A Phoenix Story: Playing The Hand You're Dealt
'His thick dark hair sure accentuates his heavy set brow, ' she observed. 'Together they give his eyes a deep shadowy, almost sinister look.' A shiver ran through the attractive young redhead as her thoughts continued, 'The same eyes I can feel undressing me even when I'm not looking. He would probably be considered handsome if he weren't so... so... foreboding. Yea, that's the right word, that's just how he appears.'
From the moment Millie walked in the male bartender had been constantly staring, watching her every move. Normally she would be on her way home putting as much distance between the impolite asshole and herself as possible, but since Millie was here with a work colleague and expecting others, she felt safe.
Although his ill-mannered behavior had unnerved her at first, now Millie just found it irritating as she finished her second drink. A slight buzz had begun to lift the depressive weight of her anxiety.
For the first time since her arrival, Millie was beginning to relax. Except for the few times she glanced at the bartender, Millie was starting to enjoy herself and have fun.
Diligently glancing around the lounge, she realized, 'Damn you Will Borrows, you've been gone for awhile.' Millie wondered, 'Where could you have gotten off to? Co-workers don't just disappear.'
After her eyes did one more sweep, she was satisfied Will wasn't in the lounge. Millie began watching and observing everyone coming or going from the hotel lobby. Her seat was in a perfect position to keep an eye on the only public entrance and exit.
While swirling her drink and checking her watch for the umpteenth time, Millie suddenly felt cold liquid slosh over her fingers. Confused, giddy, and a bit dizzy, it slowly dawned on her while peering at her hand... 'I just spilt my drink. That's weird, ' she thought while wiping her fingers with her drink napkin, 'nothing like that ever happened before, not after just two drinks.'
Her wrinkled brow reflected her desperate attempt to stay focused while tapping nervously on the table with her straw. She was unconsciously fighting to keep her eyes and head from nodding when suddenly from over her shoulder came a familiar, but unexpected voice.
"Hello Millie, mind if I sit down?"
Jumping in surprise, the red head squealed before clasping one hand over her mouth in an exaggerated gesture as the false sensation of falling caused her to grab the table to steady herself.
Her reply tumbled out in a slurred jumbled mess, "Mr. Courtier, whacha doin here? No I donn mine at all pleaseee ave a seat." Millie still maintained enough sensibility to know her cheeks were flushed by the embarrassment she felt at the moment.
The wiry man slid in across from her, his ever present cane now resting on the table. He was average height, smallish with a well toned build, sandy brown hair, dark rim glasses, and dark brooding eyes.
Millie had heard stories about how he injured his leg. There were so many, speculations really, none of them very flattering. Over the last few months she noticed that it seemed his limp was becoming less pronounced.
As Millie watched her boss adjust himself in the seat the petite blonde server came over to take his order.
"If I want a beer, what are my choices?" he asked the cocktail waitress.
After inquiring about the available beer options, he hardly looked at the waitress as she began reciting the current list. Instead, he sat staring at Millie through the entire ordeal. After carefully considering the possibilities, "I'll have a Samuel Adams Winter Lager on Draft," he stated.
While the waitress was filling his order, Becca began to feel uncomfortable as Mr. Courtier sat scrutinizing her. Finally he said, "After hours, please call me Darren." She nodded as the blonde female server brought his beer. He looked up, smiled, and asked, "How much do I owe you?"
The girl replied, "Oh I can run you a tab..."
Mr. Courtier motioned with his hand to stop her and said, "Thank you for the offer, but, I always pay as I go." After pulling out his wallet, he slipped the server a hundred dollar bill.
Smiling cheerfully she counted out his change and he handed her back a ten dollar tip. Her eyebrows shot up as she said, "Thanks sexy, I'll make sure to take good care of you."
He looked at her with a bit of mischief twinkling in his eyes and replied, "It is... and would be my pleasure."
Millie followed Darren's eyes as they stared at the girl's backside as she headed towards the bar. He obviously enjoyed the view as the blonde's short skirt rhythmically swayed around her toned hips.
