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idiom...sayings understood by native speakers part forty three
A.J. hung up the phone after contacting the Chairman. What was that man thinking? There is just way too much at stake for him to be messing around with that mousy girl. He stared at the phone for a long time. Mousy, quiet, kind and smart, although really naive... those were the only words to describe Rick's mother. A warm and gentle smile generously given to anyone who needed help. He closed his eyes... he could still remember the smell of her as she passed him in the hallway. Strawberries... it wasn't heavy perfume like all the other girls wore, just shampoo. Her clothing was simple. Not the mini skirts that the girls always wore, but below the knee, like someone from the his mother's time. Why did he ever let the name of his crush be known? How stupid was that? Big brother just saw it as a challenge to be conquered. After father had heard, his brother set his aim. Alice was done for. He poured himself another drink of bourbon.
"A.J. Cook wants to know what you want for lunch today?" Sara called from the door and then after knocking, she entered the room as cautiously as possible.
The man looked up at this frail green eyed faded beauty. He arched his eyebrow, questioning.
"You... Why did you marry me?"
"Um, as I recall, there wasn't any choice, was there? I mean, after your father threatened to take over my dad's company if I did not."
"You had the right background. The right education. The right blood type. The right IQ. The same heritage as us. You were the perfect choice."
Background? Blood type? IQ? Heritage? Sara thought to herself. "I am not sure what you are talking about." She stated as gently as possible.
"Were you always this obedient? Or is it that I have disciplined you enough to make you this obedient."
"A.J." she swallowed, then continued. "What should I tell Cook?"
"Why? If you were the perfect choice, why did I sire such sons?"
Flashes of Henry the eighth suddenly entered Sara's mind and it made her smile, but only for a second.
"Why? How come you are smiling? Was it your plan? Did you have something in your background that would have produced a son like Allan?" He was getting more irritated.
The smile disappeared. "A.J. Listen. The doctor said no one knew how autism happened. Remember?He told you and me, it was no one's fault."
"So, it just happened."
"Honey, Allan has been gone for over ten years. Can't we just let him rest in peace?"
"Peace." Flashes of Alice Richardson entered his mind, smiling at him. He slammed his drink down on the desk. The glass shattered. Blood started oozing from the fingers that had held it.
"A.J.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Sara grabbed a towel from behind the bar and went over to him. "Let me see your hand."
"Go tell Cook I want the biggest juiciest steak we have."
She started to wipe up the drink with the towel, then, place pieces of glass on it. She kept her gaze upon her task saying very gently. "A.J. remember what the doctor said, you should watch your cholesterol. How about a nice salmon? or .."
"Woman, you don't listen very well now, do you?" He grabbed the wrist of the hand that dropped the towel. "What did I say?"
She flinched at the pain.
"But your hand, your heart?"
"What? Am I to believe that you love me? That you are concerned about me?"
She stared into the dark eyes of this man that she had lived with for over thirty years. Flashes of any hope she had had like the lies she had told herself seemed to fly through her mind and out of her head. She squinted hard, against the pain. She asked herself why had she stayed? To protect her father? He died and left the company to her brother, who proceeded to take everything away from her. Was it really because she had no where to go? Was it really because she needed to stay and protect Carl? All of those reasons flitted by. The clothes.. the food.. the house... Was this all worth it?
She swallowed. "I will tell Cook." She felt him release her. She was numb.
"Good. I will be down for dinner. Don't come back in here."
"Fine." She looked back at the man who sat down behind his desk staring at his bleeding hand like it was a work of art. As she closed the door, she took a deep breath. I really can do this.
She sent the message to the Cook via another servant, she said, "The master has accidentally broken a glass and cut himself. Could you please send someone in with a first aid kit so it can be bandaged. Please be careful this towel is filled with glass. Please be careful."
Then headed to her room, she found the business card given to her the other day at that Buffet place from Jenny's friend when he had come to pick up the two girls. Her fingers trembled as she put the number in her phone under the ID of FREEDOM.
Jenny sat back in the chair.
"I think I am in love."
Sal glanced up at her. "You know you are talking to an old divorce lawyer, right?"
