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The following is a work of fiction regarding sexual relationships. If you
feel that it is illegal, immoral, or otherwise improper for you to read
this, then *Don't Read It.*

* * *


Copyright (c) 1991, 1998, 2001 by Morgan. All rights reserved.

Please note the original copyright date. This story was basically
written ten years ago and was originally posted in 1988. As a result, you
will likely find obsolete references. I'm afraid you'll just have to live
with it; it's too tedious trying to keep up with the latest and greatest.
It was previously posted on ASSM in 1998, but not since then.

Incidentally, you will find occasional entries, _word_. The reason for
this is that MS Word's Auto Format function puts a word preceded and
followed by an underscore in italics; that's my intent. Similarly, *word*
results in the word appearing in bold face. If you use Word's Auto Format,
it will take care of things; if you don't, you at least know why it's

More of my works are posted on my site <> If you
like it -- or if you don't -- please let me know at

* * *

*Book II*

*Chapter 11*

It was a sunny June day in Norfolk. The temperature was in the mid-90's
with humidity to match, and Kathy was lying on her bed staring out at the
sky. She was lying nude, reflecting on recent events. She supposed that
she should do something about studying for her bar exam, but she couldn't
bring herself to do it. She had just graduated from UVA law school and
wanted to leave the books alone for a while.

She thought about her decision to refuse the editorship of the Law
Review. She had earned it, but she really didn't feel like working that
hard. She accepted the position of Note Editor instead. As at Yale, she
had graduated with highest honors. It was still unclear to her why her
studies came so easily to her. She really didn't believe that her scores
on the LSAT's were indicative of her ability. She had heard all the
stories about the cultural bias on aptitude tests so she didn't believe the
evidence of her own experience that, biased or not, they were certainly
directionally accurate. Kathy's direction was the top.

The law school recruiting season had been funny. After her first year
in law school she had interned with an appellate-court judge in Virginia.
She spent the summer after her second year working for a Federal Appeals
Court judge in Richmond. When the representatives from the nation's top
law firms came to Charlottlesville to interview, they all tried to
interview Kathy Smith. Aside from it being good for their image to hire
young women, Kathy had become a legend at Virginia. Her grades were
distinguished as were the recommendations from both faculty and the judges
for whom she had worked, so she was considered the top employment prospect
in her class.

When she absolutely could not refuse, she would attend a cocktail party
or dinner sponsored by one major law firm or another. young lawyers in the
firm, brought to Charlottesville because they were thought to be able to
"relate well" with students, were swarming like studs around a bitch in

Now, at age twenty-four, Kathy was a truly stunning woman. Her face,
figure, skin and hair were all flawless. However, she treated them all
with a subtle amusement that they didn't understand. Women were supposed
to be flooding around and fawning all over them. In the meantime, the
senior partners -- used to standing around, impressing the rabble, and
sitting in judgment over whom they should deign to invite to visit their
Firm's offices -- struggled to get close to Kathy without too-obviously
elbowing their juniors aside. Kathy maintained her poise and appeared to
be an ice goddess.

Accidentally, she had discovered the most effective way of playing the
recruiting game: Ignore them. The results were hilarious. At school she
had a drawer-full of invitations to visit top law offices in cities around
the country. In spite of never having taken an interview she received
eight firm offers of employment. Most were from top firms offering top
money. She wrote polite notes of refusal to both the invitations and the
offers. Idly, she wondered if she had even bothered to save the letters.

Her classmates never knew how she obtained her position. While
representatives of the top firms were swarming all over her, she had
written to the District Attorney of Norfolk County applying for a position.
The next day she received a call from him at her apartment. After
convincing himself that it was not a prank, that she really was who she
said she was, he offered her a job on the spot. She accepted his offer and
then asked how much the position paid.

She remembered the silence at the other end of the phone. "The position
pays $17,500 per year to start," he said in an absolutely flat tone of

"That's fine," Kathy replied brightly. "Could I start September first?
I would like to rest this summer and get the bar exams out of the way, if
that's all right with you."

"Miss Smith," the District Attorney said, "I don't get it. Top
graduates from top schools are getting up to $75,000 a year to start.
Clearly, you're a top graduate and UVA is a top school."

"You're right, sir. As a matter of fact, I just turned down an offer at
$80,000. I didn't mean to upset you about the money; I was just curious.
May I call for an appointment to meet you the next time I'm in town?"

"Kathy, I'll be available to see you any time you can make it, and I
will leave standing instructions with my secretary to that effect. You may
be one of the great nuts of the Western World, but I am looking forward to
meeting you."

Kathy had an appointment to see the District Attorney that afternoon.

Idly, she glanced around her apartment. The decorating wasn't quite
finished but it was pretty close. The apartment was on the top floor of an
apartment complex. Through a hidden door it connected to an exercise room
and through that to her personal law office. The office and the exercise
facility were actually in an adjacent building. The office building
fronted on a commercial avenue in Virginia Beach while her apartment opened
on a residential street to its rear.

No one knew of the connection except the architect, the builder and
Kathy. Of course, it helped to own both buildings. She was pleased. Both
buildings were almost completely rented out. It was going to be quite a
moneymaker, even if she paid no rent herself.

She was particularly pleased with her pool and deck. Walking through
her bathroom, she slid open the door and stepped outside. The terrace was
surrounded by a ten-foot palisade-type fence for privacy. The pool was a
narrow rectangle 25 meters long. Diving in, she swam in long, powerful
strokes to the far end, did a racing turn and came back. Although she
hadn't intended to swim, she was enjoying it so she kept on going back and

Kathy thought about the problems with the architects and engineers.
They had insisted that a pool of the size she wanted couldn't possibly be
suspended. She pointed out that the Payne-Whitney Gym at Yale had a
50-meter pool a lot wider than hers up in the tower. The architect said
there was no way such a large area could be provided with the privacy she
insisted upon. She told them to consider it a challenge. The engineer
finally allowed that it could be done but it would be too expensive. She
archly reminded him that cost was her problem, not his.

In the end, the architect was proud of his design, and the engineer of
his accomplishment. Now both were miffed because she refused to allow it
to be photographed for the shelter magazines or the engineering trade

She pulled herself out of the pool and picked up a huge bath towel. Why
did she derive such a sensuous pleasure from something as mundane as a
large, fluffy towel? Glancing at a clock she saw it was time to get ready
to meet Peter Mahoney, the District Attorney of Norfolk County. She
wondered if she would have to live in Norfolk. Both Norfolk and Virginia
Beach were city/counties. The borders of the cities and their respective
counties were co-terminus. She dressed in a cotton seersucker suit she
thought would be appropriate for the weather. Then she got in her car,
drove to the Expressway and headed for Norfolk.

Peter Mahoney came out of his office to greet her as soon as she was
announced. Kathy was pleased. She hated officious people who kept
visitors waiting just to show they were very busy. Peter shook hands and
ushered her into his office and into a chair. Going behind his desk, he
sat down and studied Kathy intently.

Kathy sat upright in her chair and waited.

"My God, everything I've heard about you is true! After you wrote and
we talked, I checked at the law school. At first some of my friends
thought I was joking when I said I had hired you. They confirmed the
$80,000 offer, by the way. In fact, the guy I talked to said that firm was
willing to go to $100,000 to get you. You are a graduate of Yale
University and University of Virginia Law School, both summa cum laude.
You are a beautiful girl. What, in the name of God, are you doing here?"

"Mr. Mahoney..."

"Everyone calls me Pete or Peter. I don't answer quickly to 'Mr.

"Peter, I want to be involved in criminal law. I grew up in Norfolk. I
heard that you have trouble hiring staff attorneys. I thought I could
help." Kathy looked down at her hands which were folded in her lap.

Mahoney stared at her. "You scare me, Kathy. May I call you Kathy?
You are the most beautiful girl to come into this office since I've been
here at least, and probably forever.

"Kathy, the DA's office deals with the scum of the earth: the rapists,
the robbers, the muggers, the drug dealers. You name it. If it's a
felony, we get them. And Kathy, they aren't nice people. A cheap hoodlum
kills two people knocking over their grocery store and I hear these
bleeding hearts bleating, 'How did society fail this poor boy?' I could
vomit! Society didn't fail him. There are exceptions, of course, but
there is an English word that isn't used much any more, but which fits: The
word is 'evil.' Kathy, there's a lot of evil that ends up in this office.
I'm not sure you can take it."

Kathy showed concern. "Are you withdrawing your offer, then, sir?"

Peter smiled. "Kathy, I'm not completely crazy. Of course not. You
are the most highly qualified lawyer to join our staff, probably in this
century. I take that back. There have been some good ones just passing
through on their way to a career in politics. Are you headed for politics?
I think you would get every male eligible to vote.

"Of course, I'm not sure of the women's vote," he added with a grin.
"Are you a libber?"

"By that do you mean do I burn bras and kick a man in the groin if he
opens a door or holds a chair? No, I don't. I believe God made man and
woman equal, but he sure didn't make them the same!"

"Kathy, I think you may do," he said with a grin. He opened a desk
drawer and pulled out a bottle of bourbon and two not-very-clean glasses.
"Will you join me in a drink to our association?"

"I certainly will! With pleasure," she replied.

Peter reached across the desk extending his hand. Kathy took it in a
firm grip and they shook on it. Peter poured two stiff drinks, and lifted
his glass in a toast, "To the newest assistant district attorney of Norfolk
County. Effective September first, of course." He drained his glass in a

Kathy lifted her cup, "Thank you, sir. I'm looking forward to it." She
raised her glass and drained it without a sound.

Peter's mouth formed a silent, "Wow." He continued to study her.
"You'll need to get a weapon. We'll take care of the carry permit." He
expected to get a strong reaction.

What he got was the same reaction she would have given if he said she
needed a new dress. "Would a .38 with a 4-inch barrel be okay?
Hammerless, so it won't hang up in my purse?"

"Kathy, do you know what you're talking about? I don't think you've
ever fired a weapon in your life!"

"May I use your telephone for a credit-card call, please?"

Mahoney just nodded. Kathy punched 'O' followed by a ten-digit number;
following a pause, she punched in her credit card number. A few moments
later the telephone was answered.

"Hello, this is Kathy Smith calling. By any chance is Dean Mansfield
free? Thank you very much." A few moments later she said, "Dean Mansfield,
it's good to talk to you. I'm calling because I have a favor to ask. I'm
in the office of the Norfolk, Virginia, District Attorney. I will be
starting in September as one of his assistants. However, I'm afraid he
thinks I'm breakable. Could you take a few moments and tell him about the
contest? Thanks so much, sir. He's right here."

Kathy handed the receiver to Peter, sat back in her chair, and listened
to the one-sided conversation. First there was a period of silence after
the opening hellos as the dean told about the contest. She smiled to
herself as expressions of incredulity passed over Peter's face. Then there
were a series of questions: her times in the races, her score on the range:
"Twenty-three bulls-eyes in twenty-five shots! Unbelievable!" and the
encounter with Sophie: "How big did you say she was? In two blows and
fewer seconds."

He thanked the Dean for his time and for the information and hung up.
"I give up. The Dean says you are the most remarkable person he has ever
met. Incidentally, I think he loves you like a daughter. As far as the
weapon is concerned, I was just teasing you, but now I think it is a good
idea. I'll check with the plainclothes force and see what's good in
women's weapons these days. I gather, you're not interested in a bra or
garter holster?"

Kathy laughed and relaxed again. "Peter, I'm single. What do you think
a guy would do if he was groping at my bra and came up with a .38? I
really don't want to find out. The purse will do just fine." She got up to
leave. "I hope to pass the bar before I report for work. In the meantime,
let me know what type of weapon you want me to have and where to get it."
She stuck out her hand, "I'm looking forward to working for you. And thank
you for giving me the opportunity."

Peter shook her hand and opened the door. He realized that he usually
made a point of _not_ opening doors for women. _What is there about Kathy
that makes it seem to be the most natural thing in the world?_ He scratched
his head in puzzlement while he watched her ass subtly swing as she walked
away down the hall.

As long as she was downtown, Kathy decided to drop by Bob Ferguson's
office. It was in a bank building overlooking the Omni and Harborside with
Portsmouth across the bay. After parking near the bank she walked past the
monument to the last encampment of the Confederate War Veterans in the
square behind the bank. She paused and looked up at the statues of the
Confederate soldiers on the monument and the names of some of the battles
in which they fought.

She thought of that time long ago when so many young men lost their
lives each fighting for what he thought was right: preservation of the
Union for the North, and States Rights for the South. She reflected on the
war. She had studied it in school, of course, but later her interest had
deepened. She used her spare time while at Charlottesville to visit many
of the battlefields spread all over northern Virginia.

_There is scarcely a square foot of land here over which men's blood has
not been shed,_ she thought. She turned away thinking that about the only
thing the war had established was that Lee's Army of Northern Virginia was
the best damned light infantry the world had ever seen. _These men were
the crackers, the rednecks, the poor white trash. But God, could they
fight!_ Coming back to the present, she realized that the descendants of
those men still made the most loyal friends and most implacable enemies.
_Anyone who unnecessarily gets crosswise with one of these people is
fourteen kinds of fool!_

Entering the building, she went up to Ferguson's office. She knew Bob
was out of town on vacation but she was sure Mrs. Wilson would be there.
Ferguson maintained an office for Kathy's use which she used mainly as a
place to keep her files and records. She walked in, smiled at the
receptionist and walked back to Bob's office. His was in the corner while
Kathy had an adjacent office with a view of the harbor. Mrs. Wilson took
care of any secretarial services Kathy needed.

As she walked down the hall, Mrs. Wilson rose from behind her desk.
She greeted Kathy warmly and followed her into her office, carrying her
ever-present steno pad. Kathy went behind her desk, sat down and started
to thumb through the mail waiting for her while Mrs. Wilson sat in a chair

Kathy heard a sniffling noise and looked up. Mrs. Wilson was holding a
tissue to her face and was obviously crying. Kathy rushed around the desk,
knelt in front of her and asked, "What's wrong, Mrs. Wilson? What's

At that, the woman broke down completely. She was crying as if her
heart would break. Kathy helped her up and took her over to the couch.
They sat down and she held the older woman as she cried. Finally she cried
herself out and stopped, but Kathy continued to hold her until she could
feel the heaving stop and her breathing return to normal.

"What is this all about? Please tell me what's wrong." Kathy found a
box of tissues and passed one to Mrs. Wilson along with the rest of the

"It's Mr. Ferguson, Miss. I'm scared."

"Before we go any further, my name is Kathy. What's your first name?
I'm ashamed to say I don't even know."

"It's Jane, Kathy."

"Now, Jane," continued Kathy, "What about Bob? What's he done, or what
is he about to do?"

"He's getting involved with a woman. She's the wrong type. She'll ruin
him. I don't know what to do," Jane wailed.

"Come on, Jane. Don't turn on the waterworks again or you'll get me
started." Kathy suddenly understood. "You love him, don't you?" Jane
nodded, miserably. "Well, what are you doing to trap him, for God's sake!"

Jane's head jerked. "I don't understand. What do you mean?"

Kathy replied, "If I loved a man the way you obviously love Bob
Ferguson, I wouldn't be sitting here at a desk while he's on vacation. I
would be chasing him. Where is he anyway?"

"At the Greenbrier," Jane replied softly.

"Is this other woman with him?" Kathy asked.

"She's not staying in his room, but I think she's at the hotel," she

"You still haven't answered my question. What are you doing to catch
Bob Ferguson and marry him? I want an answer," Kathy demanded.

Jane looked up in alarm. The poor woman didn't know what to say. Kathy
asked her about her background. All she only knew was that Jane Wilson was
a widow. She learned that Jane's husband had been a navy fighter pilot who
had been killed in a training crash. She had started to work for Bob
Ferguson shortly before Sam Jenkins died and had worked for him ever since.
Kathy remembered that Jane had been wearing black the first time she met
her but had not previously made the connection.

Kathy said, "Jane, those fighter jocks are supposed to be hot tickets.
They fly and they fuck. I hear that every minute they're ashore, they're
either in a bar or in a girl's body."

At that comment, Jane shyly smiled and nodded, keeping her head down.

Kathy continued, "So you were married to a fighter jock and kept him
happy in bed. What happened to you?"

Jane looked up, startled. "What do you mean, what happened? He was

Kathy could see Jane's eyes showing signs of new tears. "I know that,"
Kathy said brutally. "I mean what happened to you? Just look at yourself.
I can't believe that you caught a Navy fighter pilot looking and acting
like you do now. Stand up and take off your clothes!"

Jane's head jerked up as if she had been slapped. She looked at Kathy
as if she could not believe what she had just heard.

Kathy repeated, "Stand up and take off your clothes! All of them!"

Taking Jane's hand, she pulled her to her feet. Jane looked panicked as
Kathy started unbuttoning her blouse. Looking frightened, Jane released
her skirt and let it slip to the floor. Kathy had already removed Jane's
blouse while the woman stood there in a slip. Glaring at her, Kathy
motioned for her to take it off. Jane, looking terrified, pulled it over
her head.

"The rest," Kathy ordered as she started to take off her own clothes.
She moved over to the door and locked it. Kathy put her seersucker suit on
the desk, slipped off her bra and bikini and stood proudly nude.

Jane hesitated but finally unfastened her serviceable bra. Then she
stood there with one arm over her breasts and her head downcast.

Kathy could see that the woman was unable to go on. "All of it, I said.
Take everything off! Now!"

Really scared now, Jane slipped her cotton panties down to her ankles
and stepped out of them. Kathy asked Jane what her late husband's name
was. The answer was Bill. Jane stood bent over with one arm over her
breasts and her other hand covering her pubic area.

"My God! Is that the way Bill saw you? I can't believe it. He must
have seen something I haven't seen. Jane, you're lying to me. There's no
way you could have been married to a fighter pilot. It's absolutely out of
the question!"

Kathy succeeded in provoking the response she was seeking. Jane's fury
overwhelmed her fear. She stood up straight, raised her head, and
screamed, "You little bitch! What do you know about a marriage? Bill and
I were good together. Why, the night before he died, neither of us slept a
wink." With the memory of the night, Jane started to sink back into tears.
She covered her face with her hands and started to cry again.

Kathy looked at her. She saw a middle-aged woman who could have been
very attractive, but who had allowed herself to go to seed. Jane had brown
hair pulled back into a very severe style. Her clothes were utilitarian
and businesslike. Her figure could have been good; her breasts were still
well-shaped and firm, her pubic hair was a darker shade than her head.
Kathy noticed it was silky rather than curly. Her legs were long but were
showing fat in the thighs. Her hips were slim and her bone structure was
fine. Jane was five feet six and Kathy estimated her weight at between 135
and 140. She could easily spare ten pounds. Kathy realized that her worst
feature was her posture: Her head was normally carried tipped forward. As
a result, her shoulders slumped allowing her breasts to droop and her belly
to protrude.

Kathy decided on the spot to make Jane Wilson her summer project.

"Jane," said Kathy, removing the harshness from her voice, "stand up
straight with your back against that wall."

Jane looked up and moved to obey. Kathy was standing up straight
looking like a statue whose sculptor could not come up with an interesting
pose. As usual, she stood erect with her shoulders squared and her breasts jutting. Suddenly it registered on Jane that Kathy was also nude. She
stared at the younger girl. Her eyes traveled over Kathy's face and hair,
her breasts and slightly rounded belly, the smooth swell of her hips. Her
eyes moved down her slim legs and came back to focus on her loins. "You...
You have no pubic hair!" Jane exclaimed.

Kathy smiled at her warmly. Jane was the only person to see her bare in
years. "No. I keep it plucked. I've grown accustomed to it this way.
Now stand up straight and let me look at you." Kathy's nudity seemed to
relax Jane. When she finally put her back against the wall and stood up
straight, Kathy went over and looked at her critically. "Move your
shoulders back. Feel the wall at the tips of your shoulders. Roll your
hips back. Squeeze your butt against the wall." All this time Kathy's
hands were pulling and pushing. "Lift your head up straight. Look
straight ahead. Now hold that position!"

Kathy stepped back for a better look. She went back to the older woman
and cupped one of Jane's breasts in her hand as if she were weighing it.

Jane jerked away and went back to her frightened crouch and looked at
Kathy in horror. "What are you _doing?"_

Kathy looked at her calmly, "I'm feeling one of your tits. What did you
think I was doing?"

With that, Jane took her position against the wall. Her head was up
straight, her shoulders were back, her hips were back, and her breasts were
jutting out, proudly this time. She was inviting Kathy's exploration.

_It's going to work!_ Kathy approached her again and put her hand under
Jane's breast in the same way she had before. This time she felt a little
shiver but Jane held her position. She delicately moved her fingers up to
her nipples and tweaked them. She felt them harden under her fingers and
she could feel the older woman shake. Still she didn't move.

Kathy backed away to allow Jane to regain control while she contemplated
the woman pensively like a sculptor looking at a piece of uncut stone.
"Okay," Kathy said, "that's enough. Sit down over here and relax. I think
we can do something."

Kathy retrieved her purse, extracted a pack of cigarettes and a lighter,
returned and sat down. She offered one to Jane who automatically started
to refuse, then took one. Kathy lit them and they both took deep drags.

"Good grief," said Jane, "a couple of more steps and I'll be in the

Kathy grinned and jumped to her feet. She opened the bottom drawer of
her desk and retrieved a bottle of Cardhu, a 12-year-old single-malt
Scotch. She poured two stiff drinks into glasses from the credenza and
brought them back to the couch. She handed Jane one of the glasses and
said, "Now what's the last step?" The two girls started to laugh.

Kathy noticed that Jane was now ignoring her nakedness. After taking a
small sip of the Scotch, she put her head back and took a deep breath.
"This _is_ good! What is it?"

Kathy told her. Then Jane put her head back on the sofa. Her hair had
fallen free and was much longer than Kathy had realized. With her head
back, Jane's breasts were jutting out. "Now that's more like it. I'm
starting to see you as a fighter pilot's wife. You're a passionate woman,
Jane. Why did you crawl into a shell?"

"I guess it was the shock of Bill's death, Kathy. God, did I love him!
Would you believe, we spent hours together naked _in broad daylight?_ We
would make love everywhere! On the floor, in the kitchen... Once, in the
summer we went out on our terrace in the middle of the night and made love
where people could see us." Thinking about it, Jane turned brick red and
added, "Bill used to say that I was made to be fucked. Isn't that

Kathy stretched and lifted her legs out straight in front of her.
Slowly, she spread them until her legs were nearly 180 degrees apart. She
held the position for a moment, slowly brought them back together, and then
lowered her feet to the floor. "No, I don't think it's awful. I think
it's great. Do you know what I dream of doing? Going out with my husband
naked and making love on our terrace with all our neighbors watching. I
can see it in my mind. They go bananas!"

Jane looked at her. "Do you really? Don't you think it's... Well,

Kathy finished the sentence for her, "Perverted? No, I don't. I think
it's a physical expression of two people's love for each other."

"Kathy, I believe you mean that. You know, it sounds beautiful when you
say it. You don't think it's sinful? Bill used to say that if two married people were giving such pleasure to each other it couldn't be sinful. I
guess I was never that certain. What should I do?"

"Jane, now comes the sixty-four-dollar question. Do you love Bob
Ferguson? Or are you just used to him? Please be honest. Your answer is

Jane looked at Kathy steadily. "I love him more than life itself. When
Belle and Sandy were killed in that crash, it nearly killed him, too. I
was in agony. I wanted to hold him close and tell him I understood. I
wanted to hold him, to comfort him..."

"To fuck him?" Kathy added softly.

Jane sat up straight. "Yes, damn it! To fuck him. To warm him inside
me. Yes, damn it, I wanted to fuck him!"

"Do you still?"

"Yes, I do. I would do it right now in front of you on your carpet if
he were here." Jane stood up and started pacing the office like a caged
tiger. _Or tigress,_ Kathy thought. _Maybe this will be easier than I
first thought._

"Sit down, Jane. We have to plot and scheme."

Jane returned to the couch, sat down, and idly picked up the cigarettes
and lighted one. She suddenly looked guilty.

Kathy said softly, "Welcome back to the human race, Jane. As for the
cigarette, I think you need it."

Jane grinned. Kathy realized that she really had a lovely smile and
probably had a good sense of humor that was starting to resurface after so
many years. Kathy continued, "There are a few ground rules. First, you
are my project. You are going to be my wedding gift to Bob." She started
to laugh at the thought of the bride being the wedding gift to the groom.

Jane realized instantly the reason for Kathy's laughter and joined in.
They were soon howling. The tension was now gone completely. "Back to the
ground rules. Because you're my gift, we're playing with my money." Kathy
put up her hand as Jane was about to protest. "Jane, you pay most of my
bills for me. As a result, you know better than anybody else that my bank
balance just grows by itself. Right?" Jane nodded.

"Okay, that's settled. The next thing is that you'll have to trust me
and do as I say. I think you'll quickly see what I'm doing, but you have
to trust me." Jane nodded again. "Okay, then, let's get started. When is
Bob due back?"

"Next Monday," Jane replied.

"We've got to get him to change his plans. I have an idea! Haven't I
seen Bob entering some of those sweepstakes that come in the mail?"

"Every one," she replied with a grin. "I tease him about it, but he
says that sooner or later he's going to get lucky and win one. And
besides, he says, it only takes a first-class stamp."

Kathy went to her desk, checked her Rolodex, and dialed a number.
"Mike, it's Kathy. How's the travel business? Good. Mike, I have a favor
to ask. Don't worry, it will even make you some money. Mike, I need the
longest cruise combination you can put together for one person. It has to
be full deluxe, everything included. Ideally, it should run into August.
The vital thing is, though, the client must leave this Sunday.

"I think there is a combination of cruises that can be put together in
the Med operating on the QEII that could work. If you have to send the
client on a wild goose chase through Europe to get the sailing dates right
it's okay, but he must leave this Sunday.

"Another thing. Take all the time you need, but I must have
confirmation that it can be done within thirty minutes." Kathy was silent
for a few minutes smiling at the reaction from Mike on the phone. "Of
course it's not easy! If it were easy, I would do it myself and pocket the
commission. Thanks, Mike. I'm in my office downtown. I'll wait here to
hear from you." She put the phone back on its hook.

