a velvet-lined mahogany coffin. Taima examined the casket, wondering what it would feel like to be buried in such luxury. The door opened and a smartly-dressed man stepped in, heavy gold rings winking on his liver-spotted hands.
"Officer Greenleaf? I'm Myron Petersen. I understand that you have some questions about a client of ours?"
"Yes, sir." Taima fished the photo out of her jacket pocket and showed it to him. "Benny Rhodes."
"Hmmm... I don't seem to remember him." He gave an effeminate wave. "But that's of no consequence. I don't handle all of the funerals."
"Is there someone else that would be able to help me?"
"Yes. Our head mortician would probably be able to help you. If you could wait a few minutes, I'll get her."
Since she had to wait again, Taima decided to walk through to the selection room, a large square room filled with coffins, cement outer covers and floral arrangements. She never imagined that there was such a large selection of caskets and found herself drawn to one that had a tribal motif. The wood was beautiful, gleaming in the soft light and she reached out, stroking the mosaic pattern and inlaid gold piping.
"That's one of our bestsellers."
Taima turned toward the voice, the saliva drying up in her mouth. The woman was breathtaking. Her glossy black hair cascaded over her shoulders in a wave of curls and perfectly framed her heart-shaped face. Deep emerald eyes gave her the once-over and a smirk curled her pink lips, as if she could tell what Taima was thinking. She strode forward, extending her hand, her smile as confident as her grip.
"I'm Pilar Petersen."
"Nice to meet you, Mrs. Petersen. I'm Taima Greenleaf."
"Miss. Myron's my brother."
"I see. I'm sorry."
"No problem. Anyway, Myron said that you had some questions?" Taima handed her the photo, watching her forehead furrow in thought. "This is Benny Rhodes."
"Ugh! Please don't call me ma'am! It makes me feel old."
"Sorry, ma... " Taima stopped herself just in time and both women laughed. "I can't help it. It's part of our police training."
"Then call me Pilar."
"Okay. Only if you call me Taima."
"It's a deal." Pilar smiled and felt a tingle at the answering grin of the officer. She's quite a looker. Pilar wondered what her body looked like under that uniform. "Say, are you hungry?"
Taima was momentarily stunned. This beauty was asking her to lunch? "Uh, sure."
"How about we go have a bite of lunch and you can ask your questions?"
"Great. Let me get my purse and I'll meet you out front."
Taima decided that it would be best for her to drive since all the company cars were gone and Pilar's only other mode of transportation was a selection of color-coded hearses. She felt as if she was chauffeuring a celebrity around from all the attention that Pilar received "You seem to be very popular."
Pilar didn't answer right away, just sighed heavily. "Yeah, that's all anyone ever sees."
"Well, you are beautiful, Pilar. You can't help that people see that."
Her quiet response drew Taima's attention. "Is that a problem?"
"Seems to be." Pilar turned to the officer. "Let me ask you a question. When was the last time you think I had sex?"
"You?" Pilar nodded. "Um, jeez, I don't know."
Taima looked over at her again as she pulled into the restaurant's parking lot. "I don't know, Pilar. I don't think I could guess."
"Oh, come on. Guess!"
"All right." Taima put the car into park and killed the engine. "A week ago."
"That's your serious guess?"
"Wrong." Pilar gathered her purse, gripping the door handle. "Try three years ago."
Taima followed the woman into the restaurant, holding her conversation until they'd reached a table. The waitress gave them menus, took their drink orders and dashed off, leaving them in silence. Taima felt a jolt of adrenalin streak through her. Was Pilar flirting with her?
"Were you serious?"
"About it having been three years? Yes."
"That's a shame."
Pilar's electric eyes met Taima's dark ones. "Why would you say that?"
"Because... " Taima whispered. "I bet you sound sexy when you cum." Pilar's face flushed with heat and her pussy muscles flexed moistly. Taima cleared her throat, looking suddenly uncomfortable. "Sorry. I hope I didn't offend you."
"No offense taken." Pilar felt a tremor thrum through her body and her entire body tingled. There was no doubt that Taima was interested in her. But what do I say to her? Just then, the waitress came back with Pilar's cosmopolitan and Taima's peach iced tea and asked for their lunch orders. Taima begged for a little more time, avoiding Pilar's eyes.
