Betsy Carter
Chapter 3

Copyright© 2022 by Lazlo Zalezac

The table was loaded with enough food to feed a small army: scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, toast, hash browns, pancakes, porridge, and fresh fruits. The offerings filled the little serving trays and bowls, from which the people gathered around the table could assemble their own meal. Betsy grabbed a substantial portion from each tray. Charlie took some eggs, toast, and fresh fruits. Candice ate a bowl of porridge, and some fresh fruits.

There was no conversation while they ate. Betsy was focused on getting as much food into her stomach as possible. Charlie was still waking up. Candice was too nervous and uncertain to talk. The only sounds in the room were the normal clicks, clatters, and other sounds as silverware hit plates, cups landed on saucers, and people took bites out of food.

At the end of the meal, Charlie handed Candice a small bottle of pills.

“We had the prescription the doctor left last night filled. It says that you are to take three pills a day,” Charlie said.

“Thank you,” Candice mumbled.

She took the bottle of pills looking embarrassed. It contained antibiotics for the venereal disease she had picked up in her job. She had no idea that she even had it, much less when she had gotten it. She was lucky that it wasn’t the HIV or Herpes, although she still had to be tested for the former.

Betsy asked, “What are your plans?”

Candice was going to lie, but after thinking it over she decided to tell the truth. There was no reason not to tell the truth. In fact, it would make it easier to leave if she was kicked out.

“I figured I would give a couple dozen blow jobs, use the money to get on a bus, and get as far from here as possible. I don’t think it would be a good idea for me to stay around here. I was thinking I’d head west, maybe Calgary or Vancouver.”

Charlie looked shocked, but Betsy didn’t bat an eye. Of course, Charlie didn’t have the experience of having met the hordes of William’s friends in the homeless hotels and streets that Betsy had. Candice was not the first woman Betsy had met who sold her body for a living.

“At least that’s a plan. It’s better than nothing,” Betsy commented.

“What do you mean, it’s a plan? It’s a horrible idea,” Charlie said affronted by the idea.

She figured a couple years in the military would straighten Candice out. It would put some structure in her life, give her three squares a day and a cot at night. She might even meet a man, get married, and settle down to raise a brood of kids.

Betsy answered, “It’s not horrible. Her idea of getting out of town is a good one. Maybe you don’t approve of the way that she’s thinking of going about it, but it does leverage doing something she knows how to do.”

Candice had expected Betsy to react more like Charlie and for Charlie to react more like Betsy. The reversal of roles kind of threw her for a loop. She didn’t know what to think.

“So if it is all the same to you, I’ll just get dressed and go,” Candice said.

“Don’t be in such a rush. I doubt you’d find a customer until later this afternoon, anyway,” Betsy said.

“You don’t need a whore hanging around here,” Candice said.

Betsy said, “My business is done, here. I should be heading back to school. We can take the northern route back. That would take us through Vancouver. We could drop you off there. That’ll keep you off your knees until you get over your little infection, and you would still get out of town.”

“You’re kidding?” Charlie asked incredulously.

“No.”

“That would be nice,” Candice said.

She wondered why Betsy would offer to do something like that. It didn’t make sense to her.

Betsy asked, “So what will you do when you get to Vancouver?”

“I hadn’t thought about that,” Candice said rather shocked at how bluntly Betsy had summarized her situation.

“I didn’t think you had. If you go back to strutting your stuff on the street, you’ll be getting battered by another man, like the one last night. That’s not exactly good planning,” Betsy said.

“I don’t have many options,” Candice said.

“You don’t? I find that hard to believe,” Betsy said.

Charlie said, “Join the military.”

“I’m a high school drop out. The military won’t take me,” Candice said throwing Charlie for a loop.

Betsy said, “You can always work in a strip club until you get your high school equivalent. I don’t know how that works here in Canada, but they’ve got to have something.”

“That’s an option,” Candice admitted rather surprised that Betsy would even suggest it.

“That’s not an option,” Charlie said.

“Don’t be such a prude, Charlie. A job in a strip club, is a job. She can earn decent money,” Betsy said.

