What’s Old Pussycat – Part 2
Monday 8th December
Inn in The Park
"Well Janice, the Hidden Hand is as good as her
word, out of nowhere I got a notice on my phone to meet two specialists as she
terms them tonight. It seems Dr. Stevens has an appointment at the
Jan nodded as she ate her salad. "You do realize Jeanne that, despite my
shall we call them slight links with these people, I am still a dedicated
policewoman determined to bring those with crimes to answer for to
"I realize that Janice." Jeanne thought.
"I know that given the constraints placed upon 'justice' as opposed to
'the law' that just sometimes those operating outside can be better place to
render true justice to some who consider themselves untouchable."
"Like the Walrus?"
"Exactly." Jeanne nodded.
"So are you prepared to meet some actual
"Yes…and no….Where in this town can I buy a chic
all black outfit to go on a burglary in?"
Janice laughed, "Saks Fifth Avenue can meet most
needs…so what do you want?"
"Black jeans, black spike heeled boots, gloves…do
you think I need supply my own ski mask?"
"I'd take one just in case." Janice laughed.
"One should look FABULOUS…whatever you are doing,
my Mother taught me."
"Okay Saks it is then." Janice called for the bill.
The Richmond Mansion
“Hey Jo,” Janice said as she entered the kitchen, “where’s Katy?”
“Plotting with little Sandy somewhere,” Jo said as she handed Sandy a coffee, “what’s up?”
“I need to talk to you about something – can we go somewhere private?”
“My office,” Sandy said from the table,” and close the door.”
Jo took Jan through and then closed the door.
“We’re going to need Annie as well,” Jo said as she opened her laptop and connected. A few moments later, Annie appeared from her classroom.
“Are we secure,” Jo said.
“Door’s locked – I take it this is to do with Heather’s request?”
“It is – she told you both on Saturday about the meeting with Jeanne?”
“Yup – she wishes to get in and out of Doctor Steven’s hotel room without been spotted, right?”
“That’s right – and she pegged me as the person to make contact. So we met with Heather, and now we need to follow through.”
"She's never met either me or Annie, Janice, and
we have said all along that we want these art forgers stopped." Joanne spoke.
"I'm sure between the two of us we can handle both the security at his
hotel and the break-in."
"The whole point is he never knows you were
there, Jeanne just wants information."
"We were doing this kind of virgin job all summer
Jan, I think by now we know how to do it." Annie smiled.
"When is he taking Juliette to the ballet?"
"Tonight…not sure the exact time."
"Well when you know ring us, then swing by and collect us tonight and we'll have a look inside his place.” Annie smiled.
"Remember we wear masks and disguises and the voice boxes all the time round her, we take her to the room blindfolded, she gets her look, we blindfold her again, and let her out." Janice briefed the girls. "Her guesses regarding my links to the group are just a little bit too good, I'm not giving her any more grounds to suspect I'm other than a very fringe player."
Natasha’s Apartment Block
Jeanne was pacing up and down the floor of her room nervously. She had purchased a black jumper and chinos, and well as heels and gloves, but the law enforcement officer was struggling with the decisions she had to make.
An incoming message on her phone made her look down, and then she nodded as she picked up her balaclava and made her way downstairs. The lobby was empty, and as she looked left and right she wondered what had happened.
She turned to see a woman standing next to her, her voice deep and rich, dressed at the Hidden Hand had been in a leather jacket, but with tight black leggings and knee length boots. The veil over her head under the woolen cap covered her head so that she could barely see her face.
“I am, and you are?”
“Names are not important – come with me please,” she said as she took Jeanne by the arm and led her to the waiting car. As she got in, she saw two women in the front of the car, similarly dressed as one of them caressed the steering wheel in her hand.
“The Hand sends her greetings,” the tall woman in the front said in a mellow voice, “and requests you put on this blindfold. We will take you where you need to go, and get you the admittance you need, but that does not mean you need to see how we get you in.”
“That is reasonable,” Jeanne said as the woman who had met her tied a black scarf over her eyes, and then she felt the car move off.
Jan drove them by a roundabout route to the Hilton, and parked in the underground car park. She nodded to Annie and Jo, who stepped out of the car and made their way to the staff entrance.
“How long,” Annie whispered as Jo worked on the pass card lock.
“Done,” Jo said as she opened the door.
They made their way in and along the corridor to a maintenance room, where Jo set up a laptop and plugged it into a circuit board on the wall.
“Let’s see, let’s see,” Jo whispered to herself as she hacked into the hotel security system. “There it is – security camera on the 22nd floor.”
She pressed a button and set up a recording of the camera for a few minutes, as she then hacked into the door access logs for the hotel.
“All right,” Jo said after a few minutes, “We’re locked and loaded. Starting the video loop – now.”
The two women made their way out and back to the door, signaling to Jan who brought the blindfolded Jeanne over to them.
“Stay with the car,” Annie said, Jan nodding as they took Jeanne along to the service elevator.
“What is happening,” she said as they stepped in.
“Patience,” Jo said, her voice transformed into a California accent as they travelled up and got out on the 22nd Floor.
Stepping out, they made their way to the room door, Annie holding Jeanne’s arm as Jo opened the door and they stepped in. Closing the door, Annie waited until Jo closed the door before she removed Jeannie’s blindfold.
“Very well, Inspector Marais,” Annie said, “we are in the hotel room of Doctor StJohn Stevens.”
“How can you be sure?”
Jo opened the desk drawer with her gloved hand and retrieved a British passport. “Does this answer your question,” she said as she showed Jeanne the passport, and then replaced it exactly where it had come from.
“Formidable,” Jeanne whispered as Annie looked at her.
“We shall search and ensure nobody knows we have been here – everything will be exactly where it should be. Shall we start with his briefcase?”
Jeanne nodded as Jo carefully picked up the briefcase, and examined the locks. Taking a small lock pick from her pocket, she carefully opened the case and laid out the contents on the bed.
“You may carefully examine the contents while we search for other information, Inspector. Please take great care – everything must be back as it was before we leave.”
Jeanne nodded as she took a small camera from her pocket and looked through the documents, photographing each page and then replacing them back in the folders as carefully as possible. When she looked round, she saw the other two searching through the drawers and behind the furniture, putting everything back as it should be.
As she looked through the papers, she found the source catalogues for some of the damaged pictures, and a name kept appearing – Geraint Watkins.
As she took a copy of the last page, the two masked women stood either side of her.
“We have finished – do you have what you need?”
“I think so yes – enough to go back and assess.”
The smaller of the two women nodded as she replaced the contents of the briefcase exactly as they had come out, closed the lid, locked it and placed it where she had found it. As Jeanne looked round, she saw nothing out of place, all as it should be.
“We must blindfold you again,” the tall woman said as she covered Jeanne’s eyes, and Jo checked the corridor, signaling as they took Jeanne back to the elevator.
On a hunch, she turned and looked at the door frame, smiling as she looked at the piece of clear tape hanging from the door. Taking a roll from her pocket, she measured and took off a fresh strip, matching it to the dirt marks on the frame and the door before pocketing the old strip.
Following them to the elevator, Jo nodded as Annie took them back to the service corridor. As they walked along, Annie said “Wait here” as Jo went in, deleted the access records to the room and ended the video loop, then collected her laptop as they went back to Jan in the car.
Jeanne sat in silence as they returned to Natasha’s apartment. Once there, the blindfold was removed and she was allowed to leave the car.
“Thank you,” she said as the door was closed, and they drove off, leaving her wondering why she had bought the balaclava.
The Lincoln Centre
David H Koch Theatre
Juliette smiled as she watched from the box, StJohn next to her in his dinner jacket, white shirt and bow tie. He had picked her up from the apartment and brought her here to watch The Nutcracker, and she had dressed for the occasion in a dark grey long dress, the fur coat she had worn over it hanging with his great coat on the coat stand.
The ballet had been magnificent, and as the show came to a close both of them joined in the standing ovation.
"Now even within my friends there are so few men who would know that if you take me to the ballet I turn into putty in your hands." Juliette smiled as StJohn helped ease her into her fur jacket and handed her back her purse.
"Well I am happy you are happy.” StJohn smiled back as they made their way out of the theatre and onto the sidewalk, Juliette watching as he waved down a cab.
"And I know the perfect place for a meal and drink…” She said with a smile as he held the door open.
"Oh,” he said as he got in, “a favorite bistro?"
"No MY PLACE!" Juliette practically pulled the Englishman into the cab and started kissing him.
“Hmmm – sound delightful. Morningside Avenue,” StJohn said as the cab drove off.
As they arrived at the apartment block, he paid the driver and followed her in, walking into the apartment before she grabbed him and pressed her lips against his, her hands caressing his bottom.
"Do I get to eat…?”
"Yes but not food." Juliette hissed as she threw her mink away in the hall and started easing out of her gown on the stairs. By the time she reached her bedroom door she was dressed in a thong, her garter belt, her stockings and her shoes, and she was hoping she could get the thong off right now.
StJohn followed her slowly up, removing his jacket and tie as he looked at her. "Are you sure?" he whispered in her ears.
"Does this prove it," she giggled as she waved her thong in his face. "Just get undressed Man, Woman needs you badly!"
They walked into the bedroom, him removing his shoes and unbuttoning his short as Juliette lay back on her bed, her legs open, just licking her lips as the man of her dreams undressed.
He came over and leaned over; gently caressing her neck and lips with his kisses ad he stroked the inside of her thigh with his hand. She sighed as she felt his touch, and then as he moved down and enclosed her nipples in his lips, the light touch of his tongue made her sigh and moan.
His fingers moved between her legs as he moved himself down, and then she felt his lips and tongue on her sex, working her as she felt the dampness, the sensations of electric shocks as he found her most sensitive spots, and felt his cock as it engorged and brushed on her leg.
She looked up as he took out a silver square, and slipped the contents on.
“Take me,” Juliette whispered as he looked up at her, and then she arched her back as he entered her. It had been so long since any man had had her, she'd almost despaired of ever making love again, but somehow this cock felt right inside her, he was safe, secure, loving.
Slowly he moved first withdrawing then thrusting as her hips rose to meet his.
The sensations from within her vagina made her shake, her nerve ends firing off as the half forgotten pleasures of lovemaking took over. She pushed as he pushed, and gripped as tightly as she could as he moaned as well.
And then it came; crashing over her as she felt him give inside her as well, and she screamed into the empty apartment, taking all she could before she collapsed onto the bed, her head against his chest.
Slowly Juliette fell asleep in his arms, satisfied, sated.
8 pm GMT
Galvin Bistro de Luxe
Heather stepped into the rooms, wearing a white blouse and long skirt, and looked round.
“Good evening Madame,” the Maître ’d said as he approached across the busy restaurant, “May I help you?”
“Hello my name is Heather Smith, I believe Shirley Xavier is waiting for me.”
“Oh yes. This way if you please” The Maître ’d led her to Shirley’s table, where she was seated, dressed in a black coat dress with her auburn hair falling onto her shoulders.
“Good evening Heather.” Madame said in her deep voice as she rose to kiss her guest on the cheek. “How are you?”
“A little tired…and yourself?”
“Actually in fighting good form.”
“How is Penny?”
“Very quickly adapting to life here in London.”
“That’s good.” Heather smiled as the waiter brought two glasses of champagne.
“So,” Shirley said, “I hear Dominique won round one in the security vetting?”
“Yes sex trumped mere man.” Heather shook her head. “I should have anticipated that, but hopefully we can still surprise her.”
“I hear that the remarkable Anna played the distraction?”
“We think so,” Heather said as she nursed her glass, “if that young lady does not soon find an outlet for her many talents we can see her heading towards a lot of trouble.”
“Well you would know Miss Van Gogh.” Shirley giggled as she raised an eyebrow.
“Oh no” Heather said, “I was nothing like her, she’s a wild child…”
“And you weren’t Heather?”
“I was never highly sexed?” Heather whispered.
“No, just by age 15 the world’s foremost and wanted hacker.” Shirley whispered back.
“True,” Heather said as she sat in thought for a moment.
“Something just occur to you Heather?”
“A thought, nothing more,” Heather said.
“Ama writes me most days and keeps me in touch,” Shirley said as she sat back, “so I tend to hear a lot of the gossip. In a way it makes me sad I’m not there.”
“Well, three more weeks and you will be there again.”
“True - and I cannot wait to see everyone,” Shirley said with a smile.
“Did you hear of Angel Fitzstuart’s surprise modeling debut?”
“I did,” Shirley said, “she’s a beautiful girl, and one day when she overcomes some shyness I can easily see her following in her mother’s stilettos. Did you get the chance to meet her?”
“Not this time no, I spent the holiday in New York – but again, she is coming over and I will see her in the New Year. Carina seems to like her anyway.”
“Your wine ladies…”
Shirley smiled as the sommelier poured the wine. “I went ahead and took the liberty of ordering some Chateau de Ros.”
“As always a great choice.” Heather smiled.
“We’ll order in a few minutes please.” Shirley waived the waiter away. “So tell me please of your progress on the art frauds?”
“Well,” Heather said quietly “Jeanne Marais is a good sharp policewoman, she asks the right questions and makes some good assumptions. Hopefully with Jan’s prods and help she can uncover a lot.”
“Okay,” Shirley nodded, “that concurs with what I hear about her.”
“Doctor Stevens though is a whole different kettle of fish,” Heather said. “I haven’t met him yet, but according to Diana he’s secretive, slimy, and nasty, what Juliette sees in him I do not know?”
“Juliette has fallen for him?” Shirley sounded concerned.
“Hook line and sinker.”
