Lorenzo Marks' Deviant Tales
Lorenzo Marks'Deviant Tales 


A Silent Understanding

By

Lorenzo Marks

 

Copyright Lorenzo Marks 2021

 

Chapter One


 

“Hey, check out the creepy guy!” Fan Fan giggled from the shallow end of the pool.

Stretched out on a sunbed, Charlotte tilted up her sunglasses and said, “My God! Who is that? The village idiot?”

Trudy opened her eyes just in time to spot the large, bespectacled man lumbering into the rose arbor. “Oh, that’s the maintenance guy,” she said vaguely. “He’s been here like, forever, I think. Came with the house or something.”

“Was he staring at us?” asked Charlotte.

“Of course he was dear,” Fan Fan said. “Don’t act so surprised—your bikini is so small you’re practically naked!”

Charlotte reached for her towel and covered herself. “Yeah, but I wasn’t expecting any men to be lurking around this early!”

“Listen to yourself!” Fan Fan chuckled. “You’re paid absurd amounts of money to strut your stuff in front of the cameras, and now you’re afraid of being looked at by one sad old country pervert!”

With that, Fan Fan took a deep breath and dove underwater, her tight Asian butt breaking the surface before slipping from view with hardly a ripple.

Charlotte continued to peer at the rose arbor until a solitary bumble bee hummed past, breaking her concentration. “God, I hate the countryside,” she muttered, lighting a cigarette. “I do understand you have your reasons, Trudy my love, but I couldn’t live way out here in the boondocks.”

“It’s Long Island!” Trudy sighed. “We’re only an hour away from Manhattan!”

“Even so, sweetie,” Charlotte said, blowing a line of smoke into the air. “Are you really sure you’re ready for marriage?”

“We’re only getting engaged for now,” Trudy said.

“Exactly,” Charlotte said. “You are twenty-two years old, absolutely gorgeous, and there is a thousand-mile long queue of handsome men who are desperate to meet you! I think you should be careful before you rush into anything.”

“Please! You’re just jealous!” Trudy laughed.

Charlotte didn’t respond to that and returned her attention to the rose arbor. Trudy sipped her drink and gazed around at the manicured hedges and terraced lawns surrounding the stacked stone, gabled cottage that she might one day be calling home. Charlotte did have a point she supposed, but wealthy, eligible bachelors like Eric Lyons didn’t come along every day. He was a successful Wall Street broker and his parents were old money rich—they had a mansion on the North Shore, for heaven’s sake!

“Do you think that old guy is still looking at us?” Charlotte said. “It’s too dark in there to tell.”

“Who cares?” Trudy said. “He’s harmless enough.”

“I don’t know. He gives me the willies,” Charlotte said.

Fan Fan resurfaced and blew a water spout into the air. “I’m famished! Can we do lunch at that seafood place on the beach?”

Trudy had to smile. Fan Fan was always hungry but there wasn’t an ounce of spare fat on her skinny frame. Charlotte stubbed out her cigarette and said, “That sounds like an excellent idea to me. What time are the guests arriving?”

“Around seven,” Trudy said. “We have plenty of time.”

As they walked across the pool patio, she caught a bright flash out of the corner of her eye and she spun toward the rose arbor. Had that old guy just taken a photo of them? She watched for a short while but there was no movement in there, so she turned and caught up with the other two girls. So what if that sad lecher was ogling them? Fan Fan was right. They were models. They were paid to be looked at. If people didn’t want to look at them, they would be out of a job.

Trudy took one final glance back at the rose arbor, and in spite of the late summer sunshine, goosebumps rose up all over her arms.


 


 

***


 


 

Hank was pretty sure the three girls couldn’t see him through the trellis—he had checked out the light and angles before they had come to the pool—but if they could see him, they might be a little shocked by what he was holding in his hand right now! Anyway, they had surely spotted him going into the arbor, and he assumed that they were talking about him now because the blonde had draped a towel over her long legs and was staring in his direction. Girls liked to gossip, Hank knew. Girls had big mouths.

He watched as the skinny little Asian bitch dipped under the water and frog kicked her way to the deep end. She was wearing a sheer black one piece that contrasted with her pale skin. Hank imagined making her swim up and down naked for him, exhausted and embarrassed, until he gave her permission to stop. The blonde was also flaunting herself in a green bikini that barely covered her private bits. There was more shape to that one, bigger tits and wider hips, and he liked the way she held her cigarette between her pouting lips. The other girl was called Trudy, Master Eric’s new fiancee, and she was dressed a little more modestly in a yellow tank top and cut down denims, but it was clear that she too had a body to die for.

But of course they were all smoking hot. They were New York City fashion models—right here in his garden! Hank continued to stroke himself as the Asian chick emerged from the shallow end again. It looked like they were leaving.

So soon, ladies? I’ve still only got a semi—but even that’s almost seven inches!

