A Peek Behind The Veil
Caution: This Mystery Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Magic, Paranormal, Slow,
Desc: Mystery Sex Story: Chapter 1 - Private Detective Nick Stone takes a moment to reflect on his past and the case that started him down a dark path in search of answers. Join him as he struggles to come to terms with all he's seen, and the things a life peeking behind the veil has forced him to do. (Edited by RedBarron, Tajod & Tenderloin)
Editors and Consultants - Red Barron, Tajod & TeNderLoiN
The 1966 beat up and rusted blue Chevy Chevelle hadn't moved an inch in over a week. It didn't even remotely belong in the neighborhood. It stuck out like a sore thumb among the upper middle class homes that lined the street. Had anyone been living in the homes during this time of the year, the police would have had it towed away. But it was late December in the seaside community of Monmouth, NJ. Residents of the neighborhood had long since flown off to sunnier locales, escaping the stinging winds blowing off the pitiless ocean.
The city wasn't empty, though the population dropped severely during the holidays. To add to the seasonal depopulation, the normally bustling University nearby had sent its students away for Christmas break. By now those young adults were receiving the results of all their hard work in the mail, or finding out the hard way that partying without studying was a sure way to lose a scholarship.
Those few residents who remained behind often simply could not afford to travel as some of the more affluent had done on the heels of the first flurry. They were the gardeners, the maids, the small shop owners, and others who actually kept the city running. But then, they didn't live in this section of town. Moreover, while their employers were off enjoying the sun and sands of Florida, they had little or no reason to come here. So, the offending blue automobile sat unmolested and undisturbed as the bitter winds of the gray ocean roared on by.
If anyone had driven down the street and peered into the old muscle car, they would have noticed that it wasn't empty. Behind the wheel sat the car's owner, his appearance matching that of his ride; worn out and tired.
Nicolas Stone looked much older than his forty-nine years of life should have made him. His face, covered by a month's growth of facial hair, was stern and emotionless as he stared vacantly out through the grimy windshield at the house numbered 527. His steely gray eyes matched that of the sea and the sky, the latter about to let fall the first of many white flakes of snow.
His dark hair, still thick and full despite a genetic predisposition for male pattern baldness, was wild and unkempt. The clothing wrapped around him kept him warm, but wouldn't be getting him onto the pages of GQ magazine anytime soon ... not that he cared. His current outfit made him look like a cross between an Eskimo and a burned out Hell's Angel, bereft of his chopper. Fur and leather, denim and down, it did what it was supposed to do, keeping him safe and warm.
Despite the odd choice of fashion, he was still able to move freely when he chose. An old friend had put together this particularly unappealing tangle of fabrics with great skill. The seams would not tear, the fabric could not be pierced, and the garment offered a special secret protection that no other New York designers could have incorporated into their fashion lines. A defense against the darker powers of the world had been sewn by expert hands into the patchwork lining. But then, that degree of protection did nothing to alleviate the smell, a blend of days old dried sweat and not a little fear. The fear was born of apprehension; it was a good fear, if fear can ever be called good. It was often his edge, the only one he had. That fear meant the razor thin difference between life, if that's what one would call this current existence of his, and death.
The passenger seat was piled high with the remains of the meager meals he had brought with him. That supply of food was running low, too low for Nick's comfort, if he had even thought about comfort. The case of water that had once been under a stack piled high in the backseat was now reduced to just three somewhat frozen bottles. Something had better happen soon or he would have to leave and re-supply his stock.
That was something Nick hoped he wouldn't need to do. He hadn't left the car since he set out from his office in New York days ago. He hadn't left it even to relieve himself, choosing instead to fill empty water bottles with his liquids and old food containers with his solid waste. In the beginning those items had remained inside the car with him, but after two days of an increasingly foul stench he deposited them unceremoniously by the curb next to the car.
He didn't like leaving the disgusting surprise for the residents to discover when they returned, but it was his only alternative. He couldn't leave, not now, not when the once cold trail had finally led him to this very spot.
Hidden from view, deep beneath the layers of clothing, Nick's tattoo's itched terribly. To a layman, Nick's ink-work would have appeared as nothing more than a series of tribal designs and foreign characters. Few would recognize them for what they really were; fewer still would believe that they were of any real use.
