Talieya Antzas had let her life go down the toilet. The slide had started almost two years ago when she'd first met Erika Stone, who'd messed with her head somehow. It took a long time, several months, but eventually her experience with the whimsical blond millionaire had caused her to impulsively sleep with someone. The someone in question was not only a woman, but also a fellow co-worker at the Eagle's Palace resort, thus she'd been fired. Less than a week later, while sitting in a cafe reading the job listings in the paper, Talieya again encountered Erika Stone. This time after hearing of Taleiya’s misfortune Erika got Talieya a dream job at the Paradise Foundation, as a for-hire personal assistant for wealthy people. Unfortunately, that didn’t turn out so well either; she'd been tricked and turned into a mind-controlled slave, then used to help kidnap international celebrity Angel Jenly while the UN was in session. Fortunately Interpol had managed to defeat the Paradise Foundation and the victims of the incident, including Talieya, had been paid off handsomely with former Foundation funds. Now Talieya had millions to her name and since she was already in North America, had decided to move to southern California, specifically a small but luxurious beach house in Malibu.
It had been some time since the incident with Erika, but Talieya was restless. At her current spending rate she'd ideally never have to work again, though she did need to pace her spending, not buy too many luxuries and was only capable of going on one vacation a year for about a week. Money wasn't a big concern for Talieya. It was the fact that her life, which only a couple of years ago had been perfect, was now reduced to her being a useless member of society. Talieya had hit a few nightclubs and the sort but so far she could find no man capable of satisfying her; the same went for women. The idea of working again felt pointless given her fortune, and she had no relatives to help that she was particularly close to. Her parents were dead and her cousins too distant. Talieya had for the longest time felt like something was holding her back, and now the tanned brunette had decided to handle it.
Talieya had gotten more than just money when the Paradise Foundation had been buried. The Greek had made friends with a man named Mike Bailey, one of many who'd cleaned up the dangerous drug the corporation had been producing by the truckload. During the few weeks she'd stayed in British Columbia, Talieya and Mike had had a brief fling during which time he'd admitted to keeping a large amount of the paralyzing drug for black market sales. After almost a year with no contact, Talieya had called up Mike out of the blue and ordered sixteen gallons of illicit Type-7 for delivery to an anonymous address.
Mike wasn't the only contact Talieya had either. Living in Malibu, she'd managed to get lucky and make friends with one of the many celebrity residents, namely Jessica Alfa. The two had bonded over the shared experience of being a Paradise Foundation slave. Forming a plan one day while talking at the famous Bean There coffee shop, Talieya had guided the conversation towards maids and learned which cleaning service she should look into. Finally, after almost a month of preparation, Talieya's big plan was coming to fruition.
Taking a deep breath, Talieya knocked on the door of the modest apartment belonging to Jenn Sleet, a young woman whose profile was almost identical to the ex-assistant's. Sure enough, a few moments later a tanned brunette clad in a green robe opened the door; the robe was due to the fact that it was currently one in the morning and she’d been roused from her sleep. Talieya herself had stopped at a costume shop and was wearing a police uniform, her hair in a ponytail and sunglasses over her eyes.
“Is there a problem officer?” asked Jenn, suddenly looking alert.
“I need to speak with you about one of your clients,” declared Talieya. “May I come in?”
“Of course,” agreed Jenn, too drowsy to ask for a name or badge number. An alert person would have noticed that the badge Talieya was wearing was a fake, or that the radio on her shoulder wasn't turned on. The young maid motioned for Talieya to sit on a coach while she herself sat down in a lounger. “Which client is this about?”
“Erika Stone,” revealed Talieya with a smile. “This may sound odd, but on what days do you normally clean her penthouse?”
* * *
Beverly Hills, California
It was a quiet night in a quiet neighborhood, yet something about it was too quiet for the taste of IT Alpha leader Tasia Spiro as she stood in front of an open iron gate that led into a decent-sized estate and mansion. The redheaded Greek of almost thirty years and her rookie partner, a savvy Kenyan woman named Kioni Abasi, had enough common sense to know that when a gate was open, security was generally compromised. The unusual circumstances this night didn't stop there either, as the gate was frozen so rigidly that neither IT agent alone or both of them could get it to move by pushing it. Finally on the driveway up ahead the pair of agents could see a guard with a flashlight who had been standing there for a full minute at least, remaining as still as a star in the sky.
“I guess someone managed to find themselves an old Paradise Foundation Time-Stopper,” observed Tasia, biting her lip. “This is bad; way beyond the scattered Type-7 threats we usually encounter. IT is currently the only group in the world with a working time-stopper device, which is also the best way to reverse the effects of another one.”
“So, should we call the home office?” Kioni asked uncertainly.
“Ideally, but that'll take too long to complete, given this situation,” breathed Tasia, boldly stepping through the open gate while drawing her P99 sidearm. “We've got our emergency bracelets and notes; if the worst should happen, they'll know.” Tasia was referring to special bracelets IT field agents were now required to wear. On them were detailed instructions on how to contact the organization of the agent wearing one should be found frozen, drugged, or otherwise immobilized. The bracelets were made of cheap brass but all the same, printed instructional notes were also carried in their pockets in case the former were stolen.
Kioni breathed a bit too heavily when she moved to stand behind her superior as they approached the motionless guard. Kioni had moved to London nine years ago, done a stint with the local authorities and eventually impressed the local IT recruiter. Being a rookie, Kioni wasn't on a major strike team like Tasia and was with the veteran agent to gain field experience. Tasia herself normally had her larger team of six with her but the incidents they'd been investigating had, up until now, seemed fairly routine. Sophie Katsopolis, Tasia's second in command, had the rest of Team Alpha up in Canada tracking down unusual shipments suspected of being Type-7.
The guard was exactly what Tasia had expected: frozen in time and space so solidly he couldn't even be posed differently. The Time-Stopper, a hybrid weapon created using Erika Stone's DNA, created a temporal stasis field which halted the flow of time within it. To avoid problems with solidified air, the weapon had been modified to ignore gas and energy but was still capable of suspending solids and liquids as well as of course living beings, even in mid-air. The moustache-bearing American security guard thus wasn't even aware of his motionless state of limbo as he stood there with his flashlight in his right hand, the beam pointing at the lawn to his right of the driveway. “Creepy,” muttered Kioni, being only on her second field assignment.
“You get used to it after a while,” remarked Tasia with a sly smile as she led her partner towards the spacious house. “Heck, some people even use Type-7 as a sort of sexual aid. It was banned due to its chemical weapons potential, but governments and the UN are looking to approve the drug in some form for certain fields, including non-lethal combat and medicine, not to mention security.”
“Yes, I can see how the drug might have better effects than chlorine gas,” agreed Kioni, nodding. The duo was now at the massive double-doors leading into the mansion of one of the US's biggest media stars, Christine Huart. The girl performer was only twenty but owned this massive mansion among other riches; thanks to the vampire-exploiting film franchise she'd become the female lead of a few years back. The mansion had supposedly been previously owned by Lonnie Deep, thus it was impressive to see such a young woman owning such a large house at her age. Unfortunately the doors leading into the house were frozen wide-open, and an equally frozen woman in a French maid’s outfit stood to the left, her arms raised in alarm, her mouth open in a silent scream.
“Keep silent; our target may be anywhere,” Tasia whispered as the pair wandered past the motionless servant into the lobby. France was clearly where the house's theme had come from, with French-style rugs, period tables and the like decorating the room. A spiral staircase led up to a second floor and a balcony, upon which was the famous brunette Tasia and Kioni were hoping to protect. The actress appeared to have just stepped out of the shower; her shapely body was clad only in a white fluffy robe. The actress remained in position like a waxwork in a diorama, her hands on the rail, her hair visibly damp as she looked emptily down at where the agents stood, puzzlement sculpted on her face. Even from down below Tasia could see beads of water hanging in the air around the young woman's face.
There were three hallways, one in each direction save behind them, and Tasia wasn't sure which way to go. The answer came a moment later when she heard something moving towards them from the dark corridor to the north. “Get the light,” hissed Tasia quietly, uneasily creeping towards the hallway where she heard the noise. Kioni nodded and moved to her right towards a series of light switches, but a moment later there was a flash of light from the right side and both women suddenly stopped, frozen in place as if put on pause.
* * *
Erika Stone watched carefully from her hiding place near the front doors of the mansion as a beam of energy lanced out into the darkness and rendered her old friend Tasia, along with her African partner, into helpless statues. Moments later a cat with cups on its feet skittered into view, emerging from the north hallway and the apparent source of the noise that had distracted the IT agents. Next came an overweight man in sweat pants and a dress shirt, his hair greasy and uncombed; a familiar projector-shaped device in his hands.
The blond billionaire had been trailing Tasia covertly since her travel agent and assistant Monica had texted her that morning to let her know the Greek was in the area. Monica handled IT's travel arrangements and was more than happy to tell the former thief when her enemies-turned-friends were around. Erika's household, which also included her scientist lover Mary Hamilton along with Monica's wife and Erika's house manager Caitlin, enjoyed seeing the men and women of IT whenever they could.
