Having Fun with Dycke and Payne Ch. 13byProlonged_Debut10©
61. Moving Forward
The Gulfstream jet rolled slowly down the runway, towards the hangar, that was its home. The women on board were tired and talked out. They had seen so many beautiful gowns, on their two-day shopping trip; they could not understand why it was not successful. However, for one reason or another, neither future bride had come away with a gown. Fiona was the closest to buying a gown. She found the perfect style, however it was six sizes too large. She was willing to try anything to get that gown, in her size. However, the boutique only had that one, and no amount of alteration would make it look great on her.
Now, the men were searching the internet to find a store that had one in her size. So far, their search had been fruitless, but they would have one more chance, when Piker Temple would called the home office of T.E.I., in Lyon, France, the manufacturer of the dress, in the morning. It was a last ditch effort, but it was worth a try. As Bob said to Dycke, when they had seen the girls off, at the airport, "Dycke, we have to find that dress. I do not want to be on the same planet with Fiona, when you tell her that the dress is not available."
Dycke said, "Me? You want me to tell her. You are out of your freaking mind. She will kill the person who tells her she cannot have that dress."
"Well Dycke, we have two choices in that case. First, if you have any doubts about getting married at eighteen years old, we can have Payne tell her."
"Not one chance in Hell, Bob. I feel about Payne, as you feel about Fiona. My wedding is on, Bob. However, most of the time, I can beat Payne, when we fight, and I do not come away with bruises, over my body."
"That was very funny, Dycke, but that only leaves us with option number two: We both leave the planet, and we recall Marti, and have her tell Fiona."
"Bob, I like option number two, however I like it for more than one reason."
Bob asked, "Should I ask what the second reason is, or should I let it go."
Dycke replied, "Why not call the women and tell them we are going to get something to eat, and I will discuss it with you there."
Bob called Fiona only to find out that they were having dinner, because they were hungry, and they were tired of waiting for them to return.
Bob and Dycke stopped at a local eatery, and settled down to discuss Dycke's latest problem.
"Bob, there can be absolutely no slip-ups about what I am going to tell you, like the one you did yesterday, about starting a family."
"Dycke, you actually thought that was a slip-up? I planned that down to the moment I would say the words."
Dycke laughed, "Why did you do that to her? Did you see how embarrassed Fiona became, when the other women started in on her?"
"It was exactly what I wanted to happen, Dycke. Now she can relax and let nature take its course. If she gets pregnant, she does not have to hide it from anybody, because everyone is expecting the news. She will not be as wired as she is, most of the time, while she is on a protective detail, guarding you."
"Bob, I am going to make you a promise here and now. The day she gets pregnant, she is being moved from protective detail, to U.S.C. to get her Doctorate in Finance. Afterwards, she works with Piker and Art Shell, in the office. You will be part of their protection detail, as baby sitter. I do not expect you to leave the baby at home, alone."
"Dycke, Fiona always tells me that you are too good to be true. Now, I believe it, too. Can I ask you a favor, before we begin on your problem?"
"Sure Bob, what do you need? If I can do it, is yours."
"Can you start Fiona's schooling, in September? I want her mind clear of her former duties, and only thinking of what she has ahead her."
"Consider it done, Bob. She will get her letter of acceptance into the doctoral program, in the next few weeks."
"I will not ask you how you are going to do that, without her signature, and the other prerequisites, needed for approval. However, thank you very much, Dycke. If there is anything that I can do for you, just ask me, and it is yours."
"Bob, I wish you had not said that just now, because I'm going to tell you for something that may have already put us in danger. You know about T.E.I. and their connection to Fiona's dress. Piker and I did some research, on the company, and it looked like, it was a takeover prospect. I own twenty-three percent of the company. For three hundred and sixty million dollars, I could buy enough equity interest to own fifty-one percent of the company. Effectively, I would own it, because no one is able to make any decisions, without my approval. Everywhere I look all I get is "Information Not Available at this time." As I thought about it, I began to wonder if this was a front company, with connections to some sort of organized crime. If it is, and I go after this company, I could put everyone I love in danger. If it is not, and I let this opportunity pass by, I turn out to be a business idiot. Piker believes that there are only four or five other investors, who could own a large block of stock. Since I own nearly a quarter of the company already, no one could have a larger portion of investment, in T.E.I., than me.
