By Karen Singer
Chapter 59 (Monday – week 9 Part 3 of 5)
The room was absolutely packed! There were so many people that Mel had a hard time telling what was going on until the proceedings actually started. Not only were all of the lawyers from Feinbaum’s team there, but so were the entire board of directors from Green Growers as well as a team of lawyers from Sunshine Corporation. Mel took a seat along the wall next to a few of the other Feinbaum lawyers she recognized. She was a minor player in all this and her attendance didn’t really mean anything.
Harry Feinbaum led the meeting from start to finish. His son Dick was definitely taking a back seat this time. Harry said a few opening remarks, then started quickly around the room introducing everyone. He never used a single note about anyone, but he nodded and pointed to every member of the board of directors without hesitating. Then he started introducing the lawyers that were present from Sunshine Corporation. Mel saw Richard Slatter raise his hand as Feinbaum came to him. Naturally, he had a seat at the main table along with Harry Feinbaum – and all the other major players.
Harry then quickly went around and pointed out all the members of his team. When he came to Mel, she partially raised her hand just like most of the others had done to acknowledge who she was.
Then Harry Feinbaum got down to business. For something that was already a foregone conclusion, the meeting went into tremendous detail on many of the sub sections of the agreement. Mel had a hard time trying to stay interested from her out of the way seat. In fact, if she hadn’t been required to be there, she would have considered leaving. Mostly, to her, it all eventually became boring. And she was the one who liked contracts. But somehow the time flew by, and before she knew it, they called a break for lunch.
Since going back to the office wasn’t really an option, she quickly called Andrea to make sure everything was okay. Reassured on that front, she accompanied several of the Feinbaum lawyers to an upscale restaurant nearby.
It was nearly lunchtime when Derek finally got back to the office. He had spent all morning out at the job site and he now had more problems to deal with than he thought he would have. Unfortunately, some of those problems had to be run through Ray… pretty much immediately. When he entered the building, he headed straight for Ray’s office.
Ray had been having a lousy morning. It was his own fault really, he had been kicking himself since yesterday when he had lost it at Mel’s apartment. What an idiot he had been. But he couldn’t help it, seeing Derek there yesterday had simply gotten to him. Well, he knew he had blown it big time. Mel was history to him. But he still hated to see Derek winding up with the rich bitch instead.
So he wasn’t happy at all when Derek suddenly showed up in his office.
“Hey!” Derek said as he walked in… as if nothing out of the ordinary had ever happened.
Rey eyed him up at down as he approached. Had he come to gloat? He certainly hoped not. “What?” Ray asked rather unpleasantly.
Derek immediately caught the tone of Ray’s voice. Warily, he said. “We’ve got another problem out at the job site.”
Cautiously, Derek explained his problem. He could see from the look on Ray’s face that Ray was in a bad mood. His tone of voice so far had only confirmed that.
Derek wasn’t even finished when Ray suddenly said, “Fuck ‘em!”
Derek did a double take as he heard the words come out of Ray’s mouth. It wasn’t like Ray at all… ever! “What’s eating you?” he asked, totally put off by Ray’s manner.
“Fuck you too!” Ray said as he suddenly got up and walked out.
Derek was left standing in astonishment as Ray walked past him and out the door. Shaking his head in bewilderment, he went down to his own office before heading out to lunch.
When he got to his desk, he was very surprised to find a plastic container on top of it. He quickly read the note attached to the top.
As promised, I will kill all those rumors about you and Sissy – at least the ones that I am responsible for. It may take a little while, but I can manage it.
Please enjoy these as a little way of me saying I’m sorry.
He pried the lid off of the container. Chocolate chip cookies – homemade! And they smelled heavenly. One of them quickly disappeared into his mouth. Really good! Just the way he liked them! He grabbed two more before putting the lid back on the container. He could easily eat all of them instead of something a bit more decent for lunch!
