By Cindy and Walt
After returning home I drifted into a boring routine. I tried to be patient, but it was impossible. I checked the mail three times a day. I was looking for anything from the Controller, or the Phone Sex Lady. I had two super secret Email accounts, and two separate burn phones. It was complicated but manageable. I loved the fucking intrigue, if the truth be known.
Neither of the two people I was working with sent small talk emails so I got no email at all in either file for almost a week. I was on pins and needles by the end of day five when the message came from Phone sex lady.
Well Rose we checked your friend’s phone. He placed a call to or received a call every couple of days from R. That went on right up until the day she went missing. Then he called her twice a day but only left messages. He did that for a week, then dropped down to leaving a message every couple of days. In other words the circumstantial evidence clears him.
Our Geek managed to pull her cell phone number from the murky depths of the digital pond. He says there was no activity by her after the day she went missing, but there were several incoming calls. He also found her car using, of all things, Car Fax. It has been reregistered in TN. You might want to pay the new owner a visit, since we can find no reference to it going through a dealer ever.
She had no credit card to trace and her bank account never had much of a balance so walking away from it rather than closing it makes sense. If you have any ideas let us know. Since she was a waitress with a criminal record, her digital footprint is almost non existent says our Geek.
If you can find the very last person to see her before she went on the run you might be able to find out why. That might help you find her. Meantime as stated above the only lead is to find out how the man in TN got her car.
At that point the email just ended. I send back a thank you note.
I had nothing to do, so I set the trip to TN for the next day. I didn’t really have a huge desire to see Rachael again, but I did love a good puzzle. That and I wanted to know that her disappearance had nothing to do with me. I wouldn’t want whatever went wrong with her to come around trying to bite me on the ass.
It took three hours the next morning for me to get to the slightly larger TN town. They had a lot of tourist in town, because the town catered to tourist. I went to the address listed in the email from Phone Lady. What I found was a trailer park. When I went to the office to inquire, the lady there wasn’t at all friendly.
“I’m looking for Ed Harmon,” I said to her.
“Why?” she asked.
“I’m sorry, unless you are his wife or mother that isn’t any of your business,” I said.
“Well honey, since I know where Ed is, and you don’t, I’m making it my business,” she said.
I had visions of slapping the shit out of the hundred pound over weight bitch, but I held back. “Look he bought a car a couple of months ago and I need to know who he bought it from that’s all. Now I’m from across the mountains, but I can come back with the sheriff, if that’s what it takes,” I said.
“I’m not a bit impressed,” she said.
“Oh what would impress you?” I asked.
“A hundred bucks,” she said.
“Twenty and you give me a receipt,” I said.
“Forget it,” she replied.
“Okay,” I said. I left the office and walked to the trailer parked beside Ed’s. I knocked and an older man came to the door. “Hi there, my name is Rose and I’m looking for Ed Harmon.”
“He is at his store I reckon. Go back to the road and turn right. His store is on river road. It’s called Ed’s.”
“That’s original. Thanks,” I said and drove away. As I passed the office trailer, I made an obscene gesture.
It took me a while to find his store, since Ed didn’t believe in the Internet and the old man didn’t know the exact address on River Road. That being the case GPS didn’t help much. I found the road alright, but then it was check every building closely, since I wasn’t sure what Ed’s looked like.
I finally found the tiny bait and tackle store, with the tiny Ed’s Place sign on the door. In the small drive sat Rachael’s old Econobox. I went inside trying to decide how to go about questioning him. I decided to do what I did best, lie.
“Hello Mr. Harmon, my Name is Violet Cardin. I’m with the state government across the mountain. I’m here about your car. That car belonged to a missing person. I just need to ask you how it came to be in your possession,” I said. There was enough truth there to satisfy him that I knew what I was talking about.
“Missing person, I don’t know nothing about that. The woman and her boyfriend came into the place and asked if I would be interested in buying her car for five hundred dollars. These days you can’t even buy a moped for that. I drove it and I bought it,” he said.
“Did you have the title transferred at the DMV here?” I asked.
“The closest one is in Memphis and she was in a hurry. I just had her signature notarized by Evelyn at the funeral home. She did make sure that the woman was the one on the title. I know enough to know that is how it works. The woman said she was staying in a fishing cabin on the river. She needed the money more than the car,” he explained.
“Did you know which cabin?” I asked.
