THERE were a hundred places I would have rather been than the interrogation room of a police station, but being there wasn’t the grandest of my concerns. My biggest problem was the smile I couldn’t wipe from my face. The two shit-hat cops were irritating in their own little ways, but it was the creepy mustache that made it impossible for me to stop grinning. The night had been filled with drinking, exotic cars, a bloody umbrella, foreign diplomats, a million-dollars’ worth of drugs, a Savannah Leopard, an attempted robbery, and plenty of gunfire. But, in the end, it was going to be the smile that got me into trouble.
I needed to play the part of an innocent bystander, but I was still half-drunk, which made hiding my emotions difficult. Cop number one looked like he just stepped out of a 1980’s porn film, and his nasty little mustache had my face covered in a cheesy grin that made it seem like I was lying.
And, for the most part, I was.
The one with the caterpillar on his lip was wearing jeans, boots, and an untucked tee shirt. The other wore a navy-colored jacket over a light blue button-down with a loosely tied polyester tie dangling from underneath the collar. As necktie stared at me and chewed on a wooden match, Mr. Mustache paced the floor. Neither looked like any cops I had ever seen.
“We need something,” the cop with the necktie said. “Something significant.”
My gaze fell to his scuffed loafers. As I lifted my eyes along the length of his wiry frame, I shook my head. “You two don’t even look like cops.”
Cop ‘stache sauntered to the edge of the table, pressed his hands to his hips, and bent at the waist slightly. “We’re detectives,” he seethed.
I shrugged and fought against the urge to smile.
He cocked an eyebrow. “I wonder if I’ll look like a cop when I cuff your skinny little ass and toss you in a cell for obstruction of justice?”
I tried to pry my eyes open, but the four margaritas and the three glasses of wine I had over the course of the evening made it close to impossible. I gazed at him through narrow slits. “I didn’t see much. It was dark, and I was drunk. Hell, I’m still drunk.”
It wasn’t far from the truth.
He stepped away from the table and glanced at his partner. “You think she’s lying, Joe? I think she’s lying.”
Necktie gnawed on his wooden match. “Prob’ly.”
Mr. Mustache exchanged glances between us. “You know how I can tell?”
“How’s that?” necktie asked.
The porn star locked eyes with me and pursed his lips. “Cause she’s grinnin’.”
I wasn’t intimidated. Not in the least. I’d seen far too much in the last year to let two cops intimidate me. Especially when one of them looked like he should be fucking some chick with a hairy bush while bow-chicka-wow-wow music played in the background.
“Look,” porn ‘stache said. “We’re just trying to put together pieces of a puzzle. We weren’t there, and you were. We know you were part of it, so just tell us what happened.”
It sounded simple, but it wasn’t. Not even close. It was the most fucked up thing I had ever become a part of, and I doubted no matter how long I lived that I’d ever participate in anything even half as fucked up ever again.
“I need to pee,” I said.
Mustache pressed his thumbs into the pockets of his jeans. “Tell us his name, and I’ll have Joe take you down to the bathroom. Hell, we might even have a fresh pot of coffee.”
“I’ve watched Bluebloods,” I said. “If I’m not under arrest, I can leave. If I am, I can ask for an attorney to be present.”
I wasn’t worried about an attorney. It was my understanding one was going to show up promptly at 11:00, and I had no reason to doubt it. I was simply trying to stay awake until that time came. Whatever happened until then was going to be nothing but entertainment.
The one wearing the necktie chuckled. “Shit, Tad, we’ve fucked around and apprehended a Bluebloods trained professional. She got her a certificate of criminal justice from watching fucking T.V., maybe we should just let her go.”
The porn star sat down across from me. “Just tell us what happened. And his name, we’ll need a name.”
The smell of cheap cologne and sweaty gym socks crept across the table and found its way into my nostrils. I shook my head, attempted to wipe the stench from my nose, and responded with a blatant lie. “I can’t really remember what happened. The whole night’s a big blur. Especially the part when people started shooting.”
“Okay, we’ll work on what happened later. It’ll all come to you as you sober up. For now, what was his name? The one driving the Maserati?” he asked.
I held my breath and tried to act stupid. “Maserati?”
