Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Black Kabuki: Book Excerpt

Chapter 22

I might have been under considerable duress, but the trip in the five-hundred and-twenty horsepower German sports sedan was one helluva ride.
Even if it might have been my last one in this life.
We were in the same car that almost crashed into the Grand National on the freeway nearly three days ago. As we drove in thickened silence, I took note of the details of its interior. The smart-looking natural leather seats, indeed, felt plush and very comfortable, while at the same time deepening the suspense of the trio's intentions for me. Its sunken, dark matte luster would have been the perfect setting for a movie of my demise, if one were ever to be made.
I watched Pointe's nameless henchman drive the muscled Audi S8 with a finesse that might have come easy after a few thousand miles on the streets of San Diego. All throughout the apprehensive trip to Gunn's house, he'd play every now and then with a variety of shiny technical gadgets on the stylish instrument panel and the wide center console engulfed between the two front seats. They kept him amused at each traffic light at which we stopped. The car's interior was immaculately trimmed with brushed aluminum and walnut tree panels which shined like pieces of lustrous furniture, and buffed to rival the sparkle of the brightest stars in the night sky.
Clues were everywhere. I noticed how Veronique Merchant's tattoo extended around to the back of her neck. The etching sneaked at me from underneath the sway of her jet-black hair. Her head moved about with a stiffened nervousness, giving the first indication that something may have been incongruous between her and Pointe. I tried to feel out their moods and silent interactions as the car traveled via all-wheel drive over the cracks and crevices of San Diego's streets. The reflection on the small talk we had that night on the plaza of Club Waterz summed up Veronique Merchant to the letter. If she had been lying about all of the things she had told me, she was pretty damn good at it. There was something funky going on between her and Ricardo Pointe. It might have been a stretch to speculate about their private lives, even purely irrelevant. After all, it was none of my damn business if Jill was fucking Jack or whomever. But the strange communication between them signaled a grander plan at play with a few wrinkles that hadn't been ironed out.
And as usual, Forrest Greenley had a habit of getting in the way of these types of criminal designs.
Pointe sat in back with me, giving a glance every fifteen to twenty seconds with that silly grin of his. Maybe he was able to read my mind, feeling that he needed to keep his eye on me. Sure enough, I was thinking and planning all along about what I was going to do next during the mysterious drive. The eye of his Glock pistol was watching me likewise, positioned low and pointed within the canyon of deep leather between us.
It had to be close to ten o'clock when the aggressive-looking European saloon pulled up at the front gate of Gunn's castle. I had no idea if the ex-Marine was inside his house.
...But, man...
...Was he in for a big surprise when he saw what I would bring with me this time.
This was not, I thought, what I had in mind when he hired me.
Before we got out of the car, Pointe poked me hard in ribs with his pistol. His sudden display of aggression didn't surprise me by now, with that smirk stretched across his face showing how much he liked doing shit like that. Some people were just purely evil, and did evil things just for fun of it. I'd seen enough faces like his during a lifetime, becoming very familiar with how much their terror helped churn a world that supported wickedness over good.
Okay. Greenley,” he said after a prolonged stare. “Here's what I need you to do. No. What you're going to do. We're going to walk up to the front door. Together. Just the three of us. Just like two guys and a gal who are here for a nice little late-night visit.”
Okay, ” I nodded with calculated compliance.
Just as cool and calm as Denzel would.
That's what I'm talking about. Teamwork!” He snickered with a crooked rasp. “It's all about teamwork! It's so fucking uncomplicated. As a matter of fact, it's simple. You and your friend give us what we want?...And bada-bing, bada-boom! It's over. You get it? I get what I want. You get what you want. Everyone goes on with their lives. We're all happy people. Whacha you think?”
I got no problem with that.”
You damn right you don't,” he sneered with cocksure arrogance. “No funny business here, my friend. One false move and you can surely expect to get the business end of this.”
To add effect, he pushed the Austrian-made pistol deeper into my side this time, to the point that it really hurt.
What?!” she snapped impatiently.
You're coming with me.”
...For Christ's sake,” she said underneath her breath. “You already told me that. Even before we got here.”
I'm going to need you to download those files from the computer, sweetheart.”
The tattooed femme fatale's responded with a hissing sigh through her teeth.
Did you bring a USB drive like I told you, sweetheart?”
Yes, dammit,” she yelled, swiftly turning to face Pointe with an agitated look. “Yes I did!!! For the third time already! How many fucking times do you have to ask me?”
Calm down, sweetheart. Okay? I'm just making sure that we get things done the right way here.”
And I'd really appreciate if you'd stop calling me your fucking sweetheart!”
Her anger was punctuated with a rigid finger aimed at him.
After all, I am your fucking manager. I run the fucking club. I sign your fucking checks. And I promise you, when this is over, we are through, Ricardo. You hear me? I am absolutely sick and tired of your fucking bullshit! I can't take this shit anymore! God! I don't know what provoked me to go along with you in the first place. But after this is done, you won't have me to do your dirty work anymore.”
Don't take it so personal, Veronique.”
I know I would,” I chimed in, hoping to further a moment of contention between them. Just to break their thievish morale.
Fuck you,” Pointe said calmly.
Especially if I was disrespected like that?”
You keep your fucking mouth shut, Greenley,” Pointe grunted, almost plunging the handgun through the other side of me now. “No one asked for your fucking opinion. You just do what the fuck I tell you to do. Or you'll wind up dead sooner than you think. You got that?”
Like I said, I got no problem with that.”

