A Field of Candles
Chapter 22 Consequence Yet Hanging In The Stars
“I’ve arrived, my love,” Louis Doukas announced into his cell.
“Thank you for letting me know,” Daphne replied. “I will be in London by this evening. Call you in a couple of days.”
“Very good, goodbye for now.”
Beth put her arm around Susan and looked into her eyes. She smiled, as she said, “And it’s what you want, too?”
Susan leaned forward and hugged her partner, then sat back. “I don’t think the two of us being formally married will change anything, but I love you so much. It would be like a dream, Beth. But why now?”
“Why not?” Beth tilted her head to one side in a way she had that Susan found so compelling. “I’m tired of not being a public couple. I want us together; I want everyone to know we’re together. Now that it’s legal, I would ask why not, and why not as soon as we can?”
“Could we wait until after Hailey graduates? I would like to focus on one celebration at a time.”
“Of course, of course. This is a big deal for your, um, our daughter,” Beth smiled at her own comment, ”we don’t want to upstage her. Let’s plan the wedding, and it will be small and intimate, for early fall. How’s that?” Susan smiled warmly; she could not believe the love she felt.
They sat in silence for a while. “You should probably plan to sell your place, and make arrangements for Hailey and see what Nicole’s plans are.” Beth added quietly.
Susan nodded slowly. “Yes, I know. Once Hailey is off to college we can take steps. As far as Nicole goes, she’s in much better shape now and she knew this was going to happen, some day. I’m prepared to help her get her own place, of some kind.”
Beth stroked Susan’s arm, “That is very generous of you, Susan. But then, you are a thoughtful person.”
Susan looked up. “I owe Nicole a lot, you know.” Beth looked at her. “It was she who opened the door that you walked through; that changed my life to this, special moment.” They both nodded their heads, embracing gently.
It had been just a week since Sophie had been taken. She and the others were kept quiet with tranquilizers for their journey to Tampa. When they arrived there, the three were taken to a secluded house, where the process of breaking them down began.
They were kept naked, raped repeatedly on the first day by the three men holding them, subjected to water boarding, forced to drink each other’s urine, shocked with battery cables on their vaginas and nipples and beaten until finally a savior arrived; in the form of feisty, fifty-year-old Sheila Galvin.
Galvin would ‘rescue’ the girls and take them to a room at Club Scorpion, the collection of buildings near Palmetto Beach owned by Doukas that included a dance bar, a hotel and a private gentleman’s lounge that featured a high stakes poker room with ‘exotic dancers’.
For certain clients and for the right price, one of the dancers would join you in one of the suites. The girls were all young (under twenty-three) and lovely. They came in a variety of colors, too. None of them were there by choice; they were all like Sophie and her two companions; taken and broken; and Sheila Galvin was part of that process.
Once Sheila had the girls at Scorpion, she would tend to them and feed them and comfort them. She would then show them the posh and luxurious club rooms of the venue; this place was not some seedy bar; it was an
exclusive club and looked like it. Then she would talk with them.
At this point they were still somewhat disorientated but intent on getting out. Galvin would offer them the chance to stay and work or to leave. Virtually every girl would choose to leave; Sophie and the two others chose that. The problem was, they were released alone, with nothing but a thin cotton dress, no undergarments at all and a pair of sandals, and they were literally dumped on the streets.
The girls had no money, no cell and no I.D. They were just out there in a city they did not know. Within minutes of being ‘free’, a police car, a real Tampa Bay police car, would come by and stop.
The car would have two real police officers in it, a male and a female, and these officers would have the, in Sophie’s case lone, girl climb in the back.
The officers; however, were part of a group that Doukas controlled, and they would take the girl to another house where they would brutally assault her for the remainder of that day and night, before taking her to a warehouse where she would be placed with a desperate group of women who were being sold to a brothel of some sort. This part was actually real; the women held there were being shipped off, because they were not the type needed for Club Scorpion or any of Doukas’s other clubs.
This was exactly what happened next to Sophie.
Again, Sheila Galvin showed up and rescued her, then took her back to the club; this time she made it clear; Sophie didn’t have a lot of choices; work and ‘earn’ her freedom, or be set loose to be picked up again; and this time there would be no rescue.
