tagNon-EroticRough Cut Ch. 04

Rough Cut Ch. 04

byA.W. Root©

Chapter Four – Ian's Moves/Rick's Moves

Ian went into his home office, leaving Sammi and Debra in the living room. His first call was to Alex Brown, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University. He politely mentioned that he had heard the Board was being called into an extra session and that the topic of the session was tenure for Sammi and Debra.

When Alex confirmed this, Ian suggested that Alex delay the meeting until the following week, citing schedule conflicts. Alex took the hint and agreed to the delay. Ian mentioned that he should watch his mail for the next few days, then politely ended the call. He called two of the other Board members with more or less the same information and received positive responses from both. He then rejoined the women in the living room.

"Well, ladies, where shall we go for dinner?"

"We found a cute new place down by the river the other day, Ian. It's right near the art show where Sammi was eyeing a boat. The food was great."

"Sounds good to me. Ok with you, Sammi?"

"Sure, let's go."

When they reached the waterfront art show, Debra pointed out the boat carver's display and Ian headed over there with the women lagging a few steps behind.

"Debra, what are you doing?", Sammi whispered.

"Just showing Ian the canoe or whatever you call it. If he sees that you're interested, he just might buy it for you. Besides, Rick was cute!"

"Hello again, Sammi. Back for a second look?"

"Ian, this is Rick Stanton. He's the builder. Rick, this is my husband, Ian Quinn."

The two men shook hands and Ian looked over the scull.

"I'm not a boating person myself, Rick, but if Sammi likes it that's good enough for me."

"It's made strictly for pleasure, Ian, not for racing. If someone would like a little rowing exercise, she would be a perfect fit. I'm hoping to have her finished in the next month or so and then find a buyer for her."

"It looks finished to me, Rick. What more do you have to do to her?"

"Trust me, Ian, this is only a rough cut. After a few more layers of sanding and finishing and a coat of fiberglass for protection, she'll be ready for the water. As I said, about a month from now, if all goes well."

"Would you like this scull, Sammi, even if you had to wait a month for it?"

"Yes, I think so. Especially if Rick can teach me how to maneuver it on the water."

"Sounds like a deal to me, Rick. What do you say?"

"Ian, I'd be happy to teach Sammi how to row but you haven't even asked me for a price."

"Rick, if Sammi likes it, I'm sure the price will be fine. Just let us know when you'll have her ready for her first lesson. Alright, ladies, shall we go to dinner now? I'm starving!"

"Thank you, darling. I'll have my scull to row all through the summer. Would you like to learn as well, Deb?"

"Not me, Sammi. I can't even swim."

Over dinner, Ian mentioned to Sammi that he would need a copy of the tape she made of the Dean's rant. He also warned them both that the Board meeting would be delayed until next week but they should be aware of anything the Dean might try to pull in the meantime. The delay in the meeting might indicate to the Dean that he doesn't really have control of the agenda.

As predicted, Dean Patterson called Debra into his office the next day. Although he didn't directly threaten her, he indicated that her future at the University was tied closely to Sammi's and advised her to be careful of speaking out on Sammi's behalf. Debra immediately called Sammi and relayed the Dean's threat.

When Ian arrived at his office the next morning, he was called to report to his boss. As expected, Ian had to explain his appearance on the news program. In his defense, he merely told the truth and advised his boss to call the Mayor of the town to confirm his story. After their brief meeting, Ian called Sam on his cell phone.

"Sam, Ian. How are things going up there?"

"Fine, Ian. I spoke to the Mayor and advised him of your lack of involvement in last nights shenanigans and he agreed to back you up. As for the Sherriff, it seems he has done this kind of thing before which led to his being replaced in another county. We're collecting the details as we speak. I should have a report for you by tomorrow."

"Good work, Sam. I trust you also took care of the girls?"

"Of course, Ian. Just fines this time. No additional problems that I can see for now."

"Great. I'll be back up there in two weeks, Sam. We should have dinner together."

"Let me know your schedule, Ian, and I'll arrange it. See you in two weeks."

Several times during the day, Ian received calls on his cell phone updating him on events throughout the State. Other than his brief appearance on the morning news, it was business as usual.

When Sammi called to tell him about Deb's run in with the Dean, Ian calmed her fears and indicated that he had the situation well under control. He also mentioned that he would be working late and suggested that she have dinner with Deb or visit her scull. Sammi decided to visit her scull on her own.

