Other Characters by this Player
There's nothing here yet
Steph just laughed, "Aha! JD, you lose again. You poor dearie. Maybe you should try and date me, seriously a hot girlfriend would really lighten up that grumpy personality of yours."
She then looked at Kat, "A woman of many talents. Including bird psychology......wow."
When it was her turn to clamber into the plane, she stowed her bags first then climbed on in, "Hey, do we get parachutes? I only ask because while I trust the plane, I'm feeling a bit shaky about the pilot."
She grinned at JD.
Steph was carrying her belongings, no where near as much stuff as she usually brought with her on trips but then she realized she was going to be roughing it. Besides she could always buy replacements when she got back to civilization. She was in a good mood, surrounded by dogs and her new friend Kat though she did miss Ava and Louis. But they were back home and safe.
As they approached the seaplane, the grumpier brother popped out on cue. Only this time he was angry at Lucian not her. Over a rooster too. Siblings. Though she had never had one, she had always wondered if she would have made a good sister? Eh, she was a Stroud - probably not. The Stroud family was like a nest of vipers. She had to laugh now at this scene though. That and Kat's remarks.
"Well, if I can't have pizza then fried chicken sounds a whole lot better than raw fish or whale blubber," Steph quipped.
"Miss Stroud, we can only agree to visits to Kat if it is determined that it will not endanger either of you. Personally, I would prefer to keep Kat with us, providing she would agree to that. The problem with that is getting someone out to watch her place and care for the animals," Lucian told Stephanie. "Right now, we do not know what is coming at us. It makes it very difficult to know what course of action is safest for you."
"Steph, you can call me Steph, don't be so damn formal," the brunette rolled her eyes, these two were impossible, "And neither my uncle or his well paid chief thug are going to simply show up and attack me...us. That's all too obvious. Unky Mason's whole act is based on him looking innocent, pure as snow, and setting me up gradually. Then when he can't be connected to whatever goes wrong, that'll be when it happens. I still think he's setting his hopes on the whole insane thing..getting me in some out of the way institution where there will be an accident or even better a suicide."
They agreed to let Kat come along, that was something. Steph had not meant to take her away from her place and her animals but to visit her here. Still Kat seemed quite willing...make that eager to go along so she wasn't going to complain then. It didn't take her long to pack either.
Stephanie petted the two dogs, "Alright, looks like we can go now. "
The one brother left then. Stephanie did not try to make him stay but she also had not indicated in actual words his family were really truly fired. She was making a point. Yeah, that was it. The first sip of the beer was good, though to be honest, she had always preferred hard liquor. But one made due with what one had. The more quiet of the two brothers eyed her then stated his views.
"My brother sometimes doesn't understand that not everyone gets a sense of fulfillment at doing manual labor out in the elements..." J.D. said before his eyes met hers. "...But I do know one thing. Protecting someone from harm works a lot better when you care whether they live or die...and if there is one thing I would think you cared about in this world, it would be yourself. " J.D. glanced around then picked up the first bottle from the fridge, taking a long drink in silence.
"If you mean whether you guys care whether I live or die. I'm quite aware you have nothing but contempt for me and are only doing this because of your father...and maybe the money. Though let me point out, I did say that currently I do not have any access to funds so guess you'll have to rely on my word," she replied then took another big gulp of beer.
"And as far as to whether I value my life...........I do. I at least want to live long enough to see my uncle dead," her smile was telling.
Of course Kat, who truly was nicer than the two brothers and the heiress combined in Steph's opinion tried a little levity to lower the tension. Bless her heart.
"So, you prefer dipping your crabs in Cholula Sauce over actually catching them and plunging them into boiling water? Who would have guessed!"
"I don't even like crab. I do love lobster dipped in butter and I'm also a big shrimp fan too but I'm not gonna jump at their every order like I'm some menial to them. Not when they can't even let me have a drink once and awhile. Hell, I bet I could drink the both of them under the table," Steph grinned and drank from the bottle again.
She was a bit startled when there was Lucian back again. He had come back out of nowhere. Now what? Steph gripped the bottle tighter just in case he was back for round two and was going to try and wrench it out of her hand. Nope, not this time. But no, he just had something to say. As usual Steph listened, letting him have his say. Now he conceded on the beer. Then made a very good point about the lawyer, it was true her uncle was trying to have her committed as insane. He also indicated he believed her, that was nice to know. She doubted JD would believe her if she stated that water was wet.