When Millie looked back, her boss raised his glass to her, said, "Salute," then took a long swig.
Suddenly Mille felt confused, 'All I've ever heard at work is, "Mr. Courtier never joins in the parties or after hour wind downs." Then why is he here now?' She wondered. Focusing hard, Millie tried to recall what had transpired before his arrival.
Millie remembered that when she first got there Will had already claimed a booth conveniently located near the hallway leading to the restrooms. As he waved to her, she watched his eyes roam over her lime green dress a moment or two longer than necessary before eventually settling on her face.
"Hey Millie, I'm headed to the bar. I have the other's orders. Since the first round is on me, what will you be having my lady?"
Will's voice was deep and husky, sexy even. She involuntarily shivered watching his tongue dance across his lips leaving a trace of moisture.
More quickly than she wanted, Millie replied, "Ummm thanks, I'm in the mood for an Amoretto sour." She flushed a little as she watched Will walk away.
Millie was concerned that no one from the office had shown up yet, other than the two of them. It had been Will who told her about the happy hour tonight.
Moments later a cocktail waitress came over and asked, "Can I get you something to drink, sweetie?"
"No!" Millie replied sharply, rousing herself from her hypnotic interlude. Realizing her concern was showing, she quickly extended her finger towards the bar and politely added, "One of our group just went to the bar to get the drinks, thanks anyway."
As her eyes followed in the direction Millie pointed, the blond scowled at the sight of Will talking to the dark haired bartender who even she had noticed leering at Millie. He gave both of them the creeps.
"Thanks," the waitress said before moving off to the next table. Millie noticed she kept looking back towards the two men at the bar.
Will came back a few minutes later and placed five drinks around the table laughing, "Ok, now where are the others? They knew what time we were supposed to start. They wouldn't want their drinks to get hot." Millie giggled as he chuckled at his own pun.
The two of them talked and laughed for a few minutes. Millie finished her drink feeling very relaxed, for the first time in ages she began to enjoy herself. She hardly noticed when the lights slowly dimmed or the soft music began playing.
Will asked and she accepted. Three or four couples were already dancing as he took Millie's hand and led her to the dance floor.
After sliding his other around her back, he nodded to make sure she was ready. Millie was surprised, Will proved to be a very good dancer as he spirited her around with skillful ease.
He kept her on the floor through several dances, each a little slower, and each with her pressed a little tighter to his body. She had her head on his shoulder by the time the last one finished.
Suddenly, Millie pulled sharply away from him and moved quickly towards their table. Flushed from the sensations, she was deeply embarrassed over having allowed her work associate to get 'too close for comfort.'
She returned to her seat and picked up her empty glass. Seeing her looking around trying to get the server's attention, Will said, "Millie why don't you take the slow gin fizz next to you? I'll order another when the others get here."
After thinking about it for a moment Millie felt safe enough to brush aside her concerns. She could always take a taxi home. Picking up the drink, she quickly emptied half the glass.
She noticed the little cock sure smile that creased Will's lips. It always made him look the bad boy to her, a little devilish but not mean.
Will had quite the reputation with girls in the office. The fact she was alone with him made Millie feel a bit uncomfortable, but ever so naughty.
There had been gossip that Will was a player, an active player. Millie was not interested in ever becoming a player; she loved her husband too much.
At the moment they were going through a bit of a rough spot in their marriage. The last thing Mille needed was trouble, and sure as hell not the kind that came from ending up in someone else's bed.
Millie wasn't sure if Will knew that Scott, her husband, was a police officer. She felt it should be mentioned, but it had been her experience that knowing about Scott's job made to many people uncomfortable. She decided it was best to keep it to herself and not take the chance of putting a damper on everyone's evening.
While they talked, Millie explained, "My husband always seems to be working the three to eleven shift with rotating week-ends off. Right now things are a bit stressed between us with his job and all."
Will nodded appearing to listen intently, touching, almost stroking her hand and assuring her things would probably get better soon. Millie moved her hands to her lap. His unwanted attempts at physical contact unsettled her.
