Rule of Three, Part II
"Thank you, darlin'." Lefty nodded to the girl at the counter, taking up his package before leaving the little store. Zahn had pushed the car up to the garage, but Emily was watching an airship floating overhead. She'd always loved the ships, always stopped whatever she was doing to watch one sail by, breathless at the soft chop of the motors.
Lefty was less enthralled. He glanced up, gauging the size of the vessel and making a guess as to the number of people on board, the wealthy and the influential, and all their money. If only he could get them passage, just one trip to New Amsterdam or Chicago, he might be able to make their fortune. With luck.
He turned his gaze back to Emily, only to see that Zahn was looking at her, too. Lefty's blood started to simmer at the expression on Zahn's face. It took a moment for Lefty to calm down, fighting back an urge to kick his friend in the teeth. He drew a deep breath, looking up and down Renaissance's dusty main street. This could be a good place to stop for a while. A saloon always meant a little extra money. With luck.
"There's water," he said, walking back to the car. "And a little hotel."
Emily didn't move her gaze from the rapidly dwindling airship, but she put her arm around his waist when he gripped her shoulders.
Zahn wiped his face with a handkerchief. "We're gonna stay?" he asked.
"I figured we could use a rest," replied Lefty, unfolding the map he'd just bought. "This looks like it's the only stop for miles. If we're planning on going for any length of time, it sure wouldn't do any harm to get a little rest and restock."
Emily hugged Lefty. "I'm okay with stopping. It'd be nice to sleep in a real bed for a change." She turned her bright smile to Lefty, her green eyes sparkling.
Lefty smiled back. "Let's check out the hotel, then." He glanced over his shoulder at Zahn, who was watching Emily again. His gaze quickly shifted to the car when he saw Lefty watching him. "You gonna take care of that, Zahn?" he asked. There must have been something in his tone, because Emily poked him in the side, bumping her hip against his. "Come on, Em," he continued, ignoring her hints as he turned her away from the service center toward a sprawling brick building. "Looks nice."
"It's very cute. And, I note, a saloon. With gambling." She favored him with an arch expression.
"We do need a little money, honey," he said. "You go ahead and get us some rooms. I'm gonna help Zahn get the car inside." He winked at her. Emily, laughing a little and shaking her head, continued on toward the hotel.
"Gimme a hand," said Zahn.
Lefty drew a deep breath, his fingers playing on the gun at his hip, before he bent to help Zahn shove. As he did, he said, "Zahn, so help me, if I ever see you lookin' at my sister like that again, I might just forget we're friends."
- One of the characters is revealed to be not who or she is
- A relationship becomes complicated