Monday, January 31, 2011

Get my million dollars!

"Find that woman and get my million dollars back!" And before Reed could reply to his boss Ed's irate statement, the line went dead.
What the hell! So far, Reed had found the man who had invaded their company,the same man who had killed Tanner Burke and Tanner's girlfriend Sierra Ames. The police were happy, but Lindy Lewis still had the million dollars!
Was he purposely draging his feet trying to find her?
He'd waited for a phone call from her not wanting to belive she'd used him, but as the days went by the grim truth sank in. She'd used him, again!
What a fool he had been!
His thoughts went back to when they'd met. It was in the late seventies and they were both attending the University of Minnesota. He'd been studying law and she, business finance. He'd been working as a cook in a hamburger joint when she had come in looking for a job as a waitress,
and the first time their eyes met sparks ignited their young bodies.
He sat at his desk in his home on Birch Lake, his chin resting on his raised hand as he stared off into space. Lines etched his face now several decades later, his shoulders had broardened and a slight paunch had appeared around his middle.
Why couldn't he get her out of his mind and treat this like any other case? Sure they had a history, but that was years ago! Now his job might be on the line!
They'd lived together that last year of college and he could remember that cramped one-room apartment like it was yesterday. The peeling green paint and the maroon couch that had made into a bed, that they had made passionate love on every chance they got. And if you stood to one side of the only window in the room and peered out you could see the lights of downtown Minneapolis. He remembered they had stood there the night before their graduation, starry-eyed about their future. And he had gotten a job with a firm in the city and she had gone with a hotel chain in Rochester, Minnesota.
She began to travel for her company and gradually time and distance took a toll on their long-distance love which finally resulted in closure. He heard she had married and he came close.
He practiced law in the city for years then went home to Willeston to the ranch he had inherited and worked out of his home office. He had worked hard and his business grew, then he tired of it all and later sold and semi-retired to the lake place, not even taking the time to let his friends know of his quick decision.
He spent thousands renovating the old cabin, the same one he and Lindy had spent many week-ends at those early years and turned it into a showplace. He spent his leisure time now fishing or part-time on special assignments investigating suspicious claims for an insurance company. First Federated it was called.
When it came to his attention that new evidence had been uncovered that the million dollars they had already paid out had suddenly turned into a fraud case, he got the job.
When his boss barked to him over the telephone,'"Find that woman and get my million back!"' he'd been stunned when he found the claiment's name, "Lindy Lewis," was all too familiar!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Love a Manhatten!

"Just a job until something better comes along," I told the tall good looking stranger.
When the music stopped he asked, "do you mind if I join you?"
Well, by now I was somewhat interested, and replied, "But I don't even know your name?"
"It's Dade Lampert." He grinned then and asked, "What's yours beautiful?"
I hesitated just a bit, then said "Lindy Lewis."
"Well, it's my lucky day! Can I buy you a Manhatten?"
I had to admit it felt good to have this man's attention and I smiled and said, "Yes I would love another." Sitting there I inhaled his cologne and then felt his thigh press against my leg. God, I thought to myself, I'm always taken by a man like this; muscled and wearing an expensive scent.
"Where are you from Lindy," he asked me.
Should I tell him I was from Minneapolis? Maybe not. "Chicago," I said easily and smiled into those blue eyes.
"Chicago? A crazy place, I've been there many times but that was ages ago. Now you couldn't drag me back!"
"Its a different world here too, everything is big and grand including egos!"
Dade Lampert pulled his hat lower and grinned at me. "Your right!"
I sipped the Manhatten and felt his eyes go over me, then he lifted my chin and smiled into my eyes. We danced again and when I felt his broad chest against me I wanted to reach in his shirt and run my hands over it.
Lordy, I suddenly realized the drinks had gone to my head, and wary now I slid off the bar stool and steadied myself as I stood. I tried to hide a sudden hiccup. For God's sake, I didn't have time for a romance, I had to find my car and my money. And the next day I had to meet Pug Harris!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Handsome Stranger

   The days and nights flew by for me and I hadn't worked so hard for years. When my shift ended at midnight I'd limp back to my room in the cheap motel and fall into an exhausted sleep. I'd bought some new clothes and gradualy settled in to a routime, but my insides burned with fury over my situation. At work I tried to keep a smile on my face but at home I paced the floor. 
   That morning however, I had awakened with a plan and dug through the dresser drawers for the phone book and looked up the number of a private investigator and got an appointment for later in the week.
   It had been a bitch of a few days with a convention in town with hundreds of people eager for food and fun. And at the end of another hard night at Tony's restaurant in Dallas, I leaned back against the backrest of a stool at the bar and tried to relax finally with a glorious manhatten. 
   Several minutes later a voice interrupted my exhausted thoughts and said, "I stopped in again to see if you would dance with me!"
   And I looked up into piercing blue eyes and recognized the same man that approched me on that first night I had come in. That fatal night!  The same white Western hat was pulled down rakishly over one eye and I looked him over with interest.  He had a Clint Eastwood look about him. Slim and muscled with deep lines edged in his weathered face. A gold rolex watch glistened on his wrist and he was wearing perfectly fitting jeans.  Then I noticed his cologne was aggressive and musky and added to his mystery.
  Forgetting about my aching feet and tired back I said, "this time I will!"  He took my arm and led me onto the dance floor. For a few minutes we danced in silence as our bodies touched. Then finally relaxing into each others embrace, he pushed his hat back on his head and pulled me closer. 
   The beat of the music became slow and sensual.


