It was ten till one when I pulled into the drive of what I would always think of as the Bluebird House. Jerrod met me at the door without the shotgun. The shotgun was leaning within reach, but in a different spot than it had been in the morning, That showed me that he was being careful.
“So how’s she doing?” I asked him quietly.
“She is feeling some better I think. She is not so timid now. She seems to be working herself up for this. She made the switch from the Vicodin to some over the counter thing, so she seems more with it.” he suggested.
“Also good,”I said. Since she was a housewife of sorts, I had feared that I might have a prescription junkie for a client.” .
She walked out of the bedroom at that moment. “I’m a bored housewife alright, and I had problems coping, but I didn’t go to drugs. Harold would have loved that. It would have given him one more tool to use in controlling me.”
“Well you have broken the chain, now you just have to make sure it is not going to be put back together. Then you will probably have to learn how to live free. Both of those might be equally hard to accomplish. I can help with one of them at least. So lets go pull the monster’s teeth.” I smiled warmly at her. Maybe she didn’t live in grinding poverty but her misery was just as real to her. It was like Alvin in the silk prison, it was still a prison even if they had access to a golf course.
“Will this work?” Lydia asked me.
“Not in a single day, but you have to trust Jennifer and me. This might be your first time, but it isn’t ours,” I said.
I turned my attention to Jerrod. “Sylvia should be here for you in about two hours or so. Then you guys get Jack and go to my place. Sylvia knows what I want done and she is prepared to do it. You don’t need to know right now unless you just want to know. It might ease your mind that Sean isn’t going to be in any danger this time.”
“As long as he doesn’t find out where I am keeping Lydia, it’s all the same to me.” Jerrod said. “I’m enjoying the vacation. Well at least the vacation from those two.”
“We can keep you on vacation a little longer. There will be a truck pulling in sometime tomorrow afternoon with a big ass trailer. They are going to drop at the end of the drive. Don’t go meet them, and if they come to the door don’t let them in, and especially don’t sign for anything. The driver should know better, but you never know with these clowns.”
Sylvia had already been told what she was to do. It involved driving out to pickup Jerrod and Sean, when I called from Tryon. Everything in Aster was as ready as it could be at the moment.
“Wow, you brought the class ride for me,” Lydia said with a laugh after she noticed that I had parked the ragged old truck in the Bluebird House’s drive. Since Lydia seemed up for it, we got into the pickup and off we went.
We were in the truck and driving toward Tryon, when I answered, “Nothing but the best for my clients,” I said. “I did empty the trash out of the passenger side floor.” I was serious about that. I used the passenger side foot well as my rolling waste paper basket. Anything with food of any kind, I toss into a trash can. But fast food receipts or papers of all other kinds ended up in that foot well. It had taken a large trash bag to hold all the trash from the pickup.
The drive to the TV station was uneventful. No one would expect the Judge’s wife to be riding in a beat up old pickup truck with a middle aged ugly duckling. She was supposed to be all about glamor. So I felt that we were not in any danger,
Once we got inside the station and identified ourselves to the receptionist the trouble began. A tall, thick, not fat man, gentleman in a cheap suit walked our way. “Security,” I said to Lydia.
“Ms. Stone are you armed?” He asked.
“Yeah, two of them and a .38 revolver as well,” I said.
“You will have to leave the .38 with me,” he said.
“Not going to happen,” I said.
“Then you will have to leave,” he said.
“Not a problem for me, but you might want to call Miss White, before I go. I will gladly stand here while you make the call. You can even put your hand on the butt of your pistol, so you have at least a chance of getting it out before me.” I said with a smile. “If it comes to that.”
He nodded and the receptionist made the call. It was just a very few seconds before Simi White was standing in front of me. “Ah we meet again and you are still as evil as ever,” she said.
“And you are still as beautiful as ever, but dumb as a post,” I said smiling at her. She had done the interview after I did the Russian in the parking lot of the bed and breakfast. The B&B was being used as a brothel. for the rich and infamous it seemed.
“So ,you can’t come inside the building armed, even if you have all the paperwork,” she said.
“As long as I am on a protection detail, anyone who tries to take my weapon is likely to be in the hospital or worse. So if you want this interview, get your cameraman and lets go into the parking lot.” I did say it with a smile. I aimed the smile at Simi White as well as the security officer.
“She is a real smart ass,” I heard him say as he escorted Simi to the elevator.
“And if you are smart, you will not ignore her warning,” Simi said with a smile as she entered the elevator.
“Where the hell is White,” Jennifer asked as she came through the door.
