Image credit: Found this conquistador here during a search for more of Steve Epting’s work, but the artist wasn’t identified. So Steve, if this one’s yours and you happen to see it, please don’t sue me.
Green note: Got a killer concept in the works, but no time to see it through for this round of #fridayflash. Most bothersome. So for now, to keep the blogging muscle supple, here are some additional thoughts on “Bunny,” the Spanish busboy, in the form of an alternate ending.
It went like this in Mucha Bravado:
…“I swear I’ve never been unfaithful to you, Charles, and I will not admit to an offense I didn’t commit.”
“That’s it!” Bunny said. He rushed to the couple’s table, said to Doe-eyes, “I know you!”
Doe-eyes looked appalled. Charles sat erect, prepared to defend.
“Just who do you think you are?” she said.
Bunny winked at her. “You don’t remember our Spanish Fantasy?”
“How dare you invade our privacy with your ridiculous—”
“I dare no more than you,” Bunny said. “I believe it was a ‘well hung conquistador type’ you asked for when you called the escort service, and naturally they sent me.”
“Do something, Charles!” Doe-eyes snapped.
Charles stood up, got eye-to-eye with Bunny. “You’re way out of line, sir. Leave us now or I’ll get you fired.”
“No, seriously, I know her! She’s Amora, got a blue butterfly tattoo on her left hip!”
Charles turned to Doe-eyes, raised an eyebrow. “Amora?”
She flushed bright red.
“Finally, that vulgar tattoo has paid for itself as a handy identifier,” Charles said.
“No!” Doe-eyes cried. “It was a lucky guess!”
Charles snatched the papers from the table. “My attorney will be in touch,” he said and walked out.
But it could have gone on like this:
As soon as the restaurant door closed on Charles’ heel, Bunny turned to Doe-eyes, “So, you wanna go out tonight?”
Doe-eyes sat stiff at the table feigning poise. “Get away from me, you swine,” she said low through gritted teeth.
Bunny laughed softly. He looked at her, bemused. “This, from a whore?”
Diners glanced over during pauses in their own conversations, intrigued and intent on the outcome.
“Swine, whores, and whore-chasers,” Bunny mused. “Timeworn.”
Doe-eyes shot him a killing glance.
Bunny grinned. “But I like it,” he said. “Who we gonna get to play the Whore-chaser?”
Doe-eyes huffed, reached to the floor for her purse. When she straightened, Bunny was leaning over the table writing his cell phone number on her napkin. His skin smelled like the air after an electrical storm. She recoiled.
“Chill, mi cosita,” Bunny said.
“What are you doing!” she hissed.
Bunny shoved the napkin toward her. “Call me. I will give you another unforgettable evening. After that you gotta call the escort service…unless you treat me real nice.” He winked and turned on his chic heel to finish bussing table three.
“Beast!” Doe-eyes said under her breath. She made eye contact with her waiter, signaled for the check. He came immediately with it and was met with her credit card.
“Thank you, Madam,” he said. “I’ll be right back with the receipt.”
While she waited, Doe-eyes fixed a demure smile on her face to belie her unease about future uncertainties. Her eyes kept wandering toward Bunny.
His muscles fired under smooth, olive skin as he worked the dining room with skill and confidence as if leading a lady in dance.
One silken lock of hair had slipped from his ponytail and Doe-eyes remembered how elegant his hair had been all loosed, how she’d worn it like a chiffon gown for a night.
The waiter set the receipt folder on the table. A shock of irritation jolted Doe-eyes.
“Thank you, Mrs. Winston,” he said. She forced a smile. He bowed and left.
Mrs. Winston signed the receipt, transcribed Bunny’s cell number from the napkin onto her copy of the receipt and put it in her purse. Then she rose, picked up the napkin and dropped it into her water glass.
Bunny watched her walk out the door as the black ink bled and swirled like the smoke from a kindling fire.
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