Monday, March 12, 2018

The White Minority

                Larry Couchmanos had always been someone that loved to travel.  He had been to 24 countries in his 26 year existence and he wanted to continually increase that number.  Since moving to New York, Larry found himself gravitating toward female friends.  This was mainly because he believed that his male peers acted a little too feminine for his taste.  To him, he’d rather have female friends than male friends who acted like women. Although he never outwardly expressed it, it bothered him that his closest friends never invited him on their overseas trips.  They would always take other friends of theirs and never invite him.  When Larry would be invited on a trip, it was always by a second tier friend.  This isn’t to say he didn’t get along with them, but in everyone’s lives, there is a hierarchy of friends and those at the top of his list were never the ones to invite him on their trips. 

                It is because of all this, Larry was ecstatic when his friend Alyssa invited him on a trip with her and her family to the Dominican Republic.  Alyssa was born in the Dominican Republic to two Dominican parents thus was thoroughly entrenched in the culture.  Larry and Alyssa had been very close friends for about seven years at this point.  Since Alyssa found herself living with family while in New York and Larry was a frequent guest of hers, he knew her sisters well enough for it not to be awkward.  The reason for this trip was that Alyssa was going to baptize her niece and before the baptism, there was going to be a week long relaxation vacation before the christening.  Due to most everyone in Alyssa’s family taking guests, there was a large amount of people going.  Because of this, they rented a villa in Puerta Plata.  This made Larry even more excited because he loved intermingling with the locals of a country.  He had been to a resort in Punta Cana when he was very little but Club Meds and resorts weren’t the type of vacations he enjoyed.  He wanted to be mixed among the locals and see the culture of the country, and this Dominican trip would give him a chance to do exactly that.  Alyssa had informed Larry who would be joining them at the house.  It was going to be Larry, Alyssa, her three sisters, another Dominican girl, her sister’s fiancée who was raised in a Dominican family, her other sister’s husband, her sister’s husband’s brother and her Aunt.  This would mean that Larry would be the only non-Dominican in the group.  Since Larry had many Hispanic friends, it was not uncommon for him to be the only White person amongst a bunch of Hispanics.  In all previous encounters he had experienced no negative racism so he was unaffected to be the minority race once again.

                The group landed in Santiago, Dominican Republic at the hottest part of the day.  They were going to be met by Alyssa’s sister’s Abby and Abby’s brother-in-law.  They rented a car and headed off to get something to eat.  While there, Abby’s brother-in-law was telling them about what to expect in the Dominican Republic.  Larry thought this odd since everyone else there had been raised there, but people seemed to be listening intently and it kind of made sense that the Dominican Republic had changed since Alyssa’s family lived there.  The conversation was in Spanish and Larry had no idea what was going on.  He got bits of pieces of the translation and found out that the brother-in-law seemed to be trying to scare them.  He told the only other male in the group besides Larry that if they went out at night, they would get raped.  Alyssa’s sister’s fiancée, Steven, asked if he meant him or the girls, and the brother-in-law said he meant everyone.  Steven was not scared by this and thought it ridiculous as did Larry but the girls seemed to take it to heart.  After lunch, they drove to Punta Plata to find their villa.  After getting settled into their villa, they went out to have dinner.  After dinner, they started driving around to see Punta Plata and how it may have changed since last time they were there.  While driving, they heard loud music.  Alyssa’s sister wanted to check it out but the other girls were still scared about what the brother-in-law had told them.  Larry protested briefly but Alyssa shut him down and he decided that since he hated clubs anyway, it really wasn’t something worth arguing about.  The next couple of days were spent drinking by the pool of their villa and heading to the beach.  They all stayed in a group so no locals really bothered them but they clearly were going to beaches that tourists didn’t know about.  Larry was thrilled to be eating the freshest seafood he’d ever had right on the beach and hanging out with a group of people in which he got along with everyone extremely well.  What excited him the most was that Steven was not a metrosexual male.  Given the people in New York, Larry constantly craved having a guy conversation with someone who actually acted like a guy.  Having Steven there gave Larry his needed fix.  Truth be told, Steven was more old-fashioned and more traditional male than Larry as he insisted on never letting the girls pay.  Larry fought him for some groceries and stuff but it was definitely one sided.  The trip was going well and on Semana Santa or the day before Easter there was going to be a massive party on the beach and this time nothing would deter the girls from going.

                Larry got dressed and they headed out to the club.  He hated dancing but he decided he wasn’t going to be a party pooper so he would suck it up and go with them.  Despite being with a lot of extremely good looking girls, Larry was not planning on dancing.  When they got to the party on the beach, Larry was shocked at the amount of people there were.  Moving an inch on the beach required pushing through at least three people.  Since the girls were Dominican, they knew what to expect.  Men do not have the same respect for women in the Dominican Republic as they do in the states.  They constantly try to tear purses away from girls and are overly aggressive toward them.  Due to this, the girls would tie their purses to their wrists so it would be much more difficult to rip it out of their hands.  Steven led the group while Larry purposely stayed behind the girls so as to watch if any guys tried to grab one of the girls.  He always wanted to be a sort of bodyguard but realistically he was too occupied with pushing through his own people to notice that guys were grabbing the girl’s purses repeatedly.  So long as they were unsuccessful, he was okay with that, it was only if they got overly flirtatious or inappropriate that he would step in.  Although this seems like an easy task, Larry had been in the situation before and he never could tell whether or not his female friend was enjoying the attention or was repulsed and wanted someone to help.  He always erred on the side of caution, which had gotten him into bad situations before in which a girl wanted him to act and he didn’t.  He never forgave himself for these times, but that didn’t change the fact that he still didn’t know when his actions would be welcomed and when they wouldn’t.  Since it had been a long time since he had been in a fight and he never could know whether or not the person he would confront may have a weapon or not, he was sure to carry two knives on him, which he kept clipped to his waist at all times.

                Steven finally decided that being amongst the crowd was a bad idea.  He went up to a private part and bribed the bouncer to let them in.  Here it was much more relaxed as they had a table and couches to themselves and they could dance.  Larry danced the minimum amount so as not to be harassed by his group to dance, but not pressured to maintain the rhythm, which as far as Larry was concerned, was impossible.  Steven spent a majority of the time dancing with his fiancée but he did dance with the other girls as well and sort of looking at Larry so he would join.  He never did, he was fine in his own little world people watching.  Some outsiders took the risk that given the two guys and three girls that one of the girl’s was single so they would just attempt to dance with them and see if they got yelled at.  Anyone who tried dancing with Alyssa, Larry made sure to make eye contact yet no movement.  It was kind of an unspoken connection he had with the males.  It said, “You can dance with her, but don’t try anything I won’t like.”

Larry never fully understood how this was so clear, but it was.  He would even utilize this technique when drunk people stumbled and bumped into Alyssa.  They’d apologize to her then see Larry eyeing them and put up their hands in submission toward Larry.  Larry merely responded with a nod.  He was actually kind of enjoying his self-proclaimed role.  As the hours went by, one of the girls decided to take a nap on the couch because she was exhausted.  At first, the group ignored her, then everyone decided to leave.  By this time, the private area was extremely crowded and again they had to push their way through.  By the time they got out of the private area, Steven and his fiancée were nowhere to be found, the sleeping girl was going to the bathroom and Larry was left there with Alyssa and her eldest sister.

Alyssa had been loving the music all night as she loved losing herself in the music.  She enjoyed it so much, she wanted to find out the DJ’s name.  She turned toward her sister and Larry and said, “You guys stay here, I’m going to find out what the DJ’s name is.” And ran off into the crowd.

