Palmer Ch. 01byhal_tee©
Grateful thanks go to the best editor in the world – thesoundandfury. And check out his new novel – Models and Super Spies. Thanks Ken, not only for your editing, but also for the constant encouragement, suggestions, and for helping me to become a better writer.
Chapter 1: Politics
It had been quiet for a couple of weeks and Palmer was itching for action. When Donny Webster called him into his office, he knew he'd got it. Webster was Vice Squad.
It was a misnomer to call it an office. It was more of a cubbyhole and lately it had been a permanent home for the tall, thin Vice boss.
As usual, the small desk looked like a combat zone, but then Webster fit that image. His permanent five o'clock shadow provided a contrast to his baldhead and the thin, yellow shirt looked like it had been slept in.
Palmer grinned. Knowing Webster, it probably had been.
The Vice boss stared at the wavy haired, twenty-five year old, then pulled off his rimless glasses and rubbed his faded eyes. "Grab a seat," he growled, picking a remnant of his lunch from his teeth.
Palmer moved a pile of files from one of the two battered chairs and gingerly sat down. He glanced around. A dirty mug stood on top of the files on the desk, half full of steaming coffee.
Webster squinted as he looked at him. "Got any eye drops?" he asked.
Palmer laughed. "No, Chief. I don't have a cleaner to recommend, either."
The fifty-year-old Vice boss gave a sneer as he slipped his rimless glasses back on, pushing them up the bridge of his nose. "Everyone's a joker round here," he mumbled, lifting his feet onto the desk, one at a time.
He pushed a file across to Palmer. "I got something here for you to get your dick into. Got quite a bit of detail, but nothing ties up. Not yet. I need you to get involved and make a case out of it."
Palmer nodded. Webster had been in Vice for the best part of sixteen years. He'd learnt a lot from him. It was a compliment for the weary boss to hand over a case. Not that he'd confess that to Palmer.
Webster slurped from the mug. "I got other things on my plate. Need a safe pair of hands, Palmer. Don't let me down."
"I won't, Chief," the young detective told him, running a hand through his wavy, black hair. How it had retained its colour after three years in Vice was beyond him. "But that's not much to go on."
Webster's eyes stared at him over the top of his glasses. "Read the freakin' file," he growled.
Palmer nodded. He knew that was the best he'd get. His boss was a man of few words.
"I'll give you Wilson and Goodwin," he continued. "That's all I can spare. You need to get on it straight away. Do your homework and we'll talk again in the morning."
He seemed to think for a second, so Palmer waited.
"You still here?" Webster snapped, looking up.
It was noon when the redhead made her way through Covent Garden towards Halide Towers. Her small shudder coincided with the chimes of Big Ben striking twelve.
It wasn't the wind that made her quiver. Or the English cold. It was the fact she was behind schedule. Being late for a meeting with Dominic DeVere was not a good idea.
Shrugging off the feeling, she entered the upmarket apartment complex and headed across the plush lobby to the private elevators at the far side. The security guard smiled as he stood to leisurely attention.
"Afternoon, Denzil," she purred in that breathy way of hers.
"Only just, Miss Lopez," he grinned, glancing at his watch. "How are you today?"
"Great, Denzil," she responded, allowing him to open the elevator door for her. "Just great."
Sending the elevator on its way, the black guard reached for the phone on his desk. "Miss Lopez is on her way up." He watched her shapely legs as she sashayed into the elevator. She'd been his masturbatory fantasy from the moment he'd met her, how many months ago now?
The journey to the fifteenth floor took seconds, the elevator opening on a small reception area as plush as the lobby she'd just left. Roxanne Lopez glanced out of the glass window at the London skyline, ignoring the security cameras she knew were trained on her every move.
Her high heels echoed on the expensive, wooden floorboards, only softening when she reached the lush, grey rug beside the small reception desk.
The tall, slim, Frenchwoman operating the desk made the pretence of a smile. "Bonjour, Miss Lopez. You arrrr expected," she softly greeted, in that delicious French accent. She pressed a button under the desk and the door to their left unlocked with a soft click.
"Thank you, Amélie," Roxanne smiled, before turning to the door. She could never work out whether it was her that the Frenchwoman disliked, or women in general.
