CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and FOURTEEN
Sunday night — 11:31 p.m.
“How did it go?” Sandy asked Aden as he entered their bedroom at Seth O’Malley’s house.
Sandy had started a series of surgeries to correct some of the damage from falling down the stairs. She’d had her ankle replaced just a week ago. Because no one knew what to do about the coronavirus, Aden had stripped down at the front door. He was wearing his boxers and T-shirt.
“Hey, you’re supposed to be asleep,” Aden said.
He leaned over to kiss her. She touched his face. He pointed to the shower, and she nodded. While he showered, she rolled out in her wheelchair to the kitchen to get his dinner. Of course, Maresol was standing in the kitchen already.
“You should be sleeping,” Maresol ordered. “Those bones are not going to heal themselves.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Sandy said with a grin. “In the meantime, can I have Aden’s dinner?”
Maresol kissed her cheek and set the tray in her lap. She rolled back to the bedroom. Aden was drying off when she got back to the bedroom. He’d been fit when they moved into her biological father’s house. But their stay here had leaned him out. He was even more gorgeous. She smiled at him and he grinned back. He wrapped the towel around himself and settled down to eat at the table and chair near her bed. He ate without stopping and took a long drink of water.
Only then did he take a breath.
“Let’s see,” he said with a grin. “How did it go… Shitty. It was… God damn some people are such assholes. More than once, they were all screaming at each other. Every one of them! One of those guys I hired last year was screaming ‘Go back where you belong’ to one of the guys that Celia hired.”
“Ouch,” Sandy said.
Aden scowled and shook his head.
“Big Sam had to step in twice,” Aden said. “I… I never thought that we’d be in this place. Never. But the politics, the pandemic — everyone’s on edge and carving out their own territory.”
Sandy waited for him to get to the point.
“In the end, they went with the job share,” Aden said. “But not before Jake said that he was being badgered by two big corporate construction companies to purchase Lipson Construction. The money is great. They say that employees want the money, not the work. He’s said: ‘They believe that you will cash out today and give up on tomorrow because you’re just stupid employees and not genius old white guys.’ That shut them up.”
“What did people say?” Sandy asked.
“No one said anything for a long time,” Aden said. “Jake then said: ‘What do you believe? Do you believe that only people who look like me can run construction companies? Because that’s what you’re doing here tonight. You’re telling anyone who can listen that you’re not up to the task.’ His voice… Like his heart had just broken. He’s done so much to…”
Looking crushed, Aden simply shook his head.
“Sam finally had to hug him to keep him from crying. And, that was it, basically. Third vote, there was a majority — job share. And those pricks have no idea what a nightmare it’s going to be to set it up. God, the entire thing is going to take a miracle to just make the plans.”
“You’re good at logistical nightmares,” Sandy said.
He smiled at her. Getting up, he pulled on a T-shirt and underwear.Without saying a word, he swooped Sandy up from her wheelchair. She giggled, and he smiled. They kissed. He flipped off her covers and carefully set her into the bed. He pulled up her covers. He joined her in the bed. She turned off the light and rolled over to hold him.
He was sound asleep.
She kissed his cheek. She stared at the ceiling trying not to itch under the cast. Before she knew it, she was sound asleep.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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