Home > The Song of David (The Law of Moses)(11)

The Song of David (The Law of Moses)(11)
Author: Amy Harmon

“Um, David,” her voice rose, “I actually just came to get my check. Could you get that for me?”

“Absolutely. Give me a minute, and I’ll be right with you. I won’t be watching if you want to enjoy the bubbles a little longer.”

The checks were in a lockbox beneath the bar, and it took me a few minutes to locate the spare key from Morg’s office. Morgan had taken his set of keys when he walked out. I swore, thinking of the complications—like re-keying the whole damn place—that would arise if Morg decided his pride was more important than his job. I really hoped the man came back contrite in the morning. I really didn’t want to find a new manager, and Morg did a good job when he wasn’t being an ass.

When I slid the check labeled with her name across the counter, brushing the hand not gripping her drink so she knew it was there, she grabbed at it and then handed it back.

“Could you open it please and read me the total? I’ll be able to deposit it at the ATM on the corner if I know the amount.”

When I tore it open and looked at the amount I was stunned. I read the numbers back to her almost sheepishly, and she sighed.

“Morgan told me I would be making minimum wage until my probation period was over. Do you know when that ends?”

I felt the heat of outrage roil in my gut, but squelched it for her sake. I had to play along, not to protect Morg, but to protect her feelings. There was no probation period. Morgan had been playing games. Amelie had been hired as a joke, and a cheap joke, at that. But I couldn’t tell her that.

“It’s up. You’ll be making the same as all the other dancers, and you’ll receive the full amount you would have made in the first two weeks, minus the amount of this check.”

“Really? That’s great! Morgan didn’t tell me that part.”

I grimaced. Morgan was the one who was going to be on probation.

She repeated the total of the check, a slight question in her voice, and I read the numbers back once more.

“Got it. I’m going to go deposit it. What do I owe you for the drink?”

“Employee perk. No charge for Diet Cokes. Or bubbles.” She smiled widely and I smiled back, her pleasure making it impossible not to, whether or not she could see my response.

She slid carefully from the stool and snapped her stick out, heading for the door, her check tucked in her broad coat pocket.

“Do you need any help? You want me to send someone with you?”

She shook her head without looking back. “Touch screens are obnoxious. I can’t feel a touch screen. But the ATM on the corner has braille on the keypad, thank God! If the world is too flat, people like me will slide right off.” She said this cheerfully, with humor, and I shook my head in amazement as she pushed out the front door into the darkness, the door swinging closed behind her, the night swallowing her up.

I fought the urge to follow her, to make sure she wasn’t mugged at the ATM, her paltry check stolen, her stick used against her. The world was a scary place for most people. For Amelie, it was downright lethal. She was completely vulnerable. If the world is too flat, people like me will slide right off.

And yet she didn’t hesitate at all.

I respected that, admired it, so I stayed behind the bar for several long seconds, a silent show of support, even though my heart was pounding and my palms grew slick. My sister’s face flashed in my mind. She’d disappeared into the night once too. And I never saw her again.

“Vince?” I called out to the young bartender swapping stories with a couple of regulars down at the far end of the bar, completely unaware of the drama that had unfolded in the last ten minutes.

“Hey, Tag.”

“You’re going to be alone here for about a half hour. I’ll be back to finish out the shift and help you close. Morgan had to leave. Will you be okay?”

“Yeah, boss. No big deal. It’s been kinda slow all night.”

I grabbed my jacket and was out the front door without another word, running down the street toward the ATM on the corner, catching up to Amelie before she’d made it half a block. She was surprised when I reached her, but shrugged easily when I referred back to the rules.

“But I didn’t even work tonight,” she protested.

“Humor me, okay?”

She shrugged again, and I stood back patiently, giving her privacy to make her deposit, which she did easily, her fingers gliding over the key pad with confidence.

When she was finished, I moved to her side and she linked our arms the way she’d done the night before. We walked in easy companionship, me humming softly, Amelie matching my stride like she trusted where I was taking her.

We were almost to her door when she stopped, her hand pulling against my arm with urgency.


I searched the darkness with my narrowed eyes, suddenly nervous that we weren’t as alone as it seemed.

“There it is,” she said.

And then I caught the hollow whistle of a distant train and the clattering of wheels on a track.

“Ten pm. Right on time,” Amelie breathed.

The sound thickened and deepened and the whistle came again, louder, bugling through the night with a warning that felt more like a song. I had always loved the sound of a train, but it had been a while since I’d stopped just to listen.

“Trains are like time machines. If you close your eyes—not that I have to—it’s easy to imagine the world hasn’t changed much in a hundred years. You hear that sound, and it could be 1914 instead of 2014.”

“Or we could be getting ready to head to Hogwarts for the new school year,” I teased.

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