When Judge Carlson calls, I always know that the job is going to be interesting, and when he called me this time in the dead of night I just knew that this particular case is going to be 'unusual'. He had the talent for pulling the one 'odd ball' court filing out of a stack of about 100 other nearly identical ones, that seemed to have 'special features' of interest to him.
The judge is a great guy and has given me a lot of business over the years and I've learned to trust his 'nose for mischief'. If he thought something "stank" it almost invariably did. He wasn't the best Federal bankruptcy judge in the State of New Hampshire for nothing, even if he always did have a lousy sense of time. Just because he read case briefs until 3AM every morning didn't mean everyone would be awake and eager to chat too.
"Harlan, what do you know about Flair Aviation?" He asked me. I didn't know much, but I'd heard the name before and recited what I could remember.
"Started up right after World War II by Avery Flair, an Army Air Corp pilot and a bunch of his wartime grease monkey maintenance friends. They decided to design and build small commercial and military transport planes and found a nice niche market until the late 1980's. They've had some hard luck since then, supposedly. He died a few years back when his private plane crashed didn't he? They're up north in the White Mountains somewhere ... not a great place to be flying planes if you ask me. Since you're asking me about them I assume they've filed for bankruptcy?"
"Yes, a Chapter 7; it looks like they want to close up shop for good. They've been mostly shut down already for the last 2-3 years since the son-in-law that was running things died in a crash while testing one of their latest prototypes. Can you be in my office at 9 a.m. tomorrow morning and be prepared to drink a lot of coffee?"
Sure, not a problem at all, especially since the Judge only bought Jamaican Blue Mountain and had a yuppie $1000 coffee machine in his office to brew it in. It was amazing how many folks routinely 'just stopped in to say hi' each day also grabbed a cup of his coffee while they were there.
The "War Session" that Friday morning was long, involved and very productive. Together with a couple of US Attorneys, a senior assistant to the State Attorney General, and a junior prosecutor from the office of the Attorney General of the US that was a genius at sniffing out traces of fraud, we sat until early evening reviewing all of the filed bankruptcy documents, and all agreed with each other. Something did 'stink', but we couldn't put our fingers on it. The company seemed to absolutely haemorrhage money its last couple of years. Fraud? Incompetence? Plain old vanilla Misapplication of Funds? No one could tell for sure.
A conference call with the FAA accident investigators responsible for the inquiries into both plane crashes was both enlightening and futile. They were both indeed "a bit suspect", but had been at the end attributed to 'pilot error', a 'possible fuel contaminate' and 'poor flying conditions' for Avery Flair's crash in 1989, and both "engine failure" and 'pilot error' for the death of his son-in-law, Donald Lloyd Wright a few years ago in 1995. But for each case the investigators did have their doubts and "sabotage' did weigh heavily in each of their minds ... they just couldn't prove anything. Both cases were considered "closed, pending future evidence".
The 1995 crash of Don Wright and two other company employees was in an especially hard to reach area of the mountains and bad winter weather had prevented the investigator from spending more than 45 minutes total at the crash site, most of which was already snow covered. By spring his investigation budget had been exhausted and his supervisor had 'more important' cases for his investigation time, and so the case had been reluctantly closed.
This was about par for FAA civilian crash investigations. Chalk them up to pilot error unless a big fat smoking gun could be otherwise found. The White Mountains are kind of a strange place to begin with, and are known for their suddenly changing winds and other erratic meteorological phenomena. Plane crashes in the area are not uncommon, and often very hard to get to for a proper forensic post-crash examination. Often, the very hard mountain stone scatters the wreckage so widely upon impact that reassembling the wreckage is nearly futile and not FAA cost effective for small 'personal' accidents that don't involve commercial passengers.
Like I thought earlier, it wouldn't be my choice for a place to spend your life flying planes - especially brand new experimental and unproven planes. Avery Flair was a different kind of character though and had a set of balls bigger than most folks. Certainly things went down hill fast for his company after his death.
The court had already approved an independent third-party "Bankruptcy Manager" for Flair by the name of Steve Kreifelt, who was now in charge of all daily operations and expenses and responsible for liquidating all of the remaining company assets. I would be assigned to work under him 'theoretically', but in actuality I would be directly working for the US Bankruptcy Court - District of New Hampshire, with a peculiar dual reporting to the State's Attorney General's office. The judge was pulling out all of the stops for this one,
My job was to 'find the fraud and probable multiple homicides' that this case reeked of, and I was given signed Court Orders and Warrants giving me vast legal powers to conduct my investigation and an operating budget more than sufficient to track down any lead I felt was promising. I did get some interesting last minute candid advice from the Judge and the senior Assistant to the Attorney General for the State of New Hampshire.
