Cat and MousebyNigel Debonnaire©
It was a bright yet chill October morning that Shelley Balboni dropped her daughter off at school. Her eight year old daughter, Barbara, balanced her new leaf collection delicately on her lap as the line of cars waddled sporadically forward as they discharged their precious cargoes. The radio susurrated a stream of traffic reports and ballads as Shelley tried to focus on her task as exhilaration sang in her ears. Just when she had given up on meeting her favorite Internet author, a message slipped through when and where she could meet him. Her panties were already wet.
"Mommy, you know I'm staying at Sadie's house tonight, don't you?" Barbara asked.
"Yes, dear," Shelley answered. "You're going to be at your cousin's all weekend. Do you have everything you need?"
"Yes, Mommy. We double checked everything last night."
"Great. Promise me something?"
"Try not to stay up too late playing with Sadie."
"Oh, Mommy. I promise I won't do anything dumb." They reached the penultimate stop just before drop off, and Barbara pulled a strap of her backpack over her shoulder in preparation to getting out. "What are you going to do this weekend while we're away?"
Shelley took a deep breath before responding. "I'm meeting an old friend from College. We're going shopping."
"Oh. Did you remember to pack my sticker book?"
Another short lunge and the sidewalk monitor opened the SUV door. Barbara scrambled out with her backpack and leaf collection, telling the monitor: "My overnight bag is in the back." The door opened and closed, and the little redhead skipped toward the door without a backward glance.
Shelley moved the vehicle into traffic and back homeward with trembling hands. She rehearsed in her mind what she was going to do: return home, grab her bag, slip out the back door, slip onto the Dulles shuttle and take the Metro to the Mall. There would be a note for her under the trash can just outside a particular Ladies' Room.
"Why don't you just tell me to meet you at a coffee shop or something, Neil?" She murmured as she drove. "Why the spy novel complications?" A series of stories on the Internet, The Erotic Adventures of Rasputin caught her fancy, and she had e-mailed the author several times over three months, talking about everything. The correspondence was fun, illuminating and stimulating; he really knew how to push her buttons. But she discovered her mail was being read, and he turned off the switch almost overnight.
Then, a note disguised as spam appeared, instructing her to meet him on this day at that place, and she was scrambling to make it. Fortunately, her husband was going to be out of town on business, and the children already had offers for sleepovers that weekend, so with mixed emotions she made her plans and was now on her way.
Her hands trembled as she put a few things in a large, over the shoulder bag. "I don't know why I'm doing this," she said aloud. It was exhilarating, going out to see a new lover, but she wished it wasn't so complicated. Her husband had lost all interest in sex after her youngest was born, and the long drought dispirited her from time to time. The bustle of a growing family made it for it usually, but she felt the need for something more. Reading stories on the Internet had opened a new world to her, setting her imagination free, but she had never wandered off like this before. Sitting heavily on the bed, she said to herself: "What the hell are you doing, Shelley? You're acting like a teenager sneaking away from home. You're too old for this shit."
After a few moments, her purpose returned. It didn't matter what Neil Dumbrowki might look like; he had a good heart and a lively imagination and that promised a toe curling experience. Getting into the spirit, she put on a large pair of sunglasses and a floppy hat before checking her makeup.
Shelley was an average woman in her mid forties. A few pounds over her college days, but who didn't carry a little extra? Her medium length blond hair fell down over her shoulders, and her coat bulged nicely. Rasputin indicated he liked curvy girls, so she wasn't concerned that he night be disappointed with her figure. A few crow's feet around her eyes and mouth did bother her, but she refreshed her makeup to disguise them.
Suddenly, she reached up under her medium skirt and pulled down her panties. They were far, far too damp to go out, and she was afraid the musk radiating from her would draw every horny man in a three state radius. Not she wouldn't mind that, but since it would take a while to negotiate public transport to her destination she didn't want to put up with a dripping crotch the entire way.
Another thought and she changed her skirt for a pair of slacks. They came in handy when she jumped her back fence to cross her neighbor's yard so she could leave without detection by her nosy neighbors.
