Protecting David-Finding Christopher 17
Nine women work in my office and twin six year old boys are a very powerful magnet for them. I let the women drag the twins, who were more than willing to accept their adoration, into the break room while I pulled Chris into my office.
There was a large envelope on my desk with Chris’s name on it and I tore it open.
“Do you have a wallet, Chris?” He was leaning against me and shook his head.
“I never had anything to put in one.”
I dumped the contents of the envelope on the desk top. “Well, I see that Connie anticipated that. You’ve got one now.”
“She bought me a wallet?”
“The wallet is just to hold the other stuff.” I held up the cards. “This is an identification card, an insurance card and an ATM card.”
Chris looked up at me. “ATM card? That’s cash, right?”
“Yep. Larry and I talked about giving you an allowance but I think this’d be a better way to do it. For one thing, I think you’re pretty level headed and I want to encourage that. With the ATM card you can take out as much money as you need but if you don’t need it it’ll just stay in your savings account.”
“I’ve got a savings account?”
I nodded. “And Connie’s gonna put money into it every month. Let’s say five hundred bucks. So if you need a hundred bucks a month for lunches and whatever else, that means you’ll be saving four hundred a month. In a year that’s almost five thousand.”
He looked like he wasn’t sure what to make of it. “But what am I gonna do with all that?”
“I want you to get used to it, Chris. There’ll be more, a lot more. I’ll be setting up a trust fund for you and for the twins too. They’re too young to really understand what this is all about but you’re not. When we finally see the judge about adopting you he’s probably gonna ask that I establish a trust for you. That’s the only reason I haven’t done it yet. But whether he asks for it or not it’ll be done. But that money’ll be for you when you grow up. Right now all you need to think about is the five hundred a month.
“Do the twins get an allowance too?”
“Right now I think they’re too young. We’re going to set up saving accounts for them and pay the five hundred a month in but I don’t think that they should have control of it until they’re a few years older. I just don’t think they’d know what to do with it yet. I’ll give em money for lunches and stuff but not the same deal you have, at least not yet. But we are getting them identification and insurance cards.”
Chris obviously was trying to process all this and was maybe a little afraid. I don’t think that he even realized he was doing it but he was holding tight to my hand. Then he said, “I get scared that something is gonna happen, something bad and then I’m gonna be outside, by myself again. I hate thinking that and I tell myself not to but sometimes it’s just there and there’s nothin I can do about it.”
I said softly, “You don’t have to feel that way anymore, Chris. It’s not gonna happen, it’s really not.”
“Would it be okay if I took the first five hundred out of the bank and just kept it in my room. If I hid it?”
“Does that make you feel safe?”
He nodded. “When you gave me that money, when that lady took me away, even when she had me in the car I felt safe cause I knew I’d get away and that I could live. I just kept thinking about that money and I knew I could even rent a room and then sneak the twins into it and that we could live for a long time. I figured that if we just ate cheap stuff like old bread and stuff like that we could live a long long time.”
I got up and walk over to the door. Looking down the hallway I could see that the women still had the twins busy. I shut the door and went back to my desk and picked up the remote control for the TV and punched in a code. A panel on the other side of my office slid open revealing a large safe built into the wall. I led Chris over to it and ran the combination.
When I opened the safe door Chris just said, “Oh wow!” There were bundles of new hundred dollar bills and lots of papers. Just miscellaneous stuff really but I’m sure it looked like a lot to Chris.
“Chris, get that envelope from the top of my desk, the one that had your stuff in it.”
He looked like he was in outer space. “Chris.”
“Huh…what did you say?”
“Get that envelope.”
He ran over to the desk and ran back. I took a slim brick of the brand new one hundred dollar bills, ten thousand dollars and slid it into the envelope.
“Would you like to have one of those metal cash boxes, the kind you can lock? It’d be cool for keeping stuff.”
He looked bewildered and said softly, “It’s for me?”
“Will it make you feel safe?”
He looked like he was having trouble speaking but then he swallowed and said in a rush, “Honest to god, Alex, I wouldn’t spend it, I’d just keep it! Unless I had to, unless something happened and I had to!”
I smiled at him. “It’s okay, Chris. In a couple of weeks I’m gonna be giving you a lot more than this. But I know that this is more real to you right now.” I laughed. “Just don’t tell Larry.” Actually I knew that I’d tell him myself. I just hoped he wouldn’t think I was crazy but I was certain that this was the right thing to do, maybe not with just any kid but for sure with Chris.
When I got the twins back from the women I got the boys to sit and watch television while I made phone calls. Halfway through Connie came over to my desk and said softly, “I didn’t want to say anything in front of Chris but CC is missing.”
It seemed for a moment that my heart stopped. I kept my voice neutral. “Missing?”
