"Last page, just initial here and sign here, please." Said the clerk with a smile.
I finished the paperwork and set the pen on the counter. I would not have been here if my partner hadn't given me that gift certificate.
"Thank you. Here is your pager. That's all there is to it. You may go now, and have a nice day!" she said as she walked away from the counter.
I know why they put her on the counter. Front office material, she was tall, blonde, and fairly attractive to most of the population. But she is not my type. She reeks of artificial personality, insincerity, and probable eating disorders and has an I.Q. score equal to the wattage of a nightlight. The owner probably was hypnotized by the wiggle and shake of her gait.
I walk out of the downtown office building and stroll back to my car.
M-I-C, K-E-Y, M-O-U-S- Click. I answer my cell phone, "Hi Honey!"
Aaron asks, "So did you do it?"
"Yes, I finally did it. I don't know what the big deal is. Why all the secrecy?" I ask.
"It is just a few legal technicalities for the big surprise."
"But why a nondisclosure agreement, waivers, and all of the releases?"
"Mostly to protect their trade secrets. You'll see. I know it seems like a hassle but the surprise will be worth it. I promise."
"Okay, but what kind of a name is Trust, Inc.?"
"Just trust me. It will be fun. I love you Tim. I have to go now. I will see you later. Bye babe." He says quickly.
"But..." I try to add but it is too late. The call ended, the line is dead. I hate it when he does that.
I get into my car and drive away. At least it is a beautiful day. It is sunny, warm and not too hot. The mountains in the distance are still lush and green from all of those April showers. I was even lucky enough to get a shady parking spot so the car is nice and cool. The shadows are getting longer.
The pager starts to go off. Beep, Beep, Beep while vibrating in my pocket. I pull over to the curb and stop. I dig it out of my pocket and scroll to the message:
IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM TRUST, INC:
THE SURPRISE IS ABOUT TO BEGIN. GO TO THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS A.S.A.P.
GAS, GUZZLE 'N GRILL CONVENIENCE STORE
CORNER OF MAGNOLIA AVE AND LINCOLN PARKWAY
THERE IS A PACKAGE UNDER THE RIGHT MOST PAYPHONE IN THE PARKING LOT.
RETRIEVE IT. AND FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS INSIDE.
This is kind of cool. I like spy thrillers as much as the next guy. So I drive quickly and carefully to the location and retrieve a manila envelope from under the payphone. I get back into my car and open the envelope.
Inside I find a bundle of papers, the coversheet says:
I want you know that everything is going to be fine. Every detail of this surprise has been taken care of. You have my permission to play along and have fun. Anything goes. Just remember that I love you. And have a great time.
Okay. So far so good, I guess. I turn the page:
Your mission is to get to the airport. Attached to the document you are reading now you will find a white security envelope and a key. Use the locker key to open locker #802 in the southeast corner of the domestic terminal. Inside the locker you will find a carryon bag with everything you need for this mission. Inside the white security envelope is a first class ticket for flight 777 to Las Vegas. Your flight is scheduled to depart the airport at 8:00 p.m. Once your flight is airborne, continue reading the attached documents.
I put down the documents and drive to the airport. I park in the long term parking ramp and take the shuttle to the terminal. I locate the locker and use the key to open it. Inside is a Cordura duffle bag. I take a quick peek inside and there is a standard shaving kit, a laptop computer, and a change of clothes. Nothing obviously illegal or dangerous, since September 11, 2001 no one is going to take any chances. So I proceed to the check-in desk and give the agent my ticket. I am a little surprised at my luck, there is no line and as the ticket agent is checking me in, I am checking him out. The security badge on his lapel says Roger. He is about 6 ft 2 inches, mid to late 20's, built like an Olympic gymnast. His suit coat obviously conceals a very hard body. Dirty blonde hair and has the most amazing blue eyes. His chiseled square chin is shaven clean and his cologne just makes my mouth is water.
"Mr. Stone, do you have any bags to check?" he says in the most endearing and attractive way, no detectable accent.
I hesitate imagining all of the nasty things we could do together, then reply. "No, I am traveling light this trip."