“Damn, well I think it’s about time I shared some information I’ve obtained…”
“That does not sound good – shall we order first?”
Shirley nodded as they consulted the menu, and the waiter came over.
“Steak Tartare, and Guinea Fowl to follow,” Heather said.
“I will have the veloute and the scallops,” Shirley said as the waiter bowed and walked off.
“So, Doctor Stevens?”
“Before I get to him,” Shirley said, “I need to explain what happened with our investigations into Mister Geraint Watkins.”
Heather nodded. “So who is he?”
“A charming man from the outskirts of Cardiff,” Shirley said. “When Susan asked if I would look into him, I consulted with two friends who have specialist knowledge in such matters – John Jacobs and Daphne Porterhouse.”
“I’ve heard of Daphne Porterhouse, but not John Jacobs.”
“Uncle John,” Shirley said, “was a friend of my late father – an expert in antiques, and a renowned cat burglar in his day. As for Daphne, we met when she applied her considerable skills to assisting with a problem I had determined to deal with. Together, they know almost all there is to know in this area – and the name certainly was known to them.”
“Really? I did a lot of reading about British 20th century art, but his name never came up.”
“It would not have – not unless you know something of the secret history of this country during World War Two. Geraint Watkins was one of a team of forgers who were commissioned by British Intelligence to make forgeries of European Art, to be used to try and destabilize Hitler’s war finances.”
Heather stared at Shirley as their starters arrived.
“But if Geraint Watkins was active in the 1940’s, that would mean he’s at least ninety now. How can he be involved in art fraud on this scale?”
“He can’t – he’s in a nursing home in Penarth, suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. Someone had purloined his identity and used it to cover their own tracks. Which led us to his granddaughter, Annabeth Watkins. I dispatched Lillian to have a conversation with her on the subject – and a sad tale it turned out to be.
“I will spare you the sordid details for now – suffice to say she was seduced and then blackmailed into allowing her father’s identity to be used to cover the introduction of the frauds into the market, or else her own infidelity would be revealed to her husband.”
Heather shook her head. “So who was responsible for that?”
“She could only give the name of the man who seduced her – a StJohn Stevens.”
Heather stared at Shirley as she wiped her mouth. “Oh Goddess,” she finally said, “you don’t come across that name twice. What has happened to her?”
“We have arranged protection for her – but Doctor Stevens has a lot to answer for. Sadly, he has friends in high places – sound familiar?”
Heather nodded as she said “What do we do about Juliette?”
“Nothing without proof – and we do not have that yet. I will share what I have when you visit the office tomorrow.”
Tuesday 9th December
The Huntingdown Apartment
Stevens lay there holding her, running his suspicions through his brain. Miss Juliette Huntingdown, as amazingly beautiful as she was, as charming company as she was, was really just a means to an end. The names of her and her friends appeared far too often in the case notes of the crimes of the Pussycat gang for it to be mere coincidence. The police might write it off as such but he couldn’t afford to.
When Juliette was asleep he got out of bed and slipped his underwear on, he wanted to have a really close look at this apartment and to try discovering its secrets. As cat like as a burglar he let himself out of the bedroom, smiling at the trail of Juliette’s discarded clothes on the stairs. Though his tastes usually ran to far, far younger women, he had to admit she’d not been a chore to please in bed, her body was eager and responsive, and no he felt he hadn’t wasted his charm upon her.
Quietly he tapped the paneled walls listening for a hollow sound indicating a hidden compartment. Frustratingly he proceeded from room to room, after more than an hour later though he finally heard a hollow noise in the wall of the utility room…just as he heard Juliette behind him.
“Looking round Darling? Come on I’ll make us both coffee.”
“That sounds wonderful,” he said with a smile as he turned round. “I seem to have got lost on the way to the bathroom…”
“That way,” Juliette said as he walked out, closing the door behind them.
Juliette chuckled over the report in the Daily News.
Trills Casino on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City is the latest to apply to the courts for bankruptcy protection. The casino will close with the loss of several hundred jobs. The owners have attributed the closure both to the overall fall in gambling revenue in Atlantic City, and the devastating effects of a major robbery a few weeks ago.
"Well I suspect I'll be hearing from a very happy Cathy later that such a fate befell the casino's owners." Ju whispered to herself.
“I need to go back to my hotel and change,” StJohn said as he came down, “and then I hope you can introduce me to Sandy Richmond?”
“It will be my pleasure,” Ju said as he kissed her, “just let me go and get changed.”
"What time did you get to sleep?" Natasha
asked as she dried her hair following her shower.
"I didn't,” Jeanne said as she looked at her
laptop, “first checking out some information, then I've been cross checking it
with my people in Paris."
"Is this anything I SHOULD know?"
"Don't worry Tasha," Jeanne shook her head,
"It's a purely criminal matter, and it will have no diplomatic
"Good because someone is off sick at the
consulate, I've been asked to be the contact for French Owners who lost
"You never said that?"
"Didn't I? Sorry I've been so busy just like
Jeanne thought for a moment, before saying "Can I
beg the favor of looking at your notes and files."
"I'll clear it with my bosses, but I guess that
will be okay."
"Good, I'm interested to see who is filing insurance claims." Jeanne smiled.
The Rochermann Apartment
"Okay you two have really landed us in this
time." Kelly Rochermann said as she held up a letter that arrived in the
"We have?" Ally looked up from her coffee.
"We've behaved ourselves I thought." Nell
nibbled her Danish.
"Well given YOUR reputations, as well as certain
things that occurred in my past, a professional dominatrix has challenged us to
run and staff her dungeon for 24 hours."
"A domme, I don't think any of us know a
domme?" Ally pondered.
"Well this one is kind of special,
she and I were Angels together."
"St Angela's has a pro dominatrix among its
alumnae?” Nell laughed.
"Well don't laugh too hard” Kelly said, “I know
at least two who were Nuns."
"So what's our inducement to do this? Other then the obvious?” Ally asked.
"She'll donate $100.000 to the Jamie fund if we can pull it off, but we must do it with no publicity and we can turn down nothing."
The Richmond Mansion
“Are you in your office Sandy?” Juliette called out as she let herself and StJohn in the back door.
“Yeah, hang on - I was just checking upholstery patterns.” Sandy came into the kitchen looking like an adorable mess, her plaid shirt half tucked out of her khakis, part of her hair escaping from her ponytail, a pencil tucked behind her ear and no makeup on.
“Did we catch you in a casual moment?”
“Sandy,” Juliette said, “can I present StJohn Stevens, the insurance investigator who’s handling the robbery at The Arabian. StJohn, this is Sandy Richmond.”
“Hi,” Sandy smiled as she tucked the loose piece of hair behind her ear, “I must apologise for looking such a mess, and Juliette didn’t warn me that I’d be having a visitor.”
“You look charming Miss Richmond.” Stevens said as he kissed her hand.
“I look a mess.” She blushed. “Can I offer you both coffee?”
“Thanks.” Juliette slipped up on a stool. “Did you hear from Heather yet?”
“Yeah she, Amy and Lily have been filming a lot in the Royal Collection.”
“Would that be the Royal Collection, as in art?” StJohn’s tone changed.
“Yeah Heather, along with Amy her former tutor at Yale are consulting on Lily Cole’s latest TV show.”
“And sorry is Heather your daughter?” Stevens smiled, “You don’t look old enough…”
“Don’t overuse that line boy…” Juliette giggled, “No, Heather is Sandy’s girlfriend.”
“I don’t understand?”
“She’s a lesbian.” Juliette laughed.
“Yep a 100%, blue blooded, All-American queer.” Sandy laughed at herself.
“And your… ummm girlfriend is an art expert.”
“One of the world’s best.” Sandy smiled again.
“Ummm ladies I just remembered I have somewhere I have to be, don’t worry about a ride Juliette I’ll find a cab.” He kissed her before heading out the door.
“Isn’t he adorable?” Juliette sighed.
“I could think of another word.” Sandy whispered to herself.
“What was that?”
“Nothing,” Sandy said as she smiled. “Anyway, tell me all about him.”
10 am GMT
As Heather was shown in, she was surprised to see Amy in conversation with a uniformed officer.
“There you are,” she said as she came over, “I need to introduce you to Assistant Commissioner Drummond, from the Metropolitan Police.”
“Miss Smith, we owe you a debt of gratitude,” the police officer said as she shook his hand.
“You do? Why?”
“The Gainsborough,” Amy said quietly, “when I checked the history, I found an anomaly and called Drummond in.”
“It is a fake,” AC Drummond said. “The painting was sent for cleaning five years ago, and it would appear we got a copy back instead of the original. We’re checking other paintings sent at the same time for authenticity.”
“My goddess,” Heather said, “someone stole a painting from her majesty?”
“It would appear so – our thanks for spotting it.”
“Well,” Lily said, “we seem to have raised a right stink. No filming today, and we have to use the National Gallery tomorrow.”
“Nice and convenient for me,” Amy said.
“Heather, I know you have an appointment at two, but can we use the time between now and then to do some further fact checking?”
“Sure – where? I need to call to change my pickup.”
“There’s a lovely coffee house just down the road,” Lily said, “we’ll go there.”
Ama saw Annie come in, wearing her black jacket and trousers, and said “So both you and Dominique will be out tonight?”
“We will,” Annie said as Caroline returned with Doc and Becca, both of them wearing dark clothing. “Will you be all right for a few hours?”
“Of course – I have that assignment to complete for you,” Ama said with a smile. “I will go and work on it in my room – good luck.”
“See you Ama,” Becca said, the young girl waving as she went to her room.
“Right,” Caroline said, “Doc, you go with Annie, and Becca with me. You two will take care of the listening post, then inform me, while Becca and I take care of the apartment.”
“You get all the fun,” Doc said, Becca nodding as she smiled.
“We set off together, and Becca and I get into position,” Caroline said. “You need to go into the Deli on 48th Street, contain anyone you find there, and then Doc, you get to mess their computer systems.”
“Good – that will be fun,” Doc said with a smile.
“We will each carry one of these,” Caroline said as she handed Doc and Becca a starting pistol.
“Are these real?”
"So how long will it take you to get them subdued
and tied up?" Caroline asked.
"Give us ten minutes, then I'll send you the coded text message." Annie answered seriously.
“How do you know,” Becca said.
“We’re taking zip ties and strips of plaster – trust
me, no problem.”
"Remember Doc this is just a practice,” Caroline said, “the guns are unloaded, PLEASE do not end up hurting someone somehow."
“Now why would I do that,” Anna said with a smile.
“All right – gloves on,” Caroline said as she handed the girls a pair of gloves, Once they had donned them, they each put a woolen hat on their heads.
“Let’s go,” Annie said, as the girls headed out with her and Caroline.
2 pm GMT
“There you are,” Charlotte said as Heather ran from the café, “jump in, I’ll take you to the office.”
“Nice car,” Heather said as Charlotte gunned the Lotus through the streets.
“Thanks – I treated myself,” Charlotte said as they headed out of town. “I hear you’ve had fun today.”
“How did you – no, don’t bother, I can guess,” Heather said as they drove to a small industrial estate, and pulled in beside a non-descript grey and glass building.
“You’re kidding me – this is the headquarters?”
“As you well know, Heather, appearances can be deceptive,” Charlotte said as she walked Heather through the doors, and approached the uniformed security guard at one end.
“Afternoon, Charlotte,” he said as he looked up, “and this would be your guest?”
“That’s right George – we’re expected,” she said as the man pressed a button, and a set of elevator doors opened up. Stepping in, Charlotte adjusted her jacket as Heather listened to the music.
“To each their own,” Charlotte said as the doors opened, and Heather stepped out into a modern office area, her heels sinking into the plush carpet.
“Nice – and busy,” she said as Charlotte walked her down the corridor.
“Hey Charlotte,” a blonde haired woman said as they walked past, “I need you to sign off on the security arrangements for the farm. The contractors want to start work tomorrow.”
“Already done – they’re on your desk,” Charlotte said. “Let me introduce Heather Smith to you, our specialist consultant on the IT upgrade. Heather, this is Lily Harmond, Penny’s number two.”
“A pleasure,” Lily said as she shook Heather’s hand. “Excuse me if I don’t stop and talk now, but perhaps later?”
“Sure,” Heather said as the young woman walked off. She then turned to Charlotte and said “the farm?”
“Yeah – we have our own version here, or will have in the near future,” Charlotte said as they entered a conference room.
“Hi Heather,” Penny said as she came over and kissed Heather on the cheeks. “Thanks for making time while you’re over here.”
“Well, I had some unexpected time off, with the findings,” Heather said. “So, what can you tell me of the IT setup currently?”
The Long Bar
Jeanne looked up as Janice walked in, her hips moving under the short skirt of her dress,
“Thanks for coming Janice.” Jeanne said as she kissed her FBI colleague.
“Well you made it sound desperate.” Janice took a seat at the bar as Jeanne looked round.
“A Bourbon on the rocks.” Janice nodded to the barman, “it sounds like I’m going to need a stiff drink.”
“You are.” Jeanne smiled, “You will not hear this officially, it’s being kept very quiet, but Heather found a fake in the Royal Collection.’
“She WHAT!” Janice hissed.
“There was a Gainsborough she didn’t like the look of, turns out a fake was substituted for it last time the picture was cleaned.”
“Dear Goddess.” Janice took a stiff drink, “And you think it ties into our case?”
Jeanne nodded. “The Art Squad at Scotland Yard is looking into it from their end, but Interpol have alerted all the major museums round Europe to check any of their paintings that were also cleaned out of house.”
“What the hell is going on? I thought this was just a simple Pussycat gang robbery, and it’s morphed into an international art fraud case.”
