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Mr. & Mrs. Guerin (AU,M/M,MATURE) COMPLETE - 5/20/13

Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:37 pm
by ken_r
Title: Mr. and Mrs. Guerin; Homage to the Thin Man


Author: ken_r AKA Kenneth Renouard
Genera: Au no aliens
Disclaimer: The Roswell characters are not mine and there are some set up situations which are parodies of the Nick and Nora Charles characters of the Thin Man.

Couples: M&M, CC I am not usually a fan of candy stories, but Michael and Maria were the only two who could pull off Nick and Nora Charles. They had deep love inside, but on the surface, they came from different worlds.
Rating: Mature for language

Summary and Background: Nick and Nora Charles were characters in the movie, “The Thin Man” by Dashiell Hammett. Myrna Loy and William Powell were the actors in several movies in this series. Later, the series of the Thin Man appeared on Radio with many different actors. The “thin man” was never Nick Charles. The thin man was the murder victim in the first movie. The name just stuck. Nick and Nora Charles were both very strong characters. Nick Charles was a street detective and moved in many circles like other Hammett and Runyan street people. Nora Charles was rich with her friends in high society. I gave Maria a make over when her father, (at this time, she didn’t know his first name,) DeLuca died and left Amy and Maria rich. I gave Maria a fling with society and then brought her back to Roswell and Michael. The mystery is secondary as most of the interesting activity is between rich Maria and common Mike. They have a tight relationship, but the paths they take are miles apart. I put the other couples in places within the story where I thought they would best fit. Tess is in contrast to Michael as she grew up in the same trailer park, but she came from a loving family. Part of the fun of this story is parodies of comments from Nick and Nora Charles. Tess, as always, leaves room for the most variable character. Here, she is a good person and works for Alex Whitman and is married to Detective Kyle Valenti.

You start with a terrorist bombing, then, there is a murder. This leads to several assaults. Now, you have to ask why? Amid racial tension there is dissention within the police department. Wrap this up with Maria finding not answers, but more questions about her father. Nick and Nora C… sorry, I mean Mike and Maria Guerin have many mysteries to solve.

Mr. and Mrs. Guerin, Homage to the Thin Man

Michael purposely kept the revs high in the Ferrari. If he had to drive it, he might as well enjoy the sound of twelve cylinders at high revs. There was no way that Michael would over rev and damage this engine. Michael’s frugal childhood would never allow him to purposely damage anything. The Ferrari had been a gift from his wife, Maria. It was not his vehicle of choice. Michael had a beat up; you might say rusted, Ford pickup. It was a 70s model. The last time Ford or anyone else built a real vehicle. Hell, you could stand on it without denting it a bit. Maria wanted to go to the opening of this restaurant and she wanted to arrive in style. The Ford pickup was for Michael, alone, to love.

Michael knew that there would be a time when the Ferrari would take up residence in their garage to later be sold as she bought some other bobble for him. Let the girl do what pleased her. Lord knows, Maria didn’t have anything to give away, even to herself, during her childhood.

Michael steeled himself as he entered the door, facing the crowd that he couldn’t completely understand and was met by a man with an obviously false French accident. “Ah, Ro-bear,” Maria breathed. She said Robert without the T and made her voice almost a song as she said it. “It is so good to see you,” she concluded.

Michael didn’t give a damn what she said, when it came his time to greet the restaurant owner he said, “Hey, Bobbie, how’s it hanging?” This cost him a sharp dig in the ribs, but Michael was used to the punishment dealt out by Maria, so he made no expression of it, in his face. Robert certainly showed his displeasure.

Maria kept up her prattle. “So nice for you to invite me. The place is looking so good. I’ve been looking forward to tonight so much. …” The phrases rolled off Maria’s tongue like music. Michael automatically blanked her words off from his thinking. If she wanted to use that expensive musical education this way, that was just “jake” with Michael. Michael loved the lady Maria, but he only tolerated her money and social position. Maybe he’d slip out, after she went to sleep and grab a cheese burger at the Burger Barn. Until then to please his love and to fulfill his destiny, Michael would endure steaks too small, dinner plates drizzled with too little flavor and vegetables with plenty of crunch, but the taste of cardboard.


Maria was the only girl he had ever loved. Michael didn’t remember when he didn’t know that he was trailer trash. Hank Whitmore, his foster father never seemed to have any inclination to dig his way out of anywhere. Whitmore kept little Michael as a cash cow for most of Michael’s young life. The only way he got away with this was that his cousin was a director of child services. Results of visitations, home fitness studies, school counselor complaints, all got lost when they crossed George Whitmore’s desk. These along with Hanks record of his own relationships, the whores who trooped through Hank’s bedroom were like beer drinkers all lined up at a single porta potty. This should have lit up lights all the way to the president’s office. Yeah, you got it, George Whitmore was an expert at making reports disappear. Ol’e Hank hadn’t set an example for his foster kid. All Michael learned was that if it was the way Hank did anything, do it deferent, do it better. Hey, Michael was a nobody. No one had any idea of who his folks might be. No body cared what happened to him. Hank only made attempts of parental control and guidance when he feared Michael’s actions would endanger his easy ride. As long as George kept his desk, his cousin Hank had his retirement check in the form of the monthly stipend, given by the state to raise the unwanted little boy. Michael grew up, lonely and unloved.

Luckily nothing he learned from Hank, rubbed off on Michael. Michael was hard working and always had the goal of someday finding something better than what had been offered to him, in Roswell New Mexico. Roswell was simply a location. The town itself wasn’t what Michael hated. It was the lot he felt had been dealt to him. Michael met Maria while working at the Crashdown. This was a small, theme restaurant, in Roswell, the home of the aliens. He had spun his life off from Hank with help from a sympathetic lawyer. A cash cow, who was employed and making money, would have been Hank’s delight.

Michael and Maria were an item until Right after high school graduation. Old man DeLuca had died. Maria and her mother hadn’t heard from him for years. Maria didn’t usually even say her father’s name. Her mother Amy only said it followed by curse words. Something must have changed for DeLuca. Maybe, he had flashes of guilt or maybe, there were other reasons for his departure which neither Amy nor Maria were ever privy to. DeLuca left Amy and Maria 100 million dollars. The money was to be split between Maria and her mother. The will was completely legal and binding. Somewhere, Amy knew that DeLuca had a brother and a nephew. Amy felt that she had suffered enough from the DeLuca’s, so as soon as the lawyer assured her that the money was truly hers, she didn’t ever want to think of that family again. Amy and Maria left Roswell, for Amy, she didn’t have a thought of looking back. Maria did sometimes think of the boy who worked in the kitchen while she plied the dining room.

Michael had been free of Hank Whitmore since he had been 16. He tried very hard not to begrudge Maria in her new found status. He had heard that she had gone away to college back East at a very prestigious school. Any education, Michael was to get would be by his own devices. Michael joined the Air Force. He gave his country four years in the Security Police of the Air Force. Getting out, the two years he had between 16 and joining the Air Force called to him. The oppression of foster care and the regimen of the service made that two years look like some sort of paradise.

Military money for education and work-study programs, let Michael make it through college with a Criminal Science Degree. Recruiters with all sorts of rewards appeared. The feds and their highest salary, scarcely mentioned the politics you needed to stay in place. State and local departments with their promises of stability approached the young man. They were all ignored for the title of “Gum Shoe.” That, two years of imagined freedom after he ran away from his foster father and the many dime novels, which now cost over five dollars apiece, read while being the dispatcher for the college campus police, led Michael with their siren song to becoming a private detective. Dashiell Hammett, the mystery writer, quit school at 13 to work several odd jobs where, Michael imagined, he got the material for his characters. Hammett was about 21 when he joined the Pinkertons. Michael had the military and a college education, give him a chance, give him experience and he should do at least as well. Then there was Damon Runyan, another of Michael’s heros. He started out in the newspaper business even before Hammett. They both taught Michael that there were characters out there just begging to be written, stories more rich in who the characters were, than in narrative about crimes. Michael was convinced that the company of a variety of people, from all walks of life, was the secret to finding stories. Well after giving up the good life and marrying Maria, Michael thought, someday he might join these heroes.

Michael had enjoyed busting in motel rooms, proving that fornication was an affirmative action crime, again giving thought food for that sometime dream of becoming a writer. Doctors, lawyers politicians and clergy all looked the same when he saw them with their pants down and a ripe piece of ass in front of them. It cheered Michael to think that this was one thing that crossed all lines of class welfare.

Deadbeats were another gripe of Michael’s; although, he sometimes thought that he ought to be thankful for them. Their stories, both the real ones and the ones the miscreants invented for judges, were a goldmine. Child support, defaulted loans and just plain bills owed for one reason or the other created a prey for the young man seeking adventure. In his years as a gumshoe, Michael reveled in the richness of excuses for dereliction of proper lawful behavior. Of course, he did have to scrape gum and other evidences of a depraved civilization off his shoe soles every night, that is where the title came from, “gum shoe.” This was where the name came from according to Michael. There were other explanations if they were what you wanted.


Maybe, sometime visions of Hank and his cousin flittered through Michael’s mind. Michael had needed someone like himself, years ago, to right the life he had found in Roswell.

He got to do a few heroic things, also. Michael split a hundred thousand dollars with Hector Valdez, a Mexican detective, by returning a kidnapped child carried by a drugged out father into deep in Mexico. Michael along with Hector had trailed the father deep into the interior of Mexico. The father had paid the local law for protection. Hector and Michael paid them more to withdraw this protection from the wayward father. It wasn’t only money Michael offered. He and Hector approached the law enforcement personnel in the company of a priest. To the strongly catholic Mexicans, eternal damnation of their souls was almost as strong an incentive as the filthy lucre of gold. A group must be depraved indeed to protect someone at the expense of a child. When Michael and Hector kicked the door in, those inside were screaming, “Policia, policia.” There wasn’t anyone around for kilometers to hear their cries. Their souls now at rest, the police were at la cantina filling their thirst. Michael felt what he and Hector did was the justification for the cries of the child, who was taken away from his family and had now, been served. The child’s grandfather, who put up the reward, showed his appreciation in many ways.

Still Michael always thought of his first love when things were quiet.

Now Maria’s mother, Amy, didn’t want any dust of her past to ever dirty her shoes again. Amy invented a new life and new history for herself and Maria. All you needed was “Henry Higgins” and enough money to keep him interested, to turn a street woman, named Eliza or in this case Amy, into a Duchess. It had been good enough for Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady.”

For Maria, all she needed was an education at a prestigious school. Maria had always been talented and this talent carried her through a first rate education. She met a Peter Stuyvesant. He even claimed to be distantly related to that old Dutchman of history. Almost all of his relatives had died and he now wanted a trophy wife. He got that and more in Maria. Some said, when it wouldn’t immediately go back to Maria or Amy that, “She probably fucked him to death.”

Maria did hear this and it hurt. She had tried to be the best wife for him that she could. The old fart wanted a trophy and Maria was determined to out do all the trophies he ever earned. Old families like old dogs, just burn out and die, sometimes. Maria had hoped he died happy. He left Maria her second fortune.

Maria now, returned to the one person and place where she felt secure. It took a while, but finally she found Michael in a larger city some distance outside of Roswell.


Maria flitted about the dining room, as did the other sisters of society, constantly paying homage to one position then, quickly returning to hold court to graciously receive kudos given to her. Michael described it simply as you kiss my ass and I will kiss yours. There were a few other men, who suffered through this ritual. Most of them were older, who either ate their meal in silence or some who felt their own security and broke out the “Wall Street Journal,” trusting their patience would find reward later tonight in bed. What was that old Sinatra song?

You can dance, every dance with the guy
Who gives you the eye, let him hold you tight
You can smile, every smile for the man
Who held your hand beneath pale moon light

But don't forget who's takin' you home
And in whose arms you're gonna be
So darlin' save the last dance for me

Money was a leash that usually brought them back. Money was what saved them for that last dance. With Michael, it was Maria who had all the dough. There was something else that brought her back to him.

Maria had just sat down at their table, to catch her breath, when it happened. There was a crash and the front window broke showering patrons with glass, but what was to follow made this irrelevant. Michael saw the shape of a dark baseball, no not a baseball, but a black egg. What ever it looked like, Michael’s years in the service knew what was to follow. Michael leaped across the table pushing Maria to the floor and pulling the table on top of them. The ear splitting sound gave way to the smell of sulfur and the screams of pain. A quick glance at the bottom of the overturned table showed what had been in store for Mr. and Mrs. Guerin. The bottom of the table was gouged with pieces of shrapnel. A grenade does that to an area. Michael could imagine what would have happened if Maria had still been flirting across the dance floor.

Michael knew basic first aid, but there were plenty of doctors quickly on the scene and Michael didn’t want to get in anybody’s way. As he was holding the shaking Maria, Michael heard her mumble, “Michael, I would have been killed if I had been with anyone else, but you.” This was what really brought Maria back to him. Maria, the girl/woman who now had everything, turned to Michael and the one thing she couldn’t buy, Michael’s love and hence protection.

Michael felt a presence beside him. “Hey Mike, what the hell happened?” a familiar voice asked.

Michael turned to greet Kyle Valenti. “Hey Kyle, someone pissed off the public librarian.”

“If this happens when you have an over due library book, lord help me when they look at my expense account,” Kyle chuckled. Then, he saw the woman in Michael’s arms, “How do Missus Guerin,” he said. Kyle didn’t recognize the feisty girl he had known in high school.

“Evening, Kyle,” Maria almost whispered. The difference between what and where she had been only seconds ago and what she saw in herself now, was that dividing line of proper behavior. No matter how bad she felt, Maria remembered to be gracious and polite. That was one lesson from her mentor that Maria took to heart.


In a way, this was funny. They all had grown up in Roswell. Kyle the son of a local law enforcement officer never had a much. His mother ran off when he was still a child. His father was attentive, but duty constantly called. Kyle always said he would never follow his father and grandfather in police work. His wife had grown up in the same trailer park, as did Michael. The difference was that her family had been loving and stable. They never had a cent to their name, but whatever they had, they shared. Teresa Harding had worked her way through business school and now she shared her life with Lieutenant Kyle Valenti of the detective squad.


“Kyle, we were trying to have dinner,” Michael started. Kyle didn’t miss the flinch when Michael mentioned dinner. Kyle was much like Michael as he also preferred a big double cheeseburger to almost anything else. He knew from attending many a political meeting what it was like to be a hungry man and be served a proper meal for a Chihuahua. “I saw something thrown through the window and it didn’t take a line-up to tell me what it was. I tried to dig a foxhole in the floor and pull Maria in after me along with the table. Hell itself visited us,” Michael explained.

“Kyle, do you have any idea of how many were injured?” Maria asked. “I will start a survivor’s fund drive, the first thing tomorrow.”

“That’s mighty fine, Missus Guerin. Right now, I have to figure out what happened and then go looking for a reason. Let me know if you need any introductions to anyone in the department to help you,” Kyle stated.

The police were stretched thin. The rookie, drafted in to help with the interviews, might be better with more stiffs in her life and more dream balloons taken away.

This really bugged Maria. The amount of time, Michael gave to the police force and the number of charity drives, she made should at least count for a first name request. “Hey, you two, get over here,” The lady, almost still a young girl shouted.

Michael had to strain to keep from laughing. In Maria, he could hear Myrna Loy speak and raise her nose in the air as she said, “Of course, we are Nick and Nora Charles.” Michael had always been into old movies.

The reality was not that much better. With a sniff Maria said, “We are Michael Guerin and Maria DeLuca-Guerin.”

Michael doubted if the rookie had ever heard of the “Thin Man,” never mind the two actors from so long ago who made the story famous. She should have taken note of Maria’s tone and used better tact.

