Read XXX Shamus Online

Authors: Red Hammond

Tags: #Crime

XXX Shamus

BOOK: XXX Shamus
2.73Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Praise for XXX SHAMUS:

 

“XXX Shamus is the most transgressive PI novel ever written. It’s also one of the best.” – Allan Guthrie

 

“There are a lot of people that think they like it tough and raw, a lot of hardboiled wannabes. Okay, you tough readers. You like it so raw? Time to put up or shut up, Stick your face into the pages of XXX SHAMUS. Turn away before the last page and I’ll kick your fucking teeth out. Take it. Take it all.” – Victor Gischler

A Broken River Books original

 

Broken River Books

103 Beal Street

Norman, OK 73069

 

Copyright © 2013 by Red Hammond

 

Cover art and design copyright © 2013 by Matthew Revert

www.matthewrevert.com

 

Interior design by J David Osborne

 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written consent of the publisher, except where permitted by law.

 

This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination. Where the names of actual celebrities or corporate entities appear, they are used for fictional purposes and do not constitute assertions of fact. Any resemblance to real events or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.

 

ISBN: 978-1-940885-04-9

 

Printed in the USA.

The girl came to Hopper’s office on a day God was punishing New Orleans for its sins again by raining down a tropical flood, the water nearly hot as the air—ninety-seven degrees. No air conditioning because the window unit fell out the week before and took the window with it. Hopper owed money to a kid who was cut by flying glass.

A couple of box fans blew full-strength, cycloning in the middle of the hardwood floor where the chairs were covered with mist blowing in through the broken window. The office was merely a meeting place. Hopper had been thinking of quitting after the last case nearly ended in tragedy. Find one college student who didn’t want to be found and everyone treats you like Jesus. Hopper felt more like Judas—that girl tried to commit suicide two weeks after he gave away her hiding place.

Lately, they’d all been missing girl cases, and Hopper had turned them all down. The only reason he was here today is because his new secretary, one he’d met six weeks ago on the last case, had begged. She knew a girl who knew this girl whose kid sister had gone missing. This new secretary was very persuasive.

He didn’t want to work at all because sooner or later he knew it would happen again. It always did. He wished he understood why. Some of the women said he gave off pheromones, something spicy. Others said it was his natural expression, this comfortable sadness that caused these women to want to comfort him, mother him, show him just how kind the world could be. Maybe so. All Hopper knew was that when women got near him, it was like flicking a switch on their lust. They lost control. They took control. It had started to make him nervous.

That was only half the problem. The rest was that he couldn’t say no. A junkie for pussy. A sweet, terrible rush.

Rain and sweat and the smell of a city that excited and repulsed the senses all at once filled the tiny French Quarter office, in a building still half-abandoned after the storm, and Hopper was relieved the girl finally showed up. She was twenty minutes late. He was soaked to the bone in a sports coat barely able to contain his weightlifter’s bulk. His thick glasses were spotted with raindrops, cutting and magnifying what he saw.

“Take a seat, please.”

She tried to wipe the moisture from the chair, then surrendered and sat down. Besides, she was already saturated, the tiny umbrella in her hand like a BB gun challenging a cannon. The girl had blonde straight hair pulled tightly back. Her shorts revealed muscled legs, an athlete. Her T-shirt outlined decent tits. Hopper concentrated on her eyes. It didn’t help.

Sweet and terrible.

He’d written her name on a damp legal pad:
Kristen Hannity
.

“Sorry about the wet, Miss Hannity,” Hopper said.

Kristen nodded. “I expected something more high-tech.”

“Yeah. I have a laptop at home. This place is just a formality.”

She raised her chin towards the window hole. “You could put some cardboard up.”

Hopper hadn’t thought of that, made a noise like he’d do it as soon as she left.

Kristen held her knees together but her feet wide. She twisted her fingers in her lap. “What do you need to know?”

“Let’s start with the last time anyone saw your sister.”

 

 

Yasmin Hannity was sixteen, five months pregnant, and had been missing for two weeks, not a peep from the cops about leads or clues. At first it looked like an abduction—abandoned car and no use of her mom’s borrowed credit card—but the cops began to see runaway signs and played everything a little cooler. After all, they guessed she’d show up in a hospital or abortion clinic soon enough. The family stapled missing fliers over band fliers on power poles, which were then covered by more band fliers, like bark on a tree expanding. Neighborhood Watch went into high gear organizing search parties. The organization took all their energies.

