Trixie managed to get
ready in record time. She was dressed in the same outfit she wore when Jim
had surprised her with a romantic bareback ride in the preserve on Lady,
during his version of the twelve days of Christmas. She stood looking one
last time in the mirror, wondering if she should put on additional make-up,
sweep up her hair, or wear flashy jewelry. "Shamus, you look
absolutely lovely...don't dress up just to impress me." It was if
Jim was whispering in her ear. "Just be myself. That's who he fell in
Putting another swipe of light pink gloss on her lips, Trixie left Honey's
room, carrying the dark blue wool cape Jim had given her the night of their
ride. As she dashed down the stairs, Miss Trask caught sight of her skipping
down the final few stairs. "Trixie, you look stunning. Regan is ready
for you and I believe Nick is getting a cup of coffee and will meet us in the
stable." First he's getting his secret assignment from Maddie but I
don't know a thing; safer that way, she thought to herself.
"Miss Trask, I know this is silly but would you mind waiting here with
Sherlock? I'm feeling ridiculous and self-conscious. I know it makes no sense
but I'd be more relaxed if it was as few people as possible. Do you
mind?" Trixie hadn't taken a breath, wanting to get the request out as
quickly as possible. Now she looked up at Miss Trask with anxiety in her blue
"As it happens, I have several letters to answer and Sherlock was just
telling me she wanted to talk with me about my new bowling league. We have
much to discuss. You go, remember to have fun. The pictures will be
lovely." Miss Trask patted Trixie's cheek lovingly.
Taking several deep breaths, and smiling deeply so it shone in her eyes,
Trixie said, "Thank you for understanding. I can't wait for Sherlock to
tell me all about your league." Trixie gave a brief scratch behind the
puppy's ears, put the cape around her shoulders, then opened the front door
and walked around to the stables.
Regan had Lady groomed and ready to go. She was standing patiently, tied to
the hitching post outside. Jupiter and Strawberry were saddled and also
tethered, waiting to be off on their morning adventure. Trixie walked into
the silent barn, glad to have on the warm cape. The morning air was quite
chilly; she could see her breath in the air. She loved the stillness of the
barn with the soft morning light coming in the open barn doors. This was one
of her favorite places in the world. It would always be home.
Trixie was so engrossed in the moment that she didn't notice Nick with his
camera, silently taking photos of a completely relaxed Trixie. He framed a
photo of her as she greeted Susie. "Hi, Susie, girl. Sorry I'm going off
without you again. I promise not to make a habit out of this." Trixie
was reaching up to stroke her favorite mare, there was a sweet smile on her
face, and the light was shining on her bouncy blonde curls. Trixie placed her
cheek on Susie's muzzle, closing her eyes and enjoying the moment.
Nick was able to snap a dozen photos of an unsuspecting and tranquil Trixie.
He hoped they were the type of pictures Mrs. Wheeler had requested. He walked
all the way into the barn, slurping the coffee he had picked up from the
retaining wall where he'd placed it to take the photos. He knew full well he
was lucky to have caught a distracted Trixie. Had she not been relaxed and
comfortable, she would have sensed he was there, and he'd never had gotten
the pictures. But, he believed in fate and the gods were clearly smiling on
him today. "Morning, Trixie, ready to go?" he asked nonchalantly.
"I am as ready as I'll ever be, I guess." Trixie looked around for
Regan, wondering where he was. "Regan said he was going to go with us,
"Here I am." The tall groom came in from the back door of the
stable, coming from the kitchen carrying a red thermos and a blue thermos.
"Thought we might need something to keep us warm. Ready?"
After putting the thermoses in the saddle bags and securing the equipment
that Nick thought he would need, Regan helped Trixie mount Lady and they were
off through the preserve to the old schoolhouse. Luckily Nick knew how to
ride, and although he wasn't as accomplished as either Trixie or Regan, he
was able to keep up.
They got to the old schoolhouse and Nick took in the surroundings, trying to
compose the best shot in his mind. Regan was going to help Trixie down when
she stopped him, "Let me just stay here a sec. My knees are knocking so
badly, I'm surprised Lady's not taking off thinking I want her to
canter." Trixie slipped from Lady's back and tied her to the mounting
hitch next to Jupiter.
