Episode 59: Rooftops

Tom, Simon, and Jax drive back to his place after the meal in silence.  I think you played it right, Jax.  Tom finally says.  That was an awkward situation.  Come with me over to Rolf’s tonight, Simon.  I want that as our house.  Simon says nothing, and just fumes.  You’re taking advantage, he finally says.  All’s fair in love and war, Jax muses.  Which one is this?  Simon retorts.


Bettina and Lana drive back to the apartment.  Ummm, it’s a nice ring.  Bettina finally says.  I’m sure it is, Lana replies, looking out the window.  Bettina, you’re my best friend.  I feel trapped.  Blind, barefoot, and pregnant - coming right up.   Bettina laughs.  Oh, sweetie.  I cannot cook.  I cannot clean.  I cannot make myself pretty.  Lana, what you said to Jax was so perfect.  You have such a way with words.  He needed to hear that.

Well, I can always kill him later, Lana says, and Bettina bursts out laughing.

Lana, what are you going to do about Raul?  He obviously doesn’t want a blind wife, Bettina, for all the reasons I just mentioned.  Jax hasn’t thought it through; he’s so focused on winning.

What do you want me to do?  Bettina asks.  Call Deluca and ask if he’ll pick me up for night school.  Bettina looks in the rearview at the flashing lights in her mirror.  Not again, she moans.


I thought you’d be happy for me, Jax tells Simon, as they drive to Rolf’s.  I don’t like how you got there.  You set Lana up.  I play to win, Jax says.  Games not over yet, Simon observes.  She didn’t say yes.  Lana won’t go against her father’s wishes. It’s as good as done.  I want to be married in a fortnight, Jax announces.  What is a fortnight? Simon asks.  Fourteen days.  Simon shakes his head in disapproval and looks out the window.

Rolf gets the door.  He’s wearing a headset and motions them to come inside and leads them into the kitchen, and hands them each a bottle of water.  He gestures five minutes and disappears downstairs.  Jax goes over to Lana’s desk and sits down, and flips through her daily activity log.  2:43pm Metallic blue Nissan Ultima.  Raul and Ramon.

The next entry reads D-Rn needs to talk to me.  Stepping out.  2:46pm.  Check this out, he tells Simon, and points out the entry.  Simon reads it and chuckles.  She wouldn’t let them in the house.

Rolf comes up several minutes later and finds the guys sitting on the couch, waiting for him.  What’s going on?  Rolf asks them.  Lana and I got engaged at the Olive Garden after church today.  Jax announces.  And yet she isn’t here with you, Rolf states slowly and looks at Simon.  But Simon is, and he’s not happy about this. What’s on your mind, Jax?  I want to buy your house.  Lana is comfortable here. She knows it well.  It’s where we met and fell in love.  Sold.  Rolf says.  There’s no one else I’d rather see in it.  How soon do you want me out?  Simon looks incredulously at Rolf.

How much?  Jax asks.  Bring Lana by, and we’ll talk terms.  Put a price on it, Rolf. Jax, I have enough.  I’m not a motivated seller, Rolf says chuckling.  Bring Lana by, and we’ll talk terms, he repeats.

I don’t want you around my fiance anymore, Jax tells Rolf.  Simon looks at Jax in shock.  And close out the partnership.  We’re getting married in a fortnight.  I’ve said what I needed to say.  I’ll wait in the car, he announces as he gets up to leave.  Jax, I’ve got one question for you.  It’s of the yes or no variety.  Shoot, Jax says, turning around.  Are you inviting Jenny?  No.  And Jax leaves the room and heads outside.

Jax isn’t himself; Simon says.  I think it was seeing that picture of you and Lana together.  It was supposed to make Raul jealous, but Jax got caught in our trap. Then you two at the hospital.  He just doesn’t want to lose her again.  Makes sense, Rolf agrees.  How is Jenny?  Simon asks.  I’m glad you cared enough to ask, brother.  And that is the ten million euro question.  Simon gives him a puzzled look.  It’ll make sense later.  Go take care of Jax, and Rolf stands and shakes Simon’s hand.  I’m proud of you, Simon.  You’re a good man.  And they give each other a man hug, and then Simon heads out the door.

What did Rolf say about price?  He didn’t.  Just that Jenny was the ten million euro question.   That’s ridiculous.  That’s like eleven and a half million dollars.  The house is worth maybe two point three at the most.  He wasn’t talking about the house, Simon comments.  You’re turning into a self-centered asshole, Simon tells Jax.  You burned Rolf back there, knowing all the while he wanted to gift you and Lana the house.  And this whole arranged marriage – when you know that Lana doesn’t want to marry you; it’s wrong.  She’s holding out hope for Rolf, and now he’s turned you against me, Jax replies.  Simon shakes his head in disgust.  Count me out - I don’t know you anymore.  They drive back to Tom’s place in silence.  As they pull up, they see the drive full of police cars with lights flashing, and some news vans.

