Once established, the years were good to Kaylock and it became a leading name in the business world. It didn’t matter which Kaylock was at the head of the business, it was known to be led by The Marquis, and that meant fairness in all things. Over the past few years the Marquis has been out of sight where the business was concerned; ever since the death of the last Marquis when his son was only five.
“Look mother I don’t give a damn. I am not father! I will attend whatever college I want. I may be an English Lord, but I was born in America. As far as I am concerned, I’m bloody American! It was good enough for Myles the first Marquis, so it is good enough for me! To answer the pleas that I just know will come…NO, you cannot draw on the family trusts again. They were set up for a reason and you damn well know it.”
“Conan you will do what the Marquis wanted, and you will make him proud.”
“I am the bloody Marquis mother! The sooner you accept that the better! Father died when I was five years old, killed because of his gambling and cheating. Do you really want me to turn out like him? He was never there for me even at Christmas and birthdays. Where were you? I can answer that for you, draping yourself over him, high on drugs and alcohol like two-bit whore! The only difference now is that you hook up with whoever has money on the table! Why do you think everything is tied up in trusts?”
There was a long pause as he walked over to the window that looked out onto the land that belonged to the Vimbaston Estate. “Neither of you loved that… that lonely little boy who you left in the Towers, alone on Christmas day. Have you ever had cold beans on toast for Christmas dinner while you watched the rest eat and open presents all day? I never even got a fucking card from you that year. All I got was from the staff and then you sent them all home for the day. It took a visit from Uncle Mario to find out what happened. Oh, and yes, I know who he really is! Hell, you were never even in the same fucking country as me, and now you have the cheek to demand that I step in and help you. Fuck off you don’t deserve it.”
“But you have to do this Conan…”
“Why mother? Why do I have to do this?”
“Because there are people who will kill me, if I do not pay my debts. You have to help me.”
“I always have to pull you out of the shit that you throw yourself willingly into time and time again. How many times is this? You never learn, you never help yourself. You just run back and dive into more shit! You’re nothing but a slut, who can’t hold her booze. I do not have to do anything mother. Not now, not ever! You will leave the family jewels with Sykes as you leave this house. If there are any missing from the inventory, I will have you arrested for theft.
“Do I have to pay your debt? No mother I do not. I will this one time… for one LAST time. My lawyer here has drawn an agreement that you will have nothing more to do with Kaylock International or the Kaylock family once this debt is paid. Sign this and I will pay all your debts this one-last-time.”
“Hand over the form.”
As she was signing, he added… “I’m sure Uncle Mario will be pleased.” She signed the paper and threw it and the pen back him. “Now you need to know you have just signed back the seven properties that father gave you when you were married. They belonged to the family and not to him. Your personnel belongings are being packed by the staff as we speak at each location. You have also signed back the jewels that were given to you from the family inventory. In the future should you attempt to gain access to any of these properties you will be arrested for trespassing.
“Where the hell am I going supposed to live? How am I…”
“How are you going to pay for your lifestyle? GET A FUCKING JOB! We have carried you for thirteen years and you have bled funds and extorted money from my accounts long enough. I could have you arrested for fraud and stealing from your own son’s estate; however, I love you as my mother although I hate you as a person. Any further money has to come to you from own family. Lord Wilmsley is your father, maybe he’ll give you a place to live. You have an hour to be gone.”
At that he turned and went to walk out of the drawing room inwardly seething at the pure selfishness of his parents. Yes, his family were rich, but they of all people should be normal people. Hell, his family came from the pit; even his ever so great grandmother worked down the pit back in the 1830s. As he walked out, she cried out to him, “But…”
He turned to her, “But nothing madam! Do you even know anything about the family history? Myles my ever so great grandfather the original person they called the Marquis, left this heap of stones and the Vimbaston country estate because of all of the death that he had faced.
“Lord Vimbaston meant something then, but from what I can learn Edgar his grandfather was a right bastard and hurt the ones that he was supposed to love, Myles more than most. Just like you and father have consistently done to me. I refuse to be like him or like you, for you were made from the same mold madam. Like Myles of old I am leaving this place!”
“You are a Lord of the land and you will act like one young man!”
“No mother. I own Vimbaston Towers and that is it. The mine was sold and closed way back in the 80s, thanks to Maggy Thatcher and the government! The only thing left over here is the English head office of Baden-McRoy Designs down in the village where it was born. I refuse to move that. Then we have Vimbaston Events based here at the house run by Peter’s sons.
“I’m Marquis in name only. If you remember, my ever so great grandfather was the adopted son of Myles and was related to Billy Baden by blood, not the Kaylocaks! I am closing the house and taking the rest of the antiques and furniture and turning this place into a Marquis Hotel. All that I will keep here is the apartment in the west wing for when the family comes over.”
“Well where do you expect me to live?”
