Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

One last bit of OT

I think this is the last section of "...Owen Taylor" I'm going to post, because the story's now into the revelations phase and it's making me crazy. I spent all weekend on it; didn't leave the building, again. Now I've got a pounding headache but Jake's back in complete control of the story. Antony had hijacked it for a few chapters.

Anyway, the timeframe is now, Jake flies in on Wednesday and solves the mystery by the following Tuesday. This bit comes on Saturday morning, after he's had breakfast at Dion's. Lorinda is Owen's real estate broker/lawyer.


As I was driving away, Lorinda called. She was over in Palm Desert and wanted to meet for lunch at this California Pizza Kitchen in the area. I told her how I was dressed, and since I had her card, we’d have no trouble connecting. Then I stopped at a Home Depot, bought a tarp and lay that over the things in the SUV’s back.

The second I saw Lorinda burst in the front door of the CPK and head for me, I could tell she was in the right business. Her nickname was probably Little Miss Sunbeams, her clothes were so brightly business casual but still impressive, and her hair was just right and she looked fit and ready to take you stalking through a hundred homes that day, if you could keep up. And when she got to talking? Man, Dion way-understated her ability to chatter.

And she just adored my uncle.

“He’s like the grandfather you always wish you’d had. Like cool and calm and sweet. My mom met him and she’s like, ‘You know what a Dutch Uncle is? That’s Owen.’ But I didn’t know what a Dutch uncle is, so I’m all, ‘Mom, what do you mean?’ And she’s like, ‘He’s practical, direct, outspoken, stubborn, blunt, well-organized and thinks he’s always right.’ And I’m like, wow, that’s him. Who knew?”

She paused long enough to take a bite of her salad and sip some tea, so I hopped in with, “Did you handle all of his real estate deals?”

“Oh, no, I haven’t been at this that long. I only took over two years ago, from the guy who was at Baskin and Baskin because he and Owen didn’t get along, and there hasn’t been much for me to do except make sure he like keeps up on his taxes, though I did handle some legal stuff. Like when he wanted to buy that condo across from him. We tried like crazy to work it out but the bank wouldn’t work with us, and once that happens, word gets around and everybody’s like ‘No, I don’t think so’.”

“When was this?”

“Eight or nine months ago, maybe more, maybe less. Time gets away from you so fast. Like I thought today was Friday and I’d have a day to catch up but it’s not, so I’m scrambling to make all my appointments and I’m like wondering why I set so many up, but some of them look good, so I can’t say no. Can I?”

Another breath. Another bite of salad. Whooh.

“I know my uncle owned four of the townhouses and an apartment complex. Was there any other property?”

“I think so, but it wouldn’t be stuff that I handled. It’s like there was property he bought under Baskin and Baskin, only they’re not like the ice cream place, where you get all those flavors. Oh, that’s like Baskin Robbins, isn’t it? No, they’re serious lawyers. But they handled the properties he’d partnered with people on, so you ought to talk to them on Monday. They’re big enough to get weekends off. I’m like scrambling to find time to do my nails.”

“He called you when he was arrested -- .”

“Oh, yeah, but I was at a function for like a hundred prospects and I always turn off my phone because nothing messes up a client’s focus like having your cell phone go off in the middle of making them think they’re the only one in the world you’re going to work for. It’s like embarrassing. Then I couldn’t get back to him and I don’t know what to do about stuff like that, so I called Scott and he said he’d deal with it and I guess he did because -- .”


“Baskin. The old man’s grandson. He does rock climbing and he is so much. Ooh.” She actually fanned herself. “But Owen got out and went his own way. Just like a Dutch Uncle. I need to call him and find out what he’s been up to. And it’s getting to be time to talk about property tax. Like, so quick. Ugh.”

Two minutes later, she was on her own way to her latest appointment, leaving behind a third of her salad and half her tea. I was left to catch my breath...and pay the bill. Typical.

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