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Denise and Jerod spent the next three hours removing anything from the house that could possibly connect them to Fantasy Enterprises.
The laminated cards with various sex positions, the prototype smartwatches, the laptops and tablets, the butcher block paper lining an entire wall in the living room. All of it. They pulled it down, packed it up, and loaded it in Jerod’s van.
When they were done, the command center was returned to its previous state as an ordinary living room.
Once they were convinced the house was completely sanitized, Jerod grabbed his keys and his jacket and headed for the front door. Denise stopped him in the hallway.
“Hold on. I want to come with you,” Denise said.
“I think it’s better you didn’t,” Jerod answered. “I don’t want you connected to this any more than you already are.”
“It’s too late for that,” she said. “We’re in this together.”
Jerod sighed and then nodded.
“OK,” he said simply.
Denise grabbed her coat and the two of them climbed into the van.
Watching Jerod as he drove down the lake road, she could see his mind was working hard, trying to figure things out.
She noticed he kept looking in the rearview mirror.
“Do me a favor,” he said. “Keep your head on a swivel. Look for shadows.”
Denise checked both side mirrors and looked over her shoulder.
“Do you think we’re being followed?” Denise asked.
“I don’t know,” Jerod answered. “But I don’t want to take any chances.”
Denise kept checking the mirrors, left and right.
“How’s it looking?” Jerod asked as they merged onto I-20.
“Nothing,” she answered. “There was a car, but they turned off.”
“Good,” he said.
Denise looked at him, pensively.
“What would we do if we were being followed?” she asked.
He turned and looked at her, his brow furrowed.
“We’d do a heat check,” he answered evenly.
“A heat check?”
“When you think you’re being followed, you do something unexpected. Like stop at a gas station, or make a U-turn. Then you see what they do.”
“And if they make a U-turn too,” Denise said, “you know you’re being followed.”
“Well, you know they might be following you. Or, it could just be a coincidence. So, then you make a second random move. If they’re still there, then you know for sure.”
Denise thought about this. Then she looked at him and smiled.
“Are you sure you weren’t in the CIA or something?” she asked.
Jerod smiled, glancing at her.
“Nah, just read a lot of detective novels, that’s all. You know.”
“And you … just retained it all?” Denise asked.
Jerod shrugged and continued driving towards downtown Dallas.
“Could you do me a favor and give Jasmine a call?” he asked. “We’ve got to figure out where to store this stuff.”
Denise pulled out her cell and found Jasmine’s number. A few moments later, she was picking up.
“Hey, It’s me. I’m driving with Jerod. Let me put you on speaker.”
“Hi,” Jerod began. “Listen, Denise and I are heading downtown. Do you want to us for a drink? How about Sixty Vines. We’ll be there in about twenty minutes. Okay, see you there.”
This was news to Denise. Sixty Vines was a trendy beer and wine spot in Uptown. They’d eaten there before, but this hardly seemed like the time to socialize. They had a lot of work to do. Then she remembered — it was located right across the street from Jasmine’s store.
When they arrived at the restaurant, Jerod pulled over to let Denise out.
“See if she’s inside,” Jerod said, “I’ll find a place to park.”
Denise entered the restaurant and found it bustling with 20- and 30-somethings. She told the hostess she was joining a friend and then headed to the bar. She scanned the room looking for Jasmine.
The restaurant was sleekly modern, with spacious rooms and an airy, California vibe. She found a bar stool and ordered a glass of wine. Within five minutes, Jasmine walked in the front door.
She was wearing a flowing, satiny top with form-fitting Capri pants. She was wearing her hair up and she looked as alluring as ever.
Denise gave her a wave and Jasmine smiled and waved. She greeted Denise with a kiss on both cheeks.
“Where’s Jerod?” she asked.
“Parking,” Denise said. “What would you like to drink?”
“Well, I haven’t eaten since lunch so nothing too strong.”
“I haven’t either,” Denise smiled, “and it’s not stopping me.”
“What are you having?” Jasmine asked, her eyes sparkling.
“Pinot,” Denise answered. “It’s good. Want a taste?”
“You or the wine?” she said, flirtatiously.
Jasmine caught the bartender’s eye and signaled she wanted one just like it.
“Well, this is a pleasant surprise,” Jasmine said, leaning against the bar next to Denise. “I thought, after such a long day, you guys would be taking it easy.”
Denise looked at her steadily.
“Something’s come up,” Denise said matter-of-factly. “We need to talk to you.”
“What about?” she asked.
The bartender placed a large glass of red wine in front of Jasmine. kartal escort bayan She nodded her thanks. Denise waited until the bartender was out of earshot.