Nick, however, had trusted the wild claims of the artist who created them, and in the years following their painful application he grew to trust the magic worked into their spidery designs. The itching only added to the proof behind the artist's bravado, something in this neighborhood wasn't right. The current residents of house number 527 were not whom they claimed to be.
Over the years Nick had accumulated quite a collection of trinkets and talismans. A good portion had been gifts presented to him as a thank you or as payment for his work, others were given by the few friends he still trusted in dark arts underground.
Some worked, but most fell far short of the hype that accompanied them. Nick found out the hard way that if you really needed something to live up to its claims, it would come at a high price. Sometimes that price was too high, requiring things more valuable than cash, or crossing a line that he was as yet unwilling to cross.
Resisting the overpowering urge to claw at his inflamed skin, Nick thrust his gloved hand into his pocket and retrieved a mini tape recorder. It was digital, requiring no actual cassette, but this device and any of its ilk would always be a mini tape recorder in Nick's mind. This was also the most advanced piece of technology that he owned since his computer had been stolen.
He hadn't missed that evil electronic box very much. He and the infamous 'Blue Screen of Death' had been enemies since the day he first booted it up. Still, the internet had its uses; so whenever he needed to look something up, or visit a particular forum, it had to be done from a library or an upscale cafe, two places he didn't really fit in. Looking like a homeless man had its advantages, but not in any of those places.
The tiny chrome recorder glinted dully in the muted daylight grown ominously dim with the approaching nor'easter. He'd been carrying it in his pocket for about a year, still unused. One of his inner circle of friends, a psychic named Lena, had given it to him, and made him promise that he'd record his story so that it wouldn't be lost to the world.
She'd had a vision of dark times ahead for Nick, his future uncertain. She told him he was coming to a crossroad in his life. A decision would have to be made, his eventual outcome, good or bad, determined by the path he chose. That was as detailed as she was willing to give him. Nick joked that all psychics seemed to leave the future conveniently open, just to make sure their clients kept paying. Lena hadn't laughed.
So here he was, sitting alone in his car, wondering if this was the crossroad that she had mentioned so long ago. She had made him promise to record his life's journey for those who wanted to know how it all began. She said he was important, that he was going to do great things, things that would have long lasting effects in the world he found himself investigating. He had the power to change things, to bring some light into the darkness, but only if he chose to do so.
Psychics say a lot of things, though, and he ignored her wishes, even after he found her murdered body lying on the floor of his office. That was nearly four months ago, but the stark image of her corpse, splayed open, organs removed and placed neatly around her head, still caused him to wake up at night in a cold sweat.
He'd been on the run since then, avoiding the accusations of the police, and dodging those who had torn his friend's body into pieces as a warning to him. They were powerful ... they were many ... and the world, the 'go to work everyday to provide for my family' world, had no idea that others were conspiring against them. No, Nick was alone in all of this, really alone ... more so than at any previous time in his increasingly desolate life.
Still, something big was about to happen. He could sense it. Something Nick had been investigating for a long time with few answers. He wasn't sure what he would do if he ever found those answers, but he had to try. Too many good people were dying, dying like Lena had. All to protect a secret that those who walked the dark path wanted kept hidden from prying eyes.
Putting the recorder close to his weather chapped lips he spoke with a voice full of gravel.
"This is for you Lena ... better late than never, I guess..." He took a swig of water from one of the half frozen bottles of water. "My name is Nicolas Stone, and this is my story..."
I guess I should keep this honest ... I wasn't born with the name Nicolas Stone ... I was born Nicolas Stone Eddings. Stone was my mother's maiden name and was included as part of a parental compromise, Nicolas being my grandfather's name on my dad's side.
I grew up in Dover, Delaware, just outside the air base where my father worked. He always wanted to be a pilot, but a birth defect, a heart murmur, kept him from ever leaving the ground. I knew even back then that it killed him inside, not being able to fly like his father had during WWII. But sometimes you just have to play with the cards that are dealt to you. Life can be cruel like that.
Dad was a mechanic; his job was to keep the planes he so desperately wanted to fly, in the air where they belonged. He mostly worked on C-5 Galaxy transports, a big beast of a plane. You'd recognize them if you saw them. Whenever we go to war, and it seems we always are, these are the planes that the local news channels love to show in the background as brave men and women say their private good-byes to friends and family on the tarmac. Later on, they're the same planes that bring the lucky ones back home. You can see close-ups of their families crying tears of joy as the news cameras scramble to catch every heartfelt reunion.
