“Two weeks later Pannunzio himself received two blasts fired at point plank range from two double barreled sawed off Lupa shotguns. One blast obliterated Pannunzio’s face and half his head, the other shot put a big, raw opening in the center of his chest. Speculation was that two members of the mob who didn’t like the idea of Pannunzio’s pretension to being boss executed him. No witnesses could be found.
“A week later the shooters of Pannunzio were themselves killed in a speakeasy on the eastern edge of the Italian neighborhood. The bartender, who received minor wounds from flying glass, described the shooter as a tall, solidly built man, maybe six feet six inches who was no stranger to hard, physical work. His dark curly hair combed straight back and on his upper lip he had an old fashioned handlebar mustache, the ends waxed into tight curled points. He was also surrounded by the heavy aroma of garlic. That description ‘fit half the men in the neighborhood.’ the bartender said. The killer was never caught,” I finished reading the article.
“With Prohibition soon likely to be the law of the land the Primrose Hotel owners must have planned on building a speakeasy in the sub-basement and install the hidden elevator,” I said.
“How did they build the secret elevator and the sub-basement without either being on any plans or specifications?” Lyons asked. “And how come none of the inspectors ever came across it while they were on site? They certainly would’ve never allowed a sub-basement with only one small hidden elevator as the only means of egress.”
“You forget the brick tunnel. Somebody must have gotten bribed and bribed well,” I said.
“A lot of somebodies must have gotten bribed well to keep this speakeasy secret,” Lyons said.
“It makes you think,” I started, “that with all this bribe money floating around that nobody blabbed. Why didn’t somebody say something after Prohibition ended or after all these years?” Lyon’s answer, a simple shrug.
“I wonder if there was any mob money involved with the Primrose Hotel?” I said.
“I wouldn’t doubt it,” Lyons said.
“I thought Vanessa and I would do interviews first then the library searches then, if necessary, reinterview or we’ll just play it by ear,” I said.
“That would probably be a big help but how else are you going to solve this mystery? There are no clues to investigate. It’s all going to be picking the old timer’s brains, what’s left of them,” Lyons said.
“Damned if I know.”
“You don’t know much, do ya?” Lyons said.
“I know it’s time to call it a day,” I said We closed up the office.
I continued to read from the computer. “The law finally was given a weapon they could use against organized crime when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that bootleggers had to file Federal Income Tax returns and they could not plead their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination as a reason for not filing. Income tax evasion would become the number one and most effective tool in the governments arsenal of weapons in fighting organized crime. In reality,” I postulated, “all the government had to prove is that the criminal spent more money than he reported as income on his tax return. Ergo, he’s evading taxes by under declaring his taxable income. As it turned out that’s all the government could prove against Al Capone after years of investigating.” We read for another two hours.
“All this studying is making me hungry is it time for lunch recess yet teacher?” Lyons asked, his tongue in his cheek
“Let’s go downstairs and and get a sandwich,” I said
“Do we have to line up and hold hands like we did when we were in the second grade?” Lyons asked.
“The only reason your class had to hold hands was because you tended to get lost walking down the hallway,” I said, giving him a grimaced look and he just grinned back with that silly look he’s given me on so many occasions.
“Let’s go.” We each took a book with us.
We took an empty booth by the windows that allowed plenty of sunlight to stream in illuminating the books in front of us. Shelly came over with the menus. “What would you guys like to drink?” She asked. We ordered Diet Cokes.
I looked at Debbie when we entered. She looked back with a blank expression on her face. Lyons caught Debbie’s expression.
“Have you decided what you wanted yet?” Shelly asked after she set the drinks on the table. We both ordered bacon cheeseburgers, lettuce, tomato and mayo with sides of fries.
“It seems that Debbie no longer has the hots for you. She’s barely noticed that you even walked in,” Lyons said after Shelly took the order to the grill.
