Friends, Lovers, and Liars, Part 5

This is Friends, Lovers, and Liars Part 5. As the last chapter ended, Chris and Rita' s commitment to each other deepened, and they drew closer to busting the bad guys. But who ARE the bad guys? There are surprises in store, as you will soon see! The usual disclaimers apply, this is work of fiction, based on the USA network series Silk Stalkings. Email your responses to

The ringing phone wakened Rita. She looked over at Chris, who was still snoring softly.

"Hello?" she said into the receiver, keeping her voice low.

The caller was direct, " Your boyfriend is not the man you think he is," a male voice rasped into her ear.

Rita sat up, annoyed, " Who is this?" Her only answer was a sharp click."She banged the phone down and shook her head. Probably just a crank call. After all, they were supposed to be husband and wife. As far as she knew, their cover was still intact. Chris stretched and yawned beside her, but didn' t waken. Rita decided to get up and shower before she had company with her. They had a lot of work to do today, and they need every second to prepare. If Chris joined her in the shower, chances are they' d NEVER be ready in time, she grinned to herself.

In record time, she was cleaned up and dressed. She leaned over Chris and blew in his ear, " Good morning, Christopher" she singsonged.

His arm flew up, and he pulled her into the bed, "Morning, Sam," he yawned. His eyes flew open as he realized she was fully dressed.

"Hey, what are you doing, playing hard to get?" His hand crept under her sweater.

"We have work to do" she giggled, trying to escape his grasp.

" You know what they say about all work and no play," he teased, as he held her tighter, and succeeded in unhooking her bra.

"Chris, stop!" she tried to protest, but now he was tickling her. " Hey, no fair" she half-giggled, half-gasped.

" Come on, Rita, just one little kiss," he whined, with his best puppy dog look.

That' s always how it starts" she moaned, as he rolled her onto her back."One little kiss, and I' ll stop" he wheedled, brushing his lips within a millimeter of hers.

" Okay" she sighed. " One little kiss." He kissed her, all right. But one kiss led to two, and then three ,by about the fifth kiss, Rita had lost her sweater and bra, and his hand was working at the zipper of her jeans.

"Chris," she moaned. " What happened to one little kiss?"

" Can' t control myself when it comes to you," he groaned, his lips sliding down her throat, and seeking out her breasts. " You ought to know that by now," he added raggedly.

Her hormones overruled her common sense, and she gave in to him. An hour later, she sat up in the rumpled bed. " See, now I need another shower" she laughed.

"GREAT idea" he enthused, pulling her up." I' ll wash your back if you wash mine." Just my BACK?" Rita grinned wickedly.

"Oh, and any other body part that needs attention," he laughed.

" Very cute" she said, turning on the water." But, we' ve had enough playtime this morning, don' t you think?

"I HATE it when you' re right" he groaned." I know" she grinned smugly.

But within a half-hour, they were eating breakfast, and attacking the files in the living area of their suite. Chris scowled as he remembered the letter he' d written to Rita, and put on the laptop. It was gone this morning, and the rose was on the floor. He looked up sharply. " Rita, did you read it?"

She was deep in the contents of a file, " Read what?"she queried.

"Um, I wrote you a letter, and left it here on the laptop" he broke off.

" A letter?" she was curious. " What kind of letter?"

"A love letter" he confessed, a little embarrassed.

"Really?" she smiled, coming over to hug him. " That was so sweet of you."

Did you find it this morning?" he pressed.

"No, I never came out here. We were doing other things, remember?" she laughed.

Chris was disturbed, " Then something is wrong. I left it right here, after you went to sleep last night, and I put the rose on top. Now it' s gone."

Rita was concerned now, too. "Chris, I got a crank call this morning. At least I think it was a crank call." Her brow furrowed.

"What? Why didn' t you tell me?" he demanded.

"Because I didn' t think it was a big deal. It was a man, uh-raspy voice, and he said something like "your boyfriend isn" t who you think he is," something like that," she said.

They looked at each other, truly worried now. " Should we call the bust off?" Chris worried.

Rita sank onto the couch, and pondered, " We' ve come so far, I hate to think that we blew our cover."

Chris started looking under furniture, moving cushions, "Maybe it fell off the table," he muttered. But he came up without the letter.

Rita smiled at him." You know, we' re probably worrying for nothing. This case has just made us jumpy. We' ll probably find it before we leave, in some unexpected place."

"Maybe" Chris was dubious. " I hope so."

"Don' t worry, I' ll tear this place apart, looking for it," Rita promised, trying to get him to smile. " I don' t want any other woman reading MY love letter!"

Chris laughed" Next thing you' ll ask is did I really write one?"

"Oh, I' m sure you did," she kissed him tenderly. The phone rang, breaking the mood, " Hello?" Chris answered.

