The Safe Bet








Thursday 9th October

8.30 am

St Angela’s Academy


“Now there are some very tired young women,” Kate Hardisty said as she stood with Annie Kelly, watching Jeannie and her friends as they come in.


“I don’t know – Jeannie looks fairly fresh.”


“She should be – but look at the rest of them.  When did you get them out of that party last night?”


“About half Eleven – but don’t worry, they get no slack from me today,” Annie said with a smile as they passed her, heading for their homeroom.  “After all, it’s an occupational hazard with the girls who come here.”


“What is?”


“The occasional party,” Annie said with a smile.


“How’s your head this morning,” Pepsi said as she sat next to Nikki.


“A bit sore – mum made me drink a litre of water when I got home.  You?”


“I took a paracetamol before I came in.  How on earth does Jeannie do it?”


“Practice – and I pace myself,” Jeannie said, as she turned round.  “It was fun though, wasn’t it?”


“Oh yeah – and the guys!”


Shhh,” Anna said, “she’s coming.”


“Good morning girls,” Miss Palmer said as she came in.


“Good morning Miss Palmer,” the girls all said as they stood, with the exception of Jeannie.


“Now, before I begin, we need the permission slips for those of you going on the Aspen trip over the Christmas vacation tomorrow morning please.”


“Wish I was going on that,” Anna said wistfully.


“Hey I’m not going either,” Jeannie said, “we can find something else to do over the holiday.”


“Quiet please, Jeannie.”




10 am


“Joanne, a quick word please,” Miss Tennant said as Joanne emerged from her Psychology class.


“Yes, Miss Tennant?”


“Your student counselor informed me that you will be visiting Hobart - William Smith this weekend?”


“That’s right Miss Tennant – Heather and I plan to take a flight up this weekend and have a look round.”


“Good – I wanted to say that I think that college will suit you very well, but as always the choice lies with you.”


“Thank you Miss Tennant,” Jo said as Abby and Ally came down the corridor.


“What did Tennant want,” Ally asked as they came alongside.


“She was wishing me luck at the visit this weekend – you got any set up yet Ally?”


“Not yet – Dad wants me to think about Harvard, but I’m not sure I’d get the grades.”


Never say never – just look at me,” Jo said with a smile.



11 am

Park Avenue


“Wow – she wasn’t kidding when she said it was exclusive,” Heather said as she and Sandy stood outside the main entrance.  Sandy was wearing a pale blue jacket over a grey jersey dress and heels, while Heather wore a brown suede jacket over a roll necked sweater and brown trousers, the heels of her shoes visible underneath.


“Come on – this is going to be fun,” she said as they walked into the lobby, the uniformed man behind the desk looking up as they came in.


“Good morning ladies, how may I help you?”


“Alexandra Richmond and Heather Smith – we’re meeting Shirley Xavier here, the new owner of the penthouse apartment?”


“Ah yes – Miss Xavier is already here with her PA.  If you will take the elevator over there, I will call to say you are on your way up.”  He indicated a lift to one side, which Sandy and Heather stepped into as the doors shut behind them.


“Very nice,” Heather said as she held the leather case under her arm.


“Isn’t it just – I can see why she was attracted to it,” Sandy said as the elevator stopped and they stepped out, walking to a door and knocking gently.


“Hey,” Penny said as she opened the door, “come on in.  She’s in the kitchen, testing the coffee maker.”


“So I can tell,” Heather said as the aroma of fresh coffee filled their nostrils, while Sandy had a look round the entrance hall.


“Ah there you are,” Madame said as she looked over from the breakfast bar, “for once, I thought I would offer the coffee to you.  Here?”


“Thank you,” Sandy said as she took the mug.  “Please tell me you have no plans for me to do anything to this kitchen - it looks great the way it is.”


“No, the kitchen can stay as it is,” Madame said with a smile.  “But once you have had your coffee, you can have a look around and we can discuss my thoughts and yours.”


“That is some view,” Heather said as she looked out of the window.


“Isn’t it just,” Madame said from the bar.  “One of the things that attracted me to this place, but by no means the only one.”


“I did overhear Elaine talking about her plans for the commission on this one,” Penny said with a smile, “but that is for her to decide.”


“Indeed,” Madame said, “but I feel she has earned her fee.  So, shall we begin?”


Sandy took her note pad, and Heather her camera, as she said “Why not?  Where would you like to start?”





The Refectory



The eating area was filled with the usual lunchtime hubbub, as in one corner Jeannie was sitting with the other girls.


“So what did you think of Ama,” Jeannie said as she sipped her drink.


“I liked her,” Pepsi said, “a bit quiet, but given where she has been, that’s understandable.”


“You know she’s virtually going to be your neighbor,” Anna said, “That apartment is only a couple of blocks from your mum’s shop.”


“Yeah, that’s good – the down side is Miss Kelly will be there as well.”


“Oh don’t worry – Annie’s not that bad,” Jeannie said with a smile.


“Even first thing on a Monday morning?”


“Thank you for reminding me,” Jeannie said with a groan.


“And speaking of last night,” Nikki said as she looked across the table, “what were you two doing coming out of the men’s washroom?”


“OH,” Jeannie said as she leaned forward, “so that’s where you were hiding for half an hour?  What were you doing – smoking?”


“Don’t be ridiculous,” Becca said, “you can’t smoke in a public washroom – or any room at the Waldorf.”


“Although I might have liked one afterwards,” Anna said with a giggle.


“Doc?  Is there something you want to tell the assemblage?”


Anna blushed as she looked round, before Pepsi said, “OMG – you didn’t?”


“I did,” Anna said quietly, “and it was WONDERFUL!”


"What about you Becs?” Jeannie said as she turned to look at her best friend.

"Me too." Becca giggled.

"I can't believe you both had sex in the men’s washroom during a party." Pepsi giggled.

"So what were they like?" Nikki asked.

"Fun." Anna smiled.

"Oh God I still can't believe that you let them fuck you." Jeannie looked amazed.

"They wanted it… and so did we." Becca and Anna said quietly as they exchanged looks.

"What if you both get pregnant?" A worried look crossed Pepsi's face as she looked at them.

"Doc made sure they both wore condoms." Becca replied.

"I'm not having a baby and ruining my life." Anna looked serious.

"Are you going to see them again?" Nikki asked.

"Probably not, but they do have our phone numbers."

"Did it hurt?" Jeannie asked.

"A bit," Anna replied, "and I'm still a bit sore down there, but I read that will soon stop."

"Talking of reading Doc, you never did explain how you learned that trick with his cock in your mouth?" Becca giggled.

"You gave him a blow job?" Pepsi looked stunned.

"No, I just worked him up a bit." Anna laughed, “When he came it was going to be in me, I wasn't wasting his cum."

"OH SHIT!" Jeannie laughed aloud.


"You know we thought maybe one Abs?" Jo looked round at Jeannie and her friends from where they were sitting, "I think that it was probably two."

"I was listening, doesn't sound like any harm got done."


As the bell went for the end of the lunch break, the group made their way past as Jo and Abby stood up.


"Becca, Anna can I have a quiet word please?"

"Sure Jo what's up?" Becca replied as she took them into a quiet corner.

"I couldn't help but overhear you today."

"Oh." Anna looked down at her own feet.

"Look, I'm not judgmental - and as probably the oldest virgin left in this school, this advice might seem strange - but I think if you are both going to be sexually active you had better tell your moms and get on birth control."

Becca nodded in reply.  "I'm planning to tonight Jo. I phoned Bobbi this morning and she said she lost her virginity as a freshman and she told Mom, and Mom was pretty cool. She got Bobbi on the pill."

"Good, and your Mom Doc?"

"I guess I should, she's pretty practical - she'll be disappointed, but I guess she'll be cool as well."

"Okay." Jo nodded, "Just don't go mad.  Believe it or not, when I was your age I was easily the world’s biggest cock teaser. I know now though that when guys see beautiful girls looking hot, all too often they think it’s an open invitation."

"You think we are beautiful?"

"Damn it Doc you looked in a mirror last night." Jo looked slightly annoyed as she removed her glasses and rubbed her eyes. "What I'm saying is just be selective, and don't climb into bed with every guy you meet… Okay?"

"Yes." the girls nodded.

"Okay well you're both late for class, get a move on."


"And that's why Jo is a great head girl." Annie whispered to Kate from round the corner where they had been listening.



1 pm

Park Lane


“Well, color me impressed,” Heather said as they looked round the master bedroom, “part of the inner sanctum, right?”


“Correct – As this is my own space, I wish it to reflect me and my tastes?”


“Well then,” Sandy said as she looked round, “perhaps some muted browns and reds – to compliment and sooth you?”


Heather started to take photographs as Sandy discussed some possible shades with Madame, while Penny took notes as well.  “Have you given any thoughts to any pictures you may wish to obtain for the apartment, Shirley?”


“A few – but I will bow to your superior knowledge with one exception.  Come and see the den.”


The four women walked through to a large room, furnished with an oak desk, and a selection of leather chairs.


“My office in the city, and my place of refuge,” Shirley said.  “I am having a copy made of a very particular portrait to hang in here.”


“And what would that be,” Heather asked with mild interest.


“A portrait of Lord Netterton and his daughter.”


Heather looked at her with a smile.  “I always wondered who stole that from the National Gallery?


“You knew it was a fake there?”


“I realized last year when we visited, but said nothing.  Well, it would look good on the wall there.”


“I want comfortable, but functional,” Shirley said to Sandy, “Penelope?”


“Some photographs of Madame’s London home,” Penny said as she passed Sandy a portfolio, watching as she slipped through it.


“Okay, I get the idea, but may I be bold and suggest a blend of modern and old world?”  Leather furniture, but paneled walls in a lighter brown?”


“Intriguing – send me the sketches and I will consider it.  Now, I also need your particular expertise for this room, Heather?”


“Fully secured and wired, state of the art security system throughout, direct link to the secure network Charlotte is introducing?  All noted, Shirley.”


“Indeed – but I want this room to be bug proofed as far as possible.  Thoughts?”


“We install sensors in the walls – designed to nullify any listening and viewing device.  We also include in the alarm system motion driven video cameras, like the ones we’ve used over the last few weeks.”


“I will entertain proposals,” Shirley said with a smile.  “So do you have all you need to consider some designs, Sandy?”


“I think so yes,” Sandy, said with a smile, “I’ll get preliminary sketches to you by Saturday morning.  When do you fly out?”


“My plane leaves at eight that night, so that will be plenty of time.  Now, shall we go out for a late lunch?”



2 pm

Tavern on the Green


“So there you have it, Jane,” Janice said as she passed back, “what I can tell you of the part played by the confederation I was part of.  Naturally, you cannot quote me as the source – let us say you received it anonymously.”


“It’s quite a story,” Jane Molloy said as she sipped her coffee, “more like a spy novel than anything else.”


“You’re not the first person to say that,” Janice said with a smile.


“Will we ever know what happened to Chen or Rice in the end?”


“I do not know – the operatives we had from their respective countries returned them home, and that is all we can say on the matter.  They have dispersed now, probably never to meet again.”


“And the criminal fraternity?”


“We’re opposite sides of the fence again.”


“Well, it’s over now anyway – and the girls are receiving the support they need.  I understand donations have flooded in for the relief fund that was established for them.”


“So I understand – we have a hostel to house them until they decide for themselves what they wish to do.  One of the confederation is heading to South Africa soon to investigate secure help for them there.”


“Well, I’m glad – I hope we can continue to meet like this, Jan.  Be friends, that sort of thing?”


“So do I, Jane,” Jan said with a smile, “so do I.”


2.30 pm

St Angela’s


“Can I ask you a few questions Jeannie?” Becky sat on the floor besides her best friend. 


“Yeah,” Jeannie said as she watched the girls playing basketball, “What’s up?”


“Well,” Becca said as she looked round, “You know I had sex last night?”


“I think most of the school knows by now.” Jeannie laughed.


“I know,” Becca, sighed, “this place is full of gossipy bitches… No what I wanted to know was can you have sex?”


Becca, gym class is hardly the place to ask.” Jeannie hissed.


“But can you?”


“Do you really want me to explain?”




“Okay,” Jeannie said quietly, “I’ll tell you what my doctor told me… Yes I can have sex, yes I can still have children, no I will probably never get an orgasm from vaginal stimulation, but yes I can orgasm from a man’s touch on other sensitive parts of my body.”


“Oh my God.” Becca blushed when she said “Jeans I didn’t realize any of that.”


“Well being a paraplegic doesn’t mean my life ended.” Jeannie’s familiar smile returned.


“So with the right guy…”


“With a gentle man who understands the limitations of my body, yes one day I’ll probably have sex.”


“So no quickies in the men’s room?”


“No that’s one pleasure I’ll never have.” Jeannie laughed, “But yes with care I can have a full and enjoyable sex life one day.”


“I’m glad,” Becca, said, “I hate to think you’d miss out on that.”


3 pm

FBI Field Office


“This is always the worst day,” Janice said as she stretched out in her chair.


“What is?” Adam said as he leaned back and put his hands behind his head.


“Writing up all the damn reports when we close a case.”


“Oh… Yeah I get what you are getting at.”  Adam picked up another file, signed the last page and closed it.


“Any plans for tonight, Adam?”  Janice smiled as she stood up, the top two buttons of her silk blouse undone.


Adam let out an audible groan.  “You aren’t dragging me to another damn party Janice.”


“No.” Janice laughed, “I was thinking more like dinner with me and Mom and Katy, then when they’ve gone to bed one of your patent foot massages.”


“You’ve been wearing heels too much Jan,” Adam said as he shook his head.


“Not really, I just need to relax and I can’t think of a better way.”


“Okay, well, let me finish this report and we’ll do it.”


