Millstone – Novel 01 Ch. 08

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Millstone – ONE – (Hanging the Chimney Hook)

All Rights Reserved © 2020, Rick Heathen

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Chapter Eight

Before Detective Edgerton gave me the go-ahead to poke around in the Tommy Haines case, we had to tread lightly to not ruffle his feathers or draw the attention of the guy from the tailoring shop. As it stood, we only had to concern ourselves with the man at the shop that I believed threatened us, and while that threat, as oblique as he made it, might prove an empty one, we had to be cautious. I regretted not accosting the guy, frisking him for his wallet, and checking his I.D.; I should have done that, that way we wouldn’t have to guess so hard later, and we could get on with our inquiries. I made a note to myself to never make that mistake again.

On the average day, I don’t like pointing fingers without evidence, but after Edgerton’s assent about my involvement, my poking around could cause trouble, so we needed to find that guy from the shop. I figured I would switch-on the diplomacy, apply little tact, and ask Grey what he knew before we left the mansion that morning.

On the pea gravel out front, as Grey locked the door behind us, I said to him, “So, did Taylor the tailor make that suit?”

“Yes, he did. He told me that because I’m so slender, a tailor would find it easier to make a suit for me from scratch than alter one from the rack.”

“I have a similar problem,” said Max.

Grey smiled. “With your proportions, I’ve no doubt you do.”

“While at the tailor,” I said, “a young man, about 23 or so, came into the shop. He had pale skin, average height, slim build, long dark hair in a ponytail. Would you happen to know anyone that fits his description?”

“He doesn’t sound familiar,” said Grey. “Have you any reason I should know him?”

“He told me to leave the Tommy Haines case alone. That the police said Tommy killed himself, and that I should leave it at that.”

He raised an eyebrow. “What are you implying?”

“I’m doing my damnedest not to imply, but unless your dining room is bugged, there’s no way for anyone to know that I had any connection to the case, and where we would be, unless you or your Auntie Winter mentioned it to someone, somehow. I’m not suggesting any malicious intent, and I wouldn’t mention it now, but the guy threatened us, and that’s a problem.”

“He threatened you?”

“Not in so many words, but I know a threat when I hear one. Have you mentioned it to anyone?”

“Okay, I had coffee with my boyfriend that day, and I mentioned it in conversation, but he’s not the man you describe; Derek is Japanese, and he wouldn’t bother to repeat it. The description of your guy fits a lot of men in this city.”

“Not all of them have a connection to Tommy Haines.”

“Oh…,” he said.

Max asked him, “Do you know the guy?”

“No, but my boyfriend has a connection to Tommy. They both worked for Alliance Construction. Derek still works there as a journeyman to a master electrician, and when that’s not needed, he’s a painter, but Tommy had quit. I met Derek while he worked on the mansion.” He thumbed over his shoulder.

“Where were you when you had the conversation with him?” I asked.

“I meet him at The Coffee Dungeon on Baxter Avenue every morning. You’ll find it across from where he works. They have excellent coffee, so all the Alliance employees go there, some even on their off-days.”

“Have you not seen anyone who fits the description while going there?” I asked.

“I don’t remember, so I couldn’t say. I know that’s unhelpful, and I’m sorry. Derek and I could sit in the middle of a crowded room, and as far as I’m concerned, we’re alone. I apologize if my indiscretion has cause you a problem.”

“Do you know where Derek is working right now?” I asked.

“Yes, he gave me the address, I planned to pick him up so we could have lunch together.” (Grey texted me the address.) “Will you talk to him?”

“Yeah, I’m kind of hoping he isn’t as attentive as you.”

“Ugh! Well, that’s rude.”

“No offense intended,” I said. “For your sake, I hope he is. You’re a nice young man who deserves happiness, but we really need to find this guy before he decides to come looking for us.”

An investigation requires legwork, which means running-down leads and questioning people in person whenever possible. I prefer having those secondary and tertiary cues that indicate when someone is honest, hiding something, or flat out lying. Grey was obviously honest, and his attitude showed a genuine change upon hearing that the guy had threatened us. That demonstrated a positive moral code, and that was a good sign. He even gave us information of his own volition that might help when he couldn’t help otherwise.

Grey’s boyfriend was named Derek Oshiro bursa escort and, according to the online map, we would find him working a few miles away at an estate in Estonia, a neighborhood on the wealthy side of the bay. The plots of land for that neighborhood had a decent size, probably no more than about five acres each, but they had lots of visual privacy with all the mature trees, and the homes had an interesting mixture of styles.

