On one particular night that stands out in my memory, one of our beach front neighbors must have been displeased with something because at approximately 11pm, the police arrived. Luckily for us we had dispelled with much of the evening’s enhancements. However, Peter was visibly drunk, as usual and had gotten himself arrested. Like a pack of wolves following a leader, we trailed the cops to the police station. Peter’s father had been called and was waiting there when we arrived.
Winston Kingsley is a short, ugly man with an even uglier disposition. Despite the late hour, Mr. Kingsley was dressed as if he were attending a high-brow event. Most notable was the gold heirloom on his left pinky. The story is, as I have heard it, King Richard the First; King of England, also known as Richard the Lionhearted, was in love with a poor farmer’s daughter named Isabella. This, of course was forbidden of the young king. Not only was he already betrothed to the Spanish princess, Berengaria of Navarre, Isabella was not royalty. After the wedding, the two lovers kept their affair secret, and as a token of his love for her, Richard commissioned a golden ring. He gave it to her on a cold night, under the light of a purple moon.
The next day, the King learned of Isabella’s death. He was so distraught that he locked himself in his chambers for days, refusing to come out. Berengaria, the Queen begged him to at least come out and eat.
“I have a present for you.” She told him.
If only just to make her leave, Richard opened the door. Berengaria placed in his hand, a small wooden box. The King opened the box to find the ring that he had given to Isabella. The Queen smiled and walked away.
Rumor has it that Winston Kingsley bought that very ring at an auction at Sotheby’s while living in England. It was supposed to be a wedding gift to his wife, Peter’s mother. However, he never took it off his finger.
So there we were, and there he was. He stood there, blocking the front door as they brought Peter in; hand cuffs and all.
“This is your doing,” he yelled. “The lot of you!”
“What the fuck are you talking about, old man?” that was Michael. Michael had a tendency to be somewhat outspoken at times, and when it came to Peter, it was Michael that always seemed to hold a soft spot in his heart. We were never sure why but Michael was always there when Peter got into trouble; which was all the time it seemed. “He just got drunk. You remember drunk, don’t you Mr. Kingsley? Or have you forgotten the time when you were so fucking drunk that you attacked my mother?” We turned our heads like dogs spotting a squirrel. This was one we hadn’t heard. “You want to stand there and blame someone? Blame yourself. Go home, I brought my wallet, and I will bail him out.”
To be truthful, Michael is a bit of a mystery, Even to Georgia. All I know about Michael Windemere is that he comes from German aristocracy on his Father’s side and is related to the Kennedys on his Mother’s side. Michael is extremely competitive. When we played football in high school, it was Michael that everyone on the team looked to for success. Michael was the kind of guy that everyone wanted to be around. Georgia always said it was his long black hair and dreamy blue eyes. But to me, it’s something deeper. Having said that, if it wasn’t for Michael, I would never have met Rachael. Unknown to everyone else in the group, Rachael and Michael were cousins. It wasn’t a secret that they kept hidden. It was just one of those things that you didn’t talk about.
We decided to stay outside the police station and wait. It was a good hour before Peter and Michael came out. Smiles all around. Peter was still drunk and faced a court appearance in a few months for being disorderly.
“Let’s take the boat out tomorrow,” Peter announced. “What do you say?”
To be continued…