Disclaimer: The characters of Dr. Janice Covington and Melinda Pappas belong exclusively to MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. Any other characters belong to me. No copyright infringement was intended through the writing of this piece.
Subtext Warning: This story implies a loving relationship between two consenting adult women. If you are under 18, this type of thing is illegal in the state/country where you live or if you are offended by it, there is always something else to read. However, I am concentrating on plot this time…if you’re after rampant sex, you won’t find it, sorry.
Historical Accuracy Warning: Okay, I've tried to be reasonably historically accurate in this one, but if you find any huge faults, either let me know or bear with me. Bugger the chronology of the Xena Scrolls, they got it wrong in the first place, I’m scrapping it to work with my own. As I understand, Germany invaded Greece on the 6th of April 1941 and occupied it throughout the coming weeks. The Americans were not officially at war with Germany until the 11th of December 1941. However, Roosevelt issued a statement on the 25th of April declaring that aid would be offered to the peoples of Greece in their struggle to defend themselves against aggression. Yet, as far as I am aware, Americans in Greece up until December 11th should have suffered no real threat from the Germans since America was technically neutral up until this time. In addition, there are several basilica several hundred metres up the hill from the main village of Amphipolis, yet the tunnels I describe are a complete fabrication…this is fiction after all.
Author's Notes: This story is the fifth in the 'Bodice Ripper' series, you probably need to read the other four, beginning with 'Rising' to follow the story line. I'd also like to dedicate this story to Ivy Zayas for being such an excellent e-mail correspondent and friend. Thanks Ivy, esta historia está para usted. The title of this story is based on a short story by the Puerto Rican writer Rosario Ferré entitled When Women Love Men, which in turn was taken from Papeles de Pandora.
Acknowledgments: Quotations concerning the declaration of war on America by Germany were taken from the WW2 time line. The Hymn to Artemis was taken from the Perseus Project of Tufts University, Somerville MA (Homeric Hymn 9.1). I have to thank my mate Andreas, a German backpacker who stays at my local pub, for the excellent character name of Oberstürmbannführer Beinharrd Eisenkeil. Thanks also to my father, John, for giving me a run down on interrogation procedures...the things you find out about your parents…although I did omit the electrodes on testicles, thanks Dad. Another thanks to my father for editing the last four or so pages, although he did come up with some very interesting alternatives which I may write up at the end, just for fun. Now I know where I got my Mills & Boon style. Also thanks to all the people out there who dissed me severely for my inclusion of Eleni Mavros in the last story, well, not her inclusion, but rather what she did…I'm sure I can resolve the issue in this one…Inshallah.
Feedback: I'm at email@example.com
When Women Love…
Janice watched the Southerner walk steadily away through tear stained vision. When the door to their apartment closed softly, Janice gripped the photograph of the two of them tightly in a balled fist. The glossy black and white print crumpled effortlessly against her strong palm. She held on to it for a moment, feeling the buckled edges press against her skin, wounding her soul. She held the image keenly in her head as tears spilled silently warm down the side of her face to fall wetly against her shirtfront. The small woman sighed harshly, her breath rattling in her throat, as she opened her fist, allowing the compacted photograph to fall to the floor where it rolled uselessly beneath the coffee table, a sentiment of woe.
Janice rose mutely from the sofa and over towards the drink’s cabinet. There were still two dirty glasses on the counter top, one sporting the red smudge of Melinda's lipstick. She picked the glass up idly and tilted it in her hand, staring at the imprint of the Southerner's lower lip. Roughly she swiped at it with her thumb, as if obliterating this small symbol would clear a space in her heart for something other than anguish. She discarded the glass on the counter top and retrieved a fresh one, into which she poured a healthy swig of scotch. Then morosely she ambled back to the sofa and sat, staring at the door to the apartment as she took the occasional swallow of amber liquid, swirling in her glass.
The archaeologist had no idea as to where Melinda had gone; all she knew was that she was no longer with her. It was late afternoon; dusk was coming, settling over the sky with a halo like quality, the setting sun resplendent in its glory. She didn’t want to be there, not in the crowded apartment where everywhere she looked there was a reminder of her stupidity, of what she had lost, of what she did not know if she could salvage. Every fibre of her being was telling her to get up and move, to find the Southerner and when she did, to pull her into her arms and tell her that everything was going to be alright. Janice smiled ruefully at the thought, how could she expect the woman's forgiveness after what she had done? How could she expect anything from the woman she loved? It was done, and what was done could not be reversed with a thousand words, not with a thousand actions, it was there, an indelible smear on her consciousness, a badge of demeaning deception.
With these thoughts in mind, Janice downed the rest of her scotch and went hurriedly to retrieve a duffel bag from the room she shared with Melinda. She could smell the light aroma of the Southerner's perfume as she entered, yet she steeled her heart against the pangs of longing that attempted to surge, unbidden, through her. She shoved a few items into the bag, retrieved her leather jacket and the Trendall's 9mm Browning before heading back to the living room to liberate the scotch from the bar. Securing the bottle within her bag, she made for the kitchen and stuffed in some provisions before heading for the door without a backward glance. She would stay in one of the tents they had set up near the main mound of Amphipolis in preparation for the upcoming excavation, she would not sleep in Melinda's bed, not this night.
"There must be some mistake." Sofie Trendall said in a worried voice, glancing between her brother and the young SS officer who barred her doorway, Luger pointed in her general direction. Her blonde ringlets bobbed nervously about her suddenly pale face.
"No mistake Fräulein, you and your brother are to be detained immediately."
"But why? We're American…we've done nothing." she continued anxiously.
"Not so, your country has been violating its neutrality for months, the Führer has had enough, last night, you became enemies of the German Reich."
"America is at war with Germany?" Charles Trendall asked, moving along side his sister.
"Exactly so." The man said with a sly smile. "You will come with me please?" he asked, ushering in a couple of regular soldiers to secure the Trendalls. Their hands were cuffed behind their backs and they were unceremoniously frog marched from their hotel room, down the corridor, out the main door and into a waiting truck.
The excavation tent near the main mound of Amphipolis was virtually bare, a cot-bed, a desk, a chair and a crate served as the modicum of furnishings. If they had been excavating it would have been cluttered with personal effects, recording sheets, surveying equipment and artefact registration files. Yet now, before the excavation began the medium sized canvas tent served only as a reminder of Janice's failings. Although, somehow, the starkness of the shelter cleared the archaeologist's mind and eased the burden of her guilt. At least here there was nothing of Melinda to torment her.
