The Courtship of Alexis Hawkins
03 Dinner at His Place
»-(¯`·.·´¯)->August 9, 2013<-(¯`·.·´¯)-«
“Mr. Mayor.” The older savannah cat stood in the opening of the kitchen as Steven stood at the Oversized mansion stove.
The kestrel looked over his shoulder at the one of the few house staff he kept on just to maintain the over sized house the city has set aside for the Mayor. “How many times have I told you, Charles, Call me Steven. If I wanted that Mr. Mayor stuff I would stay at the office.”
“Very well sir,” the almost overly stereotypical British butler replied. “I have sent the Others home as you have instructed. Are you sure you want me to leave as well? From what I have heard of your guests I would advise you not to be here alone.”
Steven turned from his simmering pots as he said, “And what have you heard that I haven’t?”
“Well sir,” the older feline stood at a nearly military parade rest with his paws behind his back as he spoke, “My nephew, Richard...”
“Private Goodman?” Seven asked as he returned to tending the meal for ten he worked diligently on for the majority of the day.
“Yes, sir,” The Savannah cat said with a slightly annoyed sound in his voice. “He told me of this Ms. Fargo and his encounter with her at the Station down town.”
“What, did she walk in with a knife the size of his forearm?”
“Not quite sir. A forty-five caliber handgun, fully loaded with a round chambered.”
“And Ms. Hawkins knocked out poor Mr. Zaretzky. I am not seeing a problem yet. The group that I met seemed well rounded and on top of their game.” Steven said as he moved one pot from a hot burner to a hot plate and replaced it with a new empty pot before adding ingredients to it. “They were all hard at work doing renovations to that house making it ready for their Project.”
“Yes sir,” Charles said as he chuckled slightly, breaking the reserved butler facade of only a moment as he added, “I remember when you returned Monday from your… visit to their project. Covered in paint and mumbling something about losing your mind.”
Seven chuckled at himself as Charles reminded him of his mindset after his last visit to Ms. Hawkins took a turn for the weird when the younger members of the group had returned home. “Okay, Charles. Before you go The dining room is set for ten correct?”
“Yes, Sir, As you instructed, the ladies set the table for ten. I was under the impression there were only seven members of the group. Is there any particular reason you set for ten guests?”
“Just call me cautious,” Steven said as he stirred a pot with each hand. “I invited them all and it sounds like they multiply when they go on vacation.” He turned and looked at the old Savannah cat with a smile, “Have a seat Charles, and let me tell you what I did learn during my visit.”
“As you wish, sir,” Charles said as he took a seat in a chair next to the door.
“This is a small group of Army vets that served together. After getting out of the service they all kind of went their own ways. They kept in touch like many small unit members do, but really they didn’t have much to do with each other beyond a monthly call initiated by Lilliana Fargo.” Steven continued to prepare the meal as he told the story. “That was until Ms. Fargo found the young kangaroo mouse, Cecily.” Steven chuckled to himself as he thought about the story the way Alex had told it. “To hear Boomer tell it, Lilly started calling them all within hours of setting on the road with the young girl.”
“Boomer, sir?” Charles asked as he cocked his eyebrow.
“I’m sorry, Ms. Hawkins. They all seem to have nicknames.” Steven said as he smiled and sighed taking in the scent and flavor of the chicken broth he simmered. “Anyway, Ms Fargo set the entire group in motion to get an expedited adoption done. To be honest I am impressed if what she said is true. Normal adoptions take years, many expedited adoptions still take months. This group, when set in motion with a purpose managed to do the impossible in complete the adoption in less than a month, in time to get the girl and her new mother on a cruise to Hawaii.”
“Before setting out on the cruise, they started making plans for this home for wayward youths.” The kestrel turned from the stove as sat on a high stool as he faces his butler. “They had the idea, and the willpower to make it happen. They just didn't know where they were going to do it. A group of now unemployed Vets, hell bent on making the crazy dream of a young troubled mouse a reality. And within a month of raw thought on a crazy Idea to help out everyone they can reach, this group found a job, and a property to use. Made one of the biggest private land purchases here in Marblecliff. They started dumping money into our economy like they didn’t care. I swear I saw a sign outside Lows noting that they were out of lumber for the day.”