"The Governor", I was told, "is watching this case closely and has a 'personal interest' in it." He was a longtime friend and hunting and fishing buddy of Avery Flair's, and wanted Flair Aviation 'saved' if it was at all possible, for 'Melissa's sake' if nothing else." Also at least three different US Senators were showing an interest in this case as well, each citing national security reasons for keeping Flair functional, if at all possible. If I needed anything to successfully complete this investigation I was to have it. Penny pinching (always a necessity in some of my more normal jobs) was not even to be considered an option. If I could find 'Avery's killer' every cent in the Federal and State Treasury was 'available for my use'.
I had my orders now and I had every conceivable tool at my disposal to do my job, and I was now chomping at the bit to get to work. This was what I did best, forensic accounting, and I was good enough at it that I had been able to work for myself as a 'consultant' for about 5 years now. I had a growing stable of private corporations that I did 'flash audits' for, and I was getting an increasing amount of work from the Bankruptcy Courts. Usually involving fraud or possible 'fiduciary mismanagement' cases like this one.
I phoned my new 'boss' Kreifelt, and made arrangements to meet him bright and early Saturday morning at a little bed and breakfast in the small town of Berlin, which was close to Flair's factory. I was told that "the path had been cleared for me" and that he understood that I would be bringing along a few friends.
This was an understatement. I'd made about five very productive phone calls already this morning before calling him and assured him we'd all have a very busy, but hopefully productive weekend.
The drive from Concord up to Berlin, nestled up in the White Mountains, wasn't especially fun in the dead of night even in the nice early summer weather we'd been having and took longer than I had expected. I was already pooped when I checked into my B&B and somehow found a way to shut my brain off from thinking about the case long enough to get a few quality hours of sleep.
It was going to be a very long weekend.
Bright and early at 9 a.m., Steve arrived and I introduced myself, Harlan Hartley, to him and he and I had a long strategy session over breakfast. The pathway had indeed been well cleared in advance for me, Steve had thrown 'a fit' over the rodent problem in both the corporate offices and at the manufacturing plant saying that he 'couldn't sell this dump' with mice running around everywhere. He had shut everything down (not that much was happening anyway) and sent everyone home with orders not to return until Monday until the exterminators were done. In fact the exterminators were 'on-call' now and just waiting for the go-ahead to start their pest treatment, but Steve and I had some fun prepared that would happen first.
He also commented that he had 'orders from the Court and above' to drag his feet as much as possible to give me time for my investigation, and that he was encouraged to make as many enemies as possible and try to stir up as much trouble as he could while he was there to be my 'lightning rod'. Angry people in this business often make mistakes, and we were hoping for a lot of them.
About 10:30, my other critical team player for the opening act of our drama arrived on stage with his supporting cast of actors and actresses, all hungry after several hours on the road, so a second breakfast was enjoyed by all as we prepared our final weekend battle plan of action.
The plan was simplicity itself since I had no budgetary impediments. Timothy Rogers, IT forensic guru (better known to his friends as "Tim the Enchanter") had gathered his full staff of hackers, server wizards and telecommunications 'phreakers', and every piece of electronic equipment at Flair was going to get modified to monitor and report via the Internet everything that either had happened or would happen. Server data backup tapes going back years would be duplicated and analyzed, every email that had ever been sent from their MS Exchange Server would be examined, and every computer in the company would have a new hardware addition that would secretly key log and monitor every action done.
Getting and maintaining remote access to so many computers would have crippled their existing fractional T-1 Internet connection, so we replaced their bland service with a fiber upgraded T-3 connection that would give Tim all of the bandwidth he'd ever need going both up and down to do all of his playing with. Naturally all telephone calls were now going to be monitored too, and a new piece of hardware was added to the central PBX that saved a copy of every call to one of the server hard drives, for one of Tim's staff to download and analyze.
Yes, I had valid Court Orders and Warrants for all of these 'searches' and more. The good Judge had been very busy and the State Attorney General also knew exactly what I was going to be up to. Almost never did I have these resources to conduct an investigation and often had to build a fraud case with far, far less. It was nice this once to have the full power of the government behind me and I was hoping this would gain me more high profile cases to investigate in the future.
