The Cave.The Cave
Dirk, the architect felt drained. The last project in Dubai was really an overstatement by meglomaniacs with too much money to spend and not enough vision to carry their ideas through. He had enough of their grandiose ideas to build, construct and have plans approved of totally unsuitable dreams of multi-billionairs, without any idea of practicality, so forever doomed to be a blot on the wall of any competent architect! He had decided to travel home by ship,so he flew to Cairo, and after a few days of exploring,booked a berth on a small container ship, leaving Cairo, and proceeding down the Red Sea, stopping at various small ports, all the way down the East Coast of Africa. He had become tired of the air flights, the feeling of crampness, the boring foods, the aloof air stewards, the terminals, so at last he felt unweightened, relieved in travelling by ship. Late several weeks on his trip, he was roused by his cabin steward to come up on deck to see Table Mountain appear over the horizon. When he saw that world famous sentinel on the horizon, his eyes were wet with tears, his emotions joyful as the vista of that majestic sweep from across Signal Hill, Lions Head and the main Table Mountain, ending in the gaunt vista of Devils Peak appeared to him! Home at last he said to himself, every time I leave, the gladder I am to return! Dirk stood at the rails on the ship, a big guy, 1.83 tall, 84 kilos of no fat body, lean, burnt brown by the sun of the Middle East, his grey green eyes sparkling under a thatch of dark blonde hair, smile lines crinkling from each eye, lips that just looked a smiling personality. He stood against the rail, watching his beloved Cape appear to him, scents that he had almost forgotten, travelling by air. Like a dog, he sensed he was home, he felt that draw of the mountain that every Capetonian feels, his world wearied spirits were reviving, just those scents of vynbos burning were enough to trigger all those memories, so long entrenched in his physic.
His one wish after looking at that Majestic mountain, was that on the quay, would be waiting his parents, unfortunately that could not happen. After docking procedures were completed and he stepped ashore, away from all the petty squabbling of the Middle East billionaires, the jealousies, the slights! Before he had arrived he had contacted his Grandparents to tell them about his arrival, they in turn had contacted a friend of theirs in Cape Town, so arranging him to meet Dirk at the harbor.
Shortly after he stepped ashore, a sprightly looking man approached Dirk, saying” Dirk?” Yes Dirk answered, ” I am glad to meet you” he replied, “I am Bill McNab, an old friend of Alex and Laura, they asked me to meet you.” Shaking hands with this stranger, Dirk felt an instant rapport with Bill, and a bond developed that was to become long lasting. Neither knew at the time just how it would affect their future!
After clearing customs they piled luggage and all into Bill's Suzuki 4x4 and driving to Bill's home in upper Higgovale where Dirk would stay for the night before going to Simonstown the following day. Dirk was soon shown to his room by Annie, Bill's housekeeper, she took to Dirk straight away, a typical matchmaker, she thought he would make a fine match for Suzi, Bills daughter! After Suzi's divorce Annie had thrown up her hands at Suzi's choice of beau's! Now here was this attractive, literate man appearing from nowhere to be a possible suitor! Her mind seethed with schemes to get them together! When Bill had said he had a special guest for supper, Annie had pulled out all the stops and after calling her friend, Cookie, who was Alex and Laura's housekeeper/cook/friend to find out everything about their new guest, she cooked a special Coq au vin, which she was informed by Cookie, was Dirks favorite! Also, unbeknown to either of Bill or Dirk, she had called Suzi, to say that her dad had wished her to pop around later, as he had something to discuss with her.
Shortly after supper -and several bottles of vintage red wine, the chimes of the front door sounded, and Annie ushered Suzi into the study where Bill and Dirk were sitting talking. Dirk stood, and was immediately smitten at a glance by the lovely tall blonde blue eyed lady, Bills daughter! Bill rose, and said” hello darling,so lovely to see you!” Suzi, a bit mystified,replied with a” hello Dad,you wanted to see me?” Bills brows creased, “I did he asked?” Annie, standing in the doorway replied,: yes, you wanted to ask her about her next trip to Argentina.” Bill's brow creased,”I did?” “Yes” piped up Annie, Aaah yes, not quite sure Annie was talking about, anyway, Suzi, I would like you to meet Dirk, a grandson of my oldest friends in Simomstown, Alex and Laura, you have met them several times! Dirk put his hand out to greet her, but Suzi, also smitten, leaned closer and with a typical french greeting, kissed him on either cheek! A stunned Dirk, with no idea how to handle an attack on him, replied in an uncertain voice, “am so glad to meet you!’
That sent both Bill and Suzi, not to mention Annie into fits of laughter, Bill chimed up saying, “please excuse Suzi's outrageous behavior, as she travels such a lot, she isnt aware which country she is in!” Dirk, gaining his wits again ,at last managed to stammer, ”its fine, I am sure I will cope-eventually!”
Suzi was captivated by this man, a very male type, but equally naive in his dealings with women, a rare breed in her experiences. He exuded a maleness, a power she had seldom felt before,and after her divorce, the type of fawning males she had met, making no impression on her, till here out of the blue, here was this man, rocking her boat, in the space of a few minutes! She was mystified how this could have happened, but equally entranced at his presence, his voice and the absolute maleness he exuded ,making all her previous dates and meetings seem so shallow!
Oh well she thought to herself, let’s see where this leads me, he seems a decent enough chap, very rugged and sexy too! She noticed Annie's entrancement, mmmm she thought, she knows something!
Bill, after seeing the couples feigned dis- interest in each other, said, well I am off to bed, please switch off the lights when you go to bed!
Suzi had her own room, filled with collectable porcelain dolls, a collection started by her late mother, that she had never moved to her married home, which was just as well as they would in all likelihood have been smashed by her insanely jealous ex-husband, in one of his rages. Dirk’s room was at the rear of the house, overlooking the access for the cars to the property, as Higgovale was all sloping, and mostly the garages were at the street side, leaving the views from the elevated fronts. Dirk’s room was a typically austere man’s room, comfortable, but neutral!
After Bill had left, things were a bit stilted, till Dirk in reaching over for a glass of red wine, managed to knock it over, spilling it on to the tiled floor, causing a major panic, till it was all cleared, and breaking the floodgates of their conversations! Their pent up emotions, her divorce, his lonelyness, his wariness of commitment, her blasé nature to men, all seemed to pour out, and in a matter of time, it seemed hours, but was really a very short time, they had connected, at a level that neither of them had ever connected before. Looking at one another, after the gushing conversation and petered out, they realized that something had happened, their lives had changed, becoming richer, not that feeling of being alone anymore!