Inside, she made her way up the circular stairway towards the penthouse above, the clicking of her heels registering every step.
Through the door at the top, the large room was everything she remembered it to be. Rare plants from across the world were perfectly placed throughout, complimenting the art deco furniture. Any one of the various pieces of sculpture was worth a fortune in its own right.
It was a design that perfectly fit the owner.
It was just turning noon as Erin DeVere telephoned her husband. As invariably busy as he was, it was touch and go whether he'd be around to accept his wife's call.
In many ways, theirs was a curious union, borne not out of love, but out of need - for power, success, respectability, and of course, sex. Though in fairness, sex was not something either of them went short of for too long.
They both had a steady stream of lovers – with the other's knowledge, of course.
What had started as a business arrangement had been cemented by their marriage. That had been Dominic's idea, of course. Ever since they'd met in America, the powerful and influential man had been very persuasive. When she was forced to flee the States because of that whole Alexander Mishin debacle, Dominic had offered her a place of refuge. And what Dominic wanted, he got.
His business tentacles spread far and wide, and his need to provide his important contacts with free access to the most beautiful women in the world was where Erin stepped in. Her modelling agency was perfect, and Dominic's way of ensuring permanency was to marry her.
It was an arrangement that suited them both. Erin made sure that Dominic got what he wanted, when he needed it. As for her, she was set up for life.
Using his money, she'd built the small modelling agency into one of the biggest and most famous in the world. Yes, technically her husband owned Erin's Models. But it was Erin's remarkable business acumen that had driven it to the heady heights of respect it earned today.
Not only had it proven immensely successful in producing some of the world's leading supermodels, it had provided Dominic with the beautiful 'escorts' he needed when courting some of Europe and America's most powerful people.
DeVere's contacts represented some powerful business and political interests, with companies and organizations spanning over a dozen countries. Each contact had been carefully cultivated with the idea of extending DeVere's own influence. His business empire had been expanded in most of those countries, with the seeds he had sown over the years beginning to bear fruit.
Oiling the wheels was essential. And who better to help do so than Vogue's latest cover girl, or the face of Clinique? The modelling firm had provided a perfect business opportunity for Erin, and perfect cover for the 'services' her husband provided.
As her husband's business interests grew, so did his need for beautiful women. Erin had proven in both America and now in England that she was quite adept at conditioning new models, but soon he would look to extend his sphere of interest to the entertainment world, too. For a number of contacts, fucking a famous singer or actress would hold a similar appeal to a model.
A man's weakness could always be found in his pants.
That wasn't the extent of Dominic DeVere's influence. He paid out substantial sums to some carefully chosen members of the press, police, and even a couple of judges. Who knew when he might need them? The keen eyed entrepreneur didn't believe in leaving things to chance.
The women he chose, the women Erin cultivated, were always fairly unknown. Hungry for success. The big time. There were only a few rules.
What they were asked to do stayed between each of them and the DeVere's. Once they had the first foot up the ladder, there was no turning back. They provided 'services' until Erin and her husband let them go. There was no refusing any 'mission'.
But then, in modelling as well as any form of the entertainment industry, women were often forced to perform sexual favours to get ahead. This way, there was a guarantee at the end of it, not a vain hope.
For succumbing to the DeVere's wishes, they got all the perks. A modelling contract. The best assignments. Potential for supermodel status if they had what it takes. Better standard of living. And of course, money.
Even better, they got to live their lives how you wanted, date who they wanted and marry who you wanted. Providing they obeyed 'the call' whenever it came. For those in the DeVere's inner circle, it was a great deal.
Roxanne, Brooke and Savannah were the threesome currently most in favour. There were others, yes, but when Erin needed to rely on the very highest of quality, she invariably used one of those three young women. But now, she may have discovered a fourth.
As if with some sixth sense as to the motive for her contact, this time the grey haired man was free to take her call.
"I think I may have found another girl," she purred, running a hand through her strawberry blonde hair.
"Really?" Even down the phone line, Erin could sense the eagerness in his voice. "Tell me more…"
"Well, darling, I'll know better shortly, when I've met her. But I'm looking at her photographs now. I have a feeling about this one."