“Okay, chica, I take it you are the Maria part. What is your last name again?” the rookie asked.

Michael didn’t know, but it was as if this woman had taken a degree in pissing off Maria. Maria had suffered much in her childhood. The 100 million plus the vast riches of poor Peter Stuyvesant should have earned her a Mrs. or at least a Ma’am. It wasn’t as if Maria would be swapping stories and beers with this lady cop. “Ma’am, my name is Maria DeLuca-Guerin. The ‘D’ and the ‘L’ are capitalized and the Guerin is proceeded by a hyphen,” Maria answered with distain.

Maria could well have saved her breath. Not pissing off someone who surpassed you in both IQ and social image was absent from the curriculum of courses taught at the academy. Michael knew that only slightly under the surface of his society lady was a street urchin who had lived for 18 years by her wits and brawn. To save the lady cop from loosing her eyes to Maria’s fingernails, Michael took over. “I am Michael Guerin and this is my wife, Maria. We are here because we wanted to attend the first night of this restaurant.” Michael handed the lady a card with his and Maria’s name printed on it, along with addresses and phone numbers. He took out another card, which said Alexander C. Whitman, attorney at law. This card is the name and address of my attorney. If you have any more questions, I suggest you call him.” With that, he gently led Maria to the car stand and rookie Cecily Dominguez saw them both climb into a sleek Ferrari.

“I hate those damned rich snobs who think their shit don’t stink,” she muttered.

Kyle over heard her. “Hey, Dominguez, Mike squats in the field just like the rest of us. He has been a street dick for years. His wife has enough dough to clean up her shit and any other stink that you might find around her.”


“Oh, Mickie, I saw the bottom of that table. We would have been cut to ribbons if you hadn’t pulled the table on top of us. I saw those other people. It was just horrible. What are we to do?” she cried. Maria was still shaking, but now she was finding safety in Michael’s arms. Yes, this was the reason she had saved the last dance. Now, in their large bed, under a single silk sheet, with Michael’s hands under her gown, she felt love and security. With other men, she always had the feeling that her money was their inspiration; with Michael, he didn’t give a damn if she could pay off the national debt or if she would embarrass a church mouse in poverty.

“Do Maria?” he said in a question. “You are to do what you do best. There are dead people who have families and there are those who lived, but will need a lot of medical attention. Start your drives, run your charities. Someone has to do it and darling, you are the best,” Michael said as he bent to kiss her.

Later after she was sound asleep, Michael got up to think with his one beer cradled in his hands as Maria remained in bed. Michael did enjoy this beer. It cost more than what would be spent taking out the entire football team on a bender. Michael once had said that a certain beer from a small Mexican brewery was the best drink he had ever tasted. From then on, it was flown in whenever the case got down to four bottles. Again, this was what made her happy, Michael might sometimes shiver at the cost, but unlike Judas, when he complained about the oil wasted anointing his savior’s feet. “We could sell it and give the money to the poor.” Christ hadn’t bought that one and Michael knew that the symbol Maria saw when she did things for him was the same. These were things always done in the spirit of love.

Now, Michael had to think, why did someone decide to bomb the restaurant on its opening night? The bomb was pure military. It wasn’t like those improvised devices or IEDs, as they were called, used by the current religious and political enemies. They believed that the construction of such a device was as important as what they did with it. No, some ass picked up a pineapple type grenade from some surplus store and lobbed it through a window. That method didn’t allow any accurate choice of target. The room and those who were not able to find cover, were the targets. Michael’s mind ran through the usual culprits. IRS, those tax boys could get real competitive, but they were not known for that sort of overt actions. Their close cousins, the mob, for many of the same reasons, were not high on the list of suspects. Business competitors wouldn’t go to all that trouble. Shit, hire a wino off the street, give him enough money to order a meal, give him a pill, which would toss all of his cookies and you had a lawsuit. Even if he lost the suit, the restaurant’s reputation was in the toilet. None of these worked for Michael. He got up and returned to their bedroom. Leaving off the silk pajamas that Maria loved seeing him wear, Michael returned in just his boxers. It wasn’t until hours later that he remembered his promise to himself. Oh well, cheese burgers would have to wait until later.

Re: Mr. & Mrs. Guerin MM,mature, Dec 29,2012

Posted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:34 pm
by ken_r
sonia62: There is a whole set of six movies in a collection on Amazon. Podcast only has saved a few of the radio shows, something like 8 out of 300 or so.


mary mary: As i set at home waiting for my parents to finish up in their bakeshop, usually scared to death, the many radio shows were my companions. I couldn't wait to get a portable radio. it was as big and weighed the same as a brick.

Chapter 2

“I saw your old neighbor last night,” Kyle said to his wife.

Tess looked up from the pan of eggs she was frying. “Who would that be?” she inquired.

“Guerin, Michael Guerin,” Kyle informed her.

Tess shook her head. “I don’t think I have seen him since he got back. Was he changed from the guy we knew before?” she asked.

“Not that I could see, hun. He has been around for sometime. He is a private investigator. Last night, he was at a crime scene I worked.” Kyle remarked.

“Marrying that rich woman, I can’t think of him as the little boy who lived near us in the trailer court,” Tess said. “I remember his foster father was so mean.”

“He is a little more outgoing than I remember from school. The little woman was with him. She seemed nice enough. Volunteered to lead some recovery drives for the injured. She wasn’t snooty or anything,” Kyle said it, as he saw it.

“Hey, I remember now, Maria DeLuca went to high school along with the rest of us. It wasn’t until graduation that she got all that money. Someone said she married some rich bastard and he died. I never heard of why she returned to Mike Guerin,” Tess explained.

“As I understand, it was Maria who looked up Guerin. I didn’t know who she was last night. Michael wasn’t in any line to cash in on her money,” Kyle responded. Slight recollections of Maria were peeping through the fog of his memory. He certainly hadn’t recognized her the other night. Kyle just knew that Guerin had married some rich broad.

“That shows he was grounded by something. Land knows that the greed of Hank Whitmore would have been pushing for a share of Maria if he could have controlled Michael,” Tess remarked.

“Several guys in the department say, for a gum shoe, he is a pretty upright guy. He never conceals any evidence. When any investigation turns criminal, he quickly turns it over to the department,” Kyle remarked.

“It might be fun to see him again. Tell his wife that I will help in the fund drive, but be sure to explain that I work full time,” Tess said.


At the Guerin household, Maria had just woken up and was talking to Michael before she even had her coffee. “I can’t get over it. All those people killed or wounded. Who would do something like this?” She yawned.

“I don’t know, dear. We are going slumming for information this morning, so dress appropriately,” Michael said. Michael knew that appropriately could mean something very different to Maria than to him. Michael was wearing a pair of jeans, Wranglers to be specific at $15 from the discount store, when they were new. Michael had gotten several years out of them already. Jeans for Maria would be “Rock Label” stretch jeans at almost $200 a pop. Michael intended to interview some disreputable characters this morning. Maybe the rundown condition of his pants and tennies would make Maria, or at least what she wore, go un-noticed.

There was no way that Maria would ride in Michael’s Ford Pickup so he ordered the Caddy to be brought around. The Cadillac was almost five years old and to Maria’s mind like wearing the same dress to next year’s Christmas party as she wore last year. The Caddy was in great shape and Maria hadn’t yet needed the space in the garage. Michael shrugged, Maybe the people he wanted to visit would think he was a Mafia don on his way out and couldn’t afford a new one.

The action of ordering something done by others was strange to Michael. Maria had an excellent staff. When the Guerins were together the staff remained almost invisible. They were never obtrusive during the times Michael and Maria indulged in love play. Michael never knew how they did it, but when he or Maria announced their day plans, sometime during the night or the next morning, someone set out the proper clothing. If Michael stated that he wanted other clothing, by the time he returned from the shower, the replacement would be made. About the only time Michael saw them was when dinner was served or they might present guests.

The other times Michael dealt with the staff, Maria had no knowledge of. Samuel O’Hare, the butler, and Michael would many times have a game of catch when they knew Maria would be gone for a specific time. Samuel was the only one of the household staff Michael had insisted on. He held the position of butler. He even dressed in a dark suit. Some of Maria’s friends might comment that he didn’t always look or sound like a butler, but that was okay. Samuel O’Hare had been a prizefighter at one time. His manager had thrown a fight and left Samuel to take the blame. This was the only time Michael spent Maria’s money without guilt. Michael dug Samuel out of the gutter and cleaned him up. The present butler wasn’t satisfactory as a butler and as the first line of defense, he wasn’t as useful as a Chihuahua. Michael’s one order to the household staff had been to help Samuel out. Samuel’s gentle disposition even though his past was violent and his wiliness to always help the staff, won them over. So far, Samuel hadn’t had to fulfill Michael’s confidence in him.

Maria came out, wearing designer dark glasses and high heels by Manolo Blahnik. Her condescension to slumming was the before mentioned jeans. Oh well, maybe those Michael wanted to see would think him as minor “player” with the old Cadillac and a high class hooker on his arm. Besides if they were fixated on Maria, they might get sloppy in how they answered Michael’s questions. It was seen that with respect to Maria, Michael argued with himself a lot. In his mind, he was always trying to define their public image; in private, he didn’t give a damn.

“Remind me again why we have to visit the hoi polloi? Maria asked as she gazed out the window through whatever colored glasses she was wearing.

“The hoi polloi, some call the great unwashed, the masses, the common folk, whatever, have very simple wishes. The principle wish is to be left alone. They are the ones who might know of some major group moving in. They have little political agenda and even less interest in society. They will know if there is some group starting a power struggle,” Michael explained.

Their first stop was at a small bar/pool hall. As he had suspected, Michael fit right in. It was Maria who had every eye on her. She wasn’t bothered by any of the patrons because they knew that she was way too expensive for any such as they. Question was, how could this bum Mike, afford someone in her class? Something was paying off better than expected.

Michael looked around for a familiar face. “Hey, Fingers,” he called out.

A short man looked up from his private game of “8 Ball” and answered. “Hey yourself, Mikie. I didn’t recognize you with such a classy broad,” he responded.

Michael shrugged his shoulders. “It’s just the fortunes, Fingers; sometimes they smile on you and sometimes they let you go home alone. Some friends of mine got caught in that little dust up over on Central last night. You know anything about it?” he asked.

“Not a thing, Mikie. I hope they weren’t hurt too bad. Rafe DeAngelo is pissed a bunch. His daughter got caught in that one and she got hurt pretty bad,” Fingers said.

Maria’s classiness started to kick in. She leaned forward and Michael knew she was about to express sympathy as her usual character. That wouldn’t do for a first class hooker who most of the pool hall thought she was. The clothes and jewelry Maria was wearing were real and they would be worth a fortune if recognized. At the moment, every one thought them glass and “Goodwill.” Michael didn’t want to fight his way out of the place if somebody saw Maria as an object to mug, so he gently pulled her back and said, “Naw, my friends were scratched up a bit, but it pisses me off as one of them was a fresh mark I was setting up for a major caper. Imagine, paying the prices that joint was charging and loosing the mark besides.”

Fingers nodded his head. He only knew Michael slightly. Mike was probably just another grafter trying to make a dime. “Yeah, see you later, Mikie. Sorry about you loosing your mark, better luck next time,” He said as he returned to his game.

Outside back in the Caddy Maria said, “That poor girl, Mr. DeAngelo’s daughter. Did you know her Michael?” Maria asked.

“No and I do feel sorry for her, but Rafe DeAngelo has put more than a few under the posies in his day. He is a bloody bastard and if he had been caught in the blast, we could say, ‘An act of God,’ and mean it. I don’t think this was a revenge hit against him, but I will be sure and tell Kyle about what we learned. It doesn’t feel like the mob,” Michael stated. He was musing in his mind, if it is just some nut on a joy kick, throw the grenade through any window and see what happens; this would be a bitch to solve.

Maria brought him out of his reverie. “Mikie, how do you know so many lovely people?” she asked sarcastically.

“Maria, honey, I was a street dick for the years after I graduated from college until I met you, again. I chased deadbeats, adulators and petty criminals daily. You have to shovel a lot of horse shit to find the diamond ring left in the stables. I never found any diamonds until you rescued me and lifted me out of my lower life,” Michael told her. “I did mix with a lot of horse shit.”

Maria could tell that he was joking. If he had been serious about disliking his previous life, what were they doing, her looking like a courtesan of the streets and everyone taking him for a confidence man? This shouldn’t be on his “Day planner.” “Cortesan of the streets,” Maria could not bring herself to say whore. That was a word she heard too many times when she was young. There had been too many times, in her mother’s almost rabid love life, that whore had been applied to her. Amy was doing the best she could and all the money DeLuca left them didn’t make up for his desertion. When Amy and Maria left Roswell, Amy had invented an entirely different story about their fortune and the years of lack of fortune before. Michael knew all of their history before they received their money. Maria had only told him bits and pieces about her marriage to Peter Stuyvesant. He was neutral in his feelings about those years. Stuyvesant had never been cruel to Maria and to Michael, that was all that counted.

The next stop was a bar where Michael was well known. Raquel DeLeon had been tending that bar since she was a teen. “Mikie,” she shouted. “How have you been?” Raquel was not shy in showing her feelings. She threw her arms around him and planted a big kiss on his lips.

Here, Michael didn’t want to give Maria any wrong impressions. “Raquel, this is Maria; she is my wife,” he quickly stated.

“Oh, honey, you are the one who tamed him down,” she said to Maria and her arms swept Maria up into a big hug.

Michael hoped that Raquel’s equal opportunity spread of affection didn’t arouse any jealousy in Maria. He never asked Maria about the loves she had as an heiress and anything he fell into during the lean years on the street shouldn’t matter either. “You heard what happened at Robbie’s place last night, didn’t you?” he asked.

“Yeees, how terrible! If it’s some one with a cause, it is the cop’s job to solve, but what if it is some nut getting his jollies? All of us are targets for that,” she stated.

“You heard about DeAngelo’s daughter? Michael asked.

“Yes, if it had been old Rafe, I would have said good riddance. Holley, that’s her name, by the way, is a pretty nice girl; she never hurt no body,” Raquel explained the way she saw things.

They were back in the Caddy and Michael was trying to think on where to go next. “Michael, are you and Raquel good friends?” Maria asked softly. It was as if when she heard the answer, she didn’t want it shouted for all to hear.

“Maria, there were times when working the streets, I wasn’t doing too well. Raquel picked me up and gave me a push to get going. We decided quickly we couldn’t have any long time thing. Yes, I think you might say we are good friends,” Michael explained.

“Oh,” was all Maria said in a pout. Michael knew all about her back in high school and he knew a little about her marriage to Peter. He hadn’t ever inquired into what happened once she left Roswell with her mother. Maria couldn’t decide whether to be pissed off that he was disinterested or thankful that he gave her, her privacy. For herself, she did have curiosity about what changed the shy boy from the trailer park to the man she came back to.

A white boy from Roswell might have trouble getting into an African American group like the “Black Panthers,” but that same boy had grown up in the same trailer court with Emilio Chavez. The Chavez family had welcomed that Anglo boy many times when Hank Whitmore was completely out of control. Michael didn’t know and it wasn’t his place to ask how Emilio became a lieutenant with the “Brown Berets,” a dissident Hispanic group. “Hola, Emilio, ¿que paso?” Michael declared.

“Not much bro. Heard you had moved uptown. What’s with you?” Emilio asked.

“I’m moving on,” Michael started. He reached behind himself and pulled Maria in front. “Emilio, meet the missus. Maria, this guy might even be my brother, if you count the times his family hid me from Hank. Yeah, Emilio, we have been in the bowery slumming, trying to find out anything about the bombing last night. The missus doesn’t do slumming very well, but she didn’t get us killed, so I guess it worked out. We found out that Rafe DeAngleo’s daughter got hurt last night, but not much else. You have any intel about what is going on?” Michael asked.

