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Leaving the hospital with Trey, Megan ran the instructions from her employer over in her mind.
“I need to stop at the trailer and grab some clothes for tomorrow.” Trey stated.
“Ok.” Megan responded, tossing him her car keys. “You feel like driving?”
“Sure.” Trey replied, catching the keys against his chest. “Sure, you trust me?”
“No, but I’m tired so I’ll take the chance.” Megan kidded.
At Trey’s mobile home, Megan helped Trey gather up enough clothes and personal items to last a few days, not just one.
It was late when the couple finally arrived back at the Rockin’ J. Pulling into the courtyard, Megan spotted Collin’s silver Mercedes E500 sedan parked near the home’s main entrance.
“God damn it! I was hoping he wouldn’t be here!” Trey exclaimed, tightly gripping the steering wheel of the Corvette. “I hate that son of a bitch!”
“Kinda strong words for your brother, isn‘t it?” Megan commented.
“Not for Collin. And, you stay away from him too!” Trey retorted.
Maria met the couple at the door, inquiring about Clint. Megan reassured her that her boss was on the mend and his condition had greatly improved.
“Will he be coming home soon?” She asked.
“Yes, but I’m not sure how soon though.” Megan answered.
“Trey’s moving back home.” She added. “That’s good news.”
“Yes. Yes it is good news.” The young Hispanic woman stated. “It is his father’s wishes. No?”
“Yes, his father asked him to move back.” Megan replied.
Megan saw a shapely auburn-haired woman enter the kitchen near the rear of the house. Wearing a skimpy black bikini, she opened one of the refrigerators and took out two longneck bottles of beer.
“Who’s that?” Megan inquired.
“She is one of Mr. James’ girlfriends.” Maria replied. “I do not know her name.”
“Maybe I should introduce myself.” Megan suggested. “It’s about time I met this Collin guy.”
“You will not like him.” Maria commented. “Nobody likes him.”
Following the path of the young woman, Megan could hear the sounds of hottub jets bubbling and the soft sounds of music playing in the distance. Entering a small area just off the terrace, she saw Collin James and the woman relaxing in the spa. Collin was the spitting image of his father only without the salt and pepper hair. He was strikingly handsome with hair as black as coal and neatly groomed. His broad shoulders were well developed. The swirling water kept her from seeing the rest of his body below the water’s surface even with the spa’s submersible lighting.
“Well, well, well.” He spoke, seeing Megan standing before him. “You must be the new ranch manager the ole man’s been blathering about. Ms. Reynolds, isn’t it?”
“Yes, I’m Megan Reynolds.” She replied. “Thought you’d like to know how your father is.”
“He’s still alive, isn’t he?” Collin remarked. “That’s all I need to know. You can’t kill that ole bastard.”
“He’s doing alot better.” Megan stated. “He’s still got alot of recuperation ahead of him though.”
“I could use a little recuperation.” Collin smarted off, his fingers untying the top of the woman’s bikini. “Why don’t you slip outta that outfit and join us.”
“I could show you a few things most women only fantasize about.” He added, tossing the woman‘s wet bikini top to the far end of the hottub. “Elaine here won’t mind. She’s into watching.”
“No thanks. I’ve seen all I want.” Megan responded. “I would like to talk with you sometime though.”
“How about later this evening?” Collin suggested with an evil grin. “I could come to your room.”
“Not hardly.” Megan replied. “Maybe in a few days ….. in my office .….. with your clothes on.”
Megan ascended the circular stairway to the second floor. Entering her bedroom, she saw Trey putting his clothes away.
“What do you think you’re doing?” She asked.
“Putting my clothes away. Why?” He answered.
“Not in my room, you’re not.” She said. “You get your own bedroom.”
“I thought we’d sleep together.” Trey commented. “You got a problem with that?”
“Yes I do have a problem with that.” Megan retorted. “I’m not here to take care of your sex drive. I’m here to run the ranch and find out what the hells going on.”
“Maybe you are too old for me!” He exclaimed, throwing his clothes in a pile. “That’s it, isn’t it?”
“No. That has nothing to do with it.” Megan replied. “It wouldn’t look right if we started sleeping together right here in your father’s house. Especially with Collin here.”
“So that’s it!” Trey yelled. “You just had to go meet him! You probably can’t wait to fuck that son of a bitch, can you!”
Enraged, Megan slapped Trey extremely hard across the face, setting him back a step. Infuriated, Trey started to retaliate but caught himself before slapping her back. Trey’s face was bright red; his teeth were clenched as tight as his fist. Grabbing up his clothes, he hurriedly stomped out of the bedroom.
