She had just speared her broccoli when Chuck returned setting a fresh glass of wine by her plate. "Cheers," he said lifting his beer in a toast. Nodding her thanks, she sipped the wine. You’ll lose your objectivity if you get snockered. Pace yourself.
Just then a warm hand touched her shoulder. Aunt Shirley leaned down to whisper, "Are you having a good time?"
"Lovely," Marti said smiling up at her aunt. Shirley looked radiant tonight in a loosely woven yellow dress that showed glimpses of skin when she moved. "It’s a beautiful evening."
Disrupting their conversation, Charlene took a seat by Chuck announcing herself to everyone. "Mind if I join you?" she chattered as she scooted into the table. Of course she was dressed to the nines with a sheer sarong and matching sandals. Marti could smell her across the table.
Giving a secret smile to Chuck, Marti dived into her food. She listened carefully as Charlene made conversation with everyone. "I’m so frustrated with that Rev. Serino down the street. He actually filed a complaint that our privacy fence does not meet county code."
Looking at Chuck, she asked, "What do you think, honey? You’re the building expert here." She smiled at him and touched his arm.
Chuck swallowed moving his arm to his water glass. After a drink he replied, "I have no idea but I do know who to call. I’d be happy to check into it for you."
"Oh, I’d appreciate it. We don’t want those holy rollers giving us trouble. Why can’t they just live and let be?"
"Has Rev. Serino given you trouble before?" asked Marti.
"He sent threatening letters over a year ago when some boys were curious to see a nude woman and climbed one of the trees on the adjoining property. After they got caught, he blamed us."
"Well, that could happen anywhere – at a gym or swimming pool."
"Yes, I know. My Harry was good at firing back at him but I just don’t have that moxy." She turned again to Chuck, "Thank you for checking into this for me. Come see me at the office so I’ll know what to do."
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