Not two people sitting in that lounge, but an oneness that both of them had being missing!
They got up, and after a brief hug, went to their separate rooms, somehow knowing that their lives had changed, their minds aflame with what had happened, realizing the thought that there was so much more to their lives than they could ever have believed, absolutely comfortable in that thought and mindset!
Dirk went to his room, and after a quick shower, switched out the lights, and stood in front of his window to do his 10 minute workout, designed to keep him in peak fitness, by his uncle Cushie, a Para bat instructor, helping to maintain fitness no matter what the circumstances!
While standing at the window, his eye caught a glimmer of light from a parked car, down the road, looking like a someone lighting a cigarette, but he ignored it, closed the curtains, jumped into bed, and after mulling over the day’s events, drifted off to sleep in a delicious awareness of the lady he had met, knowing somehow his life had met a turning point! What wakened him he had no idea, all of a sudden he was wide awake , looked at his titanium Fossil watch, a gift from his g/parents many years ago 03;20,and wondered what could have woken him? It worried him so he got out of bed and walked across to the window, parting the curtains, in the weak light of the waning moon, he saw movements, and heard chink of tools at the garage doors below him. Thieves he thought, and walked across to bedside table and picked up his satellite cell phone, and pressed in the emergency key, and when it was answered, he gave his name, address and reason for call. The efficient operator noted details and relayed information to the nearest police station. Almost within minutes he heard howl of police sirens, and watching through gap in curtains, he saw the frantic movements and torches flashing at front of garage doors, tools being flung into boot of a large BMW, the boot slamming, then the roar of a V8,as the BMW roared away with screeching tyres! Just then an Opel police car appeared around the corner, lights and flashing siren howling, and stopped with a shriek of brakes, outside the garage doors. The doors of the car were flung open and several torch bearing policemen erupted out onto the road, fanning out to cover all points! He leaned out of the window and called down to the police men. “It seemed they were trying to break into the garage “.The garage doors were solid teak, fitted with electronic opening devices, so almost impossible to open from the outside. After examining the surroundings, the police left, he was grateful that all the commotion hadn’t woken Bill, Suzi or Annie, so without any thought he climbed into bed and was asleep in a short while.
He awoke the following morning, hearing a knock on the door, and called to enter, Annie came in with a steaming fragrant pot of coffee, putting it on the bedside table, leaving him to savor the scent, and taste of freshly brewed coffee! He lay there awhile, mulling over the nights excitement, remembering the flick of a lighter down the street, damn he thought they were after Bills new Lexus that he had seen when they parked in the garage! With that thought in his mind he drunk his coffee, and had a shower, slipped on some casual clothes, and wondered down to breakfast, which he could smell by the scent of the bacon! He entered the cheerful sun filled room, the smell of bacon and sausages, coffee and toast and of course the light as air scent of Suzi’s perfume, who was already tucking in to a full plate of delicious looking breakfast! She looked up at Dirk, with an enchanting smile, making his knees weak, asked how he had slept! “Well” Dirk said, “I have something to tell you, but will wait for Bill to arrive,” “spoilsport” she quipped!
Just then a cheerful Bill appeared, overhearing what Dirk had said, his eyebrows raising, “and prey tell what happened last nite?” “Well” Dirk replied, and after Bill had ordered his breakfast, just as I was closing my curtains, I noticed someone light a cigarette, some distance down the street, I didn’t think much of it then, but later, about 3 o,clock, some noises disturbed me, so looked out of window, to see 3 men trying to open your garage doors, without much luck! I used my cell to call the police, when the robbers heard the siren, they quickly scrambled into their dark blue 750 BMW, and shoot away, moments before the police car arrived. Well I’ll be damned said Bill, I had better contact Kobus about this, he has lots of pull with the police still. Suzi had listened to Dirks story, and said, “that’s odd, I had a similar experience, when I was called away to Knysna, last Thursday, and Katie, my housekeeper also saw a BMW dark blue, just like Bill’s old one.”
All of a sudden a chilling silence gripped the room, and the glance between Bill and Suzi caused Dirk to react, “am I missing something he asked?” Bill looked at Suzi, and after hesitating for a moment, said, “well, Dirk, its like this, Suzi through her involvement with the fashion industry, and having so many contacts with the seamstresses that sewed up her and Jill’s designs and also in the various importers of fabrics, was instrumental in putting behind bars the big gang lords brother, Fanie Mass, Mikel Mass is the big gang leader, and with Suzi’s assistance the prosecution was able to convict his brother on various charges, so at the moment he is in prison, and Mikel Mass swore he would get his revenge back on Suzi,and to make things worse, he knows Suzi has more information implicating him on many more serious charges. Just to confirm this, Mikel Mass’s is a huge BMW fan, and has just purchased a dark blue 750i.”
After this thunderbolt, Dirk sat speechless, here was this lovely lady that he had just gotten to know, involved in high gangsterism, and being threatened with death, “maybe they were trying to get in to tamper with your car! No way am I going to let that happen!” After some discussion, Bill decided to call Kobus, and as he was dialing, Dirk exclaimed, wait, and put the cellphone down. Bill, with raised eyebrows did as Dirk requeste ”some explanation please?” Dirk explained, “on my last assignment in Dubai, no one talked business on their cells anymore, as it was too easy for money to buy any information required from cell phone providers. So till this business is settled, I think we should use normal phones, it isnt easy to tap into every phone we are likely to use! Besides, every cell is automatically traced, and with enough money you can be tracked to within a meter of where you are, even when not using your cell.” “Wow” Bill exclaimed, “that’s some news!” Dirk said there is more, “I have heard even when cell is off it can be tracked!” Dirk smiled, “but be that as it maybe, when I was in Dubai, I met some military guys who were working on a project to have special cell phones that couldent be tracked, or tapped, so was fortunate in getting hold of a handful that we can use without fear. But in meantime, we continue to use normal cells, just don’t pass out anything important.” Bill dialed Kobus, and he, sensing Bill’s urgency left straight away, a short while later, as they were discussing how to go about this new threat, there were the sounds of chimes at the front door, and Annie ushered in Kobus. Dirk found himself drawn to this stocky friend of Bill’s, and after being introduced, they all sat down together.
