I am glad everyone likes the free chapters in the DeBois series. Here is the next installment of the free chapters. You can find the novels at the following links for the complete books. https://books2read.com/u/mgoVxm and https://amzn.to/1u92UUj .
US Marshal Jean DeBois watched attorney Lock and loan manger Handle leave then went into his den with the stack of loan and foreclosure papers. He threw them on his desk and took out his grandmother’s financial record journal. He knew his grandmother would not take out a loan on the farm without making sure she could completely cover it. She was too good of a businesswoman not to cover herself against lost.
He glanced through the stack of papers. Most of it was legal mambo-jumbo attorneys like to use to hide something from a layperson. He came across what appeared to be his grandmother’s signature several times. They looked too identical to be authentic. It seemed someone had traced them, since the margins and letters were almost identical. He checked them against her financial journal and noticed too many similarities in the writing and some of the impressions went deeper on the pages than was normal. Lock would have had access to this journal since he was the attorney taking care of her estate. He would need time to prove Lock had forged his grandmother’s signature on the loan documents and time was in short supply. The farm auction was scheduled for tomorrow. The Grand Jury was being picked and the DA still wanted Su as their star witness after all. He had to somehow keep the farm so could be utilized as a safe haven for the children while Su testified before the Grand Jury and then the trial.
He called Robert Williamson at the New York Division unit headquarters and thanked him in advance for his help. He asked how Mark Prix and Father Anthony were doing. Robert informed him it would still be a long haul for quite some time to come. The doctors were still in wonder how Father Anthony survived the attack with his spleen and liver damaged and how Mark got away without brain swelling.
Robert also mentioned a Mr. Samuel Gates from Cup of Water Foundation had stopped by to reassure both of them that ‘Cup of Water’ had paid all the hospital bills so all they had to do was rest and get better. He had left his card with Slaughter along with instructions to contact him if he could be of help in any other way. Jean scanned the two signatures into the computer along with a couple of pages from the financial journal and faxed them to Robert.
“Robert I need you to take these over to the lab and have them see if the signatures are genuine or forged. I need you to keep a low profile on it. Nevertheless, have it done as fast as you can without raising too many eyebrows about it,” Jean instructed.
“I’ll take them over now. I was on my way to the lab to see how they were getting along on the case. I know someone there I can trust to keep this as low key as we want and they’re tops in their field of expertise. I should have an answer for you by eight o’clock tomorrow morning.
“We spread the rumor about Franco to Hogan and he’s climbing the walls. Tonight we’re removing Franco from the cellblock to reinforce and seal the rumor; we’ll let Hogan to sweat a while before we talk to him while Franco’s on ice. If Hogan won’t crack, I’m sure Franco will, after he learns Hogan’s gunning for him. One of them will crack, if not both, and when that happens, it’ll be sweet justice.
“Penny told me to tell you thank you for what you have done for Father Anthony. She also wanted me to pass along that she’s sorry she ruined your honeymoon with her problems. She hopes everything’s going fantastic and ah- Jean, she’s expecting you to have Angel One pregnant by the time you get back so she can be the baby’s godmother. Don’t kill the messenger, I only deliver them I don’t make them.
“I’ll talk to you tomorrow morning. Is there anything else I need to be aware of?”
“Not at this time Robert. Thanks, I’ll talk to you in the morning,” Jean hung up.
He went to the computer and looked up his financial assets, wondering how to halt the sale. He went over the different avenues open to him to raise the needed capital, which would give him time to nail them for fraudulent business practices. No matter how he crunched the numbers, he would not be able to liquidate enough in time and the most he could raise if he sold everything was sixty-four thousand.
He heard the family come home. He went out and apologized that he had not been able to join them as planned then excused himself and went back into the den with his second and third in command, Jack and Janet Post, to advise them of the new situation they found now themselves in. They would probably have to find a new a safe haven if he could not stop it from happening.
Jack and Janet were leaving as Su brought Jean his supper. She set the tray down on the corner of the desk and asked if there she could do anything to help him. He glanced at the tray of food. There was pizza, cottage cheese with fruit, salad and a thermos of coffee. He accepted the thermos of coffee and left the rest set. His stomach was in no mood for anything else.
