tagNovels and NovellasRough Cut Ch. 07

Rough Cut Ch. 07

byDesdmona©

Rough Cut: A Moe Gafferson Mystery

Edited by Poison Ivan

Chapter 7

Vine Street was one of those streets in Cincinnati that ran east to west the width of the city, and it was busy its entire length. In the upscale part of town there were snazzy apartments, four-star restaurants and sidewalks full of shopkeepers, bankers, and customers with fat wallets and open-ended check books. In the blue-collar area, the factories hummed and buzzed with mechanical regularity, and the off shift workers waited for their trolleys, jingling the few coins left in their pockets. And on the side of town that housed Appollonia's, the decaying buildings were boarded up or caked with years of scum. The crowd of people spending time on the sidewalk was there because they had no place better to be. Moe welcomed the derelicts and the unemployed. Crowds had a way of keeping a situation from getting too volatile.

Rolf Metzger was the kind of guy that liked to do his dirty work in the dark, on the sly, not in broad daylight on a busy street, He wasn't the type to look a man in the eye - Metzger's eyes were too busy shifting from side-to-side. He tried to sidestep Moe to avoid a collision. Moe figured the bum didn't even recognize him as the man Metzger had tried to kill the week before. It was way past time for a face-to-face.

"Hey buddy, got a minute for a friend?" Moe asked.

Metzger hitched a quick eye at Moe, then slowly slinked a hand into his trouser pocket. "You ain't any friend I know, mister."

Moe motioned to Metzger's hidden hand. "You sure you want to do that, Mac? A butcher might be able to slice and dice at night with no one around, but a smart man might think twice on a busy street like Vine. Unless that man is sure there's nothing but friends or blind men as witnesses."

A glance around showed an easy five or six people within earshot. Metzger eased his hand from his pocket but kept it close to his hip. Then he decided to play dumb. "Who are you, Mac, and why should I want to know you?"

"We've already met." Moe turned his head from side-to-side to offer a profile view to Metzger. "You might say Peter Schmidt introduced us. Last week? Over the Rhine?"

Metzger might have flinched at the mention of Schmidt's name, but was hard to tell - the scar side of his face was paralyzed. Whoever had done the carving of Metzger's face left a mug Lon Chaney could have used in Phantom of the Opera.

"Your roof is leaking, Jack," said Metzger. "I don't know you or what you're talking about."

Moe stepped in close, close enough to see the full extent of Metzger's scar. The bulging eye sat frozen in its socket, lifeless as the glass that it was. "I think you do."

Metzger was a mean son-of-a-bitch, but he wasn't stupid. He glanced again at the potential spectators. "You ain't got nothing that puts me at that clambake."

Moe smirked. "Just enough proof to share with the cops at our next little sit down."

Metzger was as fast as most little wiry guys. His fist was in and out before Moe could blink. The pain that had been slowly ebbing suddenly seared through Moe like a lit fuse. It might have been all over in one punch except for two things: first, instinct made Moe throw out his fist, and second, luck had him landing it square on Metzger's chin. Metzger stumbled back, lost his feet, and landed on his ass. Moe stepped back. He knew enough not to push his luck. Already a horde was circling, and the burning pain from Metzger's punch had Moe sweating bullets.

"Nothing to see here." Moe waved his hands to the crowd. "It's all over."

The crowd didn't move.

Metzger scrambled up, rubbing his backside and seeing red. The crash to the ground had probably done more damage than Moe's lucky punch. Metzger glared and saliva gathered at the corner of his mouth.

One of the busy bodies in the pack hollered, "You boys, okay?"

Metzger's face twisted in thought, as if he was weighing the odds of finishing off Moe now or later. Apparently he decided on later. "This ain't over," he whispered under his breath to Moe. To the crowd Metzger yelled, "Everything's fine!" But the thug never took his eye off Moe.

