Authors: Charles Arnold
The Penitent IV: Inner Circle
by Charles Arnold
A Pink Flamingo Ebook Publication
Copyright © 2003, All rights reserved
With the exception of quotes used in reviews, no part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, by any means, including mechanical, electronic, photocopying recording or otherwise without prior written permission of the publishers.
For information contact:
Pink Flamingo Publications
P.O. Box 632 Richland, MI 49083
Email Comments: [email protected]
For each ecstatic instant
We must an anguish pay
In keen and quivering ratio
To the ecstasy.
Two days after hearing of Abul’s death, Kathy was summoned to an appointment with Madam Khe who had taken up temporary residence in a suite of rooms at the Pittsburgh Marriot Hotel. Kathy was certain she would, at last, be sent to Mr. Satomi. It came as a shock when she realized that she still had a full year to serve under her contract to him. The six weeks in the training facility did not count toward the year of unconditional service the contract required. In addition, her beloved sister-in-law was still a prisoner in the horrible Facility and Kathy was to blame. She couldn’t even remember why she’d signed Satomi’s contract. But she was sure they would have forced her into servitude somehow even if she hadn’t signed it. And to insure her obedience, they would also have taken Mary Margaret hostage. Unless, of course, it was Mary Margaret, Mr. Satomi wanted in the first place.
When she knocked on the door of the hotel suite, Mi Jong, Madam Khe’s servant, answered. “Madam Khe see you soon. You naked under dress?”
Kathy felt herself blushing, “Yes, I assumed….”
Mi Jong crossed the room and, standing before Kathy, said, “Spread legs.” Kathy slid one foot to the side as Mi Jong reached up under Kathy’s skirt. She clicked the remote that Kathy hadn’t noticed. The cap that covered Kathy’s clitoris dropped into Mi Jong’s hand.
“You mean I don’t have to wear that hateful thing anymore?” Kathy asked in amazement.
Carefully MI Jong removed the brushes. “You wear. But no brushes,” Mi Jong said. She replaced the cap over Kathy’s clitoris and pressed the remote again. The cap made a slight click as it locked against the plate that circled Kathy’s clitoris and had been permanently fixed to her skin.
“Mi Jong, please, I need them,” Kathy pleaded. “I need the brushes.”
“No brushes. No orgasm.” She left Kathy in the middle of the ornate sitting room.
After a few moments, the bedroom door opened and Madam Khe, dressed in an electric blue chignon, entered. Kathy was once more astonished at the older woman’s beauty. She was in her mid-sixties but her skin was like polished porcelain. Her jet-black hair hung to her shoulders. She moved quickly and gracefully, her body trim, her eyes bright and knowing. She gestured toward an overstuffed chair and took one facing it. They sat across from one another in silence for several moments. Madam Khe sighed, “You are to be congratulated for your part in ridding the earth of that cowardly Neanderthal, Abul. He was a major thorn in both our sides.”
Kathy thought about the men whose deaths were somehow related to her: Abul certainly, and indirectly the young man who had come to rescue her from the Facility, and poor Uzetta and Richie. Although, she would have died to save her husband, Jeff, she couldn’t forget that in some way she was responsible for his death as well as the others. Kathy nodded and forced a tight smile, “Yes, the world is a better place without Abul in it.”
Madam Khe nodded, “I’ve asked you to come here because I have new instructions for you from Mr. Satomi.”
Kathy permitted herself a smile.
‘my training is complete, Abul is dead, and Mr. Satomi is going to send for me.’
“It’s not what you expect,” Madam Khe said. “First I want you to answer some questions. I want you to tell the truth and make your answers complete, the whole story. Do you understand?”
Kathy looked puzzled but knew better than to object, “Yes, I understand.” Kathy couldn’t imagine what she wanted to know. She knew Madam Khe was familiar with the files Satomi had been compiling about her for the past ten years or longer. Her whole history was in them. What more could she want to know?