Janice dumped her duffel bag beside the cot-bed and lowered herself to the rickety frame of the chair beside the folding desk set against one of the tent walls. The chair creaked and groaned under her weight as she settled herself in. She lit the lantern on the desk and watched the soft orange-yellow light for a moment while her eyes adjusted to the change. Finally she sighed and placed Charles Trendall's Browning on the desk in front of her. She stared at it, her mind wandering back to her wild flight with Melinda from the Trendall's and how frightened she had been at the thought of Melinda being injured. She placed her right hand at an angle, fingers splayed, partially over the grip, her fingers extending to caress the action. She stayed like that for several minutes, simply letting the chill of the steel seep into her hand. Then slowly she allowed her fingers to curl around the grip and she raised the weapon, turning it this way and that against the pale light of the lantern, the yellow-gold reflecting off the dull, dark surface like sunlight off water.
Taking a breath she focussed her attention and dropped the magazine of the Browning from its pistol grip housing with methodical ease. She didn’t want to think, she wanted to escape from her own agonised mind. Cleaning a weapon had always been a therapeutic exercise, there was something about cold, black steel that calmed her, allowing the thoughts that ran a rat race through her head to dissipate wanly for a while. She thought of nothing but the weapon in her hands as she moved back the slide and locked it into place before flicking the pin and shifting it forward slowly, to remove the top section of the pistol. She removed the barrel, spring and then the mechanism. These, she laid out in an orderly fashion before her to await her cleansing hand.
The small woman sighed as she plucked a small piece of square fabric from the pocket of her khakis and began cleaning the black residue of powder and oil that had congealed like dark blood in the body of the weapon.
Despite her attempt to dismiss the current argument raging in her head, several voices would not quite their tormenting pleas to be heard. How could she have been so idiotically stupid? The last thing she ever wanted to do was hurt Melinda, yet she had done that as effectively as if she had plunged a dagger murderously into the tall woman's soul. There had been no excuse for her actions, and no easy answers to the woe she had caused. It was not simply a matter of being drunk, there was something else there and she could not forgive herself for feeling it, or for giving in to those feelings.
Janice shook her head in disbelief as the thoughts rose unbidden to the fore. She discarded one square of material, now stained and tarnished like her heart, in favour of another. If only she could do the same with her emotions, yet this was impossible, she had to face what she had done. The power of heavy guilt and angst weighed on her shoulders as she finished cleaning the separate parts of the weapon and reassembled it. With a decided snap, she flicked the lever to slap the slide back into place and replaced the empty magazine. She cocked the pistol, took aim at the ground a few feet beside her and pulled the trigger. The hammer snapped home with a hollow, metallic click, everything was in order.
"I thought I would find you here doctor." the voice whispered over Janice's shoulder like midnight and felt just as stark to her ears.
Janice said nothing, trying to ignore the twisting sensation in her gut as Eleni Mavros moved aside the loose hanging flap and entered the suddenly much smaller tent.
"You used to stay on site often when you were worried." the voice continued.
"It seems I still do." Janice said as she began to disassemble her weapon again for want of a distracting exercise.
"Indeed." was all Eleni voiced.
Janice's jaw hardened as she placed the slide with a resounding thud on the desk.
"What do you want from me?" she asked, turning her vivid green eyes on the woman beside her. This was the woman who had caused her so much pain and suffering over the last twenty-four hours. This was the woman she had once loved, Melinda's sister.
"I do not want anything from you Janice…" the once soft and sultry voice sounded tired and worn.
"Then you'd better leave." Janice spat bitter venom at her victim.
"I'm afraid I cannot do that."
"Of course you can, it's easy, just turn around and walk away." Janice turned back to the weapon before her in an effort to distance herself form the Greek woman.
Eleni was shaking her head.
"No it is not, I have been assigned to protect you."
"Protect me? Well, let me tell you sweetheart, I've got all the protection I need right here." Janice said, locking the slide back into place.
"No, you are wrong. Do you think a pistol will protect for long when the Germans come looking for you?"
Janice's face stayed blank as she replaced the magazine and test fired the empty weapon. "I have no quarrel with Germany."
"Guess again doctor, Germany has declared war on your precious United States of America, see for yourself." Eleni said, throwing a few pieces of documentation down on the desk.
Janice stared at the white sheets of paper a moment, golden in the lamp light, before picking them up. She scanned the small printing quickly, unable to believe what she was reading. Somewhere inside her heart wrenched.
Although Germany on her part has strictly adhered to the rules of international law in her relations with the United States during every period of the present war, the Government of the United States from initial violations of neutrality has finally proceeded to open acts of war against Germany. The Government of the United States has thereby virtually created a state of war.
The German Government, consequently, discontinues diplomatic relations with the United States of America and declares that under these circumstances brought about by President Roosevelt, Germany too, as from today, considers herself as being in a state of war with the United States of America.
Accept, Mr. Chargé d'Affaires, the expression of my high consideration.
December 11, 1941
Janice dropped the paper to the desktop and stared blankly up at Eleni with solemn eyes.
"So, you knew last night?" she asked in a flat voice, feeling anger rise coldly in her gut.
"I did." came the soft response.
"Sonofabitch! I suppose you thought that seducing me was a method of protection?"
Eleni's eyes narrowed cruelly, "In a way."
"Jesus I'm a fool." Janice blurted, unable to control her pent up fury.
"Listen Janice, you can either work with me on this and live, or not, and most likely die, you and Melinda."
That struck a raw nerve deep within. Janice shook her head in shame.
"She's no responsibility of mine, she's gone."
Eleni turned her eyes away from the archaeologist for a moment.
"You always were an unfeeling bitch Janice, hard as stone, never let anything get to you. Well, this is one time you have to stop thinking about yourself, God knows, I have to." she said with emotion.
"Then I guess we both lose out." Janice said, gathering her weapon and shoving it into the back of her pants before standing to leave the tent, to go anywhere, just as long as it was away from this woman.
"You can't leave." Eleni breathed, the gravity of what she had said sinking home.
"I'll go wherever I goddamn please." Janice bit out harshly.
"Not this time." Eleni said, reaching out a hand to stop the archaeologist.
"Why the hell not?" Janice swore, trying to push passed the taller woman.
"Because they have Melinda."