As she made the journey into town, she recalled the picture he had sent her once. His face was craggy, with piercing blue eyes, soft brown hair and a lush, salt and pepper beard. It looked like it was taken with a digital camera in a mirror, although there was no flash in it. His build was a mystery, but he'd said he was a bit chubby and taller than average. The protagonist of his stories had boasted a nine inch penis, but he'd admitted he wasn't similarly endowed.
"Why haven't you written?" She murmured as she rode the rails through the dark tunnels. "I missed you. I missed you a lot."
The skies over the Mall were clouding up, but the weather forecast didn't call for rain. She was glad she wore flats as she made her way across the sidewalks toward the huge statue of the Great Liberator. There were a few folks sightseeing, but it was fairly empty.
Neil put his binoculars down and made a quick call on his cell phone. "Katya, what's up?"
"I do not understand, your Grace. Surely the sky is up."
"Never mind. Is she being followed?"
"Yes. One solo tail. I recognized his photo from the dossier."
"All right. Rendezvous as scheduled. Be careful."
"Yes, your Grace."
He hung up, and looked at her again. He had to laugh at the big hat and sunglasses; a clear indication she was trying to be inconspicuous. Shelley had a clear path to her destination, and her shadow was keeping a good distance. The thrill of the chase was pumping adrenaline into his system, and his breathing picked up.
He turned from his spot by the Korean War Memorial, and went toward the street Shelley came from, in search of a taxi. Vladimir caught up with him, and flagged down a cab. "I put the envelope where you asked, your Grace," the slim young man with dark hair said. "What's next?"
"For starters, don't call me 'Your Grace' until we're back home, Vladi. We're playing by the old rules today." They settled into the vehicle, and the older man gave an address in Georgetown. "You know what I expect of you and Katya when we meet this woman?"
"Excellent." He put a wad of bills into the young man's hand. "Paint the town red tonight."
"I beg your pardon, sir? Weren't we trying to do that for most of the last Century?"
Neil winced. "Don't try humor in English for another year or two, Vladi. Have a good time with Katya tonight."
Shelley looked around anxiously while she circled the larger than life statue of Abraham Lincoln, but nobody there resembled what she knew of Neil. It had been a while since she was there, and after a few trembling moments, she remembered she had to go downstairs. As promised, under the trash can right by the Ladies' Room was an envelope marked "To Shelley, From Neil." Opening it, she read: DO NOT THROW THIS AWAY. YOU ARE BEING FOLLOWED. GO INTO THE CAPITOL AND WANDER AROUND A WHILE, LEAVING BY ANOTHER DOOR IF POSSIBLE.
TAKE A CAB OR BUS TO ANY METRO STATION YOU KNOW AND GET BACK ON THE TRAIN. GET OFF AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND STATION ON THE GREEN LINE AND MAKE SURE YOU AREN'T BEING FOLLOWED AS YOU CROSS CAMPUS.
I WILL MEET YOU AT THE STARBUCK'S COFFEE SHOP IN THE UNIVERSITY STUDENT UNION. I WILL NOT BE ALONE, BUT SIT AT THE TABLE NEAREST ME.
REMEMBER TATIANA? FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS AND YOU WILL BE TATIANA TONIGHT.
"What the fuck?" she whispered. "Why are you being so evasive? It's almost like you don't want to get laid." Then, the implication of the note hit her, and she looked around frantically. Who would be following her? A private investigator? The look Dan gave her before he left was very strange, but he usually gave her strange looks when he left for a working weekend.
Then she remember the story with Tatiana. It was a seduction that made her tingle, a story she imagined time and time again as she held her vibrator close after reading her latest adventure with Rasputin on the Internet. With new resolve, she picked up her pace.
She walked back across the Mall and entered the Capitol after going through Security. It had been ages since she'd been her as well, but she couldn't focus on her surroundings other than to look quizzically into the faces of the people around her. Fifteen minutes later, she found a side exit and darted through it. As she left, a bus pulled up and after it discharged its passengers, she got on and slipped her card in the slot as it pulled away. No one got else got on.
Tired of walking, she rested her feet as the bus made its progress through Washington. "I thought I'd be getting fucked by now," she murmured to herself, looking blandly out the window. "I never liked spy novels."
At random, she pulled the rope and got off next to a subway station. Scared, she trotted down the steps and looked around frantically before getting on the train. Switching downtown, she boarded the Green Line and disembarked as ordered. It took her a while to find her goal at the University, since she'd never been there before, but as far as she could tell, she wasn't being followed. Entering the Union, it took a moment's work to find Starbuck's.
