By Cindy and Walt
Midnight found Eddie and May twenty minutes away from Eddie’s tenant farm house. They left May’s apartment almost immediately after the police finished their on scene investigation. Since they couldn’t find any forced entry and since May could only show a few things out of place, the cops didn’t seem to take it seriously. They did agree to make a report for the insurance company on the necklace. They weren’t told that May didn’t have any insurance to cover the jewelry. She had very little jewelry and all of it cheap, so there was no rider.
Wes’ sweep would tell the tale definitively. The only reason to break into May’s apartment would be to plant a bug. Well they might do it just to rattle her which they had done. She would be even more rattled, if Wes found bugs.
While Eddie and May were on the way to Eddie’s place, Wes was sweeping May’s apartment. It took him about two minutes to find the first bug. The guy who planted the bug hadn’t been all that creative. There were wireless bugs in the light fixtures and switches. He didn’t seem to have a lot of hope, since he only put one in each of the two rooms.
Wes went from May’s place to Mike’s home. He called before he arrived to have Mike waiting for him in the drive.
Wes: Mike it looks as though they planted two bugs in May’s place. I have no idea about your place, but I need to sweep it anyway.
Mike: Sure Wes, whatever you think.
Mike led Wes inside. Wes started in the basement where he pulled two bugs, then went upstairs. Wes found one in each of the common rooms.
Wes: Mike I should check your mom’s room.
Mike: I’ll get her out. (Through the door) Mom you need to put a robe on and come out here. Wes needs to sweep your room for recording devices.
Once Mike’s mother came out wearing a grandma’s robe, Wes went inside her bedroom to sweep. He found a bug in the desk phone and one in the light switch to her bathroom. Wes also checked the obvious places for a video camera and came up with it in the heating vent.
Wes: Mike come on outside. (In the driveway) I have no idea how long you have been on tape, but you both have. I hope you didn’t do too much work from home, since you were pretty much being overheard even in the shower. You don’t sing in the shower do you?
Mike: I hope not.
Mike realized that he might have been the source of the leak. If the bad guys found Rose, it could be his actions. It was a sobering thought.
Wes: Well be careful what you say around home. I’m going to have to talk to Salina’s Parole Officer tomorrow, so don’t expect me in until noon. Tell the boss for me. I don’t want to have any discussion on it.
Mike: Sure Wes, you don’t think the boss would try to stop you?
Wes: I’m sure he won’t, since I’m not going to tell him.
Lucille finally got to bed around midnight. She had been trying to decide what her damage control plan should look like. This was the second time she had been burglarized. He must have come when the nanny was at the park. How they avoided the security system she didn’t know for sure, but her own team had proved that it was possible no matter how good it was.
The world had gotten impossibly complicated since she began the job. Back then no one bothered to bug ordinary people. That kind of thing was saved for criminals. Today bugs were almost routine. Sure they required court orders, but the paperwork was so routine it was seldom scanned by the judge. If his clerk put it in front of him, he signed it.
She intended to go to the wall with the invasion of her family’s privacy. When her office opened she intended to file a complaint with the Assistant Deputy Director of the FedPol. He was a few steps high up the ladder than Eddie had been. She intended to get the Senator to sign off on it since it was his investigation they were spying on. She couldn’t even guess who they might be. There could be any number of people in the Swamp Dog Pocket.
When Eddie and May arrived at his home the place was chilled. He quickly lit a fire in the Kerosene heater. He also moved the ceramic electric heater from the bathroom to the kitchen. It started putting out heat immediately as did the Kerosene heater. Within ten minutes they were able to remove their coats.
May: I see we are back to one tiny bed. I’m beginning to like that.
Eddie: Don’t get too used to it. Your place will be clean today, plus Wes and I are headed to Maine to find Rose Seabold.
May: I should go with you.
Eddie: If Rose shoots me, you couldn’t pack my ass out. (Laugh)
May: I could call 911 as well as Wes, and I know the law.
Eddie: I will feel better if I’m not shepherding you around the woods. No offense, but I could easily get you killed. Wes is in his element there.
May: Then take us both. I really don’t want to be alone right now.
Eddie: I’ll think about it and let you know tomorrow before we go. Now we need to get to bed. You take the sofa bed. I’ll sleep on the floor.
