Johnny Richards in “Old Flames Never Die”

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Private Dick Johnny Richards doesn’t have that many old friends, so when one turns up dead, he takes the case. At first, it seems like a pretty open-and-shut case of stealing from Columbian Drug Lords, who have 50 Million reasons to want Johnny’s friend murdered. Except the money’s still missing. Quickly it becomes clear that the Columbians didn’t kill Johnny’s friend – they were still looking for him. And suddenly, Johnny’s the only one with a lead on the missing money.

Now caught between a hard-nosed police detective, a murderous Columbian assassin, and another group of mysterious mobsters, Johnny’s in over his head. Things only get worse when an old flame, Kelly Clarkson, shows up in town, needing Johnny’s help. Now, with only an adorkable accountant to help him out, and with The City falling hard into a major crime war, Johnny has to find the money, save his girl, and survive the inferno to come.

Starring Ashley Tisdale, Kesha, Sofia Vergara, Michelle Rodriguez, Kelly Clarkson, Jewel, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Miranda Lambert, with appearances by Rachel Bilson, Linda Park, Elisha Cuthbert, Jaime Pressly, Michelle Branch, and Ellen Pompeo, and featuring cameos from Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Snoop Dog.

Return to a world of deadly criminals, sexy women, and exciting mystery from award winning author TRL, with:
Johnny Richards in “Old Flames Never Die”

Disclaimer:
Warning: The following is a work of fiction, pure and simple. None of the celebs seen within are meant to be the real person. They are used here as original characters, and are meant to be complimentary in most cases. The author does not mean to imply any of them would do what they are seen doing in this story. If you are opposed to people having sex, you should stop reading now. Also, if you are opposed to non-consensual sex, specifically with the woman in question being the aggressor, or are underage for your legal area, go away now. You won’t like this at all. Everyone else, enjoy!

Johnny Richards in “Old Flames Never Die”
By: TRL

I wonder, sometimes, if my gloomy disposition on life revolves around the fact that I live in The City. It rains here nigh-constantly, and most of the rest of the time it’s dark and grey. I can count on one hand the number of times I saw the sun in the last 365 days – though my chosen profession and it’s generally late hours may forcibly bring that number down. Still, even I will freely admit that I am more pessimist than optimist, and most everyone who knows me would say that’s an understatement.

Well, that’s okay. My door reads “Johnny Richards: Private Dick,” not “Johnny Richards: Generally Happy Guy.” And a good thing, too. I’m not very good at being happy.

That door of mine is still in the same office building as always, though I’ve got company these days. The Landlord finally found some damn fool to take the upstairs office – some accountant, according to what my secretary has told me. I’ve never seen them in person, and he doesn’t seem to be getting any more business than I am, since I never hear anyone walk up the stairs.

Not that it matters – I really should be worried more about my own failing business than the dude upstairs.

Stepping in from the ever-present rain, I head to the door to my office, with it’s fading paint and squeaky hinges, and open it to find my secretary hard at work – on her nails.

“Morning, Johnny – I don’t suppose your legendary detective skills managed to lead you to a new case overnight.”

“You suppose correctly – as usual,” I grumble. Rachel Bilson has been my secretary for years, giving her the dubious pleasure of being the only non-blood-related woman to have had a positive relationship with me that could be counted in that particular time-measurement – at least, uninterrupted by periods of hating me, wanting me dead, or thinking I was dead. She’d be happier about that if I paid her more regularly, I’m sure.

Rachel truly is the perfect woman for me. She puts up with me when no one else would, she’s painfully attractive, and she lets me get away with murder when I need to. Which if fairly often, depending on how literal you want to get. Rachel one irredeemable flaw is that she’s married to someone else. Not that I’ve ever said no to married women before, but sadly Rachel is too important to me as my secretary for me to risk her being upset with me over trying to get into her pants. My only hope lays in her one day getting a divorce, and then being dumb enough to try and have a relationship with me.

Until then, I suffer through her usually barb-filled wit and lackadaisical approach to actually looking like she’s doing her job.

“We’re primarily a walk-in business, Rachel,” I replied as I closed the door behind me. “After all, I can’t exactly afford to advertise.”

“Yeah, well, your word-of-mouth campaign isn’t exactly bringing in the cream of the crop, Johnny. Or even the tank swill.”

“That’s because half the word of mouth on me is spread by people I’ve screwed over,” I said. “Hard to overcome that.”

“Well, as I remind you one more time that you’re now TWO weeks late in paying me, might I suggest you go speak with the client waiting in your office?”

One of these days I’m going to stop being surprised when Rachel pulls these little stunts on me. Sadly, that’ll probably be the same day Rachel leaves me for a better job.

“Try and look like you’re actually working at something when they come out,” I muttered, heading towards my office proper.

“No promises,” Rachel said. “Oh, and Johnny? Be careful, she’s a looker.”

I repressed a groan. Whenever Rachel said that, it was NEVER a good sign.

I opened the door to my office while sliding my trench coat off, leaving the inevitable trail of rainwater that was still dripping off it as I hung it up on the rack next to my door. Only after I did that did I managed to turn towards my new visitor.

“Hello, Johnny,” she said, smiling sweetly at me.

“Hello yourself, gorgeous,” I said, feeling one of those rare smiles hit my lips. Jewel Kilcher stood in my office, dressed in a tight black skirt that ended just below her knees, and a tighter sweater-top with a neckline that dived low enough to show off Jewel’s best feature – her fantastic breasts. The darling blonde smiled at me as she approached for a hug, and it was only then that I realized something was wrong with my old friend.

I’d known Jewel for a number of years now, though like all me relationships, it was off-and-on, at best. Mostly off. For the most part, Jewel and I got along, but I never really got over her choosing my friend Carl Mason over me when I was in the Police Academy. This, of course, never stopped me from hitting on Jewel, and one painful night just after my graduation, a very drunk, very horny Jewel gave in and gave me a night I still fondly remember today, even if it was blurred by a little too much whiskey. She hadn’t taken it well the next morning – Carl even less so, since he walked in on us. I’d barely spoken to either of them since.

“What’s wrong?” I asked as Jewel’s arms wrapped around my waist and her head practically fell onto my head.

“It’s Carl,” she said softly.

I rolled my eyes. “What’s that damn fool gone and done now?” I asked. Carl Mason was a hothead, a womanizer, a drunkard, and always after the next big score. I was amazed he’d held onto a quality woman like Jewel as long as he had, but stranger things had happened in life.

“Johnny, he’s dead,” Jewel said, her whispered voice cracking.

I closed my eyes, feeling the all-too familiar pain of losing another friend I hadn’t spoken to in forever. My falling out with Carl had been entirely my fault, and now I was never going to be able to mend that particular fence. Not that I was very good at mending fences with anyone, especially other dudes. Women I could at least somehow talk into fucking me again. That wasn’t an option with dudes, so once most guys started hating me, they kept right on doing so. Carl was far from the first old friend I’d lost without making amends, and he wouldn’t be the last, either.

“I’m sorry,” I said to Jewel, actually meaning it. “How did it happen?”

“That’s why I hear to see you Johnny,” Jewel said, finally breaking their hug. “The police have his body, but they’re not telling me anything. I can’t get anything out of the detective in charge of the case, but I get the feeling this wasn’t an accident.”

“With Carl? Yeah, I wouldn’t buy an accident, either,” I said. “Do you know what he was up to lately?”

“No, and that worries me. He seemed agitated – worried about something, Johnny. I think he was into something illegal again.”

I groaned. That was Carl, all right. Carl Mason only ever wanted to be rich, and he was more than willing to cross some lines to get to that point. This had always been a slight problem for me when I’d been in the police academy, but since my own law enforcement career hadn’t lasted all that long, I wasn’t really in a place to complain. Still, I always knew one day Carl would get himself into trouble he couldn’t get out of alone.

I just never really expected him to end up dead from it.

“I’ve still got some contacts at the police department, let me see what I can find out.”

“Thank you, Johnny,” she said. “What – what do I owe you?”

I cringed at that. Carl was a friend, and Jewel was… well, she was a friend I’d fucked once. I was more than capable of being an ass who charged friends, especially when I was in need of cash, but even I balked a bit at charging over a situation like this.

Ah, jeeze, Jewel,” I said, taking a deep breath. “I gotta be honest – I need the work, I really do. But why don’t you let me call my contacts and see what I dig up. That I can at least do on-the-house. Beyond that… well, we’ll see.”

“Okay, Johnny,” she said, hugging me again. “I have to go see my lawyer and see to Carl’s… things.”

“I’ll have Rachel call you when I find something,” I said. “Trust me.”

“I do, Johnny,” she said, turning towards my door. She stopped there, turning back and giving me an odd look. “Though I don’t really know why.”

“I’ve just got one of those faces,” I joked flatly.

“I guess so,” she said, turning and leaving, her ass looking fantastic in her skirt as she did so.

* * *

I had told Jewel I still had contacts in the police department, but that was being generous. There was really only one person still on the force who bothered to talk to me at all, and that was Linda Park, my own partner when I’d been a beat cop. Linda was still a beat cop, even though I’d been certain at the time that she was smarter than I was, and would’ve made a much better police detective. It seems my fuckup would prevent either of us from ever getting there.

It took a while to get a hold of Linda, and when I did, she wasn’t as much help as I was hoping.

“The Mason murder?” Linda said quietly over the phone when I finally got a hold of her. “Not much to tell – the Detective on the case is keeping everything hush-hush for some reason.”

“No clue why?” I asked.

“Sorry, Johnny – Detective Gellar is a hard ass.”

“But you can tell me it was murder?”

“Hard to believe being shot in an ally as much of an accident,” Linda said. “I’ll keep my ears open, Johnny, but that’s about all I can do.”

“Thanks, Linda. You’re a sport. I owe you a beer next time you’re in the Beaver.”

“The Southern Beaver, Johnny? You know I hate that place.”

“Since when?”

“Since I can’t go in there without the bar tender hitting on me,” she said, hanging up. I had to laugh at that. Elisha Cuthbert, the Beaver’s owner and chief bartender had more than once made a pass at Linda. To date, Linda hadn’t accepted. I would’ve paid money to see them together, too.

I frowned and got up from my desk, stretching as I did so. So much detective work happens sitting on a phone, but today my efforts had come up dryer than I would’ve preferred.

I stepped out of my office to check with Rachel. When it comes to computer work, Rachel’s my go-to individual. Mostly because she’s already on my payroll, as opposed to actual computer nerds who could get stuff done faster. And with less lip.

“I keep telling you I need a faster computer, Johnny,” Rachel said as I approached. “If you keep expecting me to help you out like this-”

“What have you found?” I said, cutting her off. While I’d been playing phone-tag with Linda, I’d asked Rachel to poke around a bit in Carl’s records, especially his financials. Rachel wasn’t a hacker by any extent, but she knew more than I did about these things – my computer knowledge bordered on Luddite status.

“Carl must have come into some money – and he wasn’t going to stick around. Shortly before his death, he purchased two tickets on the first flight to Aruba.”

“Aruba? Really?” I asked. “Who goes to Aruba anymore?”

“Carl, apparently.”

“Leaving the country for somewhere tropical – sounds like him,” I muttered. “And two tickets means he was probably thinking of bringing Jewel with him, too. She didn’t mention that little fact.”

“The flight was for today, Johnny. It could’ve been rather last-minute,” Rachel pointed out.

“It could.”

“But where’d Carl get the money for the trip is the real question – my friend at the bank says he deposited the EXACT amount for the tickets just prior to buying them.”

“Now THAT’S interesting. Cash deposit?” I asked.

“My friend wouldn’t say, but do you think Carl would do it any other way?”

“Not for a minute,” I agreed.

“Johnny, there’s more in his financials, but I’m tapped out. I can’t dig any deeper without help, and I can’t pretend I’ll understand it when I get there. You need someone who understands money better.”

“Yeah, well, that leaves me out, too,” I grumbled. I frowned, trying to think of anyone I knew who’d understand money better than I did. Aside from some of the cops who really understood financial records, I’d never had any rich friends or anything. “Where am I going to find someone to work through all this?” I wondered aloud.

“You could always try the accountant upstairs,” Rachel said.

“The what?” I asked.

“You know, our upstairs neighbor who isn’t getting any more business than we are?” Rachel said. “Moved in a while ago. You could give it a try.”

“Have you even seen the guy?”

“Don’t think so, but I passed his secretary in the hallway once. Cute little thing – I’m sure you can charm your way into getting HER to help you out anyway.”

I shrugged. “I haven’t got any better ideas.” That admitted, I headed towards the door. “Good work, by the way, Rachel.”

“You could prove to me you believe that by paying me!” she said as I walked out.

“Don’t get your hopes up,” I shot back before closing the door behind me.

* * *

I’d never actually been upstairs in my own building, but I wasn’t too surprised to find the office upstairs very similar to mine in layout. An outer office with a built-in desk for a secretary, and an inner office right down the hall where mine was. It was almost an exact copy of my office, only one floor up.

And filled with boxes. Lots and lots of open boxes filled with paperwork of some sort or another.

“Uh, hello?” I called out as I looked around.

Suddenly, a dark haired, short girl who couldn’t have been more than 25 poked her head around the corner from the main office door.

“Oh, shoot! Wouldn’t you know it, first customer, and I’m in here.”

“I’m looking for the accountant,” I said hopefully, frowning. So far I’d only seen this girl’s head, and she seemed to be hiding something. I’ve had enough women try to stab me in the back – and one or two who actually literally stabbed me in the back – that I became suspicious at once. “Is everything all right back there?”

“No, it isn’t,” she said. “I spilled cappuccino all over my blouse, and, well, I was trying to change it when you came in.”

“Ah,” I said, still a bit confused. “Is the accountant in – I can talk to him out here, if you need the room,” I offered.

“Huh? No, I’M the accountant!” She said.

“You are?” I asked, not quite believing it. “You?”

“What, I can’t be an accountant because I’m a girl?” She asked, pouting her lips and stepping out of the room with her hands on her hips. She wore a dark grey pencil skirt and a shockingly white lace bra that held up her not unimpressive tits in a most charming way. As my eyes gave her body the once over, she seemed to remember she was half naked and ducked back into the main office.

“Uh, no, it’s just you’re not what I was expecting,” I said as she blushed. “In more ways than one.”

“Sorry, it’s been a long day already,” she said. “Can – can you give me a minute?”

“Take two,” I offered, smiling despite myself. There was something inherently charming about this girl. Not that there have been too many girls I haven’t found somewhat charming when I meet them half naked.

The girl took a moment or two to put on a shirt – she was still buttoning it as she raced out of the room mere seconds later. The simple white blouse didn’t do much to hide her fit little frame, and I found myself just as attracted to her fully clothed as I had been when I’d seen her just in her bra.

“I’m so sorry about that,” she said, coming forward quickly and extending a hand. “Ashley Tisdale, certified CPA, CCA, TRL, and CSSA,” she said, shaking my hand firmly with her little palm.

“I don’t know what any of those mean,” I admitted, still charmed by this little girl. “Johnny Richards – I’m the Private Dick downstairs.”

Ashley’s face fell. “Oh no. Don’t tell me – I’m making too much noise and you’re here to complain?”

“Ah, no-” I stated to say, but Ashley was off on a tizzy now. She flung her hands up in disgust and angled towards the flimsy looking office chair next to the secretary’s desk.

“I told those movers they were dropping the record boxes from too high up. I’m so sorry, I’ve been trying to organize this office as quickly as possible, and everything’s a mess, and I lost my diploma somewhere, and my mother thinks I should’ve just married that one Jewish guy I dated in school and pop out a dozen kids, and I spilled my cappuccino all over my blouse, and I flashed the guy from downstairs, and I still don’t have a customer, and I’m starting to ramble again and-”

“Okay, whoa, stop!” I said, holding up my hands. “First off, when you start rambling about how you’re rambling, that’s usually a good place to stop speaking.”

“You’re right,” She said. I watched her take a deep breath to steady herself, and then look up at me again. “I am so sorry, Mister Richards, if my movers made too much noise. I assure you, it will NOT happen again.”

“Secondly,” I said, ignoring her apology, “I didn’t come here to complain about the noise – I didn’t even know you’d had movers today until you mentioned it.”

“They why are you here?” she asked.

“I’m working a case, and I’m in need of someone who can look into financial records,” I said. “I’m investigating the murder of an old friend, and, well, I think some of his money may have been acquired through less-than-legal means.” I shrugged. “Can you possibly help me with that?”

“ Like Financial Forensics?” She asked, her eyes going wide with excitement. “Tracking illegal payments from shell companies? Hunting down trade fraud and under-the-table dealings?”

“I doubt it’s anything THAT complex with Carl Mason, but I guess so,” I admitted.

“SOLD! Ohmygod, I totally took a class on Financial Forensics in college, and it was totally engrossing. Most exciting thing I learned my entire time there, I swear!”

“Well, this probably isn’t anything THAT exciting – I don’t think Carl Mason ever graduated above petty larceny,” I said.

“I’m in,” Ashley said, suddenly giddy. “I’m so totally in.” She smiled at me. “I am so glad I met you, Mister Richards.”

“Yeah, that’ll probably be the only time you ever say THOSE words together,” I quipped.

* * *

Finding Ashley was a stroke of luck. Ignoring my own inabilities in financial knowledge, Ashley not only had contacts in several banks and financial firms – mostly buddies from college willing to help her out – but also knew how to interpret the data better than I ever would have.

Still, digging into Carl Mason’s financial records took time even for someone as skilled and thrilled as Ashley Tisdale. While she slaved away for the next two days, I spent that time doing my usual shtick, checking my local contacts who might have heard anything about Carl, and occasionally checking in with both Linda and Jewel. The investigation slowed to a crawl as Carl had apparently vanished off the underground radar for a few weeks before being killed, and none of my usual crew knew anything about him.

At the end of the second night, I wandered upstairs to Ashley’s office, not at all surprised to find all those same boxes scattered about, and my new accountant friend slaving away at her computer, her glasses sliding off her nose, a half-chewed pencil tucked behind one ear, biting her bottom lip as her eyes moved back-and-forth so fast, I couldn’t quite follow them.

“Ashley?” I asked, standing in her open doorway.

“OH! Johnny! Hey. I think I’m on to something, but I’m waiting for a call back from one of my friends in DC.”

“Is there anywhere you don’t have friends?” I asked with a laugh.

“The City,” she grumbled. “I don’t know anyone here.”

“Why’d you move here then?” I asked.

“Wanted to prove I could make my own way. Papa’s got money, and, well, I probably don’t NEED to work a day in my life. But I didn’t want to be THAT girl, you know? The whiney rich girl who gets upset when her designer label dog collar isn’t layered with enough diamonds.”

“I hate those bitches,” I said theatrically, making her laugh. It was an adorable laugh, one I liked hearing.

“And so I picked the one city I didn’t know ANYONE, and moved there, trying to start my own business.” She frowned for a moment. “And when that failed, I left San Diego and came here instead.” This time, I laughed.

“All right then, come on,” I said stepping forward, extending my hand.

“What?”

“You’re wrong about one thing,” I said. “You do know someone here in The City – you know me. And I’m going to take you to one of my favorite places to get a drink while we wait for your friend who’s totally not in The City to call.”

Ashley seemed to consider this for a moment. “All right, why not?” She stood up, took off her glasses, and moved to grab her jacket. “Do I need to dress up?”

I glanced at her business formal attire. “No, where we’re going, you’re officially over-dressed.

* * *

“Why Johnny Richards, did you bring me a present to try and get out of paying your tab?”

The Southern Beaver never changed. Literally. My favorite bar in part by virtue of being the closest to my office, the Southern Beaver was owned by former Canadian, part-time lesbian, and full-time hottie Elisha Cuthbert. Her platinum blonde hair was short but stylish at the moment, a fact I learned meant she’d hooked up with a hairstylist in the past month or so. Still, she kept the price of her drinks low enough that I could afford them, and let me run one helluva tab when I needed to, so even if she shaved her head bald, I’d still tell Elisha she looked gorgeous.

Plus, I did occasionally like to sleep with her myself.

Still, most of the time Elisha’s desires ran towards the female half of the population, and she liked to make that clear to any woman dumb enough to go to the Beaver with me. Somehow, I didn’t mind all that much.

“Not this time, Elisha,” I said, leading Ashley up to the bar. “Ashley here just started working in the office above mine.”

“There’s an office above yours? Really?” Elisha asked, still running her eyes over Ashley’s body. “I always thought that was just storage space.”

“Yeah, well, until just the other day, I was the only fool willing to pay money for the privilege to sit there and watch the paint crack.”

“Ashley Tisdale,” Ashley said, offering her hand to Elisha. “CPA, CCA, TRL, and CSSA. If you ever need any accounting help, feel free to give me a call.”

“My, aren’t you the business oriented little hottie,” Elisha said. “Can I buy you a drink? Johnny can’t – his tab’s rather full.”

“Ouch,” I grumbled.

“Martini please, two olives, extra dry,” Ashley said.

“Whiskey, Johnny?” Elisha asked, already pouring me a drink.

“You know me so well,” I said, grabbing the drink she slid my way. A moment later, Elisha plopped Ashley’s martini down for her and moved on to other customers.

“You seem quite popular here,” Ashley said, taking a delicate sip.

“I assume you mean that sarcastically,” I said. “Do you want to stay at the bar or grab a table?”

“Table, please,” Ashley said. We moved to one of the open tables and sat down.

“So, how exciting is it being a Private Investigator?” Ashley asked me after a few minutes of small talk.

“First of all, I’m NOT a Private Investigator. I’m a Private Dick. There’s an important difference.”

“One sounds like a job in the porn industry?” Ashley asked, her eyes twinkling at me over the rim of her glass.

I shot her a mock dirty look. “No, a Private Investigator is fully legitimized by the law, takes courses, is fully registered with six different state and federal agencies, and is expected to obey the letter of the law exactly. A Private Dick, like myself, isn’t any of that stuff. And that makes me better.”

“Less paperwork?” Ashley asked.

“You could say that,” I replied. “Because I’m not registered with the law, I don’t have to follow all their rules. And at times, that comes in handy.”

“So you’re sort of a criminal then?”

“Yes and no,” I said, thinking about it. “Some of the stuff I do, if anyone really looked at it, could be considered illegal. I enter people’s homes, I look up their records, I follow them around without them knowing. And because I’m not licensed by the state, I’m not technically allowed to do any of that. But when I find who or whatever it is people want me to find, I don’t get too many complaints.”

“So you’re a bit of a bad boy then?” Ashley asked.

I cocked an eyebrow at that. “I wouldn’t say so, but hey, whatever gets you off.”

“Bad boys don’t get me off,” Ashley said, finishing her drink in one gulp.

“Good thing I’m not one then.”

“No, I’m guessing you’re a perfect gentleman, Johnny Richards,” Ashley said. “You’re all about courting a girl, asking her out on elaborate outings, waiting three dates before even trying to have sex with her-”

“Now wait a second, I’ve never claimed to be a gentleman,” I said, laughing.

“Good,” she said, waving at the nearest waitress to refresh her drink. “So tell me, Mr. Johnny Richards, Private Dick and only occasionally a gentleman – what’s the most dangerous situation you’ve ever been in?”

I had to think about that for a moment. “I’m not really sure. I’ve been shot a couple of times, shot AT even more. I nearly drowned a while back during a fight at the docks. And I’ve had to run from people a lot larger and lot stronger than I am a lot of times.”

“And yet you keep doing your job.”

“I’d love to say someone has to do it, but that’s not exactly true,” I said with a snort. “No, it’s more like I have to do something, and this really is the only thing I’m good at. And really, I’m not THAT good at it.”

“How strange,” Ashley said as the waitress brought her a second martini. “I would never have picked you for being so humble, Johnny.”

“I’m a really layered person,” I joked.

“I’m sure. And I bet you’re in touch with your feminine side, too.”

“Hell no,” I shot back. “But I’d be more than happy to be in touch with your feminine side.”

“Mmmm, I bet you would,” Ashley said, giving me a look over her glass again. “But that’ll take a few more martinis before I decide if I’m going to let you or not.”

“Let me get the waitress then,” I said.

* * *

It took two more martinis and a shot of tequila after that, but soon enough Ashley and I were tumbling into her office, our lips mashed together and our hands all over each other’s bodies. Ashley was a good five or six inches shorter than I was, forcing me to bend over a bit to keep my lips on hers, but at that point I didn’t care. Her lips tasted of olives and bubblegum – some strange flavor on her lipstick, I assumed, and they sought out my lips with a hunger I hadn’t felt in a while.

I made it three steps into Ashley’s office before I kicked one of the boxes of records she still had strewn about the floor, nearly tripping in the process.

“Fuck,” I muttered.

“Sorry, I’ve been busy,” Ashley said, shoving her tongue down my throat. I stopped complaining as one of her hands fell to my belt and started to struggle with it. She kept at it for a solid minute, her mouth locked onto mine, both of her hands fighting with my belt as she slowly backed me into the room. Finally, laughing to myself, I broke the kiss.

“You want some help here?” I asked, reaching down to undo my belt.

“YES!” She snapped. As the leather finally separated from it’s loop, Ashley quickly yanked my slacks down, followed VERY quickly by my boxers. I tried to reach down to start unbuttoning her blouse, but Ashley batted my hand away and reached for the waistband of my boxers, yanking them down without hesitation.

“My my, Johnny Richards,” she said, an evil light in her eyes as she looked up at me. “I guess we know which one of us here ISN’T Jewish.”

“Sorry to disappoint?” I said, not knowing what else to say.

Ashley barked a quick laugh. “There’s nothing disappointing here.” And with that, she dropped to her knees and began to stroke my already stiffening erection with her palm.

“You don’t waste time, do you?” I remarked as Ashley’s delicate fingers gently wrapped around my shaft.

“Can I tell you a secret?” Ashley asked.

“I’m literally in the palm of your hands,” I quipped. “You can tell me anything you want.”

“I like holding a guy’s cock. There’s something so… primal about handling a man’s most precious possession.” As she spoke, her fingers worked magic up and down me, giving life to my lusts in ways I couldn’t name but appreciated dearly.

“Mmmm, I love feeling a man throb under my fingertips,” Ashley continued. “It’s like I can feel all your power and all your lust just pulsating beneath the flesh, ready to explode when I let it.”

“You sound like the kind of girl who likes to take charge in bed.”

“Oh, hell no,” Ashley shot back at me. “In bed, you can do whatever you want to me. I just like holding and stroking guys first. Kinda heats things up, know what I mean?”

“Considering what you’re doing to my cock, I think it’s safe to say that I do.”

“Mmmm, good,” Ashley said. And with that she gripped the base of my cock with one hand, and carefully took just the tip into her mouth, surprising me. I had just enough time to inhale quickly before she started to run her tongue over my head in slow circles, each one making my knees weak. I had expected her to keep using her hands, but Ashley’s mouth was as skilled as her fingertips – maybe even more so – and I could feel my lusts rising with every little lick. She hadn’t even moved her lips down my shaft yet.

I figured out rather quickly that Ashley was a master tease. Her tongue and lips never ventured south of my head, but the things she did with them about the tip of my cock were amazing. I dropped my hand to the top of her head, but she took her own free hand and pushed me away gently, giving me an extra hard stroke by way of apology. She was in charge of this, and I decided right then and there to let her be in charge. She was doing everything right so far anyway.

I made it another minute or two of exquisite torture before my knees began to buckle. “Ashley, I gotta sit down or you’re going to make me fall down.”

“You sit down, and I’m going to jump your bones,” she said, stroking my cock with one hand while she spoke.

“Then jump my bones,” I said, looking for a chair.

“Mmmm, if you insist, Johnny,” She said, getting up off her knees. I found the chair to her secretary’s desk and plopped down on the cool leather. As I looked up, Ashley was shedding her blouse, one button at a time, revealing an adorable little white bra that seemed to be straining hard to keep Ashley’s tits held within. I started to undo my own shirt buttons as Ashley dropped her top to the floor and began working on her skirt’s zipper. I popped a button clean off my shirt when Ashley revealed she was wearing a black G-string that didn’t match her bra at all. Somehow, that made the whole thing even sexier.

I chucked my shirt aside and smiled as Ashley sauntered towards me in just her mis-matched underwear, her grin matching mine.

“You like what you see, Johnny?”

“Mmmmm, yes I do,” I admitted freely.

“Even though you’ve seen a lot of this already?” She asked, reminding me that she’d been half-undressed when I first met her.

“Well, I think you had pants on then,” I commented.

“What was I thinking,” Ashley joked. “Wearing pants. Such a silly thing to do.”

“You most certainly don’t need them,” I said.

“And I suppose you want to see more of me?” She asked playfully, a single finger on her lower lip, her head tilted down a bit, as if looking over the glasses she hadn’t worn.

“You could say that,” I said as she slowly walked towards me, her hips swaying in an exaggerated manner – as if I needed any more reason to lust after this girl. It was all I could do to keep myself from getting up out of the chair and throwing her over the back of it and having my way with her.

“You know, I could be a real bitch and tell you you’re not going to see any more than this,” Ashley said as she started to straddle my legs. “But I think we both know that’d be a lie.”

“Besides,” I said as she sat down in my lap, arms draped over my neck, “I don’t think you could be a bitch if you wanted to.”

“Mmmm, you never met my college roommate then,” Ashley said before playfully kissing the tip of my nose. At the same time, my erection was pressed against her panties hard enough that I could feel the heat wafting out of her crotch. It was a fantastic feeling. “She thought I was a real bitch.”

“Is she here?” I asked. “We could show her how wrong she is.”

“Johnny!” Ashley said with a laugh. “Why do I think you’ve had two women at once before?”

“I’ve no idea what you mean, my dear,” I said with mock dismay. “After all, I’m a gentleman.”

“Mmmm, your little gentleman down there says otherwise,” Ashley giggled.

“Who are you going to believe?” I asked as she stood up a bit, enough to pull her crotch away from my cock. “Him or me?”

“Him,” Ashley whispered in my ear before she lowered herself down right onto my erection. She must have yanked aside her panties when she stood up, because I slid right in to her warm wetness without meeting any resistance at all. If Ashley’s mouth had been hot, her pussy was downright heavenly as it gripped me perfectly with each inch that slid inside. It was a tight fit, but if that bothered Ashley, it didn’t show, because she didn’t stop until she’d sat back down on my lap, this time with me held deep inside her.

“Mmm, fuck me, Johnny. Show me just how much of a gentleman you can be,” she said hungrily.

