Rebecca prepared for the day as usual. Out of bed extra early, a workout in the home gym, breakfast prepared to a tee as usual by the maid, a shower, and then up to change. John had just come out of the shower. He still possessed the hard lean body that had attracted her a dozen years before. As she donned conservative, but expensive lingerie followed by a dress suit, he reminded her that his plane would be leaving in 2 hours, so they had to hurry.
As she put on her make-up and put up her hair, she remembered the love making session of the night before, the usual before one of his many business trips abroad. She had faked an orgasm to get him to stop pumping and cum. She felt slightly guilty, but then brushed it off as a necessary part of life. It was like their whole existence of late-everybody smiled at the appropriate time, and said the right things, but it all rang hollow.
Descending into the kitchen again, Maria was feeding the boys, 12 and 10, otherwise ready for school. John gave them the obligatory line about their behavior when he was gone and then he and Rebecca fed baggage into the trunk, climbed into the Mercedes, and headed for the airport. On the way, they talked about the mundane-the countries he would be in this time, the vacation planned after school was out two months hence, upcoming events in the boy's lives, yadda, yadda. Then the turn-off. He gave her a perfunctory kiss, dug the baggage out of the trunk, and watched as she sped off heading for work.
After parking in her spot, she nodded to the girl at the front desk and ascended the elevator to her office. Her secretary was already at work: Type A efficiency personified in an attractive middle aged, body. "Good morning, Mrs. Dunbar," she said as usual. Rebecca nodded at the greeting, opened the door and entered her office. The blinds were already open and coffee was brewing in the kitchenette that served her office and the boardroom from the other side. The calendar for the day was reviewed, morning e-mails read and she went to work before her first meeting of the day. That was followed by a conference with some important customers and lunch with her executives. There they discussed a new strategy she had been working on to increase sales even more. The details were handed over to marketing to work out, with a preliminary report due in a week.
It was after six before she left her office building, a gnawing in her stomach reminding her that the salad at lunch hadn't amounted to very much. The Mercedes glided through traffic, she stopped at the bank to deposit some cash, and then into the upper middle-class home that was theirs. The boys were pretending to do homework while Maria bustled around the kitchen.
Rebecca entered her office, removed her jacket, poured a drink, and started through the mail. Credit card offers, country club membership renewal, a letter from the IRS-the IRS, that made her sit up. She opened the letter and read the summons. She and John were to meet with an agent a week from Thursday, time and location given. She frowned, wondering what it was all about. They were to bring income statements, documentation of charitable contributions, and documents relating to John's business, which had lost money for the past 5 years. He was to be gone for 3 weeks, so he wouldn't be back for the meeting.
She picked up the phone and called him. Finally getting though, as it was in the middle of the night in Dresden, she explained the situation to him. He didn't seem to think there was any problem, just routine, and he was sure she could handle it without him. Everything was in the files provided yearly by their accountant. She wasn't so sure, but was buoyed by his confidence. The IRS missive was pushed aside as Maria called her for dinner.
The days flew past with the work on new contracts her company was negotiating. Before she knew it, it was Thursday. She had taken the morning off so she didn't have to leave so early. She loaded the files requested into the car and headed for the Federal Office Building. Entering at 8:45 for her 9:00 appointment, she went through security, and was directed three floors up and to a nice office at the end of the hall. A very attractive secretary received her and asked her to be seated. 9:00 came and went. She fidgeted in her chair, glancing at her watch every few minutes. She got up and asked the secretary when the agent would be ready. She was informed that as her appointment was set up for 9:30, it should be starting shortly. Rebecca looked at her notice and started to say something, but thought better of it, and returned to her seat. Finally at 10:05 a tall, well-tanned man entered the office and went through the door. It couldn't be the IRS agent, she thought, since a government hire wouldn't be able to buy that suit.