“It’s humiliating and degrading.”

“It’s better than giving blow jobs in cars.”

“She’s got to get out of the sex business.”

“Why?”

“Because, it’s degrading.”

“It’s a living. If she thinks that is all that she can do to earn a living, then it is the best choice among all of her options,” Betsy said pointedly.

“Still...”

Betsy said, “She came to me for protection and help. I’ve protected her. Now I’m trying to find out how to help her. You aren’t helping by dismissing some of her options.”

Charlie sat back in her seat with her arms folded across her chest staring stonily at Betsy. She was not happy with the direction in which the discussion had headed. She planned to have a long talk with Betsy about the morality of sending a woman out to be a prostitute.

Candice was just as bewildered by the direction the conversation had gone as Charlie, but for different reasons. It was the last thing she expected a rich woman like Betsy to suggest. She even wondered if Betsy wasn’t a call girl who worked the high-end market.

Betsy turned to Candice and asked, “What do you think?”

“I could try that,” Candice said.

Betsy said, “Until your infection clears up, you’ll probably have to serve drinks rather than strip. You wouldn’t want to pass your disease along to your customers. You’d have a bunch of pissed off men after your ass, in no time at all.”

“That’s reasonable.”

“You wouldn’t make as much in tips.”

“That’s true,” Candace said.

“This is disgusting,” Charlie said.

“I spent last night looking at some business properties in Vancouver. I found a small twenty unit motel just outside of town. I was thinking about buying it,” Betsy said.

“Why on earth would you buy a motel in Vancouver?” Charlie asked.

Rubbing the gold torque gently, Betsy said, “I have a feeling that I’ll need a place or two like that.”

“You’re just throwing your money away,” Charlie said in disgust.

“It’s my money.”

“I can’t argue with you, there,” Charlie said.

She wondered if Betsy hadn’t suffered some kind of brain injury. She wasn’t doing the kinds of things that Betsy would normally do.

Betsy said, “Candice, you could do the strip club stuff or you could run the motel for me. It’s not a job that requires a lot of education. You check people in, check them out, and have maids clean the rooms every day. You’ll hand the receipts and money off to an accounting firm.”

“That’s sounds doable,” Candice said thoughtfully.

She had a feeling that Betsy was buying the motel just to give her an option. It was a lot more than she felt she deserved. She wasn’t going to reject the offer outright, but she didn’t feel right about taking her up on it.

Charlie stared at Betsy wondering where she was taking this.

Betsy said, “Of course, there will be times when I will send a special guest there. They will have to remain hidden, and won’t have the money to pay for a room. I would let you know when one of those guests would arrive.”

“Okay,” Candice said not understanding what Betsy meant.

Betsy said, “From what I was able to tell, the place is in pretty sad shape. You’ll have to spend some time getting it fixed up.”

“I don’t know how to do that,” Candice said.

“You hire people to fix it,” Betsy said dismissively.

“It’ll be a money trap,” Charlie said.

“I’m not buying it as a financial investment,” Betsy said.

“I figured that out. You are buying it to keep Candice from having to be a whore.”

Betsy shook her head in the negative. “No. I’m making a different kind of investment. I’m investing in the future. Not only her future, but the future of a number of other people.”

“Who?”

Betsy answered, “I don’t know yet. I do know that I will have need for a couple of places that can serve as sanctuaries for people who find themselves in untenable situations in the future.”

Betsy leaned forward so that she was addressing Charlie more than Candice although what she was going to say was meant more for Candice than Charlie.

She said, “Candice would be solving a problem of mine. I’m giving her options. I’m hoping that she’ll choose the one that helps me the most. That choice is taking care of an old rundown motel outside of Vancouver. I’m not worried about the money. Jake and John are going to make me a fortune. Over one billion people all over the world need the ability to change muddy disease infected water into fresh potable water. Their system can answer that need. In fact, it was the original purpose of their organic filtration system. They just don’t know how to sell others on the economic value that it has.