As Sammi approached Rick's exhibit, she noted that the scull now had a "sold" sign on it and that Rick was talking with another possible buyer. She waited until the other person left before approaching Rick.

"Good evening, Rick. How's business?"

"Hi, Sammi. Business is picking up ever since I put the "sold" sign on your scull. Thanks for the order."

"Just out of curiosity, Rick, do you really make a living building these sculls?"

Rick seemed to straighten up and square his shoulders before answering her.

"No, not really. This is more like a hobby of mine. Why do you ask?"

"I'm a pretty observant person most of the time, Rick. When you picked the piece of wood out of my hand the other day, I noticed your hands were not the rough hands I would have expected of a woodworker."

"Is that a bad thing, Sammi?"

"Not necessarily, Rick, but it does make me wonder why you're hiding behind this scull instead of doing whatever it is you really do."

"I sell boats. Really, I sell boats I just don't build them. I have two really dedicated goons for that part of the operation."

"Ian's working late and I was going to have dinner alone tonight. Would you care to join me?"

"I'd love to. Just give me a few minutes to close up the exhibit. Weeknights don't bring a lot of business anyway."

After they were seated in a local restaurant, Sammi continued her inquisition of Rick.

"I can't imagine that you make a great living by selling those sculls. What else do you sell?"

"As I told you, Sammi, I sell boats. I mean really big boats. Yachts, in fact, just down the road at the yacht basin on the bay. As a matter of fact, I almost sold your Ian a yacht just last summer."

"Ian? You must be mistaken, Rick. Ian doesn't go anywhere near water let alone own a yacht!"

"I'm sure of it, Sammi. Actually, it's a kind of funny story. Let's order and I'll tell you about it while we eat."

"I was just lounging around the office last July when Ian walked in. He didn't strike me as a boat kind of person but he seemed interested in a small yacht I had listed for sale. I gave him the standard sales pitch and he seemed pleased with the information. He mentioned using it for entertaining clients so I went over the IRS rules for deductible entertainment with him."

"Just as he was about to say "yes", I made the mistake of suggesting a short ride out into the bay because the IRS rules would require him to be present in order to write off the expense. We no more than stepped aboard, with the yacht still tied to the pier, when Ian turned grey."

"When I asked if he was alright he said his stomach was a little queasy so I offered him a Dramamine to combat the feeling. He sat down in a deck chair and about fifteen minutes later, he asked if I would help him off the boat. He took a couple of deep breaths on the pier, thanked me for the information, and I never saw him again until today."

"Oh my God! He never told me about that! It's no wonder he pretended not to know you. Ian never forgets a face. He really got sea sick with the yacht still tied to the pier? Oh, Rick, that's priceless!"

"The tag line is that apparently Ian told someone about the yacht. A guy showed up the next day and only wanted to see that particular boat. He looked it over, asked a few questions, and bam, I had a sale. Amazing!"

"Do you remember the guy's name?"

"Yes, I do. It was Cesar Vasquez from Miami. Do you know him?"

"I think I've heard the name but I can't say that I know him. Ian often entertains at home and I sometimes act as hostess for him. Many of his associates seem to have Latin names. When I asked him about that, he just shrugged and said the State was pushing minority hiring procedures."

"Sammi, I suspect that Ian has dealings with some unsavory characters outside the scope of his employment. Haven't you ever wondered where all the money comes from for your vacations and your cars? Surely you're not naïve enough to think Ian earns that much from his State job."

"How do you know about our vacations and our cars? Are you some kind of spy or something?"

"Not a spy exactly, more like an information collector. The government has been watching Ian for some time now and we suspect that he is somehow involved in the distribution of illegal substances. We are not sure of his exact role in this trafficking and we were wondering if you would assist us."

"You want me to spy on my husband?"

"With our help, yes. We need to know how he does what he does for the organization and how the money gets moved around. If we can stop the flow of money, it will also stop the flow of drugs. As you know, you can't be forced to testify against your husband unless you want to do so."

"We believe that you are not directly involved in this operation but your assistance could be invaluable to us. You don't have to answer me right now. Please, think it over and let me know sometime in the next few days."

"Wow! And I thought I was just going for a nice dinner. I will think about it, Rick, but for the record, you're buying dinner."

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