Page 14 of Hadley

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“Nothing that can’t wait if you need something from me.” She told him that she didn’t but was going to go over the books again for the foundation funding for their project. “All my brothers and uncles, including my dad, are attorneys, so if you want them to go over things with you, they will.”

“I was going to go and see your dad. He seems the most laid back.” Hadley agreed with her. “Oh, before I forget, someone at the jail called for Levi. I guess he wants to talk to you about something. I haven’t any idea what it might be. I’m sure we’ve said all that we can about them. It’s up to you if you want to go.”

“I’ll stop in to see him. But if he gives me any grief, then I’m going to leave. We have enough going on without having a man that deserves whatever he gets causing us more trouble.” They were in the kitchen when his cell phone rang. “I forgot that I even had one of these. It’s been so long that it rang.”

Answering it with his first name only, he didn’t know who would be calling him at this early hour of the morning. When he glanced at his watch, something that he’d never gotten out of the happen of wearing, he noticed the heart on the back of his hand was more detailed and much larger.

Showing it to Colby as the person on the other end finished up whatever they were saying to someone else, she turned both her hands over to find that she had one too. It was smaller than his was by a great deal, but the detail was just as good as his was. Before he could ask her what she thought it meant, the man spoke to him finally.

“Hello? Hello?” Hadley repeated his name. “Yes, I’m aware of your first name, young man. My name is Belvedere Logan the Fifth. I have a deal of a lifetime for you.” He said he wasn’t interested. “Now you don’t know that, dummy. Just hear me out. As I was saying, I have this deal that is going to make you millions upon millions—”

“I have that now. I don’t know how you got my number, but I’d appreciate it if you were to forget it.” Mr. Logan said he wasn’t listening to him. “I listened as much as I wanted. I don’t want to go into business with you for whatever you’re selling simply because that is not the way we do business.”

“Perhaps I need to speak to your boss.” Hadley handed the phone to Colby. When she said her name into the phone, he could hear the man talking to her. “I have this idea that will make your company so much money that you won’t be able to spend it in five lifetimes. With not much in the way of bother from you.” She asked him how much he wanted. “Oh, right to the point, are you? I like that in my business partner. All right, ten million for the first investment will be a good first start. Then after that—”

“You want me to give you ten million dollars of my own money for a start-up business or whatever this is so that I can reap more millions?” Logan said she had the right of it. “I have an idea. Why don’t I just keep my ten million and live off of that? That way, I won’t have to drag your ass before a firing squad for you trying to run off with my investment. That sounds to me like something that would work better for both of us. You and I won’t have an issue, and you get to live a bit longer. Don’t call here again.”

After handing him back his phone, he stared at her. When she asked him what was going on, he laughed again. Telling her that she was going to handle all calls like that one from now on, she grinned at him.

“I’m used to dealing with men who think they have the market cornered on scamming people out of their savings. Or land, in my case. Levi and his dad weren’t the only people that wanted this land and all that came with it.” He asked her if that meant her. “It did to some. I think a lot of people thought that it was just a bunch of old crazy ladies living here, smoking pot and drinking dandelion wine dressed in some kind of rag sack and having babies by the billion. When they would show up, we’d put on a show at first, acting like the fainting maids and stupider than shit. But once they started to get a little too comfy with their spiel, we’d run them off with shotguns. The dogs worked well too.”

He was still laughing at the image that he had in his head about GGMa and Colby running off people that thought that they could get the land from them. He was serious with her about her handling all the incoming calls like the one he’d gotten today. People would say and do anything to make a quick buck off of someone else’s hard work, and he hated to deal with them.


Levi couldn’t figure out why things were taking so long for him to be out of there. They’d killed his son. Wasn’t that enough? No way would he believe that his son had killed himself like they had said that he’d done. He was just too happy with life to have done something so stupid.

Hearing the footsteps coming down the hallway, he looked at the clock across from his cell. When he’d asked for one, he thought that it would be helpful to him to see the time speed by. But all the stupid thing did was tick-tick like it had more than sixty minutes in an hour. He would swear up and down that, they put half the power needed in it to make sure that it ran about half the time. Levi had thought about having it taken down, but that would admit that he’d done something wrong and that just wasn’t his way of doing shit.

“Mr. Mitchel. What is it you want? I’m frankly sick of you calling my home every ten minutes to have someone come here and talk to you.” He stared at the man in front of him. He knew who he was, but there was something different about him today. “Mr. Mitchel?”

“I heard you. What do I want? I want you to make sure that girl knows that she’s the one that murdered my son as surely as I’m sitting here.” A chair suddenly appeared behind the man, and when he sat, Levi realized just how big the man was. Even sitting down, he was much taller than he’d thought he should be. “They told me that my son killed himself.”

“That’s what I heard too when I got here. They also told me here that you’re not buying it. What exactly are you not buying? The fact that he’s dead or that he did it to himself? I’ve seen the video too. The captain wanted me to know what they were all seeing so that I could tell you that I’ve seen the same thing. The video of the room shows that not one person made any kind of movement to Levi, and as his back was to the camera, there is no other solution other than he took his own life.”

“No. Levi would not do that. He was going to be married soon, and he was looking forward to that.” Levi wasn’t going to be getting married now, he thought sadly. “If you would have done just what we wanted, I’d still have my little boy, and you’d be out of the picture.”

