A Field of Candles
Chapter 02 A Fork Stuck in the Road
Doukas placed the cell phone on the desk. It was one of four and he was putting this one back in its place. They were in a particular order, so as to avoid confusion. Certain phones were only for certain people, or certain…business.
The one he had just been using was for several of his associates back in New York City. The associate he had just spoken with was reporting that they now had eight young women in the house they used to ‘store’ them in before Doukas instructed them as to their destinations. These eight were destined for Miami, but he needed four more; that had been the order. Twelve girls; fifty grand.
As Sheffield often pondered, Doukas’s legitimate operations in the states brought in over two million dollars U.S. a month. This fifty thousand, while significant to the average Jane or Joe, was chicken feed to Doukas; and came at great risk. Human trafficking was a nasty business and law enforcement and the media were easily aroused by it.
For Doukas however, this was the business he liked the most. He had toiled in the drug trade; if you want big money drugs were the ticket; but it had done nothing for him. He still dabbled when necessary, but it bored him. Money laundering was still one of his side trades. Girls however were the one thing that never bored him. And he had witnessed firsthand what leverage young women could provide; what doors they could open; what influential people they could bring to one’s side (or under one’s thumb).
To Louis Doukas, young women were the most desirable commodity on the planet, and although he had never sampled the wares (good advice from his first drug supplier) he loved the benefits. He loved watching young women complying to sexual commands. He loved seeing them compromised and prepared to do whatever they were told, no matter how disgusting, because all other choices had been taken from them, leaving them with only one choice; whatever was needed to survive.
Louis Doukas had learned long ago that people could be made to do just about anything in order to survive. He liked what that meant.
At that moment, the ever dutiful Sheffield brought him his morning coffee.
The cell phone on her counter chirped with an incoming call. Nicole looked at the microwave clock and noted 11:30, then glanced at the phone; it read Susan K; and Nicole smiled.
“Hey there, Mrs. Koning.” Nicole purred into her cell, a smile on her face.
There was a pause before Susan began. “That’s funny Nicole, but I really, really don’t want you calling me…that.” She laughed.
Nicole laughed too. This phone call was a great sign; not unexpected, but she was happy with it. “Oh, don’t you worry. I’ll be coming up with a cute pet name for you before too long.” Nicole said with a smirk. “So, how are you feeling? Hubby home yet?”
Another pause. “No, um, no; he isn’t back until Tuesday.”
“Ummm, that’s ok, right?” Nicole had no idea what sort of marriage Susan had, but from her performance last night there was definitely something missing.
“Yeah. I don’t want to bore you with the details of my married life….”
“Don’t worry about that, sweet Susan. I’d like to know what’s going on. You can share with me; you really can. I want you to….”
They talked for a few minutes along these lines and the conversation confirmed, very clearly, what Nicole had
already surmised. Susan’s marriage to Roland (Roland? “Anyone call him Rolly?” Nicole inquired. “Only his mom”, was Susan’s reply) was dead. They had been in separate bedrooms for two years now. Roland was a kind-hearted man but whatever attraction had been there, years ago, was long dead. Only daughter Hailey had kept Susan in it.
“So, never thought about hooking up with someone?”
Pause once again. Susan was a lawyer to her core; she always deliberated before speaking. “Um, well, yes I have. Thought seriously more than once. I came close last year to meeting one of the greens-keepers at the golf club after hours; young, attractive, athletic guy. But I chickened out last minute. Just afraid for my daughter. I don’t know….” Susan’s voice trailed off.
“But I suppose you never thought you’d get it on with another woman, hey?” Nicole smiled into her phone.
“No,” Susan laughed. “Well, not exactly.” She had fantasized about making love to another woman; more than once, actually. But the thought of really doing it, that was different. Astounding…really. Unbelievable, in fact.
Susan then related her upbringing, in an emotionally empty home with two religious and controlling parents.
“They believed any sex, anything, including self-stimulation, that didn’t involve the goal to make babies, to be a sin. Homosexuality of course was a damnable sin. Right straight to Hell.” Susan chuckled, softly, but the memories were not pleasant.
