In a small washroom connected to my office, I splashed water on my face and rubbed the crust of sleep from my eyes. When I heard the anteroom door creak, a quick glance in the mirror told me it was Greta opening up the place.
"In here." I dried my hands on the towel, noting her reflection in the frosty mirror. She looked good.
I turned around and she moved closer. The real thing looked even better.
Her midnight-black hair was swept behind one ear, leaving the rest to spill past her shoulders in a silky cascade. The sleeveless white blouse covered only what needed to be hidden for the sake of modesty, the heavy swell of her breasts revealed. Through the slit of her pleated skirt, I glimpsed a satiny leg and rounded thigh
when she walked.
"Hiya, beautiful. Looking at you gives a man whiplash."
She frowned, taking in my rumpled clothes, the travel bag and hammerless Browning in its chamois holster on my desk.
"I didn't expect you back so soon. You drove all the way from Dallas, nonstop?"
"Seemed like a good idea at the time." My face sobered. "I lost the finder's fee, doll. I meant to call you, but I was so disgusted I decided to head back home."
Greta dampened a towel and angrily wiped away some road grit that I had missed.
"You dumb ape. I've been worried sick because you didn't call. Did you think I wouldn't stick if I knew you'd lost another case?"
"Well, get this straight, mister. I'm gonna stick. Okay?" She straightened my tie and used her slender fingers to smooth my disheveled hair. Her ruby lips lifted to mine, and the fatigue and disappointment that weighted me down began to melt away.
She's like that. Loyal. I know men who would give more than an arm to call Greta their secretary. Only problem is, they'd have to get past me and my Browning to do it. She was right about one thing, though. I was a lucky ape to have her in my life. But marriage was out of the question, although we discussed it playfully from time to time. A man in my line of work can't always count on seeing the next sunrise.
We moved out of the washroom, and Greta measured coffee for the percolator. "Get any sleep?"
I dropped wearily into a cracked leather chair behind my desk and jerked a chin towards the divan. "Couple of hours. That coffee will go a long way to fixing me right."
I opened a humidor on my desk and took out a Churchill. Greta snicked a lighter. I squinted through the blue smoke as I puffed the cigar. "Any new clients drop by?"
She served up the coffee. "Yes, as a matter of fact. Yesterday afternoon. A big blonde. Looker, too."
I grinned. "You're the only looker I look at." The joe was hot and black and strong. I took another sip.
"I wish I could believe that." Perhaps she realized how wistful her voice had become, and hurried on. "Her name is Ava Jelk. Owns a boutique on Royal. The name and number is on my desk."
"She say why she wants a private gumshoe?"
Greta shrugged. "I got the impression she wants to hire muscle."
"Then that's right up our alley. What's wrong?"
She shook her head, her expression wary. "I don't like it when you take on these rough jobs, Ed."
I gulped the dregs of my coffee and began to rise. "I'll be careful, doll. I always am."
She leaned into me, draping a creamy arm around my shoulders. "Leaving already? But you just got in."
"Have to. This Jelk dame sounds like a paying customer. Man's gotta eat."
Greta dumped herself into my lap, her soft grey eyes holding mine. She bit her lower lip. "So does woman."
Greta slid down to the oriental rug on her knees, both hands on my thighs. She looked up at me, hungry. My erection made a huge tent in my trousers, and I grunted with relief when she finally took hold of the zipper and released my cock.
"Does Daddy want his slutty girl?" The hot breath of her words brushed my exposed flesh. "Does he?"
"Yes," I grunted, "Daddy wants her deep throat. He needs relief and wants his good little girl's hard, sucking mouth." I lifted her face, drank in the desire inflaming her eyes.
She licked teasingly, curling my shaft, following the veins with her tongue. She nibbled along the length of my cock before taking one of my balls in her warm mouth, sucking gently. I groaned, helplessly lost in the sweet pleasure of her wonderfully alive mouth and feather-like lips.
On her knees, she was the most beautiful woman in the world.
She looked up demurely and possessively kissed the purple head. "Do you want to come in your doll's mouth? Do you want her to swallow her Daddy's hot thick come?"
I could only groan in response.
