Gray Shades of Evilbyelsol©
PROLOGUE: THREE MONTHS BEFORE
The road was desert dusty; any driver would have known the end of it was off the paved path. The truck contributing to the dust had seen better years, and had a few worse ones yet to go. The driver was paying more attention to the bottle of beer the passenger was swilling than the road.
The driver and passenger's skin was darkened with the passage of days in the sun. Their happiness at a stolen hour with their patron's truck described life in simple pleasures: fucking, drinking, sleeping, driving, and combining any that a woman let them get away with. A perfect day be driving to a bar where the word 'Migra' was a curse, drinking the balls to talk to a pretty girl, a creaking motel bed, and sleep with no thoughts of yesterday or tomorrow.
Neither noticed the dirty figure until it was too late, almost. The passenger screamed and reached for the steering wheel. The truck went off the road, coming to a stop inches from a tree that somehow thrived in the desiccation. The two men looked at each other for a second, afraid that they had failed to avoid the figure. They turned to the truck doors, and ran out to where they had jettisoned off the road.
The figure was lying on the ground.
The men looked at each other again. She was wearing a dirt-browned white t-shirt and baby-blue lace panties. They recognized hunger from their own village but to see a white person, a girl, with the look of days without a meal scared them.
This was 'El Norte'.
They worked jobs that gringos did not callous their hands on. Politicos made noise, but the two men were as much a part of the system as everyone who fought to push them back over the border. 'El Norte' did not include green-eyed blonde women looking at them with more fear than either had ever seen. Even covered in grime, the beauty of a tele-novela female lead was obvious in the girl.
It added to their fear. They recognized a scion of privilege in the thousand ways those without can. She reached out a hand to them. They watched as her eyes changed from fear to pleading hope. They turned to look at each other before committing themselves.
They could have abandoned her without anyone knowing. Many of the steps towards a better life had been taken for family and an INS ticket home was a blow to those family members as well. Neither looked at each other again as they picked the woman up and placed her in the truck cab. They did not need to say that going back to the patron was not an option. It was silent judgment of a man who lived well from other people's dreams.
They looked towards the end of the road that they could not see through what now seemed a protective dust. The passenger did not say anything when the driver turned the truck around.
It was a long drive to the city. They had both made the crossing before and managed few months before being caught. They knew where the woman would be helped and shrugged fatalistically at the thought of questions, accusations, and eventual deportation. The patron would be there to take their money for another attempt.
The passenger was comforted by the woman's sobs of relief against his chest. The driver was happy with knowing he had not given up the sleep that abandoning her would have cost him.
PROLOGUE II: ONE MONTH BEFORE
"Senator," the quiet man said welcoming the last guest to walk into the tastefully expensive hotel room.
The Senator dressed with the elegance of being born with class, while the quiet man dressed as if it might be necessary to blend into the furniture. The last man in the room, standing by the window, wore the face of barely hidden guilt.
The Senator sat down and looked at his co-conspirators; it was a hard word to use for a politician with the money to buy himself.
"Emil," he said to the man by the window. The pain in Emil's eyes was not hidden when he turned and sat in the last available chair.
"How is your youngest daughter?" the quiet man asked the Senator.
"Afraid!" the Senator barked. The quiet man simply nodded and looked to Emil.
"Catherine Stewart was my lover," Emil said suddenly.
The quiet man nodded thoughtfully. The Senator looked at him realizing the content of Emil's outburst had not been a surprise.
"She was one of my best agents," Emil said quietly. "I personally assigned her to the investigation of your daughters' kidnappings."
The Senator remembered thinking how much the agent Emil had sent out resembled his oldest daughter. It burned in his gut that it was in his own home state that their girls' lives had been taken. The burning raged whenever he remembered that he did not even have the comfort of a body to bury. He had chosen the silent path, and it had cost them another bodiless funeral.
"That county is a hellhole," Emil said to no one in particular. "I've read Catherine's early reports. None of the residents will talk. They just about feed you to the wolves themselves. Considering your youngest daughter's mental state when she was found, we were right to make a quiet investigation instead of coming down on that town."
