Authors: Beth Albright
Tags: #Contemporary Romance
I was still in my car seat squatting as Myra Jean opened the door to check out the oversized picnic basket that Vivi had supposedly brought to the river with her for her humungous picnic.
“Oh my goodness, this thing is huge,” she boomed. I felt her hand grasp the coverlet at my shoulder and give it a yank. Then she yanked it again.
“How the hell do you have this thing tied up?” She pushed.
“No! I have it tied really secure so it wouldn’t spill.” Vivi kept explaining.
“Well, my God, this is some talented basket,” she snipped.
“How do you mean?” Vivi questioned.
“Well, obviously it can drive. You have it tied down here in the driver’s seat—behind the wheel.”
I didn’t hear anything else from Vivi.
One more huge yank from Myra and I began to teeter and lose my balance-- and my grip on my big warm cup. She gave one last heave and yanked the blanket off me like she was a magician and I was one big surprise, Voila—now here’s me squatting on my car seat with my pants down, ass exposed with a big plastic Slurpee cup holding my pee.
“Lord have mercy! Blake! What the hell are you doin?” She yelled as I fell sideways and my pee then spilled over and out onto the cold ground outside, splashing her winter boots. Her velvet winter boots. The steam began to rise from the cold dirt.
“What the hell
that?” She bellowed.
“Well, Miss Myra, I was trying to have a moment of privacy.”
She jumped backwards.
“You’re not tellin’ me this is…”
“Yep-- I sure am. I’m so sorry! I am so embarrassed. Let me help you,” I said trying to un-squat and step out of my car pants still down. All my femininity just flew out the door right along with my …
“I’m so sorry.” I said it again, this time sounding like I was pleading.
“What the hell are y’all up to—and don’t tell me it’s a damn cookout or whatever you said, Miss Vivi.”
I cut my eyes to Vivi and shook my head. Miss Myra had built a reputation as a psychic in Tuscaloosa and she really believed in her talent. She would want to jump in to help solve the mission at hand. I took over.
“Oh, Vivi and I just wanted an out of the way place to chat where no one would bother us. With this baby fixin’ to come we just wanted some time to reminisce. So we came out here. Really that’s all.” I smiled trying to be convincing, but I felt a tad nauseous. We desperately needed her to go. For a moment I wanted to ask her if she had seen any strange activity in the neighborhood but I knew I better save it. Having Miss Myra involved is not what we wanted. At least right now.
“Well, y’all sure do pick some off the wall spots. I think I need to go, uhm, change my shoes here, they’re soakin’ wet. I’ll see y’all later. The next time you need to use the potty, just come to my door, okay? No need to make an outhouse of your fine car, there, Miss Blake.”
She trodded back to her car, shaking her head just as my cell rang. It was Dallas.
“What the hell are y’all doin’ over there? Y’all gonna blow the cover if you keep playin’ meet and greet with the neighborhood.”
“I know it. Sorry.” I knew she’d never believe me if I told her the whole squat and piss story.
“Oh my God,” Dallas said into the receiver.
“It’s her. There goes Jessica into the trailer. Let’s go y’all. We’ll be ready and waiting for your signal. Now, get in there and sell me some cupcakes!”
Vivi and I looked at each other and took a simultaneous deep breath. The dust of the dirt road still swirled in the air as Miss Myra drove down to her trailer. Her light blue old model Chevelle stirring up red dirt as she drove.
“Okay, let’s double check the plan,” I suggested.
“We need to take our phones to use for pictures. Snap everything you can. Just silence it so no one will know,” Vivi said
“I’ll talk first and set it all up,” I volunteered. “You say you need to meet everyone who lives there to see if they would like to volunteer for the bake sale at church. I’ll make it up as I go and you watch me and I’ll watch you. Let’s just play along with each other. This may be our only shot.”
“Ready?” Vivi asked. I wasn’t but I knew it was now or never.
“As I’ll ever be,” I assured. “Let’s get the cupcakes—and the bags for their donated clothes.”
We gathered the items to help us pull off the trap and we headed up to the rickety stairs of the doublewide mobile home. I knocked as Vivi held the cupcakes.
“May I help you?” A little chubby woman with graying hair and big round blue eyes answered. She was in an old faded red dress with an apron. For a split second, I thought we could be at the North Pole and this was Mrs. Clause, surely not a bordello housemother.
