[If you have not already done so, you must
read the Introduction
For 1-55 (Chapters 1-13), see here.
56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 Chap 14 056-063 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 Chap 15 064-074 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 Chap 16 075-084 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 Chap 17 85-95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104
Revenge Should Have No Bounds 105
Chapter 18 (10 of 15): Arrest
“She called Aspasia’s and made an appointment with me. It was the first time a woman had done that. I mean, with me. Aspasia’s caters to all tastes, and some of the … some of my colleagues have no problem doing women, but I’d never done it. Not my scene. At least I thought so. Anyway, Yukiko had asked especially for me and indicated she just wanted to talk to me. No sex.”
“Wasn’t that kind of unusual? Enough to make you suspicious?”
“No, not really. Believe it or not, not every guy who calls an escort service wants sex. Some of them really do just want an escort, to a play, to dinner, something like that. Others may just want a sympathetic woman to talk to, a good listener, you know. And some of them just want to see you naked, maybe touch you here and there. But, no, not everybody wants sex. So, yes, it was unusual in that she was a woman, but no, not that she wanted just to talk.”
“And that’s what happened?”
“Pretty much, yes. We met and we just talked.”
“Well, she said her original intention was to kill me!”
“Kill you?” Natalie was astonished.
“Yes, that, or to hurt me badly?”
“She said her ex-husband knew me.”
“And she said she was jealous of me since her husband – he was still her husband at the time – talked a lot about me.”
“Who was her husband?”
“She didn’t tell me that first time we met.”
“She got off on a long story about herself instead?”
“Do you recall any specifics of what she told you?”
“Sure. It was mostly about the time she had spent in Japan, in Osaka, at the university. And about a woman she had been involved with there. And all about herself. Endlessly about herself. She seemed to be her own favorite subject.”
“So she had a history of being with other women? And yet she was married?”
“She was bi-sexual. Like me, I guess. Though I would never have believed it if you’d told me before I ran into Yukiko.” Mazarine sighs. “But, yes, there was a strong attraction there, a mutual one. She really got to me.”
“So you saw her again?”
“Yes. Not through Aspasia’s, though. We just became friends and then lovers. I guess it took a few weeks, a month maybe, and then we were into it.”
“And when did you first meet her?” Natalie asks.
“Let’s see, it would have been some time last August.”
There is a sudden click from the table as the tape comes to an end. Natalie leans over and turns off the recorder. “Fine, I think we should take a little break here.” It is verging towards noon, and Natalie has arranged for lunch to be catered in her office. She addresses Danny and requests that he check with a secretary how they are coming with that. “We have our own kitchens and restaurant, for the firm, right here on the fifty-sixth floor, and I’ve taken the liberty of ordering something in for the three of us. I hope that’s agreeable to you.”
“Sounds appetizing,” Mazarine smiles. “I could do with something to eat about now.”
About ten minutes after Danny returns to the room a chef and waiter wheel in a large cart. The chef begins to prepare a cold salad of rare steak and romaine with tomatoes, green onions, croutons and a sesame-oil dressing. The waiter is laying a table over by one of the large bay-windows that look down on the city below; the place settings consist of heavy china and silver. A plate of freshly-baked rolls with scored balls of cold butter is placed at each setting, as are large water glasses and coffee cups. A beady pitcher of ice water and a silver coffee service are arranged one on each side of a tasteful flower arrangement in the middle of the table.
“Ms. Siu,” he chef says, bowing, when everything is ready.
“Thank you, Benjamin,” she says.
The two men roll out their cart and Natalie stands up and stretches. “Let’s eat,” she says cheerfully. “No business talk during lunch.”
Mazarine realizes that she is quite hungry, and the lunch is superb. They chat amiably about the latest plays and the show at the museum, and both Natalie and Danny seem especially interested in Mazarine’s informed comments about the art on display. When they are done, Natalie gives the secretary a buzz, and shortly thereafter a woman comes in, clears and cleans the table, and rolls everything back out.
“Now,” Natalie says as they are back at their little grouping, “let’s pick up where we left off.” She briefly consults Danny’s notebook as he puts a new tape in the recorder and starts the tape. Mazarine can see the little spindles turning. “Yes, you and Yukiko started seeing each other last August. So, what happened?”
“We never moved in with each other, but we were together a lot. And not just for sex. We went to museums, ate out at restaurants, took in films, shopped, walked, talked. We talked a great deal about ourselves, kind of bared our souls, so to speak. It seemed that we were meant for each other, and Yukiko was extremely solicitous of me. I know she didn’t exactly like what I did for a living, but she didn’t get on my case about it. At least at first. In fact, she was kind of curious about it, and wanted to know more about the men I saw. I never mentioned any names, except in the case of her former husband. She told me he was Fabian Darling, and she couldn’t get enough of me telling her about him when he was with me. Actually, he and I hadn’t gotten on too well. He once threatened me physically, and after I told Aspasia’s about it, he got blackballed and also ended up as a beat cop.”
Danny and Natalie shot each other knowing looks.
TO BE CONTINUED