A few minutes later Will teased her as she finished her drink by saying, "If I had you at home I would quit any job that kept me away from you for more than five minutes."
Millie giggled while blushing at the complement.
Will downed his beer and pointed to her empty glass and asked, "One more Ma'am?"
Millie thought about what awaited her at home. Another evening of eating alone and falling asleep in bed before her husband got there.
Quickly deciding that three drinks wouldn't be too much for her to handle she answered, "Sure, that'd be great, but I must insist I get this round." Millie fished the money out of her purse and handed it to Will.
He smiled and said, "Thank you, my mom always said if its free... take two." As he turned to go he chuckled to himself mumbling, "It's going to be free alright, and before the nights over, I'll take everything you've got to offer, at least twice."
Millie was confused, but before she could respond to what she thought she heard him mumble, he turned away moving with purpose towards the bar.
As he walked away she watched the swagger of his rear end. "Damn he sure does have a cute little butt," she said out loud to herself then giggled as she looked around to see if anyone heard her.
Thinking to herself 'That was uncalled for, I am a married woman.' Taking one more look at Will's backside she giggled again and whispered, "Ok, I may be married, but I'm not dead."
After returning with their drinks, Will offered to dance, but Millie decided it wasn't a good idea and politely declined. Will tilted his head back to get the last swallow before setting his second empty glass of the day on the table.
As Millie watched the foam trail back down and dissolve into a small pool of beer at the bottom of his glass, Will decided it was time. He excused himself to go to the restroom.
After realizing she had been sitting at the booth alone for some time, Millie had begun to wonder about Will's disappearance when, quite unexpectedly, her office manager Mr. Courtier showed up.
Feeling uneasy about Mr. Courtier's sudden appearance, Millie asked, "What made you decide to join the after hours wind down today?" She was embarrassed again because her tongue felt thick and numb causing her difficulties in pronouncing words. They kept coming out slurred and the room was beginning to spin a bit too.
Darren was able to decipher her intent as he looked at her with a forced smile on his face, "Oh sometimes I do things that no one expects." Raising and bending two fingers on each hand like quotation marks he added, "Just to keep everyone guessing."
His eyes bore into Millie's as he asked the question, "Are you feeling alright Mrs. Albrighton... you look a little peaked?"
She felt intimidated by his gaze, as if he was looking right through her. Millie licked her lips and replied very slowly trying not to slur her words, "Yus Sir, U'm fine, but... wh... hare did Mr. Borrows dis... pear tu?"
Darren grinned as he answered with a sarcastic flip, "Ah yes... Mr. Borrows. I believe he is trying to figure out how to come out of the closet my dear."
For some reason that was really funny to Millie. She laughed, and mocked back, but her words where so incoherent they didn't make sense, even to her.
Suddenly Millie didn't feel so good, the room spun crazily and she realized Darren was standing next to her holding onto her arm with a surprisingly firm grip.
She slumped into Darren who held her tight. The last thing she heard was Darren saying, "Come on, help me get her to our room."
Millie wanted, and tried, to scream "no", but nothing seemed to be working, then everything went black.
Millie felt the warmth of the sun on her face, but her head felt like it was full of cotton. "Good Lord, my mouth and throat are so dry..." As she opened her eyes the rest of her words stuck in her throat.
In the light-headedness of her semi-confusion she blinked in silent prayer... praying the world would change as she opened her eyes once more to look around the obvious hotel room.
The dark side of reality suddenly plunged its hidden dagger into her soul. Her guilty conscience twisted in agony with each turn of the blade.
She slowly faced what must have occurred as she recalled the last words she heard before blacking out. "Come on, help me get her to our room."
Suddenly howling out in pain, "Oh God nooo... please noooo. What have I done?" She realized, 'My boss Darren Courtier and my supervisor Will Borrows must have slipped me something last night and... and... raped me.'
Her body trembled then shook as deep sobs exploded from her tortured heart causing her to gasp for air. A sick churning sensation ripped at her stomach forcing her into an involuntary fetal position.