The Senator nodded angrily.
"Catherine wanted me to divorce my wife," Emil continued without thinking. "I sent her out there because I wanted her to..."
The other two men looked at each other but said nothing.
"I sent her down there, and they sent her back with only half her face. The doctors say it was definitely human teeth that did the damage. Whatever is down there cost me the life of a good agent. Her partner will keep quiet about the preliminary investigation, no matter what happens."
Emil looked at the ceiling trying to hide the seconds of relief that he had felt when Catherine died. Those seconds were his guilt; that for a few instants, his thoughts had been for the things her death had preserved.
"Catherine was pregnant," Emil said. "The doctors say she would have known, but she did her job anyway."
There was a long silence.
"What is this?" the Senator asked rhetorically.
"A righteous evil," the quiet man said. He thought of it as murder, but that was only a legal definition and these men needed some comforting.
"This is righteous?" Emil asked out loud.
"What about you, John? You haven't lost a child or a lover to these animals," the Senator said ignoring Emil.
John, the quiet one, looked at the window to think of the best reply to that question. He shrugged internally, deciding both men were over the barrel enough that the truth could not improve their positions.
"You came to me, Senator," John said looking him. The Senator nodded his acceptance of the point.
"Chits from the Director of the FBI and the Senate Chair of the Intelligence Committee have a certain value when you run agencies that the public does not know about," John continued.
The two men nodded, understanding how far out they were from the Washington playbook.
"Unfortunately, the death of Catherine Stewart has repercussions that neither of you could possibly know about," John said as if each word were a step in a land-mined field. The Senator and Emil looked at each other with twin looks of surprise.
"I have hopes for her younger brother," John said. "But I can make no attempts to keep the details of her death from him."
"I don't understand the problem?" the Senator said looking from Emil to John.
"Catherine was an adult so Emil's life can be saved. After all, she chose to enter into that type of relationship with him," John said quietly. "No one else involved will survive Catherine Stewart's death."
"One person isn't enough! Catherine had a partner, and it didn't help!" the Senator said sitting forward. "You're going to send someone else to die?"
"It's okay, Richard." Emil said leaning forward. The Senator looked at Emil with a question in his eyes.
"John's and my agency share some of the same behind the scenes people," Emil said looking at John. "I forgot he worked for you."
Emil turned to look at the Senator.
"None of the psychologists will be alone in the same room with him after they interview him," he told the Senator.
"We fear what we don't understand?" John said with a smile.
"You don't fear him?" Emil asked harshly.
John looked away.
"I didn't say I understood him," John replied finally.
"So what will point him in the right direction?" Emil asked John.
"I'm going give him Catherine's last reports, her death certificate, and a copy of her autopsy tape." John said tonelessly.
"That's it?" the Senator asked standing up and pacing around the room. "Haven't you read the reports, dammit? No one is dangerous enough to take these people on alone."
John's smile of amusement stopped the Senator.
"Catherine's baby brother isn't dangerous, Senator." John said, "He's..."
John looked out the window for a couple of seconds and with the smile of having done the difficult word in a crossword puzzle first finished, "Indiscriminate."
BODY: THE MERCHANT MASSACRE
I walked into Conception from the west with the red of the setting sun framing me. Eyes stared as I walked down the main street. Conception was a ghost town of two blocks that would have fit well in a post-nuclear apocalyptic movie. It was the kind of town that people fled, and everyone left behind hoped the runners were never heard from again. I looked around as people stared at me. Their fear was scarred into their faces; part of the tribute demanded for the continued gift of life.
I walked into what passed for a hotel; the attempt to look like an old western saloon had not been successful.
"Can I get you something, darling?" a voice of fake honey said as my eyes adjusted quickly to the change in lighting. The smell of fear-sweat had nothing to do with me yet, so giving off the careless signals of the weak served a purpose. I waited longer than it took for my eyes to adjust before looking at her.
The woman was middle-aged and not by the years. The fear came off her in waves and the stress of not having someone to run with had taken its toll on her face.