“No there are only about ten on this side of the river,” he said. “My guess would be either the Martin or Jones place though. Neither of them are occupied year round. They looked like they might be crashing.”
“Come on Ed, the people around here all seem to know each other. Surely you went down to see if they had broken into one of them,” I said.
“Yeah, but to be honest there was that dude with her when I bought the car. He looked pretty rough. They were in a four wheel truck coming out of the drive that goes to those two cabins. It was all packed up like they was pulling out. I figured they were leaving and they were gone the next day when Mr. Martin got down here. He said nothing was disturbed and I never could get hold of Mr. Jones.”
“Did you call the sheriff,” I asked.
“No to be honest I wasn’t sure they were staying at the Jones place. They could have been camping in the woods,” he said. Even he didn’t believe that.
“You need to call the Sheriff and have him at least take a look. There is no harm in that,” I suggested.
I hoped my research hadn’t moved from a missing person, to a criminal trespass or worse, I thought. I also thought I needed to get away. I’m going for coffee, so you need to tell them I’ll be back in half an hour if they ask. I used that half hour to put my ass as far away from the tourist town as possible.
I decided to get back to the Country Store just as fast as I could. I also decided that if I needed to call the cops from now on, I would do it from a pay phone where I could lie without anyone looking for me. I broke out in a laugh about ten miles from home. I said out loud, “My life is filled with lies and some day I’m going to get confused and wind up back in the slammer, but it definitely ain’t boring.”
When I got home, I fixed myself dinner, even though it was after 11 PM. When I finished my dinner of a boiled ham and cheese sandwich, I threw the paper plate and napkin in my trash to burn can. Then I headed into the shower. I was naked and about to turn on the hot water pump when I remembered an episode of Top Chef Masters. One of the super chefs took the pasta into the shower to wash, after cooking. What the hell there was nothing save the one pan from the toaster oven to wash. I went back for it and a scrub brush. I washed my ass and my pan at the same time. I laughed at myself again. I was definitely getting pretty bohemian, I thought.
After I tossed a couple of split logs on the fire I settled in to write the Phone Lady an update. I explained that I didn’t know what the Sheriff found at the river cabin, but I had my suspicions. I also informed her that it appeared that Rachael was alive, and on the run by choice, so I was through. I also thanked her for her help and explained that I knew I was in her debt regardless of the outcome.
The next morning a 6 AM I decided to ride to Helen’s and tell her what I knew. It might not be anything, but she might know who or what the boyfriend was. I walked right through the dining room and into the kitchen.
“I thought I would tell you what I found out about Rachel. She was working with Marcus Black casing houses for Marcus to burglarize. Someone came along. Most likely it was the man you saw. I have no idea who he is, but she ran away with him not from him. They went over the mountain to Tennessee. Most likely they broke into a cabin and possibly stole a truck. They sold her car to a man over there. That’s all I know as of now. I may or may not continue to look for her,” I said.
“That’s up to you. I told you it ain’t nothing to me what she does,” Helen said. Then she took a deep breath and signed. “Thanks for telling me she is alive. I did wonder about that.”
“Do you know with whom she is on the run?” I asked.
“No idea, but the she probably met him on the Internet,” she said. “You know on that web site ConsGoneWild.com. Some kind of chat room or something,” she said.
“Okay, well I just wanted to stop by and let you know where I stood with your friend,” I said.
“Thanks, you staying for breakfast?” she asked.
“Yeah, I guess so,” I said.
“You know Rachel and I fought about her going to that thing with you. Then that piece of crap convict shows up and she just left,” Helen said.
I went out into the dining room where I had the breakfast special and coffee. Helen’s coffee was the best I ever tasted. I guess prison coffee just sticks with some of us.
After breakfast I went home to shower and check the mail. I had nothing so I spent the day doing home improvement shit. Cleaning mostly seemed where my talents lay. Carlos and his family were a part of Country Store. They brought Molly over to eat weeds once a week or so. His wife did my laundry and his son was in line to help me with the lifting.
I decided I wanted to convert the gold to cash, but it had to be an under the radar transaction. I had no way to cover the fact that I owned between seventy and a hundred grand worth of gold.
“When the phone lady calls, ask her to set it up. She deals in gold quite often. It is an operatives method of choice for paying bribes,” Liam said.