With the budget we had for this project there was little need for subtlety - we decided early to go in hard and fast and right for the throat. Everyone wanted this case done quickly and instead of a normal grinding investigation that could last at least six months or more, we were all hoping to be 'done' within about six weeks.
All of this great fun took the next 36 hours to accomplish and by Sunday evening we had released our genuine exterminating crew to go forth and vanquish their rodent foes, while telling them to be 'extremely thorough and move every piece of equipment that they could'. We hoped that this new massive disruption of every work area would camouflage the fact that our IT crew had been working in every office all weekend long. In fact they didn't finish their spraying and bait planting until mid-afternoon Monday and already "senior management" was screaming about the disruption to their office work and schedules. Good!
Late Monday night I got a brief call from Tim saying that everything was looking good and that all of the data from everywhere was mostly downloaded and ready to be analyzed by his team. Early indications were 'interesting', but he'd need at least another week of work before he would even offer some 'preliminary' conclusions. Plus all of the "real fun" wouldn't start until tomorrow anyway, and we had a good laugh over that.
The real fun always started when your quarry began to suspect that 'something was up' and would (hopefully) start to panic just a bit and begin to try to cover their tracks so to speak. By watching what computer files and emails suddenly got deleted this would give you a roadmap to what names and past activities were deemed sensitive. Like a spotlight, this would show us exactly where to concentrate our searches and where to best concentrate our investigative resources. We didn't have long to wait.
Tuesday, being the first real work day since the closure, Steve started things right off with a bang and introduced me as his new financial assistant who would be helping him review the financials. And then at the end of the meeting he casually dropped the bombshell "oh, by the way, some State accounting folks (and an IT guy or two) working for the court would be coming probably sometime early next week to get some copies of all of the financials." Hehe.
Steve spent the rest of the day perfecting his "bastard act" and harassed everyone asking for old (randomly selected) financial records that he would pretend to be looking over with a fine toothed comb, but in actuality was paying little attention to them. Everything "on paper" we were sure was pretty much bogus anyway and when Tim told us what old financial records started to get deleted or "revised" then we would know exactly which documents to home in our search on.
Steve also made a point of noticeably yelling and screaming at me as much as he did everyone else so that I would not be seen as 'his creature' - he made a superb lightning rod. I did my part by acting harried and annoyed at my 'new job' and started muttering about quitting when I could afford to in a week or two and started to get to know my rogues gallery of suspects.
First at the top of the suspect list was Thomas Watson, CEO, MBA, etc. He was a college crony of Don Wright and was brought in be to his assistant when Don started taking over some of the daily operations of Flair after his marriage to Flair's daughter, Melissa in 1988. The timing was certainly suspicious, his buddy marries the boss's daughter and then less than a year later the boss dies in an odd plane crash. Buddy gets the company, and his friend gets instantly promoted into a fat executive position (with an executive compensation package far above normal industry standards). Now after Don's equally suspicious death he was in charge of everything, but like his predecessor spent much of his time on the golf course at his exclusive country club. If anything bad was happening, it was happening 'during his watch'. If fraud charges were going to be filed, the odds were that his name would be on top of the list.
Next on my watch list was his own crony and school chum Robert Baker. He joined the company nearly immediately after A.F.'s death to be their new CFO and head accountant, replacing a long-time employee who had been apparently 'invited to take early retirement'. No bets that if any books had been cooked, this was the guy that had done them. It took just one glance into his office to tell that this guy really enjoyed the 'good life' and odds were he spent every dime of his legitimate salary and more besides. I had hired some outside investigators to work on a review of every one of my suspects personal and family finances, but it was Bob's that my fingers were itching to get a hold of first.
Natalie Thomas, also a college friend of our cast of rogues, was in theory the Director of Plant Operations, but in the first week I was there I never saw her once leave the corporate offices, let alone set any foot into the manufacturing and maintenance facilities. She lived on the telephone and didn't seem to use her computer or email much at all. I already had an excellent idea that her personal finances were a mess also, particularly since our weekend investigations had revealed that she kept cocaine right in her top desk drawer and had a number of carelessly filed motel receipts for a notorious hot sheet 'no- tell motel' on the far side of Berlin. She was apparently married to a non Flair employee, but had been notoriously unfaithful to him. It didn't take us long to discover that she had multiple affair partners which primarily included her Assistant (who actually did all of her real work for her), and even Tom occasionally. Her main paramour it seemed was Bob though, and they met twice a week at minimum for 'nooners'.
