2. The Green Madonna

by Paddy Killeen

THE AUTHOR
In an effort to blend reality with fiction the author and the protagonist are essentially one and the same. Their oneness is reflected in their choices, their backgrounds and their obvious dislike for the conventional.

This series of stories, although based in Ireland, often takes the reader to other exotic locations, both real and imaginary, where intriguing mysteries unfold and romantic liaisons are ignited. The language in these titillating tales, which average 10,000 words, is often profane and the sexual encounters are described in great detail.

ACTING LIKE 007

Occasionally clients choose to call on me personally, climbing the 16 steps to my little office over the charity store, on George’s Street, Dun Laoghaire. Others make contact by snail mail, email and some by phone. Therefore I found it unusual when a man in dark glasses approached me while lunching at Jack and Brenda’s Bar.

He came in, looked around furtively and then went over to the bar and had a word with Jack. I saw them both glancing in my direction but I paid little attention to it until the man walked over and sat at my table. There were a number of others empty and so I wondered what was so special about mine.

It’s not actually my table but I always sit there. All the locals know that it’s got my name on it and they wouldn’t think of using it, even when I’m not there. If the President of Ireland himself popped in for a few Guinness and tried to take my spot, he’d be met with a chorus of, “that’s Paddy’s table.”

Obviously, Jack had pointed me out but I’m sure he didn’t tell him to plonk his big fat ass across from me.

“You’re Paddy Killeen are you not?” he opened up, looking around to make sure no one else was in earshot.

“I am,” I said, continuing to eat my steak and onion pie.

“I have a job for you.”

“Well I don’t usually discuss business while I’m eating lunch,” I replied, “why don’t you meet me in my office at one o’clock, it’s just over the street above the charity store.”

He didn’t seem impressed with my cavalier attitude and told me he didn’t want to be seen going into my office. I didn’t know if that was because it was a bit of a shithole or he didn’t want to be seen going into the office of a private investigator in general.

“Look,” he mumbled, hardly using his lips, “my car is parked on Park Road, it’s a green Mercedes, I’ll meet you there at one.”

He didn’t give me the chance to agree, he just got up and left. After Brenda had served me a generous helping of steam pudding with custard, I sauntered out onto George’s Street and part way down Park Road until I located the car in question. The motor was running and I was about to tap on the window when I suddenly realized it was a woman sitting in the driver’s seat, not the man in the Foster Grants.

She was on her cell phone nodding like one of those dogs in the rear window of a car, but she stopped immediately when I caught her eye. Rolling down the window she called out, “Mr. Killeen?” ducking her head down to get a good look at me.

She turned out to be a very attractive woman who I judged to be in her early thirties. I was a bit hesitant in my reply because all this cloak and dagger stuff was getting to be a bit silly. However, never having been able to refuse a request originating from a pair of full red lips, I opened the door and slipped in beside her.

She extended her hand, “I’m Aoibhinn Ni Siodhachain.” (Pronounced Ay-veen Nee she ah kkan)

I took that slender manicured hand and caressed it in my rather large well-worn paw. For a moment we were looking directly into each other’s eyes. Hers were blue, very blue, as blue as the sapphire earrings she wore that day. She was fashion model material with a lot of sophistication but I could sense she had a touch of ruthlessness which made her even more interesting.

“How was the lunch,” she inquired, breaking my grasp, putting the car into gear, and moving down towards the seafront, “I’m not used to being kept waiting while people finish their lunch.”

“You’ve obviously never got stuck into one of Brenda’s steak and onion pies, or you’d understand,” I said.

A faint smile appeared on her lips, “you have a lot of confidence in yourself don’t you?”

“It’s a necessary requirement in my line of work.”

“I’m sure it is,” she said, with a hint of sarcasm in her voice.

Getting a bit impatient with the trivial conversation that was beginning to sound like the dialogue from a B movie, I asked how I could help her.
She didn’t say anything, she just turned along Queen’s Road and then pulled into a parking space overlooking the bay.

“Mr. Killeen.”

“Call me Paddy.”

She hesitated for a moment before committing herself to such familiarity, and then, as though she had an unpleasant taste in her mouth she said,
“Paddy – my family estate in the West of Ireland has some of the largest deposits of high-quality Olivine in the world. It’s a semi-precious gem that we make into jewelry right there on the estate. It’s not like having diamonds but it’s financed our family and gainfully employed the villagers for several generations.”

I had to admit I’d never heard of the stuff and as a consequence, she gave me a short and quite boring lesson on geology before telling me the reason for our meeting.

“A few weeks ago one of the miners found a naturally formed stone in the shape of the Madonna, I’m not talking vaguely resemble: I’m talking something that looks almost as if it was manufactured.”

I was a bit dubious, as living in the land of miracles I’ve seen everything from stains on a wall to a potato that was thought to represent the Holy Mother.

“We intended to put it on display in our gift store,” she continued, “I believe that it would have brought thousands of visitors from all over Europe and beyond and would have sent our revenues through the roof.”

“But someone stole it,” I ventured.

She seemed somewhat surprised by my conclusion and for a second I thought I saw a glimmer of admiration,

“You’re very perceptive Mr….”

“Paddy,” I interrupted.

“Yes – Paddy – you’re quite right and I’d like you to find it for us.”

“Have you called the police?”

“No – we don’t want it to go public – we think it’s probably still somewhere on the estate and we want to keep the matter private. However, one journalist seems to be shadowing us but we’ve no idea what she knows. We’ve not even mentioned this find to anyone apart from a few of our employees, who are sworn to secrecy.”

