The word prompts were: "If bread is the staff of life..." or use: cowboy, whistle, pleasure or "My other boyfriend is a ..." or use: ten, banana, mummy or use: sky, felicitations, generosity
In last week's Stan and Ollie, a normal day at the diner has become not so normal, and Stan calls in his sister to help out so they can deal with the strange visitor. Don't forget to check out the other Wednesday Briefers, whose links follow my tale. Enjoy!
Stan and Ollie #3
Breakfast is well under way by the time Gwin arrives, Lorenzo in tow. I don’t have to see her to know she’s here. The instantaneous rise of the testosterone level tells me that she’s just hit the radars of every male in the place between the ages of eighteen and eighty. My older sister is a stunner, there’s no two ways about that. Red hair and green eyes, she got the looks in the family for sure. She could have been a big hit on the catwalk of any famous designer. More than a few have tried to talk her into exclusive contracts worth big bucks, not to mention fabulous perks, such as free travel to exotic lands, world-wide recognition, and her choice of just about any man in the world.
But Gwinneth Lawrence has something more important than her looks—she has a heart as big as the sky. If it wasn’t for Gwin and her generosity, I wouldn’t have met Ollie. A self-proclaimed, un-degreed social worker, Gwin literally picked my better half off the streets and brought him home to stay with us. Yes, counter to both my wishes and my advice. I was against the idea but I wasn’t in a position to argue about it. Mom had just died, and we were both trying to cope with her loss, and I wasn’t handling her death as well as I should have. How was I to know I’d lose my heart to this strange newcomer with the beautiful eyes? I can’t even begin to pronounce his real name. Gwin actually dubbed him Ollie, and it’s the closest we’ve come to the truth of the matter. My sister thinks it’s cute to call us Stan and Ollie, like we’re Laurel and Hardy or something. I let her get away with it.
Lorenzo is her latest social experiment. He’s close to my age, I think, maybe around thirty to thirty-five. Average height, underweight—but she’s working on changing that, with regular meals and such. Dark hair, grey eyes and pretty quiet, although he’s getting more social, I have to admit. So far he’s working out well. He doesn’t mind helping out in the diner when we need it. I suspect he’s worked in restaurants before, but he’s pretty close-mouthed, and Gwin refuses to let me run background checks on any of her protégés.
She smiles at everyone as she crosses the dining room, accepts their well wishes and felicitations with her usual sunny disposition. Lorenzo nods at me as he pushes open the door to the kitchen.
“Hi, Lorenzo. I appreciate your coming.”
“No problem. What orders are waiting?”
I show him the tickets that I’ve started and the ones I haven’t. He pulls on a clean apron, reaches for the first one and gets to work. I’m already untying my own apron when Gwin walks into the kitchen. She reaches and pulls it over my head and tosses it the laundry basket before eyeing me critically.
“Hang on.” She grabs a paper towel and dampens it at the sink before attacking my face. She has the ability to make me feel like I’ve five or something, but I put up with it. Good thing I love her.
“Where is…?” she asks delicately. Lorenzo knows nothing of Ollie and his unusual talents, and I intend to keep it that way.
“In the office. I don’t know what’s going on, but I’ll let you know as soon as I know something. Assuming there’s anything we can do. Or want to do.”
She gives me one of her knowing smiles. I hate when she does that. Like she thinks she knows better than me. Unfortunately, she usually does. That’s why I trust her people instincts so much. “You know if Ollie says do it, you will.”
I sputter, but it’s ineffectual, as usual. Damn her for being so right. “We’ll see.” That’s my way of saying I don’t want to discuss it any more.
A clatter of silverware in the sink announces that the princess has entered the room. I’m not even going to waste my breath suggesting she help out by washing dishes. Just not worth it.
“Gwin!” she fairly purrs. She and my sister squeal and hug. Over Gwin’s shoulder, Xylina narrows her eyes at me, just because she can. I don’t know why Gwin likes her, I really don’t. And when I spoke of Gwin’s people instincts, that obviously didn’t include the mutant catwoman. She’s all wrong about her.
Well, I’ve seen enough. I’m anxious to get back to Ollie. Not that I think he’s in danger. If I thought that, he wouldn’t be alone with that runaway bride, or whatever she is. Trust me on that one. The sooner we get started with whatever it is, the sooner we can get done. Gwin and Lorenzo have things well enough in hand.
“I’ll let you know,” I repeat to Gwin, lightly touching her arm. I pick up a plate of Belgian waffles that I made just a few minutes ago, and some silverware wrapped in a napkin. I’m not going to let Ollie go without sustenance for any reason.
I carry my culinary offering across the lively dining room. Our customers like to chatter amongst themselves; that doesn’t bother me at all. That’s the difference between living in a small town and living in a big city. Friendlier people. For the most part, anyway.
At the door to the office, I give our private knock, so Ollie knows it’s me, then step inside. They’re sitting close together in a couple of chairs across from our desks. Ollie leans toward her in a sympathetic posture. I lay his breakfast on his desk and give him a look. In case that doesn’t work, I point. He gets the idea.
He rises obediently. “Thanks, Stan.” He kisses me, and I take the opportunity to look into his eyes.
Damn, I don’t like what I see. Road trip, for sure…
to be continued
Go see what the other Briefers are doing!
Cia Nordwell m/m
Sara York m/m
LM Brown m/m
MA Church m/m
Michael Mandrake m/m
Lily Sawyer m/m
Until next time, take care!