idioms...sayings understood by native speakers part fifty five

Deshaun yawned and stretched. He climbed out of bed. As he headed toward the bathroom, he heard a strange noise.

He deviated from his path and headed to the office.

Scott was on line talking a mile a minute.

Jeez. This kid is going to die from a caffeine overdose, he thought when he heard.

"I know. There is no proof. But sir... if we can find one body, one witness, we can blow this thing wide open." He paused. "Sir, listen to me. This is pure FBI business. Custom organs and tissues being sold to anyone with enough money, that would include foriegn trade." He stopped and removed his ear piece. He rubbed his sore ear.

"Please, sir. I am sending you my information. If it is not enough to obtain a warrant, then i will continue to dig."

"My mom?"

"Ah, er, I plan on visiting her today. She is over at Lansing County Memorial."

"No sir, this is not my home town. I just grew up near here."

"Everyone knows this is the Matthews domain. No one has ever been strong enough to question it."

"Please."

"Sir? Thank you. i am sending you the attachments. And Sir?"

"Um, I don't know how to say this delicately, but it needs to be said, John Matthews, probably one of the main players, he .. um.. knows the Chief."

"You heard me right. I just do not know how deep their relationship is."

"I know. I know I have no shame."

"I know. I always head where angels fear to tread."

"I can't help it sir. That is how I am made. You will have to blame my mom."

"Yes, sir. I hope you can meet her someday too."

"Take care."

The man hung up and sat in the chair staring at the screen.

"Everything all right, Scott?" Deshaun asked sleepily as he rubbed the back of his head.

"Well, Charity had a death in the OR yesterday. If we can get to the family, we might be able to get to the body before it gets destroyed."

"Really?"

"Yeah." Scot turned and looked at Deshaun. "How old are you?"

"Um, thirty five. Same as Rick. Why are you asking?"

"This kid... he was only eighteen. He was a paraplegic with a quote unquote kidney mass. He died yesterday on the table. He was an illegal. He had no chance at all." Scott rubbed his eyes. "I am twenty six. My ancestors probably were illegals, too. We have got to stop this, Deshaun." He turned and looked earnestly at the man.

Deshaun gave a gentle smile. "Well, my ancestors had no choice in coming here. No one protected them, either. So I guess we had better get around to doing just that, hummmn?"

Scott nodded, then sighed. "I have to go see Mom. I need to see her before she goes to the OR, just in case." He got up and headed to the bathroom.

"Ah, er, um..." Deshaun shrugged. Think about something else..... He heard his cell phone vibrate. He read the text and both eyes flew open. Damn.

---

Rick walked into the board room. There sat seven board members. AJ was still missing in action. Rick looked at the Chairman, and then at his Uncles. John who nodded and Christopher who looked like he had just swallowed a lemon. That man's deal was money... money...money. Rick reached up and covered his mouth just a little to hide a slight smile, thinking that Uncle Christopher would be the one writing the checks to save AJ. Rick saw Matthew Greenbaum from National Bank, and his entourage. Mrs. Smith sat behind the Chairman, taking notes. It felt surreal. He set up his power point and then stood waiting for his introduction, he rubbed the boxing gloves for luck.

"The Chairman of the Board welcomes everyone here today for this emergency meeting. A.J. is expected to join us shortly." He paused. "We welcome our esteemed collegue and financial wizard, Mr. Matthew Greenbaum who has blessed us with his presence to make sure his loan is safe with us due to some rumors he had heard. We are truly at a crossroads at this point of our company's life. Our sales have dropped, our bottom line has fallen more and more in the red. In this economy, only the strong will survive." He looked pointedly at Rick. "We will hear from Mr. Rick Richardson, temporary manager of the Sales and Distribution Department. After his presentation, we will discuss his future in this company."

Rick sighed. Why was he at peace? Usually, he would be ready to throw up. He sighed again. "Good morning, Gentleman, Chairman and Mr. Greenbaum. This is an update report of the progress Sales and Distribution has made since I became manager ten days ago."

"As you can see, we restructured the team. Playing off each others strengths and minimizing their weaknesses, we created partners to go on their sales meetings. This particularly came in handy when our expense account budget was cut in half in lieu of Research and Development needing the funds."