Her Assistant Jasper was a relative new hire to the company and had been in no particular position of any authority until after Don's death, and Natalie had promoted him far ahead of senior staff members. Once again, offering the incumbent early retirement to get him out of the way. I was starting already to see a pattern. The rumors and innuendo among the rank and file employees seemed spot on. Jasper was just Natalie's pretty boy-toy and he in turn delegated all of his work to the plant department supervisors. He was certainly not the criminal mastermind we were looking for, but he could have been a useful tool. He certainly had maintenance access to the ill-fated prototype jet crash that claimed Don's and two other lives.
Rachel Thompson was a well-preserved and quite attractive lady about in her late 30's, like me. She was the long-time Executive Secretary and had been with the company for about fifteen years. In theory she should know every single dirty secret of the company and know exactly where all of the bodies were buried. In practice, she was much less help but showed a sincere interest in being of help to me any way she could. Technically, she was also now my Administrative Assistant as well.
Rachel didn't fit well as a good suspect for any of the mischief that was going on, largely because her late husband Phil Thompson had been the Chief of Maintenance and was one of the two passengers in Don's ill-fated flight. Every piece of scuttlebutt I obtained from the friends and coworkers of her late husband suggested that theirs had been a happy marriage (she often after her 'day job' spent long evening hours with her husband with both of their heads into disassembled aircraft engines) and had taken the sudden death of her spouse "very badly indeed".
There was no secret lover on the side, and she had no apparent motive nor was there any financial benefit to his death, they each only had the minimum basic company paid life insurance policies as they were both relatively young. She had also remained an exceptionally long time in her period of mourning, and still apparently had little or no interest in dating let alone any thoughts of remarriage.
Rachel had a 19 year old niece named Jennifer that came in once or twice a week to do some filing and other light office work for her. She was certainly not a suspect, except that I suspected every male in the company wanted to give her some filling of their own. Cute as a button and as pretty and perky as a late teenager can get. She wore extremely short skirts with only micro-thong panties and tight midriffs that displayed her flat stomach, dangling belly piercing and most of her tramp stamp tattoo on her lower back. The fact that her breasts were most definitely braless also contributed to the view.
She seemed to be a shameless exhibitionist and took great delight in bending over deeply at the waist to put files away in a lower drawer that constantly exposed most of her ass (and barely covered shaved twat) to everyone. She seemed 'very' familiar and flirted shamelessly with both Tom and Robert but didn't go off on a 'nooner' (or lengthy trip to the supply room) with either of them, at least on that particular day when I first saw her, but everyone was pretty busy that first Friday and I suspected that the normal 'fun' was on hold.
The only other interesting character was an old assistant plant manager named Abercrombie who wore a badge with Employee No. 3 on his old torn and greasy coveralls. He looked to be in his mid-70's and was accounted by all to be a "delightful old coot". He had been Avery's aircraft maintenance sergeant during the war and was one of the original founding members of the company. He was 'semi-retired' but still seemed to be around at least forty hours every week. His wife had already passed on, and his work was his 'home'.
It was no secret at all that "management had wanted him gone for years", but when you are one of the founders of a company you can often stick your tongue out at the young whippersnappers who now want to run things their way. And Abercrombie did, often. He couldn't be fired - he had a signed contract from A.J. guaranteeing "lifetime employment" and he was darned determined to take it literally and "die in the saddle". This was the real man who knew where all of the bodies were buried; but he wasn't ever going to ever talk around me. I heard a hundred delightful stories of the "old days", but anytime I asked anything about recent events he would get sly and evade my every question.
No other sources stepped forward and 'volunteered' anything to me. After the end of the workday on Friday I started to sum up some of my early conclusions about the company, and at the very top of my list for item #1 I wrote "Us vs. Them".
The new management seemed to have nothing but contempt for the rank and file workers, many of them with over 20 years of company service. The employees in return hated every single member of their management and 'didn't trust any of them with so much as a burned out match". There was no communication, and every instruction or notification of a problem took at least 5 steps to move up and down the chain of command, usually taking days. A.F. had run the company personally for decades and knew every single employee and their spouses by their first name (and probably all of their children's names as well). He spent far more time with his workers than he ever did behind his big desk. Since his death, management remained 'isolated in their ivory tower' and didn't seem to care particularly what their employees were doing.
