As Cameron Hancock was having his weird conversation with Jim Fremont at the rec center and Kat Kimmel was chatting with a nice old couple named Murchison (who had no idea what was going on with the missing and now dead dog, but were kind and felt like surrogate grandparents to Kat and a number of other neighborhood kids), Max Siler was having sex with 20-something housewife Tammy Barber.
Max had progressed past his incredulous "I should write to Penthouse Forum about this" stage and was into the lust and revelry.
Truth was, the 23-year-old blonde was the second woman he'd been with, and she was beyond his most lubricated imaginings, wiping away memories of his first, a heavyset fellow piano student named Gundula. Max had to admit, too, the fact that her easygoing, hulking husband could kill him barehanded added a thrill factor. The danger got him off.
Cameron and Kat didn't even know - but they would not have been surprised if they'd known that the affair began with weed.
Tammy must have smelled it on him. It was the Saturday a month before - her husband Sam hired Max to do some yardwork while Sam was out of town on a business trip.
It wasn't a particularly hot day, but it was humid as hell, and stormclouds were boiling on the horizon. Sam was nearly done with the Barber's backyard hedges, neatly trimming them with Sam's state-of-the-art electric trimmers, and decided it was time to burn one. Finish the job happy, he figured.
He'd finished a few hits from his little pocket pipe, which appeared to most people to be nothing more than a heavy, wooden keychain fob, when, as he came from behind the Barber's sturdy little backyard shed, he nearly walked into Tammy.
She'd looked pissed...but the long story short was she was only pissed that Max had not thought to share.
The day ended with them on the Barber's tacky black-lacquered waterbed, Max learning things he had not even conceived of before.
Now they'd slept together five times. His greatest fear was a violent encounter with Sam, but he felt reasonably sure at the moment that Sam didn't have a clue. And - this gave Max an odd twinge of undeserved jealousy - Tammy seemed to have experience with this kind of concealment.
sometimes your decisions get made for you. mine was made today when i realized that the siler kid is fucking the slut.
first it crossed my mind to just cop dad's telephoto lense and leave some anonymous shots in big sam's box, but then it occurred to me that i had my answer. my answer to the burning question; who am i ready to kill?
certainly isn't the first time it occurred to me. the way the cunt lays out, expecting the whole neighborhood to watch - she's asking for trouble. but no, she upped the ante by fucking siler.
now the only question i have to ask myself is this; do i get them together? do i leave one of my messages? as yet no one has noticed the art work in the woods by the lake.
this is like producing some kind of fucking show where i'm the director, writer, and main actor. very complex. but what does one do when one has a gift for certain things?
follow your muse, dad always says.
yeah, fuck you, old man.
Kat was lost in thought as she passed Sam and Tammy Barber's house, where Max was getting some of the best head he would ever have. Her mind was filled with the images she and the guys had seen in the woods, and she was feeling stranger by the moment about the whole thing.
The feeling was simply that they didn't realize how awful this was yet. Max had been correct - the poor little dog had been chopped to pieces and those pieces arranged into an intentional formation. There was something deeply wrong there.
She stopped at the house next to the Barber home, one of the larger houses on Briarwood, owned by a family they all knew but seldom saw, the Reddings.
Danny Redding, the youngest of the three Redding boys, lived in the two-story Cape Cod style home with his mom and dad, Sheila and Roger. The mom and dad were lawyers, pretty well-known for defending high profile criminal cases in the city. Kat knew that Cameron's father knew them very well from his job as a homicide detective, and in one of the rare moments Mr. Hancock mentioned his job he'd even commented that it felt strange to live so close to people he sometimes considered the enemy. That said, Kat had seen them pass on evening walks occasionally and exchange pleasantries with the elder Hancock, so she figured the enmity wasn't that deep.
Danny was an odd duck, too. He was 16, a year behind Kat, Cameron, and Max, and tall - at least 6'5". He was very quiet, but several people said that once you got to know the guy he was quite funny. Kat thought he stared a little too much. Understanding her burgeoning sexuality as she did, she wondered if she wasn't just over-sensitive to such things. Max and Cameron had never treated her like a sex object, and not even batted an eye when she began to tell them of her attraction to girls. Hell, they seemed relieved...as if they'd wondered. That puzzled her sometimes, since she didn't think she did anything that seemed "gay" in a stereotypical way.
But she was a good-looking, athletic young woman who looked good in her clothes and plenty of other guys made her feel like a side of beef being inspected in a warehouse. If she thought about Danny Redding at all, he seemed to be in this category.
Kat hoped that one of the elder Reddings would come to the door, but she got tall Danny.
He was, she had to admit, cute in his way. Surely he could start dating anytime he pleased. The height, the dark wavy hair and pale green eyes were all pretty striking. "Hey," he said, "what brings you around?"
Kat stumbled for words. "Um - well, a little girl down the street lost her dog, and -"
"You mean the schnauzer?"
Kat paused, meeting Danny's calm green gaze. "How'd you know?"
"Kid came by looking for the dog yesterday. Me and my Dad even walked up the block a little with her. No luck."
Danny's voice was low and soft. He was friendlier than she remembered from previous interaction with him. "Well..." she debated telling him only a moment, "she found the dog this morning. Dead."
Danny seemed genuinely upset. He opened his mouth as if to speak, closed it again. "I'm sorry to hear that."
"Yeah," Kat said, still feeling awkward, " it was pretty awful."
Danny cocked his head to one side, an appealing gesture. "How so?"
"Man, I don't think you want to know." Kat said honestly.
"Bad?" he asked. He lowered his already rumbling, soft voice even further.
