Chapter Five; Part One
“So, what happened?” I greet Paris eagerly when I get home from work the next day. The reporters have given up on us, so I don’t have to dodge them any more. A pity, really. I had come up with some pretty creative ways to evade them, and I rather enjoyed myself doing so. “Did Inspector Robinson royally ream Max out for withholding information?” I guiltily admit to myself that I am looking forward to hearing the gory details about the dressing down of Max.
“She was pretty pissed,” Paris admits. “She got that look in her eye, you know the one that says, ‘I’m disgusted with you.’ I think she cultivated it on purpose to make people talk.” I know the look he is referring to, and it certainly works on me. “Her voice got really low.” Here, he imitates Inspector Robinson. “Ms. Bowers. This is a murder investigation. That means we investigate. In order to do so, we need information. I should think you of all people would want us to be successful.” He reverts to his normal voice. “If she looked at me the way she looked at Max, I would have spilled the beans for sure.”
“Did you get to sit in on the interrogation?” I doubt the inspector would allow that, but I can always hope.
“No. After Max blurted out the thing about someone coming out of Moira’s room, the inspector took her away. I had to wait nearly an hour for her. I took Max to a diner after so we could talk about it.”
They both ordered coffee as it was between mealtimes. The whole time Paris was talking to Max, he had the feeling that something else was going on. There was a subtext that he wasn’t getting, but he didn’t like it whatever it was. Max would say something, then pause and look at Paris significantly, but he didn’t know why. It pisses me off that Max is playing such games with Paris because I hate seeing him upset. After an inordinate amount of lead-in time, Max finally got to the meat of the interrogation. She told the inspector everything she had told Paris, and Inspector Robinson got excited and rushed away, most likely to have another chat with Ms. Fullerton. As Paris is talking, he’s walks into the kitchen to make himself a hero sandwich. I must look woebegone enough because he offers to make one for me as well. I accept with alacrity. In college, Paris was famous for his hoagie sandwiches.
I watch, mouth watering, as Paris slathers zesty honey mustard onto a hoagie bun. He starts piling fixings and trimmings as if there is no end to his hunger. He tells me that the inspector let slip that Moira was gagged after she was killed. Paris doesn’t know the significance of this, but I make a guess. I think it means that she was a willing participant in the bondage game because she would have been screaming her head off if someone had tied her up against her will. By this time, Paris is done building up the hoagie. He cuts it in two, plates it and hands it to me. I happily start munching as he prepares another one. As Paris makes a sandwich for himself, he points out that if Moira was drugged, she wouldn’t have made noise. I protest that drugging her didn’t make as much sense as her playing games with someone she trusted, someone who quickly shot, then gagged her.
“Why would someone gag her after?” Paris protests, cutting his own sandwich in half. He pours us each a coke. We set our sandwiches on plates and take our food to the living room which is where we do most of our eating. I don’t know why we even bother having a table in the kitchen as we rarely eat there. We are silent for a few minutes as we make serious dents in our food.
After we have adequately slaked our appetites, we start tossing out possibilities. I suggest that maybe a lover wanted to make it seem as if it were a nonconsensual scene, but that contradicts my earlier surmising that Moira wouldn’t stand to let a stranger tie her up. I chase it around in my brain for a few minutes and can tell that Paris is doing the same. After thinking about it, Paris offers that perhaps it’s a trick, a red herring. Maybe the killer wants the cops to think it’s supposed to be a lover making it look like an outsider when really, there is no reason for the gag. I call him Machiavellian, but not without admiration. It never ceases to amaze me how someone who looks as innocent as does Paris can think of such devious things. I concede his point which causes his jaw to drop. Fortunately, he isn’t eating. I stick my tongue out at him for pointing out how much I hate to admit I’m not one-hundred percent right. We hash out the gag information, but come up with nothing.
“There is one other thing Max told me,” Paris says slowly. He looks as if he doesn’t want to spill it, but I know he will. Paris can’t keep anything to himself without exploding.
“The inspector found half a dozen cigarettes shoved up Moira’s vagina, the lighted ends inside. Some kind of Camel. They were just a pile of ashes in there. This was done after she was dead.” Paris’s mouth is puckered up as if he’s eaten a lemon. I set down my sandwich, no longer hungry. Even though Moira hadn’t had to suffer the physical pain of such a heinous action, there’s the indignity of it. The hatred that her killer must have felt for her to do such a cruel thing. I push my sandwich away, saddened by my connection to mankind. “Was she raped?” I whisper, not really wanting to know the answer.
“They found her secretions on her genitalia, but no semen,” Paris reports. I exhale loudly. I don’t know why I am so comforted that Moira had been spared that horror when she ended up losing her life, but I am.
