I thought about Ester off and on for the next two days. It was hard not to remember her, and even harder for me not to try making sense of it all. Ester was a woman with a strong appetite for sexual adventure. I tried not to get carried away by her enthusiasm. I forced myself to calmly remember that she had a very unromantic motive which most likely drove her desires. She might well have gotten some gratification from out encounter, but she also expected to suck me into the family plan. Yes I did realize there was a pun there.
It seemed to me that the whole family was obsessed with possessing more, more more. Bigger was better seemed to be the family philosophy. I realized, I should have know beginning with the truck. The fist one I drove for them. It was at least ten times larger than was needed for the deliveries. Then there was the still they built. It would run more liquor per run than they could sell in any one order. That meant there would always be illegal liquor stashed somewhere around the place. I didn’t like that.
I had to give all of that serious consideration before I made my final decision. The decision could have serious consequences. I didn’t have all that many years left. I sure as hell didn’t want to spend them in prison. Hell, I didn’t even want to spend time in the county lock up.
Friday morning Ester called my cell phone to ask, if I had plan for Friday night. Of course I told her yes, but lied about what I had planned. It was at that moment that I decided Ester might have to go.
Telling her a lie was too dangerous. She could easily match stories with her son or brother. No matter what they said in church, some times telling a lie was necessary. The question was did I want to Maintain my relation with the business or Ester. I realized I couldn’t have it both ways for long. I also realized it was kind of a toss up for me.
When Afternoon came on Friday, I called to make sure things were still a go for Jewel and her family. Jewel informed me her son had decided to invite a girl to dinner. Since I hated the idea of not having enough food, it was dinner for six.
I left Jed outside the back door on his line. I was my insurance against him destroying my house in a fit of frustration. Outside the rear door and within easy reach he had a dog house. It faced the house so it could be a wind break. The dog house also had lots of insulting cedar shavings. Hell his house probably suited him better than his crate. I’m sure if I gone out with him, he would have been tickled to sleep outside. However on those nights when the temperature got below freezing, he did like his warm crate with the cushion inside.
After I made sure he was going to be okay, I rode the bike to the Italian restaurant. Once there I placed my order, then I took a seat in the waiting area.
While I waited, I gave my complete my attention over to the proposal. I decided if Ester’s family gave me most of what I needed in the way of security, and make a couple of tweaks to their offer, I’d go with it. If not I would take a walk on them.
The number one thing was a complete separation of the two businesses. I would operate a custom bike and scooter shop in the front and let them do their thing behind me. That required we building a wall separating the front and rear spaces. I wanted plausible denyability at the end of the day.
They wanted to put my shop’s name on the delivery truck. I didn’t see a problem with that. But for the same security reasons I did not wish to own it. When the cops ran the tags, they would come back to Earl or Ned not to me.
As far as I was concerned, I simply used it as advertising. I had pretty much made my decision by the time the food was ready.
Jewel lived in a nice little brick duplex in a working class neighborhood. The first thing I noticed was that she and her son seemed to be very close. He might have been faking it, so as to impress me with how little his mom needed me. I decided not to make an issue, so I ignore it.
“So Larry, how hard was it to make the trike?” Jewel’s son asked over dinner.
“Believe it or not, it wasn’t hard at all. Everything was more or less off the shelf. It was just a matter of moving things around,” I said.
“Do you have a plan for a two wheel model?” his girlfriend asked.
I could make a two wheel model a lot easier than the three wheel model. The problem with that is the cost would be almost the same.” I answered.
“You sound like you are thinking about selling scooters?” Jewel asked.
“I might, I have plenty of time to build them,” I said. I supposed that I was building my cover already. “A friend has some space in his warehouse, so I might rent a little of it from him,”
“Really?” Jewel asked. “What about Jed?”
“He will be going with me to work for sure,” I stated emphatically. “I’ll have to make him a place of his own.”
“Good,” Jewel said.
“What kind a dog do you have,” Jewel’s son asked.
“Jed is a Pit Bull,” I said simply.
“Cool,” the girlfriend commented. “Sounds like he fits you. Kind of hard, but with a loving heart.
“Mom is going to school,” Jewel’s son said out of the blue.
“Really Jewel? So what’s your major?” I said with a laugh.
“Cosmetology at the community college night class,” she said. “I go four evenings a week. I will be through this summer.”
“That is very cool. No wonder you said you were busy most nights,” I said.
“Yes mom stays busy,” her son said closing the subject.
After dinner the son and his girlfriend left for a movie. “Don’t wait up mom. It’s going to be late.”
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