I wasted no time, leaning forward to kiss her hastily while ramming my cock up into her as best I could at the same time. My hands came up to cup her breasts through the simple cotton fabric of her white bra, and I could feel her nipples attempting to rip through that fabric to get free. Ashley’s hands came up to my head, where she started to run her fingers through my hair as she rode me like a champion.

I suddenly found myself wishing Ashley and I had hooked up sooner. She was a damn fantastic lay, and I hadn’t even gotten her completely naked yet.

Sitting in a chair, with a girl on top of you, facing you, isn’t the best way to fuck, in my opinion, but it’s a situation I enjoy most of the time. You can look right at the girl, hold her breasts, and most of the time, she does a fair amount of the work. Still, there are issues – like in the case of me and Ashley, where she could only reach the floor with her toes, and thus couldn’t lift off of me too much without either favoring one side or another, throwing off our balance. This made our fucking slow, but powerful, and while I wanted nothing more than to throw Ash on the floor and get down to business, she seemed to be enjoying herself far more than I was.

“Oh, Johnny! Your so big, and so thick, I love having you inside me!”

I almost laughed. I’m not usually one who requires a lot of verbal stimulation or support, and Ashley’s dirty talk was decidedly PG-13. Still, I enjoyed letting the little brunette have her way with me for now. There was something kind of liberating about it, somehow. I just wished I could lay down somewhere and really let her go to town.

“Mmm, harder, Johnny! Harder!” Ashley moaned, her head rolling back on her neck. She did her best to increase the speed of her bouncing atop me, though there wasn’t much she could do with just her toes. I tried to pick up the pace of my own thrusting efforts, but didn’t think I’d accomplished much.

Until Ashley let out a groan of delight and practically collapsed atop me. I could feel her pussy walls convulsing in orgasmic release, and I found myself more than a bit surprised it had happened so fast.

“Are- are you okay?” I asked without thinking.

“Mmmm, more than okay,” Ashley growled in my ear. “Wow, it’s been too long since I’d gotten any, Johnny.”

“You poor thing,” I said, twitching my cock inside her again. “I certainly can’t let you go that long again without getting laid.”

“No you can’t,” Ashley said with a smile. “So how long should I wait before we fuck again?”

“Couple days?” I asked, matching her playful smile.

“Hmmm, I was thinking sooner.”

“Couple hours?”

“Sooner,” she said.

“Couple minutes?”

“How about right now?” she asked, kissing me playfully.

I pretended to think about it for a moment. “I guess I can fit you into my busy schedule.”

“Yay!” She laughed playfully.

“But first things first,” I said, reaching around and unsnapping her bra, which immediately fell between us, revealing her perky tits to me for the first time. “That had to go.”

“Mmmm, if you think so, Johnny,” Ashley said, already rocking back and forth atop me again, my hard cock still inside her, getting desperate for it’s own release. “Anything else?”

“I’d love for you to get rid of those panties, but I seem to be in the way.”

“You want me to get off?” she asked, a little too innocently.

“You’re good where you are,” I replied, thrusting into her again for the first time since her orgasm. She groaned a bit.

“Are you sure? Maybe I should go somewhere else,” she said, keeping that playful tone she’d had the whole time. “The desk, maybe?”

“You wanna get on the desk?” I asked, intrigued. It would certainly give me more room to maneuver.

“Or do you just want me on the floor, Johnny? All spread out and open for you? Is that what you want?”

I grimaced at the thought of the floor. If it was anything like mine, the hardwood wasn’t exactly the most comfortable. “I’m still leaning towards the desk,” I said, thrusting up into her again.

“Are you sure?”

I answered her by wrapping my arms around her back tightly and standing up. If Ashley weighed more than a hundred pounds, I would’ve been surprised, because it was fairly easy for me to walk across the short distance between the chair and the desk, plop her ass upon it, and start thrusting into her, now firmly able to do so with a LOT more power.

“I’m sure,” I said. Ashley gasped as I began to work her over hard and fast. With her tits jiggling before me and her legs now wrapped around my waist, I felt a little more in my comfort zone. Each and every thrust into Ashley’s tight little pussy felt better and better, and soon I worked up a sheen of sweat down my back from my actions.

“Harder, Johnny! God, Harder! HARDER!” She started shouting. I fucked her harder.

“Faster Johnny! Faster, Faster, FASTER!” I fucked her faster.

Ashley’s legs were like vices around my hips, and her fingernails were digging into the skin of my back, but I didn’t care. I kept fucking. And fucking. And fucking.

“God, Johnny! I’m coming again!” Ashley managed to get out between gasps for air. I redoubled my efforts, attempting to give Ashley another climax while enjoying her body myself. I pounded harder and faster into her, watching as she squeezed her eyes tight, as if that might slow down the arrival of her orgasm. If anything, it only sped things up, because no more than two or three thrusts later, she was moaning again, her head rolling loose on her neck once more, and her tight little pussy pulsating around my shaft once more.

I kept thrusting through the second climax, hoping that I could reach my own before she finished, but I was still going at it when she came around again.

“Oh, hang on a sec, Johnny. I need a moment,” she said, letting go of me with both her arms and her legs. Feeling a bit frustrated, I gave her one last powerful thrust before pulling out of her for the first time in what felt like ages. My cock was coated with her juices, and quivering on it’s own, clearly in need of release.

“Just give me a moment, Johnny,” Ashley said, trying to catch her breath. “And we can go again.”

“All right, let’s get these off then,” I said, coming forward and sliding her black panties down her sexy legs. She stepped out of them, and I chucked them over my shoulder, where they landed in one of her boxes of files. Only now, as I kissed my way up those sexy little legs of hers did I realize Ashley was completely shaven, a fact that always turned me on.

Not that I needed much help – I felt like a stiff wind would get me off at this point.

“Oooh,” Ashley moaned as I kissed the bare skin just above her pussy. “That feels nice, Johnny, but I still need a moment.”

“That’s okay, I can wait,” I said, pretty much lying through my teeth. I kissed her crotch again, then stood up.

“Oooh, wow – are you sure?” Ashley said, looking down at my throbbing member. “I could give you a hand, or maybe a blow-”

“No, I can wait for the main event to be ready again,” I said, coming close enough to her to give her a quick kiss on the mouth.

“OR,” she said, suddenly getting a devilish look upon her face. “You could have my ass.”

I blinked. Ashley had a fantastic rear end, round and bubble-shaped, it was one of her finest features – one I’d admired quite a bit in the last two days. “You sure?”

Ashley merely turned around and bent over the desk, sticking that ass of hers out into the air for me to drool over, almost literally. “Just be careful – I’m not a virgin back there, but I haven’t done it a lot.”

“I’ll be careful,” I said, lining my cock up with her puckered little ass hole. I paused only long enough to give each ass cheek a solid squeeze – something they were calling out for – and then slowly started to push my way inside her back door.

“OOH!” She gasped, making me stop. “I’m okay,” she said quickly, cutting off my question. “Just slowly to start, Johnny.”

“We can stop any time you want,” I told her, slowly easing myself into her again. She pushed back a little with her butt, and a moment later the head of my cock popped into her ass.

“AHHH!” She cried out, making me stop again. This time she took a few seconds to get used to my manhood inside her. But soon enough, she was pushing back herself, giving me the go ahead to start again.

It took several long minutes before I was finally all inside Ashley Tisdale’s fantastic rear, but it was worth it. If her pussy had been tight, her ass was even tighter, almost to the point of being too tight. I wished for a moment that we had some lube, but didn’t dare ask Ashley about it – that would mean having to pull out, which I most certainly wasn’t going to do at that point.

“Okay,” she said, taking a few deep breaths. “Go on, Johnny. Fuck my ass.”

With her tacit permission, I slowly pulled out until only my head was inside her rear, then slowly pushed all the way back in with one solid push.

“OOOH, FUCK!” She cried out. “Keep going!” She said before I could ask. I pulled out and pushed in again, a little faster, getting similar results. It took a few more minutes, but soon enough, I was thrusting in and out with a good little rhythm, loving every single thrust. I grabbed Ashley ass with both hands to steady her, and she reached across the desk to grab the far edge with both hands. Thus steadied, we really started to go to town.

I sort of lost track of Ashley after that. My needs began roaring at me, and I had to get off, ideally in the hole my cock was buried in at the moment. Ashley’s tight little ass was ideal, and every stroke brought me closer and closer to climax. With my hands on her hips, I was able to pound away to my heart’s content. I was vaguely aware that Ashley was moaning and gasping, but I couldn’t make out any specifics. My dawning orgasm was drowning out any other rational thought, and when I finally exploded deep inside Ashley’s ass, I found myself collapsing over the little girl’s back, pressing her against the desktop as I emptied myself with several huge blasts.

I came around a few moments later when Ashley’s voice finally broke through my post-orgasmic fog.

“Johnny? Johnny, I don’t want to rush you, but could you maybe get off me?”

“Sorry,” I grumbled, though it probably came out as something like “Srghy.” I gently extracted myself from the lovely Miss Tisdale’s ass and nearly fell backwards into the chair, my knees were still a bit weak.

“Wow, Johnny. That was awesome,” Ashley said, turning around to face me. Somehow, two orgasms and a load up her ass later, Ashley somehow looked more sweet and innocent than she had before. I found myself thinking I was going to have to become a better neighbor so long as she was above my office.

* * *

Ashley and I didn’t spend any more of the night together. She wanted to get back to work, and I wanted to get back to a bed, so we went our separate ways, and regret started to fill me a little. I hoped the young beauty wasn’t going to get TOO attached to me. I was more than happy to fuck Ashley to within an inch of her life, but somehow I thought she might want more from a relationship, and that was something I wasn’t ready to give.

I collapsed on my bed at home, and didn’t wake up until the phone rang the next morning.

“Johnny?!” It was Ashley, sounding excited. “Johnny, I found something. I need to see you in my office right away.”

“Should I bring my pants?” I asked, only half-joking as I sat up in bed.

“YES! It’s about the case! Hurry!” She hung up, leaving me wondering just what I’d gotten myself into.

I showered and dressed and drove to the office, trying to will myself awake enough to look at whatever numbers Ashley had cobbled together overnight. I skipped past my office and headed up the stairs, leaving a trail of rainwater behind me until I reached Ashley’s office.

I found the bubbly brunette sitting at the computer on the desk in her main office – which was probably a good thing, as just looking at the secretary’s desk would’ve made me want to take Ashley over it again.

“Did you even go home last night?” I asked as I approached Ashley’s desk.’

“I most certainly did – Ashley Tisdale doesn’t go to work the next morning smelling of sex.”

“Even if your only customer is the guy you just slept with?” I asked.

“ESPECIALLY if my only customer is the guy I just slept with,” Ashley retorted. “Take a look at this.”

I came over and looked at a spreadsheet filled with numbers that meant nothing to me. “Okay, I’ll bite – this is somehow connected to Carl Mason?”

“These are the financial records of a company called MFH Inc.”

“What does MFH stand for?”

“Nothing, so far as I can tell – it’s a shell corporation. At most, a way of laundering dirty money. I don’t think there’s even an actual company, just some documents.”

“Okay, I KNOW this is all way above Carl’s talent level, so what’s the connection?”

“The connection is that somehow, Carl Mason was working for a company that doesn’t exist as a consultant,” Ashley said, bringing up two more spreadsheets. “Here’s where things get even MORE interesting. At one point, about two days before Carl was murdered, there was an odd series of withdrawals from MFH’s accounts. They were all small and seemingly unconnected, but in the end, they tally up to just over Fifty Million.”

“Fifty Million?” I asked. “As in dollars?”

“Fifty Million, one thousand seventy-three dollars, and eighteen cents, total.”

My eyes boggled a bit. Carl had stolen $50 Million from a fake company? “No wonder they killed Mason,” I said.

“Yeah, but it gets even MORE interesting,” Tisdale said, bringing up yet another screen on her computer. “I tried looking into who actually owns MFH. Through about seven different hidden connections, it looks like MFH is owned by someone named Sofia Vergara. I’ve never heard of her, but I’m betting she’s your killer.”

I sighed. “Almost certainly,” I said. Unlike Ashley, I had heard of Sofia Vergara before. “Sofia is the newest drug smuggler for the Vergara Cartel here in The City. If Carl Mason stole from her, she’d certainly kill him for it.”

“Oh my god, that’s horrible,” Ashley said. “But… if this Vergara woman had killed Mason, wouldn’t she have taken the money back?”

“W-what?” I said, surprised by her question. “What are you talking about?”

“All the money – it’s still missing – at least, it hasn’t gone back to any of the shell corporations I looked at between MFH and Vergara herself. Fifty million is a bit much to be carrying around in pocket change, even for a Cartel member.”

I glanced at the screen again, as if I could magically understand all the figures. “So, wait – Carl’s dead, but Vergara doesn’t have her money back? Who has the money?”

Ashley could only shrug her shoulders.

* * *

The Vergara Cartel was one of Columbia’s most powerful drug organizations, and with the slowly filling vacuum in the criminal underworld here in The City – thanks in no small part to my killing of Rick Valentine – Vergara had been pouring product and money into the shambles of the criminal class left behind. And while there were parts of the city – like Asia Town – that the Vergarans couldn’t get into, I had them pegged for being the most powerful organization in a year or two, easily.

Which meant finding their purported leader, Sofia Vergara, an interesting task.

You don’t work as a Private Dick in The City for as long as I have without developing a few dozen criminal connections. From petty criminals to street whores to white collar crime guys and even the head of the Asian Yakuza element, I knew all sorts of people who probably should be behind bars but aren’t. Sometimes, these people come in handy to me, and sometimes they try to kill me. Sometimes they do both at the same time.

I can handle most of these fools without too much stress, and what I’m left with is an intricate web of connections that provides me with information and favors through all the dirtiest levels of The City.

Still, finding and getting a meeting with the local head of the Vergara Cartel is a bit harder than just calling up a two-bit pickpocket and telling him to get you in contact with his fence. Getting to Sofia Vergara would take a little more effort than that.

I started with Maria Bello, the local smuggler extraordinaire who still felt she owed me a favor or two for helping to save her life a while back. She got me in touch with a pair of drug pushers who weren’t too happy to have the Vergarans moving in on their territory. From them, I got a link to a quiet little whore house on the far side of town that I’d never been to – a remarkable fact in and of itself.

At once point, there had been three hugely powerful whore houses in The City. Then, with a little accidental help from myself during a case that left me shot, two of them went belly up when their owner-operators died. That only left Travesty Luck’s place operating on the major level, and a mess of smaller ones springing up around the place. The Glitter Eye was one of those smaller ones, though from what little I’d heard, it might grow to the mid level before Travesty got around to absorbing it.

I wasn’t actually looking for one of their whores, though walking in, I got the impression no body over the age of 25 came here anyway. The whores walking around the place were all what I call Scene Kid Whores – they were covered in cheap gold, spray tan, the stink of booze, and too much glitter to be truly attractive to anyone out of college age. Not that I hadn’t banged chicks like this in the last few years – I’ve not said no to too many girls – but they wouldn’t have been my first choice.

Looking around the Glitter Eye, I got a sad twinge of nostalgia for Brittany Murphy’s place, rest her soul.

I was approached almost at once by a bubbly looking, half-drunk girl who’s legal age I might have questioned. “Can I help you?”

“Yeah, I’m looking for a customer,” I said. “I’ve heard he hangs out here a lot.”

“We don’t have too many regulars,” the girls said, sizing me up with her big blue eyes. “Though if you want to become one-”

“Just find me Mr. Vile,” I said. Not that I wouldn’t have done the girl, but I was here on business.

“Vile? You’re looking for Brandon Vile?” a new voice said. I turned to find a tall, scraggy looking black guy with his hair in tight braids and more bling than I’ve seen on any one person in ages. Considering everything else he wore was pure white, I pegged the guy as the local pimp.

“Yeah,” I said. “You know him?”

“Man, that weed-loving white dude won’t leave my girls alone, fo-shizzle. And the girls keep paying for him, you read?”

I blinked, not sure I’d fully understood half of what he’d said. “I need some information from him. Is he here?”

“Man, when is that worthless dude NOT here, you hear? He be wastin’ one of my rooms and ain’t payin the Dee-ohh-double-Gee at all.”

I glanced around. “Does anyone translate around here?”

“Man, you need to relax,” the guy said. “Name’s Snoop Dogg. You can call me Snoop.”

“Johnny Richards, Private Dick,” I said, shaking his hand, trying hard not to think about where it had been. “This your joint.”

“Fo-rizzle-dizzle,” Snoop said.

“And Brandon Vile’s here?”

“You gots a hearing problem, Johnny? I said he was holed up in one o’ my rooms.”

I wasn’t sure if I had a hearing problem or he had a speaking problem. Either way, I wasn’t getting half of what he was saying.

“Can I see him?” I asked.

“You buys a girl, you can sees whoever you want.”

I sighed. I’d half expected this to happen, but so far I was doing this job pro-bono, and this would come out of my own pocket. “How much?” I asked.

“For a fine, upstanding’ citi-shizzle like yourself, one hundred,” Snoop said. I grumbled, but yanked out a few twenties from my wallet. I’d paid more for less, so I couldn’t complain too much.

“One hundred for the girl and access to Vile,” I said, counting out the money into Snoop’s hand – which I noticed was covered with far too many rings to count. “And another forty for no questions asked.”

“Dude, I ain’t never heard nothin’ comin’ out of ANY of my rooms, for-shizzle.”

“Whatever. Where do I find Vile?” I asked.

“Yo!” Snoop called out. “Kesha! Get yo flat ass over here and give this dude whatever he wants!”

The next thing I knew a sorta-attractive blonde with more glitter on her skin than clothes appeared beside me. She looked like she hadn’t been sober a day in her life, and wouldn’t have drawn much attention from anyone if she wasn’t willing to do anything – and anyone.

“Hey baby, I like your hat,” she said. I began to wonder if my opinion that she was drunk was wrong. She sounded high instead.

“Vile?” I asked Snoop.

“Room 6 upstairs,” Snoop said before wandering off quickly.

“So, like, you wanna get some weed and get high first, or you just wanna plow me?” Kesha asked as she took my hand and lead me up the stairs.

“We can skip the weed,” I muttered.

“That’s cool. I, like, had some earlier,” she said, sounding more and more out of her head. I felt bad. The girl probably would be pretty cute if someone would bother to clean her up. I wasn’t sure she’d had a shower in the last couple of days. Kesha lead me into room 6, which I was NOT surprised to find more or less empty, save for a bed, a couch, and a counter with a big bowl of condoms on it.

“You gotta wear one if you wanna play,” Kesha said as she walked over and plopped down on the couch – I noticed then that she was going commando underneath her micro-mini skirt. I wasn’t surprised.

“Where’s Vile?” I asked.

“You lookin’ for a dude when I’m right here?” Kesha asked me, looking at me strangely.

“I thought he was going to be in here.”

“He will, sooner or later,” Kesha said. “I’ve had Brandon a few times. He’s good people.”

“He’s a drug dealer,” I said, rolling my eyes.

“And he gives all us girls free stuff – that makes him good people in my book.”

“That doesn’t surprise me,” I said, sitting down next to her. Immediately she climbed onto my lap and started gyrating atop me. “You don’t have-”

“You paid – extra, too. For that, you can have any hole you want,” she said. I could feel the heat from her pussy through my slacks, and the animal inside me started to come alive. It’d only been a full day or so since Ashley and I had fucked, but my cock was already craving pussy again.

One of these days, I’m going to learn to stop thinking with my little head. Today was not that day.

“How about a blow?” I asked.

“Mmmm, yeah! I like sucking cock,” Kesha said, sliding off me and getting onto her knees. I was certain now she was a prostitute – only a professional would make dropping to her knees to service a complete stranger look like the thing she wanted to do more than anything else in the world.

Kesha unzipped my pants and fished my cock out in good order – my erection grew steadily in her glitter-covered hands. I frowned a little – I was going to need a shower after this.

Kesha purred once or twice as she got my erection growing in her hand, then engulfed it in her mouth, where she went to work.

“Oh, dude – awesome. Kesha is sweet with the whole giving head thing.”

I glanced up at the door to see Brandon Vile enter the room. I hadn’t seen the man since before I’d shot Rick Valentine. His hair had gotten longer, she skin paler, and the circles under his eyes deeper. Otherwise, he was the same greasy man I’d remembered.

Vile had been Valentine’s connection to the drug trade, a remarkable fact considering he used more of his product than he actually sold himself. I could’ve gone the rest of my life without ever being in the same room as this douche, but if anyone would know how to get in touch with the Vergara Cartel, it was Vile.

“Vile, I need some information,” I said.

“Do I know you, lucky dude?” he asked, sitting down across from me and pulling out a joint. I rolled my eyes. Vile was a walking contact high as it was, but if he started smoking in here, my clothes would reek of weed for a week. Now I was going to need a shower and to do laundry.

“Johnny Richards,” I said, letting my annoyed tone carry to him.

“Fuck, the dude who shot Valentine,” Vile said, sitting back in his chair. He was silent for a moment, and I got a smidge distracted as Kesha lightly ran her fingernails over my balls. It was hard to be menacing when you had a drunk co-ed covered in glitter sucking on your manhood.

“I’m assuming you’re still tied in with the drug trade, Vile?” I said, trying to ignore the blonde hair flopping between my legs.

“Yeah, man – you need me to hook you up with something?”

“Yeah – Sofia Vergara.”

“DAMN!” Vile muttered. “Dude, you got taste, I’ll give you that. She is one FINE piece of Latina MILF. I would bend her over and totally fuck her senseless.”

“I’m not looking to hook up with her,” I said, trying to keep my focus as Kesha started to deep-throat me. “I need to meet with her for information.”

“You like information. What are you, some king of cop?”

“I’m a Private Dick,” I said, getting exasperated.

Kesha pulled off my cock at that moment. “Your dick ain’t THAT private, babe – it’s big, but it ain’t private.”

I rolled my eyes. These two belonged together, I was certain of that.

“Vile, I need you to get me in touch with Sofia Vergara. Can you do it?”

“That fine piece of Latina MILF? Yeah, I can probably do that,” Vile said. “But if you’re just looking to score something, I can get it for you.”

“I’m not,” I said flatly – Kesha took that exact moment to wrap her lips around my cock again and return to her blowjob.

“Cool, cool,” Vile said. “Man, Kesha here sucks a mean cock, don’t she?”

“She’s a true artist,” I said, rolling my eyes. “Are you going to make this happen or not?”

“Make what happen?” Vile asked, looking confused.

I wanted to reach over and smack him, but I didn’t trust Kesha to not bite my cock off in the process. “Get me a meeting with Sofia Vergara.”

“Oh, yeah.” Vile said. He sat there for a moment, lost in thought – or just lost, I wasn’t sure which. “I, ah, I can make a few calls.”

“Please,” I said, leaning back on the couch. Kesha seemed to take that as a sign to redouble her efforts – and that meant she got noisier and sloppier.

Vile just sat there for a few moments.

“Yo! Brandon!” I shouted finally.

“What?” He asked.

“You going to make those calls?”

“Huh?” he asked.

Finally I’d had enough. I reached behind me and managed to yank out the pistol I always kept on my back. Aiming over Kesha’s still bobbing head, I pointed it at the strung-out drug dealer. “Get me a meeting with Sofia Vergara! NOW!” I said.

“Oh, NOW?!” He said. “Uh, yeah, okay. I’ll be right back.” With that he got off the bed and walked out of the room, leaving me alone with Kesha again.

“Nice gun,” she said, looking up at my pistol. Then she looked back at my cock. “This one’s bigger,” she giggled.

I rolled my eyes and pushed Kesha off me. I stood up and started to undo my belt. “Just bend over and shut up,” I told her. The glitter-covered girl actually clapped her hands and jumped up and down a couple of times in excitement before she assumed the position over the couch. I had a few minutes to spare, and it looked like the only way to get rid of this girl was to fuck her, so I just gave in. I grabbed a condom out of the bowl, threw it on, and came up behind Kesha, stopping only long enough to lift her skirt enough to give me access.

Then I started to fuck her from behind. Hard.

“Oooh, yeah, baby! Take me, baby! Take me hard, baby!”\

“What part of shut up don’t you understand?” I grunted as I slammed into Kesha, a little harder than I needed too.

“My Momma always said I couldn’t shut up if my life depended on it.”

“I’d believe that,” I muttered. Still, I kept fucking. It beat sitting there and actually listening to the girl.

Kesha didn’t shut up the entire time. Even as I pulled out of her pussy and slammed my rubber-wrapped cock into her ass, she kept blabbering on about how much she loved Butt-Sex. I got the feeling that if Snoop hadn’t found this girl, she’d be giving it up to anyone for free.

And that realization only made me realize I seriously over-paid for this chick.

Still, her ass was tight, and while she didn’t have much in the way of ass cheeks or tits, she was far from ugly, and I’d done worse in my life. Soon enough, I was blowing my load inside her ass, more than a little relieved to know I was protected.

“Mmmm, baby, you were amazing,” Kesha said, pulling off of me. “Any time you wanna go again, you let me know.”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” I muttered as I watched Kesha leave the room, not bothering at all to pull down her mini-skirt to cover up.

* * *

“And you TRUST this guy?” Ashley Tisdale asked me the next morning. She’d come down from her office to see me – though she’d stopped and talked far too long with Rachel out in the front office.

“Trust him? No. But as long as he isn’t completely blitzed, he’ll get me that meeting – if for no other reason that to get me off his back,” I explained. I’d told Ashley and Rachel all about my efforts so far, leaving out the small detail of me fucking Kesha – I was hoping to be able to leave that detail out of my own memory, for that matter.

“So what now?”

“Vile made contact – I made sure of that – so now I just need to wait for Vergara to make contact with me.”

“She’s going to call you?” Ashley asked.

“Hardly. She’ll send someone to fetch me,” I said.

“That sounds… dangerous,” Ashley said.

“Oh, don’t worry – Johnny’s been beat up by the best,” Rachel Bilson remarked with her usual acidic wit. “He’ll be fine.”

“Your confidence is overwhelming,” I grumbled.

Indeed, that was exactly what happened. When I left my office later that day, I didn’t make it the thirty feet to where I parked my car before a big black SUV pulled up next to me, and a pair of large Latino men stepped out.

“You guys are a bit predictable, you know that?” I muttered as a bag was thrown over my head and I was hauled into the SUV for a long and very quiet car ride.

A good hour later, I was deposited into a chair, the bag was removed, and I was left alone in a VERY plush looking office in a high rise in the middle of The City. I took a few moments to get used to light again, then stood up and walked over to the window, trying to place where I was.

“I do so love this view,” a sultry voice with an erotic accent said from behind me. I didn’t bother to turn around.

“The Corsuca Building,” I remarked, realizing the view I was getting could only come from the largest tower in The City. “Impressive. I wouldn’t have expected one of Columbia’s largest drug cartels to hide out in such a… visible location.”

“I have a weakness for tall buildings,” Sofia said. I could hear her heels approaching me from behind.

“So you are the infamous Johnny Richards,” she said as I finally turned around to face the beauty. And beauty was what she was. A gorgeous Latina woman with dark hair running just past her shoulders, plump lips, and plumper breasts that were prominently on display in her low-cut blouse. She was in her late 30s, early 40s at the most, but could’ve passed for late 20s without any effort. And she oozed sex appeal. From the way her hips swayed as she approached me, to the way her dark eyes seemed to sparkle, to the way she extended a silky hand towards me and pouted her lips just right. This was a woman who could get just about any man to sleep with her. Married men would leave their wives and gay men would go straight for just one night with Sofia Vergara.

I fought to keep my eyes off her breasts as she approached – a Herculean task if ever there was one – and instead tried to focus on her face.

“I suppose I owe you thanks, no?”

“You do?” I asked cautiously.

“You killed Valentine, did you not?” she asked me, coming extra close to me, to the point I could smell her intoxicating perfume.

“Yeah,” I muttered.

“Then you opened up The City for the Vergarans,” she smiled seductively. “We are MOST grateful to you for that.”

“How nice to know,” I said, trying very hard not to stammer. This gorgeous woman might have been every man’s walking wet dream, but had a reputation for being deadly, too.

“You have quite the reputation, Mister Richards,” she said. I loved the way her accent stretched out my name just a bit on the vowels. She turned away from me – giving me a fantastic shot of her ass in her too-tight skirt as she walked towards her desk. “You are a disgraced cop, a thorn in the side of criminals in The City, a friend to whores and strippers, and you killed the most powerful gangster in The City,” she said as she rounded her desk and sat down. “Not to mention your reported skills as a lover.”

“Thanks, I think,” I said. She motioned me into a chair across from her desk, which I quickly sat in.

“With that reputation, one wonders why a man like you would come looking for the head of the Vergaran Cartel,” she continued, her eyes suddenly filling with ice. “You can understand my concern, no? You sought out Valentine and he ended up dead, correct.”

“I didn’t actually seek him out-” I started to protest, but she cut me off.

“Regardless, he is dead, and you killed him. I do not wish the same fate.”

“I’m not here to kill you,” I said.

“Then why ARE you here?”

I swallowed hard. This was when things got dangerous. “A friend of mine was killed a few days ago – Carl Mason. His girlfriend thinks he was murdered, and the police are dragging their heels looking into it.”

“So you thought you’d ask around town if the most powerful drug cartel had anything to do with it?” Sofia asked, her eyes flaring with danger again.

“I found financial records indicating that Mr. Mason may have stolen money from a company called MFH,” I said. Her eyes got darker. “I believe someone connected to MFH may have killed Carl – except there’s no sign the money has been recovered.”

There was a long silence in the room. “It seems that your reputation as a detective is UNDERstated, Mister Richards,” Sofia said at last, making me shiver despite myself. “I assume you are here because you have somehow learned that I own MFH, and Mister Mason stole from me.”

That didn’t seem to need replying to, so I kept my mouth shut.

“You are correct,” she said, standing up. “And you are correct that the money Mister Mason stole has NOT been returned to me yet. We cannot find it.”

That surprised me a bit. “So none of your people recovered it when they killed him?”

“If they did, they are hiding it from me, and they will die for it,” she said, walking around the corner of her desk and sitting atop it right in front of me, swinging one of her glorious, cinnamon-colored legs before me. “But I do not think any of my people have my money.”

“Then who does?” I asked, forgetting for a moment that I’d just correctly identified Carl Mason’s killer.

“We do not know – we were not even sure Mason had stolen the money himself, Mister Richards,” Sofia said. “And we are no closer to finding who stole the money from him.”

I suddenly remembered where I was. “Well, I would tell you to be careful of the cops, but I suspect you already have ways of dealing with them,” I said, starting to get up. “Should I show myself out, or are you going to have someone throw a bag over my head again?”

