Copyright© 2016 by Jay Cantrell
Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 24 - Travis Blakely had a comfortable existence. He had a decent job and good friends. He was comfortable with what the future held for him. Then he ran into a girl he remembered from high school. His life got a lot more interesting - and infinitely more complicated
I stood at the stove fixing breakfast while Liz called Ryan and Stephanie, who were on their way to the airport to fly back to Nashville to spend the weekend with their spouses.
Again, the first comment after the exchange of hellos dealt with Liz’s typical morning demeanor.
“Awake and pleasant at eight o’clock,” Ryan joked from the speaker. “I’m going to want a drug test when I see you again.”
“Ha-ha,” Liz said.
“Wow!” I cut in. “You must be a real bitch of the mornings.”
“Like a bear with a thorn in her paw,” Ryan said.
“I was thinking more along the lines of a spoiled prima donna used to getting her way all the time,” Stephanie said, also laughing. “That usually wears off after she’s fed and watered.”
Liz gave me her best imitation of the Lucas pout, complete with lower lip stuck out. I blew her a kiss and she smiled again.
“Uh, sorry about the prima donna joke. I realize that Travis probably doesn’t get the reference,” Stephanie said. “She’s really never that bad.”
“Are you kidding?” I asked from the stove. “She has me cooking and cleaning and running her errands. The first thing she did this morning was start listing my chores like I’m Cinderella or something.”
“I did not!” Liz protested.
“I’m fixing your breakfast, washing your underwear and running out to pick up your clothes!” I said.
I saw Liz get a startled look on her face so I left the omelet to finish and slipped over to where she sat with a glass of orange juice. It only took three steps.
I put my arms around her waist and kissed her softly on the cheek.
“I’m playing,” I whispered. “I don’t mind doing any of those things. I’m sure you’ll find a way to make it up to me.”
She grinned and gave me a kiss.
“So, how are things in L.A.?” she asked in a bright voice.
“Some good and some bad,” Stephanie said. “The stadium is pretty ancient.”
“It was built in 1955,” I said. “It’s had some renovations since but the structure is 60 years old. It’s also built in a bowl.”
“Have you been there?” Liz asked.
“No, but Dodgers Stadium is pretty famous,” I said.
“He’s right about where it’s built,” Stephanie said. “It’s called Chavez Ravine. Still, it should be fine for our setup, maybe a little better than Petco was. It’s smaller.”
Liz looked up at me again.
“I thought all baseball fields were the same size,” she said.
“Petco is one of the biggest parks in the league,” I said. “I don’t know why but the outfield dimensions are huge. The same as with Coors Field in Denver. That is because of the altitude. Dodger Stadium is like a lot of the newer parks that cropped up recently. Uh, football took off in the 1960s and a lot of cities went to huge, multi-use stadiums to serve both teams ... like they still have in Oakland. In the 1990s and early 2000s, the trend reversed. Cities ... well, taxpayers actually, built single-purpose stadiums for their teams. The baseball fields went back to their roots ... smaller, more fan friendly. The seats are closer to the field and the dimensions are a little smaller. That means there is less room from home plate to the outfield wall and less room in foul territory. Dodger Stadium just never changed.”
I saw Liz nodding but I realized it had nothing to do with her business.
“Sorry,” I said. “I guess I’m just like Lucas and Brandon. I wanted to show off what I knew.”
“No, it’s interesting,” Liz said. “I just wish I had this information seven months ago!”
“Did you get to spend time with Sarah’s boys?” Stephanie asked with a laugh.
“Uh, yeah,” Liz said, grimacing slightly.
I decided to take the bullet.
“Uh, Ryan, I goofed up last night,” I said. “We went out. We drove from here to Sarah’s house and back. We live in the same neighborhood. I should have thought of just inviting everyone here but ... well, I don’t normally host dinner parties.”
“He was very careful,” Liz cut in. “He rented a car that is just like a dozen others in the neighborhood. And the entire subdivision is private property. Even the streets are maintained by the homeowners and not the city.”
“I didn’t expect you stay cooped up all weekend,” Ryan said. “I just didn’t want you to do something like going out for tacos at a public place. You say the entire neighborhood is private?”
