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 10, 2010

Taking Control: Suspicious Motives

Jack slowed the jeep to a stop. The lowered yellow and black striped arm was more symbolic than an actual obstacle to crossing the border. Jack's eyes darted around the nearby landscape while we waited for the guard in the adjacent booth to come out and greet us. There were no fences, no barriers of any kind, except the one before us and had we chosen to cross the border in the dead of night, it is doubtful anyone would have ever known. I did not need to ask to know Jack would have preferred it that way.

With his head turned away from me and the booth, Jack said, "Let me do the talking."

"Try not to start World War III," I said.

"If you'll do as your told for a change," Jack said, turning to look at me, "I shouldn't have to."

The guard open the booth's door and stepped up to the jeep on my side. He rested one hand on the top of the door and his other on the hilt of the gun holstered on his hip. I think he intended the stance to be casually intimidating, but it came off as cartoon-ish. Smiling up at him, I tried not to laugh when my eyes discovered the stereotypical bushy mustache hiding his upper lip and half his nose. If he had been wearing a sombrero I would have been sorely tempted to call him Sam.

"Gringos eh?" He said, his cultural accent dousing the English vowels with an unnatural sound.

Jack said, "We're on our way home."

"I didn't ask," The guard said.

He looked us over one by one. His eyes lingered longer on Gina and me than the guys. It had been so long since I had a shower and clean clothes, I had almost forgotten how filthy and ragged we looked. The guard's gaze reminded me. His out of the way posting on a barely used road had probably desensitized him to such things, but it also likely meant he was not used to seeing Americans. Our appearance would have to be suspicious under such circumstances, but if Mr. Candle had succeeded in bartering are border crossing, the guard's suspicions would be irrelevant. The real problem was we had no way of knowing if Mr. Candle had succeeded or not and if the guard suspected it, he would undoubtedly enjoy a little fun at our expense.

"Turn off the ignition," The guard said, "and hand me the keys."

"I don't think so," Jack said.

"Are we going to have a problem?" The guard asked.

"We're about to," Jack said. "Let us cross and nobody has to get hurt."

The guard stepped back from the jeep, drawing his gun and aiming at my head. Jack pointed his gun at the guard in turn and kicked his door open, knocking another guard, I had not seen come out of the foliage, to the ground. A third guard came up from behind us, pushing a handgun into the side of Gina's head and resting his rifle's barrel on the back of Jack's head. Realizing he had lost, Jack let the gun fall limp in his hand, raising his arms in defeat. The guard next to me, moved in and took the gun from Jack's hand and then back away again.

He nodded at me, keeping his gun aimed at Jack and said, "Turn off the ignition and throw the keys on the ground over here."

I followed the guard's instructions and threw the keys as close to his feet as I could manage without risking hitting him. The guard glanced at the keys between his boots and nodded approval at me, relaxing his grip on the gun enough to allow me to start breathing again. A quick glance at Jack revealed his utter disapproval of the situation and his eyes seemed to be screaming something along the lines of, "This is all your damn fault!"

"You," The guard said, waving his gun at me, "out of the car, put your hands on the hood."

Slowly, I opened my door and stepped out onto the dirt road. Keeping my hands slightly raised and completely open, I stepped up to front of the jeep next to the tire and rested my hands on the hood. Things were not going exactly as I had hoped and unless something changed soon, the situation was likely to get a lot worse. A thousand possibilities ran through my mind, but I held onto the hope these guards were just having a little fun with us before following orders and letting us pass. That was of course dependent upon Joseph Candle having successfully bribed our way through, but given the stakes, I suspected he would not have allowed for any possibility of failure.

The cold metal of the guard's gun pressed against the back of my neck. With his free hand, he quickly patted down the left side of my body and then switched hands to do the same on my right. Finding nothing, he produced a pair of steel handcuffs and slapped one side on my right and then pulled my arms behind me, securing my left wrist as well. He roughly pulled me away from the jeep, turning me around away from the jeep and shoving me down onto my knees before planting my face in the dirt.

"Stay down," He said.

One at a time the guard repeated the process with the others until we were all lying face down on the ground, side by side. Unfortunately, they planted Jack right next to me with his head turned toward me. If I had felt a little bit safer, I might have closed my eyes just to avoid the negativity beaming out of his. I kept telling myself things could be worse and Jack's eyes kept tell me they were going to get worse just as soon as we got out of the mess we were in.

Behind us, I could hear the guards tearing apart the jeep looking for something. The rational part of my brain knew they were searching for drugs or weapons. They would find none of the former and way to many of the latter. The irrational portion of my brain assumed Stratford's people had outbid Joseph Candle and the guards were looking for the codex to hand over when they arrived to collect us. There was no way to determine which part of me was right and every minute that ticked by was a minute closer to the point where it would not matter either way.

"We're not smugglers," I said.

"I thought I told you to let me do the talking," Jack said.

I said, "I don't think I can make our situation any worse."

"That's the problem," Jack said. "Every time you start thinking, my life insurance premiums go up."

"That's just because every time I have to start thinking for you it's because you started talking with your gun instead of your head," I said.

"Quiet," The guard said kicking a cloud of dirt at Jack and me.

"Really, I just want to help," I said, looking back at the guard. "Ask me anything."

"You really don't know when to shut up, do you?" Jack said.

The guard kicked more dirt into Jack's face and said, "Neither do you."

