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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

He Don't Really Love You


There is a saying that we as human beings always want what we can't have......It is also true that we don't truly see the value of something or someone until someone else has it! I was thinking of these two things....My mind far away from what I was supposed to be doing. See, I'm Pastor John L. Struthers and I was officiating the last wedding rehearsal for Photographer Sean Jackson. Sean was finnally marrying his girlfreind,Sheila Mason.....They were all in the church practicing for the big day.....The Best Man, Kevin Morris, fresh off of one of his many cases..., the other groomsmen, Attorney, Conrad Nelson, Cock Robbins, Clerow Hamilton, Chance Howard, Robert Foxworth, also an Attorney, Paris and Blake.. The Maid of honor was Kevin's wife ,Joanne"Sepia" Morris....I had married them in this same church nearly two years before.

The Bridesmaids were Conrad Nelson's wife, Jill, Corabeth Hamilton, Clerow's wife, her sisters, Anita Jenkins and Mabel Jenkins, Cock Robbins's wife, Vanessa , Chance's girlfriend, Cherish and a very shapely college room-mate of Sheila's from D.C. named Frenchette Waters.


I heard Sheila say to Kevin after rehearsal was over-

"Hey Kevin.....I hope you don't get involved in one of your cases in the next two weeks....because Sean and I will be honeymooning in the Bahamas...and you won't have him...He'll be all mine." she said laughing...

"Sheila...to tell you the truth...Sepia and I are going to try and get out of town for the next few weeks before summer is over....I aint lookin for no case." he said, returning her laugh... And while I should have been joining in the reverie..All I could think about was a week before when Rita Gordon, the woman I had come to love, the woman who I had asked to be my wife and I were sitting in "Bottom of The C" seafood bar and grill enjoying one of chef Ralph Scallion's delicious meals....

I first noticed the guy from a distance....Sometimes you develop radar when you're out with a pretty woman.. a radar about guys staring..... He was tall, well built...a muscular athletic build with a goatee and a short well trimmed haircut...He was carmel brown skinned and had a dimple in his cheeks.....He had a cocky arrogant way about him.... He was openly staring at Rita and despite the fact that I was sitting with her , He walked over to our table anyway.

"Rita...It has been awhile hasn't it?" he said smiling from ear to ear

"Hello Thomas..." she said dryly....

"My...My..Myyyy, you sure loook goood baby...but then again, you always did...ummmph..umph...ummph." he said.

"Oh John...excuse me...This is my ex-husband...Thomas...Thomas , this is my friend...John Struthers." said Rita.

And there it was...that word..."Friend"....Friend? We had made passionate love just the night before...Had been at least two or three times a week since we met a few months ago...I had asked her to marry me...She said that she would consider it...I thought of myself as more than just a" friend"


"Oohh, Pastor of your church huh? Pleased to meet you Pastor." he said and extended his hand. I shook his hand.

"I am her boyfriend actually." I said and cut Rita a look that was like daggers...She looked very uncomfortable.


He laughed-

"Who you?, Come on ,don't make me laugh." he said and did laugh.


"What do you want Thomas?" she asked.

"Want...I would like to finish the conversation we were having.?" he said.

"Conversation you were having....Rita what is this about?" I asked.

"It's about none of your business Pastor....I've been calling Rita and talking about getting back together with her...After all she was my wife." he said.


"The operative word here fella is was...She aint your wife now." I said.

"Hah...hah...ha....you are somethin Pastor...Look aint you got some souls to save?...hahahahahaha...Hey listen...sorry to disturb your dinner....Hey Reets, call me later okay?" He said.

He acted as if I didn't matter at all....Arrogant little twerp......I was steaming mad.. I looked at Rita..

"Oh John...He's nobody...There is a reason he and I are divorced...He was more in love with himself than me..." she said.

"But you've been talking to him!" I said "Yeah, kinda sorta...He's worth a good laugh." she said.


''Why didn't you tell him that we are engaged?" I said.


"Because we're not!...You haven't given me a ring or anything...you said that in the heat of passion." she exclaimed.


"I meant it." I said.

"Are you serious?" she said.

"No Rita...Like you said...I said it in the heat of passion." I said.

I paid for our meal and I drove her home...When we got there, I declined to come in....I drove home....That was a week ago...She's called about five times...I haven't answered..



"Rev...you alright?" it was Deacon Larry Weatherford....the head deacon at the church...now married to my ex-wife...Victoria Jenkins Weatherford...(older sister of Mabel, Corabeth and Anita) Strange we were still the best of friends, despite the fact that he is married to my ex-wife.


"I'm fine Deacon...Get those boys down here to clean up....We've got a wedding to prepare for in a few days." I said.

"Okay Rev." he said


It was a warm night....close to 80 degrees.....I got a Coke out of the vending machine and sat on the steps of the church. I sat quietly and watched as the cars carrying everyone taking part in Sean's wedding pulled off... I heard the Deacon and the boys cleaning up....I felt someone sitting down next to me....It was Victoria...my ex wife.


"Hey John...how you?" she said.

"Hey girl...I'm doin okay....You waitin for Deac...I'll call him...Those boys can finish cleaning up."I said.

"That's okay...I'm in no rush." she said.

"Victoria?" I said.

"Yes John..

"I just wanted to tell you that you were a good wife...the best wife a man could ever have and I'm sorry for all of my foolishness, all my womanizing, all my midnight ramblin...Deacon is a good man and he's lucky to have you." I said.


"Why thank you John.....What brought this on?" she asked.


"I'm just trying to change...Trying to be a real christian..trying to stop being a mockery...I've stopped all the skirt chasin."I said.

"I know, a lot of the women in the choir are upset that you're not pinching their butts or making lewd comments to them...I think they enjoyed that." she said with a laugh.

"Well ,those days are over...for me anyway." I said.


"Where is your girlfriend?" she asked. I had forgot that she had seen us together a few times..

I just shrugged.

"You two have a fight?" she asked.

"I wouldn't call it a fight...a misunderstanding....She doesn't believe I'm sincere..that I've changed...and why should she...She knows about my past." I said.

" She must be special....She got you to stop looking at other women...I couldn't do that." she said.

"I guess I deserve that." I said.
"Just playin with you John...I know you've changed...I've seen it..I've heard it in your sermons..." she said.

"Maybe God is punishing me...for all that I did before." I said.



"John...stop talking crazy...you of all people know better than that." she said.

Just then, Deacon Weatherford came out of the church...


"Sorry I'm late...you ready dear?" he said.


"I've been ready....Get in the car......Be easy John" she said as they got in their car...


The boys left and I locked the church up.....It was just me now... All alone!!!


I walked down the steps and just as I was about to get in my car a hand touched my arm!


"Glad to know you're still alive John." came the voice....It was Rita!


"What are you doing here?" I asked.

"I called you several times and you never answered and I texted you and I remembered that you don't know how to use that function of your smart phone yet...I was supposed to teach you."she said.

"Is that why you came here?" I asked.

"No.......I had that conversation with Thomas..my ex... and..I'm betting he's very upset right now, got a horrible case of blueballs and is in need of therapy to sooth his bruised ego...It's the same old thing with him...Nothing changed...He thought he was going to sail in here, talk about the possibility of us getting back together and then get me in the bed a few times and then sail back out......I turned him down cold....I also told him that he'd better tighten his bedroom game up because that Pastor he laughed at was ten times the man in bed he was....He didn't believe me...then I told him...I'd never turn you down ever if you wanted to have sex with me...He was so mad , he stormed out of my house...I think he's in Josie's cussing up a storm." she said.


"Wow...you told him all of that huh?" I said.


"Yes John....and now I'm going to tell you something." she said.

"What?" I asked.


"If you can possibly get me a ring.....and find someone to marry us...I'll marry you!" she said.

"WHAT? YOU SERIOUS?" I screamed...

"Shhhhhh...it's 11:30....yes John...yes...I'll marry you...." she said.
I felt like jumping for joy....

"Reverend Leroy Lonnie Love is a good friend of mine....He just happens to be flyin in from Detroit tomorrow. He can marry us...I can get the ring...not a problem...." I said.


"Reverend Love is here John...I saw him in Josie's last night." she said.


"That's even better...Let's go to Josie's...and celebrate!" I said.

"John!!!!!" she exclaimed...

"Ohh...I'm sorry...that's right....Well the Ice Cream parlor is open. let's go there...." I said.
Rita laughed like a school girl...I loved that laugh..

"Okay...it's a deal...and I'll pay." she said.

"YES!!!!" I exclaimed.
"Nobody and I mean nobody makes me feel as special and as giddy as you do John." she laughed.

And nobody made me feel as light headed and as happy as she had made me feel tonight.


Monday, August 30, 2010

If In Doubt


I see the look in your eyes
you wonder ,if the things I tell you are lies..
You said you want a good man
yet you wonder if I'm making other plans?
Honey, Honey please
Let me put your mind at ease./

Let me assure you that I am as good as gold.
regardless of anything that you have been told.
I would never leave you..
and I certainly wouldn't deceive you..
Faith is beleif in things currently unseen...
If you've heard any rumors currently
why don't you check it out with me?/

Check it out with me baby...
If in Doubt
we can work it out..
any questions you may have..
don't be so quick to believe..
girl come to me...
If in doubt...
we can work it out...
pride cometh before a fall...
remember girl, I'm as close as a phone call../

I hear the question in your voice...
I'm touching ,
a cheek that's still moist..
You've been lied to and hurt before
that I can understand..
and while I might not be a saint..
I'm really not a bad man../

Just be my lady and that will be enough for me..
it won't matter baby
what your girlfriends think they heard or
what they say they seen..
It's very important to me
to have you believe in me...
Honey Honey please..
Let me put your mind at ease../

put it at ease baby!..


