A Tale of the Diabolis Sexualis – a Short Story by Randy Gonzalez “the Train”

by Randy Gonzalez

Preface

     A short story based on the novel, depicts the adventures of two private detectives, Delta Peach and Derek Crane. Retired cops, turned P.I.'s, the two investigate and apply their theories of criminology to the present case. It is from Detective Peaches theory of the Diabolis Sexualis that the train becomes a focal point.


We'd already been at two murder scenes by mid-afternoon, a homicide lieutenant was hounding our asses, and the day was still young. My rule of threes said there's more to come. Having been cops for over twenty years, death was a constant companion. My P.I. companion and I had lost our social virginity. Being shot at, wounded or dealing with human violence, came without surprises. For part of this, my partner, Delta Peach, came up with the concept of diabolis sexualis. Its mirror found an echoed reflection in the duality of evil and good.

Delta, or Dee or sometimes double "D", had been working on her master's degree in criminology, with a focus on human behavior. She taught sometimes at the local college and raised the standards by her presence. For me, I preferred to stir clear of an educational disease known as academia. Too many non-practitioners pretending they knew something about police work. Politicians and inexperienced academic types come up with all kinds of notions. There are no guarantees you're going to make people smart or ensure smart people won't act stupidly.

Well, that's post-modern culture for you; a kind of social ailment, like the flu. You might get over it, get better and gain some kind of wisdom, and then again, you might not. So, for her graduate thesis, she pursued the duality of human nature, one good and one evil, and postulated her theory of diabolis sexualis. That's behavior that turns to the dark side and people choose anti-social actions over civility. Diabolis is her assertion of the free-willed intentional expression of unlawful deviant behavior. She's added an additional dimension to human thinking. She suggests our maladaptive desires result in weaponizing the potency of human sexuality.

In her theories, hedonistic drives are expressed in both productive and dysfunctional ways, when people pursue their selfish nature. On the positive side, we're candidly open, authentic. Blunt honesty is never held back in our amative needs. Each flirt with an uninhibited chase to express personal proclivities. Within the framework of diabolis sexualis, repressed natures of sexuality, coupled with innate spirituality, people make choices in order to satiate carnal desires. Release finds outlets, means and ways, which are sometimes not good ones.

"Sandy. Ever just stop and watch people. I'm just talking out loud here, it helps me think." She poked me in the shoulder with a long well-manicured red tinted fingernail. Her southern drawl could melt butter before spread on a biscuit. Or, steam hot molasses to a boiling point on a stack of shortcakes. "Sweetie take this train station for example. Good practice, you know," she chatted away at me. "Hello, Derek Sandhill Crane. Hush my mouth here. Are you there, my P.I. pal?"

"Delta, my dear," I answered with a patient and affectionate tone. "You're always talking out loud about something. And, very often, so, yes, I watch people."

"Selective hearing, I bet," she countered. "Watch people, my ass."

"You have a very nice ass," I countered her. "Okay, I'm letting you do that."

"Speaking of which," she began her retaliation. "You don't seem to mind my chattering when we're in the saddle. In fact, when I'm on top, you can't keep your mouth shut for five seconds. You carry on like a stallion breeding a mare."

Delta Peach was not only my private eye business partner. She was also much more to me than that, as a life-long companion. We shared a special intimate relationship, carrying on an affair long before we retired from the police force. While I remained a bachelor, she became a divorcee. For which, I helped. None the less, we remain very close and very open about the essence of sexuality. We'd shared personal hardships, physical and psychological pain and work-related stress for a long time.

"It turns you on to hear my moaning and groaning." I gently touched her knee.

"You mean begging. Yes, I enjoy that. That's beside the point here," she continued. "Works both ways, you know. But, look at them, they're like zombies."

"Yep, always believed people were devolving, Dee," I said softly and hid behind my current copy of a forensics magazine. "What about it?"

In all modesty, where I was on the lanky somewhat ruggedly handsome side, tall, slim and fashionably dapper, a city boy, Dee was a down home southern woman. She was full-bodied and bit of a flashy dresser. From mud to suds, she could kick ass with the best of them. Dee was more brazen than most people ever tried to be. Regardless, I loved her unbridled nature and animated personality. A natural red head, Dee had freckles in places I've yet to discover. She'd always been one good looking cop, in or out of uniform, or simply stark naked. Yet, Dee was a damn good detective.

"Diabolis sexualis, it's a dangerous part of sexuality in the grand continuum of personality. Watching people act strangely, as we often do, is part of that spectrum." She paused to see if I'd respond and then added, "It's all related to the quest to define the diabolis sexualis, and the potency in prurient passions."

"I agree, as self-gratification is from willful psychic motivations." I raked a hand through my sandy blond short cropped hair. "So, our surveillance is searching for its presence. That's why you're making an issue here, for that dark side of humanity."

"Where evil's weaponized in human purposes," she added. "People ignore that."

Now retired from active service, we got into our roles. I tried to project an air of the classic P.I. noir. We both did, with hats and trench coats and a penchant for the characters of the bygone era. Weather permitting of course on the trench coats. My very affectionate blue eyes reached out to her big wide-open brown eyes. She was an hourglass shaped unabashed red headed vixen who seldom held back anything she wanted to say or do. I adored Ms. Delta Peach very much. We were two of a kind. So, what ever sense of liberation she needed, I never got in her way.

"Okay, Detective Peach, you got my full attention." I knew something was up.

"Carefully, look around us," she started up again and devilishly cocked an eyebrow. "Everyone's a potential case for us. They all got mysteries they're hiding and skeletons in their closet. Affairs swept under the bed; bank accounts hidden from scrutiny. Who knows what malevolence is in the minds of every person around this waiting room, as they herd themselves aimlessly."

"Can't argue there, Dee," I answered her knowing she was leading me with those lazy bedroom eyes, like a sheep to the shearing. That short pixyish red hair tousled to me a trendy expression her brash persona. "Shadow effect," I sought to head her off at the next lengthy explanation I was about to get. "We're reflections in the mirrored reverberations of dark human essence for wicked intentions. For which, every person's shady character is fully aware of his or her intent on ill-gotten gains."

"Uh huh, the deception of the reflection is the mirrored image. That shadowy side you and I share with all the rest," she added with a hint of sexy glee in her voice and a twinkle in her seductive eyes. "Cost me two husbands, baby. You and I pal, we're a pair. Go figure this thing we've been doing all these years."

"Yeah, you can blame me for one of those," I said and accepted my part in the ongoing affair we'd carried on for years. "We're good for each other, Dee."

"Yes, my dear. That's a fact." She gave another scan of the train station's waiting room. "The power of the diabolis sexualis is a sexuality of a dangerous kind." With the wave of a hand," she said, "It's all around us, invigorating vibrations."

"Not to change the subject," I started. "Tell me again why we're taking the train. You know I'm not fond of our train system. We mucked it up years ago, with oil and cars and obsessions about consumption and immediate gratification."

"Okay, think about it," she challenged hissed a breath, "lowers our profile."

"We can do that on an airplane, Dee," I argued quietly. "And, have martinis."

"Security's different at an air terminal, Sandy." She gave me the look. "You know that. The stuff we're got, oh my, the goddesses, we'd be in big trouble."

Surrounded by anxious drone people, I put down my magazine and pondered the present situation. Of course she was right, easier by train. Minutes earlier, Dee was reading a scientific journal, where she'd just published her article on the theory of sexualis diabolis. Some referred to this as criminal sexuality. She'd been pleased that academic types were debating the thesis of her argument. In that realm though, they'd debate anything just to look good and get baited by everything.

Regardless, People have a deviant streak and very diverse proclivities. All depends on the person and they make choices. To a greater or lesser degree, each one of us has a special darkness. Anyway, for our travel, we'd brought one overnight bag each and wore what could be described as sort of business casual. Traveling light was a necessity we insisted upon. In any situation, we wanted to move quickly and safely. Keeping a low profile ensured a sense of social survival and alertness in the complex dynamics of human predatory possibilities. You knew know.

For her, on this occasion, Dee wore a modest white long-sleeved blouse, grey women style trousers and matching low heeled shoes. Her blouse was slightly low cut, as Dee had a sense of pride regarding her ample endowments. Overall, for this case, she of course had a more conservative slant. Me, on the other hand, casual meant kakis, brown loafers, and light blue button-down shirt, with a navy blazer. Plus the ever-present head gear on the seats next to us was two fedoras.

Both our luggage pieces were fitted with special compartment in the bottom. Inside, we had a limited range of weaponry. Customized and fitted for particular components, we were able to provide a variety of low-key services to a select clientele. Naturally, as retired police officers, we declared our primary firearms.

"Low profile," I murmured while reaching for my digital data assistant. We both carried one and kept discreet data on a tiny drive, fully encrypted and password protected. "Takes longer by train but, it's less noticeable by management or the public. Or, anyone else for that matter." I pulled up the miniature screen and read the retrieval. After twenty-five years in law enforcement, you develop a network of contacts, both on the internet and your locale. "This one's nasty."

