Box of Bones

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Chapter Four

As the day progressed, she noticed a few other things that were slightly odd. She had started the software to rebuild the skull’s appearance only to have the program shut down twice. She had never had the issue of that happening before. She looked at the skull on her desk again and started up the program again.

“I have to do this you know.“, she said to the skull. “That way I can figure out you who are.”

It seemed after that the program worked, but she was still unsure if it was working correctly. It wasn’t showing what she could clearly see. The face that was rebuild was not as she expected. She loaded the software again and waited as she went over the list of tests again. She was sitting in her office when the light flickered again. She looked up and really wondered at the lights and electrical system. She knew it wasn’t in her purview, but she was going to get up and go look at the breakers at least.

The door that she had propped open to get some air flowing in her office which could become stale throughout the day if the door was shut. She glanced at the door. Then she peered down at the skull again.

“I was just going to check on the lights.“, She said. It was like the air changed, and she could feel it. There was tension now. As if a lightning strike was nearby. She knew the area was clear for weather, but it was still growing there in the office. It was so charged that she was spooked when the door flew open. She let out a little yelp. She looked up and saw the director of the museum standing there.

“Geez, you scared me.“,she said.

“Wasn’t expecting you to still be here working.“,he said sternly.

“Why? I have the exhibit to prepare.“,she said.

“I honestly didn’t think you would be working on that now.“, he stated.

“Why wouldn’t I?” She asked.” It is my job.”

" We all figured you would wait till the last minute and throw something together.“, He replied caustically. She naturally flinched.

“Not my style.“,she replied.

“Who knows what your style is? The only thing we really know about you is the fact you have Lou Gambits money to throw around.“, he said.

“That isn’t exactly true.“, she said. ” Lou is my godfather, yes. However, you picked me for my knowledge not because I was his niece.”

“We picked you because we thought you would be a good fit here. Obviously, we were not all on the same page.“, He said. Each word was a blow. Every word led the air to get more and more chilled.

“So what are you firing me for doing my job? I am trying to help the museum.“,she said.

“What exactly happened in the load bay earlier?“, he asked.

“Trumbull was next to a box arguing with me over having to clear the bays. The box was tilted and off center.“,she stated. “I place the crate back to center to keep it from tipping over. I turned to leave, and a minute later the crate fell on him. It should all be on the video.”

“You didn’t purposely push the crate so it would fall?“,he asked.

“Why would I do that?“,she asked back. “No, I pushed it back to center. I wasn’t even standing near the crate or him when it fell.”

“Oh.“,he replied.

“It is clear on the video surveillance cameras.“, she said.

“I didn’t check those yet.“,he stated.

“So instead you took Trumbull word as gospel. I didn’t say anything when you moved me down here, I didn’t say anything when someone on the executive staff told everyone I was related to a billionaire, but I will say something about this. Trumbull and everyone else here is acting like an actual exhibit is a problem. We are a museum first and a research facility second. Did everyone here forget that?“,she asked.

“You are out of line!“, he said in a huff.

“Am I?“,she asked.

“Yes, young lady you are.“, He stated. Then he smiled at her, and she felt completely creeped out by it. “We may have to re-evaluate your position here.”

“Then reevaluate it.“,she said.

“You are quite sure of yourself.“,he stated.

“You do realize, of course, that if I go because your re-evaluation is unfair that you will lose donors?“,she said.

“One donor possibly.“, he satiated as he nodded.

“Most of your donors.“, she said with a smile.” Lou has a way of getting people to follow him. If he leaves, I will bet you will lose half or more. Then, of course, the lawsuit I will bring for wrongful termination of accusing me of not doing my job which I seem to be the only one here who actually does both sides of my job. Do you think Lou’s money could buy me the best lawyers who could tie you up in legal fees for years?“, she stated.

“You’re going to blackmail me, little girl?“, He asked as he stepped closer to loom over her. She felt the sweep of wind next to her and the hair stand up on the back of her neck.

“I don’t threaten anything. I am merely saying things.“, She said as she stood her ground. Verbally she could spare with the best of them. She was taught well with the inflicting torment of her mother over the years. “It is really your choice.”

“We will still re-evaluate your position.“, He stated. She tilted her head and inclined it.

“So be it.“, She said. She then turned her back and let out the little sigh she had been holding. She didn’t see the door slam back on the man she had just gone at it with. She didn’t see what made him scream as he ran out of the room. She looked at the skull again.

“What did you do?“, She asked the air. She began packing up her things. She knew it was only a matter of time before she did receive a pink slip. She looked at the crates and wondered if she should pack them up too. “I guess I will take you guys home as well.”

She waited till she knew the staff was gone. She had taken her time packing up her office. She didn’t have many personal items in the office, to begin with. She moved everything thing to the loading bays when a truck pulled up.

“Heya Princess!“, A familiar voice said. She looked up and saw the delivery driver from the night before. She smiled.

“Hi!“, she said welcoming the distraction from going to her car. “Another delivery?”

