Picture Perfect 69
Dan checked the security cameras around the house to make sure Sanjay was gone. There was still time for him to take Doctor Grey’s orders. Which resting spot would be the best. The one where he would be least likely to fall asleep. That left out every room in the house. He plopped a cushion the living room floor. Tested it for neck support. Set his cell timer for thirty-five minutes. Put the drops into his eyes. Two in each. He covered his eyes loosely with a folded towel. The floor was hard and as he lay there became harder. Next time he’d get something to buffer his hips and shoulder blades. Not too comfortable but not so hard.
This must be what a jail cell is like. Only without the expensive designer carpeting of course. But with some hairy brute, aka Sanjay, ready to push your face into the cold steel bars, tear your jail orange off and shove his … that’s not relaxing. Pleasant thoughts but not that arousing. How had Linda taken getting those photographs. He wished he could have seen her face as she realized what they were. Suddenly his alarm went off.
As he dressed after his shower Dan put some clothes aside to take back to the east coast with him. Even with Quintex’s on camera wardrobe he found himself without enough changes for each day. Rinsing kept his socks & undies relatively fresh but he really needed something for hanging around his hotel room. Sweats. Sweats. Several more t-shirts & definitely more socks & undies. None of the hotel rooms were warm enough to dry what he had fast enough.
He heard Peter come in through the garage. He checked his cell and there wasn’t enough time for them to start something they could finish.
“You up here, somewhere.” Peter called up the stairs.
“Yep. I’m back in the closet.” Dan replied.
“Back in the designer closet by the looks of you.” Peter said. “Where were you hiding this.” He felt the fabric of the pin-striped shirt Dan had put on.
“In a garment bag.”
“A shirt of substance for a man of substance? Where are you going to dinner. This is a reservation-only, private dining room type of shirt.”
“You think?” Dan started to unbutton it.
“You’re not going to let him do that.” Peter raised an eyebrow.
“Actually I was saving that for you once they left.”
“Thank you, sir.” Peter pushed Dan’s hands away to redo the buttons.
The doorbell rang.
“It’s them.” Dan said.
“Put your pants on & I’ll get it. Black jeans will work best, sir.”
“They slide off you nicely.”
Dan pulled on the jeans, slipped on a pair of loafers & followed Peter down the stairs.
“Oh! Hello.” Ashley said. “We were expected.”
“Hello Peter.” Jeremy ushered her in.
“Ashely.” Dan kissed her. “Father.” he shook hands with Jeremy.
“This is Peter Eastgate. He’s my house sitter.”
“You work at Carafe?” Jeremy asked.
“Knew I’d seen you somewhere before.”
“Yes … well … I just got in from pouring my last latte. I’ll change & be right down, sir.” He ran up the stairs.
“He’ll be joining us?” Ashley said.
“What was I supposed to do. Give him twenty bucks and send him to the movies?”
“Fifty would be more like it.” Ashely said.
“Nice house.” Jeremy said.
“When I started the structural updates at the Depot I had the same architects do some work here.”
“Taylor Tech?” Jeremy asked.
“You can tell?”
“Not really,” he laughed. “But I know who did the Depot.”
He walked in to the kitchen. “Now this is impressive. Clearly a chef’s domain.” He leaned against the counter and crossed his legs at the ankles.
“Sanjay did have some in put. He developed his special desserts here.” He fucked me there and there too.
“When are we going to eat what?” Ashley said.
Dan nudged Jeremy away from the sink. “I’ll make coffee which you decide.”
“What are you in the mood for?” Jeremy asked.
“No chicken.” she said. “You have flyers?”
“Somewhere. Ask Peter. He’s been looking after the mail all week. Or check the recycle bin. In the garage through there.”
“It’s dark.” she said. “Goody.”
“Clever ruse to get her out of the way for a few minutes.” Jeremy stood closer to Dan. “I hope we weren’t too forward inviting ourselves over here like this.”
“Forward is your style.”
“You did say you had something to discuss.”
“Yes I do, but it can wait until we’ve eaten. Nice shirt by the way. Luigi Borrelli? We’d better not order anything that might splash it. Some fabrics were meant to be looked at, not worn.”
“Look!” daughter returned with a dozen flyers. “We never get this many at our place. Do we Daddy?”
“If we do, Mitchell gets rid of them before you can see them and tell him what to cook.”
“Have we decided yet?” Peter came into the kitchen. “Gerald’s is good.” He took flyer from the top of the fridge. “After all pizza is the classic family Saturday night meal.”
“Let’s me see.” Ashley gabbed the take out menu from Peter. “Lobster and shrimp!” she read off various combinations. “Pineapple, ham and avocado! Don’t they do ordinary pizzas with pepperoni? Oh they do. We’ll get that one.”
“Lets see.” Jeremy took the menu. “The classic. Any toppings either of you would like to add or avoid?” He tapped into his cell phone. “Don’t you love apps?” He looked at the cell for a few minutes. “They’ll be here in …”
“Forty minutes or it’s free.” Ashley said. “What’ll we until it comes?”
She ran into the living room and turned on the TV.
“Why don’t you give Jeremy a tour of the house.” Peter said. “I’ll set the table and put some cokes on ice.”
“Sounds like a good idea.” Jeremy said. “Lead the way.”
“This is my retreat from my retreat.” Dan turned the lights on in his study. “The house is a retreat and here I can hide from the house.”
“Stuffy.” Jeremy pretended to wipe dust off the desk.
“Haven’t been in here much the last few weeks.”
“How can you work in a room with no windows? The Depot is all glass front.”
“A man answers his own question.” Dan said.
“Let me ask you one.” Jeremy sat in the armchair. “Your sister has approached me with an investment opportunity. In the FairVista location.”
“Makes some sense.”
“I’m fully aware she’s trading on your friendship with me or she wouldn’t have the … nerve to ask me. Actually she isn’t asking me she’s asking my Corporation.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know the difference between person and business.”
“My question is would it matter to you what I did?”
“Would you be … pissed off, for want of a better word, if I said yes or no.”
“I don’t think so. Linda will make a go of things regardless. She’s always been driven to succeed. Over-driven in fact.”
“I can tell.”
“Is that the question? Nothing about the business?”
“This is a social call not a financial consultation.” Jeremy stood and slowly smoothed out his pants.
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