Erin could almost hear her husband's satisfied grin. "And your feelings are so rarely wrong, my dear."
She smiled to herself. That was so true. She'd discovered several young women who'd gone on to grace catwalks all over the world. As well as a few special others, who'd been enticed into her husband's service. This girl could eventually become another Alicia Stiles!
And of course, it wasn't just Dominic's clients who benefited. She was well aware of her husband's predilection for young women. He fucked her girls, too. Insisted on it. But then, so did she.
Dominic DeVere smiled at the redhead as he replaced the phone. If Erin had found him another Roxanne Lopez, he'd be a happy man.
She had the ability to send his pulse racing whenever he saw her. Today, the wavy, red hair had been tousled by the wind and it gave her an even more exotic look. It framed her perfect face, the soft green eyes that continually gleamed and the full, red lips that always met their promise.
Beneath the green, Sue Wong dress, her body was perfection. The material clung to every curve, enhancing her slender, long-legged, narrow-waisted figure. And those breasts. As firm and as perfect as any hot-blooded male's fantasy.
"Well?" he heard her ask. Her hands now lay on her hips as she raised an eyebrow, enjoying his appreciative stare.
DeVere smiled, raising his hand to form a circle between thumb and forefinger. "You are perfect," he commented, running a hand through his grey hair. He was continually teased about his crew cut but somehow it suited him.
She nodded, as if the compliment was her right.
"Perfect?" she repeated, her slim fingers flicking open the top button of her dress. When she opened the second, his eyes were drawn to the tanned cleavage peeking at him. Whatever preference a man had, large or small, it always changed with one sight of Roxanne's majestic orbs.
"How perfect?" she asked, her eyes twinkling.
He laughed. A soft laugh, a lion's purr. Her beauty and intelligence was only matched by her ability to tease. And God, she did that so well.
"Eleven out of ten," he responded, picking up his drink from the glass table in front of him and throwing back the remaining contents. The bourbon burned his throat and matched the growing feeling in his loins.
"Dominic," she laughed, "You are always so full of compliments. I love you for it."
"For my compliments?" he asked. "And for what I've done for you? The lifestyle you lead?"
She nodded, her hand on his shoulder as she skirted round him. Her laugh was soft, sensuous. "Absolutely, Dominic. You've been very good to me."
He leaned back on the large couch, his hand reaching up to grip hers. "And in return?"
The redhead eased her way around in front of him, dropping to her knees between his legs. "Oh, I think you have nothing to complain about…"
As she spoke, her slender fingers unbuttoned the top three buttons of his expensive shirt. Slipping her hand inside, she caressed the hairs on his chest before softly pinching a nipple. "Do you?" she asked.
DeVere gave a moan of satisfaction and reached out to run his fingers along her satin-sheathed thigh. But with a teasing giggle, she leapt up and swung away, crossing to the large window. Turning back, she half expected him to be behind her.
Instead, his alert, grey eyes looked troubled.
"What's on your mind?" she asked, instinctively knowing there was something to discuss.
Damn! She was always so perceptive. "What makes you think there's something on my mind?" he asked, standing up and refilling their glasses.
"I know you only too well," she smiled, accepting the drink.
He clinked his glass against hers. "Cheers," he toasted, waiting for a moment before answering the question.
His eyes smiled at her as he took a large Havana cigar from the top drawer of the drinks cabinet. As he unwrapped the cellophane, Roxanne stood up and sashayed across to him.
She gave him a soft kiss on his lips as she took the cigar. Snipping the end, she lit and twirled it in her fingers so that it burned evenly. Taking a slow draw, she blew the smoke out and handed the cigar back to him.
"Thank you, my dear," he murmured, his low voice reflecting his mood.
Her concerned eyes watched his reaction. "Tell me now. What's wrong?"
DeVere smiled, sitting back down on the empty couch. "You've done everything I wanted, Roxanne. But good things come to an end."
Her question hung in the air, both sets of eyes colliding, as if attempting to see the thoughts rotating in each other's head. It was Roxanne who broke the silence.
"What?" This time, the tone in her voice demanded an immediate answer.
"Your relationship with George."
"George? End? Why?"
