For Services Rendered
Ransome Farrell easily convinced Ingrid she needed accompanying him up to the Falls. Beyond shocking him, she agreed faster than he suggested it.
Farrell wondered whether she could ever be thrown off kilter. Ingrid was the coolest customer he’d met. And after one month of almost exclusive dating on his part, Farrell truly believed he’d meet no one else who’d ever occupy that spot.
She staked him during their first day in some grind class. That both college juniors regarded this course as GPA filler pleased him immensely.
Ingrid made all the advances, which strangely flattered him. Light complexioned, freckled, her 20-year-old curves emphasizing femininity, wildly flowing wheat-colored hair, Ingrid wasn’t the sort of female he considered his “type.” Farrell gravitated towards Mexicanas. The browner the skin, the more mink-like the hair, the better. All that, and they had to be lively. Exude heat, too.
Ingrid issued cool. If not by touch, then certainly attitudinally. Frankly, Ingrid wasn’t the sort of woman he chased, but her short pursuit intrigued him.
Both lived on campus long before dormitories were reformatted into suites or modules. She stayed in one of the older North Drive residences. In fact a little more than a decade separated setting the last cornerstone from territorial days. Three sturdy structures hunkered along that campus drive.
Three coeds shared common rooms. Or precisely three women made do with three desks, chairs, whatever storage fit and a daybed. At night they repaired to barracks-style bedding.
Primitive and impersonal as conditions were remembered decades later, the configuration created readily available fuck-spots. Those untended common rooms promoted rampant promiscuity.
Long before he and Ingrid began their Mystery Dances, Farrell was familiar with North Drive daybed mattresses. During his previous four semesters, Farrell had dipped his dick in each building.
He’d witnessed the elaborate codes girls went through securing anticipated balling. Watching these preparations verged on laughable conspiracies. Give him the universal guys’ signal: tie around doorknob or pilfered “occupado” tag on same.
Never mattered what common room based which female trio, the disparate girls always maintained one trait: they kept their lairs museum-quality tidy. They smelled better than most men’s rooms, too!
The two qualities amazed him. Three guys quartered in the same space would’ve formed a jungle.
Clashing females aside, women maintained one constant. Prominent reminders of home. Hard pressed as Farrell would’ve been locating such mementos in a male dorm room, including his own, women formed genealogical shrines. How many forever grinning grandparents, proud mothers, beaming fathers, smirking siblings — pets even! — had watched his bare ass humping their grandchildren, daughters, or sisters?
Farrell realized these performances his closest to ever fucking on any stadium 50-yard line.
Until mid-October their American Southwest college town sizzled on the desert griddle. Fortunately, there were two nearby aquatic respites: the Sweetwater Tubs and the Falls. The former were aboveground redwood Jacuzzis sprinkled throughout scrubland far from casual eyes or sensitive ears. Nighttime desert air amplified women’s squeals especially well. Easterners and other greenhorns preferred the Sweetwater Tubs.
The Falls refreshed those ramping hills northeast of town. There the less bashful skinny-dipped in and frolicked under winter runoff greening an awfully narrow strip threading down the mountain.
Mostly buckle-bunnies and rednecks flocked to the Falls. Few out-of-state collegians dared reveal themselves to the anonymous appraisal of indiscriminate eyes. After two years Ingrid was one of the rare city-bred girls who’d accompanied him. “Cultivated” women were leery, while senoritas mistook such flesh flaunting as sinful. Not that the latter minded fucking under blue sky. Escorted into secluded spots or the Tubs their brown bodies ached and writhed with hardwired feral delight. However, more than one set of eyes observing their unbridled exaltations either intimidated or embarrassed las muchachas.
Farrell blamed catechism taken too seriously.
Sane couples visited the Falls at day. Those hardy few nighttime adventurers risked disturbing mountain cats or coyotes hunting easy prey slaking its thirst.
That first afternoon there Ingrid disrobed as if the few other bathers also playing hooky from real life cavorted behind screens instead of unabashed view. Desert sun brushed her skin. Fair as she was, tan gradients darkening her face and limbs weren’t jarring. Long strong sun left its effects but hadn’t striped Ingrid lobster and ghostly.
Presented such clarity, they stared at another for the longest instance. Sunlight emphasized her small nipples shy mauve crowns as well as her bow lips. Pure nakedness gave Ingrid a more solid appearance.