“Yeah, but what are you doing?“, he asked looking over the five crates she had on the platform.

“Leaving.“,she said.

“Leaving as in quitting?“, he asked.

“Leaving as in preparing to be let go.“,she said with a smile.

“Oh. I thought you were one of those fancy doctors that deal with this museum stuff.“,he said.

“I am.“, she laughed. ” Apparently though I am the only one who wants to do their job and I guess around here that is a bad thing.”

“Really?“, He asked as he laughed. The sound was warm and pleasant. “Well, I guess this won’t be my favorite stop then.”

“It was your favorite stop?“,she asked.

“Yeah, kind of. There is this pretty little Doctor that works here. She always turned me down, but I was hopeful. That one day I would wear her down.“, He said with a wink. He went into the truck and got the two smaller boxes and put them through the slot as he looked at her. “That was my last delivery for the night. Need some help moving those?”

“Wouldn’t that be like more work for you?“, she asked.

“You can pay me back though, sweetheart.“,he said.

“And how exactly would I do this?“, she asked with a smile.

“Let me buy you a Drink?“,he suggested, and she smiled even more.

“So let me get this straight you want me to pay you back by letting you buy me a drink?“, she asked.

“I think that is the best payment you could possibly give me.“,he said.

“Then deal. I think I need a drink after today.“, She said with a smile. She looked at his smile as it grew. Something about him was so familiar but still just out of reach. She went to get her car, and he laughed when she drove up.

“Princess, there is no way you can load up that thing with this stuff.“, he said as she looked at her car and then the crates.

“Damnit.“, she said.

“It’s okay. I can load them up in here and then put them in my truck at the depot.“, he suggested.

“You would do that?“, she asked.

“Yeah, but the price went up.“, he said with a smile.

“To what exactly?“,she asked with a laugh.

“Two drinks and a dance.“, he said.

“Still a rather good payment.“,she said.

“I really like your style, Princess.“, He said. He loaded up the truck and jumped in the driver’s seat. “Follow me.”

She felt the wave of the air as she got in her car. She went to start it and when she did the truck started too. She was never impulsive. She felt better about everything today already. She had hoped she would see him again. A flash of something passed over her body like a memory but something more than that as well. She wondered if it was because of the bones or because of him. She really should get his name.

She pulled up behind him with enough room for him to move the crates to his pickup like he said he would. The crates weren’t that heavy, so it was easy work for him. She watched as he worked, she admired his strength and of course his body as well. “Hold tight here Princess. I will be right back.”

She nodded, and the truck went off, and he turned everything in for the rest of the weekend. When he came out, he was changed into a set of regular clothes. He smiled as he approached. “Ready?”

She nodded, and he led her to a small hole in the wall bar that wasn’t too packed for a Saturday night. He hopped out of his truck, and she went to get her door, but he was already ready there opening it and placed his hand out for her to take.

“Thank you.“, she said. “I thought chivalry was dead.”

“There are a few throwbacks.“, he said, “not many like me left.”

“No there are not that many like you.“, she said with a smile.

“Of course there aren’t that many like you either.“, he said as he opened the door for her.

“Not sure if that was a compliment or not.“, she said with a smile.

“You, Princess, are really one of a kind.“, he said.

“Again not sure if that is a compliment or not.“, She said as he pulled out the chair and waited until she was seated. She wasn’t sure who taught him such manners, but it definitely made a good impression.

“You only get compliments, sweetheart.“, he said as he sat.

The waitress walked up, “What can I getcha?”

“House tap for me.“, he stated.

“Whiskey sour.“, she said, and the waitress went off to fill their order.

“That bad of a day?“, he asked.

“I told you it was.“,she laughed.“By the way, I don’t even know your name.”

“Nikolaus.“, he replied.

“Hello, Nikolaus. It is nice to meet you.“, she said as she held out her hand.

“Trust me, Princess. The pleasure is all mine.“, he said as he turned her hand over and kissed her hand instead of shaking it.

“Are you real?“, She asked as she tilted her head. He threw back his head and laughed. He smiled and looked at her.

“Do you often wonder if your dates for the night are real, sweetheart?“, he asked.

“Well, those other dates are nonexistent, so I do have to wonder.“, she said.

“Nonexistent?“, he asked.

“I don’t date much.“, she said.

“Why is that?“, he asked.

“I am apparently heir to a billionaire.“, she said.

“Okay if you don’t want to tell me.“, he said eyeing her features.

“And if I told you I am a hundred percent telling the truth.“, she asked.

“You’re not kidding are you?“, he asked as he looked her over again.

“Sadly I am not.“, she said. “Trust me I will understand if you just call it a night.”

“Why would I do that?“, he asked.

“Look I understand when people find out about my uncle they either want something from me or they want nothing to do with me.“, she said.

“I do want something from you, Princess, but it has nothing to do with your uncle or money.“, he stated.

“What do you want Nikolas?“, she asked.

“You to smile.“, he said as he leaned over the table to brush a stray hair out of her face.

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