CHAPTER TWO HUNDRED and SIX
Wednesday afternoon — 4:25 p.m. P.T./ 5:25 p.m. MT
“Sorry, it’s taken so long,” Seth said as he came out onto the porch at the Malibu house. Lying in a chaise lounge with her toes pointed at the ocean, Ava looked up from her magazine. He sat in the chaise lounge next to her.
“What’s going on, Seth?” Ava asked.
“Jeraine picked up a sound in our recording,” Seth said. “It’s a long story, but it looks like Jer spotted a faulty recording device. None of the men can hear the sound, but the women can. It’s subtle at best and easy to miss, but the sound may be responsible for tanking more than a few good movies.”
“Sounds like lawyers will get involved,” Ava said.
“Probably,” Seth smiled. “What it means to me is that we need to re-record everything we’ve done so far. That’s not such a huge deal since the orchestra knows their parts and the whole machine is working well. It’s just that…”
He reached a hand out to her which she caught midair. She smiled at him.
“I want to go home.”
“I bet,” Ava said. “How long do you think it will take to re-record everything?”
“Couple weeks, tops,” Seth said. “Especially since Jeraine’s on board. I guess they set up everything at his apartment. We can get him the sound every night, they’ll mixed it and add the sound track to the movie. We’ll know what we need to redo in the morning.”
“Is that different from other times?” Ava asked.
“That kind of turn around is unusual,” Seth said. “It can take months or years even, but since they’ve been through it and Jeraine is there, it should be pretty straight forward.”
“Schmidy said you were upset about something,” Seth said.
“Did you tell Westword that my Dad had prostitutes at apartments he owns on Fourteenth?” Ava asked.
“Of course not,” Seth said. “That would be really bad for Yvonne. Why?”
Stunned by his words, Ava’s mouth dropped open and her eyes flooded with tears.
“Wha… What are you saying?” She rocked herself back and forth.
Seth jumped over to her. She let him pull her to him and cried into his chest. He held her as her tears became sobs and her sobs slowed to tears. He continued to hold her after the storm had passed and she clutched onto him like a life raft. When the words came, he shifted back to let her breathe.
“It’s like an answer to a question I didn’t know I had,” Ava said. “Where did all the money come from? Why did we have such a big house? Private schools? Plastic surgery? It’s like I’ve always known and never known at the same time.”
Her face was a wash of sorrow.
“What happened?” Seth asked.
“Barton wrote a story about Dad that says he… did that and…”
“The building caught on fire,” Ava said. “There was a construction crew nearby, Jammy says it was one of Jake’s, they sprayed the building with water so the fire never got too hot so they found… bodies.”
“Four,” Ava said. “Ferg said the women were killed before the fire. If that construction crew hadn’t been there, no one would have ever known.”
Seth’s face showed so much concern that Ava leaned back to look at him.
“What?” Ava asked.
“Nothing,” Seth said.
“Dad had a press conference saying you told Westword because you’re mad that he solved the Saint Jude thing,” Ava said.
“Politicians,” Seth said. “They will and do say anything.”
“You know all about this?” Ava asked.
“Will you tell me everything? Not leave anything out?”
“Are you sure?” Seth asked.
“I need to know,” Ava said.
“I’ll tell you everything,” Seth had the sinking feeling that when he was finished, their relationship would be finished too. She was too young to understand the dark side of love. It would take her decades to understand what he was telling her. “Let’s go inside where we can talk in private.”
Ava got up from the lounger and went inside.
For a moment, his heart constricted with pain and sorrow. Looking out over the ocean, every cell in his body longed to go back to this morning when they’d made love in the shower and laughed through breakfast. He closed his eyes to hold onto the memory for just a moment longer.
Seth had never backed down from anything in his life. The woman he loved completely needed him to be that man today. He followed her inside.
Denver Cereal continues Monday…