I didn’t even make it all the way out of the chair. One of Sofia’s six-inch heels came forward to press against my stomach and force me back down into the chair.

“I am not done with you yet, Johnny Richards,” she said slowly.

I cursed under my breath. I still had both of my guns on me, and while Sofia was the only other person in the room, I didn’t for one minute believe I was truly alone with her. I half expected there to have been a gun on me this entire time, in case I should try anything. From what I knew of Sofia’s reputation, it was probably more like two or three guns.

And now she was pissed at me.

“You are not going anywhere just yet, Mister Richards,” she said slowly, her foot still firmly planted in my gut – though now precariously close to my crotch as well, since I was sitting down. “You know a little too much, I think.”

“You’d be surprised how little I know,” I replied carefully.

“Too much, and yet, you are such a good detective, are you not? You found who killed Mason faster than the cops did – we have not even had to bribe them yet, and here you are, in my office, accusing me of murder.”

It wasn’t until she said those words that I realized just how badly I’d miscalculated this little encounter. At least Ashley and Rachel weren’t here – I’d hate to get them killed for my blunder, too.

“And yet, how… what is the word? – Fortuitous? Yes? How LUCKY for me that just when I am missing so much money, a great detective falls right into my lap.” As she said the word lap, she lowered the heel of her shoe down until it was hovering right over my crotch.

“Ah,” I said, suddenly getting what she was going for. “You want me to find your money for you.”

“Such a smart detective,” she said. “You WILL find my money, Mister Richards, and you will bring it to me.” The “Or Else” part of that threat really didn’t need to be said.

“Any hints as to where I should start looking?” I asked carefully.

“You are the detective, you tell me,” She said pointedly.

“I’ll see what I can dig up,” I muttered.

“Very good,” she said. Her foot came off of me, and she stood up. “You said you could see yourself out.”

“Right,” I said carefully. I got up out of the chair and started towards the door.

“Mister Richards?” she called after me. I turned back “Two more things,” she said.

“What?” I asked.

Her hand whipped out faster than I ever could’ve expected, slapping my face. Hard. I’d like to say I was caught by surprise, but even so it was a helluva slap – I was pretty sure I had a handprint on my face as I staggered back a step.

“THAT was for accusing me of murder,” Sofia said sharply.

“My apologies,” I said quickly, dropping my hand from my face. Again her hands moved quickly, and while I had time to flinch, this time she didn’t slap me.

This time she grabbed my head and pulled me in for a kiss.

Sofia Vergara’s succulent Columbian lips met mine with all the fire and passion that Latinas are legendary for. I didn’t even have time to react before she was shoving me back several long steps until I was against the wall, her voluptuous body pressed against mine as she forced her tongue into my mouth and started to tangle with mine.

When the kiss broke, I looked down at her, quite certain I was going a bit crazy.

She smiled up at me seductively, those pouty lips making my mouth water almost as much as her cleavage was.

“You are supposedly a legendary lover, Johnny Richards,” she said. “And I will have you before you go – to find out for myself.”

“Uh, I’m not sure-” I started to say, but Sofia’s mouth returned to mine, cutting off any protest I might have had. Her hands came up to my chest and ripped open my shirt before one of them worked it’s way down to my belt. Like a pro, Sofia had my buckle undone in a flash – one handed, no less, and was inside fishing around for my rapidly stiffening erection – which she also found in a flash.

“Sofia-” I tried to protest again as her mouth left mine to attack my neck for a moment before kissing her way down my chest. I found my voice catching a bit as she nipped one of my nipples with her teeth. “Sofia!” I tried again, but she physically shoved me against the wall with her free hand, while her other one reached down and grabbed my balls.

“I am going to fuck you, Mister Richards,” She said, looking into my eyes. “You will fuck me back, or I will need a new detective, and you will need… nothing, I suppose. You will be dead.”

“Your point is well taken,” I said. She squeezed my balls a smidge harder – just enough for me to feel a smidge of pain – and to let me know she could rip them off me if she wanted to.

“Then get to work,” she said, letting go and taking a step back so she could start undoing her blouse buttons.

I let my trousers drop, and started sliding out of my shirt, watching in amazement as Sofia Vergara’s awe-inspiring breasts came into view.

I have been with forceful women before, and I’ve even been raped by a woman on more than one occasion. Some people might argue that it’s impossible to rape the willing, and my track record with women proves I’m decidedly willing. But even I don’t want to have sex ALL the time, and being forced to at gunpoint is never exactly fun – unless you’re the one holding the gun, I guess. Sofia Vergara wasn’t exactly holding a gun, but she might as well have been.

The worst part was, if she’d just asked, I totally would’ve had sex with her willingly. She was like human Viagra, after all – I was hard the moment I saw her.

Sofia was a demanding lover, the kind of woman who knew what she wanted and what she needed to get off. Once we were both naked – the woman was a veritable goddess naked – she sat down in one of her chairs and ordered me to work. I knelt before her, she spread her legs, and I spent the next several long minutes forced to enjoy the taste of Sofia’s most personal of places.

“Very nice, Johnny,” Sofia said as she ran her hand playfully through my hair. “You perform cunnilingus like some of my best girls.”

“Girls?” I asked without thinking.

“Yes, I am comparing your work to that of a woman’s,” Sofia said with a wicked look in her eyes. “Does that bother you?”

“No, I’m just turned on by the thought of you with another woman.”

“Typical man,” Sofia laughed. “Now return to work, before I am forced to break that pretty mouth of yours?”

“Pretty?” I muttered before dropping back down and sucking on Sofia’s pussy, her hand rather forcibly guiding the way with a good shove on top.

“All men should know how to go down on a woman, Mister Richards,” Sofia said as she pushed my face deeper into her crotch. “I can tell you have some experience, but I want your best. Fuck me with your tongue, Johnny. Prove to me you are a man worth being with.”

I’m normally fairly happy to go down on a woman – Some guys consider it unmanly. Me, I think of it as getting as close to a woman as you can. This was entirely too close, however, to Sofia Vergara. This woman was dangerous and had reason to want me dead. And while I didn’t think she’d go so far as to kill me while I was literally licking her pussy, I wouldn’t put it past her to have me killed the moment she was done with me.

“Enough,” she said, throwing my head off her pussy without warning. I actually fell back onto my haunches, surprised by her sudden switch. “Lay down on the couch, Mister Richards.”

“You want me to lie down?” I asked.

“Mister Richards, I fuck men. They do NOT fuck me,” She said, getting up herself. I felt some of my concerns melt away a bit as I took in Sofia’s truly gorgeous naked body, and I laid down on the couch with only a little reluctance, my rock hard cock starting once again to do more of the thinking for me.

Moving with an almost feline grace, Sofia mounted me and took my stiffness inside her all in one smooth motion, making me gasp in pleasure.

“Mmmmm, yes you are certainly a pleasurable size, Mister Richards,” Sofia said as she slid all the way down my shaft, encompassing it completely. She then lay her chest down atop mine until I could feel her ample breasts pressed against me, and her lips hovered just above mine. “Now, let us see if you know what to do with it.”

With that, she kissed me once – hard – and then began to ride me even harder. There was no other way to say it. Sofia bucked and humped and bounced atop me, dearly flying off my manhood with every move, and driving me wild each time. I began to wonder if Sofia was some kind of contortionist, as at times she kept those glorious mounds of hers pressed firmly to my chest while her ass seemed to rise up enough for me to see it behind her. Her lips skipped across my head and neck, my lips and ears, kissing seemingly random spots based entirely upon whatever phantom hungers drove her.

It wasn’t long before I was forcing myself to try and hold off my orgasm. It hadn’t been said aloud, but I was fairly certain that if I came before she did, I would be in trouble. And so I tried any and every trick in the book to keep my mind and body from reaching climax, with only limited success.

Sofia’s stamina was alarmingly better than mine, it seemed, but I gained a bit of hope when she ceased kissing me all over, put her hands on my shoulders, and got right down to work punishing my crotch by pounding away at me. The added strength she got from her new position was incredible – as was my view of her tremendous breasts bouncing before my eyes. I nearly lost it right there.

“Oh, YES! YES, JOHNNY!” Sofia called out as she fucked me. “You feel so good inside me, Johnny!”

I took that as a compliment, and tried to help her out a little by thrusting up with my hips. Whatever I did, it didn’t go over well. Sofia let go of one of my shoulders and slapped my face. Hard.

“DON’T MOVE!” She scolded me, returning her hand to where it was and increasing the pace by which she was riding me. Feeling the sting on my face, I decided to just follow directions.

This went on for only another minute or two before Sofia’s eyes rolled back into her head and with a string of Spanish words I didn’t know, she Columbian beauty collapsed atop me in orgasmic relief. As her pussy quivered around me, I shot my own load deep inside her, suddenly feeling quite relieved myself. If this had gone on much longer, I would’ve been in trouble.

We lay there, Sofia recovering from her climax, me recovering and a little too wary to move. After a short while, the dark-haired beauty lifted head from my chest and smiled down at me.

“You earned your reputation as a lover, Mister Richards. It’s been a while since a man has been able to please me so well.” I accepted this without comment, not daring to point out that I’d pretty much just laid there and let her do all the work. It seemed the impolite thing to say.

“Get dressed,” she told me, sliding off my spent body a moment or two later. “You have work to do, Mister Richards.”

“Right,” I said, sitting up in time to watch her fantastic ass sway back and forth as she walked over to her desk. Despite the fact that I was exhausted, I marveled as she bent over to press a button on her phone. “Melina? Send Michelle in, please,” Sofia instructed before turning back to me.

“You aren’t dressed yet, Mister Richards?” Sofia asked, sitting on the corner of her dress completely naked.

“I’m working on it,” I muttered, finding my pants. I just barely got myself fully clothed a few moments later when the door opened and another shockingly gorgeous and dangerous looking Latina walked in. Clad in a leather vest and dark black pants over combat boots, the new girl was a few inches shorter than Sofia, but looked far tougher everywhere but the eyes. This new girl was a whole different version of sexy, but it was a version I was more than willing to look at. This girl would kick my ass during sex, just to get herself off more.

I lusted after her immediately – and wouldn’t trust her further than I could throw her.

“Ah, Michelle – timely as always,” Sofia said. If the new arrival was at all phased by seeing the head of the Vergara Cartel buck naked, sitting on her desk with a strange man in the room, she didn’t show. I got the impression not much phased Michelle at all.

“Johnny, this is Michelle Rodriguez – one of my best… well, let’s just say she gets things done for me.”

“No matter what,” Michelle said, eyeing my warily.

“Nice to meet you?” I asked.

“Not really,” Michelle replied.

“That’s what I thought,” I said with a sigh.

“Michelle, Johnny here is going to find my missing money,” Sofia said, casually looking at her nails.

“The stuff Mason stole?”

“Exactly,” Sofia said. “I want you to make sure he succeeds,” Sofia said.

“And if he doesn’t?” Michelle asked.

“Make sure he bleeds,” Sofia said, smiling wickedly at me.

“My favorite part,” Michelle said, walking over and grabbing me by the arm, hauling me towards the door.

“See you soon, Mister Richards,” Sofia said, finally moving towards the pile of her clothing.

“I certainly hope so,” I said before Michelle shoved me out of Sofia’s office.

* * *

I knew I was in trouble when Michelle Rodriguez shoved me into a car and nearly chopped my fingers off slamming the door shut behind me. She drove like a maniac through the streets, running red lights, nearly clipping a bike messenger, and basically leaving a trail of near-miss-disasters from the Corsuca Building to my office.

She took me inside and deposited me in my office, all without saying a word. She just stood there in front of the door, staring at me with her arms crossed.

“I can see you’re going to be a sparkling conversationalist,” I muttered.

“I’m not here to talk to you,” she said sourly. “You just find Sofia’s money, and maybe I won’t beat you to within an inch of your life.”

I looked at her for a long moment. “You and I,” I said, waving my finger between the two of us, “we’re going to have issues working together.”

“We aren’t working together,” she said. “I’m just here to make sure you DO work.”

“Then just stand in a corner and look pretty, I guess,” I muttered, sitting down behind my desk. It was late – Rachel was already gone, leaving me to make phone calls myself. I was about to dial upstairs when there was a noise in the outside office.

“Johnny? You here?” Michelle pulled a gun – out of where, I’ve no idea, as her leather outfit – and moved to the side of the door, ready to spring.

“In here, Ashley!” I called out, giving Michelle a sour look. “Be careful when you open the door!”

“You know her?” Michelle asked.

“She’s the accountant who works upstairs,” I said, lowering my phone. “I was just about to call her.”

“Johnny?” Ashley Tisdale said as she opened the door to my office. “You’re back?” Ashley took three steps into the room, a happy smile on her face, before she spotted Michelle standing in front of my coat rack. “Oh, you aren’t alone.”

“Ashley, this is Michelle Rodriguez – she’s an… associate of Sofia Vergara,” I said, a warning note in my voice.

“Sofia Vergara,” Ashley said, looking between me and Michelle carefully. “So you got to talk with her?”

“Yes,” I said. “And Michelle is here to make sure I find Sofia’s money before anyone else does.”

“Sofia’s money,” Ashley echoed. From the look on her face, I could tell she was slowly catching on.

“Yeah, I was about to call and ask if you can think of anywhere else Mason might have hidden the money.”

“Actually, I might,” Ashley said. “There’s a few hidden deposits in Mason’s records,” Ashley said, still eyeing the silent Michelle carefully. “I’ve got a call in to a friend on mine who knows how to dig them out, but he’s in Tokyo, and probably won’t get back to me until tomorrow morning, earliest.”

“That’ll have to do,” I said. “You think Mason might have put the money in these hidden deposits?”

“No, they’re deposits INTO his account,” Ashley explained. “Someone was paying Mason, and being awfully careful to cover their tracks while they’re doing it.”

That made me think. “Could someone have paid Mason to steal the money from Vergara?” I asked.

“I can’t rule it out – but who pays someone else to steal money?”

“We can’t find the 50 Million right now, so maybe Mason was only getting these secret payments, and the bulk of the money went to whoever hired him,” I said, thinking aloud. “Or someone who has more than enough money already paid Mason to steal the money.”

“But who would do that?” Ashley asked.

“Good question,” I said, glancing over at Michelle.

“Don’t look at me – I just go where I’m told to go and kick whoever’s ass I find there,” she said.

“You’re kinda scary,” Ashley remarked.

“And you’re too sweet for me, girlie,” Michelle replied. “So just don’t get on my bad side, and I won’t fuck your ass before I kick it.”

I almost laughed at how wide Ashley’s eyes got at that comment. “Uh, I think I’ll go try and call my friend in Tokyo again,” she said, getting up and quickly heading for the door. As she walked by, Michelle reached down to pinch her ass through the fabric of Ashley’s skirt. Ashley yelped in surprise, and practically ran out the door as fast as she could.

“She’s cute,” Michelle said, watching her go. “You fuck her yet?”

“Is that any of your business?” I asked, looking at the leather-clad woman.

“Just wondering,” Michelle said. “Maybe I should have you call her back here. Maybe I’d like to take a crack at her.”

“And what do you mean by that?” I asked, frowning.

Michelle looked me over like I was a piece of meat for a second. “Well, since I can’t kick any ass around here just yet, I thought maybe I’d entertain myself with a little fun with your little friend there.”

“If you’re threatening her-” I started to say, standing up.

“The only think I’m threatening to do to her is give her a good solid fucking,” Michelle said, glaring at me. “And I’m guessing you’ve already done that, considering how fast you just jumped up.”

“Listen, you can threaten me all you want, but-”

“Oh shut up, Johnny – you think you’re some kind of good guy, protecting a girl like that? Poor little thing probably still needs help tying her shoes.”

I continued to glare at Michelle, unwilling to get into a pissing match with a woman who could probably draw her gun before I could draw mine.

“Have I touched a nerve, Mister Richards?” Michelle asked, looking me over once again. “You don’t like the thought of me hitting on your little girlfriend?”

“She’s not my girlfriend,” I muttered.

“Too bad for you – she’s got a killer ass,” Michelle commented.

I sighed. “What do I have to do to get you to leave her alone?”

“Find Sofia’s money and let me get going,” Michelle said.

“Well, I can’t do that until she comes back with her information – and you forcing yourself on her isn’t going to help that.”

“What makes you think I’d have to force myself on your little friend?” Michelle asked, arching an eyebrow.

“Somehow, you strike me as the type of girl who gets off on forcing herself on other people – a lot like your boss.”

“Mmmm, yeah – Sofia’s great when she’s feeling dominant, isn’t she?” Michelle said, approaching my desk. “Did she make you quiver with desire when she forced her pussy all over your cock, Johnny?”

“She certainly didn’t seem to complain when I shot my load all up inside her,” I shot back as Michelle got in my face. “Man, that felt good! You ever shot your load deep inside a woman’s pussy?” I asked.

“You think I envy you for having your most sensitive organ hanging between your legs?” Michelle asked, almost laughing.

“You’re a big tough girl – I bet you hate knowing there’s one thing a man can do that you can’t,” I snapped.

Michelle’s face got so close to mine, our noses practically touched. “I can buy a toy that’ll do everything you can do, Mister Richards.”

“Yeah, but I bet it doesn’t feel as good to you as it does to me.”

“When I fuck a woman, it feels better than anything you’ve ever dreamed of,” she said.

“Oh, I doubt that – no woman’s ever complained after I’ve had sex with them.” That one was probably a lie, but I was in the heat of the moment at that point.

“Oh, sure!” Michelle said. “And I bet you still believe in the Tooth Fairy, too!” She laughed. “Boy, you are so lucky I’m not in the mood for penis, or I’d fuck you into the ground so hard, you wouldn’t walk for a week.”

“And you’re lucky I just got fucked by your smoking-hot boss fucked me earlier today, or I’d have you naked on my desk right now!”

“I don’t fuck boys on desks – too many thinks to smash their balls with,” she said.

“I can have you at my apartment in ten minutes – my bed’s all soft and safe.”

“I am FAR too much woman for you, Johnny.”

“And I think you’re worried I’m too much man for YOU, Michelle.”

“No man is too much man for me,” she said, grabbing my collar and pulling me in for a forceful kiss. I returned it, though I wasn’t quite sure why. I hadn’t gotten into this fight to get into Michelle’s pants. I mostly wanted to keep her away from Ashley.

But as hostile as she was, Michelle Rodriguez was damn fucking hot, and even knowing she had a gun hidden on her somewhere, was meaner than mean, and probably more than willing to smash my balls, I still wanted to fuck her senseless.

One of these days, I’m going to learn to stop thinking with my little head. This was not that day.

She broke the kiss and hauled me out of the room. Three minutes later we were in my car, driving to my apartment, Michelle’s hand in my trousers the whole way. Ten minutes after that, I was practically kicking in my own door so we could fuck on my bed.

* * *

I’m not huge on girls in leather – usually most leather-clad girls I run into just want to beat me up and run me over with their motorcycles or something. It’s a sexy look, but anyone wearing all leather out of the bedroom takes their grease-monkey status a little too seriously. Of course, as I say that, I’ll probably end up dating a mechanic at some point in the future, so watch that opinion come back to bite me.

Just like Michelle Rodriguez did the moment she shoved me onto the bed and jumped atop me.

“OWWW!” I said as her teeth clenched onto my shoulder.

“What’s the matter, Johnny?” the tan-skinned beauty asked as she paused long enough to rip off her leather vest and reveal her glorious breasts to me. “Don’t like a little pain with your pleasure?”

I answered her by taking one of her nipples in my mouth and nipping it with my teeth. She gasped and pulled back, then slapped me in the face again.

“Jesus, woman!” I said. “Are we fucking or fighting here?”

“We can’t do both?” She asked before slamming both of my shoulders down onto the bed and kissing me hard enough to practically bounce my head off my pillow.

This seemed to be my week for rough sex. Truthfully, I was barely recovered from Sofia’s vigorous fucking of me earlier, but Michelle was hot enough to get my juices flowing again – not that it ever took too much to get me ready for sex anyway.

Michelle removed her mouth from mine and slapped me again, playfully this time. “I thought you said you could show me some serious fucking with that pecker of yours?”

“Let me get my pants off, and I’ll show you all the fucking you could ever dream of,” I said. Then I put both of my hands on her tits and SHOVED. She cried out as she fell back off of me, and I was able to get up onto my knees.

“Oooh, now we’re talking,” she said, her breasts jiggling as she got onto her knees, too. “I love it when a man puts up a fight.” With that, she lunged at me, moving fast enough that I barely had time to get my hands up to grab hers, and she still was able to knock me back onto my back from her momentum. Our fingers locked, and this time when she forced her mouth onto mine, I was ready for it, and returned the kiss just as hard. She moaned into the kiss, clearly appreciating the fact that I was playing her game now, and that’s when I struck.

It took pretty much all the strength I could muster, but I was able to flip Michelle over until I was atop her, between her legs, finally in a position of control over her. I broke the kiss and looked down at her wicked grin.

“I thought I told you to wait until I had my pants off?” I said.

“Do I look like the type of girl who waits for a man?” she asked.

“Never,” I replied, leaning down to flick one of her nipples with my tongue before leaping off her and the bed.

“You better not be running away, Johnny,” she said as I moved far enough away from the bed that I could strip off my pants without fear of retaliation.

“Do I look like the type of guy who’d run out on a girl?”

Michelle snorted. “Yes.”

“Okay,” I admitted. “Bad example.” I dropped my trousers, leaving me just in my well-tented boxers, and dare to move back towards the bed a little.

“Okay, respect,” Michelle said, seeing the tent at my crotch. “And here I was thinking you were all talk.”

“Sofia didn’t seem to think so,” I pointed out as she got up on her knees again.

“Sofia’s a slut,” Michelle said, reaching out to pull at the waistband of my boxers and glance inside. “But then, I bet you’ve had a LOT of sluts with that thing.”

“Does that mean when I have you in a few minutes, you’ll be a slut, too?” I asked as Michelle yanked my boxers down to my knees, where she left them to start handling my cock and balls.

“Hell no – I only get slutty for girls,” Michelle said as she examined every detail of my manhood. “In your case, I’m more of a desperately horny girl who needs some attention, and is willing to lower my standards enough to actually do YOU.”

“I’d take offense at that if you weren’t stroking my cock while you said it,” I remarked. With that, Michelle shot me a nasty look, reached up behind the small of my back, and yanked me onto the bed with her.

With my boxers around my knees, it was child’s play for Michelle to roll me over and straddle me again, this time pressing my exposed cock against the crotch of her leather pants that she still wore. It was an odd sensation as she ground down upon me, but I got the impression that was exactly what she was after.

“Bet you really wish you’d made me take my pants off first,” She said, grabbing my arms and pinning them above my head.

“The thought had crossed my mind,” I admitted.

“Too bad,” She said, bending over enough to bite my earlobe playfully. I tried to ignore that and concentrate on the sensation of her breasts mashed up against my chest. Despite the leather pressed against it, my cock twitched, and I knew I had to make a move or I’d be stuck in this position for far too long.

With a mighty heave, I rolled over atop Michelle again, this time pinning her arms above her head.

“You bitch!” Michelle laughed as I used one hand to hold her wrists, and the other to play with one of her tits. While not as large as Sofia’s, Michelle’s breasts were well more than a handful, and I spent a few moments playing with both of them with my free hand, making the rough-and-tumble girl squirm under me.

“Bet you wish I’d taken your pants off by now,” I said, bending over to kiss each of her nipples once before sitting up again.

“Mmmm, more than you know,” she said. “You going to get off?”

“Eventually,” I said.

“I meant off of me.”

“So did I,” I replied, squeezing one of her breasts again.

“I didn’t realize you were a tease, Johnny Richards.”

“Only to girls who fight with me during sex.”

“So pretty much every girl you’ve ever had then,” Michelle said.

“Ouch!” I replied. “Not nice!” I reached down again, and this time pinched one of her nipples. Hard.

“AAUUGGHHHH!” She cried out. “You’ll pay for that!”

“Make me,” I said. That was a mistake. Michelle tossed me off her like a rag dog, making me land on the floor – missing just by inches cracking my skull open on the bed stand – and leapt atop me. Something about how she landed knocked the wind out of me, and I gasped for breath for a long moment – a moment Michelle used to strip off her pants before straddling me again in just her thong.

“I’m surprised that’s not leather,” I said with a cough. Indeed, Michelle’s thong was silky black affair that barely hid anything.

“I gotta be girlie somehow,” Michelle said, leaning in for a tender kiss that caught my by surprise more than anything else she’d done. As she pulled away, I looked up at her, a bit confused-

-and that’s when she slapped my face again, hard enough to make my head spin.

“I told you you’d pay for pinching my nipples,” she said. I was still trying to get my head on straight when she lifted off my hips and came back down, this time impaling herself upon my cock.

“Oooh!” I managed to eek out, the pleasure catching me off guard. Her pussy swallowed me hole in a single downward motion, and she was right back upon me, her hands on my upper chest, almost alarmingly close to my neck.

It was at this moment that I remembered that while Michelle might be willing to fuck me, she was far from my friend.

My eyes finally focused just in time for Michelle to start bucking atop me, riding me like I was some wild stallion to be broken. I couldn’t complain, but every time she came down upon my cock, her fingers edged closer to my neck. Michelle’s eyes were squeezed shut in ecstasy, her dark locks flying about behind her with every move she made. It was an impressive sight, especially when one took in the sight of her bouncing breasts as well.

I made my move then – swinging an arm up under hers and using it to flip her off of me, onto her back. I rolled atop her, attempting to pin her underneath me while keeping my cock inside her. I only managed to stay inside her, as Michelle quickly rolled me over her and regained the top position.

“You’re not trying to get away, are you?” Michelle asked.

“Never,” I said, shoving her off me again. This time I rolled in the opposite direction and managed to get to my feet. Michelle had landed against the wall and took a moment more to get up, giving me the chance to grab her from behind and throw her over the back of my nearby chair.

“Oh!” She gasped. I came up behind her and slapped her ass once – twice- three times, hard and fast before grabbing the waistband of her tiny thong and yanking it right off her, ripping the fabric.

“Motherfucker!” she swore, trying to kick me as I pushed up against her, pushing her down over the chair back with one hand on the back of her neck. I used the other one to guide myself into her pussy from behind. “Fuck! Fuck fuck fuck, Johnny!” she hollered as I began to pound away at her, happy to be back in control, if only for a moment or two.

I was just starting to enjoy pounding away at Michelle when she slipped a foot around one of mine and tripped me, sending us both falling to the floor again. I cried out in pain as my back tweaked a bit, and she was atop me again before I realized it – only this time she sat down on my face, her dripping wet pussy coming down on my mouth.

“Lick me Johnny!” she ordered. “Lick me now!”

I didn’t really have a choice. Her shins had come down across my arms somehow, and I was pretty well pinned, and she was pressing me hard enough to smother me if she wanted to. I began licking at once, a bit surprised at the sweetness of her juices – considering her personality, I half expected Michelle to taste a bit bitter, maybe even sour.

“Ooooh, Johnny!” She moaned. “Oh, fuck! Fuck fuck fuck FUCK!” She rambled. “God your tongue is better than your cock! Lick me hard, Johnny! Feed on my slutty juices!”

She must have taken pity on my at that point, because the bulk of her weight fell off of my face and arms and spread out across my torso. A moment later, I felt her lips engulf my cock, and she started sucking on me as hard as I was licking her.

The fight was over, and I’d lost – Michelle had me right where she wanted me, and considering the job she was doing blowing me, I wasn’t going to complain – though I would’ve appreciated being able to breathe a bit easier.

Michelle didn’t care – she ground her crotch down hard against my face, to the point where I wondered if she cared if I was licking her or not, or if she was just using my chin to grind herself off. I kept licking at her sticky-sweetness, just hoping to survive the process.

Michelle’s mouth was still stuffed with my erection, but the woman started moaning and pressing herself down upon my head even harder. Her jaw slackened on me, and I could feel her breathing heavily through her nose on the underside of my balls. I tried again to lick her harder, and a moment later my mouth was flooded with her release. Michelle quivered and shook atop me before falling off in orgasmic bliss.

She’d neglected to get me off with her blowjob, but at this point I didn’t care – I was just happy to breathe as Michelle’s naked body lay next to mine, upside down and exhausted. It was at that moment that I thought she looked her absolute sexiest.

“Fuck me,” Michelle moaned.

“Good, huh?” I said, catching my breath at last.

“No, you fool, FUCK ME!” she commanded, swatting my leg with a hand. It took me another second to realize what she wanted, but I quickly got up and turned around. Michelle spread her legs to give me access, and soon enough I was inside her once more, slowly fucking her body as she recovered from her climax.

It wasn’t long before I had built up to speed, my own lusts and desires taking over and ignoring any concern for Michelle’s wellbeing. She didn’t mind, wrapping her legs around my hips to help keep me deep inside her.

It wasn’t long at all before I shot my load inside her, collapsing atop her shapely form, unsure if I was tired from the sex – or the fight we’d had during it.

“I can see why Sofia likes you,” Michelle said as I pulled out.

“I don’t usually let girls beat me up during sex,” I muttered, collapsing on the floor next to her.

“Too bad – I liked beating you up while fucking you,” she said. “Guess maybe you need to learn to like it, too – you find Sofia’s money, I may ask to keep you.”

“Keep me?”

“Yeah. Or maybe I’ll just keep your little accountant girlfriend. She’s got a better ass than you do.”

“That I can’t argue,” I muttered. We lay silently for a long moment before she sat up and patted my leg.

“I’m getting into the bed. You can either join me now, or go sleep on the couch. Just keep in mind, I may take you again during the night.”

“That doesn’t sound so bad,” I said, fighting to get up.”

“I never said I’d let you take me,” she said.

* * *

To say the next morning was awkward would’ve been an understatement. I awoke to Michelle coming out of my bathroom, still stark naked, her wet hair dripping down her back and pooling on my floor a bit. “Oh, good, you’re up,” she said. “You’re out of shampoo.”

“Fantastic,” I muttered, sitting up.

“We need to get you back to work – and hope your cute little accountant friend comes through for you,” Michelle said. “’Cause if you don’t find Sofia’s money soon, Johnny, I’m going to have to be a LOT rougher with you than I was last night.”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” I said, sliding out of bed. “You leave any hot water?”

“Probably not,” she said, looking in one of my drawers. “I don’t suppose you’re the type of guy who keeps panties from girls you’ve slept with.”

“No, not really,” I muttered.

“Shame – I hate wearing panties two days in a row. Guess I’m just going to be extra angry all day.”