When Gunn opened one of the doors of the double-ported entrance, I could have wrote a book about the expressions on his face.
In between speechlessness and a million unanswered questions he might have had, his only response was the look of unexpected disappointment. His wide brown eyes traced Pointe's bent arm down to the side of my blood-stained summer suit. Immediately, I fought hard to ward off a recollection of the The Little Rascals. I used to watch the video shorts when I was young. Stymie, the little clever-minded character with the big bowler's hat, would always wiggle his ears whenever he got excited about something. A burst of laughter was erupting inside of me so badly as a result of the comparative look that was now on Roland Gunn's face.
“...Yeah man,” I let out tiredly.
“I don't want to kill your friend here,” Pointe interrupted rudely as usual. “We need to have a little talk. Inside.”
“Please,” I asked with impatience and half a giggle. “ Just let's us in, Roland. I'll...I'll explain what's goin' on when we get inside.”
With two strange people and a side of me he wasn't anticipating, Gunn quickly understood that I was beyond any means to explain what was going on. For a flashing moment, I wondered if Veronique Merchant had a gun on her, kicking myself in the ass for forgetting about the ease at which some women could hide their weapons.
Roland, obviously dumbfounded, went mute and chose wisely to use body language to express his relent as I led the two strangers into the hallway of his home.
But the sudden shuffles and barks that came from the charging Bella threw everyone off.
Except for me.
I immediately took the opportunity to swing a swift, concentrated blow to Pointe's ribs with my elbow, grabbing his firing arm by the wrist while twisting with such brutal torque that he flipped and fell to the stained wood floor. I was so overly aggressive that we both crashed and tumbled, spilling from the foyer into the living room like human tumbleweeds, knocking over an ebony end table and a ceramic lamp that sounded like an explosive near my head.
Roland grab Pointe's gun, while Veronique Merchant stood stifled in the same spot as when she entered.
But that wasn't the end of it.
I guess Bella actually like me after all. The security chief hollered loudly over a mixture of busy growls and tearing of fabric and flesh as the mastiff went to work on his leg, sensing his bad intentions on her turf. The whole commotion might have looked indeed sorrowful, considering the size of Pointe's bulging eyes. But I guess he had violated the wrong house with the wrong dog at the wrong time.
A-A-A-H-H-H!!! Fucking dog!!!” he screamed again. “Get this fucking mutt off of me!!!”
He kicked at the large canine's slimy mask, pissing her off even more as she ripped and tore at his leg with more aggression.
Roland shouted forcibly.
BELLA!!!...DOWN GIRL!!!...DOWN!!!”
The large dog instantly released Pointe's leg, even as he kicked at her again angrily. Roland patted the agitated Bella to calm her.
“Good girl!...It's okay.”
“What the fuck is this?!” Pointe demanded, first from Roland then me, almost crying now as he inspected his injured left leg. “I'm going to kill that fucking mutt first chance I get!”
“Man, if you hurt my dog...I will definitely shoot you.”
“Fuck you.”
Roland Gunn continued standing over us, aiming Pointe's Glock pistol at his head with a two-handed combat grip that showed he meant the business. I stood up and started to recover before I noticed her in the corner of my eye, backing away from the finished skirmish and easing toward the front door.
But Veronique Merchant wasn't fast enough this time. I grabbed both arms and carried her back into the living room as she kicked and screamed.
You let me go! You fucking let me go!!!”
I manhandled her, and rolled her onto the sofa over my hip.
“Have a seat...Gia!
A slight look of familiarity brushed across her face.
“Yeah, that's right. Gia. I know all about your little aliases and visits to the college.”
“Who are these people, Forrest?” Roland asked.
“A couple of crooks. That's what I call 'em.”
But I hadn't forgotten about Pointe's chauffeur. And I was ready for him too, when he felt froggy enough. I took a deep breath of fresh air, clasped my hands and rubbed them briskly.
NOW!...Let's get down to brass tax here! Shall we? First things first. What I want to know is, just what in the hell is going on with you two?”
It wasn't long before the club manager began playing the vulnerable victim role, crying out suddenly and pointing vindictively at the defeated Ricardo Pointe.
“I had nothing to do with this! This was all his idea!”
“Bullshit,” I brushed off. “If that was the case, then what the fuck are you doing with here now?”
“He made me do it!”
“Again. Bullshit.”
“Look,” Pointe said with an agonizing frown, still under Gunn's guard and Bella's watchful eyes. “We can still make this thing work out. If you want.”
“Now's my turn,” I pointed at him. “You shut the fuck up. And don't say a damn thing until I ask you to.”
“Alright. Fine,” the security chief insisted with a childlike tantrum. “Then at least, let's make a deal. You just give us what we want and we'll leave. As if none of this ever happened.”
