Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Sisters (Part 14)

     "Delta Epsilon Theta house?" Kaitlyn repeated.  "What did you want to know about them?  Why do you care?"
     "Purely curiosity," Jane said to her roommate in a dismissive tone.  "There's a couple of them who are also Haas students.  Juniors.  We were talking a bit."

     "The Delta Epsilon brothers are mega-smooth.  They're all hotties, too.  They're, like....  Other fraternities will throw blowout keg ragers, right?  These guys throw great parties too, but everything will be really classy, you know?  Instead of open kegs for five bucks, Delta Epsilon will charge ten, but have kegs, plus a full bar and a professional bartender.  And catered food!  Their parties are invite-only."  Kaitlyn snickered.  "Unless you're hanging around outside, and one of the brothers sees you and thinks you're hot.  And you also meet the dress code.  That's how I got into a party of theirs about five weeks ago."
     "Sort of like getting into an exclusive nightclub," Jane mused.  "Meet the 'hot-or-not' criteria for the guy at the door, you get in.  Lovely."
     Kaitlyn glared at Jane.  "Why do you care?  You hate the Greek system.  You'd like to wreck all the fraternities, frat brothers have more class than you and you hate them.  They'd never go for a weirdo like you, so you hate them.  You know I'm right."
     Jane smiled warmly at her roommate and responded, "Okay, let's work from there.  I know you're aware of the videos I made over the summer...."
     "Yes...." Kaitlyn sighed.  "God, you are so gross and sleazy."
     "Funny, last week I was perverted white trash.  Anyway. plenty of people are aware of those videos.  I think Inana could make a two hour tape of paint drying and it would sell by the truckload.  I've had people approach me off and on to ask if that was me in the 'Naughty Novices' videos, and get an autograph...."
     "You're signing autographs?"
     "Sure am."
     "Because you made some sex videos?"
     "Evidently," Jane replied.  "And don't forget, I'll be gone next weekend.  I'll be down in San Diego shooting more video for the 'Duane and Dolly's Place' series.  But continuing on, two of these Delta Epsilon bros recognized me.a couple weeks ago.  You're right, Kay, they are slick.  They tried to convince me they're producing video out of their frat house.  Unfortunately, every question I posed to them they got wrong.  They know nothing about the adult film industry, or even video production.  Jesus Christ, they thought $100 would pay for a two-in-one scene with me.  I pointed out they were a zero short."
     "A what scene?" Kaitlyn asked.
     "A two-in-one.  One girl, two guys, all three busy at once.  The girl spends most of her time on her hands and knees, so she can blow one guy while the other fucks her doggy style.  Don't confuse it with a DP, or double penetration.  That's when the girl has one guy up her pussy, the other up her ass.  It takes a bit of coordination to ---"
     "Oh my God, that is the most sick thing I've ever heard.  You just made that up.  No girl would ever do that, you're just being your usual gross self."
     Jane laughed at Kaitlyn. "Um, cupcake, I can get on the phone with a girl how routinely does DP scenes, I can call her right now, if you wish.  Or, just ask nearly any guy about it.  It's not exactly a rarity in hardcore porn."  She swigged from her beer and said, "That's not the point.  I was just wondering about who these guys are.  The first time we talked, we'd seemed to have reached a state of detente, there was no real hostility, and I thought I'd disabused them of the idea of trying to make a video with me.  It was obvious they just wanted to get in my pants.
     "Friday they talked to me again, and tried to con me on the same bullshit.  Also, they had $400 now.  I finally got them to admit they just wanted to pay me for sex, and were rather annoyed I'd called them out on it."  Jane snickered.  "I actually gave them a price, if they were so keen.  Five grand would get both of them with me, at the same time, for one hour.  I wasn't able to elaborate that outside the unlocked door would be a Hell's Angel with a stopwatch and a billy club.  When one hour was up, the Angel would come in the room and all activity would cease.