“Sir, you have to ask yourself something before you get too caught up in this group.” The concern look in the Savannah cat’s eye gave Steven pause. “They came out of nowhere and started throwing money around. They have no history of charitable works. The registered a non-profit, therefore they are not putting any money into the taxes. They Plan a house for wayward youths in the worst possible location in the city, near your biggest political rival. This does not sound like a well thought out project to me. It is as if they are planning as they go, or it is a front for something… less than kosher. You've been seen with this Ms. Hawkins, she is now connected to you, especially after the events the other night. If things don’t happen the way you think they will, it could end very badly for you.”
Steven leaned forward as he looked at Charles. “You didn’t see this mouse. There is something about her. Alex said it herself. Cecily may be broken, may be hurting, she even said something about the mouse being a danger to herself or others. But Cecily Silvana Fargo wants to save others from becoming like her. She truly wants to give everyone a place to come, a safe place where people care. If no one else in that house cared, Cecily would.” He leaned back slightly as he continued, “The look in that girls eyes when she said that it was her house, her home, That moment right there sold me on the truth of their plans.”
“And Ms. Hawkins has nothing to do with your interest?”
“Who are you kidding?” Steven spun on the stool to check his meal as it cooked. “She’s beautiful, smart, bluntly honest with what she thinks. and exactly the opposite of every other woman that has ever tried to wiggle into my shadow. I really think she could care less about who I am.”
“Is she even interested in you, sir. It’s been a while and I don’t want to see you damage everything you have gained in the pursuit of a woman that doesn’t even want to be pursued by you.”
“To be honest Charles, I have no idea.” Steven sighed as he thought about the few times they had been together. “Half the time, when she first looks at me, I see… Its like she is looking for something, but hiding from it at the same time. I’m going to take this slow, Boomer is not the kind of woman you can rush into anything she is not sure she wants. So I’ll wait for her to make the first real move.” He thought about the warning the two other members of the group had given him as he stirred the boiling pot.
Charles stood and nodded his head, “I think that would be wise, sir. And I will take my leave as you have instructed. I wish you luck on you dinner party, Sir”
“Thanks Charles, I’ll need it.”
As Steven finished setting all the hot portions of the meal in the warming oven the sound of the multi-tone door chime echoed through the house. He swiftly pulled off the cook’s apron and tossed it over the stool by the stove as he sprinted through the mansion toward the main entrance. As his talons clicked through the marble floored hall he thought about Charles' warning and how he met Alex. He slid across the foyer as he snached a suit jacket off a sidebar he had set there just for the occasion. He straightened his tie and checked his appearance as he caught his breath before answering the door. Standing before him was a tall, six foot if not more, liger in a cocktail dress under a tight leather motorcycle jacket. The look was a strange cross between formal and fun with a hard line between the two formed at her waist as the black leather jacked ended and the flear of the white ruffled gown started. The front of the dress only came down to her knees while the back cascades to just above the ground. The sight of the liger and memory of the dress that Alex had worn before made Stevens heart race. “Good evening, you must be Ms. Fargo.”
As she unzipped and removed the jacket, revealing the low cut front of the backless dress, she said, “If you say so Jeeves.” She tossed the jacket at him as she stepped through the door and asked, “So Alfred, where do you keep the bat cave?”
A soft voice came from behind her, “Lilly, That’s the Mayor Archer.” The small kangaroo mouse stood in front of the much taller moose in a black and white floral lace dress, her arm in a pink and black cast covered with doodles and signatures.
The moose was wearing a strapless blue dress with a high band just below her breasts which allowed the remainder of the lacy skirt to flow freely as it hung down to her knees. Steven said to the couple as they followed the liger through the door, “You two young ladies look lovely this evening.”
“So why does the most important man in the city have to answer his own door? Even we have a butler.” Lilliana said as she looked around the foyer. The place had a dual curved staircase that curved up either side of the main entrance. Above the upper balcony was a larger than life portrait of what must have been one of the previous mayors.
“I let the staff have the day off,” Steven said as he took her jacket, “Do you happen to know when the others will be along?”
“They were getting ready,” she said, “They said something about having used too much sedatives in her drink and needed to carry her to the car.”
