Angel and the Badman: The Story of Cort and Blanche
9. Dreams No One Can Steal
"Hush now," he whispered tenderly, "I’m sure. Whatever it takes to keep you with me, darlin’. I’ll do whatever it takes."
Loving the way her body fit against his, he lay curled around Blanche, holding her in the circle of his arms. His face was buried in her hair and its scent filled his nostrils, its softness tickled his cheek. Every few minutes, she kissed his fingers or nestled closer to him, and he would squeeze her tighter, stroke her, breathe her.
Cortland Davis had never been so happy in his life.
It was a revelation, this kind of happiness. As he lay with Blanche in his arms, he thought of words to describe it…joy, peace, desire, contentment, protectiveness, security, bliss, anticipation…they were all different facets of the emotion he realized was happiness. Once he had thought he’d found it doing God’s work. But this…this was different from anything in his experience. This was many things, all-encompassing things. This was quiet and serene, it was satisfaction, contentment, and trust. And it was soul-stirring, cock-raising, consuming desire, when he could not get close enough to her, deep enough in Blanche’s body.
He felt all those things and more, felt them so profoundly that he was lifted up to heights of joy he had never known. ‘This,’ Cort thought, lying contentedly with his woman in his arms, ‘is love.’
Rosarito. He’d been thinking of it since she’d told him about the lawman downstairs. Might be best for them to disappear awhile. They could drive it in eight hours or so, get to his villa and hide out until White gave up and went home to LA. But even without White, Cort felt the need to take Blanche away so that there would be nobody and nothing to think about but each other. He wanted her all to himself for a spell, wanted to learn everything there was to know about the woman who’d fascinated him from the minute he first saw her.
Cort laughed silently when he realized that what he wanted was a honeymoon. A honeymoon without a wedding, though he wasn’t going to rule that out. Maybe someday. There was no rush. They had all the time in the world.
He squeezed Blanche again, rolled her to face him. She looked so pretty, her eyes sleepy and satisfied. ‘I put that look there,’ he thought, and a fierce pride coursed through him. He bent his head and whispered, "Kiss me, darlin’," before he took her mouth with his.
* * *
Early evening in Los Angeles, rush hour in full swing, the constant traffic a solid barrage of sound. Ray Andreen called Mark Spelling from a pay phone on Cahuenga; his news was too hot for the cell. He had to press the receiver close to his ear to hear the lawyer’s replies and he knew Spelling didn’t catch some of what he said. Ray missed the old days, when pay phones were in booths with doors that closed and gave the illusion of privacy.
"Tell your man she hasn’t been charged, and there’s no hard evidence that she stole the money. The LAPD put a lid on the case and the official word is, no cash was recovered in the bust. But I nosed around and got some insider skinny. The dealer who went down in the raid was a Mongol name of Cesar Bennelos, AKA Chachi Benning."
The traffic in the background made it hard to hear the soft-spoken Andreen. But Spelling caught the gist of it and broke in with a question, "A Mongol? What the hell is that, some kind of Chinese guy? Like in Genghis Khan?"
Andreen rolled his eyes. The guy might be a smart lawyer, but he didn’t have a fucking clue.
"The Mongols are a biker gang, mostly Latinos, mostly based here in Southern California. They got chapters in Mexico, Arizona, Nevada...all over the southwest. And they are a bunch of mean, bad ass fuckers," he explained patiently. "If they hear about this Blanche and think she took their bread, she’s in big trouble. Like in dead trouble. These guys don’t mind killing...in fact, they like it."
Spelling said nervously, "My client says there’s an LA detective out here sniffing around too. Said he recognized her today...gave her a hard time."
"Jesus H. Christ." Andreen wondered if it was White, the cop who’d warned off Steve Bedell. He turned his back to the street and scoped the sidewalk, just to make sure nobody was listening.
"Listen good, Spelling," he instructed. "Tell your guy to get the fuck outta Dodge. Grab the lady and take off for someplace safe. If that LA dick shoots his mouth off, the Mongols are gonna hear about it. They got contacts everywhere, cops on their payroll. If they come after her, he’s gonna need a fucking army to stop them."
