Friday, August 23, 2013

The Housekeeper - Chapter 12

The Housekeeper
By Karen Singer

Chapter 12

     “No!  Not just no, but hell no!  Absolutely not!” roared Phil Goodman, head of the Robbery division at the FBI offices in Atlanta.  “I remember this case from a couple of years ago, and it was nothing but a dead end and a bad decision on our part!”
     Jacobs’ ire was raised by his boss’s emphatic decision.  “But she’s got to get that money now!” he argued.  “She sold everything she had while she was in prison.”
     Goodman shook his head.  “Look, as far as I’m concerned, the last time you went after this woman it was nothing but a big embarrassment for us.  After all your work, you had nothing but wild conjecture and circumstantial information.  Besides, if I remember correctly, we already know who stole the money in each of those robberies… and it wasn’t her!”
      “But the money was never recovered.  None of it!  And her own husband was one of the men who stole the money!”
      “And as far as I know,” Goodman shot back, “the Stokley woman has never once shown the first sign that she’s got it.  Nothing!”
      “She has it hidden away somewhere and you know it!” Jacobs argued back.
      “No!  I don’t know it!  You’re barking up the wrong tree.  Now leave her alone and concentrate on the stuff that matters now!  Not some old case where there isn’t the slightest bit of evidence against her at all.”
      “But she was there!” Jacobs argued.  “She worked for all three banks while it was happening.  We know she was involved.”
      “No we don’t know that!” Goodman replied.  “It’s circumstantial!  Everything we have on her is nothing but circumstantial.  And I let you look into it way too long last time.  So now, stay out of it and get to work on something else!  And that’s final!  Now get out of here and don’t let me hear about it again!”
     Totally frustrated, Jacobs looked over at Forsyth who had remained silent through it all.  Forsyth just shrugged and headed out the door.  Jacobs followed.  When they were far enough away, Forsyth said, “He’s right, we never had anything solid on her anyway.”
      “Hey!  You know as well as I do that she’s behind it… every damn one of those robberies.”
     Forsyth shook his head.  “Yeah, it’s possible.  But we’ve yet to see the first bit of proof for any of it.  As he said, it’s all just circumstantial stuff and a bunch of conjecture.  We’ve really got nothing.”
     Jacobs shook his head.  “I’m not going to leave it alone.  I’ve been after this woman for too many years now.  I know she did it!”
      “But you can’t prove it.”
      “Not yet… not yet.”  But he would never let it go.  He had followed the damn woman way too long to ever give up.  He knew without a doubt that eventually he would prove it.

     Roger sat in front of his class… going quietly crazy.  It was all he could do not to place his hands on his chest and rub furiously – everywhere!  The damn woman!  She had again been there when he was getting dressed this morning, but instead of helping him fasten one of the usual bras, she had insisted that he wear one with the humongous cup size instead.  Even without anything stuffed inside of it, he had easily been able to see the outline of it under his shirt.  Now he kept his jacket buttoned so no one could see it… and he dared not unbutton it.  But the darn extra-large bra with the bigger cups and wider bands was irritating his skin to no end today! 
      “Perhaps this will give you a bit more incentive,” she had said as she handed the dreaded thing to him this morning.  “Look at it this way, if I like what you come up with for hiding the money, then you’ll have more to gain… by losing your bras while you’re at work.”
     More to gain?  He wasn’t sure if he was gaining anything at all here.  So far, she had only made things worse than before.  So he guessed that overall, he did now have more incentive to come up with a solution for her.  The damn woman!  What did she have against men?
     As he watched the members of his class taking the practice quiz, he allowed his mind to again roam over the problem of where to hide the money.  He had spent a lot of time thinking about it last night.  So far, all his thoughts ran along the lines of the air ducts under the house.  He supposed that was because she had mentioned them in the first place.  But the air ducts wouldn’t work very well for what she wanted to do.  They were the wrong type and you really couldn’t hide much of anything in them. 
     His thinking was interrupted as he saw the first heads of some of his students looking up.  The quiz would be over soon and he’d have to go back to teaching… and trying to ignore the extra-large bra fastened around his chest. Ugh!

