Before messing with the napping felines, Keith called down to alert Jesse that his guitars (he had the Ovation with him), equipment and luggage would be showing up via the shipping company and, if he didn’t answer the phone, to just put them in storage until tomorrow. If it was after Lesli got home, you could trust neither was going to answer the phone. They likely wouldn’t get out of bed until she had to go to work next morning.
Then, he called Scott’s office and left word to get a call back. It came before he could finish putting together a snack.
“Welcome back,” said Scott.
“How was it?”
“Oh, just awful. Playing every night to a packed house of people who couldn’t get enough. Wall to wall gorgeous women. Got back together with Lesli. And my bank account looks like somebody made a mistake.”
Scott laughed. “Life’s tough, whatcha gonna do?’
“Listen, while I’m in town, make sure contractors know I’m available, huh?”
“You kidding! You need work like Alaska needs snow. You got a break. Take it.”
“Thought you might be thinking that way. Glad I called. No, man, I’m not turnin’ down nothin’. Long as it’s here in town.”
“Fine by me. I’ll get on it. Cool. Hey, I need you to sign a CD and the DVD for my niece, okay?”
“Yeah, sure. Messenger ‘em over.”
“Her name’s Debra. Debbie.”
Keith had every intention of enjoying session work while he was still free to do it. As long as it was during the day. Evenings belonged to him and his lady. And his pain-in-the-neck kitties.
He went back to putting together a plate of what Lesli had left in fridge and cupboard. A few slices of roast beef, some Swiss, Ritz crackers and one lonely pickle. Which he munched on while calling the grocer’s and ordering a boatload of grub.
He looked and saw there was no lack of liquor in the cabinet. “A woman after my own heart.” That was his girl, alright. Kept on hand every good thing money could buy except food. It wouldn’t surprise him if Bruno had starved to death and she simply devised a good cover story, sniffles and all.
A half dozen bags of groceries got there just ahead of Lesli, who walked in bright as sunshine. “Hey, baby!”
He was putting steaks in the freezer. She dropped her briefcase on the kitchen, came over and kissed him. Long and deep. Naturally, he held his own. “Hold that thought,” she said. Went in to change out of her suit and take a shower.
Butch and Sundance finally woke up and he stopped to feed them. Then went back to putting stuff away. Never finished. In middle of everything, she walked in wearing nothing but her slippers and a smile. That was that: Fortunately, he’d already seen to the perishables.
Jesse’s call came. And went unanswered.
At dawn, they began talking about the wedding, figuring out plans. Where to have it, when and like that. She nestled against his chest, an arm draped across his waist.
They spoke about the baby. Between her dad, Lesli and Auntie Lola, that kid was going to have some kind of wardrobe. And every infant toy imaginable. Whichever gender, they’d simply take what didn’t work and some broke parent was going to luck out at the Goodwill store.
Unless, naturally, it turned out to be boy-girl twins. Now, there was a thought. A little Keith and a little Lesli running around the house, making life interesting for their parents.
After a while, he found himself doing most of the talking. Looked at her. Asked, “Whaddya think?”
Next week: Love at last — the series concludes.
Dwight Hobbes welcomes reader responses to P.O. Box 50357, Mpls., 55403.