by LA Tucker
Part XXVI: Them's Fightin' Words
For disclaimers, see Part
Sunday arrived again, bringing with it a cold front, icy rain and the opportunity to sleep in. Sara had dutifully set the alarm clock the night before, and it went off at precisely 7:00 AM, clock time, although the clock itself was set twenty minutes ahead of the correct time. This little differentiation between clock time and real time afforded the dark woman several opportunities to smack the 'snooze' setting on the alarm. Hitting the snooze, she wouldn't immediately try to return to sleep, it gave her time to listen for rain, and happily, this morning, the sound of chilled water glancing off her bungalow roof brought a relieved sigh to her lips, and she tightened her hold around the slumbering redhead in her arms. Chloe, as per usual, slept through the buzzing alarm. Somewhere in their time together, she had learned to ignore the noise of Sara's alarm, and her subconscious would allow only Sara's gentle whispered urges to break through to bring her out of dreamland. The sound of the rain on the roof saved Sara from performing this job this morning, there was no need to wake the librarian up.
Sara stretched her body, as well as she could, with the 5'3' redheaded naked python wrapped around her in a death grip. Should I get up? Dave will be up, and heading out to the garage, simply as a sentry person. No one will show up to play yet today, although if it clears, there's always a few diehards in rain gear who may want to slosh across the course. She readjusted Chloe's head on her shoulder, so she could rotate her neck and crack her shoulders. I should get up and work on the #2 golf cart, it isn't holding a charge like it should. Sara opened her eyes, and peered at the clock. 7:05. I could sleep in a little longer, what would it hurt? She closed her eyes again, and played 'identify Chloe's body parts'. Let's see, that's her left leg slung over my left leg, and her knee from that leg is ... bent and across my ... thank god it's not a little higher, or it would be right across my bladder, and I wouldn't be having this discussion with myself as to whether I should get up yet. Sara's body shook with a soundless laugh. And her arm is across my ribs, with her hand resting on 'Righty'. Nose is tucked into my neck, forehead up against the side of my jaw, hair tickling my cheek. This is great, I'm used to waking up like this ... so soon. I slept years by myself, and this feels so much better.
The buzzing of the alarm began again, interrupting Sara's thoughts. She reached over, and pushed the snooze again, then rethought it, and turned the alarm off completely. Her motions brought a squeeze to Chloe's hand on her breast, and a soft sigh, as the smaller woman resnuggled herself deeper into Sara's body. That lingering grasp sent forth new ideas to Sara's brain, the auxiliary brain that was ensconced below her waist, and those thoughts triggered Sara into action. She was now very conscious of all of Chloe's body, the warmth, the smoothness, the appealing soft curves of it, and Sara's hands did what her auxiliary brain commanded, she began slowly stroking Chloe, a hand traveling up her leg to a rounded buttock, her other hand caressing the skin of her shoulder. Her hand left Chloe's hip behind, and snuck up under Chloe's arm laying across her, and found access to her breast. She lightly teased the nipple to attention with light circular touches of a finger tip, and the results brought Sara warmer sensations, and her plan was now etched in stone, she had a goal, and she hopefully would not be denied.
Sara's gentle attentions to Chloe's breast yielded a soft moan from the still sleeping woman. Sara began mixing in contracting motions around it with her long, strong fingers, eliciting even more positive murmurs from Chloe. Sara, deciding that these reactions were a excellent sign to continue, slowly and resolutely began to extract her arm from under Chloe's head, and pushed her onto her back. Thus freed, Sara turned onto her side, and let her mouth take over where her hands had left off, taking the warm pliant flesh into her mouth, and luxuriating in the hard and the soft that greeted her tongue. Her tongue danced across Chloe's nipple, and she moaned at the sheer sensuality of it. She began sucking, gradually increasing the pressure, and was gratified to find that Chloe was reacting positively to her ministrations, because the woman began moving with the telltale signs of arousal.
Asleep or not asleep, aware or not aware, wonderful things were happening to and around the smaller woman. Chloe's auxiliary brain was also shifting into consciousness, way ahead of the brain seated above her shoulders, and was telling the rest of her body that some pretty nice events were occuring. A warmth fairly oozed through her, and Chloe's lips found words passing through them. "Am I dreaming?" she murmured.
Sara stopped her attentions only long enough to reply, "Does it matter?" before she returned to her pleasant task.
Chloe's body answered Sara for her, she gently arched into Sara, an invitation to continue. "Nuh-uh."
Conversation was thus ended, and their communications continued in the form of moans, touches and kisses.
