Sex Story: Chapter 3 - 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.
Whenever I’m going to meet with a wife beater or a pimp or any potentially dangerous lowlife, I tell Bear. Just in case something happens to me, I’ll know that there will be someone avenging me. And I can’t think of a better avenger.
Looking for Mindy Montgomery is my main job these days. The longer she’s missing, the dimmer the prospects for a happy ending.
The first Sunday of every month means lunch at my parents’ house. A somewhat mixed occasion for me. Walker loves it. My mother, Flora, adores him, spoils him. Her only grandchild. Walker laps it up, so different from the sass I give him at home.
And he worships my father, has physical and digital scrapbooks on The Captain. The awards, the civic honors, the glowing write-ups, the broadcast and cable news interviews.
Daddy never discusses his business at home. Mom hates that he’s just a policeman and forbids any shoptalk in her house. My older sister, Autumn, has no interest in the subject either.
The exception is when Daddy turns down another promotion to the rank of Major. My mother then takes an avid interest in what the new salary would have been.
I’m interested in all things Daddy. I listen, learn, absorb, ask questions.
As Walker and I pull up to the large, handsome, white house on West Meyer Boulevard off Brookside Boulevard, I reflect, again, on how wise my father was. He had purchased the house more than 30 years ago and had cared for it lovingly. He’d recently turned down an agent’s unbidden offer of just over a million bucks. No way The Captain could afford to buy that same house today.
Mom gave me a hug along with her familiar greeting, “No cop talk, not in my house.”
“I know, Mom.”
Large sigh. “With all your education how could you have ended up like this? And unmarried too.”
Mom still looks good at 54. She is tall and still slender. Her blonde hair has some bi-weekly help from her stylist, but she keeps herself in shape.
Mom had warned me against marrying Richie Sanders. “He’s too good looking. Slick. And lazy. Anyway, who needs a man? Marriage is for chumps.” Mom loves my father, would be lost without him. But she’s always generous in sharing ways I should be improving myself. Logic is not always involved in her advice.
Well, Mom had been partly right about Richie. He is good looking and he did leave me for a younger version. But Richie and I are still friends, still close. He sees Walker almost every weekend, at the minimum. As for being lazy, Richie went from starting out as a green real estate agent to buying the firm in six years. It’s small, but I’m still proud of him.
Mom was just warming up. Walker and I are used to it, it just went with the family territory. “Why you ever let Richie get away is beyond me, Winter. One of the finest men in town. What’s wrong with you anyway? Here you are, 32 years old and a spinster.”
The Captain smiled genially at his wife, handing her a fresh glass of bourbon and water. He winked at Walker, “Help me with the burgers.” Out in back, they’d have one of those man-to-man talks that Walker so cherishes.
Daddy is 6 feet 2 inches tall. Full chest, not much of a pot belly, just a hint. He works such long hours. Good looking man, even if he is my father. Thick hair, graying at the temples. Don’t tell him it looks distinguished, Daddy doesn’t appreciate cliches.
I inherited his strong chin and a lot of his strong opinions. Plus a manic work ethic.
Autumn resented the time that Daddy spent with me ‘talking all that police shit.’ We’d competed for his attention, his love, all our lives. So far as I could tell, The Captain loves us equally even though Autumn is a hot mess, falling in love with one loser after another. Marrying and divorcing two of them so far.
While I, on the other hand, am nearly perfect in nearly every way. Still, Daddy beamed with pleasure at Autumn’s inane chatter, just as he did with his wife’s meandering monologues.
Lunch turned out to be a gray, overcooked standing rib roast. With under-seasoned gravy. Preceded by an iceberg lettuce salad with bottled dressing. My mother is too artistic in nature to worry about mundane household matters.
Daddy slipped Walker and me some still warm cheeseburgers in potato buns for the ride home. We gobbled, not worrying a bit about shirt-front drippings.
Leaving my parents’ home, I was in a good mood despite the occasional verbal sniping from Mom. I still had an afterglow from the day before.
Richie had been able to slip away from his Saturday hearth and home. He always gets us a room at our favorite KC hotel -- the Rafael. It’s on the Plaza. In the 1920s it had originally been an apartment building so the rooms and suites were all sorts of shapes and sizes. Character. Character with an excellent bar and restaurant downstairs, Chaz.
This room happened to be one of he smallest we’d had. No matter, there was a bed. In fact we’d have made do on the floor if there were a sudden bed shortage at the Rafael.