Su left him to his papers and went to play a game with the children before they got ready for bed. Afterwards, she went to the sewing room to work on Jean’s suit. When she was worried about something her fingers flew, going about their task as always. The people at her office ‘Upon Eagle’s Wings’ could always tell things were bothering her by how fast she was accomplishing things. They marveled at how she could keep the quality of her work up when she flew through it. They just stepped back out of her way when she was in such a state. The only one who dared intrude was Sandra Woods, her personal assistant, and that was only after eight hours of nonstop of fury.
By ten o’clock pm. she had finished three shirts, a vest, and tie, and the rest of the suit was cut out and ready to sew together. She decided to stop for the moment and went down to the kitchen for something to drink and then to her studio to prep several more canvases. Once again, she allowed herself to fly and by the time eleven came, she had prepped the canvases with a wash. She cleaned the studio then went throughout the house straightening stray items here and there. It was eleven-thirty when she completed her task. She went to the den, knocked, then peeked in when Jean did not answer. He had fallen asleep with his feet propped upon the desk, stretched out in his chair with papers on his chest, the computer running, and his supper untouched.
She shut the computer down and picked up the papers, placing them on the corner of the desk. She went retrieved a quilt and two pillows from the couch, covered him, and kissed his forehead, brushing the curl off it. After carefully removing his shoes, she placed the pillows under his feet.
As she picked up the tray, the red word ‘Foreclosure’ blazed in her vision from the documents. She set the tray down and quickly scanned the papers, realizing the bind Jean now found himself. The troubled expression on his demeanor was more than she could stand and a plan quickly formulated in her mind.
She folded the papers and stuck them under her arm. She grabbed a piece of paper and scrawled something on it. Picking up the tray, she quietly left and stuck the paper on the door handle, shutting the light off as she went. She took care of the tray then locked the house up. She picked up her briefcase, laptop, and the foreclosure papers, and headed upstairs to their room.
She spread the contents of the briefcase across the bed. She fondly glanced at the album then placed it gently aside and opened the first file. She wrote down the budget for the year then did the same with the rest. She went over the income that was coming in from the paintings, the music contract, and the designer clothing lines. Matching the funds from ‘Cup of Water’ with her own funds; she found there was enough for everyone’s budget. The balance of her own personal assets was extremely low so she sold off part of her stock investment holdings in oil and electronics bringing her assets back up over the top where she had plenty to work with. She routed the proceeds of the sale of the stock through several different offshore banks before routing it through her Swiss account to make sure her transactions were not traceable. She opened an account at a national bank in Garrison in Jean and her name with the proceeds, plus additional money from the Swiss account.
She wrote down the stock profits in her ledger so she could pay the capital gains tax once tax time came around. She then routed the money from her New York account through her Swiss account to each of the organizations for their yearly budget. She emailed her vice president at ‘Cup of Water’ informing him of her decision to diversify the yearly budget now. The accountants at the firm would have a fit with her decision, but after crunching the numbers repeatedly they would eventually relax.
She did not know why they were always so high-strung about it, after all she did have a PhD in mathematics and it would not be likely she would forget to carry a one or anything like that. She emailed Sandra advising her of the decision then emailed the head of the design for the new spring line asking how the plans for the upcoming show for fall were going. She told her she would soon fax a new line she was working on.
She emailed her music agent to deposit her part of the proceeds from the new CD into her New York account and the children’s in each of their personal accounts. She would check on the condition of the sales next week. She wrote in her planner about an art exposition early next year in California. She wrote a letter to herself from an art dealer in London informing her, her exhibition was fantastic. They had sold out, were directly deposit the proceeds in her new account per her request to cover the movement of the money to the outside world and emailed it to the president of the Garrison Bank.
When she finished and was filing everything back in her briefcase, the boys and Sarah came to ask Jean turn off the alarm for them. She glanced at her watch; it was 6:45 am. Jean would be waking up soon, if he was not already awake. She quietly informed them the alarm was off and Jean was in his den already working so he would not be able to give them their lesson this morning. They could go back to bed after seeing to the horses until eight so she could finish her work. She scooted them out of the room before they had a chance to argue the point with her.
After they were out of sight, she raced down to Sister Anna’s room and quietly rapped on the door. Sister Anna was just finishing up her morning devotionals. She asked Su what was wrong and why she was in such a state so early. Su informed her she needed her to watch the babies while she was gone this morning. She would explain later when she returned then hurried back to her room to change.