She curled her lips over her white teeth and lowered her mouth onto my cock. When I slid deep enough, she swallowed far back in her throat. I released a hard grunt of pure pleasure.
Her ample breasts hung tantalizingly close to my balls. Swollen and fulsome, her perfumed tits with their plum-colored nipples threatened to split the thin fabric of her blouse. She squeezed and twisted at her nipples, and a stifled
She sucked me greedily into the warmth of her throat. My cock was slicked with her saliva and a few droplets of sperm that dribbled out, presaging the flood to come. It was hot in the cramped office. The oscillating electric fan on the filing cabinet did nothing to lessen the tropical July heat of New Orleans. Long, dark tendrils of hair lay damply against Greta's skin, beads of moisture trickled down the valley between her breasts.
I couldn't hold back any longer, nor deny myself the goal of this ultimate torture. As if she felt my balls tighten, Greta swirled her tongue and sucked me more deeply into her mouth. With the first hard spurt, her lips popped away from her teeth and scraped the skin of my cock.
I didn't care. I was spurting again, my come frothing into her mouth like magma.
I gripped her hair and urged her mouth harder and faster along the length of my
straining cock. Greta gulped each bolt of raw come, clawing her sore nipples and mewing between swallows.
Finished, she lifted her head and gasped for air. Lipstick ravaged. Skin tight across her face, eyes darkened with fulfilled desire. My drained cock bounced with phantom orgasms.
"You all right, kid?" I asked gently.
She rubbed the side of her face against my knee. "A girl needs a solid protein diet now and then." Her thick eyelashes fluttered. She was finally catching her breath.
"Ed, any man who can do that to me...," she said with a sly grin, like a cat creeping up on a saucer of milk, "...well, now you know why I intend to stick."
"My roommate is in trouble, Mr. Dane. If you don't find her, I'm afraid something terrible might happen."
We were in the back office of Ava Jelk's boutique. Outside the half-open door, a few blue-haired women browsed carefully among the Spode and expensive crystal vases imported from Europe.
"What sort of trouble, Miss Jelk?"
"Please, call me Ava." Her generous mouth crimped a warm smile. "I'm too old to be a Miss, and too divorced to be a Mrs."
Ava Jelk may have been in her early forties, but she had chiseled curves in all the right places. Her platinum hair was styled in a long pageboy that perfectly bordered the exquisite bones of her face. She was somewhat thick around the middle, but her sturdy legs and carefully contoured calves more than compensated for the lack of an hourglass figure. Her heavy breasts jutted like snowy mounds underneath a loose sweater. Her
fingernails were long and armored with pink lacquer.
She deftly slipped a butt into her mouth and I made like a gentleman with a lighter. She blew a plume of smoke towards a ceiling fan which whipped it to shreds. "My roommate started working for the Red Silk Cabaret about a month ago. It's owned by a man called Rudolf Sten. She went there last Friday night, and I haven't seen her since."
"Sounds like a problem for Missing Persons, or Vice."
Ava Jelk stabbed her spent cigarette in an expensive crystal ashtray. "You'd think so, wouldn't you?" There was disgust in her tone.
"Her full name is Cindy Kano."
I understood. "Japanese?"
Ava nodded. "Her mother was a British Nurse stationed in Singapore before the war. Her father was a diplomat working for the Emperor. But you see the problem? The war ended almost a decade ago, but some people still hate Orientals. And down here in the south, where racism is an institution, no government agency wants to spend taxpayer money on a lost Asian woman with a shady past."
"What goes on in this cabaret?"
"Extreme sexual stuff. Cindy was never quite clear on that. She said some of the people use drugs. The location is kept secret and changes address every weekend."
"Okay. What do you want me to do, Ava?"
"I asked around. People say you're the toughest bastard in New Orleans. And if what Cindy said about that place is true, you'd better be."
I lit a Churchill. "It'll cost you. My rate is one hundred and fifty a day, plus expenses."
"That's too steep, Mr. Dane."
I shrugged. "You're hiring muscle. People might get hurt. Spilled blood always costs."
"Very well." She opened a brass-handled safe and handed over an envelope with three C-notes inside. "Here's two days' work. I want to be there when you get Cindy out."
