Vice Cop Ch. 11byAudreyHepburn©
Previously on Vice Cop, Hudson got himself a Chinese mail-order bride named Cherry. Mason and Lexa retreated to The Poconos for a weekend. For Hudson, married life was sweet until a dangerous underground Chinese Mafia cast a large shadow over Chinatown. Girls were abducted by ninja soldiers who worked for a powerful Asian Mob lord, and were forced into sexual slavery. When Cherry was abducted, Hudson came to her rescue but discovered that she had been killed during an altercation with the Mob boss' wife.
This chapter deals with the pursuit of a serial killer and a separate murder incident. Lexa and Mason are working for Homicide and investigate. Like with other chapters, this is full of plot and action. But you can find a brief sex scene on SCENE EIGHT between a young rookie cop named Vince McClintock and a ballerina. Hudson is not featured in this episode but will return for Chapter 12.
The time is the 1980s...
Upper East Side, Manhattan, 6:30pm
It was a grey twilight, with very little light, and the sun had set so quickly it seemed as if it had been consumed in a sudden celestial firestorm.
The spectacular sunset had tinged the skies with hues ofvivid, fiery reds, orange, gold and yellows. After the sun went down, chilliness settled into Manhattan. From afar, cargo ships and other vessels were blaring their horns in the harbor, and seagulls were crying out and swarming through the air in large numbers. The city traffic was heavy and tiredness filled the air; the urbanites of Manhattan island ready to come home and finish their day.
Professor Dorian Messing who had just come home from teaching classes at New Amsterdam University approached his home. He looked around him, as if ensuring that no one could see him. He was carrying a large bag, but this was not unusual. He carried shoulder bags, backpacks and book bags, being a Professor, and he was always traveling abroad, bringing luggage, valises and bags containing objects and artifacts with him. He was considered an eccentric, even within academic circle and his own upper class society friends and connnections, but some felt he was charming. He liked his privacy and he didn't like to socialize, except at social functions and parties that involved him as a guest of honor.
He sighed in relief as he noticed that the few people up and about didn't seem to take an interest in him. He took out the key to his home, a walk-up with two stories and fabulous Gothic tainted windows, and closed the door shut. Safe inside his home, he quickly removed the heavy clothes he had on -- a trench coat, a blazer, and his dress shirt and slacks. He had on a scarf around his neck which he quickly tossed away.
He preened in the mirror that hung over the fireplace and smiled. God, did he look great. He was sixty two years old and he looked like a very young man. He wondered why of late he hadn't had any success in finding a mate. No, there was no woman to greet him when he came home.
At the age of sixty two, he had never been married. Except, for that one occasion, which he himself publicized as a huge joke and a unique way to promote his book written about his experiences in South America's Amazon jungle when he was there in the 1970's. He had the natives stand around in ceremonial garments while he "married" a rather huge lizard he took his pet. He called her Cecile-Cecile. It was only this large, long-living lizard that awaited him in his apartment.
"Hello, darling," he said in his British accent, "good to see you. How's about a kiss?"
Cecile-Cecile, who slept all the time and only got up to eat, got up to acknowledge his presence. The Professor leaned against her and kissed her on the lips. Then the lazy lizard went back to sleep. The Professor had a very calm and eerie look in his face. His tall, thin figure and his swift moments, which could also appear leisurely, especially when leaning against a wall, made him look reptilian himself.
His large living room had the appearance of a nineteenth century Victorian parlor, with large palm trees and showy plants over a carpet of showy design. There was artwork on the walls, and photographs of himself in various parts of the world, but always in an island, jungle or rainforest. He had been to Indonesia, he had been to Africa, he had been to South America and New Zealand. He was fascinated by the civilizations that had developed in jungle terrains, indigenous people who lived in tune with nature. He had studied the Maori people in New Zealand, He spent years away from modern luxuries such as cars, telephones and newspapers, existing only to satisfy his anthropologist's curiosity. He had taught classes in New York City for years at but also toured the US and Europe lecturing and promoting his books.