“Man,” I smiled before shaking my head in disbelief. “You really are the asshole she said you were, huh?”
I walked over to him, rested on my haunches, and looked him straight in the eyes.
“Okay, Pointe. You wanna play games? Okay, let's play a little game. Shit, I'll even make a deal with you. But,” I raised a hand. “We're gonna play by my rules. I'm gonna ask you a few questions. Every time you give me the right answer, we'll close in on making a deal. Every time you give me the wrong answer, I got a little surprise for you. Okay?”
I got no answer from him.
That's when the bad side of Forrest Greenley entered the room.
“You got any children, Pointe?”
Still, no answer.
So I swung a right hook that knocked and rolled him backwards.
What the fuck's wrong with you, you black son of a bitch?!”
Bella worked up her growling again.
“Bella!” Roland uttered. “Nice girl...nice girl.”
I stood up, walked slowly toward him and landed on my haunches, front and center again.
“...Okay. Let's do this again. I'll ask the question. And, I want an answer. Do you understand?”
Pointe looked at me as if I'd gone crazy.
Still no answer.
So I licked him with a left fist this time, making the thief tumble to the right.
He stood up and tried to challenge me, turning red in the face with anger and humiliation.
Fuck's wrong with you, man? You go a fucking problem?”
I didn't flinch, remaining calm. I would need the energy later.
“Now. You can sit back down. And answer my question.”
Pointe stared at me and started breathing heavy.
“...S-I-T D-O-W-N!!!...”
The security chief slowly sat back on the floor.
“I asked you,”
“Yes,” he mumbled.
“How many?”
“Two. I have two girls.”
I looked around and gave another crazy smile, first to Roland and then Veronique.
“You have got to be kiddin' me? And they're females too? How old are they, Pointe?”
“What the fuck is this?” he asked with opened arms.
I swung another right at him, but he blocked this one. So I stood up, stretched my legs and lowered to a bend again.
What the fuck you want from me, man?” he asked, his voice squealing now.
“I want a fuckin' answer to my question. You wanna make a deal?...Okay goddammit, let's make a deal. The deal is, you response to my fuckin' questions. I make the rules now. You play the fuckin' game like I want you to. So, lemme ask you again. How...old...are...your...two...girls?”
“One is twelve, the other sixteen.”
“...A twelve year-old and a sixteen year-old. Do they look nice? You know?”
“I...I don't understand,” He wavered his lips.
“You know...are they kind of shapely? Got a nice little ass on 'em.”
I could see the fury growing in his eyes, but I kept it up, hoping he'd get more angry.
So angry that he'd try something.
But I wanted him to try something.
“I love my daughters.”
“Sure you do.”
“...I'd appreciate if you didn't talk about them like that.”
“So, you love your daughters. Okay. I get that. Now, lemme ask you another question. Has anyone ever harmed them?”
“Not that I know of.”
“Anybody ever taken them from you?”
“Look, what has this―”
Bella rumbled again, as her detestation for Pointe stirred more. I heard the canine's massive paws pacing nervously back and forth in the hallway. I could tell she wanted more of him.
“Has anyone ever taken your daughters from you?”
“So let's say someone did. Do you think you would like that?”
“Definitely not.”
“...'Definitely not', I mimicked. I gestured at the armed Roland with another crazy smile. “So, how in the hell do you think this man feels about his daughter?”
Pointe looked up at him for a second. Still, there was no shame in his eyes.
“What makes you assume I have anything to do with his daughter? I don't know him.”
“Knowin' him aint' got shit to do with it. But then again, you may not want to know this brother. Ex-Marine. Daughter's missing. And he's really pissed about that, too. And then I had the nerve to bring two miscreants. Inside of his house? Lemme tell you, Pointe. Shit's getting' deep. You better start talkin'.”
The embattled security chief took in a deep breath and slowly exhaled, quickly realizing that the hole he had dug was only getting deeper now.
“Where is she?”
“I don't know.”
I wanted to knock him across the room again. But the Great Spirit held me back.
“I'm going to ask you again. Where is she?”
“I don't know, I tell you. Ask her,” he motioned at his cohort. I looked over to Veronique Merchant. She sat wide-eyed on the sofa and very lost in this event.
“So, you're gonna let your partner rat you out. Well, I'll make sure she does that. And why this man hasn't blown your brains out yet is still a mystery to me. Hell, even the dog doesn't like your sorry ass.”
A sharp bark from Bella only confirmed the last comment.
“...So. I'm gonna ask you one last time. Where is she?”
“I've told you already! I don't fucking know!” he shouted. “I had her picked up by two of my guys at her apartment. I told them to take her wherever Veronique wanted to keep her until we found the computer.”
“...Even though I think you're lying to me?...No, I know you're lying to me. That's okay. We're gonna figure this shit out tonight.”

