Palmer Ch. 08byhal_tee©
The smoke from the big Havana filled Dominic DeVere's study. His wife was upstairs, 'entertaining' their new girl. Kelli, was it?
He'd seen the tall blonde when she'd arrived, watching her stride across their gravel drive through the window of their upstairs parlour. She was as sexy as Erin had described, even bundled up in the short, puffy white winter jacket. The trendy skinny-jeans tucked into brown, suede riding boots made her look as stylish as any of the girls his wife recruited, but Erin was right.
This one possessed something else. That intangible that separated the women from the girls.
From time to time, he could hear their moans. In normal circumstances, he wouldn't have been able to contain his eagerness to join them. These weren't normal circumstances.
The information that Bannerman was currently feeding him over the phone was not what he'd expected to hear.
"You're quite sure?" he snapped. Checking with Dixon was supposed to have been routine.
"Absolutely," the out-of-breath man told him. "I've just finished talking to Willie Dixon. Face to face. It's kosher."
"Tell me again."
He added to the scribbles on the pad in front of him as Bannerman repeated every item of his conversation with Dixon. He left nothing out. DeVere growled to himself at regular intervals. There was a thread to all of this that he didn't like. He was becoming uneasy.
As usual in such circumstances, his brain worked quickly. If they didn't know it already, the cops would soon have Giovanni's name. Finding the assassin would lead them to him. How could the Italian have been so stupid as to leave a fingerprint?
Then there were the recordings. Roxanne's apartment was bugged! His mind rapidly went through that night, attempting to recall what had been said. What clues would they have? His first name, for sure.
If they'd tailed him when he left the apartment he was in real trouble. That was unlikely. He always took extra care when visiting Roxanne.
He dropped the pencil onto the desk and picked up his cigar again from the heavy glass ashtray. When he met George Blair early tomorrow morning, he'd give him the news of the redhead's demise. Before that, there was one more detail to be taken care of.
He was anxious to join the two naked women pleasuring themselves upstairs. Erin would have the blonde woman nicely prepared. His arrival would be a surprise. He preferred it that way - the look on their faces was always priceless.
But the women would have to wait a few minutes longer. Giovanni had worried him with his threat against Bannerman. Now the Italian had become a threat to DeVere's very existence.
"One more job, Harry," he decisively said. "The Italian must be removed. Immediately. Use your contacts and choose the best. The very best, Harry! Giovanni trusts no one. He will be a difficult target. But we must take him out. Am I clear?"
"Yes, sir," came the reply down the line. Bannerman knew only too well that tone in his employer's voice. It brooked no argument.
"Wait!" DeVere snapped, thinking on his feet. "First, take out this Palmer. And Roxanne, too. Yes. All three have to go. In that order. Can't have any loose ends. Make sure the shotgun is used on Palmer and Roxanne. It's got to look like the work of the Italian."
He put the phone back in the cradle. This was becoming too complicated for his liking, but Bannerman would take care of things. He always did.
For now, it was time to road test Roxanne's potential replacement...
Palmer wasn't sure what it was that took him back there. Perhaps it was the shock of Kelli leaving him? He needed to get back on the case. Throw himself into it. Occupy his mind.
He'd started by heading for the All Star Lanes bowling alley in Bayswater in an effort to find Bones. Then to a couple of local haunts where it was rumoured the dealer might be. Eventually, frustrated at his lack of progress, he found himself back at Roxanne's apartment.
He couldn't rationalise why was drawn there. Instinct perhaps? Something lurking at the back of his mind?
The room smelt of death. The bitter smell or cordite and the rancid odour of dried blood pervaded the air as he first walked in. Faltering images played at the back of his mind as he glanced around. Images he wanted to forget, but needed to remember.
He was close to exhaustion, mentally as well as physically. How much sleep had he had in the last three days? Even for him, it was completely inadequate. His tired mind was confused. Roxanne was dead; Kelli was gone.
He was alone.
His bones ached. His lungs hurt. His vision was fuzzy. His mouth was dry and hot. The bottle of still water he took from the refrigerator provided nothing more than temporary help.
More to focus his mind than anything else, he decided to do an inspection of each room. Starting with the kitchen. When he returned to the living room, nothing he'd seen was unexpected.
Yet... there was something. Instinct told him so.
Okay, get your mind into gear, Palmer. Make this worthwhile. Something doesn't add up in all of this. What is it? Work it out! What didn't fit?