“That is a very good question,” Jeanne said, “a very good question indeed.”
“I’ll drop both of you here,” Caroline said as Annie and Doc got out of her car, “give us forty five minutes to get into position and call.”
“Got it,” Annie said as she closed the door. “Let’s go into the diner over there and have a drink while we wait.”
“Are you as nervous as I am, Miss Kelly,” Anna said as they sat in a booth.
“Yes – so just relax, and have a coke,” Annie said with a smile, “and don’t panic. You’ll be just fine if we do what Caroline told us to.”
Doc nodded as she looked out of the window.
“Well, how do we get into the department this time,” Becca said as she looked at the door.
“Round the back,” Caroline said, “and then to the roof.”
“You’ll see when we get up there,” Caroline said with a smile, “I hope you have a head for heights.”
Becca looked at Caroline as she smiled.
“Time to go to work,” Annie said, “come on and follow my lead.”
Doc nodded as she followed Annie across the road, and towards the door of the deli. They nodded to each other, before reaching up and pulling the rim of their hats down, covering their heads and leaving only their eyes and mouths showing, before Annie opened the door.
“Hello,” the young woman standing behind the counter said, “how can I…”
“Shut the fuck up and get your hands in the air,” Annie said, pointing her gun at the girl as Doc locked the door and put the sign to ‘CLOSED’”
“Oh shit,” the girl said as she raised her arms, Doc walking behind her and using one of the zip ties Annie handed her to secure the store clerk’s wrists behind her back.
“On the floor and keep quiet,” Doc said, before she slapped a strip of sticking plaster over her mouth and then secured her ankles, “we’re not here for you tonight, but for the girls in the upstairs room.”
The girl watched as Annie and Doc went through to the back of the store, and up to what should be the store room. Slowly opening the door, Annie looked in to see the bank of monitors, and the girl in a jumper and jeans looking at the screens, a set of headphones on her ears.
On the screen, Annie could see the inside of Shirley’s apartment, and the blonde haired girl who was sitting on the couch, flipping through a magazine.
“Gotcha,” Annie whispered as Doc took her gun out, and they walked into the room. The girl swung round and looked at them, as Doc pointed her gun at her and said “Surprise honey – hands behind your back, and we’ll make you nice and comfortable.”
Annie soon had her wrists and ankles secured with zip ties, and her mouth discovered with sticky plaster, as Doc looked at the monitors.
“Right – I’ll go and get the other girl, you watch her until I get back,” Annie said, Doc pointing the gun at the girl until Annie returned and put the other girl on the floor.
“We need to move on – disable the recording equipment,” Annie said, Doc getting to work as she sent a text.
“Right,” Caroline said as she looked at her phone, “that’s the message. Masks on.”
Becca pulled the balaclava down over her head, and then looked over the edge of the roof. “Are you sure this is the only way,” she said as she looked at Caroline.
“It is – just look straight ahead, and let me lower you,” Caroline said as she tied the rope round the young girl’s waist. “Ready?”
Becca nodded as she sat on the edge of the roof, and then allowed Caroline to slowly lower her down onto the small lawn on the terrace. She tried not to think of the drop as her boot clad feet touched the grass, and she untied the rope, standing to the side as Caroline abseiled down.
In the monitor room, Doc watched as Caroline reached the terrace.
“Whoever put those cameras in place hid them very well – time to switch them off,” Doc said as Annie watched the prisoners. She began to turn off the recorders, not noticing the two captives look at each other.
Becca and Caroline crept along the terrace, then looked at each other as Caroline took out a thin blade and ran it up between the terrace doors, smiling as she heard a little click and then opened one outwards. It was a still night, so the drapes barely moved as they both went inside and she closed the door behind them.
Peeping through the drapes, she saw the blonde haired girl sitting in the chair, reading a magazine which she put down as she headed to the kitchen. Smiling, she slipped through, indicating Becca should follow as she pulled the unloaded pistol from her jacket.
They could hear the coffee maker, smell the scent as they walked in, the girl turning to see the two balaclava masked women standing there, one of them pointing a pistol at her.
“Sorry,” Caroline said, “not your lucky night. Let’s go into the drawing room – you’ll be comfy there.”
“It’s a fair cop,” the girl said as she allowed Becca to secure her wrists behind her back, and then to press the plaster over her mouth, before allowing her to lie on the long leather couch, securing her ankles and then bending them back and securing them to her wrists.
“Now, if you will watch her,” Caroline said, “I’ll go and empty the safe.”
She walked into the den, and went straight for the painting of Loch Lomond that the camera she had used had revealed as the location of the safe. Taking the picture down, she smiled as she put the device she had found so useful on the door, and started the search for the combination code.
“I wonder how the other two are getting on,” she said as she looked round the room, the seats and furniture in place, and the big mirror hanging on the wall.
A small ping told her the code had been, cracked, and removing the device she typed in the combination code, smiling as the handle turned up and the door swung out.
Inside was a single sheet of paper, which Caroline took out, unfolded, and read. There were three short words on the sheet.
“Look Behind You.”
“Oh you have got to be,” Caroline said as she turned round and saw Susan standing there, smiling as she looked at Caroline with her arms folded.
“Very, very, very good Caroline,” she said with a smile, “that was inspired work tonight, but I think the system passes the test regardless.”
“Well, at least I tested it – where’s Becca?”
“Clint is keeping her company – shall we?”
Caroline walked out to see Becca sitting next to Clint, the tech from the office now free.
“No hard feelings,” Caroline said as she stepped forward.
“None – I really did not see you coming,” she said with a smile.
“Sorry boss,” Becca said as she removed her mask, “they got the jump on me. But what I don’t understand is how they knew? We had the monitoring post secured!”
“Yeah, well, Annie and Anna did a fine job there too – not their fault they didn’t know about the switch.”
“If anyone interfered with the monitoring equipment at the station, it sent an automatic alarm signal to my home – and one other place.”
Caroline smiled as she clapped her hands. “Bravissimo – and I take it this other place is the precinct house?”
“No, actually Caroline – and I am sorry.”
“Ama,” Becca said as the young African girl came in, “What are you doing here?”
“The alarm comes to our apartment – it was installed last week, while you were both out working, and I was sworn to secrecy until after you tested the security here. I stayed home tonight when I knew you would make the attempt, alert for the alarm, and when it came…”
“You phoned Susan,” Caroline said as she hugged Ama. “Good girl – you did absolutely the right thing. Annie and Doc?”
“On their way over with the two staff from the deli – well worked out, by the way. For the record, the hallway has a laser triggered gas system installed – it would have knocked you out if it was active.”
Caroline shook her head. “My compliments to the designer – I hadn’t thought of that one, but I will remember it for the future. So, shall we toast a successful test?”
Wednesday 11th December
10 PM GMT
Heather enjoyed walking along The South Embankment late at night, mingling with the crowds as they left the theatres and bars. She knew the area was well lit, and crime was a minimal risk - and besides, thanks to Madame’s worries she was a carrying a silenced 9mm in her handbag.
She stopped for a moment under the London Eye, floodlit for the festive season, and looked out over the river. The city fascinated her, as she looked down the river to the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben lit like a giant torch.
Smiling, she turned and walked towards the bridge, smiling at some of the young lovers on the walkway. She climbed the steps and walked over the river, stopping for a moment to buy a bag of hot chestnuts.
Glancing to her side, she saw two men talking as they looked over the river. One was tall; dark skinned, and wore a white jacket and black pants. The smaller of the two was fair skinned, with red receding hair, who glanced towards Heather and then back again.
As she set of along the bridge again, Heather knew both men were following her, and she wondered why. They weren’t bad at following someone, but when she had stopped, she’d spotted they’d stopped as well. The question in her mind was where to go to deal with the situation.
On the other side, she walked down the steps and along Victoria Embankment, listening to the footsteps behind her. Crossing the road, she turned up a quiet side street, and smiled to herself as she heard the footsteps quickening behind her.
She stopped to check something in her bag, and then was surprised when she was turned violently round and pressed against the wall by the big black man. She saw the gleam of metal on the knife in his hand, and started to look scared.
“Hand over your fucking purse bitch.” The white guy demanded while the black guy held the knife at her throat.
“It’s in my handbag, let me get it out.”
“All right – but no funny tricks, bitch.”
They had fallen for it; slowly she reached into her bag then pulled out her weapon and shot both straight through the forehead. The look of surprise on their eyes was total, as they slowly dropped to the floor.
Taking out her cell phone, she scrolled through her contacts and dialed a number.
“Heather- what happened?”
Heather looked round and said “I need a cleanup crew and quick. Two guys tried to mug me and I popped them.”
“Understood – where are you?”
Heather looked up at the street sign.
“Horse Guards Avenue, off Victoria Embankment.”
“A team will be with you in five – are you all right?”
“I could do with a drink.”
“Five minutes,” Shirley said, as Heather ended the call.
Four minutes later, a grey panel van pulled up and Lily got out. She looked at the two men, and knocked on the side of the van, three men getting out and removing the bodies before they started to scrub the pavement.
“Need a lift?”
“No I’m good, and thanks,” Heather said as she started to walk up the road.
Thursday 11th December
The de Ros Mansion
“Jeanne darling,” Diana said as she came in with Natasha, “how goes the work?”
“Slowly,” Jeanne said, “following the trails is always a difficult and dangerous thing, but I am building a case to say the fakes were deliberately placed in the exhibition.”
“Oh – can you say more?”
“Not at this stage,” Jeanne said as they joined Sandy, “let us say there are some promising leads. I do not believe I have had the pleasure?”
“Sandy Richmond, Jeanne Marais,” Natasha said as they sat down.
“Pleased to meet you,” Sandy said, “so why have you gathered us Diana?”
“Because I am worried about Juliette,” Diana said quietly, “and about her new relationship. Goddess knows it has been far too long since she has had a man, but this one…”
“It is unlike you to be so condemning, Diana,” Natasha said quietly.
“Sadly, Natasha, it is not exactly ill deserved,” Jeanne said. “I have known him for some years, and – oh, what is that phrase…”
“He makes your skin crawl,” Sandy said.
“That is it precisely – how did you know?”
“He came round to see me the other day with Juliette – but scarpered as soon as I said I was a lesbian.”
"So what is your opinion of Stevens Diana?"
"Begging your pardon Natasha but he reminds me far
too much of my ex-husband. All that superficial charm and underneath it’s just
"I know, I once dreamed
I cut him open and maggots poured out."
"Juliette is under his spell though." Diana sighed. “So what can we do about it?”
“Well, you and Sandy are among her oldest friends,” Natasha said, “surely you can tell her how you feel about him?”
“Not that easy,” Sandy said. “I think all we can do at the moment is watch, and wait, and hope she doesn’t fall too deep.”
“And if she does?”
Sandy and Diana looked at each other, with the same thought. They had no idea what they would do.
Complete Style Magazine
“Miss Thomas,” Doc said as she opened the door to Mary’s domain, “can I speak to you for a minute?”
"And what can I do for you young Anna." Mary
asked as the 14 year old entered her cave.
"I need the hugest and most secret favor Miss
"Okay when you revert to Miss Thomas I know it's
a doozie. What can I do for you Doc?"
"I have an online boyfriend in New Zealand I chat
to," Anna said with a blush.
"Oh that's nice."
"Oh,” Mary said, “and how old does he think you
"18." Anna blushed.
"Ahhh so how can I help?"
"Can you PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE dress me up and do
my makeup and take some pictures so I look older."
"I shouldn't,” Mary said as she shook her head, and then looked at the pleading face of the fourteen year old. “Okay, okay I have some time."
“Thanks,” Anna said as she put her school bag down with a thud.
“Research material,” Anna said as she followed Mary. If anyone had glanced at the contents of Ana’s rucksack, however, they might have triggered some alarms. Books like ‘The Happy Hooker', ‘The Mayflower Madam’, ‘Secret Diary of a Call Girl' and Jenny Angell's book 'Call Girl’ were not mainstream reading for a 14 year old, not to mention Jayne Blue's ‘The Offer (The Chronicles of Nina Sharpe, Call Girl)’.
That was the problem with Doc; just sometimes she found it hard to separate a good idea from a bad one.
The Huntingdown Apartment.
Carina let herself into the apartment, sitting Judith down in her car seat as she put her overnight bag down. She had come up to talk to her mom about the round of tea parties between then and the New Year, and in particular her own on Saturday the 20th.
“Hey – where is everyone,” she called out, as she heard Juliette call down “I’ll be there in a few minutes, Cari.”
Judith was sleeping peacefully, so Carina left her there as she headed to the kitchen, and put the coffee maker on. As she poured the water in, however, she heard the sound of movement in the utility room.
Curious, she walked in to see a tall man squatting on the floor, running his fingers along the wall that he had moved several boxes away from.
“Excuse me,” she said very quietly, “but who are you and what the hell are you doing in my mother’s utility room?”
He turned slowly and smiled as he looked at the small blonde haired woman. “You must be Carina,” he said as he stood up, “I’m StJohn Stevens.”
“Really,” Carina said as she looked at him, “to me you look like someone poking around where they don’t need to.”
“Well, you see…”
“That’s the problem,” Carina said very quietly, “I do see you, so I will ask once again – what the hell do you think you’re doing in here?”
“Well,” he said very quietly, “why are you so angry about…”
“There you are – what on earth are you two doing in here?”
Carina looked at her mother, and then at Stevens, before saying “I was asking your boyfriend why he was poking around against the wall there.”
“I’m sure he had a perfectly good reason,” Juliette said as she looked at StJohn, wondering the same thing herself.
“Well, he can take his perfectly good reason and stuff it where the sun doesn’t shine,” Carina said, “I don’t like it when people sneak round my home.”