I now realized why it was necessary for all the subterfuge, finding something of such interest and losing it almost immediately would be somewhat of an embarrassment to the brand. The case seemed intriguing and so I took down the directions and then she dropped me a block from my office and went to pick up the man in the dark glasses. Apparently, he was her estate manager. The sneaky fucker had waited for me to leave the bar and had then gone in for some of Brenda’s steak and onion pie while he was waiting. I just hoped he hadn’t had the gall to sit and eat it at my table.

GETTING “VERY” FAMILIAR WITH MY CLIENT AND HER NEEDS

The following day when I drove into the estate I was impressed, but the well-kept fields stocked with cows and sheep didn’t suggest a mining operation at all. I was later to discover that the quarry, where the Olivine was found, was a fenced off area about half mile beyond the manor house. The estate workers cottages and a little factory, where they hammered the jewelry together were close by.

Aoibhinn met me at the front door along with the butler who took my case.

“We’ve put you in the Floral Room,” she said, “it’s a bit feminine but it’s cozy.”

I followed her into the main hall and then up the big oak staircase. Her skirt was short, her legs were long and she was wearing flimsy knickers. The staircase was steep and seemed to go on forever but I didn’t mind, I would have willingly followed her up to the top of Mount Everest as long as she agreed to wear that same skirt.

The butler was a very tall lanky old man, whose name turned out to be Elsegood. He’d already deposited my suitcase when we entered the room and squeezed past us on the way out. He was quite a spritely character, considering he looked at least 80 and walked with a distinct limp.

She was right about the room being feminine, it looked like a botanical nightmare with flowers painted on the walls, the ceiling, and even the fucking furniture. After she’d explained where the towels and other necessities were, she suggested I went on a tour of the estate with Denis Cosgrove, her security man. He turned out to be a miserable prick. Reluctantly shaking my hand he mumbled something about him being on the case and that he couldn’t understand why she was wasting my time.

He was quite a large man, around 50, ex-army with a back as straight as a ramrod. We climbed into a golf cart for the tour and headed first for the quarry, where a crew of four men was working with pickaxes and shovels.

“That’s Charlie Byrnie on the far right,” he said, “He was the one who found the Madonna.”

“And he didn’t tell the others?”

“He was working on his own that day, none of them work full time here, they have other jobs on the estate,” he replied.

“So, as far as you know he didn’t tell any of the other workers?”

“If he was working on his own he couldn’t very well do that – could he,” he snapped impatiently.

“But did he tell them later?
“How the fuck should I know,” and with this, he did a swift U-turn almost throwing me out of the cart.

Our next stop was the little workshop where three women were preparing some of the stones for mounting in Sterling Silver rings, pendants and bracelets. Apparently, some of it was sold in the estate gift shop and some were distributed to stores across Ireland. Being a lovely shade of emerald green in color it was ideal for jewelry with Irish motives.

I could see that if this naturally formed Madonna became venerated; as many such things do, it could have enormous economic benefits for the whole area. However, having not seen the object I was still a bit skeptical about its likeness to the Holy Mother.

When we returned to the house I was unceremoniously dumped outside and the jovial Denis took off without even saying goodbye. Once inside I was told by Elsegood that dinner would be served in half an hour. I was hoping then that my client would fill me in on all the details as I knew nothing of importance so far.

On the way upstairs I bumped into the man who first approached me in the bar and now introduced himself as Joe McCurdy, the estate manager. Later he joined Aoibhinn and me in the dining room.

I was wearing the same blazer and pants that I arrived in but he was wearing a tux, and she, a beautiful long flowing gown. Did I feel out of place?

Yep!

Sitting directly across from my voluptuous client, who tits were protruding almost up to her chin, I found it difficult to concentrate on either the excellent dinner or the facts of the case.

“I guess Denis told you that it was Charlie Byrnie that discovered the Madonna?”

I nodded and she continued, “he handed it to Joe here and I put it in the strong room myself. When I wanted to examine it more closely the next day, it was gone.”

“Who else knows the combination to the strong room?” I asked.

“There isn’t one it’s a key lock.”

“And where’s the key kept?”

“In a secret compartment in my desk.”

“And who knows where that is?”

She hesitated for a moment and mulled it over in her head, “Well, there’s Joe, Denis, Riona and me of course.”

“Who’s Riona?”

“Oh she’s Charlie Byrnie’s daughter, “she helps me with the accounts.”

“A strange girl,” Joe commented, “very religious.”

“Very Catholic or very cultish?” I inquired.

“Oh she’s Catholic – more Catholic than the Pope,” he grinned.

Aoibhinn, obviously not happy with his comment, she suggested that being Catholic was not something to be ashamed of.

“Everyone is entitled to their beliefs,” he mumbled, “but she is a bit over the top.”

“But a darn good bookkeeper,” she reminded him.

He said, “amen to that,” and we retired to the drawing room for coffee. It was served by an extremely attractive maid called Jackie. I don’t normally have a fetish for maid’s uniforms but I was beginning to swing that way. It was brief, very brief, something I would have thought a lecherous master would have chosen for his staff, not the mistress of the house.

She was English with a strong Northern accent and it appeared she was a kind of trophy. In the old days, thousands of young Irish girls would go into domestic service in the UK and my client obviously liked the idea of reversing that tradition.

“You seem fascinated with my maid’s ass,” she said, following my eye line as the young woman sashayed out of the room.

“It’s very attractive,” I smiled.

