Sequel to "Team Spirit" written by Janice Dreamer. Honey and Bob have a conversation that changes everyone's lives. Chapters 6 through 10 of 48. Keywords apply to entire story.
TEAM SPIRIT: THE SECOND HALF Ch 6-10
This week is dragging just as badly as the last. It’s like I’m cramming a whole week of crap into just five days. Spending two days at Bob’s doesn’t make the other five any better. In some ways, they’re worse than ever before. I don’t care, it’s worth it.
Candi’s found me a recipe insert from one of the magazines and at least half of them look interesting. I think Bob may have most of the ingredients in stock and I can pick up what he doesn’t on Tuesday morning. I’m packed and ready to go even before finishing sucking my last john’s cock. Try as I might, the guy just won’t blow his wad. He’s hard enough and sounds like he’s enjoying it but he just won’t cum. I’m tempted to stick my finger up his ass but that’s too damn risky. If he likes it and it works, I’m golden. If he doesn’t like it, he’ll probably beat me and so will Anthony. It’s not worth the risk, even though my jaw is starting to lock up. Finally, I feel his balls tense and he grabs my head to make sure I don’t pull back as he shoots his sperm down my throat.
It’s almost an insult. Who does he think he’s dealing with? I’ve sucked bigger cocks and swallowed bigger loads with my hands tied behind my back. Literally. Once he’s done ejaculating, he loosens his grip on my head and I pull back as his softening cock slips from my mouth.
“You’re one fine cocksucker, bitch!”
Next time, I should bite it off and swallow it. “Thank you, Sir. You’re so big, I didn’t know if I could swallow all of it.” Yeah ... and I’ve got a bridge in New York to sell you, too.
“I know, I get that a lot,” he says as he stuffs his shrinking dick into his pants and zips up. “You’re worth every penny I paid. I should be back around this way next month. I may just look you up.”
“I’ll be waiting,” I purr; then I wink at him. He points his index finger at me like he’s holding a gun, pulls the “trigger” and makes a clicking noise in his throat.
“I gotcha’ bitch!” He walks out of the room, whistling.
What a loser! Blowing or fucking these assholes is bad enough but having to butter them up and thank them for the shit they put me through makes me want to puke. Unfortunately, Anthony does the occasional “consumer survey” with the johns after they’re done with me and I hear it from him if they don’t report that I was adequately thankful. You only need Anthony to correct you a couple of times to make sure you toe the line, no matter where that line is. Tonight he comes to the door a few minutes after the last guy leaves.
“Shake that fine ass of yours, Honey, time to go!” I reach under the bed and pull out my bag.
“Ready, Sir.” I start to walk past him to leave the room but he grabs my arm, freezing me in place.
“This is the last week of the trial period, Honey and I want this guy’s business Honey. You will do whatever it takes to make him happy, you understand?”
“Yes, Sir.” He’s got no idea how much I want the same thing. He lets go of my arm and we walk to his car. I smooth my short, purple dress under my ass as I settle into the passenger seat. Anthony gets in, starts the car and we drive off.
Bob lives only a few miles away but I can’t get there soon enough. When Anthony pulls into the driveway, I barely wait for the car to stop before throwing the door open and hopping out. This time, Bob meets us at the door as we walk up the sidewalk. I’m practically skipping.
“Good evening Anthony, ... Honey.” He nods towards each of us in turn.
“Hey, Bob, no cane tonight I see,” says Anthony. Bob flexes both legs.
“I am feeling much better this week Anthony.”
“Glad to hear it, glad to hear it. Well here she is, on time and looking good.” Bob quickly looks me up and down.
“She certainly does.”
I manage to not twist and turn like a teenage girl trying to seduce her boyfriend but I can’t prevent myself from blushing a deep red at his praise. He reaches out and gently takes my arm.
“This is the third week ... any idea when you’ll let me know if you want to keep the deal going?” Bob pulls me into the house and starts to close the door.
“I will inform you Thursday morning when you pick her up ... but I would not worry about my decision if I were you, Anthony.”
“Hey! That’s great Bob! I just want you to know that...”
He’s shut the door on him again. God, I wish I could do that to him at the club. Of course, if I tried it, he’d kick the door in and beat me with the broken pieces. Bob turns towards me. My hands are behind my back, wrists together, chest thrust out.
“How are you this evening, Honey?”
“Couldn’t be better, Bob.”
“I assume that you would like to take a dip in the pool before bed.”
“If you don’t mind.”
“I do not mind at all, just make sure that you turn off the lights and heater when you are done. I will see you in the morning.” He turns to go to his bedroom, walking normally. I let him get a few feet away before I say anything.
“Are you sure about that? I wasn’t planning on wearing a suit tonight.”
He stops dead in his tracks but doesn’t turn his head. “I guess it would be inappropriate for a host to leave a guest alone to fend for herself. Miss Manners would never forgive me.”
“So, I’m a guest, am I?”
He looks over his shoulder at me.
“For tonight you are.”
* * ** * ** * ** * *
My alarm goes off at 7:00 a.m. I had done a little bit of breakfast prep before going to bed last night so things should go quickly this morning. I sit up and stretch both arms. This bed is so much more comfortable than that bag of lumps I sleep on at the club. I slip to the edge of the mattress and let my feet fall to the floor. Standing up, I shuffle to the bathroom, yawning and scratching as I go. I turn on the shower and adjust the temperature until it’s just short of too hot. I pull the nightshirt off over my head, hang it on the hook by the door and step into the soft stream of water, letting it soak my hair and caress my naked youthful body.
I can’t keep from smiling as I replay last nights’ events in my mind
I hadn’t skinny dipped in years and never as a woman. The whole thing was much more sensual than I remembered. Swimming in that well lit pool, naked to the world, under Bob’s very watchful eyes, was extremely erotic. It was both intimate and exhibitionist at the same time. You’d think that all the time I had spent on stage stripping would have prepared me for last night but it was completely different. It was slow and easy, no hurry. Every little move felt seductive. Bob was sitting at the table next to the pool, sipping coffee, but his eyes never left me. I’m not sure he ever blinked. We talked as I swam and floated but I can’t recall a single thing we said. We both acted like I was wearing a swimsuit the entire time. When I slowly climbed the steps out of the pool, hips swiveling, Bob was waiting for me, holding the robe open for me to slide my hands and arms down the sleeves as he draped it over my shoulders from behind. I tied the sash very loosely, leaving the front mostly open, exposing my tits and cunt whenever I moved in my chair. He poured me a cup of coffee and we continued to talk about God knows what. The sexual tension was building but neither of us would admit it. If it had been any other guy, we would have been trying to fuck each other’s brains out ten minutes into my swim, but Bob acted totally cool. Yet I could tell that underneath that cool attitude, he wanted to screw me until dawn.
And I wanted him to give it a try. He’s not the most impressive physical specimen. Hell, I’d seen some pretty buff guys when I played pro ball, but right then, I couldn’t imagine fucking anybody but Bob. Not that he made the slightest attempt to get me into bed. He played it all normal so I did too. By the time we went alone to our respective bedrooms, I was so horny, I had to masturbate to orgasm twice before getting to sleep.
I hadn’t completely recovered from the experience by the time he came into the kitchen for breakfast. I had spent a little extra time to make the plates look good, adding some spiral sliced oranges and arranging everything on the table just so.
“Good morning, Honey, did you sleep well last night?”
“Probably should not have had coffee that late at night.”
“Yeah ... must have been the coffee.”
“Everything looks very nice this morning.”
“You do not need to plan anything for supper tonight.”
“Why not?” I’m disappointed; there was this recipe for lasagna I really wanted to try.
“I would like to take you out for supper.”
Disappointment gone. “Really? Where?”
“There is a little place downtown that specializes in Italian, classic Italian, how about that?”
“Sounds great, but I don’t have anything to wear to a nice place.”
“What about that purple dress you wore yesterday?”
“Sure, if you want everyone to think you’ve hired a teenage whore for the night.”
“I see your point. You can buy a more appropriate dress while you are out shopping this morning. The restaurant is not formal, just a little upscale. Men are required to wear jackets but not ties, if that is any help.”
“I’ll see what I can find.” I’d never been shopping for a dress before. Anthony and Amy bought all my clothes at the club and I had only bought mostly casual stuff since coming to Bob’s. I don’t really know where to shop for nice clothes, though I can probably find a store at the nearby Mall.
* * ** * ** * ** * *
I’m lost. Completely lost. Who knew that the women’s section of “Macy’s” would be so disorienting. I thought that I could just walk in and find something in a couple of minutes. There’s just so many choices. I slowly stroll through the racks, picking out the occasional dress. I don’t even know what size I am.
“Can I help you?”
I turn to look behind me where the voice came from. It’s a well dressed young woman, twenty five, twenty six years old I’d say. A sales clerk.
“Thank God! Yes, please! I need a dress for tonight. I’m having supper at a nice restaurant with ... someone.”
She smiles knowingly. “Supper with ... someone eh? I’m sure we can find the perfect dress.”
“Not too formal or anything. It’s just dinner, no big deal you know? I just need to look ... nice.”
She nods her head, still smiling. “Nice but no big deal. Gotcha.” She steps back and gives me a quick look over. “How about we start in the Junior area.” We cross the aisle to a more colorful part of the store. The mannequins are dressed in more fashionable stuff, at least I think it’s more fashionable. I only know what I read in the occasional “Cosmo” one of the other girls leaves behind. The dresses are shorter, more flirty, closer to what Anthony likes me to wear for him at the club but not nearly as bad. I take a closer look. At least some of them aren’t as bad. Geez. You mean some girls actually want to dress like that?
“What size are you?”
Her question brings my attention back to the reason I’m here. “Excuse me?”
“Uuummm.... I’m not sure. You see, I haven’t bought anything like this ... in a while and I’m probably not the ... uh ... same size anymore.”
She nods her head again, then leans in closer. “Puberty’s a bitch, isn’t it?” She whispers. “Come on back to the dressing rooms and I’ll take some measurements.”
We walk back to the sales counter against the wall. There’s a doorway with a curtain across it next to the checkout counter. The clerk grabs a tape from behind the counter; then pushes the curtain aside so that I can walk through. It’s a well lit room with several mirrors and curtained stalls along one wall. She has me step up on a small platform and turn to face her.
“Just relax, stand straight, arms out just a little bit so I can get the tape around you.”
She first wraps the tape around my hips, taking measurements at several spots. Pulling a small pad of paper and a pencil from her pocket, she jots down some numbers. She does the same for my waist and then my boobs, doing about twice as many measurements around my chest. She also measures the length of my legs, heel to hip and hip to knee. She puts the tape around her neck, steps back and studies the numbers on her pad, occasionally glancing back at me. She has a frown on her face.
“Is there a problem?”
She looks up at me and smiles again but it seems a little forced this time. “No, not a problem exactly. Some parts of your body are more ... developed than others right now. Eventually, everything will catch up with your uh...” She’s looking at my tits. “But right now you are kind of between sizes.” She chuckles. “Don’t take this the wrong way, but it is like you are an assembly of parts of different girls. Weird isn’t it? I’m sure it is just a stage, you’ll grow out of it in no time.”
I force my self to laugh lightly. “Yeah, it sure is weird. I guess that’s why my other clothes don’t fit quite right.”
“Exactly, but don’t worry. I’ve got several dresses that will look great on you.” She starts to leave the dressing room.
“Not too short please. I don’t want to look ... that way, you know, Just comfortable and...”
“Nice” she says. “I’ve got it.” She winks. “Trust me.” She leaves, the curtain flopping across the opening. I’m left with my thoughts and Frankenstein body.
How did she see me for what I am? I guess she spends all day measuring people and looking at proportions. If someone is unusual, she’d probably be one of the few people to notice it. I’ve never gotten any complaints from any of my customers though. Just because I’m different doesn’t mean I’m not beautif.... attractive, right?
The clerk returns clutching several dresses.
“Stand there and I’ll hold them up. Look at that mirror and tell me what you think.” She holds the first one up, a red cotton dress with a wrap around style. It’s OK I guess. She can tell by the look on my face that it’s not the one. She brings it down and lifts the second one. It’s blue with what I think is called a boat neck style. Where do they get these names? It’s better than the first.
“A maybe?” she asks.
“Ok. How about this one?” It’s a pink, empire waist, knee length. I’ve never liked that style, it makes the girl look pregnant.
“No, not that one.”
“Fine.” She reaches down for the last one. “I’ve saved the best for last. Close your eyes and let me get round behind you to hold it just right.” I feel her hands on either side of my boobs, pulling the dress tightly across my chest. “Alright, open them.”
I look into the mirror.
Her head pops around from behind me so that she can see the mirror. I turn my body a little left and right to see how the dress moves.
“Was I right or was I right? This is your dress.”