“But you don’t have a little boy anymore, now, do you? I don’t want to be crass here, Mr. Mitchel, but you and your son weren’t good people. Not even close. His dying, by his hand or the police, was bound to happen sooner rather than later.” Levi told him that it wouldn’t have had he kept his nose out of his business. “Are you referring to me marrying Colby?”

“Yes, you shithead. That’s exactly what I’m talking about. What gave you the right to barge into my son’s life and take away Colby. Colby. What a stupid name. Is she named after some cheese? Why don’t people think about what they’re calling their kids so that people don’t have to feel foolish when they have to recognize them at some kind of event.” Hadley asked him if he’d named his kid after blue jeans. “What? That doesn’t even—what is wrong with you? Of course, he’s not named after blue jeans. I don’t even know where you’ve gotten that idea. That woman, Cheese head? Did she tell you that’s what I’ve done? She’s an idiot and needs to keep her damned trap shut.”

“She’s named for her ancestors that have been around here, working their land since before you were even a speck on the radar. And I would appreciate it if you didn’t talk about my wife like that again. I’m not above killing you right now.” Levi asked him if he knew where he was. “I do. However, I don’t think that you understand. You’re in here for a reason, Mitchel. Murder is only one of the many things that were uncovered when the Feds looked into your life. And that of your son. You’ve been hurting and killing people for a great long time, and I’m thrilled that I have had a part in your downfall.”

“You have no idea what you’re talking about. Murder. No, there isn’t any way that you’ve been able to find anything remotely like that in my past.” Hadley said three names, and Levi felt his ass pucker up. “I don’t…who told you those names? I don’t know who they are.”

“Sure you do. I can read your mind, among other things. One of your victims was a Mr. Carl Lemon. He was your long-time business partner that decided that you weren’t contributing enough in the way of working, so he bought up shares enough that you were pushed out. His body is being dug up from your backyard—I wonder why it is that people think that it’s a good idea to bury the dead in their backyards. Do you really think that no one would notice? Then there is Ms. Lillian Porch. Nurse for Donny. When she threatened to go to the county about your treatment of your son, you had her killed by cutting her brake lines and having her have a fatal accident. Little did you know at the time was that her husband and children were in the car with her, so that is going to cost you more than your ass can cover. Five deaths in that one accident alone.”

“I don’t need to hear anymore. You’re just making shit up so that you can justify your involvement in my son’s demise. I told you several times that Colby was going to marry Levi, but you had to go ahead and act like what I was saying to you meant nothing.” Hadley told him that itdidn’tmean anything. That he thought that the better man had won. “Won? You might think you’ve won, but I’m the one that is suffering? I’ve lost more than you think you’ve gained, dummy head.”

While he had no idea what the hell that meant to his own ears, the laughter coming from Hadley annoyed him to no end. Standing up, he realized his mistake the moment that Hadley did the same. The man towered over him by a good two feet. He’d never felt so inferior as he did at that moment. And he hated it. Backtracking on his earlier comments, he tried something he hated more than anything. Turning into a nice person.

“Look. I think we got off on a bad footing. I want you to think on how you’re going to help me out of this mess since you’re the one that put me in it by getting into things that were none of your concern.” He asked him what he meant. That had his temper flaring again. “By—are you even fucking listening to me? By marrying Colby. Damn it all the fuck and back. I want you to divorce her, and then, I can bite the bullet and marry her myself. I don’t know if you’re aware of this or not, but she’s got a great deal of wealth coming her way in the form of me showing her what to do with that land. My son, he was smart in wanting to get his wagon hitched to her, but that’s out the window now. Again, thanks to you and her plotting some kind of shit that was none of your concern.”

“But I don’t want to divorce her. I’m in love with Colby, and I plan on having as many children with her as she wishes. As for the land? That’s already been taken care of. My family is now funding the land to make it a working farm so that people can learn about the way things were before there were a lot of grocery stores around. Growing their own food and working the land is something of a lost art.” Levi called him a putz. “Perhaps to you, but I’m willing to bet that if you or your son were to have had anything to do with the land, it would have been bulldozed and shops that no one but the rich has anything to do with. Of course, it would mean a few more jobs, but that wouldn’t last long. The town would be overrun with people not spending money in their town, and things would go from bad to worse in no time. I’m not going to allow you near her, no matter what you think you’re going to do. She’s my wife, and she will be forever.”

“You say that now but once she starts telling you what to do, then you’ll have a change of heart. It’s the way of women. Unless you knock them around a bit, they’re going to think that they rule you. Women are only good for two things. Fucking and kids. And mine fucked up both of those when she gave me that Donny mess.” Hadley turned and started away from him. “Hey? Where are you going? We’re not finished here. I want you to do what I want, or so help me. I’m going to put you in a world of hurt.”

“You go on thinking that.” As the door slammed at the other end of the hall, Levi could hear the laughter still. The man had to be off his rocker to think that he was kidding him about this shit. That had to be the reason that he wasn’t willing to help him out. Levi sat back down on his cot and thought about the events that had gotten him where he was right now. Not that he really missed his son. He could be a bigger pain in the ass than Donny was, even on his best days. But he didn’t want to have to marry Cheesehead no more than he did his first wife. Christ, what a major fuck up this was beginning to be.