#26 – Who Doesn’t Love a Caper?
- Frank Denzre is taken to the Emergency Room; Kerstin Waterford rushes to his side.
- Kerstin learned of a young boy in the Emergency Room who has a disease that runs in her family.
- Oswald Glendale has become obsessed with Sarah Price; and has dosed her and her parents in with an unknown drug.
- Leticia McKinelle‘s father died and left his estate to his new wife and not to his children.
- Leticia set out to challenge the will. Trevor Jordan aims to help.
- Duncan Marshall was arrested on charges of a murder committed in California.
- Tish Waterford is planning to marry Marcus LeBrandt.
- Harry Custone arranged for the abduction of Senator Charles Taylor’s wife.
“Oh my God, you’re awake. You’re okay.” Kerstin said; a smile broadening across her face. She quickly crossed the room from the doorway, where she’d been standing, to the side of Frank’s bed.
Frank groaned, “yes, I am… what the hell happened?”
“They said you passed out and fell and hit your head or something, don’t you remember that?”
Frank shook his head slowly, “well, sort of but not really. Ow, my head hurts.”
“I’m sure it does. You were unconscious for a long time. They called me at work and I came… Jehua drove me…”
She watched Frank attempt to straighten himself in the bed. “What were you saying… at the door, you said something about having to tell Jehua the truth?”
Kerstin turned away from him quickly, briefly looking out into the hall as if she could see the young boy from the pediatric ward. “I… I…” she stammered, “I never told him about us…”
“Oh,” Frank said, “so while I was laying unconscious in a hospital bed you were thinking of Jehua Stanley? What am I supposed to think about that?”
“No, of course… I mean, he brought me to the hospital, Frank… so, yes, I was thinking about him… but I mean, I never told him about our… relationship. I just think he deserves the truth about it… because of our past. I was only thinking about him in the context of… us.” The words seemed bland and awkward on her tongue as she said them; something had changed in the moment that she realized the child in the pediatric ward was the son that she’d given up for adoption nearly a decade before.
Trevor was grinning in a way that made Leticia quite unnerved about the endeavour they were about to begin. She was pinning her hopes of finding the necessary information to retain her father’s estate on some self-proclaimed con-artist stranger. She hated it, but Clara wasn’t stupid enough to be tricked by any member of the McKinelle family; Leticia just hoped that this man had some tricks of his own up his sleeve.
“Cash, hey?” He said as she approached.
She nodded, “yeah, I sort of figured that this would be a cash deal.”
“Smart girl. So, tell Trevor, did you even get in the front door before she dropped the hammer on ya?” He asked in a way that dripped with confidence and more than a little arrogance.
“Yes, as a matter of fact,” she replied defiantly, “I did get in the front door… but she caught me before I could find anything useful.” She thrust the satchel of money in his direction.
He peeled it open, “nice. I won’t count it. We’ve got trust you and me.” He made and back and forth gesture that made her roll her eyes. “So I did a little leg work on the sitch; I mean who doesn’t love a caper, right? A little Google and Facebook creeping go a long way.” Leticia hadn’t even considered that Clara would have a Facebook account, “so I know a little bit about your old lady.” Leticia bristled, Trevor laughed, “ha, I thought you’d get a kick out of me calling her that.”
“By the way…” he continued, “she’s kinda a hotty – you coulda said something about that before – I sorta feel bad for taking the dough. Y’know, ‘cause I’d go after her anyhow…” he paused and looked down at the cash, “oh, I’m totally taking the money though, don’t get me wrong.”
Leticia raised her hand, “this is all very interesting but how about you tell me how this is going to work?”
Trevor chuckled, “you don’t worry, I’ve got all I need in order to get this doll on the hook – especially if she’s the gold digger you say she is.”
“Well, I am worried, actually; so how about you give me a little insight into how you’re going to get me the information I need? How are you even going to get in the door?”
Trevor grinned and leaned in close to Leticia, “well, for starters my old man is a billionaire… you know, Oliver Jordan, yeah, that’s my pa.”
