Etude Noir #1
It was after three by the time I drug myself out of the station house and into the rain-wet streets. The night was quiet, and the air was warm, with the scent of the rain on the pavement still hanging in the air. I decided to walk the ten blocks to my apartment house, with no cabs to be seen.
By the time I’d climbed the stairs and opened my door, I was damp with sweat. I threw my jacket over the back of a chair and my hat on the radiator. I had my tie loosened when I saw the light from the bedroom.
I looked again at the time, rubbed my eyes with my fists, and I went in.
It was Doyle’s girl alright, and she’d made good use of my bed and my whiskey. She was lean and pale, rolling herself around on my dirty sheets, black garters sharp against her thighs. She looked up at me from under the straight line of her bangs, big dark eyes all watery with drink and sleep.
“Oh, Charlie, I didn’t hear you come in.” She giggled. “I’ve been waiting so long.”
“You should’ve made an appointment.”
“I’ve been here, in your bed, thinking of you, smelling your scent on your pillow, touching myself.”
“Or you’ve been reading my mail and rifling my sock drawer.” I stood at the end of the iron bed looking down at her. She pulled her knees up under her and raised her ass up in the air.
“Won’t you come to bed, Charlie?”
I came around and sat on the edge of the bed. She ran a warm hand up my thigh, and I grabbed her wrist, twisted it just enough to make her pay attention.
“What do you want with me?”
“Charlie, you’re hurting me.”
“And I’ll keep on hurting you, you’re making it easy for me. Tell me why you’re here, and don’t give me any talk about how need me or you want me. You sat over there, smoking my cigarettes and listening for the door, and when you heard me, you fixed your lipstick and then you put on this show. It’s a good show, don’t get me wrong, and if two witless clods hadn’t already spent the past five hours grilling me for the same thing you’re hoping to get out of me, I might go along with it. I have a feeling I’d like the third reel. But if those two couldn’t get what I don’t know out of me in all that time, you’re not going to do it in thirty seconds with some batted eyes and some ‘Come to bed, Charlies.’”
I let go of her wrist and wiped my mouth with the back of my hand. The fact was, I was tired. She rolled away from me, the long line of her spine disappearing into her sheer black underwear. She was clutching her injured wrist to her chest.
“You can keep your secrets,” she said, sniffling. “I didn’t come here to ask you a damned thing.”
Like everything else, it was a lie, and not even a convincing one, but then she rolled over onto her back, her breasts milky white, nipples pink and tight. Her mascara was a mess, running back into her hairline, and her lipstick was smeared. She still held her wrist tenderly in her other hand like it was broken.
“Well, let’s see what you did come here for,” I said, unbuckling my belt. She looked at me, eyes big, like she might scream. All show. But I was beginning to like the show more and more. I dropped the belt, took both of her wrists in my left hand, and squeezed her breast with my right. She whimpered. I pressed my mouth to her breast, covering her nipple with my open mouth. She caught her breath and I could hear the stubble of my chin scratching on her soft, soft flesh.
I let her go again and stood up. She’d left two fingers of whiskey in the bottle on the floor by the bed. I took a swallow. She got up on her knees, her hands on my chest. I took another swallow as she unbuttoned my shirt.
“Like I said, I don’t know any more than anyone else, but if we’re going to do this thing, you may as well start asking your questions.”
“Will you fuck me, Charlie?”
“Good form, starting with the easy questions. The boys at the stations could learn a thing or two from you.”
She kissed my stomach, running her fingertip up and down the line of dark hair there.
“The fact is, I never even met Betty MacDonald, and her husband’s death is giving me a headache like you wouldn’t believe, but if you press the point a little further, I might just change my tune,” I sighed as she released my cock from my pants. Her hands felt small and hot.
She looked up at me, those dark eyes masked with her running mascara, lips twisted into a smirk. I ran my fingers into her black hair, pulled her closer. Her lips parted slightly, white teeth flashing, and she kissed the tip of my cock.
With her eyes still locked on mine, she opened wider, taking me into her mouth. She kept on, her tongue out, until her nose was nuzzling my pubic hair. She held it there, still looking up at me. A tear formed in her right eye, rolled swiftly down her cheek, trailing mascara behind it.
Finally, she released it, spit falling in long strings from her gasping mouth. She smiled up at me, her eyes looking a little wild.
“Hey, Charlie,” she whispered.
And that’s when Doyle stepped out of the john, arm out, a cute little pistol in his hand.
The fact was, I was damned tired.