So Robin was going to hold up her end of the bargain – that he hadn’t really made. Well, she had better squash all those lousy rumors – and fast! Because he wasn’t going to put up with it much longer. He had enough to worry about now with Ray behaving so oddly. Ray had been in a bad mood a few minutes ago, the last thing he needed was more bad rumors circulating about him and Sissy! Especially now that he had to worry about what he was going to do about Ray. He wouldn’t be so worried about Ray except that he had to deal with him… and the job he was working on right now couldn’t proceed without Ray’s input! So like it or not, this afternoon he would have to brace Ray again… and this time get a proper answer!
He opened the cookie container again and extracted another handful of the sweet treats. Then he left his desk and headed out for lunch. A few beers wouldn’t hurt before he had to deal with Ray again.
“Sissy!” Andrea called.
Chad was back in the same richly appointed office where he usually spent his time when he heard Andrea calling. He put down the book he had pulled off of one of the shelves and hurried out to see what she wanted. He would have considered not curtseying to her since Mel wasn’t around but… the sissy action kind of went well with the silly party dress he was wearing. Curtsey. “You called?” he asked before curtseying again.
Andrea giggled. She simply couldn’t help it! “Yes,” she replied. “Mel just called. She won’t be back till after lunch. She said you had some food in your bag that you can eat and not to wait for her.”
Chad curtseyed again. “Okay,” he replied somewhat disappointed before curtseying a second time.
“Why do you always do that?” Andrea asked. “Why do you curtsey like that before and after you speak?”
Chad shrugged… and curtseyed. “Mel likes it… and Robin made me do it too. I guess I just got used to it.” He curtseyed again – as usual.
Andrea giggled… again. She couldn’t help it. In that dress, he simply looked absolutely darling! Not to mention totally ridiculous… which she knew was the real point. And all the silly curtseying seemed to go right along with the whole theme. Especially when you threw in his ridiculous silly voice. Totally ridiculous! Totally fun! With another little laugh she said, “I have go to lunch. I’ll lock up the office here. Will you be okay?”
Curtsey. “No problem. I doubt I’ll be leaking for a while yet anyway. I’ll be fine.” Curtsey.
Andrea nodded. She knew he had been reading one of the old books that Mel’s father had kept on his bookshelf. One of the expensive antiques. He seemed to be handling it gently enough so she wasn’t all that worried about it. And he had just reported that he had been leaking again not twenty minutes ago, so most likely she would be back in plenty of time to record the time when his current diaper started leaking. She giggled again at that thought. He was wearing a diaper under that ridiculous darling dress. But that thought made her add one little piece of advice. “Just be careful you don’t leak all over any of that furniture in there!”
Curtsey. “No problem. I’m used to being careful now. I won’t.” Curtsey.
She nodded. “Okay. Then I’m off. I’ll see you later.”
Chad watched as she went out the door and locked it before heading to her car. He quickly retreated to the safety of the room where he had been staying out of sight – just in case anyone should walk up to the door and look in.
He had known that he would be eating the baby food for lunch that Mel had put in his diaper bag, he had just thought that he would have some company around when he did eat. Now he was left all on his own. Not a problem really, just… different. With nothing holding him back, he opened his diaper bag and pulled out all the jars of baby food. He examined each one. A well balanced meal – if it had been regular adult food. Rolling his eyes at his own fate, he pulled the baby spoon out of his diaper bag as well. He totally ignored the bib that had been in there with it. He sat on the leather couch and opened the first jar and started eating.
The meeting was only slightly late getting started again. Mel had enjoyed her lunch with the other attorneys, but she was really wanting this whole affair to be over with. Unfortunately, she had to wait as the proceedings moved as slow as ever. She knew that there really wasn’t much more for them to cover though, and hopefully she would be out of there soon. She couldn’t wait!
Since he needed a few beers in his system before confronting Ray, Derek decided to have lunch at one of the bars near the office that he knew also served a decent sandwich. He walked in… and immediately locked eyes with Ray who was sitting at the bar.
“What do you want?” Ray demanded angrily.
Turning a bit angry himself, Derek replied. “Lunch! And a drink!”
“And you followed me here?”
