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“Thank you.” Mac said the next morning smiling across the kitchen table at Loren. Loren didn’t even have to ask why he was thanking him – he knew why and simply smiled back. “Are you ready for this morning?”
Loren gave Mac a confused look wondering what he meant until if dawned on him that he was talking about the impending visitors. “I guess so. Are you sure that’s it one of them?”
Mac nodded his head that he did. “If you were to die would anyone benefit from your death?”
For many years Loren would have never considered facing his eventual mortality but when his parents died unexpectedly in a car accident a few years earlier he saw for the first time in his life that he did indeed need to protect him and his loved ones in the event anything ever happened to him. When his parents died, as their only child, he inherited everything propelling him from a comfortable life to that of the men surrounding him – the extremely wealthy. He found an attorney that had no connection to the people that always held their hand out to him and began the arduous task of figuring out what to do with the millions of dollars he held in investments, real estate holdings and liquid cash.
“I set up a trust for Shelby and left him the apartment it was enough to give him a comfortable life but not so much that he could boast he was rich. I had planned on calling my attorney today to change my will. There are some endowments to the various arts and the rest I left to my Uncle, if I preceded him in death. If he preceded me the estate was to be liquidated and the proceeds were to be donated to several charitable organizations.” The talk of death depressed Loren but mainly grounded him, forcing him to face the reality that someone wanted him dead.
“Shall I tell you what my investigations have uncovered so far?” Mac asked. He could see how all this was impacting him, but he also needed to know that in his opinion one of the three men that were going to walk into his apartment in the next two hours was a killer.
“I’ll start with Shelby only because he’s the most obvious. Of course he has the spotlight on him. His alibi of his whereabouts the night of the murder is stock full of holes, but then Standish came forward and told me that he had been with Shelby that evening but had left him giving Shelby ample opportunity to commit the crime. Shelby knew he had a lot to lose. If you ended the relationship his bank would be gone both in your life and in your death…”
“But he didn’t know about the will.” Loren said interrupting.
“Somehow he did know. Simpson found out that he contacted your attorney Saturday morning and made an appointment to meet with him later today.”
Loren paled at Mac’s revelation. “I know this is a tough pill, but we need to look at all three men. Next there is Sam. Your uncle is a very generous and kind man. He is quite the philanthropist…but to that point, he’s begun to have to tighten his belt. The money his late wife left him is more than three quarters gone and if he doesn’t cut back on his substantial spending he will be broke within the next couple of years. Since you gave him the name of your attorney in case anything befell you, he is quite aware he stands to inherit some, if not all, of your estate.” Mac let his words sink in before he went on to Waldo. “As far as Waldo I don’t believe that he has a monetary interest in wanting you dead, I think that he is just so in love with you and feels that if he can’t have you, then no one should be able to. His proximity to your apartment and the fact that his alibi is about a six on the scale of ten gives me reason to want to keep him on my list.”
“I can’t believe that Waldo, with all of his civility would reduce himself to being a murderer. He abhors violence in any form. Well…I say that but he did enjoy the occasional foray into bondage and discipline. But when he saw the dungeon I built he actually thought I had gone too far.” Mac nodded his head not commenting that those are the type of people that get away with committing the perfect murder.
“In the end…who do you think it is?” Loren asked.
“I want to believe that is Shelby. He’s so sleazy it would give me ultimate pleasure to put the dirtbag away for the rest of his life. He’d make a perfect prison bitch.” Mac said smiling.
“I hope so to, I would never want to think that my uncle or Waldo is capable of doing something like this.” He was silent for a long time before standing and announcing he was going to get ready. “Thank you Detective, I appreciate everything you’ve done.”
“Loren, after the meeting this morning I think it’s best that we get you away from here for a few days, just until we can figure out who did this.” Loren stopped and looked at Mac. There was that part of him that wanted to say something catty and sexually seductive but he knew that Mac was working very hard to keep him as safe as possible. He nodded his agreement. “You can’t let anyone know that you are going away. Just act like escort beşevler its business as usual.” Again he nodded that he understood. “This will be over soon enough.”
“Yesterday I would have looked forward to that, but right now the thought of the case being over and you possibly leaving…well its rather disheartening.”
