CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and SEVENTY-ONE
Sunday afternoon — 4:17 p.m.
John Paul II International Airport Kraków-Balice, Poland
“In a surprise move, the multi-billionaire’s widow arrived at his office early this morning,” the news announcer said. “A source close to the situation told American International News that she barricaded herself into his office and began going through his files.”
The screen shifted to show a picture of Tanesha.
“The widow appears to have shredded the contract her husband and his Casino had with the R&B star, Jeraine,” the news announcer said. “Here is…”
“Seth?” Bernie asked his son, Seth O’Malley. He pointed to the television screen. “Isn’t that Sandy’s good friend? The one who brought the milkshake yesterday?”
“It looks like her,” Seth said.
They were standing in line for coffee at one of those international chain coffee places in the Kraków airport.
“What are they talking about?” Seth asked.
“Something that happened at a casino,” Bernie said.
Seth squinted at the screen.
“You remember Jeraine?” Seth asked.
“Your friend Bumpy’s son,” Bernie said.
“Singer, songwriter,” Seth said.
“Addict,” Bernie said.
“Aren’t we all?” Seth asked.
“He’s married to Tanesha,” Seth said.
“The girl with the milkshake,” Bernie said.
Seth gave him a long look.
“I remember her because I was going to ask her where she got her milkshake,” Bernie said.
“How…?” Seth started.
“My granddaughter gave me some,” Bernie said with a sniff. “Honestly, I felt badly that she wasn’t coming with us. This is really her project. I went to talk to her and…”
“Got some milkshake,” Seth said.
“Exactly,” Bernie said.
They took a step forward as the line moved.
“The boys wish they were here,” Seth said.
“Boys are boys,” Bernie said. “Sandy is one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever met. This project of buying things and…”
Bernie didn’t want to say too much in such a public place. He put his hand on Seth’s shoulder.
“She’s wonderful,” Bernie said.
“Good thing she takes after Andy,” Seth said.
“I was going to say your mother,” Bernie said.
The men laughed. They moved forward.
“You remember that Jeraine asked us to boycott Las Vegas,” Seth said.
“Las Vegas?” Bernie asked. “That place is a pit. Who would want to do there?”
“That’s what you said at the time,” Seth said.
“Well, I said it again!” Bernie said with a grin. “And I remember the boycott. I made some calls myself. I can’t stand oppression, of any kind. You think this is the end of it?”
“Could be,” Seth said with a nod. “No way to know until the lawyers get involved.”
Bernie made a grumbling sound and fell silent.
“She sure does seem angry,” Seth said.
The men looked up at the television monitor.
“Who seems angry?” Alexandra Hargreaves asked. She appeared at Seth’s side like some kind of a magic trick. “Hey Bernie.”
“M’ lady,” Bernie said.
He lifted one of Alex’s hands and kissed the back of it. She gave him a stiff courtesy.
“What do you think?” Seth asked and gestured to the television.
Alex looked at the television for a long moment.
“I think that we have better things to think about,” Alex said. “And better coffee. Do you have your bags?”
Seth held up his carryon. Bernie gestured to his shoulder.
“Great,” Alex said. “Everyone’s waiting for you outside. Zack got a van for all of us. Well Dusty got the van. Zack just picked it up. Come on.”
They followed Alex out of the airport. She stepped into the back of the van.
“You can take the front,” Seth said. He stepped into the backseat and noticed that people were passing Alex money. “What’s this?”
“Nothing,” Alex said, tucking a wad of bills into her pocket.
Seth looked at Alex’s smiling faces. Wondering if he was going to regret going with them, he took a seat and they started into Kraków traffic.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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