"Mr. Grit, you're blushing," said the best-looking piece of ass I've ever laid these bloodshot eyes on.
"Actually, this is a bit of sunburn I got the other day," I said jokingly, hoping she would pick up on my feeble attempt at humor. She emitted a sound that sounded like a giggle. "OK, what do we want to talk about Sam, you don't mind if I call you Sam, do you?" "That's my name," I said, smiling while sounding a bit glib.
"Well, first, tell me how you knew I wanted to talk to you?" I asked. "Oh, a little birdie told me," she replied coyly. I don't know why but that really annoyed the hell out of me. "Y'know Sam, I am well aware of who you are, and have been for some time," said Maggie O'Halloran, smiling and flashing that delicious looking mouth full of perfect teeth. "So, my tainted reputation precedes me, eh?" I said, trying to smile but doing a lousy job of it. "No, no, not at all. Sean Michael thought very highly of you. He said you were one of the best homicide detectives they ever had."
"I appreciate that," I said. Now I knew what the S.M. stood for in S.M. O'Halloran. I would jokingly say that it stood for sadomasochist. Now, I had to think of how I was going to address him in our conversation. Was it Sean? Sean-Michael? Your husband? Then I said, "I remember the Chief when he was working Vice as a Sergeant, and when he worked Burglary as a Lieutenant. I never knew him personally, but we crossed paths a few times. He pinned a medal on me once. I think he was a Captain then. Everyone used to say how smart he was and what a good cop he was. I wasn't surprised when he made Chief."
"Yes, I too heard nothing but good things about him," said a somewhat wistful looking Maggie O'Halloran. "That's why when it comes out about his…uh…his proclivity for…uh...," her voice trailed off to silence.
"For dressing in women's clothing?" I said. I felt a little relieved for having said it. So now, we didn't have to dance around it.
"Yes," she said.
I replied, "Well, I have a hunch. I don't think anyone inside the Department is going to say anything about his cross-dressing habits. It'll be too embarrassing for their image. If it gets it leaked, it will be from the outside. At least that's my take on it. I mean, there's always the chance that someone holds a grudge, or maybe a disgruntled cop, but the upper echelon of the Department will do all they can to keep it hush-hush."
"Now, I have a two-part question," I said. Maggie O'Halloran stared at me, intently.
"First. Did you kill your husband, and second, if not, do you know who did?" There was an uncomfortable pregnant pause and then...
"Well, Mr. Grit. I have a two-part answer. No! And No! "
I questioned her for about an hour. Unfortunately, the questioning did not disclose anything of much importance regarding her husband's death. She broke down several times, and it was apparent that she did care for the Chief - unless, of course, she was faking it! She told me about her Vegas history. How, as a young, naive teenager, she ran away from home to escape her abusive father and eventually wound up as one of the premier dancers at several of the large casinos in Vegas. She was working at The Mirage when she met Chief O'Halloran. "He was kind and sweet. He would send me bouquets of red carnations, which are my favorite. He treated me like someone special! After a while, he just won me over. Most of the men, prior to Sean, seemed more like my father. I don't know. Maybe there is some sort of psychological explanation for that," she said.
"How soon after you and the Chief were married did you discover he liked to dress in women's clothing?" I asked.
"Not long," she replied.
It was apparent the subject of the Chief's cross-dressing did not sit well with her, and besides, I was done with it myself. I mean, what more did I need to know? The image of the portly Chief of the San Francisco Police Department struggling to get into pantyhose was too much for me to envision.
Then I mentioned Momma Blue, and she went haywire. "That conniving, sick, fucking lying bitch," she said through clenched teeth.
Her reaction took me by surprise. The transformation from the cool, calm beauty in front of me, to the frothing at the mouth lioness knocked me back in my chair a little.
"She was in love with Sean, and she became a big pain in my ass! I knew he enjoyed going to the Blue Gardenia, especially at first. He was, interestingly enough, introduced to it when some of his fellow police officers took him there to celebrate him making Captain. He took me there several times because I enjoyed the shows. You know, there are some very talented people in the shows there. He enjoyed going there except for Momma Blue. She was all over him. When I went there with him, she acted as if I wasn't there. She was always fawning over him and pestering him. Right in front of me! I hated that whore!"
I thought to myself, was all that Momma Blue shared with me - bullshit?
"Tell me, Mrs. O'Halloran, were there photographs of you having sex with someone other than your husband - that your husband found?"
"Never!" she said adamantly.
"It's that fat, lying bitch saying that isn't it?" asked a flushed faced Maggie O'Halloran.
I thought I might have to pay another visit to the Blue Gardenia. Did Momma Blue have those pics of Maggie O'Halloran having sex? How much of what Momma Blue told me was true?
Content that I had all that Maggie O'Halloran had to share with me, I thanked her and walked her to the door. As she was leaving, she turned and said, "If you hear anything, anything at all, please call me." I told her I would and watched her walk toward the elevator.
"You can put your eyes back in your head now," said Emma, from behind me with what sounded like an obvious hint of jealousy. "It's just business," I said as I walked past her to my office. I didn't look at her as I passed in front of her, but I could almost feel those dark eyes of hers staring daggers into my back. Nonetheless, my focus now was on the manila envelope on my desk.