It’s an ivory halter sundress, with a red rose pattern on the cotton fabric. It hits about 3 inches above my knees and flares slightly from the waist, a lightly pleated skirt. I could look hot as hell in this dress but still classy. I step off the platform.
“Let me try it on.”
I scurry to an empty changing room and quickly wiggle out of my jeans and remove my shirt. I lift the dress over my head and drop it around me. It’s tight around my waist and holds my tummy in. I have to pull it up a bit to get my boobs in right. The back zips up but I can’t quite get it all the way to the top. I step out of the changing room.
“Here, let me get that,” says the clerk as she finishes pulling the zipper up. I stand in front of the mirror, turning left and right.
“I look ridiculous with this bra.”
“Naturally, you’ll need a strapless bra, maybe a corset style ... or perhaps no bra at all. The dress is fairly stiff across the chest. Someone with breasts like yours should be able to handle it easily.”
I walk around the room, looking in the mirrors at how the skirt falls away from my ass, emphasizing every move, but subtly. It’s a little bit like the dress Marilyn Monroe wore in “The Seven Year Itch”, where she stood over the subway grate and the air blew the skirt up around her, only shorter.
“I’ll take it. Where is the bra section?”
“Are you sure about that? You only have breasts like that when you are young. I’m twenty six and mine are already drooping just a little. I say flaunt it while you got it.”
I was tempted to tell her I spent most of my time “flaunting it” but she might not believe me.
“No thanks, I’d rather use a bra.”
“Suit yourself.” She turned the page on her pad of paper and scribbled some more numbers, tore the page out and handed it to me. “This will give you a start. Tell them Monica sent you. Also, make sure that they see the dress to match the color. Do you have shoes?” I grimace.
“No, I need those, too.”
“If it was me, I’d go with at least a 3” heel. Can you handle that?”
In my sleep.
“I think so. Thank you very much, I’d never been able to do this without your help.”
She patted my arm.
“You’re quite welcome. I enjoy helping young, beautiful women like you. Get them while they are young and we get a ‘Macy’s’ customer for life.”
I ended up buying a cream colored strapless bra, matching thong panty, garter belt, real silk stockings and pumps with 4” heels, plus some new makeup and a perfume that a girl spritzed me with as I walked by. In for a penny, in for a pound.
* * ** * ** * ** * *
The reservations were for 7:00 p.m., so I had more than enough time to get my work done that day. There was the laundry, changing the beds, vacuuming the floors and cleaning the bathrooms. Bob’s leg was better so he helped with the floors but he also spent some time in his office, making and taking phone calls. Bob never said exactly what he did. He was supposed to be retired but seemed awfully busy for a retired guy, at least whenever I was there. I did find a big, flat plastic box with lots of little compartments in his bathroom, each compartment holding an assortment of pills. It was like one of those little boxes where you arrange your pills by days, only much bigger. It appears that Bob was taking a lot of medications for something, probably serious given the number of pills. Other than the walking problems and the seizures, I never saw any other symptoms. He never gave me any diet restrictions he had to live by, maybe he just didn’t care. I was curious what it was all about but had learned a long time ago to keep my mouth shut and do what I’m told. That was Rule One at the club.
I’d made good progress on my day’s jobs by 5:30 p.m. so I started to get ready for supper. I showered again, but shaved my underarms, legs and pussy this time. Two of them where going to be on display at supper and you never know about the third. After the shower, I rubbed on a new lotion I bought that day; the salesgirl said it was a moisturizer and sunscreen. I liked the smell. After that I put the garter belt around my waist, rolled the stockings and then carefully unrolled one of them up my right leg. The salesgirl warned me that real silk stockings required careful handling. I attached the tops to the garter belt and then did the same thing with my left leg. Once the stockings were in place, I slowly ran my hands up and down my legs, from the tips of my toes to the tops of the stockings. It was like nothing I had felt before, completely different from the cheap stuff I wore at the club. Cool, sinfully smooth. I crossed and recrossed my legs, rubbing them against each other.
I could do this all day but the clock is ticking. I slide the panties up my legs, setting the strap firmly in the crack of my ass, and then sit down to do my makeup. I don’t actually need much makeup; there aren’t any flaws to hide. Whenever I see it in a mirror, I marvel at how perfect my face is. Big eyes, small pert nose, high cheekbones, full lips, long lashes, smooth skin, pointed chin, everything perfectly spaced and symmetrical. All I need to do is not go overboard and screw things up, particularly tonight. This is real world makeup, subtle, quiet, not stage makeup, which is usually loud and garish. I don’t have to be a whore tonight; I can be a regular person. I apply just a little mascara and a smidge of eye shadow. The important job will be my lips.
The clerk at the makeup counter showed me a trick with lip liner. Candi had never mentioned it before, probably because it works best close up and I never want to get too close to the grabby bastards near the stage. The colors of the liner and lipstick and my fingernail polish are supposed to match the red in my dress. The clerk went through several colors before she was happy but they all looked alike to me. It takes me three tries but I eventually get my lips the way I want them. The only thing left are my nails but I’m running out of time.
I open the bottle and start to methodically cover each nail. My hands, fingers and nails are as perfect as my face. I’ve only got time for one coat so I make sure to get it right the first time. Just as I finish the last nail, Bob knocks on my door.
“Honey, we need to leave in about ten minutes. Are you ready yet?”
“No,” I reply, waiving my hands vigorously in the air to speed up the drying of the polish. “Not yet, but I’ll be ready in time.”
“Alright. I will be waiting in the living room.”
I keep fanning my hands until the polish sets and then I start on my hair. Luckily all I planned on doing is just brushing it out and adding a couple of barrettes. My hair is much longer than I like, though I will admit that it looks great when styled right. Getting it right just takes so damn much time. I’d cut it in an instant if I had a choice, which I don’t.
The last barrette is in place so I stand up to get the bra. As I stand, my legs rub against each other. Uuuummmm, there go those stockings again, a quick shiver racing through my body. I shake my head to clear it. I wrap the bra around my waist, fasten it then spin it around and pull it up into place, adjusting my tits until everything is just right. Pausing to look at myself in the mirror, I am forced to admit it, I am one fuckable bitch. The tits, the ass, the hips, flat tummy, long legs, I may be an assembly of parts but they are damn hot parts.
Stepping into the shoes, I throw the dress over my head as Bob knocks on my door again.
“Honey, I hate to be a bother but we will need to leave in the next two minutes.”
“Just a few seconds.” I pull my hair up and let it fall down my bare back. I look over my shoulder at the mirror. Maybe the hair is worth the trouble.
“I will never understand why it takes women so long to get ready to go out. It should not be so difficult to...” I open the door and his voice trails off when he gets a look at me, smiling up at him. I give him a few seconds to get a good, long look then turn around and gaze at him over my shoulder.
“Could you zip me up please?”
He blinks several times. “What?”
“Could you zip up the back of my dress ... please?” His hands move up, zipping with the right and fixing the clasp with both. I turn back around to face him. His eyes are a little unfocused.
“Thanks. We better get going. Don’t want to be late.”
I snap my fingers in front of his face a couple of times.
“Dinner. Reservation. Drive. Late.” He gives his head a sharp jerk and blinks again.
“Yes ... right ... dinner” He turns and heads for the garage. “I just do not understand why it always takes so long...”
“We just want to look our best, Bob.” He looks back at me as he continues to walk towards the garage.
“I certainly can appreciate the results but...” he walks straight into the kitchen doorframe. I stop, turn my head, and cover my mouth with both hands; it’s the only way I can keep from laughing out loud. He bounces off the frame, pauses, twists his head slightly to the right and keeps on walking. I follow.
“You were saying, Bob?”
It was as nice a public meal as I have had in years. Not just since I was transformed into Honey Sweet-Lay, that goes without saying. I’m going back to the Josh Thomas days. When you’re famous, eating out in public can be a pain in the ass. Everyone is watching you, whispering, pointing at you. And that’s a good day. A bad day is when people start pestering you for autographs or giving you advice about what plays to call, or, and this is the worst, bitching about what you did during the last game. The absolute worst is when the guy complaining to you is drunk. I put up with that shit ever since I went pro.
There was none of that tonight. Sure, I drew a lot of stares when Bob and I came into the restaurant. It was surprisingly busy for a weekday and most any guy we walked by gave me the once over, some were more obvious than others. The married ones or the guys with their dates were more careful but they looked. Bob had booked an out of the way table and he sat with his back to the wall, looking out over the entire dining area. My back was to all that. I don’t know if he wanted to keep me all to himself or if he just wanted some privacy, but I appreciated the seclusion.
Our waitress was very nice and I was glad we had a woman. She was an older lady who I think assumed that Bob was my father, maybe a brother. Either way, she didn’t treat us like a couple on a date. In fact, she was almost motherly towards me, which has never happened before. She was full of compliments and little bits of advice. Bob seemed to be enjoying the show. I caught him staring at me more than a few times, but he tried to hide it. He never said or did anything remotely sexual. He was the poster child for politeness, opening the door for me, holding my chair for me, standing when I went to the bathroom, all that old school stuff.
And the meal was delicious! I had Chicken Parmesan with a tossed salad and Italian dressing, Bob had some kind of Tortellini with meat sauce, sautéed mushrooms, and soup. Bob let me try his Tortellini. I need to try making that myself. We shared a bottle of wine but I think I drank more than my share. The waitress insisted on seeing my I.D. before bringing the wine. She eyed me pretty hard before giving in, probably figured that if my father/brother wasn’t going to object, why should she. Besides, the I.D. said I was twenty two, though I didn’t look it. Not at all.
The portions were enormous, at least for me. In the old days I’d have scarfed it all down in a few minutes so that I could get out of there but now I was more interested in taking it slowly, stretching out the experience. Ultimately, I needed a doggy bag, yet when Bob had cheesecake for dessert, I ate more than half of it, one “taste” at a time.
Bob appeared to be relaxed and surprisingly talkative. I don’t know if it was the wine or what but he opened up a little, talking about his childhood. I responded by talking about mine. Of course I didn’t talk about my real childhood but I made enough changes so that he wouldn’t suspect anything was wrong. What was weird was that the longer we talked, the sadder he got. He didn’t cry or anything but it was like he got depressed, quieter. He didn’t stop talking but by the end of the meal, he was sorta withdrawn. I thought that I may have said something that upset him but I couldn’t think of anything. He was still very polite to me and the waitress, leaving her a big tip.
We drove home mostly in silence. I tried to get him to talk but he just answered my questions in one or two words. Eventually I gave up, not wanting to ruin what had been, by and large, a nice evening. When we pulled into the garage and stopped, Bob still came around and opened my door. We walked into the house together, through the kitchen into the living room. Bob stopped and turned towards me.
“Honey ... we need to talk.” SHIT! No one ever “needs to talk” about something good. I hope that I haven’t blown this sweet deal. “If you need to go to the bathroom, I suggest that you do so now, this may take awhile.”
“OK.” I say quietly. I don’t really need to go but he has a better idea about what he has planned so I take his advice. When I get back, he’s sitting down on the couch. He indicates with his hand for me to sit in the chair opposite him. I walk over and sit down, smoothing my dress underneath me as I do. Bob says nothing for a few seconds, he just looks at me with, I think, sadness in his eyes. What did I do or say?
“Honey, as you know, this is the last week of our three week trial. I have never told either you or Anthony what the trial was for. I am looking for someone to be my full time companion.” He pauses; I think he’s waiting for me to say something.
“What do you mean ‘companion’?”
“Someone who would live in my home, full time, do the things that you have been doing for me these last three weeks. Are you ... interested?”
Am I interested?! It’s my second most frequent dream. The first is being turned back into Josh Thomas and ripping Amy Hanson’s heart out through her asshole. The second is getting the hell out of the club any way possible. The problem is, there ain’t no way either one is ever going to happen. Amy is never going to let me go. Bob has no idea what he’s asking for.
“Bob ... Anthony will never let me do this.”
“I can be very persuasive, Honey. Money is a powerful incentive and I have quite a lot of it. The question to you is do you want the job?”
“Bob ... it doesn’t matter what I want ... it’s ... it’s impossible. Can’t we just keep on the way we are?”
“I am afraid not. If you are not interested, I will need to find someone else. Are you sure that you are not interested?”
I begin to cry. It’s all over, the good bedroom, the clothes, the pool, all of it. Surprisingly, the worst part will be losing Bob.
“I’m sorry” I sob. “I ... can’t ... don’t ask me ... to explain ... I just ... can’t.”
He stands up and walks behind my chair. “I am sorry too, Honey. You have no idea how sorry.”
Suddenly, there is a tightness across my chest, below my boobs. Something flashes across my eyes and it gets tighter. Another flash, even tighter. I try to move my arms but they won’t budge. I manage to look to my right and then I see it. Several lengths of rope. Bob has looped rope around me and tied me to the chair!
“What’s going on?!” I shout through my tears. Bob walks back around in front of me and sits back down on the couch.