Mr. Greenbaum sat back in his chair. He knew this guy. These bastards were making it hard for him and he just made lemonade out of their lemons. He smiled. If this kid ever wanted to go into banking, he would have a job... no holds barred.

"As our teams regrouped, it was discovered that return sales always fell thru. People did not want our toys. Why?"

He pulled up a graft of before the outsourcing to when the outsourcing started.

"We were told by the buyers that our toys were substandard, that many were returned due to not working or breakage. One mother told the buyer she would never enter his store again if this was the quality of product he sold."

Rick paused to see if they were hearing him. The three main players appeared bored, but his uncle in laws were all ears.

"So, I made a decision. We asked for these toys to be returned and replaced them with our top of the line toys more fitting to each buyer's needs and customer preferences. Instead of giving them a refund, we gave them the new product at a fifteen % discount."

A group gasp occurred.

"Rick, aren't you giving away the product?" His Uncle in law Sigh spoke up.

"No sir. I will explain in a minute."

"With this new strategy, we took all the returned toys and gave them to research and development to see if they could be recycled into their current project. With our ninety percent mark up on our toys, decreasing them by fifteen percent, allowed us to make a seventy five percent profit, and we reestablished our credibility with our buyers. The Consumer will be surprised by the quality. And our sales will continue to grow, while keeping our usual buyers happy. Also, by doing this, we will undercut the competition and again, survive in this economy while making a profit."

The four uncle in laws nodded, Oscar actually smiled at the boy.

"Ah, but Rick, just how many sales contracts have been signed and okayed with the legal and accounting."

"Ah er, about that." He moved forward a couple of slides. "We have in the two weeks I have been manager made fifty new contracts."

Another gasp was heard. The four uncle in laws sat back in their chairs impressed. The other three smirked.

"As I said, have they been approved?"

"Well..."

The door to the board room flew open. In walked the accounting and Legal managers who were followed by three very tired looking assistants.

"Excuse us, gentlemen. It has been rather a hectic morning."

The one manager smiled at Rick.

"Ladies, please distribute the reports."

"I do apologize to Mr. Richardson. There were fifty contracts to be approved on my desk this morning. Apparently, these must have gotten mislaid or lost by our mail room. But due to the diligence of our executive assistants, the foot work was laid, and Mr. Jones and I, with the help of our teams, managed to get these all approved."

He handed Rick a copy of the report. "Mr. Jones of accounting will continue."

"Er, um," the little man who could crunch numbers in his sleep, cleared his throat. "Bottom line, as our esteemed ex CO always said, sales have improved by forty percent. A precident that has never been heard of before in the history of this company."

Oscar started to clap. Then applause from the four uncles in law, then, the other three who knew they were being scrutinized by Mr. Greenbaum.

Lynn sighed happily at the back of the room, and smiled.

"I rest my case." Rick stated quietly, trying not to gloat.

"You are dismissed, Mr. Richardson. The board will come to a decision about whether you get to keep your job. Now we will move on to the other business at hand. Mr. Greenbaum, you would like to address the board."

"Certainly. But first, before you leave, Mr. Richardson, I would like to thank you in restoring my confidence in this company, although, I had hoped, the board would have shown a more kinder attitude, but one cannot change ones spots that easily. Please stay. I want you to hear what I have to say."

Rick looked at the Chairman who nodded gruffly and Rick took a seat.

"I was going to call my loan today. Not because you have missed a payment, but because of a lack of confidence in the leadership."

Christopher spoke up. "As to that loan. We are a private family owned company. We do not take well to extortion of any kind. So here is a check that includes all interest it would have accrued. I do not believe there is anything else to be said."

The check was passed down the line to the man.

"Well, then. I guess this is adequate. As soon as it clears, we shall call it a day." Mr. Greenbaum got up and nodded to Rick. He left quickly.

"Mr. Richardson, you may leave. As I said before the board will come to a decision and let you know the outcome."

"As to that, sir. The month deal is now null and void. I won."

Rick got up and left.

---

Rick found Mr. Greenbaum hanging out by the elevators. His entourage looked scared.

"Are you all right?" Mr. Greenbaum asked.

"Yes, sir. How about you? You just lost a customer."