“Jake and John are engineers and not businessmen. They know that small towns everywhere need such a system, it is just that their initial attempts to address that market were rebuffed rather soundly. They thought that large holding tanks for marine life would be an easier sell than municipalities. To a certain extent, they are right. They’ll be selling their system in marine parks and research facilities all over the world before long. It is just that one day, they will break into the water treatment business, and then the money will really flow.

“I know that you are trying to prevent me from making a mistake, and I appreciate you looking out for my interests. In this matter, though, I must insist on following the course of action that I think is correct.”

Charlie knew that she had lost the argument. She nodded her head in defeat.

“Okay.”

“It would really help you if I ran your motel?” Candice asked.

“Yes.”

“I guess I can try,” Candice said.

Betsy said, “Great. Charlie, you’ll need to make arrangements for us to fly to Vancouver this afternoon. We’ll be staying there for a couple of days, so we’ll need lodging. Also, I’ll need a banker, a realtor, and a lawyer to facilitate the sale. I bookmarked the webpage with the motel for you.

“Gary and Stacy are still at the hotel where the conference was held. Gary can take a commercial flight back to Hawaii from Vancouver. We’ll take Stacy to Vancouver with us. She’s going to need to know the lay of the land there.”

“Okay,” Charlie said.

She had just had a ton of work dumped on her. She had hoped to be returning to Hawaii today, but accepted that her plans had changed.

“Candice, we have some shopping to do this morning.”

“Shopping?”

“You’re not going anywhere with me, dressed like that!”


It was the next morning when Betsy, Stacy, Charlie, and Candice arrived at the motel. Charlie looked at the place and compared what she was seeing to the photograph that had been on the website. There was no comparison. She shook her head in disgust. The lawn was overgrown and full of weeds. Where there had once been a sign for the place, there were now a few scattered boards on the ground.

The motel was a pit, and would require a lot of money to fix up. Every room required repairs: new fixtures, and replacement doors, new carpets, etc. The exterior required structural work. Every square inch of the place needed a good coat of paint ... or two. The parking lot needed to be repaved and restriped. All of the washers and dryers in the laundry room needed to be replaced. The ice machine had a rat’s nest in it.

Betsy, Charlie, Stacy, Candice, and a representative from the bank followed the real estate agent around, checking out each room and all of the equipment. Charlie couldn’t believe that anyone actually thought they could sell it. Candice was a little disheartened at the thought of living there. The real estate agent figured she was wasting her time showing this particular property. Stacy had just followed them around checking the place out.

When the group reached the office, Betsy turned to the real estate agent and said, “Do what you have to do to make it mine. I’ll go as high as a quarter million, Canadian.”

“I don’t think we can back a project like this,” the representative from the bank said.

The walk around the motel had shown that it wouldn’t be much of a money maker. In fact, the banker expected Betsy to lose money on it. A quarter of a million to purchase it along with his estimation of the operating costs would require that she have a very high occupancy rate or charge far more than the market could bear, just to break even.

He was not impressed with Betsy as a businesswoman. The only way to make any money on this deal was to rent out the rooms by the hour to cheating spouses wanting a place where they wouldn’t be found by suspicious mates. The bank was not interested in backing that kind of business.

Betsy said, “Explain it to him, Charlie.”

Charlie sighed thinking that it was good that Betsy had calmed down since the plane crash. She could just imagine the impression she would have made if she had still been jumping around. She could almost read the banker’s thoughts.

She pulled the banker aside to explain that Betsy would be buying the hotel and that the bank’s involvement would be limited to maintaining standard business accounts. The accounts would be initially funded with sufficient money to purchase the motel, refurbish it, and operate it for a year. His role was to create the accounts, and to assure that money transfers occurred effortlessly, when needed.

Knowing that Charlie would be busy with the realtor and the banker for a while, Betsy gestured to Candice and Stacy to step outside the office. She had a bit of work for both of them to do.

Betsy said, “Candice, I know it doesn’t look like much right now, but it will be a nice little motel by the time we’re done with it. You’ll want to fix your living quarters first. There’s a hotel down the street you can live in, while the motel is being repaired.”

 
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