Occasionally, a girl at this point would just be traumatized so much she would go into a psychotic state and become a huge problem. More often than not though, the girls, as Sophie did, would accept the situation; they had a nice bed in a dorm-like room; they were well fed; it was a high class place, and Sheila, in her most motherly way, would assure them that it would not take them long to pay their way out with what they would ‘earn’ as dancers.
The reality of course was that no one ever paid their way out. After eighteen months to two years, the girls would be sold into straight prostitution in some place like Mexico or Thailand; and that would be that.
For now, once the girl accepted, she would be taught exotic dancing by a professional; they were also taught how to give a proper blow job, which was usually as much as the girls would be asked to do for the first while. Occasionally, a very important client would get to fuck one of them, and they would earn a ‘bonus’.
The girls would also be introduced to drugs; cocaine at first and then heroin. The scenario that would be used for the first few weeks would see the girls have their hit and then have sex with each other. They not only bonded but began to look forward to this time. Eventually, for most, it would become more important than escaping.
Sophie learned to dance very well quickly. She was athletic and agile to begin with, and her routines became popular, although she would not be known as Sophie. From the moment of her first hit, Sheila Galvin made it clear that Sophie was gone; Sapphire now took her place.
Tatjana’s device notified her, and since Marie was out for a while, the girl sent back the ‘Now’ response. It was good that Prescott stuck to routines; she was extremely predictable. Tatjana’s device now said “5 mins”. She switched back to her game but in a few minutes jumped up and went to the door, glancing at the clock on her way. Prescott wouldn’t be back for fifteen minutes, anyway.
Opening the door, Tatjana looked out cautiously, then scooted to the stairwell entrance, down the three flights and to the back of the building. She opened the back door and there a brown bag lay propped against the building. She grabbed it, peeked inside, grinned, and raced back upstairs, down the hall and into the apartment. She stuck the bag under her bed, beside the briefcase.
Returning to her device, she printed ‘Got it’ and sent that message. In a moment the reply came back. ‘Good. Leave briefcase out Monday at three, precisely’.
Tatjana sent her reply, ‘Check’; and then went back to her games.
Mary-Anne Jeffries, formerly Rosalind Kane, had arrived a week earlier in San Pedro, Honduras, a country she felt was sufficiently out of the way to not be on Doukas’s radar. She had always wanted to see Central America anyway, with her family having some roots there.
Today she had traveled by car to the city of Trujillo, right on, as expected, the Bay of Trujillo; which was part of the Caribbean Sea. It was amazingly peaceful here, sitting by the water. Kane/Jeffries was enjoying a glass of wine when an interesting-looking, very dark-haired woman at the table across from her nodded and held up her glass. ‘Jeffries’, having had very little in the way of conversation since her ‘escape’, responded with a smile and the raising of her glass.
The woman clearly mulled for a moment and made up her mind, coming over to Jeffries’s table. “Hello,” she said, “you could be a local, but I believe you are a traveler?”
“Yes,” and Rosalind introduced herself as Mary-Anne, something she really had to focus on saying.
“Welcome to Honduras, Mary-Anne. You are British, I take it. I am Dr. Alejandra Caliez.”
“Nice to meet you, Doctor. And, yes I am.”
“Please, call me Alejandra.”
This was nice, thought Rosalind, a friend.
Doukas and Sheffield were sitting on supple leather in the top floor suite of the Hotel Saguaro, Club Scorpion; it was the first time Sheffield had been with her boss since her disclosure in London.
Doukas was here to finalize the sale of the club, etc. to a Tampa area group; in fact, he had decided to sell off all his night clubs. As he had also decided, for now, to avoid the black market trade in stolen art work. Daphne had not said anything; she wouldn’t; it was Doukas’s decision. It was time, he thought, although her reaction to things was always on his mind.
After a few days in New York attending to some business, Doukas had flown here for this one transaction. Sheffield was here finalizing the matter of Sophie and the other two new girls, that would now become part of this bigger deal.
As Doukas finished explaining some particulars, Sheffield nodded and put away her notebook. “So you’ll be heading back to New York?” she asked.
“Yes, I leave tomorrow afternoon, Ms. Sheffield. And you will be there by Friday?”
“And then we will leave for London next week on the seventeenth.”
“Right sir; everything is in place over there. You don’t need Patterson there right away?”