As a result, there was no 'loyalty' whatsoever between workers and management. Unannounced layoffs had been common, with long time workers never hearing that they had been let go until they showed up for work the next day. Technically, I was viewed as part of the new management and most lips were tightly sealed around me no matter how hard I tried to play "the outsider". I definitely got the impression that A.F.'s daughter Melissa still held much of the old-timers loyalty, even though she was very much out of the management picture.
I got the impression that while she controlled a considerable amount of the company stock, she had lost out on a proxy fight to gain control of her father's company after the death of her husband. The shareholders preferring to keep the more 'experienced' management team intact despite several years of poor financial performance. I did overhear an unguarded comment that suggested that Melissa and Rachel were long-time close friends, but when I casually asked Rachel if she "knew Flair's daughter well, and what was she like" she froze right up and would only state that they "didn't talk much these days".
No one came creeping up to me offering to share any of their pearls of wisdom or seemed likely to do so. That's ok; Tim was hinting that he had a lot of good news to offer at our next big conference call with him on Saturday. Some of my other hooks in the water were also starting to catch fish, some of them nice big ones.
Actually the fun began late Friday evening when my cell phone went off during dinner. It was Tim reporting that a "mysterious virus" was suddenly hitting most of the computers and servers in the company. An especially nasty one that usually permanently wiped out most hard drive data, even when cleaned by an IT professional. Our hidden cameras in a few strategic places also revealed that it was Bob Baker, Natalie Thomas and their useful idiot Jasper, hand installing this virus on every management computer in the building from floppy disks. Bob could also be clearly seen with a big magnet degaussing most of the old server backup tapes so that they would have errors when used to 'restore' the lost company data.
Sorry Bob ... just a bit too late for that. Hehe.
This had been an event that we had planned for (and often seemed to happen at suspect companies just before the expected arrival of auditors), and frankly it didn't hurt any of our activities in the slightest. We had all of the "Before" information that we needed and a weeks worth of the "After" changes and deletions that probably covered 99% of all of the sensitive documents that we had been tracking.
Friday night had one other event worthy of note. Rachel had stopped by to visit me at the B&B "spiffed up" for the night, and like her slutty niece was showing off to me a fair amount of interesting cleavage and nice creamy soft thighs. Sitting at a small little local bar down the street we hoisted a few and each of us began in increasingly unsubtle manner to pump the other one for information.
"She was a smart girl", she said, "and knew that I did not fit in with either the corporate management, or the current court ordered bankruptcy management. I was 'something else', but what?" I played it as vague as I could, and said I could indeed prove that Steve Kreifelt was my boss and signed my paycheck, but this didn't fool her a bit, and she soon itemized all of the real likely suspects.
Out with it, who do you REALLY work for? The Bankruptcy Court, the County DA's office, the Attorney General's office, the Feds or the Fraud squad?" The fact that I couldn't come up with any convincing alternatives pretty much sealed it in her mind for "all of the above". She made a fairly clumsy seduction attempt to get me into bed and hopefully get more answers during 'pillow talk', but fortunately she was indeed quite out of practice with the whole modern dating game and I begged off with a "real bad headache from all of Steve's screaming today" and made my escape before I could talk myself into getting a better look at her nipples, which from the pokes in the front of her dress must have been magnificent.
Several things about my various conversations with Rachel were beginning to bother me, and I made a last minute phone call that night about arranging another conventional wiretap or two to our existing list and getting an immediate copy of her cell phone records. She was definitely suspicious and fishing for information, but I didn't think it was for just herself. I wanted to find out fast who really had her loyalties and who she was trying to protect.
Saturday we had our long awaited major conference call with all of my teammates huddled together. It had been a very productive week for everyone, and it was obvious that 98% of our work was already done, and that the State, Local and even Federal attorneys would soon be very busy and for a good long while. It would be impossible to give proper coverage to the wild events of our 4-1/2 hour long meeting as each player laid their cards out on the table, but I could quickly summarize most of the gory details in just a few bullet points.
