A novel by Karen Lockhart
Copyright© 2017 Karen Lockhart
After eating breakfast, we sat down to an afternoon of watching ice skating on the TV.
“Ellen, isn't Jonnie Weir just over the top? I get the biggest kick out of him.”
“I heard he's doing the Olympic ice skating coverage down in Brazil next year.” she answered.
“Good, I was getting tired of Brian Boitano; a Dick Button he's not! So what are you going to wear tonight for your first date in what, ten years?”
“Ten years?” Ellen shrieked, “I'll have you know I dated the same guy for years until we broke up a year ago. Hey, what about you, Don Juan, or should I say Donna Juanna. Was your dance card always full?”
I had to admit she had me there. But then I realized she neatly ducked the question on what she was going to wear tonight.
“Almost sweetie, back to the question of what are you wearing tonight, slacks, jeans, skirt, what?”
“I figured to wear a black leather skirt, stockings, three inch heels, and that lavender silk top I bought in Thailand.” She then squinted at me, “What is the Fashion Princess wearing?”
That got me giggling.
“Well, with my tiara, I planned to wear my leather jeans and that light gray sweater I bought for myself from Santa.”
With that Ellen threw a cushion at me. When I protested, she said “That's why these are called throw pillows.”
We had a bowl of soup and crusty French bread for lunch, not wanting to eat too heavily before our date.
Ellen brought up the subject of telling Pete my story that night, explaining she wanted me to obtain a Massachusetts license to carry a concealed firearm. Ellen felt this would make me a little more confident when I went out alone, but she wasn't sure I could pass a routine background check. If Pete knew my story, he could issue the permit and bypass going through the Swampscott P.D.
“Let's see how tonight goes,” I said, “We really don't know him that well. After all, he is a stranger, who for some strange reason is attracted to you.”
Ellen snorted at that, “Keep pushing, one step away from homeless.”
“The reason I want you to have a LTC is Smith and Wesson makes a tiny .380 pistol with a built in targeting laser. This way you can carry an accurate gun in your purse. They also make a bra holster if you aren't carrying your purse.”
“How much does this gun cost?” I asked, “I don't want to pay a lot.”
“Ginny, this pistol can be purchased for about $350.”
“I can certainly afford that.”
“Time to get ready for tonight, the boys will be here at 6.30.”
We headed for our rooms with Ellen showering first. While I waited, I laid out the outfit I'd wear that night. 'These jeans ought to get Kevin's heart beating,' I thought with a chuckle.
By 6pm both Ellen and I were dressed and having a glass of white wine while waiting for our dates.
Kevin arrived first, and parked behind my SUV. We wouldn't take his truck tonight. Depending on what Pete Smith had, Ellen's Explorer was our back-up ride.
I offered him a Foster's beer to drink while we waited for Pete.
“Foster's? I haven't had one of those in while. I hope it's the small can, not the liter.
I assured Kevin it was the 12 oz American size, as I poured it into a schooner glass for him.
Kevin just took his first sip when the doorbell rang.
Ellen leaped up and trotted to answer it.
Wouldn't it be funny if it wasn't Pete.
It was of course, Ellen ushered him in, and asked if he wanted a drink. He asked for a Coke, saying he planned to drive tonight, and didn't want any embarrassing confrontations with the local LEOs.
I thought for a minute, and asked him what a LEO was.
Pete laughed, “A LEO is an acronym for local Law Enforcement Officer. I've worked with the Feds so long I'm starting to talk like them.”
He looked at his watch and said it was time we were going. Ellen and I grabbed our parkas and followed the boys out to Pete's car.
“I hope you don't mind riding in a Crown Victoria unmarked cruiser. My own car is a Jeep Wrangler, not that comfortable for dating.”
“Hey, no sweat,” Kevin said, “Can I play with the siren? I always wanted to do that!”
Pete laughed again, and said maybe on the way back.
In what seemed like minutes we pulled up to the Sports bar. We were having such a good time talking that the time just flew by.
A hostess seated us at a booth for six, which gave us room. Ellen looked around.
“We were right, the place must have emptied out after the Bruins game, plenty of tables free.”
A waitress quickly arrived, left menus and took our drink order. Kevin and Pete ordered draft Sam Adams, and with a twinkle in my eye, I ordered Cosmopolitans for Ellen and I.
We resumed our talking from the car. In a few minutes the waitress returned and asked if we knew what we wanted.
The boys got steaks with baked potato and salad, while Ellen got grilled swordfish with mashed potato and salad. I asked for a shrimp cocktail and a Taco salad.
Over dinner we talked Celtics and Bruins, and how it was too bad the Patriots lost in the play-offs this year.
Soon it was time for dessert and coffee, I suggested we go back to our place for coffee as I had baked an apple pie that afternoon, and in the freezer was Ben and Jerry's vanilla ice cream.
It was agreed we'd go to the condo. Kevin and Pete insisted on splitting the bill. We of course agreed.
Once we were in the car, Ellen gave me a nod and I started to tell Pete my story without the cash under the truck's seat. Every now and then Ellen added her two cents worth.
To say Pete was interested was an understatement. My story continued into the house, only stopping while we ate our dessert.
We resumed over coffee in the living room. Pete started asking pointed questions about my real name and where I got the phony ID.
I refused to tell him about Steve's friend, but said how I was having my name legally changed to Ginny Hanson and getting a legal driver's license.
He asked if I would testify against Vincent Morales if he was still alive. Now that, I wasn't sure of.
About this time Ellen started talking about a license to carry for me for protection.
Pete agreed this was a good idea, but not through the local police. He said he'd sign me up for a training course, and then issue me the permit through his office. Ellen and he both felt a long background check might be a problem.
Ellen then mentioned the S&W bodyguard with a laser would be ideal.
Pete smiled and said he got a discount at a gun shop in Woburn near the Woburn Police station.
Kevin looked at his watch and said he had to leave, work comes early on Monday morning.
As we were kissing goodnight, Ellen and Pete swapped more than a handshake, each promising to call the other tomorrow.
She and I sat on the sofa and compared notes on the night's double date.
After removing our make-up we headed for bed.
Monday dawned crisp and cold, with a brilliant blue sky, more like a day in January rather than March.
About noon time the phone rang and Ellen answered it. “Pete, how are you?” I could hear her say. I was surprised when she called out that the call was actually for me.
“Pete, good morning, what's up? Okay, what time? Saturday at 10am, at the Veterans of Foreign Wars building in Revere. Thank you so much, okay, here's Ellen again.”
After she hung up she asked what that was about.
“Pete signed me up for a training course next Saturday at the VFW in Revere. The instructor is a guy called McDermott or something like that.”
Ellen smiled, “Well, you don't ride yet so this works out great.”
I laughed,”He also said a permit in my name was already on his desk, all I need to do is see him for fingerprints and a photo. Then I should go to the dealer and pick up my gun. They agreed to sell it to me at the police discount.”
“That's great, I'll take you to my range again and we can shoot your new pistol. Now, what's for lunch?”
To be continued.
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