Love and Other Murders

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Chapter 72

“Don’t worry; passing the Swiss border is a piece of cake.” Elijah assures them shoving the last pieces of luggage into the car.

Magda heaves a sigh of relief seeing the villa disappear from her sight. Not that Basel is a place she would ever choose freely but it is the last stop-over on her way to her financial independence and money spells freedom. Of course, in comparison to Paris it’s a provincial hole, though isn’t it any other place? Hasn’t being of independent means always been her dream? Thus she won’t be forced to marry a sugar daddy showing him her gratefulness in bed while trembling he could discover her parallel lives and kick her out, penniless and slowly but surely losing her sex appeal. She gives Polland an encouraging smile.

“Being together is the only thing that counts, isn’t it, Jean! And, anyhow haven’t you wished to go to Switzerland because of your financial interest?”

“My angel!” He crushes her hand in his sticky palm and draws her closer.

“Basel is not too bad and it won’t be for long, my darling. I’ll finish some research for Severn and take care of my assets deposited at a Swiss bank to be able to provide largely for your needs. Don’t worry, Magda, you’ll get anything you wish and still more and I won’t lose my time working for Severn but will be there only for you night and day.”

“That would be heavenly, Jean!” She treats him to her sexiest sigh, shooting Elijah watching them closely in the rear mirror, a caustic smirk.

Once they have left Paris, steeped in spurious luster of synthetic radiance, the road closes in on her like a burial mound. She shoots a devastating glare at Polland. Only a despicable miser herding his assets from a prying spouse and the tax collector would abandon the city of light for a bleak dump, even if it was the richest and the most God abiding country of Switzerland. How long does it take to turn disdain into loathing? The fraction of a second? Even less? She stamps her feet down to prevent herself from kicking Polland’s shinbone in her attack of impotent rage. Violence is no solution. Hate is blind. She needs all her brains to make Polland transfer his Swiss capital to her or, at least, to a joint bank account.

’Be patient, Magda! You can do it if you try hard,’ her guardian devil soothes her.

“I can’t believe my chance to have you one day only for myself, Jean!” She whispers into Polland’s ear, her hot breath and nimble tongue working wonders.

“Magda is fatigued. Shall we stop at some nice little hotel?” Polland asks brimful with exciting plans for an eventful stop-over.

“It wouldn’t be wise for you to drive too long, Elijah. There is nothing more dangerous than falling asleep at the driving wheel.”

“Don’t worry, Mr. Polland, Mr. Severn planned our journey to the last detail and booked for us at a country retreat in the very heart of nature, a former farmhouse perched on a hill with a look at a green valley in the midst of rolling slopes, a pure marvel, you’ll see for yourself! It is still in France and they are famous for their excellent food. Their Flammkuchen, a sort of Alsatian pizza, is finger licking good.”

“What do you think about it, darling?”

“I’d like it anywhere if being with you, Jean!” Magda coos and gurgles, brushing her lips against his.

After they left the highway they set upon a winding dirt-road leading through the villages with the abandoned look of countryside after nightfall.

“Have you ever been here before, Eli?’

“Many times, Magda, it’s one of Alex’s favorite meeting places. Situated in the triangle of France, Germany and Switzerland it offers multiple occasions for his business operations.”

“Is that so, Eli? How come I have never been invited to join you?” Magda stops short. She could kill herself for her blunder. The last thing she needs is to make Polland suspicious of her connection with Alex’s spy pack.

“No ladies are allowed; it goes strictly about business.” Elijah says curtly.

She gives Polland a searching glance. Has he registered her faux pas? Is he searching the context? No danger! Polland has fallen into a deep slumber. Magda grimaces with disgust. How revolting to go to bed with this stomach-turning vermin with saliva dripping from his open mouth, his spare hair plastered upon his sweaty brow, his hand spasmodically opening and closing on her lap!

“What about some fun later, Eli? A couple of sleeping pills dunked in his night cap and the night belongs to us!”

“A brilliant idea, Magda dear!” Elijah proffers his hand handing her a pillbox.

“No more than three, sweetie, Alex would murder us if anything happened to his hen laying golden eggs.”

“I know what I am doing, Eli! “ She reassures him pouting her lips.

They stop by a bucolic farmhouse, its brickwork is laid in checkered pattern mellowed with time, its lighted windows send forth a golden glow to the rim of the darkness. A stream of water gushing from a spring between two stairways running down the hill gives the house a fairylike charm. They are given a warm welcome by the lady of the manor and, after Elijah has filled the register for all of them, they are escorted to their rooms on the second floor and invited for a welcome drink in the dining room.

