The drinks were flowing and the crowd was on their feet a few times clapping their hands to the music and dancing...Gus, the owner and cheif bartender was happy because there was money to be made. His insurance had done a great job with the repair and improvements made after the shootout between Gus and his boys and the Westies a few weeks before. The news had gotten around and I was pretty sure that nobody was going to try to stick this place up..Nobody in their right mind.
"Kevin...Cora beth is due any day now." said Sepia...
"Yeah, Clerow told me....He's been sticking close to home lately..Haven't seen him around." I said.
"How about Bristol? You heard from him?" she asked...always interested in my friends and my adventures...I liked that about her...Though Bristol was no friend...He was a big time gambler and would be playa who had tried three times to have me killed only to land in the hospital himself with gunshot wounds.
"No, I haven't heard from him...but I don't think he wants anything to do with me right now." I said...Hoping that what I was saying was true.As far as I knew ,he was still in the hospital.
As we sipped our drinks, I spied Ralph Scallion , a few seats from us...He was with a very shapely
brown skinned woman who was wearing a tight curve hugging Black mini skirt, Black sheer panty hose and Black stilletto heels....In between sipping his drink and watching the band, he was slipping his hands up her dress...She was smiling and politely moving his hands...Then ,he was slyly squeezing her breasts...She was prying his hand loose and smiling at him....
Sepia couldn't see what was going on, but I could...I smiled to myself....The band played on....They were finally finishing up their set, when I stood up and applauded as did the rest of the crowd and I got Sepia's coat...
"Calling it a night kid?" asked Gus.
"No...We are headed over to Dollar Bill's joint to catch a late night candle lit dinner." I said.
"Good deal....His cook is here you know...got a new broad." laughed Gus.
"Portia!, she aint new....I know her...she has a twin sister....They both go to the same hair salon I got to." said Sepia.
"That Ralph don't miss a woman in this city do he?" laughed Gus.
"He sureeee don't...you aint nevah lied." laughed Sepia.
"Sepia...Hold up..I'm going to the rest room..and when I come back...we'll get goin." I said.
"Okay Kev." she replied.
I walked back to the restroom and there in a dark corner, Ralph Scallion had Portia pressed against the wall, they were kissing passionately, really deep throating each other...He was running her hand up her dress...She was once again pulling it away...
"Ralph...Ralph...down boy...not in here...wait till we get back to your spot." she said.
I eased my way past them without them noticing and went into the restroom.
Minutes later, Sepia and I were leaving Josie's and walking across the street to the parking lot, when I saw Ralph Scallion and Portia getting into a Black Escalade!
"Moved up in the world huh Ralph?" I said. He and Portia turned around as Sepia and I headed towards our car...
"Oh ,hey Kevin, Sepia....Nah, this aint mine...A friend of mine let me hold it for the night.." he laughed.
"You're off tonight eh?" I said...
"Yeah man...but I'm about to put in some work if you know what I mean and I know ya do." he laughed and winked.
"I know you are." I laughed as Sepia and I got in my car and pulled off. From the rear view window I could see Ralph pressing Portia against the Escalade, kissing her and running his hand up her dress, while she politely moved it away...
At the Bottom of "C", Dollar Bill's seafood bar and grill...Sepia and I sat in a nice ,plush booth and
ate a delicious dinner, topped off by an expensive bottle of white wine...
"Ummmmm Kevin, this is so nice...Just the two of us." she said.
"Yes indeed....Ralph Scallion isn't the only one who's gonna put in some work tonight." I laughed slyly...
"Ohhhh is that right?" she smiled.
Just then, a skinny little guy with a pointy nose walked by our table and said-
"Joanne?? Joanne Coakley?? Is that you?" he said.
"Oh my God...Jack?? Fat Jack?? What are you doin here?" said my wife, who's eyes had now gotten as wide as saucers...
"I been in Philly for about a year, I'm workin here now...I'm the second chef." said Fat Jack, who was anything but...He was reed thin, about an inch shorter than I and had a pointy nose..."Fat Jack" must have been a play on his actual physique or lack of one.
"Kevin, this is one of my oldest friends...From West Orange and Newark....This is Jack Greentree....We used to call him "Fat Jack" back in the day...We've known each other since we were kids...Jack, this is my husband...Kevin Morris..." she said.
"Husband?? Oh my God...You done gone and got married huh? Pleased to meet the man who finally got Sepia...She had a number of guys after her back in West Orange...man oh man...but she moved to Philly and a Philly guy finally won the big prize...Go head sistuh suki." he laughed.
"So you're working tonight?" said Sepia.
"Yeah...the main cook, Ralph Scallion is off tonight and we switched cars...I got his car and he got my Escalade...Tryin to impress some chick." Laughed Fat Jack.
''Why'd you switch cars?" I asked.
"Have you seen his hooptie? Aint no woman or dog gonna ride to the corner in that car..Tomorrow ,he's gonna gas my ride up and bring it to me and pick up his car." said Fat Jack.
"You're quite a friend." I said.
"Yeah well, Ralph help me get this gig...so it was the least I could do. Look, I'm not gonna take up any more of you good people's time...You all enjoy your meal....JoAnne baby, it sho was good to see you again....Nice meeting you too Kevin." he said as he left.
"Okay Jack" she said.
"Seems like a hell of a nice guy." I said.
"Oh he is..He is." said Sepia.
We continued to talk and to eat and drink for close to two hours... Finally, we paid our bill and was headed out the door and to my car....As fate would have it...Fat Jack was also leaving..He was a little ahead of us and headed for Ralph Scallion's car...No sooner than he put his key in the
door, a man got out of a Black Gran Torino and walked over to him....He pulled out a pistol and fired two shots...One went through the back of Fat Jack's head and out of his left eye and the other went through his neck....At any rate, He was dead before he hit the ground....Sepia let out
a scream!! I pushed her down.....The man turned, but now I had my .38 smokeless out and ready!!
He fired three shots in our direction...I returned his fire! He ducked behind a car , I ran towards
another car and dove behind it..I fired at him again....I missed....By now, the Gran Torino pulled up...He hopped in and it began to speed off...I fired at the tire, popping it..then I fired at the back
window, blowing it out! The shooter fired again and pulled off into the night...
"Kevin, I got the licensce plate number." said my wife...
"Good girl..." I said as I held her.....We were having a perfect night and now this had happened to spoil it...I could hang around and talk to the cops...but that wasn't going to do us any good.. Sepia and I got in my car and we pulled off....By now a small crowd was gathering around the dead body in the parking lot.
(To Be Continued....)