Regan reached in Jupiter's saddle bag and got a thermos; he pulled the red
lid off and then twisted the cap off. He poured the steaming liquid into the
lid and handed it to Trixie. "Here, drink this, it'll warm you up and
hopefully calm you down a little bit." At least it should with what I
added, he thought silently.
Trixie took the cup and took a sip of the hot beverage. "Mmmm, mocha? Yummy," she said as she continued to
unknowingly sip the laced coffee.
He knew it was a bit dastardly but he also knew Trixie was going to over
think this venture and a little liquid courage would smooth the edges. He'd
make sure she didn't have too much. It was eight in the morning for heaven's
sake. But as they say, it's five o'clock somewhere. Regan refilled
Trixie's cup. He'd never endanger Lady or Trixie, so he was making sure to
watch her reactions.
She got up to pace around the small clearing. Her steps were steady. That's
good; she should still be able to ride safely. However, as she looked up
to the peak on the roof where the school bell hung, she started to giggle. Check,
just a little silly. "What's funny, Trix?"
"I was just thinking about the night Brian, Jim and I got snowed in
here. Jim and Brian went to find wood and we used the rope from the bell to
tie them together for safety. The rope broke and I wound up climbing the
ladder and ringing the bell by hand so Jim could find his way back."
Trixie took the last sip of her coffee and giggled again at her memory.
"I never told anyone about the bird's nest that fell all over me the
first time I swung the clapper. I was covered with bits of twig, straw, and
feathers. It really was gross." Trixie shook her curls and let out a
throaty laugh, remembering her youthful adventure. She handed Regan the now
empty lid for the thermos.
Nick was walking over to join the pair when he heard Trixie's laughter. He
quickly grabbed his camera and snapped several pictures of Trixie with her
head thrown back in laughter. Her curls were shining in the early morning
light. He zoomed in for a close-up of her face. Her eyes were sparkling, her
cheeks were flushed and her full lips were parted in a gleeful smile. She
is always changing. I'm going to have to stay on my toes for this shoot.
"Trixie, are you ready?" he called out. "I'd like to take a
few shots of you, the horse and the schoolhouse in the background."
He motioned for Regan to leave the shot and started taking pictures. Trixie
was tense at first but relaxed as Nick peppered her with questions. She was
distracted by the unexpected inquiries. She answered questions about
Sherlock, her job, the Bob-Whites, a dozen different topics. Whenever Nick
wanted a different look, he'd ask different questions. "Regan would you
help Trixie mount the horse? Thanks." As the redheaded groom approached,
Nick continued to take photos. You never know what's going to work, he
thought to himself, waiting. He knew the shot was coming. There it was; a
picture of the back of Regan. Sorry, dude, just needed the red hair in the
picture, while helping Trixie settle on the now jittery Lady.
After snapping several more shots around the schoolhouse, he asked about the
ride Trixie and Jim had taken the night of their date. "Did you just
ride through the preserve? No riding through the big pasture?"
"Well, we rode through the pasture on the way home. Why do you
ask?" Trixie answered Nick as she adjusted the cape to lay flat against
Nick gave Trixie a big smile and said, "Trust me, OK? I know what we
need to do. Can you give me twenty more minutes?"
"You're the professional, Nick. What do you want me to do?" Trixie
Nick walked over to where Strawberry had been tied, away from the
schoolhouse. He looped the camera over his head, secured it across his body
and easily mounted the horse. Turning Strawberry back toward the Manor House
he said, "Give me ten minutes to get to the pasture. Then I want you to
ride across as you normally would. I want to catch the movement. Be prepared
for me to ask you to do it a couple of times, OK?" Nick didn't wait for
an answer; he just tapped Strawberry in the sides with his heels and took off
at a trot.
Regan walked over and grabbed Lady's bridle to hold the antsy horse still,
giving Trixie a break. "How are you doing? Want some more coffee?"
Regan looped the reins on the mounting hitch and reached into the saddle bags
where he had put the thermos and once again pulled out the laced coffee,
pouring a cup for Trixie.
