Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Deadly Gamble Chapter Seven - Confession

Chapter #7

When it came to guns Alexander Steele never took chances.  He pointed his Glock directly at Kitty’s heart.  “You mind putting that thing down first?” Steele used his gun to point to the weapon Kitty held by her side.  Kitty glanced down at the small bronze gun and gently placed it on the kitchen counter. 
“Sorry Mr. Steele, nobody’s safe around here.  A girl has got to protect herself.”  Steele lowered his weapon and gave her an inquisitive look.  “The power is off and the front gate can’t be opened.  How did you get here?” Never missing an opportunity to provide information Antonio chimed in.   “She used the tunnel, that’s the only other way in or out without climbing the eight foot high fence.”
Steele turned to look at Antonio who was standing a few steps behind him.  “Damn, that tunnel has gotta be the worst kept secret in this house.”

Steele walked over slowly and carefully picked up Kitty’s gun.  “You said you have a confession, okay let’s hear it.”

Kitty looked at Antonio, “sorry, I love you like a brother but we both know anything I say here will be posted on your Facebook page by tomorrow.”  Steele chuckled and gave Antonio the nod to leave the room.  “Sorry dude, but this is the way the lady wants it so you gotta go and no listening at the door either.”

Once Antonio was gone Kitty took a seat and a deep breath before she began.
“Mr. Steele, I know you have been wondering why I have been avoiding you.  I’m gonna to take a leap of faith here and tell you some things that will make me look guilty as sin.  The truth of the matter is that I probably had more motive than anyone in the house but I didn’t kill my sister in law and Sam. 

Kitty paused, looked to the ceiling and continued.  “Sam and I use to date.  We met at the Reading Terminal market downtown.  We were a couple for nearly a year but we kept it a secret.  My brother would have gone ape shit if he found out I was sleeping with a pool boy.   After the last pool guy was fired for sleeping with my sister in law I was the one who recommended Sam.  If he got the job we could see each other more often.  It gave him a reason to be on the property and when my brother was out of town on business or vacation he could visit me.  So I lied to my brother and told him that Sam was in the closet.  I knew that if he thought Sam was gay he would hire him in a heartbeat because there would be no hanky-panky like it was with the last guy.  Whenever my brother was away I would sneak Sam in through the tunnel so that we could spend the night together.

Every year my brother Kevin would throw a massive Christmas party.  It was the only time he would invite the staff.  Everything is always catered so the staff would be free to attend.  Well, I got snowed in on my way back from a tournament in Chicago and missed the party.  Not long afterwards Sam became distant.  It took longer and longer for him to return my calls and texts and he started making excuses every time I wanted to see him.  About a month later I found out from Antonio.” She shrugged her shoulders and smiled.  “Who else right, he told me that Sam the pool boy was screwing Daniela.  Apparently they got close at the Christmas party.  Somehow she found out that he was straight and……. Well you know how that ended. 

Steele nodded slowly.  Jealousy and revenge are powerful motives Kitty.  If you’re not guilty what were you looking for at Sam’s apartment the day of the murder?

Kitty looked puzzled; she had no idea what he was talking about.
“Sam’s apartment, why would I go there?  That’s insane; Sam’s would be the last place I would go.  I just told you we didn’t want anybody to know about our relationship.  If my brother finds out he will probably toss me out on my ass. 

One night I couldn’t sleep.  I was on my way to the kitchen for a glass of warm milk and who do I run into?  Sam was sneaking back to the tunnel after banging my sister in law.  I hid behind the grandfather clock down the hall.  The lights were dim so he never saw me.  My first instinct was to tell Kevin when he got back.  Fortunately for me my sanity returned before my brother did. 

I lied to my brother about Sam being gay.  I was the one who found the dead bodies in the shed.  I was me who showed Sam how to use the tunnel.  My sister in law had co-opted my playbook.  Indirectly it was my fault that Daniela was once again cheating on my brother because I brought Sam into the house.  Hell they could have done it right in front of my face and there wouldn’t have been a damn thing I could have done about it.

Listen Steele, I like living in this mansion.  I was born and raised in Philly.  My friends are here.  Why would I jeopardize that?”

Steele put Kitty’s gun down on the counter behind him and moved closer to her.  “You already have.  You jeopardized it the minute you decided to jump in the sack with the pool boy.”

Kitty looked away then looked at the floor.  In a somber tone she responded to Steele’s comment.  “Yeah, well I wasn’t exactly thinking with my head during the time.  The man was gorgeous.  If you were a women you would understand.  

