Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Morning Breakfast Serial

Who in the *@#$ is Boone Carter?

The blonde opened the door to the rear compartment.  "Get in," she ordered.  I stepped forward.  When Trey started to follow she blocked his path.  "No.  This is a private conversation between Mr. Carter and the boss."

I took a look inside the passenger compartment of the limo.  The only person there was a little white-haired old lady.  Maybe eighty pounds, and probably at least eighty years old.  I was betting I could take her in a straight-up fight.  Reaching into my pocket I pulled out my truck keys and tossed them back to my rooommate.  "It's all right.  You take the truck.  I'll meet you at the job site."

He looked at me doubtfully.  I've never let him drive the truck.  It's not much of a vehicle, but it's all I've got.  I don't usually trust him with it because he has the attention span of a gnat on speed.  He's always distracted.  He can't help it.  But today I was willing to take a risk.  Mainly because I was curious.  Who was the old girl and what did she want with me?

"You're sure."

"Positive.  Just don't wreck it."

"I," he assured me with a huge grin, "am a great driver." 

Yeah, right.  And if you believe that one I've got this land in Florida . . .  I sighed and climbed in the limo.  Either my truck would make it to the job site in one piece or it wouldn't.  I'd made my choice.  Still, I felt a little chill run down my spine when the driver closed the door with a solid, almost ominous, thunk.

I sat across from the "boss" my weight sinking into butter soft carmel colored leather that still had that new car smell.  The woman across from me watched me with the bright dark eyes of a bird magnified only a little by the pair of rimless glasses she wore.  She wasn't a beautiful woman, never had been.  Even softened by age and wrinkles her features were too harsh for that.  But she was striking, and impeccably neat.  Not a wrinkle marred the dark rose suit she wore, and her jewelry was both conservative, and obviously expensive.  Even if the limo hadn't clued me in, I would've known she had money.  She wasn't being crass about it.  Wealth was just a fact of her existence, like the sun and the tides.

"Mr. Carter."


I heard the front door slam, and the car started up.  A moment later we pulled smoothly away from the curb.  We sat in silence for a few blocks.  I wondered if we were following Trey in the truck.  The driver hadn't asked for a destination.  I did hope I'd wind up at the work site eventually.  I like my job, and Mr. Carmichael has no sense of humor about missing work.

"You're not much of a talker."  She observed.

"I figured you'll tell me what you want when you're ready."

 She gave me what might have been a smile, or not, just a bitter little twist of the lips.  "My son is Jimmy Carpenter Carmichael."

"Jimmy" Carmichael, as in Mr. Carmichael the owner of the company I worked for.  So maybe I wouldn't get in trouble for being late.  Assuming, of course, she told him we'd met. 

"Jimmy is a good boy."  She told me.  I didn't mention that at 56 he was twice my age and hardly a 'boy'.  He was her son.  He'd always be a boy to her.  "A little weaker than I'd like.  Not like his father was, or even his brother Ron." 

I'd worked with James Carmichael long enough to know he wasn't exactly a sissy boy.  Which meant that Mr. Carmichael Sr. had probably been a world class asshole.  Ron, had been the Carmichael's older son.  If rumors were to be believed he'd be killed in a bar fight.  He may have been tough, but obviously someone had been tougher.  Then again, there always is. 

"So I can't count on him to do what's necessary."

I didn't like where I thought this was heading, but I kept my mouth shut.  I've found I can keep myself out of an awful lot of trouble just by staying quiet. 

She paused, waiting for me to say something.  When I didn't she gave me an irritated look over the top of her glasses. 

"I need someone smart, tough, and ruthless.  I had someone check discreetly with the men working for my son.  Your name came up repeatedly.  They also say you do odd jobs for people, for a price."

"That would depend on the job."

"And the price I assume."
Not necessarily.  But I wasn't about to tell her that---yet.  "What exactly did you have in mind?"


Dolly said...

Sooo Good!! Thanks

BreiaB said...

I am so ready for more