A Case of Mistaken IdentitybyScorpio44©
[This story has a little sex in it. It may contain incest depending on how you define incest. The story wrestles with the question, 'Is it incest if you don't know you are related until after the sex?' I'm putting the story under Romance for reasons I hope are evident when you read it. I look forward to your comments.]
The announcement to put our seatbacks in the upright position woke me. I had slept for the last six of the hours between Japan and Los Angeles. I followed the instructions and watched out the window as the plane landed and taxied to the terminal.
Fourteen years I had been gone. Los Angeles International looked pretty much as I remembered it. The silly looking restaurant in the middle looking like some strange flying saucer was still there. From the airport I was taken to city hall and met the mayor. He seemed to think it would be an honor for me to meet him. It wasn't. What I wanted was for all the bullshit to end and for someone to take me for a good meal. I hated the idea of all the publicity and the attention. I'd missed fourteen years of living as a free man and I didn't like waiting to begin living free again. Looking out the windows of the car traveling between LAX and city hall I could tell I wasn't in China anymore.
I shook lots of hands and smiled a lot for the next few hours. When my value as an item on the news was done I finally got what I wanted. Freedom.
The luncheon was over and people were going wherever they were going. A woman dressed in a business suit came up to me and said, "Hi. I'm Diane. I'm your driver. Would you like to get out of here?"
"Where were you three hours ago? I could have used a rescue then." I smiled as I said it.
"I was told to stay in the shadows until now. Let's go."
She led the way and soon we were out of city hall and into a Ford. She drove and when we were three blocks from city hall she said, "Want some real food?"
"Yes! I know just the place I want to go, too."
"Just let me drive. See if I know where you want to go."
"OK. The place I want to go probably isn't still in L.A. anymore. It's been a long time."
As she drove she kept glancing over at me and I kept looking out the windows trying to remember anything I was seeing. When I looked at her I was impressed. She was dressed conservatively but unless fourteen years in China had really messed with my head she was very good looking. She had red hair, cut short and very curly. Her legs looked great, long and slender. The rest of her was hidden so I couldn't tell much about her body. Her smile seemed genuine and her voice was low and sexy.
The first place I saw on our drive that I recognized was County General Hospital. It hadn't changed much. Five minutes later Diane turned off Soto and two minutes more and we were on Evergreen. The place I really wanted to go used to be on Evergreen! She pulled the car into the parking lot of El Tepyac, my favorite Mexican restaurant.
"How did you know?"
"I asked people and I read about you."
We ate and I made noises about how great the food tasted. We ate outside on what someone might call the patio. Really it's the area alongside the restaurant with a few tables and the take out window. I noticed that Diane kept looking at me, like she was looking for something.
When we were finished eating she said, "Well, you've met the mayor and now you've eaten. What's next?"
"I really don't know. The settlement from the Chinese gives me a good income but I don't have a place to live or a car or a life. Maybe we can take me to a hotel and get me a room?"
"OK. Do you want to be by the beach, the mountains, near where you lived years ago?"
"The beach sounds nice."
We got back in the car and she put us on the freeway.
"Do you have family you want to contact?"
"I have family but no idea how to contact them. The State Department guys told me that my wife divorced me and changed her name after I went to China. We have a daughter so I assume she changed her name too and they moved. No one contacted the State Department saying they were my ex or my daughter when the announcement was made about my release so I guess they don't want to revisit the long ago."
"What was your daughter's name?"
"Elizabeth. She's in her twenties now. I wouldn't want to intrude on her life but I sure would like to know she's OK."
"What about your ex?"
"During the time I was in jail here before I was handed over to the Chinese she visited me once. She told me that she hated me and that I shamed her by being a spy. All those years of hate won't just disappear when she sees on the news that it wasn't me that was the spy."
"Did you love her?"
"Sure. She was wonderful. We were together for ten years. When Elizabeth was born we both thought we were the most blessed people on Earth. We had a great home, good jobs, and a beautiful daughter. I loved being with my wife and daughter."
