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After his early dinner of three White Russians and a short nap Gabrielle’s ‘Dear John’ break up call had convinced him that another Kahlua, vodka and cream as a late night dessert treat was a perfect prescription. His conversation with Gabrielle concerning their relationship and future had gone nowhere that he had hoped but exactly where he had feared.

Try as he might he could not sway her from her decision to end their love affair and after delivering her breakup bombshell she had said goodbye and indecorously hung up. ‘Damn it, girl we’re good together and Adriel won’t be around that much longer,’ he thought.

Her call had caught him fast asleep and a bit drunk and now he was back in his recliner, still wearing the robe he had passed out in after his neighborhood post work run. The only difference being that before he was physically tired and apprehensive versus now he was emotionally exhausted and completely spent.

‘When are you going to send me a break, Lord? Caroline, Sean and now Gabrielle? Could you at least keep Doug, Kristin and the kids safe and sound? Please?’ Feeling sorry for himself he chugged his generous, super-sized cocktail and then rose from his recliner and returned to the den’s bar.

Looking in the bar’s smoked glass mirror he considered slamming his fist into the glass as an act of outraged protest against his fate. Instead he curled up his right cheek in a sardonic half smile, saluted his reflection and filled his tumbler with another White Russian; this time going far lighter on ice and Kahlua which left more room in the glass for Vodka.

The lights in the room were low, his spirits lower and he returned to his recliner and weighed his options. ‘Options. That’s a pretty word for the corner you’ve painted yourself into, now isn’t it?

‘So, what’s first? Sean? Okay. Got him the best lawyer money can buy and they tell me we’ll have a resolution soon. A positive one, just not sure how positive.

‘Gabrielle’s stem cell treatment. Doc Amenti’s in the bag. All it cost was a bit more than a hundred thousand of my own money and holding the catnip under her nose in the way of other donations. I think some of ‘em might even come through. Nothing like the old boy network and promise of future profits.

‘Freja Marnie is already covering her ass telling me that my donations and Gabrielle’s admittance to Regillo’s round of Ocata Trial isn’t related which pretty much tells me that she knows how the game is played and they’ll bend over backwards to get her in if at all possible. Wonder how much that’ll cost.

“So really, of the three eggs I was juggling two are still okay and one’s played Humpty Dumpty. If the King’s horses and men can’t put Humpty together again then who can? And how?

Bill sat in the dark and brooded, returning to his semi-comatose inebriated state while still holding his tumbler in his hand. Luckily, as an old pro at drink he had mastered the skill of sleeping while holding a drink glass in his hand; a life skill he had begun cultivating when his wife had been killed.