                At first Larry just nodded his head but after about 30 seconds, he became extremely worried about his friend.  He couldn’t believe that he didn’t go with her.  He said something to her sister, who just responded that she was going to be right back.  This wasn’t good enough for Larry, he was getting really scared.  He hesitated for a second because if he left that means he would be leaving another girl by herself but he spotted Steven who had come back to see what was taken them so long, and rushed into the crowd. At six feet, Larry was taller than most the Dominicans, which helped him see over the crowd.  Since it wasn’t a massive height discrepancy it seemed that finding Alyssa would be near impossible, which only fueled his fear.

                Although Alyssa had initially been scared by what the brother-in-law said to the point that she didn’t want to go investigating loud music the first night, now that she was at a party with awesome music, she was going to be unafraid.  She prided herself in always feeling safe no matter where she was and hadn’t really been in any danger living like that, so why assume that this time would be any different?  She wanted to know who the DJ was, they couldn’t find Steven, so while waiting, she’d find out.  She pushed her way through the crowd, if any guy would get inappropriate she would just give them a mean look.  The look had worked like a charm in New York, so why wouldn’t it work in the Dominican Republic, her first home?  She pushed her way through to the stage and found out the DJ’s name.  While she pushed herself toward the group, she felt a man grab her arm.  She figured it was just another man trying to grab her purse so she turned her head toward the guy and gave him the look.  The guy’s grip on her arm didn’t loosen, instead, he yanked her toward him.  Alyssa screamed in Spanish, but the music was too loud for anyone to pay any attention.  She struggled but nobody was paying her any attention.  Suddenly she felt a fist into her stomach and her body went rigid as the guy dragged her through the crowd toward the water, where there weren’t many people.  He threw her to the ground and mounted her.  As Alyssa struggled, she screamed but if nobody could hear her when they were at point blank range, they certainly weren’t going to now.  The man grabbed her collar and yanked it apart ripping her shirt down to her waistline.  He then pulled down her pants and panties just enough so that her private’s were bare.  Alyssa was surprised at how easily she had ended up in this predicament.  She slapped at the man but soon she found him exposed and her arms pinned behind her.  She was completely helpless.

                Larry pushed his way through standing on his tip toes as much as possible trying to find Alyssa.  He knew he was oblivious but he had to at least try.  He tried pushing and looking toward the stage but he didn’t have much hope.  Finally he saw a man dragging a girl away from the crowd toward the water.  He squinted to see if he could get a better look at the girl and realized that it was Alyssa.  He aggressively started pushing against people unafraid to piss off people as he made his way toward his friend.  In the back of his mind, he hoped that it wasn’t as bad as it looked.  He contemplated that maybe Alyssa would be upset with him if he broke it up.  He knew on previous occasions that Alyssa had gone on vacation to the Dominican Republic to have a vacation fling with some guy before never speaking to him again, but he had to find out.  From everything he knew about Alyssa, she wouldn’t do it on a beach in the middle of a party.  He also knew, however, that he’d been wrong before in assuming his friends weren’t as promiscuous as he had anticipated.  It was merely that female friends don’t normally talk about their sexual activity with male friends, even close ones like Larry.  They’ll give sparse details and tell of some, but they conveniently leave out anything that makes them look bad.  Finally Larry pushed his way through.  He had kept an eye on the progress of the guy and saw he had Alyssa on her back and he was on top of her.  He instinctively removed his knife. Although he always planned on only using it if his opponent had a weapon, rage had overcome him as he assumed the worst was happening to one of his best friends.  He didn’t want to merely injure this man, he wanted to kill him.  He hovered over the man just as he penetrated his way into Alyssa and Larry brought the knife to the man’s throat pulled it toward him as hard as he could and slid the knife acLysa making a pez dispenser out of him.  Larry was no doctor, but he knew about the two carotid arteries in the neck and in his cutting, he made sure to watch as his knife slit both of them.  This caused a massive amount of blood to spew out and since Alyssa was still below the man, his blood drenched her upper body.  Larry used his arms to push the man off her and looked down at Alyssa.  For the first time, he contemplated that maybe he misinterpreted what was going on and Alyssa wasn’t being forced onto the beach but was going willingly.  If so, he was in big trouble.

He took one look at Alyssa and was met with blank eyes of shock.   Larry couldn’t tell if this was because he had just killed a man, or if she couldn’t believe that she had been raped.  Larry’s shirt had snap buttons on it so he ripped it off in one motion and put it on Alyssa to cover her bra.  He then pulled up her pants and since he had to lift Alyssa’s lower half, he realized that he wouldn’t be getting any help from her.  He wrapped his arms around her torso and lifted up.  Alyssa wasn’t very big but dead lifting a human isn’t as easy as one would think.  Larry got Alyssa up to a vertical base and leaned her body against his as he buttoned the shirt behind her.  He contemplated putting it on the right way, but he wanted to leave the scene of the murder as quickly as possible.  After buttoning her, he leaned down and picked her up by the torso, thinking that she would cling on to him as he had done before to her.  Alyssa’s legs dangled and Larry walked toward the crowd carrying her deadweight.  His adrenaline was slowing and this was proving more difficult than he’d anticipated.  His first thought was to lift from lower so Alyssa’s torso would bend over his shoulder making this much easier.  As he put her down to reposition for this, he realized that the more important thing would be for her to snap out of her shocked state.  He picked her up and dragged her back to the man who was lying dead on the beach.  Larry felt her squeeze against his neck, which he interpreted as her not wanting to go back.  Although he couldn’t explain how he knew this, Larry knew that the most likely cause of Alyssa’s shock was that she was in a helpless situation that she could do nothing to break out of.  The fact that she hadn’t gotten out of it, kept her in this state.  The only way out is if her mind had experienced something that made it seem like it was her that got out.  He had seen this once in a bollywood film but movies aren’t always like reality.  He knelt Alyssa next to the man and opened her right hand. He placed his knife into her hand and closed her fingers around the hilt.  He then grabbed Alyssa by the wrist and motioned her arm to jab the knife into the man.  It occurred to him that there were a million ways to interpret this, most of which were not beneficial to him, but that didn’t concern him at the moment.  He did it once more, and then Alyssa seemed to snap out of her trance and repeatedly drove her arm into the man viscerally screaming as the pace intensified before bending over and crying.  Larry saw this as a good sign and an indication that he was correct in his previous assumptions. 

Larry waited a while to see if Alyssa would continue her revenge on the rapist, but she just wept.  He touched her on the shoulder and turned her toward him.  This time, Alyssa wrapped her arms tightly around Larry.  Larry lifted up and Alyssa wrapped her legs around him and buried her head into his shoulder.  Larry pushed his way through the crowd.  He did feel the cold steel of his knife pressed against the back of his neck as Alyssa hadn’t released it.  He decided to not tell her to give it back and just hoped that it wouldn’t cause a problem pushing his way through the crowd.  Nobody did pay him much attention as he pushed through and rendezvoused with the group.  Some of the blood had rubbed off Alyssa’s face and onto Larry’s back, neck and shoulder but there were still trace amounts on her face.  The rest of the group immediately bombarded them with questions about what happened.  Alyssa remained silent and buried her head into Larry.  The group was unsure how to interpret what they were seeing.  Larry was topless, Alyssa was wearing another shirt, which was bloody.  It occurred to Larry that Alyssa was in no mood to answer any questions and he would have to.  He didn’t want to say much detail but he did manage to say, “We are okay, Alyssa just got in a sticky situation, but we resolved it, and everything’s fine now.”

Not surprisingly this wasn’t enough to assuage them.  The friend, whom Larry had met only once prior to the trip asked in Spanish, “Did he do this to you?”