“Okay, this is personal, fat boy,” whispered Erika from her position, closing her eyes and concentrating. The Paradise Foundation had created the Time-Stopper from her DNA, but Erika herself could produce the same stasis effect on a supposedly global level by simple focused concentration, which she now did. The world went on pause; even the rare passing of a car on the nearby street was silenced, as were the movements of the cat and the fat man Erika instantly loathed, not being a fan of men nor fat people, though she did feel a bit guilty about the latter.
Emerging from her hiding spot, Erika grinned ear to ear as she walked into the mansion's silent foyer, clad in a figure-hugging pink tube top and black hot pants as they were easy to move around in; her hair spun up in a tight bun while her feet were comforted by thousand dollar running shoes. The overweight time-stopped man with the Time-Stopper stood immobilized with a large and sinister smile on his face; that didn't bother Erika as she easily removed the projector device from his hands and trained it on him. Letting her concentration go, time resumed just as quickly as it had stopped and the reanimated man now realized the position he was in.
“What the hell?!” he demanded clearly, more angry than surprised. “Who the hell are you lady?”
“The person who'll turn you into a human statue forever if you don't tell me why you're here,” declared Erika, glad her change in hairstyle along with the darkness had thrown off the man as to her identity. In other circumstances, she would have been disappointed. Being famous, the sleek and sexy blond appeared in magazines almost once a week thus whenever she went out incognito she packed light, not even carrying a purse or cell phone, and put her hair in a bun.
“My girlfriend dumped me so she could hump this bitch's co-star from those damn movies,” complained the man, sniffing. “I figured I'd get her back by robbing this place blind and nailing Christine. I have no idea who those two other bitches are…”
“Where did you get this?” Erika asked next, hefting the device in her hands.
“E-Bay, of course; no one else realized that the thing was real,” revealed the man, chuckling slightly. “Now why don't you be a good little girl and give it back before I have to-” The man never finished as Erika had already fired the time-stopper, freezing the man solid in mid-sentence. Breathing a sigh of relief, Erika walked over and put the device back in his rigid hands for a minute. He wouldn’t be going anywhere.
“Hi Tasia, been a while,” giggled Erika, walking over to her frozen friend and removing the gun from her stiff hands. The redheaded Greek stood posed with her weapon trained at the darkness, her face locked in a grim expression. The new girl meanwhile was paralyzed while reaching for the light switch, her weapon at her side. Both were wearing the standard grey business dresses that IT seemed to be favoring for field agents; both also wore identical white blouses underneath. The big difference was Tasia wasn't wearing pantyhose and had more enticing white heels on while the African woman was wearing black flats. After both guns were safed and put aside where they couldn't be a threat, Erika casually felt up both women a bit before returning to the Time-Stopper, reversing the field, and training it on Tasia. A flash of light later the Greek blinked, gathered her wits, and quickly turned to see her old friend.
“Erika! I should have known,” smiled Tasia, running up to her old friend and nearly causing her to drop the sensitive projector; Erika barely managed to return it to the fat man's hands as she received and returned a soft kiss on the lips. “Decided to stalk us again?”
“Well I had so much fun following Hui and Miranda I just had to do it again when Monica told me you'd be in the area,” confessed Erika with a smile. The two women then proceeding to share another kiss, knowing the still figures around them could not see a thing. After nearly a minute, she faced the frozen man and poked him in the chest. “Turns out this sack of crap is just some nerd who actually managed to buy a working piece of science fiction technology online.”
“Yeah, Colette's been monitoring E-Bay,” confirmed Tasia, letting her hands wander down to feel Erika's familiar breasts. Both women acted intimately but they weren't in love by any means, just comfortable enough to play with each other. Erika, after all, was all but married to Mary and Tasia and Lucienne weren't far off from that kind of commitment either, though neither couple had made an official proposal.
“Who's the new girl?” Erika asked next, indicating the African statue with her eyes.
“A rookie I'm breaking in,” revealed Tasia, guiding Erika's hands to her own rear end. “Her name's Kioni, she's from Kenya. Pretty good linguist and she can analyze fingerprints with her own eyes, but she's still a bit naive. As you can see…”
“She got a preference?” Erika asked, stepping back from her friend and the sensual greeting they'd been engaged in to walk over to the still-frozen woman. “Nice figure.”
“Straight; she's also got a boyfriend in London,” confirmed Tasia, even sighing a bit. “Cute, isn't she?”
“I swear, you people at IT only hire the sexiest people alive,” whistled Erika, lifting up Kioni's rigid skirt. “Hollywood has nothing on you ladies.”
“I know; we're so lucky,” agreed Tasia, secretly knowing the truth. The founding members of IT were Interpol agents and Lucienne's original task force had been comprised entirely of women. Lucienne had never been that good with having male subordinates due to her own status as a beautiful woman, thus she had preferred female agents. This trend was the reason why IT's field agents were mostly gifted women, nearly all of them also extremely good-looking.
“Well, I guess I should let you wrap him up and debrief your partner,” sighed Erika, wrapping her arms around Tasia again. “You free for dinner tomorrow? I'd love it if you'd join me at my restaurant in Malibu.”
“I don't see why not – just the two of us?” asked Tasia as she moaned softly while Erika kissed her neck.
“Absolutely,” agreed Erika, her hands going down Tasia's skirt.
* * *
Los Angeles, California
One Day Later
“I thought Erika Stone was a ranked threat,” commented Kioni, now dressed in a casual white tank top and red shorts with her ebony hair hanging loose. The younger woman had returned from the police precinct where the intruder they'd captured, Walter Fields, was being processed. Christine Huart and her mansion staff were all fine after being revived; the young actress even signed an agreement that afternoon to donate new computer equipment to ITEA. Now all Tasia and Kioni needed to do was handle interrogation, if the BHPD couldn't do their job, as the computer teams back at IT headquarters were hard at work tracking whoever had sold Fields the Time-Stopper in the first place.
“She saved our lives and redeemed herself, plus given her abilities she isn't easy to contain if threatened,” remarked Tasia, straightening her dress as she stood in front of the mirror in the hotel room she shared with her fellow agent. The beautiful Greek was heavily dressed up, her red hair extra wavy and her lips a dark red as she sported a black cocktail dress which left little to the imagination as it barely covered her breasts or back and stopped just above the knees. “Since then she's proven invaluable. She did save us last night, after all. Without her assist we'd probably have ended up in a shopping mall, showing off the latest fashions.”
“Fair enough,” shrugged the younger agent. “Still, I don't know if I can embrace the idea of working with a known criminal.”
“Sometimes the enemy of your enemy becomes your friend,” was Tasia's shrewd response. Just then the room phone rang and the younger agent went to pick it up as Tasia finished playing with the presentation of her breasts.
“It's Commander Christophe,” revealed Kioni after picking up the line, handing it to Tasia. “She says she's got important news.”
“What is it, Lucienne?” asked Tasia, taking the phone.
“Nice; better to not let Kioni know about our private relationship until she's more comfortable with her new career,” remarked the older French woman over the phone. “For the time being, I’m still the Commander. Listen, something's come up. Sophie just checked in a few minutes ago and it seems someone named Mike Bailey recently shipped a large amount of Type-7 to a person living in Malibu.”
“Well it can't be Erika; she has people who can make it for her,” remarked Tasia. Stone Enterprises, under Mary Hamilton's supervision, was the only company currently allowed to produce any Type-7 whatsoever, and even then it was strictly controlled. They couldn't legally sell it to anyone. Type-7 was essentially made purely for Erika's own personal use or for that of IT, as the organization had been seriously considering testing it out extensively in field situations in non-lethal weaponry applications. The major problem, as usual, was delivery; darts were the best way to use it effectively in the field and dart pistols were impractical due to their limited ammunition capacity.
“No, if I had to guess I'd say she's got a friend who's jealous,” remarked Lucienne. “Let’s not forget about the Fullerton girl that she took under her wing back when she was on our bad side. Either way, I'm going to come there and give you some assistance. I'm already in New York so it’s not a big deal to hop a red-eye. If you see Erika before I get there, ask carefully; I don't want her following us around on this one.”
“Not a problem,” agreed Tasia, then hanging up. “Hey Ki, you might want to enjoy yourself tonight because Lucienne will be here tomorrow. We've got a new case.”
“Figures,” sighed the woman, rubbing her temples. “We're nothing if not busy. I guess I'll go check out a club or something. Or…”
“Good idea, I'm sure... oh,” replied Tasia, suddenly changing her tune when Erika seemingly appeared out of nowhere, Kioni was now standing rigidly with her hands near the sides of her head, her gaze staring off seemingly into space. Erika herself was holding a syringe in her left hand as she sat on Kioni's bed while clad in a tiny dark green dress similar to Tasia's but showing even more back and leg, if that were possible, and a diamond necklace that made the value of her outfit put Tasia's to shame. “Was that necessary? Ki’s not used to this yet.”
