#27 – It’s All About Family

September 29th, 2011

Previously:

  • Leticia McKinelle learned that her ex-husband Oswald Glendale had come to Emerald Heights and was in a relationship with her best friend, Sarah.
  • John Godspeed told Cassandra Marshall that he was going to follow up on her husband‘s arrest for murder in California.
  • Trevor Jordan is deeply in debt to a man named Weston.
  • Leticia was approached by Trevor Jordan who offered to help her get the goods on her father’s widow.
  • A young boy is the sole survivor of an accident that leaves him with no memory and no family.

Kerstin was sitting cross-legged on her couch when the frantic knocking on her apartment door startled her.  She laid her journal aside and crossed the room toward the door; in the meanwhile the person on the other side of the door knocked three more times.

“Hold your horses!” She exclaimed.  Looking through the peep hole in the door she turned the deadbolt and pulled the door open, “Leticia?” She quirked her head to the side, “I was going to call you.  What are you doing here…  and why are you banging…”

Leticia breezed passed her and into the apartment; her purse, jacket and shoes basically exploded off her body.  “You won’t God damned believe it.  Simple…  it’s God damned crazy is what it is.  I mean, what could she be thinking?  You know…  she doesn’t know anything about him.  And then to not even say anything to me until…”

Kerstin walked up to her cousin cautiously, and took Leticia by both arms.  She gave the other woman a gentle shake, “what’re you talking about?  You seem to have skipped an important part…  y’know, the nouns.”

“The wha…  oh, it’s Sarah.  Kerstin, it’s Sarah.”

“Okay,” Kerstin nodded.  “What about Sarah?  She’s always been a little crazy, Let.”

Leticia shook her head, “no, you don’t understand…  she’s in love…  or says she’s in love with…  Oswald.”

“What?  Oswald… like Oswald-Oswald?”  Leticia nodded.  “Holy crap.  I mean, does she know who he is?”

Leticia shook her head, “I don’t know…  I think she didn’t.  Or maybe she did but didn’t let on. But she sure as hell doesn’t know enough about him…”

“Did you tell her?”

“I didn’t get a chance,” Leticia said, then she sighed.  “I didn’t really take the time.  Jesus, Kerstin, I haven’t seen him in months and then bam…  out of nowhere he’s here in Emerald Heights.”

“You have to tell her…  she needs to know what he did to you.”


“Why should you hafta go, Dad?”

“Because, Kaitlyn, I’m the police chief in this town and this has to do with one of the people that I’m sworn to protect.”  John Godspeed replied.

“You’re not sworn to protect them in California.”

He shook his head, “it doesn’t matter where, sweetheart.  This is my duty.  There’s something that doesn’t feel right about this case and I’ve gotta find out what it is.”

“But Dad, it’s all the way in Cali, how long are you gonna be gone?”

“I don’t know, a few weeks maybe?  I hope it don’t take longer than that.  I just need to look over the evidence and make sure that it’s all on the level.”

“Do I get to stay here by myself while you’re gone?”

The chief laughed, “absolutely not.  You can stay with your Mom for two weeks; it’ll do you both some good.”

Kaitlyn Godspeed rolled her eyes, “that’s so unfair.  I’m 16 now, Dad.  I’m old enough to stay by myself.”

“No, you’re not.”  He patted his daughter on the hand, “I know that you’re able to take care of yourself, sweetheart.  But two weeks is just too long.  And your Mom is looking forward to spending some time with you.”

“Ugh…  I bet she is.   If you come back and I look like some friggin’ debutante thing in hair clips and a dress then it’s all your fault.”

John Godspeed had an honest to goodness laugh, his hand slapped the table jollily, “I don’t think there’s much dangers of that.”

“So who is this guy that you’re going to help?”

“Duncan Marshall…  you remember him, don’t you?”

Kaitlyn nodded, “yeah, I go to school with his brother, Jason.  He’s a bit of a loser.  I hope this guy’s worth it, Dad… I’m gonna miss you.”


Kerstin watched Leticia throw up her hands in desperation.  She shook her head and scowled at the phone in her hand.  “That didn’t sound good,” Kerstin observed.

