A Mask of Love
In Vain Is the Net Baited While the Bird Looks On
As they sat, Kendra could hear the refrigerator humming; a car came up their street and carried on; a siren off in the distance could be heard before it too grew faint and passed. She gently lifted Lillian’s face with a finger under the girl’s chin, “You don’t need to go on if you don’t want to. I didn’t think of, ummmm, what I was asking of you. I didn’t know…”
They sat in the darkness, Lillian grasped Kendra’s hand, “It’s okay, Kend,” Lillian murmured, her voice thick. “Ummmm, it’s okay. I, um, I wanna, like, say stuff. It’s been in me, like bad dope and I need to shake it, eh?”
Kendra nodded her head. “These, uh, men, bought you? And then they took you to Kenora?” She paused, a growing tightness in her guts.
“Ummmmm, nnnn,” Lillian moaned quietly and then curled into a fetal position beside Kendra’s knees, rocking gently on her side, but continuing. “They, the tall one, fucking Richard, Rick the Prick I’d call him in my head, eh, he used to tease me, saying they bought me like, um, l-livestock. He said I was, like, theirs, mmmmm,” Lillian stopped.
But then, over the next thirty minutes or so, she told a story of constant abuse, for months, at the hands of Richard and the second man, Andy.
Richard was clearly the boss and directed things. Lillian was kept naked at all times and was never to be left alone, although she discovered a weakness in the arrangements before too long. For the first month, the two men had sex with her two or three times a day. Or at least Richard did, and Andy tried to. He apparently had performance issues; Lillian remembered thinking how pathetic the little man was.
“Rick the Prick said all my holes were like his, and he made fucking sure I got it. Jesus, the guy, like, loved my ass, eh. He couldn’t get enough, at least for the first while.”
While the men’s house, as Lillian clearly remembered it, was old and shabby, with junky furniture and appliances that “looked like they came from the dump”, there was something in the place that was very important to Richard and which he had spent money on; a camera and a computer.
“He ran that thing on me like every day, every time they had sex with me, half the time when I pissed or, fuck, everything. He’d video and then we’d watch; he’d make me watch, and I’d hafta tell ‘em what was going down, you know. Like say what I was doing, as if they couldn’t see themselves. Shit.” Lillian paused and looked at Kendra, “I didn’t want to, but the other stuff was, like, more than I could do, eh?”
Kendra wasn’t sure she wanted to know about ‘the other stuff’; what she had heard so far was distressing enough, but Lillian wanted to get this out. She had never spoken to anyone about her time with the two men, Teri had asked some questions but Lillian had been evasive, but now it came flowing out.
“There was like a room down in the creepy, cold basement and they’d put me in there, eh. It was real dark, total dark, like a cave and cold an’ there were, like, things in there. Like living fucking things, like rats and fucking spiders and shit. I could feel them touch me, like in the dark and I’d scream.”
Lillian paused again and rocked some more, moaning quietly. Kendra gently stroked the long, black hair. Tears were now running down her face but she ignored them, continuing to stroke Lillian’s hair as the girl rocked and moaned.
Looking up, Kendra was surprised to see a ribbon of light on the horizon. The dawn was breaking. “It’s morning,” she whispered, wiping her nose. ****
Kendra took the call; it was from Carol Douglas. After a few minutes of information, Kendra replied, “Hey my sweet, I am good with all that. I’ve actually got something I’m working on here, so fly away and do all your business scheming and manipulations and then when you return you can move in.”
Carol chuckled, “Not really a lot of scheming going on, Mistress, but I feel guilty for taking off.”
Kendra assured the woman, “No worries, there, Snooks. We always knew there were two sides to this relationship coin, and when you need to be Mrs. Douglas, omnipotent businesswoman, that’s that. We’ve set September first as your move-in date and I’ll hold you to that. A day late and I’ll be forced to paddle your sweet behind. How’s that?”
Carol laughed out loud, “You’re not sounding all that cruel and dominating, my mistress. And when did I become ‘Snooks’?”
