divorce. She would receive approximately $5,000,000 in cash from the current $10,000,000 in investments he had as soon as probable. She would receive the quick claim deed to their existing residence and be responsible thereafter for all taxes, utilities, improvements and betterments. Also, she would have full title to the vehicle she is driving as well as to the yacht. “In turn, she will allow Carlisle Stevens full ownership of the company as well as to the Lear Jet which is owned by the company. Mr. Stevens will also be able to retain his current investments of approximately $5,000,000 after sharing the 50% with Susan Stevens. The family property which Mr. Stevens has listed will be returned to him after the deed is signed. Mrs. Stevens has asked that the property be removed by her son rather than Mr. Stevens” Sandra’s attorney iterated.
Carlisle’s attorney then concurred that the original agreement with the exception of one minor change as to the removal of the family artifacts schedule by her son, would be signed and accepted. Thereafter all changes were initialed and signed by the parties and the quick-claim deed was signed and witnessed for the residence Sandra would retain.
Although Susan was upset that she would be responsible for those credit cards which were solely in her name, she had to agree that Carlisle had never used personal credit cards…only cards which were in his business name.
Carlisle was pleased with the results of the meeting. While his attorney was still on the premises he contacted his Vice President and the Production Manager. Once they arrived he indicated his thoughts of selling the company on a stock option basis. Realizing the buyout would take several years, he stated that he will remain the acting CEO and consultant but no longer be its president. He stated that Brice Safranski, his vice president would move his rank to president and that his production manager Ron Kaminski would be given the title of Vice President.
“Each of you will be given a raise to be able to purchase five percent of the Company’s stock within a year. Anything they chose to purchase above that would be through their own salary. The employees then could purchase a stock option to purchase shares in the company which my attorney has scheduled. Since I currently own 100% of all shares, the money under this buyout will come to me directly, until the employees own 100% of the company’s assets and liabilities.”
“Since I have had an excruciating day already, I will leave you with our attorney to go over the details of the buy-out. Gentlemen, if you would prefer, you may secure your own attorney before signing these documents. However, since the Bennett Law Firm has represented our company since its inception, I would hope that you would retain this firm once I become the minority owner and give up my title.”
Brice then inquired whether Kent would be an officer as well. Carlisle advised him that Kent would be with us only for a short time because he will be joining a firm in San Francisco as an Architectural/Structural engineer within the month.
He explained that if it had not been for the Japanese engine problems, Kent would have left the factory sooner. “He, I understand will have a web cam meeting with the Japanese engineers and then fly to Japan within a week. Brice, you may consider flying down with him because you will be running the show from hereon in. They will provide an interpreter if there is a language problem, but most likely you will be meeting with the same people who have come to the factory. They of course speak English” Carlisle concluded as he left the office.
In a week he would be in court with the judge signing their divorce decree. He would be free to fly to San Francisco after Paris fashion week to be with Madeline.
There were only three days prior to the Dupree Fashion House Executives making their way to Paris. The design team and the seamstresses under the direction of Celia Wolf managed to have the haute courtier collection ready in record time. Because of the excellent job Celia orchestrated on Madeline’s and Pierre’s behalf, they decided that Celia would become the new director as soon as Pierre Denning was made President. There was no other that would be able to fit into Pierre’s current position and Celia agreed to the transition knowing there would be little time for a personal life. Both Pierre and his life partner had agreed to the terms of the contract. Madeline was looking forward to relinquishing her title as President although she would retain her Chief Executive Officer title for the sake of involvement and consultation.
Adelaide made certain she stayed by Atari’s side through all the photo shoots and fittings. In only a week, Atari was favored as the top model for the Dupree House. Her sculptured face and graceful tall features made it easy for the photographers to come up with some astounding shots. The rumor mill indicated that Serenity who was seen at one of the posh clubs in San Francisco
mentioned that Saran Façade would have the winning collection Paris week. She further stated that the designers who she modeled for were always the winners and unfortunately the Dupree House of Fashion would be in the bottom list.