"A glass of ice water," I said to her and put my bag on a table. I had removed what might be necessary when I started my walk but doubted anyone would require its use soon.
She looked confused at the request. Drinking was the way the people of Conception got peaceful night's sleep. She served me the glass and looked as if she wanted to sit down and chat.
"I'd like a room also," I told her. "Top floor in the back."
The building was the tallest in town at four stories and sat on something of a small hill. The back of the building was on a gentle slope downwards.
"Nobody stays in Conception," she said worriedly. It was as close as she would let herself get to saving my life.
I looked at her.
Her hair was blonde, but the dust of the area made it a dirtier color than it needed to be. Her eyes were blue, and her body had all the required padding. She smiled at my study and cocked her hip in an invitation that had to do with more than me.
I smiled accepting her offer. It had been a long time since my last woman.
I shrugged away her words and drank my water. She moved away from me having satisfied what little conscience was left. If I wanted the company of a warm bed, she would let me make the move.
"What's your name?" I asked her back.
"Sally, sugar," she said turning her head to me and twitching her full ass in suggestion of where the sugar really was.
"Get me another glass of ice water, Sally," I told her and looked to the door. The welcoming committee would be arriving soon and at least one of them I wanted words with.
They came in with the bait leading them; he was good at his job. Unlike Sally, his skin was not aged, and his blonde hair was not dirty. I nodded at the image he would present to a woman lost on a strip of road near a town that was not on most maps. A blonde, blue-eyed knight wearing the shield everyone believed a badge was when there was trouble.
He turned the chair across from me around and sat down heavily. The boys with him were sycophants who thought being closer to the beating heart of danger made them safer.
"Hello, stranger," the young blonde said to me. "My name's Deputy Gus."
His smile was full of disarming Southern charm; a 'good ole boy', harmless as they came and just itching to help any way he could.
Bait has to be enticing.
I put the identification I had been given in front of me. Deputy Gus smiled, amping up the charm and picked up the leather holder.
"FBI Agent Lyndell," he announced to the room. "So what brings an agent of the F-B-I to Conception?"
His voice had the natural curiosity the situation called for, but there was an undertone of darkness that would be felt at an instinctual level. The sycophants reacted to it by looking around the room. I looked with them, as if I were one of them.
Deputy Gus relaxed.
"We have a missing agent," I said simply, seeming to recover from my confusion.
"Well, can I do anything to help?" Deputy Gus said with the 'good ole boy' back in his voice.
"I'd like to visit some of the outlying ranches and farms," I told him.
There was a female gasp behind me, and I turned to look at Sally. She moved so that her fear-darkened eyes would be hidden by the greater darkness of the room. I turned around and looked at Deputy Gus questioningly.
"Women are a bit high-strung," he whispered to me with a nudge to the table telling me it was between us boys. I replied with a short laugh.
"Do you want to start your search now?" Deputy Gus asked solicitously.
I pretended to think about it for a moment.
"She's been missing six weeks, Deputy," I said after some consideration. "Another night won't give her that much more of a lead on the F-B-I."
It seemed to satisfy him, and we spent another hour making him feel comfortable that the bait had hooked a new meal. The sycophants stayed after he left to intimidate Sally and other visitors to ensure that they did not scare the live one away.
There were two other women that were good possibilities for relieving months of buildup. The older one made her offer clear, but since they were all equal I decided on Sally first. I asked her for a serving of whatever passed for food and others followed suit. Strangers were rare in Conception, and one staying was worthy of a night out on the town. I entertained them with stories of the outside. The women paid special attention trying to believe there was a world outside their small sphere of terror where men more attractive than Deputy Gus did not intimidate women into sleeping with them by displaying the sickle.
My charm, like Deputy Gus's, had purpose; to the east lay the body of my first. I did not want the wrong person to find him; keeping the townsfolk in the hotel increased the odds of only the right people stumbling over it.
I had seen the truck as I drove by and knew it would follow. I stopped my car a mile up the road and pulled out a map. The truck pulled up behind me; and six feet six, two hundred seventy pounds stepped out with intimidating presence. The stalking shadow was a sharp contrast to the lovely bait, in moments seeming like a safe haven of male size and in others a breathing brutality.
