The twins are gone by the time Ellen rises. She has a message about her car, texts back that they can see it anytime today. Text reply five minutes later. Katya has already fished around on Edmund's and Carfax for prices, Ellen can get maybe three thousand, more likely twenty five hundred. Two more texts, two more appointments.
She got offers from all three, highest was twenty nine hundred. They take the car to a title company, do the paperwork, Ellen has the cash in her pocket. Katja picks her up and takes her to the bank, deposit most of the cash, drive home.
Ellen, "That was quick. One day."
"Katya said the price was fair, not top dollar maybe but better than trade in. Katya and I will be gone tomorrow, maybe Thursday also."
"Okay, anything you need me to do?"
"Nyet, only be available if one of the shops needs help."
"Okay, anything I can do for you? Like now?"
They go to Ellen's room, she undresses Katja, they kiss, free form hand roaming, then on the bed.
Ellen gives Katja a long stretch of intimate attention, with the intended result, then pulls a strap-on from the night table, "Fuck me, please."
Katja is happy to oblige, does her with slow gentle strokes. Passionate kisses interspersed with low moans of pleasure, a somewhat louder moan of pleasure, and a shuddering screech.
Katja unstraps, the toy falls to the floor, "not finish," she eases between Ellen's lovely legs and lowers her head.
Afterwards, they lay together in post coital no mind, drifting along contented and warm. Ellen's head is on Katja's shoulder, her fingers trail up and down the lean body.
"Both of you are hard as bricks, I never see you work out."
"Genetics. We haf always been muscle. We did gymnastic when we are little. Now we haf extra time because you are here."
"Gymnastics? Gee, that explains it, did you compete? Guess you were kinda young."
"Nyet, just class. Now we do at home only, keep in shape, flexibility."
"Now it makes more sense," she thumps Katja's tummy with a flick of her forefinger, "hard."
She leans in and kisses the smooth fat-free tummy, works her way down. Katja decides, gasping, that Ellen is a remarkable servant indeed.
Katya comes home, "Enough sex for you Ellen, make us drinks and appetizer."
"Anything else I can do for you."
"Sister will take care of, go now and make drink."
Katja, "Undress, I will relax."
When Ellen appears with the vodka, she's treated to the sight of Katja kneeling between Katya's tight legs, stimulation first, relaxation follows. She hands Katya her glass, eyes roam Ellen's body, Katja's tongue roams Katya's softness, Ellen tosses back the vodka meant for Katja and uses a long finger to self stimulate while Katya takes in the show. A few minutes later, Katya and Ellen simulgasm, Katja rolls to her side.
Ellen sits on the side of the bed, "I need to refuckinboot, Jaysus," she takes a deep breath, "what an afternoon, then this. Working for you two is all benefit, no work."
Katya, "Make more cocktail before dinner."
Ellen stands, collects the glasses and strolls off to the kitchen, butt rolls seductively, the twins don't miss the wiggly exit.
Katya and Katja sit at the table, Ellen brings vodka, Katya says, "I am hungry, finish preparing dinner."
Tonight dinner has to be simple, selling the car then sex play doesn't allow for elaborate. She puts together a pizza with red and yellow peppers, mushrooms, pepperoni and anchovy sprinkled with four cheeses on top of a thin layer of olive oil.
Katja, "Tomorrow we will go out of town early. Oh, and we haf credit card for you. You can use for grocery, gas in car, pick up dry cleaning."
Ellen, "Thanks, simpler than askin' for money all the time."
"You have class tomorrow."
"Two, nine and ten thirty. Then the gym, then home. If you have to stay overnight, be my first time alone."
Katya, "Doors have good locks and deadbolts. Windows are double pane. Anyway, neighborhood is quiet, but our house is more secluded. Keep outside lights on at night, curtains closed. Don't invite problem."
Ellen, "I’ll be careful."
"You know how to use gun, pistol?"
"A little, one of mom's more decent boyfriends took us to a shooting range one time. I've fired a pistol, hit a piece of paper. I don't know anything else."
"Do you want gun?"
Ellen, "I don't know. Not until I've had a chance to use one more than once. Learn what to do besides point and pull the trigger."
"Okay. Tomorrow, buy mace, pepper spray, something. Not great but better than nothing when you are alone. One for home, one to carry. No good in drawer next to bed if you are in parking lot across town. We will see about gun later."
It occurs to Ellen to ask if they have guns now, but it also occurs to her that if they wanted her to know, they would say so.
She does say, "Is it dangerous, to be alone in the house at night?"