"I'll say, the son of bitch," Dee grumbled and tucked away her reading material. "Should give the perpetrator time alone with you, you'd rip him from top to bottom. "He kidnapped the poor kid right out of her front yard. Raped her and then buried her alive. A nine-year-old in a shallow grave," she whispered. No one in the vicinity paid any attention to us yet. "Dirt bag got off on a technicality, because some federal crime lab messed up the DNA sample. And, on top of that," she said with a playful pause and knew she'd get a rise, "the same feds did one of those horse manures profiles and the defense attorneys had a field day discrediting everything."

"Goddamn feds, wish they stay the hell out of local law enforcement business." I said quietly, pretending to read and frequently scanning the passengers. "However, with the fruit cake," I continued and took in a long breath. "He did it for his own self-gratification and the local cops did a good job. I really don't give damn about his poor upbringing or his bad parents either. The killer expressed his diabolis sexualis."

"And, that fucking profiling psycho-babble bullshit has no bearing on his proclivity to murder. That crap has never solved a case. Good police work does." Dee patted my thigh as she looked around the waiting room. "Hell, for that matter, anyone in here could've done it. No profiles fit a specific pattern."

"By the way, my friend, you know this is a forty-hour trip by train?" I hoisted a painful gaze. "That's one way. You book a sleeping car?"

"Of course my dearest," she quipped with a look of mock surprise.

"Speaking of your ass, good thing you did," I quipped.

"We'll talk about ass later. At any rate, we get nearly week out of the office. Do a little sight seeing in the mountains. Exhaust ourselves sexually. You know me, baby. Almost four days in close quarters with you. I'll need some pent-up relief." Her hand played hard squeeze and release with my upper thigh. Those red painted fingernails became instant daggers into my flesh. "You better put out, honey."

"I'll do my best," I confidently reinforced. "Factored the works, huh? Okay, we make the hit, fake the crime scene and the fuck out there."

"Absolutely and we enjoy our Sleeping car, with private compartment," she started to list the very comfortable amenities on board this newer train. "Full bar." A wink encouraged me further. "Oysters on the half shell. Sushi and sake. Martinis and muffins. Full dinning car and so forth. We're traveling in style, honey." I could detect that subtle twang in her down south of Atlanta accent. "You're paying this trip out of your cut. I did the last time. This'll be a quick one, in an out."

"What?" I teased for just the right number of seconds. Felt her searing look. "You know I do it gladly for you, Ms. Dee. And besides, our benefactor, or broker more or less. Has been frequently generous with bonuses and so forth."

"You check the off-shore account lately?" She had an urgent thought.

"Uh huh, just this morning. We're loaded" I assured her. "Our security scan is working. No surreptitious inquiries. Thanks to our office manager, the old techy that he/she is. And, if we need to make a run for it, the backup plan is ready."

"Uh huh, and you're putting out, honey," she insisted again. "Yummy, two days up and two days back. We'll be like bunnies in a rabbit hole." Dee scanned the waiting room. "Now then. Back to my earlier issue. Your three o'clock. On the other side by the window in the far corner. Next to the emergency exit. A change has occurred in the normal flux of things. The blonde and the brunette tag team. A female and male couple surfaced. They just gazed at us again."

"Why would a young couple want to gaze at seniors like us?" I turned to her and took her hand as an affectionate gesture. "Two possibilities I think."

"Three possibilities, my dear," she corrected with a tone that soothed my inner beast. "One, they're looking for a discreet tryst on a trip." Her big brown eyes widened with an arch of reddish eyebrows. "Maybe that's a possibility."

"A swap of partners? Interesting. Okay, I can see that in their overall countenance." My mind daydreamed. "Could be they're into the mature thing. Although I prefer redheads, blonde is not my usual slant. Sure, What'da ya think? Would ya?" I asked with a little pinch at her elbow. "Should they ask? We should at least be prepared to do it, as we mustn't hesitate on such things."

"Naw, he's a little younger than I prefer and the usual male model hairless type. I like my men hairy, long, slender, muscled and wiry. Let me see." She thought for a second. "Okay, perhaps this time, he could be well-endowed like you. Her on the other hand," Dee said sensually. "There could be some potential in that."

"Alright, that's one possibility." Carefully, I let my eyes linger in the suspect's direction and gazed out the big windowpanes. "Yep, we got another look."

"Second possibility," Dee added then got a curious look on her face when her mind wandered off down a thickly laden prurient trail. "Discounting of course the ménage a trois," she added for maybe a heartbeat and gave a wicked grin. Twirled a red curl between her fingers, slanted toward me and avoided eye contact with the suspects. "Wait, what's a four-way called? I can't remember."

"You mean what's the euphemism," I started to tease her without reservation, "for four people having sex in close proximity? Like the same bed?"

"What ever, nit wit," she said with finger poke. "You know what I mean."

"Love it when you get rough." I accepted the attack gracefully. "And, call me names. To answer your question, hmm, let me see. I recall that."

"Well, what is it?" She demanded. "Stop teasing me."

"A blessing from heaven," I answered and got another poke.

"I'm gonna kick your ass right here," she whispered seductively in my ear. "Strip you naked against that wall over there. Do a complete head to toe body and cavity search. Put you in handcuffs and make you beg for mercy."

"Oh my god, please promise." Our eyes did an edgy sensual dance.

"Confess. Tell me. It's your last warning." She dug her fingernails into my arm.

"Let's see," I started slowly and playfully with her. "If I recall the sex lexicon you once wrote about that'd be an orgy, right? Or, group sex? No, hold on, a ménage à quatre? You know not enough people for those descriptors."

"Close enough, that's it." She relaxed back into the cushioned chair. "Thank you for making me beat that out of you, my dear. You're really gonna get it later."

"I hope so." A quick glance to my right told me the suspects were getting anxious. Plus, they kept an eye on us. To Dee, I said, "Why'd we just go through all that?"

"For fun, silly boy," she murmured with a slight smile. "No, really. And, on top of that, something I was writing about earlier. Helps me think."

"Meanwhile, back on topic." I gently tapped her thigh with my magazine. "Second possibility? They're salespeople and we look like good customers."

"There's that too," Dee dismissed. "But and here's the but and you can have my butt later. A third possibility is at work here and I don't feel good about it."

"Fuck, I was afraid you were going to say that." I turned my head to face her from the side. "Let's go back to the first possibility and review the basic concepts."

"Derek," she said flatly. "Don't like it one bit. You know that feeling." Dee's ample attributes rose and fell with each breath. "You think we've been made?"

"Could be," I said slowly. "That complicates things a bit if true and invites a backup plan. If you get a sensation that says that," I replied to her affectionately, "then I go with your intuitive instincts, Dee, always have and always will. You know that. I got your back, sweetheart no matter what may come. We're cops. We get those feelings. From that basic gut reaction to a situation, we put meaning to it and figure it out."

"If so, what is it?" She questioned. "We've been very careful and covered our tracks." She tossed me a look that only Dee could give. I knew it when I saw it and I'd better have a good explanation. Now she was nervous. "Easy, doll, we don't know yet."

"Yeah, but," she started again. "What we think we don't know may not be what we think we know about what we don't know. That means too many variables."

"Makes sense and you have recommendation?" I pressed for her next move.

We knew long ago, when we stepped over the divide between the artificiality of civility and incivility, there could be consequences. People do bad things to other people who become their victims for personal gain. Most people want to be simply oblivious to the reality of good and evil. For them, just words tossed around to avoid looking in the mirror and seeing who the bad guy really is. That's the essential nature of human beings. All are a complicated mixture of goodness and vileness for self-gratification.

We'd learned the distinction in the uncivilized alleys, neighborhoods and workshops of the real world. Through up close and personal experience, our perception of human behavior was drenched with a heavy does of cynicism. To us, allegations of living in a civilized world were ploys created to project an illusion. A majority of the populace, given their penchant for various religiosities, wanted things all nice and simple.

"If we have to abort," she began slowly holding my hand, "we abort the mission."

"Uh huh, and our client will be gravely pissed," I mentioned without too much expression, because at that precise moment the blond was giving me another look. Trying to act casual can be sticky at times. "That'd mean no bonus," I joked.

"Bonus? How can you think of a bonus, Derek?" She batted her eye lashes and furrowed her brow. "I'm thinking the slammer and a roommate I don't want."

"Dee, we already agreed on that," I reminded her. "No one's taking us out of this game against our will. We made an agreement about that, a solemn bond."

"I know, honey. You got my back." Dee cocked her head and smiled at me. "You always did like looking at my back and staring at my tattoos."

"Yes," I whispered a little too breathy. "But, those big brown pin up girl eyes nailed me every time." Yeah, she batted her eyelashes and I was putty in her expert hands. "That look, Dee, sucks the consciousness right out of my head."

