Simpsons Porn Story: Kiss Me Chapter 2

Simpsons Porn Story: Kiss Me Chapter 2

PART
II

PPPPPPPPPPP Saturday, Michael showed up with a
raft of receipt book forms, several saddlebags, and a list of companies who
might need a messenger or courier service.P
Molly was impressed, perched on the edge or Rebeccas desk.

PPPPPPPPPPP Youve come prepared.

PPPPPPPPPPP Well. Im not going to have
another redfruit fiasco.P The tiger
said.P Molly laughed.

PPPPPPPPPPP It wasnt a fiasco we just lost
our shirts.P Michael smiled back

PPPPPPPPPPP I hope you dont mean you thought
it was a success?

PPPPPPPPPPP Mom did say it was a learning
experience.P

PPPPPPPPPPP It was that.P Michael shook his head.P

PPPPPPPPPPP Anyway, These bags came out of the
old property room, and nobody wanted them, and yes I did get granduncles
approval.P Molly grinned at Michael.

PPPPPPPPPPP Afraid hes going to decide to
charge you for them?

PPPPPPPPPPP Well yes.P Michael got a receipt book. We can get
started tomorrow, if you want.P Molly
nodded,

PPPPPPPPPPP Why not, Im not doing
anything.P Molly said, Besides, we
have to beat your friends at baseball today Laughing the two kids left the
office.

PPPPPPPPPPP The next day, Molly and Michael were
making the rounds, trying to drum up some business.

PPPPPPPPPPP I cannot believe that you gave up
two home runs, Michael.P Molly said.
Michael frowned at her.

PPPPPPPPPPP I was not going to mention a certain
young lady bearess who managed to miss a popfly, struck out twice, and then
tripped on her way to home plate.

PPPPPPPPPPP Hey, you saw the root!

PPPPPPPPPPP Yes everyone saw the root, so why
did you trip on it?P Michael asked,
then smoothed his face as they entered a small store.P Molly looked at the storefront, with Stans Books on the
side.P

PPPPPPPPPPP Why
would this fellow need a courier?P
She
thought.P Michael walked up to the front
desk, and waited until the owner, a rather fat polar bear, finished with the
last customer.

PPPPPPPPPPP Yeah?P He asked.P What can I do
fya?

PPPPPPPPPPP Were running a messenger and
Delivery service, sir and I was wondering if you could use some help in that
area.P Michael said in his best
salesman voice.P Stan grinned.

PPPPPPPPPPP Delivery boys and girls, eh?P Well, I can use your help, sure.P He walked back into the room, and came out
with several boxes.P We deliver to shut
ins, and other people who cant get out.P
This gas rationing has been killing my business.P He paused, and lit a cigar. Now how much
doya want?PP Michael thought for a
moment, then pulled out a receipt book and listed a figure.

PPPPPPPPPPP Pretty expensive.P Stan said.P
In fact, real expensive.

PPPPPPPPPPP Less then the cost of gas.P Michael countered.P In fact, less then two thirds of what it would cost you to say
nothing of lost time.

PPPPPPPPPPP Yeah, but I know I can get it done
how do I know that you wont dump my books in a park and go have fun at the
penny arcades?P Molly started to speak,
but Michael cut her off with a motion of his hand.

PPPPPPPPPPP Because if we do that to you, then
nobody will hire us again. I dont have fun today, at the cost of
tomorrow.P Besides, he said, pointing
to the receipt, It specifies payment on successful delivery of services,
including a signed form confirming delivery.P
Stan shifted the cigar in his mouth, blowing out a noxious cloud of
smoke.

PPPPPPPPPPP Hmph.P He said, taking the receipt and looking at it.P How about this, Ill pay you this
much.P He named a lower figure, and a
bonus on books delivered per day If you clear out my back stock in less then
three days, you make more then you would getting paid your rate that is if you
think you can do it.P Michael tried to
unobtrusively get a look in the back room.P
Stan laughed. Dont worry, kid.P
I dont cheat people, and you can clear the stock out in three days as
well as pick up tips from the customers.P
Molly brightened, and Michael stuck out his hand.P Stan took it.P OK, kids. Heres your first list of places.P He finished getting a list from behind the
desk.

PPPPPPPPPPP Ten minutes later, Molly was outside
his store, weighted down by twenty pounds of books, with Michael on the bike
next to her, with thirty.P Michael set
off down the street.

PPPPPPPPPPP Michael. Michael Khan!P Molly yelled, heading after him.P The houses are this way!

PPPPPPPPPPP Yes, but the tram is this
way.P Molly came screeching to a halt,
and put her hands on her hips.P

PPPPPPPPPPP Michael. The tram wont go
anywhere near where we have to go.P
Michael turned and smiled at her.

PPPPPPPPPPP But it will insure that we only
have to go down hill.P Trust me, even if
its a few miles more, we will save time if those miles are down hill.P Well save even more time when you consider
the rest periods it will give us.P
Molly, still on the bike, put her hands on her hips.

PPPPPPPPPPP And the money the tickets will
cost?

PPPPPPPPPPP Not that much, and in this case I
think its money well spent.P That is,
unless you want to ride better then
10 miles a day up a 20 degree slope?PPP
Molly laughed, and started bicycling towards the stop.

PPPPPPPPPPP Nope but they is one thing you
dont know. She called behind her.

PPPPPPPPPPP Whats that?P Michael asked, following her.

PPPPPPPPPPP The last one to the stop pays for
both tickets.P Molly shouted, starting
to pedal off at full speed.

PPPPPPPPPPP ***

PPPPPPPPPPP Molly bicycled down the street,
watching for traffic.P This section of
town was one she had never been in before, and she tried to keep track of the
numbers.P After the first deliveries,
Michael and her had split up, the tiger confident that she understood his
record system.P She braked to a halt
next to a small apartment building, and walked up to the door, her last package
under her arm.P She walked up the
stairs, and knocked on the door of apartment 221.P The door opened and a shapely, fit rabbit emerged, clad in a
striped navy T-shirt and jeans.P Molly
figured that she was about eighteen.

PPPPPPPPPPP Hi, Kid whats going on.P Molly held up the box.

PPPPPPPPPPP Ive got a package for a Terri
Conners?P Molly said.P Terri grabbed the package, and unwrapped
it.P She practically squealed in delight.P Molly looked at the book then blinked it
was a navigation book of the Alation highlands.

PPPPPPPPPPP You fly?P Molly asked, surprised.

PPPPPPPPPPP Sure do have my own plane.P Molly looked envious, and Terri must have
caught on.P You want to be a
pilot?P

PPPPPPPPPPP I can fly but I dont have a
license yet, Molly said.P My mom owns
H&H.P The rabbit raised her
eyebrows.

PPPPPPPPPPP Youre the kid that blew up
Khannies gunship.P She said. Molly
reddened.

PPPPPPPPPPP I didnt blow it up it just
crashed.

PPPPPPPPPPP Yeah, the Rabbit laughed.P If thats the story you want.P Molly frowned, then realized that there was
no bite in Terris words.

