A Gathering of Clowns
Chapter 17 Jesters Do Often Prove Prophets
It being Saturday, Drew Downing was hanging naked from a hook in the transformed spare room, a dozen clothes pins attached to his testicles. Emily, however, was definitely growing bored with this thing, as was her nature, but she remained reluctant to let the man sense freedom.
“Why do you still punish him?” Melanie asked as they sat in the June sunshine on the patio.
“I need to be able to trust his intel, Mel.” Emily had replied with a smirk, looking at her cell and sipping her orange juice. She was actually leaving the session today with Downing up to Chantico, who turned out to be quite good at this sort of thing. And, she seemed to enjoy it.
“Trust his what?” Melanie had asked.
Emily snorted, and looked up at the innocent face of her aunt. “The information he provides me, Sweetie. If he thought he could bullshit me; sorry, he might. Right now he is still very aware of my, um, reaction if he starts screwing with the info.”
Melanie nodded her head. That actually made sense to her. ‘Intel’, she’d remember that. She looked up, for at that moment a very attractive young woman came in, hesitantly, to be greeted warmly by Emily.
“Melanie, Candace; Candy-girl, Mel-bel.” Emily grinned.
Ryland Ross awoke. He had fallen asleep in his chair, and was being awakened by the nuzzling of Jackson. He woke and stroked the soft, black fur of his pet, “Bet you want some grub, hey pal?” He asked, and the feline arched its back and rubbed himself against Ross’s leg.
As he got up and headed for the kitchen, yesterday came back like a run-away train. Maybe he should let Mr. Hawkins know? Although if Emily released the information, it was Ross’s pudgy ass that was on the line. “Stay away from women,” Ross warned Jackson, as he spooned some shredded chicken onto a saucer.
He knew there was a reason he had avoided them all these years. Apart from the obvious one.
Chantico carefully dripped the melted wax down over Downing’s balls as the man squirmed in vain. He was now attached to a bench that featured multiple straps; thighs, above the knee, ankles, waist, shoulders, neck and head. The victim wasn’t going anywhere. With Chantico’s thong stuffed in his mouth and duct tape layered across, not much noise was coming from Downing either, although he was clearly trying.
As Chantico poured her wax, she noted with satisfaction that Downing had been shaving himself as she had directed him; she actually did more with him now than Emily. Chantico had dressed him in his dress once on her own; she liked it and he liked it, but she told him he had to be completely bare, and he had obeyed. She decided she would dress him again tonight.
Chantico noted Downing’s sack and penis were well-coated, so she kissed him on the forehead and left him, as per Emily’s instructions. She would return in fifteen minutes, clean him up and give him a reward. Or maybe she would wait until tonight for his ‘happy ending’. She smiled.
Despite what was done to him, Downing always appreciated his reward; and everyone now knew how effective Chantico was with her rewards.
“Hey.” Carman said, answering her cell, “So, how’d it go with Candace?” she smiled, although she still felt a quick, small stab of jealousy.
“Well, hun, considering she’s still here, I’m gonna’ say it’s gone well.” Emily smiled.
Carman chuckled, “You know I’m jealous. For both of you.”
Emily laughed out loud then, before adding, “Hey, I’m actually calling because I have some hot news from Mr. Egg.”
“That’s the man.” Emily replied, then related the news of the situation with her father and his illness, his decision to turn to Cryonics and the trail of the missing money.
Carman sat and listened in silence, before finally uttering, “Wow, I mean, holy wow. Jeez, Emily, what can I say; that’s unbelievable. But it does explain a lot.”
Emily agreed and then Carman asked the key question, “How the Hell did you get Ross to give up that info?”
Emily decided to keep a little to herself, answering that she just had some dope on him which she would share later.
“Wow. Just freakin’ wow,” Carman stated again. “Hey look, don’t wear Candace out all right, let her save a little for others.” Carman offered.
“Yeah, and would the others be you, kiddo?” Emily smirked.
“Well, maybe,” Carman laughed. She didn’t really know exactly what she felt right now. She had a muddle of emotions going through her. When the call ended, Carman turned to Folake and related the details.
