Kit and IvyBy: Elaine Levine
A Red Team Wedding Novella
Adam Banks stepped onto the front stoop before the man coming up his driveway could knock. From his office, he’d watched him get out of his unmarked black sedan and come toward the house. The man wore a nondescript charcoal suit—official government issue.
Adam had been expecting a visit like this every day for thirteen years, but it was surreal to have it actually happen.
He wondered what news the man brought. Had his daughter committed a crime? Was she dead, a Jane Doe in a remote morgue, unclaimed, unwanted? What of his granddaughter? A niggling voice chastised him for even pretending to care. If he’d been a real father and grandfather, his daughter and granddaughter wouldn’t be out in the world, alone.
“I’m looking for Adam Banks,” the man in the suit announced as he came up the front steps.
“And who might you be?” Adam asked.
Adam stared at the man. “Got an ID?”
Adam’s eyes narrowed. “Then state your business.”
“Are you Adam Banks?”
The man pulled an ivory envelope from an inside pocket and handed it to him. Adam closed the door behind him. He didn’t want to trouble his wife with whatever news the man brought to their doorstep. He opened the unsealed envelope and withdrew the card inside.
“Ms. Ivy Banks and Mr. Kit Bolanger request the honor of your presence at their wedding…” The words jumped and blurred in front of him. He had to read the invitation twice.
“I’m required to wait for your answer,” the suit told him.
“Kit didn’t have the balls to come himself?”
“Is that your answer?”
“I’ll be there.”
“The invitation is for both you and your wife.”
“We’ll both be there.”
“Very good, sir.” The suit handed him another envelope. “Here is your itinerary and the number where you can reach Kit. A car like mine will pick you up two hours prior to your flight. You will be flown out and back on a private jet. A car will take you from the Cheyenne airport to the address in Wyoming where you’ll be staying. You will arrive Thursday before the wedding and will depart Sunday. Do you have any questions?”
None the suit could answer. “No.”
The suit nodded. “Good day, then, sir.”
Adam closed the front door and walked back into the kitchen, where his wife was preparing their supper. “Who was that?” she asked as she stirred a pot on the stove.
Adam shook his head and picked up the day’s stack of mail. “Some sales guy.”
“This is a non-soliciting neighborhood. You’d think they wouldn’t go door to door here.”
He didn’t respond. “How long before dinner?”
“Maybe a half-hour.”
“I have to make a call. I’ll be right back.” He went down the hall to his office and shut the door. He took the invitation and itinerary out of his pocket and spread them across the desk. Anger expanded and twisted in his veins. He dialed Kit’s number. It rang once.
Adam didn’t answer. Part of him had been hoping his past hadn’t just slammed into his present.
“So it’s true.”
“Mr. Banks. You received the invitation, then.”
“What the hell kind of game are you pulling now, kid?”
“It’s a wedding, Mr. Banks, not a game. I’m marrying your daughter. Will you be attending?”
“Your messenger didn’t give you my answer?”
“He did. Thought perhaps you’d called to back out.”
“This is cruel. Mrs. Banks has a weak heart. I can’t bring her someplace where she’ll be mistreated or stressed.”
“I have no control over how she’ll react to the weekend. I do know, for our part, you’ll both be treated as honored guests. It’s time to put the past behind us and move forward as a family.”
“Ivy’s agreeable to our visit?” There was momentary silence on the other end. “You haven’t told her,” Adam scoffed.
“No point worrying her if you weren’t coming. I’ll clear the way with her. However, I’m gonna say this only once: this is her special week, her special day. If you make her cry, if you insult or threaten her or hurt her feelings, I’ll have your asses on a plane so fast, you won’t know what hit you.”