Joe didn’t say anything but he was nodding his head like the village idiot.

“You two keep away from her,” she warned,“ she’s the best servant I’ve ever had.”

Later, I was to find out that Joe, who was divorced, fancied his chances with both Jackie and his boss. He was a good-looking guy, around 40 years of age, he obviously worked out and he wore a suit well. However, he did strike me as having very little in the way of a personality.

Aoibhinn was way out of his league. She was a woman who had put her career ahead of matrimony and having inherited the two thousand acre estate at just 30, she was more interested in developing the resources and increasing revenues that committing herself to some man. Of course, I wasn’t looking for commitment either and I’d decided that if I could nuzzle my face between her prize-winning tits I might even waive my fee.

When Joe left for his lonely bachelor flat in town I was left alone with the beautiful mistress of the house, a bottle of Irish whiskey and two glasses. By 11 o’clock, neither of us was feeling any pain and our conversation had degraded to the point where it didn’t make any sense. That was until she giggled and asked me to help her to her room.

Even though I didn’t know where the fuck it was I helped her out of her seat and we supported each other as we climbed up that steep staircase. Once on the landing, she directed me to her room with wild gesticulations that were difficult to follow. I stopped at almost every door before arriving at the right one.

Awkwardly we entered together and once the door was closed she slipped her arms around my neck and asked me if I’d help her to undress and get into bed. If she hadn’t have been drinking I would have taken this as an invitation to fuck her but I wasn’t sure what her intentions were and a certain amount of caution was called for.

She turned around so that I could unzip the back of her gown, it very quickly peeled away and gathered around her ankles, just leaving her swaying from side to side in her panties and bra. Without undoing the hooks on the bra I fiddled with them to see if she would raise any objection, she didn’t, and so I proceeded to undo them and it fluttered to the floor like a giant lacy butterfly. At this point, she turned to me and pressed those big beautiful tits against my chest and whispered,

“You should take your clothes off too, you’ll be more comfortable.”

Taking this as a client request I began to remove my things while she wiggled out of her panties, revealing a bush that I soon hoped to be probing with my tongue. Unfortunately, she suddenly became unsteady on her feet and flopped onto the bed. She was out for the count.

I straightened up that gorgeous warm body, kissed her tits and covered her up. Grabbing hold of my clothes I proceeded along the corridor to my room, I was still in the nude, apart from my shoes and socks. Unfortunately, halfway to my destination, I ran into Jackie, who was just retiring for the night. She paused at her door to get a good look at me and with a quizzical smile on her face, she bid me goodnight in a low sexy voice and disappeared from view. I’ve been caught in similar, and even worse situations before, but for some reason on this particular occasion, I felt embarrassed. It was probably because I knew I looked so ridiculous.

LINING UP THE SUSPECTS

The next day I awoke when Jackie the maid opened my drapes, bid me good morning, and served me breakfast on a tray. It was an ideal “after the night before offering,” just toast, orange juice, and coffee, none of that greasy bacon and eggs that one is loath to face on such occasions.

After my shower, I popped down to the office where I found Riona working away on the computer. Before interviewing any of the workers I wanted to look through their employment files and the young woman, although looking a little ill at ease, dug them out for me. I was soon on my way back upstairs excited to see what I might find in the file covers that were generously decorated with biblical inscriptions and stickers.

I started with Cosgrove, I found that he’d served in a British Guards regiment and had an exemplary character, but there was one small problem when checking the name on the computer I found he was dead. He’d been killed during NATO exercises in Europe, and his photo didn’t look a bit like the miserable son of a bitch who worked on the estate. Of course, there was the vague possibility that two Denis Cosgroves, with the same birthday, had enlisted in the same regiment – but that would have been a coincidence worthy of the Guinness Book of Records.

Moving on to Joe McCurdy I searched the archives of some newspapers around Cork, where he’d lived and found he had form. This included stealing jewelry from an elderly woman who employed him and the theft of a car belonging to a parish priest. Mr. McCurdy joined Cosgrove at the top of my suspect list.

The other employees didn’t show up in any records that I had access to and so I had to treat them as clean for the moment. This didn’t mean that they weren’t capable of stealing, almost everybody is liable to cave into temptation if the prize is big enough. Whether a piece of green rock was that valuable I had no idea.

Around eleven o’clock I packed up the files and returned them to the office. I met Aoibhinn on the way out. She quickly hustled me into the drawing room closed the door and asked me if I put her to bed.

“Yes, I did,” I smiled.

“You didn’t do anything did you?” she asked, almost in a panic.

“If I had it would still be running down your leg,” I said, trying to be mildly amusing.

She didn’t give my tasteless comment the dignity of a reply, she simply looked at me disapprovingly and left. I felt like a little boy who’d been naughty and silently reprimanded. The way she looked at me I even thought she might fire me. I was sure glad I didn’t mention kissing her tits.

As I thought I’d better keep clear of her for a while I approached Joe about doing some interviews, starting with him. When I brought up his felonies he informed me that his employer was aware of his past, and the priest, whose car he’d stolen, was the one who found him the job.

“At the time I did those things I was going through a nasty divorce and I went completely mental, and if you’re thinking I am involved with the disappearance of the Madonna you’re way off base. I would never do anything to hurt Aoibhinn,” he said. I had a feeling that he was not my man but I didn’t take him off my suspect list because it looked so scant already.

My only other suspect at this time was Cosgrove, who seemed to be was avoiding me. Riona was another possibility, but that was simply based on the fact she knew where the key to the strong room was, and like Joe had said, she was a bit weird.