I called my Uncle Turnquest, and told him the story. He is going to look into this company, through his European contacts. He has many of them. At one time, in your past, you had connections, inside the U.S. Government. I do not want you to put yourself in danger. I can let this deal go by, and not have any second thoughts. However, if you can get any information, about this company, it would make my decision a great deal easier.
Bob smiled and said, "I worked for the CIA, Dycke. Everyone knows it, and it was a long time ago." Bob did not say anything else, but he nodded his head at Dycke, in an indication that he would do something, about the situation.
They both became quiet, as their server approached, and took their dinner order. Suddenly, neither of them was very hungry and they ordered very light meals.
Monday morning, a limousine took Payne, Fiona, Dycke, and Bob from Atlanta to Marietta, Georgia. It was a short, twenty-mile ride, however, when you enter the Gulfstream complex, it was like stepping into the future of aviation. Every aircraft was state of the art, and in various phases of completion. A security vehicle led them to the office complex, where Sandra Nicholson greeted them. After being signed in, photographed, and issued ID badges, she brought them into the maintenance hangar, where their G5 was located. She asked Dycke if the aircraft was going to be based in the United States. Dycke said that he was unsure. His attorney would contact her, and give her that information.
Ms. Nicholson advised them that they could not enter the aircraft because of the work that was being done. However, she said it was being outfitted with a new glass cockpit, and every top-of-the-line instrument package that was offered for the flight deck. The only items we need to complete this aircraft are for you to decorate the interior. For that, we need to go back to the office complex, and the design studio. We have, nearly everything you can think of for the interior of the aircraft, and if you need something we do not have, we will get it.
Payne looked at Fiona and said, "I think I am going to a good time here."
Fiona replied, "Why not have a good time? You are spending Turnquest's money, not Dycke's money. You do not have to be frugal, because he has, nearly, as much money, as Dycke."
Walking into the design studio was like a child walking into Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory for the first time. Sandra put her arm out to stop Dycke and Bob from walking too close behind the girls. When Fiona and Payne stepped into the room, they, immediately, stopped.
Sandra looked at Dycke and Bob and said, "When a woman walks into the room, this happens every time. Men knock over their wives going in there, more times than you can possibly imagine. It was decided, that we would block any man, following a woman into the room, five feet before the door. It has saved many arguments from occurring, and many pairs of stockings."
Bob replied, "If you knew anything, about my intended, you would know you stopped an outright brawl, from occurring."
Payne looked over the room and said, "Where the hell do you start?"
Sandra replied, "The very first thing you do, is to decide on your color palette." She took Payne over to a large portfolio of pictures and sat down beside her.
Bob whispered to Dycke, "Do you think we could get out of here, peacefully. I have to make a phone call, about the gown. I have a suspicion that they will be here, for a very long time."
Dycke said, "The only thing that can happen, is they tell us we cannot leave. However, five dollars will get you a hundred, that they tell us to get lost."
Bob replied, "I will take that bet."
"Oh ye of little faith."
Dycke said, "Payne, Sandra, would it be possible for Bob, and I to use two computers to search for a wedding dress, for Fiona, while they are in here. We do not have to leave the building or anything. We have much to do, and time is of the essence."
Payne replied, "I do not need you here, if Ms. Nicholson can set you up with some computers, you are free to go."
Bob handed Dycke a five Dollar bill and asked, "Do you ever lose?"
"Not very often, Bob."
Sandra said, "Let me call my secretary and she will set everything up for you. When it is ready she will come and get you."
Dycke said, "Sandra, thank you very much."
Thirty minutes later, both men were sitting at computers looking for information. Bob took out his cell phone and hit a speed dial number on his cell phone.
Angus McFarland answered the phone at the Lotus Blossom, and said, "Bob, I do not deliver at lunchtime."
Bob replied, "If I ordered it now, it would get here by dinner time, because I am in Atlanta."
McFarland replied, "No civilized person lives or visits Georgia."
"Angus, you have never called me civilized before. Does that mean that you have upgraded my position, on the evolutionary tree, above chimpanzees?"
Angus replied, "Well, neither of you have tails."
"Thank you for the compliment Angus. I would like to order something that is off, the menu. However, I was hoping that you may remember the recipe."
"If I made it before, I can make it again. What do you need my good friend?"