"Hello, stranger," his voice had none of the charm of his brother's, but he had chosen intimidation as a starting point. It was an understandable choice for someone who had two pairs when playing in his casino, his poker table and with his dealer. 'All in' was a reasonable bet when his was the only game in town.
I had always been the kind to draw on the inside of a straight razor though. The blade sliced with surgical precision through denim, flesh, muscle and the femoral artery.
The unexpected pain confused him.
I was smaller.
I was not family.
He felt the pain of approaching death, which he caused to others but was unfamiliar with the personal side of. He looked up at me, lost as to how I could be standing above him while he lay on the packed dirt of the road. His eyes studied me as his body weakened but saw nothing that his victims did when he was the last vision of their death. His face would have shown glee or maybe the satisfaction of having bagged a good meal.
My eyes were a reflection; a man lying in a spreading pool of blood so red no artist could imitate the hue on canvas.
It took longer to find an adequate hiding spot for the car than for him to die. I left his body and truck on the road. I walked around town so that I could approach Conception from the opposite side of his body.
Sally was a fact of my immediate life. She did not like that I requested we shower first to remove the dirt on my body and the sweat from hers. I shrugged and got under the stream of water. She had no recourse but to leave or accept whatever insult her mind made of my words.
Fear is a source of calorie consumption so Sally was tight in the places a woman did not need to be soft. She gasped at the patience with which I cleaned her body. She learned to enjoy being on the receiving end of my touch. We moved to the bedroom after her first orgasm. She tried to touch me, but I held her in place and spread her legs with mine.
There was time for foreplay afterwards.
Months of an ignored physical need called me in the shape of a hard penis. She moved her legs up prepared by my touches in the shower to do what was necessary. I hooked her legs and opened her further. I pushed my hips towards her and her body opened to my entrance. Her hands tightened on my arms in acceptance of the momentary discomfort from the lack of use. I did not hesitate to move forward, regardless of her unvoiced protests. She was here for one thing, and I was there for another. Maybe she thought it was the condemned's last meal, but it was more satisfying than masturbation.
I hit her bottom and pushed her legs down hard. I pulled back and fucked into her with the power that years of physical training lent me. She grunted as I plumbed depths her body had forgotten existed. The grunt got as much reaction as blood on packed dirt. I rested my weight on her hips to give her the pleasure of maintained pressure. She moved underneath me enticing me to fuck her but the way the head of my dick was rubbed by her body was enough. She moved harder as her clit found a spot she could rub against. She drove herself towards the little freedom she had in the prison they had built for the townspeople. Her movements wrapped my hard dick in velvet walls of pleasure so I did not take back control.
She came and her gyrations focused on her pussy in an instinctual grab for joint sensation. I shot my cum into her pussy filling her with myself as she screamed pleased curses into the stale air.
Later, she lay on her stomach with a look that said she was about to ask questions. Two fingers seeking her g-spot forestalled her mouth opening for words and instead gasped out a small sigh of welcome.
Deputy Gus called Sally the next morning leaving a message that he had business but would be available to guide me around in the late afternoon.
Sally and the other two women sat around most of the day trying to get information out of and into me. One of them had long straight brown hair and innocent seeming blue eyes. She was the youngest of the thirty-eight residents I had seen in town. She got the closest to inexpertly warning me of the dangers of Conception. I distracted her with questions she avoided about why she was not off to college. The other woman was obviously her mother but with black hair. She had the same innocent seeming blue eyes as her daughter.
Deputy Gus picked me up in the afternoon and did his own version of information digging. He took me to different ranches and farms. All were either abandoned or populated by one or more of the thirty-eight residents I had counted. They treated Deputy Gus with fearful deference and answered all my questions only after looking at him. They had known Catherine Stewart but that was as much as I could get out of them. The afternoon turned to evening and the sky was dark when the Deputy drove us to the front of the last ranch house we were to visit. The lights were out but he told me that the family should be home since most of Conception's people did not go out at night. He turned the lights off on his truck and confidently walked in front of me.