On the walls were masks given to him by natives, African painted masks, and headdresses. He collected little idols and fertility statues, displaying them all around the living room as if it was a museum. He removed the object he had been carrying in the bag. He had a malicious look in his eye as he gazed upon it.
It was a human head.
He knew that he couldn't dare display this on the wall. No. It would have to go into the backroom where he kept all his heads. Company would be shocked and appalled to see severed heads and it would most definitely ruin tea time and the chance of making even newer friends with money.................
A chilliness spread in Manhatttan.
It was just as chilly in Madeline Cavanaugh's apartment. Her apartment had recently been cleaned by professionals. She had paid men to remove the carpeting and only the bare wood floor was left while the carpets were cleaned. She had never wanted to hire housekeeping, though everyone she knew in this part of Manhattan did it. She wouldn't think of it, not so much because she disliked minorities, but because she did not want anyone else in her home. She lived alone. She had always lived alone since moving into New York City from Scarborough Beach, Maine. She had left behind her widowed mother, and embraced the city as a young girl, as a ballerina ready to conquer New York City.
But that had been some years ago. She was approaching thirty now and she knew that her time would be up soon. That's what her ballerina friends down at the American Ballet Theater called it when dancers reached a certain age and could no longer hope to achieve the critical acclaim of youthful performances. She didn't care. Whatever work she could find in the ballet, she got it.
On the floor were the glowing reviews she received for her La Sylphide. She had recently torn up the bad reviews for her Sleeping Beauty, which was an experimental production in which the dancers danced on ice like figure skaters in an indoor hockey stadium. Damn critics. They were all probably picky, fussy fags anyways she thought. She had recently run into a nasty critic at a restaurant downtown and she spat in his face.
"You didn't show any dramatic integrity," he had told her, "you were so wooden and mechanical. Why don't you just hang up those ballet shoes and call it quits."
Bastard, she thought, I'll show him. I'll show all of them. I may not be a big star, but I will be famous one day. My name will be in the papers, on TV, in the media. I'm not ready to retire yet. These feet have lots of life left in them still.
Madeline liked how the bare, glossy brown wood floors were perfect for private dance rehearsals she could do at home. She loved rehearsing her solos here, so far from the eyes of other ballerina bitches who were judging her anyways. She hated the instructors, who pushed her hard, she hated the theater and the typical smells -- cigar smokes, sweat, unpleasant people's breaths on her face and those damn mirrors on the walls.
She hated to see other people dancing. She liked to see only herself dancing, as she did now, right in the comfort of her own living room. She looked into the large mirror on the wall which reflected her living room. She had on a record playing. It was Salome's Dance of the Seven Veils by Richard Strauss. In a week's time, she would be dancing, replacing the fat soprano who would be singing Salome at the Met. She jumped at the chance to perform at the Metropolitan Opera, known as the Met for short. It was a privilege long denied her, even though she had seen other dancers perform there. She knew the part. Salome, the pagan princess, who lusted after John the Baptist and danced before King Herod, asking for the head of the Prophet as her reward. What drama!
Little did people know that she knew the part all to well, so personally.
While the music played, she began to dance. She swayed and turned, gliding across the floor in seductive movements. Keeping it balletic, she nonetheless managed to ooze sensuality as she began to strip. She didn't have her costume with her but she had already seen it and she loved it. It looked like the sexy outfit worn by Barbara Eden in "I Dream of Jeannie". On her head would be veils and a headdress and she would remove each veil as she danced. The climatic finale to the dance ended in her complete nudity. She chose not to wear a body suit. She would show everything.
She laughed. Fools, they don't know how personally I know the role. How passionately I have loved and lost the man I loved and couldn't have.
She danced around passionately, frantically as if on fire. She danced around passionately, frantically as if on fire. She heard voices in her head, speaking foreign languages she could not understand. She heard King Herod's voice: "Dance for me, Salome!". She heard also the sound of thunderous applause, faint at first but growing stronger like a wind that swept around her. Ah, there was nothing like the sound of applause. "Dance! Dance!". The voices compelled her to dance, as they had compelled her to do other things. She was dancing around a head. It was a man's head, and it had been severed recently, some drops of real blood still smeared on his brow. She was dancing around a head. It was a man's head, and it had been severed recently, some drops of real blood still smeared on his brow...
