Crossing Tees and Dotting Eyes
Crossing Tees and Dotting Eyes
“I miss the northern woods of the Canadian town where I lived. Cities, and especially American urban areas are just concrete that muffles nature’s heartbeat.” The semi-wilderness of Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula was a fair exchange though. Tariq took a break from his computer for a drive to the Hoh River, in a rented SUV.
[An icy lake is exhilarating after a sauna.]
“A dip in a glacier fed stream is might be bearable after the frigid cold numbs the nerves beyond the threshold of feeling,” he was traveling over Hurricane Ridge and snow patches were close to the road, “but I don’t see any handy steam baths.”
[You didn’t come here for the scenery.]
“I obviously can’t keep a secret from my brain.” The programmer was on this journey because he needed to sort his emotions and a wild setting always cleared his mind. Why not take a frosty plunge. Another few miles later, he found a brook and stopped to hike away from the road. Where the stream took an acute bend, a deep pool had formed: the spot was sheltered from sight by passing vehicles. The Iranian stripped and waded in.
[Even a cold shower won’t freeze our lovely Freya from your mind.]
“She’s in the range of nineteen.” Tariq immersed his body in the frigid water up to his neck: the cold was so intense that it hurt. “Men of my age only pillage females of hers, in their wildest fantasies.”
[Ravaging a wench in your mind’s sleeping furs, harms no flesh.]
“Then why,” Tariq’s body hairs stood to full attention but the intensely cold water swiftly overwhelmed that biological warming technique, “does a woman feel accosted by a man undressing her with his eyes?”
[She has taken offence, from where none was offered.]
“That interesting notion implies the offended female has trespassed in a mental fantasy that belongs to the leering man.” He could almost feel his blood slowing, as his flesh capitulated to the chill. Mother Nature’s plan ‘B’ of physique defense against cold, is maintaining core temperature only.
[You’re here to sort out your feelings about one specific female.]
“I feel connected to her in some strange way: was it her in my dream?” Tariq also wondered if he was asking a real spirit or just his own delusion.
[Use the senses native only to the soul. I can’t access yours.]
“When my spirit left my body,” the numbingly cold water had his brain almost separate from his physique right now, “but I was aware because my soul is the kernel of my consciousness.”
[It’s the observer.]
“I neither saw, heard nor felt anything because I no longer possessed eyes, ears or nerves—yet I still had sight, sound and sensation.”
[Death is a phantasm that transcends life.]
“It was a dream that I knew was real but my waking mind can’t seem to allow me to hold my imagination as other than illusion—yet it needs to be tangible for me to reconcile my post life journey.”
[As déjà vu.]
“That’s a good example.” The programmer felt he could be sent to an asylum, without a good case to make in his defense. He was sitting in an ice water pool and discussing esoteric concepts with his mental aberration. “Science has invented a few quasi-coherent physiological descriptions of what causes the effect but when a person actually has the feeling of a past event in a present moment, it doesn’t match the scientific explanation.”
[Only because that’s not what déjà vu truly is.]
“Our knowledge base doesn’t understand yet, how it really works.”
[Vikings who worshipped me were more advanced in aspects of life.]
“The more science and technology makes folk erroneously believe they know—the less they really understand.” Tariq laughed. “I sound like my late wife. Are you actually her—and have you come back to haunt me?”
[I’m only a fig meant for your imagining’s nation?]
“Or only a figment of my imagination.”
[Supposedly realistic people of your real world seem to have few real clues left of what is really important and what is truly real.]
“If the female from my dream and from the boat, was really here right now,” Tariq voice trembled past his shuddering lips, “my anatomy is far too chilled to physically accost her.” Using the conjunction ‘and’ instead of ‘or’ shows I’ve answered my own question—but I don’t know how.
[Folk used an understanding of gravity—before Newton defined it.]
“A baby Polar bear went to each of his family and asked ‘am I really a polar bear’? All said yes and described the cub’s pedigree of Polar bears but finally the mother bear wondered, ‘why are you questioning whether you are a Polar bear’?”
[Because I am VERY cold!] Loki usurped the joke’s punch line.
“Me too!” The man dashed back to his SUV, dressing along the way. He cranked the heater up to full but he had enjoyed the stop and the talk—or the solo mental musing, if that’s what it was.
“This was one long grueling week!” Software Bob sighed loudly.
