A Field of Candles
Chapter 07 Whereof What’s Past is Prologue
Hailey had been brilliant, she thought. She had waited until her mother was planning on working on her laptop in the kitchen and had then positioned her cell phone strategically to record the scene. After three viewings of the recording she made, she had her mom’s password. Now, with her mom in the shower, Hailey powered up the computer, entered the password and, causing a great rush; her mom’s computer opened.
After quickly looking through the directory, it was as she feared; there was mostly boring lawyer stuff on it. The emails were tame (Susan made a practice of deleting anything she didn’t need, and Nicole always communicated by texting) and the search history was thin and boring. Hailey was starting to think this had been a giant waste of time and was going to log off when she happened onto some files.
Most were once again client/lawyer related, but one file caught Hailey’s attention. It was a file labelled, ‘Miss N’. Hmmmm, Hailey pondered clicking on it, what is this all about?
Doukas handed Rosalind a tissue and she wiped her mouth. He reached down and placed a finger under her chin, tilting her face up. The look on that face was a mixture of sadness and rage. Doukas laughed. “That was nice, Rosalind. Clearly, you are not new to the art of pleasing a man. That is very good. Very good. Now however, we have business. Go and open my package.”
She looked at the object and then back to Doukas, “May I please get dressed?”
“No, not yet, you have a lovely body. These tits are wonderful.” He pulled forcefully on one large, dark brown nipple, producing a wince from Rosalind. “I want you like this a while longer. Go open the package.”
“The painting, you mean.” Rosalind muttered as she stood and self-consciously crossed the few paces to where the package sat. She took the newsprint wrapping off carefully and placed the painting on the ground. Then she looked at Doukas with wide eyes. “This can’t be…” She spoke quietly.
“Oh, but it is.” Doukas confirmed.
“It’s a wonderful forgery…”
“It is the real thing. I have already had it authenticated. You will have time to examine it yourself, later, but trust me, it is authentic.”
“But this Metzinger has been lost for…”
“Seventy-three years.” Doukas added. “But, technically it wasn’t lost for that period. I’ve known of its where-a-bouts for almost thirty years.”
She looked at him, with less anger and a touch of admiration. “But, why bring it to me?” She asked.
“Because my dear, as well as sucking my cock, you are going to sell my painting.”
Nicole and Susan were in the cozy little bar just around the corner from their building. It had been an odd thing, coming back to Susan after the trip. Saying goodbye to Meaghan had been easy; Nicole had barely thought of her since. But Susan was different; their relationship was different; but it wasn’t the relationship that had happened between her and Amara; and that changed things.
“So, um, I’m not sure if I need to be Sweet Sue your, um slave, or Ms. Koning your boss or Susan your pal?” Susan began, trying to keep the tone light, all the while feeling anxiety and not knowing why. Nicole was different since her return; the relationship was different, but no one had said anything.
“I’m sorry, Suse,” Nicole said quietly, sipping her Merlot. “I know I’ve been…preoccupied. I know…”
“Can you tell me anything?” Susan reached across the table and stroked Nicole’s hand. “What the Hell happened over there?” She looked across the table at Nicole with concern etched on her face.
Nicole looked up. How much should she divulge? How much would put Susan in a difficult position? Lawyers always liked something called plausible denial, what you don’t know can’t be used against you. But it wasn’t fair to keep Susan totally in the dark; she clearly wasn’t going to accept it. “It’s a long story, Susan. I’ve, um, really struggled with how much to share with you; I don’t want to put you in any sort of a compromised position.” She paused and Susan continued to stare at her.
“Tell me, Nicole. Tell me everything. I mean it. Please, I’m asking you now as a friend. Please.”
Nicole fidgeted with her glass, before beginning in a quiet voice. “I’m involved with some bad people, Susan. I know, I know, we defend murderers and rapists. But that’s a client lawyer relationship; this, this is something else. Something different. And it’s bad.”
Hailey watched the computer screen in a sort of daze. She knew what she was watching; she knew what was happening to the people on the screen, but it made no sense, because it involved her mother. And it involved her in ways that Hailey could not wrap her mind around.
As she had opened the file on Miss N, she had heard the shower stop and knew she didn’t have much time. She put in a thumb drive and downloaded the Miss N file, then shut down the computer and left for her room. She was so disturbed by the tiny bit she saw that she waited until today, when she had at least an hour before her mom got home to watch this. And so she sat and stared; stared at the screen that showed her mother tied naked to a bed; that showed Nicole Martin coming to her mother, naked and squatting over her mother’s face; she watched as her mother sucked and licked Nicole’s pussy until the woman had an orgasm; an apparent excellent
one by the reaction.
What Hailey was watching was a compilation Nicole had put together for her slave to watch at work; just to remind her of what she was and who she belonged to.
