Author’s note: This episode of a FICTIONAL memoir includes multiracial, mature, group, and less-than-consensual sex, cheating, incest, and tragedy. All sexual acts involve fairly conscious adult humans. Views expressed are not necessarily the author’s.
You do not NEED to read the first two episodes (BEFORE RUTH and COMING FAST), but doing so will not hurt. You DO need to read the prior episode, DOING RUTH
, or this will not make much sense. Your feedback is appreciated. If you like this, join the 1% and VOTE! Thank you.
***** THE BOOK OF RUTH: Doing Ruth
of 3 *****
— 1989 — summer in the Southland
“Randy, get your ass over here. The judge won’t marry us till you do.”
I groggily nodded to Ruth and stumbled across the wide lawn toward her. I was still looped on painkillers. Nina and Deborah, the soon-to-be mothers-in-law, kept me from falling over. Security goons kept their distance.
The judge was dressed for golf. She peered uncertainly at me.
“This young man is the groom? Is he sober enough?” She shrugged. “Oh well; not my problem. Let’s get this show going now.”
The first days of summer 1989 sucked. I was shot, hospitalized, probed, and grassed. The next few days were not much better, except that Ruth married me. I hoped it would be an improvement.
My escape-the-hospital entourage reached Ruth’s father Allen Shapiro’s big house — the same house where I started fucking Allen’s then-wife Deborah and his older daughter Rachel a decade ago. The Shapiro women looked remarkably alike: tall, dark, aquiline, curvy, radiant, sharp. They tasted much alike. Their genepool was unmistakable.
My own kin were also a matched set. My sister Jill, our mother Nina, and I are all tall and slim, with dark brown hair and hazel eyes and good taut well-exercised bodies. Jill and Nina taste about the same, too. We had been lovers for over a decade.
We left the rented limo and I was led to my doom, er I mean, to marriage. Was I up to this? Like I had a choice…
I managed to notice the impressive turnout for our hasty wedding. Small but close — only immediate family, friends, and lovers. And guards. I was glad to see most of the familiar folk. But I was medically stoned, and happy about all sorts of shit.
I overheard Rachel telling her little sister how to deal with me.
“Look kid, you think all he wants is sex, and that’s mostly right. He’s more about sex than money, sure. But he’s got a twisted streak. Twist him right, and he’ll do whatever you want.”
Shit, was I really that easy to manipulate? I guess I would find out.
I looked around the big manicured yard of Ruth and Rachel’s lawyer dad’s modernist mini-mansion. My impending father-in-law strode up with a fleshy and flashy blonde in tow.
“Randy, I’m so glad you’re making an honest woman of my youngest daughter. I just wish to hell these were better circumstances.” He held out the woman’s hand. “This is my fiancé Nancy. Say hello, Nancy.”
“HELLO, NANCY!” chimed Nancy, Ruth, Rachel, and Deborah in unison, then giggled. Loudly.
My head throbbed. Why the fuck were they doing this to me?
Nancy turned to Ruth. “Tell me again why you insisted on this tiny wedding. You know your father and I can afford something grand.”
Ruth shook her head. “I didn’t want to wait. I want Randy NOW. No time to set up a lavish party, and I don’t really care. I want my man, not a crowd. Besides, any more people, and security would be impossible. The cops are pretty weird about having even us here.” She waved at the small gathering.
Besides the kin and carnal associates, there was my old buddy college Dave Morland, taking time off from his state senate re-election campaign to be my best man; a few closest friends; a few senior Thunderbird International (TBI) staff who looked impatient to get back to our office. A few of Allen’s Hollywood clients were there — no A-list celebs, whew. Large contingents of security guards. And our families.
Yes, our fractured families.
Ruth’s people, of course. Allen and his current girlfriend Nancy. Ruth’s mom Deborah and her new husband Avram, and their young twins — MY twins, though Avram did not know that. Rachel, and her banker husband Ferdie, probably unaware of Rachel and my past and current affairs. They flew in from New Orleans. And I met somebody’s cousins from somewhere.
My people: only Jill and Nina. My sister Jill looked nervous, as she should — we would have a LONG unpleasant conversation when my head cleared. She flew in from New Zealand with a Maori stud, Wiremu te something-or-other. Our mom Nina’s guy Bobby held onto her. Mom looked pale and wan, her left arm in a sling from the gunshot. I was still bandaged and braced too. Dad was probably in Bangkok or thereabouts. Whatever.
A deep voice called to me. “Randy! We’ve just arrived. How are you, son?”
