© Copyright 2011 - Jo - Used by permission
Storycodes: Solo-M; M/f; capture; naked; zipties; trashcan; messy; transported; outdoors; nc; X
The bicycle crested the hill. Hard to miss that hot pink and black outfit. I checked that the Harley was well hidden behind the tractor under the eave and headed into the woods.
I ducked behind some bushes at the corner of the house and adjusted the camera. I waited. Didn't have to wait long.
She peddled into the clearing and onto the brick patio. (click click click) She straddled the bike as she took off her helmet, shook out her impossibly blonde hair. (click click) She rolled the bike behind, then into the garage.
I set the camera aside, slipped on my gloves, tugged the ski mask down over my face, pulled the pistol from my fanny pack.
I ran low and fast to the garage. In the reflection of the door glass I could see her. She was hanging up her bike, her back to me. I stepped into the garage.
A moment later she turned.
We stared at each other for a bit, then I gestured with the gun.
She didn't move.
"Won't tell you twice, bitch."
Still she just stood there.
I put a slug into the beam by her head. She flinched, then took a step toward me. I gestured to the front of the Benz.
Again the staring, but after a pause she pulled off her jersey. She wasn't wearing a bra and I could see her tits were as fake as her hair. Another pause, then she kicked off her shoes, pulled down her shorts, peeled off white panties and socks.
"On the floor."
"What do you want?"
"I want you on the floor."
"Please, whatever you want, take it. I...I have money."
"No, Angie, I'm afraid you don't. What was once Jose's and briefly yours is now mine. Roughly twelve point two million, give or take."
She blinked at me, taking it in. I gestured with the gun again. She slowly sank to her knees.
There was a coffee can on the workbench with a bunch of zip ties. I grabbed two and tossed them to her.
"Put them on your ankles, one around one ankle and the other through it and around your other ankle."
"Please, I -"
"Angie, you've got nothing I want. Don't even want to fuck you. Well, maybe after a twelve pack." I shrugged. "Problem is I didn't bring any beer."
"I just want you safe and sound while I figure out what I'm going to do with you."
She picked up the zip ties, fastened them to her ankles.
I tucked the gun into my fanny pack, grabbed a couple of zip ties, and cinched her wrists. I sat her up, connected a couple more zip ties, slipped them through the Benz's grill, and wrapped them around her neck.
I didn't have a plan, hadn't for the past couple of days. I'd been making it up as I went. I had the money and the woman. I was pretty sure what I was going to do with one, but the other?
I dug the bullet out of the wood, stepped outside, and retrieved my camera. Went back into the garage and settled in next to her. I held the camera up so she could see the display. I thumbed through the images.
"Pretty much says it all, hey, Angie? So close. Oh so close. Almost perfect. Brilliant even. Especially the bike part."
I checked my watch.
"You made it in, oh, three hours and forty-two minutes. Not bad."
I left the garage looking for a clue as to my next move, saw the trash bins. I needed to keep her on ice, as they say, until I could cover my ass. The bin would do.
One held general trash, one cans, one bottles, and the last garbage, about two thirds full, neatly bagged.
I pilled the bags out and set them on the ground. When I finished I went back into the garage, snipped the plastic from her throat, hauled her to her feet and over my shoulder. I dropped her into the bin, her knees folded, wedging her into the bottom of the bin. I picked up a bag and was about to throw it in, but, I ripped it open and dumped the contents on her head.
"Once trash, always trash. Eh, Angie?"
She didn't speak. Not a word. Not even as I tore each bag open and piled the swill on her. Eventually it covered her perfect, fake tits. Came up to her neck. I closed the lid, forcing her deeper into the mess.
I secured the lid with a couple of zip ties and went into the house.
In her office, I booted her computer, moused around, clicked on the bank links, and transferred what was left of her money into my dummy account. I thumbed through her file draw until I found her bank statements. She had five credit cards, four of them maxed out and one nearly so. I found an airline and booked two first class tickets to Cancun, using her card of course. Nice thing about first class is that seats are always available and my flight left in about three hours. Plenty of time.
Forty minutes later I was at the airport. I used her card to dispense the tickets at a kiosk, then I walked up to the desk.
"What's your getaway special?"
