Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Chapter 33: Expectations

I was disturbed once during the night by Alina climbing into bed with us, but she said nothing, just snuggled up to me on the opposite side to Daise, so I soon dropped off to sleep.

The morning light coming through the window woke me up again. I extracted my arm from under Daise’s head and checked the time. 05H20. It took some effort to untangle myself from the two bodies entwined with mine, but aside from some muttered complaints, I managed it without waking either of them. After a quick change into my baggies, I headed down to the pool for my morning swim.

As usual, I swimming helped me to clear my head and start focusing my thoughts. I had been too focused on Daise’s reaction to the short fight we had had the night before to spend any time doing any thinking of my own, and I needed the space to get my thoughts in order. It seemed to me that I was just reacting on instinct with the whole situation and I needed to think my situation through properly. In a few short days, I had moved from a fairly normal life on my own, with it’s associated problems of boredom and loneliness, to one where I was rapidly filling my house with assorted women and my life with all kinds of complications.

I had been quite happy with Daise coming into my life, and thought that adding Alina would add a friend for Daise. The signals that I was picking up from the two of them were a little worrying though. It felt as though they were both acting like they were my partners, with Alina’s focus moving from Daise to me. I knew that Alina had some very bad experiences with men, and I suspected that my treatment of her had started to shift her expectations. There had been some clear indications that she wouldn’t be too averse to getting sexually involved with me, at the same time that she was involved with Daise. I was fairly straight-laced in some ways, so this was an eye-opener for me. On the other hand, having two beautiful young women who wanted to be with me was enormously flattering.

On the gripping hand, I had now added both Bettina and Kate to the mix the previous evening. Bettina’s comment in the hot-tub indicated, on reflection, that she wasn’t too averse to some sort of similar arrangement. I considered that my rescue of her from the club, along with her daughter, obligated me her. The sense that I got in the hot-tub though was that she might want to extend her stay beyond just a few days. Kate was another wild card. She had been extremely effusive in her thanks the night before, with a world of implied promise delivered in her affectionate kiss.

I decided to play it by ear, and see what developed. I had long since learnt that women run a man’s life, and not the other way around. What was much more worrying to me was the situation with Dimitri and his crew. The previous night’s events had definitely thrown down the gauntlet, and I suspected that the confrontation would become a lot more immediate and personal, as what I had done would be seen as a direct challenge. Much more so than the initial arrangement with Daise, or even my ‘turning’ of Alina.

I finished my swim and towelled dry. My Labradors were hanging around the pool and I felt a little guilty that I had given them so little attention the past few days. Jaxon, the large male, was looking mournfully at me and holding his rubber ball in his mouth. I called him to me and he suddenly looked like a big puppy as he dropped the ball at my feet and ran a few meters away, waiting for me to throw it.

I walked out onto the lawn and started throwing the ball for him, which he would pounce on as if it was some rabbit he had to subdue, then return it to me to be thrown again. Holly just lay quietly and watched. Her hips were giving her problems and she seemed to be in pain again, so she didn’t chase the ball with Jaxon.

After ten minutes or so of this, I noticed that Bettina’s daughter had come out of the house and was standing and watching the game. She had an incredibly sad, yearning expression on her face.

“Hi,” I greeted her. “We didn’t have much time to introduce ourselves last night. I’m Rupert. What can I call you.”

“Lisa,” was the shy response. I paused to take a proper look at her. She was fairly tall for her age, with very long light brown hair. Looking at her, I decided that she had either gone through a growth spurt recently, or she wasn’t eating well. She was all sharp angles and long legs. There was no baby fat at all. She was wearing blue-jeans and a Hannah Montana T-Shirt.

“Hi Lisa. Would you like to meet my dogs?”

“Yes please. They won’t bite me will they?”

“No. This is Jaxon. He’s an absolute baby. He would be very upset if he thought that you were afraid of him. You aren’t afraid are you?”

“I’ve never had a dog. We’ve always lived in a flat and we weren’t allowed to have pets.”

“Ok, come over here and meet Jaxon then.”

Lisa walked over to join me where I had stopped Jaxon and was scratching his neck. She reached out very hesitantly to touch him on his back, and slowly started petting him. When I stopped scratching him, he turned to investigate this new person and to Lisa’s embarrassment, nosed her in the crotch. It was very difficult for me to suppress a laugh and I had to explain to her that it was just his way of smelling her so that he would know who she was.

It didn’t take too long before I knew that the two of them were going to be fast friends. After she had thrown the ball for him a few times I left them for a second and grabbed some dog biscuits from the pantry in the kitchen and brought them back. Lisa was very impressed with the fact that Jaxon sat and waited for her to give the biscuits to him and didn’t snatch them from her.

