This is a continuation / variation of the original story (The Peddlers' Daughter). I have revised parts of it and am adding to it. If you have not read the original, you may want to read it first, but this story is not contingent on the information from the other.
Madison cursed to herself softly. She hated the walk from the parking lot to the shop. It was a short walk, but she had to go past a number of trash containers full of spoiling watermelons, cantaloupe and grapes. The Vietnamese who had a shop nearby made things unpleasant for the rest of them. On the other hand, a lot of people who came for the cheap vegetables and fruit invariably stopped out of curiosity to visit her store as well. The City Market had been good to her, her parents and her husband up until now. The place was flooded with rich people from the adjoining wealthy suburbs during the weekend, looking for good deals. There were none, of course. They had cleverly learned how to repackage the fruit from California and nearby states. They could pile three peaches on a cardboard box to look like there were ten more inside; when what you saw was all there was.
People loved to walk their expensive dogs around the outdoor market. Young couples who lived in apartments or condos nearby didn't have yard work or car repair to do.
The River Quay City Market was a revitalization of old warehouses and buildings along the Missouri river where merchants of past centuries stopped to trade, exchange merchandise with other traders. It was now a trendy place to buy unusual antiques and fruit.
Madison had gone as a child with her father, and sometimes with her mother to many small towns across the country looking for oddities to resale. When her parents had died, she had reluctantly inherited the small shop. Her father had stocked it with museum quality wall clocks, handmade furniture from early American craftsmen and even vintage French furniture.
It was through her buying and trading she had come to meet her husband, Joe Swallow, who was a skilled furniture refinisher. He was a professor of English at the local University. She had been a student in one of his journalism classes. He had been an older divorced man who refinished furniture at home as a hobby.
Her father had first used him occasionally. It was somewhat of a coincidence when she ran into him as her professor in one of her classes. He didn't recognize her right away. She had been so shabbily dressed when she went in with her dad, and now in the first day of class she was differently dressed.
She had high heels, a light green summer dress and her long reddish brown hair hung down to her waist behind her. He was so focused on the way her dress rode up; he never looked at her spectacular face. When he read the attendance roll and saw her name he was startled and confused: "Was the skinny little "Maddy" that he had been used to seeing the same "Madison Will" that was sitting in the front row all dressed and grown up?
"Maddy?" he said as he put his thumb on the roster and looked up over the top of his reading glasses.
"Here sir." She said, trying to act like they had never met.
Joe caught on, and read off the rest of the names for attendance.
Joe was a good twenty years older, and it was not really romance when they first met. Over a period of time, they had spent time together because of her classes, and her father's interest in furniture.
They had married when she was in her mid twenties. She had never really been overwhelmed with his romantic skills. "She would grow to love him." She told herself.
They had one child, Dakota, who was fourteen now. Somehow, she had the ridiculous idea that they could enhance their marriage with a child. Madison had grown, with hindsight, to see that had been stupid. They didn't get along any better after having a child than before. Never the less, both of them thought the world of Dakota and would do anything for her.
Dakota was already getting the attention of different college coaches for her running ability. She had set records at the KU relays for the 1600meter and 800meter runs. Winning those distances as a freshman almost assured a perfect 4-year record. Dakota and her mother were unsure whether to commit to a track and cross country scholarship, or to see where her academic achievements could get her.
Her grades were just about as good as her track record. For looks, she was almost a clone of her mother. Madison was a tall, gangly, flat chested girl as a freshman who didn't really bloom until she was out of college. The only difference was that Dakota was starting to show signs of "blooming" a little earlier.
She was forty now, and a little disillusioned with life. She had taken her father's business: "The Peddler's Daughter," and modified it a little from its heyday. Where it had been totally antique furniture, she had more of an interest in clothing.
She had collected period dresses from her trips to France, Italy, Spain and Portugal. She had immaculate lace from Belgium and Burano, Spain.
To say things had not been going well was an understatement. Her husband had taken an early retirement he did not want because of the drop in enrollment during the recent recession. He had started his own refinishing business a few years before that, but it too had been a victim of the recession.
He was struggling to make rent payments on his refinishing shop, which was in a space just next to hers. When they first got married, it was handy to be so close together. On the other hand he was usually in class until the evening or weekend, so she had lots of time to herself. When they were busy, they would help each other out.