“Intel, my ass. You pull those spook words on the Cubans. Some of them even work for the company. My Cholos are all from Mexico or the southwest. They stay away from any alphabet soup. They know enough about the DEA and the INS or at least enough to run from them. They better run from the Cartels also. We are fighting for a better emigration policy, but we aren’t into that bombing shit,” Emilio explained.

“Do you think it was politically directed in anyway?” Michael asked.

“I think I can speak for the Hispanics, the African community are busy growing their own politicians. Some of the other ethnics didn’t leave their homeland back where they came from. Some of them might still be revolutionaries.” Emilio shook his head. “But, I don’t think it was from any of the ethnic groups. Hey, there are a lot of crazies out there. They don’t believe in anything. The don’t have any agenda to be helped or hurt by anything like this. They are just loco de la cabaza, heads all wrong, as my granddaddy would say,” Emilio again explained that things like this didn’t help any cause.

Michael nodded. “That’s what I figured, but I had to ask. Mañana, Emilio,” Michael said as he waved.

“Yeah, mañana Mike. Don’t be such a stranger. Bring the missus by to meet the folks. We can go over old times,” Emilio waved back.

As the Caddy drove back to the police station, Maria said, “I sort’a remember him. He didn’t recognize me at all.”

“Yeah, he is one who I wished we were not in slumming clothes when we saw him. I didn’t think about the old friendship,” Michael mused. “Truthfully, Maria, do you ever miss the old days? You know, plates of tacos, foamy root beer served in glasses kept in the freezer, dollar hamburgers so small they are called sliders today,” Michael asked

“Yeah, Michael, but I also remember leaving at midnight because we were behind in the rent. I remember my mother cursing my father’s name and blaming him for everything including me getting the flu. Theses things overshadowed almost all my memories, but not the boy who worked opposite me in the restaurant, not the days and nights in the Crashdown,” Maria said as she gave Michael a kiss. Anything about Raquel had been forgotten.

Stories by Ken

Re: Mr. & Mrs. Guerin MM,mature, ch2, Jan 6, 2013

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:48 pm
by ken_r
mary mary: In the new order that is coming we will be known by our number. My first yearly salary in teaching was under $4000.

keepsmiling7: there is a lot of mystery about Maria, her money and her father.

Chapter 3

This was slow and wasn’t going the direction Michael needed. The street people knew about the explosion, but they didn’t think it might be one of their own. Except for someone like Holley, the explosion was distant and in another country for, all most of the people cared.

“Maria, what’s on your dance card for tonight?” Michael asked.

“Mrs. Valenti and Mrs. Whitman are going to help with a charity event. Its formal and I know how you hate the tux and tie bit, but there are going to be several from different departments who are investigating this. I don’t think it is a good idea for you to opt out,” Maria explained.

“Okay, but we are stopping for burgers on the way home,” Michael acquiesced.

“My husband, I supposed you would take the Rolls through the drive through at McDonalds?” Maria asked, knowing that Michael hated the Rolls Royce.


Isabel Whitman, sister and sister-in-law to doctors, Max Evans and Elizabeth Parker-Evans, was called an event maker. She also was a product of Roswell, as were her brother and sister-in-law. Growing up in Roswell, the Evans family were the goal looked up to by the girl Maria. Elizabeth Parker, known as Liz, was Maria’s closest friend. The fortune seen in the Evans family was totally eclipsed by what Maria had today. Isabel still did have something that Maria envied and unabashedly copied. Isabel had class. Now, Maria saw that class had nothing to do with wealth, but it was driven by character. Once Maria saw this, she felt more comfortable around Isabel than she had ever felt before. Mrs. Valenti didn’t have the class of Isabel, but she was an example, which showed that wealth was not necessary to feel successful. Tess Harding, now Valenti, had worked hard for everything she ever had. She gave quarter to no one. She was the executive secretary to Alexander Whitman, the lawyer tending Maria’s wealth and husband of the aforementioned Isabel.

Everything not given gratis was paid for by one or more of the patrons cultivated by Isabel. Maria had built a reputation for charity events, but it was Isabel who put the mechanics together. Maybe it was nostalgia, which caused Tess to volunteer. Three successful women from Roswell, they each had achieved their success in different ways. Maria called the crowd to order and to present the reasons for the event. “It was like lightning from hell,” she denoted. “Not everyone has a husband like Michael. He was covering me and holding the table between us and the blast, but I heard the screams from the wounded,” Maria announced.

Isabel stepped up to the map and signaled Tess to remove covers from several easels. “These are not just victims or wounded, they are people,” Isabel stated. Tess removed the covers from the picture boards given by the families, which showed the many individuals from the restaurant. “Some of these people lost their lives.” Isabel paused. “Many of the rest will spend years trying to get back to looking like these pictures. Some of them are wealthy, some of them are average and some of them are struggling,” she said pointing to one of the waitresses. “We want to help all of them. Some of us know what it is to fight your way up from the bottom.” Maria looked quickly up at Isabel, but she was nodding to Tess. Maria had very thin skin when it came to her past. Isabel was making no slight to anyone. Social and class had no place in this tragedy. It was the social event, which was going to help. Noblesse oblige, celebrate your success by helping those who have been hurt.

For Michael and many of the other men who knew that eventually they would pay to this charity. This was an exercise of “tits and ass.” Boobs were perking and curvature of derrières were exaggerated. Michael knew that Maria would quietly give several thousand dollars to this event. Michael himself had almost nothing, but he was very proud of his wife. At the moment, he was talking to Kyle Valenti and Alex Whitman. “My brother-in-law has already has promised he and his colleagues will donate a large chunk of time,” Alex stated.

“Yeah, but the main thing is to solve this case. Even charity will run out if this happens more times,” Kyle growled.

“Maria and I visited many street people to get any information drifting in their ranks. Fingers and Raquel DeLeon both mention Rafe DeAngelo’s daughter. To me, it doesn’t feel like a mob hit. They aren’t into hitting each other’s families. Emilio Chavez doesn’t think it was either the Hispanic community or the African Americans. He says he doesn’t know about some of the new emigrates who are starting to emerge,” Michael said.

Kyle looked up, “You believe what he said?” Kyle immediately asked.

“Kyle, if it was you as a cop talking to him, I wouldn’t believe a thing he said. He was talking to me, a boy who used to stay at his house when Hank was on a tare. Yes, I think you can believe what he said, to me,” Michael stated emphatically. Loyalty had to count. Michael could only hope that Emilio thought the same way.

Kyle scowled. For the moment, he would listen to Michael. Alex was non-commental. Yes he remembered Emilio, but to the geek from high school, his memories of Emilio were of a gangbanger.

Pledgers, silent auction and so many other things thought up by Isabel, raised almost $500,000. For Maria, this was a success. For Michael, he and Kyle still were getting nowhere. They were sitting waiting for the other shoe to fall.


“Ah, Mrs. Guerin, there is nothing like a cheeseburger to end a day,” Michael sighed.

“Remind me to send Barbara out to fumigate the Rolls tomorrow morning,” Maria moaned.

It was late so Michael parked the rolls in the garage rather than leaving it for one of the servants. Michael wasn’t into servants, anyway. He was used to doing things for himself. Sometimes, it seemed that doing for himself was an insult to those Maria hired. Tonight, Michael was too tired to care. Walking up to the back door, Michael, with Maria on his arm stumbled over something. Maria pulled out a tiny lock light, one of those toy things hanging on her key chain. By this time, Michael had felt with his hands and knew it was a body. The light showed it was Fingers, the pickpocket they had talked to this afternoon.

Michael grabbed his cell phone. He called 911 and then, he called the homicide desk. Kyle wasn’t in, but Michael left this message. “Hey Kyle, I talked to Fingers and now he is dead on my doorstep. Someone gave him two holes in the breadbasket. I have to get hold of Raquel DeLeon who runs that bar downtown. I better call Emilio, also. He has his own protection, but he needs to remind his sergeants that trouble might be brewing.”

Michael put his phone down to listen to Maria. “Michael, you are taking care of all the other people, but what about us? What about you? Will the danger come personal to our doorstep?” Maria asked through the beginnings of a session of sobbing.

“Oh Maria, honey, the danger is already at our doorstep. I really didn’t know Fingers that well, but talking to me like he did, maybe, is what got him killed.” Michael mused for a minute “Or, maybe what he was about to tell me got him killed.” That would put a new light on the problem. Fingers hadn’t particularly given Michael any earth shaking news, but what if he thought of or learned something new? That would mean Michael had to dig deeper into what might be out somewhere on the streets.

The next call was to Raquel. She lived above the bar so Michael was pretty sure she would be there. A sleepy voice answered, “Who the hell is it, this time in the morning?”

“Raquel, this is Michael. You know Fingers? Well, someone killed him on my doorstep. Raquel, he had just got through talking to me. Someone might know I talked to you also. It doesn’t matter what you might have told me, it is what someone thinks you might have said.” Most street people and those who worked in that area had a carefully balanced existence. Michael had come down from the comfortable cloud afforded by Maria and stirred up something. Maybe, it was something evil.

There was a stifled yawn. Mikie, you remember Earthquake, that baboon from wrestling? Well, he moved in with me. He can’t stop a grenade, but anything less, well, he did quit wrestling while still champ before that thing with his manager. Mikie, I will be careful, but you be careful too.” Michael hoped Raquel’s belief in Earthquake was not misplaced.

The next call was Emilio. “Hey amigo, it is Michael. Look, I’ll make it quick. Fingers from downtown got himself whacked on my doorstep tonight. I had just talked to him. I wanted to let you know. I know you have your primos, but alert them to be extra careful.”

Michael’s next call was back to Detective Kyle Valenti. This time Kyle was in. He had already heard Michael’s message on the tape. “Hey Kyle, Fingers is as dead as a mackerel on my back door step,” Michael stated this time in person.

“Hey Mike, what was he doing there?” was the first thing Kyle asked.

“I don’t know. I told you at the charity event, that I had talked to him. He didn’t have that much information, then. Maybe, he learned something,” Michael said as he thought, why did fingers come to his house and to the back door?

Most of the disruption to the Guerin household had finally gone away. Neither Michael nor Maria could sleep after this excitement. Maria extended her hand to his. “Michael, I am so sorry that your friend was killed,” She stated. This was pure Maria, even when they both were teenagers back in Roswell, Maria was always the first to extend sympathy to any who suffered injury, be it personal or emotional.

“I wouldn’t say Fingers was a friend exactly. He was just a character I met on the streets. Sort of a creepy guy,” Michael said as he sat there with his own thoughts.

“Who was Fingers? He must have had some family. There must be someone who will grieve over him. Fingers is a strange name. I assume that he had another name, maybe more real,” Maria said sadly.

“I don’t know, Maria. Fingers was a thief. He used people and people used him. That is the way it is on the streets,” Michael mused. He was still deep in his own thoughts.

“A thief!” Maria exclaimed. “I would have thought he was some sort of musician. You know, fingers on a piano or fingers on a guitar.”

“No, I would imagine that Fingers was tone deaf. Fingers could turn the knob of a safe with the best of them. He wasn’t in the same class with Jimmy the Dip, as a pickpocket. Don’t get me wrong, Fingers could go through your pockets and you would never know it, but Jimmy could work a crowd all day and no one would know that he was putting the touch on them. Once, he only took a few dollars out of each wallet so most of his marks didn’t even know they had been hit. Fingers just wasn’t in that class,” Michael explained as best he could with his mind in another cloud. Why did Fingers think it so important to look up the Guerin house at this ungodly hour?

“A thief, I would never have thought that. Yeah, a down and out musician I can understand, but a thief. Have I been wasting my sympathy?” she asked herself more than Michael.

Michael did a quick collection of his thoughts. This was the Maria he loved. He pulled her close and kissed her forehead. “Wasting your sympathy Maria? No, I don’t think so. No matter what he did in life, Fingers died, that was what was most dear to Fingers. Even if I had been the one to kill him myself, sympathy is not wasted. The loss of life is that important.” This was what Michael saw in Maria. To him, her money was totally unimportant. Sure, he could probably use a new car, but his pickup was an old friend. He needed Maria, but many times he worried, what did Maria see in him. He was a street detective with an old rusty pickup. He didn’t even have a hound dog to his name. Michael would never leave Maria because she saw things and harbored kind thoughts in others. He did sometimes worry, what did he do to deserve her?
Stories by Ken

Re: Mr. & Mrs. Guerin MM,mature, ch7, Feb 10, 2013

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:09 pm
by ken_r
keepsmiling7: I listen to old detective stories every night waiting to fall asleep. They are free on Itunes-podcasts. Just search on apple store page for the old detectives, "Sam Spade," "Richard diamond," The Shadow," "Boston Blackie," and of course "the Thin MAn." they down load to mp3s

mary mary:

Author's note: The play on the word gendarmerie, actually happened. My French teacher was from Paris. she yelled at me because of my name being French and she yelled at a poor kid from Louisiana because of his accent. He had used the word Gendarm for police and to Mrs. Book's sensibilities this was wrong. Please notice the name of Maria's french teacher.

Chapter 4

Maria and Isabel had been at the hospital all morning. Tess had to work, so she couldn’t be with them. Maria had her guitar and she sang favorites, tried to play some requests and talked to those hurt in the explosion. She also included anyone else who was there. Maria and Isabel had been interviewing patients and their families. As needs were expressed, they would try to make them happen. The women were now sitting in the hospital cafeteria eating lunch. Doctors Evans and Parker-Evans dropped by. They both had adjusted their schedules to help the many wounded. Max and Liz had done a tour in the Afghanistan war zone. They had seen death and carnage close up and personal. Maria still remembered that Liz had been her life long friend, predating Michael by many years. “Michael and Kyle are still trying to piece together why this happened,” Maria said.

Max and Liz were trying to spend time with their friends and his sister along with getting at least the semblance of a lunch. “Maria, reasons don’t have to be understood,” Liz stated. She was thinking about children they had both seen who had been given a backpack filled with explosives and told to walk in the middle of a group of soldiers. She sighed. Liz guessed that there would always be some who would ask others to give their life for causes that held little meaning.

Max spoke up. “None of those I have treated had any strong beliefs in anything. They were just the prey of some maniacal design that had been put into motion.”

“I think of the 9-11 tragedy. It was said to be political. Here Michael and the police don’t have any evidence of a political movement. Do either of you have any evidence that would make this a cause of any enemies, either political or personal?”

Doctor Parker-Evans put her hand on Maria’s. “Maria, Max and I are doctors. You bleed and we will try to stop the bleeding. Your soul is damaged, we will try to find someone who can talk to you. If your head is on backwards, we will still patch up what we can, but there is not much more that we can do.” Liz explained.

Max stood up. “I am sorry, but Liz and I have to go. We still have our usual patients along with what we did this morning. Give our best to Alex and Michael.”

Isabel started gathering her things. “I am going to have to go, also. Tess called me that Alex wants to meet me for supper. He is going to have to pull a late nighter. There are several legal issues that keep rising and Alex is working on them. So far, there is no one to point at with the blame. I have some errands to run before I meet him,” Isabel excused herself.