Pilar decided to be a little bold. She slipped off her shoe and let her toe stretch out in search of Taima's ankle. She heard a small intake of breath from the officer and kept her face buried in the menu. Taima's ankle was encased in a sock so she had to slide her toes up farther to reach skin. Another small gasp. There was only so far she could go up and switched to the outside of the pants, making tiny circles around the inside of her thigh.
Taima bit her lip in an effort to not to moan out loud. It floored her that something so simple had become so erotic, especially from gorgeous Pilar. She felt Pilar's stockinged toes move past her knees, heading up the inside of her thigh.
"Pilar!" Pilar raised a finger to her lips to shush Taima from further conversation, her toes still questing as her eyes locked onto Taima's. She reached the juncture of Taima's legs and gently flexed her toes. Taima's eyes closed and her teeth bit into her bottom lip. Pilar smiled knowingly.
"Put it where you want it."
Taima kept her eyes locked with Pilar's as she reached under the tablecloth and placed Pilar's big toe directly on her clit. A shiver snaked through her body. Pilar's toe pressed down and started a gentle rotation, each movement making her gush more, sending her spiraling towards an orgasm.
"That's it." Pilar whispered, enjoying Taima's expression and her body language, massaging the officer's sopping pussy. "Feel it coming?" Taima nodded, beads of sweat forming on her upper lip, her nostrils flaring. "Up your spine, over your skin and into your pussy?"
"Let it happen, baby. Cum for me."
Taima felt like a bottle rocket being shot into the bright, blue sky. Her orgasm burst from deep inside her steaming cunt and she bit her finger, her entire body tingling. The ball of Pilar's foot pressed against her throbbing clit and Taima whimpered as aftershocks rocked her body. Pilar sat up, looking as cool as a cucumber, turning a brilliant smile to the waitress who arrived for their lunch orders.
"Officer, are you all right?"
Taima took a drink of her tea with a shaky hand. "Yeah, just a muscle spasm."
Pilar burst into laughter.
* * * * *
The remainder of lunch passed with sensuous smiles and questions about the dead man. Pilar had prepared the body for burial after Harold Wasserman, the embalmer, had finished up with him. The service was held last week, she wasn't sure what day, and he was sent to Sheltering Elms for interment.
When they returned to the funeral home, Taima turned to Pilar with a shy smile. "Are you free tomorrow night?"
"Would you like to go to dinner with me?"
Pilar's eyes sparkled. "I'd love to."
The moment seemed to be suspended in time. Taima's hand curled around the nape of Pilar's neck and their mouths touched softly and sweetly. Pilar whimpered into her mouth, shivering at the intensity of the kiss and the subtle stroking of Taima's tongue against hers. "I'll call you tomorrow afternoon, okay?"
Taima watched Pilar walk away, her pussy twitching again at the thought of having her in bed and was heading back to the station when Mahalo called on the radio, asking her to meet him at the ME's office. Ray Elliott and Mahalo were already in scrubs when she arrived and it took her a few minutes to don a set and join them in the medical examination room.
Dr. Charles Mulligan gave her a welcoming smile. "Hey, Tam! Long time no see!"
"That's a good thing, Dr. Chuck. You know how much I love this place!"
They all laughed but Elliott laughed the loudest. "Guess that's why it's a man's job."
Mahalo sensed Tam's anger brewing and stepped in. "Well, doc, what do you have to show us?"
"That stitched up seam in Mr. Rhodes' side." Mulligan stepped around the stainless steel table, grabbing a short-bladed knife and raising the flap of flesh. Taima moved in front of Elliott, adjusting the protective goggles and bending as close as she could to see the incision. "When I clipped the sutures, I found a surprise."
He switched to a pair of long-handled tweezers and gently tugged on something that was just out of sight. A glassine bag, filled with white powder and dripping with embalming fluid, slid out, landing on the table with a wet plop. The three officers looked at each other, then back to the doctor.
"So the dead Mr. Rhodes was a drug mule. That's interesting."
"Not as interesting as this." Mulligan handed Jenkins a vial half-filled with blue fluid and the officer read the label attached. "That's the result of testing this."
Jenkins looked up at him. "Are you kidding?" Mulligan gave a negative nod.
"What is it, Malo?"
"It's crystal meth."
* * * * *
Another long night found Taima dragging into her house at nearly midnight. She went through the usual routine. Keys on the pegboard, hat and jacket on the hat rack, holster on the table and gun tucked into the back of her jeans. The gun would go everywhere with her until she lay down to go to sleep and even there, it occupied the space beneath her pillow. But something was different tonight.