Moe knew the bum wasn't going to give him any answers about Schmidt, not without Moe providing a little muscle, but Moe wasn't up to a showdown. For now, it was enough to ruffle his feathers. "You can take that to the bank, buddy," Moe said. "It's definitely not over." He shoved past Metzger, resisting the urge to spit on the man who'd cut the nipple off that young girl. A couple yards down the way, Moe turned around to add, "By the way, you owe me a couch cushion."

Metzger was straightening his clothes. He glowered at Moe with the hatred most men save for a mortal enemy. It wasn't the first time Moe had seen that kind of look. But coming from a man who had almost killed him, Moe was inclined to take the menacing glare a little more seriously. The crowd was breaking up one at a time, each man shuffling back to the part of the sidewalk he called his own. The pain lanced through Moe's gut, but he froze his face - he'd be damned if he'd let Metzger know he'd been hurt. He turned his back and headed toward his Buick.

* * *

On his way home, Moe stopped off for a sandwich and a cup of java at Joe's Diner. Maybe if his stomach had something to churn it might forget about the smarting from Metzger's right jab. Joe knew how to make a mean roast beef, and he kept his radio tuned to CBS. Moe had made a habit of eating his grub and listening to Murrow reporting from London.

The sun had finished setting and his belly wasn't feeling any worse for wear by the time Moe slumped into his office. The phone was ringing before he'd closed the door.

"Hello," Moe answered.

"Moe, this is Mona. I'm in the neighborhood and thought I'd stop in."

"Doll, you're not in this neighborhood or there'd be a ticket-tape parade."

"All right, I'm not in the neighborhood, but I am just leaving the hospital. And I thought I'd swing by and take a look at your stitches."

Moe hadn't looked at his slashing since before Metzger had sucker-punched him. He had figured he was still up and walking so it couldn't be too bad. But now when he glanced down at his shirt, there was a small circle of bright red blood.

"Moe?"

"You got medical supplies, angel?"

"Yes, but..."

"Bring them."

It would take Mona a good half hour to get from the hospital to Moe's dump. He hung up the phone, went to the back, straightened up the joint, and slapped a little soap and water on. He even shaved. But who knew why? It just felt like the thing to do.

Moe wanted a drink - the good stuff in his desk. When he went to the front room, there was an envelope on the floor, inches from the door. Someone must've slipped it there while Moe was washing up. He swung the front door wide, looking up and down the street, but there was nothing, just the sounds from the little brown cottage next door. From what Moe could hear, Willy was plowing into Netty. It was going to be a good night for both of the Scottsdales.

He poured himself a drink and sat down in his chair. The envelope was addressed to Moe, written in flowery penmanship, and carrying the scent of gardenia.

Dear Moe,

It's been several days since we last spoke. Please contact me tomorrow at your earliest convenience. I will consider it a great favor.

Sincerely, Kitty Winslow

The dame must have hired a runner to slip the invite under Moe's door. He shoved the note in a drawer and downed a shot of bourbon. Maybe he'd fit in a visit to the Winslow mansion tomorrow.

By the time Mona knocked at the door, the hooch had burned a good path.

* * *

Nurse Dale had removed her cap. Her hair hung loose like strands of fire flickering at her shoulders. Instead of a handbag, she carried a black leather medical kit. Her normally tidy uniform was crumpled and mussed with a yellow stain that Moe preferred not to think about. Half-moons of fatigue darkened under her eyes.

"You look dead on your feet, doll."

"It's been a rough day."

"Why come here then?"

"Like I said, I was in the neighborhood." Mona glanced around the room at the davenport with a slit cushion before plopping down on the side of the couch without the horsehair sticking out of it. "You got mice, Moe?"

"Some sort of vermin." Moe reached for the other shot glass he kept in his desk drawer for visitors. "Drink?" She looked as if she could use it.

She considered it for a moment then nodded. "Just don't tell anyone."

"Secrets are my business, angel."

She sipped daintily at the bourbon, trying not to wrinkle her nose. "If it wasn't for your business, I wouldn't have to be here."

"My business is what pays the bills on this fancy house, doll."

"Fancy indeed." She avoided looking around her again. "I don't suppose you've been taking it easy like you should?"

