Friday May 10,2024 – Chapter Twenty Two “The Bad Seed”

Jay woke up next to his wife at 6:30 in the morning. She was still sleeping. He left their bed and dressed. He remembered being in the golf club talking to Sam as he looked at her. “I hate having to fib to my wife, but I don’t want her to worry or get involved in any of this.”

He walked into his office, slid into his desk chair and clicked on his computer. He scanned the Phoenix Sun on his computer until he found what he was looking for. It was an article about Sam Cornel’s arrest.

“Local businessman, Sam Cornel, a well known restaurateur was arrested for drug possession with intent to sell. Gun found in car.” The article then went into some detail about the arrest and Sam’s holdings in the South West. There was some speculation that perhaps he was laundering money from his drug sales or that at least his honest businesses were possibly obtained with drug money. As for the gun, it was suggested that the possibility existed that due to his legal activities he needed to carry a gun. He had no gun carry permit.

Sam thought the story was accurate and to the point which he found refreshing after years of being a police officer and having to deal with the press on many occasions.

Sam heard his wife coming down the hall in her slippers as they scuffed the floor in her slow deliberate gate. He had come to recognize that early morning sound from years of a happy marriage.

“What’s going on Sam?” What are you looking for?”

“Well dear, Sam has finally been arrested. That part of my plan has been accomplished. The rest well be a snap.” “Don’t be too sure Jay. He has the best attorneys and plenty of money, no doubt.” “A suspect isn’t supposed to be able to use “ill gotten gains” to pay his attorney, dear.” “Well Sam Cornel surely can show that he has some honest money on had somewhere.” “That remains to be seen Julie.

I’m making breakfast this morning since I have neglected you a little of late. What is your heart’s desire? “Well if truth be known, I would like you to drop all of this dangerous nonsense and stay at home waxing that silly car of yours and go golfing with me once in a while like we were doing a week ago. But I’m sure that’s not happening so, scramble me up some eggs with sausage please.”

“This will be over soon enough dear.” Jay closed his computer with some satisfaction after reading the article in the paper and entered the long hallway. He could see the door to his bedroom was closed as he turned left. He couldn’t hear the shower running but knew that it was.

Jay walked through the large living room and into the kitchen. He pulled down his mixing bowl and then took the ingredients out of the large, almost invisible refrigerator and started to work. It matched the cabinets which was a design fad at the moment.

He found his stride and soon everything was ready. All he had to do was to toss the mixed ingredients into the frying pan when his wife appeared. She came into the room as he was chopping up the vegetables. The vegetable sausages were sitting on a plate next to the scrambled eggs.

“Why clog your veins when this sausage tastes as good as the real thing,” he thought as he had taken the package from the refrigerator. “When I’m eighty, I’ll start eating pork again.”

Julie came in with her wet hair swept back under a towel wrapped around her head that matched her white robe. She still looked about the same as when they had met in high school, maybe even a little better as time and experience had softly shaped her face into that of a mature woman. Jay was still very much in love with her.

“What are you up to today Julie?” “The usual, off to town with Barbara for a little dress shopping. Remember, we have that big summer dance coming soon.” Jay had forgotten. He didn’t enjoy dancing but did it to keep his wife happy. “And after that, I’m doing some grocery shopping in the afternoon.” “How about you.”

Jay didn’t say that he was going to Susan’s office to wait for Cheeto so he could make a large drug buy. He didn’t mention that he would be sitting with Susan for a few hours watching Oscar’s.

Sam’s arrest wouldn’t stop the drug sales going on at Oscar’s. If anything, they mIght even increase a little. Sam Didn’t think his wife needed to know exactly what he would be doing. The mere fact that he was spending so much time with Susan would have bothered her even though there was no reason to worry. “Women can be funny about things like that,” Sam thought.

“I’m going to see the chief and some of the guys down at the station. I might even see my brother at the market,” “Oh, that sounds like a fun day.” “Yes, I think it might be.”

After breakfast Jay did his morning ritual of exercise and hit the shower. He saw Julie was doing her face and then dressing as he passed through the master bedroom. “Love you dear,” he said as he passed her. “love you dear,” was her reply. After twenty minutes had passed Jay was dressed and Julie had left. It was nearly eight-thirty in the morning. He knew Susan would be in the office this morning at nine. They had made plans already.

Jay tossed the suitcase full of money on the floor of his car and drove out of his gate and headed for his bother’s market. Jay waved as he passed the gate guard. The young guard looked at Jay’s care with envy in his eyes. “Someday,” he thought.

Jay parked in back of Seth’s store but came in through the front doors to see Seth. Seth was in is office working. Jay had to pass by his former, short term girl friend, first.

“Good morning Jay.” Good morning. Can I go in and see Seth?” “I’ll check.” The pretty woman picked up her phone and called Seth. They spoke for a few seconds and she waved for Jay to go in. “You look nice this morning,” Jay said to Seth’s secretary and his former lover. “Thanks Jay. It could have all been yours if you would have played your cards right.” Jay didn’t respond.

He entered his brother’s office and sat down. “Can’t you get that woman transferred somewhere else Seth?” “She’s your problem now and then Jay, not mine. She is a good office manager and bookkeeper. Why are you stopping by?” “I just wanted to say high and get abused by your secretary again. I miss that from her.”

Jay didn’t mention that he had ten minutes to kill and decided to stop by and do a little fence mending. “Maybe Julie and I can get together with you guys in a week or so Seth.” “Sounds good, how’s your project going? I haven’t heard about you coming through the store much. I haven’t seen you on the videos either.” “No, that was a just an in case thing.”

Jay didn’t mention that his cars were both parked out back. Jay looked at the clock on the wall and saw that Susan would now be in her office. ‘Well Seth, I guess your busy, I’ll leave you to it. I have some things to do myself.” “Sure Jay, thanks for stopping by. Make it a habit if you like. We can talk a little.” “Sure Seth, see you later.”

Jay got into the Nova and started it. It was a good car just as Susan had promised. “Susan is a good woman. It’s too bad she has been left alone twice now by the men in her life,” Jay thought.

Jay arrived in Susan’s parking lot in ten minutes. He drove slowly and looked for black SUVS following him. There were none to be seen. He left his car parked out front of the rental office and entered her office. It was already hot. She was sitting behind her desk as she had been the day they f had first met. She looked up at him and smiled. “Good morning Jay, you’re right on time. Nothing much going on at Oscar’s yet. It’s still early.”

Jay sat down across Susan in an old, worn, over stuffed chair that smelled of smoke and wondered what was in her past other than two failed marriages and missed opportunities, like most people have. Did she have regrets and what might they be? What had she done for the government as a soldier and as an agent of some kind? He had to find out at some point.

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More later today.. It’s 8:50 AM in Southern Ca. It’s another beautiful day.