All of a sudden the door to the room opened and Millie heard a commotion over her shoulder. She felt nauseous as she froze in fear unable to move waiting for Mr. Courtier or Will to come over and attempt to continue their assault.
As some one moved onto it, she felt the bed sink. Curling her body into a tight ball she prepared herself for the onslaught.
Millie heard a voice that sounded muffled and echoed like someone yelling down a well. Time seemed to stand still just before she heard her name, "Millie, hon..."
She could feel someone or something touching her head. In the dark corner of her mind where she had retreated, huddled in fear, Millie could hear someone calling for her. She heard it through the haze. The voice seemed so distant as it kept pleading, "Millie come on baby, wake up honey, it's me... Scott."
'Scott, my husband's name is Scott.' Millie screamed out "Scott!" as she opened her eyes and moved to sit up in bed. Her husband's strong handsome features came into focus inches from her face.
Millie threw her arms around him and held on for dear life, "Scott, I never wanted this to happen..." Her voice, hoarse from exertion, cracked "God, why?" with such heart-rending, soul-wrenching emotion, she just let the tears explode.
Scott pulled his wife to him, his own tears joining hers cascading down her face. He kept saying, "It's ok baby, calm down and let's talk." His strong voice was calm and in control.
Finally Millie sat up. She looked around the room and saw Mr. Courtier sitting at a small table near the window, sipping what appeared to be a cup of coffee. Millie's face contorted in rage, "How dare you, how could you do this to me? I hate you... ," she screamed, sobbing as she collapsed back into her husband's loving arms.
Scott continued to comfort her as she calmed down, "Millie, I think you need to listen to me for a second. Do you really believe I would allow anyone who had hurt or caused you pain to be near you," he asked?
As Millie looked up at her husband, a bewildered expression of confusion spread over her face. "What do you mean?" She asked while absentmindedly pushing her hair out of her face behind her ear.
After brushing her remaining stray hairs out of the way, Scott kissed her gently on the lips. Then informed, "Honey it was Darren and RJ who kept Will Borrows and Spilman, the bartender, from playing their perverted little game on you. It was RJ who watched over you and kept the boys from really pushing the laced drinks to you.
"In the meantime Darren tracked me down through the precinct. That enabled some vice squad detectives to meet me here and deal with the problem."
Millie looked up at her husband mouth agape, all she could say was, "Who is RJ?"
There was a movement near the door to the room and Scott nodded over his shoulder towards the movement, and said, "That would be the cute little blonde cocktail waitress who kept buzzing around you last night."
Moments later the blonde waitress from the night before came into view, she was wearing jeans and a white tee shirt. "Hi sweetie, sorry to scare you, I hope you can forgive us for that?"
Millie let go of Scott to hold out her arms to RJ. While hugging each other, Millie looked over RJ's shoulder at Mr. Courtier before breaking out in an embarrassed blush. Swallowing hard she apologized, "I'm sorry for what I said, I didn't know and I thought..."
Darren interrupted by holding up his hand to stop her, "No offence taken, no apology necessary, I was just hoping you weren't going to thrash me before Scott could explain." He chuckled as he finished talking.
Millie just nodded thinking, 'I've never seen him this light-hearted before. At the office he's always so anal retentive, a real tight ass. It's weird seeing this side of him. He's really a normal human being.'
She was lost in thought as RJ walked over to Mr. Courtier then turned and sat in his lap before hugging and kissing him with utter familiarity.
Wide eyed, Millie stared for a moment then asked, "How do you know each other?"
RJ opened her mouth but before she could speak Mr. Courtier interjected. "I come over on the nights she works and give her big tips. Then she takes me to her house afterwards to personally show her gratitude."
Before he could continue the little blonde slapped him on the shoulder twice, "You are so bad, why do I put up with you. I do not take you to my house for big tips. I take you home to personally thank you for loving and marrying me. Although... the big tips do help put me in a good mood."