The day continued as it began, it poured without respite, drenching the green of the golf course, the blossoming vines of the nearby vineyards, the posies in Mrs. Hoderman's flower boxes. Dave's emerging business was the last thing on Mother Nature's mind, she had a job to do, it was her time, time to soak the land so later in summer, grapes and cherries could be picked, lawn mowers could clog up and sputter out, leaves on trees could offer shade to sweaty golfers waiting to tee off. A modicum of fanfare was added to the downpour throughout the day, cracks of thunder, bolts of lightning and gusts of wind helped Ma Nature reassert her dominance, to let everyone who was grumbling in their houses about the lousy weather know who was truly in charge of their Sunday.
Bob's Video Shack was overrun with customers, renting out even the worst of the latest releases to people desperate for a way to pass this terrible day. In some houses, people turned to the welcoming arms of the internet, or the banalities of cable TV, or discovered a long forgotten pork roast from the back of their freezer in hopes of a later day feast. At a house on a golf course on Route 20, however, a redheaded librarian had talked her companions into digging out a board game from a hallway closet, and was gleefully recounting the stacks of paper money in front of her.
"I told all of you, whenever she's that damned wheelbarrow, she always wins." Marcy griped, noting the high stacks of money in front of her best friend, and comparing it to the rather meager pile in front of her. "And no one has taken a turn in 10 minutes, either, she's been harassing the both of you to sell your properties ..."
"It's my turn, and I can do that." Chloe said dismissively, the rules of the game ingrained deeply into her quickly conniving brain. "And Marse, how about ... " she quickly sized up the situation and continued, "I give you a thousand dollars for Baltic, and you can have Waterworks." She smiled carefully, not wanting to further irritate her already grumpy friend.
"Oh, I can see this is going to take a while, I'm heading for the bathroom." The tall woman sighed, and stood up out of her chair. She smiled a sympathetic smile at Marcy, and then a genuine, admiring smile at her patiently waiting but clearly plotting girlfriend, who was still waiting for a reply to her offer from the irritated artist. This game's a done deal ... Marcy knows it, Dave knows it, and I knew it before the first throw of the dice.
Dave was watching a basketball game from his seat while waiting out the machinations between the two long time friends. He looked up at his sister, and mildly commented, "Sure, sure, walk out right before the bloodbath starts. Just make sure to be back in case one of them needs first aid ... or CPR."
Sara stopped in her path, and noticed Marcy's narrowing eyes, pointed directly at a poker faced Chloe. "Dave, if any CPR needs done for Chloe, you'd better wait for me. You are no longer 'Mr. Kisses' when it comes to her, got it?" She narrowed her own eyes at him, mimicking the glare that Marcy was endowing upon 'Miss Lips'. She watched as Dave grinned and nodded, and then she continued off to the bathroom.
Marcy ignored everyone, her attention was focused solely on Chloe. "What the hell do you want Baltic for ... you already have a monopoly with houses, wait, hotels on Boardwalk and whatchamacallit, Park Place. And all the red ones and the railroads ..."
"It will complete my set. I hate loose ends." stated Chloe, sizing up her mark, and deciding that Marcy was going to take her usual obstinate route on this deal. "Two thousand, Waterworks, and ... a 'get out of jail free' card."
"I want to be in jail, it's the only place I'm safe from you ..."
The basketball game that Dave had been watching was terminally dull, one team was running away with the game, not unlike the determined, scheming redhead seated next to him. The outcome was a foregone conclusion. Dave said out loud, mostly to the furniture around him, because the two bartering women took no notice of his words, "Guess I'll start dinner."
He got up, and opened the fridge, and stared within, while increasingly heated negotiations took place at the table behind him. A plan was forming in his own mind for the upcoming meal when his sister returned from the bathroom and stood next to him, also peering into the depths of the refrigerator. "Well, what's the plan?" she inquired.
"I was thinking ... scrambled eggs, bologna sandwiches and ... oriental chicken rice-a-roni."
Sara ran that through her mind, and decided it was an attractive offering. "First course?" she inquired.
Dave closed the refrigerator door, and opened the freezer door above it. A bag of frozen vegetables slid out and promptly fell at his feet. "Brussell sprouts?"
Sara nodded, and picked up the bag from the floor, and they both turned to look at the two women at the table.
"Two thousand, Waterworks, a get out of jail free card, and two of my railroads ..."
"Your railroads? You have the complete set, why would you want to break up your complete set? And railroads, two of them, I can't do anything with just two ..."
Every day without a money shot is money out of my pocket. He was positive that he easily would have been able to find his target working somewhere on the golf course that she lived on sometime during the day. He could have surreptitiously blended in with other golfers, found her, taken his shots, and be gone by now, having caught a plane in Buffalo for his home in New York City.
