A Mask of Love
Chapter 21 A Mask Of Love Placed, So As To Hide…
Lillian lay on the carpet, her eyes closed, her head on Kendra’s lap. She hadn’t cried while watching the recorded confession; she had just sat in stunned silence and watched, mouth open. She made Kendra show it twice more and then just lay down, with Kendra sitting beside her and cradling her head, stroking her hair.
Kendra was the one with tears streaming down her face. When one tear splashed Lillian’s cheek, the girl looked up, then sat up and hugged Kendra. They had hugged now for a while, until Kendra had stopped crying.
“Thank you,” Lillian whispered, looking into Kendra’s eyes. Kendra just nodded and kissed Lillian’s cheek. Lillian moved over to sit cross-legged before Kendra and they looked at each other. “So, whadj’a do?” Lillian’s dark eyes looked hard into Kendra’s, but the older woman just shook her head. “You…killed ‘em, di’ncha?” She asked bluntly and Kendra just looked down.
“Good,” Lillian said, quietly, then brought Kendra into her, hugging her forcefully and quietly humming a melody that Charlie had sang for her. When he hummed it, the first night of her visit, she thought she remembered it and they both had laughed.
“You were so little,” Charlie had said. “I could hold you in one arm. I would sit and rock you and sing songs, eh?”
“I remember,” Lillian had said, in wonder. She was always certain it had been a dream.
Kendra awoke with a start. Lillian was sleeping beside her; both had fallen asleep on the carpet in the living room. Kendra got up quietly and went to a window; the sun was not quite up, but it was still a new day. She watched the sun and considered the possibilities. The authorities might track her down; what were the chances? She had Lillian on a good track; she had Carol back with her, and plans for their future.
What would happen to Lia? Kendra had done her best. Of Jessica and Meg, well, she couldn’t be responsible for everyone. She would be there if they needed her.
She walked over to the calendar on the kitchen wall and turned the page to the new month, looking in fascination. Life goes on, she thought, despite all that happens; it was a new page.
September 1, what would this month bring?
(End of Chapter 21)
(Epilogue I: September 16)
When the police broke in, they were overwhelmed first by the smell and then by the sight. Alerted by a courier who had tried twice to deliver a parcel, eventually going around to the back, craning to look through a slit in a back door window and seeing what she thought was someone sitting in a chair, but not answering the knock. She had called, and it being a fairly slow day in Kenora, two officers arrived, and now here they were.
“Holy fuck,” one said, his face covered with a medical mask.
“Goddamn,” said the other.
Kendra had continued to search the news daily and she read with interest (and alarm) on the seventeenth that the bodies had been found and that at this time the police had few clues. Apparently an expensive camera had been taken; Lia mentioned this to Kendra several days the trip. “I took it; it was just sitting there; not sure why,” she had said. Kendra had disposed of the thing, in pieces.
It was also mentioned that police had found disturbing content on the computer in the home.
Making that information public was an interesting move on the police’s part.
(Epilogue II: October 17)
“Oh my God!” Meg exclaimed, holding a copy of their CD in her hands. “Oh my God.”
Mary just collapsed onto her couch, holding seven CDs in her hands. “You know what this means, Kid?” She said.
“Hmmmm?” Meg replied, staring in fascination at the photo of themselves on the cover.
“Road trip, girl. Road trip.”
Meg laughed. It would be good to get out of town, away from the memories; even for a while.
(Epilogue III: November 1)
Simon Cutter began to cross the parking lot outside the building in the Gateway area of Washington, D.C. This particular block was a little sketchy, but that wasn’t what was giving Cutter nerves, even as dusk was moving into evening. He’d had the feeling on and off throughout the day, like he was being watched; just a strange foreboding feeling which he had tried, unsuccessfully, to shake off.
As he hit the unlock button on his fob, he glanced to his right and gave a startled yelp and dropped his briefcase. Dawn Haynes had just come out from behind the only other vehicle in the lot, holding a gun and pointing it at his crotch.