“We can stop at Victoria’s Secret on the way in,” I muttered.

“What’s the matter, Johnny? Don’t like me when I’m angry?” she asked, a mischievous smile upon her face.

We dressed and headed into my office, not saying much else to each other. The whole time I didn’t know if the next words I’d say to her would get her angry or get her horny enough to jump my bones again. Considering how sore I was after the last night, I wasn’t sure which outcome I feared more.

Ashley Tisdale was waiting outside my office when I got there.

“Oh – you’re still here,” she said, looking at Michelle. I felt a tinge of guilt as I realized it wouldn’t take Ashley that much effort to figure out Michelle and I had fucked the night before. I didn’t know if the brunette accountant was all that in to me, but she seemed like the type to take something like that a bit more personally than I would.

“And will be until Johnny gets Sofia her money,” Michelle said, getting a little too close to Ashley. “Unless you think you can distract me somehow, little girl,” Michelle said, close enough now that her leather-clad breasts were practically brushing against Ashley’s business-casual cover chest.

Ashley actually blushed and turned towards me.

“My friend’s looking into those hidden deposits right now, Johnny. I should know something soon.”

“Good,” I said, opening the door to my office to give myself a way to escape the suddenly uncomfortable atmosphere between Ashley and Michelle. I was mildly surprised to find Rachel Bilson at her desk, just putting the phone down, looking a little cross at me.

“There you are, Johnny,” she snapped. “I’ve been calling you.”

“I just got here, what’s up?” I asked as Michelle and Ashley filed in after me, still eyeing each other – though in Michelle’s case, it was more leering.

“You’ve got another client in your office – someone who says they know you.”

“It’s not Jewel, is it?” I asked.

“No, someone I’ve never seen before,” Rachel said.

That wasn’t good. I don’t get too much repeat business. Most people don’t require Private Dicks more than once, and when they do, they’re usually people I don’t really want to be in business with in the first place. Gangsters, slimy politicians, wives who keep taking their no-good husbands back and vice-versa. But even then, Rachel knew 99% of my former clients, so if she didn’t know them…

“Tell them Johnny doesn’t have time,” Michelle said at once. “Sofia demands ALL your attention.”

“I’ll tell them,” I said. “After all, it’s my business.” I headed towards my office, hoping Michelle took the hint and stayed put.

“Oh, and Johnny?” Rachel called after me. “Be careful – she’s a looker.”

I sighed at that and entered my office.

A smile hit my face at once. Rachel had been right – I knew her. And what’s more, I liked her.

“Hello, Johnny,” Kelly Clarkson said, smiling at me playfully as she sat on my desk, her legs swinging slightly in the air. She wore a business suit with a short skirt, though at 5’3”, even short skirts covered more of her legs than I would‘ve prefered. Kelly’s hair was dyed closer to blonde than I remembered, but still maintained a few darker highlights that seemed to add a bit of spice to her otherwise business look.

I had met Kelly on a recent case – her work as a banking investment investigator somehow bringing her into my efforts to track down a stolen watch worth a good chunk of change. The last I’d seen of her, Kelly had been escaping on a boat headed for San Diego – or perhaps China, for all I knew. Kelly and I had a bit of a connection going at the time, and I found myself regretting that, aside from one dinner, we hadn’t been able to spend much time alone together. Especially since her body spoke to mine in many happy little ways.

“Miss Clarkson,” I said, honestly happy to see her. “I can’t say I expected to see you again.”

“Yeah, well, I think you still owe me dinner out.” She paused for a moment, thinking. “Or maybe I owe you dinner? I can’t remember. Either way, I’m in town, and thought I might collect. Or pay, I guess.”

“Any time, my dear, any time,” I said, hanging up my coat and hat. “You look good. Damn good.”

“Flatterer,” she said. “I’m stressed out, eating nothing but fast food and vending machine fare, and haven’t been laid in two months.”

“I might be able to help with all three of those” I said slyly as I approached my desk. I was about to wrap my arms around her when she pushed me back a bit.

“Later, Johnny,” Kelly said, winking at me. “Right now, I’m afraid I need you as a Private Dick.”

“Seriously?” I asked, surprised.

“You remember when I was last in town, right?”

“Hard to forget,” I said. “You were investigating some companies for unusual or illegal banking practices, or something like that. You spent a lot of time at McBride Electronics.”

“And I left town with Sean McBride’s chief aide, who happily spilled all sorts of beans,” Kelly said. “The feds are looking to put Sean away for a good, long time.”

“Happy to hear it,” I said. Sean McBride kept showing up in cases of mine, and last anyone had seen of him, he’d disappeared from The City, and left his older sister, Martina, in charge. It’d only been a month, but McBride stocks were already up, despite the general down-turn in the market as a whole.

Sean was scum, and I knew it. He slept with secretaries and prostitutes, and apparently had pissed away more than a few bucks of his company’s money. He’d been involved in two of my more recent cases, and as far as I was concerned, had been less than helpful to either one. I could’ve gone the rest of my life without ever hearing his name again.

“Yeah, well, to put Sean away, they need to find him.”

“Oh, no,” I muttered.

“I need you to find Sean McBride, Johnny. And the sooner, the better.”

I sat down at my desk and tried not to let my head hit the blotter. “Kelly, you’re asking me to go hunting for a guy who’s got a full month’s lead on me, access to more financial resources than I’ve ever seen in my life, and who clearly DOESN’T want to be found.”

“You’re the best in town, Johnny,” Kelly said, standing up and smiling at me far too sweetly. “I mean, you found his aide in no time the last time I was here.”

“Yeah, well, the last time you were here, I had a little less on my plate,” I said. “I really hate to say this, Kelly, but I’ve got another case that’s taking up all my time.”

“Really? Anything I can help with?” she asked hopefully. “Maybe free you up to help me with MY case.”

“You know there’s nothing more I’d like than to be on your case, Kelly,” I said.

“Oh really? Just my case?” She said, bending over to wink at me. “Nothing else you’d rather be ‘on’ than that?”

“If you can wait a few days,” I said, moving on without comment, “Then I can help you out.”

“I really need someone moving on this now – McBride has been on the run too long already, Johnny.”

“I understand,” I said, opening the top drawer of my desk. “And that’s why it pains me to say this, but you really should go somewhere else.”

Kelly looked a bit crestfallen, but it didn’t last for long. “You’ve got someone else to hook me up with?” she asked, her tone remaining light.

“Kristen Bell is the best Private Eye in The City – though if you ever tell her I said that, I’ll have to kill you both.”

“You’re sending me to a GIRL detective?” Kelly said, an awful grin breaking out on her face. “What’s the matter, Johnny – worried I might hook up with a male private eye?”

“Actually, I kinda hope you DO hook up with a male private dick,” I said, pulling out Kristen’s card and a pen. “And I’m putting the home number of that Private Dick on the back of Kristen’s card,” I said as I scribbled my digits there.

“Still no cell phone?” Kelly teased.

“You’re lucky I have a HOME phone.”

“Your technophobia is just one of the charming things about you, Johnny,” Kelly said, taking the card from me. “And I already have your home number.”

“So let’s skip the phone call all together,” I said. “Can I take you out for dinner? Say tomorrow night?”

“I’m busy tomorrow night,” Kelly said, turning towards my door. I found my eyes drawn to her perfect ass as it swayed out of the room.

“What are you doing?” I asked, hoping to get her to stay, even if just for another moment.

“I’m taking YOU out to dinner,” she said, winking at me once before walking out my door.

* * *

As happy as I was to see Kelly again, Michelle was even more displeased.

“It took you that long to tell her to get lost?” she asked as I came out to Rachel’s desk.

“I’ve been known to let a girl down easy, from time to time,” I said sourly. “Where’d Ashley go?”

“Upstairs to take a call,” Rachel explained to me.

“Yeah,” Michelle said. “And meanwhile, I’ve been hitting on your cute little secretary. You sure know how to pack you life with hot little pieces of ass, Johnny.”

“She been bothering you?” I asked Rachel.

“No more than you do when you’re drunk.”

“I’m not drunk, sweetheart,” Michelle said.

“And I’m not gay,” Rachel shot back.

“I bet you that if I get you drunk, I can MAKE you gay,” Michelle said, lecherously glaring at what little cleavage Rachel’s blouse was showing.

“You are incorrigible,” I muttered, motioning Michelle towards the door. “Come on, let’s see if Ashley’s found Sofia’s money yet.”

“I’ll be back, sweet cheeks,” Michelle said, winking at Rachel.

* * *

Ashley’s office still wasn’t sorted out – in fact, I could swear the spot where she and I had fucked on her secretary’s desk was the only clear spot in the entire office at this point. If anything, more papers were strewn about and more boxes lay open around the place.

Ashley was in her office proper, just getting off her cellphone and typing away like mad on her laptop. She glanced up as Michelle and I walked in.

“Just got off the phone with my friend from Tokyo – I messed up the time something awful, they’re Seventeen hours AHEAD of us. Woke him up at two AM there.”

“Did you learn anything?” I asked, stopping her before she rambled on forever.

“Oh yeah. And none of it’s good. My friend works for the Justice Department, and as soon as he saw who these hidden deposits were from, he started going crazy – we may have just helped solve a major crime,” Ashley said.

“You mean besides murder?” I asked, forgetting for a moment Michelle was standing next to me.

“Who placed the payments?” Michelle asked, giving me a nasty look.

“A man by the name of Wilfred Colorado – a major player in Colorado Oil, Inc, and highly suspected of being a high ranking member of organized crime in Texas.”

“Texas has organized crime?” I asked.

“Texas has organized crime that’s NOT run by drug cartels?” Michelle asked immediately after I finished speaking.

“Apparently,” Ashley said. “At least, according to my friend in Tokyo. And this Colorado guy is in the thick of it – they just can’t prove it.”

“That’s what makes a good gangster,” I said, collapsing into one of the spare chairs in the room – the only one NOT covered in boxes and files, anyway. “Nothing sticks to the good gangsters.”

“So this Colorado guy paid Mason to steal Sofia’s money?” Michelle asked.

“That I don’t know,” Ashley said with a shrug. “I know Colorado deposited several smaller payments through hidden deposit until Mason had been paid a total of one-hundred fifty-thousand dollars, and then shortly after that, Mason stole fifty million from the Vergarans, through their shell corporations.”

“That tracks,” I said. “Mason wasn’t dumb, but embezzling fifty million is a bit beyond him, mentally.”

“He had the access, Colorado’s people had the skills and idea, the Vergarans had the money,” Ashley said.

“But why?” Michelle asked. “We’ve never even HEARD of this Colorado fool before, and suddenly he’s stealing millions from us?”

“It’s never who you expect it to be, I guess,” I grumbled.

“So now what?” Ashley asked. “Does Colorado have the money?”

“Can you get a look at his accounts?” I asked.

“You want her to go digging through the private records of a previously unheard of mobster?” Michelle said. “I thought she was your girlfriend, Johnny, not your sacrificial lamb.”

Ashley blushed bright red. “I’m, ah, I’m not – you know – not his, ah, his girlfriend.”

“Good, sweetie – maybe I can buy you a drink sometime when this is all done,” Michelle said. “Assuming Johnny doesn’t get you killed first.”

“She’s right,” I said, standing up. “We’re not going to find out if Colorado’s got Sofia’s money by looking through his bank records.”

“So how do we find out?” Ashley asked.

“WE don’t,” I said. “I’m going to go run through some of my contacts to see who knows anything about this Wilfred Colorado.” I turned towards the door. “Ashley, don’t peek too closely into Colorado – that really COULD be dangerous, if you’re caught. Michelle, I don’t suppose you could lay off being my shadow for a while?”

“Hell no,” Michelle said.

“Surprise surprise,” I muttered. “All right, well just play it cool. And remember, if anyone jumps me, I can’t find Sofia’s money if I’m dead.”

“Dead?!” Ashley said, surprised.

“Not all my contacts are good people,” I said. “But don’t worry – my first stop should be safe.”

“Your first stop?”

“Yeah,” I said, heading out the door. “I’m going to get a drink.”

“At Ten in the morning?!” Ashley called after me, flabbergasted.

* * *

“Johnny, we’ve been over this before,” Elisha Cuthbert said when she saw it was me knocking on the Southern Beaver’s door. “I sleep until noon.”

“I just need some information,” I told her.

“That’s all you ever need,” she muttered, opening the door. “You’ve got ten minutes, and if I’m not back in bed, I’ll sick Vanessa on you for your next case.”

I rolled my eyes. Vanessa Hudgens was one of Elisha’s waitresses, and she continued to pester about helping me on cases. This one, however, was far too dangerous for me to risk her on.

“Who’s the Latina slice of sexy leather?” Elisha asked as Michelle followed me inside.

“Michelle Rodriguez, my… babysitter from Sofia Vergara.”

“Sofia Vergara?” Elisha asked, her eyes going wide. “Johnny, what the fuck have you gotten yourself into now?”

“It’s a long story,” I said. “And since I want you back in bed ASAP, I’ll tell it to you later.”

“You don’t inspire a lot of confidence, Johnny,” Elisha muttered.

“I know. What have you heard about a mobster named Wilfred Colorado?”

“Wilfred Colorado?” Elisha asked. “Are you just making these names up now, Johnny?” Elisha asked.

“I wish. Seriously, Elisha – he’s supposed to be some big wig in a Texas mob.”

“Texans, you say?” Elisha said, frowning suddenly. “Now THAT I’ve heard something about.”

I smiled. “I knew you’d be the best place to start.”

“These Texans – I don’t have a group name, or any individual names, but I’ve heard of Texan gangsters. They’ve been making some noise in the Black Market.”

“Drug smugglers?” I asked.

“Not from what little I’ve heard. Other stuff. Illegal stuff.”

“Where’d they come from?”

“Texas, I assume,” Elisha scoffed.

“I meant, where did they come from to get here,” I clarified. “Why would Texans bother to come to The City?”

“Blame yourself, Johnny – you killed Valentine, and opened the entire city up to be swallowed up. People like Takei and Vergara are slow to pick up the pieces, leaving the door wide open for anyone new to come waltzing in to take over.”

“And in the case of these Texans, that door might as well be a barn door,” I sighed. “Who’d know more?”

“Honestly? Maria Bello – her smugglers must be running up against these people by now. But she’s out of town, running some kind of important operation. Be back in a few days.”

Michelle frowned at that. “I don’t have a couple days. Anyone else?”

“Yeah, but you aren’t going to like it,” Elisha said.

“Who?”

“Jaime Pressly,”

“Valentine’s old girlfriend?!” I said, surprised. “No, I’m NOT happy to hear that.”

“Where can we find her?” Michelle asked for me.

“She’s holed up in Valentine’s Casino – trying too hard to take over what’s left of his business. But no one wants to work for a former stripper and whore when much scarier people are out there.”

“Jaime’s pretty scary, far as I’m concerned,” I sighed. “The Casino, you say?”

“Yeah, not the strip club – I know how much you love THAT place,” Elisa said with a smirk. It was true – the last time I’d been there, I’d shot and killed Valentine – I had no desire to go back any time soon.

“Guess I’m going gambling,” I sighed.

* * *

Valentine’s Casino is one of those rare places that simply flaunts the law and gets away with it. Gambling isn’t legal in The City, but like many laws in this town, it’s easily ignored by pretty much anyone and everyone. It’s been said that whores and divorce lawyers are the most common people in The City, and I’ve opined once or twice that bar owners come in third on that population list. I don’t have firm numbers, but people who are somehow related to illegal gambling has to be one of the top 10 professions. From the D & K dog track to the card games you can find on pretty much any street corner NOT occupied by a prostitute, gambling against the law is big business in The City – and with that in mind, Valentine’s Casino is the epicenter to the local gambling world.

Home to card games, roulette wheels, slot machines, car raffles, and any other possible game you could lose money on, Valentine’s Casino was perhaps one of the most wealthy locations in the entire state. It survived almost entirely by the fact that everyone of any import in this town – this state, for that matter – came to Valentine’s to gamble. The amount of money flowing in and out of this place made the 50 Million Sofia Vergara had lost look like chump change.

According to Elisha, Jaime Pressly was running the show here at Valentine’s Casino these days, and she was none-to-fond of Johnny Richards, Private Dick. Maybe because I killed her boyfriend, maybe because I caught her engaging in some bondage-like sex with a whore who worked for someone OTHER than her boyfriend, or maybe just because I’m so damn likable, Jaime and I didn’t get along. And while I wasn’t persona non-grata in Valentine’s Casino, I was pretty sure just walking into the place would put me on Jaime’s radar.

For once, having Michelle Rodriguez on my arm might pay off – I expected her to help keep me alive.

“So the whole plan is to just walk in here, get a drink at the bar, and wait?” Michelle asked, fiddling with her earrings. I’d forced her to change out of her all-leather outfit and put her into a slinky black dress that did more to emphasis her curves and femininity – and thus hide the fact she could kick anyone’s ass in a fight. It was a fantastic plan, I thought – though it had the unintended side-effect of getting me turned on again when I looked at Michelle.

“That’s the entire plan,” I said, glancing at one of the scantily-glad greeters as we walked into the Casino. “Unless Jaime’s not home, she should find us pretty quick.”

“You really think you rank that highly on her shit-list that she’ll send someone for you as soon as you walk in the door?”

“No – I expect to get a drink or two in first,” I said, aiming Michelle towards the nearest bar. There was a gorgeous, dark-skinned woman with the name tag “Kandyse” who brought our drinks at once – and then not-so-subtly vanished around the corner.

“Huh,” I said, drinking my whisky. “Maybe this won’t take a few drinks after all.”

“You can’t be serious-” Michelle started to protest. She didn’t get to finish, as three VERY burly looking security guards appeared as if by magic behind us.

“Mister Richards, if you would come with us,” the tallest of them said.

I downed the rest of my drink and hopped up. “Of course,” I said, with a LOT more bravado than I felt. “Come along, darling.”

“Watch it, ‘honey,’” Michelle whispered harshly at me as we followed the security guards towards the nearest elevator. “Or I’ll kick you ass and let Pressly have what’s left over.”

“You are NOTHING if not charming,” I muttered quietly.

We rode the elevator not to the top of the impressive hotel attached to the Casino, but rather to a level maybe ten floors down from the top. This concerned me for a moment – it wasn’t like Jaime Pressly to NOT take the top floor for herself. I half expected to be lead into some empty room and beat to a pulp, so I was a bit surprised when the goons shoved me and Michelle into a fairly utilitarian conference room with a spectacular view of The City – all the way, ironically, to the Corsuca Tower.

Sitting at the edge of the desk was Jaime Pressly. The blonde stunner was dressed as professionally as any woman I’d ever seen, but somehow that didn’t quite take the redneck/white trash look from the former stripper and whore who was now struggling to run a major criminal organization.

Well, maybe not THAT major anymore.

“Johnny Richards,” Jaime said, staring at me over the bridge of her nose. “I don’t s’pose you’re here to give this hot little piece of ass with you to me as a gift to make up for how much you fucked up my life?”

I glanced at Michelle, who looked unsure if she should kick Jaime’s ass, or drop to her knees and start licking it. I would’ve paid to see either one.

“No, Michelle here’s not mine to give,” I said.

“Then why are you here?” Jaime asked. “Looking for a beating?”

“I do know how much you get off on beating people,” I said pointedly. “Actually, as I think about it, you and Michelle would be a good match.”

“I can kick your ass as well as she can, Johnny,” Michelle said warningly.

“Again, why are you here, Richards?” Jaime asked. “I’m a little busy here.”

“Wilfred Colorado,” I said. I was about to explain everything I knew about the Texan gangster, but apparently his name was more than enough.

“Motherfucker,” Jaime spat. “How the HELL do you know that name?”

“I’ve heard it around,” I said carefully.

“You don’t work for him, do you Richards?” Jaime asked, warningly.

“No – in fact, Michelle here works for Sofia Vergara.”

“Vergara?!” Jaime shook her head. “I don’t know how ANYONE in any kind of position of power puts up with you, Richards, but you do seem to get around.”

“It’s my sparkling personality,” I said. “Colorado?”

“He’s bad news. He’s coming to take over, and he’s not going to take no for an answer,” Jaime said flatly. “I’ve already lost half of what I was able to salvage from Rick’s organization, and Colorado wants it all. I’m lucky I’ve still got the Casino and the Strip Club.”

“What does he want?” I asked.

“Everything, Johnny. He and his people want to be what Rick was when he was alive.” She paused and looked at me for a moment. “I don’t suppose you’d be willing to shoot this Colorado guy in the head?”

I shrugged. “Let me know where I can find him, maybe it’ll happen.”

She honestly seemed to consider it for a moment. “I wish I could, Richards. Colorado needs to be stopped, and I can’t. Takei might be able to. Vergara might be able to hold him off. Bruno Companelli might survive. Me? I’m dead to rights already.”

“So tell me what you know,” I said. “And maybe I can make sure Colorado fucks up and ends up… not around,” I said.

“Let me know where he is, and I’ll kick his ass no matter what,” Michelle said.

“I so wish I could, Richards. But I don’t.” She sighed. “I’m surprised your Cop friends don’t know where he is – he hides as a full-fledged business man a lot. They probably keep tracks on him.”

“No cops,” Michelle said warningly.

“I can’t tell you any better than that,” Jaime said. “Now, unless your companion here wants to end up wearing one of my ball-gags, I suggest you leave my casino. Now.”

I didn’t dare ask Michelle if she wanted to stay or not.

* * *

“So, what now?” Michelle asked as we got back into my car and headed back towards my office.

“Not sure,” I admitted. “I can call my contact on the TCPD when we get back, but if she doesn’t know anything, I don’t know where to go next.”

Michelle looked at me sideways for a second. “Are ALL your contacts in The City women?”

“No, just the good ones,” I said with a wink.

We arrived back at my office in short order, and as soon as I walked into my office door, I knew there was trouble. Two uniformed police officers stood on either side of Rachel’s desk, and my secretary seemed to be in the middle of some kind of unarmed stand-off with them about something.

“Johnny!” Rachel called out as I entered. “Thank god. Can you PLEASE tell these two goons that I’m looking at private information and, as they don’t have a warrant, they’ve no right to be looking over my shoulder.”

“What the hell is going on here?” I asked. I didn’t recognize either of the uniforms from my time on the force, but they were both easily ten years younger than me, marking them as rookies. And rookie cops don’t barge into people’s offices without someone else holding their leash.

“You,” a new voice said from down the hallway, “Must by Johnny Richards.” I turned to see a blonde woman in a charcoal grey suit and coat, not-quite-tailored to her small frame but attractive none-the-less. She had a small frame, but something in her eyes spoke of strength that could match Michelle blow-for-blow, despite appearances. She wore her police badge on her belt, right next to her holstered gun, which she had casually on display by having her coat opened just enough to brush past it. “I’ve heard so much about you,” she said, stopping halfway down the hallway and glaring at me.

“And I’ve heard nothing of you at all, Detective…” I trailed off.

“Gellar,” she said. “Detective Sarah Michelle Gellar, TCPD. I’m investigating the death of Carl Mason.”

“Are you now?” I said, fighting to keep from shooting a knowing look at Michelle behind me. As it was, I could feel my Cartel appointed watchdog stiffen with every word Gellar spoke. “Carl was an old friend,” I continued. “I do hope you can bring his killer to justice.”

“We currently believe his death was an accident,” Gellar said.

“An accident?” I said, not budging. “How untimely.”

“Indeed,” Sarah said.

“How, exactly, did Carl die, if I may ask?”

“You may not,” Sarah said.

“Than how can you rule out foul play?”

“I haven’t,” she said flatly.

“Oh, good then,” I said. “So if you’re investigating Carl’s death, you must know he and I haven’t seen each other in quite some time. So what brings you to my office?”

“Jewel Kilcher,” Gellar said. “She was in a relationship with Mason, and as I understand it, she came to you a few days ago, shortly after Mason’s death.”

“Jewel and I knew each other from back when Mason and I knew each other,” I said honestly.

“And I’m sure she came to you just looking for a shoulder to cry on,” Gellar said, crossing her arms under her small chest.

“She came here asking me to investigate Mason’s death as well,” I said coldly. “She didn’t think the police were doing enough.”

The room went still – Michelle and both rookie cops tensed, and it seemed like the whole place might explode at any second.

Gellar and I stared at each other for several long seconds, neither one backing down. I didn’t really think this would escalate into any physical trouble, but realizing there were three cops in the room made me rather acutely aware that arrest might be a real possibility.

I was still trying to figure some way out of this mess when Gellar broke first.

“Mister Richards, may I see you alone on your office?” she said flatly.

“Of course, Detective Gellar,” I said at once, following the petite blonde into my office and shutting the door behind me.

She spun on me at once, fire in her eyes. “You listen here, Richards – I know all about you! I know how you were once a cop, and how to tried to frame an innocent man for a murder he didn’t commit!”

“The hell I did, Capra was guilty as sin, and I had proof!” I snarled, but she cut me off.

“You’re a bad seed, Richards – perhaps one of the worst! And now you’re between me and my investigation. If I had ANYTHING on you, you’d be spending your nights in a jail cell from now until Kingdom Come!”

“Listen here, you little bitch, you can’t come marching into my office and threaten me OR my employees without a warrant! Don’t think I don’t have a dozen lawyers I can call and have your flat ass hauled up on charges faster than you could haul me into the local station!” That wasn’t quite true – I knew more than a dozen lawyers, but more than half of them weren’t talking to me, and the few who were wouldn’t risk their careers to come bail me out of jail, let alone let me sue TCPD. Still, Gellar didn’t strike me as the type to see through a bluff that quickly.

“You are dangerously close to threatening an officer of the law, Mister Richards,” Gellar said coldly, getting right up in my face.

“And you’re dangerously close to violating my civil rights in a hundred different ways,” I replied, matching her tone exactly.

“So that’s it? Stalemate?” She said.

“You’re crazy if you think I’ll go down without a fight.”

“Good,” she said, her lip twitching slightly. “I’d expect nothing less from you, Richards. What do you know about the Mason case?”

“Why should I tell you?” I said. “You’ve ignored my friend’s requests for information, you’ve tried to spy on my employee, and you’ve threatened me – I can’t say I’m too inclined to trust you with my phone number, let alone the details of my case.”

“You should tell me because I know Carl Mason was killed, and I think I have a suspect – a suspect who may be leaning on YOU, if my guess is right,” she said.

“You know how well I take to threats.”

She glared at me for a long moment before finally relenting. “Carl Mason was shot and killed by people working for Sofia Vergara, local head of the Vergara Drug Cartel.”

“And you’re still trying to claim it was an accident?” I scoffed. “What, did he accidentally fall on those bullets?”

“I have an investigation to protect,” she snapped. “Now tell me what you know.”

I weighed my next words carefully. I didn’t trust Sarah further than I could throw her – she had all the earmarks of a dirty cop, possibly even working for Sofia Vergara – she gave up that name a little TOO fast. But my own investigation was dangerously close to a dead end, and if the cops had any information I could use to find and confront Colorado…

“Tell you what, detective – how about a little quid pro quo?” I said, walking over to my desk and sitting down. “You give me a little something, I give you a little something in return?”

Her nose wrinkled in disgust. “I’m a married woman, Richards – if you think I’m going to fuck you for information on this case-”

“Who the hell said anything about me fucking you?” I said quickly. “I was talking about a straight-up trade of information.”

“Really?” she said, honestly surprised. “Everything in your file says you’ll do pretty much anything to get laid. I just sorta figured…” she trailed off, looking a bit ashamed and more than a bit confused. For the first time since I’d walked into the office, I felt like I might have a fighting chance of getting out of this without being arrested.

“Listen, my investigation is revolving around more the WHY Mason was murdered than the who did it. I think I have a lead, but it’s just the name of a Texan gangster – a Wilfred Colorado.”

“Colorado?” Gellar said, her eyes narrowing. “He killed Mason?”

“No, I believe he hired Mason to steal money from… someone else,” I said carefully. The door was still closed, and Michelle was probably still outside trading nasty looks with the cops, but I knew better than to take chances – especially with Rachel in the office, too. “I believe the person Mason stole the money from killed him, but they haven’t recovered the money yet. It’s possible Colorado has it.”

“How much money are we talking?” Sarah asked carefully.

“Over Fifty Million,” I said. “And no one seems to know where it went.”

“That’s motive, for sure,” she said, thinking hard. “And you need to know where Colorado is?”

“Yeah. I don’t suppose you know?”

“He’s here – in The City,” she said. “Business of some sort, so we’ve been told. The local Organized Crime office is all over him. I can find out where he is with a phone call or two.”

“Fantastic,” I said. “If you’d be so kind…” I said, offering her my phone.

She frowned at me. “What do I get out of this?”

“What do you get? I just told you the MOTIVE for the killing of Carl Mason,” I said, getting angry again. “What more COULD you want?”

“The killer,” she said flatly. “Who killed Carl Mason, Mister Richards? Tell me, and I’ll make those calls.”

“I don’t know EXACTLY who killed him,” I said, exasperated. “But Sofia Vergara’s people are behind it. Mason stole the money from one of her shell companies.”

“So why are you looking for Colorado?”

“The spicy Latina out there works for Vergara – and she’s keeping tabs on me until the money is found.”

“Fifty Million – that’s a lot of money,” Gellar said. She turned and started heading towards the door.

“Hey, aren’t you forgetting something?” I asked after her.

“What?” she asked. “You think I’m going to sleep with you now that we’ve traded secrets?”

“No, you’re supposed to tell me where Colorado is!”

“East of Utah, north of New Mexico,” she said as she opened the door. “And don’t let me catch you around this case again, Richards, or I’ll have you arrested for obstruction of justice!”

“You BITCH!” I yelled after her. I got to the door just as she and her two uniformed officers walked out, leaving me with no more clues as to where Wilfred Colorado was.

“What’s the matter?” Michelle asked. “Hot blondie there wouldn’t let you fuck her?”

I rolled my eyes and slammed my office door behind me.

* * *

I wasn’t blessed with many other options. I tried calling Linda Park, my old partner, but she wasn’t available – and considering Gellar outranked her and knew enough about my background to know who she was, I was worried Linda might be in more trouble than she could afford to be in. I tried calling a few other old cops I knew, but those who answered flat out refused to talk to me – no surprise, considering the fact that Gellar’s opinion of my final case was pretty much accepted fact by the TCPD. I was out of police friends far too quickly, and couldn’t make new ones all that fast.