Larry didn’t need to know Spanish to realize that it wasn’t favorable to him as he saw everyone’s eyes dart at him.  Alyssa pushed her head up from Larry, shook her head, kissed him on the cheek and rested her head back on his shoulder.  This seemed to calm everyone down except the friend.  Larry said, “Let’s just go back to the house, and I’ll tell you everything.”

It was a long walk back to the car already but it felt like an eternity to Larry.  He knew he looked suspicious and he was surprised that nobody was paying them any attention on the streets.  They were walking single file so as to not be in the way of any approaching cars. Claudia, the friend, was directly in front of Larry and she took this opportunity to turn back and say to him, “I don’t know what happened, but if I find out you did this, I will personally fucking kill you.”

Larry thought it was amusing that she was saying this instead of Alyssa’s sisters.  He knew it was because he had known Alyssa’s sisters almost as long as he had known Alyssa.  They knew that Larry wouldn’t hurt her but this girl had just met Larry and was unconvinced given the evidence.  Larry decided he’d point out some facts that may help his case. He said, “Look, I don’t know why you think that she would be hugging me if I had done this, maybe you think I threatened her to make it look like everything’s okay, and that’s why she’s not talking.” This was met by an obvious nod on the friend’s part, Larry continued, “but I would point out to you that in her right hand is a knife pressed against my neck.  You can see my arms because they’re on her back, clearly not having anything in them” he took his hands off Alyssa’s back and showed his bare hands to Claudia and continued, “so let’s just pretend I threatened her, she is in a very good position to defend herself and I am in no position to protect myself against her.”

This seemed to satisfy Claudia as she turned back and continued walking.  Larry breathed a sigh of relief and was kind of glad that he let Alyssa keep the knife after all.  They finally got to the car and Alyssa still refused to let go of Larry.  Larry opened the front door and sat with Alyssa straddling him.  As the girls were in the back seat, they were face to face with the blood and asked, “Whose blood is that?”

Larry responded, “Not any of ours.”

As ominous as this sounded, the girls decided they’d wait until they got back to the villa before interrogating them.  They drove back to the villa and got out of the car.  Here, Alyssa finally let go of Larry and turned to her eldest sister, who is a doctor, and said, “I need you to come with me to the bathroom.”

Her sister agreed and Larry watched them walk off knowing that now the questions would come.  This time he would be very specific and straightforward.  He hadn’t before because he didn’t want Alyssa to relive it.  As soon as Alyssa was out of sight, the questions came from all directions from the group that was there.  Larry was very honest about what happened.  The most important question that he was getting was one he wanted to know himself, “Did he make it in time to stop Alyssa from being raped?”

                Since the incident, Larry replayed it in his mind, sometimes he could of sworn that the guy’s pants weren’t down, others that he was too late.  He couldn’t decide which the reality was. 

                Alyssa entered the bathroom and turned on the shower.  She immediately removed her clothes and threw Larry’s bloody shirt in the sink and turned on the water.  She turned to her sister and said, “Don’t panic, but you need to check to see if I’m okay.”

                The sister tried to stay calm as she assumed something horrible had happened and adding emotion to this situation wouldn’t help.  She said, “Alyssa, what happened?”

                “I think I was raped.  You know we can’t trust the hospitals here, but I need you to check to see that I’m okay”

                Mary couldn’t help her jaw from dropping. She told Alyssa to lie down and she began inspecting her vaginal area.  This was the last thing she wanted to do, especially to her sister, but she was the most qualified person to do so.  She left the bathroom and got a small flashlight so she could see better.  After her inspection, she concluded that Alyssa had very minor tearing, but she’d be alright.  She treated the wounds and told her to get it checked out more thoroughly when she returned to the states.  She advised against taking a shower so that she wouldn’t erase any evidence.  Alyssa simply told her, “That won’t be necessary.  It has been taken care of” as she got into the shower and scrubbed herself repeatedly to get the blood and any feeling of the man off her. 

                Alyssa’s sister said, “What do you mean?  What happened?  Where’s the guy?  Was it Larry?”

                Alyssa rolled her eyes but knew this couldn’t be seen.  She screamed “No! Jesus Christ you think Larry would do that to me?!”

                “Well I don’t know, all I know is that there’s blood on both of you and neither one of you is telling me shit.”

                Alyssa calmed and knew she would have to mutter the words that would bring back the reality of the situation.  Now that she knew she was okay, her mind was on her friend.  She said very softly as the implication was starting to hit her, “Larry killed him.”

                Her sister legitimately didn’t hear her and asked, “What happened?”

                Alyssa turned toward her and looked through the glass as she said in an audible yet solemn voice, “Larry saw what he was doing and killed him.”

                Alyssa then told her sister the whole story and was relieved to let it out.  It helped that she knew she was okay but the night still affected her.  Questions raced through her head on what would have happened if Larry hadn’t been there?  Would he have killed her?  She didn’t sleep very soundly as a bunch of what if’s raced through her mind.

                Larry didn’t concern himself with what if’s.  The only thing on his mind was would he make it out of the country without being arrested.  He had killed a man in front of multiple potential witnesses.  A bald white guy is easy to identify even on a beach late at night.  He hoped that nobody saw him, but he drew a lot of attention walking with Alyssa through the crowd.  Once a dead body was found, he assumed the police would investigate.  He hoped that the Dominican Republic was like Europe in which people died at concerts and parties all the time.  The thing is, when people die at a concert in Europe, it is usually from being trampled, not someone getting their throat slit. 

                The next day, the group tried to take things as normal.  They hung out by the pool and then decided to head to the beach for their last day before going to Santiago for the Christening.  Larry voiced his concern about going back to a public beach after he killed someone but everyone just assured him that they’d help him if he got arrested.  This did nothing to assuage Larry’s fear, mostly because he didn’t trust anybody.  He also doubted there was much anyone could do.  He knew that Alyssa’s parents were involved in Dominican politics but he didn’t know to what extent.  He doubted they were that powerful considering they hadn’t lived on the island in years, so he had no idea what possessed them to believe they could help him if he was indicted for murder.  The only thing that got Larry into that car was that he had made a decision to himself years ago that he would not live his life in fear nor let fear stop him from enjoying life.  This means he had to go to the beach and just see what happened.  He tried to convince himself that they were not returning to the same beach that the party was at, but it was only about 15 minutes away from the party beach by car. 

The beach was packed today and the group could not get lawn chairs all together as they had the previous days.  This didn’t concern Larry as he had a towel and actually preferred lying on the sand.  Most of the group decided to stay under umbrellas, which bothered Larry.  Everyone including him had gotten sunburned the first day, but unlike the other members, this wouldn’t stop him from going out into the sun.  He also didn’t want to separate from the group because he knew he had no sense of direction and didn’t want to lose them and be by himself in the Dominican Republic.  He was happy that Claudia had a similar idea and lied on a lawn chair in the sun.  Larry followed her and set a towel up behind the lawn chair.  He didn’t go right next to the friend because he thought she may want to find a guy on the beach and being next to a guy keeps suitors away.  Larry lay back on his towel and day dreamed not paying attention or realizing that a multitude of guys were approaching Claudia.  In the Dominican Republic a good looking girl lying by herself on the beach is like a large fish in a piranha pool.  The piranhas can’t wait to pounce.  Finally, Claudia turned toward Larry and said, “Larry, will you pull your fucking towel next to me so guys will leave me the fuck alone.”

