Her nylons ruined, Jill scrambled to pick up her purse as a woman ran across the street to see if she could help. They picked up her belongings together. When Jill looked back at her office, she gasped, bit her fist, and then went blank.
Unsure of what to do, the woman found Jill’s phone on the sidewalk. The stranger pressed send to dial the last number Jill had dialed.
“Hello? I’m sorry. I am in … uh … Denver. I saw this woman thrown out of an office. I think she was assaulted but I can’t tell. She’s very upset.”
“Where is she?” Jacob asked.
“Brighton Boulevard and East 36th Street,” the woman said.
“I hate to ask you this, but will you stay with her? I certainly will compensate you for your time. She gets overwhelmed and …”
“You don’t have to compensate me. I’ll stay with her. I have time,” the woman said. “Just come and help your friend. I’ve never seen anything so awful.”
“I will be there as fast as I can get there,” Jacob said.
Clicking off his cell phone, he looked at Delphie. They were standing in the middle of his apartment while Katy slept on his bed.
“You were right,” Delphie said.
“Just tell me. She’ll be all right?” Jacob asked.
He slipped his arms into the jacket of his black Brioni “power” suit. Delphie straightened his tie.
“She will be fine,” Delphie said. “I’ll stay here with Katherine. Just …”
“I know. Be myself,” Jacob said. “Can I kill him?”
Delphie smiled. “You know what to do.”
“You’ll talk to Dad?” Jacob asked.
“I already have,” Delphie said.
“Thanks,” Jacob said.
“Jake?” Delphie hugged him. “I love you.”
He was halfway down the long stairs from his apartment when Delphie called his name. He turned, and she threw him a box of Kleenex. Catching the tissue box, he stopped short for Valerie. Valerie came out of the house and waited for him on the landing. She nodded.
When Valerie walked across the grass, the crowd and photographers began screaming her name. Jacob ran toward the garage. Using his remote, he started the Aston Martin DBS while the garage door opened. Valerie moved toward the opposite edge of the property. The photographers and crowd followed Valerie, and the driveway cleared of people. Jacob drove the silver, two-seat sports car to the fence. With the Denver Police holding the stragglers back, Jacob hit the street.
Gratefully, Monday afternoon traffic was almost nonexistent. He took Colfax to Park Avenue West. Even with a few red lights, he managed to make good time. Turning on Broadway, he made the easy transition to Denver’s oldest warehouse district on Brighton Boulevard.
Nearing 36th, he noticed a Denver Police cruiser and a policeman talking to Jill. She was sitting in the middle of the sidewalk. Jumping from the car, he jogged to her. He dropped to his knees to scoop her up.
Jill felt his safety first. Then she could smell him. Jacob. In a snap, she returned to the present. Seeing Jacob, she hugged him to her. He helped her to her feet and tucked her into his shoulder. Jill buried her face into his neck.
Jacob spoke with the police officer and took the business card of the woman who had stayed with Jill. Wanting to get her somewhere safe before the inevitable storm of emotion, he led Jill to the Aston Martin. He was halfway around the car when Jill started to sob. Slipping into the driver’s seat, he leaned over to pull Jill onto his lap. While the Aston Martin pumped out soft music and air conditioning, Jill cried her eyes out.
The retelling of Denver Cereal, Volume 1, continues tomorrow…
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