Speakeasy Tonight – Gerald O’Fallon Episode 1

Location: Charlie’s hospital room (Interior) (Night)

Characters: Heroine, Charlie, Vince, Neil, Julius, Cliff, Donovan.

Heroine “It’s a deal, Uncle Charlie! Except the part about the babysitter.”

Charlie “Now wait a good minute, young lady! I said you had to take one of these fellas to backstop you–”

Heroine “I can do th’ job. Even on short acquaintance, I’m bettin’ nobody here’ll dispute that.”

Mustering my most confident stare, I looked over the crew.

Vince was grinning at me and shaking his head…

(Admires my nerve, I’m guessing.)

…Donovan made a sound like a beer tap blowin’ air, but Julius had a little twinkle in his eye…

…and Neil just shrugged like he had no stake in it.

Cliff actually looked at me then, at Charlie. He gave a slight nod.

I turned back to Charlie.

Heroine “I know I’ve got lots to learn…but I don’t want to play favorites. I’ll take coachin’ from all of ‘em.”

Charlie “An’ you’ll let ‘em all watch your back? An’ listen when they try to tell you somethin’? An’ stay outta trouble?”

I nodded.

Charlie “Say the words, [USER_FIRST_NAME].”

Heroine “I’ll let ‘em all watch my back and listen…as long as they don’t tell me my business, just tips on how to run yours.”

Charlie “An’ the last bit? You’ll stay out of trouble?”

Please select one

A. Yes

B. No

C. I’ll do my best

Selection A

Heroine “How much trouble can I get into? I’ll have two full time jobs, running the speak AND the appliance store.”

Charlie was looking tired. He waved his hand weakly.

Charlie “All right then. Lord help us all.”

Selection B

Heroine “Says the man in the hospital bed. I’ll be runnin’ a speakeasy, Uncle Charlie. Trouble seems to come with the territory.”

Charlie gave me a sour look, but I could tell how tired he was.

(I should throw him a bone at least.)

Heroine “I’ll be careful. Promise.”

Charlie “Fine, then. You’re in charge…for now.”

Selection C

Heroine “I’ll do my best, Uncle Charlie. Really. I’ll keep everything going while you rest up.”

Charlie looked skeptical. Also exhausted.

Charlie “It was your best that got you sent to me in the first place…and now here I am making what may be the worst decision of my life…”

Charlie “But all right. [USER_FIRST_NAME]’s in charge.”

End selection

Charlie “You boys watch out for her whether she wants it or not.”

Vince “Charlie, how’s that gonna work?! I mean, what if she…”

Cliff put his hand on Vince’s arm. Vince subsided.

Neil “You characters need to clear out now. Charlie needs to rest.”

Charlie “Neil, you get to my place, make sure my housekeeper, Mrs. Fitzhugh, knows what happened.”

Neil “She going to expect to cry on my shoulder?”

Charlie “Hell, no! She’s a tough old gal.”

Neil grunted his satisfaction and headed out the door.

(Off on his mission of…well, you couldn’t call it mercy. Not from Mr. Cold Comfort. “The Titanic” met a warmer iceberg.)

Charlie “Talkin’ to Neil earlier, we figured the best cover is that I got a bad pneumonia.”

Charlie “Explains why I’ll be laid up so long, keeps people from askin’ too many questions…an’ should hold off most visitors.”

Cliff “Then that’s what we’ll put that out when folks ask.”

Charlie “Julius, you an’ Sofia an’ Cleo work up some new material. Keep the music fresh an’ it should help keep folks comin’ in.”

Julius nodded and backed out the door.

Charlie “Donovan…I’d appreciate anything you can find out about who did this to me, but don’t just go breakin’ heads. We want this on the QT.”

Donovan “Sure, Charlie. Might help to spread some scratch around to the guys on the force who got you here tonight.”

Charlie “Cliff can get you some petty cash.”

(He’s having a hard time keeping his eyes open.)

Charlie “Vince, Cliff…you know the score, so help her. She’s blood, but you fellas might as well be…”

(What? Must be a story there!)

Vince shifted his feet and twirled his hat in his hands, uncomfortable with the emotion. Cliff just gave a little half smile and nod.

Cliff “Sure thing, Charlie. Vince, it’s raining. Let’s you an’ me go get the car so [USER_FIRST_NAME] doesn’t have to get soaked.”

Vince hooked his head at Donovan and all three made their exit.

Suddenly, Uncle Charlie and I were alone.