As she changed she grabbed Jean’s cell phone and flipped it on, searching for Janet’s number and calling it. Janet answered with a groggy, “Hello.”
Su informed her she needed her to go with her to Cedar Rapids, now. Janet reluctantly agreed and asked Su to give her fifteen minutes to get ready. Su answered with, “I am leaving in five minutes,” and hung up, leaving the cell phone in the nightstand.
She picked up the foreclosure papers and tax papers and left the bedroom door as Sister Anna arrived. She tried to make Su tell her what was going on, however, she brushed her off with, “Not now, I am late,” as she ran downstairs.
She grabbed her purse, heading for the garage. She took the keys to the sports car off the hook by the garage door as she went. She started the car and pushed the button for the garage door. In her impatience she almost ran into the door as it rose. The tires screeched as she slid up to Jack and Janet’s with Janet running and almost tripped over her shoestring as she pulled on her jacket. She yanked the door open and slid in. Su took off before Janet completely closed the door.
“What’s the hurry?” Janet demanded.
“Buckle up and I will inform you as we head for Garrison then Cedar Rapids. It is already 7:00. By the time we arrive there it will be 8:30. Look at the papers tucked in the edge of the seat.” While Janet read Su finally slowed down to the speed limit. “We are heading to my bank, over to the loan company to pay off the note on the farm, to the county courthouse to pay the taxes, and then to the attorney to stop the foreclosure.”
Janet glanced up from the papers, “Is Jean all right with this?” Su did not answer so she asked again, “Jean’s okay with this isn’t he?” She looked sternly at Su, however she had a worried countenance.
Su stared at the road, “No. He has no idea I even know about the foreclosure. I found out late last night when I covered him up with a quilt in his den as he slept.”
“All right stop the car and turn it around and go back to the farm,” Janet ordered, “No way am I going to be part of this. Jean will explode.”
“No. I am going to help him out of this bind and give him the time he needs to discover what is really going on. You know he would not be able to raise the needed funds by noon without blowing our cover. That is what they are hoping for, that Jean defaults on the loan. The farm is prime land and his grandparents worked hard to build it up for him. I am not going to stand by while someone rips it away from him when I have the means to stop it. You may either come with me while I pay it or I can drop you off and you may wait for me.”
“Or I could put you in an arm lock and take you back,” Janet callously informed her.
“Take a look around you, Janet. We are in town now. If you make one move in that direction, I will scream for the police and, if you have not realized it, you left not only your identification along with your gun in your purse, but you left your cell phone to contact the farm for reinforcements. You do not have any way to identify yourself to the authorities and prove you are not trying to carjack me. All I have to do is tell them I gave you a ride as you were hitchhiking. You told me you broke down then tried to carjack me.”
“You wouldn’t dare.” Janet could not believe the cold calculation now written upon Su’s face.
Janet also saw desperation rooted in her eyes. She would do whatever she had to, to complete her objective then how would Janet be able to protect her? Moreover, how would Janet explain it to Jean and Jack?
“Why would you place me in this situation? I’m breaking all protocols in doing this. This is dangerous for you. You don’t know who might be monitoring your New York account. Any transaction transferring money here would give safe haven away.” Janet’s jaw tightened over Su placing her in this situation.
“I routed all transactions through my Swiss account after transferring the money through several offshore accounts. Both my New York and Swiss accounts have encrypted security systems as well as the one I just opened. I covered my tracks well. I even e-mailed a letter to myself to the bank from an art dealer in London to explain the transfer. Besides, I know if Jack needed help you would be there in the trenches right beside him. That is why I asked you to come instead of Jack.”
Janet sat there stunned staring at Su intensely, noticing as tears welled up and started to trickle down Su’s cheek without a change in her breathing. Janet softened, “You do love him don’t you? How long have you been in love with him?”
“From the moment I looked into his eyes when we first met I was lost. My brain has been fighting with my heart since day one. I know the odds of making this marriage work are next to nil, however, my heart will not give up and so the love I penned up broke free, permeating throughout my soul. I have and always will love Jean as long as I have breath. I knew when we married it was suppose to be for show only the covenant that is to be between us and the Lord was not there. I love him, nevertheless, and will love him no matter what he decides after the assignment is over.”
