Nuri entered the dining area and said “Sir, Basim is here as you asked.”
“Show him in please.”
A huge, attractive well muscled black man entered the room. He gave a small bow of recognition to Ernst, and shook hands with him, and then a small bow to me.
Ernst introduced me “Basim, this is Dr. Sue Fairview. She was visiting with Mr. Butterfly from the Foundation when he was abducted with Dr. Roble Castagno.”
I stood to meet Basim and shake his hand. “So nice to meet you, Basim. Call me Sue.” I extended my hand and it was lost in his huge paw. But he did not shake my hand like so many large men do, taking just the fingers. I hate when men do that. He grabbed my entire hand and gave it a firm squeeze. I can respect that. I squeezed back and looked him in the eyes. He looked back in mine. There was electricity. I had no time for that now, though. I had to rescue Mr. Butterfly as soon as possible. So, I sat back down to see what Basim had to say.
“Basim, tell us what you have found out.”, said Ernst.
“Yes Sir. It seems that your two esteemed male guests were taken by Akbar of Bubastis for his male harem. You were so right not to call the police on this matter; your guests might have been injured in the raid. The local police do not take well to homosexual establishments since homosexual acts are illegal in
“It is amazing that you found this out so quickly.”
”That is what you pay me for Sir.”
“What is your plan?”
“I will pay this Akbar a visit and offer to outright pay for them to get them back. Akbar is ruled by his cock, but he is also greedy. We will use the company funds to pay the ransom.”
“I assume there is a plan to recover the money?”
“Yes, after we buy their freedom, we will call the police and claim they were kidnapped, ransom was demanded and paid and we want our money returned to us.”
“When will you go?”
“Right away. How soon can you have the money at my disposal?”
“How much do you think you will need?”
The discussion of the finer points continued. I just had to go with Basim, but I knew that Ernst would never allow it. Should I ask and be refused though?
After the monetary discussion had died down, I interjected “Ernst, I would like to accompany Basim in this plan. May I go with him?”
“Absolutely not! It is way too dangerous Sue. I would never risk you going. Okay?”
“Okay.” I said sullenly. But I was more determined than ever to go.
The meeting ended and Ernst left the house go to the bank to get the cash. We could hear his tires squeal as he peeled out of the drive in haste. Basim stood and I excused myself to go to my room, ostensibly to bathe. I left word with Nuri that I was upset about the kidnapping and not to be disturbed until Basim returned with Mr. Butterfly. Once in my room, I locked the door and I dressed for my mission. I wore cool but sturdy clothes that could take a beating, sneakers, and a backpack with a bottle of water. I wished I had a knife or weapon, but you just couldn’t bring anything like that on an airplane these days. Then I crawled out of ground floor window and raced across the manicured lawn to Basim’s unmarked van. Remarkably, it was unlocked. He must have trusted that the wall surrounding the grounds was being watched and that inside the grounds was secure. Sloppy, I say. He’ll hear about that. So, I opened the rear door and crept inside to look for a hiding place. I found a really good one, underneath a tarp at the front of the van and got very comfortable. They would never find me here.
I heard Ernst’s car return and he got out. Some minutes later, Basim left the house, put the case of money into the passenger’s seat and got into the van and began to drive us to
* * *
Sometime later, Ernst asked Nuri where Sue was.
“Sue was upset about Mr. Butterfly and decided to take a bath to relax. She asked not to be disturbed until Basim returned with him.”
Ernst’s pupils dilated and he rushed to Sue’s room and found the door locked. He banged on the door. “Sue! Let me in please! Nuri! Get me the keys to this room!”, he commanded. Nuri ran to get the old and rusty ring of house keys and returned with it in minutes.
Ernst unlocked the door and ran in calling “Sue! Sue! Sue! It is just as I thought! She is not here. She must be with Basim. Shit! There is no way to reach him. I just pray to god that she doesn’t get hurt or I will never forgive myself.” Then he sat quickly on the bed with his head in his hands.
Nuri came over slowly and tentatively put his hand on Ernst’s shoulder in a soothing way. ‘It will all be alright Sir. Basim will see that she comes to no harm.”Photo credit Ernst & Basim: Brawny Stud