Cassandra Marshall paced back and forth the length of her kitchen. It was a measure of catharsis for her in most instances although it didn’t seem to be helping her very much right then. She wiped her still-wet eyes and circled back toward the round dining room table, “I’m sorry,” she said for the fifth time in ten minutes.
John Godspeed nodded, “Mrs. Marshall, please, sit for a moment.”
“I… I can’t… how can I sit? They’ve taken him to California to be tried for murder. He’s got a motive – there’s no denying that he’s got a motive – and he had the opportunity. And now you tell me that Anita Breza, the wife of the man my husband is accused of murdering, is pregnant with his child?”
The chief shook his head, “she’s pregnant, Mrs. Marshall…”
“Cassandra, please, I think we’re past Mrs. Marshall at this point Chief.”
The chief nodded, “Cassandra, so far the fact that Ms. Breza is pregnant is just a… a rumour. She says it’s his, but there’s no confirmation that she’s even pregnant. It could be the desperate plea of a woman trying not to be sentenced to jail time.”
Cassandra chuckled dryly, “it’s true… oh, trust me, it’s true.” She shook her head, “and I should have seen it coming long before now. I mean, the trips… he’d told me he was going to New York, Miami… all sorts of places. But it was to her… they were always to her. And then there was the time with…” she sobbed, “it was just like last time he cheated. I should have noticed. Doesn’t a wife usually notice these things? Maybe if I’d noticed none of this would have happened.”
Godspeed stood and crossed the room toward her, “Cassandra, you can’t blame yourself. We don’t even know exactly what happened yet. I tell you, there’s something more going on here…”
Cassandra shrugged, “it’s in the hands of the California courts now. All we can do is watch.” She shook her head, “I will probably be called to testify… they’ll bring up all the stuff from before… discredit him and then…”
Godspeed wrapped his arms around the woman in a fatherly hug as her sobbing turned to crying. “Cassandra, I’m not giving up… I’m going to do my own investigation. I’m leaving for California tomorrow morning.”
Sarah Price was having a lovely lunch with her mother at Café Orleans. It was amongst her very favourite places to eat and they were expecting the love of her life, Oswald Glendale, to join them presently. “He really does seem to be a wonderful man,” Mary said to her daughter.
Sarah nodded, “oh yes, mother, he absolutely is. He’s smart and attentive and he just thinks that I’m so beautiful.”
“You are, my dear, you are.”
Just then Leticia McKinelle approached the duo and Sarah leapt from her seat, “Leticia!” She exclaimed as her best friend approached the table. “It’s so good to see you. How are you doing?”
Leticia sighed, “don’t ask… but, how are you? How was your trip?”
Sarah gestured to a chair, “please sit down and join us… there’s so much to tell you.”
Mary nodded, “oh yes, please, we’ve just had the most wonderful news.”
“Oh?” Leticia asked.
“Yes,” Sarah began, “I met a man in Paris…” she said, sticking to Oswald’s story as they had agreed. “we were at the Louvre, and we both ended up at the same statue and our eyes locked and… well… we fell in love.”
Leticia’s face changed instantly, “oh my God… uh… congratulations, Sarah. Wow, this is so sudden.”
“Oh yes, and he’s the most wonderful fellow,” Mary added, “polite and courteous and such a conversationalist.”
Sarah nodded, “yes, I’m sure that you two will become fast friends… in fact, here he is…” She stood and extended her arms. “Oh, Oswald, there’s someone that you simply must meet.”
Sarah hooked her arm around her beau’s waist and stood in front of her best friend, “Oswald Glendale meet Leticia McKinelle.”
“Are you kidding me?” Leticia exclaimed, “Sarah… do you know who this bastard is?”
“You seem more relieved than me to be getting out of the hospital,” Frank said as he held the door open for her.
She halted suddenly, “what?” She recovered quickly, “oh, it’s just that I’m glad that the doctor didn’t find anything wrong with you. It’s just good to know that all the tests are normal.”