Those behemoths have other duties besides the ferrying of soldiers to and from the battlefront, though the news doesn't normally report them. Each day they carry the brunt of an airbase that handles more freight than FedEx and UPS combined. When the chips are down, they carry much needed supplies and machinery out to which ever country we have a grudge going with, and return forlornly with the flag draped caskets of the fallen warriors, those who would not have the happy reunion with family as everyone hoped.
I could always tell when one of those shipments came in from Vietnam. My dad would come home white as a sheet and remain silent until his head hit his pillow. One time I caught him talking in his sleep after one such silent evening. 'So many... ' he had whispered, tears running down his cheeks, ' ... so many ... all gone.'
That was the first time I ever saw my father cry, and I remember hoping it would be the last. Cancer made sure that it wasn't. My mom was diagnosed with the 'Big C' when I was in the sixth grade. She was gone by the time I was in the seventh. Sometimes, at night, I sit up trying to remember what she was like. I know that I should remember, but for some reason that part of my life is locked away. Perhaps it's my mind's way of keeping me from breaking down during these dark times; Keeping thoughts of my once beautiful and happy mother safe behind a wall so high that the images of her wasting away can't hurt me.
My family struggled on without her. Dad kept the planes in the air and food on the table, and I stepped up to help raise my little sister Karen. She was only a few years younger than I was, but mom's passing really affected her. She withdrew into herself, losing friends because she no longer cared about the same things they did. Karen lost herself in schoolwork, becoming something of a nerd, though back then the term was bookworm. I was doing pretty well, I thought at the time, and right up until the last several years. These days, as I look back over the intervening years since Mom died, I'm not so sure.
It was during high school that I got the name that I still use today. Jeff Collins, that little prick, thought he was going to bully me during my freshman year. Somehow he found out that my middle name was Stone, and I guess he thought it was funny, because for some reason he began to call me Nick Stoned. Is that funny? I didn't think so, but then again, I didn't think much of anything was funny after my mom died.
One day that miserable puke thought it would be hilarious to knock the books I was holding to the floor, while making some crack about my being so stoned that I couldn't even hold them. Now, I'd never been one to resort to violence to solve my problems, but I was never a pussy, either. I hit that kid so hard that his nose gave him breathing problems for years to come. One punch, one perfectly placed and timed punch, turned my joke of a middle name into one that kept the bullies and assholes out of my way until graduation. When Jeff Collins hit the tiled floor, blood pouring from his face and an agonizing cry escaping his lungs, I became the man I am today. Funny thing is, since I'm the only one who gets to laugh, I still don't know where that punch came from. I think I may have been more surprised than Jeff.
Tyrell Bennice, the biggest black kid in my school, star quarterback and the most popular senior in my town and the next, witnessed my right hook.
'Damn, kid!' he said while putting his arm around my shoulders, 'They oughta call you Nicky Stones, 'cause you sure as shit got a pair!' This got a laugh from everyone but Jeff, who was still moaning and dripping blood everywhere, and from that day on I was Nicky Stones. Definitely an upgrade as far as nicknames go and well worth the shit I got from my dad when he heard that I was expelled for fighting. Oh, he was pissed, all right, but I could tell that he was also proud of me for standing up for myself.
The rest of high school went by uneventfully, nothing out of the norm. After graduation my dad had always assumed I'd join the Air Force like he and his father had done. I think I broke his heart when I didn't. Instead, I went and studied criminal justice at a community college, then went to the Dover police academy. For years I felt like I had let him down by not becoming a pilot. I couldn't tell him that I was afraid to fly. That would have killed him, I think. Instead, I struggled through police training, and on the day of graduation my father told me how proud he was of me. That, I think, was the happiest moment of my entire life.
I worked my way up through the ranks of the Dover police department fairly quickly. My dream was to be a detective by the age of twenty-eight, a tough goal since I chose to start at the bottom and work my way up the ranks, but one I knew I could achieve if I worked hard enough. By then Karen had used her book smarts to get herself a full scholarship at NYU; she wanted to be a journalist. The month before her graduation, we got word that dad had suffered a stroke. The doctors did all they could to make him comfortable, but it was only a matter of time before he would pass away. Karen believed he was trying to hold on until she graduated; he'd wanted to be there for her so badly.