One of Alliance Construction’s brick red vans sat in the driveway of a two story Second Empire home, but with its Mansard roof it appeared to have three stories as the roof allowed the owner to take full advantage of the attic space. I parked behind the van, and we were met at the outer glass door by the owner, an older woman. I would guess her age as in her 80s, with a head of silvery white curls piled atop her head. She wore a pair of comfortable looking Capri jeans and a buttoned blouse with a striped bow tie. When she answered the door, we introduced ourselves.

“So, you’re the detectives my dream boat told me would come,” she said.

“Dream boat?” asked Max.

She smiled. “That’s what I call Mr. Oshiro, the handsome painter.” She had a British accent and seemed spry for her age. She stood straight, and her head reached the top of my shoulders. “I’m Vivian Baker. Do come in.” The foyer had drop cloths lining the walls and so did the living and dining rooms whose furniture they had shifted for the work. A light scent of fresh paint breezed through the door as we stepped inside, and the air had more movement inside the house than outside, as they had an air-mover in one of the windows. “Please excuse the mess, I’m having a few rooms repainted. I’m about to make tea, would either of you care for a cup? It’s no bother.”

We politely declined and heard the creaking sounds of someone descending a ladder in the living area. Derek came around the corner to greet us, and Ms. Baker invited us to join him there, while she left to make tea.

Immediately, I could see why Grey had eyes for no one else but Derek. He wore white painter’s pants, boots, and no shirt. The 25-year-old had attractive black hair, and a handsome square face with an angular jawline. His flawless, lightly tan skin had a detailed, symmetrical full-color tattoo that accentuated his full pecs, shoulders, upper back, and down both arms. He had a striking overall appearance. Max and I stood there for a moment as if we gazed upon a work of art; Max spoke first.

“My god you’re beautiful,” he said.

Derek smiled, laughed a little, and diverted his eyes downward. He was physically robust and preternaturally captivating, as well as adorably bashful and modest. Grey needed to hold onto Derek with both hands.

“We’re sorry to disturb you while you work,” I said. The living room had been painted a shade of blue but would be changed to some mushroom-like color. The paint job looked perfect, smooth, evenly coated, and the cut-in at the ceiling razor sharp. “You certainly do an excellent job. What color is that?”

“Thank you,” said Derek. “Would you believe it’s called Dorian Gray?”

Max and I both laughed. “Gotta name it something, I suppose.”

He asked, “What can I do for you, gentlemen? Grey told me you would come, but he didn’t say why.”

“We’re looking for a man. We think he may have sat nearby you at The Coffee Dungeon on Saturday, average height, slim but fit, long dark hair in a ponytail. We believe he overheard Grey talk to you about our working for his Aunt Winter.”

“That sounds like Douglas Chadwell, and he sometimes has his hair in a ponytail, but most of the time he keeps it shoved under a hat. They had him on the schedule to help me today, but he didn’t show.”

“What can you tell us about him?” Max asked.

“Not much. Everyone who works at Alliance has two jobs. Douglas worked removals and as an assistant painter. That’s about all. I had worked with him a few times, but he seemed unlikable.”

A thickly built, tough-looking young man with auburn hair, freckles, and scruffy beard, wearing painter’s pants and an extra-long, white t-shirt entered the house from the front door. He carried a couple of wet paint brushes. He gave us a wide-eyed stare. “What’s going on?” he asked.

“Hello, Mr. Malor,” I said.

“I haven’t done anything,” he said.

“We’re not here to accuse you,” said Max.

“What do you want then?” He dropped the brushes into an empty can, bristle side up.

“We’re private investigators, inquiring about a man that fits the description of Douglas Chadwell,” I said. “Do either of you know where we can find him?”

They both shook their heads. “He didn’t show today,” said James, “that’s why I’m here. I’m not even sure where he lives, but the main office at Alliance would know. Why don’t you go pester them?”

I turned to Derek. “Thank you for your assistance, Mr. Oshiro,” I said, “We appreciate your kindness.” I nodded my head to him, and we made to leave. “Mr. Malor, may we speak to you outside for a moment?”

“The görükle escort police asked more questions yesterday. I want no more hassles.”