“One with not much accomplishment showing.” Collin didn’t add that Bob’s eating Aspirins like M&M’s and moaning over his flaming butt-hole made him useless. “We made zero progress on the looming catastrophes.”
“At least we haven’t experienced any new problems.” The CEO smiled stoically and poked a finger into his groin—he concealed the motion as a scratch. The pain in his knackers had now largely subsided.
“Knock wood.” Collin rapped quickly on the desktop.
“Speaking of which, let’s knock off for the day.” Bob’s touch on his meat and a reference to wood reminded him of another interpretation of the word. He owned a slave girl’s knockout body and wanted his way with it: Wall intended to get some wood and start nailing with it.
“I want total privacy.” After Hersker left, Wall bolted the outer office entrance and he withdrew a key from a notch in his bookshelf. He had this extra lock installed for just this purpose. In the wood-grain door’s upper corner, a further latch was usable only with the special key. He could bolt this door from either the inside or the outside and there was only the one key in existence. After the use, he tucked it back into the hiding place.
“I’m going to get screwed tonight and I don’t mean sleeping either.” Bob sang and giggled but he didn’t note there was another connotation for the word screwed too. There was a little skip in his step as he crossed to the apartment’s garishly painted verdant door. Interestingly, that word doesn’t only mean green: another definition is unsophisticated.
“~I feel like a goldfish swimming in a blue aquarium.” Lyra was in a stuffed chair in front of the blazing natural gas fireplace. She had turned it on in response to a sudden chill, but the warmth didn’t flow fast enough so she pulled the Polar bear rug off the floor to cover her knees. The pastel azure on the walls reminded her of the free sky and lent a cerulean mood. “~I almost wish Little Boy Blue Balls would come break my monotony.”
“Hi Lovey-dovey.” This time, Bob loudly announced his entry. He didn’t want another unpleasant surprise. “Are you pleased to see me?”
“~I have too many sarcastic answers to settle on just one.” Lyra looked up from the bluish flames flickering on the simulated logs. “~That asinine smirk suggests that your injured sex appliances are back in service.”
“Now we can really communicate.” The software nerd took a Russian dictionary from behind his back.
He handed over the small book and took a seat on the adjacent sofa while she looked at it. Ironically, that book couldn’t teach her new words, as she already knew the simple ones. To improve her English vocabulary, Lyra would need a top quality lexicon.
“Russian.” Lyra pushed the syllables out slowly, while shaking a head to indicate no. She brought both hands back to point two fingers at her own chest. “Kiev, Ukraine.”
“Do they speak a different language there?” The software CEO was flummoxed. “It used to all be the Soviet Union”.
“~Don’t you feel like an idiot—again?” In fact, I’ve been speaking Russian to him all along. “~There are similarities between the two tongues and many people in Ukraine are conversant in both.” There, that was in Ukrainian—if he knew the difference.
“We’ll have to talk in touch and body language then.” Bob mentally, he promised get a Ukraine one for the next visit.
“~I don’t like the sound of that at all.” My cute little ploy backfired. Lyra quickly pointed at the dictionary and nodded vigorously. She held up her thumb and forefinger with a tiny gap between the tips.
“A tiny bit.” The suckered man deciphered her pantomime: he grabbed the folio. “We can use this to communicate then.”
“~It’s preferable to your fingers trying to read Braille on my body.”
“~Knit my pharmacy?” After several moments of intense study, the CEO delivered his well-crafted first Russian phase.
“~I’m fluent in a few languages but dork isn’t one of them.”
“~Needle you prescription?” He researched and then tried again.
He’s asking if I want to shoot up some drugs. Lyra’s mood brightened and she tossed the rug to the floor. “~That is a truly inspired idea.”
“Then once you’re good and stoned, I can do whatever I want to you.”
“~That’s not quite how I have it planned.” The slave cheerfully nodded her head and her wide smile was infectious. She leaped up to quickly fetch her syringe kit and heroin supply: she perched on the sofa’s arm.
“Personally, I can’t figure out what the attraction to that stuff is. I’ve tried pot before but junk is a waste of a life.” Bob chattered while the girl prepared a shot. “Tonight though, it will make you docile enough for me to get sex without a rape.” Actually, his testes were still too touchy to risk that kind of a struggle.