The crypt-like room was chilly despite the warmth of the early evening. Melinda Pappas sat alone on a solitary wooden bench in the dim last light of day that filtered down from a small, grimy window high to her left. She had been stripped of her own clothing, rough hands tearing at her trousers and shirt, which had been replaced by a shapeless sack-like garment. She cursed herself for her idiocy, yet how was she to know that the supposed routine passport check would end in her arrest. She had not been thinking as she fled from the apartment and had not seen the German patrol until it was too late. Yet even that should have been no cause for alarm, however Germany had declared war on America. So, here she sat, alone in some tiny box-like prison she knew not where. She could here the occasional scraping and scratching of movement outside the door and down the corridor she knew was directly outside. She assumed there were other Americans interred in the same place, yet they were separated by much more than dank stone walls.
Was Janice here too? That was all she could think. Despite the woman's obvious failings and betrayal, Melinda was powerless to halt the pang of separation that cut through her heart like molten metal. She hung her head in her hands, letting her long, now dishevelled hair drift about her face.
She smiled wryly at the absurdity of it all, she had told Janice she needed time to think about their relationship…now it seemed she had all the time in the world to focus her thoughts on nothing else. She needed the small archaeologist as much as she needed to breathe, theirs was a spiritual connection the likes of which she had never felt before, and no affair or dungeon was going to dampen that desire and urgency for the woman. Yet did Janice feel the same, would she too be lost in a labyrinth of despair or overcome by grief if placed in the same position? Melinda shook her head, hot tears smearing against the palms of her hands. She sniffed loudly and forced herself to sit upright as she ran her damp hands over her hair to smooth it down.
What of her half sister? Why had her father never informed her of the woman's existence? Maybe he had not known of it, and now Melinda supposed he never would. She cocked her head to one side at the sound of footsteps in the corridor outside. The steps got louder as they approached her holding room, and then they stopped, right outside her solid wooden door. She heard muffled male voices talking rapidly in German and then the lock was thrown, the door scraping open against the harsh concrete of the floor.
A figure was hurriedly shoved through the doorway to land roughly on the ground with grunts and suppressed moans. The door was slammed shut and bolted as Melinda stared blankly at the indistinct figure slowly rising from the floor.
"Bastards! You can’t do this to me! Do you know who I am?" the figure called out, slamming a fist against the hardwood door.
Melinda's eyes opened wide in shock and she shivered with recognition at the sharp Southern twang.
"Sofie…" she breathed, the scorn she felt towards the Trendall daughter oozing like blood, darkly from her lips.
"You!" Sofie whirled on the translator. "None of this would have happened if it weren't for you and that sordid archaeologist!"
Melinda's upper lip curled back in a fetid snarl. "I think you are overestimating my influence." she said sarcastically.
Sofie stared blankly at the dim figure on the bench for a moment. "I'll kill you!" she spat before launching herself across the narrow space separating them.
Melinda did nothing until the smaller blonde was upon her, and then she simply grabbed her by the arms and used her momentum to send Sofie careening into the sidewall with a sickening crack. Still seated on the bench, Melinda sighed heavily in exasperation.
"You won’t kill me, believe it or not, we need each other." she said wearily.
"Need you?" Sofie mumbled as she righted herself against the wall, brushing some of her dishevelled curls from her eyes. "I've never needed you…just your money."
Melinda had to laugh at that, a grim, unfeeling laugh. "Well, that seems pretty useless now, doesn't it?"
Sofie pushed herself to her feet and supported herself unsteadily with a hand.
"They have Charles." she said in a resigned voice, realising the futility of their position.
"Why does that not surprise me?" Melinda tried to smile feebly, but found the act nigh on impossible.
Janice felt as if she had been kicked solidly in the stomach, she couldn’t move, she couldn't think. A cloud of meaninglessness drifted into her conscious and secured itself with a vice like grip. She swallowed a couple of times against the needle like effects of the adrenalin stabbing through her system as her vision slowly darkened.
"When?" she breathed as she reached out a hand to steady herself against the desk.
"Earlier, it was a routine passport check, just after she left the apartment." Eleni said softly, stricken by Janice's reaction. The Greek woman attempted to put a reassuring hand on Janice's shoulder, but the archaeologist brushed it violently away.
"How do you know?" Janice whispered desperately, the last few hours playing hectically through her mind in a matter of moments.
"I was watching from across the street."
"You were watching me?" Janice said numbly.
Eleni gave a wry smile. "I was coming to warn you, but it appears I was too late, God knows how they missed you."
"I know how you feel." Eleni continued, hurt, despite her resolve to let the woman go.
"How could you possibly know that?" Janice turned bewildered eyes on the woman.
"If it were…" but she trailed off, unable to finish.
Janice took a deep breath and closed her eyes; she didn’t want to feel, yet tendrils of guilt were swirling through her chest. If they had been together maybe this would not of happened, and even if it had, at least they would be together. It was her fault, her fault. Janice side stepped to her chair and slumped down, staring blankly at the top of the table.
"Oh no, don’t you do that, do not ever do that." Eleni moved beside her and gripped the smaller woman firmly by the shoulder. "Don't you blame yourself, I know you remember, Dr. Janice I'm-always-responsible-for-everyone Covington. Not this time Janice, not this time."
"But I let her go." Janice mumbled softly.
Eleni sighed, "A minute ago you were telling me she was no responsibility of yours."
"A minute ago I didn't know she was in the hands of the Nazis after having just left my presence." Janice spat, anger washing the uselessness from her mind. "A minute ago I was trying very hard to tell myself that it didn’t matter if she was gone." Janice looked up again with sad eyes, "But I know I was wrong."
Eleni's jaw hardened in resolve, her own heart bleeding from within.
"We won’t abandon her…after all, she is my sister, that's fate."
Charles Trendall squinted through the bright light that shone in his eyes. If he concentrated he could see the looming bulk of the SS officer sitting casually on the corner of a large desk. Two more officers took flanking positions, the trio more than intimidating. He could smell the acrid fumes of their cigarette smoke swirling like dust motes through the glaring light. He licked his dry lips and tried to adjust his burning wrists in their bonds behind his back. He had been standing on the same spot for several hours and had been drenched in cold water. His body was shuddering of its own accord in an attempt to keep warm, his thoughts slow and sluggish as he shifted uneasily from one foot to the other. Why were they just sitting there? They had wanted to know about Melinda, but it was some stupid sense of noblesse oblige that had prevented him from speaking. Now he swayed slightly and had to shift his left foot back to keep his balance.
"This stubbornness will get you nowhere Mr. Trendall, only more suffering." a smooth voice said evenly.
Charles flicked his gaze between the three silhouettes, but he was unsure which of them had spoken.
"We have her you know." another voice chimed in, echoing from the walls of Charles' mind.
