by Julian Coreto
Of Fevers and Time
It was a straightforward operation, and nearly well executed, which made the death at the end of it come as a complete shock. It started out simple; it became complicated, as all things seem to do.
Alan and Karick rendezvoused with the waiting surveillance teams shortly before noon. The car bringing Jack and Anne-Marie was about an hour behind, but that didn’t matter too much, as this was certainly not a daylight mission.
The Abbot and Michiko were practicing their moves in a small clearing in the nearby woods, and Peter and the rest of the paramilitaries were stripping, oiling, and checking their weapons. No more dawdling; they were moving this night.
After Jack arrived they all formed in a circle and had a mission briefing. The Abbot spoke to them about the Stone, and what precautions they should take if the encountered it, then Karick ran through the lay of the land and the blueline plans of the house, then moved on to describe once again the security, both technological and human.
They spent the rest of the afternoon in the public woods adjacent to the estate, drilling. They were to be split up into three groups. Michiko would lead Team A, Jack was in charge of Team B. Alan was on Team C with Karick, led by the Abbot. He wasn’t at all insulted by the fact that he wasn’t one of the leaders; as the youngest and least experienced he knew that he was a follower in this company. When they broke for dinner Michiko slipped off and made a quick reconnaissance into the grounds of the estate.
“Keep that away from us,” Jack called out as she returned. Nestled in her arms was a silver sphere, about the size of a basketball.
“I think it’s a decoy,” she said, her pace not slowing.
“What makes you think that?” Alan asked, edging away from her.
She tossed it to him, and on reflex, with consequences forgotten, he caught it. The orb was surprisingly light. He ran his palm over the metallic surface, and his fingers quivered, though not as much as they should have if this was a true copy of a true Orb. Neil took it from him and walked it back to the van. With his expertise in metallurgy and archaeology he gave it a once over, and then tested it with the gear in the van.
“Silver plate, if you believe the equipment, jacketed over an aluminium core.” he stated with a chuckle.
Jack was not as amused. “Mr. Swindon-Smythe!”
Neil gulped. He recognized the professorial tone. “Yes, Professor?”
“What conclusions can the class draw from these data?” Jack asked, gesturing to the open laptop screen.
“Well, sir, it was my understanding when I was in Thornbow’s employment, that the supply of Orb silver was limited. One possibility is that the spheres on the pedestals scattered over the grounds are decoys; perhaps some are silver plated and some are pure.”
“We will proceed with caution,” Massimo pronounced gravely.
Since it was summer, night did not begin to fall until after eight. By nine the sky was dark enough for them to begin their assault on Bankington Hall. The three groups moved into their starting positions, from three different approaches into the estate. Alan’s group was coming in from the woods that fringed the south of Thornbow’s land. The woods were a public thoroughfare, making them difficult for Thornbow to have fully secured; Jack’s group was coming in through the east gate, or to be more precise, over the high stone wall just north of it. Michiko’s group, the first to go in, would also be using the wooded approach that Alan’s group was forming in, just from a different part of it.
Alan checked the pockets of his black jumpsuit for the nth time since he had donned it an hour ago. All his gear was in place. In the rear pocket at the small of his back he felt the small handgun through the material.
Having never fired—or for that matter, touched—a firearm until a few weeks ago, he hoped he would not have to use it, or even remove it from its pocket. The bud in his ear crackled; Anne-Marie informed them that Team A had moved in. Two minutes later the Abbot’s Team C, and Jack’s Team B would start.
Two minutes passed, and the go signal from Michiko’s team did not come. Alan wiped his sweaty palms against the fabric of his jumpsuit, and then fiddled with the black balaclava, combing his hair with his fingers, tucking all his hair under it. His foot was tapping an impatient staccato rhythm on the forest ground.
“You nervous?” Karick asked.
“A little,” Alan replied.
“You should be worried a lot, so consider yourself ahead of the game,” he answered grimly. Just as he was about to say more Anne-Marie came on the air.
“Teams B and C, move out,” she broadcasted. Michiko and her bunch had taken the security center. It was time to go.
“You don’t know who I am, do you?”
Thornbow squirmed in his seat, almost as upset by the thought of what the duct tape was doing to the upholstery of his Louis Quatorze armchair as he was by the fact that he was bound to it at the wrists and ankles. “No,” he sneered at the stranger, a man he was quite sure he had never once before laid eyes upon.
“My name,” said Jack, “Is Jacob Theodore Lazarus.”
Alistair Thornbow belied no reaction to this bit of intelligence; Jack expected none.
“My name before it was Jacob Theodore Lazarus was Jean-Pierre Massimo.”
This time Thornbow was thunderstruck. “How is that—It can’t be—you’re lying!”
“Brother,” Jack continued acidly, “You know of what I am capable, do you not?”
Thornbow nodded, defeat evident in his face.
