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CHAPTER ONEIt was definitely not the weather for a black-tie affair. It was only early April, yet the evening temperature was above seventy. The women, with their bared shoulders and half-hare bosoms, were far more comfortable than were the men. All a woman had to wear was a gown. Fresh air could circulate coolingly over her exposed breasts and beneath the hem of her floor-length gown. Men, on the other hand, wore stifling high-necked collars, stiffly starched shirts, ties, jackets, cummerbunds, trousers, and then, beneath all that, undershorts and undershirts.Casey Tompkins smiled sympathetically at a fellow sufferer, mopped his brow with a soggy handkerchief, and took another long pull at his tall glass. The cool, sweet concoction of liquor and flavoring slipped down his throat, gave briefly the impression of coolness, then exploded warmly in the pit of his stomach.Casey knew he was drinking too much, too He also knew he was bored. The music was good. The women were beautiful and friendly; and some of them were even available. The liquor was free and of high quality. Yet, he was bored, terribly bored.Casey was bored because he didn't belong. These people were neither his social nor his economic equals. He would have much preferred to be at home with his bride of less than two years. The only reason he'd accepted the invitation to this upper-echelon social bash was because Judy wouldn't be at home, anyway.Judy Tompkins was, Casey glanced at his watch, at that very moment on stage at the Durrenmatt Theater. It was almost time for the second-act curtain, and she was probably in the arms of her stage lover.Judy Tompkins -- actress, wife of Casey Tompkins -- rising young lawyer, had a good supporting role in Broadway's latest hit. Casey, having seen the damned play so often he could quote all the actors' lines in his sleep, had balked at continued attendance at the theater. He'd also balked at the idea of sitting at home alone in the apartment The invitation to the ball had seemed a good idea at the time. It might serve two purposes. First, Casey would not have to sit home alone all evening. Second, he might make some valuable contacts. These people were all wealthy. They were directors of corporations, big Wall Street investors, publishers of magazines and newspapers. Such people continually required the services of good lawyers. Casey thought it might be possible to cut himself a piece of the action.Casey dropped his empty glass on the tray of a passing waiter, snared another drink from the tray of another waiter, and, bored with standing in one place so long, moved to another spot on the wall and leaned back to watch the proceedings.The six-piece orchestra, having played the proper number of waltzes and fox trots, now began something with a little more tempo. Casey smiled as he watched these aloof and superior beings now wriggle and writhe about as they did the Watusi, the frug, the monkey, and all the other faddist dance crazes.His interest perked up. Some of them weren't too bad. There was one blonde in the middle of the floor who was quite an eyeful. Her strapless gown fought valiantly to contain her massive breasts. Every wriggle of her shoulders or toss of her hips sent waves shimmering across her soft flesh. Each movement of her body threatened to toss her breasts free of their confinement.The blonde's eyes were half closed as she moved her body to the suggestive rhythm. Her lips were parted slightly and the pink tip of her tongue peeked through. Tendrils of hair had escaped the curve of her coiffure, and her make-up was beginning to run under all that perspiration. The exposed and jiggling surfaces of her breasts glistened with sweat.Casey knew he was becoming too interested in the blonde. It would serve no purpose for him to get himself all excited watching her and thinking about her. This wasn't that sort of party.He got another fresh drink and wandered off in search of fresh air. He came to the open French doors which faced out onto the terrace and stepped outside. It was only slightly cooler out in the darkness, but it was much more quiet.Casey stood at the edge of the flagstone terrace and looked out into the night. A hundred yards away Long Island Sound lapped softly at the shore. This immense estate also had a dock, and tied at that dock were a forty-foot inboard cabin cruiser and an eighteen-foot speedboat.The Sound was calm on this soft spring night. The full moon and the stars were reflected in the water. Far out Casey could see the running lights of a slow-moving boat and further out, across the Sound, was the glow in the night sky which was the rights of the city of Hartford, Connecticut, clear across the body of water.Casey took another sip from his drink and ran his forefinger under the edge of his collar. He walked down the four stone steps from the terrace and strolled casually through the garden.It was a beautiful garden -- a tribute to