tagErotic CouplingsEbb Tide Ch. 03

Ebb Tide Ch. 03

byFinalStand©

Editing magic performed by KJ24 and Shyqash, plus contributions by the regular gang of brigands and neer-do-wells.

Flood tide: The period between the low tide and rising of the water to high tide.

This tale is an espionage fantasy under assault by reality.

The 'hero' of this tale might be considered a Libertarian, though the label means nothing to him. He is not completely sane (by some people's definition of the term).

FYI, two of my long-time readers get their cameos at lunch with Vance.


*A List of the Principal Characters is provided at the end of the chapter*

*****

{Vance begins to screw over Lloyd and goes to lunch}

G had both Wednesday and Thursday nights off. This gave us - Dabney and me - enough time to patch G back together. Whoever Mr. Rogers was, he scared the crap out of G. That was okay, he scared me as well. I knew the type. He had been a detached amoral intellectual who had graduated to being an immoral social cynic.

The CIA agents that dealt with 'covert operations' were part of the Special Activities Division (SAD). They were the ones that converted vaguely worded suggestions such as 'disrupt an Al Qaeda group operating in Lahore, Pakistan' into lists of people to compromise, have arrested, and kill. It was easy for SAD people to feel God-like when deploying that power.

Good SAD members didn't give a crap about the lives in the balance. They worked for 'minimal intrusion', which meant leaving the smallest 'footprint' by removing the fewest people. Bad SAD operators weren't into mass murder. No, that would cost them their jobs and lead to 'extreme sanction'. No, the bad ones reveled in the lives they ruined and were masters of making scumbag group 'A' attack scumbag group 'B'.

That sounds neat in theory. It is too often a disaster in practice. Once A and B get into a shooting war, the Agency lost all control over the collateral damage. We thought those people were scumbags for a reason, notably for their complete disregard for human life. The bad CIA types liked to sit back and watch the chaos ensue.

SOG operators like me and my old family removed the people we were told to take out, by either blackmail, setting them up for the local law enforcement to arrest, or assassination. We also could look at the news and figure out the long term implications of what we'd done. No one on the CIA SAD end of things made that kind of mistake twice.

If the pattern repeated itself, competent team leaders would start asking the CIA analysts what had gone wrong. 9/11 had made the oversight tighter, not weaker. Sure, the politicians wanted us to be more active, but they were also more knowledgeable of the risk of cascading damage ... things like the Taliban growing out of the Soviet-Afghan conflict.

According to a few of the old timers I interacted with - I didn't join the SOG until 2011 - we were killing far many more people. We were simply killing the right people with an eye out for avoiding that kind of blowback. Mr. Rogers was from the Old School; the kind of men my mentors warned me about.

"V, he's frightening," she confided in me. "He was terribly...chilling. I don't think he was sadistic. It was something else."

"I'm not going to tell you 'now that I'm here, everything will be okay," I said. "If he is the type of person who I think he is, Rogers is going to be difficult to deal with."

"We are here for you, G," Dabney hugged her from the right side. "V can be pretty scary too."

"Are you sure we are doing the right thing V - Vance?" G searched my eyes.

"As opposed to what?" I then kissed her gently on the lips. "Consider me your tax dollars at work, G. The US government went to great expense to make me what I am today."

"Tell, me; what is that again, V?" G sniffed.

"I'm a paramedic," I joked. "Why doesn't anyone believe me?" The women looked at one another.

"The pile of dead bodies you made yesterday," Dabney smiled. "I don't know much about paramedics, but aren't they supposed to spare lives, not take them?"

"Wise ass," I chided her. Dabney responded by uncoiling from her kneeling position beside G until she was lying on her chest, squishing her breast down while arching her back and knees so that her pristine glutæus maximus was elevated. Her Brazilian-cut, diaphanous black panties only made the act all that more enticing.

"This wise ass?" she giggled. She was hamming it up for G's benefit...mostly.

"Thank you too," G stroked Dabney's bottled blonde-streaked wavy hair. Neither G nor Dabney were lesbians, or even all that bi-sexual. Both had been required by circumstances to sexually entertain women - Dabney because she had been a high-priced escort and G because her ex-husband was one sick fuck.

He wasn't a sick fuck because he liked to see his wife with another woman. He was a sick fuck because he did it knowing neither woman wanted to do it yet weren't strong enough to defy him. Lloyd Pharris, G's ex, got off on humiliating people that came under his power.

