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The Return of Jack Collier (Chapter Forty-Six)

The Return of Jack Collier

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

Chapter Forty-Six: Now Who’s Rich?

By: Jill Piper

 

            Jack let was good about his word, letting me stay with him if I wanted to, but he was right. His place was too small for two people. It was alright when we were in bed together. Everything was alright in bed though, but nothing would ever be not right in bed with him. Outside though he was tripping over me and I couldn’t get around him. It wasn’t something you notice at first, but after a week it gets to you. He tried to make it easier for me, but the place was made for one man to live and occasionally entertain.

 

            I had an idea how to get us both out of that situation though, two days after dad was killed and his house was burned down. I wish I felt something more for him than that. It seems shallow to just say he was a man who died. I can’t say anything conjure up any more feeling for him than that though. He was a man who used me, abused me, and then was killed by one of them men who helped him abuse me. I’m not happy he’s dead, but I haven’t been sad about it either.

 

            So it was a couple of days after that event that Jack took me to his office so I could talk to Dad’s lawyers. I had him sit with me, to make sure that someone else was around if I didn’t understand something. I wasn’t scared of them, I just didn’t know them and I was a little shy now.

 

            They looked like TV lawyers, with slicked hair and neat suits and all that. Jack let them into his office, but we had a problem because I was sitting in the big red leather chair and he was going to sit behind his desk, which only left one chair for the two of them. I suppose they could have sat on each other’s lap, but it seemed rude to ask them. Jack though, he had a solution.

 

            “Jill, why don’t you sit at my desk?”

 

            “Where will you sit?” I asked him.

 

            “I’ll stand.” He told me and then leaned against the window frame. “Maybe lean against the wall, which looks quite cool.”

 

            “Are you Miss Piper’s representative?” One of the lawyers asked.

 

            “Close enough.” Jack said.

 

            “Very well.” He nodded. “Miss Piper, I’m Henry H. Barber. This is my partner Henry Parker.”

 

            “Parker?” Jack asked. “Related to Nathanial?”

 

            “Yes, he’s my cousin.” Parker said.

 

            “Ah.”

 

            “We have your father’s will, which needs to be read and gone over.” Barber said. “However I can tell you that besides the legal wording of the document, and a few small bequests, the entire estate is to be transferred to you.”

 

            “How much is that?” She asked.

 

            “Well.” Barber cleared his throat. “The recent events have created some complications. The house being destroyed, obviously changes our numbers.”

 

            “And then there is the other bequest.” Parker added, pulling his briefcase onto his lap and opening it. “Which involves Mister Collier. Or rather it involved your company.”

 

            “What’s he talking about?” I asked Jack.

 

            “You’re father made some interesting offers about payment.” He told me.

 

            “I have a letter here, from Mister Piper.” Parker said. “He does make some interesting comments about payments.”

 

            “Half the kingdom?” Jack said, and I was sort of annoyed because I felt like he was talking over my head.

 

            “So you did have that conversation with him.”

 

            “What?” I asked, I hate it when people do that. I’m a grown up now, they should stop acting like I’m not here.

 

            “You’re father agreed to pay Collier Investigations one half of his total holdings if you were returned safely.” Parker said. “That’s what this letter states.”

 

            “So I should pay Jack half my money?” I asked.

 

            “No.” Jack said. “Your father was under a great deal of stress.”

 

            “He states that the agreement was half his company, land and assets were to be turned over to you as long as you were to rescue his daughter from harm.” Parker said reading over the letter. “I’m afraid, Miss Piper that this would stand as a part of the debt incurred by the estate.”

 

            “I’ve got to give you half?” I asked him. “Is that right?”

 

            “No.” He shook his head. “Your father insisted on those terms, I only agreed to them because I needed to start moving.”

 

            “How much is the estate?” I asked, trying to sound grown up and commanding.