“Yeah, the car you were in,” he said. “Well, the car you were in until he left your ass for dead.”
I flattened my upper body onto the cold steel table and exhaled slowly. As the last puff of alcohol-laced breath passed my lips, I met his gaze.
His mustache stared back at me.
My mouth curled into a smirk.
“Look, sunshine. We have three-dozen eye witnesses who saw you two in the club. I know you know what his name is. You were with him all night. Tell us what it is, and I’ll have Joe take you to the bathroom. Then, you can have a cup of coffee and see what you can remember about everything else. How’s that sound?”
I pushed my chair away from the table. “My name’s Jess, not sunshine.”
I crossed my legs, feigning lack of bladder control, and glanced at necktie. He quickly switched the match to the other side of his mouth and tossed his head toward the door. “Follow me.”
“I know what your name is,” mustache said. “I wanted his.”
Providing his name wouldn’t give them with any useful information. Half the city probably shared his first name. I glanced at the round over-sized clock hanging over the doorway.
I still had forty-five minutes. If I took my time in the bathroom and slowly sipped my coffee when we got back, I might get by with only lying to them for fifteen minutes. I could talk in circles for fifteen minutes. Hell, it might even be fun.
“His name?” I asked over my shoulder as I followed bad cop toward the door.
“Yeah, I’ll need that before you go.”
“Dick,” I said flatly.
Mustache stood and folded his arms in front of his chest. “Excuse me?”
I turned around, studied him from head-to-toe, and met his gaze. As our eyes locked, the corner of my mouth twisted into a smirk. “Dick.”
His eyes narrowed and his jaw muscles went tense.
“His name,” I said with a shallow grin. “His name was Dick.”
He chuckled, seeming slightly relieved. “Dick, huh? No last name?”
I shook my head.
“Well, when you get back, we’ll need you to tell us what happened.”
I laughed. “I wouldn’t know where to start.”
He licked the edge of his mustache with the tip of his tongue, pulling the end of it into the corner of his mouth. “At the beginning.”
He nodded. “Yeah, the beginning. It’s always a good place to start. Might be tough to remember all the details, I’m sure you were scared shitless with all the gunfire and commotion. Go to the bathroom, get your coffee, and we’ll get started when you get back.”
The beginning? When I met Dick?
The beginning was actually kind of scary.
This is what I call fun.
THE clock in my car said 3:01, but I kept it five minutes fast so I wouldn’t be late to work again. Sitting in the alley roughly one hundred feet from my parking spot, the two cars stopped in front of me and the truck directly behind me caused me to wonder if the four minutes I had to spare were going to be enough. Unwilling to take the risk, I pressed my palm against the center of my steering wheel and blared the horn.
The driver of the first car got out and walked toward the black Mercedes-Benz parked in front of me. The clock clicked to 3:02.
My boss was a prick. He was the type of asshole who should have an online $99 webinar teaching the unknowing how to become assholes. I had been late enough times to know if I was late again, he would fire me on the spot, no questions asked.
I rolled down the window and pointed at the six-stall employee parking lot directly in front of the two cars blocking the alley.
I was so close.
The driver of the Mercedes opened the door and got out. He was wearing dark jeans, a powder blue untucked button-down shirt, and dress shoes. The light growth of beard that covered his face made him seem rugged and slightly more handsome than I imagined he would look without it. He clenched his fists and stretched his shoulders back, revealing an extremely broad chest.
Everything about him emanated sex.
I wagged my finger toward the empty parking stalls. “Can you pull over? I just need to get right there!”
He turned toward me and took a few steps. He was built like a linebacker and had the confident strut of the criminals in the action-adventure movies I loved to watch.
“Honk that motherfucker again and see what happens,” he seethed.
I really needed to keep my job. I pointed beyond him and toward the bar. “I just need to park over there,” I squeaked.
“Well, here in about five minutes you’ll be able to.”
I’ve only got four.
He turned away.
I cleared my throat. “Please?”
He turned and stared. It was only for a second, but it was long enough that I realized pleading with him would probably get me nothing but an early trip to the cemetery.