Neil sat at a table with two young people. He was a large man, about six-two, about as she imagined him. His slender, graceful yet powerful hand was next to a paper cup of iced tea. A dark, slender young man and a tall, thin blond girl sat next to him, drinking coffee and chatting in a language she didn't recognize. She caught his eye, and with an almost imperceptible glance, indicated she should sit next to him at the empty table on his left.
Thinking it would complete the scene, she sat next to him. "You should go get something at the counter," he murmured softly.
"You want to make love to me, don't you?"
She gasped. "Y-y-yes."
"You weren't followed here, but I was. Can't say more here and now"
"Take my word for it and get something. You can trust my friends."
Neil watched as she made her way to the counter and got a coffee and a danish. Thank God his scrambler was working, and there was no possibility of electronic eavesdropping. Her legs were long and her hips nicely rounded, and they made his manhood stir. As she settled back in her chair with her back to him, the scent of her perfume and her arousal made his olfactory glands tingle with anticipation. His friends continued their discussion of their upcoming night out; sipping his drink, he murmured: "Thank you for coming this far for me."
"Thank you," she warbled. "I'm scared."
"Don't be scared. Being careful means we won't have anything to regret later."
"Regret? What the hell do you mean by that?"
"Well, I would regret it if your husband beat the crap out of me or killed me."
A sharp intake of breath and a sigh reached his ears. "But Dan wouldn't kill anyone. I've never known him to get especially mad at any time"
"Are you sure?"
Another long pause. "Pretty sure." The coffee and danish sat neglected on the table in front of her.
"Please eat your danish and drink your coffee; we are safe here for the moment. Relax. You will have a chance to make your dreams come true if you want it."
Shelley timidly began to nibble her danish, washing it down with Starbuck's best. His musk reached her nostrils, and made her damp again. His hands looked so tender, so soft; her imagination pictured them wander up and down her bare skin in gentle strokes. Her nipples erected; the fabric of her bra made them harder. "I have a question for you."
"In your last story. Why did your mad monk go for the Ludmilla, the young bitch, instead of the Tatiana. I didn't like her; Ludmilla."
"It's a long story."
"I thought it was more consistent with Tatiana's character to accept the election and give her life to her new job, just like Rasputin did with his choice. It didn't make sense to me that she'd give up her career at that point of her life, even though it would have been more romantic in someone else's point of view. I like strong, independent women; my mother was one. Ludmilla hadn't really chosen her life's work yet, so getting her married made more sense."
She breathed in and out heavily a few times. A flock of students passed by on their way to the counter to imbibe from various caffeinated beverages. Another breath gusted in and out. "I don't like it."
"All right. Rewrite the ending any way you want. Let Tatiana and Rasputin spend eternity in his rustic cell, out in the forest. Let them spend their days gathering berries and their nights making love by a roaring fire" They sat in silence for a while: she working on the delicate pastry and he on his beverage." He sipped his coffee and she sipped hers as the topic faded. A couple of students bought mocolattes and strode off in a hurry.
"So why are you here?" he asked at last.
"I don't know," she murmured.
"You want to spend time with me?"
"You want me to touch you?"
"You want me to stroke your legs?"
"Then we need to move on. . ." "Oh yes!" She turned to embrace him.
He cut her off, turning his body away from her. "Not here, not now. Patience will be rewarded."
She sat back heavily. A moment passed. "Are they coming, too?"
"These two fine young people, who speak excellent English, have their own agenda this evening, one I wish to know nothing about. We can speculate later if you wish." Katya blushed and Vladimir stopped talking for a moment. "I want you to get back on the Green Line," Neil said.
"Shit, no. What's wrong with College Station?"
"We are not safe here."
"So you say."
They sat in silence again. Neil's mind raced furiously: he needed to find some way to lure her onward. Shelley was getting frustrated: his stories were a series of slow seductions and long teases, and she wasn't ready to go through one in person. It was almost noon, and she was almost ready to fuck him on one of the tables.
"Do you want to go on?" he inquired delicately.
"I don't know," she huffed.
"Maybe you need a foot rub. A pair of strong hands on your delicate, aching feet, gently working out every knot and tension."
