Books By Willy

Janet the Charmer

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   My Demise

 

   

 

 

 

   My Miserable Life

 

                                                                                                                  

 

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Janet

 Janet the Charmer  

By Willy 

                     Have you ever felt that your whole world is about to collapse? If not, I will tell you how I felt. I felt like a cross between a football and a balloon. I have been getting my ass kicked around most of my life. I don’t know when, but someone is going stick me with a pin and my life is going to explode. I don’t have time or the strength to fight off my world from collapsing around me. 

The Bank Manager (Howard Larson) of Allen Peterson Bank (APB) is trying to hang my ass by accusing me of embezzling millions of dollars from APB. Howard, the bastard has been embezzling money from the bank since the day he took my job as APB’s Bank Manager. I have been working overtime to point the embezzlement back at Larson. One of these days the shit is going to hit the fan. Today has been just another miserable day in my rotten life. As far back as I can remember everything in my life has been a screwed up mess. I must have been cursed from the day I was born. I was the youngest and the ugliest of the litter of six. I think my father wondered how he could have been the father of a kid as ugly as I was.  My mother could not deny that I was her son. I arrived unexpectedly in the middle of the night and I wasn’t out of my mother's sight until I went to school. I can still hear my mother's voice saying, "I still love him even though he is so ugly."

In my younger years, I was a puny little kid that everyone picked on. When I finally grew up and was able to defend myself, my face was so pocked marked with pimples that when someone looked at me, I thought that they were going to throw up. No one ever really looked at me. At times, I thought that I was invisible. Why kid myself, they ignored me. They would look right through me. Why should I lie, they could not stand to look at me. I am the most grotesque creature in the world. I was an outcast. During my latter high school years and college, the pock marks that the pimples left made me look even worse. Fortunately my education gave me a little better life than the average person. But, everything that I have worked for and dreamed of is about to be destroyed.  With my luck, I will probably spend the rest of my life in prison.

Just for a recent example of my social life, last night after work, as usual, I stopped at a restaurant to have dinner. Usually, I would go back to the bank and alter the files that Howard had forged. Instead, I went to the bar and ordered a drink and looked around the room. I spotted a beautiful chick and she was sitting alone. She fired up my libido so much that I forgot about eating. As the evening passed the itch in my pants got worst. I spent the whole evening trying to get up enough courage to approach her. She had been sitting at her table all evening nursing a glass of wine. I started to buy her a fresh glass of wine and have the waitress take it over to her. I did not have the courage to do it. Late in the evening, she got up and walked passed the bar, I said, “Hello.”  

The bitch ignored me; she didn’t even give me a polite hello or the courtesy of a smile. She didn’t even look in my direction. In a way I don’t blame her. Silently, I said, fuck you. Don’t I wish? She went into the ladies room. On the way back to her table, again I said Hello, again she ignored me. Every man in the bar was watching her. When she got to the far end of the bar a sloppy asshole walked over to here and puts his arms around her, said a few words and she lit up like a neon sign and fell all over him. The bastard is uglier than I am. It burned my ass; I didn’t know who I hated the most, the girl, the guy or myself. Damn it, I should have approached her earlier. What the hell, more than likely, she would have thrown up looking at me.

It was past midnight , after cursing myself for not approaching her earlier, I headed for the restaurant. I got to the door of the restaurant and it had closed two hours ago. I was too damn tired to go back to the bank and finish up the mess I had been working on. I was too hungry and tired to do anything. I could not make one mistake. If I did my ass was cooked. I would spend the rest of my life in prison.

On the way to my apartment, I did not see one store or fast food restaurant open. When I got home I was going to raid the refrigerator. There wasn’t anything in it that didn’t have mole all over it. Dam it; one of these days, I have to clean out that garbage. Why should I get pissed off, my life is like it usually is, a screwball mess. I should have realize it by now that it isn’t going to get any better and don’t aggravate myself over it.

Another miserable day coming up, I over slept and could not stop for breakfast. I had to open the bank; Howard never comes in early. It is his job to open the bank every morning, not mine. The bastard, made it sound like he was doing me a favor when he bestowed this chore upon me. No one else had the keys or knew the password to the customers based computer. I was five minutes late. Not only were the usual line of employees, there was a long line of customer waiting for the bank to open. Everyone gave me hell. I apologized, but they were still pissed off and so was I.

With my growling stomach talking to me, I stopped at the vending machines, they were almost empty and nothing looked appetizing. I picked out a candy bar and put a five dollar bill in the slot and punched in the correct number. The candy bar dropped down, but the damn machine did not give me my change. Pissed to no end, I banged on the machine so hard that it broke the glass. Just my luck, an old lady stuck her head around the corner; she looked at me and the machine, if looks could kill. She shook her head, pointed and wiggles a finger at me. I think she was telling me that she was going to get me into trouble. What else is new, my whole life is screwed up already, why should I care? This is a typical day of my life. She was still looking at me as she was walked away. I stuck my tongue out at her and she gave me the royal finger. I chucked. The way she looked at me, she was so mad that I thought she was going to kill me. To keep from getting into a confrontation with a woman old enough to be my Grandmother, I turned away and headed for my office.

Why does everything rotten have to happen to me? As I walked into my secretary’s office, she was on the phone. She stuck up one finger to tell me that she wanted to talk to me. At first, I thought that she was giving me the royal finger also. I waited until she finished the conversation and hung up the phone, Janet said, “Someone broke into the vending machines. Should I call the police?”

I let out a light chuckle and shook my head and did not say anything. To make my day even worse, as I stepped into my office I saw a large stack of documents on my desk. I looked at Janet and pointed at the stack of documents and said, “What the hell is this?”

She said with a half smile on her face, “Mr. Larson sent them over last night after you left.”

I slammed the door shut, picked up the stack of documents and put them in the corner of the room. I did not bother to look at them; I had more important things to do. I was not going to do that bastard’s work for him.

Last night, I should have had my dinner, and came back to the office and finish covering my ass.

All hell breaks loose:

 It was just before lunch, I was starved. I could not wait any longer. I looked at the elevator floor level indicator and the elevator was going up. I could not wait for the damn elevator. It was so slow that it would take ten minutes if it went to the tenth floor. I ran down the stairs. As I walked into the lobby, through the huge glass tented windows I noticed three or four large vans parking in the no parking area in front of the bank. A cold chill ran through my body. I felt faint. Not from the lack of food. My ass was in a lot of trouble. As the hoard of men climbed out of the vans they shaded their eyes trying to see inside the bank. I knew what they were here for. I had planned for this day months ago. All hell was going to break loose. My life was coming to an end. Everything that I had worked for and dreamed of was going up in smoke. Everything I had was going to be taken away from me. I faced 20 years in a Federal prison, if not more, for embezzling money from the bank. I wasn’t the one that was embezzling the money; it was Larson. The bastard was stealing the money and framing me for it.

God, give me one more night of freedom. Just maybe, I can save my ass. I hurried up the stairs to my office. Fear flowed through my body. I had to have one more day to finish covering my ass. As I walked into my office perspiration was running down my face. With a startled look on her face, Janet gasped and said, “Ted, you look awful. Are you sick? You should go home.”

          I have always looked awful to her. She never looked at me before, why now? I was exhausted from carrying my over weight body up the two flights of stairs in record time. Trying to catch my breath, I said to Janet, “I think I am coming down with something. I think a have a fever.”

Janet said, “I hope you didn’t catch what I had last week.”

“Janet, don’t blame yourself. I have been feeling terrible for the last couple of months.”

If she only knew why, I told Janet that I was going home and I was emotionally exhausted. I went into my private bathroom and locked the door. I stepped up on the toilet seat, then the water closet and then the stall partition. I lifted the air duct and pushed it up into the attic. I quickly climbed down and unlocked the bathroom door. I climbed back up to the partition and pulled myself up into the attic and replaced the air duct. I took a deep breath and tried to relax. I lay down and waited for the explosion. Fear racked my body. Never in my life have I felt like this. I was so emotionally exhausted that I thought that I would pass out. It did not take long for all hell to break loose in the bank. I heard a commotions going on throughout the bank. It sounded like someone was rounding up a herd of cattle. The FBI was herding the workers into the lobby to interrogate them. Everyone wanted to know what was happening. I heard someone asking in a demanding voice, “Where is Ted Wallace.”

Cold chills ran through my body with sweat running down my face. I wanted to shout, “Go away and leave me alone.”

No one seemed to know where I was, thank God. They started searching the bank. I could hear them slamming the doors in frustration as they searched the offices. I heard some jackass say, “Ted is probably in his office down the hall.”

I wanted to kill the bastard. Oh, my God. I hope they don’t think about looking up here. I heard them open the squeaking door of my office. They called to me and opened my bath room door. They were right under me. I held my breath. In my mind I could see them looking under the partition to see if I was in the stall. I hear the stall door slam open. A shock of fear shot thought my body. One of the bastards said, “Where the fuck is he?”

          Someone said, “There is a ladies room down the hall. He is probably hiding down there.”

          They opened the ladies room door next to my private bath. It had its own personal squeak. I heard a women scream when they slammed into the stall trying to open it. I could not help but chuckle silently. After the screaming and shouting stopped, I heard Janet, giving them hell for busting in while she was on the toilet. There were no apologies. They asked her where I was. She said, “Mr. Wallace has gone home. He left over an hour ago.”

From the conversation, I knew that they did not believe her. I could hear them hurrying down the hall giving orders to round up everyone in the bank and seal the bank so that no one could get in or out. They roamed the halls for hours. They finally let everyone leave the bank. Not sure if everyone had left the bank, I waited patiently until the bank was dead quiet. It was getting late. I eased out of the attic into the bathroom. From the cabinet below the sink, I took out a pair of rubber surgical gloves and put them on. I put my ear next to the bathroom door to listen for sounds of someone that may still be in the bank. I did not hear a sound. I slowly opened the door to my office. I crept up to the window, and looked out. I could not see the sidewalk in front of the building without sticking my head out the third story window. With the crowd in the street, someone would certainly see me.  I had to wait until I was in the lobby to see what was going on outside. I crept down the hall and stairs to the lobby. I did not dare take the elevator; if there was anyone in the bank they would hear the elevator. When I reached the lobby, it was empty. There was a crowd of people standing outside and about a dozen policemen were telling the onlookers to keep walking. The windows in the lobby were heavily tinted. They could not see inside the bank unless it was lighter inside the bank than it was outside. I walked over to the vault to disarm it, the alarm was not set. I opened a cabinet door and took out the security disk for the banks master computer. Slightly relieved, I went into the computer room, closed the door, and turned on the lights. I slid the security disk into the bank’s main computer. I used Larson’s password to access the files. I wanted to kick my ass. If I had not become obsessed with that bitch last night, I would not be in the predicament that I am in now.

About three months ago, I went into Mr. Howard Larson’s office to have him signs some papers that needed his signature.  I noticed a couple of ledgers on his desk. Being nosy, I opened them up. I could not believe what I was looking at. Howard had been embezzling money from the bank since the day he took over as president. Not only that, he had set me up to take the fall. I wanted to kill the bastard. There was no way that I could have the funds that he had been embezzling transferred back into the APB’s account. Like Howard, I set up fraudulent bank accounts throughout Central and South America , and the Caribbean . Over the last three months I had transferred all the funds that he had embezzled into offshore accounts that I set up. I entered false transfers to all of Howard’s accounts. I only needed a few more hours to cover my ass. I had not quite finished altering the last accounts. If I had come back to the bank last night, I would have been finished. I needed another six hours or more to finish. I had to get the last transfers to my accounts hidden before they audited the books.  

          It was past midnight before I had finished reviewing my work. If I made one mistake, and it pointing in my direction, they would nail my ass. I took one last look through the computer files. I was paranoid. I knew they would find an error in my transactions. I entered a new password, burned a new security disk, erased the computer history files, and defragged the hard drive with hopes that no one could recover the mess that Howard and I had created. With the new security CD and the new password, Howard and no one else could get into the computer without resetting the password.  Still not sure of myself, reluctantly, I returned the security CD, turned off the computer, cleaned up the mess that I had made and locked the vault. As I started to enter the lobby, I noticed that the lobby lights were turned on. The timer tuned on the lobby’s night lights at 7: PM. There was a much larger crowd in front of the bank. The news media must have gotten wind of the trouble at the bank and announced it on the six o’clock news. The poor souls that had accounts with the bank wanted to get their money out of the bank before it went belly-up. It was probably already too late.

          I was trapped in the vault area. I could not go back into the vault and I had to get out of the bank. If I went into the lobby, I would be seen by the crowd. I sat down at a desk in the vault area and waited. I had hopes that the crowd would dissipate.

The crowd doubled within the next hour. I had dozed off a couple of times and woke up with jolts of fear. I could not stay here any longer. I would surely fall asleep. There was an open top file drawer with wheels in the vault area. I was hoping that I could hide behind the file and roll it slowly across the lobby without anyone noticing it and seeing me. I got on my knees. I had to squeeze my body into a ball so my body would not extend beyond the length of the file. I slowly moved the file drawer along the wall for about a foot and stopped. I waited for a few minutes. I peeked through the files in the drawer to see if anyone on the outside was watching before I moved another inch. No one screamed that the file drawer was moving. For the next hour my body was filled with pain. It took an hour to ease the file drawer across the lobby. Every bone in my body ached. I slid into the hallway leading to the rear of the bank. I did not have enough strength in my legs to lift me up. I had to hold on to the wall to stand up. My legs were cramping so bad that I could hardly walk. It was so dark that I could not see my hand in front of my face. It was my suggestion to turn off all the light in the building at night and leaving only the lobby lights on. I cursed myself for making the suggestion. Slowly I eased down the hall to the stairs.

As I had sneaked out of the bank during the middle of the night for the last few months, I climbed up the fire stairs to the roof in total darkness; I would climb down the fire escape in the rear of the building, get in my car and drive home. But, tonight was different. I took a small light from my key ring and shined it on the security switch above the door. I had wrapped a rubber band around the security switch on the door so it would not open and the alarm would not go off when I left the building after the bank was closed. Damn it, someone had removed the rubber band. I was not going to try to wrap a rubber band around the switch while the alarm was on. With my luck the damn thing would go off. In the darkness, I felt my way back down the seven flights of stairs to my office. I sat down in my desk chair and was asleep in seconds. I was awakened by the crowd in the streets yelling, “We want our money, we want our money.”

          The noise never let up. I tried to go back to sleep, I could not with the roar of people shouting on the street below. I yelled silently at them to shut the fuck up. The roar of the crowd got louder by the minute. The louder they got, the angrier I got. I had to get some sleep. I got up from my desk and walked over to the window. I slid the window aside and looked down at the crowd. One side of me felt sorry for the poor saps down there in the dark, but the racket was driving me crazy. The shouting grew louder and louder. The more they shouted the angrier I became. My whole body was filled with rage. I had to get some sleep. My life depended on me being cool and calm when the FBI questioned me. If I wasn’t, the bastards would know that I was hiding something. Their careers depended on them breaking down poor souls like me. I had to get some sleep so I could face them tomorrow. After hearing them searching for me yesterday, I knew that I was in a hell of lot of trouble. They were going to hang my ass.

The crowd got bigger; the noise got louder and I became angrier as the night passed. I yelled silently at them a number of times to please shut up. In a fit of rage, I walked over to the window, open it and looked down on the crowd. I did not know what I was going to do to stop them from shouting. My whole body was filled with anger. Without thinking, I unzipped my fly and sprayed the crowd below. Someone said, “The Cops are spraying us.”

          Instantly, I came out of my rage and shut the window. I could hardly hold in what was left, I ran to my toilet to finish what I had started. The roar of the crowd got worse. After I finished relieving myself, I eased back to the window. I cursed myself for what I had done. I had started a riot. Within minutes, I could hear dozens of sirens. They were getting louder and louder. I will never get any sleep. Flashing lights were coming from all direction. When they got to the bank, they slowly eased their cruisers through the crowd and parked in front of the building. One of policeman yelled on a loudspeaker, “Move to the far side of the street.”  

          All hell broke loose. I wanted to kick my own ass for starting the riot. Now, I will not get any rest. The police could not control the crowd. The melee continued for an hour until more cruisers approached. The Officers rounded up the loud-mouths and took them away. Peace and quiet finally came about. I took another trip to the toilet before I went back to my desk chair. I laid back and tried to relax. My brain felt like it was in a food blender. My whole life was flashing around in my mind. I would fall asleep for a moment or two. I would wake up as if I had been hit with a bolt of lightning. I wasn’t sure if I had fallen asleep and was dreaming or I was living a nightmare.

The little of the sky that I could see started to lighten up. I pulled my aching body from the chair and went into the toilet. I shaved and cleaned myself up. I eased over to the widow and looked down on the street. There was a long line of people standing in front of the movie across the street. The police must have moved the crowd to the other side of the street. Someone was yelling profanities. The more he yelled, the more agitated the people became. I could only see the line of people that extended into the next two blocks. I wondered how far it extended. The street was blocked off and the police were preventing the crowd from crossing the street. As the time passed, the angrier the crowd got. I went over to my desk. I tried not to think about what was going on outside. But, my head kept swinging in the direction of the window. As the noise outside continued to grow, more frightened I became. Fear filled my body. Perspiration trickled down my face. My hands started to shake. I was expecting the door to burst open with hundreds of angry bastards wanting to kill me. Even though I had hidden the money electronically, I was certain that they would blame the embezzling on me. I wanted to go down to the vault and review the accounts again. At this time of day the police would see me. I tried to console myself to whatever happens, happens and there was nothing more at this time I could do. I tried to think of happier days. That didn’t last long. I never had any happy days. I had lived a miserable life. I could not think of one day in my life when I was happy about anything. What a screwed up life I have lived and it is getting worse.

          The fear inside of me switched to anger. It was Howard’s fault and I wanted to kill the bastard. I tried to settle down the anger inside of me, but I could not. I was boiling over with hate. I wanted to kill everyone around me. At that moment, I felt no mercy for anyone. My life was in jeopardy. Never in my life have I ever has this much anger. I wanted to go to the window and kill everyone on the street.  Thank God, I did not have a weapon of any type. I was too much of a coward to hurt a fly. If they burst into the bank and found me, I would not fight back. I would be at the mercy to the crowd. I could not go to the window and piss on them again. How in hell am I got to settle them down? I cursed myself for doing such a stupid thing. I warned myself, I could not do anything foolish again. I had to be in control of my emotions. I could not flare up again. My life depended on me having a calm mind. I kept telling myself to cool it. I sat down in my desk chair and tried to calm down. It was not my fault that the Bank was closed. If they want to kill someone, they should kill Howard. I was forced into a corner. If I wanted to save my ass, the only thing I could do was put the blame on the bastard that started it. Even though I switched the transactions back to Howard, they would probably arrest me as a co-conspirator. Howard would blame me for embezzling the banks funds.

The roar of the crowd got louder and louder as the sun got higher in the sky. There weren't enough police down there to control the crowd. Thankful, they would have to have a bulldozer to get into the vault. I tried to doze off. It would last for only a few minute and I would wake up more frightened. The crowd would settle down for a while until someone agitated them. I looked down at my watch. It would be another couple of hours before the bank would open. Who locked up the bank last night and who is going to open it up this morning?

I looked across the room and spotted the documents that Howard had left for me. I was too tired to lift up the stack of documents. I sat on the floor and thumbed through them. Oh my God, I could not believe what I was looking at. That bastard sent me a copy of the documents that would send me away for the rest of my life. I have to destroy these documents. I picked up the stack and carried them into the bathroom and hid them with my other document above the toilet. I will kill that son of a bitch.

Climbing up into the attic has got to stop. I am getting to fat to climb up there again. I went back to my office and sat down at my desk. Thinking about Howard brought back the first time I saw the son of a bitch. I had put in a suggestion to open a branch office south of a new development that was being built. There were plans to build 500 new homes. I had found a twenty acre plot a mile south of the development. There was enough room to build a large bank with a shopping mall. All the banks were in the center of town. The city became a mad house on Friday night. It was a gridlock with people trying to get to the banks to cash their checks.

The bank had a policy that would pay the employees a commission on any suggestion that the company implemented. I presented my idea to the board of directors. All of them thought it was a wonderful idea, except for Peterson, the chairman of the board. The tight-wad turned it down. If they went along with the idea, I would have made a small fortune. The way the policy was written, I would get twenty percent of the profits on the first year. 

One of my friends and I were having dinner.  I did not know that Howard was sitting at the next table behind me. I was telling my friend about my suggestion that Peterson had turned down. Little did I know that Howard was taking it all in? That bastard made the suggestion to the officers at his bank and they bought the property and built a branch office that had five drive-through lanes and a huge parking area. There was enough room to build a complete shopping mall, which they did. They made Howard the bank manager and gave him a huge bonus. For some unknown reason, the bank fired him.

When our bank manager retired, they let me manage the bank until they hired Howard. Peterson knew that Howard had managed the new bank and he had put in the suggestion to build a branch office. Peterson knew that it was my idea and yet he hired Howard. Did Howard tell Peterson that it was his idea to build a branch south of town and I had stolen his idea? Was Howard stealing money from the other bank and that is why they fired him? I probably will never know. No one has discussed the reason Howard was kicked out of the other bank.

The day Howard took over as manager, I was removing my junk from the manager’s desk. When I finished, I gave Howard the key to the desk. He asked if it was the only key. I lied and said yes. I spent the two dollars for the key and I was not going to give it to him. Thank God, I kept the key. I would have never been able to hang the blame for the embezzlement on Howard.

The morning after:

I heard noises in the bank. It scared the living hell out of me. It brought me back to my senses. Once again, I climbed into the area above my toilet. I heard the elevator. It sounded like it stopped on the second floor. After a few minutes I heard the elevator move again. It stopped on the third floor. There were a group of men walking down the hall. They were opening doors to the offices along the hall. I think they were looking to see if anyone was still in the bank. I heard the elevator stopping at every floor and then it went back to the lobby. Shortly afterward, I heard the employees going to their offices. I waited to see if Janet was with the crowd. I did not hear her coming in. I eased down into the toilet area. I did what comes natural. I heard Janet come in. She went in her toilet. I quickly washed my hands, shook out my coat, combed my hair and headed for my office. I picked up a document that was on my desk and waited. I heard Janet flush her toilet. After a few minutes she peeked around the door and said, “Good morning, you miss all the excitement yesterday.”

I asked, “What excitement.”

“Didn’t you see all the people across the street this morning? There is going to be a run on the bank. From what I heard someone has been embezzling money from the bank.”

          “Who in hell has been doing that?”

With a smirk on her face, she said, “They think you are the culprit.”

 “Why in the hell do they think it’s me?”

With a half smile she said, “I think Howard pointed his finger at you yesterday. They had everyone at the bank looking for you. They set up an office in the lobby and have been questioning everyone.”

“Are they there this morning?”

“Yes they are and they have dozens of police guarding the bank.”

I told Janet that I would go downstairs and see what is going on. On the way, I stopped in Howard office. He wasn’t there. I asked his secretary where he was and when he would be back. She did not know. I told her if he comes in tell him that I want to see him. What in hell was I going to tell him?

I left the office and slowly walked down the stairs to give me a few more minutes to think. I stopped at the bottom of the stair. I took a deep breath before I open the door. I did not know what I would encounter. Slowly I open the door. My heart was on overdrive. I peeked down the hall. There was no one in sight. I let out a sigh of relief and took another deep breath. I stood up straight and tried to act as if it was just another day. I entered the lobby; there weren’t any customers inside the bank. All the employees were at their usual places. When they saw me, it looked like the whole world had stopped. They all froze in their tracks and stared at me. I stopped and looked around to see what everyone was looking at. I looked over my shoulder. No one was there. They were looking at me. I continued to the new desk that had been set up. Everyone kept their eyes locked on me. I wanted to shout out, why in hell are you staring at me.   

Like everyone else in the bank, the men sitting at the desk and the ones standing around the desk had not taken their eyes off of me. I walked up to the desk, smiled and said, “Good morning is there something I can do for you.”

All of the men at the desk had a blank look on their face. They all looked at the guy sitting in the center chair. He looked around at the blank faces looking at him. He cleared his throat and asked me to take a seat across from him. The man sitting in the chair almost fell off the chair when he quickly got up. I sat down and said, “My secretary told me that someone was looking for me yesterday. I am sorry that I missed you. I left early yesterday I wasn’t feeling well.”

With a look of don’t lie to me buddy, he said, “We went to you apartment and you were not there.”

With a defensive voice I calmly said, “No I wasn’t, I did not get out of the parking lot. I think I had a case of Labyinthitis. The whole world was turning around. I emptied my stomach in my bathroom upstairs and headed for my car. When I finely got to my car, I could not sit up much less drive. I reclined the seat and I spent the night there. I could not have driven a block in the condition I was in. I am still a little shaky.”

I stared at the man across from me and calmly said, “May I ask who you are and why you are here?

With that same cocky smile on his face, he said, “I am Commander Anderson of the FBI and you know damn well why I am here. You did not spend the night in your car. Where were you?”

I smiled and looked at all the faces that were staring at me and said, “If you know that I did not sleep in my car, where did I sleep?”

Boastfully Anderson said, “We don’t know where you slept and we want to know where you went and what you did.”

I did my best to put on an angry face and loudly said, “Once again, I slept in my car and relieved myself in the parking lot this morning. Are you here to arrest me for relieving myself? Before I say another word, I want to know why you are here and what authority you have to come into this bank and locking the front door. There is a crowd out there waiting to come in. At the moment, Howard is out of town. I am the banks manager. If you don’t tell me why you are here I will ask the police outside to remove you from the bank.”

Anderson shouted back at me and said, “You have been embezzling money from the bank.”

I held my cool and silently said, “Mr. Anderson, you do not have to shout. Everyone in the bank heard you. You have accused me of a crime that I have not committed. I have not been embezzling money from the bank. I have been here ten years and I have never stolen a cent from this bank or anyone else in this world. Who in hell told you this lie; and where is your proof.”

Anderson did not say anything. He looked around at the other men standing around for help. The man sitting at the end of the table said boastfully, “I saw your car in the parking lot yesterday afternoon and no one was in it.”

I looked over at him and said, “Did you go over to the car.”

From the look on his face I knew that he never looked in the car. After a few moments he silently said, “No.”

I lashed back at him and said, “If you had came over to the car you would have seen me laying down. If I embezzled money from the bank, do you think I would still be here?”

Anderson said silently, “Someone has been embezzling money from the bank. Why do you think all of those people across the street are waiting for? There is going to be a run on the bank. They are all waiting to get in here. They want to withdraw their saving and there is no money left in the bank to pay them.”

Loudly I said, “There should be plenty of money in the bank. I thought they were waiting for the movie across the street to open. There is always a line over there when a new movie opens.  How much has been embezzled?”

Anderson shook his head and said, “I don’t know, I want you to tell me.”

I lashed out at Anderson , “How in hell do you expect me to tell you? I can’t get into the main computer. When Howard took over he changed the password. He is the only one at the bank that knows the password. I have not been able to access the company’s main data base since Howard took over.”

 There was a curtain of silence and a sea of blank faces staring at each other. I sat there and waited and watched the expression on their faces changing. Anderson cleared his throat and mumbled something to himself. I said, “I beg your pardon, what did you say?”

“Nothing, nothing, how do run a bank without turning on the banks computers?”

I shook my head and smiled, “The customer’s files are not on the bank master computer. They are on another network. They are linked, but you have to have the password to the master computer to access it. You will have to wait until Howard gets back. I just came from his office and I asked his secretary if he was here. She said no and she did not know when he would get back.”

Anderson looked like he had been holding his breath. He let out a puff of air and looks around at all the men standing. He got up and motions for all of the men to follow him. He led them about thirty feet from me. They huddled and whispered. I could not hear what they were saying. One of the men kept looking over at me. The bastard thinks I am going to run off. I leaned back in the chair and put my feet upon the desk and closed my eyes. I could still hear the mumbling from the crowd. I could not make out what they were saying. I dozed off. I did not know how long I had been dozing. I felt a tap on my shoulder. It woke me, but I did not open my eyes. I waited for them to tap on my shoulder again. Someone said, “I think he has passed out.”

I opened my eyes and looked around and said, “Sorry, I had a rough time last night.”

Anderson said, “Sorry to have wakened you. From the information we have, we cannot open the bank or even pay the employees. We will have to wait until Howard returns. Would you please send everyone home and lock up the bank.”

I looked at Anderson and said, “How much money has been embezzled?”

Anderson said, “I am not sure of the total amount. From what I have heard, the bank does not have a cent.”

I could not hold back myself and yelled, “What, that is impossible. Have you talked to the board members? They should have a close figure.”

Anderson shook his head and said, “They are just as much in the dark as everyone else.”

For my own information, I asked, “Do they have any idea where the money went.”

Anderson chucked, he looked at me and said, “I am not an accountant. The bank made a transfer of funds and it bounced.”

I wanted to say that it was impossible. If he is correct, someone beside Howard and is dipping into the banks funds. Howard had only tapped the bank for about twenty million. Where in hell did the other five hundred million go?

After another hour of questioning, Anderson took his crew and left the bank. I assured them that I would not flee the country and I would send everyone home and lock up the bank.

I watched the demeanor of everyone as they were leaving the bank. It was a mixed bag of expressions. Who else in the bank was tapping the funds? Did Howard have a partner? If so, who was it? I did not get a clue from anyone that left the bank. I was not sure if everyone that came in this morning had left. I locked the door and watched Anderson and his men walking amongst the crowd. I could not hear what he was telling them. The crowd started to disperse. I turned around and headed for the elevator. The elevator was in motion, it was going up. It finally stopped on the 10th floor. A cold chill ran through my body. Who else could be in the bank?  I went over to the stairs and headed up the stairs. At each floor I checked to see if the elevator had moved. Exhausted, I finally reached the 10th floor. I eased the fire door open and peaked out.  I heard voices of a man and a woman. I could not tell which direction the voices were coming from. I left the fire door open only a crack so I could see down the hall. I sat down and leaned against the wall. I was totally exhausted. I was afraid that I would go to sleep. I don't know how long I had been waiting. I heard footsteps coming down the hall. A shot of adrenaline went through my body. Two figures were coming in my direction. As they got closer, I could not believe my eyes. It was Janet and Howard. The little bitch had teamed up with Howard. Janet said, “Do you think the money will be safe up here?”

Howard replied, “Hell yes. It will take a year of searching before they get to the bottom of those files. Some of those files have been there for the last fifty years if not longer. I stacked the money behind the files. They will have to take the drawer out to see the money.”

Janet looked up a Howard and said, “I hope so.”

Howard said, “Have you found where Ted hid those documents?”

Janet said, “I have looked in his office and my office. I don’t know where he put them. I heard Ted mumbling that he was not going to do your work.”

Howard chuckled and asked, “Was there a small ledger in the stack?”

Janet replied, “Was it black with gold letter?”

Howard stopped, looked at Janet and said, “Damn it, we have to find that ledger.”

Janet snapped back, “What’s in it that is so important?”

With a sound of frustration, Howard said, “That the one thing that I was going to give to the Feds. Without it, I have nothing to backup our accusations.”

Howard wasn’t the only one that pointed his finger at me. That bitch accused me of stealing money from the bank. That quisling bitch, she always seemed to be so loyal and nice to me. You can’t trust anyone in this world anymore.

Howard grabbed Janet's arm. They hurried down the hall to the elevator. I heard the elevator door open, and then it closed.

I quickly got up and hurried down the fire stairs. In my haste, I tripped and fell. I grabbed the railing to keep from tumbling down the stairs. Thank God, I caught myself. I would have broken my neck. When I got to the third floor, I started to open the fire door. I heard foot step in the hall. I waited for the foot steps to stop. I heard them slowly opening the squeaky door to my office. After a few moments Janet said, “Come on in. He must have gone home when everyone else went home. He is not in his office or his stinking bath room.”

I let out an internal chuckle and yelled silently to myself, “My bath room doesn’t stink. You crazy bitch, your farts smell worse than mine. I bit my tongue and did not say anything. For the next hour I heard Janet and Howard screaming at each other about the damn ledger. They blamed each other for the loss of the black ledger. Even with all of the screaming, I could hardly keep my eyes open. Finally they gave up the searching and went home. When the elevator door shut, I peeked out into the hall. I hurried to my office. The place was a holey mess. My files were strung out across the floor. I did not dare touch them. I wanted the Feds to see what they had done to my office. I asked myself, how deep is Janet tied in with Howard? From the shouting and screaming, it looked like Janet, had planned this scheme long before I introduced her to Howard. That scheming little bitch; when she came into my office with her breast about to roll out of her blouse. She would walk behind my desk and massage the back of my neck; she must have been looking at the files that I was working on. She would rub her tits across the back of my head. I would get so damn aroused that I could not concentrate on what I was doing. I would try to get up and she would push me back into my chair. She would not let me get up or turn around and look at her. I had asked her dozens of time to go out with me. She always had something else planned. That was as close as she would let me get to her. She is probably shacking up with Howard. Even though she is a beautiful woman, I hated her guts.

I looked out the window and watched Janet and Howard walking to the rear of the building. They walked into the parking lot. I knew they would see my car in the parking lot. Janet knew that I always had my dinner downtown and stayed for a couple of drinks. I had invited her numerous times to have lunch or dinner with me, she always declined. I shut the window and headed for the tenth floor. I knew where they had hid the money in the bank and around the world. Now, what the hell am I going to do with all of it?

It was still light enough outside so I did not have to turn on the lights. I started pulling the files drawers out. I reached behind the files. I had searched about 20 files cabinets. I didn’t find any money. I yelled out, “Where in hell is the damn money?”

The sound of my voice scared the hell out of me. I sat quietly on the floor wondering if anyone else was in the building and they heard me screaming. I did not hear anyone so I continued to search. Howard was right; no one would find the money. I was frustrated and almost yelled out where is the damn money again. A thought flashed through my mine. Howard said that the files had been there for fifty years. I started looking at the labels. It is 1999, fifty years ago, it would be 1949. Thankful the files were in order of the years and months. I found a filed labeled 1950. I pulled out the top drawer and felt behind the files. Nothing was there. I got on my hands and knees and pulled out the bottom drawer. I felt behind the files. I let out a shout and quickly pulled out a neat packet of one hundred dollar bills. There were five drawers in each cabinet. The top two drawers did not have any money in them. The bottom three held the money. I had gone through ten file cabinets. I looked behind me and saw the piles of money on the floor. I was leaving my finger prints on all the cabinets. I went to my office and put on a pair of surgical gloves. I had to find another place to hide the money.  I went to Howard’s office and went into his bathroom.  I took a stack of towels and headed for the 10th floor. I emptied an open top file drawer and wheeled it over to the money lying on the floor. I put all of the money into the drawer and wiped off all of the cabinets that I had touched. The open top drawer was over flowing. I did not know how many more cabinet had money in them. Now I’ve got all of this money, where in hell am I going to hide it. If the Feds searched these rooms, they would see where the dust had been removed. If they did not search the rooms, Howard would. I took the elevator down to the lobby. It was still light on the outside. I checked to see if the door alarm had been set. The alarm was not set. Howard and Janet must have planned to return to the bank. I had to get the money out of the bank. I took the elevator to the tenth floor, wrapped a rubber band around the door switch so it would not go off when the door was opened. I packed the money into boxes. I wheeled the drawer to the stairs. I had put too much money in the boxes. I thought that I would die before I got the last box to the roof. I wheeled the drawer back into the room and put the files back into the drawer. I went up to the roof. It was dark now. I disconnected a rope form the window washer’s scaffold. I tied the boxes with the scaffold rope and lowered the boxes to the parking lot. I took the elevator to the first floor. I wrapped a rubber band around the door switch and unlocked the door. I peeked out the door. No one was in the parking lot. Janet had not returned. I hurried and put the boxes of money into my car. I returned to the roof and reattached the rope to the scaffold. I locked up the bank and headed home.

As I turned into my street, I saw Janet’s car parked about a block from my apartment building. The red convertible stood out like a sore thumb. I looked at my apartment window. The lights were on. I waited for over an hour, they did not leave. I backed my car down the street to the corner and drove to a small restaurant and had my first meal in two days. I drove back to where I had parked. Janet car was still there. Another hour passed before the lights in my apartment were turned off. Within a few minutes Janet and Howard got into Janet’s car and drove away.

I was wondering if they were looking for the black ledger. What took them so long? Were they waiting for me to return? I drove into the parking garage and went up to my apartment. The apartment was worse than my office. I did not touch anything I climbed into bed and was asleep within minutes.

 I had a restless night. I kept waking up with every noise. It was starting to get light outside. I had to find someplace to hide the money. I cleaned up, went out for breakfast and tried to think of some place where I could hide the money. I remember that there were a number of storage locker businesses on the outskirts of town. I went back to my room and took a couple pieces of furniture and put them into the back seat of my car. I rented a small locker in the name of a friend and paid cash for a year in advance. The owner was happy and so was I.

Feeling a little relieved, I headed for the bank. Janet car was in the parking lot. What the hell was she doing at the bank? Everyone was told that the bank would notify them when they would have to come back to work. I pulled out of the parking lot and parked my car about a block away. I waited and watched for Janet to leave. I was getting impatient. I questioned myself. What in hell are they doing? Rather than sit here and wait, I called the FBI on my cell phone and told them that somebody had ransacked my apartment yesterday. I told them that I was on the way to my office and I wanted someone with authority to be with me when I opened the bank. I was wondering if someone had ransacked my office also. I told them that I would meet them in the parking lot at the bank. The officer told me to hold on while he gets approval for me to open the bank. I gave him my cell phone number and told him I would wait until he had the approval.  I waited for about a half hour before my cell phone rang. I answered the phone. It was Anderson on the other end of the line.  He sounded a little perturbed and said, “Why in hell do you want to open the bank? I told you that we did not want anyone in the bank until Howard returns.”

I yelled back at him and said, “What would you do if someone accused you of embezzling money from a bank and you knew that you had not done it. Someone is trying to nail my ass. Someone ripped my apartment apart looking for something or planting evidence against me.  What the hell would you do?"

