Surprise Arty

a Short Story by Kellis

Copyright © May, 2001, Kellis



“Ladies, may I join you?”

Ethel, in the middle of a hopeless appeal to Bessie, looked up in surprise.  Bessie, her mind already wandering to the likelihood of Harry slipping her a few bucks, snapped back to the present in startlement at the masculine voice.  They saw a slim gentleman standing beside their table — advisedly a gentleman — wearing a dark gray, crisply pressed business suit, the expensive kind with inch-wide vertical stripes of a different material but the same color.  The collar of his white shirt was snugged in a light blue silk necktie with a matching handkerchief folded in four peaks in the chest pocket.  A huge diamond gleamed in the center of the tie, matched by a diamond ring on the third finger of his right hand.  The Rolex emblem was barely visible on the gold watch peeking from under a white cuff on his left wrist, the cuff likewise peeking from his coat sleeve.  Black patent leather shoes thrust from under the break of his trousers.

Their eyes rose to his face in unison.  It was tanned and clean-shaven with a full chin, a smile on the thin lips, crows feet in the corners of brown eyes, light gray hair at the temples merging with dark brown, neatly combed in a gentle wave above the receding hairline.  A somewhat bulbous nose foreclosed a judgment of beautiful, but both women were able to conclude immediately that this face was imminently acceptable.

“It’s a free country,” Bessie replied, her automatic caution taking charge.

But Ethel quickly corrected the impression.  “What she means is, please do!”

“Thank you.”  He pulled out a chair and sat on the side of the table with Ethel on his right and Bessie on his left.  He smiled at one, then the other.

Bessie looked around.  Peroni’s Pizzeria was hardly crowded at this hour of midmorning.  Always forward despite her native caution, she grinned at the man.  “Did you want company while you ate?”

“In fact I’m not hungry.  I’m curious.”

“Curious?” she repeated.

“My name is Carson Holder.  My intimate friends call me Chip.”

“I’m Bessie,” said Bessie.  The other chimed in, “I’m Ethel.”

“I’m very pleased to meet you, Bessie and Ethel.”

“Same here,” Bessie retorted.  “Do you mean to say you’re curious about us?”

“Yes.  It’s 10:40.  I looked at you two ladies drinking coffee and thought you’re sales clerks from one of the stores around here, probably on your morning break.  But no, you’re both wearing sneakers and shorts, too informal for sales clerks in a shopping center.  So maybe you’re shoppers, but the stores have been open awhile and you have no packages.  Other possibilities come to mind.  Maybe you’re a bit down on your luck.  The employment commission offices are two doors down.”

He smiled engagingly.  “I love mysteries.  I couldn’t resist.”  He raised his hand.  “I know it’s none of my business, none at all, but …  It’s almost lunch time.  Could I treat you to lunch?”

Ethel licked her lips but Bessie shook her head slightly.  “What do you really want, Chip?”

His smile vanished and his eyes scanned from one to the other.  He suggested in a lower voice, “You’re hungry, aren’t you, Ethel?”

She took a breath.  “Yes, I am.  I skipped breakfast.”

“How hungry?  If you can wait a while, I can feed you a lot better than pizza.”

Ethel’s eyes widened.  Her tongue appeared again.  She murmured, “I can wait.”

Bessie sniffed.  “What do you want, Chip?”

His gaze turned to her.  “You ladies are still young.”

“Huh!  Thanks a lot.”

“And attractive.”

Bessie’s lips curled.  “You think two fat broads are attractive?”

“Fat?  I would call you Rubenesque.”

“What’s that mean?”

“A Dutch painter named Rubens liked to paint women with round flesh and plenty of it, women with some heft.  That was his idea of female beauty and I happen to agree with him.  I’ll show you some of his work, if you come to the arty.”

“The party?”

“You asked what I really want.  That’s it.  I want to invite both of you to the arty.”

They stared at him.  He could see Bessie decide that he had a speech impediment.


“Right now.”


“Well, mainly downtown, but it ends on my yacht.”

Bessie chuckled a little and shook her head.  “Your yacht, eh?  What do you do, Chip?”

“Nothing.  I’m very wealthy.”

“Are you!”

His eyes on hers were solemn.  “Yes, I am, Bessie.”

Ethel suddenly announced, “I’ll go.”

The man gave her a smile of pleasure.  “Thank you, Ethel.  You won’t be sorry.”  His slim and perfectly manicured hand patted the back of her chubby one.

Bessie began, “But you don’t know a damned thing —”

Ethel interrupted her.  “I know he’s a good man.”

Bessie compressed her lips but ceased to argue.

He turned to her.  “You’re invited, too.  Will you come?”

“I …”  She took a breath.  “I should ask how’ll we get there, where’s the yacht, what kind of party, how long will it last, how’ll we get back, but what’s the point?  If Ethel’s going, so am I.”  She sniffed and waved her hand in a gesture that included both women.  “If you’ll take us like this, what kind of party is easy to guess.”

He smiled.  “Actually it’s a surprise arty.  Don’t worry.  I’ll get you suitable clothing and have you home in time to provoke the neighbors.”  He stood up.  “Are you ready to go?”

“Our checks,” said Ethel.

He took a wallet from an inside coat pocket, extracted a twenty and laid it on the table.  “Ready now?”

Bessie sighed but got to her feet.  Ethel rose also.  He turned toward the door, “If you’ll follow me, ladies …”

Two sets of business-suited men at adjacent tables were writing on notepads.  One of them held something to his eye.  Bessie demanded, “Is he taking our picture?”

Chip made a throwaway gesture.  “Don’t worry about it.”

“But who is he?  A paparazzi?”

The man winced.  “That’s the plural.  You should say paparazzo.  How is it that you know the word?”

“They made Princess Di’s life miserable.  Wow!  You must be important.”

