Chapter 14b




Damn.  He wasn’t gay was he?  But he didn’t seem ill at ease at all.  She would have another go at it.


“They’re probably coming back to do things to me.  I may never be pretty again.  This could be my last chance to please somebody.  Can I please you?”  She closed her eyes and threw back her head and shoulders.  This was a desperation play.  If it didn’t work it was going to be impossible to carry on with the next gesture flowing naturally.  It would break the rhythm, the sense of inevitability of it.  It would give him the feeling – which he must not get – that he had some sort of choice in what was going on. 


She had no idea how much time she had, but there was little she could do to speed things up.  Presently she felt fingers working the buttons on her blouse.  Then he was reaching a hand in and cupping a breast.  She looked up brightly, “That was easy.  If I’d known I’d have shaken you down for a dollar.”


He laughed.


She threw her head back again smiling serenely and burrowed her breast deeper into the palm of his hand. 


The guard said, “O Baby.”  Ah the delights of mentally stimulating conversation.  At least if he was going to get brain damage from this nobody would be able to tell the difference.


She let him grope her a bit longer and then pushed him away with her forehead.  She leaned over and stepped back through the handcuffs, looking up at the same time.  Here breasts perked between the unbuttoned edges of her blouse like a jack-in-the-pulpit.  She turned around, taking care that her hair and her bottom bounced nicely as she did so.  Then she backed up and put her highness against him.  She looked over her shoulder inviting him with a glance to help himself again to the breasts.  She heaved a happy sigh as the palm closed over one. 


She leaned forward and put the weight of her hands on her thighs, back arched.  She held it for a moment.  “O Baby.” 


What was it that made men so interested in bottoms?  Everyone has one. 


“You know, we’d both feel more comfortable if you put that gun aside for a while,” she whispered.


He produced his pistol and held it in front of her face.  He strode over and placed the gun on what looked like – but was not – a long table.  She stepped forward over the handcuffs and waited passively for his return. 


A dollar?  Fifty bucks easy.


She took a deep breath through her nostrils as she took hold of him.  Then she continued with the dance of the handcuffs, bringing them under her feet, then up in front of her and over her head again so her arms hung from the back of her neck.  He was getting with the program.  He had both hands on her. She brought the handcuffs over the two of them and down under his rump and putting the side of her head against his chest pulled him close.


Tracy said, “Oh I’m so sorry.  Can you get these off me?  I’m better if I have both hands.”


He had brought the key.  After a fumble – men are lousy at multi tasking – the handcuffs dropped to the floor.  She lifted his black jersey to reveal his muscular broad back.  She planted a judicious hickey and followed with a bite for good measure.  He did not protest.  Evidently his brains had turned to jelly.


The time seemed right.  “Wrap it up,” she said at the same time with a squeeze preventing him from doing just that.  “They’ll be here any second.”  She brought one hand up and stroked his face.


“I can’t,” he croaked.


A complete sentence.  Brain still ticking.  But there was no help for it.


“It will go faster if you hold your breath.  And it’s more fun.  Here, I’ll help you.”  She placed a little hand over his mouth and nostrils.  “Now take twenty deep breaths in and out, then the biggest breath you can and then just relax.”


To keep him amused while the breath hold took effect, she took his hand and then turned hers under it and knit their fingers. That way his hand would follow hers.  And it would give him some sense of control so he would not panic.  She ran their hands over him.  After another minute he went limp.  She lowered him to the floor.  One way or another, if he did not breathe soon he would die.


She decided to make a break for it.  She cuffed his hands behind him.  Then she sprinted to the wall, grabbed two more sets of cuffs and did his feet and then the two chains to each other behind his back.  She left him gagged in a reverse hog-tie and ran for the door.


As she cracked the door she heard the spatter of gunfire and men shouting.  But for the soundproofed room she would have heard it before.  She peeked out and saw a man in black running past.  He took a few slugs in the back and dropped groaning.  His bullet proof vest may have saved his life, but she clearly heard ribs cracking as the slugs tore into him.  His gun lay beside him. 


Tracy burst through the door, kicking the gun away as she passed and fled in the direction the man had been coming from.  At the end of the hall were a few men in gas masks firing down the corridor.  A tear gas canister tumbled past.  It was too late to return to the toy room.  Tracy crouched for shelter in a doorway and covered her mouth and nostrils while the acrid cloud of tear gas filled the hall.


The pain of the gas in her eyes, mouth and nostrils was terrible.  She started choking.  Then one of the men in gas masks appeared, swept her into his arms and loped back to the others. 


“Got her, you all,” said James. “Time to boogie.”


 They made their way quickly along the hall, down some steps and to a door.


“That’s got it, brothers,” said James.  A number of African Americans were stripping off their gas masks.  “We can take it from here.  Keep the hardware.  Many thanks.  Look me up in Cuthbert.”


Moments later the five of them were in the car streaking into traffic.  Hapgood was pouring water from a squeeze bottle over Tracy’s eyes. 


“Which way?” asked Jon.


“Across Harlem again.  It’s the fastest way to the Triborough Bridge. 


Soon they were on a limited access road, plunging deeper into the High North. 


“Happy Halloween, everybody,” said James.


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