“I leave you now to get freshened up; we’ll meet later at dinner. Take your time. Shall I order for all of us? I recommend their Flammkuchen, a local Alsatian specialty. There are none better to my knowledge.”

“Do, Eli! We’ll join you in about half an hour, if it’s all right for you.” Magda accepts with a radiant smile

Polland enters the room, proud like a school boy on his first adult date.

“I am ravenously hungry, Jean! If you don’t mind to be seen in company of a plain looking girl we’ll hurry up for dinner. Would you kindly open my luggage for me?”

“With pleasure, sweetheart.”

She waits until he turns his back, fills a glass with water, tears open three envelopes with sleeping powder, shakes them in and passes the glass on Polland.

“Drink it up, Jean! I don’t want you to get dehydrated after a long journey in an overheated car.”

“Thanks, my darling, you think about everything!” He says gratefully and empties the glass in one thirsty gulp.

“May I help you to change, sweetheart?”

“Thanks, Jean, but no. I’ll stay as I am.”

She calculates fast. The drug will have effect soon. She should have waited until after dinner. What if he comatose at the dining table? She should keep him in the room until he’d be knocked out.

“On a second thought I think I’ll change. It’s our first night out after a long time. You have right to spend it with an elegant escort. Make your choice!”

She turns the luggage upside down.

“The gorgeous gown you gave me in London would be the best one for this festive occasion. But it’s you who decides.”

“Oh, Magda, you are such a sweet girl!” He mutters feeling a fatigue turning his body to lead.

Shall she put on Alex’s undies or play it safe and don’t tempt fate? A lot can happen in these minutes before Polland will be completely knocked out. She shoots a quick glance at her lover stretched on the bed, his eyes staring unseeingly onto the ceiling, his arms hanging impotently down. She shakes the lingerie out of its wrap, gets off her jeans, T-shirt and panties and slips into the sexy undies. The reflection of a ravishing pin-up in the mirror makes her blush with pleasure. Isn’t she gorgeous? How stupid of her to think about shedding some pounds to look like these emaciated cat-walk androgens.

Trembling with suppressed excitement she nestles her bosom in the red push up bra-has she ever looked that gorgeous- and pulls on the panties with their cut-off bottom- wicked, wicked! She can’t wait to let the gown fall and meet Elijah’s eyes. She consults her wristwatch. How long may it yet take until the sleeping drug has got its full effect? She peeps at Polland lying slumped on the bed cover, peacefully snoring.

“Jean?” She whispers, hoping for the best.

He gets up heavily and totters to her with open arms.

“Are you my dream come true, Magda?” He mutters falling against her. Colliding under his weight she pushes him back onto the bed.

“What about a little cuddle, Jean?”

“Good idea!” He mutters.

She struggles to get rid of his octopus arms, his massive body crushing her under its weight. Suddenly he goes slack and lets her go. Careful not to wake him up, she creeps away to inspect the damage: nothing serious! She lays delicately her breasts back into the corset after having washed them clean from Polland’s saliva she covers the hickeys on her throat as well as she can. Eli is well aware she doesn’t go to bed with Polland to pray, so why would he take offence? Another look at Polland - now happily snoring - indicates that he won’t wake up soon. She takes his shoes off, loosens his tie, draws his pants down and covers him with a blanket to prevent him from catching cold. Taking care of a bed-stricken Polland would bwe the last straw.

After having re-sculptured her make-up she descends to the dining room. Elijah gets up to hold her the chair.

“As I see, the gentleman is indisposed, you clever girl!” He leans over Magda’s hand, his eyes taking a deep plunge into her corset; breathtaking, but no need to precipitate the action. They eat their dinner enjoying every morsel of it, going sparingly with their drinks to profit from their night to the fullest.

“Don’t despair, Magda, it won’t take long, your job is nearly at its end.” Elijah soothes her sending her back to the snoring Polland.

“A propos, thanks for the unforgettable night.” He gathers her undies and hands them to her.

“Use them sparingly. Parading them in front of that scumbag is casting pearls before swine.”

She slips cautiously into the bed on the opposite side to Polland and falls immediately asleep. A leisurely, gratifying sex is the best sleeping pill.

“Why am I in bed with my clothes on, Magda?”

