Maxine's New Life Ch. 13abycarniegirl©
101 A Pain In The Ass
I rented the unit to Cheryl under her own name. I was assured that the payments would be coming from an account she controlled. Johnathan Hunter also assured me that he would not be staying in the unit more than 72 hours at any one time, ever. If that did come to pass, he would allow me to add his name to the lease. He also understood that if I was ever questioned by the police, I would explain the circumstances of the rental. I was still up in the air about the daughter being with him to help pick out a place for his mistress, if that was indeed her part in the little play.
I fell asleep Sunday night trying to juggle all the new people in my life. A teenage girl, one woman a few years older than me, another woman a few years younger, and her boyfriend Gunny's age more or less. Toss into that mix the younger Kate and Martin, then my life was filled with more people than I might ever be able to keep straight.
Monday morning when I woke at 8AM, I had a definite place to be at 10AM. Sleeping until 8AM was a little unusual for me. It was 9:30 by the time I found Helen and her breakfast wagon. I bought my bag, then climbed into the front seat to eat it.
"Helen, have you and Jack ever thought about opening a restaurant?" I asked while chewing her breakfast bagel sandwich.
"We have talked about it, but the overhead would kill us. At least until we got it going," she suggested.
"What if it was just an extension of the food truck?" I asked.
"You mean, the food truck at a fixed location?" Helen suggested.
"Let's say a place where you could drop off the same items you now have inside the bags. A place where they could be reheated in a microwave, and then served. A place where nothing needed to be cooked. You could avoid most of the start up cost that way, as well as the health department hassles," I suggested.
"What got you thinking about this?" she asked.
"Drive over to the Hardee's any morning and take a look at their dining room. It's a social club as much as a restaurant. I think your concept would work even better." I suggested.
"If I ever find another Mosby, I want to add stops like the senior towers to the list." She paused then looked at me and said, "I'm sorry Max I forgot."
It isn't your fault Mosby was a ringer. I was Marty's fault. He knows better than to come within a hundred miles of me." I laughed.
"I hope he knows how much damage I can do with a boning knife," Helen said with a chuckle.
"It would probably be a good idea, if he kept his business empire in New York City. He is still up there I think." I suggested.
"That's what Jen said," Helen agreed. "She also said that he would be pitching another bunch of Computer spots to you."
"Oh, I hadn't heard that," I admitted.
"Well then, you didn't hear it from me." Helen said it with a motherly smile. She paused a long minute then added, "Keep an eye out for a place like you mentioned. Jack and I need to grow a little, but without putting too much of our money into it."
"Fair enough," I replied. "Have you heard anything from Julie?"
"Jen has her transfer worked out, I think. All Julie has to do is keep out of trouble for a few more weeks."
"She can do that I'm sure," I replied. "Well I have to go to police headquarters, after a stop at the court house."
"You are going to freeze to death on that bicycle." She seemed to be genuinely worried.
"Actually, if I get cold, I just lift the motor and pedal a bit. That makes me toasty warm," I informed her. Since I had promised myself to be at the courthouse at 10AM, I left the breakfast wagon and headed to court.
"Good Morning, I'm Maxine Stone. I need to pick up an evidence release form or something like that. Its to have a pistol returned that was seized by the police as evidence, but not needed for court after all." I said it smiling. "I called last week."
"Yes, you spoke to me. It is going to take about fifteen minutes." she informed me.
"That's fine, is there somewhere I can get us a cup of coffee?" I asked as I smiled.
"There are some machines down the hall, but the coffee is awful. Is Helen's breakfast wagon outside this morning?" she asked.
"No, I left her a few minutes ago at the Aster Furniture Plant #2," I informed the clerk.
"Then you really should just hold off on the coffee. I don't need anymore to be honest."
"Okay, I guess I'll just wander around." I said. I took a seat outside her office instead. I spent about fifteen minutes day dreaming. I also racked my brain for a suitable spot for Helen. One where she could open an old guy breakfast and lunch house.
"Here you go," the clerk said after almost fifteen minutes exactly.
"So, I just take this to the police property room?" I asked.
"Yes, it is just down the street." she informed me.