Doukas had set up a movie shoot featuring six youthful-looking girls and Patterson would be doing the video. This would likely be Doukas’s last video for a while, as well.
“No, the next day or so should be fine for him.”
“Right; sir, and now I’ve arranged that, um, special dessert you like.” Sheffield stood and went to the door, talking on her cell as she went. In a minute there was a little knock and she opened the door to Sheila Galvin and two of the new dancers.
Sheffield led the two girls, wearing micro thongs and tops, to where Doukas was sitting. The two knelt and Sheffield smiled her menancing smile, “Good night sir, see you before you leave.”
The two girls looked uncertain. Doukas spoke gently, “And who do we have here?”
“I’m, A-Angel,” the shorter of the two announced.
“And you?” Doukas asked the taller girl.
“I, um, I’m S-Sapphire, sir.”
Doukas smiled at the two lovely young women.
On Monday, as instructed, Tatjana snuck downstairs again and left the briefcase just outside the door. Whoever she was corresponding with had been clear; she then had watched through the window as a man came swiftly out of a doorway, took the briefcase and walked briskly down in the other direction. He was dressed as she was told he would be, so Tatjana relayed the information that the case was gone.
In Philadelphia, it was Nicole William’s birthday. She had shared with Dani, tearfully at the bar the day after Sophie had been taken, all that had happened to her; Sophie, Amara, Sheffield. Dani had just sat and stroked her arm, but said she understood that Nicole did not feel in the least like celebrating this event. She in fact did not feel like doing much of anything.
Today, she was just lying around, now on her second glass of wine, thinking that maybe she should have gone into work. At least at the office there were things to keep her mind busy.
Tuesday, May 16
“Hello, my dear.” Doukas said warmly; he had not
expected a call from Daphne.
“Louis, hello, I’m actually in Washington; surprise! Something came up involving Dionysus and I volunteered to come over and meet with a couple of government officials, you know, be a real director. We’re meeting this afternoon.”
“Well, here we are, not far apart but separated. It is good to have you close; I wish we were closer.”
Daphne laughed. “How is your business going?”
“Just about completed; our plans are to head off early tomorrow morning.”
“Well, that’s good. I will try to call you when I’m done here, just for an update.”
“Very good, my love. So good to hear you. Talk soon.”
Hailey came down and sat beside Nicole on the couch. “I notice you didn’t have much of a celebration last week for your, big day.” She said quietly; something had been up with Nicole for a few days now; she was quiet and withdrawn, even Hailey noticed.
Nicole smiled sadly at the young woman; “Yeah, sometimes shit happens, right Kid? Just gimme a couple of days and I should be good.”
“You sure?” Hailey asked, concern in her eyes.
“Yes!” Nicole replied, as positively as she could.
“Nothing I can do?” Hailey asked again, this time stroking Nicole’s arm gently.
Nicole did grin a little at this, “Soon, maybe, you little hot box.”
Wednesday, May 17 5:30 AM
The grounds crew took everyone’s bags, etc., including Sheffield’s briefcase, which she glanced at protectively as it was loaded; all bags were to be loaded by authorized personnel, according to security; and it was just going onto the jet she was standing beside, so Sheffield grudgingly accepted that this was okay.
The man with the case had one other bag; he put the case under the seat indicated for Sheffield, not the gentleman, and the other bag in a compartment. The second crew member was taking a little longer loading food and beverages, but he was new so that might explain it.
It would not explain; however, that when the first crew member went out for a moment, this second man opened a bag on his cart and removed a briefcase that was identical to Sheffield’s.
Tatjana had done her job well.
The new crew member rapidly exchanged his case for the one under the seat, and then loaded the other items and was pushing his cart out when crew member one returned for a final check.
This completed, he stuck his head out to announce that the two passengers could board.
In a few moments, the Dionysus Cessna CJ4 was ready to go. The pilot had both passengers in their seats; he checked his manifesto; Doukas and Sheffield. Two and two only, so he was good. Everything was loaded and the tower now gave him his cue to taxi onto the runway. In a few minutes they would be on their way for the seven hour flight to London.
Wednesday, May 17 – Afternoon
Nicole was busy at her desk, she had lost track of time with her review of a witness testimony, when she became aware of voices; for some reason, people were talking in louder voices than usual, here at van der Strom. Nicole put down her pen and ventured into the hallway, and the sound was definitely coming from the staff lounge area.