“Please calm down, Honey. I do not intend to harm you. If I was going to do that, I would have done so by now.”
“Calm down?! Please Bob, whatever I said, I’m sorry. Please let me go. I won’t tell anyone!”
“If you will be quiet, I will explain.”
I try to stifle my tears and they gradually stop, despite the big ball of fear growing in my chest. I’ve dealt with crazies before at the club. “I can do this, I can do this” I tell myself. Once the tears end, I manage to get my gasping breath under control. In a few moments, I am outwardly pretty calm. Scared shitless inside but outwardly calm.
“Very impressive, Honey. Most people would be panic stricken at this point but you have controlled your fear. I knew that there was something special about you.”
“I’m not special.”
“But you are. Quite special. Also unusual and confusing. I chose you from all the other girls I have seen because you appeared to be the most desperate. I thought that you would be the most likely to appreciate the opportunity to get away from your current situation.”
“I do want to get away from...” Bob holds up his hand. I shut up.
“This will go a lot faster if you let me speak first. You will get a chance to speak, trust me.” I nod my head. “Good. When I started my quest, I was searching for someone to fulfill a certain role. I anticipated the need for assistance in my life that would arise in the not too distant future. The search has been on going for several months. You are the best candidate, by far. After meeting you and spending time together, the results only confirmed my initial assessment. You are a young, intelligent, beautiful woman desperate to escape from the control of her pimp, in this case, Anthony. You also do not exist.”
I start to remind him of my driver’s license but he holds up his hand again. I fall silent.
“Thank you. I should have been more specific. You did not exist until three years ago. Prior to the issuance of your current driver’s license and Social Security card, there is no record of ‘Honey Sweet-Lay’ anywhere. No school records, no medical records, no employment records, criminal records ... nothing. It is possible for you to have only recently obtained a driver’s license, not everyone starts driving at sixteen, but to get that license you would have needed a certified copy of your birth certificate, yet there is no record of your birth. Surprisingly, there is a record of a birth certificate being issued three years ago, but no actual record of your birth at the place and date listed on that certificate. You would have found it very hard to live without a Social Security number up until three years ago. Oh.... there are also no records for the man and woman listed on your birth certificate as your parents.”
Where did Bob get all this information? How did he get access to Social Security, school or medical records?
“Before offering you this job, I had to check out your history and this is what I discovered: legally, you popped into existence three years ago. I thought that you might have been born out of the country but there are no immigration records. Besides, we are stuck with that clearly fraudulent birth certificate. Perhaps you are an illegal immigrant? Where from? You have no accent beyond a combination of Midwest and Southern, you are not Hispanic, Cuban, or of African heritage. And again, the fraudulent birth certificate. There is the possibility that you are a young runaway who fell into Anthony’s clutches and he used his police contacts to create this miserable excuse of a new identity.”
That sounds good. I can go with that! Bob smiles. I think he read the hopeful look on my face.
“Then you can tell me your real name and place of birth, keeping in mind that I will rigorously check those records.” I don’t say anything. “This is your chance to tell me the truth, Honey.”
I’m screwed. I can’t pick some name and place at random. Why the hell did Hanson have to do such a shitty job when she created “Honey Sweet-Lay”?
“I’m sorry Bob, I can’t.”
“I did not think that you would ... at least not yet. My research discovered other interesting facts, like the actual contents of those glass vials you bring with you each week. I was not aware that Anthony’s semen had medicinal qualities.”
OK, now he’s just playing with me.
“I may not be a medical professional but I do have access to someone who is and he assured me that semen is not a recognized treatment for any known medical condition. Which raises the question, why the hell do you need a dose of his semen every twenty four hours?” He looks at his watch. “Since your last dose was approximately twenty three hours ago, I guess we will soon find out.”
Shit! With all that had been happening, I hadn’t noticed the sexual pressure building inside me but now that he brought up the subject, it jumped up and hit me between the eyes.
“Please Bob, I really do need that ... stuff.”
How could I possibly explain it to him? Even if I did, he’d never believe it. I just hang my head.
“You can not tell me. Very well, I will let nature take its course. While we wait, I would like to deal with possibly the most fascinating part of our situation. You have regularly and consistently lied to me about your past. What you did as a child, where you lived, the places you played, the schools you attended ... everything. Now this is hardly surprising, given the false identity and all, but the curious part is the consistency of the lies. You claim to remember things, seen things, done things that a person your age could not have possibly seen or done. For example, you spoke of swimming at the pool at Veteran’s Park in your home town when you were younger, how you dove off the ten foot board on your tenth birthday. You were allegedly born April 1, 1986. The pool closed in 1991. You would barely have been out of the kiddy pool by then, not diving off the high board. Do you have an explanation for this?”
“Maybe it was some other pool?” I say, not particularly convincingly.
“Perhaps, but you described it in such detail. The only thing you were mistaken about was the time period. In fact, most of your lies involve problems with time. Shall I continue?” He reaches to his left and pulls a manila file folder from behind a pillow on the couch. How long has he been prepping for this evening? He flips open the folder and starts running through the conversations we’ve had since I first came to his house ... practically all of our conversations, including some I don’t remember. Time and time again, he points to one of my many lies and exactly what was wrong about it. Now I know what he was doing all that time in his office, checking out my story. Either this house is bugged in every room or Bob’s got one hell of a memory. He closes the folder.
“In each and every case, the crucial variant was time. It was possible for you to have done or seen what you claimed to have done or seen, just not when you claim to have done it or seen it. That leads me to one of two conclusions. Either you are an incredibly organized and disciplined liar with a lousy sense of time ... or you are telling the truth but just older than you claim to be, possibly much older.” He sets the folder aside and stares at me for a few seconds. “I have not yet decided which is correct.”
I close my eyes and sigh. He knows. At least part of it. He doesn’t know how or why but he knows ... or suspects. Could I actually tell him the truth? OH GOD! I’ve wanted to tell somebody, anybody, the truth for years. If I could only share the pain with someone, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. They don’t have to rescue me, just listen to me, believe me ... comfort me. I open my eyes and look back at him. Bob might be that someone. As I stare at him, he looks right back, each waiting for the other to say something. The stand off becomes more uncomfortable when I realize that my right hand has slid across my body and that I have been unconsciously rubbing my cunt lightly through my dress. I shift in the chair to try and make it look like I was just adjusting my position but I know that it is just a matter of time. One hour, maybe two and I will have my panties pulled down to my knees with my fingers stuffed into my pussy, rubbing and tugging at my clit. I may not be able to raise my arms to reach my tits but I can certainly get both hands on my cunt.
“All I have, Honey, is a large pile of inconsistencies. I can not make any sense out of them. None of the normal explanations fit and the abnormal ones that do are almost unbelievable. The easy answer is to just walk away and start over with a new girl ... but I do not want to do that.”
“My interest has been piqued, my curiosity aroused.”
“Apparently your curiosity is the only thing about you that can be aroused.”
He laughs at that. “Oh Honey, that is hitting below the belt, so to speak, but I understand why you may think that. I am a puzzle person and your situation is most certainly a puzzle. I think something terrible happened to you or is happening to you, which explains your attitude about your activities at the club. Yet you will not take the opportunity to leave Anthony and you refuse to explain why. It makes no sense. If you are involved in some kind of bad situation, I may be able to help. I am willing to try and help.”
“Why would you help me?”
He shrugs. “You seem to be a nice person.”
“How do you know? We’ve been together like 6 days.”
“Like you, I study people. I could be wrong about you. Heaven knows I have been wrong about others in the past but I am pretty sure that I am right this time. Even if I am not, the puzzle itself is interesting even if you are a mass murderer.”
“So you don’t care about me at all!”
“I do, it is just not the only reason I want to help.”
“And if I still refuse to talk?”
“Then I will find out some other way. I am going to solve this puzzle, with or without your help. I may just ask Anthony outright what is going on.”
“Oh God! No! Please don’t say anything to him about this. If he knew what you ... he’d....” I can’t even warn him without spilling the beans.
“Cause you harm? Attempt to cause me harm? No doubt you are correct. I suspect that there is something quite unusual going on here and that Anthony might take drastic action to protect whatever it is. And still, you will not accept my offer of assistance.” He slowly shakes his head back and forth several times, lips pursed. “I just do not know what to think. Eh.... Honey?”
“You seem to be fondling yourself again.”
OH SHIT! I quickly pull my right hand away from my crotch. I had been slowly rubbing myself without realizing it. Just like a normal person would unconsciously scratch an itch, I was scratching my steadily growing itch. I can’t look at Bob, it is just too embarrassing to be so out of control of my own body.
“Is that related to your daily dose of Anthony’s semen?”
I keep my eyes glued to the floor. “Just let me go Bob, please. Just let me go back to the club and forget all about you and this place and all we did. Please.”
“I understand what it is like to be at the mercy of uncontrollable biological urges, Honey,” he says quietly.
I glance up at him. “Not like mine you don’t.”
“Probably true, but I can empathize. You have seen through my claim of suffering from ‘muscle spasms’. They are seizures, some small, some large and they have a habit of occurring at the most inconvenient times. Sometimes I can feel them coming on and have time to take precautions. Other times they strike without warning. If I am out in public, I am the recipient of the pitying stares of the bystanders. I know that you have seen the copious amounts of medication I take to deal with my affliction and yet it is barely controlled.”
That was the closest he has ever come to telling me one of his secrets. It isn’t the same as my condition, not by a long shot, but we have traveled along the same road.
“I understand what you are talking about Bob, believe me, but no one uses your ... condition against you, forcing you to ... do things that no ... person should ever have to do.”
“Then stay with me, Honey! I can deal with Anthony. I am sure that he can be bought off. If not, there are always other ways to persuade someone.”
“Oh really” I snort. “You’re what, 5’ 10”, maybe two hundred pounds and probably out of shape. Anthony’s like 6’ 7”, over three hundred pounds and damn good with his fists. I’ve seen him beat three guys at one time, all bigger than you and I’ve been on the receiving end of his punches before. You wouldn’t stand a chance!”
Bob just smiles at me. “Looks can be deceiving Honey, sometimes intentionally so. Besides, I do not believe that it would come down to a physical altercation. I am willing to offer Anthony up to a million dollars for your services. Would he take that deal?”
He’d take one tenth that deal in a New York minute, but Hanson wouldn’t take one hundred times that deal. Ever.
“You have a million dollars?”
“That and much more.”
“You sure don’t live like it.”
“That is why I have it, Honey, a penny saved and all that. Back to my question, would Anthony accept the offer?”
I hesitate. “It’s not that simple, Bob. Sure, Anthony’s in it for the money ... but ... she...” I give up trying to explain, it can’t be done in bits and pieces. I can tell him all or nothing. So it’s nothing. He squats down in front of me.
“So you are unwilling to even let me try to help you, with my money and resources?”
“What resources? I thought you were a retired shoe salesman.”
“I have done more than sell shoes in my time, Honey. Besides, if things are as bad as you hint, how much worse could they be if I tried and failed?”
He has a point there, how much worse could my life be? Here’s a guy offering to help me get away from Hanson’s clutches even though he has no idea what he’s up against. I’m not talking to him because I know it won’t work ... but what if he could figure some way out? Is it worth taking one chance in a million? What am I really risking? He’s already said that he’s not going to let me keep coming two days each week so that’s gone already. If I have to go back to the club 24/7/365, what’s worse than that?
Hanson would probably think of something.
He reaches out, touching my arm gently.
“Consider what you will feel one or two months or years from now, still stuck in whatever hell you are currently stuck in, when you look back and think ‘I had a chance to do something about this when Bob James offered but I turned him down’. Could you live with that?”
He’s right. I’d be kicking myself in the ass every night. The regret would make everything that much worse. I never truly fought back against what she did to me, I never had a chance really, just escaped that one time and discovered what my new life was going to be like when she and Billy Joe Coleson showed up at the motel room and forced me to suck him off to get my first taste of fresh semen. It still makes me gag when I think about it, even though that was like a few thousand cocks ago. That memory brings me back to my pussy, which is aching to be fucked right now.
I’ve been able to keep from masturbating the last few minutes by clutching the hem of my dress with both hands but I’m still squirming in my chair, trying to find some friction somewhere. Bob’s had the courtesy not to point this out but he’d have to be blind not to see it. I’m almost past the point of caring what anybody thinks and can feel that I’m starting to lose what little control I have. The burning need is growing so fast that I’m having a hard time concentrating.
“OK. Let’s say that I tell you everything and you don’t believe me, what then?”
“Why wouldn’t I believe you?”
“Because nobody in their right mind would fucking believe me! It’s too damn fantastic! I wake up at night sometimes and think it’s all a horrible dream until I reach down to my crotch and find nothing there.”
“Why would there be something on your crotch?”
It doesn’t matter if I tell him or not, he won’t believe it. He’ll think it’s just one more lie from a lying teenage whore and he’ll throw me back into the club. I take a deep breath, force my hands to grab my dress firmly, and go for broke.