She was getting frustrated with Larry acting as what she would perceive as ungentlemanly.  It wasn’t that he was rude, it was just that she would see the fiancée pay but never Larry.  When Larry would reimburse the fiancée, it was always when it was just the two of them so the friend hadn’t witnessed these times.  His not laying next to her was just more evidence to this.  Larry pulled his towel next to her and again day dreamed.  The men stopped coming as it was perceived Larry was with her and they went off to other girls.  A couple guys did approach and this time Larry noticed.  He wasn’t sure why these particular guys caught his attention but nonetheless they did.  As they came and said something to the friend, Larry raised his hand toward Claudia’s.  He stopped short of her arm because he was going to give her the chance to deny that they were together or make it seem like they were a couple.  Claudia looked down at Larry and noticed his hand.  She immediately grabbed his hand and held it up so the guy’s could see.  Larry then stared at them.  They looked at Larry and then continued to speak in Spanish to the friend. Larry could feel the friend’s hand tensing and concluded from that and based on the look of them and the intonation of their voices, they weren’t being very friendly toward him.  Claudia turned toward Larry and said, “Get up.” In a fearful voice.

Larry knew that it was going to get to a point where he’d have to defend himself.  He also knew he had no time to get up if these guys wanted to show any violence toward him.  He was back into fight mode and knew that the art of any fight, as in war, was deception.  He had to make it seem like he was in a vulnerable position just before striking.  He let go of Claudia’s hand and put both his hands behind his head and stared at the men.  He had sunglasses on so they couldn’t tell he was actually staring at their legs, not their eyes.  The Spanish continued and Larry could hear the fear in Claudia’s voice.  One of the guys’ legs rose over Larry’s midsection, so Larry lunged his heel into the man’s knee cap on his standing leg.  When someone goes to stomp on you, they transfer all their weight on a support system that is only designed to support half the weight, a leg.  Now, temporarily the leg can support the entire weight but every time it does, it needs to be as sturdy as possible to accommodate the extra weight.  This is done thoughtlessly and effortlessly by everyone on the planet pretty much all day.  It is only a problem if something happens to the supporting leg while it’s burdening the full weight.  An example of this is having the knee bent the wrong way, the full weight comes crashing down and the person actually snaps back instead of forward.  It had this exact affect as the guy fell back clutching his knees screaming in pain.  The other guy looked at his friend, which gave Larry the time he needed to get up staring confidently at the healthy guy.  He could see the fear on his face how Larry had crippled his friend while lying down and now he was standing.  The healthy friend put out his hands and said in Spanish that he was just going to help his friend.  Larry looked at Claudia in the corner of his eye who was smiling and she translated for him.  Larry merely shrugged his shoulders but still remained standing.  The guy helped his friend up and helped him stumble away.  Larry then lay back down on his towel feeling like a bad ass.

The friend was really turned on by Larry now.  In two days, he had killed someone who raped Alyssa and severely injured someone for merely not leaving her alone when she repeatedly asked him to.  Some women are turned off by violence, but the friend was Dominican and appreciated a man that will protect her.  She had a boyfriend back in the states and for the first time contemplated cheating on him.  She rolled off the lawn chair on top of Larry and pinned his arms behind his head with no resistance from him.  She wanted to make sure he wasn’t violent toward women so she would tease him just to see how he reacted.  She lowered her mouth to his ear and said, “Now, I have a boyfriend so don’t get too excited but thank you.” 

She lifted herself up to see what he would do but all he was doing is smiling.  He then simply said, “This works”

The friend mocked disgust and slapped him at about half strength in the face.  Larry just nodded his head.  The friend didn’t get the information she was searching for, but did realize that this bad ass, violent man, was a little masochistic when it came to woman.  This she may be able to use.  She got back on her lawn chair and the rest of the day at the beach was uneventful.

When Larry got back in the car, he was no longer afraid of being arrested.  He felt like a bad ass that he defended the friend and had the audacity to show his face in a public place after killing someone the previous night.  He started walking with a swagger, which he was not used to. 

When they returned to the Villa, the friend pulled Alyssa aside and asked in Spanish, “Is there anything between you and Larry?”

“No, he’s like my brother.”

“You sure?”


“So you won’t mind if I hook up with him?”

Alyssa was a little surprised by this question.  She had not witnessed what had transpired on the beach and this was coming out of left field.  “Ummm no I don’t care, do what you got to do, but what about your boyfriend?”

“He’ll never know…I’m not going to date Larry, I’m just going to have some fun with him…you don’t think he’ll get attached do you?”

Alyssa’s eyes widened for she knew Larry and he had no desire to get married so no strings attached would be exactly how he’d want it.  She said, “Who Larry?  Fuck no, I don’t even know if he knows how to get attached.”

“Alright good”

The night proceeded normally with a lot of drinking by the pool and socializing.  The friend came up to Larry and said, “Hey, you’re tall, I need you in the bathroom for a second.”

Even though this was an obvious sign that the friend wanted something that had nothing to do with Larry’s height, Larry was always very oblivious to these matters.  He followed her thinking he’d have to get something from a high shelf or put something up, forgetting that the bathroom had no high storage areas.  Larry walked in and the friend closed the door behind them.  Larry glanced around and saw that he was being looked at seductively.  He smiled for now he had realized her true intentions and he was not opposed.  Larry only had a bathing suit on so he could be ready real quick.  The friend walked up to him and brought her hands to his stomach and up his chest around his neck before pulling his head down.  Larry took the hint and kissed her.  The friend said, “You’ve been mighty busy protecting us damsels in distress” as she kissed him again.

Larry merely smiled, one thing he had trained himself to do on the rare occasion he was hooking  up with a girl was to not say anything.  He knew how quickly the wrong thing could lead to an abrupt end if the wrong thing were said so he kept his mouth shut.  He merely wrapped his arms around her and picked her up.  As the friend felt herself rise in the air, she wrapped her legs tightly around Larry and pulled his head toward hers.  Larry caressed her back and hair while they made out profusely.  After a little while, the friend pulled her head back and Larry began kissing her neck repeatedly.  He slid his right hand to the bathing suit strap and undid it.  Claudia leaned her upper body back tightening her grip on Larry’s waist with her legs as Larry maneuvered his hand over her front torso sliding the bathing suit top off her.  Before it could hit the ground, she snapped her upper body up and slammed Larry’s face into her bare breasts.  Larry opened his mouth and sucked and maneuvered his mouth around her breasts.  The friend then lowered her legs and wrapped her arms around Larry while kissing his neck.  She lowered her body to kiss down his chest and slowly made her way down his torso toward his waist as she dropped herself to her knees.  As she lowered herself, she tugged at his bathing suit shorts dropping them down.  Larry was now fully naked.  Larry lowered himself down and motioned Claudia’s back so she lied on her back.  Larry gently pulled off the bathing suit bottom and she wrapped her legs around his waist forcing his penis into her.  Larry thrusted himself into her while he used his hands to caress her breasts and his mouth to kiss her neck, face and mouth.  After a little while, Larry slid his arms underneath hers and rocked back pressing her against him.  He stood up and entered the shower with her clinging on to him with all four limbs.  The friend dropped herself from Larry and stiff armed him back.  Larry thought that she had come to her senses, and accepted it as having been fun while it lasted.  The girl then took the shampoo from off the shelf and rubbed it on her hair and grabbed the body soap and started rubbing her breasts and groin.  She said, “You gonna watch, or you gonna help?”

Larry eagerly grabbed the body soap and poured some on his hand.  He rubbed his hands up and down the front part of her body from head to toe.  She then turned around and he did the same to the back of her body, paying extra attention to her buttocks.  The friend then poured soap in her hand and lathered Larry’s body as he did her.  She then went toward the side of shower avoiding the water and put her hands against the wall facing it and sticking her ass out.  “You wanna search me officer?”