"Agreed." Ordinarily, I wouldn't have considered it. But I was hooked, and we both knew it. She also hadn't told me why she was anxious to get her roommate back.
She came around the desk to stand next to me, perfume sailing in her wake. I liked the way she moved across a floor. I suppose she wanted a better look at what she'd just bought. I returned the favor by raking my eyes over her figure.
She nodded approvingly. "I believe I've made a good investment." She hooked the fingers of her left hand under my lapel, standing close enough to press her breasts against my chest. "Your rates are too high, but maybe we can take some of that out in trade. You have the look of a man who rides a saddle hard, Mr. Dane."
"I've been known to ride a filly down the stretch from time to time."
"Ever wind her?"
"Not if she's a thoroughbred."
I removed the Churchill from my mouth as a light flush crept along her neck. She locked her soft mouth with mine, trying to contour her body, but her heavy breasts wouldn't let her get close enough. She broke the kiss and looked down. "Damn these things. Always
getting between me and what I want."
"Forget it. They're a million." I pulled her close and she gave me her mouth a second time. My hands prowled over her body. She slipped a hand between us and squeezed my hardening rod. The breast I cupped overflowed my hand. I rubbed a thumb over the thick nipple beneath her brassiere and sweater, hardening with desire.
The kiss ended with dozens of smaller ones. "Not bad, Dane. You've got style. Listen, I've got rooms above this shop. We close at six."
I grabbed my hat and jammed it on my head. "I'm on the job, lady."
Ava laughed. "Tonight, at six, you will be. See you then, stud. Bring your riding clothes."
I wore out shoe-leather the rest of the afternoon trying to get a bead on the Red Silk Cabaret. Nobody knew anything, or they weren't talking, which amounted to the same thing. I talked to Mac over in Homicide, but he was busy and
wasn't much help. I hit the usual bars and sucker joints in the French Quarter. Nobody had heard of a Red Silk Cabaret anywhere in the city. I was about to give up when I impulsively called on Pug, a friend who drove his own hack in the Quarter.
"You try talkin' to Kinch?" We waited for a noisy streetcar to pass by. "He'd know, I bet. Works days, mostly. Find him in front of the Blue Crab Deli on Conti."
I drove over. Kinch sat behind the wheel of his paint-chipped cab, chewing a peppermint. I leaned into the window.
"Know a place called the Red Silk Cabaret?"
"Who wants to know?"
I showed him the corner of a fifty. "This dead president."
He flicked his yellow-brown eyes over the note. "This guy have brothers?"
"Aunts and uncles."
"Midnight. And you'd better be on the level, mister."
I gave him the bill. "Shitcan that. Threats are always a two way street, pal."
Ava Jelk was a stunning image of black on pink. She lay submissively on white satin in the center of a four poster bed. The bedroom had antiquated gas lamps, no doubt lit for
atmosphere. French windows stood ajar on the second floor balcony, and the evening breeze carried the strains of a jazz band playing down the street.
"Hurry, baby," she whispered impatiently. "I want to see you. I need your weight on top of me. Please."
Black on pink. Black garter stockings and a half inch black velvet ribbon round her neck. One languid arm was crooked over her head, the other rested casually on her stomach. Her breasts were capped with vermillion tips. Legs slightly akimbo, showing a trimmed thatch of spun gold. Her head half-turned and platinum tresses fanned across a goose-feather pillow.
I kicked my shorts away. I had one of those half-blown erections that look more monstrous than a regular diamond-cutter. Ava ran an appreciative eye over my lean body, noting the scars.
"That's a nice slab of horseflesh." She reached out, a bracelet dangling from her slim forearm. "Let me jack it hard for you, darling."
We intertwined. I grabbed her wrists and pinned them above her head while I sucked her nipples. When I squeezed one between thumb and forefinger, a yellowish drop of colostrum appeared. I licked it away. She moaned.
"I want you deep in my ass." The heat from her crotch branded my thigh. She nipped the lobe of my ear. "Now."
She wet the palm of her hand with her tongue and slicked my cock for lubrication. I rolled her onto all fours. A dressing mirror that stood nearby let her watch as I spread the white globes of her ass apart, revealing her puckered rectum. She shivered with anticipation. I placed my cockhead against her, and her back arched in electric shock.
