tagBDSMMatt Danger & the Bound Angel Ch. 01

Matt Danger & the Bound Angel Ch. 01


I’d be the first to tell you that this private eye business isn’t half of what it’s cracked up to be, Half? Not even a tenth. Most of my time I’m mashing ass in my broom-closet office over Wing Yee’s Oriental Garden on Wentworth, waiting for the phone to ring and wondering whether Yee will let me put another order of pork fried rice on the cuff again and listening anxiously for my landlord’s tread on the stairs. And when I’m working I’m either sitting in my sagging Le Mans in the parking lot of a by-the-hour motel or waiting for some North-shore babe’s new squeeze to pick her up from her jazzercise club so I can snap a pic for her old man. Sometimes I moonlight nabbing lifters at one of the fancy department stores out in the malls, but that’s about it work wise.

Not that I’m complaining. The money isn’t much—isn’t squat, really—but there are certain perks available to a private eye who keeps his eye open. Like, who’s watching the watcher in those big department stores for example? I myself don’t take advantage of the five-finger discount—not my style—but once in a while I’ll pinch a girl who’s willing to do anything, just anything, to beat a shoplifting rap, and what can I say? It’s all negotiable, isn’t it?

But every so often I get a real case, one of those that involves scams or who-dunits. But to tell you the truth, I’m no Columbo, and if the case gets the least bit complicated, I’m usually the first one to get confused. I just know enough not to show it. I try to give the client some value for his money, but I just can’t compete with the real cops with all they can bring in on a case. I’ll usually stagger around for a while and turn over some rocks, get my money, and kiss it all off. But sometimes I actually get something accomplished. On rare occasions everyone’s happy: the client gets what he wants, I get what I want, and the bad guys get to pay for it all.

That’s what happened during this case.

It was a beautiful autumn day in Chicago, warm, the air as clear as rubbing alcohol, the leaves on the trees looking hand-painted, and the light had that lovely and melancholy end-of-summer slant that makes people hurry home after work to cuddle up with the old significant other. It was early in the morning for me, about 11 AM and almost time for me to break my fast with a bowl of chili and a brew down at George and Bill’s Amiable Club, when the telephone rang. I had to stare at it for a minute. I wasn’t sure I still remembered how the thing worked.

“Matt Danger and Associates,” I said. “Confidential Investigations.”

The only associates I have spend their time buzzing against the window glass or squeaking behind the baseboard, but it sounds good.

“Mr. Danger?” a voice asked. It was male, and old. He sounded strained.


“Mr. Danger, please.”

“Speaking.” I said a little louder. “This is Mr. Danger.”

“Yes. Mr. Danger, you do confidential investigations?”

“That’s right.”

“You are discreet? Reliable?”

“My middle names.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“Yes.” I said. The geezer apparently wasn’t too swift. “I’m very discreet and totally reliable.”

“Good, good.” he said. “I believe I may have need of your services.”

Well that sounded pretty definite.

“Oh?” I had a yellow pad on my desk which I used for scribbling and catching stray egg foo young sauce. I turned to a clean sheet and rummaged in my drawer for something that would write. Handcuffs, rope, nipple clamps, lipstick… At last, an old ball point from the insurance agent who hung himself across the hall. “I’m listening.” I said

“It’s my step daughter, Mr. Danger,” he said. “She seems to have been kidnapped again.”

“Again?” I asked.

“Yes.” he said. “It’s always the same old story, and I tell you, I’m starting to get suspicious. I can’t put my finger on it, but it seems that every time I turn around now she’d been kidnapped again.”

The guy sounded drunk. Not happy drunk, but old-time, long-term, used-to-it drunk. And here it was only eleven AM.

“I see.” I said. “Can I get your name, sir?”

“Last time it was five thousand dollars. The time before it was ten thousand dollars. Before that…why, I’ve forgotten. Now it’s ten thousand again. Now, you tell me, is that right?”

“No sir. It sure doesn’t sound right to me.”

“No. I’d say it doesn’t. That’s why I’m suspicious. It just doesn’t seem right.”

He was a sharp one. “Now what was the name again?” I asked.

“Name?” he asked with some surprise. “What, hers?”

“Anyone’s!” I snapped. “No sir, yours first, if you would.”

“Do you really need to know my name? I mean, I was hoping to keep my name out of it.”

“I’m very discrete, sir. Now why don’t you give me your name so I can keep it out of the papers.”