Five minutes later she was summoned into the office to be greeted by the suit. He was perhaps 50, with piercing eyes and an amiable smile. It was not at all like the bean counter she expected. For his part he just paused a moment and took her in. Her hair was dark, pulled back to leave bare an attractive neck. An expensive dark blue suit set off well-toned legs encased in hose Her face was determined with a full mouth and expressive eyes. She had long fingers with diamond and wedding rings. The skirt had a slit in the front and she tried to bring it together after crossing her legs. She tried again, unsuccessfully, and then ignored the leg above the knee as he glanced down at it, appreciatively.
"Thank you for coming in today, Mrs. Dunbar. My name is Kyle Laughton. Mr. Dunbar won't be joining us?"
"No, he is in Europe on business. If we can move things along, I have been waiting for over an hour," she said bruskly. I have brought the materials you requested."
"Good. Let's get a few things out of the way. You and your husband are both 35 years old. Your address and SS numbers are accurate?" She nodded. "You are President of Royal Manufacturing with 120+ employees. Your husband has his own company called Ex/Im Consulting at your home address."
"Yes, that's true."
"I see you have paid proper Social Security taxes on Maria Sanchez, your housekeeper."
"Yes, we try and obey the laws."
"Do you have an appraisal for the painting you donated to the museum 2 years ago?"
Rebecca dug around in the folders and produced the document in question. He considered it for a moment. "Yes, they are a reliable firm-we will happily accept their assessment of the painting's value."
She relaxed a bit at his statement. Maybe this would go better than she thought.
He handed her the appraisal. "Your income was about $435,000 last year."
"That is close, yes"
"You make frequent bank deposits of cash in the 8 different banks and 2 Credit Unions where you and your husband each have accounts. As a matter of fact, I notice that you and your husband made an average of $2,000 in cash deposits every business day last year. It all stayed under the radar of the money laundering regulations and so was never reported. That amounted to about $43,000 a month and came in at $520,000, plus change, for the year. That was pretty amazing, given the fact that your husband lost $80,000 last year, and you didn't need to borrow any money. "
"I...I'm not sure," she responded slowly, trying desperately to think of something that might account for the cash deposits. "We might have dipped into our savings," she said lamely.
"Actually, you had such a good year, you moved a goodly sum of money to your account in Banco Santander Central Hispania in Spain, as you have for the past 5 years."
Her heart sank. How was anyone able to track their transactions, and what could have triggered this man's interest. Everything had gone so well for so long, that she had just accepted it as the way things were.
"From Banco Santander, you transferred the money to Dresdner Bank CZ, and from there to your account in Bank Vontobel Cayman. Shall I give you the account number of the Grand Cayman bank?"
She was crushed. But there was still a chance she could get out of the country. She had been told that the U.S. Government couldn't get at money stashed off-shore. He could see that glimmer of hope reflected for a moment in her eyes, and smiled to himself.
"Now let's see. Your husband works with a dozen different foreign businesses. Most of his pay is deposited directly into the Grand Cayman account. Nice to keep those things away from Uncle Sam's greedy hands, isn't it? My records show many such deposits over the past 5 years, and none of it showed up on your income tax forms."
Rebecca had fallen into a stupor, and just nodded. This was all going too fast for her to comprehend. He had her where he wanted her, and was ready to pounce.
"I imagine you know that the U.S. government has no jurisdiction over accounts in Grand Cayman."
She looked at him quizzically.
"Let me tell you a little about myself. I am sort of a freelancer, who does odd jobs for the bureau, although most of my time is spent with my own business ventures throughout the world. I take on 4 or 5 cases a year of my choosing for the IRS. My connections allow me access where there is none allowed through normal government channels. The CEO of Bank Vontobel Cayman in Grand Cayman is a close friend, and the managing director, Andreas Weck, has frozen your assets there as a personal favor. Your bank accounts here are frozen as well, by the way-that is where I was before we met. The ones in Europe aren't worth the bother. From your case, I will earn 40% of what the government recovers in back taxes, fines, and interest-at least $4 million. I have special talents that are highly compensated. The government prefers that to getting nothing."
Her last hope dashed, a tear of anguish found its way down her cheek.
"I will turn my evidence over to the department tomorrow."
There was a chance, she thought, only a slim one, but she had to take it. If he hadn't turned over the evidence yet.... "But what if you forgot all about this little indiscretion. We would pay handsomely for your help in clearing up government red tape."