He placed his finger to his mouth so that she wouldn’t answer. Then he went to one of the back rooms for his magic box. He pulled two bugs from the house, one from the kitchen and one from the living room. He dropped them into a glass of water.
Eddie: So much for our uninvited guests.
May took off her sweater and jeans. She removed his tee shirt from a dirty laundry pile and slipped it on. She then did that woman thing, where she removed her bra under the tee shirt. She skipped off happily into the bathroom with her makeup bag to do her evening things.
Eddie knew that she was flirting. She could have taken the tee shirt into the bathroom to change. She had done it to elicit a response and of course human nature being what it was she got one.
May: Boss we have slept in the same bed before and nothing happened. I think we can manage it again.
Eddie: May I don’t think so. You know what kind of trouble you could get into. You are the only one still in the government. The rest of us might get a slap on the hand, but you could damage your career, if you let anything happen.
May: I’m a lawyer. Don’t you think I know all that?
Eddie: I’m sure you do, but it’s not every day I am put in this position.
May: Boss the only question is do you want to sleep with me or not.
May moved close as she said it, then wrapped her hand around his very visible erection. She also tilted her head back to be kissed. Eddie didn’t disappoint her. As a matter of fact all his good intentions went right out the window. The small day bed in his living room was big enough since they were almost joined at the hip all night.
When Wes returned from Mike’s house Salina forced him out. She wanted to be alone to try to think things through. She also had to deal with the many people who stopped by to ask her if it was true. When she answered they wanted to know what they were going to do without her.
At 6 AM Wes left his tiny apartment in a neighborhood only a few steps up from the one were Salina lived. He ran when he hit the empty sidewalk. Even the street vendors weren’t open at 6 AM. Wes had been able to sleep only because he knew how to sleep in the middle of a war zone.
After his long, exhausting run, Wes drove to her parking lot. He waited there until she came outside. When she emerged from the building she was dressed in her best clothes.
He drove her to her appointment with the Parole Officer. When he parked the car, she tried to talk him out of going inside.
Wes: I’m going in and now. I think we should have asked May to come along as well.
Salina: It wouldn’t have helped.
Wes: It couldn’t have hurt.
Salina: I called Lucille last night since I knew she would be awake. She said she would send someone.
Lucille hadn’t sent anyone. When the receptionist showed Salina into the PO’s office there sat Lucille.
PO: Salina, your boss has been talking to me. She has convinced me that it would adversely affect her own going Senate Investigation to have your parole revoked. You must understand that I can not allow you to continue operating an unlicensed medical clinic. Even though it is, according to everyone I spoke to, a non profit operation, it is still illegal.
Salina: I understand.
PO: Will you give me your word that you will no longer treat patients in your apartment.
Salina: You have my word.
PO: I think we can consider our business finished. I will remind you that the Public Health Department investigator will check back on you for sure.
Lucille: I think I can handle them. I want to thank you for your cooperation.
Once outside the conversation started in earnest.
Wes: What the fuck just happened.
Lucille: What happened was that you were smart enough to stay out of it. This was a bureaucratic exercise in whose is bigger. For now mine is. Now you two get to work. Eddie will be biting nails.
Truth was that Eddie and May came to work in separate cars at 10 AM. Eddie was prepared to explain that he and May had an interview with one of his confidential informants over breakfast.
He had in fact driven her to her apartment to change before taking her to breakfast. They arrived over an hour late because it took him that long to get her off him. He was his usual reserved self even in the throes of a sexual encounter, while she was a clinging animal. He couldn’t truthfully say that he hadn’t enjoyed it at the time, but in the light of day it scared the Bee Jesus out of him.
He arrived before all of them except Mike. When he asked, Mike explained why the others were late. Eddie was about to make some calls when the three of them came into the room.
Lucille: (motioned to the stairwell) Eddie we have a problem.
Eddie: More than usual?
Lucille: Someone is harassing us. I think they are trying to divert our attention. They already know what they want to know.
Eddie: And what might that be?
Lucille: The location of Rose Seabold. We led them right to her and off the book, so none of us have any standing to object if she disappears. It’s such a nice box they put us in.
Eddie: If that is the case, I quit.
Lucille: I don’t blame you a bit. I wish I could go with you, but we have to make it look as if nothing has changed. We still have no idea what is really going on.
Eddie: Good, try to keep them home, if you can find out who they are.