Steele folded his arms and thought for a minute.  “You do realize that you’ve just given me another motive for you wanting Daniela dead.  She had finally convinced your brother to move to Miami.  You would have had to move away from Philly, away from this place and all your friends.  So are you saying you’re not the women who bust me upside the head in Sam’s apartment the day he was killed?”
Kitty smiled, “well that explains a lot.  Maybe that’s why you don’t believe me.”  Kitty held up the palm of her hand out towards Steele.  “I’m sorry; forgive me.  When I get really nervous I use sarcasm or humor to defuse the situation. Let me be clear, I was not anywhere near Sam’s place in the past two months”

Things were not looking good for Kitty.  Instead of clearing her name she had dug a deeper hole for herself. 
“Come on Mr. Steele, I checked you out before I decided to spill my guts to you.  You’re smart and thorough.  In your heart you know I didn’t do it. 

Sam finally broke it off with me about a month ago.  By that time I was in damage control mode.  Practically everybody in the house knew he was sleeping with the boss’s wife.  There was one piece of evidence that could have connected me to him, a ring I gave him with our names engraved inside.  A couple of years ago he graduated from some collage in Miami.  Times were hard and he couldn’t find a decent job.  Call me stupid but to help him make ends meet I gave him jewelry, not the costume stuff.  I guess giving him things instead of cash made me feel like I wasn’t paying him to be with me.  A few days ago he offered to give back all the jewelry and the ring.  I thought he had pawned that stuff long before now.  He said his ship had finally come in and he was leaving town.  I was relieved when he gave me the ring.  I can show it to you if you don’t believe me?”

Steele stroked the ends of his mustache.  He didn’t let on that he already knew about the ring. “So that explains the jewelry in his apartment.  I thought Mrs. Matthews gave it to him.”  Kitty found Steele’s remarks amusing, she burst into laughter.  “Steele, I’m surprised Antonio didn’t tell you but after my brother caught her in his bed with another man he cut her off, credit cards only.  Every dime she spent had to go on his credit cards which meant every credit card and bank statement went directly to him.  To put it bluntly she was flat broke.”

Steele was not fully convinced of Kitty’s innocence. “Do you own a Phillies cap and a dark wig?”  Without hesitation Kitty answered, “Yes as a matter of fact I do.  Why did someone get a look at the killer?

Steele shook his head, “no, the woman in Sam’s apartment wore a gray hoodie with a Phillies cap and she had dark hair.  Inside your closet was a gray hoodie, a Phillies cap and a dark wig.”

During the conversation Kitty’s emotions had run the gambit from somber to lighthearted and now outrage.  “You searched my room!  You have no right going through my personal belongs.  Just so you know I brought that wig for last years Halloween party.  I went as Cleopatra so it was common knowledge that I owned the wig and besides I’m a brunette so why would I need to wear a wig as disuse?”

Steele walked back and leaned against the counter close to the lantern.  “I got three more questions for you.  What would you do if your brother went to prison? What time did you come through the tunnel tonight and where are your car keys?”
Once again Kitty seemed surprised but proceeded to answer the questions.  I got here about an hour and a half ago.  I went to my room to gather up enough courage to come talk to you.  If Kevin went to prison I guess I would have to find a place to live.  I sure as hell wouldn’t be able to afford to keep this place running.  Why do you need to know where my keys are?”

Steele held out his hand.  “I need to borrow you car.  Don’t worry I’ll make sure it’s returned tomorrow.”  Steele smiled, “you really don’t expect me to spend the rest of the night here do you?  There’s a killer on the loose.  Oh, don’t worry I won’t tell your brother about the bag of pot I found in your bottom left drawer.”

Next Wednesday

Chapter #8
Tunnel Vision

Part #1
Part #2
Part #3
Part #4
Part #5
Part #6
Video Recap


Alexander Steele Murder Mystery Trilogy
Author Larry J
Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.

The Alexander Steele Murder Mystery series consist of the first three short stories set in Philadelphia. Philly native Lawrence Johnson aka Larry J. takes you into Philly's neighborhoods by way of his fictional,suave,detective Alexander Steele. The semi retired PI is the proud owner of the Mount Airy hot spot known as the Inner Sanctum. Steele has a problem. He just can't seem to put his past life of crime solving behind him. A seemly endless stream of new clients come to his club each with tempting new cases for the ever inquisitive private investigator.
Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.


  1. Next week Steele sets a trap for the killer.

  2. Who killed Mrs. Matthews and Sam the pool boy?