Zero, ‘Get your shower first Commandant, CC and I will organize dinner, the chicken needs to be crisped, bring your drink in a minute.’
When I step out of the shower, CC comes in with a vodka rocks, touch of cranberry. She unfolds a bath towel and hands it to me.
Zero comes in, already nude, she undresses CC, hands me the clothes, ‘Deal with these while I give her an orgasm in the shower.’
They get in the, I go off to put away the clothes. Zero left hers in a pile on the bed, I fold and stack those with the others. The robe and socks are on the bed as well, I dress, such as it is, take my drink to the dining table. It occurs to me to cover the couch with a spare blanket, hotels, even good ones, can be lax about furniture cleanliness.
Halfway through my drink, they come from the bath in butt hugging t-shirts and knee socks, hair brushed and left to air dry.
I ask CC, ‘Get your tingle?’
She grins, ‘Z takes care of my needs, tonight I’ll take care of hers. Be a good boy and we’ll let you watch.’
I swear she can’t be ten years old, or CC twelve. At the least they have complex personalities. It occurs to me that everyone has a complex personality, except they keep the complexities hidden, can’t fit-in if you don’t fit in. Fear again, small wonder the planet is such a confused violent killing ground.
We sit around the table, we got white wine, drink that with the crackers, cheese and nuts.
CC, ‘Assume we get up early and follow Lawyer around looking for an opportunity.’
‘Yep. He’s a partner, he’ll show up at nine, unless he’s meeting a client for breakfast.’
‘So we need to track him from his home.’
‘Yes, and for all we know, he’s an early bird, some people like to be first in, others work past dark but don’t show up until later in the morning. We don’t know his firm’s culture, early birds or night owls.’
Z, ‘He was home by seven yesterday.’
‘Let’s operate on the assumption that wasn’t an anomaly. On the other hand, I don’t want us sitting outside his house at six or seven in the morning hoping he leaves early. His office isn’t but twenty minutes from the house. We can lurk less suspiciously at the office, there’s even a coffee shop across the street from the parking entrance. Oh, hang on.’
I get up and go to my luggage, get the units and return, ‘These are wireless communication earbuds. They work through our phones. We can talk to each other from different locations, it hooks over your ear, your hair will cover it. For instance if one of us is in the parking garage, and another is near the front entrance, another in the coffee shop or the car.’
CC, ‘Cool, like the secret service or whatever.’
‘Yes, hook up and let’s give it a test run.’
The system works in the suite, I go to the bathroom, one in the bedroom, third in the living area. It’s not a field test, we’re only a few yards apart, but we can hear each other distinctly.
‘We’ll give it more of a test in the morning from the coffee shop.’
Zero serves the entrees, when we’re done I clear the table, the girls park on the couch, CC with a book, Z with a language program, Pimsleur, learning French conversation. It’s an audio program, not designed for reading, only verbal. I see her mouthing the phrases silently.
I plop on the other end with one of my ‘thrillers’ not sure what the thrill part is, all the characters do is argue, scheme and fuck. I may need to move out of pulp and more into literature. Every book I read lately is essentially the same as the last.
At ten, Zero announces that it’s time for bed.
The girls get frisky, CC makes Zero squirm and moan, then Z squishes next to me, CC wraps her up from behind. Next thing I know, the alarm is buzzing.
I’m in the coffee shop, Z is sneaking around the parking garage. CC wanders the perimeter looking for anything that doesn’t fit.
She finds it, ‘Two men in a plain sedan down the block on the coffee shop side. Taking an interest in the comings and goings from the building.’
‘What are they wearing?’
Zero, ‘Lawyer just pulled in, there’s no one here but him at the moment, should I resolve the conflict?’
‘CC, any movement by the men?’
‘Nope, but they have earpieces.’
‘Zero, stick a tracker on his car, come to the shop when you’re clear to move. CC, keep an eye on the men, stay out of their line of sight. No more talk, go silent, I changed seats, can see them now.’
Zero comes alongside, ‘We have visitors?’
‘I doubt they’re here for us, but if the FBI or another agency is scoping the building, we need to back away. No way to tell if they have anyone inside, were cams in the parking garage?’
‘Driving out and at the elevator, not the lot itself.’
‘They get plates on record, and the face of everyone using the elevator. That’s common these days, cams are everywhere.’
CC shows up, ‘They left the car and entered the building, both of them are armed or they have identical growths on their left side.’
