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Authors: J. T. Lewis

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BOOK: Murder! Too Close To Home
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“What was that all about,” Frank asked as we left the clinic, “you getting a little psychic in your old age?”

“I told you it was just a hunch,” I answered a little too brusquely, “let’s just try and figure out what it means, shall we?”

The walk back to the office was quiet as we pondered this new evidence. This may be the best clue we have in this case so far, at least it might have been if we knew what it meant.

 

Chapter 11

February 18, 1997

 

Answering the phone, the man heard the familiar raspy whisper say, “You idiot, you left a calling card. Have you learned nothing?”

Immediately on the defensive, the man raised a shaky hand to calm his eye as he went into his rehearsed reply.

“I needed to give them a name to focus on, and since it has never been used in another crime, I thought it might throw them off.”

Silence followed for a few minutes before his mentor continued, “Can it be traced?”

“No, no,” the man spat out quickly. “I printed it on my own computer, and I never touched it without having gloves on; I was very careful.”

After a few more moments of silence, the mentor sighed.

“Alright! The damage is done anyway. From now on leave a card at every scene, if you can do it without jeopardizing your escape. It may help throw them off as you said.”

“Are there any other surprises that I need to know about?” she asked then.

The man waited but a moment before spitting out, “I did take a necklace from the woman…”

An ominous silence followed before the mentor literally screamed into the phone, the raspy whisper forgotten in the ensuing tirade. “Get rid of it, immediately!” Jasmine started. “That can be directly traced if they ever bring you in for questioning. Leave now and go dump it in the river, this could ruin everything!”

The man quickly agreed to this as Jasmine hung up. Nervous perspiration had appeared on his hands and he quickly wiped them on his pants. He got his keys and left the house, driving towards the boat ramp in an effort to appease his mentor, just in case he was being watched.

He had already decided against getting rid of the prize, he had grown too attached to the odd shaped cross. He would try to restrain himself from doing it again, but this was his first, he would keep it forever to remind him of his start.

It was indeed a night of surprises. The mentor finding out about the card he knew would happen, but the level of anger the mentor displayed about the necklace was more than surprising. He could understand it however, it was a risk that could end up defeating them in the end.

He had never heard
anyone
that angry before. He wondered aloud what made Jasmine click, what was she trying to prove with the
tasks
he had agreed to?

Shrugging his shoulders, he continued on with his feigned trip to the boat ramp.

“That’s one woman I wouldn’t want mad at me,” he said with admiration.

 

***

 

Her hands were clenched in fists as she hung up the phone, her ranting having left her angry and frustrated. Correction, the
IDIOT’S
ineptitude had
made
her angry and frustrated.

She was lost in thought, her body trembling in resentment toward the man. How easily he could ruin everything with his unprofessional antics.

From the other room she heard “Darlin?’…you ok in there sugar?”

The voice instantly calmed her as she finished her preparations for the man. Not that they were extremely involved, as Tex insisted on only two things: Cowboy Boots, and a Stetson.

Traveling here only every three months or so, Tex always had a lot of pent up desires that she was more than willing and able to satisfy. He was also more than willing and able to pay for her ministrations.

Setting the hat gently on her head, she took a moment to admire her reflection in the full-length mirror. Her perfectly coifed, shoulder-length blonde hair complimented the jet-black Stetson like it was made for her…which as a matter of fact it was.

The perky breasts and flat stomach that helped define her sensuous body had always been as much of a turn-on to her as it was to her “friends”. She moved a hand to her breast, and then slowly caressed her belly as the hand made its way slowly to its target.

The sensation that ensued had her closing her eyes as a tremble ran its way up to her throat, escaping as a moan as she found the spot.

Clearing her head finally, she finished the final touches to her light makeup, and then turned toward the adjoining room for a long night of ecstasy that would last until the sun came up.

Stopping suddenly, she turned back as she remembered the coup de gras that she had purchased just for the occasion. Finding it in a drawer, she lifted the belt and cinched it up, letting it fall to rest on her small, sexy hips as she reached in for the final piece; a dildo in the shape of a gun.

Inserting it in the holster, she turned once more, calling out to the man in the next room. “I have something special for you tonight, Tex.”

As she walked through the doorway, the apartment exploded in noise as the man on the bed boomed out, “Yeeee Hawww.”    

 

Chapter 12

February 18, 1997

 

Arriving home that night I was greeted by the heavenly smell of Betty’s Chicken and Dumplings. While Betty was a wonderful cook, she very seldom had time to make a regular meal, much less my favorite winter fare.

I quickly hung up my parka and took off my shoes, letting the aroma carry me into the kitchen. Having entered somewhat quietly, I was treated to the scene of my beautiful wife toiling over the pot on the stove.

Still in her black police uniform which she filled out better than anyone ever had, I unabashedly stared at the love of my life. A strand of her long brown hair had released itself from the pony tail she wore for work, hanging down sensually on her face as she busied herself stirring the pot. I momentarily fantasize about her cooking with something a little skimpier on until she somehow got wind of my presence.

“If you don’t stop thinking like that you’ll lose your appetite for the dumplings,” she said with a smile, having somehow read my mind again without even looking up. I eased up behind her and wrapped my arms around her waist as she leaned back into me, her body seeming to blend into mine.

