arol sent Jake a text asking if he wanted to join her for dinner that evening but he never responded. Odd. She went to see if he was in his room. Muffled voices echoed as she was about to knock. Carol
listened, one was Jake and the other was definitely a woman. “You will learn to satisfy me or else.” What the… it sounded like he was being ordered to do something and the females voice sounded vaguely familiar.
A moan echoed. Bastard, he’s got a woman in his room. And obviously he’s not giving her a tourist view of Victoria from his window or he’s got one of my maids in there and he’s showing her more than just his bed sheets. She knew Marilyn, a younger buxom blonde, usually called on customers for room service on this floor. That’s it, I should storm in and fire her ass.
Would be a legit excuse to barge in. Then the smart snap of a whip sang out.
His voice gasped on the other side of the door. That’s not bloody Marilyn. Didn’t he say Rebecca was some kind of crazy dominatrix? How could she have found him already? Carol wavered between entering and leaving when another crack of the whip echoed, and his voice gasped, “Stop.” Rather loudly.
Or was he in actually in trouble? Only one way to find out. She quietly bent the master card, slid it into the slot and softly entered the room. What she expected to see, Carol wasn’t too sure. But she didn’t expect to see a big hunk of a man like Jake Holden naked on the bed, his hands cuffed to the bed rails and Rebecca sporting only a black leather corset. She had her back to Carol and was about to straddle his face. The faint smell of chloroform filled the room. There on the bedside was a rag, which Carol surmised was drenched in the stuff. Jake, judging by his lack of hardness, wasn’t a willing participant. Carol stared a second or two longer than she should at the size of his thickness laying between legs.
Jake look up at Carol. “Help me,” he groaned, more, it was obvious now, from the after effects of being drugged than finding a voice to speak.
“Honey, no one’s going to help you. Now you better get down to business and finish what we started last time. Cause you know a slave’s job is to pleasure the mistress. Otherwise I’m just going to have to whip you some more.” She snapped the whip again. He jumped, redness adorned his body in several spots. She’d been whipping him more than a few times, it was obvious. “Carol, help.”
“What?” Rebecca looked behind her and realized they were no longer alone. “Get the hell out of here, right now.”
I have half a mind to let the bugger suffer and leave. But I don’t think he did this willingly. Carol took a step forward.
“She drugged me and tied me against my will,” Jake blurted, trying to get the energy to push the dominatrix off him.
“I said leave, before I take the whip to you as well.” Rebecca rose off her knees and tried to stand on the bed in her six-inch stilettos as Carol ran at her. The whip began to snap back as she tackled Becca like a linebacker sacking a quarterback.
The two crashed onto the other side of the bed and vanished from Jake’s view. They rolled around on each other twice. Rebecca tried to slam her long, manicured nails into Carol’s eyes before the detective grabbed her head in both hands and slammed the back of Rebecca’s head into the floor, twice. The woman went limp. Carol got up and grabbed a handy pillow, tore the case off it and flipping the redhead over, tied her hands behind her back with it.
“Where’s the cuffs key?”
“In the top dresser drawer.”
As Carol searched for the key, she asked, “Now, what the hell is going on here?”
“She knocked on the door. How she found out this was my room, I don’t know. She had a wig on and said something about hotel cleaning staff. I let her in didn’t really pay attention to her as I was on the phone. The minute I turned my back she chloroformed me.”
“Well, neither I nor my staff would have told her. Our confidentiality is very strict.” Carol couldn’t help noticing there was a goodly number more welts than she first realized. The woman had been having her way with him for quite awhile before she showed up. Beside the bed was a wig and what looked like a hotel maid’s outfit. “Let me guess, one of our staff is also probably bound and gagged somewhere?”
“I hope its Marilyn, I’ll help untie her.”
“No surprise you know her name, I’m sure your eyes never left the view of those two mountains she keeps under wraps. And how do you know her?”
