Book 1 in the Maltese Cat Book Series entitled Escheatment continues with new chapters. Enjoy:
Chapters 1 & 2,
Chapters 3 & 4,
Chapters 5 & 6,
Chapters 7 & 8,
Chapters 9 & 10,
Chapters 12 & 13.
Chapters 19 & 20,
Chapters 22 & 23,
Two Years Ago James & Michael Clary
Since his Sacramento visit, James had kept contact with Michael Clary. They talked about golf and about the ways and means that the state government got its money. Now, on a Tuesday, James was expecting Michael’s visit in his office. He wanted to know more details about the escheatment process in order to circumvent it. James had already started to investigate his company’s accounting department to find who might be the most vulnerable and useful to his plan. He had narrowed his choices down to three individuals. He knew that the rest of the Boys Club were busy doing the same at their companies. A few more weeks and he could start putting his plan to work.
James felt the pressure. His father had been inquiring into his progress with locating the owners of the dead accounts. He had located numerous accounts and some big ones were coming due shortly by virtue of having reached the three-year mark. He now needed just a bit more information. Michael Clary had been reticent about another meeting in Sacramento, a location which would have been preferable because all the documents would be at hand. Michael had excused himself by saying that he had tons of work piling up, but when James suggested that perhaps Michael could visit him at his own office and then they could go out for a round of golf at his private club, the accountant’s attitude suddenly changed. James knew from the first visit that this was his trump card. Michael eagerly agreed. James chose a Tuesday because it was a slow day in the week and it was unlikely that he would be seen with this ‘outsider’.
As James was lost in thought, his secretary walked into his office and announced that Mr. Clary, his 11 o´clock appointment, had arrived. James looked at his watch and confirmed that it was indeed 11 am. Right onthe dot. Jeez, these accountants! They´re so precise!
James was surprised when Michael walked in followed by Casey. Michael explained, “I hope you don’t mindthat I brought Casey along. I figured he might have answers in areas in which I might not have any expertise.Don’t worry. He doesn’t play golf. He can be my caddy!” he joked.
James didn’t mind in the slightest. After all, as Michael had explained, Casey was the person that received and sent out the funds. Now, this was an unexpected surprise. He invited them both to sit down.
“Coffee? Tea? Vodka?”
The two state representatives accepted the offer for coffee and the three spent the better part of 45 minutes discussing the mechanisms that the State Controller’s Office used to collect unclaimed accounts, as well as how they redeemed them. As noon was approaching, James had garnered much of what he had wanted.
“So, let’s go take a look at that swing of yours.”
The three got up, collected their attaché cases and James informed his secretary on the way out that he would be taking his guests to lunch and might not be returning that day. He would, of course, be contactable by phone.
James drove his company Mercedes CLK in front of Michael’s Ford Taurus. James hungered for another car. This one, a 2009 model and the last year of its production, had been in the company fleet already for a couple of years and had been formerly used by a stockbroker who had since left the company. James hated second-hand products but his father insisted that he earn his way now that he was finally working. That will change soon, James thought to himself, as he drove out to the Great Highway. When everything goes well, he would have his choice of cars.
Thirty minutes later, they drove up Skyline Blvd, passing the wispy pine trees along the road, and turned left into a road with an entrance marked The Pacific Country Club and Golf Club. They wound around the road into a parking lot near the main clubhouse. Michael was beside himself. This was a club in which he never imagined he would be able to play. Established in the mid-1800s, The Pacific Country Club enjoyed the reputation as one of America’s oldest athletic clubs and it had hosted many top tournaments through the years, including the US Open. This was a far cry from the public golf courses on which Michael always played. He was in golf heaven.
James and Michael changed in the club dressing room and were out on the first tee at one o´clock. Casey didn’t need to carry Michael’s bag as James acquired a golf cart for them to use. James was surprised that Michael played an adequate, if not imaginative, game. James usually played the other Boys Club members for a token $100, but he thought it would be inappropriate in this case. After all, Michael did not have the financial
means to wager on a game; more than likely, James thought, there might even be a chance that Michael would win, which would put him in an impuissant negotiating position for future business. In the end, they both broke even on their scores. Michael was elated. James was disappointed. He thought he would be able to catch up from one stroke down on the 18th and surpass Michael, but he double bogeyed the hole on poor putting, tying Michael’s seven over par performance, and James had to settle for a handshake. Michael didn’t notice James’s disappointment and spoke glowingly about the course. James attributed his own lackluster performance to actually wanting Michael to win, a rationalization to mollify his injured ego.