PPPPPPPPPPP Its pretty hot, Terri continued,
You want a soda?P

PPPPPPPPPPP Um sure!P Molly answered.P The rabbit vanished back into the room, and came out with two
sodas.P

PPPPPPPPPPP Id invite you in, but the rooms
an oven right now.P She said, Lets
head out to the front.P Molly looked at
the sun.

PPPPPPPPPPP I should be going

PPPPPPPPPPP Unless
you have more boxes, this is your last delivery a few minutes wont kill
you. Molly went with Terri, sitting down on the chairs in the front.P

PPPPPPPPPPP Why are you staying here?P Baloo says that most pilots like staying
with their planes.P Terri laughed.P

PPPPPPPPPPP My planes a bit small to live in.
and its getting worked on.P Im.
making a delivery to here,P She said
pointing at the book.P and I wanted to
be rested up.P Molly looked at her.

PPPPPPPPPPP You
mean your smuggling something either in or out of there.
P The bearess thought.P If the plane was too small to pitch a bunk
in, it was too small to make a profit on legal cargoes. Abruptly, her chain of
thought was broken by the sound of her bicycle!?P Molly looked up just in time to see a teenager take her bike and
move off down the road.

PPPPPPPPPPP HEY!!!P STOP!!P An upthrust
middle finger greeted her yell.P She ran
out to chase after him, but a strong hand on her suspenders stopped her.

PPPPPPPPPPP You cant catch him that way,
Terri said, Cmon She said, leading Molly around to a small garage.P Terri opened the door and quickly rolled out
a motorcycle with a sidecar.P
Coming?P She asked, and Molly
hopped in the car.P With a quick motion,
the rabbit started the engine, and the motorcycle rocketed off down the road.

PPPPPPPPPPP Molly slitted her eyes against the
wind, as Terri accelerated, bringing the thief into view.P He looked back, and Molly got a glimpse of
an unpleasant face, rather familiar, as Terri drew closer.P Then the biker turned into a garbage-choked
alley

PPPPPPPPPPP Hang on!P Terri shouted as she went in after him, dodging bundles and piles
of junk.P Molly ducked under a
fire-escape ladder, and then they were out of the alley, the wind roaring in
her ears, as they headed down a one way street the wrong way.P Fortunately, there were only two cars on the
road, and Terri avoided both of them.P
The rider and Terri both had to slow up at the corner, and Molly saw her
chance.P Diving from the sidecar, she
tackled the rider, and brought him to the ground, the bike tangling him up. The
infuriated bearess dragged him to his feet, and slammed him against a
wall.P The slovenly wolf shook trying to
force her off, and then Molly realized who it was.

PPPPPPPPPPP Mike?P She looked at him, then snarled and brought her knee up between
his legs with a dull thud.P As one of
Daves cronys, she had no intention of letting him off easy. PPEven as he was bending over she got ready to
do it again if he tried to fight. Terri winced.

PPPPPPPPPPP Kiddo dont you think hes had
enough?P Molly let Mike Pgo, as the wolf fell to the ground,
sobbing.P She drew back her foot to kick
him again, then shrugged, and walked over to her bike.

PPPPPPPPPPP Mike.P Molly said, I dont need Michael to handle you, and if you ever
try something like this again, Ill hang you by your toes from the school
flagpole.P She looked at Terri.P I I need to get back to the store Thank
you.P Terri laughed.

PPPPPPPPPPP I havent had this much fun in a
while.P She handed Molly a five-dollar
bill.P Here you go, Molly. Price of
admission.P CYA. She kicked the bike
into motion, and moved off towards her apartment.P Molly looked down at Mike, then rode off herself, not bothering
to look back.

PPPPPPPPPPP When Molly got back to the store,
Stan was happy enough to see them and gave them a bonus.P

PPPPPPPPPPP Gotta admit didnt expect that you
would get finished with all this stuff so quickly, and Ive already had a call
from some of my customers you know your business, kids.P He said, as he chomped on the ever-present
cigar.P Michael looked over at Molly, wondering
why she was so happy.P Molly grinned at
him.

PPPPPPPPPPP Ill tell you later. She
said.P One the way back, Michael
finished counting their profits for the day, and grinned.

PPPPPPPPPPP And this time, no redfruit
fiasco.P Molly laughed, as she finished
putting the bike in H&Hs warehouse.P
Michael nodded.

PPPPPPPPPPP And no redfruit fiasco.P He said.P
Though it wasnt much of a fiasco.P
Molly looked at him, raising her eyebrows.P We got some work done, and everything we did worked except I
didnt think that others would have the same idea or do it as thoroughly as
Shere did.P He continued, still, it
was an interesting time. Though Im happy to be making money this time.P Thank you for helping on this, Molly.P He said, putting one arm around Mollys
shoulders.P The bearess leaned into
Michael, a bit tired, and settled into the crook of his arm.

PPPPPPPPPPP I met Mike Ptoday he tried to steal my bike.P Michael blinked.

PPPPPPPPPPP What happened?P Molly told him.P Midway through her story Michael winced.P Molly grinned.P Well, all he had to do to avoid it was to not steal my
bike.P She laughed, Besides, it got me
a five dollar tip I hope I see Terri sometime later, shes pretty
interesting.P Michael pulled her in
close.

PPPPPPPPPPP Well, she wasnt the one that dove
off the motorcycleyou could have been hurt, you know.P Molly shrugged, not moving out of the circle
of Michaels arm.

PPPPPPPPPPP I know how to fall and I dont
like it when people steal from me.P She
looked up at Michael, blue eyes meeting green eyes.P But thanks for thinking about that.P Michael coughed.P

PPPPPPPPPPP Well it would leave me to make ALL
the deliveries.P Molly mock punched him
in the gut, and Michael laughed and mock-doubled over.P Laughing, the two kids made their way into the
office, where Rebecca waited to take Michael and Molly to their respective
homes.

PPPPPPPPPPP The next several days fell into a
comfortable rhythm.P Molly would make
deliveries in the morning, work at the hospital in the afternoon, and then
spend the evening with Jereem, Michael and Hannah.P

One evening, working in the old shed out behind the
H&H building, the kids worked on a short-wave radio, trying to get it
working.P Molly frowned, looking at the
inside.

PPPPPPPPPPP This thing hasnt been cleaned
since it was made. Ill get the air compressor.P The bearess said, walking out of the shed.P Meanwhile Michael came walking in, his arms
full of valves (vacuum tubes).

PPPPPPPPPPP How did you get those?P Molly asked.

PPPPPPPPPPP Granduncles business. Michael
said, half the tubes they downcheck work, and it would cost more money to
recover them then it would to just dump them.P

PPPPPPPPPPP I hope that someday mom has that
kind of problem.P The bearess said over
her shoulder.P Michael raised his
eyebrows that had been a little more waspish then he had expected.P He looked over at Jereem and Hannah, the coyote
showing his girlfriend the calculations he ad worked out to make the antenna
most effective for picking up short wave.

PPPPPPPPPPP And this is what we need to damp
out interference, else every time some one starts an engine, well lose the
signal- hello Michael.P Jereem said.