He glanced at his watch. Nearly six. The local weather should be on soon, on the local station. He silently swore at the perceived backwardness of this small town. No cable in this crappy excuse for a motel. He flipped the stations until he found one with a six o'clock broadcast, and laid back on his bed to wait for his needed information.
Oh my, I hope she's here to sell me a set of encyclopedias. Chloe's eyes were surveying a blonde woman, standing uncertainly in the foyer of the library. She's certainly not from around here, her suit cost more than all of my summer clothes put together. She's probably a few years older than I am. I shouldn't be looking at her like this, but come on, I'm not blind. Chloe was continuing to stare, and chastise herself for blatantly ogling the glamorous looking woman, that she was startled when the woman made eye contact with her, and then smiled. Oh god, she caught me staring. Chloe shook herself, and then smiled back, and watched as the woman made her way over to her at the front desk. Chloe felt the woman's eyes also sizing her up, and found herself blushing at the woman's unapologetic once over.
"May I help you?" Chloe asked quietly, the librarian in her taking command for a moment. That blonde hair, almost white, is natural. Not a root, not an eyebrow to convince me otherwise.
"I certainly hope so. I'm lost." said the woman, her vocal tones sounding to Chloe like that of brushed velvet. The woman smiled, slowly and quite purposely. "I was told you could help me. I was just down at the Quickie ... something, and they, well, they weren't very helpful." Oh yeah, this one's part of the 'clan', great strawberry blonde hair. And those eyes ... who said small towns had to be dull?
Chloe curiously was disappointed that the woman wasn't where she wanted to be. Chloe turned on her best charm. "And where is it you wanted to be? Anywhere but Stonecreek, I presume?"
"No, Stonecreek is where I want to be, but ... " the woman answered, taking notice of Chloe's name badge. "I'm afraid that neither the Quickie place nor the library were on my itinerary ..." and she looked directly into Chloe's eyes before she continued, her voice imbued with a bit of flirtatiousness, "this trip. Although this library, Ms. Donahue, looks like a very, very interesting place for a girl to spend her time." She followed that line with her patently honed smoldering look.
Chloe nearly jerked at the woman's not so thinly veiled attentions. She felt almost like the woman had verbally reached out and pinched the librarian on the rear end. Chloe had to take in oxygen, and scramble for her next words. "And where in Stonecreek did you want to be?" Anywhere but here, I feel like a cheater just having a conversation with this woman. Whoa, she has the flirt thing down to a science ... she could write a book. I could put it on the shelf, after I memorized it, of course ...
The blonde woman extracted a small piece of paper from her ivory colored suit pocket, unfolded it, glanced at it, and put it back in her pocket. "Stonecreek Golf Course, Ms. Donahue." It was an old trick of hers, she liked to repeat a person's name as often as possible, it helped her remember it, and made strangers feel more at ease with her.
"Chloe." Chloe found herself saying. "And the golf course is just a bit farther east up the main road running directly in front of the library, Ms. ......"
"Swanson." The blonde woman replied, noting that Chloe had picked up on her name game. "Jennifer Swanson."
She sounds like a female version of James Bond. She certainly looks the part. Chloe had a queer feeling pass through her, but quickly dismissed it. "Ms. Swanson, it's just another five minutes up the road. Although I'm not sure why the folks at the Quickie Mart weren't helpful enough to tell you that."
"Actually, someone there directed me to come speak to you, she said I should talk to you about it ..." said the blonde woman, still smiling. When she saw the confused look cross Chloe's face, she gave a small laugh. "I'm sorry, actually, I didn't ask them where Stonecreek Golf Course was, I asked them where I might find Sara D'Amico, at the Stonecreek Golf Course, and the woman behind the counter wouldn't tell me. I pressed her about it, and all she would say was I should stop in at the library, and she gave me directions here." The woman smiled again, noticing the frown that now covered the librarian's face. "Is there some kind of scavenger hunt I have to perform before I can find Sara?" She said that last sentence hoping to lighten the librarians newly soured countenance.
"I, uh, we, uh ... we're all just trying to protect Sara's privacy." Any feelings of friendliness that Chloe had been experiencing were carefully tucked away, and she looked at the woman warily. "She's not doing interviews, she won't even talk to you about the possibility of doing an interview. If you're a reporter, you'd be wasting your time ..."
Jennifer Swanson was already moving away from the desk and towards the front door. Unmindful that she was in a library, she winked at Chloe, and said, "Oh, no, not a reporter, Ms. Donahue. A friend." She stopped at the foyer, and made careful eye contact with the librarian as she said her parting words. "An old, and very dear, close friend. Thank you, Chloe." She pushed through the doors and was gone.
