We had drank 12oz of very strong peppermint flavored shine the night before, so 5AM came way too early. Even so I was out the door to ride my bike first thing, hangover and all. I knew we had the answer to the bugs, but I didn’t think I gave a shit. It was too early to care about anything.
I rode out to the plaza and back but I still had to go through the downtown to make the 2 hours I wanted to ride. There was a slight chill in the air that I only noticed when I stopped peddling. It just felt good, even in my hung over state. I rode back to the house and the Brit was gone.
I was in the tub, when he came back. I was so comfortable with him, that I didn’t even try to cover up when he walked in. I just went on with my hair washing. He reached over to scoop the water for me. Then pour it over my head.
“You know, I could get used to you being around,” I said with a smile.
“So could I,” he said. Then of all things I got my first sisterly kiss in a lot of years. It was kinda nice for a change. I stood up and dressed right in front of him. I did it just as a matter of fact, not trying to be sexy or posing. I was just getting dressed. He took a turn in the bathroom and I washed his back then left while he dressed, Something about those two things bonded us in a different kind of way. A way I didn’t understand at all, but I felt protective of the big ugly Brit all of a sudden. If we ever were on assignment together again that might get in the way. I knew it, but there was nothing I could do about it. We drove the car to Hardee’s in the plaza for breakfast. I Ordered iced tea to drink with the biscuit full of animal fat. Then I found a table, as the Brit walk up placing his tray across from mine.
“I will have to run an extra five mile a day for a month, to get rid of all this animal fat,” The Brit said smiling.
“You can always say no,” I replied.
“I will say no, when I get back to the compound. I’m enjoying it right now. I’m on vacation. Haven’t had a proper vacation for years.” he informed me. “I got to tell you, that was some good Liquor. I hardly have a hangover at all.
I didn’t get a chance to answer because I saw the latino male who looked a little lost entering Hardee’s. I Stood and motioned him over. Tomas I’m Sylvia this is Brit. Suddenly The Brit began speaking Spanish to Tomas. I looked at the Brit hard.
He knew what I was thinking. “Just a little something I picked up in Columbia
“I hope you were on the right side,” I said.
“I must have been, I can’t go back there,” he said laughing. He repeated it to Tomas in Spanish. There followed a conversation in Spanish. “I’m not trying to take over Sylvie but he speaks better Spanish. I told him that you need him on the job tomorrow morning, He needs to bring enough blocks and lumber to level the trailer and frame in the door. He is going to bring the door as well. That’s just about all we can get done tomorrow.” The Brit said. I had to laugh. “Okay I like this idea of what you are doing I want to see it come together,” he said.
“Good, I don’t have a problem with this at all. So how much money does he need?” I asked.
“He wants $300 he will bring the receipts and you can settle up at the end of the day.” The Brit said. “If you don’t have the cash, I got some.”
“No you don’t,” I said. Tomas took the money and left to find something to do that paid, I presumed.
“We should go to the site and wait for the Grading contractor.” I said.
“Right you are,” The Brit said.
“Let’s get one thing straight Brit. When you get comfortable and drift back to your native speech patterns. You do not call me old girl again. I will kick you ass.” I said.
“You kick my ass? not bloody likely. Not even if you had two good hands,” he said. “But I like that you would even try.”
I laughed, “I don’t just try I’ll get you when you are sleeping. Use a bat and just beat the crap out of you.” I said with a smile. We made it to the site quickly. Just as I expected no contractor.
I called Greg and was told the driver was on his way. When I hung up I called the county sanitation office. The man there told me I would need a septic system where I was located. He would be out after lunch to see if the land would perk what ever that meant.
“Have you arranged to have to county install a meter and shutoff valve for you?” he asked as a second thought.
“No, I had no idea I needed to do that,” I said honestly.
“Well I’ll have a crew out this afternoon as well. We can get you ready to go this afternoon on that.” he said.
“What’s that going to cost,” I asked.
“No charge, you will be paying for it in your water bill,” he said. “Try to be there after lunch to show them where you want the meter. I’ll try to come out at the same time.”
After that call I was stressing out. When the grading contractor pulled up with a small grader on a trailer pulled by a pickup, I was a little pissed. “Calm Sylvia, we can handle this.” The Brit said.
“You here to do the drive way grading?” The Brit said cheerfully.