“I’ll tell you ... I’ll tell you everything, but I’ve got to have one of my bottles NOW!”
“You can have it after you tell me.”
“NOW! In a few minutes I won’t be able to control myself and in about twenty minutes, I won’t even be able to think straight. You’ve got to give me one right now Bob. Please! I don’t want you to see me this way ... no one should have to ...” I begin to cry.
Bob jumps off the couch and rushes to the kitchen. I hear the refrigerator door open and then slam shut. He’s beside my chair in a couple of seconds, the top already removed. I tilt me head back and open my mouth. He doesn’t pour it straight in but comes from the side of my mouth, letting the semen flow in so that I don’t choke. There’s a look of slight disgust on his face. I almost laugh. Bet he’s never poured somebody else’s cum down a girls’ throat before. That ain’t nothing compared to what comes next, Bob old boy. I swallow and wait for the dose to take effect. It seems to take longer than usual but maybe it’s because I got so much closer to the edge this time. I’ve been there before and it’s not fun, like scratching an unending itch that fills your body and mind and if you stop scratching for even a moment, you’re afraid that it will overwhelm you. The actual scratching is pleasant enough for awhile but even that eventually becomes painful, just not as bad as the itch itself.
“How long?” I ask.
“About ten minutes Honey, are you alright?”
“Yes ... for now.”
“Why do you react that way to....” I cut him off.
“This will go a lot faster if you let me speak first. You will get a chance to ask questions, trust me.”
He sits back, smiling. “Touché. Proceed.”
“You were right, I am not a young girl.”
He raises his hand.
“Yes?” I say.
“I know what you just said but there are just a few basic questions and then the floor is yours.”
“How old are you?”
“Forty-two years old, give or take a few weeks.”
He looks astonished. “Amazing!”
“You’re focusing on the least amazing part of my statement Bob.”
“You said that you were not young, correct?”
“A young girl.”
“Well, forty-two would make you a woman instead of a girl, certainly.”
“I’m not a young female then.”
He brings out his smirk. “Honey, I have seen you naked, from every angle. You are quite clearly female, possibly the most feminine female I have ever had the pleasure of seeing.”
“Well about four years ago, this ‘feminine female’ was the starting quarterback for the Super Bowl Champion Dallas Wranglers.”
The look on his face almost made the pain of this night worthwhile.
Bob was true to his word, he let me talk without interrupting. After about ten minutes, he untied me and we sat on the couch together. After another ten minutes he had me pause so that he could get a notepad and a pen. For the next few hours, he stopped me occasionally while he caught up on his notes. At particularly difficult parts of my story, he would hold my hands. When I tried to talk about the post Super Bowl parties and Billie Joe’s dogs, he held me and gently rocked me until I could stop crying and continue with the story. I didn’t stop until almost 5:00 a.m. We both had drunk at least 4 cups of coffee by then. Bob put his pad and pen down.
“I am at an utter loss for words, Honey. There are so many questions to ask, I truly do not know where to start.”
“But, you do believe me, right?”
He takes both of my hands in his and looks me square in the eyes.
“I will not lie to you Honey” Crap! He doesn’t. He thinks I’m nuts! “I neither believe nor disbelieve you.”
“You can’t say that! I pour my heart out to you and you won’t get off the fence?”
He squeezes my hands. “Listen very carefully, Honey. From this moment forward, I will not lie to you. I have said certain inaccurate things tonight, well yesterday to be exact, about my history and childhood to try to get the truth out of you, which was an interrogation technique but the subterfuge ends here, now. If we are to go forward, there can be no lies.”
“So, you’re saying that I’m lying!”
“Not at all! Did I ever say that?”
“Well you hinted that you thought I did.”
“I am sorry that I gave you that impression, Honey. I will be specific. Some of what you told me matches exactly with the information that I already possess. Some of what you said offers a logical but hard to believe answer to some apparent contradictions I am aware of. The rest of what you said ... requires further study. So that is why I neither believe nor disbelieve you, it is too early.”
“Why can’t you just trust me?”
“Do you trust me?”
“If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have told you would I?”
“Do you trust me completely?” I open my mouth to answer but he interrupts. “Remember, no lies.”
I frown at him. “No,” I reply quietly.
“Ditto” he says. “But I hope to in the near future. ‘Trust, but verify,’ the saying goes. I will assume that you are telling me the truth, but the verification process will soon begin. However, it is much too late to start tonight.” He glances at his watch. “I mean today. Go to bed and get a good sleep, or at least as much as you can under the circumstances. We will skip breakfast and go out for brunch. There is much too much to do to stick with the previous schedule.”
We stand up. He is still holding my hand. I like the way it feels, gentle but firm, strong, protective. It’s also a little weird. I mean, he knows I was a guy. I want to give him a hug before going to bed. We’d never done that before, but it feels right to me some how. Trouble is, I don’t know what he thinks. Might as well find out now.
“Uuhhh ... Bob, could I uuhh ... we....”
“Could we what, Honey?”
I look away. “Could I hug you good night?” He pulls me towards him, lets go of my hand, slides his arms around my waist, moves his forearms up my back and gently but firmly hugs me. I put my arms around him, lay my head on his shoulder and hug back. We stay that way for several seconds before I lightly push away. Bob lets me go.
“Thanks,” I whisper.
“It was my pleasure, Honey.”
“I just thought that you might think it was, you know, weird or something. Me being a man and all.”
“I do not mean to be repetitive, but whatever you were, whoever you were, right now, you are an attractive young woman, the epitome of grace and beauty. Good night Honey.”
I blush and stifle a giggle. “Good night Bob.” He leaves me standing in the hall as he walks into his room with his notes and shuts his door. I turn and step into my bedroom, flip on the light and close the door behind me. I walk over to the bed and flop onto it, suddenly overcome with exhaustion. I just lay there, arms spread, looking up at the ceiling. I close my eyes and quickly fall asleep.
* * ** * ** * ** * *
I wake up and shield my eyes from the overhead light. Turning my head to the left, I read the clock on the table by my bed. 6:21 a.m. I’m still dressed in my clothes from supper. Sitting up, I catch my reflection in the mirror by the bathroom door. My hair’s a mess, the dress all bunched up around my waist and both shoes have fallen to the floor, looking like a girl who had been well fucked. Too bad it’s not true. I roll off the bed and get undressed, hanging the rumpled dress in the closet and slipping my nightshirt over my head. I pick up the bra, panty, garter belt and stockings from the bed and floor, open my door and lightly walk down the hall to the linen closet to drop them into the dirty clothes hamper, not wanting to wake Bob. When I get back to my door, I pause to make sure that I didn’t disturb him. I don’t hear anything moving in his room but I can see light at the bottom of the door. Did I wake him? Maybe he hasn’t gone to sleep yet. I want to knock and find out but decide that I’d better leave him alone. I slip into my room, close the door, turn off the light and crawl back into bed, pulling the covers up around my neck. Where is all this going to end? Now that my horniness level has dropped back to normal, I’m having second thoughts about telling Bob the truth. I guess it’s surprising that I held out as long as I did. I have survived the last three years, as bad as they may have been. What happens if this doesn’t work? Hanson will be so pissed, I can’t imagine what she may do. At least now I’m human, she couldn’t change me into some kind of animal could she? I shake my head.
Get a grip, Honey! You’ll drive yourself nuts thinking of all the bad shit that could happen. Think about getting your cock back; think about becoming a man again. But most importantly, get some sleep. I roll over and force all thoughts from my mind, concentrating instead on the feeling of the warm sheets against my skin. I reach down with my right hand and lightly stroke my pussy, not hard enough to get my engine running but enough to drive everything else out of my consciousness. It’s a hell of a lot better than sucking my thumb. I soon drift back to sleep.
* * ** * ** * ** * *
When I wake up again, it’s 11:18 a.m. Good thing I pulled the window drapes shut. I hear the shower running in Bob’s bedroom, so he’s awake too. I push the bed sheets back, slide out of bed and hurry to the bathroom. I need to take a dump. I lift my shirt and sit down on the toilet. Over the years I’d gotten used to sitting down to go to the bathroom. What was harder to get used to was how much women had to undress to use the bathroom, then re-dress and straighten up before leaving. For men it’s just unzip, relax, shake, zip up, wash, dry and go.
After wiping, I strip off my nightshirt and jump into the shower. I want to be quick this morning, there’s a lot to do today. It only takes me about ten minutes before I’m dry and dressed in khaki pants, ballet neck top, and tennis shoes. I’ve pulled my hair into a long ponytail held with a scrunchie. When I get to the kitchen, Bob’s sitting at the table, sipping a cup of his strong coffee, reading the morning paper. I step up behind him.
I want to bend down, put my arms around his neck and give him a “good morning” hug. After all I told him last night, I feel like we’ve crossed a line in our relationship. Relationship? Where did that come from? I stand there, not knowing what to do.
“Good morning, Honey. Would you like a cup of coffee before we eat?”
“Uhh ... yeah, sure ... I’ll get it ... good morning Bob.” I walk over to the coffee pot, thankful that I don’t have to deal with what just happened, at least not yet. I pour a cup then sit down next to Bob. He looks over at me.
“Don’t you normally sit over there?” He points to the chair opposite him. He’s right.
“Sorry.” I start to stand up.
“No, no. Sit down. It was a question, not a suggestion. You may sit wherever you want, Honey.”
“Thanks.” I sit back down and sip my coffee.
“I have been going through my notes from last night and there are a number of things that I would like to have more information about, but I will save that for after we get back from brunch. How do you like ‘Denny’s’?
“That’s fine, wherever you want. Did you actually go to bed last night? I was up and saw a light under your door.”
“To be truthful, no, I did not. I was so energized by what you told me that I spent the night reviewing my notes and doing research on the internet. We have a very interesting cast of characters here.” Tell me about it. “Dr. Amy Hanson is quite accomplished. Given the research papers I have read, she should have received her Nobel several years sooner. A brilliant and possibly extremely dangerous woman, very formidable.”
“Are you saying she’s too much to take on?”
He chuckles. “Hardly, Honey. Everyone has a week spot, usually several. I just need to find hers.”
“But aren’t you afraid of her? After all you’ve read and what I told you?”
“Fear is for the unprepared. Whatever plan we ultimately have, it will be bullet proof.”
He seems so confident, so full of pep, so in charge, so ... masterful. It’s a side of Bob I’ve never seen before. It’s ... kinda arousing. “Do you know how you’re going to help me?”
“No idea whatsoever.”
He reaches out and takes my hand. “Honey, it has been less than seven hours. Give me a chance. I do not have nearly enough information to make even an educated guess. This process can take weeks, possibly months. Once a plan is created, the next step is implementation, acquiring the material and personnel to make it work. There is also the possibility that we may have to wait for a specific window of time to execute the plan. Finally, we are likely to only get one shot at this so it had better work the first and only time”
He’s right of course. I hadn’t thought about any of that stuff but he’s right. It’s like a game plan for football, only much more complicated. And we are the big underdogs. Still, I had hoped that rescue was at hand. My head drops to my chest in disappointment. Bob reaches out with his left index finger, puts it under my chin and tips my head up.
“It is not all bad, Honey. Everything starts somewhere and we have started. Besides, now that I know about your unique situation, you can relax a bit around here. I will keep the weekly visits going and try to relieve some of the pressure at the club, if possible.” He smiles at me. “Have a little hope, Honey.”
I can’t help smiling back at him. “Alright, just a little.”
“That’s my girl.” His praise sends a slight shiver up my spine. “Are you ready to eat Honey?” He pauses a moment. “Excuse me, I assumed that you still wished to be called ‘Honey’, I apologize for that. I could use a different name if you wish.”
I hate the name “Honey Sweet-Lay” with a passion. At first I cringed every time Anthony introduced me. I have gotten more used to it over the years but there is always that moment of embarrassment whenever I meet some one for the first time and they learn my name, just like Hanson planned. Every moment of my existence is a testament to her deviousness. That means we need to be extra careful.
“No, I’ll stick with ‘Honey’ for now. If I ask you to use something else and you screw up and call me something different in front of Anthony, we’d have trouble. It’s not worth it.” He winks at me.
“Good, logical thinking, Honey. But I do not screw up. Let’s go eat.”
* * ** * ** * ** * *
I overate a bit at Denny’s. It had been something like fourteen hours since my last meal and I was famished. It wasn’t much food for Josh Thomas but it was a hell of a lot for Honey Sweet-Lay. I know that I’ll still be full at suppertime. Bob and I avoid the big subject while eating. He doesn’t ask me anything about it while we are in public. It’s just chit chat but great chit chat. I can’t seem to stop giggling. It’s like an enormous weight has been lifted from my soul. Everything is bright and sunny, the first day in the rest of my life. I always thought that was a stupid, trite saying but now I understand it. Bob seems to be enjoying my giddiness, or maybe just tolerating it, hard to tell with him. Either way, he’s good company and I hate to see the meal end.
