Authors: Casey Christie
As if sensing Night’s feelings Lisa put a hand across Night’s powerful shoulders and squeezed him tenderly.
“I actually think it’s quite admirable the way you guys look after each other. The way you guys care about one another regardless of anything other than the fact that you share the same uniform and fight the same bad guys. Witnessing the same horror while protecting and serving everyone else, people like me. I may not fully understand it Mike, and I do not agree with the legality of it all but I do appreciate it. And I appreciate you and all of your brothers.”
They continued the rest of the journey in a comfortable silence, both enjoying their own music while taking in the beautiful, rugged, African landscape. A storm erupted above them about 15 minutes from their destination and Night regarded it as a real treat. He loved witnessing African thunderstorms and believed the great flashes of lightning to be a sort of rebalancing of energy on the earth below. The wind-swept rain was virtually travelling sideways now, the fierce gusts often forcing Night to wrestle back Control of the steering wheel to keep his SS steady on the road. He slowed down and rode out the remaining few kilometres to their destination at a snail’s pace, making the final approach to the General’s two bedroomed chalet on a dirt road.
He pulled the vehicle in under the carport and turned off the engine.
“Looks like we have arrived just in time” said Lisa as a huge thunderclap exploded above their heads.
“Let’s get inside then.”
They entered the thatched house, through a side door that was covered by the carport roof, to find that the electricity was off. It was deliberately shut down by the local authority -- a normal occurrence during a thunderstorm because the likelihood of an electrical fire started by a lightning strike was too great around the river and among all the straw-thatched houses.
It didn’t bother Mike and Lisa much anyway as their first night’s plans didn’t need power. Night unpacked the car and Lisa prepared a quick lunch which they ate in the kitchen. They then retired to the main bedroom for the afternoon where they stayed until the next morning. They made sweet and passionate love and ate chocolates and drank succulent South African red wine by candlelight. All the while loyal Wamba lay outside in the lounge, guarding their bedroom door while munching on a huge bone that Mike had specially bought for him from their local butcher. It was a beautiful time, a million miles away from any violence and crime. Their own African riverside chalet of contentment.
A near perfect South African day, 27 degrees Celsius in the shade without a cloud in the sky and a soft breeze to occasionally provide for natural air conditioning. The sun beat down on Night’s bare chest as he stood in the flowing Vaal River about 50 metres or so from the sluice gates that had been opened because of the heavy and constant downpour of rain over the last couple of weeks. Fishing rod in hand, slowly and methodically he would let loose the reel, let it flow down river with the current and pull it back and cast it out once more. It was more therapeutic than a real attempt at catching anything, as Lisa had jokingly said Michael Night wasn’t a very accomplished fisherman. In fact he had never caught anything bigger than the size of his hand. This small fact didn’t bother him though, for catching fish was not the reason he went fishing.
Wamba was lying on a large rock on the river bank’s edge keeping a watchful gaze on Night. Lisa was a few metres behind Wamba, sitting on a fold-out chair underneath a Willow tree surrounded by lush green grass, also keeping an eye on Night. It was secretly a pleasure of hers every time they travelled to the Vaal to watch Michael as he stood bare chested in the river while fly fishing. She took great delight in watching his ripped body move while he cast his rod and moved through the water; she watched as the muscles in his large shoulders stirred and contracted with every pitch of the fishing pole. She noted how his large biceps grew as he raised his arms and joyed in the shapely form of his gym enhanced chest and took great pleasure in his virile gut, he didn’t have a perfectly shaped six pack as so many of the young, plastic, male Hollywood models have these days, but rather a more honest representation of a powerful man’s stomach, it wasn’t fat or skinny either but dominant and healthy – perhaps a draught too much, overall it complemented his almost oversized shoulders and thick arms, giving him the look of a powerful boxer, she thought.
Yet she noted that when he was garbed in a suit one would never guess he was a highly trained, hardened cop and former army commando or that the clothes covered a powerful body. In a suit Michael Night could easily be mistaken for a wealthy businessman born into a rich and powerful family, coming from a long line of aristocratic elitism. And at times he cut the figure of a famous silver screen personality. She was sure this played a part in his very successful side career as a bodyguard. She was correct in her assumption as nobody ever suspected a supposed movie star or wealthy businessman to be the hired protection at a high class corporate function or five star dinner party.
