Rainsford City Council's appointments panel selected Darcy le Green as the mayor's replacement chauffer from ten applicants. Unlike other applicants Darcy passed the driving test without losing marks, had no drug or alcohol convictions and was well groomed and looked trustworthy.
The previous chauffer was found knocking on the door of the apartment by a very jealous husband who wasn't to know the chauffer was attempting to find why the mayor was taking so long. The unfortunately chauffer was being warned to leave town or die and while having his head partly reshaped with a flowerpot wielded by the foul-mouthed husband, the mayor jumped off the balcony of the second-floor apartment to land without harm on the backyard compost heap.
The sated wife denied she'd been playing around and would have got away with it except the husband found four used condoms on the beside cabinet. She was smacked around the room and next day filed for a divorce and all that left the husband more than a little emotionally unstable.
Darcy knew nothing of this and when he met the mayor for the first time had no idea the jerk had abandoned his last chauffer.
Mayor Bryan welcomed Darcy warmly and told Darcy to call him Alan.
"Okay Alan but I ought to also know you real name."
The mayor looked surprised and said, "But my real name is Alan Bryan?"
He then saw the smile and grinned and said Darcy appeared to be rather sharp with some wit.
"What do you know about me?"
Darcy thought it best to ignore all the gossip and recalled the counter-interrogation techniques he'd been taught when in the Special Services.
"Not much really apart from people say you are one of the most effective mayors we've had in years, that you are decisive and fair and there's no smell of corruption on your watch. Oh and that you're very popular."
Mayor Bryan beamed.
"Oh sit down son. Now let's run through my usual routine so you get an idea of what you and I will do together. I work hard and I play hard. You drive me where I want to go and bring me back again and keep me out of trouble. I sometimes have a little bit of time with the ladies. You keep your mouth shut about that. If you have my wife in the limo and she wants sex, then oblige if you wish because half the city appears to take that liberty."
For a moment Darcy thought his hearing had become defective but then heard the mayor say that his wife only took it anally.
A small ground floor apartment with a secure lock-up for the white Ford limo went with the job as well as quite a hefty salary because the work hours were shit.
The mayor was a bore to drive. He sat in the back either reading reports or dictating or talking on the phone and rustling through the newspaper.
Marlene the wife was a different personality. She sat in the back and talked non-stop, even while applying make-up.
"I suppose my husband told you it was okay to have sex with me?"
"And what did you think about that Darcy?"
"I thought of entrapment."
She laughed and said that was a novel reply.
"Most chauffeurs would believe they are not worthy of me. Are you in that category?"
"Hell no, if you paid enough I'd fuck you."
That reply appeared to astonish Marlene.
"Are you saying you would truly engage despite being rather young and rather attractive? What about this joke of my husband's that I only take it up the back passage?"
"That would be stated to try to scare off the guys but I would go for clean anal."
There was silence until Marlene asked, "How much?"
"Five grand a session."
She snorted and said she'd never pay that.
"Thanks Marlene," he smiled.
The 57-year old laughed and called him a scumbag and from that moment they became good friends. They rarely talked about her husband except to refer to him indirectly and that's how Darcy thought it should be. Darcy was not family.
Five months later Alan and Marlene's thirty-four year old daughter Sophie was kidnapped without any demands being made. The police mounted a huge search that included radio and TV appeals for information. The mayor and his wife were terribly upset.
After three days without any developments the police admitted. The mayor asked Darcy to stop at a bar on the way home.
"Don't hit the bottle Alan; the police may call and you'll need a clear head."
"Agreed so don't allow me to have any more than two beers. Drink with me pal."
They each had a bottle of light alcohol beer and talked for more than an hour.
Alan sighed as he lowered his bottle, "Someone is doing this to get at me."
The mayor looked at Darcy and said, "Don't you think I've told the police everything and they will have sifted through that information and followed up on anything suspicious? You ought to have guessed that by your special training and deployment."
"Yes Alan," Darcy said. "So it boils down to what you haven't told the police... your secrets."
"Someone you crossed badly, a guy catching you with his girl, a gambling..."
