A Man Walks On To a Bar…
Okay, okay already! Geesh! Mention on little thing like someone doing a strip tease on a bar and you don’t get moments rest for all the requests… <G>
Evidently my muse was listening, ‘cause I really didn’t think I’d ever write this. However, I was wondering what exactly the situation would have to be to cause Ezra to do such a thing. See what you think.
From the end of ‘Point of View.”
“Ted Stammish?” Ezra frowned. “Come, come, Mr. Dunne. Surely you found out at least that much.” He grinned.
“Duh,” JD replied. “But how’d you get a real research assistant with the department to dress and act like you? Especially one who just happens to have the same color hair and green eyes?”
“That, Mr. Dunne, is a trade secret,” Ezra teased.
“Oh, no. Not this time,” Chris argued. “I want to know how you pulled that off. And is it permanent?”
Ezra nibbled the inside of his lip for a moment. “Ted
started work at the
Silence filled the room for a minute until they realized Ezra had finished talking.
“Oh, come on, Ez,” Vin wheedled. “Ya gotta give us more than that.”
Ezra smiled slyly. “If I do, I’d have to kill you.”
Vin snorted as the others chuckled at the old joke. His amusement faded as he caught a glint of something in Ezra’s eye.
“Okay, okay,” Buck said, “But you have to tell us when and why you danced naked on a bar.”
“What?!” Ezra exclaimed as he turned to stare at Buck, totally surprised by the change of topic. “How… I… that was just an example, Buck, I never…” he finished rather lamely.
“I knew it!!” Buck interrupted with a broad grin. “I got ya. Come on, Ez, now you gotta tell us all.”
Ezra dropped his head and covered his face with one hand. He’d completely given that one away. Oh well…
“It was back in
Buck grinned his biggest, cheesiest grin. “I have my sources, besides, if I told ya…”
“I’d have to kill ya,” the others chimed in grinning.
Ezra shook his head and smiled ruefully. “As I was saying, I had only been with the FBI for a few months, but I’d already been sent under resulting in several small busts. This particular night I had information that our current suspects might be meeting informally at a bar with a reputation for catering to underworld figures. I dressed rather casually, wearing a close fitting shirt under a nice silk jacket. I did not want to be too mobster stereotypical, but felt it prudent to play to their style.” He wet his lips and saw that everyone’s attention was riveted on his tale.
“What I hadn’t counted on, was that it was a private party. The entire bar was filled with only men and women from the two families involved. I’d walked in hoping to pass myself off as new to the neighborhood, just stopping in for a few drinks. Instead all conversation stopped and I found myself pushed up against the wall by a three hundred pound gorilla named Louie.”
The guys chuckled. Ezra tilted his head ruefully. “As you can well imagine, my mind started racing for some way out with all my body parts intact. I managed to stammer out, “Um… is this the Gibstein party?” Heads shook, but I persisted with the terrified performer act. “Are you sure? They said the ‘Bucket of Beer’ at .” More negative replies followed, but one of the young women slinked her way over and ran her hand across my chest.”
Vin and JD snickered at the expression of horror on Ezra’s face.
“You must understand, I’m still pressed up against the wall by Louie, I had no way to escape her pawing.”
“Yeah, sure, Ez,” Buck leered.
Ezra sighed. “She continued to fondle my chest and asked me what I was looking for them for. I replied that I was the entertainment, leaving myself free to elucidate if needed. Unfortunately, she decided for me. ‘Oooo! I bet you’re one of those male strippers, ain’t ya, cutie?’” Ezra imitated the woman’s tone as best as he could.
The guys guffawed. “I kid you not,” Ezra said with a dramatic sigh. “The others looked at me for a response, and all I could see was that if I didn’t say yes, then they might just decide to kill me for the fun of it. So I said, yes, I had been hired to strip for the party.”
“Woowee, Ez,” Buck said.
Ezra nodded. “My sentiments exactly. Well, Louie eased up and allowed me to stand on my own two feet and I started to ease my way toward the door making my apologies and thinking that I may just make it out of there alive, when Estelle, that was the lady’s name who had accosted me, said ‘Well, why don’t you show us what you’ve got, honey? Maybe we’ll hire ya sometime.’”
Nathan shook his head, the smile on his face beginning to hurt it was so wide. I wonder how much of this is for real?
As if reading his mind, Ezra looked Nathan in the eye and raised his right hand. “I swear on the grave of my sainted mother, I’m not making this up.”
“Ah, come on, Ez,” JD interrupted. “We all know your mother’s alive.”
Ezra shrugged. “Figure of speech. Do you want to hear the rest or not?”
Six heads nodded eagerly.
“Very well. As I stood there, my jaw hanging open like an amateur, Estelle grabbed my arm and dragged me toward the bar. By this time, someone had turned on a radio and was searching for an appropriate song. I found myself hoisted up onto the bar and surrounded by women and men who started chanting ‘Take it off!’”
Chris chuckled. He could see Ezra getting himself painted into a corner like this, and getting himself out again. Somehow, the Southerner’s claim that he would do whatever was necessary to keep himself out of harm’s way didn’t seem quite so… outlandish.
“I stood on that bar,” Ezra continued, “looking down at a sea of mobsters and just knew that I had two choices, dance or die. One way or another, they were going to get some entertainment out of me. I chose the lesser of the two evils.” He shrugged fatalistically. “I earned several hundred dollars in tips by the time I was finished.”
They all broke down laughing. Buck slapped Ezra on the back and ended up leaning on him as he tried to catch his breath. Ezra eyed the ladies man, knowing that somehow Buck would use this against him. He’d doubtless find dollar bills tucked into odd places around his desk, or maybe get phone calls from strange women requesting his services. Ezra sighed.
Vin came up on his other side and patted him on the shoulder. He leaned close and whispered with a wink, “Cheer up, pard. If you play this right, you might get a few bucks out of old Buck’s jokes.”
Ezra shared a look at the sharpshooter and realized that Vin had been thinking along the same lines. He grinned and tipped an imaginary hat to him. Vin returned the salute.
“What?” Buck asked, earning laughter from Vin and Ezra, while the others just shrugged. “Come on, guys, what?” This just got Vin and Ezra laughing harder and the others joined them. “Ah, man,” Buck complained good-naturedly. “How’d I end up being the one being laughed at? I’ve never danced naked on a bar before.”
“That’s not what I recall,” Chris teased.
All eyes turned to Buck, who backed away with his hands up, shaking his head. “Ah, I gotta go visit the little boy’s room. Be right back.” He turned on his heel and raced out of the room.
Chris laughed and found himself the center of attention.
“Well?” Josiah asked.
Chris clamped down on his grin and shook his head. “That’s a story you’ll have to get out of Buck. I swore I’d never tell…”
If you liked it, let me know. If not… you can tell me, I’ll file the note in a special place<G>. JudyL