“I think I jumped at marriage with Roland to be free of them. I was already estranged from them and putting myself through college; racking up debts as well. Roland had a decent and steady job. He supported me then; I probably have always felt grateful to him. But years have passed and I now make five times his take home. And there’s nothing here for me, really. Nothing. In fact, I have grown to actually dislike him, or at least I dislike being around him.”
There was a pause now as Susan collected herself. Maybe she had revealed too much, but Nicole was easy to talk to. For her part, Nicole was good with Susan opening up. Everything she revealed fit with Nicole’s plans.
“Have you thought of leaving him, Susan?”
Pause; seconds ticked by. Susan’s voice was subdued when she spoke. “Yes, I have. Would you believe, every day. That’s terrible, isn’t it?”
“No.” Nicole said bluntly. “It’s not. It’s called being realistic.”
Glen Farner’s cell lit up, and since it was his other phone, he answered it. “Mr. X., Farner here.” He said, his anxiety rising. The man on the other end always affected him that way.
“Farner. I think you know why I’m calling.” Louis Doukas said quietly in his most velvet of voices. Doukas was an individual that the quieter he became, the more threatening was the message.
“Uh, ya-ummm, Mr. X. I’ve found three girls so far and I have a line on a fourth.”
Silence followed, an ominous silence, at least to Farner. As an independent lawyer, he had adjusted by accepting all sorts of clients; drug dealers, pimps, securing bonds for the accused who couldn’t post their own, ambulance chasing; Farner had twice in his career actually followed an ambulance to the hospital.
‘Pride’s great, but you gotta eat,’ was his favorite line. So it was not really surprising that he would come to the attention of someone like Louis Doukas. And since Doukas paid very well, Farner held his nose and did some unpleasant things, like his current task of finding four women to complete Doukas’s Miami sale, even if he didn’t know what would happen to the girls, although he certainly had his ideas.
This was the third group Farner had put together so far for Mr. X.; and the added benefit each time was that
Farner could choose one of the girls to have sex with before they were shipped off. That mattered to him. Farner was the sort of guy who had trouble finding girls to have sex with, if he wasn’t paying.
“I’ll give you twenty-four hours, Farner. Twenty-four, not twenty-five. I pay very well, my young friend, but I expect top service. We are clear, yes?”
“Ye-yes, sir. Mr X., we are clear and I’m on it sir, you can cou….”
But the line had already gone dead.
As Susan drove Hailey to her softball game, the talk with Nicole played over in her mind like a loop, interrupted occasionally by a comment or question from her daughter. Susan pushed down the disappointment of not being able to see Nicole today (she couldn’t believe how strong the pull was) by being happy that her teenage daughter was still interested in sports.
She would drive Hailey wherever and whenever and for however long, if it meant she had a life away from all the temptations and traps out in the world. Glancing at her daughter, she was reminded again that Hailey was no longer a girl, she was now a young woman. A young woman who was pretty and had an attractive figure; she knew Hailey had friends, boys and girls, and she wondered some time (well, often) what they did. She could ask of course; but Hailey would likely run for the hills before telling her lawyer-mom anything.
Farner had been spurred into action by his last conversation with the man. Girls didn’t just hang from trees, he argued to himself. How come Mr. X. didn’t seem to understand that; that these things took time? But feeling the pressure, Farner decided to take a risk. He usually planned it so any targeted girl would be isolated and completely vulnerable; that was the part that took planning and time.
He had decided now to push his agenda forward, his
target was a troubled senior, seventeen or eighteen, who had come to his attention through a source at the family court. He had now tracked her to a sketchy part of town and had added some muscle in the form of ‘Mojo’ Snipes. The two were going to grab the girl tonight.
At 11:00 AM Sunday morning, Nicole’s phone chirped again.
“Hi sweet Sus.” Nicole purred; she was feeling good.
“Good morning, Nicole. I hope you’re not bugged that I keep calling?”
“No, no, absolutely, no. I told you and I mean it. Call me. Talk to me. Friday night was not a one-time thing. I mean that.”
The next twenty minutes were spent in a combination of girl to girl; worker to worker; and lawyer to lawyer talk. Susan was a white collar crimes lawyer; Nicole was a criminal defense lawyer; neither were divorce lawyers but they still knew lots. They didn’t work out the whole thing right then, but they decided on a process that Susan could now begin, and hopefully her unhappy and unsatisfying marriage could be terminated with the least emotional damage possible, and fairly soon.
