CHAPTER 23: HISTORY, MISERY AND COMPANY Part 2
Lindsay woke up to an empty bed, a little confused at her surroundings. It wasn’t until she began to sit up, and felt the unfamiliar, but entirely welcome aches from her romps of the night before that she remembered all of what happened and why. Lying there, she thought she should at least feel some remorse for fucking Gardner when Mel was clearly waiting for her at home with Gus. She giggled at that realization. In a roundabout way, she actually did follow her mother’s edicts about leaving Gus with Melanie for a few days. Not being there will give the woman a taste of what it was like for Lindsay, having to play full-time mom all the time.
Granted, it was sort of what she wanted, but Mel wasn’t giving Lindsay the job the way she wanted it. There were many times over the past month that she wished Mel hadn’t been such a bitch and denied Brian’s offer to pay for a nanny. But Mel’s argument was that Brian shouldn’t have to do that when Lindsay wanted to be a stay-at-home parent for the first five years of their son’s life. She didn’t think her plan to be like her mother would backfire so thoroughly on her. It was only when Mel stipulated that the only way she would agree to accepting Brian’s help with the nanny was for Lindsay to return to work full-time that she backed down from the idea of live-in help. Instead, Lindsay found a job working as a part-time art professor, using Dusty and Marie as babysitters. Although that didn’t work out as well as she’d hoped either, since once Mel had told them of Lindsay’s teaching schedule they began charging her extra for any time they had Gus outside of it. Thanks to Mel and her continued interference- albeit unknowingly- in Lindsay’s plans, she had to cut back on her nightly excursions to the loft, especially when she’d suddenly lost her job for too many attendance infractions during her probationary period.
Dean Patrick Maloney was all too happy to terminate her employment after seeing her sitting across from the building she didn’t even know he lived in, watching out for her wayward husband-to-be and his ward. After he’d called her into his office, advising that her services were no longer needed, she threatened to sue the university based on discrimination against working mothers. So it was indeed to her shock and shame when he not only produced the computer printout of her original attendance schedule, which was marked with each excuse given for being absent in the comments section, but a video copy and time-stamped still photographs of her sitting outside of the Tremont building without Gus.
She’d tried to explain to Dean Maloney that she was indeed concerned for her friend, who lived there and had been grievously injured at his prom. Then she began giving him her sob story about not receiving key information about Justin’s progress from her life-partner, who was working his civil cases. She’d even included the tears and everything, so she actually believed he was beginning to reconsider his decision to fire her. But what she never counted on was him actually knowing the real reason for such a false sentiment. He told her that he was at home the day that she and Brian’s other supposed best friend visited the building, demanding that Justin be removed from Brian’s loft. She sat there helplessly as he’d detailed the entire argument, including the subsequent slapping of Michael by the hysterical young man, who was in the throes of another PTSD episode. So in short, Lindsay’s excuse of concern didn’t hold weight with him, since he had also been keeping a close eye on Justin’s progress for different reasons entirely… but she didn’t need to know that and he didn’t offer.
It was that kind of disregard, and Mel’s reaction to her story, which were part of the reason that she felt absolutely no guilt for spending time with Gardner right now. Mel deserved to receive a much-needed lesson about keeping secrets. And if she just so happened to gain some long overdue pleasure out of the punishment she was meting out, then it was well worth the effort. However, she knew that her twenty-four hours to be in Gardner’s bed was soon going to be drawing to a close, since it was already after two in the afternoon. She wondered where he had gone off to, since it was evident by the cold sheets that she had been left alone for some time.
Shuffling tenderly to the en suite located on the left side of the bedroom, she took a leisurely shower, enjoying every single jet which massaged her sore frame. After alighting from the luxurious space, she decided that instead of donning her clothing from last evening right away, she would use the blush-colored silk robe hanging on the back of the bedroom’s main door. The material was so supple that she really didn’t care whom it belonged to; and only wanted the daydream of being able to play lady of the manor for the remainder of the afternoon. Given that she was stark naked beneath the garment, which was tied in a manner to display all her curves, she couldn’t imagine that Gardner would take too much umbrage with her use of it.