"What do you have in mind?"
"What if I were to offer you $5 million, no $6 million without Uncle Sam taking his percentage off the top."
"You would be willing to do that?"
"And where would you get that kind of money?"
"You would have to allow us access to the account in Bank Vontobel Cayman."
"So that you could take the money and run, you mean," he said, his eyes narrowing.
She decided that he was no fool, and was not about to cross him. "I'm sure we could work out an arrangement that would be acceptable to you," she responded.
"So you are asking me to take bribe money so you can avoid jail and fines," he said.
"It wouldn't be a bribe exactly. And we will promise to declare all income in the future."
He thought for a long moment. Then said, "I will consider your request, although it might cost you more than you anticipate. Meet me for dinner tonight at Restaurant Athenian and I will give you my answer there. 8:00, don't be late."
Rebecca let out a long breath and nodded. She gathered up her things and left the office.
Rebecca Dunbar sat in her car for long minutes in a daze. Then she went to her office. She put her purse on the conference table and sat on the leather-bound couch. For 20 minutes, she just sat there, before going over to her desk. Pulling up the web site for the Grand Cayman bank, she punched in the account number and password. Everything came up as usual. She pulled out the book with all her account numbers and transferred money to one of them. After a few moments she read, "transfer aborted, contact Bank Vontobel Cayman." She slumped in her chair, trying to think of a way out. The plans she and John were using were her invention. They had started out small, but it had been so easy to get away with that they had increased the amount over the years. She picked up the phone and tried to call John, but was unable to get through. She put in part of the afternoon and left early. A stiff drink followed by a massage and the steam room left her feeling some better. At home, she told Maria she would be out for a dinner appointment, then spent some time with the boys. From there she relaxed waiting for time to pass, showered, put her hair up again, put on evening make-up, and dressed, again in elegant, but conservative attire.
It was 10 minutes to 8 when Rebecca entered the restaurant. The maitre d' took in her beauty, and the professionally tailored red suit and ushered her to the bar where the bartender offered her a glass of Black Tower, and imported Rhine white wine. This startled her more than anything else during the day since it was her favorite drink. She listened to the sounds of a jazz pianist in the background and looked around. No sign of him yet. She drank quickly, not savoring the taste as she usually did. Another glass appeared in its place.
The Maitre d' appeared again saying, "will you join the gentleman at the piano?"
Rebecca followed him and saw Mr. Laughlin playing the piano, eyes closed. She stood behind him and watched as he moved from one Gershwin tune into another-all of which she liked. His improvisations were fresh and clean, but the tune was always there. Then he stopped and looked around, seeing her waiting. He rose and directed her to a table in an alcove, providing a bit of privacy saying, "They don't have a piano player on Thusdays." She placed her purse on the table and sat. A waiter offered menus, which were waived away.
"Kalemera, Kerie ke Keria. To Onoma mou ena Nikolaus. Ti tha fate?
"In English tonight," he said. For appetizers, bring us tzatziki, teramosalata, and stuffed grape leaves. Your special soup after that."
"Amesos," he nodded and left.
Rebecca launched right in, wanting to get it all over with. "Mr. Laughlin, are you willing to accept my offer of $6 million in return for dropping your IRS case. I'm sure we can work out the details to your satisfaction."
He laughed, but the laugh didn't reach as far as his eyes. "I told you this afternoon that I would require more than that."
He picked up her purse from the table and opened it before she could protest. He pulled out the tape recorder still running, and, with microphone dangling, walked over to a fish tank, and dropped it in.
"Let me make the situation clear," he said sitting down. He pulled another recorder from his pocket and pressed play. She heard her own voice, "But what if you forgot all about this little indiscretion. We would pay handsomely for your help in clearing up government red tape." "What do you have in mind?" "What if I were to offer you $5 million, no $6 million without Uncle Sam taking his percentage off the top." "You would be willing to do that?" "Yes." He pressed the stop button.