Her own glance drank in his tawny sarıyer escort boldness. Always lean, Farrell was now cut, hardened by an obligatory summer humping at boot camp. Despite the new manliness, he felt no different. Yet something about his posture, his demeanor, both he heard improved, someone who returned less angry, more crafty, changed others’ perception of him.
Somehow Farrell knew that had he met Ingrid last semester, squired her to the Falls then, she would be nowhere near as enthralled. She started slightly when his fingers clasped hers. More than his presence, Farrell’s touch conveyed strength.
Having chilled under the Falls, they walked off the shock. Steps led around rock outcroppings then behind dense blue palo verde which revived purpose and imaginations.
He spread what he could of their blanket, rolling the remnant against the rocky concave. The pair’s boots thudded dully while the few clothes they’d worn muffled into quick silence upon dusty leather. Farrell followed her recline. The subsequent embraces and kisses were hotter than the day itself.
His hands found Ingrid’s hair still damp. A disturbed nest framed her face. Water wicked from his high and tight, Farrell’s new hairstyle from basic. By touch no one never would’ve known he’d been drenched under the Falls.
The course muff between Ingrid’s thighs revealed its secret beneath his steady fingering. Once her dew slicked his fingertips, Farrell trailed kisses from her lips down her torso where light musk mingled among those curls. He tongued Ingrid until her sex blossomed into tender glistening ruffles.
Again, willingly surrendering to the moment he’d conjured, she seemingly forgot Farrell was there. Ingrid’s hips rocked to singular beats. She kneaded her own breasts and gnawed her lips deeper pink. Good that her eyelids were closed because he doubted she clearly saw anyway.
Farrell’s raging boner demanded satisfaction. He rolled onto her body. Ingrid’s legs instinctively opened, rose, hips adjusting for his bulk, its anticipated lovely violence. Each moaned with his first stroke. She spoke. As always. He didn’t understand the utterances summoned. Again, as always. Nor would he ever. Doing so would’ve required a lifetime. Their togetherness was already measured.
The warder awoke him during the middle of sexual frenzy.
The dim Buenos Aires holding cell was bad reality. Overnight Farrell’s back had tightened on the unforgiving steel bench, a pointed reminder his body closer to 50 than 20. He’d rested his head upon shoes covered by dress shirt. An a-shirt served as layer between metal and flesh. Tying his shoes made him wish he’d worn loafers.
Farrell and Mick, who mirrored how he felt, trudged behind the warder. Along this desultory walk, Mick quizzed Farrell.
“Say, er, you were doing all kinds of twisting and turning. Bad dreams?”
“I was thinking of the one that got away.”
Surprised, Mick asked, “You fish!?”
The turnkey led them through the precinct’s least populated warrens where they were remanded into an office. The door nameplate read “Captain Stinelli.” Ordered to sit, they sat in supple leather. Shortly thereafter the captain joined them.
Stinelli was too well-groomed and too well-dressed for a cop. His complexion radiated spa treatments, his hair barbered near perfection, fingernails not only clipped but buffed, while his suit might’ve been an Argentine knockoff, it was an expertly tailored copy of expensive Italian rig. No need to study Stinelli’s feet. Farrell expected he wore thin-soled shoes with buttery uppers. Even without moldering his two visitors would’ve been raggedly in comparison.
The captain alighted behind his desk and smiled. Bright teeth darkened his smooth face. He inquired whether they’d eaten. Farrell’s “no” genuinely dismayed him. Stinelli reached for his phone, cooed commands then rested the receiver in its cradle. Heaven and earth moved, he smiled once again.
Stinelli spoke. Farrell translated his Spanish for Mick.
“Gentlemen, contrary to appearances you’re not under arrest. I don’t know how you came to be in that apartment — and now no one really cares.” Specifically addressing Farrell, Stinelli said, “By the way a mutual friend of ours in the Foreign Ministry alerted me about you. Particularly your situation. There won’t be any official public thanks, but it’s in our nature to demonstrate great appreciation for such immense favors. You understand?”
Farrell nodded. Knuckles rapped the office door. Stinelli bade entry. Lovely, dark, ripe, exceeding her blouse’s and skirt’s stitching while tottering on heels better suited for nightclubbing, a secretary entered bearing a tray larded with coffee pot, cups and a plate heaped with medialunas.
The gracious officer holding the door leered. Her skirt’s tightness forced an awkward curtsy when she set the rattling goods on Stinelli’s desk. The farther she bent the clearer esenyurt escort the outline of her lacy tanga. Mick winked at Farrell. After she minced out, Stinelli insisted his guests partake. Ravenously they fell on the food and drink. Stronger than he liked, Farrell nonetheless gulped his coffee while Stinelli continued.