“Regardless of the case or not you can always count on me if you ever need anything. I made that promise to Jessie and I’m making it to you also.”
“Thank you.” Loren whispered. He started to leave but turned back to Mac and said, “You can count on me also, a promise I intend to keep to you.” He walked over to Mac, gave him a quick hug, and left the room.
Waldo arrived first. He didn’t even bother to knock, just entered the apartment like he owned the place. Mac and Simpson were sitting in the living room when he entered with Loren quietly ensconced in the bedroom.
“Good morning detectives.” Waldo said removing his hat and placing it on the hallway table. “I’m hoping you’ve invited us over to make your arrest and put that detestable Shelby Cantrell in jail once and for all.” He said as a preamble to the conversation. Mac and Simpson remained silent. “By the way detective I mentioned to you the other day that several of the art items in the apartment belong to me. I would very much like to make arrangements to have them returned.”
Mac raised his eyebrows. Why was Waldo so concerned about a few lousy items of artwork? The man lived in a museum and as far as he could tell there wasn’t anything in this apartment that had more value than what Waldo had in his place.
“Mr. Liebacker, it’s my understanding that Loren’s uncle will be the executor his estate. You will have to file a claim through him to get whatever belongs to you.”
“Yes, yes, yes…it’s just that pieces like that sculpture,” he pointed to one of the pieces adorning the fireplace, “the fireplace screen and…um…oh yes the Grandfather clock – they are sentimental items to me. I lent them to Loren out of my love for him. I want them back to always remember him by.”
“I understand that Mr. Liebacker. Mr. Sedwick will be here shortly, you can talk to him.”
As if on cue the door bell rang. Simpson answered the door and ushered Sam and Shelby into the apartment. Liebacker showed his disdain for Shelby by turning his back on him and refusing to acknowledge his presence in the room.
“Gentlemen I’ve invited you here to give you an update on the case.” Mac began after they had settled down. “As you probably are all aware yesterday Mr. Bill Wallace committed suicide after leaving a note that he was the one the murdered Mr. Blunt. As far as the police are concerned the case was closed. But last night there was another twist to the case…”
“Twist Detective?” Liebacker asked.
“Yes…throughout the case we have been looking for another person of interest, a Mr. Dan Redvern. I think you know Mr. Redvern intimately Mr. Cantrell…”
“There is no reason to be crass Detective.” Shelby commented in his long southern drawl moving away from the other men in the room.
“Yes…but you knew that we’d never find Mr. Redvern, didn’t you?”
“I don’t know what you are talking about Detective.” Shelby said trying to be convincing but everyone in the room knew he was lying.
Mac waived his hand as if it wasn’t an important issue.
“Can you tell us what you did Friday afternoon Mr. Cantrell?”
“I’ve already told you. Loren left the office around one. I stayed behind because I had a creative meeting later that afternoon. I left the office around six, had supper and went out for drinks.”
“And the meeting you had was that with Mr. Wallace?”
“Why yes…as a matter of fact it was.”
“Who conveniently isn’t alive to back up your story.” Mac smiled. “May I suggest an alternative afternoon to you Mr. Cantrell? Perhaps you left the office after you received a phone call from Mr. Redvern around three that afternoon. He was here at Mr. Blunt’s apartment enjoying a long bath and perhaps he invited you to join him. Perhaps you were even excited at the prospect of doing something so dastardly as having your little plaything in Mr. Blunt’s apartment because lately all you’ve had for Mr. Blunt has been disdain. Mr. Redvern was most likely lying in the bed you shared with Mr. Blunt, naked waiting for you.”
Shelby moved towards the window almost looking to see if he could make a clean escape if he needed to.
“I think you joined Mr. Redvern in the Mr. Blunt’s bed and were enjoying an afternoon delight when you heard a noise. The two of you were quite surprised when Mr. Wallace walked into the bedroom. He had stopped by to pick up artwork Mr. Blunt had left outside the door but heard noises in the apartment and found the door unlocked. Being the ‘gentleman’ that you claim to be you invited Mr. Wallace to join you and the three of you spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying yourselves in escort balgat Mr. Blunt’s bed.”