"So, when I hear people talking about love... then marriage... I get excited because I know I will have a future income."
Jenny laughed. "Sal, are you that jaded?"
"Well, maybe. But if you guys talk about everything... no secrets... no trust issues.. and really try to be friends, then, you can make it." He looked into her beautiful smiling face. "Jenny, have you heard a word I said? Especially with your background, you think that this guy will stand a chance?"
"He knows everything and wants me. I never knew there could be a guy like that, Sal."
"So you love him because he accepts you?"
"Sal, what are you trying to say?"
"Get a dog."
"Get a cat."
"Pets can do the same thing and not cause as much grief, Jenny."
"Carl, right? That IS the guy we are talking about."
"Yes." her eyes knitted together with concern. "You think I only love him because he is the only one who will accept me?"
Sal reached out and held her hand. "I am not trying to take away from your feelings. I just want you to think about this." He paused. "You, do you accept him for who and what he is?"
"Ah, it is so nice to be young and hopeful."
He paused. "Let's talk facts here. The only grandchild that has the name to inherit the Matthews family business wants to marry a damaged girl from the poor side of the tracks." He looked at her with greater concern. "Just for arguments sake, the man does have issues with his family. Is he just using you to get back at them?"
"Sal, how could you say that? He wanted to leave this morning and never come back. Start fresh, from scratch. Just on his merits alone, without a thought of his family or the lack of income."
Sal sat back in his chair. Pulling his two index fingers to his closed mouth, resting his elbow on the arms of his chair. "Wow. Like a teenager who wants to runaway? How did you respond?"
"Um, er, I told him the past would catch up with us. That we needed to face it head on if there was going to be any future."
He contemplated this. "Jenny?"
"For this to work out, you and he have to completely be honest with each other... to the point of pain. Only people who are both strong and committed can make a marriage work."
Jenny gave a gentle smile to her friend who was almost a father to her.
"Have you ever thought of going into marriage counseling?"
"I am a divorce lawyer, Jen. Who do you think becomes the final marriage counselor?"
Jenny gave a slight laugh, when suddenly the sound of the Godfather came from Sal's cell phone. She smiled even bigger at that. Only Salvatore Basso would have that phone tone.
He waved at her to be quiet and picked up the phone. "Salvatore Basso here."
He listened and looked at Jenny. "Just a minute."
"Jenny, could you please wait in the outer office? This is business."
"I have to go anyway, it is almost noon. I will catch you later. And Sal?" The man gazed at her.
"I definitely will have Carl come to talk with you. Okay?"
He nodded and watched her leave. Pulling out a yellow legal pad and his favorite Bic, he returned to the phone. "I am sorry for having to keep you on hold, Mrs. Matthews. How may I be of service?"
Lynn sat down with Charlie on the floor as he looked at the four toys presented to him by the deaf team, who were all beat and tired from having been up all night. They drank coffee and sat quietly not trying to interfere, lest that would influence the outcome of Charlie's interaction.
"Yes, Li Li."
"These are toys for deaf children." He looked at her with a questioning face. "I mean, children who can't hear."
"They can't hear?"
"Yes, Charlie. Not being able to hear is the number one problem with children who are born different."
"Charlie has to see if these toys will be fun for kids who can't hear?"
"Li Li. Can you put your hands on Charlie's ears?"
"Um." She looked at the team.
"Here, Charlie, try these?" Cameron put a set of ear phones over Charlie's ears. The man smiled. Quiet. He grinned and shook his head, the ear phones stayed on.
He looked at the toys and chose the brightest colored one and proceeded to figure it out.
Carl watched the proceedings and then noticed Rick standing beside him.
"Rick, come with me." He went outside to walk Rick to his car. "Why did you come here? Shouldn't you be making sales or something?"
He arched an eyebrow. "I know my job. I just wanted to take Lynn and Charlie to lunch, if that is any of your business. Besides I have to work on my presentation tomorrow for the board, defending my position. I just wanted to make sure everything was all right."
"From what Jenny told me this morning, it looks like uncle has declared war. You know, I can only help out from the sidelines, right?"