"That's why I do it, lover. Cause it works." She took in a breath and sipped her wine. Over the rim she locked eyes with me. She changed again. "I'm not going down, Derek." Her face became awash in uneasiness. "Told you. I'm not going that way."

"But, Dee," I joked when I shouldn't have. We'd gone to enjoy the evenings dinner in another part of the train. Yet, she had concerns now. "You like doing that."

"No, silly, getting nabbed and doing time, orange ain't my color." She swallowed.

"Told you, my dear," I said to reassure her. She followed my lead as I got up, we talked while we boarded and headed for the dining car. "We got money stashed offshore, contacts on islands, places to stay, and, the best part, right off Key West," I continued to give her a reminder as we disappeared inside the train. "We got friends in Cuba."

"No extradition, Derek," she relaxed. "We're only doing what our system should have done in the first place. Disposing of the garbage," she convinced herself.

"Lot's of people are on our side, darling." We settled within the lavish accoutrements of the dining car. A martini had arrived and gave me my reassurance of the order in the cosmos up to this point in time. "We're committed all the way to the end if needed."

"Okay, enough of that, you think they're cops?" She asked while we continued dinner talk in the ornate and stylish dining car. "What do you think?"

We sat opposite each other on purpose. Naturally, without question or hesitance, she had my back and I had hers. Her steak was blood rare and juicy plump. She stabbed her fork at the baked potato, considered the Caesar salad and went back to the carnage of red meat, tender and succulent. Her red wine at that moment seemed more enticing.

"Nope, don't think so. Not real cop like we know." I sipped a martini.

"They don't look like cops to me. Just don't have the edge." Dee toasted her wine to my vodka. "You know that cultivated persona. Bet newly they're private."

"Sure, doll." I glanced at the landscape in the fading sunlight outside. It whisked by in a hurry to pass us. The tinted glass reflected my image in a way that made me feel younger. My back rested against the aging plushness of red leather. "Feds likely, they have that look, young upscale female model and boyish post pubescence guy."

"Let's take'em down, Derek," Dee tossed me her honed piercing cop look. Speaking of piercing, I loved Dee's. The woman went nuts during foreplay. Any way, she stared intently at me as if she wanted to eat me too. "Stop and frisk the old way."

"Finish my salmon, a little dash of caviar," I started, pulled in a long breath, tossed a swaggering gaze at her. "Top off your red wine." I poured. "And, we'll nail'em to the wall. Shake'em down. See what falls out. Badges? We got a problem."

"Done." She devoured with delight a thick cut of steak. Enjoyed sucking the last drop of oozing juices from its meaty thick texture. "What?"

"Just admiring the way you enjoy food," I told her. "Fascinating."

"Uh huh, mmm," she chewed purposely exaggerating her enjoyment. "And?'

"Its complete presence in each moment of culinary delight," I said. "Mouth, tongue, teeth and taste buds, totally committed to the satiation of the experience."

"Naturally," she smirked salaciously. "You want the broad?"

"Yeah, we can switch this time. I don't care." I met her deviously seductive eyes and sipped my delicious martini. "Course you know. If they're feds, that's a felony."

"Uh huh. Hmm, that won't be good." She stared over me at the prey. "He's a wuse. I can kick his ass. Wannabe tough guy, trying to be a fashion model."

"She looks like a cheerleader," I added to the uncertain discussion. "Perky."

"Okay. We roust'em in the sleeping section." She pulled my gaze back to her. "There's a storage area in between. Dressing closet. We can pull'em in that."

"I checked'em out earlier." I scooped up the remains of the wild rice pilaf. "Well, tried to at least. Took a photo with my cell phone, snatched a look at the passenger list. And, sent what I could to our vivacious office manager. She's on it."

"Good. Give her something to do. Dingus is glad we're out of the office, you know." Dee thought about our transsexual office manager fondly. Former competitive bodybuilder, she was quite an impressive sight. "Dingus is tired of finding my thongs on her desk. Derek, stop leaving'em there. She gets annoyed. Is that like a trophy or something? It bothers Dingus and she gets so melodramatic."

"That's why I do it, Dee dearest." I sipped the vanishing remnants of my martini. "Sorry, if you'd stop groping me around the office."

"You love it, silly." Her eyes caught movement. "They're leaving. Let's go."

"Easy, not so anxious. I sense they're on the edge. Could be new at this. By the way, Dingus sent me a text," I told her as we began to get ready to leave. "Nothing. Not much to go on. So, my guess. They're from out of town."

"Nothing? Don't like the sound of that." Dee finished off her wine. "Private consultants and rookies at that. Hmm, let's stay focused."

I signaled the attendant to put the dinner on my account. We'd settle later. Casually, we continued our nebulous but deceptive conversation. At the same time, tried to be casual and not very obvious about our demeanor. As the two subjects passed by our table, the male kept his focus on the exit. But, the tall thin very attractive blond, she was a little different. Instead, she made eye contact in a more sensual manner. She stayed there for longer than a casual glance, with a flirtatious hint. They made the exit and temporarily disappeared into the next car. Dee was up and after them.

"With that look she gave you, Derek. Can't wait to see how this goes down." The sway of her hips said she was deliberately taunting me. "Play your cards right, you get to release some of the pent up energy of yours. You're so easy."

"Oh, I am not," I cockily countered. "Okay, yes I am."

"Yes, you are," she played along. "Ten bucks you end up in a scissors lock with the broad." Dee toyed with my sheepish grin. "I've seen it before, Derek."

"You're on," I accept her dare. "Shake on it. And, who's on top?"

"Another ten says you're on top," she said and upped the ante. "Act natural and don't fake it." Dee raised one eyebrow in her unique style. "Fair and square now."

"Yeah, of course, legit." I finished off my drink and winked at her. "Promise."

"Derek." She met my eyes. "No fair scamming the bet. I'm warning you." Her look summed it up. I knew it all too well. "Okay, let's toss these two youngsters."

"Roger that, baby. Let's do it." I waited for her to leave first and followed.

Our two suspects were not bad dressers. They'd tried to complement each other the best way a young fashion conscious couple could these days. But, at the same time, they wanted to be very nonchalant and give pretense to style. Maybe more like fashionable federal agents at a seminar. For him, the business casual look with a navy suit, no tie and light blue dress shirt. Open collared of course to show how cool and carefree he was. For her, a black dress, open V-neck and matching spiked heels.

Mid-train we caught up with them. Red and brown comingled in the coloration of the décor. Classic railway noir for sure. We stepped through the connecting joints and adjusted to the consistent vibrations of the train. A small waiting area provided comfortable lounging prior to the sleeping units. There they were gathering personal belongings and assisting in their own vulnerability. With a surprised look, the male stood up and started to say something with a furtive motion that triggered Dee's reflexes.

But, before he could utter a word, Dee spun him around and put him in arm bar then pinned him against the dark paneled wall. Her index finger, with which she had extraordinary skills, poked the base of his skull. Thinking he had a gun to the back of his head; he froze and apparently suffered an inability to breathe normally. At the same instant, the female came at me frantically, but given the height of her red spiked heels, she stumbled, lost her balance and fell into my arms. In the forward motion, I caught her under her armpits and lost my balance. Together, we wrestled to floor.

"Whoa, easy, your ladyship," I cautioned. "No need to struggle. Wait, stop resisting you'll just hurt yourself. Hold, stop that." She clawed madly at me. "Wait a second."

"Derek, do you have control on that one?" Dee asked sarcastically. She furrowed her brow and pitched an impatient frown. "Well, any day now."

She had poster boy locked and loaded against the perfectly paneled wall. Apparently, our two suspicious persons forgot a fundamental factor in the calling to field of service. It's not about alleviating understanding a particular problem; it's about accepting the necessity of what you can't always control. For us, in this instant, Dee took control and I didn't adjust my equilibrium to the situation. At a precise instant, the train car jolted and bolted, which gave my femme fatale a tactical advantage.

My fault. That's what I get for not keeping my focus on the moment and staying connected to the present. I gazed at Dee's incredible ass, accentuated by the cling of her dress and the outline of those curves. Reality can give you a wakeup call when you weren't expecting it but should have anticipated the outcome. Out of nowhere, the babe seemed to come alive, with arm and leg tentacles that went everywhere. She was wiry, feisty and knew how to handle a guy trying to put his hands on her.

"Whoa! Hold on there, ma'am...," I cautioned and recovered quickly.

"That'll teach you," Dee chastised. "Staring at my butt, huh?"

Meanwhile, in the center ring, my wrestling partner blondie had managed to wrestle me on top of her, where she wrapped her legs around my waist. We'd hit the ground hard, like heavy suitcases tossed out of a rail compartment. In the tumble, we'd rolled back and forth and banged several times into the furniture. She was a wild cat and I was turned on by the fray. In seconds, she squeezed tightly, clawed madly and attempted a choke hold, using my shirt collar. Not bad, I thought. Probably a serious sex machine. I had to admit her spunky determination spoke to her credit and told me she had street smarts.

