Jen hadn’t proved to be such a hot shot salesman after all. Both of the drugstore sales, she had been so proud of, when I got home, fell through. It was the reason they stood empty mocking me until the professors bought one for a Christmas present to themselves. I hadn’t had much trouble reselling that unit since it had cleared escrow only two weeks before Kate carried them to the unit.
The fancier one with the better views and the bigger price tag would hit the market again in the middle of January. I was looking forward to that one being gone as well. The whole Drugstore Condo thing put me back in the mood to deal in Real Estate. I decided when Sylvia finally arrived I would indeed get back to it.
I was all introspective while I waited for Sylvia. I was surprised to learn how much of our personality is nothing more than memory. The new me was a poster girl for the theory that we are the sum total of our past experiences. In my case it was the memory of those experiences that lived on. I thought that I was doing just fine. Since no one else seemed to know that I wasn’t just like them, I must have been doing okay .
I wasn’t all that worried about the Bristol Peace issue. First of all I expected him to be found any time. Then I expected there to be an investigation. I expected Blevins to question me, so I was prepared for anything. I did take the time to cover my digital trail, and that made me feel some better.
Peter was my new digital guru. I had him install a system into my computer that was the equivalent of a burn bag. Nothing went onto the hard drive of the computer. Everything got saved on a thumb drive written with Linux. My complete operating system ran from a CD. Then it called all the saved information from the thumb drive into the ram to manipulate it.
If the cops came with a warrant, I could swallow the thumb drive. Were there fragments of information in the ram? Possibly, but nothing useful Peter assured me. I was convinced that he was good at what he did, so I trusted him.
I also didn’t automatically save any of the images from the back door camera. I knew from my fishing cabin days, that those things could be a problem. If they were left laying around, they could easily come back to haunt me. If I wanted anything to last longer than the twenty minute loop built in loop, I had to save it by hand. I had saved very little. I did save the picture of the kid who broke in as he came through the rear door. But I let Peace expire while I took care of him and of course the camera was off while I put him into the truck so there was no video of it.
Once Sylvia arrived I put her to work on the books while I got on the phone to the people representing the Heartland Mills property. “Man how long is it going to take you guys to make a simple decision?” I asked. “I am ready to move ahead or move on to something else.”
I knew that I would likely do the Heartland project, and just help with the Bank project. I kind of liked the idea of a mill village again, but I knew the place needed the hostel for students more. I also knew that Archer was interested in running the hostel. He might not be quite as interested now that his man Peace was about to go AWOL on him.
Sylvia came to me since she was answering the smarter than smart phone for me. I was using the burn phone to touch base with people. “The A1 people are on the phone. They want to talk to you, I think they are ready to deal.” she said.
“Cool lets see what we can do. It might be our Christmas present to ourselves.” I suggested. I pushed the button on the phone then said, “This is Maxine Stone.”
“Ms Stone, I represent the board of A1 Financial Services,” he said.
“Fancy name for a business only slightly more legal than loan sharking,” I said.
“Be that as it may, you have an offer in on our property in Aster,” he said.
“I think that it is a lot more the bank’s property. Your people seem to be holding it hostage, more than anything else. I think the bank is ready to go to court.” I said it just to correct the record.
“I understand you are willing to pay my client to sign a release of equity?” he stated.
“I am willing to pay a percentage of the equity to get a release of the loan, so that I can deal with the bank. But I am not willing to get fucked without dinner first.” I said it being a lot tougher than he expected. I could tell he was shocked.
“Well your last offer is unacceptable,” he said.
“Actually, you finally have something correct. That was my last offer. I appreciate you calling, since I am ready to move on. I suppose that ends this negotiation and the call.” I clicked the phone to off.
“Well kiddo we are no longer in the running for the A1 property. Get a list of the property to be auctioned after the first of the year,” I ordered Sylvia.
“I had a feeling you were going to get tired of dealing with those assholes, so I already did.” she informed me.
Sylvia slipped me a list of three properties. “I see you weeded it down a little. What were your qualifiers?”
“Under 1200 sq feet and on one story. I did not disqualify anything on it’s present use. The one circled in red is my idea of thinking outside the box. You always tell me to see the end game not the present use of things.”
“Sylvia it’s a fucking car wash,” I said.
“Not one of those tunnel things, its a four bay brick and block Do It Yourself Car wash,” she informed me. “I will bet you my next weeks pay that it is going to go cheap. There is no equipment, so it’s just a shell. The owner filed bankruptcy, so obviously the locations isn’t great,” she informed me.
“Let’s go for a ride and see it then,” I suggested. We took the truck since it seemed the most appropriate thing. The car wash was one block off main street. The building was larger than I would have expected even if it was more or less unfinished.