Arriving at the long hallway, she followed his cultured voice that was giving orders that a desk be prepared for her within the Art Department for Monday morning. She smiled to herself. She couldn’t wait to see the looks on the faces of those who despised her relationship with Brian Kinney, primarily Cynthia’s. She would certainly relish every opportunity to make that bitch’s life a living hell. And the best part was that she would have Gardner’s blessing to do so until her heart was content, which would most certainly suck for Brian’s personal assistant, since Lindsay was never satisfied. She poured herself some coffee as she half-heartedly listened to Gardner’s continuous orders, while daydreaming about the many tasks she’d set out to accomplish her first week within Vanguard’s walls. The first order of business was to find out who Brian’s allies were within every department. Finding each and every one and getting rid of them if they didn’t do her bidding would be the key to dismantling Brian’s power base within the company. From there, she would cull who amongst the staff was the most trustworthy to infiltrate Brian’s new venture. Which of course also led to a few problems…
“What are you thinking about over here?” Gardner asked as he came up behind her, rubbing her silk-clad arms in the process.
He couldn’t believe how good she looked in the robe he usually allowed his mistresses to wear. Usually it made the women who had worn it before her look ghastly and he couldn’t imagine fucking any of them again afterwards, but the garment actually looked like it had been made for Lindsay. It gave the paleness of her skin, and those hardly-noticeable gray flecks in her blond hair, color and character. It also reminded him of the woman he had really wanted to become his mistress just before she’d gotten married again. It was whom he’d originally bought the costly robe for. But if he couldn’t have the sister he truly wanted, he might as well enjoy the sister he was with. The fact that Lindsay was almost desperate to do his bidding was an added bonus, since he knew his plans for Brian Kinney were never something Lynette would have agreed with. For some reason he still couldn’t fathom, Lynette actually liked the man well enough to keep him from being trapped into marriage by Lindsay on more than one occasion. Yes, he knew there was much more to Lindsay’s story than she had let on the night before, but that was okay. As long as she didn’t double-cross him, he’d allow her to live in her delusions.
“Just that there is still so much to discuss, and I have to be getting home in a few hours,” Lindsay answered him, softly.
“Don’t worry about it too much, Lindsay. I already have my Art Director working on your space.”
She frowned. “But I thought I would be up in the main office with you.”
He rolled his eyes, although she couldn’t see it with her back turned to him. “That’s going to have to be phase two of the plan, Lindsay. I can’t just seem to have promoted you when you have no experience in advertising to speak of. Just because you rubbed elbows, and other parts with two giants in the industry doesn’t mean that you are well-versed about the ins and outs of this business. If we’re going to have a chance at success with this plan of ours, I need you down in the artistic trenches first. It’s the only way you’ll be able to see firsthand who we could use to thwart Brian and his company, if there’s even going to be one.”
“Oh, there’s definitely going to be,” Lindsay answered him most emphatically.
“Okay, I will give you that. But there is something else you should be made aware of. It concerns Justin Taylor.”
“And just why should I be concerned with him? He’s nothing! He’s just a fucking fucktoy to Brian! He’s…” her words drifted off as Gardner placed the morning newspaper in front of her tirading face.
“I believe the term you are looking for is multi-millionaire, Lindsay.”
“Th- that can’t be right!”
“Oh, it is. See?” He flipped the paper to the front page, showing her that it was the business section of the New York Times.
“How the hell has he garnered so much attention?!”
“Well first, it had to do with him suing one of the top and most expensive private schools in the country. The second reason is that he is George Schickle’s heir-apparent, and the third reason is because he just sold Taylor Electronics for a huge sum, and has decided to remain a shareholder. Looks like you and your friend had Justin Taylor pegged wrongly as a gold-digger, when in fact, he’s just as well off as Brian, if not moreso.”
“This… this doesn’t mean anything!”
“It can mean plenty, if you play your cards right.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, don’t give up your rights to your son just yet.”
Lindsay sighed. “Why not?”
“Think about it, Lindsay. All that lovely child support you’ve been collecting so far is about to increase. Because not only has Brian’s net worth increased with the settlement of his own case against Craig Taylor, but with Justin’s connections and Brian starting his own company, there is bound to be ready capital.”
“I thought the plan was to ruin Brian within his own company, but now you’re talking as if he’s already got a client-base.”
“In truth, he does, should any of the clients he’s worked with while employed in Vanguard decide to go with him. Our job is to discredit him before he gets their accounts. However, I know the clients he’s worked with up until this point, and because Brian is a commodity within this business, they will pay a retainer fee just to make an appointment with him. It’s written in his contract, and the fee is non-refundable whether the campaign is accepted by the client or not.”