I was startled to see Katia’s economist father Alonzo Fernandez and her stepmother (and lover) Juanita, and their daughter Lola — MY daughter, unbeknownst to Alonzo. çankaya escort Somber Juanita was in a black crepe dress. Alonzo wore his usual immaculate navy pinstripe suit, befitting his dignity. They wore black armbands, for their Katia, who caught two bullets too many.
Katia. She might have been my bride in an alternate timeline. But time and events moved inexorably in other directions. Today, our wedding. Tomorrow, her funeral. Then, our honeymoon. All with tight security.
“I’m still in shock, Dr Fernandez, same as you. Damn, it’s been awful.”
All the Fernandezes hugged me tight. Little Lola tearfully clung to her “Uncle Ran’s” leg. Ruth joined our maudlin embrace. Ruth and Katia had been best friends since kindergarten and my fuck-buddies for years. So many lives torn apart…
Alonzo’s bodyguards stood nearby. Federal marshals, I think they were. They did not talk.
My best man Dave approached without his usual politician’s smile. He pulled me aside, wrapped his arm around my shoulders.
“Shit, buddy, this is about the weirdest. Well, at least this feels like a safe place. It’s pretty quiet here behind the walls. But wow! The situation outside is something else! Media crews, onlookers, and shitloads of cops. What, you got TWO choppers flying patrol?”
“Yeah, LAPD and National Guard. These guys aren’t taking chances. It’ll be lots worse at the funeral tomorrow too. I can’t wait to get away with Ruth. I don’t even know where we’re honeymooning. Afraid I might spill the secret or something.” I felt dizzy.
“You know what you’re doing afterwards? Got plans, or are you winging it?”
“Oh, I have a plan, all right.” I shot a dark look at my ‘loving’ sister Jill, snuggled against tall dark Wiremu. Were his teeth filed to points? “I’m downright positive it won’t be popular. But it’s got to be done. There’s changes to be made, big changes.”
“You’re not going off into dumb-ass territory, I hope? Look, I can give you some political cover, and the Shapiros and Fernandezes will be with you, you know that — but not if you do something stupid. Don’t be stupid, now.”
“No, no, nothing stupid. Only what’s necessary. Fuck, I need to sit down.”
I collapsed in a patio chair and awaited the inevitable.
Fragments of conversation swirled around me. “Oh, did you see the…” “Yeah, the Moscow liaison was lying…” “I can’t believe they had the nerve to…” “She’s so wasted…” “Look at those teeth…” and yada yada. It all blurred.
The event rolled along inexorably.
I was dragged into place. We gathered around the judge: me and groomsman Dave, and Ruth and bridesmaid Rachel. Our mothers and Mr Shapiro stood for us. Jill kept her distance with hulking Wiremu. Ruth and I held our own rings to exchange. Two unobtrusive photographers recorded the event — a simple, quiet ceremony, except for helicopters.
The judge made some introductory remarks. I do not remember much. Speeches always put me to sleep. I struggled to pull my dopey eyelids open.
Then it came: The Big Moment.
“Do you, Randall Orson van Ronk, take…” yada yada yada.
“Uh, yeah, sure, you bet, yes,” I mumbled, still dizzy.
“Do you, Ruth-Ann Tamara Shapiro, take…” yada yada.
“HELL YES, I DO!” Ruth shouted, and grabbed me, and clung to me like a limpet, and forced her mouth against mine, her tongue probing my uvula.
“Well, you’ve started a little early, but, whatever… Anyway, by the power vested in me by the great State of California, I now pronounce you husband and wife. I’d tell you to kiss, but… okay, that’s enough. Can I get out of here now? I don’t want to miss my foursome at Northridge. Allen, can I get a drink before I go? Sheesh, what a clusterfu…”
The judge wandered off for liquid refreshment and an escorted ride to the links. Ruth hung onto me like her life was at stake. Maybe it was.
Okay, now we were married. Hurrah.
The pavilion behind Allen’s serpentine swimming pool housed the reception. I assumed the classical string quartet had been frisked and the catered food all tested for toxins. Everyone danced with everyone they dared. Nobody got too drunk. Nobody climbed the wall in either direction.
And afterwards? Most everyone left, so the security crew thinned out a bit.
Ruth dragged me to the mini-mansion’s guest quarters serving as our bridal suite. I’m sure we had sex then, like we had so many times before… no, wait, I had fucked Rachel and Deb there, but not Ruth. They all looked so alike. This was a first!
Yeah, I’m sure we had sex that night. We must have officially consummated our marriage. We had to, right? I just do not remember much.
I was still loopy. Opiate painkillers do that to me. Even after a good 69.
I woke fairly early. I remained dazed. I unwrapped snoring Ruth’s arms from around my neck and crawled out of bed. I managed to find the ensuite loo; managed to aim my urine stream into the toilet; managed not to fall over.