Maria sat finishing her coffee. The Doctors Evans had rounds to make. Isabel had errands to run before she met her lawyer husband for supper, what purpose did Maria DeLuca-Guerin have? Back in high school, before her father DeLuca had died and left the two DeLuca women all his money, Maria had been busy every second just staying alive. You smiled because, that made the customer give you better tips. You hurried because that is what your boss would look at if he had to cut some of his workers. Now you were rich, you had almost no worries, at least about finances. You went to college because you were taught that to be a better person you needed education. You married the right person because that was what was expected. When things got confusing, you returned to the one person who always gave you stability. What did Michael say? “You set up a charity, because you are so good at it,” and because now you had the time and money to do this so well. Yes, Maria, the waitress, might want to help those who had been hurt, but it took Maria, the heiress who had the time and money to do it. Maria finished up her coffee. She felt better about herself. She had a purpose. Better get with it. As Michael’s old western movies said, “You are burning daylight.”


Michael was calling trying to find out where his wife was. He needed to learn more about Robert or Ro-bare as Maria said it. If Michael was studying Sam at the greasy spoon, he was confident that he could do that easily. For anyone who didn’t know how to pronounce his own name, Michael needed Maria’s guidance. Michael had a rap sheet on Robert. There was nothing French about him. He was born in Chicago. Yes, Robert O’Sulivan had mob connections. He had borrowed for his last venture, money to be spent on the restaurant, from Sully O’Sulivan. In earlier times and in times of his grandfathers, Sully would be called an enforcer. Now he assured every one he was just a businessman. The acts of his predecessors were just so boorish.

Robert was on the hook for a cool half million.

This time, it was Maria who chose the clothes. Michael was dressed in a Ralph Lauren polo shirt. One of those, which had tiny polo ponies embroidered on it. Linen slacks and Florsheim shoes. Maria would have chosen a more stylish Italian brand, but Michael drew the line of how far he would go from his normal Nikie’s. Maria just threw a little ole’ something together which Michael was sure that it would have been worth a photo-shoot if her society friends saw them.

Maria was worried about the rap sheet that Michael showed her on Robert. Michael wasn’t sure if she was angry that Robert’s last name was O’Sulivan and he wasn’t really French or disappointed that Robert was represented by criminal elements. Maria had enough money to create clouds of fantasy. She didn’t like it when they were burst.

“Ro-bear’ we are so sorry about your restaurant,” Maria began. “The police are checking all avenues to find those who would do such a thing. Michael and I are also working to bring those to justice”

Robert was clearly shaken. Well what did they expect, someone tried to kill him along with his dream. The police looking into all avenues, didn’t exactly fill him with joy. Michael and Maria looking into this, also, worried him. Somewhere in his mind, he remembered something about this couple. Maria had enough money to finance the entire block. That Michael dude was clearly a gold digger. No matter how Maria dressed him, he still showed he was from the streets. Being from the streets was something Robert well knew. These society babes usually had much more money than they knew how to manage. Briefly, his mind played with the thought that maybe, he could separate her from the gold digger and make a play himself. Robert had played French nobility for so long, sometimes he actually believed it. Ma-de-moi-selle, Maria,” he carefully enunciated. “Your kind interest is all I require. Let those of the gendarmerie do their thing. Let them face the dangers. Ladies such as you were made for love and play.”

Even Maria, who had taken her French language lessons after the time of her found wealth, remembered that gendarme was usually used to refer to rual police. This stuck in her mind because she remembered Madam Livre, her professor, screaming at a poor kid in her class who had used that word gendarm in conversation classes. A true Frenchman would probably use something else. Robert’s overt attempt at an advance, were also noticed. A quick kick to Michael’s shin defused his rising anger and saved Robert a trip to the hospital. “Oh, Ro-bear’ your place was so quaint. We really want to find those responsible,” she added.

Robert leaned forward and was breathing through minted breath to speak of his admiration for Maria and her concern. He glanced over her shoulder and two eyes permanently burned into his mind. He with drew. That man behind her was not a gentleman. Robert was quickly reminded of the Chicago streets. He remembered how quickly a switchblade might appear in the hands of men like him. “My lady,” he said in almost a whisper, “I do thank you for your concern.”

Maria stood up and Michael, not be appear lax in leaving, quickly followed. Outside, Maria softly laughed, “Michael, I won’t doubt you again. That guy is as phony as an honest politician.”

“You didn’t ask him about his name and being from Chicago?” Michael asked.

“Why, lover? I was just looking to validate the information you had. Did you see that pathetic act he had trying to seduce me away from you? He is broke and scared. Look, Michael, I can deduce from the evidence as well as you can. Now, the next person I want to interview is for real. She is so authentic that she was the only white woman who stood with the Indians when they waved in welcome to the Mayflower,” Maria warned.

Alicia Van Peltier, was of the old Dutch community. She thought the Roosevelt’s were new comers. Her appearance could make or break a social event. Maria had met the grand lady when she was married to Peter Stuyvesant. Alicia hadn’t shown at Robert’s restaurant opening because she thought the people he hired were excellent at what they did, but she knew Robert for what he was. Maria was putting a lot of trust in Michael. One smart assed remark to the “dame” of society and Maria could be back in Roswell working at the Crashdown, for all anyone would care.

“Mrs Van Peltier,” Maria said. May I present my husband, Michael Guerin.”

Michael felt like a bug in a jar. He kept looking around for someone with a pin or a rag of chloroform. That is what they use to mount bugs, isn’t it? Michael nodded as he took her apparently limp hand. It looked limp when he grasped it, but Michael knew that old Alicia could probably make a Texas cowboy fall to his knees. Michael neither backed off nor tried to make a arm wrestling contest with the proud old lady. “Maria, I like this in a man,” Alicia said. “He isn’t a wimp, but he isn’t into proving anything either. Maria, what can I do for you today?” she asked.

Mrs. Van Peltier led them into a medium sized room. She pulled the curtain cord letting light shine on them. Michael saw that the room was not full of knick-knacks that he half expected. There were two painted portraits on the wall. One was of a masterful man with a beard and mustache glaring as if he was still ruling from the grave and the other was a younger man, having many facial characters of the older man. Mrs. Van Peltier saw Michael looking at the portraits. “That is my father-in-law and the other is of my husband. I keep them up there to remind me that once they ran the family fortune, but now it all rests on me.” She shrugged, “I don’t think I have done half bad since I took over. In a few years I will put my portrait up there and give the whole business to my son. Let him see what he can do,” she explained.

Maria started out. “I noticed you didn’t attend the opening night of Ro-bear’s restaurant the other night.” Maria had given the name back its false French sound.

Mrs. Van Peltier sniffed. “I was sure the food would be good, but I knew Robert when he was running numbers for his uncle and stealing apples from the fruit stands. I had no intention of condemning his place, but I didn’t want to give him my blessing, either.

Michael was concentrating harder than normal trying to follow the conversation Maria was instigating. This wasn’t his world. Mrs. Van Peltier wasn’t pretending any pretentious social standing, she was the bastion of social stations and she wore her position like a favorite sweater. Michael saw a certain kindness in Mrs. Van Peltier toward Maria. That expensive education of Maria’s was paying off. Michael was sure that this majestic lady knew of Maria’s recent entrance to society, but Maria’s charm was her ticket to acceptance as far as the queen bee was concerned. “Well, your discretion was probably wise. Michael and I are helping the police looking into the events that happened. Do you have any idea of who might do something like this?” Maria inquired.

There was a kind expression that Michael thought he saw cross the lady’s face. “Maria, my dear, it would be better to look at who wouldn’t want Robert O’Sulivan to have misfortune. It probably wasn’t Sully O’Sulivan or any of those miscreants from Chicago. Sully O’Sulivan is Robert’s uncle. He is probably the only one who would willing risk financing the restaurant. Noted, it was probably a money laundering scheme. You know, pour money into the restaurant, Robert pays back the note and you have earned income from investments. Remember Scarface Capone got caught on a tax evasion charge. O’Sulivan is very prominent in that group of people.”

The old lady was pensive for several minutes. Michael might have mistaken her silence for some sort of dismissal. He saw Maria was patiently waiting. Michael knew that infinite patience was not one of Maria’s strong points so judged she sensed something more from the old lady. “If who ever did this is a common criminal, they made a major faux pas. Hurting DeAngelo’s daughter is an invitation for a very bad war.” Mrs. Van Peltier smiled for moment; “Those ruffians have a bit of a code that doesn’t include roughing up a female member of the family. Kill the heir apparent to the godfather and that is war. Go after a daughter or wife makes the beginning of a ‘bitter’ war, a lonely war, because you might find that you have no allies after that.”

The Elder lady rang a bell and promptly a maid appeared with a tray filled with scones and a teapot. Michael noticed that there were teacups placed out on the table. A guy like Michael wasn’t a tea drinker, but a glance from Maria made him carefully pick up the drink. The cup had such a small handle, Michael noticed that there was no place for his pinky finger. It sort of hung out straight like you see people who make fun of social tea drinkers. This was her world and she was currently getting information. Granted that it was at a slow pace, but the old lady couldn’t be rushed. Michael knew that this wasn’t a place for him, so he would keep following Maria’s lead.

The niceties taken care of, Mrs. Van Peltier started again. “We might ask who else was in the restaurant that night? You should rule out random attacks for the moment. Ask yourselves if there were any celebrities or official people. If you have a prominent ambassador, you have a shooting range for some dissidents. Celebrities breed their own species of enemies. Some fans love them too much. Some fans are disenchanted with reality and some are not fans and see them as objects of hate.” Michael was surprised, for a person he took to living in a glass house high on the hill, Mr. Van Peltier was amazingly astute and candid in her observations.

Michael and Maria prepared to go. Up to this time, Mrs. Van Peltier had ignored Michael after her searching test of strength. As they left the door, she again extended her hand. “Michael, you are a good man. Take care of Maria and take care of yourself, also.” Michael noticed that this time her handshake was firm, but not challenging.

They were back in the Caddy when Michael asked, “I might ask, like you did before, how did you meet people like her?”

“Michael, when mom and I first came to town, mom was struggling with our new found wealth. Mrs. Van Peltier didn’t have much to say to mom, but she took me aside several times to correct my behavior. You might say she was teaching me to be wealthy, graciously. Of course, what I learned I tried to pass on to my mother, sometimes not successfully, but I learned to wear my fortunes comfortably. I probably owe that old lady a lot. She is, also, the one who knows most of where people came from and what they are really doing, not what they appear to be doing,” Maria explained.

“Well, we did learn one thing. We need to get with Kyle and look at that guest list of the other night carefully,” Michael stated.

Kyle wasn’t at his desk and the sergeant in charge was Hanson. Now animosity between Kyle and Hanson went all the way back to Kyle’s father. “Give me your message and I will see that Kyle gets it,” Hanson declared.

“I don’t know sergeant, it is more like I need help from Kyle,” Michael explained.

Hanson shook his head, “Now, I don’t know as Kyle is supposed to give out information to civilians. Better just tell me what you have and I will decide what to do,” Hanson said in what he believed was his command voice.

“No chance, Hanson. Me and the misses have got to go check out a bank account. If it isn’t paying good enough, we may have to sell the bank and buy another one.” Michael had just stuck a barb in Sergeant Hanson. Michael knew that Sergeant Hanson was very envious of Michael’s good fortune. Hey, Michael loved Maria, not her money. The money just came along for the ride. Hanson couldn’t help it that he was an asshole. Most of the other cops, knew Michael and knew that he and Maria were always supportive of the police department.
Stories by Ken

Re: Mr. & Mrs. Guerin MM,mature, pg2, ch3, Jan 19, 2013

Posted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:34 pm
by ken_r

Chapter 5

“Hey Kyle, We missed you at the office. Hanson crawled out from under his rock, but we put him back. We need a copy of the guest list from the other night. It might help if we saw the notes from that rookie, Dominguez. If she pissed off other people as much as she did Maria, she might have shaken loose something we missed. Maria just got through interviewing Mrs. Van Peltier, that dame of society. The old lady agrees that this doesn’t feel like a mob hit. It might be worth your while to bring in DeAngelo for an interview. At least, you might convince him that the hit wasn’t aimed at his daughter. That might cool him off a bit,” Michael explained to his police friend.

Michael had just gotten off his cell phone when he noticed where Maria had pulled off. They were heading into the hospital parking lot. “Mikie, listening to you on the phone, I got the idea of, maybe, seeing DeAngelo’s daughter again. She was pretty out of it when Isabel and I were at the hospital before. We can at least listen to the way she sees this thing. If she knows anything about her daddy’s world, we might ask about Fingers,” Maria suggested.

They walked up to the information desk and Maria spoke up. “Is Miss Holley DeAngelo able to receive visitors?” she asked the prim receptionist.

The lady moved her finger up and down a chart she had by her phone. “I don’t see her name on our no visitor’s list. It might be best that you ask the nurse’s station on floor five. That is where she is. Doctors Evans and Parker-Evans have moved most of the patients from the bombing there where they can follow their conditions better,” she officiously explained.

Michael and Maria entered the elevator along with several nurses, doctors and suits. Michael guessed the suits were lawyers. That bombing would be a field day for law suits. They just had to figure out who they wanted to sue. The group of lawyers didn’t know if they would be collegues or disputants. The doctors and nurses didn’t want to say anything in the presence of civilians, so to speak, looking around at so many suits. It was clear that the medical staff was considering the lawyers as extremely civilian. Maybe, with the help of the two Doctors Evans, Michael and Maria might find a preferred status. The ride to the fifth floor was quiet and uneventful until they disembarked from the box. Distances gave the different groups freedom to talk in whispered tones. As the others went about their business, Maria again approached the nursing station. “Are either doctors Evans available?” she asked. This time the nurse was much more friendly as she said, “I will page them for you.”

It was a few moments until Maria saw the diminutive Doctor Parker-Evans approaching in her lime green smock, a stethoscope, that badge of office, hanging around her neck. Michael had been in the hospital a few years before. At that time, the doctors and nurses were all dressed in white. Every time Michael briefly regained consciousness, he loudly proclaimed, “Hey at least I didn’t end up at the other place.” It had been Michael’s own fault that he got shot. He was picking up a skip trace for a bail bondsman he knew. The want was for check fraud and it hadn’t been until much later that the information came in that she was wanted for several murders. His carelessness earned him his time in purgatory.

Kyle had chided Michael for not taking his condition as serious, but Michael replied, “If I go to the good place, I want to enter with a cheerful disposition and if I end up at the other place, I want to grin in the face of the devil.” Michael shook his head. At least, the green garments gave a real world picture of where they were.

“Hey, Maria, how are you doing?” Liz Parker-Evans greeted.

“We wanted to see if we could talk to Holley DeAngelo,” Maria said.

Liz leaned over the nursing station desk to pickup a clipboard from some place on the nurses side. “Let’s see,” she said as she glanced at the charts. “Miss DeAngelo is doing better, but don’t tire her. I would say ten minutes, Maria, not much more.”

“Thanks, Liz,” Maria said and pulled Michael down the hall as she looked for the room where Liz had said Holley DeAngelo was staying.

“Ms. DeAngelo,” Maria softly began. The young girl looked up, she still had that hunted expression. That was to be expected. She probably didn’t have any better idea of who had caused her so much pain than did Maria and Michael. “Ms. DeAngelo,” Maria began again. “My name is Maria Guerin and this is my husband, Michael.”

Holley looked up and then looked through the doorway and around the room. Michael imagined that she was seeing spooks and goblins under every sheet. Finally a thin voice replied in question, “Are you the police?”

“No,” Maria answered. Michael has a private detective’s license. We help the police many times. We can ask questions unofficially like. Many find it more comfortable talking to us. However please understand that anything we learn can be given to the law. We are not into law breaking ourselves, rather we are trying to find out more of what happened. Do you feel up to any questions? Doctor Parker-Evans, said we only have ten minutes,”

Some of the fright seemed to have gone out of the girl’s face. Michael imagined that in her household, the police and the boogie man were used interchangeably when she was growing up. Maria kept her voice low and what she assumed would be comforting. “Did you see anything when the bomb went off?” Maria asked.