     "So, they rambled the usual frat boy bullshit about how I must be a slut and a whore because I make porn videos, blah blah blah, $400 should be enough.  I told them they'd now wasted my time on two occasions, I was sick of this game, and it was time for them to leave.  I even inferred that if they didn't fuck off, I would send them to the hospital.  They finally took the hint and left."
     Kaitlyn rolled her eyes and said, "Oh, right.  You're gonna beat up two fraternity brothers at once.  I'm so sure."
     Jane grabbed her purse off the coffee table and reached in.  She pulled out her butterfly knife and flipped it open.  Kaitlyn stared nervously at the blade.  Jane commented, "This is always in my purse.  I don't always carry my Beretta, but my butterfly is always with me.  It's even modified, check it...."
     She flipped the knife so he was holding the blade, the handle pointed at Kaitlyn.  Jane gestured for her to take it.  She said, "Check it.  I had a real blade cut into mine.  Normally, butterflies are meant to be daggers, you just keep stabbing.  I can stab with mine, but I can also slash.  And I know the hone of the blade is sharp, because I never use it as a utility knife.  Blades don't go dull unless you use them."
     Kaitlyn frowned down at the knife in her hand.  She examined both sides of the blade, determining which side had been beveled.  Then she picked up a sheet of paper off her desk and sliced at an edge with the blade.  The paper cut quickly and smoothly, a very clean cut.  She studied the knife, realizing that the handle was also what sheathed the blade when it was closed, the handle was in two pieces.  She held one half of the handle and tried to flip it closed. The knife clattered to the floor.  She picked it up again and asked, "How do you do that?"
     Jane took the knife back and flipped it shut.  "You mean that?  It's just the opposite of opening it...."  She flipped the butterfly open again.  "... like that."
     "You spin it so fast, I can't see how it's done!"
     "It's just....  It just takes a bit of practice," Jane sighed.  "I'll show you some other time."
     "I should call the UC Police on you for having that in your purse," Kaitlyn said in her Spoiled Child voice.  "You'd probably get expelled."
     Regarding her roommate levelly, Jane dropped the knife back in her purse.  She slowly exhaled, then said, "No, cupcake.  That would be an incredibly bad idea on your part.  It would be a disastrous decision."  She sat up straight.  "Kaitlyn?  Cupcake?  I never really bully you, now do I?  Christ knows you're an easy target, and sometimes you almost seem to be daring me to, but I don't.  Until now."  She locked eyes with Kaitlyn and said, "If you did anything to jeopardize my education at Berkeley, or get me jammed up with the law, your life would be a shambles in a very short amount of time.  Any direction you turned would lead to disaster.  Chaos, misery.... poverty....  Everything in your life would turn to shit, and stay that way for a long time.  I can't say in what ways, because I don't know.  But your life would be ruined, and you wouldn't be able to pin a fucking thing on me.  Am I making myself clear?"
     Kaitlyn stared at Jane with a face that showed both defiance and fear.  After a few moments, Jane said, "All right, I'll accept silence as assent.  We're getting off the fucking point anyways.  So far as you know, cupcake, does the Delta Epsilon house have an Enemies list, like those jackasses I dealt with at the beginning of the year?"
     "I don't think so, I've never heard of one," muttered Kaitlyn.  Then she snapped her head up and said, "Why?  Are you gonna fuck with Delta Epsilon?  God, you are so stupid!  Are you ---"
     "Shut the fuck up, Kaitlyn.  No, I'm not gonna fuck with them.  I don't care about them.  I want to be left the hell alone.  I told those two bros to just forget me, forget we've ever spoken.  I'm just one more student out of 30,000 at the educational la-la land known at UC Berkeley.  I am not going to engage them, and I want to make sure they won't engage me....  Or if they do, it's just two idiots, not their whole fucking fraternity in on the game.  Do you think Delta Epsilon, the whole frat, would make me a target?  Or are they too smooth for that?"
     Kaitlyn started to scowl at Jane.... then actually gave a coy smile and looked down at the coffee table.  "I wouldn't worry about them.  The guys at Delta Epsilon pride themselves on being really suave, total gentlemen players.  If these two guys let their brothers know what was going on with you, the other guys in the house would probably give them shit.  A Delta Epsilon member paying for sex?  No way.  Girls pay them, you know?"
