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Home > Ride Steady (Chaos #3)(23)

Ride Steady (Chaos #3)(23)
Author: Kristen Ashley

And my engagement and wedding rings.

I would start with selling the useless stuff Aaron and his folks gave me and then move on to the others when needed.

And I’d find an attorney who would take my case, be ruthless, get me the child support that Travis deserved, and make it clear to Aaron I was not going anywhere.

If that ran out, I’d find other ways, selling the furniture I got in the divorce that I had in storage (well, Dad did, since he paid for the unit) being one of them.

And if it came to it, I’d get on my knees.

I was just going to exhaust all my other options first.

But I wasn’t going to lose my son.

On this thought, there was a knock on the door and I looked to it.

I didn’t need company and I couldn’t comprehend how I’d have any. No one visited me.

But I’d left my car at Ride and I had a day shift at the store. I needed to take the bus. I’d looked up the route and one dropped off about three blocks from the store. But I had no idea how long it took. My normal commute was twenty minutes but I’d added on another thirty just in case.

I needed to get going.

I slid off the stool and went to the door. I looked through the peephole, saw coverall guy from Ride was standing outside (again in coveralls), and with some confusion, I opened the door.

“Hey,” I greeted, ready to tell him he could have called with the estimate. I hadn’t exactly given him my number, but Tyra was office manager at Ride and I’d given it to her.

He spoke before I could.

“Car’s downstairs.”

He held out my keys and my hand automatically lifted to take them.

He dropped them in my palm and continued talking, “New tires. New tranny. New plugs. New shocks. New exhaust. Oil change. Oh, and new wipers. Boys filled the tank and detailed it too. You’re all good.”

I blinked at him. “Tranny?”

“Transmission.”

Transmission?

What on earth?

Those cost a fortune.

“Transmission?” I whispered.

“Yeah.”

“I… uh, asked about an estimate—”

He interrupted me, “On Ride.”

“Sorry?”

“No charge. Ride is covering it. Means Chaos is covering it. You don’t owe anything.”

How?

Why?

What?

He looked behind him, then to me. “Later,” he said, and without waiting for my farewell, or one of the many other things I could have said, he jogged down the open air walk that ran outside our apartment building.

I watched and was about to call out to him when my phone rang. He was already at the stairs at the L to the building and I had a phone ringing so I closed the door, locked it, and hurried to my phone on the kitchen bar.

The display said Unknown Caller.

I took it anyway.

“Hello?”

“May I speak with Carissa Teodoro?” a businesslike woman’s voice asked.

“This is she.”

“Right, hold for Ms. Howard, please.”

“Sorry? Who?” I asked.

“Ms. Howard. Of Gustafson, Howard and Pierce. Hold please.”

Oh no. I didn’t like this.

Did Aaron find a new way to make trouble for me?

Gustafson, Howard and Pierce sounded like an attorney firm. I didn’t need any more of those in my life, except the one selling off Aaron’s false tokens of love was going to buy me.

“Ms. Teodoro,” a more businesslike woman’s voice said.

“Uh… yes,” I replied.

“Right. Hello. I’m Angelique Howard, but my clients call me Angie.”

“Well, okay,” I got in before she kept speaking.

“I received a call from Mr. Allen this morning so I’m introducing myself before I send you back to my assistant. She’ll take the details of your last attorney so we can contact them to get your files. When we get them, I’ll go over what’s been happening with your former husband and construct a strategy.”

I didn’t know what was going on so I started with the easiest part first.

“Mr. Allen?” I asked.

“Yes. Mr. Allen. Kane Allen. Operating manager of Ride Auto Stores and Custom Design. We’re on retainer with them, and my specialty is family law. So I’ll be taking care of you.”

I didn’t speak because I couldn’t.

She didn’t need me to. She wasn’t finished.

“Once I see what’s going on, I’ll ask Leanne to contact you and we’ll set a meeting so we can meet face to face and talk about what we’re going to do going forward. Are you all right with that?”

No. I wasn’t. Mostly because I had no idea what was happening.

“I, well, I have to admit, Ms. Howard—” I began.

“Angie.”

“Right, Angie,” I said quickly. “I have to admit, I don’t know what’s going on.”

“Mr. Allen didn’t speak to you?’

He didn’t. I wasn’t even sure I knew who he was.

“Not really,” I replied.

“Okay, then, Chaos is utilizing their retainer agreement with us to look into what Mr. Neiland has been doing to you. I’ll say from the little I’ve heard that it sounds suspicious. To be honest, though I think this is something that won’t surprise you, Neiland and Belkirk have been around so long, they started the good ole boys network in Denver and they enjoy their status as founding members. Which, I’ll share, I find annoying. Thus, I’m going to enjoy digging into this one.”

“I—”

“So, to end, it’s all in good hands. Just tell Leanne where we can get your files and I’ll start.”

“Well—”

She spoke over me. “Nice meeting you, even on the phone. Have a good day.”

I heard nothing until I heard the first voice come back and say, “Hello again, Ms. Teodoro. I’m ready to take down the information about your old firm.”

“I think I need to speak with Mr. Allen first,” I shared.

“Right. Okay. You do that. In the meantime, give me your last attorney’s details. Angie is raring to go on this and she’s had me clear her afternoon to do it.”

Clear her afternoon?

This afternoon?

“Okay, then perhaps I should speak with Ms. How… I mean, Angie again for a moment,” I tried.

“She’s already on another call.”

I drew in a deep breath.

“Ms. Teodoro, sorry to rush you,” Leanne said when I took my time doing that. “But Angie wants these files by this afternoon so I have to get cracking. Your old attorney’s name?”

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