Wednesday morning — 5:11 A.M.
“What the hell is that?”
A tractor trailer blew its horn again. Jacob, Blane and Aden went to the window of the small office. Indeed, there was a truck at the Castle gate. They heard someone run to the door.
“I’ll go,” Aden said.
“No,” Blane said. “Stay with Jake. You’ve got to help Mac at Alameda. I’ll be right back.”
Blane went out into the main Castle living room where a group of people were… giggling?
“May I help you with something?” Blane asked.
“Ooooh who are you?” A slight Hispanic man swished across the living room. “You’re not the brother and you’re dreamy gorgeous. You’re definitely…”
“Not interested,” Blane said. “This is a private residence. Should I call the police?”
“No.” He dropped the flamboyant act and was all business. “I’m Ramon, Valerie’s stylist. I have a team here to set up for Oprah and get ready for the party. Can you show me to the Ballroom? I need…”
“OOOHHHH!!” Valerie squealed. She ran across the Castle living room and into Ramon’s open arms. “I was hoping…”
“WAIT!” Blane commanded.
Still hugging, Valerie and Ramon’s heads turned to Blane.
“We’re not going to be able to work here today?” Blane asked.
“Not unless you want to help us set up,” Ramon said.
“Valerie, did you tell Jake?” Blane asked.
“I forgot,” Valerie said. “Sorry.”
Blane gave Valerie a dark look.
“You know how sick he is.”
Blane started a rant, but Valerie looked so upset that he shut his mouth. Valerie would never do anything intentionally to hurt Jacob. She was one of the few people who knew that he was still very ill. He gave her dark look, then returned to the small office.
“No work today,” Blane said. “Back to bed for you, Mr. Marlowe.”
“I have to go to the sites,” Jacob said. “Mac said there’s a rumor that I’m dead. He said his crews freaked that the sale’s off the table. I have to get out there.”
Blane felt his stomach drop.
“You and Aden can go into the office,” Jacob said. “Set up a route for me. I’ll rest for a while then maybe Dad and I can go around.”
“I’ll go with you,” Jill said. She came in the door in a tank top and sweats. She was carrying a crying Katy. “I’m sorry. Katy had a nightmare. She’s very upset. She wanted to see you. You said I should bring her if she was upset. Do you mind?”
Blane took Katy from Jill and hugged her.
“What happened, kiddo?” Blane asked.
Blane carried her over to Jacob. He set Katy in Jacob’s lap. Jacob held her tight with his left arm. Katy rested her head on his shoulder.
“I got scared,” Katy said. “Can I spend the day with you and Mommy?”
“I think that settles it,” Jacob said. “We can take Jill’s Lexus. She can drive. If I need to sleep I can sleep in the car between sites.”
“Jacob.” Sam Lipson came in the room. “I’m sorry but we have a big problem.”
“Everyone thinks I’m dead?” Jacob asked.
“Someone sent the original sale plans to the press,” Sam said.
“Your plan to sell the company to our competitor?” Jacob asked.
“The one the board approved before you bought majority,” Sam said.
“God damn it!” Blane started.
“Child,” Jacob said. He looked down at Katy to see that she was sound asleep.
The retelling of Celia’s Puppies, Denver Cereal Volume 2, continues tomorrow…
This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.