While Lisa played with Jaxon, I very carefully drew her out. It was quite obvious that she didn’t realise that I was doing so, but over the course of the next twenty minutes, I learnt a lot about both her and her mother. What I heard both impressed and depressed me. It was clear that everything that Bettina did was aimed at providing for Lisa’s needs, but Bettina hadn’t been able to avoid closeting Lisa in a small cycle of home and school, and Lisa was quite clearly a very bright little girl who had realised that there were some people in her mother’s life who weren’t very nice. She let slip that she had seen various bruises and contusions on her mother and that there had been a few visits to the hospital as well.

When Jaxon decided that he was tired, and disappeared into his kennel with the ball, we went back into the house. Nqobile had started on breakfast and Lisa and I sat down to eat. Lisa was very excited with the choices that she was given for breakfast and explained readily that she wasn’t given any choice normally. After much negotiation with Nqobile, she decided that fried eggs, sunny-side-up, and bacon was a wonderful treat. I decided to have the same.

While we were eating, the rest of the household slowly came awake, with first Daise and Alina joining us, then Kate and finally Bettina. Everyone was fairly quiet and subdued, except for Lisa who was bubbling to her mother about the fun she had had playing with Jaxon. This eventually culminated in a question to her mother.

“Are we going to live here now mommy?”

Bettina glanced and me, then answered her daughter, “Yes, for now. We will probably have to find a new place to live though.”

“Bettina,” I interrupted, “we haven’t really discussed it, but there is absolutely no rush. You are welcome to stay for as long as you wish.”

“Oh thank you Rupert,” Lisa gushed. Bettina just looked at me, then mouthed ‘Thank you’.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Chapter 32: Going Home

We hadn’t been driving more than ten minutes before the reaction started to set in. The first to go was Daise. I saw her start to go a little green around the gills, and her hands started shaking. When it turned into dry heaves, I shouted at her to open the window, hoping that the fresh air would sort her out. She made it, nearly. Half the vomit went out the window, the rest splattered all over the door.

“It’s alright Daise, nothing to worry about. You’re having a completely normal reaction,” I tried to reassure her.

“I’m OK,” she responded, but I could see she was far from OK.

“It’s the reaction. You were on an adrenalin high and now you’re coming down from it. Don’t worry about it, we’ll get you into a nice hot bath when we get back and you’ll be alright.”

Alina climbed over into the front seat and helped Daise clean up a bit, before holding her in her arms and comforting her. I then noticed that Bettina was sobbing quietly, but she stopped as soon as her daughter woke up. The distraction of keeping her daughter safe was sufficient stimulus for her to suppress her emotions and focus her attention. Also totally normal. The person who bothered me the most was Katerina. I could see her pale face in the mirror, and it looked as though she was wearing a mask. I would have preferred her to cry but, at first, it looked as if she was going to just suppress her emotions. I thought that was going to be very unhealthy.

“How’re you doing Katerina,” I asked her.

“I am very glad that you rescued me,” she replied, “but I am a bit worried that I will stain your seats.”

“What?” That was a complete surprise. “What do you mean?” I asked.

“I’m bleeding worse.”

“Shit. Sorry Katerina. I completely forgot the reason you were on the way to the hospital. Are you in a lot of pain?”

“It’s OK. The pain does not bother me so much. It is just the blood.”

“Just hold on. Don’t worry about the seat. It’s you that we need to worry about.”

I thought for a moment, trying to figure out what I could do. I was reluctant to go to any of the hospitals because I didn’t have any faith in their ability to keep quiet about her injuries. Nurses were poorly paid and would be very susceptible to bribes. I couldn’t think of any doctors that I knew well enough to call on in a situation like this, but then I remembered an old friend. I figured he could help. I fired up my cell and found his number one-handed while driving.

“Hi Rupe, what’s up,” Chris answered after the third ring. He was a school headmaster now, but he had once been an Ops Medic, well trained in treating trauma, and I knew he had kept up his knowledge as part of the Occupational Health and Safety requirements for his school.

“Are you doing anything tonight Corporal?” I asked him.

There was a slight hesitation. I could almost hear the gears turning. “I haven’t been a corporal for a long time now.”

“Yes, I know. I would push your button unless I really needed you Chris.”

“Ok. How bad is it?”

“Not sure. Bleeding. Pale face. Some sweating, but that’s probably from shock not internal injuries.”

“Ok. I’ll grab my bag. Where can I meet you?”

“My place. We’re enroute now. ETA 20 Mikes”

“Cool. I should make it in about 25 to 30 Mikes. Just have to explain to the mother of my children why I have to abandon her at this time of night. Should I carry?”

“Probably a good idea. I’m pretty sure you won’t need it. We don’t have anyone in ‘hot pursuit’, but you never know.”

