Safeword:Quinacridone(126)

By: Candace Blevins


“What would be your way?”

His hand stilled and he looked up, decisively meeting her gaze. “I’d like to empty her account, making it look like she authorized a transfer to an offshore fund so the bank won’t be required to reimburse. In ten or so years, when the statute of limitations runs out, David’s child, or children, will receive a trust fund for whatever the account has accrued, with stipulations the money is used for college tuition. Once a degree’s acquired remaining monies can go towards a down payment on a house.”

“And...”

He closed his eyes and smiled affectionately, “You know me so well.” He opened them, took a breath, and plunged. “I want to destroy her hard drives. All of them. Spectacularly so. And I want to grab still shots from the videos of her having sex with David, but crop him out so he isn’t recognizable, upload it to a website, and send the URL to everyone in her email contacts list. I might even edit some of the video, fuzzing him out and altering his voice to be sure no one’ll know it’s him.”

“And...”

“I need to make an example of the tabloid as a company, as well as the people directly responsible. I believe I can handle the corporation through the legal system, though I’ve discovered the firm they lease office space from is having cash flow issues so I may consider buying the building. I could have a lot of fun with them as their landlord.”

“Connie will know you hacked her computer if you point all her friends and family to the pictures and video.”

“Of course, but she won’t be able to prove it. The email will come from her account and her IP address. Not mine.”

“She’ll know you transferred her money offshore, too.”

“Yep.”

“I think you’re playing with fire.”

“And you’re worried it’ll backfire and we’ll get burned?”

“That, but I also worry we’ll spend too much time and energy on revenge instead of enjoying our life.”

“Do you know why the worst of the stories about me stopped five years ago?”

She shook her head, almost afraid of what he’d say, but needing to hear.

“Two tabloids primarily reported the sleaziest gossip, and I’m certain they fabricated most of the rumors. They could report something totally innocent and make me sound like the scum of the earth. They harassed me, my friends, and all of the girls I was seen with in public. Instead of targeting the companies, as I’d done in the beginning, I went after the men behind the harassment. One was quite rich, and I re-arranged his investments, making it appear as if he used insider information to trade, and arranged for one of the affected corporations to file a report with the SEC.”

He paused, shrugged. “He managed to stay out of jail, but barely. Six weeks after his legal troubles ended, I fiddled with his portfolio again but this time I positioned him in futures. He was on vacation, and by the time he came home his fourteen million was worth less than four thousand.”

“Have I mentioned lately how scary you are? How’d you get in a second time, didn’t he establish safeguards to make sure you couldn’t do it again?”

“Why yes, he did. He changed investment companies and was assured their systems were safe. Unfortunately for him, I wrote the security software the brokerage utilized.” He shrugged. “I made a side door and was able to get in and out without leaving a trace. I even worked it so the changes originated from the IP address of his vacation rental home.”

“And the other man?”

“I found footage of him from his college days, lobbying hard to keep the Ivy League school he attended from admitting more than the handful of black students already enrolled. He called them animals, said they belonged in the jungle and not the classroom — it was a horribly damning video. Besides making the clip available online and assuring everyone in the industry saw it, I also included copies of his embarrassingly low grades and his expulsion letter. It seems he was caught with drugs on campus on more than one occasion.”

His smile was truly scary now, as he finished with, “Just as the furor over the racist video faded, I provided another that began with him spouting homophobic statements and ended with him vigorously fucking another man in the ass.”

Cara took a moment to absorb the information. “That’s terrible, Travis. You destroyed those men’s lives.”

“They wouldn’t leave me alone, Cara. They were making shit up, attempting to bug my phones, launching DOS attacks on my servers to try to hack them... I had to do something. Once I made an example of them, all harassment stopped. No one’s gone over the line in more than four and a half years.”