“Two years, brother. Two years you stalked me, haunted my steps. Because you wanted what you can never have. Decades you have desired it, for almost all that time believing it to be myth, a legend unworthy of a child’s fantasy. Five years ago, in this very room—I remember it was like yesterday—you showed me the talisman. A small Mesopotamian idol of tarnished silver. Just being in the same room with your collection’s latest acquisition knocked the wind from my sails. That fateful day when you began to form the slightest of notions about my nature. Suspicions. Yes, you were suspicious of me for years, but the happenstance of my dizzy spell in the presence of your new trinket ignited the evil scheme within you. And so, you came at me, and to your bitter disappointment, you had me killed. Or so you thought, at any rate. And then, and then you turned your attentions you this young man,” he spat, gesturing at Alan. “You almost killed him. Twice.”
“What do you want, Jack?” Thornbow snarled.
“You know exactly what I want.”
“So, you mean to do murder?”
“Killing you,” Massimo said, “Is the last thing I can afford.”
Thornbow slumped in his chair, relieved he would be spared. “Then why? Then what?”
“Anne-Marie,” Jack said into his radio microphone built into his sleeve, “Please signal the Abbot to join us in the office.”
The new intruder was another stranger as far as Thornbow was concerned, though seeing that the middle-aged Englishman standing before him was his octogenarian Swiss step-brother, for all he knew this Japanese monk was in fact Churchill.
“Allow me to introduce you to the Abbot. No first name, no surname, I’m afraid. He must become nameless to head his order, a tradition, you know. As a rule, people fear what they cannot name, Alistair, and though I have found this chap to be most delightful company, it is, nevertheless, a rule you should heed.
“You have something of his,” Jack concluded.
“And if I give it, you’ll leave?” Thornbow asked.
“Where is it?” the Abbot asked.
“You must promise—”
“I am a man of honor, Mr. Thornbow.”
Thornbow closed his eyes and sighed. He was coming to the realization that defeat was now inevitable. “I don’t know where it is.”
Jack scanned his mind, and was surprised to see he was telling the truth. An ingenious plan, really: Lord Thornbow had over forty people in his employ or confidence. To conceal the stone he had sent a memo to each member of his staff. They had gathered in his ballroom, the stone at the center of the long dining table. After their boss had excused himself each employee drew a lot from a basket. The “winner” was to take the stone out of the estate and secure it, with none of the others knowing who had taken it, or where it had been placed.
For Jack this was another complication. Now they had to lasso each and every one of these people, from business managers to chamber maids, footmen to private secretaries, and bring them to be interrogated.
“Is it OK if I go?” Alan asked, nausea beginning to overtake him. There was blood on his shoes, though the body of the one Thornbow had shot had been already removed.
“Where are you going?” Jack asked. The grounds and house weren’t yet fully secured.
“I have to get out of here,” Alan half-shouted, running out.
Jack cast a meaningful look towards the Abbot, and the Japanese man followed Alan out the door. The Abbot spoke quietly in his microphone and asked Anne-Marie to send Michiko into the office to join Jack. He reasoned that she was better equipped to deal with that situation than he was in any event.
“Alan, please, wait for me. I am an old man, and I cannot keep up with you,” the Abbot projected. Though his English was improving, they found it most convenient to communicate telepathically, in a sort of bridge language. Alan thought in English, and the Abbot heard him in Japanese, and vice-versa.
Alan snorted, but slowed; he had seen the Abbot in action, and his protest of age was insincere. After witnessing the Abbot in battle, catlike and quick, slow would be the last word he would use to describe this man.
“You are upset, young man, and understandably so. It is a terrible thing to see a man die. If you had told me that the only man to die tonight would be one of our own, and this man in particular, I would not have been able to believe it. Sometimes things do not go as planned, and we have to deal with the consequences.”
“He was my friend,” Alan sniffled. “He saved my life, in a way. Made me understand the dangers about me, at a time when I thought I was unstoppable. He had a family—a wife and a daughter!—did you know that? I never even met them, and now I have to go to them and tell them daddy is dead! Do you fucking understand that?”
“Death, Alan, is a part of life, one which we all have to face.”
“Tell that to his ten year old daughter,” Alan projected angrily, his face wet with tears. “No! That’s my fucking shit ass job.”
“Tell them this: tell them that Mr. Karick died doing his duty.”
“Duty? Goddamn you Abbot. We’re not the fucking army. We came for your fucking sacred stone.”
“Now, now, that’s not the whole truth, Alan. Pull yourself together, young man. We are here to eliminate a common threat. Mr. Karick understood that, which is why he was a leader—the planner—of this mission, which is why he burst through that door despite our warnings. He wasn’t conscribed. Not to speak ill of the dead, but this was his plan. He would be proud, as I am, that it is so far a success.”
“Success? Success? Where is this stone of yours?”
“We will find it. It is only a matter of time now. I have been patient for a long time, and I beg the same of you.”
“I need to leave, Abbot. I can’t stay here.”
“If that is your wish. Dr. Massimo, Michiko, and I will organize the search for the one entrusted with our stone.”
“I’m leaving,” Alan said aloud, though making no move to the door.
“As I said, go,” the Abbot spoke. “None of us would dare presume to stop you.”
Still, he didn’t budge.
