Episode Nineteen "Skinny Dipping"
Just as Uncle Tommy had promised, a young attorney named James arrived in the afternoon and Miranda spent a couple of hours waiting, answering questions, and signing papers. James was nice enough, very quiet and unassuming, a very religious man, Miranda thought as she looked at the wedding ring that fit his finger like it was destined to be there.
“Have you known Uncle Tommy long?” she asked after it was clear they were almost done.
“Oh, not long. My firm represents him.”
“Ah,” Miranda said, hoping he would be a bit more talkative. “You have kids?”
“Four daughters and a son. The girls are 9, 7, 3 and 6 months. The boys are twins and they are 5.”
“You must think I am horrible mother.”
“It’s not my job to have an opinion on that. These are legal matters.”
“Thanks for being polite.”
“Just telling it like it is.”
“So this will be it, then? I won’t have to worry about getting picked up?”
“No. The Second Chance Foundation will be making the payment on your behalf. I’ve already talked to your ex-husband’s legal counsel and they are moving ahead with removing the complaint — as well as relieving you from payments for one year while you get back on your feet. We got them to agree to that for our good faith in paying off the amount in arrears in one lump sum. We should have a hearing tomorrow afternoon. ”
“I can’t thank you enough.”
“Don’t thank me, thank Mr. Berlini.”
“It is just so strange to see him now. He has a different look about him then he did the last time I saw him. That was something like seven years ago.”
“Well, since I have been at the firm, I have found him to be great to work with. And, he really helps the community. You are really lucky to have him care so much.”
Miranda just smiled, laughing at her private thought that she wouldn’t be surprised if someone came in the room screaming that Uncle Tommy had been replicated by pod people.
Instead, Keenan came in with a bad attitude.
“You better do something about that boyfriend of yours or he might just wind up at the bottom of the pool.”
“What do you mean?”
“He’s out there putting on the worst damn diving exhibition I ever saw AND he’s clearing out the bar. Something is going to give.”
“Are we done?” Miranda asked James.
“Sure. I can get the rest of this done at the office. I might need to give you a call, but otherwise, I’ll be in touch after we see the judge.”
Miranda headed through the house to the pool that sat off the immaculate living room with the glorious view. The view from the pool might have been even better. As twilight began to set, the city, water, and sky met, creating a harmonious blending of color and movement that electrified the moment.
Shaun was probably a bit too bleary to even notice. He had been swimming and drinking now for about three hours and he was sloshed in every way possible.
“Shaunie! Get out of there and come over here. Let’s have a drink.”
“Come on in Miranda. The water is fine.”
“I don’t even have a bathing suit on.”
“Oooh yea, Miranda, let’s see you in a suit. Actually, let’s just skinny dip? Ha. You remember when we went skinny dipping at Uncle Tommy’s when we were kids? At that old house? Remember?”
“Yea, I remember.”
“It was the first time I saw you naked. Wow. Nothing like the perfect 10 you are now, mind you, but wow.”
“Yea, well, let’s sit down for a while, over here. We can get to swimming a little later. I want to tell you what happened in there.”
“Okay, I’m coming. We gonna have that drink, too?”
“Completely. Rum and Coke?”
“Captain Morgan in mornin’, afternoonin’ and in the evenin.’”
“Wow, good one.”
“I know. It’s a gift.”
“So he really did it. Sure, the legal hoops have to be jumped through by the lawyers but it is basically it is a done deal. And, the attorney even got my ex’s lawyers to let me not pay it for a year.”
“Yea, but what is the fucker gonna want for it?”
“What do you mean?”
“You aren’t buying all this bullshit, are you?”
“I’m starting to.”
“He’s after something.”
“Maybe what he is after is a little redemption.”
“I’ll never trust that son of a bitch.”
“People do change, sometimes.”
“Yea, well. I haven’t changed. I still want my revenge. He could give me back my Dad’s control of the team and I would still hate him. Has that money he gave you bought you already? Or what?”
“Screw you, Shaun. Revenge was no where in your mind until I stepped out of your shower. I was planning on my revenge for years while you were stuck at the bottom of bottles.”
“Proof is in the pudding, though, isn’t?”
“Look, we killed three people a couple of days ago,” Miranda whispered with an eye out for Keenan who had been lurking around every corner all day. “I thought I would be happy when I finally killed that fat bastard but I don’t feel any better at all.”
“You might not, but I do. I finally feel better after all this time.”
Miranda stopped and looked at Shaun as he smiled at her with a devious grin.
“Come on, let’s order some pizza, rent a movie and and take it easy for awhile.
"Nah, I want to see you in your birthday suit.”
“A bathing suit, then.”
“Okay, lets get some grub and watch a movie and then — I’ll put on a bathing suit and we’ll go for a swim.”
A few hours later, Shaun was asleep on the couch with empty pizza boxes and another bottle of rum on the coffee table.
Miranda watched the remainder of the film, then put Shaun’s feet up on the couch and draped a towel from the pool over him for a blanket.
She decided she was going to take a swim after all. She went into the pool house and didn’t find a bathing suit that would fit her. Startled, she spun around to find Keenan standing at the door as though he just got caught.
“Can I help you?” she said as accusingly as possible.
“Uh, no,” Keenan stumbled. “I just wanted to let you know I have to leave, but my relief will be here in a couple of hours.”
“Oh, no, what will I do?”
“Have a great night.”
Keenan turned and walked out and Miranda followed him all the way back to the door. She lost him once he went inside the house.
She sat out there and smoked a cigarette before deciding to just skinny dip after all. She turned off all the lights by the pool so that there was just enough light to see, but not enough so that any of the neighbors would be calling the police.
As she began to lift her top, she saw a slight glint from an upstairs window.
She didn’t let the noise stop her. She knew the power of her naked body.
When she was completely undressed, she sauntered around to the other side of the pool so she had the house fully in front of her. She reached up and grabbed her hair, offering cover to see if she could see anything in the upper windows.
She saw Keenan, hand in his pants.
She walked around the pool two more times — very slowly — before diving in.
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