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The Big Short


Several of you have asked me to write another adventure involving the folks from "The First Deadly Sin." When one of you is Rick at rkv330's (aka Bluedevil) a story gets written. This is his general idea and it's brilliant as usual. I like to put some of my own background into these things. So please keep in mind that none of these exploits are made up. They were all either planned, or have happened - albeit not in this Country - YET. So sleep well and I hope you enjoy this little tale.


Chicago winters suck; bitter cold, no sun, relentless wind. It was February and I was standing next to my wife's grave. I visit Pia as often as I can - just to let her know she isn't forgotten - bring her a couple of flowers. The wind chill was somewhere around minus ten. The flowers promptly shriveled up and died. But it's the thought that counts.

Pia's resting in Graceland Cemetery because I caught her fucking a douchebag lawyer named Tedesco. Don't get me wrong. I didn't kill her. Tedesco did. But Pia's dead all-the-same.

I suppose we all have our fatal flaws. Pia's was decidedly human. She loved to fuck, and Tedesco took advantage of that. Kelly and I evened the score. In fact, Tedesco couldn't fuck, walk, or control his bodily functions after we were done. Suffice it to say, the bastard never messed with anybody else's wife. But, that's another story.

Kelly finds my sentimentality hilarious - says it proves I'm not the total bad-ass I pretend to be. Of course, this world holds no tougher, more pragmatic woman than Kelly McMahan. Kelly was my partner while I was married to Pia. It was strictly business. It became something a whole lot more after Pia was avenged. But first, we had some baggage to sort out.

Kelly is street-smart and supremely self-confident. She can hack your computer or seduce you with a look. Those are her soft skills. She can also whip your ass with great proficiency. She can drive a nail with her trusty little Beretta and she is well-nigh a Zen master with her Asp fighting baton.

Still, it's Kelly's deep personal integrity, her staunch loyalty and her unconquerable spirit that cement our lifetime bond.

If you like Celtic beauties, then Kelly's your girl. She is eleven years younger than me and she is gorgeous, five six with long thick copper hair and a face that is so perfect it belongs in a beer commercial; a heart shaped Maid of Erin face with full, almost lascivious mouth, long pert nose and huge intelligent green eyes that constantly twinkle with hints of merriment and Irish larceny.

But, the Maid of Erin doesn't have Kelly's lithe, long-waisted body, or her big solid tit's. Her legs are by far her best part. They're slightly longer than the average woman's, full and muscular, not skinny fashion-model bird-legs.

I don't normally find redheads attractive. All the milky white skin and freckles are intimidating. But Kelly's body is like the finest alabaster. It almost gives off a golden glow and it feels like satin. Oh yes - and did I mention that she can fuck you in more interesting ways than Messalina rolling on X.

While my wife's spirit animal is most probably a cheetah, or some other sleek magnificent beast. Mine is unquestionably a rhino, or maybe a warthog. It's definitely nothing beautiful.

I'm Swedish by origin, but I don't look like the Mighty Thor. Instead of a flowing blond mane, my black hair looks like the velveteen rabbit crawled up on my bullet head and died - short super-thick buzz ending about four inches above my eyebrows, thick almost non-existent neck and glittering brown eyes. The rest of me screams "thug!" Kelly says I'm a cuddle-bunny. But she's woman enough to handle me.

I had problems with hyper-aggression when I was a kid. My old man was a lifelong resident of Cicero and worked at Western Electric. He was a no-nonsense kind of guy. So, the first time I got in a school fight he dragged my ass down to the local Y, tossed me in with the gym rats, and told them to straighten me out.

I quickly discovered that hitting the weights was a lot more rewarding than hitting other people. So, I became a life-long lunkhead. It's the reason why I'm only five-ten but weigh around two-forty. None of that is fat.

Strength is important in my business, not mass. You have to be flexible and quick. So, even though I can easily bench 300, I work maximum reps at 210. That makes me hard not muscle-bound. I also have a little trick that I do with a broomstick. I jump back and forth over it while holding it between my hands. Try that a half-dozen times. You'll find out just how quick and limber you really are.

I ditched my Ram diesel after Kelly and I got together. It was a gesture - cutting ties with my old life. We bought a Land Rover Defender. It has all the Hummer muscle and reliability. But it's James Bond, not Conan the Barbarian. You can park it without a problem and drive it around the city without pissing people off. It only had a hundred thousand on the clock so it was almost brand new.


