A Castle of Sand By LongDarkRoad
Chapter 20 It’s Getting Better
“…once I believed that when love came to me, it would come with rockets, bells and poetry…”
Hie Dhang looked once more at her telephone; perhaps she had underestimated the beautiful American. Perhaps another approach? But it was late; her entourage’s bags were all packed and ready for an early departure; the time for discussion was over. This would be one fish that got away.
* * * *
The ride in to the office Tuesday was almost surreal for Christine, as she sat silently, and listened to the chatter fall around her. Lana smiled at her once and nodded, but the knot in her stomach remained. Twice that morning she sat and looked hard at the telephone, but by nine-thirty it dawned on her that Dhang would have already left her hotel. She scolded herself for being so dense.
There was no way to reach the woman, even if she wanted to. The reaction to this was a strange mixture of relief and despair. Is this what love feels like? Christine asked herself, and then looked for something, anything, to work on to get her mind from, this.
* * * * * * * *
Thursday had seemed to come in a rush, and Anne felt a definite pang of anxiety as she walked up to Laverne’s back door, carrying supplies. Her two crew mates were busy loading things in as well. Laverne was in the kitchen, trying to look casual but the anticipation was clearly evident on her face.
As the two other Like-Hot-Cakes staff went back out to the truck, Laverne came quickly to Anne and embraced her. “Oh my God, I can’t believe how I’ve missed you,” she said quietly into the blonde hair.
Anne chuckled, partly to hide her emotion, whispering,
“I’ve thought of you every day, and I mean every day. So I made sure I got this event.” They broke apart as they heard footsteps approaching and Laverne scurried out of the room.
* * * *
“Hey my man, things are boss and copacetic, baby; my boys are in place and the deals gettin’ done tomorrow, chief. Tha’s for real.”
“Call me at this number when you’re clear and cooled out,” Fuller said calmly.
“You got it, J-Edgar.”
Fuller snorted softly at that. “And remember, Jim-boy,” Fuller said, now with some ice in his voice, “this goes sideways and I get screwed, I’ll find you and it won’t matter to me at that point. I’ll put some lead in your head, where it don’t belong, dig?”
Jimmy paused. “I got no plans to screw the man, Bawwb. I’m good lookin’ annnn’ smart, roger ‘dat?”
“Right,” Fuller mumbled.
* * * *
It was eight o’clock and there was no sign of Elroy. Anne had not heard anything from anyone since earlier in the morning. Managing to get a note into Laverne’s hand, Anne then spoke with her assistant, agreed everything was under control, with just the dessert and coffee left to take care of. Most of their supplies were already packed, so Anne took one truck and left.
* * * *
The days had at times dragged, but Christine was glad for the distraction of Miss Gerry and her creative sex ideas. At this moment, for example, Christine was tied on her bed, crossways, one wrist and one ankle attached to the headboard posts and the other two limbs tied to the opposite legs of the bed, so that her spread vagina was the first thing one saw when you came in their room.
Miss Gerry had again pushed the two ‘Steely-Dans’ into Christine’s lubricated openings. She had also blind-folded her Slave-girl with a special black felt covering that she had bought, having read somewhere that being unable to see who was touching you could be very erotic; it definitely was for Christine.
Margie, back for a visit, slapped ‘the slave’s’ ass one more time and untied her, then rearranged her, hands tied above and ankles to the end posts. She then settled her torso down on the eager mouth, and relaxed, enjoying Christine’s tongue.
After about fifteen minutes, and as she was feeling very, very nice, with her eyes closed and concentrating on the rising emotions, she didn’t notice the door opening. Dolly came in, then stood transfixed before the sight.
From the other bed, Gerry gave Dolly a thumbs-up and said quietly, “Two minutes and it’s your turn, Margie’s about ready to blow.” She grinned.
“This is unbelievable,” Dolly whispered, slipping off her slacks; Gerry grinned wider and nodded.