After arguing for a few more minutes, Anderson finally agreed to meet me in the parking lot.  With Janet's car still in the parking lot, I waited for Anderson down the street. I did not want to confront Janet alone.  I was not sure if Howard or Janet was running the embezzlement. One of the board of directors could be the brain behind this. Another half hour passed before Anderson drove into the parking lot.  I let him sweat it out for 10 minutes before I drove over to the parking lot. As I drove into the parking lot Anderson was standing next to his car.  He looked extremely angry. I parked my car and walked over to him. I stuck my hand out to thank him for meeting me. He did not take my hand. I wanted to curse that hateful bastard. Anderson said, "If your apartment has been ransacked, why didn't you call the police?"

I smiled at him, and asked, "Aren’t you a police officer? You were ready to arrest me yesterday. I think the ransacking of my apartment is linked to the embezzlement at the bank. I wanted someone that was working on the embezzlement to check my apartment to see it they can tell me who ransacked it. I also wonder if my office has been ransacked.”

Anderson blurted out, “You could have done the ransacking yourself to draw yourself out of the spotlight.”

Mr. Anderson, “That is exactly why I called you. I want you to find out if I ransacked my apartment or someone else did it. I don’t know anything about checking for evidence. Like you are not an auditor, I am not a cop.”

Still fuming Anderson led the way. He headed for the front of the building. I said, “Why don’t you try the back door, most of the officials at the bank go in the back door.”

Anderson spun around and said, “No one would leave the back door of a bank open.”

I chuckled and said, “You would be surprised at how many times the old bastards come in the back door and forget to lock it. They all have keys to the bank. We have had a number of false entries because they tried to come in the bank when the alarm is set. I have been called to come down to the bank by the police in the middle of the night. They have left something they needed on a business trip and had gone back to the bank to pick it up without thinking about the alarm.”

Anderson went over to the back door. He turned the knob and looked at me with a stunned look on his face then said, “If I pull on the knob and the alarm is set, will it go off.”

I nodded and said, “Yes. Pull on the knob and we will find out if the alarm is set.”

Anderson yelled back at me and said, “I don’t want to be charge with braking into a bank.”

I laughed and said, “You don’t charge me with breaking in the bank and I will open it.”

Anderson stepped aside and said to me, “Go ahead.”

I knew that I had disarmed the door yesterday and had not set the alarm. Howard and Janet did not set the alarm when they left. I thought that if they were in the bank they would not set the alarm. Otherwise, it may go off when they left.”

With the devilish that had been in me all of my life, I jerked on the door and screamed. I thought Anderson was going to shit in his pants. He jumped back as if he had been shot. I turned and motioned for Anderson to go in. He gave me a dirty look and said, “Why in hell did you yell for. You scared the hell out of me.”

I shrugged my shoulders and said, “I don’t know. I didn’t know if would go off or not. I’m a prankster at heart.”

I knew that Janet and or Howard had to be in the bank. Anderson pulled his gun and led the way. I told him not to use the elevator. If someone was in the bank, they would here the elevator. I open the fire door and we walked up the two flights of stairs to my office. The door was open. Anderson eased into the office. It was a holey mess. It looked like they had searched my office again. We search my office and the two baths. We did not find anyone. When I was in my bathroom, I glance up at the vent. It did not look like it had been moved. I followed Anderson back to my office. He looked around and said, “I wonder what they were looking for?”
          I said, “I don’t have a damn thing that is of any value. I believe they wanted to plant something on me.”

          Anderson said, “Who would want to do this to you?”

          I shook my head and said, “Hell if I know, the person that claimed that I was embezzling money from the bank is the only person that would gain from it. He or she is trying to plant evidence on me.”

          Yesterday, Anderson would not tell me who had accused me of embezzling money from the bank. Would he tell me now? I asked, “Who was it that pointed their finger at me?”

          Anderson said, “I cannot tell you who the accusers are. When we have completed our investigation you will be charged or dismissed.”

          Anderson paused for a few moments and said, “Who do you think is doing this to you.”

          I did not want to point a finger at Janet and Howard. I shook my head and said, “The embezzler. I really don’t know who that would be and I don’t know who would want to do it to me. If I knew, I would cut their ball off. I have always tried to be nice to everyone. We all are just trying to make a living.”

          We heard the sound of the elevator moving. Anderson jumped. I said, “Come with me.”

          I went out of the office to the elevator. It must have been on the tenth floor. It had just passed the ninth floor. We watched the indicator. It continued downward. I told Anderson to come with me. I wanted to see if they were returning to my office. I heard the elevator stop. It sounded like it stopped on the first floor. I told Anderson to follow me. I went to the rear of the building.  We watched Janet and Howard leaving the building. Janet spotted my car. She jumped back as to go back into the building. She said something to Howard. They went over and looked at my car and Anderson’s car. They quickly got into Janet’s car. They sped out of the parking lot. Anderson pulled out his cell phone and dialed it. He gave the person that answered the phone the description of Janet’s car and the license plate number. He also told them the direction that they were headed. He wanted them to be brought in for questioning. I said, “Don’t do that. They have the right to be in the bank at anytime they want, just follow them and find out where they are going.”

          Anderson took my advice. He told the person to put a round the clock tail on them and keep a log of where they go. He wanted a crew to go over to my apartment and my office and see if they could find out who had ransacked my apartment and office.

          When Anderson hung up I said, “Thank you, Thank you and Thank you. If you find out who did it, will you let me know who it is?’

          With a little friendlier voice he smiled and said, “If we find out, we will let you know.”

          We headed down the stairs to the back door. Janet and Howard did not lock the door. I locked the door and thanked   Anderson. I gave him a key to my apartment and told him that I would not go back to my apartment until they had a chance to search for evidence. I gave him my cell number and he said that he already had it and he would try to get someone out there today.

          Not being able to go back to my apartment for a few days, I went shopping and bought what I thought I would need. I knew there was an empty furnished apartment in my building. I called the superintendent and asked him if he would rent it to me for a few days. I told him that I was going to have some work done. He asked me what I was going to have done. I told him a little of everything and I would not tear down the building or disturb anyone.

          The FBI came later that day and started working. Anderson called me and asked where I was staying. I told him and he said that they had completed their inspection but, they did not want me to go back into the apartment for about a week. He felt if the person or persons that had been there, they may come back; also they were monitoring the apartment.

For the next week no one called or bothered me. I caught up on my eating and my sleep. I wanted to see how much more money Janet and Howard had stashed in the storage room and what had happened to the money that I had transfer to my accounts. I felt like I was sitting on a time bomb and I didn’t know when it would go off.  

          A couple more of weeks passed, I wanted something to happen. The waiting was killing me. I called the bank and a police officer answered the phone. I told him who I was and asked what was going on at the banks. He said that there had been a parade of auditors and investigators searching the bank. My whole body froze. I could not say a word. The officer asked if I was still there. I said I was and I was waiting for him to continue. He said that was all he knew and was allowed to say. He did not have any idea when they would be finished. He would not or could not tell me when they were allowing the employees to return.

          I called Anderson and asked him the same question that I had asked the officer. He more or less repeated what the officer had said. I asked Anderson could I take a vacation while the bank was closed. He told me I could go anyplace I wanted as long as I don’t leave the country and inform him where I would be.

          I flew down to Miami Beach and stayed for a week. I returned home and the FBI allowed me to return to my apartment. I opened the refrigerator and I almost fainted. I opened the windows and dumped everything in the refrigerator in a garbage bag and dropped it in the garbage shoot. The odor was atrocious. It took over a week for the odor to dissipate. I finally moved back into my apartment.

          I was getting lonely. I wanted some feminine attention. I looked through my little red address book and started calling. They all had heard about the trouble at the bank and they did not want anything to do with me. They were polite and asked if I had been charged. From what they said, I thought someone had been spreading rumors about me. There had not been anything in the news or the papers to suggest that I had been embezzling money from the bank. I called Anderson and told him what had happened. I asked him if they were leaking information to anyone. He fanatically denied that he or anyone in his crew had been leaking information regarding the embezzlement. I told him that someone is and it was spreading like wildfire.  He told me that he would put someone on the problem. If he found out who was talking he would let me know. When I went out to dinner at my usual haunts everyone stared at me. So much for my loneliness, I had to find someplace else to explore.

I wondered what Janet and Howard were doing. It was still bugging me, who was the one that came up with the idea to rip off the bank. I thought I would do a little investigating on my own. I had never been to Janet's home.  I knew the address, but I never went to see where she lived. When I reached the area where she lived, I wondered how she could afford a home in this neighborhood with the salary that the bank was paying her.

When I was a couple blocks from Janet's home I saw the red convertible parked in the driveway. I did not dare stop. I kept on going.  Where in the hell did she get the money for that house? Another familiar car was parked in the garage. Whose home was it, Howard’s or Janet’s? I didn't bother dropping in on them; I wanted to know who owned the house. I headed for my apartment.

 As soon as I got in my apartment, I turned on my computer. I clicked the tax assessor’s office icon and typed in Janet’s address. The home owner was Janet Powell. I asked myself, are they married or just living together. The property was purchased before Janet came to work for me. Did Janet have any influence in getting Howard his job as manager at APB? Who in hell on the board does she know. I started to look back over the last year. Who had she associated with? Who had I seen her talking to at the bank? I could not remember seeing her associating with or talking to anyone. Who on the board suggested that they hire Howard as the banks manager? Those bastards gave me the royal welcome when they appointed me to manage the bank. I thought I would have the job until I died. I was wallowing in my own self pity and was becoming deeply depressed. I knew that they would convict me for embezzling all of the banks money. I would spend the rest of my life behind bars. Howard had set me up for stealing 20 million, where did the 500 million go? I had not looked into the total assets of the bank since I was the manager. When I worked on the accounts that Howard had altered, I did not look into the assets of the bank.

The phone rang and it scared the hell out of me. I did not want to pick up the phone. Every time something unexpected happened, I felt like this would be my last day of freedom.  Reluctantly, I picked up the phone.  The words did not want to come out of my mouth.  I heard Anderson questioning if anyone was on the line.  It took all my power to answer him.  Anderson asked, "What took you so long to answer the phone?"

I apologize and said that I had a mouth full of food and had to finishing eating it. My reply seemed to have satisfied Anderson .  I said, "Good morning, what can I do for you?"

Anderson grumbled, "It’s not mourning, it's late in the afternoon.  Have you been sleeping all day? We still haven't been able to contact Howard Larson.  Do you have any idea where he may be?"

I did not tell him where Howard was. I said, "No I haven't been sleeping all day. I have other things on my mind. You think I am the one that has been embezzling the money from the bank."   

I wanted so much to tell Anderson where I had seen Howard's car. I wanted Anderson to find Howard. If I did anything to point the blame on Howard, they would think I was trying to cover my own ass.  Anderson asked me again, "Do you know where I can find Howard."

          "Mr. Anderson, I have no idea where Howard is.  Howard never associated with me. He has been dumping his workload on me.  I have been doing his work and mine for the last six months. He is very seldom at the bank.  Even his secretary doesn't know where he goes or when he will be back. Are they going to allow the bank to be reopened? I do not know how anyone could have embezzlement over $500 million in the last six months."

          Anderson lashes back, "How in the hell do you know that $500 million was embezzled?"

          Pissed to no end, I said, “Mr. Anderson, you have a very short memory or a one track mind. I was the banks manager until six months ago when Howard took over.  I was well aware of the assets of the bank.  I would not have been employed very long if I did not know the bottom-line figures of the bank. I could not imagine how anyone could steal that much money. I also wonder why they kept that much cash on hand. Where in hell would they put it? As I told you, I have not been able to access the main computer since Howard took over my job. Does that answer your question? It sounds like you still believe I have been embezzling the bank funds."

          Anderson nervously said, "No Ted, I forgot that you were the previous manager. I had not mentioned the amount that had been embezzled.”

          “No you didn’t. But, you told me that the bank did not have enough money to pay the employee or the depositors. I still can’t imagine why they had that much cash stored at the bank.  Where the hell had they hid the 500 million and what were they doing with it?”

          I knew I was getting Anderson upset. I did not want to get him pissed off at me. I said, “Let’s get back to the reason you called me. You wanted to know where Howard is. I don’t have any idea where Howard is nor do I care. I have never kept track of his movement and I don’t care to. You said that you were going to put a tail on Howard and Janet the last time I saw you. What happened to the tail? Is there anything else that I can help you with?”

          Like the first time I met Anderson , he was mumbling something to himself. He said, “We lost them before we could put a tail on them. We have been searching for them every since. I wanted to tell him that the banking commission is allowing him to re-open the bank and let everyone that has an account with the bank withdraw their saving.”

           I said, “Any of the members on the board can reopen the bank. Mr. Peterson can appoint anyone he chooses.”

          Anderson chuckled and said, “Peterson did pick an alternate. But, the banking commission would not let his choice manage the bank.”

          I knew those bastard still believed that I was embezzling the banks funds. I asked, “Who was his choice?”

          There was a pause for a couple of moments, I repeated my question. I heard Andersons mumbling again, and then he said, “You.”

          I could not hold my anger back. I shouted back, “Everyone in this town thinks I have been stealing their fucking money from the bank. Now everyone in the country will think I am the embezzler. I don’t think anyone has ever embezzle or stolen that much money from a bank. I have not seen a damn thing on the news about me being the embezzler, yet everyone I see thinks I am the one that stole their money. Who has been spreading it around?”

          Anderson chuckled and said, “I don’t want you to get upset, in our investigation, everyone that we questioned thinks that you are the one that stole the money.”

I asked, “Why do they think I am the embezzler.”

Again Anderson chuckles and said, “They all gave the same answer, they all thing you look like an embezzler.”

          Damn it, I knew it. Everyone that I have come into contact with, they think I am a crook or a low life bastard. I feel like a balloon and someone had stuck me with a pin and the world around me is clasping. I tried to hold my calm and control my emotions, I said to Anderson , “Thanks for the good news. Are they going to allow me back into the bank and is there anything else I can help you with?”

          Anderson replied, “No to both of your questions. Thanks for your help and goodbye.”

          I was ready to jump off the highest building. I was certain that they would search the attic area in my bathroom. I could not leave the country. I knew that they were going to put a tail on me if they hadn’t already. I had to get the documents out of my bathroom. I walked out into the hall and over to the window and looked out. Sure as hell, there was a SUV with two men parked about a block away. I had to find out if they would follow me. I grabbed a coat and my wallet and took off. I took a stroll around the neighborhood. Those bastards followed me. I went back to my apartment. The bastards went back to the “no parking zone” where they had been parked. I went to the window of my apartment. I could see them from my apartment. I wondered if they had someone watching the opposite side of the building. I went through the building and went out the other side. I looked up and down the street. I did not see anything unusual. There wasn’t anyone sitting in any of the cars. I took a short walk in the opposite direction and returned home. Thank God no one followed me. I wondered if they had tapped my phone. I would have no way of knowing. I went back to my room and lay down for a while and tried to think. There wasn’t anything in the refrigerator to eat. I picked up the phone and dialed my favorite pizza parlor.  When the pizza was delivered a thought came to mind. The young fellow that delivered the pizza had delivered pizzas to me a number of times. When he came with the pizza, I asked him if he would give me a ride and I would pay him. I told him that my car was being fixed and I needed to rent another car. I told him that my apartment was on the other side of the building and would he pick me up over there. He was delighted. I took the pizza to my apartment and hurried to the rear of the apartment complex. The pizza driver was waiting. He drove me to a car rental place. I thanked him and give him an extra twenty. I told him not to mention it to his boss. He said, “If I told my boss he would fire me. He is going to ask me why it took so long. I going to tell him that you did not have the right amount and had to go down the street and get a check cashed,”

          I smiled at him and said that if you don’t tell his boss, I will not. I waved at him as he drove away. I rented a car and went back to my apartment and parked in the visitors parking area. It was too early to try to break into the bank.

          I sat down at my desk and wrote a list of things I wanted to get out of the bank and prayed that the alarm was not set.  Without me or Howard no one else could set the alarm. I was hoping that none of auditors or investigators had found out how to set the alarm. Since Anderson had not seen Howard, just maybe, things at the bank had not change since I left. I double check the list that I had made. I wanted to get in and out of the bank as fast as I could. I tried to take a nap, but the adrenalin had me all pumped up. I heated a slice of the pizza and munched on it while I waited.

          I took the binoculars that I spied on my neighbors with and look at the tail the FBI had put on me. I focused the binoculars and said to myself, “I wasted my time and money renting a car. They both are sleeping. I put down the binoculars and turned around. As I turned, I saw the tail on the passenger’s side light up a cigarette. I pick up the binoculars and took another look. The tail on the driver’s side was defiantly asleep. The one on the passenger side was positively awake or he was smoking in his sleep. I packed the things that I needed in my shopping cart and took off.

When I got to the bank I circled the block the bank was on a couple of times. There were two police cars and two unmarked cars parked in the front of the bank. They were all awake and looked at the rental car as I passed them. I parked the car at a bar a couple of blocks away. It would be open until two. I had hopes that I would be finished by two. I put on an old overcoat and hat, and grabbed the shopping cart. The street was dark and deserted. My heart was pounding. I could feel the blood flowing through my veins. When I reached the rear of the bank, the dumpster was right under the fire escape. My first thought was, Howard and Janet must have had the same idea that I had and moved the dumpster. I climbed upon the dumpster with the shopping cart hanging around my neck. I grabbed the fire escape ladder. I did my best not to make any noise and eased up the ladder. Thankful, I got to the roof without grabbing anyone’s attention. My next problem was to get into the bank and down to the third floor. I turned the key and unlocked the door to the fire escape. As I started to ease the door open, perspiration was streaming down my face. I was hoping that no one had noticed the rubber band around the alarm switch. In my mind I knew that I would hear the snap of the switch when I pulled on the door. I listened for the snap of the switch when I slowly opened the door. I did not hear a sound. With a sigh of relief, I opened the door and went inside. I locked the door behind me. I left the shopping cart on the tenth floor and headed down the stairs. The window on each floor in the fire escape gave me enough light so that I did not have to turn on my flashlight. When I got to my office, I checked on the crew watching the bank. They were all inside the vehicles. I went into the bathroom to retrieve the documents from the attic. I stood on the partition and removed the air vent. I reached over and picked up the documents. With the document in one hand, I tried to replace the vent; I dropped all of the documents. The noise was deafening when the document hit the floor. It sent a shock wave of fear through my body. I lost my balance and almost fell to the floor. Fortunately, I grabbed the support for the vent and thankful, none of the documents fell into the toilet. The toilet cover was my stepping stool to the top of the water closet. I gathered the document and made it back to the tenth floor. I put the documents in the shopping cart and headed for the document storage room. I filled the cart with money. I thought the flimsy cart would collapse. I locked the roof door and rolled the cart over to the edge of the roof. I took the rope from the window washer’s scaffold and lowered the cart down to the ground next to dumpster. The rope burned my hands as it slid through them. I thought that the pain would never end. This time I used one of the hooks from the scaffold to attach the shopping cart. I lowered the rope and wiggled it. The hook came loose from the cart. Thankful, I did not have to come back up to the roof. I replaced the rope and climbed down the fire escape. I had put the packets of money into grocery bags. As I headed back to the bar, a couple was approaching me. At first I thought it was Janet and Howard. Fear struck me. I started to turn around. The woman said, “Don’t run away we won’t hurt you.”

She told the man with her to give me some money. He reached into his pocket and pulled out some change. The woman blasted him. Reluctantly, he pulled out his wallet and handed me a couple of buck. I didn’t stick out my hand. The woman took the money and stuffed it in my coat pocket. She caressed my cheek and said, “You have to forgive him. He is a cheapskate.”

I thanked them as they walked around me. The few people that I saw on my way back to the bar also thought that I was a street person. I had been in this bar a number of times. I had seen her with different men. I never thought about her before. Was she a hooker or just out enjoying herself.

I lifted the shopping cart and put it in the back of the car. It felt like my back was being pulled apart. I headed for home. I was not going to haul the cart up to my apartment. I was hoping that I had gotten everything that may implicate me in the embezzlement. When I reached my building the SUV was still parked in the same spot. The rented car had heavily tented windows and looked completely different from mine. I pulled into the garage and parked behind my car. I turned off the headlights and quickly transferred the documents to my car. I left the cart with the money in the rented car and parked it in the visitors parking area. I got the documents from my car and went up to my apartment. I wanted to study them. I took them into my bathroom, shut the door and turned on the lights. I was too damn tired to concentrate. I stacked the document in the bathroom closet. I put salve on my blistered hands. Fortunately, I was asleep within seconds.

I awoke the following morning with someone pounding on the door. I was scared out of my wits. I eased up to the door and peeked through the hole. The janitor was standing there. I opened the door and he said, “Is this your book? It was lying in the hall in front of your door.”

I almost fainted; it was the black ledger with gold letter. “Yes Jim, I must have dropped it last night when I came home. Thank you very much.”

He handed the book to me and started to leave. I said to him, “One minute please, I have something for you.”

I took the couple of bucks that the guy gave me last night and gave it to Jim. A smile came across his face and he said, “Mr. Wallace, you didn’t have to do that.”

I looked at Jim and said, “Someday, I will tell you how thankful I am that you found my ledger.”

Jim smiled at me and walked away. I turned around and went back inside. I saw the pizza on the table and remembered how hungry I was. I took four of the slices and put them in the oven. While the pizza was warming up, I did my morning usual. When I finished, I took the pizza out of the oven and gulped one slice down. While I was eating the second piece, I walked over to the window. The SUV was not there. Curiosity was getting to me, were in hell did they go? I finished the pizza and went through the ledger. If the FBI got their hands on it, I would spend the rest of my life behind bars. I had to get rid of it. I tore the pages out and shredded them one at a time. If the Feds had seen this, they would never let me out of prison. I took the shreds and put them in a grocery bag. I went down to the trash chute. I could smell the trash being burned in the basement. I took the elevator to the basement and threw the shreds into the furnace. A sigh of relief came over me. I had been so engrossed in the ledger that I had forgotten about the other documents. I hurried back upstairs. I separated the legitimate documents from the trash. Howard had put his scratch sheets that he used when he documented the ledger. They were as damaging as the ledger. I shredded them and burned them in furnace. I continued to examine the other documents. They were customer’s account. Some of them should have been entered months ago. There was at least a month’s work in the stack of papers. This was Howard responsibility, not mine. If the bank reopened, there would be a lot of furious people. I wasn’t quite sure how to handle the mess. The bank would be billing all of these people. Had some of this work been done? I picked up the phone and called Anderson . I asked him if they had found someone to manage the bank. He told me that they had not found anyone yet. I told him about the work that Howard and given me a day before all hell had broken loose. I said that I was on my way out of the bank and Howard gave me a stack of document and asked me to take care of them. I put them in my briefcase and took them home with me. I had forgotten about them and I found them today. Anderson said, “What are the documents for?”  

I told Anderson that it was the list of customers that had made payment on their credit cards. Anderson said to hold on to them until they find someone to manage the bank and he hung up the phone. It pissed me off. Why did he hang up so quickly? The bastard still thinks that I robbed the bank. For a moment I was drowning myself in self pity. Then I realized what I have been doing. I chuckled; I am robbing the fucking bank.

One of my problems was over with. Now for the money in the rented car, should I put it in the storage with the other money or should I find another place to put it. I did not want to leave the money in the building. I went to the window. The SUV was still missing. I wondered if they had changed their parking spot. The only way to find out was to take a look. I grabbed a jacket and headed for the front of the building. No one was in sight. I strolled the neighborhood and stopped in a few shops to buy some junk food to munch on. I headed back to my apartment. I felt a little necked without those bastards watching over me. I felt like a kid that lost his father in a shopping mall. On the way back to the apartment to get the rented car I saw a SUV speeding in my direction. I stepped into a tobacco shop and watched my tails pass me by.  I could not believe the mixed feeling I had. Part of me was relieved. The other part of me wanted to tell them to get the fuck out of my life.

I went back to the apartment to get the rented car and counted my blessings. On the way to the storage building, I prayed that no one had seen me or was tailing me. It only took a couple of minutes to drop off the money. I stuffed one of the one hundred dollar bill packets into my jacket pocket. On the way back home, I returned the car and took a cab to the rear of my building. I walked around the block to see if my tail had returned. When I turned the corner, I saw Janet’s red convertible and a SUV double parked next to the convertible. A mixed feeling ran through my body. Did they pick up Janet and Howard going in the building? I did not want to get into the middle of the mess. For a moment I did not know what to do. I made a quick u-turn and went over to the Deli and ordered a salami sandwich and some fries. I took my time going back to my apartment. The convertible and the SUV were still there. I took the packet of money and hit it in the trunk of my car under the spare tire. I went up the stairs to my apartment. I did not know what to expect. There was a mob in the hall in front of my apartment. I started to weave through the crowd, and a gentleman said to me, “You can’t go in there, it’s a crime scene. Keep moving.”

He looked away. I tapped him on the shoulder. Without looking at me he said, "I said keep moving." 

I tapped him on the shoulder again, and said, "That's my apartment, what is going on in there."

He spun around with an expression of shock. He grabbed my arm with both hands and dragged me through the crowd. When he got to the door, he said, “I got him.”

I could not see in the room. I heard Anderson say, “Bring him in here.”

The bastard holding me jerked on my arm and almost pulled it off. The sandwich and fries scattered across the floor. I yelled, “Take it easy. You almost pulled my arm off.”

I landed in front of Anderson . I yelled, “This is a hell of a welcoming home party. What the hell is going on here?”

Out of the corner of my I eye, I saw Jim lying on the couch with blood all over him. Someone was bandaging his side. I stepped in Jim direction and Anderson said, “Do you know this man?”

“Yes I do. He does all the maintenance for the building. What happen to him?”

Anderson answered, “The local police got a 911 call. A woman said that there was shooting in this apartment. The 911 operator knew that we had the building staked out and called us.”

I asked, “Why do you have my building staked out?”

Anderson mumbled something, and then said, “You are under protective custody. You are an important witness in this case. We don’t want to lose you.”

With a smirk on my face, I said, “How do you mean that? Are you afraid that I am going to run away or someone is going to take me away?”

“Ted, it’s for your own protection, we can’t afford to lose an important witness in this case.”

“What happened to Jim?”

“He was shot. When my men got here, the door was open and Jim was lying on the floor, that’s his name isn’t it.”

“Yes, that what everyone in the building calls him. Who shot him?”

“That what we want to ask you. Where have you been?”

“I had to get out of here. I took a long walk and stopped at the Deli.”

Anderson watched me looking around the room, I said, “It looks like I have to go back to the Deli.”

The guy giving Jim first aid said, “He is coming to.”

Anderson said, “Since you know him, I want you to find out what happened.”

I walked over to Jim. His eyes were fluttering. I asked the technician how Jim was doing. He told me that Jim had lost a little blood and went into shock. He should be alright.  

I looked at the old man and I was hoping that he wasn’t shot because of my problem. I wonder if the shooting had anything to do with the embezzlement. Do they think that I shot Jim? If they did, what would be my motive? When Jim woke up he looked at me and said, “Why did you shoot me? I was just going to lock your door. You left it open when you went out.”

Anderson with a smirk on his face gave me a dirty look. I shook my head and softly said, “Jim, I did not leave my door open and I did not shoot you. I think they were trying to kill me. Forgive me for getting you involved in this mess. This gentleman said that you would be ok. You just lost a little blood. They are going to take you to the hospital.”

Anderson looked at me and said, “Why did you shoot the old man?”

I held my cool and said, “Look Anderson I did not shoot Jim. I wasn’t in the apartment when he got shot and I did not leave the door open. I don’t have a gun. Someone broken in and when Jim came in they must have thought it was me.”

I turned and squatted next to Jim and said, “Jim, tell me exactly what happened and don’t leave out anything.”

Jim looked around the room and then he looked directly at me and said, “I was walking down the hall and I saw your door was open. I had seen you leave a few minutes earlier and I was going to lock the door so no one could come in. When I got inside, I heard you opening and shutting drawers. You were slamming them shut. You sounded like you were madder than hell about something. I turned to leave and it felt like someone hit me with a baseball bat. I fell to the floor and felt like I was passing out. As I laid there I saw a woman come up next to me. I was wondering what she was doing in your apartment. As I was passing out I could still see her legs and those bright red high heel shoes. That all I can remember.”

I turned and gave Anderson a dirty look. He shrugs his shoulder, tilted his head to one side and give me a what can I say look. I wanted to say, “You son of a bitch, you still think I am guilty.”

I didn’t say anything. I shrugged my shoulder and shook my head.

I watched them take Jim away. I wished him luck and assured him that he would only be in the hospital for a short time and I would pay for the expense. And, he would be back to his usual self in no time.

I heard a commotion in my bed room. I peeked in. The room looked like a tornado had struck my room, if was worse than it was the last time. One officer was snapping pictures and another was dusting for finger prints.

I sat down on the couch and watched and waited. They had trampled the fries and sandwich into the clean carpet along with Jim’s blood. My thoughts returned to what Jim had said. Janet loved the color red. She always wore something red. I bet she has a dozen pair of red shoes. Did she think it was me that came into the room? Did she come here to kill me or did Jim scared her and she shoot Jim out of fright. Was she the woman that called 911? Was she in my room when she called 911 or did she use her cell phone? I walked into the bedroom and asked the officer that was taking finger prints if he would dust my phone in the living room. Without hesitating he went into the living room. Within a minutes he said, “I have a good set of prints. They look like a woman prints.”

I called Anderson; he looked at me and said, “What is on your mind?”

“I think the call to 911 was made from here. The officer said that there is a good set of woman finger prints on the phone. There has not been a woman in my apartment in a long time and I want to hit the redial when he finishes. Also, I want to listen to the 911 tapes.”  

Anderson questioned, “Do you think that it was your secretary that made the call?”

Being Shook-up by the whole mess and this being totally out of Janet’s character, I did not know what to say. I looked at Anderson as if the world had been pulled out from under me. I looked away and said, “I don’t know what to think. Janet has dozens of red shoes. I don’t remember her wearing any other color.”

Anderson did not say anything. We both watched the officer removing the prints from the phone. He held them up to the light. Anderson said, “That’s a nice set of prints. Can I make a call?”

The officer held his hand out and motioned for Anderson to go ahead. Anderson picked up the phone and hit the redial key and the speaker button. The 911 operator answered. Anderson asked the operator if she was the operator that answered a call from this number about an hour ago. After a short pause she said yes and asked if he was an officer at the crime scene? Anderson told her who he was and asks if she could play the tape of the caller. She told Anderson to hold on for a few minutes. When I heard the voice coming out of the speaker, there wasn’t any question in my mind that it was Janet. Anderson asked, “Well, do you recognize you secretary voice?”

I nodded my head and did not say a word. Anderson said, “If that was Janet that made the call. What the hell was she doing here?

I knew that they were looking for the ledger. I wasn’t going to tell Anderson about it. I looked at Anderson and said, “Hell if I know. As far as I know she has never been here. I have only seen her at work and around the bank. I have asked her out a number of times to have dinner or lunch with me. She never accepted any of my invitations and as I said, there has not been a woman in here in a long time.”   

Anderson went back to the group of officer that he was talking to. I returned to the couch. Again I thanked God that it wasn’t me that walked in on Janet and Howard. They would have killed me. Howard was doing the searching and Janet was standing guard. Did Janet think that it was me? If she did, was she there to kill me or were they still looking for that black ledger?

Anderson interrupted my thoughts. He said, “I think you better find another place to stay. They may come back? As you know I don’t want to lose you.”

I went into my bedroom and searched through the mess and gathered a few clothes. I dump all of my goodies from the bathroom into the suitcase and took off. I got into my car and drove out of the garage. Janet convertible was still blocked in by the SUV. I took a drive around the block and double parked a few blocks away. I could see who went into the building and who came out. Within an hour, the crew that was working on the crime scene took off. The two men that had been tailing me came out of the building and looked around. I could tell from their reactions that they were looking for someone. Was it Janet or me they were looking for? After walking around the block a couple of times and into the garage, they made a phone call and left. Within a couple of minutes I saw Janet come out of the building and look up and down the street. She motioned to someone inside the building. Howard peeked out of the door, and looked up and down the street. They hurried to Janet’s car. When they pulled out of the parking spot, I followed them. They went to a restaurant only a couple of blocks from the bank. They went into the restaurant. It was getting late and my lunch had been trampled into my new carpet. The hunger pains start to get to me. I was torn between eating and following Janet. The eating won. I went to a Deli a couple of blocks away and repeated the order I made at lunch. I went back to my car. Janet and Howard were still in the restaurant. At least I thought they were. Janet’s car was still parked in front of the restaurant. After I finished eating, I walked past the restaurant. I panicked. They were not in the restaurant. When I passed the bank, the police were still guarding the bank. They could not go into the bank through the front door. They had to go in through the parking lot or up the fire escape. I grabbed my over coat and the hat out of the trunk and headed to the rear of the bank. When I got close enough to the see who was at the bank, I saw Howard on the roof and Janet was climbing the fire escape. I could not stand out in the street with this outfit on. The cops that were cruise the area would pick me up.

The brick yard:

 There was an old building being torn down a block away. I could wait for them there until they came out. I hid behind a pile of bricks and waited. They had been gone for about an hour when I saw a figure pulling something across the parking lot. He or she left something next to the dumpster and went back into the building through the parking lot door. I hurried across the street to see what they had left. It was one of the banks money bags. I opened it up. It was filled with packets of money. I lifted the bag onto my shoulder and carried it to the spot where I had been hiding. I dumped the money out of the bag and filled it with bricks and carried it back across the street. Another hour passed. The figure returned dragging another bag. Again I replaced the money with bricks. Three more times they brought out bags of money. Each time I dumped the money and filled the bags with bricks. Damn it, on the fifth time there were two of them. One of them left and the other one hid next to the dumpster. Within a few minutes Janet drives up and they loaded the five bags into the rear seat and took off. I hurried down the street to my car and returned to get the money. The street was still empty. My luck was holding out. I put all of the money into the trunk and took off. In my haste, I did not look around to see if I had picked up all the packets of money. I started to return, but I changed my mind. When I got to my apartment the SUV and the two passengers were parked in their usual spot. I turned before I reached my building. I parked the car a couple of blocks from my apartment and walked the rest of the way. I looked up at my apartment and the lights were on. I did not know who was up there and I did not want to explain where I had been and what I had been doing. I headed for a motel near the storage locker and took a room for the night.

Fear strikes me:

With the trunk of car filled with millions of dollars. I could not fall asleep. I could not believe how wide awake I was. Fear of the money being taken away from me filled my sole. I wanted to go out to the car and bring the money inside. I couldn’t, someone will see me for sure. It would take me hours to take it in. I took a shower and tried to relax, I could not. Why was I so worried about someone stealing the money from me? I rolled and tossed until the sun rose. I did not know if I had fallen to sleep and dreamed or my mind was flashing thousands of thoughts at me.

Surprisingly, I was wide awake. Until this moment, I had not thought about the consequences of what I had been doing. I could spend the rest of my life in prison if I was caught with the money. Emotionally, I was in shock. I felt like I was in a cage and every creature on this earth was trying to kill me. A thousand police were chasing after me. I thought that they had surrounded the motel. I peeked out the window dozens of times. Fortunately, I did not see anyone. This did not clam me down. I felt that my world was about to collapse around me. When the sun lit up the windows, without taking a shower and brushing my teeth, I took off to the wrecked building to see if I had taken all the money that I had dumped. I pulled up in front of the lot and looked around. There was no one in site. I climbed out of the car and walked past the pile of bricks. I look around and didn’t see any of the money. I wheeled around to go back to the car, as I turned; I caught a glimpse of a packet of money sticking out from behind a brick. I went back and picked up the packet and shoved it under my shirt. A voice rang out. Someone yelled, “Put that brick down.”

I froze, it scared the shit out of me, and I looked around. I did not see anyone. I thought that I was going to piss in my pants. Then I hear laughter. I looked up and spotted a man looking out a window on the third floor. I wanted to kill him, but I kept my cool and said, “Hey, I only need one for a door stop.”

He was still laughing and he said, “Take all you want. The construction crew will be happy as hell if all of them were stolen. I am sorry I frightened you. You would never believe how many people steal a brick or two. I get a kick out of watching them. As I said, go ahead and take as many as you want.”

I reached down and picked up a brick, and with the brick in my hand, I waved goodbye and thanked him.

I headed out to the storage locker. With all that money in the back of the car, if I am stopped and they find the money, they will put me away for live. I wanted to get a look at the money before I put it in the storage locker; I stopped the car in a lonely spot along the highway and got out. I looked both ways to see if anyone was coming. A car was heading in my direction. I pretended to be checking my tires until they had passed. I hurriedly went to the rear of the car and opened the trunk. I almost passed out. The damn trunk was packed full. I quickly pulled the packet from my shirt and added it to the pile. I slammed the trunk shut and just stood there for a moment. I got back into my car and looked into my rear view mirror. A police car was pulling up behind me. Holly shit. I told myself to be calm. Take a deep breath and go see what he wants. A shock wave of fear flooded my body. I pull out into the road and a siren whaled. I pulled back onto the shoulder and got out. With my heart in my mouth, I headed for the police cruiser. He was still in the cruiser when I got to him. I asked, “Why did you sound the siren?”

He motioned to me to hold on. He listened for a few minutes then said, “Why were you stopped on this road? Were you taking a leak?”

With the fear that was flowing through my body, I forced a smile and said, “No, I hit a pothole back there. I wanted to see if it bent the rim.”

He asked for my driver’s license. I pulled my wallet out of my pocket and showed him my license. I tried to stay calm. Inside of me I was having convulsions. I was praying that Anderson wasn’t looking for me and he wasn’t going to inspect my car. He fumbled around on the radio for a few more minutes and then he said, “It’s not a good idea to stop along this road. We have had a number of carjacking along this road. Where are you headed?”

 I did not want to lie to him about my destination and said, “I have a storage locker down here. I am planning on getting a boat and trailer. There is no room in the parking area at my apartment for an extra car much less a boat and a trailer. I don’t have enough room for all of my furniture in my apartment. I had to store part of it down here. What I couldn’t put in my apartment, I had to store it and I sold most of it.”

The officer interrupted me and said, “I know what you mean. With a wife and two kids, I don’t have enough room to breathe.”

I laughed and said, “I can’t invite anyone over for dinner. There is not enough room for two people to sit in the breakfast nook.”

A voice came over the radio. Someone had an accident a couple miles back down the road. He slightly waved and made a u-turn and sped away. He yelled to me that I may have broken the rear spring on my car, and it was quite low in the back. I glanced at my car then yelled back, “I will have to get it checked. It is quite low."

