By E Walk
(Copyrighted by the author)
Edited by Radio Rancher
Chapter 12 - Good News, Bad News
I was sitting in the office when I heard someone entering the house. Mrs. Archer stuck her head in the door, "I noticed that Bill's car is gone. Is there a problem?"
I looked at her, "One of the parishioners is having emergency surgery and Father Roberts asked that Bill go visit with the family. How was the movie?"
She laughed, "The movie was rather corny, but Jake and I both had a good time. He asked me out to dinner on Thursday night. I told him that I needed to check with you and Bill to make sure it would be okay. I told him I would let him know tomorrow."
I couldn't believe what I was hearing, "Mom, why would you need to check with me? All you need to do is say, `Les, I won't be here on Thursday evening so you and Bill will need to take care of the boys.'"
She looked a little sheepish, "Well, I just thought I had better check. I'm going to bed."
I looked at the clock and decided I had better go to bed also. Surely Bill will be returning soon. It must have been a serious operations.
The next morning when the alarm sounded, the bed was empty and Bill hadn't slept in it. I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach. I put a robe to check to see if his car was there. It was and I went to see where he was. He wasn't on the first floor. I went down to check in the family room and he was asleep on the sofa. He still had his clothes on and was lightly snoring.
I decided to not disturb him and went to the kitchen to start some coffee. Mother Archer was in the kitchen when I got there. She looked at me, "Where's Bill? I heard him come home about 3:30, but I didn't hear him come up the steps."
I pointed to the stairs, "He's downstairs asleep in his clothes. I decided to not wake him because I didn't know when he got home. I'm going to go get the boys up. I'll make sure they are quiet."
I went to David and Darrin's room first. "Guys, it's time to get up Daddy Bill is asleep in the family room so you need to be quiet. He didn't get back from the hospital until about 3:30. You two get ready while I go wake up your brothers. I have a meeting early this morning so you need to make sure you have everything ready."
I woke Danny and Denny and warned them to be quiet since Daddy Bill was asleep. I went to get dressed and realized that I needed to get moving if I was going to be on time for my appointment with Mr. Degan. I grabbed a cup of coffee and a bagel. I finished eating quickly, "Mom, would you take the boys to school please. I have a meeting with Mr. Degan. I should be in the office most of the day in case you should need me."
When I got to George Degan's office, he and Ken Parker were waiting for me. George didn't waste any time, "Les, were you able to collect the documents that I asked you for?"
I handed the documents to him and he and Ken looked them over. George was very blunt, "This is great; we have everything we need to get your affairs in order. Now here are some things we think you need to do as soon as possible. I know you have a business to keep afloat, but it will benefit you and your sons to get these things done quickly."
He handed me a list of things that I needed to do. Before I could say anything George asked, "Have you gotten laid yet?"
My mouth must have dropped open, "George, why would you ask me something like that?"
George and Ken were laughing, but George answered, "Look Les, it's apparent to those of us in the know that you and Father Archer are, or need to be an item. I just figured since he moved in with you people that something interesting might have happened."
I was more than just a little bit irritated, "For your information guys, I slept in my bed and he slept in the family room last night. How in heck did you know that he had moved into my house
Ken was laughing, "Easy, my dear Les, I watched as you helped Bill move his things out of his apartment and he turned in his keys. I own the building and live on the first floor."
I was getting more irritated, "So are you going to blackmail us or what?"
George realized I was uptight, "Les, lighten up. We were just trying to add a little humor. Do you realize that you just told us that things are not progressing at a very fast rate between you and Bill? Is there a problem that we can help you with?"
I shook my head, "Guys, look at me. I'm an emotional mess after what has just happened. I have only ever had sex with one person in my life and that was Lisa. There are several other issues and Bill and I are working on them. If something happens between the two of us you will be among the first to know. I really need to go. My day was already booked rather full and now you hand me a list and tell me I need to take care of the things as soon as possible. My mind is on overload."
I had hardly gotten settled before the first clients came in. It was some people I had never met so I had no idea what to expect. I stood and shook their hands, "Good morning, Mr. and Mrs. Madsen, I'm Les Phillips. How may I help you?"
