Warming the IcePrincess Pt. 04byJ-Stroke©
Authors note: I strongly urge you to read all of the preceding chapters. With the context they provide, this chapter and those that follow will be much more enjoyable for you. Without knowing the characters and from whence they sprang the story may not make much sense. Many of the chapters contain highly erotic scenes of adults having intimate sexual relations. If you are somehow offended by this or are under 18, please stop reading here. To all the rest I wish you the very best and Thank you for reading.
When I eased my car to the curb in front of the community center at a little after nine am, I was brimming with excitement about today's class. We had been coming up short on live volunteers to smack around lately and the thought of whooping up on Special Agent Gibbons held a certain appeal for me. Secretly I wished it was Walcott who was scheduled to take a pounding this morning, but sometimes a girl's just got to make due with whichever FBI agent shows up for his ass whipping. With a tall cup of my favorite Java in one hand and my gym bag over my shoulder I headed down the long sidewalk towards the side entrance to the building. Halfway up the narrow concrete walk I noticed a white florists van slowly parking in the street along the side entrance to the building. Its worn brakes gave a telltale squeal of hard use and neglected maintenance. Something about it seemed out of place but it me took a minute or two before I figured out why. Its windowless sides were painted with a logo from a florist's shop that I knew was located on the far side of town. The van should have been closer to the bigger money east side of town where Claire's condo was situated. There was also the fact that on this block there was little in the way of homes or business that would require the services of one of the more expensive florists in town.
The van was quickly forgotten as I stepped inside and began changing into my workout clothes. The preparations I needed to have set up for the class occupying my mind fully. I wanted to get everything ready and do my own warm-ups before the others started showing up and I had less than forty-five minutes to get it all squeezed in. When the class finally assembled at 10:00, I had already been through my full regime of stretching and had a brief but energetic session on the heavy bag. Special agent Gibbons was introduced to the smiling women fully decked out in the latest fashion for a human punching bag. For the next two hours, he was tossed, slammed to the ground, and used as a tool to demonstrate the five vulnerabilities of your average male attacker. Eyes, nose, throat, nuts, and knees, all the classics. Every man has them and exploiting any of them effectively could make all the difference to a lone woman in a dark parking lot or a lonely street late at night.
Keith took all of these indignities with admirable stoicism. By the end of the class, his fingers had been bent and abused. His body had been punched, kicked, thrown around. He'd been slammed to the mats countless times but he took all of it without complaint. After the class, Melanie the other volunteer instructor and I both congratulated him on being the best simulated-attacker we've had in the entire six weeks of the course.
He responded with a tired sigh as he stripped off the now sweaty padding, "I deserve a medal for taking abuse like that."
Mel piped up with a broad smile as she tapped the wedding band on his left hand, "You already have one. Don't even try telling me that our little class here is as rough as what you already get at home special agent."
His knowing smile started the two of us chuckling but he fired back, "Touché, but at home my lovely Mrs. gives me at least a little time to recover between my beatings, sometimes its even a whole day."
Mel howled at his snappy rejoinder as she shook his hand saying warmly, "It was a real pleasure having you in class today Keith, but I have to get going and see if my husband needs an ass kicking of his own. You'll lock up right Jane?"
"Yeah I got it Mel, you have a nice weekend," I told her back as she hustled for the door.
"Why is it that I have no trouble at all believing she would do exactly that when she gets home to the poor man?" Keith asked me smiling and shaking his head.
"Ahhh... Mel talks tough but she's a sweetheart, besides her husband's a marine just back from the gulf. I think he can handle her. Hell the man treats her like a princess and she knows it."
While helping me bag up the pads so I could drop them off at the dry cleaners I asked him sweetly, "Our little group of ladies didn't really hurt you did they?"
He smirked and answered, "Not that I'll admit at work on Monday, but I'd be lying if I claimed I wasn't a little sore."
"Oops sorry," I snickered at his tone, "I should have warned you that the class is getting pretty advanced. The fact is we've been gearing up for graduation exams in a couple of weeks. Hey, if you'd like to come watch there's a party afterwards, hell you could bring the wife and kids too."