“That is completely up to you. I dare say you have a hovel somewhere with your lovers are locked away. Other than that, I could not care less madam. I am - going - home.” Conan Kaylock walked out of the drawing room of Vimbaston Towers and walked up to his apartment in the west wing. He stood at the window looking down at the grounds and the shoot that was taking place that weekend and wondered just how he had survived the life his parents had forced him to endure.
‘Why did Papa have to die?’ he thought. He turned reached for the wall and rang the bell. Moments later there was a knock on the door “Enter.”
Sykes the butler entered. “You rang my Lord.”
“Yes Sykes, your family have been with us for some years, have they not?”
“Master Myles and Lizzy hired my grandmother Betty many, many years ago just after the great war. I hate to see you tormented sir.”
“It’s mother again.”
“She’s a snob! Tommy the second Marquis was adopted and related to Tommy Baden. Your bloodline comes from miner’s stock and she needs to remember that.”
“I just reminded her, but I think she only hears what she wants to hear…”
Sykes walked over to his boy, “I held you when you were first born and she just turned away and ignored you. From what I understand, being a snob and distant was the problem with Master Myles’ mother and grandfather. Master Myles was very much like you; very much down to earth and people loved him. That’s why they called him The Marquis as a sign of respect. He was strong and knew his own mind. You have that gift, never let her kill it. You follow your heart sir. I met Myles when I was a young one just like my little Tommy.”
Conan nodded, “I’m closing the house except for this apartment and turning it over to Marquis Hotels. I want you to stay on with your family as the staff and you can take on anyone you feel that you need. We already know the shooting is popular, as are the wedding receptions; perhaps actually staying in the old place will be popular as well. You’re the only one to have access to this apartment. I want a private entrance and the corridor leading to the entrance blocking off, so that no-one staying here knows about the apartment.”
“I’ll get Peter on to that immediately my Lord. I take it using the servant’s stairs to get to the apartment would be fine.”
“Yes. I would rather that, than the external stairs… Now the lists that we inventoried last month I want packed and shipped off to the Ranch. You will then work together with my Hotel ASM who I have already primed to convert the place. Your salary will increase to show the extra duties as will your families. I will always require this apartment though.”
“Sir, if I may speak,” Conan nodded. “I think you’re doing the right thing. You need to do what is best for you. If you’re moving to America you will need a butler and a valet. Peter’s oldest Billy is the one that I would suggest as he has already voiced a desire for me to talk to you about getting a position with one of your hotels over there.”
Conan looked at him, “Billy is my age, is he not?”
“A year older sir, but since he said he wanted to move I’ve trained him thoroughly in the duties of your butler and footman.”
“He’s a good man. Tell him when I leave if he still wants to live in the States then he is my assistant and Butler.”
“Thank you, my Lord. You have eased my fear, for his future.”
“No, not at all... Thank you. I will be down in time for the dinner. Don’t worry about the gong.”
Conan spent the afternoon writing and then calling his lawyers to arrange the working visa for Billy and the ability to get his green card. He also spent time talking to the royal family and his Aunt the grand Duchess as he was close to his cousins. They totally understood why he was having to do what he was doing. Although he was a distant cousin and not one that was in line to the crown as his aunt was a lady in waiting the royal family took a keen interest in his life.
As he was in the library having a pre-dinner drink, he looked at the butler as he entered to say dinner was served. Not having heard that his mother had left he asked, “Sykes, is Mama not coming down tonight?”
The old man looked at him with sad eyes, “Sir, the lady left this afternoon in the BMW and refused to tell anyone where she was going. I believe that she was well marinated in vodka sir.”
“Thank you. I’ll be through directly.” Picking up the telephone he called his lawyer, “Stephen, Mama has left without saying a word to anyone… Exactly, I don’t think she can accept that I am going home... I’m sorry, but I don’t care anymore. Do what we discussed. She has her own money… No. I want all access to the family funds and trusts stopped… Because they were not set up for what she is wanting them for it’s pure and simple… Lord Wilmsley can do that! She is his daughter after all…Thank you…Yes I’ll be leaving for the States within the month…Yes, Yes I will make sure I come in before I fly out.”
Putting the phone down he made his way to the dining room, Sykes grandson Tommy was standing there waiting for him. “Master Conan, Mam says since you’re all alone you have to eat with the family tonight, we’ve got your favorite, steak pie and chips.”
“Well hello little man. How’s school doing?”
“Oh, its grand sir we talked about a man called Tommy Baden and Lord Myles today as we were studying the war. Tommy’s daddy was killed in the mine you know and we all went out to see his grave and put flowers on it. They said he was a hero.”
“Aye, I did know that, your brother Billy shares his name. Come on take m’ hand and show me where I have to go then.”
“Silly… You know the way.”
“Yes Tommy, but you’re the boss when your grandpa isn’t around.”
The boy looked at him with a question in his eyes. “I am?”
“Yes, you’re the boss tonight.”