PPPPPPPPPPP Did you hear that?P Michael asked.P

PPPPPPPPPPP Oh Hannah paused, Michael, Ms.
Cunningham is having to take a small loan to pay off her bills, given the fall
off in trade Mollys a bit sensitive about it.P Michael looked after the other girl.

PPPPPPPPPPP I didnt know she didnt tell
me.P Jereem looked up.P

PPPPPPPPPPP She didnt tell us, either, but
Im

PPPPPPPPPPP The accountant, I know.P Michael said. He refrained from asking
anything else.P Jereem probably didnt
want to say anything more, and Michael wasnt about to try to bully his friend
into telling it.P Molly came back with
the hose trailing behind her, and turned the valve, beginning to remove the
dust from the interior of the radio.

PPPPPPPPPPP Sorry about that, Michael its
been a long day, and I dont think were going to get this thing to work
without completely taking it apart, She said, coughing as the clouds of dust
enshrouded her.P Michael used a cloth to
keep the dust from settling on the tubes he had brought.P Molly closed the air hoses valve, and then pulled
the racks of burned out vacuum tubes.P
Taking a tester out, she began to plug in the vacuum tubes and run the
test on the bench-mounted tester.P
Michael looked at Jereem.

PPPPPPPPPPP So, do you have the antenna cables
ready?P Jereem nodded, holding up
several complex wire and wood assemblies.P
Michael held out his hands.

PPPPPPPPPPP If youll hold the ladder, Ill
mount it He grinned.P Just dont let
the ladder fall

PPPPPPPPPPP Dont worry, Jereem said, I spent
all day on that antenna.

Finally, with an exclamation of joy, Molly finished
plugging in the last tube.P Hannah
looked at her.

Ive got it finished!P Molly leaned out of the window.P
Jereem!P Michael!P Is everything ready?P The two, Michael standing on the ladder up
the lattice antenna, just behind the H&H building, waved and nodded.P Molly turned on the radio, deftly turning
the frequency control until she came to the frequency she had been searching
for.P Molly listened for several
minutes, growing irritated, as she heard nothing but the hiss of static.P Glaring at the radio, she muttered and
checked connections.

I cannot figure maybe a bad connection?P Michael!P
Im coming up!P She called, as
she ran over to the ladder and swarmed up it, setting it to shaking.

Hey!P Molly,
watch it! P Michael said, alarmed.

Dont worry There you are.P Molly said, looking at one section of the
wire.P The splice is bad She said,
pulling out her tool kit and leaning out.

Molly. We can take it down

Thatll take the rest of the day.P Molly said, Im not gonna wait.

Molly!P
Michael said, as Jereem hung on to the bottom of the ladder for dear
life.P Baloo, working over with Wildcat,
saw the commotion.

Now whatre those kids doing fooling around like
that on the ladder?P The bear asked,

Maybe its lonely and wanted to play to?P Wildcat answered, seriously.P Baloo dropped the tool he had been using.

Hang on, Wildcat.P
Shortstuff!P Baloo called, You
know bettern that! I- Molly, finishing up with the cable, looked over a Baloo
at the same time she was putting her toolkit back.P Suddenly under Michael and Mollys weight the ladder swayed
again, and Molly realizing that now she had neither hand on it, tried to grab
it, failed, and lost her balance.

I-yowww! She cried out as she fell off the
ladder.P Michael grabbed for her, got
her by one hand, and then lost his own balance, falling down after her,
bouncing painfully off the ladder.P
Molly landed even harder, on her feet, then gasped and fell over,
holding one ankle.P Baloo amazingly for
someone his size, almost teleported to them.

You kids ok? the older bear asked looking at
Michael, who was dusting himself off.P
Michael got up and he, Jereem and Baloo looked over at Molly, who was
pounding the dirt with her fist.

Stupid, Stupid, STUPID!P She gasp/snarled, while she held her ankle with her other
hand.P She tried to get up and gave a
cry of pain. Michael ran to her side.

Maybe you should stay here, The tiger asked in
concern.P Molly looked at him, face
strained.

And what?P
Im ok, my ankle just hurts a little.P
She said, then gasped as she tried to put some weight on it.P The larger Tiger supported her, putting his
arm around her.P Baloo started to help,
then paused, and let Michael take the lead.

Ill get the door, Michael.P Baloo said, Pigtails, that wasnt real
smart.

Trust me, right now I know.P Molly said.P
Jereem put the ladder down and then he and Hannah followed the other
three.P Once inside the office, Rebecca
being gone on a business lunch, Molly sank into the couch with a sigh. Baloo
went back and got some ice.P Hannah
walked up to the bearess and knelt down looking at the ankle.

Hannah?

You learn some things with a doctor for a
father.P Hannah said. She reached out
and began to probe the girls ankle.P
Molly gasped after a moment.

Hannah, that hurts!

Can you move it?P
Hannah asked, and then, as Molly moved it, made a few quick motions.

OUCH!P
Molly yelled, involuntarily. Hannah got up.

You are lucky, Molly.P The coyote said, It is not broken, and not even sprained, I do
not think It could have easily been broken

I know, I know it was dumb, Molly said, gratefully
accepting the ice Baloo had wrapped in a cloth and letting Michael apply it to
her ankle.P The icy cold seemed to pull
some of the sting out of it.P What do
we do for tomorrows deliveries?

I can take it, if your ankle is still hurting,
Molly.P Michael said.

It wont be but thanks. Molly said. Baloo
grinned.

Not to change the subject, Pigtails, but did you
finished what you were doing?

Yeah, the wires fixed. Baloo grinned and walked
out, returning with the fifty-pound radio balanced easily on one shoulder.P Putting it next to H&Hs two-way rig, he
plugged it in and then re-connected the antenna leads.P With a flourish, he turned it on, and
gestured to the kids.

Now you can listen to it here, where its cooler
then it is in that oven back there.P
Molly leaned forward, as the set warmed up, then she sighed in relief as
the voice came through, staticky but understandable.

This is Edward R. Murrow, speaking to you from
London, where the Blitz is raging.P
The four leaned forward, Molly forgetting about the ache, as the rebuilt
radio carried the famous voice from half a world away.

The next day, Molly and Michael were riding on the
tram, taking it to the top of the hill where they would make all of their
deliveries while going back down the hill.P
Michael was hanging onto a strap, as was molly, making room for the
older and much younger riders of the tram.

Are you ok?P
Michael asked Molly, looking at her ankle.

Im fine, Michael.P Molly said, It just twinges a bit if I walk on it too
much.P She paused, Be glad that Baloo
didnt tell Mom, or I wouldnt be helping at all.P Michael nodded, as the tram jerked to a stop, then helped Molly
out of it, setting up the bikes and packages.

After we finish delivering do you want to get some
lunch?P Ive got the money.P He said, Molly looked up.

Sure the same place?P Michael shook his head,

PIve had
about as many hotdog stand lunches as I can take how about the caf on 12th?P Molly grinned.

OK!P She
said, then hopped on her bike.P When?

12:30 Michael said, getting on his bike, then
waved at her as he pedaled off.P Molly
started off on her own route, working extra fast to get finished in time.P By the time she had made the last delivery,
her ankle throbbed, and she gratefully coasted down the street to the caf.
Michael was already there, looking worried.

