Page 8 Before We Contin


               Follow up, and fill-in, for, “Which Witch?”                                               5-30-11

                                                         Roy Garde

In his base country, which was one of the four north-west South American ones that came under his jurisdiction, Brian Howles had always played the field as far to find new occupants of his bed and because he was very careful to get each woman to understand that there’d be no commitment on his side no one’s feelings were trampled on and so there were few problems when he wanted to move out and on.

However, when he was working in one of the other countries he used that time to rest up – as far as romance was concerned – and because of that the women that he came in contact with in all three of them gradually became aware that he respected them as women and didn’t come onto them – a very unusual happening in their experience seeing that they’d lived all of their lives in ‘macholandia’ – and they labeled him the ‘Gringo Gentleman’ and they spread the word. He wasn’t stand offish with any of them but he wanted something other than the usual from them and was open to finding a warm relationship in which having sex was only a part of the whole rather than being first and foremost.

Well, it so happened that a half way through the first extension to his contract that he was given- it was for six months – he got lucky with a really special woman in all three of the countries and all three of them allowed him into their beds – to their everlasting bewilderment after he’d moved on because they’d never done that kind of thing before and doubted if they ever would again – because they found that his natural charm and friendly disposition, backed up by the vibes that he gave out that affected them at their cores, combined to break down their usual reservations.

He was delighted with his good luck, of course, and he would have been hard pressed to pick out one from another as to which was the most loving between the sheets and, that aside, he liked them all equally well too for another reason which was because they all had balancing traits – like most energetic or most appreciative of his efforts or most enterprising, etc. – which made up for any small differences in, uh, shall we say, methods of approach.

Consequently, if he’d been reluctant to go back up north before then after finding all three delightful lovers the very thought of leaving them was enough to give him conniptions.

A similar, but different thing had happened in his base country a half way through his first year there. By then he’d learned enough of the language to be able to follow conversations adequately and so he’d begun to accept invitations from the techs that he was training to join them for a drink after work and they all liked having him along because not only were they grateful to him for being patient with them when it came to taking too long to solve their problems in the field but he always picked up the tab for dinner every night. He did that because he knew, and as they had to know already because the pay clerk was one of their friends, that he earned around ten times what they did – indeed, he was horrified when he found out that his salary alone would have negated the entire annual profit of the smallest country that he worked in if it’d had to pay it all itself – and, unlike all of the other guys, he had no family to support.

On Friday nights three attractive single women would join the group of convivial drinkers and they all, discretely of course, offered benefits to the single guys in the group on a naturally selective/occasionally-charitable basis and a month or so after Brian became a regular member they extended their circle to include him in.

 By doing so, their kindness reminded him of an earlier time when he’d been singled out similarly and had found a suitable way to, uh, reward his, uh, benefactors which he decided to do again, but this time he decided to do it right away rather than at the very end of his ‘tour.’

It had happened on one of his assignments, after he’d finished his apprenticeship and had earned his Masters Degree and had made a name for himself by bringing in several difficult contracts on time, which had been to Albuquerque in New Mexico and his first two weeks there had been so hectic that he’d barely had time to get enough sleep no matter about do any socializing.

When he’d finished amending and testing all of the programs and had then put the final group of elevators in service – as usual with elevators he got to be satisfied with their performance only in the late afternoon of the day before the ineluctable hand-over date – the whole team of construction workers – who had seen a whole string of Techs, both local and ‘imported’ from other States give up on getting the hi-rise group of eight units to work properly and, to a man, never believed that he’d be able to do it at all no matter about in the time remaining – threw themselves a party and Brian was the man of the hour.

His achievement affected the whole office – they’d all been on tenterhooks for months because the project had been the biggest one that they’d ever tackled, a total of thirty seven units plus four escalators, and there’d been tension in the air for the whole construction time and the succession of failures by various adjusters hadn’t helped at all – and so his acclaim was universal and on the strength of it he was much cosseted by management and office and field staff.

He had to stay around for a few months to be available in case of problems – the area manager and his field people went to extraordinary steps to see to it that he wasn’t taken away for any reason during the crucial three month run-in period – and when he’d rested up he began to take an interest in the flora and fauna around him.

He accepted invitations to after-work parties and was delighted to find that two of the regulars were single women from different departments in the main office and that their admiration for him – as a Tech – soon developed enough to get them to include him into their generous – self-less if you believed what they said – benefit-allotting programs.

Because of his long history of full-immersion in his studies – including two years in MIT – it was the first time that he’d encountered such generosity – that is, full-out, healthy, wholehearted ‘we-share-what-we’ve-got-and-so-leave-your-inhibitions-at-the-door-and-if-you-find-that-you-like-something-that-I-do-for-you-don’t-tell-me-just-think-up-something-that-I-might-like-just-as-much’ – and his body responded to the challenges, and to doing whatever it took to reach satiation, so well that it was at that time that it, his body, began to develop its ability to communicate, independently of his brain, with any and all women who came close to it by emitting vibes that were easy for them to relate to and impossible to ignore. The phenomenon goes under different names – like ‘charisma’ and ‘sex appeal’ and ‘animal attraction’, etc. – and rarely do most women come in contact with it more than once or twice in their entire lives. Modestly, as was his norm, he chose to believe that it had to be the heat, and maybe a certain ingredient in chili peppers, that was responsible for his sudden change for the better by getting lucky regularly.

Over the next few weeks he gradually became aware that New Mexico has a thriving trade in turquoise and so he Googled ‘Turquoise jewelry’ and he liked what he saw so he checked out some local museums and his ’liking’ changed to all-out admiration and he decided to buy some for his mother and his two sisters.

When he mentioned that to Tilly, a clerk in accounting who happened to be with him one weekend, she offered to take him to the Indian villages where making turquoise jewelry is a full time occupation.

She invited her friend, and his, Marge, a billing clerk, to accompany them and they checked out three of the villages and he was able to see how they cut the stones and how they polished them and mounted them – invariably in silver because it was cheap back then – and the two women, who were aided no end by having local accents and by having had a more than a passing interest in the jewelry, were able to get him good prices. They taught him various aspects of the business including knowing that robin-egg blue is the best color of all and how to avoid buying overly ‘backed’ stones and that they are sold by size and not by weight and why they are oiled and how much of that is acceptable, and – – – much more.

Because he was a decisive, non-dithering kind of guy by the end of that day he’d become confident enough to buy three different, equally impressive to laymen, necklaces for his mother and sisters.

He knew that they’d be thrilled and that they’d never know that the darker stones cost a half of what ‘robin egg’ ones would have done but they wouldn’t have cared anyway because all of them were beautiful and were rare in their circles and would serve them well.

On the drive back from the villages his two teachers, and benefactors, were sitting on either side of him, Tilly was driving, and it was then that the two women became aware that they were receiving vibes that they’d thought, up to then, his body sent out only when he was, uh, actively engaged with them. They took the opportunity to experiment and they discovered that the signal’s strength varied with distance – Brian guessed that it was proportional to the inverse square of the distance – and that touching him multiplied the effect ten fold. They were all intrigued, of course, and even more so when they discovered that if one of them moved away from him the other one began to receive more of the vibes than before and that that too was in proportion to the distance that was between their bodies and his.

The discovery wasn’t all good as far as Brian was concerned because the two women worked out – with, you can be sure, zero help from him – that their having a threesome was out of the question now that they knew that the wonderful sensations that they reveled in receiving would be diminished if they were sandwiching him.