He reached into his tool bag and took out his new Nikon camera with telephoto lens. He had told the shop assistant it was for wildlife photography. Right. He fired off a couple of shots of their firm asses and shapely legs as they made their way back to the cottage. Hot girls. Full of self-confidence and pride. The kind of girls that had been way out of Hank’s league even when he was a young man. Even with his overdeveloped manhood, which instead of being a source of manly pride, had become a lifelong reminder of his social inferiority and ineptitude. Hank the horse—the school freak!

Trudy suddenly stopped and turned in his direction.

Damn! Did the flash just go off?

Hank froze and stared at her through the trellis, but after a few seconds she turned and went into the cottage with her friends. Hank put his camera into the bag and then tucked his cock back into his pants. He would get a closer look at Trudy at the party tonight. All three of them were babes but Trudy had something special—she reminded him of that smart mouthed school cheerleader from all those years ago.


 


 

***


 


 

The cottage was packed with guests, most of whom Trudy didn’t even know—an eclectic mix of smooth Wall Street types, glamorous Fashion District people, and wealthy Gold Coast socialites. While they were doing their hospitality rounds, Eric got waylaid by a group of oily looking stockbrokers wearing Brooks Brothers suits, so Trudy took the opportunity to get some fresh air out on the patio.

Over by the pool, looking radiant in their party frocks, were Charlotte and Fan Fan, and Trudy edged through the crowd toward them. The guests had kind of dissolved into their respective cliques now, and Trudy saw that her boss, Anastasia Martin, was holding court nearby. Anastasia, an ex-model herself, was in her early fifties, but still a head turner.

“Trudy, my dear!” she said. “Have you lost your future husband already?”

“Not for long!” Trudy chuckled. “He hardly lets me out of his sight!”

“He’s quite a catch,” Anastasia said. “But honey, please don’t let him talk you into giving up your career just yet, even with all his money. You have so much more to achieve.”

“He has suggested no such thing,” Trudy said. “On the contrary, I think he rather enjoys having a catwalk model for a fiancee!”

“I think the male term for it is arm candy,” said Charlotte, catching Trudy’s eye.

“It works both ways,” Trudy said.

“True, Eric’s not too shabby for a thirty-something,” Charlotte said.

“But more important, he’s rich, rich, rich!” laughed Fan Fan.

“I’m sure our Trudy’s not just in it for the money,” Anastasia said with a sly wink.

“It sure helps, though!” Fan Fan said. “I’d marry an octogenarian if he was a billionaire!”

“Even better!” said Charlotte. “Not so long to wait for the inheritance!”

Trudy tuned out of this inane babble and looked around for a drink. A waiter was standing close by with his back to them and she tapped him on the shoulder.

“Excuse me, can I have a glass of wine—?”

The waiter turned around slowly and peered down at her through his thick tortoiseshell glasses—it was only the maintenance guy who had been watching them by the pool!

“I’m not a waiter,” he said coolly.

“Oh, sorry!” Trudy let out an embarrassed giggle. “It was your white jacket!”

His eyes dropped down to Trudy’s breasts and then he said, “I was invited.”

“That’s right, you’re the handyman, um—?”

“Hank—and I’m actually the maintenance man.”

“Right. Hank, the maintenance man. I’m Trudy and I—”

“I know who you are,” Hank said. “You’re engaged to Master Eric and this is your party.”

“Uh, yes it is.” Trudy glanced at Fan Fan who was pulling one of her silly faces.

Hank said, “I’ve lived here for thirty years, you know.”

“Where?” asked Charlotte. “In the rose arbor?”

Fan Fan giggled and Trudy couldn’t stop herself from smiling either.

“No,” Hank said. “The guest house at the end of the garden.”

Trudy hadn’t ventured that far down the grounds and she didn’t think she was ever likely to now. She smiled, “Well, I’m very sorry for the mistake—”

“You should come take a look some time,” Hank said directly to Trudy. “It’s nice there. Very secluded.”

Fan Fan snorted champagne out of her nostrils and had to turn away.

Hank glared at her. “Something funny?”

“She’s just a little drunk,” Trudy said, but she saw that Fan Fan’s shoulders were shaking and now Charlotte had the giggles too.

Hank returned his attention to Trudy. “Your friends are rude.”

Trudy was also losing her composure now and she pressed the back of her hand to her lips. “Yes, they really are—I apologize for them!”

Hank’s laser eyes kept boring into her as he said, “Were you a cheerleader by any chance?”

“What?”

“In high school?”

Trudy glanced at Charlotte who was still struggling to keep a straight face.

“Um, as a matter of fact, I was.”

Hank nodded. “I figured as much.”

Charlotte looked about to say something catty, but Anastasia, who had been briefly sidetracked by a nearby couple, pivoted around and said, “Girls, there are some people here that I absolutely want you to meet!”