“Carina, I really don’t think you should use such language towards him.”
“Oh?” Carina stared at him, before she said “has he been poking round my room as well? Or is it only bare walls that interest him?”
“CARINA DIANA HUNTINGDOWN,” Juliette said in a loud voice, “YOU APOLOGISE RIGHT NOW!”
“Ladies, perhaps it would be better if I was to leave,” StJohn said as he saw the way Carina was looking at her mother.
“Don’t bother,” Carina said quietly, “I’ll leave you two alone. Judith and I will call round tomorrow morning, mother.”
Juliette watched as Carina walked out of the room, and then collected the bag and Judith, before she left the apartment, the door slamming behind her.
“Quite a temper, your daughter,” StJohn said as he put a hand on Juliette’s shoulder.
“She has a point though,” she said as she turned round, “what were you doing to the wall?”
“I was in the kitchen when I heard a scuttling sound – I was looking for mouse holes,” he said as he put his hand on Juliette’s cheek. “The last thing I want you to be worrying about in the run up to Christmas is the idea of mice running through your kitchen.”
“Oh,” Juliette said as she looked into his eyes, “Well, I agree – I’ll have a professional come and check the wall tomorrow.”
“She’ll cool down eventually – probably stay the night with Abby or Jo.”
“So we have the place to ourselves, do we,” he said before he gently kissed her on the lips.
“Yes, I guess we do,” Juliette replied eventually, as she took him by the hand and led him upstairs.
“What is it Ama,” Dominique said as she watched her daughter looking out of the apartment window.
“I was looking at the lights in the street,” Ama said as she looked over, “so bright and cheerful with the dark sky. So much light to celebrate a holiday of light.”
“Well, they do seem to go a little overboard here,” Dom said with a smile.
“And they do not in your country?”
“I suppose they do – the lights on Oxford Street and Regent Street are a big thing every year,” Dom said as she came over and joined her, “but we do not have the Santa at the street corner. In the towns and villages, it is much much more peaceful.”
She put her arms round Ama as they looked at the people passing downstairs, and then saw the car pull up by the sidewalk.
“Is that not Carina,” Ama said as the small blonde got out, carrying Judith as she walked to the door.
“It is,” Dom said, “go and let her in Ama – I’ll tell Annie we have a visitor.”
Ama nodded and ran to the apartment door as Dom went to Annie’s bedroom.
“Hey,” she said as she looked in on her flatmate, who was marking papers, “we have a visitor.”
“Who,” Annie said as she came out, looking at Carina as she came in. “Hey – I thought you were staying at your mother’s to…”
Her words were cut off as Carina threw herself against Annie’s chest, sobbing as Dom and Ama watched.
“Why don’t you get Judith out of her body suit,” Dom said as she unbuckled and lifted the gurgling baby from the chair and handed her to Ama, “while I go and get some coffee?”
“What’s wrong,” Annie said as she held Carina’s head.
“Mom and I just had a huge row,” Carina cried, “and I walked out before I did something stupid. I need someone to hold me…”
“Hush, hush,” Annie said as Ama removed Judith from the full body suit, sitting the little girl on her lap as she looked round, “take your coat off, sit down, and tell me all about it…”
Carina nodded and removed her coat, sitting with Annie while Dom brought mugs of coffee in. “What was the argument about,” Annie said as she held Cari’s hand.
“Her new boyfriend,” Cari said, “I came home, and found him poking around on the wall of the utility room.”
Dom looked over as she sat down, and said “did he…”
“No – I changed the way it opened after last May, and installed a different type of lock. No way he can open it. But I was short with him, and with Mom – and now I think I’ve really upset her.”
“Juliette will calm down,” Dom said, “but I am more concerned about the fact he was doing this. I would know more of this man.”
“So would I,” Cari said, “Do you know if Heather is free?”
“Sorry – she’s at the set all day, and won’t be free until very late, but she will be back on Saturday afternoon. I think we should talk to her then.”
“Have you met him,” Cari said as she looked at Dom.
“No,” Dom said as Judith gurgled, laughing at Ama as she played with her, “but I know Diana and Sandy have. Shall I call them?”
“No – I need to clear things with Mom before I do anything, but I can’t do that tonight. I know it’s an imposition, but…”
“Of course you can stay here,” Annie said. “Can Judith sleep in her car seat for tonight?”
“I’ve got the bassinette in the car – I’ll bring it up with the bag in a few minutes. And thanks – for being here.”
“Any time,” Annie said as Ama wrinkled her nose. “My apologies, Carina,” she said, “but…”
“Yeah – I know,” Cari said as she knelt on the floor and opened up the mat from the changing bag, “bring her over here…”
The Carlton home
“Anna, are you finished yet?”
“Nearly Mom,” Anna called down as she closed the door,
then sat at her computer and thought long and hard. New York's laws governing prostitution
were difficult and complicated. The last thing she wanted was to be arrested,
or worse jailed, and ruin her chances of becoming a doctor, but deep inside her
the craving for thrills and excitement was driving her onwards.
She looked at the photos Mary had arranged for her at
Complete Style, she knew she looked older in them, and irresistibly sexy.
The first thing she needed was a false ID that was for sure, something that said she was 19 and would pass scrutiny. She'd found sites that said how to go about it, but that would have to wait for tomorrow, it was already extremely late and she had school in the morning.
Friday 12th December
The Huntingdown Apartment
Juliette was looking through the paper, silently thanking the Goddess there were no reports of horrific crimes, as StJohn poured two coffees.
“Do you have to go in today,” he said as he handed her a mug.
“Sadly yes – I have a magazine to help put together you know, lover,” she said as she kissed him. “And you said you had things to do today as well.”
“How true,” he said as the intercom buzzed. Juliette stood up and walked over, her skirt moving with her bottom, and answered the call.
“Yes? By all means send him up,” she said as she went to the front door of the apartment.
“Alex, this is an unexpected pleasure,” Ju said as Father Alex came in, brushing his great coat down. “StJohn, this is Sandy’s uncle, Alex Richmond.”
He looked at the tall broad shouldered man and smiled. “I don’t believe I have had the pleasure Mister Richmond?”
“Actually it’s Father Richmond,” Alex said as he removed his great coat, and StJohn saw the dog collar, “but I’ll forgive you. You asked me to call round and see you, Juliette?”
“I did indeed – I wanted to ask you if you were available for the Debutante Ball next month, to escort Carina? I know I have no right to ask, but…”
“I would be honoured to, Carina,” Alex said with a smile. “Do you have the invite for me to respond on her behalf?”
“Of course, will you excuse me a moment,” Juliette said as she left the room.
StJohn looked over at Alex, smiling as he said, “You have a very beautiful niece, Father.”
“Well, I do agree that Sandy is a very beautiful woman” Alex said with a smile.
“It must break your heart that she is a lesbian.”
Alex had been sipping a coffee, but when he heard that he raised an eyebrow and put his cup down.
“Would you mind repeating what you just said, young man?”
“I meant,” Stevens said with a smile, “that as a man of the cloth it must be a great tragedy to you that your own niece flouts her sexuality so openly. After all, your own church condemns homosexuality, does it not?”
Alex turned and looked hard at the man. Tell me, young man, do you have the authority, moral or otherwise, to tell me how I should feel about my family?”
StJohn was slightly taken aback, as he stammered “I merely thought…”
“No, you did not think,” Alex said. “If you thought, you would realize that the church I lead a flock for in itself has no right to condemn, when we have done so many terrible things ourselves in the name of the church. You would realize that our savior did not judge, but instead welcomed and loved, while at the same time teaching that only his father has the right to judge and condemn.
“I love my family, and my niece especially, and I do so regardless of her personal preferences in partners of any type – friends, lovers, others. Tell me, Mister Stevens…”
“Actually, it’s Doctor…”
“Tell me, MISTER Stevens,” Alex continued, “can you look me in the eye and tell me you are totally without sin? Because I cannot and do not pretend I can, and unless you can, do not seek to judge me, my family, or my beliefs.
“You are currently in a relationship with Juliette, correct?”
“That is correct, Father.”
“Well then, let me make this short and to the point,” Alex said, “I will welcome you as her partner, and I will not say any more of what you have said. But if you hurt her, or Sandy, or any of their friends and family in any way, it will not be Father Alexander Richmond you meet, it will be Sgt. Richmond USM. I trust I make myself clear?”
Alex had never raised his voice once, or changed his tone, but his message had been clear to StJohn.
“Good – then we will say no more of this,” he said as Juliette came in with an envelope. “Ah – I see Vanessa sent this. I will let her know”
Picking up his coat, Alex said “I must go Juliette. A pleasure to meet you, sir.” He gave a curt nod to StJohn and left, closing the door behind himself.
“Interesting man,” StJohn said as he stood up. “I need to go – see you later?”
“I hope so,” she said as they kissed and he left the apartment, Juliette clearing the coffee mugs away. The telephone ringing distracted her as she picked up the handset.
"Hey Ju, it's
"Oh Hey Annie,” Juliette said, “I was just
reading the papers."
"There's no need - she spent the night cuddled up
"Thank the Goddess." Juliette breathed a
sigh of relief.
"She could have released very easily you know, she was that upset."
“I know – she found StJohn looking in the utility room for something, and was afraid he was looking for her closet.”
“Yeah – well, she’s coming round to see you, so hopefully you can clear the air between both of you.”
“Okay – thanks Annie. For everything.”
As she heard the door open and close, she put the handset down and turned to see Carina standing there with Judith.
“Mom,” Carina said, “I need to say sorry for last night.”
“Are you all right, Cari,” Juliette said as she came forward and looked at her.
“I spent the night at Annie’s,” Cari said as Juliette took Judith. “Don’t worry – we sat and talked, and I calmed down. Nothing happened, but I still want to know what he was doing in the room.”
“He said he had heard a mouse,” Juliette said.
Carina raised an eyebrow but said nothing. “Anyway, I’m sorry I got angry last night, and I’m sorry I upset you.”
“Cari bear, I’m not upset,” Juliette said as she hugged Carina, “I was just so worried when you went out like that,”
“I may need to avoid him for a while though mom, until I calm down,” Carina said, “something about him in real life…”
“I don’t need to ask permission do I?” Juliette said with a raised eyebrow.
“No mom – just pleas, be careful. Please.”
“I always am,” Juliette said with a smile. “Let me make some fresh coffee, and we’ll talk about the tea party.
StJohn Stevens hailed a cab and jumped in, deep in
thought. He was convinced that something
wasn't as it should be in the Huntingdown apartment, there was definitely a
hidden panel in the utility room, it was just a pity
that the bitch of a daughter had come in before he had a chance to find out how
Thinking of Carina though made his mind wander, she
was a hell of a looker, young, nubile, beautiful, just his type. He thought to himself that he bet she was
even better in bed then her mother.
Still business first, Juliette Huntingdown was definitely keeping secrets, but her friends lover was also beginning to cause trouble in London. Both matters needed dealing with, the question was how.
The attempt on the girlfriend’s life in London had failed – and the men assigned the task had turned up dead the next morning in the East End of London. That Miss Smith both carried a gun and clearly knew how to use it very efficiently, then had the contacts to call for someone to clean up the mess and dispose of the dead bodies told him she was far more than a mere nanny, and part-time art expert.
“Damn,” Stephens cursed. If he didn’t do things personally did nothing get done right?
Who were Juliette and her friends under their clever disguises as dilettantish society women?
He was sure they had links to the Pussycat gang, though he had no evidence. He was equally sure they had links to the police and security services, although he again had no evidence. Whoever they were though they presented a clear and present danger to him and his organization.
But should he move now, with no evidence, or bide his time and move when he knew for certain? He sat back for the ride to his hotel, thinking things over…
Saturday 13th December
“Welcome back,” Sandy said as she embraced Heather, “Good flight?”
“One of the better ones,” Heather said as she wheeled her case out to Sandy’s car, putting that and the laptop bag in the trunk.
“Well how was London really?” Sandy said as she climbed into the driver’s seat besides her girlfriend.
“Interesting.” Heather leaned across and kissed her lover hard and slowly.
“Hmmm – now that I have missed,” Sandy said as she started the car and drove off. “Recovered from the mugging attempt?”
“Yeah,” Heather said, “the last thing I expected to do in London was to kill two men.”
“Nor I should imagine find a forgery in the Queen’s art collection?”
“No.” Heather nodded. “That does seem to have set the cat amongst the pigeons.”
“So how was Shirley, did she okay those bits I asked you to get her to look at?”
“She did, and she likes the repro upholstered in that.”
“Good.” Sandy smiled.
“Lover,” Heather said quietly, “there was something I didn’t say online because I didn’t want Juliette to see it.”
“Yes,” Heather looked downcast. “Madame has unearthed evidence that puts Stevens right at the centre of this forgery business.”
“Shit,” Sandy said, “I was afraid of that, I knew there was a reason I disliked the man.”
“Head over heels,” Sandy said with a nod. “She even had a fight with Cari about him.”
“Oh Goddess,” Heather said, “Did Cari?”
“No she kept The Beast in check, she spent the night at Dom and Annie’s.”
“Well that was something I suppose.” Heather breathed a sigh of relief.
“So how do we get Juliette to start to see sense?” Sandy asked.
“I don’t know… I guess we get all the girls together and discuss it without her.”
“Diana doesn’t like him either you know, and Cari wants you to check him out.”
Heather nodded. “I guess I’ll have to e-mail Cari when I get in.”
“Jeanne I know is also more than interested in talking to you.”
“Me, or The Hand?”
“How did I guess that as well?” Heather sighed.