"Then why…don’t you ask her?" he managed through chattering teeth and dull, swollen tongue.
He heard a gravelly laugh followed by cold words. "We thought this would be more…entertaining."
Charles let out a long shuddering breath and shifted his feet again. His head was throbbing with a heavy ache and he was finding it increasingly difficult to form a coherent thought. He closed his eyes briefly, trying to alleviate some of the deep burning sensation penetrating them.
"I…don’t have anything…to say to you." he stammered out. He heard the desk creak as one of the SS men stood. The man's boots creaked across the floor and Charles opened his eyes to be staring directly into the cruel, piercing blue of the orbs before him The man dragged harshly on his cigarette and blew the smoke directly into Charles' face. Charles choked for a moment before regaining his breath.
"Is that…the best you can do?" he asked, offering the semblance of a weak smile.
The SS man smiled back, thin lips receding in a feral smirk. He tilted his head on one side, took another drag on the cigarette before letting it hover menacingly above Charles' chest. Charles swayed back slightly and watched the SS man's smirk widen into a grin before he stabbed the cigarette home, searing through the damp fabric of Charles' shirt and into his flesh. Charles' face contorted in pain and a light sweat broke out on his forehead, yet he refused to make a sound. The SS man continued to grind the butt cruelly for a moment and Charles could smell the smouldering fabric of his shirt curling to his nostrils.
"I can assure you, we can do much more." the SS man said, flicking the ruined cigarette butt off to one side as he took a step back.
"Are you going to tell us what we want to know?" one of the other officers said slowly from the desk.
"I have nothing to say to you." Charles spat, strengthening his resolve.
"Very well. Klaus, you can deal with him now." The officer continued, glancing over at the remaining officer, who stood heavily and eased the bulk of his shoulders in his too tight uniform.
Klaus lumbered over to Charles, who seemed to have shrunk within himself, shoulders slumped. The hulk of a man wiped a hand casually over his mouth, fingers grazing on day old stubble as the first officer moved quietly away. Without warning Klaus lashed out with a meaty fist, striking a terrible blow against the left side of Charles’ face. Charles grunted in pain as stars exploded behind his eyes. He stumbled to one side, unable to balance himself against the blow. Blood welled in his mouth from a brutally split lip and he spat it to one side. Before he could recover fully, Klaus swung back his fist to deliver a gut wrenching punch to the Trendall son's stomach. Charles tried to suck in air as he fell to one knee, gasping for breath as his world swam like a mirage behind his eyes.
"Do you have anything to say?" The words reached Charles through ringing ears as he choked and gagged on his own blood.
"Nothing." he heaved against a tied of nausea.
The next he knew, his head snapped back and he was writhing on the ground in agony, his arms pinned and twisted painfully behind his back. Several more kicks to his gut sent him into a foetal position, but nothing would stop the onslaught of violence.
"Do you wish to speak now?" a voice finally said as he was wrenched into a sitting potion by his hair.
Charles shook his head feebly in answer.
His head was thrown forward and he slumped to one side, panting against the pain flowing through his body.
"Why are you doing this for her? You mean nothing to her." the voice sounded annoyed.
"Maybe…she…means something…to me." Charles said, grimacing as the effort caused more blood to flow from his ruined lips.
"Very well, you leave me no choice." the voice was steely in its certainty. The officer gestured to Klaus and the man retreated from his prey and disappeared from the room for a moment. On his return he was moving a barrel with some assistance into the room, water sloshed unceremoniously over the side every so often.
"Do you know what this is?" the voice asked softly, yet there was no response from Charles.
"I see. Show him." the SS officer ordered.
Charles felt himself being lifted bodily from the floor and struggled weakly against the strong arms of Klaus as he was dunked headfirst beneath the waters of the barrel. He could feel a hand at the back of his neck pushing him down. He tried to struggle but to no avail. Water surged up his nose and down his throat as he desperately fought the urge to cough and breath. Just when he thought he could take no more, he was hauled from the water, liquid streaming into his eyes as he choked desperately for air.
He was dunked three more times, right to the edge of unconsciousness, before he agreed to talk.
Standing in the shadowed doorway was a figure, looming against the frame, tall, broad shouldered and strong. The shape was indistinct against the light and Melinda squinted to make out more detail. Slowly the man stepped assuredly into the room, the fading light from the window scanning his Aryan features and reflecting from the twin lightning bolts on his lapels. She glanced across to Sofie who was huddled in a corner, shivering against the chill of the room. The women's eyes locked for a moment before Melinda broke away.
The translator drew in a shuddering breath and waited, her eyes browsing the cerulean blue of the SS officer's. He smiled thinly and took a couple more steps forward, the soles of his polished boots crackling on the floor. He stood directly before Melinda and shook his head ever so slightly from side to side. His leather-clad hands were clasped loosely at the small of his back. His fingers creaked against the leather as he flexed his fingers.
"So, you are Melinda Pappas." he said slowly, his soft, deep voice tinged only by the slightest of accents.
Melinda said nothing as she held his gaze a moment longer before dropping her eyes to her lap.
"Well," the officer continued in an off-handish tone, "I am SS Oberstürmbannführer Beinharrd Eisenkeil."
He smiled his thin lipped smile once more.
"What are you going to do with us, we're entitled to know." Mel spat.
"Ah, indeed. I do not care what happens to the other Americans, but you, you Fräulein, shall prove useful."
Mel frowned, a tinge of worry snaking into her gut. "I don’t understand."
Eisenkeil took the bench next to the Southerner and she cringed away slightly.
"You see Melinda, I am a Lieutenant Colonel, I like the finer things in life, I like antiquities." he paused a moment in thought, "You are a translator in need of material to translate, and I have material in need of a translator."
Mel could see where this was going now and she snorted in disbelief.
"I will never work for you!" she bit out, rising from the bench to stand beside Sofie, who by this time had pushed herself up against the wall.
Eisenkeil shrugged and stretched out his long legs before him, ankles crossed.
"Did you know that your sister was in the resistance?" he asked softly.
"I hardly know the woman." Mel breathed, glancing worriedly towards Sofie.
"So, you would send someone maliciously to their death instead of work for me?
Mel stared blankly ahead, the muscles of her jaw working over-time.
"I see you would." Eisenkeil mused, rising from the bench, he moved in closer so his breath was caressing the side of Melinda's face.
"Melinda, it's just a translation." Sofie cut in nervously.
"That's not the point." Mel cast her a sideways glance.
"Then what is the point Fräulein?" Eisenkeil hissed solemnly.
