Part 27 of an original tale that delves into the unexplored realms of the human mind. Hired by her lover to find a raven haired beauty, Benjamin Bering must avoid the local police as well as the agents of a nonexistent government agency who are after him and the woman. There are just two problems. The woman is in a coma and her body has been stolen. (Part 1 can be found HERE.)
I've always liked a good mystery, especially a page-turner that keeps me from putting the book down until the last chapter. For my own amusement, I've often placed myself into the shoes of the protagonist to try to solve the case.
Those mystery novels I've read however, have nothing on this strange story of Mr. Black and Ms Gray. If it didn't already have enough twists and turns, Susan was about to lay another on me.
"What do you mean she's not in Michael's body?" I asked. "Where is she then?"
"I mean ... that's not Michael's body she's in," she replied.
"What?" The look in her eyes was convincing enough. If she'd told me that it wasn't Michelle in Michael's body, then I could have dealt more easily with that development. This was another twist altogether.
"That man back there, or rather the male body we know as Michelle is not the same one who was on those discs!" She watched my face for my reaction to her words. There was anger in her voice when she next spoke, "Okay Ben, let me put it this way, our Michelle was not on that disc. That body she's in was not the one fucking me!"
I was dumbfounded, not knowing how to react or what to say. I didn't want to believe the possibility of what she was implying. She was convinced, but I had to ask that stupid question anyway. "How can you be so sure?"
To my surprise she broke into laughter before she was able to answer, "I thought investigative reporters paid attention to details." Once her laughter had subsided she smiled and said, "Then again, I suppose this was a detail you wouldn't necessarily notice."
I shrugged and asked, "What detail is that, Susan?"
She reached down and cupped my privates and espoused, "If I were asked to describe what yours looks like, do you suppose I could?"
Removing her hand I nodded in the affirmative, "Well, yes. You have seen it."
She mumbled slightly, "That's about all too, at least what I can remember." She winked and added, "But we're going to correct that discrepancy soon, aren't we?"
"When the time and place ..." I paused in mid sentence when I saw the frown forming on her facial features. "... are right for your choosing."
She gave a thumbs up gesture and then grew serious again, "Ben, the man connected to me in that lab was circumcised. Michelle is not!"
I shook my head in disgust. "I was afraid that was where you were going. It's another twist we just didn't need. Mind reading ... minds switching bodies ... and now a body that looks like the body of someone else! Where and when is all this going to end?"
We were about to round the corner to the front entrance of my apartment building when I saw a police officer standing there. I pulled Susan back and leaned against the building. I was being careless. The Feds may have been letting me roam free, but not so the Boston Police Department.
"What's wrong?" Susan pleaded.
"Remember that cop I took out with the back door the last time we were here?" I asked without looking at her. "From the bandaging on his face, I'd say I definitely broke his nose." I took her hand and dragged her toward the rear of the building and stated over my shoulder, "He's the last cop I want to be arresting us!"
We were fortunate that the rear entrance was unguarded and we were able to slip up the back stairs undetected. Without hesitation I used the keys I had taken from from Jimmy's body to gain access to his apartment.
A quick glance about the apartment assured me that we had arrived before Brock O'Day. Knowing that my former neighbor craved privacy and would have had the shades drawn, I flipped on the lights. Despite having lost both of his legs in the war, his apartment was neat and uncluttered.
I was about to sit down at the desk in front of his computer which had not been shut down since its last use, when I heard Susan call out my name. I turned to see her standing by the single bed across the room. She had unbuttoned her blouse and was patting the bedpost.
"Here? Now?" I stammered.
She let her blouse slip from her shoulders to reveal the absence of a bra. "You did say I could choose the time and place, did you not?"
"Well, yes. But O'Day ... He could walk in here any minute now. I don't think it wise ..."
Her fingers inside the waistband of her pants, she began to push them tantalizingly over her hips. I couldn't tear my eyes away from her. The inevitable stirring within my loins was sending a signal to my brain and my ability to assess our situation was becoming clouded. With a seductive wiggle of her hips the pants slid down into a heap about her ankles. Her hands slid down to her abdomen and framed the briefest pink thong.
I rose to my feet and hurried to the door. I was still staring at the alluring vision she projected before me as I fumbled with the security bolt with one hand and the buttons of my shirt with the other.
There was a sudden crash and the door burst open knocking me to the floor. Susan cried out and tried to cover herself.
I was groggy as I tried to get up from the floor. I didn't see the foot coming that slammed into the side of my head.
"What have we here?" the man's voiced boomed. "Benjamin Bering and the little bitch we've been after!" He pulled his service revolver from a holster and pointed it at Susan who was trying to get into her pants, "Drop the pants, girlie. Put your hands over your head and stay put."
I rolled over onto my back to get a look at my attacker. I groaned when the officer's face turned my way. The large bandage over the bridge of his nose confirmed my earlier fear when I had spotted him outside.
Again he lashed out with his foot and again I was struck in the side of the head. I collapsed and could sense that I was losing my grip on consciousness. I saw his feet moving in the direction where Susan stood.
"I said put your hands up," he roared at her. "I didn't give you permission to cover your boobs." He raised the pistol and ran the cold barrel across her nipples. He moved his face close to hers and sneered, "It ain't nice to hide them nice boobies from the nice policeman, don't you know."
Angry and frightened she spat into his face. He staggered back a couple of steps and glared at her. He raised his hand and slapped her across the face which sent her falling onto her back onto the bed. Susan tried to kick at her assailant but he grabbed her leg and rolled her roughly onto her stomach.
I tried to get up to help her, but I could barely crawl. I was too weak and I was having trouble keeping my eyes open. Though my head was pounding I watched him pull out his handcuffs and place them on one of her wrists. He then ran the chain through the bars of the headboard before fastening the cuff on her other wrist.
He forced her to her feet and snarled, "They're going to throw the book at you, doll! Resisting arrest ... assaulting an officer of the law!" He glanced over his shoulder at me and growled, "Mr. Bering, I've got a score to settle with you. You got no idea how much crap I took back at the precinct for this," he said pointing to his face.
Turning his attention again to Susan he grinned. He placed his hands on her breasts and squeezed hard until she cried out in pain. Backing away he looked up and down at her all but naked body. Susan squirmed and fought back the tears of shame that were forming in her eyes.
"What have we here?" he said as he knelt before her. "What good are these tiny thongs you broads are wearing nowadays anyway?" He stuck a finger behind the elastic and moved it against her skin and across the soft tuft of hair. In one abrupt jerk of his hand he ripped the thong from her body.
He stood up and held the torn thong in front of his face. He made a suggestive slurping sound as he dragged the material across his tongue. He then grabbed his crotch and made a lewd gesture and snorted, "Baby, you and me are gonna have some fun ... after I work over your boy friend some more. He broke my nose, so I'm gonna break some of his bones."
"Benjamin Bering, reporter extraordinaire! I would give you something to write about, but it's gonna be hard to write with all ten of your fingers broken." He stood over me looking down and boasted, "Why don't we make this quick and as painful as we can. Your girl friend and I have a date." He motioned his head in her direction and added, "Nice piece of ass. Thanks for bringing her."
I shouted with what little strength I could muster, "Go to hell, asshole!"
He laughed hard from deep within his throat, "Defiant to the end, eh? I love this job. Look at the perks. I get to rough up some bad guys ... and then sometimes there's a dish for dessert."
He grabbed me by the hair and pulled my face from the floor. His clenched fist was raised and its target was my face.
(To be continued in part 28 on Monday, March 2, with Just Who Is the Enemy?)