Tag Archives: chapter seven part two

A Hard Rain; chapter seven, part two

“Shit.”  Leslie glances at her watch and sees that it’s 7:04:32.  Siobhan would be awake if not at work yet.  Leslie calls her.

“Where the hell are you, Leslie?  I tried to call you all day yesterday.”  Siobhan is angry and not reticent about showing it.

“Sorry.  I had my cell off.”  Leslie turns off her cell when she can’t deal with it—which is most of the time.  And, it’s now telling her that she’s missed many, many messages—which is annoying the hell out of her.  “Listen.  I’m in Chicago.  I—“

“What the hell are you doing in Chicago?”

“I came to meet Rose—John’s best friend.”

“Who the fuck is Rose?  What’s going on, Leslie?”

With a start, Leslie realizes that she hasn’t told Siobhan anything since discovering that John was not John.  Taking a deep breath, Leslie makes as concise a summary as she can.  Still, it takes a good twenty minutes with Siobhan interrupting frequently to ask questions.  When Leslie is finished, Siobhan doesn’t hesitate to express her opinion.

“You get your ass home now.  This is not a game, Leslie.  Whoever killed John and took Rose isn’t going to stop at killing one more person.  I would greatly prefer that person were not you.”  Siobhan is struggling to keep her temper, but it’s touch and go.

“Do you think this person is going to stop?  He knows I am on his trail.  Whether or not I stop, I don’t think he’ll feel safe until he gets me out of the way.”

“That’s why you should quit now.  Make it clear you’re leaving everything up to the cops.  Please, Leslie.  Don’t do anything rash.  Come home and call your shrink.”  Siobhan is pleading now as she senses that Leslie’s mind is made up.

“I have to do this, Siobhan.  For John.  I love you, and I’ll talk to you later.”  Leslie hangs up the phone and turns it off.  She knows that if she talks to Siobhan any longer, they’ll just end up in a long, shouty argument.  Then, they will say things they regret before apologizing.  Then, Leslie will do what she plans to do, anyway, so why not skip all that?  Leslie reminds herself to call Siobhan later just to update her on things, and then she returns to her laptop.

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Out of Sight, Into Mind; chapter seven, part two

“What about Digger?”  I asked, more to shake her up than because I thought it was him.

“No, why, what?  Why would Digger???”  Kayla couldn’t finish the sentence with the proper amount of indignation it called for, possibly since she remembered that I had her packet of blackmail material.

“Tosca,” I said softly, watching Kayla’s face.  It drained of what little color she had retained, and I knew I’d scored a palpable hit.  I also knew, however, that if Digger was involved in this, Tosca wasn’t in on it.  Why?  Because Mob didn’t do namby-pamby kidnappings with little to no real pain involved.  If Tosca had ordered the pick-up, well, let’s just say that Danny would have been more of a mess than he’d sounded on the tape.

“Um, Italy?”  Kayla’s laugh rang hollow, and not even she looked convinced by it.

“That’s it, I’m leaving,” I said, standing up abruptly.  As much as I wanted to help Danny, I couldn’t deal with this coked-up, strung-out bitch.

“Wait, um, Scar.”  Kayla made a grabbed my arm and nearly tumbled again.  As she would have taken me with her, it behooved me to help her stay on her feet.  “Please don’t go.  I know I’ve been a pain in the ass, but I really need your help.”  A Girl Scout couldn’t have looked more sincere, but I trusted Kayla as much as I’d trust Jet with a cute boyfriend.

“Give me one reason I shouldn’t walk out of this house and never come back.”  I was steaming, and I wasn’t going to come cheap.  “From the start, you’ve been outright lying and lying by omission.  You’ve been more of an obstacle than a help, and I have to wonder what else you have to hide.”

“Sit down, please?”  Kayla’s tone was normal rather than whiney or like a little girl’s, which was probably why I sat back down.  Matt sat next to me on the couch, and the two of us looked expectantly at Kayla.  She sat on the hardback chair opposite, not quite able to meet either of our eyes.

“Well?”  I said impatiently when Kayla continued to do her impression of a statue.

“I’ve done some things I don’t feel very good about,” Kayla said softly, looking down at the ground.  “You know about some of them from what I’ve told you but also what’s in the packet.  I swear, I didn’t mean to hurt anyone—well, not really, and it all just got out of hand.”  I forbore from pointing out that blackmailing people hurt them even if they may deserve some of that pain.  I knew that nothing I said would dent Kayla’s world view of herself.  I was just grateful to have her talking, so I kept my big mouth shut for once.  “But, um, there was this incident…”  Her voice trailed off as she looked more uncomfortable than I’d ever seen her before.  I took that as a good sign.