I wondered if the tires were rubbing against the wheel well. I could not stick my finger between the wheel and the wheel well. I drove into a shopping mall down the road and went into an office supply store and purchase a dozen boxes. My next problem, where in hell can I find a spot to put the money into the boxes so I can move it around? I can’t package the money in my garage. If someone isn’t leaving, someone is arriving. There is a parade of people going to the laundry. It had started to drizzle and I could not do it outside, the boxes would get wet and fall apart. I went to the storage office. It was closed. I drove around inside the complex looking for a sheltered area where no one could see me. There wasn’t any. When I was driving around the complex, I had seen a kid cleaning out a larger stall. It was big enough to park a car in it. I could not park my car in my stall. I drove to the large stall and the kid was just closing the door. I stopped and asked him if I could use the stall for about an hour. A first he wasn’t very cooperative. I pulled out a twenty and his eyes lit up. Without taking his eyes off of the twenty, he said, “Sure you can use it all night if you want to.”

I smiled and he grabbed the twenty. He asked, “What are you going to with the stall for only an hour?”

I pointed to the boxes in the car and said, “I have some clothes and books that I want to store in my stall. I don’t want to get them wet.”

          The kid turned and said, “Just shut the door when you are finished.”

          I backed the car into the stall and unfolded and double taped the boxes. I did not want the money to fall out the bottom of the box. It took me over two hours to transfer the money into the boxes, pack the boxes back into the car, drive them over to my locker and stack them in my locker. When I finished I headed for my apartment. When I pulled into the garage I waved at my two tails. The one on the driver’s side jumped out and tried to wave me down. I continued to my parking spot. As I was getting out he was entering the garage. With a voice of exhaustion he shouts, “Where in hell have you been? We never saw you leave.”

          I waited until he got over to my car. He was still panting. Between gasping for a breath of air, he said, “We did not see you leave. When did you leave? We have to put the time you left your apartment, when you came back and where you went to. Anderson is going to kill us.”

          I said, “I waved at you guys when I left this morning. I could not stay in the apartment because it is a crime scene. There is only a bed in the other apartment. I can’t keep any food in there. I have to eat sometimes. As far as I am concerned, you can put anything you want to in the report and I will agree with it. By the way, I am getting a little horny. I promise you that I won’t get into any trouble. You both can sleep tonight and I won’t tell Anderson .”

          I took off and watched the expression on his face. I had to choke myself to keep from laughing. I laughed at myself, where in hell am I going to get a little feminine attention? I could not get any before, why do I think that I can get some now?  I took a shower, shaved, brushed my teeth, and put on the only other suit that I had packed last night.

          The bank was like a magnet. I could not help but drive by. The security was still there. There were no cars in the parking lot. I passed the bar where I had parked my car last night. Without thinking I pulled into the parking lot. I asked myself, “Why in hell did I pull into this parking lot? I was headed for a strip joint on the other side of town. They don’t give a damn what you look like as long as you keep stuffing money in their g-string.  

Janet (Kill the bastard):

          We fucked up twice. It was Howard idea to bust in on Ted at his apartment. Both attempts failed. Both times he wasn’t a home. I don’t want to try that again. We will stake out his apartment building and follow him to some joint and grab him in the parking lot.  Maybe we will get him this time. We have Ted’s confession typed up. All we need now is his signature, take him to his apartment and blow his brains out. I had finally convinced Howard that we had to get a signed confession. The FBI still have not charger Ted with the embezzlement. I don’t know why they have not arrested him yet. Howard came in my room and looked down at me. The way he looked at my body, I knew what he wanted to day. I reached over and pulled a gun out of the night table and said to Howard, “Let’s get the show on the road.”

          Howard looked me up and down again and begged, “Let’s do it now. I will be too tired when we get home.”

          I aimed the pistol at Howard and said, “Howard, we have to kill Ted and plant the confession before we do anything else. Get your coat and let’s go.”

          Howard drove down to Ted’s apartment building. We had no idea if Ted was home or not. I knew that he never ate dinner at home. I was hoping that he would go out tonight and we were not too late. After Howard parked, I saw the SUV that block us in the last time we tried to kill Ted. I knew Howard would chicken out if he knew that the FBI was watching Ted’s apartment building. I turned to Howard and said, “Let me drive.”

          Howard looked at me said, “What far.”

          “Howard, I know the city and Ted’s habit better than you do. You will probably lose him.”

          Howard grumbled for a few minutes and was not going to let me drive. I pulled the pistol out of my coat pocket and said, “Get the fuck out of the car.”

          When he turned and started to blast me. When he saw the gun pointed at his nose, I thought that he was going to piss in his pants. I had never seen him move this fast. We changed seat and he did not open his mouth again.

          Over and hour had passed. Ted pulled out of the garage and stopped.  He looked both ways and made a right turn. He waved at the guys in the SUV. The men in the SUV waved back and turned on the headlight and pulled out into the street. I put up behind Ted car. The SUV made a u-turn and pulled up behind me. Ted took off. I did not know if he was trying to shake the FBI that were flowering him or me. With the FBI on my tail, I could not kidnap Ted. I let Ted’s car get a few blacks ahead of me. The stop light turned amber. I could have made it through the light, but I stopped for the light. I saw Ted car make a left turn. He was heading down town. At the next block I turned off and headed for the bank. He was probably headed for one of the restaurants close to the bank. I took off. There was no traffic at this time of night. I ran through two red lights. I was running parallel with Ted. I made a right turn at the next block and saw Ted car cross the intersection. I turned and followed Ted. He was only a couple block ahead of me. Howard asked, “Where do you think he is going?”

          “Since I have known him he always eats dinner down town. He hangs around the bars hoping to pick up some chick. Most of the women won’t give him the time of day.”

          “Don’t lose him Janet; he is at least three blocks ahead of you.”

           “Damn it Howard, I don’t want to make it obvious that we are following him. By the time he parks his car and locks it up, we will be on his back.”

          After a few moments of silence Howard said, “That bastard is headed for the bank.”

          “Don’t be so sure of yourself. I told you that he always comes down her to eat his dinner. He will probably park his car at the bank and wall over to one the night spots. Look. He is slowing down at the bank. I wonder if he is going to try to break in.”

          Howard quickly said, “It he goes in to the bank. I'll kill the bastard.”

          Janet asked, “Do you think that he know about the money on the tenth floor?”

          “How in hell would he know about it unless you told him?”

          The bastard slowed down at the bank, but he did not stop. He pulled into the parking lot of a restaurant. I yelled to Howard, “Take the pistol and go get him.”

          Howard took the pistol. I park on the street next to the restaurant. Howard jumped out and jugged up into the parking lot. Suddenly he stops and looks back at me. I motioned for him to go get him. Howard heads back to the car. I lowered the window on the passenger’s side and said to him, “Why in hell did you stop?”

          “There was a woman in the parking lot waiting for Ted.”

          I looked past Howard and saw a couple going into the restaurant. I asked, “Why didn’t you bring the both of them back with you.”

          Howard yelled, “What in hell are we going to with the woman?”

          “Blow her fucking brains out. She was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Get into the car. We will wait until they come out.”

          An hour passed. They were still in the restaurant. I got out of the car and walked over to the restaurant and looked through the window. They had not started to eat yet. I went back to the car and Howard was asleep. I slammed the car door. Howard jumps and yells, “What happened?”

          “Wake up damn it. It looks like we have a long wait. They haven’t started to eat yet.”

Ted (I got picked up):

          I started the car and started to pull out when I heard a sexy voice say, “Honey, why are you leaving? You just got here. Come on in and buy me a drink.”

          I asked myself, “Where in hell did she come from?”

          I looked through the driver’s side rear view mirror and saw the woman that had tipped me last night walking between the cars behind me. She reaches her hand into the car and caresses my cheek. Her smooth, soft hands felt wonderful last night and they felt wonderful tonight. She pulled her hands away and said, “Please come in with me and I will pay for the drinks. I don’t like to go into a bar alone.”

I smiled at her, nodded my head and silently said, “I would love to, but the drinks and dinner is on me.”

 I pushed the button to raise the window. I climbed out of the car and said, “Sweetheart, why would a beautiful young lady like you want to go out with anyone that looks like me.”

She pulled me down, gave me a peck on my cheek and said, “Because you are a handsome, rugged looking young man and you are just the type of man I like.”

          I stuck out my elbow and she latched on to it. Without saying anything to each other we walked across the parking lot. When we reached the entrance to the bar she said to me, “Haven’t we met?”

          Oh my God. She recognized me from last night. The way her questing eyes looked at me, I knew that she had recognized me. I said, “I don’t think so. I would never forget a beautiful young lady like you.”

          “You are so sweet. If we had met, I would have remembered you. No one has ever been this nice to me. But, I don’t forget faces. I have seen you someplace.”

          I said, “It could have been inside this bar. I have seen you in here a number of times.”  

          “Yes, I have seen you in here also. That is not where I remember seeing you. You have not frequented this restaurant for a long time. I have a good memory for faces. Give me some time and I will remember where I saw you last.”

          Her name was Pamela and she told me to call her Pam. We had a couple of drinks. We did not talk about our personal lives. But, we talked about everything else. When I asked Pam about her personal life, she would side step the question. We spent the next two hours talking about everything except our personal lives.

I was getting hungry and the three drinks were starting to play games with my empty stomach. I asked her if she would join me for dinner. She accepted my invitation, but she said that she had already had her dinner. She might have a little desert. During dinner, the conversation was about where we would like to live. Surprisingly, we both wanted to live in a warmer climate, but not in the United States .

We had finished dinner over an hour ago and it was getting late. We walked outside. I offer to take Pam home. She declined and said that she never lets anyone take her home. I assured her that I would not insist on going in her home with her. She reaches up and pulled my head down and gave me a kiss then said, “Just flag down a cab for me. We will say goodnight here.”

We talked, kissed, cuddled our warm bodies and waited for a cab to drive by. I was disappointed that she did not tell me more about herself. Was she married and cheating on her husband? Was she living with someone? Was she a lesbian or a prostitute? Why didn’t she tell me something about her personal life? She never questioned me about my life. Was she out for a drink and our paths crossed or was she waiting in the parking lot for a trick? Sex never came up during the whole evening. Who was the guy that she was with the last night? I tried to convince myself that I did not come here because I wanted to fine a hooker. Was Pam a hooker? If she was, why didn’t she let me go home with her? I have gone out with prostitutes. I never pick them up on the streets. If I had been arrested for procuring a whore and Peterson had found out about it, he would black ball my ass and I could never get another job. The first thing the personnel manager asked, have you ever been arrested or did anything that was a crime.

My thoughts were interrupted when a cab came by. I stepped into the street and flagged it down. I opened the door for Pam. She gave me a lingering kiss and climbed into the cab. I gave the driver a twenty. Pam took the twenty out of the drivers hand and handed it to me. I did not take it. As the cab pulled away, she dropped the twenty. We looked at each other as the cab drove away. I shook my head and through her a kiss. She returned the kiss. I looked down and picked up the twenty.

Pam:

                All of my life I have been looking for a man like Ted. His demeanor is completely different than any of the men that I have known. I can’t believe I treated him the way I did. Never have I met a man that was as carrying, affectionate, and considerate. He put up with me and never forced himself on me. Yet, I felt the affection he had for me. I started to ask the cab driver to take me back to the bar. I wanted him with me. He will probably be gone by the time I get back. What the hell, I said to the driver, “Would you please take me back to where you picked me up.”

          The driver mad a u-turn and headed back to the bar. The cab driver pulled into the parking lot. Ted car was still there. The bar was closed and Ted was nowhere around. I got out of the cab and looked around. I saw a blue car leaving. I want to kick myself in the butt. Why didn’t I open up to Ted and let him go home with me? He only wanted to know what anyone would want to know when they are out with someone on their first date.

          Furious with myself, I got back in the cab and told the driver to take me home.

Ted was kidnapped:

As soon as the cab was out of sight, my thought returned to Pam. I was so deeply engrossed about the evening with Pam that I did not see anyone near or around my car. I unlocked the car and sat down. I felt a cold object against the back of my neck. A voice that I knew too well told me to get out of the car and don’t turn around. She said, “See the blue car at the end of the block?”

I looked around and said, “Yes I do.”

It was Howard’s car.  Janet said, “I want you to walk over there and get into the driver’s seat.”

Knowing what Janet had done to Jim, I was not going to challenge her. For some reason, I wasn’t scared or frightened. It felt like a normal request. I did not panic. I got out of my car and locked it with my remote. I walked in the street to the blue car and climbed into the driver’s seat. She opened the rear door and told me to follow her instructions. When Janet got in the car the overhead light turned on. I glanced in the rear view mirror and saw Howard sitting next to Janet on the passenger side of the car. Her instruction weaved us through the back streets of the city. I think she did not want me to remember the direction to where she was taking me. When we reached her home, Janet told me to pull into the garage and use the remote to close the garage door. As I was pulling into the garage next to her car, I noticed the money bags filled with bricks were still in the back seat of her car. As soon as the car stopped, Janet slid a pillowcase over my head and wrapped a rope around my neck and tied a knot. The damn rope was chocking me. I saw Howard get out of the car and walk around it. Someone opened the driver side front door. Another voice that I knew told me to get out of the car. Still remembering what had happened to Jim, I was not going to try to get away. I wanted to know why they kidnapped me. Howard tied my hands behind my back and guided me into the house and sat me on a couch. Fortunately, the pillowcase did not block my vision. I could see through it. The figures were slightly blurred. Janet and Howard huddled on the other side of the room and whispered. They came over to me and untied my hands. Janet put a pen in my hand. They placed my hand on a tablet and told me to sign my name. I obliged them, but it wasn’t my usual signature. It was similar to my signature, but it did not have the slant and the swiftness that I usually use on all the documents that I have to sign. Howard and Janet went over to a table and compared the signature with something that I had signed. They looked like two happy kids rejoicing over something they had accomplished. They retied my hands and guided me through the house and up a flight of stairs to a bathroom. They had a strap for a padlock screwed to the door. Howard shoved me into the bathroom and slammed the door shut. I heard them put a pad lock on the door and it snapped. I turned the light on and looked around. I turned the water on and pickup a bar of soap from the sink. I bent over and took a drink. My mouth and throat were bone dry. I lathered up the soap and rubbed it on my wrist. After struggling for a few minutes, I slid one of my hands out of the rope. I tried to untie the rope around my neck. The damn knot was too tight and it was hard to breath.  I rummaged through a drawer and found a disposable razor. I broke the plastic that was holding the blade and took out the blade. I cut a slot in the pillowcase so I could see the rope around my neck in the mirror. It was quite tight. I looked at myself in the mirror and asked myself, “What the fuck are they up to.”

Little by little I cut through the rope. I put my ear to the door and listened. They had gone downstairs. I heard them talking, but I could not make out what they were saying. I looked at the door. It opened into the bathroom. The hinge pins were on my side of the door. I was in luck. The hinge pins had worked their way upward for about a quarter of an inch. I looked around for something to drive the pin out of the hinge. I took a can of shaving cream and pushed on the pin. It did not budge. I look in the medicine cabinet for something to lubricate the pins. I found a bottle of sun tanning oil. I poured a little on each hinge. I sat and waited for the oil to seep down into the pin hole.

While I was waiting, I listened to hear what Janet and Howard were doing. From what little I could hear Janet was running the show. They were discussing what they were going to do with the money that was still on the tenth floor and the money that was in the backseat of Janet’s car. I could not make out the exact details to their plans. The best that I could figure, they were going to load the money on a boat and take it to one of the banks in Central America that Howard had transferred part of the twenty million that he had embezzled. I chuckled to myself, the money is long gone. It would take him years to find where I transferred the money to, if ever. I looked around the bath room for something to defend myself with. The only thing that would do any damage was the razor blade. They would shoot me before I hurt them with the blade. I put it in my pocket anyway.

I picked up the can of shaving cream and pushed up on the bottom hinge pin. It was still a little hard to push. I tapped it a little harder and the pin flew out on the socket and ricocheted across the bathroom. The noise scared the shit out of me. A flash of fright went through me. I sat motionless for a few minutes and listened. I held my breath. I did not hear them running up the stairs. They must not have heard the hinge pin ricocheting around the room. I let out the air in my lungs and took a deep breath. I listen again. From the conversation, they were still on the first floor. I put the shaving cream can under the pin head of another hinge and tapped it slightly. The center and top pin came off very easily. The pins literally fell out of the hinge socket.

I did not want to remove the door until Janet and Howard went to bed. I listened and waited for over an hour before they went to bed. I put my finger under the door and pulled. The door slid off of the hinge plate. I put my hands next to the center hinge plate and pulled. The door creaked and opened slightly. There wasn’t enough room for me to squeeze out the door. I turned the door knob and pulled on it. The door opened slightly. Again I opened the door on the hinged side. I pulled as hard as I could. The door opened a little more. I tried again to squeeze out the hinge side of the door. I pulled in my gut and made it into the hall. I could hear Howard sawing wood. Janet wasn’t making a sound. There were night lights on all over the house. Every turn that I made, I expected to see Janet with a gun pointing at me. I was afraid to leave the house. When they brought me in I saw an alarm controller next to the front door closet. If I tried to leave through the first floor, the alarm night go off.  I looked out the windows on the second floor. I could not see how far it was to the ground. I opened the window and looked down. I still could not judge the distance to the ground. I did not want to take the chance. With my luck and overweight, I would surely break my neck.

 I needed a place to hide and sleep where they could not find me. I could easily sleep in one of the closets, but they would find me. There was an access to the attic in one of the bedroom closets on the second floor. I needed a ladder to get up in it. I continued to search the second floor; I did not want to kill myself jumping out one of the windows. I eased down the stairs. When I got to the first floor, the front door was like a magnet. I went over to the door.  I turned the deadbolt handle. I put my hand on the door handle and turned it. I hesitated before I pulled on the door; I heard footsteps coming in my direction. A flash of fear shot thought my body. I tried not to panic.  I quickly slid into the closet next to the front door. When I opened the door, I noticed a recessed handle on the floor.  In the dark I felt for the handle. I found it and pulled up on it. A section of the floor rose up. I took the small lamp on my key chain and shinned the light into the crawl space below the floor. The dirt was covered with sheets of plastic. I eased down into the crawl space and replaced the cover. I laid back and listen to Janet roaming the house. What the hell was she doing? I heard the foot step heading to the front door. I held my breath. Janet stopped for a moment. I could hear her walking away from the front door. I could no longer hear her footsteps. I lay back down and closed my eyes. I was dead tired. I did not want to fall asleep. I fought to stay awake. I could feel myself fading away. A blood curdling scream brought me back to life. Howard yelled to Janet, “What’s the matter?”

Janet yelled back to Howard and said, “That fucking bastard is gone.”

I could hear Howard running up the stairs. Howard and Janet were cursing at each other with every step they made while searching the house. Howard yelled, “He couldn’t have gotten out of the house, the alarm would have gone off.”

 They both were searching the second floor; I had forgotten to shut one of the windows. Howard yelled, “That son of a bitch jumped out the window.”

It was silent for a few minutes. I could hear them talking but I could not make out what they were saying.

I wasn’t stupid enough to jump out the window. If I had jumped and landed on my feet I would have broken both leg and pushed my knees up to my neck.

 I heard footsteps coming down the stairs. Howard was asking Janet what they were going to do. Janet said, “We are going to find the bastard and take him back to his apartment and kill him. We will make it look like a suicide and leave the confession that he signed. You will resign and we will take off.”

The crawl space was a little chilly. The words from the whore brought hatred and rage into my sole and it heated my body. Now that I knew that they were planning to kill me, I had to get out of here. Knowing how cold blooded Janet was I could not do anything foolish. She missed the chance of killing me when she shot Jim. She would not hesitate to blow my brains out now.

They did not go back to bed. They started preparing to take off. But, first they had to find me. For the next few hours, they were packing things they wanted to take with them. I could hear them talking about the money on the tenth floor of the bank. Janet said that with the money that they had transferred and the money in the car, they could forget about it. Howard wanted to make one more trip to the bank. Janet shouted, “You stupid fool, Ted is roaming around out there someplace. He knows damn well that it was us that kidnapped him. He saw my car in the garage. We can’t waste any time. Go pack the money that is in the car in those cardboard boxes we bought. We can’t be seen with those money bags. It will draw a lot of attention to us.”

Howard said, “I hope you bought small boxes. Those money bags were too damn heavy.”

Janet responded, “I could not pick them up. They were too heavy and I had to drag them to the dumpster.”

Ted:

Things were quiet for a while. I was about to piss in my pants. I stood up on my knees, zipped down my pants and sprayed the plastic sheets. I thought about the night I pissed on the crowd and let out a silent chuckle.

My bladder was overflowing. I should have pissed when I was in the bathroom. My knees started to feel something worm. I did not want to believe what I was thinking, I took out my key chain light and shined it where I though the piss was. The damn piss was draining back in my direction. I jumped out of the way and bumped my head on the floor joists. I felt like my head had been knocked off of my shoulders. I heard Janet hollow to Howard, "What the hell was that?"

I rolled away from the piss and grabbed my aching head. Howard said, “Damn it, he is still in the house. Get the gun.”

For the next hour, they searched and cursed me. They finally gave up and through that the noise had came from outside their home. I heard Howard open the door to the garage. About five minutes later he screamed, “Janet, get your ass out here. Where is the damn money?”

Janet yelled back, “It’s in the car. Did Ted take it with him?”

“I don’t know. Come out here and look at this.”

Fuming and cursing, Janet hurried out to the garage and shouted, “The damn money is in the car.”

Howard must have pulled a brick out of one of the bags. Janet yelled, “Where did you get the brick?”

“It was in the bag. All the bags are filled with bricks.”

A shouting match exploded, they were accusing each other for stealing the money. I chuckled to myself, “The honor between thieves.”

Both of them tried to figure out who could have switched the money to bricks. They both felt that one of their neighbors had stolen the money. They spent an hour trying to figure out which neighbor had seen them come home with the money bags in Janet’s car. They had not opened the last bag they brought out of the bank. Now I was curious, what happened to the last bag that Janet brought out of the bank?

I was wondering how long they would be hanging around the house. My pants were wet with piss. The dinner I had last night was ready to make and exit and I was freezing my balls off. They had been silent for a long time. They had not said a word. I could hear them running around the house. What were they doing? I crawled around under the house. I could not find another way to get out. If they don’t leave soon, I am going to leave them a gift package in the crawl space. Howard broke the silence. He yelled, “Janet.”

Janet yelled back, “What the hell do you want.”

“Damn it Janet, get your ass out here.”

Grumbling, Janet yelled out, “Shut up, I am coming.”

The profanity and sarcasm that Janet was using didn’t sound like the Lillie white bitch that worked with me. I heard the door to the garage being slammed shut and Janet said boastfully, “What the fuck do you want?”

Howard said, “The son of a bitch missed this bag. We are going back to the bank and get the rest of the money. I stashed at least fifty million in hundred dollar bills up there.”

Janet yelled out, “My whole body still aches. The damn bags are too damn heavy. We have enough money outside the country. You are getting to fucking greedy. If you get caught I am leaving the country. Don’t ever try to find me. They will be trying to find the rest of the money. I don’t want to be linked to you. I don’t want to spend one day in prison, much less the rest of my life.”

Howard yells, “Damn you Janet, It’s worth the chance. You can take off now if you want. I am tired of your fucking whining over everything I do. But, before you go, we have to fine Ted Wallace. That bastard will tell the FBI that we kidnapped him. We have to shut that bastard up.”

Janet cursed, “I don’t know how in hell he got out of the house without us hearing him.”

In frustration, Howard shouted, “We have looked all over the house. Face it, he’s gone. I am going over to his apartment and kill him. I though you killed him the last time we were there. I could not look at him when we left the house.”

I yelled silently to myself, “Get the fuck out of the house and go look for me.”

I laid back and waited. The next fifteen minutes seemed like eternity. They did not say another word to each other. When I heard the garage door shut. I wasn’t sure that they both had left. I raised the cover. Thankful the door was closed. The little light that came from under the door was enough for me to see the inside of the closet. I listened. There wasn’t a sound. I eased the door open, and looked around the living room. I walked over to the front door and looked out. There wasn’t anyone around. When I cruised the neighborhood looking for Janet’s home, the streets were bare. I did not see anyone looking out their windows, no children playing in the streets or joggers. I creped through the house to make sure that Janet was not here. That cold blooded bitch will kill me without blinking an eye.

I had noticed that Janet and Howard had their own bedrooms. Beds in both of the bedrooms had not been made. I looked in the mirror and saw the filth that I had wallowed in. I sat down on the throne relieved myself. I could not hold it any longer.

 I rummage through Howard wardrobe and picked out a change of cloth.   I took a quick shower and put on Howard cloths. They were a fair fit. The waist line was a little tight.

I saw the refrigerator. I opened it and grabbed some cold cut and a loaf of bread. As I was gulping the last drop of milk, I heard the sound of a car. A cold chill ran through me. I wondered why they had come back. I quickly put on my shoes and hid in Howard’s closet. I listen for the sound of the garage door opening. I waited and did not hear it open. I creped out of the closet and looked out the window. The neighbor across the street was leaving. The garage door was closing. I took a deep breath and put myself into high gears. I scavenged around the house. The place was like an armory. There were weapons in every room. One of the nightstand in Janet’s room was loaded with guns of all types and they all were loaded. I took one and put it in my jacket pocket. Never in my life would I have thought she was this cruel. The Janet that worked for me was an angle. In my wildest dreams, I would have never thought that see would kill someone. On the nightstand was a set of keys. I had seen those keys on Janet’s desk at work. I always wondered why she had so many damn keys. She never put them in her purse. When she left for the day she would carry them in her hands. I grabbed the keys and headed for the garage. They must have taken Howard’s car. I saw the money bags with bricks in them. Where was the bag with the money in it? I looked in all the bags and removed the top layer of bricks from all the bags hoping that Howard had hidden the money under a layer of bricks. I didn’t find the bag with the money in it. I looked inside of Janet’s car. It wasn’t there. Now, I was getting greedy. I had to find that bag of money. I pushed the trunk button on the remote key. The lid popped up. I laughed and grabbed the bag, looked inside and let out a silent shout.

With the devilish side of me, I put one of the bags of bricks in the trunk and closed the trunk. I jumped in the front seat and pushed the garage door remote. Tuned the ignition key and the engine came alive. As I backed out of the garage, I raised the tinted windows. I hit the garage door remote as soon as the car cleared the door. I was on my way.

I stopped at my storage locker and took the money from the trunk with me. I went inside and shut the door. When I dumped the money out of the bag, the bag was half way filled with bricks. I put the money that was left in the bag into a cardboard box and taped it shut like all the others. I wondered who had taken to half of the bag of money.

I opened the storage locker door and looked outside. There was no one around. I put the money bag with the bricks in the trunk. I was hoping that no one would notice Janet’s car.  

When I was about four blocks from my car, I parked Janet’s car in a no parking zone. I knew that within a day, her car would be towed away. The towing company would not or were not required to notify the owner of the car until about a month later. Janet would go crazy when she got home and her car was gone. She would kill someone if they scratched the car. It was her pride and joy. I think the car was the only thing she loved.

I walked over to my car. I saw my cell phone on the passenger seat. Thank God I did not take it with me last night. I headed for my apartment. I wasn’t sure what I would find. I wanted to call the FBI and tell them that Janet and Howard had kidnapped me. I changed my mind. They would not believe me. I thought that I would call Anderson and ask him if I could go back to my apartment. The phone rang for a long time. Finally someone else answered. The voice said, “Agent Anderson is not available now. Would you like to leave a message and I will have him call you when he returns.”

Not sure of want to say, I asked, “When will Agent Anderson be available.”

The voice on the other end said, “My I ask who is calling.”

I give him my name and he said, “Mister Wallace, I will have him call you. I think there has been another problem at your apartment.”

I pulled my car to the side of the street and waited. What in hell has happened now? I was hoping they had caught Janet and Howard. As the time passed, all type of scenarios flashed through my mind, what the hell is going on? I am not going back to my apartment now. What am I going to tell him? I lost my tail last night or they did not bother to follow me. Anyway, I never spotted them. A million thoughts flashed through my mind. Which one was it? The cell phone rang. It scared the hell out of me and brought me back to life. I fumbled with it for a while, and nervously answered it. “Hello.”

Anderson shouted out, “Where in hell have you been? We have been looking all over for you. There was a commotion at your apartment earlier this morning. By the time my men got to your apartment, you were gone whoever was involved had disappeared.”

My mind was a blank; I did not know what to say to him. My lie about having Labyinthitis worked, why not try it. I cleared my throat and said, “My old problem popped up again last night. I went out for dinner and met a wonderful young lady. I had a little too much to drink and my Labyinthitis problem returned. If the cops had stopped me they would have arrested me for DWI. With my present problem, I don’t need any more problems. I slept in my car. Now, what the hell happened at my apartment?”

“As I said, by the time my men got to your apartment, no one was there. There were bullet holes all over your apartment. Do you have a gun?”

I reached into my pocket and felt the pistol, I said, “No, I have never had the need for one.”

Anderson said, “I think you better get one. Someone is trying to kill you. Where are you now?”

I did not want to tell him where I was. I answered. “I am parked on the street a few blocks from where I slept. I called your office to find out if I could go back to my apartment. Have they picked someone to run the bank?”

  Anderson let out a long breath and said, “As far as we are concerned, you can go back to your apartment. But, I would not go back there to stay. I think someone wants you dead. I don’t know why, do you have any suggestion?”

I shouted, “Hell yes. Someone is trying to blame me for embezzling money from the bank and they have been pointing the blame at me. If I am dead, they hope that you will stop the investigation. Does that give you any ideas as to who might be the real embezzler?”

Without answering my question he said, “Since it is not you. Who would you point your finger at?”

I snapped back at Anderson and said, “You are asking the one that you think embezzled the money from the bank. How should I know, I haven’t the slightest idea. It could be anyone of the board of directors and anyone else that works at the bank including me. Most if not all of them have been working at the bank for some time. They know as much about the operation of the bank as I do. It could be someone on the internet messing around. Has anyone investigated that possibility?”

Anderson mumbles and said, “We have left that up to the Banking Authority. Look Ted, they haven’t decided what they are going to do about picking someone to run the bank yet. As I said, before you go back to your apartment find someplace else to live. If you see anyone besides my men, don’t stop and confront them. Call me and head for my office. Tell me where you are and I will send a team out to pick you up. Stay in touch and good luck.”

I thanked Anderson and hung up. If it was Janet and Howard that shot up my room, they are probably gone by now. If they didn’t go back home they might have gone to the bank. I headed for the bank. I was only a few blocks away. As I approached the bank, I saw Howard’s car parked across the street from the bank. Janet was sitting on the passenger side. I thought that they must be crazy. Maybe not, Howard was still the manager of the bank. I pulled into a parking spot, got out and put four quarters in the meter. I would wait and see what Howard was going to do.

I was glad that I was their tail. I watched them for about ten minutes. Finally Howard gets out of the car and walks over to the bank. He looked around the corner and then heads back. He kicks the ground and slams his fist into the brick wall quite hard. He grabs his fist with the other hand. The pain must be killing him. I chuckled and thought, “You crazy fool. You can’t break down the wall of the bank with your fist.”

Howard was nursing his fist and kicking the walk. He trips and falls flat on his face. He laid there for a few minutes then rolls over to the side of the building and leans back against the building. I could see the blood running down his face. For a moment, I felt sorry for him. That went away quickly. That’s the bastard that is trying to kill me.

I was starting to get hungry. The cold cuts and the milk did not fill me. I had seen a small grocery store down the street. I didn’t want to draw Howard attention to me. I climbed over to the passenger side of the car and got out. I looked at Howard. Janet was walking in his direction. I quickly got out of the car and headed in the opposite direction. I went into the grocery and grabbed the few things that I needed. I had peeked out the front of the grocery a couple of times. Janet and Howard had started to return to their car. I checked out at the register and headed back to my car. I shielded my face with the grocery bag. Janet was helping Howard into passenger side of the car. I knew from the way he looked, Howard was in no condition to hunt me down tonight.

I headed back to my apartment. The FBI tail was not at their regular spot. I circled around the block and didn’t see anyone in the cars nor Howard’s car. I drove into the garage and took the space of an empty apartment. If by any chance they came back later and did not see my car in my parking spot they might think I had not returned home.

I went to my apartment and cautiously open the door. I flipped on the light switch and said, “Is anyone home?”

I waited. I did not hear a reply. It was deadly quiet. I heard the squeak of a door behind me. I thought I would faint. I spun around. A familiar voice whispered, “Hey Ted.”

I saw Tommy motioning for me to come into his apartment. I shut my door and locked it. I noticed that someone had torn away the lock catch on the door frame. Locking the door would not help. I went over to Tommy’s apartment. He ushered me in, locked and bolted the door. He turned and said, “We had a little excitement at your apartment early this morning. On my way out for breakfast, I saw your door ajar and went over to ask you to join me. I said hey and all hell broke loose. Bullets were flying everywhere. I dashed back across the hall and bolted my door. The bullets were still flying after I was in my apartment. When they stopped, I peeked out through the door and saw a man and woman dashing down the hall. A couple of minutes later, the men from the FBI that were stationed on the corner came running down the hall with their guns drawn. They went into your apartment. The lights were still on. They were in your apartment for a few minutes. When they came out they looked up and down the hall. They started knocking on apartment doors. No one wanted to open the doors for them. They answered the officer’s questions from inside their apartment. When they came to my apartment, I opened the door. They asked me if I had seen anyone around. I told them that when I heard the bullet flying I was in the bath room. I jumped into the old iron bathtub and stayed there until the shooting stopped. I did dive into the bathtub. The bullets were coming into my apartment. I thought that they had seen me. Anyway, when I finally went out for breakfast I saw the bullet holes in your door. The bullets continued across the hall into my apartment. If our doors were not offset they would have killed me.”

I asked, “Why didn’t you tell the FBI what you saw?”

Tommy tilted his head to one side and squinted then said, “I did not recognize them through the peep hole and their faces were distorted. I could not have identified them anyway. Not only that, the FBI would tie me up for the next year asking question. If I were you, I would not stay over there. Those bastards will probably come back. ”

I told Tom that I didn’t think that they would return tonight after all the excitement this morning. I thanked him and went over to my apartment. They had not done any searching, but the walls were peppered with bullet holes. There were at least a dozen if not more bullet holes in the walls and door.

I pushed a chest against the door. Maybe this will discourage them if they come back. I fixed myself a sandwich and drank a quart of milk. I took a shower and went to bed. I tried to tell myself that they would not come back tonight, but I had a tiresome night. I would fall asleep for a moment, and then something would wake me. Every slight noise in the complex sent chills through my body. The sun finally rose and lightened the apartment. Thank God, I fell asleep and slept for the rest of the morning.

Janet (We fucked up):

I helped Howard up the steps and into this room. I thought that he was going to pass out before I got him into his bed. I left him at the top of the stairs and headed back downstairs. All of a sudden Howard lets out a blood curdling scream, “That son of a bitch has been my room. The filthy cloth on the floor is the suit that he wore when we locked him into the bathroom.”

Howard came back to his miserable self. He had forgotten about his broken nose. He went into his bath room. Within seconds he let out another fit of anger and said, “That fucking bastard used my bathroom. He left a mess. He should have at least cleaned up his mess after he finished.”

I yelled at Howard, “Shut the fuck up and quit complaining. What would you have done if you were in his shoes? You are filthier than he is. That’s why I stopped cleaning up the mess you make. I wish I had met Ted before I net you. I think he is a lot smarter than you are.”

Howard shouts back, “Yew, where is your car? I did not see it when you drove in. When I opened my eyes, I thought that you parked it outside.”

I did not want to answer the bastard. I flew down the stairs. I wasn’t thinking about the car when I drove in. I was wondering if I should kill Howard, dump his body somewhere and take off. There was enough money in one of those bags to live a very comfortably without Howard. When I open the garage door and did not see my car, I screamed out, that it wasn’t here. The car and the money were gone. So much for killing Howard, I have to stay with him and we have to go back to the bank and get at least some of the money. My beautiful car and the money were gone. I ran back into the house. Howard was coming down the stairs. Howard shouted at me, “Your damn car is missing isn’t it?”

“Yes it is missing. Ted must have taken it. I knew that the bastard was still hiding in the house somewhere. Your pea brain idiot and your big mouth would not let me look for him again. What the hell am I going to do?”

“Call the damn police,” yelled Howard.

 I did not want to get the police involved and said as much. Howard said, “If Ted was in the house, perhaps he heard us talking about the money and took it with him. If they have the car and they found the money in the trunk, we will tell them that the person that stole the car must have put it in the car.”

Against my better judgment, I called the police. I got a bitch on the phone that said, “You can give me the information over the phone. But, you will have to come down to headquarter to sign the complaint.”

Trying to hold back my temper, I said, “Without my car, how in hell am I going to get down there?”

She snapped back at me with a sarcastic voice, “Sweetie, you can take the bus. That’s how I get down here. Oh yes, sometimes kids take the cars for a ride and dump them somewhere. Usually it is in a no parking area. They know they don’t have to pay the towing fee.”

I asked her if she knew the phone number of the towing company. She gave me the number and I hung up the phone. I called the towing company and they told me that a car of that description had been brought in only an hour ago and he gave me instruction how to get there. He told me that they did not take checks or credit cards. I had to pay in cash. They have had too many bounced checks and they don’t have a credit card machine because of the same reason. He told me that the fine, tow charge and one day parking was two hundred and fifty dollars. I said, “That is highway robbery. The car hasn’t been there a day.”

He replied, “Lady, its fifty dollars a day or any part of the day. If you don’t have the cash you don’t get the car. Oh yes, the car is locked you will need a key to get into it.”

I thanked him and yelled at Howard, “Get your ass down here. I found my car. Bring $250 with you. The damn city towed my car.”

Howard said, “You are in luck. I took two packets of the hundred dollar bills. We may need the money just to get out of the country.”

 I told Howard that we would have to take a trip to the bank on our way home. I got my spare keys out of the kitchen and we took off.

Thankful the car wasn’t smashed up. After I was out of sight of the towing company, I parked the car. Howard pulled up beside of me and asked, “Why in hell are you stopping for?”