"Good try. No, that's really not a good technique," I whispered next to her ear and gently bit her ear lobe in a sensual manner. My tongue enjoyed the taste of her exotic scent. I felt her sigh. "Whoa, I got a response out of that."

"I can kick your butt, tough guy," she whispered in my ear and bit back.

"Hmm, kinda like that," I exchanged in a subtle murmur. Well, that got her attention real fast. Her defiant countenance changed and got more receptive to my downward pressure. "Wow, very nice. We need to be introduced properly," I teased.

"You're not a threat," she hissed out slowly.

"That's right. But you never know," I assured her. Slowly, she reacted in a less hostile manner, but kept her legs locked around me, with ankles crossed behind my back. "That feels good." My favorite position. Her black pleated dress slid up and hugged her hips, while her thong strained to cover the slimmest juncture of her vital points of interest. Positioning felt very good. "Umm, nice, very nice."

"Derek, you nit wit, god I love ya," Dee jabbed at me from behind. Her big Betty Page smile gave heartfelt affection freely in my direction. I bet that tattoo of Betty Page biting a bright red apple on her back flirted with me. "You okay down there?" We both knew the feeling was more than mutual in our own bizarre way. "You owe me twenty bucks. You wanna get blondie on her feet, or do I need to get my camera?"

"Uh, interesting thought," I said while keeping pressure down on blondie and controlling her head and arms. Her pelvis sensually pushed upward into mine, as she met my eyes with a sea of blue. I got the feeling she enjoyed this as much as I did. A smell of muskiness laced with glamorous perfume invisibly danced in the aroma of her. From the gaze, she accepted that I was not dangerous to her. "Whew, you're quite a fighter, young lady. Impressive. I could've had my hands full. You might've gotten away."

"Lots of experience, cop," she said with a smirk. "Fighting guys all my life."

"You do have your hands full, Derek," Dee snarled. "They're on her bony ass."

"Oh, sorry," I said with an apologetic exhale. "Let me help you up."

Mr. Male Centerfold was grimacing and whining at the wrist lock Dee expertly applied to his hand, arm and shoulder. Given my nature, in terms of my own carnal sexualis, not to be confused with the diabolis, I glanced in a split second between her and blondie. Wow, Dee was a hell of a good looking mature woman. Voluptuous and sassy red heard, while the younger one here had slim and trim natural blond allure. Oh what the heck. When it came to women, I liked'em all. Shucks, given the right situation, I'd do'em both with grateful appreciation. No ifs or ands, just butts, all sizes, shapes and colors.

"Thank you, you seem like a gentleman," the tall, thin, blue eyed blond added, held my gaze, and gripped my fingers, once she bounded on her spiked heels. She had good balance. "And yes, I could've kicked your ass, officer." Her little grin showed more than youth in her age. She was sexy. "A cop is cop no matter what. But, that's okay."

"Yeah, I've heard that." I helped her adjust the hem of her dress and spent a moment inhaling the fragrance that emanated from her. "School of hard knocks."

"Geezus, Derek. Need some privacy?" Dee relished in her merciless tease. But, on another level, she understood wisely that in the real world there were always temptations and flirtations. Societal ethics aside, people were people. "Any day now."

With blondie and Mr. Wannabee Atlas settled down, we had them perched and poised on a two-seater over-stuffed brown leather couch. Nice furnishings with reflections of the past surrounded the compartment we were in. They sank into the well-worn seats and were kept off-balance. No doubt the heavy cushioned lounger had seen a lot of midnight action over the years. I'm sure the staff wearied of constantly cleaning recent encounters. Together, we stood offset to the two of them, at bladed angles. As Dee fixed her professional gaze on the boy model, she side glanced at me.

"Don't forget, my twenty bucks, pal," she tossed loosely in the air.

"I won't have to. You'll keep reminding me." I gently touched her shoulder and felt the electricity that exchanged between us. Yep, it was still there. She shivered slightly and took in a breath. "Let's see who our two guests are."

"Lovely, can't wait," Dee said while she continued to play mind games with Mr. Cover Boy. Naturally, she had the advantage. "So. Who's the hunk?"

In the flash and flicker of a serious moment, my look beheld the one Dee gave me. Faint smiles acknowledged a special bond between two partners. An energy exchange fired the senses within. We were cops and we knew each other pretty well. I had her back and she had mine. Yet, ours was more than that, with an intimacy that went beyond the physical realm. Bizarre as it might sound, it's a connection outside the social context, on a plane of intuitiveness that supersedes conventional interactivity.

"Okay, let's see some I.D.'s, if you please," I said to blondie.

"You, boy toy, I'm getting your wallet out," Dee growled at him.

She and I shared such a nature. One that possesses a psychic level much higher in feeling and sensitivity. Cops know this. It transcends the lush transfusion of sacred liquid satin on a more personal level. For male and female partners, it's that incredible climatic cascade of pulsating sensuous unity. Our bonding to each other extended from life to the rapture of death and beyond that, as far as the mind can see.

This was the kind of sacrificial servitude wise and experienced cops knew all too well. You'd do anything for your partner. Warriors comprehend the essence of the bond between comrades no matter what may come in an eternity of hellish encounters. At any rate, neither one of our captors were armed with weapons of any sort.

"Alright, we got an interesting find, Ms. Dee," I said over my shoulder to her. My tone had the usual twisted edge of sarcasm. "Oh my goodness what a coincidence." I met Dee's incredibly sexy gaze. "What're the odds?"

"Oh no, don't tell me. We got relatives here?" Dee picked up on it.

In the next few minutes, we had identified our followers and got them calm and reassured. The male model stayed tense and, on the edge, as if his manhood had come into question. Opposite that, the woman remained confidently sexual. Her purse and his wallet gave us another issue to deal with. The surveillance team turned about to be rookie P.I.'s on special assignment. This of course presented us with a problem in our present predicament. Which meant, among other things, our present case might have to be altered to a significant degree. Rarely have we ever had to abort an assignment. And, to that end, I wondered if we were slipping up?

"P.I.'s, my darling, just like us," I told her with a grin, while I made closer examination of their I.D. cards. Dee furrowed her brow, arched an eyebrow and waited patiently. "Go figure. Okay, you two, spill out the info. What gives?"

Too nervous not to talk, the boy-toy spilled his guts. His female partner was not happy and she held back. Tight lipped, I could see her physically get defensive. She had that look of disappointment, but not rejection or lack of confidence. You know, it's the one where the foreplay builds to an intense pinnacle of mind numbing ecstasy. Yet, at the moment of blissful engagement, as you're about to enter the hallowed sanctity the unexpected happens. Sweaty and out of breath, wild and wicked, clutching and probing, there's an abrupt surprising premature dejection.

Well, the glamour boy, for all his strutting with cocky pride, he spurted uncontrollably. Guess he'd reached that point where he couldn't hold back any longer. Dee frowned as well as the other woman. Both had expected a little more resistance. Sometimes, you just never know. People can be unpredictable to a confusing degree. None the less, you go with what you've got.

"What the...?" Dee asked with a demanding tone and commenced to fume and foam about it. She got fussy in a heartbeat. "Goddamnit, he says our benefactor on this case is playing us? Geezus, Derek." Those big brown eyes cut the room in half. "What the hell gives?" Hotter than an overcharged stun gun, she revved herself up. Her stance became a defiant one. "Okay, Derek, you slept with her. Tell me."

"What's that supposed to mean, Dee? Easy does it, doll," I sought to tame the savage sexual aggression she'd about unleashed. "Yes, she and I used to be an item a long time ago. Fury Prophet's now a successful entrepreneur, quite wealthy and trusts us." I paused for a beat or two to collect my thoughts. "There's a good explanation if she's brought these too into the situation, has to be."

"Yeah, right, lover boy. Okay, tell me what it is?" Dee shot back. At the same time, she maintained a careful watch over our quarry. "You and the boss have a history and that's okay. But, why send in a backup team? I don't like the smell of it, especially his cologne." She glanced at poster boy. "Geezus he smells like a

"Dee, that was a long time ago," I defended. "Sure. That's true. It started when I was a rookie and the boss worked the streets. She was a stripper and hooker. Down on her luck." I gave her a shrug. "My god, that's water over the damn. She wouldn't set us up." I caught the look. "Okay, I know what you're thinking and you're right."

"It's better to be safe and on guard, rather than sorry and buried in the backyard. Not so fast, lover boy," Dee came back tenaciously. "Why're we being followed?" She held back just a moment. "I don't like this. It's a change not counted on."

"I agree. This puts a damper on the case," I answered. "We'll talk later." Dee gave me a less than peachy frown. "Delta, this is out of the ordinary, I know. But it can't be helped. Right now, we got a different problem. These two are our problem."

"No kidding, Sherlock," she said with another frown and a hiss.

