25) DIRTY DEEDS (DONE DIRT CHEAP)
Sylvia sat at the kitchen table, pondering on how she might confirm her suspicions about Raul cheating on her. Mr. Lawrence told her he would provide the photos he took, but none appeared incriminating. She understood she needed proof if she expected to nail him and more than likely, end up in divorce court.
“Perhaps I can talk to his business partner Fred about him, she thought. He’s older and may even harbor issues with Raul’s performance. I would like to somehow get a hidden camera or a bug installed in the office. Something like this should rock his world.”
Her biggest concern centered on expenses. If she filed for divorce, how she would keep up the tuition for Raphael, and payments on the Brownstone? Her job at the Rescue Mission couldn’t compete on a salary basis with what Raul brought home; not nearly enough to support her current lifestyle. She sat lost in thought as a knock at the door broke her concentration.
Mr. Mark Lawrence, owner of MassEye Investigations, stood in the doorway. He was a tall, dark and handsome man. It appeared as if he just stepped off of a movie set. He wore Khaki pants, a flashy Hawaiian shirt, and his deep blue eyes reminded her of Tom Selleck from the Magnum P.I. series. She invited him in and bid him to sit down at the table. He brought a portfolio with him bearing his company logo.
“Here is the packet of information on your husband,” he explained. “Like I told you on the phone, I didn’t witness anything you might call incriminating.”
“I wish my resources allowed me to keep you on the case longer,” Sylvia confessed. “I’m convinced the bastard is fooling around, but I need proof.”
She reviewed the logs, the notes, and the pictures the investigator took. As she sat poring over the file, Mr. Lawrence secretly admired the low cut of her blouse. One of the benefits of being a P.I. remained with his coming into contact with so many distraught women; women who wanted revenge against their cheating husbands. Those attitudes made them fairly easy targets.
“I would love to help you more Mrs. Hernandez, but ...”
“Sylvia,” she announced. “Call me Sylvia.”
“OK Sylvia,” he went on, “but as I started saying, my expenses need to be met. I’m required to charge you for the time I spend on the case. I’d gladly discount the fees a bit, to make life easier, if you would contract for some additional work.”
“Thanks for reminding me about the fees,” Sylvia broke in as she got up from the table. “I take care of my bill and I promised you cash. Let me get my purse.”
She dashed off to the bedroom to grab her purse. Lawrence sat admiring her walk down the hallway, catching an eyeful of her small frame as she left. He admired the sway of her hips and her well-formed legs and imagined getting a closer peek at both.
She returned with her purse and counted out $3,000 dollars in cash. She placed the bills on the table in front of him. She wished she could think of a way to pay for another week of surveillance. Taking money out of their joint account however, would be a red flag. Sylvia realized getting caught by Raul might be a problem because she wouldn’t be able to explain the withdrawal.
“The bill is $ 300 dollars a day for ten days, right?” She queried. “At least I believe we agreed on $ 300 per day.”
“Sylvia,” Lawrence proposed, “possibly we can work out a deal. I figure, and you do, Raul is cheating on you. I hate when people are abused and in my line of work, I witness too much. How about if I maintain the surveillance on Saturday’s? I’ll keep an eye on him at a reduced price; say $ 250 dollars a day. Would a reduction in my fee help?”
“I would love to take your offer,” she confirmed. “But based on your evidence, Saturday’s aren’t the only time he’s fooling around. He has a flexible schedule and I wouldn’t want to miss anything.”
“I don’t understand how or why he would cheat on someone as lovely as you,” Lawrence groaned. “Something like cheating would never enter my mind.”
Sylvia knew he sort of hit on her, but she didn’t care. He exuded the image of being an attractive hulk of a man whom any woman would want: and time had passed too long since she wanted a man. She put her hand out and touched his arm.
“Thank you for the compliment, Mark,” she responded, “I needed those words. You can’t imagine how lonely it’s been lately. I love Raul; at least I used to. I won’t let him touch me though, because I do not understand where he’s been.”
“Here,” Mark offered as he prepared to leave. “Here’s $ 500 back from the fees. You think about my offer and call me if you change your mind. I’m involved with another case today, but I hope you decide we can continue our arrangement.”
Mark confidently thought about his actions. He gave her some of the money back as an incentive for her to give him more business. Mark considered if she did, the possibility increased he could give her his business too; monkey business.
Sylvia got flustered by his actions and stood to walk him to the door. In her mind, she thought about how kind and wonderfully generous this man carried himself. She wanted to hug him but decided doing so would be unprofessional. She held the door for him and said she would think about additional time for him, and he left.
Sylvia closed the door and smiled. Receiving a compliment from a stranger affected her; particularly one as cute as Mark. He had no requirement to return any of his fees, but doing so indicated he cared for his clients. Emotionally, Sylvia ran charged to full capacity also. She reached down and touched her hard nipples. This handsome and classy man affected her physically. Oh, If only she wasn’t a married woman; she would enjoy jumping his bones.
