He actually waited four days before he called. Two days longer than I thought. I listened as his smarmy voice oozed through the phone.
"Tom, Tom, please be reasonable. I'm sure we can work out an agreement we're all happy with. Why don't you come by the office, we'll sit and discuss it like reasonable men."
"That's a great idea, Stan. I already know what I want."
He hated being called Stan, insisting on Stanley. I heard his hiss, but he controlled it.
"That's just great, Tom. I do admire a reasonable man. What do you want? We'll have it ready when you come over."
"I want that slut daughter of yours to honor the pre-nup as written. Nothing else is acceptable. Understand me, Stan? And as for coming over, it'll be a cold day in hell before I walk back into that snake den you call a home."
His control and good humor disappeared.
"You low class prick! I told her you were a gold digger, but would she listen? No. Now I'm gonna have to clean up her mess, just like I did when she was in college. You'll regret this, you miserable redneck."
He was practically screaming by the end.
"Stan, Stan. Are you threatening me? I'm hurt, Stan. I always thought a lot of you."
I was laying it on thick, we hated each other from the moment we met. He couldn't make coherent words for about a minute. Then he exploded.
"I'm gonna make one more try to be reasonable. One million, after taxes, and you can divorce her right after the election."
I let a few seconds go by before I answered.
"A million bucks? Gee, Let me think about that NO! Not happening, Stanley old boy. You have a nice day, now. Gotta run. Feel free to call anytime."
He was still screaming when I hung up. The man was delusional. His career was gone, his 'loving' family probably destroyed and about to be vilified by everyone with an opinion. The genie was out of the bottle, and he was still trying to make deals, to 'fix' it.
I immediately sent three copies of what I had recorded off to safe places. I couldn't be too careful.
He was pissing in the wind anyway. The wheels of justice were already turning, and nothing he could do now would stop them.
I met her when I had to lay cable by her house. I was a subcontractor, owning my own equipment. Everyone was going to fiber optic and buried cables. They were faster, cheaper, and best of all being buried they weren't susceptible to weather. Barring earthquakes, catastrophic floods, or a homeowner who wasn't paying attention, they were practically indestructible.
The company I had contracted with had gotten permission from the state to use their right of way, for a fee of course.
I was in front of a house that was the biggest in the neighborhood, in a neighborhood of multimillion dollar homes. Fenced, tall gates, paved circular drive. Expensive cars sat around haphazardly, obviously there was a party going on. I could hear the music booming through my headphones, over the sound of my Ditch Witch, a machine that digs the trench, lays the cable, and covers it in one smooth motion.
It was an April afternoon, hot for the time of year. I had my shirt off to catch some sun, trying to get a good tan before it really got hot. I didn't go to a gym or tanning beds, but doing what I did for eight to ten hours a day, five to six days a week, kept me in terrific shape. I stopped to reload my cable spool, and looked over at the house.
There was a spectacular looking brunette, standing on the balcony in the smallest bikini I had ever seen. If it hadn't been black I would have sworn she was naked. Standing may have been a generous word. She was swaying back and forth, and suddenly tumbled over the rail! I didn't believe my eyes for a moment, then I went running across the yard.
I found her in the bushes under the balcony. She was scratched pretty bad. She was also knee walking drunk. Literally. I couldn't get her to her feet. When I finally picked her up, she screamed when she put her weight on her feet. I sat her back down as gently as I could. I checked her over, and her left ankle was swollen to twice as big as normal, and she moaned when I touched it.
I made her as comfortable as I could, and went to the front door. I rang the bell and pounded, but no one answered. I couldn't go around the house because of the fence. I went back to her, maybe she could call someone inside the house and get them to come out. She was still so smashed she couldn't talk, and her ankle was turning purple.
"Shit, shit, shit" I said to myself as I scooped her up. I put her in my truck, and took a second to write down the address. Fifteen minutes later I was carrying her through the emergency room doors.
I put her down gently and went to the desk. They had watched me walk in.
