“You cannot be serious.” The utter panic in his voice was evident. Whether it’s genuine because he was duped or because someone found out he was dealing in stolen merchandise remained to be seen.
“I am. And you know the sale of stolen goods is punishable by jail time.”
“It’ll ruin me if you’re correct,” he exclaims.
“If this is the copy I believe it is, then yes it could ruin you.”
“I need to figure out a plan.”
I try to ease his stress. I can’t freak the guy out. I don’t want him to do something stupid, like jump out a building. “I don’t want to ruin you. That’s not my plan. I just want my woman to have her books back. She’s been devastated about the loss.”
“I’ll contact the lawyer and the police if he refuses to respond to my request. I can’t cancel the auction.”
“I would do whatever you can to make it right.”
I gave him my contact information. And hung up after a strong warning that I wanted my woman to get back what belonged to her. Now, to deal with the shitstorm I caused myself.
I’m standing outside her apartment, waiting for her to get home. When she pulls up, she doesn’t notice me.
“You don’t know when to quit.”
“Actually, babe, I thought I made it clear that you’re mine.”
“When you bought the house, you didn’t buy me with it.”
“If that’s what’s bothering you so much I’ll finish the remodel and sell it. I didn’t know you or your family before I bought a house that I’ve always wanted. I had no idea how you’d feel. I see that you hate the idea of it.”
“It’s not that I hate the idea. It’s the fact that you lied to me by omission,” she screams at me.
“Yeah, well, when you came there you were under the impression that it was still on the market. I didn’t want to freak you out after you fainted. Then like I said, I didn’t know how you’d take it.”
“Were you ever going to tell me or wait until you got your fill and left.”
“See the thing you’re missing, sweetheart, is I’m not going anywhere. You can be mad, you can refuse to talk to me, but I’m not losing you.”
She opened and closed her mouth several times before saying, “I need time.”
“From now until Sunday.”
“And that’s how long you have. After that, I’m coming full force for what’s mine. And babe, I’m just as stubborn as you are.” I lean down and slam my mouth to hers for a quick and possessive kiss. “Now go inside before it starts storming.”
“Always.” I get to my truck just as the sky rains down on me. She’s standing in the doorway with a hand over her mouth, giggling.
It’s Monday morning. The sun isn’t even all the way up when my doorbell rings. I rush to the door hoping it’s Ben, but it’s a delivery man with a package and a clipboard. “Miracle Richmond?” he asks.
“Yes, that is me,” I reply with questions on the tip of my tongue.
“I have a delivery for you. Please sign.”
I see the shades of the telltale sun rising behind him. “It’s early for deliveries isn’t it.”
“Yes, this is a special delivery.”
“Okay.” I sign the form, and he hands me a wooden box with the copy of the form I signed. The box has the word fragile on each side. It reminds me of shipping crates, but small enough for me to carry. I set it on the coffee table, then lock the door.
I look at the shipping slip, and it’s from an auction house in New York.
I’m breathing hard because this could only be one thing. I go into my work kit and do a double check to make sure the package doesn’t have anything dangerous inside. I scan it, and it’s safe. I pop open the crate to find my aunt’s copy of Pride and Prejudice. There is a letter inside.
Please accept our deepest and most sincere apologies. Along with several other pieces, this immaculate historical treasure was sent for auction. After reviewing the documentation, we realize that a mistake had been made and the book was not listed for sale. After contacting the seller, we corrected the error.
I am truly honored to have been able to view the masterpiece. If you should ever wish to sell it, our evaluation is included. It would take at least a hundred thousand dollars at auction.
Again, please accept our apology.
I pull them out, being completely careful. They are wrapped and protected so perfectly. I called my cousin Tommy. He answered on the first ring. “I heard you got your books back,” he says.
“They called my office. I could be charged with a crime. That stupid auctioneer contacted the police, you dumb bitch.”