Undercover secrets untol.., p.11
Undercover Secrets, Untold Lies, page 11
“You look distracted tonight.” Ben had walked up and was studying her. “Dart league practices Wednesdays and Fridays, but Jimmy wants to know if you’ll play a game with him and give him a few pointers. He’s too shy to ask you himself.”
“Sure,” Gwen laughed. “Tell him I’d be happy to.”
As they were finishing up their third game, Gwen noticed CC leaving. It was ten minutes before midnight.
“That’s it for me,” Gwen said after letting Jimmy win the last game. “Work on that curve and try to straighten it out. You could be a great player with a little more practice.”
“You really think so?” Jimmy asked with a silly grin.
“Of course. Practice makes perfect.”
Gwen walked back, said her goodbyes, threw a tip on the bar and headed out the door.
“Hold on, young lady.” Jimmy ran up to her and gallantly escorted her to her car.
Gwen arrived at CC’s just before 12:30 a.m. She was waiting at the door barefoot, in a silk, midnight-blue robe. Gwen took her hand and gaped at the plunging neckline and her long, slender legs. Her blond hair was still damp, hanging in golden waves down to her shoulders.
“You look fantastic,” she finally said.
“You don’t look so bad yourself,” CC said, tugging at Gwen’s jacket as she was slipping out of it.
They walked hand in hand to the living room where CC’s stereo was playing softly in the background.
“Can I have this dance?” Gwen asked, putting her arms around CC. They moved close together, holding each other affectionately, their feet barely moving as they swayed to the music.
“I’ve been waiting for this all day,” CC whispered in Gwen’s ear.
“I’ve been waiting for you for a lifetime,” Gwen responded, sliding her hand under CC’s robe to feel her taut breasts. She could smell the faint scent of lilacs as she nuzzled CC, kissing her neck gently and lightly nibbling her earlobes.
When she could wait no longer, Gwen kissed CC urgently, her tongue darting between CC’s velvety lips in swift thrusts. Her hand moved down CC’s stomach until she reached her thighs. CC opened her legs, welcoming Gwen’s touch.
Her crotch was warm and wet, and CC cried out as Gwen stroked her clit, “Hurry!”
Gwen smiled wickedly and whispered, “No, I want to tease you.”
Gwen knelt down and unfastened the tie around CC’s waist. CC quickly slid out of the robe, letting it fall to the floor.
Gwen’s tongue started stroking slowly between CC’s upper thighs, belly and back again. She savored the firm swelling of CC’s clit, then circled her crotch with her tongue and nibbled at her skin until CC moaned with desire. When she finally thrust her fingers into CC’s welcoming vagina, CC tensed, quivered and exploded, shuddering with pleasure.
Gwen stood and kissed CC passionately.
“My God, that was fantastic.” CC sighed. “You take my breath away.”
“And my heart dances with delight at the taste and feel of you. I think I will never get enough,” Gwen said softly.
“Let’s go into the bedroom,” CC said, leading the way. “My turn.”
Gwen slipped out of her clothes and laid next to CC, overcome with desire for her tender touch. The throbbing between her legs made her feel ready to explode.
CC wasted no time covering Gwen’s body with tiny butterfly kisses and gently probing with her fingers. Moments later, Gwen’s body shook and she screamed in delight.
“I’m not a bit tired yet, are you?” CC smiled, propping herself up on one elbow.
Gwen smiled mischievously. “Not at all.”
They took turns pleasuring each other until they finally lay exhausted. CC turned to her side and Gwen pressed her body close as they slept in a tight cocoon, content and completely satisfied.
* * *
Gwen awoke at nine a.m. and eased herself out of bed. She tiptoed to the bathroom and turned on the shower until the steam was fogging the mirrors. She’d just slipped under the tepid stream when CC slipped in beside her. They washed each other and played, enjoying each other’s bodies and bringing each other to another orgasm before stepping out.
