“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We are making our final approach into
Local time is .” Santos
I enjoyed the view from my window seat. The Brazilian coastline was stunning, and the beach water was pristine. Charles even peeked over a few times in awe as we descended to the runway. The landing was as smooth as the take off. Our plane came to a rest on the far end of the tarmac near the other commercial planes. Charles and I were swiftly ushered to a waiting helicopter. In no time at all, we were hovering over the massive jungle Arango estate in Urca. We made a flawless landing in the middle of a large, grassy field.
A tan and muscular man stood beside a huge hummer sixty yards away. He simply beaconed us in his direction with a whistle followed by a long, swaying wave. Upon further examination, I noticed that the Hummer didn’t have a top. During our ride through the jungle, I acquired a greater appreciation for this feature. The open, fresh air and sunlight was the perfect remedy for jet lag. The scenery captivated and distracted me a bit.
Before I knew it, the rough terrain below the Hummer’s wheels transitioned into smooth, black pavement. We rode own a long, tow-lane road in the middle of the jungle. Eventually, the canopy opened to expose a towering mechanical gate made of solid silver. The buff driver flipped a switch near the center console. The gate slowly rolled open. We continued up a long, winding driveway. The elaborate driveway led us pass even more extravagant gardens until it ended at a garage bigger than any I’d ever seen in my life.
A fleet of magnificent automobiles littered the end of the driveway and the interior of the garage. Most notable was the late model Audi sedan with a solid silver body. One of Leo’s multiple servants met us at the front door.
“Bom dia, gentlemen.” He gave us a warm greeting in Portuguese. “Right this way. Senor Arango has been expecting you.”
It seemed like Charles and I walked a mile pass the foyer following the suited servant before he led us to Leo’s main sitting room.
“Senor Arango, your guests have arrived,” the servant announced before retreating nobly to his quarters.
Leo sat alone on a large sofa puffing a cigar. He was perfectly content lounging there enjoying his unique jungle and coastal view through a large window. He seemed almost oblivious to our presence, but he did turn his head slightly towards us and smile. Like most South American tycoons, Leo had a very good handle on the English language, but he spoke with a heavy Latin accent.
He said, “I’m glad you had a safe trip. Welcome to my home.”
For an infinitely wealthy baron, Leo Arango was a very simple man. He was not simple minded at all, though. It was his incredible cunning that aided him in building his empire in the first place. Leo met his wife in the beginning when he was just a lowly ranch hand in Sau Paulo. Twenty-five years later, Leo and Bernice were married with three beautiful adult children. Leo reminded me a lot of Charles. They were both devoted family men. Thy both adored their wives and children. Last year, Charles bought his wife a brand new Mercedes for their anniversary. I knew Charles and Leo would get along.
Leo and Charles exchanged a quick, comfortable and cordial introduction as we joined him on the sofa. This confirmed my hunch. The servant returned with fresh cigars to offer us. Charles took one. I declined politely.
“This is the best cigar I’ve ever had,” Charles complimented.
“Thank you. By this time next week, we will have a giraffe out there grazing gracefully,” Leo said. “Then, I will look into my wife’s beautiful eyes and profess my undying love for her.”
“Bernice doesn’t know yet?” I asked.
“She has no clue,” Leo answered. “I want it to be a surprise. I have already hired a staff of skilled giraffe trainers and caretakers. I convinced Bernice that they’re just extra servant I hired since we have added the new wings and wrap-around balcony to our home.”
“She will be surprised when she sees her new pet giraffe for sure,” I said.
“Shhhh, here comes my love now,” Leo warned.
“I did not know we would be entertaining guests this evening,” Bernice said to her husband.
“I discussed this with you last week, Bernice,” Leo reminded. “These are the gentlemen from Daisy Cola in the
United States. Mr. Anderson and Mr. Scott, this is my lovely
“Now I remember.” Charles and I stood up quickly to greet Mrs. Bernice Arange before she joined her husband on the large, lush sofa. “Leo tells me you are interested in some sort of merger with the Arango Beans Company.”
“Bernice, please,” Leo said. “I promised these gentlemen there would be no business talk this evening. They’ve had a long flight.”
“Of course, of course. Where are my manners? I understand you two will be in
Rio for a few days,” Bernice said.
“Yes, the scenery is so beautiful here. I wish we could stay longer. I can certainly see an extended stay here in the near future if this merger of ours works out. Oh, look at met getting into business talk. My apologies,” Charles said.
“No worries. I know I can look forward to doing business with Daisy Cola. For now, you gentlemen are guests in my home, and I will hospitably accommodate you,” Leo stated. “Feel free to help yourselves to anything in my home.”
“If you want, I can have Alonzo give you a grand tour of the place,” Bernice suggested. “Dinner won’t be ready for another couple hours. Perhaps you would enjoy a walk on the beach after your tour. The wind and the waves are enchanting at dusk.”
“That sounds like a great idea,” Charles admitted.
Before I could complete my nod in agreement, Alonzo, the same servant who escorted us inside and brought the cigars, re-entered the sitting room. He whisked Charles and me away on a grand tour, but it was more like a grand adventure. The Arango estate was vast and sprawling. Everything about the mansion was awe inspiring: vaulted ceilings, crystal chandeliers, ancient artifacts, Indian crafts, wood sculptures, rare gemstones. This convinced me that Leo could afford to pay us two hundred million dollars to steal a giraffe.
After the tour, I donned some more beach appropriate attire. Charles decided to stay behind. He wanted to phone home and speak with his wife and daughter, so I ventured down to the beach alone. I thought I’d be alone since it was a private beach. Much to my surprise, there were three bronze goddesses and one fair complexioned woman in bikinis playing a two-on-two game of futevolei. I watched as they skillfully and gracefully volleyed a ball back and forth across the net using only their feet.