If in Doubt
we can work it out..
any questions you may have..
don't be so quick to believe..
girl come to me...
If in doubt...
we can work it out...
pride cometh before a fall...
remember girl, I'm as close as a phone call../

Sunday, August 29, 2010

"Consenting Adults"



Chance Howard and I had just walked out of court with our client Floyd Waterhouse...He was a city councilman who had been accused of sexually harrassing three of his former staff members who worked for him...We had managed to get a hung jury, thus forcing the judge to declare a mistrial.....

"Wow Mr.Foxworth...You know, under the circumstances we were lucky to even get this...I think the jury was leaning toward siding with those women." said Chance.

"You're telling me...and considering the circumstances, they probably are right." I found myself saying.

"So you think he's guilty?" asked Chance.

"Oh yeah..He's as guilty as hell." I said.

"He told you that?" asked Chance.

"No...of course not...but I've known him for years...He's the biggest hound you ever wanted to meet...Never saw a skirt that he didn't feel worthy of chasing....He even tried to get fresh with the judge...I had to caution him...He's a bigger lech that I am." I said with a laugh.

"When do you think we'll be back in court with him?" asked Chance.

"Probably a month or two...I wouldn't worry....Maybe he'll take my advice and settle out of court...That would be best for everyone." I said.

"Yeah, Mr. Foxworth, you're probably right." said Chance.

"Say youngin...what you got planned for tonight...Wanna go over to Josies and get a few drinks?" I said.

"Normally I would...but I haven't been spending a lot of time with Anita...She's off tonight, so we are gonna just chill at her spot.." said Chance.

"Oh okay...Well I'll drop you off at your car...I'm heading over to Josie's." I said.

I called Kevin, but he and his wife Sepia were on their way to the movies... Next I called Clerow,but he and Corrie were in Atlantic City...I put in another call to Sean Jackson...but he too was chilling with his girl Sheila. I called Bonita....No answer! That was strange!!!! , I called Conrad, but he and his wife were in Delaware at Rehobeth beach. Finally ,I drove to Josie's alone and saddled up to the bar.

"Ridin solo tonight counselor?" said Gus.

''Yeah, everybody is chillin with their woman." I said.

"Well,all the women you got, I'm surprised you're in here alone." said Gus.

"I didn't get an answer at Bonita's...Brooke is on the road and I think Ingrid is on the road too." I said.

"Ingrid Rhodes? The singer?? Nah...She was in here last night and she and her band did a set here last Friday night..." said Gus.

"Really?? I haven't seen her in weeks..She's been home all along and hadn't called me?" I said.

"Maybe YOU've been occupied." said Gus.

"I was over Bonita's a lot...but I wasn't that occupied.." I said.

''Speaking of the devil , there she is....and look who she's with? I thought they broke up awhile ago?" said Gus.

She was with the baseball player, Johnny Diamond..They had been an item and then had had a bad break up and then she had been with the Trumpet player Downtown Rob Brown and he had messed up and I had slipped in....What was different now?

I watched them sitting at a booth quietly talking....I couldn't just walk over there...but then again, why couldn't I? I had been screwing her lately, not him?? Or was he?? I stared at them and I noticed that she stared back.....and had the nerve to wave...I smiled and waved back.
The night dragged on and I continued to drink and drink and drink.....Finnally when I was on my way to the men's room, I happened to bump into her..coming from the bar with a drink...Johnny Diamond was on his Blackberry , seemingly a world away from us, talking to somebody.

"So Ingrid? What's going on? I haven't heard from you in weeks and come to find out you've been here all along." I said.

"Yes and?" she said.

"Well, what's up with that?" I asked.

"Why do you ask? It's not like we are exclusive Robert...I thought we were just 'Friends with Benefits'." she said. "You know lightweight..nothing heavy"

I hated when women used my own terms against me.

"Well uh ruh no....I wouldn't call us that." I said.

"Well what would you call us?" she asked.

"Aww come on Ingrid..we've been going out for awhile now and er..." I mumbled..

"Yeah and you've been sharing my bed....but then you've been going off for days, weeks sometimes and then what?" she said.

"Then what? I'm an attorney...I just finished a big case...The Floyd Waterhouse case..It's been in all the papers....and I helped Kevin Morris crack that big fraud case recently..You know how I roll, I'm as busy as you with your music." I said.

''Robert...Roberttttt ,stop playing......I know all about Bonita...She sells real estate...She lives in New Jersey...and I know about the Funeral Director who gives you "greif counseling"..Is that what you call it? I know about Guitarist ,Brooke Taylor too...Your bed hasn't been empty....I mean ,I can see why...you're very good at what you do to a woman...I wish more men were as in tune to a woman's body as you are...you're quite gifted." she said.

"Did you hire a private detective to spy on me?" I asked.

"Nope...Didn't think I had to...Somebody made sure I knew about you..That's all." she said.

"Who? ,Who is going around telling my business?" I screamed.

"You shouldn't have so much "business" to be told..." she said.

"Well, we are not married.. we are both consenting adults." I said.

"That's right...and I'm not mad at you...you can do what you like....I'm doing what I like...Right now Johnny and I are talking about getting back together...I'm liking what he's saying right now."she said.

"Well what about me? What about us?" I said.

"Awww come on Robert...Don't go there...like you say, we are both consenting adults....operative word...consenting" she said and turned and walked away.

After I returned from the men's room, I dropped about sixty dollars on the counter!

"That's all for you tonight counselor?" said Gus.

"Yeah man...pretty much." I said as I left and got in my car. I was pretty hungry..but I didn't feel like any soul food, so I drove over to Bottom of the C. Seafood Bar and Grill. I hear that the chef over there, Ralph Scallion could really fix a nice salad...That's what I was in the mood for...but upon pulling up in the parking lot I saw a car seemingly bouncing up and down...I smiled....Somebody was gettin some in the parking lot...How many times had I done that?...That must have been what my car looked like....That car looked like the exact same make and model of Bonitas car...Same color too! They sure were steaming up the windows in that car....Yeah that used to me....but I wouldn't do that now....I've evolved from that..I'd take my woman to a room now.

"Ouuuuuuu...ohhhhhhhhh, take your hand from from under my skirt Ralph...you are soooo nasty...muah...ouuuuuuuu...I thought you wanted to talk about real estate..ouuuuuuuuu...ohhhhhhhhhh..." came a familiar voice.

"I do...I want to study your real estate baby....ohhhhhhhhhhhh, just one more kiss...and I swear,I'll go back to work...." said Ralph Scallion!!!

"Ohhhhh Ralph.....you've got me all wet and turned on now...Look, I'm not doing anything tonight...Why don't you come over to my place and we'll uh discuss my real estate some more?" came the unmistakable voice of Bonita...!!!!

"Listen...I'm done for the night...let me go in and tell them that I'm leaving....I'll follow you in my car." said Ralph Scallion.

"Ohhh...ouuuuuuuu, muah....ohhhh Ralph....yes, please..." she said.

''Uhhh, don't you have a man? The Attorney?? I don't want to step on anybody's toes." said Ralph.

"Oh him? Yeah we see each other occassionally, but he's not my man...he does his thing and I'm going to do mine...After all , we are both consenting adults."she said.

"I like that.....Friends with benefits...consenting adults...hmmmmmmm." said Ralph.

I turned my car around and pulled out of the parking lot...I doubt if either of them was even aware of me. My name is Robert Foxworth...I'm an Attorney...This was NOT a good night.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tossed


"Wowww Robby, this is a nice place you got here." said Connie as I opened the door and turned the light on to my apartment. She put her bag down and looked around..

"Hmmm, I'm impressed...You must be doing pretty well." she said with a smile that beamed with genuine pride.

"You know...I'm renting this place from Chess and Chris...You know they are in the real estate business now?" I said.

"Yeah, I know about their company, C& C Brothers Inc. They have some nice places....I'm proud of both of them...I watched them come up...Glad Chris aint tryin to be a gangsta no more...I wish Fathead would get outta the business before he gets himself killed or locked up." she laughed.

"Well you know Fathead..He loves being the big cheese." I laughed.

"Don't he though?" she said and returned my laugh...

"I've got two bedrooms here and a kitchen and a shower...Theres a wide screen TV in the living room if you want to watch TV or a movie and there is my dock over there if you want to hear some music.... I've got wine and beer in the cooler
over there." I stated.

"Nah...I've been drinkin and listening to music all night..and there aint nothin on Television this time of night." she said and smiled.

"Yeah ,I guess you're right " I said uneasily..

"Which one is your room Robby?" she asked.

"Uh oh..this one right here." I said and walked her into the only room she hadn't yet seen..

"Nice....yeahhhh, very nice Robby, you always did have good tastes.." she said.

