A New Kind of Someday
I was so happy. I didn't think I could ever be this happy. Ric and I had a relationship; in fact, we had more than a relationship. After being together 6 months he had proposed and I was wearing the most beautiful heart shaped diamond engagement ring. We hadn't set a date; we were just enjoying being engaged. We had called Julie and she was so excited for us, we were planning a trip with her over Thanksgiving. In the middle of the night Ric's cell rang. He sat on the edge of the bed and I could hear him quietly talking into the phone. He hung up and turned to me and I could tell by his face he was going on a mission.
"I'm sorry Babe But I am leaving in less than an hour and this mission is going to last at least a year maybe more. I don't know if there will be any check ins. Please stay here and let the guys watch out for you. I want you to start planning the wedding, I know we don't have a date but you can pick out the style of invitations, where you want the reception. I want you to plan your dream wedding and remember cost doesn't enter into it at all. I love you and we will have our someday remember I will always love you."
He packed his things, picked up his weapons, phoned Tank and then he was gone off to save the world.
I decided I would put this time to good use. I talked to Tank and asked him if I could help with the dreaded paperwork. He was more than ready to teach me all that it encompassed. I soon found out I had a talent for the paperwork and I really enjoyed the contracts and meeting with the clients. Tank concentrated on Security checks, installations, Bond Enforcement, managing schedules, surveillance and stakeouts. It was a good system and we increased our profits by 25% with the new clients we were able to bring in and the successful recapture of FTA's.
This still left me a lot of spare time. Ella, Louis and I ate dinner together almost every night. My family had disowned me for my engagement to Ranger. Ella and Louis, who had no children, had for all intents and purposes 'adopted' me. I started watching Ella cook each night while we talked about our days. It didn't really look that difficult and we had such a fun time I started helping. Before I knew it I learned how to make Ric's favorite dishes. I even learned how to make flan and tres leches cake. I was so excited that when he came home I could cook dinner for him.
Ella is Ric's mother's best friend. Once a month Ella and I would go to Newark to see Maria and Ricardo Sr… They were wonderful people and I was so happy to become part of their family. Maria showed me all the pictures of Ric growing up and she told me stories about him and Rafe his brother and his 4 sisters. They welcomed me into their family treating me like one of their own girls.
Louis talked to me, about politics, books, music and sports. He and I have had many opposing points of view and had lively discussions but, he never makes me or my opinions feel worthless. Sometimes I ended up agreeing with him and sometimes he changes his mind when I explain my viewpoint and then we have the times of respectively agreeing to disagree.
I started to feel a confidence in myself that I had never had before. Of course, the Merry Men were good for my ego. Tank always praised me for my "spidey sense" and in the research I did, Cal calls me Angel and so does Hector. Hector watched over me and teased me- he also taught me how to say a bunch of dirty words in Spanish that I could use on Lester. I will never forget Lester's face the first time I cussed him out in Spanish. Every Saturday morning Hector gives me a Spanish lesson. I know a lot of Hector's secrets by observation of this very complicated man.
Lester is Lester, my best friend, my ego booster when I get down; he is always there for me with a hug and a kiss on my hair. I would trust Lester with my life and I have. I can't imagine my life without Lester. Bobby teases me and supports all the new things I am trying.
I still had too much time on my hands so I enrolled in a creative writing class. I did all the assignments online and then I went to Rutgers to take my tests. My assignment for the semester was to write a fiction story based off of events in my life. I had no idea what I would write. One night Les and I were just sitting around with Bobby and Tank and they were asking me about my class. I told them about my assignment and how I didn't know what I was going to write about my life was so boring. Les looked at me like I was crazy.
"Beautiful, has being stalked, kidnapped, tortured, chased, car bombs and having your apartment firebombed become so hohum that you dismiss them. What about us, Bobby, Tank and I look like dashing heroes ready to rescue you from any danger that exists!" he laughed.
We all laughed but that comment stuck in my mind and as I laid in bed hugging Ric's pillow I started writing a story in my mind. I couldn't sleep so I would sit in bed and write about one of my stalkers. I really started having fun writing and I had all the facts of every FTA so I didn't have to go anywhere to research the story. I couldn't go to sleep until I added to my story each night after writing Ric a letter. I couldn't mail them so I put them in a box and saved them for when he came home.
I took some time off at Thanksgiving and flew to Miami to spend time with Julie like Ric and I planned. When I got back to Trenton, Tank had a very official looking envelope for me. He said they had scanned it 'just in case' I put it to the side to open up later. I got right to work on the paperwork that Tank had allowed to accumulate. Tank stopped by my desk "I really missed you Steph."
"You just missed me doing your paperwork" I laughed.
"No, I really missed you and so did the guys. When you are here we are a family, someone cares about us. Did you notice when you came in that within 15 minutes everyone here on the floor stopped by to see you? When each team comes back today they will check in with you. You are the heart of us little girl."