I laughed to myself for the choice of words, but, truth be told, I wasn't getting away.
"Don't you have, like, a fifty dollar flight to anywhere? I've seen them on TV."
"Sure. Where do you want to go?"
"Not picky, just feeling like getting out of town for a few days. Leave today, come back Thursday. How about Memphis?"
"Sure. We can do that. The cheapest we have is sixty-seven dollars. You'll have to be on stand-by. But it's pretty slow, so you should be able to get a flight out today."
I didn't want to go to Memphis, didn't want to go to Cancun for that matter. I just needed a ticket with my name on it to get me through security and I'd be getting off the other flight in Miami when we changed planes.
I handed her my credit card, she handed me a boarding pass and thirty minutes later I was sitting in the barber chair. And twenty minutes after that I emerged looking properly yuppie. Well, except for my clothes. I stepped across the hall, told the clerk my bag was on its way to Vegas, and I needed a few things. When I stepped up to the gate, I actually looked like I belonged in first class. And after a not too long delay, we were airborne.
It had started innocently enough. I'm a photographer. I'm good enough to make money, but not good enough to make anything resembling a living. I live in a one-room shack on the edge of the state park. I don't mind. It gives me access to the park and, when I'm not on a gig, I do nature work.
I was surprised to see the tent and Wagoneer at campsite 4. The Jeep was old, real old, but looked new. An old guy was busy at the tailgate and as I worked my way through the woods I could see he was messing with some fishing gear.
I was about to keep going, not wanting to disturb him, when the girl came out of the tent. His daughter? Nope. Not with the kiss she planted on him. I reached in my fanny pack and swapped lenses on my camera, focused. She had on a wedding ring and, getting a closer look, I could see she wasn't a kid, but she wasn't that old, either. I settled in.
The guy stepped into a pair of chest waders, adjusted the shoulder straps and the chest strap. He picked up his gear and headed down to the lake, stepped into a canoe, settled in, and pushed off. He turned, the woman waved. He waved back.
The woman leaned into the Jeep and retrieved a black roll of some sort. A second later I saw it was an exercise mat. And two seconds after that she had stripped off her shorts and t-shirt. She was a blonde, but a shade of blonde not found in nature. Couldn't tell by her bush, because she didn't have one. She began her routine, a combination of yoga and Pilates I guessed. I noticed her tits barely moved and that they were impossibly round. So she was older than she appeared and some doctor had made a few boat payments. I took pictures.
A half hour passed, pleasantly. Then she headed down to the shore, waded in, and swam. She had to be a Yankee because no Southerner would be swimming in May.
I cooled my heels for another half hour, but eventually she emerged, toweled off, rolled up the mat, grabbed her clothes and ducked into the tent only to emerge dressed in a green blouse, tan shorts, and hiking boots. She had a brown, leather valise. She headed down the lakefront trail. I ran up the hill to the road and I was able to keep her more or less in sight until she settled on a bluff out on a peninsula. She pulled a pad and pencil from the valise and commenced to sketch. I ran back to the camp.
In the tent I found her wallet, in it her driver's license. Her name was Angela Mendosa. She was 28 years old, was 5'5" tall, weighed 120#, had blonde hair (yeah right), and blue eyes. She lived at 5462 Tom Newell Road. I knew where that was, farm country north of the city, did a gig there once. About 50 miles as the crow flies across the state line.
I fished around in her purse and came up with an address book. Nothing interesting there, except odd notations inside the back cover, looked like they may be passwords or security codes, but for what?
I checked the other backpack. In a zipper compartment I found another wallet. The guy's name was Jose Mendosa. He was 67 years old. There was a Rolex and an emerald ring in the pocket. The ring tempted me. I have a thing for emeralds, but I'm a snoop, not a thief. There was also a wedding ring. The inscribed date was a bit over six months ago. Newlyweds of the May/December variety. I went out to the Jeep.
In the glove box I found a key ring. It had three car keys and a couple that looked like house keys and a couple of more I couldn't figure.
I ran back into the tent.
In the back of the address book was the list of numbers, seven of them, all crossed out but the last. They had been married a bit over six months. Were these house alarm codes? And I had keys to the house? I took a picture of the codes and I was moving before my brain completely processed the information.