Their sex life had never been grate; now it was getting progressively worse. She was never an adventurous or uninhibited when it came to sex. She had been told it was a wifely duty, but it was for procreation only. This had become a sore point with her husband. Needless to say, she refused to give up her name when they married. She absolutely was not going to be called: Madison Will Swallow. She didn't get it at first, but her bridesmaids were aghast at the new name.
Joe had continually brought up the issue their long-term leases on their spaces. He was not making anything on his business; certainly not enough to cover the rent now that he was retired. He had been pressing Maddy to sell some of her top end collection.
One day, Santana Battle, a man constantly in the news, showed up in her shop to look around. He had several other men just the same size as him close by. Maddy did not like the look of these men.
Santana was a big black man; probably 6'-6" his hair on the sides was cut close to his head. There were streaks cut in it like it had been corn rowed. The top was cut in a Mohawk. It was a thick curly Mohawk that had been braided so that the braid was about an inch high and braided down to the base of his neck. He had a leather vest that wasn't buttoned. His Levis had a wide leather belt and the cuffs were a boot cut that fit over his lizard skin boots. The boots made him a couple of inches higher. From a visual standpoint, the unbuttoned vest, with no shirt, made him look even taller. His dark Dolce and Gabanna sunglasses made his expression impossible to read. His smile was like the Mona Lisa; you could interpret it to mean whatever you wanted to.
Joe was in her shop to help out. He knew who the man was. He walked briskly over to the man and introduced himself to the sinister looking man and his friends. He turned to look in the direction of his wife. "Mr. Battle, I would like to have you meet my lovely wife, Madison. Madison, honey this is Mr. Santana Battle. He is a businessman here in town."
Businessman was a gracious term for what he did. Most law officials knew he was importing drugs and women. "Nice to meet you Mr. Battle." She said from across the room. She waived graciously to the sinister man.
He tipped his Dolce and Gabanna glasses down to get a better look at her. He could see her fine; he just wanted to let Joe and his wife he found her interesting. He walked around the shop and looked at all of the stuff.
Joe walked with him, explaining the history of many of the items. Santana was especially interested in the walnut
Maddy was standing near the display window, adjusting a black lace dress on a mannequin. That is one fine looking dress. I bet it would look spectacular on you." He said in an obvious flirt with the forty-year old married woman.
"I got this in Burano as a part of a collection I bought many years ago. I have refused to sell it. My husband is putting pressure on me to consider selling it." She said wistfully as she brushed some wrinkles from the length of it.
Santana turned to look at another object. "What the fuck is this?" he said, almost in shock.
It is Achille Gaggia's patented espresso machine. This is the first one he made.
Madison went on to tell how her affinity for good coffee began when she went with her father as a young child on late night forays to the coffee houses in Harvard Square on Boston's North End. He found this gorgeous machine in a defunct restaurant. After years of haggling on a price, he became the owner this large brass and copper coffee machine. They spent months restoring the machine. The coffee press consists of a tall stack of filter paper sheets that act as a gasket/piston. The press had dried out from disuse and the fittings were corroded. The machine was a vintage design made by Achille Gaggia.
One of the aspects that defined the coffee produced by Achille Gaggia's patented espresso machine was the thick crema produced by the pressure brewing process. Rich crema has since become a desirable aspect among modern espresso drinkers, but what exactly is crema? In truth, crema is foam, created by suspended solids and CO2 in a phenomenon that only occurs in espresso, which was originally dubbed "caffa crema" (cream coffee).
The whole machine was sitting on an elegant Hepplewhite Mahogany Sideboard Buffet Original Brass hardware. This was another museum quality piece that was as good as anything Santana had seen in Sotheby's.
Joe was quick to walk along the black giant and explain the history and value of all the pieces that he had help refinish. From there, he took the man and his guards next door to see other projects still being refinished.
When Joe returned, he was alone. "They've gone. I think you could have been a little more hospitable to the man while he was here, Joe complained. Madison had done nothing unusual. She was like most women she knew. She was all lovey-dovey with the women she knew, but extremely standoffish to men she had not known long.
"I didn't do anything wrong." She insisted as they closed up for the night. When they got home that evening, she and Joe went over the bills.
The rent on both units had come due. Their house payment was due. Joe's bill for materials he had used that month was due. They were on the verge of losing both leases and the house if they didn't do something soon.
