Kitty & Teddy, LLC Ch. 04bypocketrocket©
Interlude: 25th Anniversary
Everyone says that it was one of the most memorable weeks of their life. A lot of things, significant things, happened in a very short time. Then it was a matter of picking up the pieces. Dad calls it his mosaic.
Chapter 8 -- Making a Mosaic
Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.
I shut the damned clock off. This time it woke me was not nearly as good as the last time, though I hurt just as much. I sat up in bed, and pushed my hair out of my eye. This brought the sleeve of a man's shirt to my attention. That it was a man's shirt, not just a mens shirt, was clear from the distinct male scent. I breathed deeply of it, but did not recall how I had gotten it. Damn Sheila, do you zombie much?
Slowly, the events of the previous day filtered through to my blunted awareness. This would require caffeine to sort. As I put the water on to heat, a chronology formed: Charles and his embarrassment; Sean and his offer; Justin and the group; Jason and the Stick.
At that point my mind shuddered to a stop. What had I done to Jason, just to get pictures? I knew my strength, and I had pulled none of it. That session would rattle the cages of hardened masochists, and it was Jason's first time. What had I done? Sean would know. Sean would take care of it. Oh my God. I was wearing, quite literally, the shirt off Sean's back. Sean has been taking care of me.
I heaped spoonfuls of Orange Pekoe into the press and added two cloves. The mundane action served to calm my ragged nerves. Slowly a different picture started to take shape. I poured boiling water over the tea leaves, put the top on, then walked to the window. It was not George in the car, but I recognized the type. Someone was watching my apartment. That should have pissed me off, but I felt a warm glow instead. I put on some coffee, then went to shower.
Several minutes later, I went up to the car and tapped on the window. The man inside looked nervous as I handed him a mug of coffee. I asked, "Can you get George on the horn?"
He looked at me, took the coffee and set it in the cup rest, then picked up a phone and pressed a speed dial number. A few seconds later, he handed the phone to me.
I said, "Good Morning. Is this George?"
Phone: Ma'am, this is Gerald. George is driving Mr. Richards this morning.
"Gerald, are you the current center for information flow?"
Phone: Ma'am, that is a very good way of putting it. Yes, everything passes through me.
"Good. That means I am talking to the right man. I have messages to pass on. To Sean: I am up, dressed and reasonably sane. Don't worry about me right now, but remember the 4 o'clock appointment. Then he gets to take me to dinner. To Helen: Find out how much sleep Sean got and text me. To Peter: I am tied up most of today, but I will try to drop by for an hour or so. Pick a couple of short segments of Jason's video to mine for shots. I am thinking wallpaper for almost everything. To Justin: Finish those shots of the letter. I am thinking of wallpaper for the erotica and anything else on paper. Then get started on selecting existing shots for framing. Make a list of anything that needs reshooting. Sean is taking care of Jason, so no message for him. Tell George I expect him to take a bullet if he has to. Did you get all that?
Phone: Ma'am, I did. If I may say so, it is a pleasure working with a professional.
"Gerald, I am grabbing at straws in a tornado."
Phone: Yes Ma'am, all the good ones say that. They say there is never any time, but they get the job done.
"Good day, Gerald."
I handed the phone back to the man, which reminded me. "What is your name?"
"Russell, where is my car?"
"Helen text that you would ask that. It is at the warehouse. I can take you there or to your gym and bring it over later. Your choice."
"Take me to work. Don't move the car. It's safe where it is."
"That is a fact, Ma'am."
"Russell, if you don't stop calling me Ma'am, I will tie you to a desk and cane your bare ass bloody. Ask anyone if I won't."
"I heard that about you, Ma'am. Is there any way I could get pictures?"
"Just drive, Russell. My caning arm is tired. You can pick me up at 11:30."
It was a funny way to start a workday, but the humor of the conversation made it a cheerful morning. Several people commented that I looked good. It was not until I stripped to shower, that I realized I had not worn a foundation. The corset yesterday was unusual, but I rarely went without a bustier or long corset. That day, I had only a bra, so it was no wonder I was getting stares. Sometimes I hate my breasts, but there are times that they are a mixed curse. Sean said they were beautiful, and he would know. For some reason, I blushed.