He nods and smiles and his fingers do some typing into his computer terminal.
"Mr. Stone, there is a minor problem with your flight. We are working on rectifying the situation, but it will be delayed for at least twenty minutes. Here is your boarding pass, if you go to gate 21. There is a door number 214 near the gate. This card will admit you to our private VIP lounge. You will be very comfortable there and I will personally notify you when your flight is ready to board."
"That sounds wonderful, Roger. Thank you very much and I look forward to seeing you there." I say as I smile and gaze at his eyes.
I take the documents from Roger and my hand grazes his hand as I do so. In an instant I have a flash of images zipping through my head and I feel as if a bolt of electricity passed through my hand when we touched. I walk away, glancing over my shoulder and exchanging eye contact again.
I proceed to the gate, passing through the security check checkpoint on my way. I locate gate 21 and find a simple door with 214, printed and written in Braille, on an otherwise blank plastic plaque, on the wall nearby.
I open the door and go inside. There is a long hallway ramping up and an airline employee sitting at a small desk.
As I get closer I realize that there is the most stunning brunette sitting at the desk. She has the dynamic demeanor of a beauty queen. Her security badge says Rachael. Reminiscent of a librarian with has her hair up in a braid, and glasses. She is extremely sexy, in a reserved, mysterious way.
She looks up and politely asks with a hypnotic sparkle in her eye, and a delicious southern drawl on her lips, "May I help you sir?"
I give her the card as I say. "Roger sent me."
She stands up to say. "Yes, Mr. Stone, I have been expecting you. This way please."
She opens a door and turns on the lights. The distant sound of the piped in instrumental version of "Send In The Clowns" fills 30-foot by 60-foot room without windows. An intricate mural is painted on the long wall, with images of historical moments in aviation history. It is beautifully illuminated by a modern low voltage suspended cable track lighting system. There is a very well stocked wet bar at one end and a partition at the opposite end of the room. Overstuffed red velvet sectional is in the center of the room with modern black lacquered end tables and a coffee table.
It is a very elegant and tastefully done room. I notice that there are some excellent gallery art books sitting on the table. There is also a buffet with a wonderful spread of pates, caviar, deli meats, cheeses, tea sandwiches, and canapés.
Rachael asks, "We try to treat our VIP passengers very well. I am sure that you will not be disappointed. Would you like a massage?"
Surprised I inquire, "You provide massages?"
Rachael replies, "Only the best, and only to please our VIP clients."
"Sure, that sounds wonderful. Where do I need to go?"
"If you would step behind the partition and put on a towel, while I set up the massage table."
I step behind the partition and there is a hot tub and a small restroom. I set down my bag, disrobe and put on a warm towel from the heated rack. I peek around the partition and I am surprised to find that Rachael has a massage table set up and the lighting is more subdued. There is a chorus of votive candles flickering gently on a nearby table. It is a very relaxing site. And the slightest hint of vanilla tickles my nostrils.
I lie face down on the table. Rachael takes my towel off and loosely drapes it over my ass. She disappears for a moment and returns wearing only an oversized terry cloth robe and a smile. She no longer has her glasses on and it is as if a turtle has come out of its shell. Gone is any hint of a librarian. In her place is a perfect goddess. She doesn't walk. She glides across the room, obviously the result of a finishing or charm school. She picks up some warm oil and pours it on my back. Then her fingers start to do their magic on my back. Her fingers magically find and work out all the knots. Then she proceeds to my legs and feet. She moves up to my head and massages my scalp. I open my eyes and see the most beautiful legs and feet through the face hole in the table. I catch a scent of delicate perfume punctuated with a hint of fragrant womanhood. I close my eyes and enjoy the massage. I am so relaxed that I drift off to sleep.
After what could have been an eternity I hear Roger's voice. "Mr. Stone. Mr. Stone?"
Groggily I reply "Yes, Roger?"
"Mr. Stone I regret to inform you that your flight has been cancelled. I have made arrangements for another flight to take you to Las Vegas. But that flight will not be ready for about an hour. You are welcome to wait here until the flight is ready."
"That will be fine. What gate will it be at?" I ask.
.... There is more of this story ...