#38 – Stays at Red Terrace

October 1st, 2012


“Like…  missing-missing?”

“Uh, yeah, I guess,” she said, “John said that there was no sign of him and that no one at the hospital had any idea where he’d gone.”

“Maybe we shouldn’t be talking about this in the hall,” Frank stated as they approached Kerstin’s apartment door.  He took a moment to glance at the door to his own apartment; he hoped that it would remain closed.  “So, you gals head in and I’ll be over in a minute.  I, uh, I’ve just gotta feed my cat.”

He heard Leticia continue as they turned in to Kerstin’s apartment, “he said that the room was messed up like as if he’d been dragged out of it.”

“Really?” Kerstin said, “and this happened while…” The rest of her sentence was muffled by the heavy door that had swung closed between them.

As if on cue his own door swung open and his brother leaned out of it.  His shoulder was hooked on the door frame and he was grinning like a fool, “they’re hot,” he said, “which one is yours?”

“The red…  never mind, it doesn’t matter.  Get inside.”  Frank shooed his brother toward the interior of his apartment.

“It most certainly does matter,” Nathan said by way of protest.  He was walking backward, facing Frank and had a cheeky smirk on his face, “because that would make the other one fair game.”

Frank shook his head slightly.  “Okay, remember you said that when you never, ever meet either one of them.”

“Are… are you serious?  You are serious, aren’t you?”  Now it was Nathan’s turn to shake his head, “wow, you’ve changed, bro.”

“I certainly hope so,” Frank said as he picked up a stack of envelops and began absently shuffling through them.  “So, how long are you staying?”  He stopped and looked at his younger brother; his expression flat, he said, “and by staying I mean not here, and by how long I mean not very.”

“Harsh,” Nathan replied, “Brendo said that you’d probably act like a dick.  I get it, I did you wrong, but man, that was two years ago.  Where’s the love for your long lost brother?”

Frank chuckled, “the love, huh?  Well, how about the love my long lost brother showed me when he… no, you know what, screw it.  I’m not rehashing that old shit with you, Nathan.  Now, are you going to leave or am I going to throw you out?”

Jordan EstateOlivia was standing alone in her father’s office, looking down at the file folder with the signed documents that gave her father – or more accurately, perhaps, her mother, since it was her money that Oliver Jordan had used – the ownership of the Waterford family’s debt.  The debt that he’d planned to use to crush the Waterford family.

“You weren’t wrong,” Harry Custone said from the doorway as he eased past the threshold.

“About what,” she asked.

“About there being no better time.”

She nodded, “I know.”  She exhaled sharply, “but what can I do to change my mother’s mind?”

“Nothing,” Harry said as he laid a hand on her shoulder, “who said you had to change her mind?”

Olivia turned to look at him and smirked, “you want me to go against my own mother?”

Harry shrugged slightly, “she doesn’t even know that your father bought the debt with her money, how would it be going against her?”

“Fair point,” she said, “but how am I going to get the debt out of my mother’s name?  I can’t do anything without her signature.”

Harry leaned forward slid a pad of paper across the table, “how do you suppose your father got your mother’s name on those documents in the first place?”  His hand flourished across the page, leaving in its wake a perfect rendition of “Constance M. Jordan”.

Olivia quirked an eyebrow, “father never will.”

Harry shook his head, “no, he won’t.”  He turned and leaned against the large desk.  “That’s why you have to.  For him.”  He paused, “for your family… for us.”  He leaned forward and kissed her.

Pinewood ManorTrevor instinctively dropped to his belly when he heard the door rattle.  He held his breath and froze.  When after a moment the door didn’t open he hazarded to push himself up off the floor and peer over the lip of the great wooden desk.  The pile of papers through which he had been fingering had resettled themselves and thus he’d lost his place, “Christ,” he muttered to himself.

He continued to glance furtively at the noisy door as he returned his attention to the stack of papers on Richard McKinelle’s desk.  Why he didn’t just carry the stack of papers out of the study and into another room of the expansive mansion he didn’t know.  Well, actually, he did know; the one time that he’d tried to move a single book that had belonged to the old man he had been read the riot act by one of the more uppity members of the household staff.

But now it was crunch time.  He needed the answers that were, hopefully, somewhere in the stack of pages in front of him.  Weston was on his case about the money he owed and while he’d considered just fleecing the young widow of enough money to cover his debts, he was sure that there was more to be had if he just found the right God damned piece of paper.

“Come on you old bastard,” he whispered, “there’s got to be something in here.  There’s no way that you screwed your kids over in favour of that bitch.”

The door rattled again and Trevor slunk to his knees, leaving his finger to hold his place in the stack.

“God damned old drafty-ass house,” he breathed when again the door made no attempts to open.