"I'm not much for spending time in bed alone." Moe couldn't say why he said something so callous. Maybe he was just a class-A jerk. Or maybe he didn't like the way he suddenly wanted to rub the tired off of Mona. Or maybe he needed Mona to understand what kind of man he really was.

Mona stood and plinked the shot glass on his desk. Good bourbon splattered over cheap wood. "I didn't come here to discuss your sleeping habits, Mr. Gafferson. I'm here to look at your stitches. Take off your shirt."

Mona was a redhead, and Moe figured she had the temper to go with it. Her jaw was clinched, and her green eyes had gone dark. He did as she asked without complaint.

She stood there, studying the wound from across the room like she was sizing up the need to get closer. "Toss me your shirt."

"Why?"

"The incision has opened up in spots. I didn't bring a smock, and I can't very well fix you up with the grime of my day all over me." She propped her hands on her hips. The look of fatigue was pushed away by the fire that simmered in a dame like her.

Moe tossed her his shirt, expecting Mona to slip it over her uniform, but instead she unbuttoned the white dress and slid it down over her hips. She stood unembarrassed in a slip that clung to her hourglass shape. She dug around in the pocket of her uniform and pulled out some hairpins. Lifting her hair, she gave it a twist. Her tits bobbled like airy dumplings under the yoke of her slip. Then, as easy as stirring batter, she pinned the strands of fire in place. Moe's shirt hung over her arm, trapped in the crook of her elbow as she worked. He poured another shot of bourbon and slurped the glass dry.

"Where's your sink?" Mona asked.

"Huh?" He'd seen her cherry lips move, but the pounding in his ears wouldn't let him hear what she said.

"A sink. I need to wash my hands. And you need to lie down."

"In the back. There's a sink and a bed."

Moe led Mona to the back room. He was glad he had straightened up, but he refused to think about why. He propped himself against the door frame as Mona went to work. She hung his shirt on a hook and went to the sink. Somewhere between the front of his place and the back, she'd kicked off her shoes. Moe found her petite feet, swathed in nylon, as sexy as the ass that swayed as she scrubbed her hands. His throat suddenly felt like Death Valley. Unfortunately, he'd left the damn bourbon in the other room.

She finished the scrub and dried her hands on the same towel Moe had used earlier. There was intimacy in the gesture that made Moe uncomfortable - uncomfortable enough to feel a rush of blood to his cock.

"Get on the bed, Mr. Gafferson."

"I thought we'd agreed on you calling me 'Moe'."

Mona smirked but didn't say a word. Moe scooted on the bed and lay flat. She finally slipped into his shirt, carefully rolling up the sleeves and buttoning every last button. The shirt was so big it hid all her curves, but it still took nothing away from the woman.

"How much bourbon have you had, Moe?" she asked.

She'd called him Moe again so easily. He liked that. Most dames would be stubborn. But Mona Dale was a one-in-a-million dame!

"A couple of shots." Not nearly enough, he wagered.

"That should help. If you think you want another while I'm working, just say so."

"Maybe I'd better keep my head clear, doll. Your kind of angel mercy tends to make a man foggy, even without the liquor."

Mona took out supplies - gauze, Mercurochrome, and cotton balls - from her medical bag and spread them neatly on the bedside table. She sat on the edge of the bed and bent close over Moe.

"The stitches have pulled apart here. And here. Luckily, it's superficial."

"You mean I won't bleed to death?"

"Oh, you probably will. But not from this wound."

She went to work, and within minutes, she was taping clean gauze over the gash.

When she'd finished, Moe sat up beside her. She didn't make a move to get up, and Moe hoped she wouldn't. "I like the way you work, doll."

"You mean fast?"

He shook his head. "With a gentle touch," he said, eyeing her up and down. She looked good in his shirt. She looked even better with her slip up high on her thigh and the top of her stockings in sight. "The outfit helps."

"You really are a scoundrel, aren't you Moe?"

"Maybe." He ran a fingertip down the side of her face. It was smooth as velvet. "You're one of the most beautiful dames I've ever laid eyes on."