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Duck, Duck, Dead Duck; chapter seven, part two

“You have a girlfriend, Henry?”  My mother said, her eyes lighting up.  I could see the vision of plump grandbabies dancing in her thoughts.  Never mind that Hank was only twenty—if he had a girlfriend, then hope sprang eternal.

“Yup, her name is Beth.  I met her in an ethics class.”  Hank attended Century College—a local community college.

“Well?  Tell us more!”  My mother demanded, her food forgotten.  “Is she Taiwanese?”

“No, Mom,” Hank said, rolling his eyes.  “She’s white.  Beth Richardson.  Nice girl, though.  I swear you’ll like her.”

“When do we get to meet her?”  Mom asked, her eyes still shining.  Although she would have preferred for Beth to be Taiwanese, Mom wasn’t too picky at this point.

Hank promised that he would invite Beth to a family get-together soon.  They had only been dating for a month, and he didn’t want to rush things.  She was taking a few classes at Century to see what she liked before transferring to the U.  She hadn’t wanted to go to the University right out of high school, so she had bummed around Europe for a year before returning.  Her parents had agreed to help her with rent for an apartment if she took a few classes at Century and if she promised that she would apply to the U for the spring semester.  She found out that she was interested in medicine, but didn’t want to be a doctor.  She thought she might like to be a nurse.  She liked Clint Eastwood movies and all the ‘Must-See-TV’ hits on NBC.  In short, she was perfect for Hank—the original mainstream maven.  I would have bet my last dollar that she was under five-feet four inches and weighed under a hundred and ten pounds.

“Here’s a picture of her,” Hank said, pulling something out of his wallet and passing it around.  When it got to me, I had to hide my smirk.  There besides a beaming Hank was a petite woman who barely came up to his chest and who looked as if she was about to float away if Hank’s arm around her shoulder wasn’t tethering her to the ground.  The only thing remotely surprising about her was that her hair was a fiery red instead of blond.  Other than that, she was exactly as I pictured her.

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Plaster of Paris; chapter seven, part two

I wander around the gym, engaging random people in conversation.  No one working out, of course, because that would be in violation of club rules.  Besides, I know how I’d feel if someone was pestering me as I was trying to do my reps.  However, there are quite a few people just milling around, looking as if they’re either resting or done or about to start.  Those are the ones I target.  Understandably, most of them are reluctant to divulge anything to a total stranger, but the fact that I’m a petite woman who is not a potential threat disarms the women.  The fact that I’m a good-looking petite Asian woman disarms most of the men—and more than a few women.  Unfortunately, even when I’m able to pry information out of people, there is precious little to be had.  Gym rats are creatures of habit, and most of this crowd never step foot in the gym until late afternoon.  After an hour, I’m more than a little dispirited.  I decide to try one more person before giving up.  My quarry is a burly he-man hulk with bulging muscles and a tiny waist.  I don’t understand why guys go for that look, but I’m sure many guys don’t understand why some women slather makeup on their faces with a trowel.  The guy has bought some kind of wheat-germ drink from the juice bar and is chugging it down methodically.  I wait for him to swallow before I speak.

“Hi,” I say brightly, beaming at him.  “My name is Rayne.  Mind if I ask you a few questions?”

“Not at all, doll,” the guy smiles back as his eyes leisurely travel up and down my body.  “Trace.  Short for Tracy, but nobody calls me that.  Not if they want to live, that is.”  He throws back his head and makes a braying sound like a donkey that I soon realize is his way of laughing.  I restrain a sigh at facing yet another stereotype, this time in person.  “Ask away.”  He grins at me as he continues choking down his drink.

“Do you know a guy named Billy?  Short, blond, muscular?  Heart tattoo on his bicep?”  I say the information by rote, which is what it is by now.

“Billy Matthews?  Hell, yeah, I know him!  Thinks he’s going to win Mr. fucking Muscles of San Francisco!  Not if Trace can help it, he sure isn’t.  Too fucking short, for one thing.”  Great.  A guy who talks about himself in the third person.  However, he does know Billy, so I cut him some slack.  “What does a nice gal like you want with an asshole like that?”  Trace looks at me curiously.  “You ain’t his type, anyway.”