She gave Hank a curt glance and took Trudy by the arm. “Excuse me.”

Anastasia guided her three beautiful models across the patio and through the French doors to a stylish group of fashion industry acquaintances who gushingly congratulated Trudy on both her engagement and her budding career. Trudy smiled politely, took a glass of wine from a passing waiter, and drank it down in one. She looked back toward the pool, but Hank was already gone. There had been something disquieting about the way he had singled her out and invited her to visit him in the guest house. She flagged down the waiter again, put her empty glass on his tray, and took a fresh one.

When she turned around she was looking straight into the eyes of Blake Schroeder who flashed her a perfect set of laser-whitened teeth which were accentuated by his fake tan and designer stubble beard. Blake was one of Eric’s work colleagues and he never missed an opportunity to send out crude signals that he very much wanted to get into Trudy’s pants—the feeling wasn’t mutual.

“Trudy! My congratulations!” Blake leaned in and Trudy stiffened as she took his friendly hug. “Let me say as one of Eric’s closest friends that you are going to make him the happiest trader on Wall Street.”

The hug lasted a fraction of a second too long, and Trudy pulled away first with Blake’s stubble lightly scraping her cheek and the overpowering scent of his Paco Rabanne lingering in her nostrils.

Keeping a light hold on Trudy’s wrist, Blake said, “I’ve invited you and Eric to a barbecue at our summer house in the Hamptons next week. I really hope you can make it.”

“That would be up to Anastasia,” Trudy said. “She manages my diary.”

Blake looked at Anastasia as if noticing her for the first time. Anastasia said, “Anastasia Martin. Trudy’s agent. We met at the fundraiser in Queens last month.”

“Oh, right,” Blake said, now also checking out Charlotte and Fan Fan.

“Your wife was with you,” Anastasia reminded him. “What was her name?”

“Jacklyn,” Blake said flatly.

Charlotte glanced at the wedding ring on his hand that was still resting on Trudy’s wrist. “I take it you are still married?”

Blake frowned at her. “Of course.”

“Is she here tonight?”

“Yes, she’s—”

“Maybe you should go check up on her,” Anastasia said. “She’s a very attractive lady, and you know what these Wall Street wolves are like.”

Blake slipped his hand off Trudy’s wrist and gave Anastasia a cool smile. Then he patted Trudy on the arm, and said, “I do hope you can make it. Congratulations again.”

He gave the others a cursory nod and then slipped into the crowd.

Charlotte blew hard out of her mouth. “Jeez! Did you small that cologne? What is going on here tonight?”

“Trudy is a creep magnet!” Fan Fan giggled.

“Don’t worry, Trudy dear,” Anastasia smiled. “I’ll always take care of you.”

Trudy raised her wine glass to her lips but it was already empty. She was about to flag down another when her phone rang. The number wasn’t on her contact list, but she had a gut feeling she already knew who this was.

“Excuse me,” she said. “I had better take this.”

As she skirted the pool, she pressed the receive icon.

A familiar voice said, “Hey, baby. I really got to see you now—I’m in big trouble!”

Trudy’s heart skipped a beat.

Mitch!

Chapter Two


 

“How did you get this number?” Trudy hissed.

“I’ll always be able to find you, baby,” Mitch said. “You know that.”

Trudy walked into the shadows on the lawn. “What the hell do you want?”

“You mean other than getting you back?”

“Jesus, Mitch! I’m at my engagement party!”

“I know. You’ve moved on. I only wish I could.”

“I thought you understood this—it’s over!” Trudy said. “Now tell me what this is about or I’m hanging up!”

“I told you,” Mitch said. “I’m in trouble. I need your help.”

Trudy knew she should have ended the call right then, but she said, “What kind of trouble?”

“The usual.”

“Gambling?”

“And drugs.”

“Christ, Mitch! I thought you were over that?”

“I was, but I slipped. I met some bad people. Really bad—and now I don’t know what to do.”

Trudy leaned up against the rose arbor. “You have no right calling me like this. I have a new life now.”

“I know,” Mitch moaned. “I just didn’t know who else to call. Trudy, if I don’t come up with the money—they’re going to kill me!”

“Jesus, Mitch! I’ve helped you out so many times before. This isn’t fair!”

“Just this one last time,” Mitch said. “I promise I will never bother you again.”

“That’s what you said the last time. I shouldn’t even be talking to you. If anyone were to even hear this conversation—”

“Come on, Trudy. For old times’ sake. Then I’m out of your life forever.”

“How can I be sure of that?”

“How about I come see you in person?”

“What are you talking about?”

“I could go to your party tonight.”

“You don’t even know where I am.”

“You’re at Lyons Cottage, Lobster Cove, Long Island.”

Trudy’s stomach knotted. “How do you know that?”

“Ah, you forget I have been in the fashion industry a lot longer than you. I still have plenty of contacts.”

Trudy swallowed. “Where exactly are you now?”

