The Sex Opera ...Season 2

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Chapter 3, part 4

The station house was filled with loud voices mostly from handcuffed persons crying for their lawyers or giving the arresting officers unpleasant words of delight. Owens looked amongst the dimly decorated office that he called home and noticed his partner making his way into the room. Detective Stephens strolled through the smoke-filled precinct carrying a brown paper bag and wearing a serious facial expression as he walked toward his desk. With acknowledging his friend and partner in crime fighting, he tossed the bag on his desk, reached in his shirt pocket and pulled out a pack of cigarettes.

Owens turned and stared at him with dead eyes. Stephens didn’t give into his demeaning glare and instead of responding he lit his cigarette and drew in a deep poof.

“What the fuck? Are you gonna keep stalling or are you gonna give me some damn news? Did the forensic techs uncover anything else in that damn apartment? Please tell me we have something other than a stained sheet and worn underwear? Please give me some good news here?” Owens said as he rose from his seat and stepped across the room toward the coffee maker.

“Well, there was a shell casing, hopefully we’ll be able to lift some prints off of it and get ourselves a lead.”

Owens poured himself his third cup of stale java, took a quick sip from his mug and licked his lips. “Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. How did it go when you interviewed the other tenants?”

Stephens uncoiled his bag, retrieved a pre-wrapped sandwich and placed it on a stack of manila folders. He leaned back and grabbed a mechanical pencil from the desk calendar and slid it behind his ear. “Not so good. Most of the people say they didn’t hear anything. Others say they never seen anyone ever come and go from the unit. There was one apartment across the hall that didn’t answer.”

Owens scratched his temple. “Hmm…what if that person saw something that can help us? Tell you what. Did you get a list of the tenants from the floor?”

“Of course I did,” Stephens answered before unwrapping his meal.

“Good. We’re going to go back there and see if we can catch up with that tenant.”

Stephens crumbled the waxed paper and shot it toward his wastebasket, which he missed by a foot. “Did you speak with the property manager to see whose names were on the lease?”

Owens lowered his mug. “Sure did. The victim is the only person listed on the lease; however, the security guard did tell me that there was one particular female that stayed longer than the others. He couldn’t remember her name but he swore he knows her face very well. He described her to me as having a banging body and didn’t fit in with the other tenants or visitors that came to the building.”

“So he had himself a prissy bitch?” Stephens asked as he leaned against his desk and bit into his sandwich.

Owens plopped back onto his seat, spilling a few drops onto his desk. He hurriedly grabbed a Kleenex from the tissue holder from his top drawer and dapped the area dry. He shot the moist toilette into the waste can and then relaxed back against his chair. He swiveled his chair around to kick his feet on the corner of the desktop and responded, “More or less, that’s what I took from conversation.”

With food particles gathered in the corners of his mouth, Stephens muffled, “Sounds like we need to know who that woman is and what she might have witnessed. Maybe she was in the apartment when this shit went down.”

Owens linked his fingers behind his head and stared at the water-stained ceiling. “Well, that’s going to be hard to say. The guard said it had been a while since he had seen the women so he assumed they were no longer an item. Unless we have some kind of concrete evidence that will link this woman to the scene, it’s going to be like looking for a toothpick in a lumberyard.”

Stephens wiped his mouth with his sleeve and chewed on one side of his mouth. “Well, we have damn near a half dozen panties. Maybe one of them is hers.”

“Yes, you’re right, but whose to say they aren’t just from his hoes he kept on a regular. But something tells me that this mystery woman was there. I don’t know. Call it a gut feeling. But if this woman knew he was a womanizer she has a reason to want to kill him.”

“Out all the underwear in the world, what makes you think that one of them was hers?”

Owens laughed and then leaned forward to face his friend. “Being that I’m a lingerie kind of guy I can tell you that what we recovered from the crime scene wouldn’t fit the description of this woman. The underwear we uncovered didn’t appear to be something a prissy woman would want against her skin, especially if she’s trying to be sexy.”

“What do you mean?”

“Typically women who take care of themselves wear the nice lacey doodads that make them feel like that spent some good money on themselves and will leave a man salivating at her presence. Now the ones we confiscated were on the Hanes Her Way line. Nothing to turn a man on if you know what I mean. Something quick to slip on and run to the store and do some shopping.”

“I see what you’re saying,” Stephens said, rubbing his chin and taking a heaping bite from his sandwich.

“From what I took from the security guard, this Mark character was one of a ladies’ man. He came everyday with a different dime piece on his arm and didn’t care who he disrespected when he spoke to them.”

“Them?”

“Oh yeah, he often had more than one woman on his arm according to the guard.”

Stephens laughed out loud, spilling a portion of his coffee onto his shoes. “Dayum! He was a pimp!”

Owens smiled and nodded once. “That’s how I took it. Well, let’s concentrate on trying to get in touch with that tenant across the hall while I go see what the medical examiner has for me.”

“You got it,” Stephens agreed and reached for his cell phone on his hip. “You know in all our six years of working together you never cease to amaze me.”


****