On the way home, the questions start. Who, how, what, when, and where. And why. The why is tough for me to admit. At first I just try to call Amy a crazy bitch and leave it at that, but Bob’s way too smart to let me get away with it. He knows that the why may be the most important part of the puzzle. He keeps pushing me until I finally tell him about the rape, or at least what she thinks was a rape, I’ve still got my doubts. I didn’t want to tell him because I thought that he might decide not to help me. I tell him about my fear.
“I am not judge and jury here Honey. I assumed that there was some kind of wrong done to Dr. Hanson, her reaction was too extreme for there not to be something terrible, but there is such a thing as cruel and unusual punishment. Your situation hits the nail on the head for both, in spades. There may be some legal consequences when we are done, hard to say much about that yet.”
After we get home, he goes on to ask me all sorts of technical questions about my medical treatments from Amy. I can’t tell him much, mostly because I don’t know how she did it and later on I was doped up most of the time, except when Ms. Baker was teaching me the Wrangler Girl routines. I tell him about my six month maintenance treatments and their effects but I’m afraid I’m not much help.
Talking about my life at the club is tough. I hate to admit to being so controlled by Anthony, with Hanson’s help of course. I really hate to answer questions about all the things I’ve done and with who I’ve done it and how often. And I really, really hate to admit how much I enjoy the sex. It’s true, lots of times I do like it. There’s that period each day, when my craving kicks in, where sex, practically any kind of sex, regardless how kinky, feels wonderful. I’d do just about anything in those few hours and beg for more. Anybody who fucks me during that time is usually one happy customer. Anthony has gotten quite good at controlling my timing. I’m off the stage and on my back right on schedule. He usually pulls me off duty before the sex becomes painful, unless that’s what he wants. That kind of sexual release can become addictive just by itself.
I don’t tell Bob this, but I miss the sex while I’m at his house. I’m glad that I don’t have to fuck or suck a long line of jerks but doing it with someone I like would be … nice, you know? I mean, if it’s my choice, what’s the harm, right? I can’t say Bob shows no interest. I saw how he looked at me when I went skinny dipping and he appeared to appreciate my dress at supper ... yesterday. Was it just yesterday? It seems like days ago. Either way, he looks but he doesn’t touch and I don’t know why. I’m afraid to ask, though I’m not sure where that fear comes from.
He steers clear of the post Super bowl parties with the Wranglers, probably because of all the crying, but does ask about Billy Joe Coleson ... a lot. The bastard sometimes shows up at the club, usually drunk before he gets there, and barges to the front of the line waiting to see me. The sex is always rough, like he’s pissed about something and he’s taking it out on me. He won’t ever let me forget that he was the one who replaced me, all the success he’s had and that he was the first man I ever had sex with. He thinks he’s this Hall of Fame quarterback but won’t admit that Hanson is ten times more responsible for the teams’ success than he is. What an egotistical jerk! Bob keeps questioning me about him until I’m sick of it and snap.
“What’s the big deal about Coleson? He’s a no talent bum who lucked into a great deal. Any quarterback could win with that group of amped up players, thanks to Hanson. You’ve seen one egotistical quarterback, you’ve seen them all.”
Bob holds a closed fist to the side of his head. “Hello, kettle? This is pot calling.” He grins at me for several seconds before I get it.
“OK, sure, I wasn’t some kind of saint or anything but I wasn’t as bad as he is.”
“Are you positive about that?” Actually, I’m not; except for fucking transformed men. I never did that ... that I know of. There are a lot of similarities between us but I still wasn’t that bad. “I am not trying to teach you a lesson, Honey, though there is one to be learned. I am more interested in Mr. Coleson’s role in this conspiracy. He was in on it from very early on and continues to knowingly participate in it, as evidenced by his semi-regular visits to the club and his ... sponsorship of your appearances at the Wrangler’s ....”
“I know, go on.”
“Thank you. Yet, he does not seem to currently receive any special benefit. It appears that he believes that his current success is related to his talent and not the boost provided by Dr. Hanson. He is not being financially compensated like Anthony and his access to you, while apparently unlimited and likely free, is hardly much for someone with his resources and the other opportunities he probably has with young, female fans.”
“He’s getting those injections from Hanson to keep him at peak shape.”
“So does the rest of the team, yet they are unaware of your situation.” Bob stops, tapping his pencil rhythmically on his notepad. “He must be getting something else out of this but I can not see what it is.”
“Why does it matter?”
“Because I believe that Mr. Coleson is the weak link in the chain. There is no obvious control by Dr. Hanson, beyond fear, perhaps. No clear benefit to him and a disproportionate benefit to Dr. Hanson.”
“Dr. Hanson does not seem to be getting much from Mr. Coleson, even though he knows as much as he does. This may be the crack I am looking for.”
“To do what?”
“To acquire information.”
“Billy Joe won’t tell you squat, he’s dumb but not that dumb.”
Bob laughs briefly. “Perhaps you are right, Honey, but much depends on where, when and how the questions are asked. Do you recall our conversation when you first used the hot tub?”
“I remember we had one but I don’t remember what either of us said.”
“You mean you’re going to stick him in a hot tub?”
He laughs again. “No, Honey. Every one has a comfort zone, where they drop their guard. It then becomes a matter of knowing what buttons to push and how. I do not know Mr. Coleson’s comfort zone yet nor where his buttons are, but I will.”
He then switches to asking me how things work at the club, the suppliers, who’s on the take, how they get paid and so on. I know a lot about this because Anthony uses my “services” as part of the deal with a lot of his business partners, including the two cops he pays off. We go on like that the rest of the day. We stop for me to make a light supper, soup and sandwiches for Bob, a small salad for me. I’m still full from brunch.
After supper, Bob decides that he has enough info for now, so we watch a movie and I finish the evening swimming for an hour or so and then soaking in the hot tub for about half an hour. Bob made a batch of margaritas and we sipped them, sitting outside at the table by the pool, until bedtime. This time, I didn’t hesitate when we went inside. I stepped in close, wrapped my arms around him, kissed his cheek and told him good night. I don’t know what it was, probably the booze, but it felt like the right thing to do. Bob didn’t say anything until I was almost to my room. He managed to say “good night” but stuttered a bit. I look back at him over my shoulder and smile.
I don’t often surprise him. It’s fun.
* * ** * ** * ** * *
When I wake in the morning, the reality of returning to the club hits me hard. Mentally, I knew that I was going to have to go back, but now I’m getting scared. What if Anthony notices something? What if I slip up? What would he actually do to me? What would Hanson do? God, the possibilities are endless! By the time I get dressed and manage to drag myself to the kitchen, I’m a mess.
“I can’t do this, Bob” I sniff. “It’s impossible. We’ll never be able to pull it off.” I flop down in the chair. “Just forget about the whole thing, it’s hopeless.” I start to cry. He pulls his chair next to mine, putting his arm around my shoulder, hugging me. I keep sobbing for several minutes but I eventually stop. He hands me a napkin to wipe my eyes.
“I was waiting for this,” he says. “I am surprised that it did not happen sooner.”
“What are you talking about?”
“It is quite common for someone who is attempting to escape an abusive and controlling situation to experience second thoughts. They have been under the thumb so long that they can not see how to live any other way. The familiar, no matter how bad it is, becomes more attractive than the unknown. Better the devil you know. It even has a name, ‘learned helplessness’.” He slowly turns my chair until I am looking him in the eyes. “You are a very strong person, Honey. You have endured things that would have driven others over the edge into madness. I can not make you continue with this attempt to escape but I can say that you have been a different person since you chose to tell me the truth, a happier person. I know that the future is uncertain, that success is not guaranteed but you need to ask yourself, how much longer can you go on the way you have? A month, a year, two, ten, thirty ... with Hanson’s treatments, maybe a hundred years ... more?”
“A hundred years?!”
“You say that these six month tune up treatments keep you looking young, like a teenage girl. How long will that continue? Dr. Hanson is forty-two years old, about the same as you, but looks at most half that age. You could be working at the club a very, very long time. A hundred years may be conservative.”
OH GOD! What would I be like after a hundred years of stripping and sex! I’ve barely held on to myself after three years! This has got to end now!
“Do what you have to do, Bob. Get me out of there!”
He pats my arm. “I will do what I can, Honey. Go fix your makeup. Anthony can not suspect anything. Just do whatever you normally do at the club. Leave it to me for now. Everything needs to be dead normal. I will tell Anthony that I am extending our arrangement indefinitely and will pay him the next month in advance. I suspect that $5,000.00 will keep him from asking too many questions.”
“You’re probably right about that. Thanks for everything, Bob. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
“You are welcome Honey.” I go to my bathroom and fix my makeup, then return to the kitchen. We have a quick breakfast and just finish cleaning the kitchen when the doorbell rings. Bob reaches out and takes my hand as I inhale deeply, hold it, then slowly release it, trying to remain calm. We walk together to the front door. Bob opens it. Anthony is standing there, filling the doorway. God, he’s bigger than I remember. Bob greets him with a smile and a handshake.
“Good morning, Anthony, please come in and have a seat.”
“Thanks Bob, be glad to.” He walks in, giving me a possessive slap on the ass as he passes by. Bob follows, ignoring me. We all sit down in the living room.
“I am happy to tell you that I have been extremely pleased with Honey’s performance the last three weeks. I believe that this is the beginning of a long relationship. I would like to keep the same schedule for the immediate future, if that is acceptable to you Anthony.”
“Oh, it’s acceptable to me Bob, particularly at $1000.00 a week.”
“Speaking of which, here is next month’s payment.” Bob reaches into his pocket, pulls out a roll of bills and hands it to a smiling Anthony, who grabs the roll, quickly counts it and stuffs the money into the pocket of his shirt.
“Thanks Bob, I appreciate payments in advance.”
“I plan on keeping to that schedule in the future.”
“Fine by me, Bob, fine by me.” He stands up. “Pleasure doing business with you, but we got to get back to the club. Come on, Honey; get that pretty ass in gear.” Bob stands up too.
“I do not want to hold you up but I need to let you know that I may be gone next week or the week after, it is uncertain at this time. Either way, I have several things for Honey to do in my absence so I expect her to be here even if I am not. I assume that is satisfactory.” Anthony hesitates, that means he’s thinking. This could take awhile. He reaches up and rubs the back of his neck.
“I don’t know about that. I mean, no one’s here to keep track of her...”
“I trust her, Anthony. I have sent her out by herself several times already. Besides, where is she going to go?”
“I guess it’s OK. You are paying for it after all. Just let me know what’s going on.”
“That is certainly a fair request. I will be in touch.”
As Anthony turns his back to leave, I glance at Bob. He winks at me. I smile and wink back.
“Move it, Honey, time is money.” I hurry to catch up with Anthony.
* * ** * ** * ** * *
Bob returns to his office and immediately picks up the phone. After dialing a familiar number, he waits for the automated system to pick up and again provides his identification code.
“Yes, I would like the Records Division please……...I would like to speak with Connie if she is available.... Yes, thank you…………Hello Connie, Bob James………...very useful……...sometimes no information is information Connie……...... If you feel that bad about it, here is a chance to make it up to me. I have three additional names, a little more famous than Ms. Sweet-Lay ...….. Dr. Amy Hanson, Nobel Prize winner…….... Billy Joe Coleson, quarterback for the Dallas Wranglers……...Josh Thomas, most recent ex-quarterback of the same Dallas Wranglers……....The public records give me more than I know what to do with but this time I would like you to concentrate on financial records, also any professional rumors and scuttlebutt...….....every little bit helps Connie....….. Not yet, but getting closer to the truth………...If I am right, never in a million years, Connie.…..I will be waiting….....Thanks, Connie.”
He hangs up.
Candi’s in the dressing room when I get there to change. She’s sitting in one chair, her feet propped up on a second chair, reading the current issue of “Cosmopolitan”.
“Hey,” I reply.
“How was your outside job? Buy anything nice?”
“Fine. There was this halter dress, some new lingerie, oh ... have you ever worn real silk stockings?”
She puts the magazine down. “A couple of times, why?”
“Did they feel ... different?”
“You mean sexy as hell?”
“YES! I thought it was just me!”
“So ... what did you do with those ... feelings?”
“Nothing. Bob wasn’t interested.”
“Don’t think so. He looks at all the right stuff. Guess I’ll have to keep working on him.”
“Here,” she picks up the magazine and searches the pages, finally bending a page corner back and handing it to me. “This would be a good look for you.”
I take the magazine from her and look at the page. It’s a sequence of pictures of a young girl demonstrating an understated make up job and hairstyle. She is a knock out, but not any better looking than me, probably not as good.
“You’re right, but almost any look is good on me.” Candi chokes a little, then laughs.