He smiled deprecatingly.  “Some people think so.”

A huge man in a dark business suit stepped in front of them, opened the exit door and held it for them while looking carefully around the outside scene.  A long black limousine glided to the curb as they reached the sidewalk.  The large man released the restaurant door and opened the limousine door instead.

Bessie turned wide-eyed.  “This is your car?”

“Yes,” answered Chip.  “Please get in.”

“Oh, wow!” Bessie exclaimed, ducking into the wide interior.  Ethel followed her, then Chip.  The huge man closed the door, crossed around the front of the car and took a seat on the right beside the driver.  The vehicle left the curb silently.

Bessie felt of the plush seats, looking around at the spacious interior and the dark window glass that emphasized their seclusion from the workaday world outside.  Her mouth hung open.

Chip pulled out a deep, felt-lined tray from what Bessie had thought to be a seatback in front of them.  It contained an array of hors-d’oeuvres, tiny forks and three champagne flutes filled with bubbling liquid.  He smiled at Ethel.  “This will take the edge off your hunger.  Try that cheesy one in the corner.”

Ethel’s hand came out but Bessie intercepted it.  “How about you taking a bite first, Chip?”

He grinned at her, stuck a little fork in the indicated “cheesy one” and transferred it to his mouth.  Ethel shook off the restraining hand and captured another tidbit that resembled Chip’s.  After the first swallow she declared, “Oh, good, Chip!”

“I knew you’d approve.”  Still grinning, he raised one of the flutes to his lip and took a large sip before offering the same flute to Bessie.  “See?  No rohypnol.”

“Row what?”

“It’s not laced with the so-called date-rape drug.”

“Oh.”  Bessie managed a sheepish grin as she brought a different flute to her lips.  “Ooo, this is good!”

He nodded.  “I thought you’d like it.  It’s spumante, the sweet Italian champagne.”

The two hungry women fell upon the tray willingly.  Chip nibbled and sipped his drink, watching and nodding to their voluble gratitude.  They had eaten half of it when the door of the car opened, revealing the same huge man from the front seat.  The car had stopped in an underground garage before a maroon-uniformed doorman.  Behind him a small neon sign declared Neal Emporium / Private Entrance by Appointment.

“Where are we?” asked Ethel.

Neal’s?” Bessie breathed, eyes wide on Chip.

“Where you can prepare for the arty,” he explained.  “Follow me, please.”

The doorman bowed and held the glass door for them.  Inside they were met by an older woman dressed in an evening gown with tastefully made face and blonde hair arrayed meticulously atop her head.  A loop of pearls hung from her neck.  She inclined her head to Chip and intoned, “Good morning, Mr. Holder.”

“Hi, Geraldine,” he answered cheerfully.  “This is Ethel and that’s Bessie.”

“Yes, sir.  I am at your service, ladies.  Will you accompany us, sir?”

His eyes twinkled.  “Bessie, do you mind if I tag along?”

“Uh … n-no.”

“Then I’ll be right behind you.”

The begowned woman said deferentially, “When you called, Mr. Holder, I was unaware of Adele’s illness.  May I offer a substitute?”

“You know I trust your judgment, Geraldine.  And send us a tray to nibble on.”

“Yes, sir.  This way, ladies.”

She led them to an elevator, which rose from the basement to the seventh floor, whereupon they marched down a hall to a set of double doors that opened into a large room containing two couches that faced a raised dais.  Beyond that platform was another into which had been set a spa capable of a dozen bathers.  Its waters bubbled and roiled from induced currents.  Beyond the spa sat a day bed made up in blue velvet.  Four women awaited them, two in maid’s uniforms, two in bikinis.

“While you are bathing,” said the blonde directress, “I’ll fetch a selection of clothing for you.”  She studied them critically.  “Ethel?  Yes, Ethel, you are a size 16, is that right?  And Bessie a 14?”

Ethel blushed slightly.  “I can wear a 14 with a large bust.”

Bessie’s mouth hung open again.  “We’re to take a bath?”

“In the spa, please.”  She indicated the two servants in bikinis.  “Mickie and Sally will assist you throughout.  Afterwards they’ll do manicures and pedicures while Sherry and Marcie style your hair.”  She smiled.  “Then we’ll have some pretty things for you to try on.”

Bessie’s eyes swept around to Chip.  “You mean for us to undress in front of him?”

The directress’s eyebrow rose.  “I can’t believe it would offend you!”

Ethel put a hand on her friend’s shoulder.  “Bessie, just relax, will you?  That spa looks wonderful!”

“But …  But …”  Bessie’s eyes were fearful.

Chip cocked his head.  “Rubenesque, remember?”

“What are we getting into?” she breathed.

“That spa,” declared Ethel, “as soon as I can.”  She began to unbutton her shirt.

“Very good,” the directress encouraged.  “Mickie, the rack!”

One of the bikini girls pushed a rack forward, upon which both servants hung the removed clothing.  The directress promised Chip to return later and whirled out of the room.  He took the nearest seat on a couch and frankly viewed the disrobing.  Bessie turned her back to him at first, but Ethel faced him with a smile.  Both women were Rubenesque indeed, with wide hips, solid thighs and large full breasts.  Though cellulite was evident in breasts and hips, neither exhibited the stretch marks of motherhood.  Ethel was a dark brunette with brown nipples, Bessie a chestnut red with pink nipples.  On both women the pubic hair was shaved for a bikini, though neither had been exposed to the sun in a long time.  Networks of blue veins gleamed faintly in the pale bodies.

When both women had settled to their shoulders in the spa, attended by the bikini-clad girls with washcloths and soap bottles, a man in formal clothes entered bearing a tray of canapés and three full wine glasses.  He unfolded its legs and stood it beside Chip.