“I've been in the closet, love; I heard everything,” revealed Erika, indicating the area of the room neither agent had touched in over an hour. “Caitlin taught me how to use my cell phone to tap into a landline, it’s a neat trick. Anyhow, I wanted to make sure I didn't surprise her so we could enjoy our night out before you get down and dirty on this new case.” As the billionaire spoke she casually popped the medical tool back into her black leather purse and stood up. Kioni remained in place, a human statue. “She'll be moving by morning, don't worry.”
“Well, is there any chance you could answer Lucy’s question now?” asked Tasia, fairly easy-going about her subordinate being forcibly given a paralytic tranquilizing drug. Tasia and many others at IT had long since gotten used to the idea of the casual application of Type-7 along with the more recreational uses.
“Of course not; tonight is our night out,” chided Erika, taking Tasia by the hand. “Come on, even though I own the place I still had to make a reservation. We shouldn't be late.”
* * *
Two Days later
“Nice to meet you, Talieya,” offered Courtney Valance, one of the other maids that sat in the van with her as they arrived at the penthouse complex they'd be working at that day. It had been only a few minutes from the departure at the company's office to their arrival at Erika Stone's building, thus there'd been little time for introductions. Besides Courtney, who was a tall dirty blond who looked like several other local tanned beach girls, there was Emma Isaac, a redhead with freckles who looked incredibly young and innocent with her hair in dual ponytails. As per the company's policy all three wore French maid outfits, fishnets and all; something that Talieya was certain was due primarily to Erika Stone's own enjoyment of fetish fuel.
Exiting the van, the trio of maids was greeted by a doorman, who looked like he was hot in his grey wool uniform. Each of the attractive maids grabbed a wicker basket full of cleaning supplies and winked at the poor man as they entered the building, something Talieya as well did in hopes of blending in. She also took a plumed feather duster with her. After this groundwork, there was a short elevator ride up to the top floor where the penthouse they'd be cleaning was located. Courtney led the trio, knocking on the door, since she was more experienced. “Maid service,” she then practically shouted, since Erika's apartment was the only one on the top floor.
A gorgeous redhead that Talieya had remembered seeing on the news back when Erika was a media circus opened the door, dressed in nothing but a fluffy white robe. “Oh, you girls are early!” exclaimed the glowing woman Talieya now remembered as being the socialite Caitlin Trafford. “I was just going to step into the shower, so could one of you tidy up my dressing room first?”
“I can handle that,” piped up Talieya, getting the smile from the British woman for spirit.
“Alright, I'll leave it to you then,” giggled Caitlin, letting the three housekeeping women in before scurrying away. It was eleven in the morning so Talieya wasn't sure why the woman hadn't showered yet, though if she had to guess, Caitlin was off from work or didn't even have a job. The penthouse itself was massive, featuring multiple floor levels with a lower living room area and a raised kitchen. A desk was even installed near the door with a pair of cordless phones and a space for a laptop resting on it; a fully stocked bar was at the far end of the huge living room, which itself contained three couches.
“Thanks, she weirds me out,” remarked Emma. “I'll work on the windows out by the deck if that works for you, Court?”
“Go for it; I've got the kitchen,” agreed Courtney. “Her dressing room is connected to the bathroom she just headed for. Lets get to work, ladies.” Smiling, Talieya wanted to squeal with delight as she exited the main room, leaving the two other maids to their fate.
* * *
Caitlin finished her shower, dripping with water and fantasizing about playing with the new maid. Courtney and Emma were both veterans so naturally Caitlin had given them a little shot of Type-7 on a few occasions to spice up her sex life. Monica was Caitlin's wife and she loved her but they were both fine with sexual experimentation to keep things from being dull. Since Caitlin was the only home at the moment, she figured she’d have some fun. Monica and the others were all at work and wouldn’t be home for at least a few hours thus leaving her with some alone time to have the new girl all to herself.
Toweling herself off, she entered her dressing room smiling. The elegant room was neatly organized. All of her clothes were all hung up. Her shoes were neatly lined up her shoe rack with boots sitting on the floor. She could tell the fluffy white carpeting had just been vacuumed. On her make-up table, her jewelry and make-up was all nicely categorized and on display ready to be worn. “My you work fast, Talieya,” she whispered to herself, draping her damp towel on a rack just next to the door. Closing the door, she stripped off her robe and placed it on a hanger on the inside of the door. Naked and moist, she sashayed to the center of room and looked around at her image in the many mirrors, deciding on what would be good a ‘maid seducing’ outfit.
* * *
Cleaning the dressing room was an easy task as it wasn’t that messy to begin with. Talieya vacuumed quickly and then arranged some items around and the job was done in less than ten minutes. She then added some Type-7 from a vial she carried in her apron into all of the perfume bottles, not knowing which one would be selected. Caitlin was still in the shower when Talieya left the room. Heading out to the kitchen, she found Courtney wiping down the counters. “Hey I need some polish, I didn’t pack any this morning,” Talieya said walking into the kitchen.
Looking up from the counter Courtney gestured towards her basket, “I have plenty – should be under the fresheners.”
“Cool,” Talieya said going over to the wicker basket that was on the floor and out of sight from Courtney. She dug around and found what she was looking for; she really didn’t need any supplies. She was always prepared. What she did need was access to Courtney’s basket. She dug around, looking for something she could lace with Type-7. She found a spray bottle of glass cleaner and grinned. That would be perfect. She was just screwing off the top when Courtney spoke.
“Hey could you hand me a freshener?” the dirty blond asked.
“Yeah, no problem,” Talieya replied. She then got another idea; replacing the glass cleaner, she picked up an air freshener. Quickly pulling a syringe from her apron pocket and uncapping it Talieya injected half of its contents into the freshener’s grill. The deed done, she stood up with the freshener and polish in hand. “Here you go,” she said pertly, handing the tainted freshener to Courtney.
“Thanks and remember to put one of these in each room,” Courtney reminded, taking the freshener.
“Got it and thanks for the polish,” Talieya replied. As she turned away the Greek smiled; her plan was working perfectly. Her next stop was out by the large windows that surrounded the penthouse, looking out at the deck and the Pacific Ocean beyond.
She found Emma vacuuming. “Hey Emma,” Talieya waved. The redhead smiled and turned off the vacuum.
“What’s up, Talieya?” She asked.
“I’m out of polish,” Talieya replied, holding up the new container of polish she had just picked up from Courtney.
“Oh; I think I have an extra one,” the redhead replied and began to move to her basket.
“I can get it,” Talieya said, quickly stopping the girl.
“Oh… okay, it should be under the fresheners,” Emma said, going back to her vacuuming.
“Okay thanks,” Talieya said while going to the basket and digging around. She looked over her shoulder and saw that Emma was cleaning with her back to her. The Greek looked at the glass cleaner bottle and noted it still looked full, the window panels in this place were huge; if she had used it already the bottle would be half gone. It was still full. Looking over her shoulder once more, Talieya unscrewed the top of the sprayer, injected the rest of her syringe in it and screwed it back up. Checking over her shoulder once more, she grinned seeing Emma had not paid her any attention. “Thanks a bunch,” she said again, showing the container of polish. The redheaded maid nodded and smiled, oblivious to had just happened.
* * *
Los Angeles, California
“Its part of the job, Kioni,” Tasia explained as they ate breakfast. The two ITEA agents were seated at a table for two in the restaurant located at the ground level of their hotel. Kioni was still steamed about being drugged by Erika, even though it had happened two days earlier. The girl had been cold towards Tasia ever since. She still did her job so Tasia really couldn’t order her to be nice to her or threaten her with disciplinary action for being standoffish. It was getting annoying though. It was boring working with someone who only talked about work. Tasia was tired of it; she needed to talk about regular things.
“Doesn’t mean I have to like what happened, Agent Spiro,” Kioni replied, slicing her pancakes up. “I don’t understand the need to drug me and why you did not tell me about it. I only found out after I asked you,” Kioni said, eating a slice of pancake. Kioni noticed when she came to that it was the next morning and she was still standing in the room with no memory of what had happened the day before.
Tasia sighed, “I told you: it’s a test for rookies,” she lied. She just wanted Kioni to get over it. She had been telling the same fib for the last two days. The Kenyan was not buying the story and work had been grindingly boring as a result. They had been looking into Walter Fields’ background and rummaging through his apartment to see if he had bought anything else from E-Bay that was suspicious, given that he had bought a working Time-Stopper when no one else looked at it twice.
A waiter stopped by the table, “Ms. Spiro, you have phone call at the desk,” he said.
“Thanks,” Tasia said standing, “We’ll talk more when I get back,” she said to Kioni before leaving the table. Walking to the bar, she picked up the phone that was left off the hook. Looking around, she took notice that the bar was mostly empty; it was still pretty early to drink and no one was really looking her way. “Agent Spiro,” she said into the receiver.
