06/13/2024

Some Crim

Track the Untold Stories

The Second Way by Albert Tucher

The Second Way by Albert Tucher

“So,” said Detective Ringnes, “he hired you and made his wife watch?”

Diana could think of things she’d rather do than sit across from him in this barely furnished interview room, but at least he was treating her as a witness. To a lot of cops she was a suspect no matter what.

“He didn’t make her,” she said. “She was into it.”

The detective’s eyes drilled into her. Men were welcome to stare when they paid for the privilege, but he wouldn’t appreciate a remark to that effect.

“How do you know?”

“I asked her. I always do when this scenario comes up. If I think he’s pushing her into it, I say no.”

“That’s PC of you.”

“I’m a businesswoman. I control my risks, and pissed-off wives are a risk.”

“How did this couple find you?”

“Word of mouth.”

“You didn’t ask who they came from?”

“No.”

She hadn’t asked, because she knew who had referred the couple to her. She just didn’t plan to out another woman in the business to the cops.

“Tell me what happened,” he said.

“You know more than I do. They were both fine when I left.”

“But as far as we know, you’re the last one to see them.”

“I still don’t get how I can help.”

Ringnes was still staring. She still refused to look away.

“It’s interesting, because she says you got into it too.”

“How would she know?”

“She said she could tell it was real, and it seemed to matter to her. Why would that be?”

“I have no idea.”

“But is she right?”

Diana shrugged.

“I thought hookers didn’t come with clients. Against your religion.”

“I don’t have a religion.”

“Was he hot?”

“I’m starting to think I should charge you for this discussion.”

“Something isn’t adding up,” said Ringes. “I need to know what it is.”

“He definitely wasn’t hot. Even if he was, that’s when I’m extra careful about not getting involved.”

She thought back to the client plowing her in the marital bed, and his wife sitting on a chair and locking eyes with her. Kind of like Ringnes, only different.

Very different.

“It was like she was telling me, come on, come on, you can do it. For both of us.”

“And that’s what brought it on?”

“Something did, and that’s all I can think of.”

“Interesting.”

“I don’t see how.”

“No history of domestic abuse there. You say she was into it, and yet she stabbed him. And she won’t say why.”

“What does he say?”

“Nothing.”

“He’s dead?”

“She got him right in the heart.”

“Like I said, after I left.”

“Give me your best guess.”

“You won’t believe it.”

“Try me.”

“Okay, Once in a while I get off with a client, but it’s a mistake to let it happen.”

“Why?”

“Two basic ways it can go wrong. The first way, I come, and the client doesn’t like it. He’s just put his money down, and he thinks the hour should be about him.”

“Does he have a point?”

“Probably.”

“The second way?”

“I get off, and the client likes it too much.”

“He thinks he’s such a stud, why does he have to pay you?”

“Exactly. So he’s bragging to his wife that he did it, and she says…”

Ringnes was nodding along with her, and he jumped in.

“…She says no, she did. Holy shit.”

“Exactly. They’re arguing over who made a hooker come.”  

“And it got so heated that somebody died. Who says there’s nothing new under the sun?”

She decided the time was right.

“So did I earn a marker here, next time I come into your territory?”

“If you tell anybody, I’ll deny it.”

“Wouldn’t dream of it,” she said. “You know, I’m thinking I’ll pitch this to the true crime shows.”

“I’ve heard that about you. What’s your favorite show?”

Cops all knew about her. It had stopped surprising her years ago.

Snapped. Definitely.”

“What the hell. Give it a shot.”