“She was flirting with me yesterday. Told her I could take her out for a drink later.”
“You are the worst piece of male disgustingness I have ever met. I had half a mind to leave you here cuffed up and let our redhead have her way with you.” She twirled the key ring to the cuffs as his manhood stirred. “I see the blood is coming back to you then.”
“Sorry, it’s just you’re so sexy holding that key, and having two women fight over me is quite a turn on.”
“Men. Even tied up they can only think with the wrong head.” Carol clicked open the cuffs. “I, for the life of me don’t understand how being tied up and whipped is a turn on. Must hurt like hell.”
Rebecca began to stir so Carol placed the cuffs on her. She struggled to a half-sitting position and smiled evilly. “Don’t knock it until you try it. And lady, I’d put you over my knees and have my way with you any day.”
“That ain’t going to happen, this bread is buttered on one side only. The only comfort you’re going to enjoy tonight is a cold cell.”
Carol picked up the hotel’s phone. “Samuel, get the police on the double. I have someone that just broke into a guest’s room and assaulted them.”
Minutes later a police officer arrived and hauled Rebecca away still cuffed.
“Lady, I ain’t done with him, nor you, yet. Until next time.” Rebecca glared at her evilly.
Carol glanced over at the bag of bondage goodies left open beside the bed and spied a ball gag. “Wait a moment officer.” Carol grabbed the ball gag.
“You wouldn’t dare, bitch.”
Carol stretched it over Becca’s head, let it go and pinched her nose until the redhead had to inhale. “I would, bag. There a little of your own medicine.” She grabbed a pillow case and stuffed it over her head.
“Hey what the…”
“I’d rather not have the Italians or anyone else see you being hauled out of here. Make any noise and I’ll authorize the arresting officer to use his baton to quiet you. Got it?” She grabbed a bathrobe hanging on the door and threw it over the trussed woman. “And I can’t have our esteemed guests staring in shock at a nearly naked woman dressed in hooker-Saturday-night special clothing being detained either. Take her out the back service elevators.” The policeman dragged her from the room. Man, that felt good. Okay I got rid of crazy bitch, now I can concentrate on this murder and try to not have more dead Italians on my hands.
“Okay, we’re done with the Ms. Crazy dressed in cow hide and corsets. Explain to me how you two got mixed up?”
Jake adjusted his shirt. “You’re not into leather? Too bad, you’d look hot in a black leather corset. How about we do dinner again, I’ve worked up a bit of an appetite.”
“Are you kidding me?”
“Darn, I was just beginning to get aroused. Oh, I wouldn’t have done that, you better be very careful with Rebecca, she’s extremely jealous and clever. I doubt we’ve seen the last of her.”
“I’ll have her behind bars for a couple of weeks until this is all over.”
Jake grinned, “Oh, I doubt that. She has money and her ways. Keep your back covered. If she thinks we’re involved emotionally with each other, there’s no end to what she’s capable of. I know from experience.” He winced as he bent over to pick up his shoes.
“And that looks so enjoyable? I think I’d rather go bungee jumping in the nude.” She patted his back firmly.
Jake winced and hissed loudly in pain. “Naked Bungee-jumping. Now that’s kinky, can’t say I’ve ever done that before. Thought I read somewhere they do that further up the island.” Carol shook her head. “You are worse than disgusting.” Man, are all men pigs? To think I found him attractive.
* * *
Agnes sat by herself in her room. Several incense sticks lent the room a smoky quality.
“Okay, my old friend, let me know about Nathan Evans. I’ve gone through the deck of Tarot cards three times and nothing.” She focused on the face of the lad in the picture Carol gave her earlier as she shoved the large cards aside and put her hands on Cider. Agnes closed her eyes, after long moments only blankness returned. You ain’t telling me he’s dead, are you?