“Oh. So that’s how it works?” he said. “Yes, all right. I’m Mr. Tremaine. Buddy Tremaine.” he said, as if I should recognize it.

I wrote it down. Didn’t mean anything to me.

“Okay, Mr. Tremaine, why don’t you start from the top? You said something about a kidnapping?”

He seemed to have the phone away from his ear. I could hear the rustle of fabric over the receiver, like he was holding it over his chest. Muffled voices, angry. His and a woman’s.

“Well I’m sick of it!” he said loudly to someone else, then there was another rustling, and he was back on the line.

“Yes, kidnapping,” he said to me. “My stepdaughter. She’s just back from college and she was kidnapped again. It seems like every time she comes home from college she’s kidnapped, Mr. Danger. It’s just not right. I’m getting very suspicious.”

“I don’t blame you sir.” I said. “It sounds very suspicious to me too.”

“There,” he said. His voice was muffled again. He was holding his hand over the phone and talking to someone else on his end. “He says it sounds suspicious too. I told you!”

Then to me he said. “But no police! I won’t have the police involved. All the scandal, the press, you must be very discrete.”

“Of course, Mr. Tremaine.”

“I’ll pay you. Money’s no problem. You’re not too expensive, are you?”

“No, I wouldn’t worry about that. I go by sliding scale.” I said, already knowing I had slid into a big one. “Now what’s your address, Mr. Tremaine?”

“My address? Well…I don’t know! It’s the Tremaine place, here in Lake Forest. I don’t know the address. I don’t know if I have an address. Everyone knows me. Buddy Tremaine. In Lake Forest.”

“Right.” I said, and wrote a big question mark down on my pad.

“And you’re discrete?” he asked again.

”Yes Mr. Tremaine, very discrete.”

“Good.” he said. “Now, let me ask you this, Mr. Danger. Are you a republican?”

“Well, I don’t mix in politics, Mr. Tremaine.”

“No, huh? Well, I suppose that’s just as well. Are you a tough guy?”

“I can handle myself.” I said.

“Pretty handy with your dukes? You can dish it out in case the fat woman sings?”

My dukes? Fat woman sings? “Sure.” I said.

“There might be some nasty business. You might have to deal with some unsavory characters, Mr. Danger. I can’t have you go mollymawking to the police if the fists start flying. I have reason to believe that these are desperate characters.“

“I’ll be fine.” I assured him.

“I won’t hire a namby-pamby, Mr. Danger. You’re not a namby-pamby?”

“No sir,” I said. “I don’t think I am.”

“Well, all right.”

There followed another burst of excited argument between Tremaine and this woman on the other side. I didn’t have to strain my ears to hear what was going on. She didn’t want him calling me, he was insisting. I figured she must be his nurse or something. She sounded a lot younger than him.

In the end the woman got on the line, and she was a lot younger than him, but she wasn’t his nurse. She was his wife. A lot younger and a lot juicier. And even though I’d just heard her shrewing to him, she was all honey and butter when she got on the line, a real professional telephone voice. I got his address from her, but she didn’t seem too happy about giving it to me. I told them I’d be right out. With the traffic it would take about an hour. She wasn’t happy about that either.

Lake Forest is a very high-end burb outside of town, the kind of place that’s too classy to even bother with street signs. They figure that if you didn’t already know where you were, then you probably didn’t belong there in the first place. But sure enough the first Gas’n’Blow I asked at knew the Tremaine place, so it didn’t take me that long to find it. Not as long as it took me to drive all the way from the front gate to the house itself. But first I had to deal with a couple of rent-a-cops at the front gate. Female rent-a-cops. Extremely female.

I love a woman in uniform, but these two were all business, despite being obviously constructed for pleasure. They called the house and waved me through, peering at me hard-ass through their mirrored tints, and I made a mental note to remember to do something nice and illegal on the grounds before I was done here. A loaf of bread, a pair of cuffs and thou…

As I drove to the main house I realized why the old man hadn’t known his own address. The place was so big it probably didn’t have one; just a zip code. I passed a landscaper pulling weeds from a pond and then double-taked when I saw that it was an Oriental girl in a bikini with a little robe around her. She looked up at me and smiled, looking so sweet with a little spot of mud on her nose. Her boobs looked like they were so happy to see me they were trying to push each other out of the way to get out.