Darren chuckled, continuing what Millie now understood was playful banter, "Oh and all this time I thought it was because I was good in bed."
The blonde smiled, and then kissed him, "Well... there is that too... that's why you tip so well, to put me in the right mood so you can show your wares and strut your stuff."
They both looked back at Millie as Darren said, "Mrs. Millie Albrighton this is my wife, Mrs. R.J. Courtier." Both women nodded and exchanged smiles before cracking up into laughter only a female would understand. Scott and Darren were smiling, but their confusion was obvious, as usual, they were clueless.
"Millie, please call me RJ, it's less formal and I like to keep it that way."
Millie replied with a smile, "Thanks, I will."
A few minutes after handing her a bathrobe, Scott followed his wife to the bathroom. He closed the door behind them and took Millie in his arms. She was biting her lower lip with obvious fear as she looked up into his face, "Scott, I am so sorry, please forgive me."
Scott looked at the beautiful lady standing before him, "Baby, I love you. There's no need for you to apologize to me for anything." Then kissing her gently, he could taste the tears that started to flow. He leaned against the sink so they could see and hold each other more comfortably.
"You made some really bad decisions last night. Fortunately they didn't end up causing either one of us a lot of grief or pain but they easily could have. We can talk about everything when you're feeling better; I think we just need to take better care of each other from now on. I do so love you Millie."
Millie held Scott close and said through her sniffles, "I love you too sweetheart. We can talk tonight, afterwards you can show me how much you love me, up close and personal."
Scott kissed her again as he replied, "I would love to show you right now, but it will have to wait until tonight. And don't worry, this isn't just another empty promise. We are going to make it happen tonight, even if I have to quit my job. Now take your shower, your stuff is in the gym bag on the floor. I'll see you in a bit."
Millie shivered involuntarily at her lover's comments then sent him out the door as she got ready for a shower.
As Scott left the bathroom he had a lot on his mind, 'I know Millie, she isn't the cheating type. Going to that lounge was a huge error in judgment, even if it was a good set up by Borrows.
'To begin drinking without the other people Borrows had supposedly invited was a major blunder. Dancing with the jerk was way out of line; we do need to talk about those things.
'I know I get focused on the job and she gets lonely. We just need to tweak our relationship. This was a good wake-up call for both of us. We will take the time to sit down and get all our issues resolved.' Scott felt so fortunate to have Millie as his wife.
Millie came out a short time later looking refreshed. She found RJ sitting at the small table with breakfast consisting of eggs, toast, orange juice and hot coffee. "Where are the boys?" she asked.
RJ smiled, "Scott is talking to some detectives and Darren has
wandered over to the office to finish some odds and ends. The
corporate big wigs don't seem to be very happy about Mr. Borrows' idea of 'fun and games.' They've decided to offer him a fast track option to a career change."
Millie thought about what RJ said as she sat down and fixed herself a cup of coffee. Leaning back she inquired, "May I ask what the main office intends to do with Mr. Borrows?" She took a long sip of coffee as she awaited RJ's reply.
The cute little blonde cocked her head and a big smile formed on her face as she said, "They canned him, fired his dumb ass with prejudice, without even giving him the opportunity to resign. He has now become a national unemployment statistic."
"Oh," Millie blushed, her red hair making the glow of her neck and face even more pronounced. "I didn't want to..."
RJ interrupted her, "Let's see, Borrows and Spilman planned on drugging then raping you. They are low life scum; the detectives said Spilman is already rolling over on Borrows.
"Seems they've played their sick little game on a few other women and the police are very interested. Hopefully that information and the drink glasses which should show evidence of the GHB or some other date rape drug they used will be enough to put them away for a long time.
"Darren has been watching how Will Borrows operates for some time. Over the last few years, some of the younger married female employees who worked with Darren suddenly resigned after an evening of partying at the lounge in this hotel.
"The other women never talked to Darren, but since this is where I work part-time Darren asked me to keep an eye open. I saw some things that weren't kosher, but since no one complained, Darren couldn't do anything.