He looked menacing and handsome at the same time. As much as I wanted to tell him to fuck off, his demeanor warned me against it. I raised both hands in surrender, prompting him to forget about me and approach the other driver. While they talked, I anxiously watched the two men, paying more attention to the man driving the Mercedes than the other.
As the they exchanged what seemed to be heated words, I turned down my music and tried to hear what was being said. Clearly frustrated, the truck parked behind me disappeared from view in my rearview mirror, speeding down the alley in reverse.
The driver of the first car was dressed like a business man, wearing navy slacks, a dress shirt, and jacket. He shrugged and started to speak. The guy from the Mercedes shook his head and interrupted, waving his arms as he spoke. His shirt clung to the muscles of his biceps, leaving little to the imagination regarding what appeared to be a very athletic build.
“I’ll give you until Friday night,” the Mercedes driver said. “If you don’t have it, I’ll burn your house down and sell your fucking wife to the Sinaloa Cartel.”
“I’ll have it.”
“You fucking better. I’m not fucking around, Seton.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Visions of a drug deal gone bad or a botched kidnapping filled my mind. The driver of the first car said something in response, nodded his head, and turned away.
Filled with slight shock and a considerable amount of curiosity, my imagination began to run wild. After a moment of gawking at the driver of the Mercedes, I closed my eyes and imagined him auctioning off the other man’s wife to the highest bidder in the dirty streets of Mexico while children sold hand-made trinkets in the background.
The horn blared as my chest pressed against the steering wheel.
“Sorry,” I shouted out the window.
Peering at me through the windshield of my car, his dark eyes narrowed. “What the fuck did I tell you?”
The tone of his voice wasn’t very inviting. With a mesmerizing swagger, he began walking toward me.
As the first vehicle sped away, the muscular hunk stepped alongside my car.
My throat tightened.
He leaned down and peered through the open window. “What the fuck with you and the fucking horn?”
I shrugged and fought to swallow.
His eyes surveyed the interior of the car and eventually met mine. “Damn, you’re a cute little bitch.”
Most who knew me described me as feisty or mouthy. No one had ever referred to me as a bitch and walked away without me giving them a piece of my mind. I pressed my tongue to the roof of my mouth, parted my dry lips, and prepared to speak.
“Thank you,” I murmured.
Intimidated, slightly scared, and completely oblivious to what time it was, I broke his gaze and glanced at the clock.
I inhaled a slow shallow breath. A faint hint of his cologne caused my mouth to salivate.
He stepped away from the car and tossed his head to the side. “Get out.”
“I uhhm. I’m late for…”
The tone of his voice was confident, but not cocky. He wasn’t asking me; he was telling me, but for some reason I felt like it was my choice. My eyes fell to his waist. A very noticeable bulge in his jeans caused me to do two things:
And open my car door.
Dressed in my normal work attire of Chuck’s, jeans, and a tee shirt, I nervously stood no more than five feet in front of him. He folded his arms in front of his chest and studied me carefully from head-to-toe. Prying my eyes from his prominently chiseled facial features was almost impossible.
I gazed beyond him and focused on the back of his car.
His hand lightly grazed against my cheek. He pressed against my chin with his thumb, turning my head until our eyes met. “What’s your name?”
I nervously gazed back at him, trying not to seem scared. For some reason, I wasn’t, and I couldn’t for the life of me understand why. His finger traced along the outline of my jaw.
My legs went weak.
“I’m going to be fired,” I murmured.
“Your name,” he said. “I asked you what your name was.”
“Jess.” I tilted my head to the side, pulling it away from his hand. “I’m Jess.”
He coughed out a light laugh. “You pull away because you’re scared? Or you just want me to think you’re hard to get?”
His questions caught me off guard. “I uhhm, I was just…”
He cocked his head to the side and his mouth curled into a mischievous little grin. “Doesn’t really matter.”
“What doesn’t matter?”
“The reason you pulled away. It doesn’t matter.”
My eyes fell to the street. I studied the tips of his shiny black shoes and felt guilty for wanting him to touch me again. If anyone else would have touched me the way he did, I would have slapped them.
“Why?” I asked. “Why doesn’t it matter?”
He reached for my chin and lifted against it until our eyes met. “Because of this.”