I pulled up to the house and Tremaine himself met me out on the drive. He looked like that guy you see on the monopoly board, only in a sort shirt, no tails, and the only reason he wasn’t staggering was because he was apparently already too stiff to move. There was a rolling cart next to him loaded with booze, attended by a sultry number wearing one of those Frederick’s of Hollywood style French maid outfits: short skit, stockings, heels, little white cap, the works. I might have laughed if I could have closed my mouth, but she was not the kind you closed your mouth for. A looker. I figured her job was to follow Tremaine around to break his fall, and make sure that everyone who came to see him left with a hard-on.

The first thing Tremaine said to me was, “Mr. Danger?” and the second thing he said was, “Drink?”

Buddy was loaded--both ways—but he wasn’t a bad sort. I’d done enough homework at the office to already know that his family’d been rolling in it for generations. Old railroad money. Very old money. The kind of money that makes its owners forget that once upon a time they too had to flush their own toilets. But he didn’t seem a bad guy for all that. He was the kind of cake-eater who took wealth so much for granted that he just assumed everyone must be in the same boat, so he didn’t put on any airs. We got along fine.

He led me into the house, where I caught a glimpse of some more servants, all women, all gorgeous. I was starting to wonder about this, because the guy didn’t look like a gash hound. Booze and babes don’t mix, as they say, the sauce having a negative effect on the old hydraulics, and he seemed to take all this feminine flesh for granted.

We went into a big library and he started pouring and talking, so I started drinking and listening.

What he told me was pretty unbelievable. He was a widower, had remarried about five years ago, a lady much his junior named Felicia. It was Felicia’s daughter Beth who’d been supposedly kidnapped. She’d come home for a long weekend from her Fancy pants College, and suddenly vanished. That had been almost a week ago. He’d gotten a phone call demanding ten G’s in ransom even before the girl was missed. He’d sat on it for a while, then called me. Got my number from Billy Jean Nees, the head of the outfit her got his all-girl security squad from. Billy Jean was an old bed pal who’d turned dyke sometime after Id known her. In fact, I think I might have been the one who drove her to women. So much for my technique.

Okay, fair enough. It happens. But what made me almost do a classic Shemp Howard spit-take and spray his bourbon all over his fine Persian carpet was when he told me that this wasn’t the first time she’d been snatched. Not even the second. In fact, he’d lost count of how many times young Beth had fallen prey to an apparent army of co-ed snatchers. And each time he’d shelled out a chunk of change to get her back.

“And don’t you think that’s a little strange, Mr. Tremaine? Your stepdaughter being kidnapped time after time?” I asked him.

He was really into his slosh now, and he gestured with drunken extravagance and said. “Damned right I do! I smell a fucking rat!”

He had splashed his booze onto the floor in his exuberance and so he refilled his glass from the cart. It was like a kidney machine, the way it followed him around. “That’s why I want you to find these god damned kidnappers and settle their hash once and for fucking all!”

“Right.” I said dubiously.

“Here. Lemme freshen that sucker up for you, huh, Matt?”

“Mr. Tremaine…”

Buddy.” he said, pouring bourbon on my hand.

Buddy.” I said. “Has your stepdaughter ever told you anything about these kidnappers? Given you a description, or told you where they took her, or anything like that.”

He puffed out his rosy cheeks in confusion. “Who, Beth? Beth my little Angel? I never asked her. I wouldn’t want to put her through those nightmares again! She’s my little Angel! I tell you, Matt, she’s the fucking apple of my goddamned eye, Beth is! She’s an angel from above, that girl. Here; have a look!”

He reached over and handed me a framed photo from the table. It was a full body shot of a very attractive preppy young woman in tee-shirt and shorts standing casually by a lake, holding a canoe paddle. Her blonde hair fell to her shoulders in a mass of wild curls, while below it her body waved this way and that with such an extravagance of curves and bulges that I had to tilt the picture to make sure that it wasn’t some sort of three-D image. A line of shadow across the chest of her straining tee-shirt linked one nipple to the next with a dark little connect-the-dots line, and I had to resist the urge to run my thumb over the picture, just to make sure you couldn’t feel those sassy little nibs in high relief. She had the look of one who is absurdly gorgeous, young, and wealthy, and is fully aware of it, and she glowed with such raw animal health that, sitting there inhaling bourbon fumes, it made me slightly nauseous.

“Very attractive.” I said, turning the picture over to see if there was some trick to how they made her tits look so real.

“Ah, and here’s the Mother of my joy! Matt, let my introduce my wife, Mrs. Tremaine. Felicia.”

Two heart-stoppers so close together was almost more than I could take, but I am proud to report that my eyes didn’t make that boomerang sound you hear in cartoons. At least, not so as you’d notice.