Chloe's mind searched and searched again before she could remember the phone number for Dave's house, and when there was no answer there, she dialed Sara's number. This is not good. She repeated that phrase over and over in her head. She obsessively called both numbers again and again, but there was no answer at either location. This is not good.
Sara was riding on a golf cart through the high grass lining the fairway of the sixth hole when she saw her. She was a good 50 yards away, but her blonde hair caught and reflected the past noon's bright rays. The cut of her suit, and the motion of her walk, unsteady as it was, in high heels as she trudged up the fairway elicited familiar memories in the tall woman.
They approached each other, Sara in her trusty cart, not speeding to her old friend, and the blonde woman not quickening her pace. They both needed the time to formulate what to say to each other when they first met again. Sara had many questions running through her mind, and the blonde had many opening lines running through hers. This was Sara's turf they were meeting on, each were aware that Sara would be in control of whatever happened next.
Jennifer Swanson was glad that she had worn her designer sunglasses, because she could study Sara as the golf cart got closer. Her old friend and client looked healthy and buff in green polo shirt and khaki shorts, her hair was pulled back in a braid, and her face was set in a noncommittal smile of welcome as she pulled up and stopped the cart a short distance from her. She looks wonderful. Confident and ... her face, even without make-up, there's barely a noticeable line there. Jennifer's mind flashed back, as it always did when she thought of Sara, to the magnificently horrid stitches that she had bore witness to even weeks after the accident. It amazed her that something so awful could have turned out so well. She never could have imagined it then.
"Hello, Jennie." Sara pulled out her bandana from a back pocket, and wiped her neck and brow with it. She fixed her gaze firmly on the overdressed woman.
"Hello to you, Sara." Jennie made the last few steps to the golf cart, Sara had made her come to her.
"What brings you out to my neck of the woods ...? Felt like playing 9 holes in an exotic setting, or did your Beverly Hills Country Club membership expire?" Sara was merely making smart-assed chatter, her defenses already up against someone who she used to have no defenses against.
"I was in Toronto, and I'm on my way back to L.A., just thought I would stop by to see an old friend." Jennie smiled at her, and waited to see if Sara would return the favor.
Sara didn't. "Kind of out of your way to just stop by here. Nearest airports are Buffalo, Erie ..."
"Buffalo. I rented a car and drove here. I have a 7 PM flight out of Buffalo tonight. I won't be able to stay long." Jennie kept her voice upbeat, and friendly, hoping to break through Sara's barriers.
"Glad to hear it."
Jennie wasn't sure if Sara was glad she had made the trip to see her, or was glad that Jennie wasn't staying long. "You look good. Really good. I never would have thought ..."
"Yeah, me neither. Miracles of modern medicine huh?" Sara said offhandedly. She decided to cut to the chase, this woman evoked too many strong emotions in Sara, and the majority of them were bad. I don't need this. I know why she's here. "So, not that I'm not glad to see you, you look great, but you always did." Sara saw Jennie's pleased reaction to that, and decided to temper that gladness. "But to tell you the truth, I'm not glad to see you. I'm sure you're here for only one reason ... to try and talk me into something I don't want to do. You always had a gift for that." For the first time, Sara smiled, and it was not a smile of friendliness, it was a smile of self-awareness and accusation.
Jennie shifted uncomfortably in her heels, and looked away before returning her gaze to Sara. She removed her sunglasses, revealing chocolate brown eyes with almost an almond shape to them. She then looked down before she replied, "I guess I deserve that. I guess you can think of me like that if you need to ...'
"I don't need to think about you, Jennie. Most days, I don't." Sara's voice was flat and matter of fact. "Time does wonders for helping to forget ... old friends ... and old lives." Sara felt she had the upper hand, a feat she rarely accomplished in her last dealings with the woman in front of her.
Jennie stiffened, she hadn't expected outright defiance from Sara. "The old life wasn't that bad, Sara. I seem to recall you enjoyed much of it ... and much of me ... during that time." She straightened up, and assumed her confident agent persona, it was what worked best for her, it was the only way she knew how to be. She watched as Sara remained mute to her last comment, and the darker woman leaned back into the golf cart seat, apparently waiting to see what Jennie was going to say next. "All right, I can see you aren't interested in reminiscing about old times. Would you mind, at least if I sat down next to you in that cart? My feet are killing me ... this was quite a hike out here to find you." She frowned and waited for Sara's answer, which was a silent nod of agreement.
Jennie rounded the cart, and sat down gratefully in the vinyl seat, and reached down, and removed her shoes, rubbing a few toes through her pantyhose.