“I guess that’s me. Do you just want that dive leveled out.” he said looking at the drive where my Toyota sat.
“No the lady wants a twenty foot driveway cut over there,” he said pointing to the flat spot about twenty yards away. It was still within the boundaries Monk gave me. “Is that going to be a problem?”
“Not for me. boss told me to come out and give you a full hours work. I’m here and ready to go,” he said
“Well I guess you need to get to it. I wont bother you any more.” The Brit said.
I started to speak the Brit shook his head. He waited till we were out of earshot. “I don’t think he can finish in an hour,” I said.
“We shall see Sylvia I think he will finish,” he seemed to know more than I did, so I shut up and called Monk. He needed to call his sister to give me a time to sign the sales contract and deed.
When Monk called back, he said they could all get together at four the same day. I wasn’t sure I wouldn’t be needed at the site, but I agreed. I thought I would take a chance.
“My there are so many details all coming down on me at once,” I said to the Brit. He looked at me and grinned.
“Tell you what Sylvie, you take me to your house when this guy leaves. You can come back in the car to wait for everybody. If you need me to babysit the country boys call, and I’ll bring the trike out and you can run to the lawyer.
Even though I didn’t call him, The Brit showed up on the trike. “What the hell you miss me,” I asked,
“Some, but mostly I found out who is bugging you,’ The Brit informed me. I got a picture.”
“How the hell did you get a picture?” I asked.
“When I you dropped me off, I didn’t go in. I pulled the power on the transmitter. I went in to talk to the lady who rents you the apartment. We had a grand old chat. A couple of hours later this guy came to reconnect the transmitter. He pulled it since he suspected he had been busted.”
The picture was Jeff one of the Documentary Photographers. I explained it to The Brit. “Well honey, you want to pick him up and sweat him, or just play it out.”
“I think for now, I will play it out. I have time. If he was flipped for a cop somewhere, then I’m clean they got nothing on me till next season. If it is for his show. I’ll get the tapes and destroy his documentary program. I will go out of the business. Either way I think I’m through dealing with them. You said that the receiver had to be no more than a mile from my house?” I asked.
“Yeah about that, why?” The Brit asked.
“I know where they keep it. The pricks have the receiver in Mary Ellen boutique. I’d bet on it.” I said.
“Do you think she knows?“ The Brit asked.
“She would be willing to play both ends against the middle just for the fun of it,” I said.
“She didn’t strike me that way, but you know her best. So what you want to do?” he asked.
“I want to think about it, but I also want to know if it is her. What would the relay look like,” I asked.
“A small receiver unit about the size of two packs of cigarettes and it would be hooked to either a computer to record it, or to a telephone to transmit it farther.
“Oh I meant to ask you,” I said as I nodded my understanding. “What did you say the grader driver this morning.”
“When his hour was almost up. I asked him if he would rather have you pissed at him, or his boss.” He said.
“Sure, it was me he was worried about, Anyway he finished, even if did take him two hours,” I explained. “The county guys haven’t come yet and it’s 2PM.” I said.
“Don’t worry Sylvia.” I know where to put everything now. I’ll wait for him. I can bring the trike back when he leaves. I got to ride it back anyway. It’s a beautiful day for a ride.”
“Brit, I’m sorry about all this. I know you want to go home,” I said it feeling a little bad for keeping him, but also I enjoyed his company. I really didn’t want to see him leave.
“I’m going to say this once and never again. There is no where I would rather be right now. If I’m cramping your style, I can leave though.”
“You stay just a fucking long as you want. You’re my new partner in crime,” I said with a laugh. “Speaking of crime, I need to go sign those papers. You can call the county and see what the hold up is. Of course honestly tomorrow is fine. It’s gonna be more than a day before we have to make any decisions,” I said.
“You must be monk’s sister,” I said to the tall over weight middle-aged woman in the lawyers reception room.
“I am,” she said then gave me her name which I promptly forgot. The younger man explained that he was monk’s brother. Before we could say more than a hello the lawyer’s girl Friday carried us back. Monk and the lawyer were waiting. We all signed the Contract and the deed. It was over very quickly.
Oh yeah I handed over a certified check for the agreed price. When I left I was the owner of the land on county road 1283. It was guaranteed to be free and clear of any encumbrances. I hurried back to find Two men working on the side of the road. One was also walking around the area I planned to put the house.