Bridget's Days Ch. 02bypatricia51©
(Washington, D.C. 1862)
"Oh crap, crap, CRAP," I muttered under my breath as I saw the hooded figures pass the alleyway where I was precariously balanced on a stack of wooden crates. I redoubled my efforts with the pick head I was using to chip the cement from around a pair of steel bars.
"What is it?" replied a soft Southern voice from inside the tiny room I was trying to open.
"They're here. They're here now." I said. "I thought we had more time." I put the pick aside, its tip blunted from hammering the stone window frame and grasped the two bars in my hands. "Stand back." I exerted my stronger than human strength. The time for subtlety was gone.
In the back of my mind I thought, "This is a fine mess you've got yourself in Bridget. An agent of Allan Pinkerton's Secret Service and a trusted one at that, breaking a notorious female Rebel spy out of jail. Well, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do."
This had all started prior to the war. I had been living, so to speak, in Chicago for several years, having moved from Charleston in South Carolina when it once again had become a little too obvious to acquaintances that I didn't seem to be getting any older. I had made that move many times before and was certain I would do it again. With the increasing tensions between the areas of the country, I expected by the time I ran into anyone who knew me, well, they'd be too old to remember me.
Once there I looked for a job. I didn't need the money, having carefully invested the proceeds from a large number of jewels that unexpectedly had come into my possession about 70 years prior. However I could only lay around so long, snacking on the occasional salesperson and reading lurid romances. I guess it was my upbringing. Mother and Father taught me to work. Some lessons aren't forgotten even after 250 years.
However since I didn't HAVE to work, I was able to look around for something that fit my wants and needs. Something exciting, interesting and most importantly, something that could be done at night. I was amazed that I found it. Allan Pinkerton had an amazingly advanced opinion of the capabilities of females and hesitated not at all in hiring me. Nor did he have a problem with my desire to be a nocturnal detective. In fact he told me that he preferred that, he had plenty of daylight operatives.
One line of questioning that he pursued in great depth had to do with my having lived in Charleston and before that in Savannah (although I certainly didn't tell him just how long I had been there). He wanted to know where my loyalties were and I was able to reassure him that as an immigrant from Ireland I owed my allegiance to the Federal government. He was very intrigued as to my ability to speak with an upper class Southern accent.
I worked in the capacity of a private detective until the events of January 1861. One night I was ordered to report to a certain passenger rail car. I was also instructed to come armed, something I generally did not do. Clutching my Navy Colt, which I had never actually fired, I became one of the agents who surrounded president-elect Lincoln as Allan brought him safely past the attempted assassination in Baltimore.
Following this, I was one of the agents who followed Allan into his new position as President Lincoln's personal intelligence chief. When the war broke out arrangements were made to smuggle me into Richmond, along with a considerable sum of money and enough dresses and accessories to allow me to masquerade as a Southern woman of independent means.
I didn't go crawling through tunnels and sneak into the Confederate Headquarters to steal secret documents. I attended and hosted parties. I danced and batted my eyes and stared dreamily at various Southern officers. I held supper parties and listened to women talk about their husbands or boyfriends, or sometimes both. I kept the information in my head, writing it down only when I sent a report to Allan via the channels he had arranged.
Generally I found that although they were every bit as hot-blooded as I had known them before, most of the officers were susceptible to a kiss and a caress. After all, they were fighting for Southern Womanhood to begin with. I actually was getting a bit frustrated when I couldn't get any of them to do more than daringly brush a hand over my breast. I was taking care of my other needs by slipping around the city late at night, careful to never visit the same place twice, nor to take too much blood from any one person. But damn, I was getting horny.
Then I met someone my match. He was a ship captain, a dashing rake of a man. He was dark and handsome, if not tall enough to satisfy the requirement for the third factor in the old prophecy. He was suave and his interest went far beyond a kiss or a casual touch.
The friends I had made warned me that I should be careful, that he would pursue me and even, they shuddered, attempt to debauch me. Well about time I could tell you that! I needed a good debauching. Female vampires do not live, so to speak, by blood alone.
Now I certainly led him a merry chase. Several nights he thought he had me cornered but I slipped away. Finally, one night after a particularly successful party I "inadvertently" dismissed the hired help and found myself alone with him.