Sara started up the cart, and pushed on the pedal, and they began rolling across the fairway. Sara turned to her. "Well, say whatever it is that you came here to say, because I've lots of work to do today. I'm driving you back to your car, you've got that long to say your peace."
Jennie took an irritated breath in, and her usually smooth voice came out jumpy and stilted as Sara drove the cart across some bumpy ground. "Fine. Here's the story. Don Summerfield is in London until September, putting the final touches on his latest project. I spoke to him yesterday, I asked him if he was still interested in making the sequels to 'Star Gazers'. He surprised me, he's already had people working preproduction on it. He asked about you, I said I had seen a recent tape of you, and that you seemed to look ... really good, very healed." Jennie's words practically were bouncing out of her mouth, and she secretly wondered if Sara was hitting every bump on purpose. She glanced at Sara, who had her eyes forward, and her lips lightly pursed, and Jennie knew she was listening. "He's coming into New York City for a week in mid June sometime, and then heading back to London, but he asked me to contact you to see if I could set up a meeting between the two of you. I also forwarded a copy of the tape to him." She stopped there, thinking she had relayed enough information already, and waited for a response.
"He wants to see it for himself, huh?" Sara said, giving her head a small shake, but not looking at Jennie.
"Pretty much. He was uncertain about your ... emotional status. I couldn't give him any firsthand knowledge about that ..." Jennie said, honestly. "This movie is going to get made, very soon, with or without you. But it would be better with you, and Don knows it." She was happy to see that the cart was nearing the parking lot where she had parked her car. I don't know what hurts worse, my feet or my butt.
Sara navigated the cart across the gravel to stop near a luxury vehicle that had New York state license plates. Jennie reached down, and put her shoes back on, moved out of the cart, and stood near her rental car. She smoothed her skirt, and once again, tried to elicit a smile from Sara. She looked around the gravel parking lot, to the old house and converted barn, the blossoming trees and the green of the grass. "This place has a certain charm to it. I can see why you must like it here ... you always did talk about your hometown with a real affection."
It worked, Sara did smile at this last remark. She sighed and got out of the cart to stand side-by-side next to Jennie, who was now leaning against the trunk of the car. She watched a man extract his golf clubs from the trunk of his car, digging around in the large pockets of the bag. She turned to Jennie, and sighed again. A rueful smile planted itself on her lips. "I'm sorry Jennie, that I was so rude to you. It was just such a surprise ... and you know how I am with surprises."
Jennie turned and faced her, returning the smile. "Yeah, you don't do them very well. I remember." She hesitantly put out a hand, and stroked Sara's arm, resting her hand just above Sara's wrist. She was pleased that Sara didn't shy away from her touch. She looked Sara as gently as possible, and tried to inject that feeling into her next words. "The offer is out there, Sara. There's lots of money involved. You could be fixed for life. You could help your brother open a hundred of these golf courses, with just a year or two out of your life." She saw Sara's small smile fade, but saw a glimmer of something ... curiosity? interest? ... in the woman's eyes. "Think about it. We could fly ... or drive to see Don in June, and you could maybe at least discuss the possibility with him. At least, once and for all, you could put this thing to bed. I wish you would consider this ... I could be as involved, or not involved, in the process as you need me to be."
She squeezed Sara's wrist, and took a step closer, their eyes meeting, and Jennie couldn't gauge Sara's reaction to all that she'd said. No need to browbeat her. She lightened her tone even further. "So, I'm going to be on my way. I'm looking forward to that drive through Hamburg, New York like you wouldn't believe." She broke into a grin, and watched as Sara got a half grin on her own face. "How about a hug before I go? I am, no matter what, really happy to see you, Sara, you really do look wonderful ..." Jennie's voice caught a little, and she looked down at the white gravel below her $400 shoes.
Sara looked at her, and for a moment, remembered only the good things about Jennie, and she put her arms around her, and pulled her into a light hug. "No promises, Jennie."
Jennie buried her head into Sara's shoulder, momentarily caught up in the past, and held on to her even tighter.
So caught up in the moment were the two old friends, that they didn't notice the almost continuous clicking and whirring noises coming from the area where the man had been taking his clubs out of his trunk. Jennie saw him first, the camera busily working in his hands, and she didn't move as he began to circle around them. When Sara finally noticed, and pushed herself out of Jennie's embrace, he was nearly within touching distance of her. "HEY!" she snarled, trying to push Jennie out of the way, so she could confront the man. Jennie stumbled and nearly fell, Sara reached out and caught her, and the man was already backing away, but continuing to snap pictures in his retreat. By the time Sara had Jennie safely righted, the man was already tossing his clubs into the trunk, slamming it and moving towards the driver's door. He opened it, tossed his camera, and got in, shutting the door and locking it just as Sara got close to him. He grinned at her, and started the car. She pounded her fist on his window, and he backed up, threw the car into drive, and gunned the engine, his tires spitting gravel in his quick escape. The gravel just barely missed hitting the startled blonde agent.
