Dim Sun was open well into the early hours. It catered for many night revellers and tired taxicab drivers. Magnam led Ron to a small metal table with a plastic top at the back, away from the Soi dogs that were seeking scraps. He ignored the menu.
“You want Fried Noodles with Shrimps and Black Mushrooms? They cook it exquisitely,” said Magnam in Thai. He called over the waitress, who dumped a large ice-bucket and two glasses on the table.
Ron nodded. “Okay, I’m easy.” He glanced up at the girl. “Whisky and soda.”
While they waited Magnam broached the subject. “These black guys want new passports. Seems like they want out.”
Ron raised an eyebrow “Strange, why they want out? I thought they were big players now and making enough money to live comfortably.” He spooned some ice cubes into the glasses. “Doesn’t make sense.”
Magnam realised maybe he’d said too much. “I think they need them so that they can branch out in Cambodia and Laos. You know, expand a bit without having to worry about Immigration on their case all the time.” He paused while the girl returned with the drinks. He waved her away and opened the Samsung whisky. “They’re looking for two US passports.”
“I do know someone,” said Ron as he topped up with soda. “I keep up to date with all the latest technical advances in the forgery business, and this man is the best in his field. He can supply any country’s passport, but he’s not cheap.”
“How much?” asked Magnam.
“Your guys are looking at paying 50,000 baht each, plus my commission of course. Call it 125,000 all-in,” said Ron.
Magnam nodded and changed the subject. “I’ll make a call and get back to you on that later. Got time for some pool?”
Ron looked at his watch. “A couple of games or so is ok. 2,000 baht a frame?”
Magnam smiled and lightly punched Ron’s arm. “Sure, easy money.”
Magnam called Elroy. “I can get you passports, but they cost 75,000 baht each. Up to you.”
There was a pause. “Ok you got our details and photos, just go ahead and get it done.”
“Money first,” replied Magnam.
“We pay on delivery, maybe they no friggin’ good. Look, you give the guy a small deposit, like goodwill or something, and I’ll pay you back from the proceeds of the next delivery. We going to make millions.”
Magnam contemplated this. Well he was standing to make 25,000 baht for no effort, so he would use the money he was going to win off of Ron that night for the deposit. “Ok I’ll get onto it right now.”
At Le Cantaloupe club, Le Chef listened to Lai Chan Chen as he prepared Chiri, the Fugu soup in his restaurant kitchen. “This is a very delicate operation, I really need to concentrate.”
“Why?” asked Lai.
Le Chef looked at him. Chinese peasant he thought. Knows nothing, but he shared the same macabre taste.
Le Chef explained. “This is Fugu fish, known more popularly as Tiger blowfish, freshly imported from Japan and prized by our clientele, as are all of our more exotic dishes. I must be very careful in removing the poisonous liver, ovaries and skin, otherwise ingesting the poison would cause deadening of the tongue and lips, dizziness, and vomiting.” He stopped his lecture to make sure Lai was following. “These symptoms would be followed by numbness and prickling over the body, rapid heart rate, decreased blood pressure, and muscle paralysis.”
Le Chef paused and leered at Lai. “If there is no respirator, death results from suffocation as the diaphragm muscles are paralysed. It is an exquisite torture and I find it much more stimulating than Viagra.”
Lai Chan Chen was expecting the call. “Rocky here…I’m at the Dim Sun Noodle shop. I saw two Thai men having very similar appearances to the photo you gave me. One is called Ron. They are going to play pool at the Lucky-Nine club.”
Lai smiled. He was sure that Magnam was with Ron. Now he could despatch both of them with Le Chef, which would leave him with a clear path to the lovely Naomi.
“Make sure that the bartender at Lucky-Nine identifies both of them. Wait until they leave the club, then request that they ride with you in the boot of the limousine for a late meal. Take them to Le Cantaloupe club, Sukhumvit, Soi 38. A man known as Le Chef will be waiting for you at midnight. You have enough backup?” Lai asked.
“We have enough,” answered Rocky.
Le Chef told his kitchen staff that they could finish early that night as the club was closed the following day for re-stocking. Fortunately, the bookings for that evening were limited, and he could manage the orders comfortably. He would save the Chiri soup for Lai’s clients.
