The ice drifted in his glass as he watched her. Her smile lit up her face as she gripped the hand of each man that crowded her. Crane stood at the bar, watching her work the room with a quiet pride. Desi was now well into her 40s, but still looked effortlessly cool. Subtle strands of gray mingled among her black hair, and framed her still youthful face. Crane observaed the many men: all wanting her attention, all in awe of his woman.
She appeared almost in slow motion as he approached. "Excuse me gentleman." Crane interrupted, "I need a word with my lovely wife, if no one minds." Desi looked to him and excusd herself as Crane gripped her hand and pulled her gently out of the circle. Moroni looked on, "Make it fast, we still have a lot of celebrating to do." he called. Crane went for the file closet, and Desi followed, her expression suddenly serious. As she closed the door, she turned her attention on Crane. "Johnathan, what's wrong? Did Matilda -" Desi asked, her question abruptly ended as Crane kissed her passionately.
Crane backed her against a large filing cabinet, kissing her as he cupped her face with his right hand. Desi smiled as he pulled away slowly. "You were so beautiful out there." Crane said, catching his breath, "Watching you shine like that, it just makes want to..."He drifted away as he slipped his left hand up her inner thigh. Desi pulled her skirt up, spreading her legs for him. She stepped to the side and leaned back on the large step ladder that was attached to the wall. Crane followed, and as he pressed into her, she locked eyes with him. "Take me." She begged, tracing her nails lightly at the base of his neck.
Crane stroked her nylons at her garter as he looked down at her. Suddenly, he pulled at his pants and pounced on her. Desi rubbed her nose against his as she pulled at his hair. "My God." He whispered to her, "You feel so good." He found Desi's mouth, and began feeling her breasts through her blouse. Desi moaned loudly, and Crane looked at her. "I think we're going to have some explaining to do." he said, chuckling. Desi lifted as she looked at him. Crane pulled from her, his expression puzzled. "I want them to hear." Desi said, gathering her hair up hand her head.
"I want them to know that after seventeen years, you still make me scream with pleasure." Desi said, turning her back to him, "I want them to hear about how just seeing me across a room gets you this aroused." Desi took a stepp up onto the ladder, and pulled her skirt up her waist. Crane stood watching her, slowing stroking himself as she spoke. "Most of all, I want them to hear..." Desi said, bending to offer her ass to Crane. She looked back over her shoulder as she bent over the step ladder, "this." Crane grabbed her hair as he drove into her from behind, and their mingled cries of pleasures echoed in the small closet.
It was only moments before they were screaming each other's name and leaning over each other to catch their breath. Crane lifted, taking Desi's hand to help her down the steps, and Desi readjusted his tie before they shared a long slow kiss.Crane opened the door, and they stepped out glowing as the room stared at them. Desi's suit was crooked and Crane's hair was disheveled, and Moroni summed the crowd's reaction aptly. "I guess you decided not to wait on us to celebrate."
Desi rested her feet in Crane's lap as he drove home. She occasionally rubbed them against one another, stroking her nylons across Crane's groin absentmindedly. Crane approached a red light and leaned over to kiss Desi's resting hands. "Do you think it's unusual that we still behave this way after so long?" she asked. Crane sat up, turning back to the wheel. "Lucky, maybe." he replied, "I don't think it's unusual." Desi sighed affirmingly. "I can't imagine being any different. I guess I'll have to be one day." Desi brushed stray hair from her face, and looked out the window.
"That's a long time from now." Crane offered reassuring. He pulled over, throwing the car into park and unfastening his seat belt. Climbing across to Desi, he kissed her temple. "You are so beautiful." he whispered, and she held him to her "We better go." Desi sighed, "We'll never hear the end of it from Matilda if we don't." Crane pulled back to the driver's seat and refastened his pants. "Ah, to be parents." he sighed, and Desi laughed. He put the car into gear and headed home. "Where does she get that, I wonder?" Crane asked. Desi scoffed, "Teenagers. They have to rebel somehow I guess." Desi laughed roundly, "Even if it means being a pain-in-the-ass goody two shoes." Crane and Desi both shared a laugh as they continued home.
Desi could smell the chemicals as soon as she reached the door, and went toward the smell panicked. She threw the door open to the bathroom and stared, horrified. "What on earth have you done?" she demanded. Crane watched as Matilda emerged, her hair now a vivid blonde. Desi scowled loudly, "Matilda, we discussed this." She started, "I thought we had an understanding." Matilda turned to Crane, who tried hard to hide his mild amusement. "Dad, could you tell mom there's nothing wrong with my hair." she requested.