* * * *
It was official. Lexa O'Neil and Mason Holmes were a couple.
Everyone on the force knew it. They had seen it coming. Everyone on the force knew it. They had seen it coming. No one was particularly vocal about it, but everyone seemed to share the same thought: Lexa got involved with Mason in order to leave behind the world of the routine cop and become a detective like him. They did not see in them a true romantic couple. They saw only that Lexa had an interest in higher-paid detective work and Mason was her ticket.
Chief Barry Hiller congratulated them and seemed genuine pleased. Lieutenant Isaiah Dante did not voice his opinion and remained cool and distant but Lexa knew he disapproved of the match. He had told her once before that she should not get involved with Detective Holmes. But they were opinions based on his dislike of white men. With all the attention they were receiving it appeared as if they had gotten married. But they were only moving in together. Still, everyone felt that was a step towards marriage.
Hudson Banach was just as cool and distant as Lieutenant Dante. He did not look up at Lexa anymore and had returned to duty after a long absence. Lexa heard of the tragic events that occurred while she and Mason had been away in The Poconos. She wanted to comfort him and tell him that things like that were bound to happen, especially with the Mafia involved, and that he should honor his memory of Cherry. But Hudson did not want to talk to anyone about it.
The move to Manhattan was quick. Mason had already furnished the apartment, a walk-up apartment that rose high into the air and overlooked Central Park. It was a lovely apartment, with balconies on the higher floors, marble floors on the lobby level. Everyone in the apartment knew each other pretty well and their mailboxes were lined up in a row as if they were lockers, mailboxes that could only be opened with their individual keys. Residents of the complex could opt to take the stairs or the elevator to get to their apartments.
For Lexa, the change was big. She had never lived in a place like this and the view of Central Park from the living room was magnificent. Mason had no real flair for interior décor, but he had nice sofas, chairs, a coffee table, potted plants, framed artwork and a chandelier in the dining room. The apartment had only two rooms, and one bathroom. The apartment was situated on the highest floor. A balcony stood right outside one of the bedrooms.
Mason made an extra pair of keys for her. As soon as they had moved in together, their life almost assumed the status of a marriage. They subscribed to Time Magazine, they had joint bank accounts and they were treated, mostly by Mason's friends, as if they were a happily married couple. Before long, they were invited to various social events, mostly parties and charity events and were welcomed by Mason's wealthy friends as part of their inner circle. Lexa was the only ethnic woman among whites; which made her feel uncomfortable but Mason supported her and made her feel better. No one had said a word against her and everyone seemed genuinely happy for her. Life was good and as it turned out, the happy days were flying swiftly by.
For Hudson, time had gone much more slowly.
Since the death of Cherry, he had given up on finding love. He had not found pleasure in anything. He lost a little weight, owing to his sudden lack of appetite and the fact he was in no mood to return to the gym. He did not meet with the Professor, who had desired to speak with him about what happened in efforts to comfort him.
He had secluded himself in his home, refusing to speak to anyone, not even his family. But this period of isolation and depression passed. He knew that he could not give up work for long. Before long, he was back in action with the Vice Department. But he did not look particularly involved in the assignments and did his job with a degree of mechanical industriousness, indifferent to whatever happened around him.
Although Vince McClintock, his partner, tried to win his friendship, Hudson's suddenly cold demeanor did not allow it. They were both assigned to the same type of missions, usually finding drug dealers and prostitutes or their pimps. They were assigned to the roughest, most crime-filled parts of the Bronx. They were in the ghettos, cops who made appearances in bad neighborhoods where low-income families lived together like sardines in a can. Their presence was not uncommon and with the problem of street gangs, they were needed even more.
Yes, the days passed slowly for Hudson. He did find himself occasionally thinking of Lexa. She no longer worked for Vice. She was a detective now, and let everyone know it. She was always seen with Mason Holmes, her partner, and the two were assigned to more pleasant areas in Manhattan, seeing another side of the city that Hudson had hoped would one day be part of his life.
