“Okay,” Valerie said.
She was in full actress mode. Her audience? Jill and Sandy. They picked up Sam and Mike on their way through the kitchen.
“Is this going to take long? The limo is due here in …”
Valerie mock glared at Sam and they laughed. Mike held a clipboard in one hand while his other hand ran over Val’s round behind. She leaned into him. They were standing near a fireplace in the basement of the Castle.
“How long have you been divorced?” Valerie asked Jill.
“Um … Trevor asked me in January. It was supposed to go through in three months but he screwed up the paperwork. It was a big mess, but my lawyer sorted it all out and resubmitted the paperwork. The engagement party was three weeks ago. The divorce was final the next day.”
“Six months since Trevor originally filed?” Valerie asked.
“Almost seven,” Jill said. “Right?” She looked at Sandy for confirmation.
“Almost seven months,” Sandy repeated, then added in a mock whisper, “Thank God.”
“It’s not exactly right. She’s supposed to be divorced for six months but …” Mike looked at Valerie, then Sam. “Objections?”
“Sounds fine to me,” Sam said.
“I don’t care and I know Jake could give a shit.”
“Check,” Mike said.
Valerie cleared her throat. “Mr. McGuinsey no longer has access to any of your financial records or accounts?”
“Mike set that up,” Jill said. “Wait. Mike insisted on that.”
“Check,” Mike said.
“Mike will you read the instructions,” Valerie said. “See, I’d make a great game show host.”
“Maybe when you’re ancient and wrinkly.” Mike kissed her.
“Wrinkly? Like that’s going to happen,” Valerie laughed. “Rules.”
“Jillian Roper is to inherit my entire diamond collection. However, they are willed in trust.”
“What are you talking about?” Jill asked.
“Celia wanted you to have her diamonds, Jill,” Sam said. “There are conditions on the gift. That’s what they’re telling you.”
“I can’t take her diamonds!” Jill said. “What about Val? Gosh, you must be so …”
“Excited,” Valerie said.
“Let them finish,” Sandy said. She whispered to Jill, “We’ll sort it out later.”
Jill nodded. She and Sandy could work out anything.
“I’ll be good,” Jill said.
“Basically,” Sam said. “Celia willed you her diamonds. But you were only able to know about the inheritance, and receive the diamonds, when you were financially separate from Trevor. Celia was afraid that he would take the diamonds or the money from you.”
“What does the trust thing mean?” Jill asked.
“The diamonds aren’t allowed to leave the Marlowe family,” Mike read. “Jillian Roper can sell the diamonds within the Marlowe family or bequeath them to a Marlowe. However, the diamonds will remain within the Marlowe family.”
Jill looked at Sam.
“Val wants to buy some,” Sam said. “That’s why she’s so excited. She’s waited nine years to get them.”
“Oh,” Jill said. “Why would I sell them? Val can have what she wants.”
“Nope,” Valerie said. “Doesn’t work like that. Mike?”
“There’s a handwritten note here, Jill. It says, ‘Welcome to the family.’”
“Celia worried that you would feel intimidated by all this money. She wanted to give you a chance to be on a little more even footing.”
The retelling of Denver Cereal, Volume 1, continues tomorrow…
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