Title, Title, Who has the title?


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This one is a plot bunny that had been around so long , and had been so patient that one day it finally hopped in my lap, dumped me out of the chair and finished the story. I hope that you all enjoy it. It was loosely based on the real life case of my boss selling her car and then discovering that technically the leasing company stilled own it since the paperwork had not gotten finished.

As usually this story would not have been possible without TAE being willing to beta read it for me. So a big hug to her. After reading it TAE had mentioned her niece's 64 mustang. In appreciation for all the services above and beyond the call of a beta, and for being one of the best beta's and friends someone new to fan fiction and writing could have, TAE, I give you your 1964 mustang.

A big thank you also goes out to the wonderful people who give me feedback. It keeps my creative juices flowing. I don't own the guys, pet fly does, so the feedback is the only pay I will receive. There is a cyber chocolate for anyone who can figure out the identity of Jim's uncle.

"Okay. Thanks Mom. Yeah, talk to you then. Love you too. Bye." Blair hung up the phone and joined his roommate, Jim, in the living room. Jim looked up from the paper to see Blair bouncing to the love seat across from the couch he was on.

"This is totally cool. Naomi is going to let me have her old car. Which is great because I can like so not afford car payments. And even better, it`s another classic." Blair resembled a cat locked in a creamery.

"Glad to hear you're going to have a car again, Chief. When is she going to be coming by with the title?" Jim was relieved to see his guide in full Sandburg bounce once again. He hadn't been bouncing much since the loss of his beloved Volvo.

"She'll be coming through this Sunday on her way to a retreat with a speaker on Natural healing and Inner Harmonics."

"Please tell me the New classic runs better than the Volvo did." Jim grinned at Blair's shocked offence.

"It runs great, Jim. Naomi hardly ever used it. I may need to have a little work done on it since it`s been sitting idle for five years, but it`ll be well worth it.. The car gods are definitely with me, man. First I get my grandma's Corvair when my old Escort got stolen, and then Uncle Obi sold me his Volvo, and now when I'm in need again, I get Naomi`s baby! Three classics in a row! I just can't believe this." Blair was excitedly pacing the room; Jumping in and out of his chair like it was spring-loaded.

Jim just grinned. Turning back to the paper, he muttered "If this is anything like the last classic you owned Chief, I'll keep the truck available for road side service."

A red headed woman looking to be in her late forties was just about to knock on the door of 307 at 852 Prospect, when the door opened. She hugged the large detective in greeting, as she passed him to see her son. Head bobbing in time to the music on his Walkman, the future detective was looking over his books for a class. Coming up behind him with a silence that would have done his ex- army ranger roommate proud, the woman threw her arms around the younger man. Jim smiled to himself as Blair jumped in the air, dropping the book he had been reading.

"Naomi, you scared ten years off of me! Warn a guy OK? I thought you said you weren't going to be here until Sunday!" Blair howled, and then returned the hug with enthusiasm.

"I know sweetie, but I couldn't go another second with seeing my beautiful boy!" Naomi Sandburg was beaming.

"This is great, Mom. You can spend the weekend with us." Blair tried not to laugh at Jim's expression.

"I'm sorry, honey. I got a ride down to the retreat with some other friends, and I have to leave early tomorrow morning, but we have this evening. I brought the papers for the car like you said to, I'm so glad that I still had that old thing."

"I'm glad you had it too, mom, this works out, like, so great! So, why don't we get the paperwork done now and out of the way, then we can relax and enjoy the rest of your visit." Blair was bouncing as only a Sandburg could.

"That's a wonderful idea. I have it right here," Naomi bubbled happily.

Jim watched Blair turn several shades of white. Pushing the guide into a chair before he fell, Jim looked at the paper he had taken from Blair. It was a bill of sale for a 1964 Mustang convertible. There was not , however, a title for the car. Jim looked at Blair and Naomi in surprise; who would have thought they had a Mustang in the family? He then heaved a deep sigh and braced himself for a trip to the Sandburg zone, squared. The ex-ranger mentally shuddered, the thought was truly frightening.

"Is this all of the papers that involve the car?" Jim asked, once he was able to speak.

"Yes. Should there be other papers? Those are the papers that I got when I bought the car." The woman sounded bewildered.