"There was an incident before your arrival."
"Then call the cops, now."
Alan licked his lips. "Disclosure could cost me my wife, my career."
"And possibly your daughter."
Darcy persuaded Alan to tell him everything,
After relating the story about almost being caught committing adultery and looking even more worried, Alan said, "Well, that gives us two suspects. What do you think?"
"Actually I think it's only one suspect. Tell me everything you know about my predecessor."
Alan did that and waited anxiously for the response, one that would please him.
Darcy said, "In all probability Jack Green has returned to the city and has your daughter and is making you suffer like he suffered when being wrenched out of his job and out of his city. As I see it the motive is revenge. You left him there in the lurch. I read the newspaper report of the kidnapping. It stated your daughter worked in a bank. Is it possible Jack Green had an account at that bank and would have known your daughter?"
"Very possibly. The council pays wages and salaries into that bank into the accounts of our employees and automatically transfers the payments to employees with accounts at other banks. Ah yes I remember once, no at least twice when I called at the bank to operate my account, Jack did the same thing. He did or does have an account at that branch."
"Jesus Alan this probably confirms the breakthrough we need. Here's what you do. You give me Jack's former address and you give me the use of your wife's car. I just could have this cleared up by dawn. Just tell Marlene we are working on a hunch. Your alternative is to go straight to the cops."
"No stealth would be best. I reckon you are figuring Jack had retained his old address. It's a house he shared with his mother until he became my chauffer and about a month before he fled the city his mom was admitted to a home for the aged with medical facilities."
Darcy had everything was adding up. "Give me a description of this Jack Green."
"I'll do better than that. When we get home I'll print off his CV and profile from our secure website. I'll also give you a photo of Sophie."
Darcy said that would be of great help.
"If I can get between Jack and his apartment then all good and well. If not the risks escalate and I may have to call in the police. Whatever happens just remember to say to investigators I reckon I had a theory about the kidnap motive and went to take a look and asked to borrow Marlene's car."
Alan said carefully, "Look this is putting you into the realms of unacceptable risk and..."
"Let's go Mr Mayor. We are wasting time here. I'd like to think that after watching TV evening news Jack will go out to buy dinner for two. Oh give me the name of your ex-girlfriend's husband and telephone number will you? I might be able to use him."
"Without revealing my involvement?"
* * *
Darcy had been trained to predict with greater accuracy than most people about how careful people, such as people suspecting they might be under surveillance or were being stalked, would move and ways they might react. He figured the kidnapper would be an ordinary civilian, with no past experience in the crime and because of that would be feeling guilty, afraid and taking care to do nothing stupid.
The events that night unfolded like something well rehearsed.
Once Darcy had Marlene's car he went home and changed into dark clothes and prepared a pair of her black stockings that Alan had sneaked for him to use as a head mask.
He staked out the former chauffeur's apartment from the side of another small apartment block opposite and just after 8:00, as it was becoming dark, he watched Jack Green appear and walk down the street a little way to a store specializing in take-outs. Darcy had followed on the opposite side of the street and as soon as Jack entered the store Darcy called the aggrieved husband.
"Hi Benny, this is a friend. You know that bastard you ran out of town after you beat him up for lining up to fuck your wife, well he's back in town."
"Who is this?"
"A friend Benny. You can catch him now if you hurry and really boot him in the ass. The guy is laughing at you and intends to fuck the next woman you line up with."
"Where it he? Give me the address. I'm already running to the car."
Darcy gave Benny the details and urged him to hurry.
A car arrived and parked almost where Darcy was standing the deep shadows when Jack appeared and began walking home with two packs of food.
The guy in the car started the motor and drove over to the wrong side of the road and Darcy thought oh crap, Jack would be run down but he breathed easier when the vehicle didn't mount the pavement. Instead the vehicle stopped and the driver jumped out wielding a baseball bat. He slugged Jack and hauled him into the back seat. The doors slammed and Benny drove off sedately. There appeared to be no other witnesses apart from Darcy. The containers of food lay on the ground.
