My heart surprised me with a story that, with his blessings, I am going to share on the Tale today. Storm Clouds hasn’t been written for a while now, and I want to continue the story… But real life has made that difficult for me in a lot of ways…
But my heart, he heard a story about Tom and Camilla and it wanted to be told…
The Cop and the Cat Burglar
This story takes place outside of the continuity of Storm Clouds. The future within that universe may not actually work out this way. Hope you enjoy anyway.
Detective Sergeant Tom Selleck parked his slightly worn Buick outside the elegant gallery, nodded to the officers who were maintaining the perimeter of the crime scene, and removed his crumpled hat as he went inside, revealing a shock of brown hair, parted on the side. These days, there were slight crow’s feet by his brown eyes when he squinted or smiled; he had been doing the latter for a while, but now usually did the former, as he buried himself more and more in his work again, denying that he needed to consider glasses. But, even though he could be taciturn, and occasionally gruff, he was among the best in the department. “What’ve we got, Murr?”
Vivacious and shapely Marie Jones, was a top-notch forensic scientist, and she had been going over the scene with a fine-tooth comb. Her white smile gleamed past her latte-hued skin and her dark eyes flashed: “I think our friend may have actually swiped something this time, Tom. There was a large, heart-shaped ruby—one of the largest stones of its kind—on this pedestal, under this plexiglass case when the gallery closed last night. It actually belongs to a local company, lent to the gallery for permanent exhibit here. The curator tells me that it had an unusual flaw, so that, when you held it up to the light, you’d think you saw a pair of horns under a halo.”
“You needn’t refer to the stone in the past tense, officer,” the interruption came from a short, officious-looking, bespectacled, pale, but surprisingly imposing man whom Tom assumed was the curator. “No one would dare destroy that stone, and you will get it back, yes??”
“Well, that is the plan, sir,” Tom replied, with a practiced confident-yet-noncommittal tone, before he turned back to his attractive colleague. “Do we think it’s the same perp, Murr?”
As he stepped closer to her to take a look at the pedestal for himself, Marie was glad that her skin-color—along with the fact the Tom was, like most men, unaware of such things—hid the slight flush that had risen to her cheeks. She’d had the serious hots for him ever since she first joined the force six months ago, and even went on a couple dates with him, but her best pass ever didn’t even com close to sparking his interest. A pity.
“Well, for the most part, it shows all the signs, Tom: the lock that was picked without a single scratch; the alarms that were never disabled but never went off . . . all of the elegance of this indicates this was our cat burglar.”
“But something was actually taken this time?” Selleck quizzed. In all of the previous crime scenes (eight in the past month), police found everything still in place, though all of the red stones or heart-shaped pieces of jewelry were moved front and center.
“Uh-huh. Oh, and the part where our valiant hired security guards”—Marie pointed toward two uniformed retirees sitting against the wall, flushed and sweaty, eyes rolling, with telltale stains in an embarrassing position on their pants—“insist that they saw a shapely female in skintight fir with cat’s ears and angel wings.”
“You have got to be kidding me.”
“I wish I were.”
“And our burglar replaced the lid exactly on the case? How considerate.”
Tom looked at her quizzically.
“The . . . ummmm . . . lid is still sealed. It shows no signs of ever being disturbed.”
“No, that cannot be.” The detective slipped on nytrile gloves and leaned in to more closely examine the case for himself. That was when he noticed the card that marked the exhibit for the first time.
THE ENCHANTED HEART
on loan from S. Realm Enterprises
Tom gasped, almost audibly, as he stepped back from the display as if it was on fire. He’d had dealings with S. Realm Enterprises before; that case, a homicide, was how he had gotten himself a reputation for dealing with the weird. He had told himself he would never have to deal with these people again.
Making his excuses, Detective Selleck headed for the door and then his car. The engine had barely turned over before he gunned the vehicle into the street, making a squealing U-turn and pointing himself toward 69 East 69th Street. A weird stone, a weird crook, a weird crime scene, and now he was headed for that asylum of weirdness, the place where that homicide had led him, the place that changed a simple investigation into a random act of violence into some supernatural battle for the balance of the universe.
It had been some months since that case was wrapped up. The leaves had been through their brilliant autumnal display and were now falling off the trees. The World Series would be done in short order, the Sprint Cup Chase was almost done, and football was in full swing. Tomorrow it would be November.
That case and its aftermath probably had a lot to do with his promotion. He was almost sure that Tera—the proprietor of this bizarre business—had used her powerful connections to arrange it. She almost certainly thought she was rewarding him. The thought that he needed a reward told him she didn’t understand why he did his job at all.
Besides, there had been another sort of reward. After all those years, he had finally managed to stop grieving over Beth; he had managed to move on. A certain Ms. Camilla Addison had been largely responsible for that. She was bright, witty and caring. Her guidance through the bizarre society of the succubi had been crucial in solving the case, in both its mortal and other-worldly aspects. Somehow, Camilla could challenge and comfort Tom in the same breath. He found himself, when they were no longer staring down supernatural death and destruction, falling deeply in love with her.
She had seemed taken with him, as well. They had dated for about a month after the case was over, and the two of them had grown quite close. He began to feel about her the way he hadn’t felt about anybody since Beth.
Then, one day, she was just gone. No note, no nothing. Calls to this compound on East 69th Street, where his car was now pulling up, went unreturned, and then they went unanswered entirely. Tom was confused, broken, and bereft. Just the sight of this place made his jaw clench and his anger bubble up inside.
Dusk was fast approaching as the Detective stepped out of his car and approached the gate. Even within this strange compound, the leaves seemed to be turning, and some seemed to be a blaze of reds and oranges in the waning light. The only difference, from what he could see from leaves covering the ground, was that these seemed to be quite literally golden.