Jack coughed. I continued to look up at the guard hopeful we could work something out. My instincts told me there was something else going on beyond Stratford's people and if that was right there was still a chance for us to get across the border before things escalated. It is hard to say what was going on in the guard's mind, but after a long hesitation he grabbed my arm and pulled me up.

"What are you transporting?" The guard asked.

"Nothing," I said.

"Lies," He said shaking his gun in my face. "Your boss is willing to pay five million a head to get you across the border and someone else is willing to pay fifteen million if I hand the four of you over to them. You must be carrying something very valuable."

"It's not what you think," I said.

He said, "You don't know what I think."

"They want me," I said.

"Why? You are very beautiful," He said, tracing the tip of his gun down the front of my chest, poking it gently into my breast, "but no woman is worth that much money."

I said, "I know things."

He nodded, his mustache curling upward and said, "Perhaps you like to show me?"

"Free my hands and I'll show you what happens to men who don't keep their hands, or their guns, to themselves," I said.

He laughed and said, "You think I'm afraid of a little girl like you?"

Jack said, "You aren't, but trust me, you should be."

"Go ahead," I said, "take the cuffs off. I promise I won't run away."

The guard leaned in close to my ear and whispered, "I am very tempted, but if I let you get away, my boss will pay ten million to have my head."

"Maybe it would be best for everyone if I could speak with your boss," I said.

"Perhaps," He said, "but first I have to know what you are running."

Behind him another guard stood up in the back of the jeep and raised his hands up with the box containing the codex occupying them. He said, "I found it."

The one in front of me pressed his gun a little further into my breast making me pull away slightly and turned toward the jeep to see what his subordinate had found. He nodded his head and turned his attention back on me. I took a deep breath and invented a story he would almost certainly have to believe because it was almost the truth.

"Just like an American," He said, poking me with his gun. "You steal our history so you can rewrite it to suit your need for superiority. No doubt the contents of that little box are worth more than twice what your boss offered."

"In our hands maybe," I said, puffing myself up for the role I had to play, "but what's it worth in yours? We can authenticate it, for you it's a box you found in the back of a jeep. Without us it isn't worth more than a handful of bullets for your gun."

He smiled and said, "So, you admit your crime."

"It's not a crime from my perspective," I said. "The real crime is allowing it to rot away in the hands of people too primitive to care for it and too stupid to realize its value."

"Now we have something to talk about," The guard said.

He holstered his gun and turned me around to release me from the cuffs. I massaged my wrists in front of me enjoying the freedom of movement and the return of blood to my hands. The guard grasped my arm with less force than before and guided me toward the booth. On the ground Jack started to rise up from the ground, sensing our situation was improving. The guard pushed his boot into the middle of Jack's back shoving him back into the dirt.

"Not you," He said and signaled to his subordinates. "Make certain they stay put."

I shrugged to Jack as the guard and I walked passed. The guard opened the door and gestured for me to enter the booth. I was surprised by the size and relative cleanness inside. Immediately inside the door a standard office desk was position as if for a reception. Another half dozen identical desks were positioned along the perimeter walls and in the middle of the room sat a circular table with four chairs around it. On top of the table a deck of cards sat face down in the middle. I walked toward the table with the guard following me inside and closing the door.

"The man out there," The guard said, "is he your boss?"

"No," I said, hoping I was not making a mistake, "he's my driver and part-time bodyguard."

"You could do better," He said.

I asked, "Are you applying for the job?"

"I don't work for women," He said.

"If you aren't looking for a job then what are we here to discuss?" I said.

"Nothing," He said and turned his back to me.

He picked up the phone from the desk near the door and dialed a number. While it rang he carried the phone to the table and sat it down next to the cards. I studied his face for any clue as to his purpose and found nothing. All I could imagine was the call might well determine whether I lived or died. That I was calm in the face of such uncertainty surprised me.

"You were right," The guard said into the phone before handing it to me. "I'll be outside," He said and left.

I looked at the phone with suspicion before deciding there was no harm to be found in talking. "Hello," I said.

"Good afternoon," The man on the other end said. "I trust you are well?"

"I've had better days," I said.

"Then I shall endeavor to make your evening enjoyable enough to make up for it," He said.

"Forgive my bluntness, but what do you want?" I said.

"To do business if you are amiable," He said.

Watching the guards pace outside, I said, "I'm listening."

"Not over the phone, my dear," He said with a slight chuckle. "Join me for dinner."

"What about my companions?" I asked.

"They are invited as well, of course," He said.

"And if I say no?" I said.

"I believe there are people willing to pay quite well for you to be placed in their hands," He said. "It would be unfortunate if I had to do so, I had so looked forward to meeting all of you."

I said, "In that event, it would seem foolish for me not to accept."

"I knew you could be reasonable," He said. "I'll have my men escort you here."

I said, "What about—

He said, "The others I spoke of? Don't worry, my men will take care of them as well."


  1. Ash,
    Another Outstanding post.those Guards were not very nice but in there defense they could of been meaner..i still see Jack and Virginia still go at each other even when laying on the ground with guns at there back...that was a great scene...interesting twist at the end i enjoyed that....looking forward to the next episode.
    thanks for the great story.

  2. Ash, an interesting episode, Jack as Virginia's driver, I have the feeling he won't be spanking her any more.
    I'm anticipating a rather fraught dinner date, I hope that Jack can keep his mouth shut.
    Warm hugs,

  3. Deeper and deeper, I love it! Thank you for being so diligent in posting this story, I don't know how you do it.

    Can't wait to see V back OTK