Even with the air conditioner running full blast, the late July heat seemed to filter through the walls. Every time one of the children opened or closed the door to the rear yard, Gail felt the heat hit her back. Maybe she shouldn't have started this project today. The chemical sizing used in the fabric during the weaving process was beginning to sting her eyes. However, Mrs. Wagner wanted the denim skirt to wear to the big dance on Saturday night and was willing to pay for the rush job. Gail could certainly use the extra money. The electric bill would be a killer this month and next month's bill would be even higher.
One of the children stood beside the sewing machine tapping her on the shoulder, "Miss Gail, Miss Gail, Bobby fell down. His knee is bleeding."
Turning off the machine, Gail stood to tend to yet another minor emergency. "Okay, I'm coming. Let's go see about Bobby's knee."
"Miss Gail, why is blood red?"
Gail chuckled at the child's simple question. "I guess so we can see it easily and fix the place it's coming out of."
After the ritual of comforting a crying four-year-old, Gail washed, applied a spray-on antibiotic, and rewarded Bobby's injury with a blue adhesive bandage. She sent all five children back to the rear yard for a few more minutes so they could forget the injury. Their energetic play would tire them and she might get all of them to take a good afternoon nap.
As she closed the door, she noticed a long, silver Crown Victoria stop at the neighbor's house. She had finished sewing the back seam of the denim skirt when the front doorbell rang. It was so much a part of her concern for the children's safety that she automatically turned off the sewing machine when she left it that she did it without thinking and went to the front door.
Children seem to have some kind of internal radar. As she opened the front door, five pairs of children's eyes stood behind Gail and heard the man on her front porch ask, "Gail Grove?"
Through the locked screen door, Gail spoke to the stranger, "Yes sir. I'm Gail Grove."
"Miss Grove, I'm Carlton Conyers. I have a few questions to ask you. May I come inside?"
"No sir. Can you tell me why you need to question me?"
"I'm a detective and..."
"Private or police?"
"Alright," the man nodded as he reached into his rear pocket and pulled out a leather wallet, opened it and held it up for her to see the badge and the identification.
Gail unlocked the screen door and held out her hand, "May I," indicating she wanted to hold the wallet.
As she examined his credentials, he examined her, from the top of her head covered with a cap of curly short brown hair, all the way down her slightly square face with somewhat sunken cheeks, dark brown eyes, and a narrow nose. He continued looking down the long slender neck, and broad shoulders, across the moderate-sized bust and the flat plane of her stomach. Neatly hemmed denim shorts covered her well rounded hips and half of the thighs of her long slender legs. She was wearing short socks and comfortable looking, well-worn walking shoes. His experience permitted him to guess her age was probably in her early twenties. She was about 5'8" and weighed about 115 to 125. This young woman was pretty in a plain way, not really beautiful and she had a serious look in her eyes, which indicated intelligence and a quick mind.
"You certainly are careful."
"I have to be." Gail answered looking down at the children collected around her. She opened the door wider for the man to walk into her house. Amid the questions the children were asking the detective, she smiled as she half-way listened to her little people discuss if he was with NYPD, did he have a gun, and why didn't he have lights on top of his car.
"Is this just one or two questions or longer?" Gail asked over the next child's voice questioning about why the policeman wasn't wearing a uniform.
"I'd like at least an hour of your time," the detective responded. He looked around the small living room as Gail watched and raised his eyebrows at all the children crowded around them.
Gail lifted her chin, "I'm legal," she nodded toward her framed license for a child care facility she kept on the wall beside the front door. She might have raised her hand to point toward the frame, but children clasped both hands firmly, tugging to get her attention. He turned his head and nodded.
Above the chattering of the children, Gail spoke to the man as he followed her through the house. "It won't get any quieter. You can come back in about an hour or you can wait. It will take less time, if you help."
He raised his voice above an argument over a red or a blue plastic plate Gail was handing out. "Help?"
"It's lunch time, Detective." Gail smiled and laughed lightly. "When they're chewing, they don't talk as much."
