The driver for the chairman rang the doorbell as the men present looked in wonder at the massive dwelling in front of them. They’d heard many things, of course, about this Canadian industrialist and business magnate, Jonathan Blackwell, but they hadn’t truly appreciated the information they’d been given about Blackwell Manor.
Seconds later, a tall and striking woman with bronze hair and astonishing golden-amber eyes, wearing a black and white maid’s uniform she was almost spilling out of answered the door, her expression neutral, but with an underlying hint of danger.
“Good evening,” said the young man who had rung the doorbell. “We are here for the business meeting and dinner with Mister Jonathan Blackwell and his family?”
“Mais bien sûr,” Karen said, her unnerving eyes hard and her expression somewhere between dour and exasperation. “By all means, gentlemen, follow me…”
Mike & Karen
Disclaimer: All characters are 18 years of age or older while actively engaging in sexual activity. This story is a prequel/sequel (sprequel?) to my other work, Alex flames will be snickered at and deleted with extreme prejudice. Enjoy!
Please Note: There are incest themes with a secondary couple in this story. Just a forewarning.
Chapter XIX- With Six You Get Egg Roll
Blackwell Manor, February 1987, one dark and miserably cold, wet night…
“Judas!” Karen shouted in outrage toward the backs of the retreating staff, who were all hurrying to cars and taxis in the large driveway. “Quislings! Apostates! How could you?! In my time of need?!”
She turned and her eyes widened as she saw Angelique, one of her favourite staff members, hurrying for the door and pulling a scarf around her head as if she were hoping to not be noticed.
“Angelique!” Karen exclaimed in dismay. “You… you’re bailing on me too?”
“Miss Gordon… Karen…” the girl said, faltering for a moment before she remembered her aversion to danger. “I love you, we all love you, but… well… to be indelicate, I’d rather have my eyeballs sucked out my ass than get involved in this insane scheme of yours. I’ll… I’ll be back in a week…”
“How can you lot take your accrued time off all at once?!” Karen called to Angelique’s back as she hurried for a cab that was pulling up. “You’re not even unionized! Are you?”
Standing in the grand foyer, Karen turned and leaned back against the door, closing it while also sliding down it slightly. Her expression was one of disbelief. The manor, which was normally a quiet place to begin with, seemed eerily so to her now. Not all the staff and servants had stampeded out the front door, so some must have made their escape via other methods of egress.
“I can’t believe it, Jordan,” she said rather dully as she gazed at the grand staircase. “They all left. All of them. Does loyalty mean nothing these days?”
“One cannot blame them, my dear,” the older man said in a kindly voice. He was in his fifties, his hair silvery and his face getting thin, but he stood ram-rod straight and had a bearing of quiet and crisp dignity and efficiency about him. “Because even by your rather lofty standards, this caper is nothing short of madness.”
“Oh, you’re exaggerating,” she grumped dismissively. There was something amiss with the world when her powers of persuasion failed her. Reality had gone wrong. Again. As it always seemed to when she needed it most. “But with their disappearance, yes, it is now folly heaped upon madness. Jordan, we can’t do this by ourselves.”
“Too true, mistress,” he agreed as he put on his fedora and picked up his walking stick. “And I wish you the best of luck. I shall be back some days from now.”
Her eyes widened in shock. “Jordan!” she gasped as she stood up, looking stunned. “How can you-“
“Adieu, my dear girl,” he said as he opened the door and headed out. “Hopefully not forever, mind.”
Karen stared at the closed door, dumbfounded. She hadn’t expected Jordan, of all people, to abandon her. Could this idea truly be that crazed?
No, she told herself. They’re all just afraid. Challenges and the prospect of success terrify little people with little dreams. What was there to fear, except fear itself?
Karen sighed loudly and looked over at Odo, her father’s beagle of rather advanced age. He looked back up at her through rheumy eyes, snuffled and then trotted away, disappearing like everyone else.
“Et tu, Brute?” Karen grumbled, folding her arms and scowling at the floor. She was truly alone now and was forced to admit that she had no way of pulling this off by herself. Not without a lot of favours.
Well, didn’t people owe her a lot of favours?
She stood up straight again, her daunting izmir escort bayan golden-amber eyes flashing in determination. Yes. This would work out after all. She just needed to call in favours!
Now who was insane enough to get themselves involved in this little caper to save her family?
