Luke’s eyes flicked to the digital clock glowing from his vehicle’s dashboard as he drove towards Brooklyn Heights on his way to the home of Jacqui Herbert. It had just gone 8.30pm.
He had spent almost two hours sitting at an intimate candle lit, two-seater table in Paddy Murphy’s Bar, sharing a drink and chatting casually with Kelly. The gentle flicker of candle light under an opaque cover provided just the right ambience.
The thought of their brief time together brought an approving smile to his face as he drove.
Unlike his first encounter this morning in the café, Kelly was easy to talk to and very pleasing on the eye. He learned she was twenty-seven next month and lived on her own in the same neighborhood as him. Their apartments were about three blocks apart.
She had a degree in Business and Economics — with honors, but due to employment opportunities being so limited, she chose to venture into her own coffee shop business.
Kelly mentioned her café was a lucrative business but the work was hard and the hours were long-- seven days a week. Luke learned that she rarely had the energy, or drive to go out socializing any more.
Unlike Luke who recently emerged from a long engagement, Kelly hadn’t been in a serious relationship since her college years. She was definitely a find, and one that he would really love to get to know better. Time would tell.
Traffic at that time of the night was expectedly light so it only took about eight minutes before Luke found himself slowly rolling his unmarked vehicle along Tulsa Road in Brooklyn Heights.
Both sides of the narrow one way street were lined with parked vehicles. He strangely felt for a brief moment as though he was slowly driving through a vehicle guard of honor.
With every home’s allocated parking space occupied, he had no option but to park his unmarked police vehicle in a No Standing zone.
After securing his vehicle Luke made his way back to number 181. His first attempt at ringing the front door bell went unanswered. Luke peered in through the front window beside the front door. The blinds were open and he could see light bleeding into the darkened front room from a room to the rear of the property.
Luke tried the doorbell again. This time he heard a female voice call out, ‘I’ll get it.’
The discernible clicking sound of locks preceded the front door springing open fully. Luke opened his mouth to speak to the smiling woman who greeted him, but he suddenly choked back on his words. His eyes instinctively lowered to what she was wearing, or more appropriately, wasn’t wearing.
He certainly wasn’t expecting to be greeted by a leggy blonde woman in her forties wearing white five inch spike heels, white thigh-high stay up stockings with small white bows at the top, a low waist, incredibly short, butt-cheek revealing white skirt and red fluffy marabou feather pasties, the size of billiard balls covering the nipples of her sizable bare breasts. He couldn’t help but notice she was holding a large black phallic sex toy.
‘Oh…’ she said with surprise, as if she expected someone else. ‘Can I help you?’ She asked.
Luke’s eyes lifted back up to meet the woman’s curious gaze. ‘Oh, um…yes. My name is ah…Detective Luke Fox. I was looking for a Mrs. or Ms. Jacqui Herbert,’ he asked wondering, maybe even hoping, this scantily clad woman was her. ‘I haven’t got you at a bad time, have I…?’ he asked.
The woman waved her hand at Luke. ‘Of course not…’ she said. The woman stepped back from the door way. ‘Come in,’ She beckoned him inside.
Luke stepped in through the doorway and into the entry foyer. As he did so his eyes dropped to the phallic shaped dildo she grasped. The woman giggled when she saw Luke eyeing her toy.
‘Well…’ she began, as she flicked her hand in the general vicinity of Luke’s firearm. ‘You choose to carry around that weapon….’ She smiled. ‘I choose to carry this weapon,’ she said holding up the dildo to Luke, followed by a cheeky giggle.
What the hell have I walked into? He was completely unsure how to take this woman’s liberal minded approach to her sexuality. Who opens their front door dressed like that?
‘I thought you were one of our late arrivals…’ She said to Luke as she closed the front door. Luke watched as she engaged the locks on the door. As she did so, his eyes immediately lowered to her butt cheeks, exposed well beneath the short little white skirt. Late arrival for what?
Once the front door was secured the woman turned to face Luke and motioned to her right. ‘Jacqui’s through here…’ she said. ‘Come on…I’ll take you through.’
The woman threaded her arm through Luke’s arm as they walked in a manner typical of a gentleman escorting a lady into a room.
Luke could hear the sound of several women laughing and talking loudly from a room that was not yet in view. ‘I suppose you’re wondering why I’m dressed like this…’ she asked as they moved from the foyer through an adjoining darkened lounge room.
‘Well…let’s just say you are the first person to open a front door to me dressed like that,’ Luke said.
The woman giggled at his response. ‘I’m sure I am. No, actually, what happens is... there is a group of us girls…we get together once a month here at Jacqui’s and we have a sex toy and lingerie party. I suppose you could say we’re just a bunch of frustrated ol’ housewives,’ she said flippantly. ‘The dress theme is anything slutty,’ she said then motioned down her body with her hand to indicate her attire.
