Annette had just told me that Jack was in big trouble and she was responsible. She wanted me to help clean up her mess…in other words, “fix it.” I asked her what she had done, and she sat there silently as if she was trying to determine if she was going to tell the truth or lie to me. I decided I would give her some of her own medicine. I got up, found the waiter, paid for lunch, and left.
I was only a couple of miles from home when I determined there was either a car following me or I was being paranoid? I decided to make an unexpected stop at a boutique on a crowded street and see what the car did. It continued on, which made me think I had been imagining things.
When I came out of the boutique, I saw two men standing across the street. They were both on cell phones and they were watching the area, intently. I got in my car and drove straight to Jack’s house. When I turned onto his street, the two men appeared to give up the chase.
Jack would be surprised to see me. I knew his address because I had found it in some of Mother’s paperwork. I only hoped that he was at home.
He answered the door and just as I predicted, he obviously was not expecting to see me on the other side.
“Hello, Kat…what a pleasant surprise. Please, come in.”
I walked in intending to ask him to clarify all the things that I was questioning. I was going to tell him of Mother’s doubts and about my conversation with Annette, but when I opened my mouth, that isn’t what came out.
“I won’t keep you long, Jack. I just came by to tell you I want nothing more to do with your Truth or Consequences project, or anyone that has any kind of relationship to it. I’m fifty-five years old. I worked hard for over thirty years and from now on my life is going to be all about me!”
I didn’t wait for him to respond. I opened the door to leave, but changed my mind when I saw the two guys who had been tailing me.
“Don’t be afraid, Kat. Those two aren’t the bad guys. You now have two bodyguards. At least for the time being.”
I could have cried. I was so confused and I didn’t like not knowing what was going on.
“I desperately need to know what this is all about, Jack,” I pleaded.
Before he had a chance to answer my question, the doorbell rang. It was the two men Jack had described as bodyguards. They saw me standing there and motioned to Jack to step outside. When he came back in, he was visibly upset.
“This is very important, Kat. When you met with Annette today, what did she tell you?”
It only took me a second to decide to tell him the truth. “She said you were in a lot of trouble. She also said it was her fault and she wanted me to help straighten everything out. I didn’t wait to hear anymore, Jack. I got up and left.”
Without commenting, he walked over and sat down on the sofa near the fireplace. His phone was in his pocket and he pulled it out to look at it. “No missed calls,” he said.
I was beginning to think he had forgotten I was there, when he finally looked up at me and gave me a tired smile.
“I’m sorry, Kat,” he said. “You’re going to have to stay here until we hear from Annette… one way or the other. The two men I hired to keep and eye on you, saw her leave the restaurant with a guy we were responsible for putting in jail several months ago. He’s still facing two more charges that could put him away for years. We have to do some investigating to see if Annette is working both sides of the fence or was she about to come clean to you which could have made certain people nervous.”
“I can’t help you with that Jack. I’m going home. And please tell your buddies their job is over.”
“You can’t do that, Kat. You could be in danger.”
“Any danger I might be facing is because of my association with you, and that ends now!”
By the time I arrived at home, I had calmed down. When I walked inside, Spirit came to greet me, I could see Trixie lying on the couch and hear Stella on the piano. All was well…
I went to my room to change my shoes. I would let Stella know I was home before I took Spirit for a walk on the beach.
I walked into the little piano room off the dining room and was greeted by Annette who was holding a gun. Stella was tied up and gagged. The funny looking piano teacher was playing the piano.
“It wasn’t very smart of you to fire your bodyguards,” Annette said.