I m only five minutes late.P Molly said, as she swung off the bike,
opposite from the way she normally did.P
Michael noticed that.

Is your ankle giving you trouble?P He asked in concern.P Molly gave a frown.

It just hurts a bit Michael. Ive been getting
dings like that ever since I was five.

And you still live?P Michael asked, then shielded himself from her glare as he chained
their bikes up to the rack.P With the
gas rationing, Mike Phad not been the
only bike thief at large, and Michael and Mollys bikes were both attractive
targets.P They walked into the cool
interior of the caf.P After sitting at
one of the booths Michael and Molly waited until the waitress, an attractive
young lady, walked up to them.

Can I take you orders?P She asked.P Molly gave her
order, then waited while Michael gave his.P
The waitress smiled, and then winked at Michael as she took their menus.

Have you been here before?P Molly asked, just a tiny edge in her voice.

Well, no, but Ill be certain to come here
later.P Molly started to glare then saw
the twinkle in Michaels eyes.P She
laughed, accepting the joke. P

How did you deliveries go?P Molly asked.

Pretty good, except for the Britannica set that
was a problem.

On bike?

No the fellow who ordered it lived on the sixth
story and the elevator was out.P Molly
winced.

Ouch.P She
said.P Michael paused, looked at her
then back at the bikes outside the window.

Molly.P He
trailed off.P Molly looked at him in
some surprise.

Yes?

Grand uncles having a party two weeks from this
Saturday would you like to come with me?P
He finished in a near rush.P Molly
blinked, then said nothing for a few seconds. Michael began to sweat.P

Well Yes!P
Molly said enthusiastically,P
Where is it at Clarksdale’s, The Steak house?P Michael took one of her hands in his.P

Its at well, Its at the Grande Royale Hotel.P Molly said nothing, then her hand clenched
around his, hard.P

The Royale?P
She said, disbelievingly.P
Except for you, I dont know anyone whos ever even stayed there, its
so ritzy.

You know granduncle.P Michel said.P If you
dont want to go, we could just hit the amusement park then Molly lay her
other hand on his.

No Molly said, softer then she normally
spoke.P Id like to go there a
lot.P Neither kid said anything for
several seconds, and then Michael cleared his throat, a little uncomfortably.

Well then Ill tell granduncle, and you tell your
mother, and it will be all set.P He
smiled, as the meal came back, the waitress putting it in place with practiced
grace.P Michael and Molly finished
lunch, talking about the other things that might happen that summer.P By mutual agreement, now that Molly had
agreed, neither mentioned the ball.P

After saying goodbye to Michael, Molly rode her bike
back to the apartment, locking it up in the garage, then taking the elevator
before bounding into the apartment.P She
stopped dead in her tracks as she saw Rebecca sitting at the table, wearing a
robe, rubbing her eyes as she looked at the newspaper.

Mom?P Molly
asked, Is something wrong?

Oh, no honey Im just worn out and I decided to
call it an early night today.P Rebecca
got up and walked towards her bedroom.P
Do you mind if I dont make dinner tonight.

No you get some sleep mom.P Molly paused, Do you want me to call you
when I make my dinner?

No, Ill just have a bigger breakfast tomorrow.P Rebecca headed back to her room, and when
Molly looked in twenty minutes later, she was dead asleep.

Molly walked back to the table and noticed Rebeccas
purse sitting on the table, a sheaf of papers poking out.P She convinced herself that it would be a
good idea to file them for her mother, as she took them out of the purse.

PPPPPPPPPPP She
really didnt mean to read them, but the bank name on the paper caught her
attention, and she looked closer.P
Denials.P They were all refusals
for loan applications, even insurancedue to the war one read.P Lastly, there was a financial statement,
written out in Jereems precise handwriting.P
Molly sat down, feeling punched in the gut as she looked at it.P If Jereem was right they only had enough
money to pay the bills for a few more months, at most.P A final note caused her to blinkit was an
application for clerical work.P Could
things be that bad?

A stir from Rebeccas room caused her to quickly
shove the papers back in the purse and go to the kitchen, making her dinner,
even though she was no longer hungry.

Afterwards, she got the phone and sitting where she
could see down the hall to moms bedroom, placed a call.

Molly?P
Michaels voice answered.P It is
kind of late.. Is something wrong?

Ummm Now that she had him on the phone; Molly
really didnt know what to say. Its nothing, really I just wanted to ask you
how your Ganduncle’s business is doing.P
One the other end, Michael blinked.

About as well as can be expected shippings fallen
off, except for military but Something clicked in his head.P Molly, is something wrong with Higher For
Hire?

Well Mom wasnt able to get the loans.P Molly said,P
But its really nothing big, well just have to tighten our belts I
think Im going to give my share of the money we make to Mom, just in
caseP A stir from the bedroom came to
her ears, Anyway, gotta go, cya tomorrow!P
She hung up quickly.P Michael sat
in his room, looking at the phone.P
Molly didnt lie worth a damn, he thought.P

Tighten our belts my eye He muttered, then placed
a call to Jereems house.P If anyone
would know, it would be Ms. Cunninghams part time accountant, he thought.P He waited until Jereems chipper voice came
on the phone, and smiled at the sound of Hannah in the background, chatting
with Jereems mother.

Yes, Michael?P
Jereem asked.

How is H&H doing?P Michael asked bluntly, then explained Mollys odd phone call.

Not well, Michael.P Jereem quietly said.P He
paused, Dont ask me to tell you anymore though Ms. Cunningham asked me to
keep the particulars to myself.P
Michael unconsciously nodded.

You dont have to owners of healthy companies
dont tell their workers to keep quiet.P
Thanks.P He paused.P Say Hello to Hannah and your mother for
me. And dont forget the final game of the month is this Saturday.

How could I? Jereem asked. I have a petition from
the other members to show up, so you dont pitch.P Michael laughed and said goodbye.P Looking at the phone, he looked up at the clock.P Yes, he would still be at work, the tiger
thought, getting up.

***

PPPPPPPPPPP Michael walked up to Sheres desk
and waited until Khan got off the phone.P
He wasnt certain how to approach Shere, but interrupting a phone call
wasnt the way to begin.P For that
matter, he wasnt even certain what he wanted Jereem had given him the
information, but not what to do with it.

Minister, I am fully aware of the tax problem, but
is the Aleminian’s win this war then you will not have to worry about taxes,
unless heaven has them. Yes. Good day.P
Khan sighed as he hung up the phone.P
May I help you Michael?P Oh, if
I havent mentioned it yet, your courier business is not only a good idea, you
are operating it efficiently and very cleverly you have my admiration.P Michael blinked.P Coming from Shere Khan, that was as good as a marching band with
dancers.P

PPPPPPPPPPP Thank you grand uncle.

PPPPPPPPPPP You do not need to thank me,
Michael you and your friends deserve all the credit.

PPPPPPPPPPP That is why Im here uncle.P Shere raised his eyes.

PPPPPPPPPPP Ms. Cunninghams business is on the
verge of failing.P Michael quietly
said.