Ginger Cumin and Richard Small were quickly identified as our younger shadows. The blond had looks about her, an edge and a street smart glint. Naturally, the dark eye shadow, long lashes, the rosy tinted makeup, natural blondness and the black mini-skirt helped my perspective. To that extent, perception is everything. A nice slender stretch of female thigh always got my attention. Especially like hers, when the high heels were exotic and the pose inviting, one can get quixotic.

Not the dark suit on the other hand. He postured with every twitch and subtle move to mimic his annoyance as though on a photo shoot for some fashion magazine. I quickly nicknamed him Dicky Small, as he was entirely another story. Their I.D.'s panned out and legitimate. A thorough check had been conducted via our texting madness with our office manager. At any rate, we cut them loose for the time being and headed to our compartment. They two shrugged, cursed and walked away.

"Now what, tough guy," Dee murmured as she got naked in about three breaths. She stood in front of me with red nailed hands on hips. Her legs spread provocatively; she wore nothing but the wickedest grin I'd seen in a while. And, her black spiked heels, with ankle buckles added to the dark allure. "Got any ideas?"

"Let me see," I breathed excitedly. "Wow. Got cuffs?" I toyed for a moment. "Good cops always got her cuffs ready. Wanna frisk me?"

"Baby, I got anything you want," she purred like a lioness on the hunt. "I'm gonna search you in every place you might hide a weapon."

"Whew, you turn me into a quivering bowl of flesh pudding." I smoldered a brief moment. Her natural redheaded curls accentuated her creamy complexion. Silky and freckled, she smiled with one eyebrow cocked. "Oh my god," I gasped.

"You're putty in my hands, my dear," she teased nakedly. "I'm gonna have you begging for mercy before the night is over. Then, I'm gonna kick your ass."

"Wait a second," I breathed heavily with anxious anticipation while I tore off my clothes and stood naked before the red fiery goddess. "You're blaming me for those two characters? Come on, Dee, sweetie, cut me some slack."

"Don't 'sweetie' me, Derek. You're not getting any of this." She pointed one finger back to herself with a wicked grin. "Until I know what's going on."

"I think I'm deflating," I said and looked down. "Just as things were coming up, looks like they're depressurizing. Okay, Aphrodite, this is torture."

"Hmm, you have a point, and I love the way you're pointing it at me," Dee said breathily with a low throaty moan. "Well..." she licked her luscious ruby lips. "Sure hate to waste that big bulky salute you're giving me, baby."

"Me too," I nearly begged. "Kick my ass later about the two spies?"

"Kick my ass now, honey," Dee breathed heavily. "Do me, lover, now..."

"My god, you're incredible, my sweet..." I hissed with mounting need.

Within the next longest salacious seconds, I sucked down some air and commenced to savor the taste of her bodily contours. Nectar beyond description, Dee was a goddess of never ending pleasures. Momentarily, she held me with a gentle grip, massaged warmly, to linger in admiration of my most salient asset.

That is, at least as far as she was concerned, Dee claimed I was gifted and teased me with horse analogies. Regardless though, my eyes consumed the aura of her creamy beauty and relished in the exquisite sight, feel and taste of every luscious detail. Our appetite grew with each second, as the encounter with the previous duo had sensually provoked and excited us. From that thrilling surge of libidinous longing, our duality merged into craving wet madness.

"That's it, give me all of it, baby, hard, heavy, don't hold back," Dee warned. "Oh god," she heaved and shoved. "Hammer me, I need this..."

For us, mutual admiration held tightly to the oozing slickness of enflamed carnality. We rolled together and sank into bunk, clutching, groping and probing the blessed sanctity of blissful unity. Desperately hungered in urgent arousal, our erotic union impaled and plunged us to the brink of gushing eruption. We ravenously clung to each other, wet, sticky and melted, reverberating with panting embrace. On fire seconds earlier, we smoldered in the afterglow of our blazing heated frenzy.

"Every time, Dee," I started to murmur, my breath a whisper. Both of us had sweated each other to the brink of collapse before we exploded thunderously in ecstatic oneness. We hugged gently. "Our loving seems new, different, and special."

"Yes, my dearest, always hot, and I love it" she said with a sensual mumble, flipped me over and climbed on top. She nestled in close to my neck. "And, by the way, you owe me twenty bucks. You did wind up between her legs."

"That was an accident," I playfully proclaimed. "I got surprised."

"Bullshit, baby cakes, nothing's an accident. Not with that big thing between your legs," she whispered hotly in my ear. "My god you're gifted." Gently, Dee rubbed my flaccid expended state. "We ought to market that thing, make a movie."

"Well, you know, I wouldn't be opposed to that." I said somewhat interested in the prospects. "I'd need some training and special coaching."

Before she could answer that, the compartment door burst to the side, and nearly exploded from the wall fixtures. An enraged Dick Small lunged inside, with an anguish filled face. The sound of the forced entry abruptly lit our state of alertness. Slick, sweat drenched and temporarily satiated, we refocused quickly. Even from the blessed nectar of smoldering bliss, suckling each drop, reflexes must be ready.

You just never know when you might have to react at a moment's notice. Dee and I had become accustomed to such preparedness. We instantly focused on our intruder. Annoyed by the discourteous interruption both of us wanted to hurt him. His face a blackened mask of fury, Dickey boy appeared filled with the amative thrill of murderous rage. We knew that look. In the dim yellowish hue of ambient light, he came at us. Like a ghostly phantom, he leaped forward but hesitated.

"You bitch; I'm gonna fuck you up good." Dick halted abruptly.

"Geezus, what a sissy, are you feeling prissy, little man?" Dee murmured in her bare assed defiance and heatedly gripped her pistol. The gun was tucked discreetly under the sheet that barely covered her pelvis. "You think you boys'll ever grow up? Wait, no bulge in your pocket means you're not glad to see me."

As they jousted in rough verbal intercourse, I'd disengaged from my rapture and hit the floor. From the tinted reflection of his animated presence, the angry shadowy form of Dickey held a gun. His face said he was ready to shoot. His eyes were filled with intended madness. As Dick stood there arguing his manhood with Dee, I nakedly encircled at angle. In a second, I spun his gun side with quick deflection. Twisted, cranked and tormented, Dick lost his balance and original intentions. His premeditated purposes were immediately redirected.

With a wrenching grip, my precision controlled the firearm, blocked the firing capacity and broke a few bones in his wrist and fingers. Collar bone nerve pressure inflicted pain from shoulder to hand and caused him to scream. From which, the stab of agony sprung his fingers loose. He dropped the gun and stumbled forward. And, at that moment took a few chops to the neck. That was followed by a knee to the main never in the thigh and a stomp on the instep. In a heap of expended gasps and coughs, the Dick crashed to the fluffy soft red carpeting. Upon retrieval of the gun came another surprise. A wild eyed, black negligée clad Ginger dashed inside too.

"Fuck you, Dick," she screamed and shot him in the back of the head.

In an instant, a spit of gunfire emanated from her gun. In the shadowy veil of the compartment, an instantaneous flash signaled the firing. The smell of gunpowder sifted through the rush of cool air. Adding to the quiet execution, the train's incessant roaring motions echoed metallic squeals, clanks and screeches. Additionally, her pistol had a muffled barrel, which contained most of the noise.

As the bullet hit Dick's skull, a dull thud sounded for a split second. To me it was as though someone had hit a coconut with hammer. Not hard, but enough to crack the surface. The projectile punched a hole into his brain. Inside, the small caliber wreaked havoc on the grey matter. Most likely, much of it wasn't used anyway. Regardless though, she stood there with a triumphant expression. One hand rested casually on a slanted hip, while she posed dangerously on a pair of black stilettos.

"Ginger, just what the hell are you doing?" I stuttered a little.

"He beat me up, the slimy son of bitch. Goddamnit, I couldn't stand his hands on me one more time." she defended with a calculated look at both Dee and me. "He really did and he forced me to, well you know?"

"Uh huh, sure, I know, honey, men are pigs." Dee yawned.

"So you killed him in self-defense?" I quizzed her suspiciously and gave her an alibi. Hell, I didn't like the prick either. Quickly, I took her gun and knelt to examine the dead Dick. I glanced up at her and sized up the meaning of 'he beat me up' and what 'well you know' probably meant. "Head shot from behind, it's a game stopper." My gaze met Dee's who held her gun steady on Ginger. "He's one limp dick."

"Too bad, he had a nice body, from what I could tell," Dee murmured demurely from the bed. Still naked with a slight sheen of sweat, she had a satiated look. "We might've had a fairly good humping, with a four-way," she shrugged with a jaded hint of detachment. "You never know with people what might turn out."

"He had self-image issues, couldn't keep it up long enough," she wanted to explain more. "Damn, he was a walking therapy session. My god, talk about denial and confusion about masculinity, fuck, the guy was a lousy fuck."

"Oh yeah, it's the risk you run trying to find the right one, dearie," Dee added.

"Well, he won't get it up at all now," I commented.

