Chapter Four ~
They arrived at a popular steak house about twenty minutes later. It was still early for dinner and the place was deserted. Amy sighed in relief. She hated crowded places.
The hostess rushed to get a highchair for Benji while they settled in at the table. Jackson sat the baby's carrier on a pedestal at the side of the table and took his seat.
Amy pulled out her camera to get some pictures. Their first dinner together was a definite ‘Kodak moment.’
"Angie, what do you want for dinner?" Amy asked.
"I want a hamburger, fries, and a huge chocolate shake."
“What would you like to eat, Benji?”
"Hambruger.” He smiled cutely and Amy’s heart tripped a beat, just like it did for his Daddy, but for an entirely different reason.
The little ‘family’ enjoyed the rest of the meal and left the restaurant, full and satisfied.
After they got in the car Jackson asked, “What kind of movies do you like, besides ‘chick-flicks?
“I like action and comedy. My favorite actor is Bruce Willis, who's yours?"
"I like Bruce Willis, too. Kevin Costner is always fun to watch, so is Mel Gibson. Younger-wise I like actors like Ryan Reynolds and Patrick Dempsey."
"What’s your favorite movie?" Amy waited impatiently. You could tell a lot about a person by the movies they watched.
"I would have to say Brave Heart, or the Patriot, both by Mel Gibson."
"Mine is Twister, with Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt."
"What kind of movies do you think I should be getting for the children? Ms. Strumkin used to do all the movie-choosing and the kids seemed to like her choices."
"I don't think children as young as yours need to spend much time rotting their brains with what's on TV these days." She sounded rude and quickly turned to apologize, not wanting to ruin their easy camaraderie. "I'm sorry, that didn't come out the way I wanted it to. I'm not trying to tell you how to raise your children; I just know that most of the movies out today lack morals."
Rather than anger, Amy saw respect in her boss's eyes. "I agree with you. That was something else my wife and I didn’t agree on. She believed we should introduce our children to all the 'arts.' We never resolved the issue."
"Some people have different ideas about what’s moral and right.”
“What are your ideas?”
“I don’t know if you want to get into that with me.” She looked at each child, and then back at him.
“If I thought your morals and values were gonna be a conflict of interest in raising my children, I never would’ve hired you.”
"Pertaining to movies, if I were to give a recommendation, I would say anything that didn't have cursing, nudity, blasphemy or sexual annotations." She was trying to be funny. They wouldn’t be able to watch anything in that case.
Jackson laughed as he turned into the driveway. "I'll let you take care of that area.”
Amy carried Benji in her arms because he'd fallen asleep on the drive home, and Jackson carried the baby carrier while Angie ran up to the door ahead of them.
They were being watched, and they had no idea what was in store for their future.
Soon he would make his move and Jackson Masters would pay. No one stole from him, least of all someone he’d trained. How dare he? Anger coursed through his veins as he squinted to see every move his new nemesis made.
He watched as Jackson closed the blinds, effectively ending this night mission to watch the family, and the new nanny. He was so angry he stomped his foot in the floorboard of his truck. “Why is this happening?” He pounded the dashboard, trying to decide what to do. Should he stay and scale the walls of the mansion and practice his entrance, or save it for another day? His ruminations were interrupted by the buzzing of his silenced cell phone.
“Hello?” This was another irritation in a night full of them.
“Hey boss, where are you?”
“Do I have to remind you I’m the boss? I don’t answer to you, you answer to me.” He answered rudely, and he smiled when he heard the guy on the other end take a deep breath, probably to keep from responding in kind.
“I had a reason for asking.”
“What do you need?” He was already tired of this conversation and if the nitwit had been in front of him he would’ve slapped him in the back of the head.
“The housekeeper doesn’t want to comply.”
“Give her some incentive.”
“How do I do that?”
“Do I have to think of everything?”
“No, but I don’t know what you want me to do.”
“Does she have family?”
“Yeah, a whole slew of them.”
“Tell her you’ll kill them if she doesn’t do what we want.”
“We can’t kill her family, boss.”
“Don’t tell me what we can’t do. Remember who you’re talking to.” He gave the warning in a soft voice, but he knew the man on the other end wouldn’t take it lightly.
“I don’t want to kill people. You didn’t say anything about that.”
“Are you serious? Do you know what we’re planning to do?”
“Yeah, but that’s different.”
“How is that?”
“I don’t want to kill somebody up close and personal. I wanna be able to sleep at night.”
“You don’t have a brain, do you? What we’re planning is gonna kill a lot of people, and hands-on or not, you’re gonna be partially responsible. Now inform the housekeeper we’ll kill her family, if you’re with me. If she doesn’t believe you, kidnap them; let her stew about that for a while.”
“How did you get so ruthless, boss?”
“I work for the government. What else did you expect?”
“I don’t think it’s the government that made you this way.”
For the first time that day, he laughed. The man was an imbecile, but he liked him in spite of it. That’s why he’d chosen him for this job; not to mention the fact that he was expendable. “Work on that for the rest of the night. I don’t want you to go to sleep until you have a plan in place, do you understand?”
“Yes boss, I understand. “
“Good, I’ll talk to you tomorrow then.” He ended the call and absentmindedly shoved it in his shirt pocket as a woman stepped out onto the balcony. It was the new nanny. He took in a deep breath. She was a beauty. “This is gonna be even more enjoyable than I thought.” He started the truck and pulled away from the curb slowly so he wouldn’t garner any attention. His plan would work a lot better if no one could identify him, or his truck.
The next week was gonna be a busy one for him. He swallowed in anticipation as he pulled out into traffic. He would be back every day until he knew every inch of the estate. When that requirement was accomplished, he would begin his real mission. Jackson Masters would never forget the day he’d crossed him. He cackled crazily and pushed a Bob Segar CD into the player.