“Thanks.” Janice smiled.  It felt good to know she could relax tonight.




4 pm

The Waldorf Hotel


Ama and Dominique were standing in the hotel lobby; Ama in a short-sleeved blouse and a pair of jeans while Dom was wearing a black jumper and skirt.




Ama turned to see Abby walk in, her blonde hair pulled back in a ponytail, in her St Angela’s uniform.  It took her a few moments to recognize the blonde model from the previous evening.


“Hello, Abby,” Dom said as she walked over with Ama.  “Make sure you bring her back in one piece.”


“I do not understand,” Ama said as she looked at Abby, “why do you wear your hair like that, and no make up?”


“It’s kinda like my secret name,” Abby said as she winked at Dominique.  “When I’m not working, I like to dress down and blend in, otherwise – well, I get mobbed.”


“I see – and what is your secret name?”


“My friends call me Stick, because I am so thin.  Will that do?”


“It will,” Ama said with a smile.


“Right – come on then,” Abby said as she took her hand, “we need to find a costume to fit you, and I know just the place.”


“There goes one happy girl,” Charlotte said as she crossed the lobby, watching Abby and Ama walk out.  “Isn’t this the first time she’s been able to leave the hotel freely?”


“Yeah, it is,” Dominique said, a smile playing on her lips.







“Okay Ama we can probably find you the perfect costume here.” Abigail said as she parked her car outside Canyon Beachwear on Third Avenue.


“Are you sure Abigail?” Ama looked dubious as she stared at the storefront.


“Yeah,” Abigail said as they got out and she locked her car, “it’s where I buy my bathing suits.”


“Well okay… I guess.”  They walked in the front door, Ama’s eyes opening wide at the variety of costumes on the dummies.


“Oh my,” she said as she looked at one bikini, “surely that is too small for most people?”


“Some people think a swimming costume should only cover here and here,” Abby said as she pointed to her chest and her crotch.


“Hello Abigail,” one of the assistants said as she came up and greeted them. “You shopping today?”


“Not today Cherry,” Abby smiled, “We are buying Ama here her first bathing suit.”


“Hmmm,” Cherry said as she looked at the young dark skinned girl.  “Well Ama, I think we have a variety of suits you can try… Janey, “she beckoned one of the other girls over.


“Yes, Cherry?”


“Can you take Ama here back to the dressing rooms and show her some bathing suits?”


“Of course.  Can you come this way Miss,” the girl said as she indicated for Ama to follow her.  Ama turned and looked at Abby, unsure of what to do.


“Go on Ama,” Abby said with a smile, “I’ll be back to give an opinion in a minute.”


“Alright then.” Ama said as she followed the shop assistant.  Cherry saw them walk away, and then turned to look at Abby.




Cherry nodded.  “Her first ever… surely not Abby?”


“Cherry, you read about these poor African girls?”


“I did…”  Cherry suddenly put her hand to her mouth and said “oh no - you don’t mean she was one of them?”


“Yes, some friends of mine are adopting her.”


“That poor child.” Cherry shook her head, “Well she gets the princess treatment today.”


“I sorta hoped you’d say that.  Look, she has funds for one or possibly two, but I’d like to get her a third very special one, so take a range in – everyday and special.”


“Right,” Cherry said as she grabbed a few costumes; let’s go to work.  We’ll fix her up first with the standard swimsuit, suitable for the Y, right?”


“Right, she’s going swimming there with some girls on Saturday. I’ll look for something a little more like my line while she tries them on, and then we’ll compare notes.”


As she came into the changing area, Ama was looking at herself in the full-length mirror, wearing a classic Anne Cole costume in red.


“What do you think,” she said as she looked at Abby, “I like the red, but I wonder about black.”


“No,” Janey said, “please do not take this the wrong way, but black is not your color.  I think this looks good on you – what do you think Cherry?”


“Hmmm – a pity we do not have this in pink in that style, but yes, that does suit you…  Abby?”


“I think so as well – shall we put that to one side?”


“Why not,” Ama said with a smile.


“Right - now let’s consider something a little more colorful and vibrant,” Janey said.  “Try this on please.”  She handed Ama another costume and ushered her into the changing area.


“Well, first hurdle down,” Abby said as Ama emerged, wearing a pale blue Helen Jon swimsuit with a twist front and a pale brown print.  Cherry and Abby looked at her as she looked into the mirror, and then looked at them.




“The style is right, but I don’t like the color,” Abby said as she looked through the costumes.  “What about this design,” she said as she held up a backless suit with a peach and brown print.


Cherry took the suit and held it next to Ama.  “Yeah – this design does go better with you.  I don’t have it in stock just now in that style, but I can order it.”


“Can we do that Abby?”


“I think so – take care of it will you Cherry?”


The assistant made a note as Janey took Ama back into the changing room.


“She does wear a swimsuit well,” Cherry said quietly, “and she should fill out a little over time as well.”


Abby nodded before saying “we all do – eventually.”


“Didn’t say a word,” Cherry said with a smile before they watched Ama walk out again, wearing a Seafolly Bella Rose d-cup costume in pink with a black and dusky pink pattern at the sides.


“Now that is definitely what we are looking for,” Cherry said as she clapped her hands.  “That style is very retro.”




“Harks back to a time years ago,” Abby said.  “Can you try the blue one as well please Ama?”


“Of course,” Ama said as she went back into the changing area, returning in the same style but in light blue instead of pink.


“I think I prefer that one,” Abby said quietly, “what do you think Ama?”


“I do as well – but can I afford both?”


“You can,” Abby said with a smile, “and Mama and I wish to make you a gift of two more.  Cherry we will take the red one and this one now, and if you can order the one we discussed for my account?”


“Abby, Stick, please…”


“Hush, Ama – it is our gift for you,” Abby said, “and now, I want you to try this on.”


She handed Ama a swimsuit, the young girl looking at it before she nodded and went off.


“The Tribal one piece?”


“Yup,” Abby said quietly, “the Aqua Bendita is, I think, the thing that will really make her happy.”


“I trust you went for a slightly larger size?”


Abby nodded as Ama came out, looking at the red, white and blue print.


“It is beautiful,” she said, “but I cannot accept it as a gift, it is too much.”


“Ama,” Abby said, “you have to learn the real value in gifts is in the reason they are given – and in our case, it is to say welcome to your new family.  Do you like it?”


“Very much so,” Ama said with a smile.  “Do you think Caroline will like them?”




“Caroline Jameson – she is the one adopting Ama.”


“Oh my – the daughter of that model?  Well then, of course she will like it.”


“Good – then we’re decided Cherry.  We’ll take the two now, and I’ll collect this one when the order comes in.”


“Got it Abby – right Ama, you get changed, and come back out front with us.”


As they went back into the main shop, Abby said, "Have you heard by the way Cherry?  I've been asked to do the SI swimsuit edition?"

"No I hadn't…”  Cherry smiled before she said, “I bet your dear mother doesn't like that?"

"No and I can't see why, the costumes are no worse than I wear anyway, and the locations are always so brilliant.”

"Might be she doesn't want her 16 year old daughter being a sex object for men across the world."

Abby looked at Cherry, before saying "you think it would really be like that?"

"Maybe not for the models, as you say the pics are amazing, it's just that small percentage of pervs that are probably in your mom's mind."

“You could say the same about any lingerie magazine.”


“True – but what’s the deal with the VS show for you?”


“Nightwear only.”


“That’s my point – I’ll bet your mum put her foot down on that for the same reason.”


They looked at Ama as she came out, handing an envelope to Janey as she looked at the bag.  "Well it didn't do girls like The Truck any harm."

Cherry laughed, "It's a good thing so many of you girls shop here that I know who you mean when you start using nicknames."

"Sorry,” Abby said, “it's force of habit.”

"You all do it Stick, it's how I know the real top models from the wannabes and phonies."

"Well Ama all ready to go?"

"I am." Ama turned and looked at the girls in the store. "Thank you all so very much."

"You are more then welcome Ama." Cherry wiped a tear away as the two girls left.


“There,” Abby said, “all done, and now I need to introduce you to another New York tradition.”


“And what is that?” Ama said as she clutched her bag.


“A night at the movies – after we drop these off.  Jo will meet us and we’ll grab a pizza with you and Maisha.”


"Oh I forgot." Cherry came running out of the store after them, "Can you tell Baby, the suit she ordered is in?"

"Okay will do… Bye Cherry." Abby waved as she climbed into the driving seat.

"Okay,” she said as she put her seat belt on, “can you tell Jeannie that if you see her before I do Ama?"

"Why does that lady call her Baby if it's Jeannie?" Ama looked confused.

"I'll explain one day." Abby laughed as she eased her car out into the traffic.


5 pm

Complete Style Magazine


“Juliette – they’ve arrived.”


Juliette looked up as she closed her laptop and said, “all right – let me see them.”


Janine put the portfolio down and watched as he boss flipped through them, nodding and then looking carefully through a magnifying glass at one or two of them.


“They are magnificent,” Juliette said, “and I now have a major headache.  Where’s Merlin?”


“In the magic castle – why?”


Juliette said nothing, but picked up the portfolio and left the office, heading for the back rooms.


“Please tell me you haven’t shown these to Missy?” Juliette said as she wandered into Mary’s inner sanctum.


“Of course I have,” Mary, said as she stuck a pin into the jacket she was looking at, and then turned round.  “She’s yours, Karen’s, Mandy’s and Alice’s agent after all.”


“Why did I know you were going to say that Merlin darling?” Juliette said as she slumped into a chair.  


“Don’t you think they are any good?”


“On the contrary,” Juliette said as she rubbed her eyes, “I think they are brilliant.”


“Then what’s the problem?”


Juliette looked up and looked at her old friend.  “Come on Mary, you know there are five of us in those photos – and I’m not talking about Alex or John.”


“I did think John came out particularly well,” Mary said as she looked at him helping Caroline out of the car.


“Mary, Missy will be using every trick she knows now to sign Caroline to a modeling contract.”


“I thought she was already.”


“Darling you know very well Caroline looks unbelievable in these photos.”


“That’s my opinion as well, so what’s the problem?”


“She doesn’t want to model as a career, she’s happy in her world of bugs, evasive driving and bodyguarding.”


“Well, let me share a secret,” Mary said as she folded her arms and looked at her old friend.  “She’s going to get the same response from our world, that you, Abby and young Jeannie got. A girl who looks that good in front of a camera, has that height and body, every agency in the world will want to sign her.”


“Even though she’s no teenager.”


“Even at her age Ju darling.”


“And with her family history?”


“ESPECIALLY with her family history.  We made some huge mistakes years ago, Ju – you know that as well as anyone.  When I look at Caroline, I see a chance to say sorry for those mistakes.”


“Look,” Juliette said as she stood up, “let me talk to Caroline.  It may be we can work something out, but it can’t be Missy’s usual sign them up, and then keep them working with her.  It has to be more like the deal with me and the others.”


Ie,” Mary answered in Welsh, “I can work with that,” Mary said with a smile.  “I’ll keep the pit-bull on a leash for a while, while you get the lion tamer ready.”


“Oh,” Juliette said with a smile, “you figured that as well?”


“Girl, I’m selling tickets to watch the negotiations,” Mary said with a laugh.


7.30 pm

The Huntingdown Apartment


“Tell Mary I’ll take a couple of those tickets,” Sandy said with a laugh as she sat down, “I’ll even run a book on the outcome.”


“I’ll pass the message on,” Juliette said as she sat down.   “So how was the visit to Madame’s new home from home?”


“Intriguing – she has very definite views, but luckily I think I can work my own ideas in too.  I’ll do the sketches tomorrow and make sure she has them for Saturday.”


“I’m sure she will love it,” Juliette said as she poured some wine.  “So what did Abby and Jo take the girls to see tonight?”


“She was talking them to the Angelika tonight – I believe they are showing a double bill of Mon Oncle and Trafic.”


“Inspired thinking – even Maisha should like that,” Juliette said with a smile.


“So how do you feel now the time has come for Madame to return?”


“Would you think it wrong if I said that, much as I love Shirley, I look forward to things returning to normal?”


“No – I can imagine you’re literally champing at the bit for some good old fashioned Pussycat action.”


“On which point, any plans for the weekend?”


“Not yet – why?”


“Well,” Juliette said as she held her glass, "how about while Heather and Jo do their campus visit, and the kids spend the weekend with George and Allison, you me and Diana drive down to Atlantic City?"

"That sounds like an idea." Sandy smiled, "It'll be no fun rattling round the house on my own."

"Well,” Juliette said, “Abby's planning to go visit Cari, Madame's flying home, so it might be our best chance to check out Jan's idea."

"Good thinking," Sandy said as she sipped her wine.

"We go play tourist, while casting our eyes over everything."

"I'm sure Diana will be in for that Ju.  She’ll enjoy the opportunity to dress down."

"Who knows - we might even win a few dollars."


“Before we take a few,” Juliette said with a laugh.


“Aw dammit – hang on, I need to make a call.  I promised Janice I’d drop by and see her – let me rearrange that first.”


8 pm

West Central Park


“Now that was a good meal,” Adam said as he sat on the couch, “Katherine, you are a marvelous cook.”


“It was only a simple stew,” Katherine said with a smile.


“Ah, but the simple foods are often the best,” Janice said as she handed Adam a mug of coffee.  “You sure you don’t want me to read the bedtime story tonight Mom?”


“Nah – you need some downtime,” Katherine said as she picked up a glass of milk.


“She’s right,” Adam said as he sat back, “you’ve done two jobs over the last few weeks – you need some you time.”


“True – and I can’t deny how tired I am,” Jan said as she slipped her shoes off and wriggled her toes.  “I need to chill out for a few days.”