University campus, the following morning…
“Ummm… ‘scuse me?” Mona said, her eyebrow raised as she gave Karen a rather surprised look. “Did I just hear you right, princess?”
“If you mean did you hear me ask for help, then yes, you indeed heard me right,” Karen affirmed, standing with her friend in the hallway of the dorm, outside their favourite study hall. To Mona’s surprise, the normally supremely ‘in control of everything’ Karen had asked for her assistance, and whatever this was, it had an air of urgency to it, even before the explanation.
“You. Asking me for help,” Mona stated, wanting to make sure she’d heard correctly. “As in, ‘I’m Karen Gordon, and I need assistance from mortals’ kind of help?”
Karen gave her friend a look. “I would prefer to not have to call in a favour.”
Mona’s expression was skeptical. “Girl, how many favours do you think you’re owed? You bought me lunch one day when I forgot my wallet back in my room; you didn’t save me from working for Don Bluth and dying of diabetes as a result.”
“Do you still owe DeBourne any favours?” Karen asked.
Mona seemed confused. “I… maybe?”
“Good, I’ll take one of his,” the bronze-haired girl said. “He won’t notice.”
“What?” asked Mona, shaking her head as if to clear of Karen’s bafflegab. “That’s not how favours work, woman, you can’t just steal one from somebody else. They aren’t like my grandpa’s spankings on credit against future bad behaviour!”
Karen sighed and made a decision. “Mona, I’m sorry that I have to do this, then…”
The black girl looked slightly worried now. “No, you wouldn’t. You can’t, Kar. That’s cheating.”
Karen made to speak, but Mona shut it down quickly. “Okay, okay! Whatever it is, I’m in! Come Hell or high water, I’m in! Just not that!”
“I thought you’d see it my way,” Karen said airily, nodding in satisfaction. “Now let’s go find Remington and Heyman, I need them too.”
“All right, but only if you explain on the way what I’m getting myself into,” Mona muttered as she fell into line beside Karen, who was already marching down the hall toward the stairs up to the third floor.
“Did I just hear you right?” Janet asked as she sat on the edge of Lisa’s bed, her eyebrow almost raised into her hairline. “Because even for you, Kar, this is completely nuts.”
“I think everyone is just blowing it out of proportion,” Karen replied, standing while everyone else sat in the room she shared with Lisa, her dorm mate of two years now.
“Um, I gotta agree with Janet,” Lisa said, sitting on the floor, her legs bowed and the bottoms of her feet touching. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anything outside of a sitcom that was this weird.”
“Girl, you don’t know the half of it,” Mona said, sitting on Karen’s bed, legs crossed and kicking one knee back and forth. “She tried to steal a favour I owed DeBourne in order to get me on board.”
Janet made a wry face. “Y’didn’t give it to her, did you? Those DeBourne favours and obligations are gold, y’know. That’s like trading steak dinners in prison, you hold onto ’em.”
“If you three are done…” Karen said somewhat testily, standing in the middle of the room with her arms folded. She was considerably taller than all of them, and they were four best friends, but Karen was primus inter pares. There was no doubt who was in charge when the chips were down. “There’s a lot to work out still.”
“Understatement of the year, princess,” Janet snorted. “And even if all four of us are involved, we’re still way low on requisite numbers. If we’re your only help, you’re still screwed, blued and tattooed.”
The three girls waited and watched Karen intently as she scowled at the floor, her prodigious mind racing to find solutions to her problem. She couldn’t deny it, even the four of them were not nearly enough to pull this off. She needed more bodies.
“Well, first things first,” Karen announced, deciding to tackle one part of the crisis at a time. “Are you three in?”
“I already told you I am,” Mona muttered, shaking her head. “My mama’s gonna give me hail Columbia if she ever finds out, and how the Hell we keep this from becoming an international incident is beyond me.”
“It won’t be international, probably,” Karen insisted. She looked at Lisa, who got flustered and flapped her arms uselessly for a moment before answering.
“Ohhhh, Kar, how’m I supposed to say no?” the tiny redheaded girl whined. “I’m your roomie and you’re my best friend! How would it look if I didn’t help?”
“Terrible,” Karen answered simply. “Awful. Unforgivable.”
“Damn, escort izmir girl, you play hardball, don’t you?” Mona mused, making a wry face. Lisa was squirming like a worm on a hook. “Be nice, you know she’s gonna do it.”