Folake nodded her head. “That does explain some things. I had a feeling the man was not well, but, dying, that is something else. Do you think this will push Emily one way or the other?”
Carman shook her head slightly. “I don’t know. She tells me lots, but I also think she keeps some cards up her sleeve.” The two women sat in silence for a moment, contemplating.
Folake spoke. “So, my new cleaning woman-girl,
I think she’s Jamaican, very pretty, who was in on Monday is coming back today to do the bathrooms. I’ve promised her a special treat when she’s done, and that will be you, so please go and shower. I know you will be very diligent with your, um, personal scrubbing, yes my slave?” Folake grinned broadly.
“As you command, oh my queen,” Carman murmured, smiling, and rose, heading for the bath.
“You like doing stuff to Drewsums, don’t you Chant-baby?” Emily asked, a smile on her face, as Chantico poured some tea for her.
The girl blushed and laughed, “I, um, what to say, Ms. M? I like you and I like Miss Melanie. Very much, both of you. I want to make you so happy, yes. Do whatever you want.”
“Yeah, yeah, right, kiddo. But you like the other stuff as well. Come on, say it. It’s okay. I like doin’ stuff like that, too?”
“Miss M, can I ask you why?” Chantico said, sweeping a strand of dark hair behind one ear and looking young (and very pretty).
“You’re lookin’ good, by the way, Chant-girl.” Emily smiled. “I don’t know why I like stuff. I like spanking girls on their nice, round asses. Don’t know why, exactly, just do. As for guys, and some gals, I like having control; do you get what I mean by that? I like making people do stuff, doesn’t even matter what stuff. But just to please me or obey me. I’m down with all that, like, dominant shit.”
Chantico now looked puzzled, and Emily continued, “Hey, that’s okay, girl; I’ve probably given you too much info.” She smiled again. “Look, go get Unca’ Drewsie, okay, and bring him here. Normal-like; it’s going to be a chat, his, um, stuff is done for today. Unless you want to do more to him?” Emily raised her eyebrows and grinned; Chantico giggled and went off to retrieve Downing.
“Thanks for inviting me,” Candace said, sipping on her latte.
“Well, I wanted you to know my, um, thoughts, I guess, first hand.” Carman, said, then drank some of her expresso. “I heard from Emily that you two had a good time.”
“Does that bother you, Carman, because I really want to stay on good terms, like you know, this time with you has been life, really. TBH, I’ve never felt anything like this.”
Not exactly sure what that meant, but believing it was positive, Carman added, “So, how does Emily fit in?”
Candace looked disturbed for a moment, “I don’t know what to say. I like you, I mean being with you is winning, for real. But Emily, she’s so crazy hot that she slays me. I can’t focus when I’m near her; does that even make any sense? I’m destroyed, Carman, but I’m, like, high on this. I can’t say no to either of you. That’s pretty messed, hey?” Having run out of breath, Candace stopped and just smiled.
Carman smiled in response, suddenly feeling old; it wasn’t like Folake hadn’t warned her. “Well, you um, slay me too, if that is any consolation and I can’t say no to you either. So there.”
Candace nodded her head, “I guess we’re like, um, fucked, hey?”
Carman had to laugh; out of the mouths of babes, she thought.
Downing came hesitantly and sat at the patio table.
“It’s ok, Drewster, nothing’s going to happen to you. I’m actually going to give you some dope.” She paused. “Not real dope you goof.” She laughed, as his face had shown alarm. She then gave him the information about her father and the money trail. Downing sat in deep thought.
“Well, that’s crazy. I’m at a loss, I need to wrap my head around this. And there’s no way you have any pieces missing or anything?”
“Hey this is from the most reliable of sources.” She hadn’t told him that Ross was the source; not yet. She didn’t want to go into everything.
“So, what are you going to do?”
“We need to stop the leak, accountant person. And I also need to get in to see the man himself. Work on an angle, Drewsie, I’m going to talk to him, one way or another. And it looks like we need to step on it, ‘cuz he’s running out of time.” Emily chuckled, which Downing thought inappropriate, considering they were discussing her father’s death.
