Protecting David - Christopher Grows Up 7
Monday morning, Nick sat down on our bed and said, “In case you forgot, like I did, Sam started this morning.”
I pulled the pillow off my face, smiled at him and said, “Did you go out there naked?”
He grinned and shook his head. “Nope, boxers. He didn’t seem fazed, but that cute little butt of yours packed into your Calvin Klein’s might be overwhelming.”
I laughed and said, “He’s got a husband.”
Nick slid a hand under the covers and squeezed my dick. “Husband or no husband, you might be more than he can handle.”
I sat up and kissed him. “Well, he’s gonna have to get used to it. There’s no sense having someone do this stuff for us, if we’re gonna be uncomfortable.”
“I know, it’s probably more in my mind than his. I guess, just play it by ear.”
Well, in the end, I added a tee shirt to my Calvin Klein boxer/brief ensemble, and if Sam was overwhelmed he didn’t show it. We ended up talking about his time in the Marines.
Sam set a cup of coffee in front of me and said, “It was a love-hate relationship. At first it was a dream come true, and it stayed that way for the first dozen years or so, but when I began to accept who I really was it became more difficult. Then when I left the service and started working directly for General Holby, it was a lot better. He knew I was gay and didn’t care, so that was good.”
During the rest of our talk, we decided that Sam would just make the breakfast that he wanted to make, and we’d be fine with it; just be sure he gave me a menu every Sunday evening that told me what we’d be eating for the week. But the fact is, neither Nick or I are very particular about what we eat.
I really don’t think there’s any place more depressing than a really old abandoned warehouse area of a city. The buildings are dark grey, and it doesn’t seem like it’s possible for the sun to even make it down to the street level. And that’s where we were.
Jeff looked over at me and laughed. “You’re sure this is where you want to go?”
I nodded and pointed at a building at the end of the street. “Park in front of that.”
Jeff looked around quickly, and I knew he was wondering if we were going to be attacked, but the fact was there wasn’t any life to be seen, just dark sooty buildings.
He and I got out of the car and walked the length of the building, then we looked down a walkway between two buildings. I looked at Jeff and said, “There’s gotta be rats around here.”
He said, “I’m a good shot, if you’re really determined to go down there.”
I shook my head. “You were born in this town, what’s this area all about?”
“Factories and warehouses. Of course, that’s mostly all gone now, but when I was a kid it was still pretty much okay here … anyway, not as bad as it is now. I remember a steel mill of some sort and a car manufacturer--maybe Rambler or one of those old brands.”
He pointed north, and you could just see the skyscrapers of the downtown area. He said, “It’s really close to the high rent district. I had an uncle that worked down here somewhere, and when I wanted to go to the movies or something, he’d take me to work with him, and in twenty minutes I could walk to the theaters and department stores.”
He looked at me and asked, “You buying this building?”
I shook my head and said, “Not just. From this corner, I’m buying three blocks north by three east. And maybe a few other things.”
“You’re buying nine square blocks?”
I looked at him and nodded yes, then I got to thinking about it. Nine city blocks! Was I nuts or something? What the hell did I know about this? Nothing, that’s what I knew about this … absolutely nothing.
Anyway, Jeff must have seen a weird look on my face, because he walked over to me and said, “Don’t start to doubt yourself; you can do this,” then he laughed, “whatever this is.” And that settled me down and pushed away the negativity.
I smiled. “Well, for one thing, a huge freaking hotel. Plus office buildings, high-rise apartment buildings, theaters, restaurants, and butt loads of expensive shopping.”
He said, “So you came down to walk the property.”
I looked around. “You think it’s safe?”
He grinned. “I can make it safe.”
I glanced down at where his suit coat was buttoned, and there was a bulge on his right side that I knew was a gun.
I looked up into his eyes. “Mr. Glock?”
He smiled. “Not just that.”
He pulled his cell phone, pressed one button, and said softly into it, “Tighten up.”
Ten seconds later, he nodded to the north end of the street where a black SUV had just pulled up and parked. A moment later, he nodded to the south as another SUV pulled to the curb a half a block to the south of us.
Jeff keyed his phone again and said, “We’re going for a walk.”
Let me tell you, nine square blocks is a lot more than it sounds like. We not only walked the sidewalks, we walked around every major building. And to my surprise, we didn’t see any rats, but after three hours of walking, I felt like I had a much better understanding of what I was buying.
Afterwards, we found a restaurant and I bought all the guys’ lunch. As we were sitting there, I sent Jack a text telling him to go ahead with buying the land, including the extra lots we had discussed. Of course, it’s not like buying something on Amazon, where you just click on something and it goes on your credit card. Buying this stuff means calling a law firm and starting something rolling that will eventually pay the college tuition for all of their kids.
When we got back to the office, Jack dragged us into his office and said, “We might have a problem.” He leaned against his desk, then glanced to the left and right, like the problem might be lurking nearby. “This morning a young guy named Joe Plankett came in and dropped this off.” He held out two sheets of paper stapled together.
This is supposed to be his resume, but it’s all bogus. The name on this is Charles Kean, which is a lie.”
Jeff said, “What do you know about him? How do you know it’s a lie?”
“The law firm that I worked for used to use Kelly & Kelly for investigative work, they were our regular outfit; but at one point on a big case, we needed another guy, and someone hired this guy. I saw him at the office one day and asked who he was, that’s how I know. The thing is he never saw me then, and he didn’t see me today either, and even if he knows my name, I don’t think he’d necessarily make the connection. Everything I did there was internal, I never dealt with people like him, they got paid by a computer-generated check that had someone else’s name on it.
Anyway, when he came in, he was fishing for information and wanted to talk to management, but Dorothy told him we’d give him a call if we were interested.