I took a minute before standing up. When I was finished with him, Pointe looked away, unable to withstand any more of my temporary insanity.
But I wasn't really insane.
I doubted if he would really want to see that side of me.

Book Excerpt From "The Black Kabuki"
Copyright 2014 Forrest Greenley Mysteries.
All rights reserved.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Safe Of Old Lies: Book Excerpt

Chapter 12

The one-story, three-unit apartment complex that Bobby Dobbs called home was located in Encanto. It was north of Imperial Avenue and not far from the barbershop. At first sight, the small building was pale and looked pinkish-orange under the mid-morning sun. To get there, I had to steer carefully along nearly 500 feet of a narrow driveway off Atkins Avenue. Hanging trees and wild brush smacked against the windshield of the car. Were it not for the entrenched tire marks trailing to the left, I might have passed the entrance to the graveled parking lot.
From the looks of it, Dobbs must have been saving up money to buy an actual house one day. The rent sure seemed like a bargain here. Huge patches of dried, peeling paint were curling from the structure’s walls. Trash, loose paper and other pieces of debris were speckled and tossed about the empty parking lot. From somewhere in the distance, the lingering stench of an angry skunk permeated the dry morning air.
I got out of the Buick slowly and took a look around for Dobbs' maroon-colored Volvo. It still wasn't here. In the backdrop facing east were three palm trees towering over the apartments, swaying like anemic, mop-topped skyscrapers. A chain-link fence ran around the perimeter of the entire plot, with wild jasmine shrubs planted sparsely every twenty feet or so. To my left was a rusted Toyota Corolla with three flat tires, parked for what seemed like the long term in front of a large garbage bin. Walking toward a cemented walkway just outside the doors of the building’s tenants, the whole complex resembled the type of inexpensive, patched-up housing that made quick profits and attracted temporary settlers in this area of the city.
All three units had vertical blinds drawn closed, and Dobbs’ apartment was the last door on my right, nearly camouflaged by thick brushwood. I peered curiously through the dense leaves and smiled at the sight of a small vegetable garden along the length of the southern wall.
The apartment's front door was bare and unfinished, garnished only with the pair of metallic letters A3 as if to indicate another floor of units existed. Out of curiosity, I stepped back and peeked at the neighboring door, confirming my presumption of door number. Sure enough, it was marked as A2.
The doorbell sounded like a stifled pig's squeal when I pushed it. There was no response, even after a few more prolong pushes of the button. So, as I always do, I knocked firmly but politely.
Suddenly, a swift gust of dusty, hot wind blew against my back, opening the wobbly door before the first rap of my knuckles. The effect was just like one of those scary movies, only this time the draft of air exposed the interior of Dobbs' small apartment. I scanned the jamb from top to bottom and left to right, and checked the dead latch and strike plate for any possible damage. Nothing seemed unusual.
From where I stood could be seen an interesting variety of throw rugs that were placed tidily in certain spots on a wooden floor. Each matting had a different color and shape. As was the case with Maybella Honore, you could easily see that Bobby Dobbs had a penchant for neatness. The contrast of his apartment’s tidiness against the trashy parking lot was as stark as day and night.
I stood at the opened door, slightly confused about the next move to make.
“Hello?...” I inquired like a typical stranger. “Mr. Dobbs?...Anyone home?”
I glanced backward before poking my head in further, trying hard to be not too good at being inquisitive. But it was times like these when my sixth sense always kicked in, letting me know in an uncomfortable way that something just wasn't right. I started getting that feeling before I got here. It might have been the hundredth time that I walked into an empty residence like this and having no clue about what the hell might have went wrong. But what I did need to know now was, why would a person like Bobby Dobbs leave his front door unlocked for unexpected visitors like me to just walk right on in?
