Restless, Daniel made his way to Alexandra's car parked beneath the carport! Unlocked, so he took it in interestedly! Actually, the same used car that he had purchased when she and Cassandra first came to take possession of the mine! His car, so he decided he could go through it! Plates and inspection were current, along with proof of insurance! He should probably take 'collision' off of the policy and just carry liability! It was an older model sedan! The keys were in it, and he scoffed. Maybe she was hoping to get it stolen. Trying to process, he took in the two car seats! A toddler seat, much the worse for wear! Like disgusting! And the other, the base to snap in an infant carrier! Frowning, he reminded himself not to jump to conclusions! Things probably weren't what they seemed! Maybe she just babysat, or helped a neighbor~
With a quick, guilty look at the shut up house, he slid behind the wheel and started it up! Not surprisingly, it was alarmingly low on gas! What could she do? Report it stolen? It was his car! After filling it up and checking the oil, he found a car wash! Before relinquishing it to the attendant, he grasped scattered bits of mail, and threw out petrified French fries and other fast-food remnants! Waiting in the car wash, he turned his attention to the handful of letters!
Alexandra sat forlornly in the darkened bedroom! How horrible to be so trapped! It was hard keeping the girls quiet; they were hungry, and both in need of diaper changes! She was mad at Doug! Well, mad at herself for believing him! Dumb! Dumb! Dumb, Alexandra!
Well, when Angelique was released from St. Mary's she was faced with little choice but calling Doug again, and asking him to come to Grand Junction and pick them up! Then, somehow he had convinced her that they needed each other, and that he could take care of her and the baby~and something about getting his little girl from his grandmother~And so here she was~with two babies; no money, no food, not even diapers in either size!
Before leaving for work, Doug had told her there was no choice but for her to pawn her violin and the wedding rings she guessed had been sent to her from Brad's mother! Although they didn't have a lot of sentimental value, she questioned whether they had any value at all~to pawn! And she was conflicted about her violin! Prior to Brad’s having tried to force the rings from her swollen fingers in his rage, injuring her ring finger, she had found tremendous joy in playing!
Kind of cavalier, Doug just reminded her that they couldn't handle the cost of the elective surgery to repair the damaged finger, so she might as well get something for the violin! Get some gas and diapers and a minimum of groceries to get by until his payday! All of that was overwhelming enough, but then having her dad appear at her door! Her plan was to pull herself together and make a success of the mine, and only then could she reunite with her family! As a success, rather than such a total loser!
And Liesel! Alexandra was aware of her existence and the fact that Doug planned to get her from his grandmother! She just didn't know, he meant, immediately! Or that the child seemed to have never been corrected in her life! She was cute enough looking except that she acted like an animal! Feeling hopeless and despairing, she tried again to pray!
Daniel's eyes traveled uncomprehendingly across the addresses of the correspondence in his hand! Surely Al's mail was none of his business! He had grasped it out of habit, to eliminate the security risk of the carwash people getting personal information from papers left carelessly! Alexandra Faulkner~Alexandra Maxwell~Alexandra Hunter~he shoved it all into his attaché! Scarlet O'Hara attack! He'd think about it tomorrow! When he could stand it! Maybe he could even locate a plantation named Tara! Diana would definitely need it when she found out!
He took his time returning the vehicle to its spot! Maybe he could aggravate Alexandra enough to bring her from hiding! The house was still closed up, though, and he knew she was in there! Resisting the temptation to take her rejection personally, he walked slowly back to his rental car! With dread, he pulled the purloined letters free and pulled a letter from the top envelope! Maybe since it was already opened, he wasn't breaking any laws! Tears filled his eyes! A threatening collection letter from St. Mary's Hospital for neonatal care of Angelique Farrah Maxwell! Well, this was news to him! Not particularly good news, either! Maybe he could find Maxwell and hand him his bills for his kid! Evidently the Maxwells had so much money! Maybe Erik could get the bill to Stephen in jail! Might be worth a try!
Resolutely, he admitted those actions wouldn't solve anything! Pulling out his iPad, he photographed the letter and forwarded it to his attorney! Clint could buy some time and get the exorbitant charges reduced to a more manageable amount! Even more alarming was a bank notice informing Alexandra that they had paid a large overdraft in her mine payroll account, but she needed to make a deposit to cover the overdraft and all of the accrued charges! His mind reeled! He thought she was at least taking care of the mine! Maybe she had taken care of it~he phoned the bank to make sure!
That conversation left him wondering if he had nibbled from the wrong side of a mushroom! Surreal! According to the banker, Alexandra always held plenty of reserve in the payroll account, but then her husband had come in and drafted out a large sum of cash! Then he had shot himself, and Alexandra had transferred money from another account to keep the payroll drafts covered! But now, according to her, someone kept transferring her money away! The possibility of its being Stephen occurred to him! Not that the man could do it personally from lockup! Maxwell had shot himself? He had married Al, produced a daughter, and left her a widow? Then who was Doug Hunter? Evidently she moved along! Well, this settled it! He wasn't leaving town without seeing her!
Alexandra Maxwell shivered as she waited for the gas pump to turn off! The air was brisk, and at the mine's higher elevation, the cold would be brutal! She fought nausea as she hung the nozzle back in place, gas fumes assailing her senses! Yes, it was official; she and Brad had a child on the way! Not that Brad knew about it yet! She punched the button to close the transaction and headed onto Hwy 550! Thursday was her day off from teaching, so she handled matters at the mine!
So, with the arrival of the marriage license, she had again met Brad at the courthouse! Within thirty minutes of meeting him, she was Mrs. Bradley Faraday Maxwell! No rings yet, but she had the license! Their union now legal! A thrill still coursed through her at the thought! Because things would work out! She still read her Bible every day, and she just knew~
After purchasing a large coffee from a drive through, she pulled over to send her cryptic text to her dad! Back on the highway with her music playing softly, she resumed her musings:
So, Brad had kind of blind-sided her with a pre-nup agreement~in case Stephen found out about the marriage~ Which~no big deal~she had signed! It was only in the case of a divorce~and she was married to Brad~until death…
And then, some lady who worked in the JP’s office had asked her if she wanted to back off and have her attorney draw up similar paperwork~to protect her assets! She figured the busybody knew the prominent local attorney, Ray Meeker, and the fact that he was a member of the mine consortium~but Brad had a fortune of his own~the last thing he cared about was the mine~And besides, they loved and trusted each other~ She hummed happily to