“Hey” Kobus said, “what’s with this I am hearing about some rascals trying to break into my friends’ garage?” With that a serious note entered the conversation! Kobus, it seems the worst we discussed some time ago has materialized, and that Mikel Mass is keeping us under surveillance, and our cells tapped probably, fortunately for Suzi, we think she was protected the first time by being called away, and the second time by Dirk, hearing their attempts to get to her car, that’s as we read the present situation. Kobus thought for a while, “yes” he said “I agree, it seems Suzi is their target, and tampering with her car is one way of eliminating her, and all the info she still has. That Mikel Mass is a very dangerous piece of work! So where does that lead us” he said reflectively?
Dirk cautiously remarked, “may I say something” “Of course was the reply, lets hear what you think!” “Well” Dirk said, “my feelings are that until Maas knows the whereabouts of the information Suzi has on him, we will be relatively safe, just once he gets hold of it, we will be dead meat, and expendable.” Kobus, nodded, “ja,I think that’s the correct supposition,that info is our only trump card.”
Dirk, looking around, “even sitting here we could be overheard,” Kobus looked at Bill and Suzi, “ja, I think we should discuss this somewhere else later.” With nod of approval Kobus left to Bill’s study, and Suzi said lets go out to the stoep, after this I really need a ciggy! Dirk took her lighter, noting how her hand trembled, and lit her cigarette, watching her draw on it, strangely aroused at her movements. He moved over to grasp her trembling hand and as his hand touched hers, she turned to him, dropping the cigarette ,and moved into his arms, his arms molded around her, her need for comfort overlaying her caution and she melted in his embrace, head tilting up to his, and without a conscious thought he leant down and kissed her, tasting the faint trace of the forgotten smoke, then the natural taste of her womanliness “Oh gees Suzi, where have you been I just know you are my alto-ego, I knew it the moment I saw you,” and with that they molded even closer, Annie peering through the partly open kitchen window, hugged herself at her adept handling of the two young people, her almost daughter and this beautiful gentleman! After a while, they got their breaths back, Dirk looked down and said, Suzi, will you marry me? Suzi, with all the wisdom that women have, raised her eyebrows, and said, ”Marry you”? “Why should I, I hardly know you?” “Well” Dirk gasped, “I love you to distraction, and further with all my heart, soul and body!” With that Suzi said “Ok, I concede, I am yours, if my father agrees!” After rather a lot of messy snogging, they eventually managed to find their way into the house and to Bill’s study. After knocking on the door, a gruff voice said with some impatience, come in.” Bill,” Dirk said, “I have something rather important to ask you, Bill barely turned, poring over some drawing laid out on his leather desk. “Well he said?” Dirk replied, “Sir I wish to marry Suzi, your daughter!” Bill swiveled round in his chair, “What, you want what?” Dirk a bit taken aback at the reaction, gripped Suzi’s hand tighter, “yes” he said,” I want to marry your daughter!” With that Bill’s chair flew back against the desk, and he came forward aggressively, and then threw his arms around the bewildered couple, crushing them in a huge bear hug, his smile beaming from ear to ear!” Yes Dirk, You may, I know you will cherish her as much as I do, and you will be good for my little girl!” Just then Annie came rushing after hearing Bill’s shout, and Bill laughed as he said to her, “we just have a new son in law! Break out the champers Annie!” “But Mr Bill, its only 11o’clock,”well he laughed,” somewhere over the world, the sun is over the yardarm, so crack that champers, the special Moet we have been keeping!”
In a short time the pop of the champers was heard, and flutes of bubbling champagne were poured, and Bill raised his glass, “to my beautiful daughter, and future son in law! Suzi, I just wish your mother was here to celebrate this wonderful occasion with us, and give Dirk her blessing!”
With that a group hug with father, pseudo mother Annie, Dirk and Suzi ensured! Within minutes the word was out, Suzi is getting married, Dirk is getting married, to all his disbelieving friends! All their friends were stunned, but after the next few months, getting to know the bride and groom, they all agreed that they made a perfect couple, and no one could fault their choice of partners! The only bitter apple in the barrel was Brett, Suzi’s ex, with his malicious gossiping and innuendos, till one day Dirk accidently met him in a mall, and introduced himself as the low life wife shagger, and in the car park proceeded to show his displeasure at being called that, needless to say Brett laid charges, but after falling down the steps at the police station, realized the best thing was to forget about that! He still carried that grudge, and it festered and burst, right into the hands of that other poisonness character, Mikel Mass, giving Mass more information and leverage!
In the meantime, Dirk and Suzi-who was still a bit hesitant of setting the day, had arranged with Dirks partner, Pieter a part time helicopter pilot, to fly up the West Coast to look for a possible spot for their house. He had hired a 4 seat helicopter, for the 4 of them, Bill included, so after boarding helicopter they flew up along coast, on the lookout for a suitable plot. After leaving the developed areas they flew a bit further, and Dirk shouted above the thrashing of the blades, over there, on that small point. After circling it, they drifted lower, seeing an old abandoned Army or Naval lookout ba
As his light played around the room, he saw a row of cabinets that almost butted against the back wall of the semi-circular room, and walked around to have a look. He found some torn and weathered canvas, covering a steel door, with some vents where the sound of the sea came from. Typical navy he thought, if it moves grease it, if it doesn’t, paint it, the handles and hinges were covered in a film of grease, so he grasped the handle, twisting it to open the door. As the door opened, a rush of sea air swept up to meet him! When he played his torch down, a flight of concrete stairs was exposed, with a typical galvanized hand rail disappearing down, out of the reach of his torch!” Well, well” he said, “look what we have here!” “Bill, standing at his shoulder, remarked, “lets see!” So carefully they descended the spiraling staircase, the sound of the sea growing louder at each step, he felt Suzi’s hand on his shoulder, and was comforted by that, as they went lower, it seemed to be getting lighter, till after a complete rotation they landed up in a big cavern, that had been enlarged to accommodate a big open area, with some concrete works towards the front of the room, with the typical steel sheeting on rails covering the opening! Everything looked like it had been preserved in grease! As Dirk played the light around, he noticed on the left hand side of the steel a small hand pump, with the handle still in the pump, and a valve with the words, oop and toe, open and closed in Afrikaans, above it. He moved over to the pump, and twisted the valve to the oop position, and tried to operate the pump. With a grunt, the handle began to move, and a chink of light appeared, as the heavy steel shutters began to move on the greased rollers! Within minutes the steel shutters opened up to reveal a spectacular view, and the reason for the concrete plinths in the room, they were gun mounts, the heavy bolts still coated in heavy la
With that, they all followed Dirks torch up the stairs, till eventually they were standing outside the concrete ba
A bit later that evening, with the smell of a braai on Bill’s patio the serious part came up. I think Bill said, quietly, let’s keep this very private; one never knows who might be listening! True Dirk said, that must be our hideaway, till this is all sorted out, and Mikel Mass is put away!
