Christmas Town: Chapter 3
Time for dinner with the Scovilles!
Something stuck out to me, and since I’m taking this one chapter at a time, it may be nothing or it may be something.
Jordan seems to have some food issues.
I dismissed it as a mere aside in the last chapter (I didn’t even mention it at the time), but Jordan makes passing reference in his mind, both in Chapter 1 and Chapter 2, to “the bad chicken dinner he’d had at the country-cooking truck stop on the way in from Atlanta.” And now, in Chapter 3, he all but freaks out at having to sit and eat a big dinner with the Uncle Billys:
He’d already eaten his microwaved chicken-and-vermicelli frozen dinner while standing, the morning’s newspaper spread across the kitchen counter, open to the business pages. He read of stock options and interest rates while devouring the low-fat, low-salt, low-taste food. It had settled heavily in his tension-knotted gut, and sat there still…
“I don’t eat heavy dinners much anymore.”
I know that the ideal romance novel hero is a six-feet tall, 180-pound gym rat, but given Jordan’s habit of scarfing down food he actually doesn’t like, I’m suddenly picturing him as either quite chubby or quite skinny.
We’ll see if this goes anywhere, or if I’m just seeing things.
Anyway, after the excruciating dinner, we find out all about the retirement fund!
Jordan points out that prison is in the cards unless they can all nail down this little ole retirement thingie, and the Uncle Billys have THE GREATEST EXPLANATION EVER:
“Oh, that!” Mitchell looked up, his eyes much brighter now. “Why, son, that’s simple. Tell him about that, Truman.”
Truman clasped his hands between his knees and leaned forward earnestly. “Oh, of course. That was all very aboveboard. And unfortunate. I can do no more than admit it was an unfortunate circumstance.”
No doubt one in a series.
Jordan gets understandably pissed as the Uncle Billys hem and haw and finally admit that they vaguely gave the money to a vaguely unscrupulous investor who was vaguely (but completely) unscrupulous.
So, again, it sucks to be Jordan, who still has to save the Uncle Billys and keep this shitty secret a secret from everyone, including Joella.
I feel bad for Jordan. No bullshit, I really do.
A week goes by and Joella has been trying to contact Jordan about sitting in on meetings and stuff. For reasons that are obvious and sensible to us but arrogant and dismissive to Joella, Jordan has kept her out of the loop.
She would pray for patience. But first, she would remember that God helped those who helped themselves.
And so it would seem, as she runs into Jordan at the supermarket. Well…she sees him and then follows him. (To her credit, she knows how this looks, but she thinks it’s the only way to talk to him.)
…she kept her eyes on his broad back and moved a little faster.
I knew it! Those shitty meals have caught up with him!
Then he stopped and began to toss frozen dinners into his cart.
These frozen foods include frozen sausage and frozen doughnuts and OH MY GAWD I WAS TOTALLY RIGHT ABOUT THE FOOD I AM A GENIUS.
Long story short, Jordan and Joella negotiate, in a way which is unfortunately not flirtatious or sexy AT ALL, about Joella being kept in the loop, with a final compromise that Jordan will give her written reports twice a week, and make no major decisions without talking to her first. Which seems like it will kinda suck for both of them, so it all works out.
Next up, Chapter 4!
Will Jordan continue to eat awful food?
Will Joella pray again that Jordan will be turned into a fictional Christmas character?
We’ll find out this and more…