He laughed and told me, "There's no way I'm bringing my wife to a place where they teach women to do this. She'd kill me for sure."
"Well if it's any consolation you wouldn't be the only battered law enforcement officer in attendance," I told him.
He grinned and asked, "You mean to tell me that you found another L.E.O. as stupid as me to volunteer for this kind of abuse, how about that." I laughed slugging him playfully on the shoulder telling him, "The local gendarme's run the testing for us, and pass out certificates to the graduates. If they sign off that we're doing a good job we'll get county funding to put on the classes again next year."
He seemed to warm to the idea of watching some poor local cop get pummeled and said, "Two weeks ought to give me time enough to heal up."
I laughed and teased, "I would have thought a field agent for the FBI would be able to handle a few housewives and dozens of high school girls. What are they doing with all those tax dollars we send to Washington anyway?"
He stood throwing the last of the protective padding aside and assumed a textbook fighting stance and challenged, "Care to go a few rounds Miss De Marco?"
I got up too and told him flatly, "I don't know if I'll be much of a challenge for you I haven't sparred with anyone for almost ten months since my old gym went bankrupt."
"Don't worry I'll take it easy on you, just for fun wait, how about the loser buys lunch?" his mocking smile irked me just a little.
I decided one good taunt deserved another and said, "OK Keith lets keep the contact light. I don't want you to have to explain to your darling wife how you took such a beating from an accountant."
I turned away from him pretending giving my legs a preparatory stretch, he rushed forward in an attack that I suspected was coming. I parried his first few blows easily trying to assess his skill and style. He didn't so much as touch me for several minutes though he threw a variety of feints and attacks at me. His technique was technically very correct if a bit unimaginative. The combinations of kicks and punches he threw my way were somewhat predictable indicating a limited exposure to the martial arts. What he was showing me might have been dazzling to a street thug but I was so far, unimpressed.
On the other hand, I had been being taught by a multi-discipline master who held black belts in both Shotokan Karate and Sengoku Jujitsu. (Too bad the guy didn't show the same discipline with his finances.) It didn't take me long at all to surmise that Keith's training had been seriously deficient. I didn't figure him for a poor student and thought that maybe he was sandbagging me. I switched tactics from the purely defensive into the attack. I hit him (yes, yes very lightly) with every strike and kick I threw. I was starting to get a little bored with it so I backed away from him lowering my hands to indicate that I wanted to stop. Keith saw this and mistook it for the opening he had been waiting for and launched into a fresh attack.
His fist whistled past my chin as he lunged at me over-extending his thrust. I saw it coming and easily slipped the blow and delivered a sharp jab to his exposed ribs. I was starting to get just a little pissed so I continued falling away to his side as he recoiled from the strike and tried to cover his stinging side. As I descended toward the mat, I spun around sweeping my leg in a powerful arc crashing it into the back of both his knees. His feet left the mat but before his back crashed down on it, I snatched his right arm mid air and slapped an arm bar on his elbow applying immense pressure in the wrong direction. Keith quickly realized that if he wanted to retain the use of his arm for the near future he was screwed. He tapped the mat twice sharply with his free hand indicating his submission.
I released his arm but gave him a very undisciplined slap across the midriff and barked, "The next time someone backs away from a fight with you Special agent," I straightened and stared scowling down at him with my hands now on my hips, "You might want to let them, it could be in your own best interest."
I offered him my hand and helped him to his feet. He smiled shaking his head in disbelief. "Where'd you learn to do that Jane? That was amazing."
I answered him with a snort of laughter, "It wouldn't have been if the FBI training didn't suck. Or did you miss that day?"
Unabashed he told me that he attended all of the combat training offered by the bureau. He even boasted that he was one of the more accomplished practitioners in the FBI's local office.
I couldn't help myself, that clown inside me must have had her makeup freshened up and red nose on. "So what you're telling me Keith is that the entire local contingent of the FBI could be wiped out in a good barroom brawl some Saturday night."
He snapped back with a grin, "I think you're forgetting that we all carry guns too."