The following day Dirk contacted a friend of his in the naval procurement department, and found out that the site was defiantly naval property, and maybe could be purchased! He immediately made an offer, and his friend sent it off to Pretoria, with a covering letter, saying the property was no longer required, and rates and taxes were just being paid for an unused site.
In the meantime, Kobus had been busy, tracing some leads, and it seemed that it was defiantly Mikel Mass’s gang that were involved with both Suzi and Bill’s attempted break-ins.
With that in mind, Kobus called for a meeting down in the Waterfront, at a popular resturant, so whatever was discussed was unlikely to be overheard .They discussed what might happen, no one even faintly realizing what Mikel Mass had planned! After a good meal, with many interjections from all, the feeling was that they would have to be very cautious about their conversations. Dirk was all agog about his purchase of the property on the West Coast, thinking how Suzi and he could make their own empires, but still being together. Mikel in the meantime had been planning something else for them. He was infuriated that his brother was still in jail, and that the person responsible for that wasn’t punished!
Dirk in the meantime had been busy, with his connections in the building industry, he had accumulated a team of builders to carry out his plans and wishes for their new home, Dirk already knew Suzi would be his life partner and except for a few modifications, their design of the house was perfect! One of the main worries was of water, but the discovery of that small stream or spring seemed to solve that, the building of their house needed lots of water, which was trucked in to the site. The spring would easily supply their water usage, what a blessing! Suzi in the meantime working furiously with the new designs she had been working on. Dirk wasn’t really happy about Suzi having to travel back to Cape Town, from the guest house where they were staying, but realized that her business needed her to be in the various studio’s working with suppliers, seamstresses and advertising staff. Dirk although well into the building game, was bemused at the apparent lack of competency with local builders, especially compared to the builders he had been exposed to in the Middle East!
While Suzi was away in Cape Town, Dirk carried on working on his computer, he had several projects besides their house to complete, and it made the time Suzi was away bearable! “Oh well, it will get done eventually!” With that thought in mind, he shut down the computer and tried to go to sleep. The ringing of the phone wakened him, blearily he looked at the bedside clock seeing it read 23h15. Hello he said? Evening Mr Calder, This is the police at the Malmsbury Station. Dirk replied, “Can I help?” “I am afraid that we have very bad news for you, the voice said, a lady carrying the identification of the name Suzi McNab was involved in a serious road accident.” “Gees” Dirk replied “was she injured?” The officer replied, “am afraid so Sir, she was reported dead at the accident” “What happened” Dirk gasped? “Well as far as we at the moment can ascertain it seems her car was sideswiped by a much heavier vehicle, left the road and hit a culvert, causing the massive injuries we found. We are terribly sorry to tell you this”.
Dirk didn’t know which way to turn, the first real love of his life wiped out in an instant. He looked round at the room he was in, and a rage enveloped him, it must be that gangster Mikel Mass! He picked up his cell, and pressed Suzi’ fathers number. After a few moments it was answered by the brisk voice that Dirk had come to love. “Bill?” yes he replied, “Dirk do u know what time it is?” Dirk replied, “am afraid so Bill,I have some terrible news, I havent come to terms with it myself. Bill, Suzi is dead in an apparent accident, I don’t know what to say. Bill, you there?” “Dirk, are you serious?“ “Bill, am afraid I am, it seems her car was forced off the road while she was on her way back to Cape Town, we were staying at a guest house not far from the site we were going to build our house.Gees Bill, what can I say?” Bill replied, “its ok son, we will work this out, hang in there my boy, I will be there as soon as I can.” Dirk didn’t know what to say or do, he felt absolutely gutted. A rage was building up inside him, one of frustration and absolute loss, after all this time this happens, in the happiest time of my life! Dirk got dressed, and went to his car, and drove, thoughts miles away, to Malmsbury Police Station, where he was greeted by the Station Commander, who expressed all their sorrow, as Dirk and Suzi had become very popular in the small Swartland town, after bringing much needed business to the builders in that area.
The Commander had personally, when he heard of the accident, been right at the scene, to make sure that every scrap of evidence that was there, was correctly collected for later analysis. The only witness, a farmer on his way to an early morning delivery to Cape Town, was able to identify the car that caused Suzi’s car to veer off the road into the concrete support of the rail bridge over the main road, he actually knew the model exactly, as his brother had just taken delivery of one similar to the car that caused the tragedy! It was without a doubt, a navy blue BMW 750i, just as Mikel Mass’s car was! A short while later, Bill arrived with Kobus, in full police uniform, the Station Commander nearly had a heart attack to see such a senior officer present! In no time, Kobus had contacted the Cape Town branch of the police, and they would have Mikel Mass’s car impounded, and were sure to find some evidence of the collision. The following morning, Dirk and Bill made the sad arrangements to have Suzi’s remains brought back to Cape Town,where she would be buried. Dirk still in a state of shock, was to stay with Bill, as travelling to and from Simonstown was too time consuming.
Dirk’s grandparents were equally shocked to have heard about the accident, they had been told its was an accident, not a premeditated murder, Dirk had felt that would only increase their grief, as they had also fallen in love with Suzi, in the past months that she had been with Dirk. After the funeral and a couple of weeks later, Dirk plucked up courage to return to his almost completed home, up the West Coast, the house with its magnificent views, and unique design, with Suzi’s offices and his underground studio’s, with the steel shuttering replaced with vast expanses of tinted glass, and drawing boards, and computer stations, he realized that this was all a waste, as who would he share it with?