“Since you’ve done nothing wrong,” said Max, “I imagine all this got old really quick. No one likes to feel they’re being accused; but talking to us will ensure that the hassles will stop far faster, and you’ll have the opportunity to put this behind you.”

Malor stared at Max while he made up his mind. In reluctance, he said, “Let’s do this,” and turned toward the front door.

We joined him at the back of the Alliance van. He had opened the rear doors of the vehicle and sat there. “What do you want to know? You want to know about Tommy and me? I’ll tell ya. Tommy and I met at work, and we were both in removals at the time. I got to know Tommy over a couple of weeks, and he wanted to go out. We went on a date, and he had a few drinks. We went back to his place and had sex. Since it was late, and I had to work the next day, I went home to sleep in my own bed. I snore like a buzzsaw, and I didn’t want to keep him awake. Tommy and I had a great time and planned to do it again. End of story.”

I said to him, “Tommy had quite a bit of alcohol in his system.”

“Yeah, so? He was plenty coherent during our playtime.”

“He had signs of having been raped,” said Max.

“Yes, of course he did,” said James.

“Of course?” asked Max. “What do you mean?”

“You have to understand Tommy,” he said. “He didn’t go around telling this to just anyone, he had a private life that he wanted to keep private. He knew that his father had messed him up, and that he probably wasn’t the typical victim of a father’s sexual abuse, but he learned to like aggressive sex, and I mean extremely aggressive. He told me that specifically before he and I ever went on the date. In fact, he started working for Alliance just to get close to me.”

“Why would he do that?” I asked.

“I have a reputation among the S&M community.” (He stood, pulled up his shirt, unbuttoned his pants and took out a massive cock that, without question, beat mine in thickness.) “I’ve got an unenhanced ten-inch cock that’s the thickest that anyone has ever seen, and I really enjoy using it.”

“You could seriously hurt someone with that,” said Max.

James winked at him and nodded. “Yeah, that’s kinda the idea. As you might imagine, I don’t get too many takers, but I found a real gem with Tommy. He fully consented and enjoyed the hell out of my fuck. What happened to Tommy-boy was a shame, but I’m a class two sadist, so if it was murder, I wouldn’t have done it. I wanted to pound his bubble on the regular.” He shoved his hog back into his pants and buttoned up.

Tommy-boy…he used the same words as the man in the shop.

“You know Douglas Chadwell,” I said.

“Yeah, I know him,” he said. “What of it?”

“Would his happen to be a bubble that you pound on the regular?” I asked.

“Maybe, what’s the difference?”

“Yes or no,” said Max.

“The answer is no,” he said. “He’s an oral man, and I don’t care for it. Humans haven’t the ability to unhinge their jaw like a snake, and I enjoy thrusting.”

“Who started calling him Tommy-boy?” I asked.

“I couldn’t say if he started it, but when the three of us worked removals, I heard Douglas call him that first. After that, I noticed many people at work were calling him Tommy-boy, even the manager who doted on him.”

“What exactly is removals?” asked Max.

“That’s a nice little term for someone who picks up things here and puts them over there. Perfect example, the Thornbrier mansion required a shit ton of removals. I worked at Alliance when we started that job; it was a nightmare. They left that place full of everything. Not only did we have to pack it all up, but there was so much of it that the company had a hard time finding places to store it. Over the three years we worked it, we shifted it around until we had it all stored under one roof. Removals is Alliance’s worst job, and unless an employee has skills in something more important, everyone starts there.”

“So, what two jobs do you have?” I asked him.

“Like this place, I assist with painting, but I’ve trained as a plumber because I have an affinity for laying pipe.” He gave us a toothy grin and laughed.

We watched Malor return to the house as we readied to leave in the roadster. No doubt about it, he was sadistic, but if what he said was true, Tommy Haines more than just consented, he pursued James. That is, if I could believe the word of a sadist.

Max turned to me and placed his hand on my arm. “I’m glad you’re not like him.”

“Me too. If I had my length and his thickness, I wouldn’t have a cock, I’d have a burden.”

“True,” he said, “but I meant someone who delights in hurting others. Malor sounds like a high-functioning psychopath.”

“Oh, I get it. No Honey Bear, I have too much empathy for that. He said he was a class two sadist; that’s a bit of a red flag.”

“I’m not familiar with that, what is bursa escort bayan it?”