Sandy concentrated on the traffic.
“So how is little sister?”
“Over the moon.”
“Curt is coming down for New Years.”
“Oh I should have guessed.” Heather laughed.
“Yeah I left her on the phone with him when I headed to the airport.”
“Her phone bill is going to be huge.”
“Well I’m happy for her.” Sandy smiled, “Curt seems a nice young man.”
“I think he is as well, and it’s a pleasure to meet someone who is genuinely interested in what is in a woman’s head, not just what’s in her bra.”
“A rare breed,” Sandy said as she pulled up outside the mansion. “Well, here we are, home sweet home.”
“And there was much rejoicing,” Heather said as she got out and walked in, only to be flattened by the children.
“Did you bring us a present, Heather,” Little Sandy said as she hugged her legs.
“Yes I did – but can I come in first,” Heather said with a smile.
Sunday 14th December
The Carlton home
“Mom, I’m heading off with Becca now.”
“All right,” Emma said as she looked at Doc, her rucksack on her back as Doc pulled her coat on. “Jo will pick you both up tomorrow morning from the Morse house, all right?”
“Got it mom – I’ll see you tomorrow night,” Doc said as she kissed Emma, and followed Becca into the rapidly darkening street.
“I have got to be out of my head doing this for you, Anna,” Becca hissed as they got into the car, “do you know how much trouble I could get into for this?”
“Oh where’s your sense of adventure,” Doc said with a smile. “Don’t worry, I’ll only be out for an hour or so.”
“Yeah – well, you’d better call me if you get into any trouble,” Becca said as the car pulled up outside her house. Walking in, she called out “We’ll be up in my room mom.”
“All right,” Claire called through from the drawing room. “Hi Anna.”
“Hi Mrs. Morse,” Anna said back as they headed up, Bobbi closing her door as Doc opened her bag.
“All right,” Becca said as she took a deep breath, “Let’s get this over and done with.”
Anna opened the door of the bar and walked in, looking from left to right as the customers turned and looked at her. The black cocktail dress was short, tight, and it showed an awful lot of Anna's ample cleavage. She just hoped it didn't also show how nervous she was inside as she sat on the bar stool, hiked up her hem to show off even more of her long black nylon covered legs and signaled the barman
“Martini,” she said to the dark haired man.
“Got some ID,” he said, looking at the card Anna showed him and then nodding. “How do you want that,” he said as he handed the card back.
“Plenty of ice,” she said with a smile, putting a twenty down and smiling. The barman nodded and brought her drink over. “Thanks” she whispered as she admired the long fingernails, painted the same shade to match her lips, and drank a sip from her glass. Slowly she relaxed and began to check out if any men were checking her out.
Some definitely were, talking to themselves and looking away as she caught their eye. One in particular looked at her – a grey haired man in an open necked shirt, grey jacket and trousers.
She smiled and nodded in his direction, crossing her legs and wondering if he would make a move.
"Is she?" Doc heard the grey haired man
whisper to the barman.
"Well if she aint Mac then she went to a lot of effort to come out and drink on her own."
She smiled as the man came over and sat beside her.
“May I buy you a drink?”
“You may,” Doc said as she looked at him, smiling.
“I don’t think I have seen you here before?”
“Well, I like to drink in different places,” Doc said quietly.
“What’s your name?”
“Angel,” she said confidently, to match the ID.
“A lovely name,” he said as the barman poured him a whisky and her another martini.
“So,” he said quietly, “what do you do for a living?”
“A lot of things,” Doc said as she sipped her drink, “Why do you ask?”
“Well, if you don’t have anywhere particular to go…”
Doc looked at the man, and smiled as she said “That depends on what you have in mind?”
“I could give you a drink in my hotel room?”
Doc smiled as she looked at him. “A very kind offer – I accept.”
The barman watched as they walked out, shaking his head. They seemed to be getting younger every day…
“Nice room,” Anna said as the man closed the door.
“Thank you,” he said as he gently held her head in his hands. “So, if I may ask an indelicate question…”
“It depends on what you want me to do,” Doc breathed. “But the minimum is $250.”
The grey haired man nodded a she opened his pocketbook and put five fifties on the bed, Doc tried to control her rapidly beating heart as she looked at him, and then said “All right then, why don’t you go and get ready?”
He smiled and kissed her lips before he walked into the bathroom, closing the door behind himself. Anna sat quickly on the bed, panting as she tried to decide if she was going to go through with this or not.
Five minutes later, the man came back in, saying “I hope you are…” He looked round the empty room, and the notes sitting on the bed, and smiled.
The Morse home
Becca looked up at the tap on her window, and opened it as Doc climbed in.
“You didn’t…” she said as she looked at her friend, her shoes in her hand.
“No – but I came damn close,” Doc said as there was a knock on the door.
“Girls, there’s cocoa downstairs.”
“We’ll be down in a minute mum,” Becca said as Doc grabbed some cotton wool and started to remove her make up. “Dammit Doc you’re walking damn close to the line with this.”
“And the thought doesn’t excite you?”
Becca looked at Doc, not answering as her friend quickly changed into her night clothes.
"Okay so what have I learned tonight?" Anna sat up in bed thinking to herself.
"That I can attract men willing to pay for me obviously. But that next time I need to be more sure of myself and remember call girls shouldn't even see the man, just his money."
“Turn the light off Doc – I need to sleep.”
She turned the light out and tried to remember the things she'd done right rather then the things she'd done wrong. Like everything in her life Anna analyzed the problem in fine detail, tomorrow maybe her brain would tell her the answers.
Tuesday 16th December
The Morse Mansion
“Oh my,” Claire said as she looked on the inside page of the Times.
“What is it,” Tom said as he looked over.
“Flaherty,” Claire said as Tom took the paper.
U.S. Rep. James H. Flaherty, the long serving Democrat who represented a district from the east side of Manhattan in Congress died last evening from complications related to a stroke he had suffered at the weekend. He was 74.
Mr. Flaherty served seven terms in congress and had recently been re-elected for an 8th time. He leaves behind a widow Jean, and a son Michael, as well as 5 grandchildren.
“May he rest in peace,” Tom said quietly.
“Does this mean what I think it means?”
“Does what mean what,” Becca said as she came in.
“It does – Congressman Flaherty died yesterday, so that means a special election.”
“Are you thinking of running, Dad?”
“I’m not just thinking of running,” Tom said, “I’m going to win.”
“That’s my Dad,” Becca said as she buttered a slice of toast.
"If I do run for congress,” Tom said, “then this family will have to be squeaky clean. With apologies to your friend Anna, NO posing for pinups, NO scandalous behavior at parties, not a whiff of scandal."
“And be back by sunset tonight,” Claire said, “we have
to light the first candle.”
"You better ring Bobbi as well." Becca
smiled, "she needs to limit herself to just one boyfriend at a time
"Stay away from the Rochermann twins as well." Tom told his daughter, "I love them both, but they are like magnets for trouble."
“Don’t worry Dad – I’ll be a good little Angel.”
The Richmond Mansion
“All right, kids are in bed, wine is poured – this emergency meeting is brought to order,” Sandy said as she sat in her favourite chair, her legs tucked under her. Heather nodded as she connected with Carina in Yale, the young blonde appearing as Judith played in her seat behind her.
“Hey folks,” she said as she waved at them, “how are things now?”
“Well, the man of the moment has left New York until the 30th,” Janice said, “which means we have a few days grace in which to address the issue.”
“My apologies for our tardiness,” Diana said as she came in with Abby, “but we had to make some arrangements for next week, and this is the only night we had available to do it.”
“Hey Cari,” Abby said, “Packed up and ready to come home tomorrow?”
“Oh you betcha – one semester down, seven more to go,” Carina said as the others settled down, Jo joining them as Sandy looked round.
“Ladies, there is a serpent in the Garden of Eden, and his name is StJohn Stevens. Abby and Jo, of all of us you are the only ones who have not met him or know much about him at all, so you need to be the impartial judges of what we have to say. What we’re going to do is just give you our impression of him, before we do anything else – ready?”
The two girls nodded as Janice put her glass down.
“When he walked into Tom Callahan’s office, he acted as if he was the most superior person in the room. He and Jeanne certainly do not get along – that much is certain. Jo, when you and Annie took her into his room, what did Jeanne spend most time on?”
“The contents of his briefcase – I think she photographed every single document in there.”
Janice nodded. “She is convinced he is if not at the heart of, at least heavily involved in this, and is not just here to represent Lloyds.”
Sandy glanced over at Heather, who said nothing as Jan looked at her.
“I’ll tell you how convinced she is. Sandy, when you met him, what happened?”
“He tried to charm me, heard I was a lesbian, then that Heather was in London advising on some art, and he did a runner – why?”
“And then that night, someone tried to mug Heather.”
“Yes, and then that night, someone tried to…” Sandy suddenly stopped and looked across at her lover.
Jo was also looking at her, her face reddening as she said very quietly “Jan, are you saying…”
“We don’t know – she has heard rumours that some guy named Jimmy Finn may have been paid to take out someone in London asking too closely about artworks, and then…”
“Someone tried to kill Heather?” Sandy was standing up now, as she looked at Jo.
“If that turns out to be the truth,” Jo growled, “he’s mine.”
“Not unless I get to him first.”
“Sit down, Jo, Sandy,” Diana said quietly, “let Carina have her say.”
Both of them looked at Heather, who nodded as Carina said “I know Mom has fallen hard for him, but the way I caught him skulking around the utility room is what concerns me the most.”
“Is there anything there now?”
“No – I shipped it all down to Annie’s place that day. They’ve converted the loft of their apartment into a secure store room. Getting back to the point at hand, however – he may have said he was looking for mice, but I smelt a rat, and the stench has not gone away.”
“So I take it you don’t like him,” Abby said.
“Let me put it this way, Abs – if he hurts Mom, or any of you if Jan is right, then I want him at the Farm, in my tender care, for a lesson in real hurt on the scale of Vincenzo Maroni.”
The others looked round, before Diana said “Sandy, darling?”
“Stevens managed to achieve what I believed to be impossible,” Sandy said quietly, “he made Uncle Alex angry.”
“He what?” Janice looked over at Sandy, totally incredulous. “I thought nothing upset Father Alex?”
“Well, he did it – Alex told me he said some disparaging things about me, and then tried to imply he should condemn me. A serious mistake on his part – apparently Uncle Alex started threatening that Sgt Richmond would make an appearance.”
“I think when Adam looks at him sometimes, a similar thought is taking place,” Janice said quietly.”
“I personally have had to apologise to Natasha that he reminded me of my late unlamented husband.” Diana said as she held Abby’s hand. “So as you can see, girls, we do not have a high opinion of him.”
“So I see,” Abby said, “Heather, how likely is it this rumor is true?”
“Time you told them lover,” Sandy said as she looked at Heather.
“Told us what?”
Heather took a deep breath and said “You may remember we asked Susan to ask Madame to look into this man in Wales? Well, she did so – and it turns out this was far worse than we imagined.”
She told them the information Shirley had passed on, Abby clutching her mother’s hand.
“When do you next see Jeanne, Heather?”
“Tomorrow – Jan is setting it up.”
“I’m coming too,” Jo said, “just in case.”
“Agreed, can you set something up Heather?”
Heather nodded as Jo looked at Abby. “Well?”
“No question he needs to be dealt with, but I am afraid Juliette is too much in love to see this.”
“I am afraid I agree, but I will talk to her, see how bad it is. What else can we do in the interim?”
“Time for me and Adam to do some digging – see what his contacts here know of Doctor Stevens. Apart from that, keep your eyes open for Ju – and all of us.”
“Can you talk to Dom, Jo – see what she knows of this Jimmy Finn?”
“I’ll see her tomorrow – Annie’s invited me to her place after training.”
“Except you’re coming with me,” Heather said.
“Oh yeah – I’ll ask Annie to ask her.”
“Let’s make this a Christmas to remember for all of us – and get ready for the New Year,” Sandy said, everyone else nodding.
"This is getting very personal and someone we
love is going to get badly hurt before this is over." Diana bowed her
"Well just as long as when he pays the price it's
at my hand." Sandy smiled grimly.
"And mine." Jo said in a low tone.
“Join the queue,” Carina said quietly.
Wednesday 17th December
“Can you believe we have another week to go before the Christmas recess,” Jeannie said as she looked across the table. “In England we would have broken up by now, or by Friday at least.”
“True – but in England you’re still at school in the middle of July, whereas here you finish at the end of May. Gotta take the rough with the smooth, Baby.”
“Oh you are a great help, Doc,” Jeannie said as she looked over. “But you’re right.”
“How are you spending Christmas Jeannie,” Nikki asked.
“At home with my mum and granddad – we’ve not had a real family Christmas for years. We’re even tuning into BBC America at 10 in the morning for the Queen’s Speech.”
“Normal family Christmas for the rest of you,” Jeannie said as she looked round, the other girls nodding. “What about Boxing Day?”
“We don’t do it,” Doc said.
“We have a big party on the street – I guess Ama, Annie and Caroline will join us for that.”
"So what are you buying Curt for Christmas?"
Ally asked as they sat down for lunch.
Jo just looked off into the distance as though she'd
not heard a word.
"Hello, Earth to Joanne." Ally laughed.
"What?" Jo looked at her friend bewildered.
"You really were a million miles away weren't you?
I was asking what you are buying Curt for Christmas."
"Sorry, I have things on my mind…I've ordered him
a first edition of a book he loves from ABE."
"A book on crime?"
"No," Jo smiled, "poetry, believe it or
not my boyfriend is a hopeless romantic."