“No, I was there to meet my boyfriend. My father doesn’t like him very much, but then, my father doesn’t like any of my boyfriends. I told my father he wasn’t going to pick my friends. He wasn’t happy with that,” Holley informed them.

“Would your boyfriend have any one who might be after him? Maybe, the bomb was thrown too early,” Maria suggested.

Holley looked about the room as if she was looking for someone eavesdropping. “This doesn’t have to get to my father, does it?” she asked.

Maria patted her Holley’s hand. “Holley, we wouldn’t say anything unless it has information for the investigation and then it wouldn’t be to your father, it would be to Detective Valenti, who is in charge of the investigation. Is your boyfriend someone important?” Maria asked.

“He is a fed, an FBI agent. We are taking things very slow because he doesn’t want anyone thinking that he is using me to get at my father. I don’t think he would be someone who would hurt me,” Holley explained.

Maria gave Holley a careful glance. “What does this fellow do in the agency?” she asked.

“I think he is an analyst or something like that,” Holley stated.

Michael looked pensive. “Who knew that you were meeting him at the restaurant?” he asked.

“I don’t know, I was careful not to say anything around my father,” Holley declared.

Michael nodded, he guessed that answered his question. He was sure that DeAngelo himself wouldn’t do anything to bring harm to his daughter. Michael wasn’t that sure of some of those working for DeAngelo who might take offense to a fed getting that close. They might not take as much care in protecting Holley if they thought their own skins were involved.

Maria took over, again. “Did your boyfriend ever say what he was working on. Maybe, you weren’t the object of the bombing at all. Maybe your boyfriend was late and there had been someone after him?” Maria queried.

Holley looked down. “I don’t know.” Then, she looked at Maria imploringly, do you think we are responsible for all those people getting hurt?”

Michael spoke up, “Holley, don’t worry yourself too much. We are still running down other leads.”

Doctor Liz had stuck her head in the door and pointed to her watch. Maria said, “Holley we have to look at everyone. You were just the first one on our list.”

As they were walking out the hospital door, Michael stated, “Let’s get back to Kyle’s list of patrons the other night. I don’t know if her boyfriend is for real or if the feds are trying to get at the old man through her. Holley doesn’t look like a good target to me. Let’s stir things up further on the boyfriend.”

“Okay Michael, but we are not going to let anything we find about her boyfriend get back to DeAngelo,” Maria stated emphatically.


“What the fuck do you mean bringing me in here!” Deangelo shouted.

“Calm down, asshole. You know that it is the Chicago people financing that restaurant,” Kyle replied as he glared, his face only inches from that of DeAngelo.

Michael was sitting quietly in the interrogation room. He knew that he was a guest here and he was being careful not to intrude on Kyle’s style or ability in interrogation. Maria was behind the mirror watching. Officer Dominguez was standing beside her. As a rookie, Dominguez was ordered to get some experience listening to Kyle work. She was clearly uncomfortable standing beside Maria. Kyle had described Marie Guerin as almost untouchable. Maria had smiled greeting when Dominguez entered. At first Dominguez thought, “This broad doesn’t even recognize me.” Later, she was to learn that except when Maria was being pushed, Maria was a gracious woman.

“You think I would do anything to harm my own daughter?” DeAngelo shouted.

“Maybe you wouldn’t, but the lieutenants working for you aren’t exactly a brain trust. Maybe, they wanted to take someone out and didn’t care about your daughter,” Kyle stated in almost as loud a voice as DeAngelo was using.

DeAngelo seemed to think for a minute. This was a first in Kyle’s contact with him. Kyle had deliberately avoided mentioning Holley’s boyfriend as he had promised Maria. “I find out one of those bums is running a private vendetta and you won’t never see him until you rip up the sidewalk to some church or the other,” DeAngelo said, a shade quieter.

Maria turned to Officer Dominguez and said, “Kyle is not usually that rude. I grew up with him and he is really a nice guy. DeAngelo has to believe that Kyle is as tough as is DeAngelo himself. Kyle is a master at talking to subjects in the language they understand. You ought to see him with kids. He can be kind to some poor kid who has never had a run in with the police, as well as intimidating to some so called punk who thinks they are tough,” Maria explained.

Cecily Dominguez extended her hand to Maria. “My name is Cecily, by the way. You said you grew up with Kyle. His dad was a small town cop and Kyle always said they were dirt poor.”

“Growing up, I thought Kyle was rich. He had a daddy and I didn’t. My father left and didn’t show up until his death. That is when he left mom and me his money. Believe me, it didn’t make up for the years of no daddy, but it did put me on a new path,” Maria said.

Cecily raised her eyebrows. Maybe this Maria girl wasn’t half bad. Growing up like she said was why Maria retaliated when Cecily admittedly mistook herself being rude, for being officious. “You think that Kyle is that good?” she asked.

“Oh my, yes, Michael, that is my husband, says that Kyle is the best in the department. Michael has been a private detective for years. It didn’t hurt that Kyle and Michael both came from Roswell, but Michael has worked with a lot of cops and Kyle remains one of the few that Michael considers a friend,” Maria stated.

Most cops don’t like many street dicks,” Cecily stated.

“Michael always tells me that it is the police who are in charge of security. People like him just tidy up things the police don’t have time for. Michael doesn’t like Sergeant Hanson very much, but most of the guys and gals of the department seem to work well with Michael,” Maria explained.

“Yeah, Hanson can be an ass. I am a rookie and I have to be careful, Hanson has input to my evaluations, but I see why many of the guys like Michael.” Cecily turned to Maria, “There no hard feelings about my attitude when we first met the night of the explosion?”

Maria laughed gaily, “No, my dear, as long as you capitalize the D and the L and don’t forget the hyphen, we will get along fine.”

Back in the interrogation room, DeAngelo was considerably calmer. “Putting aside your primos, do you have any idea of why the restaurant was blown up?” Kyle asked.

“It’s the kids now days,” DeAngelo said. “We had a beef with some one, it was shot guns and tommy guns. We were gentlemen. Maybe the Hispanics or maybe the Africans, but they got almost all they want. It would take a crazy to do something like this. Both me and the boys are pissed because of Holley getting hurt and the Chicago boys are probably just as pissed because O’Sulivan lost the money he loaned that no good nephew, Robert. Hand grenades, IEDs, we don’t play with that shit. It’s these new guys. They ain’t American and they surely ain’t gentlemen. They better watch out. You know that African American kid got hurt, also. I heard he was in Law school or something. The Blacks ain’t gonna take that lying down. I see Chavez and his Cholos sometimes. Emilo says that if minorities think minorities are getting hurt, he’s gonna fight the Alamo all over again. “

Michael spoke for the first time, “I talked to Emilo a few days ago. He seemed to think that neither the Hispanics nor the African Americans have anything to do with this. He, also questioned the new immigrants. I think that would be too easy. We are starting to see near and far easterners behind every bush. There has to be something we are missing.”

DeAngelo was quiet for some time. He turned to Kyle, “Look, I ain’t got no use for cops, but maybe, this isn’t the time for us to fight. I find out anything, I will let you know about it.” Then, he said as an after thought, “Unless we takes care of it ourselves.”

Kyle sat down in the department lunchroom. “That may be the best we are going to get with DeAngelo,” he said.

Michael and Maria along with Officer Dominguez, who was continuing her observation, were sitting with Kyle hearing his debriefing of the interrogation. Later Kyle would sit Dominguez down and explain what was correct in his interrogation and what might come back to bite you in the ass if you didn’t have the experience. From now on, much of Cecily’s training would be from those on the job.
Stories by Ken

Re: Mr. & Mrs. Guerin MM,mature, pg2, ch5, Jan 27, 2013

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:53 am
by ken_r

Chapter 6

Maria was at her hairdresser’s appointment. They might be in a revolution, but that wasn’t an excuse to not have her hair done up. Michael took the time to visit Raquel at her bar on Central. “That is some dame you got yourself, Michael. I hear she is loaded. I never took you for a gold digger.”

“And, I hope I still am not a gold digger. Maria and me go way back. I divorced myself from the foster care system when I was 16 and was pretty much on my own. Maria was from a single parent home and having almost as much trouble as I was in getting along. We pretty much cried on each other’s shoulders. It was later when Maria came into money. She got kicked in the face being rich, as much as she had being poor way back in Roswell. It was after an education and a marriage that Maria returned to me. She made it clear that we had made it together when we were kids and she wanted someone she could trust now, as she was a grown up woman. I hope I haven’t changed much. I still drive that old Ford pickup that I had when I knew you. The little woman just prefers to travel in something better. I don’t begrudge her; she had to fight a lot to get where she is now. I am just along for the ride,” Michael sighed. For many reasons, he wanted Raquel to think of him as the same man she knew many years ago.

“Well, I hope you didn’t change. Me and Earthquake got together for much the same reason. We watch each other’s backs. Mikie, life ain’t easy, rich or poor. You try to mind your own business and keep your nose clean,” Raquel stated.

“You have any idea of what Fingers wanted to see me about?” Michael asked.

“None at all, Mikie. Fingers didn’t come around her very much. If he was here and some customer complained about loosing his wallet, first thing Earthquake would do was to turn Fingers upside down and shake him. Even for old times, we couldn’t allow our customers to get taken, at least when we knew about it,” Raquel explained.

Michael left to meet Maria at the hairdressers. He kept asking himself what did Fingers find out to get him killed? Fingers wasn’t any sociologist to be mixing with any of the minorities. He found out something that some body didn’t want to get to Michael or the police.

They had parked the Corvette in a parking garage. Michael had grabbed the pimply valet by the neck. “Look asshole, note the mileage and it better not be much changed when we get back,” he had warned. They had had trouble before when their vehicle of choice was too much temptation for youthful attendants.

They were walking down Central. Michael was hoping that he would meet someone who might give him more information. They passed the shell of Robert’s Restaurant. Several workers were mucking the ruins out into a dump truck parked against the curb. Maria sighed, “It had so much promise.”

Michael frowned where Maria couldn’t see him. Now if some jerk had bombed the Burger Barn, Michael might have shed a few tears. As they were walking towards First Street, a black sedan pulled up beside them. A 45 stuck its nose out of the door and invited them to have a seat. Michael opened the back door and helped Maria slide in. He quickly followed as those behind the sedan started honking. DeAngelo was sitting in the suicide seat and turned around watching them. “I guess you took my invite so I don’t need this no more,” he said as he slipped the pistol back into a shoulder holster.

Maria spoke up in her most melodious voice. “How could anyone turn down such forceful invitation?” she asked.

DeAngelo laughed, “Hey, Mikie, I like this broad. What the hell does she see in you?”

Michael shrugged, “I don’t know, maybe, my looks, my charm or the fact that I have a prick 18 inches long.”

DeAngelo inadvertently looked toward Michael’s crotch. “Aw Mickie, you are a card. If you weren’t working with the cops, I would shoot a couple of my boys and offer you a place with me.”

“Yeah, save the admiration. What do you want to see us for?” Michael asked.

“You were a friend of Fingers? He wanted to tell you that there are new players in town. They ain’t foreigners and they ain’t from O’Sulivan or me. Hey, I don’t know who they are yet, but they is trying to take over Central. Old Robert was just the first on their list,” DeAngelo told them.


“Kyle, from what DeAngelo said there are new players in town. DeAngelo thinks they want to take over Central. Now, you have to remember DeAngelo sees things like DeAngelo wants to see them. He sees them as a new mob. He sees them do what he would do in their place. We need to go over that guest list. What have you found out about that African American kid? Would he have attracted any attention or been a target someone wants to rub out?” Michael asked.

Kyle was looking at a file folder, “His name is Washington Samuels. He was a pre-law student. Pretty good student if his file is right. The African American communities have a right to be concerned if it turns out he was the target.”

Maria spoke up, “Were there any other names we should be concerned with?”

Kyle ran his finger down the list. “A… here is a name, Ishmael Fontaine. He gave his passport as identification. Dominguez listed him as from Vanuatu. Dominguez has the beginnings of becoming a good officer. She asked him where Vanuatu was. He patiently, as she says, explained that it used to be called New Hebrides, a collection of Islands north and east of Australia. I will get my boys to checking on what kind of visa this character is on, whether he is a student or diplomat?” Kyle stated.

“Yeah,” Michael said. “If he is a diplomat, then we need to see if there is any underground movement in that country. If he is a student, then is he a member of some dissident group?”

“Or, if he was just a tourist looking for a good French meal,” Maria added.

Kyle sighed, “Yeah, it’s them average Joes that make our life difficult. If everyone looked guilty, then we could run them all in and let them fight it out among themselves.”

“Remember, Kyle, if it were easy then, anyone could do this job and you might be flipping burgers at the Burger Barn,” Michael laughed.


When Michael thought Beemer, he thought of a motorcycle. Maria thought of it as slumming while driving the YUPPY automobile BMW. Michael didn’t like the Beemer, but he didn’t like most of Maria’s cars. Young upwardly-mobile professional or young urban professional, the term YUPPY didn’t fit either Maria or Michael. In her mind, Maria knew that she wasn’t that much different from the little girl working at the Crashdown. She just, for once, had more money and a better education in the social niceties. True, the Corvette was fun and girls whistled at him as he drove down the street. Driving the Old Ford pickup, Michael never worried about someone trying to steal it. If it ever disappeared, Michael knew that it would reappear down in Mexico as an irrigation pump. Michael had put a new sound system in the truck and he had moved the gas tank from inside the cab to the back. The old 390 engine was pristine. It had more pulling power than Michael ever thought he would need. It did not have appeal, when dropping Maria off at the latest social event. The Beemer didn’t even fit this criteria. They were going to dinner at the Chavez home.

Michael hadn’t seen the Chavez family since he left the trailer court. Arriving at the address Emilio had given him, Michael saw several cars parked in front of a house set back in the lot. Walking up to the door with Maria on his arm, Michael saw several shadowy characters moving among the cars. There were pickups and low riders among the several Chevys and fords. In the dim light of twilight, Michael saw several very bizarre paint jobs.

Emilio met them at the door and led them through the house to a room at the back. Sedillo and Anna Chavez were in their sixties. They remembered that frightened little boy who would come from hiding while Hank Whitmore was drunkenly shouting at him. Michael seemed to have the instinct to not let Hank see him entering the Chavez trailer. If Hank had come over to the trailer and demanded Michael, Sedillo would have kicked his butt. Trouble was that Hank wasn’t brave enough to face the Hispanic family, but he might have shot Sedillo from hiding if he thought he was protecting Michael. The Chavez family took care of Michael and Michael protected the secret of where he hid so many nights.

Sedillo bent over and held his hand about three feet off the floor. “Hey Mikie, you have grown a bunch.” He turned to Maria, “Miss DeLuca, you have grown a bunch, also. You have become a beautiful woman,” he bowed slightly in Maria’s direction.

Maria giggled a little embarrassed at the attention and the fact that the old man remembered her.

Mrs. Chavez disappeared for a minute; then she reappeared to announce dinner would be served. Sedillo took Maria’s arm and directed her to the dining room. “Hey, Mikie hurry up and don’t expect me to take your arm,” Emilio shouted from the other room.

They entered the dining room and Michael held the chair for Maria. Hey, he did this in front of her friends to show he wasn’t a barbarian. Here, he did it to show the Chavez family that he had matured into a proper young man. They bowed their heads in a short prayer from Sedillo. He offered thanks for the food and his family; then, he added thanks for Mikie, all grown up, and his wife. There was a basket under a dish towel keeping a stack of flour tortillas warm. There was a large bowl of chili with the beans and meat swimming in the red sauce sitting in front of Anna. They passed their bowls to her to fill. Tomales, three kinds of enchiladas, rellenos and even tocos, not necessarily food for a formal dinner were set out on the table. When Maria was fanning her lips from the hot chili, Anna handed her a bowl of sour cream. “Here, take this and mix it with anything you find too hot. I remember how Mikie likes it, but others might want to go a bit slower,” Anna kindly said.

