Author's Note: I updated this one a little quicker than the other, though I still wish I would've been a little faster on this! The chapter is a bit short but I wanted to get another one published before I let another 2 months slip by again, I promised I wouldn't do that!
I also feel that this story is sort of winding down, I wanted it to be a lot longer than it is but I think comedy is a lot harder to write in length than drama, you just don't get the inner angst that you would with drama/suspense. I might be able to squeeze out one more chapter, if not two from this.
Special Thanks: Kristen3 and identityless for your reviews! I appreciate it so much and thanks for being patient and dealing with my procrastination! I know I'm terrible!
One Year Later Chapter Three: A Foggy Horizon
Joe couldn't think of anything else to do at that moment, he had stared at the paperwork for well over an hour and a half, and staring at it would do nothing for the company, just make him go crazy and run off of a cliff. He wasn't sure why he had put so much sweat into this company, no matter how hard he worked they always somehow came up short.
"You okay?" Helen approached him in the hangar where he stood next to the right wing with a blank stare on his face.
"Of course I'm okay, what makes you think something is wrong?"
She smirked, hugging him around the waste. "Maybe it was that lost puppy dog look you had painted across your mug, or the fact that you came home to a lease. Those both were dead giveaways."
He pulled away quickly, his eyes widening. "How did you know? Who told you?"
"It's a small island honey, you are acting like you've never been here before. You know how rumors spread."
He let out a deep sigh, running his fingers down the smooth surface of his airplane. He didn't really want Helen to know how deep they were in but she was his wife, it was only right that she knew.
"We'll be okay. Leasing it was smart, now we'll just have to work extra hard to keep it where we won't have to lease it again." He frowned after saying that. "Who am I kidding? Every year it seems we are here at this same crossroads. The decision we make seems to last for a few months then we sink again. Our luck will eventually run out."
Helen stood back, allowing him to vent to her. He was right though, they were in the same predicament every time they turned around. They had to compete with Aeromass, a "huge" airline compared to their one plane operation.
"I'm not sure what to tell you Joe."
He smiled, pulling her near him. "It's okay, you don't have to say anything, just being here is helping."
"Hey Casey, you haven't told me what your new job is. Did you have a hard time finding something else?" Helen asked later that day as she wiped down the countertop behind the lunch counter. Casey had been avoiding her it seemed, or it could've been her imagination just being paranoid.
"No, it wasn't hard finding a job." She tried walking off quickly, but Helen was quick, and within a second was around the counter, grabbing her arm.
"So, where are you working?"
Casey gave out a nervous laugh, dreading the question her sister was asking her. "I'm the lobster down at the seafood place by the lighthouse."
Helen stepped back, trying to hold in a laugh because it was obvious that Casey was ashamed of her new found calling. She looked down feeling it coming on but stopped herself again.
"The stuffed mascot?"
She nodded. "That's why I didn't want to tell you."
"Why?" Helen played dumb, hoping Casey wouldn't see through it.
"Because of that look you have on your face. It's an honest living." She walked off, not allowing Helen to reply to her.
"What was that all about?" Roy was waiting patiently at the counter, holding a menu in his left hand as he skimmed through it. Helen was still not used to the 'new' Roy, but she was proud of him for fighting the weight and keeping it off, even if surgery had a part in it.
Helen shrugged. "Casey was just telling me about her new job."
Roy's face grew serious as he threw the menu down in front of him. "What are you and Joe doing this evening? Got any plans?"
Helen had sudden flashbacks of the night they were invited over when Roy wanted to introduce his girlfriend to his mother and she ended up not showing up, forcing Helen to play Pauline. It was sheer hell for her when Roy unexpectedly proposed to her but rejected her to satisfy her mother. She didn't want to be put in a situation like that again.
"You ever hear the saying full me once shame on you, full me twice shame on me?" Helen asked, giving Roy a smirk as she did.
"What is that supposed to mean? I really need to talk to you two."
Helen moved away, still contemplating just what Roy wanted from them. "Look Roy, I really had a lot of fun pretending to be your girlfriend that night, but once is enough, I can die happy." She paused. "Look, if it's really important talk to Joe about it, right now I'm not good at making decisions."
"Ok, I'll do that." He stood up, leaving Helen there as he walked into Joe's office, not even knocking as he did.
"Some things never change, you didn't even knock."
Roy shut the door, disregarding Joe's comment. "Are you busy tonight?"
Joe shrugged, putting more piles of paperwork down. "That depends."
"On whether or not I have to pretend to be your house boy again."
Roy frowned and threw his hands at Joe. "Would you people get over that, it was a long time ago! It's actually between you and Brian and me. I went ahead and invited Helen too since she's part of the family."
At that moment Joe knew that Roy wanted to talk about business, but with him you could never be sure until he fully came out and said it.
"Are you wanting to talk about Sandpiper?"
Roy nodded. "I think it's time we put the future of your business out into the open. I've got a proposition for you."
"Okay, I'll talk to Brian and we'll let you know what we're doing tonight, then we can talk about it later."
"Hey Brian, how do you feel about having dinner with Roy tonight?" Joe leaned back in his chair, staring back at his brother who was across from him behind the desk.
Brian couldn't help but take advantage of this. "Well, he has dropped a good chunk of weight and it's a shame, I like my men big."
Joe sighed; he should've expected that from his younger brother. The best thing he could do was ignore it rather than replying and pouring more fuel on the fire that had started.
"He wants to talk business and about Sandpiper. I think he's got something up his sleeve and I want you to be there too. We both own this company and there will be no final decision until we both agree on something."
"Agree on what, are you thinking about selling Sandpiper?"
"We'll see what Roy has to say, right now the future is blurry."