“I’m staying at the, uh, just a moment, the King’s Tavern.”

“You’re in Lobster Cove now?”

“Yeah, just down the road from your party. I can be there in ten minutes.”

“Are you insane? Half of the guests here are from the fashion business. You’d be recognized in seconds! Charlotte, Fan Fan and Anastasia are here!”

“That would be awkward for you, huh?” Mitch said.

“Are you blackmailing me?”

“Blackmail? Me? Come on, Trudy. This is your ex-boyfriend asking for one last favor.”

“Look, just stay where you are. Don’t even think about coming to the cottage if you want me to help you. I’ll come to you.”

“That’s great! When?”

“Let me think a moment. Okay, Eric has to go to a meeting in the city tomorrow. I’ll meet you at the King’s Tavern at two.”

“Thank you, Trudy,” Mitch said. “I knew you’d—”

Trudy pressed the disconnect icon and took a deep breath. After taking a moment to compose herself, she put on her best catwalk face, and headed back to the patio, intent upon enjoying the rest of her party. She would deal with Mitch tomorrow and then close that chapter of her life once and for all.


 


 

***


 


 

Inside the rose arbor, Hank held his breath and stood stock-still. Trudy Beach was standing not more than a yard away from him! As he listened to her end of the phone conversation, his curiosity quickly turned to excitement. The beautiful bitch had a problem! Her cool, smartass persona had suddenly slipped here in the shadows away from her glamorous friends. It seemed that there was somebody else in Miss Perfect’s life—and from the anxious tone in her voice, she wanted to keep him a secret. An ex-lover from the sound of it. Somebody she still cared about, perhaps?

Hank concentrated on every word Trudy said, hoping to pick up something that he might be able to use against her. Over the many years since his great high school humiliation, Hank had given up on joining life’s social party, choosing to remain single rather than risk that terrible rejection again. Besides, the only type of women he would have been likely to attract were of no interest to him—Hank only wanted the hot ones. Like Trudy Beach. His reclusive lifestyle, combined with his social and physical clumsiness, gave people the impression he was stupid and harmless. That was a mistake. And it gave him an advantage. When Trudy and her condescending friends had mocked him earlier, they had merely added fuel to a simmering fire.

A waiter indeed! Okay, Miss Trudy, you keep on talking to your loverboy. Keep flapping those pretty gums and see if they can’t get you into trouble. Girls love to talk, don’t they? Always got their fucking mouths open!

The stuck-up bitch in high school was called Sandy Melrose. She was the girl every boy had a hard-on for, totally out of Hank’s league. So when she had approached him unexpectedly during one recess, Hank should have smelled a rat. In fact, he did smell a rat but when you are young and full of testosterone, and the prettiest chick in school is paying you compliments, male ego and vanity trumps common sense every time. Hank couldn’t believe that Sandy was interested in him. He knew she was dating one of the football jocks. But there she was, asking him to show her what he was packing. How could he possibly have refused?

Hank shook himself back to the present. Trudy had just mentioned blackmail. Hank had learned a lot about that subject as he had grown older. He heard Trudy arrange a meeting for two o’clock the following afternoon at the King’s Tavern in town. Hank knew the receptionist there very well—he had taught her all about blackmail. This was a glorious opportunity. Hank would be there for this meeting, and maybe, if he was lucky, he might get to teach Trudy Beach something about blackmail too.


 


 

***


 


 

Trudy decided to walk into downtown Lobster Cove. It was only fifteen minutes and she needed the time to gather her thoughts. She also needed to go to the bank. It was a beautiful morning and noisy gulls circled over the Long Island Sound, American flags flew outside clapboard shops and restaurants, and expensive SUVs were parked along main street. This was where the old money rich lived and Trudy was about to enter their world. Not bad for a working-class girl from Baltimore—and she had no intention of allowing Mitch to fuck it up.

After making her withdrawal from the bank, Trudy turned into the little lane that led to the King’s Tavern. She still couldn’t believe that Mitch had actually checked in there, but his head was so scrambled these days that anything was possible. What she needed to do was get him out of there today, whatever the expense to herself.

Even though she was still relatively unknown in Lobster Cove, Trudy was relieved to see that the lobby was deserted. To the left, a small restaurant overlooked the bay, and slouched in a corner booth was Mitch. He looked terrible. It was hard to believe that she had once been in love with him. Now she just felt pity.

Trudy slid into the seat opposite and said, “This is the last time, Mitch. I mean it.”

“Not even a hello, how are you doing?” Mitch said.

Trudy looked at the glass in front of him. “Are you drunk already?”

“Couldn’t sleep,” Mitch said. “I’m scared, baby.”

“I’m not your baby anymore,” Trudy said. “Let’s get this over with.”

She reached into her bag, but Mitch said, “Not here. Let’s go to my room.”