Katya, "Probably not, better to be prepared than scared. You are beautiful young girl, men get stupid ideas, then you are rape or worse. Let men be stupid, we will not be stupid. Do you know what to do if man grabs?"
Ellen, "Scream, run away?"
"Yes, but if he grabs tight, you need to have mental picture of what to do. First, man is bigger, stronger, but everybody has weak spot. Groin, kick hard, or grab and squeeze hard. Not halfway kick, kick. Also knee, kick hard with heel to knee or even shin, good chance to run away. Most important, throat and eyes. You punch throat hard, he is not anymore going to attack. If he is close, right on you, thumbs in eyes, hard, all the way in. He is finish."
Ellen, "Geez, that's gruesome."
"Alternative is for you to be raped, beat up or killed. You take eyes, you live, he never attacks anyone again. Look, you imagine attack, imagine what you will do, over and over, all the kick, balls, knee, punch throat, fingers in eyes. If it happens, you won't have to think, only react. You don't get hurt, he is no more any problem."
Ellen, "I got it, brutal but necessary."
"Da, understand, if man gets you in car, you are dead girl. Only hope is to grab wheel and wreck car, don't sit like baby or cry and beg for mercy, he will not have mercy."
Ellen, "I'm glad you're tellin' me this, not glad to have to think of it, but better to practice now than be a shit kicked victim later."
"Da, make man victim."
Our girls are driving into Waco, which in the nineties was Wacko. Katya's telling her sister what she learned on Wiki about the Branch Davidian standoff and subsequent fire. They were waiting on an imminent Armageddon, which they got courtesy of the bungling ATF crew. There was, however, no Second Coming, only Davidians Going. That proud moment led to the Oklahoma City McVeigh bombing two years to the day later.
In 2013, a fertilizer plant blew up in Waco (fertilizer and fuel oil were used in the Oklahoma City bombing, no apparent connection.) It destroyed the plant, a school, an apartment complex and damaged a nursing home. Fifteen people dead, near two hundred injured. The plant had numerous safety violations in the past, stores of ammonium nitrate far beyond what they were permitted for, nothing was done about it. Not much regulation in Texas, interferes with the ability to blow up people.
Katja's driving, "Ees stupid city or what?"
Katya, "Texas doesn't like rules to interfere with corporate profits, a few dead people, so what, they can be replaced."
“Maybe Texas will give us prize for killing people.”
Katya rents a van in one of her fake names, they drive to a mall lot and leave the Honda.
Then to Wallace Watkins offices. They're in a corporate park, Watkins and Co. Several satellite dishes, big one, it's a TV station. A local TV exec doesn't need a bodyguard, Penny nailed it, he's gay.
"That's his car, I will attach tracker."
Katya hops out, they know what kind of car he drives, high end Mercedes, confirmed by the sign planted at the curb that says 'Wallace Watkins CEO.' It's in a stretch of reserved covered parking, but nobody else has an assigned space.
Katja, "Ees only eleven. What to do?"
"Coffee shop down the street. I'll go in and get something, we don't want to be seen together."
They never dress identically at home, but they do now in case they need to confuse the bodyguard or Watkins. Same sunglasses, fedora. Nondescript loose jeans, black sneakers, t-shirts, black suit jackets. Got to hide the guns under something.
They sip coffee, parked on the street out of sight of the building. If Watkins' car moves, they'll see it on the GPS.
At quarter to twelve, it does. They figure he's going to lunch, it will be hard to snatch him, they follow in case an opportunity pops up.
They pass several restaurants, down a stretch of nothing, turn into a park near a small man made lake. The Mercedes stops under a sizable oak tree. The bodyguard is driving, windows are dark tint, but his blond cropped hair is outlined against the window.
Katja, "What ees stop to look at lake?"
Katya, "Muscle boy looks at lake, Watkins looks at dick."
It's true, they can just catch the movement inside. The blond head shifts, back against the window, an arm draped over the seatback.
Katya, "Let's get this done."
The park is stone still, not even a stray duck. She shoots the window with the silenced Glock, it shatters, she whacks the blond hard on the side of his skull. Watkins’ head snaps up, the bodyguard's fading erection in his hand. Katya clicks the door lock, Katja yanks Watkins out by his shirt collar and sticks the revolver in his neck.
"Don't talk, come along, or die here."
Watkins is shaking, muscle boy isn't doing jack, he's dreaming of suckus interruptus. Katja kicks the passenger door shut, nothing to do about the busted window. Sooner or later the guard will come to, or someone will get curious about the car.