Simpson was shaking his head in disgust at the audacity of these men’s lifestyles. “Mr. Wallace was very dominant and liked to deliver pain, both you and Mr. Redvern loved pain, so I suspect that the three of you spent the afternoon enjoying yourselves. The coroner said the body had been…for lack of a better word we’ll say…manhandled, and I noticed Saturday morning you had a small cut on your lip. You had a date at six that evening so you most likely left early, knowing that you couldn’t be late for the date, it was somewhat an interview for a new lover – which you failed miserably. I think when you left Mr. Redvern and Mr. Wallace still in bed having a good time. You rushed to your date’s place and after finding that you had sex with someone else he refused to have sex with you.
“No Detective…none of what you are saying is true.” Shelby said like the caged animal he was.
“Right now you don’t have any witnesses to collaborate your story. Both Mr. Redvern and Mr. Wallace are dead and the man you met with would never stand up for you because of who he is and what it could do to him.”
“Mr. Redvern is dead?” Waldo asked astonished by this new twist.
“Yes…but you knew that didn’t you Mr. Cantrell?”
“I suspected it…” Shelby said slowly pronouncing each word deliberately.
“It would have been very convenient for you to have Redvern dead – he was the reason that your relationship with Mr. Blunt was suffering. Plus I suspect that at some point during the afternoon Mr. Redvern told you he couldn’t see you anymore, that Loren had threatened his job. You probably figured that it would also benefit you that Mr. Wallace be dead too. You didn’t need him telling Loren your dirty little secrets like you were sleeping with him too…and you also knew that he wanted you gone from the agency. By having him dead Loren would be the boss and you had a certain amount of job security…”
“How could you stoop so low Shelby?” All heads turned to the voice coming from the other side of the room. Loren stood looking at the three men that were stunned into silence. Sam went down fainting from Loren’s rise from the dead. Waldo grabbed his heart and fell to his knees begging for someone to get his pills. Shelby just stood with a relieved expression on his face that Loren was in fact still alive.
Simpson rushed to Sam slapping his face gently to try and revive him. Loren went to Waldo and pulled his pills from his pocket and slipped one into his mouth. Mac walked over to the bar, even though it was just ten in the morning and poured scotch for everyone feeling a drink was most definitely called for.
“What now Detective?” Waldo asked fully composed and back in control. A half hour had passed since Loren’s miraculous revival. “Please tell me you are going to march Mr. Cantrell directly to jail and throw the key away.”
Mac looked over to Shelby who was sitting quieting in the corner. He hadn’t spoken a word since Loren reappeared. “Detective Simpson is going to escort Mr. Cantrell down to the station to get a sworn statement from him. After that we will take it to the district attorney and if he wants to press charges we will. If not Mr. Cantrell will be released with the understanding that he isn’t to leave town.”
After Simpson and Cantrell were gone Waldo turned to Loren and patted his thigh. “Come back to my place, stay there for a while. I won’t sleep until I know that Cantrell is locked up.”
“Thanks Waldo but I’ve made other plans.” Loren said standing and moving away from him. Disappointment spread across Waldo’s face as he sighed and shook his head. He moved to Loren and leaned into him whispering in his ear. “Please don’t tell me it’s this Detective now…he so below you Loren, you deserve better… he’ll make Shelby look like an angel…”
“Stop it Waldo. I won’t listen to your cruel words anymore.”
Waldo simply snickered. “My dear boy I’ll let you have your fling with that…that simpleton…that cop…but when it’s over you’ll come back to me. I know that you will…”
Loren just shook his head and walked away from him. He wanted no part of Waldo Liebacker. Mac watched the two of them carefully both as a police detective and whether he wanted to believe it or not a jealous suitor.
“Gentleman I thank you for coming but at this time Mr. Blunt is due at the police station to render his statement. Again, I apologize for the little subterfuge that played out today, but we needed the element of surprise on our side.”
Sam hugged his nephew and gushed how happy he was that he wasn’t dead and made him promise to come to the house soon. Waldo again pleaded with Loren to come stay with him but Loren just shook his head no. Begrudgingly he left but said that he would call him later.
When they were alone Loren asked if they were still going away. Mac nodded and sadly announced. escort batıkent “As much as I wanted Shelby Cantrell to be the murderer after today I’m not sure he did it.”