“Tasia,” Lucienne began. “I should be landing in LA in the next four hours, I got held up in New York an extra day regarding this Walter Fields person. Being an American, he’s pretty knowledgeable and vocal about his rights. It’s making it hard for us to charge him with anything so I’ve been working with the UN and Interpol on that. Thankfully he’s still staying locked up. Anyways, what I wanted to talk to you about is that Sophie and the rest of alpha team busted Mike Bailey this morning. They’re still interrogating him and working to find out where the rest of his stash is along with where he’s been sending it. They did get a shipping confirmation slip to an address in Malibu that I want you and Kioni to check it out since you’re nearby.”
“Got it,” Tasia said, “Just give me the address and we’ll finish up brekkers and leave right away.”
Lucienne read the address to Tasia, who wrote it down on napkin. “Monica is picking me up at the LAX airport. I have to make some arrangements with her.”
“Arrangements?” Tasia asked.
“Yeah, we’re having trouble inserting agents into Asia. Monica said she could figure something out – a loophole of sorts – so I’m meeting up with her to do that and also to keep an eye on Erika. I don’t want her following us around when we’re working,” Lucienne explained.
“We should trade jobs,” Tasia joked.
Lucienne chuckled, “You would like that, wouldn’t you?”
“I wouldn’t mind keeping an eye on you, Commander,” Tasia replied truthfully.
“Let’s just get this done and then we can keep our eyes on each other,” Lucienne said seriously.
“Promise?” Tasia asked.
“Promise,” Lucienne answered. “I’ll see you later tonight.”
“Later,” Tasia said, hanging up the phone. She looked at the address and sighed; Malibu was almost two hours away, in traffic. She had to get Kioni to talk to her again.
* * *
Caitlin had been in the dressing room for a good long amount of time now, Talieya thought, looking at her watch. She quietly crept up the door and softly knocked on it, “Ms. Trafford,” she said softly. There was no reply. She knocked once more before turning the knob and stepping in. “Ms. Trafford,” she called out once more after she had entered the room, expecting no response. She could see the redhead sitting at her make-up table. Caitlin was dressed in a dark green teddy with black lacy trim. Her legs were crossed at the knees and clad in sheer black stockings. On her feet were in black open-toed high heels with matching fuzzy balls over the toe. Her red hair hung loose past her shoulders. She held a glass perfume bottle in her hands, aimed at her neck, but not moving a muscle. From the glassy-eyed look of the woman’s reflection in the mirror, Talieya knew her plan had worked.
Walking to the unmoving woman, Talieya knelt down and removed the perfume bottle from Caitlin’s stiff hands. She waved her fingers in front Caitlin’s brown eyes. No reaction. Her vacant eyes continued to stare ahead at the mirror with her lips pursed in a slight grin. “Let’s see…” Talieya said as she moved behind the frozen woman; reaching under her arms the Greek lifted the immobile redhead up. With a little bit effort and balancing she was able to straighten out Caitlin’s legs so the redhead would remain standing. She then arranged her arms so that they both rested on her hips. Talieya smiled as she sculpted the frozen woman’s face into a quizzical look with a raised eyebrow. “What were you planning?” Talieya asked the unmoving woman, looking at her sexy teddy. “Oh well, sorry to ruin your plans; I think my plans are way better anyways,” she said into Caitlin’s unhearing ears. She smacked the redhead in ass, making her stiff form wobble, and then left the room.
Talieya found Courtney kneeling in front of an outlet, a smile held rigid on her face and both hands on the spiked freshener that Talieya had given her moments ago. A few hundred feet away, posed quietly in front of a window panel, was Emma. The young redhead had a confused look on her face as she looked at the spray bottle in her hands. Both maids were as stiff as mannequins, thanks to the Type-7 they had dosed themselves with. Going up to Emma, Talieya tilted the immobilized girl backward and dragged her away from the window. She then moved the stuck redhead to a hallway closet nearby. Courtney would soon follow. Talieya knocked the dirty blond onto her side, where her body remained in a kneeling position, bright smile still on her lips and all. Grabbing the girl’s ankle Talieya dragged her to the same closet and stood the frozen girl back upright at Emma’s feet. The Greek returned a moment later with an injection gun from her basket and injected both maids with an overdose of undiluted Type-7. She smiled and laughed at the two helpless, unsuspecting, maids. “See you girls later,” she said, closing the closet door. With such an overdose, according to her friend Mike, the maids would remain frozen for an indefinite amount of time.
After also giving Lady Trafford an overdose as well, Talieya set out to accomplish the next part of her plan. At the bottom of her basket she carried enough Type-7 to lace anything she could think of around the penthouse. As she moved around the penthouse with the drug, she went through closets and drawers as well of each of the bedrooms. She found what she expected to: expensive clothing and jewelry. An exotic collection of sex toys as well; that didn’t really surprise Talieya either, given her first encounter with the billionaire. At the back of Erika’s closet however she discovered a safe that was fingerprint-activated. The safe was well hidden behind a purse rack and it was only by sheer luck that Talieya discovered it. She had bumped into the rack, knocking some its contents to floor thus revealing the safe. “Interesting…” she whispered tapping her chin with her index finger in thought. Pushing her curiosity aside, she replaced the dropped purses and continued her placing of the Type-7 throughout the penthouse. In time she would find out what was inside the safe, she thought.
* * *
Jenn Sleet’s Apartment
The address that Lucienne had given Tasia was for a beach house which turned out to be a bust. The house in question was normal; there was nothing out of the ordinary. The only thing that she found odd about it was the lack of identity. There were no photographs or signs that someone actually lived there, though it was nicely furnished and had a closet full of women’s clothes. According the home office, Talieya Antzas rented the house. A fellow countrywoman, Tasia concluded after hearing the Greek-sounding name. Kioni however, did find another lead; it was another address, jotted on a loose sheet of paper on a large glass desk in the study. The note was really the only thing that showed someone actually lived there on a normal basis.
According to the sheet of paper the address belonged to a Jenn Sleet; that was about all the info that there was, a name and address. On the way over to the address with Kioni driving, Tasia called Paddy. Travis Paddington was ITEA’s computer whiz and worked in support for ITEA field agents. The Brit ran a background check for Tasia. Jenn turned out to have a clean record; only a few parking tickets and a speeding ticket from over a decade ago. She was currently employed as a maid. Also according to Paddy, she was a ‘looker’ as well. That was about all he could dig up on short notice.
Dressed in their grey skirt suits, both girls rode the elevator up to Jenn Sleet’s apartment. Reaching the floor, they wandered down hall finding her apartment at the end. Tasia knocked twice. There was no response. She knocked again and stated, “Federal agents.” The title made Kioni frown. Tasia simply shrugged and knocked once more. No response. She the tested the doorknob and found it unlocked; the door was not bolted either. Both agents gave each other a worried look and drew their side arms. Tasia opened the door gently and then gestured Kioni forward while she covered her.
It was a small apartment that was modestly furnished. Unlike the beach house they had visited earlier, there were photos and other personal trinkets around that showed that the place was lived in. There were two short hallways to the left and the right, a living area and kitchen up ahead. Tasia moved down the hallway to the left while Kioni the one on the right. Opening the door at the end of the short hallway, Tasia peeked into the bathroom. It was clear. She backtracked and headed into the living area just as Kioni came out of the other room, which was the bedroom, signaling it was clear. The living area and kitchen were cleared as well. Both agents holstered their weapons. “Go back and check around that bedroom. I’ll have a look around here,” Tasia ordered. Kioni nodded and headed off.
Like the rest of the apartment the bedroom was small; it didn’t have a closet. It was just four walls and window that looked into the street. A queen size bed occupied the middle of room with the sheets a mess as if someone had just woken up. There was a small night stand to left of it with some personal items littered over the surface. A dresser sat in front of the bed with a small TV on top. Finally a recliner sat at the right corner covered in clothing, the other corner featured a tall brass lamp with a blue lampshade. Kioni looked around the room a minute and sighed, not knowing if she could find anything as most of the room’s contents were clearly visible.
Tasia shuffled the mail around on the small coffee table in the middle of the living area. There was nothing of any interest to the case, just the normal bills and advertisements. The area featured a small sofa and two matching armchairs surrounding a coffee table. A larger TV sat at one end of the room. At the far corner next the kitchen entry way was a small square table surrounded by four plain looking chairs. The kitchen was small, practical and neat. Overall the place was pretty tidy. A fitting place for a maid, Tasia thought, walking around, glancing at random items scattered about. She stepped into the small kitchen and stepped out, seeing nothing unusual. Coming out of the kitchen, she spotted a closet that was opposite to the TV.
Kioni stood up and straightened her skirt, then brushed her hands. There was nothing suspicious under the bed, just some junk food wrappers. Leaning over the bed, she lifted the pillows, nothing. Walking over the dresser she opened the drawers and went through them methodically, nothing. Turning her attention to the nightstand, she took a close look at the items on it. There was a glass of half empty water, a jar of aspirin, an empty cup with a tea spoon in it, some change, and some loose receipts. She poked through them nothing. Everything was normal she concluded looking around before leaving.
