Stopping at the light, Jacob looked at Valerie.
“I think you’re very brave.” Jacob smiled. “You’re also not alone, Val. I’m here. Delphie’s a trip but she loves us.”
“And Dad,” Valerie said. “Will he be there this morning?”
“Just for a bit,” Jacob said. “Are you ready for …?”
Valerie stared down Race Street when they passed. The paparazzi surrounded the Castle and news helicopters buzzed overhead. The Denver Police contained a growing crowd of fans around their home. Valerie felt like she was watching a feeding frenzy. Everyone wanted a piece of her.
“Hey,” Jacob said. He touched her thigh to get her attention. “Max is waiting for us in the parking garage at his office. He’ll escort us to his office. Our stepsister and her Trevy-toy are already there working on the prenuptial agreement.”
Valerie nodded. “I always call her the step-whore.”
“You do? I thought Mike made that up,” Jacob said.
“He got that from me,” Valerie said.
“After the ‘Valerie worked in pornography’ thing?”
“After she told 5280 you ‘caught AIDS at the bathhouses,’” Valerie said.
“Ah yes, how could I forget my slutty gay life?”
“You must tell Jill about being gay, little brother. Not telling her is really cruel.”
Valerie looked at Jake and they cracked up laughing. They were laughing so hard that Jacob almost missed his turn onto Lincoln Street. Jacob turned into the parking garage and drove deep into the bowels of the Cash Register Building. They were met by their friend and lawyer Max Hargreaves.
“We have to do something before we go to the hospital,” Mike said.
“Mike, I want to get my baby! I’ve been trying to get to Katy all morning!”
“Do you want to get to Katy or keep her safe?”
“What do you mean safe? Katy’s not safe?”
Stopping at a traffic light at Eighteenth Street, he turned to Jill.
“Trevor came to the hospital last night.”
“What? What do you mean?”
Dread settled over Jill like a bad thunderstorm.
“He came sometime around midnight. He was there for a while before he found Katy. He told everyone at the hospital he was going to take Katy from her hospital bed. He tried to get the doctor to say this proved you were a bad mother.”
Jill bit her lip to keep from crying. Mike shook his head at her and continued driving toward downtown Denver.
“Jill, you cannot possibly believe him.”
Jill’s eyes filled with tears.
“I … I’m not a very good mother. I try. I really try. I love her so much. But she gets sick or hurt … That doctor? Dr. Drayson? He gave me an EpiPen for myself and one for Katy when she gains some weight. I … I didn’t even know they existed. And they’re like a hundred dollars … a piece! And …”
Mike face flushed.
“That’s just bullshit, Jill. My God!”
Mike hit his hand against the steering wheel. Jill began crying into her hands.
“Ah, Jilly,” Mike said. “I’m sorry.”
“I can barely afford to feed her … Trevor should have full custody. At least he can take care of her …”
“Stop it,” Mike said. “Just stop it. Katy freaked out when Trevor came into her room. They had to sedate her. The hospital social worker called Social Services. They came out to investigate.”
“They’re going to take her? My Katy? She’s in custody of Social Services?”
“No. Jill, stop it. You’re freaking out for no reason,” Mike said. “You need to hear what happened. Stop the hysterics and listen.”
The retelling of Denver Cereal, Volume 1 continues tomorrow…
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