"Hey, Mike, this is Jack. Celia wants to know if you and your lovely wife would like to join us for lunch?"Jack' s voice was friendly.

Chris mouthed to Rita, " Lunch with Jack and Celia?"

She shook her head, " No," she whispered. Aloud she added, " Ask him if dinner is better."

Chris replied into the receiver, " Uh, Jack, we' re still in bed. How about dinner instead?"

Jack laughed," Will you have the strength?"

Chris laughed, trying to remember that this was a man they were going to arrest in less than 24 hours, " I certainly will!"

Rita was frowning, trying to figure out what Jack was saying.

"What?" she mouthed.

Chris continued the conversation, " How about meeting at that place near the club we went to that first night-uh, Caf'e Bristol? About seven?" He consulted Celia, and came back on the line,"Sure, that would be fine. Uh, Mike, can we save some time to talk business tonight?

" Chris grinned, " Parfait! We' d like to get things rolling.

Jack agreed, " Then we' ll have the Johnsons join us, if that' s okay. We also have another contact. You' ve met him, I' m sure."

"Yeah, David, the concierge," Chris replied. " The more, the merrier."

Jack was taken aback, " You know about David?"

"Hey, no offense, Jack, but I need to know who I\' m dealing with, here. This is a dangerous business," Chris' tone was businesslike. " I told you I was doing a background check. You have a problem with that?"

Jack hastened to assure him, " No, of course not. So, we' ll set things up tonight?"

Chris nodded, " We sure will. We' d like to get things wrapped up, so we can be home for the holidays."

"Great",he agreed. " Caf'e Bristol, seven o' clock. See you then."

" See ya!" Chris hung up. He turned to Rita, " This is it!"

Rita shivered, suddenly worried. "I hope so."

"Getting nervous?" he asked, taking her hand.

"Aren' t you?" she snorted.

They spent the rest of the afternoon on the cell phone and the computer, talking with Shelby, Richard, and Harry. They were to have the arrest warrants by 8 AM tomorrow, and planned for the arrest at eleven. The " Bennetts" were to lure the suspects to brunch in the private dining room, where the supposed " buy" was to take place. Then, the Feds and local authorities would move in for the arrests. Chris and Rita would be wired, and the whole transaction videotaped. There were concerns, of course. It was crucial to the plan that everyone would be in the right place at the right time. If the concierge was at his post in the hotel, it might be difficult to get him to the dining room. If the Johnsons or the Demmings were suspicious, it could fall apart, too.

Rita lay her head on her arms, frustrated, " A million things could go wrong, Chris,"she groaned.

Chris came up behind her, and rubbed her tense neck muscles, " A million things COULD go wrong, but they WON' T, he insisted. "Come here."

She sat on his lap, "What?"

"This is our last night to play husband and wife. I say," he traced the curve of her cheek with a fingertip, " let' s make the most of it."

She smiled, " You and your one-track mind," but she kissed him passionately.

Elsewhere in the hotel, another couple was caught in the throes of passion. They writhed among seat-stained sheets, each imagining their partner was someone else. Finally, they collapsed in a heap, their bodies satisfied, but not their obsessed souls.

"You' re not half-bad, for an ice queen," Eric commented, throwing a thigh over hers. " We' ll have to get together, now and then, when this is over," he added.

Jillian moved away from him, repulsed. " This is NEVER happening again," she hissed. " You' re total scum, and I don' t sleep with scum."

Eric laughed cruelly, and yanked her by the hair, her face barely an inch from his, "That' s why you screamed for more, huh, baby? You' ll come back for more-bitches like you always do!" he let her go, and got out of bed.

Her voice was cold as stone when she replied, " Over my dead body." He turned back to her, his eyes flat, "Oh, you' ll be back, if you expect me to keep your secret."

Jillian looked trapped, " I thought you wanted Rita for your one and only,"she countered.

Eric zipped up his jeans, " Well, I want her for my wife, that doesn' t mean I can' t have something on the side."

She looked sick, realizing she' d made a deal with the devil.

" Cheer up, I won' t be around all that much, and you' ll have Lorenzo to keep you warm at night, and Rita Lance out of your hair, just like you wanted," he sneered, slamming the bedroom door.

Frustrated and scared, Jillian cried herself to sleep. While she slept, Eric was plotting the downfall of the Florida detective. He carefully cleaned his 9-mm pistol, and located the gloves he' d packed. Next, he opened the laptop on Jillian' s desk, and tapped the keys rapidly. " Bingo!" he whispered. He got up and made sure Jillian was still napping, then returned to his work.

There were her accounts-God, she could afford to pay him thousands more than she was. Well, he would just help himself to what he was REALLY worth. A few keystrokes and he was a rich man. Now, something to trip up Lorenzo. Ah, there it was, a money market account.