It was nice knowing that good food and drink were right off the lobby. Not that we went downstairs for the two hours we had to ourselves. We wanted the same thing -- each other. Richie wasn’t the best lover I’ve every had, but he was right up there. Considerate, knowing, skillful.
He was average height, a little under 6’ and slender. He kept his black hair short and always had a little half smile as if the world amused him. We showered together, easy in each other’s company. Well, we should be. We met and fucked. Started dating and fucked. Got engaged and fucked. Married and fucked. Divorced and fucked. Then he got married and we still fucked.
He arranged me, still shower-damp, at the end of the bed. I smiled up at him, knowing so well what he was going to do to me. He stood on the floor and rubbed the tip of his 8-inch cock up and down my pussy. I put my ankles over his shoulders, signaling that I was his to have.
He massaged my clit just exactly the way he knew I loved it. He and Vanessa have my number, clit-wise. I closed my eyes to concentrate as he steadily increased his finger pressure. I was barely aware of thrusting my hips up, trying to capture his cock.
But Richie knew. He deftly worked the head in without using his hands. I was wet, slippery and ready. He slammed it all the way in, just the way I was in the mood for that Saturday afternoon.
He lasted so long that I assumed he’d already had some pussy that day. We showered again and he opened a bottle of red from the mini bar while I ordered a charcuterie board and crispy calamari from room service. Sex gives me an appetite. So does talking on the phone, reading mail, and breathing.
Richie had enough time to fuck me again and I fully intended for him to do so.
Back home, in the Wrigley, Walker looked at me with an unspoken question in his expression. I made a mezza mezza gesture with my right hand, palm down.
He frowned, “Winter.”
I stopped teasing the kid, “Magnifique, ma chère, magnifique. Your paPA is a marvelous lover.”
“You were gone over two hours.”
“Yes, I was, doodlebug. He fucked me. We rested. He fucked me again.”
Ever since Walker discovered sex, he’s been fascinated with my love life. Even without Peggy’s encouragement, I would have answered his increasingly personal questions. Of course he doesn’t have to ask Peggy, she volunteers every salacious detail about her own busy sex life.
I knew that later that evening, Walker would be probing for Rafael details. For now, though, he was satisfied knowing the general parameters of my tryst with his father.
Cathy called me. The 17-year old daughter of the Wrigley owner, Gene Austin. She had made another round of calls to a wider range of hospitals. No sign of Mindy.
I told her, “Keep at it. And don’t forget to invoice me.” At ten bucks an hour she wouldn’t.
“How’s my boyfriend?”
“Ask him yourself.” I handed my cell to Walker who was soon grinning from Cathy’s flirtatious ways.
I studied my son while he was preoccupied. Good looking kid. My blonde hair, my blue eyes. An open face, as innocent as it should be at his age. He didn’t have my dark, golden skin, I don’t let him use tanning beds yet. And for now he still listens to me. That’ll end one day, I don’t have any illusions about that. But Walker is basically a good kid.
Which reminded me. I walked back to his bedroom. Messy unmade bed, same as mine. We let that chore go until Saturday, fresh sheets day. My 8 x 10 photo was still there, taped to the wall over his dresser.
Green bikini, standing in the sunshine on a dock down at Lake Jacomo. Peggy had taken the shot on a girls’ weekend. Which she insisted on bringing Walker to. To his delight.
I examined the photo version of myself critically. Yep, I still passed muster. And not just with adolescent boys either. I wear a bikini when I tan because I like the way I look with tan lines when I’m in the buff. But I don’t want a mommy bikini any more than I wear mom jeans. So this picture showed plenty of skin.
Walker wandered in, looking for me. “Walk, let’s take this old shot down, it’s almost two years old.”
He wasn’t fooled, knew I was just kidding about his treasured photo. He was proud of me, proud of how sexy I looked. He was almost gleeful when describing what his little friends said about me when they gazed at the bikini shot.
“Winter, do you know what a MILF is?”
I frowned, “Missile um, International Loan Fiesta?”
“Motherfucker In Lacy Fatigues?”
“Yes, dumbo, I know what a MILF is.”
Little scamp wanted to hear me say the words. “A Mom I’d Like to Fuck.”
Head bob, “Yep, that’s what they say.” Wanting to be sure I understood, “About you.”
Walker was staring into my eyes, raw curiosity about my reaction. “They do, do they? Well, I’ll be calling some certain mothers in the morning. Heathens.”