He’s eager to have me inject misery into my veins, expressly for his sexual gratification: Bob has attained a new low plateau. She hummed a jolly tune while working. Lyra then took out a section of rubber tubing. She quickly looped it around Wall’s bicep muscle and tied it.
“The drugs are for you!” The shocked CEO jerked his arm away.
Lyra scrambled for the dictionary and thumbed quickly through rapidly whilst pretending to read. “Party us no?” She put on a puzzled expression.
“Party—er—.” Bob’s tongue tripped but his mind was racing. If I take the needle it will set me up with the delicious junky and she will be eagerly partying with me. My slave will be the insatiable vixen I saw on the video. How could a one-time really dosage hurt him? The benefit of his trying it once in this circumstance offset the hazard.
Supposedly, that was a risk assessment but it wasn’t really Bob Wall who made the bad personal decision: little Johnson Wall, who lived south of the naval, had cast the deciding vote.
The CEO passed his arm back and rolled his inner elbow up.
“~Your glands are rattled from my ill treatment,” Lyra showed the rookie druggie how to pump up his veins, “and you allowed them to make the stupidest choice of your dismal life.” She gave him the syringe.
“~You help?” Bob consulted the phrasebook when she didn’t appear to be getting her shot ready.
“~Strangely, it has no effect on me.” She had risked testing heroin on herself again after Oksana said the lot was potent. I don’t understand why I can’t feel it but my taking some will put him at ease. She prepared and gave her arm a similar sized injection.
“~Rub skin.” Bob consulted the phrasebook but the politically correct publisher hadn’t included the four-letter vulgarity he was searching for.
“Toilet need.” The slave snatched the lexicon and was already at the bathroom door when she found the words. I’ll give him some time to let the heroin perform its duty. She had seen every stage of a high and knew how to be at the right place at the right time, and when to be absent.
“You were gone for a long time.” His impairment didn’t permit him to feel that bad about her not being there but he recalled why he was in the apartment and had gone to the bedroom. After stripping everything but his socks, Bob had sprawled atop the coverlet.
“~It’s uncanny how diametrically you oppose my tastes.” She cast herself onto the bed beside him but hadn’t removed her clothes. “~I am attracted to older men, but I’m also stimulated by a strong masculine body of any age.” The female playfully twiddled her finger into the sparse hair on his chest. “~You’re decrepit and yet still immature too. Did you squander all your pubescent testosterone, by plugging it into a disk drive?”
“The keyboard equates to the strata of society,” Wall explained but had just come up with this useless wisdom as his lips spilled it, “and that makes me a ‘Q’ in the upper-left. I’m also ‘Q” as in IQ because I’m intellectually quotient. ‘Q’ was a member the time-space continuum in Star Trek Next Generation’s first episode. That makes such perfect sense—so why didn’t I ever think of it before?”
“~Because it’s semi-coherent babble?” Lyra cooed. “~Calling you an idiot is insulting people with marginal intelligence.”
“The sign called this a nature trail,” Tariq took off his clothing: the park was deserted, “so I’m natural.” His toes wiggled into the forest duff. It was moist and warm from the heat given off as dead plants compost.
[That keeps you grounded to the earth and sane.]
“Spoken by an hallucination of my delusional mental state.” The nude man intended a run for exercise but his bare feet didn’t relish a prospect of sharp roots: he laced on a pair of cross trainers.
[I used to run atop the mountains ringing the Norwegian fiords.]
“Back when fashionable clothing was crafted from raw stinking pelts?”
Essentially naked, Tariq set off at a lope. Sitka Spruce trees towered over the temperate rain forest like support pillars in a verdant cathedral. The canopy overhead was as a pristine chapel ceiling in shades of jade with sunlight dripping like holy water into the fonts of foliage. Sheets of moss lay draped over logs as green vestments on the backs of pews.
“On Bob’s boat, I foolishly comported myself.” A dry leaf drifting in a rivulet had evoked the thought. “I could’ve pleaded or sold out and still accomplished all I needed but feelings of superiority were my undoing.”
[Was it trying to expensively impress a conniving harpy?]
“My prideful death method sure didn’t net me much gold.” Vaulting a fallen log, Tariq’s foot landed on a banana slug. “We almost snapped our spine in twain,” he tumbled into the damp ferns, “we could’ve claimed full possession of a body half and each gone our separate ways.”