“I just want to talk to him,” I say stiffly.  With the other people I’ve talked to thus far, I’ve been able to make small talk, put them at ease.  With Trace, I have lost that ability.  Good ol’ boys tend to do that to me.  “Know where I can find him?”

“Well, here, most every morning.  At night, he likes to frequent the El Rio or the Elbo Room depending on his mood.”  Trace hasn’t stopped looking at me, and it’s beginning to get on my nerves.  “I’m telling ya, he doesn’t like Asian girls,” Trace says earnestly, finishing up his drink.  “He’s partial to Puerto Rican pus—gals.”  I know what he was about to say, and I shoot him a dirty look for it.

“Thanks for the information,” I say briskly.  “I must be going now.”  I turn and leave, not giving him a chance to say anything.  “Prick,” I say under my breath.  It looks as if I’ll have to put my quest for Billy on hold.  At least I have a name and a general description; it’s a start.  I wave to Jimmy on my way out, but he’s staring resolutely at anything but me.  I rush home to shower and change—jeans and a red, long-sleeved shirt—before hurrying back to the hospital.

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Rainbow Connection; chapter sever, part two

“May I help you?”  Carol asks sharply, her face scrunching up.  “This is a private meeting, you know.”

“Sorry to intrude,” Inspector Robinson says, flashing her badge and not looking at all sorry.  “I’m Inspector Robinson.  I’m investigating the homicide of Rosalita Chavez.  This is Detective Brady.  She is investigating the homicide of Ashley Stevenson.”  Detective Brady nods, but her eyes are scanning the crowd.  Cop eyes—they don’t miss a thing.

“What do you want?”  Carol’s tone is combative, which is not ideal for talking with the police.

“We would like to say a few words to the women here,” Inspector Robinson says, still rooted to a spot just inside the doorway.  It is clear that she is taking the lead on the case with Detective Brady content to play second fiddle.  Presumably, she’s used to it with Sergeant Grimes as her boss.  “If that’s all right with you.”  Her tone is courteous, but it’s an order and not a question.

“I don’t have a choice, do I?”  Her good humor restored, Carol acquiesces with grace.  The cops stand behind Carol so most of us can see them without moving in our seats.  The women on either side of Carol move their chairs to get a better view.  Unexpectedly, Detective Brady speaks first.

“The homicide of Ashley Stevenson is a puzzling thing,” she begins, fixing her eyes on the person across from her which happens to be Tudd.  Tudd starts squirming under the scrutiny.  “While she has been a troublemaker for most of her short life, she is far from a delinquent.  She comes from money and as far as we can tell, has not ventured too far into the seamier side of life.  Just your ordinary teenage girl with ordinary rebellions.  So why was she killed?  That’s what we’re trying to discover.

“Her father is another matter.”  Detective Brady has slipped into a rhythmic telling of her saga which draws her listeners in.  “He is a powerful man with many enemies but not the type to kill a daughter of an enemy to make a statement.  So, if the killing isn’t personal and it isn’t because of her father, then what is the motive?  That is the stopping point.”  Inspector Robinson takes over.

“Rosalita Chavez was a single mother whose son was killed in the gang wars.  Rosie, as she was called, raised a fuss about it to whomever she could get to listen.  She’d go to the cops and harass them to arrest someone.  She wrote her congressman every day.  She was determined her son’s death wouldn’t be for nothing.  As a result, there were some powerful gang members irate with her for stirring up trouble as they saw it.  She was threatened several times to keep her mouth shut, which she didn’t do.

“So it would seem that this was a retaliation murder.  An execution, if you will.  However, we have ascertained beyond a reasonable doubt that her death wasn’t gang related.  She is not dating anyone, nor does she have any shadowy figures in her life.  What does that leave?  Now, we know.  Someone in her position probably has a shady character or two tucked away somewhere.  If so, we can’t find that person.  Reluctantly, we have let go of gang-related motives for the time being.”

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Don’t Rayne On My Parade; chapter seven, part two

“If I wanted a man, I’d be with one,” Quinn explains.  I sigh, not wanting to get into an argument about why butches are not men.  It seems all we do is argue philosophy and beliefs.

“If you like the black woman, go talk to her,” I say.  “That’s what we came here for, right?”

“What do I say to her?”  Quinn starts sweating at the thought of being so bold.