     Janice checked her watch.  She wanted to go shopping, but not until she had made a phone call first.  It was the start of a new week, and it was time now to get things rolling again toward the future.  She had a lot of time to plan things while she was in prison, and this phone call would be the start. 
     At ten thirty, she finally decided it was late enough.  She activated one of the pre-paid phones she had bought a few days ago, then dialed a number she had memorized a long time ago.
      “Lucky Dragon Imports,” a woman’s voice answered.
     Janice dove right in.  “Hello, I’d like to place an order please.”
     “What is it you would like?” the voice asked.
      “Three boxes of rice cakes, twelve boxes of noodles, and seven boxes of fortune cookies.  And I’m afraid I accidentally burned the beautiful apron you had sent me last time and I’d like to replace it please.”
     It was a moment before the woman on the other end replied.  “I’m sorry, Ma’am,” but all of our sales agents are busy right now.  Can you perhaps call back in about four or five minutes?”
      “Of course,” Janice replied happily.  She ended her call… and removed the battery from the cell phone.  The contact had been made.  The order for three of something, then twelve of something, then seven of something else was her code to get through, the code that identified her.  Mentioning that she had burned something told them that she was calling from a burn phone.  And the request for her to call back in four or five minutes meant that she would receive a return call in about two and a half hours.  She was lucky.  Sometimes it took a day or more for them to call her back.
     With that little chore done, she borrowed one of Roger’s raincoats she had found in the laundry room and headed out to go grocery shopping.  Whenever possible, she always used a different store than the last time she had been shopping.  She liked to cover as many different stores in the area as possible so she would leave no pattern as to where or when she went shopping.  Fortunately, she didn’t have to go far to find a different grocery store since the recent influx of business to the area had also brought in a lot of different stores as well. 
     It was raining cats and dogs when she got out of the car, something that irritated her a bit, but there was little she could do about it.  This seemed to be one of those years when they were going to get a lot of rain.  Already the news had reported flooding in many of the rivers and streams in the area.  She was thankful that there were no rivers anywhere near Roger’s house… that she knew of.  She relaxed a bit once she got into the store and could pull the hood off from the raincoat she was wearing.  That was something else she would have to buy herself, a new raincoat!  Maybe later today. 
     She wandered up and down the aisles selecting foods for meals that she thought would be good for dinner in the next few days.  She didn’t hurry the process, but she did try to plan menus that would be well balanced and nutritious.  She was sure that Carol would prefer Burger King, but there was no way she would let that happen.  At least, not too often.  She did like indulging her daughter whenever possible.  And Burger King was a very minor thing.
     She didn’t buy a lot of food, just enough to last a few days.  But buying the food was only part of what she was after in the store.  She didn’t rush to get there, but her sense of anticipation increased as she turned down the aisle… the pet food aisle.  Roger had shown a lot more spunk last night than she had figured he would.  A lot more!  It was almost as if she could see her conditioning wearing off of him.  She was sure the conditioning was still there – the fact that he had particularly asked to have the impenetrable wall removed confirmed that.  But despite that wall… and his will power to not do whatever she wanted being locked away, he had still somehow managed to fight back a bit last night. 
     Normally, her first instinct would have been to put him right back in training last night and program that kind of behavior right out of him.  But she dared not… at least not last night.  She actually had two reasons for that.  First, it was too soon.  If she kept at him too often too fast, he would lose too much of himself and people would quickly notice.  She couldn’t have that at all.  And secondly, she really did need his best work right now.  And too much training would definitely affect that ability within him.  Like it or not, she needed the darn man to be able to think… and think clearly.  So she would have to walk a very fine line with his training from now on.  Which meant… she would still work with him, but she wouldn’t be able to take him nearly as far as she did everyone else she had done that with.
     But that didn’t mean that she couldn’t take him down a peg or two and remind him a bit more clearly exactly who was in charge of him now.
     The first thing she looked at in the pet aisle, were the dog bowls.  She looked at everything the grocery store had available and finally selected the largest one they had.  It was purple plastic, but she figured it would work just fine.  The next thing she picked up was three large cans of dog food, checking the labels on each of them… just to acquaint herself with the ingredients.  It was dog food, not people food, so she wasn’t overly concerned with how nutritious they would be for him… if she made him eat them.  Of course, that was going to ultimately be up to him.
     Before leaving the aisle, she also selected a red woven nylon leash to go with his dog collar at home along with a cute stuffed duck dog toy that she was sure Carol was going to love far more than he would.
     The rest of her time at the grocery store was far less interesting and it wasn’t long until she was heading home once again.

