Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Labors of Love

Pearce had forgotten how much he enjoyed entertaining. Thanks to his mother's southern hospitality, and the time she had spent training him, he felt comfortable hosting a grand affair or intimate dinner. For the first time in a long while, he wished he had someone special to share the evening with. The end of his last relationship was painful. Pouring his time and energy into Cre Uisce Aer was as much about keeping himself so busy the pain was dulled, as it was restoring his mother's home place. The project had been cathartic and now that it was finished. He wasn't sure what to do next.

One reason he wanted to host the fund raiser, besides raising money for a good cause, was the chance to meet the townspeople. The ones he had met were very friendly, but they had been few. He had reached out to his cousins. They were polite but not engaging. To be honest, short of the familial connection, they had little in common.

Mack, Pearce's best friend and contractor for the restoration project, walked into the kitchen where Pearce was checking with the caterer. It was only an hour until the guests were supposed to arrive. "This old place looks pretty damn good if I must say so myself."

Pearce laughed, "Well, you should know. Your blood, sweat, and tears are all over it! Speaking of that, you clean up pretty good yourself." Pausing for a moment, Pearce added, "You make one heck of a wing man. I appreciate everything you have done to help with this labor of love."

Mack patted Pearce on the shoulder. "I wouldn't have missed this ride for anything. Right now I'm going to check out front and make sure the valets know what to do."

"If they don't now it's a little late don't you think?"

"Hey, I didn't wear this tux just for dinner, I'm prepared for anything, substitute bar tender, valet."

They both laughed. Mack walked out front. Pearce made his way to the patio. The band was tuning up. The weather that evening was perfect for this event. It was just cool enough to be comfortable and, amazingly, there was little humidity. Even better, there was enough breeze to hold the bugs at bay. He made his way from the patio down to the garden. The smell of the roses and lilies were sweet, but not too much. One of the bartenders asked if he could serve him something to drink. Pearce thanked him, but declined, "I really came down here to see if you needed anything."

"No, sir."

"Well, then carry on."

Pearce walked back into the house to check the tables. It was probably the third time he had looked at them that day. He knew they were fine, but he still needed a final confirmation. As he walked table to table, he shook his head and said to himself, 'Why am I doing this, I know they right?' Just then he heard the crunch of gravel out front. Making his way to the front of the house to start greeting his guests, he found himself surprisingly excited.

When he opened the door he found the Colonel, in full confederate regalia, along with his wife. Pearce welcomed them. The Colonel introduced Winfred to Pearce. He was a bit taken back. This was not what he expected of Mrs. Wadsworth. Standing before him was not some dowdy little woman, but a strikingly very attractive lady in a fetching gown. "Welcome to Cre Uisce Aer!" Pearce then stood aside so they enter.

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