a Sultry Land

All Rights Reserved ©


Twenty three-

After Dane’s birthday, seventeen people took a day, or two to recover, but Dane had a call from Ruben in the middle of the night, his business was broken into. As silent alarms went off to alert the police, sirens went off in Dane’s head. Ruben said the police are already there, and he is on his way to the plaza.

“Wake Gordon. I’ll meet you there,” he said, hung up the telephone, and checked on Meridian sleeping next to where he lay. Dane fixed her pillows. Dane quietly went into his dressing room. Ruben lived closer than him, unless he, or Gordon plowed a few miles through their manicured property, crashing through their own construction signs were not the way to go.

Dane’s main concern was Meridian. She’d been working around the clock for everyone, looked peaceful sleeping, and felt in bed next to him. They made love that evening, no telling for how long, but Dane, so in love, hesitated leaving his lovely wife. Meridian was still busy since before the boat party non stop, and seemed to have peaked. Even though her art gallery was tempered glass, and bullet proof encased, and cannot be broken, not even from below. The best way was to try to get inside the bolted locks without setting off the alarms in a lengthy time, and drilling the ceiling in the right spots, inside the structures. Everything was insured, but the art pieces at the gallery were irreplaceable.

Dane worried the glass structure which could not be shattered was unharmed, and no one was hurt, but millions of dollars in other merchandise could be lost, and he would have to repay all of it. Still, in his car, he hadn’t heard anything other than what he already knew, and he had to get there. The silent alarm flashing at the telephone made Dane, and Gordon fly off, grabbing a pair of blue jeans, a tee shirt, slid into shoes, and grabbed their wallets, jackets, and keys. Down the spiral staircase came Dane, traveling three silent steps at a time. Gordon was practically right beside him, Dane hopped into his charcoal gray Mercedes, and semi-peeled out of the estate. What’s next?

Dane sulked, driving through the streets of no traffic, felt lonely, and thought of Meridian, and then finally saw Gordon’s headlights behind him. I should have woken her,” Dane felt. Gordon had his choice of cars too, and the car he, and Basil built. He phoned Millicent who also lives closer to the plaza than Gordon, and Dane. The excitement of every forthcoming event at the plaza was everyone’s excitement, and excuse for fatigue, but Meridian was running a temperature.

“Well, I would guess, the heat is getting to everyone,” she shucked her health.

Meridian was used to four changing seasons, not such warm, moist weather, but she had so much more she wanted to do before the new season. Meridian felt a little worse than anyone thought, as they were celebrating all things in business that came together well, and agreed with all the people they hired. They had happy employees which meant a lot, and the excitement of the race track, was on the way, but unwell, Meridian felt flush, and possibly fluish. She didn’t want to upset anyone, and promised Dr. Reddy, and it was some time since she’d seen a doctor, and thought that if she didn’t feel any better soon, she’d schedule a check-up.

“Maybe she’s working too hard,” Gordon said, but really didn’t think work ever bothered Meridian. He just didn’t know if she was seriously ill, and agreed with Millicent, Meridian seemed listless since before the yacht party, or unless Dane was around.

“Meridian hadn’t been looking well, and I’m worried,” Millicent said. “She said she couldn’t beat the heat this year, but she seems fragile.” Summer hadn’t fully reached the sultry lands yet, so Millicent brought concern to Gordon, to ask Dane to question Meridian’s well being only days ago. He had to admit, she quieted, seeming heat exhausted.

When Dane asked if she was okay, Meridian said yes, even though she had that edge of doubt about her, which made Dane ask her to let him know otherwise, because he can take her to his doctor. He would die if anything was wrong, or bad happened to Meridian. She knew she was his everything, and didn’t want to alarm him, and felt she had a flu. Dane would pay any amount of money to get her well. Meridian woke, and found Dane gone. She looked at the monitor, and saw Millicent coming. She put on a robe, and went downstairs to let her in. Gordon phoned Millicent from his car, and said, “the stores could be shattered.” It was close to sunrise when Cook heard what Millicent said.

It was close to sunrise, and Miss Enid just hung up with Gordon.

“Did I hear what he said correctly?” Miss Enid Rae rushed to the front railing of the second floor, “Yes. It’s true. Come on. Let’s go!” Millicent waited only a few minutes for Miss Enid, and Meridian to dress. Riding up, the police had the area surrounded, and Dane, his eye on the gallery, and to his relief it wasn’t blazing, and seemed unharmed. The police assured him no one was hurt. No one was at the scene of the crime, or the surrounding area. The police immediately rushed in silence when the alarm went off, patrolling the area, and quietly rushed over in pursuit of any suspects, but saw no one.

