Living Arrangements

Started by Tommy Sloan at Oct 11, 2020 7:47 PM
March 14, 1924
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12 Posts

Tommy Sloan

Federal Agent
150
?Years Young
105 Posts

"Fulfill the prophecy;
Be something greater;
Go make a legacy;
Manifest destiny"


It was just about noon, and all over Miami people were knocking off work for lunch. Tommy was one of the throng, but unlike many of the people, he had a destination in mind.

He entered the little cafe Gracie had told him about over the phone and took a seat where he could see when she came in. He was eager to see her dancing blue eyes and warm smile again. It felt like it had been a month since he'd seen her, even though it had only been a week or two.

He ordered a coffee and waited, watching the window so he could get up when she came in. She had called him the day before and wanted to meet to talk through something. She hadn't said what that something was, but if it was important enough for her to contact him out of the blue, then he wanted to hear what she had to say.


Grace (Gracie) Stroud

Waitress
408
?Years Young
183 Posts

The song is done. The melody lingers on. You and the song are gone. But the melody lingers on.


Gracie didn't yet have her normal spring to her walk but she was at least upping her pace as each day brought further improvement to her injury. The pain was basically gone if not the unease that she was now a target and there was always the chance he would try it again. For that very reason, she now carried a purse around with her at all times and inside was her .45, Johnnie's former piece. And she damn well knew how to use it. Still, though more prepared, she still couldn't help being a bit nervous out in the open. But one had to live their life.

Reaching the cafe, she spotted Tommy already within through the bay window. He was alert too and was leaving his seat, no doubt to greet her. By the time she opened the front door and entered, there he was with that impossibly adorable smile of his.

"Hey there! Guess I picked a busy time huh?" she forced herself to take her eyes off his handsome face and check for an open booth. There were only a couple left.

"Glad you could make it though, hon. Cuz I got somethin' to say and I think it's important," she announced with a smile of her own.


Tommy Sloan

Federal Agent
150
?Years Young
105 Posts

"Fulfill the prophecy;
Be something greater;
Go make a legacy;
Manifest destiny"


Gracie looked a little paler than when he had seen her last - he put that down to just not getting sun on the Chanteuse - but she was still gorgeous. She had been searching for him, it seemed, and their eyes met almost at the same time.

"Busy enough. But I can tune all this out if I'm listening to you.You want a coffee or somethin'?" His smile turned into a grin as he gestured at the cafe and the street, then went to grab his coffee. In his mind this was a little like another date, so of course he was buying. There was no way the dead Johnnie O'Doul could show him up with coffee.

Finally she mentioned the reason why she had asked him to come today, and he had been right. It was important. But he still didn't know what it was, which made him all the more impatient to know.

"If it's comin' out of your mouth it's gotta be important." He raised one eyebrow in a flirtatious manner and put his arm on the back of the booth. Suddenly he had a horrible thought. What if she didn't want to see him anymore?

"What is it?" His face showed his worry as he leaned forward, staring at her intently.


Grace (Gracie) Stroud

Waitress
408
?Years Young
183 Posts

The song is done. The melody lingers on. You and the song are gone. But the melody lingers on.


"Sure, I'll take a coffee......with cream and sugar, two cubes," Gracie nodded to his offer.

Once they were seated, Gracie placed her purse on the table, close to her right side where she could reach into it with her gun hand - if she needed to. One couldn't be too careful. The .45 Colt 1911 pistol already had the safety off and was fully loaded. She had to chuckle at how much importance he seemed to place on her every word.

"Would that include if I threw up?" she quipped.

But he was eager, even a bit nervous to hear what this was all about. No sense small talking she figured.

"Well, you know I been stayin' at the Baron's place and while he is the perfect gentleman and I even got maid service, I realize I can't stay there forever. But like I said the other day it's too risky for me to simply move back into my apartment. The man who shot me could be waiting for me to do just that and finish the job. Though he won't find it so easy next time..."  she paused there.

"So I got an idea. Why don't us two move in together in some new joint? Pool our money to split the rent. Find us a nice little place. Whaddya think?" she gave him those big eyes of hers, Gracie could be very convincing.