Lisa hung her head in defeat and nodded. Karen looked over at Janet who said nothing for several seconds. She seemed to be thinking this through very thoroughly. Mona made another wry face. “If you took this long to make up your mind about sex, you’d still be a virgin, woman.”
Janet stuck out her tongue at Mona before looking up at Karen. “Y’know that if this blows up, it’ll ruin any chances I ever have of a career in law, right? I’ll be lucky if I could get a job as a notary.”
“But think about if we succeed,” Karen pressed, giving them what she hoped was a pep speech. “If we pull this off…”
“If we pull this off, your family is greener than ever, yeah,” Janet interrupted. “It’s not like we’ll ever get any public credit.”
“That… is very true,” Karen admitted. “But we four, we can do anything together, if we put our minds to it!”
“I bet being clinically insane helps, and having an unfailing belief in yourself,” Mona sighed. “Fine, we’re all in. But now what?”
“Well, you three will have to come to the manor, obviously,” Karen pointed out. “And from there, we can… what?”
All three of her friends were staring at her, dumbfounded. It was Mona who finally found her tongue. “We’re going with you to Blackwell Manor?”
“That ginormous place you grew up in that is half the size of our entire campus?”
“I believe that’s the one in question, yes.”
“We’ve never been to your place before, Kar,” Janet stated. “This is kind of a first, y’know?”
“Well, I’ve never been to any of your homes before, have I?” Karen reasoned. “What’s so different?”
“I don’t even know how to explain this to her,” Mona sighed as she stood, followed by the other two rising to their feet. “So now what?”
“Well, I’ve only got room for one, since I drove down in the Quattro,” Karen mused. “Two of you will have to drive up there, so who is coming with m-“
“NOT IT!” Mona and Janet both yelped instantly, touching the pad of their index fingers to their noses.
Karen shrugged. “I guess you’re with me, Red. Get dressed.”
“Wait, what?!” Lisa blurted, going pale and looking back and forth between Mona and Janet. “Not fair! Why do I have to drive with Pinky Tuscadero?!”
“Well, you are her girlfriend,” Mona reasoned.
“She has a point, darling.” Karen agreed.
“W- no, wait!” Lisa blurted again, holding up a panicky hand to halt the proceedings and then pointing at her roomie. “I- I dumped her, remember? We’ve been broken up for over a month!”
“She has a point,” Karen iterated.
“Sounds like the penance for her folly has begun,” Janet laughed as she made for the door. “Enjoy the rally, Li.”
“I’ll send the directions your way in a bit,” Karen called.
“I know where the Bridle Path is, Kar,” Mona replied, winking. “I’ll just look for the biggest house that screams ‘Black people use rear entrance.'”
“Hey now!” Karen protested, but the duo was gone, and the door closed. She turned to look back at Lisa, who seemed very tiny and very alone now. “Well? No time for dilly-dallying. Get dressed, spit-spot!”
“I’ll go find my crash helmet…” Lisa moped, skulking off.
Blackwell Manor, February, the present…
Karen was listening to the Ciaccona of Bach’s Violin Partita No. 2 as she sat in the study. It was one of the rooms recently pulled out of mothballs, so to speak, and also one of her favourites. Relatively small and intimate, it was blessed with acoustics exquisite for listening to music. What was playing was a recording made of her many years ago that had been a favourite of her mother’s. Her preferred antique chair and a strong cup of coffee made by Theresa complemented the mood perfectly.
Sitting in her lap was an old book, dating back to 1923. It was a copy of Omar Khayyam’s Rubiyat, and it was the first birthday gift her husband had ever given her. Listening to Bach, drinking coffee, and reading Sufi poetry, this was as perfect a grey February evening as one could-
“Hey, mom,” Alex said as he leaned casually in the entrance to the study. “How’s things?”
“Just fine, darling,” she replied, smiling warmly at the sight of her son. Her handsome, gifted and immeasurably wonderful son. Of all the gifts Michael had even given her, how could anything, anywhere, match Alex? “What are you so reticent to tell me?”
He sighed and looked at the floor, shrugging. How did his parents always know? “That obvious, hm?”
Karen nodded and went back to reading. “Maybe you don’t notice, but when you’re up to something, you have a tendency to lapse into using contractions in your speech in order to seem casual. You also speak to your father and I from izmir escort an average distance of three meters, as if we’ll smell your perfidy. But when you’re not up to something, you just cruise on in and get ‘all up in our grill’, so to speak.”
