Delaine's Dilemma

by Stredwick
Delaine’s Dilemma
Austin Mitchell

Chapter One
           Delaine Tennant was the most striking woman Marc Evers ever laid his eyes on. She was about five feet six inches tall and copper colored. She had long beautiful legs and her hips and bust were the envy of most women. Marc sold insurance for Midland Life and General Insurance company. Easton Rivers had a liquor and gambling outfit in the Half Way Tree area and that was where he first saw her. Like himself, Easton was  an ex-policeman. Marc heard that he also had a security firm. During his visits to the sports bar, he had never seen Easton with a gun, but suspected that he might have one hidden away on his body. Marc had never applied for a license to carry a gun. He felt he didn’t need one, although there were times when he had been tempted.
          Marc had spent ten years in the force before quitting at thirty years of age. He had been selling insurance for five years now and had no regrets about his change in profession.
         Marc would stop by mostly on Wednesdays and Fridays to buy the lotto and cash pot and play a few slot machine games. Delaine would stop by mostly on Fridays and play a few games too. She was with two other girls, Candy and Sandra. One thing Marc always noticed was that there were two guys who were always around Sandra and Candy but Delaine always travelled alone. Then he learned that she was Easton’s woman. He guessed her age at around thirty and Easton would be about fifty years. Marc had heard that he was married. He was sure that he had seen his wife at the establishment on more than one occasion. Two children, a boy and a girl were always trailing behind her. Maybe grandchildren, he thought.
         “Hello, Marc, is that your right name?” Delaine asked him one evening.
            “Sure it is and I know you’re called Delaine. Can I buy you a drink?”
         “Thanks, but I’m okay.”
          Marc looked over his shoulder and saw Easton watching them.
        “I’ll see you around,” Marc said as he went back to playing some games.
         An hour later and Marc looked around for Delaine and her friends, but they had disappeared. He saw Easton coming over to him.
      “Marc, I want you to have a drink with me. I want to put a proposal to you. Can we go outside.”
        Marc didn’t reply, but looked quizzically at
the man. Both of them stepped out of the bar.
        “One of my daughter’s getting married and she wants me to come up for the wedding. I want you to give an eye on this place for me.”
       “I don’t understand you, Easton. You have many other friends in the Force, why not ask one of them?”
        Easton drank some more of his rum and milk. Marc drank some more of his beer.
        “I don’t trust any of those guys. If I could do better I would keep them out of here. I have to be giving them money and free drinks all the time.”
         “Okay, so what do you want me to do?”
        “Just keep an eye on things.”
        “What about, Delaine?”
        “What about her?”
       “Is she your woman?”
       “I’ll tell you about her one day.”
      “Exactly what do you want me to do?”
       “Lorrie Reid will be running things while I’m away. I know she’s friendly with Clyde Harper. I don’t want him to come here and go behind the counter.”
      “Clyde’s an ex cop like both of us. Why don’t you trust him?”
        “He’s screwing my chief cashier. I don’t know how much of my money she’s stealing to give him.”
      “Don’t you check her off every evening?”
      “I do, but it could still be happening. Anyhow, when I return I’ll get my internal auditors to go over the books.”
        Easton left the next Saturday and said he’d be back by the end  of the month.
       Marc was at Easton’s establishment at least three days per week. The first week, Delaine came in on the Wednesday.
      “Did Easton leave you to give an eye on me?”
        That evening she had on a gray pants suit. Several men couldn’t take their eyes off her.
        “What do you mean by that?”
       “Nothing, except that he’s over there worrying about me. I told him not to worry. I can take care of myself.”
         Now he remembered that Easton was supposed to give him the lowdown between him and this girl, Marc thought.
        “He thinks that Clyde Harper and I are friends?”
        “Are you?”
        “Of course not. I don’t like him, he’s too forward.”
        “What did Easton tell you about me?”
       “That like him you were once a policeman. Why did you leave the force so early?”
         “Let’s say I always go where the grass is greener.”
         “Won’t you buy me a drink?”
           He called the barmaid over and ordered a canei for her and a beer for himself. Then he noticed that she had become tense. He looked around and saw Clyde enter the bar. He came over to where they were.
       “Well, if it isn’t Delaine and Marc Evers playing around because Easton is abroad. I’d stay away from Easton’s woman if I were you, Marc. Easton didn’t build up his reputation sitting around a desk.”
        “What the hell’s the matter with you, Clyde? Can’t you keep your mouth shut for once?” Marc asked, backing off the stool to face his former colleague.  
         “What did I say to get you riled up like that?”
         “Why don’t you leave me alone? So I’m Easton’s woman. So what if he’s twice my age? Can you come with me to my car, Marc?”         Delaine requested.
           Marc accompanied her to her car. He could hear Clyde laughing behind them.
         “I think you’re a great guy. I have never seen you out with your woman. Are you married?”
         They were standing beside her car now.
        “I was married once, but it didn’t work out.”
        “I hope you haven’t given up on love.”
        “I have a woman in Cayman.”
        “You must be wondering why I’m seeing Easton? Can we go somewhere else where we can talk?”
        “If I left with you, Easton would hear about it almost immediately.”
        “Okay, how about us meeting somewhere else? You don’t have to go down to the sports bar every evening.”
        “I guess I don’t; I only go there about three days per week. Where should we meet?”
       “We can meet at Randy Chin’s sports bar on Westminister Road.”
       “Okay,” he told her and the two of them parted.
          Marc was drinking a beer while he waited on Delaine. He was in the bar for twenty minutes when his cell phone rang.
        “Marc, I can’t make it again. My mother is very ill and I have to rush her to the hospital.”
        “Want any help?”
          “Thanks, I’ll manage, two of my cousins are going with me.”  
            Marc decided to hang around after he finished talking to Delaine.
          He was on his second beer when he saw a girl named Suzanne coming over.  
         Suzanne was of medium height and very beautiful. She was a regular visitor to Easton’s sports bar.
        “Marc what are you doing here alone?” she asked.
         “Just hanging out. Why can’t a guy hang out alone?”  
          She laughed and her face lit up.
        “I think you’re either waiting for a woman or she came already and you couldn’t agree and she went her way.
         “Come to think of it I was supposed to meet a girl here, but she had an emergency.”
           The moment he finished speaking, he knew he had said too much. Suzanne knew Delaine and might eventually put two and two together and come up with an answer.
        “Maybe I know the lady who came and had the emergency.”
        “I don’t think so,” he said as he finished his drink and went to his car.
         He heard Suzanne calling to him, but he paid her no mind.
        He had just reached home when his cell phone started ringing.            Delaine was on the line.
      “Marc, how are you?”
        “I’m okay, so is everything okay with your mum?”
         Outside it had started drizzling.
        “Bad news, Marc! My mother just died.”
          He heard her sobbing in the background.
        “What! I can’t believe it. When did it happen?”
        “A hour ago, I just left the hospital.”
        “I’m really sorry about that, Delaine.”
         “Thanks, Marc, I’ll see you around. I have some calls to make.”
          They both ended the call. Marc went and took a beer out of his refrigerator when his cell phone started ringing again.
           Easton was on the line.
         “Marc, what’s going on? I heard about Delaine’s mother.”
          He told Easton that she just told him about it.
        “I’ll be back before the funeral, Marc. So how is everything out there?”
        “Everything’s okay. Things are running smoothly. I haven’t seen Clyde for a few days now.”
        “Good, I hope he stays away from my place as long as possible,”Easton said before they ended the call.

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