This story contains sexually explicit scenes.
Kitty Winslow had a dream-puss face, no doubt about it – big doe eyes, bee-stung lips, and baby soft skin. But it was her chassis that made her a real oomph girl, and Kitty Winslow didn’t mind displaying that chassis. Her seamstress must have gotten real friendly to get that yellow dress to cling to every dangerous curve of Kitty’s body. Not that Moe needed a diagram to imagine what hid beneath. He’d already seen the full glossy. Still, the outline was worth tracing. Twice.
“Mr. Gafferson, I was wondering if I could speak with you? A personal matter.” Kitty glared briefly at Mona as if Mona was using up all the breathing space.
Mona straightened her uniform and tucked her stethoscope in her pocket, but she stayed glued to her spot close to Moe.
“I got no kick about you being here, Mrs. Winslow,” he said.
“So you do know who I am?”
“And you know who I am. Seems our reputations precede us.” Moe nodded toward Mona. “This is Miss Dale.”
Kitty glanced at Mona just long enough to size her up. She must not have liked what she discovered – she nearly scowled. “How do you do, Miss Dale?”
“How do you do, Missus Winslow?”
Dames were all alike – the way they circled each other like wolves trying to catch a scent. Good-looking women rarely shared the same small space without claws coming out. Another place, another time, Moe might have stirred the pot to see how these two simmered out. But Kitty Winslow might be responsible for the tattoo now stitched in Moe’s gut. It sort of soured him against playing Sheba games.
“Now that we got the tea party out of the way,” Moe said. “What’s your business, Mrs. Winslow?”
Kitty glanced again at Mona. “As I said, it’s personal.”
Mona flushed from cheekbones to hairline, but kept her head held high. “Well, I have patients to see.” She turned to leave, but stopped next to Kitty and rose to her full height, at least three inches taller than Kitty, who wore heels. “Please, don’t upset him, Mrs. Winslow. He still has a lot of recovering to do.”
“I wouldn’t dream of it, dear,” said Kitty.
Moe enjoyed the way Mona had jumped in to protect him. It was a feeling a man could get used to. He kept his baby blues on her as she left the room. She purposely did a keister waltz that could make a man forget one plus one. He shook his head. Damn! She was a crackerjack!
Kitty noisily cleared her throat and interrupted Moe’s thoughts. He settled back against his bed and tried not to think about Mona and her charms. There was work to do. The nurse might be pleasure and paradise wrapped in starched white, but Kitty Winslow was Moe’s bread and butter.
“Looks like it’s just you and me, Mrs. Winslow,” he said.
“Please, call me Kitty.”
“All right, Kitty. Call me Moe.”
“Mr. Gaf ...” Kitty suddenly found the latch on her Whiting & Davis handbag appealing. “I mean Moe. I know you were following me the other night. Dutch told me.”
“Seems you and Dutch had an overdue heart-to-heart.”
“It’s not what you think.” She looked at Moe with misty eyes. “I didn’t kill Peter.” Moe knew dames could turn on the waterworks whenever they needed to. Kitty must have found the on switch, but she wasn’t as good at it as some girls – she barely lost a drop.
“Look, sister, if you’re here to plead your case, save it for Perry Mason.”
Her back stiffened. Her shoulders squared. “That is not why I’m here.”
“You’re not here to bring me flowers.”
Kitty sighed. “I don’t want trouble, Mr. Gafferson. I just didn’t know where else to go.” The pleading look in her eyes could pass for genuine. “Someone killed Peter. It wasn’t me. And it occurred to me that you might have as good a reason as me to find out who it was.”
“And what does Dutch say about your theory?”
She dropped her eyes, staring again at her handbag. “He doesn’t know I’m here.”
“So the heart-to-heart with Dutch only covered a couple of the bases.”
Kitty had the decency to look uncomfortable, if only for a second. “Don’t you see? I can’t go to the police. Dutch said you were the only person who knew I had been there with Peter. He said I ought to keep it that way.”
“Whoever stuck his blade into my gut had a pair of peepers that night, too. You might have a target on your back.”
Her dark eyes widened as she breathed in deep. “I hadn’t thought of that,” she said.
“Apparently neither did Dutch.”
She was quiet for a moment, nipping at her bottom lip and wrinkling up her brow. And then she said, “We’ve got to find out who did this to you.”
“Be careful Mrs. Winslow, or I might think that it’s concern you’re talking from and not just fear.”
“Moe, you’ve just got to do this. There is no one else.”
“What about Dutch?
“A wife can’t tell a guy like Dutch Winslow that she’s in love with another man. What’s the point anyway, if that man is dead?”
“So now it’s all about love?”
“Peter was a good guy.”
“Cuzzying someone else’s wife doesn’t get him sainthood in my book.”
“Peter was special. He did things that no man would do for a woman.”
“Doll, I’ve taken a hundred pictures of a hundred men doing exactly what Peter did for you.”
Kitty’s cheeks lit up. “I don’t mean that, Mr. Gafferson. Peter bought me things, nice things, like a mink stole, and a beautiful gold necklace. He took me dancing, and he even had an evening dress made for me. He made me feel special.”
