The Party Girls – Part 4









8.30 pm

Nob Hill


“Lady Angelica Fitzstuart and Mister Harry Southworth

“Abigail, Countess de Ros and Mister Anthony McNally

“Miss Sharon Kennedy and Officer Cadet Todd Verducci.”


“Oh,” one of her sisters said to Trina, “a man in uniform.”


“Not tonight,” Trina said as she greeted them.  Angel and Abby were wearing silver gowns, while Sharon wore a red velvet evening dress with a matching fur wrap.


“I see Joey arrived as well.”


“Oh yes – she got here earlier with a friend I asked to act as her partner,” Trina said as Joey walked over.


“Hey girls,” Joey said with a smile.


"Well?" Trina asked Joey.

"He dances beautifully,” Joey said, “but does he know how to talk about anything other than mediaeval history?"

"Yeah it's a drawback, but I told you I'd get you a great looking, intellectual, who can dance..."

"You didn't include a good talker in your wish list." Ally joined in.

"I can't provide what you don't ask for,” Trina giggled.

"That will teach me to be PRECISE next time." Joey laughed as well.

"Pardon me,” her escort said as he came over, “are you a descendant of Count Alois von Kliebersdorf-Obersacken of Teutonic Knights fame?"

"I am Edwin."

"Oh how fascinating, I'm dancing with a countess who descends from one of my great heroes."

"Oh NOW she's in trouble." Ally whispered in Trina's ear.


“Mary – you made it,” Abby said as she and Angel walked over.


“Oh yes – David, this is Abby de Ros and Angel Fitzstuart.  Girls, my brother David.”


“Pleasure to meet you,” David said as they both kissed him.


“You never said he was a handsome hunk,” Angel said with a smile as he blushed.


“So where is your escort,” Abby asked Trina.


“Oh – you mean him?”


The girls looked at the beach blonde young man talking to some of the sorority girls.


“That...  That’s Marc Shapiro.  Isn’t he opening a new film next week?”


“Indeed – i think he’s trying to sell tickets...”


"WOW!" the jaws of a horde of debutantes dropped in sync.

"And this one can converse." Trina laughed.


“Good evening ladies,” Marc said as he came over, “would you mind if i took Trina onto the dance floor?”


“Miss Charly Elphburg and Mister Victor de Savoie.”


“I am so glad you made it,” Trina said as she hugged the princess.  Charly was wearing a dark brown velvet dress, with a matching bolero jacket and suede heels.


“I’m just glad you ignored protocol for once,” Charly said with a laugh, “Mum and Dad know, and for once they’re turning a blind eye as well.”


“And your escort?”


“You obviously haven’t looked too closely at some of the catering staff.”


“Fair point,” Trina said as Charly spotted Mary.


“Girl, you look amazing!  So this is what young Kylie did for you?”


“Oh yes,” Mary said with a smile, “and now...”


“Now,” Winston said as he offered his hand, “I believe the next dance is mine?”


“Well, since you asked so nicely...”


Winston smiled as he led Mary onto the main dance floor, while the couples mingled and talked to each other.


“So you’re both students as well,” David said as he stood with Tony and Harry.


“Yeah – I’m at Cornell and Harry here is at Cambridge.  What about you?”


“I’m waiting to hear if my late application to Stanford will be accepted.  If so, I think my dad will be so proud he will almost burst.”


“I’m sure he’s already very proud of Mary.”


“Oh yeah,” David said as he watched her pass with Winston, “we all are.”




“Ah Diana,” Rebecca said as she joined the parents in the large room, “may I offer you some champagne?”


“Thank you,” Diana said, “it was a good idea to have us slip in the back, and leave the main entrance to the younger generation.”


“Well, by the sound of things, they certainly seem to be enjoying themselves.”


"I have to say your house is wonderful." Diana smiled as she stood next to her hostess and looked round.

"It's coming along,” Rebecca said, “give us another 150 years to add to it, and it might start coming close to yours in Europe."

"That's a VERY good line." Kelly Rochermann laughed, "and just wait till you see the de Ros chateau, it is indeed representative of centuries."

"Well what it is is a tribute to Valeria, not to me I'm afraid."


“Ah yes – the family matriarch?”


“In a way,” Diana said as Tracey came over.


“So Abby’s eighteenth – at Chateau de Ros?”


“That is indeed the plan,” Diana said quietly, “now we need to work out the logistics.”




"So where is the lovely Jeannie tonight House." David asked.

"On a school trip to watch 'The Rivals'. She starts on restoration theatre in her English Lit class very soon."

"That's the sort of thing I thought people like me did, not big time models like her."

"Just always remember your sister David, whatever their public persona, top models are just ordinary people underneath."

"Just like stars of the gridiron are really just a mass of muscles underneath." Tony smiled.


“Well yes – in a way.  And trust me – Jeannie’s no weakling.”


“I am not even going to think of playing that one,” Tony said with a smile.


“So how’s year two going for you?”


“Not bad – pre-law’s tough, but good fun.  What are you thinking of majoring in, David?”


“Honestly?”  David looked round and said “English Lit.  Mary loves books, and it kinda rubbed off on me.”





"Your dress is by Kylie Mitchell?" one of the Stanford girls looked in awe at Mary, "I read about her work on the APCO show."

"How did you ever get it?" another asked.

"A friend of a friend put us in touch,” Mary said with a smile, “I told her what I had in mind, she did a set of drawings, and this was the design I liked most."

"Wow,” the first girl said, “you models are SO LUCKY!"

"It has to be said that it is a magnificent dress," Trina joined the conversation.

"Well not as lovely as yours Trina." Mary smiled.

"Thank you Mary, but honestly I think yours is top competition."

"Who designed Abigail de Ros's?" yet another Stanford girl asked.

"Alice MacKinnon...all her dresses this season have been by Alice."


“Now that is what I mean – to know those designers on first name terms...”


“Trust me, it can be fun,” Trina said as she steered Mary away.  “So – still feel you’re been looked down on?”


“Honestly?  No – but come on Trina.  I’m never going to be the same as them.”


“Well, if David gets accepted, he might be.”


“I know,” Mary said as she watched him dancing with Nell.  “But I still need to be grounded.”


“Which is what we all love about you Worker,” Trina said with a smile.





"Well he might be a bore, but boy can he tango." Ally shook her head as Joey's escort delivered her back to her friends.

"He looks very light on his feet, he might even give Winston a run for his money." Charly noted.

"It's a good thing that you dance it almost as well as he does Sis," Nell sipped her drink, "did you see the people staring."

"I did, and I hope people didn't see me yawn as he explored the history of the Teutonic Knights."


“And I thought you were the History student?”


“Har har,” Ally said with a smile.




“Madeline darling – what brings you here tonight?”


“Representing Missy, if truth be told,” Maddie said as she took a glass and smiled at Diana and Mandy, “she was invited, but wasn’t able to some, so I am the representative for Norstar.”


“Madeline, thank you for coming,” Rebecca said, “just tell me you’re not bringing bookings from Missy.”


“Not tonight – I’m the face of the agency, nothing more, nothing less.”





“Enjoying yourself,” Mary said as David brought her over a glass of champagne.


“Actually, I am – I mean, most of them probably spend what i could earn in a year in the auto shop in one shopping trip, but still...”


“We’re only human, right?”


“Hoist by my own petard,” David said with a smile.  “What about you?”


“Yeah,” Mary said, “I mean I still think I’ll wake up and it’s a dream, but I am really enjoying myself...”


“Excuse me – would you be David Clarke?  I heard you are making a late application to Stanford young man?" a tall, distinguished, grey-haired, man asked.

"Yes,” David said with a smile, “and I'm hoping and praying they understand why."

"Which is what?"

"Well given my financial circumstances it always looked an impossible dream...our local community college was about my level."

"But then your sister became a famous model?"

"Well yes,” David said as Mary blushed, “and Mary says she can afford Stanford for me."

"Well you are fortunate in that young man...”  Taking a sip from his glass, he said “Tell me what are your grades like?"