Janet softened toward her, “Have you told him?”
“No, I have not and I doubt if I ever will because, after I do this behind his back, he will see it as a breach of confidence. He will want nothing to do with the children or me after the assignment is over. After all, it was just an assignment nothing more, right. He is just playing the part until time for me to testify, incarcerating Hogan and his business partners. After that, there is no responsibility, no strings to hold him legally or otherwise. Our marriage is a sham. It has not gone any further than osculation. There will be no problem in having it annulled. I am still a virgin. Moreover, you are not to convey any part of this conversation to him. You have to promise or I will not testify. I am not kidding or throwing a temper tantrum, just stating the fact if you will not promise I will not testify.”
“How do you know I’ll keep my word?”
Su’s answer burnt home, “Because you are a Christian and, as the Lord is our witness, our word is our bond.”
Janet sighed, she could see no other choice. Su had her boxed into a corner, “Okay, I promise.”
“You promise what?”
Man, there just was no way getting around her, “I promise as God is my witness, I won’t tell Jean of your love for him even though I think you’re doing him a great injustice and short changing your relationship with him. I’ve known Jean almost as long as Jack. I know his moods, body language, and that’s why Jack, Jean and I make such a great team. We can read each other’s posture almost down to the letter. I’ve watched him when you’re around, the way he moves, the way he talks with you and have seen the frustration he feels when you rebuke his advancements and the agitation he carries when he contemplates what could happen to you if he fails to safeguard you properly. They’ll know I’m keeping something from them.”
“Them? Promise you will not divulge anything to Jack either.”
“Su, it’s not right for a wife to keep something from her husband. It causes strife between them. It’s not right for you to ask me to jeopardize my relationship with him, for your sake.”
“It will be one more secret just like you are keeping your condition secret from them now.” Su gave her a quick glance, confirming what she already knew.
Janet pulled back, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“They do not know about your condition for if they did you would be in New York and not here, so promise!”
“All right, I promise, I won’t tell Jean of your affections for him or tell Jack.” Janet’s temper now started to wax.
“Nor will I inform them about your condition though you will not be able to keep it from them much longer. And I thank you for being my friend.”
“Friends don’t blackmail each other.”
Jean suddenly woke. Where was he? He turned and fell out of the chair smacking his face on the floor. He groaned untangling the quilt from his feet. He rubbed his cheek checking his watch for the time. Nine-thirty, where was every body? Jack and Janet were supposed to be here at eight to go over the case and strategize over getting a confession from Hogan. He pulled himself up and stumbled to the door yanking it open. Jack was sitting on the couch with his laptop, pecking at the keys.
He glanced up as Jean opened the door, “It’s about time you came out. We’ve a lot of work to plow through and I can only do so much on this laptop.”
“What do you mean by that? You and Janet were to be here at eight. Where were you?” Jean shot back aggravated over Jack’s response.
“At eight o’clock I was right here waiting for you to come out from behind that ‘Do not disturb’ sign.”
“What ‘do not disturb’ sign?”
Jack pointed to the doorknob, “That ‘Do not disturb’ sign. I know better than to even duck my head in with one of those hanging on the doorknob. I’m not going to get my head torn off.”
“Get in here now,” Jean growled as he ripped the sign off and threw it on the desk. He plopped down in his chair rubbing his temples. It was going to be one of those days. Jack closed the laptop and followed Jean into the den, closing the door. “Where’s Janet?” Jean irritated.
“She went with Su early this morning. Didn’t you know about it?” Jack sat down puzzled over Jean’s question.
“No, if I knew about it, I wouldn’t have asked now, would I?”
“Jean, when Janet left this morning she wasn’t completely awake so she accidentally left her purse behind.”
“And?” Jean growled, knitting his brow not wanting to hear what he already knew.
“And her ID, badge, gun and cell phone were in it.”
“Great! Just great, they didn’t bother to say where they were going did they? No, of course not, that’d be too easy, too much of an inconvenience for them to bother informing us of their itinerary.” Jean slammed his fist on the desk. He realized he left the wrist monitor on and ran the battery down. He spun his chair around and faced the computer; with a few clicks, he was connected to the tracking program with the password command flashing at him. Man, I wish Janet was here to operate this blasted program. She set it up and could have the needed info within a few seconds. What I’m thinking? If Janet were here I wouldn’t need to be using this stupid program. Su would be here not off somewhere out of my protection. Yes, Janet is with her however Janet isn’t me. I’m the point man of the unit. It’s me, who scrutinized a crowd, picking out the trouble spots. I’ve proved myself repeatedly. What is Janet thinking?