"Mom, you don't have the title. If you don't have the title, then you don't own the car." Blair finally found his voice.

"But I do own the car. I bought it five years ago. I have the bill of sale to prove that I did." Naomi was totally confused.

"Naomi, you can't get the car registered without a title. How have you be getting stickers for it?" The large man cringed at what he was afraid might be her answer.

"Stickers? I've never put stickers on it. What do you mean registering it?" She was totally baffled.

Jim groaned; he was afraid that would be her answer.

"Every year you have to register the car. The fees help maintain the government roads. It also shows that the car is safe. When you pay the registration then you get a sticker that you put on your license plate. It's illegal to drive without one. The car's been out on Aunt Julie's farm so it probably hasn't been an issue." Professor Sandburg had arrived and was beginning his lecture.

"I had no idea, where would I go to do that? This is the first car I ever owned; before we borrowed one or else got a ride to wherever we were going." Naomi asked, sounding lost.

"We can't do this without the title Naomi, so just try and remember who you bought the car from, and then we can see if they have it" Jim was showing more patience than Blair would have thought him capable of in this situation.

"Oh ,that's easy!" The red headed woman bubbled, "I bought it from my friend, Tom. He and his wife were having money problems. He lost his job while she was pregnant and on bed rest. I wanted to help, but they didn't want any handouts, they said. I heard a few days later that they were selling the car, so I bought it. That way I was able to help them out without them feeling bad about it."

"I always wondered why you got a car that you didn't need, and especially one like that." The guide smiled at his mother. Jim was beginning to see where Blair got his humanitarian streak from.

"I know that they didn't have a title for the car either. I was there when they got it. Juicyfruit's parents had had a bad accident and she was moving in with them. She didn't need it any more and Tom and Melody were desperate for a way to get to Oregon, where his new job was." Naomi was explaining this like it was perfectly normal. But of course, Jim realized, to her this was.

"So Juicyfruit is the one with the title to the car." Jim asked hopefully.

"Uh, Jim do you remember last year when I had to go help a friend of Naomi's and then attend a funeral? That was Juicy. I sorted through all of her things and there was no car title," The younger man explained.

"So there is no way of knowing who she got the car from?" Jim was getting a headache from the dueling Sandburg zones.

"Let's see now, she got it from Bunny. Bunny had started a meditation center, but it went bankrupt. When she couldn't pay Juicy her wages, they offered her the car instead. She had been using it to drive down and visit her boyfriend. That's right. They couldn't keep her on because the center had closed, her boyfriend wanted her to join him, so she took the car as wages and moved to the artist's community he was in."

"Naomi, do you think that Bunny might possibly have the title, then?" Blair was asking because Jim had gone to get himself some aspirin.

"No, I don't think so, sweetie. I helped them pack when they moved to Big Sur, I packed up all of the papers and there wasn't anything about a car, there. I wonder who has the titles to the cars they are using now?"

"Let's try to stay on the topic here, mom." Blair headed off the tangent he saw coming. "Since Bunny apparently doesn't have it, do you know who she got the car from? Maybe she has the title in a different box than the ones you helped with?"

"I suppose that it might have been in one of the other boxes, there were a lot of them. I don't know for certain who they got the car from."

"Could you call her and find out if she has the title and if not, who she got the car from?" Jim had taken the painkillers and was back.

"Certainly. I have her phone number right here." Naomi held up the address book as Blair handed her the phone.

The two men headed out to the balcony while Naomi called her friend. The younger man began to laugh at the situation they were in.

"Man. this almost feels like that game Button, button, whose got the button." Blair said between giggles

"Does your mom really have a friend named Bunny?"

"Yes. And I doubt if she has the title, since she loses everything she touches." Blair smiled.

"Bunny doesn't have it," a voiced called them back inside, "but she remembers that she bought the car from Seagull. She was going to college and needed cheap, reliable transportation and Seagull was going to Britain and had to sell her car."

"So, Seagull has it. Great it's the hands of the absent-minded professor. Do you know who she got it from Naomi? I remember her as one of your best friends." Blair looked at her hopefully.

