“What the hell was that boss?” said Driver, on their way back to the city.
Kyle said in the back seat, “That was the ex. Lovely person, isn’t she?”
“I don’t think anyone will blame you for divorcing her, maybe marrying her.”
“That is enough. Your point is well taken.”
“Sorry, boss, I got a little carried away. Where do you want me to take you?”
“Let’s head for Camellia. I want to see the accommodations for tomorrow when I bring Yvonne aboard,” said Kyle, reaching for a soda pop. Camellia was docked in the estuary of the San Francisco Bay, actually on the Alameda Island, where the docks were. They drove from the suburbs to the city and then across the Oakland Bay Bridge to the tunnel that connected the island to Oakland. The limousine pulled up to the ship, three hundred feet long and was used for a troop carrier during WWII.
“She has eight decks going down to the engine room, and she does not sail anymore, just floats here for parties,” Driver explained to Kyle. They walked up the stairs on the outside of the ship and then on to the main deck. She sure is a massive ship, Kyle thought as they were greeted by the crew chief.
“We are honored to have you aboard, Mr. Stone, and we would like to welcome you to the Family,” the chief said and with that handed Kyle a diamond-encrusted Rolex watch. Kyle was flabbergasted on how beautiful and expensive the watch was.
“I thank you very much. She is gorgeous. You caught me by surprise.”
“On behalf of all the Family, you are welcome. I understand that besides you, there is also a special guest joining us?”
Kyle said, still looking at the Rolex, “Yes, Miss Lang will be joining us. Did you get my request for lobster for dinner and then eggs Benedict for brunch?”
“Sure did, boss. I also have a few other surprises for you to enhance your dining experience.”
Kyle went up to the bridge to the office’s quarters where he would be staying. It was like a little apartment with couches, tables, dining tables, and the bunk area. They had all the tables covered with white linens, and everything else was spit and polish, ready for a king. The next morning, Kyle worked out at the hotel gym, looking forward to seeing Yvonne for brunch at the Buena Vista. They had met under the worst circumstances with the witches’ candles, the takeover, and of course, David turning evil on them. If any couple could find love where it was not supposed to exist, then there was certainly reason to explore something good. He knew this was the reason he was anxious to see her again, even though he was not looking for a relationship after just divorcing his wife and starting his new career. He did not need a full-time distraction. He headed down the stairs to the limo, and he could not help looking at his new watch. They did not know how much he loved jewelry and especially watches. There was one exception, and that was the medallion he wore around his neck showing his ancestor, the founder of the Knights Templar. He did not know why, but he felt more secure when he wore it. He would take all the protection he could get. Kyle had only wished that his dad would have told him about his forefathers earlier. It might have protected him from some of the bad decisions he made and would like to take back. It was now time to start to head over to Yvonne’s apartment in Pacific Heights, and there might be a lot of traffic going back across the Oakland Bay Bridge into the city. She lived in a nice place with a view of the bay and Alcatraz. If there ever was a lover of the city, it was Yvonne and with the view she had. You could see why. Kyle, dressed in Dockers, a casual shirt, and deck shoes, walked up to her door. He felt a little giddy, like going on a first date, and that had not happened in twenty years. As he waited for her to come to the door, he looked at the view. It was like a magnet to the eyes. Just like Yvonne when she came to the door, as beautiful as he remembered, even though he had just seen her a week or so ago.
Yvonne said, “Come on in. I want you to see my apartment. I love it here.” Kyle looked out the window. “I guess you would love it, Yvonne. It’s fabulous.”
“Would you like a beer? I have Heineken and Sierra Nevada.”
“A Heineken would be great, thanks.” Sitting back on the couch, he said, “How long have you lived here?”
“It’s been about three years now, and I don’t ever want to move,” she said, smiling.
“I can see why. These kinds of apartments are in big demand,” Kyle said, finishing his beer.
“I am anxious to take you to the ship and see what you think. We have a fabulous dinner planned for you tonight, but first, let us have some champagne at the Buena Vista. No, I think I want one of their Irish whiskeys with some linguini and eggs. I woke up hungry, I think.”
“That sounds great. I want to talk to you about the financial business and what your plans are with it.”
“Not a problem, why don’t we start over to the Buena Vista, and we can discuss it in the limo.” It was a beautiful day in the Bay Area with soft, fluffy clouds floating by against a bright blue sky. It is going to be a great day, Kyle thought as they sat at the restaurant and enjoyed each other’s company very much. Yvonne was so easy to get along with, always with a smile on her pretty face, and when he was with her, she made him feel like the most important person in the room. Kyle had never been around anyone like this, and he was starting to really like it. They were just coming out of the Alameda Tunnel that went under the bay. He looked at Yvonne, enjoying the ride with a fresh glass of champagne in her hand, and her other hand had reached out to hold his. Kyle was finding out that she liked to touch and show affection, and he liked that. How great to be on the way to a fabulous ship with a crew that was there just to make sure Kyle and she had everything they wanted. Could it be time for Kyle to find that happiness he had been looking for? And if he were really lucky, he could find love again. The limo pulled up to the very large ship docked in the estuary.