He laughed. "I wonder just how clean this money is, Rick. But bottom line, I am glad not to be dealing with your family anymore." He handed the man a card. "I want you to know there is a place for you if ever your need a job. That is, as long as you go by Richardson." He smiled. "Oh, and tell Jenny thank you for the heads up. For them to raise this amount of capital I bet they had to sell an arm or two." The elevators closed.

Rick stood there a little stunned. It wasn't arms and legs that got sold. He heard a quiet "Rick?"

As he turned there stood Lynn against the wall.

"Lynn." He went up to her not knowing whether to shake her for vexing him so, or hug her for saving his life.

He grabbed her by her hand and pulled her into the stairwell placing both of his hands gently on the sides of her face he kissed her then pulled her into a hug.

"Don't you ever go off by your self again."

"You know, a simple thank you would do."

"Shut up." as he kissed the top of her head holding her close.

The cell phone vibrated in his pocket. "Damn." he pulled out his phone and held onto Lynn with one hand. "Carl? Carl? What happened?"

"She what?"

"We will be right there." He hung up.

"What's wrong, Rick?"

"It's Aunt Sara. She took a turn for the worse. We have to go to the hospital now."

"Ah, but, Charlie?"

"We will pick him up. Come on. I got to stop by the office. I left my keys there."

They ran down the stairs to Rick's floor. As they entered a group of salesmen with streamers and sparkling cider greeted them.

"Um, Guys?"

"The word just came down from the top. You are the CO again."

Rick nodded at the guys. "Thanks. But we have a family emergency, can you guys hold the fort.?"

"Ah, er no problem."

"If things turn out all right, I will take you guys out tomorrow night to celebrate, okay?"

"We will hold you to that."

Rick ran into his office and grabbed the keys. He turned and there stood Oscar.

"Rick, my boy. I am so proud of you."

"Oscar, look I have got to go. Sara, she is going back for emergency surgery."

"No. I thought she was okay."

"Something about some more internal bleeding. Look, I have got to go. I will call you and Millie later. Okay?"

"We will come by to the hospital."

"Fine. The password is contracts."

"Contracts?"

"Yeah. Sara is a no information patient. Without the pass word you won't be able to find out anything."

"Okay."

John looked at his mail, he smiled. "Contracts, it is."

----

Larry and Joey watched as Micheal returned to his bed. The nurses checked his Iv and vital signs then left.

"Michael? Are you okay?" Joey asked quietly.

"You look awful." Larry said.

"Oh, i am okay. I don't have leukemia."

'Ah that is a relief."

"But Miguel... he did not make it."

"What?????"

"He died on the table. I heard the nurses talking over at Charity."

"My God. I wonder what happened."

"I don't know. All I know is I want to get out of here as soon as possible."

"We all do, bro."

---

The attorney general hung up and sighed.

"What the hell was going on in that county?"

As she picked up the phone, "Jean, get me that new prosecutor, Stanley Kutzavitch, over in Lansing County. And hurry."

"He is on the line, ma'am. Good."

"Stanley?"

"Yes, ma'am."

"We have to get an autopsy done on one Miguel Gomez. He died at Charity Hospital yesterday."

"Charity? but that is not my.."

"Doesn't matter. The FBI are wanting this."

"But."

"I made the arrangements with the hospital already. No one is too release the body without an autopsy, and it must be done at your county. I ran a check on the records. Do you know that Charity has the highest mortality rate in the state? Do you know that cremation is the number one way those deaths are taken care of? And, all the autopsies done by that coroner's office all say the same thing... reaction to anesthesia..."

The man sat back in his chair. "What police agency will I use to investigate?"

"I have sent state police detectives down to the hospital now to have the family id the body and then to guard it until your coroner's office picks it up. it is important that no switch takes place, if you know what I mean."

"You think something is going on in the Matthews county?"

"That's an odd way of saying it."

"I know but we both know they own it. They pride themselves on free health care."

"Yeah. That is why this has gone on so long. This might be just a lot of smoke but we both know right?"

"Yes, ma'am. Where there is smoke, there is fire."

"Or in this case, embers." She hung up and grabbed her coat.

