by Rick Beck

Chapter 5

Easy Street

Angela and Ronnie were back at the Bayou a little after nine, enjoying a variety of spicy delights. Ronnie got to eat all the gumbo he wanted. It was better than he remembered.

They walked through the Gas Lamp after the meal. Ronnie stopped by a San Diego Union paper box just after the early Sunday morning edition was installed. There was nothing in the headlines or on top of the fold that interested him. He hesitated at the next box, where the front page below the fold was on display.

Angela was surprised when he stopped and stood in front of the paper box.

"Dr. Parsons drinks, drives, kills girl"

It verified what Ronnie already knew. Sharon was dead. He now knew the driver's name. He had no difficulty recalling the scene. It played back for him in detailed flashback. The wonderful meal turned on him as the spices mingled with his anxiety. He was involved, like it or not.

As he strolled arm in arm with the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen, he had to find out how to contact the doctor's attorney. All his contacts with the legal system went badly. Being a vagrant, malcontent and lost boy didn't endear him to the law. He could tell by the article, the doctor would fry without him. As much as he hated the idea, he had to tell what he knew.

"You are all right, Ronnie?" she sang his name. "You are looking pale."

"No. Fine. Let's just walk," he said, pushing the incident aside.

"We could be going back to my room for making the love," she suggested.

He stopped and kissed her gently on the lips. Her wide brown eyes stayed on him. His change in demeanor was obvious to her.

"Let's walk a few minutes. We'll go back soon," he said.

The next day was spent at Ocean Beach, Sea World and La Jolla. Ronnie broke in his new Italian-made shoes, but refused the expensive watch she wanted to buy for him. He'd let Plato buy his affection, but it's not how he saw Angela, and it's not how he wanted her to see him. When he said no she blinked, said nothing, and they moved on.

Ronnie was surprised to find himself in the stretch limo, heading for Los Angeles with Angela, where she had duties to perform several times a day the next two days. She brought in two shopping bags the second afternoon, with new shirts and slacks.

"You shall accompany me to tonight's showing," she explained.

The television news was on and there was the story of the DUI Doc, who killed the girl. Ronnie stood in front of the television, listening to every word. Angela listened and wondered what it was about that story that so captivated him.

Ronnie wasn't sure what the word negligent meant, but he knew it wasn't good. Angela would be dropping him off in a few days, and he'd do what was right then. He wasn't giving up the time he and Angela had left together. He'd started to become attached to her. She treated him better than he'd ever been treated before, and he liked it. He liked it a lot. He liked her a lot.

Negligence, Ronnie thought. He knew Sharon was dead even before the doctor returned with his bag that night. The doctor went right to work on her, trying to do anything, everything to save her. If he was drunk, he was the damn steadiest drunk he'd ever seen.

Ronnie felt Angela's face in his large hand. He watched her eyes watching him. There was a churning in the pit of his stomach.

"I really like you, Angela. I don't want this to ever end."

There wasn't any more talking, because every time they'd been separated for more than an hour, the next few hours were spent in bed. Instead of tiring of her, as was the case with girls in Ronnie's past, he was more passionate and more lustful in love. He'd never been in love.

Angela matched his passion and woke him at night, needing him. She too was having difficulty drawing the line between her usual choice of companions during a tour, and the warm gentleness of the boy who was becoming a man right before her eyes. He made her heart beat fast, and she wanted to be back with him when she was supposed to be focused on selling herself and her wares.

That was the night when the lovemaking stopped suddenly. Ronnie rolled onto his back. He was very silent for some time. Angela couldn't be sure of what was wrong.

"My Ronnie is sad?"

"I've never loved anyone before. I know you're going to go soon. I'm just a boy who kept you company while you were here. I think I love you."

These were things Angela could not answer. They finished making love, because Ronnie was always ready to make love. His passion was diminished by thoughts of love. Deep feeling wasn't something he allowed himself to do. Once he began having feelings for Angela, going back to the street scared him.

They took separate showers in the morning. Angela ordered fruit, juice, coffee, and the sweet rolls that Ronnie craved first thing. When Ronnie came out, she dried his hair as he sat chewing a Danish pastry.

"I have something for you," Angela said, reaching into her pocketbook for an envelope.

She slid it across the table in front of him.

"My pay for services rendered," Ronnie said, sliding it back. "I'd rather not. I stayed with you because I wanted to be with you, not for pay."

"Open it," she said.

Ronnie reached for the envelope and removed two Southwest Airlines tickets to San Francisco.

"You want me to stay with you?" Ronnie asked, afraid to be too certain.

"Since first seeing you, my Ronnie, I wanted you with me. I'm saying nothing different. I couldn't leave you."

"No, I just thought…. I didn't know we were getting serious. It just happened. Now I don't ever want to leave you, Angela."

"I'm happiest for me. You are needing to tie up your loose ends before we are leaving. I am in San Francisco two weeks with side trips to San Jose and Santa Cruz. Then to Seattle, where we will be getting you a passport, and we are going to France."

"No loose ends. Nothing to tie. All I want is to be with you."

The flight seemed fast. In a couple of hours they were in San Francisco. They held hands all the way, and kept looking at one another like young lovers do. Ronnie's life had never been as good as this, and nothing was going to get in his way. He couldn't imagine separating himself from Angela willingly.

For two days they walked the hills, walking across the Golden Gate Bridge as Angela's driver waited on the far side of the bridge to drive them to Sonoma, where they toured a winery before going to stand among the red wood trees.

Ronnie remained back in the hotel room a couple of times, during shows. Intense conversations with men of means weren't for public viewing. Spending a lot of money with a beautiful women meant imagining the possibilities. Seeing Ronnie's fondness for Angela on such occasions wasn't good for business.

Ronnie was becoming more self-assured, confident of his place with his woman. He was full of hope and desire. Instead of going into a slow decline, their relationship intensified. Ronnie had been swept up into a world of money and people with great wealth. It was interesting.

Checks on the table in the room at night added up to over $100,000. Each was carefully made out to Angela. The buyer walked out with a painting under his arm. Angela laughed, the buyer smiled, and a good time was had by all. This was the art world.

"I never knew there was this much money," Ronnie said, lying on the bed looking at all the numbers on the checks.

"My work is valuable. People like what Angela is doing. They buy one and then, when I'm returning, they come to buy more. I am the lucky girl," she laughed, accepting that her art was important to some.

"I'm the lucky boy," Ronnie said, putting down the checks to look at her.

Talk about this story on our forum

Authors deserve your feedback. It's the only payment they get. If you go to the top of the page you will find the author's name. Click that and you can email the author easily.* Please take a few moments, if you liked the story, to say so.

[For those who use webmail, or whose regular email client opens when they want to use webmail instead: Please right click the author's name. A menu will open in which you can copy the email address (it goes directly to your clipboard without having the courtesy of mentioning that to you) to paste into your webmail system (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc). Each browser is subtly different, each Webmail system is different, or we'd give fuller instructions here. We trust you to know how to use your own system. Note: If the email address pastes or arrives with %40 in the middle, replace that weird set of characters with an @ sign.]

* Some browsers may require a right click instead