I sat on my bed, took my shoes and my socks off and unbuttoned my shirt..I sure wished I hadn't drunk so much....even though I didn't need alcohol to see what a fine woman Connie was...If only....Nah, no need in even thinking about it!

She sat on my bed and unbottoned her blouse...revealing a black lacy bra that was fighting to hold in all of her breasts...She must have thought she was with Patrice..

"You got a joint Robby ?" she asked me non-chalantly.

"Nah...I gave the stuff up a while ago..." I said.

"Remember back when I used to braid your hair...we'd smoke a joint and drink some wine?" she asked.

"Yeah...we'd smoke quite a few.." I said.

"You used to drive me to Herby Tucker's house." she said.

"Yeah..Him! You was crazy about some Herby Tucker...What happened between you and him?" I asked.

"We was gonna get married...and one day I walked in on him and Felicia Brighton...I had the spare key to his place you know.." she said.

"Oh wow.." I said.

"Herby didn't flinch, asked me to join in...you know a menage a trois?" she said.

"What????" I exclaimed.

"And guess what Robby? I liked it...It was like the first time I had ever done something with another woman...I not only liked it...but I began steppin out on Herby with her!" she said.

"And that was that huh...That ruined you for men, huh?" I said.

"Yeah..kinda sorta...I was with Felicia for a minute..then there was another woman and then Patrice.....I still slept with a guy here and there though...just to mix things up." she said, holding her hair down....

I ran my hands through her hair.....She looked at me and smiled...It was late....there were no sounds coming from the street..Not even a car driving by...
I leaned over and kissed her softly on the lips...She didn't turn away..Surprisingly she returned my kiss...soft at first and then full and passionate!

"Wow Robby...I'm surprised...I didn't know you thought of me like that." she said.

"I did...You don't know how long I've wanted to do that." I said.

"Wow..really? You never said anything...All these years and you was feeling that way huh?" she said.

"It wouldn't have made a difference...you was kind of playing for another team." I said.

"Oh that sounds so neandrathal." she said with a smirk..."Where did you say that wine was?"

I went to the refrigerator and got out a bottle of wine...poured us two tumblers of wine and walked back to my bedroom...I didn't expect her to come back to my room, but she did...with no pants on....Just her opened blouse and black bikini panties with hearts on the sides...She leaned her head on my shoulders as
she sipped the wine...

"Wow..you've certainly gotten comfortable." I laughed looking at her.

"You're like family Robby." she said.

This time she kissed me....I was surprised....I didn't think she would have been interested in continuing that....We kissed passionately for a few minutes and then she slowly unbuckled my trousers and pulled them off...

"Ohh my goodness...never knew you were carrying it like that Robby..oh my god.." she exclaimed...

She rolled over and I slipped her panties down and finnally off...and continued to kiss her...She had slipped her bra off and I went about the business of kissing and massaging her breasts...

"Ohhhhhhhhhhhh....ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh...it's been soo long....ouuuuuuuuuu...since I've had a man do this for me robby..ohhhhhhhhhh"
she moaned...

She rolled me over and kissed me from my neck all the way to my now throbbing penis...

"Shhhhhhh, just lay still.....shhhhhhh..." she said as she took all of me into her mouth and began to move her head up and down....Considering she had been with women for the last few years..I wouldn't have imagined she would be so skilled....

"I haven't done this to a man in so long." she said.

I rolled her over gently and slowly entered her...As I suspected..she was pretty tight...but eventually she began to moisten and I spread her legs open and began to move very slow and gently into her...

"OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh..." she moaned as I entered her and began to move faster.

Her eyes began to widen and she began to look as if she was going to say something and yet go breathless and speechless...We continued like this for close to two hours......Then, still kissing her, I rolled her over ,spread her legs and began to enter her from behind...

"Ohhhhh,what are you doing?, what are you doinnnnnnnnnnng to meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee???OH, OH.OUUUUUUUUUUUUUU.....ohhhhhhh...HELLO!...ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuu." she cooed as I began to dive deeper and deeper, harder and faster into her!

I stopped and finnally allowed her to get on top of me and ride me...Looking into her beautiful face and seeing that long hair was too much for me to take...I exploded!

"Ugggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...ohhhhh Connie...ohhhhhhhhhhhhh." I groaned...

"Ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee......" she said as she reached her climax too, minutes later..

We were both sweaty and spent......

"Ouuuu,Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.....I haven't felt like that in, well in about ten years.." she said.

"Since Herby Tucker huh?" I said.

"Herby Tucker didn't bring it like that Robby..Oh my God...I had an orgasm like I never had before." she said... She didn't see me secretly hive fiving the bed post.

"Robby, I sure wished you'd said something years ago.." she said as she laid down and went to sleep in my arms.

I woke up some hours later alone....Connie was gone, so was her overnight bag...
There was a letter on the kitchen table.

"Dear Robby, Thank you for a most amazing night...You were sleeping so soundly..I didn't want to wake you up...I'm going to call Chris and Chess about an apartment...Meanwhile I'm going to crash at a friend's spot for the time being..I've got to get my head together...See how I feel about Patrice...See how I feel about myself and what my next move will be....Thank you for everything..I can't tell you how great I feel..."
Love, Connie.

P.S.- Before you find another girlfriend....you've got to let me come back over and we do this again...Wow...is all I can say...

I smiled after reading that....I took a long hot shower, through on my bathrobe and sat in my living room listening to some Eric Dolphy on my ipod dock. I wondered if Gus would be laughing now if he knew about the night I'd just had.

(For Ellen)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fool For You


Another night in Josie's ...Reed Nelson and his band had the place jumpin...His saxophonist was doing his best imitation of Jr. Walker & the All Stars....The band went into a rendition of "Shotgun" and the old heads and youngins alike were up and dancing....Even Gus was dancing behind the bar.. I had to laugh...In my short time of coming in here, I had never seen Gus break a sweat, let alone dance...

"Now see there youngin..that there is music...That's why I love it when Reed Nelson and his band is playin...Nothin against you...You do good Rob...but Reed has this place jumpin." said Gus.

Me? I play the trumpet also...My name is Downtown Rob Brown....I'm off tonight! I looked around and I saw a woman I used to be quite intimate with....Delores...dancing with Nate The Snake...a Guitarist......In another corner...Ingrid Rhodes...another woman I was breifly associated with was talking quietly to Johnny Diamond, the pitcher for the Phillies....I had thought she was dating the shyster attorney, Robert Foxworth!! Hmmmmmmmmm! None of my business...In another corner of the crowded club...Cherry Johnson, a woman I had just met was enjoying a drink and talking to Chess of all people...I had heard that they used to be an item before Chess got married....I wondered what they were talking about.

The music ended and the sweaty crowd began drifting back to their booths and around the bar. A few seats down from me sat two women.....One I knew...the other I didn't...The one I knew was named Connie...She was a dead ringer for the model, Naomi Campbell...People told her that all of her life...She was beautiful...She was a few years older than me...She used to braid my hair
when I was younger.. I remember those hot summer nights with my head between her legs as she braided my hair...I thought I was in love with her...I told her all of my hopes and dreams, except that one!. I didn't know at the time that she was a lesbian...Nobody did.

The other woman was short, petite and curvaceous...She was pretty too...She had a short hair cut and some jeans that looked like they were painted on...A cute little white top and nice round
supple breasts to go with it...I kept looking at the both of them and saying to myself..What a waste!

"Patrice....how many times we gonna go through this....I told you he's a dog...why you going back to him?" said Connie.

"Connie...he's my husband.....I've been with you for four years , off and on...but I miss him..." she said.

"You've gone back to him twice and both times he's cheated on you...How many times are you gonna be a fool for him??...He only misses you because he done run outta hoochies." said Connie.

"No, it's different now...He's different..He's joined the church, cleaned himself up and everything.. He's even working now.. " said Patrice.

"So that's it? Huh...All we've meant to each other and you're just going to throw that away?" said
Connie who was now crying...

"Don't do that Connie..come on now...you knew that this was coming.."

"Yeah...I knew it...Four years of my life ,always wondering when you was gonna up and leave me...admit it...you wasn't really into this lifestyle..?" said Connie now a mixture of anger and hurt.

"No...I guess not...I was hurtin so bad...so bad...I thought I was through with men...and you came and you offered me something, a tenderness I hadn't had...and I'll always love you for that...but...but....I can't do this...not with you....this just aint me no more." said Patrice.

"Yeah...maybe it never was." said Connie as she hung her head down...

"I'm sorry Connie." said Patrice...

"I'll come by and get my stuff sometime next week." said Connie.

"Where you goin?, Where you gonna stay?" asked Patrice.

"Somewhere...what do you care?" said Connie, who was now visibly crying.....

Patrice got up, left twenty dollars on the counter and left the bar... I didn't want her to know that I had been listening all along, but at this point ,it didn't matter...I put my arms around her...I looked up...Gus was staring at me from a distance and shaking his head.

Connie looked up....she half smiled-

"Robby? Robby Brown is that you?" she said and hugged me..

"Hey lady." I said.

"I haven't seen you in years...I heard you was in New York." she said.

"Yeah...and out on the West Coast." I said.

''You home to stay??...This is your home." she said. She had heard that at one time I was telling people I was from Brooklyn.

"Yeah, I guess I am." I laughed..

"You got a girlfriend?" she asked.

"Not now....I lost three in one night." I laughed.

"Three in one night?"

