Summary of the amusement
Stevenson Garden Products teleoperator Clarity Nice elicits assistance from her friend Cynthia Stevenson during the company's clothing optional day on a Friday, in order to build an outdoor shower on company lawn that will provide a clothing optional amenity for company workers. Infringing human resources policy, clashing against Malibu police Officer Packwood, who prohibits use of the shower, and dodging Packwood's nephew, the clueless Contra Costa County Sheriff police academy recent graduate Avery Packwood, Clarity insists on showing her value as a Stevenson employee, in particular to Cynthia's dad, the owner of the company, Bill Stevenson. Bypassing a dubious lawsuit from the mayor's son, the good-for-nothing Atkins Rubens, getting the support she needs from Cynthia's stepmom Jill Stevenson, Clarity purchases a shower patent for Stevenson from potential competitor Bormbayle, using unauthorized company funds, in order to lift poor company sales, involving Cynthia as lawyer.
Clarity pressed on the truck's brake pedal pretty forcefully for a few seconds, to stop the vehicle at a red traffic light. She glanced down and to her right, and noticed a police car, a Ford Crown Victoria that seemed familiar. Unintentionally, she pressed on the truck honk area of the wheel, and Avery lifted his eyes towards her driving seat, seeing her. Followed by Avery's car, with officer Packwood driving, they drove the truck to the home of the single customer which had shown interest in Bormbayle's unprofitable shower design, Mr. Sanders, a wealthy customer living in a nice residential area. Avery's car parked beside her on the street, leaving her no room to get off the truck. She made a sign to keep quiet to Cynthia and Taimi, telling them to step off the truck from the passenger seat side. All three stepped down the truck, and moved to the lawn area of Mr. Sanders. Clarity moved forward, crossing the nose of the truck, coming face to face with Avery Packwood, while his uncle took note of the truck's car plate.
"Well, hi, good to see you here," said Clarity.
"You were driving this truck," said Avery.
"No," said Clarity.
"I saw you driving," said Avery.
"No, someone else was driving, we're just here visiting."
"Who was driving then?" asked Avery. The answer came right into her mind, smoothly fitting in with the rest of the level-headed answers.
"Flake, Flake was driving."
"I don't see Flake," said Avery.
"You will, you will, he's around, hold on." Taimi walked forward and began talking to Avery about the truck wheels and how they were not as good as some of the ones used on Indy racetracks. Clarity walked towards the home entrance, reaching Cynthia, who had rang the door bell.
"Call Flake, tell him to haul bum over here, tell him we'll pay for the cab."
The door opened and Mr. Sanders came out, wearing a bathrobe. Clarity made her way inside the home, leaving Cynthia outdoors, checking the entrance to entertain Packwood or his nephew. The second line of defense was in place.
"You're from Bormbayle," said Mr. Sanders, "yeah, the shower design, not sure if I'm going to buy, it's all right, maybe, we'll see." Clarity kept asking a few questions, probing Sanders about his proclivity to shell out twenty thousand dollars for their sample, which was outside.
"Well, I'm probably going to check out some other stuff at the bathroom and shower fair in Vegas, it's happening tomorrow for a few days."
"Wow, nice, how do you know about this fair?" asked Clarity.
As she was speaking, she began texting Cynthia and Clarity, telling them they were meeting in front of Mr. Sanders home the next day, to go to Vegas. It was more likely that they would find customers for the shower at a washroom accesories fair than in the home of a single person, who wasn't very enthusiastic about purchasing and installing the new design.
"I own a bathroom and shower installation shop, Le Water," said Mr. Sanders.
Clarity commended her host's window's curtains and lifted them slightly. Flake was making his way to the doorway towards Cynthia, while Taimi was single-handedly containing a slew of questions from Clifford Packwood and his nephew. She thanked Mr. Sanders and opened the door to greet Flake.
"Hi Flake, yeah, thanks for showing up, can you just watch the truck a few hours, some shower delivery design for a customer that Cynthia found, you know, a few extra bucks for the company, for Stevenson, Darrell will be here tomorrow to install the shower here." Clarity moved closer and whispered to Flake.
"Tell Packwood you could drive the truck, if you actually had to drive the truck." Flake wasn't quite sure about why Clarity repeated that to him several times, but kept it in mind, because for some reason it looked like it was important, even though Stevenson sold gardening equipment and not showers. Clarity called a cab which stopped in the neighboring street twenty minutes later. She told Cynthia to begin moving into the cab, following Flake until they reached Taimi.
"Flake can explain everything, Avery," said Clarity. She glanced at the back of the truck, seeing Packwood trying to open the trailer. She walked away towards the cab, overhearing the conversation between Flake and Avery.
"So you were driving this truck?" asked Avery.
"I could be driving it, but why exactly do you want to know that?"