Charlie “You got the run of the brownstone too. Fitzie’ll take good care of you while I’m laid up.”

Heroine “Any tips?”

Charlie “Don’t call her ‘Fitzie’ to her face. Learned that one the hard way.”

He pointed to a little scar on his forehead.

Heroine “I mean tips about the Ice Box!”

He looked out through the window into the darkness then, spoke.

Charlie “The fellas are all sharp in their own way, an’ they know the business. Vince an’ Cliff especially, but they all got their uses. Firm hand, warm heart works.”

Charlie “Just make sure it’s only the heart that’s warm, if you get me. Don’t mess where you work.”

Charlie “You’re a smart gal. Got that from your pa. An’ if you’re anything like your ma, tough as nails too. You’ll noodle it out.”

I turned to go. His voice, weak but clear, stopped me in the doorway.

Charlie “We got a lot to talk about when I’m outta here. I know I come off as a first class heel in this story so far…”

Heroine “No! Uncle Charlie, it’s…Don’t worry about–”

Charlie “I’m an’ old hypocrite an’ I know it. Now you do too. We ain’t seen each other much over the years…all kinds of reasons for that…”

(Is he…are his eyes getting teary?)

Charlie “…an’ most of ‘em are no good. But you gotta know…from when I first saw you kickin’ in your crib, I figured you hung the moon.”

(Well now I’M kinda choked up.)

I walked back to the bed and held his hand for a moment as he drifted off to sleep.

Location: Hospital corridor (Interior) (Night)

 Characters: Heroine, Gerald, Cliff

Standing in the lobby minutes later, I thought about what Charlie said about the reasons why he stopped visiting.

(Pa never talked about him much, even though they’re brothers…and it can’t be because Pa knew the truth or he never would’ve sent me here in the first place.)

????? “Now isn’t it the strangest turn of the world to meet you again so soon?”


Heroine “Mr. O’Fallon?”

Gerald “Gerald. Gerry to my friends. And to beautiful women I meet in speakeasies and, it seems, in hospitals as well.”

He took my hand and bowed ever so slightly over it.

Heroine “Well, hello! What are you doing here?”

Gerald “Visiting a business associate who had a touch of bad luck. And what brings you out on a lashing night like this, Miss [USER_LAST_NAME]?”

He gestured toward the heavy rain pouring down just outside the hospital’s doors.

(Where are Vince and Cliff? Shouldn’t they have been back by now?)

Heroine “I’m…ah…my uncle is…ill.”

Gerald “Sorry I am to hear it.”

Gerald “If I understood Elliot correctly, your uncle is Charlie [USER_LAST_NAME] the owner of–”

Heroine “Charlie’s Appliances. Yes.”

We shared a conspiratorial smile.

Gerald “Yes. I know Charlie a bit. Always admired his business sense…and now his taste in nieces.”

Please select one:

A. You’re a silver-tongued devil.

B. Charlie got me at a steal.

C. Slow down, buster.

Selection A

Heroine “Does it say ‘silver-tongued devil’ on your business cards?”

He put his hand lightly to his heart and smiled a sideways smile.

Gerald “I’d never advertise it so. Born under the Blarney Stone, my sister Mary says.”

(Hoo boy! This one’s six kinds of trouble in sweet cream!)

Heroine “Sounds like a woman I should meet.”

Gerald “I’m sure she’d be as charmed as I find myself to be.”

Selection B

Heroine “It’s a tight market for nieces in our family, but Charlie got me at a steal.”

Gerald “Drives a hard bargain then? Good man…but still, a pearl of great price, whether he sold all he had for it or no.”

Heroine “Truth be told, this pearl kinda fell into his lap.”

Gerald “The luck of him!”

(This one is as smooth as a baby’s behind.)

Heroine “With a line like you’ve got, you could sell ice to Eskimos.”

Selection C

Heroine “Slow it down, buster. You’re gonna blow past your station.”

Gerald “Are you saying there’s something worth seeing should I hop off the train?”

Heroine “Depends. You travel light or with luggage?”

(That put a twinkle in his eye.)

Gerald “Generally speaking, I prefer a long, slow progress touching on all the …sights.”

(Be still my beating…everything!)

I took a careful breath and hoped I wasn’t blushing.

Heroine “So…yes to the luggage then?”

Gerald “The experienced traveler knows how to pack.”

(I’ll bet he does!)

End selection

Gerald “It appears my associate’s ill luck and your uncle’s illness made my good fortune then.”

He leaned in, taking my hand in both of his this time.