Up close, Dane saw something that resembled starting a fire, relieved Ruben walked up from the back of the plaza, and said he couldn’t see anything was damaged. Dane’s building’s were inflammable, and nothing caught fire, but blood was spotted on a piece of metal recently sawed. Grind’s left in the grass, and nothing left on the walkway, but in a few minutes, detectives found all sorts of breakin devices at the scene, with no luck penetrating the building. They derived, the criminal(s) wanted to create an electrical fire, but heard the police rushing from two blocks over. The culprit(s) left the scene of the crime, the police assumed on foot, and just in time.

There were footprints, but they were lost in the grassy landscape. The police said they wanted to hex the business into an eye sore. By the time the police finished statements from Ruben, and Dane, Millicent pulled up with Meridian, who ran directly into Dane’s arms. Millicent went to Gordon’s side, and he put his arm around her, as Enid Rae was climbing out the front seat of his car. Enid didn’t didn’t think Dane needed the excitement, but anxiety ruled, and he could understand their coming, happy for Meridian at his side. No sooner than they arrived, the detectives, Gordon, Dane, and the police noticed that a car started diagonally, across the street.

Everyone turned their heads, and then the officer’s put their hands on their weapons. The sound’s, and motion of them raised suspicions. At dawn, there were no signs of people, and no traffic in the forty five minute investigation, and then suddenly, a car started. One detective started walking across the grassy ground to the sidewalk, to flag the car for questioning, but the car shrieked off, and the police, and detectives widely dispersed, as the car rolled into the opposite direction! Half of the police, and the detectives jump into their vehicles, and begin what resulted in a high speed chase.

“Who would commit such a crime? Who would try to hurt you?”

Holding onto his wife, Dane could not think of anyone. Ruben fell silent, and ridiculous to mention Victor’s name, but everyone else leaned towards the crime as child’s play, but if Ruben had mentioned him, Dane surely would have looked twice, but had not given Victor another thought. Ruben remembered that meeting they had that time ago, and clearly not Victor, or his comrade Nicholas, wanted Dane to have piece’s of them again. Ruben had no use for Victor, and still thought him stranger than strange, remembering how he twitched when they turned down his offer of letting him into their business, with no assets, collateral, or business plan.

A few blocks away they heard a car crash, and everyone became emotional at the sound of a few dog’s yelps. Meridian felt that something more terrible happened, and everyone else felt it too. A police officer went to retrieve his radio in the patrol car, while Dane, and Meridian held onto each other. Conducting his business with the police, Dane noticed Meridian’s heart beating quickly, and she felt clammy. She did not look as she should, and seemed weak. Dane rocked her calmly, as the current events affected Enid Rae, as everyone, and then, three dogs on leashes came onto their scene. Dane, and the other men slowed the dog’s run, who seemed shaken, and they welcomed their kindness.

Bitten as a girl, the dogs bothered Enid Rae. They’re sweet dogs, but it was unclear where they came from. Gordon looked at Dane, and waited until the other police came back, and on their police radio, he, and Dane heard that the police apprehended the driver, and will bring the man back to the scene of the crime in handcuffs, the man who sped off, and hit a pedestrian dog walker. The dogwalker was crossing the street with seven dogs, trying to dodge the car.

“The car fleeted out of nowhere,” the young man said. Around that corner, people started to wake. The screeching activity was no dream, and a raw way to start the day.

The sun had almost fully risen, and the sound of an ambulance heard from a distance was on their way to the injured young person. People started to peek out onto the main streets, and the police retrieved four more dogs unhurt. The young dog-walker survived the collision although he was banged up, very shaken. He had few cuts, and two broken bones, but was coherent. When the patrol car pulled up, the officer grabbed the suspect out of the back seat, to see if anyone could identify him. He was positively Victor! He wished he could pee himself. Victor Cache’ pulled a crime he didn’t succeed in, and felt badly.

He also ran into a pedestrian in the same hour, and was booked for attempted manslaughter, besides other criminal charges. Everyone just stared, angry to see Victor handcuffed, and pathetic, feeling as shocked as only Dane between Ruben, and Gordon, who couldn’t think of his name. When the police went in pursuit of the speeding car, Dane sat Enid Rae on the back seat of his car. She kept looking, puzzled at what was taking place. The ambulance approached two blocks over, and she could see lights flashing, and then more dogs. Things were muffled to her, and Gordon peeked his head in, and briefed her.

To the police, detectives, Gordon, Dane, and Ruben, Victor tried to deny the accusations of criminal conduct, but the activity was written all over his bloody finger, and the front of his car, later confirmed he was the criminal, and was also booked for speeding, and vehicle manslaughter. Victor sat with that grimace on his face no one would ever forget. Yep. Victor has messed up. Personally. Dane smirked at Victor, shook his head, rolled his eyes, and then looked the other way. Ruben could see Victor shed a tear, and Dane walked away. Victor read his disgust, and turned his head. The sweat on his forehead beaded yellow oils, and when he sighed oily gaseous heat expelled.

