He didn’t like it, but Kitty convinced Stephen that it fell to him to tell his bastard son that another of his abandoned progeny had entered, stage left. At first, King argued, out of trepidation, that it would be better for Kitty to tell Lance about VoV, since she was the one who’d found him, or her, and the three of them had already met. Kitty told him to put his big boy pants on, and man up to the job. Her mocking clinched the argument, which was, in fact, a feint, as Kitty had business to tend to with Madonna, and needed to be alone with her to explain a few things.

Before heading to the pool, where Stephen said she would find Madonna, Kitty made a quick call to Margot, to tell her what Stephen had told her about VoV. Margot told her to hold all that, as she would drop by Valhalla, on her way into town.

Madge was lounging poolside, sipping a cocktail, when Miss Kaboodle wandered in. “Hi Kitty. How’d the shoot go?”

“Good, I guess. I didn’t bother to check the pics.”

“No, no need to. It’s impossible to take a bad shot of you.”

Not feeling flirtatious, Kitty ignored the compliment. “Listen, there’s been a development that you need to know about.” Having read everything her father had ever written, Kitty knew the value of an alluring lead, and demonstrated her ability to conjure one by announcing, “Another one of Stephen’s abandoned children has turned up.”

Madonna raised her brows, and picked up her drink. Kitty told her all about VoV. Madge was intrigued, but not overly alarmed. “If you believe VoV is here to aid the cause, I believe it, too. As for his, or her business with Stephen, that’s between them. Every deadbeat dog of a dad must have his day.”

Having disposed of the preliminaries, Kitty got down to the main bout. “We’re all moving on, on the morrow, Stephen and I to Ottawa, to meet Gotcha, you and Lance to Vancouver, to meet the royal runaways. The Staals will be off to Ireland, to corner Conner McGregor, and Margot will be off to London, to establish her Empire of Love.”

“Empire of Love. That’s very poetic. It would make a great album title.”

“Thanks. It’s all yours. But it comes with a price.”

“And what’s the price?”

“Listen, Madonna, everything that we are doing has been foretold.”


“Yes, foretold. I don’t understand how. It’s something to do with time, which I still can’t wrap my head around. For all I know, this all may have happened already, and time is running backwards. If so, you could derail it. Or maybe it all went wrong, last time, and we have a second chance to make it rigt, this time”

“Derail it? Me? How?”

“I’ve seen how you look at Lance. Madonna’s face pleaded innocence, but Kitty knew better. “Don’t bother denying it.

I’ve heard it all before
I’ve heard it all before
I’ve heard it all before

I don’t wanna hear
I don’t wanna know
Please don’t say you’re sorry

I’ve heard it all before
And I
will take care of myself

I don’t wanna hear
I don’t wanna know
Please don’t say ‘forgive me’
I’ve seen it all before
And I
can’t take it anymore

Stunned, Madonna began to object, “Listen, Kitty…”

Kitty cut her off,

I’ve heard it all before
I’ve heard it all before
I’ve heard it all before

Don’t explain yourself
‘cause talk is cheap
There’s more important things
Than hearing you speak

“You need to understand one thing, Madonna; the boy is not for you. If you test him, and tempt him, and he fails, we all fail with him. And darkness will descend… and rain will fall… and evil will reign… and you’ll end up in a whorehouse, in Laos, sucking dirty dicks for wooden nickels. An Empire of Love cannot be built on a corrupt foundation. Lance must remain pure. For me.”

Madonna twitched. Her eyes blinked rapidly for four seconds, then she asked,

You want his ugly?
You want his disease?
You want his everything
as long as it’s free?
You want his love?”

Kitty answered

Love, love, love,
I want his love

Madonna twitched. Her eyes blinked rapidly for four seconds, then she asked,

You want his drama?
The touch of his hand?
You want his pleather studded kiss in the sand?
You want his love?”

Kitty answered,

Love, love, love
I want his love.”

Madonna twitched. Her eyes blinked rapidly for four seconds, then she asked, “What the fuck was that? What just happened?”

Kitty laughed, “If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that was a warning shot, from someone in the light, trying to tell you something about how you and Lance could write a bad romance. And, really, haven’t you had enough of those, already? You see, you want all those things you asked me if I want from Lance. You want his everything, as long as it’s free. Well, ain’t none of it free. This I know, ‘cause I’m a free bitch, baby. It comes at price far too steep for you to pay, so we will all have to pick up the tab. All I want is his love.

Love, love, love

I want his love

“I want his pure love. Do not taint it.”

Madonna sat silent, contemplating.

Message delivered, Kitty rose, but fired one last shot, and this one was meant to do maximum damage. “Don’t let your vanity delude you. He calls you Old Leather Pussy.”

Aghast, Madonna could only manage one exasperated word, “What?”

Smiling, Kitty answered, “Oh yeah. He calls you Old Leather Pussy all the time. He wants to write a screenplay, for a new Bond flick, with you as the ultimate Bond villain; Old Leather Pussy.

“Ask him about it, when you’re in the tunnel, tomorrow. You’ll have plenty of time in there, but not when you come out. Your days are numbered.

“Go out gracefully, doing good work. In order for us to succeed, this time you must not suck seed.”

Kitty blew Madonna a kiss, said “Ciao, bella,” turned, and departed.




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