"Straight A's."

"And your extra-curriculars?"

"JV basketball, drama club, auto repair club."

"You seem well rounded young man."

"Oh I wouldn't say that." David blushed.

"Well I wish you luck young man," the older man shook hands and vanished in the throng.

"So what did Dean Hopkins have to say?" Trina came over and asked.

"Oh he was just being nice and asking about my late application."

"Well he's a good person to do so."


"Oh he's the Assistant Dean of Admissions."


Mary and David looked at each other, as Trina said “Daddy wants to make an announcement.”







Dave punched the air as Stephen Curry shot another three points, Alan smiling as he watched.


“Well, it’s certainly different from the Celts at Philly, I’ll grant you that,” he said as he opened another can.


“Well, you have to learn some time,” Dave said with a grin.


“Ever go to see them live?”


“When I was a lot younger,” Dave said.  “I took Mary with me to see the ’87 Western Semi.”


“Mary?  Your wife?”


Dave nodded as he took another drink.  “I look at Mary now, I see so much of her in her eyes – especially now that she is not working all the hours God gave us.”


“Was it tough?”


“Yeah,” Dave said, “but when we look at the others and how they’ve turned out, we couldn’t be prouder either.” 


Alan smiled as he cheered another basket.


"So does your daughter have a regular boyfriend Alan?"

"Not quite yet, but young Cadet Verducci might soon be." Alan paused, "You remember Rusty Verducci, used to play for the Bears?"

"Just about, in the early seventies right?"

"That's him...well Todd is his grandson."

"Is that know Mary does know some real interestin' people."

"Does Mary have a young man?"

"No not really,” Dave said quietly.  “At school they all made fun of her because she was this extra tall girl with no curves if ya know what I mean?"

"Yeah, we men at that age are stupid,” Alan nodded as he spoke, “we forget that girls like that do eventually fill out."

"Well they called her The Stringbean, and the only real date she ever had was set up as a joke on her."

"Poor kid," Alan shook his head. "I hear they called Abigail de Ros, 'The Stick'."

"We men can be so dense..."

"And other girls can be so vicious." Dave interrupted.

"Well ever since she quit school she's been too busy to have a social daughter has never ever really had a date in her life."


“So if one day she finds someone?”


“She’ll tell me, and bring him to meet me – and then I haven’t the foggiest what I will do!”


“In that, we are also alike,” Alan said as another basket went in.






“So when do you hear from Cooper Union,” Fiona asked Abby.


“End of March, same time as everyone else – but I’m hearing encouraging sounds,” Abby said with a smile.  “So where do you go from here?”


“Back to Cornwall tomorrow, then Newcastle on Tuesday.  Got some things to catch up on.”


“Yeah - you should see the pile of assignments I need to get finished between now and next Friday.”


“Oh yeah – so what have you got planned for the weekend away?”


“Hang on - You and the family are missing Mick's concert?"

"Honestly,” Fiona said, “when you've heard my brother sing as often as we have it gets pretty old."

"Well I know Mary's sisters are dying to meet him."


“I like her you know,” Fiona said as she saw the young model talking to some of Trina’s Sorority sisters, “a lot like you.”




“Oh don’t worry – she’s as straight as they come.  I mean the way she looks and carries herself.”


“And she’s tall?”


“And, as you say, she is tall...”




“Is everything all right Sharon?”


The young woman turned to see Sam Gordon standing beside her.


“Sorry – I just wondered what Dad was up to?”


“He went to see Mary’s dad, right?  Mum said they were at the lunch, but the only two men there.”


“Yeah – Dad told me they felt like prize exhibits.”


Sharon smiled as Todd brought her a drink.


“So what’s next for you?”


“Catch up on work, and then the London Season.  Are you coming to the Medoc in June?”


“Abby’s party?  We’re invited but I don’t think Dad’s said anything yet. You?”


“Oh yes – I hope you can come...”


“I do as well – I like Abby, she’s a good kid.  Did you know her before the season?”


“No – her mother and my mother knew each other twenty years ago, but they didn’t meet for a long time until the Paris ball.”







“So gentlemen,” Charlie said as he stood with Archie and Will, “back to normality for us next week?”


“Or as close to normality as we get,” Will said with a smile.  “I presume you have all accepted your invitations for April?”


“I was surprised to get one,” Archie said, “Juliette never knew Victoria that well.”


“I think she’s about repairing broken bridges these days,” Charlie said, “in a lot of ways.”


“True,” Will said, “she and Klaus probably should have married years ago, but then, as Klaus says, there would have been no Ingrid.  So in the end, things work out.”


“So what are you going to get as a wedding gift for them?”


“Oh Mandy has something very special arranged,” Will said with a smile, “and no – it’s not a pig, before anyone says it!”


“I’ve secured a cask of twenty five year old Malt from our distillery – it should be nice and ready for their retirement,” Archie said with a smile.  “What about you Charlie?”


“Oh I’m saying nothing – save one of my old mines has been at work...”




As the band stopped playing, David and Charly applauded before he led her off the dance floor.


 "I heard you couldn't dance David." Charly smiled.

David blushed before he said "Well The House...I mean Winston, gave me a few lessons."

"You should keep taking lessons, you aren't bad."

"Without sounding too much like a dog I hope, Charly,” David said as he escorted her to a chair, “a real-life princess like you can make any boy look good."

"Oh and you know how to flatter a girl as well." Charly laughed lightly, as David yet again blushed.

"I don't suppose I can persuade you to be here in April can I?"

"For what?"

"For my prom."

Charly looked closely at him.  "You haven't got a date already? A handsome boy like you?"

"Now you are just making fun." David looked into space, "most of the girls at school treat me like I'm nothing."

"Well if I was here I'd be your date Cherie, but unfortunately I have my university exams."

"Well at least it's a better excuse then that you are washing your hair that night."


“I am flattered however – thank you for asking.  Perhaps another time?”


David smiled and bowed as some of the other girls came over.


“Oh – and what has got you so amused?” Trina asked as she joined them.


"Oh I just had the sweetest thing happen girls."

"And what was that Charly?" Fiona asked.

"David Clarke asked me to his prom."

"You mean he doesn't have a date?" Nell asked.

"It seems that the local girls treat him like a social pariah."

"Easy to explain why..."

"Oh,” Nell said, “and what might the reason be dear twin?"

"Simple," Ally smiled, "girls who go out with a guy want to be shown a good time, poor David hasn't ever really had any money to spend on a girl."

"Oh surely San Francisco women aren't that mercenary?" asked Samantha.

"We all are underneath," Ally sipped her champagne, "would any of you accept a first date that was basically a hot dog and a walk in the park?"

"Maybe...if the boy was ULTRA cute." Samantha mused.

"Oh that's crap Sam, you'd turn him down flat, no matter how good he looked."

"I have to admit I can see Ally's point." Trina mused.

"Well maybe we need find him a prom date then?" asked Charly.


“Hmm – let me sound out my sisters, and see what they think...”


As Trina walked round the rooms, she smiled at how much others were enjoying themselves – the party was proving to be a great success, and her fears were fading away.




“Oh hi Joey – enjoying yourself?”


“Immensely,” Joey said.  "Listen - who is the girl with the big glasses on Trina?"

"Which girl?"

"Her," Joey pointed to a girl with curled brown hair, wearing a blue dress with short puffed sleeves, "She looks totally out of it."

Looking over, Trina said "Her?  That's my cousin Sally Murphy, and you know I'd forgotten she was even here."

"Well she is the type who just seems to fade into the wall-paper."

"I know," Trina thought hard, "I wonder if anyone has even asked her to dance yet?"

"I'm not sure, are there no boys here she knows?"

"Very few I guess, she's a junior at Marlborough."

"Is that a school or a university?"

"A school, she's coming up for her 17th birthday."

"Well somebody should ask her to dance."

"I know," suddenly an idea hit Trina, "have you seen David Clarke in the last few minutes?"


“No – but Mary’s over there.”


“Mary,” Trina said as she walked over, “where is that handsome brother of yours?”