“Forensic scientists label four classes of sadist,” I said, “and only in the first two does the sadist care about consent. The higher the number the more dangerous they get, but thankfully, also the rarer they are. Malor either knows about that because he’s a forensics buff, or he’s had other trouble in the past.”

We could see Malor through the windows walking around inside the living room.

Max asked, “Do you think he’s dangerous?”

“He’s a sadist, so he has to be (at least to a degree), but some people would find that part of the attraction.”

“And what he does is legal,” said Max.

“Yep, as long as he has consent, but the question is, whether he had that consent the entire time or if Tommy withdrew it when he realized his eyes were bigger than his asshole.”

I had Max search for the address of Alliance Construction on Baxter Avenue. We found it along a row of related businesses, a lumber company, a lighting store, and the like. Across the street sat The Coffee Dungeon, just as Grey said.

The reclaimed brick building for Alliance had an old-fashioned appearance, both solid and heavy-looking, a visual reminder of the days when companies would build structures to last and a shrewd psychological indicator of quality to customers.

When Max and I pulled into the parking lot, I felt that tell-tale sign near the head of my cock that I would soon have one of my spontaneous erections. “Fuck,” I said.

“What’s the matter?”

“The timing of my cock is really incon-fucking-venient.”

“Would you like some assistance? I’m willing 24/7, you know that.”

“I appreciate that, Honey Bear, but I just want to get this done. For now, let me do this.” I got out of the car and opened my pants. Once I pulled my growing schlong up my torso, I buttoned everything back up and loosely buckled my belt. My shirt covered me well enough, but if I weren’t careful, I’d end up with a huge wet spot, especially if I tried to sit.

The interior of the building had a concoction of scents, like new plastic mixed with unfamiliar odors that I couldn’t place but probably contained formaldehyde. The section toward the front held displays of samples and information on new products. The long counter to the rear had an edge whose height reached below the head of my cock, and I had a hard time not bouncing against it as I stood there. A female clerk wearing black lace and heavy eyeliner, whose name tag read Delilah, joined us there.

“Good morning and welcome to Alliance Construction, may I help you?”

“Yes, I’m Howard Millstone and this is my partner Max Roche, we’re private investigators, assisting the Franklin Police. Is it possible to speak to someone in charge?”

Delilah left and returned with a clean-shaven bald man about our age, he wore the company’s brick red colored uniform shirt. It had “Manager” embroidered over the right chest pocket and “Robert Neuhouser” above the left. “What can I do for you, gentlemen?” he asked.

“We would like to inquire about Douglas Chadwell. We understand that he’s employed here. It’s important we speak with him. We know he didn’t show up for the painting job in Estonia, was he reassigned elsewhere?”

“I’m sorry,” he said and shook his head, “our employees have a right to privacy, so I can’t give out information to the general public.”

Max asked, “Did Delilah tell you we were assisting the Franklin Police?”

“Yes, she did,” he said, “If you wish to have any information about employees, you will need a warrant, and be in the company of at least one police officer.”

A handsome, husky-built man about six-foot-four, wearing semi-casual clothing came from the back. He looked close to 40-years-old and had thick midnight brown hair and a full beard of medium length. “Delilah, I’m going to an early lunch, do you want the usual Indian food?”

“Yes, thank you, Bo.”

As he came from behind the counter, he glanced our way and paused. “Hey, I know you two!” He said with enthusiasm. He greeted us with a smile and shook our hands. “I’m Bo Pecker. It’s good to meet you. Is there something I can help you with?”

He was a member of the Minotaur club. I remembered his handsome face above the others among our audience in the shower that morning. I only saw him from the chest up, but he had a beefy muscular body and a dense mat of chest hair.

“Is it possible to speak with you alone?” I asked him.

“Sure, lunch can wait, come on back.”

I felt so horny, my stiff cock throbbed against my stomach, and when he led us to his office, I couldn’t help but notice that he had a well-shaped, beefy butt beneath his khaki stretch-fit chinos. I thought pants like his might fit Max well, we would have to ask him about them at a more appropriate time.

He unlocked his office door, ushered us inside, closed the door behind us. “I want to say that I’m a big fan of you two. Please, have a seat.”

I hoped I could avoid sitting, but it seemed rude and awkward to remain standing. I tried sitting with my back perfectly straight at the edge of the seat, but that didn’t work. I felt myself squirt a thick glob of precum beneath my shirt like I’d squeezed the trigger of a caulking gun the instant my ass hit the seat.

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