On and above her desk were icons of various saints and an extensive collection of Rosaries hanging from a peg. Her dress was conservative with a loose fitting ankle length skirt and she wore a cross big enough for a real-life crucifixion.

After I’d finished establishing her whereabouts on the day the statue disappeared I had to move on to Aoibhinn herself. She happened to walk in while I was still interviewing her genuflecting assistant. I suggested we go somewhere private, and as it was coming up for lunch time she suggested taking our meal in the conservatory, leaving Joe to dine by himself at the banquet sized table in the dining room.

The conservatory was quite beautiful, exotic plants mingled with statuary and water features gave it a very relaxing atmosphere, and Aoibhinn, who I thought I’d offended with my vulgar remark, seemed quite friendly once more. She was wearing a plain cotton figure-hugging dress and her hair was flowing freely around her shoulders, giving her an almost virginal appearance, although I know that looks can be deceiving. Over French bread, pate and a salad, we went over the events that led up to the disappearance of the Green Madonna.

Charlie, who was working in the quarry on his own, ran to the house with it around 3 p.m. He was met at the door by Joe, who immediately called Aoibhinn. They all ended up in the office, along with Riona, examining the piece, which was later placed in the strong room with the intention of getting an expert to look at it later in the week. It was at this point that she remembered Charlie had seen where she kept the key.

By 4.30 everyone had resumed their duties. Denis Cosgrove, being in charge of security was told about the find but did not see it. All of those who knew about the statue, and that list had grown to include the servants, who she didn’t think were important when she first provided me with the details, were sworn to secrecy until further notice. At 11 am the next morning Aoibhinn opened up the strong room to take another look and it was gone.

“I called Joe and Cosgrove at once,” she said, and we made a thorough search of the room, “there was not a trace of it. We even searched the office itself.”

“Was Riona there when you discovered it was missing?”

“Yes – she helped with the search.”

“Who had been in the office beside her between 4.30 the day before and 11 when you entered the next morning?”

“Joe spent some time there going over the farm records, he does have other things to look after in addition to the jewelry and event planning business,” she hesitated, “unfortunately people are going in and out of the office all the time, we’ve never really had anything of great value in there and so it was never necessary to put any security measures in place.”

“No cameras?”

“No – we do have some in other areas but not inside the house.”

“Where’s your jewelry secured?”

“What – the stuff we make?”

“Yes.”

“Well it’s not terribly valuable but we do keep it locked in the workshop and gift store.”

When I’d finished my questioning and wiped the crumbs from my mouth I asked if she could track down Cosgrove. He reluctantly turned up around 2.30 and was as miserable as he was on the tour.

I didn’t ask him about his military service, I wanted to try and discover who he really was before I exposed him. In regard to his stopping by the office on the day in question, he said he was only there for about five minutes to pick up a form.

“I didn’t hang around, I had important work to do,” he growled, “I don’t sit around wining and dining with the boss, I get out there and get my job done.”

I presumed he was referring to Joe, who did seem to eat at the house all the time. This gave me an opportunity to ask his opinion of the estate manager.

“He’s not an estate manager,” he said, with a leer, “he’s a charity case that Miss Ni Siodhachain has been conned into by that crazy priest who mopes around here all the time.”

Once I got him started he couldn’t stop. One of the things he complained about was the fact that she’d taken Joe to Dun Laoghaire to recruit me.

“Security is my job,” he snarled, “He know fuck all about anything, she just carries him out of sympathy. That’s no way to run a business.”

My last question was, “Who do you think took the statue?”

“I’ve got my suspicions,” he replied, ‘but it’s you that’s getting well paid to investigate it, so carry on.” With that, he got up abruptly and left.

MAID TO PLEASURE

After Elsegood served me afternoon tea in the conservatory I asked him to sit down and tell me exactly where he was from 4.30 on the afternoon of the discovery through until 11 the next morning. Obviously suffering from some short term memory loss he struggled through his routine that day as I wrote it all down. I asked him to send Jackie the maid to me as he left and she turned up with a big smile on her face.

“I’ve never been interrogated before,” she giggled, “are you going to shine a light in my face.”

I assured her being questioned by a private eye was not like in the movies and she looked disappointed.

“My ex-boyfriend and I use to do role play in the bedroom,” she said, “and once he took the part of a detective and he handcuffed me to the bed and tickled me all over with a feather duster. I couldn’t answer his questions because I was laughing so hard.”

“I’ve not use the feather duster technique for years,” I quipped, “in fact, I don’t even have any handcuffs.”

“I just happen to have two sets in my room if you find it necessary to question me further,” she said, going all sensual on me.

Although she made me as horny as hell and I would like to have driven it into her between the Cobra Lillies and the Bird of Paradise, I shook my head, to clear it of such thoughts, and began to make notes. Jackie said she’d not been in the office that afternoon or the following morning but she had seen Father Murphy go in there. The plot thickened, people seemed to drift in and out of the place as though it were a bus station.

In the evening it was back to the formal dinner table with Aoibhinn and Joe all dressed up in their finery and there was an additional guest. No other than Father Murphy.

During our meal, prepared by a cook I’d not seen or questioned yet, the Reverend Father proceeded to preach the abomination of fornication, greed, and gluttony, qualities I’ve long admired. Even Joe, the man he rescued from a life of sin looked bored to tears.

When Aoibhinn managed to change the subject and talk about the Green Madonna I was a little surprised to find another person had been taken into her confidence. At that point, I wouldn’t have been surprised if it had appeared on RTE that night.