Daisy’s eyes went wide as she asked, “Is that why Alex fell down the stairs?”
“She said she wasn’t going to come,” Cecily mentioned. She looked around at the vast open space of the entry way. She looked up at Daisy as her tail wrapped around the moose’s leg.
“Wait what?” Steven looked at the small group wondering if it was a joke. Before he could formulate a response Susan approached the entryway. She was in a simple white dress that accentuated her curvy figure. “I really didn’t intend for this to be a formal event,” he said as the chinchilla walked through the door.
As she passed the kestrel Susan said, “We had to dress up to even out to casual. At least I got a shirt on Hank.”
Her comment didn’t make much sense to Steven until he saw the otter walking up the drive. He seemed so out of place with the rest of the group anyone might think he was hired help at the mayoral estate. He didn’t look much different than the one time Steven had seen him, in overalls with a straw hat and plaid work shirt. He looked like any country farm hand or groundskeeper one might see in the neighborhood. The shock was the sight of the eagle draped over his shoulder like a sack of feed. “Where do you want me to drop her,” Hank asked as he reached the slack-beaked avian.
“Umm…” Steven glanced to the side and pointed as he added, “You can lay her down in the east sitting room.” Hank followed his finger and carried Alex into the distant room. When the otter rejoined the smaller group Seven turned to them and smiled, “If you would like I can give you a tour of the grounds.”
“No need,” Lilliana said, as she turned to Cecily and said, “What have we got?”
The small mouse squeaked slightly before she spoke, “Fewer square feet than the Dark Rider house. There are gardens in the back, one rose garden and a victory garden added at the start of Mayor Archer’s first term in office. Much of the fresh produce used in the mansion is now grown on the land at no cost to the taxpayer other than the five gardeners, often student volunteers from the local high school that get compensated for their time.” Cecily rubbed her paw along her cast as she added, “Hank went over infiltration points and possible target rooms, But I don’t think that is important here. Safest location in an attack would be the wine cellar. Only one entrance and the shelving would provide cover in a firefight.”
As the small mouse went over the information as if in a combat briefing, Steven looked around at the others. He asked, “Do you do this for every place you go? A full breakdown and analysis of the surroundings as if it is some kind of mission?”
“Nope,” Lilliana said with a smile, “Just wanted to freak you out a little.”
Steven looked at the obvious newest member of the group as Daisy stood slightly behind the mouse the mild stunned look on her face telling him that she didn’t even know the mouse had going over the information she shared. He leaned closer to the moose and asked, “Is that normal?”
“You should just be glad she didn’t tell you the brand of tissue that’s in the upstairs hall bathroom,” the moose replied, her expression unchanged as she spoke.
“Mouse Bait and Squeaker,” Lilliana started, “Recon the area and get photographs and paced layouts. Fluffy, Mr. Wiggles, secure the transportation and check the perimeter.” She turned and looked at the Mayor as she added, “Feather Duster, check on Boomer, she should be coming too soon. I have to hit the head.”
Steven stood for a moment as the group seemed to follow the ligers nonsensical orders without question. The chinchilla and otter headed back out the front door while the mouse pulled a camera from her denim backpack and started taking pictures in what almost seemed a helter skelter fashion as she held it clumsily between her arm in the cast and the unbroken one. Daisy followed the smaller girl almost protectively as they began to explore the lower floor of the mansion. All the members of the group seemed to know just where they were going without asking directions. He soon found himself alone in the foyer with the ligers jacket draped over his wing.
»-(¯`·.·´¯)->I ain’t goin' on no plane<-(¯`·.·´¯)-«
Alex shook her head as the grogginess slowly faded. She looked around the unfamiliar room as things slowly came into focus. The room was carpeted and furnished. She tried to remember where she was as the floral patterns of the furniture came into focus. She quickly sat up on the Victorian style claw-footed couch as she realized what had happened. She looked down at her clothing only a moment before she screamed and jumped to her feet. She swiftly tore off the jacket and threw it to the couch she had been sat on before she started frantically unbuttoning her blouse. She froze as a voice sounded behind her.
“You’re awake,” Steven said as he pulled the door to the tea room closed behind him. “I hope you are…”
“GE’OUT,” Alex screamed without moving.
