A Castle of Sand by LongDarkRoad
Chapter 22 Only The Strong Survive
“…oh there’s gonna be, there’s gonna be, a whole lot of trouble in your life. So listen to me, get up off your knees, ‘cause only the strong survive…”
Lana and Christine’s apartment building was three stories tall, with four suites per floor. Theirs was on the third floor, which Lana wanted, so she could play her cello without bothering a lot of people. She had introduced herself to the neighbor across the hall and the one beside them and felt good about the chat.
As Christine entered the apartment, Lana was in their living room, near the large window, playing quietly. She put the instrument in its stand and placed the bow down, standing and coming to her roommate, embracing her. “So, sounds like things went very well.”
“How do you know that, I just got in,” Christine laughed, standing back to look at Lana, dressed casually this morning in a sweatshirt and slacks, but still looking amazing.
“Madam Lu called about five minutes ago; guess your gal had already contacted her, singing your, praises.”
Christine smiled and starting unzipping her dress; she needed to get out of her evening wear. She had felt weird, coming through the hotel lobby on a Sunday morning dressed for the night. “So how’d it go with you?” she asked entering her room. Lana followed and then helped with the dress, hanging it up as Christine changed under clothes and found a sweater and slacks.
“He was very nice. A real gentleman, sweet and attentive. You know,” she paused and regarded her friend, “I think a lot of men just want to be with someone; they’re not like a bunch of raunchy sailors on shore leave, running around looking to get laid. Clarence seemed really happy just to be out with an attentive woman.”
Christine smirked. “Yeah, the fact you’re drop-dead gorgeous had nothing to do with it, hey.”
* * * *
“Okay,” Lucy Nagy commented, “you are assuring me everything is set, cameras, everything; nothing else from me?”
The voice on the other end assured her; it was set, they’d head to New York on Tuesday and shoot Wednesday and Thursday with Lana, Christine and Nagy’s only non-white girl, Josie. It was to be a loose homosexual love triangle ‘plot’ that ends happily with an all-girl threesome. Josie was the third most attractive girl in Nagy’s collection.
Nagy was pretty sure the finished product would ‘light some fires’.
* * * *
“Hey, I like your place,” Gerry said as she poked her nose into rooms, “but you need to get some stuff up on the walls; it’s pretty empty.”
“Yes, we know, Mom,” Lana chuckled, “give us a few days, hey? We just got some dishes today.”
Gerry and Margie had come over for a visit; Margie and Christine were now standing together in the kitchen, holding each other. “Jeez, I miss you guys,” Margie murmured into Christine’s hair.
Fighting the lump in her throat, Christine replied, “Yeah, tell me about it. It hurts every time I think of you and Gerry and the house. I just push it down or I’d be bawling all day.”
At that moment Gerry came in and joined the hug, turning Christine’s face and kissing her, “Margie’s moved back in with me; we hug each other at night like a couple of drowning sailors.”
“Stop it, you guys,” Christine whispered, “I’m going to make some coffee now before I lose it.”
* * * *
Cliff Eagleton was amazed he got the call; Bob Fuller had indicated they would have nothing more to do with each other.
“This is a surprise, Bob,” Eagleton murmured. They were seated at the back of a somewhat seedy bar. It was dark in the place and the clientele was decidedly working class and rough, including the occasional pimp, hooker or heroin addict looking for a score. “But I can’t imagine any of our friends would see us, here.” He chuckled, “How’d you find this place?”
It was Fuller’s turn to chuckle, “Yeah, Eagle, welcome to my world, the glamorous federal agent.” They both now chuckled. “Yeah, I know I said so long, but there was somethin’ I’ve been meanin’ to ask ya’, ever since that Jim Garrison, Clay Shaw trial ended.”
“Mmm-hhmmm,” Eagleton responded, sipping his scotch.
“Well, now that we’re headin’ for the hills, no need to hang onto all those secrets, hey Eagle. We both know, for example, that Shaw was a CIA asset.” Fuller glanced up to check Eagleton’s response.
“How would you know that? And why do you care anyway?” Eagleton fenced.
Fuller sipped his bourbon and pondered, as Eagleton lit his pipe. “You know, when I joined the bureau, Hoover was kind of an idol of mine. But over the years I’ve come to see him for what he really is.”
The two men regarded each other. “And that is…?” Eagleton prodded.
“A devious, little, muck-collecting turd,” Fuller grinned.
Eagleton laughed out loud, “Tell me how you really feel, Bob.” Both men snickered and sipped their drinks, their tough-looking waitress, sporting an actual tattoo on her left bicep, appearing at their table.
