A few moments later he came back on in his white tie and tails. “Before I continue, I would like to say a big thank you to Bobby and all of you who are serving our country.” The place went wild as the audience cheered the guys. “Now I want you all to stand up and I would say rock this joint, but basically if you can keep up with me you win. The idea is I play the tune through once and then you clap in time. Only the more you clap the faster I’ll play and I win if you can’t keep up. Director may I have my violin?” A hand appeared and beckoned him to get it himself.
“Ok now you know the game let me just warm up a little.” At that Conan played Flight of the Bumblebee. The faster the playing got the louder the gasp from the audience. As the song ended, he looked up smiled as the cheering started and said, “Right I think I’m warned up!” The grand piano suddenly appeared and the director sat ready to play. “I am told he’s good enough let’s test him…” With that Conan played the intro to the ‘Can Can’ and the director joined at the right moment. They were magic together.
When he finished Conan looked out at the audience and said “I guess he passed. Now you know, all you have to do is clap and keep up… Here we go…” At the moment exact moment Conan shouted “The test begins NOW!” He continued to play and as he played, he got faster and faster. When the music stopped the place went wild and Conan looked seriously at the audience “Mr. President do you think they managed to keep up or do they need more rehearsal?”
Nathan smiled, “Oh I definitely think we need more rehearsal because you, definitely won Conan.”
Conan laughed, “Here we go!” and he started to play again only this time he got faster than ever and the audience kept up with him. As the music stopped her was exhausted and ran off stage as the director played. Two minutes later Conan ran back on stage in full Scottish outfit with the McRoy family tartan.
He stood there as everyone cheered and the Director announced Ladies and Gentlemen - The Marquis, Lord Vimbaston entertains.” The orchestra walked back on and took their places as Conan stood there and the music started. This time it was ‘Beyond the Sea’ followed by ‘Mack the Knife’.
He stopped and took a sip of water as the lighting changed and he walked back on in his white tuxedo and burgundy trousers with a bright red waistcoat. This was his section, where his beloved opera was sung and the audience lapped it up. They loved his voice, no matter he sang. Finally, he took the seat at the piano and he played and sang ‘We are the Champions’. After the first verse he said, “Ladies and Gentlemen the stars of the show…Welcome back to the stage Ross Whitlaw…” The music grew louder and the singing started as Ross walked on.
Each singer introduced the next and the final one said “Ladies and Gentlemen the Marquis and the Earl!” On walked Conan and Nicky together and as Nicky joined the rest Conan joined them all in one final song. The audience loved them. As the song ended the place went wild. As they were taking their fifth bow the director of the school stepped on stage and the place went silent.
Several awards for runners up with smaller prizes were awarded and then the main award was announced “The award for first place and five thousand dollars towards your study donated by Kaylock International goes to Abigail Andrews our soprano.” Nicky had been approached as the winner, but asked the director to give it to Abigail as he had noticed that the rest were all well dressed and she looked as if she hadn’t eaten for days and had a dress out of wardrobe.
As everyone was leaving Nicky pulled them in to a changing area as he could hear someone crying. Abigail sat there holding the bankers draft and looking totally lost. Nicky went up to her, “Miss Abby what’s wrong? You sang my favorite song from Carmen tonight.”
“Nicky, isn’t it? This money is for my study, but mamma is so poorly I need to use it to pay her medical bills. Even then we’ll lose the house and I don’t know what to do. We’ll have nowhere to go.”
Marie knelt next to the two of them, “What’s wrong with you mother dear?”
“Oh my! Madam I am, so sorry. Shouldn’t I should bow or curtsy?” She just wept more.
Marie smiled, “Shush now and tell me about your Mamma.”
“Mamma has acute lymphoblastic leukemia and they say there is nothing else that they can do for her. With all of the medical bills, she used all of her savings. She’s sold the house and the car. We’re moving into a two-room flat where the sofa is a bed which will be where momma has to sleep. Only she’s so sick I just don’t know what to do anymore.”
Nicky pulled Conan’s trouser leg, “Daddy?” He whispered something to Conan and they nodded.
Conan looked at her “Where was it that your mother used to work?”
“She was the main designer in the Baden-McRoy fashion house.”
“Oh, I thought our designer was Sharon Higgins.”
“She is the face of the company, but whenever someone designs a new style as they work for her, she puts her name to it.”
“Yes, and she skims off the 25% of every sale of the design which should have been going to your mamma. How long has this been going on?”
“Mum was taken on eighteen years ago when she fell pregnant with me. Lord Vimbaston took her in and looked after her. She had been there longer than that Sharon woman.”
“Sharon got promoted because of the new designs she introduced in last year’s fashion show. Didn’t she?” Conan stated.
