(We’re beginning the eleventh chapter today.  Those visiting for the first time, please click back to They Had the Right to Remain Silent (1), to pick up our story from the beginning.  A new character enters the mix…if you’re already up and current on our tale, let us proceed.)
They Had the Right to Remain Silent
Richard S. Jachimecki
Chapter ( xi )
     OWEN BRADFORD LET HIS HIGH BACK, leather desk chair swivel as he took in the view through the windows of his office, fifty- five flights up. Sparkling reflections from nearby towers, the stream of traffic, the rush of crowded sidewalks at lunchtime. His personal metropolitan ant farm was silent, all noise repelled by the windows of his chamber. He sat, as weeks of work culminated to this, the phone’s speaker droning out rings of his just- placed call.
     “Randall Caldwell,” projected into the room.
     He sprung from the chair, “Randall, how are you? Owen Bradford, CC & Associates.” he said; his voice matched the vitality of his body, which was framed in an athletic- cut double- breasted Versace.
     “Very well, Owen, thanks. Yourself?” Caldwell replied.
     “Good as gold,” Owen stated.
     “And your wife, Elaine?” Caldwell asked.
     “She’s fine, thank you for remembering. Randall, I believe a deal is at hand.” Owen said, still a lilt in his voice.
     “Well,” hummed Caldwell, “I’m all ears.”
     Owen stood behind the chair, grabbed each side of the back and squeezed the leather, while he took in a slow, deep breath.
     “My clients,” he said, “are ready to tender the offer of 96 million for the Grant Building, well within the range of your parties’ expectations.”
     Owen stood motionless, his every fiber tensed. He could hear the creak of Caldwell’s chair on the other end of the line. He sensed his own breathing, stifled. The urge to speak prodded him like a gremlin shoving him from behind. The first one to talk loses, he thought. He checked the pinhole green light on the phone, the call was still connected. The click of the second hand on his desk clock was now hammer to anvil. He felt a cloud of tension starting to fill the office, blur his thoughts.
     Caldwell cleared his throat. “Well,” he began.
     Owen felt his own blood pressure drop twenty points. Caldwell’s chair creaked loudly.
     “That is a tempting offer, but…” The speaker went dead again. As he cleared his throat once more, Caldwell continued, “You know my clients will counter that. It’s not the original asking price.”
     Owen was on solid negotiating ground again. He’d run this script in his head all morning.
     “Very true, Randall,” the spark still in his voice, “and we know none of the other bidders are within 20 million of that number. My clients are aware of the costs they will incur to bring the building up to snuff,” Owen paused, “and you are too, my friend.”
     Owen could hear a long breath coming through the speaker.
     “Yes.” Caldwell answered. “Still, even with the slight shortcomings, it is a prime piece, in a showcase location.”
     “And it will cost to bring it to showcase level,” Owen was quick to strike, then countered, “which my clients are committed to funding.”
     Changing gears, Owen continued, “It will be in your best interest to convince your parties there is a true offer on the table, the best they will see. My people have been looking at three properties, all with relatively the same potential. Yours is on top for now. But, you know some of the players involved, how they operate. They won’t sit on this forever.”
     Owen appealed to the stature of the man on the other side of the line within the business community, and he chimed in for the lock, “You’ve got a chance to cut a very attractive deal for your clients. You’ve a chance for the Holy Grail on this one, Randall.”
     Owen sat down and let the proposal sink in. He envisioned Caldwell, the older gentleman, stroking his chin, just as Owen had seen him do at many face- to- face negotiations. Owen recognized pages being turned and then thought he heard humming of an old show tune coming through the speaker.
     “No promises, of course,” came Caldwell’s reply, “you should be hearing from me within twenty- four hours. My best to Elaine, enjoy the rest of your day, Owen.”
     “I look forward to good news,” Owen closed.
     The phone’s speck of green LED faded black. Owen stood and stretched. “No promises” from Randall Caldwell was as good as being in the bag. Here he was, Owen Bradford, rising in the firm with a bullet and not taking prisoners. His body tingled.
     “Yes!” he hissed, throwing a right uppercut to an imaginary opponent.
     “Time for the touchdown dance.” He pulled a card from his billfold, and gazed at the logo, C C & Associates. “Before you know it, C C & B,” he mused. Owen flipped the card over, gave the phone number on the back a glance, then placed it in his desk top drawer. His thumb raced across the keys of his cell.
     “Hello there,” he said, his voice low and smooth. I just closed the deal I was telling you about–well, it’s as good as done–I need to unwind, can you get away for a drink?”

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