The Abbot projected: “You see, young man, you want to go, but something his holding you back. Do you want to know what that is?” He paused, allowing time for Alan to answer, but the young American just stood there, trembling. “Duty, Alan, you stay out of a sense of duty. Honor, Alan. Honor. This man in there,” he said derisively, and Alan knew he was speaking of Thornbow, “He is without honor. A thief. A murderer. A small man who thinks he can get what he wants without understanding the nature of it, even to the slightest degree; but a dangerous man nonetheless. Mr. Karick understood all of this, and that is why he came here tonight. He could never have led a normal life with that detestable man unchecked. It came to a sorrowful end.
“Go, Alan, find his wife and child. Do what you can for them. Tell them that because of the efforts of Mr. Karick they are now safe. You need no more duty in this place. They need you now.”
“What the hell are you doing, Alan, calling me at three in the morning?”
“I’m sorry, Kate, I just needed to hear your voice.”
“Are you crying? Is everything OK?”
“Yes. No. My colleague was killed tonight. A friend of mine.”
“Oh my God! What happened? Are you OK?” she cried.
“I’m OK. Just shaken up. I’ll tell you when I get home.”
“Come home now. I’ll meet you. Things are winding down here. I just have to juggle some things and I’ll meet you.”
He didn’t say anything, but she knew he was still on the line.
“Are you sure you’re OK?”
“I’m not OK, Katie, but I will be when I see you.”
He hit END, and went to find Neil
“Are you done here?” Alan asked him. They were standing in the driveway of Bankington Hall, a safe distance from the panel truck holding all of the seized orbs.
“I’ll just be a minute,” Neil replied, his voice cracking. Alan could see he was just as traumatized by Karick’s death. He pulled down the rear door of the truck and padlocked it.
“I need to go.”
“Go?” Neil asked, taken aback. “Go where?”
“Home, Neil, I need to go home.”
“I can’t drive a car in Britain. Would you take me? Now?”
“Sure. OK. Sure. We’ll take one of the rented Opels, leave the Land Rovers for the rest of them,” Neil said, his voice shaking, leading the way back to the edge of the road.
They reached the car in minutes. Alan got in on the left, and Neil behind the wheel. Neil turned the ignition and started it up, but made no move to put it in gear. After a few seconds Alan looked over and saw that he was weeping quietly.
“I feel the same way, Neil. He was an excellent friend.”
“That he was. That he was,” Neil said, collecting himself, as he put the car on course for London.
Alan made some calls while they were motoring down, and to his disappointment he discovered that the he wouldn’t be able to get a flight out until morning. He had Neil take him to the Savoy, and when Neil made to leave, to return to Bankington Hall, Alan insisted he take the suite’s other bedroom. It didn’t take them long to hit the minibar.
“I’m calling Irina in the morning,” Neil declared after they had toasted Tadeusz, referring to Karick’s wife.
“Did you know her?” Alan asked.
“Last Christmas I couldn’t come back here, and Karick couldn’t go all the way to Australia. Irina and Katja flew to Montréal, and Tad insisted I come along with him.”
“Karick wanted his little girl to have a European Christmas. The year before he had spent with them in Melbourne, and he had a vile time. ‘Christmas in summer,’ he told me, ‘is a perversion!’ He did some looking around, and decided that the closest he was going to get to a Prague Christmas was Quebec.”
“Don’t call her,” Alan said. “We’ll go together and tell her in person.”
“I’d like that,” Neil replied, a smile forming on his features for the first time in hours.
Alan had called Harriet, his lawyer Stanley Wilkins’s secretary, from the plane, and she arranged a livery to pick him up from Newark and take him home. Neil had driven him to the airport before heading back to Bankington Hall. Once he was home he called his folks, who were both out, to let them know he had arrived. He didn’t mention the reason he had cut his trip short. He called Kate next, catching her on the road. She was already past Mystic, and would see him in a few hours. He napped.
His mother stroking his hair awoke him. “Honey, are you alright?”
“You sounded depressed on the phone before. Are you sure?”
He smiled. “It’s good to see you, mom.”
“You push yourself too hard, Alan. School this summer, and a job, plus whatever you were doing at night. I worry after you.”
“I’m taking one more trip, and then I’m home for the rest of the month,” he sighed. “I’ll help you with your rosebushes every day until I head back for school.”
She laughed, delighted. “Tell me about your trip.”
“Nothing much to tell, really.”
“And the next one?”
“Just a couple of days. Three at the most.”
“OK, you’ll tell me when you’ll tell me. You know I don’t like to pry. Come downstairs and help me make dinner. Your dad should be home soon.”
“OK, mom. Oh, Kate’s joining us.”
“I thought she wasn’t coming back until Friday.”
“She wanted to see me,” Alan said.
“That’s nice. She’s a sweet girl. You should marry her.”
“Want those grandchildren soon, do you?” he laughed, and she laughed with him.
“From your lips to God’s ears, as my dad used to say.”
Kate and Alan sat in the backyard after dinner. He didn’t say much and she just put her arm around his neck and ran her fingers through his hair. Over the din of crickets she asked him about Karick.
“Tell me about your friend from work.”
So he did, saying as much as he could without betraying the others in his cabal, Jack and the Japanese monks. He told her about all the time they had spent together the summer before, when they hopscotched around Europe looking for Jack. He told her about the wife and child he had never met, and how he had to go to them and tell them about the killing.
