New to Quest Five?
The stories are best enjoyed when read in order beginning with May 1, 2009.

Welcome To Quest Five
Allison Beaumont is having trouble finding a job after college until one day the wealthy and powerful Joseph Candle offers her a job at his rather unusual corporation, where mistakes can lead to bare bottomed spankings. Adopting the alias of Virginia West, she joins four highly skilled colleagues, racing around the globe in search of mysterious treasures, but wherever she goes, trouble is sure to follow.
Note: Some stories contain scenes of a sexual nature, corporal punishment, non-consensual corporal punishment, and strong language which some reader's may find offensive. If you feel this material might be inappropriate for you please move on to another blog by clicking the next blog link at the top of the page.

February 4, 2010

Choosing Corners: Bedroom Eyes

Day slipped into night as we boarded a taxi and set off for the hotel. The ride was smooth enough for the worn road, but the tense silence remained. Jack watched the driver as if he expected something to go wrong and his hand rested inside his suit jacket, close to the barely concealed handgun holstered inside. Obviously I am not the only one with trust issues. Trying to relax I stared out the side window and enjoyed the brilliant color of the sunset.

From the outside the hotel lacked the glamour of its competitors. I could see why Brian chose it though, a single entrance from the street and several places to watch it from. There would of course be back entrances and exits, but they would be busy with employees and unauthorized movement would create a ruckus in all likelihood. Exiting the taxi, the air was thick with humidity and the smell of saltwater and seaweed. My blouse felt instantly damp and sticky, how Jack managed in his full suit, I do not know.

A young girl with a golden tan, no older than 19, wearing only a too tight red bikini top and a sheer sarong, worked the reception desk. She captured Jack's attention as soon as we walked into the lobby and I watched as his face transformed from tense, distrusting to charismatic, flirting. Shaking my head, I left our room arrangements and the girl in Jack's capable hands while I took the time to examine our surroundings.

For a hole-in-the-wall, the place was busy. Peeking through a beaded doorway next to the reception desk, I discovered a packed cabaret. It looked like just the place if your idea of dinner was a tall glass served by half naked girls. A stage on the far side of the room featured a mariachi band and three dancing girls wearing body paint and strings of colorful, rattling beads. It did not really seem like Brian's kind of place, but then I doubt the entertainment had anything to do with his choice.

To the left of the bar, an elevator led to the upper floors where I suspected all the rooms were located and a door next to that, undoubtedly led to a staircase. It was that or a room full of accordions, the pictograph sign was a little ambiguous in that respect. Behind the bar, a set of swinging double doors led back into what appeared to be a kitchen. Unless the place was a firetrap, there was probably also another exit back that way. The dim lighting of the room and flickering candles on every table made it hard to identify the guests. It was probably an intentional thing by the establishment, but it made me nervous gazing through the sea of people. Brian could have been sitting at anyone of the tables and it is doubtful I would have recognized him.

"Is he here?" Jack asked in a quiet voice, placing a hand on my shoulder from behind me.

"Hell if I know," I said, without turning my gaze from the room.

"Let's head upstairs then," Jack said and pushed through the beads, walking off without waiting to see if I was coming with him. I shook my head at his back and stuck my tongue out at him, because it made me feel better. After another slow look around the room, I followed him and barely made it onto the elevator before the doors closed. He raised an eyebrow at me and cocked his head to the side a little. "I guess you decided to come along," He said.

"Your powers of deduction are improving," I said, facing the closed doors and smiling.

Pushing the button for the fourth floor, Jack said, "I hope you don't mind sharing a room."

"With you?" I asked.

"Do you see anybody else in here?" Jack said.

"I rather hope we aren't the only people staying in this place," I said.

Our room featured a king-sized bed with an off-white, fluffy comforter, complete with splotches I would rather not think about. The sheets were black satin, probably to hide those same stains, but I pushed the repulsive thoughts from my mind. The rug was a grayish brown that probably began it's life as an entirely different color. A small table with two chairs sat next to the window, which opened to a balcony overlooking the street. The walls lacked texture and left the room looking decidedly unfinished despite the peach paint spread unevenly over the surface.

A series of triangle warning cards, littered the surface of the bathroom counter. Bottled water in a basket drove home the point about not drinking the tap water and the smell of perfume emanating from the trashcan next to the toilet seemed to be an indication they were serious about not flushing toilet paper. There was nothing glaringly filthy about the shower but just standing in the doorway, looking at it, sent a shiver of disgust through me. I decided I could wait to bathe until we returned home.

Returning to the main room, I found Jack sitting on the corner of the bed, kicking off his dress boots. I walked passed him to the other side of the bed and sat down, carefully avoiding the splotches. The bouncing of the bed, told me it was going to be a sleepless night, and it was nothing new to the bed or the room. With my back to Jack, I said, "What would Tom think?"

Jack bounced the bed, twisting to stare at my back. "About wha— I thought you said, there wasn't..."

"Relax, Jack," I said, laughing as I leaned back and smiled at his concerned face.

Jack shook his head and returned his back to me. "You're really asking for it, you know," He said.

I said, "And you think your the man to give it to me?"

"Keep it up," Jack said and I laughed at his empty threat. Reaching out, I patted his tense shoulder and said, "That's your job."

"Teases aren't worth the effort," Jack said, standing up and disappearing into the bathroom with his suitcase.

Staring at the pillow, I considered the options for the night. The bed was definitely out of the question. I stood up and walked over to the window and looked out over the street. The city lights kept it illuminated enough to see the comings and goings from the hotel, but from my vantage there were blind spots. I tried the latch on the window and it unlocked easily enough. Pushing it up and open was another story but after a little bit of banging it decided to cooperate. Careful not to snag on the window frame, I slipped out onto the balcony and smiled, satisfied I could see everything of importance.