"He's dead? God, I hope so," she whispered with a relieved sense of accomplishment. Nothing about her seemed injured in any way. In fact, just the opposite, as Ginger seemed tough, resilient and fully capable. "Thank goodness. The ego of this guy was absolutely amazing. What an asshole."

"Yeah, they don't grow up and usually they're assholes," Dee agreed.

"Ginger," I started. "We don't care why, and we don't care what. Let's keep this simple. We don't need to know anything. Whatever your reasons, they're yours." She looked me straight in the eyes. Ah, another Ginger resides in there. Yep, you have to look for them, all those characters locked away deep inside. "We've got a problem here. And, on top of that, we got to find a solution, understand?"

"Yeah, yeah, I get it. No problems, what'd ya wanna do?" She quizzed us.

Suspicious, always suspicious, Dee and I shared mutual skepticism about anything human. One thing you can count on with people, they lie to you. Selfish, self-absorbed and cleverly self-indulgent in various ways, people are mostly out for themselves. Human beings have the skillful knack of being the most deceptive and cunning creatures on the planet. Caution was warranted at all times.

Generally, we trusted no one, except each other, but our history was unique. We'd become connected in a special kind of way. Most people wouldn't understand our type of relationship. Together though, after so many years of working with the public, we simply didn't care that much anymore. In fact, we tried to avoid being around our fellow human beings as much as possible. It's safer that way.

Ginger Cumin was no different than us or anybody else. Wants, needs and desires will get met one way or the other. Not unlike her dick counterpart, even though he died less evolved than the rest us. At that moment, her night gown slipped wide open, and not accidently. She was naked from tonsils to toenails. I really hadn't seen or felt her tongue or tonsils yet. But I figured they're probably deep and pretty healthy parts of her anatomy. At any rate, the alliteration sounded good.

"Okay, Derek, any ideas coming to ya? We gotta have something very quickly to help our new friend, Ms. Ginger?" Dee slid with an effortlessly glide off the bed. She stood up proudly and enjoyed her nudity. "We need a good plan."

"He's gotta go without a trace," I told her.

"Okay, I'm good with that. He was a dick. And, there's a funeral car at the end of the train," Ginger said confidently. "Must be several caskets already loaded inside the compartment. Each sealed and signed by local death certificate orders. A check of the manifest indicates they're slated for cremation as soon as possible."

"Well, that's really convenient for us, huh?" I said not surprised at all by the commentary. "I find it very reassuring that you've done your research on this matter. Since you planned this from the start, what's your next move?"

"Ah, shucks, Mr. Derek, I'm just poor country girl trying to make it in the real world. Okay, my job is to keep an eye on you too," she said with a pretext to meekness. She made sure I noticed her nakedness, especially the creamy smoothness below the navel. "And, do follow-up for our mutual benefactor."

"Wow, we are a pack of deviants, aren't we?" Dee smirked deliciously. "In that case, we should waste no more time and start working together."

"I quite agree and share no shame for my modest deviations," I added.

"Oh please, Derek my darling," Dee cut in. "Your deviations are not modest by any stretch of the imagination. And, I have quite an imagination."

"My goodness, I hope that's true." Ginger smiled nicely.

Ginger made herself comfortable on the lower bunk. Brazen, open and uninhibited, she rested herself sensually. As she sat casually, sprawled and lounged like a feline seductress, I allowed myself the ease of seduction. Dee effortlessly slid next to her, got close and I joined at Dee's side. With the curious gaze of three, we looked down on the demise of the formerly assaultive Dick. Very little spillage of his fluids contaminated the compartment. We'd ensure everything was cleaned.

"You have a so called go bag, right?" Ginger languished next to Dee. For a moment, she seemed to be subservient. As though Dee had become her dominant mentor, Ginger showed submissiveness. "You have tools of the trade."

"We have many trappings so to speak for our tradecraft," Dee said with a deep husky hint. "Some tie you up and some tie you down, no matter what, there are times you will never frown." She laughed that special kind of laugh. The tone of which gave off a saucy kind of allure. "Deviance and death are our business."

"The diabolis sexualis is a tale of no limits," I said to her.

"Diabolis is the dangerousness of human thinking, which translates into personal cravings for amative satiation," Dee said to her with a wink. "Sexualis is the potent inner strength by which we drive ourselves to fulfill our yearnings."

"Think carefully, Ginger about where you're going," I advised.

"Such is the darkness in all of us," Dee wanted to emphasize the very essence of the line you've crossed of your own free will. "If you have the guts to go there, then you have the willfulness to experience the liberating exhilaration."

"To live naked in every sense, to bare the essentiality of your unbridled authenticity, that is the quest of self-evolution," I follow-up behind Dee.

"We are hedonistic creatures, my dear," Dee continued and gently stroked her thigh. "Humans are a duality, good and evil waging a mind-storm within. We are that which seeks our own pleasured reassurance of life over death."

"Along the way, on the yellow brick road of materialistic motivations," I injected and probed her further. "Psychologists, neurologists and wannabe profilers, oh my, all want to selfishly determine human behaviors. That is the subjectivity of their arrogance for self-gratification." I reached across us and stroked her bare leg affectionately for a second. Ginger accepted without a flinch. Her eyes widened with excitement. "But, no one knows the depths of the human psyche."

"People are very good at their deceptions, so much so, they convince themselves of their ruses." Dee added playfully. "To be honest, open and exceptionally unique demands hard work and courageous efforts to rise above the rest."

"And yet, my friend," I said and relocated next to Ginger. "We press on with our own proclivities, eccentricities and intentions. So, we make choices." I pressed from one side and Dee from the other. Skin to skin, I added, "You've already crossed the line by intentional fluctuation of your libidinous passions. Are you willing to stay in that gray space, the un-inhibited mind-scape of prurient desires?"

"Yes, I am. I like what you both have said." Ginger put one hand on each of our legs. "I'm in, I with you guys. But, since I'm a novice to the P.I. craft," Ginger wanted to explain further. "I'm hopeful, under you, Ms. Dee, your tutelage, I'll learn a lot." She glanced at me and slightly leaned forward. "You too, Mr. Derek, I'm looking forward to your breaking me in more, with in-depth instruction."

"Of course, and we'll certainly explore that deeper," I whispered and brought her eyes seductively to mine. The three of us pressed our bodies closer. "For now though, we must bury our mutual connections to the recent past."

"Absolutely, sacrifices must be made. And, I believe I'm seriously going to enjoy our relationship," Ginger hummed softly through carefully parted puffy lips. Skilled primordial urges provoked a satisfied smile. "Hmm, a trilogy I suppose."

"Our simple ways are unobtrusive," Dee said as she stroked Ginger's thigh a little higher to the apex of her delectable delicacies. "And yet, as three, we might grow evolve more uniquely." Her breath hung on the last word. "We can be special."

By the time we made our trek to the last train car, minutes had passed into the oblivion of the next series of movements. Sure enough, as premeditated by Ginger's cunning spiciness, the funeral compartment waited for us. Unencumbered by haste, the dead reclined in prone anticipation of fiery demise. Between the food supply car and the mobile mortuary, a locked door divided quick entry.

"Okay, Derek, my darling," Dee murmured every so shamelessly. "You're good at getting into tight places. See if you can penetrate this lock system." She licked her lips with a wicked grin. "Can you poke and see how deep you can go?"

"Uh huh, appears to be icing on the cake. It's a good thing," I started to tell her, "in our haste to get dressed, I came prepared. It enters gently, goes deep and tickles the tumblers until they open wide. Now, hold still while I prick the receptacle." I pulled a small black case from my coat pocket. "Always practice safe lock picking. "Given the state of the worn nature, I'd say this unit is well-used."

"It is close to the culinary compartment," Ginger teased lightly and leaned over my shoulder to watch me probe the opening. "Don't eat the lamb chops."

"Oh nice, thanks for that thought. Makes you wonder though," I said.

"You're good at this. Cops are so talented." Ginger's hand slipped down my buttocks, squeezed a check and eased under my groin. At the same time, Dee kept watch, and ran her hand over Ginger's long tapering back. Ginger added, "I want to help by encouraging you. Maybe this'll add to your concentration."

"Thank you, that's really good motivation." I shivered a pleasant chill. Her fingers gently massaged me from behind, while I popped the lock. "There we go."

"Quick, let me get this server cartwheeled inside," Dee pushed passed me and squeezed between us. "Don't wanna take any chances out here." She and Ginger had commandeered the serving unit earlier. Dee had covered it with a huge white linen tablecloth. Inside, Dick Small involuntarily remained hidden. "The package is ready for delivery," she said to Ginger. "Here's your Dick? Let's pack it."

With that said, we were inside the spacious compartment in seconds. Roominess however was countered by the caskets on board. Dee and Ginger rolled the stainless steel pushcart through the doorway and down the middle aisle. Dimly lit, the interior was illuminated by low level safety lighting. This afforded some visual reference to the layout. While they read the storage manifest, hanging on a nearby wall, I examined the security feature for this part of the train.