After the morning sessions at the Gym, I slipped through the rabbit hole into my side of the building. I was not going to go all out today, but I need some costuming for continuity with Peter and Justin. I went with skin tight black pants, tucked into boots. The top was scarlet and sleeveless. I added the red lipstick and lots of black around the eyes. When Russell picked me up, his eyes widened perceptibly, but he did not say anything about the outfit.
Instead, he said, "Before you go to the warehouse, I need to take you to the offices. Helen sent some forms. You can fill them out on the way over."
I gave a very unladylike sound, and took the pages. After several minutes of signing and dating, we arrived at the offices of Richards Enterprises. I had never seen them, and I could not help but be impressed.
Russell helped me out of the car and walked me to the door, but he did not come inside. Entering, I showed my ID to a security tech, who logged it in his book, then told me which hall to take. Soon I found Helen's desk. I handed her my stack of forms. She checked them and handed me back one that needed a date. Those finished, she handed me an envelope. It contained a dry cleaning bill and a check to cover it. It was for my silk top, from the week before.
While I was going through the envelope, Helen had brought a young girl over. Perhaps young woman would be better, since she was about 19-20 years old, but the first impression was of innocence. Helen handed me a note.
This is Christine. She is on my staff, but I am loaning her to you for the duration. Ask her to do anything you need done. Her training is weak, but I have noticed you have a talent for correcting errors. She is willing to learn everything there is to know.
This was another gift from Sean. I looked over at Helen. She shook her head. I glanced at Christine. Helen nodded firmly. I glanced at a calendar on the wall. Helen held up two fingers. This was Christine's second day on the job. Sean was willing to throw her in the deep end. OK. I stood and told Christine to follow me.
Russell drove us to the warehouse. On the way over, I dragged facts out of Christine, by main force. I learned her name was Christine Collins, but preferred CC; that she was single, living with three other girls and had no steady boys; that no one had told her much of anything. I also learned how she and Sean had met. That made her blush furiously, but there was an undertone of desire there as well. Sean had a good eye. CC would work out quite well. I told her that we would be looking at similar pictures of a boy her age and she turned bright red.
Radio: ...X, your news beacon in the morning, with updates on the eights. Word out of the Washin...
I rolled out of bed, because it was required for me to reach the blasted alarm. I stumbled to the bathroom and did the three Ss (Military reference: Shit, Shower, Shave). Feeling halfway human I grabbed a cup of joe and opened the email stack: routine, routine, routine, get to that later, routine, what?
Sheila had left me a message through Gerald. There was no way she should know about Gerald. Why hire a spook, if anyone can find him? My head was about to explode. Then it hit me. This was not anyone; this was Sheila Schwartz, the woman who ran the most exclusive BDSM studio in the state, by herself.
Glancing down the list, I saw Helen had a note about Christine. Maybe Sheila had a staff of one, now. Turning back to the list, there was nothing else out of the ordinary. This was a case of no news is good news. The people, who were watching Jason, had nothing but routine to report. Hopefully, he could deal with some normal activity soon.
Once at the office, Helen presented me with a stack of message memos and one personal note. Sheila was reminding me of our 4:00 PM appointment, and informing me that I was taking her to dinner afterward. I told Helen that I would likely need a car and driver for the evening.
That left half a day, to do two days of work. Things had pied up, because I had managed so little the day before. If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done quickly. As I dug into the stack of messages, a smile played on my lips. Sheila had casually reached out, touched my head of security and left a note. God, I loved this woman.
The morning started with a call from the Holy See, which was a bit of a rush. The morning soon a fell into a wide vein:
Phone: You must understand our position on this matter. The document was in the possession of the See until 1945. The Church is the rightful owner.
