tagNovels and NovellasThe Hogarth Club Ch. 01

The Hogarth Club Ch. 01


"Good morning your Lordship, your brother is in his office," Wicklow said, without even a skerrick of a grin, even though it was a standing joke at the Dorchester Hotel.

"Good morning Rags. Coffee for my brother please Wicklow," the Duke of Almondsbury said.

"Rags, we are not making enough progress. You are enjoying fucking a different slut every night. It's not strategic enough."

Rags smiled, "Eight, I'm not enjoying myself. I am fucking for King and Country."

Eight snorted, he knew the death of his brother's fiancee had turned him into a voracious sexual animal, a talent he had been using, sadly with little success.

"These Gynaecide murders, I'm having you transferred to the Met to help with the investigation. It will mean that you can investigate the spy network with your cock inside your pants."

"Coffee, Your Lordships," Wicklow said, he delivered the cups with a flair that only a Maitre D' could achieve. What ever he heard would never be repeated.

When they were alone again Eight said, "I have my best agent already there, the only other person who knows is Chief Superintendent Grierly."

"Your agent, do I know him?"

Eight smiled a mischievous smile, "Rags, you will not find him!"

On re-reading the reports, Grierly's face darkened, if that was possible. He was a dour man who shunned frivolities such as amusement; joy or laughter. The depths of the lines carved in his face, bore testament that his dour nature was not a shallow or recent dalliance but a lifetime's work. Criminal elements were having more of an impact, in Grierly's London, than Goering's Luftwaffe.

His secretary knocked.


"Inspector Hoyden, Sir."

She spun her trim figure and exited the office revealing Roger Hoyden.

"Sit!" Grierly spat, indicating a chair.

He resisted barking and sat. He caught the report that was flicked across the desk. Grierly's eyes never left his face while he read.

"Hoyden. I don't like people being foisted upon me."

"Yes... Sir."

Hoyden's face gave nothing away.

"You were an experimental engineering manager and test pilot for our new bomber?"

Roger shrugged, he rubbed the phantom itch on his calf which was once flesh and bone.

"My research reveals that you used to be a decent young man, what happened?"

"May I answer frankly?"

"Of course Hoyden, we only deal with the truth here,"

"Mind your own fucking business... Sir."

"Yes Hoyden your superiors say you lack discipline and the Royal Air Force say you lack Moral Fibre."

LMF, or lacking moral fibre was a euphemism for being a coward. If you refused to fly you were out. It was all part of Eight's cover. It was times like these where he hated all the subterfuge and lies. Hoyden struggled out of his chair.

"I repeat my earlier response."

He turned and walked towards the door.

"Sit down Hoyden, you have not been dismissed."

"You have more than dismissed me... Sir. I will not work with someone with your attitude."

Griely's face, always dark turned apoplectic. He demanded Hoyden's return. Hoyden spun and walked purposefully toward the desk.

Sensing a threat Grierly stood. He was surprised when Hoyden offered his hand.

"Good afternoon Sir, I am Roger Hoyden, I believe I have been assigned to work the Gynaecide murders?"

Grierly looked from the offered hand, to the man's eyes. He saw steel in Hoyden's gaze. He had been offered an olive branch, he took the offer and the hand. Roger locked eyes until the Chief Superintendent looked away. Roger knew that was all the apology he was going to get.

"You've read the reports Hoyden." He nodded at the latest one on his desk that Roger has scanned earlier. Griely had the report on Eights mission not the cover story.

"As you can see we suspect another politician has been compromised. You need to find the prostitute who is turning them."

"Leave it to me, Sir."

"What I suggest you do - "

Roger interrupted, not a wise thing to do with Grierly.

"If this attempt fails its all down to me."

A muscle twitched at the corner of Grierly's eye, it could have been a nascent smile vainly seeking a path to expression.

"It will be Hoyden, it will be. Well don't just sit there Man, get on with it."

Roger unwound his large frame from the chair, which he thought was deliberately selected to be uncomfortable. Saluted and exited. He sighed when the door was shut.

"Nothing thrown, no shouting, no evidence of physical violence, he must like you."

The secretary's sweet smile lit the office, making it the total antithesis of the one he had just escaped. She gave him a frank appraisal, there was lots to like about Roger. He was tall and well muscled but handled his bulk with grace. He had a rugged sort of ugliness which on a man of his stature, and with a little charity, could pass as attractiveness. His smile was his best feature, it broke hearts.

