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My Little Mystery Part 4

My Little Mystery Part 4

The foursome meet Mr. Wagner and become mentors to Natasha.

Monica and Stefan got together in the last part, now introduced.

Who was Monica?

She was the same age as Cricket. Cricket and she were best friends at the Bard School. Monica was the same height as Cricket and the same size. She claimed she was not beautiful, just a plain, simple girl. Her hair was brown, long, and straight. Her eyes were brown and sparkled when Stefan approached. She had a much younger brother who lived with his aunt. Monica and her brother were orphans. Their parents died in a tragic auto accident after winning a huge lottery windfall. Actually they died at the hands of the Bard School because of the publicity. Monica went immediately to the Bard School, but her brother went to his aunt. While at the school she met and befriended Cricket. Cricket helped her make it through to graduation. They moved around together, totally inseparable. When Cricket took over Wolf's Head Oil, Monica became her Personal Assistant.

Who was Stefan?

He was an enigma. No one knew where he came from or his real name. He was blond haired, blue eyed and very handsome. He was strong with well defined muscles. His features were chiseled and hard. He was a good friend to have and stood by his friends. He followed Monica wherever she went in life. He loved her very much.

Cricket and Cal rode in the limousine from his home into New York City. Cal put his arm around Cricket's shoulder and held her hand in his lap. They stared at each other smiling all the time. Just a few hours ago, Cricket drove home with a mind full of doubts about Cal. She wanted to confront Cal, but it turned into a marriage proposal by Cricket to Cal. Cal accepted.

They got a limo ride to New York City to meet Monica and Stefan for a celebratory dinner. Monica, Cricket and Stefan went to high school together in Switzerland at the Bard School. Cal graduated from the same school one year before the trio arrived. Cricket's reputation as a superior student spread throughout her class and to other graduates. Cal heard of her exploits and vowed to himself to meet this woman. As soon as they met, he knew she was the woman with whom he wanted to spend his life. The night Cricket stormed into his home, she beat him to proposing marriage.

They arrived at the restaurant before Monica and Stefan. Their table was ready, so they sat next to each other, waiting for their friends. When Monica and Stefan arrived, Cricket jumped up and ran to them. She hugged them both tightly giggling. Monica looked at Cricket questioningly. She wanted to ask Cricket, what happened, but Cricket pulled them through the restaurant to her table. Cal sat there with a sheepish grin on his face.

They sat down and Monica looked at the two lovebirds and said, "OK, you two, what's going on?"

Cricket giddily answered, "We are getting married." She and Monica squealed like two teenagers.

Stefan grabbed Cal's hand saying, "Congratulations, my friend."

Cal replied, "Thank you, but she proposed to me, before I got on my knee."

With that, they all laughed and ordered the best bottle of champagne for a toast. Each of them toasted the group. When it became Stefan's turn, he turned to Monica, got on his knee and said, "Monica, I wanted to do this when we were alone, but this is better. Will you marry me?"

Monica jumped up, put her hands on his head kissing him hard on the lips. She said loudly, "Yes Stefan, I will marry you!"

Cricket jumped up, hugged Monica and jumped up and down spinning around. Cal and Stefan sat watching the two women celebrate laughing. The whole restaurant broke out in applause for the two couples. Everyone cheered, but the celebration did not go unnoticed by a video reporter. She filmed the whole scene for later broadcast. One thing, the foursome learned at school, was keep a low profile. These antics violated that rule completely. Right now, the foursome partied unaware of the filming.

The next morning the small party was front page news in all the tabloids and major news broadcasts. The New York Daily News Page Six had the following headline, "Head of Wolf's Head Oil partying with the enemy". In the article, the reporter wrote about Cricket, Monica and Stefan partying with Cal, the head of the Save the Wolves Foundation. When the news reached the Bard School, they dispatched Mr. Wagner to warn the foursome and tell them to cool it. The foursome saw the headlines and felt so foolish. They knew of the low profile rules. Now they regretted their actions.

They sat around a conference table in a conference room outside Crickets office. They received a notice that Mr. Wagner was on his way to see them. They worried about his arrival and what message he was to deliver. They planned to convince him, that it was a momentary slip, never to happen again. Mr. Wagner arrived, Monica met him and escorted him to the conference room. The four students sat on one side and Mr. Wagner the other.

Mr. Wagner spoke first. "You know why I am here. The school is not happy. You broke the primary rule of maintaining a low profile. The school has a policy of eliminating the offending student. In this case we can't do this, because there are four of you. You will be allowed to live, but you must split up. There can be no more than two of you in close proximity. We leave the details up to you. Just get it done quickly."