"He's the Prime Minister elect," DeVere muttered. "Brown's midterm resignation gives us the opportunity to install him as PM much sooner than we anticipated. When we win the Party's vote, he'll be installed. The most important political figure in the United Kingdom!"
The redhead gasped. Her wide eyes and open mouth told DeVere his words were sinking in. They only confirmed what she already knew, but he positioned them in a way that changed her perspective.
"But understand, Roxanne," he continued, pressing the point home. "It would end his political career if news of your liaison leaked out."
Her sadness reflected in her face. She enjoyed the powerful man's company, irrespective of his growing importance. "But you know I wouldn't do anything to harm him."
"I know that, my dear. I understand both of you so well. After all, I've known George for twenty years… and you for eighteen months."
"Almost two years," she corrected.
DeVere nodded. "Yes, that's right. But he's married, for God's sake. I can't take risks."
She smiled wistfully, sitting back down beside him. "But Dominic…"
His eyes flashed. His tone was cold. "No buts!"
Roxanne immediately realised she was on dangerous ground. "I understand, Dominic," she softly conceded.
He nodded, his face hard as he allowed the smoke to fade into the air. "That's good, Roxanne. I know you're attached to George. Or is it that you love power? I know it's such a turn on for you."
Her head cocked to one side as she thought about his comment. His words rang true but she didn't want to admit that. "It may be more accurate to say that I'm turned off by the lack of it."
DeVere laughed. It was a cold laugh. This woman was nobody's fool. Time to reinforce his directive. "Well, this piece of power is at an end. George is in an election fight to be the next Prime Minister. Quite frankly, you're a luxury he can't afford."
She slowly eased herself from the couch and returned to the window. It had begun to rain. DeVere admired her silhouetted figure for a few seconds before speaking again.
"Roxanne, think about what I'm saying." His voice was softer, more persuasive than confrontational. "The media will be searching for anything they can find. If they find out about his liaison with you, it would destroy him."
The redhead whirled around, her eyes blazing. "Perhaps it's enough for me to be very careful?"
The silence returned at her words, as if the two of them were in competition. A cold chill ran through DeVere's body. Didn't she realise he'd given her an instruction? It wasn't up for negotiation.
"Dominic…" she continued.
DeVere's upraised hand halted her objection before she could continue. "Stop!" His voice was harder, louder. "This is not a request, Roxanne!"
Her face dropped again. She took a couple of steps towards him before hesitating. "I'm sorry."
He clucked his tongue in disapproval. His voice changed, his tone condescending. "Just remember your place, my dear."
It was as if he'd slapped the beauty. She looked stunned.
He took another long drag from the cigar, watching the smoke unfurl towards the high ceiling. It was time to confirm his authority. "Come here," he eventually asked, staring across at her.
For a second she hesitated. It was a second too long. That was the moment he decided what he had to do.
Roxanne began to move again. She knew what he wanted and was fully aware it was his right. He 'owned' her.
She floated back across the room, leaning down, allowing him to feel her warmth. At first she brushed his forehead with her lips, then it was her breasts rubbing across his face.
"Friday night, Dominic," she breathed into his ear, attempting to remedy her mistake. She couldn't afford to upset this man. "When you visit me, I've planned a very special night."
He stared up at her, watching transfixed as she flicked open another two buttons on her green dress. His cock lurched. She so rarely wore a bra.
"Eight o'clock tomorrow," she purred.
He breathed faster. The sight of her perfect breasts had his manhood pushing hard against his slacks.
She ran a finger across his lips as she leant forward again. "And this is just an appetiser."
His eyes burned as he stared inside her open dress. Her naked breasts thrust out at him, the hard nipples proud and erect. He let her hand snake around to the back of his neck and pull his head to her magnificent swells.
His hands slipped under the dress and dug into her ass as he rotated his sucking lips between nipples. Roxanne allowed him a couple of minutes play, unbuttoning the rest of her dress before gently unfastening his slacks.
Pulling his head upwards so he could look in her green eyes, she eased out the cock she knew so well.
"You need relief," she whispered, cupping her full breasts and lowering them onto his hard manhood.
He twitched as she squeezed her soft flesh around him. She'd long since learned that her body was a sure fire way of defusing tension. Maybe she'd overstepped the mark, but this would restore the balance.