I looked at Jeff, but he was already sending a text on his phone. Finally, he sighed and looked up. “We’ll check him out and put a few guys on him.” No one mentioned my sister or Cory, but I guess that’s what we all assumed.
Then he looked around, shook his head, and said to me, “I want you to be further away from the reception area.”
Then he turned to Jack. “I know there’s a little space left on the west side, are you going to need that?”
“We don’t need it this moment, but at the rate things are moving, we’re going to need it soon. There is some possibility we could go up though. I was in the elevator with the building manager, and he was complaining about losing a tenant on the floor above us.”
Jeff looked at me. “How would you feel about that? We could have reception on this floor, and your office and Jack’s on the next floor. It would be easier to secure.”
I looked at them both. “Beats the crap outta me – you two get together and do what you gotta do.”
On our drive home, I opened my email and clicked on a link from Aiden. It was a picture of his erect dick with the caption, “So you don’t forget what I look like.” Charming … For a brief moment, I was tempted to forward it to one of my dads.
I guess I’d laughed, because Jeff said, “What’s so funny?”
I shook my head. “Aiden sent me a dick pic.”
He smiled and said exactly what I’d been thinking. “Charming ... were they always like this?”
I laughed. “Believe me, they used to be much, much, worse. From ages twelve to seventeen they were exhausting, and neither one of them has much in the way of modesty. And since I was pretty shy, they were always trying to embarrass me.”
But when Nick came into the picture, they changed. They had a real man crush on him, and they were all for him and I getting together. Plus they were a little afraid of him, because he doesn’t take much crap from people; so they were always trying to stay on his good side. But now that they’re mostly grown, they’re better. And even as kids, they were always looking out for me. Of course, part of that is just that they both like to fight.”
“Did they get in a lot of fights?”
“No, not a lot. That’s probably because once you’ve seen them fight, nobody else wanted to piss’em off. They fight … I dunno … fearlessly, I guess. It’s how they do everything, they’re always a hundred percent in, and they basically have no off switch. Like with Andrew wanting to be a doctor. He told me that years ago, and he just kept charging. He was never the greatest student, but when he realized that he’d need to be a good student to become a doctor, he just changed the way he studied. Aiden is the same way, but with him, it’s working with the trust.” I sighed. “Thank God, they didn’t turn to a life of crime.”
Dinner that night, the first dinner that Sam fixed was football shaped things made out of fish in a creamy mushroom sauce, along with small boiled potatoes covered with butter and parsley, and crispy French bread for soaking up the sauce. It was mind numbingly good, and I don’t think either Nick or I even spoke until it was gone.
When we sat down to eat, Sam said, “You can’t really know what’s good until you’ve explored a little, so I thought I’d give you something a little fancy once a week or so. If you try something you think you might like to have as a regular thing, just let me know.” This fish thing was definitely going into that category.
Puppy jumped up on the bed, sneezed enthusiastically, then proceeded to wedge himself between Nick and me while vibrating with happiness. I petted him with one hand, and with the other I handed Nick the catalog Elli had sent me.
“She says we need accessories, art and stuff, so whadya like?”
Nick put the report he was reading on the nightstand and took the catalog. “You mean like pictures and stuff?”
“Yeah and other stuff. I dunno, maybe statues or something.”
“Where the hell would we put a statue?”
I laughed. “You’re looking at me like you think I know. She just said to pick out stuff we like.” I took the catalog back and flipped through it. “You like horses … pictures with horses and stuff?”
He leaned across Puppy and lightly bit my naked shoulder. “I wouldn’t mind having a statue of you naked.”
“C’mon, she’s gonna bug the shit outta me until we do this. She’s keeps sending me emails.”
He sighed, took the catalog out of my hands and leaned back against the headboard. “Okay, let’s take a look.”
He started leafing through it, suddenly stopped, started staring at a page, quickly looked at the cover of the catalog, then went back to leafing. Finally, he looked at me and said, “These are actual paintings.”
“Yeah, I know. She said they’d be a good investment.”
“You realize how expensive this stuff is?”
“She said not to worry about it, that it just keeps going up. We’re supposed to tell her what we like.”
He sighed and continued leafing through the catalog. Finally he said, “Got a pen?”
I swiveled around and grabbed one from the nightstand. “Found something you like?”
“The Sargent watercolor and the landscape by Jim McVicker…” He looked at me. “I don’t think you can pick all this stuff out at one time and from one dealer. But I like those two.”
I took the catalog out of his hands and looked at his picks. The Sargent was a painting of a boat, and the other one was a beautiful landscape with delicate colors.
“Good choice. Better than I could do. I don’t really see anything that knocks me over, except maybe this thing.” I held the catalog out so that he could see the picture.
“That’s a good choice, Galle … gorgeous.” It was a faintly blue glass vase, and the color seemed to glow from within the piece.
He gently picked Puppy up and put him at the foot of the bed, then Nick laid down half on top of me. Maybe next time we go to New York, we can look around some more. There you can hit a ton of galleries.”
“Has Elli suggested anything in particular?”
I shook my head. “No. Actually, this has the feeling of something the trust guys are pushing. Can there possibly be some tax advantage to this?”
He laughed. “It wouldn’t surprise me. Although frankly, I can’t think of any advantage tax wise. I suspect this is all Elli. Your dad told me she was like this with him, too.”
“So, what, I’m just supposed to buy art that I don’t know anything about, and don’t understand?”
He shook his head. “Just tell her to buy what she thinks is best. Tell her you trust her taste. That’s probably what she wants to hear anyway.”
I sighed. “You think that’s it?”
He nodded, pulled me back against his chest and mumbled sleepily, “Give it a try.”