“You have a point.”
“So far, nothing that’s happened has hurt or killed anyone. Although, what happened this afternoon could have been very serious. How the hell could a power pole fall down like that?”
“Termites?” It wasn’t a serious suggestion, of course.
“It was deliberate. I just couldn’t begin to tell you how it was done.”
“I’m going to fix some dinner, you stay off that leg. I want you completely back to par.” A quick kiss and she walked to the kitchen and began banging around.
Deacon flipped through the channels and found a movie on HBO an action flick, lots of dangerous looking stunts. He heard the movement in the kitchen stop and a suppressed sniffle.
“Turn it off, please.” Kacy whispered plaintively.
Deacon did so without being asked twice and went to her in the kitchen. Taking her in his arms, he held her closely as she wept again.
“That was the movie, the one where Pete got hurt.”
“I’m so sorry, Kacy, I didn’t know.”
She sniffled, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand. “Nor could you have, I didn’t ever say. I can’t bear to speak the name. They used some of the footage of the accident. Not him actually getting hurt, but the approach. I tried to keep them from using it, but the director said he had every right, and the stunt was too expensive to re-shoot. I did get a court order to stop him from using the explosion.”
“What a heartless bastard.”
“You know what he told me at Pete’s funeral? He said, I’m sorry to see him go, Kacy. He was the best in the biz. Then had the gall to come to the reception, and get roaring drunk, telling everyone how close they’d been. I had him thrown out.”
“Let’s order out Chinese,” he said, changing the subject abruptly as his stomach growled. “I seem to be starving.”
She grinned a little damply. “You men, think with your stomachs.”
“No, ma’am, my brain is lower down. I just can’t function, in any capacity, without food.”
He picked up the phone and dialed the local Chinese restaurant. The number was on a magnet stuck on the fridge.
“I’m in the mood for Moo Goo Gai Pan. How about you?”
“I don’t care, Deacon. I’m not really hungry now.”
Deacon placed the order, getting two combination dinners and then hung up, looking at Kacy worriedly.
“Penny for your thoughts?”
Blinking rapidly, she looked up at him. “Nothing really. Trying not to think.”
She was hugging herself as if cold. It was a warm evening, so it was something else. Deacon put his arms around her, hugging her gently.
“I don’t begin to be an expert on love, relationships or loss. Hell, my one major loss, and I ended up in the nut house. But I’m here, and I’ll listen any time you want. I have broad shoulders and plenty of dry shirts.”
Kacy’s smile was tenuous, but better than the tears threatening to fall. The doorbell rang and he went to answer it, digging his wallet out of his pocket. The cost of the food and a generous tip left him around three dollars.
“How do you like that, not even enough for a pack of cigarettes. I’d go to the ATM, but Frieda froze my assets. I didn’t have a chance to talk to He of the Abominable Ties.“
“Mr. Stevens, he wasn’t about today anyway. Just give him a call tomorrow.”
He nodded, taking a bite of his moo goo gai pan, sighing contentedly. “Damn, this is good! You know how long it’s been since I had Chinese? I can’t even remember.”
His enthusiasm for his meal finally transferred itself to her, and she managed to eat almost half her food. After she declared herself stuffed, Deacon took the rest, eating happily, even though it was cold. Stifling a belch, he leaned back in his chair, arms folded behind his head, gazing out the window at the beach.
“I’m thinking about pulling out of the business up North,” he said without preamble. “Maybe I’ll move here permanently, get a job at the college or something.”
Kacy gazed at him, studying his profile critically. “Are you sure of that? Wouldn’t you eventually miss the hectic pace of the city? Surely you’d want more excitement than this little town has to offer?”
Shaking his head, he continued to gaze out the windows. “You know, I hate the big city? I’m a small town boy from a little, tiny place in Alabama. You know how big my apartment is in the City? You could take my place and put it in this house easy and have over half left over.”
“Wow, that’s awful. I can’t imagine living like that.”
“You have a home, right? A place in California?”
“We had a ranch house out in the Valley. Pretty place. I’m selling it though, too many memories.”
“You know what just occurred to me? I don’t know how my rent up there is going to get paid, it’s done by debit. If Frieda’s put a hold on my accounts, I’ll be homeless!”
Whipping out his cell phone, he called Bernie. Maxine answered.
©2021 Dellani Oakes
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