As he pushed himself up off the floor the swivel chair that he used to brace himself turned suddenly and he lost his balance.  The finger that had been holding his place in the stack of pages now served to fling the stack and the one beside it off the desk in an avalanche of paper.

“Motherfu…” he said but the words caught in his through.

He bent at the waist and regarded a page that had come to rest against his left foot, “well, hello there,” he said smiling down at the piece of paper that was the key to his future.

“Still nothing, it just goes straight to voicemail,” Kerstin said as she pulled the phone away from her ear.

“That’s not good,” Leticia replied.

“No kidding,” Kerstin said.

“No, I mean, do you remember the last time Sarah disappeared for a few days?  She turned up again with Oswald, in the first place, with some crazy story that he was a magazine editor who she’d met in Paris.”

“I didn’t…  what?  That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”

That is the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard?  Obviously you forget where the story goes from there,” Leticia said.  “Kerstin I’m worried.”

“Yeah,” Kerstin said, “but what can Oswald really do?  He’s been in the hospital for more than a month with burns on his face.”

“That’s what worries me,” Leticia said, “you know how Oswald is with…  with appearance.”

Kerstin winced, “okay, yeah, now I’m worried too.”

“There’s no need to be rude,” Nathan said holding up his hands.  “I just thought I’d drop in on you, bro, and we’d maybe mix it up like old times.  No big if you’re not up for it, I get it, you’re reformed.”

Frank chuckled, “whatever Nathan.”  He sighed, “it is good to see you.  But I can’t be dragged back into that shit.  I’ve got something here that feels real.”

A smile peeled across Nathan’s face and he laughed out loud, “it feels real? Huh?  Tell me again what drew you to this place, to this girl of yours that’s so real?”  Frank’s jaw clenched as his brother paused, “was it the ocean vistas, was it her beautiful eyes?  Nah, that’s not what turns Franky’s head, is it, bro?”  Now Nathan took a step toward him for emphasis, his finger pointing accusatorily in the air, “it was a job and it was a fist full of cash.  That’s real, bro.  I know you.  I know you as well as I know myself.  We’re the same, you and me.  Nah, you tell yourself what you got feels real but that’s just what you say when you know there’s an angle left to work.”

“Fuck you,” Frank said.

He shook his head and waved his hand in the air, “whatever, brother, you do what you want.  I’m gone.”

Nathan leaned down and grabbed his shoulder bag from the couch and headed toward the door, “wait,” Frank said as Nathan stumped across the room, “why did you come here?”

“What the fuck do you even care?” Nathan said pronouncing the words as if each was its own sentence.

Frank sighed loudly, “shut up asshole and answer the question.”

Nathan shrugged, “I… I just wanted to hang, y’know, bro it up a bit.  And Bren said you were up here.”

Frank shook his head and gestured his brother back into the room, “you’re not the only one who knows us both pretty good so how about you tell me the truth?”

Frank looked at Nathan standing there, just inside the entrance to his living room, his bag slung over his shoulder, and was suddenly overcome by the memory of his younger self staring into a mirror fifteen years before.  When Nathan didn’t speak for a moment Frank proffered, “Dad?”

“Fuck him man,” Nathan replied.

“Yeah, fuck him,” Frank agreed, “come on, you can put your stuff in my room.”

As Frank slipped back into Kerstin’s apartment he heard, “there’s no way you’re going back to the Greenstone until we know what’s going on.”

“You think I should switch hotels?”

“No,” Kerstin said, “I think you should come and stay with me.”

“Is this guy really that dangerous?” Frank asked as he sat beside Kerstin on the couch.

“Yes,” she said plainly.  “How was your cat?”

“Huh?  Oh, good.  Hungry,” he added.  Truth was, he’d forgotten to feed the cat at all.  He hoped that Nathan would think of it if the cat meowed loud enough.

“So I don’t think it’s safe for Leticia to be out at the Greenstone while Oswald is lurking somewhere around town.”

“You only have one bedroom,” Leticia observed.  “I…  I can’t…  you know, the two of you…”

Kerstin looked up at Frank, “oh, don’t worry about that, then… you can just stay in Frank’s apartment.  He almost never sleeps there anyhow,” she grinned and kissed him on the cheek.  He felt him face redden; not entirely from blushing.

“Yeah, uh… well, that’s not exactly going to work,” he said.

“Why?” Kerstin said with a broad smile on her face, “what’ve you got over there that you’re afraid Leticia will find?”

Pinewood Manor“God damn that feels good,” he moaned.  “Yeah, keep doing that… just… like… that.”

He looked down at the top of her blonde head and smiled.  His head rolled back a little bit and his mouth slackened, “so, I found something today,” he said.

“No, don’t stop,” he added.