Mr. Madsen had a firm grip, "Good morning Les, and thanks for seeing us on such short notice. I'm George and this is my lovely wife Natalie. We called you because Father Roberts at the church suggested that you might be able to help us with this problem we have. For some reason, when I was at the gas station the other day I bought a ticket for the Power Ball Drawing. There was this big sign that said the Power Ball Jackpot was over Two Hundred Million Dollars. I took a quick pick and stuck it into my shirt pocket."
Mr. Madsen continued, "I figured a buck wouldn't break me, and it would go to help pay our young people's education. When I got home, I changed clothes and threw my shirt into the laundry hamper. I totally forgot about the ticket. Natalie, you take over."
Mrs. Madsen began, "I was doing the laundry yesterday morning and as I always do, I go through George's pockets, because he leaves all sorts of things in his pockets. You'd be surprised how much money I find in them.
Anyway, I found this Power Ball Ticket in his pocket. I placed it on top of the dryer thinking I was going to scold George for wasting his money."
"The first load was washing and a neighbor called all excited, 'Natalie, someone here in town won the power ball. The prize hasn't been claimed yet. The winning ticket was sold at the Shell Station by the Post Office. Did you buy any tickets?'"
"I answered, 'Rachel, I have never bought a lottery ticket in my life. How much money was the ticket worth?' Rachel answered, 'The news broadcaster said it was worth $217,000,000.00.' Rachel hung up and I went to get the ticket that I found and read the back to find out how to determine if the ticket was worth anything. I went to the Power Ball Web Site and looked at the winning numbers. I compared them to the numbers on the ticket and guess what?"
George took over, "I had forgotten something and had gone home to get it. When I walked in Natalie was sitting there like she was in a trance. She looked at me and pointed to the ticket and the computer screen. I called Father Roberts at the church and asked if he might suggest someone to help us and he suggested you. I called Mrs. Carpenter and she was able to fit us in."
He continued, "Just so you know, we own the Madsen Processing Plant and are in the process of selling it. The legal beagles and accountants at the company are working with the buyers so I would like to keep this transaction separate."
I interrupted, "Mr. and Mrs. Madsen, it sounds to me like you need legal advice more than the advice of an accountant. I know a good lawyer who also goes to our church that could help in this matter. I met with him earlier this morning and he has a full schedule today. Why don't I set up at a meeting at my house this evening so we can get together if he and you are available?"
Mr. Madsen answered, "We can be available."
I made the call and George and Don were going to be at the house 7:30.
The Madsens left and the next three appointments were regular clients so I gathered the information that they had so I could take care of their finances. I was getting more and more backlogged.
Linda came into the office, "That pesky Father Archer is on the phone wanting to speak with you."
Linda was standing there but I didn't care, "Bill, why didn't you come to bed last night?"
I looked at Linda and the look on her face was priceless. She whispered, "I think I had better leave."
I giggled, "Bill, I just outed us to my secretary/receptionist. What's up?"
There was a pause but Bill asked, "I was wondering if we could have lunch together?"
I looked at the clock, "Bill, I have an appointment in five minutes. Why don't you stop at Subway or Blimpie's and pick up some healthy sandwiches and why don't you bring one for Linda too, so you can worm your way into her heart?"
Bill answered, "I'll be there with bells on shortly."
Linda came in and I told her that Bill was bringing lunch for us. The last client left and the door was open to Linda's office. Linda yelled out, "Boss, there is this ugly person out here claiming to be a Father. I'm thinking that he probably belongs in a zoo. He says he has some food for us; do you suppose it's safe? We'll meet you in the snack room after I examine the food and him under a microscope."
When I got to the snack room, Bill and Linda were laughing. Linda looked at me, "Boss, lighten up. I have two gay grandsons and I love them and as much as love the other thousand grandchildren. Bill, why didn't you sleep with Les last night? Did you have a fight or what?"
Bill and I were looking at each other. I think we were both at a loss for words but Bill recovered nicely, "Mrs. Carpenter, I finally got home from the hospital about three thirty this morning. I thought it would be best not to disturb anyone so I went to the family room and fell asleep."
Linda had to have to last say, "Bill, how would you have felt if Les wasn't in bed when you woke up and he hadn't been in bed all night?"