“I do?” he queried as he approached her now, obviously busted. He wasn’t accustomed to having a tell. After all, how had he kept his desperate love for Alexa off his parents’ radar all last summer? Was this a new thing? He sat down in a chair near her and waited patiently while she finished reading.
She sighed contentedly at the sight of her son- Alexander Orion Dayraven DeBourne. He was the only child she’d had with her husband (so far), and he was her pride and joy, even if she used her Blackwell breeding to keep him in line when necessary. He was at least as smart as her or Michael, with an incredible gift for languages and music. Tall and strongly built, with a mane of golden hair, electric-blue eyes and a chiseled jaw, he was as handsome as he was charismatic.
If only he weren’t wasn’t such a snark-knight or a troll…
She closed her book and looked at him. “Since Huey, Dewey, and Louie aren’t with you, I assume this means that you’re an envoy?” she asked as she took a sip of her coffee. She loved the chicory root notes in this blend.
Alex didn’t even bother trying to be inscrutable at this point. “Okay, so…” he began, going over what he’d rehearsed. While his father was the ultimate authority in the DeBourne household, and Karen had always followed his lead when he asserted himself, Alex clearly knew that bypassing his mother was a dire misstep. She was a very wealthy physicist with ready access to strong acids and nuclear reactor cores, so hiding his body wouldn’t be a challenge. “This may sound strange, but…”
“I wouldn’t have it any other way, Alexander,” she said simply, her elbow on the plush arm of her chaise and her chin on the back of her hand as she gazed at him. She knew her golden-amber eyes unnerved him, as they did everyone else (except her oversized husband), but she found it a useful way to keep him in line when he was growing up. She crossed one leg over the other and settled in for what she hoped was a good yarn, as only a DeBourne could spin. “Do elucidate.”
“Well,” he began uncertainly. Karen batted her gorgeous eyelashes at him slowly, waiting to be taken on a narrative adventure. Michael wasn’t around, so her son would have to do. He seemed to be thinking carefully, as if what should have been a walk in the park could quickly become the trek into Mordor. “Jeanie’s grandparents think she’s married to a guy, so Jeanie and Freja want to borrow me to pretend that I’m her hubby. So, uh… Alexa and I need to go to Collingwood for a couple of days. Okay?”
Karen just looked at her beloved son for several seconds, letting him sweat. It wasn’t often that she got to see a DeBourne male look out of sorts, so she enjoyed it while she could. It was the little pleasures, sometimes.
“Well, then,” she said finally, standing and smoothing the front of her skirt before smiling down at him. “I guess you’d best speak with Ari and have him help you forge a marriage certificate or two, oui? Shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes with all those shiny toys in his office.”
“Really, mom?” he almost blurted, standing hastily when he remembered his mother had stood up. Michael had taught Alex to always stand when any female member of the family stood, especially if they were older, not to mention his mother. “D’you mean it?”
“Of course, darling,” she cooed, smiling and coming over to give him and warm and loving hug, her head and his shoulder. He smelled like a DeBourne, and it made her happy. “You’re a big boy now, and you have to look out for your peers, don’t you?”
She looked up at him now, smiling still. “But keep it minimally illegal, Alex. Don’t use my security systems for anything that I have to answer for. After all, Pickering isn’t that far away, is it?”
“Candu, mom,” he said, nodding.
“That’s my boy, and nice pun,” she said sweetly, giving him an affectionate kiss on the cheek. “Enjoy your life lessons, Alex.”
She sauntered out of the room, looking forward to her son and her baby sister telling her how that fiasco would go down. She wandered down the hallway, humming to herself and stopping to appreciate a small bouquet of fresh flowers in a vase before moving on.
“Did your son find you, Mrs. DeBourne?” Tatyana, the new seneschal asked, stopping and folding her hands primly in front of herself. “He seemed to need to speak to you, and yet he was apprehensive.”
“With good reason, Miss Orlova,” Karen replied, nodding. “He’s going to pretend to be his friend Jeanie’s husband for the duration of her grandparents’ visit to Collingwood. Just think, four people aged eighteen to twenty trying to pull off a scam like that. What could possibly go wrong?”
“One does wonder if you are speaking from experience, ma’am,” Tatyana mused.
“More than my fair share, I’m afraid,” Karen admitted. “Come, have tea with me and I’ll tell you the short version of it. The incident took place in this very abode…”