Well, perhaps next week things will be different soon enough.
Raphael finished his after school work, filing papers and cleaning Mr. Borden’s room. His tasks only took ten minutes and plenty of time remained to go downtown and visit his friends at Penn Station. Sammy already left school, so Raphael/Ratso walked to the subway and boarded the southbound train to 42nd Street.
Arriving at the familiar meeting place Raphael realized none of his new friends showed up. He initially thought he ran late but realized Sammy told him only ‘sometimes’ they met; meaning not every day.
“Well, he thought, I may as well do some shopping while I’m here. I’ve never been in any before and I want to check out what is being offered.”
He strolled along 42nd Street looking at the shiny buildings. One small shop caught his eye; a custom tailoring shop named Otto’s. Hanging on a rack at the entrance to the store stood an item he considered the catch of the day. A heavy leather jacket adorned with zippers on the sleeves and snaps to hold the sides together adorned the store entrance. The coat came across as similar to the one his friend Zipper wore.
Ratso leaned up against the outside door and pulled a paper out of his back pocket; trying to appear like he studied something. He peeked over the edge of the paper at the jacket, checking to make sure of the size being close. The jacket seemed to be a little big. But with him only being ten years old, he assumed he still would grow and fill the coat out.
He reached down and lifted the side panel, looking for any alarm on the jacket. The only security between being on the stand and not being on the stand was a small plastic loop, lashing the coat to its holder. On the loop hung a price tag marked $ 295.99 … THIS WEEK ONLY.
I want the jacket, he thought, and I will get it. I only need to plan how.
Ratso walked slowly along the street wondering how to free his jacket from the stand. The big problem was to get away from the scene before anyone spied him. Approximately a block up the street ran an alley leading north and south. He would duck in and run up to the next street, going out the other end. However, getting the jacket off the stand still presented a problem. The only solution, he thought, would be to cut the loop holding the jacket, snatch, grab and run like hell.
He walked down Madison Avenue to 41st Street, turning the corner to walk east again. Nothing drew his attention like the jacket, so he went home and ponder his problem. He circled back up Park Avenue to 42nd again and entered the subway to make his trip home. Today turned out to be a lost cause as far as seeing his friends, but he found something he wanted. Soon he would style.
The next day at school, he ran into Sammy in the hallway. He told him he went downtown yesterday, but none of the guys hung out at the regular meeting place.
“We don’t go everyday,” Sammy claimed. “Most weeks, we meet on Wednesday’s and Fridays unless something special is going on.”
“Are nyou going downtown ntoday?” he wondered.
“Yes,” Sammy answered. “Mack told me he wants to boost a set of wheels and take a joy ride. Are you up for cruising ?”
“He’s ngoing to nsteal a ncar?” Ratso scoffed. “What if new got ncaught?”
“Mack is good,” Sammy reported. “He knows how to hot wire and he doesn’t get excited when he’s under pressure. Besides, he would grab the car and picking us up. Unless he does something stupid, nobody will get caught.”
They arranged to meet after school and ride downtown together. Ratso told Sammy about his after school job for Mr. Borden and how he would be tied until a little after 3:00 o’clock. Sammy laughed and called him a ‘brown-nose’ for kissing the teachers ass; but said he would wait for him. They both rushed off for their classes.
Raphael did a half-ass job of straightening the chairs and he ignored filing the papers. He rushed to get out and get downtown. He erased the blackboard and stole a pair of scissors from Mr. Borden’s desk. He dashed down the hallway and out the door to meet Sammy. They both used their passes to get on the subway train to their destinations.
“I’m ngetting a new jacket ntoday,” Ratso bragged. “I nmade nmy choice nyesterday.”
“Is you old lady buying if for you?” Sammy chuckled.
“No,” he exclaimed, “I’m grabbing one off the rack nfrom a shop on 42nd Street. I nhope the coat is nstill on display today.”
“What kind of jacket?” Sammy probed.
“It’s a nreal cool leather jacket like Zipper nwears,” he boasted. “I brought nscissors with nme to cut the security loop. I’ll go nthere first and nmeet everybody nlater.”
“Don’t be too late Ratso,” Sammy warned. “Once Mack gets the car; if he gets the car, we will be gone.”
They got off the subway and Sammy headed for Penn Station. Ratso took off to 42nd Street and went directly to the tailoring shop. He walked by the entrance and realized snagging the jacket today would be a hassle. When he first spotted the coat yesterday, the jacket languished on a stand in the open doorway. Today, the door remained closed. He peered in the window and identified his prize on the inside; displayed in an aisle leading to the entrance.