With her emotions all worked up, it was a couple of hours before she managed to illegal bahis fall asleep. Collin’s bedroom was across the hallway. Loud moaning, obviously from Elaine and Collin having sex resounded several times throughout the night, awakening her. Megan was glad she’d made sure her bedroom door was locked.
Rising early the next morning, Megan quickly showered and dressed. As she exited her bedroom, she saw Collin’s bedroom door slightly ajar. Peering in, she could see Collin lying prone on the bed, uncovered. His girlfriend, Elaine was partially covered by a thin sheet. Her long, slender legs stretched out and partially spread allowed Megan to get a glimpse at her auburn pubic hair neatly trimmed into a V. Collin’s bare butt looked firm for a guy she assumed to be in his late twenties. Lying on his stomach, Megan couldn’t see much of anything else she hadn’t seen the night before.
Entering the kitchen, Maria beamed a big smile at Megan. Offering her a cup of fresh coffee, she gladly accepted.
“Why don’t you get a cup for yourself and we’ll go out on the terrace?” Megan suggested. “I need a cigarette.”
“Me. You want me to drink coffee with you?” She inquired, quite surprised.
“Sure. Why not?” Megan replied.
“I don’t drink coffee but I’ll sit with you if you like.” The Hispanic woman said.
Sitting at the large table on the open-air terrace, the two watched the horses grazing in the distance. Megan saw Trey out at one of the barns, working on a piece of equipment with one of the ranch hands.
“I heard you two arguing last night just as I was leaving.” Maria said. “You two have a big fight. No?”
“No. We didn’t have a fight.” Megan replied. “We just had a little disagreement is all.”
“He is very good looking.” She stated. “You two would have very beautiful children together.”
“Well, that sure as hell isn’t going to happen!” Megan responded with a slight laugh.
As the two talked, Megan asked the woman about Clint. Maria seemed to like her employer alot, rambling on about kind things he’d done for her family. She mentioned an automobile accident Clint James had been involved just after the first of the year. Megan asked her about it. Clint had been driving into town when he his car was struck on the driver’s side by a dump truck. The airbag had failed to deploy. He’d suffered only minor injuries, the worse being a severe concussion. It was discovered the dump truck had been stolen from a nearby construction site. The driver had eluded capture and was never identified. Listening to Maria talk about it, she thought it sounded suspicious and the concussion might be a delayed cause of Clint’s stroke.
Later in the morning, Megan phoned Clint James’ attorney, Charlie McConnell. He wasn’t aware that his long time friend and client had suffered a stroke. Without a moment’s hesitation, McConnell stated he’d run over to the medical center and get the legal matters taken care of.
Searching through Clint’s Rolodex, she found Christina James’ cell phone number. She thought a few minutes about what she would say to get the woman to come back to Taos and be with her ex-husband. Fears that the woman might have remarried, her greatest concern. Making the call, she got her voicemail instead of an answer. Afraid the woman might not return her call, she decided not to leave a message. As she was about to make another attempt she heard Trey sounding his horn outside the house. Remembering it was his signal that he was leaving, she ran downstairs to see him.
“I gotta run down to Santa Fe and get some parts for the Bobcat.” Trey stated. “I’m gonna stop by the hospital before I go and see how Dad’s getting along.”
“Ok. I’m gonna go see him as soon as I talk with your mother.” Megan commented.
“Mom! Why you calling her?” Trey asked, surprised.
“Your father asked me too.” She replied. “He wants her to come back to Taos and see him.”
“She’ll never come back!” Trey exclaimed. “He ran her off. He treated her worse than he does me!”
“I’ve got to at least try.” Megan responded. “It seems important to him so I’m gonna give it my best shot.”
When Megan put her hand on his arm, Trey immediately jerked it away. Giving her a stern look, he quickly drove away. It was clear he was still angered at her from the night before. He would just have to get over it, as she wasn’t about to give in and change her mind.
As she entered the house, Collin and his girlfriend Elaine brushed passed her, seemingly in a big hurry.
“I may be back later so we can talk.” He shouted as he got in his car. “Put on something sexy!”
Megan held back from responding to his remark, brushing it off.