Abigail looked at Conan, “Vimbaston? Kaylock? Baden-McRoy? Oh my, you own the design company.”
“Yes, I do and Sharon only got where she is by lying and cheating by the sounds of it. Leave this to me. I cannot believe that she sacked your sick mother and then used her designs claiming them as her own.”
Conan was furious, “Nicky stay with Abby. You all need to listen to this as my witnesses.” Stepping to one side he called the Chief Executive Officer of Baden-McRoy and put his phone and speaker so all could hear the call.
“This had better be fucking good. Do have any idea what the time is?!”
“Good evening to you to Sharon. Good to talk to you too. Are you alone?”
“Conan! Oh my god it is so good to hear from you. Alone no, I have Mike Deveraux with me.”
“Mike put your clothes back on because any design ideas she even suggests to you and I will sue you both for every penny. Go back to Deveraux Designs sir.” There was movement in the background, “Now Sharon hold the thought of it being good to hear from me because I am going to do to you what you have done to one of your employees that even I can remember. If I was to tell you that you are terminated with no severance package, medical cover or life insurance and all because you have cancer what would you say?”
“That is not how Kaylock or Baden-McRoy work.”
“Can you remember Ellen Andrews.”
“Do you remember Ellen Andrews?” He shouted.
“Well of course the poor girl was raped…” Abigail gasped, “…and your grandfather gave her a job to help her out. She left though.”
“Care to tell me why? Maybe I should say I am with Abigail at the moment before you answer.”
“She was never in work and tried to tell her manager she was at the doctor all of the time because she was sick.”
“Yes, I know. Did you know that she has acute lymphoblastic leukemia? No, I dare say you don’t because all you saw were her fantastic designs from last year that you stole and then also stole the 25% commission on every sale of those designs. Now I have told you what I know, care to tell me why you let her go?”
“She has what?”
“She has terminal cancer, unless she can get medical cover to support her and even then, it may be too late because of you. Now care to tell me why you let her go?”
“I thought that she looked too upbeat to have cancer.”
Abigail shouted, “Because she loved her fucking job you bitch. She knew her designs would make her position secure. You never nursed her at night as she was screaming in agony.”
Conan just said, “Did you ever check with the hospital? Did you go to an appointment with her for support? Did you ever go to her house when she said she was sick with the treatment?”
“This woman may well die, leaving the girl Baden-McRoy supported because your father raped her mother … homeless. Consider yourself that this is a warning and tell your father… I’m coming for his blood! His daughter has eighteen years of child support due and her mother has 25% on the best year of sales due from your own pocket!”
“You wouldn’t dare! I mean dad’s an old man!”
“Tough, and his daughter is a mean selfish bitch. Sort this madam. Reinstate her with pay back dated to when you fired her. Medical cover back just like her salary, the commission paid over to her, date her salary to that time of termination with an immediate raise to that of the CEO of the company. Pay off the mortgage for them as the bank is foreclosing and buy them two new cars. Make sure that they have everything that they need and maybe, just maybe I’ll let the good Senator keep his name and reputation.
“Do this out of your own family funds and then consider yourself terminated not because of this, but because you stole her designs and stole from the company and you might as well have murdered that woman the way you treated her. You make me sick. You used them for this year’s fashion show and you lied saying that they were your designs! Abigail has the originals in a bank deposit box that I have given to her, so you cannot get to them.
“Sort this, and then get out or your father will be in the news. I suggest you call Abigail now and tell her a mistake happened and you are sorting it! Goodbye, you have two days to leave, five minutes to contact Abigail. Minton from the legal department will be in touch at the end of this call as he has been listening and recording this for legal purposes.”
The President had been listening, “Sharon? Andrews? Senator? Is that who I think you are talking about?”
“Sharon hold please as the President is with me at the moment…” Conan looked at the man he so admired, “Yes sir, it is. He got drunk one night and attacked the girl on her way home from school. When grandfather found out and didn’t know how to go against that family, he did all he could do to be there for Abigail’s mother. Good god sir she was still in school and her father threw her out because of being pregnant. Grandpa took her in and the housekeeper looked after her. Grandfather stepped in and looked after her and supported her and the senator paid for it to begin with. Then he got greedy and refused when grandfather died. I should have sacked her then, but mother insisted she was good at her job.”
The President spoke, “Sharon you will do all of the requests made by Conan and the FBI will be arriving at your place of work and home anytime now. Your accounts and finances will be audited and I hope you have insurance because America is suing for what you have done and we will be charging your father with rape.”
An agent appeared, “Mr. President they have arrived at the house and office.”
“Thank you Agent Smith. You will have heard that Sharon, you have until the end of the day to rectify this as Conan has outlined and then America will sue. People like you disgust me!”