She gasped and closed her eyes. "With scented oil?"
"With scented oil. Lots of lavender scented oil. More?"
The young people looked at Neil quizzically, but with a nod they resumed their conversation. A few students sat at the table on the other side, so Neil lowered his voice to a barely perceptible whisper.
"The hands work the oil in, moving to your ankles. Your calves are a little tight, so the hands massage them higher, spreading the luxurious, healing feeling. They tickle the inside of your knees, they stroke them again and again."
"Oh, yes," came the almost inaudible reply. Her head lolled freely and she licked her lips.
"Higher and higher the hands go. Higher and higher, warm and slick. Are you ready?" "Mmmm."
"Then take the Green Line to the end. A man in a chauffeur's uniform will meet you and offer you a ride. He has blond hair and blue eyes and will mention cherry blossom trees. Go with him; he will take you where you need to go."
"Can we take the kids with us?" The young man and young woman blinked and looked at her with surprise.
"No, we need to be alone. They have their own agenda today."
A long sigh, followed by another. "All right. But you owe me the foot rub."
"But, of course." Neil stood up and walked away, the boy and girl following him reluctantly like he was a parent. Shelley sat rapt for a moment, wishing he would turn and come back alone, but his form dwindled in the distance without a backward glance. Disposing of her trash, she got up to move on.
The ride to the end of the Green Line was uneventful, and it was past noon when she walked to the car park from the station. A young man stood there as described: tall and lean, blond hair and dancing blue eyes. When she came down the stairs, he approached her, grinning manically.
"Excuse me, are you called Shelley?" A hint of Eastern Europe lurked in his voice.
"Yes, I believe so."
"Did you get to look at the cherry blossoms while you were in DC?"
"No, I didn't have time."
"I'm sorry. Would you like to walk this way?" He bowed and indicated a BMW parked nearby.
"All right," she said, bowing and following him to the car. He held the door open for her as she got in, before taking the driver's seat. "Any chance of getting a good fucking from you?" she said as they pulled away from the curb.
He laughed. "You're an attractive lady, but my hard drive doesn't run that program."
"Oh." She crossed her arms and pushed out a gust of air. "What can you tell me about your boss?"
"He's the best: a wonderful man, blessed by God. I trust him completely."
"Can you tell me why I'm having a hard time with that?"
"You don't know everything. He takes care, for his sake and for yours. Be patient."
"I'm tired of being patient."
The car took them up the highway toward Baltimore; traffic on the road was light. Shelley sat back on the comfortable seat and imagined the foot rub Neil started to describe to her.
Neil was ahead of them, on his way to the harbor area. His trousers were getting tight at the thought what was to happen soon, but he needed to pile precaution on precaution. The car that followed them to College Station followed Vladimir and Katya back to DC, believing he was still with them, but he needed to be sure another hadn't picked him up. Returning the rental Taurus to the BWI Hertz, he took the shuttle to the airport, then another to downtown Baltimore. Thoughts of Shelley's dark brown eyes, blond hair and easy smile haunted him as he ducked through stores and public buildings to shake any possible tails.
The afternoon was brightening slightly, which improved his mood. Shelley was as attractive as he imagined, and he was eager to lure her to his room. She wanted to go, was anxious to be there, willing to submit. It was tough to keep his thoughts from stirring his normal response, riding in public with an erection would be embarrassing. Yet, he could hardly wait to get his hands on her. It had been a long time alone.
He was sitting at the waterfront when she arrived, a little disheveled. She looked around for a place to sit at a distance, but he came up and embraced her warmly, giving her only a peck on the cheek. His blue eyes were merry as she looked in them.
"Well, are we done playing cat and mouse?" she mused smartly.
"We are alone and unfollowed, as I hoped," he said solemnly. "With my background, I can't be too careful. It was once a matter of life or death."
"Life or death? What were you, a spy?" She laughed ironically for several moments before his quietness stopped her. "Oh my God, you are a spy!" she exclaimed quietly.
"Not right now, but I was. It seems a lifetime ago, yet the habits return easily. You know another spy very well."
Her eyebrows raised. "Who?"
He looked up and off to the distance. "Your husband."
She shook her head. "My husband is an Instructor at the Naval Academy."