"Long story."

"Well, I guess you heard.....Me and my girlfriend broke up...and this time it's for good...I'm not goin for tha okey doke anymore...I need a place to crash...just for the night....I promise, I'll be outta your hair tomorrow...I just need to get myself together, that's all." she said.

"It's no sweat....I'd appreciate the company...It's gets lonely up in that apartment....How am I gonna say no to you...you're like a big sister." I found myself saying.

''Awww Robby, you so sweet...gosh..if I was straight and a few years younger I would've..." she stopped herself...I didn't push the issue..but she was looking good and I had been drinking...I sure wished she was straight...I was wondering how I was going to exist with her in my apartment tonight...It had been awhile since I'd had a woman...I sure could use one...but I knew that it wasn't going to happen.

I tossed a twenty down on the bar and Connie and I walked out of the bar....Reed and the band was playing Jr. Walker's "Shake and Fingerpop"...The crowd was dancing again...blocking the exits...

"Come on Robby, dance with me!" she said....

We got out on the floor and began doing the jerk....Connie was a great dancer...a seductive one too...Lesbian or not...she looked good and half these people didn't know that...The men were losing their minds watching her dance, as was I... Gus was still staring at me..shaking his head and laughing.. I knew what he was thinking...but I wasn't thinking that...I was just helping a friend.

(To Be Continued....)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

All Fall Down!


"Hey Kevin....This is Kool Kat man....I just spotted your boy...Ray..He got a call and he just left the Mermaid Club."

"That's good...he's probably on his way here.." I said.

"Okay...I'll be there soon.." he said.

"Clerow and I got this." I said.

"Think again..this guy is heavy duty Kev...You gone need my help...sit tight..I'm on my way." said Kool Kat.

"Whatever man." I said as I hung up.

Clerow smiled and loaded his gun and slipped it in his pants...About a half hour after Kool Kat's phone call I saw a car pulling up.... I heard him getting out and heading for the door.. He was a big hulk of a man, not quite as big as Kool Kat, but with huge hands. He fooled around with the door,I made it easy for him...I had left the door open. Let's see how good this guy really was..

He came in cautiously with his gun drawn and saw me sitting in the living room. He was surprised, I could tell...He was light skinned with reddish brown hair..I still couldn't get over how huge his hands were.

"Hi ya Ray...Ray Griffen right? Pleased to meet you, I've heard loads about you." I said.

"Funny, I aint heard jackshit about you." he said and pointed his weapon at me..

Clerow came up behind him and grabbed his arm...He belted Clerow in the jaw and sent him flying backwards...I lunged at him and ran him into the wall..his gun fell to the floor and went sailing across the room, He spun me around and cracked me so hard I saw stars..then he tossed me across the room like I was a peice of yarn.. By then Clerow had gotten to his feet..Clerow cracked him in his face and then cracked him in his jaw..He cracked Clerow again...By this time ,I had gotten a chair and smashed it over his head...The chair cracked into three peices and he fell down, but he was only stunned...This guy was a mule!


Before I could catch my breath, he was up....This time I placed a swift kick to his groin, then spun and placed one to his solar plexus, he grunted and fell against the wall..I hit him in his jaw and then hit him in his stomach..He groaned, regrouped and was about to swing at me again, when the door flung open and I heard three loud shots ,fired from a .44 magnum and Ray Griffen fell to the floor, dead! I was actually relieved..I really didn't want him to hit me again...and I really didn't feel like tangling with him much longer.

I looked up, Clerow turned around and there was Kool Kat, holding a smoking gun.....

"Ah tole yall not to fool with him...Ah tole yall I was on my way now didn't I?" he said.

"Kool Kat...That was my killer....He was the only one who could put all of this together and now he's dead." I said...

"Man, he's just a mule..He kills on order...for pay..He wasn't gone tell you nothin..Hell he probably don't know nothin...Whoever hired him just tells him who to kill, they don't tell him specifics.." said Kool Kat...I couldn't argue with him...I knew he was right.

Just then , Roscoe, Fathead's Lieutenant and about three guys I had never seen before walked in behind Kool Kat. Roscoe took one look at the mess and burst into laughter...

"Mannnnn, Kevin....you alright with me...You got heart baby...you take on the biggest and the baddest...You'd of made a great gangster baby....Kool Kat told me who yall was tanglin wit and I figured all of yall might need some back up, so I called up my peeps. Looks like yall took care of it" he laughed.

These guys came with body bags, bleach and an asortment of other things I'd rather not know about...

"Look Kevin...this guy is or rather, was a contract killer,an outlaw...aint nobody gone miss him..We'll clean this mess up and it'll look like nobody was ever here...plus we'll get rid of his body for you." said Kool Kat.

Roscoe nodded in approval of what Kool Kat had just said. The three guys lifted the body up. put it in a body bag...Filled up buckets with water and bleach, pulled out mops and towells and went to work... As much as I didn't like any of this, I was too tired and sore to argue...

"You alright Clerow?" I said.

"Yeah man....You?" he asked me.

"Yeah...let's go home babe!" I said. I looked at Kool Kat and Roscoe and I just sighed...

"Good Lookin out brothers, I owe you." I said.

"Kev, you saved my life once...you don't owe me nothing."said Kool Kat.

Roscoe just patted me on the back- "Get some rest bruh....youse my main man." he said...laughing. A high compliment indeed, I suppose.

With Ray Griffen out of the picture....Things went bad for the three conspirators very quickly...
Indictments were filed for the arrests of Marlon Courtland and Bradly Rickers for conspiracy and drug and weapons smuggling and fraud...Marlon Courtland took his own life ,rather than go to jail and Rickers turned in states evidence and testified about everything...At least thirty nine more people were arrested. Rickers is in the witness protection program.

I gave the evidence I had to Hannah Cleveland and she quickly fired both Barbara and Brian Carter. There was not enough on those tapes to turn in to tie Brian Carter to the murder of Ptomley Jones...but with Jone's killer ,Ray Griffen dead....Ptomley Jones had been avenged. Barbara Carter has filed for divorce and Brian has left town. I heard he's living at his mother's place in Baltimore.

Hannah Cleveland was quite pleased with my work and she paid me $150 large... 50 more than originally agreed upon. After I paid my boys...Sepia and I still had a nice peice of change.

"Mr. Kevin...Just so you know....Those three were siphoning money out of my company for years...but I couldn't prove it...When I sold some of our stock, it was to make payroll and take care of our overhead....So that I wouldn't have to lay anybody off....I'm not really a mean person." she said as Sepia and I sat with her at an outside diner in Old City.

"Well that's good...So what happens now?" I asked.

"I've promoted Dora Mae Clark to Cheif of Staff and given her an office...She was my one loyal employee....I'm paying for her to go to college and finish with her degree..." said Hannah.

"That's wonderful" said Sepia.

"It's a shame that whoever killed Mr. Jones got away with it..The police still have no leads." said
Hannah.

"Oh they didn't get away with anything." I said.

"What?" she asked.

"Nothing" I said as the three of us sat and enjoyed a beautiful late summer afternoon in Philly.


(For Rosalyn and Arlene)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Where's That Girl?


Kool Kat and I showed up at Dora Mae Clark's door... She was wearing some shorts and a tank top!


"Mr. Sullivan? How did you know where I live? What are you doing here?" she exclaimed.


"Listen Dora Mae...I don't have time to explain...but first off, my name is not Sullivan..My name is Kevin Morris and I'm a Private Investigator...I was hired by Hannah Cleveland to find out what was going on in the office." I said.


I showed her my drivers licensce and my P.I. licensce.


"Oh wow" she said , her eyes growing wide now! " This is deep!....That's why you was asking me all of them questions the other day...." she exclaimed.


"Look...I really don't have time to talk...a contract has been put out on you...You're in a lot of danger..We come to get you out of here for a little while." I said.


"Wh-What? a contract? On me?? What for??" she said.


"Pack a bag or two...We are going to take you where you'll be safe.." I said.


She looked at Kool Kat, all huge and imposing and packing a nine milimeter on a shoulder holster and I guess she knew that we meant business...She immediately packed two over night bags and

put them in the trunk of his car. We drove her across the bridge to the New Jersey complex where Robert Foxworth's girlfriend, Bonita lived. Bonita agreed to watch her for a few days.


"Look Dora Mae...be very careful who you call and do not tell anybody, I mean anybody where you are....The man after you is a professional and very efficient...You see what he did to Mr. Jones." I said.


"But, But how do you know all of this?" she asked as we dropped her off at Bonita's place.


"It's my business to know....Now don't do anything or even attempt to come back to Philly until you hear from me." I said and we promptly left.


A few days later with Peeping Tom and Locksmith Johnson we intercepted another phone call from Courtland to Brian Carter!


"Where is that girl man? your guy went to her spot and there was no sign of her?" he snapped.


"She called out sick..hasn't been to work. She'll show up sooner or later." said Brian Carter.


"I need her gone...What if she's gone to the police?" he snapped.


"With what? She don't know nothing man...I'm telling you....She don't know about that anyway. You need to simmer down.." said Brian.


"You simmer down, I got a million dollar shipment coming in tonight and I don't want no crap." said Courtland.


"Where's this one coming?" asked Brian..


"Peir 8....I change em up everytime since that Jones charactor snapped those photos." said Courtland.


