By: Pat Winterburn
Disclaimers: This is my own imagination, my own characters and thanks alot Missy for putting this idea into my head. Bubble wrap,duct tape, diving knife,an SUV and Beverly Hills. Good Grief!!
Violence: A bullet to the head
Sex: Yes please and I'll have a root beer afterwards. Hope you don't mind it's between two women. Nothing graphic.
All I wanted to do was sleep in. Was that so impossible to ask for? That cute little redhead from last night, just about killed me and I needed time to recover.
The phone started ringing just to punish me and I had to answer it. No rest for the wicked I thought to myself and I was so naughty.
"Detective Amanda Ellis speaking." My voice sounded like I had been screaming at the ancient Greek Gods half the night, which of course I was.
"Ellis, It's Captain Adams, we've got a situation down here and I need you to come in."
"By the way, what's wrong with your voice?" The snicker in his question almost made me laugh. "You sound like shit."
"Thanks Captain." I replied. "I'll be in as soon as I can."
As I hung up the phone the body beside me on the bed started to come to life.
"Time to get up ......"
Oh shit, I'd forgotten her name.
"Come on sexy." That was better. "Duty calls."
A quick shower and getting dressed proved to be more of an effort, as my "lady of the evening" was insistant on carrying on from last night. As much as one part of my body was willing, my head was giving me a swift kick.
"Later darlin, the Captain will have my ass if I don't get down to the station."
I knew when he called and referred to it as a "situation", it meant either a gay bashing had occurred or some Hollywood type had overdosed. I get all those cases. Just my luck since transferring down here to Beverly Hills.
Oh well, at least I had made detective. Something my parents were finally proud of me for.
I was kind enough to send the little redhead home in a cab, as I didn't have time to drive her across town and then make it back in time to see the Captain.
I parked my SUV out in the restricted parking lot and headed into the station.
Yeah, I know what your thinking; how can a cop afford an SUV on my salary?
Don't think I'm on the take. I'm not! I just happen to get lucky two months ago when "lady luck" pinched me on the ass and I won the jackpot in Vegas.
No really, this cute blonde came up behind me, pinched my ass as I was pulling the handle on the slot machine and bells and whistles exploded. I hit the jackpot.
Actually I hit it twice, when she followed me up to my room. But that's another story.
Entering the station I had this feeling that everyone's eyes were on me.
I wasn't the most popular cop here, in fact some of the guys hated me. I worked alone with no partner. I had a little bad luck when I was still living and working in San Diego. During the ten years I was stationed there, I had lost two partners. My first partner Lou, had died in a shoot out with some punks, during a drug raid and my second partner Debbie had drown while on vacation in Hawaii. Neither of these things were my fault, but once the other cops get a creepy feeling about you, it's time for a transfer.
Beverly Hills suited me just fine. Home to all the big named stars and the wanabees. The gays, the queens, the crossdressers and every other human being you could imagine. The takers and the givers, the movers and the shakers. It was a wild ride and a nasty finish if a person got caught up in the brights lights and couldn't handle it. Some days I felt more like a janitor cleaning up a mess, then a cop trying to solve a crime.
"What's up?" I gave them that "butch look." "I got a hickey or something?"
Snickering, I headed for the Captain's office and sat down with a thud.
"What's wrong Captain?" I asked. "Another Britney Spears look a like found streaking in front of her home again?"
The Captain just looked at me with a grin on his face. "You like the water, Ellis?" he asked me.
"Yeah Captain, I do a little snorkelling and scuba diving when I get the chance."
"Good." he said. "Let's go down to the docks. There's a boat waiting for us."
Within a couple of hours, I was looking at the body of one Jennifer Cassidy.
Her body was found by some poor bastard who just happened to be hung over and was puking over the side of his boat. I think he's sworn off booze for the rest of his life. Either that or he's found religon, cause he's still praying.
She had been wrapped up in bubble wrap, weighted down with rocks and bound with duct tape.
Yeap, a thousand and one uses for duct tape. Gotta love it.
I borrowed one of the divers knives and slit open her wrapping.
She had obviously been submerged for a while and the smell coming from her made me vomit. Good thing it was only coffee I had in my stomach. I would of hated to loose something like bacon and eggs.
Oh groan, I just had to think of that, didn't I.
Once the ocean air helped take the smell away, we got down to business and started to examine the body.
She had been shot, with one bullet through the back of her head. Not a pretty way for a Hollywood actress to die.
"Someone wanted to make sure she was dead." I turned to the Captain and he nodded in agreement.
The guys from the coroner's office started to bag up her body.
"Make sure you do a tox screen for drugs." I told the attendant. "I hear she was quite the partier."
With her body being loaded into the coroners wagon, it was time to start finding her killer.
The first person I started to interview was Jennifer's agent, Tom Wilson.
A big Hollywood macho type, with an attitude to match.
"Well now Mr. Wilson, please call your lawyer. I have no problem with that and then we can all go down town and discuss this matter." My grin was starting to make my face sore. I love it when they start screaming for their lawyer and all you've said to them is "Good morning, I'm Detective Ellis."
He sat there white as a ghost, sweating and I could tell he was either going to puke or faint. Fortunately, he took a minute to collect his thoughts and started to tell me about last weeks party.
"I haven't seen or heard from her in over a week." The sweat was starting to bead on his upper lip. "She does this sometimes, gets high on something and on someone and disappears for days. I can't believe she's dead."
The tears started to roll down his cheeks and I offered him a tissue from my pocket.
"She'd been at this party at her new boyfriends place. Derek something, I can't remember his last name. She was bad into drugs and would go on highs for days." His voice still choking from emotion.
