Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language, violence, and mature content.
Mrs. Johnson looked out into the distance as she made her floral remark. Winslow could see her mind wandering off to some peaceful, happy place that would protect her from this interrogation. He moved to the love seat across the way, carefully taking her hand and attempting to console her by saying, “Whatever happened, I will try my best to keep it out of the press - I know what rascals and hounds those papers can be about the slightest bit of scandalous information.”
“Are you speaking from experience, Detective Smith?” The widow asked while accepting his outstretched hand.
“I do have a lot of experiences to speak from, ma’am.”
This time, the detective was voluntary in letting silence fall over the room. After the exit of the Johnson’s maid, Winslow found himself in the company of an equally troubled soul. He hoped, pushing all of his suspicions about Queenie to the side, that she was not the murder and perhaps one day they could be friends. Even with their sharp divide on the social classes.
He let go of her hand to retrieve his cigarette that was waiting in the tray and again approached the thought of the experiences he could reflect upon. A particular moment of his life came to mind as he recalled, “I once had a relationship with a man who was a rising young star. And with my fear of being involved in a scandal, as I watched what happened to those who were forced out of their wardrobes.”
Queenie tightened her grip on his hand with a gentle amount of pressure. Winslow had forgotten what it was like to be in the company of other people who understood his pain.
“Just so you know, Queenie, so I won’t waste your time - I broke that young man’s heart and my own.”
“Why would you do such a thing?” She asked after a gasp, pausing soon after to search for her own tray stored cigarette. “I mean…I understand your fears but love is supposed to be able to conquer those fears. Was your situation so risky?”
As she asked the simple question, the detective felt his memories flashing back to that fateful night. Georg had been such a beautiful man, so loving and so full of life, and that is exactly why Winslow had to break his heart. They were both nineteen at the time with Winslow being a covert agent of the government and Georg being a suspected rebel. That Lieutenant Smith had had a distaste for the bigoted operation of the government and took his time in New York to be devoted to partying and sex. And with Georg it was a lot of good sex.
“Winslow, it looks like you’re lost in a very happy memory but you came here to ask me about something very terrible. Did you want to ask me anymore questions about my husband and my butler? Or may I go now to console my Lily?”
The detective certainly had more questions for her and felt angry that she had insisted on this private meeting, and then wanted to leave so soon. He flipped his notebook back and forth in his hands while trying to think of an answer. After another minute had passed by the count of the clock on the wall, the detective simply tucked his notebook away while explaining, “If you want to meet in private another time, we can finish the interview then. I know that you’ve been through a lot in the past few days.”
The widow simply nodded as she extinguished her cigarette, wrapped her robes back around her body, and nearly strutted out into the hall. Winslow was left sitting there to wonder how much of her emotions were an act. Since the moment they had been introduced the detective knew that Mrs. Johnson was most likely the killer. With Sean, she also had something to do with his death but he couldn’t be sure if she actually slit the butler’s wrists or not. If someone with access to the household had killed the butler, it would be limited to a mass of only twenty and only two of them were for sure in the house on that evening.
The soft clicks of patrol boots in the doorway caused Winslow to look up from his internal journey to see Abe standing in the doorway. His somewhat friend walked across the hardwood with gentle steps and sunk onto the well used couch beside Winslow. A hand was gently reaching around Winslow’s shoulder as Officer Morgan’s soft voice asked, “Is there anything I can do for you, Winslow?”
His other hand moved to lifting up Winslow’s chin and giving the detective a quick kiss. The officer’s tongue slipped between Winslow’s lips as the detective felt his internal conflict rising. He had turned Morgan down on multiple occasions after once taking advantage of the officer, but now it seemed Morgan was repaying him. Winslow had just begun to be happy with James, no matter how fresh their relationship was.
The detective just couldn’t deny the fact that Abe was a good kisser. He let them be locked together for a few more seconds before pulling away.
“You’ve met someone else,” Abe said in an absolutely flat voice. There was no question as the officer reclined on the velvet sofa and looked up at Winslow. “You don’t have to be limited to one man, Winslow.”
The detective remembered their months earlier conversations about polyamory. Abe knew very well that Winslow had not approached the officer because he felt predatory, and having felt the man’s embrace once more, Winslow felt even more gross. The first time they had kissed had been the detective misreading the signals and Morgan being a seemingly hungry slut.
“I’m not going to limit myself to one man, Abe, but I can’t give you what you want while we’re at a crime scene.”
“Where can you give me that treatment, sir?”
“Not in my car because I have to drive a friend home and not in my apartment,” the detective answered while gathering up his coat. He had accidentally forgotten about the status of Reggie while attempting to have a heart to heart with the widow. The detective leaned in on Officer Morgan, whispering in his ear, “If you can wait a few days, I’ll give you the ride of your life, baby.”