The fire trail leads behind my shack and I made the three mile run in under thirty minutes. Considering I was wearing hiking boots, that wasn't too bad. I switched to my riding boots, fired up the Harley, and headed out.
The state road parallels the interstate, more or less. They make a narrow X, crossing at the state line. And the state road crossed Tom Newell. Where? I didn't know. But I was about to find out.
Traffic was light at seven in the morning and I made the trip in about an hour. It took me three tries to find their driveway. This is farm and horse country and there are roads leading off into the woods every hundred feet or so. But I found it.
The dirt road entered the trees, then emerged into a clearing. The house looked both modern and old, kind of Frank Lloyd Wright-ish. There was a garage separated from the house by a brick patio. I peeked in the window. There was a white Mercedes and it, too, was old, but looked new. Seems Jose was in some kind of a time warp.
I kept my helmet, glasses, and gloves on. Who knew if someone was home or if they had security cameras? I walked up to the back door and tried the keys. The alarm control panel was just inside the door. I checked my camera display, pushed the buttons, and the LED went from red to green.
The place looked inside as it did on the outside. The furnishings were spare, but the lines were beautiful. Most of the artwork complemented the setting...except the paintings. God! They were awful. Bright, garish colors in no discernible pattern. There could only be one explanation and this was one case where a woman's touch was most definitely not called for. Seems Jose had done pretty well for himself, art-wise...up until six months ago.
His office was down the hall on the left. Hers down the hall to the right. Not just her office, but studio. She not only had bad taste in art, she created it. I stepped into his office.
I powered up the computer. It asked for a password. I thought of the codes in the address book, but didn't feel like screwing around with it. I shut it off.
I rummaged through his stuff. His desk was piled with folders and paper, most of which seemed to have something to do with Argentina. On a cork board were pinned a couple of pages with the word YES! in red on one of them. I scanned it. Seems Jose had a business deal in the works. Turns out he specialized in turn-arounds. According to the note he and his partner would put up ten million each (!) and it would turn into over a hundred in about five years. Not too shabby.
I snooped through his draws and file cabinet. Under a rack of folders there was a yellow envelope. In it was the owner's manual for a safe. Interesting. A little j-shaped piece of metal tumbled out. I put everything back.
Angela's computer woke right up, no password required. Nothing much of interest there, though, mostly business records and scans of her, ahem, art work. I pulled a CD from the stack and popped it in the slot. It held pretty much the same information as I'd found on the computer. I tried another and another and another. I'm kind of anal like that.
The sixth disc rewarded my persistence. I almost scanned right by it, but there was an image that was clearly not art. It was a Web page. There were a half dozen more. They were bank Web pages and the total balance was a bit over twelve million dollars. Turn-arounds have been very good to Jose. Each page had writing on it - security codes I figured. And the first page had two numbers written on the top of the page. One had Jose's name next to it. I went back into his office, booted his machine, and, sure enough, it was his password. I went back to Angela's computer, printed off the pages and shut her machine down.
Jose's machine was a gold mine of information. He kept several journals: daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. In them was a master course on how to get rich doing turn-arounds. I've always had an entrepreneurial bent and I started reading, mesmerized. It wasn't until the clock chimed that I realized I'd been in the house for over an hour. It was time to go. But not before I copied his files. The guy was very organized. I slipped my thumb drive into the slot and had only to click on one folder. But I noticed I wasn't going anywhere anytime soon. There were several gig of data.
I watched the status bar for a while, then I remembered the safe and decided to go looking for it. After about a half hour of looking behind artwork I gave myself a dope slap as I recalled the manual had Floor Safe written on the cover. I looked around some more, gave myself another dope slap when I reasoned that mounting it in a wooden floor wouldn't be very bright.
I found it in a basement closet. I had moved a box and a floor tile shifted. I wedged it out with my knife. I pulled out the sheet of paper, tried the number, then realized I didn't have a clue.
The manual told me it was a four-number combination, but I was looking at seven digits. Obviously one of them was a single digit. It took a while, but I worked it out.