He decided to repeat his inspection. Only more slowly this time. Not just to see things, but to feel them, too. With each step, he found his adrenalin beginning to pump again. It helped ease his aching body. Relieve his troubled mind. Provide a second wind.
He took a second bottle of water from the refrigerator and drained it in one go. And then it hit him.
"Tell me, darling," Erin softly asked, pulling away from their lingering kiss. "I watched you suck Max's cock after the last shoot. It was so beautiful. Didn't you want to fuck him, too?"
Kelli raised her hips to the softly stroking fingers. Her attention right now was on the bubbling orgasm, not the conversation.
Erin was too smart. Her hand retreated from the young blonde's labia and ran circles around her inner thigh instead.
She grinned at her young lover. Within five minutes of Kelli's return, they were back in bed. Just as she'd planned. Except, it had been the young model's idea. The tall and willowy blonde was full of surprises.
The timing was perfect. An opportunity for Dominic to sample her new conquest. Erin knew only too well that when Kelli allowed her husband to fuck her, she'd have crossed the Rubicon.
No turning back from there.
"Well, darling?" she continued, bending her head to briefly suck in one of the deliciously thick nipples. It didn't prevent her from keeping on the pressure. "Didn't you want to fuck Max, darling? Experience that big, black dick?"
The blonde moaned. Despite swivelling on the bed, she failed to bring the older woman's hands back to her hot core again.
"He's hot, darling," the Agency Head whispered, nipping at Kelli's soft earlobe. She pulled away, twisting towards the bedside table. "And such stamina, too," she added, picking up the straw that lay beside the mirror.
"Mmm, that's good," the American woman groaned, snorting one of the two lines she'd prepared earlier. Sniffing sharply, she rubbed her nose and handed the straw to the blonde.
It was gratifying to see that Kelli no longer hesitated. It had become second nature to her. Gathering her silky golden hair into a ponytail to keep it out of her face, the young model sniffed. When the chemical buzz hit her, Erin's hands were already stroking those sensational tits.
"Max is one of those men with a big cock who knows how to use it," she continued, kneading the delectable orbs. So firm. So round.
"I can believe that," the young blonde moaned, arching her back.
"Maybe in Milan?" Erin smiled, firmly planting the suggestion. "Maybe you can experience that big cock in Milan, darling..."
"Maybe." Kelli's body was buzzing. Her legs opened in anticipation of the fingers sliding down her body. She wanted Max's cock, but then she was still married. "But... I don't know... Jack..."
Erin ran a tongue across the back of the blonde's neck. Time to deal with that reluctance. Her fingers gently brushed across Kelli's clit, bringing a jerk of arousal from the confused woman.
"But darling, you let Brooke make you cum. You sucked Max's cock. You let him fire his seed down your throat."
Kelli's face contorted. The words and fingers were cleverly doing their job. Removing Jack from the equation.
"You let me fuck you," Erin husked, eliciting a lustful moan from the panting woman as she slid a finger into the wetness. "And you fucked me, darling. You weren't thinking of Jack then... Or now..."
The blonde moaned again, raising her hips to accept a second intruder.
"And now you've left Jack," the older woman said, as her fingers found the sweet spot. "Don't you want to be a success, darling? Don't you want to become a supermodel?"
The blonde's moans changed to a helpless purr. Like a kitten on its back, lost in the sensation of its owner's pleasuring fingers on its stomach. Except Erin's fingers had long left her stomach behind.
The older woman's thumb flicked her clit. Teeth pulled on her nipple. "Want to cum, darling?"
"Yessss... " Kelli's ass was suspended off the bed. Her voice little more than a hoarse whisper.
"You want to be fucked, too, don't you, darling? You need a big, hard cock inside you. You want that sweetie, don't you?"
"Oh, yes," came the strained response, the tortured woman's hips beginning to pump upwards. As good as it was with Erin, she did need the touch of a man, too. Right then, with those wonderful fingers taking her to another orgasm, she somehow saw everything much more clearly.
"You want to meet my husband, too, don't you, darling?" the Agency Head continued. "He's the one who's allowed me to make you a star. He's the one buying you an apartment. You'd like to thank him, wouldn't you?"
Kelli gasped as the orgasm approached. "Yes..."