Part of the ride was in silence. When we got to the beach we were in Santa Monica. There were four or five hotels in a row overlooking the ocean. I picked one and Diane helped me check in. In the room I said, "I'm a little uncomfortable in the room with you here. I haven't been alone with a woman in almost fifteen years and..."
"Let's go for a drive."
We drove north along the beach. I watched the waves and sailboats for a while.
"Diane, how long are you my driver?"
"Then I want you to teach me how to drive again. A week from now I'll be on my own and I'll need to be able to drive."
She found a shopping mall and let me drive her car for a while in the nearly empty lot. It came back quickly. She reminded me about some of the laws and when she thought I was ready we went out on the road. We continued north until we got to Santa Barbara. It was starting to get dark so I recommended we get rooms for the night and then have dinner. Diane recommended we have dinner and then worry about rooms. We saw a nice looking place to eat out on a pier so we drove out there and parked. Next to the restaurant were some shops. We were both still dressed up from the luncheon so I took us into the shops and found more casual clothes.
"I can't let you buy me clothes."
"Why not? I certainly can afford to buy both of us clothes. You'll be more comfortable than in a business suit. Please?"
It took another minute of talk and she let me get her an outfit. White pants and a blue blouse with sailboats on it. I bought a pair of khakis and a big polo shirt that said Santa Barbara on it. We stashed our business clothes in the car and went to dinner.
The food was wonderful. I didn't think much about it at the time but Diane asked me lots of questions about my life before China and a few about life in China. I told her about meeting my wife in college at Cal State L.A. and how we hit it off. I talked about all the things we did together and the fun we had. I explained how we went on a three day cruise to Mexico and I proposed in Mexico.
Diane asked about Elizabeth and how we named her. She was named for Cathy's best friend in high school and college. She had been with us on the cruise and had helped me set up the perfect romantic proposal. Cathy hadn't wanted to name our daughter after anyone in the family. She believed it would cause hurt feelings in the grandma that wasn't the one picked.
We walked the pier after dinner. We watched the gulls and pelicans take roost for the night. Somewhere in that walk she put her hand in mine. It felt really good. It felt like she cared.
When we got back to the car she drove and we headed south. By sometime near midnight we were back in Santa Monica and at the hotel. I got Diane a room near mine and sent her to it. I told her to call me in the morning and we would have breakfast together.
The bed and room were wonderful. I took a long shower in hot water and privacy. I thought about holding hands with Diane and how nice it felt. When I got in bed I thought about her until I fell asleep. I fell asleep in ten seconds so the thoughts weren't even risqué much less pornographic.
Hours later the phone woke me and it took a few rings before I knew where I was and that it was a phone ringing. It was the front desk saying there were three reporters in the lobby looking for me. I said I would call them right back and called Diane's room. She said I should wait until she knocked twice on my door then call the desk and invite them up to my room.
When she knocked I opened the door and made the call. We slipped to the parking garage and were gone. They missed us.
I needed to put a life together. Diane helped. We looked at condos by the beach and she made calls to people she knew about what prices were too much and what was reasonable. By about four in the afternoon I had put a bid in on a nice two bedroom place walking distance from the beach. That evening we had dinner and went to a movie. Movies hadn't changed very much. The trailers were either violence or chick flicks. We saw a chick flick. I liked it. The popcorn was good and Diane held my hand for most of the movie.
Back at the hotel I kissed her on the cheek and sent her off to her room. I wanted to be a gentleman and I wanted to take her to my room. The gentleman won.
I showered and lay in the bed alone and awake long enough to have three very sexy fantasies about Diane. In the morning she called me and I got up. Less than a minute later she knocked and I let her in. I had wrapped a robe around me. She brought coffee and two breakfast burritos. She was wearing different clothes and I asked about them.
"After you went to bed I drove home and brought some clothes and stuff here. Do you approve?"
"Yes! You look great! Maybe we should get me some clothes today?"
Her face lit up. "Yes! I know some great places to shop! Get dressed. We'll go!"
I dressed in the bathroom and we snuck out of the hotel. By evening I had a thousand dollars worth of clothes. Diane and the sales people said I looked good. I know I felt good in the new clothes.