I was trying to suppress my laughter because this was a side of Linda I had never seen. Linda wasn't done, "I need to get back to my desk. So why don't the two of you kiss and make up?"
As Bill was about to leave, I hugged him tight.
The afternoon was so full with clients that I didn't even have time to go to the bathroom. I was never so glad for five thirty to arrive. When I got home I told everyone that we had guests coming after dinner. Bill had a meeting that he had to go to, so Mother Archer and Doctor Jacobs and Don Daniels took the boys to the park to ride their bikes.
George Degan and I met with the Madsens. The result of the meeting would be that George and I would accompany the Madsens to the state capital to claim their prize on Thursday. Wait until I tell Linda that I am going to be gone almost all day on Thursday.
We had just gotten the boys settled when the clouds settled in and it started to rain. We were all tired so we decided to go to bed. Bill and I had just taken our showers and crawled into to bed when there were several loud crashes of thunder and the sirens started to go off. It wasn't long before we had four boys in bed with us, Darrin spoke for them, "Dads, we need to go to the basement."
There were two more loud crashes and we went to the basement away from any windows. Danny and Darrin were holding on to me and the other two boys had hold of Bill. The storm was really wicked and Mom Archer had joined us. We turned on a television set and watched as the storm finally passed. There was damage reported all over the city. The boys finally settled down and fell asleep. Bill and I carried Denny and Danny to their room but Darrin and David were too big to carry so we led them to their beds.
Bill and I just cuddled. We were both exhausted. Bill woke at 6:30 and wanted to know if I wanted to go running. We walked out the door and as we were walking to the park, we could see signs of damage caused by the storm. When we got to the park there were trees down all over the place. Bill looked at me, "Les, I think I had better get to the church as quickly as possible. I am sure that there may be a great many people who have been affected by the storm."
We turned around and returned to the house. Bill went to get dressed and I turned on the television in the kitchen to the local news. There was a notice running across the bottom of the screen, 'All schools in the city are closed today.'
I turned up the volume. The anchor person was saying, "This just in, Superintendent Black reports that several of the schools have suffered damage. All schools are closed today so that the buildings can be inspected for damage. Parents should check to see if their children's school will be open tomorrow. This station will carry a complete list of the closing once it is received from the superintendent's office later today."
The co-anchor spoke up, "Once again this hour's lead story: The City has requested that people not drive their cars since there are trees down all over the city blocking traffic. City crews have been working around the clock trying to clear the main streets. It will not be until later this afternoon that they will be able to get to the side streets."
The person continued, "The city is requesting as many people assist in the cleanup as possible. If you are able to clear the streets, you are requested to pile the branches along the side of the street and the city will pick them up as soon as they can."
Bill had been standing there listening, "I guess I had better take a change of clothes just in case."
Mother Archer came in and we explained the situation.
After Bill ate, he got a change of clothes and walked to the church. I was trying to decide whether to go to the office or not when Darrin came in, "Why didn't you wake us, we'll be late for school?"
When I explained that the schools were closed because of the storm, he became concerned, "Daddy, we need to check Grandma Hattie's house to make sure everything is okay." He totally switched the subject, "Dad what happened to the people we saw at the mission the other night? You said some of them didn't have homes."
I put my arm around Darrin, "Son, the news person said that there were no known deaths because of the storms. The homeless people know where to go when they hear the sirens. The city has some designated shelter areas they can use. Now go get your shoes and we'll check Grandma Hattie's house before I go to work."
I got dressed and Darrin and I went to check the house. We checked the interior and exterior and everything seemed fine. We did a check of the outside of our house and it also seemed to have escaped any damage as well.
When we went inside, the other three boys were eating. David looked at me, "Dad, what do you want us to do today?"
"Guys, if you see any branches in any of the neighbors' yard that aren't too heavy, why don't you put them along the curb and the city will pick them up. Just don't try to lift anything that is too heavy. I'm going to walk to the office now, just in case one of the appointments decides to come in anyway."
Danny looked at me funny, "But Daddy, that's a long way to walk."
"It's just a mile and a half. I can be there by nine o'clock. Everyone have a good day and stay out of trouble."
When I got to the office, I was surprised to see Linda there, "Linda how did you get here? You live over five miles away."