"Gently, baby," she coaxed, "go easy." Her face was twisted into a mask of raw animal passion, making her unrecognizable. I went slow, probing past her rubbery muscles. Ava gritted her teeth; she was a gamer. I cautiously inched deeper into her tight ass
with every forward thrust.
"Oh, God, baby, I feel like I'm going to split." She sucked at her bottom lip, eyes screwed shut. "Ah, that's it, darling. Back and forth slowly. Yeah, I'm opening up for you now. Oh!"
I had my cock buried to the hilt, her rectum tight around my thick shaft. Ava began to roll her round ass in a circle. We found a rhythm and her milky breasts rocked back and forth deliciously, cupped inside my hands.
She pulled a pillow over to support the front half of her body, leaving her firm ass raised up. She grunted in time to my thrusts. I tenderly probed her blood-swollen pussy lips with my hand. Her juices dripped down to my wrist as I rubbed her clit. The unmistakable feminine musk of a woman permeated the bedroom. The scent of a woman getting well-fucked.
"Harder, baby," she gasped. "Ram it as deep as you want, as hard as you want." She dug her lacquered nails into my thighs, trying to draw me deeper. Little high-pitched cries tore from her throat as I pumped madly.
"Come on, you big-clitted bitch," I groaned. "I want you to come all over this bed."
Ava's toes curled and she screamed at the first hard spurt of come. Her body shuddered with an orgasm, and her inflamed rectum sucked at the thick diameter of my cock as I jacked it back and forth, shooting inside the depths of her still-bouncing ass. I threw back my head and grunted loudly with satisfaction. My cock popped free before the last spurt. A stream of watery sperm looped in the air and fell in a wet lash across her sinuous back.
Ava collapsed, exhausted. Our bodies, slick with sweat, slowly began to cool in the night air. She looked up at me. "Ready for round two?"
Kinch drove us into the Garden District after midnight. "Sky's cloudin' up," he said. "Looks like it'll finally rain."
I wondered if he had noticed the headlights of a black roadster tailing us through the dark streets.
He swung the cab's blunt nose into a driveway of crushed shells and past an iron gate. Ava, her arm linked with mine, asked, "Is this the place?"
"Yes'm." Kinch turned. "'Nother fifty." I paid him off. He made the bill disappear. "Want I should wait, mac?"
"No. Take off. Forget you ever saw us."
He put his hack in gear. "Your money talks." He pulled away and his taillights quickly dwinded in the humid night.
The windows of the house were heavily curtained. It was a big spread, one of those mansions with long sweeping lawns and columned facades. I walked Ava around the back and we found a door with a red neon tube above. "This looks like the place,"
I told her. We went in. A man reading a local fish wrap glanced up and saw the bulge under my arm. "We're here to see the show," I said.
"Lose the rod, first. Then talk."
"Say 'pretty please'."
The doorman made a face. "Look, clown," he dropped the paper and stood up. "Either give up the gat or..."
I grabbed his wrist and bent it the wrong way. His face turned white. Then I blew out his elbow using my forearm for leverage. I thumped his brainstem with a hammer fist for good measure and he crashed to the floor, unconscious. A door opposite the one
we'd entered quickly opened, silhouetting another man. "Hell's that racket?" He quickly took in the scene. "Fella, we don't want any trouble here."
"He wanted my gun, but he didn't say please."
"Okay, okay. You don't have to participate. Just watch. Seventy-five each. But you didn't have to do that to Jimbo."
"He'll live. Pay the man, honey." Ava counted out the bills with trembling hands.
As the other fellow led us down a long hallway, I wondered why Ava was acting so nervous. A reaction to the violence? Doubtful. Earlier, after we'd worn each other out from lovemaking and she had fallen asleep, I'd quietly tossed her place. I found a cardboard box of 16mm canisters hidden in a deep-freeze, and no sign of a roommate. The film strip was hot stuff: Ava and an Oriental girl, presumably Cindy Kano, locked in a soixante-neuf on the very bed we'd fucked on. After replacing the films, I had gone
downstairs to make a phone call.