The CEO Thomas Watson was a clueless idiot, and while he had not actively participated in any of the schemes to defraud the company, he had signed his name onto an awful lot of fraudulent financial documents. He lived within the means of his salary, but would probably lose most of his assets when sued for "Corporate Mismanagement" of a clear and blatant kind. He wouldn't go to jail probably, but the bankruptcy estate could easily recoup several million dollars here with civil lawsuits.
Robert Baker and Natalie Thomas, along with their flunky Jasper, had been involved in actively defrauding Flair even before Avery Flair's death. I had true financial records now that I could compare with their fabricated ones. The extent of the theft was mind-boggling, over $40 million in the 1990's alone. We had the name and accounts from the caches of their web browsers to their hidden bank accounts, and this provided ample proof of numerous fraudulent interstate and international financial transfers.
These folks weren't going to get a slap on the hand and 'Club Fed', at least two of them seemed heading for some major penitentiary time, not to mention the financial recovery of the stolen assets. My every day and evening would be busy for the next month precisely documenting where every cent was stolen from and how it was done. A piece of cake, but it would be a lot of paperwork.
With the current decline of the company and imminent bankruptcy, there was much less to siphon off these days, but our fraudsters found new ways of generating revenue for themselves. In particular, they had friendly 'hand-shake deals' with at least two of Flair's primary civilian and military project competitors to keep Flair products out of certain competitive bids for lucrative government and military contracts during the last five years. In addition, there was a lovely email paper trail of documented payments from both competitors totaling $5 million cash to Robert as a reward for steering Flair into Chapter 7 Bankruptcy with a promise of another $10 million each, once the official and final court ordered closure was announced. This nice little piece of blatant interstate fraud greatly interested our Fed players, and promised huge possible civil settlements to Flair as a result.
The murder investigations were not quite as cut and dried. All of the early evidence pointed to Robert and Natalie as the culprits for Avery Flair's death, but there was no smoking gun. We now had expert independent crash investigators with full aviation forensic teams on the site of both crashes, but we couldn't expect a miracle or a "smoking gun" at this very late stage. Successful prosecution seemed doubtful unless we could get either Robert or Natalie to confess or rat out each other in return for reduced charges. Possible, but not 100% guaranteed.
Donald's murder seemed a complete mystery. He was a willing participant in the frauds, thus giving Robert and Natalie motive to remove one of their partners and thusly gain a much bigger share of the loot, but it didn't quite fit snugly. Their emails from this period suggested that they privately thought to each other it was "probably just an accident" and just blessed their good fortune.
Rachel did not seem to be involved in any way with any of the fraudulent activities, but we now discovered her secret mistress that she was doing her own private snooping for - Melissa Flair. They were phoning each other and having long conversations nightly it seems. M elissa herself seemed to be 100% in the clear, but she was now being examined under the Fed and State legal microscope just on principle. Despite owning about 40% of the company shares she had absolutely nothing to do with its management and had apparently been working behind the scenes to organize a share holder's revolt to throw out the corrupt mismanagement the company had suffered under since her father's death.
She was still considered a 'very possible suspect' for the crash that killed her husband, as it was common knowledge that the two of them did not get along well. Donald was a noted philanderer and before his death there were strong rumors that divorce would soon be in the works and she wasted little time afterwards in retaking her maiden name.
Together we compiled some length lists of former long-time employees that had been 'encouraged to leave' in the last few years, but several of the key ones we most especially wanted to speak with had seemingly disappeared off of the face of the earth and it would take time to locate and question them. We were certain that these witnesses could help fill in any holes in our investigation.
That summed up the entire meeting pretty nicely. The Fed and State folks had plenty now to start their own grinding investigations and I had given Judge Carlson enough info to allow him to move the bankruptcy into "reorganization" rather than just strictly asset liquidation, if he was so inclined. It was decided to keep the operation going for at least another week, and maybe two just to glean a bit more information and maybe hopefully gain more incriminating information against our suspects. They were all going to be watched with a close eye and flags kept on their financial accounts. Even if they decided to run, they wouldn't have a cent of their ill-gotten funds to do it with.
Feeling quite virtuous, and not ready for a long night of analyzing and contrasting the true and fraudulent financial statements yet, I headed downstairs to see if there was any chance of a late dinner. There wasn't, but I was referred to a nice local diner down the street that stayed open late on Saturday nights where I found both a great meal and discovered that someone had followed me there from the B&B. I leisurely finished my dinner and lingered long over dessert and coffee and my watcher seemed to do the same. To remove any doubt of coincidence, I then went to a local watering hole and watched the last few innings of the UNH Wildcats baseball game while nursing a beer or two, and sure enough my follower soon joined me.