"Then you got nothing to worry about? " said Brian.


"He stole the phony manning documents....My name is all over them and my handwriting..anybody gets that to the cops...I'm done." snapped Courtland.


"I'm telling you..She don't know about none of that..If she did...the way she run her mouth..you'd already be behind bars." laughed Brian...


"Just tell Ray to take care of the girl and make sure she disapears this time." snapped Courtland.


"Will do..." said Brian.


"So we know our hitter is named Ray" I said.


"I'll do you one better Kevin....His name is Ray Griffin, a talented guy...a sicko, very violent...He hangs out at Joe Neptune's joint...The Mermaid Club." said Lockpick Johnson.


"Really? Joe has got to get a better class of clientel." I said.


I made a phone call to FBI Special Agent in Charge, Frank Cotton and met with him at Penns Landing two hours later. I played the recordings we had, showed him the photos and the phony manning documents and it got him interested... That night, Peeping Tom, Locksmith Johnson, Sean Jackson, Clerow and I sat in an unmarked van and snapped photos of the comings and goings at Peir 8....Then we saw it...A Huge ship, unloading boxes and boxes of what looked like medical equipment...and a truck passing huge boxes to the people on the ships...A white man who I did not know was running the entire operation.....


Within minutes, about 30 FBI agents, 25 U.S. Customs Agents and Philadelphia Police had all of them in handcuffs.....What they found was boxes of illegal drugs...drugs from Eastern Europe, the kind used for everything from illegal abortions to murder being traded for weapons.....

The ship was seized and close to sixty five people were arrested.


"Thanks for the tip Kevin...How did you find out about this? Just what are you into?" asked Agent Frank Cotton.


"Nothin I thought would lead to this." I said...


"This was a million dollar operation here.....and someone was using phony documents from a Health maintenance organization based here to bring this stuff in, like it was legitimate pharmecuticals....and trading it for these equally illegal weapons...incredible...What a score..This may be the biggest bust of my career." he said as he patted me on the back!


I walked back to the van...Peeping Tom, Locksmith Johnson, Clerow and Sean Jackson looked at me..


''What now boss?" said Clerow...


"Now for part two of my plan...I'll bet right now the phones are buzzing." I laughed.


And they were-


"HELLO, WHO IS CALLING ME THIS TIME OF NIGHT?" screamed Brian Carter.


"Lower your voice you jackass...I told you that girl knew something." screamed Marlon Courtland...


"What you talkin about?" said Brian.


"The Feds just busted the whole operation..Arrested everybody...That babe went to the feds."

screamed Courtland.


"Aww you crazy....She didn't know about this..she aint been to work all week...You said you changed it up....The only ones who knew about this new location was me and you right?" said Brian.


"One other person...my contact on the Board of Directors...Brad Rickers.." said Courtland.


"You think he went to the Feds?" asked Brian...


"No..No..No..It had to be that girl...Have him go back to her place and stay there..She has to come back home sooner or later." screamed Courtland.


"Okay..I'll call him now." said Brian.


(Click!)


I laughed....


"Okay....When this guy gets to Dora Mae's house....Somebody will be there, but not who he expects." I laughed.


(Conclusion Next)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Eating Alone


I sat in "Bottom of the C" , a seafood joint on the other side of town that my good friend, Trumpet player, Reed Nelson had raved about and enjoyed a good meal prepared by resident chef and lothario, Ralph Scallion...I waited and checked my watch...She finnally appeared ...late but still , she had appeared...I had thought that Administrative Assistant Dora Mae Clark was going to blow me off at first when I asked her to meet me here.

My alias , while working at Wellness was that of "Frank Sullivan"..No one there knew my real name or that I was actually hired by Hannah Cleveland to be a spy. I was taking a chance asking Dora Mae out to lunch..and on a Saturday. Dora Mae was about 29 ,maybe 30....Had a very voluptuous body that she was quite proud of....Wore her hair perfectly braided and had big horn rimmed school teachers glasses...She knew everything about everybody at the job...and was known to talk about it to whoever asked... She was Barbara Carter's Administrative Assistant.

"I'm sorry I'm late Mistah Sullivan..." she said as she hurried in and sat down....She was wearing a nice conservative Navy Blue Business suit and sandles...she smelled very nice and her honey brown skinned seemed to glisten....As cute as a button, I was pretty sure she was breaking some young man's heart somewhere.

"So what is this about Mistah Sullivan?" she asked.

"Nothing, Nothing, just a social lunch between two collegues is all." I said non-chalantly....

"It's never just a social lunch Mr. Sullivan...You either want to know somethin or you tryin to get somethin.......I want you to know that I seen your weddin band...and I don't do married men...So if you got any ideas like that...I'm lettin you know before anything jumps off." she said.

"Ohh no...no....It's nothing like that." I said.

''I didn't figure you for the type...I see how Barbara, uh Mrs. Carter openly flirts with you and how you always laugh it off and never take her up on it...and I figured you wasn't that type of dude." she said.

We ordered our food and we ordered drinks....I eyed her breasts, which seemed to be losing the battle with her bra...then I stared at my drink and took my mind off of them...

"I guess you see all kinds of things at the job don't you Dora Mae?" I said.

"Yeah...What kind of things you talkin bout?" she asked.

"Well for instance...The Carters...Barbara Carter is a partner...one of the co-founders of Wellness,You've worked for her for awhile I suppose.....With her husband right there, Why is she boldly so flirtatious?" I asked. I didn't really care..but I had to lead her into what I really wanted to know.

"She's as horny as a cat....You aint the first man she has flirted with....There was another man who used to work here , before you came.....I read in the papers yesterday that they found him murdered up near the airport....Anyway...I never knew exactly what his position was...but he used to ask a lot of questions and he was always snooping around...Mrs. Carter used to flirt with him and he used to flirt back....One day I was coming from lunch and her office door was closed
and her blinds was closed....I heard them..They was in her office doin the nasty." she said.

"You're kidding?" I said.

"I kid you not...He was tearing that up.." she said.

"Where was her husband?" I asked.

"Oh he was as big a dog as there ever was...He slept with practically all of his administrative assistants...and was always rubbin my legs and pinching my butt and trying to get me to go out with him....Hmmmmph...and I work for his wife too? Not a chance...okayyyyyyyy?" she said.

"I heard that this guy just up and vanished...." I said.

"Yeah... he was askin a lot of questions about Mr. Courtland...and the last time I saw him, he told me that he found something out about Mr. Courtland that was bigger and deeper than what he had ever imagined." she said.

"Oh Really? What was that?" I asked.

"I don't know...I never saw him again. He and I were very friendly...He used to ask me a lot of stuff.....I told him that Barbara and Mr. Carter and Mr. Courtland used to meet with one of the board of directors every week and they used to talk badly about Miz Cleveland..." she said.

"Really?" I said.

"Oh yeah....they said that she was mismanaging the money and that she was "eating alone" I don't know what that meant." she said.

I did...On the street, If say a gangster like Fathead Newton was raking in big profits and not cutting his Lieutenants, the ones that helped him make the money in....he would be said to be "eating alone", not sharing the wealth.

Our little lunch had yeilded a lot.... After we ate...I paid for the entire meal and walked her to her car.

''Wow Mr. Sullivan...you were the perfect gentleman....you didn't even try to take a peek at my boobs." she laughed. "You're alright with me....Anything you want to know..you just feel free to ask." she said as she drove off.

I went home and pored through all of the information I had gleaned so far.....It seemed that Hannah Cleveland had been selling off Wellness stock and pocketing or doing something with the cash for close to a year...They knew it, they had records of her doing it...They could have turned this information in a long time ago...So why were they sitting on this? Answer....Jones found out something...Something about Courtland that he had to absolutely make sure was not in Hannah's
possession or else, He and the Carters could be in a world of trouble.

I called Clerow and we went back to Ptomely Jone's neighborhood... Gus told me that there was always somebody somewhere who knew something and was willing to talk about it...He was right. Clerow and I talked to several neighbors who said that they had heard quite a ruckus in the house the day before Mr. Jones went missing... One person said that early in the morning he saw Jones leaving with a tall thin White man and a Big hulk of a Black man and get into a car.

I showed them a photo of Courtland and of Brian Carter....All three neighbors identified Courtland as the white man they saw....but Brian Carter draw a zero...He was not the other man.
While Clerow and I were driving home, I got a call from Peeping Tom...We turned and drove over to his house.

"The phones are lighting up my friend....Marlon Courtland has been calling Brian Carter furiously all day...just listen to this." said Peeping Tom.

"Hello, what's up?" said Brian Carter.

"I thought you said that man you hired was efficient and neat?" snapped Courtland.

"He is, he's the best money can buy." exclaimed Brian Carter.

"Bull...They found the body...They found Jones." he said.

"So...He's been gone so long, they won't find anything on him." said Brian Carter.

''We've got to find those photos ...does your wife remember anything else he told her?" asked Courtland.

"Just that the photos and other documents were in a safe deposit box....but where , he never said." said Brian.

"Well, you're going to have to call your man again...I've got another job for him." said Courtland.

"Yeah, what?" said Brian Carter.

"That Administrative Assistant..Dora Mae Clark...She talks too much and to everybody....She's got to go...I want this contained." he said coldly.

