A Southern Screw
The Borscht Bowl Club, April 17, 2019, 9:30 p.m.
The four friends were standing there in a nonspeaking four-person wall for what seemed like eons. But in actuality, the stunned eight-eyed stare down at the two recently arrived prosecutors only lasted about a few seconds. Surprisingly, Larry was the first to recover.
"Edgy, my man!" He lunged forward with his usual gusto and grabbed Edgeworth's hand, frantically shaking it up and down as if pumping for water. "Long time no see! And Franzy! Looking good as usual!" He then lurched towards the infamous whip-wielding lawyer and crushed her against him in the world's most awkwardly suffocating clasp.
Franziska visibly cringed at the unexpected and obviously unwanted contact.
"Unhand me, you fool!" She hissed. Amazingly enough though, she didn't reach for her ever-ready weapon to enforce her command. Instead, she just looked helplessly about her, the desperation in her eyes so acute that Maya couldn't help but pity the other woman, in spite of everything. After all, who wanted to be smothered against The Butz?
"Mr. Edgeworth, no apologies required. Better late than never right?" Maya dragged together the rags of her composure and wedged herself firmly between her friend and his companion, who was still locked in The Butz's stifling embrace.
The act had the required effect of forcing Larry to loosen his clutch so the German woman could wrench herself away. Franziska stood there, panting slightly and looking simultaneously relieved yet winded, while Maya put her arms around the comely prosecutor for a quick, though nowhere near as unwarranted or inappropriate, hug. Edgeworth returned the friendly gesture readily, albeit somewhat stiffly. Despite his fondness for Maya, he had never been the fuzzy, physically affectionate type with anyone, despite the fact that they all knew he was a big softy under his occasional lofty exterior.
Turning then to his companion, Maya put on her most disarming smile, as if being congenial to the woman who had twice tried to have her wrongfully incarcerated for murder and then showed up impromptu at her milestone birthday was the most natural thing in the world.
"Miss Von Karma, so glad to see you after all this time," was her gracious greeting to her unwelcome guest. "While this is the most pleasant of, ah, surprises, we've always believed in 'the more, the merrier' concept. Haven't we, Nick?"
The gentle prod had the desired outcome of Phoenix finally snapping out of his gaping stupor and looking sheepishly at the two. "Absolutely," he agreed heartily, shaking Edgeworth's hand and flashing Franziska his most shit-eating grin. "Welcome, guys. It's been awhile, huh? We were just getting ready to order. You look lovely tonight, Ms. Von Karma. Is that a new dress?"
So he's not completely incapable of giving compliments to women, it would appear, Maya reflected grumpily, all the while hating herself for being so uncharacteristically catty about such things. Just me apparently. I don't want to be so spiteful as to not acknowledge the turquoise knit dress makes her look less intimidating than her customary black garb. Nevertheless, it's a conservative, long-sleeved, turtleneck design! I'm dressed to kill…and even wearing a push-up bra! Yet still…nada. Not even a second glance.
Everyone seated themselves at the table, and Franziska smiled stiffly at Phoenix's earlier praise, as if the motion was unnatural for her. Actually, given her tumultuous courtroom history with the defense attorney, a snarl was probably much more customary, though in this instance, hardly appropriate.
"Danke, Phoenix Wright," she replied coolly. "It is something new that I picked up in Germany a sennight ago. While it is also spring over there, the weather is still chillier than here in Los Angeles this time of year. Although, considering the arctic temperature of this place…" she added pointedly. "I am most glad to be covered up somewhat, unlike your poor companion there, who is practically nude in comparison and appears to be morphing into a Smurf before our very eyes. Did you not think to tell her she may need a cover-up in this kind of environment?"
Phoenix looked flustered, although it was uncertain if it was due to the unsubtle complaint about his choice of venue, or the reference to said semi-scantily clad companion next to him, whom he was still avoiding looking at. "I-I, well, um, I offered her one…" he stammered.
Thankfully, Edgeworth gallantly saved them from further embarrassment by cutting in. "Wright is not her keeper, Franziska," he admonished lightly. "Miss Fey is a grown woman now and can wear what she likes. I can certainly understand her wanting to be in her element on her special day and not be cloaked like a nun. And while it is a tad cool in here, it is nothing that will not be remedied by some warming liquor. I shall flag down a waitress to get that first round I promised everyone." He stood up and signaled to a server in the distance, waving her over to them.
Maya flashed a grateful smile at Edgeworth, even though she was smarting internally from the other woman's barbed remarks, which stung nearly as much as her whip would have.
Frigid, poisonous bitch! Nearly nude indeed! It's not my fault she dresses like some Victorian-era senior even though we're supposedly the same age!