I paced off the bays and found them to be 12‘x20‘ each. There were four of them plus a smaller storage area that had been used as an equipment room. It was 8‘x20‘. The lot wasn’t very valuable in Aster. It might have been worth more in Tryon. The building was just a shell so it wasn’t very valuable either. I liked the idea a bunch.
The layout was a little funky but not all that bad when I thought about it. There were two bays on either side of the storage room. Whenever I bought a property, my goal was always to use the existing layout as much as possible. I was getting a lot more excited about the car wash than I had been about the A1 property.
“I’m thinking we cut the storage room in two pieces with a hallway and use one side as a gun vault and the other as a bathroom,” Sylvia suggested.
“So you are thinking two offices on each side?” I asked.
“Two offices on one side, a meeting room and more storage on the other side,” she suggested.
“That sounds like a pretty good plan. Get His Laboring Few out to give us a preliminary estimate to make it happen. The auction for this has to be soon,” I suggested.
“It is January 3rd at noon on the courthouse steps,” she added.
“Get their designer to come sit with you and the two of you get a preliminary floor plan for me to look at. Sylvia I want this to always be a car wash conversion I don’t want it to pretend to be anything else.” I said.
“I understand,” she replied.
I turned the project over to Sylvia for the time being. I had pretty much dropped Peace from my active mental processes. I was thinking about the upcoming party. My biggest concern was the transportation to the address I had been given.
I figured the drive time was 11 hours if I drove it. 15-20 hours, if Peter and I shared the driving. I decided Peter was staying home this trip. I planned to Rent a car the next morning then leave the same evening which was December 30 and drive overnight. We would check into a motel and let Sylvia rest before the party that night. Spend one more night in the motel and leave some time Jan1st headed home. Unless something came along to change out plans.
“According to the website, our dresses are on the UPS truck and headed this way,” Sylvia informed me.
“Oh Cool I really want to see what that DC designer thought would be so cool for us.” The cover story I gave Sylvia was that a dress designer in Washington had been so impressed with Sylvia’s beauty that she wanted to design the next cocktail dress for her. In my case the story was I got one as well but nothing special.
We went out to lunch, even though the dresses were ‘on the truck’. I didn’t have all that much faith in that, on the truck shit. If they didn’t come, or if they were butt ugly, we could always head over to the mall. The women’s wear stores there were full of sale items. Hell Sylvia would be gorgeous in a potato sack and nothing would help me.
I had a plain small burger and a chocolate eggnog milkshake or lunch. It was delicious, so I was in a good mood when I got home. When I analyzed the lunch I realized that my old memories of tastes had begun to influence my present perception of food. In other words I was beginning to enjoy eating again, just for the memories it sparked. What a great improvement it was over what I had first experienced after the change.
“Hey look there is the box just like they promised,” Sylvia said as I pulled up behind the townhouse. I was a little surprised that they actually read the sign on the front door and made the delivery. I checked the camera over the door to see if I had a good delivery video for the web, but the guy did a very professional job.
“Come on I’m dying to see what that designer thought you should be wearing,” I suggested.
“Oh Alright,” Sylvia said as she opened the bag containing her dress. The dress had been carefully wrapped in what appeared to be a foam rubber blanket to minimize wrinkles. She held the dress up for me to see. The dress had a single strap around her neck. It did not have any sleeves. It had what I call a handkerchief bodice. From that top the rest of the dress hung by a single piece of cloth across Sylvia’s tummy.
“Wow, there isn’t much of it there,” I commented.
“At least it’s not as long as the last one. This one is not quite mini but it is short,” she informed me as she held it up for me to see.
“You have to try it on for me,” I said.
“I thought you would never ask,” she said raising the green sweater and revealing her green bra. I managed to swallow the ‘color co-ordinated comment rather than make it. Next she removed her jeans. She was left standing in her bra and bikini panties. She was every bit as gorgeous as I remembered.
“You are not going to be able to wear that bra with that dress,” I suggested.
“Maxine that dress is very soft, my nipples are going to show, especially if I get aroused.” she informed me.
“Honey, I’m sure that was the plan and I’m also sure no one is going to complain, not even you.” I said smiling. I knew that Sylvia was an attention slut and didn’t hold it against her at all.
“Alright,” she said removing the bra. Her large firm breasts drooped only slightly without the support. She slipped the dress on over her bikini panties. It was obvious that she was wearing the panties but nothing else. Her breasts were tilted down but only slightly.
She turned and showed me the rear. The skirt of the dress was cut a little lower than her panties. Those panties will never do. You are going to have to find some French cut ones, or do without. The dress is constructed so that panties aren’t mandatory,” I suggested.
I swear Maxine sometimes I think you are a guy,” she said grinning at me.