"That I will not conspire with Nazis, no matter what the cost." she said bitterly.
Eisenkeil shrugged, "Why not? Charles Trendall did, I'm surprised you didn’t hear his screams…they were very loud."
"No!" Sofie yelled and made a lunge for the Oberstürmbannführer, yet Mel stopped her with an outstretched arm. Sofie struggled a moment before sagging against the translator, defeated in her anguish.
"So that's how you knew." Mel mused.
"Indeed, pain can be very persuasive." Eisenkeil grinned, "But with you," he paused a moment to run a leather clad finger down the side of Mel's face, "I would hate to lose the fire in those eyes."
Mel jerked away from his touch as if bitten by a snake.
"Would it help matters if I were to tell you we also know that your sister was involved with a certain Janice Covington?" he whispered tauntingly.
"Janie…" Mel breathed as she felt the light being sucked from her soul.
"Ah…there we go. You see, there are many types of pain, and the emotional is often stronger than the physical."
"How can we get her out when we don't even know where she is?" Janice spat at Eleni, cursing the woman inwardly for letting them take Melinda. Yet in truth, she knew there was nothing Eleni could have done to have prevented it.
"That is not entirely true, all Americans are being detained in the catacombs beneath SS Headquarters."
"Shit! What are we supposed to do, walk in the front door and ask for directions?" Janice was getting irate, her fear swamped by a rage so strong it made her hands shake.
Eleni could not help but smile despite the situation, she lowered her head to hide her smirk.
"You do not know Amphipolis very well for an archaeologist." she said, shaking her head slightly. "A mile up the road from the village lies the Basilica, and under it tunnels which lead to the catacombs."
Janice stared blankly at the Greek woman for a moment, a spark of hope settling through her anger.
"My specialty's Hellenistic, not Byzantine, you know that." Janice grated between clenched teeth before taking a deep breath. "How do you know about the tunnels?"
Eleni shrugged, "The resistance has been using them for months to obtain information from the SS."
Janice nodded and reached for her duffel bag. She pulled out a box of bullets and set them on the table before retrieving the Browning from the back of her trousers. She dropped the magazine and began feeding the rounds into the top. Eleni watched on in silence. After the clip was fully loaded, Janice rammed it home, chambered a round and dropped it out again. She fed one more bullet into the magazine before returning it the pistol grip and setting the safety. She shoved the pistol back into the small of her back and looked grimly at the Greek woman.
"Let's go." she said sternly, making for the tent flap.
"Wait!" Eleni ordered, grasping hold of Janice's arm. "We can’t go tonight."
"Why the hell not? She could be dead by tomorrow!" Janice pleaded.
"No, she's being held as a political prisoner, they will simply detain her for the time being."
"How can you be so sure?"
"Janice, you need to rest, to sleep, tomorrow will be soon enough."
Janice held the woman's gaze for a moment before realising the truth of her words.
"And eat." she mumbled moving over to the cot to sit down.
"And eat." Eleni agree firmly. "Now, you can't leave here and risk being picked up." Eleni looked around the tent a moment frowning. "I'll stay with you and we leave before first light."
"You don’t need to do that." Janice said, a note of worry in her voice.
Eleni smiled softly, "You forget doctor, I have been assigned to protect you."
"Yeah, protect me." Janice sighed and scrubbed her hand through her hair. "Look, I've got some bread and cheese, you want some?"
"Was that an apology doctor?" Eleni asked, moving to sit by the smaller woman. The cot creaked alarmingly for a moment while she got settled.
"Not at all." Janice said as she rummaged in her pack for the bread and cheese.
"I did not think so." Eleni sighed, looking sideways at Janice through a frown. She had put her heart aside in this matter and watched it shrivel convincingly under Janice's devotion to the Southern translator, whether she knew it or not.
"But it was a thankyou." the archaeologist continued, handing over a hunk of bread and cheese to the Greek woman.
"You're welcome, I think." Eleni smiled, taking the offered food with good grace.
The two of them ate in silence for a while, each entertaining their own thoughts, each weighing the possibilities of what the morning would bring.
"Janice?" Eleni asked softly as she absently brushed the crumbs from her fingers.
"Don't say it Eleni, I know." Janice said, trying to avoid the obvious conversation that would come up this evening.
"No," Eleni breathed, "you do not know, but I want you to know that I still care for you…but last night, it was more of a letting go than a welcoming back. I am not blind Janice, I see how you feel about Melinda no matter how you try to tell yourself otherwise. I will not…allow…myself to interfere again." she finished weakly.
Janice stared silently at the side of the woman's face in the golden glow of the lamp, shadows flickering across her strong features after her admission.
"I sometimes wonder," she began in a quiet voice, "if I would have done the same if I had not drunk myself stupid."
Eleni laughed wryly and shook her head. "Thankyou for the vote of confidence."
"I think I would have." Janice finished soberly, staring at the dirt floor of the tent with tired eyes.
"No, you would not have." Eleni mused as she let her eyes wander over the figure beside her, "You would not." she repeated before rising to move to the tent flap. "I'll take first watch, I'll wake you in a few hours." she said as she unholstered her own pistol and moved outside the tent.
"I want my own clothes." Melinda insisted after a long deliberation with herself.
Eisenkeil nodded once curtly.
"You have made a wise decision Fräulein. Someone will collect you in the morning." he said before turning on his heel to leave the two women alone once more.
Melinda sighed and scrubbed her fingers through her hair. She removed her glasses and rubbed tiredly at her eyes, wondering if she had in truth made the right decision, yet she could not leave Janice to the vultures.
"I'm sorry about Charles," she said finally as she sat back on the lone bench. "It wasn't his fault."
"I know." Sofie said meekly, "God knows what they've done to him." the horror of the possibilities clearly evident in her voice.
Melinda said nothing, for what could she say?
"They don’t have Janice, she'll come, and we'll get out of here." Melinda tried to sound hopeful.
Sofie snorted in indignation. "That's all very well for you to say, but what about me? I'd be lucky if she leaves me here to rot."
"Sofie…" Mel warned, "She may not like you, but she's not heartless. She could no more leave you here than she could leave me."
"But why, after all I've done?" Sofie's voice cracked and if Mel could have seen clearly, she would have noted the tears streaking the woman's face.
"You underestimate her Sofie, just as you underestimate yourself and your family."
"You don’t know me very well Melinda."
"I've known you all your life."
"Sometimes that isn’t long enough."