Lexa and Mason saw the world of the rich and powerful and they were constantly investigating cases not only involving murder, but embezzlement, crimes of passion, sex crimes and white collar crimes. Often, people affected by these crimes came directly to Mason and Lexa.
Yes, Lexa was doing much better. And she had found someone to share her life with. But Hudson, who did his best to avoid her, would sometimes see a far-off look in her face, a strange passiveness, as if she did not belong with Mason either, as if upscale Manhattan was really not for her. But no one else saw it. She was a beautiful woman who knew how to dress elegantly and fashionably, and she had class deep in her bones. Whenever she was out of uniform, that is.
It was morning in Manhattan.
Mason Holmes had heard the most shocking news of his entire life when he walked into his office at Homicide. He had turned on his answering machine. Lexa had not yet shown up for work. The female voice on the answering machine was in despair and in shock. It was Claire Marshall, the beautiful wife of his best friend, a Christian pastor, Reverend Victor Marshall. The Marshalls had always been good to him and they had given him the keys to their cabin in The Poconos, where he had first made love to Lexa.
"Detective Holmes, it's Claire," she said, "I need you to come to my house immediately. My husband has been away for days. I'm worried something has happened to him. I called the police and filed a missing person's report. I don't want to wait too long. I hear you're a fine detective and I need you to locate my husband as soon as possible."
Lexa walked into the office, with a coffee cup in her hand. She was in a blouse, jacket and skirt. She was so glad she didn't have to wear uniforms anymore. Sometimes they were tiresome to wear and she felt they didn't show off her feminine beauty, which, despite being a cop, she wanted everyone to know she still had. She walked up to Mason, who had a troubled look.
"What's wrong?" she said to him.
"Something has gone terribly wrong, "Mason replied, "my dear friend Reverend Victor Marshall has disappeared. His wife Claire called and left me a message last night. She thinks something's happened to him."
"Oh, I'm so sorry. It sounds terrible. It makes sense that she'd contact you right away."
"No. She just said he's missing but I know she suspects foul play. I'm so worried myself. This is going to be a personal matter for me. I need to see Claire right away."
"I'll come with you.".....................................
Park Avenue Home of Rev Victor Marshall, 8am
Claire Marshall was wearing a fur coat, to keep warm inside her home. The fireplace wasn't working and the whole house felt like an igloo. She sat, frozen, on an armchair in front of the fireplace, staring at staring at nothing. She had sat on that chair without getting any sleep for the entire night.
She had her back turned and did not see Mason and Lexa approaching. A short, chubby Hispanic woman, in maid's outfit, was with them.
"Miss Marshall, diz man say he is a detective and wants to talk to you," the Hispanic woman said with an accent.
"Claire, it's me Mason," he said to her, getting her attention.
She slowly turned to look at him.
"This is my partner, Lexa O'Neil. We're so sorry to hear what's happened. It's really important that we talk to you. As of now, the case is open and we find it necessary to begin investigation. It is painful to hear but the biggest possibility is that Victor was abducted."
"I understand," she said in a calm voice, "but first I need some tea. Mercedes, please make some tea."
"Will the gentleman and da lady also want some tea?"
"That would be nice, thank you," Mason said.
Mercedes went into the kitchen, looking over her shoulder only once. Claire told Mason and Lexa to have a seat in the sofa. The small living room was ornately furnished, with dozens of tall palm trees and plants, and antique vases containing beautiful white and pink roses and gladiolas. The carpet was teal blue with little birds embroidered on it. On the wall was a huge picture of Claire and Victor on the occasion of their wedding day. Mason extended his arm and reached Claire's hand taking it softly into his.
"I am deeply sorry, Claire, this is a real nightmare," he said to her, "my partner here said that she was sensing something wrong when we arrived."
"You think someone kidnapped my husband?" she said, choked with emotion, "who? who would do this? Victor was a wonderful man and a good preacher, a man of God. He had no enemies."
"Well investigations take time. I'm pretty sure that we can figure out who did this if we work on it fast and with lots of commitment. But we need your help. Now, you may not be familiar with the procedural."