"It's not in the station. It's across the street isn't it?" I asked to be more precise.
"Yes it's locked up tight. They will make you wait in a little room. Then bring the item to you." The item was my .38 concealed hammer wheel gun.
"Got it, thanks." I replied.
"You are quite welcome.Ms Stone. And do be careful, you are getting quite a reputation around these parts."
"It's all a myth," I said.
"Sure it is. I read all the police reports for the indictment filings hon. Don't try to lie to me." She gave me a bright smile.
"Well all the rest is BS. It was made up for that stupid computer show," I admitted.
"Ah you mean the walk on water parts, yeah we know that." She smiled again.
Fifteen minute later a policeman nearing retirement handed me a brown paper envelope with my pistol inside. "It ain't loaded," he said.
"Trust me, it was when I gave it to the officers." I said.
"Then they will be loose in the envelop. If they ain't, you can put in a claim." he suggested.
"Don't worry, I brought some extra ones." I said that with a smile.
I left the police parking lot with the fully loaded .38 concealed in a flounder style holster in the small of my back. No matter what kind of holster I wore it in, inside that nylon parka, it was more or less useless, if it was needed it in a hurry. Still I felt better with it than either of my other pistols. I just never trusted a semi automatic pistols as much as I did the old fashioned wheel gun.
When I got back at the apartment building, it was in time to watch men enter Lois's apartment with full boxes and then leave with the empty ones. It lasted only a short time. Possibly because the apartment was so small. The furniture itself took even less time than the boxes. The movers were completely finished with Lois's place in no more than two hours.
She came knocking on my door shortly after the move was complete. "Maxine, the cable man can come this afternoon to hook up my computer and cable services. He won't give me an exact time, and I need to go to the house to empty my refrigerator. I will probably run by the store as well. Could I just tell him to call you?"
"At the moment I plan to be here, but I can't guarantee something won't come up." I said.
"Okay, if you have to leave, they can just come back when I will be home. I'm going to tell them to come on over." Lois said.
"Sounds good," I replied.
"Hey Maxine, I want to make spaghetti tonight. There is no way I can make just a little, how about you come to dinner?" she asked.
"How about we invite Sarah Beth as well. She might be working but if not, it would be a nice gesture for us all to know each other at least a little." I suggested.
"What a great idea. How about the people in the other apartments?" she asked.
"I have two still empty and I have no idea when they are going to move into the other one." I admitted.
"Well we can do it again, when everyone has moved in. Maybe a cook out, even if it is winter?" Lois suggested.
She was standing at my door, when the sound of Mag 7 rang out. "Got a call," I said and turned away from the door. "Hello," I said into the phone.
"Maxine, it's Kate, guess who called me this morning?" she asked.
"We really only have one person in common, so my guess is Irish Martin," I said.
"He is the one. He said he wanted to take me to dinner after he has a talk with you. Are you going to sleep with him again?" she asked.
"You need to ask him that, I am not going to ask him. That is all I can promise." I replied.
"Then how about I am there for your meeting?" she asked.
"That is up to Irish Martin, I have no objections." I said it smiling into the cell phone, because I knew what his response would be. Irish Martin was going to try to recruit me again. This time he had a proposal I was sure. One which would not include operating a safe house for Swamp Thing.
"He will be calling you tonight, I am going to get back with him before he does. I am going to ask about the three of us meeting for coffee before dinner." she informed me.
"Kate, considering our history, I would make sure he understood that it was coffee, nothing kinky," I suggested with a laugh.
Kate did not find it amusing, She was absolutely somber when she said simply, "Right." Then without warning at all, she changed the subject. "How is the apartment renting going?"
"I have two left to rent, but I expect them to go soon. I have shown them a few times, so who knows."
"My EMT friend asked me to check. He and his wife are getting a divorce and he needs a place. The ex and his kids will get the house he is sure."
"If he wants to come look it's fine. You know the price and the deal with the heat, so the contract shouldn't be any surprise to him."
"I will have him call to set up an appointment. You won't screw him as well, will you?" Kate asked.
"If you ask me not to, then I won't. I don't see why you would though. I mean, if you are going to screw Martin after dinner, what's the big deal?" I commented.
