from Ghosts of a Lighthouse in Autumn
That day when I went into the Pub, Norb was sitting at the bar with Turtle Brewster and a guy I'd never seen before.
“Hi, guys,” I said. “Okay if I join you?” I stashed my paint box and easel on a table and hopped up on the bar stool next to Norb.
“You don't have to ask,” Turtle said. “Give the young lady a gin and tonic,” he said to the bartender, a short, bored-looking woman I'd never seen before. She got up off the stool behind the bar where she had been reading a romance novel and reached for the bar gin.
“Use the good stuff,” Turtle said. “We don't want our princess drinking that rot-gut.”
I like being with the Geezers because they always buy me drinks and call me “young lady” or “princess” and make a fuss over me. I turned thirty last summer and haven't been real thrilled about that.
“Good day painting?” he asked.
“Turtle,” Mitch said, nudging Turtle, and nodding in my direction.
Turtle put his drink down and then looked over at me. “Where's my manners?” he said. “Fleur, this here's a good customer of mine, Mitch St. Pierre. He come up here from Nahant to get another tattoo today. Mitch, this pretty lady is named Fleur. She's about the best darn artist in town and a real little honey bunch, too. You be nice to her.”
“Fleur,” Mitch said. “That's a pretty name.”
“My real name's Felicia,” I said. “But everybody calls me Fleur.”
“Well, Fleur, I'd like to buy you a drink.” He nodded to the bartender who was absorbed in her reading but looked up with annoyance. “Whatever the lady's having,” he said. “In fact give us all one. I had a good catch today.”
“Are you a fisherman?” I asked. He looked like someone who worked outdoors. He had huge, rugged hands, and sun-darkened skin even in the middle of March.
“Yeah,” he said. “Fish, lobsters, shrimp, scallops. Whatever there's the most of. I took today's catch to the fish auction in Gloucester and then come up here and treated myself to a new tattoo.” He pulled up his sweatshirt to expose an awfully nice looking abdomen. There was a bandage on his side. “I musta known I'd be meeting you today cause I got a rose.” He dropped his shirt and winked at me. My jeans felt tight and itchy and I knew how that day was going to end.
from The Crazy Old Lady's Secret
Before Viv and Joe reached Marek they were intercepted by a woman who appeared to be the only person in attendance not wearing evening dress. She was middle aged with stylish ash blond hair and wearing an impeccably tailored silk suit.
“Fritzi.” Viv smiled at her. “I thought you’d be here. Let me introduce you to my husband. Joe, this is Fritzi Wigglesworth, the writer who interviewed me for the magazine article.”
Fritzi shook Joe’s hand and glanced at Viv. “I should have known you’d land a hunk. I never meet men like this.” She flashed him a dazzling smile. “Are there more where you come from?”
“I have five brothers.” Joe winked at her. “Two of them are single. If you don’t mind guys from Southie. Speaking of which…” He lowered his voice to a confidential tone. Fritzi appeared enthralled. “My wife and I were just speculating about where Marek Beaux got the dough for this gallery. We know him from a Southie gym—I never took him for an art dealer.”
“Really?” Fritzi’s eyes widened. “How long have you known him?”
“Oh.” Joe glanced at Viv who shrugged. “At least a few years. I’ve never said more than a few words to him but I know he was a member when we still used the old weight room and that had to be three or four years ago. Why?”
“That’s interesting.” Fritzi glanced sideways at Marek who was deep in conversation. “I only heard of him when he started the renovations on this building. I assumed that he was new in town.”
Thanks for reading!