They often say thin walls make for bad neighbors. From somewhere nearby, I heard the oohs-and-aahs of a familiar social activity. When I found the source, my eyes widened a bit at the sight of the woman’s massive derriere humping up and down rhythmically against a well-endowed john. She was positioned above him, working her special magic with enormous hips and thighs. Although the sound was lowered on the television, the tantalizing video had enough visual action to raise any man's blood pressure in the right way. And just like any man would, I tried hard to concentrate on the task of finding Dobbs while contending with a budding erection.
The living unit had been converted into a low-scale facsimile of a studio apartment. The strange array of its windows was the first indication. I found them to be spaced apart in an unusual way. Then there was the interior finishing of the ceilings, walls and baseboards that were rather substandard. I frowned at the sloppy workmanship which had been done, and the thin paint that had been brushed over the drywall and globs of rippled joint compound.
But the place did have the true feeling of a bachelor’s pad: uncluttered, maneuverable and perfectly equipped with all of the physical pleasures of a single man. In front of a contemporary leather sofa stood a monumental home entertainment center, spanning the entire wall to the right of me, replete with every video game, DVD or A/V component a man-child could ever want. Throughout the floor space were other kinds of household electronics, miniature car models and tall floor lamps resembling metallic cranes. On a long table near the windows sat clean and shiny tonsorial equipment that were carefully placed as one-of-a-kind artifacts in a history museum. Large posters hung on the walls depicting the colorful character of black barbershops and painted in a manner evocative of Ernie Barnes and Frank Morrison.
After a few instances of quick admiration, I went back to the front door, peeped outside and slunk toward what could be called a kitchenette. It wasn't much bigger than an English phone booth, with a stove, a rusted sink and a dwarfish refrigerator squeezed within its tiny footprint. There was a fresh, half-eaten Reuben sandwich and pickle slice left on a small platter. Inside of the fridge were your typical condiments, a gallon of milk, orange juice, more corned beef, ripen fruit and four unopened beer cans. It was a good sign; at least Dobbs was still eating. So I went to explore the bathroom next to the kitchenette.
It looked as if the barber may have had a quick shave before getting to wherever he was at this moment. Dripping waters echoed down the hole of a slightly rusted face basin. I bent forward to study an expensive-looking steel razor that had been left drying beside a lathering bowl. I took a whiff of the rich shaving cream inside, impressed with its unique scent, as well as Dobbs’ obvious taste in men's grooming. The bathroom walls and floors had been tiled with black ceramic pieces, and every square inch of the shower stall sparkled with a quartziferous luster.
I was about to leave the apartment and end my uninvited tour when I wondered why I hadn't noticed a thin painted door situated between the kitchenette and the bathroom. It had the same off-white color as throughout the apartment. The door was about two feet wide and so level against the surface that it virtually blended unnoticeable into the wall. I tried pulling at it, but the door appeared bolted like the Fort Knox Repository. I thought better at giving it a second try, becoming ashamed at the thought of being caught snooping around another man’s personal space.
But it was the faint thump against the door that stopped me in my tracks.
With a final, rigorous jerk, I found out why the small knot in my gut was getting tighter.
Bobby Dobbs knew why too, only he couldn't tell me.
Behind me, I listened to the spunky couple climax simultaneously, bringing their invigorating workout to a shuddering end with cascading orgasms. I released a chestful of repressed air through the grinding teeth in my mouth. I wanted to close the door and get the hell out of Dobbs' little private hell as fast as I could. But as much as I tried, I couldn't move a muscle. I just couldn't stop staring at the moist droplets trickling from the dead man's exquisite face. It smeared against the clear plastic bag that encapsulated his toweled body as it slumped jaggedly and motionless between the walls of the slender closet. It looked as if his protruding tongue was trying to tell me something between mustached lips. But I couldn't hear a damn thing Bobby Dobbs may have been trying to tell me.
He had taken his last perfect shave. Only this time, he didn't have anyone around to check out his work. I'd never been a religious man, but I said a little prayer for the dead barber on this day.