"I am a little chilly. Coffee would be nice," Trixie said, taking
the lid and sipping. After a few moments of silence, she looked down at
Regan. "So, what did you think of the new vet? Dr. Riley? She
seemed…knowledgeable." Trixie had started giggling again. She couldn't
help baiting her long-time friend.
"She's fine. Drink up, Trix, you look
chilly." Regan unknowingly took the bait. He'd had a follow-up email
from the new vet. 'I'd like a chance to sit down with you and Mr. Wheeler
to discuss your current operation and where you would like help with
development.' Like I need help with development! He'd been around
professional horse racing and breeding his entire adult life. What did some
blue-eyed, blonde vet know that he didn't know?
"Has it been...?" Hiccup "Oh, excuse me. Has it been
ten minutes?" Trixie asked, handing Regan back the empty coffee cup.
Regan looked at his watch and then back up at Trixie, making sure she was
still okay to ride. "Still feel good, Trixie?"
"I feel fine!" Trixie threw her arms out wide to her side, like she
was on the bow of the Titanic. "I'm Queen of the Schoolhouse!" she
announced, snickering to herself. "Can you untie Lady? I'm ready to get
this show on the road."
Regan unwrapped the reins and handed them to Trixie.
Still holding onto the bridle, he said, "If you're sure you feel okay,
I'll ride around and head to the top of the pasture so I'm not in the
pictures. Take it easy, don't rush. Nick said he wanted photos of you in the
pasture, so just meander through the preserve until you get there."
"OK! I got it, walk until we get to the pasture."
Regan untied Jupiter and swung into the saddle. "Be careful." Lord,
Jim will kill me if she hurts herself. That is if Peter leaves anything for
Jim to pick at. He started out of the clearing.
"Hey, Regan!" Trixie shouted after him, causing him to stop.
"Why don't you call that cute vet and see if she wants to come over for
coffee? You make some really good coffee." Trixie picked up the reins,
clicked at Lady and walked out of the clearing.
As he watched Trixie leaving, he was proud of what a horsewoman she turned
out to be and also perturbed that she was needling him about the vet.
"Come on, Jupe, let's get a move on. We need
to make it to the top of the pasture so we can keep an eye on things. I want
to make sure I didn't do anything too stupid." Regan tapped Jupiter in
the sides and set off at a trot through the preserve.
Nick had made his way back to the pasture. He dismounted Strawberry and tied
the horse to the upper fence. Nick unslung the camera and scoped out the
pasture. He found a position that would put him uphill from the path exiting
the preserve. If he was right, Trixie should exit the preserve and head
uphill, across the snow-covered pasture, the sunlight should just catch her…it
would be magic. Nick held his breath, waiting for horse and rider to emerge.
Then, there she was. Trixie came cantering out of the preserve and moved
quickly into a gallop. Her blue wool cape caught the wind and billowed out
behind her. She was sitting straight up, in total control of the horse. She
reminded Nick of a female centaur. There were female centaurs in Fantasia,
right? She rose and fell with the movements of the horse's powerful
strides. Trixie was grinning broadly as she galloped across the pasture
She was laughing as she remembered the fun she and Jim had that night back in
January. Trixie was having so much fun, she really
was unaware of the man holding a camera. She swung around the pasture as Nick
continued to take photos. She pulled Lady to a stop in front of him.
"Well, Nick, what do you think? Do you have 'the photo' yet?"
Trixie asked, a bit out of breath but still smiling as if she was having a
"Absolutely, Trix, absolutely!" Nick
replied. He had it, he saw it as she was coming across the pasture: light,
movement and subject had all combined to make magic. At least Nick felt he'd
caught magic. He'd have to wait until he could load the photos. "Let's
head back to the stables and I'll help Regan get the horses settled."
"We'll all help, Nick. If we ride,
we clean. That's a hard and fast rule in Regan's world," Trixie said,
remembering all the rides they'd taken as teenagers and the fun of taking
care of the horses afterward. "Race you back!"