But I did not have the strength or escort çankaya coordination to return to bed. I fell onto the big comfortable couch that probably still had my semen embedded in the upholstery from years past.
Newspapers and magazines, dailies and recent newsweeklies, dotted the end tables. Headlines blared: SHOOTOUT IN BEVERLY HILLS – THREE DEAD, FOUR WOUNDED
Moscow Mob Boss’s Consort Targeted, Narrowly Escapes Death
Investigators Probe Murderous Rodeo Drive Attack
TRAGEDY HITS FEDERAL RESERVE FIGURE
Senior Fed Economic Advisor’s Daughter Killed In Gang Shooting
Local Entrepreneur Shot – Link To USSR Gangs?
FEDERAL RESERVE TIGHTENS SECURITY Shit was hitting the proverbial fan and I was directly in the slipstream. I had my own questions. I was sure I would not like the answers.
I also knew I would not enjoy this day. Security at our wedding yesterday was tight. Why? Because Dr Fernandez was there, and he would be a juicy target for someone seriously disliking the Federal Reserve.
But today, for Katia’s funeral? Talk about lock-down! Attendees included most Federal Reserve governors, some western states governors and US senators, and various of the nation’s financial elite. And the fucking Vice President of the USA! At least the President was safely on the other side of the planet, too far away to do any harm here.
I had to go. No excuses. I was honorary family. So was Ruth. And Jill… well, not so much, but she was there too, still looking very nervous. She and I would be even more nervous when the services ended. We had more interrogations scheduled.
The big players attending were exactly the people Jill would love for schmooze and network sessions. I preferred to stay below the radar. That was not possible today. Too many powerful eyes saw me, wondered about me.
Small motorcades of armored Chevy Suburbans with tinted bulletproof windows converged on a secluded hilltop cemetery, hidden from Los Angeles’ urban sprawl. We van Ronks rode together in one SUV. None of us spoke during the doleful drive. We had nothing to say the armed driver should hear.
You want funeral details? Tough. You will not hear them from me.
Helicopters and light planes maintained a cordon sanitaire far enough around the cemetery that their engine noise did not really drown the bleak proceedings. Nobody attacked the dignitaries here.
Funerals suck. Especially funerals for lovers. All the tearful friends and relations, the powerful family associates, the somber faces and voices — they’re all irrelevant when a body you’ve held and loved for years is planted underground.
A funeral is a somber but social occasion. Condoling and schmoozing and networking occurred before and after the rites, and probably during. Ruth and I stood with the Fernandezes at their insistence. We shared their misery. We mumbled responses to well-wishers and arrogant snots alike.
The assemblage broke up. The powerful were whisked away, all but Dr Fernandez and the Federal Reserve Chairman. They conferred in whispers. We van Ronks and Fernandezes stood by the graveside. Goodbye, Katia.
Time to go. Everybody went home — all except me and Jill. Brisk FBI agents escorted us to another paramilitary Suburban and drove us silently downtown.
More interrogations followed, by alphabet agencies and anonymous accents. I had little to offer. I did not know what Jill admitted. But we were released and warned not to leave the county.
Nina and Ruth awaited us in the federal building lobby. I hugged Ruth and told her to go to her father’s house — I had serious family business to tend. Her driver-bodyguard packed her away.
Nina drove us home to Santa Monica. Yeah, we still lived in our old house when we were nearby. Jill was silent during the drive.
“Thanks for everything, Mom. Jill and I need to talk now. It’s time.”
“I’ll be at Bobby’s. Jill, tell the truth. Ran, don’t kill her. Not yet.”
Nina left. I turned to my big sister, my best friend for ever and ever, my lover, my boss, my… betrayer? I pushed her into a living-room chair. I paced and fumed.
“Cut the crap, Jill. What’s with this Russian Mafiya shit?”
Jill was uncertain, vague — not her characteristic commanding self.
“Y’know, we’re materials brokers, that’s all. Our TBI network finds stuff to buy and sell, and sources and markets for the goods. We try to get the best prices all around. It’s not real important to me exactly where it goes or comes from, as long as we take our cut, and…”
I interrupted. “I knew all this long ago. Quit stalling.”
Jill sighed. “Well, lots of our stuff goes through Red-zone players. The whole Soviet system is rotten, corrupt. It’s a kleptocracy, rule by thieves. Officials are gangsters and vice-versa. Legality is irrelevant — if they say it’s legal, it is. And they have the guns to enforce that.
“I don’t ask for details. I just want stuff to move. We play straight with whatever çankaya escort bayan rules apply — as straight as we can, anyway. You know the fucking thieves we have to deal with around the world. Here in America, too. Can’t trust anyone.