PPPPPPPPPPP Many of the independent contractors
are, Michael, the war has made it impossible for them to work.

PPPPPPPPPPP Yes and well I was wondering.

PPPPPPPPPPP If you are asking if I would give
them a loan, no.P Besides, think about
Ms. Cunningham how do you think she would react to charity like that.P Michael hadnt thought about that he had
only been trying to give Ms. Cunningham and Molly a hand.P Now, Khan calmly watched his grandnephew
turn slightly pale

PPPPPPPPPPP You must consider your actions,
Michael.P Khan said, Ms. Cunningham is
proud, and jealous of her independence.

PPPPPPPPPPP Even if it sends the company out of
business?P Michael asked.

PPPPPPPPPPP To accept a loan from me would turn
the company into my business, in fact that is what she would suspect me
of.P Previously, she would be
right.P Michael paced, frustrated.

PPPPPPPPPPP But if she goes out of business
He turned to Shere and asked him, point blank.P
How would you help them?P Shere
steepled his fingers.

PPPPPPPPPPP I am not certain

PPPPPPPPPPP Is there anyway H&H could make
a profit right now?

PPPPPPPPPPP While the war continues no.P Shere said, Afterwards yes.P I expect a tremendous boom in air traffic,
presuming we win.P He paused, then
thought for several moments.P I will
consider this, Michael there might be a way, but I will have to make
inquiries He nodded to his grandnephew.

PPPPPPPPPPP Thank you, Michael said, getting
up and leaving.P I really appreciate
this.P Shere looked up and gave a tiny,
almost non-existent smile.P

PPPPPPPPPPP Michael?

PPPPPPPPPPP Yes Granduncle?P

PPPPPPPPPPP Remember, that you have to make an
appearance at the ball I know you generally dont like to come, but this time
it is a necessity.P Michael nodded,
then blinked once, thinking hard.P

PPPPPPPPPPP I was thinking of bringing a
friend, granduncle.

PPPPPPPPPPP Perhaps a certain female bear?
Khan asked.

PPPPPPPPPPP Um yes. Michael said.

PPPPPPPPPPP I believe Ms. Cunningham is already
spoken for.P Shere said.P Michael looked at him, then responded.

PPPPPPPPPPP Molly Cunningham, granduncle.

PPPPPPPPPPP Oh My mistake. I will call the
tailor and make arrangements for both of you. Michael waved and left the
room.P Outside, he stopped in the middle
of the hall.

PPPPPPPPPPP I
think Shere Khan just tried to make a joke.P
He looked out of the window. Nope, couldnt be I dont see the
Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

PPPPPPPPPPP Saturday, Michael and the others, as
usual, went to the athletic field to play baseball.P Molly made no mention of last nights phone call, and Michael
respected it.P Rebecca watched them
pedal off, and then sat down in front of the business, sighing.P She looked at the Seaduck, bobbing at the
pier, they empty warehouse, and the loading dock, bare except for a smattering
of cargo, so small that the gas would cost more then the pay.P Still, she would deliver it.P She tiredly ran one hand through her thick
auburn hair.P Lately it had been harder
and harder to get the energy to come in. Worrying about Kit, and the fact that
there was just no business, and no plan of hers could change that fact had
drained her of energy.

PPPPPPPPPPP The sound of a car caused her to
look up, as a SK limo pulled up to the curb.P
Michaels normal chauffeur got out, and walked over.

PPPPPPPPPPP Oh, Samson, you just missed
Michael, Rebecca said.P

PPPPPPPPPPP Mr. Khan asked that I bring you to
a meeting with him, The chauffeur said.P
Rebecca blinked.

PPPPPPPPPPP About what?P He shrugged.

PPPPPPPPPPP Dont know but hell tell you
himself.P He finished opening the door
for her.P Rebecca got in and sat down,
bemused.P Too her surprise, the car
didnt go to Khan towers, instead driving around the periphery of the bay, to a
region of new construction, the earth raw and slashed from earth moving
equipment.P Rebecca got out, and accepted
the offered hard hat.P Samson pointed
over to where Khan, surrounded by a group of flunkies was going over
blueprints.

PPPPPPPPPPP Ahh, Ms. Cunningham.P He said as she walked up with him.P Happy you could make it.P A tiny wave of his hand scattered his flunkies.P

PPPPPPPPPPP Why am I here?P Rebecca asked.P

PPPPPPPPPPP H&H is going out of
business.P Khan quietly said, once they
were alone.P Rebecca blinked.

PPPPPPPPPPP Did your grand nephew find out that
fact?

PPPPPPPPPPP I have other sources of
information I do not need to enlist Michael.P
Khan said. And whatever you might think, in this case it does not make
me happy.P Rebecca put her hands on her
hips.

PPPPPPPPPPP Oh really? Why not I cant
remember a time when you werent trying to get a hold on Cape Suzettes
business.P Khan raised his eyebrow.

PPPPPPPPPPP We are fighting a war, Ms.
Cunningham and anything that damages our economy is damaging my
interests.P He paused, While other
owners can find employment, in your case a regrettable sexism has come to
play.P Rebecca didnt contest that. For
all of Sheres faults, his company had been one of the few where a woman could
rise to positions higher then glorified secretary.P Shere continued.P I take
your search for possible employment has not gone well?

PPPPPPPPPPP How
did he-?

PPPPPPPPPPP No, it hasnt, she said.P Khan nodded, then turned to the
half-complete complex.P

PPPPPPPPPPP When finished, this complex will
manufacture seaplane fighters and bombers, using jet engines and other new
technology we will be able to base them on the ocean, from small ships, even
from lakes and streams instead of large aircraft carriers and airbases.P He turned back to her.P I have not been able to find anyone to
manage this establishment.P Either they
are experienced in planes, with no experience in management, or they are
managers with no practical experience in planes. I believe that you have both
those qualifications, though.P It took
Rebecca several minutes to realize what Khan was saying.

PPPPPPPPPPP You want me to work for you?

PPPPPPPPPPP Primarily our country, and only
temporarily. I am prepared to use my influence with the various banks to get
all of H&Hs debts postponed until after the war, when you should be able
pay them off handily.P Becky paused,
thinking.

PPPPPPPPPPP No catches?P A ghost of a smile played around Khans
face.

PPPPPPPPPPP In this case, Ms. Cunningham, I
promise you that there are no catches, either in what Ive said, or what I have
not said.P What you see is what you
get.P Rebecca looked around the
complex, seeing the work crews bustling back and forth.

PPPPPPPPPPP How long will it be before its
ready?

PPPPPPPPPPP Not long, Khan said, Maybe a
month at the outside barely enough time for you to get acquainted with the
project.P He continued, gesturing to
several thick bundles of paper on a table. Mr. Baloo and Wildcat are also
welcomewe will need pilots to ferry the planes, and I have it on good
authority that Wildcats skill may come in handy at solving some of the
thornier problems as long as other mechanics go over his work to make it more
conventional.P Rebecca nodded, then
turned to Khan.P

PPPPPPPPPPP Alright.P I accept.P She said.P Khan gravely took her hand and shook
it.P

PPPPPPPPPPP Also, Ms. Cunningham.P Michael has invited Molly to the Royale
ball.P That caused Rebecca to
blink.P She had lost track of how many
times she had tried to get in. Then she winced.P There was no way she could afford to get Molly clothes that
wouldnt humiliate her and so-Ive scheduled her fitting for the Thursday
before the Ball, at 4:00 PM, if that would be acceptable to you.P Rebecca looked up, then nodded.