As she headed there, one of the tax lawyers who she
hardly ever saw, let alone talked to, came from another hall and the two walked a few steps before the woman said, “Is it true, what I’ve heard?”
Nicole responded in confusion, “I don’t know anything, I’ve been stuck in my office all morning; ate my lunch there even.”
At that point they were at the lounge and the babble of voices came clearly to them. Nicole saw Dani, at the edge of a group who were all watching the wide screen television that was on one wall. Squeezing up behind her, Nicole asked, “What the fuck is going on, D?”
Dani turned, and her generally happy face was serious, “You’ve heard nothing?”
“No, tell me what you’ve heard.”
Dani pointed to the screen, where a photo of a jet plane was being shown, “They say a jet belonging to Dionysus International went down in the Atlantic this morning. We were concerned about Peter, but nothing yet.”
With her heart pounding madly, Nicole asked, “Do they know who was on board?” She tried really hard to keep her voice even.
A woman to her left said, “Um, they think the CEO and maybe an assistant. And the pilot of course.”
“The CEO of Dionysus might have been on the plane,” came from the front.
“Oh, he was. It was his plane. He was headed for London. The plane went down about an hour out from England,” the same woman added.
Nicole watched in amazement as a photo of Louis Doukas came on to the screen. Oh please, oh please, oh please make Sheffield be on board too, Nicole prayed silently.
As the others in the room discussed the tragedy, and could Mr. van der Strom be involved etc. etc., Nicole made her way back to her office and once safely inside punched the air in a quiet, silent, but enthusiastic celebration, that included a dance.
Yes! Yes, yes! Yes. Fucking YES!!!
Thursday, May 18
The months of planning coming to an end, Tatjana reached under her bed and pulled out the bag she had stashed there. Inside the bag were a pair of latex gloves, a syringe and a Ruger 22 Pistol with a suppressor. Putting on the gloves, Tatjana held the pistol in her left hand and walked down the hall and then into Marie Prescott’s little office. Prescott was at her desk and glanced up quickly as the girl entered.
“Hello, Tat. How can I help you?” Prescott asked, focusing on the report before her. Tatjana went to the woman’s left, as Prescott was left-handed and then raised the pistol, firing one shot efficiently into the woman’s temple, with Prescott jerking once, then crumpling.
Tatjana removed the ammo clip and pressed the dead woman’s fingers onto a couple of the shells, and then onto the gun, before removing the suppressor and dropping the pistol on the ground, as if it had fallen from her hand.
“Don’t call me Tat,” the girl smiled as she left the office. Moving quickly, she went to her room, took the small pack containing her few clothes and her game, and left. The room looked like a guest room; there was not a single remnant of the ‘girl’. She then went to the bathroom and removed her toothbrush from the glass.
Leaving the flat, ‘Tatjana’ then went down the hall to Mrs. Holmes’s apartment, Prescott and Holmes being the only two people in the building who knew of her existence. She knocked quietly on the door and waited for the elderly woman. Holmes opened the door to the smiling face of the delightful young girl she sometimes watched over. “Yes, Tatjana, how can I help you?” She asked.
“Drink?” ‘Tatjana’ said, tilting her head and smiling.
“Of course, my dear, right this way.” Holmes turned to
head back down to her kitchen, but ‘Tatjana’ quickly brought up the syringe and plunged it into the woman’s neck. Holmes collapsed in the hallway; if anyone were to autopsy the elderly woman, the cause of death would be heart failure; but no one would.
Two deaths on the same floor of an apartment building on the same day? It was a coincidence; a suicide and a heart attack, simple as that.
The young woman then went quickly down the stairs and out, throwing the suppressor, wrapped in paper, into a dumpster. She moved rapidly down the alleyway and then along a street. She walked four blocks, coming at last to a squat, tired-looking brick building. She felt under a magazine stand out front and came out with an envelope, inside which was a key. She took the key inside the building, which contained a storage company with lockers, and used the key to open a locker and remove a bag.
Taking the bag, and clearly with a plan in mind, ‘Tatjana’, or whatever her name really was, hustled two blocks to a mangy looking hotel. Inside her bag was a room key, not a modern electronic key card, but an actual and ancient brass key. It indicated the second floor where she found a room.