He didn't make it, though. He wasn't there to see his little girl receive her diploma, nor to hear her make her valedictory speech as Summa Cum Laude. Karen had a nervous break down after losing him; she was always daddy's little girl - like she'd had a choice? - and now she wasn't. She withdrew into herself even further than she had when mom died. To me, it was almost as if I had lost her along with Dad.
She didn't come back to Dover, nor did she stay in New York for very long after her graduation. The East Coast apparently had too many ghosts for her to bear. She caught a direct flight to LAX and never looked back. At first she called me nearly every day to tell me how different it was out on the 'left' coast. But in time the calls dwindled down to once a month, if I was lucky.
Maybe, if I hadn't been so distracted with my own life, I would have noticed the change in Karen. But, as I said, I had my own problems to deal with back then. I don't like to talk about it ... but I was married ... briefly. I met her during a city fund-raiser, a softball game between the police and fire departments. I've never been much of a sports guy; too much testosterone and stupid bullshit. So I volunteered to take donations from the crowd. One girl caught my eye right away, and we spent the rest of the afternoon together. We seemed to click and began dating off and on for about a year.
She was a cute little thing, blonde hair and big tits, but little else as far as intelligence goes. She truly was a fun girl to hang out with. We often talked nonstop for hours at a time, drank with the other officers at the unofficial cop bar, and fucked like there was no tomorrow. At that point in my life I thought that meant we were in love. Boy was I ever wrong!
We were wed a week after I got my first promotion. No more footwork for me, I got a car of my own for patrolling. I thought things were going well, but I guess she had another view. They say that life with a cop can be hard. I don't think she even tried, though. Nine months into our marriage I caught her having an affair with some guy she had met at the bar.
The bitch had filed for divorce a week before, it turned out. I was served the papers the next day. I should have killed her and the fuckhead that was banging her, but I didn't, I just walked away. I didn't have the energy left in me to do much of anything. Catching her drained me of all feelings for a long time. I was so numb that I didn't even put up a fight in court. She got everything that she wanted out of me: the house, the car, even my dog. Fuck that mutt ... he always liked her more anyway.
I stopped trusting people because of her. That might be the worst thing of all, not being able to trust. It made me bitter; gave me a 'fuck everyone' mentality that still persists even to this day. Men might use their fists to fuck someone up, but bruises and broken bones heal. The hurt a woman can inflict is far more damaging. Those emotional scars never seem to heal.
Eventually I did make detective ... but not until I was thirty. Those were heady times. The eighties brought the so-called war on drugs, and I was in a forward position on the front lines. My hard work led to several successful busts, one of which stopped a shipment of nearly a million dollars worth of heroin from hitting the streets. I made quite the name for myself in the local community, meaning that I was something of a hero even.
But, as good as everyone thought I was, I couldn't see what was happening right under my nose. The phone calls from Karen started coming more erratically. Then she began asking if I could loan her some cash, just until she got back on her feet. Being the good brother that I am, I wired her the cash without another word about when it would be paid back. After that, it was as if a dam had broken.
Every call was another request for cash. She gave one excuse after another: rent was due, car broke down, can't pay the electric bill, no cash until payday, lost her job, the water heater broke and flooded her apartment, she needed to see a dentist but didn't have insurance. One after another those warning bells came, in the form of increasingly bizarre phone calls. Yet the great detective didn't put two and two together until those phone calls suddenly stopped.
I made a few phone calls to the LAPD, but they were in no mood to help some guy on the east coast find his lost sister. I tried a few PI's as well, but got similar results. No one had seen hide nor hair of Karen for months.
At that point I finally knew what I had to do. I took a leave of absence from the force and headed out to LA to find her myself. I even flew out there, too scared about Karen to worry about the plane dropping out of the sky.
Los Angeles has all the charm of a head cold. When people say that everyone in LA is fake they only get it part right, everything is fake, bar none. The place is supposed to be a desert, so they pump in water and plant trees that don't belong. Even the buildings seem out of place somehow, a mismatch of style with location.