As stalkers go, she wasn't at all bad looking. She seem to be a very decorative gal in her early 30's who hadn't skimped one little bit of her regularly scheduled maintenance at every 10,000 miles or so. She had long gorgeous chestnut hair that she was now making sure was kept quite away from the front of her cleavage displaying dress and she seemed to be nursing a few drinks of her own while debating over something in her mind. She appeared to be a stranger but was definitely not cruising for action because she tersely declined every male that approached to offer and buy her a drink. She was waiting on someone or something, and I guessed it was "me". I gathered my own nerves together, thought out a quick game plan and abandoned the Wildcats to their inevitable losing fate, and walked over next to her.
I ordered another beer from the bartender, but this was just to give her the opportunity to speak to me first, since I was standing right next to her. It worked, because she took a deep breath herself and introduced herself as "Alice", and that she could use a rum and coke refill if I was inclined to buy a lady a drink, and she would be more than happy to repay this generous gesture with some conversation. I cheerfully accepted her offer and we moved to the farther corner from the television set to talk.
I knew exactly who she was, I had seen a photo of her earlier, but I was going to let her play out her game for now.
We made a lot of small talk, and I kept to my cover story about "just being here locally very temporarily to help with some financials over at Flair". She mentioned that she lived mostly out of town now, but was back visiting a friend or two in the area and she mentioned that she used to have several family friends who worked at Flair. "Really?" I said, and she off-handedly mentioned a few names; one of them was William Tucker, the former Director of Plant Operations before Natalie.
We very much wanted to talk to him badly, and I hinted as boldly as I dared that I'd heard a great number of interesting stories about him and I'd love to take him to dinner or out for a drink sometime. Alice shied away a bit at this, but vaguely hinted she could look at some old Christmas Cards to see if she had an address.
The next two hours were spent in casual but increasing engaging conversation. She was a delight to converse with, and had the rare art of being able to freely speak exactly what was on her mind, mincing no words but still being humorous, polite and always lady-like. I enjoyed ever minute I spent with her and when I mentioned at last that I thought I needed to get back to the B&B for the night, she dithered but for just a moment and then looking me right in the eyes, asked if "I was in the mood for some company tonight and maybe a bit more conversation in the morning."
I smiled and gave her a gentle kiss on the lips which she did not shy from in the slightest and asked her to wait for me just a moment while I visited the men's room. The beers were feeling a need to be recycled, but I had time for a quick cell phone call at the same time.
"Judge, I hope I woke you up for a change, this is Harlan." Hurray, I had woken him up in the middle of the night for once! "I'm in Berlin still of course, but I am less than five minutes away from fucking Melissa Anne Flair's brains out in bed tonight unless you can give me a very, very good reason not to."
He stammered and hmmm'd a bit for a few moments and decided that no legal 'conflict of interest' would probably occur. I was hired to obtain Flair financials, not to most 'thoroughly investigate' the former Mrs. Wright.
"No problem and give her a good bang for me also!" He decided and bid me a good night, chuckling as he hung up the phone. The lovely Melissa Anne Flair was waiting for me eagerly at the bar and we did a great many pleasant and delightful things to each other that night and well into the late hours of the morning.
Around Noontime the next morning we were still snuggled happily in bed with each other. Melissa had my cock in her mouth again and was happily demonstrating that she greatly enjoyed the taste of my cock and its cum, and was quite willing now (and at any future opportunity) to sample it again at the drop of a hat. I was still lying in quite a bit of a wet spot from our frenzied activities of much earlier in the morning. I had eaten her twice and we had a conventional but very satisfying fuck and then a very long 69. When she managed to extract at length this final third load of my love juice (making quite sure I was watching her swallow every drop it), she snuggled up to my chest and I dropped my bombshell.
"Melissa, I have enjoyed every minute of our time together, but isn't it about time you started to play straight with me? I have absolutely no intentions of kicking you out of this bed, and as far as I'm concerned we can stay right here the rest of this weekend, but after you tell me what you really want from me."
She didn't seem so surprised at all and rubbed her chin a bit more against my chest and hugged me a bit closer before she said, "Rachel said you were a very smart cookie, much too smart to be hanging around anyone at Flair for any reason other than your own. When did you realize who I was?"