Murder and Mayhem Ch. 01byRedHairedandFriendly©
Diane watched Isis and Ginger link their arms together and head out of the back door. She shook her head as they turned back at her, winked and then giggled behind upraised palms. She'd turned down their offer for a naughty evening, but they had known she would have. Diane had been friends with the two women for three years now, learning the tricks of the trade from them, as well as how to cook a few simple meals, like mac and cheese. Not once though had she taken them up on their once a week invitation to introduce her to the arts of loving women. She'd done it once, been with a female. It wasn't by choice though, it'd been forced on her. Diane shuddered at the memory and when the door closed on the back room of the club, leaving her alone, she lowered her head on the small vanity and tried to block the images from her mind. She could still smell the scent of the high-priced whore her husband had picked up one night.
Richard and Diane had been returning from a fund-raiser for a local children's hospital. They'd been sitting in the limo, far apart from each other. She was in her long satin dress. He wore a well-cut form fitting tuxedo. Diane had been staring out the window, silently praying that when they got back home, Richard would retire to the study and she could go to bed, alone. It was Richard's hand moving that brought her out of her self-induced trance. She caste him a puzzled glance as he pressed the intercom button and told his driver to pull over.
Diane's gaze moved from her husband, to the street they were on; she looked for some shop that her spouse suddenly had wanted to stop at. There was nothing there that she found appealing. The street lights cast faint glows over trash cans and litter. Small groups of individuals were pressed against run down buildings. Diane asked, "What are we stopping here for?"
Richard had just looked at her and smirked. "I think it's ready to start lesson two," he told her. Diane's face paled and her eyes grew wide. She bit down on her lower lip to stifle any words from pouring out. Words got her in trouble, so she learned to keep her thoughts and opinions to herself. She watched the limo snake along the edge of the road and then heard Richard say, "That one."
Her eyes stared at Richard's window as his finger pressed the button and it began its descent down. A woman's face suddenly appeared as did her large breasts. The tips of her areolas protruded out under the tight leather corset she wore. Silver painted jewelry circled her wrists and a necklace with a gleaming cross dangled between her ample cleavage. "Hey baby," she cooed, licking her lips and reaching in to trail one hand down Richard's chest. "Lookin' for a good time?"
Diane grabbed Richard's arm. "What are you doing?" she hissed, glancing briefly at the woman's heavily massacred eyes.
"Get off me slut," Richard answered back, shoving Diane away and glaring back at her. He then returned his attentions to the hooker. "My wife and I are looking for company this evening."
Diane's gasp filled the car's interior and Richard chuckled. "Interested?" he asked, ignoring his wife's horrified whispers of "please no."
The prostitute glanced at Diane and then back at the man in charge. Diane shook her head no, hoping the woman would take pity on her and walk away. Richard smirked, pulled his wallet out and flashed its thick contents to the woman. "It's all yours if you get in now and agree to whatever I want."
The woman's eyes grew wide as she took in the sight of several bills. "Nothing that'll hurt me," she whispered, licking her lips in anticipation of earning more money than she had at one time.
"I'll not lay a finger on you," Richard grinned.
Diane whimpered and felt her eyes filling with tears. She heard the car door opening and felt Richard sliding out to allow the other women in. Her lower lip trembled as she fought for control over her emotions. Richard climbed in and on the way home proceeded to tell both women what he expected for the night. The hours that followed were ones Diane would come to hate. A year later, Diane was able to leave her husband and his sick games behind.
"Hey doll, I have to lock up. You going home?"
Diane jumped, startled back into the present and blushed. "Sorry Joe. I was sleeping."
Joe eyed her suspiciously. "Sleeping and crying don't mix, sugar."
Diane smiled softly and wiped at her eyes. "No they don't, do they." She rose from the vanity that had become her's since she first started dancing at Slippery Stockings and grabbed her jacket from the hook on the door as well as her purse. She slipped the lightweight material on and then hooked her purse of her shoulder. "Is Tate still around?" she asked as she walked past Joe.
"Tate? Nah, he left a while ago. Why? Need a ride home?"