"Although, I wished I had seen that old man fall on his face."
"Yeah, it was priceless."
"What?" As he opened his car door, he held onto it, and looked at his cousin.
"When I found Jenny this morning, she was sprawled over the car and that police officer was frisking her."
"I never thought I would want to kill someone." He looked up at Rick. "I can't let anything else happen to her. I can't."
Rick closed his door and put an hand on the younger man's shoulder. He lowered his voice and gently stated. "Look, we can do this. Jenny is strong and smart. It is going to work out. We have only twenty days left to get this done. Right?"
"I am terribly sorry that happened to Jenny, of all people."
"I asked her to marry me."
Rick leaned on the side of his car and looked up to the sky.
"Why in God's name would you do that now?"
"I like her. I love her. I have to protect her."
"And don't you know if they find out, things will get even more intense than what has already happened?"
"Not if I resign."
"Carl, are you that naive?" He paused. "You have lived with them and still not learned? They will find your achilles' heel, which is Jenny, and make you do what they want."
"Rick.... I can't take this anymore."
Rick turned to face his cousin. He put both hands on his shoulders. "Carl. Listen to me. Concentrate on the competition. I will try to figure out how best to protect all of us." He gripped Carl's shoulders to send home his point, when a familiar voice spoke up.
"Hee, You guys look like two peas in a pod."
Rick dropped his hands, hoping nothing was heard.
Carl shouted. "Rick? Keep your hands off of me. I will clean your clock the next time you interfere."
Rick squinted his eyes. "Like I said, Carl. I will win this competition. You are the one who should quit while you are a head."
He glanced over to his father. "Chairman, what are you doing here?"
"Oh, I just thought I would stop by and see what progress was being made." He paused and grinned, "Carl, this was a brilliant idea to rent this warehouse. When I saw the receipt, I had to come by and see for myself what progress you were making."
"Chairman. Thank you, but this is off limits to everyone but members of my team." He glanced at Rick. "That includes you, Rick. If you have any thing to discuss with me, I suggest you send me an official e-mail request so we can set up a meeting. You can arrange it with Miss Johnson. Now if you both will excuse me, I have to get back to my team." He turned on his heel and headed back into the ware house slamming the door to emphasize his anger to them. Then Carl pulled out his cell phone and rang Jenny.
Deshaun emerged from his bedroom, stretching. He headed to the bathroom and returned to find his brother in the kitchen cooking up some breakfast.
"What is our house guest doing?"
"Scott? He was on the net all night. I daresay we are going to have to get some more coffee."
"Is breakfast almost done?"
Dejuan nodded. "Tell him to come on and get it while it is hot."
Deshaun entered the computer room to find Scott wide awake and staring at the computer.
"Have you been up all night?"
"Look, I only have two weeks and in two days, I really do have to see my mom." he typed in another line and then hit print.
"Well, breakfast is on. Come to the table and tell us what you have found out."
Scott stretched. Taking the last drink of his now cold coffee, he got up and then reached to the ceiling, he bent and dangled his arms to his toes. Standing up, he put his hands on his waist and made a circle.
"Are you done yet?" Deshaun asked with a grin, "Because, my brother really hates for anyone to come to the table late."
Scott yawned and laughed. "Coming."
"Yes, Carl. I am on my way."
"Why don't you stop and get me some coffee before you come here?"
"Um, sure." She paused as she slowed down. "Carl?"
"I just saw a police officer pull a little old lady out of a red Honda. Platinum blond hair... it looks like the Judge's wife from church."
Carl's eyes flew open. "R..r..really?"
"Yes. How could I lie about that, but, I will stop and get you coffee, okay?"
"Great. Jenny, please take care."
"Carl, no problem. Why do I have a feeling that that cop who just pulled over the judge's wife is going to have a rude awakening." She giggled. "And you know what is the kicker, Carl?"
"It is the same guy who pulled me over." She laughed. "God is good, you know. Karma is even better. Talk to ya later." She hung up.
Carl looked at his cell. It was only a white lie... He looked up to the ceiling of the warehouse, and sighed.
to be continued....