“What a way to wake up,” CC laughed, rubbing her towel briskly over her skin.
“Umm, I could get used to this.” Gwen smiled and gave CC a quick, fervent kiss.
Gwen kissed CC again and reluctantly took off to go home, change clothes, and get ready for their meeting.
Brad was excited to tell everyone that they had found a ton of Facebook chatter on both Carole’s laptop and Meg’s PC.
“We don’t have a name, but we’re still looking. He is a big man, older…short gray hair. Wears a uniform,” Brad told them as soon as the task force meeting started.
Gwen nodded. “That confirms what we’ve learned from some of the people at the bar.”
“Meg wrote one of her friends that this man had followed her home several times. She’d lock and chain her door behind her, but said ‘it was creepy looking out the window seeing him stare at my place. I think he’s too old to be a threat. I will find out soon what he’s up to’,” Brad read from his notes.
“Gives me the creeps just hearing her words.”
“I talked to Carole’s mom…uh, Pauline Planton. She told about the same story. Carole said some old man was following her and she was getting ready to beat the crap out of him if it continued,” Scott added. “Carole told her mom not to worry, that she always hung around where there were a lot of other people. If she was worried, she made light of it when talking with her family.”
“She had three grown brothers, so I’d imagine she could have enlisted their help if she thought the man was dangerous,” Gwen mused.
“So the perp isn’t hiding his presence from the women. He lets them see him watch them. They think he’s harmless because he’s an older man, but they’re all curious to talk to him and find out why they’re so interesting to him,” CC pondered. “I wonder if the uniform is real or a disguise.”
“Interesting question. Does either describe the car he drives?” Gwen asked.
“Meg mentioned a black sedan,” Brad answered, “but that could describe any of a number of makes and models. We don’t know if it’s new or old.”
“I’ll check out any black cars more carefully at The Dive tonight,” Scott offered. “At least that’s something.”
“I’m still canvassing the area,” Brad told them. “There’s a lot of real estate to cover, but my circle is widening. I’ve walked the block where The Dive is located, and I’ll be starting the next blocks surrounding it tonight.”
“Oh, and a Jackie something-or-other called to let us know Meg told her she was being followed by a cop,” Scott remembered.
“About damn time she made the call,” Gwen remarked. “She and her boyfriend were out of town when the bar’s staff and customers were being interviewed. I suggested last night that she call and report the conversation. Give her a call back, Scott, see if she remembers anything else. Bring her in if you think she’s holding anything back.”
“Let’s head out.”
* * *
The Dive was quiet tonight, with only a half dozen people at the bar and eight people playing pool. Reyna, of course, was close to the pool tables, taking in the action and making small talk with everyone who stopped at her table.
Since no one was playing darts tonight, Gwen ordered a beer and carried it to the back room. She plopped her quarters down at the edge of the pool table and waited her turn, sitting with Reyna and CC, who had just returned from the ladies’ room.
After Gwen introduced herself to Reyna and CC, Reyna immediately went into her routine to find out as much as possible about the new woman.
“What brings you here?” she inquired.
“I like the games, and the people here are awfully friendly,” Gwen replied.
“You been in Scarl
“Long enough, I guess,” Gwen answered vaguely.
“Whatcha do for a living?” Reyna probed.
“Nothing right now,” Gwen countered. “I inherited a little dough awhile back.”
“Betcha my youngest would take hell of a liking to a lady like yourself.” Reyna grinned.
“Ah, sorry to disappoint you, but I’m gay.”
“Even better. He enjoys a happy woman,” Reyna said innocently.
Gwen winked at CC and said, “I mean, I like women, not men.”
“Oh my, Lordy!” Reyna exclaimed, and for the first time was at a loss for words.
CC looked at Gwen and they both burst out laughing. Reyna soon joined in, forgetting her blunder. She ordered one of the men to get them a round of drinks, just as it was Gwen’s turn to play.