Kelly breezed out of the master dressed to kill. I was reading the only part of the Tribune that I care about. The Bears sucked as usual. I put the paper down, just to take-in the vista of her corpus delectable.

Kelly's long copper hair was done, and her makeup was perfect. She was stuffed into a figure-hugging LBD. There was a lot of stunning leg and a cleavage to die for. Her perfume evoked images of wanton acts performed at the dark of the moon by frenzied savages.

I said mildly, "Another date?"

She gave me her predator smile and said, "Closing the deal tonight." She glided over like a big sinuous cat, kissed me on top of the head and said, "I'll be back in two or three hours and tell you all about it." Then she sashayed out the door trailing a cloud of perfume that screamed pure sex.

No, I'm not one of THOSE freaks. This was just Kelly's sidelight. In my spare time, I like lifting weights. Kelly likes righting wrongs. It isn't a vocation. It's more of a hobby. She's kind-of like the Equalizer. Anyhow, Kelly hunts philandering husbands - hence the get-up.

She hates cheaters. It's almost a spiritual thing with her. I tried to point out that we've been fucking each other since we swung down out of the trees. But Kelly truly believes that society will implode if people don't actively confront infidelity.

In Kelly's mind, adultery flourishes in the nooks and crannies of ignorance. Thus, the only path to redemption is through public accountability. She said, "Faithfulness is a decision. Nobody holds a gun to your head. You vow to be honorable and you sacrifice that honor If you violate that pledge." Then she added with a feral smile, "I don't like dishonorable people."

Ooookay - a whole lot Old Testament, but Kelly's harder on herself than she is on anybody else. I suppose it's her iron will. It's the quality that makes her so special.

She had been gone for a couple of hours when my phone rang. The caller ID said it was Kelly. I said, "That was quick."

She said, clearly pissed, "Can you come down to Belmont and bail me out."

I laughed and said, "Did I hear you right? Bail you out? What happened, did you have to kick his ass?" I was joking.

She said, steaming, "Yes!!"

I was still laughing. I said, "I thought you were the egghead. I'm supposed to be the thug." Kelly has a PhD in forensic psychology from Chicago.

Now she was pissed. She said, "Just get your ass down here and get me released. I feel like an idiot sitting here in this outfit." Kelly is a smashing beauty when she's dolled-up. I couldn't imagine what the rest of the temporary residents of the 19th's holding cell thought about having her there.

I told the guy at the desk that I'd come to retrieve my wife. He consulted the handy bail schedule and I paid the ransom. It was two thousand for misdemeanor battery. Kelly must have gotten physical with her target. The front desk dude sent a guy back and Kelly appeared a couple of minutes later.

She was still dressed to kill, and she was stunning. She was chatting amiably with the cop who was escorting her. Every other cop in the bullpen was longingly watching her butt twitch in her four-inch FMPs. The desk sergeant handed her the appearance ticket and we walked out into the sub-zero Chicago night.

A stranger caught up with us as we started down the steps. She looked like a graduate student at Loyola. But she identified herself as a police-beat reporter for the Trib. She proceeded to earn her chops by interviewing Kelly - in Chicago cold that was so intense it was hard to breathe.

She said, "Could I talk to you for a second Ms McMahan. I just have a couple of questions."

Kelly must have been on the threshold of hypothermia. But, she stopped and looked inquiringly at the girl. Did I mention that my wife is also one tough cookie? The girl said, "Did I hear the cops right, you're some sort of vigilante? You busted a guy's fingers for trying to drag you up to his room at the W?"

So that's where she went? That was just down the street.

Kelly laughed and said, "I was delivering divorce papers. He's been kind of hard to find. They hired me to flush him out. He got a little rambunctious when I gave him the papers. So, I dislocated his thumb. It was the screaming that brought the police."

Kelly got a look of disgust and said scornfully, "God!! What a little girl."

Then she said, as if she was reviewing the tape in her head, "I'll admit, that I might have been a little over the top. But it was just so infuriatingly stupid of him to use brute force."

She said under her breath, "I HATE dumb people."

Then she added cheerfully, "The cops charged me with misdemeanor battery. Our lawyers will sort it out." That was said so matter-of-fact that you got the impression that she mutilated a couple of guys a week.