Maybe it was the way the rain-washed electric light spilling in from the street to sharpen his jaw and highlight his cheekbones…

…or the way his voice filled my head with fumes, like a stiff brandy, but all I could think to say was…

Heroine “Um…”

Gerald “I’m thinking it might be…destiny?”

I couldn’t suppress a very unladylike snort of laughter. I pushed him back lightly with one hand.

(That ‘destiny’ malarkey was too much soap and now he knows it.)

Heroine “You serve butter with your corn, Mr. O’Fallon, or is a girl expected to take it straight?”

Gerald “The only answer comes to mind would be indiscrete to discuss on such short acquaintance.”

(Whew! He recovers like a champ. The heat off this guy!)

He pulled back, gesturing toward the door with his hat.

Gerald “Unfortunately, urgent business calls. Our destiny awaits its fulfillment another day…”

His eyebrow quirked.

Gerald “…unless I might offer you a ride to…wherever it is you’d like to go?”

(Annnnnd, O’Fallon’s back in the game! Boy, things move fast in this town!)

Just then, I saw Cliff hopping out of Charlie’s Studebaker.

(Saves me sayin’ ‘no’ to Mr. Destiny here…or protects me from sayin’ ‘yes’…)

Heroine “Thanks, but here’s my ride.”

Gerald glanced at the door then, turned to walk quickly down the hall in the opposite direction.

Gerald “Another time, then. Best wishes for your uncle’s speedy recovery.”

I raised my hand to wave, but he was around a corner before I could say a thing.

Cliff “Sorry I took so long. Me an’ Vince got into a…discussion, I guess you’d say.”

Still looking at the space where Gerald had been, I must have looked dazed or something.

Cliff “Say, you okay [USER_FIRST_NAME]?”

I shook it off.

Heroine “Yeah. Sure. I’m all right, Cliff. Just…been a long day with more than a few surprises, y’know?”

Cliff grinned.

Cliff “I do, I do! Your head’s still spinnin’, but you’ll land on your feet. Busy night tomorrow!”

Heroine “Tomorrow?”

Cliff “Your first night runnin’ the Ice Box!”

(I’d almost forgotten!)

Heroine “Yeah. I need my beauty rest!”

Cliff “Let’s hoof it, then. Quick, while there’s a break in the downpour…”

Location: The Ice Box bar  (Interior) (Night)

Characters: Heroine, Vince, Cliff, Neil, Donovan, Elliot, Bea, Lynch

Heroine “Holy smokes! Can this place hold any more people?!”

I was shouting to be heard over the music and the general uproar.

Vince “Ahhh, we ain’t reached sardine time yet. Give it another hour.”

(It’s wild how life can turn on a dime. Yesterday, I was the fresh kid in the big city…)

Vince “You oughta get out there, mingle with the hoi polloi.”

(…then last night, I was visiting my first speakeasy…)

Heroine “Maybe in a minute. We need some more champagne from the —“

(….and tonight, I’m up to my elbows running the joint!)

Cliff “[USER_FIRST_NAME], got time for me to show you how to mix the drinks on this order?”

Heroine “Sure, Cliff, just let me—“

Donovan “There’s a dust-up brewin’ over in the corner. Would we want me to be stoppin’ that?”

Heroine “You on the level? OF COURSE, I want you to stop…“

Donovan pushed away from the bar.

Vince “What’s with Donovan? He looks like six miles of bad road tonight.”

Neil “On duty all night. Turns out Charlie wasn’t the only one who got laid up.”

Vince “Yeah?”

Neil “[FIRST  NAME?] O’Sullivan. And he didn’t fare as well as Charlie.”

Vince pushed his hat brim back and let out a low whistle.

Vince “Pushin’ up the daisies, huh? Or in O’Sullivan’s case, the shamrocks. Never met a Mick who wore the green like ol’ Leslie O’Sullivan.”

Heroine “Who’s O’Sullivan?”

Cliff “Later. You got to learn this…”

Heroine “You showed me the Gin Rickey already. How about this one? Does that say ‘French 75’?”

Cliff “Yeah…where’s the…? Vince, get off your duff an’ grab me a case of champagne from the back!”

Vince “Already hauled the damn bubble juice all the way from Canuck country…”

He grumbled all the way to the back room.

Neil “O’Sullivan runs…ran…the North side rackets. Booze, craps, cards, protection. Not to speak ill of the dead but…”

Donovan approached from his trip to the other side of the room, sucking on a small cut on his knuckle.