What hurt almost more was that Phoenix had neither defended her, nor spared her a second glance to seek the validity of the onslaught.
Although I may as well be dressed up in a habit, for all the good this dress did. Besides, if she thinks I'm indecent, wait till she sees what the waitresses here are wearing!
Gumshoe was also in knight in shining armor mode that night.
"Phoenix bought Maya that classy dress, sir," he told Franziska. "For her birthday. It definitely was one that deserved to be seen. I gotta tell ya though, she's pretty covered up compared to the staff here."
If the scruffy detective hadn't already been hitched to the most adorkable, wonderful woman on the planet already, Maya would have married him on the spot. She flashed him a thankful grin across the table, and he sent her a surreptitious wink back.
Their waitress finally appeared at their table, and at the sight of the Pamela Anderson doppelganger, all the men at the table suddenly morphed from Sir Lancelot mode into a gratuitous gawking one. Although Maya certainly couldn't fault them for this, as she was guilty of such herself!
The busty blonde standing before them was donned into black tuxedo shorts that were so tight they appeared to have been spray-painted on. Her sleeveless ruffled white blouse, which looked almost identical to Edgeworth's cravat, was cropped, showing firm, tanned midriff, fitted just enough to afford them all a view of her ample bosom, which appeared to require no aid of a push-up bra. Black fishnet stockings covered long, shapely legs that appeared to go up to her armpits, set off by black stiletto heels. At her neck she wore a tuxedo bow-tie, and a small black top hat sat perched atop her platinum curls, which tumbled around her tanned face and down to her shoulders like a halo.
However, there was nothing angelic about the way her long-lashed blue-green eyes were now ravenously devouring Phoenix, sitting at the front end of the table, as a provocative smile curled upon her plump, glossy lips.
"Hiya handsome," she purred in a sugary Southern drawl as she placed magenta colored talons on his bare forearm. "Long time no see. Where have you been hiding, sugar? I've missed you so!"
Phoenix blushed furiously, but made no move whatsoever to remove the overly familiar hand, or tear his gaze away from the pulchritudinous bombshell. "Tiffany! Hi! Ya it has been awhile, eh? Been crazy busy at the law office so I've not had much free time lately, heh heh."
"Far too long," Tiffany pouted. "Our grape juice supply has been at a surplus since the sweetest thing I've seen since I left Birmingham stopped visiting me."
"Visiting her?" Maya echoed, her baleful gaze transfixed on the blonde sexpot, who was all but sitting in Phoenix's lap now as she perched her shapely hip on the edge of the table right next to him. "Nick, how do you know this – person?"
"Nick?" A look of confusion flickered across Tiffany's (overly made up) face. "I thought it was Phoenix."
"It is Phoenix, Tiffany," he asserted. "Only my good friends call me Nick. And Maya, I um, used to visit this place a few times a month for a spell after you and Pearls moved back to Kurain. Tiffany was the one who usually served me."
"Several times a week, actually!" Tiffany let out a tinkling laugh. "He'd be in here all weekend, drowning his sorrows in copious amounts of grape juice, for a good few months earlier this year. Always all by his lonesome too. I can't say I minded keeping him company during his visits though."
She gave Phoenix a flirtatious wink.
"Sadly, he never seemed to stick around until I was done my shift, though. I wouldn't have minded the company of a gentleman myself after a long night's work."
Phoenix put a hand to the back of his head and grinned like a lovesick puppy. "Ah, jeez, Tiffany, I don't know what to say! You never said anything of the sort…"
"I thought it was obvious," she cooed, batting her lashes. "What else is a shy girl supposed to do to get a cute guy's attention?"
Maya was completely seething now. If this broad is freakin' shy, then I am the Pigmy Queen!
From somewhere inside her, she managed to conjure up a light laugh, even though she felt like screaming.
"Tell me," she said sweetly. "What's a birthday girl supposed to do to get a drink around here? I hate to break up this little reunion, but we're all feeling a mighty bit parched."
Phoenix looked flummoxed at the assertion; it was as if he'd forgotten the rest of them were there. Tiffany at least had the decency to look somewhat abashed as she reluctantly stood back up and flashed the table a megawatt smile.
"Pardon me, y'all," she cooed. "I didn't mean to shirk my duties by getting so caught up seeing this ever so distracting stud muffin again. What can I get for you lot?"
A Screaming Nazi shot would have been my answer before Slutzilla here arrived, Maya fumed. But Franziska is definitely the lesser of two evils. At least she doesn't drape herself all over Nick like white on rice! I wonder if it'd go right past her overly bleached head or be a tad too obvious if I ordered an Alabama Slammer or a Southern Screw?