It took Janice and Eleni the two hours before sunrise to navigate the terrain up to the site of the Basilica. A chill mist hung in the air, reflecting any light offered by the low crescent moon, making visibility startlingly poor. The two women slipped and stumbled their way over the grassy ground, too conscious of Nazi patrols to take the path. If they wanted stealth, they were not doing a very good job. Finally as the sun showed it's first glimmer of true light over the eastern horizon, the ruins of the third basilica of Amphipolis loomed before them, majestic in it's death.
"This way." Eleni whispered as they floundered over the collapsed southern wall and into the hexagonal interior of the building.
Janice followed with decided steps, despite the brightening sky outside, the interior of the basilica was still cast in shadow.
Eleni moved to the rear of the building and hunkered down to shift various items of rubble from a space on the floor. Janice shifted over to help, and between them, they exposed a rough-cut staircase leading down. Eleni fumbled in her pack a moment before producing a sturdy flashlight. She eased herself down the first few steps with Janice following close behind. She dared not turn on the flashlight until they were at least into the tunnels proper, so she felt gingerly with her feet and free hand as she headed down the well-worn stairs. After what seemed like an eternity of blindness, Eleni finally turned on the torch, flooding the area before her with an eerie light. Shadows bounced off the roughly hewn rock walls and flickered dangerously in their darkness.
"How long have these tunnels existed?" Janice asked, casting about, noting the moisture that dripped occasionally from overhead and the dank, musty smell of the underground.
"They are not as old as the basilica, we think they were added in the 7th Century AD, but we don't know the purpose. It obviously has something to do with the catacombs, but apart from that, I have no idea." Eleni whispered back, casting a quick glance over her shoulder to make sure Janice was keeping up.
"Just over a mile to the catacombs?" Janice queried, feeling a shiver go through her a drop of condensation dribbled down her neck.
"That's right, but it's mostly down hill, some of the areas are a little slippery, so you will have to watch your step."
Eleni could not have used more prophetic words, for at that moment, Janice went down with a crash onto the slimy floor of the tunnel.
"Goddamn sonofabitch!" she whispered harshly as she picked herself up and wiped the muck as best she could from her clothing.
It was all Eleni could do not to laugh.
"What is this shit anyway?" Janice asked, sliming some of the substance between her fingers.
"Exactly…bats." Eleni giggled.
"Oh terrific." Janice groaned, scrubbing her fingers on a clean bit of clothing.
"Come on." Eleni prompted, steering them around a bend in the tunnel and down a right fork. "Time enough to complain later."
"Fräulein Pappas, Ihre Kleidung." a young SS officer with darkly slicked back hair said as he stepped through the door to the holding cell.
Mel took the offered items of clothing and stared at the officer until he had the grace to turn his back. She hurriedly discarded the sack-like garment and pulled on her trousers and shirt. She fumbled with the buttons a moment, her stiff fingers unable to work the small circles of shell through the holes. Finally she pulled on her boots and cleared her throat to let the man know she was ready. He turned with a suspicious glare that roamed her body.
"Gekommen mit mir bitte." he said curtly.
Mel cast a glance towards Sofie and gave her a reassuring smile before she left the woman alone in the cell.
The young SS officer led Melinda down the long corridor outside her holding room, and Melinda took not of the number of doors lining the walkway. She walked past at least twenty on her way to a narrow staircase, behind which she assumed were her fellow Americans. Somewhere, in one of those cells was Charles Trendall, no doubt beaten to a pulp, perhaps dying, and she was powerless to do anything about it.
They took the stairs up to a narrow landing, which opened out, into the main foyer of the SS Headquarters. One wide and winding staircase later, they reached another corridor lined with offices. The young SS man marched her silently half way down the corridor and turned to one of the oak doors. He wrapped sharply with his knuckles, and a muffled "Eingeben" could be heard from within.
The office eased the door open and stepped into Oberstürmbannführer Eisenkeil's office with a slightly nervous gait.
"Oberstürmbannführer, habe ich geholt die Frau."
Eisenkeil looked up from his desk and dropped his pen on the table with a clatter.
"Es gab keine Mühe?" he asked quietly, unsure whether Melinda would have come without protest.
"Keine Mühe." the young man replied.
"Gut, ist sie betriebsbereit?"
"Ja, ich glaube so."
"Ausgezeichnet," he paused a moment in thought, scratching at the under side of his chin. "Entlassen." he ordered finally, flicking his wrist towards the door.
The young officer nodded and clicked his heels.
"Heil Hitler." he said with a stiff salute.
"Hitler." Eisenkeil responded as he watched the young man turn on his heel and march swiftly from the room.
Eisenkeil turned his attention on the figure of Melinda standing by the doorway and gestured for her to come in further.
"Please, take a seat, I am not an oaf." he said with a smile.
"Tell that to Charles Trendall." Melinda spat back, not moving from her spot by the door.
"Ah yes, Trendall…yet he had every opportunity to speak but would not. There is something there between you, yes?"
"Not on my part, I am not in need of Charles' loyalty." Melinda replied, shocked that Charles would allow himself to be beaten for her.
"Perhaps you are mistaken?" Eisenkeil asked, rising from his own chair. "Please Melinda, sit down," he continued, "I will bring the scroll."
Melinda favoured him with a sneering glance before moving stiffly across the room to take the seat opposite his desk.
Eisenkeil left the room and Melinda briefly considered using his phone, but whom would she call? If Janice was still out there somewhere, it was highly unlikely that she would be at home. So, Melinda sat, biting her lower lip until the Lieutenant Colonel's return.
Within minutes Eisenkeil stepped back into the room carrying what looked like two sheets of glass clipped together. He laid the item down on his desk in front of Melinda and stood back, arms crossed, a proud smile on his face. Melinda leaned over his desk and gasped at what she saw, a yellow stained piece of parchment extraordinarily well preserved between the sheets of glass. She scanned the small, cramped Classical Greek script for a moment and felt her jaw drop.
"Oh my! Where did you get this?" she asked breathlessly, reaching out to pick up the preserved parchment.
"I bought it."
"Where?" she breathed.
"In Athens, why?"
"You have no idea of provenance?" Melinda answered his question with one of her own.
"Of what?" Eisenkeil asked, annoyed that he did not know the meaning of the word.
"Of where it came from originally?" Melinda pressed.
"No, it was at one of the bazaars in Athens, that's all I know."
"Do you know what this is?" she asked, eager to get on with the translation.
"If I knew that Fräulein, I would not have need of your assistance and you would be locked in your cell."
