Slaying Slade - Black Sails - Book 2

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Chapter 17

Sid

We turned on our respective 2-way radios this morning, and now we are waiting for them to say they are coming to get us. We have all of our stuff packed up, or what is left of it. We decided to leave the shelters up that we built, just in case someone else comes along and needs a place to rest.

We both get a beep on our radios, then a man's voice comes on with the same message, "Hello, Sid and Slade. Robert Budding speaking. Your ride off the island is headed your way now. We hope that you enjoyed participating in our contest, I know we are all eager to see how your experience was. We have some things to discuss, but the prizes will be waiting for you in New York tomorrow afternoon. For convenience, we are only sending one helicopter to pick you both up. We can't wait to meet with you both. See you tomorrow. If you can, let me know that you both have received this. Over and out."

"This is Slade. We heard you loud and clear. See you in New York." Slade says.

"This is Sid. Thank you, Mr. Budding. Message received. See you in New York tomorrow." I say with a giggle.

Within a few moments, we hear the sounds in the distance of our ride home. "I'm so nervous, and I don't know why." I say. Slade pulls me into his chest and hugs me so tight. The helicopter is now within full view and starting to line up with the beach. Slade buries my face into his chest and tells me to stay there, he'll walk me to the 'copter. Once seated inside, the cool air conditioning hits me and I feel flushed. "It feels so good in here." I sigh out. The pilot turns and looks at us, smiling when he sees that Slade and I are wrapped up into each others arms.

"You guys have fun on your little adventure." the pilot says to us through our headsets.

"We found love." I say, smiling up at Slade.

"That's pretty good to hear. So you love each other, huh? Wedding kind of love, or the let's see where this thing goes kind of love?" the pilot questions.

"I'd marry her now, if she'd let me." Slade reveals, completely shocking my brain.

"Interesting." is all the pilot says.

We reach a hotel landing pad, and the pilot hands us an envelope. "There's a key card inside. Use it to get to the Presidential Suite. Glad I got to see a happy ending to this thing."

Slade and I are very confused, but collect our bags and make our way to the elevator located just under an awning on the hotel's roof. Using the keycard, we press the PS for the suite. The doors open to a magnificent view of flowers and tables of food, which are both mouth watering and stomach churning. "You okay, Sid? Here lets find you a seat. You're looking a little green." Slade says, pulling a small chair to me. I sit and look around like I've never seen the inside of a building like this before. My thoughts are interrupted and Slade's massage of my back stills when we hear a man's voice.

"Hello. I'm Robert Budding." the shorter, chubby man says. He shakes our hands, although I don't stand because my stomach is so unsettled. "I know I said that I would be meeting you in New York tomorrow afternoon, but when my dear friend, your pilot, said that you two were in love, I just had to see it for myself. Is it true? Did you find love during this contest?" he asks us, smiling and looking eager for an answer.

"Yes, sir. We surely did." Slade says. "I think I would marry her if she would let me, but I'm happy to take whatever she will give me. We do need a favor though." he asks of Mr. Budding.

"What might that be, son?" Mr. Budding, now looking not so eager.

"She needs to be seen by a doctor. Pretty sure I knocked her up. Shit! Sorry. I meant to say, that I'm fairly certain that Sid may be pregnant." Slade says, rubbing his hand over his forehead.

"Well, you don't say." Mr. Budding now looking more like a happy grandparent-to-be than a big time gazillionaire person. "I will arrange for a doctor to come here straight away. Wow! A baby! I didn't see that coming at all. My oh my." he says, pulling out his phone and stepping away to make a phone call.

Slade and I just look at each other. What a strange little man. Mr. Budding walks back into the room, telling us that a doctor will be here within the hour and for us to go shower and that a variety of clothes in all different sizes are available for us to choose from in the master suite. "Wasn't sure what sizes you would need, so we just got some of everything for you." Mr. Budding says. "Once you have cleaned up, come on back out here and eat up. I'm sure you have both missed having some good meals. Plus, I want to hear all about your stay on my island."