Gwen picked CC to be her partner against the two men who had just won the last game. Gwen broke the rack of balls and had sunk two in succession when they heard commotion at the bar, then sirens coming closer and people were getting up to go outside to see what was happening.
Gwen whispered to CC, “Let’s see what’s going on.” As they headed out, the rest of the pool players followed, leaving a frustrated Reyna behind fiddling with the controls of her motorized scooter.
“They caught the guy who took the women!” someone yelled.
They ran to the back of the parking lot where they saw Brad with his knee on the back of a husky, squirming, dark-haired young man, roughly cuffing his hands behind his back. A half dozen uniformed cops jumped from their squads and rushed forward to help. Brad pulled a plastic zip tie from his pocket and wrapped it around the young man’s ankles, then forcefully pulled him to his feet.
“I haven’t done anything wrong!” the young man cried out.
“Then why were you running?” Brad asked.
“You scared the shit out of me!” he spat. “I didn’t know anyone else was out here. Oh, crap! I got scared.”
“What are you doing sneaking around out here?” Brad demanded.
“I’m looking for my sister. Carole. She disappeared a couple days ago. Thought I could try to find her,” the man said defiantly.
“You got ID on you?” one of the uniformed officers asked.
“In my back pocket.”
The cop pulled a greasy-looking wallet from the boy’s pocket and flipped it open. “Carl Planton,” he read.
Gwen realized he was the brother of Thomas Planton, who they’d found at Carole’s apartment.
“Geez,” Brad muttered under his breath, then to Carl, “Let the police handle it. Go home and I don’t want to catch you out here again, you hear?”
“Yeah. Just let me go.”
Brad cut the tie from around the kid’s ankles and opened the cuffs. Carl massaged his wrists and looked around, noticing for the first time the crowd that had gathered. He turned crimson and took off running in the opposite direction.
Not wanting to blow their cover, CC and Gwen followed the crowd back into The Dive and resumed their pool game.
Around eleven thirty, Gwen noticed CC yawning and nodded knowingly, letting her know it was okay to leave. It was doubtful there would be any more action tonight. One of the men they were playing pool with escorted her to her car. Gwen ordered another beer and played for another hour. She wasn’t in a hurry to go home to her empty house.
Gwen took the stairs one floor up to her office. She was pleasantly surprised to see CC sitting at the spare desk looking over some files.
“Hey there,” Gwen said cheerily. “How’s it going?”
“Pretty well, actually. I slept like a baby last night, and started early. I stopped by the Planton residence and was able to talk to the whole crew…Carl, Tom and Billy were all there, as well as the mother, Pauline.”
“Good thinking,” Gwen said thoughtfully.
“Billy is the only one with a record. He was heavily into car theft with his friends during his senior year of high school. He’s twenty now, seems to be settling down…says he has a serious girlfriend and wants to get married and have a family. He’s been holding down a steady job at Paradise Auto for about six months. Carl, the boy Brad tagged last night, is nineteen. He’s still rebellious, but doesn’t get into too much trouble according to his mother. He spends most of his time in his room playing computer games or downtown at the video arcade.”
She looked at her notes. “The third boy, Tom, is the youngest—eighteen. He’s the one you caught stealing tools at Carole’s. He has a bit of an attitude, but I don’t think we’ll have any more trouble with him. I read them all the riot act and scolded them about interfering with our investigation. I have a feeling they understood what I was going to do with them if I caught them again, with even the slightest infraction.”
Gwen laughed. “You are tough! But thanks. I think it was a great idea to speak with them and give them all a warning about getting in our way again. I had nightmares that we rushed out of The Dive and blew our cover. Had Brad not already had the situation under control, we might have had to step in.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment.” Brad smiled, stepping into the office holding a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts.
“Of course.” Gwen laughed. “And you’re buttering us up too?” she said, peering into the box and grabbing a glazed doughnut.
“Thought we could all use a little treat.”
