Phillips takes another inhale of his cigarette and shakes my hand firmly, “We have a deal, ” he says
“Over the phone, you mentioned a partner, Tillman I believe. Where is he?” I ask.
Tipping his cowboy hat back he points over his shoulder with his thumb, “That’s Tillman, the one I knocked out in on the pool table.”
I should of walked out then and there, but I already committed to the deal, and I must accomplish my goal ASAP. His partner looked like a bearded beached whale stretched out across that table, “Isn’t he a little too big to be a climber?”
He looks back over his shoulder at the snoring pile of blubber, “Don’t let his size fool you, he’s like a wild billy goat in the mountains.”
“That’s what I’m afraid of, I don’t need a wild billy goat in the Antarctic.”
“Don’t worry, his strength is his best quality. Trust me, he’ll come in handy. Besides, we’ve been training the last few weeks running up mountain trails.”
Okay, I could believe he’s been training, but Tillman – look at that gut! It jiggles like a bowl of Jello as he snores. Oh boy, that’s all I need, dead weight to drag along. But Phillips is worth his weight in gold, guess I’m stuck with Tillman.
“Meet me tomorrow at the airport at 8am.”
“Tomorrow?” Phillips surprised.
“Yes tomorrow. Is there going to be a problem?”
He looks back at Tillman with a worried look.
“What? You don’t think there’s a transport kennel big enough? He’s not paper trained, what?” I quip.
He smiles, “No not that, just got to sober him up in time.”
“I don’t care how you do it, just get him to the airport.”
“Okay, I’ll get him there.”
“Oh Phillips, one more thing. Make sure to hose him down, his stench is ghastly."
"He smiles again and nods with a thumbs up, “Got it!”
As I stand up to leave, but then I remembered I don’t have a freaking ride.
Phillips can tell somethings up, “What’s wrong?”
“I seem to have forgotten my phone. Could you please call me an Uber-drone?
“Why call for a ride when I could drive you home."
“Why thank you, I would really appreciate a ride, " Okay I have to trust this man fully. We shook hands and I gave him money, haven’t swapped any spit yet, but we got married business wise.
We exit the bar and approach a pick up truck of course. Phillips looks like a pick up guy for sure. But This isn't just any pick-up truck. A 1950's vintage Chevy truck with a beautiful custom flame paint job, chrome side pipes, looking real sharp. He walks over to the passenger side and opens the door for me. Score another one for that man Phillips, a gentleman at least. He climbs in and turns on his engine, it roars with power.
“That sounds like a 450 under the hood,” I remark
“450 Chevy 383 Stroker. Hey, you know your engines.”
“My Dad had a beefed up hot-rod many years ago.”
“Nice,” he says gripping the wheel.
“Take me to 414 W. Mayflower lane. The Aston Hotel,” I said
“So you’re not from around here?” he ask.
“No, I live in Washington DC. I came to Colorado to practice my mountain climbing technique on Longs Peak.”
“Longs Peak, that’s my money maker. I take a lot of clients up there,” he says.
“I picked it because I heard it’s one of the most difficult to climb,” I added.
“So did I.” he says.
“Are you from here?” I ask.
“No, I’m originally from Nevada. I've been living here for three years now.”
Soon we come up to the hotel parking lot, “Turn here, thank you, I really appreciate the ride.”
“Well I'm looking forward to working with you Colonel Vickers.”
“I’m looking forward to working with you too,” our eyes lock up for the second time tonight, oh no, did my heart just flutter again? Or was that just gas? Come on girl I’ve got to keep this business, at least for now. No matter how bad you want to jump his bones. So don’t be silly, you can’t give him a kiss goodnight. We awkwardly shake hands again, “See you tomorrow,” opening the truck door.
“Tomorrow,” waving at me with that steamy hot smile.
I slip out from his flashy truck and make my way to the hotel. Now do not turn around – damn, I turned around. Oh God, he’s just watching me all the way in. He waves again, I wave back, get your ass into the hotel before you do something you might regret. The way I acted in the bar and admitting I’m attracted to him, I could of given him the wrong idea, like duh.