“I was digging through the old bastard’s office and…  I don’t know what to Christ it was…  the wind or someone opening windows or doors or something but that son of a bitch of a door wouldn’t quit rattling.  I thought it was her at the door again… God she’s getting on my nerves.”  He let out a small grunt as his fist tightened in her tangled hair.

“Anyway, I jerked when the door rattled and flung shit all over the room but, wouldn’t you know, one piece of paper landed right on my foot.”  He grinned to himself.

“It seems that the old bastard’s will…  the one that the bitch has been using to fuck over the McKinelles, is missing some very overseas investments that, obviously, she didn’t know about.”  He tugged at her hair and drew her head back so she could look him in the eye, “do you know what that means?”

“That it’s a fake?”

He smiled and nodded, “exactly.”  He released her head and slid his elbow out from under himself; he fell fully back on the bed as he stared at the ornate ceiling.  “It’s a fake, and she didn’t know about this money.”  He moaned again as she went back to her work.  “I mean, obviously McKinelle wouldn’t have missed it.  He was a fucking investment banker or something for a hundred years for Christ sake.  Oh Jesus, if you keep that up I’m gonna…” he exhaled sharply.

“I mean, the old bastard might have been slipping at the end from the cancer, but sure as shit he knew where every penny of his money was,” Trevor stated, “but here we are”, he lifted the page from where it laid on the bed alongside his head, “everything I need to get what I want from the stupid bitch.”

“Oh yes.” He said, then, “oh fuck, yes! Yes!”

“Hang on,” Kerstin said as she dashed toward the phone.  “Hello,” she said as she put the receiver to her ear and headed down the hall.

“Is this guy being on the loose somewhere really that big of a deal?” Frank asked as Kerstin left the room.

“I don’t know,” Leticia said, “it’s really hard to say.  He’s… unstable.  There’s no telling where he is, or why he disappeared from the hospital.”  She shook her head, “I’m worried that he could be out for revenge.”

“For the…”

“Yeah, because that’s where he got scarred.”

“Did you tell Kerstin?”


“But she obviously knows that Oswald was caught in the fire,” Frank added.

“Yeah but she doesn’t know anything about me being part of it, and I don’t want her to… she’s coming back.”  Leticia said as Kerstin re-entered the room, “what was the call?”

“Uh, that was… it was Lynda,” she said.

“Your step-mother?”

“Yeah,” Kerstin said, “she said that Tish is on a rampage at Red Terrace.  I guess Lynda said something about me working at Waterford and Tish lost it on her, and then on the staff.  She smashed great grandmother’s china and threw a silver cloche through the round dining room window.”

“Psycho,” Leticia breathed.

“This town seems to have more than its fair share of them,” Frank added.

“That has been far too long coming,” Olivia said, her breath still heavy, as she rolled off of Harry Custone‘s sweaty body.

“You’re telling me, I’ve been trying to get you alone every day since you got back from… wherever the fuck you were.”

“Singapore, and you know I don’t care for that language,” she said as she traced her fingers down his chest.

“That’s the way we talk in Massachusetts, babe,” he said as he stretched to kiss her on the forehead.

“I don’t think I’m going back.”


“To Singapore,” she said, “I don’t think I’m going back.  Being back here, being at the estate… I missed it.”

“Uh huh,” he said, “plus it’s hard to destroy the Waterfords from Southeast Asia.”

Olivia chuckled slightly, “it will be more satisfying to be able to see the look in their eyes as I snap a big chain on the gates to Red Terrace, yes, but it would be just as easy to do from around the world.  They’re no match for the Jordan family.”

“They beat your father,” Harry reminded her.

She pushed up from the bed and scowled at him, “that was Charles Taylor and he’s dead.  Dead!  And there’s nothing that he can do to stop me from finally ruining the Waterfords and putting the Jordan family name on top!”

Harry quirked an eyebrow, “it’s lucky that he didn’t survive the fire, then.”

“I guess you could call it luck.”

“You think this is a good idea.”  She said shaking her head, “I am certain that it’s not.”

“It makes the most sense, really, if you think about it,” he retorted.

“No, it doesn’t, not even a little bit.  I have thought about it, almost every day of my life, actually.”

“Oh come on, you weren’t thinking about it when you were four years old.”

“You’d be surprised.”

“It won’t be that bad, I promise.”

“There is absolutely no way that you can keep that promise,” she chided.

“Yes there is,” he replied.

“How exactly?  How are you going to make this not the worst experience of my life?”

“We’ll be doing it together.”

“Okay, that could work,” she admitted.

“See, it won’t be so bad.”

“No, it will still be so bad…  it’s just that knowing that you’re suffering too will lift my spirits.”

“Wow,” he said after a moment of pause.

“That’s what moving back to Red Terrace does to me.  Be warned,” Kerstin said shaking her head as the car turned into the long treed driveway of her childhood home.

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