"Yes. It looks like -" she paused, not sure why, "looks like some big animal got to it."
Danny leaned against the door frame. His height could have been menacing if he'd wished, but his personality was so low-key that it was easy to forget how big a young man he already was. "What kind of big animal, around here?"
Kat felt a little flushed. Was her white lie that obvious?
"I don't know...most likely a bigger dog, if you ask me."
Danny nodded. "Makes sense. So - did anyone call animal control?"
"Not yet," she said. Besides, she thought, didn't those guys deal with live animals?
"I don't know - Kat, right? - I never saw the dog much anyway. We don't have pets, and I guess don't pay much attention to all the animals roaming around here."
"I guess we were just trying to figure out when the dog was last seen."
"Sleuthing?" Danny asked the question sincerely, and she had to smile.
"You could call it that. Taylor first came up to Cameron this morning after she found the dog."
Danny nodded. "Like father..."
"Yeah, I guess."
There was an uncomfortable moment, a pause.
They looked at each other and laughed. "Sorry." he said needlessly.
"It's okay," Kat replied. She certainly found guys cute now and then - if Cameron didn't feel so much like a brother she might even have found him a little attractive. She decided Danny was pretty cute. Not cute enough to change her way of life, but pleasing, anyway. "Thanks, anyway."
"Want some company?" he asked.
The awkwardness again. This was happening with guys other than Cameron and Max too often lately. It wasn't that she disliked men - she just didn't want to kiss them, get in bed with them, love them. Her first memory of a soul-stirring crush was one she had for another girl, and that had simply not changed. She was getting good at turning guys down, but that didn't mean that doing it felt good. "Oh - well, I've got gymnastics in an hour. I'm sorry." and she meant it, in a way.
Danny, to his credit, seemed unruffled. "That's cool. Tell Cameron I said hey."
Kat almost jumped on the defensive - she'd had to tell people several times in the last year as well that neither Cameron or Max were her boyfriends. But most long-time residents in their neighborhood knew the trio - the brainy cop's kid, the oddly laid-back piano prodigy and the tomboy gymnast - and knew that the three were more like surrogate brothers and sister. Danny knew too, judging from his tone of voice. "I will, Danny. See ya 'round."
"Yeah - later." the tall kid gently closed the door as she turned to go.
She didn't see him lean over, gently pull aside the curtain that covered one of the narrow windows set in the door frame as she headed back down the walk. She didn't know that he was alone in the house. Or that as he watched her head back down the walk he pulled down his gym shorts to masturbate, standing in the front hall of his family home.
Max gently rested his right hand on the back of Tammy Barber's blonde head as it bobbed vigorously over his crotch. This was their third go around for the afternoon and he was still amazed at the way he responded to her. He was sure that a big part of it was the illicit nature of the whole thing. But damn, Tammy just knew how to do things to him, too. Like blow him. She seemed, unlike his first partner, the horny and eager but inexperienced Gundula, to really like giving head. Sometimes he'd have a bad moment where it occurred to him that she must have done a tremendous amount of head-giving in her day, but the moment was never bad enough to diminish his enjoyment of the moment.
At the moment she was probably more eager to get him back into shape for more fucking, and he was cool with that. Another thing he liked about Tammy was the fact that she was on the pill - no condoms.
He was still a little buzzed, too - they'd smoked some of his best shit before they started, and it had staying power.
Perhaps it was the lingering effects of the weed that made him hypersensitive to noise.
He was pretty sure he had unusually sensitive ears due to his intense musical training, so when the odd sound registered he couldn't ignore it. It wasn't supposed to be there. It was out of place.
"Tammy..." he whispered.
"Mmmm..." she looked up at him, dark blue eyes narrowed with desire and concentration on her work.
"I hear something."
She eased her mouth off him, replaced it smoothly with her hand, barely breaking rhythm. "What, baby?"
"Don't know. Listen." he tried to listen too, but the well-timed rhythm of her stroking him was deeply distracting. She wasn't going to be deterred.
"Can't be Sam, baby - he's in Europe. Always calls from the airport. Too cheap to take a cab." she punctuated the last sentence with a lick.
"Just thought I heard - like, a step." he said it, and even as he said it he wished it away. She was working him up to a frenzy, and lust was overriding paranoia. Damn, she was good.
"No..." she soothed, " you didn't hear a damn thing. Now..." she lowered the perfectly flexed o of her lips on the head of his dick again, " Where -" stroke "were -" sroke "we...?"
Max was behind her, sweat trickling in streams down his chest and arms as he concentrated on thrusting. Tammy was looking back over her shoulder, mouth half-open, lids lowered, meeting him as he pounded into her. She had a delicious way of wriggling her hips as she met him, a little extra stroke that he suspected was for her benefit more than his, bringing his cock into contact with the right spot just so. She always seemed to orgasm a lot this way.
He was very close, himself. One thing he'd learned with her was stamina, how to hold back. But even now, the third time through, he felt on the edge control-wise. She would prompt him when she was ready, and that would be pretty much all it would take.
And she did. "Come on, baby, harder..." she rocked back, pushing her ass harder towards his belly. Max met her, changing his grip on her hips a little, shifting his weight.
At the moment of paydirt, Max felt a terrible thumping sensation in the back of his head, and the lights went out.
When he woke, head pounding, vision blurred, it was dark outside.
The light by Tammy (and Sam's) bed was on. She was nowhere to be found.
But there was blood. Max sat up, feeling his chest, belly, his cock - no wounds.
Tammy's blood. Sticky, already drying.
It was everywhere.
Max tried to scream, but couldn't.
(to be continued...)