"Look," he said, tossing her her in the room. "I know you recognized that statue from the news. But, I'm an undercover agent working on a top-secret mission. So, you need to follow my instructions. It's a matter of life and death," he said gravely.
"First off," he said. "What's your full name?"
He saw the look of fear cross her face. "Nancy!" she gasped. "Am I in danger?"
"Not if I can help it, ma'am." Wheels spinning, Don asked, "Is there anything I should know about your past? Have you broken the law?"
Don snapped and smacked his hand against the palm of his other hand. "Quickly!" he admonished. "The smallest detail could bring this whole thing crashing down!"
"Well, I got in trouble for shop-lifting some bracelets when I was a teenager, but don't tell Ms. Reed! She'll fire me!"
Don shook his head. "I'm afraid you can't go back to being a maid. It's not safe. You need to stick with me for awhile." She was the only one alive that knew Don had the statue and he wasn't worried about the police finding out he had it as much as he was afraid of Reaper, the big boss, finding out he had it. Reaper had earned his nickname and Don was not ready to check out.
"First I need to make sure the statue back in it's hiding place," he said.
Don glanced around and tried to think. He wasn't sure that Kirsten would follow up with her threats to call the police. Really, it would be difficult to accuse him of a con since all he was doing was drafting a prenuptial agreement. The worst they could charge him with was being a jerk. But, Kirsten could twist things and she was working for the intelligence department now. He should've bailed the minute she switched jobs.
Don looked around the room and made note of the exits. "As safe as we can get right now."
Nancy sighed. "Can you tell me about what's going on?"
"Top secret," he mumbled as he checked the room.
"Well, since no one knows we're here, can we go on a tour? I'd love to see the country!"
Don rolled his eyes. He wished she'd shut up. "No. We need to stay here for awhile."
"Oh," Nancy said, crestfallen. "Well, can we order some food?"
Nancy stared at the biggest diamond she'd ever seen. "You want me to wear it?" she asked, dumbfounded.
Don's face flashed with annoyance and then settled into a pleasant smile. "Yes, for our cover..." he said.
"But it's so big. What if I lose it?"
Don patted her hand. "Oh come on. A pretty thing like you must've been given bigger jewels. This must be paltry."
Nancy shook her head. The only person to have given her jewelry had been Rusty back in high school and he'd given her a dollar store plastic ring. She'd always wanted to have a beautiful ring like this... She figured once she got her foot in the entertainment industry, she'd be covered in jewels like this.
"Great," Don announced when she'd put it on. "Now it's been a long trip. Take a nap. I'll stand guard."
Nancy glanced at the bed and hesitated. After all, she didn't know this man at all. But, she'd worked in his house for years... so he must be safe, right? She wondered if Ms. Reed was involved in the criminal activity. "Is Ms. Reed the criminal?" she blurted.
Don looked surprised and then grinned. "You're very astute. But, I can't say any more. Top secret."
Nodding, and very thankful Don had rescued her from a bad situation, Nancy asked timidly, "Can I take a shower first?"
Don glanced at the bathroom door and then at her. "No funny stuff," he said sternly.
Thirty minutes later, Nancy came out of the bathroom wearing just a bathrobe. She pulled it tightly around her and grimaced. "Sorry, my clothes were really smelly. I'll have them wash them before tomorrow." She hurried to bed and crawled under the covers. Don settled on the bed next to her and tried to think of his next move.
Nancy sat up and glanced around, scared to death. "No... what is it? she asked, her lip trembling.
Don made a show of looking around the room and out the windows. "Whatever it was, it's gone now," he said as he settled back on the bed. Nancy looked close to tears.
"You don't have to be afraid," he said.
"I don't?" she looked like she didn't believe him.
"You've got me. I couldn't say anything because it might have blown my cover... but I've noticed you these past few years. Maybe this is fate..." he added.
Nancy was still staring at him as though he'd grown another head.
"I am?" she repeated.
"Let me show you...."
"If you move the newspaper, then someone might realize we're here!" he shouted.
That didn't make sense to Nancy. She knew her neighbors knew they were here. And his co-workers knew he was here. He even received phone calls in the middle of the night here.
But, those little fits he threw was nothing compared to the fit he had when he found out she was pregnant.
"Of all the stupid, idiotic things I've ever heard!" he'd yelled as he threw the lamp across the room.
Nancy cringed. She hated it when he acted like this. "I'm sorry!" she'd cried and then rushed into the bathroom. She heard him swear viciously and she rested her head against the bathroom door and cried.
He'd brought her home a vase full of roses the next day and acted kind and considerate, rubbed her belly and told her how much he was looking forward to having a child, so she pushed aside her doubts and forgave him. After all, he was the father of her baby!
"Calm down," Sheldon said. "Does she have any money?"
Don pushed his hands through his hair. "No, she gave me all $3,000 she had to her name."
"Does she have a record?"
"Yes, some petty shop-lifting."
Sheldon glanced down at his hands. "Does she know anything?"
Don threw his hands up in the air. "All she knows is that I had the statue, which is why I brought her with me. She thinks we're married and that I'm an undercover agent."
Sheldon blinked and then doubled over laughing. "Oh my God. Is she that gullible?"
Don nodded, miserable. "What a mess," he grated his teeth. "I hid the goods someplace she won't think to look, but I just need things to calm down before I release it. Then, we'll split it 50/50."
Sheldon shook his head. "30/70. You've screwed up and now someone else knows about it. That makes it more dangerous. I want a higher percentage."
"A higher percentage?" Don croaked. "You're kidding me! I was the one to get it! I was the one to store it..."
"...And you're the one that almost got us caught." Sheldon said firmly, interrupting Don's rant. "30/70 or I go talk to the Reaper."
Don tilted his head and tried to decide how to play this. "Deal," he said finally.
Sheldon nodded. "Glad you saw it my way," he said as he walked away. "Oh, and congratulations on the new baby. Would hate to see something happen to your new, happy family."
Don caught the threat. Now he just needed to figure out what to do about it.
"Aren't you happy?" she asked.
"Don't start with me. I've had a bad day," Don threatened.
Nancy gathered up Audrey and took her in the other room. Good, maybe she won't talk to me for a few weeks, he thought sourly. His options didn't look good. There were 3 ways this could go: 1) he could take the statue and run off. But, he knew if he did that Sheldon would come after her & she might turn on him; 2) he could kick her and the crying baby out. But, then she'd be bitter and a definite liability; or 3) he could continue to play at the caring husband and doting father.
His stomach rolled and he pushed the food away. He didn't have much choice.