“Say, ‘Hi, my name is Quinn.  What’s your name?’  I guarantee she’ll say something.”  I am being sarcastic but serious at the same time.  I am not into game-playing and find the straightforward approach, pardon the pun, refreshing.  Quinn looks as if she’s going to argue with me, but doesn’t.  She stands up, straightens her shirt, then walks over to the black woman.  I am too far to hear what they’re saying, so I decide to watch the baby butch play pool instead.  The woman who is playing against her slaps her on the ass, so I decide to look elsewhere.  A motion by the door catches my eyes.  It’s my favorite bartender, and she’s looking good.  She’s the miniature, female version of the male bartender from the 500 Club, except she manages to be feminine while still being tough.  She is wearing a black t-shirt and black jeans, and she looks hot.  I know her name is Vivienne, she’s half-French and from Canada.  Quebec, to be precise.

“Viv!”  A teenage-looking girly calls out to Vivienne.  The latter flips the former a wave, but doesn’t reply verbally.  Vivienne takes her place behind the bar.  I finish off my drink and saunter up to the bar for the next one.

“Hey, darling,” Vivienne grins at me.  She has the darkest eyes for a non-Asian person, and she uses them to her advantage.  “What can I get you?”

“I’d like a Cape Cod,” I say, unable to take my eyes off her.  Why have I never asked this woman out, besides the fact that I have a policy of not hitting on someone at the place of their employment because she can’t walk away?

“Viv.  I gotta roll.  See you back at the crib?”  A stunning bi-racial honey leans over the bar to peck Vivienne on the cheek.  The kisser has a head of curly black hair I would kill for, skin the color of molasses, and curves that look just as sweet.  Oh yeah, that’s why.  Vivienne is a married woman.  She’s been with girlfriend for seven years, I believe I’ve been told.  I sigh as I watch Vivienne’s better half leave.  I turn back to the bar, catching Vivienne as she watches me in amusement.  I have a feeling she knows that I am hot for her, but I won’t do anything about it as long as she’s with her girlfriend.  I may not be the most monogamous gal myself, but I don’t mess with other people’s monogamy.  Even if she and the gf aren’t monogamous, it’s too messy a situation for me to want to get into the middle of that.

“Here you go, sweetheart,” Vivienne places my drink in front of me with a flourish.

“Thanks, Vivienne,” I say with my best smile and a sizable tip.  I always call her by her full name because I think it’s beautiful.  She winks at me as she scoops up the money.  I return to my table and covertly watch as Vivienne serves other women.  She doesn’t call anyone else those pet names, so I start fantasizing about what that means.  Before I can get too far, Quinn returns.

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Marital Duplicity; chapter seven, part two

“Reverend Yang. Thank you so much for seeing me. I know it’s late.” I hold my hand out to the reverend, and he shakes it with enthusiasm.

“Megan. It’s good to see you.” His eyes are glued to my admittedly impressive bosom, which I have on prominent display. I’m wearing a snug-fitting, bright red dress that falls just below my thighs. The good reverend’s eyes travel downwards and settle on the tattoo of my left ankle.

“They’re the initials of my best friend,” I offer. “She was…she died a few weeks ago.” Tears spring to my eyes, and they’re genuine.

“I am so sorry for your loss,” Reverend Yang says, forcing his eyes back to my face. “Please. Have a seat.” He gestures at the black velvet couch in the corner of his office. His wife is nowhere to be found, and I don’t ask. I sit on the couch and arrange my legs so my dress falls to the side. As he’s distracted, I pull out my phone and place it, camera-side up on the couch in the crack between cushions. Reverend Yang pulls his ergonomic chair next to me and stares into my eyes. Normally, I would find that off-putting, but it’s soothing coming from him.

“I know I only met you this morning, Reverend, but I feel as if I’ve known you forever.” I bat my lashes up at Reverend Yang, and, predictably, he melts.

“Call me Marcus.” He pats my shoulder several times before removing his hand.

“I can’t do that, Reverend Yang. It wouldn’t be respectful.” I lean forward so Reverend Yang can see that I’m not wearing a bra. I can tell he appreciates that mightily as his cock stiffens under his chinos. Something is rising in this church, but it’s not Jesus. Reverend Yang clears his throat before speaking.

“Megan. Please tell me what has brought you here this evening.”

“It’s my boyfriend, Reverend Yang,” I say, forcing tears to my eyes. “I’m afraid he’s…seeing another woman.” I touch my eyes with a newly-bought handkerchief, careful not to smudge my mascara. Yes, I even put on makeup for this occasion. I should take a picture for posterity.