“Well, good Irish food, and good company – I think this is a good start,” Adam said as he put his arm round Janice’s shoulder.


“Yeah,” Janice said as she closed her eyes, only to open them again when her phone rang.


“If that’s Tom, tell him I’ll kill him,” Adam said as Jan stood up and lifted the handset.


“Carter? Oh hi Sandy – what’s up?”


Adam sat back and shook his head as Janice said, “Oh that’s all right – I don’t mind if you can’t make Saturday.  Doing anything interesting?


“The Boardwalk?  Well, whatever takes your fancy I suppose?  What else is happening?


“Adam?  He’s here right now – why?


“You are what?” Janice laughed into her phone. “Oh I have to have some of that action…”


“What’s that?” Adam asked, as he turned round.


“Hold on a second Sandy,” she put her thumb over the mouthpiece. “Adam you know that Missy Auerbach the model agent has been trying to sign Caroline to a contract?”


“I think I heard that.”


“Well CS got back the pics for that spread for the Christmas issue she posed for and Caroline according to Juliette looks amazing.”


“Okay… So?”


“They are going to make Missy even more determined to sign Caroline, before some other agency does.”


“But doesn’t Caroline work in security?”


“Yeah and she loves it, but these pictures are so hot, opinion is Missy is not going to take No for an answer.”


“I heard Caroline say no way.”


“Exactly, so Sandy is running a book on what will happen.”


“Oh now I understand,” Adam said as he chuckled.  “Tell Sandy I’ll put fifty bucks on Caroline, she’s one tough lady.”


“Did you hear that Sandy? … Okay, I’ll put a hundred on Missy… Yeah I know, I’d buy tickets as well… okay well you guys have fun in Atlantic City, I’ll see you all for lunch on Monday… I know… Bye!”


“Sandy and the girls on the Boardwalk?  I guess miracles do happen sometimes.”


“Hey, I can just see Diana hitting the tables, can’t you?”


The two looked at each other and then burst out laughing as Jan sat back down, and put her heels on Adam’s lap.  “Come on then,” she said with a smile, “work your magic, Mister Ball.”


“My pleasure,” Adam said as she smiled and started to massage her feet, Jan smiling and closing her eyes as she relaxed.



Friday 10th October

9 am

The Richmond Mansion


Sandy sat down at her drawing desk, placing her coffee mug to one side of the desk as she looked to the table by her side.  She had the portfolio from Penny, the pictures Heather had taken on her laptop, and her own notes laid out.  She also had open in another window the floor plans for the apartment.


“Now, then,” she said to herself as she picked up a pencil, “let’s start with the main room, shall we?”



10 am

Complete Style Magazine


"Juliette." Janine poked her head round the door, "Karen Boyd on line two."

"Okay I was expecting this." Juliette took a large breath inwards, and then picked up the phone. "Hi Karen," she said brightly.

For a couple of minutes Juliette listened making just the odd noise to signal yes or no, as Dr. Boyd vented her spleen.

"Can I get a word in edgeways darling?"

On the other end Karen continued in her complaints.

"You knew when Missy saw those photos she'd be on your case… yes I know… but you are the only person who can really influence Caroline and she knows it."

Juliette started to listen again.

"I've tried telling Missy that… well you know Missy… SWEETS! … Where did you learn words like that darling?"

Juliette laughed as Karen began to cool down.

"Look I'm seeing Caroline for lunch to show her the pictures, I'll try talking to her then."

Juliette laughed again.

"Okay I'll pass that on to Sandy, and you phone Caroline and warn her Missy is on the war path… Love you too Sweets… Bye Darling."


Replacing the phone, she shouted out “Janine!”


“Yes, Juliette?”


“Tell Mary I won’t be back until late this afternoon – and to have the sponge bag ready.  She’ll understand.”


10.30 am

The Richmond Mansion


“No, no, NO!”  Sandy put her pencil down and moved another sheet of paper out of the way.


“You look frustrated lover.” Heather looked over Sandy’s shoulder at the pile of discarded sketches.


“I am.” Sandy sighed. “This is going to be harder then I thought.”


“Need to talk it out?”




“So what’s the problem?” Heather perched herself on the arm of Sandy’s chair.


“How do I create rooms for someone with impeccable taste, without merely imitating others work?”


“Or in other words how do you put your personal signature on the project?”


“I guess that’s it… any ideas lover?”


“Well… “


“Well what love?”


“You and Ju taught me to dress by finding one piece that I truly loved and building the outfit round it. How about you try finding just one thing for each room and then seeing what to add?”


“It’s an idea.”


“I was thinking about that chandelier you bought at that estate sale on the island last year, make that the feature of Shirley’s drawing room.”




Heather watched fascinated as Sandy started to sketch the bare bones of the room and then add the chandelier.


“Okay – make that the centre of the room, put a coffee table under there…  Alright, further ideas darling?”


Heather paused. “Hmmm you remember that Second Empire furniture we saw in that article in Architectural Digest?”


“I do… and I think I see where you are going.” Heather grabbed a magazine off the table.


Flipping through it, Sandy stopped at a page and showed her it.


“That’s the one.”


“Okay, now upholstered in a light blue and gold…”


Heather looked as Sandy sketched in a sofa and armchair.


“That looks lovely lover.”


“That might work - only problem is where do I find the right pieces?”


“Do you think Shirley would mind repro?”


“I’ll have to ask her.” Sandy said as she sketched more bits of furniture in.


“I think she’ll like this.”


“So do I.” Sandy smiled up at her girlfriend.  “Now, while the mood is on me – Dining Room.  We need something to make it more spacious, grandiose.”


“Hmm – creating space…  Hold on, let me find something.”


Heather reached for another catalogue, and turned the pages.


“What do you think of this,” she said as she showed Sandy a large gilt framed mirror.  Her lover looked at the picture, then at the photographs and plans.


“Get two – one for each end,” she said as she sketched them in, “and then a long Edwardian style wooden table, with matching chairs, upholstered in the same shade of gold…”


She sketched the tables and chairs in, before adding two sets of smaller tables and some chairs around the side.  “Now add a smaller version of the chandelier in the main room…”


“Now that’s somewhere I would like to eat,” Heather said with a smile.  “Coffee?”


“Yeah – I want to consider the den next,” Sandy, said as she grabbed a book on Victorian rooms.  “Yeah – if she has the portrait there…  Do you have a photo of that portrait she mentioned anywhere, lover?”


“On the laptop – look under Netterton.”


Sandy brought up the picture, looked at it, and then sketched it in on the wall.  She then added high bookcases either side, and sketched in the desk Shirley had asked about and chair in one corner.


In the open space, she added a lower coffee table, and a two-seater couch in light brown, three high backed chairs around it.  Looking at the drawing, she then added a selection of standard lamps.


“Wow – that does look good,” Heather said as she looked over her shoulder, handing her the coffee mug.


“Oh yeah, I am cooking now,” Sandy said as she sipped the hot liquid.  “Kitchen stays as it is, and the main bathroom is fine – so now, the bedrooms.  Let’s go to work.”


1 pm

The Modern Restaurant


Juliette looked up and smiled as Caroline and Susan walked over to her table.


“Sorry I’m late,” Caroline, said as she sat down, “I had an early call with Lily about getting my things packed up and shipped over here.  She’s going to take over the lease on my house, so most of the furniture will stay there.”


“Your apartment comes furnished doesn’t it?”


“It does – I may want to add to it, but it is sufficient with Annie’s things for the now.  So, what looks good?”


“I was thinking the crab and then the chicken – have a look.”


Caroline glanced down the menu and said “Green Salad and Cod.  What about you Susan?”


“Well given lunch is on me – I’m having the hamachi and the lamb.”


She signaled to the waiter, who quickly took their food and drinks orders, and then hurried off.


“Well,” Caroline said quietly, “do you have them?”


“I have them,” Juliette said, “but I’m not sure if I should let you see them.”


“Oh,” Caroline said quietly, “are they that bad?”


Susan looked at Juliette and said “what’s wrong with them?”


“Well,” Juliette said as she took out a black photograph album and handed it to both of them, “see for yourselves.”  She sat back as the waiter poured the wine into their glasses, and watched as Susan and Caroline slowly opened the album, looking through the photographs one by one.


Their faces were a picture for her to study, as they moved even more slowly, stopping on one particular page.


“I’m going to take a guess,” Juliette said as she held her glass, “You and Karen either side of Alex in the full evening dresses, right?”


“How… How did you know,” Caroline said as she looked up.


“That’s the one that made me stop and look as well.”


“I don’t understand,” Susan said quietly, “why that one?”


Juliette reached into her bag and took out a copy of Complete Style from 1992.  Opening it at one page, she showed Susan a picture of Karen and Stella Jameson either side of a man in a dinner jacket.


“I don’t know how the hell he did it,” Juliette said quietly, “but he did it.”


“Juliette,” Caroline said as their appetizers arrived, and she returned the folder, “these are magnificent.  For a while there, I thought you meant they were ruined.”


“Oh no – quite the opposite,” Juliette said with a smile.  “Eat up.”


“So I presume your masters are happy as well.”


“Mary and Anna are over the moon – as is Karen.  I spoke to Mandy on the phone last night – she’s still in a bit of shock over what happened, but she has said she’s approved them for publication.  I presume you do as well?”


“On this, I bow to your professional judgment,” Caroline said as she put some of her salad on her fork and slowly ate it. 


“Caroline, I take my hat off to you,” Susan said with a smile.  “So everyone’s happy?”


“As far as the photos for this shoot go, yes.  As far as the shoot we have planned for November, yes.”


Caroline looked at Juliette, and slowly chewed her salad before washing it down with some wine.  “I sense a but coming, Juliette.  How much will I need to drink before I like it?”


“I’m not sure there is enough wine in the city,” Juliette said as she finished her crab, putting her knife and fork down.  “The thing is, I was not the first person to see the photos.”


“No?  Surely the models should be the first to see the finished article,” Susan said as their plates were cleared.


“Yes, we are,” Juliette said as she filled their glasses up, “and so are our agents – or in this case, agent.”


“Ah,” Caroline said as she sat back and looked at the other two women, “you are referring to Missy Auerbach.  Somehow the inevitability of this was plain to me.”


“It isn’t to me,” Susan said, “someone educate a confused girl?”


“Missy represents Juliette, Abigail, Carina, and a lot of the other models that are our friends,” Caroline said quietly, “and at the show Abigail and Jeannie arranged, she pressed her card in my hand and said to call her if I wanted to take this up professionally.”


“Well, based on these,” Susan said as she tapped the album, “I think you could, and I’m no expert.”


“But I am not a model…”


“The camera never lies – it only amplifies,” Juliette said as their main courses arrived. 


“Who said that?”


“David Bailey I think – the thing is, Caroline darling, when this issue comes out, what people are going to see is five incredibly beautiful models plying their trade – and advertisers are going to want them.  Anna, Mandy, Karen, me – we’ve made it very clear we can only do certain things.”


“And I have made it perfectly clear I am willing to do some shoots, particularly with you four, but only when I am available to do so.”  Caroline sliced into her cod and put it in her mouth, chewing slowly.


“Caroline,” Susan said quietly, “I think what Juliette is very delicately trying to tell you is that Missy Auerbach has set her sights on signing you to her agency before anyone else comes knocking on your door.”


“I know what Juliette is saying, Susan,” Caroline said quietly, “I am busy formulating strategies in my mind for what I can do to make it clear to Missy Auerbach that I will not sign for her agency.”


“Oh,” Susan said, “what options are you considering?”


“At this exact moment in time,” Caroline said quietly, “nothing is off the table.”


“Well,” Juliette said as she swallowed some chicken, “this is probably the wrong time to tell you she has already bent Mary’s ear, hassled Karen, and I expect her to descend on me some time this afternoon.  There’s even…”


“Even what?”


“Nothing,” Juliette said with a smile, “nothing.  You wouldn’t be interested anyway…”


“I might though,” Susan, said quietly, “is this Sandy’s book?”


“Sandy’s what?”


“There’s a book running on who would win in a discussion between you and Missy about a modeling career.”


Caroline looked at both of them, and then burst out laughing, causing people at the nearby tables to look at them.


“Sorry,” she said eventually, “maybe I should take a slice of that action myself.  Seriously though, Juliette, tell her I will sign a contract with her on three conditions.


“Firstly, that any fees she would receive for finding me work are paid directly to the relief fund for the girls we have freed.


“Secondly, I have full refusal rights, without question, on any offers I accept and I set the time windows I would be available.


“And thirdly, 25% of any gross earnings I make are paid directly to the Jamie Kirkham Memorial fund.”


Wiping her chin, Caroline stood up and said “If you will excuse me for a moment…”


Juliette and Susan watched her walk off, before Susan said, “I went in for one hundred on Dom.  You?”


“Two on a draw, actually.  You know what the really scary thing is?”




“I think Missy would accept those terms.  Dessert?”


3 pm

The Richmond Mansion


“I’m off to get the kids,” Heather said as she looked in the door, Sandy waving to her as she stood with the phone to her ear.


"Tonia darling, just tell me straight out if you KNOW you can get it all finished by Christmas?" Sandy spoke as she walked round the room.

"Tonia I don't need bullshit, this MUST be done by Christmas, and no well this hasn't arrived, or the plumbers couldn't make it, just remember I know every trick in the book."

Sandy listened to the talk from the other end of the conversation.

"Yes I know I'm being aggressive, but this is for a personal friend, and I promised her she could celebrate Christmas in her new place."

Sandy listened some more.

"Tonia do you want the contract or not?"

Sandy giggled as she heard the comments.

"Yes I know I'm the bitch from hell, that's why we work so well together… Alright Tuesday we can go through the apartment, the previous owners should have their stuff out and we can start laying plans."

