idioms...sayings understood by native speakers part thirty seven

Rick watched Steve climb into his car, giving him a slight wave, the man drove off. Standing there, Rick did feel very much like a thief. But the bottom line of the company had to be affected for any of the lenders to take note, Taking a deep breath, he sighed, as he felt a vibration in his breast pocket. Now, what, entered his mind when he saw the name of the caller. He squared his shoulders as if to do battle, then hit the accept button.

"Yes."

"Rick?"

"Yes, Chairman."

"You have not come up to complain to me about the memo?"

"Why should I? In this economy, I would consider the same thing. At least you did not have to lay off anyone. I still have my team intact. They are working very hard."

"Working hard? I want results. Isn't that what you always harped about when you were the CO?"

"Yes. Sir."

"Fine. Oh and by the way, you will be attending a board meeting this Wednesday."

"But the board has already met this month and I am no longer the CO."

"Ah, it is just a special meeting, we will have a guest and I want you there, of course."

"Me? Why?"

"Ah well, we are looking at all the managers, and their results," the man paused, before continuing," It is time for restructuring. We decided to start with Sales and Distribution. You had better come up with something other than the economy as an excuse for your poor performance... or be out of job. Do I make myself clear?"

"Yes. Very clear."

"What was that, I didn't quite hear you."

"Very clear, sir."

"Great. you must really be trying to become a man of faith, I heard you are going to church."

"Yes, sir."

"Interesting... the things that happen at church.... all that soul searching and such." He paused. "I heard one of your friends had some trouble there." The Chairman waited for some kind of rise out of Rick.

Rick gripped his cell phone tighter, "Yes, sir."

"Anyway," pausing, smiling to himself, wondering what other buttons of Rick's he could push."Be at the board room at ten. Got it?"

"Yes, sir." He paused. "Oh, and sir?"

"Yes, Rick?"

"Have a good day."

"I plan on it." He paused, drawing a little circle on the top of his desk, smiling, he added, "That little girlfriend of yours should be back at work tomorrow after taking care of her friend all day. She should be just in the right mood."

"How do you mean, sir?" Rick felt the tension from his grip going upward to his shoulders.

"Ah, you know, the mood to be comforted. Talk to you later." Hanging up, the Chairman laughed to himself. I know you, Rick. What are you going to do now?

Rick stared at his cell phone for a very long time. He swallowed hard, Calm down, he said, to himself. Any knee jerk reaction would only serve his father... and destroy any chance of ...

He smiled. Steve Hauser is a genius.

He opened his trunk, grabbed the box filled with contracts and headed back into the building to the now quiet offices of legal and finance. He placed half the stack onto the inbox of legal. He placed the other half by the inbox of finance. Smiling to himself, he pulled out his phone and sent an email to legal, another to finance then headed out with an empty box in hand, whistling all the way to the garage.

As for Lynn's situation, that would require another piece of fancy footwork.

He hit the speed dial on his cell.

"Carl?"

"yeah."

"We gotta talk."

"Meet me at Lynn's house. I am about to close up here. Some things really need to be hashed out."

"Lynn? She is going back to her house?"

"Hey. What did you think? That she would move in with you? Buddy, you had better slow down. You tend to really get short sighted when it comes to her."

"Okay. I will accept that. How about you?"

"What about me?"

"You and Jenny?"

"Yeah, well... I need to take some deep breaths over that too. Is it just me or when it comes to relationships, the Matthews family are just stupid."

"Don't include me in that, all right?"

"Cuz... bad day huh? I saw the memo."

"That was expected. I should be at Lynn's in a couple of hours, Okay?"

"Why so long?"

"Well, I gotta see a man about a horse."

"Ah, really... Well, have a good time with that I think."

Carl hung up and stared at the phone. Rick did not seem like himself at all. He felt an urgent tug at his arm and there stood the team leader, Joe.

"Joe? Are you okay?"

"I need to talk with you. I really do."

"Ah, sure it can't wait tomorrow?"

"No. It can't." The man's voice trembled.

"What is it? Man, you are as white as a ghost."

"Come on. I think you need to see this."

"Okay.."

The deaf team consisting of Josh, Mark, Cameron, Jeremy and Conrad were frantically looking through the toys.

Carl approached them and said, "Hey, guys, I like diligence but it is just time to go home."

The men collectively turned toward their boss.

"Guys? What is wrong? Between Joe and you, I am really getting concerned."

Cameron grabbed a doll off a table and held the back open to his boss.

"What?"

"Look. This talking doll does not talk. So I went to pull the voice box out and, much to my surprise, I found this."

"What? What is that? Powdered sugar?"

"Give me a freaking break, boss. This is one of our outsourced dolls. This came from 'Nam'."

"What? I don't get what you are saying."

"Either you are in denial, or you are with them." Josh came around by his co worker.

"Them?"

"Yeah. Maybe the reason the Matthews are doing so well is because they have other businesses they are involved in." Matt added.