“I think we should have time before the night is over for both of my appetites to be satiated,” I said with a stupid grin, burying my face into her neck and inhaling her perfume like it was a life giving force. Betty moaned, leaning her head back on my shoulder for a moment before shooing me away so she could finish the meal.

The sound of clicking on hardwood flooring announced the arrival of Lucy, our border collie/mixed breed dog, our only child. Actually, Lucy was Betty’s dog through and through, having moved with her into my old house when we had gotten married.

While she was not as close to me, she more than tolerated me, letting me lavish affection on her when she felt like it. Nuzzling my hand when she got to us in the kitchen, I reached down and gave her a good rub behind the ears, her favorite spot for affection.

She continued to grace me with her presence as I wandered towards the living room, picking up the paper on the dining room table as I glanced through the day’s mail.

I heard the clinking of plates and silverware as I sat down in my recliner to browse through the paper, an update on page three saying that the Sheriff was still looking into the one-car accident that had caused the death of the out of town couple. At least the cover story was still holding, although I personally was undecided if this was the right tack to follow.

Shouldn’t the good people of the county know that there was a murderer about?

Reaching down, I gave Lucy a few pats on the head as if to assure her everything would be all right, like she was the one that needed it

“Come and get it detective,” I heard Betty call from the kitchen. I walked back into in the kitchen with my canine buddy in tow, observing my goddess scooping out two heaping portions of her magnificent smelling meal. Using a nod at the silverware I was to pick up, she then led me to the dining room where she gracefully deposited the plates at their assigned places. I laid out the eating tools then sat down, grabbing the fork and shoveling down a mouthful before Betty knew what was happening.

“Hey mister, we say grace first, and then we eat.” We bowed our heads as she said grace, crossing herself at the end of the prayer.

Betty had been raised Catholic and was devout in the rituals taught to her years ago by the nuns. I was a believer, but had long ago had a falling out with organized religion, or should I say the organizations of religion. We had both recognized and come to terms with each other’s personal beliefs, neither of us having any desire to change the other’s persuasion in the matter.

She looked up, giving me a glimpse of her dazzling smile as she picked up her fork and took a bite. I was right behind her, totally enjoying the taste and texture of her specialty.

“How does this keep getting better every time that you make it,” I asked between bites, “you using some new secret spice”?

She gave a small giggle, saying that my taste was probably just getting less selective.

I held my tongue at the rebuke of my palate, being too busy enjoying my meal. She asked about my day and I told her of our meeting with Doc Elliot, and the clue coming out of another one of my dreams. Betty had always been amazed at the inner workings of my mind, especially the strange dreams and the relative consistency of their accurate outcomes.

“You should really have your own TV show,” she said with a grin as I got up to get us a second helping. I would need another walk tomorrow to make up for my gluttony tonight.

We talked of the case some more, then on to other more mundane topics as I immersed myself in the fabulous food and conversation. Finally getting up to clean the table, we walked into the kitchen to do the dishes as I gave my nightly thanks to whoever had invented the dishwasher. Getting it loaded and turned on; I stood up to be greeted by the sight of Betty staring at me with a serious look on her face. Instantly concerned and being very familiar with that look, I asked what was the matter?

“You know of course that I’m assigned to the taskforce,” she stated matter-of-factly, “and I just want to get the ground rules straight from the get go.”

I sat down at the yard sale kitchen table that Betty adored, knowing that when she was this serious about something there was no use making plans to do anything else until she was ready.

“I’ve been in this business for a long time Gabe, and even though you are a dear sweet man, you have a tendency to try to be overly protective of me…or do things
for
me when we work together. I will be pulling my weight on this assignment as usual, and I just want to make sure that we are on the same page on this issue.”

I knew that she had hit the nail on the head with her comment; I did tend to be overprotective of my lovely wife. She was a very able and accomplished cop in her own right, having reached the rank of Detective Sergeant in a very male dominated force. I also knew that we would need all hands going full throttle to get this case concluded quickly, hopefully before anyone else got hurt.

I look up at her sheepishly, agreeing to be as professional as possible, and to not show any favoritism while working together.

Just as long as she remembered that she
was
my favorite.

Her smile returned quickly as she sat down on my lap, putting her arms around my neck.

“That’s all I can ask,” she said as she snuggled into me, the smell of her perfume instantly enveloping me.

“Now, about that other appetite of yours,” she whispered in my ear, instantly bringing me to attention.

Putting my free arm under her knees, I stood up (almost) effortlessly, carrying my bride to the bedroom, the sound of her half-hearted screams of protest ringing through the house. Lucy, for her part, seeming to know that no more attention would be forthcoming this night, padded off to her bed by the fireplace.

 

***

 

Later that night, as we snuggled together in our bed she mumbled something in my ear that I couldn’t quite make out. Asking her to repeat it, she sleepily said “you need to find out about the necklace.”

“What necklace,” I asked, at this point thinking she was half dreaming.

“The necklace the woman was probably wearing,” she said a little less groggily.

“The perp probably pulled off the woman’s necklace, that’s more than likely what caused the mark on her neck.”

It took a moment for the information to sink into my thick skull before I slapped the palm of my hand against my forehead, finally comprehending that the doer had taken a necklace from the woman victim.

He had taken his first souvenir!

 

Chapter 13

February 19, 1997

 

BOOK: Murder! Too Close To Home
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