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Authors: Pamela Carron

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BOOK: Wings of Deception
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“Sheila, you know how I am always talking about leaving this jungle and relocating? I think now is a good time to do it.”

“Jacks you’ve been saying that for ages,
but
you can’t just jump up and leave your practice!”

“We both know my practice is worth nothing in monetary value, for Pete’s sake Sheila, when is the last time a check came in...
.
Yeah, right…my work will always be important to me but there are other ways I can accomplish things,” He waved the letter, “Like these people here in Jackson
,
Mississippi. It is all about unwanted, uncared for, abused children!”

“This is crazy, what about me
,
Jacks, I love my job
!
W
hat would I do?”

“Any legal firm would be lucky as hell to have you. I

ll give you a great letter of recommendation and I will personally check around with my friends.”

“Jacks, what are you afraid of, what did those men want with you? You owe me the truth
;
after all I have put up with your temper tantrums for four years now.”

Jacks looked at her thoughtfully.

“I do owe you and if you will give me a few minutes here, I will treat you to lunch and tell you all about it
.
D
eal?”

“Okay, but I type my own recommendation.”

“Oh, Sheila, one more thing before you
leav
e
.

“What is that?”

“Cancel any plans for tonight
.
Y
ou
,
my dear
,
are going to be my date.”

“They told you to bring a date?”

“No, but they didn’t tell me not to
either
.”

“Jacks, that is not in my job description.”

“It comes under the
heading
,
I will attend any function my boss deems necessary for job improvement
.

“I don’t understand. How will going with you to this dinner party, help me improve my job skills.”

Jacks grinned.

“It won’t, but it will get that self-typed letter of recommendation signed.”

Sheila shook her head at him and left the room. She always looked forward to a lunch with her boss. Not that she was attracted to him or anything
,
she was not, but Jacks was just one of those people you liked
to
hang out with. She enjoyed his company
and
working with him. She would enjoy it more if he were not an atheist. She could not understand how a man as smart as he could not believe in God. They never discussed it
,
but when she had told him she was a Christian
,
he informed her that he was atheist. He said it was her business if she believed there was some God out there
,
but as for him, he believed only in himself.

After lunch, she understood better Jacks

reaction to his earlier visitors.
He shared with her the fact that more than one person came up missing after they tried to walk away
from them
.
When he told her that they were also
connected to a large
,
well known
atheist
group,
she begged, “Jacks, you can’t make me go
.
I
t’s not fair. I’m a Christian
.
F
ind someone else.”

“I can’t, I don’t even have a little black book anymore. You have to go
.
I will pay you double time. I may need you there as a witness
.
B
esides, I am atheist and I don’t hate you. Actually
,
I am fond of you despite your wayward beliefs. Please?”

She made some animal like groan and said, “I know I’m going to be sorry
,
but okay. It will be my last request fulfillment to you, since you may be leaving.”

“I will be leaving. Before we left the office I got hold of that organization, the ACAA, in Mississippi and the job is mine if I want it.”

“That is great I guess, but Mississippi? Have you ever even been there before?”

“Not since I was born.”

“You were born in Mississippi?”

“Don’t be so surprised. I had to be born somewhere and it happened to be Mississippi.”

Sheila held back a giggle.

“How did you get to be in New York?”

She could tell her questions were making him uncomfortable, but she really wanted to know. He never talked about his earlier life and all she really knew was that he grew up without parents.

“After I was born, evidently my mother moved to New York. Not sure about anything except that she dumped me at an orphanage and split.”

“What about your dad?”

“I haven’t the slightest idea.”

He laughed as if it did not bother him.

“Let’s get out of here. I could use a nap before tonight so my head will be clear; I swear I think I am still hung over! How about I pick you up at six? We can stop for a drink before we go.”

“You know I don’t drink, but Jacks; do you know what happened to your mother?”

“No, I told you, I only know that I was left at the orphanage not much more than two years old. All the information they had was a birth certificate with my mother’s name, Rosalina Roberts and my name, Jacks. Go figure. The first thing I did when I started Law school was to drop the Roberts and ever since I have been just Jacks. Once I was curious enough to try and find relatives but Roberts is such a common name and chances are it was not even her real name, especially if I was a bastard son. She would have been ashamed and that could account for the move to New York too. Somewhere no one knew her. Somewhere she could throw me away.”

“But Jacks, that does not make sense. She kept you for two years! She must have loved you.”

“Never did to me either, so are we going to sit here the rest of the day talking about me or what? I really don’t want to discuss it anymore.” He got up and she sighed with exaggeration. Gathering her purse
up,
she followed suit.

“Okay, since I rescheduled the appointment there’s really not much to do at the office, but I could probably find something I suppose.”