both the art of the gardener and the money of the owner. A small fortune had gone into this garden. Everywhere there were nooks and crannies filled with statuary.Casey paused before a pedestal which held an eighteen-inch figure of a girl. It was a marble piece. The girl, nude, was captured in full flight --hair tossing wildly, legs pumping with each lunging step, breasts swaying. The girl's face was twisted in horror and fear.It was good piece of work. Casey set his glass down on the pedestal while he lit a cigarette. The full moon gave more than enough fight for him to be able to fully appreciate all the art.The cigarette lit, Casey started his stroll once again. He walked quietly, his shoes silent on the thick manicured grass. He came to a stone bench beside a fountain and sat down.He'd been sitting there only a moment or two when he heard the murmur of approaching voices. Casey didn't want anyone to see him sitting there alone. He would look foolish.He rose from the bench and stepped behind a bush to let the approaching people, whoever they were, pass in the night.The voices grew louder, and he was able to identify a man's and a woman's voice. The couple came into view, slowed, and sat down on the bench Casey had vacated only a moment before.He didn't recognize either of them, but they were obviously guests. And neither of them was aware that he stood in the shadows less than five feet away.The man put his arm about the woman's shoulders, and she turned her face toward him to be kissed. But she murmured disapproval when he reached to cup one of her half-bared breasts.The young man, who was about twenty-four and had the look of belonging to the right clubs, ended the kiss with an explosive sigh of frustration. The woman, about thirty, small and solidly built, laughed softly."You're too impetuous, darling," she said, reaching a hand to stroke one of his cheeks."I can't help it," the young man replied. "You don't know hew badly I want you.""I do," she said. "But not here. Are you mad?""You told me your husband doesn't give a damn what you do.""He doesn't. But what if someone else were to find us?""No one will find us. They're all busy inside.""My husband's leaving for two weeks of conferences out on the West Coast. We'll have lots of fun then.""When is he leaving?""Oh, next week some time. You can wait until then, surely?""I tell you I can't wait. I'm going out of my mind wanting you. I can't think about anything else. I can't sleep at night. Every time I close my eyes I see us together that first time when it almost happened. I see you standing there without your clothes. I remember the way I felt when our eyes met and held for so long. And the way you opened your arms as I walked toward you."I remember everything about that time. The way your skin feels. The way your nipples harden and the way they taste. The heat of your lips and the soft sound of your moans."The woman smiled, and her white teeth flashed in the night. When she spoke her voice had a low, throbbing quality. "I remember, too. You were as excited as a little puppy. I only barely touched you, and you exploded all over the place."The young man turned his face away in embarrassment. "I couldn't help it. I was so excited.""Oh, I didn't mind. You were very nice to me afterward. I remember that, too.""Oh, God!" The young man thrust both hands into his lap and hunched forward. "You're driving me out of my mind."Casey looked about for an avenue of escape, but he couldn't move without making noise and betraying his presence.The woman pulled herself closer and crooned soothingly to the young man as she stroked his shoulder and cheek. "There, there now. Don't get upset. You... " Before she could finish the younger man whirled, took her in his arms, and kissed her. She struggled for a moment, then relaxed with a sigh. Her arms went around his neck and pulled him tight against her.The young man, encouraged by her lack of objection, kissed harder and shoved one hand into the bodice of her gown. She hunched her shoulders to make it easier for him. After a moment or two the young man had the top of the gown down to her waist.Her breasts were bare in the moonlight -- alabaster cones tipped with dark circles and hard buds. The young man's mouth slid down from her lips to her throat, then out onto the trembling surfaces of her breast. He captured one lively breast in his hand, squeezing so his fingers sank deep into the soft firmness, and covered the end of the other breast with his greedy mouth.The woman let out a soft moan of desire and let her head hang back on her neck. Casey could see her face quite clearly in the moonlight. Her eyes were closed and her cheeks and lips trembled with desire. Her mouth was open, and she gasped softly for every breath.She cupped the back of the young man's head with one of her hands, and pulled him tighter to her breast. Her other hand went to his lap and moved strongly there."Baby, baby, baby," she crooned in the night. "You know