As Hailey watched, without realizing it, her hand had ventured between her long, shapely legs and rested on her trimmed vagina, where it stroked and pulled gently on the lips and the clitoris. As she now watched her mother on her knees, face buried between Nicole’s legs, the one thought that burned in her mind was; I wish that was me.
Susan and Nicole sat in silence. It had been a long narrative, and Nicole had left nothing out; well, apart from her emotional reaction to Amara. And all the sex, there was no point in Nicole throwing that at the woman. Susan, for her part, sat stunned; but at least she now understood what had changed.
Susan looked up. “I, um, shit. I wish I could come up with an answer, but I’m glad you told me this. I will help you Nicole. You know I will do all I can.” Susan smiled a small smile. She meant what she said; she didn’t know what she could do, exactly, but she knew she would do anything.
“Thanks Susan. That means…oh, fuck, that means a lot. I, uh, I actually do feel better just getting all that out. It’s been crazy. But thank you, Sweet Sue. I mean that.” Nicole smiled across the table at her and Susan felt a lump rising in her throat.
“Um, I’ve never known the right time to say this, maybe because I never felt it, but, um.” Susan paused and looked into Nicole’s eyes. “I love you Nicole, you know that, right? I’m yours…”
Nicole smiled and looked down. That made her feel good. And bad.
“Is this really necessary, every time?” Rosalind Kane
asked again in a small voice. Louis Doukas rose from his chair and came to stand by her, he lifted her chin and smiled at her, then took one step back and brought his right hand hard across her face, knocking the woman to her knees, where she stayed, looking stunned.
“Yes, it’s necessary. I’m going to make you rich, you stupid cunt, and the expectation is that you serve me. It is more than fair. Now get your fucking clothes off.”
Wiping away tears, Kane again began removing her expensive garments, making a neat pile on the floor. Doukas sat down, and watched her through half-closed eyes, the vision, as always, returning to him.
When he was five, his parents left Greece, in a hurry. Why they packed up in the middle of the night, he didn’t know. Why they traveled to Italy and moved in with the man they did, again he did not know. What he did know was the man was British and Doukas learned to speak English from him; and Italian from the man’s housekeeper, and Greek from his parents. In time he would add Serbian to his list. Nothing more was ever explained to him.
Three years after moving in with ‘Mr. Darren’, his father vanished. Nothing was ever said and Doukas never asked. His mother simply moved from one bed to another.
Then at age ten, Doukas’s life took the next major turn. Again, he didn’t know why things were happening, but one night three men came to their house. Doukas would always remember them as the Angry Man, the Laughing Man, and the Quiet Man. His mother hid Doukas in a closet, but he watched everything from there. He watched the Angry Man punch Mr. Darren, knocking him down. He watched the Laughing Man choke Mr. Darren, and he watched the Quiet Man put an automatic weapon to Darren’s head.
But he watched something else. He watched his attractive mother take off her clothes and get on her knees, his first sight of a naked female body. He also saw a man’s erection for the first time. He saw his
mother take the erection into her mouth.
Again, no one spoke to him of anything when it was over and the men had gone. Mr. Darren and his mother simply looked sad, but every time the three men returned, Doukas was hid in the closet and watched his mother service the Angry Man, while his two compatriots watched; this happened five times; Doukas could remember each time, like five scenes from a movie.
And then one night his mother took him and they fled, ending up in Belgrade. How they got by there, living in a tiny apartment, he wasn’t sure. Again, nothing was ever explained to him.
His mother died one week after he turned thirteen, Doukas coming home to find her slumped in a chair; a bullet hole in her temple. Doukas had then gathered his meagre collection of things and left, to spend the next five years on the street, learning how to survive. Learning how to read people and situations and, most importantly, learning how to get ahead.
But today, as he looked at the now naked Rosalind, standing awkwardly in front of him awaiting his directions, that first time, when he was ten and saw his mother on her knees, came back, as it always did, like it was yesterday.
Like an uninvited guest, the vision returned; and Doukas’s past was his present. And this present concerned Kane’s efforts to broker a deal for his painting; she had had a few days and apparently had found a buyer; but Doukas always enjoyed a little pleasure with his business.
Nicole’s cell buzzed its message. It was a text from Sheffield, in her usual terse manner. “Meet me in the coffee shop downstairs. Now.” It said succinctly.
Nicole found the woman sitting by the windows; a cup of tea before her, which Sheffield finished off as Nicole entered and came to her. There was no chair across from Sheffield so Nicole simply stood and waited. Sheffield turned her grim face toward Nicole and told her that they needed her to look after Tatjana for a few days.
“And where are you off to?” Nicole asked, as a human would.
Sheffield however regarded her with a contemptuous look. “That really is none of your concern, Martin.” She said, her accent as always softening the message just a touch.
Nicole looked down, once again considering how much she would like to hit this woman with a heavy object. “Fine“, she said in an even tone. “Will I need to get her?”