 

            “Sixty percent of the stock for Piper Foods. The house and land in Michigan, but of course the house has been destroyed by the fire. There is also the house in Florida and the one in California. Then there are six bank accounts totaling about seventy million and another eighty-five or so in assorted stocks and bonds.”

 

            “And I would pay Jack half that?”

 

            “No.” Jack sighed. “Because you’re father was insane when he made the deal.”

 

            “If he was not competent.” Parker started, but I was sick of this bullshit. I was a multi-millionaire and I wasn’t going to have anyone dictate to me. Daddy taught me one thing, people with money don’t have to listen to people who don’t.

 

            “Please be so good as to start the paperwork to transfer a quarter of the estate to Mister Collier’s company then.” I said, putting my foot down.

 

            “Jill.” Jack said.

 

            “Shut up Jack, I have more money than you.”

 

            “Not for long.” He growled. “You keep spending it on every dumb thing your father promised.”

 

            “I’m not.” I said, turning to him. “I’m ignoring his request.”

 

            “Pardon?” He asked.

 

            “I’ve decided to ignore my father. I agree that he was probably insane. However, you saved my life, you spent a lot of money and if that man who died in California has a family then you’ll need to give them at least two million in compensation, which comes under expenses. Now, do you want the house in California or Florida?”

 

            He just stood there, looking at me with his jaw hanging open. He wasn’t slack jawed, but like a lion in the zoo on a hot day. He looked like he would have jumped on me and bitten my face off if we’d been alone. He closed his mouth after a few seconds and his jaw clamped tight before he let it loosen. He then walked to the door and opened it.

 

            “Debbie, would you come in here for a second please?” He asked her.

 

            Debbie came into the office, almost slinking like a snake as he strode like a big cat. He went back to leaning on the wall next to the window and looked at all of us around the office. He then introduced everyone by pointing at them and giving their names.

 

            “Parker, Barber, Jill, Debbie, Jack.” He said. “Now will you please explain to this young lady why she can’t just give us a quarter of the estate her father left her?”

 

            “Well the letter said half.” Debbie said, shifting her weight onto one leg and looking sexy and smart and magnificent as she did so.

 

            “I’m ignoring my father.” I told her. “I think he was probably crazy.”

 

            “Probably.” Debbie said, giving me an approving smile.

 

            She’s been approving of me more lately. I’d taken Karen’s advice and called the psychologist she referred me to. There hadn’t been time to have an appointment yet, but I’m going to when it comes. I’ll do what I need to do for them, I’m learning how to be an adult.

 

            “And I think that the family of the man who died should get two million out of that share.” I told her.

 

            “We have a two million dollar retainer.” Debbie told me. “I can transfer that to them.”

 

            “We have two other men killed.” Jack said. “In Chicago.”

 

            “I’ll add another million and they can all have one each.”

 

            “And you don’t transfer them funds.” He said, glaring at Debbie. “You go, you look them in the eye, you tell them you’re sorry and that you know nothing will replace their loved one. Then and only then do you hand them the check.”

 

            “Okay.” She said and then her eyes flicked to the other people in the room. There seemed to be a sort of staring contest and she broke it by saying something. “Yes Jack.”

 

            I’m not sure why exactly, but that seemed to satisfy him somewhat.

 

            “Well then it’s just a matter of paper work then.” Barber said standing up.

 

            “Sit the fuck down!” Jack yelled. “We’re not through here yet.”

 

            “Why not?” Debbie asked him. “We’re supposed to take payment for jobs. We can’t just burn checks any more, we’ve got a payroll to meet.”


            “Don’t.” He started and stopped mid-sentence, I think he was going to say something, but he remembered we were all there and checked himself.

 

            “Do you have a detailed copy of the estate?” Debbie asked Barber.

 

            “Yes I do.” He said. “But I’m not sure about…”

 

            “You can show her.” I told him. “These are my friends Mister Barber.”

 

            “Well.” Barber began, but stopped when he caught Jack’s eye looking at him.