Sandy laughed some more.

"How the hell did you hear about that?"

There was more laughter as she picked up a pen.

"Okay one fifty on Caroline… See you Tuesday Tonia… Byeeee!"


Replacing the phone, she gathered her sketches up and placed them in a clear folder, putting it to one side before she started to tidy up.  She was happy with her work that day, and now could look forward to a weekend away.



7 pm

The Richmond Mansion


“Hey there you two,” George said as he picked up little George and Sandy, hugging and kissing both of them, “ready for a weekend with your little sister?”


“Is she walking yet,” Sandy asked.


“Not yet no – but I’m sure she’ll still run rings round you two,” he said as Heather came down with their bags.


“Quiet weekend for you then,” he said with a smile.


“Hardly – little sis and I are flying up to Rochester tomorrow, and staying in Geneva overnight.”


“Geneva?  So is Jo thinking of William Smith?”


“Very seriously, so a campus visit seems in order.”


“Well, have fun up there,” George said with a smile.  “Come on you two – adventure awaits.”


The kids waved goodbye to their mum and Heather as they stood in the doorway, and Juliette came up.


“Hey – ready for tomorrow?”


“Yeah – when will we head down?”


“Mid-afternoon - there are a few goodbyes I need to say first.”


Sandy nodded as they walked into the front room, Jo looking up as they came in.


“Hey,” she said, “I hear you two and Diana are going to play the tables this weekend?”


“Well, take a look round as well,” Juliette said, “which reminds me.  Heather?”


“Yes Ju.”


“Hmmm for our little trip this weekend, any chance of you making up glasses for us like you did for Madame?”


“Funny you should say that,” Heather laughed as she opened the box on the table.


“Always one step ahead.” Juliette smiled.


“I’ve arranged with Susan to keep recording, just put this signal booster in your room, and New York can record all you see.”


“Excellent – that will help greatly.  When’s your flight tomorrow?”


“Twelve – Jo and I will go round with Abby tomorrow and say our goodbyes then.”


“Good – well, now for a nice quiet evening…”




Saturday 11th October

10 am

The Waldorf Astoria


“Come,” Madame said as she heard the knock on the bedroom door, smiling as Penny came in.


“Packing complete Madame?”


“I think so, yes.  The others?”


“I know Dom and Ama have finished packing their things, and Charlotte is helping Maisha.  I suspect she was packed last night, given how organized she is.”


“Indeed – where is Ama now?”


“She’s here,” Dominique said as she looked in, “we were going to join Charlotte downstairs for a coffee until Abby comes to collect Ama.  Care to join us?”


“Why not,” Madame said as they went with Dom, Maisha and Ama, the young girl clutching her sports bag as they went to the lobby.


“Look who I bumped into,” Charlotte said as they walked to the coffee area, Joanne, Heather and Abby standing as they came over.


“Hope you don’t mind us tagging on for a minute,” Heather said, “but Jo and I are on our way to catch a plane, and we wanted to say goodbye to all of you.”


“Safe journey,” Heather said as she hugged Madame, Penny, Charlotte and Maisha, “and I look forward to seeing you all again.”


“Me too – and thanks for everything you’ve taught me,” Jo said as she hugged them in turn as well. 


“I’m sure we will hear more of all of you soon,” Madame said, and there was a tear in her eye as she said “Good luck in all you do.”


Heather and Jo nodded as they left, and Abby said, “Right, Ama – we need to go.  Are you sure you do not want to come Maisha?”


“Thank you, but no,” the other girl said in French, “I have things I need to do here before I go.”


“All right then,” Abby said as she and Ama waved and left the lobby.


“Are you sure you want to do this, Maisha,” Charlotte said quietly.


“I do – it is right that I do.”


“All right – Janice will meet us in an hour, giving us enough time to get back here.”


“Go, with my blessing,” Madame said as Charlotte and Maisha left.



11 am

Vanderbilt YMCA


“There you are,” Becca said as Jeannie was wheeled out by Abby.  “What happened?”


“We needed to persuade someone to join us,” Doc said as she came out with Ama, the young girl blushing in her costume.


“Good choice,” Nikki said with an approving nod.  “Right then – in you come.”


Abby waited as the lifeguard lifted Jeannie into the water, while Ama and Anna jumped in and swam over to join Becca and Nikki.


“Sorry I’m late,” Pepsi said as she ran in, “We had to negotiate this strange woman taking stuff out of a panel van near the shop.  She looked scarily like Miss Kelly as well.”


“Very funny,” Abby said as she kicked out and swam in the water.  “So she’s started to move in?”


“Indeed – Caroline and I will go once we have said goodbye to the others later,” Ama said as she floated on her back and gently swam along.


“Are you sad to see them go,” Pepsi said as she swam alongside her.


“Sad – but also looking forward to a new day,” Ama said with a smile as the girls did several laps, and then rested at the side of the pool.


“I think we need to apologise.” Ally Rochermann said as she approached where Abby was sitting with Jeannie and her friends on the edge of the pool.


“Yeah, we can get a bit aggressive at times.” Nell said as she followed her twin.


“I guess you are forgiven.” Becca smiled up at them, “And I apologise for the New York Sluts crack.”


“Why apologise for that?” Nell asked as she sat down.


“Well it is rather…”


“Hey, we have worked hard to acquire our bad reputation.” Ally giggled as she sat by her sister.


Abigail shook her head, “You two are the only people I know could be proud of being called sluts.”


“We are thinking of trademarking the name.” Nell smiled.


“Why don’t I disbelieve you?” Abby rolled her eyes.


“So what are the plans for the afternoon?” Ally asked.


“A good swim.” Jeannie spoke.


“Then we thought we’d go downtown and walk round the Hester Street Fair.” Becca added.


“See what we can find to buy.” Ama finished.


“Caroline’s given her some dough to spend and we thought we’d go browse.” Abby smiled.


“Maybe grab a late lunch.” Doc spoke.


“Sounds like a plan to me.” Ally slipped into the water. “Wanna swim some laps Abs?”




“Can you guys help me back in the water.


“Here Jeans let me help.” Nell supported Jeannie as Jeannie eased herself off the pool deck into the water.


“Thanks Nell.” Jeannie smiled as she began to swim.


“You swim damn well considering you can’t kick with your legs Jeans.” Doc swam next to her friend.


“I did a lot of swimming at the spinal injuries centre after my accident. The doctors say it’s great exercise for paraplegics.”


“I can see,” Doc said as the turned and swam the other way.


“Only problem for me is it builds up the arm and shoulder muscles, and that’s not great for a model, so I have to strike a balance.”


“Have the phys Ed department at school found someone to work with you yet?”


“Yeah, I hear they are getting a physio to come in twice a week to supervise my phys ed.”


“A specialist eh?” Nell asked.


”Yeah someone to work out a gym programme for me and teach the teachers so they can do it next year.”


“So no more sitting while we work out?” Nikki asked.




“What sports do you like Ama?” Doc asked her new friend.


“I used to be the best soccer player in my village, boy or girl.” Ama smiled proudly.


“Well our team could do with improving.” Abby spoke.


“I’ll back that statement up.” Pepsi shook her head, “When the coaches say I have a chance to play, then you know how bad we are.”


“You’ll have to try out for the team Ama.” Jeannie smiled.


“I will,” Ama said as she stopped swimming for a moment.


“So you start lessons at home next week?”


“I do. Annie is going to leave me work to do, and Caroline will supervise.”


“Annie was saying she doesn’t think it will take you long to catch up.”


“I hope so.” Ama smiled, “I’m so looking forward to being at school with you all.  I think it is important for me to do this.”


“Do what,” Nikki said as she looked at Ama.


“Be a girl again,” Ama said with a smile.




23rd Avenue.


“Hi,” Janice said as Charlotte and Maisha got out of the cab, “I’m glad you could both make it.”


Maisha felt this was important,” Charlotte said, “and I tend to agree with her.  Shall we?”


She opened the gates and allowed the other two to go in to the grounds, closing it behind her before they walked through the quiet grounds.


“They should be gathered in the chapel,” Janice said.


“You need to get our thanks to the Cardinal for opening the doors and allowing them to stay here,” Charlotte said as Maisha looked round.


“He felt it was the least he could do – and I suspect Alex had a word as well,” Janice said as they entered the large building, two nuns bowing as they came in.  “This way.”


They entered a chapel, to see the pews filled with girls of all ages and sizes, talking quietly amongst themselves or staring straight ahead.  Slowly, a hush fell over the room as all of them turned and looked at the new arrivals.


“You’ll need to speak for her first,” Janice said as she sat back.  Charlotte nodded as she stood at the front and said “Girls, I crave a few moments of your time, and I ask those who can to translate for those who cannot speak this tongue.”


She waited as the murmur went round the room, and all the girls looked on.


“As those who are caring for you will have told you, the tyrant Kimba is dead.”


One or two of the girls cheered when they heard this.


“Nothing can compensate for the pain you have felt, but you have my word, those I represent will do all we can to return you home, or find you safe haven wherever you choose.”


The girls nodded as one or two said “thank you.”


“There is one, however, who wishes to speak to you for herself.  Maisha.”


The young girl stepped forward and looked at the room.  “Sisters, I am Maisha, and I was one of you until I was rescued by these women and others.   They have given me hope, and they have asked me to tell you their offer of hope is genuine.


“Those who did this to us have met, or are facing, justice.  When you meet with others, tell them it was women who saved you, and tell them you are thankful to them.”


The girls murmured and nodded as Maisha looked at Charlotte and Janice.  Know one other thing, and keep this secret in your hearts, tell your daughters and their daughters.  It was one of us who ended the terror of Kimba, one of us who taught him justice.  I did it for you, and where I go now I will continue to learn ways to protect you and others.  And if we meet again, let us greet each other in that knowledge.”


As Charlotte translated for Maisha, some of the older girls came forward and embraced Maisha, taking her amongst the larger group as they greeted her as their savior.



1.30 pm

Hester Street Fair


“Those vintage jeans are amazing Ama.” Pepsi smiled as the African girl paid for her latest purchase.


“They’ll go well with that top you bought.” Nikki said as she looked in her own bag.


“I’m just annoyed you saw that red shirt before I did.” Ama laughed.


“Hey, shopping somewhere like this is competitive, she who spots something first gets to try it first.”


“Well what do you think?” Jeannie displayed a handcrafted bracelet she’d just bought.


“That’s nice, does she have any more,” Pepsi asked.


“Yeah I think she does, that Lady over there.” Jeannie pointed.


“What did you pay for it?” Becca asked.


“Ten Bucks.


“Not bad.” Becca smiled.


“Well Ama are you enjoying yourself?” Abby asked.


“I am Abi… sorry I mean Stick.” Ama laughed, “I will learn I promise.”


“What did you buy?” Abby looked in her friends bag.  “Damn I love those jeans, I bet there’s no way they have them in my size.”


“No one stocks jeans in your size.” Ally said as she caught up with her friends.


“Found anything?” Abby asked.


“Not really, but Nell found an authentic Mary Quant minidress.”


“Wow.” Abby shook her head.


“Who is Mary Quant?” Ama asked.


“She was a famous British fashion designer of fifty years ago.” Abby answered.


“Oh so does this mean this is that old?” she held up her new top.


“What?” Abby looked at the label. “What did you pay for this?”


“Two dollars,” Ama said quietly.  “Why, did I do wrong?”


“No,” Abby laughed, “That’s a Quant original in near mint condition, you got an amazing bargain you lucky bitch.”


“I did.” Ama smiled as the other girls shook their heads.  “Then ‘I am indeed blessed – but I am also hungry.”


“Burger time,” Nell said as they descended on the Deviant Chef stand.  “Two Kobi Meatball subs please.”


As the girls ordered their food, Abby bought several bottles of water and then headed to an empty table.


“Ama, if you and your guardians are free tomorrow, Mom would love to have you over for brunch, and show you round the neighborhood.”


“I will need to talk to Caroline and Annie – how may I contact you?”


“What is your cell number?”


“I do not understand?”


“Your cell phone?”


Ama looked blankly at Pepsi, before Abby said “Still to sort that out Pepsi – I’ll call you later once I’ve seen Caroline.”


“Great,” Pepsi said as Ama whispered “thank you” to Abby.  She then looked at her Piyo Piyo meatball brochette, and took a taste.


“This is good,” she said as she slowly chewed, “fragrant and spicy.”


“Well eat up,” Doc said, “and then we can have a look around the rest of the stalls.



2 pm

Rochester Airport


“There we go Miss Smith,” the desk clerk at National said to Heather, “you can pick from any car on the lot out there.”


“Many thanks,” Heather said as she collected the paperwork, and Jo followed her out to the lot.  “So, which one do you think?”



“Let’s take that one,” Jo said as she pointed to a Lexus, Heather nodding as they put their bags into the boot and got in the front.


“Right,” Heather said as they set off, “East on 390, and then onto the I-90.  Should be simple enough.”


“So where are we staying again,” Jo said as they left the airport.


“I’m springing for rooms at the Microtel, so we get there, check in, and then find the campus.  Sound good?”


“Sounds good to me,” Jo said as they found the main road and set off.




2 pm

The Waldorf Hotel


“And that, I think, is the last thing we need to discuss,” Susan said as she closed her book.  “Everything is now in place to resume normal business on Monday.”


“If there is such a thing as normal business in our line of work,” Dominique said with a smile before she sipped her coffee.


“Agreed,” Madame said as the door opened to allow Juliette, Diana and Sandy to come in.


“I wanted to pass these on to you,” Sandy said as she handed Madame a set of drawings, “but more importantly, we wanted to say goodbye.  The three of us are heading down to Atlantic City for an overnight visit.”