Seeing soap suds beat off Claudia’s ass was too much for Larry to bear.  He poured more soap onto his hand and rubbed the crack as he wanted to make sure it was fully lubricated before doing what he had planned.  When he was satisfied he stood up behind her and lunged his penis into her buttocks while reaching around and caressing her breasts.  Claudia bent her head back and made out with Larry as he did.  Claudia motioned for Larry to turn and he did as Claudia bent herself over.  Larry followed her body with his hands and watched as water washed the soap off her body.  He slid his hand along her legs and hoisted them up and around him.  He then reached down and placed both hands on Claudia’s sternum lifting her up as she reached back and brought her arms around his neck protruding her breasts forward.  Larry caressed her body with his hands and continued kissing her from the neck up.  He brought one hand down and massaged her clitoris and alternated between the clitoris and into her vagina for the G-spot.  Claudia started moaning with pleasure.  Their making out became more passionate now as Larry was penetrating all three holes worth penetrating simultaneously.  Suddenly Claudia let out a scream as she climaxed.  She then pushed Larry’s hands off her and leaned forward so her hands were back on the ground but kept her legs around him.  She said, “Stick it in the other hole.”

Larry took this to mean to reposition his penis so he was penetrating her vagina from behind.  He obeyed and Claudia pushed her body up to the same position it had been in before and Larry repeated his work with his hands.  This time since Claudia was being stimulated both from his penis and his hand, she climaxed a lot quicker.  She pushed herself off again and rested her hands on the ground.  This time, Larry didn’t wait for any instruction.  He reached behind him and uncLysaed Claudia’s legs and twirled her legs around forcing her to turn onto her back but kept his penis inside her.  He placed her feet against his chest and leaned forward.  This served to both give her ample opportunity to push him off her if she desired but at the same time, let him caress her legs.  He had explored most of her body and the legs seemed the next logical part worth exploring.  He caressed her legs as he slowly pushed his upper body against her feet incrementing his penis’ progression inside her only to retreat again.  The slight tease may have been more effective had he not already penetrated before but he was enjoying it.  After a while, he slid Claudia’s left leg up and over his shoulder and continued to caress her legs.  Soon after, he brought the right leg over his shoulder and pushed himself forward so that Claudia’s legs were pinning her down and Larry was deep inside of her.  Claudia let out a groan.  Given that Claudia was in a helpless situation, Larry wanted to give her an out.  He knew that “No” may not suffice, so he risked killing the mood and said, “If you want me to stop, say ‘black hat’”

“FUCK ME!” she hissed

Larry was revitalized by this, Larry thrusted himself repeatedly deep inside her as he caressed her legs and massaged her feet with his hands.  He decided to focus on the feet knowing that the sensory nerves for the feet were right next to the groin in the brain.  He focused both hands on her feet alternating back and forth until Claudia let out a visceral scream as she had climaxed a third time.  Larry pulled up, which gave Claudia room to bring her legs down.  She brought her feet to Larry’s chest and shoved Larry’s upper body back following up with knees on his shoulders as she pinned Larry down.  She propelled her breasts into his face as she fully mounted him.  She lifted up and thrusted her pelvis back and forth riding him hard while digging her nails into his chest.  She lied back down and draped her breasts over his face and slid herself down making sure her breasts glided down his body until she got to his groin.  She lifted his penis up and positioned them in between her breasts and she slid her body back and forth before coming back up.  She inserted his penis back into her and pulled his body up.  They cradled each other and they rocked back and forth until Claudia stood up.  Larry stayed seated and Claudia placed her right foot on his chest and stomped down forcing him back down.  She grabbed the shower for support and brought her leg up and down Larry’s torso and then to his face.  Larry opened his mouth and began sucking her toes.  Claudia then repeated this with her left foot before mounting him once again riding him hard ensuring that with every thrust her breasts slithered over his face.  Larry dropped his hands to her buttocks and caressed it while pushing her further into him.  She heard Larry slowing in intensity and knew what was coming.  She brought her upper body up and pinned his shoulders down with her hands and rode faster and harder.  She leaned forward so that she was lying on top of him.  Larry wanted to get back in a dominant position so rolled her to the side, but Claudia wrapped her left leg around his waist and her right leg around his neck and cLysaed it with her left leg squeezing Larry.  Larry was breathing extremely heavy and having air cut off made him weak just long enough for Claudia to roll back on top to a dominant position.  Larry knew he was helpless so returned his hands to caressing her ass and pushing her into him further.  He couldn’t hold back any more as cum thrusted out of him.  Claudia squeezed harder and rode even harder.  Larry felt the nauseous feeling men get when they’ve climaxed but the sexual activity hasn’t subsided.  He knew he was helpless though and he had too much pride to say the safety word he created.  His brain knew to say it but there was another head controlling him and it didn’t want to stop no matter how much it hurt. 

Larry couldn’t take it anymore and started smacking the ground, using what little breath he had left to whisper, “You win, you win, tu ganaste”

Claudia smiled at his submission but she kept going.  She didn’t want it to end any more than he did.  Finally, mercifully, Claudia untied her legs and Larry let out a long exhale as his body brought in some necessary air.  Claudia rolled off him and let the water beat against her.  She draped her arm over Larry’s chest and pulled her mouth to his ear and licked it.  She said, “That was for helping Alyssa.” She pulled back to see Larry’s reaction and he seemed confused, she then brought her mouth to his and made out with him and said, “And that’s for helping me on the beach today” as she shot up and put her bathing suit back on and exited the bathroom leaving Larry panting. 

Larry didn’t really care why Claudia did what she did, he thoroughly enjoyed it.  He rested a while before getting up and putting his bathing suit back on.  He left the shower and grabbed a drink exhausted.  Alyssa came up to Larry and said with a big smile, “So you had fun with Claudia?”

Larry was unsure if he was allowed to tell but figured that he really had nothing to lose.  The next day was the baptism and he’d be back in the states and may never see Claudia again.  He turned to Alyssa and said, “Oh yea, she said that she did that for you though…did you tell her to?”

Alyssa gave Larry a dirty look that he had received so many times before and said, “uhh no, what do you think?  I’m her pimp.”


Alyssa shook her head and walked away.  She wasn’t going to confront Claudia about that.  The next day, they all went to Santiago for the baptism.  Claudia and Larry acted the exact same toward each other as they had prior to their encounter, didn’t say much to each other and remained cordial and civil.  The day after the baptism, the group went to the airport and flew back to the states.  Alyssa sat next to Larry and said, “So, how do you feel about what happened at the party?”

“Lysa, you’re one of my best friends, he did what he did, he deserved to die, I feel absolutely no guilt or remorse as fucked up as that sounds.”

“Thank you for coming after me.  I don’t know what would have happened….well…you know….I mean…you saved my life.”

“No, don’t think about what if’s.  You have no idea what he would have done if I wasn’t there.  Stick to the facts, he forced himself on you, I came, took care of the problem.”  Larry tried to remain vague in case someone heard.

“Well, I doubt he would have just left me there so I could go to the cops.”

“Again, you have no idea, maybe someone else would’ve came to help.  Maybe he’d feel bad and chicken out, you have absolutely no idea, stick to facts.”

“You know, I always knew you were emotionless in fucked up situations but this is pretty bad even for you, I mean you feel nothing?”

                Larry turned toward Alyssa as his face filled with seriousness; it alarmed Alyssa as she had never seen him get this stoic before.  He said, “Lysa, everyone always talks about how they’d die for someone, but that is a lot easier than killing for someone.  You are one of my best friends, I love you like a sister, and now I know that I not only would die for you, but I’d kill for you.  To be honest, I feel good.  I feel good that I stopped being so fucking passive and took action.  I did something.  You were in trouble and I rose to the challenge.  There is no better feeling than to be there for a friend and not for one second was I worried about suffering the consequences because it was worth it.  Seeing you okay, in one piece flying back home means more to me than any guilt or anything that could happen to me.  You’re wrong about me not feeling anything, I just don’t have the feelings you expected.”

