Tag Archives: Billie

Don’t Rayne On My Parade; chapter twelve, part three

I go to the kitchen to make myself a rum and coke before returning to the living room.  I slump in the couch, ready to think some more.  I can’t get Harry out of my mind, despite any solid evidence pointing at him.  However, any theory involving Harry doesn’t take into account the note, the rose, the S&M motif, nor the sex play. In other words, it sucks.  I lean back on the couch and close my eyes.  The characters are dancing behind my eyelids, taunting me to find the guilty one.  Everything is a mess and a jumble.  There are so many possibilities, it’s depressing.  For such a beautiful, charming woman, Moira certainly squandered her birthright.  With her talent and her personal life, she should have been the happiest woman on earth.  Instead, she cut a swath through the female population of the Bay Area, leaving carnage and destruction wherever she went.  There’s something infinitely sad about someone who’s greatest success in life is messing up other people’s lives.  She would be proud of her accomplishments, of course, but it would be a hollow victory.  None of her affairs satisfied her.  None of her shenanigans masked the fact that she was empty inside.  Sex can be an addiction like anything else—I think she was addicted to the drama of star-crossed lovers and obsessive stalkers.

Once again, I find myself wondering what kind of childhood she must have had to turn out the way she did.  She was a sociopath—or a psychopath, I always get those mixed up—with little remorse or regret.  A part of me envies that about her.  She moved decisively once she made a decision—so unlike me.  I tend to stew and worry when I have to make a decision and the anxiety doesn’t let up once the decision is made.  That’s actually when the fun begins because I get to second-guess myself until I am no longer sure what I should have done.  So to me, the appeal of someone like Moira is enormous.  The other part of me, however, wouldn’t want to lose my humanity to gain confidence, and I feel that Moira had made that trade-off.

“Hi, honey!  I’m home!”  There is a slam of the door, and Paris bounces into the living room.  He has that disgusting smirk of someone who has just gotten laid.  Fortunately, I have the matching look on my own face.  We eye each other silently for a second before we both simultaneously burst out talking.  After we tell each other to go first and several false starts, I tell him about my evening with Vashti.  I glide over a few of the details, but remain true to the spirit of the events.  His face loses some of its animation as I talk.  There is no love lost between the two, and I sometimes feel as if I’m in the middle of a very personal cold war.  Since I want to be fair, I tell him the rest.

“She’s hiding something from me,” I say bluntly.  “I have a feeling it has something to do with the killer, but I’m not exactly sure what.”

“Let me get this straight,” Paris says carefully, spacing his words evenly.  “You just spent the evening with someone who knows who the killer is, but won’t tell you?  What are you, crazy?”

“I guess so,” I say, narrowing my eyes.  “But then again, I never dated a woman who systematically stole my money, or someone who threatened to kill herself after I left her.  You certainly can’t say the same.”

“That’s not the point,” Paris huffs.  “You could be killed if you’re not careful.  I think as long as Vashti doesn’t come clean, you shouldn’t talk to her.”  He sits on the couch and folds his arms.  I can tell he’s angry, but I think he’s out of line.

“Paris, whatever you have against Vashti is between you and her.  I’m not getting in the middle of that one.  That said, Vashti is my girl.  That means treat her with some respect.  If you do that, I’m sure she’ll do the same for you.”  Paris’s face is closed as if he’s never heard such a thing.  I rush on, uncomfortable with the friction between us.  “It’s not that I think she’s lying to me; she’s just not telling all she knows.  But she said she will in a day or two.”  Paris is still not receptive.  “Let’s talk about something else.  Tell me more about Lyle.  I like him.”

“I know you think I’m being unreasonable.”  Paris finally sits down next to me on the couch.  “I just worry about you, Rayne.  We’re not talking about hiding a past lover or other trivial information.  She knows something about a killer, and she’s not telling you.  She’s putting you in danger.  Doesn’t that worry you in the least?”  I bite down a defensive retort and really think about his question.

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Don’t Rayne On My Parade; chapter eleven, part three

“Hello?”  Vashti’s voice is soothing to my ears.

“Vashti?  This is Rayne.  How would you like to go the Wild West with me tonight?”  She agrees and says she’ll be over in a half hour.  It gives me enough time to change.  I wriggle into a slim black skirt that reaches my ankles.  I pull on a low-cut, snug-fitting bright red shirt with long sleeves.  I brush my hair until it shines and give myself a little wink.  I wish I could do something about the cut on my neck, but I’m not sweating it.  I’m wearing my best set of underwear—all lace and very little fabric.  I don’t know if I’ll be spending the night at Vashti’s, but I want to be prepared.  I slip in a pair of black twisty earrings, black nylons, and black heels.  I look in the mirror with satisfaction.  I clean up good when I want to.  I grab my little black purse and hurry to the living room to wait for Vashti.  She is precisely on time which makes me question her heritage.  She is definitely not running on CP time.

“You look beautiful,” Vashti compliments me as I slide into her car.

“So do you.”  She is wearing black jeans and a white t-shirt with a black leather jacket.  Her hair is cut short and slicked back.  “You cut your hair!”  I reach over to touch it, then pull back.  “It looks good.”

“I thought it was time for a change,” Vashti shrugs.  “It was getting too heavy.”    She roars off into the night.  We chitchat as she drives, not wanting to get too serious just yet.  I tell her about the email I sent to Libby, and she heartily approves.  She tells me that she hates doing administrative work and wants to get back to her kids, but her supervisor won’t budge until the murders are solved.  I repeat that she should retain a lawyer, but I don’t push it.  It’s her life, and I don’t know what the answer is.  I just know what I would do if I were in her shoes.  I tell her about Paris breaking up with his newest paramour.  She tells me about Dylan’s newest girlfriend.  We reach the Wild Side West in record time.