Joe was getting increasingly frustrated for many different reasons. Getting behind in all the payments was very unsettling. If he still had his job, he could have paid it out of his salary. They had already borrowed against his retirement and maxed out their credit cards. His frustration with his sex life was compounding his frustrations more than he cared to admit.
His cell phone went off. "Yes Mr. Santana. I will talk to her about it. I hope I can convince her to sell. Yes we can meet you then to talk about it." He hung up.
That was Santana Battle. He is curious about buying the Espresso Machine. He does not want to pay what you and I know it is worth. We clearly need more than that for it. I think you can be a little more accommodating than you were.
"First of all, I'm not sure I'm willing to sell it. It is a museum quality piece. If he won't meet our price, I would be just giving it away." Madison thought about the memories it held. She thought about all the time she and her father spent trying to find something like that and the effort that went into restoring it.
"Look, Maddy; we absolutely need the money. Everything is going to collapse if we don't do it. I think you need to try a little harder to be nice to him."
"What does that mean?" she said with her hands on her hips.
"That means you need to do whatever you need to do to make him willing to pay more than it's worth or we are ruined."
"What are you saying?" she asked. "You saw the way he was looking at me in there." She said with alarm and concern that maybe she was misunderstanding her husband.
"I'm saying we have to have that money. It is time to sell what we have. If not, we'll lose it all anyway. You have to do whatever it takes to make the sale. He's interested in you. As a business person, you have to use whatever you have to make the sale. You know how to bat those eyes when you need or want something. I know you used to do it to me before we were married. You have some gorgeous dresses in the store. Use them to hold his attention. Use them to close the deal."
Madison thought about it. She knew he was right. His losing his job compounded all of their problems. She had lost her awe of him, as a partner. She had lost her financial pillar when he lost his job. With her hobby as their only means of support, they were struggling. If not for all the museum quality collections her father had found and restored, they would be in real trouble. She would have to try to get all she could for them.
Many of the regular collectors she had grown up knowing through her father were long since dead, or no longer collectors because of the new economy. She was nervous as they drove into work the next morning. She would have to find something within herself to close this sale. Who knows? Maybe he would be a link into a new clientele that she wasn't interested in catering to, but could help them out.
Madison was on pins and needles from the time they opened. The anticipation of what was going to happen after the shop closed was killing her. Her conversation with customers was a blur to her. When the last customers filtered out, she got more and more nervous. She could hardly walk when she went over to the front door and turned the cardboard sign from "Open," to "Closed."
Her husband was walking down through the mannequins and clothes racks with the vintage dresses, looking for something. Madison walked over to the Espresso machine and made sure it was ready to make new coffee. She had to demonstrate that it worked. She dusted off the Sidebar Buffet Table it was mounted on.
She wasn't going to sell the Espresso for a penny less than $100,000.00. If he wanted the antique buffet table, she wasn't about to let it go for less than $8,000.00. She would be giving it away for that. The combination was the centerpiece and focal point of any customer that came in.
Her husband stopped at "Victoria," the mannequin in the display window. He took the black lace Victorian dress off of it. Her father had bought the thing at a shop from an antique dealer in St. Marks Plaza in Venice. It had cost a fortune at the time, but in hindsight, were pennies now. She marveled at the insight he seemed to have on the future value of an item.
It was as though he knew he was going to die, and this was the collection of items he wanted to leave her for an inheritance. Sadly, she was reluctant beyond words to sell any of this. Her eyes welled up when her husband said: "Here, put this on. Santana will be here soon. You need to look the part."
"I can't wear this. It will show my panties and bra through the front." She said in total humiliation.
"Leave the fucking garments off. I told you that you have to make this sale. You need to make an impression. You need to make him want to buy." He said.
"You are going to have to reach down and do whatever it takes to make this sale. We have to have this sale."
She sensed the urgency in his voice; but there was more to it than that. What she either didn't get or refused to get was the built up bitterness within him about their sex lives. Maybe even he didn't get it or was consciously aware of it.
He didn't even give a rat's ass if she had to fuck him for it. "Maddy was crushed. How could the man she had shared a bed with for the last twenty years talk to her like this? What was he implying? How far was he willing to see her go to make this sale? Madison could hardly make her feet move as she headed for the dressing room.
Even the dressing room was first class. It was about ten feet square. It was painted all white. It had a free-standing oval mirror in a carved walnut frame that tilted up or down. It had a white velvet backless love seat across from the mirror. It had another chair at a 90° axis with the love seat. There were hooks along a side wall, and a white shelf just above it.