“Thank you,” said Chip as the man departed.  He stood up, took several crackers in one hand and a glass of wine in the other, and walked around the spa platform to stand just behind the bathers, whose heads were tilted back on the padded edge, eyes closed in dreamy indulgence.  He leaned down and put a cracker to Ethel’s mouth, who started then accepted it avidly, following with one similarly to Bessie’s, then to his own.  Ethel looked up at him and smiled, which he returned as his free hand slipped into the water, caressing the top of her right breast.  When his sleeve approached the liquid, she arched her back, lifting the sharp nipple into his palm.

Her eyes sparkled as he squeezed her.  “Thanks for the food,” she murmured.

He nodded.  “Thanks for the feel.”

“You’re welcome,” she said solemnly.

He brought the wine glass to her lips and let her imbibe deeply.

Bessie looked up at him askance as he let her drain the same glass and asked after swallowing, “Aren’t you going to join us?”

He stood up with a twinkle.  “It’s kind of you to invite me.”

During his colloquy with the bathers, two other women had entered the large room, pushing a third clothes rack from which hung a man’s white jacket.  Now they waited without expression, two slim young women, just behind him on the dais.  Bessie’s eyes widened.  One of them wore a black and white maid’s uniform.  The other was stark naked except for stilt-heels.  Her face was painted and hair coiled into a chignon.

He gestured towards himself.  “Proceed, please.”

Both women immediately laid hands upon him.  Obviously they were familiar with male clothing.  His fine business suit was soon draped on hangers behind the waiting jacket.  They continued with necktie, shirt, underclothing, shoes, socks and even the fancy gold wristwatch, until he stood forth in spotted skin, legs laced with varicose veins, sagging belly, waistlessness of age, diamond ring and a twinkle for Ethel.

Bobbie, sometimes brash, asked, “How old are you, Chip?”

Ethel squeaked in horror, “Bobbie!”

The man chuckled.  “Fifty-nine, and I look every bit of it.”  He winked at her.  “But everything still works.”

As if on cue, the naked woman dropped to her knees before him and took his genitals into her hands.

Chip looked down.  “What’s your name, my dear?”

The woman, mouth open for another use, looked up.  “They call me Kitty.”

“I’m pleased to meet you, Kitty.  What happened to Adele?”

Kitty’s eyes lowered.  “I … I don’t know, Chip.”

“Geraldine said she was sick.”

“I don’t know,” she repeated.  She dropped her head and slurped his flaccid organ into her mouth.

He noted dryly, “You take cocks better than questions, do you?”

The head at his middle, bobbing forward and back, changed briefly to up and down.

Both Bobbie and Ethel had turned to view the scene in evident fascination.  Bobbie declared in something akin to awe, “I never thought Neals was like this!”

Chip grinned.  “It offers somewhat different services to women, I believe.”

The maid, waiting with an unfolded T-shirt, contributed, “It can be almost the same.”

“I suppose it can,” he agreed, beckoning for the shirt.  He raised his arms and she slipped it over his head.

Ethel’s tone was disappointed.  “Then you won’t bathe with us.”

“No,” he admitted, “pleasant as it might well be.  We must postpone that.  We are due at the museum in an hour, and it’s my understanding that your preparation will consume half that time.”

“Museum!”  Bobbie’s tone expressed dismay as well as surprise.

“Oh, yes.  You’ll love it.  At least, I will.”  He said to the hovering maids, “Better get started.”

The attendants helped his beneficiaries out of the spa, to be toweled dry and seated naked in professional hairdresser’s chairs.  Meanwhile the maid slipped a starchy, beruffled dress shirt on the man and tied a perfect black bow around his neck while the kneeling woman’s face bobbed in his groin.  When the maid advanced with formal britches, already fitted with suspenders, he took his fellatrice’s head in his hands and lifted her away, exposing an erect and respectable manhood.  Both Ethel and Bobbie regarded it with intent expressions.

All four attendants worked around them, the two in bikinis addressing finger and toe nails while the two dressed as maidservants plied combs, brushes, blow-driers and spray bottles in their hair.  Meanwhile Kitty and the French maid completed Chip’s toilet, finishing up with a royal blue cummerbund attached by Kitty while the maid held the white dinner jacket.

Soon the women were admiring their heads in hand mirrors.  The double doors opened with a crack, admitting the directress and another maid pushing a wheeled rack of colorful clothing, predominantly royal blue.  To the surprise of both women the new clothing fit very well.  Someone, probably the directress, was talented at the very difficult art of matching clothing to female bodies.  Eventually they stood side-by-side before Chip, each in a sleeveless, full-length morning gown of glimmering satin, cut low to emphasize the curves of their full breasts, with hair fluffed and sequined and faces made up to perfection.

The directress opened a long box and held it for Chip.  He extracted a graduated pearl necklace from it and, standing behind her, closed the clasp on Ethel’s neck.  From the second box he removed an identical necklace that he fastened upon Bessie.  He gestured and the maids rolled two full-length mirrors forward to stand before the women, whose eyes widened at the reflected visions.

“Oh, god, Chip!” murmured Ethel, staring from herself to him.

Bessie took a deep breath and asked despondently, “What can we do for you that’s worth all this?”

He chuckled.  “Be my girls today.  Can you do that?”

“We will!” Ethel declared firmly.

“Yes, Chip, we will,” Bessie seconded.

“Your purses, ladies,” the directress intoned, passing them small ones that matched their gowns.  Bessie, curious at the weight, opened hers to find her old billfold, a fancy new compact and a comb.

“Shall we go, ladies?”  Chip extended both elbows for them to take and led them from the salon.  At the door Ethel waved to the watching staff, who smiled back.  The directress descended with them.  At the garage entrance, where the huge man awaited them, she said quietly to Chip, “Thank you, Mr. Holder, from all of us.  You know we all love you and we’ll never forget you.”

