“Daisy?” Daisy smiled at the sound of Kitty’s voice calling her name, and turned. “Have you seen Lance?”

“He’s in the dining room.”


“Stephen just left,” Daisy answered, getting close enough so no one else would hear her, not that there was anyone else in the lobby. “He did not look happy, and he left before we could get his dinner to him. Please tell him we’re sorry, when you see him.”

“Thanks, Daisy. I’m sure it’s not a problem, but you better bring Madonna six more of whatever she’s drinking. Tell her Gaga sent ‘em.”

Six more? Yee haw! She’s givin’ ‘er bullets! She gonna get all hog sloppy and give us a show? Should I make ’em doubles?”

“Send a dozen Mr. Canoeheads up to her boyfriend, while you’re at it. Maybe they’ll both get all hog sloppy, and give us a show we’ll never forget!”

Lance Lear was working on his laptop. He looked up when Kitty spoke his name as she approached. She opened with a question, “You okay?”

“I gave him the cold shoulder,” Lance replied without expression. Kitty waited. “He told me about VoV. Why didn’t you tell me?”

“It wasn’t important for you to know at the time. If I had told you, it would have complicated things, and I didn’t need any complications. And, I really didn’t know much about VoV until I brought him up with the King of Horror, just now.”

Fighting his impulse to be petulant, Lance took a long, hard look at Kitty. Looking into her bottomless black eyes, he knew she had done him no wrong, nor would she ever, and vowed to himself that he would never knowingly do anything to harm her, either. “Okay, fair enough.”

Relieved, Kitty sat down. “So, you just blew him off? Daisy said he did not look happy when he left.”

“I listened to what he had to say. He asked if I wanted to start talking about us, as if there is any such thing as us.”

“Us being you and him, not you and me?”

“You and me?” Lance laughed. “What the Hel would I know about you and me? You’re writing this story, not me.”

Kitty smiled. “How do you like it so far?”

“You certainly have me hooked, but it’s a bit confusing, and frustrating.”

“And we’re only in Act 2!”

“How many acts in this one?”

“I have no idea. But I know it gets better, and better.”

“But it has to crash, at some point, and then get better again.”

“Says who? What, is that in some writer’s manual, or rule book? Is that the formula? Life doesn’t work like that, not for anyone, and our story sure as Hell ain’t gonna follow some damn Hollywood formula.”

Lance let it go. “Anyway, I didn’t blow him off so much as I gave him the cold shoulder. I’m in no hurry to get into it with him. But I did stick a fork into him today.”

“Did you!?”

“I called Madonna, mom.”

Kitty shrieked laughter. “Seriously?” Lance just grinned. “How did she react?”

“They were both stunned silent. Very uncomfortable. I acted like it was nothing, and moved along to whatever we were discussing. Very nonchalant.”

“That’s hilarious! Good boy!” Kitty’s phone rang. “It’s Margot. I have to take this.” She took it, hung up, got up, and said, “She’s here. I have to go tell her about VoV. Wanna come with?”

The boy who would be King, thought about and declined the invitations, saying, “No. I’m working on something.”

“What are you working on, my lovely, little wordsmith?”

“The Old Leather Pussy Bond idea,” the boy said with a mischievous grin.

“Really? Are you really?” Kitty asked with a bigger grin.

“Yeah. Ideas are coming. I’m just making notes. Building a bit of a skeleton story.”

Kissing her boy on the top of his head, Kitty said, “Perfect! You let your imagination run wild, Lance, I’ll talk to you later. You know we’re all heading out tomorrow, rigt?”

“Wagons ho! Let’s get this show on the road!”




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