He was so grateful to them both for all that they’d done for him – helping him pick out turquoise jewelry was only a small part of it – that a week before he had to go back to NYC – that is, three months after he’d arrived in Albuquerque – he drove up to the village where he’d been given the best service and the best prices and he bought two bracelets. They both had three lines of stones that were interspersed with silver medallions and all the stones were of high quality.

When he gave them to the women, one at a time of course to benefit from the shock value, they were overcome with gratitude – later he often wondered at the phenomenon of their being in the land of turquoise all of their lives and even though they liked it very much they didn’t own even mediocre pieces – and they surprised him, and delighted him, when they both came to his bed on the night before he had to catch his plane.

 So, when he found out that his base country in South America was bordered by the country that is the emerald capitol of the world he decided that on his next visit there he’d check it out to buy his mother and his sisters some jewelry centered around those stones.

Not so.

When he’d mentioned it, off handedly, to one of his fellow workers he told him that he had an uncle who dealt in emeralds and he’d ask him to come and see him, Brian, with some samples.

The next morning the uncle was waiting for him and when they were seated in the conference room he showed him a half dozen stones, of various shapes and sizes, and the small ones – perfectly cut and nice and clear – were priced at only the equivalent of twenty five dollars each and there was a big one there too, uncut and decidedly unprepossessing, that he wanted a thousand dollars for.

Brian knew that he’d have to do some basic research on emeralds and so he asked the guy to please come back in a few days when he’d tell him what he wanted to buy and was astonished when the man re-wrapped all of his stones and then gave him the package after saying that there was no hurry at all!

Brian told the guy’s nephew what he’d done and was asked, “So?”

“Well, Jesus! He doesn’t know me from Adam so why did he trust me with around twelve hundred dollars worth of precious stones?”

“He doesn’t know you but he does know me.”

Brian did some Googling later that day and he saw some necklaces and broaches and rings that were very attractive indeed and so, caught up in a buying mood, that same afternoon he took his ‘cache’ to a reputable dealer who quoted the exact prices that the uncle had come up with and he explained that the small, clear and light green stones were beryl but the big one was a bona-fide emerald and was nicely colored – dark green – and wasn’t too included (i.e. faulted or what the locals call ‘jardin,’ that is, ‘garden,’ because they look for all the world like fronds) and would make an attractive ring.

Brian was astute enough to realize that seeing that the two quoted prices were identical he could reasonably expect to find a better bargain elsewhere and so he paid the owner of the stones for the five small ones and returned the big one to him.

He then let it be known that he was in the market for big mounted stones and was able to pick from dozens of them, all beryl of course but all beautiful too, and he ended up with three necklaces that he knew would thrill his mother and his sisters no end.

Then, when that project had been taken care of, remembering what he’d learned in New Mexico and not wanting to be deprived of extra gratitude by waiting too long, he selected a stunning 13 carat stone that was well supported – he’d been told to look for that particular attribute by an article in a magazine which had explained that big ones are often prone to fracturing – in sterling silver and then, when they’d agreed on its price, he asked the seller to find two more that were exactly like it, a request that was well received indeed, and he eventually ended up with three identical rings with equally good stones.

When the first birthday among his lovers came up he took all three women out for dinner and when they’d ordered their meals he sang, “Happy Birthday To Valerie,” and presented her with one of the rings and when all the “Oooohs” and the “Let me see’s” and “It’s so beautiful,” were done with he then sang, “Happy Coming Birthday To Marite,” and then he gave her a ring and then, quickly to appease Lisa who had a hopeful but slightly apprehensive look in her eyes, he sang, “Happy Coming Birthday To Lisa,” and he gave her the last ring.

From then on he found out who would be coming home with him on Friday nights – and, hopefully, stay all weekend except for an hour or two on Sunday morning when she’d get all dressed up to go to church and would return to his bed while still mumbling her penance – when the party was winding down and all three women would disappear into the bathroom together and when they came back only one of them would be wearing ‘his’ ring with the stone showing.

Once again, seeing how delighted they were with his presents, he wondered how was it possible to live in a country that was swamped with emeralds and beryls and not get some for themselves as the opportunity arose?

Because he no longer had to ‘play the field’ in his ‘home’ country, one day, around a year after he’d set up a routine of spending one month there and then one week in each of ‘his’ other countries, he got the idea of trying to find one ‘nice’ woman in them too – by ‘nice’ he meant one who attracted him and wasn’t grasping or too clingy – one who held down a regular job and wasn’t involved with anyone else and, crucially, could carry out an intelligent conversation which didn’t happen often with his other women.

The first woman who fell within those parameters was a dentist whose office was in the same building as his company’s office and he, Brian, had, logically, gone there when one of his fillings broke and had fallen out.

They got on well when she was working on him and he agreed to let her practice her English on him because she had a long held dream of moving to, and practicing in, the States – he doggedly and gently corrected her little errors – and by hiding his questions in the course of extending her vocabulary he was, sneakily, able to find out that she wasn’t married, nor did she have a current boy-friend, and was living with her parents still even though, as he worked out from reading the dates on the diplomas that were hung on the walls, she had to be pushing forty.

Her name was Maribel and she was quite attractive even though she was a little overweight and was on the short side and because she’d liked practicing her English on him, and seeing that he was her last patient of that afternoon, and seeing that she badly needed some male companionship in her life, she accepted his offer of having a drink with him at the bar that was in the same building.

The drinks led to their having dinner together and when he’d driven her home and had entered her gated compound she asked him to stop by an empty lot, from which, she pointed out, they could the lights in her home that was perhaps fifty feet away. He figured that she’d done that because she didn’t want her parents to see that she was in a car with a strange man – a Gringo no less! – and he was right about that but there was another reason too and he found out what that was when he said “Goodnight” and politely leaned over to kiss her cheek and had his face clasped by both of her hands which she used to move his head so that his mouth came in direct contact with hers.

He knew very well indeed how to deal with that situation – he could even estimate, accurately it turned out, the depth of her need and you can be sure that he immediately suited his actions to that knowledge – and when he’d managed to undo her heavy-duty bra and had liberated one of her breasts enough to be able to weigh it he breathed, “Aaaaargh,” into her mouth and she matched it with an, “Oooooh” into his and at that he broke away to suggest that they move to the back seat of his Land Rover.

His suggestion was, evidently, far too brusquely put for her delicate sensibilities that were made so, no doubt, from her long abstinence, and she balked.

She took back her breast and imprisoned it and then she gave him a quick kiss and said goodnight and then, “Brian, dear, maybe you can want to come to see me tomorrow and I so can check out if your filling is, uh, acting nice.”

It got to be a ritual for them from then on to go for a drink, after she’d dealt with her last patient, and then have dinner together and she’d let him make progress on his voyage of discovery every time that they found themselves parked in front of the empty lot.

He was delighted to find on their fourth time there that she was wearing French knickers, which meant that he could grope her thoroughly without much of a problem, and when, a little later, she allowed him to introduce her to the fine art of cunnilingus she found that she liked it so much, and it affected her so strongly, that she suggested that they move to the back seat and take it to the next, logically speaking, step.