Bettina and Tom come out the door, and Bettina rushes to Simon and hugs him. What is it, honey?  Jax hears Simon ask her softly.  Some splinter cell named Jenniqua abducted Lana and I on our way home from the Olive Garden.  They released me with a ransom note.  They want ten million euros in untraceable bearer bonds.  Simon looks over at Jax, and sees him get back into the driver’s seat and just sit there, staring out the windshield at nothing.  Let’s go inside, he tells her, as Jax drives off.

Jax pulls back into Rolf’s drive alone.  Thought you’d be back, Rolf says from up on the roof.  There’s a ladder on the side of the house.  Come on up.

Want a look?  Rolf asks Jax as he gazes through his telescope at the stars.  What did you do?  Jax asks him, ignoring the offer.  Find a seat.  Cold one?  Rolf asks.  Sure.  Rolf pulls another bottle out of a portable nylon cooler and hands it to Jax, who twists off the top and takes a sip.

Jenny is the mastermind, Rolf says.  I doubt that, Jax says.  She came up with the plan.  What’s the plan?  She’s giving Lana her eyes.

Is that even possible?  Jax says, after taking a sip of his beer.  It’s never been done before, Rolf admits.  The procedure will leave Jenny dead on the operating table, and Lana has a 50-50 chance of joining her soon thereafter.

You cannot do this, Jax protests vehemently.  Jax, if you were to hit me over the head with your bottle, and roll me off the roof, it will still go forward.  So don’t waste good beer.  You know how much Jenny loves Lana, and Lana would do the same for Jenny if their roles were reversed.

There is no way that Lana will let this happen, Jax counters. Lana will only learn of the operation after the fact; it’s Jenny’s final wish, and you need to respect that.

When and where?  Within a range of 12-30 hours.  My attorney will inform me of the outcome.  There is a private state of the art facility in Switzerland.  They do plastic surgery and body work for actors, politicians, and the like.  The Russian PM gets his facial work done there.  It’s outrageously expensive, but worth it - the Swiss are known for their surgical precision and discretion.  They’ll deny and stonewall any inquiries.

Who grabbed them?  A third party who guaranteed that Bettina wouldn’t be harmed in any way.  Was that the case?  Rolf asks.  She looked shook up, but otherwise fine.

So how are you involved in all of this?  Jax asks Rolf.  Lana is my partner.  I have her durable power of attorney.  The clinic needed a signature before they would agree to admit her; I signed off on it.  Rescind it.  That window is closed.

What about Jenny’s parents?  Jax asks.  She’s a minor.  No way they’d sign off on this.  They signed a DNR/DNI order.  Jenny used that as cause to claim her independence.  She wrote them and Lana each a note for when she’s gone; I think they will understand when they see it.  It’s a truly a beautiful thing that Jenny is doing, laying down her life for her friend.  She will die on the operating table right next to Lana, holding her hand.  There will be no pain, and her suffering will finally come to an end.

This is you.  This is all your doing.  Admit it.  You are Professor Moriarty.  You set this up.  Jax, you’ve insulted me enough for one night.  Get some rest.  My fiance’s life is in the balance, and I’m supposed to rest?  You’re going to pay for this.  Why do the heathen rage?  Rolf mutters.  Look up, Jax.  I’m outta here.  Jax says and gets up abruptly, and climbs down off the roof.

Jax drives back to Tom’s and gets out.  Now there’s only an unmarked police cruiser parked in the street, with two officers inside.  He recognizes Jon’s Tuscan and Toni’s Dodge truck in the drive.  Gather around, Jax tells everyone when he comes inside.  Listen to this, and he pulls out his phone.  He was up on the roof, looking through a telescope at the stars when I arrived.

Toni is the first to speak.  I need to call this in.  How do you spell her last name?  she asks Jax.

Sir, I’ve got a tip from an anonymous source, Toni tells her boss.  Jenniqua is one Jenny Kaufman of New Orleans, a teenage girl who hero worships Lana, and hired soldiers of fortune to abduct her so she could give Lana her eyes.  The ten million euro ransom is to cover the cost of the procedure at a private clinic in Switzerland.  <pause>  Yes, I have seen Mean Girls, sir.   <pause>  Thank you, sir.  I’ll do that first thing in the morning, and brief you.

I’ve got to run this down myself, Jax.  Let it play out, Toni.  Respect Jenny’s final wish.  Jon says.

Jax is 100% right.  This needs to be stopped, by any means necessary, Bettina says stridently.  I’m with Rolf, Simon says.  I don’t know you anymore, he tells Jax.

Daddy?  Bettina pleads.  I believe Jax to be sincere - and gullible.  The clinic in Switzerland is a rabbit trail, as is the demand for ten million euros.  Everyone looks at Tom.  Rolf is obviously bankrolling this.  We’re not going to be able to stop the procedure from happening.  He’s given Jax just enough information to prepare us.