PPPPPPPPPPP Yes. Thank you,

PPPPPPPPPPP There is no need.P Both as his guardian, and on a personal
level, I am thankful for Molly, Hannah, and Jereems friendship with
Michael.P Khan paused, Good day, Ms.
Cunningham.P Rebecca thanked him and
left her mind in a whirl as she was driven back to H&H.

PPPPPPPPPPP So Beckers whats ole Khanny
want?P Baloo said, as he polished off
lunch, his feet propped up on her desk.P
Rebecca sat down in the easy chair, looked at Baloo and said.

PPPPPPPPPPP Hes hired me.P That was enough to cause the five-ply
salami, pastrami and beef sandwich to go down the wrong way, and it took Baloo
several minutes of coughing before he could say anything.

PPPPPPPPPPP I suppose you told him where to
take it?

PPPPPPPPPPP No, I accepted his offer, Baloo
you know we dont have much choice and I trust him, this time.

PPPPPPPPPPP Oh?P The older bear shot back, and why is that?

PPPPPPPPPPP Because he came right out and said
that this wasnt part of any plot or plan, Baloo.P You know how Khan is about his word.P Baloo nodded, thinking.

PPPPPPPPPPP Ya got that right, Beckers.P I may not like em that much, but he does
have a thing about going back on his word.P
Whats the job?

PPPPPPPPPPP Managing that new complex across
the bay.

PPPPPPPPPPP And H&H?P Baloo asked, looking closely.

PPPPPPPPPPP Hell hold off the bill collectors
until after the war.P Rebecca said with
relief.P He also mentioned that you and
Wildcat can join up well need ferry pilots.

PPPPPPPPPPP OK Beckers youre still the
boss.P Baloo said, jumping up to go
give wildcat the news.P Becky
smiled.P Ever since the war had begun, Baloo
had been champing at the bit to get involved somehow.P To Rebeccas great thankfulness, and his frustration, the War
Department had disallowed him on the basis of age and education.P Now he could give a hand, without being
close to the fighting, God willing.P
Smiling, Rebecca went over to her desk and began working on the
paperwork, which right now didnt seem nearly as tiring as it had yesterday.

PPPPPPPPPPP At the park, things werent going
quite so smoothly.P

PPPPPPPPPPP YER OUT!!

PPPPPPPPPPP What was that Molly!!??P Michael asked as Molly came stalking back
from the plate.P The bearess glared at
Michael.P

PPPPPPPPPPP Well, it would have been easier is
somebody right behind me hadnt been playing air traffic controller She
said, higher, no lower, to the right!P
I know how to hit a ball, Michael.P
She finished, flopping down on the bench.P Jereem looked at them both, then hefted his bat, and walked over
to the plate.

PPPPPPPPPPP Bases loaded, two outs, and
Jereems up to bat Michael murmured.P
We need a homer, and Jereem usually gets a single, or double at
best.P Hannah blinked at the tiger.

PPPPPPPPPPP Jereem will do it.P She said.P

PPPPPPPPPPP Hannah Michaels not saying
anything about Jereem his pitching is the reason we arent further behind then
we are.PP Molly said.P

PPPPPPPPPPP OK. Hannah continued the phrase
still slightly awkward.P If Jereem gets
a homer, then you owe him and me lunch at Kellys.P She finished, naming a slightly expensive diner on the
waterfront.P Michael prepared to open
his mouth to ask what they would get if Jereem failed then shut it as Molly
elbowed him.P The crack of the bat
hitting the ball pulled all their gazes back to the field just in time to see
the ball vanish over the fence.P In
unison, Molly and Michael looked over at Hannah.P He has been practicing.P
She said in satisfaction.

PPPPPPPPPPP Later, at Kellys, Michael reflected
that at least Jereem and Hannah werent big eaters. and the diner was a nice
change for a Saturday afternoon.P Jereem
finished his hamburger then looked over at Michael and Molly.

PPPPPPPPPPP Thank you for this, but it really
wasnt needed.

PPPPPPPPPPP Yes. It was.P Molly said.P
Apart from the bet, you saved us from having to listen to Gregs
crowing.P She pushed her cheeks out and
began to flap her arms up and down in passable imitation of the other kid.P The other three burst into laughter.P Laugh now. Molly continued, But last year
we had to throw him in the city pool before he stopped rubbing it in. Michael
winced.

PPPPPPPPPPP Youre right, Id forgotten about
that.

PPPPPPPPPPP So, Jereem and I were thinking of
going to the amusement park on the 14th do you want to come?P Molly looked at Michael, then replied.

PPPPPPPPPPP Were going well were going
somewhere else that day. Jereem looked at them then snapped his fingers.P

PPPPPPPPPPP The Royale?P He asked.

PPPPPPPPPPP Yes.P Michael said.P Hannahs
eyes got wide.

PPPPPPPPPPP But… everyones going to be there.P The mayor, the Governor, the Secretary of
State excitedly, Hannah continued to list off the guests she had heard,
oblivious to the fact that Molly was slowly turning an odd shade of green.

PPPPPPPPPPP Michael She said faintly.P You didnt mention who would be there
Michael smiled,

PPPPPPPPPPP Dont worry… Ive had to go two
years now, and all it is is a bunch of older people in bad suits talking. You
wont have any trouble at all.P Mollys
expression remained dubious.P Michael
looked at the clock then stood back from the table.

PPPPPPPPPPP Well, does anyone want to head back
to H&H and try to catch the news broadcast?

PPPPPPPPPPP Just
as long as Molly doesnt adjust the antenna at least not unless she keeps both
feet on the ladder.P Hannah said.P The kids laughed, even Molly as they headed
out to the business.

PPPPPPPPPPP The days seem to pass quickly.P Beyond the work on the business, Molly found
herself helping Baloo, Rebecca and Wildcat prepare H&H for its hibernation,
for the duration of the (hopefully) short war.P
As the days continued, Molly saw less of her mother.P Rebecca had to get ready for the plant, and
the thick stacks of paper Shere had first given her were the Synopsiss of the plant and assembly
linethe actual documents were far thicker.PP
Rebecca had to read them, make choices about hiring and shipping, all in
time for the opening. Molly had largely taken over the cooking, and in fact had
become something of a tyrant, forcing her mother to both eat and rest.

PPPPPPPPPPP Molly, Im the adult here.P Rebecca said one late night, looking at her
nightgown-clad daughter, who was glaring at her mother.

PPPPPPPPPPP Then act like one, Mom.P Its three in the morning, and you have a
meeting at eight. How much work do you think youll get done if you get an
ulcer, or are thinking like a zombie tomorrow?P Rebecca threw up her hands and surrendered, going to bed.P Molly smiled as she headed off to her own
room.P Rebecca poked her head out of her
room, and called.

