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.

March 7, 2010

Taking Control: Straight Jungle Talk

True to his word, Jack had us back on the road by morning light. How he knew it was morning I am not entirely certain. The fog was thick as a blanket reminding me of wasted mornings in June when I used to sit out on the rocks in Dana Point waiting for the fog to clear, revealing the perfect blue-green of the ocean and the distant sails of ships peacefully at sea. If only the jungle smelled a little more like saltwater and seaweed I could have pretended I was back there, back home.

I pushed aside the wistful thoughts and focused on the problems at hand. In my lap, the SAT phone bounced and jiggled in sync with the terrain. The signal connection was tenuous at best, non-existent the rest of the time and if I did not know better I might have suspected some sinister force at work within the fog itself. It felt like the whole world wanted to keep us on the run with nowhere to go and no one to help. I slapped the unit as if another jar might make it miraculously work. Naturally, it did not work although the slight sting in my palm did make my frustration seem a little more manageable.

"Any luck?" Jack asked.

I shook my head and rolled my eyes, hoping he noticed. If he needed to ask with me sitting right next to him and obviously not talking to anyone, then he was either a complete idiot or deaf. The latter would certainly explain a few things, like why he never seems to listen to a thing I have to say, but having spent the last several days without a break from him, I am leaning a lot more toward the former. A better question is why did Mr. Candle put this guy in charge of Q5 because so far the only thing he seems to be good at is making bad situations worse.

"It would go a lot faster if we weren't bouncing up and down like a pogo stick," Brian said from the backseat.

I glanced around behind me just in time for another hole in the road to send us bouncing. Gina's flashlight shined into my eyes for a second before she focused it back on the codex in Brian's hands. I had been so intent on the phone, I had forgotten about Brian trying to decipher more of the codex. A faint blush rose into my cheeks as I realized Jack had not been talking to me at all and it was in fact me who was the idiot. I turned my attention back to the phone, pretending I was not embarrassed despite the obvious amusement written all over Jack's smirking face.

"If you know of a smoother road around here, I'd be happy to take it," Jack said.

Gina said, "If you'd drop your speed by 10 miles per hour it would be a lot smoother."

Jack said, "And it would be smoother still if I just pulled off to the side of road and parked. Personally, I thought maybe we'd all like to make it to the border before Stratford's friends caught up with us."

"You don't have to be an ass about it," Gina said and Jack rolled his eyes, managing to give me a disgruntled look at the same time, as if I had put the words her mouth.

"Don't take it personally," I said looking back over my shoulder, "If he's not being one, he's being a pain in one."

Jack said, "Here I was beginning to think you'd forgotten all about my skill with a paddle."

"Is it still a skill if you aren't very good at it?" Brian asked.

Jack's head snapped around for a second and he said, "What do you mean?"

"I think what he's saying is," Gina said looking at me instead of Jack, "when we met V she was about as sassy as they come and yet here all these months later with you, she's actually worse."

"Hey!" I said, trying to decide whether I should be defending myself or pretending not to care.

Gina patted my arm and said, "Hate the message, not the messenger."

"If you are suggesting I've been too gentle with her," Jack said, "you're probably right."

"I'm sure all she needs is a firm hand," Gina said.

"Over your mouth," I said.

"That can be a good start," Gina said with suggestive eyebrows. "I find teasing a man's fingers with my tongue usually yields excellent results."

"Now how am I supposed to concentrate on this damn codex?" Brian asked.

"I could alleviate some of the pressure," Gina said, laying a hand on his lap.

Brian turned his head, cocking it slightly to the side. He stared at Gina with wide, disbelieving eyes that seemed to contain a mixture of shock and disapproval. Gina shrugged and started to giggle. Brian shook his head scornfully, but there was a barely suppressed smile creeping its way onto his face.

"I'd say go for it," Brian said, "but with all this bouncing around, I'm afraid I could poke your eye out."

"I don't know what you were thinking, but I was just suggesting a massage," Gina said.

Brian groaned and said, "I can do that for myself."

"But can you do it as well as Jack?" I asked.

"The two of you keep it up and I'm sure you'll find out first hand," Jack said. "What do you say Brian? You want to spank Gina or Virginia first?"

"It sounds suspiciously like that's the only way you know how to get a girl's pants off," Gina said.

"You might want to quit while yours are still on," Jack said.

"Give it a rest Jack," I said. "It's bad enough being stuck out here without you being a stick in the mud to boot."

"Last warning," Jack said, glaring at me until a large bounce returned his attention to the road.

The SAT phone beeped, taking my eyes off of Jack. It had finally established a solid connection and the phone began to ring, calling Tom's cellphone. I held the handset next to my ear and crossed my fingers hoping the connection would last long enough for me to tell Tom everything. Jack raised a question eyebrow at me and I nodded that it was working.

"Yellow," Tom said, his cheerful voice a welcome change bringing a smile to my face.

"Blue," I replied.

"V?" Tom said, "Is that you?"

"The one and only," I said. "I'm not sure how long this connection will hold so let's get down to business."

