Copyright© 2013 by Refusenik
After a lazy but enjoyable Sunday, they got an early start Monday morning. Janie was excited about the trip, telling him all the places she'd gone to in Dallas while at Southern Methodist University. She wasn't paying attention as Scott drove to the municipal airport.
He found the right hanger and parked.
"What are we doing here?" Janie asked.
"I thought you wanted to go to Dallas?"
He got out and went around to her door. "Your chariot awaits."
She said, "What are we doing?"
He helped her from the truck. "It's three and half hours to Dallas without traffic, and on a Monday? Add another hour coming and going for congestion." He pointed to the waiting executive jet. "Think of all the extra shopping we can do."
Janie didn't say much as they met the flight crew and Scott explained the plan for the day to the lead pilot. "Shopping in Dallas. I'd like to be back by late afternoon or evening at the latest."
They boarded and after clearance, the plane accelerated down the runway.
"I can't believe we're doing this," Janie said. She had a big smile plastered on her face.
The Lear wasn't particularly roomy, but when you didn't have to fight security screening and other passengers, it was worth its weight in gold.
"We don't have to go to Dallas," Scott said. "I could have the pilot take us anywhere. Where do you want to go? How about an island holiday?"
"We could really do that?"
She shook her head, "I can't tell if you're kidding. Dallas will be fine."
"You know what else we could do?"
He waggled his eyebrows until she laughed. Then she slapped his chest, "No, don't you dare!"
"Spoilsport," he muttered.
By air, the journey was short.
They landed, appropriately enough, at Love Field and were met by a ubiquitous black Town Car. The driver, Howard, knew exactly the kind of stores they were interested in seeing. He was an experienced driver and excellent guide around the tonier parts of Dallas.
Whatever problems Janie had with their method of travel vanished once the shopping started. She knew the materials and colors she liked, and she had clerks jumping to keep up with her.
Scott felt like a walking clothing dummy. He was measured more times than he cared to count. After three stores, he didn't think he'd ever need to shop again. He had suits, slacks, pants, shirts, jackets, socks, underwear, casual and formal wear, and still Janie showed no sign of slowing down.
The trunk of the Town Car looked dangerously full and that didn't account for what was being shipped to Levall.
"We're going to need another Town Car for the bags," Scott said.
"We might need to switch to an Escalade," their driver admitted.
They stopped for lunch at a little café.
Scott toyed with his salad. "Janie, is there anything else you want to do here besides shop?"
She frowned at him and stirred her coffee.
"We should stop and get something for you," he suggested.
Janie didn't react.
"Maybe a new dress?"
Her eyes showed interest.
Her mouth twitched. "There is a boutique I've always wanted visit."
"There you go," he said.
Back in the Town Car, Janie leaned over the front seat. "Howard. Are there any high-end car dealerships around here? You know Porsche, Ferrari, things like that?"
"There's an Aston Martin dealership near the airport," Howard said.
"That would be perfect," Janie replied. She sat back, pleased with herself.
"What's this about?" he asked.
"Taylor and I decided you needed a few things. A nice car is one of them."
"You're consulting with Taylor?"
"I happen to agree with her."
Scott caught the driver's eyes in the rearview mirror. He didn't know if the man was giving him a look of sympathy or amusement.
"Howard," Scott said. "The lady needs to visit a boutique."
Janie supplied the name.
"Oh, I know it well," replied Howard.
Scott sat back in the seat for the trip. "Is there anything else you and Taylor have decided that I should be aware of?"
Janie shook her head and gave him an enigmatic grin.
Dress shopping with Janie turned out to be something Scott really enjoyed. Take a beautiful woman and put her in various outfits designed to show her off? Twist my arm, Scott thought.
She was having trouble deciding between two different outfits. The sales girls hovered nearby, quick to offer suggestions or comments.
Scott told her to get both.
"That's too much," she complained.
He didn't understand how she could gleefully help him spend a fortune on clothes he'd probably never wear, but balk at getting something for herself.
Janie twirled in front of a bank of mirrors. "This one I think," she said.
The lead sales girl mewed her agreement.
Scott couldn't disagree. Janie looked spectacular in the dress.
"Shit," Janie blurted.
He searched her face for the cause.
"Remember how we talked about letting people back home know on our terms?"
Alarm bells went off in his head, dangerous territory ahead. "Yeah?"
"Well," she said, "don't look now, but Bea Upcott just walked in with Beverly Johnson from church!"
Scott's head whipped around. He knew Bea came to Dallas from time to time to shop, but what were the odds?
"Oh, my gosh!" Bea cried and rushed toward them with arms open wide. "What are you two doing here?"
The blood drained from Janie's face as she was hugged and kissed.
Her color returned when Scott got a tight hug from the generously endowed woman. He thought the world of Bea Upcott, not only for being Judge Upcott's wife, but for the kindness she had shown him after Mr. Piotrowski's death.
"Scott do you know Beverly Johnson?" Bea asked.
"I believe we've met," Scott said, "but I can't recall where, other than in Fort Stockton."
"Women's Auxiliary," Beverly supplied.
"Of course, nice to see you again."
Bea clasped her hands together. "I love that dress, Janie."
Beverly made approving noises and the women circled the girl like killer whales around a baby seal.
The boutique staff retreated from the onslaught, but stayed within range in case a sale was imminent.