“Well of course, she’s not going to come traipsing down the street by herself, now is she?” Sheffield noted airily, then handed Nicole a piece of paper with an address. With no further comment, Sheffield moved her bulk off the chair and headed out, Nicole watching the departing back with malice.
Hailey joined her mom in the ‘TV’ room. They had laughed about referring to it that way, as they both had televisions in their own rooms, and Hailey watched most of what she wanted on her computer anyway; but the name stuck. Mostly because the sixty inch screen dominated the room, and there really was no other reason to be in there.
“Hello Dear,” Susan greeted her daughter as Hailey flopped down beside her. Once again Susan was reminded of how her daughter had grown and changed into a young woman, when she glanced at her, wearing a tight muscle top and tight, brief shorts. Hailey’s breasts were shapely and visible: it was apparent she was not wearing a bra, the nipples were actually pushing out the thin fabric. The way she was sitting allowed her shorts to ride up into her crotch and the ‘camel toe’ was easily seen, causing Susan some distress. She’s just a few weeks from eighteen, Susan reminded herself, where had the time gone?
Susan rubbed her face and focused on the show that was on, although she hadn’t really been paying attention.
“What are you watching?” Hailey asked.
Susan chuckled and admitted that she didn’t really know, the show was on, she was just sort of looking at it. She didn’t want to reveal to Hailey that what she had been doing was running over Nicole’s situation in her head, as she had done numerous times since their talk.
“Why aren’t you out on a Friday night, kiddo?” Susan asked.
“Kiddo?” Hailey snorted. “Please Mom, although I guess it’s better than Sweetie.” Hailey smiled. “Well, there’s not much happenin’; summer is kind of dead around here, nobody’s hanging, right? Britney has a job and Lindsay is away.” She paused and smiled. “Besides, what’s wrong with you and me just, you know, like this chillin’, Ma,” Hailey made a rapper’s hand sign and laughed, then added, wagging her finger, “I thought parents would kill to talk with their kids?”
Susan now laughed out loud. “Hey, Sweetie, I’m not complaining. I just thought it odd to not be out doing something, but you’re right, people are away.” They sat now, the television making the only noise. Then Susan continued, “Was there something that you…wanted to talk to me about?”
Hailey sat with a little smile on her face, Wouldn’t you be surprised, Mom, she thought, but instead asked if maybe they could drink a glass of wine. Susan looked at her daughter and thought…why not, considering Hailey’s age. She got up, returning in a minute with two wine glasses and a not too dry Pinot Noir.
“Here you go,” she said, handing a glass to her daughter and feeling like this was a new road to travel. “We can be like a couple of gal pals, having some wine and yakking. How’s that?”
Hailey sipped her wine and smiled. “Great, Mom, yakking, hmmmm. Next I’ll be calling you Susan and
we’ll be talking about colleges and stuff.”
Susan laughed, “You’re never calling me Susan.” She said. “And we do need to talk about colleges, and stuff, with your senior year starting in a few days.”
An awkward silence settled over the two, the television droning away behind their stillness. Finally, after drinking half her glass, Hailey plunged in. “Have you ever kissed a girl, Mom?”
The question was not what Susan was expecting and it caught her off guard. This was one of those moments; lie to her daughter or be truthful and face the fallout? Parents are always lying to their kids, Susan thought, but was that the best way? The kind of oppressive upbringing that she herself had, was that the best way, with her parents feeding her all kinds of crap?
“Yes, I have. Why?” Susan replied, keeping her voice as even as possible.
Hmmmm, Hailey thought to herself, maybe mom’s gonna be completely down with me. “Well, I’m kinda, I dunno, confused. I have had sex with a boy, you, um, know.”
Susan digested this for a moment; she didn’t really know, but she did know that most kids now-a-days had sex before seventeen. “I didn’t know, but I appreciate you telling me. I do. What did you use for protection?”
“You know, condoms. Guys have ‘em; they’d better or ain’t nuthin’ happenin’, dude.” Hailey used her Philly-street voice and laughed at herself; Susan laughed too, a little awkwardly, but relieved that at least her daughter wasn’t being reckless.
“And, um, how did it go, with, uh, the boy?” Susan worked hard to just be conversational, but this ‘chat’ was killing her.
Hailey sat and swished her wine around, then sipped some more. She was already starting to feel it. She was one of those teens who really stayed clear of ‘things’. She had never tried pills of any kind; she thought it was absolutely lame, in her words; but she had lots of friends who tried pills and lots more.
She and Devon had had sex three times. They both would hang with their group where there was no real girlfriend / boyfriend thing; they were all just part of the gang. Hailey had given one other guy in the group a hand job one night, but that was it, the extent of her sexual life. I am freakin’ boring, she told herself. But that was before Alexis.