I spent the bulk of the next 24 hours desperately putting out feelers to all my contacts – from Elisha Cuthbert and her waitresses at the Southern Beaver, to Willa Ford and her strippers at the Azure Angel strip club and every bolt hole and gambling den in-between. No one had even heard of Wilfred Colorado, let alone knew where he was holding up. For a criminal with a rather prominent public persona, this man was impossible to find.

The only break I caught in all that time was that Sofia Vergara called Michelle back to her, and Michelle didn’t chop off any of my body parts to take with her. Something was up with my least-favorite drug cartel, and apparently the Vergarans needed all hands on deck – subcontracted Private Dicks not included. That suited me just fine – I didn’t feel QUITE like I’d be stabbed in the back the instant I gave up on finding the missing $50,000,000.

Though I’m sure as soon as Sofia Vergara found out, Michelle would be back to kick my ass before putting a bullet in my head.

I was sitting back in my chair, staring out the window onto the rainy street and not seeing a damn thing, trying to figure anything out when there came a knock on my door.

“Don’t tell me you forgot about our date?”

I turned around, honestly surprised to see a gorgeous Kelly Clarkson sweeping into the room, dressed far too fancy for anything having to deal with me. The floor-length, silver dress with just a hint of sparkle in the fabric clung tightly, and seemed to emphasis her ass in a most pleasing way. The neckline plunged down into Kelly’s cleavage, and her shoulders and arms were covered with a black half-coat that didn’t quite hit the small of her back. Her hair was pulled back tight, with the exception of a few curly strands that came down the right side of her face, adding a dash of rakishness to her look. She clutched a small bag in one hand, and held the other on her hip, smirking at the surprised look upon my face.

She looked better than the $50 million I was looking for.

“Wow,” was all I could managed to eek out.

“Now that’s what a girl likes to hear when she walks in a room,” Kelly laughed. “C’mon, Johnny – I got us reservations at Crescadia – most expensive place in town.”

“Sounds fantastic – if they let me in the door,” I said, glancing down at my rumbled shirt and pants. I didn’t look bad, but compared to how stunning Kelly looked, I was the kind of bum you find under a bridge.

“It’s okay – I brought you a tie,” she said, tossing me a simple back tie – already tied, just needing a tug or two to set around my neck. I hate ties myself – when forced to wear one, I always feel like I’m setting up my own noose for the hangman. But for Kelly, I would’ve dressed up like a clown, if she’d asked me to while wearing THAT outfit.

It took a little help from Kelly to get the tie straight, but soon we were riding in a cab halfway across town to the Crescadia restaurant, one of THE most expensive places in The City. It certainly beat our first date, at The Plank, a run down seafood place that served as a cover for Maria Bello’s smuggling operation. I expected trouble getting in – the Crescadia was so far out of my pay league that I felt guilty walking past the place, let alone stepping inside. But Kelly gave them her name at the door, and we were ushered in, past several waiting parties, and into a prime table in a private section of the restaurant, complete with a window view that included, among other things, the Corsuca building.

“Okay, I will admit, I’m impressed,” I said. “How on earth did you get reservations at this place, anyway?”

“Tut tut, Johnny – a girl never tells all her secrets on a second date,” Kelly said. “Let’s just say I have connections, and leave it at that.”

“To your connections, then,” I said, raising the glass of water that had been brought the moment we’d sat down. A waitress with a short skirt and amazing legs came and took our drink orders, and brought them to us before either of us could really quiz the other on what was going on since last we’d met. When the leggy waitress left again, we made some more small talk about what we were going to order.

“I feel like this meal is going to cost more than I made last year,” I muttered, looking over the menu – there was an alarming lack of prices.

“You know what they say – if you have to ask how expensive it is, you can’t afford it,” Kelly said.

“In that case, I’m not sure I can afford the water,” I muttered.

“Good thing I’m paying then,” she said. “So shut up and order something ridiculously overpriced – remember, I’ve got a generous expense account on this one,” she said, winking at me.

“Then I’m sure there’s a steak in this menu somewhere, calling to me,” I said.

“So,” I said once we’d given our orders to our waitress, “Did you really want to just have dinner with me, or should we discuss work now so you can officially write this meal off on your expense report?”

She smiled at me and raised her wineglass in a mock salute. “No one ever said you didn’t have your moments, Johnny.”

“No one ever said I was worth taking to a place like this to eat, either,” I said. “So I do have to ask when the other shoe is going to drop.”

“The other shoe will drop when I tell you what I plan to do to you after dinner,” she said with a wink.

“Why my dear Miss Clarkson, you cannot think I’m THAT easy, do you?” I said in mock protest. “I do NOT hook up.”

“You don’t?” Kelly said, matching my tone. “Then why on earth am I taking you out to dinner?”

“My sparkling conversation and impeccable wit?” I asked.

“Well then, don’t let me stop you,” she quipped. “By all means, marvel me with your sparkling wit and impeccable conversation.”

“I’m sure I’ve got something on the tip of my tongue,” I said. “I just need to loosen it up first.”

“I’m sure,” she said with a laugh. She sipped more of her wine, and before we knew it, our food arrived.

“That was fast,” I said, marveling at the large steak put down before me.

“Again, when a girl’s got connections…” Kelly trailed off.

Our food seemed to loosen our tongues, though the conversation turned decidedly personal, as we flirtingly grilled each other on everything from our last dates to what we liked in the opposite sex.

“I prefer my men smart, maybe a bit on the athletic side, and they have to be able to deal with what I do for a living – the traveling, the work hours, stuff like that.”

“See, I generally only require my women to be willing to put up with me,” I said around a mouthful of steak.

“Why does that strike me as a tall order sometimes, Johnny?” she asked playfully.

“I don’t know what you mean,” I said, mock offended. “I’m perfectly wonderful in every way.”

“And I’m sure you tell that to all the girls you get with,” she shot back.

“Only the ones who’ve asked.”

“Should I not be asking?”

“Probably not,” I admitted.

“It’s a wonder you ever get laid, Mister Richards,” she said.

I almost told her how many times I’d gotten laid just in the last few days – Ashley, Sofia, Michelle – but felt it wise to hold my tongue.

“I manage,” I said.

“Getting by on your good looks and mild charm?”

“Well, that can’t be,” I said. “I look like I got hit by a bus, and charming ain’t exactly my middle name.”

“I wouldn’t go that far,” she said. “You certainly seem to be charming someone around here.”

“The waitress?” I asked playfully. “Oh, I hope so – she’s got great legs.”

Kelly threw a napkin at me, laughing. The conversation continued until it came time for dessert, which Kelly ordered, with the promise that I help her eat it.

“So, if you don’t mind me asking, what had you so upset when I got to your office earlier?”

“Oh, it’s this case I’m working on,” I said. Without a second thought, I unloaded the entire thing on Kelly, explaining Mason’s death, Vergara’s involvement, Sarah Michelle Gellar threatening me, and even the mysterious Wilfred Colorado.

“And you’ve got no leads on this Colorado guy at all?”

“Not a one,” I sighed. “Detective Gellar and the police were my only hope, and she’s blocking me from getting in touch with anyone who might even consider talking to me.”

“That sucks,” Kelly said. “What are you going to do?”

“Keep looking for him, I guess. If he’s as important as people seem to think he is, he’ll have to show up eventually.”

“Wouldn’t Sofia Vergara know where he is?” Kelly asked.

“No – and if she does, she’s not bothering to tell me.”

“What about that other mobster you know – the gay Asian dude?”

“George Takei?” I honestly considered it for a second. “No, he doesn’t owe me anything right now, and I don’t want to risk owing him for information he might not have. I’ve gotta find this guy on my own.”

Kelly sighed. “Too bad you don’t just have fifty million laying about you could pay off Sofia with.”

“If I had fifty million bucks laying about, I wouldn’t be in this situation to begin with,” I said.

“Well, I hate to leave our conversation at this point, but I need to powder my nose. I promise I’ll be right back,” Kelly said, getting up. I found myself marveling at the way her incredible ass moved in her dress.

It had been a VERY long time since anyone had worn anything that amazing for me. I hadn’t realized how much it meant to have girl get all dolled up just to try and impress me. Not that Kelly Clarkson needed to impress me. She was a highly successful Banking Investigator for… well, for some government department of some sort. I couldn’t remember the exact name at that moment, but I was certain she’d told me. Now I felt bad – that was the sort of fact you were supposed to know about someone by your second date.

Even if your first date ended with her escaping on a boat while you nearly drown in a fight with trained killers.

With THAT in mind, my forgetfulness could be easily excused, I thought. Either that, or I could just claim the sight of Kelly in that dress wiped all rational thought from my brain.

Knowing me, that was a LOT more likely.

Kelly returned back to the table just as dessert arrived – an outrageously small slice of peanut butter pie that we split with little difficulty. When we’d finished, things were suddenly silent between us.

“So,” I said as she pulled out a platinum card to pay the check.

“So, I’m not ready to call it a night just yet, Johnny. Are you?”

“Far from it,” I said, glancing out the window as a trio of fire trucks and a car with fire department markings on it raced by. The lights splayed across our window, casting a slightly devilish look upon Kelly’s face for a moment, but the sound didn’t penetrate the Crescadia’s windows.

“Was that a Lamborghini part of the Fire Department?” Kelly asked, distracted by the crews zipping past.

I sighed. “I’d guess some of the corruption that’s polluted the TCPD has hit the TCFD, too.”

“Still, seems a bit luxurious for a fire car,” Kelly said. The car and it’s trucks were well down the road by now, out of sight, no doubt on their way to some fire or another.

“So, what do you feel like doing?” I asked her.

“It looks like the rain has stopped. Shall we go for a walk?” she asked.

“There’s a park nearby,” I said, thinking about where we were in The City. I glanced up at the sky, mildly surprised to see a star or two peeking through the holes in the clouds above. A marvelous event indeed.

“Is it safe?” she asked.

“I’ve still got two guns on me – anyone who bothers us will have to deal with that.”

“Now you’re just trying to make me feel safe around you,” Kelly said, accepting my arm as we walked out of the restaurant. We took a left and headed towards the unimaginatively named Botanica Gardens Park. We walked slowly, Kelly quizzing me a bit about the city, while clutching my arm rather tightly. We entered the park, which I quickly proclaimed a failure of a park because of it’s relative small size and it’s rather pedestrian walking path that was little more than a long rectangle around the park’s outer edges. Kelly found my remarks amusing, especially when I explained The City’s failed attempt at a zoo on the south end. “A gorilla, a rhino, a cheetah, a couple of birds – that’s not counting the bats that have moved in since they built the place. They used to have a Manta Ray, but that died off pretty quickly.”

“You seem to know a lot about the place,” Kelly said.

“When I was a rookie cop, this was my first beat,” I said, shuddering a bit. “Chasing down drug dealers, stray whores, the occasional mugger, and three teenage suicides while I was here.” I paused for a long moment. “Now that I think of all that, I’m not sure why I brought you here.”

“You were trying to charm your way into my pants.”

“There’s a long shot if I’ve ever heard one,” I laughed. “This place wouldn’t get anyone into MY pants.”

“Don’t be so sure about that,” Kelly said. “I kinda like learning more about your past. It’s all shrouded in mystery.”

I snorted at that. “No it’s not – far too much of it is out there for anyone who wants to look for it. Believe me, if I could, I’d erase it all and start over.”

“But then how would we have met?” she asked me. I didn’t have an answer to that, so we just walked on in companionable silence for a few minutes.

“How are you walking in that dress, anyway?” I asked a few minutes later.

“Not easily,” she laughed. “And these heels are killing me.”

“You should’ve said something,” I told her. “We could’ve done something other than go walking in this crappy park!”

“What could we have done?”

“I don’t know – something where you could’ve sat down. Or changed your shoes at least.”

That made her laugh even more. “And what could we have done where I changed my shoes?”

“Gone bowling?” I suggested.

“In this dress?!” She asked between laughs. “I’d trip and fall before I threw my first ball!”

“But at least I’d be able to ogle your ass while you did,” I said with a sly smile. She laughed even harder – and then swatted me with her little clutch purse.

“Johnny Richards, you are nothing but trouble.”

“You knew that going into this,” I reminded her.

“Yes, yes I did,” she admitted, stopping and turning towards me. I faced her too, wondering if I should find her a park bench or something – if there even was one around here that didn’t have a hobo sleeping on it.

“But you know what?” she asked, continuing.

“What?”

“I like trouble,” she said, leaning in and standing on her toes to kiss me.

It was right then and there that I realized that I was in trouble myself. Kissing Kelly made my heart thump in a way I hadn’t felt in years – not since Natalie Portman and I had been a couple, back before I’d been kicked off the Police Force and she’d become the District Attorney for The City. Back before my life had fallen apart, and I’d lost everything.

Now, suddenly, I felt like I was finally getting back on track – like I’d found one thing to actually replace what I’d lost.

Kelly Clarkson was no Natalie Portman, and I wouldn’t want her to be. Natalie and I had been a different life all-together. Kelly and I… well, I didn’t know exactly what we were yet, but it felt good. It felt BETTER than good. It felt RIGHT.

The kiss broke, and all I could say was “Wow.”

Kelly laughed in my arms. “Why Johnny Richards, I swear you always know exactly what to say to charm a lady.”

I kissed her again, quickly, then said “Wow” again. And again. And again.

And with each kiss, I really meant it.

* * *

I pulled down the shoulders of Kelly’s dress, fighting to get access to her succulent tits. For her part, Kelly was struggling with my belt, as we tried to undress each other without breaking the passionate kiss we were sharing. So far, it wasn’t going so well, as my belt didn’t seem to want to come off, and I found Kelly’s breasts still covered by a strapless bra that I‘d not realized was there before.

The kiss broke, and we both laughed a bit breathlessly.

“This could be going better,” she winked at me, looking down at pants as she continued to fumble with my belt.

“You want me to do that?” I asked, feeling a bit of guilty déjà vu – hadn’t Ashley Tisdale had a similar problem with my belt just a few nights ago? Did I need to get a new belt? Or just start sleeping with women with more adroit fingers?

“I got it, I got it,” she said, finally working the leather free. I felt my pants loosen around my waist, and she quickly found the button and zipper. A heartbeat later, my pants fell down my legs, landing in a clump around my ankles. At this point, I’d forgotten all about them, returning my attention to Kelly’s chest, and discovering rather rapidly that her bra was not a front closure device.

I reached around her, pulling her close for another kiss, but as I searched the back of her bra – while her tongue searched my mouth – I found no sign of a clasp there, either. I was starting to get confused when she pulled back a bit.

“Side clasp,” she said, reaching up under one arm to undo the hooks holding her bra in place.

“Who’s dumb idea was that?” I started to ask, but trailed off as her bra joined my pants on the floor, revealing her perfect breasts to my eyes for the first time. “Oh, now that’s nice.” Kelly’s chest was not the biggest in the world, nor were they the smallest, but they were perfectly shaped and perfectly proportioned, her nipples like perfect little caps to her slightly-pale mounds.

“Thank you, Johnny,” she said, grabbing my face and kissing me again quickly. “Every girl loves to hear her tits are nice. Now, get out of those boxers, would you?”

“If you insist,” I said, smiling as I slid my underwear down my legs and stepping out of the pool of clothing at my feet. Kelly shed the lower half of her dress like a snake shedding skin, and then yanked off the small white thong she’d had on underneath. She kicked her clothes aside with one leg while grabbing me by the head again and pulling my naked body against hers, our tongues meeting once more.

“I’ve wanted you since the moment I saw you, Johnny Richards,” she said huskily in my ear when our kiss broke and I reached down for her ample breasts. One hand ran through my hair as I lowered my head down to feast on her nipples, while the other slid down my side, before I lost track of it. “You have no idea how hard it was for me to get on that boat and leave The City without getting you into bed,” she continued. “Part of me wanted to come right back, but work- god, I‘ve never hated my job more!”

That missing hand came back with a vengeance, swooping up under my armpits and pulling me down with her as Kelly fell backwards onto the hotel room bed that I’d almost completely forgotten was there. I let out a breath of air as we hit, and then bounced right off of Kelly to slide down to the floor on my knees.

“Guess I should’ve held on tighter,” she said, giggling. “Two hands next time?”

“No, that’s okay,” I said, running a hand up her leg. “I can think of something to do while I’m down here,” I added, slyly.

“Oh really?” she said, trying hard not to laugh as I kissed her knee and started to slowly work my way up her leg towards her crotch.

“Yeah, I can come up with something,” I repeated, kissing her upper thigh before slowly edging towards her neatly trimmed bush. “Unless you’d rather I got back up there with you?” I asked, a wicked smile on my face.

“Just shut up and lick my pussy, you asshole,” she said, spreading her legs wider and allowing her head to drop to the bed. I laughed at her suddenly dirty mouth, but did as I was told, placing my lips on her pussy, right below her clit. She squirmed as my tongue slid between her moist folds and slowly worked it’s way up with one solid stroke, before stopping right on top of her clit. She tensed for a moment as I didn’t move, and almost lifted her head to look down at me when I started to gently lap her little bud, soft and slow.

“Oh, that’s nice,” she cooed as I applied more pressure to her clit, tasting the pleasant saltiness of her juices on my tongue. Her hands came down to cup the back of my head, holding me to her crotch as I eagerly ate away, savoring the taste as her juices slowly began to coat my mouth. I heard her moaning as I worked, but she said nothing, and I didn’t dare speak, for fear of breaking the sudden spell we were both under.

I tried to keep my pace slow and reasonable, but the more I tasted of her, the more I wanted to taste, and the more I wanted to taste, the faster I strove for it. If my increasing pace bothered Kelly, she made no move to stop me – instead, she gripped my hair harder with both hands, pulling me tighter against her wet crotch. She was breathing heavily, her moans turning into groans of pleasure punctuated by the occasional squeak or gasp.

One of her hands left the back of my head, but the other kept pressing me to her pussy – not that I would’ve moved had she let go completely. Her legs seemed to wrap around me, holding my upper body in place, and I could feel her body tense around me. I’d lost track of how long I’d been going down on her, but I couldn’t fathom it being long enough for her to -

“Oh fuck, Fuck, FUCK, FUUUUUCCCCKKKKK!” She cried out, her whole body going stiff, her hand forcing my head into her pussy as hard as humanly possible, smashing my nose against her clit, my tongue sliding deep into her wet folds as she came around me. I tried to keep lapping, but I wasn’t really in a position to do much until she eased up on me.

“Wow,” she whispered a moment later when her fingers disentangled themselves from my hair, letting my head up for the first time since we’d started. “Just, wow, Johnny. Why haven’t I had you do that before?”

“No clue,” I said, kissing her stomach before easing myself up to lay next to her. Her skin was coated in sweat now, her heavy breathing causing her breasts to rise and fall enchantingly as I watched. As I lay next to her, she reached for me, pulling my head down to kiss her mouth again. The act brought my painfully erect cock against the skin of her leg, and she actually jumped a little as she felt it.

“Oh, my!” She exclaimed as our kiss broke. “Someone’s excited.”

“Gee, I can’t imagine why,” I said casually as I ran my hand down her neck and collar bone until it glided gently over her left breast.

“Do you think we need to give him some attention?” She asked, repressing a giggle.

“Ignore him,” I said, lowering my mouth to her breast and kissing the nipple. “He’ll go away.”

“I don’t want him to go away yet,” she said, pulling my head back up to look me in the eyes. “But we should probably put him somewhere safe.”

“Somewhere safe?” I asked.

“Safe and warm.”

“Safe and warm and wet?” I asked as I moved to get between her legs.

“Mmmmm…. Yes. Safe, and warm, and wet, and oh so tight.”

“Tight, huh?” I said, laying my cock at the entrance to her pussy. “Maybe I should be the judge of that.”

“Go slow, Johnny,” she warned me. “It’s been a while for me…”

“No promises,” I said, kissing her again as I slowly started to press myself into her. She closed her eyes and pressed back herself, and with what I swear was an audible “POP” my cockhead burst through into her pussy.

“OH!” She gasped, partly in surprise and partly in pleasure as I entered her. Warm and wet and oh so tight was exactly how I would’ve described Kelly Clarkson’s pussy. Even as I continued to ease my way inside it, the velvety walls seemed to cling to me, sending pulses of pleasure every time either of us moved. She wasn’t a virgin, that much was obvious, but it was as if her body had been made to perfectly accommodate my erection.

“Oh, fuck,” I muttered as I finally made it all the way inside.

“Just stay here, Johnny,” she said, her hands finding my ass and holding me tight to her. “I want to savor you inside me.”

“Sure,” I said. I counted to three in my head, then wiggled my cock inside her. She gasped, then laughed, and playfully slapped my ass.

“Enough savoring,” I said, slowly pulling out of her. “It’s my turn.”

“Oh, yes. It’s your turn, Johnny,” she said as I slid out and then slowly slid back in. “Take me, Johnny. Take me hard. Fuck me with your big, hard dick, Johnny!”

I didn’t need to be told, and in fact I was already pounding away as best I could, feeling every perfect sensation along my cock as her pussy lips enveloped me. It took a few moments to get going – she was tight, but thankfully quite wet, and I was soon thrusting away like a madman, fucking her like a man possessed.

And, truth be told, I probably was. I’ve had sex with a lot of girls, but not many made me feel as perfectly sexual as Kelly did. Her curves, her breasts, her ass, her pussy – every inch of her body made me lust for her, and the way she responded to what I was doing, I clearly had the same effect on her.

“Oh, Johnny,” She gasped, her hands now grasping mine as I held on to her ample tits, “I’m going to cum again! Don’t stop! Please, don’t stop!”

I didn’t stop. I couldn’t have stopped if I wanted to – I was mere moments away from blowing my own load. Instead, I increased my pace, fucking her so hard that I couldn’t think, couldn’t see, couldn’t hear a thing.

I felt her climax beneath me more than anything else – the way her hands clamped down on mine, the way her body went rigid before starting to convulse under me, the way her pussy gripped my cock impossibly harder. She might have screamed, or swore, or gasped, or hissed. Her head might have rolled on the pillows, her eyes might have screwed shut – I’ll never know, as I was lost in my own fucking obsession.

Mere moments later, I reached my limit, and climaxed within her, shooting blast after blast of myself into her. My arms gave way, my knees next, and I practically fell atop her, my head landing just next to hers, her hair trapped beneath me so that I could smell her shampoo when my senses finally returned minutes later.

“Wow,” she whispered a while later, when we were both coherent again.

“Wow indeed,” I said, reaching over to kiss her. As I did so, she rolled up on top of me, and we moved to try it all again.

And again after that. And again after that, too.

* * *

I awoke the next morning to the gentle sounds of singing and sunlight streaming into the room through the windows. I groaned a bit, lifting myself up from where my face was planted in the pillow, half expecting to see an empty bottle of scotch and my TV on, but instead was greeted by a hotel room and the smell of bacon.

“Don’t roll over too far – breakfast is right beside you,” a voice said sweetly from across the room. Careful not to disturb the bed too much, I rolled myself over to face the other direction and came face to face with two very impressive sights. The first was breakfast – I was starved – complete with toast, scrambled eggs, and enough bacon to permanently clog my arteries. It looked wonderful and smelled even better.

Beyond breakfast, however, was something even better. Sitting naked at the small table next to the window, Kelly Clarkson was gently singing to herself as she went over some paperwork. The sunlight from the window came down over her back, lighting up her hair, making it almost look like she had a halo around her head. Her skin glistened in the light, and I suspected she might have been fairly fresh from the shower, but I didn’t care. Right that moment, she looked like the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen, and I wanted nothing more than to throw her back down on the bed and make love to her again.

“Hope you don’t mind – I like to do my chores in the nude,” she said, barely glancing up from her papers.

“I’m not complaining,” I said, reaching over to take a slice of bacon, my eyes never leaving her body.

She glanced up and smiled. “No, I guess you aren’t, are you? Damn, Johnny, didn’t I wear that thing down last night?”

I glanced down at my crotch, where my cock was tenting the sheets of the bed rather impressively. “Guess not. You really should do something about that.”

“Eat your breakfast, big boy – I’ve got work to do.”

I munched on some toast for a moment or two, just drinking in her beauty, but the more I ate, the hungrier I grew for Kelly. I finished my toast, then picked up the tray and moved it off to the floor beside the bed. “Come back to bed,” I said. “Let me make you forget about work.”

She smiled at me. “You did enough of that last night, thank you.”

“I’ll make you want to thank me again,” I said.

“Don’t take no for an answer, do you, Johnny?” she asked, standing up and stretching. For a moment, I was mesmerized by the way her breasts swayed gently from the action, and my rock hard cock spoke to me again.

“Not this time,” I said, stepping out of the bed, aware that I, too, was naked, but not nearly so nice to look at as she was. “I want you. Now.”

“I really shouldn’t, Johnny,” she protested lightly as I pulled her up out of her chair.

“But you are,” I said, kissing her neck. She swooned a bit at that, and from the way her nipples went hard against my chest, I knew I’d won.

“I am, you horny bastard.”

“I love it when you talk dirty,” I said as I tossed her back onto the bed and climbed up on top of her. My lips fell to hers, and we slowly kissed each other as my cock slowly parted her pussy lips, reentering where it had spent so much time the night before. That same, near-perfect fit returned. Her hands came up to cup my face as I slowly started to fuck her, and for a long minute, neither of us said a word, just enjoying the sensations of our bodies slowly grinding against each other.

At that exact moment, I would’ve done anything for this woman. Anything at all.

“Johnny?” she whispered in my ear.

“Yeah?”

“As much as I love this, I do have things to do today.”

“I’m something you have to do today,” I said, giving her a little extra on that particular thrust.

“You know what I mean,” she laughed. “What’s it going to take to get you to hurry up and finish?”

“Oh, I don’t know – the promise that you won’t wear clothes the rest of the day?” I asked playfully. “Your word that you’ll return to me every two hours for a good three hour fucking?”

“That’s not even possible, you twit!” She slapped my arm with her hand, giggling the whole time. “Come on, Johnny!”

“Nope,” I said, kissing her chin. “I don’t want you to leave.”

“I have to.”

“Doesn’t mean I’ll let you.”

“God, you’re like a spoiled little brat,” she said.

“You make me feel spoiled,” I admitted. “Is that so wrong?”

“No,” she admitted. “And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel similar – but I’ve got a job to do, so name your price. What will it cost me to get you to finish and let me go?”

“A billion dollars!” I joked.

“I don’t have a billion dollars, Johnny.”

“Too bad for you,” I said, nuzzling my head between her breasts playfully.

“Okay, how about this,” she said. “How about I let you fuck my ass, and then you let me get up, have a shower, and get my work done?”

That got my attention. “Your ass, you say?” I asked, perking up a little. “Hmmm, hang on, let me inspect your offer.”

“Wha-” she started to ask, but I’d already pulled out of her. Smiling like a Cheshire cat, I rolled her over on her stomach and quickly reached down to cup her oh-so-impressive backside.

“Oh, this IS nice,” I said playfully. I ran a single hand over Kelly’s round backside, marveling at the smoothness, the slightly paler complexion, the heft of each globe. “This might just be the most perfect ass I’ve ever seen.”

“And you’ve seen plenty, I’m sure,” she shot back over her shoulder at me.

“I don’t want to brag.”

“Well, then skip that stage and get some lube – I’ve got some in the bedside drawer.”

“You do?” I asked, a little surprised. Sure enough, inside was a small, travel-sized bottle of personal lubrication. “Why, my dear Kelly Clarkson – did you come to town thinking you just might get your ass fucked?”

“It has been known to happen,” she said flippantly.

“Well, I suppose now I just HAVE to fuck your ass – I wouldn’t want to disappoint you, after all.”

“No, you don’t,” Kelly said firmly. “Here, let me see that for a moment,” she said, reaching for the bottle. I handed it to her, and was a bit surprised as she got up into a sitting position. “C’mere, big boy,” she ordered, putting a generous dollop onto the palm of one of her hands.

I scooted closer on the bed, and was a bit surprised when she grabbed my erection and started spreading the lube all over it. I drew a breath at the coolness of her touch, but the lube seemed to get warmed with each stroke of her hand. It was quite the sensation.

“There,” she said after far too few strokes. My cock practically glistened with the lube, and she wiped her hand off on one of her legs before turning around and assuming the position, her ass in the air. “Make sure you put at LEAST that much on me, okay?”

“Sure,” I said. I poured a generous amount of the cool liquid right onto Kelly’s backdoor, and watched her shiver. Then I carefully took one finger and began to rub it in. It took mere moments to get the outside well coated, and I hesitated at her rear entrance. “You ready?” I asked.

“Mmmm, yeah,” Kelly moaned. I found myself taking a deep breath. I couldn’t explain why this was making me nervous – I’d fucked more girls in the ass than I could count, and hadn’t been this worried about it the first time I’d done it – of course, I’d been considerably more drunk the first time I fucked a girl up the ass…

I put that all out of my mind, and pressed into Kelly, getting the lube spread well with my finger, so that my cock would have a far easier time in a moment or two.

“OH!” She gasped. I almost froze, but she actually pressed back with her ass, and I just kept pressing in, circling my finger about until Kelly finally said another word.

“I think I’m ready back there. Just go slow at first, Johnny. It’s been a while.”

“I find that so hard to believe,” I said as I withdrew my finger. “I’d do your ass every night, if you’d let me.”

“Promises promises, Mister Richards,” Kelly said, glancing at me over her shoulder as I lined myself up with that well-lubed, but still amazing-looking ass. I hovered there for a long moment, just marveling at it. Then I placed the head of my cock right at her puckered hole, and looked at her one more time.

“Say when,” I said, my voice barely more than a whisper.

“Now, Johnny,” she said, her voice practically a sing-song moan of delight as I eased myself into her perfect ass.

“OOOHHHH!” Kelly moaned loudly. “Oh, Johhny! Fuck, Johnny – did you get bigger over night?”

“Flatterer,” I said, spanking her ass as I eased just a bit more into it. “Let me know if I need to stop.”

“You stop and I’ll kick your ass!” Kelly said. “C’mon, Johnny! Fill me up with your cock! Stuff it in me! Ooh, it’s so BIG! So big and so HOT!”

“Someone’s getting into the spirit of things,” I said, spanking her ass again before I bottomed out. “You need a second?”

“Yeah,” she said, panting a bit. “You feel so good inside me, Johnny! So, so good! Just sit there for a moment, would you?”

“For you, anything,” I said, caressing one of her ass cheeks gently. She didn’t wait too long – just long enough to get used to me being inside her before she pressed back against my waist, giving me the signal to go ahead.

As I slowly started to slide in and out of her, Kelly began to moan and groan with each in and out motion I made. At first she just hung there, gripping the edge of the bed for traction as I slowly but steadily increased my pace. I paid no attention to what she said at first, concentrating on holding back my own rapidly increasing needs. But the faster I got, the more coherent Kelly’s moans became.

