Of the dozen fancy donuts Lydia and I purchased, eight were left when Sylvia arrived. She came through the rear door without either Lydia or I moving from the stainless steel topped dining room table. The table was quite stylish considering it was part of my industrial look for the place. The base and legs were painted with about ten coats of black enamel paint. Anyway that is where we sat as we watched Sylvia enter.
“Morning Sylvia, would you like a donut?” I asked.
“It’s afternoon and I have already had my lunch,” she said in her eastern European accent. I noticed that Lydia noticed it as well. Lydia was in for a cultural shock, since all the people who she would come into contact with for a while, except Jennifer, had an accent of some kind.
“Suit yourself, I bought the chocolate iced, white creme filled ones you like so much, and of course the apple cinnamon. However if we can’t temp you, so be it. I finally rose from the dining table then walked into the kitchen. I found a large storage box in one of the drawers of my stainless steel cabinets. I sealed the donuts away for my own later consumption. I went back to the table to concentrate on the bad coffee and Lydia.
“You two have met of course,” I said with a smile.
“Yes of course, you do look better today Lydia,” Sylvia said.
“Thank you, I feel better, the pills help with the pain. I am ready to switch to Advil after today,” she said very clinically.
“Good, you don’t want to take the Vicodin too long. Sylvia said it sounding all professional.
“So Sylvia we need a place to stash Lydia. A place no one would think to look. Somewhere quiet, that we own, but doesn’t have an easy way to trace back to us.” I smiled, since I knew she wouldn’t have all that many places from which to choose .”
“You know the only place we have that is live in ready, and furnished, is the bluebird model at Heartland village. You didn’t need to consult with me, just take it. Hell it is yours anyway,” she said.
“I have been gone remember, you don’t have anyone ready to close on it do you?” I asked.
“Nothing working on it that I can’t push back a few weeks, if I need to,” Sylvia informed me.
“Then it’s settled. When Jerrod comes, he can take you there to babysit,” I said.
“He is going to need groceries and a TV at the least,” Sylvia said.
“Bill the groceries to Jennifer, and the TV to the realty company,” I said. Every model home needs a big ass, flat screen these days. “I am sure your ex, Peter, has some web cams laying around, we can borrow to watch the perimeter. Like it or not make the call.”
“Anything you especially want at the store,” Sylvia asked Lydia. Lydia just shook her head in reply. “Then it’s TV dinners for everyone.”
“Until Jerrod gets here, let’s me and you discuss a little boring business.” Sylvia got a cup of coffee and took a seat at the table.
“What boring thing do you want to discuss?” she asked.
“Well for one thing the office progress,” I answered.
“No progress, your friend Althea is ready to come through, so I figured to hold off till you picked exactly the right location.” Sylvia said.
“I have a different idea for those storage units.” I went on to explain about the Tiny guest house idea. Jerrod arrived before I got to the minor details, so I just said, “Make it happen.” to close the conversation. I turned my attention to Jerrod. I explained about the bluebird house.
”That is only a block from my place,” he seemed concerned.
“I know, but just don’t let the roomies know where you are. We will have Sylvia drop you at the house,so there won’t be a car to trace to any of us. Drop your car at home and explain to your roomies that you are going on a job for a while. Tell them it is for me.”
“Sylvia after you install them, do the shopping and call Peter to set up the eyes for us. Bill Peter’s charge to Jennifer as well.” I said.
“Now Jerrod, when you get tired and need a break, or just want to get away, let me know. I have Vlad and Anya standing by. We can arrange something with them, or I will come out myself.”
“Sounds like you have it covered,” Jerrod said.
“You try not to kill any innocents,” I suggested with a grin.
“There are no innocents in this world. It’s all just degrees of guilt.” he said to me.
I nodded my agreement. “Is there anything I forgot?”
“Burn phones?” Jerrod said.
I immediately took the fancy phone from Lydia’s purse without her permission. I removed the battery and stored both in one of the kitchen cabinet drawers. “You can have that back when the threat is over.
“Sylvia get them a phone,” I said. Then I said to Jerrod, “Thanks for reminding me.”
“Not a problem,” Here take my phone as well. If they find you, then they will know about me.” Out came his battery and the phone went into the drawer beside Lydia’s phone. His was a much simpler version of the smart phone.
“Now is there anything else?” I asked.
“Could we take some of those donuts,” Lydia asked shyly.
“Take them all, I haven’t forgotten the way to the KK,” I said. “Jerrod write a quick shopping list for Sylvia and Sylvia anything else you think of buy it. Hold on I need to get you some tools.” I said. “Jerrod come with me please.”
