A surprising contact; Dustorm & Union.
The sound of the phone ringing downstairs jolts her out of semi-wakefulness and reminds her, as the caller gives up while she's still on the stairs, that they need to hire a new secretary. And maybe start looking for a third partner, since it doesn't look like she's going to be having much free time in the near future. That thought, in turn, serves to jump-start her thinking for the day, and she dives into the neglected chores of the business with something close to relish. Ling remains absent--around midmorning Beth remembers that she's visiting her folks--so there are things that will have to be dealt with later, but she gets a good amount done. Checks up on her boss again. Makes some notes for the meeting that night. Admits to herself that she's trying to keep herself distracted rather than dwell on yesterday, but since she's doing such a good job of it, might as well keep going....
It turns out Stark is doing fine, but he is sleeping under the weight of medication when Bethany arrives. She talks briefly with the doctor on duty. He is pleasant and optimistic, but does make reference to Stark's drinking as an aggravating factor that made the heart attack possible in the first place.
When she returns to her office Beth has a message sitting near her phone. "Please call Alfred Pennington at 555-5555. He has important information concerning a Mr. Victor Dumas."
_Now what on earth can this be about,_ she wonders uneasily, along with _who is this guy, and how did he know to reach me here?_
One way to find out. She doodles a few abstract designs on the blotter calendar's edge while the phone rings.
"The Dumas manor. How may I be of service to you?"
"Good morning, I'm trying to reach Mr. Pennington?"
"This is Alfred Pennington," the man replied.
"This is Bethany Cabe. I received a message that you wanted to speak to me?" Her tone is somewhat puzzled.
"Yes, allow me to introduce myself to you. I am the caretaker, among other things, of Victor Dumas's castle at Glen Cove. I take care of Mr. Dumas's affairs and now that he has passed away I am in the process of going through his will and preparing for his funeral tomorrow. His last will and testament was just recently updated and it says in here to contact you through Stark Industries so that you may set up a meeting before the funeral between myself and the 'Avengers.' I assume you must have contacts with them then? If so, perhaps a meeting tonight would prove to be most fruitful if possible. The will states that I am to provide the Avengers with some information."
"Uh... okay... I can get in touch with a few people who can probably set this up, I guess." What on earth could this be about? "Let me give you a call back later today?"
Arrangements are made quickly; one of the group will come by the estate to pick up Mr. Pennington later that night.
Duststorm & Union
Duststorm finishes her chat with Union, and casually steps over to the edge of the building. Powerful gusts lift her above the edge, and into the night sky.
The flight back is quick and quiet. She stops briefly on a roof top to pick up the luggage she left on the way to the Empire State Building. Changing clothes unseen, she takes a taxi to the apartment. She tiredly fumbles with the keys, only to be let in by Diana, the housekeeper.
"Miss Janet, I was beginning ta worry about you."
Janet smile tiredly. "I'm home now, It was a very busy weekend." Janet relays the weekends events, glazing over the parts about the heroes.
Diana takes the bags, and begins to sort them for the wash. Janet keeps one of the bags, slipping it under the bed. She puts a Belafonte record on the player, and lets the soothing tones remind her of the good they did this weekend. Reliving the bruises and scrapes, she knows she will probably get more if she is asked to join The Avengers. _I should probably start taking better care of myself, this super-heroine trip is hard on a body._
She undresses, and takes a long shower, the hot steam fogging up the mirror. Her head barely hits the pillow before she is deep asleep. Her exhaustion keeps the dreams away.
"Miss Janet, Miss Janet" Diana is standing over the bed, the sunlight cruelly filtering in through the blinds. "You will be late."
Janet listens half-heartedly to the alarm clock banging away. She swats at it, and though her hand misses it slightly, it still bangs to the floor before falling silent. "Thank you Diana, did you stay here all night?"
"Yes'm Miss Janet, I was worried about you."
Janet smiles at the elder woman. Diana had been a part of the family for quite a while, first as a nanny, now as her housekeeper. "Thank you again Diana, but I will be alright." She crawls out of bed, and makes her way to the shower. When she returns, Diana has the bed made, and her clothes laying out. Smells of cinnamon come wafting in from the kitchen. The aroma reminds her of how hungry she really is. She easily cleans her plate, and then makes her way to the office.
Sarah has a stack of papers all waiting her decisions. Janet makes her way through stack. Although Sarah could have easily taken care of the all, Janet is glad Sarah makes the pretense of needing her to run the office.
The morning passes quickly, especially after she quells the majority of the questions about her weekend.
Janet slips on her light coat, and dress hat. She stops on the way out of the office for lunch at Sarah's desk. "Oh, Sarah, I need a favor. I'm planning a little get together for some friends, and would like to rent a room. As close to the top floor of the Empire State as you can get." She pauses for a moment, and Sarah recognizes that the bomb is about to be dropped. ".And its for tonight, I know, its late notice, but things developed in Alabama, and I didn't have a chance to get everything together." They spend a few more minutes discussing the details, menu and seating and such, before she leaves to meet Adrian for lunch. Sarah just grins. "I'll take care of it all. Don't you worry."
And so Janet heads out to meet her lunch date.
Adrian enters the restaurant a few moments late. He had gotten up early and been busy getting the shop back in order, wearing the suit to fix the things that needed to be fixed in the fastest amount of time. Then making calls, greeting customers, making excuses for the week of absence, and then locking the store from 11:30 to 1:00 for the lunch meeting. _The numbers for this month will be a mess,_ he thought as he strode into the restaurant Janet suggested for lunch during their brief phone call this morning. _I really need to get some part time help to cover these repeated absences. The flurry of activity seems to be doing me a world of goodI haven't felt this healthy since, well, the War._
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