Downing shook his head. He was still in shock.
Monday morning Ryland Ross made a point of getting in to see his boss early. He had spent the complete weekend in thought, going from panic to resignation and back, but in the end he would present as his usual, thoughtful self.
“Ross, what is it? News?” Hawkins looked up, bushy eyebrows looking like a couple of angry caterpillars.
“Well, your daughter has begun asking questions about um, Wyoming, sir, of all things. And Downing has followed the money trails to places I don’t know about. I, um, feel like I’m fighting shadows, sir, if I may be so bold. I want to be as effective as I can, but honestly, I don’t believe I have all the information.”
Hawkins sat for a moment in thought. He had avoided thinking of where all this might go, hoping his daughter would just give up and go back to her hedonistic lifestyle and leave him in peace; or at least, time to finish his plans.
“You know me, Ross. You know I only provide what I think is necessary.”
“I understand sir,” Ross said, stroking his nose with an index finger. “How much time do you think you need to, um, accomplish your, em, goals?”
Hawkins sat, looking a little like a marble statue. “No more than a month. Can you keep her at bay, Ross?”
Ross sighed. “Mmmmm, that’s a stretch. Is there no way you could…meet her, sir? I believe a meeting would slow her down, possibly even make her change direction.”
“You believe that necessary?” Hawkins asked; it was not what he wanted.
“I do, sir.”
Hawkins gently drummed his fingers on the padded arm of his leather chair. “Fine. Set something up, for tomorrow. Here.”
Ross stared; he wasn’t expecting, this, exactly; but Hawkins was a man of surprises. “Very good, sir.” He said, quietly.
Miami, Florida Early 2016
“So that’s essentially the deal, in point form of course,” Commander Halethorpe clicked the mouse and the screen went to ‘Home’, a saver showing our galaxy in animation. “It’s basically just the same shuttles the government used for the program, with our updates and improvements, and of course, the addition of the eight ‘Life Pods’. He nodded his white-hair fringed head.
“The total cost, again?” Hawkins asked.
“One point three billion, sir, give or take,“ the commander grinned.
“But we’re not covering all of that, surely?”
“No, no,” the commander shook his head. “We have a Chinese satellite to launch, we get four hundred fifty million for that, and it gives the mission a reason to be up there. Then of course, and please keep this under your hat, we’re also delivering a satellite for North Korea. Obviously, our government would shit themselves, pardon my French, if they knew, but it’s a lot smaller and simpler than the Chinese one and we’re still getting over two hundred million from those bastards.“ He chuckled. “Then of course, the eight passengers at one hundred million each, and there you go.”
“Or so you hope,” Hawkins said, a rare smile on his gaunt face. “Go, I mean.”
Carman’s cell buzzed just as she was packing her things into her briefcase; it was Emily, so she answered. “Hi, Boss; what’s up?”
“Hi yourself. Got some news, Madame Da Costa, about Herr Hawkins. Got a minute?” Carman stifled a snort and replied she did. “I’ve been summoned into the inner chamber.” She chuckled.
“When, Em?” Carman asked; this was news.
“Tomorrow, my dear. How’s that for a quickie response, hmmmm?” She declared.
“So, are you, well, ready? Anything I can do?”
“I think I’m cool. Maybe you can lend me some garlic to like wear around my neck.” She smirked.
“Emily…” This time Carman did not stifle her snort.
Downing entered in his unassuming way, standing behind the line. He didn’t know why Hawkins had ended the practice of the wearing of the masks, but he had and Downing was fine with it. He was, in fact, good either way, and now he stood and waited, regarding the blond head and hunched shoulders of Stafford Hawkins.
Finally Hawkins turned (he’s lost weight, he looks pale, Downing pondered, then admitted it was imagination), “Ah, Downing, and another of my jesters comes to announce, what, exactly?” Hawkins smiled, his lips pencil thin.
“I believe Mr. Ross has mentioned the money that was moving out of accounts and into other accounts and bypassing my control; I just need to know if this affects my work, sir? What I need to report on.”
