Private Voices: Part 07

Updated on February 6, 2020
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Mike is a long-time supporter of procrastination and enjoys doing as often as he can.

The Story So Far

Janice James is a Private Detective haunted by the death of her son and a fractured psyche, forcing her to see her son Brandon as well as others. After a ceremony to honor their late son, Janice and her ex-husband Bill prepare to live together again. Janice’s assistant, a young woman named Jennifer Gordon, known as JG while happy to see them together now must find a way to work around the new awkwardness.

Janice was hired to help a man named Stanley Franco find out why his wife Ava is fighting a divorce. During the investigation, she stumbled onto a unique counterfeiting scheme designed to infect scanning machines allowing the user access to a company's funds. When her client was murdered, Janice turned her case over to the local police. She contacted someone from the secret service with help from her mentor, a former police officer named Sean. In the process, she found herself being watched by the FBI and Ava, a woman that isn't who she appears to be.

Ava took a small motel room in Green, Ohio, hoping to regroup, knowing if she did doesn’t fulfill her contract, she will be killed. She was hired to spread the counterfeit money around, allowing her employers to have access to banks and other large companies.

Part Seven

Samuel Saunders was a seven-foot-tall plus African American with shoulders that were almost too wide to fit past the doorframe. Sam was used to the stares as well as the jokes. He was forty years old and was the first to know about it when it rained. JG showed him to the conference room where he sat at the table, making the furniture look like it was child-size. About a minute later, Janice came in. She did the usual introductions with her hand disappearing into his as they shook.

Janice said, “well, Mister Saunders, how can I help you?”

Samuel looked at his hands and said, “I love my wife… most of all, you have to understand that I love her with every inch of my heart.”

Janice waited for the “but.”

Samuel looked up at Janice and said, “I think that someone is blackmailing her. She did some things in her past that could hurt her in her work and… well... I think they are using that for their own gain.”

Janice asked, “and she doesn’t know you are here?”

Samuel told her everything he knew as well as giving Janice his wife’s schedule and as much information as he could. When he was done, Samuel looked a little better like a weight was lifted. On the way out, Samuel came face to the top of Bill’s head.

Samuel looked at Bill then said, “Bill James, it’s been a few years.”

Bill smiled then said, “yeah, I think maybe eighteen or something like that.”

While trying not to open the subject, Samuel asked Bill, “so how is that wife of yours? Maybe we could meet up and have dinner or something?”

Bill pointed to Janice, who was in Samuel’s shadow and said, “well, you just met her.”

Janice quickly replied, “no, he’s meeting with Janice James PI.

She then put out her hand and said, “nice to meet you. I’m also Bill’s wife, Janice.”

No one bothered to say that they were divorced. Samuel gave a warm smile that lit up his face and seemed to take the worry away for a second or two.

He said, “no, my dear, we are family.”

He went past her hand and hugged her. As he did this, Janice remembered the name from Bill’s stories from the foster home he grew up in.

Janice sat down at her desk with her laptop and opened a new file. Client Saunders, Samuel SS25.5.2015. Her client codes were the client’s initials, and the date they hired her. Janice typed, “The client has hired me to find evidence that his wife is being blackmailed for a past arrest that could affect her employment with a new charter school. The client just wants proof with no further action.” Using a spreadsheet, Janice worked out the expenses of such a job as well as what actions should be taken. Her first job would be to place surveillance equipment in the house as well as in the subject’s car, and place of business. She would then follow her for a few days learning her routine as well as noting any deviations. Janice didn’t want to tell Sam that, in most cases, the talk of an affair was less blackmail, more willing participant. Sitting on her desk was a client file SF17.6.2014. Stanley Franko was an angry man with a chip on his shoulder and a wife up to no good, but he didn’t deserve what happened to him.

Margaret Alicia Hester-Saunders was a beauty that seemed to be lit by movie lights everywhere she went. Margaret was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her father was a Quaker from rural Penn. and her mother was from the Dominican Republic. When her father died, she and her mother moved to Philadelphia to be close to her family. She was six-years-old at the time. Margaret met Samuel in college, where he was working on a degree in engineering, and she was in the education program. They married while in college and moved to the Firestone Park neighborhood, where he went to work for a mold making company. She went to work for a charity then eventually a charter school ran by a Christian ministry. Their house was one of the old mansions built when the rubber industry was king in Akron. Margaret liked how their home was close to places where she could still volunteer. This became more important to them both after they found out they couldn’t have children. They fostered three children who see them as their parents and see them often. Together they built a life that was worth living. But all that was just on the surface.

After a week, the FBI stopped following Janice as she watched Margaret go from work to the gym then her many charities. In that week, Janice never saw anything amiss with Margaret that would have led Samuel to think she was in trouble. About the time Janice was willing to call it a case and stop billing Samuel, Margaret did something different. Her usual Tuesday was work, gym, and the park, but this time, she went from work to the highway. A twenty-minute drive led them to Steve’s Motel in Green. A door opened at it was the principal of the charter school. Gregg Allen was in his fifties with a full head of white hair and a beard that would have made him a good Santa if he wasn’t pencil-thin. Using a laser microphone, Janice recorded the events in the room.

A male voice, “did you write up those TT225 reports yet?”

Then the sounds of a zipper and what could have been clothing coming off.

Margret said, “Could we not talk about the school while we do this?”

The male voice, “you’ll talk about what I want you to talk about when I want to talk about it.

Then the sounds of what was most likely oral sex.

The male voice said, “ok, I’m ready, get on the bed on your knees.”

Then a smacking sound that was also clear as to what it was. After about twenty minutes of sex sounds and crying, it was clear Margaret didn’t want to be there.

Ava looked out her window and saw Janice, who seemed to be watching another of the small shacks that served as motel rooms. She watched the watcher watching a room. A dark-skin woman came out and left. After she left, two men came out. One of the men was old with a white head of hair and a matching beard while the other one looked like a teenager. The older man kissed the teen on the lips in a move that was just wrong to Ava. The man she named Anorexic Santa was in a suit with a tie while the teen was in a stained pair of boxers that were turned inside out.

When Santa left, Janice got out and planted something that looked like a garden gnome facing the room. Ava knew this was a camera with a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. Janice drove away, seemingly to try and follow Santa. Ava made a note in her head about the camera and thought about how she could disable it without being seen. While she did this, another car pulled near the room with the teen. It was another man. This guy could have been an Elvis impersonator with slicked-back hair and sideburns. He went in and about an hour later came back out, got into his late-model Honda Civic and left. About an hour later, another man walked out of the room. It was too dark for either Ava or the camera to see his face.

Janice caught up with Gregg Allen at a long light just before he got onto the highway. She followed him to the charter school, where he went into an office near the front door. He pulled out a camera and plugged it into a computer and watched a video of what had to be the nastiest thing she had ever seen. Using the link she installed in the school’s system, Janice copied the video of this man taking what looked like a teenage boy from behind while the teen had sex with Margaret. The camera was from an angle, meaning the camera was most likely on a table or dresser. Janice started the video from the beginning, where she could see how the audio, she had recorded matched the video with Margaret on her knees going down on Allen. He then told the boy to go to his knees. Margaret was crying as this happened. Then she saw the face of Allen, who also didn’t seem to want to be there. Janice said to herself, “something doesn’t add up?”

© 2019 Michael Collins aka Lakemoron


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