* * * * * * * * * *
Once the call was complete Nicky asked, “Abigail what are you studying?”
Conan smiled, “Good … Kaylock and Baden-McRoy grant you a scholarship to study for your bachelor’s degree in design, should you want to take it to Masters level we will continue that support. Kaylock will train you to step into the shoes of the CEO and that will remain your job unless your mother is ever able to come back to us.”
Her mobile suddenly went off, “Hello?”
**This is Sharon from Baden-McRoy Designs. I dare say you are aware that I have spoken to the Marquis about this situation. **
“Yes, I am aware you spoke to the Marquis and just so you know you are on speaker phone.”
**Now listen here you little upstart your mother was terminated because she… **
“Because she was better than you and better for the company, so you got rid of her!”
**You little bitch! When she gave me those designs and said that they were your designs, I just knew that I had to get rid of both of you. **
Conan was furious when he heard, **Sharon you were warned that I was on the call, this is Minton from legal. Pack your things I am on my way to your office now! How dare you use a woman’s illness for your own personal gain. **
**Mr. Minton I wasn’t aware you were on this call. This little gold digger has claimed several amazing things sir. Total lies of course. **
**As I was in on the Marquis’ call, I stayed linked in to phone, just to see what you did. Now what you say is very strange, you see I have the original designs with me. Abigail’s mother always lodged her designs in the legal department as it symbolized to her that she was handing the usage of those designs over to us. Otherwise the design would have remained her property. I have them signed and dated by the artist and designer. Believe me they are not signed by you! The FBI has frozen your personal accounts and your father’s and will recover the funds that have been stolen from Abigail’s family. **
Abigail spoke, “Sharon I only met you once, but believe me when I say that I am sorry our father is ill. I wish you the best, but you were wrong with what you have done.”
Minton spoke, **Abigail on behalf of Baden-McRoy you have my sincere apologies and we will rectify everything that this employee has done to your family. These are not the principles established by Lizzy Baden and Fred McRoy. As instructed by the Marquis we will pay your mortgage off, so that the house is free and clear. There will be two cars available that we will keep on the company lease, so that you get servicing, petrol and insurance coverage. Oh yes, that means every three years a new car will be made available. On your first day you’ll be given a fuel card, so that all of your gas will be covered by the company. As for your mother; there is medical cover there to pay for all of her treatment that she needs. **
Conan smiled, **Michael this is Conan. **
**Good evening Marquis, it’s good to hear from you again. **
**Thank you. Abigail is stepping in to her mother’s shoes as she was the designer of this years’ collection as we have just found out. We’ve already agreed her salary will be Sharon’s salary plus 25%. We’ll also give full support to her, so that she can get her degree in design and management. I’ll let you discuss the degrees that she should be looking at. I want us to give her our full support. Do you understand?”
“Of course, my Lord.”
“I also want a release in the media with her picture, so that the world knows the face behind this year’s fantastic designs. I believe they are the reason for the best year that we’ve had in years. Know though, my son the Earl on Charmeston has chosen to want to sponsor this young lady, so we will do everything we can to see that she succeeds. **
**Young Charmeston? Are you there? **
**Yes sir, Nicky Kaylock here. **
**You have my promise that I will take this young lady under my wing and mentor her. **
*Sir… Her mother is really sick. I want to make sure that the best treatment is offered. We’ll make sure that she gets over this. I am a Von-Kessler and if the company cannot cover all of the costs, I will. **
**We’ll do everything that we can sir, no expense spared…Nicky? **
**Yes sir. **
**Come in with Abigail next week. I would love to meet the future Marquis.”
**Oh no sir. Aaron, my brother will be the Marquis. I am the Earl of Charmeston.”
**Come in anyway it would be good to get you kitted out in some of the Baden-McRoy designs. **
**Thank you. I would like that. ** They said their good byes and then ended the call.
Uncle Max looked at Nicky, “I am glad that Marie has handled the title situation already as I have been thinking about what you should be known as. As the Earl of Charmeston, it moves us into history and takes us to Charmeston Priory the original baronial home of Lord Vimbaston. It has remained my country retreat for several years now, but every Lord should have a home. Lord Charmeston you are now the owner of Charmeston Priory and its connected park.”
Marie looked at the footman that was with Max and gestured for the ceremonial sword he was carrying. “Acting on behalf of my good friend the queen, would you kneel please Nicky…” She placed the sword’s tip on his shoulder, “Nicholas Von-Kessler Kaylock I dub thee Baron Von-Kessler, Earl of Charmeston and grant unto you all privileges and properties of that title. Your main residence being Charmeston Priory once you are of age. Until then it will be with the Marquis as his son. This is now and forever linked to the Kaylock family and should there be two sons then this title will be activated.”
That’s all for now folks ... Chapter 13 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.