"Never mind, just don't screw Eddie," she demanded.
"Don't screw Eddie the EMT, Jesus you can really pick them," I commented. "He is married on top of everything else."
"He is getting a divorce," Kate snapped.
"Okay, but we will see. Honey they are all going to get a divorce until the time comes, then about 10% of them really do it." I suggested.
"I know you that don't want me to date him or Martin. You want them all for yourself," she said.
"Sweetie, I don't care who you date. Just be honest with yourself. Odds are this is just a fling for Eddie the EMT. Enjoy it for what it is, but don't build castles in the clouds."
"So you will rent him the apartment?" she asked.
"If he checks out, and puts up the deposit money, sure why not?" I asked.
"Good I will have him call as soon as I talk to him again.," she insisted. It was obvious that she was trying to prove me wrong. I suppose that I hoped she was right. That is, if she really wanted to be miserable one day. Eddie the EMT was going to be like my ER intern. He just wanted me to do what he wanted. The intern just didn't have to promise to marry me to get his prick up my ass.
EMT Eddie called a half hour later. He listened to the story, then said he needed to think about it some more. I was glad that he didn't waste my time. It was less than an hour later when the Cable guy called.
"I am supposed to install cable to one of your apartments, and the lady doesn't answer her phone," The cable guy explained.
"I know come on in. I'll get you started." I tripped the electric lock, but only after I checked him out with my on line camera. Since there was just one of him, I pushed the button.
When he made it to the long row of apartments I got my first really good look at him. He was somewhere over 20 and under 30. It was as close a guess as I could make for his age. The fact that looked pretty clean cut, and the .38 under my sweat shirt made me feel fairly comfortable to be around him.
"She is in apartment number four?' He asked.
"That's right, but you want to go around to the alley behind the building first. I will meet you back there and you can make the connection to her block there. Then you can come back around and check her reception. I have the pass key. You might want to call the office? I have two more new rentals ready. I'm sure that they have orders, or will be ordering cable soon."
"When they place their order, someone will come back. We don't install without an order in hand." he said.
"And I'm just trying to help," I said.
"If you just let me into her apartment that will be help enough," he said shortly.
"Okay, show me your Identification and then give me the phone number of your supervisor,. After that we can work something out maybe."
"I don't need this shit," he said and turned to leave.
"Before you go, I want to see that ID card," I said quietly. He turned angrily back to me to make some comment or maybe get physcial. Instead he found himself looking down the barrel of my ugly .38.
"What the fuck?" he said.
"I asked you very nicely to show me your ID and give me the phone number of your boss. You copped an attitude that concerns me a lot. This is a high security apartment building, you knew that when you buzzed my gate, now you are going to stand right there until a patrol car shows up." I punched 911 on my cell phone.
"I'm just a cable guy, you are crazy," he demanded tensing for fight or flight.
"All the more reason for you to shut the fuck up and wait. If you do anything foolish, you will not be the first person I have shot this year." While we waited, I rehashed it in my mind. I could not believe that things had gone south so quickly.
The officer who came was a female. First she took my pistol, then she forced the cable guy to do what I had asked earlier. Turns out the cable guy didn't have an ID, which is why he wanted to scramble away. The only thing out of sink was simply that he was working off the books. Not for the cable company but their installation sub contractor's company. There was a scam going on to divert funds under some kind of subcontractor fraud thing. It was not all that unusual a scam, and since the victim was the cable company not me, I didn't give a fuck.
The jerk should have just gone along, rather than get on his high horse with the middle aged bitch of an apartment manager. I was sure that is how the installation manager would describe me later.
"So now what?" I asked the patrolman.
"That's up to you," she said. "We can do a trespass thing, if you want to spend the time in court."
I looked at his face and was about to say. "Sure I got nothing better to do." Then he spoke to me again. "Ma'am, I'm sorry I acted like a jerk. I know I'm going to lose this job, but I can't spend time in court."
"Can you make a call to the cable company manager or president whatever it is?" I asked the cop.
"Count on it," she said. "Matter of fact watch." She made the call standing in my living room. She explained the situation to the owner of the local franchise who got me on the phone and apologized. He assured me that one of his people from the service department would be in immediately to do the installation.