“Thank you, Nicole. I can’t believe all that we have shared in the last couple of days. I need to get going, Hailey has a drama rehearsal today.” Susan paused here, considering her words. “I really wish I could come over to see you.”
Nicole smiled. “Hey there partner, what would we do?”
Susan chuckled, “Really?”
“Yeah,” Nicole continued, “this is new to you. I’d like to know what you are thinking. I want you to be specific, no guessing here. What would happen if you came to my apartment right now?”
Susan laughed now with some embarrassment. This was
actually daunting, putting her desires into words, but Nicole persisted and Susan found her courage.
“Well, we would kiss, and take off our clothes, and take turns licking and kissing our, um, special places….”
“Nicole, that’s a little gross….” Susan protested.
“No, sweets, we are being clear. You want to kiss my cunt. Say it.”
Susan was amazed at the growing heat between her legs as this conversation became graphic. She would have loved to jump in her vehicle and charge over to Nicole’s. “Yes, I would kiss your…cunt.”
“And lick it until I was satisfied. Say it.”
“I would, um, lick your c-cunt until you were satisfied.”
“Because you want to please me.”
Oh, God. Oh, God, Susan thought, Oh, Jesus. “Uh, yes, um, shit. I want to please you. I want to. Fuck. This is crazy Nicole, I can’t believe how hot I am.”
Nicole smiled more. “And you want me to lick your cunt. Say it.”
“Ohhh, fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Ummm, yes, I want you to lick my cunt. Fuck!!”
“And you want to put your tongue in my ass. Say it, sweet Susan.”
Susan’s hand had gone to her crotch, and she was massaging the fabric of her slacks over her vagina. “I want to put my tongue up your ass. Oh, Jesus, I do. I want to spread your legs and suck you like crazy.”
There was silence now, with just Susan’s heavy breathing as she continued to squeeze and fondle herself, certain a climax was building.
“Are you touching yourself right now, Susan?” Nicole asked, still smiling broadly. She already was certain
of the answer.
“Um, ah, oh jeez, uh, yes, I am, Nicole.” Susan managed to stammer out, close to coming.
“Stop.” Nicole commanded, quietly.
“Stop touching yourself. I did not give you permission, and if you want this, us, to continue, you need to do what I say. So stop.”
Not sure why, but feeling unbelievably aroused, Susan paused, her fingers resting between her legs. She could feel the warmth there, as well as her pussy lips.
“Ask me for permission, Susan.” Nicole’s voice was warm, seductive, beckoning, compelling.
With her heart pounding and desire coursing through her like a wild mountain stream, Susan found her own voice. “Please, um, N-Nicole. May I touch myself?”
There was a pause. “No. Not until I see you tomorrow. And I will know, Susan, if you do and then, that will be that. I will let you have wonderful pleasure tomorrow, with me. Do you understand?”
Feeling overwhelmed and almost drugged, Susan agreed in a voice like a whimper.
Nicole continued in her calm, quiet way. “You need to go, Susan. So we will see each other tomorrow, but on one condition. You are not to wear a bra. That is my command to you. If you wear a bra tomorrow, then that will be your decision to end whatever we have started. Have a good day, sweet one, and I am looking forward to seeing you.”
“But, um, Nicole, I don’t understand….”
“Nothing to understand, Susan. It’s just about feelings and emotions and desire. It’s all there for you; you just have to do what I ask. See you tomorrow.” The call ended and Susan sat, staring at the phone, her hand still resting between her thighs. But she obeyed.
At five o’clock Monday morning, one of Doukas’s phones awoke him. He was a very light sleeper, so it took only the vibration on the end table. But the call set off a chain of events.
5:15: Doukas, using phone number two, contacted his ‘stash’ house and confirmed they now had four girls; he instructed them to get the girls out now and head for the coast.
7:00: Phone three caller alerts Doukas that the ‘stash’ house was raided an hour after the clear-out, but that Glen Farner had been detained for questioning as one of his business cards had been left behind in the house. From the adjoining room, Sheffield heard her boss curse, something he rarely did, and wondered what was up.