“We’ve been following him ever since we found out about him and last night he was out drinking as usual. Our guys followed him home around one in the morning and then left him like they always do. This morning he was gone.”
“How could he be gone?”
“No one knows. There was no sign of violence, he’s just not there.”
“He must have just taken off. Maybe he sold drugs to the wrong guy or something. He’ll be back when whoever he screwed over cools off.”
“You want us to keep checking on him?”
“Ahhh, no. Just forget it. He couldn’t get near Chris anymore in any event and if some drug addict killed him, why should we care?” I just hoped that it wasn’t my dad but if it had been Mark I hoped that he’d been careful.
She handed me a slip of paper. “Here’s the school district the boys’ll be in. I made a tentative appointment for you on Friday with the principal. Will that work? You don’t have anything scheduled. It’s pretty close to the house.”
I nodded. “That’ll be good. Do I bring the boys?”
“Yes, he wants to meet them. He also wants to test them so that they can place them properly.”
“We should be able to get Chris’s records.”
“I told him that but because of all that Chris has been through he still thinks it’d be best to test him.”
I nodded. “Probably a good idea.”
While the boys watched TV I called Gerhardt at his home outside of Salzburg and discussed his concept of turning these small hotels we’ve been buying into high end boutique hotels. We already had three and Gerhardt said that there would be more becoming available. But it was more complicated than just buying properties because an entire organization had to be put together. We agreed that for the moment, at least, that it should be handled by Krueger et Cie. He said the he’d have Didier put together a plan.
I went over and hunkered down next to the boys watching television. “You guys ready to hit the road?”
They looked stricken. “We’re watching TV!”
I couldn’t help but smile. “Aren’t you guys getting hungry?”
Aiden said, “They got tato chips in that other room.”
“Yeah but I’m thinking that maybe you fellas should be eating better stuff than that.”
“But tato’s are vegetables!”
I laughed. “I s’pose technically that’s true but I’d still like to see you guys eating a regular meal. Besides if we don’t get home poor Larry’ll have to eat all by himself and he’ll be all upset.” Chris grinned at the thought of a stricken Larry.
Andy seemed to take that seriously and said softly, “Maybe we better go then. Larry might be mad.”
In the elevator Aiden looked up at me and said, “Will Larry really be mad?” And I realized that I shouldn’t have said what I did.
I dropped my arms and hugged the twins to me. “Nooo! Absolutely not! Larry’ll be fine. I was just kinda kidding you and I don’t want you boys to worry.”
Chris said, “You don’t gotta worry! Larry’s not like that. He’s not like your dad. He doesn’t drink!”
The boys seemed to be absorbing this but you could tell that they weren’t totally buying it, not yet anyway and they stayed a little on edge until we got home. Larry was in the family room and like he does with everyone he just kind of scooped them up in his arms and they relaxed. Ten minutes after that they were climbing all over him and they were all having a blast.
While that was going on I walked back to Mei’s apartment and tapped on the door. She had already showered and answered the door in jeans and a sweatshirt but her hair had a towel wrapped around it.
I handed her the paper Connie had given me. “This is the school they’ll be going to. What’re you gonna do?”
She waved me in and we sat at dining table.
She nodded. “I figure this the place. I take care of it.”
“But what will you actually do?”
She shrugged. “Gotta check but maybe one of my people goes work there. Maintenance maybe, maybe kitchen…gotta see but maintenance best.” She grinned. “Don’t worries, Mei take care of babies.”
“Well I don’t want them to know.”
“They not know.” She laughed. “Mei very sneaky.”
While we were talking my fingers were playing with a strip of leather attached to what looked like a large roll of leather. Mei pointed at it. “You know wats in there?”
I shrugged. “What?”
She laughed. “My inventory.”
I was amazed. “The stones?” Mei weakness was precious stones and had been collecting them from family and friends her entire life. Anyone who knew her knew that if you wanted to give her a serious gift it had to be a precious stone. So far I had given her two, one for each of the last two Christmas’s. It was an expensive habit to get into but I figured that there was no easy way to compensate her.
She nodded and I said, “You gonna show me?”
I could tell she was dying to show me but she tried to look reluctant. “Oh, I guess.” Her fingers quickly undid the leather ties and she rolled it open. Inside were maybe thirty leather envelopes each with a leather flap that closed them, all in the same deep blue leather.
The first envelope looked to have the most in it. She unsnapped the leather flap and spilled out the contents. My mouth fell open. Usually when we see precious stones we see them one at a time and usually set as a ring or some piece of jewelry. These stones were all loose.
Her deep red fingernails moved through an incredible assortments of diamonds. At least I figured that they were all diamonds. She tipped up a large emerald cut diamond with the tip of her nail and light exploded from it.