“She has gone to get a cameraman. We are going to do the interview in the parking lot.,” I replied.
“Why the fuck are we going to the parking lot?” Jennifer asked.
“Because I’m not allowed inside unless I give up my weapon. As long as I’m protecting Lydia, they are not going to take it away. That my dear is that,” I said smiling.
“God, I had forgotten how much fun hanging out with you is,” Jennifer said. “When this interview is over, Harold Timmons is going to look like the bastard he really is.”
The interview went like this. Jennifer forced Simi to explain why we were in the parking lot of the TV station. The explaination was that Lydia had hired a lawyer, cut to shot of Jennifer smiling. The lawyer felt that Lydia needed a bodyguard, cut to shot of me not smiling. The TV Station policy was no firearms inside the building. The body guard, me again, refused to give up my weapon, so here we all were Simi admitted..
During the first part of the interview I sounded like a hard ass. Jennifer explained about the police report and the physical injuries, which she swore quite convincingly were inflicted by Harold Timmons, hereafter known as Lydia’s no good husband. Oh yeah, he was also a sitting superior court judge. One who tried cases just like the one he would be a defendant in very soon.
“Yes Lydia needs a body guard Just look at her face. Harold has proved that he is capable of violence and further more he has access to many felons who would be more than happy to do him a favor.” Jennifer said. “So yes I arranged for a body guard. I was fortunate in finding Maxine Stone available for the job. Not only is she a licensed private detective and a first class bad ass body guard, she is also a supporter of the center for exploited and endangered women.”
When I went on camera and made the appeal for women to leave abusive husbands the first time they were attacked and never go back, I got a little less hard ass. I got absolutely warm and fuzzy when I told women that if they had no where else to go, they should call the women’s shelter. The shelter was a place where they and their children would be safe. There were also counselors to help them deal with the pending challenges of a life change.
When that interview ended, I was a little surprised that there were no mobs carrying torches headed for the courthouse to lynch the Honorable Judge Timmons. Simi looked harshly at Jennifer, when Jennifer said, “That went rather well, I thought.”
“I will be surprised if they allow me to air it,” she said. “It was blatantly biased toward Mrs. Timmons.”
“Then you need to give the judge a chance to comment before you run it. But if you don’t run it, I will be all over your ass on the channel 10 news. Oh have a nice day,” Jennifer said as she walked to her Mercedes.
“You should have known Simi. Jenifer is a bitch, but she is our bitch,” I said with a laugh.
“Well, I can agree with the part about her being a bitch. She sure as hell isn’t my bitch.” She wasn’t smiling when she and the cameraman went inside.
Since I called Sylvia from the parking lot of the TV station, Jack was waiting for us when we arrived. Of course so was Jerrod. I was glad to see both of them, because I had jobs for everyone.
“Sylvia you know where things are in this town. When Sean tells you what he needs, find it for him. Sean here is what I need you to do, I need Lydia to look like someone else but make it easy to put her back the way she was on a moment’s notice. Worst of all you have to do it right here an in the next three hours.” I informed him.
“I can tell you right now,” Sean said with his hand in Lydia’s hair. “It is going to be a sin to mess up this hair and I will without a salon.”
“It gets worse Sean, I want her to look like trailer trash. We are going to hide her in plain sight.” I informed him. He did not look at all happy.
“Tell me you don’t want one of those brassy metal looking colors,” he begged.
“Oh yes, jet black would be nice. One of those that is almost purple, but also one the will last no more than a week and that we can change back without any trouble. Get the right shit to color it back the way it is now. We might need her to look the same again really quickly.” I suggested. “You told me you were the best, now it is time to prove it.”
“Do you have a professional hair dryer,” he asked.
“Honey, I don’t have a hair dryer at all. Look at this mop do I look like I need a dryer?” I asked.
“Well I am going to need a dryer with a bonnet at least,” he said.
“Sylvia buy whatever he wants and charge it to Jennifer, Sean buy good shit, because you get to keep it as your fee. I can’t put you on the payroll you know that?” I asked.
“Yes I know. So yes, I will buy good shit,” he said with a laugh.
“Now Jerrod you sit with Lydia right here while I go shopping. Give me your sizes Lydia, you are about to look like me.”
I bought her a six pack of panties at Wal-mart along with a couple of sports bras a size too large. I doubted that she had any sag but I could hope that they were real, I also went to the thrift store run by a local church. From them I bought two pairs of jeans more or less her size and half a dozen knit tops that looked like light weight sweat shirts. They each had something on it like flowers or writing. One of them looked like a football jersey, complete with a number.