“I’m sorry, I understand how they got you here,” Steven started to walk into the room as he tried to apologize for the situation. “This was supposed to be a friendly get together to meet you all in a relaxed environment…”
As he drew closer to her, Alex screamed again, louder “GE’OU’FUR I Clawyaeyesou’!” She felt suddenly dizzy as she screamed at the kestrel.
Steven stopped in his tracks, unsure if it was anger, fear or frustration in her voice. He remained quiet as he watched standing nearly motionless. She started to waver in place he asked, “Are you Okay?”
“I’m…. Fine…” She said just before she collapsed to the floor.
Steven rushed around the small couch to find her sprawled out on the floor. her shirt unbuttoned to just above her skirt. He tried to ignore the fact that she was apparently stripping as soon as she woke up the first time as he dropped to his knees to check on her. His simple first aid training kicked in as he leaned his ear hole near her beak to listen for breath. He breathed a sigh of relief as he watched the steady rise and fall of her chest. He swallowed as the moment caught up to him. The sight of her dark brown chest feathers and the simple black lace bra lay exposed in the half unfastened blouse. Steven sat motionless as he remained perched over her, eyes locked on the gap in her clothing as he listened to the soft breath that flowed in and out of her nostrils. He closed his eyes to clear his head just as the soft voice whispered into his ear, “Ya get a goo’ look?”
Steven jerked back, falling to his tail as he tried to move away quickly, “I… was checking…”
Alex sat up on the floor turning to look at him as she said, “Checkin’ turned ta lookin’ aftah tree er four breat’s. “ow long till ya was gonna cop a feel? Ya do da ta every giahl dat passes out in ya ‘ouse?” As she spoke she returned to unfastening the buttons of her blouse.
“I wasn’t… It’s not…” the kestrel stammered for words as he watched her continue to strip. “What... what are you doing?”
“Ya done seen da goods,” She said as she pulled the tail of the shirt from the waist of the skirt. “Don’ be gettin bashful now.”
“What do…” Steven started to talk not sure what to say or ask in his current state of confusion. He was not sure what she planned on doing, or if he’d even try to stop her if things continued to go where his mind had started to take them. “I don’t think it’s a good idea to do this here. The rest of your group could…”
“Wha’, walk in on me changin’? Dey done seen it all bafer,” Alex cut him off as she stood up to straighten the blouse over her body and began unbuttoning it. Steven sat silent as he watched her unzip the side of her skirt and let it fall open just far enough to flash the black panties that didn’t quite match the bra. “Wha’ da fuck? ‘oo dressed me , ‘ank? Not’in’ matches.”
As she tucked the shirt in Steven tilted his head while he asked, “Does it matter? Most women don’t put that much effort into matching their under garments?”
“So ya was lookin’.”
“No…” Steven started to deny for a moment feeling like a teen caught with his first lingerie catalog, “Not intentionally. I can't really help it when your flashing it at me.” Emboldened slightly as he wrapped his mind around the fact that this was not the first woman he’d seen in varying stages of undress, “Besides, its almost like you want me to look now.”
“Ya already done seened it,” the eagle said as she sat down on the couch picking up the jacket she had discarded. “Dey can’t even get da jacket dat matches da skirt.”
Steven got up off the floor as he tried to figure out what was wrong with the grey jacket and grey skirt. He sat in a chair facing Alex as he offered the question, “What’s wrong with the jacket? It looks great on you to me.”
She leaned at him as she answered, “If ya was lookin’ at more den da boobs ya’d see dat dey ain’t even da same colah.”
The kestrel tilted his head as he examined the jacket and skirt from the distance. “They’re both grey, I really don’t see the issue.”
Alex stood and walked over to him, jacket in her hand. He watched as she nearly shoved the jacket into his face. “See? Dis is gainsboro.” she dropped the jacket from his view, leaving him staring at her breasts yet again as she lifted the skirt, drawing his attention as the black panies flashed into view beneith. “Dis is ligh’grey. Dey aint da same colah.” Stevens eyes moved to focus on the skirt itself when she draped the arm of the jacket next to it in a fashion that blocked his view of her under garments. “See, i’s two chades lightah. I can’t wayah dis.”