“Yes, Hi-- we’re from St. Catherine’s. May we come in for a minute?” We both smiled at the lady.
“ Uhm, certainly,” she held open the door. “Y’all come on in and have a seat. I’m Myrtle Mays,” she smiled. “Can I get y’all anything?”
Vivi and I stepped inside the tidy little place. The worn carpeted floor had a few old stains here and there but otherwise it seemed clean. To the left of the door was the kitchen. A step up led you to the galley styled cookery, counter-tops complete with nic-nacs and old cookbooks. It all looked normal. To the right of the front door stretched the family room. The shag, harvest gold wall-to-wall carpet led to the back of the room then up a narrow dark hallway. Vivi and I sat down on light blue, velveteen recliners. The plump little lady sat down on the dark blue couch opposite us.
“What can I do for y’all today?” she asked, folding her hands in her lap and offering a smile. I looked around and listened—no sounds of activity and no one else was even present. But Dallas had just seen the young dark haired Jessica come inside. I was really puzzled.
“Ma’am?” She leaned forward asking me again.
“Oh, Yes,” I said Vivi nudging me. “Yes, I’m so sorry. We’re here on behalf of St. Catherine’s Catholic Church. These cupcakes are for you and yours if we can get you to join us in our annual clothing drive for women. We need blouses and really anything to help local women join the workforce. Also there will be a bake sale in a few weeks with all the proceeds going to charity and we still need volunteers. Would you mind taking a minute to see if you have anything you’d like to donate? And if I could, I would like to talk with any other women who might live here.”
“Sure, y’all wait right here,” she said. “I can’t let y’all up the hall or anything. I have comp’ny here this week and they’re still suffering jetlag, so everyone’s asleep. I’ll be right back.” The round woman got up and made her way down the hall and slipped into the darkness. For a minute I wondered if she even knew what might be going on behind a few of those closed wooden doors.
“Vivi we need to get something. Look around. See anything?” I was starting to worry we were gonna blow it.
“No. I don’t see a damn thing.”
Dallas sent me a text. “
,” I sent back, “
”—trying to keep hope alive.
“Look,” Vivi said. “Here’s a Bible.”
“A Bible? Wow. I wonder if we might have the wrong place?” But actually it was a good decoy for a whorehouse. Who’d think there was anything out of the ordinary going on in here? In fact, this little place was the most ordinary place I had ever seen.
Just then, Vivi picked up the Holy Book, her curiosity getting the better of her.
“Oh, Lord,” she exclaimed. “This is no bible!” The book fell open and out fell a little black notebook. The entire inside of the bible had been carved out. It actually was a decoy--a fake book that hid the secrets, I hoped. Here we go.
“Put it in your purse,” I whispered. “Quick!” Vivi shoved the black book into her red leather bag and put the bible back down on the little wooden lamp table next to her recliner. I heard the woman shut a door and head back down the hall toward us in the living room.
“Act normal!” I pushed. “Here she comes!”
“I’m sorry y’all, this is all I have.” She handed over a couple of blouses and a pair of dress black pants. “I got way too fat for these and my kids still think of me as a size twelve. Hell, I need at least an eighteen these days.” She laughed a hardy laugh as she dropped them into my bag. “They all still have the price tags so they’re new. I never wore them.”
Can this lady be for real? She was so sweet and wonderful, I wanted to take her home and make her my aunt. Vivi and I squirmed. We needed more. We knew something was going on with the fake bible, but we sure didn’t have enough to help Harry.
“Do you mind if I use the restroom? I’m so pregnant, I have to go all the time.”
“Uhm...sure, I guess so.” The lady seemed uncomfortable. Fidgety. “It’s the first door on the left. Just be real quiet. My guests are sleeping.”
“Okay, of course, thank you so much.” I glanced at Vivi then headed up the hallway. I walked ever so quietly, so as not to… ahem, wake the guests. I sent Dallas a text that I was on search mode and to be ready. Vivi smartly engaged the woman asking her about pictures of her family on the wall. It kept her from watching me and seeing just where I was going. I didn’t even know where I was headed but I knew it was our last chance and that slutty little Jessica was in here somewhere.
I purposely walked right past the bathroom, and opened the third door on the left instead of the second. As silent as a mouse, I slowly turned the brass knob of the door, barley giving it a gentle nudge.