He strolled out of the drawing room with two glasses and a bottle of port. He extended one glass to me.
"A taste before, Mistress Smith?" If "Smith" sounds absurd, I couldn't go by "O'Brien" and move in society circles. The Irish were SO not acceptable.
"Before what, Captain Butler?" I inquired. My tone was innocent but I knew the devilish amusement that flashed in his eyes was matched by mine. I sipped the wine. Good port.
As I placed the glass on the end table he came up behind me. His arms slipped around my waist and his lips nuzzled the side of my neck. For just a moment the thought flashed through my mind, "Could he be?" The common sense took over. I had heard enough to know he wasn't a vampire.
"Why Captain Butler." I purred, reaching behind me to where the front of his trousers strained against me. My nimble fingers began to free him as I continued, "This seems so sudden." His hands rose to pluck the shawl from my shoulders. Since my long dress was both strapless and sleeveless, the downward motion of his hands pushed my dress top down to my waist. He took my breasts in his hands and squeezed them. I gasped and responded by pulling his cock free.
"Oh perhaps I am too forward, Mistress Smith," he replied. One hand pressed me forward over the edge of the table. The other hoisted my flowing skirts up, bunching my dress around my waist. In defiance of fashion, I had neither innumerable petticoats nor pantaloons under my dress. "I would hate to think that you consider me hasty in my actions." He emphasized his last point by leaning against me, the length of his cock filling the cleft of my ass.
"I am sure the thought never would cross my mind to consider you 'hasty', my dear captain." I answered him as I grasped the far side of the table. I stood on my toes, bowing my back and presenting myself to him. He moved back slightly, until the head of his cock slipped over my dark hole, causing me to gasp deeply, and then it slid along my pussy. "Indeed," I managed to say between clenched teeth as he rubbed the head back and forth in my wetness. "I would hope that 'hasty' is anything but what you have in mind."
"Certainly, my dear lady." I moaned deep in my throat as the thoroughly wet tip of his shaft slipped back to my ass. "In fact, I plan to take all the time to properly express my appreciation at your hospitality that you would desire." His hips pinned mine against the table. I felt my anal ring slowly giving way as his weight opened me until, with a satisfied grunt, his cock head slid inside my ass.
"Mmmm, Captain, I feel your thanks." I gave a louder moan as he proceeded to fill me with the remainder of his cock. "In fact, I feel them quite deeply."
"I do so want to please." He grasped my hips and with a gentle rocking motion commenced to fuck me. His hand reached around and slid down my belly and between my legs. One finger dipped inside me while his thumb found my clit. His other hand rested on the nape of my neck, gently massaging it as his thrusts began to pick up speed. I felt his groin slap against my ass cheeks as he buried himself in me. He withdrew until the head was straining at my ring. Then he drove deep back into me.
All the motions combined. His finger inside my pussy, his thumb rubbing faster and faster on my hard clit, even the motion on his fingers on my neck as he held me steady, all those complimented the building sensations his cock was stirring. I closed my eyes as I felt him groan and swell in my ass, stretching me even further. The hot spurt of cum in my ass was matched by the nectar I released onto his hand as we shared an orgasm.
"Mmmm," I laughed as I felt him pull out from me. "Captain, I must bow to the power of your thanks." I turned and made a mock curtsey. Since my dress was still gathered at my waist I'm sure it looked ridiculous. "Perhaps we could continue this upstairs in a more suitable position?"
I was immediately alarmed when he smiled at neither my curtsey nor at my suggestion. He shook his head. "I'm afraid, Mistress 'Smith'," and I could hear the quotes around the name I was using, "That it would be a good idea for us to skip that, although," and he smiled happily, "I will regret losing the opportunity to know you better." He became serious again.
"The fact is, dear lady, that certain elements of the government have been taking a great deal of interest in you lately. I don't think they have arrived at any firm conclusions, but that may only be a matter of time. I suggest that you go, and go now." When I visibly hesitated, he added, "I am not trying to stampede you into revealing yourself. I'm already quite certain that you are a member of the Union Secret Service. I have no intentions of turning you in."
I sensed the truth in his words. I scampered into a back room and emerged in a few minutes dressed in male clothing. I unlocked a hidden drawer, pulling my final reports and stuffing them inside my shirt.