“I am going to take a peek in the trunk.”

I opened the trunk and saw the bags were lying on the side with bricks scattered all over the trunk. I screamed, “I will kill that fucking bastard. After the trip to the bank, we are going to give Ted a visit. I am going to give him another pimple scare on his pock marked face.”

We stopped at a grocery store that we knew had shopping carts. We purchased two of them. We drove over to the bank. There was only one police car at the bank. We circled the block there was only one parking spot near the bank. We continued for about a mile before we found a parking spot. I parked my car and we went back to the bank. Howard drove under the fire escape. I got the carts out of the back seat. Howard climbed up on the car and reaches up and grabs the fire escape ladder. I handed him the two carts. He climbed up the ladder to the landing and let the ladder rise. I parked his car and walked back to the bank. We could not go through the parking lot door. The lock had been changed. We were hoping the lock on the roof door had not been changed. Howard lowered the ladder and I climbed up to the landing. We continued up the fire escape to the roof. The damn lock to the door had been changed. Howard tried to pry the door open, but he did not have anything to pry with. After cursing ourselves and each other, we decided to come back tomorrow. We would try to go through the front door. We would remove the money from the tenth floor to the roof. After dark tomorrow we would return and get the money.

We drove over to Ted’s apartment in Howard’s car. We saw two men in a car across the street from the apartment. Howard drove around to the other side of the apartment building. Two men were standing next to the entrance. Howard did not stop. Howard headed back to where I had parked my car. I said, “Not tonight, maybe tomorrow we will find the bastard and kill him.”

 I was so fucking mad that, everything was falling apart. I wanted to kill the bastard and get it over with. I hated Ted’s ugly pocket marked face. I could not look at his face while I caressed him and looking to see what he was working on. I would get the bastard so damn worked up that it’s a wonder he never tried to rape me. I looked over at Howard. He wasn’t much to look at without any pock marks. When we get to the islands, I am going to have to take him on a moonlight swim in the nude. Crush his balls, hit him over the head with a rock and drown the bastard.

Howard caught me off guard when he looked over at me and said, “What in hell are you thinking about?”

Without thinking, I said, “You.”

Howard looked a little troubled. I said the wrong thing. He must have read my mind. I reached over and put my hand on his sensitive spot between his legs and said, “I was daydreaming about you and I skinny dipping together when we get down to the islands.”

He smiled at me. I removed my hand. He said, “Don’t take your hand away. I want you to keep me horny until we get home.”

I have never had the desire to have sex with him and I did not want to have sex with him tonight. I wanted to get it out of his system. Reluctantly, I put my hand back on his lap. I unzipped his fly. I reached down inside his pants and pulled it out. It was over in less than a minute. He almost ran off the road and passed my car. I yelled at Howard, “You just passed my car.”

He slammed on the brakes. If I didn’t have the seatbelt on, I would have gone through the windshield. I got out and said, “I will see you at home.”

I never enjoyed having sex with Howard. If there was another way to keep him under my control, I would not have jerked him off. I had come up with the embezzling scheme he was pulling a few years ago. There were millions of dollars being transferred to other banks and institutions every day. I thought, who would miss a million or two every now and then. The figures were changing so fast that it would take them months before they discovered the loss. I was never in the position where I could pull it off. I talked Howard into transferring funds from the bank we had worked for. He screwed it up and got fired. The board of director could not prove that he had been altering the books. Fortunately, he transferred the funds back into the bank’s account before the audit. Somehow the auditors found something that made them suspicious.

While the auditors and the board of directors were trying to figure out what had happened. I weaved a relationship with Allen Peterson. He is president of the board of directors at APB. Peterson wanted me and I wanted Howard to become the manager at Peterson’s bank. On one of our romantic evenings, Peterson talked me into working for his bank. He slipped me a couple extra hundred each week to keep me and himself satisfied. While I was working with Ted, I hinted to Peterson that I knew a man that would be a much better manager than Ted. I got Peterson to hire Howard. Honestly, Ted is a much smarter than Howard.   

 While I was working on Peterson, they were on the verge of firing Howard. The bank could not find any proof that Howard had been embezzling any money. Whatever the auditors had came across, left suspicion on the bank management. I told Howard to play hard ball and fight back and threaten to take it to court. Without any proof, the board of directors did not want to make their suspicions public. They gave Howard two million dollar to resign, but they could not divulge why Howard retired. Of course Howard resigned and with me prodding Peterson, Peterson hired Howard. If Howard’s previous employer told Peterson why he was discharge, Howard would get to keep the two million and could sue the bank. Howard and I split the two million and I bought a nice home.

When I got home, Howard was already getting ready for bed. Howard asked, “Where in hell have you been?”

I really didn’t know and said, “Hell if I know. You took off and left me. I was not in a hurry to get a ticket, not now.”

Thankful, Howard did not invite me to sleep with him. I took a long shower and tried to straighten out our problem with Ted. What the hell is he doing? Why hasn’t he called the FBI and told them that we had kidnapped him. I am positive that he knew that it was Howard and I that kidnapped him. Did Howard take the money out of the bag and add the bricks. Does he have the money hidden somewhere inside the house. I would not put it past him. Did Ted find the black ledger? If he did, where did he hide it? We found all the other documents that Howard had told me to leave on his desk. Did Howard find the ledger? If he did what was in it that would point the suspicion to Ted?

After a sleepless night, Howard walks in and said, “I am not going to take you to the bank with me. I don’t think they will let the both of us in the bank. I am going to try to get as much of the money out of the tenth floor as I can today. When we get it off the roof, we are heading south. Even if we don’t get any of the money on the tenth floor, we have more than enough hidden already. We won’t be able to spend all of it in two life times.”

Howard bends over and kisses me on the cheek and walks out the door. As soon as I heard the garage door open, I jump out of bed and watched Howard drive away. Did Howard take the money out of the bags and filled them with bricks. I started searching Howard’s room. I did not find any of the money. I looked through every room in the house and the garage. I didn’t find any money. I started fixing my breakfast. I had boxes of frozen dishes in the freezer. I went out in the garage and opened the freezer. I had more boxes than I thought I had. The freezer was full. I stared at the freezer for a few minutes. For the lift of me, I could not remember when I purchased this much food. I thought that I had a mental lapse. I pulled out a couple of boxes and shouted, “I am going to kill the bastard.”

Behind one layer of frozen food containers, were layers of money. Every packet that I looked at had hundred dollar bills. Was this the money that we had gotten the other night and Howard had put bricks in the bags? When could he have done it? I have been with him every minute since then. It could not have been that money. The bags had more money in them than what is in the freezer. The bastard never told me about this money. When he came home his briefcase was always bulging. When I asked him what was in the briefcase, he would always say that the board of directors had loaded him down with work. I took my breakfast package and started to close the door. I could see the money. If I took the packet, he would know that I had seen the money. I put the breakfast packet back in the freezer and went back up stairs to think. I boiled some water and put in a packet of instant oatmeal. The oatmeal wasn’t the only thing hot. I was boiling over. The lying bastard told me last night that he had taken a couple of packets of money out of the bag. There wasn’t any money in the bags. Where else has he hidden the fucking money? I tried to think that he did not want to bother me with all the details of the embezzlement. Bull shit, that fucking bastard was planning to take off without me. The way I fell now, if he walked through the door, I would shoot the bastard’s balls off and stuff them in his mouth. I went to my room and got a small gun and put it in my bath robe pocket. As I was heading down the stair, I visualized what the scene would look like if I shot him when he walks in through the garage door. There would be blood all over the place. It would be just like the old man that I shot in Ted’s apartment. I would have to clean the mess up. Dispose of the body. Damn it, I have to kill the bastard someplace else.

Before I reached the first floor, I heard the garage opening. That didn’t take too long. I wonder how much money he got out of the bank. Howard burst through the door from the garage. He looked like he was in at state of shock. He yelled to me, “Get packed, we have to get out of here. They are looking for me.”

I yelled back, “What happened.”

“The FBI is looking for me; I went to the back door, as before, my key did not work. I walked around the building to the front door of the bank. There were two policemen at the front door. I thought I would play it safe and ask them when the bank would open. Thank God that I did. They told me that no one was allowed in the bank until they find the bank manager. He is wanted for embezzling millions of dollar from the bank. I told the cops that they should hang the bastard and they both agreed. I turned around and went back to my car. We have to get out of town soon. Ted knows where we live and he is going to tell the FBI or he has already told them where we live.”

It took us a little over an hour to pack our things and load the money into my car. I questioned him about the money in the freezer. He pretended that I must have known about it all the time. The hell I did.

We filled up the gas tank and headed for the Gulf Coast . We drove around the clock and were in Brownsville , Texas in ten hours. Howard had purchased counterfeit passports and we using our aliases. We had bought a boat and a small house a year ago. We had made a couple of trips down there to expedite our departure from the US if we had to. I purchased boxes of can goods for the trip and collected empty boxes to hide the money in. One of the rooms in our cottage was filled with empty boxes. We did not waste any time transferring the money into the empty boxes. In less than a week we were ready to set sail.  We had a mechanic check the yacht and engine before we left. When the mechanic told us that that the boat and engine were in perfect condition, we filled the fuel tanks, and loaded our supplies and money.

The men and women at the boatyard give us a very nice send off. As Howard piloted the boat out of the cove, I stood at the stern and waved goodbye. I piloted the yacht while Howard raised the sails. It looked like my wish had come through. I was going to get rid of Howard sooner than I hoped.

Every day I planned how I was going to kill Howard. Something would come up that interfered with my plan. The days turned into weeks. After I get rid of Howard, I still have to go back and end my relationship Peterson. Then I will be free. I could not wait for that day. I spent most of my free time thinking of what I would do with all the money and not having to share it with anyone.

 Our first stop was in Cancun . With Howard navigating, we would probably end up in Japan . For the first week, the water was so rough that I thought the boat would roll over. I cursed Howard for not flying and putting the money in banks in the US . We will probably run out of food before we hit dry land. Having the damn money isn’t benefiting us at all. I could not see an end to this trip.  

Ted (Janet and Howard flew the coop):

          I had a good night’s sleep. I slipped on some clothes and went to see if my tail was still watching me. They were still there. The one on the driver’s side was defiantly asleep. I could not tell if the one on the passenger’s side was asleep. I did my five S’s. There was no food in the refrigerator or the pantry. I knew that I had not put anything in the refrigerator after I cleaned it out a couple of weeks ago, why did I look anyway?

          I had plugged my cell phone in last night. I was wondering if anyone had called me. I had four calls and three calls had no messages. The fourth call was from Anderson . I called him and asked what was new. He told me that they still don’t know where Howard was. They have a dragnet out for him and still can’t find him. They had his cell number but he is not answering it. Also, the address that he gave when he was employed is an empty lot.

          I wanted to tell Anderson where he lived. Something inside of me kept me from saying a word. Anderson was fishing around trying to pump me for more information about Howard. I was not taking the bait. I repeated what I had told him before, but he was not satisfied. Anderson asked me about my secretary. I told him that I never socialize with any of the employee at the bank. I did not hire Janet and never looked into her background. I came in one morning and my secretary was not there, a woman in personal brought Janet in and introduced us. I have no idea what happed to my other secretary and who hired Janet. It wasn’t my job to question other employees activates. The board of directors and the personal manager review and check the background of all the employees. The bank manager doesn’t hire the employees. Anderson asked me about Janet. I did not tell him that she was cold blooded killer and she had kidnapped me. I said, “Janet was a bright young lady. She was the sweetest person that I have ever known. She was very concerned about my health and sympathetic about my illness. When I had a rotten day, she would come in and massage the back of my neck and shoulder.

Anderson popped in and said, “Did she ever massage you any place else?”

I let out a slight chuckle and said, “I wish. She would come up behind me and pull me against her breast and give my upper body a massage. It stimulated me in a number of ways. I had asked her many times to have dinner with me. She always apologized and said that she had another appointment. I never went out for lunch or dinner with her.”

I shut my mouth and waited for Anderson to reply. I heard a slight chuckle on the other end of the line. Neither one of us said anything for a while. I waited. I heard muffled voices on the other end of the line. It sounded like someone was giving Anderson instructions. I said, “ Anderson , are you still there?”

Anderson said, “One minute Ted.”

When Anderson came back on line, I asked, “Why are you so interested in Janet. It’s no way in hell could she be involved in the embezzlement. Who told you to check her background?”

I was surprised at what Anderson whispered to me. There must have been someone else in the room. He said, “Peterson.”

I let my thoughts out audibly and said, “Holly shit.”

Anderson said, “Ted, what did you say?”

“You know what I said.”

  Anderson laughed. “That’s why she never went out with me. That bastard must have been going out with Janet. I wonder how they got involved. A few times each month Janet would tell me that she had some errands to do. There wasn’t anything so urgent for her to do that could not wait for fifteen to thirty minutes. She would always come into my office and caress the back of my neck and told me she had to run some errands. This always lit a little fire in my furnace.”

Anderson chucked and said, “What set a fire in your furnace, telling you she had to do some errands or caressing the back of your neck?”

I laughed and said, “You are smart enough to be in the FBI, you figure it out.”

Anderson said, “That will be my project for next year. Continue telling me about Janet.”

 “Janet was well-groomed. Everything she wore and everything around her had to be neat, even my desk. When I left my office she would come in and arrange the things on my desk. During the first month that she was working for me, when she returned from her errands, she wasn’t anywhere as well-groomed as she was when she left. Her hair was messed up. Her lipstick was gone or smeared and her clothes were wrinkled. If I was in the lobby or in my office when she returned, she would try to hide her face. Oh yes, her pantyhose were not snuggly fitted on her legs. They were twisted and wrinkled She would spend about a half hour in her private bath room fixing the damage. After about a month, she must have stopped doing the errands that she was doing or found a place to repair the damage.”

In a sarcastic voice Anderson asked, “What kind or errands was she doing and did you want to help her with her errands. How did you feel about her doing these errands?”

I laughed and said, “Jealous, damn jealous, yes I would have loved to have joined her on her errands.”

During the conversation with Anderson , the pieces of the puzzle starting to fall into place. That whore was pulling the strings. She must have been sleeping with Howard at the same time she was sleeping with Peterson.

Anderson interrupted my thoughts and said, “Ted, are you still there?”

“Yew, I am still here. Maybe Peterson was messing around with the bank funds and Janet, that lucky bastard. As I told you before, it could be anyone at the bank, including everyone on the board of directors.”

Anderson said, “Sorry to have bothered you. It was nice talking to you. Where did you sleep last night?”

“I went back to my apartment to pick up a few things. A neighbor across the hall told me about the shooting. With your men parked outside, I thought that I would be safe and more comfortable here.”

“Well, keep your eyes open. Someone is desperate. Catch you later Ted.”

I pushed the button on the cell phone without saying anything else. I asked myself, where do I go from here. I don’t have another place to go to and nothing planned. I wonder what Howard and Janet are doing. I got dressed and went out for breakfast. I bought all the papers. The embezzlement had been pushed to the middle of the paper. They repeated the same thing that they printed a month ago.

While I was eating my breakfast, my thoughts switched to Pamela. I did not know where she lived or her last name. Maybe I will drop in at her favorite restaurant tonight.

After breakfast I took a ride over to the bank. I circled the block a couple of times. There were only two cops at the front door. As I passed the parking lot, I looked up at the roof and tenth floor. An idea flashed through my mind. I can’t go in through the front door, the cops are there. I tried the back door a few days ago and someone had changed the lock. They more than likely changed all the locks. I want be able to get in the bank from the roof. There is one more way to get into the building. After I look for Pamela tonight, I will try to get into the bank.

I went shopping and bought enough food, to fill the refrigerator. I took a long nap and woke up around five. I did everything to make myself look presentable. My fucking pockmarked face dragged down the confidence I had in myself. At least I don’t have to look at myself. The only time I looked at myself was when I shaved. I never look at myself when I brush my teeth. I sprayed a little cologne on my face and looked at the rest of my body. I was pretty proud of myself. I needed to lose a little around my waist.

Hunting for Pam:

When I pulled into the parking lot, I wanted to hear Pamela say, buy me a drink. I wasn’t that lucky. I went into the bar; the waitress asked me if I wanted a table. I said, no, I will sit at the bar for a while. I did not want to drink too much before I ate. Also, I did not want to fall off the roof of the bank.

Time was passing to fast. I had been there an hour or more. I asked the bartender if he knew a girl by the name of Pamela. He shook his head as to say no. By the way he looked at me, I knew that he was lying, but I did not pressure him. I asked the waitress for a table. As I was reading the menu, I noticed the bartender making a call. I put the menu in front of my face and looked at him over the top of the menu. He glanced in my direction a few times while he was talking to someone. The waitress came over and asked what I wanted. She was a pretty girl, but not as nice as Pamela. I said, “Give me a few more minutes.”

She walked away. I looked at the bartender; he was still talking on the phone. When he hung up he motioned to the waitress. She went over to him and they both looked in my direction. After the conversation the waitress came over to the table and said, “I think its best not to order now. I think someone may want to join you.”

She smiled, winked at me and walked away. I wondered if it was Pamela and if it was, is the bartender a pimp. I was all hyped up and did not know what I had gotten myself into. Ten minutes had passed; I saw the front door opening. Pamela popped through the door; she looked directly at me and smiled. I had mixed emotions. Not knowing anything about her, it made me wonder what her intentions were. She was a beautiful young lady. With a beautiful smile on her face, she walked directly to my table weaving around the other tables. She comes over to me and bends down and kisses me on the cheek. I started to get up; she pushed me back into my chair and said, “Ted, may I join you?”

I lit up like the early morning sun. No woman ever showed me this much affection. I could read the affection and love on Pam’s face. My eyes started to tear slightly. Pam sits down and caressed my cheek. I said, “I have been waiting all evening for you to show up. I did not know how to contact you.”

She opened her pocketbook and pulled out a card and slid it into my jacket pocket and said, “Please use it and often. I enjoyed the evening with you very much. I have been here a few times looking for you. I was disappointed that I didn’t find you here. I blamed myself for not giving you my phone number. Enough of that, how have you been?”

I stammered and cleared my throat and the words did not want to come out of my mouth the way I wanted them to. Pamela put a finger across my lips and said, “You don’t have to tell me. You told me with your eyes. I have already had my dinner. Order your dinner and I will have a glass of wine.”

Pamela motioned to the waitress, and asked me what I wanted. I told her and she told the waitress. The waitress smiled at me as she left. Pamela reaches across the table and took my hands. She slightly squeezed my hands then looks down and said, “I have never enjoyed an evening with anyone as much as the evening I had with you. You left a wonderful feeling inside of me. I did not want to spoil our evening by being to forward and aggressive. I would have killed myself if I had ruined it. I am no angle. I have made a number of mistakes in my life and I was too cautious with you. I felt like a young school girl on her first date. I was scared to death that I would do something stupid. I did, I wanted to take you home with me and I didn’t. I hope you will forgive me for being that way.”

Pam was looking down at the table. I reached up and put my hand under her chin and lifted her head. I looked into her eyes and said, “I am not too good at expressing my feeling. I haven’t had the pleasure of expressing myself to beautiful young ladies. I never know what to say. I am afraid that I will screw it up.”

Pamela put a finger across my lips and said, “Let’s not say anything or we both will screw up our relationship. Have your dinner. You must be hungry and it is getting late.”

While I was eating Pamela did most of the talking. I don’t think she took her eyes off of me. She told me that she was a spoiled brat in her early life and was married when she was in her early twenties and it was a miserable six months. It had taken her the last seven years to overcome her mistakes.

Again, I reached across the table and caressed her chin and said, “Sweetheart, you are not the only one that has had problems growing up. I have lived the classic example of a miserable life. I think everyone goes through at period in their life that is all fuc… up.”

Pamela laughed and said, “Say it, fucked up.”

We both laughed and Pamela said, “There is no other phrase that describes it any better.”

After I finished my dinner, I asked Pamela if she wanted another drink.

She scrunched up her face and shook her head and said, “Let’s go to my place. I have a wonderful bottle of wine that is waiting for you.”

Pamela whispered to the waitress, “Put his bill and my usual tip on my tab.”

I jumped up and said, “You can’t do that.”

Pamela said, “Yes I can. I have been waiting to invite you for dinner.”
          I did not want to get into an argument with Pamela. Pamela took my arm and led me out the door. When we got to my car she nudged me to the driver’s side and said, “You drive and I will give you the instruction.”

I followed her instruction. She lived only a few blocks away. She pointed to an opening on the side of a building and said, “The quest parking is on the far end of the building. Take any of the spaces that are open.”

Pamela had a totally different demeanor tonight than the first night I met her. She was a little too defensive the night I met her. Tonight she is a different person. Pamela guided me through a maze of hallways. When we entered the elevator she pushed the penthouse floor. When the elevator stopped and the door open to a small foyer with a magnificent door and a fire escape door. She placed her thumb on a small glass plate next to the door knob. The door opened, we walked in and the door closed and locked it’s self. It was an absolutely fabulous room. Never in my life had I seen such beautiful furniture. Pamela laughed and said, “Close your mouth. I don’t want you to drool on my beautiful carpet”

I snapped out of my trance and said, “If you can afford a place like this, you can certainly afford a fifteen dollar dinner.”

She grabbed my arm dragged me into another room. The lights were turned down low and a single candle lit up a bottle of wine and two glasses. The cork on the wine bottle was almost pulled out. Pamela pushed me down on the couch and removed the cork from the bottle. She filled both glasses half way full. She took both glasses and sat down next to me. She gave me one of the glasses and we wrapped our arms around each other and sipped a swallow of wine. We finished the wine without saying anything. We just let our eyes do the talking. She took the wine glass from my hand and put both of the glasses back on the table. She turned and looks at me. She wraps her arm around me. I was in heaven.

I awoke the next morning with Pamela looking at me with a smile on her face. She whispers, “Good morning darling. Did you enjoy the evening?

I reached up and pulled her down on top of me and said, “Never in my wildest dream have I ever imagined that I would have such a beautiful evening.”

We showered together and went back to bed. We spent another hour together and took another shower. This time we just lay with our arms wrapped around each other. It was noon when we had our breakfast. She would not let me help her.

While we drinking our coffee, Pamela gave me a tour of her apartment. It encompassed the roof of the whole apartment building. There was a tennis court and a swimming pool. Pamela could see that I was over come. I said, “The rent must cost you a fortune.”

She said, “It doesn’t cost me a cent. I own the building.”

I shook my head and said, “You have wonderful taste, but I don’t see what you see in me. All my life I have wished for someone as beautiful as you, my wish has come through. Pinch me, I think I am dreaming.”

Pamela laughed and said, “I will pinch you, but you are not dreaming. I hope that I have not been to forward. I don’t know what came over me the first night I met you. You were so different from all the other men that I have met. I knew you wanted me; you did not force yourself on me. You put up with my nonsense and still came back for more. When Pat called me last night, all of my dreams had come through. The day after we met, I went over to the bar and told Pat that if you came in, whether you ask about me or not, call me. I had almost given up on you. I had found the man that I have been looking for and I thought I had lost him. Darling I love you.”

Tears came to my eyes, I said, “I don’t know how many drinks I had or how long I waited for you to show up. In desperation I asked Pat if he knew you. He said that he didn’t know you. I thought it was a wasted evening and I was going to order my dinner. A few minutes later, I saw Pat making a phone call and glancing in my direction. I did not know what to think. When the waitress came back to take my order, she said that I should hold off, I think someone is going to join you.”

Pamela wiped the tears from my cheek with her finger and kissed me. We talked about our lives for a couple of hours. I felt that I had over stayed my visit; I thanked her for a wonderful evening and morning, and went home. I stopped at the bank on the way home. I looked to see who could see me on the scaffold. Most of the buildings were businesses. They would be closed. On the other side of the bank about a block away was a row of cheap apartment building. If I came around one or two, they would all be asleep. Most of the bars are closed by midnight .

After studying the area for a while I headed home. I passed a business that sold trailers. If Howard was telling the truth, I would need a trailer to haul the money. I bought a trailer and had them put a trailer hitch on the back of my car. I wasn’t my usual cheep self. I did not want the trailer to breakdown or break away from the car if I had a heavy load on it.

They hitched the trailer to the car and I went to the storage locker. I rented a locker that was big enough to hold the trailer and had a lot of room left over. I loaded everything into the trailer and parked the trailer inside the new storage locker. I unloaded the money and took the furniture out of the trailer and put it in my car. I missed having the table and chairs in my apartment.

It was getting late and I was wondering what had happened to Janet and Howard. With those bastards around, they just might get lucky and kill me. My curiosity was getting to me. I went out to their home and took a peek. There weren’t any lights on in the house, not even the night light. Also, the light around the garage, the front door and the street number light wasn’t lit.     

For the next couple of weeks, I spent most of my time with Pamela and the time that was left over I watched Janet’s home. I always arrived after dark, but not today. The damn mailbox was overflowing. Some of the mail was on the ground under the mailbox. I had been watching an empty house. I had put Janet ring of keys in the glove compartment. I reached in and took them out. One of the dozen of keys had to be for the front door. I took a ride around the neighborhood. Like before, the streets were empty and no one was looking out the windows. Most of the homes had their blinds closed. When it finally got dark, I parked the car and walked over and picked up the stack of mail and went inside. After I turned on the lights and put down the mail, I looked at the security controls next to the front door. Thank God, none of the lights on it were lit. I went out into the garage. Damn it, it was cold as hell in here. The house was warm and so was the outside. I turned on the lights and saw a freezer locker with its door open. Containers of food was scattered around the bottom. On one of the walls of the freezer, I noticed something familiar. It was frozen to the side of the freezer. I pealed it off. It was the top left corner of a hundred dollar bill. I chucked. What else do people hide in freezers? I wonder if they thought the freezer will keep their possessions fresh and preserved. They took Janet car and left Howard’s. Janet loved her car; she would never give it up. I went back into the house and searched the rooms. They must have left in a hurry. The damn place was a wholly mess. It was almost as bad as mine. I looked in one of the night tables next to Janet’s bed. The firearms were gone. Where else would they hide something? I looked under the beds, mattresses, closets, bathroom, Janet’s under wear, and of course the night tables. They both were prepared for gymnastics. I guess we all are. I turned off the lights and went back down stairs. I headed for the front door; I saw the stack of mail laying there. I separated the junk mail and took all the other mail. I had laid the mail on Howard’s desk. Subconsciously, I lifted the desk mat. I had seen Howard slip different things under the desk mat; I wanted to see what he had hid. There were a couple of large hand drawn maps of the Gulf of Mexico, with lines drawn between different ports. I laughed; the ports that he had drawn the lines between were the cities that he had transferred the bank’s money to. He is going to be surprised. The money is no longer there. The starting point was Brownsville , Texas . I turned off all the lights and opened the front door and looked around, the street were empty.  

When I got home, I opened the mail. Most of the mail in the envelopes was more junk mail and letters from friends. There was one letter from the City of Brownsville, Texas. I opened it up. The tax bill was for a Howard and Janet Marshall. It gave the street address where the property was. Also on the list of properties was a boat. The tax on the boat was almost as much as the tax on the house. It must be a very large boat or a very small house. I recalled hearing Howard on his phone talking about a boat. I wondered if they had gone to Brownsville . I put all of the mail in the garbage chute and kept the tax bill. Now I knew where Howard and Janet were heading.

A few weeks had passed. Pamela wanted me to move in with her. I had not told her about my job. But, I did tell her that I was unemployed and I was taking it easy for a while. I had put off breaking into the bank. I tried to get enough courage to hit the bank again. I had a beautiful girlfriend and more money than I could ever spend. Greed was gnawing at my sole. I had a date with Pamela tonight. If I broke into the bank after our date, I would have to go over to the storage locker and pick up my trailer around midnight . That was a good excuse as any for not breaking into the bank. I had to plan a night when I had nothing else to do.

Janet and Howard had been gone for over a month. The bank had been closed for months and no one knew when it would reopen. They reduced the number of police guarding the bank to one. He did not stand at the door. He sat in his cruiser and dozed off with the windows closed. The cold wind funneling between the buildings made a warm summer day feel cool. In the winter, I felt like my balls were going to freeze off before I could get to a restaurant a block away for lunch. 

 As the weeks passed, the itch to hit the bank one more time was driving me nuts. If I don’t do it soon, I may never get another chance. I had spent the day over at Pamela’s; she had made me a wonderful dinner. I hated leaving her. But, the itch to break into the bank was getting to me. I could not get it out of my mind. I told Pamela that I had to write a resume. I was going to apply for a job and it looked promising. She told me to forget about working and marry her. I would never have to work again. I told her that when my life gets straightened out I would marry her, but I wanted to make my own spending money. She came over to me gave me a hug and said, “Darling, that one of the reason why I fell in love with you. If I had given that offer to everyone that I have met, I would have been married a hundred times. Go home and write your resume.”

Pamela went to the door with me and kissed me goodbye. I hated lying to Pamela. I had a dozen different resumes at home.

I hit the bank big time:

It was a quarter to one when I drove into the bank’s parking lot. I rolled the dumpster over to where I had parked. It would hide the car and trailer somewhat from the local residence. I brought a long pole that I had taped a large hook on the end of it to pull down the fire escape ladder. I looked around and didn’t see anyone. Within minutes I was on top of the bank. As I was walking over to the scaffold I tripped on something. If I was a couple feet closer to the edge of the roof, I would have fallen off the roof. I cursed and felt around. I found two folded grocery carts. Howard and Janet must have left them here. I loaded them on the scaffold and turned on the scaffold switch and it worked. I raised the scaffold enough two clear the parapet. I pushed the scaffold over the parapet and lowered it enough so I could get on. I was scared to death that one side of the scaffold would drop down and I would slice off before I got the safety belt on. Never in my life had I been this scared of heights. I grabbed the railing so tight that my hand cramped. I took a deep breath and tried to calm down.   

I lowered the scaffold to the tenth floor. I took my screwdriver and pried open a window. I climbed inside and took the grocery carts with me. Within an hour, I had filled both grocery carts. I dragged the carts to the window and loaded the money onto the scaffold. I made two more trips and decided to call it a night. I had to open three windows to stack the money evenly along the scaffold.

As I was getting back on the scaffold with the piles of money, I visualized me and the money splattered all over the parking lot. I held on for dear life and lowered the scaffold to the ground and loaded the trailer. As I got back on the scaffold to take it back to the roof, the fear of falling off came back again. The fear had never entered my mind when I thought about using the scaffold to get into the bank. On the way to the roof, I was afraid that it would stop in the middle of the floors and I would be stuck there all night. Thankful I got to the roof.  After parking the scaffold, I took a look at the parking lot. So far, it looked like no one had seen me. I headed down the fire escape. When I go down to platform on the second floor, I saw someone trying to open the trailer. I quickly eased the fire escape ladder to the ground. Without thinking, when I stepped off the ladder I let loose of the ladder and headed for my trailer. The ladder was spring loaded. Without any weight on the ladder, the ladder shot up like a rocket and hit the stop, the noise was so loud that it scared the shit out of me and the guy fooling around with the trailer. He took off like a scared rabbit and so do I. I parked the trailer in the storage lock and went home. It was four o’clock when I got home. I was exhausted and I fell asleep as soon as my body hit the bed.

I still didn’t have any plans for my future. Maybe I should marry Pamela. I would not have to tell her about the money. Let the money that I transferred grow for the next ten years. I still could not invest the money in the storage locker. It was much easier to move the money around through the wire service. I tried to stop thinking about the damn money, but it was haunting me. I would wake up in the middle of the night thinking about the money in the locker. If the police found it, my whole world would collapse and I would spend the rest of my life in prison. Inside of me was a driving force to get rid of the money, burn it, scatter it along the streets, put it in Janet’s home and make a anonymous call to the  police,  but the greed inside of me would not give it up.

Janet is in Cancun :

          We had been sailing for three weeks. We should have been in Cancun a week ago. With all the electronic equipment and the GPS we were sailing ten miles just to go five. On the few trips we had last year, we did not learn enough about the instrument. I have never been so bored. With the bow cutting through the water and the wind blowing the spray in every direction and the hot sun drying the salt water from my body, I felt like I was a salted cracker. I wanted to get in a tub of fresh water and soak for a month.

Howard was like a young school boy with a new toy. He loved the cool spray on his body. I don’t know how I let Howard talk me into a boat. He convinced me that it would be easier to get out of the country on a boat than an airplane or a car. At times, I thought it was too easy.

Finally we arrived in Cancun . We anchored offshore and the Mexican authorities came aboard and welcomed us. Thank God Howard had a line of bullshit. They did not search the boat. He offered them a couple of bottles of their choice and he wrapped a couple of hundred dollar bills around each one. We signed all the paper work and they took off with smiles on their faces.

We packed a few things and took the small motorboat to one of the beach hotels. I had my wish. I soaked my body until my hands and feet were wrinkled. When I went to bed I could still feel the boat rocking. I was wondering how long this would last. Thankful, we did not have sex. Howard fell asleep watching TV.

We both woke up early. Howard rented a car and we separated. I went shopping and Howard took off to a local bank.

Howard (Don Parker):

          I pulled into the parking lot of a bank that I had transferred three million to. I had flown down here after I wire transferred the three million dollars to the account. . I was paying them two percent of the interest for handling my investment. As I walked into the bank Mr. Martinis looked up and welcomed me. He quickly stood up and reaches across the table and welcomed me again in broken English. Politely he asked me to take a seat. Mr. Martinis said. “Mr. Parker, what can I do for you?”

I said, “You have an excellent memory. I am here to make some changes to my account.”

His Martinis straightened up and his expression changed drastically. Martinis quickly interrupted me and said, “Mr. Parker, you called and had me transfer your funds to a bank in Honduras .”

A sinking felling engulfed my body. I yelled and said, “I did not call you, I haven’t called or contacted you since I deposited the three million dollars in your bank.”

Martinis stood up and looked around the bank lobby. He shook his head. He looks back at me and said, “Please Sir, let me show you. Come on this side of the desk.”

I looked around the room. Already, everyone in the bank was staring at me. They all had stopped in their tracks. I eased around the desk and leaned down so I could see the monitor. I could not believe what I was looking at. I wanted to scream. I looked around the room again. There was a least a dozen people in the bank. None of them had moved. They all were looking at me. This was not the place to start a confrontation. The one thing that I did not want was end up in a Mexican jail. All the fucking work I had done was falling apart. I took a deep breath and looked back at the monitor. I asked Mr. Martinis if he could make me a copy of my account. He hit the print icon and within seconds he handed me a copy. I asked him if I could talk to him in private. He looked around the room and then said, “The rules of the bank are, if there is any disturbance inside or outside the bank, all the employees are required to push the alarm button. If there is a problem, the alarm will signal the police. Every clerk in the bank has their finger on an alarm button. Come with me.”

I followed Mr. Martinis to a glass enclosed cubicle. He pointed to a seat and I sat down trying to keep my cool. I took a deep breath and said, “I have been swindled out of three million dollars. I did not request a transfer of my funds. Who made the request to transfer the money?”

 Martinis interrupted me and said, “Mr. Parker, for someone to remove funds from this bank they have to have the account number, the key number, the correct name of the account owner, a particular name from a list of options and a password. If it wasn’t you, the person that ordered the transfer had the required information. Do you know of anyone that would have that information?”

I shook my head and said no. There were two possibilities, but anyone at the bank could have got into my desk drawer. Janet could have seen my ledger and copied the information; she taught me the secrets of transferring money to hidden accounts. I don’t know if Ted Wallace had the expertise. I wonder what he did with the black ledger. Martinis interrupted my thoughts and said. “Mr. Parker.”

My mind was a thousand miles away. I did not recognize my alias and looked behind me.  Martinis tapped me on my shoulder and said again, “Mr. Parker”

This time I realized that he was talking to me and said, “I’m sorry, I was thinking about the lost of the money.”

Martinis said, “I know it’s a great loss to you. The person that called and had the funds wired knew everything that is required to transfer your funds. The password with the key number, there are over fifty billion combinations. If you add all the other information required that would make it inconceivable or imposable for anyone to access your account. Is there anything else I can help you with?”

“Yes find out who had the money transferred.”

“Mr. Parker, I wish that there was some way I could help you. I have no way of knowing who could have made the call.”

I shook my head. I was so weak that I thought that I would fall flat of my face. I walked out of the bank. I could not believe what had happened. My whole body felt empty. A slight breeze would blow me over. I drove back to the hotel. There was no one else to blame. As I open the door to my room, I could not hold back the rage that had building up inside of me. I confronted Janet and accused her of stealing the three million. Janet swore that she had nothing to do with it. She told me that the only person at the bank that was capable of these types of transactions was Ted Wallace. We were a thousand miles from him and I want to kill him. Janet and I had tried to implicate him in the embezzlement. The dumb bastards did not believe us.

After settling down, with hopes, I opened my ledger and started making phone calls. There was still seventeen million stashed away that was still in Don Parker name. I picked up the phone and started dialing. I was on the phone for six hours. Every damn account that I had the money in had been transferred. I had all of them fax or mail me a copy of my account records. Within three days I had all the faxes. All the transfers were done within the last few months before the bank collapsed. One was made the night the Feds marched in. It had to be Ted Wallace. I looked over at Janet and said, “What do we do now. You got us in this mess. I had a good job and you come into my life. All the fucking twenty million that I transferred is gone. The only money we have is the money that was in the freeze. Janet said, “Honey, we will sell the boat the two houses and with the money that was in the freezer we can live very well here.”

I shouted, “Hell no. We are going back and find Ted Wallace and kill him if he doesn’t tell us where the money went.”

Janet said, “Howard I am not going back. We will split the money we have and if you want to hunt down Ted, you go alone. I don’t know what they know about me. Ted surely recognized out voices. I don’t know what he told the FBI about us. They questioned me for about two hours. I told them that the only person at the bank that could have made the transfers was Ted and that you had not worked at the bank long enough to pull something like this. As I said, you are welcome to go back and get your ass locked up. I am not going back no matter what you say or do. We could find a better place to live than Mexico . We could go to Brazil , for what I have heard, they don’t have an extradition treaty.”

I yelled, “Stay here you fucking bitch. You are the one that got me into this mess. I will kill him myself whether he transferred the money or not.”

