He watched her rear, but what else he saw meany ome.
I was fascinated by the way the young woman looked. She was obviously partly of Hispanic ancestry, and even more obviously partly of something oriental -- Korean, as I came to find out. I had stopped in the Double-T Diner for a slightly late lunch on my run making UPS deliveries, and she was just coming out of the bathroom when I got my food.
She saw me looking at her and was annoyed at first, then she smiled at me. It would be an exaggeration to say that she was flirting with me; the meeting and circumstances were too casual for that. She was just giving me a somewhat approving glance. I get that often, I'll have to admit. No credit to me for it, or anyway not much.
All my family are large and muscular and it does not take much to keep us in shape. The downside, for me at least, was that all through high school and college I had football coaches after me to be on the team, and I wanted nothing to do with that. Partly because it would cut into studying, mostly because I felt jocks were stupid and the coaches worse.
Yes, college, even if I was a UPS driver. The newspapers, or anyway the local one, talked about how great the economy was under Clinton, but I still couldn't get an engineering job. So I worked with my muscles, first at delivering appliances for Sears, then at a raise in pay doing similarly for UPS. They tended to give me the heavier items there, but I could hardly object -- kind of liked it, in fact.
Anyway, that woman was just noting me as somebody nice-looking, about her age, whom she would probably never see again. Certainly when she walked out the door a half-minute ahead of me, that was about what I expected, so I watched her rear while I had the chance. Nice one, too.
I had only one package left to drop off that day, and that was a small one, for a computer game company on Shawan Road in Hunt Valley, one of the dozen or so up there. It was a slow day, and after this last delivery I would call in to see if there was an unexpected pickup or whether I should just head back in. Since it was Friday they might even let me go home early. (The trucks were not going to be in with more packages until I was off duty, else they would have put me on unloading.)
The woman was evidently parked out around back, since she wasn't visible when I got outside. As I was turning to drive out, I spotted her getting into -- maybe being put into -- the back seat of a large car, with a man getting in with her whom I hadn't seen in the diner. And he was also getting in the back seat.
That might be nothing, but I went a little slow to see if they would pass me on Loch Raven, and they did. I looked out the window and down a little to try to catch her eye. She looked up with a pleading expression; I think waving would have attracted the attention of the (three, I saw now) men in the car, and she wanted to avoid that.
I nodded to her, and picked up the cell-phone they build into the trucks. I called 911.
"This is UPS truck 4732, on Loch Raven Boulevard headed north. I can't be sure, but I think I may have just witnessed an abduction."
"Is the vehicle in sight now?"
"Right ahead of me. Chevy Nova, don't know the year, but the license plate is 972-258. Dark blue, three men and a young woman. She's the one I think they took."
"That's good. Deions on the men?"
"No. Only saw one for a second before the car started moving. I know what she looks like, she was in the diner I ate in."
"Well, I'll take what you've got."
And I gave it.
"Bad news," he said then. "All the patrol cars are some distance off. Could you try to keep them in sight until we send somebody over the beltway?"
"Ich kann nicht anders."
"Excuse me, could you repeat that?"
"Nothing. Something they told me in Sunday School." Though it got the fellow who said it in a lot of trouble.
"Yes, if you don't think it'll cause trouble for her when they think I'm following them. Or trouble for me if they've got guns," I said.
And as I said it, I realized: nobody ever notices a UPS truck. I should be safe.
The car headed out Loch Raven for a couple of miles, with me watching for their turn signal while trying to not be too close behind, then it took a left on Timonium Road heading over toward the fair-grounds. This was actually reasonable for me, since it was toward Hunt Valley, but the opposite way from where the police were heading. I called the police dispatcher again.
"We have two cars in Cockeysville who should get there not long after the vehicle hits York Road -- if they go that far."
"Cockeysville! The ones heading from Towson would be closer."
"Yes, but this is a straight shot."
I still grumbled. Every time I went by the 7-11 near the fairgrounds there was a police car there. Why not now?
The car ahead started to get suspicious, or maybe they were preparing to stop. In any case they slowed down, and I had no choice but to keep going past them. I told the police that.