"Yes, I do know, she bought it from this woman in desperate need of money. She had just moved in with her brother. It was so sad, he had lost both legs in Vietnam. She was the only family he had, and she had to leave her family to come and take care of him. I gathered that there were some difficulties with her husband over the whole thing. She had the use of his car and since they couldn't afford two cars and he would not be driving for a while, she sold hers. Grace Dawson. That was her name." Naomi smiled like a cat locked in a creamery with a sunroof.

Jim was laughing hysterically. Reaching for the phone he dialed.

"Hi Sally, its Jimmy, is Dad home?" Blair and Naomi looked at him, dumbfounded.

"Hey Dad, did mom ever own a 64-mustang convertible?"

Blair was laughing uncontrollably.

"She did? I don't suppose you still have the title from that car do you? Thanks, yeah just give me a call if you find anything." Jim hung up, still smiling at the absurdity of everything.

"Your dad owns the Mustang? Oh man, what are the chances of that?" The younger man was still laughing.

An invisible switch was hit and Blair stopped laughing. "Jim, not that I want to give the wrong idea here, but your dad is a businessman. Do you think he would reclaim the car since he technically owns it?" Blair asked, having gone white.

Jim squeezed Blair's shoulder to reassure his friend and guide. "If Mom sold the car then he'll honor that. To him that was a business deal where his word was given by Mom. Dad never backs down on his word in business matters."

With Blair reassured and the car business taken care of, dinner was a lighthearted meal with Baby Blair stories as the entree, and Jim stories served for desert.

Blair watched Jim cock his head and head for the door. When the detective opened the door, William Ellison was revealed. Jim took his dad's hat and coat while making introductions.

"Dad, this is Naomi Sandburg, Blair's mother. Naomi this is my dad, William Ellison."

Entering the living room, Bill gave a low courtly bow and kissed Naomi's hand. "A pleasure to meet you."

"Why, thank you. I see where Jim got his excellent manners. It was so kind of you to help us out with the missing title to that car." The vivacious, red head never missed a beat.

"A pleasure to be of service I assure you." Bill smiled the same smile that had so often had women swooning over his oldest son.

"I am so glad that this was cleared up before I had to leave. It would have created such a negative aura at the meditation retreat that I'm not certain that all the sage created could have helped!"

"A meditation retreat? As in relaxation and lowering stress?" The senior Ellison asked, enraptured.

"Yes. It's in India. Some friends are pickling me up tomorrow and we are meeting up with the group for a month of meditation in California, just outside of Los Angeles, to prepare and then going to India. They`re coming for me in the morning. It's going to be so relaxing and refreshing." Naomi's eyes never left the retired businessman as she told about the retreat.

"I've never been to India. It sounds like an interesting place though." Watching the free spirited woman, Mr. Ellison sounded slightly envious.

"Why don't you come with us? You could sign the title over to Blair right now, I could call Sunshine and she and Dwayne could pick us both up as easily as one. Of course we are leaving very early in the morning." Naomi was bouncing with enthusiasm for this new change in plans.

"Not a problem at all. You could come and stay at my house. You could make certain that I pack the right things, and your friends could pick us up from there, or I could drive us down to meet them in California." Bill positively glowing with anticipation of this new experience.

Mouths hanging open, Jim and Blair watched as their respective parents sailed out of the house talking about the retreat they were now going to go to together.

"Uh, Jim, did our parents just leave together?" Blair asked, finally able to speak.

"Yeah, they did. His doctor has been after him to find new hobbies and relax a little. I guess he just did." Jim sat down heavily on the couch.

"Hey, maybe we'll wind up being brothers!" Blair smiled as Jim went pale.

A moment later Blair was going pale, himself.

"No, he wouldn't." The sentinel exclaimed simultaneously to his guide's "No, she wouldn't."

"This your dad were talking about, Jim." Blair glanced at his totally lost friend.

"Yes, and that's Naomi that he left with." Jim watched the younger man pale even more.

"I think I might be ready to try some of those relaxation exercises you were talking about Sandburg, I think we may both be needing them in the near future."

"As soon as I can relax again myself, we'll start up." Blair answered with a groan.

All Comments, suggestions, guesses at who Jim's uncle is, and feedback can be sent to Anneack@aol.com

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