Janet (Kill or be Killed):

We argued and screamed until the management came. They were going to kick us out of the hotel. It quieted Howard down real quick. He mumbled something about spending time in a Mexican prison. Even when I refused to go with him, he insisted that he was going. For the next three days he made a number of phone calls. I had tried to listen in on his calls. From the fragments I heard he was going to kill someone. He was so spiteful to me that I wouldn’t be surprised that he is planning on killing me. In some respects, Howard is a coward and a weakling. He couldn’t even look at the old man I shot. I had to convince him to help me kidnap Ted and kill him. Ha, I don’t think that he would kill a fly. I am afraid if Howard goes back, he will screw up and they will catch him. He will do anything to keep from going to prison. Since the FBI doesn’t believe that Ted embezzled the money, if Howard gets caught, he will blame it on me. That leaves me with only one choice. I have to kill him. What was I thinking awhile back? (When we get to the islands, I am going to have to take him for a moonlight swim in the nude. Crush his balls, hit him over the head with a rock and drown the bastard.)

For the past week we fought about everything. He was still insisting that I go back with him. Yesterday he was on the phone in his room making reservation for our trip back home. He was pacing the floor and talking to himself. He had a habit of thinking about things verbally. I crept up to the door and put my ear to the door. He was talking a mile a minute about the trip. I heard him say, “If I leave here, she will steal all the money from the boat and take off alone. I will take her out to the boat and lock her inside.”

If he locks me in a room on the boat, I will starve to death before he gets back. Howard gives me no choice. Tonight we are going skinny-dipping. Howard was in his room packing. I walked into the room. He asked me if I had packed. I told him that I would pack later. I went over to him and gave him a kiss and said, “Darling, let’s make up. I hate it when we fight like this. I will go along with you.”

With a stunned look on his face, he shook his head and said, “You are not going to change your mind at the last minute are you?”

Lying, I said, “No darling, I am not going to change my mind at the last minute. Let go for a swim. You will like doing it in the water.”

His whole demeanor changed. I had not seen this ray of happiness in his face since we got to Cancun . He had packed his bathing suit; he was rummaging through his suitcase for it. I saw the airline tickets in his jacket pocket. I slid them out of the pocket and opened the packet. There was only one ticket in the packet and it was Howard’s. Also, there was a stack of hundred dollar bills.

I quickly put the ticket back into his jacket. I went back into my room and put on my bathing suit and my robe. I went into the bathroom and got a couple of towels while Howard was putting on his bathing suit. When I got back into his room he took my hand and we walked down to the beach together. All of a sudden he stops and said, “I have to go out to the boat and get some money.”

Seeing the stack of bills in his jacket, I knew that he was planning on locking me in the boat. I stood my ground and insisted that we go swimming first. I said, “Sweetheart lets go swimming first. Then I will go out to the boat with you.”

Tempers had started to heat up, thankful, he finely gave in. We undressed on the beach and ran into the water. There wasn’t a rock, a stick, a bottle or anything, but sand. Howard grabbed me roughly. I pushed him of and I continued to search the bottom with my feet for a rock or something to beat him over the head with. Howard caught up with me. He turns me around and tried to penetrate me. He was trying to put it in my navel. I pushed him away again and yelled, “Don’t be so rough.”

I circled around in the water trying to find a big rock. The other day I was wading in the water and the bottom was filled with big rocks. Howard caught up with me and picks me up and takes me out into the deeper water. I could no longer reach the bottom. I was just about to give in to him. I heard a couple of voices. A young girl was giggling. I saw two slim figures heading in our direction. Howard and I both stopped what we were doing and watched the couple. They disrobed and he picks her up. She wrapped her legs around him and reaches under herself and raises her body and slowly lowered herself. He carries her into the water. We listened to the moans, and heavy breathing. I could see the ripples of water coming from their body as they moved. The ripples reflected the lights of the hotel.  

The young couple was lighting up a fire inside of me. I had seen X rated films, but they never fired me up as much as the young couple making love.  My libido was reaching it maximum. It came to a point that I would have sex with anyone even Howard. I glanced at Howard; he was in another world. I had forgotten why we were out here. Without thinking, I reached into the water and touched Howard’s. It was over almost the instant I touched him. He let out a loud moan and scared the living hell out of the young girl. She screamed to the top of her voice. A crowd of people about a hundred yard away started running in our direction. We all headed for our clothes. They saw us and stopped, and so did we. A few people with powerful flashlights shined them in our direction. We all squatted into the water. They were throwing question at us so fast the no one had a chance to answer any of them. (So much for killing Howard.) More people gathered around. They were tramping on our bathing suits. I raised my naked body and headed to the shore. As I passed the young girl I stuck out my hand. I motioned for her to come with me. She took my hand and raised her beautiful body out of the water and silence spread across the crowd. The bright light reflected off of our bodies. I gave them the royal finger and asked the man that was standing on my bathing suit and towels to please move. I picked them up and handed the young girl a towel. I dried my body off and stepped into my bathing suit. I took the young girls hand and we walked to the hotel together. I looked back at Howard and the young man. They were still squatting in the water. I laughed and so did the young girl. I took her up to my room and we took a shower together and laughed about the incident. I lent her one of my dresses and we went out for dinner. We looked down at the beach, the crowd was still there. I could not see if Howard had gotten out of the water. It was a pleasure to talk to someone other than Howard.

After dinner I said goodnight to Lillie and she headed for the beach. Howard had not returned. I went into his room and searched through his luggage. I found the plane ticket. I started to put it back where I found it, something told me to look at it. I read the itinerary. That bastard isn’t leaving tomorrow. He won’t be leaving for another three days. What the hell is he up too?

I put everything back where I had found it and prepared for bed. When I finished, Howard still wasn’t back. I slipped on a robe and went outside. The crowd was still on the beach. I went back to the room and called Lillie. I asked her if her husband had come back from the beach. She said that he was in the shower when she got back to the room. She Laughed and giggle for a few moments and whispered, “We just finished what we started on the beach.”

We both laughed and went into a laughing frenzy. After we both settled down, I asked, “Did Bob come out of the water naked and had his tinker shrunk.”

Lillie started laughing. She would stop for a moment. When I said something, Lillie would start laughing again. I thought that she going to have a convulsion before she stopped laughing. Still laughing, she said, “It was still up when I found him in the shower. I think it is still up now. He wants to do it again. He said that the crowd coached them to come on out. He got tired of waiting for them to leave and he stood up and it was still up. The crowd applauded him. He grabbed his clothes and wrapped the towel around his body and it didn’t hide his tinker. He said that some times when it gets up, it want go down for a long time. I like that part. He said the women in the lobby watched him from the time he walked into the lobby until he got on the elevator. A couple of them followed him into the elevator.”

Lillie was still giggling, I said, “I wish Howard tinker was like Bob’s. His goes down like a popped balloon.”

Lillie started laughing again and said, “I have to go Bob wants to go at it again.”

Lillie hung up the phone before I could say anything. I don’t blame her. I wish I had a man like Bob.

I thought about the times when I peeked over Ted shoulder to see what he was doing. When I massaged Ted’s neck, the moment I put my hands on his neck, I could see the bulge in his pants started to rise. By the time I finished, his tinker was standing straight up. I wanted to try him, but I couldn’t stand looking at his face it turns me off. I finally went to sleep.

I was awakened by Howard bitching. I yelled, “Shut up. You woke me up. I want to go back to sleep.”

Howard comes into my room and said, “Why in hell did you leave me out there. Those bastards would not go away.”

I asked, “Did your tinker go down?”

“Hell yes, how in hell could it stay up with a crowd like that looking at me.”

“Bob’s didn’t go down, did it?”

Howard looked a little dejected and said, “No, his didn’t go down. The damn crowd applauded him when he stood up.”

I asked, “How did you get out of the water without them seeing you.”

“I swam out into the deeper water and ducked under the water. My head went down and my ass went up. When I stuck my head up they all were laughing at me. I swam out a little further and floated until they left.”

I rolled over and said, “Get out of here and turn off the light. I want to go back to sleep.”

Howard left the room. I could not go back to sleep. I was wondering what Howard had up his sleeve. He lied when he said that he was leaving tomorrow.

I don’t know how long I rolled and tossed, I finely dozed off. When I woke up Howard had already gone. Where in hell had he gone? I slipped on a bathing suit, slapped some makeup on and went to look for Howard. The rented car was still there. I looked at my watch. If he changed his mind and is leaving today, he will miss the plane if he is still here. I walked over to the cove. The motorboat was still anchored. The yacht stood out like a sore thumb. I turned and glanced at the hotel. Someone on the lanai above my room was looking through binoculars at me. He quickly ducked back into the room. It looked like Howard. What the hell is he up to?

I went back to my room. I could hear someone in the room above me walking around. After a few minute they stopped moving around. I got up and walked over to the door, opened it and slammed it shut. I heard the footsteps above me running across the room. I walked out on the lanai. I did not hear anyone pacing up and down the lanai. I tip toed across the room. I spotted a note on top of the TV. I picked it up and read it.

“Darling, I hate to leave you alone. I will be back soon. Wish me luck. You know who I am looking for and what I am going to do.”

I put the note back on the TV. I tip toed to the door and walked down to the end of the hall. From the window, I could see who came in the hotel and who left. I watched for a few minutes. Howard peeked out of the lobby door, and then walked outside. He looked in every direction and headed back into the hotel kicking the sidewalk. I remember the last time I saw him kicking the sidewalk. I was hoping he would fall and break his neck. No such luck.

          I went back to my room. After a few minutes, I heard foot step upstairs. I went back out the door and slamming it again. This time I kept walking. Howard had said that he was taking a cab to the airport. I walked over to the parking lot and got into the rented car. I wanted to see if Howard would follow me. I pulled out of the parking lot. In the rear view mirror I saw Howard leaving the building. I headed for town. I turned into the first street that I came to and made a u-turn so I could see the cars passing by. Within a few minutes a cab passed by. Howard was in the front seat with the driver. They were not wasting any time. I went back to my room and took a shower and got dressed. I went in the restaurant for breakfast. Lillie and Bob were having their breakfast and they invited me to join them. They were a beautiful couple and a lot of fun. No matter what subject we talked about, they made it humorous and enjoyable. We all went to the beach together. Being with this young couple, it made me feel young again. I had screwed up my life by using my body to get ahead. Now look at the mess that I am in.

          Later that morning Howard had not come back. I went to the shop in the hotel and purchased a small suitcase with rollers. I went out to the yacht, filled the suitcase with money and returned to my room. I didn’t want to be left with no money if Howard took off and locked up the yacht and took the keys with him. I put the suitcase in the closet behind my other suitcase. I went back to the beach. Late in the afternoon I saw Howard get out of a cab and go into the hotel on the service side of the building. I did not have the slightest idea what Howard was up to. The following day, I pulled the same thing on Howard. He was gone all day. What the hell was he doing?

Tomorrow Howard is scheduled to fly back home. I woke up early and listened for footsteps up stairs. Someone upstairs was moving around. I quickly put on a dress and went down to the restaurant. If Howard left the building, I would be able to see him. I had been in the restaurant for a few minutes, I saw him flying past the restaurant door. He glanced into the restaurant and sees me. I thought that he was going to collapse. He did not know which way to go. I waved to him. He did not move. He stared at me for a moment then walk over to the table. I got up and hugged him and whispered, “That was fast trip. Did you kill Ted?”

          He stammered for a moment and said, “I got cold feet. I did not leave the airport. I spent the night in a motel and flew back down here.”

          That lying bastard, he never took the flight. I asked, “Have you had breakfast.”

          He shook his head. I waved to the waiter and asked for a menu. I let Howard finish his breakfast then asked, “What in the hell are you trying to pull. You have been in the room above me; you followed me and stayed in town all day.”

          He raises his voice and said, “I have not been following you. I have been searching for you for the last two days. I spent a fortune on a cab trying to figure out where you went. Where did you go?”

          I lied and said, “I went down to the little store about a mile from here and bought me some fresh fruit to eat on the beach. Now tell me, what were you trying to pull? Don’t lie to me.”

          Howard stammered for a few minutes and said, “I thought you would take off with the yacht and money, and leave me.”

          Angrily, “What in the hell gave you that idea?”

          “You said that you wanted to split up and did not want to go back home. I thought that if I went back alone, you would take the yacht and money and leave me.”

          Internally, I chuckled; you don’t know how right you are. I said, “Howard, I did not want you to go back and get caught. Ted has already told the FBI that we kidnapped him. We tried to kill him twice. I saw that old man lying there on the floor. I had never shot anyone before. I picked up the damn phone and made that damn 911 call. I don’t know what came over me. I did not want him to die. I am sure that they took my finger prints from the phone and would compare my voice with the voice on the 911 tape. They don’t throw that type of evidence away. If either one of us gets caught, I am sure they will tie us together. I just don’t want either one of us to get caught.”

          With a surprised look on Howard’s face, he asked, “Janet, do you really mean it.”

          Sill lying, I said, “Of course darling.”

          Howard reached across the table and took my hand and said, “Janet, I love you.”

          Hoping that he would forget about me leaving him I said, “I love you to darling.”

          I wanted something to happen to him down here and not tie him with Howard Larson back home.

          For the next couple of months I tried to figure out what to do with Howard. I could not think of a way to kill him without getting myself involved. It was useless to circle the Gulf of Mexico. Ted or someone had hid the twenty million.  I defiantly did not want to go back home with Howard. Peterson would kill me. Every idea that I came up with to kill Howard had too many holes in it. They would certainly tie me in with his murder and I did not want to spend the rest of my life in a Mexican jail.

Time was passing by too fast. We were spending too much money staying at the hotel. We moved back on the boat. It was the only thing that we agreed on. While loading our luggage on the motor boat, Howard picked up one of my new bags with the money in it and asked, “What the hell do you have in here?”

          I smiled and said, “Money.”

          Howard laughed and said, “You are kidding me. Where did you get it?”

          “Yes darling, I am kidding you. It’s makeup and perfumes that I purchased in the hotel. It cost me a fortune.”

           Howard must have accepted my answer. He didn’t open it.

Ted is still at the top of the list:

          Life was getting boring. Every time I passed the bank during the day, it was a bee hive of activity. There was only one police car and one police man stationed at the bank. I was curious of what was going on inside. I had called Anderson a couple of days ago and I was still at the top of the list even with the disappearance of Howard. I was on the verge of making another midnight raid on the bank. The last time I went to the bank I searched most of the file cabinet for the money that Howard had hid. I made a list of the file cabinet that still had money in them. There could be many more that I missed. I still had not counted the amount of money that I had in the storage locker and I didn’t really care to. I could not move the money or spend too much of it. If I started a spending spree, someone would notice the number of hundred dollar bills showing up around town. They would ask the merchants to report anyone that was using the bills. I hated to see all of that money sitting around and not being invested. Hundreds of dollars a day or maybe thousand were being lost because it wasn’t invested. Watching people over the years poorly managing their hard earned money has irked me. Here I am with millions of dollars sitting in a storage locker gathering dust. I have to think of a way to get it invested.

 Pam insisted that I move in with her. To please her, I spent three or four nights a week with her. Peterson was still questioning the whereabouts of Janet. I think the bastard missed the midday rendezvous with Janet. Even though she tried to kill me twice, I enjoyed feeling her warm breast and hands caressing my body.

 I told Anderson that I had found a wonderful young lady and she did not know about me being accused of embezzling money from the bank. She knew about the embezzlement, but she did not know that I was involved. He assured me that he would not leak my involvement to the press about my involvement.

When I stayed at Pam’s, I called my apartment to see if I had gotten any calls. One morning I had a message from Anderson . He said that he had been to my apartment a couple of times and wondered where I was. They had run into a problem at the bank some time back and they still had not been able to resolve it. They had the experts from the FBI and the Banking Commission working on the problem since they got involved and he wondered if I would help them if they asked me to. I did not want Anderson to know the telephone number at Pam’s or have Pam listing in on the conversation. I took a walk outside and called Anderson . I told him that if they took me off of the top of the list, I would be more than glad to help them and I wanted it in writing. I told Anderson that he could reach me on my cell phone. Anderson said that he would talk to them and hung up.

Ted, they need me:

Later that day I got a call from Anderson . He asked me to come down to the bank. He had the agreement that I wanted. I kissed Pam and told her that I may get my old job back and I had to go over there and talk to them. She kisses me and wished me good luck. I didn’t drive over. If gave me a few more minutes to think about what the problem was and what they expected of me. The worse thing that I could think of was that they could not access the main computer or open the vault. Other than that, I had no idea. I approached the bank and started in and a husky man stepped in front of me and pushed me out of the bank and said, “The bank is closed.”

Anderson was inside the bank and saw the man pushing me out the door. Anderson yelled at him and told him to let me in. The guy apologized to me and pointed at Anderson . Anderson walked over to me and guided me into the vault area. There was a least a dozen men standing around doing nothing. I was wondering who was paying their salary, probably the tax payers. Without Anderson introducing me, I asked, “What seems to be the problem.”

All of them started talking at the same time. From the bits of information I could get from them. There were too many cooks in the kitchen and they all wanted to cook their best desert at the same time. From the information that Anderson gave me, they all were the best in their field and they were trying to be king of the mountain. I stuck my hand up and said, “I would like to talk to each one of you, but only one at a time.”

It took an hour to listen to all of them telling me what they thought was wrong with the security system for the vault and master computer. I thanked all of them and asked Anderson to join me when I tried to access the vault and I did not want all the experts looking over my shoulder while I worked. He ushered everyone out of the vault area.

When I looked at the vault control panel, I knew that too many mistakes had been made trying to open the vault and the controls would not accept any more entries on the keypad. I had to reset the control system so that it would accept the security number. To deactivate the vault security system, I had to shut down the power and disconnect the backup power supply. I went to the closet where we had hid the key for the room where the vault circuit breaker panel was located. The key was not there. I asked Anderson to question his men about the key and told him where it should have been. While Anderson was trying to find the key, I was knocking the hinge pins out of the door hinge on the vault circuit breaker room. I had the same problem a few months back at Janet’s. I was an expert at removing doors. I removed the door, turned off the power to the vault and the backup power supply. I went over to the vault control panel and waited for the indicator light to go out. The system was set with a ten minute delay. While I waited, I went out into the lobby and told Anderson to forget about the key. I had already gotten the door open. We went back to the vault control panel and the clock was clicking down. I told Anderson to have his men go to Howard office and look for the access number. It was a twelve digit number. I had the number at home, but I could not remember what it was and I was not going to tell Anderson . I told Anderson that if we don’t have the access number we will never be able to get into the vault unless we destroy the vault door.

We waited a half hour. Anderson called them on his radio to see what they were doing. They could not open the desk and were trying to break the lock. I told Anderson that Howard had a habit of hiding things under his desk mat. Anderson called them again and told them to look under the desk mat. We waited for a few minutes, and asked if they had found anything. They had and someone was on the way to the lobby. A young man ran over to us and handed us a slip of paper and said, “This was taped to the bottom of the desk mat and it’s a twelve digit number. Anderson gave it to me. It was almost the same number that I had used when I was the banks manager. Howard had changed it. Only the last four digits had been changed. The last four digits was Janet’s birth date, 9-6-66 .

I tried the number and watched the control panel. The vault was opening. I asked Anderson , “What would you like me to do next.”

Without any hesitation he said, “Get the computer going.”

I turned on the computer. After the desk top lit up a flashing note appeared on the computer. It read, “Invalid password.”

Anderson said, “What did you do to make it flash that note?”

I looked at Anderson and asked, “Do you have a computer?”

With a sarcastic voice Anderson said, “Yes I do. There are dozens of them at the office and I have a few at home.”

I smiled at Anderson and said, “What do you do when you turn on your computer? I did the same thing you do when you turn on your computer. I just turned it on, period.”

 Frustrated, Anderson again with sarcastic voice and almost yelling said, “What did you do to make the note flash?”

I knew I was still a suspect in Anderson ’s mind. I was solving his problem too quickly. I knew how to clear the message. I had to slow it down a little. For the next hour, I did everything but clear the flashing message. Anderson was getting impatient. He was sitting behind me mumbling to himself. He was bad as Howard with his mumbling. I mumble, but silently. His patient had worn out, he yelled, “Quit fucking around. Get the fucking computer started.”

I did not say a word. I got up and walked out of the vault. Anderson yelled at me, “Where the fuck do you think you are going?”

I spun around and said, “I am going home. Your fucking crew spent months without being able to open the vault. I opened it in less than half hour. I wasn’t the last person that fooled around with the computer and I am not a computer expert. Get one of your experts to start the fucking computer. You still think that I am the one that was embezzling the banks money. You signed that document that stated I wasn’t the embezzler. The document isn’t worth shit. You are hoping that I do something that will give you an excuse to arrest me for embezzling.  Goodbye.”

I turned around and kept going. He did not say anything. I did not want Pam to see me this pissed off. I walked over to Pam’s and picked up my car and headed for my apartment. On the way to my apartment, I questioned myself for what I had done. When I opened the door the phone was ringing. I was still pissed. I picked up the phone and loudly said Hello, who in hell is this.”

Anderson calmly said, “Ted, I am very sorry I blew my stack. I have been pressured from everyone to get the bank back into business. Please forgive me and come back to the bank. You are the only person that is familiar with the operation of the computer system.”

I spoke up and Anderson stopped talking, “I am sorry that I blew my stack. With the embezzlement hanging over my head, and someone is trying to kill me, I am a little strung out. Most of the time, I am not my normal self. With my present condition everything bugs me. I will be back over their as soon as I can. I have enough pressure on me; send all of your expert’s home. I don’t need any more distractions. Goodbye.”

I walked up to the door of the bank; a local police office opened the door for me. No one else was in the bank. I walked over to the vault; it was empty. I turned around and started to leave. Anderson walked out of the banks monitoring room and called to me. I turned around and said, “Turn off the damn monitors and the recorders. If you want everyone in the country to know what is going on in the vault, leave the monitor on. There is no security in the monitoring room. Everyone and his brother go in there. The tapes are not secured. They should be, but they are not.”

Anderson went back into the monitoring room turned off the monitoring system.

The computer was still on. I fumbled around as if I was search for something. Anderson said, “What are you looking for, can I help you?”

“There was a security CD somewhere around here. I think it’s missing.”

“What does it have on the label?”

“It has Master Security. Howard must have destroyed it or taken it with him.”

 There one more way to delete the password. Reset the bios. I turned off the computer and called to Anderson and said. “Give me a hand with the computer.”

We pulled the computer out from under the desk. I unscrewed the thumbscrews and removed the cover. I looked at Anderson and said, “The only other way to change the password is reset the bios. There are a thousand little jumpers on the motherboard, only one will reset the bios. I hope I remember the right one. I have not fooled with a computer like this one in a few years.”

If Anderson only knew, I have been working with these computers for years. I knew the exact jumper on this computer to reset the password. I cleared the password the day Anderson and his gang stormed the bank. This motherboard had a false jumper where most computers bios are reset. The false jumper was installed for security reasons. It did not do anything. Up in the right hand corner of the motherboard was a set of three jumpers, only one of them was actually was a jumper. You had to know which jumper would reset the bios and remove the two false jumpers so you could reset the computer with the real jumper.

Anderson was looking over my shoulder. He pointed to the jumper that is on most computers. I shook my head and said, “I don’t think that one will work.”

Anderson was insistent. I unplugged the power to the motherboard and let him change the jumper and plug in the power cord to the motherboard. He turned the computer on. The flashing note was still there. Anderson looked like the world had collapsed around him. Sheepishly he looked at me and said, “Let me get out of your hair.”

He left the computer room and said, “Call me when you have it back on line.”

I quickly turned off the computer and reached down and unplugged the power cord to the motherboard, removed the two false jumpers and shorted the bios. I replaced the jumpers to their normal position and turned on the computer. The flashing note was gone. I went into the bios and added a password. I typed in A N D E R S O N and exited the bios. The computer loaded the programs and I was on line. I quickly went into the data bases. Howard had not been able to get into the computer since I changed the password. I waited for about ten minutes. I let Anderson sweat for a while. I did not want it to look so easy. I turned the computer off and walked into the lobby. With a dejected look on my face I said, “I have done everything I could think of. I don’t want to be disappointed when it’s turned on again. Do me a favor, go in and turn it on. I hope it starts. Anderson went into the vault he reaches down and pushes the button on the computer and turns on the monitor. When the message did not appear, it asked for the password. Anderson with a forlorn look on his face said, “Damn it, you got the message off, but we still have to know the password.”

I said, “Put in the password.”

Anderson shouted, “I don’t know what the damn password is.”

I smiled and said, “Type in your last name and see if it works.”

“Damn it Ted, you know that not the password.”

Still smiling I said, “What do you have to lose.”

I watched as Anderson typed in his name in lower case. It did not work. Anderson looked up at me as if to kill. I told him to try it with all caps. He pressed the Cap Lock and typed in his last name. Anderson shouted, “Keep your fingers crossed. It looks like we are on first base.”

When the desktop popped up, I thought Anderson was going to go crazy. He was screaming to the top his voice. He got up and hugged me and said, “Thank you, thank you, you have made the both of us heroes. Let’s go out and get drunk.”

“I said, “Don’t you think that you should call the top echelon so they can get the ball rolling?”

Anderson asked. “Ted, what did you do to reset the bios?”

I smiled at Anderson and said, “That a trade secret. If I tell you, you will be able to access the banks computer. That a felony. I don’t want you to arrest me.”

“Ted, I am not going to arrest you. What did you do?”

“I told you that most of the motherboard can be reset by a jumper in the middle of the motherboard. I check the jumpers until I found the ones that did not have a medal strip between the pin holes. I removed them and jumped the pins that they covered and it worked.”

I have never seen anyone so appreciative. He thanked me, hugged me and patted me on the back. He looked me in the eyes and said, “You will never know how much pressure you have taken off of my back. Someday I will repay you for your help.”

The grand reopening:

          Of course, I was rehired as the banks manager. They wanted to give me Howard’s office. I told them that I preferred my old office and they let me stay there. I inherited Howard secretary. She was a sweet young kid, but she wasn’t as bright and neat as Janet. I could not get over how much I missed the bitch that tried to kill me. I had yearned so much and so long for Janet, I could not get her out of my mind. Things that you can’t have drive you nuts. It was like a bad habit that you can not break. I did not want to accidentally call Pam, Janet. I think I would kill myself if I did. I love Pam very much and did not want to destroy our relationship. 

          It was surprising at how many customers left their accounts with the bank. With loans and personal money from the board of directors we were back in business. I think everyone at the bank was still suspicious of me. The way they whispered among themselves gave me the chills. I think someone had put a bounty on my head and they all wanted to collect it.

          I did not know how I could put the money that I had taken back into the bank. The money on the tenth floor was no problem. All I had to do was ask my secretary to search for a file in the late forties and let her find it.

          It had been six months since the bank had been reopened and I still did not have a legitimate reason to send Judy to the tenth floor. My prayers were answered. An elderly couple had opened a CD back in the forties. There was a dispute on how much money they had accumulated. They thought that they were getting to much money and they did not want to be accused of stealing from the bank. From the best of my calculation, the drawer with their files still had money in it. I sent Judy to the tenth floor. Within a few minutes she came back. Judy looked like she was in shock. I knew that she had found the money. She sat down at her desk with a weird look on her face and her mouth was wide open. I knew what must have happened. I squatted down next to her and said, “Judy, how are you feeling. I put my hand on her forehead. I think you are coming down with something.”

          She shook her head and said, “I am scared to death and I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to lose my job and go to jail.”

          It was hard not to tell her that I knew what she had found. I put my hand on her shoulder and said, “You are not going to lose your job and you are not going to jail.”

          She looked at me with wide eyes and said, “If I tell you something. Will you promise that you won’t fire me?”

          She stood up and lifted Judy up. I put my arms around her and said, “I will kill myself before I let anyone fire you.”

          A smile came across her face and she said, “I found a lot of money.”

          Trying not to let Judy know that I knew what she had found, with a serious look on my face I asked, “Where did you find it?”

          She looked at me and around the room and said, “I was looking for the file you told me to get. I found the file number on the drawer’s label. The files were so tightly packed that I had to reach into the back of the files to release the files. I squeezed the clamps but there was something stacked behind the divider. It felt like blocks. I pulled one out and I almost fainted. I quickly put it back into the drawer and slammed the drawer shut. I thought someone might see me. I did not know what kind of trouble I would be in if someone saw me with the money.”

          Judy was looking down at the floor. I lifted her chin and said, “Did you get the file that I sent you for?”

          With regrets she said, “I’m so sorry, I forgot what I went up there for. The files were so tightly packed that I could not separate them. I tried to loosen up the files. I could squeeze the clamps, but I could not push the divider back. I reached behind the divider and found the money. I’m so sorry.”

          I said to Judy, “Look at me. I know that I have a grotesque face. Look into my eyes. You have a beautiful face and I don’t want you frowning and its ruins yours beauty face, smile. There is no reason for you to be sorry about anything. Come in my office with me.”

          I told her to take a seat and I called Anderson . He did not answer. The answering machine came on, I said, “I have a young lady that may take over your job. Get your butt over here and don’t waste any time. I want you to witness something that your boys missed.”

          I hung up and waited. The phone rang almost as soon as I hung up. Anderson called back and said, “What the hell is going on over there?”

          “You will find out when you get here and hurry, you can get over here quicker than I can tell you.”

          Within a few minutes I heard police cars whaling away in the distance. They were closing in rapidly. I took Judy hand and we walked over to the window. I opened the window and we looked out. There were four vehicles coming down the street. I took Judy with me and we took the elevator down to the first floor. I saw Anderson running across the lobby. I yelled to him, “Over here.”

          He and group of officers stopped in their track, looked in my direction and pulled out their firearms. I said, “You won’t need you gun now. Station one of your men in front of the elevator and another one at the fire escape door. Don’t let anyone go up stairs and any of the employees leave the bank. We all got on the elevator. Anderson was all fired up. He wanted to know what was going on. I told him to be patent. When we got off the elevator on the tenth floor, I told one of the officers to stay on the elevator and do not let anyone off at the tenth floor. We went down to the storage room and I told another officer not to let anyone in the room. I looked at Judy and said, “Please tell Mr. Anderson what happened to you a little while ago.”

          She tells Anderson every little detail of her search. When we got to the file cabinet, she reenacted the same thing and in the same sequence that she had told me. She pulls out a packet of one hundred bills. She looks around the room and threw the packet back in the drawer, and said, “After that, I went back down stairs and told Mr. Wallace.”

          Anderson pulled out the drawer. He reaches into the cabinet and pulls out the packages of hundred dollar bills. Then he returns them. Anderson looked in a few other cabinets. He reaches for his radio and walked away. Within an hour the tenth floor became a crime scene.

          After a month of searching they found close to thirty million dollars. Howard said that he had hid fifty million on the tenth floor. Howard and I have twenty million. I have another twenty stashed around the world. Where is the rest of the five hundred million?

          There had been a reward of one hundred thousand dollars. They only gave Judy fifty thousand. Their excuse was that all the money was not returned. Judy was thrilled. She was going to give me part of it. I told her that she found the money and it was all hers. The poor thing did not know what to do with the money. She was going to stop working. I took her aside and talked to her as if she was my daughter. I suggested that she invest the money and not to squander the money. Take a thousand and put it into a saving account and invest the other forty nine thousand. She did not like my suggestion and more or less told me so. I hated to see a young girl throw her money away, but there was nothing I could do about it. In a week she had blown over a thousand dollars. She came into my office and asked me to tell her what she should do with the money. I asked, “How much have you spent already.”

          A little embarrassed she told me that she had spent a thousand dollars and she does not know where it went and she wanted my advice on what to do with the money that was left. I said to her I would help her invest the forty thousand and for her to put the rest in a saving account. I told her that the stock at APB was a bargain and I though that it would go up. She took my advice and invested forty thousand dollars in APB stock. Thankful she stopped squandering her money.

Things have turned around:

          With my job back, and twenty million invested and growing, and about another ten million resting in a storage locker. After everything settled down I took a leave of absence for a month and tended to my investments. Since the stock at APB had dropped like a rock, I took four million and invested it in APB and made myself trustee of the funds and gave myself twenty percent of the earning for managing the trust. The other eighty percent went back into the trust. The dividends that accumulated were growing.

Ted married with a new face:

Pam was still pestering me to get married. I hated my pocked marked face. It did not bother Pam. She said it made me look strong and masculine. I wasn’t strong or masculine. She made an appointment for me without me knowing it. Pam told me she had an appointment with a doctor and asked me to go with her in case they gave her anesthesia. After she had been in the office for about fifteen minutes the doctor came out into the waiting room and Pam introduced us. Almost instantly the doctor starts talking about my pockmarked face. Between the two of them they had me committed to have a face lift. Two weeks later the doctor operated on me. What little I could see of my face, I thought that I would look worse than I was. During the recovery period, the little that I could see, the pock marks were gone. When the bandages came off I did not know my own self. There wasn’t a pock mark on my face. For the life of me, I could not recognize myself. They had knocked off the bump on the ridge of my nose, shorted it and made it look a slight bit smaller. One of my ears stood out like a red flag. They pulled it in. For a few weeks after the bandages were taken off I went through a depressed state. I wanted my ugly face back. That wasn’t me in the mirror. I did not know who in hell I was looking at. What a strange felling that went through me.

Being wakened by Mother Nature and half asleep, I headed for the bath room. I flipped on the light switch and glanced into the mirror. It scared the living hell out of myself. I thought that someone had broken into the house. It took a few months for me to get over my depression and become accustomed to my new face. Over the coming months I slowly began to like the way I looked. There were no scars. They had shaved the sides of my head above the hair line and there was only a slight line where they cut the skin. Most of the scares are hidden by my hair or it is invisible. Most of the people that I knew did not recognize me. They saw some of the resemblance but did not recognize me. On our second anniversary I gave in to Pam and we were married. I also resigned as manager of the bank. We flew down to the Bahamas for our honeymoon. I felt wonderful not having to work and being with Pam. I asked Pam if she like me more now than she did when I had the pock marks. She took me into her arms and looked at my face and said, “The person that I saw on the first night that I met you was the person that I fell madly in love with. Looking at you now darling you are the same person that I fell in love with. I did not fall in love with your face; I fell in love with the person under your face. I will always love that person not matter what his face looks like. A tear trickled down my cheek. She wiped it off like she did the first time she wiped a tear from my cheek. She kissed me and said that she would never stop loving me no matter what I looked like. Tears glistened in Pam’s eyes. The light reflecting from her teary eyes and the smile she had on her face sent a flash on love through my body. I hugged her tightly and I did not want to let her out of my arms.

Ted moves the money from the storage locker:

          Like Howard and Janet we bought a yacht and loaded the money on the yacht. We set sailed for all of the ports where I had accounts. It was seventeen million that had been resting for three years and now it was working. Howard must not have counted the money he hid on the tenth floor. I was still wondering where the rest of the five hundred million was. It seemed to have evaporated. Of course, I was still the trustee for Mr. William Duffery estate. I was not going to fire myself. I was still purchasing APB stock for Mr. Duffery.

          I was enjoying a wonderful married life. I had never dreamed or thought that my life would be so wonderful. I wondered what had happened to Howard and Janet. Someone was paying the taxes on the two homes Janet owned. Also, there wasn’t any mail laying around the yard at Janet’s home. I had forgotten about them, out of sight, out of mind. The board of directors was going to vote Peterson out of office. He resigned as president and he is still on the board. I have not seen him around lately.  

Pam and I became world travelers. We spent about three month a year visiting other countries. We were in Cancun on a sightseeing bus. As we went through a small village I saw Howard going into a bar. It blew my mind. I made a move to get up and slowly sat back down. Pam asked, “Do you want to get off the bus.”

For a moment I was lost for words. I said, “My butt is starting to get sore. I got up to take the wrinkles out of my pants.”

I was dying to get off the bus and follow Howard. Pam did not know about my association with Howard and Janet and I did not want to bring it up now. I hated to lie to Pam. I told her that tomorrow I had some business to take care of in town and I may be gone for the most of the day. She never questioned me about my business and I did not question her about hers.

I had seen Howard going into the bar around noon . I was hoping this was one of his regular stops. When I went into the bar, it was almost empty. I still had about an hour to wait for the lunch crowd. I ordered a beer and struck up a conversation with the bartender. He was also the owner. I talked about his business and his customers. Most of his customers were locals. He said that he has an American customer that comes in every day for lunch and he sit in the corner of the room and talks to himself for about an hour. He told me that he thanks the guy is crazy. He seems to talk about the same people every day. I asked the owner if he had listened to him. He said, “No, I am too busy at lunch time. The customers that are sitting in the table next to him tell me what they hear him saying. He wanted to kill someone. They all said that he always cursing the same people.”

I asked, “What are the names of the people that he talks about?”

The bartender did not answer me. He pointed at a particular table and said that if I wanted to hear him talking to himself for me to set there during the lunch hour. I got another beer, went to the table and pointed at the chair, the bar tender nodded yes. I had not been seated five minutes and Howard walks in.  He glances at me and stops and stares at me for a moment, then went to the table next to mine. I was wondering if he had recognized me or was he wondering why I was sitting next to his table. I didn’t say a word. The bartender was right. No sooner had his butt hit the seat, he started mumbling something about Janet. The bartender brought Howard his lunch and winked at me. The bartender had told me that Howard orders the least expensive item on the menu every day and had not changed it since he first come in for lunch and he prepares it before Howard came in.

 I listened to Howard cursing me, and Janet until he left. I was one of the chosen ones that he had chosen to curse. He also included Peterson. I wasn’t sure who he hated the most. The poor bastard sounded like he had gone out of his mine.

After Howard left the bar, I went back to the hotel. I looked at the notes that I copied from Howard ledger. The alias Howard used when he transfer the money was Don Parker. My curiosity had taken over my body and soul. Why was he cursing Janet and why had he chosen Peterson to curse. What in hell did Peterson do to him? Did Janet dump Howard for Peterson?

Cancun was the first stop on the map that I found in Janet’s home. Howard had transferred three million to a bank in Cancun . I looked it up in the telephone directory and wrote down the address and telephone number. I dialed the number and asked for the manager. When the manager came to the phone I said, “An American gentleman purchased a boat from me.  He gave me a check for three hundred thousand dollars. Before I turn over the boat to him I want to know if he has that much money in your bank. The manager said, “Would you please give me the name of the gentleman.”