The kid knew it was an empty threat. “They ask about you. About your sex life.”
“I tell ‘em. About Richie. Peggy. Jimmy, Vanessa... “ I stopped him, he could go on and on about my lovers. And he knew that I knew he’d never rat me out to his little pals. Any more than I would call their mothers.
I nodded at my bikini picture, “Maybe I’ll have Peggy take a new one for you, Walk.”
“The pink one!” He was no longer embarrassed about going through my delicates drawers. Panties, thongs, bikinis. Vibrators. Evidently he’d uncovered my new pink bikini.
A few minutes later my cell sounded. This month’s ringtone was Illinois Jacquet’s “Harlem Nocturne.” Soulful tenor sax. It was Peggy, “Put me on speaker.”
I knew exactly what had transpired. Another bikini shot. The pink one. Walker had texted my best friend. Peggy, sensing fun, called back right away.
Walker sat beside me, our hips and legs touching, on the dark green leather sofa. He was staring at my cell as if Peggy’s FaceTime image were real.
She said, “Photo time, Winter. You’ve been derelict in providing jack-off material to a certain sexy guy.”
Walker giggled, Peggy could bring out the worst in him.
I said, “Okay. Saturday morning?”
“Whoa bitch. You’re not getting off that easily. First you deprive your own flesh and blood. How are you going to make up for this travesty?
“What do you suggest, O Blind Lady of Justice?”
“Nude. It’s only fair and it’s past time.”
Walker both giggled and nodded.
I actually considered it. I tapped my son on the back of his head, “Walker.”
He said, “Cross my heart, Winter.”
In our shorthand way of communicating, I had warned him not to show anyone a nude picture of me. Anyone. And he had promised.
Peggy said, “Good. Now beat it, Winter, we have some things to discuss in private.” I beat it, grinning. Phone sex.
I got my first lead on Mindy Montgomery from an unexpected source. Her analyst. Rebecca and Phillip had put up with a lot from their daughter, but had insisted she enter some sort of therapy. As I learned later, they had left the referral up to the school counselor, Ms. Phylis Plimpton. Mistake.
Ms. Plimpton had been refreshingly open. Willing to actually talk about Mindy.
She didn’t look like a talker. Prim, around 50, Miss Plimpton wore a knee-length flowered skirt and a brown cardigan over a beige blouse buttoned to the neck. Sensible shoes. Brown hair in a tight bun. Black rimmed eyeglasses.
“Something happened to Mindy, I don’t know what, Ms. Jennings. Early in her 8th grade year. Then one day she just started shutting down.”
“Any idea why?”
“I’ll tell you what I don’t think it is. I don’t believe there’s a problem at home, I can usually tell. And I’m pretty sure it isn’t something here at school. Mindy was an average student, average in social skills, average in popularity.”
She paused, remembering, “Her parents, both of them came to see me several times. There was genuine worry. With their permission, I put her in touch with an acquaintance of mine, a Mrs. Goldstein. Dr. Goldstein. She’s experienced, works with children.”
It was curious that Rebecca and Phillip hadn’t mentioned Mrs. Goldstein. But there are anomalies in every case. False leads, people who dropped out of sight. Omissions.
“Mrs. Goldstein is a little unorthodox in her methods. But she did wonders for the daughter of a neighbor of mine. Turned the girl around.”
Mrs. Goldstein lived in Kansas City, Kansas. Odd for a Mission Hills girl to see a therapist in such a blue collar town. Now, I like blue collar, in fact Peggy, Walker and I frequently go to KCK for Mexican food. Delicious, fairly authentic, cheap.
Mrs. Goldstein lived in an unkempt part of an unkempt town. Lawn un-mowed. A hand-lettered sign on a peeling porch column said, “Readings.” Not encouraging.
Mrs. Goldstein wasn’t quite as large as the pimp-protector, Columbo. Although it was hard to say for sure since her floor length muumuu was probably voluminous enough to fit him.
She wore incongruous sparkly cat lady glasses on a gold chain. Matching tiara on a store-dyed black bouffant hairdo. Neon-red fingernails. An unlit cigarette in a foot-long holder.
Mrs. Goldstein had ‘an unexpected cancellation’ and could fit me in for $40. Curiouser and curiouser. In her living room she had a Bozo the Clown Bob Bag, a plastic bounce-back punching bag.
Bozo held pride of place and was this therapist’s favorite. “You should see my Walmart bill.”