Madam Khe leaned back and spoke softly, “Do you remember how you came to sign the contract?” She didn’t wait for Kathy to respond. “It began when you humiliated Abul who was at the time one of Mr. Satomi’s most trusted servants.” Kathy recalled the night she’d called Abul an ugly, ignorant, low-life and ordered him from her house. Madam Khe continued. “A short time before that you also humiliated a rich and powerful member of your country club and even tried to have his membership cancelled, isn’t that so?”
There was a flash of anger in Kathy’s eyes, “You mean Ruben? That horrible Simon Ruben and his lying niece, Sheila?”
“That’s the name. Tell me what happened. I understand you embarrassed him in front of your friends and his. I’ve been told you also demeaned his niece.”
Kathy bit her lip and felt her face grow red. She was determined to speak as calmly and as convincingly as she could. Obviously, Madam Khe knew about the confrontation, but appeared ready to alter the truth to suit Mr. Satomi’s purpose, whatever that might be. She took a deep breath and began, “You are right, Madam, Simon Ruben was a member of our country club. We tried to keep him out, not because he’s Jewish, but because he had a reputation as a lecher. He was also a slumlord. His housing deals made him rich at the expense of the poorest people in the community. Once, criminal charges were brought against him, but were dropped. It was also rumored that he’d been involved in child pornography.”
Madam Khe, interrupted. “Did he ever go to jail? Did he ever even have to appear in court?”
“No...no. As I said, he was rich and influential. In spite of our objections, he was given a membership in the club.”
“Describe him, Mrs. Ryan, and this niece of his.”
Kathy shook her head, remembering them, “He’s a big man, but grossly fat. His grey hair is slicked back. He has heavy jowls and a big nose. His mouth is also big and his lips are thick. He’s loud and obnoxious. I think he must be in his mid sixties. Sheila, the niece, is a skinny, shrill, demanding little liar. She tried to ruin our lives. By now, she must be around twenty or twenty-one.”
Madam Khe shook her head, “I see you don’t care for either of them. Now, the story, Mrs. Ryan. The story of how you got revenge.”
Kathy frowned, wondering where this was going. “It wasn’t revenge, Madam, not at all. Simon Ruben thought of himself as a ladies’ man. Some women tolerated him because of his money and power, perhaps a few did more than tolerate him. He was attracted to me. At the club he continually sat near me, brushed against me. Once he put his hand on my leg under the table.” She glanced away, then looking up at the older woman continued, “It was at a Fourth of July party at the club. He came over to our table and asked me to dance. Of course, I didn’t want to, but in order not to embarrass him by refusing, I accepted. On the dance floor he ran his hand up the outside of my gown and squeezed my breast while whispering in my ear that he wanted to take me to a motel and...and...”
“Oh my,” Madam Khe said, “after all you’ve been through you still have trouble saying the word. I expect the man wanted what most men who see you want. He wanted to fuck you.”
“I slapped him and called him something.”
“What? What exactly did you call this rich and powerful man?”
“I...I...said, ‘You are a filthy pig...a filthy perverted pig!’”
“And everyone heard you humiliate him?”
“Yes, I guess everyone did.”
“That would be impossible for a man like this Ruben to forget or forgive?”
“Yes, I suppose so. But...,” Kathy began to protest.
Madam Khe held up her hand silencing Kathy, “You shouted at the man in front of his friends, saying he was a pig, calling him perverted. Tell me, Mrs. Ryan, what were some of the perverted things you did at the Facility? Name them.”
Kathy shook her head in despair. Her voice dropped to a whisper, “That was different, Madam, I...I...was whipped, sometimes drugged.”
“Not always and you know it,” Madam Khe said sharply. “What kind of depraved activities did you engage in at the Facility?”
Kathy bowed her head and felt her cheeks redden, “Oral sex and anal sex,” she said.
“And much more, much worse,” the Chinese woman admonished. “I hardly think you’re in a position to call anyone a degenerate. Now, the rest of the story about this Simon Ruben and his niece.”
Kathy went on, “A few years before that time when Sheila was seventeen, she baby sat for our neighbor who was divorced. The neighbor didn’t like to drive at night especially if she’d been out drinking. Occasionally the neighbor would ask Jeff to take Sheila home. He wasn’t fond of her or the girl, but he’d do it. Sheila, the spoiled little witch, had a crush on Jeff.”