With another man in the know and one that had been seen entering the office late in the evening, I felt compelled to ask him to submit to questioning the next day. Not only was he shocked but Aoibhinn just froze on the spot, then after a little throat clearing, she made her displeasure evident by calling my behavior disgraceful.

“This is a priest you are talking to,” she said, as if I hadn’t realized the significance of the black suit and dog collar, “this man is a saint.”

Father Murphy attempting a little bit of Catholic humor said, “Not quite – I’d have to be dead for that.”

After a little polite laughter, he turned to me and said that he’d be glad to submit himself to questioning and, obviously not wanting to be abused on an empty stomach, he suggested he could be there around lunch time. The look on my client’s face for the rest of the evening seemed to preclude any possibility of a romp between the sheets that night, and so at bedtime I dragged my weary ass up the stairs and who should I bump into, dressed in a brief provocative robe and twirling a pair of handcuffs in her hand, but Jackie.

“I just thought you might have more questions you’d like to ask me,” she said.

She took me by the hand and led me to her room. It looked like something out of a movie, candles flickered on the bedside tables, the sheets were turned back at the ready and there was the faint smell of some exotic perfume. With the door shut behind us, she dropped her robe to the floor, revealing a nice pair of firm tits and a neatly trimmed muff.

Smiling, she slipped her arms around my neck and kissed me gently on the lips and then with an impish look on her face she began to undress me. Once my jacket and shirt fell away she began to kiss my chest and then slowly went to her knees, taking my pants with her. When my boner flipped up to greet her she kissed it like an old friend and then took it between her sensuous lips and into her mouth.

With her long painted fingers clawing at my scrotum she slipped up and down my throbbing cock, making those sounds that women often do to give the impression their dining gourmet. I’m not usually subject to premature ejaculation but it didn’t take long before I felt my sperm thrusting its way up my pipe and into her mouth. Not only did she swallow the lot, she licked every morsel from the end before casually getting up and leading me to the bed.

I was invited to shackle her to the bedrail and there she lay, stretched out with her legs open, awaiting my pleasure. Going to the bottom of the bed, like a panther, I crept stealthily up between her thighs and gently flicked my tongue across the lips of her cunt. Her ass shot up six inches and she let out a moan.

“Oh god, that feels so good,” she whispered, as I continued to lightly touch the edges of her pink folds. The moans got louder when I pulled back the lips with my fingertips and ran my pussy-fluffer up, down and sideways.

Moving my free hand upward I grabbed hold of a tit and then began to lick her from her ass to her clit like an excited puppy. Jackie went crazy squirming around almost as if it was too much for her and then she let out a scream and I buried my face into her wet folds as she had a massive orgasm.

After that, she tugged on her restraints and begged me to fuck her. My dick was as anxious as she was and I rammed it into her right up to the hilt. She gasped and rattled her chains as I began to drive it into her hard and fast. When I felt my balls starting to tingle I cried out “I’m cumming” and she went ballistic as I pumped my goo into her with those last powerful thrusts.

Before I released her from her bondage I straddled her body, with the end of my dripping dick leaving a trail on her belly, and I bent over and started to lick those lovely tits. Her nipples, which were erect, grew harder and harder as I sucked. She wrapped her long slender legs around my back and just moaned.

Of course, we fucked more than once that night and I ended up sleeping there. The next morning I was awakened by her serving me breakfast in bed. She kissed me sweetly as she put the tray down,

“Thank you,” she smiled, “I loved it.”

She wasn’t the only one. It put me in a good mood for the rest of the day. However, by mid-morning, I was confused and exasperated as I was given leave to question the cook. She was Eastern European with a thick accent and practically no idea what I was talking about. In the end, I ascertained she’d not been near the office on the two days in question and I left the kitchen with some strange sticky cake in my hand that she insisted I take with me.

DEATH AMONGST THE ROSES

Lunch with Aoibhinn and Father Murphy was a little strained, it looked like she was really not happy with the way I was going about the investigation. Things got a little worse when I questioned the priest as to why he was going into the office late evening on the day when the Madonna had been stashed away and he told me he was taking Riona’s confession.

“She’s a very devout Catholic,” he said, “And I don’t treat her requests lightly.”

“Did she confess to taking the statue?” I asked.

The next thing I know I’m looking at two stunned faces.

“Are you Catholic by any chance?” he stammered, sighing with exasperation.

“I’m somewhat lapsed,” I replied.

“Even a lapsed Catholic should know that confession is a sacred trust.”

“Even an idiot,” Aoibhinn added, shaking her head in despair.

Fortunately, I was saved by the discovery of a dead body. It was the butler that came limping into the room at remarkable speed to inform us that Cosgrove was lying outside in the Rose bed. I quickly followed him and it didn’t take a doctor to see that he had expired. He was lying on his back with a large kitchen knife sunk deep into his chest, and a look of surprise on his face.

After telling everyone to remain in the house and touch nothing, I phoned the Garda, within half an hour the place was swarming with cops, and medics and I was now being questioned along with everyone else. Inspector Nolan seemed very capable and very co-operative when I explained my role and what I’d found out about Cosgrove.

By dinner time the Rose Garden was still sealed off but we were allowed to roam freely around the house, apart from the kitchen where they were checking the knives and trying to make sense out of the cook. Joe joined us as usual but there was no formality, it was sandwiches and coffee because of our limited access to the facilities. We gathered in the conservatory along with Riona and the rest of the staff. Father Murphy was put to work consoling everyone and he also said prayers for the deceased, whoever he was.