We came to a room paneled in mahogany and draped in red velvet. There were maybe thirty other people, not counting those on the dais. All the women had escorts. One in particular took my fancy; a tall attractive brunette with long straight hair and loose tits under a silver evening gown. The man beside her was a raw-boned gent dressed in a penguin suit.
Ava squeezed my arm. "That's Rudolf Sten."
I found it curious she knew what Sten looked like. I turned my attention to the dais, where a Japanese girl was strapped down in a complex looking contraption, her legs splayed open. Her wrists were tied above her head with red silken cords, offering her taut breasts to anyone.
"Cindy," Ava whispered, horrified.
One man was behind the Asian, plugging her dark pussy with a savage tempo. Another pushed his cock in and out of her mouth, a stream of spunk dripping from her chin. What fascinated me, though, were the comments from the crowd.
"Give it to that fuckin' Jap," one shouted. "Choke that yellow bitch!" "C'mon, you call that screwing? Make that cunt pay for killing our boys!"
Cindy gyrated her hips wantonly and sucked like a pro. There was a haunted look in her large brown eyes, as if she'd fallen into a life she hated but couldn't exist without. Maybe
that explained Sten's hold on her, and why she kept coming back to perform in his "Cabaret".
When the scene was over, she dressed in a white robe and disappeared through the folds of a red curtain. A new girl got up on stage, blindfolded. A bowl was passed around and several men in the crowd laughingly masturbated into it. Sten brought the bowl over
to the girl. A chorus of hoots and catcalls erupted.
I told Ava, "I'll be back." She nodded. I slipped through the crowd and ducked behind the arras. Two men stopped me. "What the fuck're you doing, wise ass? The party's out there."
"I want Cindy Kano."
His eyes flicked and I knew which doorway I needed. "Forget it, pal. She ain't leaving with you."
"Care to bet your life?" His eyes blazed. The confined space gave me the advantage. After he went down the other fool launched himself at me. A knuckle strike to his temple put him under, but not before he got me deep in the side with a shiv, breaking the point off there.
Cindy appeared, eyes wide with fear. I grabbed her wrist and yanked her down the hallway. "Come on, let's go."
"W-who are you?" Her eyes dropped. "Hey, you're bleeding!"
"Name's Ed Dane. Ava hired me to get you out."
"Ava? Why would she..."
A shot sounded on the other side of the curtain. I went through, the Browning loose in my hand. People had thrown themselves onto the floor or behind furniture. The blindfolded girl was screaming. Rudolf Sten clutched a red stain that rapidly
spread across his stomach, eyes bugged out in disbelief.
Ava stood alone in the middle of the room, a nickel-plated .25 in her hand. "You bastard! Thought you'd throw me over for Cindy, after the things I did for you and your sick friends? Did you think I'd never find you?"
"Ava...listen to me, please, I..."
"I...don't...want...to...hear...your...lies!" Thunder rumbled outside. Fat rain drops clicked against the windows.
She sent three slugs into him. One of Sten's goons had worked his way to get a clear shot and raised his weapon. The Browning kicked in my hand and he pirouetted onto a coffee table, smashing it.
Ava turned to me, pointing the .25 at her head. "He got me pregnant, Ed." That explained the colostrum dripping from her swollen nipples when we'd made love, and her thick hourglass shape. "Then he threw me over. He shouldn't have done that."
My shirt dripped blood. "Put the gun down, Ava."
She looked to Cindy. "I don't blame you. He was just a bad man who played me for a sap. I guess I love him." The hammer fell and she crumpled.
People ran. Cindy and I followed. Outside, sheets of rain scoured the District. A black Jaguar XK120 roared up the driveway, Greta at the wheel. "Ed! Oh God, what happened?"
"Forget it, doll." I shoved Cindy inside the roadster and piled in after. "Hit it, Greta!"
Tires spun gravel as we shot out of there.
"Oh, God, you're hurt. I followed that cab like you wanted. I've been waiting ever since." Tears streaked her cheeks. "I told you I'd stick, didn't I, Ed? Didn't I do good?"
"Shut up and drive, doll. Drive fast." The world got blacker. Greta kept talking, but I couldn't understand any of it.
We blew through the stoplights on our way to the hospital, and they backlit the liquid streams that whipped across the Jaguar's windshield.
It looked like red rain.