Louis and Celia spend some time ashore in Christiansted, St. Croix, USVI:
They are returning from an expensive restaurant.
We took a taxi back down the hill at about nine, and when we saw how lit up the downtown was, we decided to get out early, and walk back to the apartment. We stayed on the covered sidewalks in the populated areas, and I kept noticing the dark alleys that separated the buildings. I noticed one alley that went along an old Danish building that had the doorways all recessed about five feet into the sides. There were wrought iron gates, custom made to fit each opening, and giant elephant ear vines growing all over the sides of the stone and across the wrought iron.
“Celia, come with me.” I took her hand.
“What are you doing?” She reluctantly followed.
I led her down the dark alley, checking each gate as I went. All were locked, until we reached the third one on the left side. I opened it a little.
“Step inside.” I raised a vine over our heads.
I pushed the gate shut, and we had about four feet of privacy, to a solid wood door. It proudly exhibited a hundred years of peeling paint with a pile of fragments lying along the threshold. I pushed Celia against the stone, and pushed my body against hers. She gasped and looked into my eyes. I kissed her passionately, as we silently listened to the voices of people still going down the illuminated sidewalk. We had to be quiet. I put a hand on each of her legs and slowly raised her dress above her hips. She was apparently prepared for my imagination. There were no stockings or panties. I dropped to my knees and widened her legs. She put her hands on my head, leaned hers back against the cool stone, and closed her eyes.
“SSShhhhhhhh!” I resumed my exercise of self-control.
She pulled me back up and unfastened my belt. She was becoming impatient.
We heard footsteps running toward us. Louder… LOUDER! Until a black man in dress clothes stopped in the middle of the alley, six feet from us. He spotted us as he stood frozen, with no place to run.
“’ERE!” He pushed a small package about the size of a large book, through the gate. It fell on the ground, as I pressed my body against Celia for her protection. He started to run back toward the street when… POP… POP…. POP… BOOM… BOOM… BOOM! The gunshots echoed through the alley. We heard several men running toward the man. I peeked through the vines as they went through his clothes looking for something.
“NOTHING! IT’S NOT HERE!”
They left as fast as they appeared, and I just barely caught a glimpse of a black van with dark tinted windows rapidly leaving.
I picked up the package and zipped up my pants. Celia was hanging on to me and I could feel her shaking.
“Come… quickly!” I whispered.
We started to run out of the alley. We both froze in our tracks when we saw the man’s body.
“I didn’t know the human body held that much blood.” I checked him… just in case.
“Look!” I held up the lanyard around his neck that displayed his photo from West Indies Research in Teague Bay.
“He’s dead. Let’s get out of here!”
We ran to the end of the alley and looked up and down the street. It seemed clear, so we crossed into the shadows to the other side. Celia’s heels clicked across the blacktop. We were both watching every moving vehicle, afraid that the van may return. We rushed up the hill to the restaurant and up the stairway to our apartment. It felt safe, and I locked the deadbolt on the door. We went to the balcony and slid the glass door open. I walked out and leaned on the railing looking back down the hill at the buildings we had just left. Celia hugged me from behind, as she leaned her head against my back and let the fresh wind clear her mind.
“I was so scared. I’ve never seen anything like that!” she said.
“Hey! The package!” I remembered.
I have ate in the restaurant they just left, looked across the table to see my sailboat in Christiansted harbor, walked the streets at 9:00, and there is an alley with recessed doorways and rusty iron gates. I was just in St. Croix last month, and couldn’t find it?
The murder was actually on St. Thomas. Some men making a drug deal, thought that a tourist saw them, and shot and killed him to be sure. His tourist friend, told police that he had no idea why they shot him. They hadn’t seen anything.
I have grown up around wealthy people. That has enabled me to work for, and with them as I shaped my own life. At twenty-two years old, I helped build condos in St. Croix and managed the condo-accounts of 47 millionaires. They landed in their private jets, and I picked them up at customs. In my (Longue Duree series), you will find yourself saying, “Nooooo! No one would do that.” But I was there. Wait until I release “Insomniacs” It’s a crazy world.
In Longue Duree 1, I have had readers question the period of time between Celia’s husband’s death, and the time she makes love with Louis.
(My 2 part answer)
First, when two people are alone on a sailboat for months, or even weeks, there is a bond that forms. You depend on each other to stay alive. When you are in the middle of an ocean, with nothing to do but stay on course, and read a book, your mind strays in the having sex direction. (I am an experienced sailor)
Second, and this is not in the book. Celia was very smart and manipulative. Later in the book, when Louis met Celia’s sisters, this was made clear to him. The possibility exists that when Celia found out that her husband was spending time with his secretary in Switzerland, that she planned an exit strategy that included his death, and horny Louis, fell victim to a beautiful redhead with a custom built sailboat. (It works!)
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