“If it’s a bribe, I’m not eating,” Scott said, coming in behind Brad.
“Whatever do you mean, good buddy?” Brad asked in feigned surprise.
“That caramel latte you bought for me yesterday was no way enough payment for those horrible follow-up calls I made for you. Three out of the six were screamers,” Scott complained.
“Hey, I thought they’d be easy. Sorry, guy. I just didn’t want you thinking you were being left out while I was downloading information from the girls’ PCs,” Brad said innocently.
“Yeah, right!” Scott huffed, and dug into the box of doughnuts. “Better be watching your back, buddy.” He smiled good-naturedly.
“You two!” Gwen laughed. “Let’s get back to work.”
“I’ve almost finished checking out the staff and customers at The Dive,” Scott volunteered. “Other than the couple being iffy and us putting a tag on them, everyone seems legit.”
“Which couple?” CC asked.
“Oh, sorry,” Scott apologized. “Jackie and Jeff. They’re people Gwen ran into at the bar, and they’re either very nosy or know something they shouldn’t. I’ve got someone following them for a few days.”
“Still checking out the neighborhood. I didn’t get very far last night because of all the bullshit,” Brad admitted. “Damn, I was so hoping I’d tackled the perp.”
“How bad is the backup of callbacks from the hotline?” Gwen asked Brad.
“I’d say there are at least a couple dozen that should be followed up on. All I’ve had time to do is screen them, and discard the crank calls and those I’m sure aren’t significant to the investigation.”
“CC, if you don’t mind, you and I will stay here tonight and get those caught up. Scott, you can continue your surveillance from the parking lot to make sure no one else disappears, and Brad, that will give you more time to scour the neighborhood.”
“I don’t mind at all,” CC replied. “I think it’s a good idea to mix it up a little. People might get suspicious if we’re hanging around too much.”
“Okay, it’s a done deal. Let’s get ’em,” Gwen said cheerfully.
Gwen and CC split up the calls and got started as soon as Brad and Scott left the office. Most of the time, in Gwen’s experience, people phoned into a hotline out of panic and changed their minds when an officer returned their call; it was difficult to come up with a substantial complaint when it was only a nagging fear that spurred them to make the call in the first place. Often they called to get someone they were angry with in trouble, and ended up recanting their
Within three hours, the two women finished the stack of messages Brad had left for them. Gwen went down to the call center and picked up a new stack of about a dozen messages and brought steaming cups of coffee back with her.
“Smells good. Thanks!” CC smiled. “You read my mind.”
“I figured we could take a break before we start in again. My back is killing me from sitting in one spot for so long,” Gwen complained.
Just as Gwen took her first sip of coffee, her cell phone rang. It was Brad.
“I found a body,” he said grimly. “It’s about three blocks from the bar, hidden behind some bushes in an empty field. Thought you might want to take a look. I think it’s Carole Planton.”
“God. Okay, we’ll be there as soon as possible,” Gwen told him.
“What’s wrong?” CC asked, seeing the concern on Gwen’s face and knowing the news couldn’t be good.
“Brad found one of the women. Possibly Carole,” Gwen replied. “Let’s go.”
They made it to the overgrown field in about twenty minutes.
It was cold and dark, but crime scene technicians were already stringing lights around the bare tree limbs and setting up spotlights on poles, making the scene look like a surreal Christmas display. The woman lay on her back, with her head tilted slightly to the right and her knees bent away from the bushes. Her eyes were frozen open with a look of sheer terror, and blood was caked into the folds of her neck. The front of a white T-shirt was stained crimson, like someone had tie-dyed a grotesque splotch onto the neckline and another around the stomach. She was fully clothed, but wasn’t wearing a jacket. Her hands were clenched at her sides into the leaves and soil. Carefully, with one gloved finger, one of the techs lifted the T-shirt to reveal a knife wound to her belly. The intestines were spilling out of the three-inch gash, most likely resulting when the knife was withdrawn.
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