“So you think they will keep up the same practice when Brian opens his own agency?”
“He’d be a fool not to, and we both know that Brian Kinney is nobody’s fool.”
Lindsay smiled slightly, an idea already forming of how to get an increase in child support. “I need to go home, Gardner.”
“Because I have to talk to Mel. If there is one thing my wife believes in, it’s fairness. She won’t think it’s fair at all that Brian be allowed to skimp on the child support based on the original figures we all agreed upon. At the time, Brian was on the fast track to making partner within Ryder, so we accepted that he would have to put some money aside to buy into the business should it be mandated. But now that there is no partnership, but a company being formed, where clients are willing to pay what...? A ten percent retainer fee of what their contract would be worth?” Gardner nodded his head in confirmation. He had to admit that it was a fucking genius idea that he should have adopted long ago. “Well there shouldn’t be any reason why he can’t give me more… for Gus, I mean.”
Gardner chuckled. “Lindsay, there is no need to lie to me, since I’m not the one you need to convince. That comes down to your wife and your child’s father. I will say that the one thing you need to do is be ready for opposition, especially considering the stunt you were trying to pull when you got arrested.”
She waved her hand. “Oh, don’t worry about that. Like everything else, it can be explained away. I’ve been doing that for years whenever a particular plan backfired. I’ll just turn it around on Mel to make her think it’s her fault for neglecting me. She’ll cave as she always does, since she’s uncomfortable with tears for any reason.”
“I’ll leave that situation in your capable hands. In the meantime, one for the road?”
Lindsay smiled, hopping up onto the counter as Gardner moved to stand between her widespread legs. Opening her robe to reveal her nudity to him, she didn’t speak a word but let her eyes do her talking for her. Gardner got the message loud and clear and dropping a single kiss on her lips, quickly began his descent downward to her moist folds. She moaned even as her mind began to formulate plans on how to get everything she wanted… and deserved.
LAVENDER MEADOWS DRIVE
Nancy was fit to be tied. For what must have been the hundredth time, she’d tried Lindsay’s cellphone only to be given the same damn message that the number she had reached was disconnected. She couldn’t help but wonder what the hell happened at the police station when Gardner went to rescue her daughter from her own folly. She’d even tried Lindsay’s house, willing to brave the she-man her daughter lived with, if only to move into their home temporarily until she could find the loophole in Ronald’s bluff.
But when she arrived at the house, it was to see a bunch of work being done and a young woman, who at once looked familiar, but not, at the same time. “Hello, I’m looking for my daughter, Lindsay. Is she at home?” she asked while looking down her nose at the woman wearing a tee shirt, dusty jeans, and a pair of combat boots. Although there was a red bandana covering the majority of her head, the rest of her reddish brown locks hung in long braids.
“Still haven’t changed in all this time, have you Nancy?” the woman smirked at her, but Nancy was not amused.
“I prefer the name Mrs. Peterson. Kindly use it young lady, and answer my question. Now where is my daughter?!”
“I do believe that the last name no longer fits, Ms. Harris. Or I should say it won’t for very much longer, since the news we have all been waiting for has finally come.”
“What the hell are you talking about?!”
“Oh my, language, Nancy. You should know that a lady doesn’t use such vulgarity in public. But then again you and I both know that you aren’t a lady. Neither is Lindsay, but Lynette on the other hand…”
“Who are you to talk about my daughter that way?!”
“I notice that you only took umbrage when I mentioned your daughter. Why is that?”
“None of your business! Now look Miss…”
“Louisa Jane DeWitt, but I prefer Leda, Nancy, as you well know.”
Again with that fucking smirk! Nancy thought, even as Leda addressed her again.
“And don’t think at me in that tone of voice either, Nancy. I might take offense to it, and we both remember how that went the last time you did, don’t we?”
Nancy winced, remembering how Leda’s mother poured her near-full champagne flute down the front of Nancy’s dress when she’d told Leda she was more manly than her father. How was she to know the man had just died a few months before. All Nancy saw was that the girl had just finished a verbal altercation with Lindsay as Lynette looked on, doing nothing. It was up to her to defend her daughter’s honor since it was publicly done. She just didn’t bank on Althea DeWitt overhearing the contretemps.
Nancy rolled her eyes, before asking, “So where did you say Lindsay is again?”