The Handsome Stranger

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Not my mom's earrings!

   "Twenty-five dollars!" The greasy-haired pawnbroker said, "Take it or leave it!"
   "But they're worth more than that. They were my mothers!" I stepped back as his foul breath assailed my nose.
   "Not to me, I've got tons of this junk!" He pointed to the rows of jewelery arranged in the glass counter. 
   I was at Al's in the seedy part of Dallas.  And how dare he handle my precious earrings like they were junk! "Is that all I can get?"  I asked as I reached over ready to snatch them back.
   The man's attitude was indifferent as he stood with hands in his pockets and said, "Lady, I'm doing my best!"
   Resigned, I shook my head. "Okay," I said, "but promise me you won't sell them, I'll be back!"
   "You got thirty days."  He barked.
   I clasped the money in my hand and left, feeling really empty now without my precious earrings. The money Archie, my new boss had loaned me paid for my room at the nearby motel for the week. Now I had twenty five dollars for clothes and make-up.  And, I would have to go without food each day until I got to work.
   I stood on the street corner and looked around.  Boarded up store-fronts and still thriving strip bars stood forelornly in the harsh sunshine. Music throbbed through the morning dampness from a place called Josies,  and the smell of stale whiskey and cigarette smoke spiraled out from under the doors. I hailed a passing taxi and hurried into the back seat.
   "Is there a thrift shop around here?" I asked the driver.  
   The Spanish man looked at me in the rear-view mirror and said, "You're in luck lady, right around the corner."
   "Really? Let me out then, I can walk!"
    The combination of moth-balls and potpurri totally sickened me as I walked into the shop. I needed several dresses, some shoes and a purse and after finding some adequate pieces, I bargained for the price and left. The same taxi driver came around the block and stopped for me.
   After getting back to the motel, I threw my purchases on an easy chair and lay back down in my crumpled bed.  I put a hand on my head and massaged my aching temple.  It had been months since my house fire, and the worry and then the exhilaration when I got that check from the insuranc company.  Now it seemed like it had been years!  A shattering sob shook my body then and echoed in the shabby motel room.  My last thought before falling asleep was maybe I'd wake up tomorrow and all this would have been just a bad dream.
   But promptly at four-thirty, I walked back across the steaming hot parking lot wearing my second-hand clothes and into Tonys and punched the time-clock!


Monday, January 3, 2011

Back to the grind!

   I argued with myself, why the hell had I taken all my money out of the bank when I left Minneapolis?  But what else could I have done?  J.T. was trying to steal it and Reed wanted it back!  With a stab of guillt, I remembered our love making just a few days ago, could it have meant there might have been a future together with Reed? But to be honest with myself, it just wasn't enough!  I had fought too hard for this fortune! 
   I took a sip of the brandy as my mind wondered.  Well, maybe it was against the law to burn your house down for the insurance monay, but honest to God, I needed it to find that happiness again; away from all the old memories in that place.  
   I blew out an anguished breath.  Well, here I was thousands of miles away from home and my plan had exploded in my face. I sat in deep misery.
   "Would you like to dance?" I heard a southern voice drawl.
   Not being in the mood, I snapped, "No!"
   "Whoa, pardon me!" A man remarked and stepped away, but another brandy manhatten appeared on the bar for me.
    The restaurant hummed with business as I looked around, and after sipping the second drink I made up my mind. I didn't have a choice, I would call Reed for help! It would mean jail, but maybe he'd still help me.
   Hadn't he loved me once? But then again, as the liquer swirled around in my brain, I had some new insights. If I could figure out a way to stay here in Dallas for awhile, maybe I could find the asshole who had stolen everything I owned!  Damn it, I had to make a plan!
   I smoothed my denin outfit and asked the bartender, "Could I see the manager please?" He eyed me curiously as he picked up the phone.  Minutes later a man with a limp came over, his face harried.
   "I'm Archie, the manager here, can I help you with something?" he asked.
   I fluffed my hair. "I'm new in town and looking for a job," I managed to say as steadily as I could manage.
I could feel his eyes slide over my face and body with apparent interest.  He asked my name.
   "Well Lindy," he said then, "do you know anything about the restaurant business?"  I saw him glance anxiously to a crowd of people standing impatiently at the dining room door.  He ran a hand over his forehead and muttered, "Oh shit!"
   "Yes, I do," I replied casually, "I was with the Royal chain for seventeen years!"
   "You were!  Well, come with me Miss Lewis, if you know how to take care of this mess I have here, the job is yours!
   And I slid off the bar stool and followed, my head in a whirl.  And, he threw his hands in the air and walked away and left me facing the angry crowd.
   What the hell was I doing? Here I was just going to stop for dinner and then go to a chic hotel.  Now here I was, penniless, hungry and asking for a job!  Inside of minutes I had gone from rich and independent to a pauper. 
    However, a short time later, I had things under control and a comfortable hum lulled the busy place as Tammy Wyneth told the ladies to "Stand By Their Man." Western hats and boots mingled with diamonds and designer clothes.
   Finally closing time loomed, and by now my sandaled feet ached, my back felt like it was broken and my head throbbed.  I fell into a chair and pulled a blistered foot out of my shoe.
   Archie came over and said, "Hey Lindy, you took care of that like a pro, you got the job!  I pay five hundred cash a week!" 
   Lordy, I didn't want to go back to that grind again!  But what choice did I have?