There was a white oak vanity table against one wall. It was about sixteen inches deep, with a tall, oval mirror in a carved frame. The front was curved so the edge was about 24" from the back. A slender satin padded chair with thin tapered legs and back sat in front of it.
Madison stood in front of the freestanding mirror and removed her clothes. She laid each garment daintily across the backless sofa as though she may never see them again. She tried not to look at herself when she was naked. She tried not to look at herself as she slipped the garment over her head and let the cool silk slip over her. Once she had it on, she managed to look at the hussy in the mirror. She struggled to tighten the backless garment. It had a completely bare back that was held in place with lacings through eyelets almost at her sides. The dress had a low scooped bodice, but not outrageously low.
The front had a band of black silk lace pattern that went just inside of her nipples to her feet. The intricate lace band was exquisitely hand stitched. It was such a fine fabric but was hopelessly transparent. It hid nothing. Madison was devastated at her image in the mirror. Her reddish brown curls were plainly the center of attention at the middle of her dress.
Her heart almost stopped when she heard her husband knocking on the door and say: "They're here."
Maddy grabbed her small clutch purse for what cover it offered. The purse had been one of the last presents her father had given her before he died. He had come back from a trip to New York. He had gone to the gift store in the Metropolitan Opera. They had cut up Beverly Sill's black velvet dress she wore in the last scene of Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor and made purses out of it. It was small, but she told herself she could hold it in front of her for some cover.
When the door opened, Santana and his guards were astonished at what they saw. This forty year old woman was stunning beyond whatever his perception of even younger women was. Her long reddish brown hair had been combed back into a French braid, to imitate or match his own savage image. Her wire rimmed steel spectacles gave her the look of a very dignified professor, which contrasted to the dress. Her six inch platform heels made her look a foot taller than she really was.
What almost knocked the giant black man over was her dress. The black silk dress fit like a glove. There were no wrinkles. The strapless back was laced like a shoe, which pulled any looseness out of it. The front was transparent through the fine black lace. He could see that her abdominal muscles and legs had no fat on them; tanned and toned like a runner that had spent the summer running hills in the sun. Her skin had a slight sheen from her nervousness over the situation.
She tried to present a smile she did not feel as she extended one hand to greet him. She tried to discreetly keep her small clutch purse over her reddish brown curls. It worked to some extent, but Santana and his guards had seen it. The image which only lasted a fraction of a second between steps was frozen in their minds. Those red curls were the highlight of the dress; centered in the alabaster area hidden by a bikini worn on the weekends; framed doubly by the suntan above and below and the dark panels on each side of the transparent black lace.
Santana reached out to accept her hand and kiss it. He would not let go. She tried to discreetly pull back, but he wouldn't allow it. Instead, he reached down to grasp her other hand and whistled as he spread both of her arms to her sides at shoulder level. Maddy stared daggers at her husband for a second, before she managed to fake a soft smile in her embarrassed face. "I've got to get through this." She told herself as he stared at her dress.
Madison was humiliated and embarrassed at what she knew they were staring at.
"My husband says that you are interested in the Espresso Machine we have." She said as she walked over to the large formation of couches that formed a "U" in front of the sidebar that held the machine. She extended her hand, indicating an invitation for them to sit. She had to put her purse down to make the cups of coffee. It seemed to be a ridiculous exercise to prepare the espresso in such little cups for these gigantic savages.
Maddy began explaining the history of the machine, how it had been patented by Gaggia, the meaning of some terms in the creation of espresso, and the effort she and her father had made to restore the machine. She told them of the patent papers in their safe. It was a museum quality item. She did not mention a price. She did not know whether to try to bundle several sales or discuss the prices one at a time, so the total price would not seem overwhelming.
Like Vanna White on the game show, she walked around, discussing the items her husband was determined to sell.
"You have generously presented the items I'm interested in; all except for one. I hadn't noticed the dress, but it is a fascinating garment. Tell me more." He said as he flipped his Dolce Gabanna up above his forehead. They both knew it wasn't about the dress. It was about her.
"I would like to get a better look at the dress. I think it would help if you would take it off." The room was silent. You could hear the cockroaches turn and stop to see what was going to happen.
