Sex Story: Chapter 2 - I'm Winter Jennings, 32, former police officer, current private detective. A now-single mother with a horny son, a friendly-enough ex. My father is about to retire as a respected homicide captain here in Kansas City, Missouri. My work is usually routine, mostly computer-driven. Except when it isn't. Revenge porn, a cult, a wife beater, insurance scams, pimps. A particularly nasty psychiatrist. On a personal front, everyone who knows me well, knows I like sex. A lot.
Leaving Mission Hills, I drove my truck north through familiar Kansas City neighborhoods on my way downtown. I rarely use freeways nor that ghastly I-470 loop when I’m in the city. I prefer the more scenic surface streets. Plus I hate how those fucking freeways raped my hometown.
I turned east on Independence Avenue and the blocks of renovated urbanity began turning shabby. Then even shabbier. This part of town is called the Forgotten Northeast. But it too is showing a few signs of gentrification. The poorer people here will eventually be pushed out, shoved somewhere else. Forgotten people from the Forgotten Northeast.
I parked in front of a one-story residential building that didn’t look much like a house. There was no identifying signage and the windows were boarded up. Mary Packer opened the door. The diminutive 60-year old was clad in her usual floppy jeans and ratty sweater. She wore neon green sneakers and a rueful smile.
I handed her an envelope, $500 in 20s, 10% of my retainer. It wasn’t a tithe, it wasn’t something I do regularly. It was more of an impulse donation to a good cause run by a good woman. Mary was keeping her combination shelter and referral service going on her own. She still considered herself a nun, so I guess she was.
But Our Lady of Adversity down the street had shuttered long ago and that ended any financial support from the religious community. Sister Mary was here seven days a week. She had told me, “I don’t know what happens to them when they leave. Maybe some of them turn out okay.”
What Mary did was simple -- food, a shower, and a bed. No questions asked. The kids didn’t have to register, didn’t even have to give a name. She didn’t question why they were here, what circumstances had led them to her. She fed them and gave them clean sheets and towels. No lectures, no calls to authorities.
She had six beds, a small kitchen, a small bath. Usually a full house.
Just a much needed respite for a desperate kid leading a desperate life.
I showed her Mindy’s picture. “Missing six days. Mission Hills.” One glance, a head shake, “Nope, sorry.”
“It was a long shot.”
“She could be hooking by now. After six days.”
“Maybe. Harold still the man around here?”
I hit five more shelters, most of them small and sad. I’d do the pimp in the morning, Harold hated being awakened early. Like before 4 in the afternoon.
I drove west, back through the downtown Power & Light District, jogged north over those fucking freeways to the stockyards and my office. Office, sweet office. I worked the phones until around 9 and called Walker, “Order in. Anything.”
I could smell the Wrigley pork soup simmering on the stove as I gave Walker a quick hug. He’d become very aware of my boobs over the past year or two, so I teasingly squished my nipples back and forth against his bony chest.
The food had come from the downstairs restaurant in the Wrigley. We order from there often. Handy and delicious.
Quick shower, just to rinse away the day’s cares, then a sit-down dinner with my son. We both dunked chunks of baguette into the flavorful broth and sighed with contentment. Pork confit, plenty of garlic, gruyere.
I smiled at my 14-year old son. Walker was blonde and slender, just like me. Same deep blue eyes.
“Get any pussy today?”
“I hope they make rubbers small enough for you.”
“Bite. My. Crank.”
Walker had ordered the brioche-crusted rabbit for us to split. A family favorite. We dug in. I poured him half a glass of my Yellowtail Shiraz. I buy Yellowtail by the case and besides the volume discount it’s usually on sale. I save my better wines for company.
I used to buy Two-Buck Chuck from Trader Joe’s. It amused my when they upgraded the name to Charles Shaw and added a dollar to the cost. But I boycott Joe’s now. After I learned their harvesting practices of taking whole vines. Which include nests, eggs, babies and other things I don’t want to think about.
I believed him. Kid was smart. Self sufficient. Usually conscientious about school stuff. He had changed from his uniform to colorful board shorts that hung to his knees.
He wore a custom black T-shirt that said, ‘My Mom Sucks Cock’ in white letters. A present from my best friend. One of several obscene ones she had given him for his birthday.
