In last week's episode of Stan and Ollie, as you may recall, the boys had a romantic interlude in the men's room while waiting for the bereaved fiance to show up. Today the story continues. Don't forget to see what the other Wednesday Briefers are up to. Their links follow my tale. Enjoy!
Stan and Ollie #15
We stroll out of the men’s room together, trying to look nonchalant, not like we’ve been up to anything that the locals might consider immoral, if not downright illegal. At least I am. When I glance over at my better half, he’s licking his lips, looking like the cat that drank the canary, and wearing a most pleased grin that only serves to draw heat to my cheeks. Despite the blush, I’m beyond happy and I’m not complaining. Far from it.
Since we have a little time to kill before the arrival of the distraught fiancé, I decide that a call to my sister is probably in order. I’m sure that things are fine with her and the diner, but it doesn’t hurt to check. Besides, she’s probably worried about Ollie and me and might just want some idea of when we expect to return. I know she’ll help out as long as I need her to; she’d do anything for us. She thinks Ollie is the best thing that ever happened to me and she’s not shy about reminding me of the fact, like I even need to be reminded of that. Or of the fact that she’s responsible for bringing us together, which I also know and am grateful for.
“Good idea,” he approves as I pull out my phone and we take up a position on a bench situated in the shelter of a large sweet gum tree. From here we can handily observe the bridge and keep an eye out for Egbert.
Gwin answers on the second ring. “Hello, dearest brother of mine! How are my guys doing?”
“We’re fine,” I assure her, squeezing Ollie’s hand that rests companionably upon my leg. “Sorry I haven’t called sooner.”
“Oh don’t worry about it.” She blows off my apology. I can hear the background clatter of dishes and silverware, the low murmur of voices. I presume she’s in the dining room, probably getting ready for the dinner rush, so I shouldn’t keep her too long. “How’s the case going?”
“It’s going.” I’m not being deliberately mysterious, but I also don’t want to say anything, especially not when we’re out in the open like this. One can never be sure who’s lurking, especially since I know that nosy reporter’s around here somewhere.
“But not as well as you’d like?” She attempts to fill in the blanks of what I’m not saying. Pretty astute, my sister is.
“We could use a break,” I admit, although I’m not completely sure if it’s the case I’m talking about or the presence of that damned cat. Or both. “How’s the diner?”
“Super peachy keen!” I roll my eyes at her exuberance. “Lorenzo’s handling the kitchen just fine. And, before you ask, he’s keeping it immaculate too.”
Good. I’d hate to have to kill him for making a mess of my kitchen.
“You ever think about hiring someone on a permanent basis?”
Now that’s a loaded question. My biggest fear is having anyone find out about Ollie, which is why I’ve never hired any employees for the diner. It’s just Ollie and me and we’re doing fine. On the other hand, more time alone together would not go amiss. I don’t want to work my alien to death either. Not that he’d ever complain, ‘cause he wouldn’t.
Of course I know where she’s going with her inquiry too. And she heads there quickly, not exactly being shy or retiring.
“May I ask what you think of the idea of hiring Lorenzo? Maybe on a part-time basis, to start with? I think it would do the both of you good, to be honest. And I can wait tables, you know that. That would give you and Ollie more time together.” She’s echoing my thoughts, of course. “Just think about it, if you would. I don’t need an answer until you’re ready to give one.”
“I will, Gwin,” I promise.
“Can I talk to Ollie?”
“Of course.” I hand my sweet baby the phone. He leans closer to me, claiming my lips in a brief, heated kiss, one that leaves me short of breath. His eyes flash for just a moment, and then he’s conversing with my sister and I’m simply focusing on breathing.
Is he trying to influence me to at least consider my sister’s proposition? He’ll find I’m not so easily persuaded. I can be damn stubborn myself, especially when it’s his safety that is under consideration. There are people that would pay a lot to learn Ollie’s location. People that certainly don’t have his best interests at heart, far from it. And other people that would sell him out in a heartbeat, if they only knew the truth. I’m determined that these groups never converge and compare notes. Not while I have anything to say about it, or the breath to fight them with.
Something hits me on the top of my head before falling into my lap. I pick it up, cradling it my palm, studying it like I’ve never seen it before, although I have. It’s just a sweet gum, that’s all. Not surprising since we’re sitting under the tree. I idly roll the prickly little thing around in my hand. Many of its brethren have already hit the ground. After a minute, I toss this one after them, wiping a little sticky residue from my flesh.
Wait, what’s that? I mean, who’s that?
I gently nudge Ollie’s knee with mine. He understands and ends his conversation, handing my phone back to me. A familiar figure stands upon the bridge over the pond, a dark tulip in his hand. I glance cautiously about as we direct our steps toward him, but there is no sign of the bitchy reporter, thank goodness.
We stand at a respectful distance while he stares forlornly into the water before gently tossing the flower. As he turns to leave, we approach him.
He looks at us in surprise.
“A moment of your time, please?”
to be continued
Now don't forget to visit the rest of the Briefers!
Victoria Adams m/f
Chris T. Kat m/m
Lily Sawyer m/m
MA Church m/m
Cia Nordwell m/m
Tali Spencer m/m
MC Houle m/m
Until next time, take care!