He chuckled, raising his hand to her cheek.  She kissed the palm.  “Take care, Geraldine.”

Bessie looked at Ethel with slightly raised eyebrows.  That little exchange had possessed the sound of finality.

The big man held the limousine door.  When they were seated the car soon merged with the traffic.

Bessie asked, “Where to now, Ch-chip?  Or should I call you Mr. Holder?”

“Did you notice what my personal attendant called me?”

Bessie thought about it.  “Chip?”

“Yes.  I told you, my intimate friends call me Chip.”

Bessie regarded him askance.  “Your intimate friends?”

He chuckled.  One hand pulled her gown and brassiere to one side.  The large breast fell out, jiggling.  His other hand cupped it, roiling the nipple gently between thumb and forefinger.  Bessie stiffened but made no objection.  After a moment he pulled the garments back over her flesh, tucked her in and turned to Ethel to repeat the performance.  Ethel shivered slightly.  She smiled dreamily and her hand cupped his.

“Now are we intimate friends?” he asked, looking back at Bessie.

Her lip curled.  “Not as intimate as that Kitty!”

“We’ll get to that,” he promised, “but do call me Chip, especially if anyone asks you about me.  Will you do that?”

“Yes, sir — I mean, yes, Chip.”

He grinned at her.  “I love women who say, ‘Yes, Chip.’”

Their eyes sparked.  In unison they both said, “Yes, Chip.”

He chuckled, pleased.  “Let me ask you, what do you girls know about art?”

“Art?” repeated Ethel in wonder.

Bessie asked, “You mean like kids in art class with crayons and paints?”

“No.  I mean like talented old masters with brush and chisel.”

Ethel took a deep breath.  “I’m s-sorry, Chip.  We don’t know anything about that.”

He grinned.  “Perfect!”


His grin widened.  “Just one thing: don’t try to fake it.  If anybody asks you anything about it, say, ‘I don’t know.’  Actually if we had time, I’d teach you to smirk and say something like, ‘No novelty has emerged in image realization since the Italian Renaissance.’  But for now just say, ‘I don’t know.’”

They stared at him.  Bessie took a breath.  “We can do that, I guess.”

“Good!  When I introduce you, watch my thumb.  Don’t stand up unless I raise it like this.  Do you understand?”

“Yes, Chip.”

“Good.  Here we are.”

They were advancing up the drive of an imposing white building.  Large brass letters over the portico announced it to be the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art.  Their car pulled around a corner and stopped in a small parking lot before a side entrance.  Shortly the big man opened the door.

Chip advised, “After me, ladies.”  Standing beside the car, again he extended his elbows for them to take.

Almost glaring at him, Bessie sniffed, “Surprise arty?”

He chuckled.  “Oh, it’s gonna be a surprise, you can bet!”

Two men in business suits with briefcases nodded at Chip, turned as they passed and followed them into the building.  The big man brought up the rear.

An older woman, also in a business suit with ruffled blouse, met them in the foyer.  “Mr. Holder!  We’re so glad you could come.”

“Thank you.  You are?”

“Matilda Johnson, Director of Staffing.”

“Indeed!  ‘Director of Staffing.’”  He glanced around at Bessie with a twinkle but did not introduce her.  “Very well, Ms. Johnson, please direct us to the conference room.”

“Right this way, sir.”

“Is Cecil Pender present?”

“Yes, sir.  That is, he will be.  He might be slightly delayed.”

Chip shook his head.  “I’m a busy man, Ms. Johnson.  I told your people on the phone that unless Pender signs in my presence, the offer is withdrawn.  And it will not be repeated.”

The woman looked around at the other three men, ignoring the begowned women.  She took a breath.  “Please, Mr. Holder, won’t you come on to the conference room?  I’ll see that Mr. Pender appears immediately.”

Chip pointed through a doorway to his left, opening upon a spacious room of chairs around a long table.  “What’s wrong with this room right here?  It looks available.  We only need it for ten minutes, if that.”

“I’m sorry, sir, but the conference room chosen for this meeting is more central in the building.”

“I gathered that it was.  Tell you what, Ms. Johnson:  have Pender and his people meet us here, will you, in this room?  I like it.  It’s near the exit.  Which I shall use if he doesn’t show up in five minutes.”

“But, Mr. Holder!  The press, the promoters, what shall I tell them?”

I never asked for the publicity.  That’s your problem!”

Chip first glanced at his Rolex then gestured to the big man.  “Check it out.”  To the woman he said, “Your time is running.”

Wide-eyed, she whirled away.  Chip waited until the big man returned.  “It’s clean.”

“Come, ladies,” Chip said, pulling them toward the doorway.  They all took seats at the near end of the long table, except for the big man, who stood with arms crossed behind Chip’s chair.

They waited in silence.  Chip glanced often at his watch, a frown beginning to appear on his face.

One of the suited men said diffidently, “Maybe five minutes isn’t long —”

“Can it,” ordered the other.

Suddenly they heard an approaching commotion.  Three men came through the door wearing press badges and fetching armloads of equipment that turned out to be cameras, tripods, a microphone boom and several cables.  One of them said to the big man behind Chip’s chair, “How about you people moving down to where the light is better?”

He received no reply.  The big man stared menacingly down at him.  He shrugged.  “Just an idea.  Come on, guys.  We’ll set up down there.”

Chip called to them as they moved their equipment.  “You might as well take it easy.  Time’s almost up.”

“Time?” one of them inquired, baffled.

“If Pender isn’t here in 25 seconds, we’re out the door.”

The man’s eyes narrowed.  “You’re Chip Holder, right?”

The big man’s voice sounded.  Mr. Holder to you.”

“Yeah, he is,” said another dryly.  “Better call the boss.”

The man hesitated, then asked, “Is it true you’re about to give the museum a whopping lot of money?”