* * * *
Only General Ostrander, Laverne and Frank remained. The catering crew were all gone and Ostrander’s driver was out waiting in the car. “I guess I should follow up with this um, now, General?” Frank asked, looking uncomfortable.
“It can’t wait, Frankie my boy. I told Hagan’s assistant you would follow up, today,” the large man said, tapping his watch.
“Well, okay, if you’ll excuse me for a few minutes, I’ll make the call.” And with that, Frank headed for his office down the hall.
“Um, more coffee, General?” Laverne asked, uneasily.
“No coffee, Laverne. No, my dear, you know what I want.” He said, darkly, a leer on his corpulent face.
Laverne could not make eye contact with the man, she found him so revolting. Suddenly his massive bulk was blocking the light and he had gripped one of her arms in his huge paw of a hand, literally lifting her off the chair. There was no point in calling out; what would Frank do?
Because this was not the first time and there was no point in fighting; Laverne, however, was determined to assist as little as possible. In a moment, the general had tugged Laverne’s expensive pant-suit slacks down as well as her lace panties, which he had chuckled at, before ramming a large finger into her ass and forcing Laverne’s head to his crotch and her mouth to his short, thick erection.
Thankfully, he was an efficient man in many ways, and he had come, Laverne had swallowed, quickly dressed and headed out to the kitchen before Frank returned from his call; no point in embarrassing the man, after all, Laverne thought bitterly.
“The General’s leaving, Dear,” Frank had then called after a moment’s discussion.
Keeping her voice calm, Laverne had answered that she had already said her goodbyes, to which the general chuckled and nodded, before swaggering out the door and down the walk to his waiting Lincoln.
In a few moments, the general’s large car had left the exclusive cul-de-sac of the May’s residence and was now heading down a short stretch that had a natural, wooded area to its right and a large field to its left. A sudden loud bang announced that the tires had just gone over a studded belt, blowing them, and causing the vehicle to spin and veer to the left, coming to an abrupt halt against the curb. Both passenger-side windows were then blown-out by a hand-held launcher, the driver and the general now sitting stunned and bleeding within.
The front door was ripped open and Harrison the driver was pulled from his seat by two hooded men and hauled into the field and up a gentle rise. Through the shattered back window of the Lincoln an arm entered, its hand holding a gun. The general only had time to look up in dazed disbelief before three shots, all to his head, ended his life.
Up on the rise, Harrison’s gun was pulled from his holster as he was stood upright. The gun that was used on the general was now turned on the unfortunate Harrison, dropping him dead to the grass; two shots to the chest.
It would be murder by a lone malcontent, a young, colored man the news would report, with ties to various protest groups and possibly Cuba.
The struggling form of Elroy Stubbs, walking dead man, was now dragged forward. He was promptly shot twice with Harrison’s revolver; then both guns and the mini-launcher were dropped by the two bodies and the hit team of five dispersed in different directions.
They had time, as no one would call in the incident for another fifteen minutes, when a passing vehicle came upon the grisly scene. One of the crew ran for three blocks before coming to the small motorcycle he had stashed behind a garage; he rode that several blocks until he spied a pay phone.
“Hello,” Anne murmured, sitting alone in the caterer’s office.
“It’s done,” the voice announced.
“Thanks, TJ. You’re certain the packages are all wrapped?” She asked.
“That’s a positive; checked myself.” There was a pause before TJ murmured, “Good luck.”
“Thanks,” Anne murmured in return. She then placed a call to Eagleton, setting up a meet. Taking a look around she knew she had left nothing; she only had the one small handbag.
Anne turned off the lights and left, knowing she would never return.
* * * *
At the May’s home, Laverne sat with a double whiskey; Frank already gone to bed. She needed to sit, alone. In the distance she heard sirens; they sounded close. What was up, this was a very quiet neighborhood? She now took out the note from Anne and read it.