"This place really isn't all that secure," I mumbled. "That's good for us."

"Well, who'd want to mess with dead bodies," Ginger quipped. For a second or two, we stared at each and she added, "Never mind forget I said that."

Moments later, we stood there and beheld rows and stacks of coffins. It appeared some dead people crowded inside, in a hurry to take one last train ride. What are the odds, I thought, this would come in handy. How convenient for Ginger? At what point in time had she planned this eventuality. The depths of the human mind appreciate no limits to the dark deepness pulsating inside. Self-deceiving, adapted to reality as necessary, the unconscious realm stokes the diabolis sexualis.

By contrast, the counterforce that stimulates the balance, the animus diabolis struggles with wicked intentions. Meanwhile, bodies in the coffins were still dead to the three of us. No matter what anyone thought, the light in the coffins had gone out. Each with its own final story sealed inside for an eternity. In this physical realm all that remained was destined for a final resting place. Some of them, however, would not find respite six feet under. Instead, several were headed for crematoriums.

"This one over here," Ginger summoned a pitch above a whisper.

"Hmmm, this one's headed for the cremation center at the next stop," Dee read from the certificate on the coffin's latch. "Well, it reads, 'do not break seal, immediate cremation', okay, good choice, it'll be quick." She carefully lifted the sealed notification and opened the casket. "There's enough room underneath."

"Okay, ladies, let's unload him and get out of here," I requested. We hoisted the body inside and put the Dick in bottom space. "Good work, let's go."

"Sounds good to me," Dee replied and Ginger nodded. "Bye Dick."

Upon completion of the abrupt funeral arrangements, we waited another stop to exit the train. During the interim, the compartments were completely sanitized and rearranged. After leaving the train, keeping a low profile, a rental car was obtained with Dick Small's identification. In his premature absence, he would perform one more task. Using local maps and old fashioned ways, we went off the grid. In a few hours, we'd transformed our appearance, black clad, watch caps, gloves and assorted tactical equipment. We looked like commandos of some sort.

We went low tech for now and stayed away from modern technologies. No trace would be left behind. Well, at least nothing of an incriminating nature. And so, we trekked into the rural backwoods looking for the original target of termination. Part of the way, was a hike through dense forest lands. Once located, nightfall aided our surreptitious approach to a rundown abandoned slaughterhouse. People eat meat in unconventional ways. The place had been a workshop of horrors.

"Geezus, the fruitcake lives inside this?" Dee quizzed with a disgusting tone. She peered through night goggles. "Goddamn, he killed all those kids here?" She sucked in a long breath and steadied her resolve. "It's a goddamn packing house."

"Yep, this is where he murdered them." I likewise scanned the landscape. "Makes you wonder, when you think about it, what's in our food chain."

"Fuck, I don't want to think about that." Ginger surveyed the ruins ahead of us. "It's a deserted meat processing plant." She shared my binoculars. "Listen, I tell you what, after all the stuff you told me. This animal deserves vigilante justice."

"Oh, my friend, you don't know the half of it. The details of what he did are beyond evil. He's walking dead already, a zombie," I told her. "Search and seizure issues led to suppression of evidence and a macabre acquittal."

"He can't be tried again, right?" Ginger asked sourly. "What the fuck?"

"Vigilance is always necessary," Dee murmured from a small embankment. The grass was damp in the chilly night. "Police work was founded on a history of urban vigilantism. Most people don't understand the primal concept."

"That's why there's us," I reminded her. "Someone's got to do it." Meanwhile, my visual scan noted a pale orange glow on the second level of the building. "See it?" I pointed out to both of them. "He's got an apartment up there." With a double check through the night goggles, I continued, "There's movement, he's there."

"You wanna flip the coin?" Dee asked me. "Or, is it my turn to toss it?"

"What's she mean by that?" Ginger queried under her breath. "Who goes in first? You guys decide who makes the entry or surrounds the building?"

"No, we all go in together, same access point, wedge, and arc and hook the objective. Oh school, I don't like separating our forces for any reason," I explained my particular perspective. "I like backup nearby and handy."

"Okay, then what's the toss about?" She asked again.

"It's about who gets the honor of putting the animal down," I answered. "We take turns depending on the toss of the coin. Which is done in the dark?" My focus continued to skim the outer perimeter of the building. "The method all depends on the situation at hand. Each situation varies. Sometimes our benefactor prefers a particular method. Either way, if we take the case, we have final say."

"When we go in it has to be silent, quick and deadly. No fuck ups. Stay focused and on task. Do the toss, Derek," Dee said impatiently. "I want this guy. If we don't put this vermin down, he'll kill again. He might even be plotting right now."

"Okay, you're ready?" I said to Dee, she nodded and I reached inside a pocket. An old silver dollar was there just for this purpose. In the faint light of the moon, I flipped the coin caught it from the shadows. Concealed in my palm, I covered it over the back of my other hand. "You call it, heads or tails. It's your turn."

"Heads," she said solemnly, "gotta be heads this time."

"You're right. You got the lead, my dear," I added. From a small backpack, I gave her a black leather case. Inside, there was a tranquilizer gun and a vial. "Be careful, our mutual friend told me this was a particularly potent version."

"What is it, a poison, fast acting stuff?" Ginger quizzed me again.

"Since we have associates in high and low places," I offered with a murmur. "There are opportunities to experiment with various techniques."

"Allegedly, this is a potent strain," Dee chimed in from the shadows.

"Torture, my dear," I added lightly. "It's not what it's cracked up to be. So, the government continues to search for an effective truth serum. Occasionally, as consultants, we help. You can't always be guaranteed you'll extract really good actionable intelligence." I watched Dee open the case and extract the dull navy blue pistol. To Ginger, I continued to explain, "Gas powered, the pressurized dart if very powerful and extremely accurate. Oh, say, up to about a hundred yards."

"Whoa, nice, I like this...," Ginger said but didn't finish. Her awareness jerked toward an open window frame up on the second level. "Look."

Momentarily, our attention caught a distraction. The target moved, or more or less limped, toward the window. A slight nondescript dwarfish bulky looking form filled part of the opening. Broken glass jaggedly outlined the image, as half a screened frame hung to one side. Faded and peeling, whitewashed siding strained to remain affixed to the outer structure. Survival had given sway to primal urgency, from the pit of primitive desires, raw boned gut feasting blood sucking diabolis. That demonic form projected his ominous presence, a fiendish mirror of malevolence. Good and evil recognizes only one face, that of the human species.

Daring anyone to oppose his primeval prurient potency, he looked out arrogantly. As if to say this domain was his kingdom of willful cruel whim and brutal savagery, he plotted his next move. Overhead, fingers of lightning silently clawed silver streaks across the sky. Seemingly, nature reacted to horrors concealed within that inner sanctum. Mindfully alert to the presence of the evil, my thoughts lingered to a different realm. All too well, I knew Dee felt the same way. Who knows if a higher power looked down with cosmic intentions to invoke judicious retribution? For us, we'd given up speculations for such self-indulgent naiveté.

"Anyway, back to our little briefing of sorts," I said to Ginger.

"According to our gorgeous hulky she-male office manager," Dee sighed with a reminiscent hint of dreamy debauchery. She'd always been more than fascinated by Dingus, quite an Amazonian bodybuilder. "And, by the way, wait'll you meet her. Whew, you'll get a workout. Anyway, she contacted our source; you can drop a rhino with one shot. Well, at least that's the theory."

"I like theories, sometimes they actually pan out." Ginger blinked.

"The substance in each round contains a curare derivative. Now, I'm talking here a uniquely designed byproduct, one that's used for clandestine purposes." I held up a small projectile for her to see in the dimness of the grey-black evening. "Each one is roughly the equivalent to a nine millimeter cartridge and very potent.

"The intent is to instantly sedate the target and keep it alive at the same time," Dee started again slowly, while we divided our attention between us and the objective. Up at the main building, the demon watched over his dominion. "Meanwhile, as quick paralysis sets in, the monster is overwhelmed and secured. The final deathblow is put in motion. Inside the blood stream, not only is the body shutting down, but the potion is dissipating with each passing moment. We then stage the scene."

"Interesting huh?" I noted the quizzical expression Ginger gave me.

"Like sleep paralysis? You know, the body freezes, but the mind is still active." She wanted to understand from the sound of her voice. "Is that Right?"

"Yeah, kinda sort of," I kept it simple. There would be time to train her in more detail for this side of the business. "We want the ghoul awake but neutralized. The terrorist needs to see the end coming. Most actually believe in their invincibility. In minutes, maybe an hour, the effects wear off and leave no trace."

"By then, it's too late," Dee added with a long exhale. "He's fucked."

"The tactics are simple, the inclinations are challenging, and you're in too deep at this point, Ginger," I invited her to respond. "We're way over the line."