"Yesterday Darren found out Mr. Borrows had set up an office get together with four other employees, the only catch being, three of those other employees didn't know anything about it. Well, luckily I had been called in to work last night and could watch over you.
"At first you were sending mixed signals. You were dancing, almost cuddling before you suddenly walked off the dance floor. That was when I was pretty sure you weren't playing along.
"The reason Will kept getting your drinks is Spilman was lacing them all evening, including the two untouched ones at your table. They were slick.
"I was constantly around your table and that had the two of them a bit unnerved. I called Darren, who in turn phoned Scott before coming over to deal with Borrows.
"When Burrows stepped out to get a room, he and Darren had a bit of an encounter before Darren came in to watch over you. Spilman was obviously agitated when he spotted Darren sitting down at your table with no Mr. Borrows in sight.
"Scott and the vice detectives arrived moments after you passed out. They sorted through all the stories and I gave them the glasses from your table which I'd been able to hide before they were able to be washed.
"Spillman was obviously worried, as I was helping Darren get you out the door, I saw him make a beeline for your table. He sure looked upset when he discovered there were no glasses, full or empty.
"Let's just say, while you were resting comfortably the idiots were in for a long night of questioning. Now, with Spilman talking, both of them are about to take a vacation at the taxpayer's expense.
"So you see Millie, whatever you do, don't waste any sympathy for either of them. What they deserve isn't sympathy." RJ seemed pleased with her rendition of events as she told them to Millie.
For her part, Millie just sat in stunned silence. As the full realization sunk in of how close she had come to a nightmarish situation which would have ruined her life forever, tears of gratitude... and fear flowed down her face.
RJ left Millie alone with her thoughts and sat on the balcony taking in the morning sun. Some time later Millie joined her.
Leaning against the rail she said, "RJ, thank you so much for helping me last night. I think I have been on a pity party about Scott's work schedule and just wanted to be around people last night. That will be the last time I ever do anything like that."
Flipping her hair out of her face, she continued with a hint of irritation "I wasn't trying to come on to Will." As she spoke about Will Borrows, Millie's voice switched from irritation to one full of venom and her lip curled in disgust, but she continued. "I don't want anyone else, I truly love my husband and he is all I want or need, I'm so sorry I caused all this hubbub."
RJ looked up and softly replied, "Sweetie, you didn't do anything, Will Borrows and that idiot bartender Spilman did. You were just another innocent victim they were setting up for their sick perverted depravity. You're just lucky I got called in last night and that Darren has been watching Borrows closely for weeks.
"You were on a crash and burn course last night Millie, but like the Phoenix Bird of legend, you rose from the ashes..." RJ's face suddenly took on an almost remorseful expression, as she continued in a small voice, "You got a relatively free ticket to a second chance."
Millie noted that RJ had been very animated in her hand and facial gestures until she started talking about the Phoenix Bird. She said the last few words in an almost forlorn tone.
RJ quickly recovered and Millie asked, "Last night Darren said something about Borrows trying to come out of the closet. Then you said earlier Darren had an encounter with him. Will Borrows is so much bigger and works out regularly. I can't imagine Darren getting into a fight with someone like that?"
The reflection of the sun off RJ's eyes gave Millie the impression they were twinkling as RJ replied, "First off, I'm not sensitive about discussing Darren or his injuries. I understand what you are really asking. How could Darren with his bad leg face off, and hope to hold his own, against someone such as Will Borrows?
"After Darren was hurt in his last year of college he had to learn to use a cane. His physical therapist convinced him during his recovery to enroll in martial arts to help strengthen his arms and legs. Darren's sensei taught him how to use his cane as a devastating weapon. He isn't going to win in a prolonged fight but in a quick or unexpected encounter he can be downright mean.
"When Darren got here last night, I told him Mr. Borrows had gone down the hallway towards the restrooms and the check-in desk. Darren immediately went to find him, after checking the restroom he eventually found Mr. Borrows renting a room for the night. Mr. Wonderful was telling the kid at the front desk he was going to be extremely busy for the rest of the night with his very drunk date.