Another few minutes, and his work was finished. Eric had a self-satisfied grin on his face as he left the suite. He wouldn' t need that bitch' s charity anymore-he had everything he needed to win his Rita, and get Lorenzo out of his life for good.

The caf''e was crowded that evening, as they waited for their drinks to be brought to the table. The Demmings, Johnsons, "Bennetts", David, and Marisa were seated at a large banquet table, making intimate conversation difficult. Chris and Rita were seated opposite each other, telegraphing their worry with their eyes. Outwardly, though, they showed every appearance of having a good time. They dined on prime rib, with all the trimmings.

After dessert, they rose from the table, all groaning.

Celia said, " I' ll have to do double time at the gym for a month to undo this."

Rita laughed, " Me, too!"

Tom Johnson took Chris aside, " Hey, can we go somewhere and talk?"

Chris nodded, "Yeah, how about back there?" He indicated the jazz club across the way.

Jack agreed, " That would be a good place. Ladies, would you excuse us for a bit?" Rita' s defenses went up, " I didn' t know this was a " guys only" evening," she pouted.

David shot her a condescending look, " It' s business, nothing to worry your little head about.

Chris stepped in, before Rita lost her temper, " Hey, don' t talk to my wife like that. We are EQUAL partners in this business."

David held up a hand, laughing, " Sorry! I didn' t mean it"

"Yeah, right," Rita said sarcastically. " Let' s go," she stormed.

Ruth Johnson took "Lisa' s arm, "Aw, honey,"she drawled.Y' all know how these men are-don' t give their women credit for having business sense.

"MY husband does" Rita spun around.

"Now, just settle down-we' re all here for the same thing,"Ruth soothed.

Chris pleaded with her, " Sweetheart, he apologized, and this IS important."

"Lisa" sighed, " Well, all right, but let' s not exclude the wives."

" Deal," Jack said heartily. "Shall we go?"

The four couples gathered in a corner of the club, where the music wasn't as loud. They discussed price for a short time, then the amount and type of " chemicals" available. The Johnsons were the " China girl" (heroin) suppliers and the Demmings were into " fairy dust" (cocaine). Even David and Marisa had a product to sell: crystal meth. The"Bennetts" pretended to consider their offers for awhile, then agreed on the terms.

David offered a safe spot for delivery of the shipment to take place: one of the private dining rooms in the hotel. Chris and Rita covered their surprise, and Chris asked, " Is that really a safe place?"

The concierge nodded, and Marisa chimed in, " Oh, yes! David is one of their most trusted employees, and he has the run of the hotel,"she giggled.

"Well, then, let' s do this tomorrow morning, or is that too soon?" Tom inquired.

"Fine by us," Jack said. " Mike and Lisa?"

Chris and Rita looked at each other and Rita nodded, almost imperceptibly.

"Okay, eleven o' clock tomorrow morning," Chris assented. " Maybe we can have brunch set up in one of those dining rooms to celebrate our new partnership."

Celia said, " My, that' s a great idea!" And so the stage was set. The couples spent the few hours on the dance floor, then they called it a night.

The detectives from Florida carefully reviewed the case files and timetable for the bust once more. They were both nervous, and didn' t bother to hide it. Together, they packed all the pertinent papers into a large briefcase, locked it securely, and placed it in a small safe next to the fireplace.

Rita sighed heavily as Chris spun the dial, and replaced the picture over it, " Well, that' s done."

He nodded, and pulled her into his arms, " We should get some sleep, sweetheart."

Mmhmm,"she murmured, burying her nose in his chest."Or, are you too-uh-excited to sleep?" he asked, grinning suggestively.

Rita unknotted his tie, and worked at the buttons of his fine dress shirt, " Gee, I hadn" t really thought about it," she teased, casting off his shirt, and lifting his T-shirt over his head. She pressed a string of baby kisses over his chest, running her hand over his fly.

Chris gulped, " Uh, don' t you want to go to bed?" No," she breathed. " I want you right here, and right now. On the floor,"she unzipped his trousers, ran her tongue in his mouth, " in front of the fire."

He tugged at the straps of her dress. " Whatever you say," he panted both of them sinking to the thick carpet.

They lay together drowsily, unwilling to get up and go to bed. " I love you so much, Chris,"

Rita held her hand over his heart." I love YOU," he whispered tenderly

It was a short night, as the alarm was set for 6 AM. Chris and Rita were awake long before that, making the final checks on their wires and recording equipment. At eight o' clock Richard was in their room with the warrants. He tried to reassure them, " You' ve done a helluva job the last few days. Everything will be fine!"

Chris was still nervous, "I hope you' re right! You got the vests?"

Yeah, they' re right here,\" Rich unzipped the gym bag he was carrying.