Slade and I shower together, because that is what we have grown accustomed to doing. We find clothes that fit us perfectly, and head back into the main room. Slade has me sit down and he makes us each a plate of food, and makes comments about how I needed to avoid the seafoods while he was going down the tables of eats. We eat and tell Mr. Budding all about our stay on the island and how we survived the full 90 days there without the modern amenities. The doctor showed up not long after we were done eating, asked me a bunch of health related questions, took some blood work and made me pee on a stick, which showed positive before I even turned the timer on. The doctor gives Mr. Budding a nod and leaves without really saying anything to us.

"So, when do we fly out for New York?" I ask.

"You actually fly out now." Budding says. "I'm your ride. My jet is waiting for us at the airport." This guy is as giddy as a little school girl.

We make our way via limo to the airport and board a huge private jet. Mr. Budding tells us all about how his late wife loved this jet. He reveals that his marriage to her was arranged, and you can hear how much he loved her in his tone, but they were never able to conceive children. I felt so bad for him. She died last year, he tells us. We learn how he loves to travel and meet new people and hear about their lives. He is actually an interesting person when you get past the overly happy nature he possesses.

We land in New York after hours of being in the air, and get checked into a very swanky hotel. Slade and I are so exhausted that I just want to sleep, but Mr. Budding has different plans. "We need to meet with some members of my legal team before you retire for the evening. Please have a seat." he motions to the large conference table in the middle of the large suite. We sit, Slade and I holding hands, Mr. Budding grinning at us with (what I feel now is) admiration.

A group of suits walk into the suite and take their seats around Mr. Budding. One guy hands him a file folder that looks as thick as an encyclopedia. We may be here a while.

"Hello, Mr. Larson, Miss Alexander. My name is Thomas Zeigler. I'm here to go over some important information with you regarding the contest you entered with Production Powerhouse Entertainment, herein known as PPE." the older, distinguished gentleman sitting directly next to Mr. Budding stated. "Our records have noted that you completed the full 90-day challenge. Is that correct?" he asked, and we both nodded in agreement. "Good. Here are each of your checks, with each being $500,000.00 each." he says, passing a paper check down to our end of the long table. "In addition to the initial prize fund, Mr. Budding has some additional news for you. Would you like to take over on this, Bob?" he asked.

"Yes, I would very much like that." Mr. Budding says with a smile. "You kids did it! You did something that our legal team and our planning team doubted you would do. You fell in love, for one. I told them that in the right situation, with the right two people, that there could be love in three months or less. That's how it was with my sweet Anna. They all didn't believe in the power of love, like I do." he said, wiping his eyes with a handkerchief.

Slade and I look at each other for a second, not understanding what is going on exactly. "Pardon us for not understanding what is going on here, but are you saying that this whole contest was to try and prove that you could be a matchmaker?" I asked.

"Exactly!" Mr. Budding says with a single clap. "Can I ask...are you happy with each other? Are you planning on building a life together from here on out? Do you plan to raise your baby together?" he asks.

"Well, yeah. I mean, I think we are happy. She is moving with me to Idaho, and we are going to build up a ranch together. She is a teacher, so she can still do what she loves while I do whatever it is that keeps me busy. I love Sid, Mr. Budding. Sure, our relationship was apparently created by force, but we are in it voluntarily now. I've told Sid that I can't live without her, and she has said the same to me." Slade goes on to tell everyone, trying to convince them that we are totally good with how we are in this moment. He gives my hand a squeeze, and smiles. "I just love her."

Mr. Budding, wiping another tear, "That is excellent, and warms my soul. Slade, I know about the property that you inquired about back home. Mr. Zeigler, can you pass him the documentation on that property please?" Mr. Zeigler passes down a small bundle of papers to Slade. My eyes fly wide open when I see Property Deed and a red legal stamp across the top that says Paid in Full. The name at the top of the paper is Slade's and mine. My head is spinning right now. I don't know what the hell is going on. I grip the side of the table, and look at Slade before the room goes dark around me.

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