The Big Daddy
Thirty years on the force and another ten being a gumshoe, that don’t make you wet around the ears. Yeah, I thought I’d seen it all until she walked in the door. I was leaning back in my chair with my feet on the desk thinking about starting retirement next week and catching barracuda off the Florida Keys when I hear this soft tap tap on the glass of my office door. I yell “it’s open” and in she walks. A few years younger and she’d have been jail-bait with me squirming like a dumb sap on the hook. She looked like a million dollars, if you like your dough stuffed into slinky female curves. Short black dress, black sheer stockings, black high heel pumps, lacey white shirt, partially unbuttoned. Lashes that could have swatted away flies and pouting lips that must have needed a special order at a lipstick factory to cover with the bright red shade she had on. “Mister St.Claire?” She asked politely in those sweet tones only a dame who knows you’re already putty in her hands can pull off. I replied, “Yeah, you got the right place. Take a seat.” She delicately put that tight behind in the wooden chair on the other side of my desk and it was like Van Cleef and Arpels exploded a perfumed warhead in the room, and I couldn’t breathe in enough of the fall out.
By this time I had my feet on the floor and was straightening my tie. Maybe I’m a little gray up top, but when a swell looking broad shows up looking distressed, you shape up a little. “How can I help you, Miss…?” She opened her clutch bag and pulled out a pack of those fancy French cigarettes that don’t have filters and smell like a filter wouldn’t work anyway. “Miss Lightcastle, Davina Lightcastle. May I smoke?” She’s pulled out a white tube from the packet. I just wanted to see how good it looked between those full red lips. “Sure, go ahead,” I said, “the smoke detector hasn’t worked since last century. Light?” I reached into a drawer and pulled out my Zippo and leaned over to light her up, close enough to see the pores underneath all that foundation she had on and to get an eyeful of what the dress was hiding. And boy, I didn’t need to feel those peaches to know they were ripe. She took a deep drag and blew the smoke into the air like it was her last one at dawn before the firing squad lined up.
You could hear those soft stockings brushing against each other as she crossed her legs and laid her cards on the table, well at least the ones she wanted to play. “It’s my daddy, I need to find him,” she said. Sounded like a missing persons case. That, I could handle. “What does he look like?” I pulled out my pad from the desk drawer and picked up a sharpened pencil. She spilled the deets. “He’s a lot like you Mister St.Claire. Same height, same weight, same mature age, same athletic build.” She put an emphasis on the ‘athletic’ as she looked at my chest and arms through the cigarette smoke from under those lashes.
“Will you help me Mister St.Claire? They say you’re the best.” I get up and walk over to the filing cabinet, open the drawer marked “A-E” and pull out a half-full bottle and a couple of shot glasses. “Bourbon?” I ask her. She gives me a nod. I pour a shot each and lay out the terms. “It’s a hundred a day plus expenses. And a success fee of a thousand if I find him.” She picked up her glass and I picked up mine. “Deal!” she said, clinked my glass and downed that drink in one mouthful like she downed strong liquor every day of the week at three in the afternoon.Then she gets up to leave. “Here’s my card. When will I hear from you?” She puts this bespoke linen business card on the desk that probably cost more than my tie. I see the address is way uptown where the fancy people live. “A few days. Maybe sooner if I get a lead. Don’t worry, I’ll be in touch Miss Lightcastle.” She gets up, stubs her cigarette out, blows the last smoke from between those big red lips of hers and looks me in the eyes, like she was peering into my soul and she’d written the manual on how to do it. “I’m sure you will, Mister St.Claire”.
No sooner has she sashayed her cute derriere down to the street than I’m in the john, spanking my old fellah like I want to rip it off. So who are you to judge? Think it’s easy being in a eleven by eleven office rental for twenty minutes trying to be mister super-sleuth when you got a young dame right in front of you oozing pure sex with a capital “S”? Be my guest and try it buster! Sometimes you gotta just squeeze your feelings out in the john so you can think straight.
So I spend the next few days sniffing around the flop houses and the clip joints, shaking down a few career snitches I know who’ll grass on their own mother for another fix of sally. Nada. Just a big zero. If old man Lightcastle ever existed he didn’t leave much trace. It was a huge fat blank and it was time to tell his little popsicle that my digging wasn’t turning up pay-dirt. I flagged down a yellow cab, showed the driver the business card and got driven to a ritzy town house on Lexington. I threw the driver a twenty and rang the doorbell.
I thought maybe I’d got the timing wrong when it opened. Miss D. was standing there wearing a short white silk kimono with blue hummingbirds embroidered all over it and apparently not much else, not even house shoes. Kind of strange for three in the afternoon. I apologized and said I’d come back later but she insisted I come inside. I guess rich folks get to wear kimonos whenever they want. I took my fedora off and followed her inside and tried to hide how deep my breathing was. She was wearing a different perfume and I couldn’t get enough of this new one inside my nose either.
She took me into a big oak lined library with shelves of leather bound books up to the ceiling. She went over to a drinks cabinet by the fireplace. “How do you like your scotch Mister St.Claire?” I was fingering my hat and looking around at all that printed paper. Must have been half a forest between all that leather. Somehow she didn’t strike me as a bookworm. “Straight up, thanks.” She poured a little into a whisky glass and came over with it.
I took the glass and her fingers brushed mine as I took it. “I’m afraid your pops must be lying real low. I prodded pretty much every lowlife on the other side of the tracks and no one’s squealing”. She was standing in front of me about two feet away. Her expression didn’t show one crack of emotion. I sipped the scotch. Malt blend, real classy stuff. As smooth as the skin on her hands. I was trying to act all nonchalant like my pecker wasn’t getting all stiff and weepy from looking how her hair was cascading over those cute shoulders and those ripe peaches on her chest were pushing against the outline of the kimono but she wasn’t about to help me out. She moved a little closer and put a hand up to one side of my double breasted jacket, the side that had a bump in it.
“You carry a gun, Mister St.Claire?” I thought a moment about why she’d ask. “Sure, Smith and Wesson, .357 revolver. Just a little insurance. You never know when some wiseguy punk gets it into his head he’s Al Capone.” She’s even closer now, opens my jacket and puts her hand on the gun in the shoulder holster, looks up at me with those big blue saucers she calls eyes and starts purring her words instead of just speaking them. “And I bet your gun is loaded Mister St.Claire, isn’t it?” I wasn’t thinking straight again and figured maybe I should ask where the little boy’s room is so I can powder my nose and jack off while I’m at it. Seemed she’d already read my schedule. She undid the sash keeping that patch of silk she called a kimono together and puts an arm around my neck. “I think I’ve found the daddy I’m looking for Mister St.Claire. The case is closed”.
So I guess you’re thinking I’m a real pro and realize she was playing me for a patsy who was going to take the fall. Nah, Kristian St.Claire ain’t no stool pigeon, you’re thinking. He’s not going to buy into the dodgy deal this cutsie was offering. Sorry to disappoint you pal but jerking in the john was past its sell-by date. If you’d rang my office after that day, I might have answered the phone, and I might have sounded like I was listening to you, but if you listened real carefully over that crackly Bell North East phone line you would have heard the faint sound of wet rosy red young lips running up and down something real fat and real hard underneath my desk. She was right. My gun’s loaded. It’s always loaded for her.