She wakes up from a delightful dream into a nightmare. Polland’s foul breath offends her nostrils; his clammy hand is mauling her breast.

“What happened, Magda? I feel awful!”

“Bad boy, don’t you remember? You got so drunk at dinner that you failed me last night!”

“I’m awfully sorry, sweetheart! It’s unforgivable. I’ll make it up to you!”

“Oh, Jean, you are such a charmer! As much as I wish I can’t be angry at you! Show your baby where it hurts and I’ll find a remedy for it.”

“Do, please, my honey pot! My head is splitting with pain and my stomach is heaving like a stormy sea! Give your Jean a kiss, he feels wretched!”

“Poor boy, haven’t I told you to be more sparing with wine? Let me tell you the plain truth, Jean, you are no more in your teens and, if you continue like this, you’ll be a wreck in no time! You are hangover, that’s all; I’ll bring you something that will put you on your feet.”

She jumps up from bed and comes back with a Bloody Mary. Elijah planned their Polland free night to the last detail.

“Here you are, bad boy! Put it down.” She says soothingly, bringing the glass to his lips.

“It’s awfully bitter, Magda!” He moans.

”How about a little cuddle to sweeten it?”

“Do you know what time it is? Nearly noon and we haven’t eaten our breakfast yet. Eli must be on his nerves. We must set out the soonest possible to be in Basel at a decent hour. Now get up, take a cold shower and get dressed!” She prompts him unfeelingly.

“In the meantime I’ll go and see Elijah at the dining room to make amends for our lateness.”

Without awaiting his protests she shuts firmly the door behind her.

“Sorry for keeping you waiting, Eli!” She nears him pouting her lips readying for a kiss.

“Careful, Magda! You never know who will report on us. Alex boss told me explicitly to stay away from you until the job had been capped off.”

“No need to explain. Shall we wait for Polland or start our brunch without him?”

The problem is solved by Polland entering the dining room.

“Just a cup of black coffee for me.” He orders and settles down by Magda enlacing her with his arm.

“It’s a pleasure to watch you eating with such a hearty appetite, sweetheart!” He stares at her happily as if hoping that every bite in her mouth would change into fuel for their next coupling.

With a shudder he recalls Chantal’s bony thighs prostrated under him, hard and unyielding, like open pliers readying to snap him in.

“Is there still time to pass to the room before leaving for Basel?” He asks feeling a stir of desire rushing through his groins.

“I don’t think so, Jean. It is late. You can always put your head on my lap and nap.”

“That would be lovely, Magda!” He sighs blissfully hoping to catch up on his last night’s lost testosterone rush.”

“Don’t fret, Jean, there is another night tonight!” Magda tries her best to put Polland in a happy mood and reap the fastest and surest what she has sowed. She takes his hand in hers and he follows her into the car with the reproachful eyes of a dog that has been refused his outing.

“It is for your own good, Jean, the soonest we finish with Basel the fastest we’ll be free. Come, honey, loosen up and let your Magda do her job.”

She retreats to the farthest corner of the rear seat, covers them with an ample blanket and lets her hands row about his body.

To avoid the border patrols they drive through deserted country lanes where light is smothered by the crowns of majestic trees and silence disrupted by Polland’s moans of pleasure. Magda watches with revulsion her lover’s distorted face lighted by the sun flickering through the trees, spectral and ravenously alive like the skull of a living dead creeping out from his open grave to feast on his prey.

“How far are we from Basel, Eli? Can we have a little pause? I don’t think I’ll last much longer!” She sobs out miserably mauled by Polland’s craving for still more sensual exploits.

“I’d prefer to cross the border first. OK, let’s stop but the gentleman has to stay inside. There are hidden cameras all over and a snapshot of a triple murderer on the loose won’t improve our situation.”

“Don’t leave me, Magda!” Polland whimpers feeling her to move away.

“Just for a second, Jean! I’ll make it up to you manifold later. I am all cramped and I need to stretch my legs. Otherwise I won’t be able to let you lie on my lap.”

“Alright, Magda, but make it short.”

“Are you also getting out, Eli?”

“Better not, Magda.”

He watches her body in her skin tight leopard print dress, high slit up to lead men into temptation.

Unsteady on her legs, her head light, Magda collapses onto the wet grass wishing to disappear from herself and all the problems that have been imposed on her lately. How could she have allowed Alex to drag her into a relationship with a suspected murderer? How can she be certain to receive her part of the loot? And how will she eventually get rid of Polland?

