(was Romantic Interlude, Part III, Last updated 6/13/02)
Snake in the Grass
Sex appeal is fifty percent what you've got and fifty percent what people think you've got.
-- Sophia Loren
"So, now you're seeing the doc. Jeez. First a range war, now internal dissension. So, why'd you sic the sheriff on Cu?"
"P, P, Paul Peter?" Despina, shook, asks.
Putting one hand on his hip, Paul Peter leans forward. "Well, I sure ain't a Fuller Brush salesman. You're a hard lady to sleep it off around."
"Speaking of that, were you at Ye Old Watering Hole tonight?" Despina twists a curl nervously.
Drawing himself upright, Paul Peter adopts an ultra-dignified tone. "Well, I'm sure not a closet alcoholic. I'm a social drinker."
Unimpressed, Despina defines, "Social Drinker: One who sits alone in a bar, watching others drink with their friends, being careful to take a sip to 'cheers' with everyone visible in the room?"
"We're in a good mood tonight, aren't we? Maybe some sleep would become you more than turning the tricks with two men in one night." Paul Peter snips, getting down to the nitty-gritty.
"Right," Despina replies sarcastically. "All my myriad sexual hang-ups are still firmly entrenched, thank you."
A delighted laugh bubbles from Paul Peter. "That's my girl. Spoken like a true celibate."
Making a sour face, she decides to let the jibe pass. "So, who'd Cu get in a fight with?"
"Cu? Cu wasn't there.” Paul Peter admits with surprise. He rushes on, reassuringly, “I will admit to a certain ambulatory distress, but I'm sure I wouldn't have missed a fist fight. Whatever he tangled with the sheriff over, it didn't happen at YOWH."
"An interesting acronym," comments Despina.
Unnoticed, an Indian has approached and chooses the pause in the conversation to contribute. ¡Qué increíble! Realmente me sorprende! Piensas realmente perplejo. No sabes nada?"
"Who?" demands Paul Peter, unable to recognize her by voice alone.
"Adriana." She remains facing Despina, her body language confrontational.
"I know a lot of things,” Despina begins, “but one of them does not happen to be how Cu got hurt, and another is not where the sheriff is taking him now."
"(He made his brother go in to the sheriff, which meant he had to best him,)” Adriana spits in rapid Spanish. “(Cu doesn't fight. His brother fights all the time. But, he got him into town to the sheriff, where they made the necessary calls I heard someone had insisted upon instead of sending him to jail for attempted rape.)"
"I gathered Cu'd gotten Tomás placed in a detox facility from what the sheriff said,” Despina admits, genuinely sorry for her part in the proceedings. “But I didn't know he had to fight him to do it. I thought he and his brother got along."
"So, why did he leave again?" interrupts Paul Peter.
"Tomás huyó," Adriana explains less belligerently.
Still curious, Paul Peter asks, "How do you know all this about where he went and that he bolted?"
"La radio recibe la banda de la policía," Adriana elucidates.
"So, Sarita and Alberto heard it all?" Despina asks, horrified.
"Están durmiendo en la casa de Cu esta noche," Adriana explains reassuringly.
"Oh," she whispers. "Are they alone at Cu’s, then?" Despina doesn't trust her voice to say more.
"Sí. Yo era a estar seguro de que están bien cuando oí que el alguacil se fue a buscar a Tomás con Cu."
"Don't take it so hard, Pina. She just checked on them, and having the sheriff get Tomás placed in detox needed to be done," Paul Peter consoles.
Glumly, Despina retorts, "You're a great one to talk."
Paul Peter immediately cuts himself some slack. "I'm not in the immediate line of succession for the throne of Minnesota."
"(If it divides the tribe's loyalties, I wonder if you'll still think it is worth it. If Tomás gets removed because he's seen as a weak leader who caved in to the White Eyes' demands, Cu won't be able to marry you,)" Adriana says, her Spanish dripping venom.
"Marry me?” Despina squawks, agog. “He won't even talk to me!"
"(He hasn't been around since you came. The kids, yes, but the man no. I didn't sign on as a free baby sitter! The kids go with the man.)" Adriana draws her imaginary line in the sand with her tone.
"Two or 68?" quips Paul Peter.
Still at a loss, Despina whines, "Why does everyone insist that Cu and I are a duo?"
A sleepy child’s voice breaks in, "Es tiempo que ir al cuarto de baño?"
"No, Alberto. Es muy tarde de la noche. Es tiempo para dormir," Despina responds softly, starting toward him. I wonder if he was roaming around while the police radio was broadcasting...
"Hay demasiado ruido," Alberto complains, rubbing a fist into an eye.
Picking Alberto up possively, Adriana returns to the main village.
"What a night. I don't think I understand a single thing that happened," Despina says with a resigned sigh. She heads wearily to bed, the normal bounce gone from her step.
Last updated 3/5/10 Added more explanation of Adriana’s Spanish. 3/2/10 Switched some of Adriana’s speech into Spanish. 2/26/10 Added “tells”. 2/7/10 Changed Cheryl to Adriana. 7/23/08 - Corrected “Picking Alberto up possessively, Cheryl“; 8/9/04 - added quote; extra space removed. (6/13/02 - was Romantic Interlude, Part III.)
Word Count: 848