CHAPTER FOUR HUNDRED AND EIGHTY-FOUR
“What are we talking about?” Aden asked looking back at Jacob.
“Dr. Nelson Week lives in the carriage house here,” Jacob said.
“Ah,” Aden said with a nod. “Don’t want to kiss and tell?”
“We had pie last night, you know, all of us,” Blane said. “I haven’t even been on a date with the man. How do I know how he’ll be with the kids and … you know … I haven’t even been on a date in … many, many years.”
“No time like the present,” Aden said.
Blane looked like he could melt with embarrassment. Jacob laughed and clapped Blane on the back. Aden just raised his eyebrows.
“Can we get breakfast now?” Blane asked.
“I need a jacket,” Aden said. “Plus, I have to ask you guys something first.”
“Shoot,” Jacob said.
Jacob turned and they walked back toward the Castle.
“I’m wondering if you would be willing to help teach some classes at Lipson,” Aden said. “You too, Blane.”
“Classes?” Jacob asked.
“We need to prove that we do everything in our power to hire United States citizens,” Aden said.
“I thought Lipson didn’t hire undocumented labor,” Jacob said.
“Right, we have a whole department to get people documented,” Aden said. “English classes, citizenship, hell, I don’t need to tell you. You set it up.”
“What’s the problem?” Jacob asked.
“No problem,” Aden said. “The documentation department thinks that if we have a program to train Americans it will help keep the Feds off our backs. Rodney and Bambi thinks we could use the program to give support to underprivileged, women, and people out of prison.”
“As long as we offer it to everyone,” Jacob said as he opened the gate.
“Everyone doesn’t want to work digging holes every day,” Aden said.
“Anyone, then,” Jacob said.
“If people want a job, we’ll train them,” Blane said. “I like that. I’m in.”
Aden pulled the gate closed.
“Why does it matter?” Aden asked.
“We have enough problems with people saying we’re favoring people of color because so many people of color have bought shares in the company,” Jacob said. “I don’t want to be the target of someone saying we are discriminating against white people. That’s a whole freak show that we’re best to avoid at all costs.”
Aden stopped walking and looked at Jacob.
“What?” Aden asked.
“The way of the world is that white people, usually men, are the ones who write the checks for construction projects,” Jacob said. “We don’t want them to think that we’re excluding their kids. It’s just bad for business.”
“Their kids are playing video games and smoking pot!” Aden said.
“Your kids aren’t,” Jacob said. “And anyway, why do you care? Just open the classes. Teach whoever shows up. End of problem.”
They stopped in the main Castle living room for Aden to get his coat, lunch, and backpack. While they were standing there, MJ and Honey’s daughter, Maggie came running through. She stopped in front of Blane.
“Hi!” Maggie said.
She held out her arms. Blane leaned down and hugged Maggie. The tiny girl kissed Blane on the cheek. She let go of Blane and went to Jacob.
“Hi!” Maggie said to Jacob.
Jacob knelt down to hug Maggie. The girl gave him a kiss on the cheek and went Aden. She repeated the ritual and then ran off into the kitchen. For a moment, the men watched the little girl go.
“Video games and pot,” Aden said and gestured after Maggie.
“Exactly,” Jacob said.
Shaking his head, Blane just laughed.
Denver Cereal continue tomorrow…
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