This goo-goo eyed routine didn’t mesh with the broad that had been on everyone’s dance card at Mongo’s. Moe had figured Peter was just Kitty’s plaything. Maybe Moe had figured wrong. Maybe Kitty was a one-man-woman. If you didn’t count her husband.
“This Peter, he got a last name?”
“Schmidt. Peter Schmidt.”
“How long were you and Mr. Schmidt zigging and zagging?”
“A couple of months.”
“Let’s be honest, doll. I’m not convinced that your hands aren’t dirty in this mess. But for now, I’m willing to kick you to the bottom of the suspect list if you play it straight from here on out. Can you do that?”
“I think I can.”
“Either you can or you can’t?”
“Yes. Yes, I can.”
“All right, tell me everything from start to finish.”
Kitty pulled a chair over toward Moe’s bed and sat. Her trim, nyloned leg slid down over her other leg as smooth as a shot of George Dickel. She began to talk, and Moe let her go without interruption.
Everyone liked catching a thrill, and for Kitty it was anonymous dancing. At her husband’s Flamingo’s there were too many eyes on the lookout, with plenty of creeps willing to tell Dutch anything and everything. So she began sneaking off to Mongo’s. Nobody knew her and she could dance all night with a different partner each song and never have to face an angry Dutch in the morning.
At first, Peter Schmidt had just been another faceless swing partner, but he was a determined man. He showed up more and more often, danced with her, bought her drinks, and occasionally strong-armed any other partner who might get too friendly with her. Eventually, they tagged up for some after-hours tango. From then on, they planned their once-a-week-meet at Mongo’s. The same routine as Moe had witnessed: Kitty spent the first part of the night dancing with every Joe who asked but ended the night sneaking off to the cottage with Schmidt.
Kitty’s boy toy didn’t mind spending his moola on her – he’d given her flowers, the mink, and the necklace. But that last time was supposed to be even more special. They’d broke custom and met for lunch the afternoon before. Peter was a real Joe Brooks when it came to clothes. He told Kitty he’d had a dress designed for her and wanted her to wear it to Mongo’s the following night. He expected his woman’s threads to be just as fancy as his own. He’d made all the arrangements. She could pick the dress up at Singer’s.
Kitty didn’t know Peter’s essentials, like where he was from, if he had any family, or what his nine-to-five was. But she knew Peter kept a fat roll in his pocket, and he liked to flash it. They were in love and had discussed running away a time or two. Kitty figured that night they were going to follow through.
It didn’t play right to Moe. Schmidt didn’t seem like a man in love. Most men dizzy for a dame would have demanded more playing time. Their once-a-week meetings didn’t seem to be enough to scratch the surface of a real romance. No, Peter Schmidt was a sharper – Moe would have bet a pair of centuries on it
“Are you sure that’s all you can remember?”
Kitty looked beat. Her paint had worn thin around her eyes and lips, her shoulders were slumped, and she’d nearly rubbed her hands raw from all her fidgeting. “I can’t think of anything else,” she said.
“You picked up the dress, got your hair done, and then waited until it was time to hook up with Peter at Mongo’s. Anything I’m missing?”
“Let’s see.” Kitty stared off into the distance. “I had lunch with Dutch at Flamingo’s before leaving.”
“Anything seem out of the ordinary?”
“No. He asked me what I had planned for the afternoon. I told him I had a hair appointment and was going to do some shopping.” She hesitated briefly. “Oh, and that I was going to drop some things off at Chang’s.”
“The laundromat. Right.”
“Peter had asked me to drop several of his suits off there. I didn’t normally use Chang’s, so I told Dutch I was thinking about switching. I took our laundry along with Peter’s.”
“And when did Peter ask you to do that?”
“The day before, at lunch. He said he wouldn’t have time and he wanted to make sure all his clothes were cleaned as soon as possible.” Kitty lowered her head, snatched a hankie from her handbag, and dabbed at the flood gates that had opened.” See, that’s how I know he was making plans for us to run.”
Sometimes Moe could be a real schmuck when it came to reading a pretty dish, but his gut told him Kitty was on the up and up. All he could see was a dame who thought she was having a romantic love affair. He gave her a minute to sop up the tears before going on.
“What happened after I got knifed?”
“I didn’t know you’d been stabbed. I only knew someone was out there. I was afraid it was Dutch. Peter said not to worry, he’d take care of it. I got scared, really scared. So when Peter went to see what happened, I grabbed my clothes and ran.”
Moe closed his eyes. He suddenly felt woozy.
“I’ve got money, Mr. Gafferson. I can pay you. I need to find out what happened to Peter.”
Moe uttered his standard sermon on his fee before his thoughts began to fade. His eyelids felt like someone had nailed them shut with railway ties. He was going to have to get out of this hospital bed, and soon. He had places to go, a trail to follow. The longer he stayed down, the colder the trail would get.
When Moe opened his eyes again, Mona was at his bedside. And Kitty was gone.
“Where’s Mrs. Winslow?” he asked.
“She left a while ago.”
“Damn rat poison. Don’t give me any more of that dope, Mona. It makes me drift off like a baby with a full belly.”