Michael offered James some unsolicited advice.
“You pull your head up before your follow through.”
James could never take criticism well, and not now either, especially from some civil servant. How did that go? Civility and servitude. Where had he heard that? Probably in a James Bond book.
As Michael continued to ramble on due to his elation, James could barely take anymore and suggested an early dinner at Burma Café, a nearby restaurant in Daly City. James had stumbled across it when he had heard the owner played tennis with wooden racquets. Wooden racquets in the 21st century? How antiquated! He looked the establishment up on Yelp and saw that it had rave reviews and high ratings. He later tried out the
restaurant which was hidden away on St. Francis Square and was pleasantly surprised by the unusual cuisine.
Enough so that he had tried out various articles on the menu over the past year and had not once been disappointed. It was close to the golf course and he wasn’t likely to run into any of the club members there. It was the perfect spot to take Michael and Casey.
After dinner, James parted with his guests. He had the information he needed in order to set up his new project. On his way back into the City, he started to devise a plan on how to divert funds from the company and lay a false trail to the State Controller’s office.
James decided not to go directly home. Instead, he went back to his office, greeting a few lonely stragglers who were putting in overtime. In his office, he sketched out several variations of how he could acquire these unclaimed accounts. Each time he played out a scenario, he realized that he would require the complicity of someone in the accounting department to falsify documents. Well, if that was the only way, he would overcome that obstacle. After all, there were millions of dollars at stake here.
It was well after 9 o´clock when James decided to call it a night. Tuesday night. A thought occurred to him. He left the office and headed out to Bush St. and Powell. He found a parking place a few blocks away and walked to the Nob Hill Theatre. As he entered he took in the familiar atmosphere. It smelled musty and rancid, as many of these kinds of art houses tend to smell. This was a gay stripper theater and Tuesday night was Naked Night, which allowed patrons to denudate their clothes and wander about in the buff. They could enjoy the stage show or seek out companionship in dark corners or in the downstairs video arcade. This was one secret that James’s father never knew. In fact, none of the Boys Club members knew of James’s secret. It was not as if James was homosexual. He had had his share of female companions. But James felt an unnerving attraction for young men as well. He thought of himself simply as bi-curious. If his sexuality were challenged, he would never admit to his diversity, and he would vehemently deny the charge if it were leveled against him. Still, he risked his social position even by being in this locale. He was drawn here repeatedly. Not often but every once in awhile he came back. He could have anonymous sex and disappear back into the night. No harm done. So it was on this Tuesday night. He paid his entrance fee at the front foyer desk and passed through the closed
theater doors to the right.
On the other side, the rooms were dark. Individual wall lamps illuminated spots below them, which resembled alcoves. James noticed an occasional nude man walk by. He had yet to have shed his own clothes. A building excitement rose within him as the thought entered his mind. Perhaps tonight he would get lucky.
Further back into the darkness another lamp cast its light on two nude men engaged in a lascivious embrace. The tryst sent salacious tremors through James’s body. As he observed, unable to break himself away, something seemed oddly familiar to him. Was it a past paramour?
No! He recognized Michael and Casey. Michael slid down Casey’s front and buried his head deep in Casey’s loins.
James’s predatory instincts kicked in and suddenly he had a clear head. He quickly recognized the opportunity that had presented itself. Staying back in the darkness he removed his Smartphone from his pocket and began to take pictures of the two lovers – compromising pictures. The Smartphone was silent as he snapped one photo after another. Casey had turned around and offered himself to Michael now. Michael closed
in and welded himself into Casey’s body. James took a few more photos, now solely for prurient interests, then slid out the entrance door and went back to his car.
As he drove away, James could hardly control his excitement. This incident of serendipity could be all he needed to complete his plan.
He knew that Michael had a wife and young child. He didn’t know about Casey and he didn’t care. Certainly divulging an inter-office affair of this magnitude, caught in the act of having public sex, would be too much even in a liberal state like California. These were civil servants. Certain decorum was expected of them. James was convinced that he had what he so sorely needed. He would have power over both of these individuals. Each would have to do his bidding. A licentious excitement coursed through James’s body as he realized that it was not solely the frenzy of the hunt that upset him, rather the sight of the two men in their amorous embrace. He had to pull over to the side of the street to gather his composure. Yes, it had been a night that he would long not forget -especially in his sexual fantasies. He could barely wait to return to the theater on the following Tuesday. Perhaps even sooner. But for now, it had been a very good day.
Can’t wait for the next installment?
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