We climbed the stairs with me in the lead. I went through the walk in closet to the gun vault in the rear wall. I worked the combination,then swung the heavy door open. Along the back wall was a rack of rifles and shotguns and on one side was one of those rolling red tool boxes that you see in service stations. There were pistols inside the drawers. On the other side wall were two blue 20 gallon plastic drums. “Your money is in the one on the bottom. Whenever you want it let me know we will crack it open, or you can take it like it is. I already paid off our computer man.” I turned from the drums to the back wall. I unlocked, then then opened the friction clamp which held the plastic coated cable securely. The heavy duty clamp was so that I didn have to double the end of the cable for a lock. I didn’t want to drag a loop through the trigger guard of the long guns.
“Do you have a preference?” I asked.
“Just a pump 12 gauge. I am sure they all function as they should.” He said.
“They did the last time I shot anyone with them,” I said sarcastically. “Then take one of the Mossbergs. They are the cheapest. Just in case you have to bend the barrel over some asshole’s head. They also were the least historic, since I bought them at Walmart for a job a while back. The old Winchester was supposed to have been used at Alcatraz I would hate to have it damaged.
The three of them left at the same timer, but not in the same car. Sylvia followed Jerrod to dump his car, then transport them to the model house. After the house it was grocery shop and pick up the TV, for her.
I was about to make the call for the cable to be installed. I didn’t think they needed the Internet at first, then it hit me that the camera’s Peter would install were connected to the net. I had Net access hooked up through the cable company as well.
I was able to catch Sylvia before she dropped them off. I told her to get then a cheap laptop and to bill it to the realty company as well.
I figured we were good at least until Jennifer filed the restraining order. After that it wouldn’t take long for the enemy to figure who had their target. Once that happened it would be a chess game. They would make a move and we would try to counter it. We would make moves and they would try to counter them as well. I hoped there wouldn’t be need for damage control, but that was also possible.
The judge would be a formidable enemy but also a worthy one. It wouldn’t be much fun to just go after a softball opponent again. This time I had a man with money, power, and connections to battle. The mission to destroy him, would be a challenge.
I waited patiently for Sylvia to return from her trip. While she was gone I sketched what the inside of a Portable Guest House should contain. I wanted them to be classy for sure and for that I needed the ‘Laboring Few’s’ designer.
Next I made a call to a company we had dealt with before, it was actually an auto towing company. I found out from James, the owner, that the storage units were sized to fit on a standard flat bed trailer. If I got a trailer under them and then had them tied down permanently. He could make the pick up and deliveries with one of his tow trucks. He wouldn’t even need the kind he pulled tractor trailers with, when they broke down. It would save me a bunch, and it was doable for sure. If I went his way. I wouldn’t need to buy a lot of equipment, or have the storage units loaded and unloaded.
So of course I went on line and found an auction site for rolling stock. I bought a trailer that would fit one of the units. I was located close to the site where I was supposed to pick up my storage unit. So I was ready to get to work setting up the test unit. First I had to collect the new trailer. James agreed to pick up the trailer, deliver it to the site of the storage units and wait while one of my four units was loaded onto the trailer. He then agreed to deliver it to Aster. That would cost me $300, but James also agreed drop it in the drive of the model where Jerrod and Lydia were camping out. It all worked out, but not without a whole afternoon of making calls back and forth to everyone in the loop. The next day was Wednesday and that was the best day for everyone. It was just too easy it seemed like fate.
While I was arranging all that, Sylvia was working with Peter on a web page and with the designer from His Laboring Few to get some idea of how the unit would look. She had also done the shopping for Jerrod and Lydia. As usual it was well after 5PM when she prepared to leave.
“So what is the deal with the nurse thing?” I asked before she could get out the door.
“They are short handed at the hospital, so they hired last year students as nursing assistants,” Sylvia said.
“Do you need the money?’ I asked.
“Not at all, I need experience. I am struggling with the decision. You know, do I leave you or sign on for the long haul here. I have to decide something in the next few weeks,” she said.
“No you don’t,” I suggested. “You can keep working here for the money and do the weekend things with the hospital for the experience. Do that just in case you want to go to the nursing thing later.”
“But you are expecting me to work full time after school, that was the deal. You do need someone full time.” she said.
“Look there is a full time job for you anytime you want it. With all the benefits and probably more money than the hospital will pay you. But I can live with you four hours a day or three days a week whatever you can do. Walter has an auditor, who is going to be flexible I think. We might can push some of this crap off on him. I need to talk to him to see where his head is.”
“I would love to be able to work three full days here, and weekends at the hospital. It would be a dream for me,” Sylvia said. “I could do two 12 hour ER shifts and qualify for their benefit package and get a lot of experience. Better experience than I would get any other place.”
“Then figure out what they can live with at the hospital and we will brow beat Alvin the auditor to make it work,” I suggested.