Mrs. Tremaine didn’t look much like her daughter except that she too was prime boner material. She was older of course, and slim as only the very rich are slim: toned and shaped. Still she didn’t look anything like the mother of a twenty year-old. She was brunette and straight to Beth’s curly and golden blond, and where her daughter emanated raw animal vitality, her mother had the air of an experienced jungle cat who was used to being queen bitch of the forest. She was less elaborately fleshed, but all the curves were there, and set off by the expensive clothes she so easily wore, clothes really intended for a younger woman: a tight skirt that told you all you might want to know about her legs, and a red jacket over what looked like a black bustier from which the tops of her breasts burst like pink bubbles from a glass of black champagne.

She boldly extended a hand to me and immediately sized me up through her dark glasses in a way that made me think that I must smell, but possibly not all that bad, and said, “So pleased to meet you, Mr. Danger.”

It was only then that I noticed the oily little character next to her, some blur in a black suit who stuck out a hand and said, “I’m Mr. Hearn. Sneed Hearn. Sneed Heard the Third. I’m Mr. Tremaine’s financial adviser.”

I guess I shook his hand. I wasn’t really paying attention.

“Is Buddy telling you all about our Angel?” Mrs. Tremaine asked. The sarcasm in her voice wasn’t hard to miss

“We were just getting around to it.” I said.

She slid over to the library table where the booze stood and made herself a drink, a walking female anatomy lesson. Even the way she dropped the ice cubes in the glass sounded sexy.

Buddy spun around to face her, and overshot his mark by a few degrees, but he recovered nicely, with a little shoulder dip and hip sway.

“Matt here thinks I’m right. Thinks there’s something fishy in Norway.” Buddy said to her.

“Denmark.” she corrected him. “The expression is ‘something fishy in the kingdom of Denmark.’ From Hamlet, Buddy.”

“Norway, Denmark, who the hell cares.” Buddy said. “As long as he gets our Angel back and knocks the slobbering bejesus out of those kidnappers. That’s all I want. So you’ll take the case?” he asked me.

Mrs. Tremaine was giving me a knowing look over the rim of her glass as she drank her bourbon, but I couldn’t quite read what was in her eyes. Besides, I was distracted by watching those delicious red lips close on that cool glass.

“Well, now, I haven’t said that I would…” I began.

“Name your price” Buddy said. “I don’t care. Sneed, write Mr. Danger a check. Whatever he asks.”

The oily little man smiled an oily little smile and looked at Mrs. Tremaine for advice, but she wasn’t interfering.

“Of course. As you wish,” he said, and he left the room.

He was one of those people who brightens a room by leaving it, and it would have been quite pleasant if Mrs. Tremaine hadn’t been giving off those high-energy sex rays.

“Well,” I said to break the tension, “Why don’t you tell me just what happened this last time when she disappeared. Let’s start there.”

“Of course, of course.” Buddy said. “Let’s see. Angel drove home from school Friday night. I remember, because I’d been working on my Bearcat…”

Seeing my confusion he said, “I collect and restore automobiles. I have quite a collection, if I do say so my self. This was a 1923 Stutz Bearcat Emperor six-cylinder inline roadster. Anyhow, she came to see me in the garage, to say hello and we talked the briefly, then came into the house and had drinks before dinner. Then after dinner she drove off to see some friends, and the next thing I knew she was on the phone telling me she’d been kidnapped and that the people wanted ten thousand dollars by this Sunday or they’d kill her.”

This was Thursday, almost a week ago. It certainly was a leisurely little gang of kidnappers.

I couldn’t help notice Mrs. Tremaine roll her eyes in an oh-God-here-we-go-again kind of way.

“And you haven’t heard from her since?” I asked.

“Oh no.” he said, “She calls almost every night begging me to raise the money. It’s more than I can bear, hearing the anguish in my angel’s voice.”

At this point Mr. Hearn came in carrying a check. He handed it to Buddy along with a pen, and Buddy signed it without so much as looking at it. Kind of strange, since I didn’t recall having discussed a fee. I was still piling on the zeros in my head.

Mr. Hearn folded the check, gave it to me, and, with a little bow, left the room. I glanced at the check as I slipped it in my pocket and saw that it was blank. I calmly folded it and put it away. I didn’t scream “whoopee”, which was a good thing, because Felicia was looking at me with new respect. Money does that for a man.

I took a sip of my drink to make sure my throat still worked, and said, “And have you done anything about paying the ransom?”

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