"I have no idea what this is about, but I am sure it is some kind of mistake."

"Mistake?" Jeremy whispered. "MISTAKE? Yeah, someone forgot to get one of their stash. And, look at this." He held another doll that was open with the voice box in it. "If the doll was made in Nam, then why the hell is this voice box made here?"

"You... I... I did not know anything about this." Carl stated, feeling a little sick to his stomach.

"Okay, now the question is what the hell do we do now?"

"And we need to check the rest of these toys. What if some kid gets a hold of this and finds it. I want to bring joy to children, not death." Joe was almost in tears.

"Okay. We call the police."

"The police?" Cameron looked his boss in the eye. "You're a Matthews, and you want to call our local police. That in itself is an oxymoron."

Steve Hauser parked outside the warehouse.

"Damn. Why is everyone still here?" He sighed and got out of his car. As he neared the door he heard, "How about calling the FBI? Or the state police? Someone other than our local yokels."

Carl was shaken. All of his life he had at least believed his family were eccentric, but this?

"I just don't know what to say. I had no idea. Please. you have to believe me."

Steve sighed. He walked into the room filled with confused, angry, upset, frightened men.

He cleared his throat to get their attention.

"So, mind telling me why everyone looks like they are going to cry?"

---

Scott entered his superiors office. He wasn't sure where to begin with all of this, nor did he find it all that believable. But the demographics was all there. If this hacker was right, he stopped himself from thinking that far ahead, as he knocked on the Chief's door.

"Come in."

Scott entered, waiting to be acknowledged.

His chief hung up the phone. A man was standing beside his boss.

"Ah, Scott, I hear you wanted to speak with me?"

"Yes, Sir."

"Ah, well, this is John Matthews of the Matthews Toy Company. He is an old army buddy of mine. We have a gulf date set up. Could you make this quick?"

John offered his hand to the man who seemed to pale at his presence.

"Sir, on second thought, if you already have a gulf date, you should go. I know if you don't make it on time, you can lose your spot. But I would like to ask for a two week vacation."

"You know what the proper request is for that."

"I know, but my mom is sick. She has to have an operation and..."

John arched an eyebrow. "Harold, give the boy a vacation. After all, we all have mothers to take care of."

"Sure, fine. I will okay it. Just fill out the paper work."

"Sir, thank you, sir."

---

Jerome had long since dropped the ladies he had chauffeured for the day. He sat on a bar stool, in a pub,  just off the university strip, nursing his beer and wondering how life could be like this.

Dejuan and Deshaun entered and sidled up to the bar sitting on either side of the man.

"Two beers." Dejuan called out to the Bartender.

"You seem to be having a bad day, ChuckE." Deshaun stated quietly, placing one hand on the shoulder of Jerome.

"I am." Realization set in and he went to stand up, feeling more pressure on his shoulder.

"Sit. No reason to move, we are going to just have a friendly chat."

"Guys, I am not in the mood for this."

"Well, they say that the truth shall set you free, unfortunately, they forget that sometimes a price has to be paid to make it so."

"Brother, you are absolutely right." Dejuan added as he passed the second beer over to his twin.

Rick flew home. He had hoped he would have had time to check out Joe Wilson's dosier that the Hopkins brothers had given him last night. But after dinner, the girls wanted to play cards and by the time they had finished, it was time for bed. He sat at his desk with a yellow highlighter in hand. Something in this had to make this man part of the Matthews clan, then he saw it. Mother's name Edna Wilson. Edna? was that her name? He would have to confirm with his cousin. Then, he caught something else. The autopsy revealed a large scar over the left side of the body, probably a nephrectomy incision. Apparently Joe was missing a left kidney. Other organs seemed to have been partially removed too. Rick arched an eyebrow. Why would anyone want a liver or a part of a pancreas of an alcoholic?

He felt his phone vibrate again. Now what?

"Rick?"

"Carl?"

"We have a huge problem."

"I know."

"You know???? How the hell would you know about cocaine in our toys?" Then Carl swallowed hard. "Wait, a minute. You were the CO."

"What??? Drugs? I don''t know shit about that. I thought you were talking about Joe Wilson."

"What? Joe... Joe Wilson? You mean Jen's stepfather?"

"Yeah... he looks he had a connection with the Matthews.  His mom was Edna Wilson. Do you remember Edna? I think she was the upstairs maid?"

"Rick, I know this is important to you, but we have actual drugs in our toys."

"What?" Rick finally let it sink in. "Where are you?"

"At the warehouse. Come quick. I don't know what to do."

"I will be right there."

to be continued...

Comments 2 comments

Aka Professor M 5 years ago

The plot twist is phenomenal here, Jean! Introduction of a drug smuggling operation is both innovative yet highly believable within our modern reality of international drug cartels.

You have raised the bar on this one and that is going some. What an attention grabber! Voted this way up, Jean!! Great Work, meow 48!

Regards Mike (Aka Professor M!) ;D


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meow48 5 years ago from usa Author

hang on, it is only the beginning...

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