Chris and Rita each took one, and retired to the bedroom to put them on. " This is it," she said quietly, pulling her sweater back over her head."

"Rich is right, we' ll be fine. Just think, when this is over, we can come back here and celebrate," his blue eyes twinkled.

Her green eyes were troubled, " I just have a really bad feeling about this, Chris. Like when this is over, nothing is going to be the same.

"I promise you," he said fiercely. "Nothing is going to come between us, not work, not his bust, NOTHING!" he insisted. " "Do you believe me?"

She smiled up at him, " I do."

"Remember those words," he smiled, and kissed her. " You' re gonna need them real soon."

"Chris!" she was incredulous."I' ll tell you later," he winked. Little did Rita know, there was a jeweler' s box nestled in that locked briefcase in the safe, with an engagement ring tucked inside.

Over the phone, Rita made arrangements for brunch for eight to be served at 11:30 AM in the Baroque dining room. She verified the menu, and hung up. It was now 9 AM. The newest arrivals to their room came up the service elevator: two Colorado state troopers. They introduced themselves to the detectives, and handed them a briefcase of marked bills. Richard, Chris, and Rita all signed the receipt verifying the amount of money present: $1,000,000.

Ten o' clock. They reviewed the setup one more time, noting the location of cameras and microphones set up the night before in the dining room, as well as where the backups were. BATF, FBI, local and state law enforcement were to be in on the bust, and had secured the area the day before. They were posing as guests, waiters, maids, and even bellhops.

At quarter to eleven, Chris and Rita headed for the elevator, hands held tightly, the briefcase in Chris' free hand.

As the elevator descended, Rita offered a silent prayer for their safety, and the safety of the Demmings' children. Chris smiled reassuringly as they stepped off on the main floor.

The Baroque Dining Room was at the rear of the hotel, down a series of hallways. At the doorway, Jack and Celia were waiting, welcoming smiles on their faces. Chris and Rita moved to join the couple, inviting them to go inside. Jack was carrying a gym bag, which he casually tossed under the table.

Chris smiled and said, " So, we' re just waiting for the Johnsons, and David and Marisa".

Jack cleared his throat, "Uh, David just called, and says he' ll have to work the front desk until his replacement comes, in about a half-hour. Marisa is bringing his contribution to the feast, though."

Celia added, "I just talked to Ruth. She and Tom are on their way."

Rita smiled, "Great, then we can finish business and have our brunch. I' m starving!" Just then, Marisa and the Johnsons appeared. Marisa carried a large briefcase, and Jack handed Chris another gym bag.

Ruth smiled and asked Rita," Where' s your contribution to the meal?" Rita reached under the table and pulled out the Demmings' gym bag, " We just need to verify that everyone brought what they were supposed to, so we' ll have a well-rounded menu." The others watched as Chris and Rita opened the bags and briefcase, and examined the contents. Chris looked at Rita and nodded, " It looks like we have the makings for a fine feast here. This is our contribution," he snapped open his own briefcase.

That was the signal for Richard and the rest to move in. Within seconds, the room was swarming with uniformed officers and Feds. The five suspects were so surprised, they barely had time to react before they were advised of their rights. As Rita snapped the handcuffs on, Celia pleaded, " My babies, you can' t arrest me, what will happen to my babies, Lisa?"

"It' s not Lisa, it' s Rita, and you should have thought of your babies before you started messing with this poison,"Rita said coldly.

Jack was struggling against his cuffs, " Man, you were a Fed all the time, I should have known," he said to Chris in disgust.

" Not a Fed, but close enough,"Chris grinned. " YOU have the right to remain silent...." Ruth and Tom stood silent, not resisting the officers' efforts to put handcuffs on them, and remained quiet while they were advised of their rights.

Marisa was sullen, demanding that she speak to an attorney, saying, " Let me get David, he'll explain everything."

Oh, I\' m sure he will," Richard said wryly. What about it, guys, should we go get him for her?"

Chris and Rita turned their prisoners over to two uniformed officers, and agreed, " Let's do it!"

The man pulled the drapes closed, blocking the view to the lobby.

David was instantly suspicious, " Hey, man, what did you do that for? The bust is going down any minute, and I should be there." Eric chuckled, and said, " No, trust me, that is the LAST place you should be. You' re a drug-dealing thief, and they' re gonna put you and your little wifey away for life," he sneered.

David paled, " You set us UP, you BASTARD!"He reached in his desk for his gun, but not quickly enough.

As Chris, Rita, and Richard made their way to arrest David, two shots rang out. They raced to the concierge' s office, and found their suspect dead on the floor, with a woman holding a gun in her hand.

"Jillian?" Chris gasped in shock.

Now, how did THAT happen? You' ll have to read Part 6 of Friends, Lovers, and Liars to find out! Thank you Lisa for hosting and posting! Lorry


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