“What are you doing now a days, Mikie?” Sedillo asked.

“I have been a private detective for several years,” Michael responded. “Now I am sort of retired, but we do a bit of work for the local police.”

Maria quickly chimed in, “You might know that my father, Paul DeLuca died. He never was there when I needed him growing up, but he left us a ton of money. Michael works because he enjoys the challenge.”

Sedillo reached across the table putting his hand on Maria’s. “Niña, there was a lot more to Paul DeLuca than you or your mama ever knew. When he left home, there were some very bad hombres after him. You might find out that he didn’t want to bring his troubles to the two of you. That money he left was the last attempt to correct a very great wrong.”

Maria frowned. This was the first time anyone had talked of her father in a kind way.

Michael spoke up. “Hey, my life wasn’t all a waste. I gave the Air Force four years and they helped me with a college education. I was fairly successful as a private detective. Now, I hope to put all these characters in stories. Someday, you might remember the little boy you hid as you read my first successful novel. That is someday in the future.”

They all laughed and cheered at this. Sedillo spoke, “This one,” he pointed to Emilio, “became a lawyer. Does he make great money, does he handle rich divorces, does he chase ambulances? No! He becomes a revolutionary.”

Anna put her hand on Sedillo’s arm. “Sedillo may tease Emilio a lot, but he is very proud of his son. Emilio is trying to help the Hispanic people.”

“Yeah, I am proud of Emilio. He turned his back on Anglo money,” Sedillo stated.

“I think pop understands. I got tired of being the Chacano lawyer who tried to get winos out of DUI cases. I want to make programs to keep our kids in schools. I want to help deserving students find money for college. I want to help our people look down on the handouts and strive for the American dream with hard work. This is hard when the kids see the drug dealers driving hot cars with, likewise, hot women riding beside them. I want to get the Hispanic communities to drive out the wastrels and criminals and not wait for the police to do it for them,” Emilio explained.

“Yeah, but if you grew a Poncho Villa Mustache you could get a lot further,” Sedillo quipped.

They retired still laughing, Anna and Maria to the kitchen and Sedillo, Emilio and Michael to the front porch. Sedillo was holding a fresh cigar and a beer while Michael and Emilio both sat with a single beer apiece. “No cigar, Mikie?” Sedillo asked.

Emilio shook his head. “The tobacco companies run out of Anglos to poison, so they come to the barrio with sexy adds of beautiful women to kill off all the Hispanics,” Emilio stated sadly.

“Hey, I am over 60 and I am as strong as an ox,” Sedillo stated.

“Yeah, pops, and your lungs will be donated to the medical school so students will understand the danger of tobacco,” Emilio returned.

Michael leaned back and smiled. This was family. Not the artificial family of “Leave it to Beaver” or “Ozzie and Harriet,” but of a real family who could argue, disagree and still love and support each other. Michael looked up at the stars. Somewhere down the street he heard mariachi music playing and somewhere he heard a low rider playing “La Cucaracha” on his car horn. Emilio had done a lot for the Hispanics. If he said that they were not involved in this trouble, that was good enough for Michael. Not to say some drugged out gangbanger didn’t get his hands on a grenade and toss it through the restaurant window just to see what would happen. That was their worst nightmare. Putting all this investigation into something that had no cause or reason. They would remain for a long time waiting for the other shoe to fall and another bombing to happen. Good that it didn’t happen again, but still the authorities would be on alert for a long time.
Stories by Ken

Re: Mr. & Mrs. Guerin MM,mature, pg2, ch6, Feb 3, 2013

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:58 pm
by ken_r
mary mary:


Chapter 7

Maria was quiet on the way home. Finally, she turned to Michael and said, “That is the first time I ever heard my father’s name. Do you think what Mr. Chavez said was true? Do you think that, maybe, there was more to my father’s leaving? I would like to think that he didn’t just want to be rid of Mom and me. I would like to think that his inheritance was not because of a guilty conscience, but rather of love.

Michael thought over what he had learned on the streets. “Maria, nothing is ever simple. Decisions are usually complex and not completely understood even by those making them. Your father is dead so how you deal with that, must remain your own private business. Your mom has always been bitter. You might find a different appreciation of life by believing that your father had your best interest always,” Michael said.

“How could depriving me of his company, his protection, his personal warmth be in my best interest?” Maria inquired.

Michael could sense that comments made by Mr. Chavez were troubling Maria. This might not be the best time for talk. Maria had to face some demons in her life and Michael could hold her hand, but fighting the demons had to be done by her alone. During the trip home and later, Maria remained un-naturally quiet.


Michael, Maria and Kyle were sitting in his office, going over Robert’s guest list. “I am still not sure where Vanuatu is,” Kyle stated.

“Like Officer Dominguez said, it is in a group of islands that used to be called New Hebrides. They are east of Australia,” Maria stated. “Really Kyle, you ought to get your geography down better.”

“Well beg your pardon, Mrs. Guerin. To a cop like me, geography only extends the distance that crime reaches to affect my city. Australia is a long way off. This Ishmael Fontaine fellow is a long way from home, if he was the target. Hey, I understand Chavez’s Cholos and I try to keep up with the African Americans, but if this bombing is caused by something that originated in the Pacific Ocean, I don’t have a clue. Is Vanuatu a monarchy, a dictatorship or a democracy or is it even a country? Are they preparing for a revolution or is this Fontaine a dissident who fled the reaches of his country? I called Washington, but the low level diplomat I got on the phone didn’t know much more than I did about someone traveling on a Vanuatu passport,” Kyle complained.

“What did you get back on Washington Samuels?” Michael asked.

“Just like you told me, a likable young man on the way up. Wants to become a lawyer and work on Afro-American relations. Yes, he got hurt, but there is nothing to say he was anyone’s target. That kind of racism is rare around here,” Kyle informed them.

“Does that get us back to the crime being committed by a random nut-job who got his hands on a live grenade and tossed it to see what would happen?” Michael asked.

“Not until we get to our last resort. A random nut-job doesn’t stand out in a crowd of nut-jobs. It will be the devil if that is what we are dealing with,” Kyle grimaced.


It didn’t matter that Robert’s restaurant was financed by Chicago mob money. Robert had built the restaurant on Central Avenue and the neighborhood shop owners took care of their own. That was their community and they found it best to pull together. It was a gala affair. Central Avenue was closed off and strolling Mariachi bands along with solo and small Jazz groups appeared among the outdoor booths. This was all for the benefit of rebuilding Robert’s restaurant. Michael and Maria were walking among the gaily colored booths. A young Hispanic approached them and leaned over to whisper something in Michael’s ear. The shot could not be said to ring out. It must have been heavily suppressed or maybe, a long way off. Carlito Valdez fell wounded at Michael’s feet. Michael had kept up his license as a private detective so he had a permit to carry. Michael whipped out his Glock and placing himself between Valdez and where he thought the shot had originated, Michael squinted his eyes trying to see movement or anything else that might be caused by a sniper. Maria was behind him trying to help the fallen boy.

The streets had been blocked off, but now that didn’t matter. Kyle started his cruiser up Central his public address system and siren blaring. Kyle marveled at the stupidity of people. The rookie in the front seat with him was getting an education fast. She was holding the microphone set to public address and shouting police coming through. Shots had been fired, a man was down and the crowd only let Kyle through when they felt his bumper against their legs. Kyle saw the direction Michael was looking, so he pulled his unit in such a way to offer more cover for Michael and the victim. Kyle had picked up the three rookies working the crowds at the other end of Central and he had them get out and move the crowd back. A siren was heard from a side street intersecting the blocked off Central. Quickly, two rookies ran over to remove the baracades and physically push people back out of the way.

The Ambulance drivers were old hands with crowds. They had one hundred watts of siren/public address and they were still being ignored. The electronic siren went from a chirp or bark to a banshee wail with a European Hi-Lo in between. They still had to use their push bar like a cow catcher on old locomotives when they pushed Buffalo off the tracks in the west.


Michael, Maria and Kyle were back in Kyle’s office. Michael spoke first, “How’s the Valdez kid doing?”

“The hospital said he is going to have a couple rough days, but they think he will pull through,” Kyle answered.

“If he can’t talk, then I am going to have get back with Emilio,” Michael stated.

Maria spoke up. “I think you might ask why Emilio sent a messenger rather than coming himself?”

Kyle said through gritted teeth, “Maybe, what he had to say, Emilio didn’t want to be seen coming from him?”

Michael was always quick to defend a friend. “Hey, look, Emilio isn’t a coward. If he had thought this would have happened to Carlito, he wouldn’t have sent him.”

“I am not casting anything at Emilio. There may be any number of reasons that he didn’t want to be seen talking to you. He invited you over to meet the folks, but things are a changing. What if something came up where talking to you would have influenced his standing with his Cholo friends? He might have wanted to share something that he didn’t want to get back to them,” Kyle suggested.

Maria was standing, listening to the man talk when she said, “Then why did the Valdez boy get shot if no one knew what information he was bringing to Michael?”

Hanson stuck his head in the office. “Like I told you Kyle, those Cholos are getting a might uppity. We ought to pull a raid and bring half of them in for questioning including that Emilio Chavez guy.”

Michael and Hanson didn’t like each other. Even if Hanson had been right, Michael would have never cooperated with him. “Hanson get your head out. Emilio isn’t a gangbanger. He is a lawyer and he has considerable following in the Hispanic communities.”

“Cool it, Hanson or I will go to the captain. Emilio’s boy got shot bringing something to Michael. Emilio isn’t into bombs or sniper shooting. There is nothing to point to any of the minority communities,” Kyle said. Kyle had considerable grease with the administration because of his record. No one yet had figured out how Hanson made sergeant.

Maria and Michael were at the hospital. “Carlito,” Maria whispered. “What were you supposed to tell Michael?”

“Señora, El Jefe says there are strangers in town. He doesn’t know who they are. They don’t stand for anyone local. He says to be careful, both of you,” Carlito said through a raspy voice.

There was a noise at the door. “Michael, Maria, he has got to have rest,” Doctor Parker-Evans was standing at the door.

Maria leaned over and patted Carlito’s hand. “You too amigo; be careful.”

The three of them walked to the hospital cafeteria. “Sorry to cut you off, but the Valdez boy had a close call. We are watching him closely,” Liz stated.

“That is okay, Liz. We got the information we needed. First, the restaurant got bombed, then Fingers, a petty grafter Michael knew, was killed in our back yard and now, a message from a man Michael knew way back in school, gets shot. None of this fits together,” Maria explained.


Mrs. Guerin, you are right about that,” Kyle said with exasperation. “Nothing in this case makes sense.” They were back in Kyle’s office. Until they had better information, Michael didn’t feel beating the streets had any value. Yeah, a gumshoe works a lot on the streets, but Michael didn’t do this for fun. Kyle had a case on his hands, he had a sergeant whom he excluded from as much information as possible and a captain who wanted to make major. That didn’t include a mayor who was up for election soon and a bunch of pissed off minorities all sure that in some way the establishment wanted to destroy them one by one,

Michael leaned back in his chair. Maria thought that if he wasn’t careful he was going to go over backwards. “Kyle, what has turned up with that sniper?” Michael asked.

Kyle shook his head. “That is the latest cross I have to bare. The bombing was as crude as you can get. My boys on the streets say that it was as amateur as you can get. Find a ‘pineapple’ in some surplus collection, heave it though a window and blow up a bunch of people. Next, kill a snitch and leave the body in your backyard. That sure as hell removes the bombing from some random act. If the snitch is killed taking a message to you, why not move the body to somewhere you would never know about it? Sorry, Michael we gotta look at you and see if you have something someone wanted. Maybe, Fingers was a warning. Trying to scare you off or something. I sent the department’s sniper team out to find a location. They nailed it down with some 7.62x54R cartridges, probably fired by a Russian rifle called Mosin-Nagant. You can buy these on collector’s markets. Some of them are even set up as a sniper weapon. They would not be a ‘weapon of choice’ for a professional. Leaving brass laying around isn’t a sign of a professional either. Somebody is out there and they have some cause, but they are making mistakes. All we can find out is that, they aren’t that sharp and whatever they want, they haven’t got it yet,” Kyle explained. This was all okay sharing with Michael and Maria, but Hanson didn’t pass up a chance to try to show Kyle incompetent and the captain wanted something to give the mayor.


Tonight was supposed to be a fun night out. Michael liked hockey and taking Maria to a physical event was an exercise in itself. Maria was excitable and it didn’t take much to get under the skin of the debutant and find that little girl he had known as a teen. Michael took her to a wrestling match once. At first Maria, the prim society girl, sat with an expression of disdain, for the display of violence, then Michael was to learn this time was a bonding process. Once Maria had a favorite, she really got into it. She had Michael in a hammer-lock as she screamed, “Murder de’ bum.” Michael got an elbow to the chest as she yelled, “Take him out, take him out.” Soon for the crowd sitting near by, Maria was more entertaining than the fighters in the ring.

Cries from the nearby audience to, “Rip his arm off,” only excited Maria further. Michael learned that ballet was a much easier sport to view with Maria. Watching her toes flex as the ballerina executed a perfect pirouette was a lot safer for Michael than enduring a wrestling hold.

Michael didn’t think Maria was ready for boxing, or maybe, Michael wasn’t ready to face boxing with her. Now, Michael was trying hockey. He always got seats close to the glass. Maria would stand up and swing her imaginary hockey stick screaming, “Pass to 31. He is in the clear. Take out the Raven’s forward. Get him with a sucker punch.” The most exciting thing for Maria would be a dog pile against the glass barrier with one player getting his face pushed flat against the screen. Maria was still excitable, but so far, she hadn’t connected Michael with the opposite team. Michael thought, maybe, this is her way of maintaining something of the life she lived long ago. At best, Michael was sure that this excitement was good for his little blonde; at least she was blonde for this week.

Tonight, the excitement ran high. Members of both teams had spent a lot of time in the penalty box. After the game, the crowd was noisy and boisterous on the way to the parking lot. There was a lot of shoving and pushing leading up to the door where several uniformed policemen were standing. Maria held tightly on to Michael’s hand. A couple times, she almost lost him. Michael had his other arm held as a guard, helping him push through the crowd. O’Hanessy, standing by the door was an old friend of Michaels. Michael pulled Maria behind the officers for a rest. “What a game,” was all she could say.

O’Hanessy looked at Maria and stated, “Your pardon, Ma’am. Some fool done ripped your coat. Maria hadn’t worn one of her new coats; this Russian blue fox was almost two years old. Maria reached down to feel the rip and she felt dampness. She knew that it had been hot in the stadium, and she probably was perspiring profusely. When she raised her hand up from the rip, O’Hannessy exclaimed, “Your pardon Ma’am, that is blood.”

Michael quickly reached for his penlight and pushed Maria’s coat open. The whole side of her dress was wet with blood. O’Hanessy quickly blew his police whistle and yelled “Medic, medic.” Then, he remembered that he wasn’t in Vietnam any more and yelled, “Get an ambulance over here.”

They left the Lexus in the parking lot as Michael got in the ambulance with Maria. He would send a wrecker back later to return the automobile to their home.

Doctor Parker-Evans was on duty in the emergency room this shift. She saw Michael entering with several EMTs, (emergency medical team members.) She didn’t see who was on the gurney as she called out, “Hey, Michael what is happening?”

When Liz approached Michael she heard, “Liz, it’s Maria. She got cut. The medics don’t think it’s bad, but Maria is scared to death. Remember that she doesn’t do well with blood, especially her blood.”