“It was true,” admitted Chip, looking at his wristwatch.  He shook his head sorrowfully.  “Well, ladies, it looks as if —”

Ms. Johnson swept into the room.  “Oh, Mr. Holder, I’m so sorry but it seems that Mr. Pender truly is unavoidably delayed.”

Chip struggled to his feet.  The watching Ethel thought that for the first time he looked his age.  She motioned Bessie to rise beside him.  The suited men sprang to their feet also.

Chip said sorrowfully, “Tell Pender I hope he enjoys his lunch.  It’s the most expensive one he ever ate.”

The woman moved directly in front of him, causing the big man to tense.  She wrung her hands and begged, “Oh, please, Mr. Holder!”  Though lowering her voice to hardly more than a whisper, her intensity assured its audibility everywhere in the room.  “He has diarrhea.”

“Diarrhea!” exclaimed Chip.  “Well, why didn’t you say so?  We’ll wait for diarrhea — for a little while.  Tell him to hurry and clean himself up.”

The woman gulped and departed quickly.  Chip returned to his seat.  Everyone but the big man did likewise.  Chip winked at one of the suited men.  “Trumped by shit!”

The man forced a short laugh.

Bessie, studying Chip, suggested, “Aren’t you glad!”

“Bessie!” cried Ethel softly.

“Chip really didn’t want to leave,” Bessie explained to her.

Chip nodded.  “You’re quite right, my dear.”  He regarded the nearer suited man.  “Harker, you’re the accountant.  How long does it take to wipe your ass in the executive shitter after a really bad case of the trots?”

Harker flushed and made indecisive noises.

Bessie advised, “He might need to send out for more shorts.”

Chip’s lip curled.  “Hope he has sense enough to do without them, but I doubt it.”

Bessie added, “He might even have messed his suit pants.”

“Bessie!” Ethel cried again, eyes huge.  She placed a restraining hand on the other’s arm.

But Chip looked at Bessie with approval.  “Where were you when I needed the excuses?”

She lowered her eyes demurely.

He added, “Well, he’d better get his ass in here, even if it’s bare.”

Another minute’s wait brought the return of Ms. Johnson, followed into the room by several men.  The one in front was red-faced, seemingly flustered.  As he came to stand beside Ethel she seemed to detect a faint odor and winked at Chip, who smiled slightly, getting to his feet.  Quickly the rest of his group rose also.

Ms. Johnson intoned, “Mr. Carson Holder, this is Mr. Cecil Pender.”

“We’ve met,” said Pender snappily.  “How do you do?”

Chip grinned.  “Better than you, so I hear.”

“Ah, yes.  Ah, let me extend a welcome to the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art to you and your staff.  Matilda says you’re in a hurry, so I won’t offer you the guided tour.”

“I’ve done it.  Let’s get down to business.”  Chip took his seat, followed immediately by his entire delegation except the big man behind his chair, followed a moment later by the newcomers.  Two cameras were trained on the composite group and a microphone extended on a long boom.

“Harker, let’s have it.”

The suited man brought up his briefcase, snapped it open and withdrew a legal document neatly folded into buff covers.  He opened it on the table before Chip.  Getting to his feet, he delivered a duplicate to Pender, who scanned the first paragraph quickly.

He looked up as Harker was returning to his seat.  “But this is a contract!”

“Yes,” Chip agreed.

“I thought you said a simple donation.”

Chip smiled pleasantly.  “Now, Cecil, a little quid-pro-quo only makes the cheese more binding.  Ask your own lawyer.  And the conditions I’ve placed on the transfer are such trifles!”

“What’s the amount?”  Pender’s eyes had returned to the document.  “Good god!”

“Indeed,” Chip agreed, smile widening.  “$63 million already in a holding account, wanting only my signature on the transfer paper.”  A need for deep breaths seemed to afflict everyone beyond Chip’s party.  “That ought to buy you a nice wing — and fill it up, too.”

“But this … this is so generous!”  Pender swallowed visibly, took a breath and asked distractedly, “What are the conditions?”

“Two.  The first is the name of your new wing or department.  I leave the form of it up to your new curator, with your final consent, of course.  But the name shall be The Carson Holder Image Gallery.  Will that be a problem for you?”

“No, of course not,” Pender responded promptly.  “Certainly your name needs to be associated with it.”

“Well, my name is not the most savory, is it?”  Chip smiled.  “I’m pleased at your attitude.  The second condition is even simpler.  First, let me introduce my companions.  Ladies, this is Cecil Pender, Director of the Museum, appointed by the county commissioners.  Cecil, immediately on my left is Miss Ethel Moore and next to her is Miss Elizabeth Durlick.”

“How d’you do,” Pender muttered perfunctorily, eyes never leaving Chip, who grinned.  The named girls looked at each other.  When had anyone told him their surnames?  Quickly they glanced at his hand, whose thumb remained lowered.

He said, “You better pay them some attention, Cece.  They’re the joint curators of the Holder Gallery.”

The man’s eyes widened.  “Wh-what?”

Chip’s voice firmed.  “That’s the second condition:  that these ladies, just introduced, be appointed joint curators, decisions subject only to your consent, for a term of ten years beginning at the time of transfer of funds, to be paid salaries of $100,000 per year each.”

Pender’s face showed his sudden consternation.  He stared from one woman to the other.  He took a deep breath.  For the first time he seemed to take in their formal gowns, sleek coiffures and pearl necklaces upon ample flesh.  His eyes narrowed upon Ethel.  “Who was the famous Dutch artist who cut off his ear?”

She took a breath and said into the expectant silence, “I don’t know.”

Pender sniffed and turned to Bessie.  “What famous artist did the most to advance Primitivism?”

Bessie’s chin rose.  She said with an unmistakable sneer, “No novelty has emerged in image realization since the Italian Renaissance.”