Wow! 1

Tommy Sloan

Federal Agent
150
?Years Young
105 Posts

"Fulfill the prophecy;
Be something greater;
Go make a legacy;
Manifest destiny"


Gracie was still witty, Tommy was glad to see. He ordered her coffee and listened carefully to what she had to say, his stomach twisting slightly with nervousness. But it turned out he had been worried for nothing. Gracie didn't want to stop seeing him. Quite the opposite, in fact.

"Hold up!" Tommy turned both his palms outward and slid them across the table. "Who's this baron guy? You didn't tell me you were staying with a baron!"

If she'd told him that, it would have been easy peasy to figure out where Gracie was staying. Then he would have been able to visit her.

"And this was a drive-by. Why would the guy be waitin' around for you if he shot you by accident?"

There was so much in what she had just told him that he didn't grasp the full implication of what he had just said. And besides, he was too busy trying to comprehend her last few sentences. She wanted to get a place together? How was he supposed to argue with those big baby blues of Gracie's staring at him? Not that he wanted to argue with her, especially on this. This was a good thing.

"If you wanna move in together, why not my place? It's not like anyone's watching me. The landlady might not like it, but as long as we don't cause too much of a ruckus, it'll be fine."

He gave her another grin to and wiggled an eyebrow slightly to help her see that his idea was a good one.


Grace (Gracie) Stroud

Waitress
408
?Years Young
183 Posts

The song is done. The melody lingers on. You and the song are gone. But the melody lingers on.


"Hold up!" Tommy turned both his palms outward and slid them across the table. "Who's this baron guy? You didn't tell me you were staying with a baron!"

"Well, he's not an American baron, he's from Spain or Cuba or somethin' like that. He was the one who picked me up off the sidewalk when I got shot and took me to a doctor. Then offered to let me stay at his place til I could move around. He was a very nice man," Gracie explained.

Tommy had another question, "And this was a drive-by. Why would the guy be waitin' around for you if he shot you by accident?"

"Well, when I first called you I didn't want you to worry and get all upset. Like I hope you are not gonna do now, hon," she looked at him pointedly, Johnnie always remained calm no matter what and she had loved that about him.

"But actually he was aiming for me. He was a lousy shot and he ended up killing a couple of innocent folks which I feel really bad about," she sighed.

"You see I know who he is," she added, yeah she had definitely deliberately left that out their first discussion.

But Gracie was determined not to get sidetracked here and got right to the point about moving in together someplace.

"If you wanna move in together, why not my place? It's not like anyone's watching me. The landlady might not like it, but as long as we don't cause too much of a ruckus, it'll be fine," was his answer then.

"Really? I mean sure, we can do that. And I insist on helping with the rent too, you know I got a nice job," she returned his grin.

"If this landlady doesn't approve of unmarried couples livin' together, you could just say I'm yer sister," she offered up that idea.


Tommy Sloan

Federal Agent
150
?Years Young
105 Posts

"Fulfill the prophecy;
Be something greater;
Go make a legacy;
Manifest destiny"


Gracie had stayed with a baron. No wonder she hadn't come home before this. Living in the lap of luxury and having a maid sounded like the ideal life. He could understand that.

But this shooting thing? That was different. She didn't want him to get upset? He would try. He took a deep breath, wrapping his hands tightly around his coffee mug. A waitress brought Gracie her coffee and provided a much-needed few seconds for him to brace himself for whatever was coming.

"But actually he was aiming for me. He was a lousy shot and he ended up killing a couple of innocent folks which I feel really bad about. You see I know who he is."

 

"What!" A little bit of coffee sloshed onto the table as he jerked his hands free. So much for staying calm. "Hell, Gracie, that's something you can't just brush under the rug! So who is he?"

Gracie seemed to like his idea of moving into his apartment, and even offered to pitch in for the rent. And she had an idea to work around the potential problem of the landlady. "If this landlady doesn't approve of unmarried couples livin' together, you could just say I'm yer sister."