Mona's creamy skin could never hide a blush. Pink worked its way up her neck and over her cheeks. The rush of color made her even more beautiful.

"I'm going to kiss you, Mona."

Mona didn't stop him. He tilted to her. Her lips parted just as Moe's lips slid against them. Warm and moist. Sweet and willing. When she might have pulled back, he slipped his hand through her hair and held the back of her head. He whispered against her lips. "I'm not going to stop kissing you, Mona, unless you say the words to make me."

"Moe..."

He kissed her again, slipping his tongue inside her mouth. He kissed her deep, taking in her taste and memorizing her mouth. He kissed the corners of her mouth, her cheeks, her chin, her eyelids, and her forehead. Not just once, but again and again. He kissed her until she was breathless. Then with the heel of his palm he pushed against her forehead and Mona arched her neck. He kissed her straining throat down to the collar of his shirt. With one swift move, he grabbed the buttoned shirt and split it open. Buttons flew, Mona jumped, and Moe kept up his attack. He kissed a trail down the full length of her neck, forcing his tongue against the beating hollow at its base, and then he swerved to the top of her shoulder, leaving an enflamed path of skin where his lips had touched.

"Damn, woman! Your skin is milk."

He moved on. He kissed her shoulder, nudging the strap of her slip until it slid down her arm. He kissed the swell of breast her slip no longer covered. He used his chin to force the fabric further down until his lips could reach her nipple. And he kissed it. The nub darkened and tightened and he kissed it more. Mona stroked the back of Moe's head, tender touches at first, but as Moe switched from kissing to sucking, her hand grew more forceful, until she finally shoved his head hard against her tit.

"Suck it harder! Please Moe. Harder." She puffed out the words like a train accelerating out of Cincy's Union Terminal.

Moe did as she asked, sucking her areola and nipple until it grew long in his mouth. He sucked until his jaw hurt. Mona thrashed and moaned like a caged tiger. Moe was curious to see how dangerous she might get. He moved to the other nipple and gave it the same treatment - long, hard sucks like his life depended on it.

When Mona pulled back, Moe figured it was over, that she'd come to her senses. But she didn't leave. Instead she shimmied out of her slip, then her garter and stockings, and finally her panties. She didn't try to hide her nakedness. Instead, she stood proud like a Parrish model: nude and ethereal.

"Baby, you're a work of art."

"Don't talk, Moe. Just do."

The dame was a temptress, and Moe always liked yielding to temptation. He forgot about his wound, his work, and any good intentions. Mona was a woman who wanted him, and he was happy to oblige.

She slipped under the covers of his bed. Moe stripped out of his trousers and joined her. He took her in his arms. Flesh against flesh. Heat against heat. He kissed her mouth again, only this time the kisses weren't soft. They were hard and hungry and demanding. Mona was breathless and flushed. And, apparently, anxious. "Do, Moe, do," she said.

He rose above her and she welcomed him, her arms around him, her legs open. He eased inside. She was tight. Tight and hot and wet. It was heaven. He took his time, sliding in and out, feeling every groove and ripple. At first, she pushed against him, smashing her pelvis against his, and then she picked up Moe's rhythm and they rode together in a perfect fit. Her hands kneaded his back, but turned to clawing when Moe's thrusts grew longer and deeper.

When her nails dug in and her body went rigid, Moe kept up his pace. With her orgasm came taut, jerky spasms that squeezed and tugged at Moe's cock. He tried to hold back, tried to let her tremors settle, but his willpower was gone. He let out a howl and with it came his seed, spilling into her, bathing them both in heated love juice.

When he finished, he eased out as slowly as he'd eased in. A rush of cum followed and Moe cradled the sensitive head of his cock in the puddle. Slowly he moved to her side, stretching his arm securely over her belly, not quite ready to let her go.

"I might be dead," he mumbled.

Mona yawned. "I'll meet you in heaven."

"We were just in heaven, doll. They kicked me out."

"Give it a little time, Moe. I'm sure we can go back."

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