“MMmm…. Fuck! Oh god, fuck! Oooh, yes! Oh! OH! OHHHHH FUCK YES! Ah, ah, ah! OhmyGOD, I can’t believe that’s in my ass! Oh fuck, it’s so GOOD! FFFFFFfuuuuCK! Yeah, it’s right in there! Right in my fucking ass! Take that ass Johnny! Take every one of my holes just like that, Johnny!”

With every dirty word that came out of Kelly mouth, my cock seemed to swell, and it became clear to me that I wasn’t going to last all that long. I would’ve given anything to spend the rest of my life fucking Kelly’s ass just like that, but my body wouldn’t hold out like the rest of me would. Finally, I had to give in.

“I’m close, Kelly,” I told her, surprised she heard me over her moaning and swearing.

“Fill my ass, Johnny!” She begged. “Fill my tight little ass with your hot load! Cum for me, Johnny! Cum for me! Fuck my ass and cum for me!”

I cried out as my dick erupted, blasting every ounce of seed I had in me deep into Kelly’s ass. My world went white, then black and my climax sent my collapsing onto the bed, where I lay for far to long, out like a light.

By the time I woke up again, Kelly was out of the shower, and much to my chagrin, getting dressed once more.

“Oh, good, I was beginning to worry I’d fucked you into a coma,” She said as she finished buttoning up her blouse. “I’m afraid I have to get going, Johnny. Can I call you later – maybe we can set up another date?”

“Absolutely,” I said, though it might have come out like “Abfrothliky,” my mouth was so dry. Kelly smiled at me as she threw on her jacket. “There’s a glass of water on the table there, Johnny.”

As I cleared my mouth, Kelly finished dressing and threw what she needed into a briefcase. I marveled for a moment just how classy she looked in business casual. It was hard for me to fathom this was the same girl who’d just been shouting some of the filthiest language I’d heard this side of the docks while I fucked her ass – until she turned around and I got a look at that ass in her skirt.

THAT I’d recognize anywhere.

Before she left, Kelly came over and kissed me once, powerfully, on the lips, before she raced out, leaving me alone in her hotel room. I glanced over at the clock – realized I was painfully late for getting to the office myself, and got up out of bed.

* * *

I wonder sometimes if my gloomy disposition on life revolves around the fact that I live in The City. . It rains here nigh-constantly, and most of the rest of the time it’s dark and grey. I can count on one hand the number of times I saw the sun in the last 365 days -

- this morning, however, is one of those rare sunny days. The clouds have parted, there are birds chirping in the air, and I feel fantastic. Part of that, no doubt, is because I got laid both last night and this morning, but it was more than just that.

I’d fallen hard for Kelly Clarkson – harder than I had for anyone in ages. One fantastic night with her had been all I needed. I felt like I could walk on air, lift cars above my head, fight off the biggest opponent. Everything in my life was perfect, all because SHE was in it.

That feeling – that wonderful, all encompassing, all engrossing feeling – lasted until I walked in my door.

“Johnny!” Rachel Bilson screamed at me. “Where the hell have you been?!”

“My date with Kelly-”

“Jewel has been calling ALL NIGHT!” Rachel continued right over my explanation. “She had people sneaking around outside her house last night, and the damn cops wouldn’t come to investigate!”

“Fuck,” I said. “How long ago did you head from her last.”

“Hours, Johnny! Before midnight!”

“FUCK!” I screamed. “FUCK FUCK FUCK!” I raced out the door, not even stopping to slam it behind me. I ran to my car as fast as I could, leapt in it, and speed across town. I cut every corner, ran every light, nearly hit three other cars and two pedestrians along the way.

There was just no way I was going to make it in time.

Jewel lived in a small house towards the outer suburbs of The City. A step above the projects, but a few steps below true Middle-Class, the closer I got to Jewel’s home, the further I was from the REAL city.

I turned on to Jewel’s street and slammed on the brakes – I had no choice but to stop, as there were a trio of fire trucks and several cop cars blocking the street. The dread I’d been feeling in my gut the whole way over only grew stronger as I realized they were all centered around Jewel’s place.

Sure enough, it was a shell of it’s former two-story self – what was left of the walls was burnt timbers and scorched siding. I couldn’t remember what color the place had been the last time I saw it, years ago, but it certainly wasn’t charcoal black like it was now. The entire top floor was missing, and judging from the way the one ambulance on the scene was just sitting there, the EMTs drinking out of Styrofoam coffee cups, I gathered they hadn’t found anyone alive inside.

My heart sunk. It was possible Jewel had already been found and rushed to a hospital in another ambulance, but somehow I doubted it. The fire was long out, and the firemen were crawling over the remains of the place, poking around, looking for hot embers or worse, and I knew – I just KNEW – that Jewel wasn’t here.

Still, I had to be sure. I parked my car in a driveway, got out, and walked towards the hastily erected line of yellow “POLICE – DO NOT CROSS” tape. As I approached, I felt the first drops of rain start to fall again. Somehow, that seemed appropriate.

“Richards? Johnny Richards!” A voice screamed out. I looked away from the wreckage of Jewel’s house, and had to fight the urge to roll my eyes. There, storming towards me as fast as her designer high-heels could haul her, was Detective Sarah Michelle Gellar.

“Detective – where’s the woman who lived in this house?”

“What the fuck are you doing here, Richards?” she demanded, ignoring my question. “I told you if you got within ten miles of this case-”

“WHERE IS SHE?” I demanded, grabbing Sarah by the arms and shaking her. “My client – my FRIEND – lived in this house!”

That seemed to make Sarah pause. A strange look or two crossed her face before she settled on some strange mix of concern and mild distaste. She opened her mouth to speak again, but someone else spoke for her.

“There was no one in the house when it burned,” a man said. I glanced over to see a fire chief approaching me. A tall, thin, Hispanic man with more soot on his face than muscle in his arms, he looked to maybe be around my age, no more than a year or two older at best. He looked a little frail to be a firefighter in my mind, but I guess if he had a desk job, that wasn’t such an issue.

“My husband,” Gellar said with a warning tone. “Fire Chief Freddie Prinze.”

“Junior,” Prinze added, offering me a gloved hand. “I don’t know where your friend was, but she wasn’t inside when the place burned.”

“What happened?” I asked.

“We don’t know,” Gellar said. “The fire was called in by neighbors a few hours ago, and we were called in when it was determined to be arson.”

“Arson?” I said. “My secretary got a call from Miss Kilcher last night saying she thought someone was sneaking around outside her house.”

Gellar and Prinze exchanged looks. “I’ll have to talk to your secretary,” Sarah said slowly. “Did she contact you?”

“No. I was away from my place, and I don’t own a cell phone,” I said flatly. I felt bad enough about being out-of-touch when Jewel needed me most. I didn’t need Gellar making accusations about me not being reachable in an emergency.

“You seem to take great care of your clients,” Gellar muttered.

“We’ll let you know if we find anything,” Prinze said. “But I wouldn’t hold my breath, Mister Richards.”

The fire chief walked off, and I found myself hating the man rather profusely.

“I’m serious, Richards,” Gellar snapped as soon as her husband was out of sight. “You keep your nose out of my case. Carl Mason’s death will be investigated by the REAL cops, not some fly-by-night operation like you. You’re just getting in the way.”

“If I thought you were honestly looking into this case, I might get out of your way,” I said, turning and storming off before the urge to punch Gellar in the face over took me.

* * *

There was only one person I could think of who might have reason to go after Jewel, and that was Sofia Vergara. The Columbian drug lord might just think she knew something about the $50 Million Carl Mason stole. That didn’t explain why they would burn down the building, but considering some of the things Michelle Rodriguez has claimed to have done while working for Vergara, I couldn’t rule it out.

I stopped at a pay phone long enough to call Rachel back at the office, and Kelly on her cellphone. Neither one liked the sound of the trouble I now found myself in, but Kelly also didn’t like the sound of Prinze Jr. being involved in the situation.

“How convenient that the police investigator is married to the fire chief looking into the arson,” Kelly said. “I’ll have my people look into him, Johnny. I just don’t like the sound of him.”

“Me either,” I said, grateful that SOMEONE felt the same way I did about the situation. “Listen, I don’t know how long I’m going to be-”

“Take what time you need, Johnny,” Kelly said, “I’ll be waiting for you whenever you get done. Just – just stay in touch.”

“You too,” I told her before hanging up and heading for the Corsuca Building.

It didn’t occur to me until I reached the building that I had no idea what floor Sofia was hiding on. I seriously doubted the local head of the Vergara Cartel had listed her office on the ground floor visitor’s guide. Finding Sofia was easier than I thought, however – there were two mean looking men in suits and thick Spanish accents waiting for me in the parking garage, and I was escorted up in the elevator at once.

“At least you left out the bag this time,” I muttered as I was all but shoved into Sofia’s office. The sexy Latina was clad entirely in black, though this time she wore pants and relatively flat-heeled shoes. Right away I could tell something was up – especially with the gun strapped to her waist.

“Mister Richards,” she said, ignoring my barb. “Your timing could be better – I am busy.”

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“Wilfred Colorado is what’s going on,” Sofia grumbled. “His people are making their move on my territory here in The City. They killed six of my dealers last night, and took out one of my storage facilities along the river.”

This was all news for me, and relatively bad news at that. Rival gangs making hits on each other was nothing new – it’d been going on for decades here in The City, and normally it wouldn’t make me bat an eye. But the fact that so many hits had happened in the same night, aided by the fact that Vergara clearly knew WHO was hitting her this quickly – well, it was bad enough to make me take notice.

“How do you know it’s Colorado’s men?” I asked.

“Because he called me and bragged about it!” Sofia said, slapping the desktop of her hands.

“He bragged?” I asked, surprised. This Colorado guy had some stone cold ones, that’s for sure.

“He bragged,” Sofia grumbled. She glanced up at me. “Did you find my money?”

“No – and someone took Mason’s girlfriend, Jewel Kilcher, last night. If you think she had anything to do with your missing money-”

“Let me stop you there, Mr. Richards,” Sofia said, coming around her desk and storming towards me. “I’ve been trying to organize some sort of defense all night – this Colorado has me and my people all over the map. I’ve had no time to even think of you, let alone your suspects. Just find my money. Fast.”

“You’re sure?” I said, trying to muster as much threat as I could in my voice, though both of us knew there was very little I could do to Sofia Vergara.

“Yes,” she said flatly, clearly catching my tone. “Melina! Have Julio and Jorge escort Mr. Richards out. At once.”

I bristled a bit, but let Sofia’s men haul me out of her office and back onto the elevator. At least with Colorado going after Sofia’s people, she had other things to worry about than the slow-moving Private Dick working to find her missing $50 Million.

Somehow, knowing Jewel was still out there somewhere, that was a small comfort. Very small indeed.

I never learned which of the tall, Hispanic men escorting me was Julio and which was Jorge. I never spoke to either of them. The practically shoved me into the elevator and rode down with me, looking menacing and stoic, their hands rather prominently resting on the holsters of their guns. I thought absolutely nothing about them, stewing over Sofia’s abrupt dismissal of me, and where on earth I’d start looking for Jewel. I was lost in thought as they guided me into the parking garage at the bottom of the Corsuca building and walked me past one of the fancy sports cars parked closest to the elevators and the security office. My car was clear on the other side of the place.

I was still debating my next move when one of those very fancy sports cars exploded.

I actually felt my temple glance off the pavement as I hit the ground, and knew right away that I was in trouble. My ears were ringing and the garage was spinning about me, but I struggled to get to my feet anyway – Jorge and Julio were, too, best I could tell, though neither one of them looked any better than I felt at that moment. Still, years of habit and some not-quite-forgotten police training had me reaching for my own holstered gun automatically, my spinning head fighting to sweep the area for more danger.

That danger arrived in the form of a black sedan with tinted windows that pulled out six, maybe ten cars away. The window of the back seat rolled down, and a gun came out, six shots ringing out loud enough to cut through my half-gone hearing. I hit the deck – more accurately, I let myself fall down finally – and pointed my gun in the direction of the car and squeezed off a few rounds. Jorge and Julio weren’t so quick – three shots each took them down before I finished getting down, and their dead bodies dropped around me as I finally returned fire.

I don’t think I even hit the sedan, but to be fair, my head was still spinning.

I emptied my clip pretty quickly, and began trying desperately to reach the second gun I always keep on me, hidden at the small of my back. I never quite made it.

“Now now,” a voice said, stepping over me – and kicking my empty gun away in the process. I glanced up into the face of a gorgeous blonde beauty in a giant black cowboy hat, glaring down at me over the barrel of a revolver. “It ain’t polite to shoot at people.”

“It’s not?” I managed to grumble as hands caught me under the armpits and lifted me up. Suddenly I was looking down at the cowgirl – and her gun. “Tell that to Jorge and Julio there.”

She shrugged. “No one ever said I was polite,” she retorted, holstering her gun. She reached into the pocket of her floor-length trench coat, and yanked out a phone. She held it up next to my face for a moment, smiling. “That’s him. Get him to the car.” With that, she turned and headed towards the untouched sedan.

It was, I figured in my brain-damaged state, my only chance. I dragged my feet for a bit, then shifted to trip one of the two men carrying my. He collapsed to the ground, and my now free right arm swung up to cold-cock the guy on my left. My head throbbed in pain, but I let my momentum carry me in a complete circle, coming back around, ready to punch the little cowgirl just as hard as I had her accomplice.

I never made it. As I spun to face her again, her gun was back in my face, and this time she pulled the hammer back.

“Go ahead,” she said. “Your fist is big, but my gun’s bigger.”

I froze, realizing I was beat. Then someone hit me over the back of the head, and I gave up, collapsing into darkness.

* * *

It’s not exactly a source of pride for me, but I’ve woken up in a lot of strange places over the years. Often due to over-drinking, but sadly a fair number of those occasions come from my job. People seem to like taking Private Dicks to strange places to have conversations. I suppose I should be grateful no one’s ever just decided to shoot my while I’m out cold, but the splitting headache I get every time I’m knocked out really is something I could live without.

This time, I woke up in a motel room. Again, not a first for me – either from having drunk too much OR being taken prisoner. Judging from the state of the place, it wasn’t exactly a high-priced affair, either. It also wasn’t one of my favorite motels, the Mayfair, which I’d used enough that I’d know the décor. This place was entirely new to me, which wasn’t very helpful.

Nor was the penlight being flashed in my eyes, but what’s a guy to do?

“He’ll be fine. No concussion, but he could use a lot more rest.” The voice was female, and not one I recognized, but from the delicate way my head was being held, I gathered I was in the hands of a doctor, which was certainly better than many of the alternatives.

“Any memory loss?” a man’s voice asked.

“I’m suppose to tell that after a minimal examination in a hotel room with a penlight and a stethoscope?” the doctor shot back.

“Mind yer tongue, doctor,” the man said sharply.

“I doubt it,” she replied. “Might not remember the attack, but anything beyond around a five to ten minute stretch before it should be unaffected. Keeping in mind, this is all precursory.”

“Of course, Doctor Branch. My men outside have your fee.”

My eyes adjusted to the light in time to see a cute little brunette in a doctor’s coat over jeans and a sweat shirt stand up away from me.

“He really should be looked after more thoroughly,” Branch said. “I’d be willing to give him a more in-depth exam. If he’s so important to you-”

“Doctor Branch – may I call you Michelle?” the man I asked. I got my first look at him about this time. He towered over Doctor Branch, and stood maybe six feet even. He was generally thin, though he was starting to show the beginnings of a potbelly around his middle, which was covered by an almost painfully rich blue shirt over a giant belt-buckle in the shape of a five-point star. He wore a tan suit-coat over that, and a ten-galleon hat the exact same shade as his jacket. His thin black mustache didn’t quite hide the grey starting to inch into his black hair, and I placed him at least ten years older than I was.

I place the fancy revolver in his hip holster as considerably older than either of us.

“No, you may NOT,” Michelle replied.

“Fine then, Doctor – you were brought here from your little street practice because I need Mister Richards here alive. If he don’t pan out, I ain’t gonna need him alive much longer. You do NOT want to be around after that..”

“Fine,” Doctor Branch said sourly. “I’ll leave – but if he dies before he gives you what you want, don’t come complaining to me.”

“Hold yer horses, Doc,” the man said. “You should know things are about to change here in this town. You may not know the name Wilfred Colorado now, but pretty soon yer’ gonna wanna be on my good side. Especially considerin’ where you work – on my streets.”

Michelle sighed and continued to walk towards the door. “Just leave my little clinic alone, and we won’t have any more issues, Mr. Colorado.”

“Mighty kind of you, Doc,” Colorado said as Michelle walked out of the door. Then he turned towards me.

“So yer the great John Richards, eh?” he said, grabbing a chair and sitting down across from me. I was tied pretty firmly to my chair, and didn’t feel like straining at the moment, so I decided to let him go for a bit.

“I prefer Johnny,” I muttered.

“And I prefer my gumshoes out from under foot, if you catch my meanin’.”

“Listen, I have a splitting headache – can we skip the foreplay and all your little Texan colloquialisms and get right to the point where you tell me what you want?”

“I want my money, Richards,” Colorado said firmly. “And yer about the only one left who could know where it is.”

I groaned a little. I already knew where this had to go, but something told me to stretch this out a bit longer – Colorado might know something I didn’t. “Now, keeping in mind I’ve just been bashed in the head – twice – can you be a little more specific about WHAT money you’re looking for?”

“The Fifty Million dollars Carl Mason stole from Sofia Vergara – on my orders,” Mason said. “That darn fool was s’posed to steal a lot MORE from her, but he decided to scoot on his own, and now not only does my chief competition have more money than she should, but I had to kill Mason to keep from gettin’ away with my cash.”

“Wait – you DON’T have the money?” I said, feeling an entirely NEW headache forming.

“If I did, would I be askin’ you fer it?” he asked angrily.

“Wait a second – you some big giant gangster, what’s Fifty Million, give or take, to a guy like you?”

“Ain’t you ever heard the expression ’every penny counts’?”

“Not with such a thick accent,” I muttered.

“My superiors have decided to move on The City. With Valentine dead, and none of his cronies pickin’ up the pieces quickly, the whole city is ripe, and I’m here to take it. All I gotta do is kill off the competition. Vergara. Takei. Companelli. Once they’re all pushin’ up daisies, we can mop up the leftovers and The City belongs to us. Carl Mason was supposed to drain all of Vergara’s accounts, leavin’ her with no cash to fight back against us, but he turned yeller and tried to betray me. Now he’s dead, but the money’s gone. Vergara doesn’t have it, Mason doesn’t have it, his busty little girlfriend ain’t got it – so that leaves YOU, Johnny Richards.”

Colorado got close enough that the rim of his hat brushed the top of my hair. “Where’s my money?”

“I don’t know,” I said. “But if you let me go, maybe I can-”

“I ain’t got time for you to wander around this town, lookin’ under every rock and whore you find, Richards. I need that money!”

“Yeah, well, I was working under the impression you HAD it already,” I said, trying to buy myself time. For what, I didn’t know, but I kept trying anyway. “So if you don’t have it, and Vergara doesn’t have it, and Mason didn’t have it, who does that leave? Who’s the other player in this game?”

“That’s what I’m askin’ you, gumshoe,” Colorado said, standing up and pacing the room. “Could Takei or Companelli be involved?”

“I don’t know Bruno Companelli well enough to say if he’d be involved, but George Takei wouldn’t waste his time for Fifty million. Not if it meant crossing Vergara AND you, and not with Carl Mason involved somehow.”

“So that leaves out them Chinese folk,” Colorado said. “But Companelli, he’s Italian, ain’t he?”

“Uh, I guess?”

“They’re tricky folk – don’t trust them for nothing’. But would he go against me?”

“Nothing I’ve heard about Companelli’s organization tells me he’d risk Vergara’s wrath at this moment, let alone hers AND yours,” I remarked.

“Then who?”

I didn’t get a chance to reply – the door to the motel room’s bathroom opened, and the little blonde cowgirl came out – this time only wearing a towel, her peach-colored skin still dripping wet.

“How is it a big time roller like you can’t afford a better hideout than this?” she said, rubbing a second towel through her blonde hair, giving me a moment to drink her in. She was a tiny thing, the sort of girl that if she had dark hair would be right in my wheelhouse. No more than 5’3”, and no more than a hundred pounds soaking wet – literally. Still, she sported some impressive breasts that were struggling to send her towel dropping to the floor, shapely legs that seemed like they should be on a taller woman, and an ass that not even a fluffy towel could hide the shape of.

“We’re just moving into town, Bounty Hunter,” Colorado drawled. “Can’t expect to move into that there Corsuca building until we’ve dealt with Vergara, can we?”

“’S’pose not,” the woman said. “I get the right guy?”

“For all he’s worth,” Colorado said. “John Richards, meet Miranda Lambert – best bounty hunter this side of the Mississippi.”

“Seriously?” I said, looking her tiny frame up and down again. “You’re a bounty hunter?”

“Found you, didn’t I?” she said with a smirk. “You tell the boss here where is money is?”

“Don’t know,” I said. “But I’m happy to keep looking for it. If I could just be untied, I can start right now-”

“Shut up,” Colorado said. He went to the main door and opened it up, motioning towards the two guards outside. “Boys, throw Mister Richards next door for a bit. I need to talk to Miss Lambert here about another bounty.”

Two large men, both with Stetsons, and one with an impressive black eye where I’d cold cocked him earlier, came in. It took them only a moment to untie my arms and legs from the chair and haul me to my feet. Before I could think about trying to escape again, the one with the black eye jabbed me in the stomach hard enough to double over.

“Don’t try nuthin’,” he said. They started hauling me out, and Colorado began speaking to Lambert.

“Now, what’s your take on this McBride fella?” Colorado managed to ask before the door was slammed behind me. The guards took me next door – literally throwing me into the room next to the one we’d just been in, not giving me a chance to see which motel I was now stuck in. They lashed my hands together behind my back, and dropped me on the bed, before walking out, locking the door behind them. Most of the light in the room went out with the closing of the door, leaving me blind for a bit as I had to acclimate to the near-darkness.

“Well, THAT was fun,” I muttered, struggling to sit up.

“Johnny?” a voice called out from the dark room. “Johnny, is that you?”

“Who’s there?” I asked, suddenly concerned.

“Johnny, it is you!” A woman swept out of the corner of the room and wrapped her arms around me tightly. “I knew you’d find me! I knew it!”

“Jewel?!” I gasped in relief. “Thank god, you’re all right!” She pulled back from the hug enough for me to make out her round, smiling face in the dim light. She looked a little worse for wear, her blonde hair a tangled mess on her head, the tell-tale streaks of tears on either side of her face, and the tattered remains of her nightie barely covering her body. But she was alive, which was better than I was beginning to fear.

“Johnny, we’ve gotta get out of here!” Jewel said as she hurriedly helped me get out of my ropes. “This cowboy guy, I think he’s going to kill me!”

“Yeah, me too,” I muttered. “He wants the money Carl stole. And since I haven’t found it…” I trailed off.

“Oh, Johnny,” Jewel said, collapsing into my arms again. “Why? Why did Carl have to go and do this? What on earth was he thinking?”

I tried to give her a warm smile. “Knowing Mason the way I did, I suspect he thought he was going to make things easier for the two of you. Fifty Million goes a long way.”

“But stealing from drug dealers and mobsters?” Jewel exclaimed. “It’s crazy!”

“I gotta say, it’s more ambitious than I’d ever expected from Carl,” I said. I glanced around the dark room. “Have you found the light switch?”

“No, I haven’t looked,” she said, shivering a bit. “I was… I was too scared.”

“Yeah, well, they scare me, too,” I said, patting her on the shoulder. I was surprised at how cold her skin was. “Did they hurt you?”

“Only when they took me,” she said. “They burst into the house and just grabbed me. I tried to fight them, but there were too many of them. And – and they burned my house down.”

“I know,” I said quietly. “Jewel, I’m so sorry I wasn’t there for you last night.”

“You couldn’t have gotten there in time, Johnny,” she said, sniffling a bit. “They were inside the house when I called your office, and I’m all the way across town.”

“Yeah, well, it won’t happen again,” I promised her.

“Yeah,” she said quietly. “Because they’re going to kill us.”

I wanted to reassure her that we were going to get out of this alive, but I was pretty sure we weren’t.

“You should know, it was retaliation – Sofia Vergara had Carl killed for stealing her money.”

“Then it wasn’t these cowboys?”

“No, but just from what little bit I’ve learned about them, they would’ve killed him when they were done with him, too.”

“Yeah,” she said, pulling my closer. “Johnny, I’m so sorry to have gotten you involved in all this. I just didn’t know who else I could trust.”

“It’s okay,” I said. “Carl and I may not have spoken in years, but he was still my friend – and so are you.”

“Even after what happened?” Jewel asked.

“You mean when we got drunk and fucked each other – and fucked everything else up?” I asked with sad shake of my head. “Yeah, even after that. I was the one who screwed up that night, Jewel. It’s my fault Carl and I never spoke again.”

“You weren’t the only one in that bed the next morning, Johnny,” She said. “I was there, too. It was just as much my fault as yours.”

“Maybe,” I said. “Or maybe I just want to think it’s your fault for choosing him over me to begin with?”

“You don’t really believe that,” she said. It wasn’t a question.

“No, I don’t,” I admitted. “On the long, long, LONG list of sins and mistakes I’ve made, sleeping with you is pretty far down the list.”

“That unmemorable?” she asked, a hint of mischief in her voice.

“A bit, yeah – but I blame the whiskey – believe me, if I had the choice, I’d remember every second of that night.”

“Me, too.”

We were silent for a moment, sitting there in the dark room, on the bed, holding onto each other. I wondered what she was thinking about – our impending deaths? The fact that we’d lost so much time over the years? The fact that neither of us could really remember the night that ruined our friendship?

I’ll never be sure who made the first move, but before I could think of anything else to say, Jewel and I were kissing, her soft, pouty lips pressed hard against mine.

For a heartbeat, part of me protested. Hadn’t I just pretty much fallen for Kelly Clarkson? And if Jewel and I were to get out of this room that second, wouldn’t it be Kelly that I rushed off to find? It had been Kelly, not Jewel, who’d made me feel things I hadn’t felt in ages, and even now, with Jewel’s barely-covered breasts pressing hard against my still-covered chest, that part of me wished it was Kelly who I was with.

But we were dead, Jewel and I. Colorado wasn’t going to let us go, and the only one who might possibly know I was even missing was Sofia Vergara – and she sure as hell wasn’t going to rescue me. If anything, this was one last chance for the two of us to enjoy another person’s body before we were separated from our own for all eternity.

I gave in, lowered Jewel back onto the bed, and let my little head do the rest of the thinking.

Jewel was already practically naked, the tiny nightie she’d been wearing when she was taken was little more than shards of fabric covering her naughtiest bits, but I was almost fully clothed. My coat, hat, and gun holsters were missing, but other than that I hadn’t lost anything. Jewel began work at once, running her delicate fingers over my buttons with expert skill, all while our tongues wrestled for dominance inside her mouth. I used one hand to keep from falling atop my old friend, while also undoing my belt. I managed to yank the leather free just as Jewel undid the last of my buttons, exposing my chest just in time for me to lower my pants down to my knees.

Jewel’s mouth came up to kiss my chest as I threw my shirt onto the floor and worked to lower my boxers enough to give me enough room to go to work. Soon enough, my erection was free of it’s cotton container, and throbbing in anticipation of some action. I paused long enough to yank the tiny straps of Jewel’s nightie down over her shoulders enough to expose her impressive tits. For a smaller girl, Jewel’s breasts were amazing, two pale globes that seemed to almost glow in what little light made it into our little motel room prison. I sank my head down to suck on each nipple, before grabbing her boobs with each hand and loving the sensation of her ample tit flesh between my fingers.

While I did this, Jewel wiggled her waist down towards mine, and spread her legs wide – she was either more flexible than I remembered, or the whiskey had blurred more of my memory than I thought, because I would’ve never guessed I’d forget a sight like that.

“Fuck me, Johnny,” she whispered, the only words we would share this night. I let go of one of her breasts long enough to line myself up with her bare pussy – panties apparently hadn’t been part of her nighttime wardrobe, or else they’d been lost in the struggle – and I easily guided myself deep into Jewel’s warm, waiting pussy. As I bottomed out, Jewel took those flexy legs of hers and wrapped them around my hips, trapping me inside her.

We didn’t have a lot of time – Colorado’s men could come for us at any moment. But we both wanted to remember this last fuck we were likely to get before dying. So I did my best, driving myself into her with as much power as I could muster, while keeping my hands locked on her tits. Her hands found my shoulders, helping to support me up while keeping her legs locked around me. We could barely see each other in the darkness, but I could just make out her eyes, and we locked on each other’s gaze.

Like two condemn prisoners feasting on our last meals, we made the most of our sex – we grunted, we groaned, we moaned. I had no doubt the guards outside knew what we were doing, and if Colorado and Lambert were in the next room, they knew, too. Probably half the motel knew. We didn’t care.

Jewel’s pussy was a warm, gripping wetness that defied my memory of our one fumbling, half-drunk earlier encounter. Had I remembered how great this was, had I been sober that night, I would’ve fought to get it again. And fought hard. And from the way Jewel’s legs were helping me to thrust into her by pressing against my back, I got the impression she was enjoying herself just as much.

I was proven right moments later when she started panting heavily. I could just make out her eyes rolling back into her head and she moaned loudly as orgasm overtook her, sending shivers throughout her glorious little body. I kept at it – her clamped legs locked around my waist and her death grip upon my shoulders didn’t offer me many other choices, and fucked away through her orgasm. Finally, she collapsed in a limp pile upon the bed, freeing me to pull out and let her catch her breath.

I never got the chance to even ask her. She slid down the bed between my legs and took my cock into her mouth, where she quickly began sucking on me with a vengeance. I didn’t complain – Jewel’s cute little mouth felt just as good as her sweet pussy had, and her tongue added an extra layer of sensation to everything as she twirled it around the head of my shaft like a pro.

I groaned aloud, loving the feeling as Jewel’s hands reached around me to cup my ass playfully. I had to fight to stay up on my knees, spread wide enough to allow Jewel’s torso to be underneath me, but it was worth it. If this was to be the last blowjob I ever received, I had no complaints what-so-ever.