“I didn’t, and I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t care, and not sure I would tell you if I did. But since this is now MY house, I’ll kindly ask you to remove yourself from the premises so that my work crew can finish the attic and landscaping today.”
“What do you mean that you’re not sure you’d tell me?!”
“Apparently all that screeching you’re doing has affected your hearing. I said what I meant, and meant what I said. However, to show that I’m somewhat sympathetic to your plight, I’ll happily call someone to explain my point further.” Leda pulled out her phone and it the number two on the keypad. “Hello, Shavonne, it’s Leda. Yes, I’m at Mel’s former house, which is now my house now. However, I have the most unwanted visitor. No, it’s not her, but close. It’s the bitch who birthed her. Can you send over a couple of off-duty police officers, not on payroll of the Cunty Club, and remove the she-wolf from my lawn. Thanks.”
“You… you own my daughter’s house?!”
“Again, you really should have your hearing checked. Lindsay did NOT own this house; Mel did. And she was so anxious to offload it and your litter that she hired movers in the middle of the night to remove her things. Anything that was left inside the house as of this morning is currently waiting to be picked up at a storage facility just outside of town. But I’ll warn you though… you should hurry up and find Lindsay, because anything left unclaimed at the close of business today will either go up for tomorrow’s auction or become tonight’s trash. I guess you should get going, huh?”
Nancy backed away from the property just as Shavonne’s representatives pulled up. She couldn’t imagine where Lindsay had run off to, and it wasn’t like she could remember Gardner Vance’s phone number without the rolodex that sat on the desk within her former home. She couldn’t call Ronald without having to endure his braying laughter at her expense, and based on Lynette’s actions last night, visiting her to request information was out of the question. She went back to the Hilton, entering her room in utter defeat. But the question most plaguing her mind wasn’t where Lindsay was, it was where were Mel and Brian Kinney. It was time to reach out to the investigator she had been paying for months to find out all she could about Melanie Marcus and Brian Kinney so that if there ever came a time Lindsay would need leverage over the two of them, she would have it ready at her fingertips. And it looked like that time had just arrived.
INDIGO RIVER CROSSING
Brian blinked twice wondering what the hell happened. At first, all he remembered was feeling the most amazing lightheaded feeling, reminiscent of the shit he’d taken the night he’d met Justin. It left him almost giddy, thinking he was back in his loft and was just waking from a nightmare. It wasn’t until he registered the argument happening in the corner that he realized it was no dream, but an unbelievable reality in what he was still hoping was a warped alternative universe.
“How could you not tell me, Melanie?!”
“What are you talking about, Ima? How could I not tell you? How could you not tell me that I had a twin brother?! Not only that, but to find out that it’s the man I have spent the better part of ten years despising… Oh God! There has to be some mistake! You have to be mistaken! ANYTHING but this!”
“There is no mistake about it! That is Jack Kinney’s son, lying there prone in a stupor. What’s his life been like, I wonder. I never wanted him to go away, but with our culture and Jack’s family…”
“What do you mean?” Melanie asked the exact question Brian was thinking.
Ima sighed. “Sit down, Melanie. There are things you need to know, although perhaps we should wait until he wakes up…”
Brian decided to make his cognizance known. “I am,” he whispered, still trying to get a grip on his new reality.
“Oh God, Brian, are you okay?” Melanie asked as she rushed over to help him sit up. “Ima, will you get him some water please?”
The older woman was already ahead of her daughter’s request, immediately pressing a glass of lemon-flavored water into the man’s hands. She then refilled Brian’s glass, advising him to drink some more, before reaching down to ruffle his hair. When he looked up at her, she smiled kindly down at him. “I would imagine you are still feeling a bit of shock, eh? Let’s all go in to see if Mendel is awake, and then we can give you both the answers I know you need.”
After helping Brian to his feet, the ladies entered the bedroom first before presenting the young man surely likely to cause the older one to meet his great beyond much sooner. “I’m sorry it took so long for me to come back, Tate. Work has been a little crazy lately.”
“I would imagine,” her father said. Although she could see the physical strain his illness had taken on him, Melanie was relieved to hear that the robust voice she’d always known was still strong, albeit a little slower than the cadence she was used to, “Did that young man receive the rewards he so richly deserved?”
“Yes, sir. Both of them did. In fact, one of them is here with me, although the other is at the hotel. Ima got word to me as soon as she was able.”