“Which one is that,” David said as he brought a drink over.


“I need you to help out a damsel,” Trina said, “mind if I borrow him for a while?”


“Oh no – go right ahead,” Mary said as Trina took David by the arm.


“Right – see the girl over there?”


David looked at the brown haired girl, and said “yeah?”


“Her name’s Sally, and she needs someone to dance with.  Think you can manage that?”


“Me?  Trina, I’m not sure I...”


“Thanks,” Trina said as she pushed the young man towards the woman sitting by the wall.  As he walked over, he rubbed the back of his head, making a mental note to thank Mary later, before he said “err...  Hi there.”


Sally looked at David through her large glasses, and said “hi.  Can I do something for you?”


“Well,” David said quietly as he sat next to her, “I was wondering if you would like to come and dance with me?”


He looked at the young girl, before she said “Dance?  You’re asking me to dance with you?”


“Well, only if you want to, that is...”


“Did my aunt and uncle pay you to do this?”


David looked at her, before saying “honestly, I have no idea who your aunt and uncle are.  Trina asked me if I would come and ask you to dance with me.”


“Trina?  My cousin Trina?”


“She’s your cousin?”  David looked at her, before he said “yeah, i can see the resemblance now.”


“She got the looks, I got the brains.”


“Now that’s not fair on yourself,” David said quietly, “you’re actually nice looking as well.”


He looked at Sally as she blushed, and said “do you really think so?”


“Yeah – and anyway, looks aren’t everything.  So – would you like to dance?”




Winston and Tony looked over as David took the brown haired girl by the hand, and started to dance a waltz with her.


“House, my man, you did a good thing there.”


“Dance is all a matter of confidence, Tony,” the man mountain said, “and I think he has more than he realized.”




“Who is David dancing with?”


“My cousin,” Trina said as Mary watched, “and they seem to be talking as well...”




“You’re a very good dancer,” Sally said as they went round the floor.


“Nah – I’m a beginner really.  You’re good though.  So Trina’s your cousin?”


“Yeah – who are you here with?”


“My sister,” Dave said as he looked at her.


“Your sister?  I guess you don’t have that many friends here either.”


“Well, not really,” David said, “Mary knows most of the others.”




“My sister – she’s talking to your cousin over there.”


Sally looked to the side of the room, and gasped “Mary?  You’re Mary Clarke’s brother?”


“Yup –and you’re the cousin of one of the richest women in the city.  Want to get a drink?”


As the music stopped, Sally smiled and said “yeah – why not.  So, David Clarke, where do you go to school?”


“Oakland Hills, near where we live,” David said as he walked with her to the bar, and handed her a glass of Champagne.  “I’m a Senior.  What about you?”


“Junior – we live in LA, and I go to Marlborough.”


“What’s that – a high school.”


“No – it’s a private girl’s school, but a good one.  So you putting in a college application?”


“I’m hoping to go locally.  If I do, I’ll major in English Literature.”


“Oh really?  What period is your favourite?”


“Well, so far 20th Century American,” David said.  “So is this school like the one Abby de Ros goes to in New York?”


“She goes to St Angela’s, right?”


“So she told me.”


“Well, it’s a more modern school, but we are talking LA versus NY.  You ever been there?”


“LA or NY?”




David laughed as he said “no – honestly, this is about the furthest from Oakland I’ve been.  But I hope to, one day.”


“Well,” Sally said with a little smile, “if you’re ever down my way, I’ll show you some of the sites.”




She looked at him, smiled and said “really.  You’re not like the boys in my area.”


“Oh?  In what way?”


“You’re – well, human, not a plastic coated automaton.”


“Stepford Husbands, you mean?”






Sunday 21st February

1 am Pacific Time

Oakland Hills


Dave looked up from his chair as he heard the front door of the apartment open, and smiled as he heard David and Mary laughing and talking.


“All right, I admit it, it was – oh hey Dad.”


Mary came into the front room of the apartment behind David, and said "Are you still up Pops?"

"Well I thought I'd see ya safely in."

"Well,” she said as she slipped her jacket off, “we are both returned safe and sound.  Who won the game?"

"Warriors of course – but Alan and I had a good time and a long chat.”  Standing up and stretching, he said “So - what was it like?"

"Pretty damn cool Pop." David grinned.

"And I'd agree with that."

"So did either of you meet anyone?"

"Well David got an instant crush on Charly Elphberg..."

"I've seen pictures of her, Poppet - I'd be ashamed if he didn't." Dave interrupted.

"But then he got to talking with and dancing with one of Trina's cousins."


"Yeah her name is Sally and she's from LA, she goes to a really great sounding private girls’ school down there called Marlborough."


Dave looked at his son, then smiled as he shook his head.  “All right – tell me in the morning.  Bed – both of you.”


10 am Pacific Time

Oakland Hills


“Well, there you are,” Dave said as Mary and David came in, wearing their pyjamas.


“I’ll make some coffee,” Mary said as she went to the kitchen.


"So,” Dave said as he sat down with his son, “what do Sally's family do kiddo?"

"Well her father is a writer, he works as an editor for Rolling Stone."

"Hey that's pretty cool."

"Her mother owns an antique store."

"Again pretty cool."

"So what about the family money?"

"Pops that's rude." Mary poured the coffees, but smiled as she did so.

"Well it can't be too bad Mary, Sally told me about it.” Dave loosened his tie and smiled as he took a mug.  “Her mother is Trina's father’s sister. They aren't poor, but most of the wealth is tied up in trusts or something, and they just get to spend what the capital earns." David sipped his coffee. "I get the idea that one day Sally and her sister will inherit a lot of money..."

"Well at least a lot of stock David,” Dave said, “if it's tied up in trusts the idea is that they all get passed on to further descendants."

"And how do you know that Pops?"

"Hey since Mary started making money...I started reading the financial pages of the Chronicle." Dave laughed.


“Still, we exchanged numbers, so who knows?”


As Mary sat down, she heard the front door open, as her sisters came in.


"Mary - remember we have the concert today," her sisters called out together.

“I haven’t forgotten – bu tyou have your chores to do.”


"Poor Mick," David shook his head, "does he know what is coming his way?"

"Oh I think he knows how to deal with fans," Mary laughed.

"So what was he like?"

"He is COOL Pops, and his girlfriend is this ultra-nice New York chick who goes to Harvard."

"Who impressed you most Kiddo, the singer or the girlfriend?" Dave laughed at the way his son had just gushed.

"I'm not sure..." David smiled as he realised his father was teasing him.


“Nell and Ally are good girls, even if they have something of a reputation,” Mary said.


“Hey – the Sunday paper Pops,” Vicky said as she put it on the table.  Dave opened it up, as Mary and David looked at the sports sections.


2 pm

The Richmond Mansion


“Sands!  George! Lunch is ready!”


“Coming,” they called out as they came into the dining room, as Nessa sat down with David, and Alex with Glenda.


“That was a lovely sermon today Alex,” Nessa said, “what made you pick the Good Servant?”


“I felt it was appropriate,” Alex said with a smile as Heather and Sandy brought through the plates.


“The roast does smell good,” Nessa said as she sipped her drink.


“Did you see the news reports this morning about the Fulton Market?”


“No,” Alex said as Heather brought some vegetables through, “what happened?”


“There was a stabbing – apparently police found a body in the early hours of the morning.”


“Here we go,” Sandy said as she carried the leg of lamb in, “Alex, will you do the honours please?”


“Of course – shall we say Grace first?”


As they bowed their heads, and Alex gave thanks for the food, Heather and Sandy looked at each other.  They had heard the tail end of the conversation, and both had the same thought.



2.30 pm

Upper West Side

Susan and Clint’s Apartment


“Now that was wonderful,” Rose said as she pushed her plate away.  “Clint, where did you learn to cook pork that way?”


“Trade secret Rose – got to have a few,” Clint said as Susan collected the plates. 


“Did you like your dinner, April,” Rose said as she looked at her granddaughter.  The little blonde smiled and nodded as she nibbled on some carrot.