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Blogging My Murder; chapter seven, part two

Chapter Seven; Part Two

“Yes?” The question is asked in a creaky, tremulous voice, and I have to strain to hear her voice.

“Mrs. Ephrams? My name is Megan Liang, and I’m Julianna’s best friend. I would like to talk to you about the man you saw leaving the—”

“When she was murdered. Of course. Come up.” She buzzes me in, and I make sure to note her apartment number before trudging up to the third floor. I like to walk whenever I can, but I’m regretting it by the second floor. No matter how fit I am, I always get tired climbing stairs. I’m panting lightly by the time I reach Mrs. Ephrams door, and I take a second to catch my breath. Before I can knock on her door, however, she opens it. She must have been watching for me.

“Come in, dearie. Would you like some homemade chocolate chip cookies and milk?” Mrs. Ephrams is five-foot nothing with determinedly blue curls. She’s wearing a hot pink housedress and pink mules. She’s smoking an unfiltered Camel, and I love everything about her. Expect for her thick-lensed cat-eye glasses. I’m not happy to see that.

“I’d love that, Mrs. Ephrams.” I smile at her as I enter the apartment. I waffle as to whether I should take off my shoes, but I decide to leave them on.

“Call me Gloria. Mrs. Ephrams reminds me of my mother-in-law, and I hated that witch.” Gloria says, flashing me an impish smile.

“Gloria. I’m Megan.” I grin at her, delighted at her frisky personality. She’s eighty if she’s a day, but she’s not letting it get her down.

“I’m so sorry about your friend. That has to be devastating, especially at such a young age!” Gloria leads me into the kitchen where she takes the top off the cookie jar, puts several cookies in her toaster oven, then pours us each a glass of milk. Once the cookies are nice and gooey, she takes them out and puts them on two plates. She hands one plate and one glass to me before taking me into the living room. She gestures to the couch where a plump tuxedo cat is sitting grandly on the middle cushion. “Bongo, move.” She makes shooing motions with her hands, but Bongo ignores her, of course. He or she is a cat. They don’t take orders from us mere humans.

“It’s OK. I have two cats of my own.” I sit on the cushion to Bongo’s left, careful to respect…his or her space. Bongo immediately jumps into my lap and starts kneading.

“That’s unusual. He doesn’t usually care for strangers.” Gloria sits in the rocking chair across from the couch.

“I have a way with cats,” I say, stroking Bongo’s fluffy fur. He rubs his face against my hand, and I press his ears back before letting them pop up again. He slowly blinks at me, and I do the same back.

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Dogged Ma; chapter seven, part two

“Is this Margaret?”  It was definitely Alan.  “It’s Alan.  Look, love, I just got out of the meeting, and I’m on the way to the hotel to change.  My driver tells me I should be there by six, six-fifteen at the latest.  I’m looking forward to seeing you.”

“Me, too,” I echoed, clutching the phone to my ear.  I held it there long after he hung up.  Alan Rickman.  Dinner.  My landline rang again, but I ignored it.  I was not going to let my mother ruin my mood, which she would do in a heartbeat.  I went into the living room and flipped on the television to take my mind off my nerves.  It seemed like forever until my buzzer rang.  I glanced at my watch and saw it was six-fifteen on the dot.  I turned off the television, jumped to my feet and raced to answer it.


“It’s Alan.  I just made it.”

“I’ll be right down.”  I was touched he actually got out of his car to buzz me when he could have just called me on his cell from the car.  I grabbed my purse and a wrap and flew out the door.  I almost dropped both wrap and purse when I saw Alan looking natty in a black sports coat and slacks with a brilliant blue shirt.

“You look lovely,” Alan said, offering me his arm.

“You look very handsome as well,” I replied sedately.  What I wanted to do was drag him upstairs and have my way with him.  I didn’t, however, and contented myself with stealing sideline glances at Alan who looked so damn hot.  The car, which was a black Cadillac, looked great, too.  I was glad it wasn’t a limo; I found them to be too pretentious.  Alan ignored the driver who was standing by the back door and ushered me into the car.  He went around to the other side and settled in besides me.  A feeling of unreality crept over me as I sat next to my favorite actor.  I gathered my thoughts so I could add something to the conversation.