“Hey, everybody is Snooks; that way I don’t need to remember names. Look, on a serious note, do check in with me every few days, just so I know you’re still alive. Where all are you going again?”
Carol chuckled again, then listed five cities in three countries, “I will, oh most dominating of Mistresses. And, ummmm…” There was a pause.
“Yessss?” Kendra prodded.
Carol spoke quietly. “I love you, but I think you know that.”
For some reason the comment produced a lump in Kendra’s throat this morning. She responded with some huskiness, “Hey, no use trying to butter me up there, Slave. I’ll expect you back here on the first of next month or there’ll be trouble. Now get going before I get all mushy.”
Carol chuckled one more time before she hung up. After the call ended, Kendra sat, staring out the window, resolved to her new task, keen even; but at that moment, Jessica lounged into the kitchen, still wearing pajama bottoms and a T-shirt. “Hey, Mama Bear,” she greeted her friend.
“Hey Sweets,” Kendra replied, as Jessica plunked herself down in the chair opposite.
“No Snooks?” Jessica asked with a smirk.
Kendra just shook her head and smiled.
“What’s wrong, girl?” Jessica asked, looking hard at her friend.
“Nothing’s wrong, what’s with the look?” Kendra responded.
Jessica snorted. “Oh give me a break, KC; you’re wearing no mask today, but then that’s not your thing, anyhoo, and you’re so easy to read. What gives? Something’s got you worried.”
Kendra chuckled and grimaced. “You’re like a human bloodhound when it comes to emotions there, Sherlock.”
“I don’t think Sherlock was a blood hound,” Jessica dead-panned.
“Whatever…” Kendra sighed deeply, then looked up. “Lillian gave me her whole story last night; or at least lots of it, and it’s got to me. Bad. Or good; whatever.”
Jessica put aside her usual flippancy, a defense mechanism anyway, and looked gently at her friend. “Anything you can share?”
Kendra gave Jessica a summary and then they sat.
“Wow,” Jessica murmured softly, reaching out to stroke her friend’s arm, ”So, what are you thinking?” Jessica prodded.
“I’m…going to find out who those bastards are,” Kendra said quietly.
Jessica regarded the woman for a moment before asking, “And then what?”
Kendra shook her head. “Don’t know. Haven’t thought that far. Just want to identify the pricks, then I’ll decide.”
“Don’t go all Jack Reacher on us, sister,” Jessica smirked, but inside she felt a stab of alarm.
Kendra smiled, “I’m sure on my father’s side there’s an assassin or two lurking in my DNA. Who knows, maybe I’ll send them an anthrax letter.”
Jessica snorted. “You take care, Kiddo. This girl is in you deep.”
Kendra raised her face, a quizzical look upon it, “Really? What do you mean by that?”
Jessica just smiled and gently shook her head from side to side; why Kendra wasn’t admitting her feelings was a mystery. Well, sort of. Jessica understood clearly why people kept emotions hidden.
Kendra rubbed her eyes, then stretched and put her laptop to sleep, realizing she was hungry and it was time to eat.
Considering how many women were connected to the house, most evenings the dinner time was nothing special, as people looked after themselves, at various times and in their own way. Tonight however saw all six inhabitants buzzing around the kitchen/dining area: Kendra, Jessica, Lia, Meg, Lillian and Allie were all having their dinner at the same time. “There’s an awful lot of prime pussy in this room,” Jessica guffawed, as the women swarmed the kitchen.
As usual, Kendra took charge and in the end everyone enjoyed the variety, starting with a roasted chicken Lia had brought from a deli, the fresh bread Jessica had picked up, and then the assorted frozen vegetables that Kendra and her ‘comely assistants’, as Jessica laughingly called them, heated and dished out.
Meg left, alone tonight, for the Purple Thang, as Kendra called it, as others looked to the clearing up. Lia as well had some function to attend to for work and she was soon gone as well. Allie then departed for a shift at a local bar, with Jessica giving her a lift there.
So now, Lillian and Kendra had a little while to talk.
