Charlemagne Duquesne learns that he's being watched, for what, he doesn't know.
|Charlemagne Duquesne sat in the English department head’s office and looked down at his feet. He wasn’t sure as to the reason for this meeting, since he was a Computer Science major, only took a few writing classes. True, two of his roommates – Christina “Tina” Visconti and Mary-Ellen Douglas – were English majors and the third – Shipra Tambke – was an English Literature major and perhaps this was the reason he was sitting, waiting for Dr. Carolynne Reid to come to her office. He had arrived on time and seated, but her assistant told him she had been running late all day.
“She shouldn’t be long,” the long blonde-haired mature woman, Katherine O’Reilly, told him. “Would you like something to drink?” He declined.
He arrived at 3:25 PM, five minutes early. He looked at his watch: 4:15 PM. If this were a class, he would have left and never thought any about it. But this was a meeting with a department head, and he knew to wait, no matter for how long. He leaned back into the soft, leather chair and closed his eyes.
“I’m so sorry,” he heard a female voice say. He quickly stood and turned. Dr. Carolynne Reid was not who he thought. In his mind, he thought she would be a matronly woman, her long gray hair up in a bun. She would be dressed in a flowery, flowing dress that would hide her wife hips. On her face, there would be thick glasses. He was pleasantly shocked.
She was a short, curvaceous woman, her red hair was short, and though she wore glasses, he could see that her eyes were hazel. Her smile was both apologetic and welcoming. She dropped her bag and extended her hand.
“Again, I am sorry.”
Charlemagne took it and lightly shook it. He looked into her eyes and smiled. There was something in them that made his stomach fill with butterflies.
“There are times when things can’t be helped,” he spoke. She released his hand and walked behind her desk. She sat and exhaled loudly.
“I bet you’re wondering why you’re here,” she began. She folded her hands on the only empty spot and looked at him.
He sat and nodded. “Yeah. I am kind of wondering that.”
She slid back and opened a drawer. She removed a large envelop and flopped it onto the desk. Dr. Reid smiled and looked at the student. “Open it,” she told him.
He did so and removed large photos. He looked at her with inquisitive eyes. Before he could ask, she answered the question.
“Mary-Ellen told me, on several occasions when I’ve complained that I’ve lost or misplaced items that she has a roommate who could find them rather quickly, that he has a knack.
“I your hands are pictures of items I’m missing, heirlooms I’d like to give to my daughter for her wedding in a few months.”
He looked at the pictures: two pearl necklaces and a crucifix with garnet and amethyst stones. Charlemagne replaced them back into the envelop and looked at the woman.
His knack, as he called it, worked differently with each case, so to speak. The initial case, when Shipra lost a bracelet, he saw it flash in mind falling from her wrist, then into her purse. He was sure that the glimpses were caused by her emotions.
The second lost object, when Tina’s mother called crying that she lost her wedding ring, they were in the middle of a game of strip poker, and even before the phone was answered, Charlemagne had seen the ring fall off the bathroom sink and into a small hole in the floor. This, he was convinced, was due to the sexual excitement he was feeling, seeing the three women in various stages of undress.
Whatever caused the knack to work didn’t matter to the roommates. What did was that he found the jewelry for them. And now, after being told he had the gift of finding lost objects, Dr. Reid would like to use his services.
“Did Mary-Ellen tell you if I charged or not?”
The older woman shook her head. “She said that you’ve not charged people and have, all depending on the initial feeling you get.”
His nodded. “Yes. I do work for food, too. I am a college student after all.”
She laughed at the joke. She let the jocularity die before looking at him with seriousness in her eyes. She licked her lips before speaking. “She also told me that, in several cases, that the gift is sparked by being sexually excited, that it is the quickest and best way for triggering it.” She stood and walked to the door. She opened it and called for her assistant to join them.
Charlemagne’s mind flashed scenes, of the first pearl necklace. He saw a younger woman, presumably her daughter, playing with it. She put it around her neck and looked in a mirror. She loved the look.
Another scene flashed, one where the necklace was under a bed. Before he could fully gather information, he was interrupted.
“I’ve asked my assistant to join me.” He looked and saw the two with devilish expressions on their faces. Charlemagne noticed that the door was locked.
The doctor nodded and her assistant stepped forward. She handed him a thicker interoffice envelop and smiled. “We took these once we agreed it would help,” Reid said. “Please, take your time and be sure no one else sees them.”
He untied the string and opened. He pulled out a few photos and blushed. He saw the two in lingerie. Two very lovely women with curves, one in wearing a purple peignoir, one in translucent white camisole and G-string.
“Go back to your apartment and look,” she said.
“I don’t have anything for you to find,” the assistant, “But I’d love for you to keep these in mind if I do.” She laughed, confidently. She leaned into his ear and whispered, “And I have more for you, when the time comes.”
That last statement caused a flash, but not of the woman or the doctor. This time, he saw two men, well dressed, sitting in a car. He immediately recognized that they were just outside the English department’s building. He looked directly at their faces and sensed they were waiting for him but had no reason why.
“What did you see?” Reid asked. “We saw your eyes flutter and almost pass out, so I assume you had some kind of dream, a flash of inspiration.”
He nodded, “Yeah, but unfortunately not a good one.” He caught his breath and exhaled. “No, I’ve seen the first pearl necklace. Talk with your daughter. She’s played with it.”
“Wow, that quickly?” The two older women looked at one another and smiled.
“He might find them all and soon,” O’Reilly joked.
“Yeah, that could be true,” he added. He sat and stared out the window before readying himself to leave.
“Can I have both of your numbers?” he asked. “In case I have information that’s time sensitive.”
The doctor reached onto her desk and removed a legal pad. She jotted down hers and her assistant’s.
“You can call me at any hour,” Reid said.
“Me, too,” O’Reilly added.
He stood and extended his hand. The English department head grabbed it and pulled him for an embrace. “Thank you for the information,” she said.
O’Reilly took his arm once the hug was finished and did the same. She kissed his cheek and added, “At any time.”
He took both envelops and headed out of the office. Remembering that there was a car waiting outside, Charlemagne used a side exit door and walked quickly to the students’ parking lot, out of sight of the two tough looking men.