“Oh?  Somehow I don’t see you enjoying the delights of the Boardwalk too much, Diana,” Penny said with a smile, while Madame sat down and flipped through the drawings.


“Both business and pleasure,” Diana said with a smile.


“Ah – and where exactly are you staying,” Dominique said as she looked at them.


“Trills,” Diana said with a sigh.


“It can’t be as bad as a motel near Greenport,” Dominique said quietly.


“True – there is that to consider.”


“Sandy – I am impressed and delighted.  Please, proceed on this basis and let me have the estimates as soon as possible.”


“You like it?”


“I love it – but do not over spend.”


“I will have them sent to you by next Wednesday,” Sandy said with a smile.


“Ah good – we’re not too late,” Charlotte said as she came in, Janice accompanying her.




“Packing the last of her things – she has said what she needed to say.”


“I wanted to say goodbye, and thank you,” Janice said, “It has been an honor to meet all of you.”


“The honor is ours,” Madame said as she hugged Janice, and then the others did as well.  “I am sure Juliette will keep us informed of how you are, and I hope to see you at Christmas.”


“We’re looking forward to it already,” Juliette said as she looked at the three women.  “We’ll talk soon Shirley.”


“I look forward to it,” Madame said quietly, “and keep an eye on Dominique here.  Penelope is concerned she is becoming domesticated.”


“Not a chance,” Dominique said with a smile.  “Enjoy your weekend ladies.”


The group looked at each other, before a mass of hugs broke out, and Diana kissed the others on the cheeks.  They then departed, Madame watching as the doors closed.


“Excuse me a moment,” she said as she went into the toilet, the others sitting down.


“It’s a wrench isn’t it?”


“I agree – two months and more, but we did good here.”


“That we did,” Penny said, “that we did.”


“I must go and move our things to the new apartment,” Dominique said as she stood up.  “I will return in time to collect Ama, and say my goodbyes for now.”



3 pm

Hester Street Fair


“Hey Stick,” Nell said as she was looking through a rack of posters, “come and have a look at this.”


Abby walked over and looked quickly at the poster her friend was showing, before she took a closer look at the beach scene.


"Oh crap, this has been photo shopped and played with." Abby whispered in Nell's ear as she looked at the picture of herself in a bikini.

"You mean it's a bootleg?"
"No,” Abby whispered, “I mean it's all wrong, when did I ever have boobs that big?"

"Oh, yeah,” Nell said as she looked at it, “I get your point."

"I better buy it and show it to Missy, someone somewhere is hijacking my image and name."

"What?" Jeannie asked as she wheeled herself over.

"Look!" Abby hissed as she removed the poster from the hanger.

"Oh shit!" Jeannie looked pissed as Abby took it to the vendor.  “She’s not going to be happy about that.”


“Neither is her mother,” Ally said.


“Jeannie, may I ask your advice on something?”


“Sure Ama,” Jeannie said as the scowl changed to a smile and she moved over to where her friend was standing, “what is it?”


“I wish to get something for my room at my new home – something that I can hang in my own room.  Do you think this is suitable?”


Jeannie looked at the poster Ama held in her hands.  “Doesn’t really matter what I think Ama – if you like it, then buy it.”


“But who is it?”


“His name was James Dean – he was an actor sixty years ago, who died too young.”


“His eyes – they tell me he had a soul that saw and cared.  I think I will take this.”


As she took it to the counter, Nikki walked over.  “Did she just buy the Rebel Without a Cause poster?”


“She did – she has taste,” Jeannie said with a smile.


“Right then,” Abby said as she and Ama came back, “let’s get a drink, and then I need to head off.  I’ve got to be up at Yale by seven.”


“Let’s do this,” Becca said as the girls headed for the lemonade stand.


3.30 pm

Hobart – William Smith


Jo looked over the Seneca Lake, as the waves lapped gently on the shore.


“I like it already,” she said to Heather, “it’s cooler than the city, and it has a real Old World charm about it.”


They were standing in front of St Johns Chapel, having called at the Admissions Office to collect some more information.  To their right was Geneva Hall, and they had arranged to have a viewing of it later that afternoon, as well as the more modern Rees Hall.


“Come on then,” Heather said, “let’s take a walk up the campus.”


Turning round, they walked pas the church and into the campus, passing Coxe Hall and stopping to look at the Warren Hunting Smith library.


“It’s certainly a lot more compact than Yale,” Heather said, “not that’s necessarily a bad thing.”


“Much as Carina loves the place, I don’t think I’m right for Yale,” Jo said, “I need somewhere a bit more – manageable.”


“I agree…”


“My big sister agrees with me?”


“On this one yes – come on.”


“It says here the classes rarely get above twenty, and most often fifteen – just how I like it.”


They approached the Gulick Building, as a student came out.


“Excuse me,” Heather said, “I don’t suppose there is a chance of seeing the Psychology department, is there?”


“Not today I’m afraid,” the red head replied, “but there is the Open House tomorrow.  Thinking of coming next year?”


“It has crossed my mind,” Jo said with a smile.


“Well them, if you call this number,” the student said as she scribbled down a cell phone number, “the professor should be able to squeeze you in.  It’s at ten tomorrow.”


“Thanks,” Heather said as she took her cell phone out, “I’ll do that.”


After a few minutes, Heather said “All set – now, let’s visit those halls.”


5 pm

The Waldorf Hotel


“I have the bags loaded into the car, Madame,” Clint said as he came back into the room.  She took one last look round the suite, and then said, “very well then – I think it is time for us to have one last meal together.”


She followed Clint out of the rooms, into the lift and down to the restaurant, where Susan, Charlotte and Dominique were sitting with Maisha. 


“Well, the account is settled,” Susan said quietly, “all we need now is…”


“Sorry I’m a little late,” Abby said as she and Ama came in.  “We got caught in a discussion about boy bands, and trying to explain them to Ama here.”


“You look as if you have had fun, at any rate,” Dominique said as Ama sat next to her.


“I have, Caroline – I bought some new clothes, and I have something for my room now.”


“Will you join us, Abby,” Charlotte asked.


“No – I need to head up to New Haven now.  Safe journey, and I look forward to seeing you all again soon.”


She hugged and kissed each of them in turn, before walking quickly out of the room.


“Well,” Dominique said as she looked at the menu, “what shall we have?”



5 pm


The Boardwalk, Atlantic City


“Here are your room keys,” the smiling receptionist said as she handed a key card each to Diana, Sandy and Juliette, “please enjoy your stay at Trills Casino and Hotel.”


“I’m not exactly sure enjoy is the first word that comes to mind,” Diana said as she looked round.  The four women were casually dressed, in slacks and blouses over jumpers, as they wheeled their carry-on bags towards the elevators.


“From the sublime to the ridiculous, I know,” Juliette, said with a laugh as they waited for one to appear, “but just enjoy the experience Diana – so long as we get as much information as possible.”


“Did you see the staff management board behind the reception?”


“I did, Sandy,” Juliette said as the doors silently opened, “and I have the two names we require.”


“Will Heather be able to find out anything over the weekend?”


Sandy and Juliette both looked at Diana.  “All right, all right,” she said with a laugh, “it’s Heather.”


“Let me have the names and I’ll pass them to her when I call her,” Sandy said.  “At least we got rooms next to each other.”


“Right – so leave your cases, and then come to my room,” Juliette said as the elevator doors opened on the 20th floor.  The three women walked out, using their keys to get in at the same time.


Juliette closed the door and looked round the room, furnished in soft gold colours.  She pressed down on the bed, and then placed her case on it, opening it as she hung her outfits and placed her shoes in the wardrobe, and her toiletry in the shower room.


Looking by the television, she examined the coffee sachets, and chose instead to make some tea with the bags left there.  As the water slowly dripped into the cup, she heard a knock on the door, and went to admit Diana.


“All right, so it’s not as bad as the motel,” she said as she came in, holding a mug of coffee, “but it’s still not the Ritz, is it?”


“No,” Juliette said as she looked out of the windows onto the Boardwalk and the ocean beyond, “but at least the bed is comfortable enough.”


“I hope so – looking at the places this hotel has to eat, I am not generally impressed.”


There was another knock on the door, as Juliette let Sandy in.


“They don’t build this place for people to have a quality, leisurely meal in Diana – they build it to pull the punters in to play the tables.  Look at it this way – it’s not Las Vegas.”


“And I thank the Goddess for that,” Diana said quietly.  “So what do you propose?”


“Let’s go and explore the facilities at least – and then ask the concierge to recommend somewhere decent for a sit down meal.  A sizable tip should jog his memory.”


6 pm

Hobart – William Smith


As they walked back towards their car, Heather spotted a group of girls in tracksuits stretching and warming up. "Hey wanna go look?" she asked.

"Oh yeah." Jo smiled.  They walked over to where the women were doing the stretching exercises.

"Can I help you?" the coach spotted them and came up.

"Not me, but maybe my sister." Heather smiled.

"Hi I'm Joanne Smith." Jo extended her hand to the coach.

"A campus visit?"


"Do you run?" the coach cast an expert eye over the visitor’s physique.

"Yeah 800's my main distance."


"Can I ask where?"

"At St Angela's down in New York."

"Any good?"

"I was second in the NYIS's last year."

"Well?" the coach paused, "That's not bad form, I've see the girl who beat you running."

"Thank you." Jo smiled shyly.  “I also came 29th in the Small School Division in the Bull Run this year.  So any chance I'd be able to run if I came here?"

The coach stood still, and then said, "Well, if you did that well, I think there's every chance you could make the team."

"She was hoping for that." Heather grinned broadly.

"Look, can you get your coach at school to ring me?" the coach fished a card out of her tracksuit pocket.

"I can do." Joanna smiled.

"Good." The coach smiled then turned away. "Okay you slackers, let's hit the road."

"Nice woman." Heather smiled.

"Very," Jo said as she tucked the card in her purse.  “Now, where do you fancy eating tonight?”


7 pm

The Waldorf Hotel


“Forgive me, Shirley, but…”


“Of course Clint,” Madame said as she wiped her chin, “it is time.”


They stood as one, and made their way slowly to the lobby, standing for a moment looking at each other.


“Keep well, sister,” Ama said to Maisha in French.


“And you – never forget me.”


“I will not, and I will see you soon,” Ama said as they embraced, tears in their eyes.


“I will not say goodbye, Dominique,” Madame said, “merely, au revoir, and good luck.  I will see you again at the end of December.”


“I look forward to it,” Dominique said as they hugged and kissed each other on the cheek.


“As for you, come and see us when you return,” she then said to Charlotte, “and we will give you at least one night out with good company.”


“I’ll hold you to that,” Charlotte said before they hugged, and she whispered “thank you for everything.”


“You’re welcome,” Dominique said as she looked at Penny.  “Keep this one safe – she is a treasure.”


“I intend to,” Penny said as she hugged Dom, and then Ama.


“Clint, we’re ready.”


Dominique and Ama walked out of the lobby with them, watching as Clint opened the limousine doors and allowed the four women to get in.  As the car pulled away, Dominique put her arm around Ama as they waved them off.


“And so now it is you, me and Annie,” Dominique finally said.  “Ready to go to your new home?”


“I am,” Ama said, “very much so.”


“Good,” Dominique said as she held out a hand and hailed a cab.


7 pm

New Haven


“Hey there you are,” Carina said as Abby came in.  “Good drive up?”


“Yeah – but I am ready for a slob out night.  I brought the chips and drinks.”


“And I’ve got the films and the baby,” Cari said as Judith waved her little hands in the chair. 


“Where’s Jude?”


“Out with David – you saved me from the dread of the double date tonight.  Let me phone out for some pizzas and we’re good to go.”



7.30 pm

The Village


“There you are,” Annie said as Dominique and Ama came into the apartment.  The teacher was sitting on one of the armchairs, eating Chinese food from a take-out box with some chopsticks.  “I knew you would be eating with the others tonight, so I got my own food in.  We need to hit the grocery stores tomorrow.”


“Later, possibly,” Dominique said as she took off her coat and sat down.  “We have an invitation to join Pepsi and her family for brunch tomorrow, which I accepted on your behalf.  It will give us a chance to explore the local area, and nobody knows the best shops better than a local shop owner.”


“You speak many words of wisdom, Miss Jameson,” Annie said with a smile. 


"So do we get to see some of your purchases Ama?" Dominique asked as she and Annie relaxed on the couch.

"You do,” Ama said as she ducked into the bathroom, and then said, “Here, what do you think?"

Ama walked out in the vintage jeans and the striped Mary Quant top.

"Wow that looks cool." Annie clapped.

"How much did that cost us?" Dominique looked closely.

"The jeans were fifteen dollars, the top, which Abby said is a Mary Quant original." Ama said still looked a little perplexed at the thought, "cost me two dollars, and the little boots were twenty."

"Phew." Annie smiled, "I need to go shopping with you, those are nice buys."

"I agree." Dominique gave the smile of approval that sealed Ama's pleasure.

"Anything else?" Annie asked.

"This poster for my room?" Ama asked hopefully.

"James Dean… Cool!" Annie smiled.

"Ama darling it's YOUR room.  You don't need our approval or permission to decorate it you know?"


“Actually, you need to see your room.  Come this way.”


Annie put the box down on the low table and walked to the far side of the apartment, Ama and Dominique following as she opened the door.


“There,” she said as Ama looked in, “what do you think?”


“It is almost as grand as where I was staying,” Ama said as she walked in, touching the set of drawers and wardrobe before she sat on the bed, “but it is even more special, because it is mine.”


“Exactly,” Dominique said, “I put your clothes away earlier, but now you can do to the room anything you want to make it your special place – starting with that poster.  Where do you want it to go?”