“Well somebody is in a good mood today! There must be more happening on that outside job than you’re telling me.” She’s right, I am in a good mood, at least for me.
“I suppose you’re right about the mood. It’s been so long ... but I’ve told you everything about the job, except we did go out and had a nice meal, that’s what the clothes were for.” I couldn’t tell her any more than that.
“Hope the job lasts then, you seem to be enjoying it.” She stands up, opens her locker and starts to change into her costume. I open my locker to do the same.
“Guess I am.”
* * ** * ** * ** * *
He has had to force himself to eat and sleep the last three days. It’s been years since he felt this way, fully alive, using all his training and capabilities. And what an unprecedented situation! If what Honey had said was true ... the implications are almost incalculable. First things first though. Job one is to determine the truth. Even if she truly believed what she said, she might still be delusional; a poor unfortunate girl unhinged by the oppressive life that she lives, seeking peace in a fantasy, though the story she told was hardly a peaceful one. It was such a fantastic, implausible tale, but how could she profit from lying? Even if she could claim Josh Thomas’s life, he was a wanted man, his assets sold to pay his numerous creditors. Many things did add up ... but ... it is inconceivable that someone has the ability to change a persons’ sex at the genetic level. That is light years beyond the published research, and he had reviewed quite a bit of it in the last few days, hence the lack of sleep. Every indication was that Dr. Amy Hanson would be one extremely tough nut to crack.
Billy Joe Coleson was an entirely different story. There appeared to be a number of gambits that could work with him. In fact, there was something in that last report from Connie ... where is it ... yes! He carefully reread the bound document recently delivered to his home. A plan was forming in his mind but he needed to check on the availability of some necessary equipment. Picking up his PDA, Bob entered the password and retrieved his address book. Finding the phone number that he was searching for, he paused for several minutes, getting himself in the right “frame of mind” to make the call. Once prepared, he dialed the number and waited for someone to answer.
“Hello, I’d like to speak to Albert Cains.........Albert? This is Richard Johnson………….I know, about five years to be exact...…..Not much, kinda semi-retired if you know what I mean.......are you still in the business?...........Great! I need to rent your show RV and trailer rig, if you still got them...…..completely equipped.......yes, everything, though I‘ll be providing my own refreshments and a few extra decorations.......It’s a special client.......no, I guarantee they won’t be shot up this time. You’ve my word on that..........All right, but $5,000 extra seems a little salty..........it only happened once Albert and you know it!............Fine. When can I come by and get a look?..............That’s good, the sooner the better. You still at the same address?............Good thing I asked then, isn’t it? Hold on, let me get a pen and paper.” Bob held the phone from his head for a couple of seconds, then brought it back to his ear. “OK, go ahead..........got it, see you then Albert. Bye.”
After hanging up, a smile slowly crawled across his face, a tight, malevolent smile of anticipation. Bob always felt that Johnson had a bit of a mean streak in him.
* * ** * ** * ** * *
Saturdays tended to bring in the golfing crowd, particularly if the weather’s bad. They haven’t actually been golfing and they don’t plan on going after they leave. Golfing is just the excuse they give their wives for being out of the house for several hours, which they spend sitting at my tables in their stupid outfits, paying ridiculous prices for my watered-down drinks and buying lap dances. Thank God for oversexed, competitive married men. They are so hell bent on having a good time and want to prove it to their friends; they’ll over indulge and over spend until time to go home just before dinner. Those guys make great customers because they don’t hang around long enough to get too drunk, particularly with wifey waiting at home to smell their breath, but they do want to spend money for the attention of the dancers. The girls usually take the suckers for quite a ride and I get a good percentage.
This is one thing Honey’s never been particularly good at. She’s the best dancer of the bunch, by far. Really takes pride in giving a good performance, though she is more interested in her act and less interested in getting money stuffed in her costume, which is OK by me. That means if a guy wants to get close and touch her, they gotta pay me direct. Of course, they get to do a hell of a lot more than just touch her. That’s where Honey really performs. Get her at the right time and she’s just a hell of a fuck. She’s damn good all the time but you get her while she’s in the Zone and it’s giddy up time.
Which makes her only being an adequate money maker with lap dances so strange. She’s got the moves, Lord does she have the moves, but her heart just isn’t into it. She just can’t lead a guy on like a good lap dancer can. She can’t suck the money from a mark like a real pro. I think, to be good at that, you gotta hate men, deep down. You have to want to lead them on, to make suckers out of them. Honey doesn’t hate men, how could she? I will say that over the last year, she has gotten better. Maybe all that time she spends on her back or her knees is changing her opinion about her old gender. Right now, she’s on stage, doing what she does best ... well, second best. My cell phone vibrates. I answer it, one hand cupped over my ear to block the music a bit.
“I would like to speak with Anthony.”
“This is Bob James”
“Hey, Bob, what’s up.”
“I will be out of town this week.”
“No problem, you said it might happen.”
“There are still some things I would like Honey to do in my absence.”
“I said it was OK but how will she get in?”
“My neighbor will have the key, she can let her in.”
“It would be easier if you just gave me a key.”
“True, but our relationship has not advanced to the point were I am willing to give you unrestricted access to my home.”
“If it was anyone other than you, I would be insulted, Bob.”
“It is best for all of us that Mrs. Hewlett handles the door for now.”
“No, it’ll be fine, just make sure your neighbor is on time. I don’t want to hang around waiting for some old lady to let us in your house.”
“She is quite conscientious. I will leave a job list on the kitchen table for Honey.”
“I’ll tell her.”
“Thank you, Anthony. I will speak with you next week.”
“See ya next week.”
Just then, Honey finishes her routine and heads for the dressing room. I look around to make sure there’s nothing else I have to deal with, then follow her. I push through the curtains, raising a cloud of dust.
I gotta get these cleaned. One of the problems of paying off the health inspector is the standards slip just a little too low. When the pressure of an inspection is on, things get cleaned, repaired and put away. Take away the pressure and everything goes to hell. Oh well, no one’s died ... yet. I open the door to the dressing room and step in.
Honey’s there, changing costumes. She’s talking with Candi, I think they’re friends or something. Two other girls are also getting ready for their shifts. It’s getting close to time to bringing in some new blood. I’m getting tired of seeing the same old tits. If I’m tired, so are my customers. That’s for another day though.
“Honey!” She jumps up, half dressed.
“Yes, Sir?” Candi grimaces when Honey says that, like she doesn’t approve or something. Big fat hairy deal. At least she’s smart enough not to say anything.
“I just spoke with Bob James. He’s gonna be out of town this week but he’ll have a list of stuff for you to do Tuesday and Wednesday. We’ll leave the normal time, got it?”
“Yes, Sir.” She seems disappointed at the news that Bob will be gone. Can’t imagine why.
* * ** * ** * ** * *
There was a round of applause as he came into the bar with his date on his arm. It had been a tougher game than expected. Baltimore had actually beaten the point spread and he had gotten knocked out of the game for a series when Newberry missed a blitzing linebacker and he had taken a shot to the head. That was the third time in two years. He’s thankful for Amy Hanson’s magic injections; there were no signs of any long term harm from the concussions. Now that they had gotten past Baltimore, there wasn’t a whole lot standing between the Wranglers and another undefeated season. He waived to the crowd just a little, to let them know he heard the applause, but not enough to egg them on. He did have a bit of a headache from that hit and wouldn’t get treated by Hanson until Wednesday at the earliest.
Unfortunately his date, Fiona Belasara, lived for these moments of attention. She waived, blew kisses and hugged any one she recognized. Like she had anything to do with the win. She got her face on the Jumbotron a couple of times so it was a good day for her, win or lose. She’s dressed like an attention seeking girlfriend of a sport superstar would dress, short, scant and slutty. Not that he objected. Billy Joe Coleson deserved a fine looking girlfriend. He also deserved the two other women he was seeing on the side, of which Fiona only suspected there was one other potential rival for her spotlight. He moved towards the bar as Fiona worked the crowd and posed for a few photos.
“Nice game, Mr. Coleson” said the bartender as he slid his favorite beer over to him.
“Thanks Tony, we shoulda won by ten, at least.”
“Even the best have their off days, Mr. Coleson.”
Billy Joe liked Tony, he always gave him the respect and treatment a future Hall of Famer deserved. He turned to look at the crowd, leaning back against the bar, resting his elbows on the padded rim. He watched as Fiona gradually worked her way towards him. She was another matter completely. She’d been putting pressure on him to get engaged, like that was ever gonna happen. She was a good looking bitch but just too damn much maintenance. She always wanted to go to the right places, meet the right people and he was her pass into tabloid society. She started out as a moderately successful model but now was recognized wherever she went because she was Billy Joe Coleson’s girlfriend. He chuckled at the thought that her fifteen minutes of fame were about up.
He knew he was going to dump her, it was just a matter of when. There’d be the big splash in the grocery tabloids and crappy magazine’s like “In Person”, “The Star” and shit television shows like “TMZ”. A few months later, she’d do a photo spread for “Playboy”, to show the world she’d recovered from the pain and was moving on with her life to bigger and better things and then she’d drop off the face of the earth, just like always. She was twenty five, twenty six years old, he wasn’t sure. How long did she think he would stay with an aging model? There were lots of candidates to replace her, younger, better looking, and willing to put his interest first. Women who knew their place and how to treat a man like him.
Fiona stepped up to the bar, taking his arm, mistaking his smile for one of gladness to see her instead of one of joy at her future humiliation.
“Baby, let’s go dancing after we’re done here. I feel like celebrating!”
“You always feel like celebrating. You may have noticed that I got whacked pretty good out there today. I feel like shit.” She starts to pout. A year ago that might have worked on me but not now.
“If you feel so bad, why are we at this bar?”
“Because, it’s my lucky bar, you know that. It’s always my first stop after a win. We won, so here I am, but not for long.” I finish my beer and Tony gets me a second one right away. I always have at least two beers, sometimes more but never less. Tonight, my headache says two is my limit, at least for the bar. I’ll probably have a few more at home, you know, to unwind.
“Come on, Billy Joe, you’ll bounce right back, you always do. That Doctor will give you one of those shots and you ...”
“Keep your mouth shut about that!” I hiss. “You don’t ever talk about that!”
She knows the rules but never can seem to follow them. The player’s wives and girlfriends talk about it among themselves I think, particularly the wives of the guys who have recently joined the team. How could they not notice their husbands’ new found interest in sex and their staying power? One of the side effects of Hanson’s treatments. Guys are like teenagers again, hard fast, recover fast, fuck all night. The wives get a lot of the action but so do the chippies that follow the team.
And so does my good friend Honey Sweet-Lay at the inevitable post Super Bowl party. I’ve got great memories of her, fucked to a stupor but begging for more, covered in cum from forty guys, and then I bring out my dogs, King and Killer. They’ve got the only cocks in the room that will have anything to do with her; she’s such a disgusting sight by that time in the party. It’s either them or nothing ... and nothing’s not an option for poor Honey Sweet-Lay. Watching her take on those dogs is the perfect end to a long season. So much for Josh Thomas, God’s gift to football. He thought that he could keep me from my rightful place as starter. Well, soon I’ll have all his old records and then we’ll see who the greatest Wrangler quarterback of all time is.
Some movement draws my attention back to Fiona. She’s been yammering on about God knows what while I’ve been walking down memory lane. Things are getting a little crowded at the bar. There’s this guy squeezing in behind her, trying to get a drink. Tony hands him a glass of beer and he raises it up over his head as he turns away, trying to wiggle his way free of the crowd. It looks like somebody bumps into him or something and he dumps the entire glass down Fiona’s back. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her eyes go so wide. She just stands there a few seconds, mouth wide open in total shock, like a little kid who hurt himself and is just trying to get enough air in his lungs before he screams bloody murder. The calm before the storm.
“EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE ... ”
Here it comes.
“... EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKK! OOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHH! YOU IDIOT! WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO! YOU FUCKING MORON! THIS DRESS COST ... AND YOU STOP LAUGHING!”
I’m sorry, but that’s the funniest thing I’ve seen all year. She caught me laughing behind her back and there’ll be hell to pay the next few days, if not weeks.
It was totally worth it.
The guy who spilled his beer is all apologetic, grabbing napkins and blotting her back, leaving pieces of paper all over her as she spins left, then right. It just gets funnier by the second. Since I’m laughing, other people join in.
Despite what she thinks, Fiona’s not exactly a crowd favorite. Most people think she’s a bitch. Everyone else thinks she’s a super bitch. I know she’s a dumb super bitch.
“Ohh stop it! Stop it! Billy Joe, will you dooo something?!”
“Hit him! Kick his ass! ANYTHING BUT LAUGH YOU DUMB SON OF A BITCH!” She storms off to the bathroom, a couple of her “friends” trailing behind her. I look at the poor fucker who started all this, an empty glass in one hand and a wad of torn, soaked paper napkins in the other. He sets the glass on the bar.