"Why, Captain? Why risk yourself for me?"
"Because, my dear lady, I know that the South cannot win this war. Her sons are brave and determined, but the overwhelming numbers and industrial might of the North will prevail. Perhaps when it is all over I will need a friend. Besides," his face lit in a roughish grin, "You are too lovely to be decorating a gibbet."
Suddenly there were noises out front. "Hasten," he commanded. "Out the back. I will delay them." I took one precious moment and kissed him. Then I was out and running into the darkness behind the house.
I made it safely to the Union lines. I knew any pursuit would expect me to go North to the Army of the Potomac. Instead I slipped away to the east and the Army of the James. My identity confirmed by telegraph, I returned to the Capitol. Allan debriefed me and immediately handed me another assignment.
"Bridget, high society here is riddled with Southern sympathizers. I want you to pose again as a Southern Belle. Just keep your eyes and ears open and note who expresses Secessionist opinions. Most of them are just talkers, but we're concerned about an underground organization called 'The Knights of the Golden Circle'. We suspect they are aiding Southern agents and still plotting the assassination of the President and other key officials. I also suspect it was through their actions that you were identified in Richmond."
I returned to the drudgery of fancy balls and dinner parties. I flirted. I listened. I danced and I drank champagne. I did as Allan instructed and took mental notes on who seemed to be merely shooting their mouths off and those who had determination in their faces.
One man I wasn't sure of. He seemed openly a Southerner in his remarks but I didn't catch actual hatred or willingness to act in his comments. Knowing we were short-handed to watch everyone I elected to report him as a sympathizer only. How I could have changed history if I had looked deeper. His name was John Wilkes Booth.
However in my own defense I was intent on bigger game. I had heard whispers of who might be actual agents of the Rebel Government. In particular my suspicions centered on a woman named Belle Boyd. She moved as I had in Richmond, listening far more than talking. I sensed a quick and decisive mind behind the facade of being a vacuous woman.
I was reasonably sure I wasn't fooling her either. Behind smiles and faces hidden by more than hand fans, we dueled with each other in drawing rooms, libraries and dining rooms. Finally one night I walked, unannounced and uninvited, into a meeting she was attending with several upper members of the Knights.
"Good evening. gentlemen," I nodded at the men and turned my attention to Belle. "Good evening Mistress Boyd."
"Good evening, Mistress Hamilton," she replied. Then demonstrating she was well aware of who I actually was, she added "Or should I be formal and address you as Agent O'Brien?"
"Actually, 'Bridget' will do nicely. Now then." I surveyed the room. Hands were slipping into jacket pockets and bodies were tensing, except for Belle, who remained cool and watchful. "It is my duty to inform you that all of you are under arrest."
One of the men laughed harshly and pulled a pepper-box pistol from his coat pocket. "You're a fool. This house is surrounded by men loyal to the Cause and you walk in here alone?"
Windows crashed open. The men spun to face a squad of leveled rifles. The door burst open and Allan himself entered, along with several Army officers. "Actually," Allan pointed out dryly, "She brought an entire troop of cavalry."
The men were hustled out. Allan faced Belle and removed his hat. "Mistress Boyd, I assure you no harm will come to you. You will be held until you can be returned to Richmond, by which time I expect the information you have gathered will be quite stale and useless."
She curtsied in reply. "Thank you, Mister Pinkerton." She turned her attention to me and smiled. "And thank you, Bridget, for your opposition. I trust you will not be offended when I tell you that without you, I would never have been caught,"
"Allow me to return the compliment, Belle. If you had been in Richmond I would have taken the first opportunity to skip town."
The Knights went to a military run prison camp. Belle was placed into a small, but comfortably furnished jail cell, to be held until her exchange could be worked out. I formed the habit of dropping by most evenings to visit with her. I was happy to discover she bore me as little animosity as I bore her. Our positions could have easily been reversed. Although we both believed in our causes, part of the reason we did what we did was the thrill of being women succeeding in what was considered a man's world. I respected her and liked her, and felt those feelings were returned.
One evening I was late. As I hurried in Belle rose from the chair in her cell and smiled. The smile faded when she saw the look on my face.
"What is it Bridget?"