“Good god!” breathed Pender, eyes suddenly huge.

Chip had to put a hand over his mouth.  He cleared his throat.

Pender glared at Bessie.  “And just what is your relationship to Mr. Holder, may I ask?”

Bessie answered coolly, “Chip will answer that for us, thank you.”

Chip, is it?” he commented, matching her sneer.

“None of which matters,” Chip declared impatiently.  “What matters is 63 million dollars and these two conditions.  Do you accept them, Cecil?”

Pender’s round eyes bent upon Chip.  “These, ah, curators will work for me?”

“An interesting question,” Chip responded with a slight smile that failed to rise into his eyes.  “In fact they will not.  They alone will initiate designs and purchases from my donation.  They do require your consent for every decision, however.  It’s all in the contract, but that’s the essence of it.”

Pender continued to stare.

Chip said, “I hate to rush you, Cece, but I really must.  What’s your answer?  Take it or leave it.”

The man gulped and smiled insincerely.  “Can’t we reach some adjustment, Chip?  How could these … ah, ladies, initiate a purchase” — he glared at Bessie — “especially with her attitude?”

But Chip shook his head.  “No, Cecil.  It’s my way or no way, my choice of curators and $63 million for the museum — or nothing.  What’s your decision?”

Slowly Pender shook his head, releasing his breath in a rush of air.  “I’m sorry, but I can’t have totally unqualified —”

“Just a minute!”  Ms. Johnson jumped out of her chair and bent her head close to Pender’s, whispering fiercely into his ear.  Several emotions crossed the man’s face.  “Good god!” he muttered under his breath.

Chip partly covered his mouth and pretended to whisper to Ethel, “She’s telling him that a small fraction of this will fix the roof that’s about to leak all over his prize Gauguin primitives.”

“Good god!” Pender exclaimed again, staring at Chip.  He sagged back into his chair.

“Did I understand you just now to say, ‘No?’” Chip asked.

“No, I didn’t say, ‘No!’”  He sighed, sitting straight, hands on the buff document before him.  “Where do I sign?”  Before Harker could answer, he called to the camera operators at the other end of the table, “I trust you guys understand you’ll have to edit the hell out of what you taped here today!”



* * *



In the car, immersed in cross-town traffic, Bessie was worried.  “But what should we do at the museum, Chip?”

He chuckled.  “Don’t worry about it.  Pender will contact you very shortly, soon as he discovers he can’t spend one penny of those millions without both your signatures.”

“But what do curators do?”

“Ever hear of on-the-job training?”  He grinned at her.  “If you want my advice …”


“Make him give you a big joint office and a staff of secretaries and flunkies, at least two of each, then go down to a large bookstore and buy several of those coffee-table books on graphic and sculptural art.  In a couple of weeks you’ll know as much as anybody else, a lot more than Pender.  All he knows about is Paul Gauguin and a touch of Van Gogh, the one who died half-earless…  Make them build me a nice wing, Bessie, at least ten mil worth.”

“Oh, we will, Ch-Chip.”  Her eyes suddenly grew huge.  “My god!”

“What’s the matter?” he asked, smiling.

She stared at him.  “You’ve made important people out of us!”

He grunted.  “I’m betting you’ll buy prettier art than anyone Pender would pick.”

“We will, Chip.”  Her voice was determined.

“He’ll try to marginalize you, probably bury you with suggestions then take his pick of the ones you choose.  But you have the right of initiation, which means he can’t issue a proposal without your signatures.  Read those art books, ladies, and attend the showings yourselves.”

Ethel’s eyes were interested.  “This could even be fun!”

“Can we keep coming to you for advice?” asked Bessie.

He shook his head.  “Harker is working for you now.  Ask him for advice.”  He grinned.  “Then do the opposite.  After today I’ll be pretty much out of touch.”

Which reminded them.  “Where are we going now?”

“To the yacht.  I told you the arty would end on my yacht.”

She sniffed but smiled.  “The arty!”



* * *



The yacht, named Holderness, was huge.  The women stared along it as the car rolled to a stop.  “How big is it?” asked Bessie in wonder.

Chip smiled.  “It’s an 82 footer.  Now if you want to know how much water it displaces, I’ll have to ask the captain.”

He chuckled, inferring from her blank stare that she felt no need for that datum.

“It’s a ship!” declared Ethel, wide-eyed.  “Does it go on the ocean, Chip?”

“Oh, yes.  But not this afternoon, if you don’t mind.  I seem to remember promising to take you home today.”

The big man held the car door for them.  Chip and the women mounted the short gangplank as the car pulled away behind them.  He led them into a spacious stateroom, furnished as a den with numerous couches, a wet bar, a well-stuffed bookcase filling one wall, which struck Bessie as curious, and a small dining table set for three.  A sideboard contained serving pans with polished metal covers.  Steam rose from some and the aroma made Ethel’s mouth water.

Chip suggested, “You ought to have used up my canapés by now.  The powder room is through that door.  Soon as you come back we’ll eat.”

All three were hungry and the food was well prepared.  They consumed it with little comment beyond expressions of appreciation.

“Well,” he asked as Ethel pushed back from the table, “was it better than pizza?”

“Oh, yes!  It was wonderful, Chip.”  Eyes widened and hand went to mouth as she burped involuntarily.  “Excuse me!”

Bessie cocked her head and regarded him fondly.  “Even pizza would be special with you, Chip.”

“Ho!”  His eyes lit.  “I didn’t expect such a nice remark from you, Bessie!”

She tossed her head.  “It’s only the truth.”

“All the more welcome.”  He got to his feet.  “Finished, ladies?  If so, I have another surprise for you.”

“We’ve already seen that!” declared Bessie with a leer as Ethel began to gather the stained silverware and stack the plates.