"Not a chance." Crane replied, "She kills people for a living. I'm not getting involved in this." He threw his hands up and backed away. Desi continued, "I just don't understand it." Matilda turned her tantrum to her, "Oh course you don't mother, because it's normal. Lots of girls do this, why can't I be like everyone else?" Desi crossed her arms, her stance almost identical to Matilda's, "Because you're not like everyone else, thank God." Matilda threw her arms up, squealing her frustration. "That's it." Desi exclaimed, "You want to play games? I'm calling your uncle." Matilda stomped into her room in a huff and Desi just stared, flustered.
Crane walked over and began rubbing her shoulders. "Before she could talk, she was amazing." Desi commented, "All downhill from there." Crane continued rubbing, "You know, a couple of cinderblocks, some rope, and the river and we could be rid of the whole problem." he joked. Desi leaned her head back, "Could it be that simple?" she asked, and Crane gave a slow, overzelaous nod. Just then, Desi's mobile began chirping. Crane peeled his hands from her shoulders as she fished it out, and headed to his office.
"Yes?" she answered. Desi stood listening, her eyes reading as she focused on the call. "Has he said anything yet?" she asked. The other person responded at length and Desi nodded her head a few times in comprehension. "Ok, put him on the phone." she ordered. A few minutes passed before she heard his whimpers on the other end of the call. "Charlie?" she asked sweetly, "I need you to listen to me. I know you're having a hard time thinking right now, but you really need to focus. I want the name of that informant." Desi crossed ears and began pacing. "The boys are just going to continue if you don't, do you understand? Your only hope of getting out of this alive is telling me what I want to know."
The voice trembled, "I'm telling ya, I don't know anything." he pleaded. Desi turned on her heels coolly. "Now, that isn't true Charlie, and we both know it. Here's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna call the boys off for an hour and let you clear your head. Now, if you don't have something for me in an hour, I'm going to have to leave my family and come see you. Charlie, if I have to leave my family, you're going to wish the boys were still sticking icepicks in your testicles." Crane shuddered, looking up as his wife spoke. "Ok then, one hour. You tell me, you live. Otherwise I'll see you in an hour, and I'm bringing my blowtorch." Desi smiled and she continued to pace.
The phone was returned to the thug and Desi went back to her business tone. "Right, lay off him for about an hour. If he still doesn't have anything to offer, call me back." She listened for a minute, then responded, "Well, if he talks don't bother me until morning. Just kill him. That's right. Stupid bastard makes you have to work late on a weekend, just get rid of him. No, I don't care how." Desi stopped pacing, and idly tapped her foot. "Ok then, talk to you on Monday morning." She clasped the phone and turned to Crane. "It never ends." she exclaimed, walking over to watch him work.
"That's what they say." Crane replied as she entered his office. Desi threw herself across one of his oversized armchairs and sighed loudly. "You know, she doesn't look that bad." Crane commented quietly. Desi looked over at him with no humor whatsoever. "Of course," he continued, "we are a united front. I support whatever you say." Desi looked back up to the ceiling, frustrated. She sat quietly for several minutes, listening to the music bellowing from Matilda's room. "It's not like she's had a bad life." Desi reasoned aloud, "And whether she wants to believe it or not, she gets a lot from me." Desi pointed to the source of the sound, "The Cure is a prime example." Crane chuckled as he listened, his focus on a set of beakers on his desk. Desi rubbed her face slowly. "I don't know, but I give up tonight. I'm going to bed."
She lifted, and crossd the desk as Crane stood to meet her. "Sleep well, darling." Crane soothed, "If she keeps it up, we'll kill her." Desi laughed as she leaned in to kiss him goodnight. Crane rubbed the back of her neck as he continued, "Seriously, we can do it together, like a bonding experience." Desi punched him in the arm, "You are awful." she joked, turning to leave. She turned back at the staircase, "You coming to bed soon?" Crane returned to his project, "Actually, I'm going out tonight." he replied. Desi nodded, "Be safe, and thanks for coming out with me tonight." Crane smiled at her, "Goodnight Desi." he said sweetly. Desi stretched and slowly made her way upstairs.
