Episode 61: Illicit Acts Elicit Glee, But Only Temporarily


“... Hai ... Yokatta ... Shitsurei shimashita ... Arigato gozaimasu,” said Steel Bolt.  He hung up the telephone and smiled with satisfaction.

Finally!  An agreement in principle.  Not exactly signed, sealed and delivered, but much better than anything else I’ve gotten from those rising sun bastards in a long time.

He looked at his watch: 11:30 a.m.

Times like these I wish I drank—just so I'd have some way to celebrate this deal.  The one that is going to ensure the prosperity of Bolt Fasteners for lifetimes to come.

Suddenly an idea popped into Steel’s head.  He wavered for a second, then rose from his chair with conviction.

Beth Breath did a double take when she saw Steel emerge from his office.  “Mr. Bolt?  Are you going somewhere?  You don’t have anything scheduled.”

“Yes well, the conference call with the Japanese was very encouraging, so I thought I’d reward myself.”


Steel entered the elevator.

“... Would you like some company?” Beth asked, hearing the wistfulness in her own voice.

“No, Miss Breath,” Steel answered as the doors closed, “that won’t be necessary.”

Steel Bolt, a man who did not cry upon receiving news of the disappearance of his parents, a man who sat stone-faced while that damned fertility specialist told him his boys just wouldn’t swim, a man who reacted with the utmost stoicism when informed that his first wife was dead, tittered with glee as he drove.

This is going to be so much fun.  It’s not even one of our regular days.  It’s light outside!  It feels good to be naughty now and then.  I must remember that.  She is going to be so surprised.

Steel continued to marvel at his own impulsiveness all the way up stately Bolt Manor’s long driveway.  

He hoped Charity would be in their room, as he didn’t want the Help to see him skulking in for what he thought was commonly referred to as a nooner.  With that in mind he ran up the front staircase, directly to his bedroom.  

Not here.  Curses.  

That meant he had to look for her, which obviously increased the likelihood of being discovered by some member of the staff.  As he went through the house, however, he didn’t encounter anyone—including his wife.  

Finally he came upon Consuela polishing some furniture in the seldom-used Grand Ballroom.  Steel was so disconcerted that he couldn’t find his spouse, he no longer cared if the Maid knew he was home.  Nor did he notice that she blanched when she saw him.

“Consuela, where is Charity?” he asked.

“Oh, Mr. Bolt.  Hello.”

“Where is Charity?” he repeated.

Consuela stammered:  “Ummm...”

“For the love of god, woman, tell me where I can find my wife!” Steel demanded, his voice echoing throughout the huge, panelled room.

“Check Mr. Bolt’s room,” Consuela finally said.

“'Mr. Bolt’s room'?  You mean Daedalus?” Steel asked.

Consuela nodded grimly.

Steel bounded up the stairs again.  She must be counselling him to quit drinking, he thought as he approached his brother’s door, what a sweet woman.  Then he opened said door and roared, “Oh, sweet Jesus!” at what he saw.

Continue Reading: Episode 62: The Hypotenuse of Love