"Trust you to think of that!" I snort and then frown. "Uh Emmy this DVD could cause you a problem. I mean Taylor could come back and..."
"No he won't." Justin giggles again. "Can you imagine him on Liberty Avenue? He would rather pour bleach in his eyes than that."
"But still to be on the careful side. Maybe you should offer to..."
"To what? I'm not doing anything nice to that man."
Drew strokes his face. "Ems, please just don't do anything silly. You've made your point. And if he comes to see you..."
"Then I will deal with him." Emmy Lou tells him firmly. "Now the subject is closed."
"Solly who's Elias Copthorne?" Carl asks. "Solly, stop making out and answer the question. Jeez, I don't know whose worse, you two, Brian and Justin or Matt and Hunter in the make out stakes!"
Menno smirks. "Nobody can beat Brian and Justin!" Justin doffs his imaginary hat at him
"Elias Copthorne is a judge in NYC who's had rumours swirling around him for years. Baby behave! Rumours about him using undue influence to get things his clients want for the right price. But there's been no proof anyone could find. He's very good at covering his tracks."
"Hmm, I like a challenge." Zee grins.
MASTER BEDROOM - LATE EVENING
"Lig you awake?" She nods into my chest. "I'm going to put someone on Emmy Lou. I think Drew would feel better and on Craig Taylor."
She sits up and kisses me gently. "Shame that." She mumbles settling back down.
"Why is that a shame, this is a good thing?"
"Yeah but I was going to suggest that and was looking forward to persuading you to come around."
"Oh you can still do that." I roll her over and kiss her deeply.
TAYLOR ELECTRONICS - TUESDAY MORNING
CRAIG TAYLOR'S OFFICE
I am still in shock and feeling waves of revulsion. I can't believe what happened on Friday night. I've been trying to call the attendees but nobody is returning my call. The only light in this debacle is that Stark said the money should be here tomorrow.
And since I need every penny I can get, E&ZHoD are going to get a visit from me!
"I'm going out I'll be back in an hour! Guido with me now!"
Grace nods quickly and we head to my car.
As loathed as I am to be round this part of town, nobody makes a fool out of Craig Taylor. I bang open the door and sneer at the woman on reception.
"Can I help you sirs?"
"Yes! You can get me the manager before I sue this place into the ground!"
"How can I help you today sirs? My name is Emmett and I run this establishment. Is there a problem?"
I turn around and he is just what I'm expecting. I pull myself to my full height and he looks bored.
"Yes there's a problem. I booked a tasteful dinner for 20 people last Friday and what I got was naked waiters!"
"Who was the booking under?"
"Cara, could you check for me please?"
"Yes here it is. Ah yes it's this one. See?"
He minces around to check. "Oh I see. Mr Taylor your deposit failed after three attempts and..."
"Guido go wait in the car." I snap and wait for him to scurry out. "Now listen to me you..."
"No, you listen to me, you nasty little cunt!" He gets right in my face. "You don't get to come down here and run that shitty little mouth of yours in my place. Now here is what is going to happen. You are going to leave and neither of us speak of this little mistake again."
"Little mistake!" I spit out. "Your mistake has cost me a lucrative business opportunity. I'm going to ruin you! I shall tell everyone about..."
"How you, the great homophobe Craig Taylor, oh yes I know all about you. Came to Liberty Avenue the Gay Mecca of Pittsburgh and hired Naked Waiters for your dinner. How is that going to look to all your friends, your cunt-try set? I'll tell you how it'll look. Because by the time I am finished defending myself, it will look like the man doth protest too much."
"Nobody will ever believe a word you say." I snarl at him.
"They don't have to listen, they just need to watch. You see Mr Taylor, we always video every event we cater for...it's in the terms and conditions before you say anything. We give one copy to the client and keep a copy for ourselves. Would you like yours?"
"No I fucking wouldn't!"
"Then I see no further reason for you to be here." He replies calmly.
I storm out and slam into my car. "If anyone hears of this, I know it will have come from you and you will be fired!"
Guido nods and we head back to the office in silence.
I stare at Emmy in amazement. "Now Cara my darling, want to watch it?"
PETERSON RESIDENCE - THURSDAY AFTERNOON
Yes, she's actually standing in front of me with that butter wouldn't melt expression on her face and he's smiling at me as if they've not fucked us over again.
"Mother, aren't you going to let us in?" She asks.
It's on the tip of my tongue to say no but Ronald talks over me. "Of course darling, come in both of you. So glad to see you. How's New York treating you these days?"
They catch us up on all their news and not once do they mention the restraining orders or misrepresentation suit.
"So what are you doing for employment Lindsay?" I ask her.
She pouts slightly. "I'm currently looking at options and..."
I hold up my hand. "And Michael what about you?"