"Yeah, well, if you guys shoot as well as you fight you'd be overmatched by my Aunt Mabel and her rolling pin, you guys need better training."
He asked me with sincerity, "Care to apply for the job?"
"Can't," I answered him flatly.
"Why not, you're a hell of a lot better than the instructors they send us now?"
I sighed as I toweled off the sweat from my face and neck and answered, "Well Keith it's about the ethics. I'm only a brown belt, 1st kyu but still a brown, and that means no formal teaching I'm not yet considered qualified."
His quizzical expression told me he knew less about the formalities of martial arts training than he did about fighting. "How can you teach the ladies here then?"
"It's different," I answered trying to figure out a way to explain without going into the entire history of the belt ranking system which could take hours, maybe days.
"I'm not offering instruction in the art of Karate here, I'm only teaching them how to survive an attack long enough to escape and call for help, there's a huge difference."
He threw his hands up in surrender and said, "I'll to defer to your expertise, by the way where's lunch? I guess I'm buying."
I grabbed the bag of padding and the rest of my accouterments and playfully pushed him toward the door saying, "Damn right you are! How about Italian? I know a nice place that's not too far."
I followed his government issue grey Ford sedan through downtown, at the speed limit, every bloody inch of the way. Thankfully, the Saturday lunch crowd at Romero's was light and allowed the two of us to order quickly and still have time for a nice talk. A glass of Chianti and their crusty bread fresh from the oven made a perfect appetizer while we waited for our meals of miniature cheese Ravioletti with sweet Basil pesto to arrive from the kitchen. While we waited, I began explaining the functions of the algorithm. Twice we had to resort to using the back of a napkin for the trickier portions. As lousy, a fighter he proved to be, his grasp of how the long mathematic formulae worked told me there was nothing wrong with Keith's brain. After finishing with our lunch, we sat and discussed what role I might be asked to play in the upcoming trial. I also had the opportunity to ask him a few questions that had been bothering me since the disastrous meeting in Bart's office earlier in the week.
"Exactly how did deputy director Walcott come to be involved in this case any way Keith? I thought he was based out of D.C."
"As deputy director he can insert himself into pretty much any case he wants to," He explained, "Walcott normally seeks out only the most high profile cases. Having his name and title associated with any case usually helps the investigation. You'd be surprised how much easier it is to secure resources with the deputy directors name tacked on your documentation."
This puzzled me because the case at Continental didn't really need tons of support and wasn't even high profile now. "How did he even find out about it? I mean back when this first began it was pretty small potatoes in the grand scheme of FBI investigations."
"For some reason Walcott had a flag on Clifton Adams name, and when Mr. Stillwell called on us three years ago we had to inform Walcott because of that flag," Keith told me as though it was no big deal, but I persisted with my inquisition.
"Isn't it kind of unusual for the deputy director to be so interested in such a small time case?"
Keith became a little thoughtful for a second then answered, "I thought so too, but I found out later that Walcott was the original investigating agent when Adams was suspected of embezzling at Allied. I think the case left a bad taste in his mouth because he was never able to bring charges. The investigation was eventually shut down for lack of evidence."
"So Walcott was in control of the investigation that let Adams get away with it the first time?" I asked thinking the arrogant ass wasn't smart enough to catch a tennis ball let alone a real criminal.
Keith answered me with a chuckle, "Yeah well, nobody's perfect not even the FBI. If you tell anyone I ever said that I'll have to deny it."
I could tell he was getting weary of the subject but I had one last question I needed answered, "So the case was dropped because they found no evidence of wrong doing?"
"No," Keith interjected, "there was evidence, but according to the reports I've read Walcott just didn't think he had enough to secure a conviction and wouldn't refer charges."
Keith sipped his one glass of wine and said thoughtfully, "He was always very cautious in that respect, when he finally did make an arrest someone was almost certain to spend a long time in prison. Walcott's conviction rate as an investigator was up over 80 percent. That's one of the best ever in the history of the FBI."
"So he's not a total incompetent?" I chuckled and Keith quickly joined my laughter at my backhanded slam of the Deputy Director.