She sipped her whiskey and closed her eyes as the tears slipped from them, remembering the last, quick kiss with Anne. “I will be back in touch; I don’t know when my sweet Lavvy, but I will…”
This sounded like a good-bye, but really, what else could it be….
* * * *
Christine lay with her back to Miss Gerry’s breasts; hands again tied loosely in front.
“Dolly was pleasantly surprised,” Gerry murmured, remembering the woman’s pleasure.
Christine snorted softly, remembering as well. She hadn’t known whose pussy she was eating out, on her knees, as Gerry entered her with the ‘Steely Dan’ from behind, as she was blind-folded throughout, which was part of the excitement.
After the session ending with a mild climax for the newcomer, Miss Gerry had removed the blind-fold and ordered their slave to kiss Dolly’s feet and then thank her for being allowed to serve her, which Christine did easily.
She had agreed that Dolly would be obeyed now as well. “I, um, enjoyed not knowing who I was serving, but I knew it wasn’t Margie’s pussy,” Christine replied, thinking she had been intimate now with everyone in the crew but Connie.
They lay quietly together. “Why do you like to do, this, to be used like this? I’m not complaining, Slave-girl, just, you know…” Gerry whispered, gently pulling Christine’s hardened nipple.
“Ummmm,” Christine murmured, feeling very relaxed, thanks to Gerry’s tongue and fingers. “don’t know, and I mean that. I know that certain things, certain, people, turn me on and it just, happens. I don’t think on it; I don’t want to, jinx it, hey?”
Gerry chuckled, “You’re an odd duck, Chris.”
Christine snuggled her hips against her ‘mistress’. “Yeah; I get that a lot,” she purred.
* * * *
“You played us, me for sure,” Eagleton said quietly. They were standing in another small park; it was now two in the morning.
Anne looked up into the craggy face, “I never lied to you, Mr. Eagleton. I told you I couldn’t kill anyone.” She handed him her passport; he handed her an address.
“You should have known,” he said, quietly.
She smiled. “So, there was a plan B; that shouldn’t surprise you. They weren’t going to let this son-of-a-bitch live, but I didn’t want it to happen with a bunch of people around.”
“The driver was killed too; and the young Negro man. I’m guessing he’s the fall guy?”
Anne lit her cigarette and looked again at Eagleton. “I’m sorry about the driver, and Elroy. But Elroy was dead one way or the other.” She paused, thinking that with Laverne safe, the others were not her concern. People were going to die, that was the deal. “Okay, so after I get the going over from your people, I’ll call you to pick up my shit.”
Eagleton regarded the slim, attractive young woman, thinking she should be doing something else with her life. But then, who was he to judge? “Right, see you.”
They each turned and walked off.
* * * *
Laverne sat now at the kitchen table, the clock on the stove reading four-thirty. They had been awakened by first banging on their door and then the phone ringing, informing them of the murder of General Ostrander. Frank had gone to the White House to deal with the fallout. Laverne had put the coffee percolator on, although Frank hadn’t even had time to grab one cup.
Laverne was now sipping her second, thinking murder was nasty, but if it had to be someone, it was a good thing it was the lousy, stinking, foul creature who sat toad-like and repulsive in their living-room just hours before. Who, for the third time in two years, had forced his disgusting cock into her unwilling mouth.
No, she was not sad he was dead; not in the least. Hopefully her husband’s next boss was someone at least a step above this, dead, one.
* * * *
With the murder of a military officer, Cliff Eagleton knew the FBI would be busy as a hive of angry hornets today and so he wasn’t expecting to hear from Bob Fuller until later. Hell, even his own crew were looking into possible suspects, although the public was being told little.
‘AK’, who he now knew as ‘Anna’, would be meeting a personally-selected agent off-site today, but there would be nothing in her notes linking her to General Ostrander; Eagleton had erased that connection. The woman would be providing information on the man Roshov, whose file had been sealed as inactive several years earlier; and she would also be explaining how agents from the KGB had access to some fairly sensitive CIA communication. That would earn her a new passport, some cash and the chance to disappear.
