Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Housekeeper - Chapter 13 (Part 1 of 2)

The Housekeeper
By Karen Singer

Chapter 13 (Part 1 of 2)

     Confident!  Somewhat anyway.  That’s how Roger felt as he passed out the tests to his first class of the day.  Confident!  But only because he wasn’t wearing another of the huge bras like he had worn to work yesterday.  Instead, he was once again back in one of the smaller bras that he had been wearing for a while now.  But the difference was enough to bolster his ego… and of course, his confidence.  The fact that he had to eat his breakfast cereal this morning out of the dog bowl without the use of his hands didn’t even factor into how he felt.  That little episode was something he didn’t want to think about.
     He and Janice had talked for quite a while last night.  She had asked many good questions, but in the end, she had been happy with his plan.  Not enough to let him go without a bra completely… yet.  But enough that she had agreed to allow him to wear only the smaller bras… until the project was completed and she thoroughly approved it.  Only then would he be allowed to no longer wear the stupid feminine garment under his shirt… to work anyway.  But it was a start!
     He was still having his same problem with the cold invading his cock every time an overly pretty girl crossed his path, but even that didn’t seem to be as bad today.  About the worse case of that so far was when Jennifer White had said hi to him this morning in the teacher’s lounge.  But then, he used to have a thing for Jennifer.  He guessed he still did… somewhat. 
     Another thing he realized this morning, was that he wasn’t noticing the grey wall as much anymore whenever he stood up or sat down.  In fact, sometimes he wasn’t noticing it at all.  He worried the most about that one because that wall made not doing whatever Janice wanted almost impossible.  But in the last few nights he had managed to bargain with her over her hiding hole and just being able to do that much had seemed like a major thing.  Could he rid himself of her compulsions completely?  He was beginning to be hopeful about that… at least as long as she didn’t force any more of her “training” on him again.  If that happened, he had a feeling that all would be lost.  But today, he was hopeful… and confident!