Sara swiftly moved to her side, inspecting her for any injury. "Son of a bitch. Fuckin' bastard."
Jennie just chuckled, exasperated. "I'm sure you don't miss that kind of shit, do ya?"
Sara shook her head, and walked Jennie to her car door. She opened it for her. "Not a bit. Not one fuckin' bit."
Jennie got into her car, and looked up at Sara, who stood holding the door. She smiled again, trying to leave Sara with a more positive impression. "Hey, I never appreciated those bloodsuckers, either. We had a mutual hatred for them. Try and remember that. I was always on your side."
Sara nodded, and said nothing more. She shut the door firmly, and watched as the rental car rode down the long driveway.
Jennie waited until the car was safely onto Route 20 before she pulled out her cell phone. She pressed a preset number, and then waited for an answer. "Marcia? Cut a check for that idiot John Scott. I want first look before he shops them. And then after that, we lose his number."
For the second time in the same lovely Monday, Sara looked up from her patching and trimming to see a familiar female form approaching her from across the grassy fairway of the 5th hole. This time, it was a curly headed woman, and even from this distance, Sara could see the woman's lips moving, frowning, muttering what were surely curses and epitaphs as she strode towards the now curious and grinning Sara. This time, Sara tossed her weedwhacker into the back of the cart, and walked out to meet her halfway. She could see that Marcy was a little out of breath, and was really scowling as they met in the middle of the fairway.
"Frickin' A, Sara, what's the matter with the goddamned second golf cart? I couldn't get the goddamned thing started." Marcy unconsciously patted her jumper pocket and then remembered she had quit smoking. Her hand shot to her shoulder, where she gave her nicotine patch a few quick rubs in hopes of getting more of the drug into her system. She glared at Sara, who was standing there, just smirking at her, thumbs hooked in her shorts pockets.
"H'llo, Marse. What are you doing out here? Lose your balls in the high grass?" Sara put quite the emphasis on the word 'balls'.
Marcy huffed at her, and narrowed her eyes almost into slits. "I'm here on a mission, dammit. Chloe has been trying to get in touch with you for hours. Where the hell is Dave?"
Sara was alarmed at Marcy's words about Chloe. "Is she all right? What's the matter?"
"She's fine, just worried. Ralph took about a hundred zillion messages from her, why didn't you call her back? Where's Dave?"
"Worried about what? I haven't checked in with Ralph for ..." she checked her watch, and then looked back at Marcy, "about three hours now."
"Well, you dumbass, you should check in with him more often. What if there's an emergency or something?" Marcy threw up her arms in exasperated disgust. "I know you're out here communing with nature, and trying to add to your income by finding lost balls in the woods, but c'mon ..."
"Are you going to tell me what the commotion is about, or do I have to offer you a cigarette first to get it out of you?" Marcy's almost constant rubbing of her hidden patch had not gone unnoticed by Sara.
"I wish. I'm thinking about smoking cat 'o' nine tails right about now. The commotion? Chloe said she was trying to warn you, some blonde floozy was at the library today, pumping Chloe for information about you. Chloe thinks it may be your old agent ..."
Sara's frown now matched Marcy's. "Jennie was at the library? I didn't know, she didn't mention it to me ..."
Marcy stopped a moment, gave Sara a disbelieving look, and then quite deliberately kicked Sara in the ankle. Sara jumped in surprise, and not in a little pain, too. "You're an idiot, Sara."
"Jesus, what did you do that for?" Sara leaned down and rubbed her sore ankle, but not before she moved a few steps away from Marcy, just in case there were more blows coming.
"I did it because every single time I start thinking that you have your head screwed on straight in regards to Chloe, you prove me wrong by pulling a Linda Blair in the 'Exorcist' on me." Marcy twirled her finger in demonstration.
"How was I to know Jennie saw Chloe?"
"How about friggin' checking in at the clubhouse once in a while? Huh? Or are you out here having some mad affair with a gopher or something?" Marcy was in full frontal bitch attack now. "And where is your brother?"
Sara stuck her hands deeply into her shorts pockets, and looked away from Marcy. "I was thinking. I just came back out here to work ... and think after Jennie left." Sara felt both embarrassed and defensive. "Ralph does fine running the clubhouse ..." She looked up, and saw two figures in the distance, and reached out and grasped Marcy by the elbow. "C'mon, there's a couple of people who want to tee off. Let's walk over to the cart, out of the way ..." Marcy glanced in the 5th tee's direction, and both women started walking over to the cart, off the fairway. Sara took this time to collect her thoughts, but Marcy's non-stop griping interrupted her.