Jack came up behind him, punched in the password, and hit enter. The modem clicked and hummed, within seconds the blueprints of the house came up on the screen with nine blinking lights in the conservatory. At least he had not lost anyone else.
“It’ll be all right. We’ll have her back safe and sound,” said Jack quietly, resting his hand on Jean’s shoulder.
“I hope so, I hope so,” Jean mumbled as he rested his chin in one hand and moved the mouse to Angel One, clicking twice. Within five seconds, downtown Cedar Rapids appeared on the monitor.
He zoomed in; according to the blip Su was at his attorney’s office. What would she be doing there? Then it dawned on him, the quilt, his shoes off, the ‘Do not disturb’ sign, he quickly inventoried the papers on his desk. They were not here. She took them. His concern instantly went to full blown rage. She has no right to go through my personal papers.
He slammed his chair backward nearly knocking Jack over, “Get the headset program up. I’m going after her!” he stormed, slamming on his shoes, snatching the headset, and stomping out.
He took the stairs three at a time and rounded the corner, kicking the garage door off its hinges. It slammed into the wall with a thundering crash. He climbed on the Harley, placed the headset on then his jacket, “Jack? Jack, are you ready?”
Jean heard a crackle then Jack’s voice coming through, “Jean? I’m set here. She’s still at the attorney’s office.”
“Keep me advised of her location, Jack, I’m out of here.”
Jean placed his helmet on and hit the starter. The Harley roared to life. He punched the garage door button placing the cycle nearly on its side as he rammed the throttle to full and slid under the door as it was rising. Gravel sprayed everywhere as he left the driveway. Sister Anna ran out in time to see gravel spatter against the fence as Jean hit the road. She ran back into the house and straight for the den. She burst through the door and saw Jack at the computer with a grave demeanor.
“What’s happened? What’s wrong? Where’s Su? Has something gone wrong?” she rifled the questions at Jack.
Jack glanced up from the monitor, “Jean found out Su took an unauthorized outing and he’s a little ticked off. She’s in Cedar Rapids with Janet. Jean’s gone to retrieve them. If you would stay calm and keep an eye on the children for me I’d appreciate it.”
“Why would he be worried if Janet’s with her? It doesn’t make sense he’d be so concern if someone from his unit were with her. What aren’t you telling me?”
“They needed to discuss some items and it seems Su and Janet blew the meeting off to go shopping.”
“Su never blows off anything important. You’re lying to me. What’s going on?” She tilted her head in a demanding way.
“There’s nothing that’s any of your concern. It’s between Jean and Su. Now, kindly go and take care of the children.” Jack ordered with an underline, meaning this conversation was over.
Sister Anna withdrew closing the door behind her with a not too quiet slam. Jack turned his attention back to the monitor, she had not moved. Over the next forty minutes, he kept Jean informed that Su’s whereabouts had not changed then suddenly the blip started to move.
“Jean, Angel One’s on the move. They’ve left the attorney’s office heading southwest.”
“Roger that. I’m fifteen minutes away from the office. Keep me abridged of their movements.”
Five minutes later, Jack signaled Jean, “Jean, they’ve stopped. I’ll get you the coordinates. No way Jean, they’ve stopped at a blasted fast food joint. Where are you?”
“I’m coming in on Hwy 30 toward the center of town.”
“They’re five miles away from the attorney’s office on a heading south by southwest on Hwy 151.”
“I know where they’re at. It used to be one of my hangouts when I was younger. I’ll radio you when I have them.” by the throat, Jean thought.
Janet and Su were leaving the restaurant when they heard the roar of the motorcycle. Janet placed herself between the sound and Su in a defensive posture and headed for the car preparing for the worse. The Harley screamed as Jean slid it up to them whipping it around so it came a few inches from Janet. He whipped off his helmet, his eyes blazing with a burning inferno of wrath.
“Where are your brains Janet? Did you leave them at home with everything else?” Jean snapped leaning over to where he was within an inch of her face.