I began to moan a little, feeling my orgasm starting to approach, but to my surprise, Jewel stopped, laying her head down on the bed. One of her hands came around to gently grasp my cock, while the other one just fell away off to the side somewhere for a moment. I looked down at her questioningly, but she didn’t speak. Instead, she merely guided my shaft down until it rested between her ample tits. Both of her hands suddenly came up to press her breast flesh around me, and suddenly I knew what she wanted me to do.

Slowly at first, but increasing my pace with each thrust, I began to tittyfuck Jewl’s cleavage. It didn’t feel nearly as good as either her pussy or her mouth, but there was something naughtier about rubbing my dick between her globes until I shot my load all over her face – which I surely would, considering how close my climax was.

Just to be sure, I looked down at her eyes one more time, and was relieved to see her nodding up at me. I made it only a few more strokes before I exploded, blasting a few thick little ropes of cum out onto Jewel’s adorable face and chin, the rest dribbling out over her tits and upper chest. I groaned with release, and had to fight to stay on my knees until I was done, but as soon as Jewel finished milking me of every last drop using her pushed-together breasts, I fell aside, collapsing onto the bed, spent.

“Wow,” was all I could say.

“Mmmmm, you made quite the mess,” she said.

“Sorry about that,” I said.

“Don’t be. I know you always wanted to do that.”

“You did?” I asked, surprised.

“Sure,” she said, reaching for some tissues on the bed stand. “One of the other nights we got drunk together – you, me, and Carl. You were dating that chesty girl – what was her name? The little Asian girl?”

My mind flared with remembrance. “Jodi Ann! Yes. God, I’d forgotten all about her.”

“She had those awesome fake tits, and I remember you clearly say you wished she’d let you titty-fuck them, just once.”

“How on earth do you remember that when I don’t?” I asked, laughing a bit as she got up.

“I remember a lot about you, Johnny. We’re friends, after all.”

“Yeah,” I said. “Yeah, we are.”

We spent the next several minutes cleaning up and getting dressed again – neither of us wanted to be literally caught with our pants down when Colorado’s men came to kill us. Still, it was a long wait. It was late into the night, and no one seemed to be that worried about us. I was beginning to think about trying to formulate some sort of escape plan when Jewel fell asleep in my arms upon the bed.

I could’ve used some sleep, too, but I lay awake, staring at the ceiling, wondering just what I’d missed. Mason was dead, and he’d stolen $50 million bucks. He stole it from Sofia Vergara, who didn’t have the money. He stole it for Wilfred Colorado, who didn’t have the money. He was going to run off with Jewel here, who never even knew he had the money.

I was missing something in this puzzle. Some key clue that had escaped me, what with all the exploding cars, feuding gangsters, and admittedly a few too many gorgeous women.

I found myself wishing Kelly Clarkson was there again, just so I could bounce the problem off of her.

I was laying there still when the first gunshot shattered the window to our motel room prison. Jewel woke up screaming as two, three, four more shots shattered glass and wood, and I rolled the two of us off the bed without thinking, dropping us to the floor behind the dubious cover of the bed we’d just been laying on.

All this happened in a matter of seconds, and by the time we hit the floor, more guns had started shooting. It sounded like quite the gunfight outside, and I pinned Jewel down, holding her still and wishing I had even just one of my two guns. I hated feeling helpless.

I knew, however, that this was NOT Colorado’s men coming to kill us. This was something else, and it might just be our salvation. If Colorado was going to have us shot, he’d send one or two of his thugs into the room to make sure we were dead, not riddle the outside of the motel with bullet holes with no proof for certain we were dead. This was something else.

Someone else.

A rival gang, hitting Colorado back! And from the dwindling sound of gunfire, I gathered the other side was winning!

“Stay quiet,” I whispered in Jewel’s ear, covering her mouth with one of my hands. The other one instinctively moved to my back holster – sadly still empty. Cursing my luck, I held Jewel to the ground, waiting for a chance to make my move.

The gunfire had all but stopped, and surprisingly there were no sirens in the distance yet. It had felt like hours had passed during the fight, but no more than a minute, maybe two had gone by, and it was all quiet again. I almost dared move when I heard the door to our room swing open.

“No one in this one,” a male voice said harshly.

“Fuck that. Check closer,” a female voice replied. A familiar female voice.

“Michelle?” I called out. “Michelle Rodriguez, is that you?”

“Richards?!” She called back. I slowly eased my head up over the edge of the bed. Sure enough, standing there in all her leather-clad glory was Michelle, flanked on either side by some of Sofia Vergara’s thugs. She held an Uzi in one hand, and a bloody cowboy hat in the other one. “Johnny Richards. I thought you were dead.”

“Damn near was,” I said. “Colorado wanted us dead.”

“Colorado?” Rodriguez said, surprised. “He was here?!”

“A while ago, yeah. I thought he was in the other room.”

“He’s not,” Michelle spat. “Damn it, we missed him!”

I helped Jewel to her feet, and moved over to speak with Michelle. “He’s after everything, Michelle. You tell Sofia he won’t be happy until he controls every criminal element here in The City.”

“Yeah, we know,” Michelle said, leading me into the room next door. Aside from several dead cowboys and copious amounts of blood on the walls and carpeting, it looked exactly the same as it had when I’d awoken in it. “He’s got the whole city up in arms. And it’s not just him. Companelli tried to hit us an hour ago, and Takei’s men beheaded a few of Jaime Pressly’s boys for crossing into Asian Town.”

“Fuck, this is getting bad,” I said. “Where the fuck are the cops, anyway?”

“Everywhere else,” Michelle said. “They’re behind the ball, and that’s where we like them. Better the boys in blue ain’t between us all right now. A lot of people are going to die before this ends.”

“That’s what I’m afraid of,” I said, glancing down at the bloody cowboy hat in her hands.

“I gotta go tell Sofia we just missed Colorado,” Michelle said. “She thinks he’s got a few different hotel and motel rooms around the city. Keep your head down Johnny.”

“You too, Michelle,” I said. She motioned to her boys, and a moment later they were in their cars, tearing out of the motel’s parking lot.

I had a horrible feeling I wasn’t going to see Michelle alive again.

* * *

It took me a while to figure out where we were in The City, and where we could go from there. One cab ride back to my office, and I realized there weren’t too many safe places left in town. The City was up in flames, with shots being fired all over the place. And someone seemed to have a taste for arson. The TCPD and TCFD were running themselves ragged from one side of town to the other, and I got the feeling they were horribly understaffed on both sides.

My office was empty when I got there, as was Ashley’s upstairs. It was the middle of the night, so I wasn’t surprised. For a moment, I thought about leaving Jewel in my office, but both Vergara and Colorado knew I was running around loose now, and that made my office a target.

The only place I could think to bring her now was the cops.

No calls to the TCPD were getting through – not even 911, and their main headquarters was a little too far away for me to risk getting Jewel there. But there was a closer local station only a few blocks from here. I didn’t think Colorado or Vergara would go after it for just one person, so I took Jewel there.

The place was a madhouse. Cops were running all over the place, the phone was ringing off the hook, and the dispatcher was shouting into her radio for every available unit. With every passing second, I feared more and more for the gang war that had erupted in the last few hours. Maybe the only safe place was OUT of town.

And if THAT was the case, I wasn’t leaving alone. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized there were too many people I wouldn’t leave behind in this mess. I was about to tell Jewel that we were leaving the Police Station as well, when someone started shouting my name.

“RICHARDS?!” Sarah Michelle Gellar screamed, spotting me through the crowd. “Didn’t I tell you to stay the fuck away from all this-”

“Not now, Gellar!” I snapped. “This is Jewel Kilcher, she’s a witness – and a victim – to the crimes of Wilfred Colorado! She was just being held prisoner by him!”

“Colorado?!” Gellar said. She snagged the next uniformed officer to pass us by – which, to my surprise, was my old partner, Linda Park.

“Officer Park, take this woman into one of our interview rooms – and get her some damn pants.”

“Right, detective,” Linda said, nodding at me before leading Jewel deeper into the building.

Gellar turned back on me, grabbing me by the arm and shoving me down a long hallway in the opposite direction. “I’ve got about a dozen things requiring my attention right now, Richards, and eleven of them are probably bleeding. Can I trust you to wait in here until I get back?” As she spoke, she opened a door to a bland looking room with a chair, a table, and what was no-doubt a one-way mirror.

“Do I have a choice?” I muttered.

“No,” she said, shoving me inside. The door slammed behind me. I rolled my eyes and checked the door. Locked. Somehow, I knew it would be.

I spent the next several hours in that room, pacing about, sitting in the chair, glaring into the mirror – I looked like shit, what with the scrapes on my head, the fact that my hair was a mess, and there was a faint blood stain running down my left cheek. I’d seen better days, for certain.

I lost track of how much time had passed before the door finally swung open, and Sarah marched in, closing the door behind her. She didn’t bother with a chair, but just sat on the desk facing me, her shapely legs swinging a bit as she did so.

“You’re sure it was Colorado?”

“Positive – spoke with him myself,” I said.

“About what?” she asked, suspiciously.

“He wants to know where that missing Fifty Million is, too,” I said. “Listen, this is ALL his doing. All this chaos, the bloody gang war that’s tearing The City apart! He started it all! It’s why he came here!”

“Yeah, well, if he came for a war, he’s got it. We’re in over our heads. The Chief of Police caught a bullet six hours ago, the Commandant of the Police Academy’s house burned down with him and his wife in it, and we’re losing officers left and right. I don’t know who’s in charge any more, and I’m beginning to fear it’s ME.”

“Then why aren’t you out there doing something?!” I demanded.

“And end up like the Chief and the Commandant? Fuck that,” she said. “Besides, unless someone finds Colorado himself, there’s not a lot I CAN do. We’re better coordinated here.”

“Well, if you’d listen to me when I first got here, I could’ve told you where Colorado was,” I snapped.

“You knew EXACTLY where he was?” She demanded.

“No, but I know where he was when I spoke to him and-”

“And that does me no good at all, Richards,” she scoffed angrily. “I can’t believe you used to be a cop.”

“And I can’t believe you ARE one,” I shot back. “What the fuck do you want from me?”

Something about that phrase made her shoot me a look. One I was suddenly VERY wary of.

“If you can’t give me Colorado, what about the Fifty Million? Have you found that?”

“No.”

“The person who actually killed Carl Mason?” she asked.

“No, though again, Sofia Vergara’s people were involved, as were Wilfred Colorado’s-”

“Yeah, well, they’re both involved in a LOT of deaths right now,” Sarah said. “You’ve got nothing, Richards. Take your new little girlfriend and get out.” She hopped off the desk and started towards the door.

“Wait a second!” I called after her. “You KNOW Jewel’s a target! If either Vergara OR Colorado think she’s got the money, they won’t hesitate to kill her!”

“What do you want me to do? Assign a protection detail?” Gellar asked, turning back towards me. “I haven’t got the officers.”

“Then keep her here until this all blows over,” I said. “Please, it’s got to be one of the very few safe places in The City-”

“We aren’t bodyguards, Richards. I’d think you’d rather take care of that yourself – your DNA is all over that girl, after all.”

I froze at that.

“Yeah, we looked her over – you can thank your former partner for that, she was worried your little Jewel had been raped.”

My temple started aching. “Yes, we had sex.”

“Oh, you’re not in any danger, Mister Richards – she claims she started it, and our Medical Examiner assures me her injuries happened well before the sex. Still, you shot your load all over her chest? Who do you think you are, some sort of porn star?”

“Funny,” I growled.

“Actually, you have QUITE the reputation with the ladies, Mister Richards,” Sarah went on, sitting back down on the table – this time, her skirt rode up enough to be over her knee, a loss of several inches that I couldn’t quite explain. “Just from your days as a cop, I’ve heard you had no trouble banging women left and right. Even had a fling with District Attorney Portman.”

“That was more than a fling,” I muttered.

“In fact, the only girl I can figure you DIDN’T fuck while you were a cop was your partner. Not into Asian girls?”

I just glared at her.

“It’s a shame I wasn’t here at that time,” she said, placing one of her feet on my knee. “I would’ve let you get up my skirt – I’m a sucker for pity sex, after all.” She laughed at that. “I mean, look at my husband!”

“Are you going to help me or not?” I asked.

She seemed to mull things over for a moment. “No,” she said. “I can’t spare the manpower to watch over one woman right now. Whole city’s dying out there, after all.”

“Then let me go, and I’ll find somewhere else to stash her,” I said. I wanted to get up, but her foot pressed a little harder against my knee, making it clear she didn’t want me getting up.

“A lot’s changed while you’ve been in here, Richards,” she said. “And from what I can tell, there’s only about three high-ranking police officers left alive in this city. By tomorrow morning, I could be running this department.”

“Congratulations – the town feels less safe already,” I said.

“Funny,” she frowned. “You don’t want me as an enemy, Richards.”

“And I don’t WANT to be your enemy!” I shouted. “Let me and Miss Kilcher go, and we can pretend none of this EVER happened. You can get back to your war, and I can get Jewel and anyone else I actually care about out of this cesspool of a city!”

“I can also be a powerful ally, Richards,” she said. “You do what I want, and maybe I can get you back on the force. We’ll need new officers, and soon.”

“Fuck that,” I said. “I’ll never be a cop again.”

“You’re right – but how about a consultant? I can work something out. Give you a case or two a week, a steady pay check, legal status. No more scraping hang-to-mouth. And you never know when I could use a real Private Dick to help me with those tricky legalities my officers can’t get around.”

“I don’t care about any of that. I just want to protect my friend,” I said slowly, trying to contain my temper.

“Fine. Do what I say, and I’ll let her stay here,” Gellar said.

I was silent for a moment. “What do you want?” I finally asked.

She barely moved, and her mouth didn’t so much as twitch, but her eyes light up like the Fourth of July. I knew right then that whatever she wanted, it was going to cost me, one way or another.

“Fuck me, Johnny,” She said, dropping her leg and not bothering to cross it over the other one. “Right here, right now. Show my why you’re so legendary around the women’s locker room.”

“You’re kidding,” I said. “What about your husband?”

“My husband? You mean the annoying twat I never see at home, who’s barely got a penis and enjoys spending time in the firehouse shower a little TOO much? Forget about him. Fuck me right here, just like I tell you to, and I’ll let your friend stay here, in the safest place in The City.”

“And if I say no?”

“She’s out on her ass, and I hold you for your involvement with Sofia Vergara – AND Wilfred Colorado.”

“You’re going to ARREST ME?!” I shouted.

“Dangerous times, these gang wars. Can’t trust anyone,” she said. “What’ll it be, Johnny? Put up and fuck, or give up and BE fucked?”

I hated her. I hated her so much, her little blonde head, her devious eyes, her petite little frame. I would’ve given ANYTHING to reach out and snap her neck right then and there.

But she held all the cards, and I didn’t really have a choice.

“Tell me how you want it,” I muttered.

“Come closer,” she said, frowning. I stepped up, finding myself between those shapely legs of hers. My body betrayed me, my cock starting to get hard being this close to her. Much as I hated to admit it, Sarah was a gorgeous woman.

I was about to ask what she wanted me to do next when her hand flashed out and slapped me.

“Hey!” I shouted. “What the fuck was that-” she slapped me again. Neither slap was particularly hard, but they stung, and I found myself getting angry as well as horny.

“Shut up and rip my panties off, Johnny,” she snapped. I stared at her for a moment, wondering if she had some kind of split-personality or something. She spread her legs a bit wider, and I saw the tiny white panties she was wearing flashing up at me from underneath her skirt.

“Do it, Johnny, or I’ll have you arrested,” she said.

I reached under her skirt, grabbed a handful of the white fabric and tore it off her. She yelped, but the tiny thong gave way almost too easily. I held the tattered remains up to show her. “Happy?”

She slapped me again. “Not until you fuck me, Johnny,” she said. Her hand came up again, but this time I caught it by the wrist.

“Stop that!” I snarled.

“The fuck me, you asshole,” she demanded.

“Fine, you bitch,” I said, reaching down to free my cock from my pants. It took only a minute, and I was happy to slam my rock hard member into her surprisingly wet pussy.

“Auuuggghhh! God, you’re bigger than I expected,” she complained as I pulled her body closer to mine and began ramming myself in and out of her.

“You’re the one who wanted this,” I told her.

“Bullshit, Johnny,” she said. “You’ve wanted to fuck me since we first met. Just like every other girl you’ve ever met.”

I slammed myself into her particularly hard, and she grabbed my shoulders hard enough to dig in with her nails, even through the fabric of my coat and shirt. “Gaah!” I cried, glaring at her. “What the fuck is your problem?!”

“Slap me,” she said.

“You’re crazy,” I said, trying to pull out of her. She grabbed my shirt just above my waist and pulled me back, keeping me inside her.

“Fuck me, Johnny, or I’ll arrest you AND your little girlfriend,” Sarah said, hitting me on the arm as if to emphasize her point. “Now slap me. Hard!”

I was more than willing. I hauled back and slapped her left cheek with my hand, watching her head snap around. She glared back at me, and as she did, I could make out a red handprint on her face.

“You asshole,” she said. “Now, rip my shirt open.” I followed her directions, using both hands to rip her blouse apart, sending buttons scattering around the interrogation room. Her small tits weren’t covered by a bra, and her little nipples were like two jagged little points. I didn’t wait for instructions to reach down and suck on one of them. She managed to get a hand on my shoulder and shove me back.

“Hurry up and fuck me, jackass,” she said.

“Oh, you want me to fuck you?!” I said loudly. I was pissed. This prissy little blonde had driven me to the breaking point. I pulled out of her, flipped her over, and shoved her face down onto the table. She cried out, but I wasted no time yanking her skirt up enough to expose her pale ass, and then jamming my cock into it, greased only with the juices that had come out of her pussy moments earlier.

“FUCK!” She shouted. “God damn you, Richards! Not my ass!”

“Ask me if I care,” I snapped, shoving myself into her ass as hard as I could. Compared to my Kelly, Sarah Michelle Gellar’s ass might as well not have existed. It was a tiny little thing, barely any cheek, but nice and tight – if she had told me she was an anal virgin I would’ve believed it. Still, it felt good to find a little control over this bitch of a woman who’d been driving me crazy for the last few days.

I fucked her ass for a solid minute, but then switched back to her pussy – She was so tight and so dry in her backside that it was becoming painful for me to ram in and out of it.

“Ahhh! Ah, FUCK!” she cried out as I reentered her more pleasurable hole. “That’s it, Johhny!” she cried. “Fuck my pussy! Fuck it hard! God, you’re so much more of a man than my husband! Fuck me like he never could!”

I leaned over her body so I could talk right into her ear. “Would you PLEASE shut up about your stupid husband? He’s ruining the mood.”

“Then hurry the fuck up,” she said. “Come on, Johnny. Blast your hot, sticky load into my tight little pussy! I heard from your little girlfriend how much cum you shot all over her tits – I want to feel that blasting inside me! Come on, Johnny! Cum for me! Now! NOW! NOW! NOWNOWNOW!!!”

I rammed into her as hard as I could and did what she wanted, blowing my load deep inside her. She cried out in what I thought might be her own orgasm as I flooded her, collapsing in a heap across the table. I pulled out of her, slapping that non-existent ass of hers once for good measure.

She lay there for a moment, catching her breath. Then, slowly, she lifted herself up off the table, making no effort to cover her exposed tits, or rearrange her skirt. She shot me a nasty look. “I can see why all the girls wanted you, Johnny.”

“You’re crazy,” I said. “Are you happy now?”

“Happy enough,” she muttered. “Your friend can stay. YOU can go. Don’t come back until this is all over, Johnny.”

“Fine by me,” I growled. I tucked my shirt back in, zipped up my pants, took a moment to look into the one-way mirror to make sure I was presentable, and stormed out of the room as soon as Sarah opened the door.

I knew that I would live to regret having sex with Sarah Michelle Gellar, but I had other problems to deal with.

* * *

It was mid-afternoon by the time I got out of that police station, and while things seemed to have calmed down a bit, there were still reports of gunfire throughout the city. I knew it would only get worse when the sun went down and the gangs got bolder. I hopped a cab – my car was still at the Corsuca building, assuming it hadn’t been blown up by one of Sofia’s enemies – and got back to my office as fast as possible.

Rachel Bilson and Ashley Tisdale were there waiting for me.

“Johnny!” Ashley exclaimed as I opened the door. “Thank god, we were worried sick.”

“She was worried sick – I was only mildly disturbed,” Rachel said. I snorted. She may have acted unaffected, but I could tell Rachel had been more than just mildly concerned.

“Where’s your husband?” I asked her, ignoring Ashley for the moment.

“Out of town,” she said, all joking aside now. “Speaking of which, can I stay here tonight? My neighborhood’s not exactly-”

“No, you’re not staying here – both Vergara and Colorado are after me, and I wouldn’t put it past them to torch this place.”

“Guess that leaves out your apartment, too,” she said.

“Yeah, you’re going to The Beaver,” I said. “Ashley, you too.”

“The Beaver?” Ashley said. “That lesbian bar?”

“It’s not a lesbian bar, it’s a bar run by a lesbian – bi-sexual, actually,” Rachel said. “Johnny can attest to that.”

“Not now, Rachel,” I snapped. “I need you to get on the phone to everyone – Elisha, Ellen Pompeo over at Mercy Grace, Kristen Bell if she hasn’t already gone to ground.”

“Johnny, you’re worrying me now,” Rachel said.

“That’s because I’m worried, too. I don’t think anyone would go after The Beaver, and if they do, Elisha and I can probably take care of things. Maybe I can get Maria Bello to lend us some muscle, if she hasn’t fled town yet…”

“What about Kelly?” Ashley asked pointedly.

“She’s the first person I’m calling,” I said as I headed back towards my office.

It was times like this where I begrudgingly admitted I could use a cell phone. Thankfully, deadly gang wars that require me to circle the wagons and protect the small clique of near-friends and lovers I have don’t come around every day. I kept telling myself when this was all over, I could go back to feeling like I wasn’t completely incapable of defending those who were actually important to me.

With that thought in mind, I grabbed two spare pistols from the gun safe I kept hidden in my office, and made sure they were both loaded. I’d lost track of which criminal gang had gotten my other guns, but I wasn’t running around town unarmed any longer than I had to.

Truth was, I couldn’t protect everyone I wanted to. I could hide some of them in The Beaver, and hope that it wasn’t TOO common knowledge that I went there frequently, and occasionally slept with the owner/bartender and both of her waitresses. But if anyone came gunning for me there, chances were I was putting my friends in even more danger just by being there.

And then there were those who I cared about but COULDN’T get to the Beaver. Linda Park was out there on the front lines, serving The City as a cop and risking everything. As someone who worked for George Takei, Hiromi Oshima could already be in danger. I had no idea if former clients like Katharine McPhee and Scarlett Johansson were even in town. And then there was Natalie Portman, the last woman I had really loved. She was the District Attorney for The City, and no doubt a prime target. I couldn’t protect her if I wanted to.

I shivered. How had someone like me, who fought to keep himself disconnected from everyone, and stuck with mostly one-night stands suddenly had such a large group of people to worry about? Was it impossible to go through life without caring about others?

I didn’t have time to figure that out. I had to contact Kelly Clarkson, the girl I was currently in love with.

She picked up her phone on the first ring, but the relief I felt died as soon as she started talking.

“Johnny!” She said in a urgent whisper. “Thank god! Get to my hotel, now!”

“What’s going on?” I asked. Then I heard gunfire in the background.

“I don’t know who they are, but they’re coming for me, Johnny! Please hurry!”

The phone line went dead, and my heart shattered with it.

I ran out, yelling at Rachel and Ashley to get to The Beaver, and practically carjacked the first cab I saw, still shoving the spare guns I’d grabbed out of my office into my holsters as I did so.

* * *

The last time I’d been to Kelly Clarkson’s hotel, it had been bright and sunny, and I’d been blissfully happy, having found a woman who made me feel so complete. Now I was scared to death that that same woman wouldn’t leave this hotel alive. It was almost as if fate had decided that it had to erase and destroy that one moment of happiness by ruining everything connected to it.

Plus it was pouring rain once more, leaving me soaked as I raced inside, desperate to get up to Kelly’s floor.

Fate really did hate me.

I raced to the elevator and didn’t even THINK about hotel security as I punched the button for Kelly’s floor and yanked out the first of my guns. There were already people racing out, which to me meant that the trouble was still inside. The cops wouldn’t be here for ages, what with all the other trouble in town, and I knew I was on my own. I could only hope that somehow, Kelly had held out long enough for me to get here.

The elevator doors broke open before me, and I raced in, gun up in both hands, ready to fire at anyone and everyone I saw, if need be. I wasn’t thinking straight – I wasn’t thinking at all. I was relying on old skills I’d learned as a cop, and a few too many deadly experiences since becoming a Private Dick.

Sure enough, the door to Kelly’s room was open, and there was a dead body outside it – a man, thankfully. The entire hallway was riddled with bullets, and I practically ran to the door to look inside.

I got there to see two men in black ski masks hovering over Kelly’s prone body on the floor.

“NO!” I screamed, firing as I yelled. I nailed the first one at the base of his neck, dropping him instantly, but my scream alerted the other, and he spun to fire his MAC 10 back at me.

“Johnny!” Kelly screamed out, and it was only the relief I felt at hearing her voice that made me leap aside, avoiding the spray of bullets miss me. If she’d been dead…

The gunfire stopped suddenly, and there was a thump inside the room. I glanced back around the corner to see Kelly wrestling with the gunman, having tackled him to the floor, the MAC 10 dropped a few feet away from him. I leapt into the room, pointing my gun down at the masked man.

“Kelly, get away from him!” I shouted, and she reacted like a pro, rolling away and letting me double tap him before he could lunge for his gun.

For a moment, I lowered my gun, worry and fear draining out of me as I saw Kelly, alright and alive, looking up at me from the floor. She was alive! She was safe! I’d made it in time!

And that was when the third masked man wrapped a power cord around my neck and hauled me out of the room, trying to throttle me.

I gagged for air, dropping my pistol and scrambling to get my fingers between the cord and the flesh of my neck. Whoever was behind me was shorter than I was, but stronger, too. They had me right where they wanted me, and I knew I was in trouble as I gagged for air that wasn’t going to enter my lungs any time soon. Already I could see red around the edges of my eyesight. I needed to do something, and I needed to do it fast. Desperate, I reached back to try and claw at his face, but all I got was his ski mask, which I dropped and attempted to keep fighting.

I wish I could say I saved myself by being smart, but it was pure dumb luck that as my assailant hauled me back out of the room my foot caught on the doorframe. I was already kicking, and the added leverage sent me back at just the right angle to tip my attacker backwards until we both landed with a thud on the floor outside. The cord came loose around my neck, letting me breathe again, though I winged my head against the far wall of the hallway, and saw stars for a critical moment.

I was coughing and hacking and the entire place was spinning as I struggled to sit up – and came face-to-face with the wrong end of a gun.

Three quick shots rang out, and I flinched, certain I was dead, until I realized I never would’ve heard the second or third shot, considering how close that gun was to my face. As I looked back, the body of my attacker dropped to her knees, and rolled to one side, dead already. Behind her stood Kelly, holding my discarded pistol, and looking scared to death.

I wasn’t doing much better, but before I could go to her, I had to look at the last attacker’s body.

“Fuck,” I managed to choke out as I recognized the face above the black clothing and the pool of blood forming underneath her.

It was Michelle Rodriguez, and she was very, very dead.

“Johnny?” Kelly said, dropping down to her knees next to me. “Johnny, are you okay?”

“No,” I said, feeling pain in my throat with every word. “These are Sofia Vergara’s people, not Colorado’s.”

“What does that matter?” Kelly asked. “They were attacking me, and you got here just in time!”

“But why?” I asked. “Why were they attacking you?” I asked.

“I don’t know, Johnny – I didn’t have time to talk to them while they were hunting for me,” she said. “Are you sure you’re okay?”

“No, but let’s get out of here,” I said, closing Michelle’s eyes before struggling to me feet.

“Some of my people are coming for me, Johnny. They’ll be able to protect us both, if we just-”

“No, you go with them – leave town if you have to,” I told her. “I’ve got some other people I need to help first.”

She looked at me for a long moment, clearly debating whether or not to push the point. In a move that only made me love her more, she handed me my gun – the one she’d used to kill Michelle and save my life moments ago – and kissed me on the cheek. “Where can I find you when this is all done?”

“The Southern Beaver,” I said. “It’s a bar.”

“You’ve mentioned it,” She said with a sad smile. “Johnny – please, keep yourself safe. I don’t want you dying in all this.”

“Me either,” I said, pulling her to me for one long, slow kiss. As our lips met, I wished I could just hold her like this forever.

She broke it off, gently pushing away from me. “Johnny, I-”

“I know,” I said, looking away from her. “I just… I know, okay? Let’s leave it a that.”

“Until this is all over, then,” she said, heading down the hallway, leaving me with the dead. It seemed rather fitting, somehow.

I glanced down at Michelle once more, regretting the fact that I’d not gotten the chance to get to know the brutish, but sexy Latina better. Sure, we’d fucked, but that had been more to keep her away from Rachel and Ashley. I wondered, briefly, if Michelle and I had met under other circumstances, if we might have been friends.

Then I noticed her cellphone sticking out of one of her many pockets. Suddenly feeling quite angry I grabbed the device and opened it up. It took me a few moments to figure out how to work the damn thing, but soon enough I had the number I needed.

I hit the auto-dial option, and started to move down the hallway towards the elevators.

* * *

I was actually outside the hotel by the time anyone answered, but to my surprise, it was exactly who I was looking for.

“Michelle, where the fuck are you?!” Sofia Vergara’s angry, heavily accented voice answered.

“Michelle’s dead,” I told her flatly. “And you will be too, if you don’t start telling me what the FUCK you thought you were doing going after Kelly Clarkson, you bitch!”

“Who is this?” She asked.

“It’s Richards,” I said loudly. “I don’t have your money, but I’ve got reason enough to kill you if you don’t-”

She cut me off. “Richards?! I thought you were dead! Whatever, I don’t have time for you! Colorado’s men are storming the Corsuca! Unless you’re coming to get me out of here, I don’t care what you want! I’m getting out of this town before it kills me!” With that, she hung up, leaving me staring angrily at a cellphone.

Suddenly, I hated the devices even more. I chucked the damn thing into the nearest wall and felt some satisfaction at watching it shatter into a few dozen pieces.

Part of me wanted to race to the Corsuca and try to get to Sofia before she could escape, but I knew that’d never happen.

I also had no idea where Wilfred Colorado was, leaving me with no one to go after. The streets were too dangerous to be roaming about, either, and most of my shadier connections were probably hiding out at this point anyway.