‘Take out the earpieces and pocket them,’ I look around, ‘nobody’s paying us any attention, do it now.’
Zero, ‘I’m getting coffee, anyone else?’
Two yeses, she goes off with CC to the service counter, then to the additive counter, then back to the table.
‘We may have missed an opportunity, but with two armed whatever agents hanging around, better to wait.’
If I had been alone, I might have done the job anyway, but the two girls make me cautious, don’t need them in a shootout with the Feds.
I’m about to throw in the towel when the doors to the building open and a man is perp walked to the sedan by one agent, the other has a box of something, likely a computer or a stack of paper. Just then, a van screeches up and pours out a half dozen suits and one woman.
CC, ‘Handcuffs is not our target. Is the whole building law offices?’
‘Good question, I have no idea.’
Zero, ‘I think so, every space had the name of the law firm, some with reserved for X or Y, with a row for visitors.’
‘Okay, then one of theirs just got busted, it isn’t our target. What kind of corporate work do they do?’
Zero taps her phone, ‘Securities, filings for SEC requirements, prospectuses, whatever those are.’
‘Descriptions of the securities being offered, every new stock or bond has to have a prospectus filed with the SEC and given to clients who might buy them.’
CC, ‘What’s the SEC?’
‘Securities and Exchange Commission, government watchdogs over the financial industry.’
‘Very little white collar work is exciting, particularly in the bureaucracies. Unexciting but essential, bureaucrats keep the government afloat despite the fumblings of politicians and manipulative lobbyists.’
Zero, ‘What now Commandant?’
‘Retreat, we have his car tagged, we can find him anytime. This development should make the news, the SEC likes to demonstrate its power and the extra troops are no doubt seizing records as we speak.’
Back to the hotel, click on CNN. I keep the volume on enough to catch any mention of the arrest, I also keep an eye on the scroll in case it initially only shows up there.
‘The two of you should go through online news, particularly Reuter’s, which is business news. Also the New York Times and Washington Post. If it’s a big story, it will show up soon.’
And it does, CC, ‘Reuter’s, breaking news, insider trading suspect arrested at the law firm of Houston, Broyles, Whitaker and Blum. More to come.’
‘Good, that will throw everyone in the firm off balance, confusion will reign for the foreseeable future. Who knew what when, they’ll all be interviewed which could take time. We may as well chill, check the news every hour or so, see if the arrests expand or isolated on the one guy.’
CC, ‘What’s insider trading?’
‘When a company has major news about earnings, the success or failure of a product, the hiring or firing of a key executive, they have to make it public, not restrict it to certain favored new outlets or reporters. Law firms are privy to the news if they represent the company, but they can’t say anything until the information is made public. That allows for a window, the law firm is an insider just like anyone who works for the company itself. They can’t trade the stock in advance of that announcement. It’s an ongoing problem, someone thinks they can outsmart the system, use a relative or friend to make the trade, or a vague corporation, like the ones I have to keep us invisible. The SEC is pretty good at spotting outsized options purchases or shorts that mysteriously make a ton of money when the news is announced. But people do get away with it, which is why they keep trying.’
Zero, ‘So our target may be tied up for some time.’
‘Yes, even if he isn’t arrested, there will be lots of questions. The best news for us would be that the law firm outed the employee to the SEC, kept a lid on until the regulators had time to research and pinpoint the culprit.’
CC, ‘Well, the bureaucracy isn’t boring all the time.’
Zero, ‘It occurs to me that we have a free day, until the car moves anyway,’ she strips off her jeans and top, come and get what you crave.’
CC giggles, ‘Isn’t she brilliant?’
Rather than bed, Zero sits on the edge of the couch, CC kneels between her legs and tongue tingles the soft.
I go off to refresh my drink, when I return CC has swapped with Zero and is receiving. Her face is angelic, staring down at Zero’s ministrations.
We only had cold cuts for lunch, Zero decides on Chinese for dinner and I’m sent off to collect the order. Jumbo shrimp in Szechuan sauce is one of our favorites, I got a double order, then chicken and mixed vegetables in garlic sauce, hot and sour soup. Pork fried rice comes with the order. Probably too much food, but they like variety.
‘I skipped egg rolls, seemed like overkill.’
CC, ‘All this, don’t know what we’d do with egg rolls, is there wine?’
‘Yep, red blend, there’s vodka from yesterday, but we may have to go out again so wine will suffice.’