‘Ah…I see.’ Luke said. ‘Very nice ensemble, by the way…’ Luke complimented. ‘But thank you…’ He said. ‘That certainly explains a lot.’
As they neared the room to which they were heading, the voices grew louder. The light from the open doorway ahead bled into the lounge room through which they were walking.
Just prior to entering the back of the house, the woman said to Luke, ‘If you think this is raunchy…’ she said, wait till you see what some of the other girls are wearing.’
Luke smiled. He couldn’t wait actually. She had piqued his male intrigue.
With her arm still threaded through Luke’s arm, they arrived at their destination. As they entered the room Luke squinted at the brightness of the lighting, having just crossed through a darkened lounge.
As they passed through an open plan kitchen they moved into an adjoining family room to the rear of the house. This room was filled with about fifteen or so, forty-something year old woman, all standing, all holding glasses of champagne and mingling together.
To his right a large flat screen TV was playing an XXX rated movie, where couples were depicted engaged in all sorts of sexual acts.
Luke scanned the busy room. He noticed that none of the women appeared to be watching the TV; they were more intent on examining the various sex toys on offer, or trying on articles of sexy lingerie.
His escort was spot on. Their choice of clothing was certainly very interesting. Luke had just stumbled into every guy’s fantasy — a secret harem-like lair of drunken, over-sexed forty-something cougar types, all wearing body revealing lingerie and playing with an array of mind boggling female sex toys.
The amount of body revealing see-through lace in one room intrigued Luke. The women were not models, but most were certainly attractive in their own right. At twenty-eight Luke would normally consider these forty-something year old women to be older women, and compared to him, they were. But from what he favorably observed, each appeared to look after their figure and was proud to show it off to each other; they willingly put it out there on display.
Some of the women walked about the room, while others were huddled around the lingerie displays, and whatever else they had set up to demonstrate and sell. Thigh high stay ups or garter belts with spike heels were certainly popular choices in their costume theme.
Luke’s front door escort noticed him pay particular attention to a woman in a revealing red netted dress as she walked by. ‘I see you like what Karen’s wearing,’ she said. ‘That’s our red net baby doll dress. It’s incredibly sexy…don’t you think?’
Luke nodded and smiled his approval. It wasn’t so much the dress he admired, that was just the tease. It was what was underneath that caught his attention-- her naked body.
His escort whispered to Luke. ‘We usually don’t allow any men to our parties, and you can see why,’ She extended her hand to the room of near naked women, ‘So you should think yourself lucky,’ she said.
Make no mistake about it, he did.
‘Hey everyone…’ his escort shouted to gain the attention of all in the room. ‘Look what I have here,’ she proudly boasted, as though she had won him in a raffle. All eyes in the room turned to face the woman with her arm still threaded through Luke’s arm. ‘He’s a cop,’ she said as if that brought instant status in the room.
Luke heard someone shout, ‘is he the stripper….? I thought he’d be wearing a police uniform….not a suit.’
Luke grinned at the heckler’s disappointed tone.
‘Where’s his cuffs and baton?’ another woman shouted.
Another woman was heard to yell in immediate response, ‘I know where we will find his baton, girls…’ The deliberate double entendre caused the room to erupt into drunken laughter. As the laughter quelled another comic yelled out, ‘I wonder if it’s one of those big extendable types of batons, girls.’ Churlish laughter again followed.
The woman who escorted Luke into the party raised her hand to quieten the rising frivolity. ’Down girls…he’s not a stripper… he’s an actual cop,’ she said in a more serious tone. ‘He’s here on business…he wants to see Jacqui,’ she said.
Luke couldn’t make out the flood of overlapping comments and innuendo that followed as each woman in the room saw fit to offer something suggestive or provocative to say about Jacqui and the cop.
As the noise level lowered Luke heard one woman comment, ‘Well he’ll certainly get to see more of Jacqui than he expected with what she’s wearing tonight…’ The room again erupted into smutty laughter.
Luke probably should’ve been feeling a little uncomfortable, like he had wandered into the girl’s change room at gym. But surprisingly, he wasn’t. These women were all comfortable with their bodies and they certainly didn’t care he was there, so why should he? He actually enjoyed himself. What male wouldn’t with what was on display?
Luke’s smiling focus shifted to a woman with long brunette hair who moved towards him. She smiled at him when their eyes met. His stunned, yet admiring eyes dropped to her choice of ‘slutty’ attire as she approached. His eyes widened at how completely sheer the red lace, body hugging dress with shoe string shoulder straps and a plunging cleavage-exposing neckline was over her naked body.
The see-through fabric of her lingerie dress was so sheer it presented everything on display in a red tinge.