“Oh child of my heart, take heart. I’m not going to die right now.”
Melanie smiled at him, her eyes bright with tears. “No wonder your name means ‘Comforter’.”
“Well, a man has to have some talent for making a bad situation better, eh?” He laughed, resulting in a brief coughing fit. It had been a running joke between them from the days back when she was attending Hebrew school.
“That’s right, but there is new news that you should be made aware of,” Melanie said, suddenly wary of what the shock could do to her father. “Ima said that I have a twin.”
Instead of the expected response of surprise, he simply nodded. “Yes. He’s someone we’ve been meaning to tell you about for many years. Melanie, there are many factors that you need to know when you begin your search for him…”
“She’s already found him, Mendel,” Ima cut him off, anxious to get to the heart of the matter.
“Really? How? When?” he asked, beginning to sit up.
“Calm down. He is here with her, although they both just found out. Calm yourself, Mendel and we will tell you all. But first, I want you to meet Brian.” She took ahold of the younger man’s hand before he had a chance to bolt from the room. She could imagine that the scene between her daughter and the man she’d always referred to as her father was more than he’d had with his own. Yes, she knew more than she ever cared to know about Jack Kinney, and the reasons he was the way he was with Brian. “Brian, move closer to the bed so that he may get a good look at the man you’ve become. It’s been many years since he’s seen you.”
“Yes. We were at the hospital the day you both were born.”
“Then why did you…”
“There were many factors, my boy, and every heart has secrets,” Mendel said, eyes shimmering with unshed tears. “Ah, look at you, son of my heart. You have grown so big and strong. You were just a tiny little guy when last I saw you.”
“Mendel, I think it’s time for both of us to divulge all,” she said sadly, as she sat next to her husband on the bed. She knew they were about to change Melanie and Brian’s lives in irrevocable ways, and that just as Mendel needed her to get through this, she needed his comfort as well. When they were all seated and settled, including Mel and Brian assisting in sitting Mendel up a little higher so he could embrace her, Frayda Refi-Marcus began her tale of a deep love lost, never to be found again… until now.
“You both look like her, you know? Except that Brian has his father’s height.”
“Who is her?” Melanie asked. Although she sat at the end of her parents’ bed, she made sure she was also close to Brian. She instinctively knew that they would need each other’s support to hear whatever it was they had to tell them.
“Your real mother, Melanie Levine, was the youngest child of my sister. And although she was rebellious in her last years, prior to that, she was a real sweetheart. She was the type of person who would always fight for what she believed in, and it’s what led to the rift between her and her parents. She was fifteen years old when she met nineteen year old Jack Kinney at the local fair she was attending with friends. It was the first time she was actually allowed out without her parents hovering. They were far stricter than any normal parents were during that time.”
“Sounds like they should have been,” Brian said, trying to curb the sneer as he remembered his father.
“No, Brian. Jack was not always as you may have known him. Back then, he was a well-mannered young man with a bright future. But his father had plans for him, and while he met and fell in love with my niece, his father was arranging for him to marry the woman who you would eventually come to know as your mother.”
“How do you know so much?”
“As Mendel has said, the heart has many secrets. And believe it or not, your father was an honorable man at one time. He and Melanie dated for more than a year before they decided to have sex. Now, please keep in mind that they were planning to get married, but by then Melanie was also engaged against her will. So they both figured that doing what they did was the best way to force their fathers’ hands. They really loved each other and were willing to do anything to be together. Sadly for both of them, they miscalculated just how determined Kevin Kinney and Jacob Levine were to see their wills fulfilled. For Jack’s father’s part, Kevin made sure that his choice found a way to drug Jack. Joan’s father was almost desperate to see his daughter married off. It wasn’t until later on that we all understood the urgency. It turned out that she was carrying her father’s child…”
“Claire?” Brian gasped.
“Indeed. So you can imagine the scandal if it was known just how she ended up pregnant. Her father and Jack’s were best friends, and from a time when women- even their own daughters- were considered their property and meant only to serve them in ALL ways. It’s beyond sick, but that was the way of things.”
“What happened to… Melanie?” He asked, dreading the answer.