“So, what play would you be doing for the Guthrie next season, or shouldn’t I ask?  Wait, don’t tell me, all I really want to know is if you get the girl in the end.”  I cringed at my flippant tone, but it was how I dealt with uncomfortable situations.

“Yes, I would get the girl in the end,” Alan said, a slight smile on his face.  “Why is that so important to you?”

Thus emboldened, I plunged into a narrative of how I felt it a shame that British actors were used primarily as villains unless they were stereotypically hot such as Jude Law or Kate Winslet.  I went on to say how much I preferred foreign films because the actors were usually people who looked like normal people, albeit good-looking normal people.  They were people I could meet at a pub, perhaps taking home for the night.  When I watched American actors, I could only see them for who they really were.  Actors.  Grossly overpaid actors.  Some who couldn’t even act and were liked more for their looks than their abilities.  In addition, American actors were so overexposed, it was difficult to get past their images.

“But I ramble,” I said, screeching to a halt.  Alan had been scrutinizing me as I talked, making me feel as if what I had to say was of the utmost importance.  “I tend to do that when I get heated.”  I wished I could take back that last word as it gave the sentence a double meaning, but Alan chose to respond to my surface statement.

“It’s a good thing, I think, the ability to care deeply.  It’s also rather refreshing to talk to someone who cares more about substance than the glitz and glamour of Hollywood.”

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Trip on This: Chapter Seven (Part Two)

Chapter Seven (Part Two)

I’m not at all sure about this Greeley boy.  He’s nice enough, but he’s got a touch of the Midwest about him.  Stolid, trustworthy, not the quickest guy out of the blocks.  He’s also much too innocent for the kind of games I am being forced to play.  I don’t know where Vandalia found him, but he’s nothing at all what I imagined would attract a woman like Vandalia.  I have enough to think about without worrying about this guy having my back or calling me out by my real name.  I don’t like having to improvise, especially when there are players I don’t know.  Mowgli and I have been friends long enough that we groove well together, but this is a situation which might not be easily contained.  There are too many ways the whole thing could backfire and blow up in our faces, but I’m determined to learn more about Angelica and this mysterious other girl.  If that means doing a bit of improv, then that’s what I’m going to have to do.

I use dinner to clear out my head and to practice my new persona.  I don’t want to walk into The Roman Empire cold.  Sure enough, Mowgli and Vandalia have little problem carrying on the charade, but Greeley slips once or twice, calling me Trip instead of Sherrilee.  I solve that problem by simply not answering him—it’s effective; it helps that Trip doesn’t sound like a name.  For this persona, I adapt an attitude of sensuality.  Sherrilee is a woman made for men and one who makes no bones about it.  Sex clings to her, and she’s not above using it to get whatever she wants.  She’s the antithesis of the me I am now, but an incarnation of the me I was a lifetime ago.  It’s disconcerting how easily I can slip into her skin until I disappear completely.  It’s as if the Trip I have worked so hard to become has never been, and will never be.  Mowgli squeezes my hand sympathetically, to keep me grounded.  For the evening, he is Cesar, my San Francisco lover who pines for me when I’m not here.  He adores me, desiring only to lavish me with love and gifts.  I, of course, prefer the latter to the former, and am toying with his fragile heart.  He is not the only man in my life, but I’m the only woman in his.  At least the last part is true.  Vandalia and Greeley get to be themselves because I don’t want to complicate matters too much.  There is no time to come up with much backstory, so I’m forced to stick as closely to the truth as possible.

I toy with my dinner, not really hungry.  We’re at a tacqueria in the Mission where we stick out like a sore thumb.  Guys are casting covetous glances at both Vandalia and me, while the boys are also getting their fair share of love-sick gazes as well.  We take our time eating because it wouldn’t do to arrive at the club before ten at the very earliest.  I force myself to eat a beef burrito with every evidence of enjoyment.  I don’t eat much before doing a job, but this time it’s important not to draw attention to myself which not eating would do.  I manage to pack away half the burrito before calling it quits.  Mowgli finishes a whole chicken burrito while Greeley and Vandalia each eat about two-thirds of their own, vegetarian and chicken respectively.  We take our leftovers to Vandalia’s car—she’s driving—and drive around the Mission a bit, rehearsing our roles.  When I’m confident Greeley isn’t going to fuck things up, I allow Vandalia to drive us to The Roman Empire.  We pay our twenty dollar cover and zip right in.  It’s half-full, but will most likely fill up later, even if it is a Wednesday.

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