“Hello Simon, come this way, I need to have a word with your sorry ass,” Dawn instructed, waggling her gun in the direction of a wall formed by wooden posts. ”Leave the case, you can get it in a minute. Move it, I ain’t got all day.”
Reluctantly, and stumbling slightly, Cutter moved over to the pilings and saw there was an opening and a space behind. Dawn shoved him in and then without warning, fired a shot, the bullet hitting Cutter in the knee, causing a searing jolt of pain and knocking the slight man down. Since it was only a twenty-two, there wasn’t much noise, especially from behind the wall.
“What the fuck…” Cutter began, but Haynes cut him off with the motion of her gun.
“Where is she? I know she’s in D.C., now where is she?”
“What the fuck are you talking about…UHHH?!!!” Haynes had put a bullet into Cutter’s other knee.
“I’m not fucking around. I’m close, I don’t need you, it just makes it faster. Now, where is she?” Dawn hissed, stepping hard on the man’s groin.
Cutter screamed and Dawn stood back to regard him. He was shaking and close to hysterics, but he still had enough sense left to give Dawn all he actually had. He had left Lauren to the woman, Madera’s, ‘care’, and didn’t actually know where she was being kept.
Dawn wrote down the name, Cynthia Madera, south Washington. “Thanks,” she grunted, pausing for a moment to regard the creature on the ground before her, then she fired a round into Cutter’s stomach, looking hard into his eyes as he looked up in fear and hatred.
Then she shot him in the forehead, right between his little eyes, before tossing his own gun down in his lap after pressing his fingers on it. The only prints on the gun would be Cutter’s.
Haynes walked back to her car, grabbing Cutter’s briefcase on the way, and then drove off.
(Epilogue IV: March 1)
“Hey Dad,” Meg greeted her father as she came through the doors of ‘Second Chances, Bean Shop and Bar’, formerly the Purple Barista.
“Hey yourself. What are you up to, you’re not playing tonight, whatcha’ doing here?”
“Nope, just thought I’d drop by and see how you’re doin’? Can’t a daughter check up on her dad?”
Kevin chuckled; he would never get tired of hearing Meg say the word ‘dad’. “It’s been almost six months, Kid. I think you can trust me by now.” He grinned. Every day was like a picnic for Kevin Greenfield; some days he still felt like he needed to pinch himself, to make sure it wasn’t a dream.
Meg laughed. The truth was, she liked coming here. She liked seeing her dad running the place he had bought from Marcy, and which seemed to fit him like a glove. He was a good businessman, and he had never backed away from work, but now he could share it with his daughter.
“Mary coming down?”
“Naw, I’m meeting her later at a lounge a few blocks from here. She’s just working a little late and finishing something up.”
“Well, we just need to sell some more of your CDs and maybe she can quit that job.”
Meg looked at him. “Don’t forget, in a few weeks we are leaving on another tour. Hopefully that will move some product.” Kevin gave her a thumbs up, although he was a little uneasy with her being out on the road.
Meg pondered for a moment how things had changed; Kendra heading over to London with Carol Douglas and leaving her and Mary to look after the house had been a wonderful gift, allowing the two women to put some money away. Although the house seemed a little empty with just the two of them, it was also much nicer than any apartment they could afford.
She looked again at her father as he busied himself behind the bar. He had accepted Meg and Mary’s relationship amazingly well, and while neither of them talked marriage or anything long term, they were content. Happy? Jessica still floated into her mind now and then.
Meg was good with contented and with hope and purpose; she wasn’t concerned with happy just now. As she left the shop her mind flitted back to the days when Jessica sat watching her from the car parked right where she was standing. Jessica…what was there left, Meg thought, as she turned and headed for her new car, the old Ford now gone.
Lauren cleaned up the mess with a wet-wipe as the man lay on the table, breathing deeply. “That was great, Starr,” the man mumbled, using Lauren’s trade name.
