Saving Marvel

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Chapter 3

If it was possible for him to be embarrassed, then he expected that this would be the telling time. He frowned as he looked back at the faces staring at him, nope, nothing. The detective’s expression turned from frustrated to annoyed as he looked at her blankly. This, he did feel bad about. If the angry glare she was giving him was anything to go by, he was failing miserably in his plan to get her to change her opinion of him.

She’d brought everyone who mattered together for this meeting. She’d even called in Simon Green, the designated head of security for the group. Cogan was looking just as incredulous as expected. And the guys were almost uniformly chuckling with knowing grins on their faces. Sam was on his left and Drew and Jay on the right.

Other than Ann Gordon, the people in this room knew him best. Simon Green had watched over them since the beginning. Cogan and he had been the ones who had created this and got it off the ground. And Sam, Drew and Jay were more than just his fellow dancers, they were his best friends. They’d seen every inch of him and every mood, so he had no reason to be embarrassed. He did dance naked with them after all.

Detective Ann Gordon was still glaring at him. Another piece of mail had arrived, which was why they had been summoned. It still didn’t phase him. He’d been through worse. But he wasn’t about to tell her that.

She wasn’t his type, he repeated in his head.

He was watching her standing at the front of the room. Her black hair hanging loose, straight and glossy down her back. Taller than average, extremely thin, and disappointingly flat chested she was dressed in what could only be described as men’s clothes. Did she realize that the baggy cargo pants, hoodie, and running shoes made her look like unattractive?

Given she’d been wearing a similar outfit during their first meeting, she must have known. Ann Gordon, without a doubt, wasn’t his type. This was a truth that he’d repeatedly had to remind himself of ever since she’d walked in the room.

She wasn’t his type.

Despite this mantra he couldn’t but help but wonder. Other than the lack of breasts, the rest could be fixed with clothing choices that showcased her attractive features rather than smothering them in a loose, cheap, and unflattering outfit. A simple short black dress would make it be impossible not to notice her beautiful fair skin, deep blue eyes, lovely bone structure, long legs and that thick hair.

He couldn’t take his eyes off her luscious hair.

“What do you mean?” Detective Ann Gordon was hissing the words, “It’s an easy task. Just tell us the names of all the women you’ve been with in the last eight months.”

“A whole eight months’ worth?” Sam was trying hard not to laugh, “He doesn’t remember who he slept with last night, let alone months ago.”

“Do you even ask them their names?” Drew turned to him with a serious face, “Are any words spoken? I’m not even sure he employs foreplay before he bags-and-tags them.”

“Shut up,” he grumbled as he ignored the comment that Jay was saying via sign language, “And don’t be rude, Jay.”

“Jay was just asking if, under the circumstances, they’d be able to recall their own names. That’s, more or less, what he said,” Drew translated for the Detective, “Which is a fair question and not as rude as the one I was thinking to ask next.”

“How is this relevant,” he growled, “Why do you need to know this?”

“It’s reasonable to assume that your stalker is one of your passed,” she stopped, and she looked like she was searching for a word to use, “Bed partners.”

“Maybe the security guys kept a log?” Cogan suggested helpfully, “Simon, is there something like a visitors log?”

“My guys aren’t doormen,” Simon scoffed, “We are tasked with being discreet not taking names and social security numbers.”

“Great,” She threw up her hands, “This was supposed to be the easy part. I’ll sift through the gossip pages and media reports to get some sort of list and maybe that might jog your memory for some names. Can you at least tell me how many I should be expecting to find?”

“How many?” Drew scoffed, “Within the eight-month period? I don’t think you know what you’re asking. For example, I know of four women he’s been with since the start of the month.”

“Are you referring to the one from the party last weekend, and the woman who interviewed him for that magazine article,” Sam was counting off his fingers, “And her photographer, from the same magazine? Who was the fourth?”

“That chick with the big jugs at the bar,” Drew held his hands cupped in front of to demonstrate her bra size, “She had a weird laugh.”

“Was one of them a Red head?” Cogan asked then shrugged when Sam shook his head, “There was a red head girl getting out of the shower when I picked him up to get to this meeting.”

“Let’s not forget Candy,” the Detective said in a resigned voice, “The blonde from last week.”

“Candy, that sounds high class,” Sam laughed, “I bet she was intellectual.”

“There,” Drew nodded, “That’s six. Are you starting to grasp the size of the problem?”

“Jay’s counted two more, that he knows about, since we came back into town,” Sam turned to Jay, “Does that including the twins? No? Make that four then.”

“That’s ten that we can think of in the last two months,” Sam frowned, “But we were down in Florida over summer and his dressing room has a revolving door when we are on tour. It would be impossible to keep track of all of the women who’ve passed through it.”

“Ten in two months?” Ann shuttered, “Tour? Are we talking more than one a night?”