“Oh yes, Don Parker. Does he have that much money in your bank?”

Without hesitating he said, “No he doesn’t. He did have an account here. I cannot tell you the details of his account.”

I asked, “Without putting yourself in trouble, what can you tell me about Mr. Parker?”

The manager hesitated for a moment and said, “If I were you, I would not do business with Mr. Parker. He is a sick name. He should be in an institution. He is very forgetful. He deposited a very large sum of money. Shortly afterward, he transferred the money out of my bank. Later he came into the bank to check on the account. He did not remember taking the money out of the bank. He is constantly taking to himself. As I said, He is a very sick man.”

I thanked the manager and hung up. Revenge had been in the back of my mind for a long time. I had to get it out of my system. I did not want to end up like Howard, I said to myself, “Forget about the poor soul. You have already got your revenge. He will have to live out his miserable life in the condition that he is in.”

I took a deep breath and tried to flush Howard out of my brain, but Janet slid in with Peterson. The following day I took Pam to lunch with me. I made sure that I was there before Howard showed up. I let Pam sit in the seat next to where Howard would be sitting. Like clockwork, Howard showed up on time. The bar tender brought over his lunch. Between each bite Howard was talking to himself. Pam looked at Howard and motioned to me. I nodded my head. Howard finished his dinner and left. Pam started to tell me what Howard was talking about. It looked like Janet had sailed off with the yacht and left Howard with very little money. Howard had listened in on a call that Janet got from Peterson and an argument broke out. Howard beat the hell out of Janet and Howard was arrested. Janet hired a crew to sail the yacht and took off in middle of the night. Since Janet wasn’t around when the trial started, they dropped the charges. Pam was very sympathetic. She wanted to take Howard in with us. Pam felt very sorry for Howard.

Before Pam got too attached to Howard, I felt that I should tell her about my life before she met me. Before I could open the door to my past life, she put a finger across my lips and said, “Darling, long before I met you in the parking lot. I had seen you in the bank a number of times. Since you did not want to tell me about your life, I respected you for not asking about my life. I never brought it up. I knew about you long before we met. You do not have to tell me anything about the embezzlement charges they held over your head. I was so relieved when they hired you back. I had prayed that they would not take you away from me. My wishes were granted.”

Pam stuck her head across the table with a smile on her face and whispered, “How much money did you get away with?”

I smiled, shook my head, laughed, and said, “A lot.”

She stands up and leans across the table, kisses me, and said, “I knew that you could not afford the things that you have been giving me on a retired bank manager’s salary. I enjoyed everything and kept my mouth shut. Who is Janet, and Peterson?”

Over the next hour or so, I filled in all the pieces. Pam asked me if I was looking for them. I told Pam that Janet tried to kill me twice and I wanted some type of revenge. Pam told me that revenge was a terrible thing and she did not want to ruin our lives with revenge. I promised her that I would not do anything that would jeopardize our lives.

We left Cancun and Howard and continued visiting places around the world. When we returned home, I visited the bank and checked up on the finances of Mr. William Duffery. Peterson had retired as the chairman of the board and one of the other board members had been elected. I attended one of the board meetings and who do you think came in and sat across for me? He did not recognize me. But, when the president of the board introduced me to the other members, I thought Peterson was going to faint. His face turned a milky white. Without saying anything, Peterson got up and walked out of the meeting. I felt that Janet must be in town with him. Where was she staying? Was she living in her home or was she living with Peterson. I faked a coughing spree and excused myself. I walked down the hall to the fire escape and looked down at the parking lot. I saw Peterson getting into an expensive red BMW convertible. I knew who had him on a string. It had to be Janet. That bitch could charm the devil and I think she had. I hurried down the back stairs into the parking lot. The BMW was gone. I headed through the back streets to Janet’s home. I did not give a damn if I got a ticket. I wanted to get to Janet’s before Peterson got there. If he beat me to Janet’s and parked in the garage. I would have to watch the house until one of them came out. I got to the house and waited, and waited. It got dark. I drove around the block and looked at the house. Like always all the blinds were drawn. I parked on the street across from Janet’s house. I saw the shadows of two figures on the blinds walking around the inside of the house. I called Pam and told her that I had some business to attend to and I may not get home until quite late. I had been watching the house for a couple of hours, no one came out.

Janet (Howard almost killed me):

          Howard and I are still living on the yacht. Every day the tension between us got worse. It got so bad that we never spoke to each other. I wanted to kill the bastard. Like the times before, I could not come up with a plan to kill Howard that would not implicate me. He would not leave me on the boat alone. I tried the scheme that I tried before to get him to follow me around the town. It did not work. He did not care where I went and hoped that I would never return. Howard was suspicious of everything that I did. I had been shopping. When I climbed into the yacht and went to my room. My cell phone had a message on it. Peterson had returned my call. Thank God I did not have it turned on. God only knows what would have happened if Howard had answered my cell phone. I Called Allen, he wanted to know what was going on and why I had not came back home. Now I had two ass holes bugging me. I told him that when I finished what we had planned on doing, I would come home and not until. Peterson told me that it was taking too long and for me to kill Howard. He said, “Kill the bastard and throw him overboard and come home.”

I could not listen to him complain any longer. I turned off the cell while he was still talking. The son of a bitch did not give a damn if I was charge for killing Howard. I can’t wait until I can blow both of their brains out. Roasting from the heat in the cabin, I went up on deck. It was not much cooler up here. At least there was a slight breeze. I had just reached the upper deck; Howard grabbed me by my hair and dragged me across the deck. He beat the living hell out of me without telling me why. I passed out on the deck. I don’t know how long I had been out. As I was coming to, I heard Howard cursing me about wanting to kill him, stealing his money and messing around with Peterson. I did not dare move. He must have listened to my call with Peterson. Howard will probably kill me and through me overboard. I laid there in pain until the son of a bitch fell asleep.  I waited until he started snoring. I knew that nothing would wake him. If he could sleep with the noise that was coming out of his mouth, nothing would wake him. I eased down to the motorboat. Damn it, Howard had the key. I grabbed a life jacket and slid into the water. My body ached so badly that I could hardly move. It took me the rest of the night to get ashore. When I crawled ashore, I looked back at the yacht and saw the motorboat coming at full speed. It took all my strength to stand up. The pain was killing me. I saw one of the bell boys standing at the entrance of the hotel. I yelled to him for help. He ran over to me and was helping me down the beach to the hotel. I looked back at the yacht. Howard had reached the beach and was pulling the boat ashore. He ran down the beach after us. Howard was screaming at me. He was a raving maniac. I think he woke up everyone in the hotel. A crowd of people came over to us. It took about five men to restrain Howard.  I heard the police car sirens in the distance. A group of men carried me into the hotel. They took me into a room on the first floor. Every part of my body ached. I passed out.

Two days later I woke up in a hospital. They had a catheter attached to my body. I dragged the stand with me to a mirror. My face was a mess. A nurse came in and helped me back into the bed. I told her that I had to go to the bathroom. She reaches under the bed and came up with a bed pan. I shook my head and said, “Please just help me into the bath room.”

          I spent two weeks in the hospital. Howard broke my nose, fractured my jaw and two ribs, and the beating left my face swollen for over a month. They repaired my nose and the other damage that Howard had done. Thankful, I did not have Howard around.  I could not and was not going to wait around for the court hearing. It was scheduled to start in six months. As soon as the aches and pains stopped and my face cleared up somewhat, I hired three men to help me get back to Brownville, their names were José, Martinez and Pedro. Martinez was a pilot he was quite familiar with all of the electronics.  I had confidence in him.  Martinez was the smartest of the three and spoke perfect English.  Pedro was an excellent cook, he kept us well fed. Every evening Pedro would bring out hors d'oeuvres for a late night snack. José maintained the yacht. It appeared that he never stopped working. The trip was congenial for the most part of the trip. The wind was hardly blowing. The sea was flat. We were not making very much headway. Martinez wanted to know if I was in a hurry. I told him no and that it was quite peaceful. The men seem to be very happy and were always smiling. We had been at sea for over a week. Martinez was an excellent pilot. With the slight breeze we were making good time. It was more pleasant going to Brownville than the trip to Cancun .

One evening when Pedro brought out our late evening snack, I noticed the demeanor of the crew had changed drastically. I had been around long enough to recognize a false smile. I did not know what was on their minds. I knew something was bothering them. I wished that I could read their minds. I knew something was wrong.  Fear crept into me. I had felt safe with the crew. I had not armed myself; I did not think I needed to. I kept my armory locked in a cabinet in my room. I will have to arm myself.

As the days passed, it got to a point that I could not sleep at night. Were they going to have a mutiny, rape me, kill me and take over the yacht? Had they found the money? I was at the point that I did not know what I should do. Had they planned to kill me before we left Cancun ? I don’t think so. Who was it that talked the other into doing it? They all acted as if they never knew each other before they met on the yacht.

I was losing so much sleep that I was constantly felt exhausted. I spent most of the night waiting for something to happen. One evening I was so tired that I went to my cabin earlier and told them that I was not feeling will. I did not have to pretend, I was physically and emotionally worn out. I needed some sleep. I went to my cabin and locked the door. I tried to go to sleep. I listen to their movements around the yacht. I tried to stay away, but I could not. I would fall asleep and wake up fifteen minutes later with a shock of fear. It was quite late in the evening. They had changed the watch; I hear footsteps heading down into the bilge. Why were they going down there at this time of night? Howard had hid the money in a large container in the bilge that was used for storing fish that had been caught. Boxes of food were stacked over and around the container. I could hear Pedro and Martinez talking in Spanish. A flow of adrenalin shot through my body. I was wide awake.  The bastards had found the money. I grabbed my UZI and crept down to the bilge. They were stuffing their pockets and shirts. I hid behind the water tank and listened. I had picked up some Spanish over the months. Two words I had heard frequently on TV and the radio were murder and killing. Like the States, it was on the news almost every night. I had heard enough. We were about a hundred miles from Brownsville and I was not going to take the chance of entering the States with them aboard. I had planned to pay them off before we hit the United States and let them take the motorboat ashore. This had changed everything. I was not going to turn them over to the Mexican or the United States police. They would surely tell the cops about the money.

          When they started to leave, I came out from behind the water tank and said, “Put it back.”

          I thought they were going to shit in their pants. They rattled off something in Spanish and started repacking the money in the container. They had just about finished putting the money boxes in the container and were putting the boxes of canned food on top of the container. I heard footsteps above me. I quickly hid behind the water tank. I heard José whispering in Spanish. I think he was telling them to hurry up, she will be awake soon. Pedro and Martinez kept glancing at José on the upper deck. He repeated himself two or three times. Since the two did not move. He came down the stair and whispered in Spanish again, “Come on. She will be waking up soon.”

Pedro pointed at me. José turned and saw the gun pointed at him. He jumped to the side, rammed into the bulkhead and fell to the floor. When he stood up on his knees, he pleaded with me. I did not know what he said. I pointed up the stairs. José was in front of the group. They headed up the stairs. When José got to the deck, he took off running. A hundred miles off shore, where in hell could he go? I guided Pedro and Martinez to the stern of the boat. I saw José at the bow of the boat. I motion for him to come to me. He did not move. I aimed the gun at the other two. They pleaded with him to come. He didn’t, I told Pedro and Martinez to turn around. I aimed the gun at Pedro head. José begged me not to shoot his friends and headed toward the stern of the boat. The yacht was hardly moving. There was only a very light breeze. When the three of them were facing the aft railing, I told Martinez to go get his things from his cabin. One at a time I told them to go get their   possessions. When they came back, I made them spread everything they had on the deck. I ask Martinez it he had still had any of the money. He said yes and that he left it in his cabin. I told him to go get it and do not leave any behind. When he returned I told him to stack the packet on the deck. I sent Jose and Pedro to get their things and any money they had taken. They spread their things on the deck and stacked the money with the money Martinez had taken. I told them to pack their things in their suitcases and put the motor boat over the side of the yacht. Martinez pleaded with me. He did not want to be left out in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico in a small boat. He felt that they would never get to the shore. I told Martinez that I could not trust them any longer. I asked them if they wanted me to kill them now or take a chance on making it to shore. Martinez translated what I had said. The other two did not want to die and climbed into the boat. Pedro asked Martinez about the money I owed them. Martinez asked me to give them the money that I promised them. I said to Martinez , “You told me that you would never make it to shore. Why should I give it to you? You will never be about to enjoy it. Why should I give my money to thieves?”

I untied the rope and watched the boat drift away. Martinez kept pleading with me and apologizing for trying to steal my money.

The sun had not risen, but it slightly lightened the ocean. I looked around and did not see anyone or anything. Again I weighed my option. I had no choice. I could not trust them. They may have killed me. I turned around and walked to mast and lowered the sails and wrapped them. I turned on the engine.

Alone in the middle of the ocean, the image of the old man that I shot came to mind. I had the same feeling about the crew as I had about the old man. I did not think of what I was doing. I could have reasoned with them. I could have told them that if I was arrested for the money I had on board, I would put a bounty on their families. Tears stated running down my face. Like I told Howard, we were getting to greedy; I have gotten the same way. As I looked across the ocean with tears distorting my vision, I tried to convince myself that I had done the right thing. They were going to kill me.  

 Thank God Martinez taught me how to use the electronic while I was on my watch. With the GPS, it was like driving a car. With the size of the oil tanks I could cruise out here for a couple of months and still not run out of diesel fuel. I wanted to get of the yacht club. There were too many horrible memories of the yacht.

Janet (On dry land):

          A few days later, I pulled into Brownsville harbor and was welcomed by the dock workers. They wanted to know what had happened to Howard. I told them that he was locked up in Mexico and told them about the beating. They could see the damage that he had done to my face. I took a taxi to the house and picked up my car. Fortunately it started. I returned to the dock and hired a couple of men to carry the boxes in the car. I had the boxes with money marked. I had the marked boxes put in the car. I gave the supplies to the men. I made arrangements for docking the yacht and asked the Yacht Club owner if he would try to sell the yacht for me. I told him that it brought back to many bad memories. The ones that I talked to were very sympathetic. The Yacht Club owner wanted to know how he could contact me. I told him that I did not know and I would call him and tell him how he could reach me.

          I had a good night sleep and called Allen Peterson. I spent an hour telling him about the trip. He was furious when I told him about the twenty million Howard had lost.  He wanted to know the detail of how it was lost. I told him what had happened to the money in Cancun . I told him that someone had transfer the money out of the accounts. He felt that Howard was lying and he had transferred the money to his own accounts. Allen told me that he was going to fly down today and ride back with me. I told him that I had sailed the yacht back by myself. I did not tell him about the crew.  

          Later that evening Allen arrived. He saw the scars that Howard left on my face. He wanted to go down to Cancun and kill Howard. The following morning after a romantic evening we headed home. We had a non eventful trip back home. Allen wanted to know what was in the boxes in the trunk and back seat. I told him it was supplies that I had taken off the yacht and I was not going to through it away. He ask how much money Howard and I had. I told him that I did not know how much money Howard took with him to Cancun and I only had around fifty thousand.

I was not going to tell Allen about the money in the boxes. Fortunately, Allen did not open any of the boxes. He would probably take it from me.

          When we arrived home, I dropped Allen off at his apartment. His wife had kicked him out of their home. I was afraid to show my face around my beautiful home. I had bought a small home where I could hide from the world. If something flared up; I had a place to hide. After dropping off the money and packing it back into the freezer, I collected the clothes that I felt that I might need.  I parked my car in the garage and used Howard’s car. I did not want Ted or anyone else to know that I was back in town.

          The bank had reopened and Ted got his job back. With all the money missing, I could not figure how the bank could be reopened. Later that year Howard secretary found the money on the tenth floor. Allen wanted to know if I knew about the money that was hidden on the tenth floor. Of course I did, but I was not going to tell Allen. Howard was stashing the money on the tenth floor and taking money home with him before I convinced Allen to dip into the banks funds. Allen and I were going to blame Howard for the embezzlement until Howard told me that if he went down, Allen and I would go down with him. That is when Allen and I decided to put the blame on Ted and kill Howard. I told Allen that Howard must have taken the money out of the vault and hid it on the tenth floor. Allen said that was the reason the bank went under. He had left enough money in the bank so it would not go under. I still do not know how much money Allen had taken and where he hid it.

          I went home about once or twice a week and checked my mail and the money. Before I went in the house I circle the block a couple of times to see what was going on around in the neighborhood. So far no one has come around. The only thing that has bothered me was the mail on Howard’s desk. He must have gotten it and never said anything about it. Yet, it still bothers me. We had left before the mailman usually comes.

          Things went smoothly for a long time. I moved back into my beautiful home. I felt trapped. I wanted more out of life than what I was getting. I pressured Allen to get a divorce. He finally did. His bitch took most of the money and the house. Yet, Allen still had plenty of money left from that he drained from the bank. Allen hardly ever attended the board meeting anymore. I was afraid to get married to Allen to soon after his divorce. At least that is what I told him. Even thought Allen had asked me to marry him, like me; I don’t think he really wanted to get married. It was a mutual agreement not to get married. Also, being a member of the board, Allen was in the spotlight and I did not want the publicity.

           I spent a lot of time with and without Allen traveling all over the world. I loved taking cruises. I met a lot of younger men that wanted a one night stand. I enjoy being with younger men. It made me feel like I was young again. I did not want to get too involved with anyone. They would ask too many questions and I did not want a family.

I am getting tired of Allen and I think he is getting tired of me. I would not put it past him to be sleeping with another woman. If he is, he may tell her about our relationship. I would have to kill her to shut her up. I don’t want to get into the public eye for a long time.

          I never used my old red convertible. I used Howard car. I hated it. It brought back the beating that he gave me. I drove Howard car out in the country and left the keys in the car. I made it easy for the thief’s. I want them to strip it down so it could not be traced back to Howard and me. Allen traded my old convertible in for a new red BMW convertible. He liked driving it around as much as I did. He would leave his beautiful Mercedes-Benz with me; it was nice to have the two different cars.  

          According to Allen, Ted had not been around for months. On one of those rare occasions that Allen went to the board of directors meeting. Allen would drop by to spend the night with me. Since he wasn’t getting any attention from his wife, he expected me to satisfy his hunger. Late one afternoon Allen burst through the door. He was extremely excited. He shouted, “Guess who is back in town. I thought we had gotten rid of him.”

I said, “Howard, I don’t believe it. I thought that he would still be in jail.”

Allen said, “Guess again.”

          I had only one other person in mind and said, “Who, Ted?”

          “Yew, its Ted, after he got married and retired, I had forgotten about him. Some rich bastard from Aruba invested a bundle of money in the bank and he is letting Ted manage his funds. That bastard has enough money in the bank that he shoved Ted in as one of the board of directors. Ted hardly ever comes to any of the meetings. I had never seen him there. I came in late today and there was only one seat available. It was across the table from someone that I had never seen. A good looking young man, I smiled at him and he nodded his head politely. Pritchard, the present chairman of the board introduce him to the rest of the board. When Pritchard said his name I almost fainted. It scared the hell out of me. I don’t know why, but, the way he looked at me, I knew what he was thinking. He was going to hang the embezzlement on me. As much as we all pointed our finger at him, they never charged that fucking son of a bitch with embezzling the money or anything else. That bastard is free as a bird. I still can’t figure out how he got away with it.”

          My heart fell down to my ass. He is the one person I never wanted to see again. I tried to kill that ass hole twice. I could not stand looking at him. All of a sudden I remembered what Allen said, “A good looking young man.”

          I shook my head and said, “You must be mistaken. You did not see Ted Wallace.”

          “Janet, Pritchard said that his name was Ted Wallace. It looked like Ted, but something didn’t quite register in my brain.”

          Janet inquired, “Did he have pock marks all over his face?”

          “Damn it Janet, I don’t know what he had on his face. When I heard his name and the way he looked at me. He knew that I was behind the embezzlement. I know that bastard knows we both were involved in the embezzlement.”

          I changed the conversation. Allen was too fired up over seeing Ted. If Ted can tie Allen to the embezzlement, he may be able to tie me in with Allen. I have to get rid of Allen. Fortunately, since I came back from Cancun , Allen has given me my share of the money he embezzled. I still don’t know how much money he embezzled. I don’t need the bastard anymore. I have the money Howard stole and my share from what Allen stole.

          I chased Allen out of the house. Ted knows where I live and I don’t want him to tie me in with Allen. After Allen left, I gathered a few things and went to my other home. I had to find a way to get rid of Allen. If Ted can drag Allen down I don’t want to go down with him.

Ted (The stake out):

          I had dozed off a couple of times. Peterson or someone else was still in the house. I started to think that maybe Janet rented out the house. I called Pam and told her that I would be home within an hour and not to stay up waiting for me even though I knew she would not go to bed until I came home.

          I looked at my watch. Another half hour had passed. To hell with it, I am going home. Janet and Peterson may not live here. I didn’t see him park the car in the garage. I reached down to start the car and I heard a garage door opening. I leaned over in the seat and a car was backing out of the garage. The headlights shined into my car. When the head lights passed me, I sat up quickly. The garage door was shutting. I got a glimpse of the red convertible. I wasn’t sure if it was Janet’s old convertible or the one Peterson was in. I closed my eyes and tried to remember what it look like when it left the bank parking lot. I remembered the vanity plates that Janet had on her car. It was white with red letters that read “FIRE BALL”. The car in the garage and the one Peterson was in, they both had white plate. The standard plates were blue. I made a u-turn. There was only one other car on the street and it was headed away from me. It was only a few blocks ahead of me. I did not want to lose him. I wanted to know where he lived. I followed Peterson to the interstate. The bastard took off like a rocket. I had not been close enough to see what kind of car he was driving. When he left Janet’s, all that I could see were the tail lights. There wasn’t too much traffic. I was driving the same old car that I had been driving for the last ten years. I thought I was going to lose him. He was getting to far ahead on me. The highway turned to the right. When I got around the curve, I was not sure which set of tail lights were Peterson’s. Peterson was on the left lane passing all the cars. He pulled into the right lane and exited the highway. That was the exit for the development that was in the planning stage years ago and Howard stole my idea and the bank he worked for added a branch. The thought was still burned my ass. Oh well, that’s water under the bridge. I could no longer see his tail lights. I was wondering where he was going. I took the Willow Street exit. When I got down on Willow Street , I looked both directions. There was only one car on the street and he had turned right on Willow . A red light had stopped him. I was a block behind the car when the light turned green. He drove a short distance and turned into a driveway of a modest home two blocks down the street. I turned off my headlight and continued up the street. The driver parked in the driveway. He got out of the car and walked over to the door and stopped. He looked around. It was Peterson, I did not lose him. Within a second or two, the door opened. A frisky young girl jumped on Peterson and wrapped her legs around him. He carried her into the house. With my headlights still off, I pulled in front of the house. I was sure this wasn’t Peterson’s home. I watched the shadows on the blinds. They had only one thing in mind and it did not take long before the light dimmed. I had the urge to go up and peek in on them. I turned the engine off and opened the door. I came out of my trance and shut the car door; it reminded me of the night I piss on the crowd. I turned on the engine and went home.

          Pam was still up. Remembering what Peterson was doing, I took off my cloths and lifted Pam nightgown off of her. I led her into the bed room. Making love with Pam was the most wonderful moments of my life.

          Pam has never questioned where I had been, what I did, who I did it to, and she did not ask me about last night. At breakfast, I asked Pam if she was interested in what happen yesterday. She smiled and gave me a sexy look and said, “I know what happened last night. It was wonderful.”

          She leans over and kisses me and said, “Thank you, I enjoyed it very much.”

          I leaned over and gave Pam a kiss and said, “Do you want to know what happened before I came home.”

          “Darling, only if you want to tell me.”

          I told Pam every little detail and she said, “So, that what gave you the idea. Sweetheart, I don’t care where you get your appetite, as long as you come home for dinner.”

          I said, “No Honey, seeing you in that sheer nightgown gave me the idea. I was hoping that is why you were waiting up for me.”

          Pam asked, “Now that you know that Peterson is two-timing Janet. Are you going to tell Janet?”

          “I don’t know what to do. I have to think about it for a while. Janet would probably kill Peterson if she knew he was wasting his money on another woman.”

Janet and the two-timer:

          I got on the interstate and was at my little home in a few minutes. As I approached my home, I saw Allen’s Mercedes-Benz parked in the driveway. I wondered what the hell he was doing here. I parked my car next to his and went inside. There was a dim light on in the bedroom.  I was wondered why he came over here to sleep. Why didn’t he go home?  When I walked into the bedroom, I knew why.  I screamed to the top of my voice, “What the hell are you doing here? Get the fuck out of my house.”

    I had never seen anything this humorous. I could not hold back the laughter.  I had never seen two people going in ten different directions at the same time.  I did not give a damn if he was sleeping with another woman, but not in my home.  I lashed into both of them.  Allan tried to calm me down.  I pretended that I was madder than hell. I cursed them for about five minutes. I watched them in their necked bodies trying to cover themselves and get dressed. The humor in this situation outweighed the anger. I sat down and watched the comedy. Allan caught me smiling. He smiled at me and started to laugh.

          Still trying to appear angry, I told them to get the fuck out of my home   immediately. I felt sorry for the young girl. She was doing what I have been doing all my life. She was using her body instead of her brain. If Allan was not here I would have invite her to stay.  I wanted to question her about her relationship with Allan. What did she know about us? What had Allan told her about us? The young girl slipped in her dress and was out of the house faster than Allan. Allan took his time and tried to explain to me that the relationship met nothing to him. Humorously he tried to play down the situation and salvage our relationship. I did not give a damn if he fucked everyone in town. He probably has. I was ready to end our relationship months ago.  I forcibly showed Allan out of the house and locked the door. I went into another bedroom and went to bed. The following morning I went through the house to clean it up. The place was like a pigs sty. I washed everything in the house and aired it out. The damn bitch smoked. The whole house smelled from tobacco. I wondered how many times they had been here.  The only thing she left with was the dress she had on her back. Her pocket book and shoes was still here. I opened it and there was only a few of bucks in it. The meager wardrobe was pathetic. It reminded me so much of my youth. As I was collecting her makeup in the bathroom, I looked at myself in the mirror. I saw how my age was creeping up on me. With the beating from Howard and the aging over the last ten years, I looked worse than Ted. I wondered what had happen to him. I bet his wife made him have a face lift. Allen said that he was a nice looking young man. How in hell did he get on the board of directors? Howard and I were almost certain that Ted withdrew all the money from the accounts that Howard had opened. Who else could have done it? Maybe I can blackmail him. What in hell would it do? Allen, Howard and I told the FBI that the only person that could have pulled the embezzlement off was Ted. They did not believe us. They went after Howard. I wonder what Howard is doing. Is he still in jail?”

Ted is breaking the link:

Pam had told me to keep out of Allan’s and Janet’s lives. There was a link in this chain that had to be broken before I could live the rest of my life in peace. I had to do something to get Allan and Janet out of my life permanently. I could not rest until it was finished. They had created the mess and I was going to clean it up, otherwise it would haunt me for the rest of my life. They had to be put away for life.

I had taken the address where Allen went. Who owned the house? I went through the tax records on the internet. Janet also owned the smaller home. Was this the house that she had lived in before she bought the larger home? No, she could not have. The smaller home was not built yet. She and Howard must have lived there when they had Howard on the most wanted. I thought about the relationship between Janet and Allen. Were Janet and Allen partners in embezzlement or was it just a romantic relationship, and Janet use the relationship to help Howard embezzle the money from the bank? I still not sure who all were involved in the embezzlement. I knew that Howard and Janet kidnapped me and were planning to stage my death as a suicide. I don’t know if they would have killed me or not. I am positive that they were the ones that shot Jim and sprayed my apartment with bullets, who else could it have been. I am just guessing. Pam is right. Maybe I should forget about them for a while and see what happens. Did Allen know about the kidnapping?

  Pam took me on a couple of cruises and a vacation in southern France to get my mind off of Janet and Allen. That part of my life had faded from my brain until I read an article about a banker named Allen Peterson being murdered. One of my problems no longer existed. The embezzlement was blamed on Allen, but they were still looking for millions of dollars that were still missing and there wasn’t a clue to where the money went. I wondered what Janet was doing these day? When we get back home, I will have to find out. 

 Pam was having so much fun; I did not want to interfere with her pleasures. If Janet killed Allen, she would not hesitate to kill me to hide her past. I don’t know what to do. But, I had to stop her some way. I was afraid she would kill Pam as well as me. Pam was my life. Without Pam, my life was not worth living. Anger filled my body. I was determined to find a way out of this mess without ruining Pam’s and my life. For the next week, I could not think of anything else. Pam knew that something was bothering me. I tried my best to keep her out of my screwed up life. With my luck over the years, I was sure that something would destroy my life.

One morning when I woke up, Pam was looking at me. She did not cuddle up to me as she usually does. She just laid there staring at me. I started to ask her why. She leans over and kissed me and said, “Darling, tell me what is bothering you. Don’t be afraid to tell me. There is nothing in this world that you could say or do that would destroy my love for you. Tell me what is bothering you. I am your wife. I will do anything in this world to bring back the happiness we have had up to now. Something is bothering you. Let me help you. I may not be able to help, but I want to try. Are the ghosts of the embezzlement haunting you? If they are, I am a good ghost fighter.”

I pulled Pam down across my body and said, “Darling, it’s my screwed up life. I don’t want your life to get fucked up because of my fucked up life. I want to get as far away from you as possible so that my problems do not infest your life.”

The sweet finger was placed across my lip. “Honey, I promised to be with you to death do us part. There is no way you are going to keep me out of your life. Your life is my life. Your problems are my problems and you are not and no one else is going to separated us. Tell me what is bothering you.”

I pulled away from Pam and rolled over. I did not say a word. She puts her hand on the back of my neck. If reminded me of the hundreds of times Janet had put her hands on my neck, the kidnapping, and the two times she tried to kill me.

I rolled back over and looked Pam in the eyes and said, “Are you sure you want to get involved in the fucking mess that I am in.”

Pam smiles and said, “I am already in the fucking mess you are in. Your life is my life. Without you, I don’t have a life.”

I took a deep breath and let it out and said, “I think Janet kill Allen Peterson. I read an article about Allen being murdered in his home. A young girl is the suspect. They found evidence at the crime scene that implicates her. They have not found her yet. I don’t think it was the young girl that killed Allen. It was Janet. I think Janet master minded the embezzlement. I don’t think that Allen and Howard would have gotten mixed up in this mess, someone dragged them into it. In my opinion Janet dragged both of them into this mess. She is covering her tracks. She dumped Howard and now she has gotten rid of Allen. She doesn’t know what Allen has told the young girl and she has implicated the young girl. I may be next one on her list. And, I don’t know how many other people she has gotten involved.”

We spent the next two days trying to find a solution to my problem. Pam said, “Why don’t you put one of the characters back into the cast.”

“Honey, what are you talking about?”

Pam smiled and said, “Why don’t we send Howard back home. That will side track Janet for a while and stir up the things for a while and take her mind off of you until we come up with something better to do.”

Shaking up Janet:

We tossed it around for a couple of days. I wished that I had the name of the bank and bar in Cancun . I would know if Howard was still there and it would save us a trip. We took off to Cancun . The next morning we landed in Cancun . Before I left the airport I purchased a one way ticket back home in Howard name. I also purchased tickets for Pam and me.  I rented a car and drove to a bank and used my credit card to get ten brand new one hundred bills. We put the money and the ticket in an envelope with a note, the note read, “Darling I miss you, please come home. Love Janet.”

Pam put on a blond wig and we drove over to the bar. Pam went into the bar and ordered a drink and waited for Howard. I saw Howard entering the bar. I was watching from across the street. I tapped on the horn slightly. Pan put the envelope on the table and walked out. Howard came over to the table and picked up the envelope. He turned his back to the other patrons and opened the envelope; he saw the money and quickly stuffed it in his pocket. He reads the note and looked around and started to leave. The bartender brought his lunch and Howard sat back down. While he was eating his lunch, he kept looking around as if he was looking for someone. Maybe he thought that the person that left the note was still there. When he finished eating he took off in a hurry. We followed Howard to a shack on the edge of town. Pam said, “At least we have the ball rolling. Let’s see what happens.”

The ball was rolling. Howard caught the plane and mumbled during the flight. The people around him kept looking in his direction. Some laughed at him and some called the stewardess and asked for another seat.  The man sitting next to him had enough of it and he turned to Howard and said “Shut up. Who in hell are you talking to?”

The man gets up and takes a seat across the aisle. He told the stewardess when she came by. I am not sure what she told the passenger.

The plane lands and we followed Howard. He didn’t have to collect any baggage. I did not want to leave Pam alone. She told me to follow Howard and she would get the luggage and meet me at home. Howard took a cab and so did I. I did not know where he would be headed. I told the driver to follow the cab ahead of us. The cab dropped Howard off at Janet’s. I had the driver pull to the side of the street. I said that I wanted to see what the man would do when he went to the house. Howard went to the door and rang the doorbell. No one came to the door. Howard went over to the opposite side of the garage and picks up a pot and retrieves a key. He went back to the door and went inside. I gave the driver my home address and he drove me home.

Pam was already unpacked. She helped me unpack my bags. We did not say too much to each other. During dinner she said, “We can only set back and watch the show. Like any good mystery, you will not know what happens until the end.”

Janet and her old acquaintance:

          I’ve gotten rid of Howard and Allen. I have the kid taken care of; I will strike her off my list. I am going after Ted. They say the third time is charm. I won’t screw it up this time. No sooner had I said the word the cell phone rang. My worst nightmare, Howard was on the phone. I tried to be cordial. He was too damn cordial. I wondered where he was. I found out soon enough. He was so happy that I had forgiven him and wanted to see me. He thanked me for the money and the airplane ticket. I did not know what he was talking about. This was blowing my mind. I must be going crazy. I did not send the bastard a ticket to come home. I did not want to see the bastard again. The only one that knew we were in Cancun was Allen. He must have sent Howard the ticket to get me off of his back. I had not seen Allen between the times I caught him screwing that kid until I kill him. I got rid on one bastard and another one pops back up. How am I going to get rid of this son of a bitch? I have to finish him off before he stirs up any trouble. I asked him where he was. He told me. I told him that the Feds were still looking for us and to get out of the house as quick as possible. I told him that the Feds visit every now and then to see if we come back home.  I told him to take a cab to the Willow Street exit of the interstate and I would meet him there.

I walked outside looked down the street I could see the where we were going to meet. I was only a few blocks down the street. I waited on the front step for Howard to show up. I did not want the cab driver to see me when he dropped off Howard. It was taking too long for him to get here. I was beginning to get impatient. Where is the fucking bastard? An hour had passed. Finally the cab drops Howard off. I let him wait for a few minutes to see if anyone had followed him. It did not look like it. I got in the car and glanced up and down the streets. No one was in sight. I pulled up in front of Howard and said, “Get in quickly.”

          He gets in and I took off before he could put his seat belt on. He said, “What’s the hurry? There is no one following us.”

          I had to shake him up a little. I said, “You never know when someone is watching. Did you see that dark blue car parked across the street?”

          “Yes, what about it, there wasn’t anyone in it?”

I snapped, “You must be blind. There were two men in it.”

          I drove a couple of miles out into the sticks. It was a dirt road to nowhere. I had taken this road year ago for a short cut. It saved me ten miles going and coming from work. I pulled into one of the clearings that the lovers used and said, “Let’s talk.”

          Howard said, “What do you want to talk about?”

          “How did you get the money to get back here?”

          “You sent it to me.”

          “Howard I did not send it to you. Someone is playing games. Tell me about the money and the ticket.”

          “I went to lunch and there was an envelope on the table. I opened the flap and saw the money. It was just like the money we hid on the tenth floor. I stuffed it in my pocket. There was an airline ticket in the envelope and your note asking me to come home.”

“Howard, you stupid bastard, I did not write the note and I did not send you the money. Someone found you and they are following you to me. I hope you lost them. I did not have a problem before you came back. Now I don’t know who or why someone wanted you back here. It wasn’t me. Let’s take a walk. I got to pee.”

Howard said, “Me too.”

I asked Howard to trample down the bushes. I wanted to get out of the clearing. I did not want anyone to see me with my panties down. Howard walked ahead of me. I pulled out Big Charley and put a hole through the back of his head. The impact pushed him another five feet down the path. I search him. I found the note and a thousand dollar. I checked his other pockets and found the envelope and what was left of the airline ticket. I went back to my car and backed out into the road. I pulled a broom out of the trunk. I went back and dragged the broom across the tire marks and my foot prints. I threw the broom into the trunk and went back home to see what damage Howard had done to my beautiful home.  For some reason, I did not regret killing Howard. Was it because he almost killed me?

I pushed the garage remote control. There was a beat up old car in my parking space. I closed the garage door and went into the house through the front door. I search the house to see what damage he had done. He left a trashy bag and the clothes he must have worn on the plane pilled in the bathroom. I went in the garage to see if he had tampered with the money. I looked at the beat up old car. Where in hell did he get it? I ran over to the freezer. I looked inside, it was empty. I exploded, I screamed to the top of my voice. I rummaged around the garage to see if I could find out where he put the money. I found a large box filled with small boxes, labels and a bunch of empty tape spools. I pounded the walls with my fist. I scream with pain. I think I broke my wrist. It hurt so bad I could not lift or touch anything with it. I went into the kitchen and soaked it for a while. I remembered that I had left my car in the driveway. I did not want anyone to see it. I had to move the junk or the car from the garage. I decide to move the car. There weren’t any keys for the damn thing. I remembered when I searching Howard’s pockets, I felt a set of keys. I shoved the shit around in the garage and pulled my car into the garage. I wrapped my wrist in a towel and added ice. I search the medicine cabinets for something to kill the pain. The strongest thing was aspirin. I popped a handful down my throat and drank the sour milk to wash it down; I flopped on the bed and tried to get some sleep.

 I woke up and not only my arm was killing me my stomach was killing me. I throw on some clothes and drove to the nearest emergency clinic. I told them that I had fallen and I think that I broke my arm. I also told them about the aspirin. They put me out and put a pipe in me. When I woke up, I felt worse than when I came in. My throat felt like someone put their fist down it. They had put a cast on my arm. I paid the bill with the money that I found on Howard. I still had a box full of money at the other house. How long would that last me? There was at least three or four million in the freeze, it not more. Now that is gone. At least the two million that Allen had invested for me was in tack, I hoped. I went back to my little home to make sure that no one had stolen the money I had there. Thank God it was still there. The money on the tenth floor is back in the vault. Allen is dead and I don’t know where he had stashed the money he had stolen.