Lillian seemed awkward, almost defensive, after sharing all of her personal information, which was understandable. Kendra gently and persistently reassured and comforted her, to get the last of the details.
“So, how the Hell did you get away?” Kendra asked, after hearing more of the unpleasant and at times horrifying details of what the men had done with and to Lillian, including some infrequent nights when they had brought another girl home and had the two girls perform together; the camera running of course.
* * * *
As Meg began the first song of her set, she was disappointed to not see Mary in attendance. Clearly the events of yesterday would take some getting used to; even the greeting today with Marcy was a little awkward.
Meg did notice her father come in and sit at the back, as was his custom. He smiled at her; Meg thought briefly that he looked a little nervous. Her mind was overactive today, she needed to settle into her music and let everything else go for now.
And as it had for many years, music provided her with comfort and purpose, and soon she was accepting the warm applause from the fairly full room. As always, it gave her a feeling of joy, unlike anything else, besides her mistress.
Lillian sipped her ‘Sleepy Time’ tea, and was quiet, forming her thoughts. “Rick the Prick had some kind’a job or somethin’, ‘cuz he would go out once, mebbe’ twice a week. Dumb Andy was left to guard me. Fuck, I was naked and had my hands tied, what was I gonna do, eh?
Anyway, the dumb ass would fall asleep half the time and I would snoop around, looking for anything that could help me. Over the weeks I found a shirt here, some underwear there, and I’d stash them under this loose board in a back room. I would sneak money outta’ this box in a closet an’ stash it and I’d look out the windows and tried’a figger where I was.
Finally, one day when it was hot, so summer I guessed, I made the jump. I cut my ropes with the edge of a crate that I’d found; jeez it was sharp, and then I got a nice, thick log from the firebox, and when Andy woke up an’ came lookin’ for me, I clubbed him back of his head, just like Bam! I had dressed, mostly in stuff from Dumb Andy ‘cuz the Prick was too tall and I even had a jacket.
I left the dumb jerk lying on the floor an’ I took off. The highway was real close, like just a short run away.”
Kendra decided that a question here could help in her ‘investigation’, and Lillian’s answer gave Kendra something definitely to go on. It turned out the men’s house was quite close to the main highway leading to the small airport.
“I got a ride again real quick; it’s like the only thing I’m good at, I guess.” Lillian actually smiled at this and Kendra hugged her.
Over the next few minutes, Lillian described meeting Teri, who was nice to her in many ways, before abandoning her when he got word that the police were closing in on him. But Kendra wasn’t interested in Teri just now; she wanted to get after the scumbags, Richard and Andy.
Lillian went downstairs and Kendra headed back to her computer.
Jessica had finally made it to the coffee house and when she was seated she noticed: no Mary, Marcy glanced at her but did not make eye contact and Meg’s father was sitting and nervously tapping an envelope on his small table. She sipped her tea and pondered all this, while also making note that Meg look particularly lovely tonight, her auburn tresses reflecting the modest ‘stage’ lighting.
At the end of the evening Jessica, as usual, slipped without notice out the side door; since Meg had her own rattle-trap tonight she didn’t need to stay. Once in her darkened car, she sat and observed as the place slowly emptied. She saw Kevin Greenfield give Meg a quick hug and the envelope he had been tapping, then practically lurch out the door and head off in a rush, almost as if he were afraid Meg would try to stop him.
When the last patron had exited, Jessica saw Marcy make her way to the front doors as Meg leaned against the bar; but that was all she could witness as Marcy drew down the blinds.
Inside, Meg stood somewhat awkwardly by the row of bar stools. She waited until Marcy approached, but the woman cast her a quick smile and headed to the storage area down the hall. Meg followed, feeling a little uncertain as to what to do next. She was not wearing the earbuds or camera tonight; she was flying solo.
Marcy entered the storage room and began taking out some wine, as Meg leaned against the door and waited. After a few minutes Marcy stopped and stood up, then stood twisting her fingers in her apron and looking at Meg, who decided to approach the woman. When Meg was a couple of steps away, Marcy looked down, her fingers still busy. “What is it?” Meg asked.
