DISCLAIMER: Quite simple: I do not own them.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: The timeline for this story is mid season 3.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Angels In Chains Again
By Tashe Dangerous Eyes
The waitress walked gracefully through the elegantly dressed tables, perfectly balancing the content of the small tray she carried on her right hand. The client she was servicing was a regular of the classy restaurant, so much so that he didn't even have to order his drink anymore, the waitress already knew what he wanted; Brandi on the rocks, like almost every Friday for the past year or so. The nervousness he used to cause her had faded away thanks to the routine she was also a part of. "Here you go, sir." The waitress placed one glass in front of the elegant man and the other in front of his companion whom she served the same kind of drink.
"Thank you, Jenny." He said politely to her and she smiled at him, taking her leave.
"Pretty girl. I see that being the District Attorney has more advantages than I realized."
"I come here often for a drink. It's convenient, being so close to my office and a man in my position has to find ways to relax. But I have to say that having such a beautiful woman bringing me my drinks is a nice bonus. So I guess you're right, I'm living the life, my friend, I'm living the life." Carl Gallagher said taking a sip from his glass.
One of the other waitresses was walking their way escorting two gentlemen, one of which Gallagher knew as the personal assistant to the Mayor of Los Angeles. The other man he had never seen before, but he was familiar with his type. By the expensive suit he was wearing and the shiny, also very expensive shoes, to the gold watch, he could tell the man belonged in the same league as the wealthy men he had been doing business with lately. "Good afternoon, Mr. Benson. What brings you here?" He greeted as soon as the other man was within earshot letting his curiosity get the best of him.
"Mr. Gallagher, what a surprise to find you here. How's everything?" Kristopher Benson returned the DA's pleasantries.
"I can't complaint. Miss, would you give us a minute?" The waitress nodded and left them alone. "Carl Gallagher." He introduced himself to the unknown man accompanying Benson, eager to learn his name and if possible his business.
"Oh sorry, District Attorney Carl Gallagher, this is Thomas Sheridan, and we are here to celebrate." Benson announced in high spirits. Thomas Sheridan shook Gallagher's hand and then the hand of the other man sitting at the table with him.
"Mark Webster. I work for Mr. Gallagher." The young man offered simply.
"Pleased to meet you both." The salt and pepper colored hair and mustache of the man spoke of youth long time gone but his manners spoke of years well spent.
"Celebrating what? If you don't mind my asking." Gallagher asked the question trying to bring the conversation back to what he wanted to know.
"Well, Mr. Sheridan here has just become the main sponsor for the Mayor's re-election campaign. With his help we'll be able to launch a campaign that will overwhelm the competition, practically guaranteeing the Mayor's triumph come Election Day."
"That's right, and he better win or he'll have to get me my money back." Thomas Sheridan's laughter was inappropriately loud for the restaurant's ambience, but fortunately he quieted down quickly.
"Excuse me, sir, are you Mr. Benson?" Benson turned around at the mention of his name and nodded his confirmation. "You have a phone call." Jenny, the waitress who had served Gallagher earlier, informed him.
"Would you excuse me? I'll be right back." Benson left to answer the phone call guided by the waitress.
"Why don't you sit down while you wait, Mr. Sheridan?" The wealthy man sat down accepting Gallagher's invitation. "Tell me, have you always been interested in politics?"
"Not really, this is quite new for me. But when a man like me reaches a certain age and finds himself with so much money, especially one with no wife and thank God no kids, finding interesting ways of investing it becomes like a hobby. A friend of mine suggested investing in the Mayor's campaign and I figured the man has done a good job so far, so I thought it would be a good investment. Of course, it is a very boring investment that doesn't necessarily guarantee to make it worth my while but, it's not like I have many choices." Sheridan related his misfortune while constantly playing with his mustache, as if the gesture was somehow a stamp of sophistication.
"I understand exactly what you mean, Mr. Sheridan, and perhaps it was fate that we ended up meeting here today." Gallagher's voice became overtly pleasant, like trying to make his words convincing and alluring at the same time.
"I happen to know other men with your exact same situation, men of your stature and class, who were also in need of an outlet for their, shall we say, still impetuous nature. I have found a way for them to have that outlet, and I think I can do the same for you. Personally, I think there's no reason for a man to be deprived of the pleasures life has to offer, no matter his age. Don't you agree?" While he talked, Gallagher's companion kept an eye out for Benson's return knowing very well where the conversation was going and not wanting his boss to be caught off guard.
"I agree completely but, is it rewarding? Because I'll tell you one thing, I do enjoy life's pleasures; the more the better."
"I assure you, it is very rewarding. Here." Gallagher handed the other man what looked like a presentation card. "Go to that address tomorrow afternoon at one o'clock and you'll be able to see for yourself. But I suggest you don't mention this to good Mr. Benson or anybody else for that matter. This is a very exclusive club I'm telling you about and we are very protective of our privacy, which you'll enjoy too should you decide to join us." Mark Webster cleared his throat signaling Kristopher Benson's approach.
