Part Ten


Keesha had not finished tipping the taxi driver before she heard the relieved voice of Jenny, the assistant she had ‘inherited’ at her cousin Justus’ death.  Jenny, a native of Mississippi, had come to Port Charles to attend the University there.  The small upstate school had been the only one to offer the young woman financial assistance.  And with six younger siblings still in school back home, Jenny was grateful for the help.

“You don’t know how glad I am that you came home early,” Jenny exclaimed.  Her thick southern twang was more pronounced than ever.

“What’s wrong?”  Keesha followed her into the front hallway of Ward House.  The two young women were only months apart in age.  Keesha had come to rely on Jenny’s calm demeanor and down-home common sense.  It was easy to see just why Justus had chosen her as an assistant in the first place.

“It’s a good thing my mama can’t see me now,” Jenny cried, waving off Keesha’s question.  “Where in the world are my manners?”  She stepped up and warmly embraced the other young woman.  “Welcome home.”

Keesha smiled.  Some things never changed.  It was a running joke among the Ward House staff that even if she were taken hostage by a crazed gunman, Jenny would neither lose her cool nor forget her manners.  “Thank you.  But we can talk about that later.  What is wrong?”

“A health inspector came by yesterday morning.”

“That’s okay,” Keesha replied.  “I mean, we just had an inspection a couple of weeks ago, but Ward House is in perfect condition.”

Jenny nodded vigorously.  “That’s exactly what I told the inspector.  But he said that from just glancing about the room he could cite a list of health code violations two miles long.  Enough to close Ward House for a while.”

“That’s not possible!”

“I know!”  Jenny’s expression became blank. “Our conversation got interrupted when Mr. Quartermaine happened to drop by with a few of his friends from the board.” 

Edward Quartermaine?” Keesha asked slowly.  “He just happened to stop by here right when there was a crisis going on?”

“Yes.  And you weren’t anywhere around to handle it, so he offered to step in.”  Jenny grinned quietly.  “You should have seen Mr. Quartermaine’s face when A.J. came out of the kitchen with the health inspector and a clean bill of health.”  She replayed the scene in her mind.  “If I didn’t know any better,” Jenny added pointedly, “I’d have sworn that he was upset that Ward House had passed the inspection.”

Keesha just shook her head.  She couldn’t believe that Edward Quartermaine was playing games with the future of Ward House.  “Wait,” she demanded.  “How did A.J. get into this?”

Jenny smirked, “I called him.”