“It wasn’t, you know, hard-core or anything with Devon, I just wanted to, like, do it. All the bitches were like, when you gonna, little girl, and I just wanted to get it out of the way. But,” She paused and looked up for a moment, “I thought it would be more like OMG!, and like I don’t know…I don’t think either of us, like went, you know…anywhere. Devon didn’t come and I didn’t do anything. And it wasn’t like a ‘ship’ or anything with us, we’re not tight like that. We would just hang and try some, like…benefits.”
Brief pause, as Susan desperately attempted to process all this. “But now Dev is off to college. He’s already, you know, gone.” After this long disclosure Hailey regarded her wine again and sipped some more.
“So,” Susan started carefully, “why the questions about…girls?”
Hailey giggled. “Yeah, that. Hmmmm. You tell me first, what happened with you and another girl?”
It was Susan’s turn to sit and ponder. “Well, my first experience was when I was in grade eight, and Donna and I, oh, fooled around, but I was very sheltered, Hailey. Your father is my first and only man, so far. It’s just been, in the last little while, that I have kissed a woman.”
Hailey regarded her mom. “Nicole?” She said, quietly.
Susan looked at her. “Why would you think that, Dear?” she spoke, she thought, unemotionally, although her heart was suddenly beating furiously.
“Oh, just the way you look at her.” Hailey murmured.
Susan pondered. “Ok, yes, Nicole and I have kissed.”
“It felt good?” Hailey had finished her wine and was just sitting. Susan’s wine was gone too. They both sat.
“It felt, very good.” Susan said quietly.
“Did you do anything else, Mom?” Hailey prompted.
Her head beginning to swim, Susan replied quietly, “Like…what, Dear?”
“Did you take off your clothes. Did you touch each other. What was it like?”
Trying to turn the direction of the conversation, Susan asked, “Was there a girl in mind that, um, interests you?”
Hailey smirked, “Nice one, Mommsy. Yeah, I like Alexis. We have kissed, well more like making out, and we have squeezed each other’s, um, boobs. It made me excited and I know Alexis felt that way, too, but she also has hooked up with a couple of guys, so we aren’t like being total lezzies or anything. We’re not gonna start wearing boys’ clothes or shit, um sorry, stuff. It just felt good and I like her. Ok, now tell me more about you and Nicole. Did you take off any clothes?”
This conversation, as well as making Susan feel awkward, was also beginning to arouse her. She got up to fill their wine glasses and give herself a chance to calm down.
“Ok, we did lots. We were naked and we kissed each other, um, everywhere.”
“Did she kiss your, you know, vj?”
“My, um, vagina?” Susan smiled in spite of herself.
Hailey giggled, “Yeah, that. That’s really what I want to do.”
“You want to kiss Alexis’s um, vagina?” Susan wasn’t totally comfortable with this, but she was interested. More interested than a mother should be perhaps.
Hailey smiled. “I want to kiss her pussy and I want her
to kiss mine. I want to totally sixty-nine her for like twenty minutes. That would be cool.”
“Does, um, Alexis, I mean; have you talked? How does she feel?”
“That’s just it, we haven’t talked. It’s freakin’ hard. How do you start? How did you and Nicole hook up, you know, the first time.”
Susan remembered that night with a smile. How attractive Nicole was, the little jolt she felt when Nicole followed her into the restroom; the thrill when they first kissed and how she wanted more. “With us, it was just kind of by chance. We’d had a few drinks, we ended up together; Nicole is a lesbian, I knew that or at least was pretty sure of it. She came on to me and I, well, liked it. I certainly didn’t resist.”
Hailey sat with a smile on her face; this was going better than she had hoped.
“Why don’t you call Alexis and try to set up something for tomorrow; have her come over here. Spend some time. You don’t need to have some big plan; just be together and see how it feels; see what develops.”
Hailey smiled and moved to her mother, hugging her. Susan could feel the warmth of Hailey’s breasts against her. “Thanks. Mom.” Hailey said, kissing the side of her mother’s face. “Thanks.”
“So can I come by tomorrow, I’m not…expecting anything, I would just like to see you.” Susan spoke quietly into her phone.
Nicole paused; she really felt no desire for this, but she liked Susan, and she didn’t want to hurt her. The woman was still, of course, also her boss.
“It would be nice to spend some time, together, Suse. Yeah, come over. It will be Nicole and Susan, girl talk, if that’s ok.”
It wasn’t okay, but Susan pushed down her disappointment
and thought positive thoughts of at least being with Nicole; maybe they could be just friends for a while and pick up where they were, in time.
The aching in her heart told another story. “Sounds great, Miss, um, Nicole.” Susan laughed self-consciously. “See you tomorrow afternoon.”
“That’s great.” Hailey enthused. “So we’ll see ya at one.”
“Fer shure.” Alexis drawled, and they both laughed.
(End of Chapter 07)