“I’ll sort dessert out in a minute,” Clint said as the telephone rang.


“I’ll get it,” Susan said as she went into the front room.


“Hello, Susan Walker speaking.”


“Susan, it’s Mandy.  You asked to let you know if I heard anything about Fulton.”


“Yeah,” Susan said as she sat down, “what happened?”


“Police found a body outside the market today,” Mandy said, “no formal ID yet, but I got the name through contacts.  It was a Gerry Berganza – one of the larger second division traders.”


“So things are starting to turn nasty?  Okay – I’ll inform my FBI contacts.  I’ll also get word to our contact there – see if he knows any more.  Thanks, Mandy.”


“No problem, Susan,” Mandy said as the call ended.




“Maybe, maybe not,” Susan said as she sat back.  “I’m going to need to send an e-mail to Jan, see if she can follow things up.  I’ll be in for the cheesecake in a minute.”




Noon Pacific Time

Oakland Hills


“That’s better,” Mary said as she came into the front room, pulling her sweatshirt down.  David was now wearing a shirt and jeans, as she went to the kitchen.


“Now who could that be,” She said as the doorbell rang, and she made her way to the front door.


“Gotta say the two of you are still up high from last night.”


"You know Pops,” David said with a smile, “it's like Mary somehow found a whole new branch of the family that we'd never known before. Everyone seems to know each other, and honestly I felt so at home."

"Well I think this young lady may have helped," Dave whispered as Mary brought Sally in from the hallway.  The dark haired teenager was wearing a black leather jacket over a white jumper, jeans and ankle boots.

"Hello Mr. Clarke," she said as she held her hand out, "I'm Sally Murphy."

"It's nice to meet you Sally." Dave stood and shook her hand, "what brings you here today?”


“Well, David told me his address last night, and he said he and Mary were taking his sisters to the Mick Harran concert tonight...”


“Oh yes,” Dave said with a smile, “and are you going to the concert as well?"

"Well I hadn't initially meant to...but..." Dave could see the happy glint in the eyes behind the big black spectacle frames.  He then saw his sisters looking in the doorway.


“Why don’t you get Sally a coffee, David?”


“Well, if you want one – want to come to the kitchen with me?”


Sally nodded as he led her through, Mary looking at her father with an eyebrow raised.


“Seems something really did happen last night Poppet.”




“So I’ll see you there tonight?”


“I’ll look forward to it – let me walk you down...”


A few minutes later, Suzie, Alison and Vicky watched for the apartment door to open.


"David's got a girlfriend...David's got a girlfriend," his sisters chanted as David came back from seeing Sally to the car she was driving.

"Have not," he blushed.

"Looks to me like you do Kiddo...she drives all the way over here and she's coming to the concert with ya." Dave smiled, "and I have to say she seems a REALLY nice girl."


“Yeah - yeah she is,” David said as he rubbed the back of his neck.



7 pm

The de Ros Mansion


“Welcome home, Madame, Miss Abigail,” Edith said as she opened the door, standing to the side as Abby and Diana came in, Tony following with the bags.


“It’s good to be home Edith,” Abby said with a smile, “we brought you a souvenir from the west coast.”


“Most kind of you, Miss Abigail.  I have some supper ready for you once you have cleaned yourself up.”


“Allow us a few minutes to wash, and we will be ready to eat,” Diana said with a smile.  “Tony, will you join us for supper?”


“Of course,” Tony said with a smile as Diana looked through the letters Edith had placed to one side.


One in particular caught her eye, as she opened it and read the letter inside.


“Mamma,” Abby said, “is everything all right?”


“Yes – just some news on a long term investment,” Diana said as she replaced the letter.  “Come – let’s eat.”



7.30 pm

Upper West Side


As Rose looked into the front room, she saw Susan staring at a sheath of papers adn nibbling on a pencil as she made notes.


"I don't like to talk about your 'business' Susan,” she said as she sat down, “but this does seem to be distracting you?"

"I know Mum," Susan sighed as she put the papers down and say back, "I just 'ope its not spoiling your visit."

"No it's not, get that out of your mind, but is there any way your old Mum can 'elp?"

"Not really, and honestly Mum this would be simpler to solve if it was purely 'business' as you call it."


"AMININCO are making a bid for our specialist insurance division."

"I'd got that from what you'd said."

"Well the business in itself is basically fully legal..."

"Basically?" Rose broke in.

"Yeah, we use its accounts though to launder money from our other operations through."

"Okay, I see the problem."

"Well,” Susan said as she rubbed her eyes, “even as a legitimate business it's really too good to let go, I'm rather proud of the work me and my team 'ave done building it up."

"And as Shirley refuses to sell anyways, what is the problem?"

"Only that it is subject to legal rules and procedures,” Susan said, “and that I'm afraid of dropping everyone in the shit if I do anyfing wrong."

"And why should you do that?" Rose smiled at her daughter.

"Because a lot of the shit I'm doin' I'm only just learnin' at NYU...I just hope Shirley 'asn't given me the 'ead job 'ere in New York and I aint up to it."

"I know Shirley well enough to know that if she'd 'ad the slightest doubts she'd not 'ave promoted you Susan love." Rose held her hand, "so don't worry about yerself, just concentrate on doin' your job rite."

"It's just what I told her Rose." Clint stood in the doorway coffee cups in hand.  “And the London is coming out, so I’m saying to stop now for the night.  When does Shirley get back?”


“Tomorrow – I’m meeting her with Alan Kennedy at 3.”


“Well, leave it until then.  Have your coffee, and relax for tonight.”


“And that is an order,” Rose said as she sipped her tea.


“Yeah, you’re right,” Susan said as the telephone rang.  “Right after I do this one thing...”


Picking up the telephone, she said “Hello?”


“Got your message Susan.”


“Thanks for phoning back Mandy.  Hope you’re in a good mood.”


“Am I going to like this?”


"Possibly.  Okay the French company, RoideMer - it's time they had a little labor trouble I think." Susan spoke into the phone, "Mandy their porters at the market, and their drivers are out on strike as of this moment...tell your members that."

"Okay Susan...they won't like it."

"I know it's short notice, but I'm sure you can find a reason." Susan smiled as she played with April as she talked. "Just tell them that before their workers go back to work they need come see you personally to sort things out."

"What about my peoples wages?"

"I'll make sure they get their wages in full...we will pay them ourselves if needs be."

"Alright you order."


Ending the call, Susan said “One more little one...”  She then dialled a second number.


“Richmond Mansion.”


"Heather,” Susan said, “can you summon Tommy the Fish to a conference on the keyfob system where our voices would be disguised?"

"Susan, I'm ashamed you even need to ask that."

"Sorry,” Susan said as she tickled April, “under pressure a bit is all I can say."

"I'll set it up, but why?"

"I think we need keep Tommy abreast of what we are doing, something tells me the market will be a VERY tense place in the morning."

"Yeah, I read about the who on the call?"

"Me, Juliette, Diana and you I think."


“Diana only got back an hour ago, so I’ll set it for ten tomorrow.  Talk to you then.”


“Right,” Clint said as Susan put the phone down, “that is it for tonight.  Come on – in here with April.”


“All right, All right I’m coming...”



7.30 pm Pacific Time

Bimbo’s 365 Club


“Wow, look at this place,” Alison said as Mary took her sisters into a side area next to the stage.


“Neither have I,” Mary said, “but they have a special licence today so that your age group can come in.”


“And there’s a lot of them here,” Suzie said as she and Vicky looked round.  All four were wearing jeans and t-shirts.


“Where did David go?”


“He’s waiting outside for Sally – see?”


Vicky giggled as David escorted the teenager over to join them, as the lights started to dim, and the audience screamed.


“Ladies and Gentlemen,” the announcer said, “for one night only, from LeMachine, please welcome...  MICK HARRAN!!!”


The girls screamed as Mick came onto the stage, carrying a guitar and smiling as he stood at the microphone and called out “HELLO SAN FRANCISCO!”


The screams deafened Mary as Mick said “well, do you want me to sing a song?”