"Mike will be back to us as you heard. Then you are going to put on
your Mrs. Wilson professional voice and call Bob at the Greenbrier. He's
won the grand prize in the... Oh well, we'll make up something. It's a
good thing he enters so many contests. He couldn't possibly remember the
prize structures of all of them. Now here's the trick. He's the
_substitute_ grand prize winner. The trip must be taken now, all
arrangements are made, but he must leave Sunday."

Kathy got up from behind her desk and started pacing. Jane watched the
grace with which she moved and felt a bit jealous. _She's so fluid, so
unconcerned,_ she thought. Then, with a start Jane realized that Kathy was
absolutely unaware of her nudity. It was a revelation to Jane to see a
woman who could be as self-assured without clothes as with them. Jane got
off the sofa and stretched.

Kathy looked at her speculatively. "We might as well use the time while
we're waiting. I want you to walk around the office."

Jane tried to emulate Kathy's walk. She straightened her back, tried to
keep her shoulders back and her head up straight. It felt like her breasts were jutting out miles. She thought about Kathy's walk and looked at her.
Kathy's rump was on the edge of the desk and she was looking at her
thoughtfully. Her breasts were standing out proudly but Kathy was both
unaware and totally unconcerned.

Jane glanced down at her chest. She was proud to see that her breasts were nicely shaped and were not sagging at all. The older woman started
walking back and forth.

Kathy smiled, then grinned. "My God, you're walking like me. I'm

Jane stopped and turned towards her, putting one leg a little ahead of
the other. She then did a classic Southern curtsy, lacking only clothes.
"I'm trying, mademoiselle. Do you approve of your humble and obedient
servant?" To finish the act, Jane lowered her head until her forehead
touched her leg.

"It's perfect, Jane. Absolutely perfect! You're getting used to not
wearing clothes and you're developing pride in your body. It's the pride
that does it. Now keep it up," Kathy said as she moved to answer the

It was the travel agent with word that the plans were set. Kathy
motioned to Jane to go to her own desk and pick up so she could write down
the itinerary. Jane retrieved her steno pad and pencil and returned to her
desk. When Kathy told Mike that Jane was on, he rattled off the dates and
places. Kathy was pleased that Jane was her usually poised self on the
phone in spite of being naked at her desk. Mike hung up, and Kathy could
hear the sound of Jane's typewriter.

Then she looked up in surprise to see Jane proudly walking past her door
towards the copier. A few moments later she came back to the office and
closed the door. Her shoulders were sagging forward slightly as she stood
in front of Kathy's desk. Kathy moved her shoulders back. Jane gave a
small start and squared hers, too. Her breasts jumped to attention with
the posture change. She grinned. "How did I do, coach? Did I do okay."

"You were great, Jane. I was surprised to see you go down the hall,

Jane blushed. The color rose from her belly, over her breasts to her
face. "When you motioned me to the phone, I just went to pick it up from
force of habit. It wasn't until I felt the chair seat on my bare butt that
I realized I was naked. Then I just said to hell with it and went ahead.
Kathy, it was fun walking down the hall naked even if people are seldom at
this end of the office with Bob away. Was it wicked of me?"

"Personally, I think it's great. I'm amazed at the self-confidence
you've developed in such a short time. Now, let's see how good an actress
you are. You have to call Bob at The Greenbrier."

Kathy was surprised to see Jane return to her desk to make the call.
Kathy punched the light to listen to the call with her Speaker button on so
she could hear the conversation. Jane asked for Mr. Robert Ferguson's
room. When there was no answer, she told the hotel operator that it was an
emergency. She said she was Mr. Ferguson's private secretary and it was
vital she contact Mr. Ferguson at once. Could he be paged? The
Greenbrier's paging system is as extensive as it should be for one of the
Nation's top resorts for business gatherings.

Kathy took advantage of the break in the conversation to go out to see
how Jane looked at her desk. Jane's desk was to the left, in front of
Ferguson's office. Jane was sitting with her back to Kathy's office.
Kathy watched Jane sitting up very straight in her secretarial chair,
pulling her shoulders back. As she watched, the older woman was looking
down at her breasts which were jutting out proudly. She could see Jane
smile to herself in satisfaction. Kathy went back to her phone in time to
hear the Greenbrier operator say that Mr. Ferguson had been located and
would soon be on the line.

A few minutes later Bob Ferguson picked up the phone. Jane was perfect.
She behaved exactly the way a breathless secretary would behave when
passing on such exciting news. As she relayed the itinerary, Kathy
switched off the speaker, pushed the Privacy button and dialed a call. She
spoke for a few minutes, received confirmation that her request would be
carried out and then hung up. She resumed listening in on Jane's
conversation as the arrangements were completed.

Jane hung up and came running back into the office. Kathy met her
halfway and the two women embraced. As they did Kathy took the opportunity
to reach down and squeeze the older woman's buns.

Jane looked startled. Kathy told her that her breasts were in good
shape but her buns and thighs needed work. She ran her hand over her belly
and told her it was rounder than it should be. "Overall, Jane, you show
promise, but you still need work. Let's go to my place."

As the two women put on their clothes, Kathy saw Jane frown at hers,
particularly at her underwear. Obviously, the woman's attitudes had
changed dramatically. Jane ensured that the office was locked and then
they went down to Kathy's car and got in. Before starting the car Kathy
faced the older woman. "Jane, I want to swing by your place and get some
clothes. For this project to work best you'll have to live with me." Jane
looked startled but readily agreed.

They drove out the Expressway to Virginia Beach where Jane owned a small
house. It was a long distance from Kathy's and reflected the fact that it
is one of the nation's largest cities in area. Kathy waited in the car
while Jane went inside. A short time later she reappeared with one
medium-sized suitcase. When she put it in the back seat and climbed back
in, Kathy expressed surprise that she had only a single bag.

Jane grinned. "Maybe I'm taking a lot for granted. I have a business
wardrobe that is sort of drab but serviceable. As for the rest, the less
said the better. And somehow I got the feeling that I won't be wearing
many clothes around you."

Kathy grinned back, but didn't answer. When they reached her apartment,
Kathy pressed the appropriate buttons and switches. They were soon in the
private elevator going up to her apartment. When the door whooshed open
and they stepped out into the hall, Jane looked around and gaped. She put
her bag down and started walking through the apartment. Kathy stopped her.

"We have a new house rule for you, Jane. No clothes. Come on, I'll
show you your room, and you can change."

Kathy led her to a guest bedroom. It was large and furnished with a
king-size bed. It had its own bath only slightly smaller than Kathy's own.
Like Kathy's, it too opened out to the pool deck. Jane put her bag in the
closet and glanced at Kathy. Then she stripped off her clothes and hung up
her business suit. Kathy laughed as Jane took off her slip, bra and
panties and threw them into the wastebasket. Then she slipped off her
shoes, put them away and closed the closet.

Jane threw back her arms forcing her breasts out and up. "How do you
like my new uniform?"

"It shows promise. Let me get into my own and we'll take it from
there." Kathy went into her room, took off her clothes and returned to the
living room where she had left Jane. "Come on, let's eat."

Jane was surprised at dinner that night. Kathy prepared a full meal,
while Jane found herself looking at a diet special. By the time dinner was
over they realized it was late so they went to bed. Jane, exhausted by the
day's physical and emotional excitement, was asleep instantly.

The next morning Jane was rudely awakened when Kathy stripped the covers
from her. She blinked awake and was momentarily confused by her
surroundings. When she realized where she was, her features relaxed, she
stretched luxuriantly and just lay there, her eyes on Kathy. "If this
scheme doesn't work out, would you consider an alternative proposal? Could
I apply for the position of your maid, or slave, or whatever? The only
requirement is that this room has to be my compensation in the deal. No
money. Just this room."

With her hair spread on the pillow, she looked lovely, and Kathy said

Jane looked at Kathy standing at the foot of the bed, "Kathy, I know
this is going to sound dumb, but you are my inspiration. I look at you
standing there like a young goddess with an awe-inspiring figure. I can't
get there, but I'm going to try like hell to get as close as I can. Let's
get with it." With that Jane bounded out of the bed and headed for her

Kathy was eating her breakfast when Jane came out. She made a little
face when she saw how little there was for her to eat. Then she ran her
eyes over Kathy's flat belly, her slim hips and thighs.

"Inspiration! I guess I'll live on black coffee," she said with a grin.

After breakfast, Kathy led the way into her bathroom and opened the
shower. She set the controls and motioned for Jane to get in. Jane looked
puzzled as Kathy followed her in.

"By the way, Jane, how old are you?"

"I'll be thirty-five this fall; why do you ask?" Kathy watched as a
kaleidoscope of expressions ran across Jane's face, accompanied with a
pantomime of gestures. "Of course! How old did you think I was? Forty?

With the water pouring over her, she slid down to the floor crying. The
intensity of her sobbing increased as she slid down into the corner of the
shower and just huddled there. Slowly her sobs subsided, and Kathy helped
her up while the water from the shower's myriad sprays continue to pour
over them both. Pulling Jane into her arms, she held her tightly as the
sobbing ran off into hiccoughs and finally stopped. Jane just stood there
with her head nestled in the younger woman's shoulder.

Kathy reached down and gave an available soft buttock a hard pinch.
Jane jumped with a yelp. "That's for going soft on me and turning on the
waterworks," Kathy said softly. "And in my very own waterworks, yet! The
reason I asked is that I had put your age at forty to forty-five until
yesterday. Then I saw how firm your breasts are. This morning I saw you
bound out of bed, but I figured you couldn't have been widowed eight years
ago and still be only twenty-five.

"Those fighter jocks are notorious cradle robbers, but allowing for
having been married for three years, you would have had to be fifteen when
you were married. Even those guys have _some_ standards."

Kathy started to leave the shower when she was pinched hard on her
bottom. She jumped with surprise and wheeled on Jane who was standing
behind her and grinning. "Why did you do that?" she wailed, trying to
sound hurt.

"That was for all of the gratuitous insults you've directed at Navy
fighter pilots! Cradle robbers, indeed!" Jane replied in the haughtiest
voice she could muster.

They both laughed heartily and went out to the pool deck.

As they stood poised at the end of the pool, Jane asked, "What do I do

"Just stay beside me. Don't drop back, though, or my pet shark will get

With that, Kathy smoothly entered the water in a racing dive. She heard
Jane enter with a much greater splash, and she continued to glide while she
waited for the older girl to catch up. When she did, Kathy reached out
with long arm strokes while she established a powerful kick. She found
that Jane had to take at least two strokes to her one to maintain her
position. Up and down the pool they went. Kathy was sorry to see the
older girl struggling so hard to keep up, but she didn't relent. It was
only when she saw Jane flailing and getting close to the point of
exhaustion that she stopped.

She came to the end of the pool, and in one continuous motion, touched
the wall and pulled herself out of the pool. Then she turned and saw Jane
just hanging on to the side wall gasping for breath. She waited until
Jane's breathing returned to a semblance of normal, and then reached out
her hand. When Jane grasped it, she smoothly pulled the older girl out of
the pool.

Jane took two steps and collapsed on the deck. Finally, she raised her
head and peered at Kathy, "Are we there, yet?"

"Are we where?" Kathy replied.

"China, turkey. That's where you were going, wasn't it? By the way,
I'll have you know I resent the fact that here I am dying -- I'm not sure
whether from drowning or exhaustion -- and you're not even breathing hard.
It's not fair!"

"As our late president, John F. Kennedy, once said, 'Who says the world
is fair?' Come on, we have work to do!"

Jane looked at her. "You can't be serious. That was six weeks worth in
the last hour! What do you mean, work?"

Kathy looked at Jane affectionately. She was developing a deep respect
for her spirit and good humor. "Work. We have to get you into shape.
That was just a warmup to loosen up your muscles a little. Come on, let's

Kathy tried to maintain a straight face as she led the way to her
exercise room in which there was a wide range of exercise equipment. She
set Jane up on a treadmill and later on machines to exercise her thighs and
buttocks. Finally, she set up weights for Jane to use on her shoulders,
back and chest.

The regimen continued day after day with Kathy giving Jane pointers on
her technique. After a while, combining her exercises and weight training
with improved technique, she was keeping up with Kathy in the pool. She
continued her low-calorie diet while she enviously watched Kathy devour
large meals. Periodically, Kathy would steal away to a bar exam cram
course she was taking.

One morning, Kathy came into Jane's room to awaken her in her usual
fashion by stripping off the covers. Jane stretched like an awakening
tigress and then got out of bed. Kathy studied her closely and led her
into her bathroom. The mirror covered the entire wall to the ceiling.
"Jane, look at yourself."

Jane looked in the mirror carefully for the first time in several weeks.
She scarcely recognized the reflection as herself. There was a girl there,
studying her carefully. The girl had a flat belly, tip-tilted breasts,
slim hips and slim but powerful legs. The carriage was erect and the face
was lovely. The girl's face looked a bit thin, as if she had been missing

Jane's eyes widened in amazement at the apparition. "My God! That's
me. I can't look like that. I can't, can I, Kathy?"

"That girl looks a little thin to me," said Kathy. "I think she needs a
good breakfast. Let's eat."

Jane followed Kathy out to the kitchen. There on the counter were two
man-sized breakfasts of orange juice, ham, eggs, hash brown potatoes, toast
with real butter, coffee, and real sugar. Jane sat down and started eating
with relish. When they were finished, Jane poured another cup of coffee,
pivoted her stool half around and leaned her head back against the wall.

Sensuously, she rubbed her long, slim fingers over her now-flat belly.
"God, that tasted good. Kathy, that was the most delicious meal I could
imagine. Do you have a cigarette to make it perfect?"

Kathy produced cigarettes. Jane lighted hers and took a deep drag and
slowly let it out. "Okay, I'm ready."

"Ready for what?" Kathy asked, puzzled.

"The firing squad, the slaughter house... Whatever," Jane replied
airily. "That's why you've been working on my body this way, isn't it?"
she asked with mock seriousness, desperately trying to maintain a straight

"My God!" exclaimed Kathy, picking up on the gag. "It's all over. I've
failed!" she wailed. "I forgot. The Sheik who's buying you insisted that
your pubic hair be curly. What can we do?"

Jane looked down with great unconcern and ran her fingers through her
silken pubic hair. Her expression was intent as she rolled some pubic hair
around a finger. "How about a permanent? Do you think that would fix it?"
she asked in wide-eyed innocence. At that point, she and Kathy dissolved
in laughter in each other's arms.

It was just about over. After making several phone calls Kathy told
Jane to get dressed. It was the first time in weeks she had had clothes
on. Jane ignored underwear and put on the suit she had been wearing the
night she arrived. She was shocked. The suit was the best she owned and
had been hand-tailored for her. Now the shoulders were tight. When she
put on the skirt, it wouldn't stay up. It just slid down over her now-slim
hips. She called to Kathy who came in to see. The two girls rolled
together on the bed in laughter.

Kathy took Jane to a hair salon where she had made an appointment.
Jane's hair was restyled to be off her face and shortened so it was just
below her collar. A new wardrobe was assembled. Jane delighted in the
lingerie. She had noticed that Kathy characteristically wore bikini
briefs, so she bought those. There were no slips, but some half slips.
Finally, Kathy bought her several diaphanous shorty nightgowns which were
essentially transparent and reached only to her hips.

When the girls returned to the apartment, they went back to the exercise
room. After her workout, Kathy had Jane get on the massage table where she
went to work on the older woman, massaging the muscles that did not ache
nearly as much as they had a few weeks earlier.

"Jane," Kathy asked the next morning, "did you ever go down on Bill when
you were married?"

The question, coming from out of the blue, took Jane by surprise.
Again, a kaleidoscope of emotions passed over her face. Finally, she
answered, "Yes, a few times." She blushed scarlet.

"Why are you blushing?" Kathy asked.

"Because I'm embarrassed, silly. Nice girls don't do that. That's
reserved for prostitutes."

"Why is it reserved for prostitutes?" asked Kathy. "And if it is, why
did you do it with Bill?"

Jane looked confused. "Well... Because... Because we would be
together, and I looked at his male organs and... I just wanted to weigh
his balls in my hand and... His prick looked so soft and vulnerable
because we had just made love. I just wanted to kiss it to show my love.
And I... And I... did. I mean I went to kiss it, and I tasted the
juices, accidentally, and... and it went in my mouth, and I guess I licked
it. And I guess I sucked it... And then it was all hard again and in my
mouth. So I... I started to go down on it. Kathy, he just exploded. I
absolutely lost control, sucking him dry. Kathy, it was marvelous."

"Did you like the taste?" Kathy asked.

"The taste of what? Oh! You mean... You mean... Bill's semen?"

"Yes," said Kathy, "Did you?"

"Of course not... I mean..." Then Jane raised her head defiantly and
replied, "Yes! Damn it, yes, I did. It was wonderful: warm and a little

"Then why are you ashamed?" Kathy asked quietly.

"I'm not ashamed. I mean... I mean, good girls don't... Damn it,
Kathy, I don't care what good girls do. I was just a fighter jock's hot
cunt, damn it. I was great, and he was great, and... Yes, damn it, I
loved it. I like the taste. I like the feel of it. I can still remember
it exploding in my mouth. Kathy, it was magnificent. It was nearly as
good as our exploding together with him inside me. But yes, damn it! I
like it. I'll leave now. I'll get my few things together and..."

"And what?" Kathy asked. "And most particularly, why? Why would you
possibly want to leave now?"

Jane looked confused. "Why because... because I've had a man in my
mouth... and I swallowed it, and.... and I _liked_ it. Of course I have
to go." Jane started to get up, and Kathy, gently but firmly, pushed her

"You didn't ask me." Kathy said in a matter-of-fact voice.

"Didn't ask you what?" Jane asked, obviously puzzled.

"You didn't ask me if I liked it. I'll tell you anyway. Yes, I like
it. I love the taste. I like to feel the explosion in my mouth. I like to
pretend my mouth is my vagina. I like it, too!"

"But Kathy, you can't! You're not even married!" Jane wailed.

"Jane, honey, we're talking about sex, not marriage. Let's face it.
They may be related but they aren't synonymous. You had your experience in
the context of what I've gathered was a fabulous, loving marriage. I
haven't been married, but I have had the experience.

"Listening to you, Jane, I have been awed. You were making love to Bill
in every way you knew how. Worshiping his body, if you will. Listening to
you tell the story was beautiful. You were expressing your love for Bill
and his body. Jane, I'm convinced that Bill was a very lucky guy. And you
know something else? I'm sure he knew it. Now, can you do it again with
Bob Ferguson?"

Jane now understood what Kathy had been doing. She started to beam. It
was like the sun coming out from behind a cloud after a summer shower.
"Kathy, you mean that going down on a man -- on your lover -- is an
expression of the love you feel for him. And God, it does feel so good,
and leads to... Kathy Smith, you are wicked! You led me along and all
along you... you... you wanted me to see how stupid my attitudes have
been. You didn't say it was awful, I did. Kathy Smith..."

Jane drew Kathy into her arms and hugged her. "Kathy Smith, you are a
piece of work! I've been working for you for years and I liked you. You
have always been thoughtful and generous. But now... now, I love you like
a sister, but even that isn't good enough. Kathy, one of these days the
right man will come along. We'll be able to hear the explosion for miles!
You are a wonderful person!"

"Thank you, Jane Wilson, for that fine testimonial! Now, Mrs. Wilson,
ma'am, would you please get that lovely little ass of yours in gear!
You've got a plane to catch."

"I've got a _what?"_ Jane exclaimed.

"You know. Airplane. It has wings and engines and..."

"Katherine Smith, I take back everything I just said. You are
impossible! For God's sake, what plane?"

Kathy acted like she was talking to a small girl, telling her how to go
to the grocery store. "The plane to Kennedy Airport in New York,
connecting to the Swissair flight to Zurich, which connects with another
Swissair flight to Athens. Then you take the limousine that will meet you
to the port of Piraeus where you meet Bob's ship. What other plane would
you be taking?"

Kathy ducked as Jane swung at her. "By the way, you and Bob have
connecting staterooms. I expect that you won't be using separate rooms for
too long, so, Jane, when you move in with Bob, would you please tell the
purser? That way, I can get a refund on the unused portion of your

Kathy was grinning broadly until Jane gathered her in her arms and
hugged her tightly. Kathy could hear small whimpering noises coming from
Jane and could feel the tears flowing down the older girl's cheek to her
shoulder. Kathy held her until the woman's shaking stopped.

When she pushed back, Jane's eyes were gleaming with tears. "I should
have known! You're the girl who gives her fraternity a million dollars.
You rescue stray dogs and kittens. I should have known. You know, Kathy,
I can't thank you? How can you thank a person who can re-instill youth,
love, feelings, beauty... Yes, damn it, beauty. You've made me more
beautiful than I ever dreamed I could be!"

"For God's sake, knock off the maudlin chatter and get your ass in gear!
You'll miss the damn plane and wreck my beautiful plans. And one more
thing. If I'm not the maid of honor when you marry Bob, I will shoot you!
And I've got a gun and a carry permit now, too."

Kathy was so proud of Jane at the Norfolk airport. After checking in on
the Piedmont flight to New York, she saw her walk down the concourse
towards the security checkpoint with her small ass wiggling just a bit.
Kathy smiled as she saw men's heads turn to follow her progress. At the
gate checking in for her first class seat, the gate agent saw the radiance
in her face. _I only wish she was thinking of me,_ he thought.

* * *

It was late August in Norfolk. The day was steaming when Kathy dressed
for the wedding. She was to be the maid of honor at Jane's wedding to Bob
Ferguson. She smiled as she remembered meeting Jane and Bob at Kennedy
Airport on their return flight. As they came out of the Customs area at
the International Arrivals building, Jane was beautiful and self-assured,
walking with her head up, her shoulders back and her breasts standing out
proudly. Bob Ferguson looked wonderful. He, too, was trimmer, standing
taller and obviously madly, head-over-heels in love with the apparition by
his side.

Bob was the first to see Kathy and came running over. Kathy noticed
that Jane, too, ran with a smooth runner's stride. He hugged Kathy and
burbled, "You wouldn't believe what happened. Here I am on this wonderful
cruise, but absolutely bored to tears, when who should board the ship at
Piraeus but Jane. She said it was quiet at the office and you told her to
get out so you could concentrate on the bar exams, so she found this
cruise. You see, the Queen Elizabeth runs a whole mess of cruises with
different designators, depending on where you board and where you get off.
Jane never dreamed it was the ship I was on, but anyway, we were in
adjoining cabins." Bob suddenly blushed. "After a while, we... uh, we...
well it was stupid to waste money on two cabins so... uh... well Jane
talked to the purser, and we got a big refund on her ticket."

Jane was standing behind Bob. As Kathy looked up Jane gave her a broad
wink. Kathy had chartered a plane to fly them down to Norfolk. As the
plane reached cruising altitude, Bob fell asleep. Jane unbuckled her belt
and came back to sit next to Kathy. She was absolutely radiant.

"Kathy, I feel so good. These have been the most thrilling weeks of my
life. Kathy, some days we never got out of bed. We had our meals brought
to the stateroom and just made love. Kathy, there's one thing you should
know. Do you remember when we talked about going down on a man? Well, it
tastes great when you wash it down with champagne! I think Dom Perignon is
the best."

Jane and Bob were radiant as they took their marriage vows. At the
reception, she got Bob aside to ask about the honeymoon plans. He said
that Jane had found a small island in Hawaii that was very quiet. Because
of the cruise, they were only going to be gone for a week. He hadn't been
in the office for months and really had to get back.

* * *

It was the last weekend in August. Kathy had just received word that
she had passed her bar exams with the highest grade on the test. It was
Saturday and she had to take care of a few things at the office before
starting work as an assistant district attorney. After signing in with the
security guard at the bank building Kathy went up to Ferguson's offices.

When she let herself into the outer office she found it was very hot,
very stuffy and very quiet. Then she remembered that the building's air
conditioning and ventilating systems were shut down over the weekend so the
heat of the sun coming through the windows raised the temperature
substantially. The office was eerily quiet. Kathy realized for the first
time how much noise was generated by the ventilation, typewriters, office
machines and the hum of human voices.

Quietly, she walked down the corridor and turned the corner heading for
her office. She stopped when she saw a nude female form bent over an open
filing drawer. It was Jane. Kathy slipped off her shoes and put them next
to a desk. Her feet made no noise on the carpet as she came up behind the
girl. She was intently flipping back and forth through files searching for

Kathy couldn't resist. Sneaking up behind the girl, she pinched her
bottom hard. Jane gave a yelp and jumped up, rubbing her bun.

Just then Bob appeared at the office door, wearing only his trousers.
He looked at the two women he loved most in the world. Kathy looked down
and noticed signs of dampness on Jane's pubic hair.

Bob blushed. "We had some work to do today. It's awful hot in here on
Saturday, so, no one's around, so... Besides, Jane likes it this way.
She's even got me not wearing clothes."

Kathy could look past Bob and see Jane smiling. She was standing with
her breasts jutting proudly. *Chapter 12*

It was eleven o'clock on September 1 and Kathy was sitting upright in a
chair facing Peter Mahoney across his desk. While Peter glared at her as
he talked on the phone, she was a picture of alert innocence, exactly what
one would expect of the newest member of the District Attorney's staff.

Peter looked away from Kathy as he spoke. _My God,_ he thought, _this
girl could excite passion in a plaster saint!_ As noises continued from the
end of the phone, he glanced in Kathy's direction. She was sitting across
from him with her hands folded in her lap. Her dress appeared to be the
same one she had worn when they met before. It was as neat and
conservative as one could wish, the sort of thing featured for the bright
female professional on the way up. She wore no jewelry of any kind except
a watch. He had noticed earlier that it was a woman's gold Rolex.

_Clearly,_ he thought, _this girl doesn't need money or she wouldn't be
giving up about eighty grand a year to work for me._ He reflected on her
Rolex. He decided that it was typical of Kathy: beautiful, expensive, and
understated. He also realized that it was a highly functional timepiece:
accurate, shockproof and waterproof, with a very legible face.

With all of that, why was she so disturbing? The person on the other
end of the phone was the mayor. Kathy had just returned to the office.
She had been patiently standing at the office door that morning waiting for
someone to come to let her in.