“Ok. SeeYa.”

The phone went dead in my ear. I turned to Katerina and told her, “I have someone on the way who will take a look at you. He’s not a doctor, but he’s the next best thing. He’ll be able to tell us what we should do at least.”

“Ok. Thank you,” Katerina replied, the effort to suppress her pain obvious in her voice.

I gave Sgt Major Dhlamini a call and he told me that he was already back at my place, and that everything looked OK. He reported that Nqobile was busy putting something together for us to eat as soon as we got back. I was happy with that. There’s nothing like a bit of an adrenalin high, then the drop back down, to get my appetite going; both for food and … other things. I glanced over at Daise a little guiltily, but saw that she seemed to have calmed down. Alina had fished some wet-wipes out of somewhere and had cleaned up her face, and was in the process of cleaning some of the mess off the car door.


The rest of the trip was anti-climatic, although I did keep a wary eye out for any pursuit. The road was quiet and the few other cars on the road were all content to roar past me as I deliberately kept left, in the slow lane.

As we got to my gate, I pressed the remote control and the electric gate slid open in time for me to drive in without stopping. The garage door opened on the same control, and I saw the Sgt Major waiting for me in the double garage. I pulled in and heaved a sigh of relief when the door closed behind me.

“I’ve got the guys patrolling the fence Major,” the Sgt major greeted me, “some of them are really pissed that they missed the action.”

“No doubt they’ll get their chance later. Just warn them that Chris will be arriving in a few minutes.”

“Chris who?”

“Sorry. He’s an old friend of mine. Was an Ops Medic.”

“We have some injuries you didn’t tell me about?”

“Just Katerina. She didn’t get to see the doctor at the hospital.”

“Oh, OK. I forgot about that.” His voice trailed off and I turned to see what had attracted his attention.

“Hey you horny old goat, that’s Bettina’s nanny. You leave her alone!”

“Ok,” he replied, not taking his eyes off her for a second. I just laughed at him and started helping the girls into the house. I half helped, half carried Katerina up the stairs and got her settled into a bed in the second guest bedroom, with Nqobile fussing around like an old abafazi. We had just got her settled when Chris arrived.

“Howzit man. You have no idea how glad I am to see you,” I greeted him.

“No problem. You have to tell me the what the hell is going on here. You have a house full of beautiful women and what look like soldiers patrolling the yard.”

“It’s a long story. This is Katerina. She’s the one with the problem.”

“Ok. Everyone out. Give me some room please.”

I led the way out of the room and started downstairs. Nqobile bustled past me and headed for the kitchen. I went out onto the deck and started up the Jacuzzi, turning the heat to it’s highest setting. Once it was bubbling nicely, I went back inside to get hold of some of the Boboti that Nqobile was dishing up.

“What is that stuff,” Daise asked. I was happy to see that she had changed into a clean track-suit and looked a lot better.

“It’s like a meat-loaf, just a lot more spicy. Based on a Cape Malay traditional recipe. It’s one of my favourite meals.”

“And the yellow rice?”

“That’s the result of the seasoning. Try some, I’m sure you’ll like it.” I fed her a spoonful from my plate and after the first taste, Daise’s reluctance disappeared and I surrendered to the inevitable, handing her my plate and dishing up onto another plate for myself. For the next few minutes there was silence as everyone made a valiant attempt to scrape their plates clean. As we were finishing, Chris came down the stairs, carrying his bag.

“Any of that left for me?”

“Sure, help yourself. What news on Katerina?”

“Kate will be fine,” Chris answered me quietly. “The injuries aren’t as serious as I thought they might be. I stopped the bleeding, which was the most serious. The tears should heal quickly as long as they aren’t aggravated. It seems that the problem is that she has been repeatedly raped and never got a chance to heal. I would still get her to a proper doctor as soon as possible though.”

“Ok, but she’ll be OK for tonight?”


Chris sat down and I introduced him around. He polished off his food rapidly and I suggested that everyone join me in the Jacuzzi, then walked out onto the deck and just stripped before climbing into the tub and easing myself into the water, not waiting for the reaction of any of the others. It was only a short time before first Daise, then Alina joined me, their pale bodies lit beautifully by the moonlight as they climbed into the tub. Bettina followed shortly afterwards, telling me as she stripped down that her nanny had tucked her sleeping daughter into bed. Daise climbed onto my lap and snuggled into my chest and the others spread themselves out on the seats in the tub. Chris came out briefly onto the deck and excused himself.

“As nice as the scenery is,” Chris said, “I need to get back home. My son is teething and I need to do my shift so my wife can get some sleep. Don’t forget to get Kate to a doctor, OK?”

“Sure. Thanks a million for coming out tonight Chris. I owe you one.”