I then proceeded to tell him about my conversation with Tom Forsythe. “Vanessa’s going and she’ll also be issued a concealed carry and a badge.” “I could use a Pennsylvania concealed carry,” Lyons said, then pointing to the stack of books on the desk, he asked, “Homework?” “I thought I’d do some research on Prohibition before Vanessa and I go back to the Primrose Hotel. Maybe we’ll find something that’ll be of help,” I said. Lyons reached for one of the library books, sat in one of my client chairs laid the book on his lap, sipped his coffee and thumbed through the pages. He stopped thumbing and read aloud for a minute. “In Europe and in Colonial America at the time, alcohol was far safer to drink than the water. The water had all sorts of bacteria from farm runoff, animal and human wastes. Making alcohol involved boiling water which sterilized the bacteria,” Lyons said. I Googled Prohibition and clicked on the top website on the list and read from the screen. “…That with all the plentiful and available alcohol drunkenness was rampant. Even before the Civil War, temperance groups, such as Carrie Nation, her hatchet and the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, inveighed against the uncontrolled drunkenness and wanted to ban alcohol.” “It seems that it wasn’t the alcohol the temperance people were against, but the drunkenness the alcohol caused,” Lyons said. “It seems that way,” I said. “Carrie Nation had a mentally retarded son. She blamed her alcoholic husband for her son’s mental condition. A hundred or so years later Prohibition was the law of the land.” Lyons grabbed another donut and said, “that’s like blaming the car for a accident involving a drunk driver or blaming the gun for somebody getting shot. And I thought that was a modern concept.” He went back to his book and read silently while I surfed another website.I then proceeded to tell him about my conversation with Tom Forsythe. “Vanessa’s going and she’ll also be issued a concealed carry and a badge.” “I could use a Pennsylvania concealed carry,” Lyons said, then pointing to the stack of books on the desk, he asked, “Homework?” “I thought I’d do some research on Prohibition before Vanessa and I go back to the Primrose Hotel. Maybe we’ll find something that’ll be of help,” I said. Lyons reached for one of the library books, sat in one of my client chairs laid the book on his lap, sipped his coffee and thumbed through the pages. He stopped thumbing and read aloud for a minute. “In Europe and in Colonial America at the time, alcohol was far safer to drink than the water. The water had all sorts of bacteria from farm runoff, animal and human wastes. Making alcohol involved boiling water which sterilized the bacteria,” Lyons said. I Googled Prohibition and clicked on the top website on the list and read from the screen. “…That with all the plentiful and available alcohol drunkenness was rampant. Even before the Civil War, temperance groups, such as Carrie Nation, her hatchet and the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, inveighed against the uncontrolled drunkenness and wanted to ban alcohol.” “It seems that it wasn’t the alcohol the temperance people were against, but the drunkenness the alcohol caused,” Lyons said. “It seems that way,” I said. “Carrie Nation had a mentally retarded son. She blamed her alcoholic husband for her son’s mental condition. A hundred or so years later Prohibition was the law of the land.” Lyons grabbed another donut and said, “that’s like blaming the car for a accident involving a drunk driver or blaming the gun for somebody getting shot. And I thought that was a modern concept.” He went back to his book and read silently while I surfed another website.
The aroma of the freshly brewed coffee dripping into the the glass carafe under my Mr. Coffee machine permeated the air in my office and demanded that I refill my mug, which I gladly did. I finished the bacon egg and cheese on a bagel sandwich I bought downstairs at ‘The Diner’ and washed it down with a long pull on my coffee. The bagel sandwich left me still hungry.
I looked up and saw the silhouette of a muscular person through the frosted glass of the top half of my office door before I heard the sound of the door doorknob being turned. My hand automatically went to my right top desk drawer where I kept my .45. Last year I had to kill Paulie Molinaro, self deluded organized crime badass who barged through my door intent on killing me. Lyons and I sort of forced him into the position where he had to defend his honor. He barged into my office and took the time to shout at me before firing. It was just enough time for me to pull my .45 from the drawer and put two in his chest. He bled out on my new rug. I still have his bullet holes in my desk and wall behind my head where he missed. I had to replace the rug. Since then, I developed the habit when I’m in the office of leaving the top right drawer of my desk open with the .45 laying so I could grab it without having to rearrange either the gun or my hand before gripping it. At the sound of the latch opening, I wrapped my fist around my .45 and raised it as the door swung open.
Luckily I didn’t have to shoot. It was Lyons. Better still, he had a box of Dunkin’ Donuts under his arm. I don’t know which of the two was a more welcome sight. I guess, if the truth be known because I was still hungry from the sandwich, I think it was the donuts. If I wasn’t hungry, it would have been Lyons. Lyons is my best friend and is always welcome, the donuts made him even more welcome. I pointed to the coffee pot and he poured himself a mug. Lyons wore his usual work attire, bluejeans, a collard knit golf shirt, this time a Kelly green one with a yellow alligator over the left breast and his usual black steel toed, low quartered work shoes.
I put my hands on the sides of her breasts, my fingers at her back and pulled her close and kissed her deeply. I moved my hands around her back and slid my fingers tips under the waistband of her skirt. I moved my finger tips to the back center and found the button. I unfastened the button that held her skirt secure and very slowly, sensuously lowered the zipper a tooth at a time. I slid my fingers around to her hips. Again I put my index fingers inside the waistband of her skirt and gently worked it down over her hips. She wiggled her hips slowly assisting the skirt over them. The skirt fell to the floor. I took her hand in mine and helped her step out of the fallen skirt pooled around her ankles.