Tommy held out his hand, “Well come on. You better do what I told you to then. The pies going cold! Mam ‘ll tan m’ backside if y’ ‘ave cold pie.”
That was it, Conan spent the night in the servant’s quarters with his friends the staff and ended up watching a Disney film with Tommy and his sisters. As Conan was just about to head up to his apartments for the night leaving Sykes to lock up, the bell on the front entrance rang. “It’s alright Sykes I’m here anyway.” Conan opened the door, “Hello can I help you?”
There stood the police and a black limo in the distance. “Are you Mr. Conan Kaylock?”
Sykes stood next to Conan by now watching the limo in the distance, “Yes this is Lord Vimbaston.”
“May we come in?”
Sykes shook his head, “Sorry officer, say what you have to say as the hour is late.”
“Very well. I am sorry to have to inform you, but a BMW being driven by Lady Kaylock, your mother, crashed into a fast-flowing river earlier this evening. I’m sorry to say there were no survivors…We need you to come down to the hospital to identify the body.”
By now Conan was leaning against the wall crying, Sykes stepped up and took him into his arms. “I’ll bring his Lordship into the station in the morning. You have my word.”
The detective looked at Conan. “I am so sorry son.” He turned after handing Sykes his card and the car drove away.
After they were out of sight the limo pulled up and out of the car stepped Mario D’Angelo. “Lord Kaylock?”
Sykes now had the boys standing with him with their guns ready and yet D’Angelo seemed alone. “Tell your boys to put the fire power away. I come in peace and alone.”
Conan looked at Sykes and they all put the guns in the waistbands of their trousers. “Mr. D’Angelo what can I do for you? The hour is late.”
“What happened to calling me Uncle Mario like you’ve done all of your life?”
“Since it was most likely you that put the hit out on mama that is in the past.”
“I came to apologize. Your mama had a hit on her for the money she owed before you paid it to me direct. You’re a good boy and always were. As you know the debt was quite substantial and she has owed it for a very long time. Word never got out to the people that… I am so sorry Conan. I know it won’t heal the wound, but I wondered if you would accept this as my saying sorry for what happened. Please know I’ll always be your Uncle who loved his Christmas’ with the little boy that missed his daddy.”
Mario handed over to Conan the title deeds and all the shares to the Maria’s Frozen Foods. “Wow papa!” The man looked shocked. “Yes, I know mother had a fling with you.”
“I am old and have no family except the boys that work for me. That part of the business I will not give to you. You’re the good that I never was able to be. This was your mother’s idea and I stole it as we made love the first night that we were together long before she met your father. The company should be yours, with that comes the Maria Farms. I’ve instructed my lawyer to meet with yours but everyone knows that they are yours now. A press statement will go out tomorrow about the takeover.”
He looked at his son and smiled, “You have grown to make an old man very proud. I do not have that long left, but when I go everything I have will be sold and the financial side of what I own will be yours… you are my heir. One last thing, you’ll also receive Parrino.”
“The jewelers?” The man nodded, “Then you have to guarantee that this does not come with an agreement to a protection racket or anything like that. I will have my own security firm look after it. Nothing like protection or forced blackmailing will be tolerated. Is that clear papa?”
“You have my word. Please, I would ask that you attend my funeral as my god son, my only living relative.”
“Of course, I will. At least I knew you loved me in your own way.”
“I will go now a happy man. Thank you.” He turned to go.
“You still loved her?”
Smiling at his son. “I never stopped for one moment. Your papa could never have children and so easily accepted you as his heir.”
“Stay tonight and go to see her one last time with me as I identify her. I’ll need support. I’ll also need you for the funeral at my side.”
“I would like that son. Thank you.” As he said that, a man got out of the limo.
Conan got angry and upset, “You said that you came alone.”
“This is my lawyer and my partner. He is the one that will inherit the other side of my business. I thought you could direct him to visit your lawyer.”
Sykes looked back and then he said, “My wife has just called Stephen sir, he will be here tomorrow afternoon. You can meet here after your visit to the mortuary. I will prepare a bedroom for Mr. D’Angelo and the other gentleman can have a servant’s room in the old wing.”
Mario looked at Conan, “I said he was my partner.”
Conan smiled, “Yes you did and I’ve never met him.”
Mario smiled, “Okay, then I will stay with him in the room that you give to him.”
“Nice to see you’re dedicated to someone. You never were to your own son! I’ll see you in the morning. Sykes will look after you.” He turned and left them staring at him as he headed to his room.
Sykes looked at Mario, “You have to understand this sir; that young man has been a very lonely young man all of his life. No-one was ever there for him before and suddenly you are?” He said no more, but his meaning was clear. “If you’ll follow me.”
That’s all for now folks ... Chapter 6 will follow soon... I'll continue to try to get at least one chapter posted per week as promised...
Let me have your comments and feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org ... All suggestions considered.
Though I have read through the chapters many times since they were written, an editor never goes adrift, please let me know if you are interested.