Inside the safe were three envelopes and a velvet sack. In the sack were four plastic bags, and in each bag there were several dozen small bags each with a gemstone in it. Diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires. There was a sheet of paper in the sack on which the stones were listed. It contained data that made no sense to me except one - the price. Each of the stones was worth from a few to several thousand dollars each. I pulled an emerald from its bag, checked its number against the sheet. It was worth over $5,000. I slipped it into the watch pocket of my jeans. Like I said I have a thing for emeralds and how long would it take him to miss it? So now I'm a thief.
I took the envelopes upstairs, slit them open. One contained Jose's will. The other two contained the pages I'd printed. Except something wasn't quite right. I pulled out my copies. The passwords were different. Apparently Jose had changed the passwords and she had outdated copies. These were the current access codes. At this instant I had access to (and control of) over twelve million dollars. I just went blank. I couldn't get my head around having that kind of money.
I put the papers in fresh envelopes, sealed them.
By now I'd been in the house for over two hours and even though I didn't expect them, they were just a short trip down the road. I put everything back as I'd found it, retrieved my thumb drive, and got my ass out of there.
I needn't have bothered. Back at the park, they were at a picnic table having lunch. Seemed like a good idea.
When I got back it was getting on 2:30. I settled behind a bush with my camera. Maybe I'd get treated to another nude workout.
Jose was at the Jeep working on his gear. After a few minutes he pulled on the waders, grabbed his fly rod, and headed down to shore. I noticed he hadn't cinched the chest belt and I thought, Jose, you'd better cinch that, you might drown. Turns out I was not only a thief, but a mind reader.
He was darn near chest deep when I noticed Angela getting undressed. I set the camera to burst mode and dialed her in.
Once naked she walked down to the water, keeping to Jose's right. He's left handed and was casting over his left shoulder. There was an outcropping of rocks. She climbed them. And leapt! Landed on Jose's back and drove him under.
I thought she was just fooling around, but she stayed there with just her head above water for several minutes. By the time my brain registered what was happening it was already too late. I kept my finger on the button.
She pulled him to the surface, dragged him over to the canoe. With his waders full of water it took all her strength to get him into the canoe. She ducked under and came up with his rod. Then she, too, climbed in.
I swapped for the long lens, fast!
Out in the cove she did something to his head. It took a minute to realize that she'd hooked his ear. She wedged the rod under a thwart and started to rock the canoe. It tipped, dumping Jose into the drink. She swam free.
A couple of minutes later she stepped out of the water, calmly retrieved her clothes, went into the tent only to emerge freshly dressed carrying her backpack.
I'm not a correspondent, but I was trained by one of the best. Don't interfere. Keep taking pictures, he told me, let them tell the story. I kept taking pictures. Even when she climbed in the Jeep and drove away.
Once she cleared the site, I ran for my bike, climbed on and took the lake path back to the entrance, beating her by several minutes.
I let a couple of cars pass after she exited the park, then followed the three of them onto the highway. She settled in the right lane doing the speed limit. The two cars passed her, as did I. I checked the time. It wasn't rush hour yet, but a pre-rush bottleneck develops at around this time each day. I cranked the throttle.
Yes, I rode like a maniac. Yes, I received a number of, well-deserved, rude gestures. But I missed the mess. Once clear of the city it was smooth sailing. I let myself in their back door a half hour later. I tried to do the math. Given the traffic I figured I had at least a half hour, maybe more. I wouldn't need that long.
It was obvious she'd killed him for his money, but she'd never get it if I had anything to say about it. I didn't have a dog in this fight, but when opportunity knocks, you bet I answer the door!
I grabbed the safe manual and ran downstairs. I dialed open the safe, pulled out the envelopes and sack, stuck the little bit of metal in the hole and changed the combination. Would she notice? Probably not for a while. I couldn't imagine her coming home and racing downstairs to check the safe. And when she did get around to it, it would be several days before she'd be able to get a locksmith. But the bank account codes would be wrong and then it would be several weeks before she'd get a death certificate giving her access to Jose's accounts. By then the money would be long gone. Where? I didn't know. I was making this up as I went along. But I had time to figure it out. I stuffed everything into my fanny pack and closed the safe.
I climbed on the Harley and rolled it down the drive.
There was a field in front of their property. It had an old barn with a sagging eave on one side. A rusty old tractor occupied the space. I pulled my bike in next to it and waited.