Sitting in Clint’s office, she made another attempt to phone Christina. The woman answered the phone amid alot of noise in the background on her end. It was difficult to talk with the woman wherever she was so Megan asked her to phone back later when the two could chat easier. While she waited for the return phone call, she sifted through Clint James’ illegal bahis siteleri Rolodex, just to see who some of his contacts might be. Most of the phone numbers, addresses and fax numbers were those of ranches, horse buyers and business associates. She found the Christina’s business phone number, noticing a little heart-shaped drawing near the bottom. She surmised that Clint might still be in love with her. After all, he had requested she call the woman in Florida and ask her to come back.
A half hour later, Christina called back. Instead of Megan getting right to the point, she’d decided it best to inform the woman who she was and what she was doing at the ranch. It might help develop a rapport between the two of them. After awhile, it seemed like she was beating around the bush about phoning her.
“The reason I’m calling is that Clint has asked me to see if you’d come back and see him.” Megan stated, preparing to flinch in case the woman hung up on her.
“Why doesn’t the bastard ask me himself?” She asked with a heightened sense of anger.
“I’m afraid Mr. James has had a severe stroke.” Megan replied. “He’s at the medical center here in Taos.”
“How bad is he? Is he conscious?” She quickly inquired. “How’s Trey taking it?
Megan answered all her questions, trying to ease her concerns. Surprisingly, the woman appeared to be sincerely worried about her ex-husband. Unfortunately, Christina was in the midst of a big landscaping project and couldn’t get away although she did agree to fly out as soon as she could, sometime within the coming week.
“I’ll tell you husband, you’ll be here as soon as you can get away.” Megan stated.
“Ex-husband.” Christina corrected her. “We do have a divorce decree.”
“I’m sorry. I meant, I’ll tell Mr. James you’ll be coming soon.” Megan recounted.
Although Megan had slightly embarrassed herself, she had succeeded in getting the woman to return for a visit. The thought that she hadn’t asked about Collin crossed her mind. She hadn’t even mentioned his name! Maybe she shared her ex-husband’s opinion of him.
Arriving at the hospital shortly before noon, she found Clint James sitting up in bed, talking with his attorney. She excused herself to come back later but Clint insisted she stay.
“Charlie, I want you to meet Megan Reynolds.” Clint said. “She’s the young lady I was telling you about. I want her to have my power of attorney.”
Shaking hands with the elderly attorney, she got a sense of feeling for the elderly man. Although he appeared to be in his late sixties, he seemed quite up to date on legal matters. The three of them talked for quite a lengthy time about Clint’s legal matters. It was evident that she was to be informed of everything including Clint’s financial status.
“If you’ll stop by my office later this afternoon, Ms. Reynolds, I’ll give you some documents you’ll need to study and be familiar with.” The elderly attorney said. “I’ll get in touch with Clint’s accountants and set up an appointment for you to meet with them as soon as possible.”
Charlie McConnell had barely left the hospital room before Clint motioned for her to sit on the side of the bed. Lowering the safety railing, she sat down on the bed facing him.
“How bad am I?” He asked. “I can’t move my legs.”
“You’re doing fine.” Megan answered. “You’ve got to go through rehab and let them see what they can do, that‘s all.”
“I’ll be stuck in some damn wheelchair for the rest of my life!” He retorted. “I know that’s what’s going to happen!”
“You can’t just give up.” Megan remarked. “That the worse thing you can do.”
“At least I’m still alive. I’ve still got the ranch.” He commented. “Guess that’s something.”
“Listen. About calling my ex-wife. I’ve been thinking.” Clint continued. “You don’t need to call her. She’d never come back unless it was to shoot my ass!”
“Think so?” Megan inquired, biting her lower lip to keep from grinning.
“I know so.” Clint replied. “She thinks I treat Trey like dirt and Collin like gold. That’s one of the reasons we got a divorce.”
“Do you treat your sons that way?” Megan inquired.
“Yeah, I guess. I need to make a drastic change.” Clint answered. “Trey’s the only one who’s come to see me. He’s the only one who cares about his ole man and the ranch.”
“Maybe Christina and you can work on that together.” Megan suggested. “When she gets here.”
“She’s comin’!” Clint exclaimed. “You’re kiddin’!”
“I would never kid you about something like that.” She replied. “She seemed quite concerned about your health.”
“Hot damn!” Clint shouted. “That’s the best news I’ve heard in a long time.”
“Well, that and when your father said you were coming to get me out of this mess.” He added.
Megan asked Clint about his automobile accident earlier in the year. He seemed surprised that she knew about it. After telling him about her and Maria’s talk earlier that morning, she got Clint to relate his side of the story. It jived with canlı bahis siteleri Maria’s almost word for word. She could tell Clint thought the accident was suspicious although he never came right out and said it.