PPPPPPPPPPP Dont forget that the fitting for
your dress is tomorrow, Molly.P Molly
winced.P She had been getting a bit
nervous about this little outing as Michael had called it yesterday.P She went back to bed, and tried to ignore
the butterflies trying to get out of her stomach.

PPPPPPPPPPP After they finished their rounds,
Michael came back with some coke, where Molly waited on the side of the street,
watching the bikes.P He handed one to
her, then drank from his gratefully.P
Wiping his brow with the cool glass.

PPPPPPPPPPP Are you going to the hospital this
afternoon?P Molly paused at the
question.P

PPPPPPPPPPP No Ive got that fitting this
afternoon.P Michael nodded.P Molly turned to him,

PPPPPPPPPPP Why do I need a fitting?P Michael looked back at her.P

PPPPPPPPPPP They do it so your clothes go with
mineP Everyone does it at these
things.P He finished.

PPPPPPPPPPP Great Molly said.

PPPPPPPPPPP Is something wrong?P Michael asked, a little worried.P Molly looked back up at him.

PPPPPPPPPPP No!P Ive just never done this before She smiled.P Dont worry, I just wanted to know what to
expect.P Anyway, She continued, Ill see
you Saturday night Friday I need to help mom move some of her stuff to the new
office, and well be driving back and forth all day.P Michael grinned.

PPPPPPPPPPP OK We dont have anything to do
tomorrow, weve cleared all of todays shipments.P He waved as Molly finished her coke and dropped it in the trash.P Ill see you Saturday night.P Molly waved back at him as she pedaled off
down the street.

PPPPPPPPPPP Well Shes not nervous at all I
wonder what Granduncle was talking about.

PPPPPPPPPPP Saturday,P 4:45PM

PPPPPPPPPPP Maybe I could just call in sick.
Molly said, looking miserable as she stood in the living room, with Rebecca
making some last minute adjustments on her ball dress.P Molly looked at the mirror, her grumpy
expression looking back at her.P The
dress was incredible almost like a waterfall caught in midmotion. Which made
the look of the moose who was wearing it all the more depressing.

PPPPPPPPPPP No you cant, Molly. How do you
think that would make Michael feel?P
Rebecca answered.P

PPPPPPPPPPP But I look like a Moose!P Molly said, waving her hands around.P Everyone there is going to smell the
gasoline on my hands and

PPPPPPPPPPP Molly, nobodies going to smell
anything especially given how long you took getting ready.P Rebecca said, with a gentle smile.

PPPPPPPPPPP And I have no idea of how to eat
Ill probably do something that will have- Rebecca cut her off.

PPPPPPPPPPP Molly, all the people are going to
wonder is who is that pretty young lady.P
Dont worry about the dinner youll know what to do when you stop
worrying about it.P Rebecca got up and
looked at the dress.P There.P Now youre ready.

PPPPPPPPPPP Ave
Moritorui
Molly said.P Rebecca blinked and laughed.P

PPPPPPPPPPP No
Molly.P I dont think that Caesar will
be there.P She looked up at the clock,
and turned back to Molly.P Here let me
help you down to the street.P The Car
should be here in a few moments. P

As
Molly and Rebecca came out of the room, she saw Baloo and Wildcat sitting in
the living room.P Now she really wanted
to hide.

PPPPPPPPPPP Wow.P Baloo said, You look great, Shortstuff.P Molly gave a sickly smile to Baloo, as
Rebecca helped her out the door, Wildcat holding it open.P As the door closed, Baloo looked over at
Wildcat.

PPPPPPPPPPP So Wildcat, is it just me, or did
Molly turn into a lady when I wasnt looking? Wildcats return gaze said all
that needed to be to that question.

PPPPPPPPPPP Molly and Rebecca entered the lobby
of the apartment, since taking the outside elevator down ran the risk of
getting splashed on the curb.P Several
people were in the lobby, reading papers, or just taking in the afternoon.P Molly looked around as they looked up and
saw her.

PPPPPPPPPPP Yes
everyone, come see the wonderful dress and the moose who is wearing it,
She
thought.P As she and her mother walked
out of the lobby, onto the street where the limo waited, Emma Simpson looked
over at her neighbor.

PPPPPPPPPPP Was that the nice girl from the top
apartment?P She asked.

PPPPPPPPPPP YesP A sigh, Doesnt she look beautiful?P That rhetorical question was met with nods of agreement.

PPPPPPPPPPP It seems like just yesterday that
she was running around in that little Dangerwoman getup, doesnt it.P Emma continued, Where do the years go?

PPPPPPPPPPP The mechanics of getting down the to
the street kept Mollys mind off of her troubles for a few moments, but then
the limo at the curb brought them back full steam.P Rebecca got her in the car, then stood back, waving good bye as
the driver got into his seat, and started off.

Wheres Michael?P
Molly asked. PPPPPPPPPPP Samson
turned around and looked at the bearess.

He has to stick by Mr. Khan, Molly.PPP Sayin hi to the bigwigs, you know.

Oh Samson caught the tone of her voice.P

Dont worry about tonight everything will work out
ok. Molly nodded.P Looking out of the
car, she noticed the numbers of limos and other vehicles moving up to the
Royale.P Samson pulled up, then a
doorman; in a uniform that would put many generals dress uniforms to shame,
stood up and opened the door for her.P
Molly got out, looking around.

PPPPPPPPPPP ANOUNCING
THE HONERABLE CHIEF JUSTICE MCCONNAL AND MRS. MCCONNALPPPPPPPPPP The Major Domo said, striking a staff on the ground.P Having no choice, Molly walked behind them.

PPPPPPPPPPP *Maybe
God will vaporize me, or the ground will swallow me up or*
God remained stubborn on the point.

PPPPPPPPPPP ANNOUNCING MISS. MOLLY
CUNNINGHAM!P The man said, and dozens
of eyes looked at her like tracking AA cannon.P
Molly kept a smile on her face as she began to descend towards the bottom
of the stairs.P If she could get to the
crowd and lose herself in it-

PPPPPPPPPPP Molly!P You made it! Michael came walking over, bounding a little,
actually and incidentally blowing any hope of anonymity out of the water.P Coming up to her, he paused and took her
hand, bending over it.P Im happy you
made it.P He said softly.P Molly looked at him and realized how happy
he was, his eyes dancing.P She smiled, a
little more naturally.

PPPPPPPPPPP Well I wanted to see what you call
a little party.P She looked around. PI think you need some remedial dictionary
work.P Michael laughed, then took her
by the arm and led her to their table, as the rest of the crowd was beginning
to migrate to their tables.P Seating
Molly, Michael sat next to her, as the first platters of food were
brought.P For a moment Molly looked in
panic at the silverware sitting on her place.P
Rebeccas instructions on what to use first had completely vanished from
her brain.P

PPPPPPPPPPP The woman next to Molly, middle aged
lioness, looked over at her, and picked up one fork.