"That's okay, G," Dabney kissed G's stroking hand. "You waited fifteen years to have sex with Vance just like I did. If you two had a history, I might have been jealous."

Dabney was teasing us over me being G's pool boy in the two years before I graduated High School and then joined the US Navy. We hadn't slept together. She was loyal to her bastard of a husband and I knew to steer clear. That didn't stop G from being nice to me, even kind.

"V was always polite and pleasant to me, a friend to my step-son," she gave a slight sob.

Ford Pharris, her step-son, had been forced by his father to testify that he and G had an affair. He'd been my age and a friend of sorts. Me and another of his friends, Kristoff Declan, had worked at bolstering Ford's self-esteem. Lloyd enjoyed mentally grinding his family down and that was the original source of his dislike for me. I'd hated the monster within a week of knowing him.

"Wynn kept hoping you would hit on her," G looked back to me. "I 'suggested' that she should leave you alone. I always thought you were too smart to fall for her tricks." Wynn was the step-daughter. She'd rebelled against her father in defense of G and paid for it several times since then. That was another reason for me to want him to suffer.

At the moment, I didn't want to drag G down a painful Memory Lane. I reached past her and gave Dabney's closest buttocks a good spank.

"Ow!" Dabney exclaimed. "Why did you do that?" she pouted. Oh, she knew precisely why I did it. Role-playing is a skill a girl in her profession had to cultivate.

G snapped herself out of her funk. She launched herself over Dabney's exposed posterior. G's bountiful bosom protected Dabney's buttock. She was giving me a stern look over her shoulder, but she'd left her exposed butt facing me. G should have recalled that she was in a very tight, white men's undershirt which barely reached her hips and no underwear. I took a bite - of her butt and I was downright carnivorous.

"Yow!" she squalled. "That hurt!" her look became overly-aggrieved.

"Oh...well, I've been dreaming about doing that for seventeen years," I reminded her. "Let me make it up to you." She watched me cautiously. I leaned for and planted a kiss beside my faint teeth marks. She made an exaggerated cooing noise.

A few more kisses surrounded the offended tissue with her letting her cooing transform to aroused sniffling and a slow rocking of her hips.

"Hey," Dabney protested. She pushed her butt up against G's stomach. "Don't forget me."

"What are you...Ah," G exhaled happily as I let my kisses gradually work their way down to her ass cleft.

"I'm protecting you. Hush," G chastised Dabney. I tenderly opened G's legs so that I could part her labia with my right, middle finger lavished nuzzling kisses on her tailbone. My phone buzzed. Crap, we had work to do today before the Sun set our world ablaze.

"Time to get moving ladies," I groaned. Both women shot me evil looks. I shrugged. A time table was a time table.

{Screwing Lloyd is so much fun to do}

Our first stop was at Dabney's old place. For the amount of money she brought in, she should have been able to afford something better. Pablo and her other 'creditors' had been giving her a pittance of what she earned. What the place lacked in location, footage and security, it made up for in closet space.

Her clothing was rather expensive (and extensive in number, if not material), yet wasn't High Society chic. Virtually everything she owned was flattering; more 'mistress' than 'upfront girlfriend/wife' wear. She didn't have enough luggage for her lingerie, much less her dresses. I introduced her to the concept of 'using sheets for looting'.

She and G were aghast at all the 'damage' I would cause her outfits. I promised to pay for all the dry cleaning, which mollified them. They still viewed me as a fashion Philistine. As we were preparing to leave, it dawned on the two ladies that they were essentially destitute. G's salary was heavily docked ~ paying off the financial burden she'd accumulated divorcing her demonic Ex, Lloyd Pharris.

He feigned poverty by cleverly hiding all his assets in off-shore corporations. I had a friend working on that. I had a trick up my sleeve that I was sure old Lloyd hadn't considered: I was going to have my old SOG rob the accounts at the source - whatever country the computer servers were based out of.

Having all sorts of shell companies was made to obscure money and property ownership from legal entities. The list of countries the IRS and Treasury couldn't get access to was rather small. Combined with the high level of computer security Lloyd would insist on narrowed the list down even further.

Dutch girl had the data for me in under twelve hours. This time she wanted a small percentage, not a fee, so I knew the information was a gem. If Lloyd thought that the Cook Islands were secure, he didn't take into account that the official police force was rather provincial. Private security was understated and not up to high tech International banking standards.