‘Think I’ll do Coke Zero, better to stay sharp until we know we aren’t going anywhere.’
We just make it through soup when the phone dings, target’s car is on the move.
‘The rest will keep, stick it in the refrigerator, we may get an opportunity to resolve the conflict.’
While I drive, Zero is following the target’s route, we catch up to him, he’s not headed home.
‘I suspect he’s going for a drink, he’s had a tough day and no matter who gets the blame for insider trading, it’s going to damage the reputation of the firm.’
Zero, ‘If he’s free, he must have satisfied the agents. Let me check the latest, see if the story is updated.’
She surfs various news sites, then, ‘Here we go, you had it right before, the firm turned the employee in.’
‘Then maybe the firm survives, even thrives, lawyer honesty, a minor miracle.’
As I thought, Lawyer turns off into the parking lot for a bar and grill, Tito’s. Looks fairly upscale, the other cars are high end SUVs, BMWs, a Mercedes or two, no beat to hell pickups or other clunkers. People come out, people go in, there’s a waiting area with benches out front, I see customers with those devices that alert them when their table is ready.
I drive down the block to a strip mall, park in front of a closed dry cleaners, further along is a martial arts studio, open, and a doughnut shop, closed.
‘Stay hunkered down, I’m going in to see what’s what.’
My Glock is in its resting place on my hip, sport coat covers that. I put on clear glasses with a fat black frame, my head covered by one of those biker things that are otherwise known as do-rags. Mine is black, sits close to my skull with two ties in back. Not the best disguise, but the lighting inside is low, wait staff busy, customers enjoying libations, burgers, and ribs.
Hostess asks if I want a table, I say just the bar thanks, she waves in that general direction. I sit three seats down from the target, order a vodka shot and a side club soda. I get my drinks, sip the club soda, let the vodka sit.
I text Zero, ‘all good sitting at bar target down a few seats chill for a bit’
Reply, ‘got it’
Half hour passes, I poured the shot on the floor between my legs, order another and a second club soda. Fiddle with my phone so I’m not just staring at the mirror behind the liquor bottles.
Target stands, tells the bartender to hold his spot and orders a bourbon rocks. He heads in the direction of the men’s. I drink the shot, sip the soda, toss a twenty on the bar, follow.
As he gets to the door, a man comes out, target goes in. I wait a beat or two, go in after him. I walk the to the stall, empty, target is standing over a urinal. I crack him on the skull, catch him before he falls and drag him to the empty stall, dump him on the seat. I screw on the suppressor, put a round in his forehead, close the stall door, unscrew the suppressor and pocket it, beat a retreat. Fortune smiles, nobody in the small hallway heading to the toilet.
I head to the entrance, the Hostess is busy smiling at a family of three, I’m out and down the block into the Dreary.
‘It’s done, let’s eat.’
The girls don’t pepper me with questions, they know I’ll supply details when we’re settled, now it’s time to clear the area before some bad luck dude finds the body and the place crawls with cops.
I treat myself to a drink and pour the girls a glass of wine. Zero heats the food in the microwave, stack of paper plates and plastic utensils, napkins. The kitchen comes with dishes, glasses and utensils, I don’t trust them to be clean and see no point in washing everything only to have to wash it again when we’re done.
Call me paranoid or lazy, I don’t give a flip. I’m a psycho that lives with teasing nymphets and kills people, you believe I care what you think?
Zero, ‘How’d it go?’
I recount events.
CC, ‘Think anyone remembers you, I mean, it’s not like you’re small and missable.’
‘Bartender might, but there was only one and he was juggling glasses and bottles the whole time. The hostess doesn’t really see people, there were too many to register much, she smiles and directs traffic. There were cams, one for the bar, two more for the seating area, but I had on the rag, nerd glasses, an oversize sport coat. I don’t wear jewelry or have tattoos. And tomorrow we’ll be on the other side of the country. I doubt people will connect me with a guy that got on a private flight with two young girls. The rag, coat and glasses are in a couple of different dumpsters. An alert cop who studies the cam records might be suspicious of a big man in a bigger coat, good way to cover a weapon. He’ll never find me, I’m not in anyone’s database, no photos, no prints on file. I was in the army but they don’t print soldiers unless they commit a crime. I had clear pads stuck to my fingertips anyway, there are no prints of mine on anything in the restaurant.’
‘Don’t they photo you at the DMV?’
‘Of course, and they might try that, there is a national database of licenses of all kinds. But again, my appearance at the bar was nothing like a DMV photo, and my license has an address for a PO Box I never use.’
