Unlike his brother, Brendon was having the time of his life. Dagmar arranged for Brendon to get into private school based on the Brendon’s grades, an amazing dinner, and her silver stylings of schmoozery .
Dale, seeing his sons move upward into a life he had never had, was delighted. He was also enjoying his retired life. Fishing, painting, seeing his children prosper, as well as hot dates with his wife made him in a ferverishly good mood. Brendon, within a few days of joining the new school began bringing home “friends” on the bus. These friends were a constant distraction from his house and school work. Fortunately, Brendon, by all appearances, was becoming a very talented young man who was able to keep several things going at once AND not slip on his homework.
However, Calder did not have it as well. The good news was the clouds of doubt he had been having between his choices did seem to be departing. He’d decided whether his parents agreed or not he was going to ask Zen to marry him. He loved her a great deal and she made him laugh with her constant goofiness. He knew she loved him as well. He felt it was better to press forward then to wait in indecision! After working a few shifts, he gave her a call and they met outside the luxurious Londoste restaurant.
Zen and he had a wonderful dinner. He wined her. He dined her. At the very end of a delicious meal filled with good conversation and laughter he played his surprise upon Zen Slate. The plan worked to perfection.
Calder was overjoyed and the two finished the date in each other’s arms. Calder went off to work after dropping Zen off at her home. He felt as if he were walking on a cloud.
Meanwhile, at home, Dagmar was suspicious. Something told her that Calder might be about to do something a bit rash. She needed a master play, something that could seal the deal between he and Kaylynn. That evening, Kaylynn was over again and once again, Dagmar cornered her. While Dale night fished in the back pond they talked in the upper hallway for almost an hour regarding Kaylynn’s finances and her living arrangements. She asked Kaylynn to move in with the family.
Kaylynn was resistant at first but Dagmar had lived with a con man far too long. She could see Kaylynn was desperate and tired of living by a showstring. She needed a good place to live (and a good man to live it with!) She pressed. She pressed and eventually Kaylynn folded. In final relief at her good fortune, Kaylynn hugged Dagmar fiercely and accepted the offer.
What neither of them knew was that Dale was not really fishing. He’s received an email from the woman who had arrived unannounced at their house previously. She wanted to meet him at the edge of the woods. They needed to talk immediately. He grabbed his fishing pole and excused himself from the house. He met the woman in the shadows by the pond.
The meeting did not go well. She was pressuring him. They needed his help. She and Ivy had been able to narrow down what was going on but it may be too late. He was the last person they could turn to. Something very bad had come to Roundabout Corners and they needed more information. Her and Ivy were not sure what but it was something more than just your normal gang boss or psycho con man. They needed his skills to help them break into an elegant home on the north side of town so they could learn more. Maybe he could help them see something they were missing?
Dale was tempted but he stood his ground. He’d put his family through too much and would not risk it again. He was proud of his family. He wouldn’t do it. There were younger cons and thugs out there with more skills than he. He was out and intended to stay out. Things got heated and she stormed off back into the treeline.
Dale watched her go and hoped he had made the right decision. He figured only time would tell.
The next morning, while Calder was still finishing up his night shift, Dale was not that surprised to see Kaylynn making breakfast in the kitchen. She had been sort of a regular around the place lately. What sort of surprised him was the news Dagmar broke to him at the table. Kaylynn had accepted their offer to move in! He’d sort of seen that one coming. The real shocker for Dale was when Dagmar started talking about grandkids and what kind of toys to buy for them once Kaylynn and Calder finally tied the knot. That had Dale really wondering if his wife were functioning at a hundred percent. Kaylynn also began to second guess her decision.
Even through that he was happy for Kaylynn and the family. It would only help his son see some good common-sense reason involving his relationships. If nothing else, it would get him to stop thinking about that loony Zen Slate.
That was, of course, until Calder got home.