The screams got more deafening, as Mick started to play a LeMachine song, the three youngsters joining in the screaming.


“They seem to be enjoying themselves,” David said to Mary.


“So does Sally,” Mary said as she saw the teenager dancing round.



8.30 pm Pacific Time


“All right,” Mick said as the audience cheered, “I want to sing for you now one of the songs I’m planning to cover in the next album.  It’s a classic, and one I hope you enjoy – and I’m going to dedicate it to three young ladies in the audience.  Vicky, Suzie and Alison, this is for you.”


Mary smiled as her sisters realised what was going on, as Mick picked up a guitar and sat on a stool, playing the tune as he began.


If you're going to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you're going to San Francisco
You're gonna meet some gentle people there


For those who come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there
In the streets of San Francisco
Gentle people with flowers in their hair


The speed of the song was slower, the tune melodic, as Mick began to play the tuen on the guitar, smiling as he did so.


All across the nation
Such a strange vibration
People in motion
There's a whole generation
With a new explanation
People in motion
People in motion


For those who come to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there


“Thank you very much,” Mick said as the audience started cheering, smiling as he blew a kiss towards the Clarke girls.  “Right – do you want to rock this joint?”




“All right then – one, two, one two three four!”


Well if you ever plan to motor west
Just take my way it's the highway that's the best
Get your kicks on Route 66

Well it winds from Chicago to L.A.
More than 2000 miles all the way
Get your kicks on Route 66


Well it goes from St Louis, down to Missouri
Oklahoma city looks oh so pretty
You'll see Amarillo and Gallup, New Mexico
Flagstaff, Arizona don't forget Winona
Kingsman, Barstaw, San Bernadino
Would you get hip to this kindly trip
And take that California trip
Get your kick on Route 66


It goes from St. Louis, down to Missouri
Oklahoma city looks oh so pretty
You'll see Amarillo and Gallup, New Mexico
Flagstaff, Arizona don't forget Winona
Kingsman, Barstaw, San Bernadino
Would you get hip to this kindly trip

Take that California trip
Get your kicks on Route 66
Get your kicks on Route 66
And I'll meet you on Route 62
Get your kicks on Route 66!



9.15 pm Pacific Time


“Thank you and good night!”


As Mick left the stage, one of the road crew came over.


“Miss Clarke?  Would you all like to follow me please?”


“Come on you three,” Mary said as she ushered her sisters along, David and Sally bringing up the rear as they were escorted backstage.  The crew member stopped in front of a door, and knocked as they heard Mick say “come in.”


“In yuo go,” he said as he opened the door, and they walked into a large room.  Mick turned round, and smiled as he said “Hey Mary – did you enjoy the show?”


“I did,” Mary said with a smile, “but let me introduce Alison, Vicky and Suzie.  Girls, Mick Harran.”


“Hey,” he said as he poured himself a cup of tea.  “Why don’t you three grab a drink, come over, and sit with me, and you can ask all the questions you want.”


“Can we?”


“Sure – and grab that bowl of popcorn will you Sally?  Singing gives me an appetite.”


The three girls giggled as they picked up a bottle of Coke, and Sally brought the large bowl of popcorn over as they sat with him.  Mary and David stood to the side, drinking some soft drink themselves as Mick talked to all four of them...



11 pm Pacific Time

Oakland Hills


“That must be them back,” Tom said to Bobby as the apartment door opened, and the rest of the family came in.


“Did you have a good time,” Bobby said as he looked to the doorway.


“Oh wow did we,” Vicky said, “the concert was amazing, then we sat and talked with Mick, eating popcorn and drinking.”


“You should see what he gave us as well,” Suzie said as she held up her bag.


“He even sang a song for us,” Alison said quietly as she yawned.


“Right – you three, washed and in bed.  You have school tomorrow,” David said.  “Thanks for sitting up guys – you can get to your beds now as well.”


“Yeah – sleep well all of you,” Mary said as she went into the kitchen, and started to warm some milk.


“I think you’ve made their year already,” David said as he followed her in.


“Yeah – I’m glad they liked it.  Did Sally?”


“Oh yes – she was especially taken with the signed t-shirt.”


“So,” Mary said as she poured the milk into mugs, “do you like her?”


“Yeah – we’re going to keep in touch and meet up at some point.  Maybe next time you’re in LA for a weekend...”


Mary smiled as she handed her brother a mug.  “Talk to Pops first, all right?  His call, not mine.”


Monday 22nd February

7.30 am GMT

Chelsea, London


As Shirley put her clothes into the case, there was a knock on the door.


“Aunt Shirley?  There is a telephone call for you.”


“Thank you Maisha – would you like to make some coffee,” Shirley said as she closed the case.


“Of course,” Maisha said as she went to the kitchen, while Shirley picked up the telephone.




"Hello Shirley, it's know Susan's mum."

"Hello Rose, we are just packing to go to the airport."

"I guessed you might be, I'm in New York meself."

"I heard you were visiting, but why are you whispering?"

"Well Susan, Clint and April are asleep, but I actually wanted a private word with you before you left London."

"Oh why?"

"Susan is 'aving a problem or two..."

"Business or personal?" an urgent edge slipped into Madame's voice.

"It's business,” Rose said, “but it aint bad business if you get my drift."

"Alright Rose...”  Shirley sat down and said “tell me more please."

"Look Shirley, you know that I know, just what you and my daughter do...right?"

"Yes, I'd guessed you had that knowledge."

"Look I'll ask this straight out...when you hired her first, you did so finking she was some street kid, wiv a lot of nerve, who would do most anyfing, and take  I right?"

"That's a bit harsh,” Shirley said with a smile, “but basically accurate Rose."

"And now she's one of your senior executives..."

"Yes. she proved to be far more then we initially thought," Shirley interrupted.

"Well at this moment she's 'aving a lot of doubts about herself."

"The AMININCO bid?"

"Yeah, Susan's worried that she aint goin' to do somefing rite, and that she's goin' to let you down."

"I know she won't let me down Rose."

"Well she's 'avin' a bit of a crisis of confidence,” Rose said quietly.  “This aint like 'er threatening someone wiv a shooter, she's 'avin' to use 'er brains, and she's worried they aint good enuff."

"Okay Rose, I think I get the picture, I need give her a bit of a boost when I arrive don't I?"

"I fink it mite 'elp."

"Alright, I'll do all that...and thanks for phoning Rose."


“Fanks Shirley,” Rose said as the call ended.


“Some coffee, Aunt Shirley?”


“Thank you Maisha,” Shirley said with a smile.   “Packed?”


“Just about – I am looking forward to spending the weekend with the girls,” she said as she sat down.


“Indeed – I am as well.”



8 am

The de Ros Mansion


“Miss Huntingdown, Madame.”


“Ah Juliette,” Diana said as she looked up, “will you join me?”


“Thank you,” Juliette said as she sat down.  “How was San Francisco?”


“Abby enjoyed it immensely – but you just missed her.”


“I’ll catch up with her later – have you had a chance to catch up on the news?”


“The incidents at the fish market?  I was just reading the latest,” Diana said as she passed Juliette the paper.  “I take it this RoideMer is causing some difficulties for Thomas and his friends?”


“Just a few,” Juliette said as she read the business page, and of the sudden walkout of the staff of RoideMer in an industrial dispute.  “Heather will join us at ten o’clock in Susan’s office to talk to Tommy, find out what the feelings are like down there.”


As Edith brought more coffee in, Diana said “you listen to a news radio channel in the kitchen.  Are there any reports from the Fulton Fish Market this morning?”


Edith looked at both women, before she said “there is a report of a shooting at the market this morning Madame – two injured.”


Juliette looked at Diana as she said “thank you Edith – I shall be out for the rest of the day.”


“Very good Madame.”  As Edith closed the door, Diana said “so why us?”

"Diana,” Juliette said, “what do you know about Le Milieu?"

"French-Corsican gangsters, they control a lot of Southern France's organised crime...especially that in Marseilles. They are very, very, nasty people."