"Damn your luck Joanne Smith, how comes I never
meet guys like that?” Ally picked at her salad and said “he's good-looking,
smart, AND romantic…NO FAIR!"
"Maybe you don't look in the right places
Al…anyway this book is costing $250, but I think he'll like it a lot."
"So what are you hoping to get for Christmas
"About 10 inches of…"
"ALLY!" Jo gurgled with
laughter, "You are incorrigible!"
"Aint I just?" Ally laughed as well.
"Nell and I have seen these matching dress
watches, and we've been dropping hints to our parents for weeks."
"Oh now they sound nice."
"So any thoughts on college yet?"
"Dad still thinks that maybe Harvard might accept
me, but I'm really not sure, I'm looking hard at Wellesley."
"She's looking at Wellesley too."
"Re-uniting the team eh?"
"Maybe, but I know she also has thought hard
about Mount Holyoke."
"Well we need see how our SAT scores play out." Jo sipped her milk.
She looked over to where Jeannie and the others were sitting, and noticed the length of Anna’s skirt.
"One day soon, I have to have a word with
Anna." She said quietly.
"I swear her skirt is almost getting as short as
mine." Ally glanced.
"Well from what I hear, her school work is
"It's her extra-curricular activities that worry
me." Jo pursed her lips. "If I wasn't so busy with Curt, school,
training, and something that just cropped up…"
"Want me to have a big sisterly word?"
Jo looked at her friend. "No offence, Ally, but I’m not sure if
"Hey I know what I am." Ally smiled,
"But it doesn't mean I want to see other girls follow in my high-heeled
"Could you check out she's not getting herself
into trouble for me Ally?"
"I can try…damn Allyson Rochermann acting
responsibly, who'd of thunk it?"
"Yeah who'd of thunk it?" Jo smiled at her friend.
“Right – I have a meeting with Abby and Miss Tennant,” Jeannie said as she pushed herself back from the table, “don’t do anything I wouldn’t.”
“See you in class,” Doc said as Jeannie wheeled herself away,
"Okay now Jeannie's not here, the big question
needs answering." Nikki paused, "Did you or didn't you?"
"She chickened out?" Becca blabbed.
"That's ten bucks each." Pepsi held her hand
out towards Becca and Nikki.
"Next time I won't." Anna said quietly.
"Same bet girls?" asked Pepsi.
"You're on…and what do you mean next time
Doc?" Nikki asked.
"I mean the next time Angel goes out she will
become a prostitute."
"I still think you are too chicken." Pepsi
"Well I'm not." Doc looked steadily at her
friends, "And I'll have a bet with you all as well, that by January all
four of us will be whores."
"Oh name the stakes." Pepsi laughed,
"NO WAY I'm ever selling my body."
"Fifty bucks each…" Anna smiled.
"And how do you intend to pay us Doc?"
"From my immoral earnings of course." Anna smiled her sexiest smile.
“Come on girls, keep this pace up,” Jo called out to the squad as they ran down the path.
"I heard the news about the attempted hit on
Heather." Annie spoke quietly as she and Jo ran behind the training squad
as they lapped the reservoir in Central Park.
"If I catch that fucking bastard…"
"I hear it’s going to be who gets to him
"Just remember keep it calm, you strike out in
anger you'll end up making mistakes."
"I know." Jo smiled, "And who'd of
thought a few months ago you'd be advising me about killing someone."
"Goddess don't I know that." Annie laughed.
"So do you meet Jeanne tonight with The
"I do, Heather's putting together a cover for
"Gives her something to distract her."
"Yeah, I think she's making me someone who knows
a lot of people in Langley."
"That makes sense." Annie nodded.
“Can you ask Dom what she knows about a guy called Jimmy Finn,” Jo said as they rounded the reservoir.”
“Can do – why?”
“Could be the man who arranged the hit.”
“Then I will find out,” Annie said as they headed for home.
East 37th St. New York City.
The two women sat at a table near the bar, looking round from under their veils as the waiter brought over their drinks. The taller of the two had a leather jacket sipped up to her chin, the high collar round a white scarf, a short leather skirt, fishnet stockings and a pair of black ankle boots with a three-inch heel.
The smaller girl wore a high necked jumper under a black velvet jacket, tight satin pants and knee length black leather boots. She sipped her drink through a straw and then looked over at her partner.
"So why are we meeting Jeanne and Janice in the
bar of an upscale hotel sis." Jo could still not
quite adjust to the sexy purr her voice was being altered to by the device
under the neck of her jumper.
"Because I'm less likely to blowup and ruin my
cover in such a public place." Heather smiled.
"Don't worry,” Jo said quietly, “that bastard
will get his."
"We just need to make sure we get all his
associates as well Jo dearest."
"There are the girls." Jo said as she
adjusted the veil of her hat, and then pulled out her compact to check her
makeup and disguise was perfect. "Do I look okay?"
"You look fine." Heather laughed lightly.
"Now this is perfect." Doc smiled to herself
as she checked out the bar of the Altama Hotel and its patrons. Lots of very
well dressed people suggested there was money to be made here tonight by an
enterprising young woman.
She adjusted the spaghetti strap of her cocktail dress
as she poured herself onto a bar stool, and asked the bartender for a martini.
This girl didn't even ask for her id, as she crossed her legs, revealing just a hint of her stocking tops.
“Hello there,” a man said as he walked over, “waiting for anyone in particular?”
“That depends,” she said sexily, “on whether or not you are particular?”
“Oh I am,” he laughed, “may I buy you a drink?”
“You may.” Angel laughed at the man.
For a second Jo glanced at the blonde in the very
short dress laughing lightly as the man in a smart suit bought her a drink.
There was something vaguely familiar about her.
As she did so, Janice came in, wearing a tight black dress and high
boots, talking to Jeanne in her Chanel trouser suit and shoes.
"Oh Fuck." Doc thought to herself as she recognized Janice, "Not only is she the law, but she knows me as well." Luckily though Janice walked right by deep in conversation with another woman, not giving Anna even a second glance.
“Something wrong,” the man said as he sat next to her.
“No,” Doc said as she raised her glass, “just wondering why a handsome man like you is alone tonight?”
“Ah, a business trip I’m afraid,” he said quietly, “just a lonely man seeking company.”
“Well, I can provide that.”
“What’s your name?”
“Pete,” the man said as the two women approached the ones wearing the veils.
“Agent Carter, Inspector Marais, a pleasure as always,” Heather purred. “For once, may I offer you a drink?”
The Hand indicated to the waiter, who took their orders and scuttled away.
“Please, be seated.
Ladies this is Corinne, I won't say who she works for, let's just say
she knows a lot of people in Langley, Virginia."
"Ah," Jeanne smiled, "How are the
people down there?"
"Concerned." Jo nodded as she
sipped her drink.
"I can understand why."
"Any attempt on the life of an American National abroad we take very seriously." Jo spoke a line she'd heard a CIA operative use in a movie.
“Indeed – and it proves that Heather may have helped us uncover a major art fraud ring, which has international implications.”
“So you do believe this was an attempt on the unfortunate Miss Smith’s life?”
Janine nodded as the young woman at the bar left with the man and the waiter brought their drinks over.
“So do I take it,” The Hand purred as she put her drink down, “that you believe this Doctor Stevens is indeed involved?”
“I am convinced of it – the documents I photographed all point that way, but they cannot be presented as proof – he will ask how I got ahold of them.”
“A most awkward question, as I am sure Agent Carter will testify,” Corinne said. “It is not unknown, however, for evidence to be gathered by less than circumspect methods.”
Jeanne nodded as she sipped her drink. “I have a proposition – but I make it as a hypothetical, if you will.”
“Then hypothetically speaking,” Jan said, “what is your proposition?”
“Stevens has a lock up in a secure facility on Long Island. As he is out of the country at the moment, I wonder if a visit to the lockup may not prove – informative.”
“If it were indeed possible to make such a visit, then it may indeed be educational,”
“Sadly, of course, such things cannot be done officially without search warrants…”
Janice put her drink down and said “what my friend is trying to say, to both of you, is will you help us pay an unofficial visit tomorrow?”
She watched as Corinne and The Hand looked at each other, and then Corinne said “Where is this facility?”
“Greenpoint Avenue, Brooklyn.”
“Very well then,” The Hand said, “meet us outside Agent Carter’s apartment, nine o’clock tomorrow night. And come dressed.”
She finished her drink and said “Until then.”
She and Corinne stood up and walked out, drawing admiring glances as Janice looked at the table.
She picked up a fifty. “She actually did pay this time.”
“Well, now,” the man said as he closed the room door, and took his jacket off, “the question is, what can you do for me?”
“That depends,” Doc said as she stroked his cheek, “what are you looking for?”
“What do you think,” he said as he leaned over, but she put her finger on his lips.
"Darling I don't kiss on the lips." 'Angel'
spoke a line she'd read in one of her books.
Nodding, he stroked her hair back. "So what are you going to cost me?"
"It depends on what services you ask for. But
straight sex is $500 and I don't do anything till the money is in my purse.'
"Here let me add to your college fund.' The John
came round holding five hundred dollar bills in front of her face.
"Mmmm Benjamin Franklin was always my favorite historical personage." Anna smiled as the guy went behind her and unzipped her dress while she tucked her 'present' in her money purse.
She felt his hands as he slipped her dress down her arms, and the touch of his lips on her neck and shoulders as he started to kiss her, her dress slowly falling down.
"These are amazing." he said as he cupped her breasts and nibbled on her neck, her dress slipping to the ground.
"Okay you took his money Anna, now you are officially a prostitute." Anna thought to herself as she shivered with pleasure at his touch. “I also need you to wear protection when the time comes,” she moaned as his hands started to caress her chest.
“Don’t worry,” he whispered, “I know the rules,” and with that he guided her to the bed, unfastening her bra as Angel lay back.
She felt his touch, his lips on her sex, and shivered as she closed her mouth, losing herself in the sensations and the pleasures.
“You taste divine,” he whispered as he looked at her eyes, filled with longing.
“Then drink deep,” she whispered, “and then I will return the favour before you get your fill.”
She closed her eyes and moaned as his tongue played with her, and forgot she was a schoolgirl, sinking into the role of Angel as he played her strings…
“Where in the name of creation did that name emerge from,” Dom said as she struggled with the complexities of wrapping presents.
“Someone ordered a hit on Heather, and the name came from other sources.”
“The redoubtable Inspector Marais?”
“Ah – well, it might make sense,” she said as she looked for the tape.
"Jimmy Finn used to be a small time armed robber
down Bermondsey way, but I heard he'd gone up in the world." Dominique
"Is he the sort of guy Stevens might ask to
arrange for Heather to get whacked?" Annie asked.
"Yeah he'd know guys who'd do it cheap."
"Well I think you better fill everyone in with what
you know online, including Madame."
"Yeah maybe Penny can try out the new farm
facility by getting Finn there." Dom smiled. "Would you like to fly
over and interrogate him?"
"I'd love to, but I have school remember…" suddenly Annie laughed, "I wonder how good Penny would look in leather?"
“Not sure – she’s more lace than leather, but looks can be deceiving,” Dom said as she stuck down the paper. “There – now, where did I put those labels…?”
The Richmond Mansion
“Cocoa,” Sandy said as Heather and Jo came in.
“Thanks,” Jo purred, putting her hand to her throat as she saw Sandy’s reaction.
did you find out from Jeanne?" Sandy asked.
"That she's in for a job on Steven's
lockup." Heather nodded as she removed the voice modifier.
"Just the four of you?"
"Yeah she feels safer that she's dealing with a hacker and two official types and not the Pussycats." Jo removed her hat and veil.
“Oh if only she knew,” Jo said as she removed her own voice modifier.
"So when are you doing it?" Sandy asked.
"Tomorrow." Heather reached
for her laptop.
"How long will it take you to map out and
plan?" Jo asked.
"Little sister do I need to answer that?"
"In other words she's already done it."
"I need go find a car in the morning."
"What about weapons?"
"Those 9mm's we have in the priests hole look pretty official Jo." Sandy answered.
“Fair point – so it should be a simple in and out, right?”
“That’s the idea – but we may have to make a mess to cover our tracks,” Heather said as she put on her glasses and started working.
As she went to sleep Jo suddenly sat up with a start.
Now she remembered who that blonde at the hotel had reminded her of…Doc.
"Surely not," she dismissed the thought,
even Doc couldn't be either that stupid, or make herself that convincing that
she could pass as a hooker in one of the city's best hotels.
"She must have a doppelgänger." Jo laughed as she once again lay down to go to sleep.
Friday 19th December
“Post,” Annie said as she put some envelopes on the table.
“Let’s see,” Dom said as she flipped through them, “Bill, junk, cards… Hello.”
“What is it,” Annie said as she looked at the white envelope and smiled. “I hoped this would come today.”
Dom nodded as she said “Ama – would you come here a minute please?”
“Yes Dominique, what is it,” Ama said as she came out of the bathroom, her hair under a towel turban and a dressing gown on over her body.
“There is a letter here for you,” Dom said as she placed it on the table.
“For me? Who could it be from,” Ama said as she looked at the envelope, and the ornate crest on the corner.
“Miss Ama Jameson,” she read, and then she opened the envelope and took out the sheets of paper. Scanning the sheets, she sat down and read more carefully.
“I am so sorry, Dominique,” Ama said as she looked up, “but I fear we must go shopping today.”
“Oh? What for?”
“A uniform,” Ama said, her smile big and broad. “This letter from Miss Tennant says I must report to St Angela’s at 8.30 am on Monday 5th January.”
“Well then,” Dominique said with a smile as she took her daughter’s hand, “shopping we must go. I have to go to a meeting this morning, but if you will take a cab to Saks of Fifth Avenue, and meet me there at two, we will take care of it then.”