* * * *
Friday morning Lana came and sat beside Christine, who was busy typing some notes on the expected behavior when first introduced to someone who was Japanese. “Well,” the woman sighed, “it’s done. I turned in our letters.”
Christine grimaced and then reached over and stroked Lana’s hand. “Thanks. Feeling bad?”
Lana shrugged, “Not really, except for ol’ Gibbons. She seems to take things personally. She wanted details and all I said was we have a job offer and it may involve going to New York.”
“Which is true, right?” Christine raised her eyebrows.
“Absolutely true; Madam Lucy confirmed you and I are booked for a shoot early in August.”
Christine sat quietly, then asked something that had been nagging her, “How are you able to handle this, I mean, with your, um, upbringing?”
Lana paused. “You mean, with my catholic mother and father coming from Italy, and thus being personal friends with the pope?” Lana grinned.
“Yeah,” Christine smiled, “like that.”
“Well, yes, I was raised with a heavy religious, um, philosophy. Sheesh, there were seven pictures of Jesus in our home and it was a six-room house.” She smiled.
Christine studied her friend, who had not said much about her childhood so far. Christine had learned that Lana was catholic from Margie. “So, um, what uh, happened?”
Lana sighed, “Life, I guess. Or rather, death, in my case.”
Seeing that Christine would not be satisfied with that, Lana continued. “I was eleven and my best friend became gravely ill; turned out to be leukemia. And she suffered, which wasn’t the hardest part. That, was all the praying and the empty nonsense about her being tired and God wanting her home, etcetera. I just about lost it, and I realized what utter foolishness organized religion is. It’s the biggest scam there is. When I was old enough, I walked, no ran, away; and my parents haven’t spoken to me since.”
Christine stroked her hand again and Lana said quietly, “Sex is just another activity, kid; it can have serious consequences, no doubt. Syphilis is a very, very nasty business, trust me, I’ve witnessed it. But sex has nothing to do with our morality; this, the government and the lies it tells, should be front and center with morality; but no, it’s, well, all about sex with, everyone.”
Christine did not respond; there seemed nothing to add and Lana was on a roll. “So, this is how I exist now, accepting the sex for what it is and nothing more. My sexuality does not define me, hey. And this deal with Madam Lucy is just a business arrangement; one I hope will give me the money to do what I want to do. It does not make me one thing or another, except to others who sit in judgement.”
And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see. Christine did not know why those words of Devers came to her now; like her emotions, they just came and went, like the image of Elizabeth Devers’s face.
The two women sat and looked at each other, the buzz of the office drifting around them.
* * * *
In the end, Bob Fuller decided to let Jimmy Lee and his crew ‘do their thing’ without any interference by him; he would remain safely in Washington. Friday night at nine o’clock the number he had given Lee, to the phone at his favorite bar, was called and the bartender brought the black device to Bob sitting at one end. “Yeah?” Fuller said quietly.
“Hey, pal Bawwwwb, the deed’s done, my man and the product looks fiiiiine, just top graaaade, baby. So, when and where can we meet?”
They decided on a warehouse in Baltimore; Fuller knew the place and liked that it was a location where he could be in control, somewhat.
“Saturday around nine, nine-thirty, got it.”
Now it just remained to be seen if Jimmy R. Lee could be trusted.
* * * *
Saturday at the house was sombre; word had quickly spread of the decision by Lana and Christine; both women had gone out to do some shopping but also just to get away from the sad eyes and the questions.
“Whose car is this?” Christine asked as she slid into the Chevy station wagon.
Lana smirked, “Mine.”
Lana laughed, “Madam Lu leant me some dough. We need to buy some furniture right, and you don’t have much, until your final pay check. I got the keys to our place last night, so we can start moving stuff in this week. We need to get out of the house; it’s, too hard.”