Book excerpt from "The Safe of Old Lies"
Copyright 2013 Forrest Greenley Mysteries.
All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The "Plus-Size" Femme Fatale

    Good fiction writing is all about using your imagination.

I mean, to really use your imagination in the creative writing process sometimes requires the most unconventional ways of thinking. In developing the plot for "The Safe of Old Lies”, I wanted to come up with characters that defined the unusual, the extraordinary and larger-than-life. After all, that's what good fiction is all about: a stretch of one's imagination through the use of imaginary events involving unimaginable people. 

 When telling a good story for your readers, your writing environment may not be just right, nor as inspiring as you'd like. You may have to adapt to uncomfortable surroundings, unavoidable distractions and undesirable time schedules. Believe me; I know and it's a struggle at times. But this may be a good thing for most of us in helping to produce a greater, more dynamic story than initially intended.

I'm a lover of big women. I grew up surrounded by a number of large-size girls and women during certain episodes of my lifetime. I grew to appreciated all of the new and wonderful things that I learned about them. Lately, I'm finding that the rise of popularity of plus-size models in the fashion industry, the professional working world and general acceptance among society has been gaining a lot of coverage in media. For a long time, the body types of plus-size women have been shunned and ridiculed, as well as made out as an abnormality. Thin girls have had their day but now everything seems to be leaning favorably towards the curvy diva. I'm no expert on women nor fashion, but what I do know is I have always liked what I've seen in plus-size women. And most men will tell you that, way down deep inside, we would much prefer and admire the woman with extra curves.