[Are those creatures edible?]
“Its impressive girth,” from a seated position, Tariq examined the land mollusk that had tripped him up, “could make a promiscuous man proud.” Common to Pacific rainforests, the gastropod was like a snail without a shell. This one was about as long as woman’s foot and nearly half as thick.
[The mottled snot-green and pus-yellow coloration with slime-coated skin might chase away all female companionship.]
“This one wasn’t harmed by my having trodden on it,” the slug had just scooted back along its ooze trail: taking the programmer’s errant foot on a friction-reduced return journey, “and this talk of trampling on slimy things reminds me of an overdue legal bill at Dumont, Bach and Ratzler.”
[Diamond Back Rattler?]
As a defeated pugilist, Bob Wall’s slumbering jaw sagged and some spittle dribbled from the corner of his lips.
“~He’s as limp as an eel,” Lyra lifted his arm and allowed it to drop, “~and the girl trout will see if there’s a stream to freedom from this under-stocked pond—before she’s forced into spawning with a lamprey.”
One locked door from the apartment was used daily by the maid service and to deliver supplies. When it was not locked, that one was under the close scrutiny of guards: she had glimpsed them on occasion, when Maria was finished working. Lyra’s best escape route was through Bob’s opulent office and Wall had left that portal unlatched.
The room was expansively large and a massive desk was strewn with papers and clutter. The CEO obviously believed ‘a tidy blotter is a sign of a slacker’. On a quick glance, she found nothing riveting in the pages.
“~How much cash would a multi-gazillionaire keep in a lock box?” The snooping girl noticed a medium sized safe under the desk. I doubt if he even keeps money in his wallet. Did Bob ever come into direct contact with merchants who accepted currency? She tried the safe’s handle but it was tightly closed and locked. “~Its likely just full of peanuts—and my passport.” He would think of her ID as the deed to her body as chattel. I’m not owned by an identity card. I’ll slip away without it.
“~I’m hoping to disappear—not to dawdle.” The prospective runaway crossed the dense loop carpeting to the outer office entry. The handle turned freely but the door refused. She toggled the deadbolt but the door still didn’t budge. On a further scanning of the lintels, she found the third fastener. Were she to find the key, she would need to stand on a chair.
“~Is Bob anal enough to tuck the final key behind a combination lock?” She supposed keeping a human had more complications than owning other valuables. Inanimate gold and gemstones don’t aspire to pilfer themselves.
“~What secondary amusements can I find?” I need something to take the sting from my disappointment. Her break out was stymied for tonight so Lyra began an intensive survey of the quiet workplace.
The girl found two thick files on top of a cabinet. The folders had been viewed too frequently to merit drawer slots yet. Lyra flipped several pages of the first and then became absorbed. Still reading, she wandered to the desk and sat to continue in comfort.
“~The yacht was torpedoed and seventy-five-million uninsured dollars of tonnage went down.” The delighted girl giggled at each revealed tidbit. “~An unidentified corpse, doubtlessly Vlad’s, and a nearby drug operation are flavorful gravy on the convoluted embarrassment.”
“~My hero did this.” Lyra pictured the Arabic man in her mind’s eye. “~Bob Wall is clueless and he can’t suspect the true perpetrator: whom he assumes has been murdered.” After gleaning what she could from the file, the young woman carried it back to replace it where found. “~This next file can’t possibly be as good.”
“~I was overly hasty in my assumption.” Absorbing the contents of the second record took longer: much of it was technical jargon but she’d read and almost memorized so many computer periodicals lately, she could follow the gist. “~Wall Soft usurped an independent application because it was a superior product in direct competition. Proof of true ownership is embedded in the code and the company experts can’t get rid of it.”
Lyra backtracked to the first mention of the developer. All reference to Tariq Mahmud ended after his lawyers set a meeting. She had her man’s probable identity: he seemed to be of Iranian extraction and was drowned at about when the programmer also dropped out of the equation.
“~Killing him seems to have proved a dumb thing to do.” She thumbed quickly through the dossier’s recent pages. Despite the massive amount of resources dedicated to the project, the code had resisted. It remained as unexploded ordinance, lodged in the corporation’s vitals. “~It appears I’m not the only one solidly hitting Bob’s nut cluster: Wall’s squirreled away green acorns are as vital to him as the flesh cashews under his bushy tail.”