Mahoney prided himself on opening the office, and yet here it was, the
Friday before the Labor Day weekend, and this lovely girl is standing at
the door waiting for him to open up. He sent her off to Personnel to
complete the forms beloved of bureaucrats everywhere. He had blown his
stack when he found out that Kathy had been in the day before to complete
the paperwork but had been told that she wasn't an employee until the next

Earlier, the personnel director had called to complain. He was angry
because Kathy was starting the day before the Labor Day weekend. He wanted
to stop the processing and change the start date to the fifth so Kathy
would not be paid for the weekend. Peter smiled to himself remembering the
call. He hoped the bureaucrat had a ruptured eardrum. He delighted in
telling the director that Kathy had turned down a $100,000 job to come to
work for him at seventeen-five. A couple of bucks wouldn't break the bank,
particularly since he had just learned that Kathy stood number one on the
Commonwealth of Virginia bar exam.

The bar exam was the reason for the mayor's call. His phone had been
ringing off the hook all morning. The mayor must have been at least the
fifteenth caller. The results of the test had been released late the
previous afternoon. Rarely do bar-exam results make news, but this time
they did. The listing at the top read Katherine J. Smith, District
Attorney's Office, Norfolk.

Routinely, the top scorer would be affiliated with one of the state's
top law firms, or a national firm's Washington office inside the Beltway.
An assistant DA heading the list was obviously a "man bites dog" sort of
story. He had quickly reviewed Kathy's background for the mayor and was
accepting his congratulations on his recruiting coup.

The mayor's last words were, "I don't know how you did it Peter, but
persuading her to join your office has to be the greatest thing you've ever
done. I've always told people that you could talk the birds out of the
trees, but now even I believe it. Give her my best wishes, will you?"
Peter had not told the mayor that Kathy had found him. He hung up the
phone and turned to face her.

"That was the mayor. He asked me to extend his congratulations on your
bar exam, and welcome you. So, welcome. You have been on the payroll less
than three hours, and already you're turning this office upside down. _The
Virginian & Pilot_ is sending over a photographer for a picture. He'll be
here in a few minutes.

"Kathy Smith, you are a very interesting person. I still don't know why
you joined this office. I do know that you impress people. While you were
at personnel, the director of the police pistol range called and asked if
you could serve as his women's pistol instructor. It seems that you shot
out the lights over there, erasing every mark in their book. Incidentally,
he wants to send you to the FBI facility at Quantico for competition. It
seems you are unerring in separating the good guys from the bad guys. You
only gun the baddies apparently, and with lethal effect every time. So
much for being scared by firearms."

He picked up his telephone in response to an intercom buzz, and was told
the gentlemen of the press had arrived, so he and Kathy went out to meet

The paper had sent over a reporter and photographer. The reporter led
off by asking Kathy what she was going to do to stop crime.

Kathy, ignoring the snide intent of the question, responded brightly.
"I'm so glad you asked! District Attorney Mahoney has named me to a
special task force to fight violent crime."

Kathy went on to say that, using a crime-control computer installed with
Federal Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) money, they had
completed a study of dangerous criminals. Dangerous criminals were defined
as those with three or more felony convictions or five or more felony
arrests. A run had been made of the persons matching these criteria in
Tidewater and the computer came up with a listing of 163 persons.

The list was being distributed to all law enforcement agencies in the
area. Steps were being taken to prosecute immediately anyone on the list
to the fullest extent of the law with minimum delays in going to trial.

When Kathy started speaking, a passing police reporter heard the phrase,
"special task force", and perked up his ears. He ran to the phone and made
a few calls.

Peter Mahoney was listening to Kathy's recital in growing amazement. He
was concentrating on not letting his jaw drop when his secretary ran in
with the news that film crews from the three local television stations were
on there way over.

"Mr. Mahoney, they asked if you could take a break for fifteen minutes
or so to give their crews time to get over here and set up."

Peter felt circumstances had taken events out of his control. He glared
at Kathy who returned the glare with a sweet smile. The photographer took
the break as an opportunity to get pictures of Kathy.

"Kathy," he said, "I would like you to turn a little and put your foot
up on that chair, then hike your skirt up on your thigh. You seem to have
pretty good legs. Then unbutton your jacket and turn your body. Let's see
some chest."

Kathy looked at him with an expression that almost caused Peter Mahoney
to crack up. It was a cross between what one would expect after stepping
on dog feces on the sidewalk and the response to the suggestion that she
perform a lewd and lascivious act at noon on the sidewalk of the Harborside

"I _beg_ your pardon," Kathy said disdainfully. "I am a member of
District Attorney's professional staff. You may take an appropriate
photograph of me, or, if Mr. Mahoney is willing, of the two of us
together." She looked at Peter, who nodded. "As the most junior member of
his staff, I would be proud to stand next to him. This never would have
happened had he not so graciously invited me to join his staff."

The pictures were duly taken with Peter smiling proudly at his new
recruit. To some degree or other all DAs are political, and it never hurts
to get your picture in the paper, particularly under flattering

After the picture-taking, the group moved to a small auditorium that had
been commandeered for the impromptu press conference. In addition to the
TV news crews Kathy saw that representatives of other news-gathering
organizations were also present. Meanwhile, Peter had been unable to get
Kathy alone to find out what she had been talking about. On the other
hand, he was impressed with her aplomb.

She handled the news conference as if she had done nothing else for
years, so Peter decided to go along for the ride. With the news crews
ready, Kathy apologized for not having prepared visuals. The program was
too new and they had not expected television coverage. After repeating
what she had said earlier to the single reporter, she elaborated on special
arrangements that were in place to expedite the handling of the listed
criminals. Then she opened the conference to questions from the floor.

"Miss Smith, when can we get a copy of this special watch list."

"I'm sorry, sir, you cannot. The list is considered highly
confidential. However, when it is distributed, all of the law enforcement
agencies will have a copy. I think it's fair to say that those on the list
know who they are. The announcement we wish to make is that Norfolk is
going to be a safe city. The criminals preying on our citizens -- all the
muggers, the robbers, the rapists, the burglars -- know who they are. They
now face three choices: go straight, get out of town or go to prison.
Norfolk is going to be the safe city we all want it to be!"

The reporters were impressed with the obvious sincerity in Kathy's
speech, even if they were skeptical about its prospects for success. A
reporter turned to Peter, standing beside Kathy. "Mr. Mahoney, I'm Jim
Smith of WTAR. Would you please tell us who is going to be in charge of
this special unit in your office?"

"Thanks, Jim, I would be delighted to. The answer is Katherine Smith,
of course. I would like to say a few words about Kathy. She is new to our
staff, as you know. Officially she only started today, yet I'm sure it's
obvious to you all that she has been doing her homework before reporting
aboard. She represented this office in the creation of the Dangerous
Criminals list and is fully conversant with the way we intend to operate.

"We are proud to have Kathy with us. To show the caliber of talent this
office has been able to attract, I would like to acquaint you with her
background. She graduated from Yale University with highest honors after
being elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She was number one in her class at
University of Virginia Law School, and you all know that she achieved the
top grade recorded on the recent bar exam.

"This office recognizes talent. I am proud to announce that Katherine
Smith is my special assistant in charge of our newly-formed Dangerous
Criminals unit. I won't repeat Kathy's warning to our criminals. I will
only add, Amen!"

There were many more questions that Kathy fielded, detailing how the
unit would work. The crews finally packed up quickly after nearly ninety
minutes of questioning to get back to their studios to edit their tape for
the evening news shows.

When the crews left, Peter motioned Kathy to come into his office.
After she entered, he closed the door and took his seat behind the desk
while Kathy sat upright in a chair facing him, looking attentive. "Miss
Smith, would you _kindly_ tell me what that was all about? And, Kathy, for
God's sake, no injured innocence, please."

Kathy grinned, dropping her pose. "I thought it went well, didn't you?
I think we'll get a good play on tonight's news." She frowned and
continued, "It's a shame it's the Friday before Labor Day. The audience
for tonight's tv news and tomorrow's papers will be awful. It's one of the
slowest news days of the year. Peter, you should have waited and announced
it next Tuesday or Wednesday."

She ducked as Pete hurled an eraser at her head causing it to miss. She
straightened up quickly and assumed her attentive look as if nothing had

He looked at her and started to chuckle. It turned into laughter. Soon
he was roaring with laughter, leaning back in his chair. Kathy joined in.
"Slow news day, indeed. young lady, we will get more time on the news
tonight than we've had in the last five years combined. I'll settle for a
slow news day! Now, young lady, you are going to have to deliver!
Seriously, Kathy, I hope those numbers were real."

Kathy went into her briefcase, pulled out a file, and pulled her chair
around to Peter's side of the desk. He sent out for sandwiches as they
reviewed the voluminous data together. Kathy explained to him how the data
were set up, the definitions used and the limitations. She stressed that
the key was felony arrests and convictions. She pointed out that only a
small fraction of crimes resulted in arrests.

It was after five-thirty when Kathy finished her presentation, "Pete,
the key is the number of arrests against the number of reported crimes.
Either the guys on the list are the dumbest, unluckiest criminals in this
city, or -- much more likely -- we're looking at the tip of the iceberg.
For every arrest, the guy actually committed ten, twenty or even more
crimes. In business there is an eighty-twenty rule. It means that 20
percent of the customers produce 80 percent of the business. Is it
possible that it applies to crime, too? Twenty percent of the criminals
commit 80 percent of the crimes? I think they do, and I'm going to get

Peter looked at his watch. "Come on Kathy. Tonight I really want to
see the Six O'clock News!"

They closed up the office quickly and went to a nearby bar. They
entered just as the evening news was coming on the air. They were
surprised to hear that the Dangerous Criminals Task Force, as the media now
dubbed it, was the evening's lead story. Kathy was amused at the way she
appeared in the news footage while Peter was impressed.

The station they were watching -- WAVY -- had obviously dug deeper.
Although they did not have names, they had gotten numbers from the police
computer that they had used to make graphics for the show. They agreed
that the station had done an excellent job with its coverage.

When it was over and the station broke to commercials, they received a
shock. First, the patrons in the bar had been paying close attention to
the story. Second, they recognized Peter and Kathy. The crowd which was
very large for the Friday before a long weekend started cheering. They
crowded around and wished Kathy luck. She heard comments like, "It's about
time!" "It's the first crime program I've ever heard about that makes
sense." "Kathy, throw 'em in prison and lose the key."

They left the bar and took a booth in the corner. Peter wiped his
forehead with his handkerchief, put it away and looked at her steadily.
Then he asked to see her weapon. Kathy slipped a stainless steel .38 out
of her special purse and passed it to him butt first, making sure to keep
it out of the sight of the other patrons.

Peter examined it carefully. "What is this? I can't ever recall seeing
a piece like this before."

"It's a new weapon from Smith & Wesson called the LadySmith. As you
see, it has a four-inch barrel and stainless steel construction. I carry
it in this purse I ordered from Texas. It's designed to keep the gun away
from the other junk I carry. How do you like my lethal new friend?"

"Kathy, I just hope you never have to use it! After watching the news
film, though, I'm glad I got that call from the police pistol-range
officer. Kathy, you're set up as a target, now. You declared war on the
worst of the scum infesting this city. And you did it on television, yet.
Remember, young lady: They're scum and they're vicious.

"Kathy, do you remember what I said when you were in my office in the
spring? They are evil. I wouldn't be surprised if at least some of those
maggots decide that the best way to end this war is to gun down its
commanding officer. That's you!"

Kathy realized that Pete wasn't trying to scare her, but was expressing
how he really felt. She replied, "Pete, I understand, and I appreciate
your concern. I promise I'll be careful. I won't say something stupid
like, 'They can't touch me.' I know they can. So I promise to stay out of
trouble as much as I can."

"Kathy, I believe you. I sort of expected some show of bravado, I
guess, but you're too smart for that. You are brave. Period. You know
something? I think this Task Force idea might work. I am certain, though,
win or lose you are the best person for the job. Shake on it?" Peter
extended his hand and was pleasantly surprised at the strength of Kathy's

"Thank you, Peter, for giving me the chance. I promise I'll do my

"Let's go home, Kathy. It's a long weekend, remember?"

* * *

Kathy was at home in her library playing with her electronic toys.
There was a normal-appearing television set on a shelf in built-in
cabinets, but it wasn't normal. Pressing a button raised a sliding panel
above the set. Behind the panel were two additional tv sets. Using a
remote control unit, Kathy could watch the three network channels
simultaneously; the audio came from whichever channel was displayed on the
main screen.

It was after eleven o'clock and she was using the device to watch the
three newscasts for coverage of the Dangerous Criminals Task Force. At the
same time, a bank of videotape machines in the ventilated cabinet below
were recording all three programs. Kathy smiled to herself thinking about
her electronic overkill. The three operating tape units were in a bank of
six. The other three -- now idle -- were there against the possibility
that she might want to tape cable channels as well. She was surprised to
see that the coverage was even more extensive than she had seen at six
o'clock. If broad publicity could be of value to her program, she was
getting the best that could be hoped for.

Just then the telephone rang and Kathy picked it up. A familiar woman's
voice was on the phone, but Kathy couldn't immediately place it. It
certainly wasn't Jane. "May I speak with Katherine Smith, please?"

"This is Kathy Smith," she answered, sounding puzzled.

"Kathy, this is Julie. Do you remember me?"

Memories came back in a flood. How could she ever forget the large
woman with whom she lived for so many years. How many years? For some
reason Kathy had never been sure. "Of course I remember you, Julie. How
have you been? Where are you? How are the girls? Are you still in the
business?" The questions just bubbled out. This was the first time she had
spoken to Julie since she left the house -- how long ago? -- in eight

She heard the familiar laugh she had not heard for such a long time.
"Slow down, honey. I'm fine. I'm in a new house. Or at least at a new
location. You may not know it, but the old house was leveled for urban
renewal five years ago. I don't think you want to know where I am now.
With your new job you'd close me down and I'm too old to go into another
line of work. As far as the girls go, there aren't any who were here when
you were. This is not a business where a girl ages gracefully.

"I saw you on television tonight and I had to call you. Honey, you are
so beautiful! And I'm so proud! There was the district attorney himself
introducing his new special assistant, Katherine Smith. Kathy, your
achievements! Yale University, and University of Virginia Law School. My
God! And in only eight years.

"There's more. First, I'm the only one around who knows where you came
from. The _only_ one. And I'm not saying anything to anyone. Second, I
want you to know that you're doing a wonderful thing, and I sure hope you
succeed. I know you have a hard time believing this, but it's true.

"I'll bet you never thought of it this way, but those vicious scum wreck
my business. Face it: Places like I run aren't in the best part of town.
We're in their territory. They attack my girls and they attack my
customers. I hope you put 'em all in prison!

"I guess you know by now that we operate pretty much in the open. My
girls aren't hoity-toity call girls; customers come here. Payments for
certain people to look the other way or not see certain things are a cost
of doing business. The owner takes care of things like that. I don't know
who's involved and I don't want to know. But, Kathy, we hear things.
We're not on the right side of the law but it's in our interest to get
these dangerous scum off the streets. If I hear anything that sounds
useful, I'll pass it on. Do you have an answering machine on this line?"

"Yes, I do," Kathy replied.

"Great. Now that I've talked to you again, you'll recognize my voice. I
won't leave any identification, just the message I think you should hear.
Be careful, Kathy! They might come after you. I still love you, baby.
Good night."

The connection clicked off. Kathy reflected on the conversation. Julie
must have some very well-connected friends to obtain her unlisted phone
number. However, she was not sure that even the phone company knew where
her telephone was really located. Her line ran to another address blocks
away. A private wire linked to her apartment. She tried to summarize her
feelings about Julie but could not. She did believe that she could and
would maintain her secret.

The weeks following Labor Day were busy ones. Pete assigned two
assistants to work with her. Because of the public announcement of her
appointment, there was no question raised about her authority; they did
their work.

After the List had been circulated to police units, Kathy scheduled a
series of meetings including both unit commanders and patrol units. She
quickly discovered that she would have to produce a success quickly or lose
them. The police -- both male and female -- fully supported the effort.
They sincerely wanted to protect the people and the men on the Dangerous
Criminals list were immediately recognized as the ones to get.

However, Kathy discovered what she started to think of as the "Washday
Miracle" syndrome: Yet another new laundry detergent is introduced to the
disdainful reaction, "Oh boy. Another washday miracle." The officers
wanted to put these targeted men away but had been trying to do so for
years. Any number of special campaigns, usually announced with great
fanfare, had started... and failed. Worst of all, she sensed a pervasive
attitude, "The good guys are losing." She felt she had to have a success.

The first break came on September seventh, a Thursday. Kathy had just
finished her first week, although Monday had been Labor Day. She received
a call at her apartment from one of the district stations. One of the men on the List had been picked up by a patrol unit responding to the silent
alarm in a jewelry store. Kathy was at the station twenty minutes later.
She supervised the questioning and personally handled the bail hearing.

When the judge was about to release the accused, Horace Brown, on his
own recognizance, Kathy contested his release on the grounds that Brown was
already out on parole. He had been released from prison less than six
months before. Furthermore, Brown was already free on his own recognizance
awaiting trial on an Armed Robbery arrest only six weeks before.
Accordingly, the State wanted Brown held without bail to await trial, or
failing that, wanted cash bail set at a minimum of $100,000.

The judge recessed the court for ten minutes and went to his chambers. A
few minutes later the court reconvened. The judge ordered Brown held in
jail pending the posting of cash bail set at $100,000. Bail was not
produced and Brown went to jail.

Kathy wondered who the judge had called from his office but it didn't
matter. The publicity of the previous weekend was working. Better still,
the news media, sensing strong public interest and support -- and hence
ratings or circulation -- were maintaining their interest. Kathy saw a
couple of reporters race for the telephones when the high bail was set.

When she returned to her apartment she saw there was a message on her
answering machine. She recognized Julie's voice, "Hon, I thought you would
like to know. Word on the street is that Horace Brown is pissed. He was
trying to make a score to pay the lawyer who's supposed to defend him in
his armed robbery trial! Keep it up, kid!"

Kathy laughed and fell into bed.

The morning news led off with the story of Brown's arrest. The morning
news anchorman reported, "Authorities will neither confirm nor deny, but
the report is that Brown is a name on the Dangerous Criminals list.
Assistant District Attorney Katherine Smith, director of the unit,
personally appeared to contest Brown's release from custody on his own
recognizance. Such a release without posting bail has been the procedure
that informed observers tell us is normal in such cases." A still picture of Kathy had appeared when her name was mentioned. There was also a mug
shot of Brown along with a review of his recent arrests.

When Kathy arrived at the office in the morning, Pete gave her the
thumbs-up sign from his office while he was talking on the phone. Kathy
met quickly with her assistants and assigned one to the Brown case.

"Jerry, there will be no plea bargains, nor will the State ask for any
continuances. I want you to prepare for trial as soon as possible and file
this morning for the first available trial date. After you do that, check
on his robbery bust. Let's see if we can take over that prosecution, too.
It's a heavier rap than burglary."

The next morning Kathy saw a squib in the paper that caused her to
chuckle. It seemed that the attorney scheduled to represent Brown in his
armed robbery trial had withdrawn from the case which had been reassigned
to her unit. Kathy personally handled the prosecution and obtained a
conviction. Brown was sentenced to twenty years to life on the robbery
charge and the burglary charge was still awaiting trial. Kathy refused to
drop it. She was delighted at the effect of the Brown case on the police.

A few days later, everyone -- including the press and the public -- was
delighted when one of the men on the List was arrested for littering, and
with an assistant district attorney appearing for the State, was given the
maximum punishment, a $100 fine.

This was the subject of the lead editorial in the paper the next day.
The editorial writer commented that the word was that Kathy Smith was going
after the people on the List and would prosecute everything. Going after
littering and insisting on the maximum penalty suggested she was serious.
The names on the list were never released, but Kathy and her assistants
were considered the bloodhounds. Whenever they appeared the individual was
considered to be on the Dangerous Criminals List.

Kathy met with Peter Mahoney. Pete was grinning at her. "Kathy, you
are getting it done. It is absolutely brilliant. You started with that
press conference. You've been playing the media like a keyboard virtuoso.
You have the public behind you and the media supporting you. Most
important of all, Kathy, I think you have the cops on patrol starting to
believe in you. They are the hardest ones to sell because they've heard so
much talk and seen so little action. You know, I'm really proud of the
selling job I did to get you in here!"

He grinned broadly. "But then His Honor, the mayor himself, said I can
talk the birds out of the trees."

Kathy stuck out her tongue at him, and he howled with laughter.

The program moved ahead. By mid-November, they had registered two
convictions and had twenty-three others awaiting trial. A local paper
started running a Target Scoreboard with the number, 163, in the center of
a target. Below was a bar chart with three bars. The first was the number
on Kathy's list, 163. Below was a bar for those awaiting trial, now
standing at twenty-three, and one below for convictions, now numbering two.
Below that was a space for acquittals, dismissals, etc., showing a zero.

On a Friday night in late November, Kathy got home to her apartment at
seven-thirty. She smiled to herself thinking that, given the hours she had
been keeping since starting the job, she had only worked half a day.

She thought of her lunch with Jane Ferguson earlier in the week. They
had a window table at a luncheon club on the top floor of the bank building
where Jane worked. Kathy was seated with her back to the window with Jane
facing her. She looked at her and smiled warmly. "I have never seen you
look so beautiful, Jane. You are positively radiant!"

Jane was wearing a light grey wool dress with a white cashmere cardigan.
Kathy was certain there wasn't much underneath it. The older girl was
sitting upright in the chair with her shoulders back and her head up. In
spite of the date, she still had a nice tan. Her brown hair showed golden
sun streaks which looked beautiful.

Jane smiled warmly. "Kathy, I just want to state the obvious. First, I
love you and consider you my closest friend in the world. By the way, I
never had the chance to thank you adequately for giving me a key to your
apartment. I'm a little concerned, though," she added with a mock frown.
"I offered to be your maid, or your slave, or anything else if I could only
keep the room. Since I still have the room, am I your slave? I'm only
asking, and it really doesn't matter much -- maid or slave -- but I haven't
told Bob yet. What should I tell him?"

In view of their very proper surroundings, Kathy was doing her best to
swallow her laughter as Jane went through her very straight-faced comic
recital. When Jane finished, Kathy gave her the sweetest possible smile
and said, "It's lucky for you, dear, there are so many people here, or I
would throw a roll at you! And you know how hard they are!" Jane grinned
broadly and Kathy added, "Furthermore, it's unfair! You're sitting with
your back to the room. They can't see you so you can get away with

That crack caused Jane to laugh as she was taking a sip of water. The
result was that the water sprayed in Kathy's face. While Jane laughed even
harder, doing her best to remain still in her chair, Kathy wiped her face
with her napkin. "Boy, I can't take you anywhere!"

The two friends just grinned affably at each other. "Seriously, Jane, I
wanted to thank you for taking such care of my business affairs. I
honestly don't know how my bills would be paid if you didn't do it for me."

Jane thought for a moment and then appeared to be thinking out loud,
"Well, let's see... She gave me back my self respect, took about ten years
off my appearance..."

Kathy interrupted, "Twenty years."

"Well, fifteen maybe," Jane continued, "got me married... but... I
don't know. Now there's been a dramatic increase in internal wear and
tear, so there's an offset... Let's me use her private pool, exercise
equipment, apartment... Yeah, that's about right.

"Now, against that I write her checks at least once a month...
Sometimes more. Or at least the computer does, but I have to push the
buttons all by myself... and... and I have to sign them all _by hand."_

Jane appeared to come out of her reverie. "You know Kathy, you're
absolutely right! Please buy me a check signer with a signature plate?
You can't appreciate how hard it is to sign your name... by hand... _in
ink!_ It wears a girl out. It really does."

Kathy shook her head and grinned. "Okay, I know when I'm licked. I'll
let you know about the other thing. I think 'slave' sounds kind of nice,
though, don't you?" Jane daintily stuck out her tongue. "See, there you go
again! Next time I get to sit facing the window."

Then Jane's facial expression changed as she changed the subject:
"Seriously, Kathy, there are some things I wanted to talk about. First,
Bob and I would like you to spend Thanksgiving with us. Would you please?
It's our first Thanksgiving together and it's special. All kidding aside,
you made it happen. And Bob is looking younger every day. He claims it's
the exercise.

"Second, we are so proud and impressed with what you're doing in the
DA's office. You know Bob's well-connected politically around the state.
Some people who are never impressed by anything are starting to be
impressed by you. You know the ones: the court house types who are always
there. The guys who never change are starting to think about changing.
Bob is really impressed, and not just because it's you, Kathy. Honest.

"Finally, Kathy, a new subject: Bob got a call early this week from a
man named Charley McCann who owns a bar near the Naval Base. It does a
great business with the sailors, I understand. Of course, I don't know
anything about sailors." Jane rolled her eyes and continued, "At any rate,
he needs some financial help, and he called because he was an old friend of
Sam Jenkins. Bob remembers Sam speaking of him as his oldest friend. Do
you think you might be able to do something for him?"

"Of course, Jane. Give me his name, address, and phone number. I'll go
see him. By the way, are you going to continue to be Bob's secretary?"

Jane, who had been neatly writing out Charley McCann's name and address,
looked up at Kathy as if she had a screw loose. "Lady, are you crazy? Do
you think for one minute I would quit and let my oversexed husband bed
someone else on the office sofa every afternoon? Speaking of which, I
better get back. Bob is very easygoing provided I'm there for my principal
duties of the day." Jane gave a big wink and allowed Kathy to see her
rubbing her groin.

When she returned to her apartment, Kathy stripped off her clothes, and
took a quick shower. _My Lord, I have this beautiful shower but it has
been months since I've been able to really enjoy it,_ she thought. With
her hair wrapped in a towel, she picked up the phone and called Charley

The phone was answered with the words, "Charley's place." Kathy asked to
speak to Mr. McCann. An older voice came on the phone, "This is Charley."

"Mr. McCann, this is Kathy Smith calling. I understand that you spoke
with Bob Ferguson earlier this week. He suggested I call you. I'm Sam
Jenkins' niece."

"Miss Smith? Good heavens! Are you the Kathy Smith I see all the time
on television? I'm honored. I would be proud to meet you any time you

"Would it be convenient if I came by tomorrow afternoon? Perhaps about
four-thirty?" she replied.

"That's fine! I'll be here and it should be kind of slow then. I'm
looking forward to it." *Chapter 13*

The next afternoon Kathy drove to Charley's place and parked in the lot.
Most of the spaces were empty.

