By Cindy and Walt
May: We are almost home. You are not my ideal travel companion.
Mike: Ever since I got back from my interview of the waitress, you have treated me like shit. What’s up with that.
May: Are you trying to say that I am jealous?
Mike: Maybe, something is wrong for sure.
May: If I was going to be jealous, it might be because she chose you instead of me to confide in.
Mike: Don’t blame me because she saw me as more sympathetic.
May: Fuck you Mike. I’m plenty sympathetic.
Mike: If you say so.
May was very upset Mike had reminded her yet again that she had little empathy toward others. She didn’t like that about herself. It was, however, true. What she hated most was her inability to fake it. She didn’t like that people could read her that easily.
She would have liked the black girl to take her home and do sick disgusting things to her. Then spill her guts. She and Mike had time to stop at the office after having driven the work car all day.
Salina: So how was the trip.
May: Mike got himself laid, so it wasn’t a total loss.
Salina: Details Michael. I have been stuck here doing nothing fun while you guys have been out playing.
Mike: A gentleman does not kiss and tell.
May: A gentleman does not screw for information.
Mike and Salina together: Huh?
Salina: Boss man is all hot for some information, if you can get it quick. He want to know what Security Company does the surveillance on Rose’s home in Mossberg, and he wants to know what private doctors or clinics she has been to since her return home,
Michael shook his head then went to the white board and wrote under Sylvia’s name, jewelry maker and lived at the coast and gave the dates. Those dates were the time between her being the County Sheriff and going to Swamp Dog as director.
Then he sat at this desk to find a payment from her bank’s automatic payments to a security company. Since he had her account number it was easy to find her CCTV feed monitoring company. He wasn’t sure what the boss wanted, but he made notes.
One of the CCTV cameras covered the front stairs, one covered the rear stairs and one inside the house. The one on the rear stairs faced outside, so it shot not only anyone coming and going but also anyone hanging around outside.
He switched to her medical issues. By finding the dates of her stay in hell, he was able to narrow down the times of interest. Since they were legitimate expenses, she had paid for the treatments using the clean expense accounts. Those accounts were online and open to review by the banking commission. Thus they were open to the review of hackers like Mike.
His next move was to get her records from the clinic and send then on to Salina’s computer.
Mike: So what was she being treated for?
Salina: To keep it short Malnutrition, vitamin deficiency and three different treatments for parasites.
Mike: She had worms?
Salina: Like every thing else we know about her, she had giant worms. She had an STD and scarring in her vagina and rectum consistent with sexual violence.
In other words Rose was a pretty broken flower. How she functioned at all is a wonder to me.
May: Don’t start falling in love with her, she is likely to have committed murder among other crimes.
Salina: (Angrily) I’m not the one who swings that way. The woman may be all that you say, but it doesn’t change the suffering she endured on that island.
She did not add bitch but the implication was plain.
Mike took the sensible stand with self preservation in mind he remained absolutely quiet.
Since they came by air Eddie and Wes made it to the office, but not before the others had gone for the day.
Eddie: I guess we might as will go home and meet back here in Monday morning.
May was still miffed as she drove into the parking garage where she stored her car. Since there was not nearly enough ‘on street’ parking to meet the demand of the tenants in her building she used the garage. If she chose to circle the block instead she would likely have spent more in gasoline than she could save by not paying the parking garage charge.
In truth she could do away with the car entirely and save even more money. Having a car in DC was status, so suffering the disadvantages for that went along with the status.
Her apartment seemed cold when she entered. It was in fact cold due to those government mandated thermostats in all new buildings. Those thermostats turned the heat down to the lowest temperature possible, while still maintaining the safety of the other systems. In other words it was forty five degrees in the apartment. The up side to the thermostats was that there was no up side.
If May spent the night with a friend, the apartment was icy upon her return. It took less than an hour to climb back to a comfortable temp. The moment she left the apartment the thermostat was reset to forty five.
The apartment was so well insulated, also by government mandate, that the temperature took a long time to fall to that point. Usually it was in the low sixties after a day’s work. After the three day trip, it was at the forty five degree mark and had been for days. Which meant she would have to sit in the kitchen under the vent to feel warmth even after the hour passed.