Thanks, Peggy. Peggy Rawlings. Cunt.
I have to admit I was proud of Walker. We told each other the truth. He was intelligent. He didn’t get in that much trouble.
I didn’t have to tell him not to wear those Peggy shirts when he went out. And not when any of his friends were over on weekends. There weren’t many kids living in the Crossroads, so weekends were Walker’s time to jam.
I give him his freedom, the same as my father had given my sister, Autumn, and me. To the consternation of our mother. Most of the Crossroads businesses knew Walker, many by name. As did the residents. From after he got out of school to whenever I came home, he was free to roam. So long as his cell was on and I could reach him.
Walker loved his ratty old bike, turned down the offer of a new one last Christmas. It’s a vintage Roadmaster from the 40s. A girl’s bike which he doesn’t seem to mind. Rusty and dented and scratched, my father found it on ebay.
Except for First Fridays, there’s not that much pedestrian traffic in the Crossroads, not like the Plaza or downtown. So Walker, skinny arms bent out, skinny legs pumping, became a familiar neighborhood sight.
Just like Pearly, a gnarled, mostly toothless geezer who makes his Crossroads rounds every night. Rattling each doorknob to make sure it’s locked. Even when the door is wide open. Pearly believes he’s the nightwatchman, making sure his neighborhood is safe.
Pearly is of indeterminate age, probably somewhere between 60 and 80. He’s harmless and the Crossroads feeds him. He sleeps in the doorway of a neighborhood bakery, Wolferman’s, that closes at 4 in the afternoon. But a pleasant aroma lingers into the night.
The bakery owner gives Pearly pastry and coffee when he comes in at 2 in the morning to fire up his ovens. The beat cops leave Pearly alone until it becomes too cold. Then they take him to a shelter on East 19th.
Walker and I do the dishes, alternating each night between washing and drying, music blaring, his choice of playlists.
I occasionally give him a nighttime treat. Or torment, as I think of it. I’ll put on something sheer and short to show off my bountiful boobs for his goodnight kiss. That’s a ritual he hasn’t yet grown out of. I hope he never does.
In bed, under a sheet, he removes his earbuds and smiles up at me. I wipe a smear of toothpaste off his lower lip, lick my fingertip clean. We get along pretty well, two pals making it on our own.
I wear a boob top only about once every month or two and it always catches Walker by surprise. He is visually stunned. I ignore his wide-eyed stare, his slender chest rising and falling a little more rapidly.
This evening my light green top isn’t sheer, isn’t transparent. The V-neck shows some impressive cleavage though. Until I bend down, then the cleavage disappears and it’s nip city. One of Walker’s favorite sweaters.
Curious, I lift the sheet for a second, then let it fall. Yep, naked again. Good for him. Shows a little guts, a little initiative. His cheeks are flushed as he stares. Enough. “Goodnight, honeybunch.”
Blinks. “Goodnight Winter.”
I bend down, he arches up. Lips meet, my tongue flicks for just a nanosecond. I turn off his lamp and close his door.
As I’ve been doing lately, I take my vibrator to bed. Before turning it on, I plan my tomorrow. Mindy’s school, talk with teachers and classmates. But first, Harold, the pimp. Cocksucker.
Then the police, more shelters, more pimps. $1250 a day is a tidy sum, but it’s still work. Hard work sometimes.
I turned off my own lamp and rolled over on my tummy. Vibrator on, clit available. One more thing to do tomorrow, for sure. Call one of my boyfriends for a weekend mashup. Maybe even my ex if he can get away from his wife and their two babies.
My father taught me that if you know the territory, you often learn something about the individual who lives there. For me that could be a suspect or a client. Rebecca and Phillip fit Mission Hills and Mission Hills fits them.
My personal Kansas City consists of seven distinct neighborhoods which make up only a tiny fraction of the greater metro area, population a little over 2,000,000.
The furthest south of downtown is Waldo. A few blocks of restaurants, bars, and shops surrounded by small houses. A lively nightlife scene. The main east-west street would be 75th. The street numbers become smaller as you drive north, toward downtown.
Heading toward that recently revived downtown area, you next encounter Brookside. Commercially and residentially, it’s upscale from Waldo. The homes are larger, the lots bigger. Go on a Saturday morning and it’s a race to see whether baby strollers outnumber the dogs on their leashes along 63rd Street.