PPPPPPPPPPP You know, Ive never understood all
of the different forks they use for these things.P She said.P Now take this
one.P They call it a salad fork, but I
cant tell any difference between it and a regular fork.P She went on, while Molly listened, and in
the process of complaining, managed to give the younger bearess a complete list
of what was used when.P Molly looked up
at her and asked.

PPPPPPPPPPP Pardon me Maam She looked down
at Molly.P Yes?

PPPPPPPPPPP Have I met you before I seem to
remember your voice

PPPPPPPPPPP Hmmm.P The lioness looked at her, then opened her mouth and in a
slightly different voice said.

PPPPPPPPPPP I dont know, governorbut Ill get
the frosty pep back.P Molly blinked,
then realized where she had remembered the voice from.

PPPPPPPPPPP Your you were the actor for

PPPPPPPPPPP Dangerwoman.PP The lioness supplied.P I take it you were a fan.

PPPPPPPPPPP Oh yes!P Molly said. The lioness smiled.

PWell, in
the world my names, Morgana LFarge.P
What part of the show did you like the best?P Molly smiled.

PPPPPPPPPPP Well the cape and dangerhelmet
Looking over at Michael to make certain that he wouldnt hear.P But I think sometimes my mom could have
done without them Morgana laughed.

PPPPPPPPPPP That was a common theme of many
parentsP I just told them they werent
the only ones who made sacrifices.

PPPPPPPPPPP Oh?P Molly asked.

PPPPPPPPPPP Remember the three day marathon?

PPPPPPPPPPP Yes!

PPPPPPPPPPP Did we sound desperate at the
cliffhanger?P Molly blinked, then
nodded.P That was because the tape had
glitched midway through. The last day and a half was live.

PPPPPPPPPPP How did you survive.

PPPPPPPPPPP Coffee lots and lots of coffeeand
also Jack, or Dr. Destruction, made a mean batch of mega sugar fudge for
energy.P Molly blinked at the image of
the owner of the menacing voice that had sent her under the bed on several
occasions making fudge.P They continued
talking for a brief bit, before the first serving was brought out, and Molly,
thanks to Ms. LFarge was able to eat without looking like a total git.

PPPPPPPPPPP Michael leaned over to her.P

PPPPPPPPPPP Someone you know?P He asked.P
Molly smiled.

PPPPPPPPPPP Well, I know the voice quite well
Molly paused, then thought about something.P
She got the attention of one of the servers, and when he came over
whispered in his ear.

PPPPPPPPPPP Could you send a plate down to the
driver of my car, Samson? The waiter blinked, and then nodded.P Great thanks a lot.P Molly said.P
The waiter blinked at her thanks, then smiled.

PPPPPPPPPPP No thanks needed, Ill get it down
there right away.

PPPPPPPPPPP Down in the waiting room for the
drivers, Samson was dubiously looking at a plate of coldcuts when a waiter came
in with a large covered platter.P He
looked up puzzled.P The waiter smiled.

PPPPPPPPPPP With Molly Cunninghams
complements. As he put the full meal in front of Samson.P She figured that you might want
dinner.P Samson broke into a smile.

PPPPPPPPPPP That girl He said.P Whatever she thinks, shes a natural born
lady, she is.

PPPPPPPPPPP Up above, the last of the meal had
been cleared away, and the floor opened for the dance.P Michael stood, helping Molly out of her
seat.

PPPPPPPPPPP Would you like to dance?P The tiger asked her.P Molly looked at all the elegant people
moving about the floor.

PPPPPPPPPPP Im not a great dancer,
Michael.P Youve probably done this a
lot more then me.P She said
softly.P Michael took her by the hand.P

PPPPPPPPPPP Well actually.P He paused, Youre the first person Ive
really wanted to dance with.P He said
tugging her out onto the floor.P Molly
let herself be pulled along behind him, sending one pleading glance at Ms.
LFarge.P The woman smiled at her and
waved.P Michael quickly showed Molly
where to put her hands, and took her in his.P
He spoke in a low voice.P
Besides the closest Ive come to a real dance is with my dance
instructor dont ask.P He said.P Molly suddenly realized he was trembling
slightly, either with fear or excitement.P
She lost any chance to ask as the band struck up a dance tune and
Michael moved into it.P

PPPPPPPPPPP Molly soon began to enjoy the dance,
forgetting her nervousness, just moving in Michaels arms as they moved around
in a swirl of her gown, set off by his black and white suit.P Molly found herself moving closer into the
circle of his arms.P When the final
dance ended, molly found herself surprisingly regretful as Michael escorted her
back to the side, arm around her shoulder, her head nestled into the crook of
his shoulder. Michael looked up at the clock.

PPPPPPPPPPP Heh. Its 10:00 already .P He said softly.P Molly looked up at him.

PPPPPPPPPPP Lets take a little walk She
said.P Michael looked at her for a
moment, then nodded. In the bustle of the end of the party, with cars coming
and going, nobody noticed as Michael and Molly walked out of the entrance,
Michael helping Molly put on the cloak.

PPPPPPPPPPP I told Samson hell be waiting.
Michael said, as they walked behind the Royale, up the small hill that was
behind it.P Molly looked at the full
moon, and the hill bathed in silver light.P
The place had been familiar to her, even before the hotel had been built
four years ago.P Up at the summit of the
hill was an old, broken down clubhouse, a faded sign still nailed up to it,
reading: J NGLP AC S.PP Michael read out the letters.P I wonder

PPPPPPPPPPP The Jungle Aces Molly said, It
was an old club Kit and his friends had.P
When I was nine sometimes I tagged alongP Michael walked over to the old tire, still on its rope, and gave
it a small shove, watching it as it went to and fro.P Michael took Molly in his arms, and she relaxed, leaning against
him.

PPPPPPPPPPP Thanks for coming, Molly.P Michael said.

PPPPPPPPPPP Thanks for letting me be here,
Michael Molly said softly, then turned in his arms to look up at him.P I liked the dance a lot.P Michael looked down at her, and suddenly
felt like his heart was about to punch right out of his ribcage.P He leaned down towards her.PP Molly tipped her head back and closed her
eyes. Gently, Michaels lips met hers.P
After a long moment, they pulled back, then hugged, tightly. Relaxing as
Molly nestled up against Michael.P He
looked down at the lights of the Royale, and the activity going on down
there.P He sighed regretfully, then
started to walk back slowly, Molly still in his arm, leaning up against him.

PPPPPPPPPPP They came to the entrance, and
Michael looked back at the interior.P He
had to go back and stay with Granduncle, at least for a few more hours.P

PPPPPPPPPPP Call me tomorrow?P Michael asked.P Molly nodded, not quite trusting herself, then gave him a hug as
Samson drove up in the Limo.P The driver
stepped out and waited for Molly and Michael to break their hug, then smiled as
he opened the door for Molly to get in.P
He smiled as Molly floated in, a smile on her face.P Closing the door, he got in, watching as
Michael returned to the Royale.

PPPPPPPPPPP They
do make a couple,
Samson thought, his own smile broadening.P I
wonder if they realize it. The
chauffeur started the car up and drove down
the road.P Well if they dont everyone else does.

PPPPPPPPPPP

PPPPPPPPPPPPPPP

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