I ask how Max seemed while telling Paris the information, no longer wanting to be Sharon McCone, but pressing on, anyway. Max didn’t show much emotion according to Paris, but he generously ascribes her numbness to information overload. She told Paris that the inspector had been watching her carefully during the entire interview, but we both know Max has a need to dramatize situations to make herself seem more important. I still don’t trust Max’s motive for dragging Paris further into this thing, but I know better than to voice my concerns. Neither of us eat any more of our sandwiches, our appetites thoroughly dampened from talking over the gristly details of the case. I don’t know how homicide dicks can do it—how they can have any semblance of a normal life when they have to see the worst of what humanity has to offer. I know that gallows humor helps, but it can’t completely keep the nightmares at bay. I guess that’s where alcohol and drugs come in—anything to anesthetize the pain.
“Shit, I gotta roll.” Paris glances at the clock hanging on the wall across from the couch. “I have to be at work in half an hour.” I wave at him distractedly as I take our plates to the kitchen. As I run soapy water over them, I let my mind drift. Bits and pieces of information flutter in and out of my mind, but I come up with no new ideas. I remember how furtive Vashti had looked when being questioned about the murder and decide to call her. She picks up on the second ring.
“Hello?” The cadence of her voice always puts me in a sexy mood. She could be reading from the phone directory, and it would get me wet. I push those risqué thoughts to the back of my mind as I am calling her for business purposes.
“Vashti? It’s Rayne. I was wondering if you had time to talk about Max and Moira?” I cross my fingers, hoping I’ve caught her at a good time.
She agrees to talk after she puts something away in the refrigerator; I am delirious with wanting. Every time she speaks, I have to fight the desire to fall into her words and never come out. Sometimes it’s difficult for me to concentrate on what she’s saying because of her voice. I imagine her as a phone-sex operator; she’d be fantastic at it. When she resumes talking, she reiterates that she doesn’t have more to say. Her tone is still pleasant, but firm. I can’t believe she doesn’t know more than she’s telling and try to think of a way to make her talk. I tell her it’s her duty, and she says it’s up to the police. I ask if she doesn’t feel an obligation towards Max, and she says no. Just as I’m running out of ideas, she finally agrees to come over so we can talk in person. As soon as we hang up, I race to the bathroom to take a quick shower. By the time she arrives, I am in clean jeans and a tight, low-cut cerise blouse. I usher her into the living room and soon, we’re sitting on the couch sipping herbal tea.
I look at her in pleasure, noting how her luxuriant hair is wound atop her head, how her right nostril is delicately pierced, how her generous breasts strain against her blouse. I patiently wait for her to speak as she struggles with whether to tell me what she knows. I want to push her, but I know that it would only make her clam up. She finally tells me that it’s Dylan’s story, then wrestles with her conscience once more about whether to spill the beans. She asks me if I’ve met the beautiful Moira, knowing full-well I have, and there is a hunger in her voice which I have never heard before. So. Even the unflappable Vashti had been swayed by Moira. I tuck that away to mull on later as I tell her that I met Moira at the party the night she was killed and thought she looked familiar. I still can’t place where I had met Moira before, and it’s starting to bother me.
Vashti begins to speak. Moira loved a party and was in her element when she had her adoring fans around her. Vashti’s voice takes on a sing-song quality as she relates her story. Moira went to sex clubs, but they soon began to bore her. Most of them had an S&M flavor to them which did not appeal to Moira at all. At least, that’s what she told Vashti which is why Vashti refuses to believe that Moira allowed herself to be tied up voluntarily. I remain silent, unsure if I should tell her the latest news. After all, Inspector Robinson told Max who told Paris who told me, so it’s not as if the police are keeping it a secret. I decide to sit on it for the moment, however, and focus on Vashti’s story. She tells me how when Dylan first moved to San Francisco, she made the cardinal sin of visiting the Lexington, a famous dyke bar in the Mission District. The only redeeming quality about that hick place is the really hot bartender.
Dylan quickly grew bored, even though it was Halloween night. She hadn’t dressed for the event, and the only eye-catching costumes were worn by a couple. One was a dominatrix, and she was holding a leash attached to the collar of the other, her slave. The slave girl was wearing a t-shirt with a hole exposing her right breast. It was the first time Dylan had seen a girl’s naked breast before not in a gym situation, and she wasn’t able to take her eyes off the slave girl whose hands were cuffed in front of her. Other girls kept going over to the couple and patting the slave on the head or caressing her bare breast. Dylan decided to follow suit, so she went over and patted the girl on the head. Vashti continues…
“Hey, Sugar. I’ve never seen you here before.” The dominatrix cracked her whip on the slave girl’s ass while slanting her eyes to Dylan. Once Dylan was able to tear her eyes off the slave girl’s perfect breast, she noticed that the dominatrix was breathtaking. She was wearing a black leather corset which allowed her breasts to swell over the cups. She had on fish-net stockings and thigh-high black vinyl boots with three-inch platform heels. She’s wearing a black captain’s hat at a rakish angle over fluffy blond curls. Over the whole ensemble she had thrown a thick, fake-fur cape. She was sporting a whip in one hand and the leash in the other.
“I just moved to town from Minnesota,” Dylan stuttered, unable to believe that she was talking to an actual dominatrix.
