At the New York Bar, Darius meets with several people -- his architect, Jett; his designer, Peter; his new silent partner, Romain; Ranger and his crew; and, of course, his girlfriend, Coco.
As the crew works on covering the brick walls with sheet rock, Ranger and Jett discuss the architectural plans for the space while Peter shows Darius and Coco some of his thoughts on the overall design. Romain looks on silently.
"I thought we could do something like this. The colors are warm and inviting."
"Hmmmm. I was thinking more on the lines of sticking with the black and white theme we've already got going on in the main section. If we go with these colors, we'd have to redo the original bar, and I was hoping to keep the cost of this project down as much as possible."
"Darius, weren't you thinking of putting booths into this space? If you were going with wooden booths, it wouldn't be an entirely black and white area anyway."
"Hadn't thought of that. Peter, can we order black booths? Maybe with white cushions?"
"Do you really want white seat cushions in a bar? I'd recommend keeping them all black."
"Yeah, I see your point. OK, for now let's assume the booths will be black -- leather or vinyl. I'm thinking we keep the walls white."
The conversation continues in this vein for some time. Jett has been listening with half an ear while discussing the architectural plans with Ranger, and at a lull in the conversation he breaks in.
"Hey, I've been doing some research on this building. Did you know that it's one of the first buildings erected in town? It was built by Randolph St. Clair, who actually lived in it prior to his marriage. Any connection, Coco?"
"Why, yes! He died long before I was born, but Randolph St. Clair was my grandfather. I had no idea he'd built this building! He and my grandmother lived in the bungalow where Colleen and I live now when they were first married. I believe he had that built as well."
"The old guy must have really gotten around!"
Coco laughs. "Well, he wasn't such an 'old guy', but he was one of TEKville's first residents. He and Grandmother had a bevy of daughters, one right after the other, and then he died unexpectedly when he was in his late forties. They say it was his heart. I don't think Grandmother has ever completely gotten over his death. She never remarried, you know."
The group listens with interest. Most of them are very familiar with the St. Clair name, but their puzzled looks indicate that they're having a problem figuring out why their friends all share it if their grandfather had only daughters.
Coco chuckles, reading their minds. "I know, I know -- why are we all 'St. Clair' if there were no sons, right? Grandfather's family was very powerful and well-connected, and he wanted to make sure that the family name was carried on. He drummed it into his daughters' heads from the time they were babies that if they married, they would keep the name, and he encouraged them to pass it on to their children. Those like my mother who did bother to get married before producing offspring passed along Grandfather's fierce determination to keep the name alive. So . . . we're all St. Clairs. Poor Grandmother!"
One or two of those present remember seeing the St. Clair girls' grandmother at Jes's trial, and "poor" is not a word they'd have applied to her. She had seemed very regal, although there was definitely a sadness about her.
The conversation turns to more mundane matters, and for the moment the history of the building is forgotten.
Meanwhile, Lucien's research has failed to uncover any additional wills for Randolph St. Clair. He finds this very puzzling, considering St. Clair's reputation as a savvy businessman. There is no record in TEKville of a will having been filed. He contacts Viktor James.
"It turns out that you were right, Viktor. I can find no record of another will. It appears that the one you found in the journal will stand."
A wave of relief washes over Viktor and his sister, who is listening in via speakerphone.
"So, what's the next step?"
Lucien sighs internally, knowing that the next step is going to open a Pandora's box of conflict in the town. "If you're determined to go through with this, I'll assemble all of the interested parties for a reading. Are you sure you and your sister are prepared for this, Viktor?"
"Absolutely. We've been ready for this for our entire lives."
To be continued . . . .