The phone in the hotel room woke Kavanagh up, and he turned to reach for it and his cigarettes on the nightstand in what was still darkness preceding dawn. Encountering a prone body between him and the nightstand, though, he fumbled around long enough for the phone to stop ringing.
“Fuck,” he exclaimed.
“Yes, please,” a sleepy voice said, as a hand groped for his cock. He managed to reach the top of the nightstand with his hand, turned on the lamp there, and reached for his cigarettes and lighter. He lay back against the headboard, lit up, and looked down the length of his torso to where Kyle now was crouched, sucking his cock. They’d come a long way during the night. Kyle could now take most of the cock in his mouth without gagging and all the way to the hilt in his ass. He’d forever be one of the quickest graduates of Kavanagh’s “Breaking In” academy.
Kavanagh smoked the cigarette down to the butt while Kyle sucked him to an erection. Then, stubbing the butt out in an ashtray on the nightstand, he pushed Kyle over on his back[ came up on his knees between Kyle’s thighs; grabbed Kyle’s ankles, jerking the younger man’s legs apart and raising them; and pushed his knees under Kyle’s buttocks. As Kyle arched his back and groaned deeply, Kavanagh thrust strongly inside him and took him quickly and vigorously, adding fresh cum to that which had been deposited in Kyle’s passage repeatedly through the night.
As they had established in the coffee shop when Kavanagh’s rubber had failed him, there was no reason for them not to enjoy the delights of barebacking now.
Kavanagh had just finished taking Kyle a second time for the morning a half hour later when the phone rang again. This time Kavanagh was sitting on the side of the bed, Kyle in his lap, impaled on the cock, his torso arched back toward the carpet at Kavanagh’s direction and his hands gripping Kavanagh’s ankles. Kavanagh was pulling the young man’s channel on and off his cock. Both men were still enjoying a raw, skin-on-skin slide and the gushing of cum inside the channel. Kavanagh was steadily using more demanding positions with the fresh young waiter. He figured that by tonight, he could bind Kyle and start using toys with him.
The blast of Kavanagh’s load coincided with the ring of the telephone. He picked it up after signaling with a hand on Kyle’s belly that he was to stay where he was, and Kavanagh talked into the phone as he moved his hand to Kyle’s cock and masturbated him to an ejaculation.
“You think you can find the corner of Charles and Frenchmen on the other side of the Quarter from you?” No other introduction, but Kavanagh recognized the voice of Leon Monroe.
“Yea,” Kavanagh answered. “I was there last night.”
“Where and why?”
“Felippe’s Steak house. For a steak. What’s this about?”
“When were you there?”
“I don’t know. Around eight. Why?”
“Sweet jesuzz. Well, come on down. We’ve got another one going . . . well, gone. Marco and Felix are already here.”
“Another serial killing?”
“I’ll be there as soon as I can.” Kyle was reaching for his cock again, but Kavanagh gently pushed it away. “Can’t, sorry. The job calls. If I can, I’ll be there for closing again tonight.”
Kavanagh’s fellow detectives were gathered around a crumpled body behind a trash bin at the base of an alley wall when Kavanagh showed up. He’d gotten what had set Monroe into the wheres and whys as he walked up to the mouth of the alley and saw that the alley abutted the steakhouse he’d eaten at the previous evening, the table he’d eaten at abutting this very wall.
Felix was saying, “Just like the other three,” as Kavanagh arrived. He’d had his eye on the body and the scene as he approached. Gutted like the others; clown face painted on him, like the others. Dressed--or, rather undressed--like a rent-boy. But he’d discount that because this was how a lot of guys were undressed out there the previous night, the last one of the festival. This one looked more than vaguely familiar, and Kavanagh’s stomach turned over as he realized he’d both seen and talked to him the previous evening, near here.
“Not just like the others,” he said.
“How so?” asked Monroe, as he got off his haunches where he’d been going through a small gold shoulder purse, presumably, Kavanagh thought, the victim’s.
“He’s not a blond. He’s a redhead. It would be unusual for a serial killer to change his MO on something like that--not with all the young, blond rent-boys we had roaming this town last night.”