Madison had guessed the meeting would ultimately turn to sex. She had tried to ignore the issue in order to make herself come out of the dressing room, but now she knew her intuition was right. She looked at her husband.
"How dare you put me through this?" her eyes seemed to be telegraphing to him.
"Couldn't we do this in private, Mr. Battle?" she replied with all the sugar and dignity she could manage.
"I'm sure you are no threat to me, honey, but I seldom go anywhere without my guards. Besides, I think it would be disrespectful to them to not get to see this."
There are some things that she would have considered in private; especially if she knew nobody would find out. As remote a possibility as it may have been, she might be willing to have sex outside marriage under the right conditions. However, having herself presented as wantonly as she already was, was beyond her imagination. To indulge in any activity beyond that, in front of others; and even worse, her husband, was beyond anything she could bring herself to imagine.
Madison knew any kind of dignity was going to be impossible to keep as she teetered on her high heel shoes. As devastated as her husband was, he also wanted the sale. "Don't be shy, honey." She heard him say just above a whisper.
She was a sinking boat, lost at sea. Her husband had not only abandoned her, he had joined her tormentors. Madison thought about the money they needed for the mortgage. She thought about the money they would need for her daughter to go to college. Even with a scholarship, that would only be for the first four years. If Dakota wanted a master's and doctorate, those degrees would be beyond the free ride the first four years.
Madison knew she had no choice as her shaking hands reached behind her to find the start of the lacings. The movement to struggle to reach for the laces brought her long stem pink nipples up and out. The already stiff eraser tips pushed out, ready to burst through the thin garment as the humiliated woman struggled to undo the lacings behind her.
Once she had the lacing in the bow untied, she reached her arms up over her back and pulled them loose. She could hardly stand as she pulled the garment off of her shoulders. She let it drop to her waist and paused to cover herself for a second. She knew she had to continue, but struggled with her modesty.
Madison looked first at her husband and then to each of the men sitting in front of her; looking for some sign of relenting on the order she had been given. She tugged lightly on the garment above her hips. She was very narrow hipped, and there wasn't much resistance as the soft silk slid noiselessly to the floor.
The embarrassed woman couldn't help but cross her arms in front of herself; one forearm cradling her breasts; the other over the thin red curls. Santana held out his hand; palm up. Madison could feel the chill as the air-conditioning wafted between her legs; indicating to her un-accepting mind what the men could see.
She stepped out of the puddle of silk around her feet; bent over to pick it up and handed it to the leader of her humiliation. Santana reached out with both hands; both to accept the garment and to keep her from stepping back. He pulled her down into his lap. He was running his hands through the fabric, but was clearly focused on something else.
Up close, he was even more fascinated with the middle aged woman. Her long stem pink nipples were something even he was not used to seeing. The tiny pink areoles were smaller than what he was used to. The nipples were probably extended from fright like some react to cold. They were three times the length of what he was used to. Her melon sized breasts had no sag to them.
The reddish brown curls below her abdomen were a work of art. They had to have been shaved. The band of curls was very narrow; designed to fit well within a bikini. They were thicker in number and color in the middle, only to thin out in color and number as they traced a thin vignette towards the edges. The reddish brown color seemed to bleach to a blond, almost transparent color, like the down of a Hawaiian fern at the juncture of the branches.
The downy curls of the Hawaiian fern were so fine, that the scouts on the island could easily start a fire with one swipe of a piece of steel across a piece of flint. Like a little boy from Nigeria with his first look at snow, Santana could not help but curiously dip his finger past the curls and under the little nub of flesh at the center of her cleft. He brought it to his nose to inhale, like he had found a $300.00/per ounce French truffle.
Madison almost gagged when she felt the immense forefinger brush her opening. "What the fuck am I doing?" she wondered. "I have come out here in this outrageous dress, removed it and am sitting on his lap. Why should I be shocked at what he is doing?" Never the less, it was humiliating to be in this position.
She looked over at her husband so see if he shared her outrage. She didn't seem to feel it coming from him.
In a ridiculous gesture, Madison managed to lever her hand over his and the garment over that, in some effort to conceal his entry. She grimaced as he forced her legs to separate. Her left leg remained supported over both of his legs and his lap. Her right leg and been pushed out so her foot was on the floor. He now turned her so her back was turned more towards him making the entry easier for him and less painful for her. It also made the display easier for her husband to follow. Madison could now see his expression more. She stared at him helplessly and in embarrassment as she felt another finger enter.