Heroine “Did you…punch a customer?”

Donovan “Just a love tap. Andrew’s seein’ him out.”

(Oh my God! How many balls am I going to have to juggle tonight?)

Donovan “An’ Doc, you can speak all the ill of O’Sullivan you want. I’d be celebratin’ his premature demise barrin’ the truth that O’Fallon’s likely to claim th’ throne…”

(Gerald? Was O’Sullivan the “unlucky business associate” he was visiting last night?)

Neil “Not rooting for Gerry to round the bases?”

Donovan “If O’Sullivan was a villain to the root, a’least you could count on him to come right at you. O’Fallon’s snake on two legs.”

Cliff “Hey, [USER_FIRST_NAME]! Eyes front! You know how to make a Tom Collins?”

Vince arrived, making a big, clattering show of delivering the case of champagne.

Heroine “Sure. In my secret life as a bartender between classes at–”

Cliff “Mrs. Bradburn’s Secretarial and Business College. Yeah, enough sass from you.”

Vince “She really need to know how to tend bar? Charlie never mixed a drink in his life.”

Heroine “It’s different for women in business. I have to do it all an’ then I gotta do it better than any man, just to be even.”

Neil “Out of the mouth of babes…”

Please select one

A. Watch it with the ‘babe’ talk!

B. You’re chatty tonight.

C. You agree with me?

 Selection A

Heroine “Who you callin’ a babe, Dresner?”

Cliff “Tom Collins! Two fingers gin, squeeze of lemon, lemon slice, dash of soda, and sugar…just a pinch for a man’s drink, two for a woman’s.”

Heroine “Why the difference?”

Cliff stopped, his eyebrows knitting.

Cliff “I don’t know. Just…’cause. Women can’t take it unless it’s extra sweet, I guess.”

Heroine “See, Vince. Even drinks’re prejudiced.”

Vince “Never had one of them. What’s in it?”

Neil sighed deeply and gave Vince a bemused once-over…

Neil “Will no one rid me of this troublesome dunce? No…?”

Selection B

Heroine “You’re awful chatty, Doc. Not hatin’ life so much tonight?”

Neil “The world remains a festering cesspit. I’ve merely achieved the perfect bourbon-to-despair ratio to make it tolerable for the moment.”

Cliff “A Tom Collins has two fingers gin, squeeze of lemon, lemon slice, dash of–”

Vince “Doc, you got the funniest way of lookin’ at things. Doom an’ gloom all the time. Me, I like to take things easy…”

Neil “So that wasn’t you breaking bones all over town last night, looking for whoever shot Charlie?”

Vince looked side-eye at Donovan, who was jawing with a blousy blonde a few stools over.

Vince “Button it, Doc!”

Neil “The hospitals ought to be paying you on commission.”

Vince’s look of panic changed to a look of puzzlement.

Vince “I don’t work for no hospital commissioner!”

Neil laughed and rolled his eyes…

Neil “If this’s what passes for repartee in the Ice Box these days ….”

Selection C

Heroine “You…agree with me?”

Neil “As a theoretical proposition. Women shouldn’t work, but if they do, they’d better be damn good at whatever it is they do.”

Vince “Not that I know from nothing, but most workin’ girls must be good at it or they wouldn’t be workin’. Am I right, doc?”

Heroine “Did you just compare me to a—?!”

Vince went pale. Neil looked amused.

Vince “Uhhh… Just runnin’ my mouth…”

Heroine “So is that ‘Yes, but I am very sorry,’ or ‘Yes, I’m very sorry AND an idiot’?”

Cliff “Hey! We got drinks to make here!”

Vince “I mean, you workin’ here, earnin’ money entertainin’ all these guys….it ain’t…uh…”

Neil “Words of wisdom from me to you, Moretti. When you figure out you’re in a hole, first thing is, you stop digging.”

Vince “I don’t need no wisdom from YOU, Dresner! I can dig my own holes!”

Neil “Eminently, obviously a true statement. And on that note…”

End selection

…he pushed his empty glass at me.

Neil “…then I’ll need another drink. The good stuff.”

Cliff pulled a bottle from beneath the bar.

Cliff “We keep the doc’s supply separate. Top shelf hooch. An’ he don’t like to share.”

Just then, there was a commotion as a bevy of beauties in their finest flapper finery rolled in the front door. A glamorous ice cream sundae with legs…

…and Elliot Graham as the cherry.

Heroine “Hey, Cliff…I’m going to go mingle.”

He sighed.