“Did Mindy enjoy punching Bozo?”
“As you should well know, I’m not at liberty to discuss my patients.”
I showed the charlatan a letter from Mindy’s parents, asking for cooperation.
“Sorry, doctor - patient relations are sacred. Medical ethics dictate discretion.”
“May I ask, Dr. Goldstein, what is your background?” Maybe using the title would help.
“Where did you attend university? Earn your doctorate?”
She heaved herself up laboriously and waddled into another part of the shabby house, following a well-worn path on the threadbare brown carpet. Came back and sat down heavily. “I am qualified, overqualified in fact, by my Life Experiences. Skeptics simply don’t realize that.”
Dr. Goldstein thrust a diploma in an elaborate, gilded frame at me. Doctor of Science in Counseling / Marriage, Family, and Child Therapy.
Impressive, I had to admit. Except that it was from the International University of Santa Clarita. At best an online scam, a mail-order diploma mill. She knew it and I knew it.
“Tell me about Mindy Montgomery.” I didn’t need to spell out the implied threat -- I’d sic every licensing agency in the state of Kansas on her. She’d be shut down, perhaps do some jail time. No, probably not, not with the overcrowding these days. But she probably didn’t know that.
“Mindy is a troubled child. It goes back to the father. Every time, the father.”
I let her blather on. She might accidentally know something worthwhile. And she actually did. It came toward the end. Dr. Goldstein mentioned Mindy’s question about The Creed of the Brethren. “I’d never heard of it so I told Mindy to stay away from them.”
Could this be an actual clue?
Driving back to the office, I called Cathy Austin, “The Creed of the Brethren. Everything you can find.”
At the Exchange, I opened my laptop. Cathy had already sent me volumes of material along with a ‘still working on it’ note.
A cult, naturally. Smaller even than those motley saffron chanters, the Hare Krishna wing nuts. Somewhere a mother’s heart is breaking.
The Creed was born in the Midwest. Minneapolis. Not, for a change, California. They had an amateurish web page and their beliefs were cartoonish. End days. Something about phases of the moon. Prognostications, none of them pleasant. Throwing off the Yoke of Capitalism. Overthrowing the Oppressive Establishment. A lot of capital letters and exclamation points.
It was 9 in the evening. Walker.
“I’m starving, Walk.”
Pizza from Coal Vines on the Plaza. Kid must have done Uber. Good for him. I could tell from the aroma it was our favorite, spicy meatball. The meatball slices aren’t spicy, that adjective refers to the habanera sauce that they drizzle over the entire pie.
I poured Walker the half glass of Negra Modela I allowed him on pizza nights. It gave him a tiny buzz. Good kid.
Walker managed to wait until we’d done the dishes to ask me, “Still on for Saturday? With Peggy?”
I’d forgotten. The photography session. Pink bikini. Maybe nude. It would depend on my mood.
I said, ““Maybe, Walk. But I have a possible lead on Mindy Montgomery.”
He nodded, “The missing girl.” Walker would understand if I had to reschedule. Work came first for The Captain. And for The Captain’s daughter.
As we cleaned up, I looked around our loft in the Wrigley Hotel. I was immensely pleased with it. Over a hundred feet long, open space from the living area when you first walk in to the dining areas to the huge kitchen in back.
Most of the walls and all of the crown moldings are plaster. Even using a power drill to hang pictures, I sometimes have to give up and call Gene Austin. Arm strength.
Our loft was only a minor part of the hotel’s renovation. Gene had done the entire six floors, tip to top, north to south, east to west. All the while preserving the historical facade. It’s a gem.
Gene gave us two private bedrooms, each with a private bath, both are enclosed. As are two more guest bathrooms and the laundry room.
He had had the narrow-plank oak floors sealed and polished to a glow that both absorbed and reflected sunlight and lamplight. He even gave us the electric floor polisher that Walker uses every few months.
We roll up our area rugs, almost 20 of them. Ikea, Serena&Lily, Room&Board, RH, Mitchel Gold. Different sizes, a wild array of colors and patterns. In places, I layer a couple of rugs, one over the other. The bottom one still partly visible, of course.
The rent here is an ongoing challenge -- $5,200 a month. But I have seven months in savings for when the next dry spell hits. And 10% of our rent goes into an escrow that will allow me to purchase the loft. Some day.
Which brings me to my one financial gamble. I met Gertrude Oppenheimer in the Exchange elevator. Her office is a couple of floors below mine. She’s a New Yorker, retired from Chase.
