Thanks to the Hip and Knee doctor for editing assistance
Parkour - An activity with the aim of moving from one point to another as efficiently and quickly as possible.
It had been a long year for Tracey McMann. Up until twelve months ago, everything had been fine. Then she turned thirty, and the responsibilities of life began to overwhelm her. She missed her life as a professional student. She missed Grant's Pass and she hated San Francisco. That was almost an oxymoron; nobody hated San Francisco. Actually, it wasn't the city she hated, but the role she had to play in the city.
When Travis McMann died five years ago, Tracey was crushed. She had lost her mother when she was five, to the big C, and when her father had his heart attack, she felt deserted. Without her Uncle Tanner, Tracey would have been totally lost.
Travis McMann was a wealthy man. His money came from the company that he and Tanner started over thirty years ago. It was an odd company because it really had no primary function or purpose. Tanner and Travis, started picking up small independent businesses that performed specialized customer services. They had managers to run them, or franchised them out to entrepreneurs. They owned transmission shops, fast food restaurants, paint and body shops, and a dozen other similar mismatched enterprises. Because they were extremely clever, the brothers were able to generate revenues of hundreds of millions of dollars every year from this hodge-podge.
When Travis died, Tanner was left with the responsibility of running the entire show. Tanner was more of a hands-on, guy than Travis. He enjoyed the fieldwork, but hated the business side of things.
He reluctantly took over the reins of the company with the agreement that Tracey would assume that spot when she turned thirty. At that point, Tanner would retire. He was a hard-nosed bastard and would not be missed.
Tracey was in the fourth year of getting her Masters of Fine Arts at the University of Oregon, when she got the word. Up until that time, all she wanted to do was paint and draw. She never ran out of creative ideas and loved art.
Although she owned twenty-six percent of the McMann Enterprise, she was only living off the interest from the twenty-eight million dollars annuity her father had set up for her. She had no trouble getting comfortable on twelve thousand dollars a month. In fact, being as thrifty as her father, she was putting over half of her income away every month. She did not need, or appreciate, the aggravation of running a business, especially the one that had been thrust upon her.
McMann Enterprises rented the tenth floor of the Bank Of American building. Most of the business was paper work. That meant computers and people to operate them. As the CEO, Tracey supervised a board of eight men. These eight men made almost all of the decisions necessary for the company to function. Apparently Tracey's job was to rubber stamp everything that was presented to her. Things seemed to be operating satisfactory, up until a few months ago.
The board was composed of seven men and one woman. Andrea Stiles was in charge of the personnel department, but seemed to be more interested in Tracey than she was in the position. Tracey was flattered by the interest, but would have preferred than Andrea paid more attention to the job. Todd Werner was younger than Tracey, and was in charge of the computers systems in the main company headquarters and at the individual business locations. Tracey liked Todd, and felt that he was the only one of the bunch who she could trust. Unlike Andrea, Todd had absolutely no interest in Tracey. Tracey liked that as well.
The other six board members were old men, who had been there forever. They did not hide the fact that they resented Tracey sitting in the chairman's seat. All six of them felt they were better qualified than she was, and that they deserved the seat more than she did. Their self appointed spokesman was Darien Tremble. Tracey had no idea how Andrea fit in with the old codgers, but she could tell that Todd was not one of the chosen.
Weekends were the only thing that kept her sane. All of her spare time in Oregon was spent in strenuous outdoor endeavors. Between mountain biking, rock climbing, and parkour, Tracey had little free time. She did go on a few occasional dates, and had a few discrete sex partners, but never anything serious. Here in San Francisco, she found her desire to exercise a little more difficult to accomplish. Urban parkour was a little harsher than what she was used to, and the surroundings a little less pleasant, but it kept her in shape.