"Marlon..Marlon...calm down...she's just a kid...a dumb talkative girl...she don't know nothin...nothin that can hurt us." pleaded Brian.

"Nothing that can hurt you...I'm on the limb here....This gets out....We could all wind up in jail."
said Courtland...

"It aint gonna get out...We keep what we know about Hannah to ourselves and only use it as a trump card if she tries to remove us..." said Brian.

"That girl knows too much and says too much, she's got to go." said Courtland.

"What about Hannah?" said Brian.

''If she disapears now it'll look suspicious...so we wait...I don't know what she knows or doesn't.."
said Marlon Courtland.

"Okay, I'll call him." said Brian


This was deep...Just what was the big secret they were hiding? That was worth killing for?

"Well Kevin, what are you going to do?" asked Peeping Tom.

"I've got to get that girl out of harms way first and then...I have to find out the location of that safe deposit box and what is in it." I said. A tall order.

I asked around about the Safe deposit box....but none of his neighbors or associates seemed to know if he had one or not. Clerow and I tossed his house from top to bottom and we drew blanks.We found nothing.

I questioned Hannah Cleveland and finnally , I got the answer I was looking for. She knew of his Safe Deposit box and whats more..She had a key! I don't know why I didn't go to her in the first place.

Clerow and I found the safe deposit box and opened it up...Inside were photos..Photos of a ship and white people we didn't know with boxes and crates...I knew where this peir was. Clerow and I drove there and we sat...We sat for hours, but nothing and no one showed up! There were also some papers..Manning documents! I decided to pay Hannah Cleveland another visit.

"I haven't the foggiest idea what these photos are...This ship means nothing to me and I don't know anybody in those photos." said Hannah.

''What about these documents?" I asked.

"They are from my company authorizing whatever is in those crates....I recognize Marlon Courtland's signature....but that's not my signature...I never signed for nor authorized these shipments." said Hannah Cleveland.

This is what Ptomley Jones had found out and this is what his killer or killers were looking for in his house...This is why he was killed..to keep this information from ever getting to Hannah.....This mess had really gotten deep and now I was preparing to stir the pot a little and turn the heat up!


(To Be Continued....)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Smelling A Rat!


I was "hired "as the interim Director of Finance and Administration and given a fancy office..Much to the consternation of Mr. Marvin Courtland....The Attorney, who I felt was the ringleader of this conspiracy. He was less than friendly to me and asked me a lot of questions about my background. I mostly ignored him and tried to stay out of his way.

Barbara Carter, a Partner was the exact opposite...Despite my wedding band and hers, she openly flirted with me....She would slip her short and tight dresses up when I was walking by so that I would get a full view of her shapely legs and sometimes I swear she would open her blouse a little too much so that I could get a good look at her voluptuous breasts and her many colored laced bras. I tried to keep it professional.

Her Husband, Brian Carter was another snake....He rarely smiled in my presence and gave me the impression he was looking for a reason to cut my throat....I was very careful around him.

I studied their movemants and their comings and goings carefully...When no one was around , I walked around and got the whole lay of the office.... I got the location of the alarm system and any anti bugging devices around...I also got the location of the security cameras and the security room. I managed to get all three of the phone numbers of these three slimy individuals and pass that information on to Lockpick Johnson and Peeping Tom.

Clerow paid off the Security Guard and The Receptionist and around midnight...Two days after I had been working at Wellness... Lockpick Johnson and Peeping Tom got inside, beat their security system and wired all three of their offices for sound and video... With the phone information I gave him..Peeping Tom was able to clone their phones and thus tap their provider's lines so that any call these three made...We would have a copy of....

Another night , I had Clerow and Sean Jackson following the Carters and my wife, Sepia shadowing Courtland, with the Help of Robert Foxworth and Bonita....While they did that , Lockpick, Peeping Tom, Sean Jackson and myself went through all of the files in all three offices and using a micro-camera, photographed all of them.

Peeping Tom bought in one of his former CIA operatives, who like himself was now retired..He was good at cracking passwords and getting into computers....He got into Courtland's and the Carters computers and copied all of their files and forwarded them to my home computer..Not bad for two weeks worth of work..

During the day, I walked around that office whistling, flirting and laughing without these three aware of anything. My great survielance revealed that the three had been stealing financial records and e-mailing them to certain board members...It revealed that Mrs. Cleveland hadn't been above board with what she had been doing with the company's stock portfolios and it also revealed that these three were working with someone very high on the board who's identity was unknown and indeed planning a hostile takeover!

The phone conversations we gleaned told us nothing....They were too slick to say anything on the company phones and none of them talked business on their personal phones..At least not yet..but I did have proof that they were passing confidential information to somebody...This was enough to conclude that a conspiracy was afoot.

On a humbug, Clerow ,Sean and I drove to the home of Ptomely Jones...The first investigator on this. I called Lockpick Johnson...who got us inside his home... It was a mess...Somebody had turned his house upside down...Looking for something....His bed was upside down, the sheets on the floor, the matress cut....His drawers were open and emptied... and his personal effects were all over the floor.
''What a mess...somebody was certainly trying to find something in here." said Sean Jackson.
"Ya Think?" laughed Clerow sarcastically. Sean had a habit of always stating the obvious. I smiled ruefully at the two of them as I continued to rummage through the house.

The sink was full of dishes and from the looks and smell of the place...Nobody had been in this house for about a month! It looked fishy.

"Why are we here Kev?" asked Lockpick Johnson.

"He was the first investigator on this case......Somebody found out about him and he's gone missing.. Somebody tossed this house...Which means they were looking for something." I said.

"Ya think they found it?" asked Locksmith.

"Nah...If they did....I wouldn't be involved in this." I said.

We all called it a night and we left. The night was still young, so we all went to Mabels Soul Food joint and had some short ribs, greens, sweet potatoes and sweet tea... I paid for everyone's meals. Gotta give em incentive to keep working with me!

I continued to "work" at Wellness and was never seen doing anything out of the ordinary. I didn't have to....I was getting all of the raw data I needed from other sources already set in place.
I don't know what Ptomely Jones had found or what the person or persons that tossed his home was looking for...but the mystery of what happened to him was soon no longer a mystery. Early one morning, about a week after Lockpick,Clerow ,Sean and I had been in his house, the body of a tall, well dressed black man was discovered in a feild near the Airport...He had been killed by about eight or nine blows to his head...probably with a clawhammer...a rope had been tied around his neck so tight that it had crushed his adams apple and he had been discarded in this field...His body was badly decomposed....It had been there for about a month!!! He was discovered by some trash men who had been working in the area...The smell had led them to the body. It was Ptomely Jones!

He was identified by his dental records...The badly beaten body now shed a new light on this case...He had found out something, somebody was willing to kill to keep a secret..This was more than just about some mishandled funds ,more than just about a hostile business takeover....It was time for me to go deeper.

(To Be Continued....)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hard Hearted Hannah


Sepia and I sat in the plush bistro in Center City Philadelphia...It had been a long time since we had both been dressed up and eating at a place this plush...The food was incredible. It was courtesy of my latest ,uh client ..if you will...Hannah Cleveland...A beautiful, attractive , yet no nonsense Black woman in her mid forties... She was the head and founder of a very sucessful Health Maintenance Organization called Wellness Partners Inc. Her office was in the same building at Penns Landing where my friends, Chess and Chris Thompson had their company, C& C brothers Inc. Since they were in the same building, she no doubt was the one who contacted them.


Ms. Cleveland was college educated....Had a Bachelors from Fisk and a Masters from Columbia and another Masters from Brown....but make no mistake....for all of those letters, she was still a West Philly girl at heart...and she probably took one look at both Chris and Chess and despite their legitimacy....knew just who they were or used to be...That's why when she discovered she had a problem.. she came to them asking if they knew someone who could "help her out on the low." That's where I came in...They reffered her to me... They told her that by day..I wrote articles for a music magazine , but by night and other days....I'm a Private Investigator! She called me..She told me that money was no object and then she invited my wife and I out for a delicious dinner on the town.


"Mrs. Morris, How is the food?" she asked.


"It is incredible Ms. Cleveland...You don't have to be so formal...you can call me Sepia, everyone else does." said my wife.


"But that's not your given name is it Mrs. Morris?" asked Hannah Cleveland.


"No...it's Jo Anne...but few people ever call me that." she said.


"Ahhhh..and your mother is in prison for orchstrating a string of murders , murders your husband ultimately solved, which led to her imprisonment. Amazing that you and he wound up not only co-habitating , but getting married....Amazing." she said.


"Wow....I see you did your homework on me." I said, smiling lightly.


"Yes..I have a private investigator on call..His name is Ptomely..Ptomely Jones. As you can see, he was quite good." she said.


"So you knew my whole story huh?" I said.


"Not only you...I knew Chris Thompson, His partner Chess and your entire operation...The ex CIA operative, The ex-con, Your photographer buddy and the guy from New Orleans who also rents out houses that occassionally helps you and the wide variety of thugs you use to help you."She said with a superior attitude. "I have to know who I'm working with."


"Very good....Now I have a question...Two questions really....This Ptomely sounds good...Why aren't you using his services to get to the bottom of this? And just what is it that you need me for?" I asked.


"So glad you asked. I'll answer your second question first Mr. Morris." she said.


"You can call me Kevin." I said.