Trudy frowned. “I hope you’re not planning anything stupid. I have pepper spray.”

“No, I just don’t want anyone to see us. I told you there are some dangerous people after me. I don’t want to get you involved any more than you are.”

Trudy leaned forward and showed him the ring on her finger. “I’m not involved with you at all, Mitch. I’m engaged to be married.”

“Right,” Mitch said bitterly. “And I wish you a lifetime of happiness.”

He raised his glass and then drained it in one. “Shall we?”

Trudy hesitated a moment and then followed Mitch across the lobby to the stairs. A worn out receptionist looked up at them, and Trudy said, “I’m with him.”

The receptionist said nothing, but her look made Trudy feel cheap and dirty. She needed to get this done and get the hell out of here.

Mitch’s room was on the second floor, and as he swiped the key card, he grinned at Trudy. “Just like old times, huh?”

“No, Mitch,” Trudy said. “Not like old times at all.”

The room was a mess. Bottles strewn on the floor, a half line of coke on the coffee table. Mitch sat on the bed but Trudy went over to the window and pulled the drapes. Sunlight streamed in and she looked out at the sparkling ocean.

“So I withdrew cash,” she said. “Just as you insisted. You said these sorts of people only deal in cash, right?”

A low rasping voice said, “Oh, people like us love cash, Trudy. Cash is always king!”

Trudy swiveled around and found herself staring into the darkest, meanest eyes she had ever seen in her young life!


 


 

***


 


 

Hank sat on a bench in the park opposite the King’s Tavern and checked his watch. Twenty before two. He had been waiting here since one. Master Eric had departed for the city at nine that morning, and Hank had watched Trudy see her fiance off. He knew that she had no transportation of her own out here, so she would either take a cab or walk. He had considered waiting and following her but decided that would be too risky.

Now he took his Nikon camera out of his jacket pocket and focused on the lobby entrance. All quiet. He was just about to lower the camera when he noticed a man standing on a balcony above the lobby. Hank zoomed in on the man’s face and watched as he lit a cigarette and glanced up and down the main road.

During his time in the Marines, Hank had encountered many hard men, and he recognized the look of a killer in this man’s eyes. But this guy wasn’t military and he didn’t look like a cop. He looked like a gangster. What had this Mitch guy told Trudy on the phone? That he was in trouble with some bad people. Well, it looked as though the bad people were already here in Lobster Cove. And now Trudy was coming to help her ex-lover out. Hank’s pulse quickened as he ran through the implications. It would seem that Trudy’s life was going to become somewhat complicated in the next hour or so. The badass on the balcony blew out a puff of smoke and went back inside.

Ten minutes later the young lady herself walked up the steps to the lobby. She was wearing jeans, a short brown jacket, and three-inch heels. If it hadn’t been the elegant way she walked, she might even have been taken as a hooker. Hank watched her turn left toward the hotel restaurant and she disappeared from view.

Now what? He weighed his options and decided to wait. If Trudy and Mitch conducted their business in the restaurant then he was screwed, but there wasn’t much he could do about that. He glanced up at the balcony again and decided to wait. Something else was going on here, he was certain. Sure enough, a few minutes later Trudy followed a long-haired man past reception toward the staircase. Hank waited until they had climbed the stairs and then he crossed the street and entered the lobby.

Abby Connors was on duty behind the desk and a look of panic passed over her face as Hank approached the desk. At forty-five, Abby was still a good-looking woman and had kept her shape well. Hank had seen and touched every inch of Abby’s naked body and also had hours of video tape of her in a variety of compromising positions. Abby was happily married with two kids but that would all come to an end should Hank ever decide to release those pornographic tapes.

“Hello Abby,” Hank said.

“H-Hank, what are you doing here?”

“The guy who just walked past here. Which room is he staying in?”

Abby glanced nervously toward the manager’s office. “I, uh, I’m not supposed to say—”

Hank leaned over the counter and said, “Do you really want to go down this route with me, Abby?”

Abby paused and then said, “Room nine.”

“Okay, is there anybody next door to room nine?”

Abby glanced at her monitor and shook her head.

Hank put out his large hand. “Key card. Hurry up before anyone sees.”

Abby quickly handed Hank a white plastic card with a gold number eight on it.

“Well done, Abby. Maybe we can get together again sometime soon. I have some new toys I’m sure you’d enjoy.”

Hank winked at the trembling receptionist and headed for the stairs. The first-floor landing was empty and Hank walked to number eight as quietly as his large frame would allow. The King’s Tavern was an upscale antique hotel that had been refurbished in its original eighteenth century style. Because the structure was so old, the walls were thin and Hank drew up a chair and pressed his ear to the wooden panels. He couldn’t make out the words but he could decipher three voices next door—two men and one woman.

Chapter Three


 

“My name is Vincent. Your boyfriend here owes me a lot of money. Take a seat.”