I stayed home for the next month and watched the news to see if they found Howard. There was nothing in the news about Howard. They did find the bitch that was letting Allen screw her. That made the headlines for a week. When I saw her in the news, I felt sorry for her. She looked pathetic. I am not going to turn myself in to get her off the hook.

I had someone clean out my home and I put it on the market. I got almost four hundred thousand for it after the realtor’s commission was taken out. I call up the yacht club and asked the owner if he had any offers on my yacht. He did not say anything for a few minutes. I asked if he was still there. He cleared his throat and whispered, “They have every department from the U.S. and Mexico government in here looking at your boat. They won’t tell me what they are looking for. You had a bunch of boxes on board, were you smuggling dope into the country?”

I hung up the phone. Why in hell were they looking at the boat? Were they dead or alive when they were found? If they were alive, I can’t imagine what those bastards told the police. Why was the Mexican police doing in Brownsville ? I can’t go back to Brownsville and sell the house and the boat. I had to sell my small home. I rented an apartment and put my little home on the market. I dropped the price so it would sell quickly. The world around me was collapsing. What the hell am I going to do? If I can’t find another sucker, I will have to sell my ass. Who in hell is going to want me. There are millions of young bitches out there that would sell their ass for a buck. I cuddled up in my apartment and watched the news and tried to decide what I wanted to do. I could not use my real name or my alias. The boat was registered under my alias. I will have to get another passport under another alias. I tried to remember where Howard got the passports? I drove to the neighborhood where we went to pick up the passports. I could not remember the name of the business. I strolled down the street looking in to all the shops. I passed a pawn shop. This was the place where I bought my UZI and where we picked up the passports. Howard knew the owner. I went inside. I recognized the man behind the counter. I smiled at him and said, “I don’t know if you remember me. I bought an UZI from you a few years ago. Howard Larson had a couple of passports made for us, are you still in the passport business?”

With a surprised look on his face he said, “I am sorry Miss, we do not sell weapons of any kind or passports. You must be mistaken.”

I looked into his eyes and said, “Don’t bullshit me. We went into the building behind this one. You had an array of cameras and printers in there. Howard had given you a picture of me to use on my passport. You took me out into the sticks and showed me how to us the UZI. Don’t you remember?”

A slight smile came across his face and said, “Yew, I remember you. I told you that the picture didn’t do you justice. Where is Howard, I have not seen him for years.”

I said, “Howard beat the shit out of me and I haven’t see him for years. I have no idea where he is. Can I get another passport?”

“Sure, let me lock up. We will go out back and make one for you.”

I followed him through the back of the pawn shop to the other building. He opened the door and we walked in. He locked the door behind us and leaned against the door. I turned and looked at him. I saw the lust in his eyes. I knew what was on his mind. I shook my head and said, “Not until I get my passport.”

He said, “Come on, I can’t work when I have you on my mind.”

I needed the passport and I was not going to argue with him. I lay back on a table and it was over in a minute. He took my picture and asked me what name I wanted to use. I said, “You pick a name for me.”

“What about Gladys Santeria.”

“That find.”

He handed me the passport and said, “Gladys that will be two hundred and fifty bucks.”

I smiled at him and pulled him up close to me and said, “Sure darling.”

I crushed his balls, slid a silencer on my gun put a bullet through his head. I took his cameras and looked for anything else that may implicate me. I took his keys went outside and locked the door. I went down the alley between the buildings to my car and drove home.

 Another week passed and they had not found Howard’s or the pawn shop owner’s body. I had taken one of my large suitcases with wheels and laid the packets of money on the bottom; I took a sheet of veneer and covered the money. I sewed a velvet cover over the veneer.

I took the stock and bonds that Allen had invested for me and put it in a safety deposit vault under the name of a dear friend. I told her that I had an offer of a job in South America . I told her that I did not want to take the stock and bonds with me. I asked if she would keep the key for me. And if anything happen to me she could have the funds. She rummaged through an old jewelry box and found an old necklace. She put the key on the necklace and put the necklace around her neck. She hugged me and said, “It will be safe here. I will take good care of it until you want it.

I bought a bus ticket to Montreal . I did not have any problem leaving the country or getting into Canada . I took a cab to the airport and purchase a ticket to Recife , Brazil . It was like a breeze. No one question me about my luggage or even looked inside it. They just stamped my passport without looking at it.

After landing in Recife , I got my suitcase and started looking for a cab. I wanted someone that could speak English and wasn’t too young. I wanted someone that I could charm. I picked a middle aged man and got into his cab. I asked him if he spoke English. He said a little. I thought that he was kidding me. The English he spoke did not have a Portuguese accent. I finally got across to him that I was looking for a nice place that wasn’t too expensive. The driver took me to a hotel and said that most of the Americans stay at this hotel. I took a room even thought the rated were higher than what I wanted to pay. I stayed there for a couple of weeks. I decided to move to a less expensive place. I did not want to see the little money I had to be wasted on a place to stay.

I walked the beaches and visited the hotels looking for a job. I would strike up a conversation with the employees at the nicer hotels. I could not pedal my ass, I had too much competition. I had to find someone that was lonely and wanted a little companionship. I bought myself a Portuguese language tape and a recorder. I spent all of my free time learning Portuguese. That was 24 hours a day for a month. I had learned enough Portuguese to express my wishes and desires. I hit all the hotels along the beach and the ones that the Americans frequented. I filled out dozen of applications for work and waited for someone to notify me.   

Ted (Where is Janet?):

          Months had passed. I visited the two neighborhoods that Janet lived. Both homes appeared to have new owner. One of the homes had been repainted and the other had new landscaping changes. The poor young girl that they booked for Allen’s murder was scheduled to go on trial within a month. In my heart, I knew she had not killed Allen. I discussed my feeling with Pam. She already knew that it was bothering me. She suggested that I call Anderson and see if he could pull some strings. I spent another week trying to figure out how to get Anderson involved and keep myself out the lime light. I did not want to have the FBI breathing down my neck again. It had been some time since I had talked to Anderson . I decided to ask Anderson how the embezzlement was coming along.

          I called Anderson . He was not in his office. I left my name and telephone number. A few hours passed before he returned my call. When I answered the phone he asked, “What up Ted? I understand you married a very wealth young lady. You are lucky to have to found such a beautiful wife. How did you meet her?”

          “ Anderson you know damn well how I met her. You had a tail on me since you shut down the bank. My beautiful wife picked me up. Any more questions?”

          “How did you get on the board of directors?”

          “That a question I like to know myself. The only thing I can tell you, it was a surprise to me. I got a call one morning after we reopened the bank. A Gentleman called and said that he wanted to open an account in the bank and he was transferring four million to our bank and he wanted it invested in APB stock. At that time the stock was almost worthless. I set up the account and he wired in the four million dollars. He sent me a letter requesting that I manage the account for him. He has been pumping money into his account ever since and still is. I fax him a statement every month. He has never told me why he chose me to handle his account and I have not asked him. Also, I have never seen him. I went to Aruba and tried to find him. I visited the bank that transfers the money to APB and they told me that he was not around and they never knew his itinerary. He was one of their best customers. After I returned, I got a call from him and he told me that he was sorry that I had missed him. He promised me that he would pick a time that was convenient for both of us. I have not heard from him since. Any more questions and may I ask you a few.”

          Anderson said, “Go ahead, ask away.”

“One, why are you still on my tail? Two, have you solved the murder of Allen Peterson. Three, I was in Cancun and I spotted Howard. I was on a tour bus with my wife and I lost him before the bus could stop. I continued on the tour and went back the following day to see if I could find him. I did not see him again. Have you seen Howard or do you know where he is? Four, I don’t believe that young girl killed Allen. I think Janet killed him. Five, Do you know that I was kidnapped by Howard and Janet on the night I met my wife?”

          Anderson butted in and said, “Why didn’t you tell me about it?”

I snapped back and said, “I was still number one on your list. They forced me to sign a confession to the embezzlement of the money and they were going to kill me and make it look like a suicide. They tied me up and locked me in a bathroom. I cut myself loose with a disposable razor blade and knock the pins out of the door hinge. They had an alarm on the doors and windows. Janet almost caught me. I hid in a closet and climbed down into the crawl space. When they found out that I was gone. They searched the house looking for me. They thought I had left the house. That’s the morning that they peppered the walls of my apartment with bullets. After they left the house, I climbed out of the crawl space, took Janet car and went to get mine. I checked into a motel and stayed there and slept most of the day. Later I went home and my neighbor told me about the shooting in my apartment. You had guards on both entrances to the building so I stay in my apartment.”

          Anderson interrupted me and said, “Why in hell didn’t you report it.”

          I lashed back, “Would you have believed me? You thought I faked the ransacking of my apartment and my office. You also though I shot Jim, what good would it have done. You could not find them and I wasn’t sure I could find the house that they held me in. I had a problem finding my way back in town to get my car. That is the reason that I don’t think that young girl killed Allen. Is it possible that I can talk to her? Put a word in for me with the DA. I would like to hear what she has to say about Janet and Allen.”

           “Ted, I think you have a good idea. I will see what I can do. I will get back to you later today. Will you be available tomorrow?”

          “Anderson, Call me anytime. I will make sure I am available.”

          Pam was listening to the conversation. She jumped up and gave me a kiss and said, “I don’t think anyone in this world would have done what you did. Those bastards have been trying to blame everything on you with no proof. That is one of the many reasons that I love you. You have a heart. You are putting your own life in danger to help someone else.”

          “Pam it is not only for her. It’s my piece of mind and for you. I am sorry I pulled you into my screwed up life.”

          “Listen to me Ted, after the first night we met, I pledged my soul to get you. Nothing you could have done would have changed my mind about you. As I have said before, I did not marry you for your looks or your money, I married you for the person that I fell in love with, and you or no one else could have changed my mind. I love you!”

          Again, I could not hold back my emotions, tears came to my eyes. Again, Pam kissed me and with tenderness and love, she wiped the tears from my cheeks.

          I sat down and waited. Pam brought me a cup of coffee. She saw how impatient I was. She put the coffee on the table. She said, “Honey, stop thinking about it. I know that you will be able to convince them that she did not kill Peterson.”

 Pam threw me the remote, and said, “Watch TV, that will take your mind off of the problem.”

          Pam was right, I was too intense. I watched the news, the weather, the sports channels and the soaps. But, during the time I ways switching channels, my fears would come back to me. By doing this I may screw up our lives. I went back to switching channel. The phone rang. I almost jumped out of my skin. I had to calm myself down a little before I answered the phone. Pam call from the kitchen and said, “If you don’t answer the phone, I will.”

          I picked up the phone and without saying a word, Anderson said, I will pick you up in ten minutes and hung up. I called Pam and told her that it was Anderson and he would be here in ten minutes. I grabbed a jacket, kiss Pam and headed for the door. Pam said to me, “I know you are doing the right thing, give the young girl my love.”

          Anderson was in the front of the building waiting. I asked, “Where did you call from?”

          “Right here, why?”

          “Why did you say that you would be here in ten minutes?”

          “I wanted to give you enough time to go and take a piss. I always have to take a piss before I leave my house. Don’t you.”

          “Yes, since you mention it. I have to go now.”

          “You can do it at headquarters. They are bringing her over there. I want some of my men to watch the conversation.”

          I turned and looked at Anderson and said, “Hell no. I don’t want anyone else with us. It will scare the hell out of her. I saw her on TV. She was in shock and she is probably still is.”

          Anderson said, “I agree, I would be scared as hell if that bunch was standing around when they were questioning me. You will be alone with her. We will monitor the conversation and record it. Her public defender will be their watching also. I don’t think she had anything to do with Anderson ’s death. The local police only found her wallet with her driver’s license in it. They have no other evidence and the DA is hesitant about trying her with only that evidence. I think everyone feels the same way as you do. Someone is trying to frame her.”

          A cold chill ran through my body as I entered the room. She looked like she was still in shock. She had the same expression as Judy had when she found the money on the tenth floor. I smiled at her and reached out to her. She stood up and took my hand. I put my arms around her and whispered. Sweetheart, I am not a policeman. I will tell you later why I came to see you. I know you could not have killed Allen. Please do not lie to me. I am trying to get you out of this mess. They had me under investigation for embezzling millions of dollars. Allen and others pointed their finger at me. I think they still believe I embezzle the money from the bank. Let’s sit down. First, I want you to tell me about yourself. No matter how embarrassing it may be, tell me about it. If you leave out anything it may put you in danger. Please be honest with me. I worked under Allen, he was not the nicest person and neither were his friends. Go back to the first time you met Allen and tell me everything that happened between you and Allen. I mean every little detail. Please don’t leave out anything. It may be important.

Susie tells all:

          I was working at a small branch office in Britten. The bank wasn’t making any money. It only had a few elderly customers that lived in the neighborhood. They had lain off everyone except me. I ran the branch by myself. The president of the bank, Mr. Withers, came in one day and said that they were closing the bank. Mr. Peterson was with him. They went through the bank together. The banks vault took up almost all of the building. When they came back to the front of the building, he told me to shut down the bank and prepare for the funds to be shipped to the main office. Mr. Withers and Mr. Peterson walked out the door together. A few minutes later, Mr. Peterson came back into the office and asked me if I wanted to work for him. He was going to buy the building and needed someone to run the branch office when he took it over. He offered me a salary twice what I was getting. I grabbed the offer. After all the funds, records and computers were removed, new equipment started arriving. The office was not reopened. I spent the next six months doing almost nothing. I brought a small TV from home and watched TV all day. Mr. Peterson always paid me in cash. A first he would mail the money to the bank. Later, he told me to take my salary out of the funds that was delivered to the bank and to keep a record of the amount.

          Ted asked, “What was going on during that six month?”

          Almost nothing until the shipments from APB started. One morning when I came to work there was a large armored truck in front of the bank. I asked them if they came to pick up something or were they delivering something. They told me that they had a delivery form APB. I could not believe my eyes. I had never seen that much money in my life. I asked them if they always made their delivery this early. They said that APB did not want to interrupt the customer when the bank was open. They arrived for the pickup at three thirty and had been up since two thirty .  Every deliver they made, the truck was full. I did not know how many deliveries they would make. I had to buy a step ladder to stack the money up to the ceiling or it would not fit inside the vault. The bags of money were all labeled with a number. It took three or four days if not longer to count the money. Some days I worked until late in the evening just to finish up in case another shipment would come in. There were packets of hundred dollar bills. The label on the money stated the amount of money in the packet. Most of the packets had fifty thousand dollars in them. I would add up the amounts that were on the labels and enter it in a ledger under the number that was on the bags. I started a database on one of the computers and entered the amounts in the computer. I never knew when another shipment of money would come in or when Mr. Peterson would come in. He was hardly ever there. Around the time the embezzlement story hit the papers, the shipments stopped.

           Ted turned around and looked at the camera on the wall and stuck his tongue out at the camera. Susie looked at Ted and said, “Is something wrong.”

Ted said, “No, I had something sticking to my tongue and I did not want you to think I was sticking my tongue out at you”

  Where was I? Oh, yes. The shipments stopped.

  Ted said, “What happened when the shipments stopped.”

          Mr. Peterson came to the bank and told me to lock up the vault and set the alarm. He took me out for dinner and told me not to tell anyone about the money in the bank and he would continue to pay me until he opened the branch office. He was going to keep me and make me the banks manager. Over the weeks and months Allen and I became very good friends. He divorced his wife and told me that he wanted to marry me. One morning a few months ago the local police and FBI agents came to my apartment and arrested me for killing Allen, and that it.

Ted digs for dirt:

          I said to Susie how far did the friendship go with Allen. She blushed and said, “We became very good friends. He was very kind and generous to me. He even furnished my new apartment that he bought for me. We went on trips together.

          I asked Susie if she was ever interment with Allen. She blushes and said, “Do I have to answer that?”

          I reminded her that she promised to answer all of my question. I did not remember if she promised me or not. Reluctantly, she said that she had an affair with Allen. I asked Susie where they had the affairs. She said that most of the times at her new apartment, and when they went on trips together. She didn’t say anything more for a few minutes. I asked, “Susie, were there any other places where you and Allen made love.”

She had not mentioned the night that I followed Allen to Janet’s smaller home on Willow Street . I waited for a few minutes; again I asked her if there was any other place where they made love. Susie said, “Really, you are getting to personal.”

I whispered to her, “Did you ever meet Allen on Willow Street .”

Susie jaw dropped. She looked around the room and whispered, “How do you know about that?”

I told her not to be ashamed of having a relationship with someone. We all have had affairs that we don’t want to talk about. Susie took a couple of deep breaths, crunched up her face and looked around the room. I nodded to her. She said, “We had spent the night in my apartment. Allen had a meeting to go to and he wanted me to go with him. He did not want to drive me back to my apartment that evening. He took me with him and dropped me off at a house on Willow Street around nine in the morning. I waited for him all day. I watched TV and read about cities in Brazil . I was hoping that someday Allen would take me to Brazil . Later that evening Allen showed up. I had almost given up on him. I was ready to go to bed. I had taken a shower and was headed for the bedroom when the door bell rang. I ran to the door and opened it. Allen apologized for being so late. He picked me up and carried me into the bedroom. Allen was getting into bed and a women walk in screaming her lungs out. It scared the living hell out of me. She started to laugh and so did Allen. I grabbed my dress and ran out of the house. I jumped into Allen’s car and waited for Allen. I had left the front door open. I could hear them laughing. It ticked me off. The whole thing scared the hell out of me. There was this beautiful red convertible in the driveway. I wished that I could afford a car like that. I was ready to walk down the street and call a cab. I had forgotten my pocket book. It was inside. I had to wait for Allen. Even if I had taken it with me, I did not have enough money in it to get me home. Allen came out and got into the car. I told him to go back in and get my pocket book. He said that we had upset her enough and he would get it for me tomorrow. Allen took me home; we made love and the next morning he left before I woke up. I never saw Allen again. When the police came to my apartment they showed me my wallet and driver license. They asked if it was mine. I told them it was and I had left it in a house on Willow Street and Allen was going to pick it up for me. They put handcuffs on me and took me to jail. I’ve been in jail ever since. They question me a number of times. I told them about the same thing that I have told you. When I started to tell them about the money at the bank, they told me that they knew about the problem at the bank.”

I asked Susie if she remembered the name of the cities in Brazil . She hesitated for a moment and said that it was on the ocean and there were beautiful hotels along the beach.”

I asked again, “What was the name of the city.”

Susie shrugged her shoulder, looked up at the ceiling for a few minutes. I let her think. This was very important to me. I wanted Janet to be found. Allen was dead and Howard was missing. I was wondering if she had fled the country. With all the money she had, she could be anywhere. She and Howard could have teamed up again. I looked up at the camera and shook my head. Susie shouted, “Recite, that it. Recite. No not Recite, Recife .”

I got up and went around the table took her hands and pulled her from the chair and hugged her and said that she just might get her wish and a lot of money. Anderson and a crowd walked into the room. Poor Susie almost collapsed. I grabbed her and said, “Susie, they are not going to hurt you. They want you to kick them in their ass for not giving you a chance to clear yourself.”

The whole group started questioning Susie about the bank. I shouted out, “Leave her alone. Give Susie a chance to breath. The money is probably still there in the vault.”

It did not do any good. They all wanted to question Susie at the same time. I asked Anderson to pull them off of her. He broke up the gathering. I asked him if I could take her home with me. We had plenty of room and the security system was excellent. She should not have been locked up. Tomorrow we can go down to the bank and see what is in it and it will give her a change to live again. It took two hours for them to release Susie. They gave us a police escort and put guard around the apartment.

Susie is free:

Pam was an angle. She open her elaborate wardrobe and let Susie take her pick. Pam gave her a small suitcase and filled it with some very beautiful outfits. Pam opened her cologne closet and loaded Susie down. I had never seen anyone so appreciative and happy. As we were laying in bed Pam rolls over to me and said, “Could we adopt her? She is so sweet.”

I turned and gave Pam a kiss and said, “Honey, she is a grown woman. I don’t think you should mention anything about adopting her. What not just become close friends?”

We cuddle up and went to sleep.

The next morning bright and early, we got a phone call. Anderson wanted to go down to the bank. Pam, Susie, Anderson and I went to the bank together. Susie opened the vault. We all stood there amazement at the sight. Susie turned on the computer. From the figures, almost all the money that was missing was there, except for the money I had and the money Janet and Howard had.

My problems were not over. Where in hell are Janet and Howard?

The board of directors was rejoicing over the recovery of the money. They voted for me to be the new president. They scheduled a meeting for rewarding Susie. Since they had given Judy fifty thousand, they only wanted to give Susie fifty thousand. I objected and said that they should give Susie a reward at the same percentage rate that they gave Judy. It took a little arm twisting and we settled at five hundred thousand and let her keep the apartment that Allen had bought for her. The money that was still missing would come out of Peterson assets that he had in the bank as well the cost of the apartment he gave to Susie.

The Fed’s had difficulty in getting an official investigation started in Brazil . None of the pictures that the Fed’s and the local police had look anything like the Janet I knew and I told them so. Pam had seen Janet in the bank and she had a good memory for faces. Susie said she would never forget the woman that scared her to death. Of course she had worked with me for quite a while. I knew what she look like at her best and her worst. Without official authority we flew to Recife . We spent over a month looking for Janet without any luck. We took a break and enjoyed what Recife had to offer and had a ball. Susie and Pam were having a ball shopping. Even with the money that Susie got from the bank, Pam would not let her pay a cent for anything. They bonded a friendship that will last a lifetime. I think Pam always wanted a younger sister or a daughter, now she has one.

One evening I treated the girls to a very nice restaurant. The food and everything else was wonderful. I noticed Susie staring. I turned around and saw Janet with an elderly gentleman. Janet saw me staring at her and smiled at me. I had never seen her smile at me before. Maybe it was the face lift. She must not have recognized me. Susie said, “That woman that just came in looks like Janet.”

I leaned over to her and said, “That is Janet. Don’t stare at her. She might get suspicious. She is on the run and I am sure she is suspicious of everyone and she more than likely has a gun on her.”

Pam scolded me for scaring Susie. I told Pam that Janet would not hesitate to kill us all. We were almost finished with our dinner and I asked for the check. Pam was a little upset because Janet had ruined our evening. I told Pam and Susie to go back to the hotel and call Anderson . I wanted to follow Janet when she leaves.

We went outside. I took off my suit jacket, shirt and tie. It was hotter than hell out side.  I gave them to Pam to take home. I kissed them both and called a cab for them. I messed up my hair and hung around the entrance until Janet and her escort came out. A chauffeur pulled a limousine up to the entrance. Janet and the gentleman got into the limousine. I looked at the license plate and it had a government seal on it with the number 10. If the seal meant the same as it did back home, he was a high ranking member of the government.

I said to myself, she sure knows how to pick them. How in hell did she hook up with him? I hurried across the street and asked the bellboy who was the gentleman in the limo. He did not speak English. He motion to the bell captain. The bell captain came over and asked me in English if he could help me. I said, “Not really, I was wondering who the gentleman in the limousine was.”

He looked at me and said, “We do not provide information on our guest.”

I pulled a twenty out of my pocket and held it in my hand and let it wave with the breeze. He reaches for the twenty. I pulled it back. He said, “I am not sure, I think he works at the American Embassy.”

I asked, “Has he always come here with the young lady he was with?”

          “Not really, they have only been here a one or two times together. I have seen her entering the hotel by herself a few times.”

          I hurried out to the street and motioned for a cab. I asked the driver if he saw where the limo went. The driver looked confused and said, “No speak English.”

          It was useless; the limo was out of sight. I gave the cab driver the name of the hotel where we were staying. He took me to the hotel. When I walked in, Pam was talking to Anderson . She handed me the phone. I said, “Can you find out who works at the American Embassy and has license plate with the number 10 and a Brazilian Emblem on it. Janet had dinner with him tonight.”

          Anderson asked, “What the hell are you doing down there. You are going to get me into a lot of trouble.”

          I laughed and said. “I hope I do. Is there any law that says where I must take my vacation?”

          “No it isn’t, but you are tying me in with what you are doing. I will look into it. If you get into any trouble down there, don’t come to me for any help.”

          I laughed and said, “If I get into any trouble down here I will tell them that I am a secret agent working for you.”

          “Ted, don’t you dare.”

          Again I laughed and said, “I knew she would be down here. I am putting Pam, Susie and myself into danger. I found her for you and now it is up to you to get her back home. I will keep in touch. We are heading in the direction of home. I have a couple of places I want to visit. See if you can put some fire under the State Department and get Janet locked up. I will bet my life that Janet killed Allen. Since there is no sign of Howard and he is not with her. She probably killed Howard. I will call you when I get back.”

          I hung up the phone before Anderson said anything. I did not want a long lecture about me getting him into trouble.

          We packed our things and caught a flight to Brownsville . I rented a car. I found the house that Janet owned. There was a foreclosure sign on the property. I called the tax office and they were selling it and a yacht for delinquent taxes. I asked the tax assessor where was the yacht was located. She told me and we headed to the Yacht Club. I went to the office and asked about the Yacht that was being foreclosed on. The gentleman pointed to a yacht anchored in the channel. He said that the Feds would not let anyone go onboard, it’s a crime scene. They are looking for the owner. I asked, “Do you know who the owner is?”

          He said, “I do not know the owners personally. They had purchase the yacht here and went to Cancun . The woman’s husband beat the hell out of her. They put him in jail. She sailed the yacht back here alone and asked me to sell it for her. The Mexico police came over here with the Feds, they were on the boat for two weeks looking around. They asked me if I knew where the owners were. I told them that the woman sailed the yacht back here without her husband and she said that the police in Cancun had locked him up for beating her up. Her face had bruises all over it. She had called here when the Feds were searching the yacht and the Yacht club. She asked me if I had sold the yacht. One of the offices was nosing around the office when she called; I told her no and told her about the Fed’s. She had come back with a bunch of boxes and I asked her if she was running dope. She hung up. I have not seen or heard from her since.”

           I thanked him for the information, went to the nearest FBI office and told them who I thought was the owner and where she was. I asked why they were looking for her. The Agent said, “The woman that owned the yacht hired three men to sail the yacht from Cancun . The yacht and the woman got back to Brownsville without the three men. The three men have not been found. Their families were worried about them and called the Mexican authorities. They called us and we invited them over here and we searched the yacht and the Yacht Club. There wasn’t any indication on the boat that someone had been murdered. The Mexican police went back home. The woman told everyone at the Yacht Club that she sailed the yacht back alone. She took off and no one has seen her since.”

 I told the Agent to get in contact with Anderson and gave him Anderson ’s telephone number.

We flew home. At the moment we know where Janet is, where is Howard?

          When we got home I called Anderson and told him about the trip to Brownville. He already knew. He told me that the Agent in Brownville got a call from Mexican Authorities after we left. A Mexican shrimp boat picked up the men off the Mexican coast. Janet had put them adrift in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico . They were almost dead from dehydration. I told Anderson that there was a yacht and house in Brownville , Texas that were going up for auction. They were owned by a couple named Howard and Janet Marshall. I thought that they were purchased with the banks money and he should notify Pritchard at APB about the auction. They may recover another half a million and to notify the tax assessor in Brownville , Texas . A few days later Pritchard called me and thanked me for telling them about the property in Brownville. APB had hired an attorney in Brownville to pay the taxes and the delinquent tax penalty. The attorney assured Pritchard that there would not be any problem having the property turned over to APB.

          Janet was still loose, I did not feel safe. I will never know when she will pop up and what she would do. I wake up in the middle of the night, half asleep, my mind visualizes what happened the two times that she tried to kill me. Cold chills would run through my body. I stayed awake for hours thinking about what she might do. Every sound that I heard pumped up my adrenalin. It would take a while for me to doze off again. The same thing would happen again later. My rolling and tossing would wake up Pam; she asked me if I was OK. I do not want to worry her. I told her that I had to go to the bath room. I am losing a lot of sleep from this and I am always groggy. I tried over the counter sleeping pills. They do not work. I have to do something to get Janet locked up. I could kill her, but I would have the same problem that I am having now.

          I called Anderson every week and ask him if they have gotten through the red tape of getting Janet sent back for questioning. He told me that someone in Brazil is blocking the extradition or they cannot find her. I made up my mind, if they can’t get her locked up here, I would. I told Pam that I had to go down to Panama to look into an account that I had and a few others in Central America .

          Pam and Susie had become the best of friends. They were always doing things together. Pam rented a very nice apartment in the building to Susie. I think Pam was losing money on the deal, but Pam can well afford the lost. They enjoy being together. Why should I complain? It gives me some free time of my own. I think Pam has been playing cupid. I heard part of a conversation between the two and they were giggling about something. When I walk into the room Pam clammed up.

I had some funds transferred to a bank in Recife . Money opens a lot of doors around the world; I picked a day to take off when I knew that Pam and Susie planned a shopping spree. Pam wished me a nice trip and gave me one her sexy lingering kisses. It stirred up my libido and it made it difficult for me to leave.

Where is Janet?

          I arrived in Recife in the early morning. I did not want to waste time. It was hard for me to leave Pam, especially after she kiss me goodbye.  I was too wired up. After I retrieve my luggage at the airport, I walked along the line of taxi drivers asking them if they spoke English. I found one that sounded like he was from Brooklyn . I told him to find me a hotel close to the beach, but not on the beach. I questioned him why he was living in Brazil . At first he evaded my question. I assured him that I would not divulge why he was here and told him I had a score to settle with a bitch that tried to murder me twice and had kidnapped me. He was all ears. He still didn’t tell me why he came to Brazil . I introduced myself and asked his name. He said that he goes by the name of Butch. I told Butch that if he helped me, it would be well worth his time. I told him that I did not want to leave a money trail in Brazil by renting a car and purchasing things. Also I needed someone to translate for me. I asked how he learned the language. He said, “I have been speaking Portuguese all of my life. I was speaking Portuguese before I spoke English. Both of my parents were Portuguese.

          Butch found me a hotel that was fair. Butch said that the owners spoke English and they did not pry into their guest background and that the Yankees that were on a budget usually stayed here. If they were staying in Recife for a while they usually migrate to this hotel. The rooms are nice, the rates are good, and it’s close to the beach and the night life.  I asked Butch how I could get in touch with him. He told me that if he wasn’t working he would probably be home. He gave me his cell phone number and said, “I don’t have a phone at home, I just use my cell phone. The fare was only seven dollars American. I gave him a hundred and Butch said, “I don’t have that much change.”

          “Butch, this is just a retainer. There will be a lot more when my score is even.”

          Butch turned around and said, “I don’t want any part of it if. Are you are going to kill her.”

          He hands the hundred back to me. I pushed his hand back at him and said, “If anyone gets murdered, it won’t be her, it will be me. I just want her deported to the States. I don’t want her murder on my conscious and I want to enjoy my life again without her running around trying to kill me. She just might surprise me sometime. I want to surprise her. I am not going to get you into any trouble. I wanted someone that could translate for me and knew Recife .”

          Butch took the hundred and shook my hand and said, “If we get into anything illegal, I don’t want any part of it. I have a good life here and I don’t want to be deported back to the States.”

          Butch helped me with my luggage and told me that he would be waiting for my call. I was curious why Butch didn’t want to tell me why he left Brooklyn . I registered under an assumed name and paid for a month in cash. I told the clerk that I was not sure how long I would be here and that I would let him know if I had to stay longer. He said that it would not be any problem; there was always a couple of room empty.

          For the first two weeks I roamed the hotels along the beach. I staked out the entrance to the hotel where I had seen Janet without any luck. After a month, I was ready to call it quits. I called Butch each week and told him that I still had not located Janet. He wished me luck and reminded me that Recife was a large city and to have patients. I was getting exhausted from searching Recite for Janet. I took a book and plopped my ass in a comfortable chair in the garden in front of the hotel that I was staying at. From what Butch had said about American migrating to this hotel, just maybe Janet will show up here. I spent most of the days reading and watching the guest come and goes. I had been doing this for a little over a week. It was getting late and I was getting hungry. When I heard footsteps or any unusual sounds, automatically I looked up, especially when I heard high heel shoes. I have never in my life let a pair of high heeled shoes pass by me without taking a peek. I think it is built into men genes. I glanced up from my book for only a second, and then I looked back down at my book. What I saw made my mind go on overdrive. I did not dare look up again. I pulled the book up to cover my face and peeked over the side of the books. I saw a pair of red shoes on the woman going into the hotel. I thought it was Janet, but I had only taken a quick glance at her face. I closed my eyes for a moment to see if I could recall what she looked like. I thought it was Janet, but my mind may be playing tricks on me. I hurriedly got up and walked into the hotel. I caught a glimpse of a red shoe going into the elevator. I walked over to the elevator. The elevator stopped on the sixth floor. I was not sure if it was Janet. Had she seen me? If she did, did she recognized me. I went into the lobby and took a chair and waited. If she left the hotel she did not go out the front door. I went into the restaurant and took a seat so I could see who left the hotel. I wanted to ask the clerk about the woman with the red shoes. I did not know how to approach him without making myself look suspicious. He may tell Janet that I was inquiring about her. I gave up for the night and went to bed. I was so fired up that I did not fall to sleep until sometime after two.

          I overslept and cursed myself. I went to the window. I could not see the entrance to the hotel. I got dress and went for breakfast. After breakfast I asked the room clerk if there was an empty room in the front of the building. There wasn’t any. I gave the clerk a twenty and told him that if one comes available to save it for me. He said the rooms were slightly more expensive in the front. You could see the ocean and part of the beach. I pretended to be a little annoyed about higher price for the room and said, “I feel closed in with the building behind the hotel. I will take the room anyway when it comes available.”

          For the next week I parked my ass in different spots around the hotel and across the street watching for Janet. I was certain that it was Janet, but I was started to think that my brain was playing tricks on me and it wasn’t Janet that I had seen. None of the women that came in, or left the hotel looked anything like Janet.

          I Called Pam every day and told her that I was busy with my accounts and that as soon as I finished, I was coming home. She said, “Honey, I know how important it is that they are correct. Don’t rush home on my account. I want you to make sure that your accounts are correct. (We both laughed about "your accounts and my account"). I love you and enjoy the beach. It’s cold as hell here. I love you Good bye.”  

          A week later, I got a room in the front of the building. Another day was wasted. I went to my room. It was still early. I got ready for bed and turned out the light and walked over to the window. A limousine was parked in front of the hotel. I looked at my watch. It was after nine. I waited. I wanted to see who was leaving the limousine. I saw a woman walking to the limousine. I could not tell if it was Janet. I watched the limousine pull out into the street. It had a white license plate on it. I wanted to kick my ass for not staying up later.

          As I laid in the bed thinking about Janet, in a way I was jealous of the old bastard that I had seen with her. I had daydreams so many times about making love with Janet when we worked together, I still could not erase the thoughts from my mind. I thought of Pam and the first time we made love, thankfully, the sexual thoughts of Janet faded from my mind. Nothing was more important than my love for Pam. A thought flashed through my mine. To hell with Janet, go home to Pam. The impulse was so strong that I got out the bed and started to get dressed. Like when I pissed on the crowd. I came back to reality. I will never have a peaceful night until Janet is behind bar. I went back to bed and thought about the wonderful moments I had with Pam. The thoughts were soothing and relaxing. I dozed off to sleep.

          The following morning I called Butch. I asked him about the limousine and the white palates. He said, “Anyone can get those plates if they wanted to give the politicians a couple thousand dollars. If you have one of those plates, you will never get a ticket or arrested. If a cop pulled someone over that had those plates on it, they would be kissing their job goodbye.”

           I asked, “If I gave you the number on one of the plates, could you find out who the plate belonged to.”

          Butch was silent for a few minutes and said, “Ted, I don’t think so. There is a tight nit group in Recife . It like the Good Old Boys back home, they have the politicians in their back pocket. You know what I mean?”

          “Yes I do. If I grease someone palm, do you think I could get the information?”

          “Well, that another thing. There is a lot of greasing going on down here. If you find the right person that has what you want, there is no question, and they will let you grease their palms.”

          “Butch, see if you can find out who has the information I want and how much grease it’s going to cost me and there will be plenty of grease for you.”

          With a lot of enthusiasm Butch said, “I will look into it today. Wish me luck.”

          “Good luck Butch. Don’t do anything that will get you into any trouble. I don’t want to have to bail you out of jail. When do I have to have the grease?”

          “Don’t worry Ted, I will take care of it and you can pay me back. Since I been here I have learned how to keep from stepping over the line. I will call you as soon as I find out anything and how much grease we will need. Catch you later.”

          Late that afternoon Butch called me and said, “The guy that owns the limousine has a number of them. He rents them out. I called his company and asked the dispatcher who had rented the number ten limousines yesterday. He said it would cost me twenty bucks. I went over and gave him the twenty and he said the person that rented the leno was Thomas Hampton and he was a clerk at the American Embassy and the bastard was a four-flusher. He never gave any of the driver’s tips.”

          “Butch, do me one more favor, go back over there and find out who drove Hampton. Ask him where they went, how long did they stay and where he dropped them off. I think I saw them leaving my hotel, but I am not sure. The other quest must think I am a guard at the hotel. I still have hopes of finding Janet. I would go with you but, I am going over to American Embassy and look around. Anyway, If you can’t make it give me a call.”

           I thanked Butch and told him to keep track of the amount I owed him and I would double it when I saw him.

           I got dress up and headed for the American Embassy. I showed my passport to the Marines on duty. They told me to go on in without looking at my passport. A young lady smiled at me and asked if she could help me. I felt like a fool. I had not thought of what I would do when I came into the Embassy. I just wanted to look for Hampton . I tried to think of something to say. My mind was a blank. I could feel my face blushing. She asked me to have a seat and asked if this was the first time I had been in Brazil . I said yes and asked if she could tell me what most of the American come to see on their visits. She turns around and handed me a booklet and said, “Most of the hotel have this brochure and many more. How long do you plan to be in Brazil ?”

          I am a terrible liar and I was already very nervous. Before I said anything, she said, “Depending on how long you will be here, there are thousands of places you can visit. There are trips up the Amazon that last for months. Some guests have gone up the Amazon and are still up there.”