“I am so sorry! It was a complete accident! I was just trying to get back to my table and someone tripped me. I can’t apologize enough ...”
“It’s cool man, shit happens. Now, if you had spilled it on me, that would be a different matter but ... ”
“I insist on paying any damages, the cleaning bill, whatever.” He reaches into his coat pocket, pulls out something and hands it to me. “This is my card. Have her contact me once she calms down and I will take care of everything.”
“That may be a couple of months Mister......” I look at his card. It’s black and shaped like a semiautomatic pistol. It reads: Richard Johnson, dealer in exotic and unusual weapons. “... Johnson. Fiona is pretty hot blooded. I’m surprised she didn’t try to kick you in the balls right here. Frankly, I don’t think I’d want to be here when she gets back.”
“Well, you know her better than I do. Just give her the card or you can contact me yourself. I’ll take your advice and be...” he starts to leave.
“Hold on a sec. She’s gonna take a little while in there, you soaked her pretty good. What’s this ‘dealer in exotic and unusual weapons’ about?”
“I’m an independent sales rep for a number of manufacturers of high end niche guns and other weapons, the type of things you would not find in most sporting goods stores or even local gun shops.”
“Really? I’m a bit of a collector myself, got a few nice pieces. A couple of Bernardelli shotguns, a Dessert Eagle 40, an early Winchester 74. You sell that kinda thing?”
“Yes and no. I have access to most of that type of thing, though I leave the collectables to the hobbyist. I tend to deal in more ... specialized items.”
He steps a little closer to me and lowers his voice.
“Quasi military items.”
“NO SHIT!” His eyes go all buggy so I quiet down. “You mean machine guns and that shit?”
“Among other things.”
“Dude! I would love to get my hands on a machine gun! You got a store here in town?”
“Sorry, no. I do most of my selling at gun shows and specialty stores around the country. I was just heading to my next stop when I decided to take a break and get a meal and something to drink and then all this happened.”
“You’ve got your stuff in your car, right outside?”
“When I’m on the road, I take an RV and trailer but yes, they are parked just down the street.”
“Hey, could I take a look at what you’ve got? I’d really like to buy a machine gun, something fully auto.” He looks worried.
“I don’t know about that. Opening up the trailer at this time of day in this neighborhood, that’s just asking for trouble. Besides, the best you could do is just look at something. You couldn’t fire off a few clips in downtown Dallas.”
“Yeah your right. It’s a shame though ...” I snap my fingers “I’ve got a great idea. When’s your next stop?”
“Oklahoma on Thursday.”
“Great! You could come to my place tomorrow and still have plenty of time to get there.”
“That won’t help unless ‘your place’ is damn big.”
“Is a three thousand acre ranch big enough?”
I think that impressed him. It’s not that big for a Texas ranch but it is a place to getaway from the crowds ... and Fiona. She hates the ranch. She’s got no problem staying at my mansion though, a city girl all the way. I start to laugh again when I remember that look on her face when the cold beer hit her bare back. Johnson looks puzzled.
“Sorry, just thinking about that beer you dumped on ...”
“Really, I’m as sorry as I can ...” I waive him off.
“No sweat, man. Funniest thing I’ve seen all year. I’ll take care of her if you can take care of me, know what I mean?”
He thinks about it for a few seconds.
“Sure, why not. I could use the practice. What’s the address?”
“I’ll give you directions. Tony, how about some paper and a pen over here?”
“An address should be fine. I’ve got a hell of a GPS setup since I spend so much time on the road. I can be there by 11:00 a.m.” Tony hands me an order pad and a pen. I write down my address, tear off the page and hand it to Johnson.
“Make it 12:30 p.m. I’ve got to get some therapy on my neck even though they give us Monday off.”
“Monday off? Where do you work?”
This guy doesn’t know who I am! I know he isn’t local, but that’s no excuse. Maybe he’s not a football fan. I hold out my hand.
“I’m Billy Joe Coleson, quarter...” He quickly grabs it.
“...back for the Wranglers, of course, I should have recognized you. Pleasure to meet you. I was a really big fan of your predecessor, Josh Thomas. Great player, great guy, what a legend!”
Shit, he’s one of those guys, living in the past.
“Yeah yeah, great guy. You better get going before Fiona sees you and the shit hits the fan again.”
“Good idea. I’ll see you tomorrow at 12:30 then.”
He hurries out. I guess I can put up with one of Thomas’ fans for a few hours to get my hands on that hardware.
Fiona was pissed when she came back and found out I hadn’t done anything about the accident. Bitch has no sense of humor. The sooner she’s gone, the happier I’m gonna be. I probably need to meet with my publicist to figure the best way to do it. It’d be great if I could catch her with some other guy, make the whole thing her fault. That way, I wouldn’t be the bad guy ... again.
I step out of the house and look up the dirt road. I think I see a dust cloud at the far end, about a mile away. I check my watch. It’s 12:25 p.m. If it’s Johnson, he’s right on time. Standing there by the road, I see that it is a dust cloud and then I catch sight of the black RV. Damn, that’s a fucking big rig! Sucker’s bigger than Madden’s cruiser. Hell, the trailer he’s pulling is almost as big as most RVs. The whole thing looks like a train engine coming down the road. He turns into my drive and comes to an easy stop right in front of me. The door swings open and Johnson hops out.
“Shit man! I didn’t know they made em that big. How many gallons to the mile do you get in that monster?”
“Just the cost of doing business, Billy Joe. Where do you want to do this?”
“How much space do you need?”
He looks around, his right hand shading his eyes.
“If you don’t have some kind of back stop, I’d like about two miles of clear space.”
“TWO MILES?! What you got in there, Patriot missiles?”
He laughs loudly.
“Nothing like that, at least not yet. You’d be surprised how far a wild round will go. This place looks pretty flat.”
“It’s Texas. What did you expect? I do have a big pile of hay bales in the Southwest quarter, keep it for the horses.”
Johnson nods his head. “That should do. Climb aboard, you can show me the way.”
“Do I need to bring anything?”
“Nope. I’m fully equipped ... unless you’ve got a favorite pair of shooting glasses or hearing protectors.”
“I don’t need that shit,” I snort.
“Trust me, you will.”
“Fine, I’ll use yours.”
He steps through the door and climbs the steps. I follow him. God Damn! This thing is enormous! Sucker’s bigger than the house where I lived as a kid, and we weren’t poor or nothing. I walk towards the back, checking things out as I go. Nice living room, big screen TV with surround sound system, satellite antenna, big bedroom. It’s even got a full bath. The kitchen’s OK too, not that I cook. There’s something just a little wrong with a guy who cooks. Other than grilling, that’s OK. I open the fridge.
“WHOA! What do we have here?” There’s a case of Bud, my favorite. I pull one out and start to twist off the cap.
“Put that back!” Johnson shouts from the driver’s seat.
“What the hell do you mean ‘put that back’?” Who’s this little shit think he is? If he thinks some 5’ 10”, 200 pound nothing is going to tell me what to do, he’s fucking nuts!
“I mean that alcohol and guns don’t mix. That’s for afterwards.”
“Look, if I want a beer, I’m gonna have a beer.”
“Not if you want to touch my inventory you won’t. This is dangerous stuff Billie Joe. You screw up and someone three miles away dies. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to avoid explaining to the cops how some little kid was killed in his front yard when a drunk idiot let a flyer get away from him.”
“It’s only one beer man.”
“That’s one too many. You can drink and shoot all you want after I leave but until then, we save it for after, got it?”
I want to punch the pious bastards’ lights out, but he’d probably get upset and leave. I’ll play it cool for now.
“OK, man, whatever you say. Let’s get going.”
I sit down as he starts the engine. Sounds like a big rig diesel. He backs up with surprising ease and gets back on the road.
“To your left, about two thirds of a mile, then to the right. You’ll see a barn. That’s the place.”
We drive on down the road. This thing rides pretty smooth for being on a dirt road. I take a closer look at the decorations. There’s a signed, framed football jersey, one from the wranglers from about ten years ago. I lean in to read the signature. CRAP. It’s Josh Thomas. This guy must really be a fan. I do not want to spend hours listening to some one talk about how great that loser was. I wonder what he would say if I told him what the big man was up to now. That I can fuck him whenever I want, beat his sissy ass, that he’s nothing more than a fifty dollar whore. Maybe I should take that jersey down to Anthony’s club and get a new autograph, maybe have Honey Sweet-Lay give it a big kiss, leaving an impression of her lipstick. Now that would be a one of a kind sport collectible!
“What’s so funny?” he asks.
“You were laughing.”
“Oh nothing, just thinking of an old teammate. Hey, we’re here.”
He stops the RV and we get out. He walks around to the back, unlocks the three padlocks keeping the trailer closed, pulls out a built in ramp and swings the double doors open. I’m speechless for at least 10 seconds.
“Impressive, ain’t it?”
The walls are lined with guns, some I’ve seen in magazines, some in catalogs and a whole lot that I’ve never seen before. Some I can’t even figure out what they are. There’s a four wheeler tied down in the middle of the trailer.
“What’s that for?”
“I use it to set up targets. If you’re shooting at something half a mile away, it’s a hell of a lot better than walking. You grab some of those mannequins and set them out there between 50 and 75 yards. Put a couple of concrete blocks on each base. I’ll take these spinners and auto resets out about 500 and 1000 yards. Don’t touch anything else until I get back. I haven’t turned all the security off yet.”
He throws several metal targets in the rack on the back of the four wheeler along with half a dozen one foot square white cubes, unbuckles the straps holding it down, jumps on, starts it, backs out and drives off. There are four beat up store mannequins in the corner. I grab one in each hand, walk out into the field and set them down. I go back to the trailer, pick up the other two and do the same, After that, I pick up a couple of concrete building blocks from the back of the trailer and set them on the base of each mannequin. I give one a shove to see if it stays put. It moves a little but not bad. Johnson comes roaring back just as I return to the trailer.
“I thought that you could start with some hand guns, if you’re interested in that sort of thing.”
“What about that M16? Why not do that first?”
He points to the nearest dummy. “You hit one of those with a couple of bursts of full auto, there’s not much left. If you want to use the handguns, start while you’ve still got a target.”
“No thanks, I can shoot handguns whenever I want. Give me that M16.”
He steps back into the trailer and punches some numbers into a lit keypad mounted on the wall. The light goes out on the pad and he walks up to the M16 I had pointed to, unhooks it from it’s bracket and then walks over to a row of big drawers, pulls one out, reaches in and removes a canvas bag, slinging it over his shoulder. He walks back to me and hands me the gun.
“The big thing with autos is muzzle climb. After just a couple of rounds, the muzzle starts to go up. Each shot after that just makes it worse. In seconds, you’re out of control. That’s a bad thing.”
He takes the gun back from me, reaches into the bag, takes a clip out, sets it in the receiver, cocks it, flips off what I assume is the safety, sights and pulls the trigger, ripping off a bunch of rounds, each one hitting the upper third of the farthest dummy. The sound is deafening. I clap my hands over my ears but it doesn’t help. He stops firing, resets the safety, slings it around his neck, muzzle pointed towards the ground.
“That’s why we wear hearing protection. I’ll go get us a pair.” He walks back to the trailer while I wait for the ringing to fade in my ears.
When Johnson gets back, he explains how everything works and how to fight the muzzle climb. He then gets me set up and tells me to fire a short burst at the nearest dummy. I take a deep breath, exhale slowly and jerk the trigger.
The gun is all over the place. I can’t control it. I release the trigger before things get too bad. Johnson shows me what to do again and it’s a little better the second time, though I still don’t hit the dummy. We keep working on it until I’m on target about a third of the time. He stops me and takes off his ear protectors.
“You want something to drink?” I didn’t realize how thirsty I was ... and how tense. Every muscle in my upper body was clenched.
“Yeah sure, how about a beer?” I ask, smiling.
“Now do you understand why I said no drinking before?”
“Yeah, I got it. Doing this sober is hard enough.”
He walks back intro the RV. I lay the M16 on the ground and follow. I have a Coke and he has a Sprite. He sits right in front of the framed jersey, so I have to look right at it as we talk. He gives me more advice about how to handle an automatic and we go back out. This time I try the AK47. It’s not nearly as smooth as the M16, plus it’s louder, if that’s possible, but it feels ... meaner some how. I like it. I’m also a little more accurate. Eventually I also shoot an Uzi and an old Thompson sub-machine gun, like the ones used during Prohibition. That was a kick! I’d love to have one of those at the team Halloween party this year, me dressed as a gangster and Fiona...or her replacement....dressed as a dancer. My hands are aching when I finish with the Thompson. The arms and shoulders also hurt. I asked Johnson why that was.
“Because you’re too tense, you need to relax. Let’s try something that requires a little more skill.” He goes back to the trailer and brings out a portable shooting bench, a chair with a wide base and a rest for the gun to keep it steady.
