Jackson wiped down the bar. He pulled the cash drawer out of the register. Remo sat in the office counting the day’s receipts and preparing the night drop deposit. Three weeks into fall and folks still talked about the sand castle event. Declaring three winners made sense. Jackson couldn’t help if folks didn’t understand that each age group needed a first place person to look up to.
Abebi and Sandy had come up with the one sculpture that gut gripped Jackson. A three-tiered wedding cake with the bride and groom’s faces missing. Abebi just shrugged when Jackson quietly asked her what happened to their faces. Sandy had grinned and made a cutting motion across her throat. Jackson knew better than to hand them anything other than honorable mention. Remo had laughed until tears rolled down his cheeks when he found out.
Remo said the pack and community were getting used to Jackson and his way of talking. Had to be his southern accent. He couldn’t help he learned his first words from his grandma and her southern drawl had marked him for life. Then there was that hint of British accent from his year studying abroad. Who knew cattle and sheep were different in minute measures? A degree in animal biology and a minor in human sexuality got weird looks from people unless you lived in a community of shape shifters.
Jackson tossed the bar towels and cloths in the hamper outside the office door. He knocked before entering. Even with the door open, Remo stated an ironclad rule was to knock heavy handedly before entering. The first few snarls were enough to warn Jackson why Remo put the rule into play. Snarling back almost got Jackson handed his tail as an antenna ornament for the car he was learning to drive.
Remo looked up. He pointed to the chair next to him. “Have a seat. I pay in cash the first couple of weeks until we know your social security number is good. Too many times, you end up with bogus numbers and folks on the fly. We’re law abiding folks and do things legally.”
Jackson nodded and set the cash drawer on the desk. “I appreciate the cash. Are you taking my rent out of it?”
“Got to. If I didn’t my old lady would have my arse and yours too.” Remo counted a pile of bills and coin on to the desk. “This is your cut of the tips from today. Sandy will feed you lunch and dinner when you work nights. Days are lunches only. We don’t do breakfast crowds except during summer.”
Jackson pocketed the money. “Mind if I ask a question?”
Remo nodded. “Go ahead.”
“What’s with Sandy and the sand sculpture?” Jackson caught the arched-eyebrow-wide-eyed look even though Remo looked away.
Remo coughed. “Son, Sandy and Abebi are best friends. Women will further their cause as they see fit. If you plan on hitching-up with Abebi, that’s between you two. I’d wait a bit before you make that decision. Court her and get to know each other better is my suggestion. Don’t let Sandy push you if you ain’t ready. “
Jackson took the pay envelope Remo held out. “I think I want that. But she hasn’t talked to me since I awarded them honorable mention for the contest.”
Remo burst out laughing. “Son, take this old mangy alpha’s advice. You threw down the gauntlet on that call. Sandy won’t poison ya, but she’ll be easier to get along with if you let her see you with Abebi out and about a bit. As to Abebi, go seek her out. I bet she needs reassurance you’re here ‘cuz you want to be.”
Happy Weekend Gang!
First frost and freeze of fall is happening on the spice homestead tonight. BURRRR! Keep warm sharing a book or two with your loves and spice.
Seems Jackson is unsure how to go about courting Abebi. Looks like Jackson is gonna need some help and lessons. Not sure if Remo is the one to give those or another shape shifter.