She thought a moment, knowing full well Joe would take her home if she asked him. The thought was appealing, but she also knew Joe's wife Sarah was close to delivering the couple's first child. She didn't want to cause Sarah any worry, so she smiled and shrugged her shoulders. "Nah. I'll be fine. It's just a few blocks."
"A lot can happen in a few blocks Dee," Joe replied as he followed her to the front door, shutting off lights and music as he went. "Let me drive ya home. It won't take long."
Diane chewed on her lower lip. "No. Really, three blocks won't kill me and besides if I get spoiled riding in that mustang of yours I'll come to expect a ride and then ... well walking helps me keep my girlish figure." She winked as she swayed her hips suggestively.
"Even in jeans you look good-enough to eat," Joe replied, grinning at his favorite exotic dancer. "One trip though won't spoil you, but if you're sure, then I'll leave ya alone. If Tate were here, he'd walk you home. He's gonna shoot me for letting you do it yourself."
"Then we won't tell him." She squeezed her boss's arm and turned away from the club. Her steps quickened as she passed the first alley. She turned and waved at Joe, who was watching her. "Go home " she shouted, "you've got a baby on the way."
He lifted his hand and waved back, then turned and hurried over to his car. She saw him lift his head in prayer and knew he was thanking God for the car still being there. Diane watched him drive away before resuming her own trek home. Her thoughts shifted from the night's business and she felt the weight of several bills that had been floating about her subconscious melt away.
Normally she didn't work on a Tuesday night, but Carrie, one of the new girls had called in sick. Joe had panicked, because though it was mid-week he was expecting a good crowd. Several business men were supposed to show up for a private show. Carrie was supposed to be their private dancer. Joe called Diane who grudgingly agreed to as long as she got all the tips and didn't have to give Joe his percentage. Joe had done the math, growled at her over the phone, but agreed, knowing he'd make quite a bit from the drinks as well as the private request itself
Diane thought of what she could do with the extra money. Devon was turning six and would really like a bicycle. Granted it didn't make a lot of sense to her to buy him one, since they didn't have a yard, but she also knew that if she watched him ride his bike up and down the block it would be better than nothing. Every six year old needed a bike. She smiled as she thought of her son on his cousin's old tricycle. Carla, her sister, had offered to give Devon the bike, but Diane had said no saying they had no place for it in their little one bedroom apartment. Devon though had never forgotten the offer and now was begging every other day for a bike of his own.
The sound of shuffling feet brought Diane back to her surroundings. She stopped walking and turned around. No one was there except the usual folks. A small cluster of late night dealers stood off to the side of a street light. She frowned, but said nothing, minding her own business and resuming her path back to her apartment building.
Several minutes passed before Diane was jarred back to reality again. This time it wasn't a noise that brought her back, but the firm, hard grip of a man dragging her off the sidewalk and slamming her against the wall of a decrepit building. She started to scream, only to have his other hand come up and cover her mouth. Her eyes grew wide in their sockets as she stared at the man's face. She didn't recognize him, so that ruled out a local club attendant. She'd been accosted once before, but the man had failed in his attempt because Tate had been watching her.
Diane hadn't known that either, until she'd felt the attacker being lifted from her struggling and yet-to-be-invaded body. Tate had told Diane he didn't feel right about allowing her to walk home alone, so he had decided to follow her that night to make sure she was safe. He'd saved her and walked her home every night since. She told him it wasn't necessary; she'd been walking the blocks for a year before he came to work for Joe. Now though she would admit she felt safer with Tate around. She wished with all her might Tate would show up again, but she knew the bouncer had left early because he had to head home to take a cousin to work. As the attacker leered at Diane's body, she knew she had to save herself.
"Damn, you're pretty," the man whispered as he leaned into her. His face nuzzled her hair and he licked her ear, exposed to him because of Diane's ponytail. "I bet you're even prettier in that blond wing you wear on stage."
Diane's green eyes flickered back and forth as she tried to look around the man. The comment about her on-stage wig made her stare back at him. Was he a regular after all? Or was he there tonight watching her? The questions rolled through Diane's mind as the man spoke. "Now. I've got a car one block from here," he whispered against her ear, "You're going to come with me."
Diane shook her head no and muffled her defiance through her closed lips. The man chuckled and ground his body against hers again. "You are, or poor little Devon will suffer."