May kept her coat on while she called for Pizza delivery. She removed a bottle of wine from the cabinet, then returned to sit under the heat vent. She had heard during a DOJ briefing that Pizza delivery was a dangerous move. Several of the delivery men had either attacked women, or checked the place out for future crimes. Worst of all she felt obligated to tip them for doing it.
She made the conscious decision to stay in. Having made that decision she changed into her frumpy but warm gown and robe.
Salina was home in the project eating an orange that one of the patients had brought her as payment. It was a good orange even if it did have lots of fibers and seeds. It tasted much different from the synthetic orange juice she usually bought in the stores.
When the knock came at the door she went expecting it to be one of the patients or maybe Wes. It was neither it was Raphael.
Raphael: I came to collect the rent.
Salina: You are early.
Raphael: There is no early. You know it is just whenever I want it, or when you need to be brought back into line. There is a rumor about a gringo. It is time to reinforce your connection to me. You do remember who allows you to stay here and take care of these sheep.
Salina: Yes I remember who allows me to stay.
Raphael: Not just allows you. You are under my protection as long as you stay in line. Now pay for your protection.
Salina knelt in front of Raphael the half black and half South American giant of a man’s penis into her mouth. He was a large muscular man but had only an average sized penis. Nonetheless she made love to it as well as she had to Wes’ penis. She felt a connection to Wes but only a need to survive as a motive for doing Raphael. Even so after a while she got into it and began to enjoy the feeling of his penis in her mouth. She, however, did not enjoy when he tried to drown her with his semen.
As usual the power he exerted over her was an aphrodisiac and he came quickly.
Raphael: God you do that better than anyone. That’s why I will never let you go.
He zipped his pants, then left. On his way down the narrow stairs he literally bumped into Wes.
Raphael: Watch where you going gringo.
He also smiled since he knew Wes’ girlfriend had just given him a blowjob. Not just a blowjob but in his mind a great blowjob. He was sure she did it so well because she loved his power.
Wes gave him a hard look then shrugged and walked away. He walked up the stairs slowly and listened to the sound of Raphael walk away.
When he reached her door it was ajar and there was the sound of retching. He went inside before speaking.
Wes: Hey you okay?
When she came out Salina’s face was flushed. Her hair was a mess and there were stains on her blouse.
Wes: What happened to you?
Wes: Bullshit. What happened?
Salina: Nothing that hasn’t happened a hundred times before. Nothing that won’t happen again. So just forget it and go.
Wes: Just tell me this, was it that man I passed on the stairs?
Salina: Yes Raphael. He manages the building. He keeps the thugs away from the people who come to see me.
Wes: You should move.
Salina: I can’t move they have no one else.
Wes: Does he own the building or work for the owner?
Salina: No I don’t think so. I think he just does business here. With the local gangs maybe. People who do business in these buildings pay him for protection.
Wes: I thought the gangs had declared this neutral ground.
Salina: In my case the protection is from Raphael himself.
Wes: I see. Clean up. I’m going to take you out, if there is no one here when I return.
Wes went back down the stairs. He had no weapons, so it would be a fair fight, of that he was sure. Raphael depended on his bulk and willingness to injure people to intimidate them.
Wes did a quick mental assessment as he had been trained to do. For instance he knew there were damn few CCTV cameras that worked in the project. Most had been destroyed by the gangs. Gang bangers didn’t like being watched.
So Wes wasn’t worried about being filmed. That night he didn’t particularly want to be watched. Salina had been forced to tell him where to find Raphael. Wes waited for him to come outside the filthy little convenience store which catered to the project’s residents.
Wes: Hey man you want to buy some weed?
Raphael: Who are you man? Oh you that whore Salina’s gringo. She tell you about me Gringo?
Wes: Yeah that’s me I thought you and me should talk. How about you ain’t afraid of a skinny ass gringo are you?
Raphael: Okay we talk but not here on the street man. Follow me, I know a quiet place where nobody will disturb us.
Raphael led him to a dark alley between two of the buildings. It was obvious he planned a beat down or worse. When they were deep in the alley Raphael removed a knife from his pocket and attempted to turn toward Wes. As he came around Wes jabbed him in the throat with stiff fingers. As Raphael gasped for air Wes removed his belt made a loop from it, then flipped the loop over Raphael’s head. He held him upright as he kicked his legs from under him. When Raphael was helpless on the ground, he put his right foot on Raphael’s back then used the belt to choke the life from him.