Regan watched as the two friends raced through the pasture towards the
stable. He turned Jupiter in the direction of the stable, knowing that the
photo shoot was obviously over. He had unsaddled Jupe
and put him in his stall when Trix and Nick came
laughing into the stable. "So I take it the photographs are
finished?" Regan asked Nick as the groom walked over to help Trixie
"Yup, all done." Trixie jumped down from Lady before Regan could
move to assist her. She led Lady towards her stall. She grabbed Lady's halter
from the hook and unbuckled the throat latch of the bridle. Trixie put the
halter over Lady's neck and waited for her to release the bit. When the
bridle was completely removed, Trixie fixed the halter on Lady and prepared
to finish up her post-riding chores.
As he was still mounted, Nick watched her and couldn't resist taking more
photos as Trixie did such a basic thing as clean up after a ride. His height
advantage was leading to some interesting angles for photos. The
juxtaposition of a fancy dressed woman grooming a horse was worth exploring.
"OK, Ansel Adams, off the horse," Regan
teased, grabbing Strawberry's halter from the hook by his stall. After Nick
dismounted, Regan took Strawberry and started the grooming process.
As much as Nick had intended to help, he found himself continuing to take
photos as Trixie and Regan joked back and forth while grooming the horses.
Trixie had finished rubbing Lady down with the towel and was completing the
job by brushing the hair flat. Trixie picked up another towel and was wiping
Lady's face clean, paying special attention to her mouth and poll where the
bridle had rubbed during their ride.
"Regan, I don't see a hoof pick in the tack box. I need one to clean out
Lady's hooves." Trixie thought about needling the groom more about an
unprepared tack box.
"I can just see you trying to clean out her hooves in that skirt."
Regan grinned broadly, finishing up with Strawberry and putting him into his
stall. He walked over to Lady and gestured for Trixie to move out of the way.
He proceeded to lift the horse's hoof and clean it, checking for any areas of
concern. "Trixie, do you mind unpacking the saddle bags I had on
"No problem." Trixie walked over the bench where Regan had placed
the saddlebags and started to unpack the items he had taken with them to the
school. She laughed at the snake bite kit which was standard equipment for
them to take on rides. She unpacked the two thermoses of coffee, a bottle of
water, a length of rope, a space blanket, and a package of MREs. "Regan,
were you worried we were going to get snowed in today?" Trixie asked
holding up the space blanket.
"I've spent enough time in your presence to know it pays to be prepared,
Trixie Belden. Just put the stuff on my desk and I'll put it all away."
Regan was finishing up on Lady's left side and was moving around to her right
when Trixie came back from his office, empty handed. He didn't see her open
up the thermos of coffee and pour more into the lid.
Trixie had taken several deep sips, before she said, "Can I offer anyone
some coffee?" Not getting an answer, she refilled her cup. Trixie sat
down on the stool in the corner and propped up her Ugg-covered
feet. She was daydreaming as she finished her coffee, watching Regan complete
and finish off the grooming.
Regan looked over, after turning Lady into her stall, to find Trixie slumped
on the stool in the corner. She was blowing the curl that fell over her
forehead, staring cross-eyed at it, as if she were mesmerized by the hair.
Every now and then, she would rub a finger across her nose, like she was
scratching an itch. "Um, Trixie, how you doing? How much coffee did you
"Ohhhh, I finished it. It was yummmy!" She was stretching out and now slightly
slurring her words. "Hey! My tongue is numb!" Trixie tried to stand
but wound up tripping over her feet and landing unceremoniously in a heap in
the straw pile.
It was a very unladylike plop but she did manage to land face up with her
skirt down. Nick couldn't resist one final photo of Trixie plopped in the
middle of the pile of fresh straw. "Ah, Regan, I'm going to go now. Do
you need me to do anything to help or do you have this under control?"
"Thanks Nick. I got myself into this, I'll get myself out. Who would
have thought Trixie would drink the entire thermos of laced coffee? I only
wanted to loosen her up. What is it they say about the best laid plans?"
Regan asked rhetorically. "Hope the photos turn out, Nick."
"Bye, Trixie, I'll see you Saturday, OK?" Nick asked towards the
blue-eyed blonde who was trying to extricate herself from the straw but was
caught up in her cape.
"Bye, Nicky, see you Saturday." Trixie waved at him, sitting back
down, giving up trying to get out of the straw on her own. "Regan, help!