“Let’s find a quiet place to sit.”
Denise put some bills on the bar and they worked their way toward an open-air patio. They found a cluster of Adirondack chairs away from the crowd. Denise texted Jerod to tell him where they were.
A few moments later, Jerod arrived, striding across the patio, looking cool and collected. He bent over, kissed Jasmine on the cheek, then lowered himself into the third remaining chair.
“We’re drinking Pinot,” Denise said. “Do you want something?”
“I’m good for now,” he said. “If the waiter comes, maybe I’ll get something.”
Jasmine eyed Jerod, trying to figure out what was going on.
“Denise said you wanted to discuss something with me?” Jasmine said.
Jerod calmly relayed the news to Jasmine, as concisely and as directly as he could. He told her about the trouble they’d had with the security guys at the lake and how they seemed to be keeping an eye on the house. While, he didn’t think there was a formal investigation underway, he wanted to err on the side of caution. Besides, it wasn’t the rent-a-cops that worried him — it was the fact that one of them might get the Texas Rangers involved.
“I don’t think we’re under surveillance,” Jerod said. “To be safe though, I don’t think we should meet at the house anymore.”
Jasmine listened carefully.
“Where are we going to meet then?” she asked.
That was just like Jasmine. Fearless and undeterred. Jerod liked that about her.
“I was wondering if could meet at your store,” Jerod said.
Jasmine thought about this for a moment.
“Sure. But it would have to be at night. After we close. I don’t want to have to explain things to my mother.”
“Got it,” Jerod answered. “Could we start as soon as tomorrow night?”
“Yes. We close at five-thirty. How about seven o’clock?”
“OK,” Jerod said. “There’s one other thing. I have all our business-related stuff in the van. Papers, supplies, computer stuff. Is there someplace we could store that stuff that’s secure? And discreet?”
“Our stockroom’s in the underground garage,” Jasmine said. “There’s a big, unused storage room. It’s practically empty. We could use that.”
“Perfect,” Jerod said. “Thank you, Jasmine.”
Denise handed Jerod her glass of wine and he took a big sip. He handed it back and let out a deep sigh. He leaned back in his chair, and closed his eyes.
“Thank you,” he said softly.
Jasmine smiled, glad she could take some of the burden off of his broad shoulders.
After finishing their drinks, the three walked back to where Jerod parked the van. They piled in, with Jasmine sharing the passenger seat with Denise. She guided him to the entrance of the underground garage. She gave Jerod the access code and led him to an empty parking spot near the freight elevator.
They spent the next hour unpacking the van’s contents and putting it in the storage room.
When they were done, they were famished. They chatted about where they could grab a quick bite.
“You’re welcome to have dinner at my place” Jasmine said. “I’ve got some Shirin Polow and Kufteh. It’s leftovers, but it’s quite good.”
Denise and Jerod looked at each other.
“Yeah, sure” Denise said, “that’s sounds great. You sure it’s not too much trouble?”
“No trouble at all,” Jasmine said with a smile.
Jasmine lived in an apartment in the same luxury high rise where the store was located. Five minutes later, they were standing outside her door.
Her apartment was on the tenth floor and had a “soft loft” architectural design: tall ceilings, hardwood floors, and an open layout. The living room was flanked by two low lying white leather couches with colorful, woven pillows. Textiles and art prints adorned the walls.
“Beautiful,” Denise said as she took it all in. “I love how you’ve decorated it.”
“The bathroom’s in here,” Jasmine said, opening the door and turning on the light in her bedroom. “Help yourself.”
Inside, a king-sized bed was fitted with an ethnic bedspread.
“Pretty convenient,” Jerod said, “living in the same building as your shop.”
“It makes for a nice commute,” Jasmine smiled.
She poured out three glasses of red wine and invited Denise and Jerod out on the balcony to take in the view. The Dallas skyline was sparkling in the twilight. In the foreground, they had a view of Uptown and the Dallas Museum of Art.
“Great view,” Jerod said. “Do you own this place?”
“No, I’m renting,” Jasmine said. “I want to get my own place at some point. Maybe outside the city.”
Jerod checked the time.
“I need to call the team,” Jerod said. “Let them know about the change in plans. Jasmine, do you mind if I use your phone?”
“Of course not,” she said. “You can use the phone in the bedroom.”
Jerod didn’t want to go over logistics using his own phone. Just in case. The more he could keep Jasmine, her store, and the sales team escort maltepe off the radar, the better.
Denise and Jasmine returned to the kitchen. Jasmine pulled some food out of the refrigerator and began reheating them on the stove.