Desi loomed over the near lifeless body. "All this to cover for Johnny Frost?" She asked. She shook her head, "I don't get it, he's a nobody. Why suffer so much to protect some hood?" She slowly stepped around him, her heels echoing in the warehouse as she walked. She stopped and poked him with the tip of her right shoe. He came to, and reached up slowly to Desi, praying for clemency. Desi watched him, backing away from his touch."It doesn't make any sense you covering for Frost unless he's in bed with someone bigger." Desi called slowly down to him, "Who is it?" Charlie simply continued to beg for his life, pleading that he had helped her and should be let go. Desi wiped her heel on his shirt and addressed her crew, "Our boy Charlie here is going to have an industrial accident. Got it?" she instructed, "Somewhere...other that here. The Palisdes if you have to." Charlie continued to plead and cry, but Desi walked away coldly, completely ignoring him.
Family dinner in the Crane home had become an interesting mix of Norman Rockwell, ultra-violence and crushing guilt. Each member sat silently, eating and watching the other members. "How was work?" Crane asked, breaking the silence. Desi rolled her eyes, "Dreadful, I had to take care of Charlie Morton over Johnny Frost of all people." Desi chewed her roast, pausing her story. "I don't understand it, either. Who is Frost running with that scared a lifer like Charlie?" Desi shrugged, refocusing on her dinner. Crane sat pensive, "Who's in the game right now?" he asked. Desi swallowed, "Nobody of that magnitude whose interests lie there. I mean, with J still in Arkham, I don't know what to think." Crane moved items around his plate, "Perhaps you should pay him a visit. Get the inside track." Desi nodded as Matilda sat mortified.
"Do you two hear yourselves?" Matilda demanded, and they both looked at her as if confused. Matilda waved her hands at them in frustration, "You just said you killed someone today!" she exclaimed. Crane pointed at Desi with his knife, "Oh, no. She had someone else kill someone today." Desi nodded, "Not the same thing at all. It's a professional thing, honey." Matilda blinked several times before yelling, "What you do is not a profession! You're a criminal!" Desi watched her calmly before replying, "You know, until you have done it, I don't think you should criticize." Desi returned to her meal and Crane looked disapprovingly at Matilda. Matilda sat stunned and just stared at the two of them in disgust. Desi caught her eye, and in a tone seldom heard in the Crane house, she warned Matilda, "Stop looking at me like that. I will not be treated that way by my daughter."
Matilda stammered, "I can't help it, mother. This is the way you are supposed to view murderers." Crane face flushed in anger, but Desi beat him to it. Her eyes narrowed and she replied, "It isn't like you haven't been well taken care of, Matilda. Private boarding schools, trips around the world, gymnastics, dance, music, karate, more fucking clothes....than I've ever seen in my life. Oh, and let's not forget the ivy league school that's already paid for." Desi scoffed, setting her silverware down, "You have sure had it rough." Matilda's shoulder's dropped and she pleaded, "Don't you get it mom? Everything you give me has blood on it." Desi sat stunned at the look her daughter was giving her. Crane stood up, "How could you speak to your mother like that? Do you have any idea what she went through for you? They were going to make you a ward of the state for heaven's sake."
Matilda stood and threw her napkin on the table, "I wish they had.. At least then I would have had a clean slate." Matilda stormed from the table and Crane followed, leaving Desi sitting there, staring as her daughter's words slowly sank in. Crane followed his daughter to her room, continuing the argument within. Desi took a deep breath and left the table, grabbing her shawl as she headed out the back door. Crane returned moments later to find the table empty. As the music began roaring from Matilda's room, Crane looked around before heading out to look for Desi. As he climbed the ladder to the roof, he saw her standing in the darkness, her shawl blowing in the night breeze.
"You're making them jealous." He announced as he approached. Desi rubbed her forearms and looked over her shoulder as he walked up. "Right now, every star in the sky is looking at you." Crane commented, hugging her from behind, "They are saying, 'Who is that woman?' and 'How did she get so beautiful?'" Desi smiled briefly before making a pained face and looking down. "How is it," she began, "she knows just what to say to make me want to crawl into a cave and die?" Crane rested his face on her shoulder as he held to her, "Because it's her job to." Crane said simply. Desi sighed, "I don't want to go talk to her, don't make me." she pleaded halfheartedly.
"Want me to spray you with some 'never fear'?" he offered jokingly. Desi turned to look at him and laughed. "That could only be a bad idea. Tempting, but a bad idea." she replied. Crane shrugged, "I guess we could always hit her with nerve toxin. You know, put a little fear of us in her." Desi laughed as she went for the ladder, "Sometimes I can't believe we haven't done that." Johnathan chuckled, nodding as he followed her back. "Just go talk to her." he instructed, "You never know what's going to happen."