There was literally nothing I could do at this point. I glanced down at the shattered cellphone, suddenly regretting my decision to smash it. I could’ve called Kelly, maybe caught up with her. Maybe her people could’ve helped me get the rest of my friends out of The City until these gangs got done burning it to the ground. She was a Federal Agent, after all Who knew, maybe they’d be the ones called in to save us all anyway.

The only thing left for me to do was to get to The Beaver, and protect everyone who’d made it there. If nothing else, at least I’d be able to get a drink. I suddenly found myself VERY much in need of one.

* * *

One of the surest signs your city is in the grip of a major mob war is when even cab drivers won’t go out. It took me more than an hour to hail one, and another thirty-five minutes to get from the hotel to the Beaver – compared to a relatively quick trip in the opposite direction just a short while earlier. Clearly, someone had put the word out to get as many people off the streets as possible. I couldn’t blame anyone, but my cab driver – an elderly Iranian man by the name of Marshall Manesh – had plans to get the hell out of Dodge as soon as he dropped me off at the Beaver. I gave him what cash I had left on me, and neither one of us bothered to stop to count it before I jumped out and he tore off like a bat out of hell.

I couldn’t blame him – The second I stepped out of the cab, my gut sank. The front window to The Southern Beaver was smashed in, and all the lights were out inside.

I yanked out one of my pistols and raced inside, worried about what I would find. I could only hope this had happened BEFORE I sent everyone here. Maybe Elisha and Piper and Vanessa hadn’t been here when it was attacked. Maybe-

I slammed through the door, and saw Elisha Cuthbert tied to one of the bar stools, a black eye forcing her right eye closed. Next to her, Rachel Bilson was chained to another stool, a small trickle of blood dripping down from the side of her mouth.

“Johnny! It’s a trap!” Rachel shouted as I burst in, but it was too late. Someone kicked my knees from behind, sending me sprawling to the floor, my hat and gun sliding away from me. A moment later, a heavy weight landed on my back, and an all-too-familiar clicking of a revolver sounded next to my ear.

“So happy you could join us, Mister Richards,” Miranda Lambert said with that sweet southern drawl of hers. “We’ve been waiting a while.”

* * *

The situation was about as bad as it could get. Rachel and Elisha had been able to get ahold of everyone I’d told them too, plus a few others. Piper Perabo, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Kristen Bell, and Ellen Pompeo were all there, just like I’d asked, but they were joined by others. Smuggler Maria Bello, who worked down at The City Docks was here, and I guessed the two burly, armed men who were dead on the floor were hers. On the other side of the room, tied to more chairs, was Willa Ford and a few of her strippers from the Azure Angel.

Every one of them was tied up, several of them looked roughed up, and judging from the smell of alcohol and the wetness of the usually spotless bar floor, if anyone lit a match, every one of them would go up in smoke, too.

They were all here because of me, and that meant when they all got killed, it’d be my fault.

“What do you want,” I asked as Lambert’s goons hauled me to my feet, letting me tower over the little blonde cowgirl once more.

“I want nothing’,” she said. “But Mister Colorado wants you, so you’re coming with us.”

“You could’ve asked nicely,” I muttered.

“Boy, this IS me asking nicely,” she said, walking over to the bar and reaching between Vanessa Hudgens and Kristen Bell to grab a bottle of liquor, which she immediately popped open, took a long swig of, and then started to slowly dribble out onto the floor, making sure to splash Kristen’s white blouse a little on her way by.

“You a smoker, Mister Richards?” she asked.

“No,” I said.

“Me either, but I always carry a lighter on me,” she said, pulling out a fancy silver cigarette lighter and flicking it once, twice, three times in front of my face.

“Let them all go, and I’ll go with you to Colorado,” I said.

“Not like you got a choice, anyway,” Miranda said. “Get him out into the car, boys.” The goons started pulling me out by my arms, leaving Miranda to glance back at her captives. “Damn, Richards, you sure are popular with the girls.”

Lambert’s men hauled me out, where a large SUV was waiting patiently, along with a pair of men armed with some military-grade looking shotguns. I was shoved into the back seat, and both men got in on either side of me.

“You do realize if you fire those things in here, we’re all dead,” I muttered, looking between them. They just glared at me.

Lambert slid into the front passenger seat and turned around to smile at me. She was a gorgeous woman – when she wasn’t threatening you and your friends with death. “Thanks for making this easy, Richards – your friends put up a bit of a fight for you, so I’m glad I didn’t have to break a nail getting you to come along.”

“I still don’t have Colorado’s money,” I told her.

“I reckon,” she said. “Don’t really matter, he wants to see you one way or another. Your kneecaps were optional.”

“Wonderful,” I grumbled.

“Oh, one more thing,” Lambert said before the SUV pulled out. “Colorado wanted you to know he meant business.”

Suddenly, there was a flash, and I turned towards the Beaver in time to see flames leap up from behind the broken front window.

“NO!” I shouted, lunging across one of the men to try and get to the door. They were all still in there – Rachel, Ashley, Elisha, Kristen, Vanessa. I don’t know what I thought I could do with my arms tied behind my back and several armed men around me, but my only thought was to get everyone out of the bar.

I never made it. Something hard and heavy – most likely the butt of a shotgun – slammed into the back of my head, dropping me off once more into the oblivion of darkness.

* * *

I rarely dream when I’m knocked out – and the fact that I know this fact is alarming enough, and shows I‘m forcibly made unconscious far too often. This time I had nightmares.

Images of death and flame danced before my eyes as I fought to get away from some tangled vines and burning chains. I could hear the screams of others all over, and gunfire served as a staccato soundtrack about me. I never saw any faces, but I recognized every voice, and they were all screaming my name.

I awoke tied to a bed, which didn’t surprise me too much, and at least it wasn’t a chair this time. What surprised me was the fact that I was wearing pants.

“Oh, good, you’re awake,” Miranda Lambert said, coming out of the bathroom. She wore a frilly pink robe that ended just below her ass and barely covered her breasts. Her golden blonde hair was dry and layered just right over her shoulders and back in such a way that I knew she’d done so intentionally. “I was beginning to worry Colorado would get here before we could have a little fun.”

“What?” I asked as she sat down on the bed and started playing with my exposed cock. Her hands were surprisingly smooth for a rough and tumble bounty hunter, and my body betrayed me at once, springing to life with lust and need.

“Mmmmm, they weren’t kidding when they said you were packing heat, Johnny,” she muttered, still stroking me.

“You killed them,” I said, getting my wits about me. “You killed them all.”

“Yep,” Miranda said, undoing the sash of her robe, exposing her shapely tits, taunt stomach, and lightly tanned skin. For a moment, all I could think about was how she didn’t have a single tan line on her body as she climbed up on top of me, placing her pussy’s neatly trimmed tufted of blonde hair just above my erection. “And now I’m going to fuck you, while I’ve still got the chance.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Because you’re kinda hot, and I’m kinda horny,” she said, rubbing her clit a bit before placing my little head at her entrance.

“No, why’d you kill them? I was already yours,” I said.

“Mmmmm,” she moaned as she slipped over my dick and began to engulf it with her steaming hot pussy. I groaned as the silky sensation of Miranda Lambert’s inner walls wrapped around me. “I killed your friends,” she said as she slowly bottomed out on me, “because that’s what Colorado wanted, and he was paying.”

“I’ll kill him,” I said, pulling at the robes that bound me to the bed. They didn’t budge. “And I’ll kill you, too.”

“Tsk tsk, Johnny – your sweet talk needs some work. How about you tell me my boobs are fantastic instead?” As she spoke, she started riding up and down atop me, a look of joy creasing her face as she enjoyed her actions.

“Why? What does Colorado want me for?” I demanded.

“No more talk of other men, Johnny,” Miranda said, leaning down to kiss my forehead. “Concentrate on me. Fuck me, Johnny Richards – I’m probably the last pussy you’ll ever get. Don’t waste me.”

“But-” I tried to protest, but she put a finger to my lips to silence me. Then she started grinding harder down atop me, making my crotch scream out for more attention from my brain.

“You know, I’ve ridden bulls, Johnny,” she said, humping me harder and harder. “I’ve felt that awesome power between my legs, and it makes me horny every time.”

“Good for you,” I muttered, my eyes focusing on Miranda’s flailing tits bouncing ahead of me.

“It makes me horny, and I gotta have it afterwards. First time I ever forced myself on a guy was right after I rode a bull. Best feeling in the world, forcing a guy to cum, even when he might not want to.”

“That why you’re doing this?” I asked. “Because you just rode a bull?”

“No,” she said, starting to pant. Her nipples were harder than steel, and part of me wanted to reach out with my mouth and bite them – only partly to cause pain, too. But the ropes tied to my hands didn’t give me much room for movement. This was Miranda’s show – I was just there so she could get herself off on me. “Doing my job makes me horny, too, Johnny. Especially when I bring in a big guy like you. You had all those pretty girls there in the bar falling all over you, and now you’re mine. I took you, and I’ll be the last to have you.”

Sweat was starting to plaster her hair to her scalp as she rode me like one of those bulls she’d been talking about. I wanted to protest her statements about me and my friends, but my little head was doing to bulk of the thinking now. Miranda’s tight little body, with her sizable breasts and her plump little ass were the sort of things wet dreams were made off, and my erection was more than happy to be ridden hard by this rough little cowgirl. Already, I could feel my body getting ready to betray me in another way – my balls were starting to tighten a little, and climactic release wasn’t that far off.

“Yeah, nothing better than showing up a bunch of other girls,” Miranda said, her eyes closed now, and her hands upon my chest, supporting herself as she practically jumped up and down atop my cock. “All those snotty little bitches, thinking I’m too good for all their hot boyfriends and all their pretty little dresses and slumber parties and silky lingerie. Ahhhh! Ah fuck, yeah! This’ll show them all! Tomboys like me always win in the end! They all WISH they could fuck like I do! All of them! I beat them alllLLLLLLLLLFUUUUCCCCCKKKKKKKAAHHHHHHHH!”

I watched, a little confused, as Miranda’s little rant turned into a full-blown orgasm atop me, her eyes squeezing tight, her fingers digging into the flesh of my chest, and her hips slamming down atop me like crazy ass she sought to drive the climax longer. As her velvety walls clamped down around my shaft, I lost control myself, and I shot my load deep into her, my hot seed milked out of me with every move her hips made.

I lost track of things for a moment as the powerful orgasm drove me out of my head for a bit, and when I came too, Miranda was picking herself up off of my chest, her body drenched in sweat and still impaled upon me.

“Oh yeah, I needed that,” she said, slowly lifting herself off of my waist and hopping into the bathroom, leaving me tied to the bed as she hurried off to shower and clean up.

* * *

I considered myself quite fortunate that Miranda was able to get dressed and get my pants back on me before Wilfred Colorado got there. I was still tied to the bed – and the room still smelled a bit like sex – but at least I wasn’t hanging out for the world to see when the Texan gangster entered the motel room.

Colorado didn’t look any better than I felt. His face and clothes were dirty, and his shirt was torn in a few places. Blood dripped from a cut above one of his eyes, and his ten-galleon hat was long gone. He held a revolver in one hand as he walked in, and he looked about the room as if hunting for targets that weren’t there. The man was clearly spooked.

“Richards! Where’s my money?” he demanded.

“Don’t know,” I said, fully expecting to get shot for answering.

“Tarnation!” he cried, turning towards Miranda – now clad once again in her skin-tight jeans, wife beater and overcoat. “Takei hit the storehouse on Sunset. Lost my bodyguards there. Vergara’s on the run, but most of my people are dead! She’s going to kill me when she catches up with me.”

“And that affects me how, exactly?” Miranda asked, hands on her hips.

“I need that 50 Million – I’m leaving, and I need that money to make sure she never finds me!”

“Giving up so soon?” I asked. “I thought you had plans for this city.”

“I think he’s telling the truth about the money,” Miranda offered. “He doesn’t know where it is.”

“Does he know where the Kilcher woman is?” They both looked at me, expectantly.

“Maybe?” I offered.

“Tell me!” Colorado yelled, aiming his gun at me.

“Fuck off, Colorado – you’ve destroyed half my town, killed most of my friends, and you expect me to help you?”

“I don’t have time for this, Richards – take me to where she is!” Colorado screamed.

I thought about it for a moment. Jewel should still be at the police station. If I brought Colorado there, maybe I could get away from him with a little police help. It was my best shot, anyway. Certainly better than dying while tied to a bed.

“Fine,” I said. “But I’m driving.”

* * *

Any thoughts I had that being in a police station might get Colorado off my back were quickly negated when I pulled into the station. There were all of two cop cars there, and the lights were half-out in the building. Almost everyone was gone.

Still, Colorado was no fool. He stayed in the car, and sent me and Miranda Lambert in to talk with Jewel. Any thoughts I had about jumping Miranda and getting away were quickly negated when she hid a sawed-off shotgun under her coat.

“Johnny? What on earth are you doing here?!” Linda Park was racing about from one room to another as I entered the mostly empty building.

“Is Jewel Kilcher still here?” I asked, trying to think of something to say to Linda to let her know I was in trouble. Miranda bumped her coat – and the gun underneath it – against my back, as a little reminder just how much trouble I was in.

“Yeah, she’s in the break room – been there for more than a day. Gellar told her to stay there before she left.”

“Gellar’s gone?” I asked.

“Yeah, tore our of here about two hours ago, along with her husband. Left us holding the bag,” Linda grumbled. “Guess she didn’t care about the state of the city. Left me running this place in her name, but I’m betting she doesn’t come back. Coward.”

“Okay, well, we need to rustle up Miss Kilcher now,” Miranda said, pushing me down the hallway. “Good luck with all the crime.”

Linda didn’t even blink – she raced into the next room, which happened to be the main radio room, I noticed – leaving me alone with Miranda again.

It didn’t take long to find Jewel – the break room was one of the few rooms with the lights still on. Sure enough, Jewel lay on one of the couches, half asleep in a police sweatshirt and sweatpants, replacing the torn nightie I’d last seen her in.

“Johnny!” She said as we came in. She was about to say more when she noticed Lambert standing behind me. “What’s she doing here?”

“Keeping an eye on me,” I muttered. “Jewel, I need to ask you one more time – do you know ANYTHING about the money Carl stole? Anything at all? Anyone else he might have spoken to about it? A place where he might have hidden it? It could be key to stopping all this violence.”

Jewel sighed. “Yeah, Johnny. I know right where it is,” she admitted. “I have all along.”

“You WHAT?!” Lambert shouted.

“It’s Fifty MILLION DOLLARS!” Jewel shot back. “Why on EARTH would I tell YOU where it was?”

“Jewel, I know it’s a lot of money – especially now that Carl’s dead – but a lot of people are going to die if we don’t find it – a lot of people have ALREADY died.”

“It’s in a safe under the floorboards of my house,” she said. “It’s a fireproof safe, so it survived the fire YOU set,” she added, glaring at Miranda.

“It’s been there the whole time?” I asked, surprised.

“Since Carl started stashing it away, a few thousand at a time, over the few days he was stealing it. He thought Fifty Million would be enough for the two of us to escape to Aruba, never to be seen again. I thought it would be enough to keep me safe here in The City.” She sighed. “Guess I was wrong.”

“Why tell us now?” I asked.

“Because it’s too late,” she said, simply. “I already told Detective Gellar a few hours ago.”

Miranda and I traded looks. Detective Sarah Michelle Gellar, who just fled from her post with her husband, abandoning everything without a word to any other cop. Suddenly, it all made a LOT more sense.

“Did you give her the combination?” Miranda asked.

“No – she didn’t ask,” Jewel said. “But it won’t be THAT hard to figure out – it’s my birthday.”

I wanted to say more, but Lambert grabbed me by the arm and hauled me out of the room, shoving me down the hallway towards the door. “You damn well better hope they haven’t opened that safe yet,” she said to me as we raced back out to the SUV.

* * *

Night had fallen, as had a lot of rain, by the time we made it to the burned out ruins of Jewel’s house. With half the walls and most of the roof gone, it wasn’t hard to spot flashlights moving about inside the remains – and it was impossible to miss the red and white TCFD Lamborghini parked out front. I blocked it with the SUV, and was then forced out of the car by Lambert and Colorado.

There weren’t a lot of floorboards that had survived the initial fire, but those that did were now broken and smashed apart by what appeared to be an axe. I suddenly found myself wishing I had one of my guns. I’d lost count of how many I’d lost in the last couple of days. Four, at least…

We found the flashlights – along with Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. – in what had once been the master bedroom. Prinze was in a hole in the floor, straining against something while Gellar shined the flashlight down on him.

“It’s four feet by four feet, how heavy can it be?” Gellar snarled. “Lift, you worthless ass!”

“It’s a god damn SAFE, Sarah! It’s SUPPOSED to be unmovable!”

“Then bust it open!”

“With what? My axe, you crazy bitch?” He shot back. “Why didn’t you think to get the god damn combination before you left?!”

“Shut up and get the damn money already!”

“I’m TRYING!”

“I’d rather you stopped,” Colorado said, shoving me into the room. He entered behind me, brandishing his revolver, Lambert right behind him, holding her sawed-off shotgun on the two runaways.

“Richards?!” Gellar shouted. “I thought you were dead!”

“I get that a lot these days,” I muttered, trading wary looks between Gellar and Colorado. “Have you met Wilfred Colorado yet, Detective?”

Sarah’s face went white and her eyes bulged a bit. “Damn it,” she grumbled.

“Yeah, you can just take out your gun nice and slowly, Detective,” Colorado said. “We don’t want no shootouts, and I’ve got the high ground.”

“Fan-fucking-tastic,” Gellar bit out, slowly removing her sidearm and placing it on the floor.

“Kick it over to me, sweetie,” Miranda said. “Nice and slow.”

“So, you were just going to take the money and run, Sarah?” I asked the detective. “Didn’t care at all about your job or all your fellow officers you were leaving behind.”

“It’s fifty MILLION dollars, Richards. Don’t tell me you wouldn’t take it and run if you had the chance,” Sarah snapped.

“Well, it’s all mine now,” Colorado said. “Richards, open the damn safe.”

“What, you’re a safecracker now?” Gellar asked as Prinze moved aside and let me drop into the hole he’d chopped with his fire axe.

“No, but I didn’t leave Jewel until I had the combo,” I said. It took a few tries to get the turns right, but I entered Jewel’s birthday and soon enough I was able to pull the handle and open the safe up. Inside was a medium sized red and black L.L. Bean sports bag. I hefted it up with a bit of effort – the bag must have weight 50 or 60 pounds, I guessed – and deposited on the half-ruined floor in front of everyone.

“Well, don’t just stand there gawkin‘, Richards – open the damn bag!” Colorado cried.

Carefully, I unzipped the main compartment and looked inside. Sure enough, there were stacks and stacks of bills inside. Most were Thousand dollar denominations, though there were some hundreds and twenties mixed in, no doubt based on what kind of cash Carl Mason had been able to get at the time.

“He really thought he’d be able to carry all this money in one bag?” Prinze asked, his eyes wide as he stared at the cash.

“How should I know?” I asked. “Maybe he had other bags he planned on splitting it up into.”

“Is it all there?” Colorado asked.

I shot him a look. “You want me to count out Fifty Million, one thousand seventy-three dollars, and eighteen cents in cash right here, right now?” I asked him.

“Did he really keep the eighteen cents in the bag?” Miranda asked.

“If it’s not in there, I’ve got a quarter you can have,” Gellar grumbled.

“Well, this is all just perfect,” Colorado said. “I’ll be taking that money now, and I guess I can just shoot the lot of y’all.”

“You want us to help you carry it to your car first?” I asked sarcastically.

“Fuck this,” Prinze said. “I ain’t dying here tonight.” To my surprise, the scrawny firefighter pulled a pistol out of his coat and started shooting at Colorado. The gangster dove for cover out of the room, his own revolver going off once. Prinze turned his attention towards Miranda, who let loose with both barrels of her shotgun, exploding the remains of the wall behind me. I ducked for cover as best I could in the hole in the ground, once again wishing I had even just ONE of my guns.

Then I remembered that Gellar had just dropped her gun onto the floor. If I could get a hold of it, I might have a fighting chance to get out of here in one piece. I risked popping my head up as Prinze and Colorado’s gunfight moved away, the two men chasing after each other. I’d lost track of Lambert, but sure enough, Sarah’s gun was still laying there on the floor, ignored.

I dove for it, but just as my fingers touched the grip, Sarah Michelle Gellar tackled me from behind.

“Oh no you don’t, Richards!” she screamed out, clawing at my back and legs.

“What IS it with you trying to get into my pants?!” I shouted back at her, trying to kick her off while fumbling with the pistol.

“Shut it, Richards – I can’t BELIEVE I slept with you.”

“You SLEPT with him?” Prinze said, suddenly ducking back into the room.

Sarah’s eyes went wide as she realized what she’d just let slip. “It’s not what it seems, Freddie! I swear. It’s all a-”

Prinze swung his gun up and took a shot at his wife, sending her rolling across the ground for better cover. If his aim was this bad with a fire hose, I began to wonder how he made it through firefighting training.

Then his gun turned back towards me, and I had to scramble for some cover myself as two of his shots tore up the floorboards I’d been laying on. In the process, I managed to drop my tenuous hold on Sarah’s gun, and it spun off into the room where I couldn’t see it.

I didn’t care any more. I wanted out of that house – let these fools shoot each other to death. I just wanted to be done with this whole stupid case.

My scramble bumped me into a wall, and I landed hard, seeing stars for a moment. I shook my head, and suddenly saw I was laying mere inches away from Prinze’s fire axe, the sharp head of which perilously close to my scalp.

“Die, you varments!” Colorado screamed, entering the room and firing at someone – it must have been Sarah, because a second later Prinze got the drop on him. Freddie stepped up right behind Wilfred Colorado, put his pistol almost directly behind the gangster’s head, and a second later Colorado’s head exploded all over the half-burned room.

“THAT’S for trying to steal my money!” Prinze snarled as Colorado’s nearly decapitated body fell to the ground. Blood splattered over his face, Freddie turned towards where Sarah had been hiding.

“And THIS is for cheating on me, you faithless WHORE!”

“Freddie! Freddie, NO! Please, NO!” Sarah screamed as Freddie stepped forward and pulled the trigger. Sarah screamed, and I knew I was next. With no other option, I grabbed the fire axe, scrambled to my feet, and leapt at him.

Freddie Prinze Jr. turned towards me, pulling the trigger of his gun before he’d even aimed it, and took his own fire axe right between the eyes. He went a little cross-eyed, and fell to the floor, flopping over Colorado’s dead body before joining him in the afterlife.

“Fuck,” I said, panting a bit as I reached down to grab Colorado’s revolver before turning towards Sarah. She lay on the ground, a rather nasty wound in her shoulder bleeding all over the side of her blouse.

“Johnny – Johnny, please,” she said, looking at me with pained eyes. “Don’t kill me. We can work something out! I’ll, I’ll let you fuck me any time you want! We can split the money! We can-”

Suddenly every nerve in my body erupted in fire, and all my muscles clenched uncontrollably. The gun went off in my hand, winging Sarah in the other shoulder as I dropped to the floor, shaking uncontrollably.

I’d felt this sensation a couple of times before, back when I was a cop. They’d wanted us to know what it felt like when we used a Taser on someone else. Police Tasers are powerful enough to put someone down and keep them down for a few minutes. This one felt worse than any cop Taser I’d ever felt.

I landed facing the bag of cash, my arms and legs jerking a bit like I was having a seizure. I couldn’t even blink properly. I could just make out Sarah’s legs at the upper side of my vision, but couldn’t turn to face her.

I was only then, when I hit the floor, that I remembered that there had been another person in the house. I’d been so caught up with Colorado, Prinze and Gellar that I’d actually forgotten Miranda Lambert was still running around, armed to the teeth. A Taser didn’t seem quite her style.

I wasn’t surprised when Miranda’s cowboy boots stepped over me, but I was surprised by the second pair of far more sensible shoes followed. My eyes wouldn’t cooperate to look up at who had joined the bounty hunter, and it wasn’t until her ass came into view that I realized who it was.

My heart sank. It was an ass I’d recognize anywhere.

Kelly Clarkson held the control end of the Taser in one hand as she knelt down beside the large bag of money, and started going through it, making sure the cash was real.

“Fifty Million, one thousand seventy-three dollars,” she said. “The exact amount Carl Mason stole from Sofia Vergara, assuming the eighteen cents is rolling around at the bottom.”

“Colorado was going to steal it and run off with it,” Lambert said, standing off to the side where I couldn’t see her. “And so was the cop and the firefighter.”

“Couldn’t let that happened,” Kelly said. “How’d you manage to kill them all?”

“Didn’t. Firefighter killed Colorado, Johnny there killed the firefighter, the cop’s wounded, might bleed out eventually if we let her.”

“EMTs are already on their way,” Kelly said, hanging a fairly large stack of the cash over to Lambert. “This should cover your expenses. My people in Texas thank you for taking care of this problem, Miss Lambert. Couldn‘t have one of our upper management running around after a failure like this.”

“Any time,” the bounty hunter said, tipping her cap to Kelly before strolling past me again. “You sure you don’t want me to pop a cap in Richards here?”

“Never,” Kelly said. “By the way, any word on McBride yet?”

“Still looking. I’ll find him, sooner or later,” Lambert said. “Feel free to call with any other problems you have. Richards included.” With that, the blonde cowgirl left, leaving me there shivering on the floor, trying to wrap my brain around what was going on.

Kelly pulled out a smaller stack of bills, and turned towards me.

“Guess the secret’s out, huh Johnny?” she said, a bit sadly. “Colorado’s people? They’re MY people. I sent him here to claim the town for our group, and he failed. Rather spectacularly, thanks in part to you, I think. I always knew you were special.”

“W-why?” I managed to croak out.

“Why what? Why did I lie to you about being a Fed? Johnny, I can’t go around claiming I’m a gangster – no one would just let me walk about their buildings. But now my bosses have tasked ME with taking control of the criminal element here in The City.” She paused for a moment. “I’d like to ask you to help me, but I get the feeling you’d say no.”

She was right about that. I wanted to spit at her, but my mouth wouldn’t cooperate. I wanted to cry on her shoulder, too, but that wasn’t going to happen, either.

“K-kill me-e-e,” I eeked out instead.

“Never, Johnny,” she said. “I love you. Remember that. Always.” she kissed my forehead and caressed my cheek once before standing up and hefting the money bag. “Gah! This thing’s HEAVY! You’d think Mason could’ve found some lighter bills.” She started to step over me, but stopped just as quickly.

“I almost forgot,” she said, laying that smaller stack of bills down right in front of my face. “That’s One Thousand Seventy-Three dollars, Johnny – everything over the Fifty Million Mason stole. It’s yours, for your services on this case. I know that Jewel girl can’t pay you, but you deserve something. You DID find the money, after all.”

This time she did step over me, hefting the bag of money with some trouble as she left the ruined building. Before she left me there alone, she called back one last time.

“I’ll always love you, Johnny Richards. Always.”

With that, she was gone, leaving me in a quivering mess on the floor, Sarah Michelle Gellar bleeding out a few feet away, and a little over a thousand bucks sitting there in front of me.

She took my heart with her when she left.

* * *

“You end up in this hospital FAR too often, Johnny Richards,” Ellen Pompeo told me much later. “I begin to think I should just keep a room open for you.”

“Forget about me, how’d you all escape?” I asked. The only good news about this whole disaster of a night was that my friends had survived the burning of The Southern Beaver.

“Fire department arrived,” Ellen said. “Said they got an anonymous call almost half an hour before the fire happened. They were in saving us not five minutes after you left,” Ellen said.

“Thank god,” I muttered. My body was still pretty weak. The Taser Kelly had used on me was the type that had a lethal setting on it, according to the EMTs who found me, and I’d been hit just below that level. Frankly, I felt it was better than I deserved.

“The bad news is that they weren’t able to save much of the Bar – Elisha’s pretty much homeless,” Ellen said.

“She’ll bounce back. She always does.”

“Just like my favorite Private Dick,” Ellen said, winking at me while writing something on my chart. “I’ll be back later to… check on that private dick, by-the-way,” she said, giving me a far more suggestive wink before walking out.

I wasn’t alone long. Surprisingly, Linda Park walked in just as Ellen was leaving.

“I don’t know what you did, Johnny, but you ended the gang war,” she said.

“How?” I asked my old partner.

“Well, Colorado’s dead, and his people seemed to fold the minute he died. Not sure there’s any of them left in The City.”

“There are,” I said darkly, thinking about what I’d learned about Kelly.

“Beyond that, Sofia Vergara was spotted boarding a private jet back to Columbia earlier tonight, and we’ve actually arrested almost all of her people she left behind.”

“What about Takei?” I asked. “Companelli? Pressly?”

“They seem happy sticking with what they’ve got, for now anyway,” Linda said. “And a damn good thing, too. We got slaughtered out there. And now with Gellar shot, we’ve had to call for Federal help to maintain law and order. I’m surprised the Governor hasn’t called in the National Guard on this one.”

“Make sure you do a real thorough background check on all those feds,” I warned her, again thinking of Kelly. Another thought crossed my mind. “Gellar going to make it?”

“Probably,” Linda sighed. “And probably get a big promotion, too, since she was the only police officer involved in the event that stopped this whole crazy thing. DA Portman’s already claiming her as The City’s hero.”

“Fantastic,” I grumbled. I knew Sarah Michelle Gellar would be trouble again someday, and this time she’d have a lot more power behind her. I hadn’t seen the last of her, that was for sure.

“Anyway, you’ve got a gaggle of girls around here waiting to see you – including a lovely little blonde who spent the last day in my break room. Something tells me you’re going to have a LOT of company while you’re in the hospital,” Linda said, patting my shoulder before leaving.

She was right. Almost everyone who’d been in The Beaver was still hanging around Mercy Grace, waiting to see me – and more than a few made some rather non-subtle suggestions about how they wanted to thank me. But my heart wasn’t in it.

I stared out at the window as the sun rose over The City. Kelly Clarkson was out there somewhere. And in my line of work, I was sure to bump into her again. But we wouldn’t be working together ever again, and somehow I knew we’d never be what we could’ve been together.

I was still sulking about her when Ellen returned, closed the door and the shades, stripped off her scrubs, and started working my cock over with her Doctor’s hands. I tried to shake her off, but my manly needs took over.

One of these days, I’m going to learn to stop thinking with my little head, but today wasn’t that day.

Besides, it sure as hell beat thinking with my heart.

~END~

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