"Belle, I've gathered some very upsetting rumors. It seems someone is not in favor of you being simply released back to your lines. I honestly don't know if its Union fanatics, or disappointed Knights, or hell, a combination of both. But I'm worried your life is in danger." I hesitated. "Belle, I want your word on something."
"If its honorable," she replied. I motioned her to the cell door. Casually I laid my hand on the bars. As quick-witted as she was, she instantly placed her hand on mine. Not by any sound nor sign did she reveal I had passed her a derringer.
"I want your promise you will use this only in self-defense, not to escape."
"I promise Bridget."
"I'll be back soon. I need to see Allan and tell him what's going on." I hastily left. It wasn't two hours later I was standing on that pile of boxes in the alley.
"Pssssttt, Belle." I whispered.
"Bridget!" Her face appeared in the barred window. "Bridget, something is really wrong. The guards are gone. I think the building is deserted."
I nodded grimly. "Allan is out of town. People aren't talking to me. I think this runs deep. I looked out front and it appears the front of the building is being watched. I have no idea if I have this authority but I'm placing you in my custody. I'm going to get you out of here, but once again, I ask you to promise not to escape."
"I promise," was all she said, but I knew I could trust those words better than sworn oaths.
"Get down from the window." I began to chip away at the stone holding the bars. I had considered trying to take out the watchers but the odds weren't good and I still couldn't swear they were the bad guys.
I froze when I saw the group slinking down the street. Anyone wearing hoods is up to no good and a coward to boot. The instant they disappeared I grasped the two bars I had loosened and pulled. They came free. Unfortunately I pulled too hard and the boxes went out from under me, dumping me to the street with a loud crash.
"Fuck!" I cursed. "Belle, come on!" She leaped to the opening and wiggled through. I heard yelling from inside the jail. I grasped her hand and pulled her as we ran down the alleyway, away from the gang I hoped.
I hoped wrong. Several figures sprang out as we neared the end of the alley. Most of them scattered when I fired the shotgun I had brought along. Three didn't. I threw two of them over the fence. The third one had brought a shotgun of his own. With a scream of rage he pointed it at Belle. Frantically, I sprang in front of her as it went off. I staggered and fell. Of course it couldn't kill me, but it hurt like hell and threw me off balance. Then I heard the click of the other hammer being pulled back. He wavered just for a moment, uncertain who to shoot. A sharp crack settled the matter as Belle fired the derringer point blank.
As the man fell, she grasped me under the arms. "Oh GOD, Bridget. Why did you do that?"
"Never mind," I grunted. "Run, damnit." I rose to my feet, grasped her hand again and we took off. Ten minutes later I closed and locked a door behind us and lit a lantern. Its light showed we were in a small, windowless apartment. The furnishing were simple, a table and chairs, a bed and a sideboard with glasses and a pitcher on water on it.
"We're safe here," I assured Belle. "Nobody, but NOBODY knows about this place. Its my..."
"What are you talking about Belle?"
"Bridget, I'm not a fool. I saw you throw two grown men through the air like dolls." She nodded at the front of the shirt I was wearing. "And you can claim that guy missed you, but he didn't. You should be dead in that alleyway, but you're not."
The silence stretched out for long minutes. Finally, taking a deep breath I faced Belle. "I'm not dead back in that alleyway because I've been dead for nearly three hundred years already." I noted the derringer in her hand. As frightened as I knew she must be, her hand shook not at all. "If I meant you harm Belle, do you think that pistol ball would stop me? I just took an entire load of buckshot at point-blank range."
"Pretty lively for a dead woman." Belle lowered the pistol and placed it on the sideboard.
"Well, the official term is 'Undead' I believe." My face slipped for a moment. "I'm a vampire."
Belle nodded. "I can see I will have to revise my opinion of the species. Take that shirt off," she ordered me. I looked at her in surprise. "Regardless of whether that gunshot could kill you or not, its obvious that it hurt you. We need to clean you up and maybe get the shot out of you."
I took off the remnants of my shirt and held my arms up. For the next few minutes Belle gently cleaned the powder burns and lodged cloth remnants from me. We talked. I told her some of my life history and she told me hers. She decided not to probe for the balls from the shotgun, once I had explained my body would treat them like splinters and eventually simply push them to the surface.