After the funeral several weeks earlier, Suzi’s business partner, Jill had offered to help with setting up the design studio’s, as she felt that it was what Suzi had wanted, to help train some up and coming young designers, and of course establishing their Fashion house even more! Suzi had left her partnership to Dirk, on the provision that Jill remain with the firm, as senior partner and as head designer, and Dirk would be the silent partner, so that is what had happened. The new house, as yet unlived in, was still an empty shell. Dirk couldn’t get himself to move in and had remained living in the guest house, quite close to the building site, while supervising what was necessary. His partners, Pieter and Frank, who studied with Dirk at varsity, while Dirk had read Architecture while Frank had read Electronics, had taken over much of the tasks, as had Charles, another of Dirks close friends who had studied Ecology and trained as a diver, between them managed to relieve Dirk of most building irritations, while he came to terms with his grief. Jill had visited the new house many times, both with Suzi, and recently to help with setting up the studios, there were several, all dealing with the different aspects of the Fashion House. She had piece by piece being also setting up the new house, as knowing Suzi so well, and having similar tastes, besides Dirk was no hardship to admire, he had also stolen her heart, but she had never intimated any of this to Dirk, with him being so in love with Suzi and she with him! Now that Suzi has no longer there, she wondered if Dirk might in some future time notice her as a woman, and not just Suzi’s partner! “Oh well she thought, what happens happens!’
In the meantime, Kobus had being very busy with the investigation over Suzi’s death, Mikel Mass, as ever the cunning criminal had, when he returned to Cape Town, that very night, driven his car to a panel beater who had removed any signs of the collision,so by the time the court order for impounding the car had been arranged, there was no evidence to prove it was his car! Some chips of paint, found on Suzi’s car did match the color and type, but that was no proof, as there were many such cars around! Another disappointing fact was that it had rained heavily later that night, which washed out any tire tracks that might have helped with identifying the car. Kobus kept digging, knowing that eventually some small trace of evidence would be found. The prosecution that had convicted Fanie, Mikel Mass’s brother had contacted Dirk in connection with the further evidence that Suzi had accidently uncovered, and that Mass wanted to disappear!
While Dirk and Suzi had explored the cliff under the house, they had discovered a small cave, so well concealed that it was only found when they had dropped a torch between some boulders, and found the entrance. For some reason they had never mentioned it to anyone, and Dirk had installed even more concealment and that was where Suzi had stashed away the files of evidence against a whole chain of gang bosses, including Mass. Dirk had decided not to give up further evidence, until he had found proof of Mass’s involvement in Suzi’s death, then to hand over everything to the police, which would put Mass and most of the gang bosses in Cape Town away for many years!
Over the past months Bill and Dirk had become even closer, in a way Bill had become the father Dirk never had, and Dirk the son Bill never had, Bill’s wife Margaret had always wished for a son, after the birth of Suzi, but after her illness, she was unable to have any more children. When she passed away, Bill threw himself into his businesses and bringing up Suzi, so now that Dirk had appeared, Bill had started to slowly bring himself to life again only to be met with the shock of Suzi’s death, and it was Dirk, even though suffering as much as Bill, helped him to work through those terrible few months. The one thing that kept them from sliding into despair was the will to have Mass convicted of his involvement in Suzi’s death, and all the untold miseries his drug lords had inflicted on so many people!
When Dirk was on contract in Canada, some years ago, he had been impressed with some electronics fitted to the cars there, that allowed them to be started from a distance, so that the cars would be warmed up, and ready for when they were used, in that freezing winter. When he had returned to South Africa, Charles had modified Dirks Land Rover to do the same, and occasionally Dirk used that to start up and warm the Rover in the mornings. Little did he know how that simple modification would save his life one day!
Eventually Jill had completed the house and the studio’s and said to Dirk, she would move there, she had arranged accommodation with the locals for the studio staff, while the permanent small apartments that they would rent when working there were being completed, they were more than happy to move out from the City to the relaxing West Coast, and away from the continuous hum drum of city life and crime! She also convinced Dirk to leave the guest house and move to the house, it was large enough for both of them, all 4 bedrooms had their own en-suites, there were two lounges, and a really beautiful kitchen, that would have made any chef swoon! There was also a large dining room, and a smaller intimate dining area, just off the kitchen, leading out to an enclosed braai-entertainment area, complete with a small swimming pool, warmed by solar heaters built into the roof, which also provided hot water for the house, the water tank fed from the spring had been renewed and pumps installed, supplying water to the house and offices. As there was no sewerage connections in that remote area, a biological waste treatment plant was installed, Charles was in his element with all the ecological innovations used, a series of solar panels combined with a wind generator charged a bank of heavy duty batteries, and a inverter supplied the normal house current, for all the lights, appliances and computers, and gas supplied the heating for cooking, and supplementing the solar heaters for hot water. As there was no television coverage in that area, Dirk had had a satellite link installed, which was also used for communication, needed for their studio’s drawings and design work.
During the time Dirk had been there, he had made quite a name for himself, as a Mr Fixit man! The old quarters had been converted into a fully equipped workshop, in his travels he had collected a huge amount of tools and machines, which he had stored in Simonstown, so when workshop was ready, he had moved it all there. To supply power for some larger machines and welding, he installed a small diesel generator that could also be coupled to the house if necessary. The farmers in the neighborhood soon heard of that workshop, and there was an occasional farmer that would arrive with some machine that need some welding or repair, and in exchange a lamb carcass or several boxes for greens would appear, sometimes even a gift of some home brewed beer or wines!
Pieter and Macy, Dirks sister would visit several times a month, Pieter kept the Cape Town office operating, allowing Dirk the time to spend doing the designing in his new office studio’s. As Dirk and Pieter were so involved in the modern environment the house was built to the latest specifications, so required little heating or cooling, even the underground studios were at an almost constant temperature, just having fresh air sucked from below, so all in all, there was little that couldn’t be provided by natural processes! After Dirk had settled in to the master bedroom, house life started into a sort of normalcy, Jill had her suite of rooms, they cooked together, Dirk was a very good cook, as was Jill, so meals were always a time of communication and comfort, Jill had never married, but had had several men friends, but never committed to any of them! Bill would bring Annie up to the house on some weekends, and they would enjoy a weekend of companionship, with the thought of Suzi always in their minds.