Lyra replaced both files exactly as she had found them. Can I access the computer? She switched on the power but her progress was halted when the boot up sequence asked for a password. She didn’t have that—yet. Maybe I can wheedle that snippet out of him. He would be less guarded if the question was broached during chemical euphoria but even then asking for password was difficult to segue in.
“~Would he hide a note with it written down as a memory jog?” She looked on the phone’s underside and beneath the blotter edges. Pulling open the center desk drawer only found an assortment of office stuff. Her eyes fell on a box of expensive fine-tipped ballpoint pens. Bob invariably has one of these in his shirt pocket. The girl took the box-full of pens in hand and hammered them down onto the steel safe with a clenched fist, to intentionally damage the tiny balls in the nibs. “~I’ll consider this petty vindictiveness as revenge for my boredom over the past days of captivity.”
“~This outing has been both informative and fun,” the girl was seated in the plush office chair, idly rocking and swiveling with her heels on the desk, “~but tonight my jailbreak is impossible, so some preparations need accomplishing before Bob’s reawakening.”
“~He’s already nude so I don’t have to strip him. That’s a plus.” After returning, Lyra looked again on her quarry’s middle-aged physique. What attraction, besides a bulging wallet, could a nubile female find in this?
“~I dread this next distasteful action but it’s necessary.” She used her lipstick applicator to draw a ring around his male equipment. After thumb smudging, it appeared a byproduct of oral sex. With tasks finished, Lyra crawled nakedly under the quilt to feign her sleep.
“Lauren already had a new version of Bob’s software with my stolen program embedded.” Back at his Bell Town home-office, Tariq sipped on a non-pasteurized steam beer. His feet were up on the coffee table and the keyboard in his lap. “It’s reasonable to suppose the firm upgraded on a bulk license.” Lauren even seems to be working late tonight.
[Won’t she see your activity of her computer?]
“That’s one reason why I’m running my stealth software. I can call up some data files to my own applications without the material displaying on her monitor’s screen. All she might see, if observant, would be a slightly slower speed. I can see if there’s a telltale gauge program running.”
[Does her weekly agenda overlap with Jonathon’s?]
“Mata Hari Smyth and Kim Philby Dumont,” switching back and forth between two open activity boxes gleaned the answer, “have a clandestine rendezvous at the golf course. I’ll schedule a tee-off time to follow them.”
[And we can play around too.]
“Nice double entendre my alter-ego imaginary chum. First, we need to go shopping for some special golfing clothing.”
[Not those ridiculous knee-length puffy pants?]
Bob’s lids flickered open and he focused on the snoozing face so close to his. She was angelic and her eyes possessed a tiny sparkle even through slumbering lashes. A coy smile gracing her lips suggested that he really pleasured her. On a frightening thought, his body lurched upright.
“Did we use a condom?” He rummaged the bedside drawer but he had pre-stocked far too many prophylactics to determine if even a handful were used. Wall cast about frantically but failed to spot any discarded wrappers. “I don’t have your medical records: what if you’ve given me a venereal disease?” In a panic, he checked his privates for signs of jungle rot.
“~You didn’t need a wetsuit,” the girl stretched as she faked having been roused by his antics, “~because your phallus didn’t go skin-diving.”
“Ooh!” Wall spied the candy-apple red smears. “Somebody had a BJ last night and it appears it was I.” The clear sign of oral sex pushed his fears of sexually transmitted diseases to wistfulness over his memory loss.
Before his masculinity could react to her state of undress, she leaped up taking the top sheet to shroud her modesty.
“Come back.” He patted the mattress and sported an ear-to-ear grin. “Let’s kick the day off with a bang.”
“~In your nocturnal emission dreams.” Lyra lovingly blew him a kiss as she rushed towards the bathroom. “Ow!” She stepped on his discarded pants and a pocket object stabbed into her foot. I’ll bet those are the keys I needed last night. Duh! Why didn’t I think of a most obvious place? She hopped the rest of the way and expected him to be gone by the time she finished an ultra-long bathtub soak.
“I don’t remember much,” the CEO waited awhile for the female who didn’t return, then, he tracked down his strewn clothes, “but at least this time I didn’t poop, barf, or scream like a girl.” Bob traipsed to his office in the nude and dressed there. “I’ll go back later and screw her again.”
