The Trophy Case

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Chapter Four

Thursday Maddy, Elle, Alana and Arlette took the tour of the restaurant, bookstore, vintage/ antique store and wound up in Twiggy and a Half, trying on vintage outfits. Chloe, Rosemary and Kathiah pulled out the treasures they’d been collecting since junior high school, everything from twenties’ flappers to eighties’ rockers. Alana found a psychedelic print Pucci mini with coffee hose and After Nine heels. Arlette choose red leather Mary Quant hot pants, with an ivory André Courrèges blouse, ivory Danskins and red go go boots. Elle found an Ossie Clark mini dress in a distinctive Celia Birtwell print nude hose and black go go boots. Maddy was having problems.

“Jesus,” said Maddy, “Were women taller in the sixties? I can’t seem to find anything that shows my knees.”

“Short people got no reason to live,” quoted Arlette.

“Try this,” said Kathiah handing Maddy a Mary Quant micro/mini shift in a bronze metallic fabric that hit her about mid-thigh. Then Danskins about the same color and patent leather boots.

“So let’s go upstairs and show the men,” said Alana. “Five bucks each in the pool for the first one whose husband drools. As it turned out Elliot beat Roger by scant minutes.

“Wow,” said George staring at Alana, though not drooling, “lost in the sixties tonight.”

Roger headed toward Arlette, but she stopped him. “Tonight, you will make me beg to take this off,” she said, “right now there are more pressing matters.”

“Did Katie get what I asked for?” said Alana.

“Just came by messenger,” said Mikey.

“Okay, then, let’s go over them so we don’t trip ourselves’ up if any of this ever becomes an issue.

“First we have the DNA test results that show Maddy is Connie’s daughter and Kathiah is Peg’s.”

“Just how the hell did you get those?” said Owen. “We can’t get caught with forgeries.”

“They’re not forgeries,” said Alana, “fiction though they may be. This is actual State of California licensed lab results, signed, sealed and recorded.”

“I still want to know how you got them,” said Owen. “We can’t risk anything here; the downside is too great for both of them.”

“If you must know, Doctor Gerald Carver and I are old friends, and he fondly remembers when that came with benefits,” answered Alana. “They are actually in the lab’s database and in the State Police DNA file, which means they will also be in the FBI’s CODIS.”

“And if this is found out?” asked Owen, still pressing the point.

“This isn’t T.V. land Owen, samples get mixed up all the time, if this is actually brought up, which is doubtful in the first place, about all Gerald does is say ‘oops’ and retest. And they aren’t for court, she’s going to settle before she even gets a lawyer.”

“How can you be sure of that?” asked Mikey.

“She’ll be paid rather than be dragged through court again, which, win or lose can be expensive, her last court case lost her money, even though she won. I will simply explain the facts of life to her.

“Now, Mikey,” Alana continued, “this is your copy of the settlement and release, Peg is a Notary and she will notarize it.

“This is the same thing for you Owen. Both were prepared by the law firm you hired in San Francisco; they’re pretty much iron clad.”

“Now, who’s got the money?”

“I brought twenty grand, Owen brought ten,” said Mikey. “Since it was my teenage indiscretions that started all this I figured it was only fair.”

“Three packs of a hundred hundreds, like I asked?”

Mikey put two packs on the table and Owen put his next to them.

“Okay,” said Alana, “Kathiah dear will you take your Mom to the boutique and outfit her sixties like the rest of us, and you wear your favorite. In order for this to work, we are going to have to make Valerie feel inferior and small. Arlette and I will belittle her, her daughters will dazzle her, and Peg will notarize her.

“You will notice that the settlement does not specify the amount. As any lawyer will tell you, it doesn’t have to, if both parties agree to keep the amount confidential. This is usually done to prevent establishing a precedent. In this case, it will allow me to negotiate and save some of the thirty grand. I can gauge how much once I have the bitch in front of me.

“Kat, Peg, go, you’re pissing on the wheels of progress here.”

“Now,” continued Alana, “I thought the Rosselli’s Rolls would make the best impression. Thierry said he’d chauffer. He’ll stay with the car; this will be best if we limit it to the women. If a man is involved she can, at least, claim coercion, and though we will be coercing her, I doubt anyone will believe we poor, little, weak females are capable of that.

“Questions?”

“Why the DNA report?” asked Owen.

“If you will read the Settlement, you’ll see that she will be stipulating that she has read them, Peg will notarize her signature on them. So, if she wants to try and vacate the settlement she will have to admit that she was aware of the fact that Kathiah and Maddy quite possibly are not her children. I doubt any lawyer would even consider taking a case like that.”

“You put this altogether?” asked George. “I didn’t know you had legal training.”

“I don’t, but over the years I have trained more than one lawyer.”

Peg choose a Nino Cerrutti designed by Giorgio Armani that, next to the rest of them was rather demure and elegant rather than flashy, her “daughter” made up the difference by choosing a Pierre Cardin, cut out mini that barely covered the subject in violet velvet with thigh high violet suede boots.

And so the mod squad set off in a Rolls to confront Mommy dearest.

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