While I waited for her to call, I spoke with Joan. We arranged for another try at having my portrait done. I had to work it into her lab schedule so her husband wouldn’t know. It took a couple of days but once she was in the house and holding a glass of wine I said, “I took a look at the Leonardo site. That thing is genius, but way to expensive for me.”
“That’s why I said you could use the art departments Leonardo equipment,” she suggested.
“I’ll give it some thought. So how do you want me to pose, the same as last time?” I asked.
“Yes, I want to finish the drawing,” she said.
I sat looking out at the scene through the window over my deck. I saw squirrels and rabbits walking through my rear yard. There were even some birds who evidently liked the winter weather. As I sat there random thoughts ran through my mind. Everything from the fire was burning down, to wondering how all this would end. The things I was doing were for the greater good, but the methods were at the very least questionable.
The SBI didn’t know about the gun thugs, but they knew about me breaking in and cloning computers a clear violation of the 4th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. I hadn’t solved any of my problems by the time the sketch was done.
“So what do you think?” Joan asked.
“I think it is beautiful, and I think it looks too much like me,” I said.
“I know and you can keep it. I’m just getting familiar with your body. When I paint you I will do the mask,” Joan said.
I couldn’t help it but I took the opportunity to stare at her naked breast. “You know I’m going to have to nurse on one of those?” I asked.
“Yes, but please be gentle,” she said in a husky voice.
I took one of her full breasts in my hand and held it up, then I bent to it and suckled her. The milk was warm thick and sweet. There was also a primal feeling of safety and calm that came over me. I wanted to give her something in exchange, but she stopped me.
“Please not yet,” she said holding my head in her only slightly chubby arms. She obviously hadn’t lost all the baby fat.
“You know I want you?” I asked.
“Me too, just not yet,” she said.
“Okay, I told you I enjoyed the flirting and I do, but you know when you leave, I am going to masturbate thinking about you,” I said. It sounded good true or not.
She nodded her understanding as she packed her tools. As she opened the door to leave she said, “I will think of you when my husband touches me.” Then she was gone.
I put some wood on the fire and tried not to think of Joan. I checked my mail and found nothing from either of my bosses. Yes I considered the voice lady a boss, at least until I repaid my debt to her. I checked my clock and found it to be 3:15 PM.
By 3:45 the house was getting warm so I reduced the amount of air to the firebox of the wood stove. It would cause the fire to burn slowly, which in turn would make the wood last longer and put out less heat. It was the only control on a wood stove.
Jeremy called me at 5 PM. “Rose, Alice told me you two had gone out on the town. It was very nice of you to help her avoid the boredom that sets in when I have to leave her.”
“Oh trust me it was as much fun for me as it was for her. It certainly was no act of pity on my part,” I said meaning every word of it.
“Good, I saw a piece of furniture in a antique shop and thought of you. Would you like to drive over to College Hill to see it?” he asked.
“How did you know that I was still looking for a few pieces for the living room?” I asked casually.
“When I was there, I noticed the empty spaces in your living room. How could anyone miss them? So when I saw this piece, I thought of you,” he replied.
“I suppose you want to go now?” I asked.
“Well unless you need to do some girlie thing yes,” he replied again.
“Give me fifteen minutes,” I said.
“Fine it will take Alice that long to get ready,” he said with a laugh.
I had never been to College Hill but I knew that it was a quaint little town outside the gates of one of the many state universities. It was filled with businesses aimed at the students. I had no idea there were antique stores there as well.
We were in the car headed out to the highway when Jeremy said, “Alice tells me you are looking for Rachael. She said you seemed to be interested in our relationship with her. I want to put your mind at ease. She showed Alice some prison moves before she left the party with you.”
“I know that now,” I said.
“Good, I wanted to set your mind at ease and assure you we are not the serial killer types,” he said.
“That remains to be seen,” I said with a laugh.
“Yes, everything remains to be seen all the time,” he laughed.
An hour later I was looking at a huge oak roll top desk. It was gorgeous and it was a thousand dollars. Regardless of the price I fell madly in lust with it. I didn’t simply think it was beautiful, the fucking thing dominated me.
“So do you like it,” Jeremy asked.
“No. I love it. I have to have it,” I said.
“Then let me arrange the price for you. I know the shop owner,” he said. “Do you have cash?”
“Not with me. You didn’t tell me what I was going to buy,” I suggested.