Horror filled the dancer's green eyes at the mention of her son's name falling from this stranger's lips. Who was he? She tried hard to run his face through her memory, but no where did his features appear. "Now, ready?" he asked. Diane shook her head yes and the man grinned. She was thankful for the small beam of light of a passing car suddenly flooded them. Her gaze locked in on his and she quickly memorized his features.
His hair was a dark black or brown, she couldn't be sure, but his eyes were brown or so they seemed and his chin sported a goatee, poorly trimmed. Above his lip, a scar interrupted the growth of a thick mustache. Another scar in the shape of a small circle rested in the center of his forehead.
The man turned his face from the light, its invasion on his pupils a momentary distraction to his grip on Diane; he tried to clear the floating dots behind his lids. Diane jerked free and pushed with all her might against the man's chest. She felt a small flutter of triumph as he stumbled and she slipped out of his reach. The tips of his fingers grazed her jacket as she took off running and screaming.
If anyone heard her, they didn't respond. Screaming after all down these streets was commonplace. Diane continued to run, praying to reach her apartment, which she could now see in the distance. The sight of sanctuary spurned her on, however she was stopped when a wrenching pain in her shoulder made her spin and fall to her knees. She reached back and felt the evidence of a sharp blade protruding from the muscle and flesh. Her eyes flew up to the figure approaching her. He passed under the light and she shuddered as his grin raked over her. Diane stumbled and tried to regain the momentum she had before falling. It was too late. Her attacker reached her side and grabbed her hair. She screamed out and received a hard blow to the side of her jaw, then felt the knife ripped free.
Diane's head snapped back and her eyes started to roll in their sockets. The man shook her and slapped her again. "Wake up whore. I can't have ya dying on me before the fun starts." She felt herself being dragged against his side and she fought to remain awake as he began to pull her along with him in the opposite direction in which she'd been running. "Remember your son," the man said suddenly and Diane shivered. She glanced up and saw they were passing the group of late night drug stranglers she'd seen earlier. She stared at them, openly begging with her eyes that they help her. Two of the men glanced at her but said nothing as Diane was jerked tighter against her assailant's side. She whimpered, but refused to cry out for help, for fear it would mean Devon's death.
"Almost there cunt," the man hissed and reached around with his other hand to squeeze Diane's breasts. "I may have to sample that before the boss does."
Diane cried and tried to shift away, wanting nothing more than to be free of this man's steely grip. "I don't think she wants that."
The voice seemed to come out of no where and a spark of hope rose up in Diane. The man holding her stopped and turned to face the would-be hero. He chuckled and shook his head. "Buddy, if you know what is good for you. You'll go back to your coke and leave me and my little lady alone."
Diane flinched as the man shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly. "If she says all is okay, then I'll go. I don't know about my friends though. They think she's hot."
Diane glanced at the men who had been smoking weed and doing lines. They were watching this stranger talk to the man who held her. She wasn't sure if she wanted free of one man's clutches, just to be thrust into eager hands owned by four different men. "Buddy, walk away," her attacker growled and flashed the knife, still covered in Diane's blood.
The good Samaritan lifted a brow and lifted both hands. "I'm walking away," he whispered and glanced at Diane. His eyes shifted from her to his feet and then back again. She watched him turn to leave and wanted to cry out. The man beside her chuckled to himself and turned to drag Diane with him. The sound that came next wasn't from Diane, but her attacker as he dropped to the ground screaming. She fell with him, then felt his grip slacken before dropping away. She rolled and scurried back to the steps of a nearby building, ignoring the pain in her face and shoulder. She stared as the drug pusher stood over the crying and cursing attacker.
The assailant held his right knee with both hands as the street lights above illuminated the dark crimson that flowed and pumped out. Diane's gaze flew back to the newest stranger and she watched the other men appear behind him. "Fuck Todd, now the cops are gonna show up. Couldn't you have knifed him? You okay Dee?" one of the voices asked.
Diane's brow furrowed and then softened as she took in the features of Ricky, a local boy who had just celebrated his twenty-first birthday at Slippery Stockings, two days ago. "I didn't have enough light to throw a blade," the man Diane determined was Todd answered. "Look pick the dumb fuck up and throw him in the trunk of my car. We'll dump him somewhere."