“She was severely beaten by Jacob while her mother stood by dispassionately. Once she healed from her injuries, my sister sent her to me and Mendel, saying that she needed a positive role model to bring her back to the old ways. Feiga refused to have her within her house until Melanie ‘learned to obey those who had charge over her…’ those were my idiot sister’s words. Mendel and I had just learned that we would never be able to conceive, so Melanie’s advent into our lives was more than welcome. Out of all her sisters, she was my favorite because of her intelligence, wonderful heart, and eternal optimism. But soon after we discovered the machinations of Kevin Kinney, we learned that Melanie was pregnant. Jack was forced to marry Joan, whose baby girl was born three months to the day after the wedding. You both were born nine months afterwards. Joan Kinney was also pregnant again during that time, and lost her son. Jack, who was at the hospital with her, saw us and asked what was happening. We explained the situation to him right around the time the doctor came to talk to him about his wife’s child.”
“What happened to her? Melanie, I mean,” Brian asked.
“Melanie was exhibiting complications from the time she found out that she was pregnant. No matter what we did, and what the doctors told us, she was steadily growing weaker and weaker. She begged us to raise you, Melanie, but said that you had to go to your father’s family, Brian. Like I said, Jack had a bright future at the time, and was in line to inherit his father’s shipping business. She had no way of knowing that there had been an altercation between the two men which made that impossible. She lived long enough to sign the papers giving us full parental rights over you, Melanie, and yours to Jack, Brian.”
“That explains how Brian ended up believing Joan Kinney was his mother,” Melanie said, but she could tell that Brian was supremely bothered by the entire scenario. So was she! Her entire life as she’d known it was a lie. One filled with love, unlike Brian’s, but a lie nonetheless. “So Brian went to Jack, and I was to be raised by the two of you. Is that why you decided to leave Pittsburgh?”
“In part,” Mendel answered. “We knew that staying away from Brian would be impossible, and we had to, if Joan was to believe he was actually her son. We asked the doctor and social worker who knew the entire situation but had kept it secret for Melanie’s sake, to put on the birth certificate the reverse of your actual birthday. June 11th 1970 is the actual date of your birth, Melanie, but since your mother and Jack actually met on November 6th nearly two years before, it seemed fitting to use that date as your birthday while Brian kept the original date for his own.”
“The other reason we left is because Jacob found out that his daughter was pregnant and died during childbirth. We couldn’t let him anywhere near either of you, not knowing what he would do. So we did the only thing we could; we left and at first moved to Brooklyn. Then just before you began primary school, we moved here to Miami. By then Jacob was sick and I still wanted nothing to do with Feida, who was insisting that I come and help her nurse him. As far as I was concerned, whatever way the devil decided to torture him was well-deserved. I still feel that way even now, and he has been dead for many years.”
“Well I understand now why Jack and Joan hated me,” Brian said quietly.
“He didn’t hate you, Brian. He hated himself, and circumstances that were out of his control,” Mel reassured him. “I would imagine you looking like our mother was a constant reminder.”
“That’s no excuse!” Fradya answered, forcefully.
“I wasn’t giving one,” Melanie answered back in the same tone.
“I… I need to be alone for awhile,” Brian said, looking out the window at the river behind the house. Getting up without waiting for a response, he hurriedly left the room. Melanie watched him leave before pulling out her cellphone.
“What are you doing?” Mendel asked her, pulling Frayda closer into his side.
“First, I’m going to call his partner…”
“You mean Brian is…”
“Yes, he’s a big ol’ queer. The young man whose civil cases I was presenting yesterday has been his partner for more than a year.”
Mendel nodded. He would never understand the attraction to the same sex, but he was determined to say nothing that would costs him the daughter, and now also the son, of his heart. He loved them no matter who their hearts wanted. “You said ‘first.’ Who else are you calling?”
She smiled for the first time in more than the hour it took to tell the story. “Reinforcements. If anyone other Justin can bring Brian back to the cocky self-assured bastard I’ve come to know and sometimes loathe, it’s Ted- whom you both know- and our other friend, Emmett. Neither will let Brian wallow too long, even if he doesn’t realize it.”
“Then get them here now, meyn printsesin,” Frayda ordered her princess. “From all you’ve told me, Brian cannot afford to have an identity crisis right now.”
“What more is there?” Mendel asked. And while Melanie filled in the details during the phone calls, Frayda told Mendel the story of Brian and Justin thus far. Listening avidly, he decided that he would not be giving up the ghost until he could make sure that Brian would finally be able to make peace with his very distraught past. “Frayda, I need the notebooks...”