                Alyssa kissed Larry on the cheek and rested her head on his shoulder.  Larry wrapped his arm around her and she fell asleep against him as the plane flew toward New York.  When they landed, they said their good byes and Larry went back to his apartment to sleep ready to return to work and his normal daily routine.  He slept very comfortably with the knowledge that he was capable to care about someone enough to kill for them. 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Rich Blood

            Tali  had been with the FBI for 13 years in the homicide division.  Although homicide is normally for local law enforcement, her department specialized in serial killers or killers that cross state lines.  Although she would say she enjoyed the job, it often pained her to see the pointlessness of the murders that came across her desk.   Oftentimes in homicide departments, the killers were drug, money or revenge related.  She would never argue that these were justified killings because she was against murder but at least the person had a reason.  When dealing with serial homicides, however, oftentimes the killer would just claim that they felt like it or they were bored.  Trying to keep emotions out of it was hard when the killer showed no remorse but killed because of some weird principle.  Many people didn’t want to admit it but characters in movies such as Natural Born Killers, where people kill because they believe it’s a natural instinct of animals and humans are animals, really exist.  Although this gave her goose bumps at night, it also made it that much more satisfying when she locked one of these psychos up. 

            Not long after she arrived at work, a file came across her desk.  There had been three murders in New Orleans.  A week earlier, two people were killed in the same manner in Little Rock, Arkansas, two slits along the ceratoid arteries in the neck.  She was to investigate whether or not it was related.  While on the plane, she took out the five victims’ driver’s license photos and put them next to each other to see if she could come up with a pattern.  The photos were confusing because nothing was consistent.  The five photos she was looking at contained two Black men, a Chinese woman, a White woman and a Hispanic male.  She tried to analyze the photos without prejudice but she couldn’t help but think that the various ethnicities meant something.  During her time with the FBI, she realized that more often than not, the killer and the victim were the same race.  If these killings were related, and were done by one person, then this killer didn’t discriminate.  She left open the possibility of a Middle Easterner since that was the most obvious race not represented.  She separated the photos by location to see if that helped.  Little Rock claimed the White woman and Black man, while the other Black man, Chinese woman and Hispanic male claimed New Orleans.  Her superior decided to investigate Little Rock first since those were the first killings. Having gotten nowhere on seeing a connection, she decided to get some sleep before she arrived.

            When Tali landed in Little Rock, she immediately checked herself in the hotel and took a map out of the United States and put thumb tacks in New Orleans and Little Rock.  She then taped the five driver’s license photos on the wall staring at them for a pattern.  She took out the case files and studied them; she would coordinate with local law enforcement the next day.  Having done this before, she knew that she would have to know all the facts inside and out.  Different divisions of law enforcement didn’t really like each other.  Local cops don’t like FBI, FBI doesn’t like CIA and CIA doesn’t like the Secret Service.  When dealing with other ingredients in the law enforcement’s alphabet soup, it was extremely important to know at least the same amount of information as the person you were speaking to.  She would be tested and any sign of weakness or ignorance, she could kiss their respect good bye, which would hurt their case.

            Tali arrived at the Little Rock police station early the next day and requested files on the case.  She heard some rumblings in the back about how they didn’t want her there but she ignored them.  She requested to go back to the areas and ask the residents what they knew.  Local law enforcement had already done this, but she would be remiss if she didn’t get primary source data rather than just rely on what others told her.  After canvassing for hours, Tali had made no progress in seeing any connection between the victims.  They were all from different parts of town, didn’t seem to know each other, and didn’t hang out in the same crowds or scenes.  She got back to the police station to compare her data with theirs pessimistic that anything would come to her.  For the most part, the local law enforcement was accommodating, and the tension was unspoken.  She knew that it was too much to ask for there to be no tension, after all, no matter how you sugar coated it, she was called in because the powers-that-be didn’t believe the local law enforcement did their jobs thorough enough and that Tali could do it better.  How could you expect no tension when you come in on these pretenses?  She overheard someone in the background remark, “Great, another one of these rich assholes is going to live.”  She couldn’t help but think negatively that two people had just turned up murdered, and they’re worried about some celebrity getting out of the hospital.  She decided that she needed a break, so she took her copies of the case files from the Little Rock police department, and left to get something to eat before returning back to her hotel.

            Tali knew the next day would be spent in seclusion so she would not have any distractions and could observe the data.  She only had two days to spend in Little Rock, before she had to pack up and go to New Orleans to do the same thing.  She had had a long day and sleep was needed because the next day would be just as nerve wrecking.  The case was taunting her; why did nothing add up?  No matter how much people wanted to believe it, she knew that there was no such thing as random killings.  There was always a pattern; it’s just sometimes too hard to find it.  What was this pattern though?  These were her thoughts before her mind closed down from exhaustion and her eyes wandered back and forth as it went through its REM cycle for sleep.

            Tali awoke the next morning and had breakfast before poring over the files again.  Her supervisor called and she was embarrassed that she didn’t have much to report.  She requested someone that she had worked with on other cases to help her.  Sometimes all someone needed was to just have a conversation and bounce ideas off another human being.  Her supervisor told her that he’d send her requested partner to New Orleans and she could just meet him there the next day.  Her last day in Little Rock just further frustrated her because she had made no head way.  The next day, she packed up her things and prepared for her flight to New Orleans to meet up with her partner.


            Ben had gotten the order to go to New Orleans to put more manpower on the quintuple homicide.  He had been with the FBI for 17 years and little affected him anymore.  He had little emotion or care for the murderer’s motive, to him, a homicide is a homicide and the perpetrator should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.  He looked forward to working with Tali because their personalities counteracted each other in order to yield the best result.  Tali was very nice when dealing with the public and local law enforcement, whereas Ben came in and took charge.  Which way is preferred depends on the situation; some people take being ordered around well, others fight back and rebel.  This is why it was good when Tali was around because if there were negative reactions, Tali could come in and play “good cop” and get more information than Ben could from his bullying tactics. 

            After a full day of canvassing the neighborhoods, he had come up with no connection between the murders.  The case was complicated but he kept his mind focused on the goal of putting those responsible behind bars.  Tali arrived the next day only to find more of the same in New Orleans.  They followed some leads, but they always led to dead ends.  The only headway that was made was when the forensics lab reports came back.  Both Ben and Tali uploaded the victim’s pictures to headquarters to analyze them.  They had been on the force long enough to know that it was amazing how many ways someone could be identified.  Finger prints and retinal scans were only the obvious ones.  In the past, they had figured out bios of their killers from sampling their handwriting, the way they walk, how they draw trees etc..  In this case, it was how they cut a line.  Although both killers used a scalpel, the Little Rock killer drew almost identical lines in his two victims, but the lines were different for the three New Orleans victims.  To further add to this evidence, the three New Orleans victims had almost identical lines to each other.  It seemed that it was two killers after all.  Since it looked like it was no longer a killer crossing state lines, it was no longer FBI jurisdiction and they returned back to their New York office.  Although the higher-ups dismissed it, Ben and Tali had a feeling that they were still related.  How could five similarly executed murders happen so close to each other?  They wrote it off as the New Orleans killer being a copy cat of the Little Rock killer, but something told them that this wasn’t accurate. 