"Indeed." Melinda said in a small voice before clearing her throat. "It is an original Homeric Hymn to Artemis."
The tunnels leading to the catacombs under SS Headquarters ended abruptly at a stone slab. By now the two women were sufficiently covered in all kinds of grime and excrement.
"I knew I should have worn my hat." Janice mumbled as she flicked a large piece of some substance she did not want to think about from her hair.
"Shhh." Eleni ordered as she ran her fingers down the side of the slab. She grinned back to Janice as her index finger touched on the catch release. She flicked off the flashlight and depressed the lever slowly and the stone slab grated inwards, exposing a long corridor.
Janice grabbed for her weapon as the slab swung open, but all was still, all was silent.
"This is the main corridor housing the cells in the catacombs." Eleni whispered softly as she inched forward.
"Where are the guards?"
"I do not know." Eleni said, flicking the switch back to close the slab after they had moved through.
The two women slowly made their way down the corridor whispering Melinda's name at each door, it was not a very effective way of searching, yet they had no alternative. Finally, towards the middle of the corridor on the left-hand side, they got a response, a very weak, and a very timid "Janice?"
"Mel!" Janice had to stop herself from shouting as she slammed up against the door, hands stretching out as if she could reach through the heavy wooden frame.
Silence for a moment, "It's Sofie." came the voice again.
The archaeologist reeled back from the door as if she had been burned. She glanced over at Eleni with such a vicious look that Eleni was glad it was not directed at her.
"Sofie Trendall." Janice murmured in malice.
"Janice, come back!" Sofie begged, "We were sharing a cell." she tried.
"What do you mean were?" Eleni asked, for Janice appeared incapable of speech.
"Eleni Mavros." Eleni said solidly.
"Oh dear God!" They heard Sofie groan, yet she seemed to recover quickly, "They took her, to translate a scroll."
"A scroll?" Eleni asked, flicking her gaze to Janice.
"Yes, Eisenkeil has a scroll he wants translated." she paused a moment, "Charles told them…please…don’t leave me here."
"Where did they take her?" Janice asked, seemingly recovered sufficiently to ask the questions once more.
"I don’t know, upstairs I think. Janice, you're not going to leave me here are you?" Sofie pleaded again.
Janice snorted and shook her head in the dim light of the corridor. "That depends sweetheart, on whether we find Melinda." she said cruelly before turning on her heel and continuing up the corridor.
Eleni glanced quickly at the door to the cell and then to Janice's retreating form.
"Where are you going?" Sofie's voice whispered through the closed door in desperation.
"Do not worry." Eleni whispered back before she too disappeared up the corridor.
"No!" Sofie's desperate plea went unheard as the footsteps retreated from her door.
"So, it is…valuable?" Eisenkeil asked, his sky-blue eyes glittering.
"That would be an understatement." Mel replied, pouring over the document before her. "I've never seen anything like this before." she continued in a wondering voice.
"You can translate it?" Eisenkeil asked eagerly.
Mel gave the SS officer a withering glare. "Of course."
"Then translate it Fräulein." Eisenkeil said coldly, taking the seat behind his desk.
"If I do this, Janice and Eleni will remained unharmed?" Mel asked, conscious of the threat.
"I gave you my word as an officer of the SS." The voice was chill and slightly affronted.
Mel locked eyes with the man standing above her, searching for some hidden meaning. After a moment she nodded and ran her fingers over the top piece of glass. To give this piece of antiquity to this man for the sake of her family, was it a fair trade? There should have been no question.
"You have pen and paper?" she asked finally and was obliged immediately. She smiled crookedly when she noted the letterhead of the SS at the top of the page, marked by the outstanding Totenkopf symbol.
Melinda took a deep breath and began to write:
Muse, sing of Artemis, sister of the Far-shooter, the virgin who delights in arrows, who was fostered with Apollo. She waters her horses from Meles deep in the reeds, and swiftly drives her all-golden chariot through Smyrna to vine clad Claros where Apollo, god of the silver bow, sits waiting for the far-shooting goddess who delights in arrows.
And so hail to you, Artemis, in my song and to all-
Yet Melinda's commentary was cut short by a loud crashing outside the door in the corridor and the sound of gunfire. Eisenkeil bounded to his feet, dragging his Luger from its holster. He dashed violently to the door as Melinda dropped her translation and hit the floor, crawling under Eisenkeil’s desk.
The door to the office burst open, and the figures of Janice and Eleni bolted through. Janice took in the scene immediately, and before Eisenkeil had a chance to aim his weapon, she was barrelling into the taller man, his Luger falling uselessly to the floor. She grabbed him by the front of his uniform with one hand, shoving him backwards, Charles Trendall's Browning pressed up under his chin. Eleni halted at the door, standing guard for the Germans who were sure to arrive. She had already disposed of two on their way to the office, where they would be discovered in less than a moment.
"Where the hell is she you sonofabitch?" Janice spat, spittle flicking against Eisenkeil's chest.
"I'm here." Melinda said softly, pulling herself out from under the table to stand shakily by the chair she had recently vacated.
"Mel!" Janice yelled, distracted momentarily by the Southerner's dishevelled appearance before her face split into a huge grin. "We gotta get out here." Janice could hear voices shouting urgently in German further down the corridor.
"Now would be a good time." Eleni shouted at the seemingly frozen women. "Bring him with you." she continued, indicating Eisenkeil with her pistol.
Janice broke her gaze with Melinda, unwilling to be caught in the woman's eyes. She shoved Eisenkeil ahead of her, twisting one of his arms painfully behind his back and shoving the Browning against his spine.
"Move it." she ordered harshly.
"You won't get out." he spat venomously.
"We'll see about that, how willing would your men be to shoot their commanding officer?" Janice bit back. "Melinda, come on!" Janice urged, as she saw the Southerner fumbling on Eisenkeil's desk.
"The scroll!" she shouted.
"For God's sake leave it!" Janice yelled back and Eleni had to move to pull Melinda through the doorway and down the corridor to the main foyer stairs.
They halted at the top of the landing, several SS officers were on their way up. Eleni knocked one off with a quick shot as the others looked desperately for cover against the side of the wall. The four dashed down the stairs, Janice in the lead with Eisenkeil, Eleni bringing up the rear. The Greek woman fired a few more shots on their way down, catching one of the SS men in the shoulder. He went down screaming as blood splattered cruelly against the wall behind him.