"Can we go back up to Santa Barbara for dinner?"
"It will take two hours, but sure, we can go." We did. On the drive we talked about what had happened in the USA while I was gone. I was finished with that depressing news long before Santa Barbara so I asked her about her friends and family.
"Mom lives near Portland Oregon with her lover. They both teach school. I haven't lived with them since I was eighteen and went away to college. I don't have any brothers or sisters. My grandparents died some years ago. Since I moved to L.A. I have a few friends but no one special. I have two roommates who are grad students at UCLA. I like long walks on the beach, romantic movies, and telling the truth whenever possible."
"I think a long walk on the beach without guards would be really wonderful."
"Then in Santa Barbara let's do that."
We ate at a Mexican restaurant across the street from the beach and then we walked, hand in hand, on the beach.
"Are you angry with your ex for not being there to welcome you home?"
"No. She's had fourteen years to create a new life. I can understand she was angry and hurt and now all that is in the past. I just hope she and Elizabeth are happy."
"You really are a nice guy."
She stopped and turned to me. I knew what that was about. It had been many years but I knew the signal that a woman wants to be kissed. I hoped I wasn't too clumsy. Our lips touched and her arms went around my neck. I felt my body respond and I wrapped my arms around her and returned the kiss.
Her lips were warm, soft and insistent. I yelled at myself to take it slow. I went as slowly as I could and my body responded so fast I thought I was in danger of cumming in my nice new pants. I held her close but not too close. I didn't want her to feel my erection and be offended. The feel of her breasts against my chest was the best feeling I had in over fourteen years. I wasn't totally sure what the kisses meant.
Diane backed off just far enough so our eye would focus and looked me in the eyes.
"If we keep doing what I want to do right here we'll be arrested. I think we should get a room."
"Personally, I think that is a great idea, and I have some concerns. I don't know you. For all I know you work for some news agency and will write some story about your time with the Chinese prisoner. Maybe, we better cool it for a while and I'll get to know you. Even when I was young I wasn't into one nighters." I knew how much older I was than Diane and I didn't want a mercy night. "I want to be with you and please you, and I want to be careful. I've been out of prison for less than a week and, to be honest, I'm still in overwhelm."
Diane went up on her toes and kissed me on the cheek. I tried to read her eyes but couldn't.
"Nick, you really are a nice guy. Your ex is missing out by not coming back to you. I am flattered that you want to be with me and flattered that you want to be careful, too. I will wait. And, I'm your driver for as long as you'd like."
"How can that be?"
"I'm afraid I misled you the other day. I walked right up to you and said I was your driver. You assumed that the government was providing you with a driver. I am providing you with a driver. No one hired me to do this."
"Then why are you doing this? Are you with the press?"
"No. I read about you when I was in college studying foreign affairs and I really got interested in you. When I saw on the news that you were released and coming to Los Angeles I decided it was my chance to see if you were who I thought you might be. Being your driver seemed the best way."
"There may have been a driver hired to take me around."
"Yes, but I whisked you away before anyone else had a shot at you."
"When you studied me in college, what conclusions did you come to?"
"It was a case of mistaken identity. I was convinced that there is a spy and that he looks a lot like you. I was also convinced you aren't a spy. I was happy when the Chinese discovered I was right."
"This didn't make the news but on the day I was released they let me meet the actual spy. He does look like me."
"Oh, how was that for you?"
"At first I wanted to beat the hell out of him. When I thought about it later, on the plane to L.A., I realized that I gave him fourteen years more to spy on the Chinese. Once they had me they quit looking for me."
"Wow! I never would have thought about the real spy. Could the State Department find your ex and your daughter so you could talk to them?"
"They offered. I said that if they showed up or contacted the State Department they should let them in, but that if they didn't I would respect their privacy and their decision. So, my ex and daughter missed a rubber chicken luncheon with the mayor and a hundred politicos."
"They missed the last two days too."