“The Midwest, huh?” The dominatrix ran her tongue over her blood-red lips as she gazed thoughtfully at Dylan. Suddenly, she yanked on the chain, nearly toppling the slave girl who looked absolutely adorable with her butch haircut, ripped white t-shirt and blue jeans. She was wearing clunky black boots. It upset Dylan’s notions of butch and femme to see the power exchange of this couple. “Pet, say hello to our Midwest girl.” Immediately, the slave girl dropped to her knee and pressed her lips to Dylan’s sneaker. When Dylan didn’t move, the slave girl started kissing her way up Dylan’s calf over her jeans. “Would you like the use of my pet for the night?” The dominatrix hadn’t taken her eyes off Dylan the entire time. Dylan could only nod dumbly as the dom transferred the leash to Dylan…
“Moira dressed up as a dom for Halloween?” I am incredulous given what Vashti told me earlier about Moira’s reluctance to be bound.
“She liked being in control.” Vashti correctly interprets my look. “She is the one doing the tying, not the one being tied down. I am not believing that she willingly allowed someone to tie her to her bed.”
“Halloween! Last year!” I snap my fingers. Vashti’s story has triggered a memory of my own. “That’s where I know her from.” I stop, blushing as the full memory flowers in my mind. Vashti looks at me with interest as my cheeks flush red. I don’t blush easily but when I do, I am helpless to stop it.
“It is your turn to tell a story,” Vashti says softly with a touch of malice. I shoot her a nasty look, but she ignores it.
“It’s nothing much,” I say haltingly. In fact, it’s a memory that I’d rather forget. “Really.” I smile my best smile, but Vashti is not buying it. She glares at me until I relent…
Paris and I went to a costume party in Noe Valley. I hadn’t wanted to go, but got tricked into it by Paris who first stated that he wanted to go to the Castro for Halloween, which I flat-out refused to do. He knew how much I detested big, flaming events like Halloween in the Castro and only mentioned it to soften me up for the party in Noe Valley, which was where he really wanted to be. Like an idiot, I fell for it. Even though I know the way Paris’s mind works, I fall for his manipulations every time. Even the protest that I didn’t have a costume didn’t deter him as he had already picked one out for me as well as for himself. In fact, he had foreseen every obstacle before bringing up the Castro, thereby insuring the party as a fait accompli before he even opened his mouth. When I discovered what he was up to, I slapped him a good one upside the head and extracted the promise of breakfast in bed every weekend for a month in exchange. I still felt as if he hoodwinked me, but I wasn’t as bitter about it after he promised me the breakfasts.
That is, until I saw the costume he had picked out for me. He could have picked Xena or Buffy or someone like that, but whom did my boy pick? Let me give you a hint. Think red satin halter top, wide gold satin belt, blue satin panties with white stars on it, and a gold lasso. Think golden tiara with a red star right in the middle as well as two gold bracelets. Yes, my boy chose fucking Wonder Woman with an outfit that would make a hooker blush. We had a fierce argument about that because I most emphatically did not want to be the Amazon princes with her cups running over, even if I did have the knee-high red boots to match the costume. Furthermore, I gave Paris the fish-eye for even thinking of me in such a way, but he protested that it was either Wonder Woman or Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, and her damn dog, Toto, too. In the middle of our huge scene, he implored me just to try it, so I reluctantly did.
Unfortunately, it fit perfectly as long as I sucked in my stomach and didn’t move too quickly. I didn’t like the way my body curved in the outfit, but at least I had enough chest to fill the top. The discreet yin-yang tattoo I have over my right breast peeked out from beneath the red satin. Fortunately, the ankh on my ass was fully covered—at least as far as I could tell. My belly button ring was covered, but poked out slightly from behind the tight material. The costume molded to my body as if it were made for me. My breasts bulged out as they were supposed to. After I was done donning the costume and the accoutrements, I looked startlingly like Wonder Woman except my hair was shorter and I was Asian. I fiddled with my hair to see if I can make it a little fluffier, but it stayed where it was. The price I paid for thick, glossy hair.
Paris loved the outfit. In fact, he loved it so much, we almost didn’t make it out of the apartment. He was in between partners at the time and hadn’t had sex for two weeks. For him, that’s a long time, and I did look pretty damn hot, if I did say so myself. I went into my bedroom to get my boots—knee-high, red, vinyl boots—and pulled them on. While I was in the bedroom, I slapped on some makeup, then went out to the living room to wait for Paris. When he came out of his room, I nearly busted a gut laughing because he was going as Flash Gordon. Now, Flash Gordon was a great character, but Paris didn’t remind me of him in the least. If I remembered correctly, Flash had a thing for Wonder Woman. Maybe there was significance to the outfits, after all. We drove to the party. I was conscious of every extra ounce of fat around my waist as my outfit clung to my body. My tits were jiggling and my ass was bouncing as we were ushered into the party. The guy at the door couldn’t take his eyes off me. Since he was wearing a ninja outfit that covered his face, I couldn’t tell if he was cute or not…