“How much cash do you have on you and when can you come back with the rest and pick up the desk?” he asked.
“Maybe a hundred bucks,” I admitted. “I can get Carlos’s son after school to help me with it. Probably tomorrow.”
“Hell, you can probably get Carlos to drop everything and come help you,” he said almost seeming to be jealous.
“Let’s see what we can do,” he said going to get the shop owner.
“So Alice how did Jeremy take the news about the club or should I avoid mentioning the details?” I asked.
“Jeremy didn’t ask for the details and I didn’t share since they were mostly about you,” Alice said.
“Fair enough, I will keep both of our deeds to myself,” I said smiling.
Jeremy returned. “It seems that my friend here has decided she has to have $800. But she will take $100 as a deposit and the other $700 when you pick the desk up. She also agreed to have someone help you load it onto your truck.”
“Good, if she does that, I can maybe come back in a couple of hours for it,” I said.
“Fair enough,” the store owner said. She also put a large red lettered sold sign on the desk. In exchange I gave her almost all my cash.
Jeremy was so proud of himself for finding the desk that he patted himself on the back all the way home. “Finding that desk and then driving you all the way back here should be worth something,” Jeremy suggested as he pulled into my drive.
“I know I am going to be sorry, but what do you think it was worth?” I asked.
“How about some entertainment. I hear you are quite the entertainer,” Jeremy suggested his eyes meeting Alice’s.
“I see. So you think I should be willing to amuse you. In exchange for the lead on the desk?” I asked.
Before we left College Hill, I had called Carlos to ask if I could hire his son for the next day after school. He agreed, so the desk was as good as in my house. I hated to admit it but the request by Jeremy was not too far out of line, considering my reputation at the moment.
“So is it a blow job you want,” I asked being a lot more direct than he had been. Alice actually giggled like a school girl.
“No thanks unlike most men, I can get that anytime,” he said smiling at Alice.
“So, what is it you want?” I asked.
“I saw Joan Bradshaw coming out of your house today,” he said.
“She is going to do a painting for me. She is sketching me in preparation for it,” I admitted. “So how do you know her?”
“She and her husband came to one of our get togethers,” Jeremy said.
“Just one? What happened?” I asked.
“She got pregnant, and she decided she was no longer proud of her body,” he said.
“So what, you want me to get her back to your place,” I asked. “You surely aren’t asking me to make a sex tape for the Internet.” I laughed at the thought.
“Something like that. Not the tape thing, but I would like for the two of you to dance for Alice and I,” he said. “Something suggestive and of course nude.”
“And of course she has to know it is for you,” I said getting my mind in tune with his. “You want me to humiliate her?”
Jeremy’s voice turned cold when he said, “Yes that is exactly what I want.”
“No way Jeremy, and if you say I owe you, I might just slap your face on the way out of your car,” I said opening the door.
“One more question,” Jeremy said.
“What Jeremy?” I snapped.
“What if she suggests it, would you go along then,” he asked.
“In that case yes I would go along. But only if she suggests it,” I said.
I didn’t expect that would ever happen, especially since Joan was so shy around me but Jeremy had planted an idea in my head. What if I set the living room up as a movie studio, something absolutely automatic? That could be my attempt at being artistic. The ceiling was high enough so that I could mount a couple of surveillance type camera on the loft wall aimed at the sofa. Films made on the sofa could be quite interesting to view on a cold winter’s night.
If I did do the movie thing, it would all be Joan’s fault. She was the one who said I had no talent. She didn’t say I had no talent, just that my drawing skills were nonexistent. If I got her on film between my legs eating me out, I wondered if she would change her mind.
I was inside and putting another log on the fire while I looked at the living room in a new light. I could imagine all the images I could capture on the sofa with me, of course, on my knees. Under the current identity I had become very orally inclined.
I went on the Internet to do my research. I found a high definition camera that could be programmed from a laptop or tablet. I could change the angle of view and chose the amount of zoom. I figured I would need two of them. With two I could get the best angles.
Then there was the new editing software and the super computer to use for the editing and DVD preparation. It would be expensive but it was ill-gotten gain money, so fuck it.
I went into a chat room in order to orgasm before I went to sleep. I found someone and did a kind of interactive porn thing. Then I went to bed and fell asleep thinking about whether to do it or not. In the end I decided making the films were no big deal. It would only be how I used them that counted for anything.