Steven leaned in close as he examined the two garments. In the light from the windows he could barely make out the minute differences in the two shades of grey. If it had been a jacket and pants in his wardrobe he would have contributed the slight difference to fading and worn the combination anyway. He leaned back in the armchair and looked up into Alex’s golden eyes as he carefully and quickly formulated his response. “I can see what you mean, MS. Hawkins. It was hard to tell in the light, but you're right, they are different colors. Also considering the rest of the women in your group are wearing cocktail dresses it would be down right unseemly for you to come to dinner in a business style blouse and skirt. I’m sorry ms. Hawkins, I can’t have you at my dinner dressed like that.”
Alex cocked an eyebrow as she looked at the kestrel. “Wha’der ya tryin’ ta say?”
He pulled the phone from his pocket and began to dial as he answered, “I can’t let you go out there like that when everyone else is all gussied up.” he held the phone to the side of his head as he stood and walked to and looked out the window. “Nancy, It’s Steven. Yeah, Yeah, I’m off tonight so drop the Mr. Mayor stuff already, at least call me Mr. Archer. But, what I wanted to talk to you about. I have a little wardrobe issue here at the house. I need someone to pick something up for me.”
»-(¯`·.·´¯)->An offer you can’t refuse<-(¯`·.·´¯)-«
Steven walked through the halls of the large dwelling the city had set aside to house the Mayor and his family. He often wondered why he bothered to stay in the oversized house that was often occupied more by the staff than anyone. The sound of laughing filled the hall and brought a smile to his face as he made his way to the library. From the sound of things, the guests he had lost track of while dealing with Ms. Hawkins’ wardrobe issue were gathered there on their own. He leaned in the doorway for a moment as he watched the odd group congregate and entertain themselves in the smaller room. He had almost felt bad for not doing his duty as host and entertain his guests, At least until he saw the scene before him.
Lilliana stood by the opened globe, pouring small glasses of brandy from his private stock, as the otter and chinchilla sat in arm chairs holding a conversation between the three. The moose stood behind the large oak desk that sat in front of a large picture window, leaning down and talking to the mouse that sat, dwarfed in the large high-back leather chair. The sight was something akin to an ending scene to any holiday special one would see on late night T.V. The close knit group appeared more like a family than he had seen in years. He smiled as he watched the group for several moments unnoticed, until the phone at his side sounded off with the standard cellular ringtone. The entire group turned their attention to him as he held the small device to his ear. “Thank you,” he said into the phone before addressing the group. “It appears that dinner will be served shortly. Due to the unexpected condition of one of our guests I called in some of the staff to assist with the serving.”
“Speaking of which,” the liger said as she walked over to the kestrel with two glasses of his brandy, “How is the chicken doing?”
“Chicken?” Steven asked confused for a moment before the obvious comment clicked in his mind. “Oh! Ms. Hawkins in doing fine. She was a little disoriented and out of sorts when she came too, but I think we have her taken care of. She will be joining us in the dining room shortly.” He took the offered glass from Lilliana as he added, “If you would follow me, We can adjourn to the dining room our selves for the home made meal I personally prepared for my guests.”
“Hot damn,” Susan said excitedly as she stood up from the armchair, “A real meal and not take out. This might have been worth the hassle of drugging an eagle after all.”
“Speak for yourself,” Hank resounded, “You didn’t have to carry her to the car.”
Steven smiled again as he watched the mouse reach up to Daisy , and the moose lift her out of the chair without a second thought before joining the rest. “Right this way Ladies and gentlemen,” he said as he turned to lead them to the dining room, even though he was sure they knew the way as well as he did. “To be honest I wasn’t expecting to go to this amount of trouble for this little dinner. But I really should have known better after the few encounters I have had with your group.”
“Family,” the small mouse corrected from the arms of her girlfriend. “We are a family.”
Steven turned to look at her as he said, “I am so sorry for the confusion. I am still getting used to your family, and to be honest I am a little envious of you, and them.” As he finished his apology he turned to open the french doors that led into the oversized dining room. Inside several poodle girls dressed in maid outfits rushed about setting items on the table. “Please have a seat anywhere. The ladies will gladly help you with anything you may need.” As he waved his wing across the room he made his way to the head of the table followed closely by Lilliana and the teens as the other two in the group seemed to instinctively file to the opposite side of the table. As they all took their seats, Susan and Hank leaving one next to the Mayor vacant. “While we wait for our other guest and enjoy our salads and tea, Why don’t you all tell me more about your project.”