To make Trudy’s decision easier, Vincent was pointing a gun at her. Trudy sat on the edge of the bed, staring down the barrel of the gun.

“Look at me, Trudy,” Vincent said.

Trudy reluctantly looked up into those hard, black eyes and said, “Please don’t hurt me.”

Vincent smiled at her and took a seat. “Nothing is going to happen to you, Trudy, as long as you do as you are told. Your scumbag boyfriend over there? Now that’s a different thing. Him, I’d like to hurt.”

Trudy looked across at Mitch who was slumped on a sofa staring at the floor.

“I’m sorry, baby,” Mitch said. “This wasn’t part of my plan.”

Vincent said, “No shit. Tell me Trudy, how in the hell did a class piece of ass like you get involved with a dumbfuck like this? It’s okay, you can talk to me.”

“H-He’s not my boyfriend anymore,” Trudy mumbled.

“Yeah, I know that,” Vincent said. “You’re marrying up, huh? Big time. Good for you, girl!”

Trudy didn’t respond. Her mouth was dry and her heart was pounding. How could Mitch have set her up like this?

Reading her mind, Vincent said, “It is true however that your loser ex-boyfriend didn’t know I was going to accompany him here. But the spineless fuck did tell me he was going to get you to help him, so the rest of it was easy to figure out. The question you want to ask though, is why am I here and what do I want from you, right?”

Trudy nodded numbly.

“Okay, so here’s the thing,” Vincent said. “Mitch asked you to bring cash to get him out of a bind, and I assume it’s all there in your purse, right?”

Trudy nodded again.

“And I’m betting you told him that this would be the last time you’re gonna help him out, right? Just this one last time?”

Trudy looked over at Mitch again and whispered, “Yes, the very last time.”

“Okay, so here’s my problem,” Vincent said. “I’m a businessman, and I know your ex-lover very well. I know he was once a hotshot fashion photographer, but now he’s also a junkie, an alcoholic, and a degenerate gambler. The cash in your bag will clear his debts today, but I know—I fucking know!—that he will be back in the hole with us sometime soon. Now under any other circumstances, I wouldn’t deal with this low life again, but now I’m looking at you and I see a girl that’s marrying into money, and I’m thinking to myself, here’s an opportunity, so why not?”

Trudy’s eyes grew wide. “W-What do you mean?”

“I told you, I’m all business. So now I’m thinking insurance. A guarantee that I will get paid the next time fucko over there comes crawling back to me. And you honey, are going to be my insurance.”

“I-I don’t understand,” Trudy said.

“It’s pretty simple sweetheart, and it works like this. I get something on you, something you need to keep real quiet. Then I extend your shithead ex-boyfriend some more credit—which he will take—but now I know that he has the collateral to pay up. Meaning you, Trudy.”

“I-I still don’t get—”

“It’s called blackmail, Trudy. Or extortion. Or whatever you want to call it,” Vincent said.

“Blackmail? How—?” Trudy said.

“Oh, that’s the easy part. I just get a whole bunch of pictures of you fucking your boyfriend—after your engagement party.” Vincent tossed a copy of the New York Times onto the bed.

“That’s insane!” Trudy said. “Why would I even do that?”

Vincent waved the gun. “Maybe this?”

“You wouldn’t shoot me here!” Trudy said.

“You’re a smart girl,” said Vincent. “And brave too. You’re right. It would make no sense for me to pop you here if you disobey me. But here’s what I will do. You see this long cylinder here on my gun? It’s called a silencer. Nobody downstairs will hear the shot when I waste your worthless boyfriend over there. Now you will notice that I am wearing latex gloves. This means that none of my fingerprints will show up in this room. After I render you unconscious, however, yours will be all over the murder weapon—in fact you will be holding it when the cops arrive.”

Trudy shook her head incredulously. “You’re not serious?”

“Take a look at me, honey. Do I look serious? Now first, toss me over that nice stack of cash you brought.”

Unable to believe this was actually happening, Trudy did as she was told. Vincent flicked through the bundles of bank notes and then slipped them into his jacket pockets.

“That’s a good girl,” Vincent nodded. “Now I want you to get undressed.”

“Y-You said you wouldn’t hurt me!” Trudy said.

“And I most certainly will not,” Vincent said, producing a camera from his pocket. “This is just business, nothing more. Now take off your fucking clothes!”

“What if I say no?” Trudy said.

“Then I kill your miserable ex, frame you for a murder of passion, and destroy the rest of your life.”

“But if you do that, you get nothing more from me.”

“So what?” Vincent shrugged. “Either I potentially make a shitload of money out of you, or I walk away with nothing. You think this is the only business I got to do today?”

“You could just walk away and forget about us.”

Vincent sighed. “Trudy, you are a beautiful young girl and you live in a glittering and wonderful world. You have never met a person like me, and you’d better hope I’m the only one you ever do. I destroy people’s lives every day. It’s what I do. Now, you can get through this with your reputation intact, and keep your precious uptown marriage and your cushy modeling career—but if you want that, you are really going to have to take off your clothes right now.”