"Do you remember, when we were in Washington, and we ate at that fancy Mandarin restaurant down by the mall. They made us a dish you said was bitter and you could make it much better. I believe they charged us eight ninety-seven. I thought your mind had gone foggy, that day."
Angus replied, "My mind has never gone foggy."
Bob said, "I tasted it here in Atlanta. I am going to send you the recipe the cook gave me. I would like your opinion on it. Dycke raved about it. Would you get that for us soonest and let me know?"
Angus laughed, again and said, "It may take me a while to duplicate the recipe. Then I have to cook it. I will call you when it is ready."
"You are the best there is Angus, and never forget it."
"I do not care what you say, flatterer. You must pay your tab when you are here."
"Eat something Angus your blood sugar must be getting low. I always pay my check and leave a big tip, for those bare breasted beauties of yours."
As soon as he hung up the phone, Bob sent Angus a text, "Red*/* T.E.I. Lyon, Fr."
While Bob was talking with Angus, Dycke talked with Piker. Piker had called T.E.I., and had tried, in a roundabout way, to find out about the company's dress making hierarchy, with no results. In order to avoid suspicion, he then went into the story about Fiona's dress, and was connected with the company's warehouse facility.
The operations manager, at the warehouse, was very helpful. He checked his computer and saw three dresses, with the exact codes; Piker gave him. The dresses were due to be shipped out, soon.
He told Piker, "The only way he could have one of the dresses, was to have it picked up and altered, at their Paris store, prior to Friday morning. He needed a decision and a fifteen hundred dollar deposit, to hold the dress, by 2 PM Eastern time, which is 6 P.M. Paris time."
Piker took his direct phone number, and said he would get back to him shortly.
Dycke relayed this message to Bob, and Bob said, "I guess Fiona and I will be going to Paris."
Dycke said to Bob, "Should I stand in front of you, when you tell her you found the dress, to prevent permanent injury?"
"No, it will not be necessary. I will stand behind one of the displays, and whichever way she goes, I will run the opposite way."
Bob and Dycke walked, quietly, back into the design studio, and took up defensive positions. Bob called out, "Fiona, I have some news for you."
Fiona, Payne, and Sandra turned to look at Bob. He said to Fiona, "You must promise to take this news calmly. No hysterics, no yelling, no throwing of objects, you must act like a grown woman. Do you agree?"
Fiona replied, "Bob if you do not spit it out, I am going to break your neck."
"Piker just got off the phone, with the maker of your dress, in Paris. You have a decision to make before two o'clock this afternoon. We have to call T.E.I. back and say yes, and give them a Fifteen hundred dollar deposit, if you want them to hold one of the three dresses, that are left in the world, that are in your size."
All eyes were on Fiona, waiting for her reaction. Fiona finally said, "It is fine, Bob. Where are they sending the dress, to Atlanta or to Charleston?"
Bob replied, "I forgot that part. If you want the dress, you have to go to their store, in Paris, to have it altered and bring it home."
Fiona was no longer quiet. She became excited. She started dancing with Payne and Sandra. She was screaming, and yelling, "Paris," as if she had never been there before.
After a few moments, she realized she had not kissed Bob, and thanked him. She turned, looked at him, and ran towards him.
Bob took evasive action, and moved in the opposite direction.
Fiona yelled at him, "Get over here, you wimp."
Bob replied, "My body has not healed, from the last set of bruises you gave me."
Fiona said, "I promise, I will be gentle."
"Fiona, if you hurt me, there will be no Paris."
Fiona approached him and asked, "When should we leave?"
"Ask me tomorrow, and I will let you know."
She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed the top of his head,
to remind him, how much taller she was, then him.
Payne asked her, "If you are finished with him, can we get back to work on my airplane?"
Fiona said, "Absolutely, but I am far from finished with him."
Dycke called Piker and told him to reserve the dress, and put down the deposit for it. Then he went to Sandra and asked her if Gulfstream rented aircraft.
Sandra said, "Seeing that we are in the process of revamping your G5, we can loan you a G5 at no charge. Of course, you have to pay for costs involved." She then asked him when he would want to leave.
