"Meeting the Locals"
"Aw, címon Colin, it will be fun," Kate said, as she sat down on top of him in the armchair and wrapped her arms around his neck.
Sheíd been trying to get him to take her into town all afternoon. She was bored, and with the business off to a slow start and the house pretty much unpacked, she found herself going a bit stir-crazy. After his meeting with the Sheriff earlier in the week, Colin was in no hurry to meet any more of the locals anytime soon other than to work on their cars.
"Kate," he sighed, as he gently brushed a strand of her hair from her face with his fingers. "Sweetheart, Iím just not in the mood to mingle with the locals right now. Iíve been workiní all morning and that coupled with tinkering around with Andyís burned out car, Iím rooted. Besides, Iím pretty sure that word has already spread around here about me and my past. Did you notice how some of the people here have been lookiní at me?"
"Donít be silly, Colin. Not everyone knows. And besides, even if they do, so what?!"
"So what?!" asked Colin, staring her in the eyes. "Iíll tell you so what...who is going to want to do business with a convict, Kate? Thatís so what."
"Ex-con, and when word spreads around here about what a great mechanic you are, no one will give a shit about your personal life, anyway."
Kate nuzzled up against Colinís neck, resting her head on his broad shoulder. "Címon, Baby, Iím SO bored. Itís time we get outta this house and live a little. Dinner at the tavern, thatís all Iím asking."
Colin sighed. He knew Kate really had her mind set out going out, and he didnít want to disappoint her. And, he could use a beer about now, anyway. Finally, he grinned and nodded his head. "Okay, but if that nosey sheriff is there, weíre outta there."
Kate smiled brightly and gave him a big kiss on the lips. "T'hank-you, thank-you, thank-you! Youíll see, Baby, it will be great. Just you and me, a bit of dinner and drink, and then, if youíre nice, maybe a bit of dessert afterwards."
"Oh, there will be dessert, I can promise you that," Colin chuckled, as he lifted Kate up out of the chair and carried her to the door.
The tavern was fairly busy that night, though Colin and Kate were able to find a nice table in the corner Ė which suited Colin just fine. Luckily, he saw neither hide nor hair of Sheriff Biebe, so he was able to relax a bit. Still, he couldnít help but feel uneasy amongst the locals.
"Colin, at least pretend like youíre having a good time, wonít you?" she told him, noticing that he kept looking around nervously around the room.
"Sorry, Luv," he told her, setting the dinner menu down on the table. "Some of these people in here are just...um...a bit odd, donít you think?"
"What are you going on about now?" Kate sighed, glanced around the room. "Look like pretty normal folks to me. And look," she said, nodding toward the bar, "Andyís waving at us." She smiled big and waved back at him.
Colin turned around, nodded at Andy, and then turned back to Kate. "Well, he and Steve are obviously the exceptions," he said. "But what about that bloke over there....I mean what the fuck kind of a tosser wears Armani in a place like this?"
Kate tried to stifle a giggle. "Shhh! Heíll hear you!" she giggled again.
"Well, letís just hope Mr. Armani fancy-pants over there takes pride in his vehicles the way he seems to preen over himself, and heíll be giviní us a bit of business in the very near future." He paused, looking about the rest of the room. "And get a load of that sad sack over there," he said, nodding towards an older man wearing glasses who was sitting at a table by himself.
"Poor bastard looks like heís just lost his best Mate or somethiní," Kate replied, as she stared empathetically at the man.
"Yeah, at least Mr. Armani has a sheila to keep him company," Colin chuckled.
"Looks a bit lonely. Maybe we could invite him to sit with us." She stared at the man, empathetically.
Colin nearly spit out his beer, shook his head, "No. Kate, donít even think about it."
"I thought you said you were going to be nice," Kate giggled again.
"No, what I said was that there would definitely be desert," he grinned, leaning back in his chair, smugly. "Being nice never even crossed my mind."
"You two ready to order?" Steve asked, as he walked up to their table.
"Uh..yeah," replied Colin, a bit startled by Steveís sudden presence. He picked up the menu again, gave it a quick glance. "Hamburger, please. And the young lady would like..." he handed his menu to Steve and looked up at Kate.
"Same for me, thank-you," she replied with a smile.
Steve nodded, thanked them, and then left to place their orders.
Colin picked up his beer and took another sip, looked around the room again. Dinner rush was steadily picking up as more people began to file into the tavern.
"You really donít want to be here, do you?" Kate asked, noticing that Colin was still quite uneasy looking.
He sighed, tried to smile. "Sorry, Luv. Long day is all."
She placed a hand on top of his, gave it a squeeze.
Moments later, Steve came back to their table with their food. "Enjoy," he said, as he placed their plates on the table in front of them, then made his way to another table to deliver drinks.
"Alright, then," Kate told Colin, once Steve had gone. "Eat up and Iíll get ya home for a bit of that dessert I promised."
A wide grin spread across Colinís face. "Deal," he said, hurriedly digging in to his food. Kate giggled as she watched him nearly inhale his hamburger in 3 or 4 very large bites, and then guzzle down the remainder of his beer.
"Check, please!" he shouted out to Steve, as he stood and began to rifle through his pocket for some money. He didnít even bother looking at the check as he handed Steve a wad of cash. "Thanks Mate. Keep the change."
"Guess Iíll take mine to go," she giggled again, and then got a to-go box from Steve and quickly packed up the remainder of her dinner. Before she had time to even secure the lid on it, Colin had her out the door and halfway to the car.