Harry and the Dallas Contingent
Harry stood behind the bar facing five unlikely faces all seated together.
Not that this contingent from Dallas was new to him. They weren’t. These five had been around town for the better part of three months and had spent a lot of their time eating and socializing at the club on their CC Henderson corporate account.
He knew “the mouse”—or, as he referred to her, Laidey Bartholomew—better than the rest. Probably because the rest called her “the mouse” and even if she didn’t seem to mind it, Harry didn’t like it at all.
Harry preferred she be addressed as Adelaide or Laidey and made a point of it every chance he got.
“Laidey. You heading into Raleigh this weekend with the rest of these hooligans,” Harry teased.
“Pfft. The mouse never goes,” CD scoffed.
“Yeah. It’s like she’s fun-phobic,” Brass added.
Harry eyed those two. CD was the ringleader of this Dallas Contingent. He’d introduced himself as Charles Douglas Higginbotham on his first day in Henderson. By the end of that day, Vance had deemed him CD and it had stuck. He was lanky, good-looking, a sharp dresser, and the most gregarious of the bunch. His buddy Brass was Cuban, and if CD was a sharp dresser, Brass was a walking advertisement for Hugo Boss suits. The guy knew what to wear and how to wear it. And his looks were driving the women of Henderson wild.
Because these two went into Raleigh to do their skirt chasing.
“Just because Laidey’s not trying to sleep with every Tom, Dick, or Harry residing inside the capital of North Carolina.” Dan rolled his eyes, addressing Harry. “We’re at a club for an hour and fifteen minutes, I turn around and they’re gone. Both of them. I’m stuck without a car. They don’t answer their damn phones until the next morning. Late the next morning.”
“How about you?” Harry asked Poppy.
Poppy was Dan’s twin. Gingers both of them. Harry figured Dan was probably doing all right for himself in Raleigh because the guy looked a whole lot like Great Britain’s Prince Harry. Poppy was a knockout with full pouty lips and flowing red curls. She probably did all right in Raleigh too.
“I do all right,” Poppy confirmed. “Dan and I are now used to being left behind without warning. We simply Uber to a hotel when we’ve had enough of the nightlife.”
Harry didn’t have to ask. He already knew the answer. Still he didn’t want to leave her out of the conversation. “You don’t enjoy Raleigh’s nightlife?” he asked the cute little brunette.
Laidey gave him an indulgent smile. “What I really like is the quiet when all of them are gone.”
“So she can keep working,” CD commented.
“I like to work,” Laidey defended. “I’m good at it.”
“No one disputes that,” Brass said. “We just think all work and no play …”
“Makes for a dull girl?” Laidey finished without any sort of remorse. She lifted a shoulder. “There are worse things to be.”
“Like what?” Dan teased.
“Flighty,” Laidey said. “Frivolous.”
“Fun?” Poppy grinned at her housemate.
Laidey grinned back. Then turned shy and looked back at her Pellegrino. “Okay, so I’m not a lot of fun.”
“Hell if you’re not,” Harry argued. “You are fun. Lots of fun.”
Even Laidey laughed. “It’s okay Harry. Not everybody has to be fun.”
“No,” he agreed. “But everyone has to take time to have fun. I think you should go ahead and join the troops in Raleigh one of these weekends.”
“And miss the latest Henderson theme party?” Laidey teased.
Harry shot her a wink. “As if you don’t get bored at those.”
“Yeah, but somehow I always manage to find a ride home when I need one. That’s at least something.” She smiled that pretty smile at him, acknowledging that he had indeed driven her home from a few parties.
And not for the first time it caused Harry to wonder, yeah, what was up with that?
Read more about Adelaide “Laidey” Bartholomew and her relationship with Harry in Mr. Wright, releasing Tuesday, October 24, 2017.