Secret Desires Pt. 09bymadam_noe©
Shannon was amazed by the number of people at the crime scene. It was a small apartment, a flop house of furnished rooms off Royal Street just two blocks past where they had given up the night before. The filthy hostel was filled with people. Uniformed cops stood around chatting, technicians shooed them away from spots to inspect, and there were plenty of detectives in suits having heavy discussions. In a ten-by-ten room Suzie counted fifteen people before they entered. Aiden and Nick flashed badges and talked her in as the only one who could make a positive ID.
She hadn't seen Parker since she'd left Belle Trouver the first time, back when he'd let her work on her Mustang on his lot. She always remembered him as a flashy used car salesman who'd been kind to her, helping her with the car. He'd never made an advance on her, never made her uncomfortable, and actually had a few stories of her mother that didn't make Shannon blush to her roots, a kindness she'd never forget.
Despite his relationship with Suzie she could only think of the pale corpse as something of a friend, and her heart constricted. He wasn't covered by a sheet but lay naked in the light. Someone had put a sheet of paper over his genitals when they waved her over and she was thankful. His mustache was gone and his hair more grey, but it was him.
"That's him. Why is there water on the carpet?" She carefully avoided the large pool he lay in.
A tech in a windbreaker looked up at her. "That's sweat. Looks like he may have died from alcohol poisoning but there are no signs of vomit anywhere."
Nick crouched down as Aiden helped Shannon to stand. "Belladonna makes people sweat, yeah?"
A young tech joined them, straightened his glasses and gulped. "Um, ah-"
"Did you check for puncture marks? Look at the neck," Aiden interrupted.
The tech opened a case and pulled out a magnifying glass, slapping on new gloves. "You got the photos?" the older tech asked a suit with a camera.
"You're good to go," he replied, and the young tech moved the head slightly. Parker's head, Shannon thought with a shiver.
"Not too stiff, first rigor passed. Means he died sometime last night, probably evening. Wait, what's this?" He and the older technician murmured together before he glanced back up at Aiden. "There's a puncture wound."
"Check for Belladonna. I'll have Special Agent Fielding get some files over to you." He turned to Shannon. "Nick, why don't you take her outside for some air. I need to talk to the lead."
Nick nodded and lead her back out.
"I saw bottles. Suzie's moisturizer. She was there. What if she was poisoned too and she's in some alley? What if she's delirious but still alive?"
"Cher, you can't think like that. Suzie's a survivor, she hiding out is all. You heard dem, if Parker was killed in de evenin' we know Suzie is okay, she was at de hotel after dat. Let's go talk to the front desk." He lead her down the stairs to where more cops sat and they had to wait several minutes for the old man who ran the concierge desk to be free.
"Sir, the dead man's friend...Suzie. Five-six, curly blonde hair, real pretty but run down, under thirty but looks thirty five. When was she here?"
He stood, a wrinkled man in a Hawaiian shirt and glasses so thick his eyes looked owlish and large, his shiny bald head making him appear more like a festive turtle. "You poor dear, was she your sister?"
"Cousin," Shannon replied softly as she let him pat her hand.
"Like I told the cops she was here with him since last week. But yesterday they had some fight, she left here with a big bag 'round four thirty, maybe five, didn't see her come back. She gave me her key and everything. My night man didn't see her either. Don' know who came over and made that mess."
"If she come round again, you call me, homme." Nick fished out a business card.
He took it adjusting his glasses and still squinting. "A sheriff! Impressive for one so young. Okay, I'll do it but just so you know she's safe, miss. I don't wanna get mixed up in nothin' serious."
"Thank you." Shannon tried to smile but her nerves were frazzled.
She let Nick direct her outside and there were a few cops smoking so he took her upwind. Shannon gulped in the humid air and tried to steady herself. "This is...good, isn't it? Suzie is safe, we know the Belladonna Killer is in town and so is Mingham. Now the manhunt can begin, and Parker..." she found herself laughing a little madly, "it'll save the town the cost of a trial."