“It was not Janet’s fault. I did not give her a choice. Either she came with me or I would have come alone,” Su protested trying to divert Jean’s wrath from Janet.
Jean glared at her, stopping her in her tracks, then turned back to Janet, “Janet take the car and head for home. Jack, are you there? I’ve intercepted them. Angel One will be back in the nest within the hour.”
“Roger that and Jean?”
“Back off my wife! We all dropped the ball man not just her. You got that?”
“Yeah, Jack you’re right. See you in the nest,” Jean turned to Su. She seemed at that moment a small frightened child he wanted to cradle, crushing her in his arms and whispering in her ear everything was all right no harm no foul. Nevertheless, everything was not all right. He threw his helmet at her catching her squarely in the chest and knocked the air out of her. She took an involuntary step backward, but caught herself before she fell. The sight of her stumbling renewed the wrath within him, not at her this time, but at himself.
“Shut up, put the helmet on, climb on behind me, and hang on,” he snapped.
No more did the words tumble out of his mouth then he wished he cut his tongue out for spouting them for they wounded her deeply. She silently obeyed and put the helmet on which made her look even smaller. She climbed on behind him and wrapped her arms around his unyielding chest, leaning her head against his back. She knew she blew the fragile relationship between them as his body tensing at her touch. It was like holding on to a marble statue–cold and unyielding.
She closed her eyes and prayed, “Lord, when will I ever learn not to be so impulsive and allow Your plan to unfold in Your own time and not mine? How long Lord? Lord, forgive my impetuous rambling. Cleanse me from this sin. Make me whole and acceptable in Your sight.”
Janet started the car and pulled out for safe haven, with Jean falling in behind her. He felt Su trembling slightly. Oh, how his heart wanted to give in. He wanted to stop and hold her until the trembling stopped. Nevertheless, his wrath overruled his heart.
Halfway home he realized she was not just trembling she was shaking severely. He pulled over to the side of the road and turned halfway around in the seat to see what the matter was. She released him and wrapped her arms around herself trying to stop shivering. He touched her arm. It was frigid to the touch. What a fool he was to forget about the nip in the morning air. He totally forgot that being her size she was more acceptable to hypothermia than he was and he had on his jacket. He pulled it off and started to place it around her when she refused his offer. One glare from him silenced her refusal. He turned back around, dropping the cycle off the kickstand, heading once more for home.
Janet pulled into the garage as Jean rounded the house and pulled alongside of the car. He walked the bike to the head of the garage parking the bike. Once parked, he climbed off as Su took off the helmet and jacket handing them to him.
“Are you feeling better?” he questioned her, lying the items on the Harley.
Su replied she was.
“Great, come with me,” he grabbed her by the arm dragging her from the cycle, pulling the jacket off the cycle with her. He left it where it fell.
Jack was coming through the door as Jean was halfway dragging Su toward the door.
“Jean,” Jack started however Jean cut him off with, “Take care of your own wife, Jack, and I’ll take care of mine!”
Jean pulled her up the stairs three steps at a time. She kept stumbling which fueled his wrath. He lifted her to her feet just to have her stumble again at the top of the stairs. He released her arm and grabbed her by the waist, carrying her on as he would a sack of potatoes as she struggled to free herself from his rough handling. As they passed by the conservatory the boys gave a cry of alarm as they spied their mother struggling to free herself from Jean’s grasp. They were up and out of the door before Sister Anna could stop them.
“Put her down now and face us, you [blank]!” Eric’s voice rained in their ears.
Jean turned to see both boys in defensive postures moving slowly toward them. They separated moving to the left and right. There was fear in their eyes along with sheer determination to stop him from hurting their mother. They would protect her no matter what the cost. Jean admired their commitment to her.
“Ben, Eric, it is all right. I am not hurt. Really, I am okay. Jean just takes bigger steps than I do so he decided to help me along as I used to you when you were younger when I was in a hurry. It is okay, go back to class please,” Su explained, struggling to right herself in Jean’s arm.
The boys did not retreat, their eyes fixed on Jean as they tried to decide how to free their mother when a small voice in Jean’s head whispered what he was doing boarded on abuse. Su’s children all came from some sort of abusive family background. They did not need to see their mother being lugged around on his hip as if she was nothing. He set her down and she immediately went to them, reassuring them she was not hurt.