Also at seven, Susan Koning, after a restless night that saw her up way earlier than usual, arrived at her office; only office manager Dalton beat her there. Susan gets to work and helps Dalton get the coffee going.
7:20 Doukas, using phone two, calls one of the three Philly police officers in his employ.
8:00 Phone three caller alerts Doukas that Farner has been rushed to Temple Medical centre.
Also at eight, Nicole Martin arrives at the law office and goes directly to her own area. She is full of anticipation but after getting herself a cup of Earl Grey, focuses on the three current cases on her desk.
8:30 Phone two alerts Doukas that Glen Farner has died of an apparent heart attack. Five minutes later, phone number four had the message that the girls, transferred from the large truck to a van, were in Atlantic City. The first truck was now headed for Buffalo.
Doukas let out a long sigh and looked up as Sheffield brought in a tray; room service had brought breakfast. “After we eat, we check out.” Doukas said, in an even tone; but Sheffield’s knowing eye detected an agitation, something had clearly upset the man this morning. “Oh, and we will need a new lawyer here in Philly.” Doukas remarked without emotion.
“Mr. Farner is….”
Doukas held up a fork, looking a little like an orchestra conductor. His smile showed his even, white teeth. “Mr. Farner is no longer with us.” He said simply, and went back to his scrambled eggs.
Meaghan Browning manoeuvered her bicycle through the Monday traffic. She had one delivery and then she would be off to the gym. Weekends, where she could only jog, left her wanting more. She pushed herself to get to her destination; she really wanted, needed, to get to the gym; she had a good feeling that today would be positive.
At eleven o’clock, after forcing herself to work on necessary things, taking several phone calls and stopping herself twice from going to Nicole’s cubicle, Susan looked up as her door opened. She couldn’t believe her reaction; her heart was pounding again and she suddenly felt light-headed. And the familiar heat returned between her thighs, as Nicole Martin entered her office.
“Morning, sweet one,” Nicole murmured, closing the door and coming to stand behind Susan. Placing her hands on the older woman’s shoulders, Nicole turned the woman’s head and kissed her long and searchingly on her mouth. Susan opened her mouth and accepted the invading tongue with eagerness, moaning lowly and wanting desperately to spread her legs.
Positioning Susan forward again, Nicole removed the woman’s suit jacket and reached around, cupping the breasts.
“MMmmmm, that’s a very good girl,” Nicole purred, kissing Susan’s neck and squeezing the modest, perky breasts, free of any bra. “Miss N will be giving her favorite toy a special treat later today.” She whispered into Susan’s ear. “Be at my apartment for five-thirty.”
With one last squeeze of the breasts, Nicole slid out from behind and left, leaving Susan panting and frantically consulting her day timer to ensure she could be at Nicole’s as directed.
For a moment she thought about squeezing her hand into her over-heated sex, but she didn’t. She would be obedient to Nicole and she would be rewarded.
Meaghan ended her session with some time on the rowing machine. It had been a great workout and she had worked up a good sweat. Once in the shower she lingered; a couple of women had entered but no one came into the actual shower area. Just as she was about to turn off the shower, a petite woman, possible early forties with just a bit of extra weight around her tummy, came in, taking a spot four showerheads over.
Meaghan tried her dropping the soap routine but not a wink from the woman, who showered efficiently and headed out to get dressed. Meaghan followed her, eying her body and the thick pubic patch exposed just before her conservative, middle-aged white panties came up to cover everything. This woman wasn’t a possibility. Damn, Meaghan thought, this month she had scored with just the one lady and that had not gone anywhere; she had not seen that woman back here since.
Although she didn’t like going to the bar to meet women, Meaghan considered that for tonight; she felt like she was going to explode. She also decided, as she slung her backpack over her shoulder, that she would start coming to the gym every day; it wouldn’t take much to increase her gym plan. She could handle it; she really wanted to increase her odds at finding partners. Or the right partners.
Doukas picked up phone number four and read the text message. The boat had docked and the cargo was loaded and on its way. In just a few hours that group of girls would be working in two private clubs, and then spending the night in cages after servicing ten or twelve men each. By this time next week the routine would have set in along with the realization that they were trapped.