“This first one. My grandfafther give me. Many years ago. These others he give me too. He give me most. Others are from uncles and auntie’s.” There were probably ten stones from the first envelope and knowing what I had paid for the two that I had given her I knew that just the stones from the first envelope had to worth three million and maybe a lot more.
Her fingers moved to another envelop and she spilled out the contents. There were four diamonds and one large green stone. She picked it up.
“This finest. Is nah diamond, is imperial jadeite.” She held it up to the light and sighed. “Most perfect. From my father.” It looked like an emerald and was deep grass green. “No one have jadeite like that, only Mei. Father die that year.”
Skipping over the others she went to the last envelope and spilled out two stones, they were the ones that I had given her. They were as good as the rest, but just.
“Ones you give me are in good company, yes?”
I said, “How come no rubies? How come nobody gives you colored stones, well apart from the jadeite?”
“Nah like you put in order you know! I gotta take what I get. But if you wanna surprise me I be wery happy to accept..”
Connie had trying to locate a pink diamond for me and she had just gotten word from Harry Winston that a very fine one had come in.
At nine-thirty I slid naked into bed next to Larry. He was reading a legal brief and was wearing his glasses. They made him look insanely hot.
“I gave Chris ten thousand dollars.”
He looked up and grinned. “For lunches?”
“It makes him feel secure.”
He laughed. “It’d make anyone feel secure.”
I explained the whole thing to him. “You think I made a mistake?”
He set the brief on the night stand along with his glasses and rolled onto his side facing me. “No. I guess it’d be a mistake with most kids but I agree, it isn’t with him. I mean he was responsible enough to take care of the twins when by all rights he shouldn’t even have been able to take care of himself.” He ran his fingers over my face his thumb caressing my lips. “But we oughta contact that shrink you used to see and have him talk to the guys. Giving him the money’ll make him feel better for the time being but it doesn’t really solve anything.”
I leaned towards him and kissed his lips softly.
Larry kissed me back and then smiled. “I got a text message from Becky. They’re either accepting an invitation to have a bar-b-que here this weekend or she’s renting a helicopter and bombing us, our choice. I told her Saturday would probably be good.”
I smiled. “I can’t believe how long it’s been since we’ve seen them.”
Larry was burying his face in my neck and muttered, “Work schedules. And it hasn’t really been all that long, it’s just that a ton of stuff has happened.” He lapped at my throat while he was shoving his right knee between my legs. “Fuck, you smell good!”
While he worked his other leg between mine he took my face in his hands and began kissing me. I love it when he does this. I mean he could just ask if I wanted to fuck but it’s like he’s somehow afraid I’m gonna say no, which I never have. So he goes into this whole seduction thing and it works, it totally mesmerizes me.
As his fingers move into me, pushing in lube, he’s staring into my eyes. His voice is tight and his eyes are fierce. He says softly, “Still love me?”
I grin and say, “Yep.” And then he’s moving into me and my mouth opens slightly.
He holds the sides of my head while he moves into me holding me in place and staring into my eyes he says, “Good…cause I love you too.” The feeling of being stretched is intense but then he’s through and it’s like I can barely catch my breath as he slowly fills me.
When I woke the next morning I woke to a hand rubbing my back. I’m not really sure how I knew it wasn’t Larry’s hand but I did and that pretty much left only one other guy who’d do that.
I mumbled into my pillow, “Lower, Bob, rub my butt.”
He whispered back, “Sure thing, sweetheart.”
Then Larry yelled, “Don’t rub my boyfriend’s butt!”
“He asked me to! And it’s probably cause you’re useless in bed!”
I pushed my hand out and touched Bob’s leg. “You always wear denim pajamas?”
He whispered back, “It’s cause I’m a cowboy.”
“You giving up the legal career?”
“Nope. You can do both, in fact it’s encouraged.”
Larry said, “Shouldn’t you be home inseminating my sister?”
Bob shook his head. “Nope! Did you know that’s what causes women to get pregnant? I can barely get a nap as it is! That’s why I came over to play with Alex’s butt. It’s a lot less dangerous.”
I said, “You guys coming over on Saturday?”
“That’s what I’m here to solidify. Becky wants to know what time you want us here and do you think your kids’ll play with our kids?”
Larry climbed over Bob dropped in behind me and draped his arm over my chest. He said, “I think Sean and Ian’d be fine with the boys.”
Bob said, “I think so too and we’re gonna give our kids a little background so they don’t say anything stupid. Well, I’m not sure we can totally stop that but you know what I mean.”
I hadn’t thought of that. “You think our boys’ll be all weird about meeting other kids?”
I couldn’t see it but I knew Larry was shaking his head. “I don’t think so. And in any event we can’t shelter them from real life. They’re gonna have to get used to it.”
“You’re right. I guess we’ll just have to keep an eye on em. See how they’re taking it.”
Then I remembered. “Hey, I gotta get to the airport!”