Jesus, Darcy thought. Benny was professionally trained or else someone used to operating aggressively such as a gym trainer.
He hurried back to Jack's ground floor apartment and, despite wearing gloves, opening the locked door was not problem to him. Darcy pulled the stocking over his head with slits cut for his eyes and mouth. He found Sophie gagged and with her hands bound and a chain attached to a dog collar around her neck and the other end of the chair was circled around a pot-bellied stove and padlocked.
She looked terrified.
"Keep calm baby. I'm here to help," Darcy said quietly.
He undid the dog collar and when he was untying her hands Sophie asked, "Who are you?"
"It's best you don't know."
He'd already told Alan and Marlene it was best she never knew of his involvement.
She cried, "Hurry, that awful man will be returning? He hasn't harmed me but has repeatedly fingered me in a disgusting manner."
"Right we need to get well away from him."
Darcy thought of trashing the place but the noise of that might attract attention and anyway he wanted this to appear as a clean escape by the victim, a victim who had cute tits. Hey what was he thinking about at a time like this?
Although Sophie was walking a little unsteadily she made good progress.
He shut the door but didn't lock it and took Sophie around the corner to her mother's car and handed her the keys.
"Have you got enough circulation in your hands to drive safely?"
"Yes. God I wish to get away from here fast."
"Go home and figure out with your parents what to tell the police. I suggest you say you escaped but have no idea where you were being held. Say it was too dark to see until you got closer to home. This is the north area of the city. Tell them that. I had an accomplice lure Jack Green away."
"How can I thank you?"
"A friendly kiss on the lips would be nice."
"It will be emotionally charged. I'm running scared."
Darcy believed he was the kind of guy who would handle an emotional kiss very well.
They kissed and he said that was beautiful and she stared at his mask as if trying to see through it.
"Go," he said gently. "Remember you are agitated and your adrenaline is flowing. Try to drive very carefully. You are safe now."
She drove off with just a brief wave, having just kissed him again and thanking him profusely.
Darcy regretted he hadn't asked for sex and thought she'd behaved very bravely. There could have been a faint chance of getting it. She appeared to be a sexy although how the hell could he tell that when she was so teetering on an emotional overload? Well Darcy le Green usually had a hunch about things.
* * *
Sophie drove up the house, horn tooting but not too loudly.
Her parents practically tumbled out of the house, competing to get to her first.
The women hugged and cried and Alan pulled out his phone and called the special number the police investigation team had given him.
Captain Rogers and a team were at the house within minutes.
"I repeat my daughter is unharmed," Marlene assured them.
"How did you get away?"
"I escaped. I had been unchained to go to the bathroom."
"The chain connected to my neck with a dog collar and locked around a stove."
The captain inspected the mark of the collar on Sophie's neck.
Photographs were taken of that and of the red marks left by the rope on her wrists.
"What is the address of the place where you were held?"
"I have no idea."
"What part of town?"
"What part of north?"
"I have no idea."
The captain turned red-faced. "Young lady if I suspect you are impeding the police in their enquiries..."
The mayor said in his sternest voice, "Captain Rogers my daughter has cooperated fully. Two of her colleagues returning with her from lunch witnessed her being apprehended and it was the police who first used the work kidnapped."
"Yes Mr Mayor. Quite right. Well it appears your daughter was kidnapped. Would you now please excuse us. Our morning detail will resume this enquiry at little after 9:00 tomorrow morning. Perhaps after a good night's sleep your daughter will have a refreshed memory?"
But to the frustration of police Sophie was unable to contribute anything further of use to the enquiry.
The next day, however, two youths reported sighting a body at the foot of cliffs. The deceased was identified at the mayor's former chauffer Jack Green and a post-mortem found all the marks on the body consistent with a headlong fall on to rocks.
Suicide was suspected and the mayor was unable to help the police in their enquiries except to say he hadn't sighted Jack Green since his unexpected disappearance from the city several weeks earlier.
When Sophie arrived home that evening, her first day back at work as an internal auditor, her parents told her of the finding of the body.