He cautiously entered the shop, being greeted by the tingling of a little bell over the door. At the counter, an old man stood in front of a mirror. Another even older gentleman used a tape measure to size the man for a new suit.
“Please take a seat,” the gentleman nodded, “and I’ll be right with you.”
Ratso glanced around and realized nobody else occupied the store. He went over to the leather coat on the stand and pulled the scissors out of his pocket. With one quick snip, the restraint fell off the jacket and he lifted the sleeves off the stand. He put the coat on and wasted no time running out the door; with the scissors still in his hand.
He almost got hit by a car as he bolted across 42nd Street and headed up the alley. When he got to 43rd Street, he made a quick right and ran about a half a block, gradually slowing to a normal speed. When he got to Park Avenue, he could see the lights of Penn Station. He focused his attention on meeting the gang quickly .
“Hey,” Zipper shouted, “Look who’s here? ... And check out what he’s wearing?”
“I nran as nfast as I ncould,” Ratso huffed, apparently out of breath. “Am I in ntime to go with nyou guys?”
“We can’t,” Sammy said. “Mack got busted last night boosting a car in Jersey. I warned him helping his brother might be a bad deal, but he wouldn’t listen.”
“What’s his nbrother do?” Ratso inquired.
“He runs a chop shop,” Sammy informed. “They steal cars and take them apart. They sell the engines, transmissions and other parts to whoever will buy them. The body panels get melted down and his brother sells them to industrial smelters. The operation is good, but Mack hasn’t been working long enough to learn everything. So guess what; he got grabbed by the Coppers.”
They hung around trying to figure out what to do and finally decided on grabbing purses. Sammy laid out a plan where Bozo and Ratso would get into a fake fight on the street. Meanwhile, McPuke and Zipper would grab some lady’s purse while she was distracted.
He told Ratso to stand on the corner and keep an eye out for the Coppers. Once they got the purse, they would high-tail through the alley. In a round-about fashion, they’d end up back at Penn Station to divvy up their treasure.
The plan went off without a hitch. Everybody did their part and got back to the meeting place. Zipper pulled the purse out from under his coat and counted out $ 33.80 in bills and loose change the figure worked out to $ 8.45 each.
“Not bad for ten minutes work,” Zipper laughed. “And I got the bitches address. I may want to pay her a surprise visit.”
Upon splitting everything up, they got out of the area before any nosy Coppers came by. Sammy, Zipper, and Bozo wanted to grab another purse, but Ratso said he needed to go home.
“Why you gotta go home so early?” Bozo questioned. “We work well as a team; especially when we’ve got a lookout.”
“I nwant to be home before nmy parents arrive,” Ratso replied. “They don’t want nme out at night.”
“Why don’t you tell them to fuck off,” he barked. “I wouldn’t let anybody tell me when I came and went.”
Ratso wanted to stay, but he insisted on going back home. But he said he would meet them again this coming Friday.
The phone rang in Raul’s office and he picked up, to be greeted by a lovely female voice. Usually, he worked with CEO’s and CFO’s of corporations, so this became a real treat.
“Hello you fine hunk of a man,” the voice whispered. “Are you working on anything more important than me?”
“I can’t work,” Raul countered with a twinkle, “because of this terrible headache below my belt.”
“Oh, you poor baby,” the chatter continued. “Can I do anything?”
“Do you know about DSB?” Raul asked.
“I’m afraid I don’t a clue as to what DSB is,” she admitted. “Can you explain the problem to me?”
“I could explain,” He quipped, “but would rather show you. DSB is a term used to describe Deadly Semen Buildup.”
“Well, I’m not a doctor,” she teased, “but I need to arrange an appointment.”
“As much as a booking today entices me,” he whined, “I’m not free until Saturday afternoon.”
“I guess I’d like to book the Saturday opening.”
Raul smiled at her continuation of the joke he started. He ascertained the voice on the other end of the line belonged to Marcia. Raul assumed she hoped to hook up after work, but he sadly informed her of being busy.
In reality, he wanted to leave the office early today. Mr. Sandez dropped off a sample pack of his quality product and he wanted to get home to get with his wife. She acted strangely by late and he figured the cause to be not getting enough sex.
“Saturday would be fine,” Raul agreed. “Shall we meet where we usually meet?”
“I’ll be coming over at the regular time,” Marcia breathed, “with wings on my feet ... and no panties.”
They disconnected the call and Raul leaned back in his luxurious leather chair. He envisioned things going well for him. He got Raphael in a good school he seemed to like. He loved the raging affair going on with Marcia, who swore discretion. The firm finances kept increasing. He had arranged a new supplier of nose candy. And every so often, he would run into an overzealous corporate secretary. One who simply wanted a quick bit of pork to break up the stress of her busy day.
Yes, his life moved along nicely.