My Kind of Town
>> Pearl CityLt. Col. Chuck Ryan, waiting in guest parking while Fawn took her drunk twin sister Shauny up to her condo at Pearl Palms, felt his stomach muscles tighten when his encrypted secure cell chirped the opening notes of "Rhapsody In Blue."
"Aloha, Sheila." Jackson, in their D.C. office.
"My, aren't we adapting quickly."
He saw Fawn open the lobby door, walk toward him, felt his heart do the doo-wop. "As a matter of fact, yes. So what's up with our friend Sandy."
"We have a touch-down time from Manila tomorrow morning. Sandy is renting the van that picks him up."
"This is good information?"
"So far, no reason to doubt her. Everything checks out with our contact on the other end. And we'll have someone on the ground in Manila to make sure he gets on the plane."
"We got lucky when this one just walked in, didn't we?"
"We sure did, Chuck. Thank God she loves her adopted country as much as you and I do."
Ryan clicked off as Fawn walked up. Ryan thought maybe he'd gotten lucky with this angel too.
"I have to apologize for my sister," Fawn said. "She and Lily were totally out of control."
"No problem. I saw the difference between you and Shauny right away."
"Really?" Fawn tilted her head. "Most people just see the physical resemblance of identical twins."
"Physically, yes. Otherwise, to tell you the truth, until today I never believed in auras."
"Like night and day." Fawn was the bright light of day, radiant and pure. Shauny was every hue of the neon night.
Fawn smiled. "It's true, we're totally different. But guys especially don't see that, at least not at first."
Add sensitive to the qualities she already liked in this older man. An officer and a gentleman, she'd bet, with his erect bearing and perfect manners. In the gym earlier she'd seen how lean and fit he was. Now it was as if he'd seen into her soul and appreciated what he saw.
And again there was that moment of awkwardness, the older man, the younger woman. The chasm of the years, uncharted territory for both. And more: the widower and the 27-year-old virgin. Yet it felt so comfortable.
"Would you like to have tea?" Fawn said. "I hear they do a nice tea at the Kahala Mandarin. I've never been, but ..."
"I'd love to," Ryan said, feeling luckier and luckier.
Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek.
His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin
with weekly summaries on Sunday.
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