The approaching woman had no shame. She held Luke’s gaze, smiling at him as neared. She appeared to be enjoying Luke eyeing her favorably. Her costume was designed to titillate, and it worked on Luke.
‘Good evening Detective…I’m Jacqui Herbert.’ She said then extended her hand. ‘This is my house.’
Luke accepted the hand shake gesture. ‘Lovely to meet you, Jacqui,’ he said, and he meant it. His challenge was to remain polite and keep his eyes focused on hers, knowing what was on offer if they dropped. He was after all a gentleman; but for how long he didn’t know.
‘You wanted to see me…’ she said with a knowing smirk. ‘What can I do for you…?’ she asked.
Unfortunately, her intoxicated lingerie wearing, sexually frustrated friends took the opportunity to provide several provocative suggestions for what she could do for, and even to Luke.
Despite the bawdy suggestive comments from Jacqui’s friends, the two huddled together to speak over the din created by the sex-starved gathering. Luke explained to Jacqui that he was investigating the murder of John Bishop from about four weeks ago.
Initially Jacqui showed no discernible reaction when Luke mentioned John Bishop’s name.
While trying his best to keep his eyes up, Luke told how he obtained copies of John’s telephone records from which he noticed that her mobile phone number appeared sufficient times in the records to suggest to him that she and John were more than just friends.
Jacqui held a vague stare at Luke, but she wasn’t giving anything away. Luke clarified, this time more specific in his choice of words. ‘It appears to me from the phone records that you and Mr. Bishop were having an affair…’
The vague reaction was replaced by concern as Jacqui’s eyes scanned the room full of her friends, many of whom still monitored their interaction.
Jacqui took hold of Luke’s hand. ‘Come with me…’ she said then led him by the hand from the kitchen area into an adjoining darkened side room.
Jacqui walked slightly ahead of Luke as she led him by the hand. Her see-through costume provided him with a rear view of her toned butt. He liked what he saw. For a forty-something woman, around fifteen years his senior, Jacqui was a beautiful woman with a fit and sexy body, and she knew it.
Jacqui turned on the light as they entered the room. She closed the door behind Luke and leaned with her back against the door, resting on her hands. She silently glanced back at Luke in a manner that was quite seductive.
Whether she realized it or not, her entire naked, red-tinged body was on display. Luke couldn’t get over how comfortable she was standing there virtually naked while talking to him, a man she had never met before. She must be one of those women who subscribe to the idiom, if you’ve got …flaunt it. God bless her.
While Jacqui leaned against the door she held her seductive eyes on Luke while allowing a couple of beats to pass. She removed a hand from behind her back and slowly brushed her fringe aside with the back of her fingers, before replacing her hand. Luke assumed she was carefully choosing her words.
’John and I were seeing each other, Detective…that is true,’ she admitted.
Luke nodded his understanding, which was also an indication to continue.
'It was just friends with benefits though,' she reassured. ‘I love my husband, Detective, and from what I understood, John also loved his wife. Neither of us had any interest in leaving our respective partners.’ She held her gaze on Luke, who struggled to pay attention.
Standing talking to a sexy naked woman in lingerie and not being able to lower his admiring eyes was frustrating and incredibly challenging.
‘So…’ Luke began, ‘did the two of you discuss this…I mean, that neither of you wanted to leave your partners…?’
Jacqui shook her head. ‘No…no, we didn’t have to…It was just sex,’ she said.
Luke frowned. How did she know John had no interest in leaving his wife if they never raised the issue?
‘Before you judge me, Detective…’ she began. ‘I have a fairly adventurous sexual appetite…’ she said then removed both hands from behind her back and passed them down her body, like a model demonstrating a clothing item.
Luke took the opportunity to follow her hands and sneak another peak at her body, after all, she just encouraged it.
‘I certainly wouldn’t be wearing something like this if I didn’t…’ she said. ‘I enjoy being a little naughty now and then.’
‘OK,’ Luke nodded, expecting this was heading somewhere.
‘I have an active libido and I love sex. I love to be provocative. I love variety in my sex life and I love excitement, which is one of the reasons why I throw these raunchy parties; to be a little naughty, a little risqué… But I do it in the privacy of my own home and we don’t bother anyone. My husband on the other hand…’ Jacqui continued in a less enthusiastic tone, ‘well…he is the opposite…’ she said. ‘He works nights and I work days, so you can imagine how it is…’ she said staring into Luke’s eyes. ‘When I’m home in bed…he’s at work…and then when he’s home in bed during the day…I’m at work. When we are home together he’s always too tired for sex. Plus…well, he’s boring in bed... he’s uninventive, unadventurous. He doesn’t even like my sex toys and he only prefers sex when he was on top…I mean, please...’
Luke was a little uncomfortable where this was heading. He didn’t need to hear all of this? His concern was how much she knew about the murder of John Bishop to try and determine if she was involved.