“Wow, Kyle, is this it? It is huge.”
“Huge it is. It belongs to the Family, and it used to be a troop carrier during WWII, and it is used by the Family now as a getaway for members. Let us go aboard.” The crew chief was waiting for them on the main deck with two crystal glasses of champagne.
“Welcome, Mr. Stone, and a special welcome to your guest, Miss Lang.” Kyle reached for the glass.
“Thanks, chief, we are looking forward to enjoying our stay.”
“We are excited to have you aboard. Let me show you to your accommodations.” The driver had brought their bags aboard and followed them to the officers’ deck and quarters. Kyle and Yvonne walked out to the bow of the ship to see the great view of the waterway and boats going by. They sat in the deck chairs to take it all in with drinks in hand.
Yvonne said, “I appreciate you taking the time to discuss the financial business with me. I know that you have been quite busy.”
“You are quite the sweetheart. It is I who appreciate you for taking over for me. I do not know what I would have done without someone to jump in when I had to leave so suddenly. You are a lifesaver.”
“I wouldn’t go that far, but I am glad that I could help you, and of course, it has been good for me. The lingerie business was just getting to become a downer with a lot of problems. The biggest one is the models not showing up when they were to be there.”
“What do you do when they don’t show up? That would really piss me off.”
“There is one thing I could do beyond canceling the show. I have to do the modeling.” Kyle smiled.
“As far as I am concerned, that would be a good thing coming from someone who enjoys your beauty.”
“You are too kind; Kyle, but I wanted to get away from it. That is why I started my company. Well, it sounded like a good thing at the time, but now, you have me doing something very different.”
“Yes, and I am impressed. Not too many models have the business savvy to take over an existing financial company and especially one that has gone through so much. You are a special lady, Yvonne, and I am happy to be sitting here with you, soaking in your beauty, long blond hair and that angel face that I just can’t stop absorbing myself in.” “Kyle, you have always been quite the talker. Can I ask you about what you are doing now, or is that off limits?”
“No, it is not off limits, but I need another drink. It is warm out here.” Kyle motioned for one of the crew members who were standing near, waiting to be of service. It was not long until he returned with two drinks and a large shrimp cocktail with crab and lobster in it. It looked so good.
Yvonne took a bite out of the seafood cocktail. “You sure know how to live it up, Kyle. This is absolutely wonderful.”
“I am glad you are enjoying yourself, and I guess you are wondering about this situation, being you were there to see how it all developed. I was not sure myself what I had gotten into after David took the money and left me carrying the bag.”
“Well, I was very worried about you and what they were putting you through,” Yvonne said as she took another bite of the lobster.
“I have to admit, Yvonne, I was a little scared in the beginning, not knowing what they would make me do to pay back the money that was stolen.”
“Something good must have happened because look around and you will see there are people here just to make you happy.”
“It is amazing, isn’t it? When they found out about my family, the Knights Templar, they looked at me totally different. It was like night and day. My father told me that the story he was about to tell me before he died would change my life significantly, and he was right. I only wish he could be here to see all this and to see that he was right.”
“I am sure he would be impressed. They are treating you like royalty. I am sure that cannot be hard to get used to. I know that I am blown away to see all this and who you are now.”
“I haven’t changed any, Yvonne, just taking it in as it comes and very thankful for all that is happening. That is why I told Woody. You remember me talking about him, don’t you?” Yvonne nodded as Kyle continued talking.
“Well, I wanted him to know that the only work I wanted to do for the Family would be work that is helping people, getting rid of bad guys who take advantage of those less fortunate than them, and they make them the victims. Now I could only say that to him after he acknowledged my heritage and how the Family felt about my royalty, as they called it.”
“That is great. How long is this going to continue? Is this a permanent situation?”
“At this point, I do not know. I am kind of taking it one day at a time, but it has never been my desire to stay in the Family, but we all know it is nearly impossible to leave after knowing where all the bodies are buried, sort of speaking.”
“Sounds good to me. I have no problem enjoying being treated like a princess.”
“I am glad you are here. I now implore you to share with me this beautiful sight. Watch as the madam of this evening tips her hat to us as her golden globe says good night for now, and those clouds of earlier that came floating into our lives, no longer to carry rain or usher storms, but to now add their color of magnificence to our sunset sky.”