“Go on back to class before Sister Anna gives you both detentions for leaving class without permission. Go on shoo,” Su, prompted them rising and returning to Jean’s side. She slid her arm around his waist and he did the same.
The boys slowly made their way back to the classroom and Sarah closed the door, however, not before she noticed Su’s feet were not touching the floor as they walked to the den. Sarah asked if she could go to the restroom. Sister Anna gave permission watching Sarah to make sure that was where she went before turning her attention back to the rest of the children.
Sarah waited patiently until she was no longer under Sister Anna’s gaze before scooting around to Jean’s den. She pressed her ear hard against to door, straining to overhear the conversation on the other side.
As soon as Jean shut the door he released Su so suddenly she stumbled and fell flat on her derriere with a plop. He reached down, taking her by the forearm and lifted her as if she was a child. He sat her in the chair with a teeth-jarring thud. He went around his desk and sat down and took off the headset, dropping it on the desk. He rested his arms on the desk, and covered his face trying to regain his composure. After a few minutes, he let out a soft groan, running his hand through his mass of curly hair in frustration.
“Su, my patience’s nearly exhausted. Where are the papers you stole off my desk? They weren’t for public display. Just what did you think you could accomplish by taking them? I don’t need you to beg my creditors for more time.”
Su slowly reached in her purse and removed a large stack of folded papers, sliding them across the desk to Jean, “For the record they were on your chest when I covered you up last night. Moreover, I do not beg creditors for anything.”
“Oh that’s right, Miss Genius knows all the answers and with all her brains she has the world in her hip pocket! She doesn’t need anybody’s help, Miss Tiger by the Tail,” Jean bit the words out, grabbing the papers and opening them.
Stapled to the top of the foreclosure papers, Paid in Full was stamped on the receipt along with the title and abstract to the farm. The tax notice also had a receipt showing Paid in Full along with money paid toward next years taxes. There was also a signature card for him to sign for the bank account. Shame then wrath over it churned in Jean’s stomach.
“Please tell me you didn’t draw money out of that New York account of yours to pay for this.”
“Give me some credit,” Su retorted, “I used the money from my Swiss account to open the account in Garrison in our names to pay them. Furthermore, I made sure my tracks were covered.”
Jean examined the receipt closer; it was made out to Mr. and Mrs. DeBois, instantly he saw red. How dare she not only jeopardize the entire mission to bring down one of the largest cartels on the eastern coast, she had the audacity to use his name as her own. No one had given her permission to do anything she had done.
“Explain yourself.” Jean hissed as he slammed the signature card down in front of her, making her jump.
“I know from business dealings they would not allow me to pay on a foreclosure if I did not use your name. They would have made me wait for the auction and I might have lost the bid. To the outside world it is my right to use your name as my own. I used your name so I could pay the accounts to give you enough time to find out what really was behind this foreclosure. I did not want you to have to worry about where you would keep us safe if you lost the farm. I know how hard you work and the children and I, especially me, do not make it easy on you. I just wanted to help. A wife is supposed to stand beside her husband and support him in what he does.”
“Help? Oh! Now you think I’m incompetent in how I’m doing my job. Do you think that you, Miss PhD, can do it better than a crack seasoned team of US Marshals that has, to their credit, not lost one witness the whole time since this unit was created and handpicked by me!”
“I did not say or think that,” Su tried to defend herself.
“And for the record, you’re not my wife remember? This is not a real marriage. As soon as you testify and the trial’s over so are we, finished! I go my way and you may go back to your perfect world, prefect career, and perfect children. You won’t have to tolerate someone as imperfect as me around, you got that, Miss Perfect?” Jean spat those venomous words.
She sat there ashen, barely breathing. He could see all her defenses crushed under his words, leaving her vulnerable to him in her eyes; however, in his self-righteousness he no longer cared.
She stood and walked to the door her, back stiffened as she turned toward him, “That is fine with me. I was tired of being your wife only when it suited you,” she snapped to attention and saluted him with, “Aye, aye, Captain Bly! As you ordered, Sir!” opening the door she nearly fell over Sarah and caught herself as she slammed the door.