Marcy looked up, an odd smile on her face. “I, um, I’m still trying to make sense of yesterday,” she said quietly.
“I thought you enjoyed our time,” Meg said, also quietly, taking another step and reaching out to stroke the other’s arm. Marcy turned and picked up an armful of bottles and began walking back to the bar, Meg following still unsure of what she should to do.
“Talk to me, Marcy,” Meg said, coming up behind the woman as she re-stocked one wine rack.
Marcy tilted her head down, speaking to the cabinet. “I, did enjoy, our time. But meeting your, um, friend, that was alarming.”
Meg reached out and placed a hand on one of Marcy’s shoulders. “But we still had what we had,” she said, moving close and speaking into Marcy’s neck.
“Hmmmm,” Marcy murmured, closing her eyes, but not moving away. “And what, exactly, did we have, Meg?”
Despite the late hour, Lauren Douglas and Dawn Haynes were just heading down in the elevator from their offices. It had taken more work than they had guessed to come to understand the company they were ‘running’, although with each day, they were developing more control. Dawn was flying out to New York on a late flight, so the women had each brought their own cars.
As Lauren approached her vehicle in the mostly empty lot, she noticed movement from the lot’s edge, by the tall, heavy fence that ran between the lot and the neighboring property. Her hand froze by her door handle as the camel-coated figure of Simon Cutter stepped into view, possibly fifteen steps away.
“Hello, Lauren Bitch,” he said, his thin face looking unpleasant in the light of the street lamp. “How are we doing?” He smirked, and began his approach.
For the second time that day, Kendra stretched and rubbed her eyes, then closed up her computer. She looked at the clock, noting she’d spent another three hours on the case, piecing things together. Now, as Meg and Marcy were standing in awkward silence, Kendra was looking at her notes: Richard Brown, fifty-six and Andrew Thomas, fifty, were the two men who had kidnapped and tortured Lillian.
Although there was not a lot on these two individuals, both with sparse work histories and no social presence, she did have an address and their fairly recent pictures, as both had minor criminal records; and that was all she needed. For now.
Carol Douglas, seated in first class and awaiting her ordered whiskey, looked across the aisle of the seven- thirty-seven at a face she recognized. “Moira Hennessy?” She asked cautiously, and the woman turned to regard her aisle-mate.
“Carol Douglas? Well for heaven’s sakes, it’s been years.” The woman, possibly seven or eight years Douglas’s senior, some grey beginning to color the edges of her short brunette hair, said with enthusiasm.
“Yes, indeed. Let’s see if the flight attendant can switch one of us.” When the woman returned with the drink, she was able to move Hennessy beside Douglas, and once Moira had her refreshment, the two ladies began an animated chat. Both were business women from Ottawa, although with quite different interests, but both had been successful without any male support (or interference, Hennessy had noted) and were women of (some) influence.
Now, before Douglas visited Mexico City, Miami, Dallas, L.A. and Vancouver in her closing-up process, she was making a trip to London. There was something there of interest to her, two things actually, and she hoped her visit and discovery would end as a gift for her mistress, when the two of them were finally together. And it looked now like she would have some pleasant company for her flight.
Meg entered the house and mounted the four stairs to find Jessica and Lillian sitting, although on separate couches. “Hey Kid, come and join us,” Jessica offered as a greeting, sounding more like a friend than a mistress. Meg moved to the couch and sat down, smiling across at Lillian before giving Jessica a smooch on one cheek. “Where’s the Queen?” she asked, Kendra being noticeable by her absence.
“She hit the sack early; guess she put in a long day doing a bunch of, uh, research I think,” Jessica replied, casting a quick glance at Lillian, who looked down. Meg looked from one girl to the other; what was up?
Lillian spoke in her husky voice, always surprising given her youth. “I told Kendo a bunch of shit, like about me and stuff and it, like, got to her. She’s doin’ stuff for me, eh?” Lillian looked from one to the other.