“On the wall, opposite my bed,” Ama said decisively.  Annie left for a moment, returning and putting some material on the back of the poster before she hung it for Ama.


“That is good,” she said quietly as she lay on the bed and looked at it.


“All right then,” Dom said, “I propose we get into something more girly and celebrate our first night here.  First one in their nightclothes gets to pick the DVD.”


“Hey – the only DVDs here at the moment are mine!”


“Well then, you’d better be first,” Dom said with a smile as they left Ama to change.



8 pm



“Okay the setup is just like Vegas.” Juliette whispered as they looked across the vast floor space.  “Slot machines by the hundred to attract the bottom end of the gambling market.”


“I can see that.” Diana said as she sniffed her nose, “To call this a casino is an insult to Monte Carlo.”


“Don’t forget that this is the land of the free Darling… everyone is entitled to lose their money, not just the well heeled.” Sandy smiled.


“Well I don’t think they’d ever tempt Papa to come gamble.” Diana looked round with her nose in the air.


“Just remember from our point of view that the profits from even these humble slot machines are huge ladies.” Juliette reminded them as they walked between the rows.


“There are cameras everywhere.” Sandy looked up putting them on record via her glasses.


“And the muscle looks pretty formidable as well.” Juliette commented as she glanced at some of the security guards.


“Are they carrying?” Diana asked.


“Hold on…” Sandy ‘accidentally’ bumped into one of the large men as they passed.


“Well?” asked Juliette.


Taser in his pocket, a .38 in a shoulder holster”


“All right – the question, is the level of security any different during the night?”


“We wont know until later,” Diana said, “but it is a crucial question.”


“All right, let’s go look at the table games.” Juliette suggested.


The three women made their way through the hall and past the large doors at the end, the atmosphere less frantic but still noisy.


“Okay Blackjack, Poker, Chemin de fer, roulette, one or two of the oriental games.” Diana cast her eyes over the operation.


“This is where the bigger players concentrate.” Juliette nodded.


“The odds always favor the house, so a room like this is a guaranteed money maker.” Sandy observed.


“Well.” Juliette said, “split up darlings, play a few hands, watch how the dealers and croupiers handle the money, and we’ll meet up again in an hour.”


“Okay that sounds fine with me.” Diana nodded.


“Me too.”


“Okay one hour darlings.” Juliette smiled as they split up.


10 pm

New Haven


“I can never watch that without crying.” Abby and Carina held each other and sobbed, as the haunting theme music played over the credits for ‘Love Story’.


“’Love means never having to say you are sorry.’ It’s such a wonderful sentiment.” Abby said as she wiped her tears away with a Kleenex.  “It really is the PERFECT girls’ night in movie.”


“It’s timeless.” Carina sniffed.




“Can I tempt you with some cocoa before we hit the sack?” Cari asked her best friend.


“Please,” Abby said as she got to her feet, “I’ll go check Judith while you make it.”


Okers.”  Carina headed to the kitchen while Abby went through to the bedroom.  She made two steaming mugs of cocoa and set one on the table, holding and sipping from the other until Abigail emerged from the baby’s room.


“It’s on the table… How is my darling daughter?”


“Sleeping like an angel.” Abby sat on the floor and sipped her drink.


“So how is your love life going Abs?”


“What love life? The closest I’ve got to seeing House is on a TV screen, throwing his body to block some other huge guy.”


“You talk though?”


“Yeah online and on the phone, I still miss him though.”


“And Tony?” Cari asked softly.


“We talk,” Abby smiled, “He’s a great boy, if only he lived closer…”


“That sounds like the case with both of them sweetie.”


“I know.” Abby sighed before she looked round. “So what about your love life?”


“Judy and David keep trying to make me and Harry a couple.”


“Adam’s nephew?”


“Yeah - he’s fun to be with, but not in a romantic way.”


“There no one else?” Abby looked up at her friend.


“Not one single guy.” Carina both stretched and sighed.


“You are as badly off as I am.” Abby pouted, “What’s wrong with us, two gorgeous, bright, famous models, and how do we spend our Saturday night?”


“Watching Love Story and drinking Cocoa… I know it’s pretty pathetic.” Cari laughed.


“Oh, by the way,” Abby said as she set her mug down, “did you hear our London Bonnie and Clyde pics appear next week… “


“Not the?”


“NO… those should be securely under lock and key, no just the straight fashion shoot,”


“If I remember they were great,’” Carina smiled. “Goddess, a lot has happened since then.”


“I know…” Abby nodded.


“Do you still? … I mean for me Abs?” Cari asked.


“You know I do Carina…”


Did you hear I’ve slept with Annie?” Carina ran her fingers through Abby’s hair.


“NO SHIT!” Abigail’s head spun round in amazement.  “I didn’t even know she was… Well…”


“So as long as you know…” Cari said as she leaned forward and kissed her bff full on the lips.


“Is this an offer?” Abby whispered, as she returned the kiss.


“Yes darling.” Carina eased her tongue into Abby’s mouth.


“Oh Goddess is this another dream?”


“No,” Carina kissed her friend’s long neck.  “Want to come with me?”


She stood up, taking Abby by the hand as she led her to the bedroom, closing the door behind her before they sat on the bed.  Looking into her eyes, Cari placed her hands around Abby’s neck and drew her closer, gently kissing her lips as her tongue and Abby’s intertwined.


Abby slowly began to unbutton Cari’s blouse, opening it up before she broke the kiss and started to gently caress her friend’s neck with her lips as Carina slipped her blouse off, and pulled Abby’s sweatshirt up and over her head.


The two young women looked at each other, before Cari started to kiss Abby’s chest, her lips moving over her breasts as Abby reached behind and unfastened Carina’s bra, pulling it down her arms before her hands embraced and started to gently caress her chest.


“Oh yes,” Carina moaned as she looked at Abby, and the two kissed again, before the taller girl reached round and unfastened her bra.  Carina looked at her chest, before saying “Do you know what I want to do now?”




“This,” Cari said as she leaned over and gently kissed Abby’s breasts, playing with her nipples as Abby moaned, feeling the dampness between her legs already.  “Oh yes,” she whispered as she started to massage Carina’s chest, and then pushed her over onto the bed, sitting across her as she returned the favor to her friend.


“Now who’s the dominant one,” Cari whispered, before she closed her eyes and threw her head back, Abby’s hand stroking her crotch sending a pulse of electricity through her with each touch.


“Hush,” Abby said, as she slowly moved her way down Carina’s body, her lips moving closer and closer to the spot she wanted them to be at.


“You know for a first-timer your technique isn’t bad.” Cari giggled as her body shivered with excitement.


“Well I’ve had a lot of time to think about this.” Abby looked up at her friends face and smiled.


Mmmm well you are doing well.” Carina’s body jumped as Abby’s tongue explored her sex.


“Like this?” She slowly stroked her tongue up Carina’s slit, the shivers increasing as she did so.


“You know I do.” Cari said her eyes like slits, as Abby used her tongue and teeth to stimulate her clit.


“Oh Goddess that feels amazing.” Cari threw her head back and shook with pleasure.


“Just lay there and let me…” Abby started using the tip of her tongue, darting it in and out of the entrance to Cari’s vagina.


“Try kissing and sucking it.” Cari half screamed.


“Your wish is my…”


The rest of Abby’s words were lost to Carina’s moans of pleasure.


“Abby you are driving me crazy.” Cari gritted as her lover shifted position and so gently inserted two long fingers inside her.


“How do they feel?” Abby questioned as she nibbled on Cari’s ear.


“You know fucking well how they…” Carina grunted as Abby withdrew her fingers then pushed them back in again hard.


“Again?” Abby teased.


“Damn it Abs… FUCK ME!”


Slowly, then more quickly, Abigail finger fucked her lover, feeling Cari’s passions rise as her body reacted, the pleasures of what was happening driving all thoughts from her mind, her sole interest being what Abby’s fingers were doing inside her.


“Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck.” Cari threw her head from side to side. “It’s coming Abby, it’s coming… I’m CUMMING!”


Cari threw her head back and convulsed as her orgasm ripped through her body. She felt Abby’s lips on her breast as she released herself and felt the juices of her insides dripping down onto her thighs.


“Happy?” Abby grinned.


“Yes.” Carina giggled, “Now it’s time for you to get yours… Do you still want that pesky hymen of yours Abs?”


“Why darling?” Abby said, kissing Carina long and deep as her friend climbed on top of her.


“Because you don’t need a guy to get rid of it you know?”


“You mean?”


“I mean this.” Carina reached into her bedside drawer and pulled out a large sized vibrator.


“That monster will…” Abby watched fascinated as Carina lubricated the device.


“Here feel it.” Cari ran the vibrator over Abby’s nipples, the sensation making her scream with joy. “Now just think how good this is going to feel inside you?”


Abby giggled, “Okay, I want you to do it - make me a woman with it Darling?”


Slowly, tenderly, Carina ran the device up and down Abigail’s thighs, teasing her mound, and then withdrawing.


Abigail’s petals parted like a flower opening to the sun and Carina used it to touch, to excite, the feeling when it contacted Abby’s clit, almost causing her to bend double as she jackknifed upon the bed.


Get it fucking in me!” Abigail shouted her orders to her lover.


Slowly then more assertively, Carina teased the entrance to Abby’s cunt, taking the tip to the wall of membrane and pressing gently.


“Is that hurting?” she whispered in Abby’s ear.


“Not much, just push it through Cari… PLEASE!” Abby’s body shivered involuntarily.


“Here it comes.” Carina pushed the toy with hard thrusts, once, twice, the skin ripped and Cari felt the vibrator slipping far into her friend.


“OH MY FUCKING GODDESS!” Abby screamed.


“Bad?” Cari asked concerned.


“No it’s fucking brilliant.” Abby laughed and panted at once.


Carina giggled, in, out, in… she felt Abby’s body twitching as a huge orgasm took her body.




Carina continued to work the device as Abby closed her eyes and shook, her entire body consumed in pleasure as she felt the joys it brought.  Eventually, however, she collapsed, panting as Carina removed the device, and gently kissed her between her legs, her tongue licking Abby’s juices.


“Oh goddess,” Abby said as Carina lay next to her, “I never knew  never dreamed…”


“Well, you did dream,” Cari, said as she stroked Abby’s cheek, “and now, you know…”


Abby nodded slowly as she kissed Cari, only to smile when Judith started crying.


“Feed time,” Cari said, “you’ll have to excuse me.”


“Sure,” Abby said as she laid there, her eyes slowly closing.


10 pm



“Well,” Juliette said as the three met again in the cocktail bar.


“The blackjack tables operate the standard scheme, and the croupiers are well trained,” Diana said, “but I had them figured fairly quickly.  The other tables?”


Switch dealers regularly, new packs every few hands – they’re on the lookout for card counters, definitely.”




“I’m up two hundred – you?”


“Three,” Diana said with a smile.  “Papa taught me so many useful tricks.  As for you Juliette?”


“I was following the money – the route to the counting room.”


“Oh – how far did you get?”


“Did you both see the curtains at the back walls?”


“Concealed door?”


“I believe so – the men in suits walked between the tables at regular intervals, collecting boxes and taking them behind the curtains.  We’ll pull up the plans later, but dollar gets you the counting room is behind there.”


“But little to no chance to get in there?”


“Not by that means, no – but there has to be a staff entrance.”


“Agreed,” Sandy said, “I wonder if a pass key is obtainable?”


“Something to consider – maids work all through the night in this place.”


“I will see what I can do,” Juliette said as she saw a tall, bald headed man cross the lobby from the entrance to the bar.


“So that’s Broderick, the security chief?”


“Indeed,” Sandy said.  “Arthur Broderick.  Heather is running a full check on him now, but looking at him, I’m thinking Special Forces in the past.”


"You know what we need more than anything girls." Juliette looked serious. "Jan as an FBI agent getting to give the whole place a security once-over. Her badge can get her places that we can't."

"I'm sure Jan can arrange it." Sandy smiled. "I presume she wears a pair of Heather's glasses?"

"Yes, in the meantime on Monday get Heather started on a full work up on the staff, who is vulnerable, who can get us to the cash?"


“Anything else,” Diana said as she looked at Juliette.


"Get Jo looking at real and fictional casino heists, see if she can see things that work…"

"And those that don't Darling?" Diana smiled.

"Glad to be back fully in charge Ju?"  Sandy smiled.

"Yeah I love Madame, but really this IS our territory and not hers."


 “I concur,” Diana said.   “Let’s get some supper – the concierge recommended a place called Angelo’s which is open late.”



Sunday 12th October

8 am

New Haven



Abby wrinkled her nose, and then opened her eyes, looking over to see Carina at the changing table.


“Good Morning,” she said as she picked up the talcum powder, “Sorry about the wake up call.”


“Hey – it’s natural,” Abby said as she sat up, watching as Carina deposited the soiled diaper and then put the fresh one on Judith, fastening her sleep suit and then handing her over to her friend.


“Do you mind looking after her while I go and grab a shower,” Cari said as she picked up a towel.


“Sure – any sign of Jude yet?”


“I think she stumbled in at about one – so you’re safe in the main room.”


“Thanks,” Abby said as she stood up, her t-shirt covering where she had been so wonderfully treated the previous night as she carried Judith in and sat with her in her arms.


“Your mom is a wonderful woman, yes she is, oh yes she is,” she cooed as she tickled the two month old under her chin, smiling as she waved her hands in response.


“Morning,” Judy said as she came out of her room, stretching as she walked over to the kitchen, “want some coffee?”


“I won’t say no,” Abby said with a smile.  “So how was your night?”


“A mixture of boredom and fun, depending on what Dave was doing,” Judy said with a smile.  “Yours?”


“We watched Love Story and talked until the small hours.”