Oh, their computer software was equal to the financial security of Qatar, or the UAE (arguably the best). I'd put in a call into Sylas and his team with the appropriate data. The beauty of the plan was that the information wasn't being stolen ~ the ownership was being transferred. We'd done this before. It was the source of my current wealth.

Sylas wasn't going to hack the system, he was going straight for the hardware. Yes, we were altering the code form inside the bank which negated all that expensive cyber-security. Why wasn't Lloyd worried? It was the fucking Cook Islands, protected by New Zealand, in a part of the Pacific that didn't tend to attract secret agents bent on corporate espionage.

While I was out in the breezeway talking with Dutch girl via satellite encryption, Dabney played with her answering machine. Sometimes I swear, people don't have the common sense to always check all their surveillance cameras before leaving the house, or not having your answering service match your address. A half-dozen people wanted to talk with her. One was an old threat from a credit agency.

Four were from co-workers and the last one was from her new pimp. So, what did she do? She called her working buddies to get the 4-1-1 on the new, 'other' man in her life. I walked in on the last third of those discussions. She was bragging about me in uncertain yet positive terms. I might be 'The One', the mythical White Knight who would whisk her away to the good life.

Then she asked about the new pimp. What was he like, how had he showed up and was he good-looking? G thumped her for that last question. The guy was 'classy' (he didn't dress like a pimp) and low-intensity (he used verbal threats instead of physical ones). He had muscle too ~ some ex-football defensive line guy - big - not likely to be terribly fast, or overly bright. Smart football guys didn't work for pimps, even pimps who ran real escorts.

He had showed up with a Little Black Book that had all of Pablo's information in it. He looked like Carmine Giovinazzo ~ Det. Danny Messer from CSI: NY. He went by the handle of Kip Churchill. After she finished with her friend she gave me a hopeful look.

"I'll just call him to tell him I'm out of the business," she promised. Yeah, right.

Her call woke him up. That was no surprise. It was 9 a.m. and the bastard had probably hit the sack maybe two hours ago; once he had all the girls accounted for and collected his cut of tips and credit card receipts. I put him on speaker.

"Hi, this is Dabney "Care-Free" Curtiss," she began. "I've heard you wanted to talk to me."

"What ... huh? Oh, yeah. You were a major earner for Pablo. You owe some serious back taxes, 'Care'," he mumbled. "You need to get off your ass and get back to work - for me."

"I do?" Dabney proved she had learned something from hanging out with me. "How much?"

"What?" Kip got grouchy.

"Hang on," followed by some rustling noises then, "You owe forty-three large ($43,000)." Dabney studied me. I nodded.

"No I don't," Dabney chirped happily. "I don't have any credit card debt either."

"What? Listen bitch... wait, is a guy called 'V' with you?"

"I'm not saying he is, or he isn't," Dabney winked at me. "Why do you want to know?"

"I've got a message for him. Where is he?"

"Tell me what it is and I'll make sure he'll get it," Dabney grinned.

"Listen Care-Free and listen good; you don't want to ..." he began.

"Have they found Pablo yet?" Dabney chortled. Pause.

"No."

"Then you might want to consider who you threaten, Kip," she got all spirited and feisty.

"Are we going to have an issue?" he groused. "If so, pay what you owe and find someplace else to work," he threatened her.

"Yeah. Whatever," she faked a yawn. "What's the message?" Another pause.

"Give me his phone number and someone is going to give him a call," Kip told her. Dabney looked at me for instruction. I typed out the order on my phone's screen for her to relay.

"Call them. Have them give you a number and when I call you back ... in say an hour, you'll give it to me and he'll get in touch with them," she repeated my message.

"Who do you think you are?" he got angry.

"I think I'm the new girlfriend of the man who made the news yesterday. My boyfriend is - was a paramedic with MedicWest. Did you see him?"

"You're shitting me," he grumbled.

"Nope. Did you see him kill all those people? What do you think he's going to do with you if he thinks you are screwing around with me - Kip?" Dabney beamed joy my way. That I was opposed to all acts of bravado and boasting didn't occur to her.

"If you are lying to me Care Free, I'll give you something to care about," he attempted to intimidate Dabney.