Madeline could not prove that Claire Dufault had stolen her designs but felt they would be changed up so as not to show they were copied. In any event, she hoped that the new collection intermingling Atari’s designs would far exceed anything Claire Dufault could master for Saran. Yet she could not understand why Claire would have left so abruptly with Serenity. She wondered whether Pierre’s discontent may have had something to do with it but he to this time said nothing regarding the matter.
It was not until the day they were to depart for Paris would she learn the truth. The reporters inquired as to how Madeline was feeling about her collection when obviously she lost her top designer and model to Saran Façade. She just smiled and responded “I am very happy for Saran Façade because obviously his house required some assistance. Claire Dufault will do an excellent job for him.”
“But aren’t you worried at all Madeline? Surely losing your top designer and top model will cause you some difficulties” stated one of the reporters.
“I really am not concerned gentlemen. In fact my top designer Celia Wolf has agreed to become my director taking Pierre Denning’s position” she said.
“So it’s true what the rumor mill is stating. Pierre is now to be working for Saran Façade as well?” said one of the reporters. “Pierre is that true ?” another reporter stated directly to him.
Madeline interjected “Well gentlemen, perhaps it is true that Pierre was intending to leave our house. However, as of this week he has signed a contract with Dupree House of Fashion where he will take the position of President, allowing me to free my time by remaining CEO” she said as she placed her arm around Pierre.
“But is that the reason you provided Pierre the promotion?” asked the reporter.
“No, that is not the reason. Pierre has been fundamental to our company’s growth and has always been a dear friend. He unlike Clare and Serenity did not elect to leave before fashion week. He has stood by me and it is appreciated” she said as she smiled at him. “He should have been promoted long ago and it was my mistake to not have recognized what a treasure I have had working with me throughout the years. I may only state that I am so pleased that he has elected to remain and run my house so I may have some additional time on my hands.”
By this time the models arrived, including Atari who was escorted by Adelaide. Celia also arrived at last minute. Madeline made certain that Atari, Adelaide and Celia had the appropriate designer clothing to wear when they were not on the runway. Pierre’s partner had arrived during the media interviews and had quietly entered the plane. The luggage and the collection had already been stowed and soon the plane was ready for take off.
Other than for the meals served by the flight attendants, everyone seemed to require rest; that is everyone but Pierre and Madeline. Once the models were asleep, Pierre asked if he could join Madeline and Adelaide gladly moved to a seat near Atari. He was concerned about Madeline’s feelings about his prior decision to leave her.
She was very gracious and advised him, to his surprise, that had she been in his position, she would have sought a position elsewhere as well. She apologized that she had not thought about promoting him previously. Yet, she had always felt she was the only one who could manage all the particulars. She also hoped that the situation could be forgotten and that from this day forward they would be able to work as a team.
Pierre also explained that he had not anticipated her designs to have been stolen in advance of fashion week. He felt the entire situation was his fault. He asked for her forgiveness for not having anticipated the ramifications of his discussion to leave with Claire.
“Pierre, it was obviously meant to be. We are not the worse for wear. I suspect that it was meant for us to use Atari’s designs at least in part and I believe because of it we have a better collection. Do not worry my friend. All will be alright in the end.” She said. It was then that she nodded off with Pierre at her side, as he was meant to be.
They arrived in Paris and were quickly picked up by limousines which would take their entourage to the InterContinental Paris-Avenue Marceau. The Inter-Continental Marceau was once the private mansion of the Comte de Breteuil which is not only close to the trendy French restaurants and Place Vendome’s jewelers but is an excellent place to stroll along the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe.
Madeline, Atari and Adelaide stayed in the same suite while Celia Wolf and Pierre and his partner had adjoining rooms. The various models had rooms on another floor.
Atari was extremely excited to be in Paris. She knew that for the first couple of days prior and during the show, Madeline and Pierre essentially would be attending receptions at the various hospitality suites. Pierre’s partner, Lucas Cane agreed to escort Madeline and Atari to one of the local restaurants so that they would not have to eat all of their meals in the hotel. After an excellent dining experience at the Tour D'Argent, the Mecca of Haute Cuisine they hailed a cab to see some of the sights of the city before retiring.