I had to wait quite a while, almost an hour. Traffic must have been worse that I figured. But eventually the Jeep turned in. She rode by me. I ran through the woods and emerged just in time to see her enter the house. I crouched in the bushes contemplating my next move. Didn't have too much time for that because she came out almost immediately in a skirt, fresh white blouse, and heels. She went into the garage. A minute later the door went up and the Benz drove by. I ran back to the barn. She was just turning left. I waited for her to round a curve and I roared after her. Traffic was heavy, so I rode the grass shoulder, going against the flow until I came to a light. It was red. I pulled into traffic. Got a horn and rude gesture. I ignored it.
I managed to keep her in sight all the way to the shopping center, passed her in the parking lot, and found an illegal space by the curb. She walked by me and went into a gift shop, then another. Finally going into a coffee shop. Through the window I watched her order, take her coffee to a stool, and open a newspaper. I grabbed my camera, preset it, and went in.
I got a coffee and settled on a table by the door. I set the camera on the table, casually, pointing in her general direction. I added my helmet, gloves and glasses, and turned my attention to the passing crowd.
I could see her in the window reflection. She was there to be seen, showing a lot of leg and a whole lot of cleavage. I was tuning into her plan. How accurate could they pinpoint time of death of a body in the water? An hour? Two? Several? And about the time Jose drowned, she was seen having coffee fifty miles away.
I had palmed the remote camera clicker and took several shots of her.
A while later another woman came in and went over to her. They did the cheek bump, air kiss thing. After a few minutes they left. I watched them go into a restaurant across the way, saw them emerge onto the restaurant's patio. I tossed my coffee cup in the trash bin, grabbed my things.
The shops are around a lake. It's peanut shaped with a bridge across the middle. I crossed the bridge and went into a pub, walked through and took a seat on the deck. A waitress came by to take my order. I fiddled with the camera a bit and set it down, checked the screen, and palmed the remote again.
After dinner they walked by me. I followed them out to the lot. They walked to a movie theater, bought tickets, and went inside. I ran to my bike, drove across the lot to a craft shop. Found what I was looking for fairly fast. Then I hit the road.
I let myself into the house yet again, figuring I had two hours, maybe.
I ran the papers that I had through the fax/copier, stuffed the originals in fresh envelopes, and went downstairs. I spent the next hour writing numbers on labels, sticking them to tiny plastic bags, and dropping a faux gem in each.
Somewhere along the way I decided to fuck with Angie's head. I imagined her trying to get at the house money first. Not right away, but some money had to be there. I'd leave the money in her personal accounts. But at some point she'd check the house account and find it nearly empty. She might think that maybe Jose had moved it, but she still had the offshore accounts.
And then she'd check the safe, find her combination didn't work. A few days later the locksmith would come and all would be well. Until she tried to access the offshore accounts. Access denied. But still, once she had the death certificate she could claim the money even without the access codes. She was his sole survivor after all. And, of course, there were the gems.
I tried to imagine her building panic as each of the dominos slowly fell.
I figured it'd take several days or even weeks to figure it all out. But, when all was said and done, all she'd have left would be some worthless pieces of paper and bogus gems.
I rode home and picked up my sleeping bag and computer. The park has come-as-you-are camping where they provide a tent and cots. I commandeered one of the tents. This early in the season during the week they were all empty.
I'd figured she had to come back, had to return the Jeep. But how? Did she have an accomplice?
So far her plan was flawless. Guy fishing in a canoe, hooks himself in the ear, startled he tumbles out of the canoe, drowns. Wife has an alibi. Perfect. But how was she going to get away with it?
It was a long night. I spent it researching offshore accounts. Jose's were anonymous, meaning anyone who had the access codes had the money. I found a rating service, found similar banks, even set up a couple of accounts just to see. Didn't use my real name, of course. It was pretty simple. I checked out all the security features and whatnot.
The accounts would remain open for thirty days. If they weren't funded in a month the accounts would be closed. I thought I heard yet another domino fall.
It was barely dawn; so early everything was monochrome gray. The Jeep pulled into the park and rolled up to the locked gate. I scrambled over to a parked car, crouched behind it, set my camera on the tripod.
She sat in the Jeep for a while, probably being cautious. But eventually she got out and I had to stop myself from bursting with laughter!