"The guy is my former chauffer," said her father. "This morning the police found signs of your confinement at his home including the chain and dog collar. There were no signs of any other person involved. Jack Green's and your fingerprints were the only fresh prints found. The chief of police and I believe that Jack Green may have become deranged over the expenses mounting over his mother's illness and he planned to hold you a bit longer before making financial demands on me."
"Oh daddy," Sophie cried, hugging her father. This also has been an ordeal for you and mother."
"Yes," her mother said. "But you know what darling? That bastard in eliminating himself means he doesn't pose a future risk to us. I'm so happy about it but I wonder if his real target was asking the bank for a ransom?"
The mayor said briskly. "God that's great thinking Marlene. Better than the theory the chief of police and I came up with. Your theory is far more credible."
* * *
Next morning the mayor had an early appointment and Darcy arrived to collect him. Sophie had still not returned to her shared apartment and this was the first time she'd seen the new chauffer.
"God is he the chauffer?" she said her mother. "He looks more like a bank branch manager."
"And he's also handsome."
"Agreed mother, almost handsome."
"Then ask him for a date. You have been struggling to find a guy you find likeable through and through."
"Oh really mother? He drives you about. Have you two been naughty?"
"Well I made a cheeky suggestion and he said yes, a five thousand bucks a shot. I said thank you very much and we both laughed and have become quite good friends I think."
Darcy walked in and walked over and kissed Marlene lightly and appeared to only then see Sophie.
"Hi," she said. "You are the chauffer and you kiss my mother?"
"I would do the other but the asking price is five thousand bucks but she's tight-fisted."
The two women clutched each other, laughing.
Alan arrived ready to go and kissed his two women.
Before turning to follow the mayor Darcy said to Sophie, "Dinner Saturday night?"
She eyed him studiously. "How much?"
"Oh no charge for you because you are around my age."
The mayor growled, "Come on Darcy, don't make me late."
The blue eyes of the honey blonde younger woman smiled a little as she said, "Yes Saturday night but we'll eat here. Mom will want to check your table manners and I'll want to learn if you can hold a conversation."
Darcy blew a kiss and the mayor scowled.
Walking to the car Alan asked was Darcy attempting to come on to Sophie.
"I might. It depends how deep her attractiveness dwells."
"Eh?" said the mayor, being one of those guys ready to launch whenever a female showed a bit of leg, whether or not directed specifically at him.
Darcy didn't reply as the car began to move off Alan made a call.
"Hi do you think Darcy is attempting to hit on Sophie?"
Darcy couldn't hear the response.
"Oh you think that's okay. Well then have a nice day. Oh you might like to invite Darcy to stay on Saturday. We have been uptight about him not accepting our offer of a reward."
"You being his anal reward? I don't think so darling but I enjoy your dry humor."
Darcy drove onwards with a big grin and Alan made no effort to discuss the conversation just completed.
Darcy tailed the mayor into the office lugging the overnight attaché case of papers the mayor was meant to read. Apparently he looked at some of them during the evening when TV ads were running.
A police lieutenant and a sergeant closed in behind them as they walked though the mayor's department to the office, Alan and the Lieutenant Brown of Special Investigations greeting one another with familiarity.
"Keeping busy Ted?"
"Yeah attempting to wind up this mess surrounding you. The chief has managed to hold off the Feds saying it's and open and shut attempt to exchange a hostage for money."
"I'll go," Darcy said casually.
"You stay here buddy," the beefy sergeant said and shot out a hand to block Darcy from reaching the door.
In a flash of movement the sergeant's right arm was forced up between his shoulders and he leant back gasping in agony and was practically immobilized. He croaked, "Lieutenant."
Lieutenant Brown looked around and smiled. "Let him go, you are not engaged as a military assassin these days Private Darcy le Green, dishonestly discharge for one too many acts of insubordination and being absent without leave and interfering with daughters of senior officers."
Darcy let go of the sergeant, watched by his gaping boss.
The police sergeant asked, "Do we book him for assault and obstructing the police in the execution of their duty?"
"I didn't see any assault of obstruction taking place, did you Mr Mayor?"