They saw the Eiffel Tower, the Palais du Louvre, the Beauborg area, Notre Dame de Paris and the Arc de Triomphe from their vehicle. The driver was kind enough to stop at each site so Atari and Adelaide could take photographs. It was such a wonderful experience and Atari could see how everyone loves Paris. Atari hoped there would be time to go back to the Beauborg area so she could take in the Musee National d`Art Moderne and the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique centers. Yet if not for this trip, perhaps, she thought, she and Kent could return to Paris for their honeymoon.
Except for their first night everyone was too busy with plans for the show to see the sights. It was finally D-Day for their collection on the runway. Everyone was scurrying at the Musee Rodin for the 12:30 timeslot. Adelaide and Celia made certain the dresses, hats and hair ornamentations were fitted perfectly on the models after they were done with makeup and hair styling. Madeline was extremely nervous and Pierre attempted to calm her as he himself made certain everything was in order.
Both Madeline and Pierre announced their fall collection prior to the models beginning the runway show. They received several raves by those judging the show and although Saran Façade’s collection would follow, Madeline and Pierre felt their collection would be the one to receive acclaim.
Claire Dufault noticed Madeline and Pierre and had difficulty looking their way. Serenity gave Atari a dirty look as she passed her. Atari only could smile knowing that she was able to take her place without Madeline having a problem.
A dinner would be held at one of the hotels for all of the designers and executives to attend. Madeline made certain her daughter and sister attended with her, Pierre and Celia. It was the night where Madeline would announce to the rest of the world that she would be promoting her top people into higher positions so that she would be able to spend less time at the fashion house. She was elated because she knew that within the following week, Carlisle would be flying into San Francisco and they would be able to spend some time together. In fact Adelaide stated she would move to the apartment with Atari so that they could have some privacy. Kent would not be expected to arrive until the following week and it would give Atari the time to enroll into the institute.
Everyone raved about the Dupree Collection as Madeline made her way to the podium. Adelaide not only introduced her new President and Director but her daughter Atari who she proclaimed assisted her with this year’s collection by implementing her designs.
When Atari was asked whether she was to remain as a model, she indicated she would model clothing only if Madeline may require her services. Otherwise she intended to study designs at the Institute and become a designer, someday owning her own fashion house. Everyone applauded.
Many of the guests noted the rings both Madeline and Atari were sporting. Of course, the news of their impending marriages to the Stevens’ men from Minnesota were the main topics of discussion. Everyone congratulated Pierre, including Saran Façade and Claire Dufault. Claire however refused to congratulate Celia who now was a formidable competitor who ended up with a job she had hoped to have for herself.
Atari was amazed with the number of movie stars who attended these events or who were ambassadors. She was even asked whether she would consider being in a couple of commercials, which she agreed to since she wished to have an additional amount of money over and above the allowance she is to receive from Madeline, for assisting at the fashion house when she is not attending classes. In fact one of the modeling commercials was for Victoria Secret and she wondered how Kent would handle it. Yet she felt he had been open up to this time for anything that she would elect to do. Madeline just beamed that her daughter was provided additional offers.
Pierre introduced Adelaide to some of the eligible straight bachelors who he felt would be compatible and surprisingly one of the directors of Saran Façade, Rand Levine, took an exceptional interest in her and invited her for a stroll that evening. When Madeline found out she just shook her head and told Pierre “It looks like we will always be in some type of association with a member of Saran Façade”. Pierre just laughed but mentioned surely that Madeline would not have to worry about Adelaide giving away design secrets.
Carlisle did not arrive the following week but phoned Madeline to advise her that he was awaiting his son’s return from Japan. They both hoped to arrive within a week’s time in the company jet which Kent would soon own. He told Madeline that she and Atari should be packed and ready to fly to Las Vegas for a double wedding. “Later if you wish we could all fly back to Paris for a honeymoon?”
“But Carlisle, I cannot answer for Atari. You know she wished to wait until after she completed her education and became more worldly” Madeline said.
“Well, from what I can see from the Media, she was quite popular in Paris and it is known that she will be doing commercials for Victoria Secret. Since both she and Kent will be busy with their respective vocations they may as well live together as a married couple. Yet, that will be their decision. I know Kent will be contacting her as soon as he arrives back from Japan. We just have a few details to complete at the factory regarding the engines and then we will be on our way” he said.