Getting all five children sitting down with their color coordinated plates, cups, and forks, and then dishing out small chunks of fruit, cheese, and meat sticks took more time than Carlton could have imagined. Before he realized it, his suit jacket was off and he was showing five pairs of wide eyes a gun hanging from his shoulder holster and talking about gun safety. A few minutes later, he was reviewing a few often repeated phrases from a children's stranger danger video he remembered giving to his sister.
As she worked at getting all the children fed, Gail occasionally glanced at Detective Carlton Conyers to examine him, much as he had done to her when he walked in the front door. He looked taller than the six foot two inch height shown on his identification. Perhaps it was because he seemed to fill so much of the small kitchen with his broad shoulders and muscular build. Yet, he moved with the ease of a man younger than his physical age, which she knew from his identification, was forty-three. His closely cut dark hair was beginning to show a small amount of executive gray at the temples. His dark brown eyes were quick and observant of everything happening around him.
After seeing him bend over to add more fruit to one of the children's plates, Gail turned back to filling a small cup with juice. She was smiling thinking about how his suit pants fit across his tight butt.
Then restroom breaks, washing hands, ten small feet were going down the hall to the middle bedroom. Another fifteen minutes of a short story and the children grew quiet and were soon falling asleep.
When she was back in the kitchen, Carlton had the table cleared and the dishes in the sink. Without showing surprise, Gail commented, "I imagine your wife is a very lucky woman. How many children do you have?"
"I'm not married, Miss Grove. I have a grown niece and a nephew in college. My experience with small children was a long time ago."
"Gail, please," she requested, dispensing with the formality of using her last name.
"Thank you, Gail. Now, can you answer a few questions?"
"Fire away," Gail blushed at the double entendre. "Ah ... yes, I can answer your questions, now. Coffee?" she asked as she pointed at the coffeepot and picked up her cup.
She wasn't surprised that her hands were slightly shaking. The man was crowding her personal space, as if he were doing it intentionally. He stood beside her, his hip nearly touching the counter top beside the coffee maker. When she reached for the coffee pot, he didn't move, not an inch. She barely avoided brushing his arm with the hot pot, and he seemed to know how nervous he was making her.
"Yeah, thanks," he answered easily. "I've already talked to a few of your neighbors." As Gail reached in the cabinet in front of her to remove a second coffee cup, the man's tone of voice did not change when his hand lightly brushed down her upper arm. "You're a very pretty woman."
Gail did not respond to the man's flirting, nor did she turn her head to look at him. Instead, she took her filled cup of coffee to the table and sat down.
Gail nodded when he asked, "Will all of the children go to sleep?" She did not look up when he asked, "How long does their nap usually last?"
"They usually sleep an hour, sometimes a little longer."
"That should give us enough time," Conyers replied moving his head to look down the hall toward the bedrooms.
Unaware that in her nervousness she had crossed one leg over the other and was slowly swinging her foot back and forth, the man moved a little nearer so that her foot brushed the leg of his pants. Tired of the man's flirting, Gail turned her head to look at him, "Detective Conyers, you said you have some questions?"
"Well, I am asking questions," he replied. "You don't like my questions? Darrell Johnson across the street didn't seem to mind my questions." He stood in front of her, his feet at shoulder width. If she looked straight ahead, she would see that he had the beginning of an erection.
Gail looked away from the detective and clenched her jaw, refusing to respond to the man's jibes. Darrell Johnson was not as subtle as Clayton Conyers was. Darrell had offered to fuck her until she screamed. On another occasion, he had promised a pussy licking that would make her eyes roll back in her head. He often sat on his front porch repeatedly running his hand down the back of a calico cat, which sat on his lap. He had told her he would be as gentle with her pussy as he was with his own little pussy cat. At least half of the times she walked out her front door, he was standing on his front porch slowly rubbing his hand up and down the front of his tight bicycle shorts under which he demonstrated his engorged erection, or something he had stuffed down his pants.
.... There is more of this story ...