"By the way this was just delivered by Fed Ex - what's with all this special mail?"
"Got me Tank, I'll get to it later, seems I have a desk top full of stacks and stacks of paper to go through."
At six o'clock I shut down the computer, grabbed the 2 envelopes and headed up to Ella and Louis's. When I entered their apartment I was engulfed by the feeling of being home. The warmth and the wonderful smells coming from the kitchen, the hugs and kisses and the easy discussion about Julie and Rachel filled me love.
I brought out the envelopes and opened the first one Tank gave me. I opened it and read the first paragraph and started to cry. Immediately, Ella had her arms around me "What is it honey, can we help?"
"Ella, my grandfather Mazur had a brother. I loved Uncle Jake he was so nice to me. I remember always sitting on his lap and telling him how I was doing in school and how I wanted to learn to fly. He used to tell me I could do anything I set my mind to. My parents would tell him to stop filling my mind with such nonsense. He would smile and tell me he would help me make my dreams come true. One Sunday he and my Grandfather, Dad and Mom got into an argument and they told him to leave and never come back. I ran and hid in his car I wanted to go with him. We were a couple of blocks away when he found me in the car. I climbed into the front seat and begged him to take me with him but he couldn't. He told me he loved me like I was his daughter and one day he would come back and helped me fly. I heard from him occasionally he would send a letter to me at Mary Lou's house. He would tell me all the places he had been and he would send money orders so I could buy myself things. Ella, I never saw him again, this letter is informing me that he passed away. I have to call this lawyer because I am his sole heir."
"I'm so sorry Steph, are you going to call?"
"Yes, because it also says he left me letters and a journal and I would love to have them."
"Well, let's open the next envelope."
"Oh my God Ella! My professor for creative writing sent my book that I wrote for my assignment to his friend a publisher and they want me to come in to see them. They recommend I bring a lawyer to discuss a contract. This can't be true I just wrote the book based on some of the stalkers I had. What am I going to do?"
"You are going to call a lawyer and set up an appointment. Steph you so deserve this."
"I don't know a lawyer Louis"
"Sure you do how about Hunter, Rangeman's lawyer. If he can't do it he will recommend someone, call him first thing in the morning and make an appointment."
"I'll do it on one condition. I don't want anyone to know anything about either letter. I want it to be between just the three of us until I find out what this all means."
Ella looked at me "Sweetheart, we would never betray your trust."
The next morning I called my professor and talked to him. He explained that the book was so good he couldn't pass up the chance to have his friend see it. He knew I considered it just an assignment and would never have pursued it any further. He offered to help me in anyway I needed. I thanked him and told him I would keep him up to date with everything that went on. I asked him not to tell anyone I wanted to keep this all very private.
My next call was to Hunter. He took my call immediately.
"Stephanie, how are you?"
"Hunter, I'm fine but I have some personal legal issues and I need your advice. I need to see you as soon as you can fit me in."
"Do you want me to come to Rangeman?"
"No, I need to keep this private. If that presents a problem could you recommend another lawyer?"
"How about I take you to lunch?"
"Hunter; I think this is going to take longer than an hour."
"I hope so Steph, I've missed you."
"I will meet you just tell me where."
When I got off the phone I looked at Ella and Louis. "Now I just have to figure out how to get to the restaurant without being tracked. I know you are wondering why I want to keep everything secret. I really don't know what to say except I have a feeling I need to."
"Is it your Spidey Sense Steph?"
"Yes, but it's not the same as it usually is."
"Stephanie, trust your gut." said Louis "Now this is how we are going to get you to the restaurant without being tracked…."
Ella and I went through the clothes I wanted to wear to lunch with Hunter.
They were filled with trackers from the buttons on my Jacket and blouse to the belt. My shoes had trackers and my purse, watch, earrings, hair clip and much to our astonishment my engagement ring. I sat down and cried. I had no freedom at all. Ella went out with Louis, supposedly to get supplies and bought me a totally new outfit from the skin out for me to wear to lunch.
The day of my lunch with Hunter Ella put some of the trackers on her and put my engagement ring in her zippered pocket. There was a huge storage area in the sub-basement where there was also parking for the Rangeman employees cars. I was 'helping' Ella do an inventory of this storage area. I would get in Louis and Ella's car in the backseat and Louis would drive me to a car rental place where he had reserved a car under his name. After lunch I would return the car and he would pick me up. He had bought two cell phones for him and for me so that I could call him and it would not be traced.
I arrived on time at the restaurant outside of Newark where Hunter was waiting for me. Hunter gave me a kiss and hugged me and the women in the restaurant did a collective sigh. I could understand why. Hunter was 6'3" had black hair and blue eyes and he was breathtakingly gorgeous. He was a former Ranger so he was a spectacular specimen of a man.