He chuckled.  “Only part of it.  Ethel, you’re not the bus boy here.  Leave it and come along.”

They followed him into a large bedroom, notable for a circular bed and a matching mirror set into the low ceiling above it.  The portholes were shuttered but the room was well lit electrically.

Bessie chuckled.  “I knew you had a cat-house on this boat!”

He grinned at her.  “This is your chance for that intimacy you thought we lacked.”

Her eyes glinted with determination.  She backed up to Ethel.  “Get my zipper.”

Both women were soon naked except for pearl necklaces, garter belts and lace topped stockings.  They turned to help the man with his more complex divestiture.

“Why do you keep the stockings?” he asked.

Ethel blinked.  “Don’t you like them?”

He shrugged.  “Geraldine asked me about them.  I said, ‘Sure,’ wanting you girls to have the confidence that full dress offers.”  He sniffed.  “They make you look like expensive whores.”

“They cover up some of the cellulite,” Bessie noted with a hint of a blush.

He snorted.  “You think I care about that?”  He stepped out of his shorts, the last item of his clothing.  As Ethel rose and tossed them on a chair, he gathered both women against his chest.  “What I’ve always loved is unhindered female flesh, like these big tits all around me.  God!  Nothing in the world compares to it.”

Bessie simpered, “Do you really like us, Chip?”

“I showed the world what I like today.  We’ll have to check out the TV after a while and see if my two beauties made the news.”

Ethel’s eyes widened.  “We’re to be on TV?”

“What did you think those newsies were up to?”

“B-but …”

“What’s the matter?  You know you looked great!”

“But we … we’re just two fat broads.”

He lost his smile.  His face took a feral cast.  “Don’t make me sorry I endowed a museum.”


“I should’ve used that money to blow-up the diet industry and all the bony models that sap the self-confidence of lovely women like you two.  Neither of you has any idea just how mouth-watering you truly are.”

“Oh, Chip!”  She leaned in and kissed his neck tenderly.

Bessie said pensively, “Kitty thought you were mouth-watering.”

“Oh?”  He grinned with a cocked eyebrow.  “Did she say that to you?”

“She didn’t have to…  Chip, would you … mind if …”

“I doubt I would mind anything you want to do, my dear.”

She took a preparatory breath — but Ethel knelt first and guided him into her own mouth with both hands.

Bessie cried softly, “Ethel!”

He chuckled.  “She beat you to it?”

“She’s never done such a thing before!”  Bessie stared down at her friend’s bobbing head.

“But you have?”

“Well, I …”  She looked away, blushing.

“How many times?”

Bessie’s eyes remained downcast.  Her blush deepened.  “A lot.”

“Oh?  Do you have many boyfriends?”

“Just Harry.”  She sighed.  “But he only likes blowjobs.”

“The bastard!  What do you get out of it?”

“Well, I …  I like to do it for him.  It’s clean.  I read somewhere that it’s the safest way to give your man real pleasure.”

“And do you use your finger at the same time?”

He does.”

“Like this?”

“Ooo!  But you ought to do Ethel!”

“I’ve got something else for Ethel.  And you, too.”  He chuckled with pleasure.  “How nice it is to have two pretty girls!  You can have a conversation and a blowjob!”

Bessie cocked an eyebrow.  “Is talking during one such a good idea?”

“Oh, I think so.  We’re in no hurry.  Turn around and back up beside me…  Yes.  Now I can slip one hand around your hip and get a super handful with the other.  God, you girls are delectable!  Now we can really talk.”

“Ethel can’t,” Bessie pointed out.

“We’ll soon give her the chance.  Tell me about yourselves.  How long have you been friends?”



* * *



Bessie sat on the floor, leaning back against the padded side of the bed, one hand working in her crotch.   Chip bent in front of her, pistoning into her mouth, his chest pressed to the bed by Ethel’s thighs thrown over his shoulders.  His tongue raked Ethel’s labia, soon concentrating on her clitoris.  Looking up at the reflection in the mirror, Ethel thought she had never seen anything so disgusting … and so thrilling.  Conversation was impossible, though Ethel’s rising moans more than compensated.



* * *



The women lay side-by-side on the bed, their legs hanging off.  He reached under Bessie’s hips, marginally lighter than Ethel’s, and lifted.  “Come on, sugar, put your sweet butt on Ethel’s belly.”

“But I’m heavy,” Bessie protested.

“I’m strong enough,” Ethel retorted stoutly.

With her heels on the edge, Bessie raised herself while he guided her lower torso into position over Ethel’s.  “What’s the idea?” she asked.

His face beamed.  “God, what a sight!”  He crouched slightly and entered Ethel for several thrusts, then withdrew and entered Bessie, again for several thrusts.

“An arty!” he mused, standing back again.  “Now this is art:  two pairs of plump, pink pussy lips, outlined by dark hair in a setting of bounteous female flesh.  I wonder why Gauguin never painted such a close-up.  It’s perfect for his style:  heavy outlines and pure colors.  All you’d have to do is change the proportions a little and —  Hmm.  Maybe he did paint it!  I’ll have to study his stuff again.”

He continued to trade back and forth between the women, both of whom put hands to themselves.

“You trade, too,” he directed.

“You mean …” Ethel began.

Bessie rearranged the hands so that each woman was fingering the other.  After Chip had traded once again to Bessie, Ethel observed, “This feels funny.”

Bessie sniffed.  “The weird clit.”

“Weird?” he repeated.

“Hers is so close it’s like rubbing mine, except if I speed up the feeling doesn’t.  Weird.  But good when that cock goes deep.  Ooo!  If you leave it in a little longer …”

“It might hurt you?” he asked in fake solicitation.

“I’ll come again,” she retorted, beginning to moan.

He glanced at Ethel, who was staring up at their reflection.  He leaned to the side and cupped a brown nipple.  “What are you thinking, Ethel?”