“I prefer my definition of fun,” Judy said as she brought the coffees over, while Abby put Judith into her seat.  Cari told me about the wedding – when in January is it?”


“January 10th – why?”


“Classes start again on the 12th, but I guess we can work round there.”  Judy took a sip of coffee, and then aid “I spoke to mom last night – the debs ball is on the 31st.”


“What’s on the 31st,” Cari said as she came in, wearing a dressing gown with a towel wrapped round her head.


“The Debutante’s ball – three weeks after the wedding.”


“I need to let my counselor know then – when do the invites come out?”


Some time this week, I think.  So, plans for today?”


“Drink this first,” Cari said as she held up the mug, “then go and grab some brunch somewhere.  Coming?”


“Yeah, why not,” Judy said with a smile.  “Work can wait.”



10 am

Hobart – William Smith


“Excuse me – Professor Greenspon?”


The bearded man turned to look at Heather and Jo as the stood at the entrance to the psychology department.


“You have me at a disadvantage, Miss?”


“Smith – Heather Smith.  We spoke on the phone yesterday?”


“Oh yes – and you must be Joanne,” he said as he offered his hand.  “So you may be interested in the course here?”


“That’s right,” Jo said, “and thanks for agreeing to allow me to attend the session today.”


“It’s our pleasure,” he said with a smile.  “If you head through that door, you can pick up your badge and welcome pack.”


“Want me to come in,” Heather said as she looked at the others heading inside.


“Not unless you really want to, sis.”


“You know my field is art rather than science Jo – I’ll go and grab a coffee, and be back here for one.”


“See you then,” Jo said as she went in, while Heather headed for the coffee shop.  As she walked across the quad, she felt her cell phone vibrate.




“Hey Ju – how are the bright lights of Atlantic City?


“Really?  Well. We should be back in NY before you return, but the kids will be as well, so I’ll get on it in the morning.  What about Jo?


“Oh she’ll love that – right, enjoy the rest of your day, and I’ll see you tonight.  ‘Bye.”



10.30 am

The Village


“Do you know what the most difficult thing about rooming with you is going to be,” Annie said as she looked at Dominique.


“Go on – surprise me.”


“The hair thing – Caroline being a blonde and Dominique black haired.  Maybe I should be Jiminy Cricket – ‘Don’t forget your wig, Caroline…’”


“Very funny,” Dominique said as she made sure the wig covered her hair, “but it’s a matter of discipline for me, and discipline is something I have plenty of practice of.”


“I really don’t want to know,” Annie said as Ama came out.  “Will this be all right,” she said, as she showed the two women her white sweatshirt, denim shorts and leggings, and trainers.


“It’ll be fine,” Annie, said as she sat down and pulled her shoes on.  The young teacher was wearing a gent’s waistcoat over a shirt, and blue jeans, while Dominique had on a pair of black chinos and a dark polo shirt.


Grabbing the keys, the three of them head out onto the street, Ama looking at the people passing by as they walked for a couple of blocks, stopping outside a store with “Greenwich Flowers” written on the board above the windows.


“I believe they live above the shop,” Annie said as she pressed a button on an intercom, waiting until they heard Pepsi say “Hey – come on up” and there was a buzzing sound as the door was unlocked.


“I hope we’re not too early,” Annie said as they came into an open living area, and found Pepsi curled up on an old brown sofa.


“Not at all,” April Broadhurst said as he came out of the kitchen.  “Grant just nipped out to get some fresh bread, but he should be back in a few minutes.  You must be Ama – I’m Pepsi’s mom.”


“Very pleased to meet you,” Ama said as she shook her hand, “this is my guardian, Caroline Jameson, and I think you know Annie.”


“Why don’t you come through and have some coffee while I sort out the rest of the meal,” April said, “and Ama can talk to Pepsi.”


“You have a nice home,” Ama said as she sat down.


“Yeah, I like it,” Pepsi said as she crossed her legs, the long boho skirt covering them as it spread out.  “So how was your first night in your new place?”


“Exciting – I have never really had a room of my own, it feels so different.”


“And the poster?”


“It has pride of place – Annie helped me to set it up.”


“It’s funny that – calling her Annie instead of Miss Kelly.  Still, what do I know – I swim with supermodels on a Saturday morning.” 


Ama smiled as the two girls sat talking while April poured some coffees in the kitchen.


“So Ama will start at St Angela’s in the New Year, is that right Annie?”


“That’s the plan – I have some lesson plans drawn up for her over the next few weeks, which Caroline and I will supervise between us.  Well, mainly Caroline, if truth be told.”


“It must make a change from your usual line of work,” April said as she started to break some eggs into a bowl.


“Perhaps, but given all Ama has been through, it is a small sacrifice,” Caroline said with a smile.  “And at any rate, I need to work from home for the next couple of weeks, until my clients have got used to my new contact details.”


“I can understand that,” April said with a smile.


“So how long have you lived here?”


“Well,” April said as she started to beat the eggs, “we moved here when I opened the shop, ten years ago.  Grant works for the transit authority, and it was nice and central for him as well.  We like it here – the folks are friendly, and Pepsi is happy as well.”


“We were hoping you could point out the best places around here for groceries and things,” Annie said as she sipped her coffee.


“Well, just shop locally,” April, said, “we support each other, really.  If you need it, there’s a good kosher butcher two blocks away, for example, or a Halal one.”


“Unnecessary, but thank you,” Caroline said with a smile.  “We’ll work our way round, but for now a good grocery store will do nicely.”


“I’m back – are our guests here?”


“Hi Dad,” Pepsi said as Ama saw a tall dark haired man walk in, carrying a bag with some bread sticking out of the top.  “This is Ama.  Ama, Dad.”


“Nice to meet you,” Grant said, “Forgive me, but warm bread waits for nobody.”  He walked into the kitchen and kissed April, putting the bread down before he held his hand out to Caroline and said, “So you are the redoubtable Miss Kelly?”


“Actually, I’m Caroline – this is Annie Kelly.”


“Oops – my bad,” Grant said as he switched focus.  “Pleased to meet you both anyway.”


“Why don’t you all sit down – including you two,” April called out, “and you can have some fruit juice while I get the eggs and bacon sorted out.”



10.30 am



If anything, the hotel seemed more crowded that day, as Diana walked across the lobby and into the café.


“Good morning, cheries,” she said as she sat down, “did you both sleep well?”


“Not too badly,” Sandy said with a smile as the waitress came and poured some coffee for Diana, “I spoke to Heather earlier.  She’s looking round the campus while Jo attends an open session.”


“And what does she think of the college?”


“Heather thinks she’s falling in love with the place already.”


Juliette smiled.  “We forget sometimes how different the girls are – Cari is happy at Yale, but Jo I think would not be comfortable in large classes.”


“You do realize that this time next year, you have to go through this Diana?”


“Do not remind me,” Diana said quietly.  “I already see her growing up into a beautiful and wonderful woman, and yet I still feel I have to protect her.”


“Well, for today let’s concentrate on the job at hand,” Juliette whispered as the waitress came over and they gave their orders.


“So we have an idea of the floor layout,” Diana said quietly, “how do they collect from the slots room?”


“Much as I hate to say it,” Sandy said, “we’re going to have to spend a little time in there this morning watching.”


“Oh deep joy,” Diana said, “the sacrifices we are asked to make in the name of planning.”


“Consider,” Juliette said, “the potential rewards.”


“I suppose so,” Diana said with a smile.  “Well, let us eat, and then take our rather uncomfortable looking positions.”



11.30 am

The Village


“So how did you and Ama meet,” Grant said as they sat round the table.


Caroline put her knife and fork down, and took Ama’s hand as she said, “I had the privilege of meeting Ama through Jane Molloy – we have mutual friends, and after that interview went public we met because I wanted to see if there was any way I could help.  Well, for whatever reason, it was fairly clear to me that I wanted to do more than just help – I wanted to be part of her life.  So I said I would be willing to act as her guardian, and I’m in the process of legally adopting her.


“I don’t know if you can understand that feeling…”


“Actually,” April said as she held Pepsi’s hand, “we can.  We adopted Pepsi when she was a baby – I guess you could say it was love at first sight.”


“You were adopted as well,” Ama said as she looked at Pepsi.


“Yeah – mom and dad told me a couple of years ago.  It’s cool – I know they love me, and I love them.”


“Truly, you are a fortunate friend,” Ama said with a smile.


“Hey – friends are what we all need,” Annie said.  “So do you have any other friends around here Pepsi?”


“A few – we get together every couple of weeks, ‘cos most of them go to the local high school.  Why don’t you come round next time they’re here Ama – get to know some of them?”


“I would like that – thank you,” Ama said.


“Well, if the girls don’t mind hanging out here, we can give you a tour of the local shops later.”


“That sounds good to me,” Pepsi said, Ama nodding in agreement.


“So tell us a bit about yourselves girls?” Pepsi’s father smiled as he looked at Caroline and Annie.


“Well I’m English… hence the accent,” Caroline laughed. “My mother was a model who died of a drug overdose, my dad was a teacher, and he died a few years ago as well. I work in the security industry, but thanks to some of my Mum’s old friends, I’m also starting to do some part-time modeling.”


“Well you are very beautiful.” Pepsi cast an admiring glance.  “You should have seen her at the fashion show, Dad – she brought the house down.”


“Thank you Pepsi.” Caroline blushed as she looked at Annie.


“I’m from St Louis, born and raised.” Annie started, “I went to school at Brown and from there to teaching at St Angela’s.”


“So how did you guys meet?” Grant asked.


“Honestly?  Through a common love of climbing.” Annie said as she looked at Caroline.


“We use the same gym, and we found out we know some of the same people.”


“Like Jo’s sister Heather.” Pepsi remembered.


“Exactly.” Caroline nodded, “and when Heather found out I was adopting Ama and was looking for a place…”


“And that I was looking for a new place as well.” Annie interrupted.


“She found this Richmond Trust place for us, and we moved in together.”


“Heather’s a lovely lady.” April smiled.


“And a very good and loyal friend,” Annie said as she pushed her plate away.  “That was wonderful April, thank you.”


Ama’s going to try out for the soccer team when she starts school Mom.” Pepsi said as she looked up.


“You like the game Ama?” Grant asked.


“Very much.” Ama said as she smiled shyly.


“Well it will give Pepsi a friend to practice with then.”


“Yeah we can kick a ball about together Dad.”


“Just don’t kick it too hard when I’m playing goalie.” Mr. Broadhurst made a pained face as the two young girls laughed.


“A few too many near misses,” April said as she collected the dishes.  “Why don’t you go through while Grant and I do the dishes?”


“Well, if you’re sure you don’t need any help,” Caroline said as she stood up.


“Please, you’re our guests,” Grant said, “go and relax.”


“If you insist,” Annie said as Pepsi went through to the main area with the three of them.


1 pm

Hobart – William Smith


Heather was waiting outside as Jo emerged with the other visitors from the building.


"Hey Sis,” she said as Jo came over, clutching some papers, “how was the open house?"

"Illuminating." Joanna smiled. "I ended up talking with a TA about recent events in New York."

"Oh?" Heather raised an eyebrow.

"Don't worry,” Jo said, “I didn't say anything that nobody who hasn't read Jane's reporting would know."

"That's good."

"But anyway we got talking about the psychology of criminals, and you know it was thrilling."

"Really good teachers and staff can inspire that." Heather smiled.

"Curt has some really great insights."  Jo had that far away look in her eyes as she said that.

"Oh Curt is it?" Heather laughed, "Let me guess he's about six two, slim, and blonde headed."

"Damn do you have a bug on me Heather."

"No." Heather laughed, "He's waving to you from over there."

"Oh!" Jo giggled.

"Hi you must be Curt?" Heather extended a hand as the young man came running up. "I'm Jo's sister, she was just talking about you."

"Heather!" Jo cast a look in her sister’s direction.

"Oh Hi." the man smiled. "Jo, here is that book we were talking about, you can post it back to me when you've finished reading it."

"Thanks." Joanna smiled shyly as she took the book and held it in her hand.

"Well anyway it was lovely to meet you both." The man turned and walked away.

"And another plus for Hobart-William Smith to add to your list little sis." Heather smiled broadly.

Jo looked at Heather with a look of pure innocence.  "Whatever do you mean, dearest sister?"

"A guy goes to the effort of finding a book for you, and catching you up… I think you know." Heather's smile became a grin.

"He is sort of cute isn't he?"

"Very." Heather laughed, "but remember I'm no expert on guys."

"He's hoping to get a full time teaching job here next year, when he gets his doctorate."

"Cute and he has brains… nice package."

"Oh stop teasing." Jo blushed as they found their car.  “Have you heard from the others?”


“I have – we have a little homework for you to do?”


“Anything interesting?”


“George Clooney, Andy Garcia, Brad Pitt…”


Jo looked at her sister as she started the car.  “Ocean’s Eleven?  So they think this might be a possibility?”


“Let’s just say they haven’t ruled it out,” Heather said as they set off.


1 pm



“Juliette, darling, never ask me to do that again,” Diana said as they met in Juliette’s room.


“Trust me, I never want to do it again either,” Ju said with a sigh.  “But at least we saw the pattern,


“They close off one row at a time, and empty three machines into a large strong box on wheels, slide door on the top and main lock on the side.  They then take it through the red doors at the side – guarded by two armed security men at all times.”


“I concur,” Sandy said, “and to be honest, I do not think we should worry about the coins – save to provide a diversion if need be.  It would just take far too long, tempting as it may be to try.”


“Hmm,” Juliette said.  “I’ll think things over.  How about the access issue?”


“I watched the cleaning staff earlier – master keycards for all of them.  If, as I suspect, we need to persuade key staff, then some form of card cloner would be a useful idea.”