"Excellency, I understand the position of the Church, but we have done our diligence, and the courts have declined to continue your injunction. The sale will be conducted as planned. You are, of course, free to bid on the document. A bill of sale should settle any remaining ownership issues.
Phone: The people of I___ are the rightful owners of this ancient relic. It is a symbol of virility and strength for our nation.
"Eminence, I understand the position of your country, but we have done our diligence, and the courts have declined to issue an injunction. The sale will be conducted as planned. You are, of course, free to bid on the object. A bill of sale should settle any remaining ownership issues.
Phone: Please understand, these are priceless historical documents, which have been locked away for decades, centuries in cases. They cannot be allowed to disappear again.
"Chancellor, I understand the position of your University, but we have done our diligence. In each case, the courts have declined to issue an injunction. The sale will be conducted as planned. You are, of course, free to bid on the documents. A bill of sale should settle any remaining ownership issues.
However, in the interest of scholarship, I will pursue another possibility. If something develops, I will contact you.
This last one kicked my thought processes in a new direction. I dialed my attorney.
"Curtis, Sean Richards here. Do me a favor and check who owns what rights to imagery of our sale items. We have a number of inquiries from universities and museums. Some of those might be solved, or at least mollified, by good imagery."
Phone: You mean the Marquis letter?
"Certainly the letter and other documents, but also the archeological items. A lot of research is done long distance, with measurements and pictures. What I want to know is, who has the rights to distribute the pictures we are taking? If we can get full rights by a statement in the catalog, start drafting the statement."
Phone: Damn, Sean. Do you have any countries you want toppled today? It would be nice to work on something easy. How long do I have?
"The catalog has to go to print this weekend."
Phone: Oh. Nice to know there is no time pressure. I would also suggest offering to let the sellers withdraw their items if they have an issue. Failure to withdraw will constitute a waiver. I can get you that one today.
"I knew there was a reason I paid for your lake house."
Two hours later, I finally broke free long enough to go check on progress at the warehouse. Seeing Sheila's car, next to my reserved spot, was a reminder of my little errand the night before. I had tucked her into bed, like a child. Something about her stirred my protective urges.
Word from security was that Sheila had not checked in yet, but that she had requested a pick up at 11:30 AM. Til then her car was safe where it sat. I was surprised to find that all three members of Justin's group were on site. This was good news, since I figured Jason to be out of things for a day, if not longer. I checked and found that Richard and Paul were back on duty at the stairs. Perfect.
As I approached the security desk, Paul saw me and called Richard over. From their expression they knew what I wanted to know. I was terse, "Give."
Paul said, "We took them over, like you said. Mostly, we stood behind him, so there was no way to run. There were a couple of times he might have rabbited. She played him like a virtuoso. She got him nervous and sweaty, then she got him physical and sweaty, then she had him put on the gear alone, in the showers. Once he came out, he was already jumpy. We hung him on the wall and she went away to let him stew. When she came out, it was a reverse strip tease with the fancy lingerie. She never let up for a second. There is video upstairs. If it wasn't for the way his cock stayed at attention, I would have thought he was ready to plead for his life. Those videos have some good shit."
I said, "Richard, anything to add?"
He said, "Great legs. Cool. Never lost sight of the ball. Scary as hell. Never let up til he popped. Kid will recover. Not a kid anymore."
For Richard, that was a long speech. He and Helen acted as if they had to buy their words at the market, on a tight budget.
When I reached the work area upstairs, I was surprised to see Peter and Jason huddled together. Normally they mixed like oil and water. In this case, they were trying to find shots of Jason, to show Sheila. From what I could see, there was plenty to choose from.
Jason made eye contact with me, and I saw immediately what Richard meant. Jason had seen the elephant. This was not the cocky teenage kid I had seen the day before, but a young man. One glance at the screen told me why. One side of the image was of Jason hanging from his armpits. The other side was of Sheila stretching on the bar. With a start, I realized she was doing the same position, that I had placed her in the week before. Jason was watching Sheila bug-eyed, apparently unaware of the pain that had to be wracking his body. The cherry on the sundae was the massive erection, which tented an ordinary jock strap.