"Chloe's been trying to call you for hours. Ralph keeps taking messages, not knowing where the hell you are. He didn't want to leave the barn .. clubhouse unattended. Chloe said some blonde woman who looked like she ought to be a spokesmodel was in asking about you. This is Monday, Chloe is stuck at the library, and she couldn't leave to come find you and tell you, or whatever." They made it over to the golf cart and stopped and stood in front of it, Sara keeping out of kicking distance of Marcy's lethal foot. "Well, c'mon Sara. What happened?"
Sara looked into Marcy's deeply probing brown eyes. "Jennie was here. Yeah, Chloe was right, she's my old agent ..." Sara paused a moment, and when Marcy surprisingly didn't interrupt, she continued. "Jennie saw a tape of the WQEL auction. She rented a car in Buffalo, and came here looking for me ..."
Now Marcy butted in. "She concerned about your health or what?" She gave Sara a 'don't fuck with me' look.
Sara sighed. "Or what." She wrinkled her nose in consternation. I really wanted more time to think about all of this before I talked with anyone about it. "The producer of 'Star Gazers' wanted her to talk to me. You know, the sequel thing. And then there was this photographer ..."
"She brought a PHOTOGRAPHER with her?" Marcy slowly inched closer to Sara, strategizing for when she could get her next kick in.
"No, he was pretending to be a golfer ... he got us in the parking lot right before she left ... he took off ..."
"Shit. Asshole." Marcy noticed Sara's grimace. "No, I meant HE was the asshole, not you. You're an idiot." Marcy moved another inch. "So, wait a minute here, you were in the parking lot, having a meaningful conversation with some Hollywood chippie, and a photographer ambushes you ... and you just friggin' nonchalantly return out to divotland and continue your little groundskeeping duties, just like nothing even happened? Without calling your friggin' GIRLFRIEND, and saying 'Oh honey, a funny thing happened to me today?'" Marcy's voice was rising higher with every word. She maneuvered herself into almost kicking range. "And where the hell is Dave during all of this?"
Sara looked down at her feet disconsolately. "I just wanted some time to think about it, I was going to drive out to talk to Chloe later at the library, I know this is her late night there. I just wanted to think about it ... calm down about the photographer. Hell, that was a hard thing to deal with in itself ... I could have pummeled the guy, if he hadn't gotten away." She looked at Marcy apologetically. "I was kind of freaked out by the whole thing. Jennie showing up out of nowhere. Then the damned photographer had me shook ..." Sara looked up and stared at a passing cloud. "Guess it was dumb of me to think all of this would just blow over with a little careful planning." She kept her gaze up at the clouds, and turned one side of her mouth down into a frown.
Marcy now was in kicking distance, but held her attack back, for now. She hummed her disapproval. "So, Miss Former Movie Star ... or is that a misnomer? ... what's the score? What did you tell this woman? And who the hell is she, anyway?"
Sara looked at Marcy again, and swallowed before speaking in halting tones. "Uh, my former agent. And ... I guess you could call her ... my ex."
That did it. Out flew Marcy's foot, hitting Sara in the shin this time.
"OW! Shit, Marcy!!" Sara took two wide, limping strides away from the irritated artist. "Cut that out!"
"Idiot. Moron. Dipshit." Marcy took a step towards Sara, who retreated even farther. "Is our dear librarian AWARE that this agent is your EX?"
Sara rubbed her new sore spot, keeping a careful distance from Marcy. "Well, yeah, I think I mentioned it to her at some point ... I really haven't talked much to Chloe about my old life ... don't you kick me again, dammit! I don't like thinking about all of that ..."
Marcy wished she was taller, with longer legs, and more athletic. She surely would be chasing Sara around the golf cart by now, aiming for a hip, or better yet, a good swift kick in the ass. "OK, so not only does your old Hollywood agent come around and hit you up with an offer, I'm guessing, for you to return to the big screen and sweet offers of your old life, but she what ... does this woman still have some kind of ... hold over you?" Marcy's body tensed, ready to spring into faux Chuck Norris action if she didn't like what Sara said next.
Sara didn't flinch. "Yes to the first part and a great big old 'hell, NO', to the second part.