          I asked, “Have you been up the Amazon?”

          “Yes I have. It was for only for a week. It was a wonderful trip. I am sure you would enjoy the trip.”

          I wasn’t really listening to her. I was watching the people that were working in the office. Unfortunately, I did not see anyone that looked familiar. I took the brochure and thanked her for the information. I still did not want to leave the Embassy. It was getting close to the lunch hour and I wanted to see if Janet’s friend worked in this office. I looked at the pictures on the wall to give me a little more time. My hanging around seamed to draw the attention of some of the workers, I waved goodbye to the young lady as I left the building. I struck up a conversation with the Marines outside to give myself some more time. They were polite, but in a nice way they hinted that I wasn’t wanted. I was interfering with their duties.

          There was a small park across the street. It was almost filled with people having their brown bag lunches. It reminded me of the many years that I brown bagged it. Some were feeding the pigeons. A couple of pigeons were sitting on an elderly man’s hand and eating out of his hand. The pigeons were not afraid or nervous, but I was. I did not know what to expect. If Hampton came out, what would I say to him? “Your girlfriend is a murderer.”

           I kept glancing at the Embassy. An older man with a briefcase in his hand came out of the Embassy. I wanted to get a good look at him, but I did not want him to notice me. I got up and turned away from him and walked further into the park and took a seat. I opened the brochure and pretended to be reading it. I looked over the top of the brochure and watch him sit down only inch from where I had been sitting. He opens his briefcase and pulled out a brown bag. I watched for a few minutes then I walked over to take a good look at him. It was the man that was with Janet.

Now I knew who she was dating. Would he lead me to Janet? I went back to the hotel and watched for Janet. I had my lunch served in the garden. Before I finished, Butch called me. He had the information I wanted. He was going to give it to me over the phone. I told him to come and have lunch with me. He was there within minutes. After we finished eating we went over the information that Butch had gotten from the limousine driver. The driver had driven Hampton a couple of times with the same woman. Butch said, “What trip do you want to hear about first.”

          “Tell me about the first trip.”

          Butch said, “Since you don’t know Recife , I will take you to where they picked up Janet.”

I thought it was a good idea. We took a ride to the place where the driver picked up Janet. The hotel was quite lavish. I went inside and checked the rates of the hotel. The place was magnificent and so were the prices. I asked the clerk if I could see one of the less expensive rooms. The three hundred dollars a night room was very nice. I did not think Janet could afford a place like this. I could be wrong.

          I joined Butch and he wanted to know where I wanted to go next. I said, “Where they went after Janet was picked up.”

          When we got there, it was the same hotel where I had seen Janet with Hampton having dinner together. I asked, “Where did they go after they left here?”

          Butch laughed and said, “You won’t believe it when we get there. It’s a sleazy motel on the outskirts of town.”

          I said, “And after that.”

          Butch answered, “Back to the hotel where they picked her up.”

          I said, “I want to see where the driver let the old man off.”

          Butch chucked and said, “He was let off on a street corner about a half block from his home. The driver said that he wanted to see where the old bastard lived. He knew that he was trying to impress the woman. It was a low middle class neighborhood. After he dropped the old man off, he drove to the next street and parked the limo and walked back down the street. He watched the old man enter a small bungalow. An old woman met him at the door and gave him a kiss. The driver told me that he felt sorry for the old lady. It burned his ass to see a bastard spending all that money on a woman just for a piece of ass.”

          I looked over at Butch and said, “He is not screwing her. She is screwing him. He has something that she wants and she will get it one way or the other.”

          Butch asked, “What does she want from him?”

 “I don’t know. Knowing Janet, it could be anything. She may be trying to keep from being deported. I will have to find out.”

          I had forgotten about the second time the limo driver picket up Janet and Hamilton. I was getting out of the cab and sat back down. I said to Butch, “What about the second trip.”

          Butch laughed and said, “That was recently, and it was a short trip. The driver picked Janet up at your hotel. When Janet got into the limo Hampton gave Janet something. Janet was all over Hampton . Hampton was going to take her out to dinner at one of the hotels on the beach.  Janet told the driver to go to another hotel on the beach. They went in together. About thirty minutes later, Janet came out alone. She told the driver that Hampton would be out shortly.”

          I looked over at Butch and said, “I saw Janet leaving the hotel. I had gone to my room earlier than usual. Damn it, I was in my room when she left the hotel and I missed her.”

          Butch said, “What would you have done if you were waiting outside when she came out of the hotel.”

          “To tell you the truth, I don’t know what I would have done. Probably nothing, I haven’t even thought about that. I would have followed her and Hampton. Hoping I would find out where she were living.  

          Butch asked, “What do you want to do now?”

I told him that I had to find out where Janet lived. I did not believe she lived at the hotel where they picked her up. It was more than likely the motel where they went to or where I was staying. I asked him how much my fair was. He said that it only cost him twenty buck for the info. I gave him a hundred and he was very happy.         

Janet:

          With all the application that I had filled out, I had not gotten a response. I needed another passport with another name. I went to the American Embassy and told them that my passport had been stolen. I filled out a form and put the address where I had been staying. I had met the manager of the hotel and had wormed him up. His name was Peter.  I did not have sex with him. It was like the carrot and the donkey. He was always trying to get it. I told him that I could not afford the rates at the hotel. He let me stay for a couple of weeks without paying. I did not want my mail to be sent to where I was living. I asked Peter if he would save my mail for me. He said that he would. Ever few days I would call him to see if I had any mail. I got a letter from the American Embassy. I went to pick up the letter. Peter was playful and wasn’t going to give it to me unless I gave it to him. I gave it to him and he gave me the letter.

          I visited the Embassy and an elderly man question me about the lost of my passport and had me filling out all types of forms. His name was Thomas Hampton.

I used the name Sarah Pruitt a close girlfriend that I knew years ago. I knew as much about her life as I did my own. With the six kids she had and the bum she had for a husband, she would never get out of the dump she was living in.

 I put on the charm. I had Thomas eating out of my hands. He did everything to get me to go out with him. I agreed to go out to dinner with him. I told him where he could pick me up. It was the most expensive hotel on the beach. I was waiting in the lobby when he came to pick me up in a limo; I sensed that he was over doing it. I knew that this was not his usual dinner date. After we had dinner and returned to the limousine. He started to get fresh with me. I could not be too harsh with him. He was the one that was going to get me a new passport. The limo pulled into a sleazy motel out in the middle of nowhere. He helped me out of the limo and led me into one of the motel rooms. The place was a dump. No sooner had he shut the door, he grabbed me. I let him fondle me for a while. He thought that I was ready to go to bed with him. He sat down, and took off his shoes. He started to take off his pants and I said, “Tom, you don’t think I am going to make love with you in that filthy bed.”

I walked to the door. He got up and tripped on his pants. I helped him up and said in a severe voice, “Tom, I can’t believe you wanted to make love in this filth. What do you think I'm a whore? I am very disappointed in you. How could you do this to me?”

I pretended that I was crying. He finished putting his clothes back on and apologized to me. He did not say anything else to me until he let me out at the hotel where he picked me up. He apologized to me and I went into the hotel. I waited inside the hotel until the limo left and took a cab back to my room. I went inside and turned the on the lights. The motel room looked like a palace compared to my apartment.

I kept in touch with Tom. I did not know if he was stalling me or he had a problem with getting me another passport. Every week I called Tom to see if my passport had arrived. Finally he said that he had so good news for me. He invited me for dinner and promised me that it would not be like the last date. He asked if Friday night at eight was satisfactory. I told him that it was fine. Friday afternoon I called Peter to check on my mail. He said that he had a couple of letter for me. One was from a hotel on the beach and the other one was from the US State Department. Peter said he would be working until nine and for me to meet him in his room after nine. I told him I had already committed myself to a friend’s party. He said, “If I don’t see you at nine tonight, I will burn the letters.”

I told Peter that I would be there at nine. I wanted to get my letters and kill the bastard. I could not kill him he handled my mail box. I called Tom and told him that I could not meet him until ten. A friend of mine was in town just for the day and I wanted to see her before she went back to the US . I asked him if he could pick me up about ten. I gave him the name of the hotel. He seemed a little pissed, but he agreed to meet me at ten.

I was inside Peter’s room before nine. I took off my evening dress and my underwear. I knew there was no way I could stop him from having sex. I lay down on the bed and waited. When he came in, I ripped his clothes off and threw him on the bed. I was finished in less than five minutes. I asked him where the letters were. He pointed to the top drawer of a chest. It wasn’t one letter it was a dozen letters if not more. I glanced at the letters; I had six offers for jobs. The State Department said that my request for my passport was approved and I could pick it up at the local Embassy. There was a pitcher full of water on the table. I picked it up and poured it on Peter. He had his eyes closed and shot out of the bed and yells, “What did you do that for.”

“You fucking bastard you have been holding some of these letter for over a month. I have called you almost every other day. You told me that I had not received any mail. I should kill you. Peter started to get up. I raised the pitcher and said, “If you get out of that bed. I will crush your head with this pitcher.”

I put on my clothes and went into the bath room and put on my makeup. I looked out the window and saw the limo waiting. I picked up the pitcher and threw it at Peter. He caught the pitcher. I slammed the door and went to the limo. The driver opened the door for me. Tom took my hand and helped me in. I leaned over and gave him a kiss. I told him that I had received a letter from the State Department about my passport. He reaches inside his jacket pocket and pulled out the passport and gave it to me. I gave him a lingering kiss and thanked him for it. I said, “I don’t feel like having dinner. Let’s go where we can enjoy each other, but not at the place we went to the last time, something must better and I will pay for the room.

I told the driver where to go. I paid for the room in cash. We made love and it was over almost before it started. In a way I felt sorry for Tom. I did not know of any other way I could pay him for what he had done for me. If it wasn’t for Tom, I would not have gotten a new passport. If it was anyone of the other bastards or bitches I would still be waiting or denied. I took a quick shower and got dressed. Tom was still in the bed. I through Tom a kiss and walked out before Tom had a chance to think.

I wanted to celebrate. I hit the expensive hotels along the beach. Before the evening was over I had four young men lapping at my heels. I had heated them up. They all wanted me. I picked the one I thought was the best. All men are alike. It was over before I got warmed up. I took a cab to my apartment, soaked my body and fell asleep in the bath tub.

I was employed by one of the best hotel on the beach. I worked in customer service. I welcomed and catered to the richest customers. With the salary and the tips, I did not have to dig into my nest egg. I loved my job. I had odd working hours. They gave me a room at the hotel with free meals. I lived at the hotel. I changed my mailing address to my room at the hotel so I would not have to put up with Peter. I applied for Brazilian citizenship. With the influence of the hotel management, it looked like it would not take as long as it usually did. I had not been this happy in years. I was free and alone.

Ted:

          The trail for Janet had gotten cold. A couple of months had passed. I was ready to call it quits. The only link to Janet was Thomas Hampton. I hated to get that poor family involved. I knew where he worked and I knew where he lived. I did not want to mess up his marriage or his career. I thought I would try to feel him out at lunch. I bought myself a lunch and headed for the park. I took a seat next to him. I struck up a conversation with him. He asked me why I was in Brazil . I told him the truth. I told him everything except my involvement in the embezzlement. I told him about the three times that I thought I had seen Janet. I describe what Janet looked like and her love for red shoes and cars. When he heard about the shoes I thought he was going to choke on the food he was eating. I patted him on his back. It seemed to clear the food from his wind pipes. He hurriedly left and went inside and left me. Like Pam said, I had set it in to motion I had to wait and see how it would turn out. I returned to the park at noon for a week. Hampton never showed up again. I did not go into the Embassy looking for him. Butch and I followed him home a couple of nights. We decided to nudge Hampton again. Butch called Hampton at home and talked to him in Portuguese. Butch pretended that he was one of the limo drivers that had driven him and Janet. He told Hampton that he had seen a picture of his girl friend in an American newspaper that someone had left in his cab. From the article, she had dated men, used them, stole their money and killed then. Hampton hung up on Butch. We were just a few houses down the street from where Hampton lived. Butch called back. A woman answered the phone. Butch put his hand over the mouth piece and asked me what he should do. I told him to tell Hampton wife that a person that her husband had helped was wanted for killing a number of men and he wanted to warn her husband, he had hung up on him. Butch told her and she hung up the phone and yelled at Tom. We could not hear what they were saying but she was giving Tom hell. The following day I went to the park and waited. I saw Hampton heading in my direction. He lashes into me, accusing me of calling his home. I told him I never called him and I did not know where he lived or what his name was. He backed down. He asked me if I could speak Portuguese. I told him no and that I had only been in Recite for a few months. I pulled out my passport and showed him the date I arrived. He apologized and asked me to tell him about the woman. I tried to repeat the same thing that I told him before. I asked him if I had told him about what had happen in Mexico . He said that I had not told him anything about Mexico . I told him that she had killed two American and tried to kill three Mexicans by leaving them adrift in the Gulf of Mexico . He looked quite upset. He thanked me and went back into the Embassy.

I could not prove that the woman that I had seen was Janet, but it surly looked like her. I knew she had to be in town, and Hampton more than likely knew where she was. Butch and I tailed Hampton for the next three days. I felt that it was useless. I was going to give up and go back home tomorrow. My flight was leaving late tomorrow night. I was going to give it one more try. Butch and I went to the Embassy and waited for Hampton . After he left the Embassy, he stopped at the Recife Police Station. We follow him through the city to the beach. He walked the beach and went in most of the large beach hotels. We were waiting outside to see it he would come out with someone. Butch and I were about to give up. Butch said, “We will be following him for a year if he keeps going to the hotels. The next hotel Hampton went into was the hotel where I had first seen him with Janet. Shortly afterwards he came out alone and was headed for his car. I felt that it was useless to follow him. I watched Hampton got into his car. A few moments later he get out of the car and looks at the hotel. I could not believe my eyes; I gasped, “Oh my God,”

          Butch looked over at me and said, “What wrong?”

          A mixed feeling of excitement ran through my body, I said, “Look who is running out of the hotel.”

Butch asked, “The woman in the red dress.”

          “Yep, that’s Janet.”

          Butch laughed and said, “She picked my cab out of the line of cabs at the airport. Like you, she asked me if I could speak English. Sometime it best not to tell them that you spoke English. You don’t know what they are up to. If you didn’t recognize my Brooklyn accent I would have pretended that I only spoke a little English.”

             Hampton walked back to Janet. I could tell by their action, they were arguing. I said, “Butch, I wish I could hear what they were talking about.”

           Butch said, “Walk up to them and listen.”

I wanted so much to. Fearful, I got out of the cab and walked over to them. Seeing me, it scared Hampton to death. I could see the fear in his face. I had no idea why he was scared. I said, “Miss, is this man bothering you. Do you want me to call the police?”

Janet turned and looked at me and cursed, “Get your fucking ass out of here and leave us alone.”

“OK Janet, if that is what you want.”

For a moment, she had a puzzled look on her face. She look at me as if she was going to ask, “Who the fuck are you?”

I turned and started to walk away. Hampton walked over to me and grabbed my shoulder and whispered, “Isn’t this the woman you are looking for.”

I nodded my head and said, “Yes it is. I can’t do a damn thing but look for her. I have call the authorities and told them where she is. They have to come and pick her up.”

Hampton looked a little stunned. He looked back at Janet and walked back to her. I looked at Janet and Hampton. I waved and said, “I will see you later Janet when you are not too busy.”

I must have read her mind. Janet yelled and said, “Who in the hell are you?”

I smiled and said, “Didn’t Mr. Hampton tell you who I was.”

I went back to the cab and Butch said, “I called the police and told them that a man and women were fighting down by the beach. I told them where we were. Butch said, “We have plenty of time to catch your plane. Let’s see what happens when the police come. We will have a better view from the other side.”

Butch mad a u-turn, circle the block and came up on them from the other side. We watched them arguing and shouting at each other. A police car came up and separated them. Janet ran for the hotel. The policeman ran after her and caught up with her when she was entering the hotel. He dragged her back down the street to where Hampton was standing. Another police car came up. Janet was screaming her head off. A policeman handcuffed her and put her into the back seat of the patrol car. Hampton showed his ID and shook the officer’s hand. One of the officers drove away with Janet while the other one was taking notes. Butch looked over at me and said, “Why are you crying.”

I looked at Butch and said, “I feel sorry for her. I used to love her. She never loved me. It you only knew the hell that woman has put me through. Thank God, I hope it’s over with. I wanted so much to have her put away so I could live my life without fear. Yet, I wish that it did not have to end this way. Take me to the airport.”

Jokingly Butch said, “They just might let her go free. She just might tell them she is not the person that killed those men.”

With a hollow feeling in my stomach, I said, “Butch, don’t even think that way. I don’t want to go through this again. If she is let loose, I think I would kill myself.”

Butch help unload my bags. I gave him an envelope with a thousand in it and said, “I hope that’s enough. You never told me why you left Brooklyn .”

Butch said, “Sorry Ted, you have your secrets and I have mine. You don’t have to tell me yours and I want have to tell you mine.”

He hugged me and said, “When you get back down this way, share some of your secret with me.”

I laughed and said, “Only if you share you secrets with me.

Ted and Janet go home, but not together:

          I called home and told Pam to get in touch with Anderson . I had some news for him. I told Pam where I was and I was coming home. Just before daylight the following morning I walked into my home. Pam was sleeping; I took off my clothes and climbed in bed with her. I was asleep in seconds. The phone rang. Pam grabbed the phone and had not seen me lying next to her. Pam asked, “Who is this calling so early in the morning?  He is not here.”

Half asleep I said, “Honey who is it?”

          Pam jumped and yelled. She dropped the phone. Looks around and climbed on top of me and said, “Honey, you scared the piss out of me. I could kill you, but I won’t. I am so glad you are home. When did you get home and why didn’t you wake me.”

           “Honey, I didn’t want to wake you up. Who in hell is on the phone. Pam said, “Oh, shit. I forgot about him. It’s Anderson .”

          I could hear Anderson yelling. I said, “Honey, hand me the phone.”

          Anderson said, “What the hell is going on over there.”

          “I just got home and you woke us up.”

          Anderson said, “I heard that you got Janet. The Brazilian police have her locked up. They don’t want her. The State Department is flying her back today. How did you pull this?”

          I said, “I am too tired to think. I have been up all night. I will fill you in later. Since you can’t find a woman, I will give you a head start. Pam is going to kill me for scaring her to death. I climbed into bed without waking her up. When you called she saw me in bed it scared her so much that she peed in her panties.”

          Pam yelled, “Now, I am sure I am going kill you. Give me the phone. I am going to kill the both of you.”

          I laughed, took the phone and hung it up. Pam said, “I am not going to kill you now. I am going to kill you when you are wide awake. Cuddle up to me I missed you so much.”

          When the Brazilian Government heard about the three Mexican and the two American they gave Janet to the State Department and demanded that she be out of the country on the next flight.

          The Mexican government wanted the first shot at Janet. Since there was still a large sum of money still missing, the US had her in their hands and were not going to give her up. With the backup of cases and the defense wanting more time, the trial was to start in six months.

          Since there wasn’t anyone that I knew of that wanted to kill me, Pam and I took Susie and her new husband with us on a cruise along the southern and the eastern coast of good old US of A. Being in the waters of Mexico at this time wasn’t advisable. We shared the fear of reprisal with the other boaters.   

          While we were away a young couple was making body contact on a deserted road in the middle of nowhere and smelled the decaying body of Howard. The body contact was quickly interrupted by the odor. The young man was curious where the odor was coming from. In the dark he stumbled over and wet his pants when he saw what he was laying on. The couple could not get away from the odor. The young man reeked from the odor. They went to the young man’s home and told his parent what had happen. The parents called the police and scrub their son.

The Trial:

          We were back at home before Janet’s trial started. When they searched Janet’s apartment in Recife they found the gun that killed Allen and Howard. It was one of those open and shut cases. The prosecutor had so much hard evidence; that the defense could not convince the jury that Janet was human much less innocent of a crime. I was in the court room every day of the trial. I was never called to testify. Janet did not testify in her defense and no one else was called in her defense. Every day at the trail, I scanned the court room for a friend, Janet’s parent, and relatives. There were friends and relatives of Allen and Howard that came in occasionally. I did not see anyone come close or talked to her except her attorney. When she came into the court room, she looked down at the floor. She never looked at me or looked around the court room to see if there was someone she knew. She wore only her prison dress with no makeup. Every day at the trial, something that was said or done that would draw tears to my eyes. There was no one in the world there to help her except her attorney and he was useless. Janet never looked at the jury or the person that was testifying against her. She never raised her voice above a whisper. I felt so sorry for her that I wanted to go down to her and hold her in my arms. I wanted to do something to help her; there was nothing that I could do without putting myself on trial for embezzlement.

          The word embezzlement was never mentioned. The prosecutor used other words like theft, robbery, stealing, pilfering, looting and larceny to describe the embezzlement of five hundred million dollars. I felt that they would reserve the word embezzlement after they arrested me for embezzling five hundred million dollars. They did not have anyone else to arrest for the biggest bank robbery in the state, except me. I did not trust Anderson, the board of directors or any of the employees at the bank. I still did not have a piece of mind and they are still trying to figure out what happen to the money that was still missing.

The sentence of the convicted murderer was set to take place in four months.  

          Since I came up with the hundreds of millions of dollars with the aid of two young ladies and Janet had worked with me for about six months, the officials wanted me to talk to Janet about the money that was still missing. They felt Janet might open up to me. I did not want to, but they kind of insisted. To get them off of my back I agreed to talk to Janet.

          They brought Janet to the visitor booths. Before I went up to the window, I watched her for a few minutes. That wasn’t the beautiful sexy young lady that worked for me a few years ago or the way she looked in Recife . I felt sorry for her. What a miserable way to go. If they gave her life and she had to look at herself for the next forty years, it would drive her crazy. What a way to waste one’s life.

          I could see that Janet was impatient. I walked into the visitor’s area and sat down. She looked at me curiously and said, “You were in Recife before they busted me.”

          Without saying anything I nodded my head and let her talk. Janet put on that little cunning smile of hers and said, “Are you the one that tracked me down. If I had known that you were so cute, I would have turned myself in sooner.”

          That was Janet in full bloom. Again I nodded my head without saying anything. I was sure that if she knew it was me she would want to finish me off even though she was in jail. I could see that she was getting a little agitated because I had not said a word. I said, “How have you been and how have they been treating you?”

          I could see the change in Janet’s face she knew my voice. Her face changed from curious to hate. She yelled, “You bastard, I thought I had gotten you out of your hair. Why didn’t you leave me alone? What did you do, have a face lift?”

          I lashed back at Janet and said, “Yes, I had a face lift. Why did you try to kill me? You were going kill me after I signed the confession? I was very lucky. You and Howard blamed me for embezzling the money from the bank. Don’t you think that is enough of a reason for me to track you down? Where is the rest of money that you, Howard and Allen stole from the bank? ”

          By the look on Janet’s face, I could see that she could not answer me. I said, “You and Howard were going to take me back to my apartment and kill me. I was in the crawl space in your home. I heard the hate you and Howard had for me. Why was there so much hate for me? You, Howard and Allen had planned to shaft me before I had even met you. I will bet my soul that you were the mastermind of this whole mess.”

          With confidence in her voice Janet said, "You are so right; those two ass holes did not have an ounce of brains in their head. I had to do all the thinking. You are the one that screwed up the account that Howard had in Cancun and all the other places.      You are the one that should be in here not me.”

          “Janet, Allen had access to the vault and the master computer. He knew what Howard was doing. Allen was not stupid. Allen did not want to share one cent of his money with you and Howard. Why should he? About ten percent of the money in the vault was his money. Why would he want to share the money with you and Howard?”

          I smiled at Janet and said, “Janet, you had two problems with your scheme.”

          Janet lashed out at me and said, “What problems.”

          “Howard and Allen were your problems, who else were in it with you, not me. You and Allen planned to get Howard out of the country and kill him. Then I would be the fall guy. None of you trusted each other. Allen had access to the main computer and the vault.  Look at the million he took out of the bank and hid it in a small bank out of town. I didn't have any idea where Allen put the money that Howard wired out of the country. It could be scattered all over the world. Allen thought that the Euro would double or triple in value. He had convinced the board of directors to sell off all their investment and buy Euros when they dropped in value. We know now that he was not going to share any part of the banks money with anyone but himself. Again, why would he share any part of it with you and Howard? He knew that Howard tried to embezzle money from the bank that you and Howard had worked for. You and Howard could not have come around at a better time for Allen. Since you and Howard had worked at the other bank together. You and Howard were a perfect patsy.

I did not know about the transfers until you and Howard planted those files on me. I could not get into the vault to make the transfers. Who else had the password for the vault and the computer? Allen. Who came back and blew Allen’s head off? You did. I don’t think he ever told you about the hundreds of millions that he had taken from the bank. After you and Howard took off to Cancun , I didn’t know where you were hiding. When I saw all the mail piled in your yard. I knew you were not at home. I went into your home to see if there was anything in it that would tell me where you two went. I found the map that Howard had made. When I got in Cancun , you had already come back here. By a stroke of luck, I was riding on a tour bus and saw Howard. I inquired about Howard and found out that you had gone back home. I planted the money and airline ticket. Howard took the bait. When Howard came home I followed him. Since I knew where Howard was, I felt that you were not too far away. I lost the both of you until Allen came to visit you. I followed him to the smaller house. I wasn’t sure which house you were in until I saw Susie climbing all over Allen. You planted Susie driver’s license at the murder scene. I talked to Susie and she told me about her association with Allen, the money, and the brochures that she found while she was waiting for Allen. I think you know the rest. What did Allen do with the money that Howard transferred and how much was it?”

          Janet looked at me with questioning eyes and said, “I don’t know and probably will never know. Howard and I both could not understand why the bank went under. With all the cash that was in the bank that was not being invested blew both of our minds. Allen must have had this planned long before I met him. The little that Howard transferred out of the country and hid on the tenth floor was a drop in the bucket compared to the hundreds of millions that was in the bank vault. Howard felt that a few more million that he hid on the tenth floor would not be missed. Allen told me that the fifty million that Howard put on the tenth floor was what put the bank under.”

          I stood up and look into Janet eyes and said, “Sweetheart, I wish I could help you. I could not help you when we worked together and I cannot help you now.”
          I turned around to leave and started walking away. Janet screamed so loud that I could hear her through the thick glass wall. She was pleading for me to help her. I glanced back at Janet’s pathetic and desperate face pressing against the glass wall. I wished that I had not looked back. The look on her face will haunt me for the rest of my life. Janet will not have to go back to
Mexico . The Judge gave her a life sentence for each of the murders. I am sure that she will only have to serve one of them.

          Months later, they found the body of the pawn shop owner. They had not linked his murder with Allen and Howard until after Janet was sentenced. The bullet that killed him matched the bullets that killed Allen and Howard. They did not want to try Janet again. There was no way that she would get out of jail until she was dead.

          I wanted peace of mind. Will I ever get it? I still have dreams of the lives that Janet had taken away. I was not at any of the murders, but my mind replayed the murders. When will it stop? If I hadn’t got out of Howard’s bathroom, I would not be here now.

          Even though Janet cannot get to me, is there someone else that’s wants revenge and kill me or Pam? What a world that we all live in.

Will they ever tie the money that I took for William Duffery to me? Anderson has been trying to link us together. I should give the forty million back to them and kill myself. Pam saw the anguish on my face and said, “A penny for your thoughts.”

          I smiled and said, “Forty million dollars.”

          Pam exclaimed, “That much. Wow.”

          “About that much. I think I will give it to charity.”

          Jokingly, Pam smiled and said, “Charity is my middle name.”

          “Sweetheart, it all yours and so am I.”  

          Pam came over to me and sat in my lap. She gave me a kiss and looked into my eyes and whispered, “Darling, if that damn money is bothering you that much, give it to charity. I have enough money that we will never have the need for the other money. Get the money and through it out the window and watch the excitement.”

          After mulling it around for a few months, we decided to give all of the interest from the money to charity. I let William Duffery be the donor. He has all the money not me.  

Returned mail:

          Return mail started to pop up at Janet’s old home. The new owner called me and asked me if I knew a man named Don Parker. For a moment, the name did not ring a bell. My old brain dug up the name out of the obsolete file. I said, “Yes I do. What can I do for you?”

          “I found a car load of packages that were returned to this address on my porch today. You knew the woman that lived here. It must have been one of her friends. Would you come and pick them up and give them to him?”

          “I would be glad to. When can I pick them up? What is your name?”

          “Buddy, just yell for me and I will come out and help you. I will be home this weekend. I will be working in the back yard. Just hollow and I will come out and give you a hand.”

          If buddy only knew what was in the packages, he would not have called me.

As soon as Buddy hung up, I called Anderson . We chatted for a few minutes until he remembered that I had called him. He said, “Hey, why did you call me?”

          I said, “I want you to take a ride with me.”

          “Where are we going?”

          “You will know when we get there.”

          I picked up Anderson . Again he wanted to know where we were going. “We are going to take a visit to Janet’s home.”

  Anderson asked, “Why are we going over there?

“You will see when we get there. It may be a wild goose chase. But, I think it is best that you be there with me. Just in case, I need you.”

 I drove out to Janet’s home and got out. Anderson did not get out of the car. He said, “Why in hell did you drag me out here. Janet does not live here anymore.”

          I said, “Stay there, I will be back in a minute.”

I kept walking. I got to the side gate and yelled, “Buddy.”

          Buddy came to the front door and I went inside with him. I question Buddy about the house. He loved it, but it was out of his price range and he thought that he may not be able to keep up with the mortgage. We went into the room that was Howard’s office. On a dolly there were dozens of small boxes about eight inches cubed. I told Buddy to take four of the boxes and keep them and don’t tell anyone about them. He did not take any.  I took four of the boxes off the stack and gave them to him and told him to hide them now. With a surprised look on his face he asked, “Is this part of the…”

I put my finger over his lips like Pam does to me. I said, “Don’t ask question, don’t tell anyone, don’t squander the money and don’t flash it around. Use it to pay off your mortgage. Also, come to APB and I will get you a mortgage that no one can match.”

          Buddy took the four boxes and dropped them in the crawl space and said, “No one is going to look down there. When they open the cover, the odor will keep them away.”

          There was a knock on the door. I said to Buddy, “Stay cool. This bastard will be suspicious of both of us and let me do the talking.”

          Buddy opens the door and said, “May I help you. I thought that I met everyone in the neighborhood.”

          I said, “No, Buddy. He came with me. This is Mr. Anderson.”

          I told Anderson that Buddy was looking for a Mr. Don Parker. Don lived here with Janet. Don mailed some packages and they came back with a return to sender label on them. Buddy knew that Janet worked for me and he called me. I told him that I knew where Don lived and I would give them to Don. Will you help me put them in my car?”

          Anderson knew what was in the boxes. He did not say a word. We loaded them in my car and went downtown to APB. We piled the boxes on an open top file cabinet and rolled it in the bank. I asked a couple of the clerks to help us. Anderson was flabbergasted when the first box was opened. He asked, “Who in hell is Don Parker?”

          “Do you remember the pile of document that Howard had given me the day before you shut down the bank?”

          “Yes, I remember. I told you to hold on to them until the bank was reopened.”

          “And I do. There was a ledger in the pile that would send me to jail for life. The ledger was what Allen and Janet was looking for. That was one of the aliases that Howard used. These boxes have been sitting in a post office warehouse almost since Howard was murdered. Look at the postmark.”

           After the money was counted and the legal work was finished the bank got back another seven million. I gave Buddy an interest free loan and got the Board of Directors to give him a hundred thousand dollar reward. The members of the Board were pissed off at me. They thought that I was too generous with the rewards. At one of the board meeting they tongue lashing me. I got up and told them to vote me out of the Board of Directors. If they did, I would take my investment in APB and Mr. William Duffery account with me. They all backed off. I told them that they were lucky that they got most of the money back. When Allen was President, hundreds of million dollars were gathering dust in the vault, now it is working for us. The amount of the reward they gave for the return of the money is a fraction of the amount that is being earned each day. This quieted them down.

          Janet appealed her conviction. Her attorneys filed for a mistrial. All the appeals were overturned. As the years passed, more evidence was discovered. A new tenant at her apartment found a UZI and some other guns hidden in the attic of Janet’s apartment. The Mexican government tried Janet in Absentia. She was found guilty of three counts of attempted murder. They sentenced her to life in prison. They have a long wait ahead of them. As for as trying Janet for masterminding the embezzlement; they did not know who to blame. They still had me on the list. I resigned as a member of the board of directors of APB. I transferred William Duffery accounts to an account in Aruba and my account to Recife . We spent the summers at Pam’s penthouse and the winters in Recife . The wonderful part of my life is being married to Pam and being with her. Life without her would not be worth living. We are enjoying a wonderful life together.

The summer would soon be over. Pam and I were getting ready to go south.

I looked at the calendar. Tomorrow will be Janet’s birthday, September 6. As much of a bitch as she was, she was a part of my life. She had been sympathetic when I was ill and caressed and comforted me when I had problems at the bank. I have often wondered if she was really sympathetic or just trying to win my confidence in her.  I looked over at Pam and said, “How would you like to wish Janet a happy birthday?”

“When is her birthday?”

“Tomorrow.”

Pam did not say anything for a moment; she looked at me and said, “Do you think she would get upset if I went along?”

“I am not sure how she will feel.”

Pam caressed my cheek. With a soft voice she said, “Honey, if you want my company, I will go with you. Do you really want me to go with you?”

Something inside of me was driving me to go see Janet. I turned and took Pam in my arms and said, “Sweetheart, I am not sure how she would feel and how you would feel. There is still a tinkle of affection in my heart for her. I feel sorry for her and the way her life has turned out. We were very close for six month. I feel guilty for tracking her down. If I had not found her, she would still be free. ”

“Ted, were you ever intimate with Janet?”

“No honey, far from it. She hated the way I looked. She would not look at me when I talked to her.”

With a sympathetic smile on Pam’s face she said, “Why not, I will pick up a few things that she can’t get in prison and take them with us.”

After Pam had wrapped the gift so nicely, the guard ripped of the wrapping and tossed them in the waste basket. They opened and examined the perfumes and colognes. I told the guard that I had worked with her and I wanted it to be a surprise and not to tell her who was visiting her. They searched us both and escorted us to a booth like the one that I had seen Janet in after her trial.

The microphone and speakers were all built in. When you wanted to speak, you had to push a button. There was only one seat. Pam told me to sit down. We waited and waited. It reminded me of the time I was in the crawl space in Janet’s home. Finely a guard opens the door. Janet shades her eyes trying to see who was on the other side of the glass partition. The guard steps back, reaches and a bright light turn on. Janet sits down and for a moment she did not recognize me. I said, “Happy Birthday.”

Janet was still a little uncertain who we were and said, “Thank you, for coming to visit me on my birthday.”

A guard opens the door behind her and hands her a bag with the gifts. The guard said something to Janet. She looks up at me and said, “I am not sure, are you Ted and who is that lovely lady behind you?”

I smiled and said, “Yes it is, and…”

Janet said, “You have to push that button. I could not hear what you said.”

I pushed the button and said, “I’m sorry, yes I am Ted this is my wife Pam.”

“Ted how did you get such a beautiful wife, you must have met her after you had a face lift.”

Pam bends over and pushed the button and said, “No, I picked him up before he had the face lift. I met Ted on the night you kidnapped him. I fell madly in love with the most beautiful person that I had ever met. I had to beg him to marry me. As I told Ted, I did not fall in love with his face; I fell in love with the man behind the face. As far as the face lift, he did not have to get a face lift because of me. If you had looked into his eyes and saw the man that I saw, you would not be where you are today. I know that you were his first love. I am thankful that you did not discover the man that I married and have loved from the first time I met him. Ted has a big beautiful heart. Even though he loved you, there was a part of his heart left for me. It does not bother me that Ted loved you and still has a place in his heart for you. That is another reasons that I fell in love with Ted. He is the kindest man in this world and I am thankful that he is my husband. No one gave a damn about Susie. Ted knew in his heart that she could not have killed Allen. He put his self in danger to save her when no one else did. Janet you missed your change. I feel the same pain that Ted fells about you. If only you could have seen the same man I saw when I looked into his eyes. You and I would have never met. We cannot turn the clock back. I wish I could and still have Ted. Happy Birthday and enjoy your presents.”

I looked at Janet; tears were running down her cheek. No one said anything for a while. Janet looks up a Pam and said, “Thanks for the gifts. I can smell the scent even though the bottle is closed. It is a beautiful fragrance.  I will remember what you said. I too wish I could have seen Ted the way you saw him. I did have a spot in my heart for Ted, but it never grew. There was too many distracting in my life and I never saw Ted the way you saw him.”

Janet with tears in her eyes turns slightly waved and turns around and opens the door behind her. The guard turned her around and cuffs her and picks up the gifts. Janet looks directly at me. With that flirtatious smile of hers, she winks at me as she goes through the door. The door closes. The bright light above us turned off. I looked up at Pam. She was looking at me and said, “I sorry I did not let you say anything. I did not want her to tear you down any more. I can understand why you and the others fell in love with her. She is quite charming.”

I stood up and embraced Pam. I gave her a peck on the lips and said, “Yes, she is a charmer, but you never know what is on her mind. With that charm she killed three people and I was going be the fourth. I wonder if there are any more victims that have not been found.”

A guard opens the door and did not say anything. We walked out of the prison without saying anything else to each other. I saw the sad look on Pam’s face. I apologized for dragging her down here. Pam spoke up and said, “Oh, no. I am glad you brought me down here. I felt sorry for her. That could have been me if I wasn’t blessed by the fortune that Mom and Dad left me. I could have been in the same predicament that Janet is in. This has made me more thankful that I have you. I love you.”

I lifted Pam’s chin and gave her a kiss and said, “I love you and I also will.”

I still wake up in the middle of the night expecting to see Janet aiming a gun at me and Anderson standing next to her with a broad smile on his face and saying, “Meet my new partner.” 

What a way to live.  

 Written and Published

By

William W. Wynne

Copyright © 2007

Edited and Rewritten whenever I can

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This is not the end of Janet's life even though she thinks it is!

 

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Written and Published

By

William W. Wynne

Copyright © 2007

Edited and Rewritten whenever I can