As soon as Gloria disappeared, Mori slapped his arm. “What in the hell are you doin'? She’s got to be at least twenty years younger than you.”
Ben knew she was right, and now that he’d made his destination, he wished that he were there alone. It would be easier to fish, and more fun at night with his friends.
“And does she own a pair of shoes that can make it across the field?”
Ben sighed. “I knew I’d get shit for that. Look, be nice, it’s just two days.” Ben tipped the rim of his hat to Mori for a makeup salute, but his attention turned to the end of the bar where he saw Quinton.
“Hey Cue, how are things?” Cue had entered from the back room.
“Ben, it’s been too long, my man. Katie, get out here to see who’s here.” He gave Ben a warm hug, and went to get him a beer. As he pushed the can across the bar, he took a better look at Ben. “You don’t look so good. What’s up?”
At that point, Katie appeared from the back. “Well if it isn’t our long lost friend. Ben, it’s wonderful to see you. You know, the only reason we stock that awful brand of beer is because of you.” She laughed and her sound sent a flutter through Ben’s body. Katie was a beauty, in her mid thirties. She was small boned, with a Marilyn Monroe figure and a Sandra Dee face. Ben was relieved to hear her warm welcome, he’d been worried about her reaction to him since their last encounter, and even more, concerned about concealing his own feelings, feelings that would affect all three of their lives.
Ben handed the beer back to Mori. “Would you keep this cold for me? She’ll kill me if I don’t get up there. I’ll be back down soon to visit.” And then to Cue and Katie, “I brought a friend with me.”
“I suppose she’ll be comin’ down when you return?” Mori’s sour tone surprised Cue and Katie.
Ben was backing toward the stairs, “Be nice,” and he disappeared out of sight.
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