"Cher, you need a drink." Nick grabbed her again and they walked two doors down to a little dive bar. It was only noon and it was already half-filled. They sat at the bar and Nick ordered two Cokes and a shot of whiskey, Jameson.
He paid for it and slid the shot over. "One go, cher, Coke is for a chaser."
She raised her eyebrow and knocked back the whiskey in one clean go. "Chasers are for girl scouts." It came out a flip turn of phrase, but it was something she'd heard Big Johnny Parker say a time or two. She set the shot glass down and stared at it, realizing fully that Parker was dead.
He'd laughed slightly at the quip, his face sobering slowly when she didn't make another sound. "Cher, I'm real sorry you had to see dat. We should have had you wait outside."
Sighing she toyed with the straw in her soda. "I needed to. If Suzie had been there..."
His hand covered hers. "But she wasn't. We'll find her."
"I have to call Lucy."
"Let me, cher." He pulled out his cell phone and she saw Lucy was his first speed dial. He stepped outside to talk over the din and Shannon reached for her Coke, toying with the straw.
If they had kept going just another two blocks the night before, they would have found the hostel, maybe gotten to Parker while there was still time to help. But no, she had gotten tired and frustrated and then picked a fight with Aiden. If their damned feelings hadn't gotten involved maybe Parker would be alive still, knowing where Suzie was, and they would have her.
She flagged down the smiling bartender. "Can you make this coke into a beer? Whatever's on tap and cheap."
"PBR but you don't look like a PBR person," the young woman said. "How about a Hopitulas on the house? Looks like a rough day for you both."
"Thanks. Hey, did a woman ever come in here, about my age, maybe looked older, curly blonde hair, curvy, slim, named Suzie?"
"Yeah, she's been here around noon every day. Missed yesterday and hasn't been in today. Suzie's got man troubles. Guess her prince charming wasn't so charming." She set the beer down and Shannon handed her a tip gratefully.
The pretty brunette slung her hand loosely over a tap and raised her eyebrows. "Hunh, is that what all the hubbub is about. How's Suzie?"
"She's gone missing. Again."
"You know, funny thing, there was a man in here looking for Suzie just the other night."
Shannon set down her beer and motioned to Nick coming in the door. "Him?"
The bartender shook her head. "Nope. The man in here looking for Suzie was older, tall, thin, but working on a beer gut, looked like he was in his second trimester."
"Is this him?" Nick pulled a folded photo from his pocket, sorting it from the others of Suzie and Parker.
She peered close. "That's him. Bossy, bad tipper. Asked for scotch and pooh-poohed our selection. Told him, this is a beer and whiskey joint."
"What time was this?" Shannon asked.
"Almost closing time, maybe one, one thirty."
Nick shoved the photo back in. "He leave a card?"
"No, but I could tell he'd been at Satsuma café across the street. He had matches from there. Tried to light a cigar in here until I chased him out."
"Thank you. Come on Shannon, let's go."
Reluctantly she left her half-filled beer as they stepped out into the heated press of sunshine. Holding Nick's hand she darted through traffic with him, Aiden shouting their names. He jogged up to them with a questioning look.
"Bartender ID'd Mingham, said he'd had dinner here last night."
"Well then, let's go." Aiden held the door for her and they slipped into the small café. She let them do the talking, and Nick was able to get an ID from a chef who remembered Mingham's order. Sadly it was paid in cash but the host took Nick's card and promised to call if he stopped by, though they all knew that was unlikely.
"We canvas before the cops do," Nick said.
"Same as before?"Aiden asked and Shannon nodded.
She and Aiden watched Nick cross back to the side of the street the hostel was on. "He called Lucy. I have it arranged, she'll tell Charlotte. I'd feel a lot better if we had proof Suzie is okay."
"Where would she go?"