Peter was walking it through the stretching sequence, frame by frame. It was worth watching Sheila, but that was not why we had this scene. I could not see any significant change in Jason, and he was the reason for the shot.
I said, "That's nice Peter, but Cynthia is the director. Let's focus on the star." Peter looked sheepish and Jason actually blushed. I continued, "What are we trying for here?"
Peter said, "Cynthia wants wallpaper." I must have frowned. "That is a picture in the background, with icons or images in the foreground."
I nodded, "Then I suggest you look at more suitable images. Think torso shots. Cynthia will be here shortly and I hope you do not disappoint her." Peter looked alarmed, but Jason looked thoughtful. I left them talking and went to find Justin.
Finding Justin was the easy part. Pulling his head out of his latest shot, was difficult. He was working a multiple camera shot, positioning candles in the field of one camera, while other cameras were poised outside the frame. As I stepped into the room, Justin pulled out a lighter, lit the candles and killed the lights. He went checking spots with a light meter. Then he danced over to a big old Hasselblad portrait camera and picked up the hand trigger. For a moment he stood there, apparently frozen, then pushed the plunger. There was a cascade of clicks, and he let out a breath he had been holding.
I waved, so as not to startle him, but I need not have bothered. He said irritably, "What do you want, Sean? I am a bit busy at the moment."
I smiled. Justin irritable was Justin working. I had seen Justin not-working, and this was much better. Still, there are such things as updates and progress meetings. I needed at least some of his attention.
I said, "Sorry to break in on you, but Cynthia will be here shortly. You should try to organize a bit. I imagine that you will have something useful, from a shot like that, but it will need to be seen to be evaluated.
"However, the main reason I came is a money issue." That got his attention. "It occurs to me that these images you are doing will be useful to academia. As such, I am having my attorney draft an agreement for licensing the work you do here. Do you have representation you wish contacted?"
"Academia?" He looked genuinely surprised.
"At least." I responded. Then, I waved my hand at the pages of the letter, which he had just photographed. "These are historically relevant, the verbiage written on the page has literary interest, and biographers love to print images of primary documents. That leaves aside the possibility of someone wanting a shot, such as that one, to hang above the mantle.
"As you know, our agreement states that Richards Enterprises, me, owns the catalog shots. Past that, work product is a bit gray. I would like to reach an agreement, to append to the contract. Also, I did not think the idea of residual payments would hurt your feelings.
"Now, pull your shit together. The Mistress is coming."
When Russell dropped us off, there was a car in the reserved spot. I presumed it to be Sean's, which made my heart beat faster. I led CC to the security desk. "This is Christine Collins. You should have word concerning her."
The security tech checked his book. "Yes, Ma'am. I need a photo. She can check her bag here and pick both up on the way out."
I put my bag on the counter and nodded to CC, who did likewise. The tech made notes, put the bags in a cabinet and locked it, then motioned CC to a mark on the floor. While he shot his picture, I thought of the day before. Had it really been that recent? This place was already quite familiar.
I then led CC to the desk at the base of the stairs. Richard and Paul were on duty again. We nodded to each other, CC and I signed in, then Richard escorted us up. When we reached the work area, I was relieved to see Jason. He looked up to me and smiled.
There was a noticeable difference in his whole demeanor. It was both reassuring and disconcerting. I was pleased to see that he was up and running, but there was clearly a fundamental change. All I could tell at this point was that he did not come across as broken. Counting my blessings, I went over and kissed Jason on his cheek. Then I turned to greet Peter and Sean. For some reason I had trouble looking at Sean. Naturally, he spoke first.
He said, "I see we are all here. Gentlemen, this is Christine Collins. She is Cynthia's personal assistant. It is possible she will be available to play go-for. Please show her the respect you have shown us. Cynthia, your floor."
That was simple enough. "Christine prefers CC. Yes, she will be spending much of her time here this week. Please make her time pleasant. So far, she has little experience in this type of work, but another pair of hands is often welcome.