Vincent pointed the gun at Mitch, who put his head in his hands and groaned. But still Trudy couldn’t bring herself to move. Her body seemed frozen.

Vincent checked his watch and said, “I really don’t want to hang around here any longer than I have to, so I’m going to count to three. After that, if you haven’t started to strip, our deal is off the table. One, two—”

“Stop!”

Trudy was already standing before she realized it. She drew a deep breath and shrugged off her jacket. Avoiding Vincent’s eyes, she stepped out of her shoes and then fumbled at the button of her jeans with trembling fingers. As she pulled down the zipper, she heard Mitch say, “Please Vincent, this isn’t necessary!”

“Shut your fucking mouth!” Vincent said. “This young lady is saving your life.”

Holding back a sob, Trudy rolled the jeans down her legs and then bent forward to pull them off her ankles. She straightened up and took hold of the hem of her shirt and then pulled it over her head. She hesitated then, holding the shirt in front of her.

“I said everything,” Vincent said.

Trudy dropped the shirt and looked up at the ceiling as she unhooked her bra. As the cups dropped away, she clamped one arm across her breasts and then worked her panties down to the floor. She remained like that, holding the bra against her chest with her legs crossed, and stared at the floor.

Vincent said, “Lose the bra and lie on the bed.”

“W-What?”

“You heard me. These pictures have to look convincing. So get on the bed.”

Feeling a little faint, Trudy allowed her bra to join the pile of clothes on the floor, and then, wearing nothing more than her wristwatch and earrings, she slid up the bed as far away from Vincent and his gun as possible.

“Now it’s your turn, shithead,” Vincent said.

“Please don’t do this,” Mitch said.

“What are you crying about?” Vincent said. “You get to nail your girl one last time and better yet, you get to live to tell the tale!”

Trudy looked away as Mitch undressed. She had been naked with him many times before, but never with a complete stranger watching. Vincent waved the gun, and Mitch climbed onto the bed next to Trudy. Their thighs touched and Trudy jerked away.

Vincent picked up the New York Times and arranged it on the bed so the date was visible. It occurred to Trudy that if these photos should ever surface, it would be quite evident that they had been prearranged. But would that matter to Eric if he saw them on the internet? No doubt Vincent would make sure they reached the tabloid press too. The upscale Lyons family would drop her like a hot brick!

“Okay, lovebirds,” Vincent said. “You’ve done this together before, so let’s see some action.”

Neither of them moved, so Vincent said, “Alright, if I have to spell it out, turn towards each other and start kissing—and I want to see tongues!”

As Vincent’s camera began to click away, Trudy and Mitch touched lips as awkwardly as a pair of teenagers on a first date. Trudy heard Vincent let out an impatient sigh. She knew what he needed and she had slept with Mitch many times before, but now her body refused to respond.

“Okay, let’s do this by the numbers,” Vincent said. “And don’t fuck with me because I’m this close to putting a bullet into meathead here and being done with the both of you. Trudy, stick your tongue into Mitch’s mouth and grab a hold of his cock—now!”

With a whimper, Trudy did as she was told. Mitch was limp, which was hardly surprising given there was a gun pointed at his head. As painful as this was, Trudy understood that the quicker they gave this gangster what he wanted, the sooner they could get out of here. She squeezed Mitch’s penis a little harder and worked her tongue deeper into his mouth. After a minute, she felt Mitch’s dick hardening beneath her fingers.

“There you go,” Vincent said. “Just like old times, huh? Now Trudy, I want you to go down on Mitch.”

Trudy looked up at him in horror. “I-I can’t!”

“Sure you can. It won’t be the first time, will it?”

This horrible guy was relentless! All Trudy could do was try to pretend that Vincent wasn’t standing there watching. With a sob, she lowered her head and took Mitch’s semi-erect penis into her mouth. As she worked her lips up and down his shaft, she couldn’t believe she was actually performing oral sex on her ex-boyfriend again! She was supposed to be done with him! She was engaged to be married to Eric now! A part of her wished she had the guts to just let this vicious criminal kill Mitch and he would be out of her life forever—but of course she would then be framed for his murder so that wasn’t even an option.

Mitch’s penis grew harder inside her mouth and she heard him let out a little groan. She pulled herself off and caught her breath. Maybe, she thought, Vincent had enough footage now. She was wrong.

“Keep going honey,” Vincent said. “Looks like you give pretty good head. It’s not easy to give a junkie a hard on like that! Now finish the job.”

Trudy glanced at him. “W-What—?”

“Make him come in your mouth—and make it look good because I’m videoing this part.”