He looked at me with with the saddest expression on his face and told me he'd do anything to help find Jennifer's killer. It seems the guy was kind of fond of her, or maybe it was just the commission he was making off her. Tears can mean many things.
Her career as an actress had skyrocketed with her first film and she was the hottest, most desired woman in Hollywood for the moment. It was a shame she had snorted her life away.
He called his secretary and got this Derek guy's phone number and address.
I thanked him for his time and called in for a search warrant. I wanted to make sure there were no slip ups in this case.
We sat outside Derek Masson's home up in the hills. Your typical million dollar home with pool and a beautiful ocean view. It seems our Mr. Masson was a computer nerd type who developed software for computer games. He also liked fast cars and even faster women. Rumour had it he was never lonely in the "companion" department and had some pretty exotic tastes.
With search warrant in hand, we knocked on the door to find his housekeeper at home. A very nice Spanish speaking lady who I think knew more English then she let on. She informed us that Mr. Masson had been away for the past few days on business and she didn't know when he would be returning. She was kind enough though, to give us his cell phone number. I dialed the number and his voice mail came on. I left him my name and phone number and asked him to call me at his convenience.
We searched the premises and much to our delight, found an abundance of bubble wrap and duck tape. Seems he was a collector of t.v. show memorabilia and when he sold some of these items, he would ship them wrapped in the stuff. Seems his biggest passion was the t.v. show," Xena Warrior Princess". Can't say I blamed the guy's tastes. The blonde and the brunette that stared in the show, could made my libido hum even in the re-runs.
My cell phone rang and it was the Captain calling.
"Bad news Ellis." Doesn't this man know how to say hello anymore?
"We've found Masson's body floating further down from the docks. Same thing, shot in the back of the head."
I thanked the Captain and relayed my find to Massons housekeeper.
Nothing is ever as it seems and there went my theory that Masson had shot Jennifer. Why can't these things ever be simple?
Over the next few weeks forensics went over both bodies with a fine tooth comb.
The bullets that killed our couple came from the same gun and there was nothing unusual about the bubble wrap and duct tape. Just your hardware store variety, but we were sure it had come from Masson's house.
The only other break in the case was the fact that Jennifer's pendant was missing. According to her parents it was heart shaped with sapphires and diamonds. Her grandmother had given it to her years ago for her sixteenth birthday and she had never taken it off since.
Our next stop was to hit the pawn shops in the lower area of Beverly Hills and see if my hunches were correct.
"Bingo!" I found the pendant and the helpful guy behind the counter gave me a very accurate description of our possible killer. He wasn't to happy about the fact I had taken the pendant as evidence, but hey, his loss.
It seems our guy who pawned it, was Mexican or Spanish. Tall, dark hair, dark eyes, but the best identifiable mark on him was a scar that ran down the side of his left cheek. Should make my job easy, right?
Wrong! Do you know how many Spanish/Mexicans males there are in Beverly Hills? Only hundreds. Seems every Hollywood type employs one or two, as gardeners and property maintenance workers.
It took me awhile to figure out my gut feeling about that housekeeper of Masson's. Something about her was still gnawing away at my ulcer and I was determined to put the pieces together.
Why did she tell me he was out of town and maybe she knows more then she's willing to tell.
A little profiling on our dear housekeeper told me she has a son. He's got a rap sheet on him for assault and drugs longer then my arm.
We kept a careful eye on Masson's house and guess who decided to pay "mommy dearest" a visit?
Guess who "sonny boy" looks like? Tall, dark and has a scar that runs down his left cheek.
He surrendered with out much of a fuss when the two uniform officers came to arrest him and our guy from the pawn shop came down to the station to identify him.
Seems our boy, who's name is Jose, helped Masson out by cutting grass and cleaning the pool and wanted to share in the fun.
It's a shame you know, the housekeepers son was just another junkie desperate for a fix and when he saw Jennifer and Derek Masson filling their noses full of "coke" the next morning after the party, he asked for a line.
But when Masson wouldn't share that morning, a fight broke out and Jose shot both of them. Jose's mother cleaned up the mess for her son which made her an accessory to the murder. The bubble wrap and duct tape were handy and so were the rocks on the cliff. Just a matter of wrapping up the bodies, dumping them into the ocean and watching them sink.
Just one thing our bright boy forgot about was tides and currents. It only took a few days for the bodies to surface.
With this case closed, I took the time to finish up some other paper work. I was in need of another short vacation and Vegas was calling my name loud and clear. Or maybe it was that cute blonde. You know the butt pincher. I had her phone number and decided I would give her a call in the next couple of days.
I was feeling lucky or maybe I just wanted to" get lucky." Either way I'd be looking for a good time. My good looks and muscular body won't last forever, I told myself. Gotta use them before I loose them. A sudden jolt hit me and I looked at the mirror in the locker room. Shaking my head I grinned and thought, such a Beverly Hills attitude.
By the time I arrived home for the evening, I had already decided to sit back with a beer, chips and salsa and watch a movie. I stared at the t.v. guide and started to laugh.
Wouldn't ya know what's on, Death's Game, starring Jennifer Cassidy.
I couldn't help but watch the movie. She was so beautiful and her character in the show was perfect for her. A sad story about a young naive girl caught up in the lure of money, drugs and glamour. I could sense her voice calling out to me in an odd sort of feeling. Thanking me for solving her murder and allowing her to rest in peace.
I held up my beer to the t.v. screen and toasted her.
"To Jennifer Cassidy-Deceased."
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