     Roger watched as Carol entered the room along with the rest of her classmates.  Did she know about the monstrosity of a bra that her mother was making him wear today?  He hoped not.  Otherwise, knowing her, she might be tempted to do something that would be all too embarrassing for him.  So far, she was just eyeing him curiously… as she usually did in class now. 
     He dared not look at her too long.  In fact, today he wasn’t looking at anyone too long.  He was doing his absolute best to keep his mind firmly away from anything that might stimulate him sexually at all – even the slightest bit.  The quick burst of icy cold against his privates earlier when Jennifer White had simply said hi to him out in the hallway had been enough to frighten him away from not only her… but any possible sexual stimulation. 
     The problem that worried him more now, was that his sexual need would be growing quickly since he hadn’t had any release since sometime last week – before Janice Stokley herself had come into his life.  What was he going to do?  He did his best not to think about it at all.
     The large bra he was wearing had stopped itching somewhat.  Now it was just hot and bulky and very uncomfortable!  He spent the class period going over some of the material for the test he had prepared for tomorrow, and letting the class take a little practice quiz on the material. 

     Janice watched the time closely until the two and a half hours was nearly up.  Grabbing the little pre-paid cell phone, she put the battery in it once again and turned the thing on.  Then she waited.  She dared not connect the battery to the phone too soon.  She was taking every precaution she could for this call to not be traced.
     Her wait was less than five minutes.  She answered as soon as it rang.  “Hello?”
      “Mrs. Stokley,” the thin oriental voice on the other end replied.  “I was pleased to hear last week that you had finally gotten out of prison.  Welcome back.”
      “Thank you, Mr. Wu.  I can honestly say that it’s good to be out again.”
      “I’m sure it is,” he replied.  “Now, what can we do for you?”
     Janice had dealt with Mr. Wu in the past.  He was the main person to talk to, but she had also dealt with someone else.  “Is Susan available for me to talk with?” she asked hopefully.
     Wu paused.  “I’m sorry, but my daughter is away from home right now.  I understand your reluctance to deal with me, but I’m afraid that right now, I’m the only one you can talk with.”
     Janice was disappointed.  She and Susan had gotten along very well in the past.  “Very well, Mr. Wu, I appreciate whatever help you may be able to provide.”
      “Excellent, Mrs. Stokley.  So what is it you would like today?”
      “I’m afraid I have a list, Mr. Wu.”
      “A list!  Now this is sounding very interesting.  Let’s start at the top, shall we?”
     A short while later, Janice removed the battery from the phone.  It was very unlikely that anyone had been able to listen in on their conversation since Wu always called back on a “safe” line.  But she didn’t take chances.  The battery was removed.  The card inside the phone was removed and destroyed and she broke the phone into as many pieces as she was capable of doing before she drowned the thing in water and threw the pieces into the trash.  Wu now had her new cell phone number.  In a few days she would receive a call that would be a wrong number.  That would be her cue to call back on another burner phone. 
     Mr. Wu was a very rare commodity in the world.  It had taken her years of working through a go-between before Wu had trusted her enough to give her the code to reach him.  His services cost a lot – an awful lot, but what she received in return was always worth it.
     There was more shopping she wanted to do, but one look at the rain coming down outside dissuaded her from going anywhere.  It was a wet spring for sure!  Instead, she walked slowly around each room of the house, trying to plan just what kind of furniture she wanted to replace everything with.

     Roger was soaked!  The run from the building out to his car after work was all too far in the pouring rain.  Carol had been right behind him, but Carol had been smart enough to wear a raincoat to school today.  Why hadn’t he?  Now his damp body was shivering from the cold as he drove home in the still pouring rain with Carol sitting in the front seat next to him.  It was a while before the ancient heating system in the car warmed up enough to feel any kind of a difference.  It didn’t help matters either that he had to park on the lawn in front of his house when he got home because the “new” car was occupying the garage.  Together, he and Carol dashed up the front steps to the house.  Fortunately, Janice had been watching for them and opened the door so they could hurry inside.
      “Don’t go anywhere… either of you!” she ordered.  “Get those muddy shoes off first.”
     Roger was trapped between Carol and the closed door so he couldn’t get further into the room until she moved.  He kicked his shoes off as Carol did the same.  Then he had to wait while Carol removed her wet raincoat and gave her mother a long close hug.  He couldn’t get past them until they both headed for the kitchen.  Then he headed directly for the bedroom where all his stuff was piled.  He couldn’t wait to get out of his wet clothes.  More importantly, he was looking forward to getting out of the monstrous bra she had made him wear this morning… even if it meant changing out of it for a smaller one… even if he did have to stuff some of those stupid socks in the thing.