All in all, it was a somber evening but just before we retired for the night Aoibhinn took me aside and asked if I’d take over security until things were sorted out. Joe gave me a run down on Cosgrove’s routine and I got into the golf cart and did the rounds.

When I got back to the house I made sure all the windows and doors were locked and went to bed – alone and without handcuffs. Being a glorified security guard was not my cup of tea but everyone was so upset and scared I felt obligated to help out. I was just hoping I didn’t have to count the sheep and cows each morning.

In my new role, I had to get up early and there was no breakfast in bed. I was told it would be served in the kitchen by Teofila, the Romanian cook. Twenty minutes later I made my exit after eating a good Irish breakfast with another sticky bun in my hand. Shortly afterward I got a call from Inspector Nolan telling me that the man we knew as Cosgrove was actually named Liam Kelly. Apparently, he’d served in the army alongside the real Denis but had been dishonorably discharged after a manslaughter conviction.

“He served two years in a British prison but apart from a drunk driving charge had kept his nose clean since his release.”

It seemed his only reason for his stolen identity was to hide his past and it was unlikely he had anything to do with the missing statue. Probably he just saw someone on the premises and challenged them. With this in mind, I decided to do my patrols carrying a stout wooden Hurley I found in the umbrella rack.

I was late doing the patrol because TV and newspaper reporters kept turning up at the door. Aoibhinn didn’t really want to speak to them so Joe took over a made a real fuck-up of it. Eventually, they all went away and I proceeded to the quarry, checked the gates, the doors on the workshop and then switched on the area floodlights.

I was driving back to the house when I thought I saw a figure slip into the garage. I pulled up a few yards away and then crept up to the side door with my trusty hurley in one hand a heavy flashlight in the other and opened it carefully. I felt around for the light switch and then turned on all the lights.

There three vehicles parked in there and I knew that whoever I’d seen could be hiding behind any one of them or even inside. Cautiously, one by one I circled the cars, looking through the window of each one as I went.

At one point I tripped over an empty oil can, sending it echoing across the floor before finally coming to rest with a bang against the garage door. I almost shit myself.

The last vehicle was a van and as I had not seen a sign of anyone so far I figured that’s where they could be hiding. I grabbed onto the door handle at the back and wrenched it open. There was a loud scream and the voice of a woman begging me not to shoot.

Just to lighten up the situation I pointed the flashlight and said “bang.”

Huddled there amongst a bunch of tires was a young woman, possibly in her early twenties.

“Who the hell are you and what are you doing here?” I yelled.

She was shaking like a leaf and her voice was warbling when she told me her name was Niamh Ni Cearbhaill (pronounced Neev Nee Kyar-ool), and she was a freelance reporter. I couldn’t imagine what she expected to find wandering around the estate in the dark. When I helped her out I took her upstairs to the apartment above the garage that Cosgrove used to occupy. The Gardai had searched it with a fine toothcomb and so it wasn’t roped off anymore. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with her, she was trespassing that was for sure, and for all I knew she could be connected to the murder.

“I suppose you’ve been here before,” I said, as I switched the light on.

“No – I didn’t even know it was here,” she replied, “why would you think that?”

“Because you knew Denis Cosgrove – or should I say, Liam Kelly.”

“I’m sorry – you’ve lost me.”

Even though I thought she might be putting on an act, I backed off a little and invited her to sit down. Sometimes a more relaxed atmosphere produces better results and I suggested we should have a coffee. Digging into Cosgrove’s neatly kept cupboards I found the ingredients and proceed to boil the water.

She looked very nervous sitting there trying to cover her legs from my gaze. Her mini skirt was a little more mini than usual so it was difficult for me to just ignore the view.

“I should really hang you over to the Gardai,” I said.

“I haven’t done anything, I was just trying to get the story on the missing Madonna.”

“But you do know a man was murdered here?”

“Was it connected with the statue?” she asked, her reporter’s instinct kicking in.

“It may have been, we don’t know yet, but you might go to the top of my suspect list.”

“That’s crazy.”

“It’s a crazy world,” I said, handing her a mug of coffee.

She reached out her hand to take it from mine and took a sip, never taking her eyes off me.

“Are you the detective they’ve hired,” she asked at length.

“How do you know about that?”

“I’m a journalist, I have my connections.”

“You don’t look old enough to be a journalist,” I remarked.

“You certainly look old enough to be a detective,” she giggled, “in fact, anyone could spot you a mile away, the broken nose, the stubble, the way you squint suspiciously when you look at people – it’s classic Sam Spade.”

I wasn’t sure whether to be flattered or insulted. It surprised me that someone her age even knew about Sam Spade and that she would be quite so forthright in describing my appearance.

She was an attractive little thing, slim, with sandy hair and green eyes, she looked like an ideal candidate for an Irish Spring commercial. However, she was a bit of a pain in the ass because she kept firing questions at me regarding the Green Madonna. I told it was all confidential but if she gave me her card I would contact her as soon as anything came up that I thought might interest her.

I still wasn’t quite sure what to do with her. After she’d finished the coffee I asked her where her car was, thinking I might get rid of her and I could arrange an interview with the Gardai in the morning.

“It’s in a ditch near the quarry,” she said, “I was trying to get up to the house without being seen but unfortunately I ran into a pothole and ended up going off the gravel road and got bogged down.”

“I suppose you could stay here in Cosgrove’s place,” I said and then I could run you to the Garda station tomorrow morning. Later I could get your car towed out.”