Next, the Country Club Plaza, 15 blocks of upper middle class commerce tastefully displayed in a low rise architectural style modeled on Seville, Spain. Built in the 1920s, the Plaza is admired by new urbanists for its pedestrian-friendly layout. Although 47th street has a lot of cars.
Westport, another historic district, is now the home to countless bars and a few good restaurants. With only three major exits, Westport leads the city in DUI issuances, mostly when the bars close. The bar crowd is larger, louder, drunker, and younger than Waldo. They’ll learn.
Still heading north, the Crossroads, Walker’s and my home base is next. The new streetcar line goes as far south as Union Station, linking the Crossroads with downtown and the West Bottoms neighborhood on the other side of those fucking freeways. The futuristic streetcar is free too. I want to see it expand as far south as Waldo. And east too, to poorer neighborhoods with people who would really benefit from the transport. And, out to that fucking airport way north of the river.
Fuck you, you NIMBY people. Selfish pricks.
Downtown, like the Crossroads, is another marketing success now called the Power & Light District, named after the art deco utility building.
So ... south to north, Waldo, Brookside, Plaza, Westport, Crossroads, Power & Light. Then those fucking freeways, stab wounds in the heart of my city.
My seventh neighborhood, the West Bottoms, lies north of those ugly freeways. Between the freeways and the Missouri River. It consists of the stockyards to the west and River Market a bit east.
Abandoned office buildings, warehouses, and factories have been converted to condos and apartments from the Crossroads to the Missouri River.
And that’s, mostly, a good thing. Although there are so many units available these days, some developers are nervously reworking budgets.
Tuesday morning. Pimp day. I head to Walker’s room to perform my only maternal duties -- get the kid up, awake, and moving. Morning wood. A more and more frequent start to his day. And fine with me. Walker hasn’t yet had a wet dream, I wish he would. Mostly. I think.
Mi amiga, Peggy Rawlings, told me not to worry, “It’ll happen when it happens.” She has three boys and, “They all started cumming by the time they reached 14 years old.”
Mothers talk with each other about more than homework and clothes. I knew her youngest, Ryan, was also her favorite. And Walker was right up there in Peggy’s pantheon of boys. She was officially his godmother, unofficially his sex goddess. I tease the kid a little, Peggy is doing postgraduate work on him.
This morning I got Walker to a standing position, amused that he was still erect, amused that he was totally unaware of it.
Town Topic, Juanita and Walker flirting back and forth, Manny not talking, grease splattering, heavenly aromas pervading the little diner.
Pimp time. Harold wasn’t the meanest of the lot. He kept his girls clothed and fed. Rarely beat them. But my favorite nun and I hated him because he used the youngest girls he could get his hands on, legally.
Puke City, our Harold.
His house, and he owned it free and clear, was south of Independence Avenue in the Northeast. The guard sitting on the porch was perhaps a little smaller than Delaware. Black, completely bald under a dark blue skullcap. Massive stomach that looked soft, but wasn’t. Columbo knew me. Knew of my father. Knew he was a Homicide dick.
Didn’t like either one of us.
“He’s asleep, cunt.”
I ignored him and opened the door. Columbo knew better than to fuck with me. Well, with my father. I’d been inside this house three other times on various unpleasant business endeavors. It still surprised me how clean Harold had his girls keep it. It shone, gleamed. I imagined the surpassed fury as the girls scrubbed, polished, vacuumed, dusted every day, seven days a week. It smelled of lemon polish.
Those poor, lost girls were also on their backs seven days a week at two cheap-ass motels on Paseo Boulevard. Columbo piled them into a van and delivered them to The Paseo. Picked them up around 4 in the morning and counted the money. Carefully.
It was around 7:30 this morning, so the whores were still asleep. I walked upstairs, the weight of my .38 on my wide leather belt affording me some comfort. I used the side of the stairs, less squeaking. It’s a sad commentary on the life I’ve chosen that I know which bedroom belonged to Harold. Third one on the right.
The door was open and I took a tissue to move the Sig Sauer from the bedside table to the floor. I used my Keds high rise sneaker to slide the pistol a couple of feet under the bed. I didn’t bother to check out which model it had been. Whatever it was would be the rage this month among a certain crowd of fashion forward pimps and wannabes.