“No shit.  Duncan Marshall has been arrested and taken to California on murder charges and his sister is going to help with his legal counsel.”

Kerstin had read about the Marshall case in the paper the day before.  “His sister Elizabeth?”  Leticia nodded, Kerstin continued, “the one who was going to help you fight for your father’s estate.”

Leticia nodded again, “yep, that’s the one.  So I’m high and dry and totally screwed.”

“But didn’t you say that she couldn’t really help you without evidence in the first place?”

“Yeah.”

“So, maybe you’ll find the evidence that you need by the time she’s done in California.”

“It’s a murder case, God knows how long it could take before it’s done.”

“That’s true.  Hey, didn’t you mention that you were going to try to snoop around the Manor and see if you could find anything that proved that Clara manipulated the will?”

“Yeah but that didn’t work…  I had to go another route.”

“Well I pretty much called that…  you are not a ninja.  So, what’s this other route?”

Leticia cleared her throat, “uh…  didn’t you say that you were going to call me about something when I first came in?  What’s your thing?”

“Uhm…  never mind,” she said quickly. “We’re talking about you right now…  what’s this other route?”

“I hired a guy.”

“A private investigator?”

Leticia twisted her head to the side slightly and squinted her eyes, “sorta.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“He’s actually more like a…  I don’t know what he is…  he just came up to me on the street.”

Kerstin’s eyes widened. “And you hired this stranger to creep Clara Preston to see if he can find the goods you need to get your father’s money back?”

“Actually, I think I hired him to seduce her in addition to the other stuff.”

Kerstin stared blankly at her friend for a long moment, “you did what now?”

“Oh…  and it’s not just some guy.  It’s Trevor Jordan.”


The taxi rolled to a stop at locker 781 of the self-storage units in Emerald Heights industrial district.  Trevor Jordan leaned forward and tossed two bills into the front seat of the cab before sliding out.  “Don’t wait,” he directed to the driver who, after the door was closed, drove on.

Trevor looked up and down the long row of blue painted garage-style doors.  He could hear the sounds of the cab rolling along the loose gravel as it weaved its way toward the exit to the vast yard.  The fading sound of the cab was eclipsed by the sound of his own footsteps as they crunched along the loose gravel.

When he reached the end of the row, he crossed to the next and spied the lone figure standing in front of a locked door, looking not at all out of place.

“You are late,” the man said as Trevor stopped near him.

“Only a couple of minutes,” he replied.  He handed a satchel to the man who received it eagerly.  “It’s twenty.”

The man’s head jerked up from looking at the satchel, “you better hope it’s more’n fucking twenty.”  His face did not betray the seriousness in his voice.

Reflexively Trevor rocked back on his heels slightly, “it’s just a start,” his voice sounding soft to his own ears.  “I…  I’m doing this job.  It’s gonna pay off big.”

“Oh yeah,” the man said, his tone clearly one of mocking, “you got a job goin’ on, heh?  Gonna get yourself some big business like Daddy…”  He spat on the ground and shook his head, “I’ve heard that bullshit before…  where’s the other sixty, boy?”

“I’ll get it…  soon.”

“Nah, you see, soon ain’t fast enough no more,” the man replied.  “This was supposed to be the day that we settle up, Trev.”  He paused, “I think it’s time that Daddy learned a little bit about his little boy’s habits, heh?  What do you think about that?”

Trevor’s palms felt clammy and there was a distinct ringing in his ears, “come on Weston… come on man, you know I can get it…  don’t fuck my shit up, man…  seriously…  this is gonna be big.  I’m scamming on the widow of Richard McKinelle…”

“What?”

Trevor could hear the surprise in Weston’s voice, “yeah, yeah…  the daughter asked me to get the goods on the bitch so she can get the old man’s money.  I’m in on that action.”

“If it pays off,” Weston said in a tone that Trevor found reassuring, even if the words weren’t especially comforting.