He released my chin and lowered his hand. My eyes followed.
He squeezed his bulge in his hand and grinned. “This? You wanna know what I’m going to do with it?”
My mouth went dry, and responding in any manner that included speaking was quickly excluded as an option. I fought to swallow, slowly raised my shoulders, and shrugged.
He stroked his hand along the length of the growing bulge. I didn’t want to watch, but I couldn’t turn away.
“I’m going to shove you full of it. Full, Jess. Completely. Not right now, but it’s going to happen. And when it does, you’re going to fucking love it.”
There were a million things I felt I should have said, and half as many again that I wanted to, but for whatever reason, none of them came out. I wondered if he felt my silence was an invitation or maybe acceptance of his claim.
I tried to force myself to say something, but instead lowered my eyes until they met the outline of the rim of his cock against the leg of his jeans.
He reached for his back pocket. “You work in the bar?”
“Patel’s an asshole.”
I exhaled and nodded again, shocked that he knew the owner of the bar by name. “Uh huh.”
As he dug deep into the back pocket of his jeans, the tail of his shirt raised slightly, but it was enough for me to see what it had been concealing.
A pistol was wedged between the waist of his jeans and his hip. I tore my eyes away from the gun, hoping he didn’t notice me staring.
He flipped a business card between his fingers with the finesse of a magician performing card tricks. He extended his arm. “Here.”
As I reached for the card my eyes once again fell to his very noticeable bulge.
Without speaking, he turned away.
“Call me,” he said over his shoulder as he opened his car door.
I stood and stared.
“I mean it,” he said. “If you don’t, I’ll hunt your little ass down, Jess.”
And what? Burn my fucking house down?
I raised the shiny black card in the air and waved it in his direction as if agreeing to his demand. As his car sped away, I glanced down at the what he had handed me. A telephone number and his first name was all that was printed on the card.
I gazed down at his name and grinned.
THERE was no doubt in my mind that there was a good time to be thinking of shoving the girl from Patel’s bar full of cock, but while I was trying to scare $100,000 out of Seton wasn’t the time.
Being around Seton made me think of kidnapping his wife. Thoughts of his wife made me daydream of bitches with round asses, and mental images of round asses brought me right back to daydreaming of the girl from the bar.
Her ass was shaped like a “C”, and I could easily imagine it bent over in front of me while I shoved her tight young pussy full of my fat dick. In a last ditch effort to clear my mind of such thoughts, I pressed the tip of my index finger against the skin immediately underneath my right eye and pulled it down as far as I felt I could. As my eye began to feel as if it might fall out onto the floor, I turned toward Seton.
“Look in this motherfucker, would you?”
He shook his head in an apparent attempt to get me to leave him alone. “Dick, I was just…”
“God damn it, I’m fucking serious,” I hissed.
Using my free hand, I lifted my eyelid with the tip of my finger as I continued to pull down on the skin beneath my eye with my other hand. “Look in this motherfucker.”
With reluctance, he tilted his head back and peered into my eye. “What am I looking for?”
“Compassion, kindness, hell, I don’t know. Maybe a little sympathy. You see a sympathetic person in there? Or a fleck of kindness?”
I stood with my eye bulging and waited. He silently stood, staring into my eye as if searching for something of significance.
“You see any of that shit in there?” I asked.
He sighed heavily. “I don’t think so.”
I pulled up on my eyelid until I felt like my eye was going to pop out. “Take a good look, god damn it. I want you to be sure. Even a glimmer?”
“God damn it, Seton. Take a good fucking look,” I said through my teeth. “Look deep. I want you to be sure. Even a hint? You see a fucking hint of concern in there?”
He leaned away. “I uhhm. I uhhm, I don’t think so.”
I closed my eye and rubbed my fingertip against the eyelid. As I glared at him with my open eye, I shook my head. “You know why?”
“Because I don’t give a fuck,” I growled. “I’m an emotionless businessman.”
I released my eye and blinked a few times. “This is a business, and I’m a fucking businessman. If you fail, the system fails. If the system fails, I fail.”
I motioned around my living room with both hands. “Look around you.”
He glanced around the room nervously.