The next night the ease with which he was allowed to pick up where they’d left off the night before – and get to the heart of the matter as you might say – emboldened him enough to ask her if she always wore French knickers or had she started wearing them for their times in the Land Rover but it was clearly a faux pas on his part and she pretended that she didn’t understand the question – “French what? What is this ‘French’ thing you speaked of?”

However, the ardor that he generated in her increased to the point where, after their fifth date, she could no longer find it in her to hold out any more and she helped him to ‘go all the way’ several times and the amount of accumulated pleasure that she got from multiple sessions forced her to come up with a much better plan for them that knocked merely snatching at it in the back seat of his car out of the loop.

It turned out that her parents, wanting her to feel more independent of them, had built an extension onto their house for her, which had its own entrance, and from the very next night on it became the lovers’ regular procedure to pull into the driveway at around seven o’clock at night on weekdays and Brian would be invited to stay for dinner and afterwards he’d sit out on the porch with her father, who was a civil servant, and they’d smoke a silky smooth Romeo Y Julieta and sip fine Ron Viejo and talk about his travels and the politics of the area and – whatever.

When they’d finished their cigars – they were far too good to even think about hurrying them along – he’d stand up and go inside to thank Maribel’s mother for the meal and then Maribel would walk to his car with him and they’d chat for a minute and she’d let him hold her hand as he kissed her on her cheek and then he’d drive off.

 He’d go down the street and make a right and keep going until he was out of their hearing and then he’d double back and, as prearranged, park the car in the driveway of one of her friends and then he’d walk back and Maribel would be waiting to open the side security gate for him and they’d go into her place and fuck themselves silly, albeit, quietly.

He was being given such a fine time, all in all, that he ‘discovered’ several basic program faults in various buildings in the city that called for an extended stay by him.

The special woman who he became faithful (!) to in the second country was, somewhat riskily, his company’s accountant.

She was a divorcee and she was a bit too thin for his taste, and was also too old, so he wouldn’t have so much as considered her for a romantic partner until he went into her office one morning – he needed her advice on a worrisome, against-the-rules, over-time billing discrepancy that he’d come across by chance – and she’d showed immediate interest and indicated that he should come to her side of her big desk to read what she was bringing up on her monitor and they both felt exciting vibes pass between them as soon as he got within two feet of her.

They both tried to ignore those signals and they were helped with that because what he’d come up with needed to be followed up at once and, if proved true, dealt with immediately and severely because it heralded outright fraud and was very much against the company’s best interest.

To her horror, when she’d confirmed his suspicions by checking back on her PC, she’d found that it had been going on, undetected, for close to four years by then.

That made it so serious that she called the President’s office and explained a little of what she’d found to him and he told her to come up to his office and bring the Service Manager with her.

When she relayed to Brian what was about to happen he had enough sense to ask her to please leave his name out of it seeing that he hated all office politics. When she’d nodded agreement he eased himself out of her office.

When the culprits – a supervisor and a foremen and six field mechanics – had been sacked, and prosecuted – and the accountant had received accolades from all departments and even from the head office in NYC – she remembered those nice vibes that had excited her and had put some long dormant senses onto full alert and so she called the front desk and asked the receptionist to send Brian to her office when next she saw him.

When he showed up she thanked him for giving her all the glory and congratulated him on his astuteness and when she shook his hand those vibes reappeared, as she’d hoped would happen but she’d had her doubts, and they were multiplied ten fold because of the skin contact.

She was relieved, and very pleased, when she looked him in the eyes and saw, unmistakably, that he was experiencing them too.

She knew a good thing when it hit her on the head and she was too old to allow such a welcome development to go to waste and so she closed with him and the intimacy that comes with getting a kiss on the lips sealed their pact and she came right out and told him that she had her own apartment and so it would be easy to get things between them on the level that Nature was clearly calling for and that they should test out her theory by his coming to her place for dinner at seven-thirty that evening.

When she’d brought the meal that she’d cooked to the table her thigh ‘inadvertently’ rubbed against his and they both gasped at the warmth and the full, overwhelming awareness that they had fully attuned and compatible bodies.

That led to her entire meal being turned into left-overs in the instant because she became rooted to the spot and he let his hand reach for, and find and cup, one of her breasts whereupon she figured that her bones were melting and, after he’d caught her, he kissed her properly and maintained contact as he half-carried her into her bedroom.

From then on he had to stay well away from her office – the company president was a hundred per cent against inter-office fraternizations and, she warned him, he saw to it that the rule was enforced no matter who the ‘culprits’ were – but knowing that gave them an added edge every time that they got together although, God knows, no added edge was needed.

The woman that he got close to in the third country was the owner and manager of the slightly seedy but clean hotel that he used on every visit because it was within easy walking distance of his company’s main office and, anyway, he only used his room to change clothes and for sleeping in.

She was an attractive and fashionably thin woman who was a widow and who always wore black from head to toe.  She thought of it as being her shield from all advances from men and she’d not changed her mind on that for several years but she wore black very well and so, actually, it was her aloof and negative bearing that made men keep their distance.

She’d become a grandmother before she got to be forty because she’d been a child bride and had given birth to her first child while still one herself.

Her resolve about not getting involved with another man for the rest of her life lasted until the day that both of her hotel’s passenger elevators, along with the service one, stopped running at the same time and when she’d called her service company she was told that all of the field-mechanics had voted to go on strike that morning and she’d have to wait until one of the management staff became free but it would probably be several days before that could happen because there’d been a rush of elevator shut downs throughout the city and some of them were in hospitals and nursing homes, and the like, and thus took precedence.

On hearing that she had to close and lock the door of her office and sit at her desk to try to beat back the funk of despair that assailed her because it would, inevitably, drive most of her guests away, to find alternative accommodations, and she knew all too well that there was no way that she could meet her payroll if that continued for a week or longer.

However, mercifully her pain didn’t last for long because her front desk clerk had noticed, from reading the form that all guests had to fill in on arrival, that Brian worked for the elevator company concerned and so he, the clerk, called her and told her about it.

She thanked him profusely for the news because it might mean that she’d only have to wait for this Brian Howles to come ‘home’ after work to wash up and change, as was his wont so she was told, and surely he’d agree to see what he could do for her if it was only to move her plight up to the top of the list for getting preferential service.

After thinking it out she called the front desk and told her clerk that he was to call her the moment that Brian showed up and he was to keep him in the Lobby until she got there.

When the call came she made her one allowable variation from all black by putting a colorful chiffon scarf around her neck, tucked in discretely of course, and then she went to the Lobby and she forced herself to smile pleasantly as she approached Brian – her savior, she hoped.

When she offered her hand in the process of introducing herself she was disconcerted when she felt a curious tingling in her spine and when he took it, her hand that is, the tingling turned to a rush of warmth that engulfed her center in a way that she hadn’t felt since she’d been a teenager and had recently met the guy who would become her husband.

However, she had to make herself ignore the wondrous feeling, and its worrying implications, because her hotel was in dire need of help and so she let go of his hand and backed off a little as she explained the situation.

Brian had felt the same very welcome awareness of a kindred spirit in the immediate offing, if you will, and although he would have helped her out anyway he did so at once in this case because he wanted to get her indebted to him which might well lead to some socializing and that could, perhaps, leave things open for possible re-payment, in kind, in the not too distant future.

 He asked the desk clerk for the keys for the roof door and the motor room door and was surprised when he was told that none were needed because he was well aware that security was a huge problem throughout the city.