Dycke said, "Give me a few hours, and I can give you the particulars, you will need." Then Dycke started issuing orders. "Fiona, call your mother, tell her to pack a bag and get ready to fly to Paris. Bob, take Fiona shopping. She cannot go to Paris wearing what she considers clothes. She always seems to be dressed for battle. Payne, get your nose out of the book, pick your color palette and I will do the rest. Call your mother and get her back here on the jet. Have your mother, call my mother, and ask her if she wants to go along. Dycke thought to himself for a moment, "What a stupid question that was." This goes for their agents, as well. Does anybody have any questions?"
No one said a word. They had never heard Dycke speak so forcefully, prior to this moment. Even Payne, who had seen Dycke, as emotional as he could be, had never heard this tone of voice.
Dycke's said, "Seeing that no questions have been raised, I have one. Fiona, do we need special permits to carry automatic weapons, in France?"
Fiona said, "Yes, however, Marti can take care of that easily enough."
Dycke looked around the room and said, "Good." He waited another moment and asked, "Why is everyone still looking at me and not doing anything?"
In seconds, the room burst into action. Dycke went to Sandra and said, "A Tuesday, 5 PM departure, will get them into Paris at what time?"
Sandra laughed at him and said, "Dycke I only build them. I do not fly them. Let's go inside and I will check the computer and get you some accurate information."
They walked to her office and she plugged the information into her computer and added the projected weather, and winds aloft into the figures, and told Dycke that the flight time, between Marietta and Paris, was a little over eight hours.
"Can you configure the G5 to sleep 10?"
"No, Dycke, they can recline comfortably. The only aircraft we have that can sleep 10 is the 650."
"Can I rent one, lease one, trade in the G5, and buy by the 650? Just give me an option, because I have to have, well rested people, when they get the Paris. Fiona is going to come home, with a wedding dress. I hope that Payne will find something there she loves, as much as Fiona loves, her dress."
"Dycke let me see what I can work out and I will be with you in about one hour."
As he returned to the showroom, everyone seemed calm, and relaxed.
Dycke started asking questions, "Fiona, did you call your mother and tell her what to do?"
Fiona replied, "Yes Dycke. The only thing I could not tell my mom was the name of the hotel, where we will be staying."
Dycke responded, "Call her back and tell her, that is her job. She is to find a 5 Star Hotel and book rooms for as many people, as needed. If people want to double up, fine. Normally, when we go out of the country, we will get four adjoining suites overseas. Payne and I, in one, Marti and Gaby will be to our left, Milton and Jack will be to our right. Depending where you decide our egress point is Fiona and Bob will be on that side. Fiona, I do not know what you want me to do with your mom. Should I put her on a separate floor, with an agent, for her safety? Do you want her in a two-bedroom suite, with you and Bob? We can put her in a suite, across the hall from us, if you think that works. Tell me what you think is best for her, and it is done."
Fiona looked at Bob and said, "I told you working for him was going to be a pain in the ass. He asks hard questions, and expects an immediate answer." Fiona looked at Bob, with doe eyes, batted her eyelashes, and said, "What do you think, dear?"
Bob looked around the room and said, "This is the first time she has asked my opinion, about anything, and it involves her mother. I think I need a shovel to start digging my own grave."
The room burst into laughter. Fiona hit him on the shoulder, lovingly, but still there would be another bruise there, in the morning.
Bob looked at Fiona, "Dear, purely from a tactical point of view, if fireworks start, the last place I would want your mother to be, is in a room, the bad guys may have seen us exit. They may go in to set up a trap, upon our return, and find your mother there, defenseless. I believe the best place for your mother to be, would be across the hall, with her own agent, staying out of the fray."
Fiona smiled at Bob and kissed him. "Bob that is a brilliant idea, I am amazed, I did not think of it first."
"Dear, you probably said it in your sleep, and I overheard it."
Fiona looked around the room and said, "You see, even Bob knew I had something to do with it."
The room burst into laughter, again.
Dycke continued, "This trip is different, however, because I will not be going with you. My presence would be useless and a distraction. I am sending Bob, because he will get to meet his new mother-in-law, for the first time. Otherwise, he would be staying here with me. I believe the setup should be the same: Payne and the two mothers sharing one suite, Frankie and Gabby to their left, Bob and Fiona, to their right, and Fiona's mother, Alvena, and Joey, across the h. Use the flight crew, as the additional buffer, on the egress side. Any questions?"