Before going in, she carefully looked around. It was a perfect location
for a bar, across from the main gate of the Naval Base. The building was
large but visibly needed work. Paint was peeling and the neon sign needed
refurbishing The parking area was pot-holed and in need of resurfacing.
There was no planting, and the place looked barren and uninviting,
particularly in the daylight.

Kathy walked in and stood at the entrance. The establishment was really
a single very large room. A partition rose to the ceiling beginning about
ten feet back from the entrance which separated the bar and lounge area on
the left from a table area on the right. There was a substantial number of
customers around the bar, but compared with the large size of the place
Charley's appeared almost empty.

As Kathy walked up to the bar, an older man tending bar at the back saw
her. He wiped his hands on his bar apron, and came hurrying down to greet
her. Kathy saw there were two bartenders working even with the small
crowd; Kathy estimated there could be five or more working when the place
was busy.

Charley lifted a hinged section of the bar and came out to greet her.
He stuck out his hand in greeting, "Hi! I'm Charley McCann, and I
certainly recognize you as Kathy Smith."

Kathy took his hand in a firm grip, while Charley studied her. He
slowly shook his head. "Some people are going to be very surprised. We
see you a lot on those television news shows and talk about you. We
thought that it was the tv makeup and lighting that made you look so good.
Boy, are the guys going to be surprised when I tell them that tv doesn't do
you justice! You're much more beautiful in person. Can I get you
something from the bar before we sit down?"

Kathy smiled warmly, and Charley could feel his heart start to melt.
"You're an Irish flatterer, Charles McCann! That's a lot of blarney! But
I would love a cold beer."

Charley blushed, retreated to the bar and returned with two bottles of
Sam Adams and chilled glasses. He led the way around to the empty table
section. After seating Kathy at a table he sat down across from her.

"Miss Smith, you must be Sam Jenkins niece. I just don't understand why
he never mentioned you to me, though. He was my closest friend. But you
are just like him. You're so warm and friendly... so natural." Charley
thought about the gloomy prospects for his place and his face fell. "I
guess you looked around when you came in?"

Kathy just nodded.

"I'm afraid it doesn't look too good. I made a mistake a few years ago.
I don't take any money to speak of out of the business. The whole thing's
paid for. Sam gave me some money to help me get going, but I paid him back
a long time ago. But then I didn't notice that the old place was showing
its age until it was too late. I guess I kept the prices too low for too

"When I realized I needed to fix it up, I got some estimates. I almost
fell over when I learned what the cost would be. Now I don't feel I can
raise prices until I fix the place up, and I can't fix it up until I get
money. Everyone knows it's a great location. I have had some good offers
to buy the property from some big operators. Their idea is to tear the
place down and put up a new, much fancier place on the property. I guess
word of their interest got around. When I went around to the banks, they
didn't want to lend, they wanted me to sell."

Charley looked at Kathy with sorrow visible in his eyes. "Kathy... Do
you mind if I call you Kathy?"

Kathy took has hand warmly and said, "Please do. And may I call you
Charley? I really feel I should call you Uncle Charley."

Charley blushed and continued to hold Kathy's hand. "I would love it!
Imagine having a niece like you. But Kathy, I don't want to sell! It's
not the money. The offer is a very good one. But what can I do with
money? Kathy, I'm a bachelor like Sam. This is my life! These are my
friends! I just don't want to give it up."

Charley's head dropped and Kathy could see tears forming in his eyes.
She went around the table and took the older man in her arms. Charley
started to cry in earnest as if his heart would break. She continued to
hold him while he regained control. Then he sniffed and reached into his
pocket for a handkerchief. He wiped his eyes and blew his nose, then
looked up at the girl. "I'm sorry, Kathy. That was awful! My God, I
don't think I've cried since I was six years old. I certainly didn't

Kathy smiled at him warmly and held his hand in both of hers. "I
understand, Charley. I really do. It's your life. Look, can I make you
an offer? Will you let me give you the money to fix the place up? I would
like to help you make Charley's the best damned Navy bar in the world!
Would you like that?"

Charley started to smile. It grew like the sun coming out from behind a
summer cloud. "You would do that? For me? But my God, Kathy, you don't
know what you're saying. The estimates are for over $750,000!"

Kathy replied, "That's light for what I have in mind. I was thinking
between a million and a half and two." Charley's jaw dropped. "I would
like to see the exterior completely redone. You ought to have the area
landscaped. Put in some grass and shrubs and trees. This is a naval base,
Charley. Except for the sea, all the sailors get to see is asphalt! We
need to have some green things around.

"Now the kitchen: The swabbies like to drink, but they love to eat, too.
Nothing fancy, but the kitchen has to be serving as long as the bar is
open. The only places you can get something to eat after ten o'clock are
the top hotels that the sailors can't afford, or the fast-food joints. And
you need a car to get to most of them. Then..."

Charley interrupted her. "How long have you been studying this place,

Kathy reddened with embarrassment, realizing that she didn't know the
first thing about running a bar or a restaurant. She had never seen the
place in her life until a few minutes earlier, and here she was trying to
tell the man who had built it and run it for years how to do it. "I'm
sorry, Charley. I was out of line. I haven't studied your place at all. I
never even saw it until I came in this afternoon. I apologize. Forget I
said anything."

"The hell I will forget! I just heard more sensible ideas from you in
two minutes than from these dumb, so-called hospitality consultants over
the last two years. Honest, Kathy, you never saw the place before?"

"Honest, Charley." Kathy smiled. "I just tried to put myself in the
position of the sailors. We want to give them what they want to buy. Now,
about the money. I'll loan it to you and you pay me back when you can, the
way you did with Sam."

She reached into her handbag and pulled out a check that she had
prepared at Ferguson's office on her way over. "I didn't know how much you
would need, but I brought a check with me that you can use to get started

The check, payable to Charles McCann, was for $1 million. She passed it
to Charley who glanced at it, then stared. "This check says $1 million,"
he said, overcome with awe. "Are you crazy? I mean... I mean..."

"Charley, what's the trouble? I'm only doing what my uncle would have
done if he were still alive. He loaned you money to get started, didn't

"But Kathy, that was a few thousand dollars. This is one million!"

"But that was before inflation, Charley," Kathy said with a big grin.
She put out her hand. "Is it a deal?"

Charley looked at the extended hand and then down at the check. "No,"
he said firmly, "It's not."

Kathy's face fell. _I just don't know how to handle money. I've hurt this poor man's feelings, and I've wounded his pride,_ she thought. Tears
started to form and then roll down her cheeks. "I'm sorry, Charley. I was
just trying to help," she said softly. "I didn't mean to hurt your

This time he held her while her shoulders shook with sobs.

Charley smiled. "I didn't want to make you cry, Kathy. But it is a
great excuse to get to hold you. It's not the money, it's the deal that's
no good. You are buying the place for that money. Of course, I would like
to stay on and run it for you..."

Kathy smiled brilliantly. She hugged him and then gave him a warm,
soft, lingering kiss on his lips.

Charley reddened like a beet. _My God, what a kiss!_ he thought. _This
girl is a volcano. I wonder if I'll be around when she finds the right
guy?_ Aloud he asked, "Kathy, do you have a boyfriend?"

Kathy was visibly startled by the question. "No, I don't. Why do you

"Because you will!" replied Charley. "When the right guy comes and you
hear the bells, there's going to be a volcanic eruption. I hope I live to
see it."

Kathy had an eerie feeling. Charley had almost exactly repeated John
Robinson's words the night of the fraternity initiation at Yale. "Charley,
I have a favor to ask?"

"Anything!" he said.

"I would like to work as a bar waitress tonight. I could put on one of
those super-short little strapless outfits. My legs are good enough, don't
you think?" She swung her chair so around so she could extend her legs out
straight. She pulled her skirt up to the tops of her thighs so Charley
could inspect them. "My bottom's small, but it's firm. I'm not as big on
top as I should be, but the construction of the outfit usually pushes a
girl's boobs up so she looks bigger than she is..."

Charley was scandalized. "Not on your life! Is your figure passable,
indeed!? Kathy Smith, you idiot! Your figure could win the Miss Universe
contest, for chrissakes! Do you think I want to start a riot? The Shore
Patrol would put the place Off Limits. Your bottom would be so black and
blue from pinches, you couldn't sit down for a week. No! You may not work
as a bar waitress!"

Kathy was prepared to argue when he added, "Besides, how would it look?
Do you think you're invisible? You may be the best-known woman in
Tidewater with all the television coverage you're getting. How do you
think it would look for the Assistant District Attorney of Norfolk County
in charge of the Dangerous Criminals Task Force to be seen working as a bar
waitress? I ask you!"

Kathy pouted at him like a little girl. "You're just saying that to
keep from hurting my feelings. My body isn't up to your standards."

"And you, young lady, are just fishing for more compliments. 'Vanity,
thy name is woman.' Besides, you know I'm right."

Kathy grinned at him. "Okay, you win, I guess. But seriously, I would
like to look at the crowd tonight. Could I sit at a table and just watch?
Please? I'll be real good! Honest."

Charley nodded and smiled. "I guess I can't stop the new owner from
keeping an eye on the place she just bought," he said. Charley grinned.
"Of course, that assumes she pays for her own drinks..."

* * *

At eleven-thirty that night, Kathy was sitting at a small table in the
back of the room on the bar side. She liked the friendly atmosphere of the
place. She had been interested to learn that most of the employees were
off-duty naval personnel, including a number of the waitresses. She was
recognized and word of who she was spread quickly.

Kathy was embarrassed when a pretty young waitress came up and asked for
her autograph. The girl said that she was a yeoman first class assigned to
the base legal office. She told Kathy that she wanted to go into law when
she got out of the Navy, and Kathy was her personal hero. In response to
Kathy's question, she said her name was Sally. As Kathy wrote the
autograph she looked at Sally. The girl was wearing a uniform exactly like
the one Kathy had been describing to Charley earlier; she hadn't realized
she was being prescient. Out of curiosity, she asked Sally about pinches.

The girl rubbed her bottom ruefully and grinned. "They mean well. If
they give you a really hard pinch, they usually end up sticking some money
down your top. Besides, it improves my agility. I think of it as an
obstacle course. A hard pinch is when I didn't clear the obstacle."

Sally moved off to serve the customers that were crowding the place.
Moments later, two men entered the bar. For some reason, Kathy sensed that
they didn't belong. Responding to her premonition she unobtrusively placed
her purse on the table in front of her.

The pair went up to the bar and suddenly guns were brandished. "This is
a holdup!" one of the men yelled. "Nobody move!"

At that instant a sailor sitting opposite the bar against the wall, got
up and started towards them. "Hey, wait a minute, you can't..."

The gunmen were about fifteen feet away from the sailor when both
weapons fired. Kathy was sitting to their left out of their sight line.
She slipped her weapon from its holster and squeezed off four shots in
rapid fire.

Suddenly it appeared that their weapons had become too heavy to hold and
their bones turned to jelly.

Before they hit the floor, Kathy was running towards the sailor who was
on the floor. "Call the police and get an ambulance. This man's been
hit," she yelled.

She found that he had been hit in his right arm at a point just below
the shoulder. The slug was imbedded in the muscle; there was no exit
wound. Although she couldn't be sure, Kathy didn't think the bone had been

The young waitress, Sally, came running up quickly with a first-aid kit.
She seemed to know what she was doing as she cut away the sailor's sleeve
to prepare to bandage the wound.

The sailor tried to smile at her. "That's not fair, Sally. Why did you
have to cut off my sleeve like that? These are my best tailor-made blues!"

Sally finished bandaging his arm and then gave the sailor a soft kiss
full on the lips.

In the meantime, Kathy had moved to where the two gunmen lay crumpled on
the floor. Other sailors were keeping curious people away from the scene.
Moments later, sirens were heard responding to the shooting report. At the
same time a siren with a different pitch could be heard moving in their
direction from the Naval Base hospital. Two policemen entered the bar with
their guns drawn.

When they realized that everything was under control, they holstered
their weapons and examined the bodies on the floor. Both men were dead so
they were left untouched awaiting the crime team. Navy corpsmen came in
with a stretcher and carefully removed the wounded sailor to the ambulance
outside. A moment later its siren screamed as it rolled back towards the
base hospital.

Charley and his people moved the customers around to the table side of
the establishment to clear the area for police who were now arriving in
numbers. A detective lieutenant took charge and asked what happened.
Kathy went up and introduced herself. She drew her .38 and gave it to the

After relating what had happened so suddenly, she concluded her story by
saying, "They started shooting, so I returned fire to protect lives."

The lieutenant wrote down the serial number of Kathy's LadySmith in his
notebook and gave it back to her. Surreptitiously, he dropped four fresh
.38 rounds into her hand along with the weapon. "You may need it again,
Miss Smith. Please keep it fully loaded."

Television news crews arrived and set up their lights and cameras out
front. The lieutenant had conclusively identified one of the dead men as a
person high on the Dangerous Criminals List. Since over two months had
passed since the list was placed in broad circulation among law enforcement
agencies, all of the media now had copies of their own.

Kathy was pleased that, even though they had obtained copies, no one had
published it. The other dead man was identified as an associate of the
first whose criminal accomplishments were not yet numerous enough to make
the list himself. Kathy put on a coat and went outside to meet the press.
She quickly related the events of the evening.

A tv reporter identified one of the gunmen by name and asked Kathy if he
was on the List. Kathy decided to break precedent by conceding what both
she and the reporter knew. "Yes, he was," she said without elaboration.

By this time, things were winding down at Charley's. The morgue wagon
had taken the bodies away, and the crime lab people had finished their
work. One was overheard saying to the other that it was a waste of time.
The whole thing was open-and-shut. Two dangerous hoodlums had been gunned
down, and it couldn't happen to nicer guys. The other replied that they
still had to fill out all the forms neatly to keep the paper-pushers happy.
The last vehicle moved out and things started to get back to normal. Kathy
whispered to Charley who announced that the bar was open and drinks were on
the house until closing. Then he raced around filling orders.

Meanwhile, Kathy went back to her table and sat down. Suddenly she felt
her knees turn to rubber and she started to feel sick. As she did, Sally
quickly came over and held her. Kathy absently noticed how clean the girl smelled.

"Thank you, Kathy. They were going to kill Jim, you know."

Kathy looked up, slightly dazed. Just then Charley came up with a glass
filled with an amber liquid which he gave to her. He asked Sally when she
needed to be back at the base.

"Not until 0800 on Monday. Why, Charley?" she asked.

"Sally, I would appreciate it if you would drive Miss Smith back home. I
really don't think she's in any condition to drive now, and she certainly
won't be after she drinks that cognac. I'll keep your time running on the
clock until Monday."

"Charley McCann," Sally exclaimed angrily, "that's an insult! On the
clock, indeed! Look, she saved Jim's life! I don't know if I'll marry
him, but I sure want him to stay alive while I make up my mind. Miss
Smith, I would be honored to take you home if it's all right with you?"

"Sally, it would save my life. Thank you so much!"

The girl went back to the dressing room to change out of her uniform.

Charley sat down at Kathy's table while they were waiting. "Kathy, I
just don't know what to say. Don't take it the wrong way, but when those
guys pulled their guns, I looked your way to be sure you were safe. Then I
heard the firing. Kathy, I don't think a cobra can strike as fast as you
moved. You were sitting with your hand on your purse. The next instant
there's flame coming from your right hand and those shits are on the floor.
Sam and I were buddies during World War II and saw a lot of action
together. He would have been very proud!" He held her in his arms until
Sally returned.

The two girls went out to the car with Kathy still carrying her cognac.
Charley had told her that it was one of the best in the world, Remy
Martin's Louis XIII. All she knew was it was delightfully smooth and was
calming her down. Sally headed out the Virginia Beach Expressway. Kathy
could hardly stay awake to give Sally the intricate directions to her

Kathy showed Sally to the guest room, went to her room, removed her
clothes and fell into bed. She was so tired that she left her clothes in a
pile on the floor where they fell. *Chapter 14*

Kathy awakened in her bed with sunlight streaming through the window.
Sally was standing at her bedside looking unhappy. After stretching
luxuriantly, she said brightly, "Good morning, Sally. What time is it,

"Good morning. It's nearly eleven and I'm very sorry I awakened you."

"Don't be silly. I haven't slept this late in months," said Kathy as
she got to her feet and disappeared into the bathroom. She emerged a few
minutes later after brushing her teeth. "Why are you looking so unhappy?"
she asked with the concern showing in her voice. "I hope you didn't get
bad news about Jim!"

Sally brightened. "Oh, no! I called the hospital and he's fine. I am
going to see him tonight."

Kathy was seeing Sally for the first time in good light. The girl was
wearing skin-tight blue jeans, a loose sweater, and a pair of moccasins
with no socks. The girl had beautiful auburn hair, brilliant green eyes
and lovely features. Kathy studied her carefully.

Sally reddened under her gaze and continued, "It's not Jim, it's your
apartment. He's the electronics technician; I'm not. I've never seen such
a place. Everything is electrical! I'm so inept, I couldn't even figure
out how to draw your drapes. I tried to draw them so you could sleep
longer. Then I decided to try to fix breakfast, but the kitchen scares me.
And I couldn't even figure out how to make my shower work. And I know I
look like a slob, but..."

"I'm so sorry. I was just admiring your beauty. Sally, I think you're
a doll. It's none of my business, but are you wearing anything under those

Sally blushed crimson and shook her head, no. "I was going to work and
we wear those little uniforms. They're built sort of like a girdle and
they're strapless with kind of a built-in bra. With the side cut, you
can't be sure even bikini briefs won't show so..." She held her head up
straight and finished the speech. "No, Miss Smith. I am not wearing any
underwear. I'm sorry for embarrassing you. I'll leave now."

Kathy smiled fondly. She liked this lovely little sailor. "Sally, you
will like hell leave! First, for God's sake, it's Kathy, not Miss Smith.
Miss Smith sounds like a maiden 64-year-old school teacher. Second, you
seem like a bright girl. I hope you've noticed what I'm wearing... or not
wearing. I apologize to you. I seldom wear clothes around my apartment.

"You probably noticed that there is no view into the apartment except
from straight overhead. You've noticed that I have no pubic hair. It's a
foible I have and I've gotten used to. I hope I'm not embarrassing _you._

"You mentioned breakfast, which reminds me, I'm starving. And it's
Sunday. I love a big breakfast on Sunday. How about you? I'll start
cooking while you check at the front door for the Sunday paper." By the
time Kathy finished her recital, Sally was smiling happily.

Kathy padded off to the kitchen while Sally retrieved the paper. She
asked if she could help and was told that the biggest help would be to sit
down and let the demon cook work. Kathy made a breakfast of omelettes with
pecan-smoked bacon, and waffles with butter and pure maple syrup. "Since
you're in the Navy and surviving, I assume you drink coffee?" She nodded
and Kathy poured it. "Sally, I'm embarrassed. I don't even know your last
name. I gather Jim is a boyfriend, and I don't know his, either."

Sally put out her hand, "I'm Sarah Fitzgerald, but I am called Sally;
Jim is James O'Rourke. I am very pleased to meet you."

Kathy took the girl's hand and was pleased with the firmness of her
grip. She hated limp handshakes from anyone. Glancing at the front page of
the paper, Kathy noticed that the temperature was expected to reach the
upper seventies. She looked at Sally speculatively. "Do you swim?" Sally
looked puzzled but answered that she did. "Come on then, let's take
advantage of the day!"

She led the way through her bathroom, opened the sliding door to the
pool deck, and checked the temperature. For a change, the weather man had
got it right. "I don't think you want to swim in those do you? Those
sweaters get terribly heavy when they're wet," she said with a grin.

Sally had long since become accustomed to Kathy's nudity and had
guiltily wanted to be bare as well. She lost no time in stripping off her
sweater and jeans after kicking off her mocs. She stood in front of Kathy
with a question in her eyes.

"Turn around slowly," Kathy said absently.

Sally was a smaller girl than Kathy, standing five feet four inches
tall. The uniform she wore at Charley's may have been made like a corset,
but obviously Sally Fitzgerald didn't need one. Whiteness across her loins
showed where they had been covered by a bikini. There was no similar mark
across her breasts. Like Kathy's, Sally's breasts were high and firm but
not overly large. She had a small patch of red pubic hair. Sally blushed
with the color beginning at her loins and rapidly spreading upward.

She had seen that Kathy had noticed the remains of an even tan covering
her breasts. She answered Kathy's unasked question. "I looked everywhere
but I couldn't find a suit whose bra matched the line of my uniform at
work, so I just leave the bra off when I can."

Kathy grinned. "You look perfect to me. What does Jim think?" she
asked, guessing that Sally's relationship with the young man was more
serious than she would admit even to herself.

As she asked the question, she manipulated the controls on her shower.
The water flooded out from all directions. She motioned to the smaller
girl and they both stepped in.

This time, Sally didn't blush. "He always wants me to take the bottom
off, too, but usually I won't." She jumped a little as Kathy turned down
the water flow and the girls started soaping themselves. When Sally
reached her buttocks, Kathy noticed there really were bruises showing.

Kathy probed a particularly dark one with her fingers and Sally yelped.
"You weren't kidding about the pinches, were you?"

"No, I wasn't," she said ruefully. "I try to keep Jim from seeing them.
He gets furious. I try to face him which usually works okay. He's a boob
man, and he really likes mine. He likes to weigh them in his hands.
Anyway, concentrating on my boobs keeps him from looking at my bottom."
Sally started to laugh, remembering a scene from the past. "Once, a guy
gave me a really hard pinch and I yelped. Jim got mad and decked the guy!"

"That doesn't sound funny. What did you do?"

"I decked _him._ I told him that I worked there, and it was bad for
business to hit the customers." While Sally was talking, Kathy was soaping
her own body. "Kathy, you really are magnificent, you know." When she
finished, Kathy activated all the jets again and the girls moved under the
sprays. "This is heaven," Sally said. "I could stay in here forever."

"We can finish later. Let's go."

She led the way to the pool and dove in. Sally followed moments later.
They stroked side by side up and down the pool. Sally was a smooth and
powerful swimmer and had no difficulty keeping up. As they moved, Kathy
could feel the tension in her muscles ease. She figured it was the
aftermath of the events of the previous night. Finally exhausted, she
hauled herself out of the pool with the smaller girl following smoothly
behind her. After hauling out two mats, the girls soaked up the November

Kathy awakened feeling cool. She and Sally had almost immediately
fallen asleep. It was the drop in temperature caused by the late hour that
had awakened her. The smaller girl was still sleeping on her back, but
Kathy could see the girl shiver a little in her sleep. "Come on
sleepyhead. Let's go!"

Sally opened her eyes and shivered. "Good Heavens. What time is it? I
must have slept for hours!"

Kathy replied, "Judging by the sun, I guess it's about three. You're
cold! Let's warm up." Earlier, Kathy had activated the sauna so it was up
to temperature as the girls entered the room with its dry heat. Kathy
poured water on the rocks which instantly flashed to steam. She joined
Sally on the bench and they leaned back to enjoy the moist warmth. After
sweat had been pouring from her pores for a while, she showed Sally how the
scraping technique worked.

Finally, Sally said, "Can we leave, now? There's not nearly as much of
me as there is of you, and I think at least half of what was there just

Kathy laughed at the quip. "Do you feel brave, Sally? Do you want to
go the whole hog with a sauna?"

"What do you mean?" the girl asked.

"In Finland where they originated this device of torture they do it in
the winter. They also beat each other with birch twigs in the sauna, but
we passed on that and settled for scraping. In the winter, before going
into the sauna they cut a hole in the ice of the lake outside. When they
get out of the sauna they jump into the freezing water. It closes the
pores in a hurry! I think there is some religious significance to the
whole thing, but I'm not sure. I don't have a frozen lake, but I do have a
cold water pool that I'm going to jump into. Do you want to join me?"

"Lead on, boss! I'll try almost anything once," the small girl replied.

Kathy opened the sauna door and jumped feet first into the circular
pool. After the instantaneous shock, the water felt good and then cold.
She let her head break the surface. Sally was looking in the water with
concern showing on her face because Kathy had stayed under so long. When
her head bobbed to the surface, Sally smiled in relief and jumped. She,
too, stayed under, emulating Kathy's performance. When she bobbed to the
surface, Kathy said, "What do you think of it, Sally?"

"I think I'm freezing my boobs off, is what I think. Can we get out

The two girls quickly emerged and went back to Kathy's shower. In an
instant, warm water flooded over them. This time Kathy produced shampoo
and conditioner. As their bodies recovered from the thermal shock, they
washed each other's hair. "I love your hair, Sally. The color is
glorious. You're the first redhead I've ever met who can tan."

"Thank you. I appreciate the comment from a girl whose hair is 24-carat
gold! Yours is magnificent. Why don't you just let it grow? I couldn't
imagine anything sexier than letting that gold flow over your breasts and
over your man's chest and... I'm sorry, Kathy. I'm getting carried away.
Who's your boyfriend, by the way?"

"I don't have one yet. I'm still hoping," said Kathy.

Sally looked at her thoughtfully, "Have you tried a classified ad? That
works sometimes."

With that, she fled from the shower, but not before Kathy landed a hard
swat on her rump. When Kathy got out of the shower, the smaller girl was
ruefully rubbing her bruised rump and talking to herself. "When are you
going to learn, Fitzgerald? When _will_ you learn not to antagonize big
brutes when you have a bruised ass? When?"

"Follow me," Kathy said with an impassive expression on her face.

They made their way to the exercise room where Kathy had the girl lie
face down on a massage table. Kathy went to her supply of lotions and
found the one she was looking for. Gently, she worked it into the girl's
bruised buttocks. Then she massaged the rest of her body. When she
finished, she covered the girl with a soft blanket and let her sleep.

At five-thirty she went back to the exercise room. Sally was just
waking up. She looked like a small girl with her eyes full of sleep.
Tenderly, Kathy lifted the blanket and lightly ran her fingers over the
girl's bruises. "Does that feel any better? I apologize. I forgot the
bruises. Lady, I'm going to see about armoring the uniform bottoms with
Kevlar when we reorder. You are hurt."