Kobus in the meantime was still on Mass’s track, gathering information, and building a case, that even the wily Mass couldn’t escape. Mass was convinced that Dirk had the information Suzi had obtained, so reasoned that if Dirk was out of the way, that information would never be found! A few months later, Mass made his move. Dirk traveled to Cape Town every Tuesday, to meet with Pieter and discuss with him the ongoing projects, and plans for future work, meeting people and suppliers, generally staying over with Bill, and returning via Simonstown to visit his grandparents for the day, before driving back to the West Coast house, usually arriving at dinner on Wednesday evening. As it happened this Tuesday was a cold blustery morning, and Dirk, looking outside, decided to start the Rover by remote. He pressed the button to start the Rover, and saw a puff of smoke as diesel engine started, then a terrific blast, and the Rover disappeared in a ball of flame! Fortunately no one was around the Rover at the time, and it was parked in the corner of the buildings, that guided the force of the explosion away from the house! Dirk couldn’t believe his eyes, where his treasured Land Rover had stood, was this gaping hole in the ground, the smoke blown away by the gusty wind! Jill came running downstairs, and threw herself into Dirks arms, she was stark naked and dripping wet, she had been having a shower, when the terrific explosion had happened, and had thought something had happened to Dirk! After a few moments they both realized that she was in his arms, and he hadn’t let go, and that she was naked, and dripping wet, they had a laugh, he opened the laundry cupboard, and sheepishly handed Jill a bath towel, and it was as if it was the first time he had really noticed this beautiful lady, standing in his house, and wondered how he not seen her before.
After calming her down, he sent her upstairs to dress, and as he did so, in the distance he heard the sound of a siren and in a few moments, a police van came screeching to a halt outside the front door, and one of the constables flew out and ran to the door. Dirk opened the door, and the constable said “thank goodness you are ok sir!” Dirk asked him how come they were here so soon, he hadn’t had time to call the police ? The constable said they were just outside the police station, when they heard the blast, and saw the gout of smoke, before the wind blew it away, so knowing where he lived they raced over to see what had happened. After explaining about his good luck with the remote starting device, the constable walked over to the heap of still smoking metal, all that was left of Dirk’s beautiful Land Rover!
The constable walked over to his van and called the station explaining what had happened, Dirk called out to him from inside the house and motioned him to stop the call. He stopped, walked back to the front door and Dirk said he thought that he shouldn’t mention that Dirk was alive, as whoever had wanted Dirk to be blown up, would try again if he thought he was unsuccessful this time around. The policeman after thinking for a moment, agreed, and returning to the van, completed his call saying he could find no sign of Dirk or his body, just some bloodied jogging shoes and some tattered clothes. The Station Commander said he would be there with the forensics team shortly, and completed the call. Jill came down, and Dirk told her what he had said to the policeman, and she, after hearing what he thought, agreed with Dirk, that it would be better if Dirk disappeared, until they had some evidence linking Mass to this attempt on his life.
Shortly the Station Commander and the forensics team arrived, and Jill opened the door to them, appearing as if she was grief stricken, and when the Station Commander entered, Dirk showed himself, and after discussing with the Commander, who also agreed with Dirk’s assessment and that it would be prudent to assume Dirk had been blown up by the bomb, and the lid to be kept on that he was still alive. They also agreed that they had to assume that phones might be tapped, so the Commander would go through to Cape Town, to inform Kobus directly what had happened, hopefully keeping Mass in the dark! The forensics meanwhile had been examining the wreck, so they were unaware that Dirk was still alive, his bloodied joggers and clothes had been found, and also some pieces of flesh-which was a present of some lamb he had put in his Rover, with his old jogging shoes and some clothes that he was taking to Simonstown! So officially some remains had been found, and a case of murder would be opened. The Commander and his team left a short while later, taking any evidence they had found with them. This attempt on Dirk’s life had electrified the relationship between Jill and Dirk, with the result their bond had become closer.
After thinking a while, and discussing it, Dirk decided to go down the concealed entrance to the underground studio’s, and go down to the boathouse, and use the boat to go to Cape Town, it was a 2 hour trip in the fast ski boat that was kept in the boathouse. The boat was always kept ready for any eventuality, and could slip away without being noticed. They also decided that Jill should appear to be grief stricken and have a taxi to drive her to Cape Town, to Bill’s house. Dirk would moor at Granger Bay, and contact Bill to collect him, and when they were all together decide on plan of action. Later that afternoon, as darkness was approaching, Dirk embraced Jill, and left down the concealed entrance to the boathouse below.
The Taxi arrived, and Jill, muffled up and hunched over in apparent grief got into the Taxi and left for Cape Town. Dirk used the wire rope conveyer system to launch the boat, out beyond the beach, started the twin outboard engines, and idled out to the deep sea, and once out of earshot of the cliffs, opened up the throttles, and sped to Cape Town. Soon away from the shore, he set the automatic pilot, and sat back, watching the distant shore slip by.
On a small hilltop overlooking Dirk’s house, two men sat, watching what was happening. After setting the bomb, they had concealed themselves, and waited, till they heard the explosion, and called Mass, telling him what had happened, he told them to stay on watch, and keep him informed on what happened next. When he heard that the taxi had taken Jill back to Cape Town, and police had left, he told them to wait, a car would fetch them soon.
Just over 2 hours later, Dirk entered the calm waters of Granger Bay, and secured the boat at one of the distant moorings, and walked up to the quay, found a call box, and called Bill. He changed his voice, and asked Bill to come down to Granger Bay urgently as someone had been interfering with Bill’s boat that was moored there. Dirk, stood near the road entrance to the quay, and waited, shortly Bill’s Suziki roared up, Dirk stood out and waved Bill down, before Bill had time to stop, Dirk jumped in and told him to drive away! Bill, hearing and seeing Dirk’s agitation, did just that, and drove off towards Camps Bay. Bill drove for a while, letting Dirk marshal his thoughts, then when Dirk said stop, Bill stopped the car, and turned to him, “so what’s all this about then he asked?” “Well it’s like this,” Dirk explained the whole series of events, from when he pressed the remote, till arriving at Granger Bay. After thinking for a while, Bill said “I think a meeting with Kobus is called for,so without giving Kobus any details, arranged to meet him for dinner later.” Bill got Dirk to huddle down in the car, and draped a blanket over him, and drove up to his house, right into the garage, and the doors automatically closed behind them.