 

            “Mister Barber.” I said leaning a little forward and hunching my shoulders like the powerful people do in the movies. “These people are my lovers. Both of them, together. If you can’t handle the idea of giving my girlfriend, who I trust with everything, those papers than just give them to me and I’ll give them to her and get another lawyer.”

 

            Jack looked at me, I could feel him looking at me. I’m not sure what look he was giving me, because I was going to be damned if I was going to be seen looking to my man for approval of outing myself.

 

            “I meant no offense.” Barber said handing Debbie a packet of papers.

 

            “Thank you.” She smiled and looked at the papers quickly.

 

            “We’ve just got to make sure of your wishes.” Parker said.

 

            I looked at Jack, who seemed to be fuming about the whole thing. He was doing it in that very quiet way that I hadn’t really learned yet. In about two hours I would learn that the quite fuming meant that he was really genuinely furious. At the time I thought he was annoyed for telling the lawyers about us.

 

            “Should I have not said?” I asked.

 

            “That’s not the problem.” He said softly and reassuringly. “I don’t care who you tell about our personal arrangements.”

 

            “Oh.” I said.

 

            “You shouldn’t be blowing your money like this, just as soon as you get it.”

 

            It seemed to really bother him that I was talking about paying him so much, even though it was half of what he’d agreed to with Dad. It seemed so odd that anyone should be annoyed about being given money. I haven’t had a chance to really talk to him about it, I hope I get to someday.

 

            “Okay.” Debbie said. “This looks okay. If we get one of the houses I’ll take the Florida house for preference. We could use it as a base of operations when we start down there.”

 

            “Do I need to sign something gentlemen?” I asked the lawyers.

 

            There was, and there were a few things I had to read over and a few things to arrange. A few more things to sign and I had to agree to a few meetings with them to sign a few more things when the arrangements had been made. Jack looked annoyed through the whole thing, but Debbie didn’t seem to mind. If anything she looked like she was enjoying it.

 

            When the lawyers left, the three of us were left alone in his office. He at down in the blue and gold chair and ran his finger in a small circle round the brocade. He bit his lower lip and looked at the both of us. I know he was annoyed, and I know I should have felt like I was in trouble, but all I could think of was how sexy he looked like that.

 

            “You need a bigger place.” I told him.

 

            “You do.” Debbie agreed.

 

            “I like my place.” He growled.

 

            “It’s a nice place.” Debbie told him.

 

            “But it’s too small.” I said. “If I’m going to be living with you now, you’ll need a better place.”

            “You’re just staying with me a couple of days.” He said and started fumbling verbally. “I’m not living with anyone. It… wouldn’t be… fair.”

 

            “He’s probably right there.” Debbie said, not really leaping to my defense so much as meandering towards it. “It’s not just you with him. Not just me either. There’s at least two others and probably more that I don’t know about yet.”

 

            “Thank you for making me into a slut.” He snarled.

 

            “The point is,” Debbie told me. “He doesn’t know what he wants to do about it yet. Do you understand?”

 

            “I think so.” I said. “He doesn’t know if he has to pick one, or go with all of us or only a couple or whatever?”

 

            “Right.” She said. “And until he does work out what it is he wants to do, he’s going to have to have his place to himself.”

 

            I sort of got it then, it just clicked in my head. If I pushed too hard, he’d push himself away trying to get room to breath. It wasn’t going to be easy, but I would have to give him some space. I could feel something click in my mind, and I felt like I’d grown up a little bit right then.

 

            “Okay.” I said. “I’ll have to find a place though.”

 

            “There’s no hurry.” Jack said.

 

            “But I’ll have to do it.” I said. “And I will.”

 

            “Okay.” He said. “And we’ll help you. You won’t have to do it alone.”

 

            “Thanks Jack.” I said, trying to sound like Debbie did when she said it to him.

 

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November 14, 2011 - Posted by | Fiction, Jack |

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