Three blocks from the office was the Heritage Bike Shop, run by Tiny Morgan. Tracey wandered in one day when she was bored out of her mind at work. It was a good-sized place, especially for the downtown area. Property values there were out of sight. Most of the bikes were old Harley's and Indian's. There was a Vincent Black Shadow sitting aside of an Aerial Square Four, and some vintage BMW's. It was almost like a museum. Tracey had learned to ride years before, on a Honda Rebel 250, so she was attracted to the small selection of low riders sitting on the side of the shop. Most of the shoppers were interested in the bigger machines, but Tracey thought the 883 Sportsters were perfect.
A week later a pretty black Harley was parked right beside her 1980 RX7 in the condo basement. She hardly ever used the Mazda, preferring to take cabs or cable cars in the city. She rode her bike every weekend.
Tracey rented the condo because it was close to Japantown and just a block from the cable car line. She could get all the sushi she wanted and had easy transportation, to and from work. The area around Japantown was ideal for her parkour. She always got up early, worked out, and then showered before leaving for work. As she stood in front of the mirror, with the hair dryer blasting away, she made a mental note to look into changing her hairstyle. Long blonde hair was attractive to men, and a lot of women, but it was a pain in the butt to keep looking good. Since she wasn't looking for any type of relationship, getting a short boyish bob seemed like the sensible thing to do. She was almost six feet tall and most of that seemed to be her legs. The biking and the running left her lean, without an ounce of body fat. She needed a good rural place to run and parkour. She missed Oregon.
After her hair was dry, things went quickly. The natural look was easy to pull off, if you looked good naturally. Cotton sports underwear was always comfortable. There was an obvious absence of silk, or nylon and lace from her lingerie drawer.
She finished a glass of orange juice and half of a honeydew melon, before leaving the apartment. Skipping the first floor, Tracey went straight to the basement garage, so she could check on a pesky oil leak on the Sporty before leaving for work. It was still dripping, so a trip to the shop would be necessary, before the end of the week. Five minutes later, she was going down California Street, toward the cable car.
As soon as she stepped off the cable car, Todd Warner grabbed her arm.
"This way, hurry. Damn it, Miss McMann, move it."
It was obvious that Todd had something serious on his mind. She decided it would be prudent to see what was so urgent. Todd was normally level headed and serious, at all times. What he was doing was against his nature, so she figured it must be important. The Stardust Coffee Shop was jammed at the counter, but the back was clear. Most of the early customers were getting their caffeine fix to go.
"Okay, are we safe now? Do you want to tell me what the hell is going on Todd?"
"It's Tremble. He got an injunction or something to have you removed as Chairman of the Board. He and his cronies have rounded up enough stock, to out-vote you, and take over the company. They had legal papers drawn up declaring you incompetent. There are servers waiting at each of the four entry doors, as well as the parking garage entry. There is no way you can get in. They had one at your home this morning also. How did you miss him?"
"I went out through the parking garage in the back of the condo. What happens when they give me the papers?"
"That means that you have been officially notified. You will have to go to court and spend years and millions of dollars to get it undone. By that time it will be too late."
"Too late for what?"
"They are planning on selling the company off, piece by piece. Some of the board members are actually going to take over sections of it. I believe Tremble is going to keep all the transmission shops for his own."
"How much stock do they have?"
"I am not sure but I heard the figure thirty one percent mentioned several times."
"They are probably right, Todd. I am incompetent. I'm not qualified to run the damn company. I figured that I would let them continue to run it and I would stay on as a figurehead. I never expected them to stab me in the back."
"Maybe your aren't experienced enough to run the company, but you are fair and honest. I can't say that about them."
"What happens if they don't serve me the papers?"
"You are still in charge, even though you are not here. They can't get you out, until they serve you."
"Will that stop them from breaking up the company?"
"I am not a corporate lawyer, but I think so."
"I want you to find a lawyer that can draw up some papers that will protect the company's interests. Do it as soon as possible. Give me your cell number. I will call you as soon as I can and tell you where to bring the papers, so I can sign them. I want all major decisions put on hold until I return. Can we do something like that?"
.... There is more of this story ...