Cliff “Sure. I’ll handle the bar.”

(Did he just mutter ‘Like I been doin’ all night’ as I walked away? Well…I’ll apologize later.)

Location: Ice Box main floor (Interior) (Night)

A quick check of my hair and make-up in the mirror behind the bar and I was out among the customers.

Elliot broke away from his leggy sundae and made a bee-line.

Elliot “My dear [USER_FIRST_NAME], word is out! Everywhere I go, there’s talk of the gorgeous Clara Bow lookalike running the Ice Box…”

(Well, that’s kinda flattering!)

Heroine “You on the up-and-up with that?”

Elliot “There’s even an affectionate nickname that’s started popping up around town – they’re calling you ‘The Ice Box Flapper.’”

Heroine “’They’? Who’s ‘they’?”

Elliot “The upper-crust of Chicago’s nightlife society. High-minded, hard-drinking, fun-loving people of my acquaintance.”

Heroine “So…this ‘Ice Box Flapper’ deal…?”

(Is that why we’re busting at the seams tonight?)

He leaned in to shout/whisper in my ear.

Elliot “I confess, it’s a sobriquet of my own invention.”

(Not quite as flattering…but it is Elliot Graham saying it, so who’s to grumble?)

Heroine “So you’re pumping me up around town? Why?”

Elliot “It’s a service I perform for the Ice Box. Some small remuneration came my way from Charlie. I assumed it might continue…?”

Heroine “Sounds like a solid arrangement.”

Elliot “It’s an even greater pleasure doing this for you, [USER_FIRST_NAME]. Such good material to work with.”

Elliot “Now, how goes your premiere?”

(Don’t want the Great Lover seeing me sweat.)

Heroine “Aces, Elliot. I mean, look around…everyone’s having a grand time.”

Elliot “Speaking of grand, there’s someone I want you to meet. She’s over at the bar…”

Heroine “I should get back there anyway. Cliff’s busier than a one-armed paper hanger.”

We jostled, shimmied, and beg-pardoned our way to our respective sides of the bar.

Location: Ice Box bar (Interior) (Night)

Elliot was bellied up next to a slim, attractive girl with a stylish bob and a knockout dress.

Elliot “[USER_FIRST_NAME] [USER_LAST_NAME], meet Bea Merriam. Bea, here’s the Ice Box Flapper in the flesh.”

She stuck her hand over the bar and gave mine a firm shake.

Bea “Wanted to see if the girl matches the rave reviews.”

Heroine “If Elliot’s slingin’ the hash, it’s likely to be 80% baloney. Nice to meet you.”

Bea “Let’s see how you sling booze, kiddo. Gin Rickey, please, an’ make it snappy, pappy!”

(Sounds like Helen Kane! One of those ‘boop-boopy-do” baby voices.)

Elliot “Bea’s a style-setter. She can take you around to the dress shops, tea rooms…all that stuff you girls love.”

We both said “Sounds like fun!” at the same time, while giving each other matching winks.

Elliot “And you’ll probably need something new right away, since I’m inviting you to a party tomorrow.”

I gestured to the uproar around us.

Heroine “You know I work the nightshift, right?”

Bea “Not to worry, [USER_FIRST_NAME], it’s an afternoon affair.”

Bea “Gives everyone a chance to sleep in and spiff up before the sun gets too far over the yardarm.”

Elliot “An old pal of mine, Vito Ferlinghetti, has a bit of a palazzo on the lake.”

Bea “You got to see it, hon. Very faux Italian.”

Elliot “Just like Vito’s import business.”

Bea put her hand to her mouth in mock surprise.

Bea “Are you suggesting Vito imports something besides olive oil?!”

Elliot “Yes. Unless ‘olive oil’ is 100 proof and comes from Canada.”

Bea “Vito LIED to me!”

She and Elliot shared a big laugh. I handed Bea her drink and lifted a glass of my own.

(Soda water. I’m on duty.)

Bea “Why [USER_FIRST_NAME], we’re surrounded by cads, bounders, and rogues at every turn! Whatever will we do?”

Heroine “Hoist a glass, grab our garters, an’ hold on tight!”

Bea “Best advice I’ve heard all night!”

We clinked glasses just as a guy who’d been standing nearby pushed up next to Bea.

???? “Did I hear right? You’re Charlie [USER_LAST_NAME]’s niece?”

Heroine “That’s me. You know Uncle Charlie?”

???? “By reputation only. I’d be new in town from New York. Friend back east told me to look Charlie up. Sorry t’ hear he’s under the weather.”