He had to walk up fifteen floors, of course, and when he got to the roof level he found that the door to it was hanging from one hinge. When he looked out at the roof he could see that it was under three or four inches of water in some places because of differing levels that had been created by badly designed additions to its surface for pipe runs and what-ever.

When he got up to the motor room he found that its door couldn’t be locked because it was in such bad shape that it couldn’t even be closed properly.

He found that the elevator equipment was ‘vintage’ to be polite. It was at least twenty years older than he was and badly needed extensive modernization.

He was used to dealing with sophisticated, new, high tech, solid state controllers and so he felt dismayed, and slightly intimidated, by coming face to face with old fashioned relay logic – it was like the difference between e-mail and snail mail or like asking a math teacher to recite multiplication tables – and he needed time to alter and adapt his mental approach to the problem. To that end he moved over to a rickety table where the wiring diagrams were – the first step to analyzing and then solving problems – and he found that they were almost unreadable due to the fact that two of the large windows in the wall were missing several panes of glass which meant that wind and rain and dust could enter easily and had done just that for some time and consequently the prints were badly stained and were close to being useless.

However, when he began to look through the pages, hoping to find some that he could decipher, he remembered about the recent strike vote. It had been called for an especially egregious reason – all the field workers, through their union, were demanding a bonus just for showing up for work every morning and there was no way that management could even enter into negotiations over such an absurd demand. Their being on strike didn’t affect his work directly because he’d stayed in the office that day editing a critical program change that he had to install the next day in a nearly completed installation in a high-rise building and he knew that he could install it the next day just as easily from his desk PC as he could on-site but, of course, he would have to be there to check it out when the elevators were running.

He’d found out the hard way that the mechanics in that city were all of a particularly bloody-minded frame of mind when they were on strike and so it came to him that sabotage might well have been, and probably was, the reason that all three elevators had stopped at the same time and so he left the drawings where they were and looked around for physical evidence.

He found it quickly.

After opening the Main Supply Breakers, to keep control of the situation in that after doing that they could start up and run only when he was good and ready, he saw that fuses on all three controllers had been removed and so he replaced them and then he saw that the switches on all of the governor devices had been tripped by hand.

He re-set the switches and, when he found nothing else wrong, he switched the power back on and was relieved when all of the generators started up at once.

He blocked the cab doors from opening and then he sent the elevators, one by one, up and down the shaft several times before removing his blocks.

He let them run on ‘automatic’ and then he walked down to the penthouse floor and he rode one of the passenger ones down to the Lobby.

The manager was waiting there for him, with a smile from here to here, and she only just stopped herself from kissing his cheek.

After thanking him, and doing some heart-felt gushing, she asked him if he’d like to have a drink with her and when he’d nodded assent she led him into the bar and called the bartender over and she asked for gin and tonic and Brian opted for Jim Beam.

While they were waiting for their drinks he asked her, to break the silence, where had she learned such good English and she told him that her father had sent her to the American College in the city because back then knowing English was essential to ‘getting on’ in life and then, because of that, she’d met an American graduate student there and they’d fallen in love and, knowing that her father wouldn’t so much as think of letting her marry the guy – she came from an old, well established family and he had plans for her future that didn’t include her marriage to a Gringo – they’d eloped at the end of the school year and they’d gone to live in Erie, PA, where a job with G.E. was waiting for him.

Brian was about to ask about the whereabouts of her husband – in his eyes her chiffon scarf raised her all black clothing from signaling mourning to being ‘How-dooo-you-dooo, m’dear,’ high fashion – when their drinks arrived and her next words answered his query.

“I can’t tell you how grateful I am for your kindness regarding the elevators, uh, Brian? Right? Please call me Awilda. I’ve been running this hotel ever since I was widowed nearly three years ago – my husband drowned on a fishing trip to Canada – and we seem to go from one crisis to another but this one would have been the most serious one yet because there’s no way that I could ask guests to climb fifteen floors, right?

“Uh, please tell me Brian, how was it possible for you to have gotten them running again in such a ridiculously short time? My word! I scarcely had time to go back to my office before they called me to say that all three of them were back in service.”

He told her that the local union was very aggressive in its own right but even so individual mechanics took it into their own hands and did criminal things to bring more pressure to bear in an attempt to force the company to agree to their demands. He said that even the fact that some of the people who were inconvenienced were their own relatives didn’t give them a moment’s pause.

He told her the details of the sabotage that he’d found and then he went on to tell her about the deplorable state of the two doors in question – which meant that she had zero security regarding limiting access to the motor room – and then he brought up the broken windows and the poor drainage on the roof.

She was suitably appalled at all of it and she sent for pen and paper to let him write down the work that needed to be done.

As he was writing it all up he decided against telling her about the urgent need for a rehab of the elevator equipment – he knew all too well how expensive it was going to be – because he figured that such a downer could well postpone or squelch altogether his chances of being invited to her bed and the vibes that he was getting from her proximity, enhanced as always by the bourbon, were gaining intensity by the minute. From experience he knew that the same thing was happening to her but he didn’t know if gin had the same effect on women, or rather, on this particular woman.

He needn’t have worried.

It did and she was both hating and loving – mostly loving – the signals that his presence was making her body send up to her brain.

How, she asked herself, after all these years could one particular man have this effect on her? She’d been positively sure that she was a one-man woman and seeing that that man was dead she’d fully and confidently expected to be a no-man woman for the rest of her life because ever since her first baby had been born she’d found that the whole sex thing was merely a chore that she had to pretend to like for her husband’s sake and, apart from that, it had been a way-over-hyped take-it-or-leave-it part of her life.

 But, and yet, even so and in spite of her long history of trying to fathom out the mystery, here she was, as eager as a bitch in heat to get covered and penetrated by a near stranger even if he was, admittedly, a devilishly attractive one.

He couldn’t make the first move, as they both knew, and she was far too intimidated and confused to do so and so she compromised by asking him, “Seeing that one drink isn’t nearly enough to show how grateful I am will you please join me for dinner tonight?”

When they met up that evening she took him into a private room and seeing that she was both Manager and owner of the hotel they both knew that he could ask for anything that he wanted but he’d been around long enough to know that he wasn’t a Champaign and caviar man – the wine was wasted on him because he equated it with bubbling cider and, although he liked all fish products, knowing the absurdly high price of caviar put him off from even considering ordering it – and so he asked her, “Can we get a bottle of the house wine and do you serve Parilla here.”

“Ha! Do we ever? Yes, we do indeed and it’s a staple in every restaurant in the entire country and no two chefs do it the same way even though it calls for just about the same ingredients everywhere. We’re especially proud of ours since we got our new chef a year or so ago and it is getting accolades from many food critics and rightly so too.”

She beckoned for the waiter – who was, as you’d guess, hovering just out of ear-shot – and she told him to bring a bottle of her reserve Pinot Noir and Parilla for two but before he could rush away to put the order in Brian gestured him to a stop and said, “Por favor, senor, le pide el cocinero deje la tripa en la cocina.”

When he’d ascertained that he’d heard correctly he dashed away on his important mission and Brian’s table companion raised her eyebrows to question his, to her, strange request – one that would deprive her of what she thought of as being the tastiest part of the whole meal – and so he apologized and said that they should wait until after they’d finished eating before he explained his position.