“Both criminals are in custody. The one you so kindly apprehended quickly surrendered his surviving partner.”
“No doubt owing to persuasive police questioning,” Farrell said.
Stinelli shrugged. “Methods aren’t as hamstrung here as in America. All those rules! How does anybody get anything done there?”
Farrell said, “It’s like kabuki.”
Whether he grasped the Japanese stage manner or not, Stinelli nodded. “Both criminals have been quite forthcoming. Volumes and volumes. A lot of open cases will be closed before this day ends. To you our gratitude will be limitless.”
Stinelli opened his desk top drawer. Out came their passports. He placed the identities before them. Swallowing the last of their coffee and swiping pastry for the road, Farrell and Mick collected their get out of jail cards then skedaddled.
Despite only having been “detainees,” immersion into early afternoon sun awarded Farrell a fuller sense of freedom. Vacant taxis idled along a nearby curb. They strolled towards the rank’s first.
“When that copper said no limits on Argie thanks, what do you think he meant?” Mick asked.
Farrell snorted. “In your case severe reductions in mordita and more mamacitas.”
The ride delivered Mick first. Their handshake was firm and Farrell’s thanks wasn’t profuse though honest. Mick accepted the latter with manly modesty.
“I owe you a beer,” Farrell said.
Grinning, Mick answered, “You owe me a lot of beers!”
Returned to his own apartment, Farrell stripped then stood under the shower, as scalding as he could endure. Not so much to scour away “jail,” but to loosen his back.
He toweled off and skipped a necessary shave for slumber. Overcome by exhaustion, this bed swaddled him with the sort of heavenly comfort he’d once ascribed to his old service racks after field maneuvers or deployments.
A ringing phone jarred him into bedroom shadows. The bedside clock showed he’d drifted through hours of serious sleep. Farrell answered his phone. Chipper, well-rested, Adriana. She called just to ascertain a few things. Easter Weekend so long, had he forgotten her? More importantly, did he still want her?
He noted she hadn’t yet matured enough to fully cloak insecurity behind the requisite mask of female indifference.
Farrell lied about the first, made up for it through the second. Adriana, her routine, would resume in two hours or less. Before hanging up, he asked her to run an errand. Fortunately for Farrell, he resided near one of Buenos Aires rare 24-hour apothecaries.
Two hours later Adriana hovered over him. Darker. Farrell wondered how many hours hadn’t she spent on the beach. He couldn’t wait to lick her tan lines. But first the ministering he required.
Adriana had fetched liniment for him. Although prolonged showering had loosened him, sleep had undone those benefits. Farrell rolled onto his stomach. His folded arms mashed stacked pillows and cushioned his chin.
Adriana rubbed heat-seeping cream from Farrell’s shoulders to his buttocks. She massaged gently though thoroughly. Perhaps it was his imagination, but Farrell thought Adriana exercised peculiar intensity among his hindquarters. Fingers in these masses soothed extremely well. Not only did he feel himself getting hard, but his balls started tightening.
Despite inciting his manhood, her actions nevertheless made him doze. Before succumbing entirely, Farrell forgot any guilt about lack of inquiry concerning her Easter Weekend.
Autera phoned him the first week of April. Usually Farrell initiated contact. Rather than their accustomed rendezvous in San Telmo, Autera chose a Calle Paraguay café. Unlike the San Telmo spot’s decidedly relaxed environment, the new choice aptly mirrored its Microcentro pulse.
In these dense Buenos Aires blocks business crushed gentility. If it weren’t for street corner empanada vendors, North Americans could’ve been excused for believing themselves in any big Stateside city.
Hulking structures above squeezed foot and vehicular traffic jams below. From ground level window fronts familiar international retailers appealed to common vanity. No boutique hotels charmed here, but impersonal hoteliers geared towards expense account travelers.
Despite the glorious afternoon, shawls or sweaters covered apparently more anemic Porteñas’ shapely shoulders. The early autumn date aside, the season pushed its transformation. Dead leaves increasingly scattered underfoot. Evenings, chill teased bare skin.
Though they sat in sunshine, Autera kept on his suit jacket. The unassuming civil servant announced delivery of good news. Autera avrupa yakası escort sipped Malbec. Farrell drank beer.
“No doubt you have been watching or reading about the magnificent art recoveries the police have made,” Autera stated.