Sally sprang lightly from the table without saying a word. She motioned
Kathy to take her place on the table. A little fearfully, she did, lying
on her stomach. Sally motioned her over on her back. The girl examined
the massage lotions. Her eyes lit up when she found what she wanted. Then
she started to work on Kathy with strong yet gentle fingers. Kathy could
feel her muscles warm and relax as the fingers did their work. Sally
rolled her over and started to work on her legs, moving up her thighs to
her buttocks. As the warmth spread Kathy fell into a sound sleep.

At seven-thirty she opened her eyes to see Sally studying her face.
"Smith, I hate you! Not only are you beautiful when you sleep, you're even
beautiful at the moment of awakening! That's disgusting! It's... It's...
It's sinful!" Her words and her tone were belied by the lovely smile on her
face. "Come on sleepy head. Time to move. I called the hospital and they
said I could see Jim until eleven. I have to get going."

Kathy looked at her. "May I visit, too? I'm driving you back to the

Sally looked surprised but nodded. After a quick dinner, Kathy sat the
girl down and went to work on a hairdo that she had thought of. Sally was
delighted with the result. "I don't know what you did, but it makes me
look like a pixie in a very seductive way. And that's a contradiction in
terms, I know."

With reluctance, she pulled on her jeans. Kathy helped with her sweater
to avoid spoiling her new hairdo. Then she went to her room and came back
tugging on a pair of skin-tight Levi's of her own which she topped with a
Yale sweatshirt. She put on a pair of moccasins and they were off.

While driving toward the base, she probed Sally's plans. "Sally, last
night at Charley's you said you wanted to be a lawyer. Were you serious?"

"Honestly, Kathy, I was more hoping than planning. I'm going to be
twenty-two when my enlistment is up. Jim will be twenty-two, also. He
wants to study electrical engineering at Cal Tech. The big lug is smart
enough to do it, too. But there's just not enough money, I'm afraid. I'm
saving a lot of my Navy pay and we get good educational benefits. As you
gathered, Jim doesn't like me working at Charley's and getting mauled. The
only reason he hasn't hauled me off by my hair already is that the money is
good and I save it all."

When they arrived at the hospital, Sally showed her Navy ID, and Kathy
identified herself. They went up to the ward where Jim was lying in bed.
Kathy realized the talk today had helped Sally sort out her feelings. When
they reached his bedside, Sally looked beautiful and Jim said so.

She said, "Jim, I would like you to meet my friend, Kathy Smith, who
saved your life last night. Kathy, this is Jim O'Rourke, who keeps asking
me to marry him. Can you imagine marrying a big lug who's so dumb he
thinks he can walk through bullets?"

With a soft cry, Sally cradled his face in her hands and kissed him
lovingly on the lips. Ignoring Kathy, Jim put his hand under her sweater
and cupped a breast. Sally continued to kiss him while mewing softly.
Then she put her hand over his and held it there. Finally she pulled
herself away.

The previous night Kathy had not had a good look at Jim. He was big and
powerfully muscled, standing about six feet three, and weighing over 200.
He had dark hair and blue eyes, which didn't leave Sally. Kathy approached
the bed and extended her left hand so he could grip it with his. When he
smiled at her, he showed even white teeth. Kathy thought he was a very
handsome young man.

"Miss Smith," Jim said, "I owe you my life. The guys I was with last
night said that I would have been a dead man if it hadn't been for you. I
was looking at the gunmen. They had a kill-craze in their eyes when they
started shooting. I thought I was gone for sure. Suddenly, they folded up
like puppets with their strings cut. Thank you."

As he spoke, Kathy could see tears forming in his eyes. By the time he
finished, they were streaming down his cheeks. He turned toward Sally who
had a tissue and started gently drying his eyes. "As for you, young lady!
I spent all day thinking about you and about us. I love you so much,
Sally! I decided something. You admire Miss Smith enormously and want to
follow in her footsteps. I wouldn't be alive if it weren't for her.

"We're going to pool our money, and we're going to use it for you to go
to USC and then on to USC Law School. There are a lot of jobs in Southern
California for a top electronics technician and I am one. We'll do just
fine. When you finish, you can support me!" he said with an attempt at a
grin. He continued. "Miss Smith, would you believe this little twit has
combined SAT's of almost 1550? She really does."

Kathy was trying desperately to keep from crying. These two young people were obviously so deeply in love and now Jim was preparing to
sacrifice his career for his future wife's. She managed to control herself
and speak without her voice cracking. "If you call me Miss Smith one more
time, James O'Rourke, I'll hit you right where the bullet went in. Ask
your future wife if I can hit. She's still rubbing her cute little ass."

At that point Sally spoke up firmly. There was not even a quiver in her
voice. "No, you will not, Jim O'Rourke. I'll be barefoot, pregnant and
home with the kids. Kathy, he didn't tell you he got an even 800 on SAT
math... And 800 on AP Physics... And 800 on AP Math B&C. Of course, we
don't talk about his SAT English scores. The poor dear is only marginally
literate. That's why I feel sorry for him and have to take care of him."

"Jim," Kathy asked changing the subject, "is it true that Sally decked
you at Charley's one night after you flattened a customer?"

Jim grinned and rubbed his jaw. "I'm afraid it is. I was on the floor.
She has an absolutely wicked right cross!"

Sally went back into Jim's good arm and was kissing him passionately
when Kathy quietly left the room. Neither knew she had gone. Kathy
wondered how long it would take them to figure out how to make love in the
hospital bed without hurting his wounded arm. *Chapter 15*

When she returned to her apartment after leaving Jim and Sally, she
turned on the VCRs and rewound the tapes to see the evening news shows that
she had recorded. The three network stations had major coverage of the
shootings the night before. One of the anchors commented that the two
gunman had been convicted of three killings between them. He continued by
saying that, regardless of what one may think of the deterrent value of the
death penalty, those two men would never kill again. Overall, Kathy was
pleased with the tone of the newscasts. The next morning she glanced
quickly at the morning paper while she ate a quick breakfast. It, too,
played the Saturday-night shooting prominently. There were sidebars with
eyewitness interviews coupled with statements from several officials.

On Monday, Kathy had no idea how the staff in her office would act.
When she walked in, everyone dove for the floor. Her laughter broke
whatever tension there may have been. Pete motioned for her into his
office. She sat down in her customary chair, adopting her usual pose. He
looked at her. "Knock off that Junior League shit, for Christ's sake! It
looks natural, but it's an act. A very good act, understand, but an act.
Saturday night was _not_ an act. Kathy, you could have been killed."

Kathy stuck out her tongue. "I rather like my Junior League bit, too.
You're mean!"

Pete ignored her and went back to the papers on his desk. "We have a
bunch of stuff that hasn't been released to the press, yet. Some of it
never will be. The medical examiner's report is interesting. I've never
seen one quite like it. Instead of the usual technical jargon written in a
studiedly dispassionate tone, this one was written with overtones of awe.

"It seems the cause of death was identical in both cases: two .38
caliber bullets entering the chest cavity from the left on a slightly
rising trajectory. Both bullets passed through the heart and imbedded in
the upper right quarter of the body, in or near the shoulder. All four
bullets have been recovered. They match the rifling of your LadySmith and
the spent brass retrieved from its cylinder. Death was instantaneous.
Either bullet in each body would have been immediately fatal. The two
reports are identical. Do you have any explanation?"

"The place was crowded with people. I wanted to be sure bullets
wouldn't be ricocheting around the room. Did they find and recover the
other bullet fired by the gunmen?"

"The police dug it out of the wall panel separating the rooms. The Navy
turned over the slug extracted from O'Rourke's arm. The guy on our List
gunned O'Rourke. His buddy's bullet hit the wall. The police can't
recreate the scene with accuracy good enough to determine how close it came
to hitting him, but it isn't important anyway. Paraffin and other tests
were run on the bodies. Results are conclusive: Each man fired his weapon
once before he was hit. The recovered bullets match up, and so forth."

Mahoney stopped and looked up. "Never in my years in law enforcement
have I encountered such a clear-cut case. It's so good, even the usual
gun-control nuts haven't opened their mouths. As soon as the inquest can
be scheduled, there will be a finding of justifiable homicide in the line
of duty to prevent further injury or death. The mayor is waiting for the
official finding to award you a commendation for exceptional performance.

"For chrissakes, Kathy, even the damned Navy wants to get into the act!
For some unfathomable reason the Admiral commanding the Naval Base wants to
present a commendation at a formal Admiral's inspection and review next
Sunday. It seems some of his people who were at Charley's Saturday night
stated that the two gunman started firing with a crazed look in their eyes.
They said the guys were going to keep shooting and would have wasted a lot
of highly-trained naval personnel.

"The governor is watching developments. He would like to do something
dramatic but hasn't figured out just what to do yet. To top it all off,
just before you came in I get a call from that dumb-ass head of the police
pistol range! He wants to see you as soon as possible; he had you shooting
at full-face targets and didn't fill you in on target areas of the body
from other angles."

Kathy continued sitting, but her face looked grim. She waited for
Mahoney to speak while he waited for her. He broke the silence. "I'm
sorry, Kathy. Damn it, I'm scared! The best assistant in the whole damned
state, and possibly the whole country, in a shootout! The experts are
unanimous. It was the finest police work they've ever seen. It is the
only exchange that went _exactly_ by the book. One shot each from the bad
guys and they're wasted.

"The District Director of the FBI won't stop talking about _two_ shots.
'Not one, two. Right by the book. Fire at least two to make sure -- a
double tap. Every bullet lethal.' Kathy, I am proud. Scared as hell for
you, but proud. I find myself believing what the Dean told me: You _do_
get the job done."

He rose and went around his desk. Kathy also got up, thinking they were
leaving the office. Instead, Pete stopped, took her in his arms and kissed
her. Kathy calmly kissed him back. When he released her, she heard a
barely-perceptible, "Wow!" Peter started muttering about getting a lot of
shit from Personnel for sexual harassment.

The hearings and paperwork were handled in record time. About all Kathy
remembered later were people with their hands out congratulating her.
Often they were trying to get into news photographs with her. As soon as
she could, she got away from the office after ensuring that her assistants
were staying on top of their cases and pushing ahead as fast as possible.

She went out to visit some police stations to check on morale, the
critical variable in her law-enforcement equation. On her first set of
visits announcing the program she had been received with skeptical support.
"We'll give it a try, _but..."_ Left unsaid was the thought that it wasn't
going to work. The atmosphere she found on this visit was totally
different. She was treated with the deference accorded Queen Elizabeth of
England on a state visit. The attitude was shared from the newest rookie
to the most senior watch officers. "Kathy, you're one of _us._ You've been

In spite of always being armed, the typical police officer spends his
entire career without ever firing a shot in anger. Some observers feel
it's a good thing considering what all too often happens: Dozens, and at
times hundreds of rounds are fired without hitting the person at whom the
shots were aimed. Gun battles in which more passers-by are hit than bad
men occur all too often. It is not frequent but often enough to hurt the
police self-image. Police officers detest, most of all, appearing to the
public to be a bunch of Keystone Kops.

Kathy had been involved in the most dangerous possible situation
encountered in police work: shots fired in a location crowded with innocent
civilians, with the civilians as the target. Her response was
instantaneous, exactly correct and most of all deadly accurate. All the
officers knew this. None of them put it into words. Kathy had buried two
of the worst gunmen in Tidewater. The police appreciated it.

She went into a small station in East Norfolk. The desk sergeant saw
her come in and did a double-take. Instantly, he was out from behind his
desk to shake her hand. "Miss Smith, what you did was perfect, simply
perfect. Thank you."

Kathy, without thinking, said simply, "Thanks, Sergeant." and kissed him
full on the cheek. The sergeant turned bright red and glowed. _Kathy
Smith kissed me on the cheek,_ he thought. At that moment he would have
cheerfully died for her.

Kathy went back to the small squad room. A single detective stood up,
came over and shook her hand. He didn't say anything but just kept shaking
her hand. A pair of patrolmen entered the station and saw her. One
stiffened to attention and saluted smartly. The other's jaw dropped.
Kathy heard him mutter as she passed, while returning the salute of the
first, "It's her! It's Kathy Smith. She's here."

At the end of the day, she sat in her library and tried to evaluate the
day. She couldn't. It had certainly boosted her ego. On the other hand,
the tributes she received were genuine and heartfelt. There were no fancy
speeches. There were people who respected her for what she had done and
were grateful for the opportunity to show this respect. She finally
decided that the day was positive for both her and for the uniformed

When she entered her apartment, her answering machine showed twelve
messages. It was an extraordinary number since so few people knew her
phone number. When she played back the tape she found no messages at all.
Because her machine marked the time of each call, she did notice that they
came about every thirty minutes, beginning about six hours earlier. The
most recent call had come in about fifteen minutes before she returned
home. _If the caller follows his schedule,_ she thought, _the next call is
due about now._ At that instant the phone rang and Kathy picked it up.

"Kathy, it's Julie. I've been trying to reach you for hours! How are

"I'm fine, Julie. What's the trouble?" Clearly something was very
important to cause Julie to maintain her call frequency. For some reason
she wanted to deliver a message personally without placing her trust in a

"Kathy, I told you once before that we hear things. I also told you
that you have important support in surprising quarters. Well, Hon, 'the
surprising quarters' just about declared today a holiday in your honor!
Those creeps you burned are not missed. In fact, their passing was greeted
with cheers. Incidentally, you have achieved a level of respect with some
people who, uh... use weapons in their profession. One man with
particularly good firearms skills believes it was perfect shooting. He
kept repeating, 'Not good... not great... Perfect! It can't get better
than that!'

"At any rate I have been asked to pass on a warning. A rumor has
reached town that some special talent may have been imported to take you
out. This rumor has started activity in very high councils. It's a matter
of turf, you understand. No one knows if the rumor has substance, but I
was ordered to tell you, 'For God's sake, keep your head down and be
careful.' Honey, you were unbelievable. Good-bye." The circuit went dead.

Kathy had noted particularly Julie's use of the word, ordered. It said
to her that this was a direct communication from the top of the
organization in Tidewater. It was interesting. She took out her
gun-cleaning kit and cleaned and oiled her pistol. She replaced the
bullets the lieutenant had given her with four from her box of special
match-grade ammunition.

The next day was Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. Kathy felt she
had to bring a gift to Jane and Bob when she visited on Thanksgiving. As
she headed out of the building, she was preoccupied trying to think of an
appropriate gift.

As she walked slowly toward the curb her brain registered something
wrong. A car was moving slowly down the line of parked cars as if looking
for a curbside parking space to open. Kathy was at a spot on the curb
where parking was not permitted. The curb in front of her was clear for a
space of about two car-lengths. Just then the approaching car accelerated.
Kathy hit the sidewalk, rolled once, drew her pistol and fired one shot as
a shotgun blast went over her head. The car sped away but Kathy thought
she had hit the gunman sitting in the passenger seat.

She got to her feet and looked down. Foolishly, all she could think of
was that wonderful medical phrase, abrasions and contusions. She assumed
the doctors felt better treating abrasions and contusions than they would
treating scrapes and bruises.

While she stood there wool gathering, the sounds of sirens were heard
coming from all directions. The glass door in her building had been
destroyed by the shotgun blast. Made of safety glass, it had disintegrated
into thousands of pieces. The force of the blast had driven most of the
broken glass back into the building's lobby. Fortunately, no one was hit
by either the pellets or the flying glass. In moments, police cruisers
screeched to a stop at the curb. Officers jumped out with their guns
drawn. The first arriving officer immediately recognized Kathy. At the
same instant she felt faint and went down on one knee.

The officer grabbed his radio microphone and screamed, "It's Kathy
Smith! Someone tried to kill Kathy! Send an ambulance!" He followed with
the address of the district attorney's office, grabbed his first aid kit
and ran to Kathy's side. He took off his coat, folded it to make a pillow
for her head and made her lie down.

She tried to get up but the officer insisted that she remain flat on the
sidewalk. The officer started to weep, "The dirty bastards tried to kill

Other patrol units had arrived by this time. A second officer took off
his coat and gently put it over Kathy as a blanket. In moments, there was
a phalanx of police surrounding Kathy with drawn weapons in case another
attempt were made on her life.

The ambulance arrived. Emergency Medical Technicians quickly determined
that she had not suffered a life-threatening wound requiring on-the-spot
attention. Carefully they transferred her to their stretcher, covered her
with a blanket, and loaded her in their vehicle. The two officers
retrieved their coats. As the ambulance roared away towards the hospital
it was accompanied by four police cruisers, two leading and two trailing.
The police were taking no chances.

At the hospital, she was rushed into an emergency treatment room. The
time lying on her back, both on the sidewalk and in the ambulance, had
allowed her faintness to pass. Although she wanted to get up, the staff
wouldn't let her. They carefully undressed and examined her. She had
bruises and abrasions on her right arm, elbow, hip, knee and calf from
hitting the sidewalk. The doctors found two shotgun pellets had ripped
through the back of her dress. Idly, Kathy wondered if she could write off
the now-destroyed garment as a business expense.

After the sustained seriousness following the shooting she appreciated
the trauma specialist who examined her. He was a young physician of about
thirty. Kathy looked at him, smiled to relieve the tension she felt and
asked him how she was.

The doctor frowned, and looked very serious. "Miss Smith, I'm sorry.
I've treated girls with more serious injuries sustained jumping rope!" At
this he grinned and started to chuckle.

Kathy had felt a sinking sensation when she had seen how serious he
looked. When he finished his statement, she yelped. Then she started to
laugh. The doctor held her in his arms as her laughter turned to tears
when post-trauma shock hit her. He just held her as she slowly calmed
down. Finally, she pushed away and really smiled. "How much do you charge
for holding patients in hysteria, Doctor."

He looked very thoughtful for a moment before he answered. "Well, it
depends on how attractive they are with rates inversely proportional to
beauty. I'm afraid, Miss Smith, I would be paying you a great deal." He
stuck out his hand, "I'm Charles Miller, Miss Smith. I'm delighted to meet
you, but I wish it had been under more pleasant circumstances."

Kathy gripped his hand firmly, "Please call me Kathy, Doctor."

She had become more aware of her surroundings. She was seated on an
examining table wearing the standard hospital gown that is both very short
and open in the back. She looked down at herself and then at the doctor.
"I wonder... I think this is the perfect dress for the Thanksgiving party
tomorrow, don't you?" They both laughed.

A nurse came in to assist Charley -- "If I'm supposed to call you Kathy,
you damn well can call me Charley" -- with cleaning and dressing the
abrasions. "Kathy, I would like you to meet my wife, Cindy. Cindy, this
is Kathy Smith." Cindy Miller shook hands, and the two then set about
carefully cleaning the abrasions of dirt, cement particles, and other

Kathy was regularly "ouching" as they worked. She finally said, "Look,
I know you Millers are sadists. I know you have to use scouring powder to
be sure its clean. But for God's sake, do you really need to use Brillo,

The Millers laughed but were relieved she was well enough to crack
jokes. While Charles finished, Cindy left the room for more supplies. When
she returned, she had a lovely robe that fit Kathy well. She also brought
some facial soap and washed Kathy's face, as well as a hair brush which she
used first to brush out dirt and dust and then to arrange her hair neatly.

Cindy Miller looked at Kathy and said softly, "Wow! Kathy you don't use
any makeup at all, do you?" Kathy shook her head. "And your hair: You just
wash it, brush it, and comb it." She nodded. "Kathy, if I let this
information out, half the women in Virginia would be after you. With all
the garbage the rest of us have to go through... And after all that agony,
we can't hope to look half as pretty as you do on your worst day..." Cindy
cocked her head, then grinned, "Which just might be today."

"Cindy, this is your bathrobe, isn't it?" The nurse nodded. "It's a
very nice one. A present from Charley?"

Another nod. "Kathy we're a trauma team and our hours can be weird. So
I keep some things I need here at the hospital."

"Thanks, Cindy. I am very much obliged."

Dr. Miller had checked outside and returned. "How do you feel, now?"

"About like the girl who tripped jumping rope in the playground at
recess. Why?" Kathy replied.

"Because I can't even count the number of people waiting for you out
there. I don't think there's been such a mob since President Reagan was
shot! How do you want me to handle it?"

"Well, for openers I want to get out of your hair so you can treat some
injured people. Then I guess I'll try to sort out the guest list."

"Kathy, I have just been told in no uncertain terms that you are the
primary concern of this institution right now. I just realized you
probably don't even know where you are. This is the hospital where your
uncle, Sam Jenkins, died. He built the damn thing by himself. His
generosity will never be forgotten.

"Furthermore, you are the hottest news item on the East Coast and have
been for months. We like basking in your reflected glory. Speaking
professionally -- and seriously -- I don't want you out of my sight just
yet. I'm pretty sure you're okay. But I want to be absolutely certain."

Peter Mahoney was the first one in the door. He was reassured that
Kathy wasn't seriously hurt and she was soon grateful for his presence. He
directed traffic and set the interview sequence.

There were detectives who had been assigned to the case. They checked
her pistol, extracted the empty cartridge case and put it in an evidence
bag. A police stenographer joined them and recorded her statement.
Finally -- at Kathy's insistence and against Pete's better judgment -- the
press were allowed to see her. Dr. Miller had arranged to use the room in
the hospital set up for press briefings. The tv cameras were set up and
the crews were ready.

Kathy walked out on the podium alone to field questions. As she
appeared the press applauded and cheered. Kathy blushed. She realized
that the gentlemen of the media -- regardless of whatever else they might
be -- are the most cynical audience around. They like to believe that
they've seen it all and believe almost nothing. Their applause was a
tribute from their hearts.

She briefly described the events, which were few enough. No, she was
not seriously injured, just scrapes and bruises. There was absolutely no
way she would change the Dangerous Criminals Task Force approach. She was
strangely proud of this attempt on her life. It was proof that the program
was working. Then, from memory, she gave the press a comprehensive
progress report on the program.

When it was over she called Jane Ferguson. She had previously called to
reassure her that she was all right. When she finished, she asked the
Millers if they were on duty on Thanksgiving. When they said no, she
extended Jane's invitation to join them for Thanksgiving dinner. The
invitation was accepted. Kathy checked the time. It was three o'clock.
She made another call to Jane to ask for her help, quickly giving her a
list of things to buy. Jane was used to getting strange requests but she
repeated back the list because this one was particularly odd. Kathy then
accidentally caused a near-brawl. She asked a group of police officers if
someone would give her a ride home and a fight almost erupted over who
would get the privilege.

While Kathy was being treated, the law enforcement agencies in the area
mobilized. In only moments the message had spread that parties unknown had
try to gun down their Kathy. Three hours after the shooting there was a
break. A rental car was discovered abandoned in the woods near the
airport. It was messy: There was a corpse in the passenger seat, and a
shotgun was on the floor by his seat.

Then the crime lab people swarmed into action. The cause of death was
determined after autopsy to be one bullet in the head. It had entered at
the bridge of the nose and ricocheted inside the skull making jelly out of
the brain. Death was instantaneous. Only one shot had been fired from the
shotgun and the corpse tested positive as the shooter. The bullet
recovered from his skull was the one bullet fired from Kathy's gun.

That evening the tv news shows rearranged their planned story sequence.
The stories began with the shooting, shifted to the body in the car and
then to Kathy's press conference. The story tone was one of awe. Today,
the girl who killed two gunmen Saturday night shoots and kills a killer who
is shooting at her.

One local news show featured an interview with a Marine small-arms
expert. The Marine officer was an instructor in a special program
developed to train men in urban fighting. The officer said that Kathy's
shot was nearly impossible. However, he pointed out that her reactions
reflected extraordinary training and practice. "Hitting the gunman had to
be luck. But her prior reactions showed training and practice. Miss Smith
saw the danger, dropped to her right, rolled, drew her weapon and returned
fire in a single continuous motion. That was not luck, nor could it be."

The reporter asked how the officer could be sure. Statements from
passers-by were, as usual, conflicting and inconclusive. The officer
replied, "It's a matter of physical evidence. From the location of the
broken glass ballistics experts reliably placed the car at a point on the
street where the shotgun was fired. At the same time, a forensic
pathologist estimated where the car was when Kathy fired. The two spots
were virtually identical. With the maximum margin for error, the two
points were only a few feet apart. Therefore," he concluded, "It had to be
highly-trained reaction."

The main story was transmitted by satellite to network news control in
New York. It was then re-transmitted to all affiliated stations for
discretionary use on their local news shows. Because of the pervasiveness
of violent crime in cities around the country, many local stations used the
story, and some used it all.

That night Kathy received a telegram from Chris who had given her
shooting pointers in the Yale competition. Chris was now working in
Minneapolis where the story had been played. The telegram read, SAW YOU ON

Kathy sat on her sofa assembling the energy required to get up and go to
bed. She had absolutely refused the police offer to have policewomen in
her apartment overnight. Just then the phone rang. It was Julie again.
After reassuring the woman that she really was all right, Julie said, "I
was ordered to thank you for keeping your head down. The dead gunner has
been identified and steps are being taken."

They talked a few more minutes and Julie hung up. Kathy smiled to
herself. Clearly some sources were faster than others. She knew for a
fact that the body lying in the morgue was still John Doe as far as the law
enforcement agencies were concerned. Officially, the body was still
unidentified. Yet she had just heard "from a well-informed source" that
others had identified the body and -- ominously for someone -- "steps were
being taken." She stumbled into bed.

The next morning -- Thanksgiving Day -- Kathy eased herself out of bed
and limped into the bathroom. She turned to look at her right side which
was a mess. The bruises were now turning color and the abrasions were
oozing lymphatic fluid. Of course, they looked far worse than they were.
She went to her closet to find something to wear. Her clothes were all
tailored to her figure and would be very uncomfortable over the bandage on
her hip. In the corner she found a wild muu-muu she had bought on a trip
to Hawaii. It hung from her shoulders like a tent. It was perfect.

She arrived at the Ferguson mansion before the Millers. Jane and Bob
were waiting at the door as she walked up, concern in their faces. Jane
had talked with Kathy and they had seen her on the television news, but it
wasn't the same as being reassured by the woman in person. Kathy realized
there was an unforeseen advantage in wearing her muu-muu.

When Jane saw what Kathy was wearing she started to laugh. The
incongruity of the mansion setting, a Thanksgiving dinner and the
multicolored muu-muu were too much. The older girl started laughing so
hard she could no longer stand. She collapsed onto a living room sofa.
When she recovered her composure, Jane took Kathy upstairs. They went into
a bedroom so Jane could inspect Kathy's injuries first hand.