He went on and she let him finish before responding.
"Pro bono...that's like for free, right? Or payment deferred to later," she guessed, "If I get my hands back on my parents' fortune, you will get paid, more than fairly. I'm not a cheapskate."
"As for terminating your service, honestly dude, I haven't fired either of you or your sister. I just want to treated better. That's all."
He explained then in detail other possible options now on the table for keeping her from her uncle's grasp.
"I love camping. What I don't love is working on some fishing trawler ruining my hands. Oh, and another thing, I want to be able to visit Kat anytime I feel like it. Agree to that and I won't try and run off and do it on my own anyhow," she named a condition of her own then.
J.D.'s eyes widened a bit in surprise as he was not expecting her to put Kat in as a condition. The hundred headaches of keeping her safe around here flooded into his mind, but he could think of worse problems from their charge.
Lucian suddenly snatched the bottle right out of her hand. How rude! He followed that up with a condescending comment.
I do not care what you were drinking under your family's watch. Here, you are still underage." He reached past her for a pitcher of cold water and poured himself and J.D. a glass. "And no, we will not be sharing a bed."
"Boy, this guy is no fun. You sure you don't want to take your chances here?" declared Kat.
"I'm definitely considering it," Steph was beginning a slow burn. One thing everyone who knew the young woman realized was she was terrible at taking orders. Be that orders given by family or people in authority or certainly.....................employees! Which is what these two men now were. They seemed to forget that. And then Lucian made the mistake of adding to the looming confrontation (even if he was unaware that was what it had suddenly become).
"I will put Miss Stephanie to work on the Invictus. Might as well do a little lobster or crab fishing, make some money."
"Work?" Steph raised one eyebrow.
"Oh, seeing that would make all this worth it!" Laughing, Kat glanced at Steph. "And hey, at least it isn't negative eighty out, so it should be a cake-walk! Just watch those pinchy-claws, I hear they can take off fingers in, like, two seconds!"
"Yeah, he's fuckin' hilarious isn't he?" Steph remarked the tone dripping in sarcasm.
"Alright, I think we need to get something straight right here and now. I didn't ask for this whole situation. I got it dumped on me. I got humiliated publicly when I was taken against my will, but then I went to bat for you dudes with the cops so you wouldn't get into trouble. And now you work for me. I have never thought of myself as a demanding boss type at all. You can ask any of the hired help at the Stroud mansion, bet they'll tell you that I'm the really nice one to all of them. But I'm not going to take being treated and spoken to like a child, " she spoke out, hands on hips.
"I want that beer. Hell, most underage adults drink. Take off the goddamn rose tinted glasses. It's one beer in the privacy of a residence not the end of civilization as we know it. And if I can't have it, then I'm firing the both of you. And your lawyer too. And I'll stay with Kat unless she kicks me out. Hell will freeze over before I will risk these nicely manicured hands handling crabs. I didn't agree to hire you so you could tell me how to live my life or fuckin' put me to work in some job I have absolutely no aptitude to do. Strouds don't do manual labor. I'd rather die first. "
And with that she opened the fridge again and grabbed that beer bottle.
Lucian thought hard about taking it away from her again. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he heard his father's voice say, "pick your battles, lad". Still, he was exhausted and his mouth engaged before his brain could stop it, "Suit yourself, Miss Stroud," he said quietly. "Thank you for your intervention with the police. Kat, I will return in a day or two. I need a long quiet ride in the wilderness." Nodding at J.D., Lucian rose to his feet and headed for the door.
J.D.'s features had locked at Stephanie's display. He watched Lucian walk out and he knew he couldn't leave because someone still had to keep an eye on their charge until the situation was decided one way or the other. He then turned and watched her as she stood there with her beer. "My brother sometimes doesn't understand that not everyone gets a sense of fulfillment at doing manual labor out in the elements..." J.D. said before his eyes met hers. "...But I do know one thing. Protecting someone from harm works a lot better when you care whether they live or die...and if there is one thing I would think you cared about in this world, it would be yourself. " J.D. glanced around then picked up the first bottle from the fridge, taking a long drink in silence.
Lucian had now entered the kitchen and immediately informed her that she was going to be taken to his own home in Hidden Basin and then later put on a boat. Steph nodded and grinned, "Ooh, you don't waste time, do you? Already inviting me into your place? So we going to share a bed too?"