Night spent another 30 minutes or so in the water enjoying the feel of the cold current rushing past his legs and feet as the strong sun heated his upper body and listening to the many birds asserting their identity in a melodic chorus. He took particular joy in the sound of the Mockingbird or Red Chested Cuckoo more commonly referred to by its Afrikaans title of Piet-my-vrou meaning “Peter my wife” and pronounced in English Pete-may-frow. It was given such a nick name as that is exactly what the bird sounded as though it was singing -- pete-may-frow, pete-may-frow, pete-may-frow and it would continue the same call constantly, again and again. Although the name never made much sense to Night as Peter is a man’s name.
Later that afternoon just after dusk Night got a Braai going and had just placed the meat on the grill when his mobile phone rang where it lay on the kitchen table. It was General Arosi.
“How’s it going Mike?”
“Good thank you General. Good company, good weather, good booze and now for some good meat!”
“Sounds great. And the fishing?” asked the General with a smile in his voice knowing full well the answer.
“Just fantastic, I have caught three huge Yellows this afternoon alone, they fought like hell. It was brilliant.”
“Yeah right Mike, you couldn’t catch a Yellow with a hand grenade!”
“Then why ask, you know I don’t come here to catch fish.”
“Indeed I do. Anyway to business. Are you back on Monday?”
“Yeah. We will arrive in the early evening. Lisa is working the graveyard shift at Radio Control.”
“Good. I will set up the client meeting for the Close Protection gig I was telling you about. It’s a bit of a fast ball as the principal is in court on Wednesday and Thursday, and then at her farm for her workers’ monthly cash pay day on the Friday. Your presence will be required throughout. You still interested, I take it?”
“I am. Where will we be meeting the client?”
“At her place in Sandown.”
“Is the client also the Principal?”
“Good. It’s always a lot easier that way. Anything I should know now, any curve balls?”
“Perhaps Mike, there is a third man in this. He is a former Apartheid era Secret Policeman now turned private investigator and he has her wrapped around his fat fingers. I will go into detail about that after we meet. I will text you the address and time. And you will probably need a second man for the court appearances. Stanislov? ”
“If he is around he will be interested. What’s the rate?”
“This is pretty high risk so the rate is better than usual. R5K per day.”
“Any news on our Devilish Colonel?”
“No movement yet. Our Int suggests that he has not left Alex since the bank job and that he was surprised we didn’t come for him on Friday night. It was good we didn’t go in, I’ll explain why later. There is talk however that the Yankee boys might go in. I am meeting with Colonel Viljoen this evening to try and dissuade them from making that move.”
“You could order him not to.”
“I would prefer not to.”
“It’s your chain of command. Any word on Daniel?”
“Yes, he is in KZN with his family and the burial is set for this week and will last a few days. He is okay and should be back in Joburg sometime within the following week.”
“I would love to continue chatting but I have got some boerewors, steak and chops on the braai.”
“Enjoy, see you on Tuesday my friend.”
Night ended the call and looked across to the Braai to see that Lisa had taken over the grilling of the meat. Wamba was a few feet away looking yearningly at the food, his mouth watering with saliva drooping down either side of his gigantic jaws, his ears pinned back against the side of his massive head. Night was about to say something to Lisa for commandeering his cooking duties but he decided not to, for in truth she was a far better chef than he was.
This made for an unusual South African scene as the man of the house almost always cooked the meat and it was seen as being almost unnatural for the woman to do it. This didn’t bother Night in the least, almost as much as it didn’t bother him that Lisa was a much better fisherman than he. In fact she was a much more prolific fisherman, or is that fisherwoman he thought to himself, than any man he knew. She never went for or caught the bigger fish but stuck to what she had been taught by her father. Using a simple rod and reel and pitching the line in and slowly reeling it back in fast flowing water, a mixture of fly and traditional fishing, while keeping one finger on the gut detecting the slightest bite. She had caught a dozen small Carp that day.
