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After we were done hugging, mom agreed to go get a second exam on her strangely missing cancer. It was relieving that the medicine truly did have a miraculous effect. I was happy to know it worked. Once she was diagnosed as free from cancer, then I could concentrate more on money. Speaking of which, the next morning, I received a phone call.

“Hello, is this Mr. Daniel?” A woman’s voice came on the other end.

“Ah, I guess it is.” People were starting to call me that in this world too, I figured I’d just go with it.

I had my father’s last name, and I didn’t like being called the same name as him, so Mr. Daniel suited me as much as anything.

“Yes, I was told that you had some items you were open to auctioning. Is this true?”

“I do!” I sat up in bed, feeling a bit more eager. “I have some diamonds and gemstones from a safe- I mean a security box.”

“Then, how would you like to meet for lunch? We can discuss selling your items then.”

“Yes! Of course!”

I wrote down all of the information she gave and then read it over again before ending the conversation. If I was able to sell the rest of the gemstones in the auction, that could finally bring us out of our financial problems. It was close though. I hoped that Katarina also helped come up with something during the week that I could sell, preferably something that was radiation free.

More good news, when I checked my bank account, the money had finally come in. I had $954 in all, just short of $1000 after fees and shipping. That was still more money than I had ever had in that account in my entire life. As far as the underground fights, mom made me promise to not do them anymore, so I was going to have to come up with a new source for the incoming money. It was probably fine, as long as I didn’t come home with more bruises and cuts. Since I didn’t plan to do any more adventuring in the apocalyptic Argos City, I would probably be fine.

I spent the morning resting up. By now, most of my wounds were completely gone, and even the bruises had faded away entirely. Had my family seen how bad those bruises were when I first received them, or knew that they were delivered from gunshots and pistol whips, they definitely would have never left me alone with just a promise. I finally started getting ready for this meeting with the auctioneer. While I did that, I checked my mother and sister’s phone, so that they wouldn’t catch me while I was out of the house and then get angry I wasn’t resting like Gabriella had ordered.

Gabriella: It’s strange, your tumor is completely gone.

Aubree: Isn’t that a good thing?

Gabriella: You don’t get it. The mammogram you took this morning came back with nothing! That doesn’t happen!

Aubree: Can’t we just count it as a blessing?

Gabriella: Once is a fluke… but…

Aubree: But?

Gabriella: I’m not supposed to say anything. The hospital is really hush about it…

Gabriella: but there is an entire room where six deathly ill children suddenly recovered from cancer as if they never had it.

Gabriella: It’s the strangest thing that has ever happened. One kid claimed they saw an angel. Another said that Jesus came and gave communion to him.

Aubree: Can’t you be happy that the children got better?

Gabriella: I can… but…

Aubree: *sigh* but what?

Gabriella: Your son was in that room.

Gabriella: Did he… give you anything? In the last week or two? Anything strange?

Gabriella: Bree?

Gabriella: Bree!

Aubree: No.

Gabriella: …

Aubree: I would ask as a friend you don’t look into this any farther.

Gabriella: Bree… don’t be like that.

Aubree: Please. Leave this alone.

Aubree: Sorry, I have a job interview right now, I’ll text you later.

Gabriella: GL

I clenched my teeth and looked away. It was a clashing of ideologies, and I was putting both women in a difficult situation. Mom was someone who counted her blessings and looked on the bright side. She trusted me, and that was enough for her. Gabriella, on the other hand, wouldn’t let up until she got to the bottom of the thing. She had put me together with those kids, and mom’s recovery. I suppose I hadn’t done much to hide it. Still, I had put mom into a tough spot where she was lying to her friend now, and it left me feeling sad and worried.

I checked Hazel’s phone as well. Unlike me, she wasn’t still in school. After graduating, she couldn’t afford to go to art school, but she was hoping to submit her art and get a scholarship, or perhaps hired freelance. That’s how she spent most of her days. She’d go out and find landscapes and then she’d draw or paint them, trying to put together a portfolio. However, at this point, two years out of school, she still didn’t have any success.

At the moment, she wasn’t drawing, but she was out jogging, which she did every morning. She had found a pretty isolated place and no one bothered her, and every morning she would go there to run. Then, in the afternoon, she’d draw in her books. She would prefer to paint, but mom was only able to afford art supplies on her birthday. Her last birthday was three months ago, and at the time, mom didn’t have the money, so my sister was completely out of supplies.

Looking once again at the money in my account, I sighed and nodded. What was the point in doing all of this if I couldn’t help them have a better life? I left the apartment and nearly stumbled over a small envelope on my door. I opened it and pulled out a cellphone. That would be the burner phone. It looked like Caleb had come through as I had ordered. I didn’t really need the phone. I had Caleb’s phone locked on into my Perco too. If I wanted to, I could make a message appear on his phone, completely freaking him out. However, I didn’t want to reveal all of my secrets. I wanted to see how the guy would act when he thought I wasn’t watching him.

Putting the phone away, I left the apartment building and used a bus to make my way over to the café where the auction person wanted to meet. The place looked surprisingly fancy, and I realized I was a bit underdressed. When I gave the host my name, he instantly took me to a place that sat in a patio portion of the restaurant. My eyes fell on a beautiful woman with a very large chest. I had thought my mother and sister had large breasts, but this woman was about twice their size.

She wore a tight form-fitting dress, and it showed quite a lot of ample bosom up top. She seemed very aware of this and seemed to hold herself to bring a lot of emphasis to her bosom. I caught myself looking and blushed, but when I looked to my side, I could see the host was looking just as shamelessly, so at least I wasn’t the only one.

“You must be Mr. Daniel.” She spoke in a smooth and calm voice, her deep red, plump lips smirking slightly as if she was teasing us for looking at her chest.

She reached out a hand, and I managed to take it without tripping over myself. “Hello, I am. And you are?”

“You may call me Miss Lily. I run the largest auction house for the immediate region. Please, sit.”

She let go of my hand, pulling her dress down so it didn’t ride over her butt. While she did that, her breasts jiggled and she leaned over slightly, exposing even more of her long cleavage before she sat down. I realized I had been staring instead of doing what she said, and immediately sat down, squeaking the chair as I got into it hastily.

“So, your auction house is successful?”

“We’re just one branch of the Chloe’s Auction House.” She explained as a waitress appeared. “Two glasses of your finest, please.”

“Ah… actually… I’m not 21 yet…”

“Don’t worry.” She smirked, reaching out and touching my hands. “I won’t tell if you won’t.”

“Ahh… I… see…”

She let out a soft, sensual giggle. “You’re quite cute. As a typical rule, we don’t serve those under 25, but I’ve made a special exception for you.”

“Why is that?” I asked, not able to stop myself.

“The jeweler who gave you my name? She’s my sister.”

“I see…”

I didn’t really see it. Even if they were family, the jeweler and I didn’t have any close relationship either.

“Ah… she’s not my real sister, she’s my sorority sister.” She said, which only confused me further. “How do I explain this? In college, she helped her sisters out through many classes. We used to joke she was psychic because she always knew exactly what material to review to pass the test. Three of the sisters ended up marrying a man she had set them up with. Another ended up getting a six-figure job. I even found this job because of her. Well, sort of, that’s a long story. Anyway, I naturally was interested when my sister sent you to me. If she did so, it’s because she saw you as my lucky star. I’m very curious about what surprises you’ll hold for me.”

Her eyes flashed excitedly, and all I could do was take the wine the waitress put in front of us and throw it back with a gulp.

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