For Disclaimers see part 1.
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Part 8

When we last our story Salmoneus came to the tavern with a business proposition for Hercuba and Cyrene.

Xena: Salmoneus we're a bit busy right now.

Salmoneus: That's ok. I can talk while you work.

Xena: You just don't get it. That was my subtle way of saying you can leave.

Salmoneus: I'm surprised at you Xena. I didnít know you could do subtle, but you should know I donít.

Xena: My mistake. Salmoneus would you leave? How's that?

Lyceus: I hate to interrupt but Xena could you get the ham from the cellar? I need it sliced for lunch.

Xena: Sure Bro. Salmoneus?

Salmoneus: Yes Xena?

Xena: I expect you to be in the dining room when I get back if you're staying for lunch; otherwise I don't want to see you.

{Xena leaves to go to the cellar.}

Salmoneus: Now that she mentions it I am a little hungry.

Lyceus: How about some chicken soup and a ham sandwich?

Salmoneus: Add some cider and you've got a customer for lunch.

Lyceus: You got it.

{Salmoneus sits down at the kitchen table. Lila gets the cider and Lyceus gets the soup.}

Lyceus: Here you go.

Salmoneus: Thanks!

{Xena comes back from the cellar with ham in hand. Xena sits the ham on the counter and begins carving. Gabrielle gets a platter from the cabinet and puts it on the counter next to Xena.}

Xena: Salmoneus I thought I told you to eat in the dining room?

Salmoneus: I canít have a working lunch in the dining room.

Xena: Why not?

Salmoneus: Because Lyceus is in here. He wants to hear my business proposition.

Lyceus: I think itís a good idea to hear his idea before Mother and Hercuba do.

Xena: You may be right. If itís as ridiculous as his last one, he doesnít need to waste their time with it.

Salmoneus: Itís hard to be a visionary.

Xena: Salmoneus no one will pay money for spring water in a bottle when they have perfectly good well water.

Salmoneus: You just wait. One day it will catch on.

Xena: Yea, when pigs fly.

Salmoneus: Cynic!

Xena: I prefer realist.

{Gabrielle makes Salmoneus's sandwich and takes it to him.}

Salmoneus: Thanks Gabrielle.

Gabrielle: Youíre welcome.

{Salmoneus takes a big bite of the sandwich.}

Salmoneus: As I was sayingÖÖ

Xena: Salmoneus didnít your mother teach you itís bad manners to talk with your mouth full?

{Salmoneus opens his mouth to speak.}

Xena: Do us all a favor and finish your lunch. You can tell us all about your new idea when youíre done.

{Salmoneus nods his head and continues to eat. Gabrielle has made herself a ham sandwich and is happily eating. She sees Xena eyeing her sandwich so Gabrielle hands her whatís left. Gabrielle begins to make another sandwich and Xena moves to stand behind her.}

Gabrielle: Are you ready for more?

Xena: When it comes to you Iím always ready!

{Xena kisses Gabrielleís neck.}

Gabrielle: I was talking about the sandwich. Do you want to have half of this?

Xena: Iíd rather have you, but Iíll take the sandwich for now.

Gabrielle: Donít worry you can have me later.

Salmoneus: Hey! Stop with the sex talk. Have a little pity on those of us who arenít getting any.

{Gabrielle turns around and hands Xena the other half of the sandwich.}

Gabrielle: Oh, Iím sorry Salmoneus.

Salmoneus: I wasnít talking about me. Iím sorry Lila.

Lila: That makes two of us.

{Eli suddenly pops into the kitchen.}

Eli: Iím back and it looks like Iím just in time for lunch.

Lyceus: You are. Have a seat and Iíll get you a bowl of my soup and a sandwich.

Gabrielle: Lyceus sit down. Xena and I will get you two lunch.

Lyceus: Thanks.

{Lyceus sits down next to Eli.}

Lila: Eli you really donít need to eat anymore, do you?

Eli: No, I donít but I still enjoy the social aspect of sharing a meal.

{Xena and Gabrielle bring the bowls of soup and sandwiches over to the table and set them down.}

Gabrielle: Enjoy you two.

Eli: Thank you. The soup smells heavenly.

{Eli takes a spoonful and eats it.}

Lyceus: Well?

Eli: It tastes heavenly too.

{Lyceus beams with the compliment.}

Lila: I think I need some lunch too.

Gabrielle: Have a seat Lila. Weíll get it for you.

Lila: Thanks.

{Lila sits down at the table next to Salmoneus. Gabrielle makes a sandwich and dishes out a bowl of soup for Lila and carries it over to her. Gabrielle walks back over to the soup and dishes out another bowl. }

Xena: Who wants cider?

Eli: I do.

Lyceus: Me too.

Lila: Iíll take some more tea.

{After Xena gives the drinks to them she walks over to Gabrielle who is eating a spoonful of soup. After finishing her spoonful she gets more and holds the spoon out. Xena opens her mouth and Gabrielle puts the spoon in. Xena makes a loud slurping noise as she closes her mouth and sucks the soup in. Gabrielle laughs.}

Lyceus: When Xena and I were younger we would have contests with our brother Toris to see who could slurp their soup the loudest. It drove our mother nuts.