“Of course, Hun,” Lauren replied, waiting for the gent to sit up. “I’ll let you get dressed. You want a shower?”
“Nah, I’m good. Thanks.” Lauren slipped on her lace bra and thong and then her dress. Scooping up the envelope with the cash, she left to allow the man to dress while she took the payment and tip to the manager. None of it was for her.
She glanced up at the clock; only an hour and a half left, maybe one more dick to service, she mused. Another hour, another dick; each day was the same. Service the men, most of whom were forgettable, a few attractive enough to at least make an impression, and a few jerks; but it was all just another day in a long line of days.
Today however, outside the building, Dawn Haynes sat and watched with a plan formed in her mind; one she had been constructing ever since she had come down to Washington. With Cutter gone, things had become clearer and her resolve had not wavered.
In her mind, the most difficult part, getting Cutter out of the way, was done; but, if she needed to shoot someone else, she would, damn it.
“Open C147,” the voice said, and with a loud clanging the cell bars slid over. Lia Robinson stood waiting.
“Prisoner, step forward,” came the command and Lia stepped into the hall and stood, hands at her sides. The same process was performed for the next six cells, and when all fourteen inmates were standing outside, the order was given to turn and the line headed for the lunch facility.
Being a former guard, Lia was isolated from the general population for a good portion of the activities, but she did eat with them, although on her own.
She appreciated what Kendra had done for her; the defense lawyer had managed things so effectively, especially considering Lia was prepared to ‘throw in the towel’ and just give up. Because of the diligent work of her lawyer, Lia ended up with four years; Holly on the other hand received a sentence of nine.
On her last visit, before heading to England, Kendra had sat across the glass and emphasized that the house would be waiting for Lia when she served her sentence. “I’ll look after you, Kid,” she had said, and Lia had nodded. All Lia had to do was stay clean and serve her time. Four years; she could do it.
Homicide Detective Deeling placed the file in the cabinet; it had been almost six months since the bodies of the two ‘perverts’ had been discovered; the revolting videos contained in the seized laptop left no doubt what the two men had been up to. Snippets of conversation led the police to search the backyard; the video clearly showed them strangling one girl; and four bodies were found buried there, three female and one male.
To be truthful, the small force did not place a high priority in finding their killers; it could have been anyone who had lost someone to them. The tapes showed over twenty girls being abused, some so brutally hardened police officers vomited.
No. No one felt any sympathy for the dead men; if the detectives had answered honestly, they would have said they got what they deserved.
Deeling closed the file cabinet.
Marcy looked up as Carla came into her office and sat in the chair to one side of the desk. “Everything good?” the woman asked and Marcy nodded her head.
“We’re doing well, I’m actually working on the six month’s report; that’s next week, eh?”
Carla nodded, “Time zips by, jeez.” She paused regarding the quiet woman sorting papers before her. Marcy looked up, “What are you grinning at?”
Carla smirked, “Oh, just thinking of our first meeting back at the Purple Thingy…”
“Barista…” Marcy chuckled.
“Yeah right, crazy how things work out.”
Marcy nodded. Here she was in Vancouver, partner in another business, living in a relationship with Carla and Allen.
She had not heard a thing from Dan since they sold the business and he had packed up and moved out; but she was happy. Or maybe content would be a better description.
Marcy did think now and then of Meg; she had heard the two girls on a CBC radio program recently, but she knew that that ‘love’ was never meant to be. She had, on an impulse one day, sent Meg a text saying, “next tour, come to Vancouver; I’ll make you tea!”
She had received a text a couple of days ago saying a second tour was actually being planned and it would definitely include Vancouver.
It would be…interesting, to see Meg again.
She smiled now at Carla, “Allen making anything special for us tonight?”
Carla nodded her head. “Yeah, he was chopping vegetables for a stew when I left.”
Both women smiled.