Jean stared at the closed door, man; she still had spunk left in her. What a spitfire. Any other woman would be balling her head off by now, however, not that little lynx. You knock her down you’d better not turn your back on her because she comes back up claws and teeth bared, ready for a fight. What a man wouldn’t give to keep someone like her around, spunk, looks, brains, loaded, and the ability to make the man she set her affections on feel like King Midis and truly loved. Here, she’s yours for the taking. Moreover, what numbskull shenanigans do you do with her? Man Jean, what’s wrong with you? He asked himself, no sooner than he thought that, then doubt settled in his heart. No way could she love someone like you. You wouldn’t fit into her high society friends. Let’s face it, man, the only thing you have going for you in her world is looks. All you would ever be to her is window dressing. These things kept racing through his mind as he tried vainly to concentrate on his work.
Su grabbed Sarah by the arm and pulled her to the kitchen, “Sarah you know eaves dropping on other people’s conversations is wrong. What were you thinking?”
“I saw your feet weren’t touching the floor. I know you weren’t a willing participant in going to his den. He’s so angry. I wanted to make sure he didn’t hurt you. Mom what he said about you isn’t true. He doesn’t know you like we do. He had no right to yell at you the way he did. I know what you did was out of concern for him. Why can’t he see it for what it was? You love him, but I don’t know why.”
Su shook her head, “Sarah you do not know all the facts.”
Sarah raised an eyebrow over the rebuff, “I know you love him, I saw it back in New York, but I wouldn’t allow myself to believe it. Moreover, if he’d be honest with himself, he’d know he loves you too. It doesn’t matter why you got married. All that matters now is your love and respect for each other, even if your children object to your union. Man, I don’t believe I’m going to say this, if you try, you can work it out, just as you have always explained it to me.”
Su glanced at her feet before responding, “Sarah, I do not know what you overheard, however, whatever you did hear is the completely confidential. You are not to repeat it to anybody, promise. I mean it not to anyone. Unless the Lord intervenes, there will not be any working things out between Jean and I. Jean has made that clear. I messed things up beyond repair. I did not turn to the Lord for protection when I witnessed the crime. I relied on man for it. I knowingly went into a marriage for the sake of show when marriage is to be a sacred covenant between the Lord, husband and wife. I left the Lord out of my marriage. Moreover, I went into this marriage knowing Jean was not a believer. The Bible states believers are not to yoke unequally. However, I ignored the Bible, deceiving myself it was just like playing house, as a child would.
“I am not a child and I wove you children into this deceit because I thought it was the easy way out. Goes to show you even us brains can totally screw up our lives, and everyone’s around us, when we take the controls away from the Lord’s wisdom.” She shrugged her shoulders, “Well, I have to suffer the consequences of my actions along with you children and Jean.
“I want you to go back to class with your head up, no tears, this is my problem and the only way I am going to solve it is to start with an apology to the Lord for sinning and repent of that sin. Go on now; I am going to the greenhouse for some serious soul searching. Remember, I love you and so does the Lord,” Su kissed Sarah on the cheek, and went out the kitchen door toward the greenhouse.
101 E. Salem Ave. Indianola Iowa 50125
10- 6 Mom. – Fri. 9 -3 Sat
Read a Book Nook
103 East Linn Street Marshalltown, Iowa 50158
hours: 10-5 Mon -Fri.
There is two brick and mortar stores that are now carrying my novels. They are Page Turners Book Store in Indianola, Iowa and Read a Book Nook in Marshalltown, Iowa. Page Turners has my crime murder mystery series where as Read a Book Nook has every book I have written. Buy from them for no shipping and handling, waiting for your purchase, or out of stock like you do online. My novels consist of the DeBois crime murder mystery series, a Drama- Resin La Rock, Thriller- Window Pane, and Fantasy- Healer of Surflex. All my novels are also in Ebook formats and Healer of Surflex is also in audio from ACX.
Sue Raymond is a local author from Des Moines, Iowa and she has wrote a series of books that I have really enjoyed. It’s the DeBois series. Total 5 books in all and I have read the first 3. It’s a story about a U.S. Marshall and a woman and her children he is protecting for her witnessing a murder. A fake marriage is arranged and the woman and her children are moved to Iowa from New York. She has some health issues, sleep walking issues, memory issues. Her children does not like Mr. DeBois and do everything in their power to make him leave and let them go back to New York.
The case takes many turns. I would recommend this for a good read.
Review by Connie Sharpnack Capehart