"Then I'm going to leave this to you to clean up. But let me tell you something, I have been contacted by Direct TV to put a dish on the apartment for everyone to share. Don't give me a reason to go that way. I do not fuck around with people." I hung up the cop's phone as if it were my own.
"I'm sorry," I said handing it to her. "Where you finished?"
"I think you ended it better than I could have," she said smiling. After she cut the installer loose, she gave me my pistol back.
"Would you like some coffee?' I asked.
"Sure," she said. "You don't recognize me do you. I guess you wouldn't I have only met you once."
"I'm sorry I have old lady memory cells," I replied pouring her coffee. I didn't even ask if she wanted cream or sugar.
"I interviewed you at the hospital after you were stabbed in that parking lot thing." she reminded me.
"Ah okay, sorry all beautiful cops look alike to me," I said smiling.
"You were flirting with me even then," she said smiling. "I am married with two kids though."
"Do we have to invite them?" I asked with a smile.
"Yes," she laughed.
"All the good ones are married," I said.
She finished her coffee and left, so I was alone again when the real cable man came. He showed me his ID and called back to find the other orders. He also wired all the boxes, so that they could be turned on with a phone call.
"Ms Stone, the boss wanted you to call when I had finished." He gave me the number.
"Hello this is Maxine Stone," I said to the man who answered the phone.
"Ms Stone I want you to know that we are investigating the subcontractor who does our installations. If we find any other problems he is history."
"Sir, that is none of my business. My business is the security of my tenants. If you ever send me another installer, or repairman who has no ID and has not be vetted, I will make a formal complaint to the utility commission. You don't know me, but if you did, you would know I do not make idle threats."
"Actually Ms Stone I know off you, and you are 100% correct to be upset. This will never happen again I assure you."
"It will never happen more than once more, I assure you." I said angrily.
"Yes Ma'am. even once more is one too many. I'm sorry for the problems," he said. We didn't part buddies, but he did know exactly where he stood.
Lois came home during the last service man's visit, so I had to fill her in. When the final call ended she said, "This really is a secure apartment. Most places with this kind of security are thousands of dollars a month rent and are in big cities."
"Well, if it gets to be too much, I will understand," I said.
"Are you kidding, I love it." she said, then added. "I am going to go start the Spaghetti. I spoke to Sarah Beth, she will be home at six so dinner is at seven no excuses." Lois said as she left.
I nodded. I needed to get inside and calm down. First I went to the rear of the building to check the wiring. I am no genius, but I hope I could find anything obviously out of place. Nothing seemed to be. I sat down with a cup of coffee to relax for the two hours before dinner.
I knew he was going to call since Kate made an issue of it, but I wasn't ready for his call anyway. "Hello," I said into the phone to stop the trumpets.
"Well hello there Max, it's me Martin."
"Yes Irish Martin, What can I do for you Red?"
"You can open the gate for me. We need to talk."
"Your timing sucks, the cops left not half an hour ago. I'm not in the mood for playful chat or sex." I suggested.
"Ah do you have a headache," he said with a laugh. "This time it's strictly business."
"Well hell, that's no fun." I pushed the buzzer anyway.
"Hello again," he said when I opened my front door to him.
"Hello Red, so what's the pitch?" I asked.
"My you are all business. Can't we at least catch up first?"
"What's there to catch up about. You came to screw Kate, and I plan to say no to any rental offers from Swamp Thing. Is there any other business on the table?"
"I expected you to decide not to rent to us. You aren't the employee of the year type." He said.
"Got that right," I replied.
"As for Kate, I didn't realize she was the kiss and tell type. That changes things a bit I think."
"That's none of my business," I said smiling.
"Okay, so why were the cops here?" he asked.
"That's none of your business," I suggested.
"You know I can find out with a few phone calls," he suggested.
"Then do it. It is not my job to make your life easier," I suggested.
"What do you think about surveillance?" he asked.
"Do you mean the high tech shit, or the bad coffee and food shit?" I asked.
"A mixture of both actually," he added.
"Necessary, but boring as hell." I admitted.
"And industrial UC jobs?"