Kendra looked around her; everything was perfect. For
the third time in the few months since they had been in London, they would be hosting another Saturday night affair with masters, mistresses and their slaves. Carol Douglas would of course figure prominently, as she had before.
Kendra texted a message to Lillian and then put her device down. They had stayed in contact and it was the only thing wrong with their life here and the thing that would take them back, soon. Very soon. She wanted, no, she needed, to see Lillian; to speak with her; to touch her.
“I think after tonight’s affair, we will head back to Ottawa, for a visit; see how everyone’s doing, and then maybe check out that condo in Mexico,” Kendra said and Douglas nodded her head.
“Whatever you want, but you have enjoyed it here?” Douglas murmured from her knees.
“Oh my God, yes. This will be our home base, I’m thinking. But there’s lots out there to see. And people I want to stay in touch with. It’s great, by the way, that you finally heard from Lauren, after all these months.”
Douglas crawled over to her mistress and knelt before her. “Yes, that was a huge relief, but still a puzzle. I know there is a something she is not telling me. We’ll see.” Carol paused and looked up at her mistress. This was the life she wanted, but she could understand Kendra’s need. She spoke quietly, “And now that you mention it, it would be pleasant to see home again. But I am dying to get you down to Puerta Vallarta. It is such a perfect location; I know you’ll love it.”
Kendra reached down and stroked Douglas’s face, thinking again how lucky she was.
That night, when the party was in full swing and the slaves, including Douglas, were all being used and the champagne was flowing and the luxurious ‘hall’ echoed with music and laughter, Kendra knew she had to leave; they had to leave, the next day. She needed to get home.
She texted Lillian. “Do you want to come back to Ottawa for a few days?”
A few moments later, even though it was early morning in Winnipeg, the response came. “Yes. Mom.” Smiley- face.
Kendra smiled too and then nodded, as an elegant woman in her early forties led Douglas to her on a leash. “She was wonderful,” the woman smiled.
“I’m sure,” Kendra agreed, raising her glass.
Jessica observed through the window of the train the endless rolling land, still brown, awaiting spring. In the shadows by the tracks there was still snow. She was crossing the prairies and heading for Calgary; she wanted to see the mountains, she didn’t know why.
Kendra had said to just go and live, and when she was ready to return, there would be a place for her, so she had travelled; Milwaukee, St. Cloud, Churchill, Denver, and now back in Canada. She wasn’t ready to return just yet.
Her hair was cut now so that it was short all over, and combed back, in a masculine way. However, with her soft, full lips and feminine stance, one would never mistake her for a boy; she still received lots of attention, from men and women. Glancing across the aisle now she caught the eye of the young, likely university age, student sitting across from her. The girl had long, red hair, styled much like Jessica used to; the girl looked away and then looked back; Jessica smiled and the girl looked down, then back up, and smiled in return.
The carriage was possibly half full and the seat across from the girl was empty. Jessica slid over and sat looking at the nervous girl who looked even younger up close. “Where you headed?”
The girl licked her lips and brushed away some hair. “Calgary,” she said, in a very soft voice, and Jessica imagined that face looking up at her from the floor, and that quiet voice saying, “Mistress”.
“Good, I’m headed there too, and I’ve never been; it would be great to have a like, friend, like, direct me, eh?”
The girl smiled, “Sure,” and they began discussing the city.
Later that night, in the girl’s small basement suite, Jessica slid out of the bed and looked down at the lovely, naked body, sleeping innocently.
“This is me,” she said to herself, taking out her cell and snapping a photo to add to her collection. Maybe in a month or two she would be ready to head back to Ottawa.
(Epilogue V – April 3)
Dawn looked up as Lauren came in, carrying a glass of milk. The girl still looked, different, even after being home for a few weeks now. It was like she was brainwashed or something.
“You can take her,” Madera had sneered, when Dawn had finally made her move at the massage parlor, over-powering the attendant and confronting the tall, unflinching woman. Madera was eying Dawn’s revolver as she added, “but she will always be mine.”