I can't get up; your straw has me trapped." She held her arms up waiting
for the groom assistance.
Nick was chuckling to himself as he walked out of the stable and got into his
car to head back to his studio. He had a lot to do before Saturday.
Regan hauled Trixie up and untwisted her cape. He unhooked it and shook it
out before handing it back to her. He knew he needed to confess what he had
done but wasn't sure how to go about it. Well, grab the bull by its horns,
I guess. "Say, Trixie, what are your plans for the rest of the
day?" That's not too bad, maybe she'll say she's working from home
and I don't have to worry about it, Regan thought hopefully.
"Well-l-l, first," Trixie started to tally things on her fingers.
"I've got to get changed. I can't wear this to the doctor's." She
swept her hands down her dressy, straw-covered outfit. Trixie held up three
fingers, "Second, I have a doctor's appointment. Then after that,"
she muttered and held up two fingers. "I'm going to meet Coop to discuss
"Trixie, have a seat. I don't know how to tell you this but that coffee
you've been drinking was laced. Sweetie, you're drunk. You can't go
anywhere," Regan confessed, helping Trixie to sit on the stool.
"Can you cancel your doctor's appointment and go upstairs and get some
"Nooooo, it took me forever to get this
appointment. I NEED to keep it," Trixie said adamantly and was nodding
her head so her curls were dancing on her forehead and there were tears in
"OK, then, I'll drive you to your appointment. I bet if you take a
shower before you go and have some plain coffee, you should be OK for the
office visit," Regan said thinking aloud. "What time's the
appointment and where do you have to go?"
"It's in White Plains and my appointment is at eleven. I HAVE to make
this appointment, Regan. It's REALLY important." Trixie started to blush
as she was explaining and Regan helped her back to the house. I knew that
coffee was too yummy, Trixie thought to herself.
They were heading up onto the porch when it occurred to him that he
hadn't asked a key question. "Trixie, please tell me it's your eye
"Nooope!" Trixie had begun to realize
what this now meant.
"Dentist?" Regan knew she wasn't that embarrassed about getting her
"Nooope!" Trixie was completely red with
"Podiatrist?" Regan was practically begging. He knew what was
coming but he didn't want to know.
"Nooope!" Trixie said in a whisper.
"I'm going to the lady doctor." Trixie had sobered rapidly, once
she realized what was happening. However, she knew she was too impaired to
drive and would have to let Regan take her to White Plains.
"Heaven help me. OK, Trixie, you go upstairs and get changed. I'll meet
you in the garage in a half hour and we'll leave for White Plains." He
turned and walked off the porch, muttering to himself. "It'll help her
relax. No one will get hurt. What can happen? Heaven help me!"
minutes later Trixie was slumped down in the passenger seat of Regan's dark
metallic blue Silverado truck with her sunglasses on, leaning her head
against the window. She had a slight headache but other than feeling a little
sleepy, she really was okay. "Explain to me again how I managed to get
drunk at eight in the morning?"
"Well," Regan began, gripping and ungripping
the steering wheel in his discomfort. "I was thinking that you tend to
be very self-critical, Trixie, and I wanted you to just relax and let your
natural beauty shine through. So I added a little Kahlua to the coffee. It
wasn't the best idea I've ever had but you have to admit, you were relaxed."
Trixie turned her head towards Regan, pulling her sunglasses down and looking
at him over the top of the lenses. "'Not the best idea.' That's putting
it mildly, don't you think?" A thought occurred to her and Trixie sat
straight up. "Oh my goodness, Regan, Nick got the whole thing on
Regan tried to reassure her, "I wouldn't worry too much. You were fine
until we got back to the stable, when you finished off the coffee."
"Seriously, you're not lying to me?" Trixie's self
consciousness came back, full force.
"With the slight exception of your plopping in the straw, you were your
regular charming self. And if you think about it, falling into straw is a
pretty 'Trixie' thing to do," Regan teased. "Heaven knows you've
done it before."
"Thanks, Regan, you sure know how to make a girl feel good," Trixie
said sarcastically. Deciding she needed a bit of revenge she said, "The
office for my doctor is the next complex on the right." She
pointed out the next turn and smiled as Regan noticeably cringed.