Eli: Who won?

{Lyceus took a spoonful of soup and slurped it up.}

Eli: I guess that would be you.

Xena: Lyceus impressed many with his talent.

Eli: I bet!

Salmoneus: Ok, enough with the chit chat. Can we get down to business?

Xena: Whatís the big hurry?

Salmoneus: Time is money!

Xena: Youíre right.

Salmoneus: Why thank you Xena. Iím glad you understand.

Xena: Yes, I do. Youíre wasting my time on something that wonít make any money.

Salmoneus: Thatís not what I meant.

Lyceus: Xena give him a chance.

Salmoneus: Thanks Lyceus.

Lyceus: The sooner we find out what it is the sooner we can dismiss it.

Xena: Youíve got a good point there. Ok Salmoneus out with it.

Salmoneus: Iím deeply hurt that you feel that way. I think Iíll just wait until tomorrow to talk to Hercuba and Cyrene. Iím sure they will be more receptive to my business proposal.

Gabrielle: Xena I think we should give his idea a listen. You never know and if nothing else his ideas are always entertaining. I mean remember what a good laugh we had with his Pet Rock scheme?

Xena: Oh yes! That was priceless.

Salmoneus: Itís hard to be a man before his time but one day my visions will be realized.

Xena: Maybe so but itís too bad you wonít be around to see them.

Salmoneus: Thatís what I like about you Xena your positive attitudeÖ. NOT!

Xena: I have Gabrielle for that.

Salmoneus: Thank the gods for that!

Xena: I do every day.

Salmoneus: Are you sure youíre the real Xena? I never thought I would see the day when Xena would actually thank any god, and here youíre readily admitting to thanking more than one.

Xena: What can I tell you? Gabrielle brings out things in me that no one else does.

Salmoneus: Gabrielle are you sure youíre not the one with many skills instead of Xena?

Gabrielle: Letís just say that we both have many skills and leave it at that.

Lila: Speaking of leaving I need to go to the market to pick up some things.

Eli: May I help?

Lila: Do you mind?

Eli: Not at all.

Lila: Thanks!

{Lila gets up from the table. She walks over to Eli and puts her arm through his.}

Eli: Weíll be back.

Lila: Eli, youíve met Ares havenít you?

Eli: Met him? He killed me.

Lila: Really?

Eli: Really.

Lila: So tell me about him.

{Lila and Eli leave through the back door.}

Xena: That should be an interesting conversation.

Salmoneus: Speaking of interesting conversations, can we get back to mine?

Xena: Itís always all about you isnít it?

Salmoneus: Yes, it is.

Xena: Salmoneus youíre something else!

Salmoneus: Thanks Xena.

Xena: I didnít mean it in a good way.

Salmoneus: Oh.

{Xena rolls her eyes.}

Xena: Letís hear it Salmoneus.

Salmoneus: If you insist.

Xena: I do.

Salmoneus: Alright, as you know your mothers are known for their culinary skill. The tavern is the most popular place in town to meet and eat.

Gabrielle: We canít disagree with that.

Salmoneus: When you are on the road don't you wish you had your mothers cooking to enjoy?

Xena: Well, sure we do.

Salmoneus: With what I have in mind you will be able to.

Lyceus: This ought to be good.

Salmoneus: It is; believe me.

Lyceus: I was being sarcastic.

Salmoneus: I'll ignore that. Anyway so what I have in mind is to build other taverns modeled on this one.

Gabrielle: Just how do you plan on coming up with the dinars to do that?

Salmoneus: That's the beauty of it. I don't have to come up with any.

Xena: You make it sound like people are just going to give you the dinars for this.

Salmoneus: Exactly! Whoever wants to open one has to put up all the startup costs. We don't pay a thing. A certain percentage of their monthly profits will go back to us. In return we let them use the name and train them on all aspects of running the business.

Gabrielle: You know they say if it sounds too good to be true; it probably is.

Xena: Yea, who would be crazy enough to do something like this?

Salmoneus: You remember Telamon?

Xena: Taraís boyfriendís father?

Salmoneus: Heís Taraís father-in-law now. Would you call him crazy Xena?

Xena: If heís thinking of doing business with you then, yes!

Salmoneus: Well then his whole family is crazy because they all want to do this.

Gabrielle: What about Telamonís store?

Salmoneus: He sold it. As you know Androsís brother Thanos left town and is in Athens. He runs a tavern there which is not doing very well. Telamon has moved with Andros and Tara to Athens and are helping him. I told them my vision of the tavern and they were very receptive.

Xena: Your vision of the tavern? I thought you were using our mothersí tavern as a model?

Salmoneus: Part of it yes, but there has to be more to attract customers than just good food.

Lyceus: We have good brew too.

Salmoneus: True but I want to turn the tavern into part eatery and part landmark.

Gabrielle: Just how do you propose to do that?

Salmoneus: Iím glad you asked that.

Xena: Why do I feel like Iím not going to like the answer to this?

Gabrielle: Because itís coming from Salmoneus?

Coming up next: Salmoneus tries to win Xena and Gabrielle over with his vision.

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