"He has a big cock," Erin's hypnotic voice continued. Her spare hand slipped around to the beautifully hard ass. A finger probed the rim. "You'd like Dominic to fuck you, too, wouldn't you darling? Show him your gratitude?"
The blonde's begging eyes stared pleadingly at her tormentor. The older woman was looking at the bedroom door and Kelli's gaze followed. The naked, grey haired man was stroking an impressive erection.
"This is Dominic, darling," Erin whispered. "You'd like to thank him, wouldn't you?"
Her fingers plunged in again, two in her hot pussy and another in her sweet ass. Kelli shrieked as she exploded. Her love juices were unstoppable, gushing forth like a spring. Her eyes clamped shut with the image of Erin's husband's erect cock magnified behind her eyelids.
For a few seconds, Wilson just stared at Palmer. One hand on her hip, the other went to smooth her ponytail. Then, with an arch of her eyebrows, she walked past the young detective into flat next to Roxanne. What they'd joked was 'Palmer's' flat. Had it only been a couple of days ago that they'd staked it out?
"I hope this is worth it. I was busy."
Busy didn't quite fit the bill. Frantic was more like it. Frantic and frustrating. Following up one fruitless lead after another had left her with an itch. She'd considered calling Goodwin but had hesitated. On her way over here, it was her hesitation more than the itch that she worried about. Things felt different now. Strained.
"So, Palmer? Is it worth it?" she snapped, rougher than she'd intended.
"It is," he replied, blinking at her harsh tone. She brushed into the room, walking over to the tall, paned windows. Palmer's eyes dropped to the black, skin-tight jeans that hung low on her slender hips. He could see the dimples of her lower back, creasing her otherwise pale skin. He shook his head. Get a hold of yourself!
"A couple of hours ago I washed the place from top to bottom," he explained. "Every room. I made a mental list of everything that appeared out of the ordinary. Out of place." As Wilson nodded and swung from one foot to the other, her taut buttocks danced before his eyes. He couldn't tear his gaze away.
"Weren't you supposed to be out looking for Elvis?" she asked, smiling to herself. Her eyes hadn't moved from the window, but she knew he was looking. Feminine intuition, maybe?
She peeled her black leather jacket and tossed it into the chair to her right, stretching as she did. She caught his vague reflection in the glass. He was still looking.
"I've been looking for him all day," he continued, sounding a bit forced. "He's either gone into hiding or I'll nail him later tonight."
She'd often looked at Palmer and wondered. There was a quality about the wavy haired youngster that was appealing. Like he didn't know how sexy he was. And for Sandra, that was incredibly sexy. But he was the rookie. Not only that, but he seemed so happily married. Still, that was sexy too, in its own way.
You can nail me now, she thought, immediately berating herself for even thinking it. But it was too late. The image of Jack Palmer inside her was firmly planted in her imagination.
"Does Webster know you're here?" What would the young cop do if she turned and dragged him to the floor? Fucked him there and then? God, she was even hornier than she'd thought. A wave of arousal ran down between her thighs and secreted itself there. It lingered. She wouldn't be able to shake it, she knew. It was lodged in her brain like a bullet. Life was all about timing.
"No, Sandra, that isn't the point." He stared at the lithe detective with exasperation. "The point is I've worked it out. I called you, because I thought you of all people would catch on."
The brunette turned, the bashfulness looking strange on her pale, softly freckled face. Had he managed to flatter her? He'd never seen the seasoned cop look so... soft. Glancing at her tight, white camisole top, he quickly changed his observation.
She'd never been so feminie.
"Okay, Palmer. Shoot."
He paused for a few seconds, looking over at the kitchen, where there were no temptations to ogle. "Coffee?" he asked, suddenly nervous in her presence. What if he was wrong? What if she still thought of him as a rookie, all wet behind the ears?
"Get to it, Palmer," she said, tapping her foot in frustration.
"Okay. Let me tell you what's bothering me. The keys on the living room table. The suitcase on the floor. The wine bottle on the kitchen cabinet."
"Er...," Wilson frowned. "What about them?"
"They don't add up."
Wilson leaned back on the windowsill. She still didn't get it, but despite the younger man's insecurity, she trusted him. He'd surprised her more than once with his insights. "Help me out here, Jack. Switch my lights on."
He grinned. "Turn you on?"
There was that innocent sexiness. Surely he knew what he was doing now – knew that he was flirting. She played it off like the tough girl everyone thought she was, raising her eyebrows. "Don't get cute."