"That is recorded in video as well-so much easier to present evidence in court." So here we have you falsifying your tax records for years, and then trying to cover it up by bribing an IRS employee. The real question is what are you willing to do to avoid exposure, trial, and incarceration? It will wipe out your savings. Who will care for your boys while you and John are in jail? Foster care? Have you ever been in a woman's prison? You will lose your job. Who will hire someone with your record when you get out?"
She shuddered, images flooding into her mind. But he seemed to be offering a way out.
The hors d'oeuvres arrived. "This is cucumber dip, these stuffed grape leaves," he said. She wasn't hungry, but ate mechanically.
"What is your price," she asked already anticipating the response.
"You," he paused to let it sink in. "But the real question is not will you agree, but rather are you worth the money I would be giving up?"
A ray of hope crossed her face. She could screw him as much as he wanted, and would do it very, very well for what she would be getting in return.
"That seems fair," she said, knowing that it wasn't really. "But how do I know you won't double cross me later?"
"You don't. But that is a chance you'll have to take. I make multi-million dollar agreements with my word," he said, eyes narrowing. "It has never been broken."
"It seems that you have all the cards," she said tasting the cucumber dip. "Where do we go from here?"
"I need to know a little about you first. Rule #1: When I ask a question, I will require a detailed, complete and honest response. Let's begin with what you are wearing."
This took her by surprise. "A red jacket with scarf, white blouse, red skirt with matching shoes, and pantyhose. Oh, yes, and dolphin earrings and a red purse."
"That is all you have on?"
"Go to the Men's bathroom, remove your panties and bring them back to me. And leave the damn pantyhose in the trash." When she looked at him in amazement he continued "or leave the restaurant now. I said that YOU would be the price, but if you are unable to deliver that is your decision."
"The Men's restroom?"
"If I have to repeat myself, I will get very angry. On the other hand, the guests here might enjoy the show at your expense. Let's see, what else could I have you remove?"
Rebecca glanced in the direction of the restrooms and moved quickly before he thought of something else. A man at the urinal looked at her as she entered. "The ladies room is packed," she said going into a stall. Reaching under her skirt, she removed her pantyhose and then her panties. Leaving the stall she put the pantyhose in the trash and wadded up the panties as best she could in her hand. She hurried out and back to the table, reaching under it with the hand holding the panties. He remained as he was with his hands on the table. "Here," she said reaching farther. When he made no move she looked around and then put them in his hand on the table. He took them, put them to his nose and inhaled. She shuttered at the raw sensuality of the act and felt the heat rise in her as he placed them on the table in plain sight.
He reached under her jacket with his right hand and pinched her nipple through bra and blouse, then twisted. She stiffened, eyes wide, and let out an "aaaiii" almost before she could stop herself. "Now I have your attention. Rule one was a detailed, complete, and honest answer to all my questions. Did you comply?"
"No, I guess not."
"You guess not what? How should I be addressed? As one of your lackeys at work?"
She thought. "I'm sorry I didn't give a detailed and complete response, Sir."
"That form of address is much more appropriate. What else were you wearing?"
"I also had on red panties with a high leg cut and a white cotton strip in the crotch and a red lace bra with full cups and a back closure, and French perfume." She tried to think if there was anything she had omitted. "And my rings, one a quarter caret engagement ring and the other my wedding ring, both in yellow gold."
"Rule # 2. You will never wear panties in my presence without my express permission. And you will never, ever, sit on your skirt. It will get all slimy," he said increasing the pressure on her nipple and pulling it toward him for emphasis.
"Yes, Sir," she winced. The dark haired beauty glanced around quickly and partially rose so she could pull up her skirt in the back. Sitting back down she felt the seat against her bare skin and smoothed out her skirt in the front. He released the grip on her now tender nipple and she let out her breath.
"Now where did we leave off? Oh yes, your attire. You are not having your period now so no tampon?"
"No, Sir," she said blushing.
"When did the last one end?"
"Last Thursday, I think, Sir."
"What is your bra size?"
His eyebrows went up.
"24 inches, Sir."
"You will throw out ALL your pantyhose as soon as you get home. Do you have any real stockings?"