The next day, we got a lovely illustration of the unique power of the press. It was just one article. But, overnight my wife went from nameless to celebrated.

The reporter was clearly working the woman angle since she made Kelly sound like a cross between the Scarlett Pimpernel and Boudica Warrior Queen of the Icini. The article explained at great length how she rights-wrongs and uplifts the downtrodden. It was fucking embarrassing.

I said, trying to keep the snicker out of my voice, "I see you've developed a fan club. At least the picture makes you look hot."

Kelly emerged from the master looking puzzled. She was wearing panties and one of my vaguely buttoned dress shirts. She likes to lounge around like that on the weekend. She's still in her thirties - needs sex more often than I do. She said, "What the fuck are you talking about?"

I handed her the paper. It immediately got her Irish up. Her entire body turned a vivid shade of pink. It was a lovely contrast with her copper hair, crimson lips and brightly painted red nails. Her huge emerald eyes flamed with rage and she disappeared back into the master where I heard her throwing things around and yelling obscenities - Redheads!!

She emerged looking grim. She was dressed in painted on jeans and a black turtle neck. It accentuated her supple body and big jugs. I said jovially, "Where are you going?"

I was being agreeable because Kelly was in one of those moods. When she's in that mood she's likely to reach for the pancake holster that she wears just above the crack in her delectable ass. She said angrily, "I'm going over to Stetson and kill that bitch." The Trib is located on Stetson Avenue.

I looked quizzical. Kelly said, "She just put me out of business. I could be wearing nothing but a thong now, and those douchebags would still avoid me like the plague."

At that point her phone rang. She grabbed it, hit the answer button and said irritated, "WHAT??!!" Then she stopped and listened intently. She said, "Okay, we can talk. But, my husband's the heavyweight investigator. He has to be involved in this too. I only work with him."

That was my introduction to Peter Paul Pritman. The moniker Peter-Paul was a bit of a smokescreen. The family was Jewish, not Anglo-Saxon Protestant. He fancied calling himself Trey - get it? three "Ps."

Trey had made his money the old-fashioned way - he inherited it. His family more-or-less WAS the legal trade in the Chicago area. And they had been, since the Columbian Exposition was in its planning stages.

Pritman lived in East Lake Forest. That select community exists so that the REAL wealth can avoid the nouveau riche riff-raff. It's located directly on the Lake. The people who aren't old money, "right sort" types live WEST of the Lake in places like Northbrook.

We drove up a curved drive, bordered by towering oak trees. The foliage was gone. Still, you couldn't see the mansion because of the curve and the density of the trees and brush. The mansion was in front of us, once we got around the bend. It looked like somebody had dropped Blenheim Palace on the shores of Lake Michigan.

We were greeted by a servant who escorted us into the library. Seriously??! The thing was the set from Downton Abby. Trey was standing in an alcove, gazing pensively at his snow-covered lawn, out big floor-to-ceiling windows.

I did a quick scan. He was perhaps twenty years older than me, meaning mid-sixties. He was in excellent shape, slim and aristocratically languid. He had thick, perfectly barbered white hair that contrasted nicely with his deepwater tan. Tan is a rare commodity in the winter in Chicago. So, he must have spent most of his time somewhere else.

He walked over to us and offered his hand to Kelly. Okay, I wasn't insulted. It was her gig. He said, "Ms. McMahan, it's a pleasure to meet you. I read about your work in today's Tribune and I wanted to discuss employing you for a very delicate matter.

Kelly looked at me. I looked at her. We had talked about the situation on the way over. Pritman was too important to just blow off. And, Kelly was interested in why he'd called her. But we weren't really private eyes. Most of our money came from intel-analytics and Federal contract assignments.

I said, "We appreciate the offer Mr. Pritman. But we have more business than we can handle right now. The story that you read in the Trib was just Kelly's little sidelight."

Pritman looked miffed. He said, "I don't care what you're doing right now. This is more important."

Then he turned to Kelly and said, "I'll pay you anything. You're a woman. You should understand what I'm going through." It wasn't clear what he meant by that, since he was clearly a guy

Kelly gave me "the LOOK." The LOOK said, "GET IT OFF ME!"