Linda started to laugh, "Peter brought me on his motorcycle. He came in to help the city crews with the cleanup. He has been bored to tears ever since he retired. By the way all of the more simple appointments have called and canceled."
I nodded, "Linda, why don't you cancel the rest of today's and tomorrow's appointments?"
She started to object until I told her about the Madsen's good fortune. I was having a productive morning when Linda stuck her head in the door, "That pesky Father is on the phone again."
I picked up the phone, "What's up, Bill?"
Bill started to laugh, "Nothing is up. Haven't you heard, everything is down? Les, do you have a chain saw per chance?"
I thought to myself, 'What a strange question.', "Yes, as a matter of fact, I do. It is in a brown plastic bag on the top shelf of the stand in the garage. Why?"
"The church is organizing teams to go and help some of the parishioners who need help clearing downed trees and branches. The youth organizations are helping. We can have five teams now that you have a chain saw. See you tonight."
The rest of the morning went by fast and I was surprised how much I was able to accomplish when I wasn't interrupted. Linda got us sandwiches and I ate while I was working. It was about three o'clock when Linda came into the office, "Les, Phyllis is on the phone. She says she has some good news for you."
I thought to myself 'Who the heck is Phyllis?' I picked up the phone, "This is Les, how can I help you?"
The voice on the other end answered, "Hi, Les, Dr. Fitz would like to talk to you. I'll put him on."
A different voice came on, "Hi Les, this is Larry. I'm sorry to hear about Lisa's accident. The boys are definitely yours. I didn't know that there was ever a question about them being yours. Now to the important matter and that is that Mr. Archer and you are free to start playing games if you so wish."
I just held the receiver in my hand and looked at it. I couldn't believe what I was hearing, "Larry, why would you even suggest something like that?"
Larry countered, "Les, I wasn't born yesterday. Why else would two grown men come in together to be tested for social diseases? Now, when I am going to meet this Bill person so I can see what he looks like since I have already seen you in all of your glory so I can make a comparison?"
I started to laugh, "Larry, you are absolutely evil. What would Lori say if she heard you talk like that?"
Larry didn't back down, "Who do you think told me to say that? I'll see you soon Les. Let's hope we don't have anymore storms like last night or we'll all be broke."
I hung up and thought, 'I have to go tell Bill.' I tried to do some work but was unable to concentrate. So I packed my briefcase and informed Linda that I was leaving and that I was going to stop at the bank and take care of some things that George Degan told me I needed to do.
I took care of the things at the bank and quickly walked home. Mother Archer was there by herself. I looked at her, "Mom, where is everyone?"
She held out her hands as if she didn't know, "Les, they left with Bill when he came to get the chain saw. They have been gone since before lunch. I'm beginning to get worried. Bill had six teenagers with him and the boys wanted to help too."
The five o'clock news was just starting, "The lead story tonight is that there has been a massive effort by the local people to help the city with the damage caused by last night's storm. We caught up with this team from St. Mary's Church that was headed by the assistant Rector, Father William Archer. He had six teenagers and four young boys with him."
"We watched as they mechanically cleared away the downed debris and placed it by the curb. We were amazed that four young people could care enough to work so hard, and they did work hard. We found out that they were the sons of Mr. Les Phillips and it was their mother who died in the car accident last week. During a short break, Father Archer told us that these same four boys were involved in feeding over a 100 people at the Good Will Mission last Saturday night."
"It is so good to see that the boys' parents instilled their sons with
a such a compassion for the less fortunate. Now in other news."
I looked at Mom Archer, "Mother A., it's already after 5:30; where are the guys?"
Author's Notes: If you would like to read more of this story and other interesting stories, please visitwww.storylover.us.
Editor's Notes: Well, to answer that question that the reporter asked, I doubt that the boys' mother had anything to do with instilling any compassion in the boys. Their dads seem to have had a better influence on them. I do have to wonder where they are. It kind of looks like just about everyone seems to know that Bill and Les are an item or soon will be.
I hope there will be a new chapter soon.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher
Other Notes: E. Walk has brought us another wonderful chapter chocked full of interesting news. It looks like in the boys' case that their father's genes are winning out over the egg donor's. It is good to see the boys' again caring for people other than themselves.
As in a lot of cases the two lovebirds are the last to know.
The Story Lover