Madison pressed her hand down hard against him in an effort that defied even her emotions. She knew she could not prevent him from doing what he was doing, but pressed hard against him out of reluctance and embarrassment, trying to hide the obvious.
She may have been able to grasp some sort of visual secrecy, but the suction of his fingers creeping in and out of her was announcing to the other men what was going on under the lace dress. In fact, the "slurping" sound almost seemed to imply some sort of willingness or acceptance on her part.
"Why wasn't she screaming and crying at this digital rape?" she wondered in a detached observation.
Joe watched in a detached mixture of horror, indignation and fascination. He was somewhat conflicted as he watched his beloved wife; head back, eyes closed, biting her lip, hands over his, struggling with her loss of dignity. He was sad that things had come to this; on the other hand, he was somewhat indignant about his own simmering frustrations with her, sexually.
If she wouldn't open up to him, maybe she could be humiliated enough with this stranger, that whatever he wanted would seem trivial to her when they were done.
Santana took his fingers out. He raised his glistening fingers to her face. When she felt the ooze on her cheek, she recoiled and turned her head violently to the other side. "Open up." She heard him say.
Madison couldn't do it; not in front of so many people. She fought the urge to gag as she softened the muscles holding her teeth clenched. She did not resist as the wet forefinger flickered across her lips. She must have thought as long as her eyes were closed, nobody would know what was going on. That was the only privacy she had the privilege of as the huge, scarred finger found its way through her lips. She struggled to keep her natural reflexes from turning her head away from it.
"Clean me off." She heard him whisper into her ear. Nobody heard the command but her, so her husband was somewhat surprised and envious when he saw her cheeks hollow out and suck as the fingers crept in one at a time. He could see her tongue swirling around the fingers in her mouth. He watched with envy as her tongue extended beyond her lips to reach the rest of his hand that would not fit in her mouth.
It wasn't so much the simple act of her tongue flickering reluctantly across the glistening hand as the wanton image she presented that gave Joe so much of a buzz. "Did she just do that on her own?" he wondered. What brought that on?" he wondered.
This was a sexual side of her he had never seen before. He watched her slowly wave her head from side to side to get the last of her juices off of his hand. When she knew she was done, she turned her head back against him for whatever psychological respite it brought her. To Joe, she was nestling against him like two lovers who were emotionally exhausted.
Actually, Santana was just getting started. He used his cleaned hand under her chin to lever her face up towards him. Madison knew what was coming. She had no recourse but to respond as she felt his lips touch hers. She knew she couldn't refuse, so she just held the position forced upon her as he slowly wet his lips and moved his head slowly from side to side, coating her lips with his secretions.
When his tongue entered her, it seemed to be chasing hers around in her mouth; unable to escape. She struggled not to gag as she forced herself to respond. She knew it was expected and had no choice.
Joe watched in astonishment as their heads moved slowly from side to side and their cheeks hollowed and tongues filled each other. He thought he heard a groan from his wife.
He could see tears running down from her closed eyes as Santana lowered his hand again. When it forced her right leg further apart, he could see that the groan was the result of the fingers trying to enter again.
Santana readjusted her position; perhaps for her husband's benefit? Maddy was now turned so that she had one leg straddled on each side of Santana's right leg. He had his right hand over her right breast to balance her on him. His left hand was hidden under Madison's two; again trying to conceal her invasion. Her head was tilted almost straight back and up to meet his lips which were raping her mouth.
Although this would not meet court standards for rape, this was as much of a rape as if she had been stretched across the dining table with the guards each holding an arm or a leg and their leader pushing in and out of her. She probably would have preferred that compared with what he was doing. He was making it look to her husband and the guards that she was a willing, responsive participant.
But something far worse was happening. For all the revulsion she felt, something else was going on. Madison could not stop it. She had no control over it as her mind watched; as an impartial observer to the whole thing.
Her body was developing a tingling; starting at the base of her neck. The tingling washed like a summer breeze bending wildflowers across a meadow; sweeping down her torso, down her legs and exploding out her toes. Her head pulled back away from the tongue rape of her mouth. Her head thrashed from side to side. She could not stop the moan that came first as a whispering mew to a soft scream through her sobbing. She let go of his hand and wrapped her arms around his neck as her body erupted.