My beautiful red haired, green eyed wife stood in front of me wearing only her sheer flesh colored silk bra, matching thong panties and garter belt; dark stockings, black Jimmie Choo stilettos and a broad smile. My wife is the most beautiful woman I have ever had the pleasure of gazing upon.
Vanessa leaned into me and kissed me deeply. She covered my chest with the palms of her hands. Then slowly, sensually moved her hands to the bottom sides of my knit golf shirt, gripped the bottom and slowly pulled it up over my head. She slid her hands again down the front of my chest and continued slowly to the bottom sides of my tee shirt. She pulled it up over my head as she had with the golf shirt. Vanessa dragged her fingernails down my bare chest sending a tingle up and down my spine. The pressure of her nails left red scratch marks down my chest. A quick flick of her wrist was all it took to unbuckle my belt when she reached my waist. She slowly lowered my fly.
Vanessa can be a very uninhibited lover and tonight she showed no inhibitions at all inserting her hand into my opened fly. Her fingertips grazed my responsive maleness. I reciprocated and slid my hand into the front of her thong. Our breathing became more hurried, our hands exploring each other’s body, more frantic. Vanessa moaned as my fingertips touched her womanhood and…
We had passed the point of no return and hurriedly tore the rest of each other’s clothes off. We stood before each other as naked as God made us, a modern day Adam and Eve. We fell into each other’s arms and held each other close. I could feel the warmth of her body on my bare skin, the softness of her full breasts pressed against my chest. Our lips locked on each other’s. With our arms around each other and our lips pressed together, we lowered ourselves to the living room carpet of our own Garden of Eden.
There are times when I can be just as uninhibited as Vanessa. Tonight was one of those times.
“Deputy badges and concealed carry. Hot damn,” Vanessa said. I’d been taking Vanessa to the gun range with me for several months now and during that time she has become a accurate shooter. She also became very good at field stripping and cleaning her own gun. I gave her a small Smith and Wesson .38 caliber automatic that fits comfortably in her hand.
Our dinners arrived and we ate each alone in our own thoughts. Or at least I was deep in thought about a skeleton.
We sat and had a quiet after dinner liqueur followed by coffee and a lot of hand holding and caressing fingers while we talked about everything in general and nothing in specific. Neither of us wanted to leave. I grinned at Vanessa and she grinned back. I paid the check, and as my usual, overtipped. We walked home hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder. Our pace quickened as we neared the front door of our apartment.
I unlocked the front door and we stepped into the living room. Using my foot, I gently closed the door behind us. I wrapped my arms around Vanessa and she wrapped her arms around me. I kissed her deeply. She kissed me back. I held her in my left arm while I took my right hand and caressed her soft, smooth cheek. I reached up under the shoulders of her suit jacket with both hands and slipped it from her shoulders letting it slide down her arms and pool on the floor behind her. Our lips met again. The wide frilly bow at the collar of her silk blouse magically came unknotted with a few flicks of my fingertips. I put my fingers on the top button of her blouse under her chin and slowly unbuttoned it. Vanessa stood submissively with her arms at her sides. When the button unfastened, I dropped to the next button, then the next and the next until the blouse was open exposing her silky lace bra and its bountiful contents. Vanessa started breathing heavily. I slipped the blouse from her shoulders as I did the suit jacket and let it slide down her arms to the floor on top of her suit jacket.
“Our client is accused of tax fraud. The IRS is on one of their usual witch hunts. They’ve been on a vendetta against our client for years ever since our client humiliated them in court a couple of years ago. They have avowed to stop at nothing to get him. The IRS is so far out on a limb this time. One of their agents is testifying to one thing and the very next agent’s testimony saws the limb off with the first agent sitting out there. The IRS attorney should be disbarred for incompetence. Our main witness, the client’s CPA, and a former IRS agent is making their agents look like idiots. The case should go the the jury tomorrow morning. It should be a slam dunk, but you never know for sure until the verdict is in and delivered. We are preparing a counter suit against the IRS for legal and accounting fee damages incurred in defending the government’s action, harassment and with a large chunk as punitive damages. The second case we settled out of court in our favor with a very nice fee. It was a good day,” Vanessa said. “How was your day?”
“Checked out the two pre-employment applications.” I told Vanessa the gist of my findings. “I reported the facts to the client, it’s his decision,” I said.
“That’s all you can do,” Vanessa said, with a shrug.
Erin brought the drinks and asked, “You ready to order?”
“We haven’t even looked at the menu,” I said.
“If you’d stop kissing long enough to look at the menus, I’d appreciate it,” Erin said, a wide grin on her face.
“Yes mother,” I said. Vanessa stifled a giggle. We looked at the menu and we both ordered steaks, medium rare and salad.
“I also called Tom Forsythe today,” I said, after Erin took our order to the kitchen. I told Vanessa the substance of my conversation with him. When I was finished…