“And you saw them all?” Marco asked.
Both Kavanagh and Monroe gave the detective sergeant a sharp look, but he didn’t seem to be talking from any knowledge of Kavanagh’s proclivities.
“I saw enough of them. And I saw this one. Live and kicking and having himself a jolly time on the street. Obviously on the make last night. Not attached when I saw him.”
“And you know this how?” Felix asked.
Monroe interrupted where this conversation might have been headed. “Can you remember when and where you saw him, Mike?”
“Right over there, in the intersection. And it must have been about 8:00 p.m., just as I was coming to this steakhouse here.”
“That would match with the ME’s tentative time of death,” Monroe said. “He said shortly after eight. It must have happened right after you saw him. And you didn’t see him with anyone?”
“No. He claimed he wanted to be with me.”
Both Marco and Felix gave him a questioning look, but he didn’t expand on that. It didn’t seem to set any bells off either, though. Both could see that Kavanagh was a great-looking guy. It was plausible that a drunken street reveler would hit on him on the street during the festivities.
“Do we know who he is?” Kavanagh asked.
“We know if the ID he was carrying in this purse is his, and he does match the photo,” Monroe answered. “And Felix just had the name matched with a job. You’re gonna love this. He worked for the Fifth Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. He was the law clerk to Justice Jim Peters. Ring any bells with you?”
“Yeah. We seem to be driving down one lane here. We have any more information here?” Kavanagh wasn’t too happy with himself at this moment. If he’d pressed in on Peters yesterday maybe they wouldn’t have another young dead blond on their list today. But he wasn’t any more comfortable today on how this was panning out than he had been yesterday.
“Nope,” Marco said. “Cause of death seems obvious. We’ll have to see if the autopsy gives us anything.”
“The ME will have to see if he can lift any off the body.”
“No, I mean on the scene.”
“In a dirty alley like this?” It was Monroe who asked that question.
“Off the wall there,” Kavanagh said. The other three turned and looked at the alley wall. There were two discernible palm and fingertip prints against the wall at about head level. Between them, sparkly pieces of gold glitter were in the process of flaking off and falling to the base of the wall. Kavanagh didn’t have to explain what had caused that pattern.
* * * *
Back at the station, Kavanagh reviewed what they had--or, rather, what he could put together with the extra data he had. It didn’t seem enough for a search warrant. The report on the fingerprints on the alley wall wouldn’t be back for a couple of days even with the rush they’d put on them. The silence around him was deafening, as if the whole city was holding its breath, waiting for him to do something to prevent another death. Listening to the silence he realized that there was no background noise. For three days the sounds of bands and the celebrations of milling crowds had been audible everywhere, nearly all the time. The festival was over. Somewhere in his mind, Kavanagh was thinking that the serial killings were irrevocably connected to the All Fools’ Day festival and might just fade away now with the festival being over--ending short of the police finding the killer.
That was intolerable. The killer must be caught and must pay.
Something wrong with this latest kill--a redhead rather than a blond--Kavanagh was thinking as he let his hands stir around in the paperwork on his desk. He brushed some files aside and frowned. How long had these reports been here, he wondered. When had he asked for background files on the people at the Fifth Circuit Court offices? Had it just been yesterday? It seemed like yesterday was months ago.
He picked up the files. The stack was pretty heavy. Someone had done a lot of information gathering in such a short time. He doubted that Brent would have been this thorough, and then he castigated himself for criticizing a dead man. Just the same, Brent wasn’t the fastest or most comprehensive of researchers. He began going through the files. They included medical files, including any known visits to shrinks. Kavanagh had no idea how the research had gotten his or her hands on those, but he was grateful they had.
An hour later he now was sure. He wrote down a name on a slip of paper. He’d promised Monroe he’d do that. There wouldn’t be much that could be done through the legal system as everyone wanted. Such a pity about Alba, he thought. His medical records showed that, in addition to being in delicate mental balance, he, physically, already was a dead man walking--not just the heart troubles, but diabetes, high blood pressure, and a drinking problem. He probably would have died before he could get confirmed for the U.S. Supreme Court. But maybe not before more of his past came out in testimony. And that apparently had made all of the difference.