            A couple months later, a red flag arose from Colorado.  Another series of murders that were all killed in similar styles to New Orleans and Little Rock.  Ben and Tali volunteered to investigate.  Their supervisor didn’t believe it to be related to the New Orleans and Little Rock but sent them anyway just so he wouldn’t have to deal with their constant protests.  The first thing Tali noticed was that there was a Japanese woman and a Middle Eastern man.  She had made the report that she thought the killer may be Middle Eastern since that was the race not represented among the victims, but that seemed wrong now.  Ben and Tali bounced ideas off each other trying to make sense of it.  There were four murders, a Middle Eastern Muslim man, a white Jewish woman, a white Mormon man and a Catholic woman.  Just like the previous two cities, religion, gender, and ethnicity weren’t matching up.  Ben blurted out, “Well they’re all American so that’s something.”

            Tali smiled and reviewed the victims and found that three of the nine victims were immigrants.  So far, the only connection is that they all had driver’s licenses, but that’s hardly anything to go on.  They were given even less time in these cities since headquarters really didn’t believe in the connection.  To them, slitting someone’s throat is a common enough way to kill someone.  Tali wrote this off because the cuts were so precise; one slit per artery.  The throat slashing she had seen was almost always one swipe that made it seem like the killer was going for decapitation or creating a human Pez-dispenser. 

            Ben could see that the frustration was bothering Tali immensely.  It bothered him too, but he could hide it better.  He commented to Tali, “Well maybe they’re just horrible drivers.” 

            Tali chuckled at this.  Two weeks later, murders happened in Miami following the same MO and even the higher ups were noticing that this was too coincidental to be random.  They gave Tali and Ben a green light to travel anywhere they wanted and stay for as long as possible.  No more flying in for a couple days, see what you find, then leave.  They would be given a lot of string.  With this added freedom, however, came the added pressure of results.  They had to find something. 

            While in Miami, Tali said to Ben, “We have to start thinking about this outside the box.  The usual ways of finding killers isn’t working so what haven’t we done?”  So far, they had spoken to the family and friends of the victims ad nauseum both in person and over the phone.  They had canvassed the areas the bodies were found and local law enforcement files.  They had even searched the register list at the funerals and interviewed the attendees.  They went through all these motions again in Miami, then Tali said late one night, “Tomorrow is a relax day.  I’m going to the beach and laying out in the sun all day, I’m through being cooped up staring at a bunch of papers.”

Ben didn’t disagree, this case was taking a toll on them and he decided a day on the beach would be nice.  They packed up their things and headed toward Sanibel Island in Fort Myers.  Although South Beach got all the notoriety, it was usually filled with a bunch of college kids or rich snobs.  These people annoyed Tali and Sanibel, though also popular, didn’t attract the aristocratic, new money, rich bubble-living trust fund babies like South Beach.  The other added bonus about Sanibel was the beaches had sea shells sporadically spread out all over the beach.  It was just the perfect amount so that you could find a place to lay a towel and lay on the beach without laying on sea shells, but plenty to gather if that’s what you enjoyed.  Most beaches, you had to go into the water and feel for them; Sanibel they were all over for the taking.  They checked into a hotel in Fort Myers and went to sleep.  Tali woke up with the sun and left a note for Ben before heading to the beach.  A couple hours later, Ben found Tali and they relaxed rarely talking about the case.  This was their day off and they were going to enjoy it.  As the waves came up the sand only to retreat and a cool breeze flew over Tali as she was allowing nature’s towel, the sun, to dry her off, a thought dawned on her.  She said to Ben, “We should check with the hospitals and morgues where the victims were brought to.”

            “Tali, this is our day off, no work today.  Besides, all those people ever say is that they were dead on arrival or autopsy confirmed the obvious.  Guaranteed, autopsy reports will conclude that the victims bled to death due to having their throat slashed with a scalpel.” 

            “We should still try”

            “Tomorrow, today we rest.”

            That was the last thing mentioned about the case that day.  When the sun went down, Tali and Ben had dinner and then headed back to Miami.  They would follow Tali’s theory the next day since it couldn’t hurt.  They checked into the same hotel they stayed in prior to leaving.  This was done on purpose; it has been proven that people remember things better when they’re in the same atmosphere as when they learned of it.  Psychologists had tested this theory with scuba divers teaching them one thing under water and one thing back on land.  The things they learned under water, they remembered better when retested underwater than when they were tested back on land.  This also worked vice-versa in that underwater they had more trouble recalling the things they learned on land than when they were on land.  They were going to use as many psychological or otherwise theories they could to solve this one.  It had taken so much time and brain power that not finding anything was no longer an option. 

            The next day, they went to the hospitals and morgue and questioned all those that had evaluated the victims.  To Ben’s point, they didn’t have much to say that they didn’t already know.  Tali grabbed lunch in the cafeteria while Ben decided to question some more people before joining Tali.  Tali sat at the cafeteria looking over the files she had stared at countless times before.  One of the nurses that she had interviewed saw Tali’s frustration and sat down near her.  She took out some homemade chocolate chip cookies and sat down at Tali’s table and said, “Hi, would you like a cookie?”

            “No thanks” Tali said without even looking up from her papers.

            The nurse expected this but she wasn’t going to take no for an answer.  She didn’t like seeing people look so frustrated.  She continued, “I made them myself, and if you don’t take one, you’re going to hurt my feelings” as she feigned a frown.

            Tali caught the frown in the corner of her eye and couldn’t help but relax a bit.  The woman had a very soothing voice, which kind of made her feel guilty if she responded harshly again.  She looked up and smiled and said, “Well if that’s the only way to get rid of you.” and took a cookie.

            The nurse took it as a victory that she got Tali to smile and handed her the cookie with an excited smile.  Tali sort of admired the simplicity of someone being so excited merely because someone accepted their cookie.  Tali took a bite and had to admit that it was really good.  Her eyes widened and the nurse said, “Good huh?”

            “These are fantastic” Tali responded staring at the cookie. 

            The nurse put a container of cookies in front of her and said, “Here, help yourself, I’ll get some milk.” As she walked away before Tali could protest.

            Tali’s mood had relaxed significantly just by the short encounter with the nurse.  The nurse came back with a glass of milk and gave it to Tali.  Tali thanked her and started eating another cookie before taking a sip.  “So where are you from?” the nurse said.

            Tali knew she was making small talk, but decided that she was friendly enough to oblige, “Brooklyn, New York.”

            “Oh well, we need to show you some southern hospitality then” the nurse said as she patted her on the back before continuing, “those stern wall street types in New York don’t go around offering cookies and sitting with you just because you look like you have the world on your shoulders.”

            Tali was shocked not by what she said but when the nurse patted her shoulder, she felt all the knots in her shoulders and back relax. It was as if she had no control over her body and a load had been lifted off her shoulders.  She started looking at her shoulders in shock as if they were defying her.  The nurse expected this.  She had gotten into nursing because she had always had the ability to relax people with a simple touch. She was used to calming people before going through life threatening surgery, this detective who was frustrated about a case she couldn’t solve was a walk in the park for her.  Tali looked up taking in the nurse for the first time and temporarily forgetting the case.  Having a meaningless conversation didn’t seem like too bad of an idea right now. She hadn’t been this relaxed in months so she said, “Actually I lived in New Orleans for a while.”

            “Oh so you know how we are then?”


            The conversation continued uneventfully but Tali soon went back to the case.  She talked to the nurse about her frustration but was a lot more relaxed about it now.  The nurse didn’t really know how to advise on this but she knew the next step was to talk about the case and attack the frustration at the source.  The nurse had always believed that every situation had a silver lining and there was a bright side to everything.  She decided to share with Tali the bright side she found in the murders.  She said, “If it helps at all, all the people who died ended up saving a life.”