Tommy couldn't help laughing at that even though he was completely surprised and overwhelmed by everything Gracie had just told him. "We could try, anyway. So do we have a plan?"


Grace (Gracie) Stroud

Waitress
408
?Years Young
183 Posts

The song is done. The melody lingers on. You and the song are gone. But the melody lingers on.


What!" A little bit of coffee sloshed onto the table as he jerked his hands free, "Hell, Gracie, that's something you can't just brush under the rug! So who is he?"

"Oh careful, hon, you'll get that on yer nice suit," Gracie pulled a napkin from its dispenser and handed it toward him.

"I'm not brushing it under any rug. I'll handle it. I kinda gotta," she continued, "And I can't tell you who he is. It's the gangland code, you should know that. You settle things yourself, you never rat nobody out to the cops. Johnnie taught me that early."

There were two quite separate and different topics being juggled here and she obviously was a lot more interested in the one about them living together so she returned to that topic, suggesting she could be his sister!

Tommy couldn't help laughing at that, "We could try, anyway. So do we have a plan?" 

"We do...I mean if you are serious about yer offer? I'd love to move in with you. To be honest, Tommy, I am lonely being stuck in that apartment by myself. Hopefully we handle yer landlord. Right?"

"I mean I can't be your identical twin sister of course but you could say I'm yer kid sister - you take after yer father and I take after good ol' Ma. Speaking of which............" she paused.

"Do yer folks ever visit you? Cuz that could be a problem. I'm guessin' you don't wanna introduce the likes of me to anyone in yer family?"

 


Tommy Sloan

Federal Agent
150
?Years Young
105 Posts

"Fulfill the prophecy;
Be something greater;
Go make a legacy;
Manifest destiny"


Tommy took the napkin from Gracie and used it to wipe up the coffee, focusing very hard on the table. His mind was reeling. This was something different. Gracie knew who had shot her. But she wouldn't tell. The gangland code.

He hated that code, and not just because of this. It made his job much harder than it had to be where catching bootleggers was concerned. Most bootleggers were involved in gangland somehow, and stuck to the code just like Gracie was.

He nodded slowly, trying to accept she couldn't tell him. Or didn't feel like she could. He wondered if she would have told him if he hadn't been a fed.

She asked about his parents. It was a good question; one he hadn't thought about. He frowned thoughtfully, still frowning at the table, and then looked up at her.

"They don't have to know who you are. Gangland code, after all." He flashed her a grin and kept talking. "They haven't come to visit me so far. And if they ever did, they'd stay at a hotel and we'd just keep 'em away from you. When do you want to move your stuff in?"

Now that they had that settled, his mind circled back to the gangland code and Gracie's problem.

"So...how are you gonna 'handle' this guy who wants to bump you off?"

He took another sip of his coffee, calmer now but still acutely curious and a little worried for Gracie. What if she was biting off more than she could chew?


Liked 1

Grace (Gracie) Stroud

Waitress
408
?Years Young
183 Posts

The song is done. The melody lingers on. You and the song are gone. But the melody lingers on.


"They don't have to know who you are. Gangland code, after all." Tommy  flashed her a grin and kept talking.

"Oh cute!" Gracie was amused by the crack.

"They haven't come to visit me so far. And if they ever did, they'd stay at a hotel and we'd just keep 'em away from you. When do you want to move your stuff in?"

"I see," she nodded, he did not sound close with his parents. It happened unfortunately. But ultimately none of her business unless he wanted to tell her more about his family.

"Well, I can move any time. It's not like I have a lot of stuff to move, most of the furniture in that place ain't even mine," she answered.

"So...how are you gonna 'handle' this guy who wants to bump you off?" he now wanted to know, she didn't blame him for being concerned, she would the same if the situation were him in danger.

"I'm not sure you really want to know that kinda stuff? Lemme just say I'm working on it, I'm not simply gonna wait around until he tries again," Gracie said solemnly putting one hand out to touch his.

"Johnnie taught me a lot and I'm a good learner, don't worry 'bout me, hon."