“It’s ... I’d call it upper-middle class,” I said. “We have a lot of professionals here with families because the school district is really good. This is one of the places I point out to new doctors and nurses if they have children. We get a break on the taxes because we have two or three contractors living in the neighborhood. They can fix the roads quicker and cheaper than the county or state can. Sarah said it’s been set up this way since she moved here in 2006.”
“Interesting,” Ryan said.
“You should have seen him when we got home,” Liz said, grinning at me as I put her plate in front of her. It contained a three-cheese omelet, sausage links and two pieces of buttered toast. She ignored it for a moment while she finished talking. “He sent two of his friends past the place to make sure no one had staked it out. When we got here, he made me stay in the car. I saw him use his cell phone light to check to make sure the door hadn’t been tampered with. Then he went inside to do a visual inspection before coming to get me. When I got out of the car, he stationed himself between me and the street just like you do.”
“I might have to add him to my security team,” he said.
“He’s already going to be my media contact and my masseur,” Liz informed her friends. “Oh, and my personal chef. He fixed me an omelet and sausage for breakfast.”
“He must be bucking for one of those Liz Larimer Pooped Here signs for his front yard,” Stephanie said.
“Little does he know he already qualifies,” Liz rejoined. “I waited until he left yesterday, though.”
“Well, anyway, it was good thinking on the security front,” Ryan said. “I’m glad to hear that you take her protection seriously. It’s been a problem with others she’s spent time with.”
“It won’t be a problem with me,” I said. “Uh, we called yesterday to verify the property and roadways are still private. We had a photographer sitting across the street when we got back Wednesday night.”
The line went silent and I glanced at Liz. She was cringing slightly.
“I think it was my car,” I said. “It was pretty easy to track. Thankfully, I’d put it into the garage before I left for the show.”
“Have you had any other instances?” Ryan asked. There was no recrimination in his voice, for which I was thankful.
“Matt, Sarah’s husband, took care of the problem,” I said.
“He was brilliant!” Liz interjected. “He had the guy convinced he was at the wrong address and that he was perving on a couple of 12-year-olds with a really protective uncle that lived nearby. Look, Ryan, Travis spotted the car as soon as we turned the corner. We drove right past the house and around the corner. Then Matt walked back to confront the guy. We heard the entire thing on Matt’s phone. He pretended to call the uncle and Travis and Sarah put on their best Ozark Mountain accents and scared the shit out of the asshole. He left the area like his ass was on fire as soon as he heard our engine start. No one has been back.”
“That you know of,” Ryan countered.
“The neighborhood is pretty insular,” I said. “We all know each other to a certain extent. Even the strange car in my driveway has caused people to slow down and look as they drove past. The house across from me is vacant. Any car that parks there is going to draw attention in this neighborhood. I didn’t want to worry Liz but Matt told me last night that he had contacted the police about a trespasser – and found that two other people had already called. One of the contractors went out yesterday morning to make sure the ‘Private Drive’ sign was clearly visible. It was but he cut away some of the brush around it anyway. Complaints here get pretty quick results.”
“The house across from you is unoccupied?” Ryan asked.
“Yeah, for a couple of months,” I said. “There was an old guy that lived there. He died and now it belongs to his two sons. They both live ... well, in L.A. They seem to think that every piece of flat land is worth a billion dollars. I recommended it to a doctor that came here a few weeks ago and he said that he could live in a mansion for what those toads wanted for it. It’s not going to sell anytime soon unless they get a reality check. We don’t permit renters in this area so I hope they’ll see reason and sell it. The last thing I want is one of those people living across from me.”
“Those people?” Stephanie asked, worried that I might be making a racist or homophobic remark.
“Lawyers,” I said.
“Oh,” she said, breaking into laughter. “Sorry, Travis, that came out before I could engage my brain.”
“Tell him about the other thing!” Liz urged. I gave her a blank look so she pointed to the ceiling. I looked up and then back at her. “Jesus, Travis. The helicopter thing.”
“Oh,” I said. “Yeah, the entire subdivision is in a ‘no-fly’ zone. We’re on the approach to the naval air station so planes and helicopters have to divert.”
“Are you sure of this?” Ryan asked, clearly interested.
“Chris told me it was true,” I said with a shrug. “I think he’d know.”
“Yeah, about Chris Weathers,” Ryan said. “I started the normal checks on everybody yesterday after we walked through the stadium.”
“Ryan!” Liz said.
“It’s fine,” I assured her.