Heroine “He’ll be back on his feet in no time. We [USER_LAST_NAME]’s are a tough bunch. Shall I tell him who was calling for him?”

Heroine “Name’s Lynch. Martin Lynch. Sean McManus referred me. Wouldn’t expect he’d remember Sean much, but Sean…remembers him.”

(Another Irish fella? Wow, my life’s chock full of ‘em these days!)

Heroine “Welcome to the Ice Box, Mr. Lynch. What’s your pleasure?”

Lynch “Double shot of whisky. Say, where’s Charlie recuperating? Might I drop in with some flowers?”

(Somethin’ about this guy doesn’t feel on the beam. Even Bea gets it. She’s been edging away from him ever since he planted himself at the bar.)

Heroine “He’s not wanting any visitors right now, but I’ll sure pay him your respects.”

Lynch smiled as he pulled back with the whisky I’d just poured him.

(Friendly enough around the cheekbones, but not a patch of it in the eyes.)

Lynch “Sliánte mhaith to Charlie and farewell to you, Miss [USER_LAST_NAME]. For now, at least.”

I watched him push his way through the crowd, slamming his drink and heading straight out the door.

Bea “That one’s a chiller. Gave my goosebumps goosebumps.”

Heroine “I’ll say. Guy like that, no surprise to read about him gettin’ the electric cure one of these days.”

Bea visibly shook off the willies. I did the same.

Heroine “So…take me shoppin’ in the ayem? Before this party of Elliot’s?”

Bea “Bring your poke and we’ll scoop some fresh rags for you. Meet you on State Street right in front of Menken’s.”

Heroine “I’ll get Cliff to give me a ride…”

Bea “Is that him trying to get your—oh. No.”

Turning, I saw Vince at the supply room door, motioning for me to come over.

Heroine “Nope. Cliff’s got the bar. That’s Vince.”

Bea “Oh, I know Vince.”

She developed a little crease between her eyebrows, saw me notice, and wiped it away with a smile.

(Hmmm. Something’s up there…”

Bea “You’ve got a stocked pond here, sweetie!”

Heroine “Aren’t you and Elliot…?

Bea “Oh, heavens no! I’m an old married lady.”

(She sure doesn’t look or act like it!)

Bea “Happy as a baked clam with my John. Doesn’t mean a girl can’t drop a hook now and then. I just don’t reel ‘em in.”

Bea “That one’s lookin’ kinda antsy.”

Vince was getting pretty frantic. I wiggled my fingers at him, smiling.

Heroine “Looks like he really needs something.”

Bea “I’ll bet he does, honey. Check out the mirror to find out what. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Location: Ice Box Storage Room (Interior) (Night)

Characters: Heroine, Vince

As I approached Vince, he grabbed my arm and pulled me into the supply room.

(Oooo! This might get interesting!)

Vince “I got a hot lead on what happened to Charlie. Or maybe ‘who’ happened –“

(That’s a dash of cold water!)

Heroine “What are you talkin’ about?”

Vince “Friend of a friend of a guy who owes me says there’s a chance the hit on Charlie came down from Canada.”

Heroine “Canada?!”

Vince “I got competition. Maybe they’re anglin’ to get at me through Charlie.”

Heroine “Well…what do we do?”

Vince “We check it out. An’ by ‘we’ I mean me. Headin’ out right now.”

(Oh! That means he won’t be around to help me get on my feet here!)

Vince “Sorry it’s so last minute. This is hot an’ I gotta move before it cools off.”

Heroine “If you’ve got to, you’ve got to. But be careful!”

Vince grinned, patting a slight bulge under his jacket.

Vince “Careful’s good. Prepared’s better. I’ll be both.”

He leaned in. I thought he was going for the lips….

(Whoa! Am I ready for…)

…but pecked the cheek instead.

(…the little sister treatment? Huh.)

Vince “I told Cliff the score. Back in a few days, doll.”

And he was out the back door and gone.

(Well…that was…not the kind of ‘fast’ I was expecting from Moretti!)

(At least I’ve got a party to look forward to tomorrow.)


Note delivered to the Ice Box


Though last night was a grim one, my memory of it is made more bearable by our all-too-brief encounter at the hospital.

I wanted to extend my best wishes for your uncle’s speedy recovery, and offer you any assistance you might need in making his enterprises successful in his absence.

Should you need anything, you may reach me at The Broiler, KIldare 5 – 4321.

Gerry O’Fallon