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   Chapter 19 The Ravenwood Arms

The Ravenwood Arms By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 21595

Updated: 2018-03-14 10:33


Chapter 19

The next day I knew I wasn't going to get anything done in the workshop and dressed in wool slacks and a nice sweater so I wouldn't look out of place in either Sean's office or later when meeting with James. Since I knew the location and Davis had the vehicle, he was swinging by to pick me up so that we could go together. Even though I knew the day was likely to be filled to the brim with insanity, I smiled on my way to work thinking of the night before and the science of eating chocolate cake.

Knowing it would leave a kink in Sammy's schedule, but seeing no way to avoid it, I left a note for the manager. I left it next to his calendar, since that is where he would first look, and hoped for the best. Then I went to join Sean in his office. While Gina was staring at her phone as though daring it to ring, nothing else seemed amiss. It was almost as if the explosion from the day before had not occurred.

"Good morning, " I said, making the greeting a question. Gina looked up from the phone and smiled.

"Good morning, " she returned looking less frazzled than the day before. "He's expecting you so go on in."

"Thanks, " I replied, glad things looked relatively normal on the surface. I walked past her and into Sean's office. Sean was seated at his desk, the phone already in his ear.

"Yes, I will pass the message along, " Sean informed whoever was on the other end. He scrawled something on a note pad. "No, I am not certain of the timeline yet, but I will let you know. Thank you. Yes. You have a good day as well." Sean hung up the phone. He looked up at me. "How do you feel about Chicago, or Sacramento, or Montreal for that matter?"

"Thinking about running away?" I asked.

"No just fielding questions from real estate agents, " Sean said tapping his pen on the notepad.

"Real estate agents?"

"Yup, wanna buy a second apartment building?" Sean asked. "I now know several people looking to sell and it's not even nine am."

"Got anything in the easy commute range, " I asked half-jokingly.

"Several, " he answered.

I blinked in surprise, my smile disappearing. "Really?"

"Really, " Sean flipped the page in his notebook and handed me a list of several names and numbers. "They all want to know when you plan to buy your next building, after all it is a property group."

I lifted an eyebrow at him. "Yes, " he said waving away my unspoken comment. "I take full blame for the name. I just didn't think people would expect expansion so soon."

"Maybe they'll be satisfied if we add another one, " I told him not really able to muster the anger for an argument as I was the one who got us into the whole mess in the first place.

"Two more at least, " Sean replied. "A couple is two. You need three or more to be a group I think."

"Well the one or two more will have to wait until after my two o'clock meeting. Or I suppose I should say our, as Davis was summoned as well."

"Summoned?"

I quickly filled Sean in on both James and Bradford crashing my date the night before.

"Yeah, there is no way that is a coincidence, " Sean said. "Although James really could have called for that instead of ruining your date."

"I wouldn't say ruined, " I replied with a grin. "But yeah, I'm not buying the whole coincidence thing either."

"Uh huh, I thought you got in pretty late. And while I desperately want to needle you about it, that will have to wait."

"Definitely, " I agreed. "Although building the real estate empire will have to wait too, at least until after two and the fallout from the Commission is dealt with, we do have quite a list."

"First on the list is sorting through tenants. I've been printing out the applications and I've begun to rank them." We talked about the possible tenants and all of the details involved with choosing between the reams of applicants.

"I think we need to get you into your apartment as fast as possible though, " I told him. "Not only because I think you should be settled before we even think about actually becoming a group, but because someone should be in the building."

"In case we get whatchacalit…squatters, " Sean said nodding. Stories from the landlord website I pulled up at the beginning of this project swam through my head in a sickening wave. The thought that any squatters my building would attract would have likely come with magical abilities of their own did not bear thinking about.

"And in case the Commission comes up with some sort of issue, " I told him worried about what my meeting would entail. "Even if they tell me they are horrified by the idea of the apartment building, I can at least tell them I already have someone moving in so we are moving forward on occupancy rather than just letting it sit empty, even if they forbid me to do another one."

"I'm taking off early today to start my move, " Sean said. "I know I was planning for Saturday but I figured a day early couldn't hurt. Or half a day anyway."

"I'm surprised you didn't take all of today off to get it done this morning, " I replied.

"I just couldn't take the whole day today without knowing what the office was going to be like, " Sean replied. "I couldn't just leave Gina here on her own."