He sat down in his camper chair and opened another can of Castle Lager beer that was in the blue cooler box in front of him. The sun now fully absent from the sky, the darkness took hold. He listened to the sound of the crickets in the air and a barn owl hooted nearby. He closed his eyes to enhance the noises of Africa and took a long deep gulp of his iced beer and enjoyed it immensely. For a moment he forgot uSathane and his threats of violence and the death and mutilation of Henry and was truly, if only momentarily, happy. He sat quietly a while longer and then opened his eyes to take in a most pleasant sight. Lisa was busying away, turning the meat and talking softly to an exceedingly attentive Wamba. Night could hardly believe how sexy she looked in the odd outfit she currently wore: black Nike trainers covering small white socks, wearing only one of Night’s black V-necks that was too large for her. It barely covered her bottom and exposed her athletic almost perfect femininely muscled and tanned legs. Over the shirt she had on a green cooking apron with the words “Stand Clear Man Cooking” on the front. While he was taking her all in she turned to him and spoke, shaking him from his entrancement.
“See anything you like, Mister?” Lisa said, her lips curling at the edges into a naughty grin.
Their final day at the General’s riverside chalet arrived with the sound of a Rooster crowing nearby. They had allowed themselves to sleep in later that morning as their plan was to spend their final day reading and sun bathing next to the chalet’s private swimming pool located at the bottom of the garden and given some privacy by being surrounded by white picket fencing that was covered in creeper vines. It was a clear, sparkling blue, splash pond more than a lap pool. The Kreepy Krauly, an automatic pool cleaning device, was loudly making the rounds at the bottom of the water sucking up any fallen leaves and dirt. He heard the unique cry of a Hadeda Ibis, more commonly known in South Africa as the Har-dee-dar for the sound it emits, in the near distance where the bird was skimming the river with its feet while in flight. The sun had obligingly decided to play ball and was shining brightly and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.
Night lay on his back on the poolside lounger, one hand behind his head while reading Sun Tzu’s Art of War, he had read it many times before, while Lisa was in the pool splashing water onto Wamba who was circling outside the edge of it while barking excitedly. Night found that the noise of the woofing dog distracted him from the teachings of the Chinese General so he took the opportunity to look lovingly at his sweetheart while she candidly played with his loyal friend that was so often confused with a Lion.
Lisa van der Westhuizen could have been on the cover of the South African Sports Illustrated Swimwear edition or any cover of FHM or GQ he thought to himself, while he delighted in her glorious figure. She looked the spitting cliché of a Californian beach babe only more magnificent, her black bikini top hardly managing to stop her large teardrop breasts from spilling out, her tummy flush and feminine surrounding her sensual belly button, framed by hourglass hips that led to slender and lady like shoulders and delicate arms. Her bikini bottoms perfectly formed on her round, firm and full buttocks. Her naturally tanned skin glittered in the sun, the water droplets sparkling on her body. She could have been a world famous glamour model Night thought, and he had told her so on a few occasions. She wasn’t interested though and cared more for the policemen and women who she guided to help protect and serve those in need while she was on duty as a civilian police radio Controller. She was always modest and overdressed so it was a real delicacy for Night to see so much of her, in both senses of the word.
“A hum, see something you like, Mister?” Lisa said while signalling for him to get into the pool with a calling finger.
Unlike the previous evening when Night blushed a bright red and retreated to the safety of downing another beer after he had been caught stealing a glimpse of her voluptuous body- it was uncanny how she always knew when he was looking at her, he thought to himself- he went with his carnal feeling this time and entered the pool unapologetic for finding her so striking and attractive and made passionate, firm, love to her. Sure to be in gentle Control and to convey his love and protection for her while making clear her desirability as a sexual being. It was magic. And Lisa laughed out loud with delight and enjoyment. She loved Michael Night and he loved her and they enjoyed each other’s physicality a little while longer while a seemingly embarrassed Wamba retreated to the grass to finish off his large animal bone for the day.