"We think it’s one of their families that are trying to muscle their way into the Fulton."

"That would not surprise me Cherie.  The docks would be where they would seek influence and a foothold – but surely the families may have something to say on that front?"


“Well, Tommy has asked Adam and Jan to look into it, but he will want to know we are supporting him as well.”


9 am

The Richmond Mansion


“Is that a fresh pot I smell,” Nessa said as she came into the kitchen.  While Sandy was in an old pair of joggers and a sweatshirt, Nessa was wearing a black jumper and a pair of jeans.


“Yeah – want some?”


“If you’re offering, then yes,” Nessa said as she put her purse on the breakfast bar.


"So Mother what plans for this morning?" Sandy asked as she poured them both cups of hot Turkish coffee.

"I'm in the recording studio...”  Nessa took a drink from her mug, and smiled.  “Does that sound as strange and pretentious to you as it does to me?"

"Not really," Sandy smiled, "I know you are going to enjoy yourself completely."

"Well I'm going to be so interested to see how it is all done."

"Is Paulie going with you?"

"She is, I asked her to pick me up here if you don't mind?"

"Not at all," Sandy smiled again, "and can I ask, or is it a secret, what songs you are doing?"

"Not at all," now Nessa laughed, "you know at heart I'm just an old time rock and roller?"

"That has become obvious in recent months Mom."

"Well Mick wants me to record a couple of rock standards that he can sing the harmonies on, and other bits."

"That sounds like a good idea."

"So we are doing Rockin Good Way."

"THE classic duet."

"Also he wants us to record Black is Black, with him singing the English lyrics and me singing the French lyrics as Noir c'est Noir, that Johnny Hallyday had a hit with, before merging at the end."

"Okay he will sing he wants her back, and you will sing she wants him back...interesting."

"He outlined the arrangement to me, and I think it will work."

Suddenly a car horn tooted.

"That's your ride Mom," Sandy hugged her mother, "break a leg."


“Well, I can only do my best,” Nessa said as she ran out.



9.10 am

FBI Field Office, New York


"I'm not really up to this." Jeanne slumped into her office chair and sigh.

"Up to what?" Jan asked as she looked over.

"Being harassed by Paris all weekend about your Fish Market troubles Jan.”  Jeanne looked down at her visible bump and rubbed it.  “They have identified at least two of the people involved as having known criminal connections in Marseilles, and they want it prioritised by me...but they forget I am..."

"Very pregnant," Tom Callaghan came out of his office, "which is why temporarily we have been assigned to work this case alone with you Inspector."

"Tom you didn't need to ask your superiors..."

"Hey for a friend I thought I did."


"So” Tom said, “Ball, Carter, me and you guys are now officially investigating what's going on at the Fishmarket."

"Do we have a contact to work with in the NYPD?"

"Yeah,” Tom said as he looked at Jan, “Alberto Moletti of the..."

"Oh fuck not Moletti!" Jan cried out as though in pain.

"It's the 43rd - and I'd not forgotten how much you dislike him Jan."


“That is one way of putting it – let me go and grab something,” Jan said as she walked off.




“Mace, Tear gas – something suitable...”


Jeanne watched as Jan walked off.


"So,” she finally said, “why does Janice hate this Moletti Tom?"

"Let me just say that a while before Adam came on the scene, she and he were an item Jeanne."

"Ouch, working with an ex-boyfriend is NOT fun...and again OUCH!!"

"Are you okay?"

"Yes, but baby is trying to prove to me that he or she will one day play football."

"Do you need?"

" will soon settle down."


“All right then – have fun...”



10 am

Tommy and Annie’s Apartment


Tommy was sitting at the kitchen table, looking through the paper when he heard the phone ping.


Looking at his phone, he smiled as he opened the laptop, and then put the keyfob to his eye.  As the system changed, he saw the invitation to join the chat, and logged in.


“Ah – good morning Tommy,” he heard Miss Panther say, “Thank you for joining us.”


“My pleasure Ma’am – to what do I owe the honour?”


“First, let me tell you that I have Miss Leopard and Miss Cheetah with me – and Miss Jaguar is also with us.”


“Ladies,” Tommy said with a smile.


“Tommy,” Miss Leopard said, “we have heard through mutual friends that there have been some recent troubles in your place of business.”


“Der haf been a few minor difficulties,” Tommy said, “as you may have seen on the news.”


“Tommy,” Miss Jaguar said, “Miss Lioness had some influence in the local market – you may have heard of the walkout today that affected the new business in your area.”


“Ah,” Tommy said with a smile, “the boys wus wondering wut had happened.  Fank her for me will ya?”


“Tommy,” Miss Panther said, “we stand ready to assist as well.  With your permission, our tech consultant will monitor calls to and from the market to assess if we can provide further help.”


“I never heard youse ask – but fanks.”


“Tommy,” Miss Panther said, “if you need help, call.  It will come.”


“Fanks – who are dese guys anyway?”


“We think,” Miss Leopard said, “that they are Le Milieu – Marseilles based.”


“Wot – like in dat film wif Gene Hackman?”


“A similar group, yes.  Which is why we offer our support and protection, if it is needed.”


“As does Miss Lioness,” Miss Jaguar said. 


“Ladies, again I fank ew,” Tommy said.  “The usual channels if i needs ye?”


“Of course – and thank you Tommy.”


As the call ended, Tommy rubbed the back of his head.  “Time to call de boys,” he said as he looked for his phone.



11 am

West Side Recording Studio


Nessa smiled as she finished running some scales, and then started singing.


I used to live in New York City
Everything there was dark and dirty
Outside my window was a steeple
With a clock that always said twelve thirty


Young girls are coming to the canyon
And in the mornings I can see them walking
I can no longer keep my blinds drawn
And I can't keep myself from talking


At first so strange to feel so friendly
To say good morning and really mean it
To feel these changes happening in me
But not to notice till I feel it


Young girls are coming to the canyon
And in the mornings I can see them walking
I can no longer keep my blinds drawn
And I can't keep myself from talking


Cloudy waters cast no reflection
Images of beauty lie there stagnant
Vibrations bounce in no direction
And lie there shattered into fragments


Young girls are coming to the canyon
And in the mornings I can see them walking
I can no longer keep my blinds drawn
And I can't keep myself from talking


As the band finished and clapped, the two men on the other side of the glass watched with Paulie.


“Well?” she said as she sipped her coffee.


"Okay she has all that money...AND...she can sing too? Life is VERY unfair." the assistant producer said as Nessa finished rehearsing.

"When Mick suggested her I thought he was joking, but she certainly has the pipes." Jack Smit the producer smiled,


“Can you line up the track Mick recorded?”


“Sure,” the assistant producer as he pressed some buttons.


"Nessa do you want to try a take?" Jack spoke into her earphones.

"I'd like to try please Jack."


“Okay – we’re going to play Rocking Good Way – Mick laid some vocals down, so you do your part, okay?”


Nessa nodded as she listened to the track start.


If you're gonna give me good kisses like that
Honey don't you know I'm gonna give them right back
'Cause that's a kissin' good way that's a kissin' good way
That's a kissin' good way to mess around and fall in love.

“Oh if you're gonna start out huggin' me tight
Don't mess around come on hug me right.
'Cause that's a huggin' good way that's a huggin' good way
That's a huggin' good way to mess around and fall in love.”

You know you called me on the phone and just because I was alone
Ah you came around awooing
You better ask somebody if you don't know what you're doing.

“Now you've kissed me and you rocked my soul
Don't come around knockin' rock and roll
'Cause that's a rockin' good way that's a rockin' good way
That's a rockin' good way to mess around and fall in love.

