Daddy's plaything(61)

By: Bruce Flores

"Will Daddy go to jail?" Sherry asked.

"No, nothing like that," Bruce said. "He'll be just a little less rich than he thought, that's all. You were very wise in contacting me now. It's a hell of a lot smarter than waiting till they liquidate everything and head for Arabia or some God forsaken place."

"I-I don't think Daddy would do anything like, that," Sherry said.

Bruce glanced skeptically at Tony. "I wasn't implying that he would," he said. "But this way we're certain, aren't we? When it comes to money, dear, never trust anyone. Sounds awful, I know, but listen to a veteran who has witnessed example after greedy example that would curl your teeth." They entered the elevator. "Oh, one other thing," Bruce said, smiling at Tony, then at Sherry, "when you get married make up your wills for Christ's sake, will you? You wouldn't believe the delay and red tape you save."

"Who's getting married?" Sherry said, blushing.

"And who's planning on dying?" Tony said. The elevator opened on the casino floor and they exited and entered the main dining room. Sherry and Tony ordered hotcakes and eggs and sausage. Bruce ordered a double martini and the dietetic luncheon. Sherry realized why he had a paunch and why his complexion was ruddy. She liked Tony's friend very much though. He was friendly, told funny jokes and inspired unquestionable confidence. Bruce was on his second double martini when Victor Redgrave arrived. Sherry introduced Bruce to her father, not mentioning that he was a lawyer. Victor Redgrave was visibly distressed and merely nodded at Bruce.

"Is Sheila all right?" Sherry asked.

"Yes, how did she manage through the night?" Tony added, his sarcasm intentional.

Victor ignored Tony with a hasty, "Fine, fine." Then he questioned Sherry fretfully. "Dear, I just returned from our motel. There were some papers and things in one of the – uh – dresser drawers. They seem to be – uh – missing. I was just wondering if I misplaced them. Have you seen them?" Sherry glanced back and forth from Tony to Bruce, not knowing what to say. The moment she had dreaded had arrived.

"They're very important, dear," Victor went on. "And – uh – I noticed that your things are gone. Do you suppose we could have been robbed? Did you take your clothing and things?"

Tony suddenly interrupted the silence. "Mr. Redgrave, your daughter's things are in my apartment along with the papers and things you mentioned. Sherry told me about the checkbooks and things yesterday – she found them by accident – and I advised her to see a lawyer. Mr. Morris is an attorney. Your things are not missing and you were not robbed. Mr. Morris has everything and he will be in touch with you. Meanwhile don't try to write any checks or cash any stocks and bonds?" Victor Redgrave turned scarlet, his face twisted in rage. "You Goddamn meddling Wop!" he said. "What gave you the right to interfere in my daughter's and my affairs?"

"Affairs is right," Tony said, not bothering to elaborate on the sexual aspect of the comment, though he could clearly see that Sherry's father caught his meaning.

"I demand that you return my property," Victor said.

"I don't know what you're talking about," Bruce Morris said, picking up his briefcase from the floor and holding it tightly on his lap. "If and when she gives something to me I'll inform you."

"No!" Sherry interrupted. "I don't want to lie about this. I gave everything to Mr. Morris and he's going to see that everybody gets a fair share. You've been my business manager so you'll get ten percent, Daddy. Maybe even a little more."

Victor tried to grab the briefcase, but Bruce Morris held on tight. "Ten percent! What the hell are you talking about, you ungrateful little – little bitch! Ten percent? Ten percent?"

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