     "Fascinating," Jane chuckled.  "Maybe the house should try to get a Zagat rating.  The finest selection of gigolos in East Bay."  A thought suddenly dropped in Jane's head.  Her brow creased, Jane asked, "Did you say you went to a party at Delta Epsilon five weeks ago?"
     "You're sure about that?"
     "Yeah....  Oh shit."
     Now Jane's face settled into an expression she'd seen on Don Vito's face, and Angel's face, and Bekka's face, and Lenny's face.  A riddle had just been solved, and the answer wasn't funny.  Her head nodding slightly, Jane stated, "Five weeks ago this last Saturday, I rode with you in a fucking ambulance to Alta Bates ER, because you'd been drugged at a party.  Specifically, you'd been drugged and raped at a frat party the night before.  You spent the night at the hospital while your overdose level of Rohypnol worked its way out of your system."
     She leaned forward, hands on her knees.  "And because you are a silly fucking bitch, you stonewalled both Berkeley PD and UCPD as to where you'd been Friday night.  Your rape kit results showed semen from five different men.  Five motherfuckers gang raped you....  And for some reason which I can't fathom, you protected them.  You were drugged and gang raped, and your stupid-ass twisted goddamn fucking sense of class loyalty and privilege makes you protect your attackers."  Jane drank down the rest of her beer, over half a bottle.  "You know what, cupcake?  You will never call me 'sick' again.  Or perverted, or gross, or sleazy, or weird.  You have me beat, hands down, on any accusation like that."
     With a sigh, Jane got up to grab another beer from the fridge.  Cracking it open, she lazily commented, "Well, another mystery solved.  I'd better contact Velma and Shaggy and Fred and.... Dammit, the red-haired bitch...."
     "Daphne," Kaitlyn muttered.
     "Thank you.  Yep, tell 'em to fuel the Mystery Machine and hit the road.  Gosh, I can't wait until the next mystery.  Can you?"  There was no response.  Jane counted to ten, then said in a calmer voice, "Kaitlyn, would you like a beer?"
     "Yes please," came the murmured response.
     Kaitlyn accepted the Miller from Jane, who had an Anchor Steam in her own hand.  (Kaitlyn didn't like Anchor Steam, it tasted "really strong and icky.")  Kaitlyn took a long pull off the beer and gazed into the middle distance.  Then she glared at Jane and said, "You're gonna do something to Delta Epsilon, aren't you?  Now that you know?  I know you are, you hate the frats."  Jane looked at her roommate with a placid expression.  Kaitlyn continued, "Okay, so maybe I didn't tell the cops what happened.  It was the right thing to do!  Those guys could have had their lives ruined because of one dumb mistake!"
     With a vicious smirk, Jane said, "A.... mistake?  No, it wasn't a mistake.  A mistake is when you go to do laundry and forget to bring quarters with you.  A mistake is when you leave the coffee maker on all day.  For five assholes to put drugs in a girl's drink, then carry her someplace private, then strip her, then take turns raping her does not count as a mistake.  That is a hell of a lot of planning.  In legal parlance, there is provable intent.  Ding ding, wrong answer, would you like to try again?"
     "Leave them alone.  It's my problem, not yours."
     "Oh.... I wouldn't say that.  It may not be my problem, exactly, but it is a problem, however you slice it, for any human with two X chromosomes in the area of the UC Berkeley campus.  Those guys look around at half the species and don't see women, they see pussy life support systems.  Women aren't people to them, they're targets.  Dartboards for dicks.  A man who commits an act like they did to you is showing he has no basic empathy for women.  Contempt at best, hatred at worst.
     "I don't feel threatened by frat boy rapists.  I've protected myself in the past, I'll probably have to do it again, and against some way meaner motherfuckers than the rich honkies who inhabit the Greek fraternal system.  They don't worry me one bit."
     "You'll leave them alone?" Kaitlyn asked suspiciously.