“Okay, find me the plate number BCD 053. After long moments of haze, the words, ‘my boys,’ floated in front of her vision and the scene of five boys playing a card game in a room and an older lady laughing in joy at the sight. What the hell has that got to do with the abduction? There are times when even a crystal skull has a twisted sense of ha-ha.
As Agnes pulled her hands away from the cool surface of the crystal skull the woman looked up and stared directly at Agnes.
The elder placed her hands back on the skull and was immediately hurled backwards off her chair. The words slammed into her skull. “You shall pay for this. The master doesn’t like interference.”
Agnes coughed twice as she slowly got up. “No broken bones. Man, that chick packs quite the wallop.”
Two eyes looked up at her as she went to cover the head. “I will find you and make you pay for this. No one must know.”
“Great I’ve got a stalker, never had a stalker before.”
* * *
I thought I’d had my plate full of whack-jobs with this assignment. Having gone back to her room to tidy herself up, Carol rode the elevator down toward the restaurant. Dealing with dead Italians is one thing, now a whip cracking dominatrix as well. At least she’ll be behind bars for a while.
Whatever happened to staid, stiff upper lip English Victoria, where you sit around and talk about the weather, who finds the one cucumber sandwich where they missed cutting the crusts off and just how bloody marvelous was that cricket game. Shit, what next a raving mad clown that spouts Shakespeare as he stabs his victim and eats their kidneys with his popcorn at the local cinema? Or just a raving…
Her rambling thoughts ceased immediately after the elevator doors slide open outside the hotel gift shop. Staring straight at her a man, beady eyes, jet-black hair, and a large hooked nose…He turned away, incongruously engrossed in the assortment of Empress Hotel chocolates and perfumes.
“Are you FUCKING kidding me?” Not believing who she was staring at.
Two people strolling near her gasped.
“Look, I do apologize. Didn’t mean to be offensive.” They smiled timidly and sped up.
Great out of left field a wicked curve ball.
She was about to simply stroll past and let it go, only the whole Jake and Becca situation had infuriated Carol more than she thought. Bugger this, I’ve reached my limit.
Instead of walking past, Carol stormed straight into the store, careful to keep her eye focused on him, which wasn’t hard as there wasn’t too many others about at this time of day. She took in the dark overcoat and blackbrimmed hat on and knew it was him. His eyes opened as she strolled up. “Mr. Martin Crow? May I help you at all?”
“Perhaps,” he clacked almost sing-songlike. “I’ve come to these waters looking for some aquatics of a more stagnant nature.” His nose wrinkled as he sniffed at one of the perfume samples and just behind him hung a rack of long ‘Raven Lunatic’ tee shirts, showing several night-capped Ravens. Somehow quite appropriate, given the circumstances. “Not these of the more putrid, foul kind.”
Again, he plays in riddles, always riddles. “Okay, I’m in, Mr. Rumpletell-me-who-I-am eat-me-stiltskin.”
Carol breathed deeply and thought a moment. “These are ocean waters in this part of the town. They are never still, and since laden with salt, are usually of a more malodorous nature.
That one which you seek you’ll not find in this store, or this city. Perhaps inland, but not here.”
“It seems I have come here for nothing.” He clacked his teeth together.
“It appears so. Port waters are usually flowing, and I suggest you would be wise to do so as well.” She pointed to the exit.
He tipped his hat to her. “Then I shall get my leather bag and get cracking.” He smiled slyly as exited from the gift shop. Damn innuendoes. I’ll let Charlie deal with him, I’ve got my plate full of Jack-in-the-boxes to deal.
“Excuse me.” The middle-aged store clerk interrupted her. “I don’t think he paid for those chocolate nut bars in his hands.”
Carol already knew this outcome. “Go ahead and apprehend him and I’ll call security.” She lifted the handset on her belt and waited before paging code blue as the clerk turned the corner and came back moments later clutching only the black brimmed hat. Well that is a surprise. Carol nearly mouthed the virtual words she knew the clerk would utter.