You know you called me on the phone
Well, just because I was alone
Ah, you came around a wooing
You better ask somebody if you don't know what you're doing”


Now that you've kissed me and you rocked my soul
Don't come round knocking rock 'n' roll
'Cause that's a rocking good way

That's a rocking good way
And that's a rocking good way
To mess around and fall in love

“Well, now you call me on the phone
And just because I was alone
You came around a wooing
Ah, you better ask somebody if you don't know what you're doing


Ah, you kiss me and you rock my soul
Don't come round knocking rock 'n' roll
'Cause that's a rocking good way”


Shakey, that's a rocking good way
That's a rocking good way to mess around and fall in love, yeah
What a way to go

“It's a rocking good way
That's a rocking good way
That's a rocking good way to mess around and fall in love
Yeah, that's a rocking good way to mess around and fall in love

Keep on rocking
It's a rocking good way”

A rocking good way
Ah baby, you've got what it takes
Rocking good way


“So how was that,” Nessa said as the track ended.


Jack looked at the engineer, who gave a thumbs up.


“Good stuff Nessa – now we do it again, and feel free to adlin some responses to Mick.”



8.20 am Pacific Time

Oakland Junior High


“Hey Vicky – wait up.”


Vicky and Alison turned to see some of the other girls behind them.


“Okay – spill.  What was the concert like?”


“Amazing,” Alison said as she looked at Vicky.  “He was so good...”


“And you really went backstage to meet him?”


“Oh yeah,” Vicky said.  “We ended up going back stage after the show, and he talked to us for about an hour."

"What didya talk about?" Carletta Grace asked.

"Mainly about his songs..."

"But we also talked about clothes a bit..."

"And his girlfriend and his sister...and..."

"Truly?" Echo Leibowitz asked.

"Yeah, he was so nice, and he put up with us being silly enough to ask for all these," Vicky smiled as she pulled out some autographed t-shirts from her bag.

"I just hope we thought of everyone..."

The sound of the bell made everyone groan as Alison looked round.


"Damn there goes the bell...we will see you all after home room."


“See you at recess,” they said as they went off.


1 pm

43rd Precinct House

900 Fteley Ave


“So what do i need for this meeting,” Adam said as he sat in the meeting room with Jan.


“Something to keep us apart?”


He looked at Jan, and smiled as he said “who is this guy – an ex...”


“An ex something,” Jan said as she tugged on the hem of her skirt – and the door opened.  She looked up to see a tall, dark haired man standing there, the sleeves of his shirt rolled up as he looked at them.


"Hey if it aint the King and Queen of High Society."

"Knock it off Moletti...,” Jan said as she stood up, “I don't like being here anymore probably then you do.  This is my partner, Adam Ball.”


“Lieutenant,” Adam said as he held his hand out, the officer looking at him as they shook hands.


“So how is life in the rarefied air of High Society, Jan?”


“Life is fine, Moletti, thanks for asking – how are things in the boondocks.”


“Come and find out, Jan – you used to like roughing it...”

"Okay...  So Lieutenant, what can you tell us?" Adam tried to remain professional.


“The Fish Market?”  Moletti sat down and said “what’s your interest?”


“We got the tip that a new company was muscling in on the market – undercutting the current traders and so on.”


“This the RoideMer company?”  Moletti looked at his notes and said “French based company.  What’s the issue?”


“Well,” Jan said, “some of our contacts down there raised concerns with us, and now Inspector Marais, out Interpol liaison, has word there could be criminal elements from France involved as well.”


“Well, we’ve found no evidence...”


“Allow us,” Adam said as he put two photos down.  “These men have been seem representing RoideMer at the Fulton – and they have connections with a gang based in Marseilles.”


“Really?  Well we’ll look into it.  Seems they got hit by a wildcat strike today – we’ve got a couple of squad cars down there watching the situation anyway.”


“Look, Moletti...”


“I said we’d look into it – we’ll tell you if we find anything,” Moletti said as he stood up and left the room, Adam and Jan watching him.


"Oh and Jan dear...”




“Stay out of my Murder Investigation, that is outside the FBI's jurisdiction." Moletti looked back over his shoulder, "and by the way your legs still aint so bad."


Jan looked at the door as Moletti walked off, and Adam looked at her.


“It was before you came to the NY office,” Jan said, “Moletti and I went out a few times, but we had a major argument over a murder case.  He thought he had someone bang to rights, I proved him wrong.”


“And he still resents that?”


“Well that – and the fact I told him where he could stick that ego of his...”


“What an absolute...”


“Don’t say it,” Jan said as she stood up, “don’t say it...”




11 am Pacific Time

Oakland Junior High


As the class walked in, their teacher noticed the smile on the faces of some of the girls, and the t-shirts some of them were carrying.


“Thanks Ali,” one of the girls said as Alison Clarke came into the classroom.


"Well Alison I believe you had a big thrill last night?" Miss Callendar smiled as the student passed her desk.

"Oh I did Miss,” Alison said, “it was SO MAGIC!"

"I had rather guessed that...”  Jenny sat back and said “I saw you arrive for school and it was like you were floating on a cloud."

"Is that bad Miss?"

"No," the teacher smiled, "I'm so happy for you."

"You know he told us his family have lived on the same land for nearly a thousand years...That is real history isn't it Miss?"

"Indeed it is Allison."

"I asked him if he could send me a book on his house and he said he would."

"Well after you finish it can you lend it to me to read?"

"Me lending my history teacher a history book to read?" Allison giggled.

"I know unusual isn't it," Jenny Callendar giggled back.  “Take your seat, we need to discuss some more recent history.  Right class, take your text books out and turn to page 142...”



2 pm

The Tavern on the Green


Paulie looked closely at her old friend as the waiter collected their menus and left to place their order.


"Alright,” she finally said as their drinks arrived, “you look like the cat that ate the cream darling."

"Well Paulie dearest,” Nessa said with a smile, “I will admit that I have spent many a far less enjoyable morning doing things in my life."

"You sounded good."

"Well I think I've earned this late lunch anyhows,” Nessa said with a smile, “as to quality, Mick will be the judge when he gets in this afternoon from the West Coast."

"Did it revive THAT dream?"

"That dream?...Oh you mean THAT!" Nessa laughed, "fancy you remembering that after all these years."

"You wrote it in the yearbook as your ambition, how could I forget?"

"To do a record with Phil Spector," Nessa laughed again, "and I suppose it did."

"It was just so sad, what happened to him," Paulie said.

"He was a genius, but like so many I guess a deeply troubled man, and then he killed that poor woman." Nessa shook her head, "but I'd so have loved to hear his 'wall of sound' behind my voice."

"Well maybe we can arrange that." Mick said as he slipped into the booth.

"You are back early," Nessa kissed him on the cheek, "and what do you mean?"

"I want to try something in Spector's style."

"Sounds fun."

"Well we can talk about it in the studio in a bit."


“Have you been there yet?”


“Oh yes – but they said you had come here.  So, having fun?”


“Very much so,” Nessa said, “very much so...”



2 pm

Xavier International


Susan looked across the table as Alan Kennedy reviewed the papers she had prepared.


“Well,” she said nervously as he put them down and looked at her.


“This is the first time you have had to deal with a situation like this, right,” Alan said as he sat back.


“Oh god – what did I do wrong?”


He looked at her, and smiled as he said “nothing.  This is as watertight a response as I think it is possible to give.”


“Oh thank the Goddess,” Susan said as she sighed, and there was a knock on the door.


“Susan,” Pamela said as she came in, “Shirley is in the office, and would like to see both you and Alan.”


“Well – if you want, we can get the introductions out of the way now.”


“Why not,” Alan said as they stood up, and made their way to Shirley’s office.  Tapping on the door, she heard Shirley say “come” and walked in.


Shirley was sitting at her desk, but as she saw Susan come in with Alan she stood up and walked round.  “Ah Susan – and you must be Alan Kennedy.  I’m Shirley Xavier – it is a pleasure to finally meet you.”


“And you,” Alan said as they shook hands.


“Pamela – some coffee please.”


“Of course, Shirley,” Pamela said as she indicated the leather seats.


“I wanted to thank you for the work you have done so far,” Shirley said as they sat down, “and to find out what the current situation is, from the horse’s mouth as it were.”


“Well,” Alan said, “I think the first thing to say is that Susan has made my job much, much easier.  She has done an exemplary job representing you and presenting the information I required.”