Cricket spoke for the group. "We can do that easily. Monica and Stefan can go work in our Houston headquarters. Cal and I will stay here. Will that solve the problem Mr. Wagner?"

"Well, I guess that keeps you apart. Just be careful in the future. If you all get together do it in private. Any more publicity and you will be dealt with severely."

"OK, we will work it all out. Thank you for understanding."

Mr. Wagner left and the group breathed a big sigh of relief.

Monica asked, "What do we do now?"

Stefan replied, "We get married, move to Houston and start our new life"

Cal said, "We could violate the rule and stay here. They would never know. We just maintain low profiles. We get married in very small private ceremonies with no reception."

Cricket intoned, "We can do that easily. Monica and Stefan can move into Marcia Shaw's house. Cal and Cricket will live at Cricket's house. That way we know where everyone is and we are close in case we need to meet."

The meeting broke up with everyone going back to work as if nothing happened. Monica and Stefan went to her office. Cricket and Cal went to her office. Who were these four young adults? Why were they so special?

Cricket and Monica sat in her office and talked about the visit of Mr. Wagner. They formulated plans to partially obey what the school desired. If Monica and Stefan moved to Houston, it broke up the tight foursome. The foursome weathered a potential takeover of the company. The breakup of the group hampered the company operations as a front for their other activities. The assassinations, forgeries and bombings would cease. Maybe that was a good thing. It certainly made life easier for the group. The excitement ceased for the group. Cal entered the office followed by Stefan.

"What are you ladies plotting now?" Said Cal with a crooked smile.

Cricket replied, "NOTHING!"

Stefan chimed in, "Not with that devious smile on Monica's face, you're not."

Monica chided, "None of your business."

With that, they all broke out in hilarious gales of laughter. When the laughter died down Cricket said, “What are we going to do about the unwanted publicity we caused? How can we prevent it from growing and spreading? We must nip this in the bud.”

They all agreed it was a bad thing that happened. Now they needed to stop it. Reporters called everyday looking to interview Cricket and Monica about their relationship and the men in their lives. So far Monica stalled them, but it won't last forever. The four sat at the conference table very quiet for several minutes. Their collective brains shifted into overdrive to solve this latest dilemma.

Cal perked up first, “I got it! Cricket, Monica and Stefan need to embark on a company wide tour of all the facilities. The press will find that to be very boring and give up following you around after a few days. Meanwhile I can stay at the estate preparing the mini wolf pack for shipment to Australia as planned.”

Cricket looked up smiling, “As usual Cal comes through. I am glad I hired him and now I love him dearly. It might just work.” Monica and Stefan shook their heads in agreement.

Monica spoke, “Let's get busy planning this trip and maybe at some point, Cal can join us on his way back from Australia, and we can all get married.”

Stefan sat quietly listening to the banter in the room. His thoughts were more long term and involved keeping the press out of their lives forever. His thoughts flowed slowly and so many red flags appeared. There were a lot of obstacles placed along the way. The biggest obstacle was the Bard School rules. They forbade being in the public eye ever. If there appeared any notoriety the person died or disappeared quietly later. They met Mr. Wagner who warned them. Did that mean they were off the hook? Did they still have to watch out and be real careful? Only time would tell.

As they sat in the conference room yelling and shouting, the phone rang. Monica picked it up and quieted the room down. It was Mr. Wagner calling from the Bard School. Monica put the call on speaker phone so all heard.

Mr. Wagner said, “The Bard School knows that you four are planning a way to get around their splitting you up. We decided to remove that restriction to allow you to remain together. We understand that you know how strict it was. Instead we have a task for the four of you to do together. A young woman who is a student at the school will be arriving shortly at Wolf's Head Oil. We would like you to take her in and be her mentor teaching her the skills you have all learned. That is all we are going to tell you about her now. This is not optional, you have to comply or face the harsh punishment of the school. Thank you ladies and gentlemen for your time, good bye.” With that Mr. Wagner hung up. The group sat there confused and looked at each other dumbfounded.

The phone rang again. This time it was Security in the main lobby. There was a very tall young woman who asked to meet with Cricket. Monica told Security, “Send her up to Cricket's private conference room.”

The elevator dinged, the doors opened and out stepped a young woman. All activity in the office ceased as everyone, male and female, gawked at the visitor. Her appearance surprised the foursome. She was 5 feet 11 inches tall, long black hair, intense blue eyes and very long trim legs. She did not walk like an athlete who ran track, but more like the sleek way a leopard stalked its prey on the savannah. She had a small suitcase with her. Her name was Natasha. She was a junior at the Bard School and at the top of the class. She was born in Romania and ran track competitively until sidelined by a severe muscle injury. She still ran but at a much slower pace and not competitively.