“She cares for you, Kid. You know that, right?” Jessica asked quietly, no smirk in evidence
Lillian was very quiet, but her face was soft in the darkened room; only two corner lamps were on and much of Lillian was in shadow. “I know. Um, it scares me sometimes, ‘cuz I don’t want to, um, believe, eh?”
Jessica nodded. “I know what you mean.” She smiled and pulled something from her pocket, “But she did leave us this, hey kids.” Jessica announced with a grin, lighting the joint courtesy of Kendra. Lillian came to kneel in front of the two on the couch as they shared the smoke. It didn’t last long but with a flourish, Jessica produced another (one will never do, Kendra had laughed when she gave Jessica the weed.)
The women took turns and soon the second joint was gone, too. Jessica looked at Meg, “Take your clothes off, Sweets.” She murmured and Meg undressed, dumping her clothes in a pile on the carpet. Jessica looked at Lillian, “Take off your clothes, please Lil; we really want to see you.”
Lillian looked up with her eyes dark, almost black, but quietly undressed, still kneeling. “God, you are so fucking beautiful,” Jessica murmured, directing Meg down to Lillian’s breasts. Meg kissed and squeezed each full breast in turn, nibbling and pulling on the large dark nipples, before reaching up to kiss Lillian’s mouth. The girl, surprisingly, responded with a moan, sucking hard on Meg’s lips, both girls grabbing handfuls of each other’s hair. As they kissed and thrust against each other, Jessica too undressed and began to pleasure herself as she watched the two beautiful creatures before her in their hypnotic dance.
It was only a few minutes later, with Lillian on top in a classic sixty-nine position, her face wedged into Meg’s crotch while Meg’s experienced tongue danced along and inside Lillian’s thick, purple, cord-like labia, that Lillian arched her back and cried out softly, her hips thrusting in spasms, before collapsing with her face mashed into Meg’s curling, reddish pubic hair.
The two young women lay entwined now, as Jessica’s fingers plunged into her own wet sex and her own muted cries of joy issued forth.
Lauren froze, her key in mid-air, before she regained her voice. “What are you doing here, Simon?” She asked, her voice shaky.
Simon snorted, he was now just steps away from her. “Oh, needed to see how my little enterprise is doing, my dear, and of course, touch base with my two favourite employees.”
“We aren’t, technically, your employees,” Lauren said with more courage than she felt, but she did remember the words of the contract Cutter had signed. Her mother had made sure the man had no direct control over her for two years and even then, Carol Douglas had voting rights that, with the other shareholders, could out vote Cutter on management issues.
Cutter regarded Lauren with disdain. What would she do, he wondered, if he just slapped her hard right now. Well, he wasn’t ready for the possible fallout from that just yet. The bitch would get what was coming, all in due time.
“Lookit,’ Simon, just come by the office in regular hours and see us. We’re there every day.” Lauren said, as evenly as she could, quickly unlocking her car and getting in.
Cutter watched her with a smirk on his thin face, but when Lauren looked back in her rear view mirror, that face had hardened into an ugly mask of loathing.
Perhaps even hate.
Carol had dozed, as had Moira, and when she awoke she saw below them a darkness, stretching forever, that was in fact the Atlantic. As she gazed, Moira’s voice interrupted her reverie, “Always looks so cold, hmmm?” she asked in a quiet voice. The cabin was dark save for a few reading lights, most passengers sleeping.
“Yes, although right now it’s just blackness,” Carol replied.
Moira adjusted herself in her seat, before saying, “I’ve heard rumors there Carol, about you selling off shares and selling companies outright; what’s happening?”
Without giving up too many details, Carol did confess to a ‘change in her life’ and, yes, she’s was ‘down-sizing.’
Moira sat for a moment, “That is interesting. Is it, a man?” She asked, a twinkle in her eye.
The question took Carol by surprise, and she hesitated, then thought, what the Hell?
“No, it’s a woman, actually.”
Moira Hennessy simply sat, staring.
(End of Chapter 13)