What I should do from here on was not clear to me, and I thought about it for half a mile. I said to myself:
"Once to every man and nation Comes the moment to decide When to bet them, when to fold them, When to sit and let it ride."
Which is not quite the way we sang it in church, but I like my version better.
The best I could do, I felt, was to pull to the side just past where we could see each other and hope that they came by -- or didn't come by, if they really were stopping. That at least would give the police a general area where they would be.
I got out of the truck in front of a house, so when they drove past I could seem to have just delivered something. As it turned out they were still suspicious.
The delay was still not enough for the patrol cars. The car I followed kept going beyond York Road. Another mile and they could get on the Jones Falls Expressway, which would be another whole kettle of fish and a messy one. They could be in another jurisdiction or two in a few minutes. And I couldn't legally follow them on the expressway.
The last part I don't think they knew, though, or they wouldn't have stopped. The car pulled up outside one of the office complexes opposite the Steak and Egg, running onto the lawn and then coming back off. The three men piled out as I stopped the truck, and headed toward me. A loud banging started coming from the car when they did; that was all the woman could do, as it turned out, since they had her bound.
They did not have guns, but they did have knives. Ouch. I figured that all I would have to do was slow them down, hold them for a minute until the cops showed up. Then it occurred to me that the last update I gave the dispatcher was before we crossed York Road. Oh, well...
"He who would save his life must give it up," I muttered, knowing that the man who said that one got nailed.
The office workers, however, saw us. The county police department got several calls at the same time giving a deion and location, at least one per floor from the building on the corner.
The three men tried to circle around me, so I hopped up the embankment to back against a large tree. That also made them come at me uphill.
Now as I said, I don't like football. It was drilled into my brothers and I (and my sister) how easy it was for us to hurt somebody if we weren't careful, so we only rough-housed with each other for the most part. There were only four of us, counting June, but judo was fine for four.
The first one came at me with a six-inch blade in his hand and went into the tree hard. He was out of it.
The second one stayed out of reach trying repeatedly to lure me from the tree, and finally threw his knife. I barely moved aside in time, or really I didn't, since I tore my shirt moving away from where the point had gone through the cloth and stuck in the tree. The third man had gone out of sight, so I just hoped he stayed there while I shook the second man's right arm enough to cause him a lot of pain. The drop to the street helped, since most of him made it there before his arm did. (I mean, it stayed attached, but I held onto it.)
The third man came at me from the back, around the side of the tree. I encouraged him to keep going, and he landed on the hood of the cop car that had just shown up.
The three men, I was told, were part of a setup that regularly took relatives of newly-wealthy executives, sometimes kind of heavily persuading ones that were slow to pay. Ones too newly-wealthy to have worried about security or bodyguards. They had planned to take this girl, the daughter of a computer entrepreneur, and have the money and let her go within 24 hours. In this case they had not had time to make a ransom demand.
I had kind of figured that this would be the end of my involvement. No such luck. I had to drive down to the Towson courthouse, fill out all kinds of papers, swear to a bunch of things, and get a court-date. After the local trial, the men would be turned over to the feds on old kidnapping -- and mutilation --charges. (Not everybody paid right away.)
The young woman who had been abducted handed over her car keys to the police so they could go get it from the lot of the Double-T Diner, where it had been left when she was taken. She (Maria Sanchez was her name I learned) talked to me when we were not both being interviewed, maybe to keep our minds off the bureaucratic nonsense. She was as nice at that as to look at.
I started getting annoyed after two hours of procedures (the chase was less than 30 minutes) and asking if I could get going up to Hunt Valley to deliver that one last package. The young woman, the kidnapee, looked up at me when I gave the address and she asked for the company name. (She'd been there through all the paperwork, or most of it -- I guess she had some of her own.)
I told her: "Jeux de Compute. Why?" I remembered it because it was a bilingual name.
"Would you be off the hook if an employee
signed for it?" she asked.
She flashed an ID. "I'm one. My father owns it."
That took care of that, I had to say.
She had heard a lot of the personal information I had given the police, and she asked a few more questions. Then she ducked to the other end of the arraigning room we were in and used a telephone there. Soon she motioned me back and handed me the receiver.