“Do you want me to come with?” she asked.
He thought about it for a second, trying to formulate a good reason why she shouldn’t come, but his mind went blank.
“Sure,” he answered, smiling at her. “That would be great.”
They went back in the house and watched television with his folks for a while. At eleven his parents went upstairs to their bedroom. Alan and Kate watched the news snuggled up together. Just before the sports came on Alan’s cell phone rang. It was Jack, calling from Thornbow’s estate. They had managed to compile a full list of all the personnel involved in the stone-concealing scheme, and had so far interrogated nineteen of the forty-six people involved. Most of the nineteen were household staff at Bankington Hall. There were a couple of servants at the London flat, and a few people in Lord Thornbow’s parliamentary office, and the remainder were spread out over the rest of Britain. Jack figured they would see them all by the next week. After the update Jack handed the phone to Neil, and they made plans for Australia. Karick had moved his family to Melbourne, to a neighborhood named St. Kilda, chosen because of its good-sized Eastern European community. Alan and Neil decided that it would be easier to meet in Melbourne. Neil would fly to Singapore and change planes, and Alan and Kate would fly west, spend a night in Hawaii, and then on to Melbourne. Neil promised to call Harriet in Stan Wilkins’s office to book the flights.
“So we’re set?” Kate asked, as he came back from taking the call in the kitchen. He had made no effort to keep quiet, and he assumed he had heard his end of the conversations.
“Yeah, I’ll have the exact details about the trip tomorrow, probably before lunch.”
“Cool,” she answered with a yawn. “I’m pooped. Ready for bed?”
“Are you staying here? I thought—”
“Do you think your mom and dad would object?”
“Probably not,” Alan thought aloud. Besides, if they did, he could just use his abilities to smooth things over. “But what about your folks? You just got back and they’ve barely seen you.”
“My parents are practically living in the city this summer. Remember my mom’s Aunt Victoria? With the broken hip?”
“She’s a little batty,” Kate explained. “The only way my mom got the latest in a long line of home care nurses not to quit was to promise to be there a lot. They tried getting her to move in with us, but she refused.”
“So your parents share an apartment with a batty old woman. Sounds claustrophobic!”
“It’s not all that bad. Mom and Aunt Vicky get along real well, and her apartment is huge. It’s a duplex on lower Fifth Avenue, with views right over Washington Square Park.”
“They live there? Full time?”
“No, just a couple of nights a week, and all day Sunday.”
“Oh. Well. Sure then, let’s go upstairs.”
The walk up to his bedroom seemed to take a great deal out of him, Kate noticed. She helped him undress and get in bed, and then she took a shower. She came back to bed wearing a fresh pair of panties. Looking through her bags she tried to find a clean t-shirt, but she was at a bad time in the laundry cycle; instead of taking one of his she just slipped in beside him.
She really didn’t expect any physicality between them this night due to Alan’s parents in down the hall and his fatigue and low spirits. She snuggled against him, and he held her.
“Mmmm, you smell good,” he muttered, drifting away.
The ever-efficient Harriet booked passage for Alan and Kate by the next morning for a Saturday-night flight, two days hence. Alan was at a loss with what to do with more than forty-eight unscheduled hours, having been since before spring finals since he last experienced such a freedom. Lucky for him Kate was there to fill the time. Mostly, they relaxed. It was as if they had returned home for a vacation, rather than the other way around.
Alan spent the next morning puttering around the house. He and Kate did their laundry together in his basement, and Kate made several calls up to Maine to see if the last set of girls were completing their program in good fashion, and dealing with some last-minute details. Alan’s mom made them lunch—grilled cheese sandwiches, a favorite from when he was a boy—and they swing on the porch glider between washing machine and dryer loads.
“My mom likes you,” he told her as the first shower of raindrops pit-patted against the roof of the overhang.
“Really? Sometimes I can’t tell.”
“When I started going out again with Pauline, the second time, your dad pulled me aside and gave me ‘The Speech.’ I don’t think there’s an equivalent for mothers and girlfriends, so my mom is a little stymied. But she likes you. She told me,” he said.
“What did she say?” Kate asked, holding her breath after squeezing out the words.
He chuckled, but said nothing, and she gave him as gentle an elbow to the ribs as she could manage.
“She told me I should marry you.”
Kate gasped, and then the air became stuck in her throat. It took her the better part of thirty seconds to regain her composure. “And what did you say to that?”
“I teased her about her desire for grandchildren.”
“What did you think?”
He considered what to say for a moment. “Well, certainly not before we finish college.”
“No, Alan, that’s not exactly what I’m asking,” she started, without enough courage to look at him. “What do you think about us?”
“Would you even marry me, Katie?”
She thought about giving a very emphatic answer, but not knowing his thoughts she kept it simple, “I would.”
“Hmmm,” he mused, “I’ll tell you what, if, by the time we graduate, I can’t find a better gift than an engagement ring for you, I’ll give you one.”
“Deal,” she laughed, pulling him up from the glider and back into the house for the last of the wash.
As they folded laundry Alan had a small smile; Kate noticed.