“He’s gone. It’s like he vanished into thin air.” Her eyes were wide open, threatening to crack the layers of makeup she had obviously taken hours to put on.
“Good riddance. One less nut bar in town. Put it on my tab so that you don’t get in trouble. Oh, and pull those ’Raven Lunatic’ nightshirts from the rack and dispose of them immediately.” Carol grabbed the hat and walked out of the store leaving the woman standing there totally bemused.
And one less nutso to not add to my collection of whack jobs in this assignment. I may have said this before, but time again for a smoke and one hell of a stiff drink. Think I’ll need to visit the local chapter of the AA before this is all over.
She glanced at her police phone. Nothing on Nathan. Crap, this isn’t good. I’m running out of time.
* * *
Earl looked up from his gardening duties at St. Ann’s Academy located a few blocks behind the Fairmont Empress Hotel, as thunder cracked the skies. Clouded over, rain threatened any minute to unload. He’d just started his rounds on the ride-on lawn mower and was hoping to get them finished before nature decided to unload its drawers, as he called it. It took nearly an hour to do the grounds on either side of the elegant walkway up to the Victorian building. “Gimme a break, motha nature. I’s got a lot to do today.”
He caught a glimpse of mist rising from the ground on the other side of the walk, behind a copse of well-spaced trees. The guardians he called them over the years, for every time he stood in the middle of the grove he felt safe and protected. He glanced around, there wasn’t mist anywhere else and it hadn’t begun to rain. “Where in hebe and gamorra is that coming from?”
The mists rose from various points in the ground, but instead of spreading it began to swirl on itself turning into thick white blocks. “I’s neva seen the likes in me twenty years here.” He spoke in his thick Irish accent. “Or as me relatives in Newfoundland might spout, ‘Lord Tundering Jesu.’”
Shutting the mower off he stared as the mists continued to swirl away in several places as the dark clouds rumbled again. Light sprinkles plinked on the hood of the mower. “I’s can’t cut the grass now anyways.”
He got off the mower and walked towards the copse of trees. Quickly the splatters turned into a light drizzle, he flicked the hood to his jacket over his head. Earl stared bewildered, the rain didn’t do anything to dampen the swirling mists. It was as if they weren’t being touched.
He counted the columns that seemed to be coalescing into humanlike forms. “Nine, begorra. Only once had he ever seen the ghosts of the nine nuns known to haunt the grounds and that was on a full moon night near All Hallows eve, when he’d staggered onto the grounds in a semidrunken stupor. He’d been doing cleanup on a wedding party, as the hall rented itself out on many an occasion. Under no circumstances are staff allowed to consume alcohol while on the premises, for any reason. He quit after that night taking the nuns as a sign.
Only that night they were mere shadowy figures, barely visible as they walked the grounds clutching their prayer beads. These were far more solid, he could make out the faces in the dimming light caused by the clouds. “Hey, I ain’t had a drop since,” he sputtered at them. The nuns, all dressed in white habits, ignored him as they began to move in a circle in the center of the copse. An area he often stood at, sensing the energy there. Like being in a rain like this, others laughed when he told them, he felt tingles coming up from the earth. He stopped telling people and when alone out here would often enjoy the sensations. “Good Karma,” he whispered. But today was different. The nuns began to circle faster in a clockwise manner, clutching bibles, crosses and prayer beads. He could hear them chanting the Lord’s Prayer.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. . Amen.
They repeated the verses several times, each time getting louder, the words thrumming into his head. Words he knew from his Catholic upbringing back in Ireland. The rain began to fall harder, still not touching the spirits walking. He was to retire this year if he wanted.
His hands shook as the figures began to swirl into one and lifted heavenward like a giant winged angel.
We have been released.
“Feck, this is absolute cack and shite. I’s never seen the likes. I’s handing in me resignation today and taking up the bottle again.” His hands shook as he jumped on the mower and with the blades still engaged cut a single swath through the wet grass in a waving line back to the storage sheds.