“I love you Madeline and I cannot wait to make you my wife. I hope you do not mind that I have chosen Las Vegas for our wedding destination” he said.
“No, I certainly do not mind. I think that will be wonderful. But Carlisle, I know you well, have your attorneys drafted prenuptial agreements?” she asked.
“Madeline, you and I do not need pre-nuptial agreements unless you are concerned for yourself. After all, I saved Mother’s ring for you. You are my true love and I am certain we will grow old together. I just do not wish to waste any more of my lifetime without you. Is that alright with you?” he asked.
“Carlisle, I have no problem with that because I too love you and always have. There is no way that I plan on losing you or leaving you” she said.
“Well that is great. I know I originally suggested that Kent get a pre-nuptial agreement between he and Atari because they are so young. Yet, the more I thought about it and in my discussion with Kent, he feels she is the only one that has meaning in his life and I must agree. It’s funny how fate works. We each had to have children with another so that our children could marry and have the life we initially had hoped for.”
“I know, but all is not lost. We each have had a good life and now that we have found each other, neither of us will ever be alone or without love. I am pretty excited about that” she said.
“So am I my love. I will call you as soon as Kent and I are ready to leave, so you have an opportunity to make arrangements at your business” and after a few endearing statements to each other they concluded their call.
It was within a couple of days of Carlisle’s call that Kent contacted Atari. She had just finished a shoot and was on her way home. He explained that his father and Madeline would be flying to Las Vegas to be married shortly after they arrived. It was then that he asked Atari whether she would consider changing her mind about waiting to be married. “Sweetheart, I really do not wish to just live with you without you being my wife. I love you and it isn’t as if both of us will not be busy with our respective vocations, but it would be nice to have each other to come home to. I want you and I need you, but I do not feel it is fair to just live with you without legalizing our union. Atari, are you still there? I am not trying to push you, Sweetheart. I am in love with you and I want us to be together forever.” He said.
“I’m here and I have listened to your every word. In such a short time I have experienced so much living and working with Madeline. I was fearful that you would find me boring and I did not wish for you to be sorry that you married me.”
“How could I be bored with you, Atari? You have already in just a couple of week’s time done some things most people would dream of. I understand you also have a great commercial with Victoria Secret and may be one of their regulars. I may get a bit jealous about that at times, but I am so proud of you Atari, especially for saving Madeline’s collection by incorporating your designs. I know we can grow together and help each other. I also need your shoulder to lean on, Sweetheart. It’s a two way street! You won’t get bored with me, will you?”
“Are you kidding Kent, there is no way I could be bored with you. The answer is yes; Yes, I will marry you and I will look forward to being your wife. I adore you!” she said.
“I adore you too Sweetheart so may we make plans then to be married in Las Vegas along with our parents. Then we can fly directly to Paris for our honeymoon. Of course we will be in separate rooms from our parents” he said as Atari laughed.
Kent was exhausted from his trip and decided to sleep in. He had provided the paperwork to his father and had advised the engineer he had traveled to Japan with to take the morning off as well.
In the meantime Carlisle met with the engineering staff to go over the changes that were necessary to the engines. The engineers were required to make the necessary changes and to test the engine’s calibrations to see whether they would operate as required prior to making the changes for the line.
Ken had brought in a knap sack earlier that morning which he placed in his locker. He was angry at the circumstances of his divorce but most importantly it appeared his friends were not treating him in the same manner as they used to.
The news that he had beat up his wife had spread through the factory and although his drinking buddies had been involved in various infractions with other men, they had never beat up their wives. A DUI was the worse that some had experienced. Many had known Adelaide and felt she was a beautiful and kind woman. Yet the manner in which Ken explained the relationship was totally different. Now, it seemed as though everyone knew because of the media that Madeline had been supporting the family and it appeared Ken spent all of his non-work time mainly in taverns. He was always the life of the party and many could not believe that he had an alternate personality.