"If you think that is a wise life decision, you go right ahead," Dabney challenged him right back.

"Fine," he yawned. "We'll talk later." He hung up.

"Dabney!" G lit into her. "You can't use V like that. He is not your personal bully-boy. He's not bulletproof, or immortal."

"Hey ... I," Dabney hesitated. "V, did I screw up?"

"Yes," I went straight for the jugular Truth. "Now he's going to be overly cautious and he can point other people at me over Pablo's disappearance. Not good."

"I ... I'm sorry V," she moped. "I didn't think ... I'm just so tired of being under their thumb."

"We live and learn," I very lightly thumped her forehead. "I think I know what this is about." I waited until we finished loading the car. She wanted me to tell her what I thought the message might be about. I didn't give in.

I let Dabney drive while I sat up front and G took the back seat and much of Dabney's stuff. We'd taken the Corvette because Dabney assured G and me that she only had 'a few things to pick up. Ugh. After we pulled away, I made the call. The person I was calling didn't have a listed phone number, but she did have an unlisted one.

"Hello? Who is this?" she answered.

"This is V," I informed her. "I have the impression you wanted to talk with me."

"You did? I didn't, but," she hesitated. "Why do you think I wanted to talk with you?"

"Kip."

"Ah ... maybe I do want to talk with you after all," she said. That meant she wanted to talk with her mom, Circe, Vice Lady of Lust ~ the Mistress of all the sex trade in Las Vegas. "I'll call you back."

"Well, my number is as useful as it was last time," I pointed out. "I'll call you back in ten (minutes)."

"You remain inquisitively annoying, Vance," she sounded amused. "Nice job yesterday. I'm glad we didn't have a disagreement last Monday night. You say CAM trained you?"

"In macramé, needle point and cross-stitch mainly," I lied. CAM - Christ All Mighty was one of my SEAL instructors, an exceptional human being and a man I didn't want to cross.

He was a physical conditioning expert - an ace at training men to regularly perform at inhuman levels of stamina, physical training, and overcoming your previous physiological limitations. He was also a dive instructor. CAM hadn't trained me in the 'lethal arts'. He had trained me how to tone my body so I could be far more dangerous than I would have ever been without him.

"Can't you ever tell me the truth - about trivial shit? I know you are as good as your word when it counts," she joked.

"I always thought you were very pretty and totally beyond my means when we hung out together," I told her. Dabney hit me. "You go make that call. I need to deal with Dabney. She's slapping me around."

"I'm sure she is," Reagan laughed. "I'll hear from you in ten." She hung up.

"Who was that?" Dabney asked. G looked at me intently too.

"It has to do with that matter Sunday night that I'm deciding how much I want to get G involved with," I reminded Dabney. She put her hand over G's eyes and mouthed 'Circe'?

I nodded. Keeping G in the dark was worse than letting her know she knew who 'Circe was.

"Oh shit," Dabney mumbled. G pulled the hand away.

"What is it?" G looked at me. "How bad is this? Is this 'why we don't talk about Pablo' crap?"

"Pretty much," I confided. "So, where are we going to eat?"

"Oh, let's try the Lagoon Bar and Grill," Dabney perked up. "I've been there twice - on dates - and it has great food and excellent service."

"You're driving," I reminded Dabney.

"I loved going there ... with some of my old friends," G went from happy to less than happy. G possessed a level of emotional self-assurance that Dabney hadn't cultivated - yet.

"You can either look at it as if they weren't really your friends because they didn't stand by you when you needed them," I offered, "or that they wisely avoided Lloyd and you can forgive that."

G reached around and hugged me. I HATED people grappling with me like that. It was so ... unnatural.

"Thanks Vance Vardanyan," she breathed into my ear. "Thank you for everything."

"Thank me when we are done," I advised her. "Don't count your victories until you've garnered them. It is a rule I live by."

I took the drive time to call Sylas. We discussed my info and possible plans. Since Dabney and G didn't speak Arabic, that was our language of choice. He loved the poetic justice of the mission. Self-important American corporate types, including arrogant lawyer-types, held a special place in SOG operators' hearts.

Too often, our political assignments were fueled by these bastards. If someone abroad was causing them business difficulties, we were duped into risking our lives so they could tack on another $10,000,000 to their portfolio. Considering we could die helping these douches meant we weren't hunting down real threats to our nation's well-being truly chapped our asses.

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