Monday, August 13, 2018

I always Thought he Was a Deviant

It seemed everyone was at Dot's that night. Even Pearce had come into town. Sam and Della were sitting at a table with Bunny and Mike. Vivian and Terse came in a bit later. More chairs were added the table to include them. The Sheriff and Pearce were chatting with Ike at the bar. Conversation around the whole room was animated and loud.

The door opened, Bunny looked over to see Jeb and Kathleen walk in. She motioned for them to come over and join them.  Mike and Sam got up and pulled a table over to join the one they were sitting at. "I haven't seen you in a coon's age," Bunny said as she gave Kathleen a big hug.

 The conversation and laughter continued.  Finally, Kathleen said, "Is anyone else hungry?"

Several folks chimed in. Sam suggested,"Let's have another round then all go to Ed's for burgers." There was agreement from the group.

Mike stood up, "Drinks for everyone." He turned toward the bar, "Ike, put this round on my tab."

Annabelle and Walter had come in earlier and were sitting at the bar with Rascal and Pearce. Ike was pouring the last round for the big table. Pearce, seeing the line of  glasses on the bar, spoke up, "Ike, hand me a tray and I'll help you serve those." Ike thanked him and handed him a small tray holding several drinks. Pearce headed toward the table with Ike following behind with another tray.

While they were gone, Rascal found himself sitting next to Anna Belle. Walter was on his phone. "Annabelle," asked Rascal, "Can I ask you something?"

"Certainly Wade. I'll tell you anything as long as it isn't something I don't want to."

Wade laughed, "Annabelle, they broke the mold when you were born." He smiled, "Seriously, I need some help."

"I'm listening," said Annabelle as she sipped her wine.

"Do you have a young lady at the Club named 'Sara'?"

"That's an interesting question. You know how I like to keep things private."

"Look, this is just between you and me. You know you can trust me."

Anna Belle was quiet for a moment. Rascal had always been more than fair with her. They had an unspoken agreement - as long as everything ran smoothly at the Club, he had no reason to question her business. "I do," she took another sip of her wine.

"You trust me? Or do you have a young lady named 'Sara'?"

She smiled,"Both".

"How much do you know about her background?"

Not comfortable as to where this was going she was coy, "Not much more than I know about any of my girls. I stay out of their personal lives and backgrounds. As long as they are friendly, polite, and keep our members happy, I don't think it is any of my business."

"You're not helping me here."

"Why are you asking?"

"Let's put it this way - if any of them were married, you would know, right?"

"What do you think?" She paused, "Rascal, why are you interested in Sara?"

"I'm not. We just had an incident that may involve her. Let me rephrase that, she's kind of a side bar - an innocent non knowing participate."

"Okay, now you've got my attention." She was quiet waiting for him to speak.

"Apparently Buck Beaver has been 'peeping' in your windows."

Anna Belle shook her head. "I always thought he was a deviant. That said, even this surprises me." She took a sip of her wine. "Rascal, I hope you are taking care of this."

"Oh, I am. He won't do it again. I thought it best not to make a big deal of it."

"Well, I appreciate that. So what does Sara have to do with this?"

"She doesn't. Maybe her husband does."

"Oh, dear God. Tell me what is going on."

"Let's just say, Buck and Colonel Wadsworth got into it."

Anna Belle put her wine glass down, "Over what?" she said slowly.

"He was defending his wife's honor. But, there was some confusion, because everyone knows the Colonel's wife's name is 'Winfred'." He paused for affect. "However Buck kept referring to a lady named 'Sara'. Said he saw her in a compromising situation with one of your members, and approached the Colonel to tell him about the evils of his wife."

"Through the window?"

"Yep." Rascal took a sip of his beer.

"Perhaps we have a case of mistaken identity?"

"Maybe we have someone living a double life?" Rascal felt for Anna Belle. He realized she was known for her discretion and she cared for her girls. "Look Anna Belle, this is just between me and you. I just want you to know what was going on."

"Should I mention this to Sara?"

"That's up to you."

Walter put his phone down and turned around.

"Problems?" asked Anna Belle.

"No, Ms, Harbuck was just letting me know that the wedding at Chateau Belmond went through all the wine they had planned on using. She was going to get more from the cellar."

"Certainly, she didn't need to call you about that?" Anna Belle laughed. "Ms. Harbuck can run that place better than you."

"Not only can, but does - quite well I may add. However, when the father of the bride wanted a few bottles of my prized Caymus Suisun, she knew she better check with me."

"That doesn't sound cheap?"

"Oh, it's not."

They all laughed.

"Well, I'll that depends on how bottles you are purchasing. A bottle of Caymus Suisun Grand Durif, Petite Sirah from Suisun Valley, is only $60 or so a bottle, however when you want to serve it as your dinner wine for the meat course at a sit down meal for 75 of your good friends, that can get a little pricey." He took a sip of his Scotch. "Now what were you 2 talking so seriously about?" He laughed.

"Just catching up. Seems like I never get to visit with Anna Belle."

"Well, she's married to her work," Walter smiled. "That is until a better offer comes along."

Rascal smiled, "I know better than to go there. Great seeing y'all." He looked toward the end of the bar where Ike was filling the beer cooler. "Ike, you got this on my tab?"

"Yes sir, have a good night."

"You too." With that Rascal left the bar.

The group was settling their tabs with Ike before they made their way to Ed's. Bunny walked up to Anna Belle and kissed her on her cheek. "I can't believe you are away from the club?" Bunny looked at Walter, "And, on a date."

Their conversation was interrupted by some commotion behind them. They turned to see Kathleen on the floor with Jeb and Mike kneeling beside her. 

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