Watkins and Katya are in the back of the van, Katja drives outside of town, finds an abandoned building on a dirt road, appears to have been a gas station before a thruway made it obsolete. The only thing visible is a stretch of empty asphalt and dust. She pulls the van around back just in case.
Katya has Watkins tied and taped.
They have the rear door open, it's fall, warm, not hot. The view is dirt, scrub, hills off in the distance.
Katya rips off the tape, Watkins winces, "What in hell's this about? Kidnapping? Good fuckin' luck little lady. Nobody's gonna pay jack to get me back. This ain't fuckin' Bogota."
Katya, "Looks pretty Hispanic to me, but I am from Russia, so who knows? Anyway, we are not kidnapping."
"Well, what then? Nobody I know has the balls to have me killed."
He blinks, thinks, "Say, wait, you telling me you're here to kill me?"
"Da, um, yes, we will kill you soon."
"Hold on missy, no offense, but who wants me dead so bad they hire a couple of kids to do it?"
"You will have to tell us. We don't know who, we only know who they want dead. Person pays money, we kill."
"How do you collect money from someone you don't know? They just mail it to you?"
"Not to us, to our agent. We do not talk to person, agent does, only on phone. They send money, half up front, we kill, they send other half."
Watkins, "You mean it's like the movies? For real?"
"Sometimes. Sometimes killer works for gang, sometimes independent. We use agent, arm's length I think you call it."
"Who? You don’t know, then how much, what am I worth?"
"I don't know if I'm flattered or insulted."
"We kill for forty, sometimes even twenty, no less. You are good price, we appreciate."
Watkins, "I don't fucking appreciate. Is this a joke, some bullshit my poker buddies thought up. Those assholes would do something like this."
"No, a practical joke, make me think someone's out to kill me."
Katya, "Bodyguard doesn't think joke is funny. He has big headache."
"Yeah, oh, yeah, I forgot. If it isn't them, then what?"
"We talk in circle. We don't know. We are curious to know. What did you do for someone to want you dead? Maybe what do you have that someone can get if you are dead."
"I swear, I have no idea. How can you just kill people you don't know for money. How do you know the person who hired you isn't ten times worse than me?"
"We are like soldier, he kills people he doesn't know for money."
"A soldier? That's different. They fight to protect our way of life, out of duty and honor."
"Then they should be soldier for free. Why take money?"
"They gotta live."
"Army gives place to live, food, clothes, medical treatment, dentist. They still get salary. We don't even get salary, we are paid by job. Nobody dies, we don't collect paycheck like solider. Nobody pays medical, give us a place to sleep, uniform to wear, boots, fly us to job. We even buy gun and bullet. Soldier has it easy."
She skips the part about stealing the guns and ammunition, "Enough philosophy, who wants you dead?"
""Why does it matter to you? I die, you get paid."
"We kill people before. Then we say, 'Why this man? What did he do, or didn't do, or who makes money when he is dead? It is either revenge or money. So, for you, what is it?"
"Not revenge, nobody to be even jealous. I'm a tough businessman, but revenge murder for a few layoffs seems like overkill. I'm divorced, my ex doesn't care enough to kill me and she doesn't profit from it anyway. Tate, my, um, bodyguard doesn't have a jealous boyfriend. He's not even gay. I pay him, he lets me...you know."
"We don't care about gay, or if you pay prostitute boy. Then somebody makes money when you die, who?"
"Fuck, unbelievable. The station has a two million dollar policy on me, call it key man insurance. I own a third of the station, and I'm the anchor, the voice and face. They said if anything happened, they would be out a lot of money trying to replace me."
"And you believed them? Replace somebody to read monitor with already written news story?"
Watkins stares, his shoulders sink, strangely, he laughs, "What a sap. Egotistical bastard. I fell for it. They dropped the lure, I fucking bit. They waited three years and they don't wanna wait any more."
It's quiet for a time, Watkins asks, "Now what? It's pretty obvious. My two partners want to collect two million for a fifty thousand investment. And they're gonna stick the bimbo blond they've been fucking in the anchor chair for less than I draw now."
Katya unties him, lets him stretch, "Probably need to pee, take a break."
He's so relieved to be loose, he smiles, slides off the truck bed and walks to the side of the dilapidated station. Katja pops him with her Ruger thirty eight in the base of his neck, then again in the back about heart level. He slumps against a rusted out restroom sign.
They drag him inside and shut the door, collect their Honda, return the van. Katja drives them back to Houston.
Katya, "Learn anything?"
