We were in Sassafraz, a high-end eatery, but I was feeling vulnerable with Marilyn’s stalker probably lurking outside.
“I really want to phone Abe,” I finally said.
“Go ahead, but I don’t see what he can do.”
“He can put a patrol car outside your apartment. I’d certainly feel a lot better.”
“What is it about men? They want to protect me–but from what?”
I laughed. “You know Mae West said that.”
“Did she? Well, I guess I’ve never been interested in movies then.”
I excused myself, went out into the foyer and speed-dialed Abe. He picked up almost instantly.
“Hey, Pal—saw your number on my display. What’s up?”
“You told me to keep you updated. I spotted the same guy who followed Marilyn home, and he was lurking outside her place tonight. I think he tailed us here in a black sedan.”
“Oh yeah, where’s here?”
“Sassafraz in Yorkville.”
He whistled softly. “You sure get around.”
“Can you watch her apartment, Abe?”
“I will—tonight, anyway—after that, who knows? That’s kinda why I passed the ball to you, Scotty. Anyway, not to worry—enjoy your cocktails and we’ll look after the rest.”
“Kiss Marilyn for me, will ya?”
“Nice try, Abe. I’ll give you a call tomorrow.”
I came back and sat down. Marilyn was sipping at a cocktail that smelled like oranges.
“So, is that your Abby Cocktail?”
“It is. I’ve had many of these in my time.”
I smiled at her, wondering in my head, what is your time?
I had planned to question her over dinner—ask her what she could remember about her past—but the prospect of a stalker sobered us. I decided to keep things light.
But we ended up talking about my lectures of all things—she asked me to explain some of the background to the New Deal legislation.
It was unlike any other dinner date I’ve ever had—FDR would have been pleased—Sam would have been bored out of her skull.
Looking at Marilyn’s enthusiastic face and animated expressions made me smile—she just fed on details of the Swing Era.
To look at us, you’d swear I was amusing her with witty anecdotes, rather than distinguishing between the “First” New Deal and the “Second” one.
It was in the middle of this exchange, I happened to glance up and look directly into Sam’s eyes, opposite us. Marcus was holding a chair to seat her—facing exactly in our direction.
The last time I saw Sam at Fionn MacCool’s on the Esplanade, she gave a cutesy wave as she left with Marcus. Well, the half-amused, half-sad look had fled from her face—in its place was an expression, I could only call fierce.
Marilyn saw the change come over my face.
“Scott, what’s wrong? —You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
“I have—in a way—Sam’s sitting directly opposite us.”
She didn’t flinch, but her face fell. “Do you want to leave?”
“No,” I growled, matching the fierce defiance from the table opposite. Marcus had spotted me now too, and was adding his disdain to Sam’s defiance.
I had wanted to take Marilyn out that night and flaunt her, and by God, that’s what I intended to do—presumptuous, or not.
I saw Marcus whispering to Sam and guessed what he was saying—but she was adamant. She would stay the course.
There’d be no celebratory bottles of Dom Perignon sent to our table this night—unless, of course, Jessica Alba succumbed to my boyish charms.
But as far as Sam was concerned, I wanted all steak knives removed from tables.
Marilyn excused herself to freshen up.
Every man’s eyes in the room followed her to the washroom—including Marcus’. He received a sharp jab in his ribs from Sam’s elbow and I commiserated—having been bruised that way, by her myself.
© 2017 – 2018, John J Geddes. All rights reserved.