"I prefer to keep this professional." she said.


"Okay...it's your money." I said.



Sepia winced...I could tell by her body language that she already didn't like this woman...I was actually impressed with how thorough she was.


"As you know, I founded Wellness Partners Inc. , a Health Maintenance Organization.....I believe, I know that three of my partners are plotting a hostile takeover of my company...I need you to get inside and find out what they are planning to do, how they plan to do it and to get me proof." she said.


"Okay, once I do this , then what?" I asked.


"Then, I'm going to fire the three of them." she said without a hint of a care...


"Why can't you fire them now if you think they are plotting against you?" I said.


"Haven't got a shred of proof other than heresay....It would get messy and there could be lawsuits. I don't want lawsuits" she said.


"I see....." I said.


"To answer your first question.....I did use my Private Investigator, Ptomely Jones to investigate this, as soon as I got wind that there was a plot against me...Which I got from the talkative administrative assistant, Dora Mae Perkins who works for one of my traitorous partners...He was on the case....He found out that the three of them...Barbara and her husband,Brian Carter and a third, Marlon Courtland, a white lawyer, who was once my lover were saying things to the Board of Directors about me and my handling of the business behind my back that was less than complimentory...and then ...then, he vanished...Without a trace! He hasn't been seen or heard from for close to a month! He was very close to telling me just what was afoot" she said.


"Well, did you call the police?" I asked...
"Police? For what? This is office intrigue...No crime has been committed." she said.
"No..About Mr. Jone's disapearence?" I said.


" Oh that! I did...and they didn't find a trace of him...He's still missing...but he's not important...I need you to pick up where he left off.....I can hire you and place you in a position where you're in direct contact with the three of those devils...I need to know everything they say, do, write or e-mail to anyone..." she said.


"Okay, this seems routine enough...but aren't you worried that these three might be behind Mr. Jones's disapearence?" I said.


"They could be. If you want to investigate that, you do that on your own dime...I just care about what they are trying to do to me." she said.


"Okay.." I said. She was a real peice of work , I could see...I wondered if I was on the wrong side in this thing.


The check came and she pulled out her Platinum Mastercard....


"You do realize, I'll have to deduct the cost of this meal from your salary?" she said with a smile.


"Yeah, I figured." I said.


"I'm kidding Mr. Kevin.....I'm not that cheap." she said with a laugh. Gee, that was good to know,I thought to myself. My wife was sitting across from me simmering..That North Jersey girl in her was close to coming out...I smiled ruefully to myself.


That night as we were driving home...Sepia looked at me and said-


''Kev...I don't think I like this woman."


"I figured you didn't...it was in your body language..but you'll like this money we are about to make.. 100 large baby.....When I get the goods on these people." I said.


"Maybe they're the good guys." said Sepia.


"And maybe it's none of my business what they are or not...I'm being paid to do a job." I said.


Sepia was silent the entire rest of the ride home....I had a feeling this wasn't going to be a normal case.




(To Be Continued....)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Must Be An Angel


You didn't believe that I was serious
you thought that I might be another player
so I never told you that I was a poet
I didn't want you to think that I was just another sooth sayer./

Deep inside of you
you must have known that I
had a heart of gold that needed you now.
I know this be true...
and not being shy....
I'll boldly state that I knew this somehow.../

Heaven must have sent you
Heaven must have sent you from above
somebody must have known..
known that two people needed love..
Must be an Angel-
Must be an angel sleeping beside me../

Morning After Morning
it's just so hard to believe
that I wake up in bed beside you
so good for you..
so good for me..
and if it's really good for us both..
it's so nice to know that it's true..../

Deep ,Deep inside my heart,
I know that nothing will and nothing can
tear us apart...
no stress ,strain or strife..
and when I stare into your eyes..
I know I've witnessed magic...
I've witnessed magic in my life.../

Heaven must have sent you
Heaven must have sent you from above
somebody must have known..
known that two people needed love..
Must be an Angel-
Must be an angel sleeping beside me../

Must be an Angel
Must be an angel sleeping beside me
must be an angel that set this heart free
must be an Angel../


(For Rosalyn)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

At The Bottom Of The 24th Street Bridge


Another night in Josies... Even though Reed Nelson and the gang were back in town....They had opted to take a few weeks off and just chill with their girls and their families....Reed gave his bookings at Josies , Ciros and Mulberry Street to me....Downtown Rob Brown...Like Reed, I play the trumpet too. I suppose Reed felt sorry for me....I had had my troubles...I had a good woman, His girlfriend's younger sister, Delores...but I got a big head and started fooling with a hot young singer named Ingrid Rhodes and another sexy broad named Cherry Johnson...I did somethin real stupid...Bought two of them the same dress....a dress they chose to wear in here on the same night! Go figure...

Anyway, I lost all three women...just like that ! In one night... I've been kind of lost lately...I've been playing these dates...making dollars and blowing a good amount of my dough drinkin and gamblin....a new addiction...I 'm still payin my rent and my car note and my utilities..but just barely....I owe a great deal of money to a Gambler named "Sunny Side Up" Simpson...a high roller...I lost a big crap game at Chess and Chris's joint....Chris didn't want to let me play...but Chess said it was okay if I kept the stakes low...I didn't listen.....Chris put me out.....but I still owe
"Sunny Side Up " Simpson about 8 large.... I got some of it.....It may take me some time....like a few more gigs to raise the rest of it.

Anyway, I had just finished my set and was sitting at the bar , when Gus pointed at a guy coming
towards me.

"Now look Robby, I don't want no trouble in here, ya hear....I heard that you into "Sunny Side Up" for eight grand and you sittin here drinkin..." said Gus.

"It's okay Gus...I got it covered." I said.

"Yeah...well cover it and take trouble outside, you hear?" said Gus.

"Aint gon be no trouble." I said.

Trouble was the gentleman that was walking towards me. Eval Crow....as deadly as they come, a collector for "Sunny Side Up "Simpson. Crow was said to have at one time been a big time ,high priced hit man.....I believed it....but I was so drunk , I was too stupid to run or try to move away.

I sat there....He walked over to the guy who was sitting next to me.

"You sittin here?" he said.

The guy looked at him like he was crazy...

"Don't you see me sittin here?" He asked.

"Get up...I'm sittin here now." Said Eval.

"What? Is you drawn or somethin ?" said the guy....

Eval pulled out a pistol...He kept it below the bar so that Gus couldn't see it, but I saw it.

"Now I'm going to ask you again....get up." said Eval.

"Heyyyy, sayyyyy, now that you put it that way...I'm up...I'm up man...take it easy.." said the guy as he got up and walked away. Eval sat down next to me... I didn't say a word... I passed him an envelope.

He counted the money and then laughed and said...

"This is light....four thousand dollars light kid." he said.

"What? Four thousand....There's five grand in that envelope....I'm workin man...I'll have the rest next week..." I said.

"You gon have seven grand next week huh?" he said.

"Seven grand? What? I got five grand in that envelope." I said.

"No you don't..just one grand....this four grand is my little taste....you feel me?" he said.

"You theivin bastard...you stealin from your boss." I said, now completely sober.....

Eval punched me in my mouth! He hit me so hard that I fell off the stool and banged my head against one of the chairs...Then he kicked me in my privates.....I felt a pain like I had never felt before... I heard the clack up of a shotgun...and I saw Gus...with his riot pump shotgun aimed at Eval's head...

"Alright tough guy....get up ,put your dough on the counter and take your ass out of here." he said.

Eval laughed....

"Gus...one of these days, you gonna get yours, ya hear." he laughed.

"I guess we all is...but you keep yappin and you gonna get yours right now....Hit the bricks Eval."
said Gus..

Eval laughed and got up and walked out...

I got up....Honey Brown got a cold towell and administered it to my head, which was bleeding a bit. I was more worried about my lips , which were a little swollen...I had the day off tomorrow,
hopefully the swelling would go down.

"A word to the wise kid....You go to bed with dogs...You wake up with flees...Stay away from guys like that...they are no good for ya." said Gus. I didn't say anything.

That night after closing I walked out...put my trumpet in my car and was getting ready to go when I heard the click of a gun....I turned around....It was Eval. I looked at him and said-

"Look man, you got my money okay.....I aint gon deal with you...I'm gon take my money straight
to -"

"You aint gonna do nothin.....This is five large...that's good enough...I'm just going to say that you welched and I had to uh make an example out of you." he said with that icy laugh of his....

"What? You gonna slump me? Over that little bit of dough?" I said.

"Hey ,what can I say?...We are in a recession....a man gotta get what he can get." laughed Eval.

"Get in my car." he said as he motioned his gun towards the car door.

I did what he said.... Needless to say, I was scared to death....As we drove....I was thinking all kinds of thoughts....Like ,what did I do to deserve this? I'm on the verge of greatness in the music world...I don't want to go out like this....What would my funeral be like? Would Reed or Symphony Sam play at it? Would Ingrid come?? Would Delores?

We drove to the 24th Street bridge in West Philly...He motioned for me to get out and to walk down the steps that led to the waterfront.....It was well after 2:00 in the morning....There was no one around, even though it was well lit. During the daytime, you'd find well to do white students
from Penn and Drexel, Skateboarding, tanning in the sun, jogging, riding bikes and making out all
along the riverbank....but tonight...not a soul...not even somebody walking their dog.