Zero, ‘Have you called the airline?’
‘No, I’ll do it now.’
We fly out early, arrive at ten thirty, five in the air, three hours credit due to time zones.
Zero, ‘CC will clean your Glock and we’ll put the weapons away. There’s a list of grocery items on your phone, do that, I’ll figure out something for lunch, we have a half dozen packs of battered frozen fish to use up. And go by the PO Box we actually use, there are packages from Amazon.’
It takes me over an hour, when I return Zero has fish in the oven along with steak fries.
‘What’s from Amazon?’
Z, ‘Jeans, a couple of skirts, CC and I are close in measurements now, she’s not getting any bigger, I have another year’s growth after my spurt at nine, the final push comes when puberty hits, it isn’t hitting either of us. I’m guessing I might be a bit taller than she is, and sometimes girls have periods as early as eleven or twelve, but it isn’t that common. If we do, we do.’
We wrap lunch, feeling a little slow, mini dose of jet lag I presume.
‘I’m going to zone out for a while, long flights and three hour time zone changes, I need to reset.’
CC, ‘Is that why I feel sluggish?’
Zero, ‘Either that or you’re getting your period.’
CC laughs, ‘I don’t think so, my tummy is fine, it’s my head that’s foggy.’
Twenty minutes later, two girls are asleep, Zero snuggled into CC, I even sleep for an hour, then another half of half awake, too comfortable under the blanket to leap out of bed.
It’s three and change when we get mobile, I check the local news where I shot Lawyer, the story is complete, including the bit about insider trading. Speculation about suspects but no mention of a guy in a do-rag, nor a frame from the video feed with my mug on it. Of course, they might be keeping that back for later, or passing it around for the restaurant crew to examine.
A welcome month of nothing much. There are always sexual predators to extinguish, the low end trailer park crowd is fairly simple, we don’t shy away from the privileged and protected. CC and Zero took out a dentist and his hygienist who encouraged anesthesia for his female patients, the young attractive ones. The two were incredibly stupid, she took video while he played hide the finger with the girls. They did prison time, we took them out two weeks after they were released.
Zero and CC are modeling bikinis, bits of string and quarter size fabric except for the butt, which is cut Brazilian style, covers half of each cheek.
‘You two will leave scorch marks on the sand and dads rethinking pedophilia, a few moms too.’
CC giggles, ‘That’s the idea, create outrage or lust.’
Zero, ‘We’ll hardly be the only ones, lots of moms like to bask in reflected glory by parading around their daughters in near nothing. I started to get you a Speedo, you’d look hot but too fag-y, that’s not you. I went with ordinary.’
‘Good, you’ve been in my head again.’
‘I’m always in your head, well, not always, there’s CC but she’s easy, there’s not much going on in there.’
CC, ‘Very funny, when do you hit the comedy circuit?’
‘Come on airhead, we need to pack, the Caribbean awaits our magnificence.’
Our flight is seamless, rental car to Belmond La Samanna St. Martin, we’re in our suite by three.
CC, ‘Damn, just like the photos, terrace opens to the lawn and the beach beyond, room enough, super bath with a tub and rainfall shower alongside with a separate shower wand. Life is a beach.’
Zero, ‘I ordered wine and vodka, they got it right, fifteen hundred a night ought to include a female bartender, nude and willing.’
CC, ‘You’re the bartender.’
‘And I’m going to be nude later, always willing. Let’s take a beach walk, bikini will wait until tomorrow, we’ll go like we are.’
Which is snug stretchy shorts, and t-shirt for the girls, I’m in casual slacks and a polo shirt. I’ll wear a bathing suit to hang at the beach but I never wear shorts. No grown man should wear shorts.
‘If we’re walking the beach, skip shoes, even sandals, they’re just going to fill up with sand.’
Unpack, hang up things that need hanging, then out to the beach. We make our way up and down, then to the beach bar. The girls get Virgin Mary’s, I get a double vodka rocks and Zero sneaks a couple of tablespoons into their drinks.
We sip in silence, taking in blue water and people doing beach things, mostly lying in the sun earning the skin cancer merit badge.
‘Be careful out here, the sun is intense, wear a hat, use sunscreen. Getting sunburned is a vacation destroyer. Don’t forget the tops of your feet.’
CC, ‘Good point, at least we tan a little at home, but blondie needs to be extra careful, I’ll keep her coated.’
