The next few days Lamb took them into Vancouver for dinner and an evening at the movies, or dancing.  He wanted them out in public, to be seen and noticed.

            Lamb provided them with new wardrobes, both formal clothes for the functions in the city and casual stuff for around the house.  He was more than generous, having everything tailored to their exact measurements.  The clothes were wonderful, all in bright colours designed to capture the eye. 

            All save Ethan, who was always very quiet – he was always wearing dark colours, a habit he’d had years before.  Ethan’s solitary nature set him apart from the others.  It actually made the press and the public more interested in him, because his refusal to give interviews and reticent nature made him mysterious.

            Genevieve found herself worried about Ethan’s manner, as she hadn’t often seen her brother like this in years.  She wondered if the crash had affected him in ways that they hadn’t suspected, but left it alone.  Ethan always dealt with things himself, and if he wanted help he’d eventually ask. 

            Lamb learned of Evan’s musical gifts, and the band he had led in high school, with Dan, Alex and Owen.  Lamb provided new instruments and had them perform for him, the rest of their friends and the staff of the mansion.  Dan was on drums, and Owen had the bass guitar, while Evan was lead singer and guitarist, with Alex as his back up and on rhythm guitar.

            They played some popular rock songs to warm up, and then they went through the songs Evan had written.  Some were mainstream rock songs, but some were specifically written for church.  Dan had never had much interest in going to church, but the others had been very religious, and Evan’s music reflected that.

            “You boys have some real talent.”  Mr. Lamb said.  “I have friends in the music business, and I could make a few phone calls, if you’re interested.”      

            “Are you kidding?”  Evan asked, excited.  This had been his dream for years, and now Mr. Lamb was practically gift-wrapping it for him.

            “Not at all.  You’re all young, and talented.  There’s already been a lot of media attention.  We could easily capitalize on all of that.  I see a big future for all of you.”  He grinned.

A few days later Neal was on the phone talking to his father about the guys’ possible musical career and the need to stay out on the coast a little longer.  Each of them had called home to explain the delay.  Ethan and Genevieve wanted to stay to support their friends, while the others were hoping for a successful meeting with the record studio executives.  They were gathered on the deck by the garden talking about the possibilities when Lamb and Neal rejoined them.

            “Guys, great news!”  Neal said.  “I was just talking to Dad, and then to Zoë.  Since we’re not coming home for at least a little while, she’s coming here.  Dad can’t get away from the office, but he wishes us luck.  And guess what!  Zoë’s bringing Hope with her!”

            This caused a flurry of excitement and talk around the table.  The two young women were enormously popular with the group – to Jason and Alex, Zoë was like a beloved older sister, while she and Hope had always been warm friends with the others.  The only person that didn’t seem excited was Ethan, but only Genevieve noticed.  She kept her observation to herself for the moment, but resolved to have a talk with her big brother later.

            “Mr. Lamb is letting them stay here with us, so it’ll be like old times!”  Neal went on.

            “Mr. Lamb, you’ve done so much for us!  How can we thank you?”  Evan said to their benefactor.  “You have no idea how much we appreciate it all.”

            “It’s nothing, lads.  I’m just glad to be able to recognize your talents and help you achieve your potential.  You were put on my doorstep for a reason, to be sure, and I’m just trying to do my best to help you along.  With my contacts and media empire, we can probably make you boys famous.  I’ll benefit, because it will make my companies money.  So don’t worry about thanking me.  It’s not necessary.”

            He smiled again, and Genevieve found that smile increasingly disturbing.  It seemed like a shark’s, somehow, like he could smell the blood of a new kill.  Only she guessed that he smelled money.  She understood how someone could be totally engrossed by money, but that didn’t mean she had to like or trust people who were so consumed by greed.  She took in the grinning Simon Lamb and thought to herself that she didn’t like him at all.  Not at all. 


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Bonus Chapter – Music Man