“No, take the rest of the day off.” He turned his attention to the cashier long enough to pay the tab and then turning back to her
,
he said solemnly, “Sheila thanks for doing this. I know you don’t have to and I do appreciate it.”

“Just so you know
,
I have always wanted to see the inside of this place you are talking about.
I saw pictures of it once in a magazine and to go there as a guest will be something to talk about even if the devil himself lived there.”

“As well he might
, if you believe in one
.”

She laughed as they made their way out of the restaurant and went their separate ways.

At seven o’clock sharp they were standing at the door of a grand mansion.
O
nce a hotel in the early seventies
, it
was sold to the Belk’s, who renovated it into a lavish and private home, now belonging to their only son, Morgan.

Jacks looked dashing in his black pinstriped suit and wore his thick brown hair combed straight back. Sheila had chosen a simple long cotton dress with thin straps and a wrap. Her waist length hair hung loose and Jacks was surprised
,
for as long as he could remember her working for him he had only seen her with it twisted up or in a ponytail. She made an impressive picture.

The door was opened and a butler led them to a room which held a dozen people. A hush fell upon the group as they all turned their attention towards the couple. Morgan stepped forward to greet them.

“Jacks, glad to see you made it, and I see you brought a date.” Turning his attention to Sheila’s understated beauty, he took her hand and asked, “You look familiar, have we met?”

She couldn’t help but laugh.
“In a round a bout way just this morning, I work for Jacks. My name is Sheila Herbert,” She caught her breath as
an
other man
pulled Jacks
away
. “Uh, I hope it is okay, Jacks seemed to think it would be. I mean...”

She
nervously
looked back in the direction
which
Jacks
had
disappeared as she was maneuvered over to an elaborate bar with an attendant.

“It is more than fine
.
I am glad he brought you. What a fresh rose you will be at our dinner tonight.
” He stared at her and nodding his head said,
“Of
course, now I remember you, but who could know the extent of your beauty my dear
,
when you go to such lengths to hide it? Would you like a drink?”

She blushed innocently
,
just shaking her head in answer and he laughed delightedly. The night was looking up already as far as he was concerned.
If Jacks was so important to the man he and Abe called master then let Abe worry with it. He had voiced his opinion at the last meeting but was ignored. Whatever reasons Jacks was so important to
Asa
was beyond him. The woman standing next to him was a different matter though and one that had captured his interest.

Dinner was a formal affair with all the fanfare expected and more. Sheila had not spoken with Jacks since their arrival and Morgan was constantly at her side. She was even seated next to him at dinner and as far away from Jacks as she could be. The attention was flattering, though it was beginning to disturb Jacks who thought it a tactic to keep them separated.
Morgan
was not at all concerned with Jacks; it was
Sheila
who
attracted his undivided attention.

It was during dessert when Abe broached the topic of the senate. “So, Jacks have you given that senate seat some more thought since this morning?”


I have and
I am afraid my answer is still going to have to be no. You see, what I was trying to tell you this morning, the timing is all wrong. I just recently accepted an offer to direct the legal team for the ACAA down in Mississippi. You do understand if your offer had come just a little sooner, I might have taken you up on it.”

“Oh, I was not aware that you were considering a move to Mississippi Jacks. Looks like our research was not too complete.” he directed his look of displeasure at a man introduced as Mick earlier and who Jacks knew to be his big shot lawyer and partner to Garrett, who was not present. “How did we miss that Mick?”

The man he addressed shrugged his shoulder in response. All Garrett had told him was that Jacks was not interested
in being a senator.

Abe
was frowning, his bushy eyebrows coming almost together.
Asa
,
to whom he answered,
would find this most interesting. He had seemed confident that this man would join them. This was not a good thing and would upset plans made to assure his allegiance. He had been ordered to attract Jacks into crossing over to them whatever it took and making him a senator seemed a good way to do it. 

Jacks began explaining his decision to relocate. “Oh, yes sir, and looking forward to it.
I needed a change and you know I was born in Jackson
,
Mississippi, so I guess you could say I am going home.”

“How long have you planned this? It is a huge career move and at your age Jacks, you have to look to the future.
You are not getting any younger you know.

“Well, probably a month now,” He lied. Give or take a few days, and I
am
looking to the future Abe.”

Grinning he thought
,
Hell
,
if I am going to pull this off I have to show confidence.
He felt a chill go down his spine as Abe sat back thoughtfully
looking at him
. At that moment Jacks felt glad he had decided to leave New York. He was thinking that he just might find him a little cabin out of the city. Somewhere quiet, with a porch swing like the ones he had seen in the movies.

“I really have not told anyone yet, except Sheila.”

Irritated that Morgan had monopolized her ever since she walked through the door, he repeated louder than intended. 

“Sheila!”

“I am sorry Jacks, what?”

“I said you were the only one I have told about the new job and the move to Mississippi.”

BOOK: Wings of Deception
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ads

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