     With her warmest smile, Jane said, "Come on, cupcake.  I'm one girl.  Okay, I'm kind of tough, but I can't battle an entire frat house.  And no, I can't call in my HA friends, either.  I'm sure there are some members of the club who I could contract with, but I can't afford them.  Look, you can put a fucking tracking collar on me if you want, keep tabs on me every second of the day.  Other than stopping at International House for coffee sometimes, I have no reason to be anywhere near Frat Row.  Relax."
     Kaitlyn drank more of her beer and said, "'Kay."  Then she grabbed the remote and turned on the TV.

      The next afternoon, Jane was in a phone booth at Albany Bowl.  The bowling alley had vintage phone booths: dark wood construction, roomy, a padded seat, a counter, even a hook for a purse or jacket.  Dead silent, too, a blessing inside a bowling alley.  Anyone outside a booth would never be able to hear a conversation inside.  Jane fed quarters into the slot and dialed Bel Air.  She wanted to talk to Uncle Vito.
     She'd brought two rolls of quarters with her.  Much of the discussion had eaten up one roll.  She had stated her case, making it clear to her close friend Vito that she wasn't the one who had been hurt, it was her roommate.  Yes, the awkward cow with entitlement issues.  Just the same....
     Don Vito pondered in silence briefly, then said yes.  He would extend a courtesy to Jane.  He knew what tack to use.  His gravelly, 80 year old chuckle came down the line.  "People believe Cosa Nostra to be utterly free of morals," Vito said in his rumbling Italian accent.  "Bullshit.  Their minds would boggle at the things the family has done in the name of morality.  No profit, no protection, simply striking a blow for basic decency."  He paused briefly, then asked, "When does winter break start at Berkeley?"
     "The seventeenth," Jane replied.  "About four and a half weeks away."
     "All right.  Things will proceed before then.  That is what I can say at the moment."
     "So, when are you going to come up and visit, Vito?  I've missed you so much.  The few times I've been able to come south, I've been busy at Inana."
     Vito paused.  Jane knew that he was staring a piece of empty space about two feet in front of him, at sternum level.  She could hear the gears in his mind whirring.  He finally stated, "I believe....  What I shall do is travel with the strike force, when they head for the Bay Area.  I would greatly enjoy a bit of time in San Francisco, it is a city I have always enjoyed.   And I know from experience you make an excellent travel partner.  Would you join me in San Francisco the weekend of the....  Eleventh?  We will stay in the Mark Hopkins, see sights.  I greatly enjoy Chinatown, as well as Little Italy.  Also, I would enjoy meeting your friends, the rock band...."
     Jane's eyes went wide.  "You mean Chromewagon?"
     "Yes, that is them.  You told me about them, and my curiosity was raised.  So, I went to a record store on Melrose Avenue and purchased their album.  Jane, you will probably believe this the raving of a foolish old man, but I enjoy the album greatly.  Such cathartic energy!  Is is marveloso."
     Now Jane was in a state of near-shock.  She said, "Well, I'll call Dolly and see if her and the girls are free that weekend, we can hang out.... You wouldn't be bothered hanging out with them?  They're kinda wild."
    "And you are not, dear girl?"  In her mind's eye, Jane could see the smirk on Don Vito's face.  "No, I will not be bothered, being in the company of four Sapphics.  Not even Sapphics who play punk rock.  I will enjoy the experience."  Vito suddenly changed gears.  "You have mentioned your roommate will suspect your involvement in any.... activity.... which happens in Berkeley, involving this organization.  To allay suspicions, I will meet you at your residence, and meet this girl Kaitlyn.  We will take a taxi from Berkeley to San Francisco and check into the hotel.  We will eat dinner at their lovely restaurant.  I wish to walk the Embarcadero that evening.  Now that the eyesore which was the Embarcadero Freeway is gone, it will be a lovely view again.  When we decide to retire to the hotel, we shall stay up late.  I will call for room service at a late hour, and you shall accept and sign for the delivery.  Then, in the morning, we will have breakfast in the hotel.