“And don’t you forget it,” he said with a smile before disappearing back into the house.

Sgt Major Dhlamini appeared briefly. “I’ll sleep here tonight Major, see you in the morning,” he said before vanishing. I suspected that the nanny was going to be experiencing the full force of his charm within the next few minutes and silently wished him luck.

We sat and soaked for a while in silence, content to just enjoy the warm water bubbling around us and the scenery of the deep Kloof in the moonlight. Someone had turned out the house lights, so it was dark on the deck. The faces of the others were just pale blobs, I couldn’t make out any features.

I slowly became aware of Daise moving her cheek on my chest, rubbing it against me almost like a cat, and it made me become aware of her as a naked woman in my arms. The feel of her against me changed from that of a cuddle to concentrate on the rubbery feel of two breasts pressed into me and I shifted uncomfortably as my erection pressed up under her legs. Daise suddenly shifted so that she was straddling me and before I knew what was happening, I was buried inside her as she rocked gently on my lap. I bent my head to kiss her, forgetting completely that there were other people in the tub with us.

“Oh, that is so hot,” Bettina said quietly, which startled me and brought me back to an awareness of where I was. I tried to pull away from Daise, but she just locked her arms around my neck and pulled my head back into the kiss. I decided that it was dark enough that I didn’t need to worry about being embarrassed, and lost myself again in the sensations.

We stayed like that for some unknown eternity, until it suddenly became urgent and I spent inside her. I wasn’t sure what Daise had experienced, and started to apologise to her, but she just ‘shushed’ me and kissed me again lightly. After a few more minutes, she got up and we both climbed out of the tub and headed off to bed, leaving Bettina and Alina in the tub.

Chapter 31: Another Interval

The man was sitting at the first booth on the left as people entered the strip club. He liked sitting there as it allowed him to keep an eye on who was entering or exiting the club, and to make sure that he was always aware of what was happening around him. He was focused on the documents he had on the table and seemed to be oblivious to the artificial charms of the semi-naked women who prowled the tables of the club.

He paused his reading for a few seconds, and an astute observer would have noticed the fact that his face became flushed for a few seconds, before he returned to the papers in front of him.

The man turned his head and gestured with his head for the manager of the club to join him. As the manager approached the table, he had to pause to allow a topless women to crawl out from under the table before he could take a seat.

The man, known almost universally as Dimitri, continued to read for a few minutes, keeping the club manager waiting. The manager's apprehension became markedly worse as he was forced to wait.

After some indeterminate period, Dimitri put down the papers and focused his full attention on the manager. His single raised eyebrow was the equivalent of a large dose of Truth Serum. The manager started babbling but had to stop after a few seconds as his mouth proved unable to keep up with his desire to tell everything he knew as quickly as possible.

He stopped, drew in a large breath and visibly gathered himself, before launching into his tale a second time. His second attempt proved to be more coherent, but ultimately unsatisfying as he really had no explanation for the events of the evening. He finally wound down and stopped. His eyes betrayed his state of mind, however, looking everywhere except at the man in front of him. There was no escape though, as Dimitri's glare had him pinned in place like a butterfly on a board.

"So, you are telling me that you have three men dead and have two others arrested?"

The manager could do nothing but nod to indicate that Dimitri had summarised most succinctly what he had said.

"And you have lost two women."

This time it was a flat statement, not even a rhetorical question. Again all he could do was nod.

"And the child?"

"Gone, along with the nanny."

"Who did this?"

"We don't know. Our men say that they were taken down by two black men who looked like car guards."

"Bullshit. There was a team there. They were too slick. Someone must have seen something. Find them."

Dimitri waved his hand and the manager scrambled out of the booth, frantic to get away from Dimitri and any possible retribution. As soon as he was gone, Dimitri's shadow appeared. He was a quiet man, dark hair and a flat, expressionless face. He listend carefully to the instructions that Dimitri issued in a few staccato sentences of Russian. His only response was a curt "Da" before he got up and left to follow the manager out of the club. Anyone observing his face would have recoiled from the implacable sense of purpose there.

Dimitri allowed himself a small expression of satisfaction. There would be a new manager of the club in a short while, one of his own men, while the old one met with an unfortunate accident.

He returned to his papers. There was a sense of satisfaction in seeing the figures on paper, and he knew he could rely on the paper where a computer introduced too many chances for someone to intercept the information. Everything was going well; the drug trade was firmly under control with most of the rivals eliminated, he was well on his way towards establishing control over the prostitution setup, with most of the clubs either under his direct control or paying 'protection' to him. There was very little street trade, but what there was would be controlled within a few days. The only fly in the ointment was the bitch Alina who had disappeared and now this incident tonight... As he thought about it, he suddenly wondered if the two were connected.