First, there was the scent of lilac in the air, something that was unusual in her kitchen. Taima flicked on the light and found a bowl of white and purple lilac sprigs on the table. She knew what that meant and who had brought them. Alicia. A warm pot of beef stew rested on the stove and a crusty loaf of bread was in the countertop. Alicia.
Candles burned in the bathroom and rose petals were strewn in the bottom of the tub in anticipation of hot water. And in her bed, drinking a glass of white wine and listening to Nina Simone, was Alicia, dolled up in a sexy blue teddy that matched her eyes. For a long moment, Taima forgot to breathe.
"How'd you get in?"
"Your spare key." Alicia picked up a second wine glass and poured one for Taima. "Third ceramic frog from the left."
Taima took the glass, licking her lips over the sight of her friend's nearly naked body. "So, what are you doing here?"
"I came to tell you that my head is clear." She clinked her glass with Taima's, moving in for a kiss. "And that I want to be with you."
"Alicia, I've been giving us some thought and... "
"You feel the same way, don't you?" Alicia's soft mouth plundered Taima's and her breasts pushed against her chest. The excitement of Alicia being the aggressor wiped all thoughts from Taima's mind and she became like putty in Alicia's virgin hands. Alicia cupped Taima's denim-clad pussy and pressed with the heel of her hand, making her friend arch against her with pleasure, moaning mouth-to-mouth. "You still want me, don't you?"
"God, yes." Taima could feel the heat of Alicia's hand through her jeans and moaned when the heat of Alicia's mouth matched it. Her skin felt as if she were being shocked and her heart was pounding like a drum. This was what she had wanted for so long. Her beloved Alicia. She tried to push Alicia onto her back but the blonde broke the kiss, resisting.
"No, honey. It's my turn to do the work."
Alicia started by running a hot bath and lovingly washed every inch of Taima's body, making sure to spend extra time cleaning the folds and creases of her pussy. She brought Taima to the edge of pleasure twice in the rose-scented bath water, but denied her release both times, laughing at Taima's obvious discomfort. Instead, she helped her friend out of the tub, dried her thoroughly and pushed her back on the bed.
Taima never felt anything as delicious as Alicia's hot, wet tongue licking water droplets from her neck. She tried to remain still but the combination of her warm breath and her inexperience had Taima writhing like a snake on scorching desert sand. Alicia's hands cupped her heavy breasts, thumbs circling over the hard buds and flicking them. Taima moaned. Alicia grabbed her nipples and tweaked them hard enough to make Taima moan again.
"Oh, yes." Taima's whisper made the blood rush to Alicia's face. She was worried that she wouldn't be able to satisfy Taima but she didn't feel like that now. The way Taima's body responded to her made her feel powerful and she wanted to use that power. Her mouth covered one breast, giving a few licks and a hard suck, then quickly moved to the other. Taima whimpered, wanting to get off, desperate to get off. "Please, Alicia. I need to cum. Please."
Alicia moved down, across Taima's muscled belly to the well-trimmed pussy and hovered above it, swallowing.
"Alicia, you don't have to." Taima lifted her head, looking down at her. "Just use your fingers."
"Lay back." Alicia commanded, pulling Taima's knees up and pushing them back. Without hesitation, she buried her face in Taima's juicy slit, licking upward and finding her clit. Taima nearly shouted in unexpected pleasure and Alicia smiled. Taima's juices flowed onto her tongue and she lapped hungrily, steadily bringing her friend closer and closer. Sensing that she was teetering on the edge, Alicia thrust her tongue into Taima's weeping hole.
Taima came apart. She screamed in absolute pleasure, her hips bucking against Alicia's mouth, coating her friend's face with her flowing cream. Alicia sat back, rubbing two fingers along Taima's grasping slit and smiled as a second and third orgasm gripped her. "Oh, Alicia! That was great!"
Taima wiped a hand across her face and sat up, putting her arms around Alicia. She was startled to find her crying.
"Oh, baby! What's wrong?"
Alicia smiled into Taima's eyes. "I did it! I actually did it!"
"Oh, Alicia!" Taima hugged her tightly.
"I love you, Taima."
Taima held her new lover, softly stroking her hair as she cried, visions of a green-eyed, black-haired woman in her mind and her date tomorrow with Pilar. She wondered what she was going to do now.