Lilliana blatantly turned and scraped the leafy jumble of vegetables onto the plate in front of Daisy and Cecily as she said, “The best one to ask is Squeaker, she’s the boss on this one.”
“Squeaker?” he asked curiously before the even more obvious reference to the mouse clicked. “Okay, before we move on and I look like even more of an ass maybe we can do introductions.” He stood up and started, “I am Stephen Archer, your humble host and Mayor of this fine town. I would be more than happy for you all to call me Steven as I try to keep this gathering as informal as I still can.”
Before he sat back down the dining room door opened as the older Savannah cat ushered in the final guest. “Miss Alexis Hawkins,” he announced as the eagle walked around him. Steven stood as dumbfounded as the night at the banquet. She was dressed in a long black dress, the skirt split along one leg up to just above her mid thigh The shoulders were made of gold floral lace shimmered in the chandelier light in the bark brown of her body feathers. His eyes were locked onto her with all the others in the room as she walked around the table, her bare feet and talons clicking against the polished tile floor. He could tell that the dress was a bit loose on her, but she still filled it out nicely. He wasn’t sure if it was the fact that Alex had the body and presence to make anything she put on look great or if it was just his infatuation with her and her earlier near strip tease that made his mind swim at the sight or her.
“Now that’s just no fair,” Susan said with a smirk, “getting your boyfriend to call in the cavalry over a wardrobe concern is cheating.”
Alex dropped into the vacant seat beside the head of the table with a huff as she said, “I didn’ do it. “e did it all on ‘is own.”
Lilliana leaned her elbows on the table as she folded her fingers together with a grin on her muzzle. “So, you admit it then. He’s your…”
Before the liger could finish her comment Steven tapped his water glass with his fork getting everyone's attention. “Sorry to interrupt, but I would like to get back to the introductions as you all seem to have nicknames that I am not familiar with. And I am a bit slow on the uptake today apparently.”
“I’ll make it a bit easier for you,” Lilliana said as she leaned back in her chair. “Let’s just keep it to a first name thing for the informality that you were hoping for. I think you have everyone’s name here for that. So we can just jump into the topic that was so boldly interrupted by Alex with her Cinderella entrance.”
Steven smiled as he sat back down. “I think I can deal with that.” almost instantly their dinner continued as Cecily and the others explained their idea and how they planned on doing things. Soon the conversation had devolved into stories and jokes as they eat the multi course meal that Steven had made for them. The group sat for hours as the wait staff refilled drinks, cleared and reset the table between courses. As the group laughed at Hank’s expense for his first meeting with Cecily the poodles came out with several plates of cake and ice-cream.
Lilliana leaned over the warm chocolate and cold vanilla combination as she said, “Look at this shit. I knew you politicians were into bribery and underhanded tactics, but I am impress with this method.”
Steven cocked an eyebrow at the liger’s comment as he asked, “Bribe, what do you mean?”
“The way to a man’s heart may be through his stomach, but the way to get to Lilly is with cake… any kind of cake,” Daisy said only half jokingly. “It seems to be some kind of a thing, or fetish, or some shit with her. The woman brings up cake at the weirdest times you can imagine.”
The kestrel chuckled lightly as he said, “Speaking of politics I have an old friend that might be able to help you guys out with something interesting. One of the guys I went to college with runs one of the Private school systems here in town, maybe you’ve heard of it, Mythic School.” As he spoke he noticed Lilliana raise an eyebrow. “Now that I think of it, Susan or Alex mentioned that you will be working at the high school. What I was thinking is I can drop him a line about creating a scholarship with the schools for residents of the Dark Rider House. To give them the best possible opportunities to advance we can manage.”
Lilliana dropped her fork on the plate of now soggy cake and said, “We? So you’re now in on this too? Wouldn’t that be a conflict of interest?”