It's a city without a long enough history to give it a personality, since it was only in the '30's that it got a stable enough water supply to mushroom. So, its residents have invented their own for it. I can't really say for sure whether its layout was over or under-planned. I just know that the whole magilla feels out of place, and that feeling is eerily conveyed to all who live and breathe the choking air. Sorry, but I'd take the cold, gray concrete and steel of New York over that place any day.
Finding Karen wasn't as difficult as I was led to believe. Once I tracked down her apartment, the pieces all seemed to fall into place. Her place was a hodge-podge of garbage and dirty needles, but hadn't been lived in for some time. However, I did find some phone numbers to call. Her junky friends were quick to give up a tidbit of info in exchange for enough dough to buy a fix.
Shortly thereafter I found her turning tricks outside of a motel, her arms clearly displaying the pain she had inflicted upon herself. I barely recognized her anymore, the drugs had stripped away everything that resembled the bookworm sister I had once known and loved.
I watched dumbfounded as she stumbled down the street in high-heeled shoes. I couldn't think of how to approach her. At one point she passed under a streetlight, and I could see her face plainly. I shivered. She was so much as Mom looked, just before Mom left us. Her eyes were dark and sunk into her skull, giving her the appearance of the walking dead. Her hair had degenerated into a greasy tangled mess. Her skin stretched across her bones far too tightly.
When I finally pulled the rental car up beside her I was crying. She stumbled over to the window, and she didn't even know who I was. She propositioned me with a blowjob for $20. God, I felt sick. The bile rose up into my throat, but I held it in check. I told her to get in the car and she did so without another question.
We were halfway to LAX before recognition of who I was finally struck her. I had to pull over and hold her as she cried. She was aware enough to be ashamed of what she had become, of what she had been doing. I told her that I was going to help her. I told her that I was taking her back to Dover so that she could get her life back together. She didn't complain or try to stop me, life as an addict had drained the fight from her. She slept the whole flight back, slept while I held her tight.
Things were good for a few months when I got back home. Karen seemed to be doing much better. The combination of rehab and counseling had brought back some semblance of the sister that I once knew. That didn't last long, though.
Things started to turn up missing from my home. Small things at first: a few albums, some cash, maybe a carton of cigarettes. Most of it went unnoticed by me, but when my checks started to bounce, I knew instantly she had fallen back into her old habits. Confrontations escalated, her lies persisted. She was heavily in denial. Then, one day she crossed a line.
My grandfather had fought in WWII, had been a fighter pilot who flew escort missions over Europe for our bombers. He was shot down over France, but had managed to bail out at the last minute. He always carried an old and tarnished silver flask with him, said it was for luck. Turns out that flask had stopped a bullet from reaching his heart when his plane was shot down. He passed that flask down to my father when he joined the Air Force. My father passed it on to me when I graduated from the police academy. My sister hocked it for measly twenty bucks.
For two years I had taken care of her. Fed her. Kept a roof over her head. Paid for her methadone. Kept her from being put behind bars. She could have sold my TV, my car, my stereo, but she chose to sell that flask. She knew what it meant to me, and still she did it. Something inside me tore. Karen was lost to me. There was nothing that I, or anyone else, could have done to protect her from herself. You can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped.
I kicked her out, telling her not to come back, but of course, she did. Her stock line was always saying that she was sorry, and that she really wanted to get help. At first, though my heart was no longer in it, I took her back. But then, more things would just turn up missing, so she'd be out again. Another year of broken promises and lies passed before I finally had had enough. The woman I had been helping was definitely no longer my sister. She was nothing more than a shell. She was heroin's slave, nothing more.
I couldn't watch while another member of my family wasted away, so I ran. I ran away from everyone and everything that I had tried so hard to keep. I sold my home, my belongings, and left the police force.
You see ... I had a dream ... a silly dream begun when I was just a little kid. I grew up reading about Sherlock Holmes, Dick Tracy, and watched all of those black and white film noir movies about private detectives ... and I thought ... that's really what I want to do with my life ... I want to be just like them. Real life had kept me in Dover catching drug dealers and thugs, but my fantasy had a much grander plan. Or, so it seemed at the time. I had to leave everything and everyone behind. I had to start off brand new, with a clean slate for writing my new story.
My childhood dream took me to New York City, and that's where Nick Stone, Private Eye, was born.
Has a nice ring to it, don't you think?