"Bars, mostly. If she needed to hide out? She'd go to a bar and pick someone up, stay at his place, but she wouldn't go to the bar she went to every day for the last week. Friendly bartender," she explained at his look.
He slipped his sunglasses on. "Then let's start with the bars."
They returned to the hotel exhausted, dehydrated, and frustrated just before six. By agreement with murmurs they ordered a pizza and soda, crashing onto one bed and turning on the television. No more sightings of Suzie or Mingham, none of Parker, no phone calls, just voicemails from the day they grudgingly checked.
The local police were on Parker, handling it, and Aiden's boss was calling for him to return home until he explained the Piemente angle. Jaded and tired they settled into a movie, a senseless comedy that only made them smile, until the pizza came.
"Let's just eat in bed," Nick suggested.
It was a messy affair, but by the time she had finished two slices and the men had the other eight between them they were laughing. She wiped sauce from the corner of their lips and they kissed it from hers. It was shockingly easy, their worries melting under the weight of friendship renewed. When they set the food aside and sat back, both men put an arm behind her, comfortably touching, and she fairly purred in the comfort of both their arms. The movie forgotten, they told stories of the shared experiences of youth until her phone rang.
"Hang on." She checked and it was Doc Hauser's number. "It's Charlotte."
She climbed over Aiden while she answered. "Hello?" The phone dropped as she stumbled and Nick swatted at her ass in the air.
She retrieved it and stood, glaring at him, looking so dark against the ecru bed. "Aunt Charlotte?"
"Cher." Her voice sounded sad, gravelly, the accent thick.
"Hang on, let me step outside."
"Good view," Nick called as she walked away. She picked up a pillow from the other bed and threw at both of them for leering at her ass in the shorts.
The balcony was shallow, more for decoration than anything, but she was slim enough to fit. "What is it?"
"That Lucy girl came round, told me the news. No sign of Suzie, eh?"
"Not yet, but we're hopeful."
"You saw Parker?"
Shannon swallowed, not wanting to remember. "Yes."
"Oh, cher, I'm so sorry. I want to tell you something, something your ma swore me not to share, not until he was gone."
Her blood turned to ice. "Why would she care about Big Johnny Parker?"
There was a long pause. "Cher, he was your pa."
She dropped the phone and only unthinking reflexes saved it from falling six stories down. "What!?!"
"He didn't know, maybe suspected, he was always nice to you. She knew, got into trouble, then she met your da. Dat girl...she made me promise. I wouldn't have said anything, but dat's why I didn't want Suzie hangin' around him. Your da, de one you knew, he loved you, if he'd lived he woulda raised you as his own."
"Oh my God."
"Cher, I'm so sorry."
"I- I have to go." She was numb as she clicked the end button. Her brain just couldn't cope with that, not then. It was too much.
She opened the sliding door slowly and something in her face made Aiden turn off the TV. "What is it?"
She said nothing, setting her phone down on the dresser she climbed onto the foot of the bed and settled between them. "I can't think right now. I need a distraction."
For moment she could tell they looked at each other, communicating silently as only best friends can do. She needed time to process this, her mind was still in rejection mode, and she desperately needed not to think. If they said no, she was afraid she'd start bawling.
"Say no more, cher."
She rolled into the crook of Nick's arm and Aiden settled behind her. Propping on one elbow he stroked her back as Nick held her hip. She felt his hands move smoothly over her as his lips kissed the back of her neck softly. It was meant to be soothing but she cried out softly in startled arousal.
Shannon didn't want to think. Inside she was going numb from all the stress, the worry, the shock, and she needed to feel alive. Secrets, there were just so many damn secrets, too many. Small town life had a way of doing that, and she was sick of hiding her own desires.
Aggressively she kissed Aiden, burying her fingers in his hair, twisting her body to do the same to Nick with her other hand. She drew him close enough their cheeks touched, and she turned to kiss her dark lover. He'd stiffened at the touch, but kissing her he relaxed, and Aiden sighed, shaking.