Shirley raised an eyebrow as she smiled and looked at Susan.  “Well, I never for a moment doubted her ability to assist you in this task.  So, our position?”


“Your fellow directors have made their position very clear,” Alan said, “and Susan and I were just discussing the official rejection.”


“Susan believes their next move will be two fold – to increase the offer and try to bypass me by going for one of the minority shareholders.”


“I concur,” Alan said, “I have already talked to most of them in person, I just need to meet Juliette Huntingdown tomorrow, and a conference call with Catherine Lo on Wednesday.  I am advising them to direct all enquiries through me.”


“Excellent – I anticipate AMININCO will contact me and request another meeting.  If that happens, I would like you to attend as my advisor.”


“Part of the service, Miss Xavier.”


“Please – call me Shirley.  I understand you were in San Francisco last weekend with your daughter?”


“I was,” Alan said, “how did you know?”


“I count Diana de Ros and Amanda Fitzstuart among my personal friends,” Shirley said with a smile.  “So I knew they were gathering for the ball last Saturday, and naturally presumed your daughter was attending as well.”


“Well, when you put it that way...”


“Ah thank you Pamela,” Shirley said as the coffee was brought in.  “You must forgive me Adam – I flew from the UK today, and when I do that, coffee keeps me going.”


“No problem,” Alan said.  He was impressed by both women now. 





“I will see you on Friday,” Susan said as Alan was shown out.  She then relaxed as she said “thank you Madame – I was worried I was going to make a mistake and fail you.”


“Understandable,” Shirley said with a smile, “but I had total faith in you, Susan, and as Alan said, you have done a magnificent job.”


“Thank you,” Susan said quietly.


“Now, two things,” Shirley said.  “First, you, Clint, April and Rose will join me for dinner tomorrow night.  I wish to spend tonight with John when I get back.”


“Of course,” Susan said, “and the second thing is?”


Shirley walked to her cabinet, opening it and pouring two drinks.  “Relax – you truly have done an excellent job.  Now, what is in the daily report?”



2.30 pm

FBI Field Office


"That conceited prick." Jan whispered under her breath as she slumped into her office chair.

"I take it all did not go well on your visit to Lieutenant Moletti Jan?" Jeanne enquired.

"No...We were firmly warned to keep our noses from poking in too far."

"Well,” Jeanne said, “I might have something to cheer you up?"

"Moletti was found floating face down in the East River?" Jan asked hopefully.

"NO!" Jeanne laughed, "but almost as good."

"Go ahead and tell me then," Jan eased off a shoe and rubbed her foot.

"My bosses at Interpol are asking your bosses if we can start building a racketeering case around this...and as you know?"

"A federal racketeering investigation gives me license to put the heel of this shoe right through Moletti's foot."

"Well,” Jeanne said with a smile, “I wouldn't have put it that way, but you get the idea."


“Oh now that does sound good,” Jan said as she rubbed her foot.


“What does,” Adam said as he handed her a coffee.


“Oneupmanship,” Jan said with a smile...




7 pm

Geneva, Hobart William Smith


“Well someone got the cream tonight,” Hope Johnson said as Jo came in, dropping her kit bag in the floor and collapsing on her bed with a smile.


“Oh yes – life is good today,” Jo said as she looked over.  “How about you?”


“I,” Hope said as she stood up, “have a date, so I will see you later.”


“Don’t do anything I wouldn’t.”


“Not a chance,” Hope said as she grabbed her coat and headed out, Jo smiling as she grabbed her washbag and headed for the shower.


When she returned a few minutes later, she changed into a pair of jeans and a polo top, and then switched on her laptop.  


“Now I wonder if – ah there you are Big Sis,” she said as Heather appeared on the screen.


"Okay that smile is blinding little sis. What have you been up to?"

"Coach had me run a trial over 1500 metres, and I broke my PB by a huge margin."


"I know, and I felt I had a little more in the tank, I'm just SO EXCITED!"

"Good for you Jo." Sandy said as she walked behind Heather.

"Thank you Sandy.  Today, I feel on top of the world."

"Well,” Sandy said, “I hate to bring you down to earth with a bump..."

"Business?" Jo looked hard at the screen.

"Yes." Heather took a breath. "Have you been keeping track of this mess at the fish markets?"

"Not really, I had this run to do, and I also handed in an essay today..."

"Well we need you home tomorrow night."

Jo raised an eyebrow, and said "Home in midweek?"

"Just overnight." Sandy called out.

"Dominique wants you to help her do something."

"Well I suppose I can fly after my two o'clock class finishes. Coach has excused me training."

"And you can take an early flight back the day afterwards."

"I suppose someone can take notes for me at my English Lit class."

"Good," Heather nodded.

"So,” Jo said quietly, “what does Dom need me to do with her?"

"A bugging and copying documents thing."

"This French fish company I take it."



“I’d better read up on it then.  Lay a place for dinner for me – and don’t tell the kids.  It does them good to be surprised from time to time.”



7 pm

West Central Park


Adam smiled as Jan stood up, collected his coffee mug and headed for the bathroom.


“Give me ten minutes and I’ll be ready to go to the show,” she said as she closed the door.  Katherine was sitting in the armchair, working on a cloth as Katy completed her homework on the other couch.  Both were casually dressed, in jeans and jumpers.


Adam debated with himself for a few seconds, before he said “Katherine, can I ask a – a possibly sensitive question.”


“Oh, that sounds fun,” Katy said as she looked up.


"Katherine,” Adam said a she leaned forward, “what can you tell me about one Lieutenant Alberto Moletti of the NYPD?"

"Why are you asking?" Katherine looked up from her crocheting.

"Because we are working a racketeering case in the fish market, he's working these killings, and when he and Jan met today it was pretty obvious there was a lot more history between them then I've been told about."

"Uncle Alberto was pretty cool," Katy grinned, "I wonder what he'd think of me in my leather pants and boots today?"

"Do not even go there young lady," her grandmother warned.

"You know there are times when you are no fun Gran." Katy grinned.

"So he and Jan did more then just 'date' a few times?"

"You might say that Adam." Katherine paused to think what to say next.  "Alberto and Jan were a thing for about 6 months..."

"Oh and boy did they fight at times." Katy interrupted, "but when they made up..."


"Sorry Gran."

"Anyway let me just put it this way Adam,” Katherine said, “they hadn't booked a honeymoon yet, but they had settled on a church."

"That does sound why did they break up?"

"Mom thought Uncle Alberto was letting a grudge against a perp blind him to the true facts of the case."

"And as it proved Jan was right...his ego couldn't take the blow I guess." Katherine stood up.


“You’re not jealous are you Uncle Adam?”


“No – just curious more than anything...”


“Right – let’s go,” Jan said as she came back in.


“Have fun,” Katherine said as they went out, Katy giggling and shaking her head...



11 pm



Eleanor Ball looked up from her armchair as she heard the phone ring, and put her book down, making sure her place was marked as she stood and walked to the handset.




“Mom?  It’s Adam.”


“Adam?  Do what do i owe this pleasure?”


“I wanted to make sure you were all right?”


“Adam, of course I’m all right – now, what do you want?”


"Mom,” she heard her son say quietly, “can I ask a favor please?"

"Of course Adam darling," the Captain cradled the phone in her neck while she reached for a pen and pad.

"Can you use your well known sources to tell me anything about one Lieutenant Alberto Moletti of the NYPD please?"

"You mean Jan's..."

"Mom how deeply have you investigated Janice?"

"Oh it's not that deeply.  The name is one I have heard of, however."

"Well find out what you can about the Lieutenant please."

"A touch of jealousy Adam?" Eleanor smiled to herself.

"In a way...No...Look Mom just find out what you can tell me about him please."


“Of course I will.  I’ll give you a call in a day or two, all right?”


“Thanks Mom,” Adam said as the call ended, Eleanor smiling as she put the phone down.


“Well, this is going to be interesting,” she said to herself as she looked for her laptop...








Return to the Pussycat Gang index


Return to the main index