"I don't think you're supposed to be out there," Jack said, from inside the room.

I said, "Maybe not, but you can't beat the view."

Jack stuck his head out the window, just so I could see him shaking it at me. I smiled amusement at him and pointed up and down the street. Below us you could see every car, every pedestrian and the city noise filtered up to our ears, carrying every conversation, screech of tires and slamming door. "We should be able to spot him from here," I said.

Stepping out to join me, Jack said, "You don't trust him either?"

"He's not setting us up if that's what you mean," I said, resting my hands on the wrought iron railing and enjoying the cool sea breeze blowing through my hair. It was almost enough to make the humidity tolerable.

Jack stood beside me, resting a hand next to mine and glancing at my face before looking away at the other side of the street. He said, "So you trust him to a point."

I said, "He was in trouble."

"Then we could be as well," Jack said.

"You didn't have to come," I said, staring at the back of his head for a moment.

Jack said, "Someone has to keep an eye on you."

"I can take care of myself," I said, stubbornly refusing to admit I was glad he came along.

The truth was if I had even made it out of the airport without him, I would have run straight back there with just one look at the hotel. It was way out of my comfort zone and staying in the place by myself would have taken a shot of courage I would have been too scared to drink. He was far from my first choice to be stuck with on a normal vacation, but we were not on vacation and if things turned nasty, the only better choice to have at my side was Tom and I needed him where he was because I could not trust anyone else to protect my family from Mark.

Jack said, "Of that, I have no doubt, but you seem to attract trouble like honey attracts bees. If this Brian turns out anything like your Mark, I think you'll be happy enough to have me along for the ride."

"He's not on anybody's side," I said, turning to face him and grabbing his shoulder to make him face me. "He found the next piece in Mr. Candle's puzzle and not knowing who to trust, he wants to put it in my hands because he knows me."

"You don't risk your life to give a mere artifact to an acquaintance," Jack said, cocking his head to the side, "There's more than you're saying."

"How many men do you think I've got wrapped around my finger?" I asked.

He smiled and said, "Only most of them you've ever met."

"What about you?" I said, "Do I have you under my spell?"

"Only time will tell," Jack replied.

I turned back to the railing and resumed watching the nightlife below. It seemed busy for nighttime, but in a tourist town, rest is often nobody's goal. In the distance, I imagined I could see the waves crashing on the beach, but in the darkness it was only illusion. I felt Jack turn back to the street himself and his hand rested on the railing against mine once more. Our proximity made my skin tingle with excitement, I wonder if he felt the same.

Jack said, "The personal stuff is none of my business, but I need to know why you trust him and why you think he's already found what we don't even know we're supposed to be looking for."

I nodded although I am not sure Jack was watching. "I trust him because I don't have to," I said.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Jack said and I could feel his eyes staring at me.

"It means the only secrets he's keeping from me are the secrets I don't know or care about," I said.

"In other words, your instincts tell you he's a good guy," Jack said.

"Yeah," I said and Jack grabbed my shoulder, spinning me around to face him once again. He said, "But you really don't know for sure."

"I know if he was with Olivia, it's unlikely I would have ever made it out of Bad Land," I said.

"You met him at camp?" Jack said with quizzical eyebrows.

"What difference does it make?" I asked.

Jack said, "The people who attend that camp are not innocents."

"I never said he was innocent," I said, unable to keep a slight smirk off my face.

"I'm not laughing," Jack said.

"I'm not blind, Jack. Brian is a scientist, not a mercenary. He told me he found an artifact and that it contained a message meant for me," I said.

"And you believe him?" Jack said.

"Why would he lie? How would he even know that particular lie would convince me he wasn't lying?" I said returning Jack's cold stare with one of my own. "The only other person who would have believed his story was Mr. Candle and unless he is working against us with Mr. Candle as an ally, I think we're safe from him."

"Other people than Mr. Candle might know what you know," Jack said.

I said, "They might, but would they know that I know? I don't think so, not without Mr. Candle telling them. Brian isn't our problem."

"Then tell me, what is our problem?" Jack said, frowning at me.

"The people who are after Brian," I said, "The people who already know what he found and what it means."

Jack said, "The man in the shadows?"

I nodded. Just thinking of the man in the shadows filled me with trepidation. He was mysterious and powerful, but what scared me the most about the man was the fact he was less than pure evil. The differences between him and Joseph Candle seemed no more than the crack in a mirror. He was the opposite side of our same coin and our paths were the same. It was only the motivations, the secrets and reasons for keeping them that separated us and it was enough to make me shudder because it was those things which I did not trust.


  1. Ash, amazing, V didn't get spanked!
    Once you get close to power, you are wise not to trust, power rarely lives with the innocent and harmless.
    Another interesting episode, thank you dear girl.
    Warm hugs,

  2. Ash,
    very good story,cant wait to the next episode, like how Jack and Virginia keep flirting with each other
    thanks for the awesome reading material

  3. Quite a detailed description of that hotel room. It made me cringe a bit. I am reminded of how TV personality Sarah Lane went into seizures after getting some brain parasites from traveling abroad. You never know what you're bringing back with you from these places.

  4. Paul, V is just beginning to figure these things out and one must be wondering what dark secrets await her.

    AL, V and Jack can't seem to figure out if they want to jump each other or jump in the sack together. Only time can tell, well and I guess the author might have some insight but she isn't talking.

    Ace, Having done a little travelling, I've been in some very unsavory places and for some reason the memories came alive in this story.