[If people played sports buck naked, as in the original Olympics, they would be less prone to becoming overweight.]
“Playing without the labor-saving power carts and wheeled golf bags would help too.” Tariq swung and whacked his ball badly astray. He had spent his wait time on the practice range. “I’m still not worth two bucks at this sport—naked or clothed.”
[That smock you’re wearing doesn’t do anything for your stance.]
“It’s traditional Saudi attire.” The Iranian-Canadian glanced down at his clothing. On top, he could appear to be wearing a long-sleeved white business shirt but without the tails tucked and those billowed down to his ankles. “It’s called a thobe.”
[Maybe the first robe tailor in Riyadh who made one, had a lisp.]
“Why don’t you have to confine yourself to Scandinavian stuff?”
[I know what you know—but fortunately more than that as well.]
“Then why don’t you offer a bit more useful help?”
[It’s your life but I’ll be here when I need to be.]
“Then I need you to hit this next shot for me.”
‘—PING—’. The ball sailed perfectly off the clubface. It ran in an arc so long that the safety netting at the end of the range caught it half way up.
“Holy moley! I’ve never even seen a shot that perfect—much less hit one myself.” Apparently, some of these golfers haven’t either. Faces were turned his way on the driving line. “Why do you always do that to me? Just when I start to feel comfortable with your being just a schizophrenic symptom, you do or say something that probably couldn’t be mine alone.”
[Are you so certain you know everything you’re capable of?]
“I do know that as a general rule, I couldn’t make a hole-in-one in an outhouse from a tee box under the toilet paper roll.”
[You can retrieve that stinky ball all by your lonesome.]
“There they are.” Lauren’s red hair and curvy form made her easily recognizable. The skinny shins sticking out from the plaid knickerbockers were Jonathon’s. “It’s game on.”
“~Shouldn’t good little nerds use plastic pocket-protectors?” The girl looked up from her spot on the sofa as her captor strolled in and her eyes dropped to where an inkblot crawled as a black spider on his white shirt.
“That’s twice today!” His eyes followed her gaze to find another of his pens had leaked. He had hoped his ill-fortune streak would’ve ended along with his long dry spell of no sex with her. Bob stripped off the ruined shirt at the expense of several buttons. “It doesn’t really matter,” he had a silly-looking anticipatory grin, “I could buy a whole garment factory.”
“Manz—traden.” Lyra swiftly checked his apparel removal.
“Man trading?” Wall stopped stripping. “Mate swapping?”
“Manz—traden.” The girl forced a sheepish smile and showed him the dictionary. Her finger circled the word she was attempting.
“Menstruation.” The CEO corrected her pronunciation, and the elation drained from his face faster than ink from a faulty nib.
“Menz—true—aaton.” She tried wrapping a Slavic tongue around the difficult English word. I’ll bet it sucks to be you right now. She falsely apologized with an exaggerated pout.
“We can still do other stuff to satisfy me.”
“Nyet good.” She frowned intensely and pushing the backs of both hands at him, she signed that she wanted him to leave. This trick buys me a couple of days but then I can’t employ it for another month.
“The Eve’s Curse portion of the female lunar cycle is exactly what I didn’t need right now.” The disappointed billionaire stood and left, but he wondered again at his seemingly endless string of ill fortune pearls. “I’ve opened a cursed sarcophagus. The mummy inside is yummy but worth her weight in un-funny side effects?”
“I suppose they’ve been here often enough,” the player in the brilliant white Arab garb stood out prominently on the sixteenth fairway, “to skip the wild slice ruse.” As he continued to watch, the pair in front vanished over the hill at the seventeenth tee.
[Aren’t you supposed to chip up onto the green?]
“Who gives a crap? I’m playing against myself so I won, or lost before I sunk my first putt.” Tariq zoomed his power cart towards the next link. “I don’t need the group behind to see me leaving the next fairway and I still have to stash my ride on the green-keeper’s pathway.”
As expected, the lawyers had vanished from the links. After crossing the fairway on foot, Tariq followed the legal siren’s oft-trod pathway.
[The barristers must’ve been eager for a discovery of naked truths.]
Tariq smiled: the trail of discarded clothing started even before the two had ditched their clubs. They’ve left their golf bags in the same place as she and I did. Carefully, Tom bin Peeking poked his head over the hillock. The coupling couple had only commenced their sexy pre-activity.