Denise sat on a bar stool at the granite counter.
“I love your place,” Denise said. “It’s so urban and sophisticated. Like you.”
Jasmine gave her a smile.
“Sometimes urban and sophisticated can get a little tiresome,” she said. “I wish I could live in the country like you.
“But you have all the culture here,” Denise said. “The galleries, the restaurants.”
Jasmine gave a little shrug.
“It can be a bit much,” Jasmine said. “Sometimes, I feel like I have to get all made up just to go out and buy a quart of milk.”
She stirred the pot with a wooden spoon.
“I prefer what you and Jerod have. The out of doors. The fresh air. Nature.”
“We do like it out there,” Denise said. “Some days, we’ll spend the whole day in our bathing suits. Sailing. Laying in the sun. Or just lounging in bed.”
“That’s what I want,” Jasmine sighed. “The simple life. With simple pleasures.”
She topped off their glasses with red wine.
“Have you ever spent a day where you never bothered to get dressed at all?” Jasmine asked.
“Practically,” Denise said. “When we were starting the business, we made a point of trying to have sex in every possible way. Just to see what was the most erotic. We’d hardly leave the bedroom for days at a time.”
“Just having sex the whole time?” Jasmine asked.
“Over and over,” Denise said. “Each time hotter than the last.”
Jasmine felt a tingle emanating through her body. She opened the cabinet and pulled out three dinner plates.
“And Jerod could do that? Just make love all day long?”
“Yep,” Denise said. “He’s got a knack. Actually, he just makes himself not cum. It’s amazing.”
“Really?” Jasmine asked.
“Yep. Not me, though. I’d keep cummin’ and cummin’. But not him.”
Jasmine’s body shuddered, imperceptibly.
“That’s amazing,” she said. “He could just control it?”
“Yeah, he just knows how to do it,” Denise shrugged. “He can stay big and hard all day long.”
In her mind’s eye, Jasmine pictured Jerod big and hard. She could feel her pussy getting wetter.
“And you’d just keep having orgasm after orgasm?”
Denise closed her eyes, remembering.
“God, it was so wonderful,” Denise said. “You know how big he is. You’ve experienced that first hand. And how much he spreads you. Well, he got me in positions where it felt like he was touching every part of my pussy. And, of course, he knows how to build it. How to take you up the elevator.”
Jasmine’s pussy was throbbing now.
“Yes,” she murmured, “up the elevator. So, tell me, what was the verdict?”
“About what?” Denise asked.
“You said you were trying to find the most erotic position. So, which one was it?”
Denise squinted and thought hard.
“Well, let’s see. There were so many. One I really loved … we both loved, actually … was Standing 69.”
“Standing 69?” Jasmine asked.
“Oh my God. That makes me cum so hard. Whenever we do it, I have the most incredible orgasms.”
Jasmine was pressing her pelvis against the corner of the kitchen counter now, slowly massaging her clit.
“I don’t know that one,” she breathed. “Tell me about it.”
“Well … like I said, it’s a standing position. He’s … you’re … it’s kinda hard to explain. OK, imagine he’s standing and he’s holding you upside down. You’re facing him and you’ve got your thighs on his shoulders and your calves bent over his head. So, basically, his face is buried in your pussy and you’re face to face with his cock. But you’re upside down. It’s so fucking hot.”
Jasmine was imagining herself in that exact position. With Jerod.
“It sounds hot,” Jasmine agreed.
“Oh my God,” Denise said. “The combination being totally suspended, sucking his cock, his tongue deep in your pussy, and all that blood rushing to your head! It makes you cum so fucking hard! I swear to God I was screaming.”
Jasmine was rubbing her clit faster now, massaging it against the edge of the counter.
“Were you really screaming?”
“I swear to God,” Denise said, shaking her head. “Not a lot of men can pull that one off. Like a lot of standing positions, it takes a lot of upper body strength.”
“I wouldn’t know,” Jasmine muttered. “I’ve never done it.”
“Wait, what?” Denise said, taken aback. “You’ve never had sex standing up?”
“Well, not upside down,” Jasmine answered. “I’m afraid my experience is woefully lacking,” she said, smiling.
“Oh my God, Jasmine!” Denise laughed, “we’ve gotta remedy that!”
Jasmine felt a rush of heat through her body just to hear Denise say those words.
“Watch out, I may hold you to that,” Jasmine said with a sly grin.
That’s when Jerod came into the kitchen.
“Hold you to what?” he asked, with a smile.
Denise took a sip of her wine.
“Standing 69. Jasmine was asking pendik escort what it was like.”
Jasmine’s face flushed with embarrassment.