At first glance, it doesn’t appear that Billie is there.  She is not working.  There’s some cheerful BBW handling the bartending duties.  I look over to the pool table, but no Billie.  I wonder if it’s worth waiting then decide we might as well drink while we’re there.  We snag a table near the pool table, and Vashti gets the drinks.  Rum and coke for me, Rolling Rock for her.  She is definitely in butch mode tonight as she doesn’t even ask me what I want to drink.  I don’t mind once in awhile as long as she doesn’t make a habit of it.  We sit and drink in silence as we watch the pool game going on.  A cute blond is hustling a dour-looking brunette.  Every time the brunette makes like she’s going to walk away, the blond kisses her on the cheek until she repents.

I want to talk to Vashti about Paris’s adoption, but I know it’s not my place.  Besides the fact that they don’t like each other, it’s really Paris’s decision who should know and who shouldn’t.  I don’t want to talk about the murders, not tonight, but I also want to solve them.  I wish this was just a date and that the biggest thing on my mind was wondering if I’d be getting laid by the end of the night.  Instead, here I am waiting for surly butch dyke who is bitter towards the world and delusional about Moira Kelley.  However, said dyke might also have more information that she’s willing to share if I find the right way to ask her.  I have a hunch wearing a tight shirt and leaning over a lot will help my cause.  She already respects my pool-playing abilities.  Now, if she would just show up.  I can take care of business, then go home with Vashti.  Or not.

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Don’t Rayne On My Parade; chapter five, part three

“It sucks,” Billie says hoarsely, slurping at her beer.  “She was my girlfriend, you know.”

“Really?  I thought she was found by her girlfriend,” I say innocently.  “Was that you?”  I line up for a long table shot and neatly sink the one.  The two is on the far rail with the seven in between.  I don’t think I can make it.

“That bitch wasn’t her girlfriend; I was.”  Billie folds her massive arms across her chest and glares at me.  “We just had to keep it quiet.  Moira didn’t want to tell anyone because she said it would cheapen what we had.”  Good God!  This woman who looks like a common thug has the heart of a bad romantic.  I try to imagine this goon in bed with Moira, and I have difficulty trying to repress a reflexive shudder.  Although, Billie would have the muscles to tie Moira down.  “I haven’t been able to stop crying since I found out.  I saw her just the night before, and she told me she was going to leave her gi—the bitch for me.  She was so happy when I saw her.  Then this.  I bet that bitch did it.  If I find out she did, I’m going to fucking kill her.”  Billie finishes her beer and glowers at me as I safety the next shot.  Billie marches to the table and without aiming, shoots.  She’s nowhere near the two so I have ball in hand.

“I read that the police have other suspects.  I wonder who?”  I haven’t read any such thing, but I’m counting on Billie’s grief to cloud her judgment.

“That fucking professor who had a crush on her and wouldn’t take no for an answer.”  Billie snorts, pulling a pack of cigarettes from her back pocket.  Catching the look of the bartender, she puts it away.  There is no smoking in bars in California any more, a fucking travesty if I’ve ever heard one.  Drinking and smoking go together like sex and, well, anything.

“What professor?”  My heart pounds slightly, not wanting her to realize that I am questioning her.  Fortunately, she’s too absorbed in her sorrow to wonder why I’m asking her so many questions.  Besides, she’s eager to talk about Moira and probably doesn’t have many close friends with whom to share her sad story.

“The one who acts like he’s from fucking Britain.  Something Banks.  God, I hated him!  The old fart didn’t know what to do after his wife left him.  Thought Moira was the answer to his dreams.  When she told him she wasn’t interested, he tried to rape her.  What a prick, and him acting so goddamn proper all the time.”  Her nostrils flare in disgust.  Her ill-temper is not helped by the fact that I am now up to the five and have a gimme shot.  I ponder her words for a minute.  She must be talking about Emil.

“Emil Banks?”  I throw the name at her, and she doesn’t even blink.

“That’s the asshole.  I should have sliced off his dick when I had the chance.”  It is clear that Billie is one of those dykes who hate men although it seems to me that she’s not too fond of women, either.  She a pure misanthrope, that’s what she is.  I have no idea what Moira saw in her, unless it was the stalker adoration this woman is emanating.  “Then there are her students.  Take, take, take.  They took, whatever they could from her, but never gave nothing in return.  They all got stupid little crushes on her, then turned hateful when she wouldn’t go out with them.  Maybe one of them did it.”

“Where were you that night?”  I hold my breath, ready for her to explode.  To my relief, she merely shrugged.

“I was here.  Playing pool.  You can ask anyone.”  She presses her lips together and begins fiddling with her cue.  It’s clear that this well of information is about to run dry, so I slip in one more question.

“How did you meet her?”

“Right here.  She came in with the bitch one night over a year ago.  The bitch had a headache and left early, but Moira stayed.  She help me close the bar that night.”  A smile breaks across Billie’s pudgy cheeks, transforming her from scary to almost beautiful.  She hesitates, then pulls out a thin gold chain from under her t-shirt.  “Moira gave me this.  Said it signified our true love.”  It’s a simple gold chain with a tiny heart pendant on it.  It’s completely out of character for Billie, which makes it that much more pathetic.

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