"I learned a lot while I was in China. One of the lessons was that anything you can't change or fix you let go of. I couldn't change the sentence I was given, so I needed to let go of any upset around it. My energy was on living long enough to be free. They gave me a thirty year sentence, and I was almost half way home. Do you know that the day I got on the plane in China to fly to Japan and then to L.A. I had six thousand days left on my sentence?"
"I counted. I took pride in having served over fifty-one hundred days without staying crazy."
"God! I wouldn't have been able to do it."
"I am amazed that I'm in as good shape as I am. I don't know about the long term effects of those fourteen years, but my focus is in enjoying freedom, life, laughter, good food... and you. Please give me some time."
"All the time you need." Diane stood next to me with her arm around my waist and we looked out at the peaceful ocean for a while. My thoughts were about how much had changed for me in just a week. Being me, I started to list all the changes. Being me, when the list looked endless I stopped counting.
At some point we went to the car and drove to the big hotel. I paid cash for two rooms and we went to our rooms for the night. We kissed good-night in the hallway. Diane's eyes were full of tears when we parted.
I wasn't worried about reporters showing up. I had paid cash for everything since we left the hotel in Santa Monica. I knew we had to go back to get all the clothes we bought me, but for no other reason. In the morning, I called Diane and asked her if she wanted breakfast. We met at her car and headed back for L.A. after breakfast.
We kept the windows open and enjoyed the sun and the wind as we drove. As we neared Camarillo Diane took her hand off the steering wheel and grabbed my left hand. She placed it on her bare thigh and put her hand back on the wheel.
"Boyfriends do that." She said.
"Am I your boyfriend?"
"Are you willing to be?"
"I don't know. Does your boyfriend get to fill your car with gas before we run out?"
She looked at the gas gauge and started to laugh. She pulled off the highway into Camarillo and I bought us a tank of gas. As we headed back for the highway I saw a Foster's Freeze and had Diane stop. I hadn't had ice cream in over five thousand days. We both got a cone and drove on licking and laughing. Life was certainly good.
In Santa Monica we saw a television van parked out in front of the hotel. The microwave antenna was up. We concluded that if we went inside I would need to deal with the news people. Diane didn't want to be seen by them. Neither did I. We drove on, and we talked.
"Nick, what will you do with your life now?"
"I've been thinking about that. Maybe you can help me. Talk this through with me, OK?"
"Sure. First, where am I driving?"
We got back on a freeway and headed south.
"I never need to work again in my life. According to Mr Clausen from the State Department I have enough money that I can live well on the interest alone for the rest of my life. I think if I get a good manager for my money I can make it do more than support me. I want to give people scholarships, money to start businesses, a leg up so to speak."
"According to that sign there ING is paying 5.54% on CD's. That is a conservative way to invest. How much did the Chinese give you?"
"Can you keep a secret?" She nodded.
"A million a year for the fourteen years and I have a letter from the President telling me the money is tax free."
"Math isn't your thing, is it?"
"If you put it in CD's at 5.58% you would get three quarters of a million a year. Mr Clausen was right! You can live quite well forever. How do you want to give money away?"
"There are lots of people who want a hand out. They won't manage it well. Most people who win millions on the lottery are broke five years later. I'm not interested in that. I want to find people who are working hard to make their lives better and assist them."
"Give me an example, please."
"OK. You have two roommates who are grad students. How are they doing?"
"I think they will both graduate next year. They work part time and study full time. They are both going into psychology."
"Can we pay them a visit tomorrow?"
"Sure, but the example?"
"Right now they are working so they have enough money to eat and pay rent, right?"
"What if I said, "I will pay your rent for the next two years and pay you a thousand a month living expenses if you will stay in school, study hard and when you graduate you take jobs as school psychologists? All I ask is that when you take those jobs you pay it forward by giving ten percent of what you earn for the first five years."
"Wait! Rent will cost you a thousand a month each and you're adding a thousand so you will give them two thousand a month for two years?"
"That's forty eight thousand dollars. Then you want ten percent of their first five years earnings? Say they get sixty thousand a year, starting. You want six thousand of that, for five years, that is thirty thousand dollars. You lost eighteen thousand dollars!"