Valerie and Jacob stood at the elevator outside the attorney’s office. Exhausted from the emotional meeting, they leaned against each other in silent support. Expecting Max, they turned to look when the office door opened.
“May I speak to you for a moment?” Trevor asked. “No, just Jacob.”
Valerie watched Jacob walk to the door of the attorney’s office. She couldn’t see Trevor’s face to read his lips or hear what he said, but when Jacob stumbled back from Trevor, she caught Trevor’s eyes. Pure evil shone clear and cold in that man’s eyes. Trevor nodded in satisfaction. Jacob shook his head as if he didn’t understand what Trevor said. Trevor put his hand on Jacob’s shoulder.
“Jacob Marlowe, the elevator is here,” Valerie bellowed in her bossy older sister voice.
Jacob jerked at the sound. When he turned, she saw that he was blanched white.
“Get. Your. Ass. On. This. Elevator. NOW,” Valerie said.
Jacob walked toward her as if in a trance. Trevor looked like the cat who ate the canary.
“NOW,” Valerie commanded.
Jacob jerked out of his trance and trotted to the elevator. When the doors closed, he all but collapsed to the floor. Valerie bent to him.
“What is it?”
“He said … he could smell Jill on me … But I showered, Val. How? He said … He’s going to tell Jill I set this whole thing up so I could fuck her … I … I orchestrated everything … even Scooter … and the pregnancy … and the tattoo removal and … Val, even Scooter. And … and … she’ll believe him because … they’re soul mates … I … Jill loves him …I …”
Valerie’s lip curled. Half carrying, half dragging her little brother to the car, she stuck him in the passenger’s seat. She wrenched the keys from his hand and started the Jeep. Jacob mumbled something. The tips of his fingers came together then opened over and over again. Valerie leaned her head to his mouth.
“She’s all I ever wanted and, poof, she’s gone. She’s all I ever wanted and, poof, she’s gone. She’s all I ever wanted and, poof, she’s gone.”
“STOP IT!” Valerie commanded.
Jacob jerked present.
“I’m here now. No one is going to shit on my little brother and get away with it. We will go, right now, and talk to Jill.”
Jacob moved his head up and down as if he understood but he was too horrified to understand what she was saying. Valerie drove the Jeep through the parking garage. Stopped at the sidewalk, she saw what she expected — paparazzi. Max had told them the stepsister had called Star magazine to calm Trevor’s restraining order rage.
“There she is! Val! Over here! Val!”
The photographers jogged toward the Jeep. Valerie smiled her movie star smile and waved as she drove off. Turning left on Colfax Avenue, Valerie laughed.
“Guess that’s the end of the stepsister’s trust! Break the confidentiality agreement? Lose the trust! I KNEW it!”
Valerie expected Jacob to laugh with her, but he was off in his own world. Continuing up Colfax Avenue past the Colorado State Capitol building, she shook her head.
Ain’t love grand?
The retelling of Denver Cereal, Volume 1 continues tomorrow…
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