“Agreed – we can ask Heather to make enquiries.  We will need crowd control as well, won’t we?”


Diana nodded.  “Even if we find the so-called twilight hour, there will still be those working, especially in the counting room.  But until we see what’s behind there, I cannot make any decisions.”


“Well, meeting with Jan tomorrow just became a priority,” Juliette said.  “I also want to consult with Tommy?”


“You’re not placing an order yet?”


“No – but given the history of the casinos around here, I want to be sure if we are going to step on any toes that we are ready.”


“Good thinking,” Diana said as she looked at her watch.  Lunch, and then head back?”


The others nodded as they left the room, and headed for the lobby.


1 pm

The Village


“Right,” April said as she and Grant stepped out from the apartment with Caroline and Annie.  “Let’s start with the basics – bread is that, and for bread, you can’t go wrong with Jimmy’s Bakery.”


They walked across to an open fronted store, the smell of freshly baked bread still in the air.


“Hey April,” a sandy haired man called out, “who’s the visitor?”


“Not visitors – new to the area,” Grant said.  “This is Caroline and Annie – they just took over the studio apartment a couple of blocks down.”


“Hey – welcome to the neighborhood,” he said as he shook both their hands.  “Opening’s from six, until I run out – which I just did.”


“I’ll bear that in mind,” Annie said as they walked along the road.


“Laundromat, liquor store if you’re desperate…  Ciao Dino.”


“Ciao April,” an elderly Italian man said, “Are these the new neighbours?”


“They know about us already?”


“News travels fast,” he said as he made a low bow.


“Dino does the best pizza and pasta in the area – mainly thanks to his brother’s place next door.”  April took them into the deli, as Annie looked at the meats and Caroline the other items.


“So what’s your poison,” the man behind the counter said.


“How’s your pastrami?”


“Cured on the premises – want to see?”


“Another time.” Caroline said as they walked out.


“So let’s see – there’s a farmer’s market here on Saturdays for fresh fruit and veg, and as for meat the butcher over there can get just about anything.  After that, you’re on your own.”


“It’s a start,” Caroline said with a smile as she looked in the butcher’s window.  “Hang on,” she then said as she ducked in, returning with a paper parcel.




“Proper Cumberland sausage – tomorrow, I cook a proper sausage casserole.”


“And that’s where I got the takeout from last night,” Annie said as they walked past a Cantonese restaurant.


“Oh yeah – just come under new ownership.  I hear Mr. Fu had to sell up in a hurry.”


A young Chinese man came out, and said “hi – name’s Mike Wu.  You must be the florist.”


“That’s right, April and Grant,” April said.  “This is Caroline and Annie – they just moved to the area as well.”


“Pleasure – if you will excuse me?”


“He seems to be in a hurry,” Annie remarked as he walked off.  “Anyway, we need to head back – tell Ama to come when she’s ready please.”


“OF course – and thanks for coming again,” April said.


“No – thank you for inviting us,” Caroline said as they headed back to the apartment.


5 pm

The Huntingdown Apartment


As they walked into the lobby of the apartment block, Juliette was surprised to see a familiar face sitting there, looking round.


“Well Missy fancy finding you here?” Juliette smiled as she saw her friend sitting in her rumbled trouser suit and blouse.


“Hmmm this lady has been waiting for you for about an hour Miss Huntingdown.” The doorman spoke.


“That’s no lady, that’s her agent.” Sandy wisecracked as Missy approached.


“Very humorous Sandy I’m sure.” Missy looked flustered.


“What is wrong Missy?” suddenly Juliette panicked, “Nothing’s wrong with Cari is it?”


“No… it’s nothing like that Ju.”


“That’s a relief, so what is the problem that has you hanging out in my lobby on a Sunday afternoon?”


“Can I tell you in your apartment Ju?”


“Sure, come on up, we were all going to have coffee.”



“Okay what’s the big problem Missy?” Juliette asked as she poured the coffees a few minutes later in her kitchen.




“Oh I should have guessed.” Diana smiled, “Do I need to switch my bet?”


“What’s Caroline done now?” Juliette shot a warning glance at Diana.


“She’s listening to Ellen de Angelo, that’s what…”


“From IMG?” Juliette asked.


“Yes - you know her Juliette.”


“Who is she Ju…?” Sandy spoke.


“An absolute bitch, she makes me look tame.” Missy interrupted.


“Makes you look tame Darling?” Diana asked with a raised eyebrow.


“Yes.” Missy nodded.


“So why are you worried she’s listening to Ellen?” Juliette asked.


“Because she’s asked us both to lunch tomorrow to discuss what we can offer her.”




“Does it matter?”


“Well Mary was…” Sandy was interrupted by a swift kick on her shins from Juliette.  “No, no, not at all…”


“So Caroline is playing a bit of hardball as well?” Juliette asked.


“Yes, and damn it I don’t want to lose her, you’ve seen the pics Juliette.”


“I have and…”


“Can we darling?” Diana asked.


“Here” Missy reached into her bag and pulled out a black album.


“Oh Goddess these are great.” Diana whistled as she turned the pages.


“They’re magnificent.” Sandy added.


“Aren’t they?” Missy smiled, “and for that reason, there is no way I’m letting her sign for any other agency then Norstar.”


“But equally you don’t want to sign her on disadvantageous terms either.” Juliette sipped her drink.




“Well looking at these I think you will probably just have to accept whatever terms Caroline wants.” Diana finished flipping the pages, then handed the album to Sandy.


“You know she basically just wants a part time deal that leaves her free to devote most of her life to Ama and her career.” Juliette spoke again.


“So I’m being led to believe, but she has so much potential…”


“She’s not going to become a full-timer Darling.” Juliette interrupted. “You will live longer if you accept that.”


“I guess so, but to have that much talent and not use it….”


“You’ve achieved a major success that she’s even considering modeling part time.” Diana nodded as Sandy pointed out a picture.


“Is that the?” Missy asked.


“The one that’s practically a replica of the one that Jack shot all those years ago of Stella and Charity.” Sandy nodded.


“I know Anna and Mary see that as a possible cover.” Juliette smiled.


“See - everyone can see how great Caroline is.”

“Well Missy, Darling, all I can suggest is you and Ellen both listen to the terms she wants, then you try to negotiate.”


“That bitch will offer her the moon Ju.”


“Well you maybe need add in Mars as well.” Juliette laughed lightly. “Just don’t worry Missy, you are winning so far, at least Caroline is considering an offer.”


“I know.”


“Just wait until lunch tomorrow Cherie.” Diana smiled.


“I guess so.” Missy shrugged her shoulders. “So how was Atlantic City?”


“Mon Dieu!” Diana cast her eyes skyward.


“That good?”


Monday 13th October

10 am

St Angela’s


"Coach Kelly, can I have a word please?" Jo asked politely as she knocked on the classroom door.

"How was the visit Jo?" Annie asked.

"It was brilliant, but I'll tell you all about it at home later. This is more school oriented though. On Saturday night I bumped into one of the coaches as she was about to take her girls out on a training run, we chatted and she gave me her card and asked if my coach could ring her."

"Okay, means she's interested in you.  Always a good start," Annie said as she cleaned the board.

"Well here's the card." Jo handed it over.

"Oh my Goddess, Lisa Waterman!" Annie laughed as she saw the name on the car, "Let me guess she's about five six, wears her light brown hair in a ponytail?"

"Sounds right, do you know her?"

"Only from behind, I chased her enough times when I was at Brown and she was running for Dartmouth."

"Oh I get the picture." Jo grinned.

"Lisa was good, really good, she made the finals at the Olympic Trials. I bet she's a first rate coach."

"So you think…"

"I think you'd profit from running for her Jo."

"Another bonus…" Jo grinned.

"Something want to tell me?"

"Only in private." Jo blushed.
"Well anyway,” Annie said, “I'll give Lisa a ring later and fill her in on you."

"Thanks Coach." Jo turned as the bell rang.

"Have fun in History."

Joanne turned and made a face as Annie burst out laughing.


1 pm

Enduro, 3rd Avenue


“There you are Diana – we were about to send out a search party.”


Mu apologies,” Diana said as she slid elegantly into the booth next to Sandy, Jan and Juliette sitting opposite, “I had to talk to Natasha.  So, while I was forced to endure the discomforts of a so-called casino, what did you find to keep you busy all weekend Jan darling?”


“Not a lot,” Janice said with a smile, “I basically got that rest in I needed, Adam came over for my Mother’s Sunday lunch, but other than that I guess the biggest thing I did was go shopping at Bergdorf’s.”


“Let me guess.” Juliette pursed her lips, “the dress is Donna Karan, and the blazer is Armani.”


“Yes, right on both counts Miss Fashion Expert,” Jan smiled.


“I bet that turned a few male heads this morning darling.” Sandy looked up from her menu.


“A few.” Jan smiled proudly.


“Welcome to Enduro ladies, my name is John and I’ll be your server today. Is there anything I can get you to drink? Do you need more time with the menus?”


“What would you recommend to drink young man?” Jan gave the waiter a smile.


“Well,” John said with a smile, “I think that would depend on if you ladies have jobs to get back to this afternoon or not?”


“Sadly we all do.” Juliette laughed.


“Well then I’d say try just one of our Massican Margarita’s each.”


“That sounds good.” Diana looked at the menu, “and what do you recommend to eat John?”


“For ladies like yourself who clearly prefer to have other people watch your figures…”


“Flatterer.” Sandy laughed as she batted her long eyelashes at the waiter.


“Can I recommend one of our roasted chicken breasts with the Cobb salad?”


“That sounds good… so all the same girls?” Diana looked round the booth for consensus.


“Sounds nice to me.” Jan smiled.


“Alright ladies, four Margaritas, and four Chicken Cobb combos coming up.”


Mmmm cute.” Jan said as she watched the waiter walk away.


“Jan if I can distract you away from that young man for a minute…”


“Sorry Ju.” Janice looked back at her lunch partners. “So what did you learn in Atlantic City?”


“Well…” Juliette paused, then spoke in a low whisper, “we all think it’s a great target, we got a lot of footage of the public areas.”


“Heather’s tricked up glasses?” Jan asked.


“Yes… the problem is we need to know more about what happens behind locked doors. Heather can find floor plans, etc, but I’d feel a lot happier if we could actually see it.”


Your Margaritas, ladies.” John returned with their drinks.


“Thank you John, those look divine.” Diana smiled.


“So what do you think we can do Ju?” Janice asked as she sipped her drink.


“I was thinking maybe a visit from the FBI…?”


“That might be arrangeable.” Jan nodded.


“You’d need to wear glasses instead of your contacts Jan darling…”


“How do you know I wear contacts…?” suddenly Jan giggled, “one day I’ll learn not to ask stupid questions.”


“A tour through the secure areas and a look at their security would tell us exactly what we need to know.” Juliette whispered.


“Leave it with me, I’ll make arrangements at work this afternoon.”


“Good.” Juliette smiled, “well we can’t do any more on that till we know more, so I’ll change subjects.” Juliette nodded towards the approaching waiter with their food. “Did you hear the latest in the Missy and Caroline saga?”


1 pm

The Refectory


“So how was your weekend?” Abby asked as she and Ally eased into seats at the same table as Jo.


“Excellent.” Jo smiled, “more than I can say for history this morning.”


“Yeah she only got an A- on her latest assignment,” Ally looked heavenwards.


“Hey,” Jo said, “I need to keep my GPA up, and I noticed you got an A Ally.”


“Alright I like to pretend I’m dumb, but History is my BEST subject and your WORST, I’d settle for A minuses in Geography any day.”


“So how was Hobart-William Smith again? I think we got distracted,” Abby tried again.


“Really great. The campus is beautiful, it’s fairly intimate, the setting is lovely, and I got to sit in on an open day held by the Psychology Department, and I think they’d be perfect for me.”


“Are you going to even bother looking at other schools?” Abby asked.


“I guess I better just in case they don’t take me, but…”  Jo thought for a moment, before saying “oh, before I forget, I ran into one of the track coaches and she’s someone Coach Kelly ran against in college. She asked for Coach to ring her, so on top of everything I might get a chance to run on the team.”


“Wow it does sound perfect for you.” Abby smiled happily.




“So did you see any cute guys?” Ally asked.




“Oh my God you did.” Ally laughed, “Okay spill your guts Smith.”


“His name is Curt and he’s a graduate student who has been working as a Teaching Assistant in the Psych Department.”


“Skip the job description, what’s the physical description?” Ally giggled.


“Six Two, about 165, blonde.”


“Nice.” Ally whistled.


“And?” Abby asked.


“He’s doing his doctorate in Criminal Psychology, we chatted… oh it seemed like forever.”


“He wasn’t just being polite?” Abby asked.


“Well he did chase me virtually all the way to our car to lend me a book we’d been talking about…”


“He’s interested.” Abby and Ally said in sync.


“You think?” Joanne giggled.


“Oh come on?” Ally rolled her eyes, “No guy chases a girl half way across campus to lend her a book if he’s not interested.”


“Well I’m going to read the book, and write him what I thought about it.”


“You’d be better sending him a picture of you in that slinky evening dress you wore last week.” Ally giggled some more.


“Perhaps he’s more interested in her brain then her body…” Abby spoke.


“Since when has any guy wanted a girl for her brains?” Ally rolled her eyes. “Do you even live in this world Miss Pinup?”




“Did you see how many of those posters of you that stall was selling on Saturday?” Ally asked.


“I guess.”


“How many of those guys will be impressed to know that you took college level Math as a sophomore Abby?”


“Not many I guess.”


“Exactly!” Ally looked triumphant, “Let’s face it, it might not be politically correct to say this, but we should ALL thank the deity for our looks.”