Regan pulled the heavy duty truck up to the entrance of the professional
building. "So, Trixie, I'm going to go hang out somewhere, find a donut
shop or something. You've got my cell phone number and you can call me when
you're done, or ready, or whatever."
"Sure you don't want to come up and wait inside?" Trixie giggled as
she got out of the truck. "Thanks for driving me, Regan, and thanks for
thinking about me."
"Never thought I'd say this to you but sorry for getting you drunk, Trix." Regan smiled wanly.
Trixie gave her friend a brilliant smile. "I was over thinking
things. You were right. I'll call when I'm all done." She shut the door
to the truck and walked into the building.
Checking the directory, she
found the suite for Dr. Charlotte Kisthardt. Trixie
took the elevator up to the fourth floor and walked into the spacious waiting
area. After filling out the required new patient forms, she sat down to wait
to be called. Boredom quickly set in. Trixie had never been one to sit still
for long. She tried to wait patiently but finally gave in and called work.
Cooper didn't pick up, so she left a message, telling him she was going to
take the whole day on sick leave after all. After that, she checked her email
from her phone.
Logging on she saw she had an email from Honey and another one from Jim. She
decided to open Honey's email first and save Jim's for later. Better to
remain calm before her visit.
Hey, Trixie! How are you today? You had your secret photo shoot this
morning, right? Well, I hope it went well. I know the pictures are going to
be perfectly perfect. I can't believe Nick Roberts, artist, is now Nick
Roberts, graphic artist. I can't wait to see the pictures! Is he going to
give you a CD so you can send me some? hint, hint? J
I am so ready to be done. I know law school is going to pay off in the long
run for the BWDA as well as helping Jim's school. BUT, this Advocacy class is
a PITA. Oh well, just a few more months and then the bar exams. Holp!
Well, I'm going to run. We need an old fashioned chat soon.
Trixie sent a quick text message reply: H,
got your email. Photos went well. More to the story. U will love. I'll call
later. Be good. XOXO, T.
Moments later a nurse called out, "Beatrix? Beatrix Belden?"
"That's me. Please call me Trixie." She followed the nurse down the
hallway and took a seat in a pale-colored exam room. After completing the
required doctor's office standards: blood pressure, pulse, and weight, the
nurse said, "The doctor will be in in a minute."
Trixie sat on the edge of the exam table, waiting patiently, looking at the
reproduction watercolor pictures on the wall. A few minutes later there was a
knock on the door and a short, curvy woman with straight brown hair pulled
back in a ponytail, walked into the office. "Hi, I'm Dr. Charlotte Kisthardt." She shook hands and continued, "But
you can call me Charlie."
"Nice to meet you, Charlie. I'm Trixie."
"Nice to meet you, too. New patients are always welcome. So, Trixie,
what brings you to the office today?" the doctor asked as she sat down
and opened Trixie's empty chart.
"Well, I'm recently moved back to New York and thought I should find a
regular doctor. I saw my family doctor in Sleepyside before I went away but I
would rather have a GP for general issues and also have an OB/GYN. Does that
make sense?" Trixie explained.
"Perfect. Let me get some information then." The middle aged doctor
asked Trixie the basic medical questions and made notations in the chart.
"What is your current method of birth control?"
Trixie blushed slightly and took a deep breath. "Actually, that's the
main reason for my visit. My current method is abstinence. But I don't know
how long I'm going to last with that method. My boyfriend and I aren't…well,
"I think I understand. You're not sexually active, yet, but as a
consenting adult, you think it is best to be prepared. Is that about
right?" Charlie raised her eyebrows as she looked up from the chart and
"Yes. We haven't had sex yet but, Charlie, I don't know how much longer
we can wait, you know?" Trixie huffed out a breath, fluffing her bangs.
"Understandable. Let's take care of the uncomfortable portion of this
visit if you're ready." Charlie reached into the drawer of the table and
pulled out a hospital gown and sheet. "You know what to do with this.
Opening in front and I'll be back in a few. I'll knock first. OK?"
"OK, let's saddle up,"
"Saddle up?" Charlie asked quizzically.