Dawn had thought about putting a bullet in the woman right there, but there were witnesses, so she just hustled the compliant Lauren out to their waiting car and rushed off to the airport and then back to Montreal; but things were not the same. Lauren was not the same.
Dawn got up and went into the bathroom; she felt she needed a shower. When Lauren heard the water running, she took out her second cell phone and pressed the only
number in it. In a moment, the compelling, sensuous voice of Madera asked, “Are you on your knees?”
Lauren instinctively dropped down, “Yes, Mistress,” she whispered.
“Good. You are a good girl, my good girl. I will be coming for you.”
“Th-thank you,” Lauren murmured, her heart beating; then the call ended.
(Epilogue VI – late April)
Meg, just returned from their quite successful tour of nine cities to the west coast and back, sat on the bench in a small park. If I smoked, now would be a good time, she thought. But she had never liked smoking, so she simply sat.
She looked again at the text message that had buzzed in this morning and which she had not responded to; yet.
It was from Jessica.
It said simply, “I’m heading back to Ottawa; be there probably in a week or so. What’s the deal? Is my room still vacant? I know you and Mary are living there. I don’t want to fuck things up, although I usually do, but I would like to use the room for a little while. Don’t know for how long. That’s me, Sweets.”
What to say? What did she feel? A small stab of desire, that was true; images floating through her mind; her on her knees before Jessica, staring at and craving the shaved and pink labia; wanting desperately to devour them.
That was not the pleasant love-making that she and Mary now practiced, where, by agreement, they were equals, for the most part, although once in a while, just for a change, Mary would assume a dominant’s role; but it was just play.
No, the desire she had felt for Jessica was something different.
Meg pondered; could she risk this? Could she avoid it and regret that for ever? She thought for a moment on a poem she had read, the line about the dagger of jealousy.
She did not wish to be pierced. Again.
“Unnngg!” Lauren cried out, as the cane bit into her, the room beginning to spin, pain folding into pleasure. Madera sensed her toy was near the edge, and she moved in close, her experienced fingers working hard on the responsive clitoris of her bound slave. With another cry, this time of pleasure, Lauren sagged on her ropes, tears slowly caressing her cheeks, a sense of great peace descending upon her.
* * * *
Lillian was out running, something she did in Winnipeg almost every day now, but not on the hard pavement of the city streets; Lillian preferred to be near trees and grass. She was out now on St. Mary’s road, jogging to a wooded area she liked and visited at least once a week.
It was a sunny May day, and warm. Lillian took off her jacket and walked deeper into the woods. She found, hidden in a dense cluster of elm, remnants of snow. Amazingly, there was enough that she flopped down into it, and moved her arms. One might think she was making a snow angel, but she wasn’t; she was thinking of her spirit animal; the raven.
In Winnipeg, she had begun working with a group that helped runaway and abused native girls. Lillian counselled them and acted as a resource for people who wanted to deal with the problem of trafficked native women. She had become a symbol of hope for her community; her people. And she had found her spirit animal.
Soon she would head back to Ottawa again and spend some more time with ‘mom’; but she would always return here, and continue with her work.
As she lay, a raven came to land on the tip of a spruce not far from her. Lillian lay still and watched the black shape; then saluted it.
She moved her arms up and down again and just laughed, looking up into the blue sky. She couldn’t help it; she laughed out loud.
Because she too was the raven; and she was flying free.
And when you came to me
I lay, disguised in my silence,
your memory still warm within;
with the dagger of jealous pity piercing my armour,
and a mask of love placed, so as to hide
I had wished to find God…
Or my desire,
To find the peace of forgiveness,
Or at least to see the light,
To have tried;
What remained was
but the ash of salvation,
bitter on a tongue that had lied.
The Chronicles of LongDarkRoad
The Mask Of Love
By Lawrence W Taylor