His desk phone rang, and, still looking through files, he absentmindedly picked it up.
He recognized the voice and was all ears now. He also suddenly was in the mood to hear from this guy. “Yes?”
“It’s Paul Worth. Justice Alba’s law clerk.”
“Yes. May I help you? Do you have something you’ve remembered about the justice’s death?”
“No, not really. I . . . I just wondered if you might be free this afternoon. I . . . I’d just like to see you. When we met the other day, I thought . . . well, if I’m misjudging, I’m sorry. You were pretty direct in what you said.”
“You aren’t misjudging. I’d like to see you too. Where are you?”
“At my apartment. At Justice Alba’s apartment.”
“What are you wearing?” Kavanagh had always wanted to use that line. Now he had.
There was an intake of breath on the other end of the line. “Excuse me?”
“I don’t want to waste the trip,” Kavanagh said. “I just want to be quite clear why you called--what you want from me. You want to fuck.”
“I’m wearing practically nothing but a smile,” Worth answered.
“I’ll be over as soon as I can get there.”
He rose from his desk and went into the Homicide section. He could see through the glass walls of Captain Monroe’s office that the unit chief was there. He was on the phone, but he put his hand over the mouthpiece when Kavanagh came in. “Good, you’re here. I was just about to come get you.” He voice was somber and Kavanagh’s heart skipped a couple of beats. He looked at the slip of paper in his hand. Was he too late again? He handed the paper to Monroe.
“It’s Felix,” Monroe said, not looking at the note. “He and Marco tracked down Jim Peters to inform him of Cary Ulster’s death. They found him at his house, dead. A self-imposed gunshot under the chin, it seems. There’s a suicide note. He admits to it all.”
“I’m not the least bit surprised,” Kavanagh said, his voice heavy. “I just wished I’d figured it out sooner.”
* * * *
If Kavanagh hadn’t been prepared for something like that when he entered the foyer to the apartment house on St. Charles where Justice Alba’s apartment was, he’d probably have been a dead man. As he got to the foot of the wide-step marble circular staircase up to Alba’s apartment, Paul Worth came screaming out from under the stairs, swinging a machete. Kavanagh sidestepped the attack, doubled Worth up with a fist to the belly, and followed up with a lights-out punch to the face.
When Worth came to, his ankles were handcuffed and trapped behind Kavanagh’s waist as Kavanagh sat at the foot of Alba’s bed, naked. Worth, also naked was impaled on Kavanagh’s cock, faced down, his torso streaming down to the carpet. His wrists were handcuffed behind his back, and his face was smashed into the carpet by Kavanagh’s feet.
The law clerk would have been screaming bloody murder if he could have done so through the ball gag in his mouth. His concern wasn’t just that Kavanagh had a thick, long, hard cock pounding in his ass--with Worth usually being a top rather than a bottom. It was also because Kavanagh was churning a dildo in Worth’s ass at the same time.
When Worth had gone limp and passed out and Kavanagh had had his ejaculatory way with him, Kavanagh pushed Worth’s body to the floor, went into Alba’s bathroom to take a quick shower, put his clothes back on, and went down to the foyer to where Leon Monroe was standing, holding a slip of paper with the name “Paul Worth” on it and the added phrase, “Both cases.”
“He’s all yours now,” Kavanagh said as he passed Monroe and kept on walking out of the apartment house and back toward the French Quarter.
Monroe had promised Kavanagh that, regardless of any City Hall cover up, he would take care of bringing the perpetrator of the serial killings to justice personally. All Kavanagh had to do was to write the name of the killer on a slip of paper and give it to him. Kavanagh had now done that.