Walking back to the living area she reported, “The bedroom is clear, looks normal.” She was about to add something else but stopped, seeing Tasia standing in front of the open living area closet with her arms crossed. Looking into the closet Kioni’s heart jumped at seeing the motionless figure of a slim, tanned brunette dressed in a green robe. The brunette stood straight, one hand raised in front of her with fingers cupping air, the other hand running through her hair. Her face bore a sleepy eyed expression with her mouth halfway opened. She was like a statue. “That’s not normal at all…” Kioni whispered.
“Indeed,” Tasia replied, looking the frozen Jenn Sleet up and down. Type-7 was clearly at work. “Call Lucienne and the home office.”
* * *
Erika and Mary laughed loudly as they opened the door to the penthouse. “Caitlin, we’re home!” Erika announced loudly as the two women entered arm in arm.
“It’s so quiet and a cleaning day, Caitlin probably is having some fun,” Mary said, closing the door and following Erika towards the kitchen. The two ladies put their purses on the island and embraced in a long passionate kiss. They were both coming home from work so both wore conservative but stylish outfits. Mary was in a cream-colored skirt and white silk sleeveless top. Her legs were clad in nude nylons. A pair of matching cream suede high heels finished the outfit. Erika was dressed in light blue trousers with a white short-sleeved blouse. Both ladies had their hair down.
“Let’s just let her be since Monica won’t be home for another few hours,” Erika said after they had separated. Monica had some extra work to do at the office; Erika had left early in order to spend some time with Mary. At work both ladies had to act professional, so their sexual tensions were pretty high by mid-day and since they were both high ranking officials they made their own schedules. Monica didn’t mind doing the extra work, since she had to pick up ITEA chief Lucienne Christophe from the airport later.
“Good point,” Mary agreed, walking up to the fridge and opening it up, “So you have anything in mind?” She asked as she browsed at the items inside.
Erika leaned across the island and rested her chin in her hands and looked up at the ceiling playfully as she thought. At her feet was a wicker maid’s basket that neither lady had noticed. “How about just screaming wild sex?” Erika suggested, standing up with a big smile.
Mary pulled an apple from the fridge and juggled it back and forth in mock thought, then shrugged, “sounds like a plan to me,” she replied, smiling. “Let me eat something first; I’m famished,” she added rubbing her stomach.
“Deal, I need to clean up a little anyways,” Erika replied smiling and walking up to Mary and kissing the woman passionately, “I’ll see you real soon?” she cooed after separating. Mary only nodded, clutching the apple tightly. Erika flashed a devious smile and turned. Mary watched the blond walk away as she bit into the apple. She had not yet swallowed when everything faded to black around her.
Ten minutes later…
Talieya poked her head out from behind some heavy coats in the hallway closet. She then pushed the closet door opened and stepped out carefully. It was quiet all around her; the only thing she heard was the distant sound of a shower running. She had changed from her kitschy maid’s outfit to something more comfortable that she found in one of the rooms that seemed to fit her. A bright flowery short-sleeved blouse and a white denim skirt covered her frame. She moved barefoot as she found it easier to sneak around that way. Cautiously creeping down the hall, Talieya peeked into the kitchen. A smile appeared on her lips as she saw the woman she knew from media was Mary Hamilton. The redhead was obviously frozen. She stood in front of the open refrigerator. One hand held an apple to her mouth the other rested on her hip. Her eyes were shut.
The Greek casually walked up to the unmoving redhead and poked her. There was no response; she was as stiff as window display. Talieya looked down at Mary’s expensive clothing recognizing they were name brand. “Brand whore…” she whispered as she pried the apple from Mary’s rigid fingers and tossed it behind her. She then moved Mary’s hand down. Opening the redhead’s lips, Talieya scooped out the bits of apple while making a disgusted face the whole time. “Gross…” Talieya muttered, wiping her hand on Mary’s designer top. She left Mary standing with her mouth hanging open and wandered towards the sound of the shower.
The rushing of the water came from the master bedroom. Talieya tiptoed into the room and looked around; she had been there before and knew it was Erika’s room. She spotted the opened bathroom door. The shower was loud and clear now. There was also a trail of clothing that led to the bathroom. For some reason Talieya couldn’t help herself; she diligently picked up the clothes as she made her way to the bathroom. The large bathroom that she remembered from earlier was filled with steam. She could see the shower enclosure directly in front of her at the other side of spacious room. The frosted glass doors were closed but she could just make out a curvy figure behind it. “Boo!” she yelled. The body behind the screen didn’t budge. She had coated the showerhead earlier with some Type-7; it was gamble but it proved to have worked. Dropping the clothes on a nearby marble counter with a grin, she marched to the shower and slid the doors open.
Erika Stone, the blond goddess, stood before her, completely naked and stiff as board. Her eyes were tightly closed, her blond hair slicked back by the flowing water. Her hands were cupping her breasts. There was slight smirk on her lips and her back was slightly arched backwards. “I got you,” Talieya declared victoriously, turning off the water. Erika never moved. “Let’s get you out of there.”
Talieya pulled a fluffy white towel from a nearby rack and draped it over her shoulder. She then leaned into the shower and wrapped her arms around Erika’s perfect hips and hauled the shapely billionaire out of the shower, the blond keeping her cheesecake pose rigidly. Once she was out, Talieya arranged her body so she was standing straight and looking forward. Erika’s blue eyes were pried open, giving her a deer-in-the-headlights look. Her lips were sculpted into a frown. The Greek chuckled at her work when she was done. Taking the towel off her shoulder, she began dry off Erika. She grew ever more jealous as she worked. Erika Stone had a perfect body and worst of all it was all natural too. Jealously burning inside of her, Talieya roughly dried Erika’s body and messed up her blond hair in the process. By the time she was done Erika’s blond tresses were in a fuzzy mess, but the blond still looked gorgeous. “We can’t have you naked,” Talieya said when she was all done.
Thirty minutes later…
Erika’s hair had dried but remained a mess, giving her the look of a contemporary model showing off a new hairstyle. Her face was now molded to have a smirk and a wink. Talieya dressed her in the maid’s uniform that she had come in with that morning after injecting her with more Type-7. “God those fishnets look good on you,” Talieya muttered as she dragged Erika into the walk-in closet that was in the master bedroom. She stood up Erika’s stuck form, which was posed standing with her legs together and her hands on her hips. Talieya steadied the blond before leaving her alone. Moving to the purse rack that covered the safe, the Greek thief shoved it aside. Back at Erika, she dragged the blond to the fingerprint lock. “Let’s see what’s in this little safe, Erika,” she said as pressed Erika’s hand against the scanner. The scanner flashed red, indicating it was the wrong print. “What the…” Talieya thought, confused.
Leaving maid Erika by the scanner, Talieya walked back into the bedroom where Mary and Caitlin both stood at attention awaiting her. Mary had been given another dose of Type-7 before being dragged into the room. Talieya looked at both women in thought. Then she remembered that Mary’s was Erika’s lover. “Come here,” she grunted as leaned Mary over and dragged her in the closet. Erika fell over stiffly as Talieya moved Mary into position. She then placed Mary’s hand on the scanner. It flashed green and then clicked open. She pushed Mary aside. The redhead fell rigidly over Erika. “What have we here?”
The safe was small. It was about foot deep and two feet tall. The contents were four small microchips in small clear cases and a flat remote. Talieya picked up one of the clear cases and examined it. At first she didn’t know what it was but then it hit her. “Nero chips…” she whispered, mystified. Her planning instantly changed; she smiled as the new plan began to take shape in her head.
* * *
Jenn Sleet’s Apartment
“Paddy, you chose a hell of a time to run a security check on the systems,” Tasia complained. She was seated on Jenn Sleet’s sofa looking through a random fashion magazine that she found under the coffee table. Jenn Sleet remained in the closet where they had found her. Tasia wished she could take a closer look but she knew she wouldn’t hear the end of it from Kioni and it was too risky to stop time, as Kioni was pretty sharp with those details. The fashion magazine was good enough to keep her focused on something else besides the frozen woman who stood in the closet only four feet from her.
“I didn’t chose to run the check; it was random, the system will be back up in an hour or so. I’ll pass your message to the commander then; I cannot stay on the net with you any longer as it is slowing down the scan and I cannot stop the scan either as it could corrupt our database. I can only stop the scan if it’s an emergency and I’m sorry Tasia this doesn’t seem like one. Don’t worry, the commander will get your message as soon as possible.” Paddy explained before disconnecting.