"Uh the same. But the right job hasn't come up yet."
"Oh I'm sure it will for both of you right Nancy." Ronald glances at me sweetly. "Now, have a look at this place what do you think of it?"
He shows them the latest addition to our property portfolio. It's a beautiful 5 bed in West Virginia, ready to move into. To be honest, I will hate people to live in it.
"Oh daddy it's beautiful! Look at the grounds, just gorgeous." Lindsay sighs.
"Yes it is. I can't wait to move into it!" I whip my head around to look at him and he takes my hand.
"Move into it?" Lindsay echoes.
"Yes. Pittsburgh is nice but I'm tired of it. This place is quiet and I can see us living the rest of our lives there. And I saw your face, Nancy, when we bought it."
"But what about this place? What are you going to do with it?" Lindsay gasps and then I see it the gleam in her eye.
"I'm not sure right now. But we definitely want to move out quickly." Ronald tells her. "Now come along. Let's go grab a quick bite to eat before you head back to your hotel."
"Great idea daddy, where are we going?" She links arms with him and bats her lashes and I pray for his resolve to hold in the face of the onslaught.
"No, I insist. That's what I want. What we both want." I look at Nancy and she nods with tears in her eyes. "Yes, I'll get the paperwork drawn up and sent over as soon as possible. I want to close by tomorrow. Thank you, goodbye."
"It's done, are those happy and relieved tears?" She nods. "Good. Now, tomorrow morning call the movers and you sort out our new home and I'll do the rest."
PITTSBURGH HOLIDAY INN
"I can't believe my parents are moving to West Virginia."
"Did they seem okay to you?" I look across at him in puzzlement. "They just seemed a little off with us, especially your mom."
"Oh they're fine. Now what I've got to do is to make sure that I get the house instead of Lynette. Should be easy enough. It will be the perfect base for us." I smile at him.
"So we're not staying in New York then?"
"Of course we are, for now, but this will be rent free and back where I-I mean we- belong in Pittsburgh. Now we've got to strategize for tomorrow. I can't wait to see Zee's face when we turn up at her place tomorrow."
TREEHOUSE - FRIDAY MORNING
"Well aren't you going to say anything?" Lindsay ask smugly.
"I believe Hugo said it best. Faal! Get the shovels, there's shit on the doorstep!"
She snorts and flicks her hair before doing a slow hand clap. "Your false bravado is so transparent."
"Trespass." She replies and waves at someone behind us. "Remove these two please."
"We're going. We just wanted to stop and say hello!" Michael snipes. "Come on Lindsay let's go."
As I watch them walk back towards the taxi, I wonder how the hell they get dressed in the morning.
PETERSON RESIDENCE - LUNCHTIME
"Now remember, let me do all of the talking."
Michael nods but part of me is still pissed over the Canada move, so I feel the need to remind him of his place and tone occasionally. I knock on the door and gasp.
"Hello again. You really must stop following me about?" Zee drawls.
"What the fuck are you doing in my parents' house?!" I have an awful sense of déjà vu.
"My house. Your parents sold it to me this morning. I'm here to clear it out, get it tastefully reno'd."
"But. This. No. This is not happening!" I snap.
"And they left this for you." She hands me an envelope and I take it with trembling hands.
"Now again, trespass." She smirks and closes the door.
"Ooh that was pretty I liked that!" Faal chuckles and then groans as he looks round the lounge.
"God how the fuck did they sit in this room? So many flowers it would be a hayfever sufferers' nightmare! So what are you going to do with it?"
"Another base for when family come to stay I guess." I shrug in his arms.
"Then I suggest wide screen TV in every room and as macho as possible. You know what your brothers are like."
I kiss him quiet.
We made it to the car in silence and sit for a few minutes. "Are you going to open it?"
"Of course I am Michael. I just need a minute!" I snap at him, before taking a calming breath.
‘Dear Lindsay. We've had it. We've had enough of the lies, the manipulation and the lack of remorse. I, as your mother, hold my hand up to my part in your sense of entitlement. But there is a difference between that and your bullish determination to get your way every time and always no matter what cost to anyone else. You have cost us our friends, our good name and now our home. We can't live in this place anymore because of the looks of pity and scorn we get. We haven't lied to you about where we are moving to but you will not get the address, nor will Lynette. We have changed our telephone numbers as we no longer wish to hear from you. You need to get jobs quickly as the last $20,000 was exactly that...THE LAST. Good luck in whatever you choose to do but for once pick your path wisely. Mother and Father.'
I stare at the letter. "It's typewritten." I start to laugh. "Zee is so transparent!"
I grab my phone and dial mother's number. ‘The number you are calling is no longer in service'. I hang up and call daddy. ‘The number you are calling is no longer in service'.