Re: Mr. & Mrs. Guerin MM,mature, pg2, ch7, Feb 10, 2013

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:49 pm
by ken_r
keepsmiling7: Maria's fear of needles and her own blood come to the story in Strangers & Milliseconds . Here she learns to see it as romantic collateral damage.

Chapter 8

Both doctors Evans had Maria in the Operating room. Kyle and Tess were soon to arrive to support Michael in the waiting room, as did Alex and Isabel.

“The crowd was really rough. Someone must have attempted to stab Maria. You know a sharp cut isn’t felt at first. Maria was excited and she probably thought she had just been pushed.” Michael turned to Kyle, “I think that this was intentional and aimed at Maria. These crimes are getting too close.”

“Mikie, I haven’t said anything, but I have been entertaining an idea. Are you and Maria the targets? I went back over the pictures of the bombing. If you hadn’t pulled that table between you and the explosion, both of you would have been toast,” Kyle explained.

“I don’t work very hard at being a detective and Maria is a fundraiser and a debutant. Who wants to kill us?” Michael wondered.

“Maybe, it is about Maria’s money. Was anyone else in line for Stuyvesant’s money?” Kyle asked as a detective. They were all close friends, but was something connecting Michael and Maria to all these other crimes?

Michael shook his head. “You know, I have never asked Maria much about those days after she left Roswell.”

Alex spoke up, “I don’t think I am giving away any confidences when I say, compared to what Maria already had, she didn’t get that much from old Stuyvesant. I spend most of my time trying to find out how much Maria is giving to charity for tax purposes. I don’t think she even knows. All Maria ever says is, “Give it away rather than let it be taxed.”

Kyle looked at Michael, “What about you being the target? You were standing pretty close to that Valdez kid.”

“Hey, after I married Maria, I retired from official detecting. I like to help the police occasionally, but as for a former case coming around to bite me in the butt, I don’t have the foggiest,” Michael stated.

Tess spoke up, “Mikie, what did you do, I mean after you left the trailer court?”

“Tess, after I broke from Hank, I worked my butt off trying to pay my bills. That judge said that I had to show responsibility or he would give me another guardian. I worked for Mr. Parker at the Crashdown until I joined the Air Force; then it was drunks and bar fights. I never discovered any spies or saw any military fraud like you read about. After the Air Force, it was divorce after divorce. They were all middle class. I never got any high profile couples where they had enough money to get nasty. I heard Hank died and his cousin went to jail. They were the only people I can think of who wanted a piece of me,” Michael said.

Kyle stepped aside to take a call. When he returned, he asked, “Alex can you take Tess home? I got a call that some out-of-towner just got mugged by a gang of Hispanics kids.”

“Sure Kyle,” Isabel said. “You be careful; if it is a gang related action, remember kids don’t have to make sense. They just react.”

Kyle didn’t even get out of the hospital. He was met by the ambulance, as the EMT boys hurried the victim into the Emergency room. Officer Dominguez brought up the rear. She was adding to her notes on a clipboard. “What do you have Dominguez?” Kyle asked.

“Hey, Detective, most of the crowd around this guy was Hispanic, so I interviewed as many as I could. Those who were not comfortable with English I tried to get them to open up in Spanish. The victim was beat badly. No knife wounds, no gun shots, just a pummeling, but a bad one. Someone wanted to teach him a lesson, not kill him. The vic was from out of town. I couldn’t find anyone who admitted knowing him. All I could find in the crowd was gawkers,” Officer Dominguez reported.

“Good work, Dominguez,” Kyle said. This gal was going to be a pretty fair cop, if she learned to not set off people like Maria. Maria was a forgiving soul. She didn’t hold grudges. There might be some society dames who would try to ruin Dominguez out of spite. The next thing for Kyle was to get the victim identified. He might turn into a perpetrator rather than just a victim.

Alex and Isabel had left, taking Tess with them. Michael was now alone in the waiting room hoping for news as to Maria’s condition. Finally, both doctors Evans appeared. “Michael, the cut was worse than the EMT thought. It didn’t get any organs, but I would be careful grabbing Maria by her love handles for a few weeks. She is going to be hurting for a long time. Maria’s biggest worry is that her fur coat is going to be ruined. If I were you, I would get it to a professional to look at it, just to keep Maria from worrying.”

“Yeah, the truth is that Maria was fixing to send that coat off to Goodwill, for Maria that would have been her choice. Now, she wants it saved because she doesn’t let anyone take choices away from her,” Michael explained.

“That doesn’t make good sense,” Max stated.

“It doesn’t have to, Max. It has to make Maria sense. There is something about being able to give things away now that she has money. When she was young she could never afford to be generous, Michael said.


The next morning Kyle called. “Hey Mikie, guess what that victim of the gangbangers had in his pockets?” Kyle asked.

“Kyle, it is too early for guessing games so spit it out,” Michael said stifling a yawn.

“Your getting soft, Mikie. I have been working all night on this perp. He had a pocketful of 7.62 x 54 rimmed cartridges,” Kyle stated.

Michael sat up. “Where do you suppose he got those?” he asked.

“It isn’t where he got them, it is what was he doing with them. He says he was going deer hunting. I pointed out the logic that if he was going deer hunting, then he was involved with a fish and game violation. Those bullets aren’t good for anything except for target shooting with a Mosin-Nagant. That got him cold. He couldn’t pronounce Mosin-Nagant much less say why he was using it for hunting. Mikie, I think we maybe got our sniper. Emilio just beat us to him,” Kyle declared.

The fax came back, it was Robert (Two Fingered) Louis who the police had in custody. The word quickly spread that he had shot Carlito Valdez and the Hispanic community went mum. Emilio was their leader and he had taken care of the problem. Even a priest wouldn’t be able to pry a confession from la gente or the people. “Hey man, I saw him on the ground, don’t know how he got there,” was the stock answer. In a normal gang bang, you would expect at least one knife wound. This assault was carefully executed.

Louis had lost two fingers when a rifle he had used, years ago, had blown up. Robert Louis had a reputation of using surplus firearms to commit murders. He wasn’t a mechanic or even a very good hit man. He took assignments on very thin margins. He was who an amateur would hire. He, also, wasn’t smart period. At first, the interrogators thought he was holding out then after several profilers took over, they decided that he was only dumb. Robert had a cell phone and he took calls and gave a PO box number to receive the money. The next thing was to try to pin the explosion on him. A fax back to his home state, Georgia, came back that he had never been know to use any weapon other than old cheap rifles. He wasn’t a flexible guy. He wasn’t good for the stabbing of Maria, either. He was a “one hit wonder,” and Emilio’s Cholos had retaliated on that.

Kyle opened a new crime board. He didn’t erase the old one, but now with Maria and Michael suspected targets, Kyle wanted to see where his information led. Unfortunately, he couldn’t pin the murder of Henry (Fingers) Nelson on Louis. Fingers had been killed by a nine millimeter. This would be the first time Michael had ever heard Fingers real name.


Maria had been a wonderful comfort for the patients when she and Isabel visited before. Maria was a dreadful patient. Even Liz had about had her fill by the time they checked her out. Liz and Max had promised to keep watch on her at home and the hospital gratefully wheeled her out the door. The only disturbance was that Michael brought the Mini-van. The mini-van was for tailgating parties and taking disadvantaged kids to the zoo. The indignity of Maria leaving a public institution in this conveyance was drastic.

The first thing from Maria, after they got her home was to ask, “How is the investigation going?” Maria had never had the pleasure of crouching in old cars wrestling with long lensed cameras, trying to get that one picture of a man with his pants down in front of a naked woman who was definitely not his wife. She had never spent days and nights in poorly heated rooms or with no air conditioning at all apartments listening at a peephole for damaging evidence. To her, it was still all an exciting game. With Maria, Michael would never be permitted to entirely retire.

“Maria, you are supposed to rest for several weeks,” Michael commanded. He should have known better than to use that command tone with Maria, who clearly saw it as a red flag. Michael brought in a lap top computer and a pile of, get well cards. Social propriety did keep Maria busy acknowledging the cards for a time. She had the social well wishers as well as the curious visitors to receive and she took advantage of being on the brink of expiring, in front of them. “I saw my maker as my blood ran into the gutter,” she gasped.

Soon, even Maria ran out of drama. Then, she laid a curse on both Michael and Kyle to let her back into the workings of the case. Emilio did drop by one afternoon and he and Maria talked about the yester-years when they were in high school. Maria giggled when she explained that she had been afraid of Emilio back in high school because she thought he was a gang banger. Emilio admitted that he had always thought she was one of those snooty Anglo girls who had everything given to them, never realizing that Maria and Amy had even less in material things than did the Chavez family. Emilio told Maria a lot about Michael and his life with Hank. A lot of his stories explained some of Michael’s character to this day. Emilio admitted that they had gotten the sniper, but of the bomber and who ever shot Fingers and cut Maria, he had no more knowledge than the police and Michael.

Hockey matches, baseball games and of course, wrestling matches were out. Being seen in that open of an environment was too difficult to keep Maria safe. Michael did don his hated Tux and take Maria to a couple of invitation onlysociety parties. Michael kept Maria from any fringes where someone might get a shot at her or try bombing her again. Kyle usually assigned a couple of uniforms decked out as waiters to help Michael keep an eye on her. Things went well for some time; then, an assault was made on Doctor Parker-Evans. Liz and Max had attended Maria at home for some time. Michael wanted Maria to be exposed as little as possible. Someone had sneaked up behind Liz and knocked her cold. All they had taken was her identity badge.

Re: Mr. & Mrs. Guerin MM,mature, pg2, ch8, Feb 17, 2013

Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:56 pm
by ken_r

Chapter 9

Lenny Ruebenstine, the rent-a-cop hired by the hospital, saw Doctor Parker-Evans go down and someone bend over her body. He immediately took out his little air horn. (You know one of those things they sell women for protection.) The directions on the little horn, said “Push button and scream like hell.” Lenny held the button down, but he was huffing so badly by the time he got to where Doctor Parker-Evans was lying, he could barely talk. He did draw his quart can of “MACE.” Lenny didn’t need anything else since when he looked back at the hospital, he saw a team of doctors running like the home team receiving the kick off. By the time Doctor Parker-Evans was rescued, the perp was long gone. It would be later that they would learn that she had lost her hospital Identity badge.

Maria hurried into the hospital while Michael followed close behind. Michael was looking for boogey men behind every tree and finding nothing. Max was standing beside the hospital bed holding Liz’s hand while an orderly was carefully cleaning a cut she had received to her scalp.

“Chica, if I am responsible for you getting hurt, I will never forgive myself,” Maria cried.

Max looked up, “Maria, you are not responsible; it was a mugging in the parking lot.”

“What did they take, Max?” Michael asked.

“Only thing missing, so far, is her hospital Identity badge,” Max replied.

“What would anyone do with that?” Michael asked again.

“We don’t know, Mike,” Max said, “but we already ordered a new badge. Liz’s old badge said Parker-Evans. The new one will say Elizabeth Evans and anyone with a Parker-Evans badge will get their ears fried by Lenny’s horn.” This got a laugh, everyone remembering the banshee like scream as Lenny rushed to protect Liz.


They were in Kyle’s office. Hanson had come by a couple times, but Kyle, Maria and Michael were too much for him to tackle. Hanson was growling as he walked past. “Damned private dick, a street cop slaves for the city salary and that Guerin does the same thing and makes millions. Look at the cars he drives. He has that blonde broad on his arm all the time. What does he have that I don’t have, except for all that money? If I had my way, we would charge him a sawbuck every time he asked a question. Give that money to decent cops or maybe, the administration for police business. Hey, I could use a couple hundred more a month. Life just ain’t fair no how.”


“Do you think the Parker-Evans situation is tied into the rest of this?” Michael asked.

I don’t know, Mikie. You can’t go blaming the common flu and mad dogs on whoever the bomber was. Fact is, we can’t yet blame the bomber with the other murders and assault on Maria. Maybe this is a total coincidence,” Kyle stated.

“Kyle, Kyle, you don’t believe that anymore than you expect me to,” Michael groaned.

“Mikie, I have to show something for the front desk and so far, we ain’t doing it,” Kyle ended his conversation.

Michael didn’t say anything else, Kyle had to please his superiors and sometimes, that even included Hanson. Michael didn’t have to answer to anybody. Well, things were better if he kept Maria happy. But, Maria stood beside him not leaning over his shoulder commenting on everything he did. Yeah, working for the man was a drag. Michael was glad he didn’t do that anymore. Now, what the hell would someone do with a stolen hospital identity badge? Show that badge around the hospital and every security guard would want to be the hero. Thumping the man who assaulted Doctor Liz Parker would make you one. What else could you do with a stolen identity badge? Michael wasn’t getting very far with that line of thought at the moment.

For the life of her, Liz couldn’t see how what happened to her tied into what Kyle and Michael were investigating. If she had of been carrying any narcotics or there had been any sign that she had been searched for narcotics, she could understand why she was mugged. Her purse was untouched, as were her car keys. Robbery didn’t make sense. Max had asked if she wanted to take personal defense classes and get a pistol permit? Liz knew that Michael carried a Glock and probably carried a second small Glock in Maria’s purse. Maria had told her that they had gotten her a permit a few weeks after their marriage. “Baby, if you are gonna live with a guy who handles guns, you better know how to handle guns yourself,” Michael had said.

Max had a permit for the times he had to transport narcotics and other medicines as he made rounds within the city. Liz wasn’t comfortable with guns, but she carried a couple extra scalpels in her pockets. Guns might make her uncomfortable, but Liz well knew her way around an operating table. Attack her again and she would show she could perform an autopsy on the living. She wasn’t afraid of defending herself, it was just what she was comfortable using.


Maria was with Alex and Isabel. They had promised Michael that they would take good care of her. Alex had been taking care of Maria’s money for years. It all started sometime after Maria graduated from her exclusive college. Amy had been dumping one gold digger after another. Before Maria married Peter Stuyvesant, her coming out after graduation had been seen as hunting season by a certain element. Amy had hired and fired business managers with regularity. She finally asked if Maria knew anyone they could trust. Maria dumped the many resumes covering her desk and went with loyalty. Alexander Charles Whitman had finally graduated from Law school. He had married his high school sweetheart and was looking for a place to set up his practice. Isabel, formally Evans, was from a lawyer family. True, her brother was a failure, he had become a doctor and married a doctor; this was a harsh blow for a family of lawyers. Isabel had taken a business degree and that was acceptable to her lawyer family. Then, when she married a lawyer, the family was left to surmise where they went wrong with Max.

At first, Alex had been ruthless in rooting out those managing the DeLuca fortune. With the help of his new wife, Isabel, Alex began to rebuild the DeLuca finances. He, also, found that protecting Maria many times required his physical presence. He took training in security management and sometimes he represented himself as her bodyguard. Michael felt that Maria would be as safe with Alex as she would be anywhere.

Emilio called and asked if he could drop by. They were sitting in Michael’s office, the one room he was allowed to mess up. Michael had broken out bottles of Maria’s gift from the small Mexican brewery. “Mikie, the is some fine cerveza. How do you get it?” Emilio asked.

“It’s a present from my wife. Around Maria, I have to be careful what I say. Once I said this beer was the best beverage I had ever tasted. Ever since that time, when the case gets down to four bottles, she has a fresh case flown in from Mexico,” Michael explained.

Emilio was holding the bottle up to the light trying to read the label. “I can’t even pronounce the name of the brewery. I think it is an Aztec name. How did you find it?”

“Early on when I was working on a kidnapping case with Hector Valdez, he turned me on to it while we were stuck in this small village doing stake out looking for the little boys father. Don’t ask me how Maria finds it, she is amazing when she takes up a cause,” Michael declared. Emilio saw the pride Michael had in his wife.