Tasia sighed, closing her cell phone and sitting back in the sofa in thought. Lucienne had spent nearly three hours conferring with Sophie over matters regarding their new suspect Mike Bailey. The conference had gone on so long that Lucienne’s cell had died and now there was no way to reach her. Tasia reported her findings to Paddy and the home office. Unfortunately ITEA’s computer and communications system was going through its daily random security screen and Paddy was no use for looking up information or contacting Lucienne or Sophie through other means. The timing had been the worst to say the least. Paddy promised to let Lucienne know of the situation as soon as the systems were back up. That left Tasia and Kioni with nothing to do until further notice. “Kioni, looks like we’re stuck here for a while so you best make yourself comfy,” Tasia said over her shoulder. The Kenyan had gone into the kitchen to get herself a glass of water when Tasia made the call to Paddy. The Greek agent’s eyes drifted over to Jenn’s immobilized form in the closet. She cursed under her breath and quickly turned in the other direction, crossing her arms. “Kioni?” she called out; she needed some company, something to keep her mind stimulated and on work.
There was no reply from the Kenyan agent. Tasia, sensing something strange was happening, slowly stood. Her hand drifting to her right-side holster instinctively as she moved towards the kitchen, “Agent Abasi?” she called out seriously. Reaching the kitchen, she spotted her rookie partner standing in front of the sink. Kioni’s back was to Tasia, one hand rested on the sink while the other was held up to her face. Tasia looked behind before stepping closer to Kioni, “Abasi?” she said again, “Are you alright?” She was in arm’s length to the agent when she sensed something was really wrong. In an instant, she stopped time.
Tasia has stopped time enough to know when it was stopped there was certain still and quiet feeling that surrounded her when she did it and that feeling was all around her at the moment. She took a deep breath and relaxed. Looking around the small space she tried to spot any type of booby trap. There were none, at least obvious ones anyways. Moving beside Kioni, she looked over at her dark skinned partner. Kioni held a glass up to her lips, her eyes were shut. “What hell…” Tasia whispered, looking at the glass. She restarted time. The feeling of silence and stillness vanished as if it was never there. Kioni however remained still. Tasia poked her on the cheek. Nothing happened. “What happened to you?” she asked the unhearing girl. She stood back in thought. Her attention drifted back to the glass that Kioni held. Tasia then carefully pried the glass from the girl’s fingers. She sniffed and was about to taste, but thought better of it. She held the glass in her hand thinking what to do next. Then she looked at the shape of Kioni’s hand, now empty of the glass, and the shape of her own hand holding the glass.
Going back into the living room, she went over to Jenn Sleet and placed the glass into her hand that cupped air. It was a perfect fit. “Well I guess we know what happened to you now,” Tasia declared, looking at Jenn. She then realized that Kioni was as stiff as Jenn and she was free to investigate a little more. “I think I better check you and agent Abasi for any hidden evidence while I wait for that call from the home office,” Tasia said with grin, looking at Jenn up and down. She could feel her body getting hot. Finally a reward for the quiet two days she had spent working.
* * *
London, England ITEA HQ
It had been nearly two hours since Senior Agent Tasia Spiro called and Paddy had been sitting at the main terminal; since then his only contact had been with a few support staff that came to visit him with some reports for him to okay. As expected the system found no signs of virus or any other forms of cyber intruders. After a quick reboot he was back online. He quickly put a call into LAX and sent the security staff looking for Lucienne. Luckily they would meet her at the gate. The security staff member said he would call back as soon as he made contact. Next, Paddy typed in the case info that Tasia had given him earlier. He looked up Talieya Antzas and Jenn Sleet again. It didn’t take him long before he found a very startling connection. First off, Talieya was a victim during the whole Erika Stone Paradise thing and Jenn Sleet was a maid that was scheduled to clean Erika’s penthouse that day. The fact that Jenn Sleet was frozen and Talieya, whose house was the destination for the Type-7 shipment, was missing caused a very unsettling feeling in Paddy’s gut.
He was about to make a call when his line rang. He answered. It was the security staff member, he reported that Lucienne’s flight had landed early and she was already gone. Paddy thanked the staffer and dialed up Lucienne’s cell. No luck. He then called Sophie; her team was getting ready to depart Canada and was no help. Sophie assured her and her team would head directly to Erika’s place once they landed. Paddy told her that he would keep her posted on the matter. After disconnecting, he dialed up Tasia.
The line rang for a good six times before Tasia’s tired voice came on the line, “Hello…” she almost moaned.
“Tasia – I have news!” Paddy exclaimed in excitement.
* * *
Erika Stone’s Penthouse
Monica opened the door to the silent penthouse, “The place should be clean, the maids were scheduled to come today,” Monica explained; the dark haired assistant was dressed in a teal colored pants suit with matching heels. She stepped aside and let Lucienne enter after her. The auburn haired ITEA chief entered the penthouse, pulling a rolling suitcase behind her. She was dressed in a navy business pants suit with a white blouse underneath. A bulge sat at her right hip marking the location of her trusty USP. Though ITEA standard issue side arms were Sigs, Lucienne decided she would keep her USP as it was really the only weapon she truly trusted. Her hair was tied back in loose ponytail.
She flipped opened her cell phone as Monica closed the door behind her. “I need to find a place to charge this thing,” Lucienne then said, flipping the phone closed. It had run out of juice on the flight over and she didn’t have her aircraft charger on her.
“Sure, there should be an outlet in the living room,” Monica replied and added, “You just make yourself comfortable; I’ll go find out where everyone is.” With that she headed down the hall leading towards the bedrooms. “We’re here,” she announced loudly.
Lucienne shook her head and smiled as she dragged her luggage into the living room. She knew that Monica was warning the others as Erika and Caitlin were reformed ‘villains’ so they tended to do things that were questionable regarding legality. Lucienne’s agreement with them was if she didn’t see it and it was not really bad she would let it slide. There was some discretion on what was really bad but Lucienne only looked at things on a case-by-case basis. Being a cop for over a decade made the French woman very cautious and observant even when there was no reason to be. As she moved deeper into the penthouse, she felt odd. The feeling was still there as she noted the lone wicker basket filled with cleaning supplies that was sitting in the living room.
She looked as the wicker basket in thought as she knelt in front of her suitcase and unzipped the front pocket to remove her phone charger. Getting up, she concluded that the baskets were left there by the maid staff, who were probably somewhere around the large penthouse still cleaning. Looking around the spacious room, Lucienne found an outlet near the large panel windows that looked out to the deck. Walking over to the outlet, she knelt down and plugged the charger in followed by her cell phone. She checked to make sure it was charging before putting it down. As she was standing back up, she noticed that there was a bottle of glass cleaning solution lying on its side on the floor nearby. Just the way the glass cleaner looked sent red flags up in Lucienne’s mind. Instinctively she withdrew her .40 USP and held it down at her side as she walked over to the fallen bottle. She looked down at it and then around the room, letting her senses work. It was too quiet.
“Monica,” she called out loudly but calmly at the same time. She looked around and heard no reply. Lucienne cursed to herself silently and brought her side arm up in both hands and held it at eye level.
* * *
Monica Stein relaxed, her arms dropping to her sides. A can of hair spray fell from her right hand to the floor as her body stood at attention. Her brown eyes looked ahead blankly with her lips parted slightly. She stood loosely upright, facing the mirror in the dressing room that she and her wife Caitlin shared. Talieya grinned evilly, stepping out from behind Monica and coming into view with herself in the mirror. She had just placed a Nero Chip on the nape of Monica’s neck. “Can’t believe you fell for that,” she snickered as she knelt down and picked up the hair spray can, placing it back on the make-up table. On the table was a note that the Greek had written that said, “New hair spray – give it a spray,” with Caitlin’s initial scribbled at the bottom. Talieya giggled quietly, reading the note once more and looking at Monica’s blank face.
She then heard a voice call out for Monica, “Looks like you bought some company,” Talieya said, looking at Monica then bringing up the slim controller that she held in her hands. She typed in some commands, “Go welcome her,” she ordered looking back up at Monica.
“Yes mistress,” Monica replied in monotone voice. She then turned and left the room.
“Erika,” Talieya then ordered, turning around. “Come here…”
The tall blond entered the room, still clad in Talieya’s maid uniform, “Yes, mistress,” she said blankly.
Talieya typed some commands on the controller. She then picked up a water spray bottle that was filled with Type-7 and held it out, “Take this,” she commanded. Erika complied, all the while holding a blank stare on her face. “Let’s see if this controller really works: Go Erika,” she ordered.
“Yes, mistress,” Erika replied emotionlessly. She then turned and left the room.
* * *
Lucienne knew something was very wrong after she crossed the kitchen and found another abandoned wicker basket with no maid in sight. There were also bits of chewed-up fruit on the floor; the apple with a bite missing from it wasn’t far away as well. She turned the corner around the kitchen with her USP leading her. She then moved down the hallway that led to the bedrooms, slowly and cautiously.
Monica popped out from one the rooms and nearly made Lucienne’s heart stop. She was also a split-second away from firing her weapon too. “Christ!” she breathed, lowering her weapon. “You scared the hell out of me!”
“Welcome, guest!” Monica smiled brightly. It was a smile not natural for the woman. “Welcome!” she said again and continued walking towards Lucienne, staring at no one in particular.
