The plot thickens
"Calm down, Dad," said Laura. "Maybe she didn't go to see Gregory Cameron. If not, Michael could be having trouble tracking her down. And even if she did, you know how stubborn she can be. He might be having trouble persuading her to return."
He stopped pacing for a moment, considering what she'd said, then shook his head. "No, she went to see him. And you heard me tell Knight to do whatever it took to get her back here. He'd better do just that. If she talks to Cameron, all my plans and our future go right down the drain."
"What do you mean, Daddy? And why did you say she wasn't your daughter? You haven't explained that," said Shauna.
"Just you never mind. Look, I'll be in the study. I need to be alone for a while to think. If they return before I do, come and get me immediately, but don't disturb me until then."
Both sisters regarded him with a puzzled look on their faces, but agreed to do as he asked. He left the living room and seconds later they heard the study door close. They looked at each other, then Shauna shrugged and said, "I'm going up to my room. I'll see you later."
Arthur stood looking around the study as though he had never seen it before. Then he started pacing again. Think, Arthur, think. You need to do something. If Knight doesn't stop Kelly, you'll need to do some major damage control. But what?
A germ of an idea began to sprout in his brain and he stopped pacing. He found himself in front of a window, staring unseeingly out at the well-tended lawn. He began to smile, and suddenly went over to his desk and turned on his computer. He had a lot of work to do, to get it right. And he'd have to involve at least one of his daughters.
Laura, I think. She could do what I need better than Shauna, although I may be able to use her, too. And it'll work, whether Kelly is stopped or not. Let's see. . .
Two hours later, he opened the door and went back into the living room. Laura was still in there, and she was alone, reading a magazine. He beckoned to her, and she rose and followed him back into the study. He sat down at the desk and indicated that she should take the chair nearby.
"Laura, I need to call an emergency meeting of the board of directors. Most of them are in town and should be able to come. And of course you and Shauna will have to be there. But I don't think I should make the call, since they still think I'm dead. I want you to do it. I've typed up what I want you to say, and answers to any questions they might have. Schedule it for 10 AM tomorrow."
"All right, Dad," she replied, "but won't you tell me what this is about?"
"Honey, right now it's better that you and your sister don't know. Just do as I say. You'll understand everything before the day is out tomorrow."
"Okay, Dad." She reached for the phone and began making calls. Once she finished, she left the office, leaving her father to continue working.
She looked for Shauna, and found her sister sitting outside on the back patio. When she sat down by her, she saw that her sister looked troubled. "Shauna," she said, "are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
"If you're thinking that we owe Kelly a big apology, I am. Laura, we've treated her badly, and for no good reason. We didn't even try to find out why Dad treated her the way he did; we just went along with it. And she never did anything to deserve it from us."
"I know. I do too. And I just came from Dad's office. He had me call several of the board members, to tell them that there would be a board meeting tomorrow morning."
"I don't know, Shauna. I have a bad feeling about it. He's acting very strangely."
"He won't tell me anything. He came looking for me specifically to make the calls. And he won't explain why he's doing this. And to blow up his car and pretend he's dead - I tell you, it's as though he's become obsessed about something."
"So what do we do?"
"Well, we'll go to the meeting - since Dad is legally dead, we have to, and besides, he wants us there - and see what happens. I sure hope Kelly finds out about it, and shows up, too. Maybe we can work things out with her."
"I hope so, too. Even if we had different fathers, she's still our sister. And we have a lot to make up for."