Not quite the red carpet. But, every head in Lorenzo’s Trattoria turned and stared at La Flor and LC as they were escorted to the best table in the house, courtesy of a phone call by Big Carmen. One man grabbed his heart when La Flor tossed a smile at him. Several others appeared lightheaded. As for LC? Three women slid their keys and a note to edge of the table hoping he’d notice. Me? I trailed a good ten feet behind, warned not to spoil her highnesses entrance.
“I like to blend in, not be noticed,” said La Flor as the waiter looked at her and couldn’t remember the house specials.
“Yah, we’s jus an ordinary peoples going out for dinner. Dis tie is choking me. Do I has to wear it?” asked LC.
La Flor reached into her purse, brought out her iPhone X and gave LC a lock.
“All of a sudden, I feels likes I should wears one every day.
Lorenze, short, trim, expensive silk suit, looks more like a Harvard professor than the owner of a trattoria came to our table. “Good evening.” He stooped to kiss La Flor’s hand. “Use is the most beautiful, tough, and edgy woman to grace my trattoria. Everything is on the house. You need anything, you ask for me.” He turned to LC, “Little Carmen, you looking more and more like Big Carmen every day. Give your father my regards.”
“Do use have it in a wrapped box for me to gives it to him?” asked LC.
Lorenzo glanced at me. I said, “I’ll explain it.” Lorenzo folded his hands and made a slight bow to me.
We were half way through the antipasto when we heard a commotion from the front of the trattoria. Lorenzo passed by our table, Two big, keep the riffraff out, looking guys, close behind.
A moment later, Lorenzo came to our table, “Excuse me, there’s a detective by the name of O’Leary who needs to talk to you. Do you want to talk to him or should I have my men see to it he gets safely to his car?”
“O’Leary, he’s cool. But tell him use don’t serve donuts,” said LC.
Lorenzo gave a look of disgust and said, “His suit, if you want to call it that, is a Wal-Mart special, maybe Goodwill.”
La Flor started coughing, Her wine went down the wrong way. Her body gave a slight shiver, the thought of a Walmart suit in Lorenzo’s obviously offended her. Her shiver caused slight wardrobe malfunction, which she quickly fixed. She took a deep breath, and said, “He can only stay four minutes and fifteen seconds. Will you time him, Lorenzo?”
“I will climb the highest mountain for you. I will walk on hot coals for you. I will go into a cage filled with lions for you. Do I make myself clear?”
La Flor blew Lorenzo a kiss.
LC said, “He gonna walk on hot coals? Is that the floor show?”
He takes a seat at the table, “Shame they don’t serve donuts with pasta, perfect combo.” O’Leary reaches across the table and grabs half of the bread from the bread basket. “I love Italian bread. I’m going to eat one piece and take the rest home while I watch TV.” He stuffed six small pieces into the inside pocket of his jacket.
I saw Lorenzo looking at his watch. I said, “O’Leary, you got about three minutes. Make it quick.”
“Do you guys mind if I take the rest of the bread? I’m hungrier than i taught (yes, he said taught instead of thought).”
LC passed the bread basket to O’Leary.
“Use guys hear any ting, any ting at all about a brake (yes, he said brake instead of break) in the ritzy men’s store, Wolfgang and Sons?”
“What they take?” said LC.
“An expensive coat and slacks, expensive silk shirt and silk tie, expensive shoes. The crazy thing, there was cuttings all over the floor. It looked like they personally fitted the clothes in the store.”
“Shame what’s happening in use precinct, O’Leary. If I hear any ting, use will be the second to know, My beautiful, tough, and edgy wonderful woman will be the foist.”
O’Leary looked at LC. He reached and rubbed the lapel of LC’s coat, “Nice threads, where’d use get them.”
Not missing a beat, “Goodwill. I paid ten bucks for every ting.”
“I knew I should have gone to Goodwill instead of Walmart. What was I thinking?” said O’Leary hitting his head with the palm of his hand.
“It’s time,” said Lorenzo and his two associates. “Here is a bag of bread for you, on the house, detective.”
“Take good care of these folks, they are the salt of the earth,” said O’Leary sticking two pieces of bread in his mouth at once.
La Flor looks at me, “Don’t worry, Ray. LC’s going to donate them to Goodwill tomorrow.”