“Monica?” Lucienne asked confused, “Are you alright?”
“Welcome!” Erika’s voice called out as she stepped out the same bedroom that Monica had emerged from. Lucienne quickly turned her attention away from Monica and focused on Erika, who was dressed in a French maid’s outfit and held some sort of spray bottle in her left hand. “Welcome!” Erika boomed again.
Lucienne was confused; her weapon was still lowered to her side as Erika closed the distance and came to a stop, standing right next to Monica who was now directly in front of Lucienne, smiling brightly. “What’s going on?” Lucienne asked looking at both women’s empty faces.
“Welcome!” Monica said again, a little too loudly; that made Lucienne jump back. The French woman looked at Monica, annoyed. Just than Erika brought up the spray bottle and shot it full into Lucienne’s face.
“Welcome!” Erika greeted loudly as Lucienne stiffened. The auburn haired woman froze standing with her left side shifted backwards, her right hand holding the USP muzzle down at her side while her left hand halted in mid-motion going towards her head. Her head was slightly facing Monica with her eyes looking over at Erika. A look of puzzlement was frozen on the French commander’s face.
Erika and Monica moved aside as Talieya emerged from the room, followed by a blank-faced Caitlin and Mary. The Greek moved to stand in front of Lucienne and looked the woman up and down. “Who do we have here?” she asked no one in particularly. “A cop?” she guessed, looking at the blocky pistol that was in the woman’s right hand. She reached into Lucienne’s pocket and pulled her leather ID cover from the inside pocket. “Chief Lucienne Christophe of the International Temporal Enforcement Agency?” Talieya read aloud, looking back up at Lucienne’s suspended form. “Looks like you will be joining the maids, Chief Christophe, as you are not included in my plan, at least for now,” Talieya said, stuffing Lucienne’s ID back into her jacket pocket.
* * *
It had been only thirty minutes since Paddy called Tasia about the connections he had found out between Talieya Antzas, Jenn Sleet and Erika Stone. It didn’t take a genius to see that there was clearly a revenge plot in play here. Talieya was involved with Erika during her little crime spree a couple of years ago and then was later a victim with of the Paradise incident mostly but also due in part to her prior involvement with Erika. It was safe to say that Talieya wasn’t feeling too keen about Erika. She was also the lead suspect on the other end of Mike Bailey’s Type-7 deal. Paddy looked through some records and reviewed notes from Sophie’s interrogation and concluded at some point Mike Bailey and Talieya had met. Jenn Sleet was an innocent bystander in all this, as she was only needed for Talieya to gain entry into Erika’s penthouse. Tasia couldn’t imagine what Talieya had planned but with all that Type-7 around, it could not be good.
After she had gotten off the phone with Paddy, Tasia quickly stopped time to halt whatever plan Talieya was hatching and so she could clean up after herself. It took her nearly thirty minutes her time to arrange things around to look normal. First off, all three of them, herself, Kioni and Jenn were all naked and sharing the bed when Paddy called. She quickly cleaned off Jenn and Kioni. Jenn was redressed in her robe and reposed standing at attention in the closet where Talieya had hidden her in the first place. Kioni was redressed only in her matching black lace undergarments and pantyhose before Tasia decided it would take too long to re-clothe the Kenyan completely. Even though time was stopped, she was too eager to get into action to spend time getting Kioni perfect and back to where she was. It had already taken her too long just to pull the tight pantyhose onto the stiff Kioni and she hadn’t even got dressed herself yet. So she ended up posing Kioni in the kitchen, standing at attention in her black lace bra, panties and pantyhose. She left the girl with a wide smile and merrily squinting eyes. Tasia quickly dressed herself and headed out to the car; only then did she restart time. As she drove the rental at break neck speed towards Erika’s place, she made a call to Sophie checking when the team would be in Malibu. Sophie told her they should be there in about hour.
Less than ten minutes later she was at Erika’s place. She marched into the lobby, flashed her ITEA badge at the front desk and told them not to call ahead. Entering Erika’s penthouse elevator, she rode up calming her nerves. Once she reached the penthouse level, she stopped time once again. Reaching into her pocket, she pulled out a piece of spearmint gum and plopped it into her mouth. By chewing calmly, she was able to maintain her focus; with the gum she had able to halt time for nearly seven hours once, it was the longest she had ever done it before and it was exhausting when she finally restarted time. She was hoping that whatever Talieya had done she would not have to hold time up for that long to fix it as she reached Erika’s door.
Testing the door handle, she breathed a sigh of relief to see it was unlocked. Tasia didn’t want to restart time as she was focused and in her zone at the moment. She opened the door and crept inside the quiet penthouse. With time stopped there was no danger to her, so she walked around unarmed, her Sig securely holstered on the right hip. Closing the door behind her, she looked around. There was no one in sight. Chewing her gum slowly and calmly, she probed further into the penthouse, looking around as she walked. Upon entering the living room she spotted Lucienne’s luggage and cell phone plugged into a wall charger. There was also a wicker basket filled with cleaning supplies along with a bottle of glass cleaner lying on its side near the large panel windows. Tasia looked around the spacious room carefully, taking note of the items and she could feel that Lucienne had picked up on the odd feeling that something was astray.
In the kitchen Tasia found the bitten apple, along with another wicker basket. Moving down the hall she found the bedrooms were empty though it looked like somebody had gone through the place looking for something. So far the apartment looked clear but she knew something wasn’t right. Walking through the theater and the gym, she still couldn’t find anyone. The only thing she had were the wicker baskets, which she figured was what Talieya had used to smuggle Type-7 into the penthouse with the cleaning supplies. She had been impersonating a maid, after all. Tasia had so far found three baskets; one in the living room another in the kitchen and one more in Caitlin’s dressing room. She knew if she had Suzanna test some of the cleaning products, Type-7 would appear. Tasia also knew Lucienne was someplace nearby as well since her stuff was in the apartment it was safe to say that she made it here and probably discovered Talieya, but was it too late?
Chewing her gum calmly, Tasia opened the door to the study. As soon the door opened her chewing pace quickened. “Bingo,” she smiled, snapping her gum. Standing before her in a frozen display were the four occupants of the penthouse and a tanned brunette Greek who Tasia knew from photos was Talieya Antzas. Erika was dressed in a French maid’s outfit that looked practical enough not be considered completely a costume but actually a uniform. The blond still looked smoking hot in it. Erika was over at her desk, peering into an open drawer a smile on her lips, her blue eyes staring intently into the opened drawer. Caitlin was dressed in sexy skimpy green teddy and stood in a pair of matching heels. The faux redheaded Brit stood at the bookshelf with the same silly smile on her face as Erika had. She held two books in her hands with a large pile of books at her feet. The shelf in front of her was empty. On the other side of the study was Mary, dressed a cream-colored skirt and a sleeveless silk top; she had already emptied her bookshelf, a pile of books was lying on the carpeted floor at her feet. The redhead bore the same blank smiling expression as the other two ladies. Her hands held on to the shelf itself as if she was getting ready to remove it. Finally Monica, dressed in business pants suit, stood at an open closet peering at it with one hand on the doorknob and the other at her side. Her face bore a mindless smiling expression like the others.
Talieya stood at Erika’s side, leaning over an opened laptop, her left hand had its fingers just millimeters from the keys. Her right hand had her index finger touching her chin. Her lips were pursed and her brown eyes looked at the screen intently. Tasia noticed the familiar slim remote sitting on the desk next to laptop. She looked at Talieya’s still form and blank eyes before picking it up. “I see, so you’re controlling them,” Tasia said in her native tongue to the unhearing girl. She then walked around the room, removing the chips from her friends’ necks before restarting time.
“Huh…” Talieya muttered, looking around hearing the sudden silence. Just a heartbeat ago she was surround by the sounds of her new slaves searching the place for any more hidden safes or other treasures. Now it was just silent. Feeling a presence in the room, she quickly turned around and came face to face with a muzzle of a pistol aimed right at her by a redhead in a grey suit; unlike the other women in the room, she was able to move. Talieya’s hands quickly shot up in the air. “Don’t shoot!” she pleaded, the fear of being shot made her not even want to question what had happened.
“Where’s my boss, Lucienne Christophe?” Tasia asked sternly.
“In the hallway closet with the stupid maids,” Talieya answered quickly in their native tongue, picking up on Tasia’s accent.
“Take me,” Tasia replied, speaking in kind and gesturing the other Greek to lead the way. Tasia looked back behind as they left the room, noting that others had not yet moved. She concluded that Talieya must have over dosed them before installing the chips. They would need a detox kit before they could wake up from their current states.
Talieya led Tasia into the hallway and opened the closet door. There Lucienne stood with her gun still in hand between the two maids. Talieya stepped aside, her hands up. She was thinking whether she could make a break for it. That thought quickly vanished from her head once she eyed the gun that Tasia still had pointed at her. “Who are you?” Talieya asked.
“International Temporal Enforcement Agency, Senior Agent Spiro,” Tasia answered as she eyed Lucienne and the maids; no doubt they were overdosed too. She turned to Talieya, “Turn around,” she ordered.
