-do you think janis would like me?-
Third person's POV
He liked the sense of movement the train gave him. Its effortless speed relaxed him which was due in no small part to the other side of the ever-widening gap, stay Valerian Bratt. As soon as he’d felt the first jerky thrusts of the train, his whole body had relaxed. Whatever it had been phantom or thief that had caused him such trepidation in the station faded as the train lumbered from the station he took a deep breath and pulled the new gold watch from the pocket of his wristwatch. Leaning into the light from the car behind him, he could see it was nearly nine.
“Good evening,” Angell said, seating himself two chairs down from the gentleman.
“Good evening to you too sir,” the man said in a jovial baritone that effectively ruptured the silence of the car.
The bartender appeared silently before him. “What can I get you, Sir?
Angell glanced at the gentleman’s glass and nodded slightly. “Whiskey will do.”
The gentleman watched him with genial interest. “Thus, sir this isn’t any ordinary whiskey son, This here is the finest Italian bourbon available, Couple of shots of this and you’ll be seeing things.” Angell smiled at Man's bluff good humor. “Sounds good to me.” He nodded again and the bartender moved off to retrieve it. “You from St. Mali?” Angell asked, feeling instinctive that the man’s outspoken liveliness would rank somewhere around the low end of what Miss McCarthy would consider “polished.”
“No sir, I’m from Casablanca Sicily originally from Italy.”
Angell laughed as the bartender brought his drink. “I should have known by your French accent.” He lifted the drink in salute. The man returned the gesture. “Glad you didn’t. I’ve been out of there for what we call years. Where are you from, Mr.....Signore?
“Summer, Summer Angell, or Angell Summer, ” he straightened in the seat and held out his hand, ignoring the man’s question.
“My name’s Nikos. Nikos Marris.”
The two men clasped hands and released. Angell sipped his drink and grazed around the car. The train car had better furnishings than most homes he’d visited.
“Heading to New York, by any chance?” Nikos asked Studying him through a narrowed eye. Angell looked surprised. “Actually yes. Licando first then New York, how about you?”
“New York, absolutely. I’m a businessman there. Handle investments, real estate, that sort of thing.”
“I can always tell when a young Mans heading for New York. They got a kind of hunger in the eye. I was just that way myself, years ago.” They both smiled, then “break a leg,” Mister Summer or should I say, Mister Angell? He smiled at Angell sheepishly,
No problems Mr. Marris, you can call me both at a time if you chose, he smiled at him.
Angell turned to see Miss McCarthy and Mr. Flynn, walking towards the bar direction, and he breathlessly stood up and walked away from them.
“That’s not necessary.” After a moment of silence, she asked, “won’t you be cold?” He shook his head on the final pull of his cigarette, then flicked it off the train. “No. I like it, ” he noted the way her hair blew in the steady breeze as more locks escaped the loose control of her bun. She shifted uncomfortably and grazed uneasily into the darkness that surrounded them. “Please don’t stare at me.”
she sighed, exasperated. it’s not gentlemanly.
He laughed lightly. “I’ve decided that my gentlemanly ways should be for public consumption only, I don’t want to waste any; the effort might undo me.” She didn’t smile. You did quite well with Mr. Marris. He’s most impressed with you.
“That means a lot. ”
This time he saw her lips curve. “So, you took him for a charlatan.” Miss McCarthy, you supplied the manners as for The brain I brought myself. She lowered her head and drew his jacket close around her. He thought he saw her slowly inhale its scent and he tried to see her expression but the collar had been pulled close to her cheek.
“Mr. Summer,” she began quietly.
For a long moment, there was nothing but the clatter of the railroad and bowing of dry cornstalk as they passed.
“Yes, Miss McCarthy?” He asked quietly.
She took a deep breath and let it out slowly, raising her head. “You don’t. . . . like me anymore, do you?”
He felt a stab of a quilt, a shard of remorse that he’d treated her so coolly for a fault she could not fathom- and hell, one that might not exist outside his own private estimation.
At his silence, she turned a fraction and looked up at him obliquely, with a palpable air of uncertainty.
He met her different eyes. “I like you,” he said in a low tone, meaning it. At that, he knew she blushed because she flicked her head up with that efficiency of movement she affected when she was uncomfortable.
“Are you nervous?” She asked then.
He smiled. “Right now?”
She laughed quietly. “I know you’re not nervous now. I meant about getting to Licando about meeting Janis.”
He thought about that a minute. “No, I’m not nervous. Are you?”
He reached into his pocket and pulled out another cigarette. After he lit it, he said, “I’ll try not to let you down.” She turned and leaned one shoulder against the car so she faced him. Enveloped in his jacket, she looked small, a tiny presence in the diorama of farmland around them. He wondered why, despite that, she took up such a disproportionate expanse of his consciousness.
“I’m not worried that you’ll disappoint me.”
He blew smoke away from her. “Then what are you worried about?”
She laughed slightly. “I don’t really know.” She looked out the back of the train, watching track disappear behind them. “That you’ll do too well?”
He laughed then. “Like the dancing?” Her face clouded at the memory and he knew she remembered their talk, his anger, her inability to explain to him about Janis. “No, not like the dancing.”
He took a breath and decided to let her off the hook.
“Do you think Janis will like me?”
he looked up at him. “I don’t know,” she said pensively.
“I don’t know what Janis likes. I don’t understand her.”
He thought about this, her sister’s predicament bothered her, then, on more than one level. Stretching his imagination a little he thought she might be intimated by this sister, this person who had done the “unthinkable.”
“I’ll give it my best,” he said, trying to be light trying to keep the worry from her face.
She looked at him and said solemnly. “Then I don’t know how she will resist.”
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