Lucille: I can’t defuse it that’s why I’m telling you. I will take care of the team after you leave. None of them are going to be in the shit, I promise.
Eddie: I hope you can keep that promise.
Lucille went back inside to keep the team occupied while Eddie drove home to pack for the trip to Maine. He had satellite photos of the real piece of dirt belonging to Rose Seabold.
He checked into a cheap motel in New England, before his burner phone rang at 9 PM.
Wes began to ask around to find out who was after them. Mike ran the serial numbers of the equipment. That led him down a twisted path. From the manufacturer they went to a distributor. Wes would have expected them to have been purchased by some branch of the FedPol but they went to a private supplier. The sales were mostly to sleezy private investigators, but he had no records on those wireless mics.
He showed no records of sales on line, so it was a matter of going to see him. Wes and May took the company car on the drive south.
May: So you think this place delivered the equipment to Swamp Dog?
Wes: I can’t find anyone who thinks Swamp Dog does domestic wiretaps. There is nothing to be gained by it.
May: Could be they want to find Rose first.
Wes: Even their domestic people seem to be bodyguards and the like. They don’t have the infrastructure to do listening posts and follow people around.
May: Do you think they farmed it out?
Wes: I don’t know, but I’m going to find out when I get my hands on the end user. I’d bet your ass, the end user also put the Public Heath dept on Salina.
May: Ah Salina, so some of this is personal.
Wes: Yeah it is very personal. You know the boss is headed for Maine. He won’t get there today. He is going to be staying in a motel just like we are. You might want to call him and let him know that you are out with me and I’ll take care of you.
May: What does that mean?
Wes: It means he shouldn’t worry about anyone coming to harm you. He might worry since we didn’t stop investigating. He should not worry about anything else either. I am not going to betray Salina. Enough people have done that.
May: Lucille said I couldn’t ask where you were. So did you leave a key to the farmhouse hidden somewhere?
May: Because I’m going down there to decorate tomorrow and I don’t want to break the door to get inside.
Eddie: There is a key under the deck steps. What do you plan to use for money?
May: I am going to give you my bank account number. You are going to move a thousand dollars into my account and I am going to spend it all on furniture. The rest of the shit we need you can do when you get home. I will not live in a house with a kerosene heater.
Eddie: You do realize you haven’t been asked.
May: It’s not like I am asking you to marry me. I mean I still have the taste of your semen in my mouth, I think a full sized bed is a small price to ask.
Eddie: Okay, as long as it’s not permanent. You know I might want to become a womanizer.
May: Oh I don’t think you are going to want anyone else. I could hear those noises I managed to get from you. I think I have you pussy whipped.
Eddie: Enough about that I have to get to sleep. I have a full day of driving tomorrow. Give me the numbers and I’ll send the money.
Lucille: I know what you have done Senator.
Senator: What do you mean?
Lucille: I know you tried to intimidate my people and I know that whoever you hired is extremely clumsy at it. You aren’t usually a clumsy man so what is going on here.
Senator: The Committee was demanding an investigation by outside people. So I had you put together a team of misfits and I approved of them. They turned out to be better than I expected. I had to cover how someone else could know where to find her. So I hired a Private Eye in Richmond to come up and plant the bugs. He did not monitor the devices.
Lucille: Bullshit. You may not have authorized it, but those were working bugs. If he did listen then there is someone else in the loop who knows. You should leave the cloak and dagger shit to those of us who understand it.
Senator: So you know who ordered and paid for the hit.
Lucille: I do now.
Senator: What are we going to do?
Lucille: I have a man going up there to bring Rose in. He is an excellent investigator. He is going to figure this out, if not tomorrow then the day after.
Senator: What are we going to do? I cannot let her flip.
Lucille: If she was going to flip, she would have done it already. The only new thing in the equation is someone is trying to kill her. That is on you. You can call it off and take your lumps, or you can kill a lot of innocent people to cover it up.
Senator: I can’t go to prison.
Lucille: Are you prepared to have everyone killed. It’s going to unravel even if you do. It really has gone too far already.
Lucille walked around his desk and opened the top drawer. She pulled on a pair of rubber gloves and removed a box from the drawer. She sat it on the desk in front of the Senator then left the office.
She was in his receptionist’s office discussing plans for a Senate retreat when they heard the gunshot.
She went into cover up mode.