Even without tripe the Parilla, that the chef himself brought to their table – it comes with everything still cooking on a charcoal grill that is put on a metal stand to one side and within reach of the diners – had enough food on it for a half dozen hungry people; four prime steaks and three kinds of sausages along with kidneys and liver and heart and, who knows what else? Besides all of that the waiter had brought many side-dishes like yautia and yucca and guineos and potatoes – for a reason that he never did find out rice wasn’t a staple anywhere in the country – and several kinds of beans and greens so that, overall, the amount would out-face anyone except locals who were accustomed to it and who would feel cheated if any of those ingredients were missing.

 He asked her about her history, as they were tackling rather than eating their food, and she told him again about how she’d fallen in love with the graduate student in college and, knowing that her father would have never given his consent, had eloped with him and they’d gotten married in Miami and then went on to Erie in Pennsylvania and to G.E.

He asked her about her ownership of the hotel and she said that when she’d been made a widow her father had insisted that she come home, by then her children had grown and both were already leading their own lives, but he never did forgive her and she had to live in their beach house when the rest of the family was in town and – vice-versa. When her father died a year later his will revealed that – because, and only because, the country’s law mandated that all of his children had to inherit an approximately equal amount of the equity in his estate – he’d given her this hotel but with the proviso that she had to live in it and manage it herself for at least ten years and if it failed before then it was to be sold and the money was to be divided equally amongst her siblings.

When she reached for the wine bottle he apologized and hurried to make up for his lapse – something that local men frowned on although their treatment of women in general was deplorable – and so their hands touched and that triggered a massive loss of control on her behalf, which he recognized instantly, and he moved in to support her and they kissed properly and when he’d liberated one of her breasts and had lovingly caressed it she felt a void open up inside her that was so intense and so demanding that if it hadn’t been for his strong self-discipline, he stayed very aware that one of her staff could burst in at any moment, she would have prevailed in her need to get down onto the floor and get penetrated and pounded by him there and then and all ways up.

Several hours later they were still in her bed – after he’d run through all of his favorite things in his repertory and she’d been astonished to find that she’d liked them all and had been allowed to slip out of satiation and then driven back into it several times – and they’d calmed down enough to just hold each other, and do a little nuzzling, she asked him to tell her about his dislike of tripe.

He told her that the first time that a local girl he was with had ordered a Parilla for them both he’d cut off a piece of tripe and he’d seen that it was partially stuffed, ‘rellena,’ with, “a peculiar looking substance that resembled nothing more or less than, uh, well, porcine excrement.”

Awilda interrupted him by snorting in derision and then she said, “Huh? ‘Porcine excrement?’ You Norte Americanos never fail to astonish me with your silly euphemisms. When I was living in Pennsylvania it used to drive me mad. Brian, my love, if you mean, ‘pig shit,’ why not say, ‘pig shit?’ “

“Oh. Well all right I will and it so happens that when I tell the story to guys I always say ‘pig shit’ and it comes over much better that way.

“So, where I was I? Ah, yes . . . the stuffing looked like pig shit and when I smelled it it smelled like pig shit and then I, positively sure that I had to be badly mistaken or how on earth could they possibly serve tripe filled with shit and keep their customers coming back for more, I tasted it and, yes, it tasted like pig shit.

“So, I called the waiter over and I asked him, “Senor, por favor, la tripa esta rellena con algo, es cierto? Pues, de que?”

The waiter answered, “No senor. No esta rellena. Es tripa natural!”

“It really was pig shit!”

When Awilda had stopped laughing she explained about how the pig’s diet was regulated days before it was butchered and that its intestines were washed many times before being cooked and that the careful preparation that it went through before being served saw to it that any and all of its contents were not only bacteria free and OK for consumption but were also delicious and much prized and what he’d found inside, and was dubious about putting into his mouth, was only the material that had seeped out of the walls of the tripe as it was cooking.

However, Brian wasn’t a bit convinced and certainly not converted and her use of the word ’seeped’ – while perfectly correct and demonstrating an admirable command of the English language – didn’t help matters a bit and he knew that he’d continue to ask the waiter to leave the tripe, that customarily comes with the Parilla, in the kitchen.

Now that we’ve met Brian’s three lovers in the three different – outlying, we might call them – countries and how warm and cozy his group was in his home country, we can understand his reluctance to leave the general area and, indeed, because he knew that he’d find a warm welcome, and a lovingly warm bed, in Awilda’s country, it lost its status as the most disliked one, however well earned that had been, and it began to get more of his time than it merited regarding technical help. Quite understandable and only barely unethical and, after all, who could tell him no?

In the last month of his final extension to his contract – for three months – he arrived in Awilda’s country’s main airport and was surprised, and disappointed, when he found that she wasn’t waiting for him as had been very much the norm because they’d not only continued to get on well but they’d become closer with his every visit although how that was possible neither of them could work out.

He took a cab to her hotel and although he knew all the staff by name and had a good relationship with all of them none of them – not the doorman nor the bell hops nor the front desk clerk – would look him in the eye when he approached them and they all took a pass when he asked them straight out where Awilda was.

He asked the front desk guy for the key to her apartment and in answer he got a shake of the head and then, the final clue that something was very wrong, he was given a new arrival form to fill in.

He was too upset to do so and then he remembered that there was someone who would tell him what was going on so he took his back pack over to the baggage room and he dropped it there and gave the kid in charge of it a tip and then he went into the bar which was empty except for Carlos who was filling a cooling cabinet with beer bottles.

Even he got a furtive look in his eyes when he saw who his new customer was but he stood up and then moved over to the center of the bar and, without having to be asked, he poured a shot of bourbon and put it on the bar in front of him as he greeted him with, “Que tal? Como esta usted, senor Brian?”

Brian couldn’t stop himself from blurting out, “ ‘Que tal. Como esta usted?’ Esos son los unicos que desea preguntame?”

The startled look in the man’s eyes made Brian back off a little and so he took a drink of whisky and then asked, in a more subdued manner, “Las preguntas mas importante en este momento serian, ‘ Como esta le Senora Awilda?’ y ‘Que tal con ella?’ No creas? No piensas-tu?”

It was very obvious that the man didn’t want to be the one to tell him what had happened but, seeing who he was and seeing that the place was empty except for the two of them and knowing that there was no way out for him, he accepted the responsibility and he leaned forward to whisper, “She was given an ultimatum three days ago. She had to leave the country before midnight that same night or lose everything. She knew that they meant what they said and that her family was included in the ‘everything’ and so she packed what she could and Miguel drove her to the airport and she caught a flight to New York. She told him that she’d go on from there to somewhere called ‘Erie’ where her children were living.”

His face got contorted as he let out some vile cursing that centered on, ‘Ese sinverguenza quien ha arruinado este pais.’

Brian knew how much Awilda had hated the present regime but he hadn’t known, until he’d wormed it out of Carlos, that she was active in an underground movement called,  ‘ARNE’ – ‘A Retomar Nuestra Estado,” which had recently shown signs of picking up a following.

What had brought the matter to such a serious turn of events was that one of the committee members had, without Awilda’s permission or knowledge, used her family name in the list of ‘Associates’ that was on a brochure that they’d published, to give it more weight, and, as was well known, ‘The Man’ carried a hammer, along with a sickle, and he used it, the hammer, left and centrally whenever the head of a nail was incautious enough to show itself and he used the sickle if it was protruding, or appeared to be about to do so, to cut its head off.