“It’s nice to see you not depressed or scowling,” she offered.
“I was thinking about our deal we just made.”
“And that made you smile?” she asked.
“It’s just not how I imagined it would be, you know, us getting engaged. I imagined getting down on one knee, in some nice spot I had picked out somewhere...”
“Well, don’t think of it like we got engaged. You can still do that if you want,” she promised.
“OK, I’ll consider it a rainy day project,” he laughed.
“You know, one of those things you put off until the weather turns bad, like re-alphabetizing your CD collection, or throwing away old bills.”
“So I guess I should start praying for rain two Junes from now,” she giggled.
Alan’s parents had theater tickets that night, and Alan and Kate were left to fend for themselves for dinner. He fired up the gas grill in the back yard and he and Kate had burgers and beer. After they cleaned up they went into town and saw a movie, though Alan had difficulty concentrating.
Back at the house Kate got ready for bed; she would have to return home in the morning, to unpack her luggage and pack a new bag for Australia, but tonight she was staying close to Alan. She slipped into the shower behind him, startling him. He turned, and she embraced him, standing on her tippy-toes to kiss him, and he returned the kiss hungrily, wrapping himself around her slippery body.
She broke the kiss. “Foreplay only in the shower. I need to be fucked in a bed.”
“I love it when you whisper sweet nothings in my ear,” he deadpanned, and she cracked up.
After a brief, but nevertheless thorough, washing up, they removed themselves to the bedroom. Kate was hungry for him, and she pushed him down on the bed before he had fully dried off. He tried to get up, but she threatened to retrieve his bag of goodies from the closet and cuff him to the headboard, so he stayed down. She covered his body with her own and pressed her lips against his, their tongues dueling. Alan realized again just how much he had missed her, how much of a comfort it was to have her in his life. For all her frailties she was his rock, the most stable thing he had going in life outside his mom and dad. While he was musing he didn’t even notice that Kate had broken their kiss and was now laying a trail of kisses down his chest and belly.
He groaned when she took his dick in her mouth, his hands gently stroking her black-as-a-raven’s-wing hair. He allowed himself to give up control, and came in her mouth, feeling her shudder with orgasm as he did.
“Wow!” she exclaimed, licking around her lips to capture the few escaping drops of his ejaculate, “I missed that.”
As she held his member in her hands, caressing it to get him hard again, she whispered, “And I missed you too.”
Alan kissed her, tasting the last remnants of his sperm on her lips, then moving down to kiss and lick at her neck. She purred in response, her hands working feverishly at his burgeoning erection, and in no time at all he was fully hard. He turned her over, so she was on her back, and descended to be on top of her. Kate spread her legs in invitation, groaning quietly as he entered her.
“So long,” she hissed, “It’s been too long, Alan. It feels so nice being underneath you.”
He put his mouth on hers and they melted together as he slowly fucked her, her small whimpers escaping their joined lips. He kept his place slow for much longer than usual, and she came more than a few times, her pussy clenching around him as her body seized and released in orgasm.
“Oh God,” she muttered after a crashing orgasm, “Come in me. If you keep fucking me I think I’m going to die.”
He kissed her again as he loosed himself within her, and she sighed, licking their mingled sweat from her upper lip, and then his chest.
As planned, they met Neil and went to see Karick’s widow. To Alan, she seemed surprisingly calm when they broke the news. She explained that she was the wife and daughter of soldiers, and she had, at least on some level, been prepared for this eventuality. They settled on some financial arrangement, chief among them that Karick’s salary continue indefinitely (at Alan’s insistence), and left.
Twenty-four hours later Alan and Kate were home. As promised, the rest of the summer passed fairly uneventfully. Just before Labor Day, news came from across the pond that Jack and the Abbot had at long last determined which of Lord Thornbow’s underlings took possession of the crystal, and on the holiday itself, while he was over at the Van Devanters for a barbeque, Jack called to tell him it had been retrieved.
Kate was about a thirty yards away as Alan spoke on the phone with Jack; she was chatting with her siblings. As she watched Alan snap his phone shut and pocket it, she could almost see a weight lifting from his shoulders.
A month into the fall semester Kate was frustrated. Since she and Alan had discussed getting married she had cut back on her sleeping with girls. It wasn’t really a conscious decision on her part, nor was it in any way something Alan had brought up, but in the back of her mind, now that they were semi-engaged, she no longer sought it out.
The problem was that she was seeing less of Alan. He had loaded up his schedule with courses, hoping that a heavy workload, combined with the past summer session and the next summer session, he would be able to graduate in three years. His lack of time for her left her yearning, a condition she had not been used to since she and Alan had started fucking.
Picking up the ringing phone she found Scarlet on the other end. Since returning to school she had only one brief make out session with Scarlet, not allowing it to go any further, to both their disappointments. Tonight, Kate found herself severely tempted. She had intuited that, irony of ironies, Scarlet had been getting her sapphic release from, of all people, Jenna. Jenna’s scorn of Scarlet, and her threat to spread rumors of Scarlet’s orientation (no matter that they were true) is part of what caused Kate—but particularly Alan—to break Jenna, turning her into a bisexual submissive. Jenna was in fact the only girl Kate had fucked since returning to campus; she had allowed herself the indulgence because Alan had been part of that scene. After that September threesome she had been able to resist.
