This story contains sexually explicit scenes.
Moe swung his legs over the side of the bed and snuck a peek back at Mona. She slept on her belly like a newborn, fist balled under her chin, blanket clenched in her fingers. He was getting used to having her beside him when he woke up.
He brushed a strand of fire red hair from her eyes. Damn! She was gorgeous. He considered slipping back under the cover and snuggling close to her creamy soft body. But she needed her sleep. Today would be her first day back at work.
Instead, he crept to the front room, sat bare-assed on the leather chair, and poured himself a shot of bourbon. Yesterday’s Cincinnati Enquirer was spread across the desk where he’d left it when Mona had coaxed him to bed the night before. The headlines were mostly election results. Roosevelt winning an unprecedented third term. Martin Davey winning state governor. And a newcomer, Grayson, winning the councilman slot left open by the death of Karl Boch. But on page four, a whole column was devoted to the trial of one Gustav Brady, a known thug that went by the name of Gus.
In the weeks since Boch’s death, Danja Bittners had spent endless hours cozying up to Detective Jansen and spilling everything she knew. A lot of nighttime dinners led Moe to believe Danja and Jansen were talking about a lot more than Nazis, diamonds, and murder. To each his own. At least Danja’s testimony had been enough to clear Moe of all charges.
Gus caved easily once he found out Al had skipped town without him. He and Danja knew enough about the diamond scheme to connect it to an international conspiracy to control the diamond market. Both the United States and Germany were trying to get their hands on the world’s diamond supply. Diamonds were the only things hard enough to stamp out the millions of precision parts that were necessary for mass-producing airplane engines, torpedoes, tanks, artillery and the other weapons of war. Without the diamonds, the war machine would slow to a halt. Peter Schmidt and Karl Boch were just little fish in a big pond.
Gus also sang like a canary about the deaths of Maxwell Singer and Rolf Metzger. Boch had ordered them. Al was the trigger man. Gus was too dumb for anyone to mistrust his version of events. The trial was a rubber stamp. Gus would spend some time behind bars, painting his share of license plates. Al’s ugly mug would be seen at post offices all around the nation.
The last time Moe saw Danja was in the hallway of the municipal building at Gus’s trial. She asked after Mona.
“Hello, Moe. Is Miss Dale all right?”
“She will be.” Moe didn’t bother to tell Danja that Mona didn’t remember a lot of what had happened, and Mona liked it that way.
The silence between them was awkward before Danja spoke up again. “Do you ever see Kitty Winslow?”
“Our paths cross from time-to-time.”
“Are you going to tell her about Peter? You know he really did love her.”
“Nah. What good would come from it?” Moe said. “So she can grieve the rest of her life over something that was never meant to be?”
Danja’s attorney had called for her and she had rushed off. Moe doubted he’d see her again. She hadn’t even said good-bye.
Moe slugged back the shot of bourbon, crumpled up the newspaper, and tossed it in the trashcan.
Maybe he’d go back to bed after all.
Rough Cut originally appeared in Ruthie’s Club http://www.ruthiesclub.com/
Copyright © 2004 by Desdmona.