Just as Tom was about to press the button by the gate, hoping for a chance to gain admittance, he saw a shadowy figure on top of the wall: damn but if it wasn’t a female with what seemed to be feline features, right down to the ears and the tail, about five foot tall, either in a skintight suit or absolutely naked! Forgetting the gate, Tom raced along that wall after the cat-woman. When she jumped into the compound, running across the lawn, Tom pulled himself up and over the wall, hitting the ground rather ungloriously on the other side, and pulling himself to his feet again, he just caught a glimpse of a furry tail slipping around the far corner of the main building.
As he turned the same corner in hot pursuit, he found himself thrown against the wall by a shapely feline woman with auburn fur and violet eyes—cat’s eyes, in fact. Before he could catch his breath, she was rubbing her . . . he guessed they were hands, despite the claws, suggestively along his sides and running small kisses up his chest. His blood boiled as she gave his neck a long, langorous lick while simultaneously massaging his balls and stroking his member to amazing hardness through his slacks, ending up with a torrid nuzzle of his right ear. She didn’t even allow him to breathe before giving him a lustful kiss and gently nipping his lower lip, then running through a nearby entry door.
Tom was dazed and aroused past reason as he flailed wildly in a futile attempt to stop the creature—did it have small wings on its back?—and then ran in pursuit. As he stepped through the doorway, he felt a disorientation that he had only felt once before: when he had stepped through a portal into the Succubi Realm. Before he could even begin to orient himself, he tumbled into a king-size bed that took up most of the small room, rolling over onto his back and noticing stars out the window that did not even resemble any he’d seen before.
He didn’t even have a moment to process this before he heard a familiar voice—“Audrey, you come back with my towel right now!”—and a naked succubi tumbled on top of him.
A very familiar naked succubi.
Blonde hair in a short bob, lithe but attractive form, black horns and a tail: Camilla.
“Thomas! What are you . . .” was all she got out before he grabbed her like a drowning man reaching for a life preserver and kissed her as if she would breathe life into him.
“Wait! I should be upset with you,” he gasped before kissing her again, longer and deeper. Even as questions formed in Camilla’s mind, she was instinctively, desperately pulling the clothes from her visitor’s body.
Soon the two of them were caressing and kissing each other with abandon, unleashing months of unspent and unrequited passions. Camilla’s tail quickly restored her new lover’s erection, which the two of them put to good use, several times.
Finally, sweaty and panting, they paused long enough for Camilla to ask, “What in the Realm are you doing . . . well, here in the Realm?”
“I . . . I was following this . . . this cat . . . woman . . . I don’t know . . . then she jumped me . . . then she ran and I chased her into here, I thought, but . . .
“. . . Hang on a sec’! That . . . that cat, fluttering over our heads”—somehow “cat fluttering over our heads” didn’t phase him—“she looks just like the one I was chasing . . . but mine was about five-foot six.”
“That is Audrey,” Camilla replied, also a bit breathless, “my angelkitty. Every succubi has one, and they . . . they do things like that to get our attention sometimes.
“My particular angelkitty,” she glowered, “has been plotting for weeks, I think.”
Audrey held up a sign with her tail: “You were unhappy.”
Tom looked at Camilla, stroking behind her horns. “Unhappy? But I thought you left to avoid being unhappy with . . . well, me.”
Camilla’s green eyes, glistening with a bit of moisture, gazed into his brown orbs. “Not at all, Thomas. You were such a joy in my life. But my sisters and brothers here . . . so many had been damaged by what the Dark did, and so nearly destroyed by what it tried to do. Even Queen Tera was shaken. I couldn’t stay in your world and be happy knowing what was going on here.”
“So you did this for your people, okay. But why not tell me?”
“Even writing you a note, I found my resolve wavering; my need for you . . . my desire for you . . . were . . . are so strong.”
Audrey had another sign: “You LOVE him!!”
Then another sign: “And he loves you!! I can tell!!!”
Camilla’s tail was wrapped around Thomas’ waist, its tip teasing his scrotum. Without realizing it, he had begun to massage her mound, making her purr as she continued, “I convinced myself that I had to come home, that I couldn’t stay with you. But Audrey recognized the sadness and grayness in me better than I did, so she found some way to bring you here.”
“She engineered a series of impossible burglaries, where nothing was stolen . . . until today.”
There was a momentary look of discomfort on the succubi’s face as she reached behind herself and pulled a large, red stone out of the bedding: “The Enchanted Heart!”
Audrey shrugged her shoulders, looking as sheepish as a kitty might look, before producing another sign: “How can it be stolen if we own it?”
“Well,” Thomas grumped, just a bit, “there are still a few crimes that this could be.”
One last sign: “But you would rather kiss her, wouldn’t you?”
Thomas smiled, his cheeks reddening.
Camilla did her best to look stern while she held up the stone: “Go put this back right now, please, Audrey . . . with a minimum of showmanship.”
The kitty departed out a window with the jewel. The blonde turned to her bedmate, “Now, we have a bit to discuss, and . . .”
Her Thomas just kissed her. Then kissed her some more. The next round of lovemaking was much less frantic, but no less passionate. When it ended, the sun was peeking into the windows.
Camilla held her love like the most precious treasure ever. “We still have a lot to work out, you know . . . two worlds to negotiate.”
“And I have no doubt that it will not be easy,” he replied. “But we will do it all together, yes?”
They returned to their lovemaking, continuing to learn about one another.
There was plenty of time for the rest of it.
When I read this story, I felt good and smiled for the first time in ages… And for that gift, and this one, my heart I thank you…