Trudy closed her eyes and took Mitch’s cock between her lips again. She had done this with him before, back in the days when she wanted to please him. Now she was doing it because she had no choice—and in front of a camera! Accepting that she had no way out of this, she went to work in earnest, using her tongue and lips to tease Mitch to orgasm. As he came into her mouth, she jerked back up onto her knees. Vincent was standing right in front of her, and he said, “Open your mouth and show it to the camera.”

Feeling like a filthy whore, Trudy did as she was told, displaying Mitch’s cum on her tongue as Vincent zoomed in on her face. Then Vincent moved around and focused on Mitch before getting a final close-up of the date on the newspaper.

He lowered the camera and said, “Good job, Trudy. You looked just like a porn star! I don’t expect your fiance or your modeling pals would be too impressed though. Anyway, I’m done here. But first I need you to do one more thing for me.”

Trudy spat Mitch’s semen onto the floor and wrapped her arm around her breasts as Vincent produced a glass vial and proceeded to lay out several lines of coke onto the bedside table. He offered Trudy a five-dollar bill and said, “Go ahead, sweetie—enjoy!”

Trudy looked at the white powder and mumbled, “I never tried—”

“Seriously? With your lifestyle? I’m impressed. But as far as this movie is concerned, you’re going to be portrayed as a dopehead, just like your ex-boyfriend here.” He handed the bill to Mitch. “Show her how it’s done.”

Avoiding Trudy’s eyes, Mitch crouched by the bedside table and snorted a line through the rolled-up bill. Then he handed it to Trudy.

“Can’t I just pretend?” she pleaded.

“Come on honey, we’re almost done,” Vincent said. “Don’t fuck it up now.”

With shaking fingers, Trudy copied Mitch. She pinched her nostrils and wiped her eyes but didn’t really feel any different. Vincent made them take another line each while he filmed, then he said, “Get back on the bed, lovers. One last job for you.”

He went over to the mini bar and retrieved a bottle of vodka which he handed to Mitch. Then he reached into his jacket pocket again, and for an irrational moment, Trudy thought he was going to kill them after all. Instead, he handed them each a brown pill and said, “Take these and wash them down with the booze.”

Mitch went first, and then Trudy popped the pill into her mouth and took a swig of neat vodka. She retched and tears rolled down her cheeks but she managed to keep it all down.

“You did well, Trudy,” Vincent said. “You’re a good girl and you deserve to be free of this fuck-up. I’m going to leave now but I want you both to stay exactly where you are for another ten minutes until I’m clear.” He reached forward and wiped Trudy’s cheek with his thumb. “I’m sure we will meet again.”

After Vincent had closed the door behind him, Mitch touched Trudy’s shoulder but she pulled away from him. “Don’t!”

“Baby, I’m so sorry,” Mitch said. “I had no idea—”

“Go to hell! I should never have agreed to help you!” Trudy said, sitting up. She wanted to put her clothes back on, but her head was swimming.

She looked at Mitch who was slumped against the headboard with his eyes closed.

“Go and fetch my clothes, you bastard!” she said, but her voice sounded strangely detached and she was having trouble focusing.

“Okay,” Mitch slurred. “Just give me a moment. I need to rest.”

Trudy swatted weakly at his arm, but now her eyes were shut too, and she felt as though she were floating just above the sheets. She sunk back into the pillow, and as the darkness closed in around her, she thought she heard the door opening again.


 


 

***


 


 

Hank heard the door close and waited until the sound of footsteps had receded down the stairs. There was no sound from next door so he crept out into the passageway and went to the window overlooking the street. Hank watched the gangster cross the road, get into his car, and pull away. Then he returned to room nine and pressed his ear against the door. Total silence.

He tried the handle and pushed the door to. Trudy and Mitch were asleep on the bed—naked. His heart racing with excitement, Hank crept inside and checked the bathroom. Then he locked the door and tiptoed to the bed.

Trudy was on her side, her arm draped over Mitch’s stomach, inches from his erect cock—average American male, five and a half inches, Hank noted. Pathetic. Keeping his breathing shallow, he allowed his eyes to roam over Trudy’s naked form for a moment. She was indeed perfect. After a while, he began to relax a little. The nude couple were breathing so deeply he was certain that they had been drugged.

He moved around to the bedside table, lingering a while to examine Trudy’s gorgeous ass, and then he inspected the contents of the table—some lines of coke, a bottle of vodka, and today’s New York Times. This was too perfect! He had been praying for a half chance to blackmail this uppity bitch, only to discover that it had already been set up for him!

Hank went to the piles of clothing on the floor and located their wallets and phones. He spent a few minutes recording their personal information, then he returned to the bed and watched for a moment longer. Satisfied that they were completely out of it, he reached down and gently took Trudy’s wrist. She let out a sigh and fluttered her lashes but her eyes remained closed as Hank tentatively wrapped Trudy’s fingers around Mitch’s cock. Still no reaction from either of them.

Then he took out his Nikon camera and got to work.

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