The sun sinks, we return to our suite, sit on the terrace with a beer to watch the sunset.
Zero, ‘Beer good?’
‘Yeah, cold, beer needs to be near frozen,’ I hand her the bottle, she takes a chug, gives it to CC, when I get it back they’ve wiped half of it.
‘I’m for a shower, then pre-dinner cocktail, you might want to check the menu here, keep it simple for tonight. Tomorrow you can search nearby restaurants for dinner, we’ll eat breakfast here, probably lunch. Or we can take a drive around the island and see what pops up.
Z, ‘If it’s a good day, and the weather report shows sun the whole week, we’re going to stroll the beach and let the public drool.’
I’m halfway through showering, the girls come in and fill the tub add bath gel to the water. Climb in and let themselves soak. I finish drying and drying hair.
They stand under the rainfall shower giggling, soap up hair and use the shower wand to rinse.
CC, ‘You are actually quite beautiful, in a muscular sort of way, pretty legs, round hard butt and a, what do they call it Zero, the abs thing?’
‘Yeah, that. He looks like the models they stick on the cover of romance novels, the ones fat women write and other fat women read.’
Zero, ‘Fat girls can fantasize like anyone else, probably have to.’
It’s near eight, we dress, the girls are in snug skirts, the hem hits just above mid-thigh, platforms, modal fiber t-shirts, the only kind we buy anymore, soft and silky against the skin.
I’m in casual slacks, loafers, with socks, sockless men are nasty, a white dress shirt tucked into the slacks.
‘You two are sensational, curvy long legs accented by, what do you call those shoes?’
‘Platforms,’ she hikes up the skirt, ‘and panty free,’ laughs, ‘we don’t own any.’
‘Planning on flashing the waiter?’
‘Not a chance, we have you and each other to admire our assets, the rest of the world can only dream.’
We walk to the restaurant, when we enter, diners near the entrance turn to take in two dream girls, heads turn as the maitre’d leads us to a table overlooking the beach and the ocean beyond.
La Samanna is the most expensive resort on the island, the people here, particularly the women, are well kept and accustomed to luxury. They look it, this is not the place for plus sized. Even most of the men appear to spend time doing something athletic, squash, tennis, upscale sports. A few look more like tubby golfers, most of the women look runway ready.
The girls sit across from each other, allowing patrons the pleasure of seeing youthful perfection, I sit with my back to the restaurant and look out to the ocean.
Waiter comes along with menus, takes my drink order, I also request Champagne, very cold.
‘Shall I bring extra flutes sir?’
‘Am I getting grief if the girls have a sip?’
He smiles, ‘Such beauty deserves a bit of bubbly, oui?’
CC, ‘Je demanderai au père d'être généreux avec le pourboire, merci.’
He grins, ‘C'est mon privilège de vous servir mademoiselle,’ he bows and hustles off.
‘What was that about?’
Zero, ‘She said her father will be generous with the gratuity, he said it was a privilege to serve her, which of course it is, in any language.’
‘I’ll do my part, daughter,’ the girls giggle.
Waiter returns with the vodka, sets a bucket of ice containing the Champagne next to me.
‘We keep it well chilled sir, shall I open and pour?’
I nod, he does the Champagne cork professionally. One does not pop the cork, one eases it out with more of a pip than a pop. He’s even chilled the flutes, he pours slowly down the side, like a good bartender does with beer on tap. Zero and CC entertain him in French while he fusses with the flutes, likely taking more time than necessary. Don’t blame him, they are ravishing.
The menu is limited but appears tasty. We share ceviche, the girls order grilled lobster, I get double prime filet, eight ounces of meat is an appetizer, and I know the girls will want a slice or two.
If a glass empties, our guy is there refilling, scraping bread crumbs, the whole top drawer dining bit. The girls are having more fun than a monkey in a barrel of bananas. We take our time, after an hour we’ve demolished the meal.
Zero, ‘The dessert menu looks overly fussy, maybe the sorbet, but nothing else.’
The girls get a vanilla and raspberry sorbet, I suffer along with a vodka nightcap.
I sign the tab to our suite, add twenty five percent. On the way out, the waiter trails along behind, the maitre’d meets us.
‘Our pleasure to meet you monsieur, and your delightful daughters, I hope to see you again during your stay, bonsoir mademoiselle Zero, bonsoir mademoiselle CC.’
In French, Zero sounds like zzayrow, CC is CC.