Farrell smirked. “Sure have. La policia are outright gangbusters. I bet the collectors are astounded.”
Dropping into confidentially, Autera said, “What hasn’t been released yet is the provenance of certain works.”
Instantly piqued, Farrell nodded for him to continued.
“There are owners, then there were rightful owners. Many of the recovered pieces are on the plundered art registry.”
In post-World War II confusion numerous antiquities and canvasses stolen by Nazis simply vanished. Some the war consumed. Others joined secret collections. Only within the last decade had the art community begun concerted efforts to unearth and repatriate such booty to its true owners, their successors or claimant nations.
“I guess some of those Rat Line transplants arrived carrying more than desires of burying their old lives,” Farrell suggested.
Autera smirked at the other’s impishness. A consequence of the war, the Rat Line funneled Nazis out of allied conquered occupied Europe. The escape network routed highly-sought axis officers and officials into the Middle East and throughout South America. Particularly in Argentina. A distinction the Argentines imperfectly disdained. Evading justice, or as the absconders saw it, victors’ vengeance, they secreted themselves in remote areas or adopted rigorous public virtue.
“Perhaps you are correct, Senor Farrell. Nonetheless the sudden discoveries will honor our proud country. It’s just the sort of, how you say, polish, Argentina deserves.”
“Good for Argentina,” Farrell said, “but how did you get those shady owners to relinquish their claims?”
Indignant, Autera said, “The Republic of Argentina is a democracy! We gave them a choice! Either receive notoriety or accept generous thanks!”
Farrell laughed. “Well. When you put it like that …”
“And now a token of our thanks to you, senor.” Autera reached into his suit jacket and presented one purple and gold embossed Argentine passport. He slid the document toward Farrell. Skeptically the American opened it. Scanning what proved one quite legitimate identification he could now claim dual citizenship.
“No oath necessary,” Autera said. “Just sign.”
Farrell plucked a pen from his pants pocket and scrawled his signature.
Blandly, Autera wished him congratulations and welcome. “Indirectly as you have, you’ve provided our country a great service. Although your State Department vexes us, returning long-lost property to Europeans and Jews gives us a proverbial ‘leg up.'”
“And it justifies telling State to go fuck itself,” Farrell said.
Autera shrugged. “Many in the Foreign Ministry share that opinion, but proper diplomacy won’t allow saying it. We prefer to show it.”
Farrell thanked Autera, who mildly absorbed the kindness as his due.
“Now,” the Argentine said, “the other piece of news. Your boss, Senor Quinn, will be arriving in the capital next week.”
“Roddy Quinn!? In Buenos Aires!? What for!?”
“An offer of a raise perhaps,” Autera said.
Over the week Roderick Quinn’s impending visit gnawed at Farrell. Possibilities of incredibly bad news hollowed his mind. He placed nothing past the mendacity of this current administration. After all if it could sacrifice brave and true thousands to faulty ideology, several specific targets merited even less compassion.
That week Farrell fucked Adriana and Sofia intending to rip them apart. The drive behind his cock was mercilessly focused. Both women wound up tender. Especially Adriana. Having boned her so roughly Farrell sensed her resentment. Imposed upon as she likely felt, Adriana endured him with a stoicism he at any other time should’ve admired.
Had Farrell esteemed her higher, he might’ve explained circumstances behind his conduct. But such a step could’ve falsely raised her hopes. Their roles were established. Treating Adriana above her station was the surest steps toward “complications.”
The day came. A Sunday. Quinn sent word where and when they were to meet. On the way Farrell occupied his thoughts with “what’s next” not “what’s worse.”
Farrell rode the subte south to Independencia. Walking east from that metro stop bland blocks livened into loud, congested Defensa. Sundays, Porteños promenaded along this narrow thoroughfare. Up and down diversions from music, tableaux vivants, marionette shows to alpaca rides for children interrupted the humdrum.
At Plaza Dorrego vendors had set up shop, attracting hordes to their pampas bazaar. Which was where Quinn insisted they meet. Or where Quinn spotted him first.
The Bronx cut through the din clearly. Regardless of who barked his given name Farrell would’ve turned. Other than family and boyhood friends, he rarely heard it. Quinn’s age, 67, and position, to which Farrell deferred, permitted him its possessive use. Otherwise since his first freshman beer and bullshit blast after Registration Day, strangers now dormmates seized on the unearthing of his mother’s maiden name serving as his middle one. Therefore, Bryce surrendered to Ransome.