Lawrence Goodnight, who actually owned the Good Rest Funeral Home turned out to be a nice man..He had lost part of his business to Cyrus Tickle....Gambling debt...He hated Cyrus Tickle with a passion.and did not try to hide it..He whispered to Sepia and I to "Get as far from that crook CyrusTickle as we could." Funny...He was the third person to tell us this...Must be something to it, I mused.
Most of our friends came to the funeral...because it was my uncle... Otis Teller was there, So of course was Cyrus Tickle...bugging me about the progress of "The Case"...I refused to talk to him at the funeral or repass, something that I could tell irritated him to no end.
The fact that at least two people were trying to kill us to get this money was one of my main concerns...I didn't want anymore joining the chorus.
Patrice Johnson, my Uncle's alleged fiance was one of the people on the list...She had broken in our house a few days before and had twice held us at gunpoint...She was presently in jail...but I was certain she would be out on bail soon...The gangster, Dice Lawson and I had had a shootout a few days ago and he had left with the safe deposit key in his possession...A useless key that would lead him to phony money....By now I'm certain he had gone to the safe deposit box and found out that once again he'd been deceived and was in a murderous fury....I dreaded running into him again...and yet, I somehow filed that in the back of my mind...
Then there was the con man, Cyrus Tickle...a disbarred lawyer, who thought he had a right to my uncle's money by reasons understood by none but himself...If I never saw him again, it would be too soon...but I knew that I would... I wished that these three meddlesome people would just go away...but life was never that easy...I couldn't understand how or why my uncle had taken up with any of them...but then again...he was a collector of people...Fascinated by them...It wasn't that strange.
As we left the cemetary and headed towards the repast, Sepia turned to me...
''Kevin, you won't believe this...but Mr. Tickle came up to me and asked me if I could please talk to you about speeding the process along...can you believe that?" she said.
''Yeah,I believe it...That snake will stop at nothing..." I said.
"He kept asking me questions and following me around.....Ouuuu, what a pest." she said.
Now I was more than mildly irritated with him.
I avoided him at the repast, which was held at the church...
Sepia and I quietly slipped out and headed home....
"Your phone is vibrating baby." said Sepia...
"I don't care...I don't want to talk to anybody right now..." I said as we continued to kiss and I followed my wife up the stairs and into the hot shower....
We continued to kiss as the hot steamy water and soap ran down our bodies...Sepia stroked and caressed my penis gently as I caressed her breasts and kissed her up and down her neck and eventually her lips...
We carried on like this until the hot water eventually ran out and was cold...
"Kevin...it might be important.." said Sepia...
I relented and looked at my phone...It was Cyrus Tickle....I didn't want to talk to him and especially not now....but like I said...in hindsight...I should've checked the first missed call...THAT was the call I should've taken..
We made sweet, slow love this afternoon.... I entered her softly and gently and began to stroke her softly and slowly....She moaned and put her arms around my neck and drew me closer to her..She wrapped her legs around my waste and we began to move in a slow, yet deliberate rhythm for quite some time...
"Ouuuuuuuuu....ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu...Kevin...just like that...Just like that baby...ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.." she moaned...as I continued to move slowly ,yet deliberately...
"YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS....OHHH YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS." she screamed as I began to move in and out faster and harder...
"Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.." I moaned...as she held on tightly and began moving faster and harder.. I pulled her to me and began kissing her passionately.....
"I love you sooooooooooo muchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.." she moaned again as we continued.....Who could be concerned about a phone message now?
Eventually ,I did check my messages...One was of course from Cyrus Tickle-
"Mr. Morris, it's been a week and I haven't heard from you...What's going on with that money? Please give me a call...We need to settle this business quickly and divide this money up...I have plans for my one and a half million..Heh, heh, heh...please call."
He'd just better make some other plans...He wasn't seeing a red cent I wagered.
The second call however was from Sissy! Lt. Sissy Van Buren, Homicide.
''Kevin...sorry I missed you, but just a heads up....Your little female home invader ,Patrice Johnson made bail about three days ago.... She hasn't been seen in two days by anybody. Her relatives said that they weren't even aware that she had been released on bail. ...She was supposed to appear in court for a preliminary hearing this morning and was a no show...She hasn't answered any phone calls either. Something looks fishy, but don't worry about it. I've got Detective Pile and Detective Barlow looking for her....Just keep your eyes open and watch your back. Talk to you later."
Patrice Johnson was out of jail!!!! I figured she'd make bail and I also figured now that she'd be looking for Sepia and I again...Lockpick Johnson had replaced all of our locks with what he said were more secure locks...but so were the former ones and Patrice Johnson, a master theif and burgular had beaten them...So what would stop her from beating this system? I thought of calling either Owen Todd or Kool Kat and having them keep an eye on my house....but so far there was no real need...She hadn't come around..I wondered where she was? If she was laying in wait, for an opportunity to strike again..
The third call was once again from Cyrus Tickle....