The parents hadn’t given up, but they were too busy bracing for the worst—and planning their foundation for runaway pregnant girls (called
Yasmin’s Heart Ministries
) —to pay much attention when their college senior daughter Kristen said she’d heard about a private detective who was good at finding lost girls.

The father of Yasmin’s baby was the frat boy friend of a guy Kristen used to date until she found out her little sister was knocked up. He had rich parents, powerful coffee execs, which might give him a motive to knock her off—a guiltless life thanks to hush money and promises of political favors from Frat Boy’s daddy.

Yasmin’s current boyfriend was a straight A high school student with a mullet who promised to help her through Lamaze classes. First thoughts had them both on a Vegas trip to elope, but the guy turned up to be out of town at a Young Republicans convention. Still, the cops were keeping an eye on him.

Other than that, where else would she go? She didn’t have movie star looks or ambitions. She wasn’t a hippie. She was simply a half-smart girl who, before the pregnancy, had wanted to attend community college, get a nursing degree, and marry a lawyer.

The last time anyone had seen her was on her way home from a doctor’s appointment. Yasmin waved to the receptionist on the way out, all cheery, and said, “If it’s a girl, I want to name her Florence, like the nurse.”

And the receptionist told her, “That’s the woman from the Brady Bunch, too.”

 

 

Hopper listened, then said, “You have a picture?”

Kristen rifled through her purse and pulled out a mini-Polaroid. The girl in the photo wasn’t pregnant. Her blonde hair was dishwater and her face was slim. She was cute, wide-eyed, had perfect teeth. A petite body, shown off in Christmas morning pajamas and flip-flops.

“That was this past Christmas.”

“No pictures of her showing?”

Kristen shrugged. “Mom was kind of embarrassed, didn’t want to
memorialize
it. So if they raise the baby as our brother or sister, the kid won’t run across proof later on.”

Hopper tried to imagine Yasmin in his head with the bubble stomach, the breasts, a little puffier all over. Hard to do. This one was a pixie. He brushed moisture off a legal pad and handed it to Kristen. “Print some names. I need to talk to everyone who might know something else or something you don’t.”

“I knew everything.”

Hopper grinned. “No, you didn’t.”

When she was done, the runny ink listed the baby’s daddy, the new boyfriend, two girls, and a guidance counselor. Hopper’s heart sank a little. He would need a few Red Bulls to get through the conversations without his usual problems.

“These girls,” he choked out. “How old are they?”

Kristen looked a little iffy. “Probably the same age. Sixteen.”

“They’re out of school for summer. I need home addresses. I need parental permission.”

She stood and leaned over, jotted upside down numbers next to names. Her T-shirt sagged. Her nipples were hard from the chill. Hopper watched. He could ogle women and not get slapped, something he didn’t understand. His stomach cramped a little, as it always did when he reached this point.

It was going to happen, without fail. He could smell it on her.

She didn’t sit down immediately, just met his eyes and bit her lower lip.

He cleared his throat. “My fee. I get two hundred a day plus expenses. I need the first and last days upfront.”

Kristen crossed her arms. “I can give you eighty.”

“That’s a start. I can kill that in a few hours, though.” He leaned back in his chair. “I’m not trying to rip you off. It’s expensive doing what we do.”

The girl began to sidestep left. At the edge of the desk, she said, “Isn’t there another way? I mean, I’ll be grateful if you can take the case and let me pay in installments. Her life could be in danger.”

Hopper’s nerves jangled. The cyclone whistled. He took his glasses off, rubbed his eyes. “Like I said, eighty is a start. We’ll have to make up for it later.”

By then she was standing at his knees. He was half-hard. She wasn’t his type. Plenty of times he’d been fine when they weren’t his type. In fact, when they were his type, he got even more nervous, sometimes had to throw up first.

All it takes is standing up and walking her to the door. Easy. So fucking easy. So why aren’t you standing up?

Kristen said, “If I can do something for you now, can we hold off on the eighty, even? My parents don’t even know I’m here.”

