I scanned the list a final time. Dressed as paramedics—the easiest way to get Les out of the building without any interference—we sat in our rental van, soon to be pseudo-ambulance, outside Annette’s building. Waiting. The plan as we saw it, mellow from the coke and draped under a sheet, no one would be the wiser.
Les was taking his time. But he was a man and they would stick to their routines. He hadn’t missed a reaming out date previously so I was betting he wouldn’t tonight either.
Schi yawned, shook her head.
I gave her the look. Heffa hadn’t come back right after lunch like she’d promised. She’d managed to ease to the office just in time for a final run-through before picking up the van.
“If lunch time screwing makes you too tired to work, you need to do like Nancy Reagan suggested and ‘just say no,’ Miss Act- Like-She-Don’t-Know-How-Long-Lunch-Is.”
I was met with an eye-roll to rival any sistah’s. “I am not tired from get some at lunch. And for your information,”—body shifted in the seat, picked at imaginary lint—“I got held up in traffic. That’s why I was late.”
The requisite you-think-I’m-retarded-don’t-you eye-roll was flashed. “Ahem.”
I knew Schi well. Hell, we knew each other well. Didn’t want to call her an outright lie but according to sistah girl’s body language, there was some stretching the facts going on. The bigger question was why?
Schi turned, looked out the window then looked back at me. Sighed. “Look. We’ve been working our tails off for the past few months so I’m on the verge of exhaustion. When we finish with Bill Brownings, I think we ought to take a vacation.”
Vacation? Funny. No vacations for me in four years. No fun in solo vacations and my last with Schi may as well have been alone. She’d definitely left her “mark” on the unsuspecting men at the resort. We should have gone to Hedonism because if there was a Wall of Shame, she’d have been the top photo. Chick was out of control! I did the friend thing; forced her into sex rehab when we returned. What a joke. She was screwing the “moderator” in less than a week!
“We?” I quirked an eyebrow.
“Yes, we.” Schi pursed her lips. “What? You think I’ll leave you again or something?” She waved the air. “You know I’ve slowed down considerably since that time. I was just working out my frustrations back then.”
“I’ll bet.” Now and then, no difference I could see.
“It’s true. Now, I choose carefully…then wear their asses out in bed.”
We giggled. Then a blue Porsche caught my eye. I snapped my fingers. “Time to work.”
Les Hatcher. Think nondescript, dork, nerd. If anyone had told me he owned a leading software company, I’d have called them a lie. Pasty color, tight Duckhead’s buckled high over his gut, maypops on his feet and hair needed a trim bad. Add the Porche and he had the midlife-crisis-need-a-sports-car-to-get-some-pussy look down pat.
Les set then reset the car alarm three times before heading into the building.
OCD? Or just careful?
His silhouette passed beneath the streetlight, dampening my enthusiasm for tonight’s activities. Seeing all that gloriousness—naked—would be hard on the eyes. But like they say: You’ve got to take the good with the bad sometimes. This was definitely a bad sometimes.
My cell phone was ready. Annette would buzz me when Les was relaxed, pliable and totally unaware of the humiliation awaiting him. I smiled.
Let the sploshing begin!
The ringing phone jolted us awake. I glanced down. Annette.
“It’s time?” Schi asked around a yawn.
We stretched a moment before swinging into action. There was a five minute window to get in and get out with another three minute leeway for unforeseen circumstances. Eight minutes, at worse, and not one minute more. Police response time was ten minutes average in this neighborhood. No need to tango with the city cowboys or let Lester’s high lessen before we completed our mission.
“Watch check.” We held out twin timepieces—“Start,”—hit the stopwatch button.
No words as we exited. Schi threw open the back doors, removed two red magnetic crosses while I removed two six foot red magnetized strips.
The van was transformed, allowed the near-sighted and unsuspecting to think it was an ambulance. A gurney was rolled out, our bag of supplies placed on top.
Fifteen seconds. Adrenaline swished through my veins.
We did a quick appearance check then grabbed the gurney, moved towards the front of the building.
Schi had done the recon. She’d scoped the building out religiously, knew the exits, the best ways to get in and out on time. Her assessment: the elevator to the rear was the quickest and quietest for our business.
I looked up the tall front of the building, hoping the nosy were asleep and the insomniacs were watching David Letterman. Schi scanned the lobby before we entered. Empty. So far, so good.
Forty seconds. Sweat on my palms.
The elevator crawled down to us. I tensed as the ONE lit up; prepared to rush inside as it dinged. Doors slid open.
An older gentleman with a dog stood inside.
“My goodness.” Rheumy eyes magnified behind thick lenses vacillated between Schi, myself and the gurney, drinking in everything. “Someone is sick?”
Fifty seconds. Need to get old school out of the way.
“Yes. Could you exit the elevator please?” Schi used her professional voice.
The gentleman wasted precious seconds staring then scooped up the Poodle and moved past us, eyes boring into us, memorizing us for future conversations.
We pushed inside the elevator, Schi stabbing the correct floor button. I gave the man a slight smile; hoped he would turn away, focus on his own business. Let the air out of my lungs as the doors moved to close.