“Hey, baby,” Scarlet cooed from the other end of the line. “What’s cooking with you and Alan this fine Saturday night?”
“He’s in the library,” Kate said flatly, “Again.”
“Oh, poor baby, you’re becoming a library widow.”
“Yeah,” Kate chuckled, “Tell me about it.”
“Well, if you’re looking to play, come over to Jess’s. Were having a, uh, little get-together.”
“Oh? Who’s going to be there?” Kate asked, already having figured out exactly which kind of “get-together” Scarlet was hinting at. She felt her resistance crumbling. Since Alan had unleashed her sexuality, her needs had increased to a point that Alan’s recent lack of time had kept her unsatisfied.
“Oh, you know,” Scarlet answered, “Me, Jess, Jenna, Nila, and some new girl. Just a few bottles of wine, and we’ll see what happens.”
“Sounds fun,” Kate said, “But I have that sociology essay to finish.”
“Kate, quit lying to me. You handed that paper in on Thursday. I went with you, remember?”
“OK,” Kate said sheepishly. “Sorry. What time?”
“Whenever you can make it,” Scarlet giggled. “Promise me you’ll COME.”
Both cracked up at that.
Kate studied and killed time on the computer for a few more hours, and at about eight pm she set out for Jess’s dorm. On her way there Alan called her on her cell, and she reluctantly admitted where she was going, and for what purpose. She braced herself for his disapproval, and to her half-relief, half-disappointment, it did not come. He did ask her of he could spend the night, and she agreed.
At ten o’clock Alan closed his books and left the library. He dropped his stuff off at his dorm, East Campus, and made his way back across campus to Kate’s dorm at Barnard. The desk guard called up to Kate’s room so she could come down and sign him in, but she wasn’t there. He tried to hail her on her cell phone, to no avail. She had mentioned she was going to “hang out” with Scarlet and some friends, so he tried Scarlet next, also without success. Closing his eyes he did a wide perimeter scan of the neighborhood. He never had a problem finding Kate because he knew her mind so intimately. Sighing and wishing the desk guard a goodnight he headed over to Plimpton dorm. He should have guessed she’d be there. Jess Starmer, Scarlet’s first lesbian hookup was an RA in Plimpton. As he trudged up Broadway, and then took a right onto 120th Street he tried Kate’s cell again. No answer.
When he reached Plimpton he had the desk clerk tell him which room was Jess’s and let him pass without getting signed in. He took the elevator a few floors up and made his way down to the end of the hall. When he was about halfway down, Jess’s door opened and a girl, from her looks, a first-year, stumbled out. She looked in a daze, almost drunk as she staggered towards him. She was very attractive, with pale skin and flowing brown hair, and her brown eyes had a glassy look, like she was intoxicated with pleasure. Her Barnard t-shirt was on backwards and inside-out. Alan passed her with a smirk, having already “seen” what was going on in the RA’s room once he got to the floor.
He knocked; Scarlet opened the door. Jess didn’t have a roommate, but as an RA lived alone in a double room. Scarlet was naked save a cropped top t-shirt and a fine sheen of sweat. She giggled and kissed him on the cheek dragging him inside. Clothing was strewn around the room. Kate was sitting on Jess’s lap, the tall blonde gently stroking Kate’s slit.
“Hi Kate, glad to see you are enjoying yourself,” he greeted her. She shivered as Jess slid two fingers up her. “Hi Jess, ladies.” He nodded in a friendly way at Jenna and Nila, who were sharing an armchair, touching each other gently.
“Hey Alan,” Jess replied. “Surprised to see you. How did you get past security?”
“I have my ways,” he answered with a sly grin.
“Well, then, welcome. Enjoy the party!”
“I’m, not sure that’s such a smart idea. I saw the results of what you did to that girl who just staggered out.”
Jess chuckled, “Who? Simone? She begged me for two weeks to come to one of my ‘parties.’ She really wanted to explore her, um, ‘other’ side, ya know? I don’t think she knew what she had signed up for.
“You on the other hand, as I’m led to understand, know exactly how to treat a woman,” she continued, “Or so I’m told,” indicating Kate, Scarlet, and Jenna, with bobs of her head. Her fingers inside Kate were quickening as she rubbed Kate’s clit with her thumb. Kate was starting to gasp with pleasure, her tight little butt grinding into Jess’s lap.
“I never kiss and tell,” he riposted
“So are you just stopping by, or are you here to have some fun?”
“I’m allowed to join in?” he asked, grinning. “I thought this was Ladies Night.”
“Well, there are five of us here. I’m sure some of the others can make use of you,” Jess replied. She was faithful—in her own special way—to her fiancé back in Los Angeles, and only had sex with women when they were apart.
Alan looked down when he felt someone on the floor press against his legs. It was Nila, a very petite engineering student he had taken a few classes with in years past. She was of Indian heritage, her parents having immigrated from the subcontinent before she was born. She had a thick Queens accent.
“So, Alan, you wanna to play?” she asked, taking hold of him by his belt.