Brian stayed in the bar, and kept getting his glass refilled without having to ask, until customers started showing up and then he ‘girded his loins’ and although he didn’t want to stay the night there he had no choice because his legs gave out as he was trying to reclaim his bag and his friend on the front desk saw to it that a porter and a bell hop helped him to a room on the second floor where they poured him into a bed.

When he woke up in the middle of the night he was confused but it all came back to him slowly – it hurt when he let too many facts crowd into his brain at the same time – and he wanted to get out of there but then he saw the time and good sense, and blurred vision, persuaded him to wait until morning.

Nobody in his office knew anything about what had happened to Awilda, genuinely he thought, which gave him more insight into the all pervading power of the top people in Government and so he didn’t press the point with any of them nor did he do anything foolish like searching for an investigating reporter like they do in the movies.

It was over and it was done.

However, what he did do was to replace the accursed country back up to the top of his ‘least liked and least visited’ list. He told himself that he’d make them try to manage without the benefit of his expertise from then on but even as the thought came into his brain he knew that he wouldn’t do any such thing. Like medical doctors he knew that he wouldn’t, couldn’t, discriminate because, however pretentious it sounds, what he did was for the general good of the populace as a whole and the only struggle that could be allowed was with getting the equipment that they’d bought from his company to do what it was designed for.

On what should have been his penultimate visit to Awilda’s country, now ex-country, he was very surprised when he got intimately involved with yet another woman there.

Not just ‘a woman’ but a policewoman!

As stated, that particular country was not only the richest one in the area – from oil, of course – it was also the most dismayingly corrupt one, perhaps in the entire world.

Because of that he never drove his company car there because its plates attracted crooked cops in swarms – it was as if he’d had, “Here’s one who’s ripe for plucking,” written on them below the letters and numbers.

So, to avoid that – before and after he met Awilda – he’d always hired a car at the airport but its local plates didn’t help him at all on the third day that he was there because as he was driving along one of the smaller streets two cops suddenly came out from between parked cars and waved him to a stop. When he got closer he saw that one of them was a woman. A woman who was on the large side. An imposingly large woman.

He rolled his window down and asked, “What’s the problem Officer,” and the male one asked for his papers and the female one told him that he’d driven through a red light.

“What red light? I didn’t see any traffic lights at all.”

“Well no. You can’t see them because those tree branches hide them but they’re there all right. Believe me.”

 “But if they can’t be seen? . . . . What’s the point of having them there at all?”

“Sir, it’s an intersection, right? You should know that you always have to come to a complete stop at an intersection and you didn’t even slow down.”

He was both mad at her illogical explanation and dismayed too because he knew that there was an automatic three day incarceration involved for ‘serious traffic infractions’ but then he remembered where he was and he gave her the knowingly accepting look that she was hoping for, and fully expecting, and then all that it took was a lift of his eyebrows, interrogatingly, and she gave him a nice smile and then a figure that was the equivalent of one hundred US dollars.

He nodded, in relief because it wouldn’t do for New York to find out that he’d been put in jail, and then he told her that there was a small problem because he wasn’t carrying that much cash.

She said, “No hay problema, Senor,” and went on to tell him that she’d direct him to an ATM and she walked around and took his license and his papers out of her partner’s hand and then got in the car and did just that.

When they got close to the bank she told him that he could park right in front and that she’d stay in the car while he got the money so he wouldn’t have to worry about some ‘nasty bad men’ breaking into it or stealing it.

When he returned he had the cash in his pocket and he figured that she’d want him to drive to a quiet spot somewhere before giving it to her but when he’d started the engine she impatiently asked right out. “Hey, where’s my money?” and when he’d handed it over she blatantly, and brazenly, counted it in full view of passers-by.

It was very clear that he had to drive her back to her lucrative post and, when he’d gotten over his shock and they were moving again, seeing that their business was over she felt free to relax and by doing so she allowed the nice but strange sensation that was in her lower belly – the one that had been there all the time that he’d been sitting next to her – to blossom and it was so unexpected, and so very welcome, that she turned to study her perp for the first time and she liked what she saw and their relationship changed in that instant from an ‘enforcer of the law with a wrong doer’ to ‘a woman with a man’ and she softened and became a human being with needs that called for being indulged or, at least, investigated.

It was difficult for Brian to converse with her normally – that, “Hey, where’s MY money?” was a bit hard for him to cope with – although she clearly wanted to, and so he said very little, just in case she was setting him up for further exploitation, and so they got back to the intersection where she was working without getting much closer. She was, reluctantly, going to give up on him until her fingers touched his palm as she was handing over his papers.

She didn’t receive a jolt so much as a flood of warmth that went straight to her center without first going up her arm and then down her body and it affected her so much that she lost the use of her legs and couldn’t get out of the car.

Her partner was puzzled when she didn’t open the door so he moved to where he could see her face and then lifted his eyebrows to question her in a – “I hope you’re not telling me that that asshole is giving you a hard time about paying up?” – manner and when he got a reassuring shake of her head in response he went back on the look-out for the next approaching car that had nice, juicy, foreign plates or, better yet, one with a driver who was obviously a gringo because they never put up much of a fuss and always had access to plenty of  money.

His action made her pull herself together which let her think rapidly and so, wanting to see him again because in her book it would be a crime to not check out the source of the wonderful vibes that she was still getting from him, she cleverly palmed his plastic covered driving license as she relinquished the bulky car-hire papers and then she, not trusting herself to speak normally, got out of his car and walked around and then gave him a dismissing wave without looking at his face.

Brian drove off and when he was well away from the evil intersection he pulled over and parked to be able to call the technician who was waiting for him. He explained the delay and then he tried to dismiss the entire incident from his mind and he succeeded except for remembering the strange look that had come to her face when she’d touched his hand.

When they’d combined to deal with the technical problem that was the reason for their getting together he took the local tech to lunch and when he’d pulled out his wallet to extract his Visa card he saw that his driving license wasn’t in its usual place and he figured that it had to be in amongst the rental papers that he’d put in the car’s glove compartment                         and so he didn’t pay it much mind.

However the first thing that he did when he got back in the car was to look for it and when he was sure that it wasn’t there he got a terrible feeling – thinking that he was going to be shaken down again when he asked for it back or that he wouldn’t be able to find the right policewoman or, worse still, being given a blank stare and a shrug as he was being told that he was mistaken and that she’d never seen him before – but, even so, he knew that he had to go back and try to find her if only because in that city the amount of bureaucracy involved with renewing licenses was formidable and would stretch on for weeks because the city was, as always, close to being swamped by peasants who were, understandably, loathe to keep on working in the sun-drenched fields and wanted some of the oil money that, they figured rightly, belonged to them.

When he’d driven back he parked his car a long way from the intersection in question and he was vastly relieved when he saw that the same policewoman was still there, alert and assessing every approaching vehicle, and he was even more relieved when she recognized him and, without waiting to be asked, took his license out of her shirt pocket and then offered it to him.

When he reached for it she held on to her side of it and then, wanting confirmation and already very doubtful that it could have happened at all, she brought up her other hand and circled his wrist with it and – Bam!

It had happened all right and here it was again, large as life and as exciting as anything that had ever been in her life, and so she let go of his license and his wrist and then she took off her peaked hat and she shook her hair loose and gave him a coquettish lean of her head and a big smile – for all the world as if she wasn’t an officer of the law and on duty to boot! – and she told him that it was close to the end of her shift and would he like to have a drink with her?