Half an hour later, her hair dyed black, and cut short, her clothes changed, the girl who emerged looked older than the one who had entered, and Asian; matching her passport. She headed for the bus depot.
A week later she would be somewhere in Eastern Europe.
Friday, May 19
Nicole sat in DiNardo’s restaurant; it was close to her office and she loved the food. She was sitting by the window; she wanted light. It was two days after the announcement of the plane crash; there had been no more news. The seas had calmed where the crash site was located; there was debris, but no reports of bodies.
It didn’t matter; today was ‘Hailey’s birthday
celebration’, something Nicole had put off for months.
But it was also, well, mostly, for Nicole.
She had been contemplating this day for months, as a wonderful birthday present for herself. A celebration for Hailey and then the beginning of the process to turn the girl into Nicole’s personal sex-toy.
Little did she anticipate that the most incredible of presents, the plane crash that eliminated her two hated enemies, would over-shadow this day.
But it didn’t matter; a birthday present was a birthday present, and she was completely blown away by events; and while sadness over Amara and Sophie lingered, for the first time in a long while, she felt okay.
And tonight she would initiate Hailey into her world of submission.
She was sipping wine as Hailey entered, looking amazing with her blonde hair flowing and a simple dress highlighting her body. As she approached, Nicole stood and they embraced, kissing cheeks.
“Hey, kid, ‘Happy Birthday’.” They both laughed.
“Thanks for this, Nicole. Too bad I can’t have some wine with you.” She made a pouty face.
“I’ll give you some wine tonight, as part of our…fun.” Nicole smiled.
“Oh God, Nicole, why can’t we just go home now? This is unbearable.” Hailey howled.
Nicole laughed, “It’s worth waiting for, sweet girl. Let’s enjoy lunch and think about being together tonight. Oh, here…” She handed Hailey a wrapped box. “Go ahead, open it.”
“Are you commanding me, my mistress?” Hailey smiled and Nicole laughed. Hailey pulled off the bow and wrapping and removed the article. It was a black, leather dog collar, with ‘HAILEY’ stamped into it. “Oh, fuck, Nicole, this is too much.”
“You’re to wear it at home all the time.” Nicole said,
feeling her arousal growing.
Hailey looked across the table with absolute devotion on her face.
“Happy Birthday, belated though it may be, to us both!” Nicole announced with a laugh.
Later, as lunch was finishing, Nicole glanced up at one of the screens in the restaurant. She gazed in astonishment at a press conference now being held.
Being interviewed was none other than Louis Doukas.
(End of Chapter 22)
(Epilogue) Friday, May 19 (earlier in the day)
He had always been fortunate, really, in many ways.
It had now been two days since the crash, and as Louis Doukas read his fourth newspaper that morning, he knew he had to go public with the fact that he was still alive.
The Fates had indeed smiled; he never got on the plane; a phone call from Daphne staying him. With her being free and in the states much earlier than expected, and then arriving in town that day, Doukas had decided to stay and then travel with her accompanying him later. At the last minute he had been able to get Patterson to accompany Sheffield, the plan being to begin the series of ‘Young Beauties’ videos before Doukas arrived.
And so it went; Sheffield, Patterson, the pilot and the co-pilot dying over the Atlantic, but Louis Doukas surviving, as he always had.
Today, Doukas remained in one of his New York condos with Daphne, but with no one else’s knowledge.
“Are you notifying people today, Louis?” Daphne asked quietly. She understood the need for some secrecy. The plane crash was sabotage; in no way accidental, and whoever had planned and carried it out was still out there; and with Sheffield gone, Doukas was scrambling.
“Yes, I will call in a few minutes and set up an
interview with CNN or someone. It is time; past time, really.” He chuckled ruefully. “All my adoring fans need to know.”
He then stood and pantomimed scoring a goal or winning a race, arms straight up in the air, fingers making the ‘V’ for victory salute.
“Louis Doukas lives!! The crowd goes wild!!” He called.
He then looked at Daphne and felt…grateful; humble even, if that was possible for the man.
They both smiled, Daphne gently shaking her blonde head.
The man was truly amazing.
(A Field of Candles By LongDarkRoad
– The End)