            Tali rolled her eyes; it bothered her when people were always cheerful about everything.  After the things she had seen for the last 13 years, it was hard to think the world was a good place.  It was because of people like Tali, however, that stopped the people who make it ugly from further exacerbating it so that the optimists could be given a case for why the world is a beautiful place.  Law enforcement rarely gets this recognition for allowing the world to seem like a nice place, but they also were the type that didn’t seek out fame and praise.  They liked being in the background and working in the shadows.  She decided to fuel the nurse’s excitement and asked, “How’s that?”

            “Well they were all organ donors and each surgery that used the organs was successful and they were now living their lives, so it’s not always all bad.”

            Tali got an idea; she finally found a connection between the victims.  She immediately snapped back into detective mode and said, “Can you get me a list of all the patients to receive an organ after the murders?” 

            “Ummm I think that’s okay.”

            “Thank you.”

            “Tali saw Ben come over and waved him over excitedly.  She saw the confusion on the nurse’s face and didn’t want to be rude.  She said, “Thank you very much for the cookies and for calming me down but it is extremely important that I get those files, how soon can you get them?”

            “Well you would have to talk to the doctor…”

            “What’s his name?” Tali interrupted.

            The nurse told her and she wrote it down.  She started getting up from the table before sitting back down.  The nurse had gone out of her way to help her and she was about to storm off.  Ben had sat down at this point and Tali offered him a cookie making sure to praise them.  Ben had a similar reaction after tasting them and praised the nurse.  Ben said, “I’m starving”

            “Take it to go” Tali said then turned toward the nurse, “Thank you very much for sitting and talking to me.  You made me smile for the first time in months, but I think you just unlocked a vital point of this case that I need to follow up on.  Again, thank you for the cookies and for keeping me company but I have to go now.”

            Ben spoke up, “What’s going on, I just got here, and I’m starving”

            “Get it to go!” She snapped

            Ben turned to the nurse and said, “Why is she so nice to you?” and smiled.

            The nurse knew that there was no turning Tali back from work mode so she told her where to find the doctor and excused herself.  She wrote off the encounter as her getting Tali to relax a little bit before she reverted back.  She didn’t realize just how much she helped. 

            Ben got some portable food and followed Tali.  Tali filled him in on the parts of the conversation pertinent to the case and Ben immediately followed the logic, “You don’t think it’s just coincidence that these people miraculously found a donor that quickly?”

            After getting the files, Tali and Ben went back to the cafeteria to pore over the files.  They took out the victim’s driver’s license photos again and checked the line next to “organ donor.”  Each one followed with a “Y.”  Tali called New Orleans and Little Rock to check with the hospitals on if they found a similar coincidence that all these people’s organs were all of a sudden useful in saving someone’s life.  Ben called Colorado and confirmed that all four cities had similar patterns.  They looked at the list of people who were saved by the organs and started thinking of ways to question them.  Then Ben got the idea to call back the hospitals and find out who was the last person on the lists and cross-reference it with the patient’s incomes.  Since more than one organ was used, this made the list longer than nine, but it did narrow it down.

            Tali called headquarters and asked the computer people to find out everything they could about them paying close attention to any wealthy ones.  In each city, there was a seven-figure income patient to have benefited from an organ provided by one of the victims. 

            Tali and Ben returned to New York so they could work closer with the labs to try to further narrow the list down.  They confirmed that the victims all had the same blood types as the millionaire, or they were O-, which is the universal donor.  They asked them to find any large money transfers to off-shore accounts and informed the CIA since off-shore accounts was their jurisdiction.

            Tali and Ben then called the local law enforcement in the cities where the killings had occurred to tell them what they found.  The local law enforcement didn’t want to admit it, but this was a promising lead.  The off-shore records were a little tricky, but the local law enforcement brought in the millionaire’s for questioning.  Unfortunately, their high price lawyers came with them and made their jobs that much harder.  They didn’t get a confession, so they had to let them go because they only had circumstantial evidence. 

            Ben and Tali knew there was no way they had enough to convict.  Their lawyers would stop them from confessing.  They would just have to catch them in the act.  They monitored the hospitals in cities large enough to have multiple professional sports teams since that is where wealthy people normally live.  After a couple months, they caught a break in that a millionaire had a life threatening illness and needed an organ transplant.  They put a flag on his finances and when the off-shore transfer was made, they monitored the airports for any flights booked on short notice.  The city was New York, and they were happy that this was going to happen in their own back yard.  They investigated everyone who made last minute flights and the ones that didn’t have much of a past or any information they decided to bring in for questioning.

            Luckily, Ben and Tali had a lot of help in that there is a lot of law enforcement in New York.  They had the airports report any passenger that had a scalpel in their checked luggage and cross-referenced it with the list of people who made short notice flights from the final country that the funds were transferred to with the luggage reports and had customs check their bags.  Their possession of a scalpel was certainly not enough to convict, but it was enough to question them. 

            Ben and Tali interviewed everyone that met their criteria and grilled them.  They allowed local law enforcement to aid them but they wanted to speak to each suspect personally, and it was of no concern to them that local law enforcement didn’t take too kindly to this. 

            They arrived at a police station and went into the interview room as they had done a lot in the past few days.  At this point, they had the routine down that they could do it in their sleep. Provide the evidence, accuse them of coming to kill someone, then adapt to the answers.  Although they saw shock and fear in most of the people they questioned, this time they found intrigue.  The victim looked up and said, “Offer me a deal, and I’ll tell you everything you want to know.”

            “Are you admitting that you came to New York to kill someone?”

            “No, I’m here on vacation, my sister is sick.  But that answer can change if you agree to send me back to my home country and drop all charges.”

            “In return?”

            “Names of everyone involved in the case you’re looking for, including the killer’s name.”

            Ben and Tali were shocked that he turned so easily.  Ben quickly checked with his superior and confirmed that he had the okay to make the deal.  They made the deal and the man admitted he was the killer, who hired him, the millionaire in the hospital was his financer, and how the list of people he was supposed to kill, which corresponded to the number the millionaire was on the list of people who needed the organ he needed.  Ben was satisfied but Tali had to know why he gave in so easily.  She asked as much and the killer responded, “Ma’ame, I’m a mercenary, I have no ties to these people.  Mercenaries, by definition have no loyalty.” 

            Tali then asked, “Why the scalpel?”

            “It’s a quick death that still allows blood and messages through the spinal cord so the body doesn’t naturally corrupt the organs.  It would be too easy if we just cut out the organs, but that is normally what’s done.  Of course, if you’re going to do that, you don’t really need an organ donor.  You just kill an immigrant or someone that has no family and take their organs.”

            It bothered her immensely that they were going to let someone who would kill for money go, but they had the deal and his agreement to testify.  Even the millionaire’s high priced lawyers couldn’t get him out of this one.  They built the case and handed it over to the District Attorney and they charged the Millionaire with conspiracy to commit capital murder.  The millionaire died before the trial even started.  The FBI leaked the story to the press in order to warn anyone else who had this idea to think twice about it.  It was a national story and almost overnight people flocked to the DMV to change their status of being an organ donor to “No.” 

            Ben and Tali went back to their respective jobs awaiting the next mystery.  They had received much commendation from their superiors for solving the case.  Ben was satisfied at the positive result but it still bothered Tali that this trade could exist.  All the other murderers were long gone and ready for hire again.  Even the informant didn’t have her forgiveness.  He had gotten away with being hired to do a murder.  What would stop him from doing it again?  She had to accept, however, that she couldn’t stop the business worldwide but at least she established a precedent so people would know what to look for if a rich person in the future decides to try this life-saving scam.