He looked over at Kate, who was looking glassy-eyed, like he had seen Simone looking in the hall. “Kate?” he started, “Do you think I should play?”
Kate shivered under the touch of Jess, and could only nod in response. Nila unbuckled his belt and slid his pants and shorts down all at once, gasping as his large dick sprang up at her. “It’s beautiful,” she hissed.
“Nila has only limited experience with cock,” Jess deadpanned. “But I must agree, you are, ah, gifted, in that department,” she said, licking her lips.
Nila grasped it with her little hands, her thumb and index finger circling the shaft, barely touching. She settled herself in front of him, her knees dug into the rug, her little buttocks resting on the back of her calves. Jenna joined her, taking the same position to her left. She kissed the head of his dick, and then pulled back, allowing Jenna to repeat the action.
“I’ve sucked off a few guys,” Nila confessed, her voice a bare whisper, her eyes locked with Alan’s. “But I never let a guy fuck me. When I met Jess I found I really liked eating pussy, and I thought I was a lesbian. I was never one of those LUG’s, I just liked licking slit.” Jenna licked all around Alan’s penis as Nila shared her sexual history with the group. “I guess you could say I’m an oral sort of gal.” She took Alan’s member away from Jenna, sucking the head and a few inches of the shaft into her mouth, until the head just reached the entrance of her throat. She gagged slightly and pulled back a little, allowing her tongue to swirl around the crown of his cock. Jenna, with no dick to occupy her, started rubbing Nila’s fuzzy pussy, occasionally flicking the Indian girl’s clit, sometimes inching a finger into her. Nila moaned, her mouth full of Alan, and he growled at the sensation of her mouth vibrating around him.
In the background he heard Kate orgasm, and by the time he mustered the concentration to turn his face away from Nila’s piercing dark eyes he could see Kate and Jess on the bed, Kate kneeling between the blonde Californian’s almost impossibly long legs, her tongue gently stroking Jess’s pussy, her nose rubbing through Jess’s golden pubic hair. Nila redoubled her efforts to make Alan turn his attention back to the blowjob she was providing, and he swiftly complied. Nila was shaking visibly as she blew him, mostly due to Jenna’s fingering job, but partly at the thought of how the whole night was developing now that Alan was here. She knew that any man who could keep Kate satisfied in bed was sure to be an outstanding lover, and though Kate was extremely circumspect about her sex life with him, Jenna was far less reticent about sharing the dirty details. Just a few weekends ago she had spent the night with Jenna, and the blonde Texan had told of the previous semesters activities.
Nila was aware that Kate had a kinky streak, noticeably visible when she considered Kate’s nipple piercings and bare crotch, but the perversions that Jenna had described, the spanking, the anal sex, her submission to Alan and Kate, symbolized by the butt plug, hearing those descriptions really turned Nila at the time, giving her one of her fiercest orgasms in memory. When Alan had entered the room this night Nila had half decided that she would give him her cherry, but hadn’t decided whether it was to be this night or some other. As she concentrated on giving him oral pleasure, and though distracted by Jenna’s talented fingers, she was quickly coming to a realization that the time was ripe. She did not know that Alan was using his influence to help her come to this decision.
She spat Alan’s cock from her mouth, drool covering her chin and dripping down onto her perky breasts. Grabbing Alan by the wrist she pulled him to the spare bed. As he allowed himself to be pulled along by Nila he glanced behind him, seeing that Kate was still licking Jess’s pussy, and Scarlet, whom he’d almost forgotten about, was fucking Kate from behind with a strap-on dildo. Kate was grunting into Jess’s pussy as Scarlet pounded her, and Jess had a firm grip on Kate’s long raven tresses.
Jenna laid down on the bed first, and Nila lounged between her legs, her back pressed into Jenna’s tits, legs spread wide. Alan could see the moisture clinging to Nila’s sparse black bush as he positioned himself on top of her and Jenna. Jenna reached behind herself on the bed and pulled one of the myriad of pillows and slid it under Nila’s elfin ass.
“Please,” she whimpered, her body trembling as she felt the blunt head of his cock make contact with her sticky labial lips, “Be gentle.”
“Nila’s a virgin,” Jess declared from across the room. “I offered to pop it for her, but she didn’t let. I guess she’s just an old fashioned kind of girl.” The trio on the other bed had finished their go ‘round, and Alan could hear in Jess’s voice that she was still trying to catch her breath. This information was not news to him, but he had to pretend it was so.
He looked down at her, and she confirmed it with a look that even a non-mind reader would be able to catch. He pushed in very slowly, halting as he came to rest against her maidenhead. He was concentrating hard, and so instead of talking, he sent out mental commands. Jess and Kate crossed the room and each took hold of Nila’s legs, one on each side, gently brushing their hands over her calves in a soothing manner. Scarlet sat on the bed next to Nila and with her right hand teased a nipple, and with her left gently caressed her stretched-out pussy lips. Jenna, who was half behind Nila, and half underneath her, teased the other nipple and massaged the Indian girl’s clitoris. In less than a minute Nila was gasping and moaning, her body shaking harder than before; Kate and Jess had to take a firmer grasp on her lower extremities, as most of her herky-jerky action was happening below her waist. Jenna was cooing into Nila’s ear assuring her that everything would be all right, as the dusky-skinned bucked up and down, Alan’s cock rubbing against her thin hymen. Suddenly her eyes rolled up into her sockets and her whole body stiffened and seized. She screamed in orgasm as her girlfriends massaged and manipulated her. Partway through her climax her cute little butt came off the pillow and her hips rolled towards Alan. Without him moving an inch the head of his cock pierced her cherry, and she screamed and howled in pain mixed with pleasure.
