More information is received and plans are begun.
"If I try, I sort of freeze up, like I've just drawn a blank." She paused, thinking. "Let's see what I can say. I can't tell you if he did the same thing to Laura and Shauna, but he planted the information deep in me. There are layers, circumstances that have to occur to get from one layer down to the next. Once all the circumstances are met, in the right order, then I could communicate the information. But it is highly unlikely that any of them will happen, and some of them are - well - offensive to me, and he knew that. It shows just how much he disliked me." She stopped again.
She looked up at Michael. "What I was going to say next, I couldn't. He was quite thorough in saying that I couldn't communicate anything in any way. Not in speech, song, sign language, body language, even saying or affirming what it isn't. I can't even write it down." She frowned.
"Are you alright?" Gregory asked worriedly. "You aren't in any pain because of this, are you?"
"No. I just wish I could tell you more."
Just then, the phone rang. Gregory got up and answered it. He listened for a moment, then said, "Put him on." There was a brief pause, then, "Cameron here." Another pause. "For when?" Another pause. "Okay. Thank you for informing me so promptly." He hung up and moved back to the sofa. As he reseated himself, he said, "That was - well, you should know that I have someone on the inside of your company, Kelly. He just informed me that your sister has called an emergency meeting of the board of directors. It's for tomorrow morning."
"Laura or Shauna? It doesn't matter; neither of them would do something like that on their own. I think Da- he's behind this."
"I agree, based on what we've learned. But why?" asked Michael.
"I don't - wait! I can't believe what I'm thinking, but it makes a kind of weird sense."
"What are you talking about, Kelly?"
"Michael, in all of my memories of my mother, never did she and - Arthur - show any affection for each other. In fact, he was barely civil to her, and to me, while she was alive. The company was hers, started by her father and made successful by her. His participation in it until her death was minimal. What if he had become so jealous that he wanted to destroy her company - to destroy everything she had built? And maybe even to destroy me as well, since Mother left most everything she had to me, and also because I am her daughter, but not his."
"That's crazy!" Gregory exclaimed.
"But it would explain a great deal," said Michael. He told them what he'd learned about the man and his chauffeur.
"Oh my God! That means that he was probably the one who shot at me. And he kept trying to get me to go with him in the limo that morning, as well as the night before. He's been trying to kill me!" exclaimed Kelly.
"So what is our next move?" asked Gregory.
"I think that you and Kelly should be at that board meeting," replied Michael.
Both men turned and looked at Kelly in surprise. She explained. "There's something I haven't told anyone until now. I've been buying up the stock, as much as I could, over the last few years. I now have enough - with proxies - to hold the controlling votes. I don't want to be president or CEO, but if I have to, to save the company, I will."
"Honey," said Gregory, "you'd make a great CEO. And maybe you and I can work out something. I still want to buy your company. I made a generous offer to your father, but it seems his jealousy and hate kept him from even considering it. If you're right, and he wanted to destroy the company, nothing I could have said or done would have changed that."
"Would you tell me about it?"
"This is where I make my exit," said Michael.
"What are you going to do?"
"I'm going to go talk to Devon. We need to figure out where we go from here, and what to tell Peterson about you. Also, I'm not sure FLAG is needed or should be involved any longer."
Kelly stood up and walked over to him, putting a hand on his arm. "This isn't over yet. I'd like you to be there tomorrow, Michael. I feel that you might be needed, one way or another."
He looked down at her. For the first time, he noticed that her hair wasn't pulled back, but flowed around her shoulders in graceful waves. She looked much more attractive. He smiled inwardly at his train of thought. "I'll talk to Devon and see what he thinks. Then I'll be in touch with you."
Gregory got up and went to his desk. Opening a drawer, he took out a card and wrote something on the back of it. He handed it to Michael, saying, "This is my private number. I'm not letting Kelly go back to the mansion. She could be in danger there."
"Agreed," replied Michael, pocketing the card. "I'll call you in a couple of hours." He turned and left the office.
"Honey," Gregory said, turning to Kelly, "you're going to need a change of clothes, and other items." He pressed the intercom button and said, "Mrs. Nichols, would you come in here, please?"
When the secretary entered, he asked her to go buy a change of clothing and other necessary items for Kelly, and gave her a credit card to charge the items with. Kelly gave her the sizes and some other information. June smiled and said it would be a pleasure, then left.
"Now, about my offer," Gregory started, "let's sit down and I'll tell you all about it."