F Paul Wilson - Sims 02

F Paul Wilson - Sims 02 by The Portero Method (v5.0) Read Free Book Online

Book: F Paul Wilson - Sims 02 by The Portero Method (v5.0) Read Free Book Online
Authors: The Portero Method (v5.0)
“Perrier?” Judy said. “Are my ears playing tricks or did I just hear you order water?”
                 Ellis had been taking in Tavern On The Green’s sunny, glass-walled Terrace Room with its
hand-carved plaster ceiling and panoramic view of Central Park .
The park was more impressive when in bloom, but even here in the fall he found
a certain stark, Wyethesque beauty in the denuded trees. The Terrace Room’s
seating capacity was 150. Today it seated only four: Ellis, Judy, his daughter,
Julie, and son, Robbie, the birthday boy. He’d rented out the entire space for
a family luncheon.
                 Ellis turned to his ex-wife. Judy was
looking better than ever. With her perfectly coiffed blond hair, her diamond
bracelets, and her high-collared, long-sleeved, clinging pink dress made out of
some sort of jersey material—Versace, he guessed, because she’d always loved
Versace—she fit perfectly in this ornate setting. Judy was only two years his
junior, but Ellis thought he must look like her father. She was enjoying her
wealth from the divorce settlement. Far more than Ellis was enjoying his own.
                 “Yes,” Ellis told her. “I’ve decided
to take a vacation from alcohol.”
                 “That’s wonderful, Ellis.” He knew
she meant it. The divorce had been amicable: Ellis had told her she could have
anything she wanted. That said, she’d taken a lot less then she could have—more
than the GNP of a number of small nations, to be sure, but still, she could
have grabbed for so much more. “How long has this been going on?”
                 “Since the summer.”
                 “What made you…?”
                 “Lots of
developments, lots of things happening. Things I want to keep an eye
on.”
                 “And Mercer? How’s he?”
                 “The same. Eats, sleeps, and drinks the business. Still obsessed with
SimGen’s profits and its image. Someday he’ll look around and wonder
where his life has gone.” He leaned closer and lowered his voice. “Did you hold
on to all that SimGen stock from the settlement?”
                 Her brows knitted. “Yes. Why?”
                 “Wait till after the earnings report at the December stockholders’ meeting, take advantage of the
bounce, then dump it.”
                 “Is something wrong?”
                 “Things might become…unsettled. I
want you and the kids protected. But mum’s the word. Just sell quietly and
stick it all in T-notes, okay?”
                 She set her lips and nodded.
                 “Good.” He straightened, put on a
happy face, and looked around the table. “But enough about me
and Mercer and business. This is a celebration.” He turned to Robbie.
“How’s the birthday going so far?”
                 His son shrugged, a typical
fifteen-year-old’s studied nonchalance mixing with embarrassment at being out
on the town with his folks and his younger sister on his birthday. He was
underdressed in denims for the occasion, but that was to be expected of a boy
his age; his buzz-cut hair revealed a bumpy skull. Hardly attractive, Ellis
thought, but it was the style. So was the turquoise stud in Robbie’s left
eyebrow. At least he showed no signs of a splice, and Ellis prayed he never
would. He realized it was a teenager’s duty to irk his parents, but he hoped
Robbie would find his own ways rather than galloping after the herd.
                 “Okay, I guess.”
                 Ellis smiled. He wasn’t making any
appreciable progress developing the new sim line he so desperately wanted, but
he was feeling good about himself nonetheless, better than he had in years, and
he wanted to share it. Only on rare state occasions did they get together as a
family, but he’d used Robbie’s fifteenth birthday as a

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