When they went upstairs, Jill had already arrived, and she threw herself into Dirks arms, “you made it, I was so worried” she cried! Annie, hearing the commotion bustled in and hugged Dirk, “you safe now with Mr Bill!” Bill looked at how Jill was hanging on Dirks arm, and thought although I have lost my daughter, I think I have found another! Annie of course was old friends with Jill, she had been almost a second daughter to Suzi and the two of them had been almost inseparable growing up. Dirk asked if he might have a shower, and change, as his clothes were soaked from the sea trip, of course Bill said, “you know where everything is, how stupid of me!” Dirk left, and Bill turned to Jill,”is what I am seeing true?” Jill replied, “with all my heart, yes Bill it is, although he doesn’t know it yet, and is still grieving, I will wait for him.” Bill turned away, so that she wouldn’t see the tears in his eyes, tears of both sadness and joy, thinking to himself, that he must be the luckiest man alive to have been given his life back, as with the death of Suzi, his life had ended, but had been fortunate to have Dirk, and they together had overcome the tragedy of her death, and here now a new life had emerged, one he felt was equally right for them all, even he thought Margaret would approve!
After all the excitement, the topic was soon under discussion. What to do next? “Well” Dirk said, “I think a plan of action with Kobus would be a good way to start. It might be a good idea, in the meantime to continue with the theme that I am no longer around, so maybe that Mass character will become careless, and maybe give Kobus some ideas on how to nail him!” “Yes” both Bill and Jill agreed, “that sounds like a promising line,” but Jill said, “I think you will have to be somehow a bit disguised, just on the off chance that Mass is still watching! I have some stuff that would do the trick quite easily, just its your height that presents a problem.” Bill thought for a while,” you know, if you were taller, it would make it more unlikely to be recognized, we could but some heights into your shoes that would give you a couple extra inches!” Sounds like a good idea, both Jill and Dirk agreed, lets do it! “Well” Bill said, let’s see Kobus at supper, and tell him, and see what he suggests, so a short while later, Dirk was huddled down in the back seat of the Suziki, while Bill and Jill sat in the front seats, and they drove down to the harbor to meet Kobus for supper. They parked in the underground parking area, and after extricating himself from the small car, Dirk ,Jill and Bill cautiously looked around to see if they had attracted any attention. When it appeared normal, they took the lift up to the second floor resturant, and were shown to Kobus’s table. Kobus took a double take at the tall stranger accompanying Bill, until he realized it was Dirk!”
Wow, he exclaimed, that height does really make a difference, not to mention the dark wig!” Dirk gave a huge grin, “well” he said,” it surely itches like hell!” That made them all burst into laughter, and released the tension that they were all under, and after settling themselves down, the sommelier arrived and after a discussion, the wines were chosen, and the waiter soon appeared, and orders were placed. Kobus opened up the discussion, by saying how lucky Dirk had been, and that it also showed how desperate Mass was to eliminate any evidence that could put him and the rest of the drug lords behind bars! Kobus said that the forensics had found that the explosive that had been used was Semtex, and a quantity had been stolen a couple days earlier from an Army Depot, but with the lack of any information as to how it was stolen, and by who, the trail seemed to die there! He also said that while doing background checks on most of Mass’s men, they had found two guys that had been in the Army, and more importantly, in the demolition teams, so had the knowledge to build a bomb, they also had served a term in the Army jail for stealing some live ammunition, before being dishonorably discharged, so that was a link that he was working on. The police up in Malmsbury had swept the area around Dirk’s house, and found the tracks of two men that could have been responsible for the blast, also finding the place where they had kept watch, both before and after the explosion, also some cigarette butts had been found, and at moment were undergoing DNA analysis, so that when they were found, a sample could be matched! At least Kobus said,” we have a link to Mass, but much more is needed before we can make an absolutely watertight case! In the meantime Dirk, we feel that you should not be seen, perhaps there is somewhere you can hole up for a while?” Jill spoke up, “yes I know the perfect place!” They all turned to her, and she said “I have a bungalow along the coast, near Hout Bay, that was completely secluded, and only reached by a private road.” She occasionally went there to recharge her batteries, after a particularly hectic fashion session, all Dirk needed to take was some food staples, it had power and water, and a telephone, also the big plus was that it was quite close, so if anyone needed to see or contact Dirk, it was easy!
What she didn’t say, was that getting Dirk alone, she felt she could work on him, and hopefully have him to commit to her! After she had told them of the idea, they all agreed that it was perfect, and that Dirk should move there as soon as possible, that night in fact, Jill would bring the staples to him the following day, so after a toast to commemorate his lucky escape, and his apparent death, they left, Dirk once again huddled down in Bill’s Suzuki. Jill in the front seat, and drove to her bungalow, where they left Dirk, Jill promising to bring the supplies the following day. Bill drove back to his house, stopping at Jill’s apartment for her to get some clothes. After arriving at Bill’s house, Annie fussed over Jill, and soon had her tucked up in bed, and with all the high drama of the day, Jill with the thoughts of Dirk in her mind, soon fell into an exhausted sleep.
Dirk laying in the bed that Jill must have laid in many times, was thinking similar thoughts, feeling really lucky, in finding such a caring talented beautiful woman, just when he had been at the lowest ebb of his life and with the thoughts of seeing her soon, he fell asleep.
In the meantime Mikel Mass had been listening to his men that he had sent to do the job on Dirk, and was feeling defiantly happier to think that was two birds out of his hair! He was still a bit concerned about the evidence that was missing, but as he went to sleep, it was a less of a worry, perhaps it had been in Dirk’s Rover, and destroyed in the explosion. Little did he know that the information that he so desperately wanted was tucked away in that concealed cave, below Dirk’s office.