Wes looked at the lifeless body then removed the belt from around Raphael’s neck calmly and replaced it around his waist. He then returned to Salina’s apartment.
The two of them went to dinner at an oriental restaurant on the edge of the project. Salina didn’t ask what Wes had done, and he didn’t brag about it. When they returned they walked by the alley. Wes was glad there was no activity around it.
Wes was counting on the likelihood that who ever found the body first would remove the wallet and money. Before the cops were called most likely all his jewelry and his cell phone would be missing as well.
Wes spent the night in Salina’s arms. She felt safe and loved for the first time in a long time.
Friday night, 7 PM
Mike: Mother I’m home.
It took his mother five minutes before she joined him in the kitchen. His first thought was that it was early for her to be dressed for bed. Then he realized she had been in bed for a totally different reason. Like Salina her face was flushed and her hair was a mess. Unlike Salina she was smiling.
Mike: Okay where is his car.
Mom: In the garage. He is spending the night and we didn’t want the neighbors talking.
Mike: Why would anyone care that you are fucking some guy. If I’m okay with it, why should they care?
Mom: Please watch your language. The reason he is parked in the garage is that his car has government license plates.
Mike: Jesus mom not a politician. You know they are all married and only looking for a piece on the side.
Mom: Maybe that’s all I’m looking for. Now take your sandwich and stay in the basement. We will talk more tomorrow.
Eddie didn’t arrive home until 7:30 PM. He chose to make coffee before doing anything else. It was cold, since when he left he shut down the kerosene heater. He had also drained the water from the pipes. Not only did he drain the water from the toilet tank he poured a couple of ounces of rubbing alcohol in the bowl. He hadn’t needed it, but the alcohol was cheap and a new toilet wasn’t.
He was forced to listen to the pipes bang and clank while they flushed the air out through the faucet. At the same time there was the noise of the toilet tank filling.
He had the coffee on before he started the kerosene heater. He, like May, had to sit near the heater to stay warm. May’s situation just went to show the new energy saving technology was really a step back a hundred years or more. It made one wonder how many other things were really a step backwards.
The trip out of town had been a more or less disaster, so he was exhausted. He made sure the house was warm and the heater was safe, before he went into the kitchen. He drank the coffee he had made in the Mr Coffee knock off, while he contemplated the empty space left by the previous owner when he removed the range.
Eddie was comfortable with the small appliances he had used in the studio apartment for years. In the apartment he had also used a gas cook top. He felt he might miss that, so he decided to go online to look for a cook top only. He didn’t feel that he needed an oven as much as he need storage space.
His sink in the house was one of those old double porcelain things. There were spaces for counters on each end of it even with its attached dish drainer space. He thought he would put a cabinet at one end to hold the microwave and toaster oven. On the other end he could easily fit a couple of gas cook burners.
After his coffee and with those decision made, he lay on the sofa bed. It had been salvaged from his apartment. Once he lay down he quickly went to sleep.
Lucille put her kids to sleep then had a drink. She was sick and tired of her husband coming in late leaving her to manage the house alone. They had agreed to manage things together, even if it was all they did together.
She hated sleeping alone but managing an affair in addition to her job and her so called home life would just be too much. If she had a sitter or it wasn’t the nanny’s night out she would go to a bar and troll for men. Someone who wasn’t so clean cut. Maybe she could find a man who just wanted to use her mercilessly. She had never tried it but felt as though she might like it.
Instead she had another drink then placed a call to May. It was her intention to leave her a message. She certainly never expected to speak with her.
May: Hello Lucille.
Lucille: Are you home?
May: Yes, what the hell are you doing home? Are there no Washington parties for you to attend?
Lucille: It’s the nanny’s night off and my husband had a bank meeting.
May: A banker’s meeting on Friday night? Why don’t you get a sitter and go have a meeting of your own.
Lucille: Afraid it isn’t my style.
May: Too bad I was about to volunteer to babysit no sense in both of us being alone. One of us might as well have some fun.
Lucille: I would expect the someone to be you. After all it would be easier for you to get a date than me. What is it they say a bi woman has twice as many chances to meet someone.
May: Boss you realize that is a sexist comment. I might have to use it to blackmail you.
Lucille was a little concerned for a second then realized that May was joking.
So ended Friday.