"Now, when my hubby walked down the hallway towards the lounge he did a 'dumb' thing, but it was all Darren could think of at the time. He waited at a water fountain across the hall from an open mop closet, hiding his cane beside his leg.
"As Will Borrows walked by towards the lounge, Darren slammed the metal handle of the cane between the bigger man's legs from behind. Then Darren reached out grabbed Mr. Borrows' belt, at the same time pulling the cane handle back causing a second trauma to Borrows' groin.
"When Darren told me about his little interaction with Mr. Burrows, he said the sound of air rushing from lungs coupled with the surprise "Oh Ssshhhiiittttt!" was very satisfying.
"Even though Mr. Borrows was doubled over from pain, Darren spun him around facing the mop closet. After getting his cane released which took a few extra violent jerks, he shoved Mr. Borrows in.
"Apparently Borrow's head smacked into the wall pretty hard and he slid onto his knees, face first into a dirty wet mop. Darren turned off the light and shut the door, leaving the dirt bag for someone else to mop up."
Both ladies couldn't resist a good laugh at RJ's corny sense of humor.
"That's where the cops found Burrows, disoriented and confused. The detectives are calling the circumstances surrounding Mr. Borrows' claim he was assaulted as fanciful. They believe he was a bit drunk, wandered into the closet by mistake, and fell."
Millie stared at RJ then said with a growing giggle, "Trying to come out of the closet, now I get it. But didn't the detectives take Darren's statement? I mean he could get into serious shit, sorry, I mean trouble over something like that."
RJ had a mischievous grin as she said, "Actually Scott told the detectives he interviewed Darren and told the detectives my docile little hubby had nothing more to add. Since Burrows didn't get a chance to see who did it, he had nothing more to add either."
Millie looked at RJ and began laughing, "You two are something else. Thank you again."
While studying RJ, Millie was trying to figure out how to word a question.
RJ looked up at the younger woman and said, "Go ahead Millie. What is it you want to ask me?"
Millie blushed at being caught, "Sorry for staring. I was just wondering... did you ever go to college? I'm not trying to pry, but you look and act like you could do more than just deal with lounge lizards."
RJ giggled, "Hmmm, where to start? Ok... let's see... I have a bachelor's degree in art which is all but worthless. I guess I could do something else, but ever since I started working at the lounge part time, I discovered I really like the job and it's a lot of fun. Plus whenever Darren feels up to it and we can get a babysitter, he drops by and spends some adult time with me."
RJ fell silent. From her expression, Millie could tell she was pondering whether to continue or not. "Millie I am also a silent partner who owns a share of the lounge. My working there allows some quiet oversight in the running of our establishment.
"A few years back I came into a small chunk of money, Darren looked around for investment opportunities and I decided on the lounge. So far the gamble has paid off; it's proved to be a lucrative investment over the years.
"I would appreciate if you kept that quiet. None of the other employees or for that fact, managers know anything about what you just learned and I would prefer to keep it that way."
In utter disbelief, Millie asked, "You are a part owner of the lounge downstairs, and you work as a cocktail waitress?"
RJ had to stifle a laugh at Millie's expression, "Yep, I like to keep my finger on the pulse of the place. I am especially glad that I did with the situation which developed last night. It was very fortunate my bartender didn't know who I was. Enough about that, are you feeling better now? Head clear?"
Millie nodded, "You know I am just an average girl from a small town not far from here. I went to school, had boyfriends, experimented with sex, bruised my heart on a couple of guys and met Scott when I was finishing community college.
"I heard being a cop's girlfriend or especially one's wife could be lonely and hard on the nerves. Up until the last few months things had been fine. Now I just want Scott at home with me, I am scared for him all the time.
"We never seem to get time off together and there are times I feel like our lives are just passing by. I'll bet you don't think of things like that with Darren?"
RJ smiled weakly, then said, "Let's go to the ladies room, after that grab some coffee, and then we'll sit back down so I can tell you a story that will probably shock you."