Enter Sara Wrightwood, one of the main characters in the latest Forrest Greenley Mystery, "The Safe of Old Lies". To develop Sara's persona, I used the photographs of several well-known plus-size models to get the inspiration I wanted in formulating Wrightwood's background. She's a former plus-size fashion model who falls upon bad times during this Great Recession. Ironically, the only job that available is as a secretary of a non-denominational church. In the development of her character, I tried to imagine what it would be like to experience such a transition in life, something which most have experienced to a large degree lately due to such challenging economic times. Sara's change in attitude about what she really wanted out of life prompts her to make a choice: be a humble, proficient assistant at the Armored Faith Congress for who knows how long? Or take the chance of a lifetime and hopefully never regret it.

The fashion models displayed in this post were a big help in accomplishing that goal. The women above are actual professionals working in various areas of the world of business, and not just only fashion modeling but entrepreneurship, retailing, apparel design, entertainment, media and much more. If it's true that "a picture is worth a thousand words", then I imagine that it should become obvious that these beautiful ladies are extremely confident about their body types and don't let such non-sense get in the way of their pursuits of happiness.

    The outcome of "The Safe of Old Lies" will shock many readers, but the only way you will know is to download your copy at

Sunday, December 16, 2012

"The Safe of Old Lies": Book Excerpt

Here's an excerpt from the next Forrest Greenley Mystery, "The Safe of Old Lies". 
Forrest is hired by a retired librarian to find a personal safe that was stolen from her home while she is hospitalized for breathing difficulties.
"The Safe of Old Lies" will be available for purchase soon at Smashwords is an independent publishing site that offers a huge selection of marketing services and publishing tools for independent authors and writers that are free and worthy of your review. All you have to do is provide the creative content. You will also find more Mystery & Detective Fiction eBooks there as well.
In the meantime, enjoy the except and please have a safe Holiday Season!  


Chapter 17

The truth doesn't cost anything, but lies will cost you everything.”