A hand was stuck inside.
Doors sprang wide again.
Old school didn’t take the hint. Patted the dog’s head, sucked on dentures before he spoke. “Ah…could you tell me where the emergency is?”
Curiosity killed the cat. Don’t join the party.
“Did you call 9-1-1?” Schi was edgy now; heard it in her superprofessional tone.
“No.” The head trembled, eyes darted between us.
“Then be thankful it’s not you. Good evening. Please allow the doors to close.” Schi stabbed the buttons again, shifted forward, blocked the entry, dared the man to continue.
The man stepped backward, eyes still soaking in everything.
The doors closed.
One minute ten seconds.
“That was close.” Schi’s gripped the gurney handles. Pale knuckles against gold skin.
“Thirty seconds, no more.”
“Think he’ll remember us?”
Old folks. Settled into the bored life routine. No new adventures. Sure he’d remember us down to the rubber soles of our shoes.
“Probably. Just hope he doesn’t call 9-1-1.”
I should have shut the hell up; left the 9-1-1- reference out.
As you think, as you are.
Felt tension easing up my spine. Knew Schi felt it too.
“Shit!” Schi ran fingers through her hair. “Next, he’ll be over there investigating the van. Shit! Shit! Shit!” A fist pounded the walls of the elevator. “Let’s just get in and out. Quick.”
One minute seventeen seconds.
The hallway was empty of tenants as we traveled to Annette’s apartment. The door was already unlocked, so we opened it and quietly entered.
Many things have I seen in this business but nothing like what awaited me in Annette’s apartment.
Les Hatcher was blindfolded, facing away from us, tied to metal hooks hanging from the ceiling. Spread eagle.
Who would have thought?
Bits of food and other unidentifiable liquids dripped down his body. A collage of colors and textures. Something like lemon pudding covered the plastic-covered floor near me.
I met Schi’s eyes. She scrunched her face and curled her lips. I forced myself to swallow my bile and trained my eyes back on Annette and Les. Annette—definitely Chyna’s look-a-like—had already “strapped up,” was holding a fierce looking whip. She leaned close to his ear.
“Now what do you want me to do, Slave?”
Les’ head lolled around slowly before he answered. “P—please f-fuck me,” he whispered.
Vomit pushed up my esophagus. Barbie Hatcher might know a lot but I was positive she had no inkling of how “out there” ole Les truly was.
Two minutes twenty seconds.
I gulped air then opened our bag; readied our supplies. Annette gave Les’ butts a few more whacks with her whip. I winced at every snap, but Les only moaned and groaned. Like getting beat was the best shit since the invention of chocolate.
Annette met my eyes. I nodded. She smeared some what must have been honey or syrup off his back and onto her strapon. Her fingers then spread Les’ cheeks and she positioned herself, turning Les slightly in the process.
No wonder Barbie was all hot to hold onto this nerd of a man. This mugg was White Mandingo. John Holmes reincarnated. Hung like a fucking stallion.
Schi groaned. I looked, saw that gleam I knew all too well. Bitch-in-heat mode was coming into play.
Not now, chick.
I pinched her. She gave me an evil look, but who gave a fuck? Dammit, she had to focus! The check was cashed. Do or die. No refunds.
Two minutes thirty seconds.
The head of the plastic penis slowly disappeared between Les’ cheeks. He mewled and began rolling his hips like a woman; meeting each thrust head on. His cock bobbed and swung as Annette pumped him, degrading him the entire time.
Les heated up; back arched, hips rolled, pumped with gusto.
My nerve endings frayed; sent a battalion of arrows to my legs and up my arms. Made me want to scratch an itch.
Annette tore Les’ ass up. She pulled back, held his cheeks wide as she surged deep. In seconds, Les yelped, spurted come into the mess already on the floor. Legs gave way, left him hanging there, suspended by the hooks.
I reached for the latex gloves while Schi stared.
Saw the shape dislodge from the shadows.
Big and moving fast.
Too fast to react.
Opened my mouth to warn Schi.
Felt a thousand bolts zap through my body.
Nasty, food-smushed carpet fibers cushioned my face.
Tan baseboard stared back.
Felt a thump beside me.
Hoped Schi got him.
Couldn’t turn my head; couldn’t tell if I was on the winning team or the losers.
Felt a hand on my back.
Too big, too thick for Schi.
Smelled him then.
Cayenne pepper. Fecund earth. Metal. Blood.
Something ugly this way passes.
Fingers trailed from my neck, down my spine, massaged my lower back.
Shirt was pulled out. Hands reached beneath me, unbuckled my pants.
I willed my muscles to strike, slash out, hack.
Felt cool air on my ass.
Nothing good was coming.
Felt cool metal rubbing across my naked butt.
Between my cheeks.
Pushing at the entrance to my Milky Way.
Metal pushed harder; slid inside.
Breath on my cheek.
“Be careful who you try to fuck over, Mo.”
I knew the voice.
Ghetto gone to school.
Heard the hammer cock.
“You might be the one,”—school was over—“to get fucked.”
The gun boomed.