“No, absolutely not,” The avian replied as he dug his fork into the moist cake. “My platform has always been about what is best for the city, and I think your organization and what you plan on doing is something that will be a great asset to have in the city. As long as I am not an official member of the group or have any decision making powers within the group, I can freely support you.”
“Now that sounds like something Susan would come up with.” Lilliana said as she grinned at the chinchilla.
“I’ve been saying for the past three weeks now,” Susan replied, “Having the mayor on our side is a good thing.”
»-(¯`·.·´¯)->Shooting his own foot<-(¯`·.·´¯)-«
After dessert the group decided to take a stroll in the rose garden. Daisy and Cecily disappeared from their sight rather quickly as the mouse bounced down the cobblestone path with the moose fruitlessly reminding her of what the doctor said about jumping with her freshly broken arm. As they walked side by side the two avians engaged in small talk about the weather, current events.
“Da pro’lum wit’ gun control is dait only takes da guns ouda da ‘ands of da law abidin’ citizens. Da criminals are gonna break da law anyway,” Alex said as the conversation curved to gun control. “Da police ain’t dere ta save ya, dey just pick up da pices and try to figuah ou’ wha’ ‘appened. We chould ‘ave da powah to defen’ ourselves instead of watin’ for da cops ta give us a toe tag.”
“Those are some good points and firearms in the paws of responsible citizens is a good thing until they abuse that right,” Steven said as he suddenly realized they were alone. He didn’t notice the other three adults vanish without a trace. Slightly emboldened by the intimacy of the solitary moment, and possibly his mild arousal from the look of the eagle in the evening gown he switched topic to more personal matters. “You know what? I’ve known you for three weeks now and I still have no idea what you do for a living.”
“Really? what kind?”
“Criminal mos’ly,” She said as she hooked her hands behind her back still unaware that they were alone. “I’ve done a lot a pro bono juvenile work.”
Steven chuckled slightly as he said, “I would never have thought that.”
“Wha’are ya tryin’ ta say? I’m no’ smart enogh fer dat?”
“No its nothing like that. It’s your attitude and bluntness. After what you did to Mr. Zaritzky the other day, I can just imagine you in court. You must be very persuasive, or more likely intimidating. I wouldn’t want to face you.”
“I los’ my tempah back dere,” she said with a sight. “It chuldn’t a ‘appened. I’m uualy good at keepin’ it undah control.”
“You have no idea how many times I wanted to do that to him. I really have no idea why he keeps getting re-elected. he is so unpopular among some of the special interest groups, I really think it’s the fact that he has always been there and he is usually in favor of anything the helps the upper class, and himself.”
“I’m kinna suprised dat ‘e didn’ press charges ovah dat.”
“Yeah, I kind of smoothed that over Monday,” the kestrel offered as he puffed out his chest with a bit of pride. “He’s really all bark and no bite.”
“Smooved it ovah? Whadayamean smooved it ovah?”
“Yeah he came into the office on Monday, broken bandaged snout and everything. We kind of struck a deal. I let one of his pet projects go through and he leaves you and the Dark Rider group alone.”
Alex stopped and grabbed the collar of Stevens shirt as she pulled him around to face her. He swallowed hard as the look of anger filled the eagles eyes. “Ya fuckin’ ass’ole, I coulda ‘andledtda weasle, you didn’ need ta step in. I ain’t no damsel in distress, I cen ‘andle my own akchuns.”
“Hey, Boomer, I was just trying to make things easier for you and your group to get your foot in the door. Roman is not a man to be trifled with.” Steven said in defense of his actions. “People may not like him, but he is old blood on the council and still has a lot of pull. Like I said, I think your project is a good thing for this city, and I didn’t want him to get in the way of it, or you.”
“So, i’s all abou’ da Dahk Ridah ‘ouse,” Alex said the look of anger still burning in her eyes. “I’ll telll ya what, Ya can keep ya ‘elp as fah as I kayah. And if ya call me Boomah again, I’ll slap da beak off ya face.” As she finished Alex turned and stormed off away from Steve, leaving him alone in the garden.
He turned and sat on a wooden bench under a rose-vine covered trellis. Sighing as he hung his head he thought about how every time he thought he was getting a step closer to breaking through her shell, Alex tossed another bombshell his way. The more he was around her the more he wanted to be, but the more his actions seemed to push her away.