"That's probably why Gina has never plotted to sneak into our apartment and kill you in your sleep, " I told him.

"Probably, " Sean said with a smile. "Now about Winston." We discussed dealing with the dog during the move and then shifted back into sorting through the applications, Sean periodically pausing to take calls. The first two categories were simple. While a lot of the applications were from those in town or who were planning to relocate to our fair city in the near future for a job or the University, others lived elsewhere. Those from elsewhere who hadn't been planning to relocate before the apartment building became available claimed to be willing to relocate should they get one of the apartments. Deciding we were not planning to start a migration, Sean and I eliminated those applicants shifting them to a separate pile.

I felt oddly guilty as we began to cull the stack down to something manageable. I had to constantly remind myself that while attacks were on the rise, a set of stout locks usually kept the shadow creatures outside. Apartments above the first floor even kept them from looking in the windows as I had never heard of any instance where the shadow creatures could clim

ecouped the funds I put into the building before moving ahead. The Commission apparently wasn't planning on waiting a year or two for me to purchase my next building.

I looked up from the page to find Townsend studying me as though actually awaiting my response. "I'll have my lawyer look it over and get back to you, " I replied before I could stop myself. James blinked in surprise and Townsend lifted his eyebrow in reaction.

"Alice, " James said a note of rebuke in his voice.

"Of course, " Townsend replied, startling James. "If you could have him contact us no later than close of business Monday it would be appreciated. He took a business card from his pocket, stood, took two steps in my direction and held the card out to me. "Any changes he makes to the statement can be e-mailed to the address on the card. If there are any questions he, or you have, please do not hesitate to call." I took the card, glancing at the info it contained before looking up. "Mr. Malak will, for the moment, continue to accompany you on the Commission projects. He has however been rebuked and his behavior corrected. I hope you bear him no ill will. A pleasure meeting you Ms. Appleton, Mr. Davis, " he said.

Apparently this signaled the end of the meeting as he turned and walked to the door. James stood as he turned the doorknob and let himself out. Davis and I stood and turned towards the door.

"I trust you will be sensible Alice, " James said. I frowned allowing my irritation to show.

"Aren't I always?" I replied. I walked to the door, Davis following, attempting to hide his smile. Bradford was still in the waiting room and he looked up as we left the inner office, an expectant look on his face. Whatever he saw on our faces didn't thrill him and his expression soured.

"You may go in now Mr. Addison, " Marcie told him as we reached the door. Davis opened the door and we left as Bradford walked in to meet with James.

"How much do you want to bet that he arrived thinking he could sit in on our meeting and was told by Townsend that he had to wait outside?" I asked as we walked away.

"That would be a sucker bet, " Davis said with a smile. "As would be betting that Addison expected us to be chastised severely."

"Yeah, he was clearly expecting us to be yelled at, " I replied nodding as we exited the building and walked to the truck.

"Speaking of yelling, I wonder how Malak's rebuke went, " Davis said. We got into the vehicle and after fastening seatbelts, he piloted us towards my side of town.

"I'm more concerned with his post rebuke reaction, " I replied. "He's already quite surly, I'm sure this won't help any."

"True, " Davis agreed. "I have to say though, this is the first time I've ever had an application approved before I've even filled it out. Of course I hadn't actually decided if I was going to fill it out. I was supposed to meet with our board on Monday to go over the paperwork and reach a decision."

"This isn't going to cause you any trouble is it?"

"It shouldn't, " Davis replied. "After all, just because we have the permit doesn't mean we have to use it."

"This is true, " I replied.

"Besides you are going to be very busy in the near future and not only with those two buildings you are supposed to purchase. I'm betting the number of people who call the Commission for shields is soon to go up."

"Probably, " I said resigned. I had the feeling I would be pulled more and more away from the furniture store in the near future. I also had the feeling a conversation with couple of my part time employees about more full time employment might be in my near future.

"Just promise me one thing, " Davis said.

"What's that?"

"Before you buy your next building, let me take a look at it so we can get a scope of work before you purchase it. That way we can actually set a proper construction schedule."

"Deal, " I replied. "As long as you give me fair warning before you accept jobs involving my shielding so Sammy doesn't explode from scheduling trauma."

"Deal, " he replied. "Now let's do something important and make sure Winston isn't traumatized. After all, Miss Sensibility, you need to have your lawyer go over your press release."

"That sounds like an excellent idea, " I replied smiling at him.

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