Eliza wouldn't answer her phone.
"That's just against all the laws of God and Man," Jules muttered. "She may miss a bet." She tied off the bag of ice, and draped a dishcloth around it. "Put this on your hand," she told James. "What the hell got into you?"
"I don't know," James said. "I can't stand to see a woman cry. And Michelle broke up with me." He gave her an apologetic look. "I don't know what happened. I'm sorry."
Snow could see Jules forcing herself not to grab her cell phone. Jules suddenly seemed to realize how very blue James' eyes were, because she couldn't stop staring.
Snow scratched icing off her chin. "I'll tell you one thing. Chris is payin' for that fucking cake. You two just let the new one cool. I'll ice it when I get back from night court." She picked up her purse and jacket. "Why both of you weren't arrested, I don't know. David wouldn't have called the cops. He'd have sent you out back and let us bet on it."
"Greenwalt's a pussy," James said scornfully. "But I'm not going to go volunteer to be arrested." He was staring back at Jules.
Once in her car, Snow texted like mad.
"What's he doing here?" Chris demanded, looking at David. David looked at him like he was a talking roach. Interested that words were coming out, but not inclined to enter into a conversation.
But he was there. Despite himself, Chris started to grin.
Snow slapped at him. "Because bond has to be posted in cash or by a property owner in the city limits. And I live over the line. Not that I'd post bond for you, you miserable shit. I have to ice that cake all over again!"
"I'm sorry," Chris said, not sounding sorry at all. "Well, I'm sorry we hit the cake."
"Interesting way to solve a union dispute," David said to the night air.
Snow swung at him, and he caught her wrist. "I think there's been enough of that," he said, staring down at her.
"You're right. I'm going back to my bakery. I have to re-do a cake." She walked away from them, got in her car, and locked it before zooming off.
"My truck's at the store," Chris said. "C'mon, don't be an asshole."
David turned his head, slowly. "Oh, I don't think you want to say that shit to the man who just posted your bail."
Chris snorted. "No one twisted your arm," he said.
David glanced at the pair of red tail lights, now a couple of blocks away. "You don't know Snowy if you think there was no arm-twisting." He dropped his head, defeatedly. "Get in the fucking car," he sighed.
Such a drama queen, Chris thought, swiping at the dried blood under his nose. "You wouldn't see your way to letting me get a cup of coffee----guess not."
David stared out the window.
"They wouldn't let me keep the handcuffs on," Chris offered.
Dave was squinting.
Got him, Chris thought.
You'd have thought Manager David was an exiled king reclaiming his throne.
And that was just from the customers.
The store clerks---the women, at least, were open about it---were goggling at his pink polo shirt and khaki shorts and sockless feet in old penny loafers. "Legs!" Amber said in an audible aside. "Tanned!"
Chris, bringing up the rear, didn't get much of a glance since they'd already seen the whole arrest and were disappointed he hadn't enacted a whole "Cops" scenario and run in handcuffs and been dragged off to the cop car.
Snowy was pretending she was too busy to care. She was terrorizing both James and Jules with her silence. Actually, the cake was....a piece of cake. It was the principal of the thing. Carefully crafted icing roses, perfect lines of piping, and the guys were even shirtless.
"It's a criminal waste, that's what it is," she said, writing Happy Birthday Agnetha! with icing.
Jules was leaning against the bread bin, pulling out stale loaves. "He's really misunderstood, you know," she said earnestly.
"I totally agree," Snow said. She tilted her head, looking critically at the cake. At least Jules had put the main icing on it.
"He's really very sweet," Jules said. "Does that yuppie bitch pick up the bread tomorrow?"
"Yeah," Snow said. "He can be sweet."
"Well, he hit Chris for me! That was so sweet!"
Snow dropped the icing sleeve onto the floor. " You mean James?You're not serious! Have him take an HIV test, for God's sake!"
Jules actually blushed. "It's not like that, Snow! We're gonna have...coffee."
"Yeah," Snowy said cynically. "You say that, and the next thing you know, the car springs are squeaking."
Chris materialized at the bakery counter. "Snow, darlin', I have my wallet back. I'll pay for the cake. Where's your boyfriend, Jules?"
"Shut up," Jules squeaked, bright red.
"Thanks," Chris said to Snow, and took her hand and kissed the back of it.
Blushing, she said, "Not my hand."
Chris grinned lopsidedly. "I'll owe you. I see the managers coming up, so later."
"If you don't press charges, James won't press charges," David G. said. He looked behind him at David B. "Right, Dave?"
"That's right," said the currently vacationing manager. He sat behind Greenwalt, and still was able to look threatening.
"Fine with me," Chris said.
"Good!" Greenwalt said. "Now, while you're here, can we talk about the picnic?"
"I'll leave you to it," Dave said, standing up and clapping the other manager on the shoulder.
"I have to go, too," Chris said. But by the time he got to the parking lot, Dave had gone.
There were a couple of cars rocking oddly, though. He turned around and went back to the break room, where Snow found him.
"You know why this coffee's like making love in a canoe?" Chris asked her, not looking up.
"Because it's fucking near water." He half-smiled at Snow. "I guess things are looking up. He did bail me out."
Snow put her arm around him and hugged him.
"Oh, sweet holy mother of GOD," Jules said behind them. "There's no money on that!"
Now, I'm off to play with the boys that have been *fighting* in my head all day.
One thing before I go . . . Icon Makers out there . . . I need an icon. I know what I want. I have the pic. I just don't have the ability/talent to do it.
Any takers? It's an RPS DB/CK icon. I would, well, write something smutty for you, if that's what you'd like. Or you'd have my forever gratitude and adoration. Whichever you'd prefer.
::smooches to all::