He later persuaded himself that it was the uniqueness of the situation and the feeling of being intimidated and not his libido that had made him answer her question affirmatively.

The offer of a drink was only a ploy, as they both knew even as it was being uttered, and so he wasn’t a bit surprised when, after going over and whispering something to her partner, she asked him where his car was and when they were in it and moving she directed him to a secure place where he could leave it and then took him over to where her own car, a four-wheel drive SUV, was parked and, before, starting the engine she took his nearest hand and put it on her leg and when she’d been forced to let out an, “Oooooh, si,” and he’d said, politely, “Aaaaah, yes,” right back, she asked him if he’d prefer to go with her to her apartment or to his hotel room, “for that drink,” or would he like a surprise.

He opted for the surprise and her face beamed with pleasure and then she told him that it was an hour’s drive outside the city but it was well worth it.

She gave him back his hand and shook her shoulders to realign her senses and then started driving west.

When they were clear of the city she took a small road that went north, which soon petered out and became just a dirt path with two tire tracks, and that adequately answered his unasked question as to why she needed such a big car with four wheel drive.

Nevertheless, she sensed that he had a question and volunteered the explanation that the bay that they were headed for was privately owned and so poor access to it discouraged day-trippers and the like.

‘Bay’ was a fair description for what they wound up in. It was a perfectly formed arc of beach that was backed by forest and there were three hi-rise buildings in a complimentary arc and there were cabanas here and there in amongst the trees.

She greeted a man and a woman who came over to see who was arriving and then she parked in front of one of the cabanas and she opened it up with a key that she’d taken from the sun-visor of her car.

He took a last look at the magnificent sweep of ocean and she smiled when he said that it was a pity that he hadn’t brought his swimming costume and a life preserver and then she closed the door and took his hand and led him into the only bedroom. “Don’t worry,” she said in a strange voice, “I won’t let you drown.”

 There wasn’t an ounce of superfluous fat on her entire body and it was just as well seeing the astonishing amount of contortions that she put it through to achieve various goals, He gave her his full, active participation because he was scared to not go along.

When she was satiated – he’d arrived at that state well before that happened and, for some time by then, his only contribution to the proceedings had been, perforce, passive but his vibes had remained viable and ready to serve her and she reveled in finding new ways to benefit from them – they slept for a while and then she got up and asked him what he ‘d like to eat for dinner and when he told her that he always liked local food best she phoned – room service?!! – and reeled off a list of locally popular dishes, most of which were known to him, and an hour later there was a knock on the door and the woman who they’d seen earlier wheeled in a trolley, which had a heated compartment, and then she set the table and placed the various dishes on it and while she was doing so she chatted amiably with both of her ‘guests’ and it soon got to be revealed that the two women were related. Being given that piece of information later on wouldn’t have surprised him at all because by then he was inured to the fact that nepotism was rife throughout the city police force.

When the woman had gone they sat at the table and, as they ate, he took the opportunity to ask her about the resort and his first question was, because he was an engineer and the question had been bothering him ever since he’d caught sight of the three hi-rises, how had they managed to bring all of the material and supplies and machines that erecting buildings of that size called for.

She told him that a temporary jetty had been built so that everything could be brought in from the sea and that that had been done to evade the prying eyes of the taxman and the populace in general.

Her explanation led him to ask who owned the resort and she told him that it was the city’s Police Benevolent Fund. She said that the organization took care of their pension money and that it had handled the finances and had imported crews from several different countries to do the work.


“Same reason, of course. As long as the workers got paid in full and on time, and were offered substantial bonuses on condition that the dead lines were met, they didn’t care who was running things nor did they want to find out. And, because they were foreigners, they knew next to nothing about local politics and weren’t the slightest bit interested in them and so they had no reason, ever, to get in contact with the authorities or the press about anything. In fact, they weren’t allowed to leave the site until the whole job was finished and when it was they were all taken directly to the airport.

“It was a sweet deal for them because they were paid at least twice as much as they could get at home and, even sweeter, they paid no taxes at all because no one in City Hall knew what was going on. Ha! The tax people still don’t know that they missed out on collecting a huge amount of income tax and property tax and, well, you-name-it tax. It’s too late now anyway because our PBF’s influence was strong back then but today it’s over-whelming. Ha! Good luck with trying to get them to back off on anything nowadays!”

“And because it’s so strong that’s the reason that you don’t mind telling me all this stuff?”

“Exactly. We’ve long gone way above and beyond worrying about what anybody wants to say about us.”

Brian used that statement as giving him the OK to ask her about the strange incident that was responsible for their meeting earlier that day.

“Uh, are you and your partner stationed on that particular intersection every day?”

“Hoo chico! I wish! No, that’s the most profitable corner in the whole city and only Mondays are our days.”

“Uh, do you get to keep all that you, uh, take?”

“Wow, what a naïve thing to ask! No way. The Captain gets twenty five percent and the lieutenant gets fifteen and the sergeant gets ten and we split the other fifty percent.”

“If it’s that well paying what do you have to do to be given a whole day there?”

“What do you have t . . . ? Huh! Jesus! Well, let’s see . . . well now, you have to be fucking the Captain or you have to be the niece or the nephew of the Chief. That’s what you have to do and it’s what my partner and me have done. He’s my brother!”

He kept asking her what would be incriminating questions if he’d been wearing a wire – although that would be close to impossible seeing that all that he had on was a silk robe – and she kept answering them, blithely and nonchalantly, as they ate the rest of their meal and in the course of her answers it became very evident that many hands were allowed to explore many pockets.

When they’d both rejected the extensive selection of cakes and chocolates she gave him a first class Cuban cigar, from the top box of a carton that was full of them and each one held twenty-five – seeing them in such quantity made his eyes open wide because each individual cigar was worth at least thirty dollars – she poured single malt whisky into two glasses and they went out and sat on a balcony that faced the sea.

“I hope you don’t have to be anywhere early tomorrow,” she said, “because it’s getting dark and there’s no way anybody in his or her right mind would even attempt to drive back to the city on that piss-poor dirt road until the sun comes up tomorrow morning.”

“Well, I do have to be somewhere early tomorrow morning but when I compare hurrying back to get to attend that meeting with spending the night here with you there’s no contest.”

“Ha! Right answer.”

They watched the ocean heave and break for a while, in silence, and then:-

“Uh, d’you know something, Brian? You’d never make it as a cop. D’you want to know why I said that? It’s because I let my robe fall open at least three minutes ago and yet you’re still sitting over there practically making love to that cigar!”

“Ooops! I plead guilty, your honor, but with mitigating circumstances because d’you know what? The only thing in this whole world that comes close to being with a woman as attractive as you are is smoking a cigar of this quality while sipping this kind of whisky.”

He saw that his answer had made her mouth tighten up and so, not wanting to get her riled up, he hurried to let his own robe fall open, to reveal an anticipatory half-hardness, and then he made his recliner go back and he laid himself full out on it.

He was sure of his ground regarding that move of his because he’d taken note earlier of her proclivity for using her nose to probe at whatever part of his body came in range of it and, also, that while she’d give in to him whenever Nature overwhelmed him with a need to do some penetrating – she’d sensibly let him turn her onto her back and then push her legs open – and after accepting a half dozen strokes from him she’d wrap her arms around his back and make him turn with her so that she could be on top. When that had happened several times he’d come to realize that she did that to take the initiative away from him and to free up her hips to let them do the thrusting that’s necessary for women who have strong penis-envy to sublimate without having to reveal their deep-core motivation.