As she did Kathy smiled down at her, "The big problem today is going to
be how to maintain modesty. It's the only thing I own that I can wear that
doesn't put pressure on the bandage on my hip."

Jane stood up and held her friend. "It's disgusting... It's not
fair... Kathy Smith, you are the only person alive who can put on that
wild-looking tent and still look gorgeous!" She smiled, and kissed the
girl. "Kathy, we've been so worried! Please don't use up all your luck."
Jane then told Kathy she had been able to obtain all the items on the
strange list Kathy had given her the day before.

A short time later the Millers arrived. Kathy had the opportunity to
see Cindy Miller out of her nurse's uniform for the first time. She was a
beautiful girl with brown hair. Her size and build were very similar to
Kathy's. Then it turned out that Charley Miller and Bob Ferguson knew one
another from the Hospital board on which Bob served as a member of the
Executive Committee.

Drinks were served followed by a sumptuous dinner. After the blessing,
champagne was poured and Bob offered a toast, "To Kathy Smith! Without
Kathy, Jane and I wouldn't be together today. I would not be the happiest,
most contented man in the world today. This is a day for giving thanks,
Kathy. Thank you for being with us, and thank God for allowing you to be
with us." They all drank.

After dinner, they adjourned to the living room. The butler and
chauffeur appeared carrying a stack of large boxes which they placed,
without instructions, beside Kathy's chair. Kathy said, "There are a few
things here I want to present. I know it is Thanksgiving, not Christmas,
but these are in the way of thanksgiving."

She shoved two large boxes over to where the Millers were seated,
looking very puzzled. Cindy and Charles each started to strip the festive
paper off the two boxes. Charley's turned out to be a case of Comet
cleanser; Cindy's was a case of Brillo. They were dumbstruck; they were
about to open the cases, when Kathy said, "Don't bother opening them. They
are what they appear to be. I know you exhausted the hospital's supply on
my body yesterday, so I thought it only fair for me to replenish it."

The Millers started to laugh, remembering Kathy's comments of the
previous day. Then Kathy carried over two more boxes and gave them to the
couple. Again they started to unwrap the packages. Cindy opened hers
first. She took out a beautiful natural-tan cashmere bathrobe. As she
unfolded it, feeling the wonderfully soft fabric, Charley finished opening
his box. It was a duplicate in his size. At that moment the maid appeared
with Cindy's bathrobe that she had lent Kathy. It had been cleaned and
refinished to a like-new state.

Cindy looked up at Kathy. "I don't know how to thank you! But it's so
unnecessary. Charley and I saw you on television last night. I was so
proud that the robe Charley gave me was on television. Honestly, Kathy, I
only wish it looked half as good on me as it does on you."

At this point Jane entered the conversation. "Cindy, I know, and you're
right. But please accept Kathy's gifts in the spirit intended. I can tell
you from glorious personal experience that Kathy makes a life's work out of
being nice... of doing things she isn't expected to do... of being nice
to others. Cindy, she does it because she wants to. She's Kathy."

* * *

The Naval review on Sunday was memorable. Kathy felt strange wearing
the maternity clothes she and Jane had picked out on Friday. They were
constructed appropriately for her injuries, even if they did appear odd.
Kathy was on the reviewing stand as sailors and marines passed in review.
With the formation at Parade Rest facing them, the admiral began his

"Ladies and gentlemen, we are here today to honor Katherine Smith,
Assistant District Attorney of Norfolk County. As I'm sure you all know,
through her skill and bravery she prevented serious loss of life in a very
dangerous shooting incident. An establishment was crowded last Saturday
night with sailors and marines. Two gunmen entered to commit a robbery.

"One of our sailors, demonstrating more bravery than good judgment,
tried to intervene and was shot for his pains. We have statements from
over a dozen eyewitnesses. They all agree on one crucial point: The gunmen
were about to empty their weapons into the crowd. At this point I can only
conclude Providence intervened in the form of Katherine Smith who was
sitting there at the time.

"She drew a weapon and fired four shots. Each gunman was hit twice in
the heart, dying instantly. Experts here at the base are still shaking
their heads in utter disbelief. Each shot would independently be
considered miraculous. There are no numbers large enough or small enough
to determine the probability of four-for-four.

"The Congress has acted on the recommendation of the President.
Katherine Smith, please step forward."

Kathy faced the Admiral and stood straight, as he continued. "It gives
me great pleasure to award to you, on behalf of the Congress and President
of the United States, the Medal of Freedom. It is the highest award the
Government can present to a civilian. I have asked Electronics Technician
First Class James O'Rourke, the sailor whose life you saved, to present it
to you."

Kathy hadn't seen Jim before. He came forward, smartly saluted the
Admiral with his left hand -- _He must have been practicing,_ Kathy thought
-- and received the award. He faced her and put the medal hanging from its
ribbon around her neck.

At this point he departed from the script. He kissed her on the cheek
and whispered, "Thanks, Kathy!"

The assembled troops cheered. The Navy band struck up a march and the
troops were dismissed.

Then the Admiral came over to Kathy and kissed her. He echoed Jim in a
whisper, "Thanks, Kathy!"

Off the reviewing stand, Jim O'Rourke caught up to her. Sally
Fitzgerald was at his side wearing her uniform as a yeoman first class.
Kathy thought she looked beautiful. Kathy could see Sally's eyes glowing
whenever she looked at Jim. The small girl gave Kathy a warm kiss and
thanked her, too.

Kathy took the opportunity to whisper, "I assume you brilliant kids were
able to figure out how to make love last Sunday?"

Sally started to blush but then just grinned. "Sure did!" she replied.

* * *

Three weeks later Jim and Sally each received registered letters. Jim's
was from California Institute of Technology in Pasadena informing him that
he had been admitted to the class starting the following September. He
read the next lines, blinked, read them again and yet again. The words
didn't change. Due to a special grant, his education had been prepaid
through the completion of his doctoral studies.

Sally had a similar experience. Hers was from the University of
Southern California informing her that she was admitted to the class
starting the following fall. Her education had been prepaid through
completion of Law School.

The letters arrived on Friday, the week before Christmas. They
celebrated together over the weekend. They never got out of bed.

On Christmas Eve, Sally saw Kathy at Charley's. She ran to her,
gathered her into her arms and kissed her. Tears flowed down her cheeks.
"Kathy, there's no way Jim and I can ever thank you, let alone repay you,
for what you've done! You saved his life and made ours. All we can do is
name our first daughter, Katherine, after you. So, of course we'll do
that. There's nothing more we can say. Merry Christmas, Kathy, and may God
bless you! I pray that you find the guy you're waiting for." She dabbed at
her tears and tried a small grin. "And don't forget to try the classified

Kathy gave her a very light pinch on her bottom and left the bar.

That night, when Sally took off her uniform she found five $1,000 bills
in her bosom. In her locker was a small box with Christmas wrapping. The
gift was a box of birth-control pills with a little note, "Don't be in a
big rush to have Baby Katherine. I'm patient!" The note was
unsigned *Chapter 16*

Spring had arrived in Norfolk. Kathy was in her accustomed pose and in
her usual chair in Peter Mahoney's office. He was looking at her with a
wry smile, while she looked at him with what he termed her "bright little
Junior League face." Their respective attitudes had developed to the point
of being a joke shared between them. In the six months since Kathy had
joined the staff, they had developed a mutual fondness and respect.

Peter masked his affection with gruffness, while Kathy screened hers
with her little smile. Pete was impressed. For the first time in memory,
the momentum in the war on crime appeared to have shifted to the law
enforcement agencies. All the reports he received were that police morale
was the best it had ever been. They were attacking, rather than fighting a
rearguard action. And it was Kathy who had done it. He saw his job as
being to get her the tools she needed and keep others out of her way.

He looked at her steadily. With a deadpan expression he said, "I hear
WTAR is changing the name of it's news show. It's going to be 'Eyewitness
News Starring Kathy Smith.' For chrissakes, they can't _have_ a show
without footage of Kathy to open on. Kathy at the courthouse after a
conviction. Kathy at a police station handling a booking...

"Come on, for chrissakes! There _are_ other things happening in the
world outside Norfolk! Keep this up and the first mention of war being
declared would follow the first commercial break!" Peter grinned and added,
"You are doing a great job. I understand that we're close to 100 arrests
of people on the list. By the way, when are you going to put out a new

"That's a good question, Pete, and I'm glad you brought it up. We
started with a list of 163 names. There are fewer than seventy left at
large. The police are really going at it. For the first time a list is
_shrinking._ They're used to stacks of cases that just grow larger. New
files are added at the top of the stack faster than they come off the
bottom. The pile just gets bigger. This pile is shrinking and they're
charged up. I don't want them to lose that momentum. It's the most
powerful weapon we've got!

"On the other hand, intelligence reports that some guys on the list
haven't been seen around town in weeks. Presumably, they've moved out of
town to what they hope to be more hospitable surroundings than Norfolk has
provided lately. Obviously, we're not going to get those guys unless they
come back just to help us close our files. It's a fine line, Pete. What
do you think?"

Mahoney was impressed. Kathy never just did things, she thought about
them. Her observations were dead accurate: It _was_ a fine line. Police
were gung ho. "Let's sleep on it Kathy, and see how it goes. I agree with
your analysis, as usual. Damn it, girl! All I've done since you got here
is agree with you. Who's in charge around here, anyway?" he demanded.

With her usual grace Kathy went down on her knees on the floor and bowed
from her waist until her forehead touched. She folded in half like a
jackknife and slowly straightened with a smile. "You are, oh mighty lion!
You are in charge here!"

Pete grinned and threw an eraser at her which, as usual, she
effortlessly ducked. "Just so you don't forget!"

That evening the news led with the story that the 100th man on the list
had been arrested. He had been surprised by a police stakeout team while
trying to rob a liquor store at noon. Kathy appeared on the screen
announcing the arrest and praising the great police work. Every available
local politician was there to take a bow for the tv cameras. She went into
the kitchen to fix her dinner when the phone rang. It was Julie.

"Kathy, I've got a huge favor to ask. Honey, _no one_ knows about this
call. There is a terrible miscarriage of justice in progress. This
afternoon a boy was arrested for rape. It seems he and his girl were in a
sleaze-bag motel. You know the kind: where they rent rooms by the hour?
Anyway, they were in their room going at it.

What they didn't know was that the operator was making money on the side
by hiding tv cameras in the rooms. It's sort of a do-it-yourself porno
movie without hiring the talent. We resent that, by the way... all these
damned amateurs. Anyway, they have this girl on videotape saying 'no, no,
it hurts.' You know the stuff.

"The girl was all confused and signed all sorts of things. One of the
things she signed was a rape complaint. I don't know what really happened
but I'm damned sure it wasn't what that idiot, Hannigan, thinks. They're
throwing the book at the guy and trying to wrap it into your Dangerous
Criminals thing. That sleaze bag is trying to horn in on your act.

"Kathy, it's bigger than those clowns know. The guy is the son of the
top boss here in Norfolk. The girl is the daughter of the top man in
Philadelphia. She's a house guest of my boss and the shit has hit the fan!
The kids are engaged to be married. Kathy, you could prevent a major war!
The kids are good kids, by the way.

"I have to level with you, Hon. There are big risks for you. If you
get involved, the story may come out and you would look like you are
washing Mafia linen. It could wreck your operation. I don't have to tell
you that the people, the press and the police are all on your side. But
there are scum out there who resent being moved out of the limelight. They
would cut you down in two seconds if they thought they could. If this
blows, they'd be on you like the pack of jackals they are."

Kathy didn't hesitate. "I need some more information, Julie. Where are
they holding the boy, and where is the girl?" Julie named the station house
in South Norfolk. She said that Hannigan was even holding the girl in
custody as a material witness. "I'll do what I can, Julie. Keep in touch,
though. I may need to communicate with your man through you and I don't
know your phone number and don't want to know. Now I've got to move."

Kathy knew Mike Hannigan. He was Pete's least-liked assistant. As
Peter told her once, "He crawled out of the woodwork the day I arrived. I
can't get rid of him so I just ignore him."

Kathy called Pete at home. He came to the phone at once and knew it was
important. Kathy never called him at home unless it was. He sensed, too,
that this was no time for jokes. "What's up, kid?" he asked.

Kathy said, "I have a favor to ask Pete. There's a rape case in South
Norfolk Hannigan is running. I would like you to move him out and let me
take over. It's important."

Pete asked no questions. He trusted Kathy to have good reasons and knew
she had good judgment. He said, "Gee, Kathy, I'm glad you called. There's
a very important rape case in South Norfolk I want you to handle
personally. Hannigan's on it now, but I have to use him on something else.
I hate to spoil your evening, but I would appreciate it if you could get
down there right away."

Kathy grinned, and played along. Pete couldn't keep from joking. "The
guy who's trying to get into my pants won't like it chief, but for you,
anything!" She knew that Pete could hear laughter in her voice. She became
serious, "Thank you very much, Pete. I appreciate your trust and will
respect it."

Kathy had recently purchased a new BMW. Tonight, with the highways
clear of traffic, she opened it up and nearly flew to the South Norfolk
station. When she arrived, Hannigan was on the phone. He was obviously
arguing with Peter, an argument he couldn't win and didn't. He slammed the
phone back in its cradle. "Pete has taken me off the case for something
bigger. It's yours, now." He stalked out of the station without another

Kathy wondered what "more important case" Pete had cooked up. She
didn't worry. He could be very creative.

She met Sergeant Tucker who had led the vice squad raiding party. The
esteem in which Hannigan was held by the police was as low as Kathy's was
high. It was obvious he was pleased to see Hannigan off the case. "Miss
Smith, it's a genuine pleasure to meet you. I think you're doing a
wonderful job, and I don't have to tell you that we think you walk on
water." Kathy sat down and asked him about the case. "Honestly, Miss

"It's Kathy, Sergeant. At least all the officers who stop me for
speeding on the Expressway call me Kathy. But I guess they see me enough
so we should be on a first-name basis by now." She smiled and Tucker

"My name's Tom, Kathy. And this case stinks to high heaven. Hannigan
was on the raid -- why I'm not sure -- and he ran everything. The trouble
is all the damn wheels are turning. If it had been me I would have sent
the kids home with a spanking but Hannigan said it's rape, so now it's

"The problem is, Kathy, it can stick. We have the video tape with the
girl saying 'Stop, Tommy, stop! You're hurting me.' Tests taken -- against
her will, by the way -- show traces of semen. That's really all it takes."

"Tom, who are the kids?"

"That's another thing that's funny. The girl's name is Cynthia Agnelli.
She won't give an address. The boy is booked as Tom Doe on the strength of
the tape. No last name. She won't say, and he refuses to answer any
questions. I told him he could make a telephone call when he was booked,
but he refused. The kid is scared shitless -- pardon my language -- but
won't say a word. The girl just sits in a holding cell, crying. What do
you want me to do?"

"I want to get this case on track, Tom. If it's really rape I'll throw
the book at him. If it's a miscarriage of justice, I'll stop it. May I
see the girl, please? And let's get her the hell out of this shit-hole
right now. Pardon my language," she said with a grin.

Tom grinned back at her and started to relax. _Kathy Smith might be
young,_ he thought, _but she's a real pro. She has all the ink and tv time
she can handle. She's not going to let this turn into a three-ring

Kathy and Tom went to the sergeant in charge of the holding tank. He
immediately recognized Kathy. "Sergeant, I am taking custody of the
witness and will be responsible for her. What do I sign?" Kathy signed for
the prisoner and waited.

A few minutes later a terribly frightened girl was escorted out. Kathy
held out her hand. "Hello, Cynthia. My name is Kathy Smith. I'm an
assistant district attorney for Norfolk County. I've been assigned to
handle your case."

Cynthia was obviously frightened, but her training came out, "How do you
do, Miss Smith..." That was as far as she could go as she looked around.

"Are you looking for something, Cynthia?" Kathy asked.

"That man..." she said with hatred audible in her voice.

"Oh! You must mean Mr. Hannigan. He's been taken off the case. I
hope you don't mind?"

The relief in Cynthia's face was obvious. She even tried a small smile.
"Not at all, Miss Smith. What are you going to do?"

"The first thing I'm going to do is get you out of here. I'm afraid Tom
will have to spend the night. He's booked on a felony charge."

When she said the words, Cynthia broke down in tears. It was obvious to
Kathy that the poor girl had spent most of the day in tears and was an
emotional basket case. She led her to the car, helped her in and drove
back to her apartment. After showing the girl where things were in her
room, she found a high necked flannel nightgown for her to wear, and helped
her into bed. Then Kathy called Jane's private number. A few moments
later a passion-filled voice answered with, " Uh... Hello?"

Kathy grinned to herself. "For chrissakes, don't you and Bob do
_anything_ besides imitate rabbits!" No words were spoken as she heard the
two reach orgasm together. Kathy put the telephone on speaker while she
undressed and waited for Jane to come back on the line.

Minutes later Jane spoke on the phone, "The answer to your question is
no. Unlike some other people I know, we're poor. We can't afford a
25-meter swimming pool outside our bathroom. A girl's got to get her
exercise somehow!" Jane's voice became serious, "What's up?"

Kathy quickly filled her in, knowing that the secrets would be safe.
Finally, she got to the point of the call, "Look, Jane, you understand the
situation. Could you babysit my guest in the morning while I play girl DA?
Could you get here at seven?"

Jane said of course she would and then continued teasing Kathy. Before
she hung up the phone, Kathy could hear her say lovingly, "Come over here,
Bob Ferguson! I'm not through with you yet." The connection was broken.

Jane was in the apartment at seven, using her own key. As Kathy gulped
her breakfast, Jane stretched like a tigress and lightly ran her fingers
over her loins. "I had to miss my wake-up this morning! I hope you
appreciate the sacrifice I'm making for you?"

As Kathy ran for the elevator, she wheeled and stuck out her tongue,
"Abstinence is good for you!"

The hearing was scheduled for nine o'clock. Kathy had made sure that
hers would be the first case called. "The People vs. Thomas Doe, please.
The People vs. Thomas Doe." Wearing handcuffs, Tom was led out by the
bailiff and was shown where to stand.

Kathy swallowed hard and thought, _Here goes nothing!_ She approached
the bench. "Your Honor, the state is dropping its charges against the

There was an audible gasp from the spectators in the courtroom. Many of
them were court watchers, people who spent their time attending trials and
hearings. They were to jurisprudence what the knowledgeable fan is to
baseball: they knew the players and they knew the game.

This was a "man bites dog" story. It was the first time Kathy Smith had
ever dropped a charge. She was always going for the throat. And she was
death on violent crime, certainly including rape. As word of this reversal
quickly spread, reporters started to sidle into the courtroom.

Kathy continued, "The complainant, Miss Agnelli, has withdrawn her
complaint. The state believes the withdrawal is sincere. Accordingly, the
state is withdrawing its charges." Kathy had her fingers crossed as she
looked at the judge.

He knew Kathy professionally and had developed a thorough respect for
her. He looked at her thoughtfully for a few moments and then banged down
his gavel. "The case of the People vs. Thomas Doe is dismissed! Next

Kathy went over to Tom Donetti who was standing utterly bewildered at
the change in fortune, while the bailiff unlocked his handcuffs. "Tom, I'm
Kathy Smith. You'll have to collect your things and sign out before you
go. I can see I'm going to have to meet the press. Please wait for me. I
must talk with you before you leave."

Donetti went out the way he had come in to sign out, while Kathy walked
out the courtroom's main door.

As she expected, the press was waiting in force. She led them into a
room she often used for these press conferences and closed the door. "You
seem to have a bunch of questions. Let's hear them," she said. "There's
just one thing. This session is entirely off the record. You're free to
take any notes you want. When we finish, we'll see what goes on the
record, okay? Questions?"

There were none. Kathy had called in a chit she knew she had with the
press. In her career she was always available and always on the record.
She knew how to tell a story complete with headlines. She was also
spectacularly photogenic, whether for still or tv cameras. She knew the
press owed her and, more importantly, they knew it too.

"What happened in there, Kathy?" a reporter asked.

"A miscarriage of justice was just averted, is what happened. A couple
of kids were fooling around where they shouldn't have been. The motel
operators were getting free porno movies without having to pay the talent.
All the rooms in that by-the-hour horror show are wired with tv cameras.
If the action is good, the operator has a pornographic video to sell. If
it isn't, he reuses the tape with the next sucker. The book is being
thrown at the operator, by the way. Anything else?"

"I just learned that Thomas Doe is Tom Donetti, the son of the top Mafia
man in town. Why did you walk away from organized crime? You're not
afraid of them, are you, Kathy?" another reporter said. There had been a
gasp when the Mafia connection was mentioned.

Kathy ignored the buzz. "I believe the name you have is correct.
However, I think that's the only thing you said that is. Thomas Donetti is
vice president of Eastern Virginia Trucking Company. It is an
ICC-regulated common carrier which, I understand, is known for good service
and good prices"

"And good Mafia connections," someone interjected.

Kathy ignored the interruption. "Mr. Donetti is a college graduate.
He has no arrest record of any kind, not even a speeding ticket. His
father has been the subject of more grand jury and other investigations
than anyone other than his lawyers can count. He has never been indicted.
You people are far closer to the libel laws than I am. Are you sure you
want a libel suit on your hands?" Kathy had shot her bolt. Now the
question was whether the press would buy what she was selling.

"What about the girl?" someone asked.

"What about the girl? The poor kid is scared out of her wits! And
_she's the victim,_ for chrissakes. Good question. What about the girl?
She comes down to Norfolk to visit her fiance and his family. She's busted
and held in a stinking holding tank in that shit-hole in South Norfolk for
nearly twelve hours. Yeah, what about the girl? She's terrified for her
lover. It's a great way to plan for a wedding, isn't it!"

It worked! She could see the reporters looking down at the floor. They
knew their papers' lawyers would have a fit if they thought the word,
Mafia, let alone printed it. The boy certainly didn't look like a
criminal. They could hear "press persecution" already. And then there was
the poor girl. No story.

"What would you like us to print, Kathy?" a friendly reporter asked.
"How about a tiny police-blotter line saying that charges against Thomas
Doe have been dismissed? Full stop."

Kathy turned on her most dazzling smile. "Thanks, guys! I really owe
you! I think that would be a fine story."

The reporters smiled back. They really liked this girl, and she was
doing a hell of a job. They trusted her. She came off the podium and
circulated, shaking hands and individually thanking them. As he was
leaving, one reporter was thoughtful. _I didn't get a story. It's all
dead. So why do I feel so good about it?_ he wondered.

Kathy went out and found Tom Donetti waiting for her. "Where is Cindy?"
he asked. "Where have they taken her?"

Kathy liked him at once. His first words were for his fiancee. "That's
what I had to see you about, Tom." She put out her hand and he took it in a
firm grip. She liked the shape of his hands. "She's at my apartment. If
it's okay with you, I think it would be better if she stayed there awhile.
What do you think?"

Tom Donetti was a little under six feet tall with dark hair and a dark
tan. He held her hand and looked into her eyes. He liked what he saw. "I
think it's a great idea. My dad's going to have my hide," he said starting
to grin, "and the sight of my skin coming off would make Cindy cry."

"There's one thing, Tom. Can you get her clothing over to my office
fast? The poor kid has nothing to wear. And I need a number where I can
reach you."

He gave her a set of numbers for various times. "Miss Smith, could you
do me a favor? Could you lend me some money for a phone call? Mine
disappeared somewhere." He smiled at her warmly and added, "This favor is
in addition to the minor one you just carried off: getting me out from
under 20-to-life on felony rape, of course." Then he shuddered and said,
"You just met with the reporters. What's going to happen?"

Kathy fished some coins out of her purse and passed them to Tom.
"They're going to report the news, of course. It will be in the fine print
on the police blotter column: rape charges against Thomas Doe were
dismissed. What did you expect them to say? And the name is Kathy. I
think we're about the same age and you act like I'm some old woman! You're
disgusting!" Her accompanying smile took the sting out of her words.

Tom looked at her in utter disbelief. Then his expression changed to a
beaming smile as he said, "Kathy, I owe you! I'm not really as dumb as I
act. And yesterday I was all-galaxy dumb, I'm the first to admit. But
that's the story they're going to print?" Kathy nodded. "That's all of
it?" She nodded again. "What about Cin? What are they going to say about

Kathy looked at him and frowned. "What do you mean, 'say about her?'
They'll say absolutely _nothing_ about her. She's the _victim_ for

"Kathy, I _know_ what you've just done. Not only are the charges
dropped but you made them disappear! How many chits did you call in to
make that happen?" he asked shrewdly. "Kathy, I swear to you, you will
_never_ be sorry for what you did today! Never! Now I gotta dash. I'm
going to be late for my skinning."

Kathy waited for him to return. His call took awhile. Kathy was
nervous and wanted to get home. While she waited, she called the office
and quickly filled in Peter on what she had done and then said she would be
taking a few days off. He told her to remind him to dock her pay. She
said baggage was going to be dropped off for her and she would be by to
pick it up.

Tom came back shaking his hand as if it were burned. "That receiver got
_hot!_ I thought Dad would explode. He was about to start tearing the city
apart to look for us. While I was talking he got word that I was being
held on a rape charge, and he exploded again. I told him that you had
taken care of it. He went off again! 'Who did _what?'_ God, I've never
heard him so upset.

"So I told him that Kathy Smith had dropped all charges and taken steps
so that there would be nothing in the papers. He said to tell you that I'm
a no-good bum but you knew that anyway. But you, Kathy, are a genius and a
wonder worker. He told me to be sure to thank you. Cindy's clothes will
be at your office by the time you get there.

"Kathy, I have to agree with everything Dad said. Particularly the
parts about me being a bum and you being a wonder worker." He shook her
hand and left the court house. A black limousine arrived for him as he
reached the curb.

By the time Kathy retrieved Cynthia's luggage and returned to her
apartment, she was surprised to see it was not yet noon. It had been a
very eventful morning. She went in and found Jane sitting in a chair
reading a book. She looked up and smiled, "Hi. That was fast. How did it
go? Cynthia is still dead to the world in there."