"You're going to shoot me here?" I asked...

"Shaddup...." said Eval...

I had to think fast....It was dark.....I walked a little ahead of him...

"Slow down kid...I aint going much further." he said....

I ducked into the darkness, grabbed a handful of dirt and through it into his face....temporailily blinding him!

"Argggghhhhhhh." he said as he grabbed his face....

I kicked him as hard as I could in his privates...then took my elbow and smashed him at the base of his nose, hoping I fractured it...blood went flying everywhere..I grabbed his arm and smashed his wrist against the wall until he dropped the gun and then I cracked him hard , knocking him to the ground and grabbing his gun.

"Arrrrggghhhhh, I'll kill ya...I'll kill ya..." he said.

I went inside his jacket pocket and took the envelope with my money in it. He scrambled to get up off of the ground...

"Kid, you don't know who you're messin with...I'll hunt you to the end of the earth and kill you."
he said..

Maybe I was drunk....Maybe I was just insanely angry....I found myself saying.

"No you won't."

He was enraged then and he lunged toward me.... I didn't even feel the gun going off...but I saw the big hole that it made in his chest....I heard the god forsaken roar he made.....

"I DON'T BELIEVE IT!!! I'VE BEEN SHOT!" he screamed and then fell to the ground as dead as could be...I dragged his body over to the riverfront and pushed him in and watched him sink to the bottom...He'd be found eventually...Nobody would miss him and the police would be glad that he was gone...He was the type who nobody would search too hard for his killer. I stood there and thanked God I had survived and then I just laughed and laughed and laughed.

*************************************

A few nights later I was in Josies ....I had just finished a set and was sitting at the bar having a drink when Gus walked over to me.

"You know you've got to be the luckiest guy on God's green Earth" he said.

"Why? What's up?" I asked.

"They found your boy,Eval Crow in the river this morning..." said Gus.

"Yeah?" I said feigning surprise.

"Well I know you aint all busted up about it.....Somebody beat him up bad...broke his nose and broke his hand and then shot him...Looks like a mob hit." said Gus.

"Wow...yeah,I guess that's what it was." I said.

"He'd been in the water so long...there is no DNA or anything like that...Oh and your boy "Sunny Side Up" Simpson? The one you owe all that dough to..They found him dead this morning in his apartment.....on the toilet...He had a massive heart attack.....Damn shame..He was a young guy,about the same age as me" said Gus. I looked at Gus and laughed then.

"Really?" I said, my eyes perking up.

"Yeah, So you're off the hook...the rest of your dough is yours...I hope you learned a lesson young fella." said Gus.

What Gus didn't know was that all of my dough was mine..I hadn't seen "Sunny Side Up" to pay him...so I still had all of the money I took off of Eval ,two nights before.

"Sure did...no more gamblin for me..." I said.

"Imagine that...The gambler you owe money to and his collector, both turnin up dead in the same week." said Gus...

Yeah, Imagine that?

(For SLC)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

By Any Other Name


"Ohhhhhhhhhhh, OHHHHHHHHH GODDDDDDED...OUUUUUUUU Roberttttttttttt,OHHHHHH BAbbyyyyyyyyyyy!"


"Awwwwww, come on now...ummmmmph, give it to me...ouuuuuuuuuuu..."


"Ohhhhhh darling, baby...ouuuuuuuu..."


''Keeeep it, right there...right thereee...ohhhhhhhhhh, I'm almost home baby...ohhhhh..."



"Ohhhh lover....ohhhhhhhhhhhh..."


"Ohhhh Ingrid....sock it to me baby...ohhhhhhhhh...."


"INGRID??? Who in the hell is Ingrid?"


"Oh...did I say Ingrid?? "


"Robert, get off of me..."


"Aww come on baby...you can't leave me like this...I was almost home..."


"Get off of me now."


I rolled off of Bonita...still rock hard and largely unfulfilled....I realized there was no need in trying to beg...The moment as they say was lost.....


"Look Bonita...we are just friends....We aren't a couple...remember we talked about this? We are loose...you know ,wild and free?? You know I see other people...don't you see other guys??Why are you getting like this?" I said ,trying one last ditch effort .


"Robert, put your clothes on and go home...I need to think." said Bonita.


"Think? About what? It's 3;30 in the mornin...You want me to drive across that bridge to Philly?" I said.


"I don't care what you do...call Ingrid..I'm sure she can pick you up." said Bonita non-chalantly.


"Well can I shower at least?" I said.


"Why? You want to be clean for Ingrid?" asked Bonita.


I said nothing, I got out of bed, put on my clothes, grabbed my car keys and went to my car. It was a long ride back to Philly...I turned on the radio...Teddy Pendergrass was singing -"The whole town's laughing at you...silly fool, how'd you lose...such a good thing..." I turned the radio off..I couldn't believe that I had made a mistake like that...Two marriages and several ladies in between and since and I had never called a woman by another woman's name....Until now.


I drove around town.....Josies was closed....I could have sure used a good dressing down from Gus, but by now he was home and I sure wasn't going to go by his house...A dressing down was one thing..a blast from his shotgun was another! I drove by the Courtland Apartments...Maybe my good friend,Deborah was up....She was a hot number...I had had my eyes on both her and her sister at one time...but the Trumpet player, Reed Nelson snatched her up....She lived in the first floor apartment...Once I walked by her window, I changed my mind about knocking on her door....Apparently, Reed Nelson was back from his tour.....


The bed was squeaking something furiously and I could hear Debbie screaming with passion...


"OHHHHHHHHHHHH, OHHHHHHH LAWDDDDD...OUUUUUUUUUU baby, do it...do..it.. do it to mama goooooooood..ouuuuuuuuuuu..."


"Ohhhhhh baby...whose is it?, whose is ittttttttt...ohhhhhhhhh..."


"It's yours daddy..ohhhh, it's all yours.....oh Ralph, give it to me, give it to meeeee...give it to mama..ohhhhhhh baby..."


"RALPH??, RALPH? Who the hell is RALPH?" said an angry Reed....


"I didn't say Ralph...I coughed...that's what you heard baby." said Debbie.


"You sure? I could have sworn you said Ralph." said Reed.


"As good as this lovin is you puttin on me...how could I think of another man? Now come on over here and give mama some more of that good lovin daddy..." said Debbie...


"Okay...I just thought you said another man's name." said Reed..


"Perish the thought lover, you're the only man for me....and I've been a good girl all these weeks waiting for you while you been on the road..Have you been a good boy?" cooed Debbie.


"I sure have.." said Reed...


"Good ,now come on over here and get your reward." she cooed.


"Well Alrighttttt." said Reed.


I just smiled and walked away...I got in my car and drove to my lonely and now empty apartment.. I put on Miles Davis, Kind of Blue and I plopped down on my couch...Ingrid Rhodes, the singer I had been seeing for awhile was on the road with her band...So no kind of action for me tonight...Debbie sure was smart...I can't believe that Reed Nelson let her get away with that lame excuse...but then again...yes I could..I mean , you had to look at Debbie...She coulda called out every name in the phone book at a time like that and I wouldn't have cared....But see, men, we are different...Women don't think like us.


I laid down and drifted off to sleep....I guess I had been asleep for an hour when my doorbell rang. It was about 5:30 in the morning...a Sunday morning at that...Who could it be? I opened the door...It was Bonita!


"What are you doing here?" I asked.


"I got to thinking about what you said...We aren't a couple, per se.....and even though I haven't as of yet dated anybody else but you in a long while, I have no right to act like that because you occassionally do....I mean you have been open with me." she said.


I stood there for a minute....I know she was perplexed...


"Aren't you going to let me in?" she said.


"Yeah, sure...come on in." I said. I went to plop down on the couch, but she pulled me to her and gave me a kiss..it was long and soft...


"I didn't drive all the way here to sit on the couch and listen to music ." she said.


Hello! The night or should I say early morning still had some promise after all!


"Oh Heather!" I said...


"Heather???" said Bonita...


"I'm joking...I'm joking." I said as we walked upstairs , towards my bedroom! My name is Robert Foxworth...and most of the time, I'm a pretty good Attorney.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I'll Be Workin On it


What have I got to do
to get some digits from you?
What?
You say you want a trip to Cancun?
You're not the bashful type are you?/

You tell me you have big thoughts
well baby that's mighty grand...
Are you actually saying that you can be bought?
Let me re-evaluate the game plan?/


Get back to me on that one babe
as for the Cancun thing..
I'll be workin on it..
If that's what it takes to get next to you..
and if that's not enough...
you can best believe that I'll try something new../

Why Not start a little slow
How about a nice dinner and a show
you know you have to crawl before you walk
How about I
bring a bottle of fine wine to your house
and we have a nice little talk?/

Let's exchange phone numbers
my,my is that a step up for me?
You're still talking about Cancun
that's a pretty big maybe..
but I'll be workin on that real soon../

Get back to me on that one babe
as for the Cancun thing..
I'll be workin on it..
If that's what it takes to get next to you..
and if that's not enough...
you can best believe that I'll try something new../

What's that? You say that you'll get back to me
on that one?
Well I'll be workin on it baby..
Because aint nothin wrong with a little fun in the sun..
And if that don't floor you..
I'll be workin on somethin new...
I'll be workin on it!