A month from now they would have ‘the eyes of the dead’ as Doukas referred to the vacant stare that these girls developed. By then of course they would be getting daily drug rations to keep them functioning. Doukas poured himself a shot of vodka and toasted the empty chair across from him. “To business,” he said, and downed his glass.
It was almost four-thirty when Nicole’s cell phone chirped. She rarely got calls on it when at work so this surprised her.
“Miss Nicole Martin?” the voice inquired, and the hairs immediately went up on the back of Nicole’s neck. She knew who this was, or at least what it was about, and she was angry at being contacted at work.
Nicole was a person with very expensive tastes and a limited, lawyer or not, budget. People like to think of lawyers rolling in dough, but early in their careers, lawyers start out quite modestly and usually with heavy student loans behind them. This hadn’t stopped Nicole from loading up on clothes; that was her major addiction (although she also had an expensive new car).
Nicole loved new clothes; and shoes, handbags, jewelry. All the accessories. Nicole was quite obsessed with how she looked, and her wardrobe was testament to that.
But unfortunately, so were her credit cards; all three now maxed out. The man on the line right now was from American Express, one of the two cards she hadn’t paid this month. Or last month. Two unfriendly minutes later Nicole had fought the caller off, but she knew this was not something that was going to go away by itself.
If only there was a way for her to make some more cash,
like on the side, she pondered. She forced these unpleasant thoughts from her mind by thinking about her date with Susan and what she would do with, and to, the woman.
Susan rode the elevator up to Nicole’s apartment, noting again all the physical characteristics of her arousal. She focused on controlling her breathing and hopefully that would slow down her heart rate. The light-headed feeling would likely pass once she was with Nicole.
The younger woman was awaiting her with her door open, and once inside the two women embraced warmly. Nicole took Susan’s outer coat and sat down on the couch facing her, Susan looking suddenly awkward, standing.
“I would offer you something to drink, Sweets, but I know you will be driving home soon. Besides, I want to just look at you for a minute; you must work out or something; you have kept yourself trim and attractive.” Nicole enthused.
Susan blushed a little at these compliments and acknowledged that she did go to the gym, at least twice a week, as well as jogging on weekends. Nicole asked her to turn around, slowly, which Susan did, feeling self-conscious and a little vulnerable. Nicole stood and came to Susan, removing her suit jacket, and then sitting down.
“Turn away from me Susan; good, that’s good. Now, take your blouse off. Don’t be shy, sweetie, you know you want me to see you.” Susan, with trembling fingers, unbuttoned her blouse and let it fall beside her, while remaining facing away from Nicole, who suddenly came up behind the other woman and placed a bra harness on her. It was a leather contraption that fit around Susan’s modest breasts, holding them in place but open and exposed.
Nicole reached around and began to squeeze and pull Susan’s nipples, which were actually fairly large and looked more-so on Susan’s frame. Nicole sat back down and had Susan put her hands behind her. “This is what you will wear for me, my lovely. I want to have quick access to your titties, but they need support; we don’t want to go all saggy now, do we. Ok, drop your skirt.”
Her head swimming and unaware of Nicole’s cameras recording this from three angles, Susan removed her skirt and stood with her naked and harnessed breasts above and her thong panties below on display. She suddenly became aware of her pubic bush, light brown but long and wild, that sprouted around her thong.
Nicole stood again and came behind Susan, pulling her arms behind her and binding her wrists with plastic ties. “Time for your first training session, Susan sweetie. Or Sweet-Sue, as I’m going to call you. That will be your slave name.”
At the word ‘slave’, Susan almost came.
Meaghan sat at the bar in Curly Bill’s. She had made eye contact with a couple of women but it looked like the night would be a lonely one again. She put her ear buds in and started the play list from her I-phone as she headed out and down the street. She wasn’t far from her little apartment, so she would walk.
The first song on her playlist, her favorite song, accompanied her as she walked. It was Green Day, Good Riddance (or Time of Your Life as it was better known.)
Her grade one teacher had played it on the final day of classes way back then and Meaghan had loved it; then and now. She wondered, had she ever reached a turning point in her young life so far? Twenty-two years isn’t much to work with, but she knew of friends who had been faced with choices. She thought she would like to reach a fork stuck in the road.
She really would.
(End of Chapter 02)