“What?” Talieya asked almost in a panicked tone.
“Turn around now,” Tasia ordered more forcefully in Greek. Talieya slowly did what she was told. She was shivering in fear. Tasia smiled shaking her head. “You are under arrest,” she said calmly as she stuck the chip onto the nape of Talieya’s neck.
* * *
Erika’s Penthouse, Malibu, Ca
Six hours later…
“I didn’t know how you got drugged,” Tasia replied all the while keeping herself from smiling at the memory. Kioni Abasi was now dressed and mobile again after she was given the detox serum by Suzanna. She spent most her time back among the living being debriefed by Palmira and then by Lucienne; now she was free to confront her senior partner about what had happened. All she remembered was getting a glass of water, taking a sip, then waking up in her underwear in front of Palmira and Suzanna. She looked at the senior agent with her arms crossed, she didn’t believe Tasia’s innocence and knew more happened but she was just rookie. “Honest,” Tasia said, looking serious.
“Fine, though your methods do not make any sense, Agent Spiro,” Kioni said, turning around and leaving Tasia alone sitting deck chair looking out at the ocean. Tasia smiled after the Kenyan left, thinking back to how nice the agent had looked naked. She looked back into the penthouse and saw Suzanna and Palmira collecting evidence; mainly gathering up all the left over Type-7 that Talieya had brought with her as well as collecting the chips and controller. Sophie was interviewing the two genuine maids, Monica and Caitlin. All four were seated on the living room sofa while Sophie stood before them with a notepad in hand. Jelena and Colette were recovering the rest of Talieya’s Type-7 from a hidden location that the girl had directed them to. Tasia then saw Lucienne emerge from the hallway where the bedrooms were and made her way towards the screen door that led to the deck.
Once outside she stuck a cigarette between her lips and lit it. Walking over to Tasia, she sat down next to the Greek and took a drag. Two more drags later she spoke, “She’s dropping the charges.”
“What?” Tasia asked confused. “That woman drugged and chipped her; how could she be dropping the charges?”
“Apparently Erika is all about second chances now, thanks to yours truly. Figures… I knew that compassion would come back to bite me in the ass. Right now she’s in there with Talieya, working a deal out now. That lucky little thief is going to work for Erika in exchange for her freedom. If she screws up, even a bit, she’s ours… but she’s not going to screw up; we both know that. Talieya Antzas is as much of criminal as Erika is a normal businesswoman. Agent Abasi is in there now, making sure Erika understands what she’s doing and what will happen to Talieya if she messes up,” Lucienne explained.
Tasia was quiet for a moment and thought. Erika had been furious when she was unfrozen and told what had happened. Now it looks like she had done a one-eighty. “Are you sure she isn’t still chipped?”
Lucienne smiled tiredly, “I checked…she wasn’t.”
“Well at least we have Mike Bailey and the Type-7,” Tasia said, nudging her boss and lover.
Lucienne took a last drag from her cigarette and dropped it and stomped it out, “True but I think Mike Bailey is not in the business alone, I think this ring goes a lot deeper and we’re just denting the surface with him,” she said while standing up.
* * *
Tasia was going to ask what Lucienne meant, but she suddenly was naked in a bed. Erika was nestled next to her, just as naked. “Erika!” She said in shock sitting up and looking around and seeing that she was in Erika’s room. “What’s going on?”
“I thought I’d reward you for again saving me from those dreaded chips,” Erika replied, pouting and sitting up next to Tasia, nibbling her on the neck all the while groping Tasia’s exposed naked breasts. Tasia let out moan and giggled as Erika’s tongue did its magic. Erika got up and moved to sit on Tasia’s thighs. The two shared a hot and passionate kiss.
“Wait…” Tasia backed away reluctantly. Erika frowned and crossed her arms over her naked perfect breasts. “What about the others?”
The blond smiled, “I almost forgot, I’ll show you!” she said excitedly grabbing Tasia’s hand and pulling her off the bed. Erika giggled giddily as she dragged Tasia towards the door.
Outside in the hallway she stopped and turned around. Tasia gasped, seeing Sophie and Talieya standing on either side of Erika’s bedroom doorframe. Both Greek women had bed sheets tied around their naked bodies acting as togas. They stood with their arms up in a regal fashion as if presenting the entrance to Erika’s bedroom. Both women bore identical toothy smiles and had their hair hanging loose. Tasia couldn’t help to grin, as she was able to see the shape of both women’s bodies from under their thin bed sheets.
“Greeks, get it?” Erika asked, smiling. Before Tasia could say something Erika grabbed hold of her and led her away, “Come on along, there’s a little more to see.”
Out in the living room there was a straight row of five naked women facing the duo when they left the hallway. The motionless line stood side by side with about two feet of space in between them, making the row look longer than it really was. All the women stood at attention with their arms raised up high over their heads. Their eyes were shut and their lips were in the shape of an ‘o’. Beginning from the right was Courtney the maid; next to her was Palmira; next up was Suzanna, the tallest of the group; then Kioni and finally Emma, the other maid. All had their hair falling free.
Erika sauntered in front the posed group and gestured to them, “Our sex toys,” she announced.
Tasia walked up to Kioni, looking her up and down, “She’s not going to like this,” she muttered but couldn’t help but feel a little bit warm as the Kenyan had a slender fit tight body. “Oh well I guess I get to visit you again…” She said with a smile, touching Kioni’s dark nipples.
“I’ll say it again: ITEA gets all of the hot ladies,” Erika remarked, walking up to stand next to Tasia. She then leaned in and kissed Suzanna full on the lips. The tall Mexican wobbled a bit when Erika separated. “This one has no body hair below the eyes and this one has a huge ass!” Erika gestured at Suzanna and then Palmira respectively. Tasia was about to comment but Erika quickly took her by the wrist. “Let’s go!”
Erika slid open the door leading out to her deck and pool. The flood lamps were on, casting a warm glow around the pool and picnic area. Sitting the hot tub, both sporting overly exaggerated smiles, were Monica and Caitlin. Both lovers were naked as well and sat with their arms around one another’s shoulders. Their hair was wet and slicked back and their eyes looked out vacantly. “They’ll make great swimming partners… both are very buoyant,” Erika remarked huskily. Tasia knelt down to look at the two women closer and was about to say something when Erika lifted her up roughly, almost making her fall over. “No time, let’s go, let’s go!” Erika chanted as she dragged Tasia back into the house.
“Erika…” Tasia complained as she was rushed to their next destination. She was getting tired of being ignored, even though this was the best tour she had ever had. They entered back into the penthouse and made a brisk walk into the kitchen. “Oh my…” Tasia breathed when they entered and she saw with delight what had been prepared.
Lying on the massive island in the kitchen was Mary, completely naked, her body covered in fruits, vegetables and even some sushi. Her hands were held wide at her sides with palms up and offered bowls of dip. Her mouth open and had carrot sticks stuffed into it. Her green eyes were wide open. She was like a human platter of fresh foods. “She shouldn’t have brought chips into this household…” Erika said seriously, looking over at her lover’s body. “So I figure this to be a nice punishment, plus she did it to me once, so now we’re even I guess,” Erika added. She turned to see that Tasia wasn’t paying attention and only smiled. The Greek had her eyes locked on something else.
Lucienne stood nearby, dressed in a skimpy maids outfit that left a little at all to the imagination. The diminutive black and white lace dress barely covered her gorgeous legs – which she normally seldom showed off – with the hem of her costume falling only an inch below her crotch. The low neckline of the dress displayed enough cleavage to make the most seasoned stripper jealous. The dress was accented by a tiny white apron tied around her shapely waist. Her legs were covered in thigh-high fishnet stockings and she stood perched on a shiny pair of high-heeled black pumps. The French woman’s hair was braided into a thick single long strand and a white lace ruffle sat over her head. Her face was molded to display a friendly grin that was unnatural to Lucienne, as she wasn’t the grinning type. She stood at attention more or less and held a silver platter in her white gloved hands. The platter held an open bottle of Dom and two glasses.
“A real French maid… you have to have one of those at a sex party,” Erika pointed out. “I also waxed her too, so later on we could take a look at that,” she cooed, wrapping her arms around Tasia. “So are you ready for the time of your life to celebrate my new maid?”
“Lucienne?” Tasia asked confused backing away.
“Of course not! Don’t be silly, that woman saved my life. I would never. She’s dressed for the party only. I meant Talieya!” Erika exclaimed before latching back on to Tasia.
“You’re going to help me put everything back to normal later, right?” Tasia asked as she kissed Erika’s neck.
“Sure; all we have to do is dress them and then place an anonymous call to your two remaining agents and they’ll come around to sort everything out; I’m sure we can come up with a nice cover story, even if it does include some Type-7 cocktails,” Erika suggested slyly.
“You always do think of everything, don’t you?” Tasia said with Erika smiling. “Let’s try out some of those sex toys…”