Bunny was confused. "But you are, I heard you planning the wedding."
Della slowly said,"I'm afraid not."
"What about the floral arraignment you ordered?"
Della looked at Sam,"Those were flowers for Sam's mother's birthday."
Bunny asked Sam,"What about your travel plans?"
Della laughed,"Oh Bunny, we are going to Texas next week."
"And, Sam's big family?"
Mike just shook his head. Sam laughed,"Della has a very small family. Mine is huge. She is meeting them for the first time next week."
"And, the 'special' dress'?"
Della just smiled and put her arm through Sam's."I needed a very nice dress, nicer than I have ever had, for a party Sam's family is having."
"So," Bunny paused,"And you are only doing this once?"
Sam looked at Della, then turned to Bunny. "This will be Della's first visit to Texas to meet my family. You only have a chance for introductions once."
As Bunny stood there speechless, Mike just smiled,"Well folks, we are going to have a party anyway." He lifted his beer,"To new introductions."
There was a loud sound of laughter and applause from the guests.
Across town, Col Walker decided to check on Winfred. She seemed to be so happy with her new job. He was thrilled for her. That evening he decided he would visit the Gentlemen's Club to check on her. Anna Belle Vontese had been so good to Winfred, he wanted to thank her in person. He called Winfred. "I'd like to come over tonight and see where you work."
"Of course. Tonight is as good as any."
"There is really nothing there to see," Winfred said trying not to sound frantic.
"Well, there is always you my dear. I won't stay long, I promise." With that the Colonel rang off.
Trying not to panic, Winfred found Anna Belle and explained the situation. She confessed that the Colonel did not know exactly what her job was.
"Like he thinks you are so sewing and cooking?" said Anna Belle.
"Yes," said Winfred almost in tears.
"Oh, my dear. This we can handle. Just go up stairs for a while. I'll take care of it."
"Anna Belle, I don't know what I would do without you."
"Sweetheart, we women have to stick together. Men, especially husbands, need to be on a need to know basis, trust me. Now scoot." Winfred started toward the back, then turned. Anna Belle smiled and said,"And don't worry."
Winfred made her way up the back staircase. She was depending on Anna Belle. This was the worst situation she had ever considered. For the first time in her life, she felt happy and full filled. She enjoyed what she was doing and knew she was good at it. She helped the older men who needed attention. They knew her as 'Sara', her different persona, in her different world. Now for the first time she feared her worlds may collide.
Anna Belle moved to the game room and talked with the members as she watched the front door. Sure enough within 30 minutes, the door opened. Andrew, her doorman, came to her and said there was a Col Walker looking for his wife Winfred. "No problem, I'll take care of him."
Anna Belle followed Andrew to the door and introduced herself to the Colonel. She was taken aback by the full costume, but then remembered the first time she had seen Winfred. She had also been in period dress. "Col Walker, I'm Anna Belle Vontese," she offered her hand,"it is so good to meet you."
"I've heard so many good things about you."
"What a kind thing to say. How can I help you?"
"I was hoping to see Winfred and where she works. She seems to be so happy, so satisfied."
"Well, that is so nice of you to come and visit."
"Anything for Winfred, I just adore her."
Anna Belle paused. "The only thing is, Winfred has gone to carry some food to someone in need."
"But I just called her."
"This is an emergency and just popped up. But, you know Winfred, I can always count on her. It may be a while before she gets back. Let me show you the kitchen and the back of the house. I know Winfred would want you to see that." Anna Belle had taken the time to tell the chef and other staff what was going on.
They walked back to the kitchen. Bates, the current chef, was busy at work. "Bates, this is Col Walker, Winfred's husband. Since she is out, I thought I would show him the kitchen and back of the house.
Bates offered his hand to the Colonel, "Nice to meet you. We think the world of Winfred."
Anna Belle showed the Colonel the warning room where the staff ate and the seamstress' quarters. They were making their way back through the kitchen when Miranda came around the corner. "Anna Belle," she stopped abruptly. "I'm sorry, I did not mean to interrupt."
"Not at all. Miranda, this Col Walker, Winfred's husband." Anna Belle raised her eyes to let Miranda know to roll with the story. "He came to visit her, but unfortunately she just left to deliver food and other emergency necessities to that family we just learned about."
Miranda was quick to catch on. "Col Walker, it is so nice to meet you. We all love Winfred, she is such a dear."
The Colonel just beamed.
Luckily, with only one member in the Parlor, the Club was quite and fairly nondescript. Anna Belle was able to walk the Colonel to the door and get him out fairly quickly without raising his suspicion. She was very touched with his devotion to his wife and amused with his costume. No wonder Winfred was so happy with her new job.
Anna Belle went to tell Winfred, the coast was clear. As it was Winfred, aka Sara, was a favorite of many of the members. Some of the older members just enjoyed her company. They were comfortable with her. She had a way of making them feel special. Eventually, she was able to show them that there was still passion in their lives. Many had been able to return home with a new found confidence and able to bring a fresh spark to their marriage. They were forever indebted to Sara and often returned for more advice and encouragement.
The Colonel went home satisfied that Winfred was not only doing a good job, but was appreciated. No wonder she seemed so happy.