“I don’t know if I dare stay alone in the apartment of a murdered man,” she cringed, “that sounds pretty scary.”

“Well I suppose I could sleep on the sofa and you could take the bed.”

“I’d prefer the sofa,” she said, “Don’t want to sleep in a dead man’s bed.”

Everything was agreed but it was only 8.30 and so I looked around for Cosgrove’s liquor cabinet and thought we might have a drink and watch the TV for an hour. I found a full bottle of whiskey and asked her if she was old enough to drink.

“I’m 22,” she replied, “old enough to do a lot of things,” and with a glass in hand she plonked her sweet little ass next to mine and kicked off her shoes.

Cosgrove had satellite TV and so we searched for a movie. She chose one that looked a bit raunchy, it certainly wouldn’t have been my choice in the circumstances but young people today are much more broadminded.

I felt a little embarrassed as some of the sex scenes came on but she just squirmed her ass and snuggled up close. It was inevitable at some point that I would put my arm around her and when she turned her face into mine we kissed.

“I’m feeling as horny as hell,” she whispered, “how about you?”

I answered her by slipping my hand up that short skirt. She froze for a moment and looked at me with those big green eyes, perhaps trying to decide whether making love to a grizzly middle-aged detective was what she wanted to do. When she put her hand on my thigh and searched for my cock I took that as a “yes.”

Soon we were both helping each other to remove our clothes and when she was completely naked I almost shot my load just looking at her. She was like a beautiful wood nymph. Her body was lithe and very white with small tits and a completely shaved vagina that looked so small I wondered if it had ever been used before.

While I was in a sitting position she came and sat on my legs facing me and then with a faint smile on her face, she placed her hands on my shoulders, raised her crack until it was hovering over the head of my dick and then she slowly lowered herself onto it. I gasped for breath as it went further and further in. And when it was buried deep inside of her she began to move slowly up and down.

It felt so fucking good I was groaning like an idiot, “I want to cum,” I called out, jerking my ass up and down impatiently.

“OK let’s do it,” she cried, and digging her nails into my shoulders she started to ride me and I mean ride. It wasn’t a morning canter over the field it was a full blown Leopardstown gallop. I placed my palms on those tantalizing little tits as her ass banged against my balls and my cock felt it was going to explode. When it did she let out a scream, leaned back and increased the pace as my cum oozed into her.

To show my appreciation for a mind blowing experience I lay her down on the sofa and I licked, sucked and fingered her until she couldn’t stand anymore. When she reached, what seemed to be an earth-shattering orgasm, I rammed my cock into that tiny crevice and I fucked her for all I was worth.

“I’ve never fucked anyone over thirty,” she said, as we sat there with our arms around each other. “Neither have I,” I replied.

A FRIENDLY LUNCH?

When she’d dropped off to sleep I slipped back to check on the house and when I returned I hunkered down on the rug as I didn’t want to sleep in a dead man’s bed either. The following morning I sneaked into the kitchen, gave Teofila a friendly pat on the bum, grabbed some fresh rolls and a jug of coffee and got back to the apartment in time to see Niamh stretching her naked body on the sofa.

After our minimal breakfast, we showered together using Cosgrove’s soap, that smelled like something you dip sheep in, and she placed her hands against the glass panels and invited me to ram it into her ass before we dressed and left for the Garda station.

The Inspector seemed to know the budding reporter and took her in for questioning; he said he’d have someone run her back to the estate later and I promised her I’d have her car on the road by then. When I got back I made the rounds and then went to the office where Aoibhinn was going over some papers with Joe.

I told her about Niamh and explained how we’d ended up spending the night together in the garage apartment.

“You slept with some woman you found skulking around the estate,” she repeated, raising her eyebrows to the ceiling.

“I actually slept on the rug and I gave her the sofa,” I lied, trying to play down the situation, “she was in my custody until I could deliver her to the Gardai.”

She shook her head in disbelief. It seemed that everything I did or said lowered me further and further in her estimation. There was the incident when I stripped her naked and put her to bed, after which I’d made a lewd remark, I’d insulted her beloved priest –twice, and now I was using her property as a knocking shop.

“Do the police suspect your roomie of killing Cosgrove?” she asked, sarcastically.

“I think they suspect everyone at the moment.”

At that point in the conversation, Riona walked in and I quickly made my exit before I got myself into more trouble. The problem was, I fancied my client. She was everything I admired in a woman and that included being relatively wealthy, but my normally irresistible charm seemed to be lost on her.

I managed to get one of the guys on the farm to pull Niamh’s car out of the ditch and I parked it at the front door until she got back from her interrogation. As I was walking into the house Aoibhinn accosted me.

“Is this Niamh the one that’s been phoning us for a story on the Madonna?”

“I didn’t know anyone had been phoning.”

“I told you when we first met that we were being shadowed by some female reporter.”

“Yes, but you didn’t say it was on the phone.”

“Does it matter how” she snapped impatiently, “we were just getting these calls and it must be someone on the estate who’s giving her the information. When she comes to pick up her car you can ask her.”

“I already have,” I said, “she certainly knows about the Madonna but she wouldn’t give me the name of her informant.”

“For fuck’s sake, you’re supposed to be a hardnosed detective – slap her around a little.”

“You’ve been watching too many cheap American movies,” I said, to which she shrugged and walked away.

Lunch was to be served in the conservatory. When I arrived my gorgeous looking boss, wearing the most becoming dress, with more than adequate cleavage, was already seated. And I hadn’t had my bum in the chair two minutes when Elsegood appeared saying a young lady was at the door and wanted to see me.

