Chapter 1.18 – Debt

Julian’s phone rings in the middle of the night, waking him up. Bebe and David are still asleep, so he staggers into the next room to see who would be calling this late. It is his day off, and he had spent the day with Bebe and David. Yesterday was David’s birthday, and they took him to the beach to celebrate. They were late coming back, and Julian is dead tired.
There is a text message informing him of an urgent meeting going on “immediately” at the warehouse. It goes on to suggest that ignoring the call is “strongly discouraged”. In his line of work, that kind of message carries an entirely different meaning. Since he is not feeling thrilled about the idea of being fitted for cement shoes, he dresses quickly and takes a cab.
He can sense almost instantly that something is amiss when he arrives. Somebody is standing at the gates and is making sure to be seen. He does not recognise the man, but as he gets closer, he begins to make out features. He is older, dressed in dark leather and silk. Whoever he is, he has a pretty good budget for wardrobe.
Julian begins to realize that there is no meeting, and in all likelihood this is some kind of sting or setup. He decides to play along and see where this leads. Besides, whoever this guy is, he already knows that Julian is connected with the dealings at the warehouse. Before Julian can approach close enough to speak, the older man moves (somewhat spryly for an elder) to a darkened alcove behind the building. Julian hesitates, knowing nothing good will come of this meeting, but finally follows him into the alcove. Julian does not recognize him at first, but the voice is unmistakable
Corwin Barimen greets his son disdainfully, and takes time to enjoy the panic he has stirred in the young man. It takes a moment for the shock to wear off after he speaks. Julian’s heart races in his chest and threatens to leap out and run on it’s own to the next town. The fear returns all at once, and at full-blast. His father is one of the most feared criminals in Sim City. What is he doing in Sunset Valley!?
Corwin conveys his disappontment in Julian’s choice to abandon the family “business” without first asking for approval. He congratulates Julian for his nearly untracable existance over the past couple of decades, though he questions whether it was skill or dumb-luck that allowed him to avoid detection for so long. He adds that the time it took to find him has allowed his anger to seethe for a good, long while. The embarassment Julian caused, he shouts, is unforgivable, and the disrespect will have to be repaid in full. The attractive family that he has started for himslef will be a fine bit of collateral.
And to finalize the payment, the peice of land he inherited from his mother would be signed over …as a final gesture of “good will”. Then as an afterthought, Corwin takes great enjoyment in adding that Julian was quite an unwelcome impediment to him gaining that land for himself to begin with. And now that David was also in the way…
…it would be a terrible shame to see anything unfortunate happen.

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