But Steph also wanted to say something to Kat too, "Oh yeah, I'd like to stay in touch too. You got a nice place here and I love the horses, dogs, etc. Who knows, if my jailers let me maybe I can come back and we go on another horseback ride......minus the moose in the mud."
Kat was offering the two men cold pizza (ugh) and beer in the fridge. Steph stood up and got to the fridge first, opening the door and grabbing a beer, "Don't mind if I do."
Turning around she pointed out, "Come on, everyone, we're in a private home and it's just one beer. I was drinking hard liquor at the mansion since I was thirteen and my family knew it. "
Kat then admitted she had been only teasing about the conditions on this island place Lucian had been talking about sending the heiress. Stephanie nodded then replied, "Yeah I do need another phone, even if it's just some cheap one or a burner like in those spy movies. If I do call you though, you have to promise to bring pizza when you make your rescue run."
"I think it's an island...not positive but while I have been in a canoe never was in a kayak. Sounds like it could be cool," she smiled.
Kat assured her," Really, though, they'll take good care of you, and with Regan helping, they'll get this all straightened out and life can go back to normal."
Stephanie sighed, "Honestly I've never had what most people would call a normal life. That's not how the Strouds live. We are one twisted bunch. I mean Unky Mason is the worst of us currently but ..........well...I wouldn't wish my family on anyone. But it must be nice to be like you.....I mean to have your optimistic outlook on things. You know what my definition of an optimist is? An optimist is somebody BEFORE the event happens."
Stephanie blinked and set down the coke, "You do?"
After hearing that glorious description, she frowned, "Holy shit. I'm not some pioneer chick. I like the current century just fine, no interest in the Middle Ages. "
"Maybe I should just demand they put me up in a luxury hotel? That's more my speed. I'd demand they let me stay here but Iike I said.......I don't want to bring any more trouble down on you. "
"But I'll be damned if I'm gonna park my sweet little ass in some primitive dump," she huffed.
"Sorry..." Kat replied, "Are they all right? Do they need a place to stay?" Her grin widened. "I have plenty of tents for over night trail rides, and there's the barn...top-notch accommodations, and a shotgun...Uncle Mason won't get here."
"None of it was your fault, nothing for you to be sorry for. But it is mine. It was my brilliant idea to bring them along on my little trip. They don't have any money so I offered to pay for everything. I should have thought it out better and realized that my uncle might lash out at them too," Steph confessed, she genuinely felt rotten about it.
"But thanks for the offer, they're gone though. Lawyer lady bought them plane tickets to go back home - where they belong. The war is between me and my uncle," she answered Kat.
"You won't ever see my uncle show up, he never does anything himself. He sends people to do his dirty work. Lawyers, thugs...he's got 'em all. Speaking of which, if a big dude with a Russian accent shows up here, do not let him in. He is my uncle's main thug and he is as mean as they come. He beat up Louis. He killed my dog. And I'm pretty sure he has killed people too. Shit, I might well have dragged you into this mess now too....not intentionally, but my two rescuers by bringing me here."
Kat now called out that lunch was on as she stood by the door.
"I'd love to stay here, you got a great place but I would only make it unsafe for you. And Lucian and his brother, Attila the Hun, want to take me to some hideaway on another island I guess. We'll see if I can stand it there," Stephanie shrugged.
"Coke! I'll take a coke please!" Stephanie called from upstairs as she grabbed her few things that she had left behind. Her top (and cell phone) were still back at that rave place where she got kidnapped...wait....rescued. She would have to get another phone, the top wasn't important. Soon enough she was back down to join Kat in her kitchen.
"Ugh, I can't stomach cold pizza..........or warmed over pizza...........it's gotta be fresh and hot or it's not pizza," she made a face at the pizza but sat down for a salad. She ate a lot of those so she could keep that toned tummy of hers.
Sipping the coke between bites of salad she looked over to Kat, "Thanks for everything. This is a cool place. And I'm sorry you got dragged into this mess but most of that was the fault of my .............employees. "
"I know you didn't go into the motel room back there but one of my uncle's thugs really beat up my friend Louis. He threatened both of them. And little Ava is like the nicest mousiest girl you'd ever meet. She is the exact opposite of me. I hate that almost everyone I know gets sucked into this death struggle with my Unky Mason. It's bullshit."