“This m-mirror is a mighty good idea!”



* * *



“What’s wrong, Chip?”

Ethel raised her shoulders, sucked in her belly and peered down between her drooping breasts to the man’s face.  She was kneeling atop him, leaning forward to the junction between him and Bessie, who squatted across his hips.  His arms, encircling Ethel’s buttocks, had lifted him into her crotch for lingual access.  But now his head had fallen back.

He tilted his furiously crimson face down to return her gaze and replied between gasps, “Finally about … to come.”

“We were beginning to wonder!”  He recognized her wide smile, even though inverted.


“How you could go so long without it.  We’ve been fucking over an hour!”

“Not a kid … anymore.  Oh, oh!”

“Let me taste it, will you, please, Chip?”

When he didn’t answer, Bessie raised herself enough for the glistening manhood to pop free.  “It’s all yours,” she said quietly, “but don’t let it just shoot in the air.  Harry hates that!”

Dutifully Ethel sucked it between her lips.  The man’s hips moved and his arms squeezed her buttocks almost painfully.  Immediately her mouth filled with something cool.  In her surprise at that fact and the subsequent surprise at her failure to expect it, she forgot to bob her head.  It was only after the third and fourth spurts forced her to swallow that she came to her senses.

But Bessie stopped her.  “No, just suck it a little.  Don’t squeeze it.  Harry says it’s very sensitive.”

The emission was soon complete.  Ethel’s face rose with a satisfied expression.  She smacked her lips, excess seminal fluid running down her chin.

Bessie grinned at her.  “Now you know how it tastes.”

Ethel looked puzzled.  “What taste?”

Bessie laughed.  “He might like to taste himself.  Sometimes Harry does.”

Ethel obligingly swung her hips around further onto the bed and bent over the flushed man.  “Want to kiss me, Chip?”

But he stared fixedly up into the mirror.  His tongue lolled on his lower lip.

Ethel laid her hand on the still chest.  “Bessie …  My, god, Bessie!”

“What is it?”  Bessie crawled up beside her.

“A second ago he was panting like a runner.  Something’s happened, Bessie.  I know it!”

Bessie’s hand rose and slapped the face stingingly.  “Chip!” she called loudly as the head rocked to one side but returned to stare straight up.

“Good god!” she cried, eyes widening in realization.

“Do something!” ordered Ethel.

Bessie jumped off the bed and ran into the adjacent stateroom, where someone had taken away the remains of their meal.  Birth naked, having removed even the stockings and supports in the last hour, she nevertheless dashed out onto the deck.  The setting sun glared into her eyes.

She opened her mouth to scream for help from the several people on the dock, but the big man rose from a deckchair.  “Chip?” he demanded fiercely though hardly above a whisper.

“Uh, how did you know?”

He dashed past her through the open doorway.  She followed at top speed.  Ethel appeared to be kissing the prone body — until she raised up and took a deep breath herself while holding the man’s mouth open.  Bessie understood:  she was trying to blow air into him.  Good for her!  Her head went down upon the mouth again as the big man drew near.

Gently he lifted her shoulder.  “Let me.”

As she backed away, he passed his hand over the staring eyes, peered under it while in place, then removed it swiftly.  He shook his head and looked around at the two women, with particular attention to Ethel’s face.

“Is that seminal fluid?”

She wiped her chin and looked blankly at her hand.  “My god!” she muttered.

“Get dressed.  Your regular clothes are in those two suitcases.  In case he didn’t tell you, everything today was a gift from Mr. Holder, including your necklaces.  They’re genuine, by the way.”

Bessie stuttered, “But … but …  Can’t you call 911?”

“I’m afraid he’s dead, Ms. Durlick, past all recovery.”

“I can do CPR!” Ethel declared.

“So can I,” he answered, “and believe me, I would if there was the slightest chance.”

“How do you know there isn’t?” Bessie demanded.

“Because I’ve had medical training and because I’m privy to his condition.  You’ll read this in the paper tomorrow.  A CAT-scan discovered an aneurysm inoperably deep in his brain two years ago.  That’s what killed him.  An autopsy will show that it burst.  If he had an orgasm, which obviously he did, then it’s a certainty.”

“What?”  Ethel looked stunned.  “I … I didn’t …”

The man smiled.  “No, of course you didn’t know.  But he knew.  You are his first women in over a year.  This was his first real pleasure in that long.  I’m sure he would be very grateful if he could speak.  Now please get dressed quickly.  It would be far better for you and better for all of us if the authorities didn’t find you here.”

They hurriedly pulled on the clothing they had worn in the pizzeria.  They listened as the big man told someone on a wall-mounted telephone to bring the car around.  “It’s happened,” he said in conclusion.

Bessie reached her own conclusion.  She looked up from the dresser to the watching man.  “Suicide by bimbo?”

The man’s eyes twinkled but he shook his head.  “He didn’t know the blood pressure spike would kill him.  He only knew it was likely.  You mustn’t think of yourself as his instrument of death.  What you did was spare him the ordeal he feared worst of all.”

“Ordeal?” asked Ethel.

He looked from one to the other and grinned.  “Don’t you read the papers?”

“No,” Bessie declared flatly.

“Mr. Holder was free on bail from a federal racketeering conviction — a very large cash bail, $10 million, in fact.  He couldn’t decide which would nauseate him more:  a sentence of 20 years at his age or forfeiting that much money to the government.  You’ve helped him avoid both.”

“But … but …”

The big man shook his head.  “No buts.  He knew his time was near, that anything spiking his blood pressure could kill him, such as straining on the toilet.  What man wouldn’t prefer to go this way?  You did him a big favor, ladies.”

He cocked his head as if listening and for the first time Bessie noticed the flesh-colored device in his ear.  “Let’s go,” he said, looking up.  “The car is here.”



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