They were both men who preferred control in their own way and she was forced to relax. Together they pulled her shirt down and Aiden lowered the cups of her bra to capture a nipple between his teeth. Nick lifted her and undid the bra, leaving it own as he captured her other breast. The sensation of two different mouths, one rough and slow, the other soft and fast, spun her arousal to an incredible height. She cried out wordlessly and clutched at their heads, arching into them, begging for more with her body.
Aiden stroked his fingertips over her skin, across her ribs and danced them over her stomach while Nick smoothed his rough palm up her thigh. He snuck in under her tight shorts and she felt his fingertips against her slit. Gasping she struggled to pull at their shirts, begging them to get undressed.
Nick danced away with a grin and unbuttoned her shorts. Grinning, he cannily began to tug them down with his teeth as Aiden straightened and she helped him pull the shirt off, caressing his chest.
Aiden claimed her in a kiss as Nick pulled her shorts off then peeled his own shirt off. She felt his hot breath at the juncture of her thighs, her only warning, and then he ripped her panties off. He slid in two gingers and lowered his mouth to feast as Aiden palmed both her aching breasts, still kissing her deeply.
It was too much. The novelty of the situation, her aching need, the comfort and pure sensuality of the moment made her climb to culmination a fast one. She screamed her release into Aiden's mouth as Nick flicked his tongue over her clit, massaging her deep inside with his fingers.
She shattered, barely aware of their moving, but when she opened her eyes Aiden had removed his pants and knelt between her legs now. Nick unzipped his pants and pulled his cock out, stroking it close to her face.
"Cher," he said, a plea she understood and she gripped his cock, bringing it to her mouth.
Aiden was gentler, his mouth sucking and licking slowly, teasing her. Shannon licked and sucked while stroking as Aiden built her up slowly until her entire body shook with anticipatory need. This climb was a sweet one, soft and paced solely by Aiden. When she cried out as the orgasm burst over her Nick jerked back, squeezing the tip of his cock.
"Not yet, cher, I want to fuck you." The coarse words were honey-sweet on his tongue and he kissed her deeply.
"Aiden, lay on your back," Shannon dreamily commanded. "Please," she added shyly when he didn't move.
They both laughed but moved as she did and when he lay on his back she straddled him and took his cock into her mouth. He groaned and clutched at her hips as she sucked him strongly.
"What are you w-waiting for?" He asked Nick.
She felt the bed dip and then Nick was there, his hands pushing Aiden's down. His cock probed her and then slammed in, and Shannon cried out, swirling her tongue around the head of Aiden's cock. Then she felt his mouth press to her aching cunt. Nick drew back and thrust in violently, shaking the bed, and the twin sensations were beyond anything she could comprehend.
She fought to make it last, it was so sweet, but Shannon couldn't hold back. Pumping her hand and mouth and down Aiden's cock she sucked hard as her body tightened. She struggled to move but they held her firmly in place, and Shannon could fight no more.
She went flying over the precipice and screamed with it. Her climax triggered Nick's and he nearly shouted. Unable to move, Aiden picked the slack now and fucked her face. Quickly he joined them with his own cries even as she jerked her hips up and away from his face, too white-hot sensitive to take any more. She swallowed his hot cum greedily to the last drop and pulled away, knowing he was as sensitive as she.
Nick pulled out and she collapsed to the side, panting. "Wow, just wow," she said.
The Cajun chuckled and knelt beside her. For a moment he seemed to darkly debate something, then he cursed, reached down and kissed her. She was shocked to her core as their tongues met and she knew he tasted Aiden's cum as much as she tasted her own juices on his lips.
He let her go and laid down beside her. Aiden turned to lay on her other side and for a long moment they all held one another in silence, reeling from the experience.
Aiden broke the silence at long last. "What happened? What did Charlotte say?"
Turning into Aiden's arms she let a single tear fall, hiding her face. Nick was at her back, a stroking her softly. "Big Johnny Parker was my father."