There was a small crowd of men in tuxedos in front of the open bar, where three bartenders were mixing and pouring drinks with high flying showmanship and zany banter. Most of the men served were carrying two drinks back to their tables.
Ellis sighed. Maybe I should buy myself a slave man. At least for one night I would have a male doing my bidding. He would be suavely treating me like pampered princess. I wouldn’t be conspicuously standing in line to get my own drink advertising, hey look at me I don’t have a date. I haven’t had a date for months.
Shaking her head to dislodge an all too vivid vision from her mind, Ellis swiftly stepped backwards as she muttered, “Who needs a man.”
“Damn it lady.” said a male voice.
Ellis turned around and faced a tall man in his thirties attired in sports jack, open throat white shirt and jeans, “Gosh I’m sorry.”
” I think you just punched a hole in the toe of my shoe with your stiletto.”
“I said I was sorry and I am,” said Ellis.
“You may not need a man, but I need my big toe.”
“This is the third and last time I’m going to say I’m sorry,” said Ellis.
“Don’t tell me. Tell my toe.”
Ellis bent over and said, ” Hey toe, you okay down there. You are? Great. Then tell your wimpy owner to suck it up.”
“Wimpy? You step on me with a shoe that should require a concealed weapon permit and then insult me too. No wonder you have to convince yourself you don’t need a man.”
“What drivel are you uttering?” Ellis glared belligerently into the man’s hazel eyes.
“I heard you talking to yourself right before you try to maim me. My mother warned me about people who talked to themselves.”
“Poppy cock!” Ellis whirled back around to face the bar.
“Who says, poppy cock? Obviously you’ve been soaking up too much Jane Austin. Pretty lame.”
“Me lame? You’re lame,” said Ellis without turning around again.
“I am now, after you tried to sever my big toe.”
“Act like a man for Pete’s sake,” said Ellis.
“Oh I can do that, but are you woman enough for that?” said the man whispering in her ear. Ellis felt his warm breath feather soft on the back of her neck. A tickly ripple skipped down her spine.
“So by your outfit, I would guess you are part of the entertainment?”
“You would be guessing wrong,” said Ellis as she stepped forward in the line.
“Well since you declared so ardently you don’t need a man, then I’m assuming you aren’t here to bid on a man.”
“Bingo,” said Ellis forcing herself not to turn around even though she found she really wanted to.
“Oh I get it. You’re one of those daisy women.”
“What are you talking about? Most flower children have gone to seed by now.”
“Daisy women capriciously change their minds like plucking petals off some hapless flower. Now I want a man. Now I don’t.”
” I’m ignoring you,” said Ellis.
“Why? Did my arrow hit a bulls eye?”
“I’m still ignoring you. So give it up.”
“I can’t. Annoying you is making my toe feel better.”
Two bartenders were available. Ellis stepped forward and so did the man.
“Hey Tate, good to see you man,” said one of the bartenders.
“Kevin you’re still doing these side gigs I see.” said Tate.
“Yeah, it adds some extra cash into the vacation fund. What are you having?”
“Bourbon and seven and make it a double.”
“Am I seeing what I think I see,” Ellis asked the bartender serving her.
“Huh?” said the bartender looking around
. Ellis heard Tate snort. Then he said, “You’ll have to be patient and talk slow to this one.”
“I’m still ignoring youuuuu. Rhubarb, I spy fresh rhubarb.”
“Right we do have rhubarb. Is that what you fancy, pretty woman? I can whip you up a rhubarb bellinis.”
“Heavenly, go for it,” said Ellis smiling and adjusting her shawl.
“Who in their right mind mixes alcohol with rhubarb?” said Tate. “Oh you don’t have to bother to answer, I already know you’re someone who talks to herself.”
“At least I’m not boring. Bourbon and seven?” said Ellis pushing her glasses back up her nose.
A woman in grey satin dress that obviously didn’t come off the rack made her way to the bar. “Tate, I’ve been looking all over for you. You have to come with me now. It’s time.”
To be continued——
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