"Hello, I'm Roger."

"Yes, I've been told to avoid you... something about Lothario?"

"Lothario seduced for pleasure and financial gain, I don't seek money. Who has been maligning me these rumors are becoming destructive?"

She ignored the question.

"I am Georgina and I will not fall for your charms like Lola."

Roger smiled, he liked smart women.

"So Lola is complaining about loosing her virginity again?"

"It gives her an opportunity to advertise her wares, she has become very popular with the men."

"I think I'll call you razor, you're sharp. Remind me not to play with you without gloves."

Her attention had returned to her typing. Roger was disappointed but he took her signal to leave. Looking back, as he exited the office, he noted that his was not the only killer smile. Who would have thought that a meeting with Grinning Grierly could have turned out so positively. He would actually enjoy his next visit to Grierly.

Ernest watched Cynthia prepare for the evening. Watching was an understatement, a naked Mae West may not have been sufficient incentive to interrupt his ogling.

"Aren't you too serious about this bait thing? You could personify a Harlot; you don't have to be one."

She slipped into a diaphanous blouse, it accentuated more than it concealed.

If Ernest devouring gaze ever left her chest, he would see a voluptuous woman. She was all curves, medium height well fleshed but slender. Her smile was not warm but challenging, it matched exactly the tilt of her head and the gleam from her ice-blue eyes. Golden curly hair which caressed her neck and shoulders softened her Teutonic look. The clothes she had selected hugged her body like a lusty lover; she looked every inch a brass.

"I believe in what I am doing, there are no half measures."

She slipped on a jacket covering her breasts, breaking Ernest's hungry glare. Mae West was back in with a chance. She smiled knowingly, she enjoyed tantalizing him.

"More bombing tonight the streets will be dark and ideal for entrapment. Make us a cuppa, there's a love."

While Ernest scurried she grabbed the newspaper which had until she had dressed, or more accurately undressed, been Ernest's sole focus.

'Gynaecide Jim strikes again'. She read, the article continued in breathless style, 'Another Slaughtered Slut'.

Ernest returned with the tea, it had been brewing.

"You need to be careful," he said, nodding at the paper.

"No, we need to be lucky. Anyway, that's why you are there... lover."

"I wish I was," Ernest said, wistfully.

While Ernest skulked, Cynthia strutted. The night as predicted was velvet dark, no light, not even a glint. The drone of myriad planes floated in with the wind. She felt no fear of the coming bombs, she was on a mission and nothing would brook her success. She was alone on the Westminster beat, Ernest had already scared all the other scrubbers away. Cynthia insisted that she be the focus of all activity. She stepped into the doorway of St Margaret's Church off Abingdon Street, opposite the Houses of Parliament. This was the hard part, waiting.

Each time a well-dressed gentleman passed she sucked on her cigarette, the glowing tip lit her face. It was the best way to show her wares without gaining the censure of an Air Raid Warden. There was little doubt about her occupation, nice women didn't smoke in public. She flicked another butt into the corner of the narthex.

Cynthia saw a gentleman approaching so she pulled another cigarette from the pack. She looked up to see a tall handsome man offering her a flame from his lighter.

"Bit cold?" he said.

She nodded, as she drew the flame into the cigarette.

"How much?"

She appraised him with a frank gaze.

"For you five pound."

"I'll give you a quid."

She scoffed undid her jacket pulled back the lapels to display her gentle curves, the cold had played with her nipples they thrust into the light transparent material.

"For a quid, you can look at those. For a fiver you can have softness, warmth and moisture."

Her raised eyebrows said as much as the words.

With a soft touch, he tweaked her nipples. She liked it. Sensing her pleasure he released her top button. Whilst the blouse left nothing to the imagination, he wanted skin.

Releasing the next button he trailed his hand over her bare flesh.

"How about I make five guineas, it sounds much classier and I'm sure you could add something extra from your extensive menu?"

He was bartering to meet expectations, he would not be paying, she would.

She took his hand and guided it to the third button, her breasts were now fully exposed. She pressed his hand over her erect nipples she erupted in goosebumps. His hand continued to explore.

"Cold or pleasure?" he asked.

"I'm hot!" she said.

"You certainly are."