“Yep, I’m fit as a fiddle,” Frank grinned.
“Clearly not… I’m pretty sure that saying things like ‘fit as a fiddle’ is a symptom of… something,” she smirked; she really did feel relief at getting further away from the pediatric ward of Bayview Hospital. “By the way… I’ve got to say: I told you so!” She slapped him playfully in the chest, “the doctor even said that you fainted.”
“I didn’t faint,” he protested.
“You did faint, in fact,” she said, “a medical professional said so.”
“No, I did not…” He cleared his throat audibly, “I lost consciousness with manly vigour.”
Kerstin laughed in spite of herself. “And then you fractured your skull…”
“Yeah, I did. That’s pretty manly don’t you think?”
“But Andhi isn’t bringing anyone,” Tish said slapping the table hard with the open palm of her hand. The seating plan for her wedding to Marcus LeBrandt was laid out in front of her. A few of the pages flapped in the breeze kicked up by her hand.
“Andhi doesn’t have a boyfriend,” her father reminded her, “Kerstin does.”
“I don’t care! It’s my wedding and I am only inviting Kerstin… not what’s-his-name.”
“Frank,” Marcus intoned. “His name is Frank Denzre.”
“No one cares what his name is,” Tish declared.
“That’s not fair, Tish,” Lawrence Waterford reminded, “that man saved your sister from an att…”
“That was her own stupid fault,” Tish replied without letting her father finish. “Daddy she got that job – at a bar! – because she won’t work for you. And then she get’s herself attacked in the street while walking home from it in the middle of the night… well, that’s just stupid.”
“Now, settle down young lady. Your sister has her own plans for her future… and while it may not be the future that we had hoped for her… it’s her life and she gets to make her own choices.”
“Her own stupid choices,” Tish said under her breath.
“Senator Taylor,” Harry said as he stood in the doorway of the man’s home.
“Custone? Henry Custone?”
“Ah, yes… you work for…”
“Oliver Jordan. Yes, I do. Can we step inside?”
The senator gestured and stepped aside. Harry walked into the other man’s house. As the senator closed the door he spoke, “so, Mr. Jordan sent me here in the spirit of… the common good.”
“Don’t be coy Mr. Custone, what is Jordan up to?”
Harry looked around the house, making a point to glance into the rooms that lead off the hall. “This house needs a woman’s touch, don’t you think, Senator? That seems to be missing…”
“Screw you,” the senator said taking a step toward Harry. He deftly side-stepped the older man.
“Mr. Jordan wants you to know that he may be in possession of information about the whereabouts of your missing wife – he has kindly worked hard on your behalf to locate her,” it was a lie that both of them knew was a lie, but Harry continued, “and he’d be willing to trade that information… for a favour.”
“I already secured the damned defence contracts for his damned company… what more could he possibly want from me?”
“Jordan Enterprises is a big company and it will soon be expanding into real estate development and Mr. Jordan wants your help to make sure that happens.”
“Real estate? Ha!” The senator exclaimed, “even Jordan can’t break Lawrence Waterford’s real estate hold in Emerald Heights.”
Harry tsk’d the senator, “don’t be so sure. It seems that Jordan Enterprises has recently come into ownership of a significant amount of Waterford’s mortgage… and Mr. Jordan thinks it’s time to call in those debts.”
The senator quirked an eyebrow, “what does any of that have to do with me?”
“Well, see, Senator… Mr. Jordan needs you to make it clear to any banker who might want to take on Waterford’s financing that they will be risking their charter.”
Leticia couldn’t believe her eyes. For that matter she couldn’t believe her ears, either. Before her stood her ex-husband, Oswald Glendale, and her best friend, Sarah Price, linked arm in arm. And they were smiling at each other. “Seriously, Sarah, do you know who this is?”
Sarah nodded, although Leticia knew that clearly she did not. “He’s my love, Leticia,” she said.