Decorated with lavish furniture and artwork worth more than he’d earn in a lifetime, the interior of the home reeked of wealth.
“Do I look like a fucking failure?”
He shook his head.
“You know why?”
He shrugged. “Because you’re not?”
“Because I’m fucking not,” I said with a nod.
I cleared my throat. “I wasn’t joking about your wife, Seton. She’s a pretty fucker, and with those new tits you bought her right after Christmas last year, those Mexicans would go crazy to get a shot at her. They love blondes, you know. Did you know that? About the blondes?”
I watched his Adam’s apple rise and fall. “I uhhm. I’ll get it to you.”
I walked to the couch and sat down. As he nervously studied me, I crossed my legs and continued. “I know you will. You know how I know it?”
He shook his head.
“Because if you try really hard you can imagine your wife down in Juarez sucking some fat Mexican’s sweaty cock while he’s eating a plate of chili rellenos, and you don’t like the thought of it one fucking bit.”
His face filled with anger and quickly washed to concern.
“Hell of a thing, thinking that some Mexican traded a box of grapefruit for your wife, isn’t it? That’s what I’d trade her for, Seton. Just to teach you a lesson about fucking with my money. I’d trade her for grapefruit.” I chuckled. “Well, that and maybe a couple of those avocados they grow down there.”
His face was ruby red and sweat quickly began to form on his brow.
I nodded as I glanced around the room. “I’d swap that bitch for a box of grapefruit and half a dozen avocados. You ever had those Mexican avocados? Hass, that’s what they call ‘em. Hass. They’re good as fuck.”
“I said I’ll have it. I’ll have it by Friday.”
I hated the business I was in, but I was in it nonetheless. And being in it prevented me from being a compassionate man. “I asked you a fucking question, Seton. The avocados. You ever have ‘em? They’ve got a little sticker on ‘em that says ‘Hass’.”
He shook his head.
“You should try ‘em. They’re fucking good.”
I kept my eyes locked on his until he broke my gaze. As he looked away I glanced at my watch.
“God damn it, now you’ve fucked around and damned near made me late.” I jumped from the couch. “Go get my fucking money and don’t come back until you’ve got it. If you’re not back here by Friday, I’m going to trade your wife for a box of fucking fruit.”
Sadly, if he didn’t pay me, I would do just that. I’d spend fifty grand hiring someone to kidnap his wife and haul her ass to Mexico. After she was safely in the country, I’d drive down, meet with the Sinaloa Cartel, and trade the bitch for a box of fucking grapefruit. Hell, I’d probably even have someone make a video of the transaction, just to convince others not to fuck with my money.
I motioned toward the door. “Let yourself out. I’ve got to change clothes.”
As I heard the front door open, I shouted over my shoulder. “Friday, motherfucker!”
I quickly changed clothes, grabbed $5,000 from the safe, and ran to the garage. As I pulled out of the driveway, I mentally prepared my schedule for the evening. Basically, I had one thing I had to do.
Pay for a leopard.
It had been two days since I met Jess in the alley, and I hadn’t heard from her yet. I decided after I dropped off the money I would stop by the bar and see if she lost her job or somehow convinced Patel to let her keep it.
Either way, I’d find her.
I merged onto the highway, pressed down on the gas, and maneuvered around the traffic until I reached an open stretch of road. After setting the speed control, my mind faded to thoughts of Jess’ round ass.
I pressed my thumb against the button on the steering wheel, activating the phone.
“Call. The Brisco.”
After the third ring, the phone was answered. “The Brisco.”
“Hey, this is Dick. I need to make a reservation.”
“Good afternoon, Dick. How many will be in your party?”
“Two,” I said.
“And what time works for you?”
It was Wednesday night. Patel’s bar wouldn’t have fifteen people in it even if it was busy.
“Nine o’clock,” I said.
“Party of two for nine. Anything else I can do for you?”
“Table in the back? In the corner by the fireplace?”
“Consider it done.”
“See you at nine, Dick.”
I pressed the button and ended the call.
The look on Jess’ face when I squeezed my cock told me convincing her to go to dinner would be a pretty simple task.
And the look in her eyes told me she was going to be an adventurous little bitch.
And the eyes never lie.