Mona didn’t answer right away, but when she did her voice was low and husky.
“You don’t seem to be having any trouble keeping other things up.”
Moe didn’t get her drift. Not until he followed her gaze to the tent in his sheet. A man’s body had a way of reacting to things while he was sleeping that he had no control over. If Moe had been alone, he might have celebrated. It was mind-easing to know everything was copasetic after the knifing. As it was, he only smiled.
A moral man might have covered up his boner, but Moe wasn’t always a moral man. He crossed his hands behind his head and stretched out long on the bed. “Must be the nursing care,” he said.
Mona was a gutsy dame. Being in the Nightingale business, she had probably come across this kind of thing more than once. Still, when she turned as if to make a getaway, he felt a twinge of guilt. She was also a lady. He should have known better.
With her hand on the doorknob she swung back to look at Moe. “You know, Mr. Gafferson, I take my nursing skills very seriously.”
“Damn, Mona, you can’t pay no mind to a palooka like me.”
“Oh, but that’s exactly what I aim to do.” She closed the door gently. The click of the lock echoed like a falling rock in the Grand Canyon.
She sashayed toward Moe, her hips and jugs swaying. Her cheeks flushed. Her lips parted. When she reached his bedside, she carefully folded down the sheet, exposing Moe’s body little-by-little. At his bulge, she took it even slower, letting the creased edge of sheet follow its contour. Moe jerked.
“You should relax, Moe. All these visitors of yours have made you tense. I wouldn’t want you to hurt yourself.”
“You’re asking the impossible, doll. A man can’t relax with the likes of you nursing him.”
Her smooth, creamy hands untied the fly of his hospital-issued PJ’s. Moe’s prick bobbed free, and Mona wrapped her slim fingers around its base. She held her hand still, long enough to get acquainted. Moe hardened between her fingers like fresh-laid cement.
“If this gets to be more than you can bear, you will tell me, won’t you?”
“Stick to the trail you’re climbing, and I’m likely to tell you anything you want to know.”
She slid her hand up and over his knob and then back down to his meat. He’d had hand-jobs by flesh peddlers, but this was different. She was gentle, but constant. Her hand kept moving. Up and down. With just enough pressure. Just enough speed.
“There’s only one thing I want to know, Moe. Do you want more?”
“You better believe it, baby.”
With her other hand, Mona freed the buttons on her uniform, revealing a swell of creamy tit above her chemise. She leaned in and suddenly Moe knew why nurses were called “angels of mercy.” Her cherry lips lightly touched the tip and guided his cock around, swirling against her lips like she was using him to put on lipstick.
A beautiful flush rose on Mona’s skin. Her eyes batted shut, and her mouth opened wide. He’d never seen anything so unbelievable as Mona Dale taking him in. Her tongue flicked along the ridge of his skin flute, as her lips closed around him, and then her tongue flattened, coddling his cock. Her mouth was soft and warm and wet. Her lips and hand met like Siamese twins, and together they stroked him from tip to groin. Sucking and tonguing and working some magic.
Moe’s balls tightened like a stretched rubber band. He twitched all over. The stabbing pain in his gut stepped up, but he ignored it. Her mouth felt too good. Her hand was too knowledgeable. He was ready to pop in an instant. He groaned and half-expected Mona to pull off to let things land where they may. But she surprised him by sticking close, mouth and hand still hitched. When he erupted, she sucked and swallowed and licked him clean.
She tucked his limp tool back inside his pajamas, tied his fly, pulled the sheet up to his waist, and then slowly buttoned her uniform. When she was all covered up, she grabbed his wrist and started counting his pulse. Mona Dale was one cool cucumber.
“Cures like that will make a man want to stay in this Gomorrah forever,” Moe puffed.
“Not forever. Just long enough until we know you can take care of yourself.”
“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I might miss this place.”
“What’s your hurry, Mr. Gafferson? Have you got some place else you need to go? Someplace where you can stir up a little trouble with Mrs. Winslow?”
Yeah, there were all kinds of places he needed to go, things he needed to check out. But Moe was no dope – despite feeling better than he had in days, he knew he could barely walk to the hallway. And Mona knew it, too. “You’re pretty smart for a dame, aren’t you?”
“I went to college.”
Moe was struck with an idea. Maybe Mona could visit all the girlie places Kitty had stopped at that day. They were public joints. She’d be safe enough. She could walk in, get a little nosey, and then walk out. He spoke before his good sense had a chance to block him.
“Mona, what do you do after you leave here every day?”
“Not that it’s any of your business, but I got a home and a life. What makes you ask?” Yeah, she had moxie. It eased Moe’s conscience about getting her involved.
“I was thinking of asking you to do a little question-and-answer work for me.”
“Me? A private dick?” Her green eyes twinkled, “Would I get to pack heat?”
Moe gave Mona the once over. Her kind of heat-packing could leave a man burning for more. He suddenly wondered if he’d live to regret getting to know Nurse Dale.
Rough Cut originally appeared in Ruthie’s Club http://www.ruthiesclub.com/
Copyright © 2004 by Desdmona.