Crook Takes Pawn Part 23

The phone began to ring. And Ring, and ringIt went to her voicemail. Greg listened to a calm version of Rebeccas voice over the message. It sharply contrasted the way she acted during the kidnapping escapade. She was professional and brief, and then there was the tone. Greg paused a second, as the live recording began. He debated whether he should hang up, then began speaking.This is Greg Jefferson. Greg began in a weak voice. He cleared his throat quickly and continued,Im calling aRebecca Drake? I was left this number on a letter I, uh, received, and I was just returning the messageMy number is    As Greg read off his digits, he suddenly felt foolish. She most likely had caller ID, most people had cells now. It was his inner boy whining from lack of assurance. It was always nerve-wracking to interact with women, especially when leaving a voicemail. But in some ways, Greg is relieved. Hes off the hook. He at least tried to call her, now it was up to her to return the message. He would not call her again, stage one was complete, and thats all that
    Gregs phone vibrates not two minutes after his phone call. He checks the number. Its Rebecca. Gregs heart pounds like a drum. He waits one ringtwothreeHe flips open the phone with giddy excitement. He learned a long time ago its not to answer after one ring, lest Greg seem too desperate to talk to her.
    Hello? Greg asks expectantly.There is silence. Greg is about to repeat his greeting when he hears a lound thunk. The sound is unmistakable: A car door being shut.    Hello? Rebecca asks, somewhat loudly, making the phones speaker distort. Greg can picture the phone wedged in between her ear and slender shoulder, for support, while her hands occupy themselves with other things. Its a move many busy people have come to learn, especially those with children. Greg hears the jangling of keys as she shifts position. Greg waits calmly for her to settle.    Im sorry, Rebecca says,I had my arms full of stuff when you called, Im at the store.    Thats fine. Greg replies,I was just trying to get ahold of you, I found your note.    Good, thats great!! Rebecca says excitedly. Gregs disconsolate emotions ache at the sound of the vibrant quality of her voice. It is a kind tone, full of youth that Greg had long since passed in his own exploits. She had to be several years younger than Greg, at least 5 or so.     Awkward silence trails off from their initial salutations. Neither seems to know what to say.    Uhhhmmm Greg starts, consciously breaking the lull,I gave the channel 9 news footage of the robbery. I didnt know if you saw it    What a stupid thing to bring up, that same inner boy chides Greg, you want to get on her bad side right out of the gate??? She didnt want it to be shown, obviously. Thats why they blocked her face out.
    Yeah, I watched it, Rebecca responds,They called me for an interview, but I told them I had no comment. I dont like to think about what happened too much, its unpleasant.    Right, Greg says blankly. The conversation has died again. Greg hears the crinkling of plastic bags, and hears Rebecca grunt slightly as she tosses some things onto the seat.    Can you hold on for a second? Rebecca asks.I need to put Julie in her seat.    Sure, Greg says calmly. Juliemental note, her daughters name is Julie. Rebecca must have put the phone face up on the roof of her car, or van, whatever she was driving. Greg can hear the faint roar of an airplane passing overhead. Passing geese also honk their own unique path signals.
    Greg hears the vague murmer of Rebecca talking gently to her daughter. It must be baby talk because every few syllables rise in volume, and repeat often. Greg fidgets and squirms on the tiny stool behind his paint-peeled counter. With a jitterness that can only come from female interaction, Greg works to peel up a large blotted paint chip with his thumb. He really should throw a coat of paint on this dump. It just might fancy up the place. Nevermind the 9mm holes in random spots, at least Im using a neutral earth-tone to give a light presentation!!
    Greg hears the static rip of Velcro, and knows Julie is now strapped in firmly. Another car door slams. She must be driving a different vehicle. Perhaps the van is in the shop. The front window was nearly busted out, which would need to be fixed.     The phone clunks lightly against the roof as she picks it back up.sorry, are you still there? Rebecca says apologetically.    yeah, Rebecca, Im here. Greg says, enjoying the sound of her name as he says it. He could get used to speaking that. It rolled right off the tongue.    Someone wants to say hi to you, Greg, Rebecca says cryptically. Greg frowns with confusion as he hears the phone shift away from her ear again. A small babys voice comes through the squawk of Gregs headset. It's Julie        Julie gooes and gahs in a light-hearted manner as Greg grins broadly. He saved this childs life. Greg feels the sting of tears welling up. This is more emotional than he had previously anticipated. Greg swallows hard, fighting it off. It wouldnt do to start blubbering like a baby himself.    hello, baby Greg says,hey Juliethe ramble of baby speech stops in midstream. Apparently Julie was surprised by this strangers voice talking to her.    Greg hears Rebeccas laughter in the background. It is a lilting, feminine laugh, and makes goosebumps break out on Gregs skin. Boy, Greg really was hard-up for communications with women. This girl was infatuating him with little effort. He was picturing her petite body again, those wonderful curvesthat soft hairMan, oh man    Julie says thank you, Rebecca replies, returning to the phone,for what you did.    Well, Greg says,Tell Julie she is welcome, and I would do it again.Awww Rebecca coos,are you trying to butter me up?    Yes, is it working? Greg responds with a chuckle.    That sexy laugh again. Greg could get used to hearing that in his ear all the time. He could get used to a lot of things. Despite his own warnings, Greg was getting swept up in his feelings. Dont let it build up inside him? There was already a scaffold assembled, ready to go to work. Greg would pursue this, to the best of his ability.     I tried to deliver that letter in person, Rebecca relates,but your store was closed. I swore the sign said til 6pm, but it was locked at 5:45.    Oh, thats right!! Greg exclaims,I left early on business. I apologize.    I just wanted to thank you in person, Rebecca says quietly. I wish it could be in person too, baby, Greg thinks to himself. Gregs horniness was beginning to rear itself. He had to keep his hormones in check. Girls are different, he reminded himself, they dont think about sex all the time. Keep your mind outta the gutter.    Well Greg says,You can always stop back tomorrow. Im not too busy on Tuesdays usually. Ill be there during store hours, I can assure you    Promise? Rebecca says flirtily.yes maam Greg says, feeling his cheeks flush with color.     I look forward to it, Rebecca says with glee,But Im a bit busy now, I need to take Julie back home, then a bath and bedtime. Ill stop by around 3 or so, okay?
    With that, she says goodbye and hangs up mutually. He felt like he was in high-school again, chatting over the phone with a chick. Back then, before he had a notch on his sexual belt, Greg had been on edge as much as today. But now that Greg had gone 15 years plus since losing his virginity, you would think he would be more self-assured.
    Some things dont change. In the intermerum, Greg had married and had his self-esteem battered by a nagging, bitter ex-wife. Their turmoil ended, but not before damaging Gregs ego. His ex had felt resentment, first at getting knocked up by accident, then by being settled with a somewhat directionless Greg. Their divorce did wonders for Greg, but not so much for his ex. Greg had signed away his sons rights to his exs fiancé at the time. They were now married, and he could provide better than Greg could. Greg feels ashamed as he recalls his distant son.
    Greg looks ont
Uploaded 01/29/2012
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