“Five minutes, sweetheart,” Bob droned. “Yeah, that’s how I feel. You know,” he paused, considering his words, “there was a rumor, I think more than a rumor really, that before Kennedy, John I mean, not Bobby, was gunned down, that the bureau, and by that I mean Hoover himself, knew of serious plots against the president. And Hoover buried them and then hid any trail of them after the assassination.”
Eagleton studied his friend; both men were habitual in keeping information close, but he was interested in this. “Go on,” he prompted again.
“Hoover certainly hated the Kennedys, Bobby especially, but he would never risk being involved in anything as huge as that. But he knew all the shit that was goin’ down, and he was great at providing assistance. After all, his good buddy Lyndon, the guy lying flat in his car while Kennedy was having his head blown off, became president.”
“And Johnson promptly extended J. Edgar’s term,” Eagleton added, “while Kennedy had been trying to find a way to boot the bastard out the door. Most of us knew that.” Both men chuckled again. “So what did you want to ask me, Bob? Seems you already have your answers.”
Fuller nodded, “Yeah, to our side I guess, but we believed the CIA was up to their eyebrows in the assassination, maybe both assassinations. We now know that’s true Eagle, so no point being coy. Why else would the CIA lie about Shaw?” Fuller raised his own eyebrows. “But, my question,” and here Fuller looked hard into his friend’s eyes, “is how many were actually in on it?”
Eagleton thought over his response. “So, I’ll admit the Clay Shaw thing, for now,” Eagleton winked. “What else you got?”
Fuller nodded. “My info is that three high-level CIA men basically planned the whole Kennedy assassination, one of them being the mysterious Bishop, using their knowledge of a Kennedy brothers’ invasion of Cuba as the shut-down piece. Something that could be used to threaten any real investigation, ‘cause it would lead right back to the brother’s plans. And that means Cuba, and that means the soviets. And that means war.”
Eagleton emptied his glass and caught the waitress’s eye. Sighing, he began, “I’m not going to say you’re wrong. We deal in theater, Bob. We always have. We make things up and we’re very convincing at it. And most of us believe that we’re doing it for the right reasons; keeping the wolves at bay. But sometimes shit hits the fan, and it gets real.” Eagleton puffed his pipe thoughtfully. “I didn’t particularly like Jack Kennedy, but I believe he had some morality; if not in his own sex life, certainly when it came to, humanity.”
Their drinks arrived and both men sat in silence. “So, Oswald, one of the worst shots in the marines, didn’t take an old World War II rifle with a faulty firing pin and squeeze off three shots with two hits, something our best sharp shooters couldn’t duplicate?” Fuller dead-panned.
Eagleton laughed. “Well, only a fool, or the public, could believe that pile of horseshit. But it’s stood up, hasn’t it. Great theater, what, with an emotional Dallas business-man taking revenge on the commie assassin? Great theater.”
Fuller regarded his friend, “He was your guy, hey? Oswald?”
Eagleton puffed thoughtfully on his pipe. “Oswald worked for several agencies, Bob,” he paused, “including yours, from time to time.”
Fuller laughed out loud, “Yeah, well, J. Edgar certainly made sure all that disappeared.” He shook his head.
“As did Dulles from our end,” Eagleton grinned.
Fuller nodded, “But then the Shaw trial brought up all this stuff, Eagle, and now the Zapruder film is out; people were shocked. Ordinary people this time.”
Eagleton grimaced, “Yeah, it was pretty clear the kill shot hit Kennedy’s head from the front. But you know the official findings; three shots, all from behind and above. Who’s going to question the government, Bob?”
Fuller nodded. “Yeah, conspiracy buffs and nuts. Like they said, they’re all honorable men those Warren Commission fellows.” Fuller considered, “But I think, in your own spook way, you’ve answered my questions.”
Eagleton smiled. “It’s all a fairy tale, like the magic bullet, but it’s very convincing, Bob. That’s all that ever matters, letting people believe in something, even if it’s not real.” Eagleton paused, “Even Jackie made the point with all that Camelot nonsense; everybody needs an illusion, huh. People say only the strong survive, Bob. Myself, I think it’s them with the best story.”
They sat in silence. “Here’s to Santa Claus,” Fuller raised his glass.
* * * *
“Ohhhhh,” Christine moaned, raising her head from between Lana’s thighs; Lana meanwhile was vigorously pushing a rubber phallus into Christine’s lubricated pussy as the two women were in a classic sixty-nine position. Josie Carter, the third member of the shoot, was on the side of the bed, alternating between kissing the two women and fondling whatever body part was available.