That arraignment for A.J. Matthews was postponed to this afternoon. She was going to enjoy this one. Sal had filled her in, and now the victim was undergoing another emergency surgery. She held onto his notes and the two diamond earrings as evidence that the woman was going to divorce her husband. She had motive for the crime. She had witnesses after the fact, and she had the physical evidence of the assault, and dna to boot. She had the photos of the perpetrator's wounds that could only be explained by the victim trying to protect herself. This man would have to be more slippery than an eel to get out of this one. But bail... that would be easy for him to come by. She sighed. Can't have everything. She was prepared for the jurisdiction battle his lawyers were going to put up. Good thing he was represented by a law firm that specialized in business law.

---

"Annie, where can I find out what this drug is? I tried on line but there is nothing in Lexicomp or the PDR."

"What drup is it, Stacy?"

"it is called Special V."

"Oh, that is just a nutritional supplement. It is one of our trial drugs."

"Trial drugs?"

"Sure."

"So we have a lot of grants and things from drug companies and the like here."

"Got to pay the bills one way or another."

"Um, then, the releases have been signed by the patients."

"Sure. They sign the release at admission here."

"But, shouldn't that be a separate thing?"

"No. It is like a surgery consent. It covers everything."

"But..."

"No buts. Stacy.." the older nurse rolled her eyes. "I like the fact that you are so concerned about your patients. I really do. But please stop asking too many questions... and don't get so close to your patients. People around here come and go quickly. It will take a great toll on your heart. Besides, as to that,"  Annie pointed to the pill, " you don't know if the pill is a placebo or if it is the real drug. Only the administrators and researchers know."

Stacy looked at the pill in hand and quietly placed it in her pocket. She went to pass meds. Mrs. Sloan lay in bed. The woman could barely swallow. Stacy scanned her arm and then the pill. then she put held medication. Unable to swallow. Pill destroyed. Nursing judgment. And left quietly after turning the woman and giving her a quick back rub. This place kept getting stranger and stranger. Maybe, she could ask her husband to check out what was in this.

---

Rick, Lynn and Charlie got to Lansing Memorial Hospital. They went to the surgery waiting room. Carl was sitting in a wheel chair beside Jenny.

"What happened?"

"I am not sure. They said they thought the liver laceration repair stated to leak again."

Jenny looked pale and tired. "it is all my fault."

"Lynn, why don't you take Jenny for a walk. I have to talk to Carl."

Charlie was already by Jenny's side. He pulled her up.

"Come with us. Jenny. You are strong. Come with us. Li Li and Charlie will make you feel better."

"Charlie?" She started to cry.

The boy looked confused and then gently pulled her into a hug. "Come on."

Lynn got on the other side of her friend and they traveled down the hall way to a vending machine area.

Carl looked up at Rick.

"I can't believe this is happening. She finally was going to leave that guy. She was going to go for it. After all these years, she was going to be free."

"Carl. You know, your mom, she never treated me badly. She always was nice to me. I don't know what else to say. If she dies..."

"If she dies, that bastard will pay. I will make sure of it."

"Carl. I know you are upset. The authorities have it now."

"They will get him out on bond. I know it."

"Carl. You have to think about what your mom wants. I know she would not want her son to be thinking this way."

"That's just it, Rick. I am my father's son, too."

Rick flinched remembering the conversation he had with his dad.

"How about just being Carl?"

"Right now, that is not good enough." The man stated evenly.

---

Lynn got a coke for Jenny to drink and sat down beside her friend.

"You had nothing to do with this. If anything you helped Sara. You did. You made her see herself for the victim she had become. No matter what the outcome... you gave Sara the courage she needed. How dare you negate that?"

Jenny looked at her friend.

Lynn stood up with her arms crossed and tapped her foot.

"Are you going to argue with me, when I know I am right."

"Okay. Okay. It isn't my fault. Put that wicked pointer finger away. I don't want to get poked to death." Jenny gave Lynn a slight smile.

"That is right, Jenny. Jenny helped Carl and his mommy." Charlie said, quietly.

"Let's go back, okay. I need to be with Carl."

Just then a tall man with a bouquet of roses came into view as Jenny got up. She scowled.

John Matthews turned and headed towards the trio at the vending machines. Lynn pulled out her cell and text-ed Rick.

"Ah, Miss Lundstrum. I am glad I found you. I heard that Sara took a turn for the worse."

Rick pulled out his phone, read it. "Carl, stay here. I have to go to the girls."

Carl sat there going over the scenario of the night before in his head. He did not know what to do with this rage. Remembering his naive promise to help his mom, he felt like a complete failure.

to be continued...

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