By sheer luck more than anything else they made it to the stairs leading to the catacombs, yet the drumming heels of the SS officers were right behind them. Stumbling down the narrow staircase they made it to the corridor. Janice spun Eisenkeil around and throttled him cleanly with the butt of her pistol against the side of his face. He went down like a tonne of bricks, a temporary human blockage to the corridor. She jumped over his fallen figure and dashed down the passage after the three women.
Melinda was calling for Sofie as they ran and was finally answered by desperate voice calling her name.
"Shoot it, shoot it out!" Melinda was ordering Eleni, pointing at the padlock firmly attached to the bolt across her old cell. "Stand back Sofie!" she called to the woman trapped inside.
The retort of Eleni's pistol was sharp in their ears as the padlock fell dully to the damp ground. Eleni pulled the bolt back and threw open the door, Sofie immediately burst forth into the corridor, tears streaming down her dirt smeared face.
"Charles! We have to get Charles."
"No time!" Janice yelled from further up the corridor, the SS men had made it to the foot of the stairs and were stopped only momentarily by the unconscious form of Beinharrd Eisenkeil. Janice was laying down a suppressing fire as she ran sideways down the corridor.
"Move!" she yelled as she barrelled into the women dallying by the cell. They seemed to come to their senses and turned for the end of the corridor.
The Germans were firing sporadically and bullets ricocheted from the walls of the corridor like blips on radar. Janice ducked and weaved and weaved, firing her own weapon. One of the SS men went down and the others stumbled over him a moment before regaining their balance. Janice fired again but was rewarded only by the hollow click of an empty chamber, the slide back, barrel exposed.
"Shit!" she swore loudly, throwing the now useless weapon down the corridor as if that was going to stop the half dozen SS men on their heel. She turned and sprinted the rest of the way where Eleni was desperately trying to open the stone slab to the tunnels and freedom.
"It's jammed!" she yelled in a frightened voice. The drumming of booted feet was getting louder and they were standing there, sitting ducks to whatever was about to transpire. Then at once Eleni screamed as a bullet slammed into her torso, she threatened to black out, yet adrenalin forced her to continue working on the slab. Just when the SS were almost upon them, the two-way slab gave and swung into the tunnel beyond. The women stumbled through, Janice half dragging the semi-conscious Eleni with her. Janice leaned all her weight against to slab and it began to close…slowly. Suddenly a black garbed arms reached through the narrowing gap. It was probably the most stupid thing the owner of the arm had ever done, for as the slab continued to close, all four women hear a blood curdling scream as flesh crushed and bone crunched against stone.
The women sagged against the wall of the tunnel, breathing ragged. Eleni choked once, blood bubbling to her lips. She spat it out, but more flowed, bright and crimson.
"Jesus Christ!" Janice whispered as she helped the woman sit upright against the side of the tunnel.
Eleni tried to smile but was racked by a guttural cough as blood drained into her lungs.
"No!" Janice whispered as she ripped Eleni's shirt from her torso, revealing a gaping exit wound above the woman's right breast.
"Janice…" Eleni wheezed through lips bright with blood.
"Don’t talk." Janice ordered, stuffing a sleeve of Eleni's shirt into the wound. The Greek woman grimaced but shook her head.
"You…have to leave." The words were weak.
"Not leaving you Eleni." Janice said, casting a quick look up to Melinda and Sofie. "Are we?" she questioned. Both women answered her with sad and silent eyes.
Eleni coughed again and spat more blood. "But doctor," she paused to drag in a bubbling breath, "I am afraid…I might be leaving you, you know…walk away." Eleni tried hard to focus on Janice, but the fading form of the archaeologist was wavering darkly in her vision.
"Janice, we have to go." It was Melinda, crouching down beside Janice, a reassuring hand on her arm. Janice threw it off in anger.
"You don’t even know her!" the archaeologist spat.
Mel glanced at Eleni, struggling to breathe now and on the verge of unconsciousness.
"She's my sister Janice, but we have to leave…now."
"Go." Eleni whispered, her eyes half lidded.
Janice stared at the woman propped up against the wall and made her decision. She rose slowly to her feet and wiped her blood stained hands on her filthy trousers. She took in a shuddering breath and moved to walk away, yet was stopped by the vice-like grip of Eleni's near dead hand on her booted calf.
The Greek woman looked at her a moment, seeming as if she wanted to speak yet unable to form the words, then the hand went limp and Janice walked away, a deathly pale shadow creeping over her.
Four hours later, the three women sat huddled in the relative safety of the excavation tent, each dealing with their own demons.
"I'm sorry." Sofie said finally after long minutes of silence. "If you hadn't stopped for me, maybe…" but she trailed off unable to continue as tears welled in her eyes.
"Don’t even think that way." Mel said dumbly, raising her head from her hands to look the stricken woman in the eye.
Janice shook her head in agreement. "Just leave it." she mumbled in shock.
Melinda turned slightly on the cot-bed towards Janice and reached out for her hand. The archaeologist looked mutely at Melinda's hand for a moment before taking it in her own shaking one and gripping it tightly. She smiled palely at the translator for a moment, her senses too damaged to articulate the anguish and relief that was flowing through her. Their eyes locked, green on blue as unspoken thoughts drifted between them.
Sofie shifted uneasily on her chair.
"Janice, Melinda?" she questioned weakly as the two women turned their sad eyes on her. "I was wrong about you both…forgive me?" she finished quietly.
Right, phew, what’s next? Will Eisenkeil come after the women? What of Charles Trendall still trapped in the catacombs beneath SS HQ? And what of the Homeric Hymn to Artemis, will it stay in the clutches of the Nazis or be liberated? And what shall we make of the turn around by Sofie Trendall? Stay tuned for the next exciting episode of 'The Bodice Ripper Series'!
Some Passages of ‘When Women Love…’ According to Archaeobard’s Father.
He dashed violently to the door as Melinda dropped her knickers and hit the floor, crawling under Eisenkeil’s desk.
"Where the hell is she you stinking sonofabitch bastard?!" Janice spat, spittle flicking against Eisenkeil’s manly chest.
"I’m here." Melinda said softly, pulling herself out from under the table to stand shakily by the chair she had recently vacated so she could look for her knickers.
"Melinda, come on!" Janice urged, as she saw the Southerner fumbling on Eisenkeil’s desk, still looking for her knickers.
"My knickers!" she shouted.
"For God’s sake, leave them, you can buy another pair!" Janice yelled back and Eleni had to move to pull Melinda through the doorway and down the corridor to the main foyer stairs.
So, does my father have a fetish for women’s underwear do you think, huh, do ya? Or should he branch out into the realm of Xena fan fiction?
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