Matt sat across from his mother in the hospital commissary. She had made so much progress in such a short time. Though she admitted that she still had a lot of work to do, she seemed optimistic that she would soon be able to leave rehab altogether. the doctors, on the other hand, had stated otherwise.
And Matt knew that the hospital wouldn’t release her for another several months. They had to make sure that she was completely clean. But that wouldn’t ensure that she would stay clean. Only she would be able to make sure of that. And Matt knew that.
Even Natalia knew that it was up to her to remain clean and sober once she left the hospital. She had known that from the very beginning. But she had reason to do so now. She had to make Matty proud of her.
She looked over at him humbly. “You’re not mad at me are you, Matty?”
Matt smiled at her pleasantly. “No, Mama. Just thinking of some things.”
She was hesitant. “Anything that should make me concerned?”
He smiled reassuringly. “No. It’s all work related.”
She knew he wouldn’t lie to her. He was never a good enough liar to sound so convincing. Besides. He had never lied to her before. His claim had been true.
She looked him in the eye. “So what’s new in music?”
Matt shrugged. “Rock-n-roll is getting harder. Blues-rock and country-rock are starting to become popular as is R&B and blue-eyed-soul. Funk is growing in popularity as well. Then there is the movement called disco. Some of us don’t think it’ll amount to much. Sort of like punk.”
She smiled in an attempt to make him relax. “Guess we’ll just have to wait and see, right?”
He chuckled. She was always so optimistic. “Sure.” He didn’t have the heart to tell her that it really wasn’t all that amazing. It wasn’t like Steppenwolf, Jefferson Airplane, or Jimi Hendrix. Nor was it the Phenom that The Doors or Janis Joplin had been.
Janis and Jimi was now gone. The loss had been felt deeply by all in the music industry, but none more than Matt. He had become close friends with both artists. Hell. He was a friend to all in the music industry. Even the band Mountain.
But then, he was a friend to so many. Some said he was the youngest rock legend alive and claimed that he rivaled Eric Clapton, another close friend, as guitar god. He merely shrugged at the claim. In his own mind, he was neither the best nor the worst. He was just another musician who’d had a bit of luck and a lot of help getting where he was. And Tom had everything to do with that.
“Sorry to hear that you’ve lost a few friends.” Natalia looked sadly at her son, bringing him out of his thoughts.
He shrugged. “That’s the breaks. Friends come and go in this business. How they go is up to how they live.”
Rick sat looking at the disgusting examples of gross misappropriation of government funds that were the files Tom had asked him to retrieve. There was no way he would return this crap to Eddy’s office. No, he would empty the files and make dummy files to replace them. The original files would be sent to Tom special delivery…through Frank and Mark.
Of course, he would have to set up a meeting time and place. It would not do to have his agents being seen visiting a civilian. Someone would get the wrong idea. He picked up the phone. “Operator, give me New York 3442.”
“Hello?” Tom’s voice greeted him.
“Tom,” he replied instinctively, “got what you requested. I am getting ready to type dummy files to go back to Eddy, then will send you the original. I will be sending Frank and Mark to deliver them, but need a time and place for a meeting. Got to keep everything hidden from the main population, you know.”
“I understand.” Tom looked at the calendar. The dummy files would take at least a day. Maybe two. “How about Saturday? Say…1:30?”
“Sounds good,” Rick agreed, “Location?”
“The Sandusky Donut factory.” Tom smiled. He knew that Frank and Mark would be in heaven. They could get a couple of donuts and two cups of coffee.
“Excellent.” Came Rick’s reply. “It’s set, then.”
“I look forward to it.” Tom replied. He waited for Rick to hang up, then hung the phone up himself.
A trip to Sandusky’s sounded good. He needed to talk to George Sandusky anyway. He got up from his chair. “Who’s up for some donuts?”
Matt appeared from his bedroom and Susie emerged from the kitchen, both smiling at the thought of those delicious donuts. Tom smiled. “Alright, then. Let’s go.”
Tigg Wylde was beside herself. She had been trying to attract Matt’s attention for some time without any luck. At sixteen, she was three years his senior but looked as if she was younger. Matt was considered a hot commodity among the girls. Tall, talented, and wealthy. Every girl’s dream.
Tigg had waited for him to dismiss the other girls who’d been waiting in line for his attentions from the moment she’d seen him. One by one, they got their hearts broken and she got closer to her goal. Matt Morrow would be hers. She would make sure of it.
She smiled. The acquisition had become her only obsession. She would not take no for an answer once she was the first in line. She would be the eye candy at his side, even if it was temporary. She would make all the other girls jealous.