He crushed their bodies together and took her lips. She ground against him. Deepening the kiss, he moved slightly so he could caress her glorious mounds. Her breath quickened and she ground against his leg. Feeling her need he dropped his hand and felt the outline of her through her skirt. Now he had determined her topography he slipped his hand under the garment and unerringly found the seat of her passion.

With skilled fingers he basted her clitoris with her own juices, her earlier comment was accurate, moisture was in deed on sale. He worked her mercilessly when he felt she was close, he inserted his finger and with his thumb now on her nub he squeezed his digits together.

He stifled her scream with a kiss as she collapsed against him, driven by an intense orgasm. She felt safe suspended on his finger which seemed both to support and continue providing erotic and electric pleasure.

Returning to the world from her sojourn in a land of pleasure, so different than the current reality, she kissed him with passion. Her hand dropped to feel him, she was pleased that he was hard.

"Later," he said, "if that comes out in this temperature it will forget it's primary purpose."

"Come on then, if you perform like that, your five guineas will last for ever."

She half led half pulled him towards her room.

Ernest, secreted under the vaulted arch of the nave watched them go. If the length of the kiss was anything to go by, he was sure that she had secured a client.

He took a shortcut through the Church to ensure he was back at the flat and ready for them. Ernest was confident to leave her unchaperoned, even if she had picked up Gynaecide Jim. Jim killed in his victim's rooms, not on the street. He would be there before them with a gun to protect her.

"Come on in lover," she said, still holding his hand.

He followed into a room which remembered better times. The ornate cornices ended at a plain wall. The room had been split, maybe more than once. Grand high ceilings which once added majesty now just made the space difficult to heat. Empty shelves by the fireplace, sagged as if recalling the many books which once shaped them. Shadows danced, the light swung slightly, as if in a breeze. It seemed to be suspended with cobwebs and good luck. She led him to the bed, now the only bold statement in the room.

She turned her back slightly, "Please."

He removed her jacket and brushed his finger down her arms.

"What's your name?" he said.


"Sin, how appropriate." He brushed her nipples with the back of his hand.

"And you?" she said, shivering from his contact.

He wondered at her reaction to his touch, she was no jaded whore.


All her clients were Johns but few claimed the name for themselves, she concluded it was a pseudonym.

She was enjoying acting as a slut, she released the side buttons of her skirt and stepped out of it as it pooled on the floor. Next were the four buttons on her blouse, again she turned, he obliged. She stood naked and proud, as she should have, her body was magnificent.

Ernest's eye remained riveted to the peep-hole. He would need to regain focus, he would soon be a principal player in the unfolding drama.

"Well," she said, "come and get your five guinea's worth."

He threw her blouse on the bed and stepped towards her, she pulled his hand over her breast, and seemed to pose. Ernest burst from hiding, the flash from the camera revealed his intent. The gun in his other hand ensured compliance.

"Wallet!" he said.

John seemed untroubled, he reached into his back pocket and flicked it, underhand, at Ernest. He wanted to protect the camera so he caught the wallet with his gun hand. The next moment John pushed him against the wall and pinned his arms behind his back. Ernest felt and heard the click of handcuffs.

"Handcuffs, the modus operandi of Gynaecide Jim. So should I call you Jim?"

Cynthia stood naked and strong, her gun adding weight to the statement that her body made.

John stepped behind Ernest and pushed him hard towards the Cynthia. With his limited mobility Ernest could not avoid clattering into his accomplice, they landed together on the bed. John followed his human battering ram, who he elbowed out of the way to gain access to Cynthia.

He spun her on her stomach and pulled her arms firmly behind her back. John cuffed her and flicked her over on her back and surveyed her curves as if nothing in London had a right to interfere with his domination. He shook his head sadly, he envisaged no scenario that would allow him to taste the pleasure of her charms.

Adding Cynthia's gun to the one already taken from Ernest he stepped away from the bed. The increased distance broke Cynthia's spell, he noticed Ernest again. He signaled him with a flick of the barrel and waived him over to the radiator.

"On your stomach," he said.

Ernest complied. John released the cuff from one hand, looped it around the water pipe and reapplied it.

"You'll be nice and warm until I get around to you," he said.

Ernest sat up with his back to the radiator, he was warm, warm because of the manhandling, warm because of the radiator and warm because of his view of Cynthia's naked body, she normally only teased him. His imagination had not done her justice.