“Yes, Leticia,” Oswald said and it sent a chill down her spine to hear her name on his lips. “I’m her love. And she is mine.” He turned and kissed her deeply.
Leticia glanced back and forth from the duo of Sarah and Oswald to Mary Price who was still seated at their little round table. “What is going on? How did this happen?”
“We met in Paris, at the Louvre,” Sarah said, “it was magical.”
“Bullshit! Bullshit and bullshit.” Leticia said, “there’s no Goddamned way that you met him in Paris.” She turned to Mary, “surely to God you can’t be happy about this… he’s ten years older than she is. And he’s been married four times!”
Mary shook her head, “oh Leticia, you are so dramatic. Oswald is a charming man… you just need to give him a chance.”
Her jaw hung open for a moment, “are you kidding me about this? This is my ex-husband! You have no idea what I went through with him; what he did to me… this is… this is craziness! Sarah you cannot do this… you have to trust me.”
Sarah nodded, “Leticia I love him. All I want from you is your support…”
“You are never going to get that, Sarah… not while you’re with him.”
“How many servants do your parents have?” Frank whispered as they stood in the library at Red Terrace.
“Staff.” Kerstin corrected, “and there are four in the main house.”
“There are more than four staff here.” He quipped.
She nodded, “yes, when Granny and Grandpa are in the main house their staff come with them.”
“Oh, that explains it,” he said; he sounded sarcastic and she knew that she hadn’t made it any clearer for him.
She chuckled, “wait ‘til we get to the family.”
“I am not ready for that,” he said.
“It won’t really matter; anyone who wants to talk to you will introduce themselves to you. It’s the Waterford way… you get a sort of inflated sense of self-importance.”
As if on cue her cousin approached. “Cousin,” he said to Kerstin and leaned in and air-kissed her on both cheeks. She obliged him accordingly. He extended his hand to Frank and said, “Anders Waterford, eldest son of Trey Waterford. My father is Kerstin’s father’s older brother.”
Kerstin smirked at Frank, “see?”
Frank chuckled, “nice to meet you Anders,” he said. “I think you’re the first Waterford cousin I’ve met.”
“I am surprised that Kerstin brought you, I would have thought that she’d wait as long as possible to feed you to the wolves.” He gestured across the room to the assembled group of family with the hand that held his drink, “although word is we’ve all got you to thank for saving our Kerstin from…”
“Uh, yes, well…” Kerstin said, interjecting. “We’re all thankful for that, but let’s not talk about it, okay Anders? Have you seen Granny and Grandpa? I wanted to introduce them to Frank.”
Anders scratched his forehead, “I think I saw Granny in the drawing room, and Grandpa is with uncle Lawrence in the upstairs den. Something about the business, I think.” He quickly looked out into the mass of Waterfords and then turned back toward his cousin, he leaned in closer as he spoke, “have you seen your sister?”
Kerstin shook her head, “no, we only just arrived, really.”
“Aidan told me that she was going off about you bringing… him,” he jerked his thumb at Frank, “to the wedding; something about it ruining the day for her.”
“Oh for the love of…” Kerstin sighed, “well, are you surprised, really? That’s pretty much a textbook case of Tish, isn’t it?” She shook her head. “It doesn’t really matter, though. If I force the issue Grandpa will make sure that Frank can come…”
“Of course he will,” Anders replied, “anything for the oldest grandchild.” Anders turned and walked away and left Kerstin and Frank to stand alone in the midst of the assembled family in the library.
“What was all that about?” Frank asked as Anders left hearing range.
“It’s a long story,” Kerstin replied; she sighed, “one I thought was done a long time ago.”Tags:Anders Waterford, Cassandra Marshall, Chief John Godspeed, Frank Denzre, Harry Custone, Kerstin Waterford, Lawrence Waterford, Leticia McKinelle-Glendale, Marcus LeBrant, Mary Price, Oswald Glendale, Sarah Price, Senator Charles Taylor, Trevor Jordan