The Maitre de table told the selected clients that the special soiree meal that evening was Peking Duck Consommé, followed by an Andaman Sea Lobster fresh from its aquarium with vegetable strudels, complemented by Leabrook Estate white wines. The intermezzo course would be thinly sliced Porcini mushrooms and Alba truffles, drizzled with fruity olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt.
Any discerning customers preferring red wine would be offered a Filet Mignon of Kobe beef as their main course, accompanied by either the popular Domaine de la Romanee Conti 1997/8 or the Chateau Le Pin Pomerol 1999.
For dessert, clients could have either the Cantaloupe cheeseboard selection with Albino caviar, or Venusian Tropical Fruits served with Coconut Creamy Milk. To complete the gastronomic experience, clients would be offered Copi Luwak coffee and a complementary glass of Henri IV Dudognon brandy or Leon Verres champagne. Le Chef looked forward to a calm evening followed by a stimulating night.
The Lucky-Nine club was busy. Rocky nursed a soda and blackcurrant, and pretended to watch the Thai news on channel 2. The two men had long drink breaks between frames. They were getting smashed, but they didn’t seem to care much. At one point a third man joined them at the bar. Extracted a business card and showed them. Money and what looked like passport photos, changed hands.
Later, a bargirl sat down beside him, but he wasn’t interested, just bored.
“Hi, I’m Doris. Looking for company?” Talking colloquial Thai.
He turned, grinned. Sexy. Plenty on show. “Doris, huh? Where that name come from?”
She smiled, “Farang said Doris good name. Get many customers.
He was none the wiser. “Ah, so.”
She tried again. “We go Karaoke together?”
He bent close and whispered in her ear. “Not tonight; I’m gay.” Hoped that would be that.
Well that is, until she told the barman, and that opened up a few new doors in the shape of some nubile young men and even a stray lady boy offering him their company for the night.
He called Doris back over. “Okay, I’ll try to change back into a macho male.” However, her renewed attention posed a new complication.
“Go Karaoke. Have good time.” She giggled and thrust her cleavage at him. “Boom Boom after, okay?”
He shook his head. Fished some bills out of his pocket and gave her 1,000 baht. “Tomorrow, okay?”
Her eyes lit up. “Sit with you. Have drink?”
He nodded. Bad idea. Doris was from Isaan and she talked non-stop about her family, all of who were looking to her to provide financial support. By 11 o’clock, he had had enough Doris to last a lifetime. Even if he wasn’t now gay he could have kissed his ‘clients’ as they racked up their final frame and cheerfully bawled their goodbyes.
Escaping the clutches of a disappointed Doris, Rocky followed them out into the night.
Sam Morrell had a confidential debrief with his Chinese/Thai associate in his office suite.
“That dumb ass Bruce, all he thinks about is screwing me,” she complained. “And talking about ass, that’s another thing.”
Sam was unsympathetic. “Look Tiffany we pay you big bucks to keep him out of our hair, so why the beef?” he replied. “Anyway, what’s the latest with the Nigerian?”
“He’s another dumb ass, but bigger all round and all he thinks about is pumping me, she continued to complain. “But I told him no ass, if he wants that, he go find lady boy.”
Sam laughed. “Tiffany, you’re every man’s fantasy, make the most of it while you still got your looks.”
Tiffany looked a little mollified. “This Nigerian’s all bullshit. He says he’s a big player in a business syndicate and he’s waiting to close a big deal involving millions of bucks, in maybe a few days time. I ask him what deal and that gets him real excited, so he just pumps me again. I tell you, he’s an animal.”
Sam looked at her. Tiffany was kind of cute in a whorish sort of way, and he was hungry for a piece of her action right then. “Ok, you can dump him now. We’re not going to get a lot more until the action starts up again.”
“What about Bruce?” Tiffany asked.
“Keep him happy for a few more days, try and find out what he’s planning,” he said as he moved towards her. “Now bend over my desk. Bareback time.”
Tiffany looked at his bulge and smiled. My ass is just for you baby,” she teased.
Later that night, Wilbur Bruce listened to his contact. “This is a critical development. Stay with them, and use your discretion.” He listened some more. “Okay, understood. I will sanction any ‘wet’ action that you deem necessary…but let me know if I need to call in our cleaners.”
Wilbur Bruce turned off his cell phone and turned his attention back to a tired looking Tiffany. “Straddle me again, baby,” he said.