how sensitive I am there. Your mouth, it's so wonderful. I love your mouth. Harder! Bite me. Let me feel your teeth."The young man, encouraged by her lack of ob-breasts, and at the same time he slid his hand up beneath the hem of her dress. As he reached high under the dress the hem rose up along the length of her rounded legs.In a moment bare flesh above the tops of her stockings appeared. From his hiding place Casey could see she was wearing black lace panties which were extremely sheer, and a black lace garter belt. Her white flesh seemed to have an incandescence which glowed through the sheer material of her nether garments.The young man stroked her legs until they fell limply apart and quivered beneath his touch. Then his hand rose high between them and cupped to the sharp curve of her torso. He rolled his hand against her there, and his moaning took on a more frantic tone. The woman was not completely passive. While she enjoyed the young man's kisses and caresses her own hand was busy at the front of his trousers. The sound of his zipper was loud in the darkness. Her hand disappeared into the front of his trousers for a moment, then reappeared.The young man was as excited as he could possibly be, and that stroking hand did nothing to quiet him. Even as he kissed and stroked her more feverishly he wriggled in his seat and pumped slightly with his hips.Then the young man was trying to push the woman down flat on her back on the stone bench. She resisted and tore herself from his embrace."Don't, darling," she said when she'd caught her breath. "You'll muss me.""Damn it! I can't stand much more of this. You can't leave me this way.""All right. But you'll have to do something for me, too. Here, come to momma."The excitement of the scene he was witnessing transmitted itself to Casey. He could feel the fires of desire growing in the pit of his stomach. His body was hard and tingling, and his legs trembled. He was completely enraptured and could not have torn himself away.The woman, with her skirt up about her hips, and with the bodice of her dress down around her waist, reached both hands into the young man's lap."Relax now," she crooned. "Let momma take care of you. I'm going to make you so happy. Sooo happy. And then you can do for me. Easy now, just let it happen and enjoy it."The young man caught her wrists for a moment and stilled the movement of her hands. "But that's not what I want," he said in a high-pitched whine. "I want to make love to you.""I know what you want. But not here. Not tonight. We'll have time soon. Now let me do this for you. We have to get back before we're missed, and you don't want to go back like that, do you?"The young man resigned himself to his fate. He released her wrists and grabbed the bench on either side of his hips to support himself. The woman leaned over his lap for a moment and kissed him. He tried to grab her head and keep it there, but she was too quick for him.Once again her hands gripped and moved.Casey stared with lust-glazed eyes. He saw the wild expression on her face as the young man grew more and more excited. He watched her breasts bounce and shake with every movement of her hands.Finally the young man cried out softly and her hands stopped moving. She gave him a moment or two to recover himself, then said, "Give me your handkerchief.He found a handkerchief in the hip pocket of his trousers and gave it to her. She was busy for a moment."It's your turn now," she said in a hushed tone.The young man took her in his arms once again, kissed her on the mouth, and stroked one of her breasts. After a moment she took his hand and guided it to her quivering legs.With a soft cry of desire she tore her mouth from his. "Darling, take them off. Take my panties off."The young man dropped to his knees on the ground before the bench and reached both hands up under the hem of her dress. She raised her buttocks from the bench for a moment to let him draw her panties down and off.When the young man tried to rise again she put both her hands on his shoulders to stop him. He remained sitting on his heels."Don't get up," she said in a hoarse voice. "I want you down there. I want you to kiss me."As she spoke the woman slid her hands up from his shoulders to his neck, then up to his cheeks. She stared deep into his eyes as her hands slipped around behind his head and pulled him gently but firmly toward her.He resisted for only a moment, then, with a soft cry, he leaned eagerly forward. His lips smacked firmly against the quivering inner surface of one delicate thigh."Oh, yes, baby. That's the way. More, more. Momma likes it so much."His lips traveled up the inner side of her thigh until they could move no higher. She no longer had to hold his head. Instead she let the fingers of one hand trail lightly from his cheek to her body and back again.Her body heaved and her legs went over his shoulders and locked behind his back. She moaned and sighed and twisted her hips against him."Kiss