Holy Santa! I was most certainly not at the North Pole with Mrs. Clause. And just what to my wondering eyes should appear? Jessica the intern, and her big naked rear!
All I could think of was
take a picture
! I pulled my phone from my pocket and pressed my finger snapping about ten photos, one after the other before Jessica stopped her lap dance and turned. Her heavy-set “client” had his eyes closed as she gyrated on his bare legs, khaki pants and tighty-whities down around his knees. So attractive. Then she turned suddenly to me. She gasped and jumped to the right, exposing her customer.
Oh. My. God. —I knew this guy! Jessica was doing Bullhorn McGraw! Harry’s opponent during the election!
“What the hell?” Jessica screamed and tried to stand then fell over sideways, her legs sprawled from side to side, her ass in the air, her patent red stiletto got caught in his underwear. She hit the floor leaving her heel wrapped in his undies. I just kept snappin’ pictures as he tried to cover up.
“Get the hell outta here, he yelled as he stumbled trying to reach me. I snapped a few more just as Vivi rushed in with the little round Madame.
“Ohmygosh! Bullhorn!” Vivi pushed inside the tiny room. “Isn’t one Politian enough for you, you little slut?”
“I think I may see the set-up Harry’s talking about right before my eyes,” I announced. “Miss Jessica seems to specialize in the politicos.”
Just then, Dallas and her cameraman, Daniel popped up right behind Miss Mays.
Jessica and Bullhorn struggled to pull up their pants. Well her thong needed to be uhm-- repositioned.
“Jessica?” Dallas began.
“Get that goddamned camera outta here, now!” Bullhorn screamed.
Jessica managed to get to her feet, one shoe on and one shoe somewhere—possibly still in Bullhorn’s pants.
“Tell me about your, uhm—position here.” Dallas continued going after her story in the midst of all the confusion.
“Jessica?” Miss Mays questioned. “I don’t have a Jessica. This is my Jasmine. She’s my—niece. Yes, my niece. She lives here.”
“Jasmine? Aren’t you Harry’s D.C. intern? You’re the spittin’ image of the girl in the photos,” Vivi asserted.
“I’ll say,” I added.
“But when I just called her Jessica she looked up at me and answered,” Dallas reasoned.
“Yeah, well, uhm, I don’t know any Jessica,” the young woman said. “My name is Jasmine.” She looked away toward Bullhorn.
“And you, Bullhorn! You should be ashamed. Does your wife know where you are? Uh huh—I doubt it.” Vivi was on a roll. And the TV cameras were too. Bullhorn managed to stand, belting his pants while he tucked in his shirt. He was silent, red-faced and bug-eyed.
There was no mistaking it—this was our slutty little intern. Jessica stood in her shiny stilettos buttoning her blouse and looking anywhere but at any of us.
“Jessica, Jasmine, whatever you wanna be called, the question is, are you having an affair with Senator Harry Heart?” Dallas was relentless. I liked this side of her. At least
“Uhm, I—I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Do you work for senator Heart in any way?” Dallas kept probing.
“I don’t know who your talking about.” Jessica was good--tough to crack. Not that she didn’t like to
her crack. But that was a different talent. Just then we heard a commotion in the tiny hallway outside the bedroom. Someone was pushing through. I looked over and saw Sonny. He had Jay Johnson with him. Jay was head of VICE.
“Okay, everybody outside,” Sonny announced. “I think we all got a little business to take care of. Miss Myrtle, Mr. Johnson needs to speak with you personally. Everybody else, out! Now!”
Sonny was so great at taking over and no matter what the awful situation at hand, this was turning me on. “How the hell did you know where I was?” I asked him innocently. I surely had no intention of him ever finding out Vivi and I were here.
“No, the question is what the hell are you even doing here?” he said looking at me as we followed the little crowd outside.
“Answer mine first,” I said trying to wriggle out of this.
“I’m here on a tip and when I saw the news truck and then your car, I raced in here.
Bullhorn suddenly pushed past Sonny and me and opened the side door. There were no steps out that door as he quickly found out. This trailer is set up high and every door needs steps or you have to well jump out. Being 5’7” and nearly 280 pounds, jumping wasn’t gonna be a good idea for Bullhorn.
“Just where the hell do you think you’re goin’?” Sonny snatched him by his belt and basically saved him from breaking his ass on the dirt yard. Bless her heart; Miss Myrtle didn’t even have any grass to speak of there.