“Do what?”

When she opened her lips again, Hopper heard the shaky breath and hoped it wasn’t the bad kind of shaky. She dipped to her knees. “It’s all I have.”

“You don’t have to. Don’t even worry about it. I’m on the case.”

But Kristen’s hands were already massaging his thighs roughly, the touch of a girl who was better after a few beers with a guy who got his moves from music videos. Hopper wasn’t wearing a belt. The khakis were sweat and rain spotted. Kristen worked the button, the zipper, yanked them, Hopper having to lift his ass a little to help her out. No underwear. He never wore any. It got in the way.

His cock was free and growing and Kristen took hold too hard, pumped a couple of strokes, then lipped it. She ran her lips along the length, more saliva each time. It felt light to him. Hopper had never been the biggest blow job fan. He preferred the pussy—going down on it, fucking it from top or behind or bottom, seeing the legs and ass, seeing the eyes, not feeling helpless. He forgot about his preferences when Kristen finally eased him into her mouth and sucked hard. It wasn’t just the sliding, but the pressure and tightness of her mouth that sent him into moans that he knew didn’t come out masculine enough.

She was all hands and mouth, hair bobbing up and down in hip-hop rhythm, an occasional stop for breath when her gaze would float to meet his bewilderment. A small grin. He couldn’t take much more.

“Put your mouth back on it. I’m going to come.”

She did. More strokes, long and even to maximize the moment, and then Hopper yelled, “Shit!” and blew into her mouth, letting it all go go go.

Her mouth slid off, then her fingers. She turned her face and spit his come to the floor, lifted the shoulder of her T-shirt and wiped her lips.

Hopper was numb.

Kristen said, “Sorry about the floor. It’s a texture thing.”

“Don’t apologize. That’s good, it’s your thing and it’s good.”

She stood and waited as Hopper pulled his khakis up, zipped, and avoided slipping on his semen.

“As soon as I know anything,” he told her, touched the small of her back and led her towards the door.

Before they reached the entrance she embraced him tightly. He couldn’t bend down to meet her, so he held her head to his chest while she cried, a muffled chorus of “thank you”s vibrating against his skin.

She left. Hopper walked back his desk, beaten by the cyclone winds. He had pinned Yasmin’s photo to the desk with the note pad. He slid it out. Five months pregnant.
Who knows where she is and if she wants to be found.
After the last one, Cynthia, tried to kill herself, he spent a week barely awake, not eating, and when he came back into the world, his mind had frozen her away so that only dreams would thaw her. He didn’t get much sleep anymore.

The rain hadn’t let up. The list on his note pad was fading. He ripped the sheet off and folded it, stuck it in his pocket.

His secretary, Divinity, walked in behind him. She was a student at UNO, a Korean-American with a small hard body and a short mess of black hair that intensified her beauty. He met her while looking for the missing girl named Cynthia, her friend. Divinity loved thin sundresses. She took Hopper to a
Rocky Horror Picture Show
screening where he discovered Cynthia hiding in plain sight, told her parents where she was, and thought his job was done. Technically it was. Then the suicide attempt—razors, always razors with these girls. Hopper gave up on hearing that. He wanted to shut the business down and find another way to spend his days.

After that, Hopper and Divinity would call each other at weird times of the day and have spontaneous sex in awkward places, sometimes public. He thought they were soulmates even though Divinity, especially, was single at heart and all about the variety. He hired her as a secretary because she didn’t mind the infrequent and cheap pay. She also organized his daily life a little better than he could. Plus the added bonus of fucking in the front reception area while waiting for clients to show up.

“She was crying. You must have done something,” Divinity said.

Hopper shrugged. “I took her case. I have work to do.”

“Can I have some of the retainer? Need a textbook.”

His head turned to the spot on the floor by his desk where Kristen had spit.

Divinity looked down. “Okay, I’ll get the mop.”

 

BOOK: XXX Shamus
2.73Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

The Delta by Tony Park
Muse (Descended From Myth) by McFadden, Erin
Dangerous Neighbors by Beth Kephart
Breathe into Me by Fawkes, Sara
A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
What Happens in London by Julia Quinn
Grave Destinations by Lori Sjoberg
Voices of the Sea by Bethany Masone Harar