Hawkins looked at the man who he had placed under his thumb years ago, and considered if his control was slipping. Had Emily gotten to him? Or had he just been diligent in his work? Hawkins had always, or at least once he became a multi-millionaire, maintained a number of accounts, often in different banks.
From a strict accounting sense, all the money flow needed to be accounted for; money laundering was a major criminal activity and the F.B.I. as well as other government agencies were on high alert for questionable occurrences; Hawkins was well aware of that. He just liked having his secrets; especially now that his daughter had emerged and his illness had progressed; he didn’t like having to discuss his actions.
“I can see your point, Downing, I can. And I’m sure you are feeling some, um, pressure, from my daughter. But I can assure you I have done, am not doing, anything illegal. I’m guessing the concern is…am I diverting Documart funds into other holdings?”
Downing nodded his head, “That’s it, exactly sir. We, including your daughter, are aware there is the money associated with the parent company and its subsidiaries, and then there is other money which you use and have invested in things separate from Documart. There just needs to be a way to make sure of, well, what is what.”
Hawkins nodded his head, wondering how much Downing knew. How much his daughter knew? Having a meeting with her actually now made sense; he just needed to get all his ducks in a nice row. “Thank you, Downing, that will be all.”
After Downing had left, Hawkins messaged Tia Graves to ask her superior to come for a meeting; he needed to ask Da Costa a few things. But he also placed another call, because he also needed Alvarez to be present; he was really interested in them both.
Melanie regarded Emily for a moment before beginning, “You seem to have stuff on your mind, dear,” she said, as evenly as possible, not wanting to provoke anything. She was just interested; she had watched this woman grow from a child and knew her moods.
Emily looked over and grinned, “Yeah, not a carefree kid anymore, hey?” She said.
“Anything you want to share?”
Emily lit a smoke and stretched her legs out; how much should she tell her aunt? “Well, I’m going in to talk with the man tomorrow,” she said, quietly, with a little smile tugging her lips.
Melanie actually gasped, a small intake of breath, anyway. “No way. How’d this happen?”
“Not really sure; but I have been pushing, leaning on Ross and Carman. I think Daddy-kins knew that he’d have to see me at some point and figured ‘what the Hell’.” She grinned at Melanie, then turned serious, “I want to be able to tell him we, you and me, are together on things; that you won’t be intimidated by him.” She looked at her aunt, knowing what this meant.
Melanie twisted her fingers together for a moment then looked up. “You know I will always stand by you, Em.”
“I know Mel; and that dick of a man will have to go through me to hurt you. You know that.”
Melanie got a far-away look on her face, looking out to the city. “No, you won’t sacrifice yourself, Emily. I won’t let you. He can hurt me if he will, but he won’t hurt you.”
They sat together in silence, as neither knew if they could speak without breaking down.
Folake Alvarez was shown into Stafford Hawkins’s office by Ms. Prendergast. Unusual for him, Hawkins stood and greeted the woman, in his fashion.
“Ah, you’re here, good. Please follow me,” and he
started off across his room and then opened a portion of the wall, revealing it to be a doorway. Alvarez followed him in and then the ‘door’ closed.
This inner room was dimly lit, but in a moment Alvarez saw clearly that a naked woman was standing with her arms above her head; her wrists were strapped together, and then hooked into a metal rod that extended from the ceiling.
The woman was Carman, and she was blindfolded and gagged. Hawkins went to stand to the left of her, while Alvarez moved to the right. Hawkins indicated a shelf on the wall and Alvarez observed the interesting items sitting there; several nipple clamps, labia clamps, weights and butt plugs; while a half dozen whips or canes sat below the shelf, leaning against the wall. Not one’s regular office supplies, Folake considered, but very familiar to the dark woman.
“Apply the clamps, Ms. Alvarez,” Hawkins said quietly, as Carman jumped slightly at the sound of his voice.
Alvarez took the large, black pair and, squeezing Carman’s modest breasts, placed them, watching with concern as the nipples were squashed with the pressure. Carman moaned and twisted slightly on her straps.