I left the open glassine of coke and the pile of wadded bills alone.
Our Harold. Snoring softly on his back. A little drool at the corner of his mouth. Naked, skinny, tall, around 6’ 6”. Black, quick, and mean. A long, skinny cock was draped over one thigh. Uncircumcised.
The nude white girl asleep beside him looked like she was about 8, but she was much older than that. At least 14. Harold didn’t want trouble with the age police. I had actually seen her one time a year or so ago at Mary’s shelter. She wouldn’t remember me, she was strung out. Probably still is, Harold likes his girls docile.
Pink hair, recently shampooed. All of Harold’s whores had pink hair. Top and bottom. White girls, black girls, Asians, Latinas. A marketing thing. I shook her shoulder and she gradually came around. Gasped when she saw me, put a hand up to her mouth in shock.
I could smell that slightly sweet, slightly nauseating, skin scent of a crack cocaine smoker. There is no other smell like it. It’s like she inhaled the crack and her body is trying to exhale it back out.
I showed her a mail order badge I sometimes use with civilians and pointed to the door. She nodded, glanced at Harold and slipped out of bed, slipped out of the room.
Rise and shine. I put my lips two inches from Harold’s ear and screamed, “PIMP BOY!” as loudly as I could. I knew Columbo would be furious. At me, at his impotence because of my father.
Harold jumped and grabbed reflexively for his semi-auto, slapping the table. He blearily recognized me, “You fucking cunt.” Taking a deep breath he forced himself not to lunge at me. My right arm was crossed over my stomach, hand on my .38. Just in case.
Still frowning in fury, he muttered, “Columbo.” He stood, stretching and yawning, his breath morning foul. “What the fuck?”
I pulled a photo of Mindy Montgomery from my shoulder bag and held it up to his face, “I want to find this girl.”
Curious, he couldn’t help but look. “Not one of mine.” He would lie when the truth would serve him better, but I believed him. Mindy hadn’t been missing long enough to fall this low.
I put the picture and a dozen other copies on the table beside the coke and whore money. “Ask around Harold, I’ll put in a good word.”
He knew and I knew I’d do no such thing. But one call from Homicide Captain Dave Jennings to Vice could make Harold’s life considerably more interesting.
I knew I was a hypocrite, I guess that’s true of most of us. I was perfectly willing to use the threat of my father to intimidate scum-boy here. Yet I had refused alimony from my ex because I wanted to make it on my own. I did take child support from Richie ... what’s so important about consistency, anyway?
“Where’s my fucking piece?”
“In a safe place.”
Columbo glared at me again. I must be doing something right. I stopped by Mary’s shelter on the way to my office. Just to let her know about her former charge. Mary wasn’t surprised. She’d worked this losing game for decades.
Driving to my office, I was amused. Already this morning I’d been called a cunt by Columbo and Harold. And, I’d seen two cocks. What does it say about my life that the genitals belonged to my son and a pimp?
My week revolved around Mindy Montgomery. I did other work at home, at night. Computer traces, background searches, security checks. But it was pimps and shelters, legwork that was repetitious and depressing.
On Thursday morning I got one break on an old case. One of my ad hoc snitches is a 10-year old boy, a little hustler, who was teetering between school and a life of delinquency. Buster Fagin was small for his age, but quick and quick witted. Smartass too.
I have part time freelancers all over the metro area. They feed me the local scuttlebutt and sometimes, by putting together eight or ten neighborhood factoids, I end up spotting a trend. Or finding a missing person. Not very often though.
I met Buster a couple of years ago when I was in Raytown, a burg east of KC. The little shit offered to make sure my parked truck wasn’t keyed. For $5. I said, “How about I pull your jeans down and paddle your butt?”
He grabbed his crotch and humped, “Paddle this.”
Buster had some spunk. Business doesn’t take me to Raytown that often, but sometimes I’d call the little cocksucker and buy him a burger. He kept me up to speed on the local gossip. Nothing he’d shared had paid off so far.
Then he called me about a Raytown local I was keeping track of.
Vinnie Pasquale had been rear-ended by an unquestionably drunk driver at ten in the morning. One who had had his license suspended, then permanently revoked. It wasn’t a staged insurance crash, Vinnie’s white Camaro had been crushed from behind.