The pair stood in silence for a moment.  Weston was rubbing his fingers together and looking off down the long aisle of lockers, away from Trevor, which Trevor took as a sign that he was thinking about something; something that Trevor felt it best not to interrupt.  Finally he continued, “let me tell you a little something about the Widow McKinelle…” he said.  “She’s been a client of mine for a while.  Not my…” he paused for a moment and smirked, “financial services.”  He looked directly at Trevor Jordan as he spoke, “more of a pharmacological client.”

Trevor quirked an eyebrow and Weston smiled and nodded.  “She buys through a guy who works for me…  but I think that maybe with a little help from you…  we can make her an even better client.  What do you say, Trevy-boy?”


“Okay, I’m going to pretend for a moment that you didn’t just say that you hired Trevor Jordan to seduce your step-mother while learning the secrets behind her plans to manipulate your father out of your family’s fortunes.”

“She’s not my step-mother,” Leticia stated flatly.

Kerstin shook her head, “that’s the part of that statement that you object to?  Really, Leticia?”  She stood up and leaned against the table, “it’s Trevor Jordan…  Trevor…  Jordan.  You know who I mean, right?  His family and ours have…”

“Yours.”

“What?” Kerstin said, shocked into pausing.

“Your family, not mine.”

“You are my cousin,” Kerstin reminded her.

“But I’m not a Waterford.  That feud has nothing to do with me.”

“But still…”

“But nothing, Kerstin.  This is my father’s legacy that I’m dealing with here.  And I don’t care if it’s Oliver Jordan himself…  I will deal with anyone who will help me get my father’s legacy back in my family’s hands.”  Leticia stood up to look her cousin dead in the eye, “you have no idea what this feels like…  when Mom died she and I were barely speaking because of Oswald…  and then when I moved back to Emerald Heights to be with Daddy I wasn’t there when…” she began to sob.

“Oh Leticia,” Kerstin said as she embraced her friend.

As they broke their embrace Leticia continued, “and then…  then this ‘will’ business.  And Pamela and Richard are absolutely no help and now my lawyer is leaving for California to deal with her brother’s murder trial…  so it’s on me.  It’s on me!”  She drew in a deep ragged breath, “and as if all that wasn’t enough…  my ex-husband is back in town and is…  is…  in love with my boss’s daughter.”

“I’m sorry,” Kerstin said, “if there’s anything that I can do just let me know.”

Leticia shook her head, “it’s just all so much…  I don’t know how to deal with it all.”

Kerstin sighed as they both slid down into their chairs.  “I know,” she said plainly, “and here I thought I was supposed to be the main character of this story.”

“What?”

Kerstin shook her head, “nothing.”


The pediatric ward was quiet.  The children – those who were well enough to leave their beds – were congregated in the common room watching television or playing games while the nurses and aides went about the busy work of changing the bedsheets.  One nurse, however, was assigned to a different duty that day.

“This is quite an unusual case,” she said as she regarded the couple in front of her.

The husband nodded, “we suspected so.  But we have been waiting for this opportunity for such a very long time.  And when we heard about his situation we contacted our lawyer right away.”

The nurse smiled, “he’s a very lucky little boy, that accident was terrible.”  She flipped to another page in the document in front of her, “now you understand that he’s going to need constant medical attention due to his having Wilson’s disease?”

The wife nodded this time, “yes, of course.  Monitoring and a daily prescription, we’ve been looking it up online since the doctor mentioned it.”

“Good, then.”  She turned the clipboard around and placed it on the lip of the nurses station, “I guess all that remains is for your signatures and then I can go and get Jimmy and you can take him home.  He’s quite healthy now.”

“Jimmy?” The man inquired, “we were under the impression that his identity was unknown.”

The nurse nodded, “it is.  It’s just what we’ve come to call him.  James sounded better than John Doe Pediatric.  Jimmy for short.”  She bit her lip, “he’s become quite attached to the name.  But the adoption gives you, as the parents, the right to chan…”

The wife shook her head and raised her hand, “no, James is just fine.”  She turned to her husband and smiled, “don’t you think, Brentwood?”

“Certainly,” the man said, “James Stanley as a nice ring to it.”

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