Marcy was so angry right now, she had to think a moment about what answer went with which question. She matched them up pretty well, and felt a tiny bit relieved. But not enough to not keep ripping into Sara. "So, you don't think that this little 'event' was important enough to go have a little chat with your girlfriend about? This is just some little everyday occurrence? You get movie offers everyday ... and meet up with an your old girlfriend, who, from what I heard, could be Miss July in the upcoming Playboy? You have to ... mull this over in your thick head before you talk about it to the person you profess is the nearest and dearest thing in your life? I thought you were self-centered before, but this just takes the proverbial cake, you ... "
Sara had enough of this barrage, threat of kick or no kick. "Hang on there one second, Miss Secret Pregnancy. I didn't give you much of a hard time when I found out YOU were keeping the biggest secret ever from my brother, now did I?"
Marcy's feet all of a sudden became rooted to the ground. She couldn't argue Sara's logic, as much as she wanted to. "Well, yeah, but that was different. That was life altering ..." Marcy absolutely hated being on the defensive, ever. She wasn't used to it, especially when dealing with Sara, who, in Marcy's critical eyes, was the one always in the wrong.
"Life altering? Movie making ... the process takes a year, sometimes more ... that's not life altering? I was going to talk with Chloe about what happened today,tonight, after work, after a few hours of thought, that's not egocentric, that's ... prudent, if you ask me. Christ, if I had called Chloe right away, she would be at work wondering what I was thinking, what I was going to do, and hell, I wouldn't be able to give her any answers would I? Everything that happened was so surreal, I'm still thinking I might have dreamed it, so quit your damned bitching at me ..." Sara almost grinned at her first time ever offensive supremacy over Marcy. Maybe, finally, I'm in the right, and she'll friggin' have to admit it.
Marcy wasn't going to lose this battle so easily. "As Chloe's best friend, it's my job to look out for her best interests ..."
Sara shot right back. "And as Dave's sister, my motivations are the same for him ..."
Marcy pelted her comeback. "My pregnancy secret is old history now, I hate it when people bring up past wrong doings ..."
"Your little happy ending to the story doesn't make what you did right ..." Sara was losing what was left of her patience, and her voice and defiant attitude showed it.
Marcy didn't duck. "And is your ex and your apparent consideration of her offer going to mean a happy ending for Chloe? I can't see how it will ..."
"What I do about this movie, and how I handle it with Chloe is between Chloe and me, not between Chloe, me, you, Nelson and the folks waiting to tee off at the 9th tee. It's none of your goddamned business ..."
"Chloe is my goddamned business. I will not sit back and watch you hurt her, nor will I sit back and watch you take her away from here ..."
Sara put her hands on her hips, and gave Marcy a disdainful sneer. Right at this moment, she was feeling no love for her future sister-in-law. "THAT'S the real problem, isn't it, Marcy? You don't want Chloe leaving here, leaving you ... you've had her all this time, and I'm just a continual threat to your hold on her, aren't I? Admit it, you depend on her more than anyone else in your life, even my brother, who you're going to marry and have his child. Your life wouldn't be complete without Dave, baby AND Chloe, would it? That's not right, Marcy, that's just not right. You're not looking out for Chloe, you're looking out for YOU." Sara couldn't help herself, she had verbally pointed her finger directly into Marcy's outraged face, and gave her an arrogant smirk.
Marcy was just about to reply to Sara's yelling and accusations, but Sara was on a roll. "I'm right, and you know I'm right, and it's killing you, isn't it? I haven't even said that I was considering this movie offer, I was just considering the damned friggin' weirdness of the events of the day, and you have me blowing off Chloe, running off to Moviestarland, or worse yet, dragging her away from a place I know she loves, from the people she loves."
The word 'love' gave Sara pause, and her voice suddenly softened. "I know you love her, but I do too, and I'm through with being confused about it, Marse. She told me I needed to love her ALL the way, and dammit, you need to do that too. You need to love her enough to let her love me. Not just you, not just this town, but ME too."
Marcy turned away from Sara, to grab a much needed breath, and to take a few paces away from her to work off some of her angered energy. She turned back around, frowned and shook her head at Sara, looked down, and then back up at her again. She frowned yet again, and then blew out a sigh.
She conceded the battle. She tilted her head, and peered at Sara, who was staring at her, arms folded in front of her. She ran a hand through her long curls and then said, with a quick and rueful laugh, "Shit, Sara, when did you get so goddamned smart, huh?" She gave her a halfhearted, defeated smile.
Sara, unafraid that any more swift kicks might be coming her way, gave her a small grin in return. She stepped up to Marcy, and reached out, and gave the patch on Marcy's arm a few deliberate circular rubs, and left her hand there.
She walked them towards the golf
cart to take them back to the club house. "I dunno, Marse. Somewhere between
panic attacks, I realized I had a fainting librarian ... a feisty artist ...
a goofy brother ... an amazing nephew ... and a whole slew of Justins that I
care way too much about ..."
Continued in Part XXVII
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