“Thank you,” Ama said, and then she jumped up and hugged both of them. “Thank you thank you thank you…”
Jeanne opened the door and looked outside, but nobody was there. Looking down, she saw a parcel there, with her name on the address label.
Taking it inside, she examined the wrapping and then carefully opened the tape with a pocket knife. A trifle obtuse, possibly, but she had learned to be careful.
Satisfied, she opened the box and took out the note inside.
ON FURTHER CONSIDERATION, I FEEL YOU SHOULD WEAR THE ENCLOSED TONIGHT. I TRUST YOU APPROVE.
THE HIDDEN HAND.
Putting the note to one side, Jeanne lifted the contents of the box out. Looking at the clothing and the boots, she put them back in and carried them carefully to her room.
"Pepsi you owe them both Ten bucks." Anna sat
down as elegantly as her short tight school skirt would allow her.
"HOLY CRAP!" all three girls spoke as one.
"I demand proof." Pepsi smiled "before
I pay up."
"Well come with me tonight when I go to work." Doc smiled, "I've made up fake id's for all of you that will more than stand up to scrutiny."
Saks of Fifth Avenue
Ama looked round the rows of skirts and jackets as she held Caroline’s hand tightly.
“Can I help you,” a young assistant said as she came over.
“I hope so, yes,” Caroline said with a smile, “I was told it would be possible to equip my daughter for St Angela’s Academy here?”
“Certainly Madame – Louise?”
The head of the department walked over and stopped as he saw the two customers. “Miss Caroline Jameson?”
“That’s right – I was explaining to your assistant here that I wish to outfit my daughter for her to start at St Angela’s Academy in the New Year?”
“Of course – and you must be Ama,” Louise said as she shook the young girl’s hand. “It is an honour to meet you and your mother?”
“I do not understand – why is it an honour,” Ama said with a smile.
“Never mind my dear – Alexis, please take Ama to the fitting room, take her measurements and then select the correct size of uniform for her.”
“Of course Louise, this way please,” she said as she took Ama to a room.
“I saw the Complete Style magazine, Miss Jameson – it is an honour to serve you and your daughter here.”
“No, it’s not an honour for me,” Caroline said as Alexis came out, collected a blazer and skirt, and then went back in, “this is all for her.”
A few moments later Ama emerged, looking at herself as Louise checked the fit of the maroon blazer.
“It could be taken in a little, but I would recommend growing room,” she finally said.
“Agreed – I remember the blazer never fitted me properly,” Caroline said as Ama turned round and smiled.
“I love this,” she said as she turned round, “what’s next?”
“We usually recommend two or three skirts, two pullovers and six blouses.”
Caroline nodded before she consulted her list. “Gym outfits?”
“Allow me,” Louise said, “standard kit Alexis.”
“Do not look so worried Caroline,” Ama said as she went back to the changing room, “it is all for the best…”
"Oh crap!" Ally groaned inwardly as she
listened to the whispered conversation between the four in the rear seat.
Normally she'd have run straight to Jo, but the strain on Jo's face today spoke
legions of her own troubles. Truly there was only one person she trusted to
consult and that was Nell.
Yeah she'd find Nell at home after she dropped the girls off. In the meantime she'd keep her mouth shut. She was shocked to hear Doc admit to having turned professional, at least she and Nell had always steadfastly stayed amateur players.
The Rochermann Apartment
Nell stared at her twin sister as she tried to digest what she had just heard.
“I thought we were the wild children of this city,” she finally said, “but this young girl is just leaving us in the dust. We have to do something to rein them in now.”
Looking at her watch, Nell said “they said the Altama right?”
“Get changed and grab your coat – we need to nip this in the bud now.”
Jeanne looked at the note again carefully. How the
hell the Hand had known her size so perfectly she found hard to fathom, but she
had to admit the pants fit her like a glove, the 5" heeled boots may not
have been practical for running, but with the dark black jacket and gloves the
whole ensemble was striking. The thick stocking with the knot in the end had
puzzled her at first, but she'd soon realized what it was for, and she sat now
pinning her hair up so she could slip it on easily.
The large black 9mm had also been a surprise, but she'd checked it and found it both loaded and with spare ammunition.
Natasha was at a Christmas Carol Concert at the UN, so she slipped the gun into her jacket and put the stocking into her jacket pocket, before she slipped out of the apartment, closing the door behind her.
Glancing at her watch, she approached Janice’s apartment block in West Central Park, smiling as she came out, them staring as she recognized the outfit.
“I see you got a gift too,” Janice said as a dark car pulled up, and The Hand appeared as the window went down,
“Get in,” she purred as the rear doors opened, and the two law officers climbed in, Corrine driving off as the doors closed.
"Inspector strictly we are breaking the law
tonight?" The Hand purred as usual. “Can I take it as read you will forget
any actions that we or you might need to undertake to make this mission a
success? You also Agent Carter?"
"Do you mean killing people?" Jeanne asked.
The Hand nodded.
"I've thought it out deeply, my duties to catch the bigger criminals may force me into actions I regret, but I'm not scared of those actions either."
"Is this car hot?" Janice asked The Hand.
"Is that a rhetorical question Agent?"
"Oh great two cops riding round Brooklyn in a stolen car." Janice groaned.
The Altama Hotel.
Pepsi looked nervously round as she, Nikki and Becca came into the bar area. She was wearing a white strapless dress with a knee length full skirt, while Nikki had on a backless purple and silver metallic short dress. Becca wore a strapless purple evening dress, the folded skirt barely covering her upper legs, while all three wore high heels.
They made their way over to a table and sat down, watching the bar entrance.
“I can’t believe I’m doing this,” Becca said, “I was singing Ma’oz Tzur at six tonight, and I should be sitting Shabbat. If mom and dad find out I’m here, I’m dead.”
“Don’t worry, my mom’s covering you,” Nikki said as they watched Doc come in. Her evening dress was black and came to the floor, sleeveless and see-through at the top of her chest. The skirt was split from hip to floor on both sides, allowing her legs to be clearly seen,
“Good evening Tricia.” Doc took a seat by the bar. Getting on first name terms with the staff at any hotel a girl worked was one of the recommendations she’d picked up in her careful research.
“Good Evening Angel.” After just one night as a customer the bartender knew the young working girl’s preference as she put her Martini on the bar.
“Mmmm just as I like it.” Doc passed a twenty in payment.
Tricia smiled, “You were a busy girl last night.”
Doc smiled at the memory, three men at five hundred bucks a time was not a bad first night out.
“So many prospects tonight?”
“We had a big group of sales executives from all over the country check in earlier for a weekend conference.”
“Oh those poor lonely boys, so far away from their wives and homes.” Doc laughed. “Well we can’t leave them thinking New York is an inhospitable city can we?”
“Where on earth did she get these anyway,” Pepsi said as she looked at her ID, with the name ‘Sabrina de Vere’ on it.”
“She found some sort of site,” Nikki said as she looked at the photo of ‘Antoinette Lacey’”
Becca looked at ‘Genevieve Parsons’ and shook her head. “We are too damn close to the line for my liking,” she said as she watched a fair haired man walk up and start talking to Doc.
“Holy shit,” Pepsi whispered, “she really is doing it.”
“Never mind that,” Nikki said, “we’ve got bigger problems. Look who just walked in.”
The three girls looked over to see Ally and Nell Rochermann walk in, wearing fur coats and high boots, and looking round the room. Nell’s dress left little to the imagination, black and split at the chest with a small zip at her hip holding it in place. Ally wore an electric blue dress held up by a single strap over her left shoulder.
Greenpoint Avenue, Brooklyn.
“This the place,” Corrine said as she looked at the entrance to the secure unit.
“This is it,” Jeanne said, “it would appear there is only one entrance in and out.”
“Possibly – but we need to isolate the phone line first. And for this, I turn to my esteemed friend.”
Janice watched as The Hand looked at a tablet in her hand, and pressed a few buttons. “All right, I’ve isolated the security and phone lines in their systems,” she said quietly, “mask up and let’s get started.”
The four women pulled the stockings down over their heads and nodded to each other as they left the car and marched into the reception area. A woman was sat behind the desk, who looked up and said “Good evening, how may I…”
“Shut up, get those hands where I can see them, and stand up,” Corrine said as she pointed her 9mm at the receptionist. Janice lifted the counter and walked round, saying “just keep your trap shut and you’ll be fine” as she yanked the woman’s arms behind her back and cuffed her wrists with a zip tie.
As the other three women walked round, the receptionist was forced to lei on the floor, and her ankles secured with a second zip tie, before she was rolled over and a strip of fabric plaster pressed over her mouth.
“Let me put this simply,” Janice growled, “do something to raise the alarm and I shoot you, understand?”
She nodded slowly as Janice patted her head. “Good girl – give me a hand,” she said to Jeanne, as the two women lifted her and dragged her towards the security office.
Opening the door to the security office, Corrine walked in and said “Good evening, dipshits – hands in the air.”
The two security guards turned and looked at her, one of them reaching for his gun – only to stop as she fired a shot into the wall next to him.
“Next one gets your heart, so both of you, VERY carefully, take those guns out and throw them over here.”
The two men looked at each other, and the receptionist, before they removed their guns and threw them over. Jeanne was impressed with the way this woman controlled the situation, as she and The Hand walked over and pushed both men to their knees, before securing their wrists and ankles.
“What the fuck is this about,” one of the guards said as Corrine taped the other one’s mouth shut.
“Strictly business,” she said as the last one was gagged, and the three captives were made to sit against the wall. “Say night night.”
The three stared as a gas was sprayed into their faces, and then they fell asleep.
“Right – lock the door from the outside, and let’s get moving.”
The Altama Hotel
As Doc chatted with the fair-haired man, Tricia motioned that she had something to whisper.
“Angel, you may have a problem, see those two girls in the fur coats who just came in?”
Angel turned slowly and fought hard to maintain her air of composure at the sight of the twins.
“What’s the problem?” she whispered back.
“I know who those two are and they are famous.”
“Famous for what?” Doc tried to sound slightly bored.
“For being a working girl’s nightmare, they are a pair of oversexed rich girls who give it away to all and sundry.”
“That’s not good for my business.” Doc stared at her friends. She guessed Ally had overheard them chatting in the car and she was here to queer the pitch.
“There’s Doc,” Nell said as she looked over to the bar, “see the others yet?”
“Nine O’clock,” Ally said, “and they are about to be approached by three likely lads.”
“You take them, I’ll deal with Anna – and be gentle with them. I don’t think they’ve done anything – yet.”
Ally nodded as Nell slowly walked over to the bar.
“Hi,” she said, smiling sexily at the blonde man sitting chatting to Doc.
“Hi yourself.” The man looked the nubile young woman up and down. “Can I buy you a drink as well?”
“A screwdriver.” Nell eased herself onto a barstool crossing her legs, while Doc looked daggers at her.
“Do you two know each other?” The man asked.
“Our paths have crossed a few times.” Doc gritted her teeth.
“That’s true.” Nell sipped her drink.
“So how did your appointment go at the doctors go today?” Doc smiled, “Did he get rid of that rash?”
“Yes and he asked if your problem had cleared up?”
“What problems?” the man asked.
“Oh didn’t Angel tell you about the injections she needs.” Nell threw her head back and laughed. “You know you promised the doctor you’d tell people darling…”
“Mmmm I must be going…” the man glanced at his watch…”You ladies have a nice evening.” Suddenly he was running to get away.
“Thank you SO MUCH Nell.” Doc smiled as sweetly as she could at the older girl.
“Oh it’s my pleasure darling,” Nell said, before she leaned over and whispered “Just what the fuck do you think you’re doing?”
“I think we need to powder our noses darling.” Doc smiled at Nell, as she slipped off her stool and started her sexy walk to the ladies restroom.
Once inside both girls checked the stalls to make sure they were alone.
“You fucking bitch Nell.” Doc’s eyes were blazing as she turned on her.
“Don’t play games with me Nell - you aren’t a good enough actress or have a long enough memory to remember being innocent.”
“We are here to save you from yourself.” Nell put her hands on her hips.
“By teaching me that amateur sluts are more moral then professional ones?”
“By showing you that what you are dangerous and immoral.”
“This from the girl who had a threesome in a cop car?”
“Ally and I may not be role models, but damn it Doc you are a NICE girl.”
“Well being nice isn’t going to pay for great Christmas presents for everyone.”
“I am going to use the money I make to pay for my presents to family and friends, unlike YOU I don’t have a multi-million dollar trust fund.” Doc touched up her makeup.
“I didn’t realize.”
“Well just stay out of my way Nell.” Doc swept out of the powder room.
Nell looked into the mirror, and shook her head, wondering if she should have tried a different approach.
“So what are you three doing here?” Ally eased herself into the booth that Nikki, Pepsi and Becca were sitting at.
“We just came to see if Doc was full of shit.” Pepsi smiled as Becca watched Doc come back in and sit at the bar again, and then start talking to a dark haired man. “And why are you here Ally?”
“Oh,” Ally said as she looked round, “we are just out looking for a good time.”
“That’s you, the original good time…HAD BY ALL.” Becca pointed out.
“Well you don’t exactly look like Miss Sunshine yourselves.”
“And what business is it of yours how we dress Ally Rochermann?” Nikki hissed.
Ally looked at each of them and said “You look like three good time girls cruising for men.”
“Isn’t that a bit like the pot calling the kettle black?” Pepsi looked angry.
“We only came to watch Doc, but what business would it be of yours if we did start working the bar?” Nikki spat out the words.
“Then I’d have to stop you.”