“Oh my God!” she wailed as Alan began to move once again, pressing himself deeper into her pulsating channel. “Yes! More! Please, please, please,” she screamed as Alan began pushing and pulling his manhood within her. Her eyes rolled back again, and she screamed out another orgasm as his shaft rubbed against her clit and Jenna’s fingertips. Scarlet leaned over her and pressed their lips together, and Nila opened her mouth, admitting the redhead’s tongue. Alan was unrelenting, and she could not breathe with peak efficiency with Scarlet in her mouth. With her next earth-shaking climax she broke away from Scarlet’s kiss, screeched so loud that she almost caused damage the ears in the room, and passed out, a huge smile plastered on her face. Jess put on a robe and went to the bathroom, returning with two warm wet washcloth. Alan slowly withdrew from Nila, and Jess and Kate cleaned the two of them, washing away the crimson traces from Alan’s penis and Nila’s pubis.
“Well, there’s a first time she’ll never forget,” Jenna chuckled as she extricated herself out from underneath the slumbering, no longer virgin Nila. “That is, of course, if you didn’t kill her.”
Playtime continued until after one in the morning. Alan fucked all the women save Jess. About an hour after her deflowering Nila awoke. A tad stiff at first she decided to watch for a bit. Alan was sitting in the arm chair, and Jenna was in his lap bopping up and down on his erection. It took a few minutes before Nila realized that Alan was fucking her ass. Actually she would not have known if Jenna hadn’t screamed, “Fuck my little asshole with your monster cock, you bastard!” Nila’s eyes widened in shock. Kate saw this and shot her a sly grin before kneeling before the fucking pair, and burying her face in Jenna’s hairless pussy. Jenna screamed loudly as she came, bucking so hard she fell off of Alan’s dick and onto Kate, both of them hitting the deck in a tangle of arms and legs. Kate immediately popped up and took Jenna’s place on Alan’s cock, first sliding her pussy down his length for a few minutes, just long enough for her to come, her pussy undulating around his shaft. When she recovered she lifted up and Alan guided his erection to her rear passage. Kate kept quiet as she rode her tightest passage up and down his massive organ, and she locked eyes with Nila, who by that time was able to sit up.
Nila’s attention was fixed on the scene of Alan and Kate fucking. She was almost hypnotized watching it, and when Kate beckoned her over with a wave of her hand, Nila went without thinking at all, kneeling as she saw Kate do when Alan was reaming out Jenna. She bent over and licked at Kate’s bald pussy, avoiding as best she could Alan’s dick. She may have been euphoric with pleasure, but tasting Kate’s ass on Alan’s penis was not something she remotely considered erotic.
As Alan, Kate, and Scarlet left Nila, Jenna, and Jess were pushing the two beds together and settling down for the night. When they reached the elevator Scarlet started laughing, and the other two looked to find the source of their amusement. Curled up in a ball adjacent to the elevator doors was Simone, the first-year whom Alan had seen stagger out of Jess’s room hours before. Alan helped her to her feet, and the three of them took her back to Sulzberger, her dorm on the Barnard side of campus. Alan and Kate bid Scarlet adieu on the west side of Broadway and crossed back to East Campus. Less than a minute after the door was closed and the lights turned off both were asleep in each other’s arms.
It was not until mid-November until Alan saw Jack. It was taking months to dismantle Thornbow’s network of spies and goons. Mr. Patel, His Lordship’s former right hand man, was recalled from his unplanned retirement to assist. “By the time I’m done with him,” Jack boasted in a phone conversation with Alan, “That bastard wont even remember having a step-brother.”
The Abbot and the stone had returned to Japan, but Michiko had remained in Britain to assist Jack and the team. Just before Jack came back to New York, Alan had read a story in the New York Times about the high rate of murder and disappearance plaguing the upper level of Tokyo’s leading crime family. The article was filled with quotes from Japanese law enforcement, speculating about what was happening; Alan had a firmer grasp on what was happening than those policemen did, despite never having visited Japan.
They gathered at Jack’s completely restored townhouse for a celebratory dinner, plenty of wine and merriment evident around the long table. Peter looked relieved to be back in his native land, and was red-faced from alcohol almost as soon as the festivities commenced. When the party was over and Alan was making to leave and head back to campus he was surprised to see Michiko follow him out the door. She walked him to the end of the block and stood as he waited for a taxi.
“Do you remember that night? The night the Abbot came, and I was moved from the office to Jack’s guest room? When I told you that one day we would have a very important conversation?”
“That day is tomorrow.” She gave him a small kiss on the cheek and pushed him into his cab.