"Da, no to haf life insurance."
Ellen, "Y'all have a good trip?"
"Da, okay. No interesting business, we talk over key person insurance."
"Eef business owner ees dead, from sick or anything, company gets money to make up for important person not around anymore. We haf donut shops, no business partner, doesn't matter."
Ellen, "Oh, I don't know squat about insurance. They make us buy car insurance, so I got some, that's it."
"You haf to get medical insurance. We bought Obama president insurance. You must buy now."
Ellen, "Can you help me, I have no idea what I'm doing."
Katya, "Probably get what we have. Young girl, healthy, not expensive.”
Katja, "What ees dinner? Make cocktail first."
Ellen delivers two vodkas, a bowl of nuts and sliced cheese.
"Tonight, I got fried chicken, it's good, cheaper and simpler than fryin' it myself. Baked beans with bacon in the oven, and coleslaw. I made it with purple cabbage, shredded carrots and that tahini dressing you like. Chicken in the oven to keep warm, I’ll crisp it up when we’re ready to eat."
Katya, "Go and have a drink, I have to talk to sister, we will eat later, and bring another vodka."
The twins wait until Ellen delivers the drinks, then she's across the room in the kitchen, they still talk mentally.
"What do you think?"
"We will take her to shooting range a few more times. She was okay with gun, not afraid. We did not talk of shooting people."
Katya, "Maybe she says something. If not, maybe ask if she ever thought what to do if she has to shoot a person, like that. Just make hypothetical. If she is weak, drop it."
Why would the twins care? It's dicey to bring in someone else, and they have no current need of help. It's Katya's nature to think a few steps, even many steps, ahead. They may never need her. But if they do, she wants to know beforehand if the girl can deliver. Together, the amount of conscience the twins possess is less than a Dick Cheney zombie. They don't need a reason other than money to kill, it pays, they do it. With Ellen, they don't know where she is on the conscience scale. She's nice, enthusiastic, reasonably intelligent, submissive. But submissive is partly a prelude to sex play. None of it means she can pull a trigger for pay.
They relax on the couch, no TV, no music, the twins don't require external entertainment. Katya's brain is always ruminating on something. Katja doesn't ruminate on anything, her brain fires up when she has a project, otherwise she's content to blank, only snow on her mental screen. Ellen is happily diddling around in the kitchen, a sip of wine, stir the beans, take out the coleslaw and give it a toss. She fires up the broiler for a few minutes. When the chicken is nicely crisped, she transfers the pieces to a platter and sets it on the table with the baked beans and coleslaw. Plates, place settings and napkins, wine glasses and a bottle of just tart Cabernet.
Katya, "Set a place for yourself, no need to stand at counter."
As they fill plates, Ellen asks, "May I go to the gun range again? I kind of like shooting. I think I could get real good at it."
Katya, "Tomorrow, is it a class day?"
"Only in the morning."
"We will go to the shop early, Katja will meet you at the range, maybe two thirty."
Ellen, "Perfect, I can squeeze in the gym first. I thank y'all everyday for the Honda, so much better than my old Corolla."
"Mother quit complaining?"
She laughs, her mother bitched when Ellen moved, "Her fuckhead boyfriend checked out a week after I did. Asshole thought he's gettin' me'n her. Even told me that was the deal. You believe that? She got him by throwing me in the pussy pile. She's fuckin' delusional, I never went for it before, she kept hopin' even after I told her I was a lesbian. She thinks I made it up to dodge her boys. The good news is she's moving to Oklahoma. Gotta 'nother job, car dealer or something. I'm so frickin' happy she's going. I woulda shot that asshole boyfriend if I had to stay there."
Katya, "You think you could shoot someone?"
"If they were grabbing my ass and pushing me into the sack, I sure could."
"What about for money? Would you shoot someone, someone you didn't know, for money?"
Ellen swallows the bite of chicken, "I'd shoot my own mother for enough money, sheeyit, maybe for nothin'. How much we talkin' 'bout?"
Katya, "Curiosity only, not shoot anyone tonight. Sex tonight."
Ellen, "Hell, after I get these dishes cleaned up, you tell me what'cha want and how long you want it."
Katya mentals Katja, "Do not mistake talk for action. Go to range, then we will go someplace and practice with harder target than paper. Teach her to clean gun, take apart and put together, we will see."
By the time Ellen is finished with the kitchen, Katja is well along to her first orgasm courtesy of Katya.
Ellen is bedside, "You two are dehydrating me and I'm just standin' here."
"Don't stand, get in bed and lick."