Christine nodded her head, “I know.” Then she looked over at her friend. “You are so organized.”
Lana laughed, “You’re going to get mad at me when I get after you for not cleaning up. Then you’ll regret those words.”
They both laughed; but inside there was sadness at the thought of leaving their friends and, just, the end of something.
* * * *
Bob Fuller sat in the deserted lot at the back of an abandoned warehouse in Baltimore; it would be a three hour drive for Jimmy, but that was too bad. Fuller had made him enough money to take care of any of that.
At just after nine-thirty, Fuller saw the vehicle approaching and the adrenaline began pumping. He checked his forty-five again; he’d already checked it twice, but that didn’t matter. Fuller waited in his car until, as arranged, Jimmy got out by himself and went to the trunk, then began walking toward Bob’s Pontiac carrying / dragging a large duffle bag.
Bob opened his door and climbed out cautiously. Jimmy stopped two feet away, grinning broadly and extending his hand. “Good doin’ bi’z-nus wit’ you, my man,” he chortled, a tooth-pick sticking out between his lips.
“No matter how much you try, Jimmy, people know you’re not from the south,” Bob said, kneeling down and opening the bag. “So,” he said, feeling an unbelievable rush, “that’s what a million bucks looks like?”
He looked up and Jimmy gave him two thumbs up and a wide, toothy grin.
* * * *
“Haven’t been in this part of town for a while,” Eagleton observed. Being Sunday evening, everything was quiet; almost too quiet. “So you changed the plan, a bit.”
Bob Fuller snorted, “Yeah, I figured my ass was more on the line than yours and I didn’t want any more contact than necessary.”
Eagleton paused, “My Hong Kong contact is now burned, what with the shipment being heisted rather than caught. They know there’s a leak somewhere, so that shit hits the fan.”
Fuller nodded, “Yeah, I thought that could happen, but you know Eagle, your source was not being completely straight, either. The day the boat came into New York, another shipment hit Miami.”
Eagleton regarded his friend. “Where’s this intel from, a reliable source?”
“Very reliable. My good, good buddy Jimmy R. Lee. One of the crew begged for his life and offered up some news. Anyway, this is for you.” Fuller lifted a large suitcase out of his trunk, laying it on the cracked asphalt of the lot. Eagleton popped it open and stared at the rows of stacked bills. “Pretty sweet, hey Cliff?”
Eagleton let out a low whistle. “Beats my pay check, that’s for sure.”
Fuller laughed and put out his hand, Eagleton rising and shaking it. “Been great workin’ with you over the years, Eagle. Guess it’s best if we don’t have any more contact?”
Eagleton nodded, “Yeah. What’s your plan; lay low for a few months as you were thinking?”
“Yeah, I’m thinkin’ end of the year makes sense, it’s a logical thing. I just turned fifty and been in the field for twenty-five years, Eagle. You know,” he paused, and shook his head, “this is all that men like you and me know, serving these agencies.” He snorted and waved his hand, like he was wiping something. “But, in the end, no one’s gonna think anything’s weird if I pack ‘er in, hey? What about you?”
“Yeah,” Eagleton murmured, “the New Year should find me far away from here.”
Fuller climbed back into his big car and headed out; Eagleton watched until the vehicle turned onto a major road and was lost in the traffic. He picked up the suitcase and loaded it into his trunk. Once home he hauled the large case down to his basement. Opening it, he took out five grand, then placed the case beside two others.
He went upstairs and poured a scotch. This was okay, he thought, after all the bullshit and all the sacrifice, getting something back was okay. Well, more than okay.
He pondered, it had only been a week since men had walked on the moon, and here he was, sitting on cloud nine. Ha! He laughed out loud to the empty room and sipped his scotch; it was his best bottle, but he’d buy another.
A few, actually.
(End of Chapter 20)