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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Now on Duty: Fax and Benna

Special of the Day: Benna's Crush

Fax laser punches his time card, ties on his apron and wanders over to where Benna is parked behind the bar. She's got both elbows planted on the counter, chin in hands, staring across the room.

"Evenin'," Fax says. When she doesn't respond, he waves his hand in front of her eyes. "You on planet or off tonight?"

"It's him again," she mutters, and Fax follows her gaze to a man sitting alone in a booth at the back wall.

"What? The old guy?"

"Not old." Benna straightens and sighs. "Experienced."

"He's old enough to be your-"

Benna turns and grips his arm. "I heard the other freighters talking. They say he flies solo out of Purmia, that he might be running illegal Borga Ore, but I bet he's some general or prince or something. He sure looks the part, doesn't he? Tall...fair-haired-"

"Gray-haired."

"Mmm, just a touch at the temple. Distinquished."

"He's got wrinkles."

"Character lines."

"Crows feet around his eyes."

"And what eyes they are. Green as Kenton jungle ice."

Fax scowls. "You sure you haven't been sippin' the merchandise?"

"Not me."

"He's practically a senior citizen."

"He's a prince."

"Okay, it's your fantasy; he can be whatever you want. Just make sure he doesn't stiff you on the tab."

Benna raises an eyebrow. "Not him."

Fax shakes his head and goes to fetch a fresh rack of glasses.

Benna pulls an ale for her customer and struts across the room to slide the frothing tankard in front of him. He looks up and gives her a smile and a thanks. She returns to the bar and resets to ogle mode until the subject of her fascination rises, swipes his credit chip through the cash-bot and glances her way as he walks toward the exit.

"Oh, he's leaving." Benna sighs. "But he smiled at me."

"It looked more like a grimace."

She punches the tally to tag his credits. "Definitely my kind of man."

"What makes you say so?"

"Superb tipper," she says with a wistful smile.


In a quiet aside to my patrons: Benna's crush--aka the mysterious Mr. X--is a supporting character from P2PC, a novel I'm currently marketing.

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