She was wearing a hot pink and black bicycling outfit. Fifty miles at fifteen miles an hour over mostly flat road, she'd be home in four hours, tops. Even for someone not in great shape, it was doable. And, as I'd seen, she was in pretty darn good shape.
Return the Jeep when no one was around, then bike home. Just another morning exerciser. Brilliant!
She reached into the jeep, came out with something black. I couldn't figure out what it was until I heard the rattle of chain hitting pavement. After a cautious look around she climbed in the Jeep and drove in. A few minutes later she peddled out.
I climbed on the Harley and rolled it to the entrance. When she'd gone a couple of hundred yards I started it and pulled onto the road. I passed her and pulled over well up the road under a street light. I pulled out the camera, hid it under a road map. She pedaled by, signaled and turned onto the state road. I took pictures of her and the road signs, let her gain some distance, repacked my gear, and rode by her.
I stopped at the State Line Diner. It was 6 a.m. and they'd just opened. I ordered breakfast, ate it, got a large coffee to go, and headed out. There was a campground across the way. It was burned out, but there was a wall I could duck behind. I settled in with my coffee and waited.
A bit over an hour later she rolled into the diner's parking lot, went in, and emerged with a large, foam cup. She sat on a bench and drank her drink. I took some more pictures.
And a half hour after that I let myself into the house. I took a slow lap around, opened every drawer, every cupboard. I started to get a feeling of ownership. I was going to buy the house. She was going to need legal fees and she'd have no money. I didn't know what the house was worth, but I figured the legal fees would quickly eat up whatever I paid, leaving her, still, broke. Yeah, sounded like a plan.
I went back to the Harley to wait.
When the jet landed I found the nearest bathroom, changed back into my riding clothes, stuffed my yuppie clothes into my backpack. In the lobby I found a limo service, got the charge for a trip to Ft. Myers, paid up front, climbed in back, and promptly fell asleep. A few hours later I was standing before another agent, booking another flight. Five hours later I was back at the house.
Everything was as I'd left it. The garbage bin stood there, its lid zipped in place. An image of Angie chin deep in swill flashed through my brain. Once trash, always trash. I couldn't help but smile.
I pulled the key to the Benz from my pocket, Climbed in and hit the road. I was groggy. I couldn't sleep on the plane and the nap in the limo only left me logy. And I was really getting sick of this drive. But with twelve mil on the line, well, it was a dirty job, but somebody had to do it.
At home I parked the Benz behind my shack, covered it with a tarp, climbed into the van, and made the return trip.
Sometimes I live in the van. I haul the bike in back. I have a winch and a plank. When I get where I'm going, I find a free spot to park the van. It becomes home.
Back at the house, I winched the bin into the back of the van, followed by the Harley.
I went inside, sat down at her computer, and finished what I'd started.
If her plan was brilliant, I figured mine was at least pretty darn good. Hubby drowns, wife disappears, tickets out of the country paid for by her card. Was there an accomplice or lover? And then there was the money. Where did it go? I used her computer to completely empty the accounts. I transferred the last of the money into a dummy account I'd set up. I didn't see how anybody could get at the money. But with that much on the line, well, someone was sure to try. I moved the money again to another account. Some bright person could probably figure out where Jose's money had gone, but there was no way to track the second move. Or so I hoped.
But since all electronic activity leaves a trail, I planned to visit the bank in person in a few weeks and take the money out in cash. Or perhaps I'd arrange a move using couriers. I didn't know. My brain was pretty fried right about then.
The money was gone. All she had was a few thousand dollars in jewelry. Once hocked, probably just enough for a lawyer's retainer.
I had an idea of driving her to some city and leaving her there, maybe with a tip to the police. I'd send them copies of the pictures for sure. Send them to the newspaper, too. Or not. It would depend on how the investigation went. There's a parking deck in town, right across from the police department. Maybe I'd just leave the car there with her locked in the trunk and let the cops figure it out.
Once more I climbed into the van. Once more I made the hour drive. I parked the van next to the Benz.
I pulled the bike from the van and contemplated pulling the trash bin out, too, but I was wasted. I had no idea what I'd do with her anyway.
Besides, she'd keep.
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