Kathy quickly recounted the morning's events. Jane regarded her fondly,
"I'm glad to see you're still picking up fallen sparrows and returning them
to their nests. Kathy, you joked about it, but they were serious and I am
too. You are a wonder worker! Working wonders comes so naturally to you
it doesn't seem like such a big deal. It is a big deal!" Jane glanced at
her watch and yelped, "Gotta dash! I'll be late for my major work of the
day!" She gave Kathy a big grin and a wink as she ran out of the apartment.

Kathy went to her room and changed into her favorite Levi's and a Yale
sweat shirt. With her feet bare she entered the guest room where Cynthia
was just starting to awaken. Kathy accelerated the process by opening the
drapes to allow the sunlight to spill into the room. The girl stretched
and opened her eyes. Suddenly, she looked terrified and jumped out of bed.
"We've got to help him... We've got..."

"Calm down, Cindy. It's all taken care of," Kathy said.

The girl looked startled. "How did you know?" she asked quizzically,
"Tommy's the only one who calls me that. Have you seen him? How is he?
Tell me!"

"Relax," said Kathy giving Cynthia a bathrobe to wear. "Let's eat, and
I'll tell you all about it."

She went out to the kitchen and started preparing breakfast. Cynthia
joined her and she poured the fresh coffee Jane had made. "Tom is on his
way home. Charges were dismissed this morning. I have your luggage
downstairs. It was agreed that you might be better off here for a few
days. Tom wants you to stay here, too." She grinned at the girl and added,
"He said to tell you his father is going to skin him alive and the sight of
him losing all his skin and screaming might make you cry. He wanted me to
emphasize how considerate he is of your feelings! So there!"

Taking the joke as a sign that things were all right, Cynthia smiled.
It was the first smile Kathy had seen on the girl's face and it lighted up
her features like sunshine. Cynthia looked at her shrewdly. "You did this
for us, didn't you, Kathy? I've only been down in Norfolk for a few days,
but I already feel I know you... or at least know about you. I must have
seen you on every newscast that's been on since I've been here. Why did
you do it?"

"What do you mean, why did I do it? You and Tommy were in trouble and
needed help. I helped. Big deal."

Cindy pursued it, "The Mafia connection, Miss Smith. You've heard of
the Mafia. It's an organization that runs things. Why did you do it? You
are the straightest straight arrow alive! I think you're incapable of
doing anything dishonest. Why?"

"Do you mind if I call you Cindy?" Kathy asked.

The girl smiled and said, "Not at all. I love the name, even if Tommy
and I are the only ones who do. I would love it!"

Kathy continued. "Where are you in school?"

"I graduated from Rosemont college last June."

"How about Tommy?"

"He graduated from Lafayette college three years ago." Cindy was puzzled
at the line of questioning.

"What have you been doing since graduation?"

"I loafed during the summer. Now I'm involved in the Junior League on
the Main Line. And I'm getting ready for the wedding, of course."

"When is the wedding?"

"In June... in just two months!"

"Do you like Tommy?" Kathy chose her words with care.

"No, Miss Smith." Cindy replied coldly, "I don't 'like' Tommy! I love
him! I adore him, perhaps... But no, Miss Smith, I don't just like him."

Before she could move, Kathy had the younger girl in her arms. "I'm
sorry. That was nasty of me. I had to know and you answered my question."

By this time the girls had finished their meal. "Cindy, I may shock
you. I am dying for a swim, but I don't wear a suit in the pool, so I hope
you don't mind being around a naked woman. You probably wouldn't care to,
but you're welcome to join me." With that Kathy went to her room, stripped
off her clothes and stepped into her shower. She was interested to hear
the sound of the shower running next door as well. She stepped out of the
shower dripping and made for the pool. The April day was glorious with the
temperature in the eighties with low humidity.

Then she saw Cindy emerge from her bathroom, also dripping from the
shower and also nude. Kathy could see that the younger girl was quite
tentative, like a young bird just trying its wings. Kathy dove in and
stroked back and forth. She heard the other girl hit the water an instant
later. They continued swimming laps companionably until Kathy pulled
herself from the pool with Cindy following.

Kathy dragged up two mats. As she did, she could feel the younger
girl's eyes following her as she moved. When they were settled on the
mats, Kathy asked, "Do you approve?"

Cindy jumped. "Approve of what?"

"Me. I could feel you studying me. What do you think?"

Cindy smiled and relaxed. "I think you are the most beautiful district
attorney in the country, is what I think. No wonder you don't wear
clothes! I would never wear clothes, either, if my body was like yours!"

Kathy grinned, "Well, it just goes to show you. If you fish for
compliments long enough, you'll eventually get one. Thank you."

"That wasn't a compliment, it's the truth! Just look at me and look at
you. I didn't think I was too bad, but compared to you I'm ugly!"

Kathy accepted the invitation and studied the girl. She was about five
feet three. Kathy guessed her weight at less than 110. Her face was oval
with sensuous lips. Her breasts were proportionately fuller than Kathy's
giving way to a small waist with very trim hips and beautiful legs. Her
hair was light brown and -- judging by her pubic hair which was a slightly
darker shade -- it was her natural color. Her body was lightly tanned with
the tan accentuated by the white strips across her breasts and loins.

Kathy got up and returned a moment later with tanning lotion. "If
you're going to lie in the sun like this, you'd better use some. It's
obvious you never lie in the sun nude and, believe me, you can burn in a
hurry." She grinned at Cindy, "You better believe it's embarrassing when
you can't sit down because you fried your ass and your breasts are jiggling
like Jell-O because you can't possibly wear a bra!"

Cindy took the lotion and started spreading it on her breasts and loins.
When she rolled over, Kathy applied it to her bottom which was trim and
firm. Cindy started laughing. The laughter grew in intensity as Kathy
looked at her. "What's so funny?" she asked, puzzled.

Cindy rolled over on her side to face Kathy. "I was thinking about what
you said. The more I thought about it, the funnier it seemed! I can just
see myself with fried boobs! And they would wiggle like Jell-O! I'm
bigger than you, Kathy, but not nearly as firm."

She made a startled face. "What was that?" Kathy asked.

"That was Tommy squeezing one of my burned buns! He's an ass man. At
least that's what he says. Whenever he thinks he can get away with it, he
takes my buns in his hand and gives a gentle squeeze."

"What do you do when he does it?" Kathy asked.

"Well, the first time he did it I slapped his face hard and started to
cry. Then I progressed to slapping his hand away. Now..."

"Now, what?"

"Now, I just melt! Kathy, I'm awful, but I do. I try to move his hand
away because... because..."

Kathy looked at her with understanding and said, "Because you feel that
if he doesn't take his hand away you're going to melt. Your loins are on
fire. Everything is getting wet. If he doesn't move his hand you're going
to want more..."

"You know! Oh God, Kathy, I want him so... I just want him inside so
badly it hurts! I'm on fire here," she placed her hand on her crotch.

Kathy could tell she was feeling the sensation as they spoke. She said
softly, "Your cunt's on fire."

Cindy's eyes widened for an instant, then relaxed. She lay on her back
with her right hand still over her moist slit. "My cunt's on fire..." She
went back up on her elbow. "I said it! It's true: my cunt's on fire."
Kathy lay back to soak up the sun. The two girls slept.

Kathy awakened the sleeping girl at four o'clock. Several times while
Cindy slept, Kathy had applied more lotion to her breasts and loins. Cindy
was still half asleep as Kathy led her into her oversized shower. They
showered and soaped and rinsed. At that point when Kathy cut the hot
water, the shower was suddenly ice cold. Cindy jumped and squealed. Then
she just turned in the sprays, seemingly oblivious to the goose bumps that
appeared all over her body. Kathy turned off the shower, gave Cindy a
towel and took one herself. After toweling off her body and towel-drying
her hair, she ran a comb through it and left the bath. She noticed that
Cindy had put down the towel, reentered the shower and shampooed and
conditioned her hair, too.

Kathy was sitting in the library cross-legged watching the evening news
when Cindy padded in and joined her. Kathy had made herself a martini and
had left the pitcher at the bar. There was no mention of the rape arrest.
It was what Kathy had been watching for. She turned off the television
set. "I made myself a Beefeater martini. There's more in the pitcher, but
I have almost anything else."

"May I try one, please?" I've never had the nerve before. I had to wash
my hair. After the day in jail yesterday I would like to be skinned to get
rid of that... that..."

Kathy held her tightly. "It's over. Don't think about it. Think about
your wedding!" She released the girl and went to the bar. She returned
with the drink and raised it in a toast, "To you and Tommy: Long life, love
and happiness."

Cindy blushed. "Thank you, Kathy." She took a sip of the martini and
beamed. "I like it! It's good."

"And they can be lethal," Kathy added. "I think it's a better drink
than what I see a lot of girls ordering today, though. I'm talking about
those alcoholic milk shakes with every possible mixture of strange
cordials. Some of them taste pretty good but you have no sense of the
alcohol content in what you're drinking. With the strange mixtures, it can
be a good formula for getting sick, passing out or both."

When Kathy went into the kitchen to prepare steaks for dinner, Cindy
followed with her drink. Kathy said she needed no help, so she sat down
and watched the preparations.

"You are a strange and wonderful person, Katherine Smith. You don't
normally wear clothes in your apartment, do you?"

Kathy looked over at the girl, startled. "You're very perceptive,
Cindy. How did you know?"

Cindy smiled fondly at this tall girl who had become her friend. "Two
reasons. First, you move so naturally around the apartment. You are not
only unconcerned about your nakedness, you're unaware of it. Secondly, the
furnishings -- I love your taste, by the way -- feel good on my bare skin.
I figured they were chosen with that in mind. I was serious, earlier. You
have a perfect female body. Not a good figure, not good boobs, not pretty:
Perfect, as in perfection!"

"Cindy, how do you feel, by the way. I put more lotion on you while you
slept. Are you okay?"

Cindy put a finger on a breast and pushed. The finger mark indicated
that the breast had received sun, but was not burned. "I'm fine," she said
and started to laugh, "I wonder what fried boobs would taste like?
Speaking of which, I'm ready to eat a horse. Will we be ready to eat

For reasons she could not explain even to herself, Kathy served the
dinner in the dining room. The meal was served on fine china and eaten
with sterling tableware. She dimmed the lights and they ate by
candlelight. When dinner was finished, she served coffee and cognac.

"That was exquisite, Kathy. Is there anything you can't do well? And
may I see your pistol I heard so much about on the news?"

Kathy returned with her purse-holster. She withdrew the gun, unloaded
it and passed it to Cindy. The girl studied it with care, Kathy noticed,
not as if it were some form of snake and passed it back after deftly
flipping it to pass it butt first. "It's a nice weapon. You used this to
burn three men with five shots. Utterly incredible!"

"You're familiar with firearms, I see," said Kathy. "Frankly, I'm

Cindy grinned, "Shh! For God's sake, don't tell my father! He would
absolutely freak out! _His_ daughter handle a .38? The idea! The fact
is, Kathy, I like to shoot. You know, I'm really looking forward to being
married. Tommy's different. I don't think he would particularly like me
to handle guns, but he would go along if there were a reason. It's like
the sun. My father would freak out over tanned boobs! With Tommy, it
would depend how they looked. I like yours, Kathy. They look so much...
so much healthier when they're not pasty-white like mine. Do you mind if I
try to tan mine?"

"Of course not! In fact, I'm flattered, I guess." Kathy refilled the
coffee cups and cognac glasses, and sat down again. "Cindy, do you feel
like talking?"

"Of course," she replied. "About what?"

"About what you were doing in that dump yesterday with Tommy."

She could see the younger girl start to tense and then relax. Cindy
smiled, "You are a master of psychology, too, whether you know it or not.
You ask _the_ sensitive question! But first, we swam God knows how many
laps. That's a great pool for swimming, by the way. Then we soak up the
sun, have a magnificent dinner eaten while we're still nude, then have a
couple of cognacs that taste like ambrosia.

"Now how in hell can I say 'I can't talk about that: It's too
personal.'? The fact is, Kathy, Tommy was trying to help me lose my
virginity!" The statement was made defiantly with a toss of her head. Her
eyes were bright as she watched for a shocked reaction from Kathy.

There was no reaction, as Kathy continued to swirl her cognac in its
snifter. She looked up, "The way you say that, I gather it didn't work?"

"No, damn it, it didn't!" Cindy suddenly started to cry. "Why me, for
God's sake!? Every girl I know lost hers at age fifteen. Or at least it
sounds that way. In the dorm at school these dumb bitches lie around in
bra and panties and talk about how wonderful it was when Charley stuffed
them or something stupid."

She looked up at Kathy forlornly, "That's unfair and unkind. They're
nice girls, really. It's just that I'm so jealous! Every time I hear this
stuff, I get upset. Kathy, I have a very strong hymen. The damn thing
just won't rupture. I'm pleased, really, that I'm a virgin for Tommy. I
want to pop it but it hurts so damned much. Then I had to watch that tape
with that obscene man, Hannigan. We watched the tape of me and Tommy in
bed together. That shit was creaming in his pants... and he made me watch
it, too, the bastard. I feel dirty, thinking about it.

"What can I do, Kathy? Tommy's sex is so long and massive! I want it
inside me desperately but when we tried the pain nearly killed me! Kathy,
I'm like a girl dying of thirst, inches away from a crystal-clear lake,
stopped by this awful membrane that I can't penetrate." The poor girl started to cry like her heart would break, "Kathy, please help me!

Kathy held her until the sobs quieted down. Finally she said, "You're
serious, aren't you?"

Cindy's head jerked up, with her eyes lighting with hope, "Can you?
Could you help me..."

Kathy stood up from the table and asked, "Would right now be soon

Cindy jumped up, "Last year wouldn't be soon enough! Let's do it!"

Kathy led her into the exercise room and had her lie on her back on the
massage table with her legs spread wide. Kathy went to a cabinet, put on a
pair of sterile surgical gloves and took out a scalpel and a supply of
surgical cotton. She returned to the table. "Cindy, you know what's going
to happen. I'm going to need your help as much as possible. Open yourself
as wide as you possibly can."

Cindy spread her thighs wide apart to open herself and used her fingers
to open her vagina as wide as she could.

Kathy inserted her fingers with the scalpel tip exposed. She
encountered the expected resistance, made a slit and withdrew. "You can
put your legs down now, Cindy"

Cindy was crestfallen. "I was all ready. What went wrong?" She looked
like she was ready to cry again.

"Nothing went wrong. It's done. See." She showed Cindy the blood on
the cotton.

Cindy's eyes got as big as saucers. "That's all there is? It can't be.
I didn't feel a thing. With Tommy it feels like my insides are being torn
out. Why?"

"Honey, it's the difference between a scalpel tip and a male member.
The scalpel just cuts. The member, in conditions like yours, batters."
Cindy still looked skeptical. Kathy went off and came back with a vibrator
that looked like a combination of a male sex organ and a flashlight. Cindy
was sitting on the table cross-legged watching with fascination as Kathy
assembled her gear.

"Here," said Kathy, "Do something productive. Put this condom over the

It was obvious in an instant that the girl had even less experience with
condoms than she did with male sex organs. Notwithstanding, she did it.
She unwrapped the condom and examined it carefully. She looked up at Kathy
and smiled brightly, "Do you charge for educational services? This is
wild! Whenever I'm with Tommy, we're both so hot and anxious for something
to happen that nothing good ever does.

"Here I'm relaxed, the light is good and most of all, Kathy, you don't
treat me like I'm a little fool. Kathy, this is the way it unrolls, isn't
it?" She showed the condom to Kathy who nodded. The girl looked so proud
as it neatly rolled down the imitation organ. "What now," she asked.

"Now you put K-Y over it and put it into your vagina. You haven't got
all sexed up so you're probably very dry inside."

Once again the girl approached the task with great seriousness, smearing
K-Y jelly over the condom and then putting as much of the lubricant into
her vagina as she could. "Now what?"

Kathy grinned and then laughed. "Now you insert imitation male member
(A), into real Cynthia Agnelli's vagina (B)." Cindy grinned, and carefully
started to insert. Since she had spread the lubricant generously, the fake
slid in easily to its handle.

Cindy asked earnestly, "What do I do now?"

Kathy could no longer control herself. She started to laugh and her
laughter continued and increased in intensity to the point she could no
longer even stand. Tears of laughter started to roll down her cheeks.
Cindy lay on the table with her thighs spread wide looking bewildered. She
obviously didn't understand.

Finally Kathy regained control. "I'm so sorry, but I couldn't help
myself. Look at your cunt, Cindy. What do you see?

Cindy quickly extracted the device, then she, too, started to howl with
laughter. She was laughing so hard Kathy had to catch her to keep her from
rolling off the table and falling to the floor. The girls returned to the
apartment still laughing. They went back to the dining table where Kathy
poured more cognac and coffee.

"Kathy, how did you do it? You kept a straight face for so long while
this hopeless idiot has an imitation cock all the way up her cunt and
wonders what to do next. My God, it's like that Polish sex manual that
reads (1) Insert, (2) Withdraw, (3) Repeat, if necessary. I'm so sorry,

"I thought it was so cute!" Kathy exclaimed. "You are such a sweet
girl, Cindy. You're a virgin who doesn't want to be one. You're going to
your husband untouched. Yet, it's so obvious that you have physical needs
that you desperately need to satisfy. I think you two will do just fine.

"By the way, before I forget, Cindy, you don't have to worry about that
tape you were forced to watch. I got a call today at the office from
Sergeant Tucker, the officer who led the raid. He personally destroyed it.
It won't come back to haunt you. But there's one question that's been
bothering me. Why, in the name of God, did you go to that rat-hole with
Tommy? You are a girl with exquisite taste, and I would expect everything
in that damn place to crawl away. Why there?

"But Kathy," Cindy wailed, "we're not married yet! We won't be for two
whole months!

"You travel a lot don't you, Cindy?" The girl nodded. "Have you ever
checked in at a hotel by yourself?" The girl shook her head. "Has Tommy?"

Cindy looked puzzled, but said, "I don't really think so. He's supposed
to do some traveling on business, but he hasn't yet. I guess he travels
pretty much like I do. Why?"

"Cindy," Kathy replied, "I love you! Please don't lose that lovely
innocence. But Hon, what do you think happens when you and Tommy check in
to a hotel? Do you think they ask to see your marriage license? Cindy,
they really don't! They couldn't care less, and if they _did_ care they
wouldn't do anything for fear of being sued. All they really care about is
being paid. Honey, Tommy could register, 'Thomas Donetti and friend', and
as long as his credit card is accepted by their machine, you're in!"

Cindy's reaction took Kathy by surprise. "Do you mean to tell me that
after Tommy and I get married, he could take any bimbo off the street into
his hotel? That's not fair! I'll... I'll... I'll make him wear a
chastity belt, that's what I'll do!"

Then Cindy looked up and smiled forlornly. "Kathy Smith, do you mean to
say Tommy and I could have just walked in off the street and had a suite at
the Omni? With room service.... and champagne... and breakfast in
bed...?" Cindy jumped out of her chair and started pacing the floor. "I'll
kill him! I'll castrate him! I'll never speak to him again... Kathy,
it's not right! men are supposed to know how to do those things! After
what he put me through..."

"I think it's wonderful, Cindy," Kathy interjected quietly.

Cindy stopped short and wheeled on Kathy, "What do you mean?"

"I mean," Kathy replied, "that Tommy hasn't been shacking up with every
bimbo he could get his hands on. If he had been, he'd know what to do.
And Cindy, Tommy is a _very_ handsome man. He could have dozens, and we
both know it!"

"Kathy Smith, you're some kind of wonderful person, you know that? I'm
a dimwit for not thinking of that. You mean while I've been so hung up on
being a virgin, Tommy's been waiting for years, too?"

Kathy asked, "How long have you two been going out together?"

"Eons! My God, I can't remember the first time. Kathy, you know about
the family connection. Well, our families have been talking about it for
as long as I can remember. I live in Bryn Mawr, and Tommy went to
Lafayette which is just up in Easton, so we could be close. When I was at
Rosemont, poor Tommy was practically commuting from Norfolk. And all this
time... Of course!... Oh, the poor dear!" Cindy took Kathy in her arms
and kissed her. "Thank you, Kathy. I've been such an idiot!"

The next day was a repeat of the first, except it lasted longer. The
weather was holding so they swam, soaked up the sun, swam some more and
just relaxed. That evening, Kathy called Tommy. He picked up anxiously on
the first ring. "Tommy, this is Kathy. How are you?"

"I'm fine, Kathy. I even have my skin. How... how's Cindy?"

"Aside from being madly in love with you, she's fine. Why?"

"Could I speak to her, please?"

Kathy couldn't resist teasing him. "I'll see if she's free to come to
the phone. Just a moment please."

Kathy passed the phone to Cindy and sat down across the room. She
watched Cindy open up like a flower while she talked to Tom. It was a
pleasure to watch because they were obviously so madly in love. She put
the phone down and looked at Kathy, "Tom would like to know if you would
have dinner with us tomorrow night. Please say yes!"

"Tell him I would love to," Kathy replied.

* * *

They met Tom at the Omni Hotel where he had reservations in the
Promenade, an elegant restaurant overlooking the main dining room and
Portsmouth harbor. Tom looked ill at ease. "Kathy, I have to say
something that you're not going to like: My father wants to meet you. He
said to tell you anytime, anywhere, but he really wants to meet you." Tommy
carefully examined the design of the service plate in front of him.

"I would be delighted," she answered quietly. "What time would be

Tommy looked up at her, stunned. "You _will?_ You really will! That's
wonderful. When might you be free?"

"How about ten o'clock tomorrow morning? Would that be convenient for

Tommy rose from his seat and excused himself to make a phone call. When
he was out of earshot, Kathy said to Cindy in a low voice, "I think you'll
find the accommodations here significantly better than at your prior hotel.
What are you doing this weekend?"

Cindy excused herself and went after Tommy. Awhile later they came back
arm in arm. They both glowed. When they were seated, Tom said, "Ten
o'clock tomorrow would be fine. My father asked me to thank you for taking
the trouble to see him." He went on to provide directions.

Cindy was bubbling. "We have reservations for this weekend! Tommy and
I discussed with the clerk the merits of various suites before we chose
one! Kathy, she said they are looking forward to having us! Do you think
she really means it?"

Kathy grinned at her. "Of course she means it! Wouldn't you mean it if
it was a choice of having paying guests who look like they'll spend a lot
of money with room service against having an empty suite? That's the hotel
business these days, Hon. There's just no business on weekends." Cindy had
blushed when Kathy mentioned room service.

"There's one more thing," Cindy said. Like Tommy earlier, her eyes were
focused on the service plate in front of her. "I would be deeply honored
if you would be the maid of honor at my wedding." Cindy did not look up as
she extended her invitation.

_The poor thing! She believes I won't accept,_ Kathy thought, _but she
wants to make the offer anyway._ Kathy looked at Cindy and smiled, "Cindy,
I am truly honored. You shouldn't ask me and you know it. You only met me
for the first time two days ago. The maid of honor is the bride's best
friend, but I'll accept on one major condition. The condition is that your
parents approve of your inviting me. Cindy, I am deeply touched. I will
fully understand if they say no, and I want you to promise that you'll
accept their decision. Agreed?"

Cindy's eyes were glowing at her good fortune. She nodded, jumped up
from the table and ran out to the telephones. A few minutes later she
returned, glowing with joy. "My parents would be deeply honored to have
you as a member of our wedding party. My father asked me to say that were
it not for you, there could be no wedding. The groom would be facing
20-to-life for rape. He is arranging a suite for you at The Barclay on
Rittenhouse Square, unless you have some other hotel preference. There
will be a car and driver at your disposal, of course. Also, my mother would like to know what date would be convenient for her to send the
dressmaker down to take your measurements. Oh, and your plane tickets will
be delivered to your office tomorrow, if that's satisfactory?"

"Cindy, I'm overwhelmed! Of course, the answer is yes! I can be
available whenever the dressmaker wishes to come. Oh, Cindy! I'm so

Cindy and Tom just glowed. They dined that night on baked stuffed
lobster, done in Tidewater style. The lobster was three and a half pounds;
the stuffing was lump crab imperial... about a pound and a half of it.
When they finished dinner, Kathy felt she could roll home to Virginia Beach
without having to drive.

* * *

Promptly at ten the next morning, Kathy arrived at the address Tom had
given her and asked for Mr. Donetti. A guard took her purse, noticed the
LadySmith, and put it aside. He was carefully patting down her body for
more weapons when Anthony Donetti appeared. "What in hell are you doing!"
he yelled. "Get your hands off that woman!" He came hurrying up to Kathy
with his hand outstretched.

Kathy took it in a firm grip, "How do you do, Mr. Donetti. I'm
Katherine Smith. I'm very pleased to meet you!"

Tony Donetti beamed. "Miss Smith, I'm honored. Will you please come
with me?"

Kathy hesitated, and Donetti noticed the hesitation. "Is there
something wrong?" he asked with concern in his voice.

"The guard has my purse. I don't like it out of my sight."

"Give the lady her purse. Now!" There was steel in his voice.

"But boss, she's packing! It's in her purse!" the guard protested.

"Of course she is, you idiot! This is Kathy Smith! The weapon in that
purse has buried three men in the last six months! Do you want to try for

At the mention of her name, the guards jumped. The guard instantly
returned the purse. "I'm terribly sorry, Miss Smith. I didn't recognize
you. I won't ever make that mistake again!"

Donetti ushered Kathy into his office and into a chair. He went behind
the desk, sat down and looked at her steadily. Finally, he spoke. "I
agree with Tom. You _are_ an angel. Miss Smith, I asked you to come in
for two reasons. First, because of who you are and what you're doing for
Norfolk. The people you're putting away are the scum of the earth, the
predators: evil men who prey on the weak. God knows, I'm no saint. We're
into things that are illegal. But we don't do drugs. They're lethal.
They corrupt everyone who gets close, not just the users. They corrupt and
destroy the dealers, too.

"Our biggest business is gambling. I laugh whenever I hear those clowns
talking about 'the billions the gamblers take in.' What a joke! First, we
don't gamble; our customers do. We just make the book. Miss Smith, let's
say the Giants are playing the Redskins. You bet $10 on the Redskins and
another guy bets $10 on the Giants. You win. I pay you $10. I never saw
your $10 -- that was credit -- and the other guy pays me $11. I make _one
dollar_ on twenty. The clowns talk about the $20, but I only get the
dollar. That's 5 percent of the handle.