“Ah, yes, Mrs. Ryan, how often have we heard of Jeff, the good Jeff, the handsome Jeff.”
Kathy thought to herself,
‘he was good...my husband was truly a good and decent man’.
She felt the tears well up so she hurried on, “After the incident in the club Mr. Ruben and his niece concocted a horrible lie that almost destroyed us. They said that Jeff had...seduced Sheila and that they had fallen in love. She claimed that their affair had lasted for more than a year, and that Jeff was planning to divorce me and marry her. Of course it was a ridiculous lie. But Ruben has friends in high places. For a while it looked as if Jeff might lose his job. They threatened to press charges, saying he abused and endangered a minor. They threatened to put him in jail. We knew Ruben could either buy or force witnesses to say what he wanted them to say. Our friends and Jeff’s employers did not believe any of this.” She paused and shook her head finding it hard to deal with the memories of that time. After a moment, she continued, “Everyone offered all kinds of help. Perhaps when Ruben saw the amount of support behind us, he lost confidence. The whole matter went away. We tried to have him disbarred from the club, but he was able to retain his membership.”
Madam Khe, leaned forward slightly, “It might surprise you, Mrs. Ryan, to learn that Mr. Satomi and I have both been in touch with your Mr. Ruben.” Kathy squeezed her eyes shut and made a small sound. “This Ruben has told us the same story you do. Your saintly husband never gave poor Sheila the time of day. In fact, he couldn’t stand her. Rubin also told us that you hated him even before the trouble he caused you. He thinks you always felt superior to him; that you found him revolting. He also said that he’d always felt you were also strangely attracted to him.”
Kathy shook her head, “I’m surprised that he admitted to the lies they told. It’s true. My God, I was never attracted to him. I despised the man and still do.”
Madam Khe sat back in her chair and observed Kathy closely, “But, Mrs. Ryan, this man Ruben is obsessed. He’s obsessed with wanting you and he’s obsessed with wanting revenge for the way you humiliated him.”
Kathy had gone pale. She inched forward and reached out to touch Madam Khe’s hand, “Oh, please, surely you won’t...”
Madam Khe leaned toward Kathy and it seemed for a moment she might reach out to her, “I’ve learned to respect you, Mrs. Ryan, and I’d help you if I could, but you know how the system works and you know I’m totally loyal to Mr. Satomi. I’m sorry to tell you that Simon Ruben is going to have you, Mrs. Ryan. He will make you beg him to forgive you. You’re going to offer yourself to him. He’s also going to have the revenge he’s been waiting for.”
Kathy drew back, “No,” she said firmly, “no...I can’t...I won’t.”
Madam Khe frowned and held up her hand, “You can and you will. This Simon Ruben has purchased half of your contract from Mr. Satomi. You belong to him for the next six months.”
Kathy stood, her face flushed with anger, “No, that was not part of the contract…Mr. Satomi can’t sell me…I’m not one of his horses…I’m not a piece of furniture!”
Madam Khe motioned for her to sit down. When Kathy regained some composure Madam Khe spoke in an evenly measured voice, “You are exactly like one of his horses or a piece of furniture he owns. Have you even read the contract? I must remind you that your beloved sister-in-law is still at the Facility.”
Kathy glared at the woman across from her, “I refuse. I won’t be bought and sold. I’m never going to Simon Ruben.”
Madam Khe picked up the phone at her side and pressed a button. Kathy watched fearfully as she spoke, “The woman has disobeyed me. I would like you to have her sister-in-law whipped.” She listened for a moment, “Good,” she said. “I’m glad Swart is there to do it.” Before Kathy could speak, she put down the phone.
Kathy buried her head in her arms, sobbing uncontrollably. Madam Khe leaned forward, “On Mr. Satomi’s orders, I’m giving you to Simon Ruben tomorrow. After the beating your precious Mary-Margaret will receive tonight, I don’t think you will want to subject her to another one in the next few days.” She sat back, watching Kathy, “You will belong to Ruben. You will be his woman. You know what that means, don’t you?” Unable to answer, Kathy nodded.