Because of his knowing that he was able to come out with, “So chica, how about we try an experiment right this minute? I doubt that it has ever been done before and what I’m talking about is you coming over here and when you’ve recalled my dick to its duty with your mouth you can climb up on top of me and collar it and seeing that I’m already in seventh heaven, with this truly great tobacco and this heaven-inspired single-malt, if you work your hips in the way that I know you can who knows what records we’ll set? The combination of the two best things in the world has got to make for a phenomenal result.”

When they got into her SUV the next morning he was still in shock about what she’d so blatantly admitted to regarding their – the Police Department’s – strangle-hold on the entire city, not to mention their ownership of the magnificent bay and the Hi-rises and the expensive cabanas, so he didn’t say much to her as they went down the drive-way and then, because she had to concentrate on navigating the narrow, pot holed and rickety pathway, he knew enough to keep quiet.

When they were approaching the lay-by that would let them get onto the highway to the city, she pulled over and parked on a shoulder.

She turned to him and said, “You know, I still can’t believe that you can turn me on so strongly. The last time that I felt that much, uh, commotion in my center whenever you touched me was on my sweet sixteen birthday when a really good looking, well built cop, who my father had invited to my party for some reason, asked me for a dance and when I was in his arms on the dance floor I felt his hard-on poking at me every time that he pulled me close to make a turn and I wanted the thing inside me so badly that – well – I had to go and wash up and change my underwear when that dance was over.

“Ha! That was a really long time ago and since then – before I got into your car yesterday that is – no man has ever made me feel that horny. And, to top it all, you’re a fucking gringo no less!”

She looked daggers at him and then, after a minute or so, her expression softened and then took on an urgent, pleading look.

“As I just said, I still can’t believe it, or maybe I don’t want to believe it, so do me a favor please . . . “

She moved her body forward in her seat and then pulled her skirt up all the way and he saw that she wasn’t wearing any panties.

“I know that you like what you see so, if you don’t mind, I want you to feel me up as a kind of test. Please?”

Never in the history of homo sapiens has a man – uh, well, remembering what that guy right at the end of, “The Devil In Miss Jones,” called purgatory, lets change that and say ‘has a normal man’ – refused such an offer and Brian was no exception even though he was thoroughly drained.

He reached over and cupped her pubic hair and then, reverently as always, his middle finger searched for and found her clitoris but the second that it did so she shouted out in pain and flung his hand away.

She did some inventive cursing and then she apologized and told him, “My clit is very sore,” and then she slipped one of her fingers inside herself and reported that her vagina too was hurting.

More cussing and then she made herself calm down and when she’d done so she undid some buttons on her shirt as she told him that she wasn’t wearing a bra either and then asked him if he would be kind enough to reach in and fondle one of her breasts instead.

That’s another request that it is very difficult for any man to turn down especially when you remember that it’s a well known fact that the palms of all men have a marvelous affinity with the underside of the breasts of just about every last woman in the entire world.

When he’d obeyed her order and was weighing and comforting her left one she let out a long sigh of “Aaaaah” and after fifteen seconds or so she pushed his hand away and did up the buttons on her shirt as she said, “It’s true all right. Shit! . . . . .  A fucking Gringo! Who’d have thought it possible? Well, one thing’s for sure, I got to get me some more of this so please tell me your itinerary so that I, uh, that is, we can make a plan that will let us make the most of your visit.”

He told her the truth, which was that he was leaving in the afternoon of the coming Friday.

She thought for a minute and then she asked if he could stay for the weekend and leave on Monday, “That way we’ll be able to spend the entire weekend in bed.”

He was able to trot out several viable reasons why that wouldn’t be possible – it wasn’t a bit difficult for him because they were all true – and so she thought some more and came up with :-

“Well, this is new to me, as I said, but I’m pretty sure that I’ll need a few days to heal up so, uh, why don’t we do this? Today is Tuesday, right? Yes. So how about I come up to your hotel room at, say, seven o’clock on Thursday – am I right in thinking that you’ll have to go to work all day on Thursday? Yes, I thought so and I should too – and we’ll order room service and then we can fuck ourselves to a frazzle all night and all morning and then I’ll drive you to the airport in time for you to catch your plane in the afternoon. Well now, Brian, how does that sound to you?”

He told her that it sounded acceptable to him, as would any other plan that she came up with would have because he’d already decided to never risk seeing her again – he was fairly sure that she’d bring some ‘toys’ with her the next time – and, by extension, to never come back to her country seeing that she probably had some kind of relative in just about every regulatory force that there is.

He went on to say that he was looking forward to it already and, on hearing that, she started up the SUV and drove into the city.

She pulled up behind his rental car and he was so happy and relieved to be getting away from her that had to physically stop himself from flinging the door open and hurtling himself out of there. When his feet were on the sidewalk he tossed a, “So long, see you soon and thanks.” in her direction and started to walk away but she’d have none of that and she called him back and gave him a kiss with a lot of tongue and, yet again, she let out an authentic sounding, “Ooooh,” into his mouth and when she got his answering, “Aaaah,” she withdrew her tongue and told him that she could hardly wait until Thursday, “for more of your Gringo brand of loving.”

 He got into his car and started the engine and then he waited until she’d pulled around him, and had given him a wave as she sped by, and then he switched the engine off and sat there to think it all out.

His mind was a mass of swirling thoughts and the first clear fact that came to him was that she hadn’t given back the hundred dollars that she’d demanded from him. Not even the twenty-five that had come to her free and clear.

He wondered, did that make her a twenty five dollar whore on top of, let’s see: Playing an active role in a despicable con on the general public which made her a criminally dirty cop who was a cancer on society; being callously and obscenely indifferent about her crookedness; being an almost certainly closeted dyke who would have to stay in the closet forever because in her country ordinary, civilian ‘perverts’ are treated very harshly, and with total contempt, so how bad would it be for a uniformed member of the police force  who was also the niece of the Chief of Police?

He used his cell phone to call his airline to make a reservation for Thursday afternoon and, that done, he then cancelled his Friday one.

He looked at his watch and was surprised to see that it was only just after nine o’clock which gave him the rest of that day and all of Wednesday and Thursday morning to use profitably so he called his local technician and arranged a meeting place and he told him that “something had come up” which meant that he’d have to cut his visit one day short and so he should work on setting up a triage on the problems that he needed help with and bring the list with him so that they could get started on it right away.

As he was driving to the agreed-on meeting place he felt good, for the first time, about not having been allowed another extension to his contract.

After his recent, dicey experience he now welcomed having to go back to NYC where the dykes told the world that they were dykes and where the police shake-downs were few and far between, and usually left ordinary workers alone, and none of them left the victim with the nasty taste in the mouth that being exploited by people in authority causes and which is exacerbated no end when you know that there’s no way to fight back.

Two weeks later – almost totally exhausted after being given a series of farewell parties that were all highly memorable – he was sitting in the airport, waiting for his flight to be announced, and he pulled out his cell phone and called the local Telegraph Office and dictated the following message to his boss :-


“Hope you get this stop am pedaling as fast as I can stop will see you tomorrow stop witch doctor took umbrage at your disparaging remark stop advise you stay away from all islands that have rivers on both sides stop Howles”