"Because I thought someone else was driving it," said Avery. Flake glanced at the truck.
"Well, no one is driving it," said Flake. Clarity stepped into the cab, which headed towards Malibu. She was glad she chose Flake to explain what was happening, the confusion would probably last until Avery would say it was time for dinner.
"I'll drop you guys off, meet you at nine in the morning here tomorrow, I'm going to deal with this payment issue." Taimi nodded and Cynthia nodded less willfully, holding the plastic folder of the recent purchase in her hand, wondering how she had managed to be on her way to Las Vegas when she had to be attending class at Pepperdine.
The next day, Clarity came to work a little earlier, around seven forty five, more or less around the time Patrick, the person in charge of accounting, took his breakfast. She left a message to Brock saying she was taking the day off, and at seven fifty three, Clarity walked into Patrick's office and opened the treasury software that the accountant used to link accounting figures of Stevenson with incoming or outgoing payments. There was no password to type, because Patrick was the only one who knew how to use the accounting software. Using her intuition and a tutorial from you tube which she'd seen, explaining how to use the software, she reached the page showing the daily cash balance. She zoomed in on the column labeled cash received. Just like Cynthia had told her, a one million dollar tranche of Cisco Systems commercial paper rated A-1 by Moodys was maturing on that day, and the monies from Cisco had come in, right into Stevenson's bank account.
Gathering her courage, she took out of her pocket the bank wire instructions that Mr. Bormbayle had slipped inside the plastic folder of the Kauai Bianca transaction. After a few minutes of tweaking with the payment module of the accounting software, she was able to set up a payment of half a million dollars going to Bormbayle's bank account to pay for the patent and right of use of the shower design. She stared at the treasury balance, wondering for a few seconds whether the boldness of her move was appropriate. She left Patrick's office, coming face to face with Heather.
"What are you doing in there?" asked Heather, "I thought you were taking the day off."
"Just looking for Patrick, I was going to ask him over coffee about where he bought his sweatshirt, he mentioned some kind of outlet, just wanted to know where it is, I think I'm going to go there with Taimi."
She kept walking, leaving Heather intrigued and unconvinced. The sweat was going to hit the fan, she thought, to put it mildly. She drove her chevette back to her place, and took a cab to the home of Mr. Sanders, calling Cynthia and Taimi to arrange a new time for leaving town.
"We're going to Vegas, payment is out, see you at Sanders home in twenty minutes or so."
"How are we getting to Vegas?" asked Taimi.
"We're driving the truck," said Clarity.
Forty five minutes later, they were on highway fifteen, heading north east to Las Vegas, a four hour drive from Los Angeles. As they entered Vegas around one o'clock in the afternoon, Clarity's smartphone began ringing. She saw the name of Brock on the screen, letting her know he was the one calling. She gave the phone to Taimi, holding the truck's wheel with the other hand.
"Hello, hi Brock, yeah, Clarity's with me." Clarity's eyes widened. She could have managed some spare time. She told Taimi to keep talking with him.
"You're kidding," said Taimi, "half a million dollars has been moved out of Stevenson account, wow." She turned to Clarity, who began stepping on the accelerator pedal, raising the speed to forty miles an hour, five miles over the official speed limit.
"He knows that the money is missing, what do I say now?"
"Say that you're surprised, and that you wonder who did this."
"It's so surprising Brock, who would do something like that?"
"Heather thinks it's Clarity, naw, Clarity wouldn't do something like that. Yeah, we're taking the day off, going to the outlet at Ontario Mills, yeah, check out some stuff, there's a clothing festival at refinery 29. You're going to Vegas? Why? It's the middle of the week."
Taimi kept listening to the head of human resources. She whispered to Clarity, who was eyeing Cynthia, who was checking the right side mirror.
"He's going to Vegas because he wants to talk to those who received the money, because he keeps seeing this Bormbayle name as beneficiary of the half million payment. Bormbayle is going to the Vegas bathroom convention."
"Good, good, all right, tell him I'm sorry the money is missing, and that I'll call him back or talk to him tomorrow." Taimi followed the instructions of Clarity, and stopped the call. The lifeguard had an additional announcement to make.
"Brock says that you have a job warning, he told me he wants to see you at Stevenson today or that you may get fired. Apparently, they spoke to Patrick and he backed up what Heather thinks, that you sent the money out of Stevenson's account, because Heather saw you get out of the accounting office, and Patrick noticed an accounting payment that he never set up, with banking instructions which are not in Stevenson's system."
Clarity nodded, but ignored everything her friend was mentioning. She drove the truck down Las Vegas Boulevard, asking Cynthia about the location of the bathroom and shower fair, Caesar's Palace, where Stevenson shower accessories had yet to find a spot.
TO BE CONTINUED, HERE, THE OUTDOOR SHOWER
All characters over 21
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