"You know, stirrups, saddle up. Sorry, it's what my girlfriends and I
call our trip to the lady doctor." Trixie explained.
"I love it! Saddle up, that's one I hadn't heard." Charlie left the
room laughing quietly.
Trixie quickly changed in the hospital gown, folding her clothes and putting
them on the chair. She sat, slightly uncomfortable, at the end of the table
and waited for the doctor to knock on the door. When she heard the tapping
she said, "Come in."
The doctor explained everything they would be doing during the exam. She
prepared the instruments she would need and the medical supplies on the small
table. Charlie referred to Trixie's file one last time before beginning the
exam. "You live in Sleepyside?"
Trixie was caught off guard by the question as the doctor patted the table,
gesturing for Trixie to lie back. "Yes, I've lived there all my life,
except for college and a few years afterward. Why do you ask?"
As the exam continued, Charlie explained her inquiry about Trixie's hometown.
"Well, a month ago I was meeting a friend at the movies; we were seeing
the monthly oldies movie at the Cameo. I parked, put my money in the meter
and went into the movie. Afterward, I came out and I see this man standing by
my car. At first, I was worried and thought it might have been a suspicious
character. Then I noticed it was a police officer and he was writing me a
"Sleepyside's finest; it's how we make all our
road improvement monies. The people at the special movie night and their
expired meter tickets," Trixie joked. "The police academy graduates
love writing parking tickets."
"That's the kicker," the doctor continued. "You might feel a
small pinch. The meter wasn't expired and it wasn't a rookie. It was the
Police Chief. Can you believe that? Chief Molinari, I think?"
"Molinson, Wendell Molinson.
He's the police chief." Trixie really wanted to laugh but couldn't risk
it. "Chief Molinson was writing tickets?"
"It gets weirder," the doctor looked up at Trixie. "He had to
borrow a ticket book from one of the other officers. I saw him hand it back
to him. AND even more bizarre, my meter wasn't even expired. Unfortunately, I
didn't notice that until after he had left. One more swab and we're
"So, let me see if I understand this. You were parked legally on an
unexpired meter. Yet the Chief borrowed a ticket book, wrote you a ticket and
got all your information?" Trixie sat up as the doctor told her to.
"I suspect that Wendell Molinson wanted to
meet you. He's been a widower for about five years. Now that we've gotten
past my harum-scarum teenaged years, we get along pretty well."
"I sense there is more to this story," Charlie said, taking off her
gloves and washing her hands. "I'll take these samples to the lab, let
you get dressed and we'll finish up in my office. When you're ready, it's the
last door on the left. I'll meet you there." Dr. Kisthardt
walked out of the office carrying the samples and closed the door behind her.
Trixie quickly got dressed. After visiting the restroom, she went down the
hallway and found Charlie sitting behind her desk using the computer.
"Come on in. I was just updating your file. So first things first,
everything looks great. All the right plumbing in all the right places."
Charlie smiled at Trixie. "We should have your test results back in
about ten days and will call if there is anything abnormal. If you don't hear
from us, it's good news. You are, of course, welcome to call and get all your
results from the nurse on duty if you'd like."
"I like the no news is good news method. It's simpler." Trixie sat
"We'll get you a prescription for birth control pills. I prefer them,
they're been tested for years, no added hormones or injections and when you
want to decide you want to consider a family, you just stop taking them. No
reversal procedures. Does that sound good for you?" The doctor was
writing on a prescription pad. "So, tell me about Wendell. Sounds like
you know him well and now you have me wondering how you know him? Spend much
time with the police growing up?"
"Actually, yes. My friends and I got in a few scrapes growing up;
trouble always seemed to find us. More than once Sergeant Molinson,
well, Chief now, saved our hides. In fact, one of my friends, Dan, is a
sergeant on the Sleepyside police force and I went into the FBI," Trixie
"Seriously?" Charlie was leaning on the desk, amazed with this
news. "So, he's a widower?"
"Yes. I heard he'd been dating quietly for about a year. Do you want me
to ask Dan what he knows?" Trixie grinned.
"Sounds so high school. Do you think he was interested in me?"