     "Except for a few hours, your whereabouts will be easily documented, your location can be confirmed by witnesses.  Jane Osborne will have been in San Francisco.  There will be no questioning that.  Capsici?"
     "Capisco, Don Vito.  Ti parlerò presto, mi amor.  Ciao."
     "Ciao, caro figlio."

     Headline, Oakland Tribune, 12/12/92

Frat House Burns in Berkeley
11 Injured -- Arson Suspected

     The Delta Epsilon Theta fraternity house on Warring St. in Berkeley succumbed to flames early this morning.  A quick moving fire which investigators say is indicative of arson reduced the structure to ash and charred brick, all the way to the foundation.  The fire was first reported at 3:31 by a resident across the street, who called 911 and ran to wake the occupants of the fraternity house.  Fraternity members had to dive through flames and leap from third-story windows to escape the blaze, accounting for the injuries.
     "They were very lucky," said arson investigator Dale Thomas.  "There is no question in my mind this was arson, due to the total destruction of the structure.  Accelerant must have been used to ensure the level of destruction achieved.  When the neighbor first reported the fire, it was burning on both the north and south sides of the building.  By the time he got across the street, all four sides were in flame.  The front door was locked, so the neighbor used a brick to  smash through a sliding glass door to one side and alert the residents, pulling the fire alarm."
     Injuries consisted of second-degree burns, the worst being on one fraternity member who was burned on both legs.  There were also cuts from glass and sprains from jumping from the high windows.
     Looking at where the fraternity house used to be, chapter president Scott "Scooter" Randolph said, "This is.... very hard to process.  The entire house is just gone, completely.  I was told arson is suspected, for the whole house to go up like it did.  I mean, we're just a fraternity at UC Berkeley.  We weren't one of the 'rager' houses, the parties we threw were pretty low-key events.  Who would hate us this much?  Who have we ever hurt?"

     Jane dropped the paper back into the rack at the news stand and rejoined Don Vito.  "Something interesting in the paper?" Vito asked.
    With a wide smile, Jane answered, "No, nothing special.  Just a house fire in Berkeley near campus.  Come on, Unky Vito, let's catch a cab to Dolly's place.  She'll be waiting."
     As they rode towards Fell St., Don Vito quietly commented, "The school of Berkeley is very large.  You cannot protect every young woman from attackers."
     Jane pondered this and replied, "No.... but I can hope to remove the sense of security attackers have.  Deprive them of their secluded spaces, the locations where no one can see or hear them.  Rapists don't do it once and say, 'There, I'm happy.'  They continue, over and over, until they are either caught or die.... or something jolts them out of their behavior.  Rapists inflict fear and terror.  Suffering it themselves may make them think twice."
     "I will pray you are correct, dear child.  Now, let us think of happier things."
     "Un'idea eccellente, cara."

     Meanwhile, in East Bay....
     The four strike squad members were awake, active, and eating breakfast.  Just four wise guys, legitimate businessmen, who had a small task to take care of in the Bay Area.  Two of them had used the "bank by phone" system on their accounts and verified that yes, Angel Morelli, the new Don of Southern California, had deposited their bonuses.  This was money above and beyond their salary as strike squad members.  Not only were they operating outside their turf, this was Un favore per un amico, a favor for a friend.  Not business related at all.  In fact, they were aware this was a favor for Don Vito's young friend Jane.  She was still the mascot of the strike force, carrying her photograph was considered good luck by the members.  Individually, the SoCal mafia speculated on the nature of Jane and Vito's relationship.  None would ever speak their thoughts on the subject aloud.  That way could lead to a much shorter life span.
     And in Berkeley, Kaitlyn Larson-Hires stomped up Dwight St. and turned right on Warring.  The paper hadn't lied, the house was gone.  The lot was surrounded by POLICE LINE - DO NOT CROSS tape.  Other residents of the neighborhood stood around, staring at the blank spot covered in ash, quietly making comments to each other.  Kaitlyn could feel herself vibrating.  Her brain was stuck in a loop:  she did it.  She did it, somehow.  Jane did this.  Jane made this happen.  She did it.  Jane did it.