     Janice hummed to herself as she opened the back door and stepped out onto the small deck.  The weather had cleared up and promised to be a beautiful spring day.  She was only outside now to find out if it was still too cool to go without a jacket.  The nip in the air answered that question quickly.  Jacket weather for sure!  But at least the sun was shining brightly. 
     After hearing the details of Roger’s plan to hide the money last night, she was feeling more confident about things… somewhat anyway.  The hiding place still had to be built, and from what Roger had told her, it wasn’t going to be something that could be done in just a few minutes.  In fact, he suggested that it might take two or three days.  Not only that, but since she wanted it in her bedroom she would have to put up with the construction in there until it was done.  But that was a small price to pay for what she would get – peace of mind.  And once the hiding place was built, she would feel much more secure and confident about things.
     But the better news was the one thing she hadn’t realized before, school would be on spring break starting Friday and they would be off all next week.  Roger would be able to concentrate on finishing everything… and he was fairly sure he could do that before the end of next week. 
     So with a smile on her face and her purse full of cash, she grabbed her light jacket and went through the door to the garage.  A few minutes later, she was heading out to go shopping again.  Yes, things were definitely rolling now, on many fronts.  Mr. Wu had been contacted, Carol’s new room was looking like it wouldn’t take much longer, and the hiding place would soon be in place.  It was now time for her to look into more pleasant things.  Today she was going shopping.  She had to buy herself a new raincoat… among many other things.  After being in prison for a year, her wardrobe wasn’t exactly what she’d like it to be.  Her daughter needed a lot of new clothes too, but she would rather do that shopping with Carol.  And since Carol was still stuck going back to that foster home every night and her room in Roger’s house wasn’t finished yet, that little trip was going to have to wait.  But there was no reason why she couldn’t get a few new things for herself first. 
     She just had one minor little stop to make before she could relax and enjoy the day.  She had to stop at the building supply store where Roger had ordered all his materials from and put some money on his account.  She wasn’t going to pay the entire bill now, especially not in cash.  Since his bank accounts weren’t overly large, it would look much better if she just paid part of it today and then the rest over several payments… most of which would come directly from his accounts now. 
     She just had to find the place first.  He had ordered from a company that specialized in providing materials for professional home builders instead of going to someplace like Lowe’s or Home Depot.  Roger had told her about where it was on the way back toward Gainesville, but that left a lot of territory to search. 
     Thinking about paying that money though, reminded her that she still had one big problem to solve.  If she was going to occasionally be using some of her money to supplement Roger’s income to cover her expenses, then everything had to look like Roger had the money to buy everything… when he didn’t!  Somehow, she was going to have to find a way to launder her money into his.  She had to come up with something that even if the FBI scrutinized Roger’s bank accounts, they wouldn’t find anything amiss at all.  That was going to be a bit difficult since he didn’t seem to make that much money as a teacher. 
     It was the truck loaded with lumber turning out onto the highway that tipped her off as to where the lumber yard was.  Once she saw the truck, she easily spotted the store.  She felt very out-of-place going inside.  It was like a foreign world to her.  She didn’t know the first thing about any of the equipment, or tools, or wood that was all around her.  Not far from the entrance, she found a desk with several cash registers.  She walked up to it and told them she wanted to pay some money on an account.  The man was polite, but since it was for a builder’s account, he sent her to the back of the store to pay the bill there.  It took her a while to find the place, and when she did, she was happy to see that it would be a woman that she would be dealing with.  Unfortunately, there was a man and another woman in line ahead of her.
     The man’s business was quickly finished, but when the woman ahead of her stepped up to the counter, instead of wanting to pay a bill, she asked if the store had any contractors they could send out to repair some storm damage to her house.  The woman behind the counter said they did, but all of them were very busy right now.  The best she could do would be to take her name and someone would giver her a call as soon as possible.  She also warned the woman that it could be several weeks before someone might be available to help her.  The woman seemed very disappointed, but she gave her name and phone number. 
     The woman left, and it was Janice’s turn.  As she stepped up to the counter with the paperwork from all the materials that had been delivered for the bedrooms, she asked, “Does that happen often… people coming here and asking if there’s someone who can fix things?”
      “All the time!” the woman replied rather emphatically.  We’ve got a few crews on staff for that kind of thing, but lately they can’t seem to keep up with the requests.  It’s all the storms we’ve had lately.  Too much damage that needs to be fixed.  Of course, even without the storms our crews seem to stay awfully busy.  If you need someone sooner, we have a bulletin board over there with contractor business cards on it.  But I’m afraid I can’t recommend any of them.  Store policy.”
     Janice smiled and pointed toward the account paperwork in her hand.  “I don’t need one, but thanks.  I was just interested.”  As Janice paid part of the bill, she also remembered the call Roger had gotten from the woman who needed her deck rebuilt.  And now it seemed that there were lots of people looking for someone with the skills to build or repair things.  Skills like the ones that Roger possessed.  From what little she could see, he might be able to make a lot more money doing that kind of work than by being a teacher.  So why didn’t he?
     She pondered that concept as she headed for the stores to do her shopping.  Was there a way that that might help her?

     Even Carol walking into his classroom didn’t faze him… not since she was only entering with the rest of her classmates.  When everyone was seated, he passed out the tests and did his best to not pay any more attention to her than to anyone else.  Then he sat down to continue grading the tests from the previous class.  He glanced up occasionally at the class, carefully taking in Carol each time as he did, but each time she seemed to be hard at work on the test.  He tried to put her out of his mind.  Confident!

     There was something different about him, and Carol wasn’t sure what it was.  He seemed to be… more sure of himself today.  Was he?  Before her mother got out of prison, she had worked hard to keep him “off balance” as her mother had put it.  But today he seemed more like his old self.  Of course, she couldn’t really tell.  Maybe he just liked giving tests.  She wouldn’t put it past him.  Some teachers really liked to cause nothing but misery for the students by giving them tests.  Why couldn’t her mother simply make him give her a good grade and that would be it?  She hated math… and algebra was the worst!  Not sure of anything… including the algebra problems she had to figure out, she bent her head down and concentrated again on the test.  Why did her mother insist she learn this junk?