Ellen giggles, she loves doing what she's told, particularly when she's told to jump the twins.
Half hour later, toys in a tangle of sheets, Katya is screwing Ellen's ass, Ellen is deliciously delirious. She shivers orgasm three.
"I'm a dead girl, everything feels so good I gotta be in heaven."
Twins are at the shop for five, Katja examines the bakers' work, "Good, always good job. We are to open another place, bigger, more table. You haf friend who need work, learn to make donut?"
Manolo, "Always Miss Katja. I have cousin and nephew who want to come to US, they are skilled bakers, have a small panderia. But no money in Mexico, and many criminal. If you sponsor, they will come."
Katja, "Da, okay, it ees for you to make arrangement, then we fill out immigration form."
After the opening rush and the school kid rush, things settle down.
Katja, "I can get eemigrant baker for new store."
Katya, "Maybe next shop we will buy building."
"We will haf three three business, donut, property, killing."
Katya, "In America, they call it diversification. One business is slow, the others carry us."
Katja wanders back to the kitchen, talking to herself as she tends to do, 'We will be diversify, reech American girl from Russia.'
Katya has the Vespa, she's at a real estate office exploring commercial opportunities. They have three shops, the fourth will be the fourth corner of the square, shops five to eight miles apart. The agent goes to work on proposals, Katya goes to the bank.
"We want to borrow money to buy a building for another shop. We will put two hundred fifty thousand, you will lend the rest."
Banker, "What is the rest?"
"Not sure, maybe seven, eight hundred thousand, for building. It will have other tenant paying us rent."
"Cash flow for the shops is good, if you put up twenty five percent and the appraisal comes in right, that should be no problem at all. "
Katya, "We will know soon."
Banker, "Frankly, until you opened accounts with us, I had no idea the pastry business was so good."
"We have superior product. You should try."
"I should, you're a good customer and about to be a better one. One of your locations is only a couple miles out of my way to work. In fact, we have a monthly meeting tomorrow before opening. I'll supply Katya Donuts and the whole branch will give them a try."
She stands, "The agent will send you details of property."
He stands, "Always a pleasure Miss Kazakova, perhaps your donuts will liven up our monthly meeting. They surely can't hurt. Banker meetings are mostly a snooze."
Katya goes to the shop, Katja leaves for the shooting range, an indoor place, one of many that dot gun happy Houston. Ellen is waiting. They line up next to each other and plunk a few into paper squares.
Katja looks at Ellen's target, she's doing fine at twenty five yards, more than adequate for a stationary human target. They haven't graduated to sniper shots.
Ellen, "I can hit anything at that distance, had enough for now?"
"Yes, you are going home now?"
"Have to stop at the grocery, home after."
"See you then."
Katya is there when Katja gets in, "She ees okay, hit target twenty five yards, can hit at two feet. We are getting loans?"
"Yes. It will suck up half of our cash."
"We will kill someone and get more."
"Penny has to call first, but somebody always wants somebody dead."
Ellen arrives, "I'm gonna grill you the best steak you ever tasted. Got rib eyes I been marinating overnight. Bought a real good potato salad, be better when I fry up bacon crispy and sprinkle it in. Mixed green salad, blue cheese to crumble on it. How's that sound?"
"Good. We are going tomorrow to shoot moving target, hang can from tree," waves her palm back and forth, "will make it swing."
Ellen, "Cool. Fun day ahead."
After a bit of steak, Katja says, "You are good cook Ellen. Mother teaches you or only grandmother?"
"Naw, my mom can't boil water. My granny taught me, she's dead now six years. She was raised in Mississippi, lived in New Orleans for a while, then to Houston. When I was old enough to stand up, she showed me how to cook, breakfast first, then all the southern dinner recipes. In her day, the big meal was lunch, 'cept they called it dinner. At night they had what we call lunch now, 'cept they call it supper. Y'all want me to start cookin' southern?"
"What ees southern?"
"Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, brown gravy, not the red stuff. Pot roast, nice hunk of chuck, slow cooked with potatoes and carrots. Beans and rice, all kinds of beans, navy pea, red, black, cooked all day with ham and sausage. Green beans slow cooked with bacon and onion. Pork chops, macaroni and cheese, creamed spinach like we already make. Vegetable soup, pork loin simmered all day in a crock pot, add any vegetable you like. Skillet cornbread, I can make apple pie, cherry pie, banana pudding and the best yella cake you ever tasted. So good and sweet, you gonna think you got me in your mouth."
"You will show me."
Ellen grins, "Sure."