"This is Rafael Sanchez. I understand you have gotten my daughter out of a bad situation, and that you are, let's say overqualified for the job you have. Have you worked with computer games?"
"Computers, yes. Games, not really."
"I think we can work something out; the training shouldn't be much more. And you make deliveries already. Any objection to flying them on an airliner?"
"Can you start Monday? Don't know what you make now, but we will pay more for certain."
"Uh, yes, I can. My supervisor might not like it, but I guess he can live with it."
Actually, whether he liked it was not a factor. When I got the truck back to the garage, my boss ran me up one side and down the other for endangering company property, and ended the hour of harangue by firing me. So I didn't even get to tell him about quitting. Somehow the firing didn't bother me that much.
I got into my beat-up little Honda and drove home. Had to park three blocks away. It was still a very up-and-down day.
I walked down the street to my apartment building and saw the old lady who acts as the resident manager in return for a reduced rent there. Mainly this means that she keeps a set of keys to all the apartments and tells us why things haven't been fixed yet -- though the place is not really bad in that direction. She was standing on the corner talking to one of her neighborhood cronies, and she smiled at me, mouthed something, and pointed up to my apartment. I did not know what that was about, so I just headed in. I guessed that I would find out later.
When I let myself in I noticed right away that things had been moved. The week's worth of newspapers had been gathered and stacked, the book I had been reading last night was neatly squared with the table edge, bookmarked, and closed instead of sitting open as was usual. And the dishes had been done and were drying.
This was all explained (though other questions came up, and more than questions) when I turned and saw a naked Maria Sanchez standing in my bedroom doorway.
"I told the woman downstairs that I was going to meet you here to go out, but you were late. She said that since I would need a key to get out of your apartment, she would let me in to wait for you...
"I wanted to thank you in my own way!"
And I found my arms full of a warm, soft, eager woman. The only thing wrong with the situation was that I could not both hold her to me and appreciate the sight of her beautiful body -- though I did stare longingly at it later, after some other things had happened. There was also the point that Maria would feel better pressed to me if I were not fully clothed, but she helped take care of that.
Soon, my arms reached all the way around her to massage the small of her back as I held her body against mine. Our tongues twisted around each other as I leaned her back a little, my erection was burning into her belly, and Maria was standing on her toes -- perhaps to indicate where she wanted that burning log to go, only on the inside.
I reached one hand to caress the area between her legs and her tongue jumped in my mouth, then she broke away to rest her head on my shoulder and press my hips closer to me. Then I slid my penis against her entrance and she started to whimper. "I--I want you so much!" she said.
Certainly when I picked her up and lay her on my bed, she was wet and ready for me. She gave a gasp as her interior walls moved apart with my first entry, and it took only a few strokes before I was buried in her completely and she was building already to an orgasm.
While she did not have my sort of big-boned ancestry, she was also muscular and athletic, I found. Her stamina took her through another shuddering climax, and then we moved slowly to build to a third where her internal muscles made things very good for both of us as she nursed the semen out of me and deep into her. What she cried out at that moment was not Spanish -- it may have been Korean, or of no language at all except primal.
As I have said, I gazed at her body after that, long and admiringly. Her breasts hung perfectly, her waist was well- proportioned, and her face had an expression combining satisfaction and happiness with a slowly reawakening appetite.
She suggested after a while that we shower together. This of course meant that we were soon standing together nude once more, arms around, but without the deep kissing. More sliding of hands, of course, between the soap and the water. That got me remembering some other sliding we had done. A little after my erection had grown all the way back up again -- not long, in that situation -- Maria reached to turn the water off and sank to her knees.
Her mouth stretched wide to take me in, and she took more of my length into her than I would have thought she could. I expected to take more time to build to a conclusion, but either I was more aroused than usual or she was very skilled at this -- I lean toward the latter. When I warned her that I was about to erupt, she worked harder, and soon I was shooting down her throat while having trouble staying on my feet -- I almost said staying erect, but no, hardly that way.
Back at the horizontal, I built her to a series of slow peaks with my lips and tongue. It was morning before she left. What she had told her father about where she was I never knew.
It had been an incredible day. Though the best part of it lasted for months, until she got serious with someone else.