Friday, December 11, 2015

Housewives and Cheerleaders, Chapter 121

Jessica sat gazing out the train window at the dark, wintry landscape rolling by. The first rays of sunlight were just visible on the eastern horizon, marking the end of one of the strangest nights of her life. To her left, Jane was snoozing peacefully; across the aisle from them, Marie and Celeste were likewise asleep. Marie had toppled sideways such that her head was resting on Celeste’s right shoulder.

The drive from the whorehouse back to the city had been uneventful. Jessica had sat facing the rear the entire way, scanning to see if they were followed, but the roads were mostly empty and the few vehicles they did see were all headed the other way. They stopped back at the hotel just long enough to pack up and check out. Jessica assigned Jane and Marie the task of getting all their stuff together while she used the hotel phone to make an anonymous tip to the police. She hoped this would help anyone else still being held captive at the mansion.

Josie was at the front desk when they checked out, and nervously avoided meeting Jessica’s eyes. After signing off on the astronomical bill, Jessica said, “Thank you so much for the excellent service.”

Josie looked up at her now and, smiling sheepishly, replied, “It was my pleasure.”

Rocky drove them to the train station and helped them get their luggage to the curb. There were hugs and kisses all around, and Celeste embraced Rocky warmly, kissing her on both cheeks while talking to her in French.

“She says she is deeply in your debt for the way you have helped her,” said Marie. “She will never forget you.”

Rocky tipped her hat and said, “Just doing my job, ma’am.” Marie translated this phrase for Celeste, who looked at Rocky quizzically, unsure of what she meant. Everyone laughed and Celeste smiled, happy to have amused them, though not sure why.

“Come and visit us sometime,” said Jessica.

Rocky looked from her to Marie, to Jane, to Celeste, and then back to Jessica. “I might just do that.” Then she turned and went back to her place behind the wheel, while the rest of them wheeled their luggage into the train station.

* * *

As they approached their home station, Jessica roused everyone and they gathered their things for arrival. The sun was just rising over the trees to their left as they trudged to the parking lot. The air was crisp and cool, and it felt to Jessica like the beginning of a glorious new day. But she was also tired, running on no sleep at all. So she let Jane drive them home as Marie and Celeste sat in the back, Marie pointing out local landmarks, Celeste asking questions about things they saw.

About a half-hour later they pulled into the garage. Jessica breathed a big sigh of relief as she walked into the house – she finally felt safe. And with that feeling a huge wave of fatigue hit her; suddenly she wanted nothing more than to be in bed. She made a beeline for the bedroom, shedding clothes as she went and leaving a trail on the floor, and was down to her panties, ready to dive between the sheets, when she stopped short.

The bed was occupied. Janice was laying on her side, facing away from Jessica; Olivia was on her back, arms thrown back over her head. They were both naked, which just for a moment gave Jessica ideas; but really she was too tired for anything like that.

Jessica put her hand on Janice’s shoulder and rocked her gently back and forth a few times until her eyes popped open. “Oh, hi, Jess,” said Janice, her mouth stretching into a huge yawn. “You’re home.” She nudged Olivia, who blinked her eyes a few times and reflexively pulled the sheet up to cover her nakedness. She immediately felt embarrassed, like she’d been caught doing something wrong, though that wasn’t really the case here.

Noting Jessica’s state of undress, Janice felt a tingle between her legs as she thought of the threesome she assumed was coming. But instead Jessica politely asked them to vacate the bed so she could get in. Five minutes later they were dressed and on their way – though not before being briefly introduced to the enchanting newcomer, Celeste – and Jessica was fast asleep.

* * *

Jessica woke up feeling disoriented. It was already dark outside; she had slept long and hard, having all kinds of crazy dreams. As she woke, the events of the recent days started coming back to her; just for a moment she wondered if that had all been a dream too, if there really was no such person as Celeste.

Putting on a robe, she walked out into the living room, where Jane sat drinking a glass of wine and reading a magazine. Seeing Jessica, Jane put down her glass, thinking something was going to be required of her. But Jessica just walked right past her, drawn by a delectable odor coming from the kitchen.

In the kitchen she found Marie and Celeste in aprons, pots and pans everywhere, several dishes going on the stove. There was chicken and rice, and some kind of vegetable stew. Jessica tasted each and nodded her head, looking over at Celeste, who nodded back. “Bonjour,” said Celeste, and Jessica responded in kind.

Glancing at the calendar on the refrigerator, Jessica remembered that it was Christmas Eve. Time to celebrate. Inside the fridge, Marie had already put two bottles on champagne on chill; Jessica pulled one out and popped the cork. She poured glasses for everyone and handed them out, toasting their good fortune, their beauty, the future.

At Jessica’s prompting, Jane set the table, and a few minutes later they sat down to eat. Everyone was starving; the food was delicious, and they set to it with abandon, saying little until they’d had their fill. By the time everyone sat back in their chairs to breathe, both bottles of champagne were gone and there were only scraps of food left on the table.

Feeling generous, Jessica volunteered to help Jane clean up, instructing Marie and Celeste to start a fire and relax. When the kitchen was clean enough to meet Jessica’s exacting standards, she grabbed a bottle of cognac from the cupboard and headed to the living room.

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