“Below as well,” Hawkins said, his high voice sounding almost disembodied.
Alvarez had anticipated this and knelt, clipping two shiny metal Japanese Clover clamps onto Carman’s dark, meaty outer labia.
“Now the weights,” Hawkins said, as Alvarez turned back to the shelf, Carman’s moans stabbing her mind.
Alvarez lifted four metal balls from the shelf, noting they were standard eight ounce weights, designed to attach to clamps. She placed two on the nipple clips and two on the labia and watched as Carman’s flesh was stretched down.
“Insert the number three plug; I’m certain you know where. There is lubricant in the grey bottle.” Hawkins voice was becoming softer, almost as if he were fading away.
Alvarez lubricated the plug, and then poured some of the gel onto her fingers, which she then pushed into Carman’s anus, stretching and greasing the tight hole as much as she could, before slowly pushing the black, rubber four inch plug in; it had a small flange at the end that rested below the hole, preventing it from disappearing.
“Now begin whipping her, Ms. Alvarez. You choose the device.” Hawkins instructed.
Alvarez finally spoke, “What are we doing, Mr. Hawkins, if I may ask?”
Hawkins grinned, a wolfish leer, “Conducting an investigation, my dear. Something you are good at, because we are going to start on Ms. Da Costa and not stop until I’m satisfied. Are you good with that?”
Folake hesitated for an instant, then replied, her voice uninflected, “I am good, sir.”
“This is a sound proof room, Ms. Alvarez. No one will hear…anything. Please begin.”
Folake looked at the array of instruments and made her choice quickly. Stepping just behind Carman, she brought the cane down across the round buttocks with a sickening swish and a clear thwack. An angry welt appeared across Carman’s skin.
Tad sat, in contemplation; Raisha watching him through half-closed eyes. It would be so easy, Tad considered, to just increase the dose and end it all. After all, what was the point? In a couple of days he would be forced to do something that could end him.
In time, Tad just chose to get high and go on living; for now.
“What is it?” Hawkins asked, impatiently.
“She’s passed out sir. I will not be responsible for anything permanent, that is not my job.” Folake looked at him unflinchingly; it had been over twenty minutes of continuous punishment.
“Fine, you take care of her.” Hawkins said and left without anything more. Folake waited until the door had closed and then unbuckled the straps and carefully laid Carman on the ground; she wasn’t really passed out, but she was not in good shape. “Lie still, lie still (she whispered into one ear) there may be cameras. Let me take care of this; follow my lead.”
Forcing her mind to get through the throbbing pain, Carman lay still and let Folake remove the plug (the weights had been taken off a short while back) then dress her in her clothes which were simply piled against a wall.
Helping her to her feet, and trying desperately not to show emotion, Folake supported and guided Carman out the secret door and then to Hawkins’s private elevator, which took them to the basement parkade where Folake found Carman’s car, helping her into the back seat.
Twenty minutes later, Folake was helping Carman again, only this time it was into a warm, Epsom salts bath, followed by a cool bath, followed by Folake gently and thoroughly covering Carman’s welts with soothing ointment, before cradling her to her body.
It was when Folake finally had Carman dressed in a silk robe and lying against her on the couch that she broke down. Great wracking sobs shook her body as she clung to Carman, begging her forgiveness.
An hour later, after a second glass of scotch, the two women sat side by side. “It’s beginning to feel better already…Mistress,” Carman murmured.
Folake simply shook her head. “I tried to make sure I did not overlap any strokes. I used the cane that made the most noise but actually does the least damage. I don’t think Hawkins really knows that much about them, or he wouldn’t have left me that choice.”
“What do you think that was about?” Carman asked quietly, and Folake then lied, saying she believed Hawkins was becoming paranoid and not trusting anyone.
“He is meeting his daughter, tomorrow. Actually today,” Folake noted, seeing it was past midnight.
“I know,” Carman said. “But I won’t be there. I plan to take tomorrow off.”
Folake hugged her partner, “And your mistress will wait on you, as penance for my…deeds,” she said quietly.
(End of Chapter 17)