“It really was fine,” Ryan said dismissively. “Rick Weller was arrested for assault when he was 18 but the charges were dropped. Travis has a reckless driving conviction but it was long enough ago that it won’t affect our insurance. The only one with anything interesting in her past was Sarah Costello, who was Sarah Adams at the time.”
“Sarah?” I asked.
“She got a public indecency charge from college,” Ryan said.
“Sarah?” I asked again.
“Yeah, uh, look, the Nashville Police Department plays ball with us,” he told me. “I’m an officer on unpaid personal leave. We did that so I could carry a firearm across state lines. I’m covered under the Law Enforcement Safety Act. Two guys on Liz’s permanent detail have the same arrangement.”
“Nice,” I said. “I worried about how you managed to have armed guards around her.”
I could actually hear the smile in Ryan’s voice when he spoke again.
“That lets me do criminal background checks without too much problem,” he added. “Sarah got caught peeing in the bushes when she was 18. She’s lucky it didn’t happen later or she might have found herself on a sex-offender registry. Public indecency is a pretty serious charge so I had to check it out.”
“I’m glad you did,” I said. “I mean, not just because it might reflect on Liz but because now I have something to give her shit about!”
Ryan laughed aloud.
“I’m glad I could help,” he told me. “Now, about Chris Weathers. What does he really do?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “I have been told that he’s a civilian contractor for the Department of Defense. I know he works at Coronado. That’s it.”
“I did just a surface check on the spouses and they all came up solid,” Ryan said. “I didn’t do crim checks or really anything invasive. I just ran their credit scores and looked into their finances a little to make sure they weren’t potential sources for the tabloids.”
“Makes sense,” I said.
“Yeah so at 5:45 this morning, I got a call from the freakin’ Pentagon!” Ryan informed us. “The guy was a real prick, too. He told me that any further investigation into Mr. Weathers would be unwise. I told him that his wife had applied for a job that had confidentiality requirements and I was just verifying a few facts. He just repeated that any further investigation would be unwise. Then he told me that Chris was an honorably discharged veteran who still worked for the military in a civilian capacity. He said Chris had the highest security clearance a civilian could attain and he asked if that would suffice. Chris gave me his military service times. He said that he was given a medical discharge. I pointed this out and the guy got really pissy with me.
“He said that Chris Weathers and his wife have the highest endorsement of the federal government. He’d been a total dick for the entire conversation so I asked him if a federal endorsement was a good thing or a bad thing. This is a direct quote from the conclusion of the conversation: ‘Look, Asshole, stop digging into Mr. Weathers’ background or things are going to go really bad for you.’ Then he hung up. I started to wonder if I was going to wind up in Gitmo or something. Tell Chris I’m sorry the next time you see him.”
“Christ,” I muttered. “I heard him give you his Social Security number Wednesday night.”
“I know,” Ryan said. “I just don’t want to see a black helicopter circling over my house tonight.”
“I think the point of black helicopters is so you don’t see them,” Liz said.
“Shit, I hadn’t thought of that!” Ryan said, chuckling. “You know, about half of the security team is ex-military. Liz gives hiring preference to veterans. I’ve done far more extensive background checks on them without a peep. One of them pegged Chris as an ex-SEAL and I’m starting to think he might be right.”
“I don’t know,” I said.
“Just leave him out of your checks,” Liz said. “I’m saying this as your employer. You can do your thing with the rest of them but I think the fact that the Pentagon noticed so quickly and took action is enough for us. OK?”
“The checks are done,” Ryan said. “Now, before it slips my mind, you might want to check into that house across from Travis’s.”
“Why?” Liz asked. “He just said it can’t be rented. The guys aren’t going to be able to station photographers there.”
“Well, they could,” I said, frowning. “I mean, it can’t be rented but I guess he could let them stay there for free. I’m not sure about that. I’ll have to check.”
“I hadn’t looked at it from that angle,” Ryan said. “I might be losing my edge. I was thinking about how convenient it would be to have a place for security if you’re going to be spending time there. It sounds like you’re relaxing and enjoying yourself. I don’t want to discourage that in the least. But I would like to have at least two people close to you if you’re going out into public. We could stick Sean and Carly over there and no one would think twice. Then you could come and go as you wanted when you’re there.”
Liz put the last bite of toast into her mouth while she thought about things.