Jacqui continued. ‘These types of sexy outfits like the one I am wearing tonight…’ she said moving her hands down her garment to indicate it to Luke, ‘did nothing for my husband,’ she said.
Luke’s eyebrows instinctively raised in surprise to her comment. How is that possible?
Thankful for another opportunity, Luke’s eyes again dropped down admiringly on her body as her hands moved down the garment. Her large nipples were now erect and bulged through the sheer fabric. It was evident to Luke that Jacqui enjoyed watching him while he admired her naked body.
‘So when I met John…’ Jacqui continued, ‘he was the complete opposite of my husband. There wasn’t anything John wasn’t willing to try with me. He loved having sex. John told me his wife was very straight and boring in bed, a bit like my husband, and she deprived him of regular sex. So you see, Detective…We both provided a service for each other,’ she said. ‘There wasn’t any love involved…just lots of lust.’
Despite the ongoing distraction caused by his fixation on her naked body, Luke gleaned that on the night John Bishop was murdered, she hosted one of her sex toy parties, just like the one he stumbled across tonight.
She never left the house all night. All her friends would be able to attest to that. She saw the murder on the news the following day. She said she was in shock for quite a while because John was a great fuck.
‘Did John know about your sex toy parties?’ Luke asked.
‘Do you think a guy like John would be able to stay away from drunken sex starved, near-naked women, all in the same room playing with dildos…? I don’t think so…You’ve seen them, what did you think?’ she asked.
Luke refrained from answering, assuming the question was rhetorical
‘No Detective…’ she continued, ‘that side of my life I kept from him. I couldn’t have him turning up uninvited at my front door step. When I held my parties I just told him I had meetings, or something else on so we couldn’t meet.’
Luke learned the vic would tell his unsuspecting wife that he would be working back late. Jacqui would either meet him in his office where they would have sex, or they would meet at various outdoor locations. Apparently John loved to have sex outdoors, in parks and places where the risk of getting caught was high. It apparently elevated his excitement levels. Given the location of the murder, this particularly interested Luke.
'Could I see your cell phone?'
'Of course...' She left the room.
When she returned a short time later she handed Luke her cell. The display was locked.
‘What’s the access PIN…?’ Luke asked.
‘Oh, sorry…’ Jacqui said. She moved around to stand beside Luke. She stood so close to him that her left breast pressed firmly against his arm. She swiped the screen and keyed in the code - 0181 and the phone unlocked.
Jacqui then returned to her previous position of leaning against the door in front of him.
'While you have my phone in your hand you can enter in your phone number, if you like,' Jacqui said.
Luke could feel his pulse rate quicken. He smiled but did not respond. Instead he continued to navigate through the various onscreen menus.
After accessing her phone’s SMS message Inbox, Luke noticed all the messages to and from John Bishop had been deleted; a fact Jacqui had no hesitation in admitting.
'Once John was dead, I had no reason to keep his contact number.'
‘Do you mind if I keep this for a couple of days? I’ll be honest with you…I need to retrieve the SMS messages exchanged between you and John.’
‘Am I a suspect, Detective…?’ she asked with sultry flirtatious eyes.
‘At this stage I am just making inquiries,’ Luke said. ‘I need to know what happened the night John was killed. We haven’t recovered his phone, so yours is the next best thing. I promise I’ll get it back to you as soon as I can.’
’As long as you bring it back to me personally…’ she said suggestively as she moved in closer to Luke. Her seductive eyes locked onto his. ‘I’ll feel naked without my phone Detective…’ she said, then giggled at the intentional irony of her comment. ‘A bit like I am now I suppose,’ she laughed.
Is it hot in here or is it just me. ‘I promise I’ll get it back to you ASAP. I may have some more questions once I have read your SMS messages,’ he said.
‘I'm sure you will and I look forward to it...’ She smiled and moved closer to Luke.
She held her seductive gaze on Luke as she reached down and rubbed his penis through his trousers. He had been caught out. He was firm and had been for most of their private discussion. The revelation caused her to smile up at him.
The last thing Luke wanted, or needed was to become sexually involved with this woman; a potential suspect. He still wasn’t sure if she was the killer he sought. She was certainly cold-hearted when it came to her lack of emotion when discussing John Bishop’s death.
Jacqui slowly edged her face closer to the taller Luke, moving in to kiss him. ‘I’ve never fucked a cop before…especially a Detective…’ she whispered seductively.
Luke placed his hands firmly on her narrow waist and gently eased her back away from him.
'I'm sorry Jacqui...' Luke began. 'You are a beautiful and sexy woman...but it would be remiss, if not inappropriate for me to become involved with a witness in a murder investigation.'
Jacqui appeared to reluctantly accept Luke’s comments.
It was the best excuse he could think of when the blood from his brain rushed to urgently supply a more demanding part of his body.