A few days later, while Dirk still appeared to be missing, believed to have been blown up by that huge explosion, Mikel Mass began to relax, which is exactly what Bill and Kobus wanted. They had been secretly monitoring his calls, and knew a big drug deal was coming up soon, just as yet not sure of the how and when! One of their informers had been making cautious remarks about the huge haul coming in from South America, but so he said, he wasn’t aware of any time or date, but would keep looking. Kobus and Bill had decided to have a funeral for Dirk, and hoped that would urge Mass to go ahead with the drug shipment. The funeral would be held in Simonstown, and all Dirk’s friends and relatives would be there, none of them knowing that he was still alive! Jill in the meantime had been making herself very much part of Dirk’s life, and he had been opening up more and more to her, seeing beyond the partner, and actually getting more and more attracted to her, as a woman, not Suzi’s friend! She in turn, had tried to draw Dirk out of the huge depression the result of Suzi’s death, and after that time of the explosion, she knew he had some feelings for her. Bill of course, still desolated by his daughters death, had become very close to Jill, and as she was helping Dirk to recover, he felt even more that she was another daughter! The bungalow where Dirk was concealing himself was quite alone, and it also gave him a lot of time to assess his options, if nothing else, he was a realist, and knew nothing could be done to bring back Suzi, that was part of life, but here was another chance of happiness, one that he couldn’t let slip away! With that decision made, his outlook changed, and he became very aware of Jill, and after the funeral, when the shock and horror of his death had become easier to bear, Bill had slipped down to see him, and bring him up to date on the investigation over Mass. Over a small braai, and several glasses of red wine, Dirk had opened up to Bill as to his feelings for Jill, and that he hoped that he would understand. Bill realizing how devastated Dirk had been, and seeing how he had recovered, with Jill’s help, felt in a way very relieved, and it also helped him to come to terms with the loss of his daughter, but within them both burned a hot fury of being deprived of the life of Suzi! Bill accepted Dirk’s decision to continue to be invisible, and with Jill’s help, maybe allowing Mass enough rope to hang himself, and the rest of his cronies.
Kobus in the meantime was getting closer to Mass, now he knew of the arrival time of the drug deal, it was just the way it would arrive that was missing. Later that night, after Bill had left, Dirk was sitting on the small deck, looking out over the still sea of Hout Bay, when he saw briefly a flash of light coming down the private road behind him. With the thought of Mass ever present in his mind, he quickly got up and melted into the bush surrounding the isolated bungalow. With baited breath he watched as a small car turned into the parking area behind the bungalow, and he recognized Jill’s car. He walked out of the bushes, as Jill opened the door, she gave a scream of fear as this tall guy suddenly appeared next to her! Dirk reached in and effortlessly lifted her out of the car, and into a huge hug, “gees” he said into her hair, “you gave me such a fright, I thought it was Mass’s gang dropping in to cause problems!” Jill turned her head to him, and without any thought kissed him fiercely on the lips, and he replied, all of a sudden they were locked in an embrace, and that could only lead to one conclusion, “Jill”, Dirk gasped, “I am in love with you, I never realized it before, and didn’t want to accept it, but now I am sure.” Jill leant back in his arms, and looking into his eyes, pulled him closer to her body, “I have known it since Suzi died, it hurt me terribly to believe it could happen to us, but it did, and I have no regrets!”
With that Dirk picked her up effortlessly, and carried her into the bungalow, and into the bedroom, gently laying her down on the bed, looking down at her smoldering eyes, her absolute wayward look, knowing that he would not be repulsed, he leaned down and his lips found hers, melting into each other’s ,her hands moved up to grasp his head, and pull him down to her, mouths feverishly open to each other, the hunger that they both shared at last being realized, Dirk slowly collapsed on her, his weight pinning her down, a weight she had wanted for the longest time, feeling his hardness pressing on her belly, wanting even more, she slipped her hands under his shirt, his smooth back like coiled steel under her hands, she lifted his shirt up and in a movement she slipped it over his head, with hardly a gasp as their mouths briefly parted. She felt his hands moving up her body, under her blouse, across her bra, her breasts straining under the excitement of his nearness, his hand slid under her back, and she lifted her shoulders, as she felt him release the catch on her bra, and her breasts became free, and with a shrug, she shed her bra, her breasts molding to his chest, her nipples feeling like acorns against his taught chest, the hairs rubbing her nipples, a feeling she had wanted since that explosion, that had jerked her into the realization that she had such strong feelings for her partners man. Her hands slipped down over his silky back till she reached his jeans and his belt, she slipped her hand under his body and found his belt buckle, and with a fumbling motion she managed to undo the buckle, and the button, finding the zip which she slid down. Her hands now slid under his jeans and with the belt, button and zip released, she slid his jeans down his thighs, he lifted his hips to help her, and with a quick wiggle, he shed his jeans, leaving his boxers still tightly covering his hard erection, pressing against her belly, almost driving her to distraction. She felt his hands, which had been caressing her inflamed breasts, moving down, to her silky boy leg panties, and over her engorged Mons, that feeling almost making her climax, then feeling his hand slipping under the waistband of her panties, over her belly, her slim triangle of pubic hair feeling the pressure of his hand, as it slipped down further, eventually cupping her femininity in his hand, the feeling was indescribable, she felt completely powerless, but his control wasn’t domineering, it was the feel of love, soft, generous, yielding, to her feminine body, it was to her an amazing sensation, after years of experiences with men that lusted after her, never taking the time to experience her feelings, just after their feelings! She thrust her hips up to his hand, feeling as he received it with pleasure, and responding, pressing down firmly on her so aroused Mons. Her hand moved down to his boxers, and lifted the elastic, and moved down further, till she felt his maleness hard against her hand, the springy curls of his pubic hair against her fingers, and the tautness of his erection against her hand, and she slowly grasped it, her hand barely circling the size of his erection, almost gasping, at the feel in her hand, just knowing that would be sliding into her, filling her to fullness, and eventually exploding inside her, driving her to unbelievable heights of passion, such that she had been lacking for the longest time. She felt his fingers hooking into her panties, and slipping them down, she lifted her hips to ease the movement, till she felt them around her knees, and with a quick movement, she slipped out of them completely. She now lay completely naked to Dirk, and he looked down in the dim light of the waning moon, studying her naked body, she knowing his thoughts, the decision he had to make, to accept her, or to reject her in memory of Suzi. Then she could see his mind working, and he plunged his face down to kiss her, her lips opening to his in welcome, knowing he had decided that what was past was past, and could never return.
That night was locked forever in both their minds, it helped to relieve the traumatic stress of Suzi’s death, Dirk’s close brush with death too, and the absolute loneliness he had endured for the last few months. It also helped her to take stock of her feelings for Dirk, and to shake off the feeling of being a traitor to her dear friend and partner, Suzi.
Early the following morning Dirk went for a quick swim in the very chilly sea, and returned just as Jill was awakening. She heard him moving around in the small kitchen and soon the delicious scent of brewing coffee filled the bungalow, she smiled to herself, luxuriating in the warm cocoon of their bed, all the passion of the previous night afr