     Carol had started to tell her mother a little about her day at school as they walked into the kitchen.  But the moment she spotted the purple dog bowel in the corner of the floor with the toy duck in it, she stopped and stared.  All thought of what she had been talking about went quickly out of her mind.  “Momma!” she squealed excitedly, “does this mean I can play with him again tonight?”
     Janice looked at her daughter with somewhat of a disappointed look on her face.  “Probably not,” she replied.  “I’m afraid I put them there to act as an encouragement for Mr. Brinkley.  There are things he needs to get done, and I want to make sure he’s going to give it his best effort.”
     Carol was clearly disappointed.  “I understand, Momma.”
     Janice smiled.  “I know you want to play doggie with him again.  I promise we’ll make that happen.  But right now I need him to do some other things for me.”  A thought suddenly hit her.  “But maybe you can cheer yourself up this way.  Go back and make sure that Mr. Brinkley doesn’t take that bra off that he’s been wearing to school all day.  And while you’re at it, make sure that it gets filled with something.”
     Carol smiled, but it was a weak smile.  “Yes, Momma,” she replied as she turned and headed for the bedrooms.  She didn’t bother knocking, she simply walked right in.  He was standing in the middle of the room with his shirt off, trying to unfasten the bra he was wearing.  But what surprised her, was that it wasn’t the usual small bra that he wore to school every day, it was one of the big ones she had bought him instead.  She giggled.
     Roger stopped what he was doing the moment the door opened.  He saw Carol walk in and giggle at him.  Let her!  It wasn’t his fault he was stuck wearing the stupid bra.  “Do you need something?” he asked, trying to sound polite.
     Carol came further into the room.  “Momma asked me to make sure you don’t take that bra off.  She also asked me to make sure the cups get filled before you get dressed.”
     He couldn’t take the darn thing off?  Oh geez!  Roger shook his head, totally frustrated with life.  He searched the floor and quickly found the balled up socks that usually filled his other bras.  While Carol watched, he grabbed them and started stuffing them into the cups of the bra he had on.
      “I don’t think those are going to work,” Carol told him.
      “Why not?”
      “They’re not even close to big enough,” she replied.  “Here, let’s see if we can find something better.”
     Roger had no doubt that “something better” would mean something far worse!  He wasn’t surprised to find out that he was right.  The first time he had been forced to wear a bra… which had been one of the big ones… Carol had found a couple of his t-shirts and wadded them up to stuff inside of the big cups.  The t-shirts had actually been a bit too big for the bra, but that hadn’t stopped Carol from using them.  But in the jumble of plastic bags and clothes in the pile on the floor, his t-shirts weren’t easily findable.  So instead, Carol grabbed two of the flannel shirts Roger used as work shirts and forced as much of them into his bra cups as possible.  Roger soon found the overly inflated bra putting more force against his chest and back than ever… which was not nearly as bad as having to deal with the massive protuberances now sticking out from his chest.  How was he supposed to work like this?  But he said nothing.  He knew he wasn’t going to have a choice in the matter.  And after pushing things with Janice the way he had last night, he wasn’t about to complain too much about something like this.  It was her “training” sessions that really scared him now.  And after what he had gotten away with last night, he knew that the next one would be coming up soon. 
     As Carol giggled again and walked out of the room with a mischievous smile on her face, Roger grabbed anther of his flannel shirts from the floor.  He slipped it on, but his stupid bra was so over stuffed this time that he couldn’t fasten the buttons over top of it at all.  Giving up, he only fastened a few of the buttons at the bottom.  The stupid bra was so big there was no way he could button any others.  Shaking his head, he finished getting into his work clothes.