“You and whose army Ally?” Becca was also getting angry, “Oh I forgot you don’t need the army, you’ve slept with half the NYPD.”
“That’s below the belt Becca…” Ally’s temper was rising.
“So I heard.” Becca laughed naughtily.
“Cut it out you lot, people are starting to look over,” Nell said as she walked over. “Where’s Doc?”
“Not that it’s any of your business, but she’s…” Becca looked over to the bar, but both Doc and the man she had been talking to had disappeared.
“Oh Christ,” Nell whispered, “We’re too late.”
“This is the unit,” Jeanne said as they checked the serial number.
“All right – we hit the ones either side as well,” The Hand said as she looked at the other three, “anything portable and of value we take, and any takings from them go to the charity of the choice of Inspector Marais here?”
“Of my choice?”
“Your penance,” The Hand purred as Corrine worked on the locks of all three, opening them and pulling the shutters up on the one to the left of Stevens’.
“Some coins here,” Janice said, “take them?”
“Yes – it must look as if all three were hit for a purpose, so we must take anything of value, or else suspicion falls,” Corrine said as she produced a black bag, and Janice loaded the coins in.
“Why would anyone store these here,” Jeanne said as she looked at some old records, “Especially with the scrawls on them?”
“Signatures – but a crook would only steal them to order,” Corinne said as she pulled some boxes over.
“Right – the one we want next,” she said as she walked out.
“Corrine is a master of criminal psychology,” The Hand said in answer to Jeanne’s unasked question, “most useful in times like this.”
“Agent Carter, please continue to trash this one,” The Hand said as Corinne opened the Stevens lockup.
Inside were a set of filing cabinets along one side, and several wrapped objects at the other.
“Allow me to work on the cabinets,” Corinne said, “you two take a look at what is one the other side.”
The Hand and Jeanne nodded as they picked up a large oilcloth wrapped object, and cut away the cord that was wrapped round it. They unwrapped the cloth and then stood back in amazement.
“Mon Dieu,” Jeanne said, “I believe this is a genuine Gainsborough.”
As The Hand, Heather could say nothing, but she too knew this was the genuine version of the painting in the Royal Collection.
“How did it end up here,” she purred as Corrine managed to open a filing cabinet and flipped through some files.
“Shipping permits, purchase orders – What else do we have over there?”
“I am not entirely sure,” The Hand said calmly, “but Inspector Marais is most excited by…”
“You three – hands in the air, now!”
The three masked women turned and looked at the security guard, his gun pointing at them.
“I said drop the gun,” he said as he saw The Hand draw a gun, and he pulled back on the safety.
“No,” Janice said behind him, “you drop it.”
There was a shot, and Jeanne watched as the guard stared ahead, and then dropped to his knees, a red spot in his forehead as the blood started to trickle down.
“It was necessary,” Corrine said as she watched him fall onto his face.
“Agreed – and it adds to the idea this was a random raid gone wrong.”
Jeanne nodded slowly as Janice walked in. “What did you find?”
“Definite evidence he is at least involved – and one painting we take with us.”
“Yes, we are taking this,” Jeanne said as he re-wrapped the painting. “What about the cabinets?”
Corinne opened the second one, and extracted a money box. “Rolled bank notes,” she said as she loaded them into the bag, and puled the contents of the middle cabinet out, while Jeanne took photographs of some of the documents.
The third contained rolled up tubes, which they packed into the bag as well, before Corrine went and opened the third lockup.
“Nothing obvious,” she said, “trash it.”
“With pleasure,” Janice said as she and Corrine got to work, The Hand helping Jeanne.
“Right,” Janice eventually said, “let’s go – we did what we came for.”
As they headed to the car, they looked in on the security room where the three were still unconscious. Getting into the car, they drove off, each with their own thoughts.
The Altama Hotel
The five watched as Doc walked in and joined them.
“Look we need to settle some things.” Doc whispered as the six sexy schoolgirls sat in a booth.
“Hey nice panties Nell.” Becca spoke as the older girl crossed her legs; “I bet they keep your ankles nice and warm.”
“That doesn’t help Becs.” Doc warned. “Look Ally and Nell, I just came to earn a little cash here tonight and this lot came to watch, who’s getting harmed by all this?”
“You know Bobbi calls you two the poultry farmers?” Becca smiled at the twin’s look of puzzlement.
“I don’t get it.” Ally spoke.
“Well she says you raise hundreds of cocks a year.”
“BECCA!” Doc turned angrily on her friend.
“All right, all right, I’ll turn it down,” Becca said as Nikki and Pepsi looked at her.
“It’s still wrong,” Ally whispered, “especially as you lot are all under age.”
“Do we look it,” Pepsi said.
“No – no you don’t,” Ally conceded.
Doc looked at them and said “what I’m saying is that all women are willing to sell their bodies”
“No way.” Nell and the others all shook their heads.
“If the price was high enough you’d all do it.” Doc sipped her drink.
“What do you mean?”
Doc looked at Nikki and said, “What if some guy came over here and offered you five million dollars for an hour’s straight sex?”
“I must admit for that price I probably would.” Ally looked round.
“Me too.” Becca looked serious. “You guys?”
The other three women smiled and nodded.
“What if he offered you just one dollar?”
“No fucking way.” Pepsi spat the words out.
“Do you think we are prostitutes like you?” Nell asked with an air of hauteur.
“To quote George Bernard Shaw, ‘I thought we had established that as a fact, all we are doing now is negotiating your price.’”
“Doc you are a smart-mouthed bitch.” Nell spat the words out.
"I think you are too big a coward Nell." Doc
"Says me Darling."
"Yeah there is NO WAY you'd have the courage to
hook Nell." Pepsi smiled.
"WOULD NOT!" Pepsi challenged
"Easy way to prove it." Doc laughed, "Two guys alone at the bar, me you Nell, we pick 'em up, take them upstairs, take their money and fuck them, that'll prove you aren't chicken."
Nell looked over, and said “Not here – Ally and I are too well known. Pick a place neither of us is known, and we can discuss it. What I will do is come with you, and we’ll see who can chat the guy up first.”
Doc looked over and said “Deal – come on.”
“I don’t want to watch this,” Ally said as Nell and Doc sashayed over to where the men were standing.
“Hey there,” Doc said as she sat next to the first man, “buy a girl a drink.”
“Sure,” he said, “what about your friend here?”
“Oh I’m sure your friend can oblige,” Nell said as she flashed her legs at him, his eyes travelling down her body.
“So what brings you girls here,” he said as Tricia put the drinks on the bar.
“Oh just looking for a little fun,” Doc said, “I’m Angel. What’s your name?”
“So Dan,” Angel said as she sipped her drink, “is there a Mrs. Dan?”
“Yeah – but she’s not here,” he said with a smile.”
“And what about you,” Nell said as she looked at the other man.
“That depends on what you are offering,” he said as he looked at Nell.
“No terms discussed here,” Angel said, “but my fees are – very reasonable.”
“In what way?”
As Doc looked at her glass, she drew a 5 in the condensation and then held the glass, covering the number as she sipped.
“I see,” the man said as he threw a fifty on the bar, and took Doc by the arm.
“And what about you,” the other man said to Nell, who was looking on in shock.
“Sorry, not my type,” she said eventually.
“What if I doubled it?”
Nell stared at her glass, before saying “sorry – but thank you for the drink and the company” and walking back to the booth.
“For one minute there,” Ally said as she looked at her.
“I know,” Nell said quietly, “I know…”
In the elevator Doc let the guy touch her ass. She'd
known Nell would turn tail, even for double, but for now she had to concentrate
on this guy.
As she wiggled her way to his room, she caught him
slipping back a step to take in the view of her hips swinging. The guy wanted
her bad, she could sense it.
"You are the most beautiful woman I've ever
seen." He closed the door to the
room as he looked at her.
"More beautiful than your wife darling?"
"Oh my God yes."
Angel ran her hand over the front of his pants, he
felt huge, and he felt hard.
"Darling there's the little matter of my
money?" Angel smiled.
"Here," he handed her ten $50 notes,
"Are you worth that much?"
"Well that's up to you to find out." Angel put the money in her purse and laid it down,
She then pulled his hand inside the slit of her gown and gently rubbed his hand over her panties.
Slowly he undid her dress, and then removed her bra,
cupping her breasts teasing her nipples hard. Angel let out a low moan of
pleasure as he removed her thong.
"Leave my garter belt and stockings on Darling." Angel said as she turned, "and you need to wear this." she said as she slipped a condom on him.
She then started undressing the man, kissing, touching, everything she exposed before taking his full engorged cock deep into her mouth.
"Oh Shit!" the man groaned.
"Hasn't your wife ever done this darling, I bet
she hasn't." Angel felt pride in her prowess as a cocksucker.
"On the bed." her John panted, running his
hands over her shaven pussy, rousing her, getting her ready for him as she lay
back and he thrust his penis into her. The sensation thrilled her, his hardness
stretching her, making the nerve ends of her vagina tingle and the shocks run
Slowly, gently they increased the pace of their fucking, she wasn't going to need fake this one. Quickly her
orgasm came as he filled the condom with his seed.
It was over.
He didn't say another word to her.
Ten minutes later she'd redone her face and sashayed back into the bar.
"Damn she so looks so cool about it." Nikki
shook her head as Angel slipped back onto her bar stool and signaled for
"Tempted to join her?" Pepsi laughed.
"In a way, do you realize she just made $500 in just over 30 minutes?”
“I think we need to go now,” Ally said quietly. “We’ll run you to wherever you are going.”
“I’ll stick around,” Nell said, “wait and see what happens with her. Come back and get us?”
“You got it,” Ally said as she ushered the other three girls out, watching as she started to talk to another man.
Nell looked on, thinking things over in her mind, and then she sashayed up to where two men were talking to Doc.
“Hello handsome,” she said as she looked at Doc, “buy a girl a drink?”
“Yeah,” Angel said as she sipped her drink, “she’s a friend. Screwdriver right?”
“Right,” Nell said as she looked at the second man. “So, what brings you to our fair city?”
“Business,” he said, “although a little fun on the side would be nice.”
“So you’re looking for some fun as well?”
“Depends,” the first man said, “on what might be offered for enjoyment?”
“Perhaps we can discuss this somewhere more private,” Angel said, the man nodding as he walked off with her.
“And what about you,” his friend said as he looked at Nell.
Finishing her drink, Nell looked at him and said “What do you think?”
They followed Doc to the elevator, waiting as the doors closed. As they moved up, Doc slipped a silver square to Nell, who nodded as she followed the man to his room.
Half an hour later, Nell slipped out of the room to see Doc waiting for her, her head to one side. Nell opened her purse and held up the five notes, Doc nodding as they walked to the elevator.
“Where did you two get to,” Ally said as they came back to the bar.
“We went for a talk,” Nell said, “and Doc has promised to stop, right?”
“Right – I’ve got all I need,” Anna said quietly.
“Good – come on, I’ll drive you home.”
Jan helped Jeanne to carry the painting into the apartment, and secrete it in her room before they sat in the main area.
“How are you feeling,” Janice said as she looked at the French woman.
“Is it possible to feel exhilarated and drained at the same time?”
“Yes,” Janice said. “If I had not done that, he may have shot and killed you.”
“I know – but it was still a shock,” Jeanne said. “I will have to pray for forgiveness. What of their promise to give to charity?”
“It will be honoured – I am sure she will call to ask.”
Jeanne nodded as she sad “I think I need a drink – will you join me?”
“One,” Janice said, “one.”
The Huntingdown Apartment
“Well, time for bed,” Carina said as she stretched and yawned. “Coming up mom?”
“In a minute – I need to finish this first,” Juliette said as she looked through her glasses. “Cari?”
“I’m glad we’re not fighting.”
Cari smiled and said “Night mom” as she headed upstairs. Putting down her book, Juliette picked up the glasses and took them into the kitchen, returning as the telephone started ringing.
"Hi Mary." Juliette glanced
at her watch. "So what's the crisis?"
"Does there have to be a crisis?"
"For you to ring me at this time of night?
… Yes." Juliette laughed.
"No crisis, Ju.
Are you alone?"
"Well Cari and Baby are back…”
“You know what I mean,” Mary said in her Welsh accent.
“Yes StJohn flew home for a few days."
"Well go pour a nice stiff drink for yourself
because I have news that's going to blow your mind."
Juliette went to the drinks cabinet and opened the
whisky bottle, saying "okay I'm pouring."
"Take a swig.'
"Okay." Juliette looked puzzled as she took
"You know that rumor of a Dior retrospective
covering the great mans work from the New Look to his death?"
"Well it's coming to New York, CS will host a
gala showing, and I've been asked to cast the models…Are you in?"
Juliette put the glass down and grinned from ear to
ear. "Oh Merlin Darling you know I
"First week in February."
"So who else?"
"Well most of our crew, you, Abs, Jeans, Karen,
Caroline, Alice, Carina…
"Carina? A rare treat for her, but
Who has a better figure for so many Dior
"I’m even thinking of asking Mandy and
"Well you know Mandy will, Angel I'd not be so
"Well anyway we can work it out Monday. I knew that would get you excited."
"Oh you know we can Merlin…Kisses." Juliette hung up and screamed.
“Mom,” Cari said as she came down, “what’s wrong?”
“Dior,” Juliette said as she put her hands on her daughter’s shoulders, “the Dior retrospective. It’s coming to New York, we’re doing a show, and you and me and everyone is invited to take part.”
“REALLY!” The two women hugged each other as Judith started to call out.
“Aw I’ll get her,” Carina said as she went to the bedroom, Ju sitting down and sipping her drink again.