"How are you sweetheart? Did you have any trouble getting here? By the way you look gorgeous is that a new outfit just for me" he said teasingly.
"Yes, actually it is new and I had Ella buy it for today's lunch. You see all my clothes have been laced with trackers."
"What do you mean all your clothes? Do you have a new stalker?"
"No, I can only surmise that Ranger ordered trackers to be put on me and my belongings before he left. He even had one put in my engagement ring. I can't imagine I have any on me now since everything is new but, we will find out in about 15 minutes when they come into the restaurant."
"Sweetheart, that's way to invasive, you have a right to your privacy."
"Hunter, I have no privacy, last week I went to a drugstore to buy some feminine hygiene products and they followed me into the store and down the aisle. I thought that was embarrassing but yesterday Bobby and Tank both reminded me to make an appointment to get my birth control shot I can feel my face getting red now just thinking about it."
The waitress came and Hunter ordered us some wine while we looked at the menu.
"When Ric gets back I have to talk to him I can't and won't live like this."
"What did you bring me in those two envelopes?"
I handed him the first one about Uncle Jakes death. Hunter started reading it and looked up at me from time to time. The waitress came back and we order our food and Hunter went back to reading. Finally he put the envelope down and said "Do you understand what this is Steph?"
"Yes, my Uncle Jake died and he left me his letters and journals and I want you to help me get them."
"Sweetheart, your Uncle Jake left you everything you are his sole heir. He left you his Bed and Breakfast on 500 acres which is waterfront property on the Chesapeake Bay, he left you his marina with a 60' yacht, sailboat, speedboat and numerous jet skis, he left you 3 airplanes and a helicopter, he left you 8 different businesses including a security firm in Baltimore and he left you in different accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds etc over $500 million dollars. He also left you a house in Miami and Jackson Hole Wyoming."
"No Hunter he left me his letters and his Journals."
"Steph did you read this?"
"Hunter, all I want is…"
"Steph, you are getting them along with everything else. His instructions are very clear, this is an unbreakable last will and testament and his specific instructions to you are 'Fly Stephie Fly!' He's also has in a separate account the money for all inheritance tax and any other fees."
"Hunter, I have never even had two nickels to rub together you've seen the cars I drive.."
"Well, that's in the past you have a fleet of cars now."
"Can you be my lawyer and work with me on this and what's in the other envelope?"
'Now, what's in the other envelope?"
I pushed the envelope to him and took a sip of the wine.
He read the other letter, put it down and said "You mean to tell me you wrote a class assignment on one of your stalkers and they want to publish it."
"Yes, but it was more than one stalker I combined some of them. I don't want anyone to know I wrote this. If they stalked a nobody what will they do if they find out who I am."
"Your absolutely right, your greatest security is you anonymity I will do everything to preserve that."
"You'll help me, you'll be my lawyer?"
"Of course, I will. I will call your Uncle Jake's lawyer and work everything out with him. Can you come to my office?"
"Only if there is no other way, I had to rent a car to get here today and here is my new phone number only you and Louis have it. I'm hoping to do most of our business on line, I'm buying a new laptop and by passing folders when you are in the Rangeman office. Do you think we can make that work?"
"We will do our best. Now let's eat lunch, drink our wine and have a nice time away from all your stress;"
Two weeks passed and Hunter and I met for lunch and discussed all the businesses and homes and everything that needed to be done. The publishing company that wanted to publish my book would not agree to total anonymity or refusal to go on a book tour. I was disappointed until Hunter called me and said he had brokered a deal with a new publisher. Uncle Jake's best friend Skip owned a publishing company and he agreed to all my requirements. He lived on the adjourning property and couldn't wait to meet Jake's Stephie.
I met Hunter for lunch to sign the publishing deal and after we talked more business we always relaxed over lunch and laughed and discussed any problems I had. I had a proposal for him that I had been thinking about and discussed with Ella and Louis. After looking at the brochures for the Bed and Breakfast and wishing that I could get away with Ella and Louis to visit it I finally got up the nerve to ask him what had been on my mind. "Hunter, I know that all of this is way more work than you bargained for with all your other clients. I really feel that I am taking advantage of you and I was wondering if you would consider becoming the sole counsel for all my businesses. I know it would mean giving up your private practice but I think we could do wonderful things working together. Will you consider it? We could negotiate a salary and all the benefits you want. I feel safe with you and you have become a real friend I know I can trust you."
"I will give it a lot of thought Sweetheart, I'll get back to you. Now what else is bothering you."
"It's the guys, they are avoiding me and having all kinds of private meetings behind closed doors. I can hear them yelling at each other. When I asked Tank he mumbled and walked away from me Rafe, Ric's brother, was in the office today and he practically slammed the conference room door in my face. I don't know what's going on but something is."
"We have a meeting tomorrow at 9 am at Rangeman I'll see what I find out this afternoon."