I said, placatingly, "Okay - we'll listen to your story and maybe give you some advice. But, we don't do personal investigations." That was a polite way of telling him that we didn't peep in windows at cheating spouses.

Pritman looked relieved. We'd listen to his offer. Things would work out. He turned to the servant who was still standing in the doorway and said peremptorily, "Get us some coffee."

We sat in the conversation area, which was basically two huge couches facing each other, perpendicular to an ornate stone fireplace with a six-foot-high opening. You could walk around inside the hearth, if it weren't for the big crackling fire.

I continued to cold-read the guy. Peter-Paul Pritman was a very rich and important man. He'd been wealthy his entire life. There is a kind-of innate arrogance that is built into people like him. It comes from being brought up entitled.

I didn't need to delve into his family dynamics to know that his old man was a cold and distant figure and that his mother was a society gadabout who let the paid help raise her son. Predictably his parents would compensate for their lack of love and attention by giving the kid anything he wanted.

So, it was understandable that Pritman would suffer from some perverted confidence in his own form of divine right. Trey's world worked the way he wanted it to. People simply didn't say "no" to him. He just had to find out how much it would cost to get the wheels turning.

It also explained his impulsiveness. He had read the article in today's newspaper. It was impressive. It perfectly captured Kelly's lethal femininity. That image had resonated with him. So, he had to have her. That was as far as his thinking went.

The problem was that the world turns on its own axis. That's a scientific fact; no matter what Trey Pritman might think. And Trey's certainties about how the world operated had just run head-on into the legendary immovable object. That object was my wife.

Kelly, is, and always will be, her own woman. Treating her like an off-the-shelf commodity is the fastest way to make her dig in.

Nevertheless, his body language had raised my curiosity. Given Pritman's belief in his own omnipotence, the guy just didn't compute. He might look calm and superior. But, this fellow was twitchy. He kept looking down, fiddling with the little cup in front of him and his facial muscles were taut.

I said, "Can you tell us what your problem is? How can we help you?" God!! I was beginning to sound like a Democrat!! Kelly shifted next to me, crossed her arms and leaned back. She clearly didn't like Pritman and now she was pissed at me.

Pritman leaned forward, eyes blinking his pupils were actually dilated. He said, and the degree of angst in his voice confirmed his sincerity, "My wife's been kidnapped by terrorists!!"


Holly Pritman's naked, sweat covered body was splayed-wide. She was lying in the bed that they'd just destroyed, gasping like she had run a marathon and the glow and stink of sex was all over her.

Adeel al Asad was lying next to her teasing her nipple with one finger. It was stiff and erect. She looked at him with a mixture of wonderment and irritation and said, "No more baby. You're going to kill me."

Adeel continued to play with her nipple, twirling and tweaking. Holly's breathing began to get louder and more ragged. He was watching her breasts rise and fall as her passions, once again, began to get the best of her. He was thinking about how easy the whole thing had been.

He had first seen her standing on the steps at the Scandinavian in Mykonos. She was leaning on the metal railing that led to the second deck. She looked bored. Adeel knew that she was the wife of a rich man. But, Adeel was still astonished by her beauty.

The Caliph had told him where to look and what to do. He edged in next to her and they stared out into the balmy night together. There's something special about the purple darkness of the Greek isles. It's a feeling of deep mystery powered by the dreamy ambiance of over four thousand years of human habitation. And it can build subconscious bonds very quickly.

She had undoubtedly noted that Adeel was there. But, she was studiously ignoring him, which was a good sign. It meant that she was interested. A woman like Holly Pritman had to play it cool.

Adeel had lived his life doing this kind of seduction. It was what the Caliph was paying him for and the Caliph was getting his money's worth. Nothing was said, aside from a shift in her stance.

Adeel Al-Asad looked like he had just stepped off the cover of GQ. He was tall, but not too tall, slim but not skinny, dark and ravishingly handsome. Everything from his exquisitely barbered black hair through his strong arrogant face, to his impeccable black silk suit and gleaming, open collared white shirt, screamed "faultless."

Adeel knew exactly how to get the conversation started. He thoroughly checked the woman out, making it obvious. She was a rich man's prize, long, thick blond hair, prominent round ass and a pneumatic pair of tits that could only have been put there by surgery. She had broad shoulders tapering to a lithe, narrow waist. She would be a handful when aroused. And Adeel Al Asad knew just how to do that.

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