A Strange Date: part 2

Missed Part 1? Read it HERE.

Micky slipped his key into the hotel room door as Delphia was stifling her giggles next to him. She had never been inside such a nice place before. It was right on the boardwalk with a view of the ocean. She couldn’t resist taking a peek, especially when the alternative was her apartment.

Delphia had followed Micky in from the night and across the hotel lobby. She hadn’t noticed the concierge dutifully busy himself and avert his gaze. By that time, she had had several swigs of whiskey from the flask and her sense of responsibility was long gone. Another couple emerged from the elevator dressed for dinner. The well-dressed woman did a double take at the plain clothes Delphia wore. The expression on the woman’s face was comical and Delphia burst into laughter as the doors of the elevator closed. She was still laughing as they reached his floor.

Now she stumbled over the threshold and basked in the warm glow from the lamps.

“Oh! A balcony? Can you see the ocean?” Delphia was on her way to the French doors, but lost her balance. She plopped on the bed and tried to reach the straps of her shoes to remove them. She fumbled with the buckles.

“You all right there?” Micky asked. He put a hand out to steady her. She kicked a shoe off.

“Yes, I just need to get these off! Then I want to see what the ocean looks like from all the way up here!” He went to the doors and opened them while she struggled to get her other foot free. Micky helped Delphia to her feet and led her out onto the balcony. She clung to the wrought iron railing and soaked it all in. It was a new moon, but stars still spangled the sky. The water was dark except for the glints from the boardwalk lights. Below them people strolled arm in arm. People on the beach were only dark shapes against the light colored sand.

“Wow,” Delphia said, “It’s…beautiful.”

“Yeah,” Micky mumbled, but he wasn’t looking at the ocean. His eyes were on Delphia as she observed the scene below. She watched a couple kissed beneath a streetlight then they turned to walk down the pier and she was reminded of where she was. The morals her mother had beaten into her with a wooden spoon swam to the surface and here she was in man’s hotel room. A man she had only talked to a couple of times before tonight. And she was tipsy. She began to worry about certain…expectations. She didn’t know what to do. Her mother’s disapproving face and biblical fury hung in her mind. Her eyes began to tear up from fear encouraged by the cool breeze. She sniffed and pried her white-knuckled grip off the railing.

“Excuse me…powder room…” Delphia said as she teetered back inside. Micky lit another cigarette and looked out at the ocean. He still had work to do that night, but he was reluctant to abandon the present company. There was knock on the door. Micky retreated from the might breeze to answer it.

Delphia splashed water on her face and patted it dry with a towel. Pull yourself together, she told herself. No more crying over that…woman. Her eyes felt heavy. She blinked several times and slapped her cheeks to wake herself up. She stared at herself in the mirror. What would Moira do? Delphia knew her friend would be totally relaxed and let the liquor take all her worries away.

She pulled the pins out of her hair and ran her fingers through it. She tried to look more carefree than she felt inside. She heard a knock on the hotel door and footsteps crossed the room. Quickly, she tucked the pins into her little purse and left the bathroom. Micky was standing at the door with a piece of paper in his hand.

“What was that?” she asked.

“I have to take a telephone call in the lobby,” Micky replied. “It’s business. It shouldn’t take long.”

“Oh, okay,” Delphia still felt out of place. She saw opportunity for escape immediately and retrieved her shoes quickly. “I should probably be heading home anyway. It’s late.” She made her way to the door, but Micky stepped into the way.

“Whoa, Doll, don’t run off. I’ll only be a few minutes. Go enjoy the view,” Micky ran a hand up her arm and lightly touched her hair. “If you really want to go home, I’ll give you a ride, but I gotta take this call first.” Delphia nodded and wandered back to the balcony. Once she leaned on the railing content, Micky ducked out the door. He hurried to the lobby and slid into a booth where his call was waiting.

“Hey, Micky O. we missed ya at dinner,” the voice said in a low growl.

“Oh…Frank, yeah, something came up. Sorry about that,” Micky said.

“Really? I thought maybe you got cold feet.”

“Cold feet? No, trust me. I got everything ready for tonight. They’re coming in at 1:30. The trucks are sitting in the garage now and they’re heading to the beach on intervals. I put a lot of work into this, Frank. I wouldn’t cut and run.” Micky was surprised that Frank was second guessing him after all the work he’d done over the past year.

On the other end of the line, Frank was tapping the butt off his cigarette. He realized Micky had no idea that Frank was always aware of his whereabouts since Dauterive had picked him up. Until that day at least. Micky had slipped out of the hotel and hadn’t been seen by anyone, until the concierge saw him return that evening. It’s not that Frank didn’t trust Micky, well he didn’t trust anyone actually, but there was a trend in Micky’s criminal career that showed he had the proclivity to get distracted from the task at hand. That was one of the many reasons Frank liked the seclusion of the Farm. It allowed Micky to focus on one thing, probably the only thing he was really good at. The manufacture of alcohol.

“Fine, Mick. We’ll see how it goes. I might stop by, then again I might not.” The click of the line signaled that Frank Sicero had hung up. Micky put the receiver back and left the booth. He pulled out his timepiece as he rode the elevator up to his floor. It was after midnight. He would have to drive Delphia home, then meet the trucks at the garage.

When he opened the door of his room, the balcony was empty. The curtains billowed in the breeze. He took a few alarmed steps into the room before he realized that Delphia was on the bed fast asleep. Her feet still hung over the side as if she had been sitting before she tipped over from fatigue. Micky went over to her and carefully lifted her ankles onto the bed. He pulled a blanket up from the base of the bed and covered her. He scribbled a note and left it by the bed before heading out to work.

 

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