Gertie is crusty, chain smokes, cusses, is skeptical. I like her a lot. She became my first ever financial advisor. At the beginning I ran everything by Daddy. But as wonderful as he is ... well, investments in anything but his home and conservative stocks aren’t his bag.
Gertie put me into an Alzheimer’s fund. Graybar & Goodwin. G & G.
She told me, “Okay, decency rant. Alzheimers is a tragedy, a shame. Fine. Now let’s make some fucking money off it. Alzheimers is the perfect storm. And it’s heading right at us.”
She gave me some stats, which I later verified through Professor Google. Around half of our citizens over 85 are diagnosed with it. In the coming four decades, new cases could triple.
Gertie said, “We’re not talking millions of dollars. Not billions of dollars. Trillions. At its present rate, Alzheimers alone will overwhelm the health care system.”
So I’m invested in a fund which buys companies providing housing and care to a rapidly expanding slice of the population.
Gertie said, “You’re set, toots. Unless the fuckers find a cure. Let’s hope they can’t.”
She was kidding, I’m pretty sure.
My sex life, my love life, my life.
I’ve been active, to varying degrees, since Peggy Rawlings first seduced me. A classic babysitter story, except true. She made me cum, then taught me how to do it myself. Then hooked me up with her older brother, Ryan.
To whom I hesitantly, but mostly willingly, at 14 years old, gave up my cherry. Ryan, for a 16 year old boy, was fairly restrained and it didn’t hurt too much. He fucked me regularly for a couple of months and after a while, it didn’t hurt at all.
He didn’t get bored with me, not exactly, but he started sharing me with his friends, older and younger. Back then, I was in a shareable mood. Still am, sometimes.
But Ryan didn’t share Peggy with his pals, didn’t share her with anyone except for me. His little sister was his private property. Years later, Peggy named her youngest son, her favorite son, after Ryan. She told me that her brother isn’t the father. Maybe not. But the kid looks so very different from his two brothers that I don’t think Peggy’s husband sired that particular colt.
I love Peggy, emotionally and physically. She can almost always get me off. As can my ex, Richie Sanders.
But my favorite lover, the one who can make me cum the easiest, the fastest, the most often, is Vanessa Henderson. We’re going through another phase where we are hooking up almost every week. Sometimes at her loft above BEAR. Sometimes at my loft in the Wrigley. Walker prefers that Vanessa and I hang out here. She usually flashes some skin.
Vanessa is breathtakingly beautiful and doesn’t act like it. I’ll always love Peggy and Bear, but sometimes I feel like I’m falling in love with Vanessa. And that happens when we spend more time with each other, as we’re doing these days.
This morning I looked at her while she was still sleeping in my bed. Her relaxed face made her look several years younger than 32. That dark, lustrous hair, splayed across her pillow looked like it had been artfully tousled by a photographer’s assistant.
Vanessa lay on her left side, her classic profile looking almost regal. Her right breast, pink nipple slightly erect, didn’t have an ounce of sag. Her flat tummy moved rhythmically as she breathed at her athlete’s steady pace.
Her butt and thighs were firm even in repose.
Vanessa keeps her pussy bald, just as I do mine. Once, for a change of pace, I had my stylist, Wendy, shape a tiny blonde heart for me. The next time Vanessa and I went to bed, she had a matching one.
That speaks to a kind of love, I think.
I got out of bed to study my girlfriend from a distance. She’s a sound sleeper. She looked like a movie star on a movie set. A post-coital shot. Vanessa lay among my white sheets, white pillows all over the bed. My wonderful, stylish Architecture bed from Room & Board.
It’s red, powder-coated metal with four slender metal posts that soar up over seven feet high and are joined by four horizontal metal bars forming a sort of freeform canopy.
Vanessa loves it. Both its look and function. But most of all because it’s mine. And I share it with her.
Vanessa’s family is from Ukraine. Kiev. Henderson is derived from Andrushchenko. And Vanessa has that classic Ukrainian, Slavic, chiseled beauty. The strong, striking face she inherited is undiminished by two generations of life in America.
We like to lie, side by side, holding hands, simply gazing into each other’s eyes. When she’s looking at me, her hazel eyes soften and the gold color becomes more pronounced.
Once, after a passionate night, over breakfast, Vanessa gave me a small, almost sad smile, and said, “I’d marry you, Winter, if you asked.”