Mark Spelling ran a hand over his face. He’d always had the feeling that someday his affiliation with Cort Davis was going to cause problems. Looked like that day was here.
"I’ll call him. Did you fax the written report?"
"I don’t believe in faxes," Andreen said. "Not secure enough. I’ll drive in tonight, bring it to you myself first thing in the morning."
Mark swore under his breath. Another Saturday morning spent in the office instead of on the links out at Lake Las Vegas. Cort Davis was going to pay for this one. "All right, Andreen," sighed. "I’ll be waiting for you."
* * *
Inside her. So far inside, and Christ it was good. He’d rocked her a long time and now Cort couldn’t hold off. He had to fuck. Hard.
His rhythm changed, and watching through lowered lashes, Blanche saw his eyes narrow. She arched her back and took him deeper, far into her body. Above her, Cort hissed, grimaced. Their sweat-slickened bodies slid skin on skin, frictionless, smooth. Cort grunted, slipped a hand under her hip for purchase.
Her eyes caught his, held them. ‘I could love you,’ she thought. ‘Maybe I already do....’ She pulled his head down and reached for his mouth, wanting to breathe him, drink him. She wanted to taste his sweat, bite his lips, suck his tongue. Mother of God, she wanted to devour him.
The heat inside made her writhe and arch, her body begging. He drove into her relentlessly, every stroke pushing her closer. Sensation exploded, flooded, showered like Fourth of July fireworks and she shivered and twitched, her hips bucking for more. Her face in his throat, she murmured incoherently against his skin, "Yes, Cort...oh yes..."
At the pleasured sound in her voice, he came. Came so hard his arms shivered like aspens in the wind, and he threw his head up and bit back a flood of curses. His body hitched and stiffened, and her name spilled out of him with his seed. "Blanche...Angel..."
A final thrust and then he sank down to rest on her softness. She wrapped him up in her arms, kissed his hair, his ear. His fingers tightened convulsively on her shoulders and he turned to kiss her. But the words were there on the tip of his tongue and instead he whispered, "I love you, Angel. Sweet Jesus, I swear I do..."
She was silent, and he pulled back to look at her. Tears pooled in her eyes, turning them the color of seawater before the tears tracked down her flushed cheeks.
She lifted a shaking hand, touched his face. It was hard to say the words...she was afraid to say them aloud and tempt fate. Everyone she’d ever loved had left her. But his eyes. Mother of God, they were begging her.
Blanche closed lashes spiky with tears, and Cort, kissing her wet eyelids, tasted salt. "It’s all right, darlin’. I can wait." I’d wait for goddamn ever, he thought, and kissed her again.
But he didn’t have to. Her whisper came soft, like a teasing spring breeze against his cheek. "I love you too. God help us, Cort. I love you too."
* * *
While she showered he called out for food. Lots of food...those long hours of loving had made him hungry. And then he checked his messages. Paco...that jackass could wait. JTC, the construction company he’d put in a bid for...that could wait too. And six calls from Mark Spelling. Six in the last two hours.
The shower was still running...he had a few minutes. Cort pressed the speed dial, got Spelling’s secretary.
"Cort Davis for Mark, Janine."
Her voice sounded relieved. "Oh, Mr. Davis. He’s been trying to reach you. Hold please."
In only a few seconds Spelling was on the line. "Mr. Davis? I’m glad you called. I’ve got that information you wanted and the news isn’t good."
Lawyers. They always jumped the gun. Cort reached for a cigarette, leaned back in his chair and lit up. "That so? What did your man dig up?"
Spelling coughed uncomfortably. "Your, uh...the subject is an ex-policewoman. Andreen tracked down her former fiance and got quite a story out of him."
"I know all that," Cort interrupted. "What else?"