She entered the conference room and introduced herself, handing a letter to Cricket. The letter introduced her and instructed the group to provide a place for her to stay and mentor her in the arts of bomb making, forgery and assassination. She completed the rest of her education before she left the Bard School. As she sat with them, the group decided to have her stay with Cal at his home. He taught her bomb making. At the office Monica taught her forgery. Stefan and Cricket taught her assassination. Little did they know, she watched them and reported their activities to Mr. Wagner.

It had been two weeks since Natasha arrived to be mentored. Her education proceeded easily, she was a quick study. Of course it was difficult to actually carryout the tasks involved in the classes. Stefan became the first to have the opportunity to take Natasha on a true field lab. He got an assignment to assassinate an unscrupulous head of a small business exploiting women in the Philippines. The man lived in New York City and ran the business from there. It proved to be an easy task that Stefan allowed Natasha to plan and execute. She gathered all the data on his comings and goings daily. He was a creature of habit, using the same route back and forth to the office. He ate at the same place and table everyday. It was decided to kill him at his home as he returned from his nightly meal.

Natasha and Stefan stalked him the night it was to happen. Nothing unusual happened at dinner and he proceeded home without incident. Natasha and Stefan arrived at the home before the victim. They broke in leaving no traces. They laid in wait for him to open the door and enter the home. The man unlocked the door, opened it and stepped into the hallway. He closed the door, turned out the porch lights and locked the door. He headed toward the kitchen to get a glass of water and prepare for bed. Natasha stepped out from the living room behind him, pointed the 9mm silenced pistol at the back of the victim’s head and pulled the trigger. The gun jumped, the victim collapsed to the floor in a heap and died instantly. Natasha stood there, amazed at how easy it was to kill another person. Her hands were at her sides, as she started to shake. She had never killed anyone before. The enormity of the scene had affected her more than she thought. She wanted to faint, but could not let Stefan see her this way. She turned to Stefan, handed him the gun and quickly exited the home the way they had entered. Stefan knelt beside the corpse, checked for a heartbeat, found none, got up and followed Natasha out of the house.

Natasha's heart raced, as she thought of what she did. Her mind kept playing back the death scene. The more it played out, the more she hated being an assassin. The act of killing someone was easy, but seeing and doing it was not. It weighed on her heavily. Stefan looked at her and knew immediately she had problems. He knew what happened after the first kill. He was ready for it and kept driving to get away quietly and quickly. The further they drove, the more Natasha's anxiety subsided. By the time they got to Cal's house, she was fine. The whole group was there. They greeted her with hugs and pats on the back for a job well done. Natasha looked at the group and decided that she must not report on them anymore. They were her friends now and she liked them. She saw nothing wrong happening and loved the four companions. The group of four suddenly became five.

As the group sat around the table in the dining room, the subject of publicity surfaced. The local newspapers and TV stations ceased following the group. Cricket, Monica, and Cal thought they were in the clear now. Stefan doubted the pursuit ended this easily. He knew from experience, that the press never gave up. They pursued a story until it was truly dead. The group and its actions was still news. Now that Natasha joined the group things got easier. She stood in for Monica as Cricket's personal assistant when Stefan and Monica traveled to other parts of the company. Over a few weeks, Natasha worked on her bomb making skills and forging. Cal declared her ready to try a test run at a local abandoned quarry. Natasha built a small remotely triggered bomb and planted it at the quarry. After moving safely away, she detonated the bomb and watched as a few trees fell. Cal declared her ready to proceed on her own. Unfortunately no bombings surfaced to be done. Forgeries on the other hand appeared almost daily. Natasha had forged passports, birth certificates and several other documents since she arrived. Her training proceeded well and she was happy. Her first assassination still weighed heavily on her. She kept seeing the rerun in her mind every night as she slept. She talked with the group about it on several occasions. They had no advice to give her to make it easier. The days stretched into weeks and months. The group of five grew tighter and spent a lot of time together.

The press gave up completely and Stefan declared they were safe. Reporters occasionally came around but the company press office handled them easily. Cal transferred the mini wolf pack to Australia without incident. Cricket, Monica and Stefan ran the company and gave the stockholders the largest dividend ever in company history. Natasha graduated from the Bard School with scores just below Cricket's. She decided to stay on at Wolf's Head Oil to carry out her new assignments. Once again they dodged a big life-threatening crisis and survived.

What could happen next? Two marriages loomed on the horizon that needed planning. There must be something else out there to stall the weddings. Maybe it will happen in Part 5 coming soon.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © Copyright 2012, 2013 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Cal Erickson, aka frogprince

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