Diane rose to her feet and stumbled. Ricky caught her. "Dee, you're bleeding," he exclaimed as he turned her around to look at her wound. Blood seeped easily through the fabric of her shirt and her jacket. She winced when a pair of hands assaulted her clothing and tore the material away. "She'll live too," Todd muttered and then turned back to face his group of misfits. "Ricky walk her home, then take off. Me and the boys will take out the trash."
"What are you going to do to him?" she asked. She didn't know Todd; she'd never seen him before, but now under the light she could see who the others were. Why she'd not recognized them earlier she didn't know, unless it was because she simply wanted to avoid any contact with the drug peddlers. "I mean... I'm not worried about him, but," she lifted one arm, wincing at the pain in her shoulder, "these boys don't need trouble."
Todd chuckled. "Are you blind?" he asked. "Trouble? They are trouble. Lady we're not going to kill him, just dump him. You need looked at though. Ricky," he said, "take her home, call the cops and then disappear. You'll keep your mouth shut right...about us?" His question was directed at Diane.
She frowned at his tone of voice and menacing attitude, but nodded. "I'll not say a word about you popping pills, shooting up and smokin' dope."
The group muttered, but their musings were ignored as Todd ordered them to get the vagrant off the street and in his trunk. The attacker shouted and cursed then all sounds from him were ceased when one of the men knocked him out with a swift kick in the head. Diane winced and tried to not feel sympathy for the other human being, since this one was the lowest of the barrel. She felt Ricky's hand on her elbow. "Come on Dee. I'll walk you home," he was saying as he gently urged her to follow him.
She went willingly, glancing at the man that had fired a gun to save her. What if he'd missed, she suddenly thought and her face grew pale. "Dee? Dee?" Ricky called, shaking her slightly. Diane shook her head and cleared her thoughts. The rest of her trip home was spent in silence as Ricky talked to her about how wonderful his party at the club had been and how hard he'd gotten when Ginger gyrated her way around a pole.
When they reached Diane's apartment she was thankful that she'd left Devon at Missus Kesler's across the hall, instead of getting a sitter to watch him. Missus Kesler wouldn't mind if Devon stayed the night, so Diane was alone when she walked into her apartment and thanked Ricky for his escort. She closed the door behind her, locked the three locks and sank to her knees where she cried and shook with fear.
Diane rested there for several long minutes, her shoulder throbbing with pain. She took a deep breath, eventually growing calmer and in time rising to walk to her bedroom. She peeled off her clothes and felt her head spinning. The material of her jacket and blouse pulled on her wound, but she bit through the pain. She turned and looked at her reflection in the mirror. Her eyes watered as she took in the broken skin that was caked with dried blood as well as fresh streams from the disrobing she'd done. She thought of calling the police, but decided that it was best to just leave this alone, after all to call the police meant she could put Devon in more danger. The cops would bring attention to her and that meant Richard would learn of her assault not to mention possibly further antagonize her attacker.
The thought of the assailant made her shudder in fear. She closed her eyes and willed his features away for the time being. She then made her way on shaky legs to her bed, where she sat on the edge and picked up her phone. Trembling fingers pressed the buttons to her sister's home. The receiver on the other end was picked up after the second wail.
The voice of Diane's brother-in-law came across the wires. "Adam, it's me Dee." She heard the muffled voice of her sister in the background and felt fresh tears spill from her eyes. "Adam, I'm hurt."
"Hurt?" he said and she heard her sister demand the phone. "What happened?"
Diane winced as she shifted her weight on the bed. "I've been stabbed."
"Stabbed " Adam shouted and then Diane was listening to her sister screaming into the phone. She wasn't surprised when Carla's voice erupted in place of Adam's.
"What the hell happened? Where are you? Are you okay? Where's Devon? Is he hurt?" Carla's litany of questions finally stopped because she needed a breath, or so Diane assumed that was why.
"I'm at home. It's not too bad a wound, but I could use some help cleaning it up," Diane started only to be interrupted when her sister announced "we're on our way."