[Fore-play! Watch out for the balls.]
“You’ve taken too many male-only longboat expeditions. That’s not where my eyes are piqued.” I can easily snag most pieces and use a club to sneakily hook the rest. The Iranian-Canadian ex-client began his non-requested valet service of collecting articles of his ex-legal team’s clothing.
“Is this a sufficient repayment for Benedict Arnold and Arlene?”
[Would you kill them? How do you propose to do that?]
“They’re going at it in dictionary style with mistress between Mr. and mattress. The crest of his skull would easy to get all of with a # 3 wood.”
[How would you off a woman with whom you’ve been intimate?]
“By stuffing balls down her throat till she drowned in dimpled plastic.”
[Looking into her pleading eyes while she choked.]
“I’m not murdering them. Why did you put my train of thought on this tangent track? You’re spoiling the fun of my limited vengeance.”
[Your soul was judged up to your first death but you want to earn a few brownie points before your next one. A right choice doesn’t mean as much without the option a wrong one.]
“I’ll mull that statement over before I comment on it.” Tariq had now collected all the gear and attire. “When they finish their frisky frolicking, a return to the clubhouse should make for a provocative fashion statement.”
“She could caddy for me anytime.” Bob remarked as he and his second in command viewed a humorous news event that occurred two days ago.
“With the foliage they’re unsuccessfully trying to use as cover-up,” Collin gave his take on it, “the pair conjures up an image of Adam and Eve looking for a quick route back to the Garden of Eden.”
“I can’t imagine Adam looking like such a skinny dweeb.”
“Neither can I.” The asshole took his eyes from the male nudist and as he swung them to his boss, he couldn’t hold back his smile. Couldn’t Bob see the uncanny similarity? Jonathon Dumont’s publicly displayed body was very closely reminiscent of the software CEO’s thin frame.
“I admit that it is a funny news story,” questioned Bob, “but why did you bring it in for us to watch?”
“Those streaking naturalists are lawyers from the law firm you retained just before your submarine was commissioned.”
“And?” The CEO gnashed his teeth at the overly casual description of his seventy-five million dollar lost ship.
“An unknown Arab man is suspected of taking the clothes.” Internally, Hersker wondered when or if his familiarization of Wall and his company would bring to light how the man managed to make it in business at all. Bob wasn’t on top of many issues and he seemed too distracted to fully focus on those tasks that he was working on. “After this morning’s legal action, both the ethnicity and connection to your bottom-dwelling boat episodes certainly stands out more prominently.”
“Didn’t you read your legal team’s report this morning?” Collin could instantly see the man hadn’t, so he briefed the information. “Sheik Ghazi bin Omani has just filed a $150 Million dollar law suit against you over his incident in Houston. Even if you win it could be costly.”
“He’s got no viable case.” Bob rejoined but already felt lighter in his wallet. Wall didn’t relish facing a litigant opponent able to afford the right attorneys to put the contest on a level squash court.
“Ghazi asserts the hacker who scuttled his ship waltzed through your software to pull out the scupper plug.” Collin paused for effect. “It wasn’t the old system either: it was your invincible new Handshake Lite.”
“He’s full of Bedouin baked beans then, because even we can’t break into it.” The CEO went on to vehemently argue the case before the judge with no jurisdiction. After another moment of futile ranting, Bob handed the floor back to the asshole. “You have a differing slant to offer?”
“A Canadian programmer darts from nowhere: it turns out he is Arabic. His camel is carrying a load of dates that will render yours obsolete so you hijack his goods to make your caravan look better.” Collin had composed a parable in prose while waiting for the end of Bob’s harangue. “The sheik visits your oasis but he takes a swim and drowns: scratch one Arab from our vignette and he now is too dead to be Lee Oswald acting alone to fire the fatal headshot into your yacht—unless he reached up from Davy Jones’ Locker to rip out the hull.”
“The program is too good to be written by only one programmer.” The CEO reacted to the stressed words: as his underling anticipated.
“Only days later Ghazi bin Omani, a Saudi Arabian, has a ship sunk and he has since blamed it on Wall Soft but that’s an awfully short time frame for preparing a winning strategy for a complex court battle. Is it possible that Ghazi knows he’s not facing an invincible defense because we aren’t certain what the software can or can’t and does or doesn’t do?”