“I suppose that’s Niamh,” I said.

Aoibhinn gave a little sardonic smile, “Ask her in for lunch.”

“I’m not sure that would be a good idea.”

“Why – is some of it still dripping down her leg,” she quipped, repeating my own tasteless remark from a few days ago.

I ignored that but I decided to act on her suggestion, after all, she was the boss. Being a curious, slightly over confident, budding reporter, Niamb agreed to break bread with us, introductions were made and she took a place at the table.

I fully expected her to be interrogated about her source of information with regard to the Madonna but it wasn’t necessary, as soon as Jackie walked through the door with the tray, even though the two played a very good part pretending they’d never met before it was obvious they had. I could tell that Aoibhinn picked up on it immediately but she kept quiet.

However, Niamh was not so restrained in her pursuit of information about our lost statue. I repeated what I’d said before about contacting her as soon as the estate was prepared to talk about it. Remarkably after that, we had rather a pleasant lunch together, although Aoibhinn did keep glancing at the pair of us trying to decide if we’d fucked each other the night before. When the green-eyed, slender, long-legged beauty got up to leave, she leaned over, kissed me on the lips and whispered, “thank you for everything.”

Although I tried to control my emotions and treat it as I would a peck on the cheek by my grandmother, this was not my fucking grandmother, and the expression on my face must have shown that I was attracted to her, confirming what my client had been thinking all along. However, I had not formed any special attachment to Niamh, she was like a beautiful oil painting that I could appreciate and enjoy with wanting to hang it on my wall.

Father Murphy, who’d obviously miscalculated, came around just as the lunch things were just being cleared away. He did manage to grab a poppy seed bun off of Jackie’s tray and as he munched on that he asked if he could have a little privacy in the office for half an hour.

“I need to talk to Riona,” he said, pouring the dregs out of the wine bottle.

Aoibhinn told him to take as much time as he needed and then she was interrupted by a phone call. Even though I was filling in for Cosgrove until a replacement could be hired, I knew I had to get back to work locating the lost artifact. When I saw the priest go into the office I had one of those pings I get occasionally. A little noise in my head that is followed by an idea, they’re not always good ideas but sometimes they are. In this case, it was in the affirmative.

I waited for him to leave and five minutes later Riona emerged and made for the back door, I followed her and saw her go into a storage building across the yard. It was a place where the garbage and recycling were kept.

When she came out, holding something wrapped in newspapers I popped out from around the corner and simply said, “I’ve got you!”

She was so shocked that she dropped the parcel and had to I dive to catch it before it hit the concrete. I made it but at a cost. My hands were both bleeding and I felt I’d put my shoulder out.

I looked up from the ground and there stood Riona looking petrified,

“I’m not a criminal sir,” she said, blessing herself as though I was about to point my finger and cast her into hell, “I just didn’t think something so holy should be displayed in a gift shop.”

By this time she’d burst into tears and I got up and escorted her into the house. Aoibhinn was in the office when we got back and with my hands still dripping blood, I placed the dirty package on her desk.

Of course, I would have had an embarrassing moment if it hadn’t been the Madonna but it was. I now found myself defending Riona, who thought its place should be in a church. I explained that she was on the way to put it back in the strong room when I intercepted her. After all, I had to prove I’d done something for my money.

Aoibhinn actually gave me a hug and took me into a bathroom to bathe my injured hands. It was purely superficial but I made the most of it.
“Riona didn’t kill Cosgrove did she?” she asked, as she applied a rather oversized band-aid.

“No that was Teofila,” I said.

“Teofila!?”

“Yes –during some NATO exercises her son was killed by Cosgrove aka Liam Kelly in a pub fight in Bucharest, he was charged under British military law and just served two years. She obviously didn’t think that was enough and so she tracked him down and bingo, she stabbed the miserable bastard to death.”

“OMG will she be arrested?”

“Well when they get around to searching the archives like I did they’ll put two and two together, however, I’m going to tell her that I know it was her and I think she’ll take flight back to Romania.”

“But won’t they arrest her there?”

“Who knows – it could take years.”

“That means I won’t have a cook – I don’t suppose you…”

“No – I don’t cook – and I think I can line you up with a friend of mine who’ll make a great security man for you. I’m anxious to get back to my old office in Dun Laoghaire.”

That evening poor Joe wasn’t invited to join us for the dinner that Elsegood had thrown together for us. It was only fish fingers and chips but we had an excellent bottle of wine, in fact, we had two, after which she asked me to help her to her boudoir.

As soon as I saw she’d borrowed Jackie’s handcuffs and there was a can of whipped cream on the bedside table I knew it was going to be a night to remember. And it was.

To add to the happy ending, it was decided to display the Madonna in Father Murphy’s church and the pilgrims who line up to see it also visit the quarry where it was found and so it turned out to be a win-win situation. I have a very large Olivine paperweight on my desk, that’s shaped a bit like a cock and balls, a gift from Aoibhinn, and Niamh calls on me occasionally to see if I have any stories I can pass on. A few days ago I even got a large sticky cake in the mail, it wasn’t signed but it was postmarked Bucharest. THE END

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Copyright 2016 – 2017 Paddy Killeen
The characters portrayed in my stories are, for intents and purposes fictional and any similarity to living persons is purely coincidental, however, I have included a few of my deceased friends in order to let them stretch their legs again.
You may not sell, license, sub-license, rent, transfer or distribute any part of my stories or images in any format, or claim ownership.

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