“That brings me to part of what I wanted to see you about. Maria and the Whitman woman have been great to that kid in the hospital. If I had had any idea of him getting shot, I wouldn’t have sent him. Who would think that delivering a message would put someone in the hospital?” Emilio stated.

“Yeah, Maria is starting to worry that being close to her is getting people hurt. After Doctor Parker-Evans got mugged, Maria feels she is the target,” Michael said.

“That is the second thing. I pushed pops as much as I thought I could. He made that comment about Maria not understanding why her father left. The old man is like your truck. If he doesn’t want to do something, he won’t budge. All he says is that Maria should find out about her father herself. All I can say is that her father running out might not be as simple as she and her mother think,” Emilio said.

Michael and Emilio killed a couple more bottles of Michael’s perpetual gift from Maria along with the morning reminiscing old times.

Late that afternoon, Michael and Maria visited Kyle’s office. Kyle was sitting at his desk, piled high with files, holding his head as if he had the mother of all headaches. “Do I dare ask how things are going,” Michael tentatively asked.

“Mikie, ‘Ria, there are two kinds of cases, a cop hates. One where the is no evidence, no suspects, and the other where everybody is suspect and evidence goes all which way and makes no sense. Here, I was going to close out everything else and concentrate on the two of you. You show up at every event and maybe, it all ties to something in your past. Remember the so-called diplomat from Vanuatu? I think his name was Ishmael Fontaine. It turns out that Vanuatu wants him for questioning. Him being a diplomat is not clear. I have to ask, is their questioning important enough for them to send some sort of hit squad? Then, there was the young African American student, Washington Samuels. He is respected by the mainstream community, but some of the radical elements are angry at his stand against welfare and other entitlement programs. He is some kind of, ‘You ought to get a job,’ nut. If this isn’t enough to send me into early retirement, Sully O’Sullivan is starting to worry about his half million and threatening to come here to investigate for himself. DeAngelo says this is a pretense to take over his territory. This makes me wish that Old Robert had taken out a small business loan,” Kyle listed everything that was about to happen.

“I think Robert did try to get a small business loan. They were not ready to loan to anyone with such obvious mob connections,” Maria said.

“Well to me, it means too many people want to hurt too many other people,” Kyle declared.


Maria had gone back to talk to her mom. “Why did daddy leave us?” she asked.

“Because he was a no-good shiftless bastard who wouldn’t take any responsibility,” Amy answered angrly.

“Mom, then why did he leave us all his money?” Maria wondered.

Amy had a ready answer. “Because he knew he was dying. He was trying to buy his way into heaven. He deserted his wife and child and he felt the Hell fires burning at his toes. Give them all his money and buy his way back into grace,” Amy stormed.

Maria knew that her mother didn’t need logic or reason. Amy had a personal vendetta and she expected Maria to continue being its champion. Amy saw her world in terms of black and white, but it was her shades of black and white.

“Michael there is no way I can get any information from that woman. I dearly love my mother, but she can be exasperating,” Maria declared.

Michael pulled her into a close hug. “I know, Maria, and that is why we are going to have to go looking for ourselves.”

“Mikie, I thought that Kyle was dropping us as the principal target of this case,” she said.

“No, he is just lining us up with all the others. It may be a while before he can get back to us. The case isn’t why we need to investigate DeLuca. We need to do it for your peace of mind. Let’s ask Alex to look into things for us,” Michael directed.


“Maria, lets start by you telling me about what you remember about your father,” Alex instructed.

“I remember red tennis shoes and a puppy. Then, all of a sudden the puppy was gone. Then, daddy was gone. I tried to put all of this together and failed. I think some of my trouble was mom didn’t want me to dwell on daddy leaving,” Maria explained.

“You told me once that you had fantasies about your father. Can you describe any of these?” Alex requested.

“Well, I used to pretend he would return in an expensive sedan and take mom and me to his castle. He would explain why he left and all would be forgiven. Then, later in life, I used to pretend that he was a mysterious government spy. He ran off because people had threatened mom and me if he didn’t do as they said. He was protecting us,” Maria added.

Michael noticed that all the while, Alex was taking copious notes. Was he taking her fantasies seriously? Alex knew Maria better than, even possibly than, did Michael. They had been friends so many years in school. Maria continued, “Later, I pretended that daddy had become a song producer and he came back to discover me. We would go on tours and both mom and I would be happy.”

Alex collected his notes, “Let me see what I can do then you and Michael can go to work. It will do both of you good to get away from this murder thing that you have been helping Kyle with.”
Stories by Ken

Re: Mr. & Mrs. Guerin MM,mature, pg3, ch8, Feb 17, 2013

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:49 am
by ken_r
keepsmiling7: I prefer a Glock, but everyone to their choice.

Chapter 10

“Reverend Peabody, was there anyone who disliked Washington Samuels?” Michael asked.

Reverend Peabody was the spiritual leader of the Freedom Train Independent Baptist Church. “On the contrary, even his detractors admired him, officer,” Clarence Peabody stated.

“Not officer, Reverend Peabody. Maria and I are just citizens who sometimes help the police. Many times, people feel more comfortable talking to us than they do when facing the police,” Michael corrected.

Reverend Peabody stood scratching his head as he tried to arrange or tie up some stray thoughts. “Of course, Michael Guerin, Michael and Maria, Mr. and Mrs Guerin. Now I know who you are.” He turned to Maria, “You and a Mrs. Whitman, are the women who were talking to Wash the other day at the hospital. Wash tells me that you got stabbed yourself. How are you doing?” he inquired.

Maria gave an embarrassed smile. “Isabel Whitman and I are trying to lead drives to help those who were hurt in the bombing, the other night. I think I am doing fine, now. We are trying to make connections between or, maybe, among all those who have been hurt recently.”

“My cousin was from Roswell. He told me about the little DeLuca girl who worked so hard during school. My cousin, also, told me a bit about your daddy. He knew Paul DeLuca long before he married your mammy. He always said, ‘DeLuca was a good man, but devils were always chasing him.’ I remembering Adrian saying the day Paul died that maybe, he could find rest, now.” The reverend bowed his head slightly at the mention of Maria’s father’s death.

As Michael and Maria left the parsonage, Maria was stunned silent. Michael was talking, “Well, it was a dead end trying to find a reason that Washington was hurt, but we did learn about your father.”

Maria still hadn’t said a word since they left the reverend. Finally, Michael heard her croak it out over a sob. “Michael, I think that is the first time I ever heard something nice about my father.” she sighed.

“Yes, Maria, but I think Washington Samuels wasn’t a target for the first bombing. He was dodging shrapnel just like we were. He just wasn’t that successful.” Michael wasn’t sure that Maria heard a thing he had said. She had just received a great revelation. Maybe, it was poetic that she got that revelation in a church from a man of God.


They were back in Alex’s office. “Maria, did you ever know what your father did for a living?” Alex asked.

“No! and I don’t think my mother knew either,” Maria answered.

Maria, I think you need to learn some very serious things about your mother. You do know that she was only about 16 when she got pregnant?” Alex continued his line of questioning.

“I know that and I know she was in a hippy commune at the time. She and my father left the commune before I was born,” Maria added.

“There was a record that your father took a paternity test around that time. Paul DeLuca would have been about 10 or 15 years older than your mother,” Alex read from his notes.

Maria turned white. She sat down clutching her wrap and purse. “That would mean that I was the result of rape!” she exclaimed.

“Maria, don’t turn dramatic now. It was a hippy commune and relationships were very fluid. Your father did take your mother with him when he left the commune. They lived together for some time, which doesn’t support rape. Once, many years ago, an old fart of a congressman tried to say there were two types of rape. The way he used this information was wrong, but there is rape as an assault and rape as defined by law. Paul DeLuca did commit statutory rape by law. That didn’t mean that he didn’t love your mother. They lived as married in all ways but legal. They had tried to make it work. There was something else that interfered.

“What did my father do? Who was he? What was so important that he left my mom and me?” Maria asked.

“Maria, from what you have said, I doubt if even your mother has any answers to these question. She met a man in the commune. Remember that free love was the thing in that time. That probably was the reason he took the paternity test. They lived together as man and wife for several years. Then, something happened,” Alex stated.

“Mom took his name. Did he marry her, did he even try to marry her?” Maria asked.

“You can ask your mom. Marriage is both a legal and spiritual definition. The communes were almost all gone when you were born. Spiritual leaders were everywhere. Some of them were scams, some were legal and some of them were legal scams. Then, there were civil authorities. You know there are many authorities who can preform marriages. As the communes disappeared, the young revolutionaries took on a different definition. Those who only wanted to live free gave way to those with definite political agendas. To be legal in every body’s eyes, you must have a registering of the union. Communities in turmoil could be careless in how they preserved records. I have gone over Paul DeLuca’s will several times. He makes it very clear that Maria DeLuca and her mother, Amy DeLuca, were to get his entire fortune. Your birth certificate lists your mother as Amy DeLuca and your father as Paul DeLuca. I think Paul was thinking a lot of the future, as he got you a Social Security number as soon as he could. Your mother didn’t get one until years later, when she needed a Social Security number to get a business license. Maria, listen closely; this tells you a little of what kind of person you father was. It doesn’t tell you a thing about why he left, cutting himself off from your mother,” Alex explained.


Maria had asked Michael to leave her at her mother’s home. She would call him when she was ready to leave. No! she didn’t want him to stay with her. This was strictly between Maria and her mother. “Mom, did you and dad ever get married?” she asked with a certain, trepidation.

“Of course, we did! What do you take me for? What a question for a daughter to ask her mother,” Amy stated, clearly in a flutter.

“Mom, some things are coming up that may involve dad. I just need to know more about your relationship with him,” Maria said.

“What sorts of things? Your father signed your birth certificate himself. There is nothing illegitimate about your birth. Alex assured me that there would be no questions about your father’s will. He has no other legal heirs. What sorts of things involving your father? I should have known that he would haunt me even from the grave,” Amy was working herself up into a tizzy.

“Mom, did you ever divorce dad?” Maria continued the questions.

“No! He died; there was no point of seeking a divorce. I wasn’t about to get married again. Once of that was enough. I didn’t want to dig up any of those old records. Maria, when I left what was left of the commune, your father insisted I get off all that ‘hippy stuff’ as he called it. He forced me to keep pretty close to my doctor to check up on you, but for myself, there are a lot of blurs during that time. I do remember him sending me back to school. I got a GED and that was enough. I am afraid I wasn’t much of a student at that time.” Amy had calmed down a bit. She was becoming less defensive about her past. Maybe, she was glad to get past this moment. She had thought many times about telling Maria more about her early life. When the DeLuca money arrived, she kept telling herself that the less she disturbed DeLuca’s memory, the safer it would be.

She had been so young then. She thought she had had all the answers. Married, a child, a father figure/husband to take care of her. When DeLuca left, Amy’s world crashed. From the morning she woke up alone in her bed, Amy had started to grow up. She could have given Maria up for adoption, but Maria was part of her. She had lost her father figure/ husband, she couldn’t bare to think of being separated from the only other person she had in her life. Amy did grow up quickly, got a job and, eventually, started her own business. The longer she lived from the time DeLuca left, the more bitter she became. She had risen to the challenge, but she still felt that DeLuca should have stayed with her. That was when she refused to personify him enough to even continue using his first name.

Now! Maria was asking questions. Amy knew that she should have been expecting this, that detective husband of Maria’s and all. Amy had stalled Maria for as long as she could. Poor old Paul DeLuca would have to have his story exhumed; thankfully no one wanted to dig up his body, yet.

For a time, Amy was angry with Maria. She had carefully hidden the ant’s nest that was DeLuca. Maria, now, came home and had stirred it up. There was no chance that Maria wouldn’t get bit, but Amy, herself, could be consumed by these memories. If that damned girl had just let well enough alone. Why didn’t she wait until Amy had gone to her reward before asking these questions?

Amy caught herself. Those were very selfish emotions. After she died, it would have been even more difficult for Maria to find out about Paul DeLuca. For years, Maria had been the center of Amy’s life. It would be a sin to condemn Maria for asking something that Amy should have faced long ago. “Maria, baby,” Amy cried as reached for her daughter. “I am so sorry I got angry. Paul DeLuca for me, was a shadowy figure. I ran away from home to find freedom. Instead, in the commune I found a different kind of servitude. Service to the group, I ran away to find equality. At first I felt that I was making my own decisions. The newest members, the youngest members, they were the ones servitude fell hardest on. Go out into the community and ask for handouts. Beg, steal and offer yourself for the good of the group. Paul moved in and I think most of the commune was frightened of him. At first, I talked to him because he was someone new. Talking to Paul meant the rest of the commune made no demands on me.

Then one night, Paul came in and told me to be out front in five minutes. I crawled into the cab of Paul’s truck with very few belongings. I saw in the papers one morning, while eating breakfast, that the commune had been raided. The article listed a shipload of violations. I didn’t read any further. I would have been in the juvenile system, except for Paul. I didn’t ask and he didn’t tell what we had been running from. I quickly learned that Paul was a mystery. He didn’t have unlimited funds, but we always had enough to get through to the next day. No one asked me my age and I didn’t give it. He enrolled me in Night school in a program to get my GED. All the other students were older than I was, but someway Paul got me enrolled. Paul was like that. He could do anything. Somewhere along the line, we were married. When you came along, Paul did something strange. He demanded a paternity test and the results be kept with your records.

That was the first time I was angry with Paul. ‘You think I have been running around on you?’” I asked.

“No, but I don’t want anyone to doubt or challenge my paternity for Maria,” he answered. Just like that, he turned my anger away, making the test about you and him. We ended up in Roswell. My life with Paul was good, but it was difficult in Roswell. I was too young to be comfortable with the other married women and being married with a child, I couldn’t very well associate with those of my own age. The local sheriff had a son who was a pain in the butt. I don’t know why, but he pestered me every time he had a chance. I was 21 when DeLuca disappeared, not a note, not a call and no goodbyes. Everyone saw that a certain young mother, no longer had a man around. The sheriff tried to help, but I knew so little about Paul DeLuca that he couldn’t find out much. Maybe, that is when I noticed his son had a different attitude.

I was no virgin, I had a child. I, also, had a shady past and uncertain future. For awhile, I turned down all advances from anyone. I heard the sheriff’s son had gotten married a few years before Paul left. It wasn’t easy, but I was determined to not be a woman of convenience. The old sheriff helped a little. I don’t know where his son was. The community came together when I refused to take food stamps, but wanted a job. They all might have been a little embarrassed of me, but soon even they became protective. I don’t know why. People are like that sometimes, thankfully. The Parkers and the Whitmans both took care of you when I was working. Mr. Parker gave you a job the same time he employed his own daughter.

As time passed, my fear that something had happened to Paul gave way to the fact that Paul had left me. As this anger grew, I started to see Paul in a different light. Paul had gotten me pregnant while I was under-aged. I won’t say that I didn’t contribute. Paul was older, but not that much older. The mysteries about Paul gave way to some realities. Paul had always gone on many unexplained ventures. That is probably why I believed for so long that he would someday return. The old sheriff had given up. As far as he could see, there was no Paul DeLuca; no records, no history and no body. I couldn’t even say that I was a widow. I was just another abandoned woman, except that I wouldn’t accept that label. Paul, the skunk, could leave, but I would survive. I would survive and raise a daughter that he would have been proud of if he had remained. Until we finally got the letter of Paul DeLuca’s death and the word of our inheritance, Paul DeLuca was only a ghost. I still don’t know anything about him,” This was more about Maria’s father than her mother had given in Maria’s whole life.
Stories by Ken