"You could say it like that," he snickered and finished his wine, "In fact I heard rumors that when Walcott was still a field agent his superiors were so pissed at him he was almost transferred out of field operations. He dropped as many investigations as he charged. The claim was that he was just too timid for fieldwork and they almost relegated him to the training program at Quantico."
"Oh Christ Keith can you imagine sitting classes with that sanctimonious ass, that'd be a fate worse than death!"
We both chuckled at the horrors of that image inspired. "I wonder how he saved himself from what would have been a terrible injustice." I asked trying to mimic Walcott's thick New England accent.
Keith said chuckling ruefully, "Politics, if Walcott had nothing else going for him he was well connected. The old boy was "hooked up" you might say."
By that point, I'd had belly full of Walcott and the whole damned FBI power structure. I thanked Keith for the wonderful lunch, told him to say hello to the wife and kids and bade him farewell. I left planning to stop by work for a few hours but first I had to get rid of those smelly pads before they stunk up my new car, whew!
Pulling the little roadster up the freeway ramp on my way to the dry cleaners, I saw another white van turning from the service road to follow me. I couldn't see the sides of it so I wasn't sure if it was the same one from this morning but it did have a familiar look. The way I was ripping through the gears though, no one was going to be able to keep up with me anyway. I dismissed it feeling a bit silly, maybe even paranoid. I mean really, who would want to be following me around anyway. I was beginning to think that hanging around these FBI types was starting to mess with my mind. After dumping off my pungent cargo, I slipped back into traffic and cruised over to the office hoping to get some work done without any interruptions.
Parking in the executive garage was still a bit of a novelty for me and I pulled inside with a huge smile. This time I even found a reserved space for my cute little Beemer marked with my name on it. (God this is so awesome!) As I walked along the huge windows heading for the elevator I heard a familiar squeal and caught a flash of white as a van whizzed around the corner half a block down from the garage entrance. It was moving too fast to be sure it was the same one but the hairs on the back of my neck were standing stiffly enough to send shivers down my spine. Damn it this was getting creepy now. I decided to call Keith and tell him about it once I got upstairs. When I stepped into my office and looked over the mounds of paper that were waiting for me any thoughts of calling the local FBI office evaporated.
I shuddered scanning over the stacks and stacks of records scattered on every flat surface inside the room. I berated myself softly asking aloud, "What the hell have you've gotten yourself into this time you knot head?"
A memory flashed into my mind to the last time I heard those exact words. It was Christmas break of my sophomore year. My father had asked me that right before I told him and my mother the truth that I was gay. I felt my cheeks flushing hotly remembering my hurt and anger as he tossed me into night off our front porch. He told me with steely finality from his perch atop the steps not to come back that I was no longer welcome.
I picked myself up from the frozen lawn screaming at him loud enough to wake the whole neighborhood, "What about the forgiveness, and understanding of the lord Dad? Your Lesbian daughter not good enough for it? Not in your house huh? Well screw ya both I don't need your fucking forgiveness you puke, or his! You god damn hypocrite!"
That night was the last time I had spoken to anyone in my family. It was also the last time I'd ever set foot in my hometown. I promised myself on that painful winter's night that I would never ever go back there. There was nothing in that past that I wanted or needed anymore. That single most unpleasant experience I had ever endured changed my entire life. The anger it inspired had driven me to succeed at anything I set my mind to accomplish. I felt it burning in me as hotly today as I did that awful night so long ago.
Marching to my desk with the same angry determination boiling inside me, and I heard myself softly repeating what I screamed at his back before he slammed the door in my face, "Screw you old man!"
I plowed into it scouring the old records for hours searching for the answers I needed. What I found there, was exactly what I already knew. Adams was embezzling millions from us but I still couldn't match the same kind of activity when he was at Allied. The records just didn't go back far enough to give me the proof I had to have. The embezzling explained why our P&L figures took a huge hit every time there was a major disaster but it should never have effected our investments. I was ready to start pulling my hair out by the fistful I was getting so damn frustrated. Thankfully, the ringing telephone saved my pate from permanent harm, Claire's call was a timely and delightful distraction.