As he walked back toward the French Quarter Kavanagh ran the cases over in his mind. He knew that when he was briefed on the death of Justice Peters, he’d been told that evidence in both cases would be found at Peter’s apartment: the pillow case used to smother Alba--at the brothel rather than at his apartment--the makeup used to put the clown faces on the rent-boy victims, probably even whatever costume Worth had used to be able to get close to his victims on the street during the festival celebrations, and the damning, but forced confession. The only thing Worth had kept back was the machete he’d disemboweled his victims with--and had almost done the same for Kavanagh. Once Worth sensed he was in danger--most likely because he had, in fact, seen Kavanagh at the brothel the night he killed Alba and recognized him when Kavanagh came to the apartment the next day--he started looking for a patsy. He also mulled the necessity to off Kavanagh as well, which he ultimately had decided to do.
Common sense said that Worth planned to stay with the Fifth Circuit Court and take the job of Peters’ law clerk if Peters wasn’t fingered for the deaths of Alba and the rent-boys. Cary Ultster wasn’t killed for the same reason the rent-boys were--all young men who would have been Worth if he hadn’t aged out of what they were and resented it deeply, as evidenced by what was in his medical files on his visits to a psychiatrist. Ulster was killed so that Worth could take his job if Peters wasn’t convicted of the deaths.
Kavanagh’s instincts about Peters had been on the money. Yes, he had motive to kill Alba to prevent his sexual past with the other justice from coming out in the U.S. Supreme Court appointment hearings. But Worth had that same motive. And evidence against Peters was just too convenient and pushed too hard at Kavanagh--too much effort had been put into encouraging Kavanagh to grab at a convenient solution and to play the fool.
Worth had even purposely botched setting the death scene in the apartment--not removing the bra or all of the makeup and putting the sleeping trousers on backwards--so the police would know it was murder and so he could pass the blame on Peters, whose apartment had been salted with the pillow used to smother Alba. What he hadn’t counted on was Kavanagh seeing him at the real murder scene--the brothel--which made mincemeat of the cover story he had devised for the evening of Alba’s death, which, nonplused he nevertheless had spun for Kavanagh.
In the end it may have been Alba’s death struggle, the splitting of his fingernails in his effort to fight off the killer, that had set Worth on a desperate cover-up option. That was the real evidence that Alba hadn’t gone naturally and willingly into the last sleep.
The anonymous phone call was just too much and had been what had turned Kavanagh’s thought away from Peters and toward Worth. Kavanagh hadn’t been in New Orleans long enough to give his desk phone number out to many people. These were his first cases here. He’d only given his address card to Worth and to Sam 4 at the brothel. The law clerk was one of only two people who would know to call that telephone. Just fifty-fifty until everything else pointing to Worth was added in.
The demented young man had just tried too hard to fool Kavanagh. April fools back at him.
Kavanagh was sure in his mind it was Worth before he gave the man’s name to Monroe. He believed without a doubt that Monroe would take justice in his own hands as he said he would--and the old-style New Orleans cop had probably done so before. There was no doubt he did it in this circumstance. Worth disappeared without a trace, and, as Worth had not lied, that the Fifth Circuit Court and Alba had been his only family for some time, there was no one to wonder what had happened to him.
Still Kavanagh held his breath until a week later and the result came back on the finger and palm prints on the alley wall where Cary Ulster had died. They belonged to Paul Worth of course. So, as a serial killer, he wasn’t all that brilliant after all.
The mystery of the disappearance of Madame Zena and Sam 4--or at least of Madame Zena--unhappily was solved several weeks later when parts of the madam were extracted from the belly of an alligator killed in a bayou on the Mississippi Delta. Undoubtedly, Madam Zena had been aware of the death of Alba in the brothel and Sam 4 had been the “other” man Kavanagh had seen with Worth trundling the justice’s body into the back of the black Escalade SUV. Worth had then just quickly cleaned up those loose ends.
It didn’t take Kyle long to bring himself up to Kavanagh’s bondage and rough sex preference level, with Kavanagh, in turn, learning to be more solicitous of the pleasure of the young man he was riding. When the detective returned to New York, the cute young blond waiter was the one thing Kavanagh would miss about New Orleans--he certainly wouldn’t miss the noise and crowds that went with the All Fools’ Day festival on the days surrounding the 1st of April.