"What? Are you kidding? No way am I backing out. I'm in all the way, pal," she muttered confidently and kept her voice down. "This is exciting, it's stimulating." She sucked in hard, took in some air. "My god, it's sensual."

"Yeah, that it is," I agreed with a shaded smile. "There's just one more thing."

"Uh oh, I was afraid of that." Ginger frowned impishly.

"There's the outside chance, as nothing is foolproof," Dee began slowly with a smirk. "Once we're in there, he might have a guest. A friend, an accomplice, whatever, and who knows. He might even have a victim. A decision has to be made as to the next option. Nothing is perfect, there are always glitches."

"An accomplice is one thing, you make your choices," Ginger replied and appeared to be thinking it over. "A live victim, well that's something else."

"Yeah, quite so, partner." Double D gave her a long stare. Delta was now at her peachiness, keenly motivated and with a sense of prurient proclivities racing wildly. With a velvety smoothness to her tone, she offered fuzzily, "So, we got that to think about and be ready for. Follow our lead and keep your mask on."

"Okay, rescue the victim, if alive, right?" Ginger sought the comfort of an easy answer. Maybe she wanted an aromatic tidbit of wisdom, grown with the spicy comfort of simplicity and trouble free logic. There is no such thing. She picked up on our darkened looks. "Okay, we wait and see, huh?"

"Pretty much, we play by the nature of what unfolds. No matter what anyone tells you, there are no easy answers to anything where humans are concerned," I tried to sum up the conjecture. I took one last look at the layout. "We go now."

"Roger that, game faces on," Dee said to us.

Off to one side, there was an overgrown slough, an ancient aqueduct of sorts. Concrete remains of an outdated drainage system, the ditch extended from one corner of the packing house. At one time long ago, that must've served to transport the runoff. Blood, guts, bile, body fluids, urine, and feces, all laced with deathly fears, and who knows what else. The remains drained into a nearby lake. And yet, the conduit afforded surreptitious entry to extract an element of terminal reckoning.

Once inside, night vision aided our stealthy trek to a landing atop a crumbling staircase. Catlike, feral intensity, and fixated intent, the three of us stayed on a razor's edge. Ahead, from a dirty ghostly veil, a feeble shaft of light emanated from the living quarters. Muffled pistols at the ready position, we were transfixed on our trajectory. Dee took the point, Ginger covered the middle, and I watched our backs. Slowly, methodically, we crept in unison and the feeling was good. Each movement made a calculated impression upon each floorboard. Like walking over a pond of glass, where each step might break through, our moves were quiet.

"He's all yours baby," I mouthed silently to Dee. Simultaneously, Ginger and I hugged the door frame with low balanced, loose kneeling positions. Our eyeful gazes, for a few seconds, conveyed a lot. "We got you covered, honey."

"Fuck you, asshole!" She blurted, kicked open the door, and noiselessly with a poof, poof, fired two darts. She added, "You're gonna die motherfucker!"

"What the hell, son of bitch!" The gruesome gnome growled, rolled from his dingy nasty lair and reached for a shotgun. "I'll kill you!"

Regardless, his murderous rage fell short, as multiple injections worked mysterious magic furiously. From the bluster and bravado of degenerate egotism, he lunged for his gun. Dee had been right on target, center mass, left of the sternum and straight to the heart. As previously informed, the concoction performed precisely as theorized from lab predictions. Later, secretly, I'd followup with an after action analysis with our contact in the murky realms of covert ops.

For now though, the hideous life form before us struggled to make nonsense into common sense. As many people often do, they confuse contrived stupidity with the hard work of rational factuality. And very simply, humanoids like this don't belong in the gene pool. None the less, he grunted like a huge hog, floundered out of the bed, stumbled fatly and crashed aimlessly into his rotted nightstand. A quivering mass of blubber, his flabby nakedness hung heavily around his torso. Stiffened by the juice of the injections, neuromuscular unresponsiveness immobilized him.

And yet, his mind functioned on the lowest level it always had. Primitive purposes of primeval thinking transform from psychic hells. Thoughts become deadly purposes in our physical reality. All is a matter of free will. As a shaved hog rooting to satiate endless hunger, he shook violently for a few seconds.

Then, in the surrounding squalor, he stopped moving. In those intervening seconds, from onset to paralysis, I checked my watch and noted the time. I gave her a glance and nodded. Dee had pulled her muffled pistol and covered the cretin's quivering jellied mass. I'd motioned to Ginger to take up another firing point and cover the doorway. Don't need to have something or someone slither behind us.

"About three seconds?" Dee murmured ever so stealthy.

"Yeah, I'd say that's an improvement," I agreed for the moment. "But the process needs to be instantaneous for better results. He could've returned fire."

"Hey, asshole," Dee stood over him and looked down like an avenging angel. "Yeah, you see me, but you're paralyzed, no muscle control."

"My god," Ginger hissed as she gazed around the room. Through dimly reflections from old oil lamps, she saw the pictures. "Look at the Photographs."

"His collection," I answered her with a sting of sadness. "All the children," I started to say, but had to clear my throat. "He tortured and killed them all and consumed them part by part. Investigators found body parts in the basement."

"A cruel child itself who never grew up," Ginger said in an angry whisper. "Yep, they're out there, many of them, hiding their arrogance."

"He never fit the profiles, although many were done," Dee said softly and shook her head with a sense of disgust. "We're all arrogant at some point. And, yet he's so much like many others who haven't been discovered." She looked down with judgment on her face. "No one guessed it was him, until an alert patrol officer got suspicious of this place. But overzealous as we are, mistakes were made."

"Now the errors have been corrected," I added. "Good faith efforts are sometimes rewarded. The hue and cry has been raised and answered."

"Very contrived, calculated and coldly premeditated," she said as she gazed around the room. "Lots of liquor, some dope, he got depressed and set the place on fire. Psychologists'll pontificate he felt guilty and committed suicide. Talking heads on news shows will ignorantly agree and explain it all away. The simplicity of stupidity passes as social commentary and reinforces the chastity of blissful ignorance." Her gaze came back to him. "So, What'da ya think fat boy, a good scenario? You'll be a famous killer, transformed into a victim."

"He can't talk, can he?" Ginger asked her with curiosity in her tone.

"No, neuromuscular responsiveness has been shut down." Dee smiled with growing satisfaction and relief. "He can see, but can't speak, and he knows he's been had. You can see it in his eyes. The terror that it's his turn, as death waits."

"Kitchen is next door and the gas lines come up from the basement." I cocked my head to one side and thought it over once more. Dee glanced at me. "That should work. Old gas line ruptures, pilot light is still on, what're ya gonna do."

"Plus, with the chilly weather, and these kerosene heaters," Dee started to add to the plot. "Why, hell, this place becomes a fiery furnace."

"The point of origin could be an over-turned heater," I said to the both of them.

"Sounds good to me," Ginger murmured under her breath.

"That ought to work. Case closed as accidental slash suicide." Dee smirked.

"Well, the news media should have fun with that," I agreed.

"The sequence of events is set motion," Dee let me know upon completing her part of the final staging. "All done, I think it looks good all the way around."

"It all looks very convincing," Ginger added to our discussion.

"We'll do one last check and make sure," I said to them and checked my watch. "Okay, he's down for about another hour or two. Let's go."

Alone, trapped inside a mindset of his making, the killer screamed his silent rage. At the same time, we slipped into the night. As the murder factory faded in the distance behind us, a fire broke out. A chain reaction began with burning fingers of fires that reached from the depths of many graves. Flames spread rapidly from an old portable heater. Obviously, a sleazy slob of a human got careless. Nearby, in a drunken stupor, a man lay sprawled helplessly unconscious and apparently intoxicated. The persistent blaze found an eerie jagged trail to the kitchen.

Once there, the creeping blue-yellowish red flames discovered the gas leak. The scorching merger ensured rapid ignition and detonation. An explosion blew to pieces cabinets, walls and support structures. At which point, the subsequent raging blaze destroyed the building and would smolder for days. When death comes with ravenous demise, all is consumed as if nothing existed before that. An investigation would eventually get underway the next day when safe to approach.

"Imagine that," I sighed the next morning, with feigned surprise. We snuggled together in one bed, naked warm, satiated and exhausted. With the remote, I adjusted the volume for the news cast. "Some old packing house caught fire."

"Oh how horrible." Dee pulled closer on my left side, let one arm drape over my groin. Ginger molded into my right side with an arm across my chest. "You think anyone was hurt?" She murmured comfortably. "Looks like a terrible fire."

"Gee, I hope no one was living there," I said with a yawn.

"Uh huh, the whole thing reduced to ashes," Ginger mumbled likewise.

"Well, guess that's the end of that," I noted dryly. "We should pack up and get to the airport. It's a long flight to South America for the other case."

"Text message," Dee began and read it after a quick check of her cell phone. "Our patron, 'train ride complete, enjoy your trip'. Nice, breakfast is on me?"

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