"Think about it, Sandra," he enthused, pacing into the kitchen where he began to fix a pot of coffee. His hands shook. "There are six expensive bottle of wines in the wine rack. Plus one on the counter – still in the bag. With a purchase receipt. It was dated the same day that Roxanne was shot."
"The keys on the table. There were two. One was for a car."
"And there was a slightly battered suitcase beside the bed. It was pushed back against the wall, half packed, everything almost thrown in. No toiletries or make-up."
"A red negligee spread out on the bed. A small leather make-up case on the table. Another toiletry case in the bathroom. Two razors."
"Look Palmer, you better explain this in words of one syllable..."
He smiled. "I know, Sandra. I know. It took me a while, too. Listen, if Roxanne was about to go on a trip, why did she buy an expensive bottle of red when she had six others in her rack? Look at that suitcase and then look at the two in the closet. It's not in the same league. Why would she take that one?"
Wilson stood, joining him at the counter. His excitement was infectious. She still didn't understand, but felt it, just out of her grasp. "Keep going!"
Palmer flipped the switch and the coffee began to brew. He glanced at the black-haired detective, glad to see her face begin to light up. She always seemed so hardened, so cynical. She looked so much softer like this. He hadn't recognised that beauty before.
Again, his eyes dipped down to her chest. She was leaning over the granite counter of the kitchen's island, and he could see her firm breasts down the front of her tank top. It had spaghetti straps that didn't cover the white straps of her bra. She smiled, catching him looking.
He turned away, his face burning with embarrassment. "When you look around her apartment, everything's so immaculate. But that suitcase. The clothes are almost thrown in. Why have a make-up case in the living room? Or a toiletry case in the bathroom. Why two razors?"
"I'm not there yet, Jack—" But she was so close. Just a little bit more.
"Okay, Sandra. One other thing. I took the car keys down to the garage. They're for a BMW. It's in the car park. Roxanne has a Merc." He slid a folder across to Wilson. "Look inside."
Sandra's eyes widened. She understood immediately. Even before she flicked it open. "Giovanni hit the wrong woman."
"Exactly!" Palmer exclaimed, slamming his fist down on the countertop between them. It was impossible to disguise the excitement in his eyes. "The licence in the folder belongs to a Jane Weathers."
"I've checked it out. Jane Weathers is otherwise known as Savannah."
"Shit...!" Wilson's mouth dropped open. The hand that ran through her straight, black hair was almost shaking.
Palmer circled the island countertop between them and placed a firm hand on each of his arms. He nearly shook her. "Exactly! Roxanne wasn't packing to leave—"
"She'd already gone," Wilson finished for him. "The stuff in the suitcase was Savannah's. The suitcase was Savannah's. She was unpacking!" Sandra stared in awe at the young detective.
His eyes flashed with triumph, like a Boy Scout making his first badge. "Exactly! She brought the wine with her," he went on, ramming the point home. "And the make-up case and the toiletry bag are hers. She was staying here while Roxanne was away."
Wilson smiled. "I've got to hand it to you, Palmer." His hands felt good on her bare skin. She had to admit she liked being man-handled by the handsome, young detective.
"As you said, Sandra, he hit the wrong woman! Same height, same hair colour. He took her out as soon as she opened the door. How would he know the difference? Roxanne is alive!"
The words reverberated in both of them. Roxanne is alive! Elation. Relief. The weight of guilt lifted from both of their shoulders. "You're a genius!" Sandra cried, stepping up against him. Her hands closed around the soft material of his buttoned-up shirt, trapped between their suddenly close bodies.
The dark-haired cop, older than Palmer by close to five years, watched her wavy haired colleague blush at the compliment. Such modesty. Such fucking adorable modesty! Beneath her fingertips, she felt his heart race.
"You don't have to—" he began.
"Palmer," she cut him off, tightening her fists in his shirt and pulling him closer. "Jack... shut up."
Before he could say another word, she tilted her head just so, leaned forward just enough, and kissed him. She shouldn't have. She really shouldn't have. But then it was too late. Then she felt her tongue pushing itself into his mouth. She felt him let it happen. He hesitated only for a moment.
And then their tongues were intertwined.
"Be a dear and fix us another round," Erin said to Kelli, nodding in the direction of the powerful drug. "You'd like another, yes?"