It was sad to see the outcome of his fate, but Dane and Ruben were not that surprised. Gordon gave Victor a look that could kill. It threatened Victor to see such a young, put together person, and Meridian, and Dane still stood in comfort of themselves, and Enid, and Gordon looked upon Victor’s shame. No one took their eyes off the police car driving Victor to jail, and he finally looked away from a staring crowd. It was the second time Ruben waved bye-bye at Victor, they saw get angry again, and then, outloud, they laughed.

“What a complete idiot,” Gordon said to his face.

The police car held the back window cracked, and Dane, and Ruben pressed charges, and were able to correct the little damage. Victor will sit in jail in Texas, the state he was born in. He doesn’t think well. Even if Victor could set the mansion, and all the plaza on fire, Dane could rebuild. After witnessing what happened, Meridian thought she needed rest, but instead fainted! Dane felt her slip, and caught her in his arms. The police asked Gordon, and Dane to take an escort to the hospital, so behind the police at record speed, they traveled to the hospital. Miss Enid sat in the back seat of Dane’s car with Meridian, who to Dane’s worry, stayed unconscious in what she thought only a minute.

Meridian felt the fresh air conditioning as she came into herself, and Miss Enid brushed her bangs, and brow. Meridian blinked, but her head still danced, She was light headed, and felt extremely unwell. Gordon asked Millicent to meet them at the hospital. She followed closely, but caught at street lights.

“Is she okay?” Millicent asked.

“I think so. I don’t know.” Gordon hung up the car phone, called his brother, and told him, Dr. Zelig would see Meridian right away. Dane doted on Meridian even more so. She was coherent enough in the hospital. For Dane, things were too serious.

He knew Meridian was peakish, and should’ve made the doctor’s appointment then. She hadn’t any record of her family’s health history, but knew something existed that was deathly strong. Now Dane felt sick, knowing how over the past few weeks, Meridian looked under the weather, and even lost her appetite. Two days ago, Dane asked Enid to schedule an appointment for a doctor. Enid called the doctor’s office two days ago, and her visit was in two days. Meridian did not want Dane to worry but he did. The hospital took every precaution, wheeling Meridian away for test’s, and observation while Dane filled out paperwork. It seemed, a lifetime in the waiting room quietly.

Dane mundanely finished his paperwork after they carted Meridian off for examination, while they all waited for what they had no idea, and Miss Enid started to shift in her seat with her legs crossed. Gordon walked over, and squeezed her shoulder. Enid lifted her hand to Gordon’s, and patted it. He went back to Millicent who hastily decided she would go through the double doors to ask what of Meridian, but no sooner she went to make a move to the locked doors, they were asked to be patient. An hour, and a half later, a nurse wheeled Meridian to them in the waiting room, and Dane was happy to see his wife. She was happy too, but poor Meridian, which meant, poor Dane.

Meridian was fully dressed when the doctor entered the waiting room, and Enid’s eyes lit. Everyone else popped up out of their chairs, but Meridian saw no one but Dane. He stood from the chair, felt weak, and held his wife. Old Dr. Zelig entered the hall holding a chart under his arm, and Dane shook hands with his doctor before he looked back at the chart he carried. Dr. Zelig explained many things, Meridian was not wrong, and the results sounded as if she was going to be okay, and go home. Meridian didn’t feel better than when she arrived, and she knew, if no one else, Dr. Zelig had a but, coming with her diagnosis.

She saw how nervous Dane seemed, who asked Dr. Z if there was anything else, clearly his wife still felt unwell. Dane stood in concern of his wife, who just admitted not feeling up to par, and wanted to know what he could do to make her better. Meridian felt that something was abnormal, and would take medicine if she had to, but Dr. Zelig put his chart down by his side. He had a somber look on his face, as they were all waiting for an answer. He admitted to something else just when they thought they may be free and clear to go home, and were too impatient for their anxieties.

Meridian felt like she wouldn’t be surprised if she was hospitalized, and while they waited for the Dr. Z’s statements, Meridian, and Dane held onto their patience together, and tried not to think the worst, but as the others looked on, the uneasiness they saw in both Meridian, and Dane’s faces scared them. No matter what, they thought they could get through it together. Millicent inched her way to Meridian’s side, pulling Gordon closely. They didn’t seem to mind them there, as everyone was hanging onto Dr. Zelig’s next breath. They felt nervously, and rightfully so.

The doctor seemed to have something more to add to his diagnosis. It seemed too much to handle, but he sighed, and finally spoke.

“There are two things in fact, for you to be concerned about.” They stood to listen, and Dr. Zelig paced himself, particularly careful with what everyone’s reactions might be. Meridian was standing with her husband practically holding her up, and felt so sick, and out of place it hurt. They waited on the tip of Dr. Z’s tongue for an explanation, and then his expression changed.

“Well then, what is it doctor? We want to know,” Dane asked, and the doctor was quite frank with him, and answered.


Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.