This was the second day of the shoot, and they were coming to a ‘climax’, although it was doubtful any of the women would experience a real one; right now this was just work and they wanted to get it finished.
As his assistant worked the hand camera, Floyd, the man putting the movie together (that makes me the producer, he had laughed) sat beside Lucy Nagy, who had been there for the entire shoot.
“Where’d you get these gorgeous dames, Lu? This has been a blast, workin’ with, you know, quality and class.”
Nagy smiled. ”They are part of my collection; I only have the best, Floyd. That’s my reputation, right.”
Floyd nodded. “I can see that, and this is going to be really out of sight, no kiddin’. Guys are going to go ape over hot, hot chicks like these doin’, this. Christ.”
Nagy chuckled, “Well, this new pornography business is all about dreams, Floyd; giving men something to dream about. We are kind of like magicians, in my opinion; dealing in, um, illusion. Most men could only imagine having any of these women naked and performing for them, but here they are, right before their eyes, nothing hidden. They are probably getting a better view of the goods than they would with their own wives.”
Floyd nodded his head, “Yeah, wasn’t it Robbins who wrote The Dream Merchants? That’s the idea; sell somebody sump’thin’ they could never have.” He gave a thumbs-up. “Okay ladies, you can relax, I think we’re done.” They had already filmed the movie’s conclusion the day before; today was just more action to choose from.
“Hit the showers, girls, then we’ll go out for a nice steak dinner. You’ve earned it.” Nagy announced.
“You buying, Madam Lu?” Lana smirked.
“Of course,” the woman murmured, lighting the cigarette at the end of her ebony holder.
* * * *
Julia Sullivan walked into Silverberg’s office to find Gibbons there as well. She sat on a straight-backed wooden chair and opened her file, looking at Silverberg, who asked the first question, “So, no fall-out from Hie Dhang leaving?”
Sullivan shook her head, “Nothing official, and England has poked around and nothing has emerged, other than there is some unrest about Dhang herself.”
“Could it affect us?”
“Doubtful, Sir. Korea clearly sees the benefits of our trade deals. It’s not like they’re doing us a favor. Dhang’s problems and her, love interests, sex interests, really, shouldn’t have any impact on anything.”
Silverberg and Gibbons both nodded. “Speaking of love interest, what’s the word on our departed crew gals?”
Sullivan rubbed her nose. “My sources are indicating that both Gallo and Callister have begun working as, um, call girls, Sir.” Gibbons snorted and Silverberg rubbed his hand over his eyes, sighing softly. “High-end and expensive, for wealthy clients.”
“I told you, Boss, there was always a problem when our crew starts sleeping out. Here and there, now and then, a one-off or a fling, but Callister was in too deep,” Gibbons murmured.
“Except,” Sullivan added, “Gallo, on-the-other-hand, was rarely into anything of the sort. This has come out of left field for her, so who knows?”
“Well, not entirely left field,” Gibbons replied. “Remember, there were a couple of ‘holes’ in the woman’s past; the indication was that she had worked, briefly mind you, in the trade, and then decided against it.”
Silverberg sat in thought. “Who’s the, um, madam?” he asked quietly.
Both Gibbons and Silverberg nodded. “Well, that’s your high-end,” Gibbons said as Silverberg lit a cigarette, feeling annoyed and ill at ease.
* * * *
The man knocked on Anne Kasey’s door and listened, looking around to see if any other doors on the floor opened. He knocked again, then inserted some sort of pick into the locked and entered the small apartment. It looked ‘normal’; bed made, clothes hanging in the closet, but Anne’s bag was gone, as was her toothbrush; five minutes later the news that ‘Anne Kasey’ had skipped was relayed to her superiors.
* * * *
Christine, Lana and Josie were sharing one hotel room with two double beds, which they were sitting on; they would be leaving in the morning. “So, looks like we get a few days off, wish it was a little later, I may have to pull an AWOL this month.” Josie said.
“Why’s that?” Lana asked, sipping her glass of white wine; they were sharing a bottle.
“You ain’t heard, muthuh? There’s a big music festival coming, right up here in New York State; some farm or something in the Catskill Mountains, but there’s goin’ to be some hot groups; Jefferson Airplane, The Who, my man Sly and the family. Hell, Bob Dylan’s comin’, tho’ I don’t like that skinny white boy. But Jimi’s comin’. Jim-eee!”
Christine looked at Lana. “Hendrix. Jimi Hendrix. He’s an incredible guitar player.”