I’m calling Rolf.  Bettina says suddenly.  She puts it on speaker.  It goes straight to voice mail.  Typical, she mutters.  She sends him a text.  Which is refused.  She throws up her hands.  What facility was Jenny staying at?  Toni asks.  I don’t know, Bettina says, and looks at Jon.  Hogwarts, Jon says, looking down with a small grin.  Simon cackles and slaps his leg, while Toni covers her mouth as she tries not laugh.  SIMON, help us.  Bettina tells him.  Let this go forward, Bettina.  Simon tells her.  Lana wasn’t given a choice, Bettina tells him.  She wasn’t given a choice when she was blinded either, Jon replies.  Jenny and Rolf are doing this out of love, not manipulation, Jon says, glancing up at Jax.  Simon nods.  Jax loves Lana! Bettina exclaims, scowling as she glances between them.  You know if she gets her sight back, he’s getting his ring back.  Simon!  Bettina’s father says sternly.  You’re putting the worst possible construction on Jax’s motives.  You’re better than that. He turned on Rolf, Simon replies.  Tell them what happened when we stopped over.  Jax doesn’t say anything, and looks down at the floor.

What happened?  Bettina asks Simon.  Simon glares at Jax and doesn’t say anything.  Play the recording again, Toni tells Jax.  He does.  Now erase it, she tells him.  He complies.  Good night, guys.  Toni says as she gets up.  Jon walks out with her.

Walk with me, Jax, while I make some calls, Bettina tells him.

They walk the starlit night in silence.  Who?  Jax asks.  A cop pulled me over for speeding, and red tagged my car.  He called an ambulance for Lana to go back to the hospital, and then got a phone call.  You know a Captain Ron Howard?  He asked me.  He’s a family friend, I told him.  My boss wants me to drop you off at his residence.  I don’t like this.  I’m not going to release the car.  It was so well done.  I didn’t even know that I’d been abducted, until I got a card.  This is for you, Miss Andrews, and he drove off.  I opened it, and it was the ransom note for Lana.

I wasn’t threatened or alarmed at all until I read the note.  Do you think it was Kostamo?  I don’t have his number, Bettina says.  What about Lana’s friend Tim?

What’s wrong?  Tim asks, alarmed at the lateness of the hour.  I need Kostamo to call me, Bettina tells him.  Lana’s been taken.  Tim hangs up.  A minute later Bettina’s phone rings with an unlisted number.

What happened?  Kostamo asks her.  Some pros snatched Lana after lunch.  A cop pulled me over for speeding and red-tagged my car.  He called an ambulance for Lana, to take her back to St. Catherine’s.  And then he got a phone call, and drove me to Captain Howard’s house, and dropped me off there with a card.  Inside was a ransom note.  They want ten million euros.  When and where?  Further instructions to follow.  Who?  Jenniqua.  Name sounds ghetto black, Kostamo remarks.  I’m not stupid, Bettina says.  If you’re behind this, tell me now. I’m not behind this, Kostamo remarks.  What aren’t you telling me?

Rolf knew.  He told Jax that Jenny Kaufman is giving Lana her eyes at a state of the art ultra-private clinic in Switzerland.  It will kill Jenny, and Lana has only a 50-50 chance of survival.  What do you want me to do, Bettina?  Kostamo asks her after a long pause.  Lana isn’t being given a choice.  Rolf is the only one who can stop this.  I want you to pressure him.  No.  Stand down, Bettina.  Kostamo hangs up.

He told me to stand down and hung up on me, Bettina tells Jax.  Try Sam.  She’s too far away to do anything.  Let her know.  Bettina calls her, but it goes straight to voicemail.  She’s already asleep, Bettina tells Jax as she disconnects.

I’ll try Raul.  She dials his number, and gets an automated response that this number is no longer in service.  Numbers no good, she mutters.

What about Sam’s fiance?  I don’t have Ramon’s number.  Simon will have it, Jax tells her.  What happened at Rolf’s house?  She asks him.  Simon was really upset with you.  I don’t want to talk about it, Jax says.  Then I guess I won’t tell you what Lana said after lunch, Bettina says with a grin.  He wouldn’t sell me his house.  He wanted to give it to Lana, I could tell.  Bring her over and we’ll talk.  I told him I didn’t want him around my fiance anymore, and for him to dissolve their partnership.   And I got up to go wait in the car.  He said he just had a one question for me: yes or no.  Was I going to invite Jenny to my wedding?  No.  When Simon came out, he told me that I was an asshole, and he didn’t know me anymore.  Rolf turned him against me.  What did Lana say?

Bettina doesn’t say anything for awhile.  She told me you were so focused on winning that you were losing sight of everything else.  She’s right, Jax.  I’m playing for keeps, Jax replies.  Aren’t we all?  Bettina counters gently.  I want to you patch things up with Simon, so we can have our tropical island paradise together.  What else did Lana say?  You know how funny Lana is: blind, barefoot, and pregnant – coming right up.  I cannot cook.  I cannot clean.  I cannot make myself pretty.  She feels trapped and useless, Jax.  What’s going on with her and the cartel guy?  He hasn’t called her, and she didn’t come right out and say it, but I can tell that she’s really hurt by that.  Jax, if Lana gets her sight back: well, you stepped up and he didn’t when she was down and out.  Lana won’t forget that.