"Don't you worry at all, your secret is safe with me, and I'll definitely be there tomorrow. Yes sir." Thomas Sheridan assured them lowering his voice conspiratorially.
"Sorry about that, Mr. Sheridan. Are you ready to go celebrate?" Benson said excusing himself.
"More than ready. Gentlemen, it's been a pleasure." Without saying another word the two men left to their own table.
"Do you think it was wise to invite that man to the mansion? What if he doesn't keep his word?" Gallagher looked at his subordinate and thought that for a man who was such a smart prosecutor he had no vision.
"It is not only wise, it is perfect. Involving the Mayor's main campaign sponsor in the dealings at the mansion will put him in our pockets, at which point we'll make him back out of his sponsorship. And he will keep his word because if he tries to make trouble all I have to do is call my friend at the police department and he'll back me up when I explain that it was all a set up to catch men in the act of participating in such illegal activity. Sheridan will be so busy trying to keep himself out of jail that he won't have time to be pointing any more fingers." Gallagher explained the evil plan satisfied with its simplicity.
"What if he doesn't participate in the auction?"
"It doesn't matter. Once he sets foot on the mansion he is going to have a hard time proving otherwise."
"You really want the Mayor out of office, don't you?"
"Let's just say that his contender and I see eye to eye much better." The District Attorney lifted his glass prompting the other man to do the same and they silently toasted to the triumph they envisioned for themselves.
John Bosley turned off the engine of his car and leaned forward so his eyes could see all the way to the top of the tower that was at the center of the immense mansion. He shook his head not understanding the need rich people had to demonstrate the size of their fortunes with extravagant possessions. And he had seen extravagant before, but this man "What does he need a tower for? Hey buddy! The French are not coming."
Bosley walked to the front door, briefcase in hand, and rang the bell. He waited patiently for an answer while thinking about the best way to broach the topic he needed to discuss with the man he was there to see. When Charlie received the rest of the information about the license plates a name jumped at him and he decided to try and get inside information about the mysterious mansion Tony had led Bosley to. That is if the man in question wanted to cooperate. Charlie had given Bosley the assignment since the man was yet another person who wasn't permitted to get acquainted with Charles Townsend's face. But the man knew of Charlie because he had sent him to jail once and then helped him to straighten his ways even though they never met. And straighten his ways he did, becoming a successful business man, keeping his nose clean, until now.
Finally, the door was opened and the butler greeted him. "Hi, I'm John Bosley and I'm here to speak to Mr. Anderson." The butler raised an eyebrow at him as if asking, 'how dare you?' "Tell him that Charles Townsend sent me." Bosley felt the need to add. At this the butler let him in.
Bosley was led to a modest living room and told to wait. He looked around and surmised that the room was an informal living room. It had to be in a mansion like that. Still, it was a luxurious living room for a place like the suburbs. "Mr. Bosley?"
"Oh, good afternoon, Mr. Anderson."
"You say that Charles Townsend sent you. Why?" Well, good afternoon Mr. Bosley. How are you? No? Bosley thought to himself not really a fan of impoliteness.
"That's right. He wanted me to talk to you to make you a deal."
"Why would I want to make a deal with Mr. Townsend?" Mr. Anderson, a man in his fifties, took a seat being very careful with his very expensive suit, but didn't offer one to Bosley so he remained standing.
"Because we have evidence that implicates you in the dealings that go on inside a certain mansion not too far from here." Bosley noticed that the man became immediately nervous even though he was trying to hide it.
"I don't know what you are talking about."
"I think you do and like I said we have evidence that you had been there. Obviously whatever is going on there is far away from being legal. So the deal is this. You agree to give a statement about everything that happens in that mansion, with names and all, and Charlie will do everything in his power to minimize the consequences coming to you for your participation." During his speech Bosley saw the other man's defiance deflate and he dared to sit down, not feeling as intimidated.
"You have no idea what you are talking about. If you want to find out what is going on there you better find another way because I'm not getting myself in that position."
"Oh but you see, we have others to talk to," Bosley took a folder out of his briefcase to demonstrate that indeed they had other people they could interrogate. " but correct me if I'm wrong. Someone else talks and they get the deal, and next time you see me it would be to escort you to prison. I don't think they have this kind of furniture there. Charlie wanted to cut you a break because of your past history." Mr. Anderson frowned at Bosley, not happy with his audacity, but had to admit that he hadn't thought that far ahead. He knew of others that were not as strong willed as he was and if someone was going to say anything it'd better be him. However, he found the deal he was being offered to be lacking.
"Very well, Mr. Bosley. Tell Mr. Townsend that I'm willing to talk, but only if he can guarantee me immunity. I am not going back to jail. Not even for a minute."
"I don't know if that is going to be possible-"
"Make it possible or I won't talk. And make it fast before I change my mind and find a better way to wash my hands clean of this mess." The rich man threatened, but he knew well that he was better off getting the immunity so he could escape the long arm of the law than breaking it further and making things worse. He walked away without waiting for an answer.
"I'll give Charlie your message." Bosley said to his back. The butler was by Bosley's side in a second ready to escort him out. I'm coming, Largo.