“You’re making me sound like a man whore,” Mark scowled, “I not that bad.”

“Of course, you’re not,” Sam smirked, “You’re actually a martyr. Putting your body on the line to help those poor women with their needs. The sacrifice, the dedication, you should be named a hero.”

“Shut up,” Mark flung his fist into Sam’s midriff to silence him, “And you’re an idiot.”

“Alright,” Ann Gordon opened her eyes and exhaled a long breath, “I should have known better. Let’s start with something a little simpler.”

“I am not an idiot,” Sam growled back at Mark, “You’re an idiot.”

“It’s been seven months since the first letter arrived,” Ann ignored the exchange and held up a piece of paper with his image on it, his face altered to show him grinning like a Cheshire cat, and five arrows were piercing his penis at various points and angles down its length, “Which means you might have come in contact with her during the months before she sent this letter. On as side note, you got this six-months-ago? Is this sort of thing normal? Is that why you didn’t contact the police back then?”

“Unfortunately,” Cogan shrugged, “This type of letter is commonplace. Mark was right when he said it was an occupational hazard back at our first meeting. These four are famous for being naked and that brings obsessive fans who think that their bodies are public property. You’d be surprised how much hate mail they get.”

“Yeah, so much of it that you become oblivious eventually,” Simon spoke without any emotion in his voice, “It was only when we noticed that these were signed, and therefore an organized prolonged attack rather than a once-off, that we contacted you guys. If we rang the Police every time that we got a letter like the one that you’re holding, we’d be a public nuisance.”

“That must make your job very difficult,” She said to Simon with a note of sympathy in her voice, “Your security teams would have to be vigilant with so many potential threats out there?”

“That’s why we’ve got them. They are the best at handling situations like this,” Cogan nodded his thanks to Simon, “But you think that this stalker is one of his lovers and not a fan?”

“It is difficult to tell,” the detective looked at the letters she was still holding, “But what I am confident about was that something happened to trigger this behavior. In the months before the first letter they must have experienced something that spurred them into them creating and sending these pictures. As this was the first picture, and the least sophisticated, it should have within it a clue. It’s probable that the five arrows symbolize something. Do they mean anything to you?”

“That he should give abstinence a chance?” Drew suggested, “Five arrows can only mean one thing. You shot her five times, you dog.”

“If that’s the case, surely we should be able to narrow it down from that?” She grimaced, “I can’t believe I’m asking this, but can you remember anyone who you had sex with five times in the same night.”

“That’s not narrowing it down by many,” he looked at the faces looking back at him, “What? Why are you all looking at me like that?”

“No reason in particular,” Sam shrugged with his trademark smirk on his lips.

“Unbelievable,” Cogan shook his lowered head.

“I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this,” Drew dropped his hand onto Mark’s back and nodded sympathetically, “But you are a man whore and it is a wonder that your junk hasn’t fallen off from overuse.”

Or rotted away due to it being left soaking wet for too long,’ Jay said in sign language.

“I hate you all,” Mark growled, “You all suck.”

“Clearly,” Sam laughed, “Not as much as you do.”

“Nice one,” Drew laughed and high-fived Sam.

“This is going nowhere,” she glared at them all, “You are not five-years-old, behave like adults. This is not a joking matter. Something happened that was significant to our stalker approximately eight months ago. I want to know where you were during that time and what happened.”

“That was before the summer tour,” Cogan said, “About that time when we would have been finishing up some gigs in New York, then we did that charity performance for men’s week, and then we were rehearsing the new material for the summer shows.”

“And this all happened in New York?” the Detective asked.

“Yeah, Jay had met Belinda and Drew and Jen got together,” Sam nodded, “The girls were in New York so that’s where we were.”

“And Mark?” she asked, “Was there any particular reason he was there?”

“Not a female reason, if that’s what you’re implying,” Drew shrugged, “Mark doesn’t do relationships.”

“For a good reason,” Mark huffed, “That way I don’t have the sort of drama that Drew had back then. The last six months was uneventful for me, in comparison with Drew.”

“Thanks for reminding me,” Drew growled.

“Drew?” she looked at him, “What happened? It might somehow have impacted our stalker.”

“I doubt it,” Drew looked away, “Unless Kay Dee is stalking Mark. Can someone else tell her the story, I’m not going to do it.”

“He broke up with Veronica Towns and started dating Jen, his current girlfriend,” Cogan grimaced as he took on the responsibility of telling her, “Then his previous fiancée from his previous band 3D turned up and made trouble causing Jen to walk out and vanishing for six months. She reappeared while they were in Miami and Drew and Jen are now trying to work things out since then. But for Drew those six months were a difficult time. He wasn’t himself without her.”

“You were in 3D?” Ann Gordon’s eyes opened a little wider, “Really?”