“What you getting out now?”
“A Barrett Model 82A1 .50 caliber rifle, my specialty.”
He brought out a spotting scope on a tripod, set it up so that you could clearly see his metal targets at 500 yards and then brought out the rifle. It was long, lean, a rail stock with an adjustable pad on the end, fat muzzle brake, a monstrous scope and a short ammo clip, probably only 10 shots. He settled into the chair, set the barrel on the gun rest, fiddled with the scope and stock for about five minutes, then pushed a round into the chamber.
I looked through the spotting scope at the targets. There were five dog bone shaped metal targets, attached to a “U” shaped rod planted in the ground so that if you hit the wide end of one of them, they would spin around the shaft. There was a loud CRACK despite the muffs and I could actually feel the concussion of the bullet as it left the barrel. The center target started spinning in a blur. Another CRACK, another spinning target, Three shots later, they were all spinning wildly, the center one starting to slow up enough so that you could actually see it rotate.
“Damn! Five for five! You are good!”
I look back into the scope. There’s the now familiar CRACK and the center target is rapidly spinning in the opposite direction. That is fucking impossible! There is no way to time that! I look over at Johnson, who’s sitting up with a big smirk on his face.
“No. Fucking. Way.” I say. “There has got to be a trick!”
“You’re right, there is.”
“What is it?”
He picks up the rifle and aims again. I quickly look back at the targets through the scope. The end target on the left has slowed enough that you can see the dog bone spinning. CRACK. The bastard did it again!
“The trick is that you practice....a hell of a lot. Now it’s your turn.”
I sit down in the chair and he makes all kinds of adjustments in the chair, the rest, the butt of the rifle, even the trigger. When everything fits, I start taking shots at the same target.
I’m one for fifty, and the one I hit was not the one I was aiming at. Johnson replaced me in the chair and repeated his performance at 1000 yards. I didn’t even try it.
“What are those cube things?”
“They’re a special target. You don’t need the spotting scope to see if you hit it.”
“That’s nuts! There’s no way you could see something that far away without a ... ” CRACK. BOOOOMMMMM. The fucking thing exploded! A flash of flame and smoke! How cool was that!
“Let me try!” I scrambled into the seat and tried several times to hit a cube but just kicked up a bunch of dirt. I was tempted to drive up there on the four wheeler with the AK47 and blast one but I didn’t want to be a wuss in front of Johnson.
“Hey, don’t worry about it Billy Joe, I’ve been doing this a long time. You probably didn’t complete your first pass for a touchdown. To get good at something takes hard work. If you enjoy it enough, you’ll put the hours in and get good at it.”
“You can keep the sniper rifle, I’ll take one each of the autos.”
“Well, that Thompson’s not for sale, sentimental value, but they are available from other sources. The rest shouldn’t be a problem. The question is, do you have the necessary license?”
“I gotta have a license?”
“For one of those guns or a silencer, yep.”
“You sell silencers?”
“That’s not the point, you want the M16, you need the license first.”
“Couldn’t you just, you know, make an exception in my case, since I’m ... you know.”
“Famous? That means you have to be more careful, not less. I could lose my license, which means I lose my livelihood, and you could get suspended for God knows how long by the League, ignoring the possible criminal penalties. I can give you the name of a local lawyer who specializes in that sort of thing. You should have it in no time. Now for the surprise.”
“I saved this for last.” He carried the sniper rifle back to the trailer and returned with a big wooden box, about forty inches by twenty inches. He sat it on the shooting bench, opened the lid and took out another M16 with a short tube, about two feet long, slung under the barrel. It had a separate trigger.
“What’s all that?”
“A standard M16 equipped with an optional ...“ he reaches into the box and pulls out a shell the size of his fist, “... grenade launcher.”
“YOU ARE SHITTING ME! A FUCKING GRENADE LAUNCHER?”
“Yep, and reasonably priced too.”
“How the hell can you legally sell a grenade launcher?!”
“Technically, they are slightly smaller than military grade equipment and they just explode, no fragmentation, though the skilled home handyman can solve that problem. They’re sold for ‘Agricultural Use’, scare wild birds away from crops, that sort of thing, though I guess, if you had enough shells, you could plow a field. Surprisingly enough, while you need a license for the M16, you don’t need it for the grenade launcher. Go figure.”
“God bless the NRA!”
* * ** * ** * ** * *
We blew the living crap out of that pile of hay. Dick fired the first few rounds then he showed me how to do it. I think I hit the pile about fifteen out of twenty rounds, but even the misses were kick ass. The hits left the pile a smoking mess. The horses didn’t like the noise, but they’ll get over it. It took about half an hour to clean up the dummies and put everything away. I was dying for those beers. When we got in the RV, Dick flopped on the couch and I took the chair by the table.
“Now is it OK to have a beer?”
“Now is the perfect time. Allow me.” He stands up, crosses over to the fridge, opens it and tosses me a bottle. I twist off the cap and drink about two thirds in one long gulp. When I put my bottle down, I see that Dick is pouring his into a tall glass.
“Well aren’t you fancy. Why not drink from a bottle like a man?”
“Because this is custom brewed, fermented in the bottle for carbonation. It’s got sediment in the bottom of the bottle. You need to carefully pour it into a glass to keep the bitter scraps in the bottle.” He keeps pouring the dark liquid into the large pilsner glass, flowing through and past the growing thick creamy head.
“What’s wrong with regular beer?”
“Nothing, if that’s what you like. I spent some time in Germany and discovered that I liked the darker, richer Stouts and Porters more than the American style pale pilsners. American beer isn’t even a real Pilsner, that’s just what the big breweries call it. Compared to real beer, American style is fairly bland and weak.” He brings the glass to his lips and takes a slow, drawn out sip, then wipes the foam from his mouth with the back of his hand. It actually looks tasty.
“Where’d you buy that?”
“This? I pay a guy to make it for me. He’s a hobby brewer but really into it, got a hell of a set up. This is a special recipe. It costs me about five times as much as buying your brand from the grocery store, but to me, it’s worth it.”
I raise my bottle and drain it. “Well then, pour me a glass so I can see what makes it so damn special.”
“I don’t know about that ...”
“Hey, if it’s money, I can afford it. Hell, I could buy it by the keg if I wanted.”
“Probably not, since he doesn’t bottle it by the keg. I’m not worried about the price. This is something that you have to get used to. The taste is completely different and it’s about three times stronger than what you’re drinking. It packs quite a kick.”
“Are you saying I can’t handle it?” He’s starting to piss me off. I can drink anything he can!
“No, I just wanted to warn you up front. I’ll pour you one if you want to give it a try.”
He goes back to the fridge, reaches in and takes out a big brown bottle with a beige label. He uses an old style bottle opener to remove the cap, then reaches up into the cabinet above his head and takes out another big pilsner type glass. He brings them over to the table, sets the glass on the table and starts to pour. I can actually smell it as it slowly flows from the bottle, I think its hops, but I can also smell ...chocolate? The head starts to form almost immediately, really thick. The beer actually slows up when it hits the head, pooling in places before it falls through.
“You drink or chew this stuff?”
“Real beer has lots of nutrients and vitamins; similar to ingredients in bread, it’s practically a health food. It’s not as thick as a milk shake but thicker than what you’re used to.” He keeps pouring until a little fleck of something comes out and then he quickly stops. He holds it up to the light. “Looks good.” He hands it to me. “Bottoms up.” I hold it up like he did. What was he looking for? Oh what the hell, he’s been drinking this shit and is OK.
I take a swig.
“DAMN!” What is this shit, pure alcohol?!
He’s grinning at me ... not exactly a grin, more like a smirk. “Told ya. Josh Thomas said the same thing when he first tasted it but he came to like it.”
“Thomas?! You a friend of his?”
“No, just a fan. I read that he was a bit of a beer aficionado so I sent him a case of this variety. Turns out that he liked it and started buying it direct from my brewer.” He reaches across the table. “It’s OK if you can’t handle it, not everyone is capable of drinking the real thing. Let me get you another one of the weaker commercial ones.”
I jerk my glass away from his hand. “Hold it! I didn’t say I didn’t like it, I was just … surprised you know?” I take a big drink, stifling an urge to choke. “Smooooothhh,” I gasp.
“So you like it?”
“Oh yeah! You can really taste the ... what is that?”
“Double malted grain. Nothin’ like it.”
He tips his glass towards mine and takes a big drink. I take a deep breath and do the same. This is strong shit. You can’t actually taste the alcohol, but you can feel it. There’s a bunch of flavor’s I’ve never tasted in a beer before. I can’t tell exactly what it is, coffee, chocolate ... something.
The second drink isn’t as bad as the first. Once you get past the shock, it’s not that bad. Really thick in the mouth and tongue. Johnson goes back to the couch, sitting right in front of that damn framed jersey. I tip my glass towards the jersey.
“Why are you a fan of that loser?”
“Josh Thomas is hardly a loser. He had a career winning percentage of almost 80% and holds all the Wrangler’s career passing records. He led the team to five Super Bowl victories and was named MVP in three of them. He was a shoe-in for a first ballot election to the Hall of Fame until he disappeared.”
“HA! I’ll have all his records before I’m done. My winning percentage is the best ever and my four seasons are better than any four seasons he ever had.”
“True, but you’ve had the advantage of an uncanny streak of good luck on injuries. The Wranglers haven’t had a season ending injury to damn near anyone for those four years.”
“Uh-huh. That is almost unbelievable. Thomas never had that happen in any year.”
“That’s not my fault. You can only play the cards you’re dealt, you know. I play my cards better than he ever did!”
“Every year is different. The team keeps changing thanks to free agency. It’s very hard to compare numbers. What is clear is that he was the best of his time ... you want another?”
I look down at my glass. It is empty. I don’t remember finishing that glass. Do I want another of those dark beers? Why not. I feel fine. If Thomas drank those, I sure as hell can. I slide my glass towards Johnson.
“Fill me up bartender, same as before.”
“You sure? They can sneak up on you.”
“You maybe, but not me.”
Johnson gets up, pours another and hands it to me. He sits back down in front of that damn jersey as I take a big swig. “Josh Thomas wasn’t just a great player. He was a real man’s man” he says.
I snort at that, putting my glass down. “A man’s man?”
“Oh yeah. Dating all those different women, exciting hobbies, a take charge kind of guy.”
I laugh out loud this time. “Dating a lot of different people, I can see that. Exciting activities? Yeah, I guess that’s true. Don’t think he’s in charge though.”
Johnson leans back, looking at me, head cocked to the right. “What are you talking about? ... I told you that stuff sneaks up on you.”
“I’m talking about a real man’s woman.”
“I’m cutting you off man.”
He stands and reaches for my glass, but I’m too quick for him, switching it to my left hand and holding it away from him.
“Don’t you want to know the truth about the famous Josh Thomas? Who he actually is, what he does, where he is?” He sits back down.
“I assume he’s dead. I know they never found a body after he disappeared but someone that famous couldn’t hide, not for long, particularly since the government and his creditors took all his assets.”
“What if there was no body to hide?”
“If you haven’t got a body, you’re pretty much dead, like I said.”
“You sure about that?”
“Of course. Look, your starting to talk crazy. Why don’t you give me that beer?”
“You think I can’t handle it? You can and Josh Thomas can but I can’t?”
“I didn’t say that, but listen to yourself. What do you have against Thomas anyway?”
Yeah, listen to myself. Why am I saying anything about Thomas to someone who’s practically a stranger? This is the big secret. I’ve never said anything about it to anyone, never even hinted at the truth, except to Anthony and Hanson, of course. And that choreographer of hers, Baker I think ... and that girl in Florida, but we were both drunk and it guaranteed a score that night. I don’t feel drunk now, but I want to tell Johnson all about his hero, tell him that Josh Thomas is a weak, cum addicted fifty dollar whore, willingly fucking hundreds of guys a year, including me. I want to take him to Anthony’s club and introduce him to the new and improved Josh Thomas, maybe pay for the first blow job. It’ll be one he won’t forget. I want to do all of that ... and more.
But I don’t.
It’s probably the beer. Yeah, that’s it. I’ve been drunk lots of times before but this feels different. I’m ... not exactly alert but aware of what’s going on around me. Everything is sharp, not blurry. I’d be fine if Johnson would just shut up about how wonderful Josh Thomas is ... was ... whatever.
I watch him cautiously stand up and edge closer to the almost empty glass in my hand. He slowly reaches out and grabs the top of the glass. I don’t fight to keep him from taking it. He carefully sets it on the counter top, out of my reach. He steps back to the couch and sits down again. I’m feeling more in control, calmer. He picks up his glass and takes a big gulp, then looks me square in the eyes with that big fucking smirk on his face.
“It’s OK, Billy Joe ... a man’s got to know his limitations.”
I snap, telling him everything, not leaving out a single detail ... including my dogs. I think he believes me, which seems odd when ya think about it.
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