     Kaitlyn's stomach suddenly roiled.  She staggered over to the corner of the lot and puked.  Satchel Page never threw anything that hard.  A foreign student from across the street asked if she was okay.  She made vague noises about breakfast not agreeing with her, and started back towards the residence hall.
     Never in her life had Kaitlyn felt so terrified.  There was surely no proof that Jane Osborne had put the torch to the Delta Epsilon house.  Just as no one would connect her to the incident at Delta Tau Theta.  Four members had multiple teeth yanked out with pliers one night.  They couldn't keep their stories straight as to what happened, or where. Delta Tau had been one of the serious rager houses, the party never stopped.... until a couple months ago.
     Jane Osborne had gotten into it with a Delta Tau bro, a senior named Rex.  Delta Tau had an Enemies list, which was the collective hobby of the frat members.  Anyone on the list gets harassed.  If the offense was bad enough, the Enemy would be harassed into leaving school completely.  Well, some weirdo punk rock cunt named Jane had punched Rex in the face.  Bros don't take shit like that from hos.  Jane Osborne would be leaving UCB, and if she refused, well....She'd wish she was dead.
     But things didn't work out that way.  Jane was still a Berkeley student, while the fraternity seemed to have lost its will to live.  Or something.  None of the members would say what had happened, they refused to discuss matters at all.  But they had re-evaluated themselves as a Greek fraternal organization.  Someone remembered that hey, fraternities are supposed to do charitable work.  The national charter said their focus was diabetes research.  Well by God, the members of Delta Tau Theta, Berkeley chapter, threw themselves into it.  They were fundraising fools now, along with distributing literature and volunteering at a couple health clinics in shitty parts of Oakland.
     Kaitlyn knew what really happened, and would never have it confirmed.  Jane was friends with the Oakland chapter of the Hell's Angels.  When Delta Tau's harassment started, all she had to do was pick up the phone and ask for a favor.  Oak-town HA did the rest.  Kaitlyn even asked a couple of bros if it had been the Angels, both had just shook their heads and looked away.  Jane denied it, there was no proof....  But the tooth-pulling incident had happened, and like magic, the name Jane Osborne was removed from the Enemies list.  In fact, a couple days later the Enemies list was abolished completely.  Delta Tau used to be the hard-asses at Berkeley.  Someone, or something, had kicked them soft.  And Kaitlyn knew that somehow, her roommate Jane was behind it.
     Now this.  The fire.
     Jane was in San Francisco, visiting with her rich "Uncle Vito."  She'd left the room number at the hotel, in case Kaitlyn needed to call her.  After seeing the morning paper, Kaitlyn called.  8:14 is not a happy hour for any college students, especially on a Saturday, but Kaitlyn called anyway.  The operator put her through to the room.  Moments later a groggy-sounding Jane spoke into the phone.  Kaitlyn hung up.  Okay, Jane was in San Francisco, fast asleep.  There would be no way to place her in Berkeley, starting a fire, five hours earlier that morning.  But Jane did it, somehow.
     It wasn't yet eleven in the morning, but Kaitlyn went to the room of a senior she knew who would buy alcohol for her.  They walked to the liquor store, and the senior purchased a pint of peppermint schnapps for Kaitlyn.  He didn't ask questions, the little chick looked stressed as hell.  Kaitlyn went back to the apartment, cracked open the bottle, and chugged a couple swallows.  She could still feel herself shaking.
      And a new thought was running through her mind.  My roommate isn't human.  Jane Osborne, punk rock weirdo, was not of this earth.  She was a vengeful god.  Or a demon.  Something.  All Kaitlyn knew was that anything that annoyed or upset Jane was destroyed.  She rained torture with one hand, fire with the other.  Jane fucking Osborne was the most powerful being in the world.  And Kaitlyn lived in the same room with her.
     She quickly capped the bottle of schnapps, set it on her desk, then ran into the bathroom so she could puke again.

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