“Ghazi is either hyper-aggressive,” Bob felt an imaginary pain in his bank account, of an intensity nearly matching his recent testicular agony, “or he is acting on foreknowledge.”
“From all reports,” Collin had done his researching homework, “Sheik bin Omani makes an Alpha-male timber wolf seem as cuddly as a cub.”
“But why would he sink his brand new ship?”
“Are we actually certain that his boat was really a front-line craft? The news footage showed the tip of a communication beacon poking out of an oil slick. Other pictures of the vessel were company supplied stock photos. Perhaps the tanker was one step away from a Japanese razorblade factory. The cost of refitting a ship would offset the commissioning a new one.”
“That’s a fanciful theory but it’s still just speculation and it could be only based on some coincidences.”
“I wouldn’t have put the incidents together like that either but then the two barristers streaked the eighteenth.” The chair Collin was sitting in wasn’t comfortable over a lengthy period: the executive made it more so by putting his heels on the corner of Bob’s desk and slouching back.
“I also retain a number of law firms,” Wall looked at the offending feet but only his condescending tone commented, “and many lawyers.”
“I thought we were well beyond this?” Collin volleyed back the slight. “I personally checked with your contact at Dumont, Bach and Ratzler. Jonathon Adam Dumont and Lauren Eve Smyth landed the account. They obtained the code key sequence before rolling over on their client.”
Bob quietly sucked on his lips.
“I sleuthed further,” Hersker pressed on, “to find that an Arab in Saudi attire started solo behind them, but finished his round with three bags.”
“Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence but thrice is enemy action.” The software nerd offered an appropriate quote to seem wise but since a fictional character, Ernst Stavro Blowfeld, in a James Bond movie spoke the line, it lacked impressive depth.
“So you’re pulling Handshake Lite out of the bundle?” Hersker asked expectantly. “At least until you’ve got a better knowledge of it?”
“No. The upgrade package is fast turning into our best ever and it’s because of the popular feature. It would cost—,” Wall whistled, “I can’t even hazard a guess about what that would be worth.”
“But what about the third being enemy action?” Bob’s quote returned to Collin’s mind but it didn’t seem to make any sense.
“The developer intimated that he alone wrote the program.” The CEO then quoted. ‘I’m the only one who knows everything about my program.’
“Have you’ve just backtracked on the opinion you expressed a moment ago?” Collin was confused over precisely where this discussion was.
“A benefit of being extremely rich is that I can decide my stance on an issue and then spend sufficient funds to sway reality to match my opinion.”
“The trap is, that it doesn’t always work.”
“That’s why I like smart people around me, to point out the errors.”
“I didn’t—.” Collin paused briefly. “Ah—you were congratulating the dead programmer for changing your mind for you.”
“I’ve got no reason to suspect he was lying at that point and frankly, the prospect of Ghazi’s having no deeper insight into our program than we do, is a much more comforting belief.”
“The price tag on making that wish come true might be astronomical.”
“Or it saves me that much money if it’s already correct.”
“Let me do some more checking.” The contracted executive threw out a lame excuse to end the conversation. An ostrich accomplishes the same peace of mind for much cheaper, by putting its head in the sand.
“I had guardedly high hopes for Ghazi,” Bernard Stryker dived and like a javelin from an Olympian’s hand, but underwater, he glided in an arc that had his chest brushing the pool’s bottom before surfacing at the far side, “but it is disrespectful for a protégé not to first consult with his mentor.”
After flipping the water from his hair, Bernard spied the entourage in the lobby. He was still drying his torso when he met them at the elevator.
“Either you are distressingly punctual,” the charming CEO pressed the penthouse button, “or my much needed swim was overly lengthy.”
“Seemingly,” the Pakistani lady offered, “both suppositions are true.”
“I am a man,” his Speedo swimsuit almost screamed that his gender claim was accurate, “so changing for our dinner won’t take but a minute.”
“One should never swim within a half hour of eating.” Zafira casually took a seat to wait. “Fortunately, it’s not so for the reverse as well.”
“Do you ever find it uncomfortable,” Bernard quipped as they entered an upscale Lahore restaurant, “when previously close confidants become,” a foyer feature was a path of flat rocks over a pond, “just steppingstones?”