It was dinner time and Kelly was hard at work in the kitchen, serving plate after plate of food to the never ending line of prisoners. She had long ago stopped looking at their faces. It was not like they were going to say 'thank you' with a polite smile. She only saw their hands, holding the food trays and moving along like the everyday routine had taught them. The next empty plate came along; waiting to be filled with the not so precious supper and Kelly went to serve it when she stopped the transfer of food in mid progress. Those hands Kelly looked up immediately and found herself face to face with Sabrina. Neither said a word but they needn't to for their eyes were speaking volumes on their behalf. Of course, no resolution to their situation could be possibly reached that way, but one message came through loud and clear, one that they both took notice of. They missed each other.
Sabrina smiled at Kelly and sent her a quick wink to stimulate her motor functions again. Kelly reacted immediately serving Sabrina her food and saw as she left to sit at a table without paying her any more attention. Their encounter lasted about five seconds, but it was intense enough to rattle Kelly who just wanted to reach out and lose herself in Sabrina's arms. Instead, she was reaching inside herself for the strength to endure.
Rita, and the two women who had tried to beat Sabrina up, were sitting at a corner table. There was plenty of food still on their plates, but they were not interested in eating at the moment. From where they sat they could easily see Sabrina's every movement and they were watching her; like a predator watches a prey before it attacks. After a while, something peculiar caught Rita's attention and she scoffed loudly. This will be easier than I thought. Revenge is sweet. "Hey you two, check it out." Rita said to her two companions, pointing out what the object of her ire was doing at that moment.
"What?" It was obvious to Rita that her allies were not as observant as she was.
"Looks like Becker's new play thing has her eye on someone else." The women finally noticed that Sabrina was paying more attention to the raven hair beauty behind the kitchen counter than she did her own plate.
"What are you gonna do, Rita?"
"Yeah, when are we gonna get that bitch?" Three pair of eyes rested on Sabrina at the uttering of the insult.
"Patience, we have to wait for Renee's decision tomorrow. If Renee doesn't accept her in the group we'll have a free pass at her. And I have an idea of how to make sure she doesn't get accepted." Rita could hardly wait for the chance to repay her rival for humiliating her.
"What if Renee says that she's okay?" The scar on her face made Rita's glare more menacing. She was obviously not happy with that notion.
"Then, we'll have to make her membership a short one." Malice poured out of her every pore.
From the other side of the rudimentary dinning room Kris witnessed the trio's interest in her partner and she didn't need to hear what they were saying to know that Sabrina was in trouble. The blonde Angel made the resolution that before the day was over she was going to warn her friend.
Miranda placed a stack of files on Becker's desk and then took a seat across from her. Becker judged the quantity by the height of the stack and found it to be an unsatisfying number. "Are these all?"
"All the ones that qualify, yes." Miranda answered shrugging her shoulders. Becker started leafing through the files, looking at the women that had been chosen to become part of the auction wall as per Carl Gallagher's request, with not even a hint of remorse. Her eyebrows almost became one as she suddenly frowned.
"Did Cain put you up to this?" The redhead said becoming a bit upset. Miranda let her smirk answered the question. "There's no way I'm going to put her on that wall, ever, regardless of who gives the order." Becker took the file which label read 'Lisa Meyer' and put it inside her desk drawer.
"It's a shame. She could have brought in a lot of money." The other guard couldn't help taking the taunting a little further, but Becker just ignored her. She was secretly reliving the moment she had tasted the object of her desires' lips, remembering how she felt in her arms and the softness of her skin and hair. Just the thought of it aroused her, and she wasn't going to let anyone spoil her mood. After a couple more files Becker had to protest again.
"No, no, no."
"What now?" Becker turned the files toward Miranda so she could see what she was referring to.
"Jessica Lewis and Elizabeth Lewis They're good candidates."
"They're cousins." Becker pointed out explicitly.
"So?" Miranda couldn't understand what the problem was.
"We only send women to the mansion who don't have relatives. Remember?"
"And they don't have any, except for each other."
"It's still risky." The chief guard took a moment to think. "I know what we can do; we'll use them in separate occasions, because if either of them tells any of our clients that they are related it will bring down the circle of trust between them and us. The only reason those rich men feel safe participating in the auctions is because we guarantee no one will come asking questions later about the women they bid on." Becker contemplated the situation further in her mind while staring at the mug shots of the two women in question.
"I guess you're right. Which one should we send first, then?"
"Jessica. When was the last time we got such a classy blonde? I can predict they'll fight over her, which means more money for us." Gathering the files of the approved candidates Becker handed them to Miranda. "Have the pictures ready by noon tomorrow. The auction is at one o'clock."
"Will do." Miranda took the files and returned to her other duties.
Becker opened her desk drawer looking for the file she had put there moments before. She opened it, only wanting to see Lisa Meyer's picture. She ran her fingertips over the image, willing it to feel like the real thing. At least I have the memory, for the time being. She thought, closing her eyes and touching her own lips, consoling herself.
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