“Pupple-haze, all in muh brain…” Josie sang out, reminding Christine of Margie, and there was a brief stab of sadness.
“And this is a big deal?” Christine asked. She’d heard of Dylan, and The Who of course.
“You kiddin’ muthuh? This is the real deal, like the real, real deal. Okay, I got it. It’s at a place called Woodstock.”
Lana and Christine exchanged glances. “Sorry, never heard of it, Josie.” Lana said, “It’s, um, soon?”
“Yeah, it’s next week, the fifteenth, babe, an’ I’m goin’, ‘cuz I neeeed some buddy to luvvvvv,” Josie sang and Lana topped up everyone’s glass, smiling.
* * * *
Laverne made a quick trip down the road to the first pay phone, dialling the number that had come to her mysteriously, simply being left in her mailbox. “Yes?” the voice answered cautiously.
“Anne!” Laverne exploded.
“Mmmmmm, it’s nice to hear your voice, Lavvy. Real nice.”
“Where are you? What’s happening? I’m going nuts.”
Anne chuckled, “Patience, sweet Laverne, patience. I’ll get a number to you now and then; for the next little while I need to be on the move. I’ll explain everything, and I mean everything, when I’m face-to-face with you. Take care, Love.”
“But wa…” Laverne began, but Anne was already gone.
* * * *
“How much?” Christine asked, mildly.
“Thirty-five hundred,” Lana replied, “and you’re twenty-five, right?”
“How do you know that?” Christine asked, always astonished at what Lana knew. They were looking at their earnings for the two-day movie shoot. The movie would go on to bring in tens of thousands, but they were happy looking at their envelopes stuffed with hundreds and twenties. “And how come you got that?” Christine asked with a mock pouty face.
Lana laughed, “Well, I know you’re kidding, but for this deal, Lu figured I was the main gal; I was the one actually asked for and everything, so I got a bonus. Lu said,” and here she looked up with those startling hazel eyes, “that the next one…”
“They’ll be a next one?”
Lana nodded, “There will be, and we’ll each earn four grand.”
“Holy cow,” Christine murmured.
“No, holy shit,” Lana laughed, getting up and heading to the kitchen.
* * * *
Saturday found Christine, Lana and Josie headed again to a hotel. Christine would be meeting another woman, while Lana and Josie were being hired by a client as a duo. (He wants light brown and darker brown, Nagy had explained, laughing.)
For Christine, this encounter would be more ‘business-like’ than the one with Glenna Wallenberg. Her client. ‘Mrs. Smith’, was not interested in dinner or chatting. Christine met her right in the hotel room, stripped for her, lay on the bed as the woman kissed and fondled her body, then did mutual oral sex, ending by vigorously licking out the woman’s anus as she masturbated furiously.
After ‘Mrs. Smith’ had her orgasm, she showered alone, placed the envelope on the dresser and left, saying nothing. Christine sat and regarded the money, feeling some frustration with the fact that she had not had any release, and a general feeling of ‘so that’s it’?
There was six hundred dollars in the envelope; six hundred for probably ninety minutes of ‘work’. Christine pondered how long she needed to work, just a year ago when she was a clerk, to earn six hundred dollars. This money wasn’t all hers, of course; she wasn’t certain, but she thought she’d earned four-fifty. She shook her head; life was so weird.
A few blocks away. Lana and Josie were aggressively kissing and grabbing each other. Their client, a high-ranking politician from Central America, wanted ‘lots of girl-with-girl tongue action’. Twenty minutes of this action later, the man’s erection entered the scene. He was briefly annoyed when Josie, using her mouth, placed the condom on him, but everything ended, happily.
The two women stayed for about an hour after the man came, but there was no more ’play’; just relaxing and caressing. It wasn’t even midnight and they were headed down in the elevator. “Well, wham, bam, thank you ma’am,” Josie purred as she counted her envelope. There was a thousand in there and in Lana’s as well.
“So, you still going to that music thing?” Lana asked.
“I am, sister, leaving Friday mornin’ with my ‘cuz. She has a car, not much of a car, a nineteen sixty volks, hey? But it should get us there and back.”
“You said, um, Woodstock?”
Josie smiled a brilliant smile, “You got that, Lana-banana. I’ll ring your bell when I gets back and give you all the dope.” She smiled, “Except of course, the stuff I toke.” She laughed.
* * * *
“You seem a little down?” Lana asked, as she and Christine sat, listening to some music on their new record player.