“Yes…I agree with you…” Loren said.
Mac – The Trip
I told Simpson I was going to get Loren out of town to a safe place for a couple of days while he worked on a list of things I gave him. For security reasons I didn’t tell him where we were going or when we would return. I told him that as soon as I got to my destination I would keep in regular contact with him. I had loaded Loren’s suitcase in my car before everyone arrived at the apartment so that when we left it did in fact look like we were heading to the police station.
I watched carefully in the rear view mirror and after making several turns I found that we were being tailed and changed directions heading to the station. Loren was oddly silent going along with everything that was happening. Simpson met us in the lobby and I explained to him what was happening.
“Don’t worry we’ll get you out of here without the tail.” Simpson said. Thirty minutes later we left the station and got into my car. I pulled into traffic, liking we were heading back to Loren’s place, knowing full well my tail was still with me. Slowly but surely unmarked police car after unmarked police car pulled up behind us, to the side of us and behind the tailing care.
‘Here we go.” Mac said pressing his foot to the gas pedal. He pulled away from the wall of cars that now surrounded the tail car preventing him from escaping the web they had weaved around him. I cut across side streets and a few minutes later we were on the open road heading north free and clear of any prying eyes.
“Where are we going?” Loren asked.
“You’ll see.” I said knowingly and smiling.
It took mid-afternoon when we arrived. I didn’t know if Loren knew about the lodge or not and as soon as we pulled into the driveway he asked again where we were and I knew that he didn’t know. “I’m bringing you to a safe place that some friends of mine own.” I said smiling.
“Just you and me?” There was so much hope in his voice and I hated to disappoint him.
“No…they are here too, but I know you’ll like them.”
They didn’t know we were coming, but I knew we would be more than welcome. Somehow I knew in this remote area the front door to the lodge wouldn’t be locked and I didn’t bother knocking. I just walked in and looked around. The place was definitely a man’s place with its rustic decor. The faint sound of voices was coming from the kitchen and we made our way there. Loren walked ahead of me and pushed the door open only to see the two stunned men naked except for aprons covering their private parts standing by the stove cooking.
“OH THANK HEAVENS!” Standish yelled dropping the spoon and rushing to Loren pulling him in his arms hugging him tightly. Tears instantly stained both men’s cheeks as they kissed and cried over the happiness of being together again. Shyly Jessie walked toward Loren who grabbed him into his arms pulling him into the hug.
I stepped to the background and let the reunion play out. Never in my life had I felt such overwhelming jealousy over the love these men shared between them. It was all I ever wanted but had never been able to achieve. I knew that I didn’t have to worry about Loren and that he was going to be safe with Standish. My time would be best spent in New York getting this case wrapped up. Silently I slipped out of the kitchen to get Loren’s things out of the car.
“Mac,” Standish called after me before I reached the front door. I turned and looked at him. “Where are you going?” He asked like he was offended that I was leaving.
“I was going to get Loren’s suitcase from the car. I need to get back to New York…”
“Oh no no no no no no…you aren’t going anyplace.” He said walking towards me. “First I’ve got to thank you for bringing Loren back to us…” he said kissing me softly.
Once again I did nothing to pull away from him.
“…and second I finally have you where I’ve wanted you to be,” he pulled me in his arms and held me close to him, “and am not going to let you go without showing you how much I truly appreciate you…”
“Standish…please…” I begged knowing that there was no way I could turn him down. Any resolve I might have had was quickly melting as he pressed his naked body against me.
“No…I want you too much to let you go…and Mac you want me too…it’s that simple…” he was kissing me, enticing me slowly between each word, and I was melting quickly, “…you aren’t a cop right now…you are a man and I am a man that wants you…that has wanted you for a long time…” He took my hand and walked me to his bedroom.
Detective McParson was officially off duty.
His mouth was sealed to mine as he removed my suit jacket. He only broke the kiss off long enough to lay it neatly over the chair. I stood motionless watching his every move. “In the inside pocket of my jacket there is a letter I wrote you a letter.” I said in whispered tones. “I was going to give it to you when I left.”
“What does it say?” He asked taking it from the jacket and holding the envelope in his hand letting his fingers trace over his name.
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