      “Mr. Brinkley,” Carol called as she entered the room where Roger was screwing a piece of sheetrock into the closet area.  She started giggling as soon as Roger looked over at her.  He had been forced to leave his enormously stuffed bra completely on display.  “Dinner’s ready,” she said.  “And don’t forget to wash your hands.”  She giggled again as she left him to go back to the kitchen. 
     Roger put one more screw in the wall to make sure the board wasn’t going anywhere, then he put his tools down and brushed his clothes off somewhat.  Working with sheetrock was always a dusty affair… but not nearly as bad as the next stage of the process – the mudding and taping of the joints.  He went directly to the bathroom where he stepped over the chain still on the floor and washed up as best as he could.  Then he headed for the kitchen.  The one and only good thing about Janice Stokley was the dinners she cooked for him.  And he would gladly trade every last one of them if she would just go away!
     He entered the kitchen, but his eyes were immediately drawn to the bright purple dog dish on the floor… filled with food cut up into small pieces.  He looked up at Janice angrily, but before he could say something, she was already speaking.
      “I must say, Mr. Brinkley, showing off a bit, aren’t we?”  She and Carol both giggled at his huge breasts.
     Roger ignored them and pointed at the dog dish.  “What’s this?”
      “Your dinner, Mr. Brinkley.  I bought that bowl today as a small incentive for you.  I had planned though on letting you eat from the table tonight and letting that bowl be just a reminder of what could await you should you fail me.  But Carol tells me that you became very adept at eating from the floor without your hands while you were in her care.  So at her suggestion, for the time being, I think we’ll continue that little tradition that Carol started.  So until I decide otherwise, Carol and I will eat from the table here, and you can eat like a dog from the bowl on the floor!”
     Roger was horrified.  “But…”
      “There are no buts, Mr. Brinkley.  You’ve become far too argumentative in the last two days.  I think you need to remember exactly what your place is in this household.”
     What his place was?  His place was hopeless!  And all she did was to make matters worse and worse.  Was this another aspect of what she had meant about his life becoming more and more intolerable the longer it took him to finish those rooms?  “But I’m trying to finish the rooms as fast as I can,” he pleaded.
      “I understand that, Mr. Brinkley, and I appreciate the effort you’ve already put into it.  But I simply won’t allow you to behave as you did with me last night at all.  Now you will eat the dinner I worked so hard to prepare for us… the way I demand that you eat it… or… I also purchased several cans of dog food while I was at the store that you can eat instead.  And if you give me any more problems, that is what you will be eating from now on… dog food!  Are we clear, Mr. Brinkley?”
     Roger was shaking inside.  Shaking from outrage, and anger, and fear… and defeat.  He hung his head and shook it slightly first, then he nodded and continued to stare sullenly at the floor. 
      “I’ll take that as a sign of your agreement,” Janice said.  She turned to her daughter and said, “I think we can sit down now.”  She turned toward Roger.  “You can take your place as well, Mr. Brinkley.”
     Frustrated and defeated, Roger sank to his knees over in the corner near the bowl.  At least it contained what appeared to be a very nice chicken dinner… all cut up for him already.
      “Remember, Mr. Brinkley,” Janice said from her seat at the table, “dogs don’t use their hands.”
     Ugh!  Roger positioned himself on all fours with his head above the bowl.  He hated having to do this.  He was just about to lower his head into the bowl, when he heard her say, “Now let’s bow our heads and say grace.”

     Later that night, Roger was working on the wallboard in the second closet.  The closets were always the most difficult to finish because they required much more cutting and fitting.  He worked, but his mind was mostly on the problem of how to hide Janice Stokley’s money.  If he didn’t solve that problem, then he could easily see now that she could find all too many ways to make his life far more miserable than it already was. 
     He was putting another screw in near the bottom of one of the boards, when an idea hit him.  He stopped working and sat back staring at the unfinished wall in front of him while his mind began to picture exactly what would be needed… and what he would have to do.  He sat developing the plan for a long time, his mind making tiny little improvements over and over again.  Oddly, it was something very similar to what Janice had already thought about… only much better.  And as far as his mind could see, it just might be perfect… if he did it right.  Would she go for it?  He was sure that she would.
     Leaving his current project behind, he left the room to find her… and he couldn’t.  She wasn’t in the house.  He realized that she had gone to take Carol back to the foster home and hadn’t bothered to tell him she was leaving.  He was about to head back to the bedrooms to continue working when he heard the garage door opening.  He waited for her in the kitchen.
     Janice opened the door from the garage into the kitchen and saw Roger standing by the table, waiting for her.  Immediately a tiny twinge of fear ran down her spine.  She didn’t let it show at all.  He did look ridiculous with that bra so outrageously sticking out from his chest.  “What is it, Mr. Brinkley?” she asked as she closed the door behind her.
      “I think I’ve come up with a solution.”
      “For hiding the money?”
     Roger nodded.  “Yes.”
     Janice smiled.  She removed the jacket she had been wearing and draped it over the back of her kitchen chair.  She gestured toward the chair opposite her... the one that Roger usually sat in when he sat at the table.  She sat down and waited until he was sitting opposite her.  “Tell me,” she said.


sara said...

Cliffhanger! *hugs* :)

Adietrech said...

AWESOME installment! I love the slow-developing pace of the story, and especially the hint of terrible things to come for Roger (and/or Jacobs, perhaps?). The anticipation of broadly-suggested humiliation of the victim, in forced-fem stories, for me is usually even more delicious than the actual realization of such humiliation, so I give this installment "A+"!