"He mentioned a gang...a motorcycle gang. The Mongols," he said, and Cort’s blood ran cold. He stayed silent, listening as Spelling repeated what Andreen had told him, and when his lawyer finished, Cort said, "Messenger that report over to me. Now."
"I won’t have it until tomorrow morning. Andreen wouldn’t fax it, said he doesn’t trust faxes."
"Then he’s a smart man. Give him a bonus...say five G’s. He does good work."
"I’m sure he’ll be glad to hear that," Spelling said. "Anything else?"
"Yeah. I want you to keep him on retainer. Tell him he’s free to work other cases as long as he comes when I need him. Pay him ten grand a month and tell him to keep digging on that Mongols angle. Tell him whatever he needs, hear? All expenses covered. He’ll know what that means."
"I’ll arrange it, Mr. Davis."
The shower stopped. Cort sat up, stubbed out his cigarette. "I’ll be in touch, Spelling."
He clicked off and stood, stared ahead unseeing. The Mongols. Jesus fucking Christ.
"Cort?" Blanche came into the room wrapped in a towel, her hair wet and combed straight back from her face. One look at his face and a line of worry creased her forehead. "Something wrong?"
He shook his head, deliberately relaxed his face into a smile. "Not a thing, darlin’. Just some business I had to take care of." His eyes lazed over her body, lingering at the good parts. "Damn, you look pretty. I should have gone into that shower with you."
She came to him, pressed her body tight against his. "Yeah, you should have, but too late now. Did you order something to eat?"
"More than we’ll need unless we stay in here for days," he laughed. "But I got other plans, darlin’." He laced his hands behind her waist and leaned back to look into her face. "Remember I told you about Mexico? That little villa I have down in Rosarito?"
Blanche nodded. "I thought it was a line."
Cort chuckled, rubbed his nose against hers. "No line, Angel. It’s there, and it’s mine. And I’m thinking you and me, we need to go down there for a spell. Just the two of us, all alone." He stole a kiss. "We’ll lay on the beach all day, eat carnitas and chiles rellenos and get fat. Go into town to a little cantina I know and dance to Spanish guitars. Make love, lots of love. Sound good?"
He tucked her head under his chin and looked toward the door, wondering if it would be smart to kill Bud White before he went back to LA.
"I can’t," Blanche said.
"What?" Cort slid two fingers under her chin to peer into her eyes. "What the hell do you mean, you can’t?" His temper flared. "Angel, Goddammit, don’t start up that shit again..."
He was getting all wound up, and she shook her head to stop him. "No, no...it’s not that. It’s my sister. She’s coming out next week for spring break. I promised her we’d go someplace warm for a little vacation, and I haven’t seen her since Christmas, so I can’t go with...."
Jesus, her sister... He took a deep breath, let his temper drain away. "Yes, you can. You will. And your sister will come too. She can fly into San Diego, we’ll pick her up at the airport and drive back down into Mexico," he said, thinking that at least they’d have a few days together until her sister showed up. He’d use the time to love her, and prepare her. Spelling’s call had sure the hell put a different spin on things.
Blanche bit her lip. She wanted to go, she wanted the time with him, but Maureen...
"Angel..." Cort began, and stopped, wondering how much he needed to tell her to convince her they had to go. But she made it easy for him.
"When do you want to leave?"
Cort thought of the report Ray Andreen was going to deliver in person the next morning. "Tomorrow," he said. "I’ve got some business to take care of first thing, and then we’ll leave. Drive straight through, it’ll only take about eight hours, depending on the traffic at the border. You got your passport, darlin’?"
Blanche nodded and then gasped. "Oh, Mother of God, I forgot about Sport! I can’t leave him that long, Cort!"
"Is he a travellin’ kind of dog?" Cort grinned. "Think he’ll do okay in the back of my Chevy?"
"He’s used to riding in the car." Blanche said hesitantly, "Are you sure you..."
Cort tightened his arms around her. Sweet Jesus, she was so precious. A sudden rush of white hot fury flooded him, and he swore a silent oath to kill any man who tried to hurt her.