“We aren’t really strictly formal people. That might be a bit over the top, don’t you think?”
There was a chilly silence. Deacon back peddled, thinking furiously. He decided the best thing to do was treat the entire wedding thing like a set design. He would ask some pointed questions and maybe he could get a firm handle on what she really wanted.
“What kind of mood are you trying to portray?”
“Yeah. Cheerful, sassy, pensive? What?”
“Hm, good question. I think something cheerful and upbeat, don’t you?”
“It’s making me a happy man. I think cheerful is good. And what tone? Formal, casual, elegant?”
There was a short silence as she considered. He could hear her discussing it with Cindy.
“Well, I don’t want strictly formal. I mean I can’t see you dressing in a tailcoat and top hat for this. Nor do I want everyone in bikini’s and flip flops.”
“So we’re going with moderately formal, semi-casual, cheerful, yet elegant?” He winked at Dino.
Dino’s ears were going red. He was afraid Deacon was going to get himself into trouble, but found the entire conversation ludicrous in the extreme.
“Yes,” Kacy answered decisively. “That’s exactly what I want.”
“Then go with eggshell, apricot and butter yellow. It gives a feeling of class, but sass at the same time.”
“Not turquoise?” she sounded a little disappointed.
“I’ve no real objection to it,” he tried to sound serious. “But I think after looking at it, you’ll decide it isn’t what you want. It’s too cool a color.”
“But it’s a winter wedding,” she objected slightly.
“Well then do something really dramatic. Do an evening wedding, semi-formal, tea length gown and have the colors evergreen, champagne and claret.”
There was another pause as she discussed this idea with Cindy.
“You know, that might just work! How clever you are!”
Deacon smirked, giving Dino a thumb’s up as they turned into the parking lot of his office building.
“Now for the nursery,” she began.
Deacon’s phone clicked. He had another call coming through. Checking the caller ID, he saw it was Reyes.
“Sweetie, Reyes is trying to call. Can I get back with you? Anything but Cabbage Patch Kids, Care Bears or Smurfs in the nursery,” he told her in order to redirect her irritation with him for cutting her off.
“Take it, Deacon. Call me when you can. Ta!”
“Bye!” He switched over to Reyes’ call. “Yes?”
“Deacon, hi.” There was a long pause, followed by a deep sigh.
“We just pulled Obi O’Connor out of the inlet,” he told Deacon quietly and unemotionally. “He’d been shot.”
“Obi’s dead?” Deacon couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
“Not quite,” Reyes told him. “But he’s in dreadful shape. He might not make it through the night.”
“Jesus!” Deacon could hardly speak. “What happened?”
“We think it was his co-conspirators. If you saw the news, you know what he was after. He wanted more of a cut. That much we’ve surmised from his behavior. Dumb ass kid! His mom is a wreck. His grandma had a heart attack when she saw the police coming up the front walk. She thought someone had died. She’ll pull through, but she’s hospitalized. Based on what your dad told us, we’ve been able to do some investigating of Mr. Stevens. There’s a warrant out for his arrest.”
“I hear a but hanging in there, Reyes.”
“But he can’t be found. We think he skipped town, actually left the country. A man matching his description was seen at the Daytona International Airport about an hour ago, catching a connecting flight to the Bahamas from Miami. Miami police will be watching the flights in and out, but it’s still no guarantee.”
“He can’t get away with it, Reyes. This is unacceptable!”
“We’re trying, Deacon. That’s all I can tell you now.”
“I know, Reyes. I apologize for my temper. God knows I’m not myself lately.”
“Bring Dino up to speed, would you? I’ve got a call coming in on my other line.”
“Will do. Thanks.”
Deacon hung up, sighing heavily. Dino could tell he was upset and suspected he knew why. He too sighed when Deacon told him what was happening.
“Some folks may not agree,” Dino said quietly. “But God’s justice is swift and true. He may not get it in this life, but he’ll get it in the next! Come on in, Deacon. Don’t dwell on it.”
They walked into the office and took the plans out of the safe. Deacon unrolled them on Dino’s huge, mahogany desk. He stared at the blueprints, daring them to speak to him. After examining them for several minutes, he rubbed his eyes and exhaled slowly.
“I still don’t see it. I know good and damn well it’s there, but I still don’t…. Oh, my God! There!” He pointed to the stage floor directly behind where the wall of the set had come out.
©2021 Dellani Oakes
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