This was an exhibition that had eluded Joe for all these years. She had never done this with him. Now in front of strangers, naked and moaning, she had done this for a stranger.
Maddy collapsed against her tormentor; sobbing with her eyes covered; humiliated at the display of emotions she could not control. "This was not her." her mind screamed.
What do you want for the Espresso Machine, Joe?" Maddy heard the voice next to her say.
Joe passed him a piece of paper with the figures and items all hand written. Maddy couldn't see it.
"That's too fucking much for what you have here." He said. "In a way, your fucking wife is worth that by herself, but you are really selling the Espresso Machine. I've done a credit check on you. I know how much you and your wife need. You're going to have to make a sweeter deal than that for what you need. What else do you have to throw in?" he asked.
Madison and Joe were stunned. The beautiful housewife had sacrificed her dignity and was about to lose one of her most prized possessions; beside herself. The couple looked at each other without speaking for a while.
"Follow me." Joe said. He went to the wall, pulled a picture off the wall and exposed a safe.
"No! Please ... You can't do that." Madison screamed as she ran after him to prevent him from opening the safe. Joe shrugged off her efforts and she fell to the floor sobbing. Joe opened the safe and removed a small key.
Joe went to the stairs. Madison lay naked and sobbing on the floor as Santana and a couple of his guards followed. He had motioned for one guard to stay with Madison.
In the basement, Joe took a 5'-0"x5'-0" painting off the wall. Behind it was an almost invisible wood panel in the wall. Joe used the key to open a deadbolt on a stainless steel vault door that looked like it had come from a bank.
Inside the 16'-0"x16'-0" concrete room, Joe flipped a switch. The lights were no ordinary lights. It was a museum quality array of halogen and spot lights. Santana could see that this was no ordinary room. The concrete cube had a halon fire extinguisher system within it. It was a system that carried a mixture of oxygen and gas that would not support a fire.
In the middle of the room was a large oak piece of furniture. Santana didn't need to be told. It was one of the finest achievements of European furniture. This cabinet is the most important product from Abraham (1711--1793) and David Roentgen's (1743--1807) workshop.
This writing cabinet was crowned with a chiming clock, it features finely designed marquetry panels and elaborate mechanisms that allow for doors and drawers to be opened automatically at the touch of a button. Owned by King Frederick William II, the Berlin cabinet is uniquely remarkable for its ornate decoration, mechanical complexity, and sheer size.
There were drawers within drawers that simply could not be opened without the person already knowing which way to twist a knob; or which drawers could be opened. It was a way for the owner to hide incredibly valuable small pieces of jewelry.
This cabinet was the missing clone from the Kunstgewerbe Museum, which is on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in the exhibition,"Extravagant Inventions:" He had seen pictures of this Princely Furniture on the website: (http://www.metmuseum.org/metmedia/video/collections/esda/the-roentgens-berlin-secretary-cabinet)
Few people ever knew that the Roentgens had actually made two of them. Actually they had to make a number of them to get it right. All of the prototypes had smaller imperfections not fitting of a king and were believed to have been destroyed in order for the final to be the only one of its kind. Also, the king had made adjustments to what he had asked for. Santana knew the item was priceless.
The cabinet had been placed on a type of lazy Susan so it could be rotated and examined from all sides. It was set in a corner of the room with two flat screen monitors mounted on the walls; one on each side. The walls were sheet rock and painted white to contrast with the rich wooden cabinet. The cabinet glimmered with the sheen of a Stradivarius. There was one row of high-backed oak chairs with leather padding arranged in a semi-circle facing the ornate cabinet.
Joe opened the cabinet, pulled out a small hardcover book that gave the written history of the cabinet; certification by Sotheby's as to its authenticity and a list of signatures of everybody who had owned it. Joe also had a typewritten sheet of sale listing the seller, price and authenticity. The only thing to be filled in was the buyer's name, notary's name and date.
Santana looked at the price briefly and thought for a while. There was no doubt he could sell it to somebody in the Arabic countries for a handsome profit if he wanted to. It was easy to see the gears rolling in his head. He whispered something to one of his guards, who disappeared for a while and escorted the naked Madison into the room.
"Here's where the fucking starts." She said to herself; bracing for the worst. Actually the worst was not about her. Her husband had abandoned her in every sense of the word. This cabinet and its location were supposed to be their most treasured secret. She had been with her father when he stumbled onto it at a garage sale.