Mayhem ensues when Stu, a wealthy dog breeder, is forced to retrieve a prize pup from the woman he secretly loves. But the dog has become a celebrity, and Stu’s dream girl needs the pup to meet a publication deadline she was obligated to by her arrogant and controlling fiancé.
Wingate huffed and puffed until he could no longer contain his frustration. “Do you understand what an outrage this is? It is unconscionable!”
“I know you’re upset, but the dog is back – returned to the kennel. Since that was the basis of your complaint – I mean, how can you be surprised the board of governors would dismiss it when the violation set forth no longer exists?” Abbott asked.
Wingate wheeled upon him and jabbed a long, bony finger in the air. “No longer exists, you say? By that reasoning I suppose it’s no crime to rob a bank as long as the robbers return the money eventually.”
“Lowell sputtered, “No, I didn’t mean…”
“Perhaps kidnappers shouldn’t be prosecuted as long as they return their victim.”
“I never said…” Lowell flushed brightly at the lambasting.
“Don’t you see? Dammit all, it is not a question of whether he is in violation of the charter now; he undeniably broke the rules and should be called into account for it!”
Lila’s head lolled. Her pale blonde wisps bounced. She looked at her husband with bleary eyes and said with a sarcastic amusement, “You tell ‘em, Scooter.”
He hunched up and winced as his hated nickname escaped from his wife’s lips. “How many times do I have to tell you not to call me that?”
This drew a mild bout of idiotic laughter from her, which terminated in a hiccup. She looked for a moment as if she were about to say something and then slumped back in the chair, playing with the sash on her dressing gown.
She’s wearing the same damn robe as when I left this morning. Does the woman do nothing but lounge around and drink all day?
Wingate ran his fingers through his wavy hair and resumed stalking back and forth before the enormous fireplace. Obviously, the Hockersmiths have friends on the board. Someone tipped them off. He glanced up at the nearly mural-sized portrait of himself and his wife which hung above the hearth. Indeed, good idea, Wingate. What would I do if I were Stewie? The gray eyes in the painting stared back at him. Stewie probably got on the company jet and flew out to get his precious pooch back from Bianca…just in time to produce it for the meeting, and to save his own undeserving hide yet again. Will nothing stick to these people? He clasped his hands behind his back. I’ve had the IRS and the SEC on them and they always come out squeaky clean. How is that even possible?
Lila was absently humming some tune and Lowell Abbott was deep in thought, tugging at one of his wiry eyebrows. Idiots. I am surrounded by idiots and incompetents. Lawyers, friends, spouse – all idiots.
Suddenly, Lowell’s pudgy face lit up. “There is the appeal, of course. You have seven days to file an appeal to the decision to dismiss.”
Wingate stopped short to consider the doctor’s statement. “Yes, but on what grounds, Lowell? The lawyers couldn’t think of anything. It would have to be sufficiently related to the original complaint. He got the dog back. No missing dog, no complaint. I only wonder how he managed it – and so quickly. I had thought he was rather too taken with that little slut author.” He paused and chuckled to himself. “I wonder what she’ll do without her precious Lo-Lou?”
“She’s writing annnother book,” Lila slurred out.
“Yes, well. That may be a little difficult without her dog, eh?”
“She’s still got her doggie,” Lila pulled one of her tabloids from the magazine rack and gazed at the cover photo. “Aw…cute li’l doggie…”
Gerald rolled his eyes. Lush… “What are you going on about? Do you not comprehend? Her dog is gone. Stuart took it,” he snapped before marching over to snatch the paper from her hands. There, on the front, was a picture of Bianca Jameson and Justin Woodlock, star of Hospital Hill. And Bianca was holding little Lo-Lou, and Justin – wait, when was this picture taken? He scanned the page for the publication date. Today? How could Bianca still have the dog if Stuart was already back here with the dog?