The feel of the dewy grass is soothing. She cleans her hands on it and puts them on her face. She is longing for a thorough bath to wash off Polland’s stench, splash perfume all over her body, throw her soiled clothes in a bin and put on lingerie no man’s hand has touched. She will be pure and chaste again, a reborn virgin devoid of the least trace of sex. Is sex dirty? She has never thought about it just as she has never considered depriving herself of food, both being facts of life.

She breathes in the raw scent of the moist earth bringing back her childhood on the Balaton sea with her mother still young and gorgeous, courted by trim Hungarian officers with their body-builder’s sex-appeal while her father was left behind in the hot Budapest where, punished for his bourgeois origins, he slaved on a production line in the factory that used to belong to his family before the Communist takeover.

She vividly remembers the thrill of being carried into the sea in her mother’s beaus’ muscular arms, squealing, kicking and splashing them with the sun warmed water of the sea while her mother disappeared with her incidental lover into a bath hut to reappear disheveled and hot, her face flushed, always hungry for more, never sated, her white flesh scorched by sex, devouring and being devoured, shutting her ears to the excited shrieks of her little daughter making grow under her wriggling bum on her playmates’ laps hard bony sticks stabbing her close-fisted pussy, ripping open for the future pleasures of sex.

“I can’t thank you enough for taking such good care of my little girl, Laszlo! Was she good?” Her mum asks bashfully pulling Magda’s creased bikini panties straight.

“More than good, Ilona, I’ve never seen before such a charming child! Let me get us all some ice-cream to cool off.” Offering Ilona his arm and carrying Magda on the other he leads them to an ice-cream stall.

“What flavor, ladies?”

“Vanilla for me, Laszlo!”

“For me chocolate, strawberry and lemon!”

“Don’t mind her, Laszlo; she’ll only make herself sick.”

“I won’t! Get it for me all and I’ll let you lick from my scone!”

“I apologize for my greedy child!” Mama minces flirtatiously.

Magda can still taste the cloying sweetness of the ice cream her tongue running smash into Laszlo’s when they meet each other at the scone. She remembers her excited giggle when, perched on his arm, she rubs her little fanny against his solid flesh.

“That was enough, Magda! What will Mr. Wajda think of you?” Ilona tears her fiercely down from her lover’s arm.

“Only the very best, believe me, Ilona. May I hope for your company tonight? Against my wish I must leave you now, duty calls.”

“It will be with pleasure. There’s just one problem, what shall I do with my little girl?

“That’s no problem at all. Ivan will be a perfect babysitter.”

“Then let’s meet at eight in front of the hotel.”

“I go with you, mama!”

“Don’t even think about it, Magda! A little girl like you has to go to bed right after her dinner. One of Laszlo’s friends will come to play with you and tuck you in.” Ilona promises.

Ivan appears timely at the door, big, mighty and irresistibly handsome in a brand new officer’s uniform. His full lips lean over her mama’s hand with a kiss; he passes on her a huge bouquet of red roses and a bottle of a syrupy cherry liquor that Ilona breaks instantly open and they drink a toast to themselves hoping to get to know each other better next time. He takes then Magda from Ilona and assures her not to worry as her little girl can’t be in better hands. He crushes Ilona in his arms in a too short and too fleeting embrace before passing her regretfully over on her date.

Then it’s on Magda to play funny games with Ivan’s tickly mustache and his cheeky tongue slipping under her night gown the first moment mama is out of sight, while she is kicking and nearly choking at rhe cherry liquor he makes her drink straight from his mouth.

She can’t remember all that happened this night, only on the morrow to have found her teddy bear, ‘who was so terribly cold that they had to have pity on him’ clothed in her night gown and her mama, horribly cross with Ivan, bringing her to the bathroom and rubbing her clean.

They returned to Budapest on the next day, her mama went back to her job and they went to swim in the Danube in the uninspiring company of her dad.

“Magda, come back! We have to go!” Elijah rips her out from the past.

She slowly gets up on her unsteady feet. Her dress clings to her body like a fisherman’s net around a captured mermaid. She shudders. Hasn’t she always dreamt about a life replete with sex? Hell is teeming with answered wishes.

“Coming, Eli!” She settles near to Polland, and suddenly uncertain about her future pats invitingly on her knees and covers them with an ample blanket suddenly doubting her future that may lay with him.

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