“So when we broker a deal for alloys or ores or gems or whatever, we know the customers may not be nice guys. We deal with them anyway. That’s business. We deal with assholes. I hold my nose and take their money.”
I interrupted again. “And now Katia’s dead because you swapped cash and assets with some Muskovite murderer? Is that the story?”
“No, no, it’s not like that. She wasn’t involved at all.”
“NOT INVOLVED?? She’s DEAD and she wasn’t fucking INVOLVED??”
Jill looked scared. “Look, this shouldn’t have happened. I had no idea Dmitri’s girl was around. I had no idea they were targeted. I just…”
“WAIT! You said, ‘Dmitri’s girl’. Do you KNOW him, and her?”
“Well, yeah, just in passing. I mean, we do a little business with Dmitri, and…”
“STOP! How about Dmitri’s enemies? You do business with them too?”
“Hey, everybody has enemies, everybody does business. I can’t just…”
“FUCK THIS! So you, so WE, do business-as-usual with whoever killed Katia, is that it? Is it?”
I was infuriated.
“WHAT IS THIS SHIT?!? Do you have any fucking sense of right and wrong at all? You not only involve us with total scum — you get inside their games, and put us in their fucking shootouts! Dmitri’s enemies hit Dmitri’s girl, and me and Katia and your own fucking mother are right in the crossfire. And for you, it’s only part of doing business? Fuck this!”
I stomped and ventilated with Jill frozen in the chair. My anger almost boiled into rage. Did I consider killing my sister? Yes. Beating her? Shit yes! Ever fucking her again? No way. My guts churned.
I stopped. I calmed but did not cool. I sat in a chair opposite Jill. She opened her mouth, and looked into my eyes, and closed it again. I glared at her and considered.
I can process matters fairly quickly. I ran a decision tree and reached a verdict.
“Jill, what is ThunderBird International worth right now? I don’t mean gross assets versus liabilities. I mean share value of our joint TBI ownership. What are your sixty-five percent and my thirty-five percent, in dollars?”
I saw the calculations churn behind her eyes. She named two figures. Two LARGE figures. Larger than I expected.
“And what’s our cash-on-hand position?” She named another large figure.
“Okay, then. You are going to buy me out. You have the cash to cover it. And don’t fucking argue,” I said as she opened her mouth again. “I’m selling, no matter what. I can find Dmitri and sell to him, or to your worst enemy Jake, or to anyone else, I don’t care. But you’re still my birth sister so you get first option.”
Jill looked ready to argue. I shook my head.
“You have,” I glanced at my wristwatch and made more quick decisions, “one hour. You call your little financial manager toad Kimberley RIGHT NOW, and you tell her to make the transfer happen, RIGHT NOW, or I’ll call Jake and sell straight to him. Your choice.”
Now she looked shocked. “Wait, Randy, you can’t just…”
“FUCK I CAN’T! I’m through with this shit. I’m out of fucking TBI as of five minutes ago. It’s all your show now. Or it’s yours and Jake’s to share, if you don’t move fast. But I am GONE. Pay into my Cayman account. Then fuck off.”
Like I said, I do not know what Jill told our recent interrogators. Whatever it was, no charges had been filed. Yet. But I knew what she told me — and that was more than enough.
One hour later, I was free from ownership of TBI, free from subservience to Jill, free to live a life with Ruth.
Remember my new wife Ruth? I barely did until now. I took a deep breath. I compartmentalized my mind. I put Jill and TBI and Katia and pain in a back corner and brought Ruth up front. Finally.
Ruth grabbed me as soon as I stumbled through the porte-cochère door into the Shapiro home.
“Are you okay, Ran?” I obviously was not.
“Is your dad around? I need to see him. Now.”
Ruth ran off and returned with casually-clad Allen a minute later.
“You look like leftover shit, son. What’s the matter? I mean, what ELSE is the matter?” Allen looked concerned.
“I need you in lawyer mode, sir. I’m done with TBI. Jill played too many games. I won’t be a part of that, no more. I sold my share to her. Now I need legal separation, a total cutoff from all TBI operations. Would you please run paperwork for me? All my contracts are here.” I handed him a note with my secure FTP site’s address and codes.
“Of course. I’ll get my people on it.” He punched his phone and walked off issuing orders.
Ruth led me into the sunroom and sat me on a padded bench. She held my head. “Ran, tell me. Everything.”
“Jill was involved. Not directly, but yes, she was. No, she didn’t order anything to happen. She just LET it happen.” I held myself together as I unloaded.
“She was tight with both fucking Soviet gangs. No, she didn’t know about the hit, and she sure didn’t want me and Mom and Katia to be hurt. But she doesn’t care who she deals with. It’s only business. Well, I can’t be part of that any more. It’s done.”