Christine shrugged, “Not really, um, down. Maybe a little disappointed. My ‘date’ was pretty, uh, mediocre, hmmm.”
“You brought home some sweet green, kid, and you were done before me. It’s not always going to be rockets and, well, bonbons,” Lana instructed.
“Bonbons?” Christine raised her eyebrows, then considered, “that’s like candies, right?”
Lana chuckled, “Very good. Just look for the positive.”
Christine shrugged again, then looked at Lana in a meaningful way, “You know, a real friend would help out her pal.”
Lana laughed out loud, “Oh, so that’s it. You expect to get paid and have the big ‘O’ as well. And if you can’t get it there, you expect to get it here. I should charge you.”
But before any more discussion, their buzzer sounded and Christine answered it to find it was Margie downstairs.
“Hey Kid,” Christine said, unlocking the main entrance door, “c’mon in.”
“Hey yourself, but it’s late and I’m heading home, but I wanted to give you this number; the call came two days ago but I wasn’t able to get over until now. Sorry.”
“Oh that’s okay, and hey, we have a phone now. It was installed yesterday.”
Margie handed over the slip of paper and then pulled a pad out of her handbag, “Great, give me your new number.”
“We’ll call and give it to you, but come by soon, Marj, I mean that,” Christine said, as Margie smiled and headed off.
Christine then looked at the number on the slip of paper. It was an overseas number; Korea, and it was from Madame Dhang.
Christine stared at it, her personal desire underscored by the jolt moving through her, beginning deep in her genitals and moving right up to her brain.
* * * *
“Haven’t heard much about Anne lately,” Virginia said quietly.
Beverly looked up, “No, she’s actually gone, away, for a bit.”
Virginia looked puzzled, “That’s sudden isn’t it?”
Beverly gazed at her mother for a moment and Virginia noted there was no attitude. There was actually sadness in the young eyes. “Yeah, it was. That’s all I know.”
She reached down and fished her pack of cigarettes from her bag.
* * * *
Back in her room, Christine and Lana discussed time zones, with Christine figuring she could actually call now.
“You sure you want to do that, kid?” Lana asked quietly.
Christine nodded, “I do. I can’t avoid this; I need to deal with whatever feelings come up. It’s not like I’m gonna’ jump on a plane and fly over there, hey. I made the big decision with her right in the car; but I can’t hide from this. Oh, and yeah I’ll pay the long distance charges; I’ll bet they’re unreal.”
“Good luck, sweets. You know where to find me.” And with that Lana headed to her room.
Christine approached the hall telephone cautiously, debating with herself. But there was no big argument, she lifted the phone and pressed ‘O’.
The voice that answered her call spoke Korean, but it wasn’t Dhang. Christine hesitated for a moment, then asked in English, “Hie Dhang, please.”
With her heart sounding like someone pounding on a door, Christine waited, her hand unconsciously between her thighs.
Whether she knew, because it was a long-distance call or something else, Dhang answered, “Is this who I think it is?” in her sultry voice, reaching across thousands of miles to grip Christine by her core.
“It is your, whore, Mistress,” Christine whispered.
After a pause, Dhang crooned, “Take off your clothes, slave.”
As bizarre as it was, Christine undressed and sat on the floor, her back against the wall. “I am naked for you, Mistress,” she whispered, her hand squeezing her labia.
Dhang sighed deeply, not bothering to move from the receiver, so Christine heard it clearly and she moaned in response. “You are touching your filthy cunt, aren’t you?”
Gasping quietly, Christine slipped two fingers inside herself, “Yes Mistress, I am, ummmmmggg.”
Dhang chuckled softly, lowering her skirt and fondling her own, thick labia, “Stop, lick your fingers, I want to hear you…”
Christine did as directed, noisily sucking and then plunging the digits back inside herself and pumping, moaning so Dhang could hear her. She could feel the release coming, coming.
“Stop, Whore!” Dhang commanded, but it was too late, Christine arched herself against the wall and let the waves take her, her mouth open and soundless, smiling even as Dhang continued to scold her.
Finally, Christine murmured softly, “Why did you have to leave? Why…?”
* * * *
An hour later, and after a long bath, Christine stood, looking at her reflection in the mirror.
Tomorrow she had agreed to go to an address Mistress Dhang had given her; a female photographer the woman knew. Dhang was contacting the woman with specific instructions on what poses she wanted for her slave and how she was to be dressed, or not, and what objects would be inserted into her holes.
Christine had agreed to do whatever the photographer demanded of her, knowing the images would be sent to her mistress.
Would this work for her, Christine considered.
(End of Chapter 22)