Tom said, "Right. SAT phone?"

"Yeah," I said, "Have Kyra trace our location. We're headed toward the Mexican border from Guatemala and the first thing I need you to do is get Mr. Candle on the phone with his political contacts and bribe our way into Mexico. Make sure as few people as possible know about it because we want them to tell the other party bribing them that we turned around."

"What's your ETA to the border?" Tom asked.

I tugged on Jack's sleeve and asked, "How long until we're at the border?"

Jack glanced at his wrist where his watch would normally have been, but like most of our supplies, it was gone. He furrowed his brow for a moment and grabbed the map from the dash to check distances or something. Watching him I realized I could make as good a guess as he could. I shook my head, disappointed we had nothing better to work with.

"Kyra might have a better idea than we do once she gets our position," I said into the phone. "Jack's keeping us moving around 35 miles per hour and my best guess is somewhere between two and four hours."

Tom said, "Alright we'll figure it out from here. It should not be too difficult to arrange passage, but I'm not sure Joe can make it happen in less than two hours. Can you hold up somewhere and wait for a call?"

"We've got pursuers," I said, glancing at Jack tossing the map back on the dash, looking like he was mad at me again. "They caught up with us yesterday and I can't imagine they are much more than an hour or so behind us. We stop and we'll have to deal with them again."

Hearing Tom whispering instructions to Kyra on the other end I pictured him standing behind her chair in the main room of Q5. His suit jacket would be unbuttoned as would the collar of his wrinkled white shirt. The tie would be loosened and hanging low yet somehow he would still look the complete and utter professional. His appreciative eyes would be hanging on Kyra for those extra few seconds beyond what was necessary and she would be completely oblivious to his gaze not to mention the warmth of his breath tickling the nape of her neck. For the duration of a blink my mind's eye put me in Kyra's chair, except I was anything but oblivious.

Jarring me from daydreams, Tom said, "Don't worry about it, we'll figure it out. Kyra's getting Joe on it now. What else can I do for you?"

Wine, dine, sixty-nine....oh that's not what he means is it? You would think being in the middle of the jungle and being pursued by gun toting goons bent on killing me, I would be a little more focused on the situation. Besides, Tom is not interested in me in that way and I am not into him really either. It is just all this tension making me think things like that. Yeah, that is it. So, why am I blushing?

I cleared my throat and said, "Meet me in San Cristobal Las Casas."

Tom said, "I'll reserve the honeymoon suite. Pink champagne on ice or you like something stronger?"

"Don't tease me," I said, blushing a touch hotter thinking he might have somehow read the thoughts on my mind. "Unfortunately, this will have to be all business and Jack wants you to bring the rest of the team."

"I'm going to have to have a talk with Jack," Tom said. "He's spoiling all my fun."

"Tell me about it," I said, hoping the one side of the conversation Jack was hearing was not enough for him to piece the whole thing together.

"Does this mean you've managed to get us back on the trail?" Tom asked.

"You could say that," I said, "but it's something of a narrow trail and if we aren't careful we'll be free falling off the side of a cliff."

"I guess it could be worse," Tom said, "besides, you always look good in tight spots."

"You mean tops don't you Tom?" Kyra said in the background.

Trying to stay focused on business, I said, "Have Dr. Michaels bring along everything he has on Central and South American tribes with special attention to the Mayans."

"Anything for you," Tom said, causing me to wonder if he was trying to make me blush or make Kyra jealous. Either way I suspected he was doing a damn good job of it.

"How are things on the home front?" I asked.

"You mean Mark?" Tom asked.

"No, I was wondering about your sister," I said.

Tom said, "I don't have a sister."

"That explains a lot," I said.

"One of these days you are going to find yourself skirts up over my lap," Tom said.

I said, "Promises, promises."

"You wouldn't be daring me would you?" Tom asked.

I said, "Me? Never."

"Right," Tom said as if he did not believe me. "Mark left town shortly after you did and I haven't been able to track him. I've got 24 hour surveillance on all your immediate family members, but so far it appears he must know we're on to him and he's bailed."

"So everybody is fine?" I asked.

"More or less. Your nephew is staying with your parents and your brother is working most of the night and day," Tom said. "Your sister in law probably isn't too happy but as long as she's in the Retreat she's safe enough."

"Oh yeah, I forgot about that," I said.

"I'm sure I could give you a little more in depth reminder when I see you," Tom said.

"Very nice of you to offer," I said, "but it's not necessary."

Tom said, "It's no trouble, really."

Jack hit a very big hole in the road sending us all bouncing and when it was over, the call had died for lack of signal. I slapped the handset into the unit with more force than was strictly necessary and said, "Damn."

"Trouble?" Jack asked.

I shook my head and replied, "No, Tom said there was no trouble."


  1. Ash, excellent repartee, you do enjoy leaving us hanging in midair.
    Still a bumpy ride is better than no ride at all.
    Warm hugs,

  2. Ash,

    thank you that was a Awesome post...Virginia and Tom scene was great and Brian and Gina added there own little flavor to the mix.bring on the next post...waiting to see what happens