me, darling. Kiss me. Yes. That's it. Yes, yes."Casey could scarcely believe neither his eyes nor his ears. Here was a married woman in her thirties taking the love of a much younger man at a party being given on a plush Long Island estate. Her husband was probably right inside the house, but she didn't seem to care.She had the young man completely under her spell. She'd forced him to settle for a rather poor substitute for lovemaking and yet had him perform for her a most intimate and enjoyable function. She was getting the thrill of her life.At her peak the woman let out a high, keening cry of desire. She clutched the young man violently to her body. All her muscles locked in rigid spasm. Her back arched.With a long loud sigh she relaxed and released the young man. Her legs unlocked from behind his back and came down from his shoulders.But he didn't rise immediately. Instead he palmed the inner sides of her thighs and spread her legs even wider apart. He kissed her gently again and again, and they were kisses of gratitude.The damned fool was grateful to her for allowing him the privilege of serving her in that perverted manner.She gave a soft, husky laugh of satisfaction, pushed him away with the toe of one high-heeled pump, and reached for her panties. The young man took them from her hands and knelt once again before her to help her dress. She stood up when she had the panties on over her ankles, and he drew them up to her hips, patting them into place with loving touches.She smoothed her skirt down, hunched her shoulders, and inserted her breasts into the brassiere built into the bodice of the strapless gown. From her small purse she took a compact, opened it, and fixed her make-up and hair in the mirror.When she was finished she took the young man's hand, and they strolled casually back toward the house. Casey waited until they were quite out of sight, then came out of his place of concealment.He sat down on the same bench, wiped his brow, and waited for some of the excitement to leave him.CHAPTER TWOCasey smoked a cigarette down to the roach before he decided it was safe to return to the party. He fixed his collar, straightened his tie, and brushed the jacket and trousers of his tuxedo as he walked rapidly back toward the house.The music was still playing, and the other guests were still drinking and dancing. Casey blinked his eyes against the sudden brightness of the interior of the house and went quickly toward the bar. He needed another drink very badly after his experience out in the garden.When he had his drink he wandered around until he again saw the woman. The young man was not with her. Casey spotted him out on the dance floor with a girl more his own age.IS The woman was sitting beside a broadly-built man of medium height. The man appeared to be in his early forties. He had a round bear-like body. He had the dark shadow of beard beneath his cleanly-shaven cheeks, and the backs of his hands were matted with thick, dark, curly hair. From the way the woman was sitting beside him and joining in the conversation Casey assumed this was the husband.But Casey was more interested in the woman. She was small and lean and dark, very self-assured, very cool. Every hair was in place. Her make-up was perfect. She gave not the slightest hint that only a few moments before a man had been making perverted love to her.Her cheekbones were high and her lips were thin. She had a look of authority in her smoky eyes, as though she was used to giving orders and having them obeyed.Casey smiled to himself and wondered how she would look if she was aware he knew of her relationship with the young man. She wouldn't be so damned sure of herself then, he knew.Casey wandered on, searching among the guests until he found the man who'd invited him. Jack Hass was an old friend from law school. He and Casey had always planned on opening an office together. But after graduation Jack's parents had arranged a position for him with one of the biggest law firms in the city. Their old dream had died. Yet, they'd remained good friends. When six months after graduation Jack had married, Casey had been his best man. They still saw one another several times a week and spoke frequently over the phone. Jack had even tried to get Casey to come into the big firm. But Casey had refused. He'd told Jack he wasn't interested in corporation law, that he preferred instead to practice criminal law. But that was only part of the reason. Casey knew he didn't belong with a big, rich, conservative law firm. He didn't have the background, the breeding, the ivy-league polish."Hi," Jack said, when Casey approached. "Having a good time?"Casey gave his friend a rueful grin. "It's kind of dull, old pal."Jack wasn't offended. "At least it's better than hanging around an empty apartment all night. Anyway, Arlene and I are leaving pretty soon. We'll give you a ride back to the city.""Good, good. Tell me something. Do you know everybody here?""Most of them, I