"What's wrong with her?" The nurse at the desk asked, already shoving a clipboard at me.
"She fell off a balcony. I think she broke an ankle, and I'm pretty sure she's drunk."
Another nurse went off to check her while the other shoved the clipboard at me.
"Her name here. Your name there. Type of insurance. Relationship to each other. Medical history. It's pretty self explanatory."
I shoved it back.
"I don't know her name, and I'm not giving you mine. I saw her fall off the balcony at a house I was working in front off. There was no one home, she was in obvious distress, so I brought her here. I can give you the address. She'll tell you who she is and who to call when she sobers up, I'm sure."
I lied about the party, and I don't know why. Probably to make the story sound better and get her taken care of more quickly.
The desk nurse frowned, and tried to talk me into signing.
"Not gonna happen, lady. I don't mind helping her, but I won't be responsible for her. Judging by her house her family has a few coins. You shouldn't have a problem getting paid. Now, you gonna treat her, or what?"
She grumbled, but really didn't have a choice. I sat with her until they took her back, then split. Last thing I wanted was to be a designated sitter to some little rich bitch.
I got back to my equipment and looked up her driveway. All the cars were gone, and a small Mercedes was pulled to the front. It was too late to get anymore work done, so I pulled my machine up onto my trailer. I wrestled with it for a bit, but decided someone needed to know.
I walked up the driveway and knocked on the door. A really attractive woman who resembled the girl opened the door. I assumed it was an older sister. I found out quickly it was her mother, forty two at the time, she looked early thirties.
Her eyes were cool.
"Can I help you?"
"No ma'am, but you can help someone else. I was working in front of your house earlier today, and saw a woman fall off your balcony. I think she hurt her ankle pretty bad, and I took her to the ER at Methodist. I felt like someone needed to know. She was, er, too hurt to think straight."
"Oh my God!" she burst out, running to her car. She peeled out of the drive, leaving me standing there with the door to her house standing wide open.
"Rich folks are a strange bunch" I thought, as I pulled her door closed, making sure it was locked.
I had lost half a day and was on a schedule, so I was there bright and early Saturday, and worked twelve hours, finishing my portion of the job. I glanced at the house several times, debating whether to check on the girl, but there were no cars in the drive, so I left.
Five weeks went by and I had pretty much forgotten about it when someone knocked on my door. There were two women standing there, one on crutches. I didn't make the connection. I ran my business out of my home, so I thought maybe they were potential customers.
"Can I help you ladies with something?"
The older one smiled and said in a light voice.
"Yes, you can invite us in and let us thank you."
I moved out of the door and motioned them in.
"Thank me for what?"
The younger one actually laughed.
"He doesn't remember us, Mom. I would think watching me fall would have made a bigger impact on you."
Recognition came to me.
She smiled. "In the flesh. And my name is Eve. This is my Mom, Greta. We came by to thank you for helping me."
I sat them down and got them both a soft drink.
"You're welcome. How's the ankle?"
"Mending. I broke it in two places. My tennis days are over, I'm afraid. Good thing I was so drunk when I fell or I would have gotten hurt a lot worse.
Her mother drew in a sharp breath.
"Relax mother, it's the truth and you both know it."
She turned back to me.
"I wanted to come by earlier, but between my ankle and the counseling I was taking, I didn't have an opportunity. I wanted to thank you for helping me, and making me realize where my life was headed."
Her mother looked uncomfortable.
"Eve, I really don't think you should burden Mr. Yount with details of your life. Maybe..."
She overrode her mother.
"No, mom, I want to tell him."
She looked back at me.
"You helping me gave me a wakeup call. There were over thirty people in my house when I fell, and not one came looking for me. Mom ran them all out when she got home. She didn't know I was hurt until you knocked on our door."
"When they treated me at the hospital, besides a broken ankle, I had a concussion, a blood alcohol lever of .17, just under poisoning levels, and they found a mild STD."
.... There is more of this story ...