Megan left after Clint had his lunch. He seemed to have gotten tired from the morning’s activities. Lowering the head of the bed till he was comfortable, she left him about to drift off to sleep.
Megan stopped in at the courthouse to check on some public records and make copies of those that might be important. It was late in the afternoon, when she left for Charlie McConnell’s law offices. Located in a refurbished old home, Charlie’s office was quite cluttered. It appeared as though he never threw anything away. Charlie and Megan briefly discussed some contracts that Clint James was involved in. It was all pretty much dealing with horses and breeding. Neither of which she knew anything about. Before she left, the elderly man handed her a file box packed with records and legal documents. It felt like it was filled with bricks!
“I’ve got you set up with Clint’s accountants the day after tomorrow.” He stated. “Hope 10am is alright with you.”
“Yeah. That’s fine.” Megan responded.
“You and I will meet with ole Clint tomorrow morning at the hospital.” Charlie said. “I’m gonna have two doctors attest to Clint’s mental stability just in case Collin tries to contest the power of attorney or changes to the will. I’m not leaving any chance to that bastard!”
Returning to the ranch, she followed Trey up the driveway. Instead of turning into the courtyard, he drove on past towards the barns. Megan parked her car near the front door and carried in the materials she’d gathered during the day. She decided to put them in her bedroom rather than Clint’s office in case Collin started snooping around.
During dinner, Megan remained quiet hoping Trey would start talking. He was being stubborn, avoiding eye contact with her. Megan finally decided she would break the silence.
“You mother’s coming for a visit.” She stated. “Might be a week before she can get away from a project she’s working on though.”
“They’ll fight the whole time she’s here.” Trey muttered. “I just know it.”
“What’ll they fight about?” Megan inquired. “You and Collin and the way your father treats both of you?”
“How’d you know that?” He asked, surprised.
“Just a lucky guess.” She answered.
“I don’t need her fighting my battles.” Trey remarked. “I don’t need any woman doin’ anything for me.”
“That’s why God gave you hands and fingers.” Megan quipped, slightly grinning. “So you can take care of yourself.”
Later that evening Megan sat on the bed in her bedroom, sifting through the documents Charlie McConnell had turned over to her. She heard footsteps ascending the stairway to the second floor. As the figure stood in her doorway, she looked up to see Collin grinning at her.
“See you did slip into something sexy, like I suggested.” He smarted off as he approached her.
“Too bad I’ve already made plans for this evening.” Collin spoke, pulling on the top of her shorty sleeper.
“Nice fuckin’ tits. 36C’s. Right?” He commented, peaking beneath the thin material.
“There breasts, not tits. And, yes they‘re 36C.” Megan responded, pulling her top from his hand.
“Now get the hell out of my room before I call for Trey!” She exclaimed.
“Go ahead. Call him. I can still whip his ass.” Collin remarked. “Always have and always will.”
Collin exited the bedroom proceeding towards his across the hallway. She heard the shower running briefly and then his voice trying to sing, as he got dressed. Collin’s singing ability matched his treatment of women to a tee. Frank Sinatra would surely turn over in his grave!
After Collin left the house, Megan continued with her reading. The more she delved into Clint James’ legal matters, the more she gained knowledge of the man. Clint was definitely a man who got what he wanted but he did it legally and shrewdly. Charlie McConnell had seen to it that everything was well documented and within the law.
One set of documents caught her attention more than the others. It was a purchase agreement for an airplane. It was signed and dated almost one year previous. Clint James had purchased a 1998 Piper Malibu Mirage for six-hundred thousand dollars cash! It wasn’t so much the purchase of an airplane that struck her as odd as much as it was the deal being consummated in cash instead of a cashier’s check or electronic transfer.
Gathering the handful of documents, she headed down the hallway to Trey’s bedroom. Not thinking about knocking, she walked in on him. Catching Trey in the act of taking care of himself, she embarrassed both of them.
“Don’t you ever bother knocking?” He shouted, quickly pulling a sheet over his midsection.
“Sorry. Didn’t know you were busy with anything important.” She responded.
“What is it you want?” He asked, his face blushed.
“Did you know you’re father purchased an airplane about a year ago and paid cash for it?” Megan inquired.
“Yeah, I remember him mentioning it.” Trey responded, not seeming to be surprised. “Why?”
“Does your father have a pilot’s license? Does Collin? Do you?” Megan asked.
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