Come El or High Water
Chapter 13

Copyright© 2010 by Ol'Mac

THURSDAY 10:30 A. M. CST News Stand, Chicago, IL


Alice's scream for Rick was loud and messy. So much so, that the bleed-over reached every Mage in Chicago, 'OH, MY, GOD ... RICK!'

The chorused back answer of, 'WHAT?' sounded like a multi-echo in the mountains.

Tina and Ella caught this hail just as they were changing classes. They both froze in place and while sending their return query, they then began scanning for danger. None was immediately evident and that generated a big bunch of confusion. The "What the Heck" look flashed between them as they continued on to their next class.

Rick was totally freaked out at Alice's tone and darn near drove the 'snoop-mobile' into a lamp pole. Luckily, Stan was able to reach over with his shield and steady the wheel while Rick recovered. When Rick had it somewhat together, he sent, 'What's up, Hon?'

'Oh, My God. I'm so sorry, Love. The mail for today just arrived and it's in 'carts' ... full of bags ... full of letters. The first one I opened was from Catholic Charities and it had a check for Twenty thousand dollars with a note that says, "Do a good job, Son". Father M.'

'Honey, if the rest of this is anything like the first I'd have to say Henry's speech was one of the most well received political messages in years, ' Alice responded, 'Again, I do apologize, Love. It must have just been the shock.'

'That's OK, Baby. Just so long as you're alright.'

Stan tossed in, 'Yeah Alice, watch it will ya? You darn near made me spill my coffee and that would have been a major tragedy, ' then added, 'Holy Mackerel, did you say that was signed, Father M.?'

'Oh, you guys ... And yes Stan, it's signed Father M.' She then sent, 'Lord Love a Goose; we're definitely going to need some temp help up here. This is turning into a zoo.'

'OK, Love, I'll see you at lunch time, right?' Rick sent.

'You sure will, but you better figure on take out today, well maybe the rest of the week too.'

Mike chuckled as this dialogue came to a close, 'Hum, The Honorable Henry Donaldson. Not bad, not bad at all.'

THURSDAY 12:30 P. M. CST Office of Henry Donaldson, Chicago, IL


As Rick tried to open the door to Henry's office the door swung about eighteen inches and then hit something. "What the..." escaped from Rick's mouth.

"Hang on a second, Dear. I'll get that for you," Alice stated.

Then Rick heard some grunting mixed with what sounded like squeaky wheels turning. About twenty seconds later, there stood the love of his life in the midst of chaos. The outer office, like the hall behind Rick, was chock full of carts. The carts were overflowing with bags of mail and that's when he realized that Alice hadn't been exaggerating in the least.

"Oh my word, no wonder you screamed this morning" blurted out of Rick's mouth.

"What, you thought I was kidding?" Alice asked with a grin and raise eyebrow.

"I just never expected this kind of insanity, Honey," then holding up the bag, he said, "hope you like Chinese hon they and Angelo's bakery were the only places serving food. Lord alone knows where they're getting supplies from."

"Well, as long as it's not Garfield the Cat, I can live with it," replied Alice with a mischievous grin on her face.

After clearing some space on the desk, they dug in to the double portion of "Sweet and Sour" something. As Alice poked her first bite, she began bringing it to her mouth and then paused. Taking the fork impaled morsel and lifting it to her ear, she then extended it toward Rick while asking with a twinkle in her eye, "Honey, does this sound like purring to you?"

"Oh Lord, would you just quit it you joker?" Rick grinned back.

Rick could have sworn he heard her humming while chewing, it sounded like "Cats In The Cradle" by Harry Chapin.

Author's note: For those that want to hear this hilarious parody, go here: http://www.guzer.com/animations/chowmein.php


After they had the last scrap cleaned up, Rick looked at Alice and said, "Don't move, Honey. You've got some sauce above your lip," then leaning forward he actually did lick her clean, while murmuring, "Um, my second favorite place to lick you," and then proceeded to plant the softest kiss he could drum up on her lips.

Alice, of course, melted into it with a sigh and a slight shiver.

Breaking their face vacuum after a bit, Rick stared into the eyes of this woman that had run away with his heart and with a sigh, said, "Well, I'd better skedaddle, Honey. I left Stan over at Angelo's tucked into a Bolo and a cup of Marga's love, but that won't hold him forever. Are they going to get you some help with this zoo?"

"I think so, Love. Personnel department is trying to give us the run around, but I called down to the steno pool and talked with Julia Pallinii. She and some of the other girls are going to pull some TDY magic. They should get here right after lunch."

"Oh hey, you still have that letter from Catholic Charities?"

"Sure honey, it's right here," Alice said while handing over the cover letter.

"Well I'll be darned, it is from Father Murphy. What do you know," Rick stated as he started to chuckle.

"Oh, and just how do you know the good Father's handwriting, Dear?" asked Alice with a raised eyebrow.

"Hum, oh I've known him since I was six-years-old and he found Stan and I standing over Allen Wilson on the playground, guarding him from five bigger kids. I swear, I think the man was born in a cassock and collar."

"I didn't know you were Catholic," Alice said.

"What? Oh Honey, I'm not, but that was the only school in the area and I went there from first to sixth grade. Actually it was Father Murphy that suggested Stan and I would make good guardians for the weak. Guess it stuck," Rick said with a sheepish grin.

"Yeah, and am I glad it did," replied the woman holding his heart in her hands. Then she shifted gears back to work mode and said, "OK, boyo, see you tonight."


As Rick was working his way around the mail carts and toward the elevator bank, the door to Joe Buckley's car slid open and about half the steno pool trooped out amidst Joe's caroled "Thanks Girls", led by none other than Julia Pallinii herself.

Seeing this bombshell in a dress, Rick thought, 'God, am I glad I met Alice first ... what a man eater.'

Stepping aside to let the ladies through the mail zoo, Rick watched as they made their way down to Henry's office. Then he stepped into Joe's car.

"Hey Detective Fields, lobby, sir," Joe sang out.

"Sure Joe, and don't call me, Sir. I still work for a living," Rick said with a grin plastered on his face.

"Oh, that's good," Joe chortled as he engaged the car, "last time I heard that was from the Marine Corps recruiter who stopped here once. Were you in the Armed Services, Detective?"

"Nope, but it's just too good a one-liner to pass up, ya know?" Rick asked with the grin in full blown mode now and his own chuckle answering Joe's.

 
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