She was now sitting with her back against the bed-head her spread legs shouting a loud invitation, her challenging stare made John wonder who was dominating whom. He walked over to the bed, his hand explored her warm valley before he pushed her legs down and mounted her. He sat on her legs.

Cynthia's smile faltered this was not a sexual position but one of dominance. He leaned forward, trapped her body against the heavy Victorian metal bed-head. Like Ernest, he released one of her hands, this time he looped the cuff around the main horizontal rail and then reapplied it.

"We can do kinky," Cynthia said, with bravado.

"Oh we will."

He bent to his ankle he pulled a dagger from a hidden sheath. It showed its malevolence with a dull glint. Cynthia's eyes traveled to the seven-inch double edged blued steel blade.

"Fuck, you are Jim!"

The color rose to her cheeks, she shook again, this time fear drove her shudder.

"I'm not a prostitute," she cried.

"What are you then?"

"Me and Ernest extort people, you could join the team."

"For money?"

"NO, we extort favors but we will add money for you."

He looked at Ernest, whose eyes were glued to Cynthia's body and John's contact with it. John gave a sly smile.

"Ernest, you know you are dead, huh?"

Ernest's eyes never left Cynthia, though he did show a reaction, his body was shaking too.

"If you tell me the truth, I may let you enjoy this."

He nodded towards Cynthia. He flicked the knife to his left hand to offer Ernest an uninterrupted view. John caressed her cheek, ran his fingers down her body circled her belly button then his hand returned to cup her breast.

"So Ernest, talk and I may grant you a... dying wish."

Ernest felt ashamed that the proposal appealed to him, half of it anyway.

Ernest's face gleamed his thoughts like an anti-aircraft searchlight.

"I see we have a buyer. OK what's the story?"

"She's already told you," Ernest said. He hadn't looked at John, his attention remained focused on the body chained to the bed.

"Prove it."

Ernest opened his mouth but Cynthia shouted, "Shut up, you fool, you'll die anyway. At least die with your principles."

Ernest's mouth tightened, for the first time he looked away from Cynthia.

"OK, miss out Ernest."

John stared into Cynthia's defiant eyes then interrupted her gaze with the dagger. The stiletto captured her full attention.

He fondled the handle of the knife and waived it in-front of her. Cynthia's captured eyes followed it faithfully. Exercising care with the twin edges of the blade he placed the tip on her sternum between her breasts and caressed a line to her stomach. He had used the side of the knife, it had scratched not cut. Cynthia shuddered, her nipples hardened. When he removed the blade Cynthia pushed forward.

"Why don't you enjoy me, first?" she asked.

Cynthia, like Ernest felt the cold chill of death but the fear and the commanding presence of Gynaecide Jim was acting as a strange aphrodisiac. She wanted him.

"OK," he said, as he trapped a stray lock behind her ear.

"Same offer, different bait. If you want... me, then let's have the truth."

Ernest saw her wavering, and he wanted his dying wish granted, not hers.

"There is a floor safe behind the false wall," he shouted, "where I was hiding."

The team, if it existed before, was destroyed, shattered by sexual desire, sadly not for each other.

John hopped off Cynthia and the bed, he walked behind the screen. He moved Ernest's chair away from the peep-hole and spotted a trap door in the floor. It hinged exposing a safe with a combination lock.

He walked back into the main room. "Combination?" he demanded.

"If I'm going to die, I want you in me, not him."

She nodded in Ernest's general direction.

Ernest shouted a string of numbers as did Cynthia. He tested them finding them to be accurate. The opened safe contained a handful of files. He extracted them all and walked to the side table and examined each file.

"You have blackmailed information about allied merchant shipping from some upstanding but traitorous individuals."

Cynthia resiled to her fate nodded.

"We are German."

He smiled and nodded, her blond hair and blue eyes should have spoken to him. John wondered if the pure unblemished truth could penetrate the fog of deceit that pervaded the room.

"I am not Gynaecide Jim, I am Inspector Roger Hoyden. You are both under arrest for treason and consorting with the enemy."

"Do you have underwear, Cynthia?"

She nodded towards a chest of drawers.

"If I release you will you act with honor?"

"Yes, I will."

He again sat on her and pressed her back against the bed-head, this time she was ready for him, she kissed him with ferocity. Roger allowed it, he felt a little guilty.

He knew from experience that the crime should not be mitigated by the culprit, irrespective of how alluring they were.

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