     It was getting near the end of the class period when Roger started watching the kids in the room more seriously.  From what he could see, he figured that about half the kids had finished the test already.  And then he noticed another head look up… Carol’s head.  She looked straight at him, and he smiled, trying to show that he was glad she was among the students who had finished the test already.  They were the ones who usually did the best on the tests.

     Carol finally finished the test.  With an audible sigh, she looked up again… and locked eyes with him.  She was irritated to see him smile at her.  Damn the man!  He did like making kids suffer with his stupid tests!  Was this some way he might be trying to get back at her for the things she had done to him in the past?  She certainly wouldn’t put it past him.  She decided she would have to have a talk with her mother about it tonight.  As she saw things, if she had to be so miserable taking the stupid tests, then there was no reason he shouldn’t feel just as miserable!  Or worse!

     Janice was looking at shoes in one of the larger department stores.  She wasn’t having a lot of luck spotting anything she wanted, but the presence of a large “sale” table caught her eye.  She wandered over and began glancing through what was on it.  She found several pairs of shoes she was actually considering, but none of them were available in her size.  From what she could see, it looked like most of the shoes on the table were all in the larger sizes that the store couldn’t sell out of.  She kept looking though, hopeful that she might find something. 
     Near the far end of the table were several stacks of much larger boxes.  Boots.  All closeouts from the winter styles that the store was getting rid of.  She wasn’t interested in boots, not with warmer weather approaching.  But she glanced at them all anyway.  Her eyes lingered though on a rather plain looking pair in brown.  They were nothing really fancy, just a pair of women’s boots with a somewhat wide practical heel that was probably about two inches high. 
     There was no reason for it, but her mind immediately remembered the boots that Roger wore every evening when he was working on the bedrooms.  Ugly!  And then her mind pictured something, and she almost giggled out loud.  What if she replaced the boots he wore now… with these?  The man definitely needed to be put in his place again, and something like this just might be a good way to do that.  Besides, she had promised him that she would make his life more and more miserable the longer it took him to finish those rooms, and she hadn’t done much of anything yet toward that. 
     She looked at the sizes available for the boots.  Like most of everything else on the table, they were all in very large sizes.  But what size did Roger wear?  She had no idea at all.  She wanted to buy a pair, but she couldn’t unless she knew what size to get for him.  Frustrated, she decided it was another little thing that would just have to wait. 

     Roger noticed that Carol was silent as they rode home in his car.  But then, she was often silent.  He had graded her test during the class after hers, and despite himself, he was somewhat proud of how well she had done.  Not fantastic, but far better than any of the other tests she had taken so far this year.  He wanted to tell her that, but he decided he should wait and let her find out with the rest of her class. 
     He pulled up into his usual spot on the lawn and they headed inside.  He went directly to the bedroom where all his stuff was on the floor and changed into his work clothes… including adding the stupid socks inside of his bra.

      “How was your test today, dear?” Janice asked her daughter. 
      “Awful!”  Carol looked up at her mother as they entered the kitchen together.  “Momma, I think there was something… different about him today.”
     That surprised Janice.  “You mean Mr. Brinkley?”
      “Yeah!  He seemed… different today.  Like he was happier… or proud… or something.  And I’m convinced that he really does like to make everyone miserable with those tests he gives!”
     Janice’s lips pursed as she listened to what her daughter had said.  But other than the bit about the tests being miserable, the rest was more or less what she had been afraid of.  She suspected that somehow, Roger was managing to throw off all that conditioning already.  And that wasn’t a good sign at all.  Something would have to be done, and it would have to be done right away.  Her problem was, because she needed him to retain full use of his mind and work ability, she was reluctant to put him through any more of her regular “training” sessions just now.  So she needed some way to firmly remind him of how things worked while she was around.  She had plenty of ammunition, she just had to remind him of that.  And perhaps the best way would be to have him look down the barrel of that imaginary gun.
      “Momma… are you listening?”
      “Hmm?  Oh, sorry dear, what was that again?”
      “Mr. Brinkley!  I think we should come up with some way to make him as miserable as everyone else while we’re taking his tests!”


sarah penguin said...

Still teasing us with the money hiding plans! :)

adietrech said...

Love the final line in the chapter! It must be a hoot to be an author who can tease her readership like that! Can't wait for the shoe to drop!