“Oh,” Jerod said, noticing her blushing. “Don’t worry, I didn’t know about it either. Until we were doing our research.”
Jasmine appreciated Jerod’s sensitivity. He was always making sure people around him were feeling okay.
“It’s something else,” Denise continued, “you’re suspended in mid-air, so you’re totally at his mercy and hanging on for dear life.”
Jasmine was filling the plates with food while imagining being totally at Jerod’s mercy. She was hoping they couldn’t see her legs trembling.
“Oh,” Denise added, “and you’re swallowing his cock the whole time. Pro tip — breathe through your nose.”
Jasmine had to squeeze the dinner plate in her hand to keep from dropping it.
“I think the key is to try and fuse your bodies together,” Jerod offered. “I found it incredibly intimate.”
“Well, you’ve always loved eating pussy,” Denise smiled.
“Especially yours, darlin'” Jerod smiled back.
Jasmine was grateful to sit down and eat. Her legs were getting a bit unsteady from all the graphic sex talk.
Over dinner, Jerod explained he was able to reach all the sales team about the change in plans. Everyone was fine with changing to a nighttime schedule and meeting at Jasmine’s store at 7pm.
As they chatted and shared the bottle of wine, the conversation eventually migrated to their visions for Fantasy Enterprises. It turned out Jasmine was quite bullish about the volume of lingerie sales from their house calls. That, combined with the tips they could make from their private demos, could yield some serious revenue.
Jerod was relieved to know Jasmine was still excited about the partnership. With the potential of increased scrutiny from the cops, he was eager to speed the transition to becoming a legitimate business. Jasmine’s family’s lingerie store was the key to that transformation.
“In a year,” Jerod said, “I can see Fantasy Enterprises evolving into a whole new kind of sales operation. We could be re-inventing what it means to shop for women’s clothes.”
“I’d love to partner with you on that,” Jasmine said. “We’ve been thinking about how to expand our business. This could be how we do it.”
“What if,” Denise said leaning forward, “we really lean into e-commerce. All the trends are towards online shopping. People love the convenience. They click and, boom, it shows up on their doorstep in a day or two. With drones, it could be hours. But what don’t you get from that experience? Where are the inefficiencies?”
“You don’t get a salesperson to help you,” Jasmine said. “To fit you.”
“Exactly,” Denise answered. “And you end up buying the wrong stuff and having to return it. And that’s expensive.”
“If we could bring the store to the home, you could avoid that waste,” Jasmine said.
“And charge a premium. How many vans do you have at the store?” Denise asked.
“And what’s your utilization? How often are they on the road?”
“Not very often,” Jasmine answered. “We mainly use them to restock product.”
“What if we repurposed the vans so we could bring the store to the customer. They get the convenience of online shopping and the personalized service of a private fitting.”
“And we can use in-person demos and fashion shows to stimulate sales,” Jerod added.
“Can you imagine the tips we could get?” Denise ask, her eyebrows raised.
The conversation went on like this for some time. Jasmine opened another bottle of wine and they retired to the couch in the living room. By ten, they were feeling loose and talking excitedly about the future.
“Listen,” Jasmine said during a lull in the conversation, “you’re more than welcome to stay here tonight. I have a guest room with your name on it.”
Jerod and Denise looked at each other.
“It’d be great not to have to drive home.” Jerod said.
“Sure,” Denise said. “That’d be great. You’re sure it’s no bother.”
“It’s no bother at all,” Jasmine smiled. “I have a closet full of lingerie for you to sleep in.”
“I bet you do,” Denise laughed.
Jerod said he could really use a shower and Jasmine set him up with fresh towels. He excused himself while Denise and Jasmine went out on the balcony to take in the Dallas skyline.
“How’d you end up in Texas?” Denise asked.
“It’s been home my whole life,” Jasmine answered. “My parents left Iran after the Shah fell. They built the store. Then added more stores. I’ve been working in it since I was a teenager.”
“Have you ever been anywhere else?” Denise asked.
“I’ve been to Tehran. To see relatives. I’ve been to Paris and Milan a few times to visit our suppliers. New York and London. Tokyo once. I’d love to live in Paris someday. Such a beautiful city. Or Rome.”
Denise leaned on the railing, gazing at the horizon.
“I’ve never been out Texas” Denise said. “Can you believe that? The furthest I’ve ever been is El Paso.”
Denise let out a deep sigh.
“You don’t like to travel?” Jasmine asked.
“I don’t know if I like it or not,” Denise laughed. “I’ve never done it. We didn’t have the money growing up and, once I got to college, I had to work full-time to support my Mom and pay my tuition.”
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