guess. Why?""Just curious. Who is that guy sitting over there -- the one next to the small dark woman?""Him? His name's Ben Dover. Owns a shipping line.""Dover Steamships?""That's the one. The woman is his wife, Eileen.Why?""No special reason. I just thought it would be nice to know all the faces and the names that go along with them. Who knows, I might make some valuable contacts."Jack laughed. "These aren't the sort of people who are likely to need the services of a criminal lawyer.""You never know. The rich break just as many laws as the poor. But they get away with it a lot more often.""It's not only a matter of money.""Watch it, old friend. You're beginning to sound like the rich young snob who showed up to be my roommate."Jack hesitated for a moment, then gave Casey a sheepish grin. "You're right. I thought you knocked all that out of me back in school.""I did the best I could," Casey said lightly. "That first month we fought almost every day."Arlene, Jack's wife, showed up to claim her husband for one more dance. Casey watched them move out onto the floor. Arlene was a tall, willowy redhead who was much too beautiful for her own good. At any social gathering she was always the object of much attention. Hungry male eyes always followed her. And she was a flirt and a tease.The music stopped. Jack and Arlene returned. With Casey they went to thank the hostess. One of the servants had Jack's big silver Imperial brought around to the front door.While they waited for the car Casey noticed Arlene was a little unsteady on her feet. He looked closer. She was also having difficulty focusing her eyes.The girl was very quietly and very thoroughly stoned. She held her liquor very well. Only the closest scrutiny betrayed her inebriation. And, drunk as she was, she managed to retain a regal air.The big Imperial was brought to the front door.Casey and Jack helped Arlene out to the car and into the front seat. Casey got in beside her and Jack went around to slip behind the wheel.It was only about eleven o'clock, and the roads were not yet empty. Ten minutes of slow driving took them to the main road back to the city. Once on the main road Jack opened up the big car a little. But he couldn't go too fast, there were too many cars on the road. Still, he was able to cruise at about sixty-five miles an hour.It was one of those wine-like nights when it was too warm to keep the windows rolled up and too cool for the car's air-conditioning unit. So they rode with the windows open and the roaring of the wind.After they hit the main road Arlene fell asleep. Jack and Casey talked about some of the people Casey had met at the party. Very subtly Casey steered the conversation around to Eileen Dover.Jack had no real information for him. He didn't know the Dovers very well. And there was no gossip connected with Eileen. Which meant she was usually very careful and very discreet.Well, Casey thought, she slipped tonight. It was a very bad idea to make love in the garden.Jack wheeled the big car around a long, slow curve. Arlene, asleep in the middle of the front seat, slumped against Casey. Her cheek rested against his shoulder and one breast was mashed against the side of his arm.Casey tried to ignore the warm softness of her, the smell of her perfume, the faint odor of fresh perspiration. He turned his memory to the activities in the garden.That was just as bad.In her sleep, almost as though she was reading his thoughts, Arlene turned more toward Casey. She threw one arm across his lap and cuddled herself closer.Casey tensed and glanced at Jack out of the corner of his eye. The driver hadn't noticed anything at all.Arlene, in her sleep, seemed to think Casey was her husband. She murmured something unintelligible and rubbed her thigh against Casey's leg. The arm across his lap moved until her hand was resting fully upon him.Casey responded. Only a statue would not have responded. It had been a very erotic evening. The memory of the recently-witnessed sights and the stimulation of Arlene's hand were too much for Casey's self-control.Instinctively, her hand gripped his response. She squeezed him, murmured again, and pulled closer.They were in heavier traffic now, traffic which required all of Jack's concentration. He wasn't at all aware of what was happening between his wife and his friend.Arlene's hand stroked and kneaded and squeezed. Casey's presence seemed to penetrate the alcoholic sleep. She moaned again, a little louder this time, and with unmistakable desire.Her eyes opened and blinked several times. Confusion wrinkled her brow as she stared up into Casey's face. She looked down from his face to her gripping hand. Her fingers tightened to confirm what she already knew.Her eyes widened and a dull blush suffused her pretty face. She quickly drew her hand back and sat up straight."You were asleep," Casey said softly. "I didn't want to wake you.""I'm sorry," she told him in an agonized voice. "I thought... ""You don't have to explain.""But... "