We sat together this Friday night enjoying the culinary delights of grilled tuna burgers, a well-dressed black bean-mango salad, savory African peanut soup and a bottle of chilled white Merlot. Let me show how much my wife missed me over the past week: she bought me a three-pound strawberry cheesecake! (One of my greatest weaknesses, I might add.) Over the past several months, Tariah had been coming home early more often ever since her hair salon clients were dwindling in frequency. In a way, this became a forced opportunity for us to have relaxing dinners as they should have been: a well-cooked meal, frivolous conversation and relieving laughter. We were joking about the little big-headed son of a next door neighbor. He was your typical little boy, rambunctious, nosy and venturous. One day, I caught him leaping off the top of the fence in my backyard. When he landed, I stood in front of him like an unexpected giant, freezing him in his tracks. He looked to the right and left, and quickly came to the conclusion that there was no escaping me. This is what I said to him:
“If I ever catch you jumping over my fence again, I'm gonna take you and throw you on top of those trees, where the crows and hawks will eat you up in one night!”
Tariah broke out with such hearty bursts of laughter that I thought she'd never stop.
Then the laughter stopped, and rather abruptly.
I helped myself to another slice of delicious cheesecake while admiring the big, beautiful brown eyes staring back at me behind her thick, corded dreadlocks. The deep, significant valley of her cleavage pronounced itself with her every movement. She was wearing a black silk shirt that was, indeed, very tantalizing. I smiled at the flashing highlights and twinkles from her large golden earrings as they reflected light from the ceiling fan above. They were like signals that something good, even something mystical was in store for us this evening.
I don't know about her, but I was feeling pretty good and in the mood for those type of things.
“Is there something wrong, Tee?”
“No!” She hushed away my inquiry with a sip from her goblet. “What makes you think there's something wrong?”
“Well,” I said after a bite of the baker's delight. “I think I've known you long enough to know a few things about you. When you give me that look, it's either one, you're about to ask me something very important. Or two, there's something you've got to tell me that's very important.”
She ran the two postulates across a cloud above for a second or two, giving a confirmation with a spread of pearly whites.
“Very good. Very good. So you have been paying attention to me!”
“'Course I have. You think I would take our little conferences for granted?”
“Honestly? No. Somebody else? Yeah. But you? No.”
“I just love the little details you give me,” I smirked. “You're such a detail freak.” This made her chuckle and blush.
“It's not really's just might be a subconscious carryover from the type of work I do. You know how detailed I am about hair. There's...just a lot of...details....that go into the work. That's all.”
“I don't know,” I returned, rubbing my chin with a playful look. “Sometimes, that carryover can be pret-ty annoying at times.”
She gave one of those knowing looks, grinning at the ceiling fan before returning those probing orbs at me. This time, they were on fire.
“So you think you really know me that well? Huh?”
“I don't know. Is there more I need to know about you?”
She got up, walked over and sat on my lap, taking the last fork of moist cake from my hand and ate it. The flowery perfume on her skin titillated my nose with hints of jasmine and cinnamon, and the weight of her hips had given an enlivened feeling to my little Forrest.
“Damn you smell good!” I snuggled my nose between her copper bosom for deeper inspection. “What is that?”
She let out a girlish sigh.
“It 's called body lotion for women. I've worn it before, and you never said anything then.”
“That because I wasn't this close to you.”
“G-r-r-r-r!!! You men! You're all the same, aren't you?!”
The sparkle in her eyes grew brighter and melted me more.
“I missed you, baby. That's all I'm trying to say.”
“I missed you too, Tee. I was serious about becoming a better listener. And thanks for the cheesecake. It was very delicious.”
“More delicious than this?”
       She lowered her full lips against mine, brushing against them before the warmth of her tongue began raising my body temperature. 
“Now that tastes very delicious...Can I get some more?”
We kissed again, softly and tenderly, with doses of intense, unbridled passion. The moment felt as if we had nothing else to do. Forever. I liked moments like these. The anxiousness inside me was building up again, only this time I let its smoother rush flow through me and mix with the good food and wine. Then, like two ravenous creatures meeting for the first time, we went at each other with mad abandon. The video I'd seen in Dobbs' apartment was Mickey Mouse compared to what we were about to do. Tariah Nash and Forrest Greenley had some feel-good, low-down and heavy-duty nurturing to make up for after a long, troublesome week.
I rubbed her secret valley of deep pleasure with a delicate friction, telling her all of the dreams I had while away from her. This only made her respond in return with heavier gasps and stronger, deeper kisses, pleasurably grinding her magnificence against my tightening groin. I brushed her locks aside and added more stirring whispers of how beautiful she was to me, and all of the many ways I wanted to show her.
How we managed to get to the bedroom, I'll never know. But once we crashed onto the bed, it was time in getting to that timeless motion we both relished with impatience. She hissed with voiceless exhaustion as I ran my lips and hands over every square inch of her splendid, writhing body, taking no detours around the dimples, dips, nooks and crannies.
Grown folks makin' good love? Ain't nothin' else like it!”
That's what my uncle Henry used to tell me when I was young.
“...Ooh Forrest! Baby! What has come over you?!”
Grunts and groans, roars and moans were all I could manage in return to her whispered pleas and breathless requests, preoccupied with the mission being the man of her moment.
Kiss me here.”
Kiss me there.”
Do it, baby! You do it right! but you do it baby!
She give, I'd give, and she'd give a little bit more. I did my very best to paint the picture of her dream just the way she wanted.
I lost count of the times she called out my name.
Oh Fee-Fee! Oh ba-by! Oh dar-ling! Oh m-m-my!”
The soulful deep house music told us to 'let it feel good', and that's exactly what we did. My voluptuous lover and me got on a bouncy rhythm that would have tilted the Richter Scale, melting, shuttering, smacking, screaming, squeezing and then finally, finally, releasing, just the way The Creator meant for it to be. I enjoyed letting her be the woman she wanted to be, and I showed her how much I appreciated her doing that for me.
Uncle Henry was right.
There wasn't much else in the world better than making good love to a good woman.

Cover design by the Author.
Book excerpt from "The Safe of Old Lies"
Copyright 2012 Forrest Greenley Mysteries.
All rights reserved.

Chinese Proverb