I studied Leo Arango’s profile before this mission. I knew he had three adult daughters living at home: eighteen year old Bianca, twenty-one year old Paula, and twenty-four year old Linda. I also learned that Linda Arango was rendered mute after an accidental overdose of Robetussin when she was eight. I assumed the fourth, fair-complexioned female was a friend of the sisters.
During a brief break in the action of the futefolei game, the ladies saw me approach from the south. When I was upon them, I said, “You must be the famous Arango Sisters. My name is Victor Anderson.”
“You are correct, and it’s nice to meet you, Victor,” Paula said.
“You must be the man Papa hired to trap a giraffe for Mother,” Bianca said.
“You’re in on the surprise, too?” I asked.
“Yes, Mother will be quite pleased,” Paula answered. “She has been absolutely infatuated with giraffes since she was a young girl.”
“Now all the giraffe sculptures and paintings inside make sense,” I noted.
“I am Kara Bray, one of the handlers Mr. Arango hired to watch after the giraffe,” she introduced herself.
“If you have advanced knowledge of giraffes, I’ll have to pick your brain and learn their tendencies. Honestly, I don’t have an official plan yet,” I admitted.
Linda smiled at me, and spoke using sign language. She asked, “Can you execute a trap and transfer alone?”
“My partner is inside,” I told her.
Linda signed, “Just the two of you? You still seem a bit short-handed.”
“Linda is right,” Kara stated. “A giraffe transport can be deceivingly complex. If you want, you can come to the servants’ quarters after dinner, and I can give you a few tips.”
“I might have to take you up on that offer,” I said.
I left the ladies to their game. I walked further towards the coast. The waves swayed around my ankles on the beach. I closed my eyes. I tried to focus. Nothing. No new ideas. The key to a successful giraffe heist boggled my mind. I turned around to observe the ongoing futevolei match forty yards away.
Linda outperformed everyone. Bianca was lucky to have her as a partner. They dominated for the duration of the match. Linda displayed a deceptive type of tenacity. Her foot-eye coordination was stellar. Every strike was accurate. I could tell Linda was fiercely competitive. Every time they lost a point, there was a hint of frustration in her body language. She couldn’t manifest those frustrations verbally, but every once in a while she would sign to Kara, “Let’s pick it up.”
Linda and Kara prevailed as the victors. When the game concluded, Alonzo rode up in a golf cart. He announced that dinner would be served soon and chauffeured us back to the mansion in the golf cart.
Bianca, Paula, and I had time to change into our dinner ensembles. Kara went to the north wing on the second floor to have dinner in the second dining room near the servants’ quarters. Charles, Leo, and Bernice were waiting for us in the main dining room. We joined them and enjoyed a lavish six course meal.
After the meal, I retired to my room to relax. There was a knock at my chamber door. Charles entered and said, “You never told me how much Leo is spending on this special anniversary give, Victor.”
“Two hundred million dollars,” I told Charles, “and that doesn’t include what he spent on the chopper and cage.”
“That’s a lot of loot, but that won’t make things any easier for us,” Charles commented.
“I know. I’m actually on my way up to the servants’ quarters to talk to Kara, one of the giraffe handlers. I met her on the beach earlier,” I said.
“Good, can you handle that by yourself?”
“Sure, I only need to ask her a few questions about giraffes.”
“Cool beans. Leo gave me permission to take one of his cars into the city. I need to find a pub, so I can check the Celtics highlights.”
“Go ahead, Chuck. I’ll give you a call later.”
Charles left, and I made my way to Kara’s room. Her door was ajar. I saw her inside sitting at the foot of her bed reading a book. I knocked to get her attention. She looked up at me.
“Come on in, Mr. Anderson,” Kara said.
“Please, call me Victor,” I insisted. I joined her on the foot of the bed and closed the door behind me. Then, I asked, “What are you reading?”
“It’s a book about giraffes. You can borrow it if you want. Let me show you a few things first.”
Kara thumbed through the pages and highlighted some relevant points. I don’t know why, but hearing her use so much complex terminology turned me on. When she got to the mating chapter, my libido took over. I placed my hand on her thigh and massaged it softly. Kara did not resist. They never do. She blushed and looked into my eyes. I leaned in for a kiss, and she met me halfway.
Her lips were plump and inviting. Kara’s tongue seductively slithered into my mouth. She let her book fall, and it plopped on the floor. Kara caressed the side of my face while we kissed. Then, she gently pushed me backwards onto her bed. She straddled me and began disrobing me sensually. Soon, we both were blissfully nude and swooning. Kara slowly lowered her hips, and I felt her wet warmth consume me entirely. The sensation of deep penetration was mutually stimulating. Sex had always been my biggest and best muse.
Kara’s breathing became heavy, and she moaned passionately. I unleashed a flurry of patented, climax-inducing sexual maneuvers. Eventually, I was ready for my own climax.
“Oooooh, Kara,” I huffed upon completion.
“We embraced tenderly. I ran my fingers through her hair. It felt as soft as silk. Kara whispered in my ear, “That was fantastic.”
“You’re the one who got me all riled up with that pheromone talk,” I joked. “Wait a minute! That’s it!”
“Pheromones. Can you get me some giraffe pheromones?”
“Yes, yes, I can. I can place a special order. Are you thinking of somehow using the pheromones to lure the giraffe into the transport cage? That’s actually a good idea.”
“I wish I could figure out the somehow part.”
“Don’t worry. It will come to you soon, Victor.”
“I hope so.”