It was about 10:00 am and Ken had decided that it was time to go up to the office and discuss the matter with Carlisle Stevens. He felt as though this entire incident had ruined his life and he blamed Stevens and his beloved Madeline for everything which happened.
The receptionist noticed Ken going toward the stairs to the offices on the upper level. Since factory employees are not allowed to go into the office areas during the day unless they are summoned from Human Resources, she asked if he had an appointment with someone.
“Yes, I am to see Carlisle Stevens” he said.
“But Mr. Stevens is in a meeting with his engineers and he does not wish to be disturbed” she said.
“I don’t know about that. He just told me to come up and it really is not your affair” he said.
She became nervous about his attitude and especially since she also had heard of the various stories surrounding him and his family. Normally one has to have a pass to get into the factory area and there is a security man at the desk when they arrive. Usually the security officer notices if something seems strange but usually during the day, they move throughout the plant. She waited for a moment to allow him to be out of view and then contacted security.
It was then that Ken opened the door to the board room where Carlisle was meeting with the engineering department. “You son of a bitch; How many lives do you have?” Ken stated pulling his gun out of his waistline and pointing it at Carlisle.
“What do you mean, Ken? Is there a problem? Why are you here? And why are you pointing a gun at me?” he asked.
“I thought I had gotten you at your home two days ago and now I find out that you are here and fine?” he said.
“What do you mean that you thought you had gotten me? What did you do at my home?” Carlisle asked as the three engineers and his Vice President Brice Safranski who were in the room pushed their chairs back fearful of the man who was shaking his pistol at their boss..
“Well if you don’t know, apparently someone else was sleeping with that hoity toity wife of yours. But I have you now and you are going to die this time” he claimed.
“What did you do at my home Ken? What are you doing threatening my life. Do you realize how serious this is” he asked.
“It doesn’t matter now you prick because I am certain the two of them are dead already and what’s one or two more” he said. “You have treated me like dirt throughout the years. I was never good enough for you to be my friend. You knew I loved Madeline and you turned her against me and now she has made me a fool”, he continued.
“But you raped her Ken. How do you feel that was right? She was young and a virgin and you hurt her? “, Carlisle stated.
“Yeh! But if you would not have stuck your big nose into the matter, she would have loved me. I know it. She just needed time” he said.
“Ken you beat the hell out of her as you beat up Adelaide. What is wrong with you?” Carlisle stated.
“There is nothing wrong with me you rich prick. And I do not wish to hear you speak. Shut your mouth!” Within an instant, Ken pulled the trigger. Carlisle tried to evade the bullet but was hit and fell to the floor. Ken then pointed his gun at the three engineers who threw themselves under the table. He hit Brice Safranski in the arm and the other three managed to be under the thick table. Soon the security men were attempting to get in the door and the police were called. It was then that Ken placed the pistol next to his head, pulled the trigger and killed himself.
Kent was contacted by security and followed the police into the building. It was too late and as he came into the room he found his father on the floor, barely breathing in a pool of blood. Although the ambulance arrived within seconds it seemed like forever. Kent held his father in his arms sobbing and telling his father to hang in there with him. He needed to live.
Kent traveled in the ambulance with his father. Although his father had an oxygen mask on his face he removed it and stated “Check on your mother” and then he went back into an unconscious state but was breathing. They arrived at the ER within a few minutes. His father was then taken into the OR for an immediate surgery with Kent holding his hand until he was taken into the room. He had lost a tremendous amount of blood and Kent elected to donate some blood immediately since they both had the same blood type. Safranski who had only a superficial wound joined him and explained what had transpired in the board room as they walked toward the police officers who were waiting to take statements.
Kent then said “We have to go to my mother’s house. There may be a problem. Brice advised Kent that he would go to his mother’s home with the police and that he should stay at the hospital awaiting his father’s condition. He gave Brice his cell phone and told Brice to contact his mother and Madeline. Brice then quickly took the phone and told him he would handle the situation.
From the back of the police car, Brice attempted calling Sandra Stevens but the telephone just rang. He then contacted Madeline and told her that Carlisle had been shot. Madeline started to sob but managed to tell him that, Atari and Adelaide would be flying in immediately.