“You practically forced me to come here… for a drink… after the way you treated me up in your office. Not to mention the damn ridiculous way you behaved yesterday! What the fuck was that?”
Ray stared angrily at Derek for a moment before backing down. Much more contritely he said, “A mistake!”
“A mistake? I’ll say! So I take it you were planning on having Mel all to yourself?”
Ray turned away and stared down at the bar he was sitting at. “Something like that. At least… I wasn’t planning on seeing you there!”
Derek said nothing to him for a moment. Much less confrontationally he asked, “I seem to remember you were all hot yesterday over some money as well. What was that all about?”
Ray looked back up at him. “I said it yesterday. She’s rich! Really rich!”
“Oh come on!”
“No. Trust me! She is! I checked.”
Derek stared at him for a moment again. “Are you eating anything, or just drinking?”
Ray merely gestured toward the drink in front of him.
“I thought so. Why don’t you join me at one of the tables… and we’ll both have something to eat as well. You look like you need some food more than that drink!”
Ray looked from the drink on the bar to Derek and back to his drink again… and back to Derek. Rolling his eyes, he grabbed the glass and stood up. “Lead on.”
“All opposed say Nay!” The president of the Green Grower’s Corporation looked around the table at all the other board members. As expected, there wasn’t a single voice of opposition. “So be it!” he stated. “The motion to approve the contract and finalize the merger tomorrow has carried.” There was a lot of low level murmuring from all around the room. It was a moment before it died down.
Harry Feinbaum stood up and once again addressed everyone in the room. Since the motion has now been approved, I think that ends the business for today. We will meet again tomorrow morning in the ballroom of the Hilton Hotel to finalize the merger. Thank you everyone. I know how much work we’ve all put into it.”
With that, there was a general sigh of relief as everyone realized the meeting was finally over. Mel glanced at her watch. Almost two in the afternoon. Where had the day gone? But at least she was finished now… until tomorrow morning anyway. She stood up and spoke casually with several other attorneys as she slowly made her way out of the room… and eventually out of the building.
She stopped again on the steps out front to talk a moment longer with one of the other men she had known a long time ago when her father had been alive. She finally said goodbye to him. She was about to head for her car, when she caught sight of Richard Slatter staring at her from a few feet away. There was something absolutely domineering about the man. Maybe it was just his aura of confidence. She was surprised when he started walking toward her.
“So you’re Mel,” Slatter said as he walked up. “Daddy’s little girl. I can see the resemblance to your father.”
Mel blushed. “I didn’t know you knew my father.”
“Honey, I know everybody in this business! Come to play with the grownups?” he asked smugly.
Mel was a bit caught off guard by that comment, not to mention shocked that he should speak to her that way.
Before she could make any kind of reply, he continued with a shake of his head. “Obviously Feinbaum is doing charity cases again, because your father was a second-rate lawyer at best! And you’ll never be half the lawyer he was!” With another shake of his head, he turned and walked off.
Mel was flabbergasted as she stared after him. Second rate? The nerve of the man! She didn’t know if she was just angry… or simply insulted… even as the tears formed in her eyes. The nerve of the man to call her father second rate! Never mind her, the man had insulted her father!
Hurt by his rude comments, she hurried for the sanctity of her car. It was all she could do to try to hold back the tears as she drove recklessly for her own office. She was amazed when she managed to reach it without an accident… or without the police stopping her. She parked the car and hurried inside.
“How was the…” Andrea started to ask, but she got no further as Mel ran past her, all the way into her office where she slammed the door behind her.
The commotion brought Sissy out of the other office. He looked perplexed at Andrea further down the hall… who was looking just as perplexed back at him.
Chad waited as Andrea came down the hallway to where he was. “Was she crying?” he asked quietly.
“I… think so,” she replied.
“I haven’t a clue.”
“I wonder if I should check on her,” Andrea said, more to herself than to him.
“No,” Chad replied. “Let me.”
“Stealing himself for whatever he would have to face, he softly turned the handle on her doorknob and pushed it open.