“That’s what you got from all of that?” Mark scoffed, “Don’t tell me, you’re a fan girl?”

“No, I just liked their music,” she looked away, “Anything else?”

“Jay’s reminding us,” Sam translated the sign language, “That, while Drew was going through hell, Jay’s life had become a fairy tale with sparkly Tinkerbell dust, rainbow unicorns, and big juicy love hearts.”

“How could we forget,” Mark rolled his eyes at Jay who was giving Sam the middle finger, “Jay and Belinda made a baby and he put a ring on her finger, resulting in him becoming the most whipped man alive.”

“Wasn’t that more than six months ago?” Sam frowned, “Belinda’s the size of a whale and has the world’s shortest fuse, she can’t be far off delivering the litter of puppies that she’s carrying.”

“Two months,” Drew groaned, “Jen and Belinda are best friends and I get regular updates about stuff I really don’t need to know.”

“You wouldn’t look so smug if you realized how infrequent the sex will be once the baby is born,” Mark shook his head at Jay smirk, “Say goodbye to ejaculating and hello to spraying projectile poop.”

“What do you know about it?” Sam turned to Mark suspiciously, “Is there an army of illegitimate children out there all with scruffy beards, square jaws, and XXL nappies?”

“Good point,” She added, “But not about the nappies. Given your promiscuity, have you been contacted by women claiming to be carrying your child? Are you paying child support? Is there anyone who might have miscarried?”

“No, no, and no,” Mark’s jaw tightened, “I’m very careful. The last thing I need is some woman hanging onto me with a screaming kid perched on her hip. That’s never going to happen to me. I know about kids because my mother was a housekeeper and brought up other people’s spoilt brats.”

“The romance is strong with this one,” Sam said in his best Yoda voice, “But beware young Mark, fear is the path to the Dark Side.”

“Shut up with the Star Wars references,” Mark scoffed, “You’re not that old.”

“Focus,” she snapped at them before rubbing her forehead with her fingertips and continuing in a tired voice, “We aren’t getting anywhere. What were you doing during this time? How did these changes impact on you?”

“They didn’t, not really,” Mark shrugged, “We’re guys, we don’t get wound up in our friend’s problems. I supported Drew by teasing the shit out of him. He knew I was there and had his back, as did Jay.”

“Yeah,” Drew nodded as did Jay, “That’s right.”

“So, we are no closer to knowing what triggered this first letter?” She exhaled as her shoulders slumped, “And nothing out of the ordinary happened to you six to eight months ago?”

“You should probably tell her,” Sam had turned to him as he mumbled the words, his eyes serious, “It could be important.”

“It’s not,” he growled, “And shut up.”

“What?” her eyes lit up.

They were looked at him. He could see their concern. The timing was right but there was no way that this could be known to anyone other than the guys, and one other. It was his problem and he didn’t want it discussed openly. The more people who knew about it increased the risk of it becoming public. He couldn’t afford that, both professionally and personally. Especially when it wasn’t relevant.

“Don’t worry about it,” he forced one of his trademark cheeky grins onto his face, in the hope of distracting her, “It’s nothing.”

“The smallest detail,” she started to say, and with that he knew she wasn’t going to let this go until she had an answer.

“It’s not important,” he shifted in his chair, “The guys thought it was a good idea for me to see a sex therapist, sometime around that time. It was a joke really and nothing came of it.”

“A sex therapist?” Sam’s eyebrow lifted as he looked at Mark, but then he exhaled a sigh and turned to the detective, “Yeah, that’s right. Fat lot of good it did him, though. We thought she’d teach him tips on resisting his urges, but instead she tied him to the bed and enslaved him for an entire weekend.”

“Really?” the detective’s eyes hardened, “That’s unprofessional. What’s her name?”

“Haha,” Drew forced a laugh, “Sam was joking. She didn’t do that. She just spoke about his feeling and childhood experiences, all very professional and not unethical stuff.”

“Yeah,” Mark nodded, “She made me talk about emotions, it was very traumatic but completely normal.”

“I’m thirsty,” Sam interrupted with a grin plastered on his face, “Maybe if we had beer and pizza it might help us remember back.”

Mark watched his friends as their fake enthusiasm for Sam’s idea seem to make it obvious that they were hiding something. Jay was the only one with acting experience, but he had no voice to speak with, and being an ex-rock musician like Drew, ex-gymnast as Sam had been, and a dancer didn’t give them any skills lying with credibility.

He loved them for trying though. Hopefully it would be enough to divert her attention until he could think of a more convincing story to tell her. The truth had to stay hidden for as long as he could possibly manage it.


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This is a taster ... I'm going to be busy writing the rest of the story so put this in your library and follow me for updates. I like to write the whole book and then upload it all at once - so you might need to be very patient but you will be rewarded in time...

Cheers, Maree

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