"Hey Mr.Morris now look...Cyrus Tickle here. I've been as patient as possible...You need to get in contact with me...I would hate to have to take legal action against you....Now what's going on with the money??...I need this money!!! Now come on! Please give me a call...We need to settle this business quickly and divide this money up...I have plans for my one and a half million..Heh, heh, heh...please call. Come on Now, don't do me like this....I have things I need to pay off and things I'd like to purchase as well as some business ventures...Now come on now!" he said.
"He's got some nerve." she said.
''Don't he now?" I said.
Still, I went to the Women's Correctional Center later that day and did a little investigating. I found out that a woman named Thelma Neeley had posted bail for Patrice Johnson... I got an address for her...She lived in a completely different part of town..
I questioned some of Patrice's relatives and known associates... None of them had ever heard of Thelma Neeley... I checked her record... She had two arrests for prostitution and she was presently employed as an "exotic dancer" aka stripper at Happy Jacks Love Emporium...A Strip Club!
I visited Happy Jacks and of course....No Thelma!! Hadn't been seen in two days...No one there knew Patrice Johnson...They did however give me a home address for Thelma.
I got a photo of her too.... I drove to her apartment complex and walked in....The door to her apartment was open...I knocked and I rang the bell...No answer! I stepped in...It smelled like hell....I knew that smell....Death!
I walked into the living room and there she was... 29 year old Thelma Neeley....stiff as a board...dead with a needle in her arm!!!.... Either she or someone had given her a "hot shot " of heroin...By the smell of her body and the beginning of decomposition, I would guess she had been dead for two days...
Of course...Nobody "saw" anything or anyone around the apartment....This wasn't the type of neighborhood where people talked much about what they saw..
I called the police and told them where they could find the body....then I left.
Detective Carlotta Rodriguez called me a day later and asked me to meet her at a crime scene...I was puzzled, but I drove out to see her... The police had removed a car from the river!!!
"Hola Kevin...I guess you wonder why I called you out here ?" she said.
"Yeah...uh the thought did cross my mind." I said.
"That girl who broke in your house and tried to shoot you last week?? Patrice Johnson?/" she said.
"What about her?" I asked.
"This is her car..." said Carlotta as a policeman opened the door of the car...water pouring out of it...
''Huh?" I said.
"Yeah...We got a call that a car went soaring into the river....and that there was a body in it." she said
"Is it?" I asked..
"Take a look for yourself.." she said.
There in the front seat with a nice neat bullet hole in between her eyes was Patrice Johnson...She had been murdered!!!
"That's her!!!!!.." I said.
"She was trying to get some money from you that your uncle left you right?" asked Carlotta..
"He left me a whole lotta money....Three milli.....One million went to the church and my wife and I split a million a piece." I said. "She was my uncle's girlfriend...She felt she was entitled to it...but I have a will, he didn't leave anything to her." I said.
"Wowwwww, you got loot like that????....You need to take me and Sissy to lunch." she joked.
"I will, I promise." I said. "Carlotta, I got two other people trying to get at that money....some slickster lawyer named Cyrus Tickle and a hood named Dice Lawson." I said.
"Gee Kevin, you sure pick some nice playmates... Cyrus Tickle is no lawyer...he's a con man....major bunco artist...He's been popped a number of times and Dice Lawson is probably the worst of the bunch...Stone cold gangster...He's the one you really need to be aware of.....and this one here?? Patrice Johnson!!!...she had a list of arrests as long as she is tall...Prostitution, theft, burglary, cashing phony checks,assault....geesh." said Carlotta.
"You think Dice Lawson would kill her to get her out of the way?" I asked.
"He could have....In fact...I'm going to find him and bring him in for questioning. Did he bail her out?" she asked.
"No.. some woman bailed her out....A woman named Thelma Neeley, only none of Patrice Johnson's people ever heard of her and there is no evidence than other than jail that their paths ever crossed... and now Thelma Neeley is dead...An apparent drug overdose." I said.
''Or a hot shot." said Carlotta.
''Exactly what I'm thinking...Somebody hired her to bail Patrice out and then silenced her and killed Patrice too. Thelma's friends told me that while she did smoke an occassional joint, she had never been known to use heroin. Sounds like a move a gangster like Dice Lawson would make." I said.
" Nothing to lead back to him. Nice! Hmmmm, what about your friend, Mr. Tickle?" she asked.
"Him?? Nahhh, they hated each other." I said.
" Well, once we pick up Dice Lawson, we'll know for sure." she said.
"Thanks for the heads up...tell Sissy I said thanks too...and after this is over..I'm gonna take you both out for a great lunch anywhere of your choosing...all on me." I said.
"You know I'm going to hold you to that." she said.
"You can make bank on it." I said.
"I know you can." she said laughing..
I laughed too...
"Be Easy Kev." she said as I walked back to my car...
"Always..." I said.
This little game had just gotten very very serious...The competition was now starting to wipe each other out....One person was out of the game and that left two... Thing was...I had no immediate idea on how to wrap this thing up or which one of the two I should really fear!