"The facts stand for themselves. He went out of his way to meet you and
get your information, and more importantly, give you his, so I'd say yes, I
think he is interested. I'd call him if I were you. Blame it on the ticket
and ask to discuss it over coffee at Wimpy's. They
make the best strawberry shakes, by the way." Trixie encouraged her new
"Trixie, you've given me a lot to think about. Here's your prescription.
It's written for a year's supply, so I don't need to see you again until next
year. Unless, that is, I see you around Sleepyside first," Charlie said,
handing the piece of paper to Trixie. "It takes a week to start being
effective but best to use additional protection for the first month to be
"Charlie, it was very nice meeting you. I hope you do call Chief Molinson, he's a good guy." Trixie shook hands with
the doctor. As she waited to check out with the nurse, she called Regan's
cell phone. "I'm done. Meet you downstairs? Yup, five minutes? OK."
Trixie took care of the co-payment and went downstairs to meet Regan.
She climbed into the truck and shut the door. "Have a nice time? Did you
have coffee?" she asked sarcastically.
Regan was caught off guard and started coughing. Luckily he hadn't pulled out
of the driveway yet. He took a few deep breaths. "Again, I'm sorry,
Trixie. How many times do I need to say it?"
"We're good; I just couldn't resist teasing you. Let's head back to
Sleepyside," Trixie said.
"I thought you were going into work this afternoon?" Regan asked.
"Originally I was, but somehow I became too impaired to drive and now my
vehicle is in Sleepyside, while I'm four minutes from work. So, I'd have to
go back to Sleepyside and then drive all the way back here, wasting another
hour of my day. And, as I have a raging headache, I took the afternoon off,
too. Well, at least I did when I made the call." Trixie leaned back and
put her sunglasses on. "I am however, exhausted, so let's just go
"Sounds like a plan. Why don't you take a nap on the way back?"
"I think that's a good idea. Before we leave White Plains, do you mind
if we make a quick stop?" Trixie asked, yawning. "I would like to
drop off my prescription and pick it up tomorrow after work."
Regan looked over at the wilting blonde, who was almost asleep already.
"Of course, we can. Is there a drug store near your building?"
"Yeah, it's right across the street. They've
got one of those old-fashioned lunch counters in the back. Cooper and I eat
there at once or twice a week, or at least carry out. They have great chicken
noodle soup." Trixie still had the prescription clutched in her hand but
her eyes were closed and she was rapidly drifting off to sleep.
Regan quickly found the little drug store and pulled into a parking place. He
was about to wake Trixie up when he decided he'd let her sleep. He reached
across and took the prescription. He walked into the drug store and found the
The druggist came over. "How can I help you, sir?"
"I'd like to drop this prescription off for pick up tomorrow,"
Regan said, handing the paper to the white-coated man.
"OK, have you had prescriptions filled here before?" The druggist
looked down at the prescription. "Oh, you're dropping off for your
"No, I'm not married. Why?" Regan asked, clueless.
The druggist looked up at the redhead. "Sir, I don't think the birth
control is yours."
"Ugh. Don't tell me anymore. It's for a friend, a platonic friend. Her
name is Trixie, um Beatrix Belden," Regan quickly explained.
"Ah, Agent Belden, we know her well. She's a wonderful customer; she's
in here all the time. I'll take care of this for her. Tell her it'll be ready
tomorrow." The druggist took the prescription and walked away, unfazed.
Regan stood at the counter for a moment, digesting what he now knew. I
never needed to know that information, never. He raked his left hand
through his hair and shook his head slowly from side to side in disbelief.
"What a day!"
We are thankful for our editors, BonnieH,
Donnis, Mylee, Pam
(ps9906) and WendyM. Any mistakes including typos
or errors of any kind are by the Smush Sisters and
not these wonderful ladies who try to help us make better stories.
To BonnieH, we want to express our love and thanks.
She hosted this story when it was first written. You are awesome!
Ansel Adams is a famous photographer and painter.
MRE is meal ready to eat used by military and other people when cooking can't
Ugg is a brand of footwear both stylish and warm.
Kahlua is a yummy alcoholic beverage.
Header photo is of Jo's grandma.
Background and dividers are from All Free Backgrounds.