"The sad part is the same clowns sing the praises of the state
lotteries. Do you know what they keep? Upwards of 50 percent! It's a
rip-off! Why do you think we still sell numbers, even when the state has a
numbers game? Our payoff is better, our service is better and we'll take
smaller bets." He smiled sheepishly and said, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to
run off at the mouth like that."

Kathy said, "Mr. Donetti, I would appreciate it if you would call me
Kathy. I also want to tell you that you have a fine son! I was very
impressed by him."

Donetti smiled, "Kathy... I like the name, and I'm honored. Kathy, you
mentioned my son. I'm very proud of him, too. Did you know that he was an
honors graduate at Lafayette? He was... and his old man barely finished
high school.

"I've been hearing about you. You put all the Kathy Smith stories together and you're a cross between Joan of Arc, Wonder Woman and Venus. I
think they're right, directionally, but I still think they're missing a few
things. I got a call from Sal Agnelli this morning. He was very excited.
He wanted me to know that you had agreed to be the maid of honor at his
daughter's wedding. His daughter loves you like a sister and worships the
ground you walk on. My son tells me that if it weren't for you, he'd be
looking at 20-to-life. He's right. They had him cold, and you walked in
and dismissed the case. Why? Why did you save my son, Kathy?"

"Tony... I'm sorry. May I call you Tony?" Donetti beamed and nodded
while Kathy continued. "I couldn't do anything else. There was no crime
committed! Two good kids -- and I've been amazed to learn how good they
really are -- are in the wrong place at the wrong time. They have the bad
luck to meet a bum who happens to be a colleague of mine. For that, my
boss, the District Attorney -- who knows we're meeting, by the way -- has
asked me to express his deepest personal regrets for the humiliation your
son has suffered. Tony, if Hannigan's political influence were
neutralized, he would be history in a matter of seconds.

"I'm sworn to uphold the law. I take my oath very seriously and try to
discharge it to the best of my abilities. I'm out to get rid of the
violent criminals who make people afraid to walk the streets after dark.
Your son and future daughter-in-law love each other very deeply. I swear
to you, rape was impossible in that situation. I am sworn to prosecute
criminals. There can be no criminal if there was no crime. There was

"I believe you, Kathy. But you're overlooking a few things. You not
only dropped the charges, but at least as important, you kept it out of the
papers. As far as the media are concerned, it didn't happen. Kathy, I
happen to _know_ that you called in a lot of chits that morning to keep it
out of the news. There's nothing in that oath of yours about that.

Kathy blushed under his gaze and replied, "No, there's not." Then she
looked into his eyes with her blue eyes blazing and exclaimed, "But there's
no way in hell I could just stand there and watch two fine kids dragged
through the mud! It may not be illegal but, by God, it is certainly
immoral! I will not allow it!"

Tony Donetti beamed, "That's what I said: I owe you! Kathy, I'm going
to give you a telephone number. If you need me for any reason -- _for any
reason at all_ -- call the number and say it's Angel. I will speak to you
within thirty minutes. That is a solemn pledge, too. My son loves you.
My future daughter-in-law loves you. Let me join the crowd, Kathy. I love
you, too."

He stood up and came around the desk. Kathy suddenly realized that he
was only about five feet eight inches tall, about her own height. He had
an aura of power, she realized, that made him seem taller than he was. He
stopped in front of her, held her and kissed her on both cheeks. The
guards were standing at attention as she left.

* * *

On Monday, Kathy drove to the Omni to pick up Cindy and take her to the
airport. She already had the rest of the girl's luggage in her car. As
she swung up to the entrance, the two young people waved. They knew that
Kathy was taking more time away from the office so they had assured her
they would be waiting. Tom took Cindy in his arms as Kathy got out of her
car. She smiled as Cindy lifted one small foot off the ground while she
kissed her fiance. It reminded Kathy of paper starting to roll just before
igniting into flame. She could hear small noises coming from the girl.

"That's disgusting!" Kathy said with a wry grin. "Haven't you two had

At the sound of her voice, they turned toward her. Both sets of eyes
looked glazed with passion. At the same instant they both said softly,
"No," and went back into each other's arms.

"Cynthia Agnelli, if you don't get in the car this instant, you'll miss
your plane! Your father will skin you alive. And I'll be there to help!"
Reluctantly, they parted, and Cindy climbed in.

Tom turned to Kathy and kissed her softly on the cheek. "Thanks,

She grinned at him, shook her head in mock exasperation, got into the
car and rolled it out of the lot and up to the Expressway. As the car
headed towards the airport, Kathy stole a glance at Cindy. "Well, how was
your weekend?"

The look on Cindy's face was beatific. "Heavenly! Oh, Kathy, it was
like being in heaven! We did everything. It was a discovery. We would
make love and.. and sleep a little... Then one of us would start running
fingers lightly over the other's body... and then we'd be awake, and Tommy
would be aroused... and then we'd make love."

Kathy was shaking her head slowly and smiling a tolerant little smile.
"No, silly, I meant the important stuff. You know, the food in the
restaurants, shopping at Harborside -- Damn! I forgot to tell you about
this _darling_ new shop -- the museums..."

Cindy was startled for an instant and then realized that she was being
teased. "Kathy Smith, you are terrible! It's a good thing you're driving
or I would push you out of the car! Oh!" Continuing her mock anger, she
folded her arms and stared straight ahead. Kathy thought she looked cute
and said so. The younger girl grinned, and ran her tongue over her lips as
if she were a child licking off ice cream, "Delicious! That's the word for
the weekend... Deeelicious!"

She swung in the seat and turned serious. "Kathy, can I ask you
something? I... I... I feel so sore! I ache... I mean my thighs, my
groin... Kathy, my cunt is so sore! And Tommy! This morning, he could
hardly get it up the second time. I... I had.. I had to help him by
taking him in my mouth! Do we need to see a doctor?"

Kathy felt a wonderful warm feeling as she listened to the girl. _She's
so innocent,_ Kathy thought. Then quietly she asked, "How many times did
you do it over the weekend?"

Kathy watched the girl smile softly and wriggle her hips slightly as she
tried to count. Finally, she answered, "I can't count... I don't

"More than ten?" Kathy asked.

Cindy looked startled, "Oh God, yes! But why do you ask?"

"Because you're getting a wonderful husband and he's getting a wonderful
wife! That's why. Cindy, Tommy is human! He's not a machine, and neither
are you. My God! What I'm hearing is seventy-two hours of near-constant
lovemaking. I'll bet the only sleep you got was when you both collapsed!
Honey, there's nothing to worry about. But be careful! I'll bet your
parents will recognize the signs." She smiled at her warmly.

"Kathy, there's something else. When we were making love... when Tommy
was inside me, I felt these waves in my loins. They would just build up
and up and up... I kept going higher, until... until I exploded. My body
was going crazy! My hips were moving by themselves... I was moaning and
then... and then I screamed. Kathy, I blacked out! What can I do?"

"Did you like the feeling?"

"Like it! I can't describe it. It was so wonderful!... hot..."

"Then enjoy it, silly! It sounds like you and Tommy were reaching
orgasm together. Cindy, that's what it's all about!"

"But Kathy... when the girls talked, I never heard anything that
sounded like what I was feeling."

Kathy smiled and delighted in the girl's innocence. "Obviously, I
should have given you an instruction manual. That's the trouble with these
damn marriages. The marriage license doesn't come with a set of
instructions. Honey, you may not have heard it because they may never have
felt it! The thing about sex is that when it's good it's great, and when
it's not, it's still good. With you and Tommy it was great! By the way,
when you went to check in at the front desk, did the clerk ask to see your
Learner's Permit?"

Cindy looked startled and Kathy continued her teasing. "Well, you and
Tom don't have a marriage license, so you need a Learner's Permit. They
sell them at the next window..." Kathy was pulling up at the Piedmont gate.
With the transmission in neutral and the brake set Cindy had her chance.
She hit Kathy on the arm with her small fist and started to laugh. Kathy,
startled, began laughing, too.

"You are terrible!" said Cindy with a mock pout. "I'm being very
serious, and all you do is laugh at me." She smiled ruefully and asked, "Is
it really so funny? Am I so hopelessly naive?"

Kathy's face had a loving expression. "No, it's not funny. It is
beautiful. I envy you. And I'm so happy to have the opportunity to be in
your wedding."

Cindy impulsively leaned over and gave Kathy a kiss. "And I'm so happy
my best friend can be there!" She dashed off into the terminal.

When Kathy entered the office, she met Pete who had a big smile on his
face. He was so happy he didn't even bother to tease her about arriving
late. "Guess what! I can't believe it! What do you suppose I found on my
desk this morning?"

Kathy cocked her head and looked thoughtful. "A dead mouse...? a

Pete grinned. "Hannigan's resignation! It seems he's decided to go
into private practice. For him, that has to be ambulance chasing. My
secretary just delivered my acceptance. Damn! I knew I forgot something!
I forgot to say, 'accept with regret'. That girl should have reminded me!"
Kathy gave him a big kiss on his cheek.

When she reached her desk, she found a plain white envelope in the
center of her blotter. It was unmarked and unsealed. She took out what
was obviously a story torn from a Detroit newspaper. She read it quickly.
It reported that a body had been found in a ditch beside the highway
leading to Detroit's Metropolitan Airport riddled by a shotgun in classic
gangland fashion. From dental records it was identified as the body of a
known gunman with numerous arrests for violent crimes in the Greater
Detroit area. The report concluded by saying that the victim was a known
associate of a man found dead in Norfolk after having made an attempt on
the life of Katherine Smith, an assistant district attorney.

Kathy brought the clipping in to Peter who read it quickly. "My, my!
What do you know about that? Reading this suggests that the word is out in
unmistakable terms that Kathy Smith is not to be confused with one of the
ducks in a shooting gallery. How interesting!" He looked at her
speculatively. "Kathy, how did your meeting with Donetti go last week?"

"Fine. But why do you ask?" said Kathy, looking puzzled.

"Just asking. You know," said Mahoney thoughtfully, "this supports
something rumored on the street. There are strange things going on. It
seems there are some unexpected people supporting your crusade. Remember
that stakeout that produced the 100th arrest? Honey, police weren't there
by accident. There was an anonymous tip phoned in. I think you can feel a
lot safer now!"

* * *

When Kathy arrived in Philadelphia, she was made to feel like a
princess. Cindy was waiting for her as she passed airport security and gave
her a big kiss. Two big men were waiting behind her. "They'll bring your
bags to the hotel. There is nothing you need from them right now, is
there?" Kathy shook her head. Cindy led the way down to the closer
Departures concourse and out to a waiting limousine. While the driver
remained behind the wheel, another big man was waiting to open the door for
the girls. They got in and the big car smoothly pulled away.

When Kathy had last seen Cindy two months earlier in Norfolk, she didn't
think the girl could ever look happier but now she did. She was joyous.
"Kathy, my father says I'm a big girl now, so he let me meet you in his
personal car! Look! She opened a panel behind the driver and took out a
cocktail shaker containing a clear liquid. She poured it into two glasses
containing ice and olives, and passed one to Kathy. The girl was so intent
on her task it made Kathy smile. She waited expectantly as Kathy took a
sip. "Is it all right? I've been practicing, but I have trouble getting
the amount of vermouth just right."

Kathy smiled at her warmly. She noticed that the privacy window
separating the girls from the men in the front was opaque. "Cindy, I
didn't think you could ever look happier than you did when I left you at
the airport, but you are now! What's happened?"

"Kathy, I feel joyous! I'll be with Tommy tomorrow night! You were
right, by the way. When I got home, my parents watched me carefully. I
tried so hard to move normally. I was in such delicious pain. It reminded
me of him whenever I moved! Kathy, I miss him so much when I'm in bed at
night that I hurt... I honest-to-God hurt, I want him so." Suddenly, Cindy
showed concern, "Is that sick or something... I mean... a girl shouldn't... I mean men..."

Kathy smiled, "Shouldn't like sex? Why, in hell, not? How do you feel

"Wonderful! When I met Tommy at the airport and I kissed him, I started
to feel that wonderful wetness inside. Oh God, Kathy, I can hardly wait!"

The car pulled up smoothly to the door at The Barclay. The girls alighted and went in. Cindy went straight to the elevators. She commented
that Kathy was already registered and she had her key. Cindy still had her
virtually untasted and now watery martini in her hand. She sipped it and
thumbed through a magazine while Kathy changed for the evening's rehearsal
and dinner. Kathy was back fifteen minutes later. She spun in front of
Cindy and asked, "How do I look?"

Cindy, recognizing the opportunity to get even for some of Kathy's
teasing, looked up idly and airily replied, "Okay, I guess."

Kathy's face fell. She was wearing a blue dress in a shade that exactly
matched her eyes. With her golden hair and tanned body, she thought she
looked good. Now she was crushed.

As she stood there, Cindy jumped to her feet and hugged her. Kathy
looked up and saw the wide grin on her face. "I did it! I did it!" the
girl cried. "Kathy Smith, you dish it out enough, but... You look
gorgeous, as usual. You dunce! You're exquisite, and you should know it!"

The car took them to Bryn Mawr. Although the privacy window was still
up, it was now transparent. Kathy realized there were two, with one
providing complete privacy in the passenger compartment. She saw the man in the passenger seat make a call on the car phone. As the car pulled to a
stop at the door, Kathy saw a couple waiting for them. Cindy introduced
Kathy to her parents.

Salvatore Agnelli took her hand and said, "Miss Smith, we are deeply
honored. Welcome to our home! This is my wife, Theresa." Cindy's mother stood on tiptoes and kissed Kathy on her cheek. The older woman was about
five feet two.

They entered the house and Cindy flew up the stairs to change with Kathy
moving to follow. Agnelli took her arm. "Miss Smith, please. Could I
speak to you for a few moments alone? Cynthia can take care of herself for
a few minutes." He smiled, and led the way into a book-lined study. He
carefully closed the door, seated the girl in a comfortable wing chair and
went behind his desk.

"Miss Smith... Kathy... may I call you Kathy?" Kathy smiled and
nodded. "As you probably know, Tony Donetti and I are... business
associates. We've been friends for years. Our children -- our only
children -- grew up together. Kathy, I _know_ what you did for our
children." He smiled warmly. "I _suspect_ what happened the weekend before
she came home."

Agnelli held up a hand, as Kathy blushed. "I don't want to know. I do
know that Cynthia was so happy she could have floated home without an
airplane. Please don't breathe a word of this to my wife. She would die!
And, Miss Smith, my daughter was moving rather stiffly. In one of my
businesses, I've become sensitive to the signs. Kathy, without you this
could not have happened. Our children owe their happiness to you. They
know it. They are all we have... all we live for... My daughter's
happiness is the most important thing in my life. Because of you, she is
overflowing with happiness! She is joyous! Seeing our daughter's joy
fills us with great happiness...

"I'm trying to say, Kathy, that you've made _me,_ Sal Agnelli, the
happiest man alive! Anything that you ever want, if it's in my power to
provide, you will get. That is a solemn promise. Tony gave you a number
to reach him. You can reach me through the same number and in the same

Kathy looked at the man. She realized that he was what he claimed to
be: a proud father on the eve of his daughter's wedding, rejoicing in her
happiness. _And he gives me all the credit,_ she thought. She looked at
him speculatively. "Mr. Agnelli," she began.

"Sal, please!" he interjected.

She smiled, "Sal, may I ask you a question? You know an attempt was
made on my life?" Agnelli nodded. "A man was found dead in a ditch near
Detroit. Do you know anything about that?"

Agnelli smiled. "I think I heard something about that. I wondered
about it. So violent! Has anyone bothered you since, Kathy?" She shook
her head. "I thought not," he continued. "I don't think it would be
considered a healthy activity. Now shall we join the others?"

* * *

At the rehearsal dinner that evening, Kathy was sitting at Tom's right
with Cindy on his left. She couldn't resist a dig. "Thomas Donetti," she
whispered, "would you please keep your hand in your _own_ lap. Can't you
wait just a few more hours?"

Tommy looked at her and grinned. "I'm trying! I'm trying!" He slid his
chair back so Kathy could have a clear view of Cindy. "Cindy," he said,
"Guess what?"

She looked over, "What?"

"I learned something a few days ago. Kathy may be your best friend, but
she's _my sister!"_

Cindy frowned, puzzled. "What are you saying?" she asked.

Tom grinned at his bride-to-be and at Kathy. "Hon, you know I was an
Alpha at Lafayette? Well, I learned that Kathy is an Alpha from Yale!
She's my fraternity sister. And did I ever learn a lot! She was elected
Queen of Yale College, representing the Alphas. Honey, they had this
contest -- sort of an Olympics -- in three parts: brains, athletics and
beauty. Kathy won it all! I mean, she won every single event. They're
still talking about it up there. And she's your maid of honor."

A toast had already been offered to the bride and groom when Tony
Donetti, who was hosting the dinner, stood up. "Ladies and gentlemen: I
would like to offer a toast to a young lady that many of you have heard
about but few of you have met. I'm speaking for my wife and me and for Sal
and Theresa Agnelli when I say that, were it not for this young lady we
would not be here tonight. This young lady has made an impact in Norfolk
where I come from. Single-handed, she has caused street crime to drop by
60 percent in less than one year.

"She courageously stopped a wholesale slaughter of innocent people by
killing gunmen who had already opened fire in a crowded establishment. She
escaped an attempt on her life and in the process killed the man who had
fired on her. Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in a toast to our
dearest friend, the maid of honor, Miss Katherine Smith."

Kathy sat blushing with her eyes downcast as the guests rose and warmly
applauded. She looked up and out at the crowd and realized that many of
the guests were out-of-town "business associates". She was surprised to
see expressions of understanding and respect in their faces. Suddenly,
Kathy understood. She had just been publicly taken under the protection of
the Donettis, the Agnellis, and all of their associates.

After the toast had been drunk, Kathy rose. She heard intakes of
breath, not realizing that it was a tribute to her extraordinary beauty
that many were seeing for the first time. She said simply, "Mr. and Mrs
Donetti. Mr. and Mrs. Agnelli. Thank you. I am honored to be here
tonight and deeply grateful for your hospitality and very kind words." She
sat down as applause echoed through the room.

The next morning she was alone with Cindy. The other bridesmaids had
been asked to wait downstairs. Before beginning to dress, Cindy was
standing nude, critically inspecting herself in the mirror. Kathy saw that
her loins and breasts were now tanned, although with the differences in
shade her bathing suit marks still showed. She turned slowly for Kathy's
inspection. "Do I pass? What do you think?"

"Well..." said Kathy thoughtfully, taking advantage of the opportunity
to tease Cindy for the last time, "Okay, but..."

"But what?" said Cindy with concern sounding in her voice.

"It's your left breast... It doesn't seem..."

Cindy ran back to the mirror and cupped her breasts in her hands.
Suddenly, she released them and spun on Kathy, "Katherine Smith, I hate
you!" She grinned at Kathy as she started to dress. "I may be slow, but I
am learning." *Chapter 17*

Kathy walked into Peter Mahoney's office and sat down in her usual
chair. "Pete, I have to talk to you."

Mahoney looked up startled by the serious, almost sad, tone in her
voice. He showed his concern. "Mr. Mahoney, today I am submitting my
resignation as assistant district attorney." Peter was shocked and showed
it. As he started to speak, she held up her hand. "Peter, this is hard
enough. Please don't interrupt."

Kathy was sitting upright looking at him, as she continued, "You are up
for reelection this year on the Democratic ticket. The Republican
committee in town approached me. They asked me to run against you. I am a
registered Republican, you know. They said that I have achieved a great
deal in the ten months I've been in the job. They said I'm the best-known
public official in town and have had extraordinary impact reducing street
crime. They want me to run against organized crime. Close down the
gamblers, the whorehouses, the after-hours clubs... you know, all the
targets beloved of reformers everywhere. They said I could neutralize your
position on violent crime and beat you on sin. What do you think?"

Mahoney's face was expressionless. "It makes sense. I agree with the
analysis except I'm not so sure you could beat me. Probably you could, but
so what? What did you say?"

Kathy did not lower her head. Pete could see tears form in her eyes and
start to roll down her cheeks. She ignored them. "I told them everything
I knew about fighting crime I learned from you. I said you were the most
honest, most honorable man it's ever been my good fortune to meet." The
tears were flowing in twin streams now and her voice was cracking, but she
did not lower her head. "Running against you would be the dirtiest, most
underhanded thing I could imagine. You focused on danger to the people:
violent street crime and drugs. If someone wants to place a bet, big
fucking deal! I'm not going to lose any sleep over it. I couldn't be so
two-faced! The idea of a 26-year-old girl, less than one year out of law
school, trying to run this office is absurd. I told them... I told
them... I told them to take their offer and stick it!"

Kathy couldn't go on. She just sat in the chair with her head still
upright and bawled.

Pete went around the desk, took her in his arms and could feel her
shoulders shaking from her sobbing. He continued to hold her while she
slowly quieted down. Then he helped her back to her chair, produced a box
of tissues and sat down in a chair next to her. He sat silently while she
regained her composure and dried her eyes. "What do you plan on doing,

"I live in Virginia Beach, you know. I'm even set up with an office out
there," She looked at him with a rueful little smile. "You know, lined
with the law books that every lawyer thinks he has to buy. I think it's
kind of cute... Anyway, I guess I'll try the private practice of law."

"Is there any way I can get you to change your mind?" he asked.

"No, Pete. I'm afraid not. What happened was the thing furthest from
my mind. Me? Becoming a threat to your career? It's absurd! I can't
stay Pete. I'm sorry."

"Kathy, can I tell you something? Do you remember when you came in here
for the first time? Right out of law school? I told you that I had been
doing some checking. Well, one of the guys said that you were so good you
would be able to take my job. I don't think he had just a year in mind,
but never mind. He said he thought you could, but you never would. He
said you were the most personally loyal person he had ever met. His last
words to me were, 'You're the luckiest guy alive to get Kathy Smith.'

"He was absolutely right, Kathy. You are the best thing that ever
happened to me or to this office. I am proud! You made me proud, Kathy!
If anyone had said that this office could accomplish what it has in the
last twelve months, I would have said he was crazy! But it's happened,
Kathy, and you did it." He took her in his arms and kissed her warmly.

* * *

The news of Katherine Smith's resignation stunned the city. A major
press conference was called. In addition to all the local media, the wire
services were present. In the absence of advance warning, the local tv stations were alerted by their respective network news centers to prepare a
story for possible network broadcast.

Peter Mahoney handled the press conference: "Ladies and gentlemen, this
morning I received news that shocked me and will shock you, too: Katherine
Smith has just resigned her position as Assistant District Attorney of
Norfolk County, effective immediately. The reasons for the resignation
were given to me but I am treating them as confidential. She can tell you
if she wishes. I tried to get her to reconsider, but I did not succeed.
Perhaps you will.

"I want to make another announcement. Kathy Smith has bent over
backward to give me public credit for the Dangerous Criminals project. She
claimed that I did the analysis, worked out the program and was ready to
put it into action when she started work in this office. What garbage!
When we met in this very room one year ago, _I_ was hearing it for the
first time, too. The only credit I deserve is for acting ability. I
didn't let my astonishment show... and I had the good sense to put in
charge the person who conceived the program in the first place.

"It was Kathy's program from the beginning. All of its success is hers,
not mine. The program has been running for one year. Have any of you ever
had a hint of what I just told you? Of course not! I was enjoying the
limelight, so I sure wouldn't talk! That leaves Kathy. Politics is often
a game of leaks and planted stories. Never with Kathy! She is the most
loyal, dedicated and effective public servant I have ever met or heard

"Ladies and gentlemen, Kathy Smith represents the true essence and
meaning of the term, public servant, that is all too seldom seen. I am
proud, ladies and gentlemen! She comes from the great tradition of service
in Virginia: George Washington, the Lees, and the founder of her recent
school, Thomas Jefferson. Personally, I think Mr. Jefferson is very proud
right now.

"I have been honored to be associated with this woman. You know, you
hear a lot about women's lib: how men won't give them a chance, and all the
things men have and women haven't. Some of you may not have noticed, but
Kathy Smith is a woman. She is a beautiful woman. And look what she has
done in just one year. There's one more thing. In the year she has been
in the job, she has been paid $17,500. Kathy Smith is the biggest bargain
in the history of government! My God! Did we ever get our money's worth!
Thank you!"

At this emotional moment, with tears running down his cheeks, he turned
to Kathy. Tears were in her eyes as well. He embraced her, while strobe
lights flashed like continual lightning and the tv cameras recorded it on
film. The tv news people, normally glib with instant analysis, were
stunned into silence. The shock of Kathy's resignation was coupled with
Mahoney's public announcement giving her credit for the entire program.

The press was in a turmoil as Kathy clung to Peter and whispered, "Why
did you do it Peter? I don't want the credit."

He whispered, "I know that, but you earned it."

They faced the press. "Kathy," a tv anchor asked, "I won't ask why. I
will say -- and I think I'm speaking for everyone else here, and throughout
Tidewater -- please stay. We need you!"

Kathy stood up straight with her head high facing the press the way she
always did. Except tears were pouring down her cheeks. "Ladies and
gentlemen, thank you! I'm sorry I cannot stay in this position. Before I
leave, however, I want to thank you for all your support over the last year
which helped make our success possible. Thank you for the many personal
and professional courtesies extended to me." She tried to smile and almost
made it. "Thanks to the photographers and cameramen who kept me from
looking like a witch. Thanks to the reporters and news people who kept me
from sounding like a fool. Thank you all, very much! Good bye!"

A policeman, tears blurring his eyes, helped Kathy off the stage. She
needed the help because tears were blinding her. The cheers and applause
were ringing in her ears.

* * *

She cleaned out her desk and put the material in a box. She told Pete
she would pick it up on Monday if it was all right.

He kissed her softly. "Keep in touch, kid. We'll still be here."

Kathy couldn't face her apartment right now. She didn't want to watch
what would be on TV. She decided to swing by Charley's.

To be continued...

* * *

Comments and constructive criticism are sincerely welcome. Let me hear
from you.

*Kathy Stark* Copyright (c) 1991, 1998, 2001 by Morgan.

All rights reserved. No part may be reproduced or transmitted in any
form or by any electronic means, including photocopying, recording or by
any information and retrieval system, without the written permission of the


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