For over two years Prescott Everhart had been living a double life. Not really even a double life because most of the time he spent being Ray Nolan. As an undercover cop he'd had no problem with this, he was doing an important job. But to be good at it he had to pretty much lose himself in the role. His normal life gave way to Ray Nolan's life. Only a few people knew about it, even on the force, in his real life, only his brother, Perry was aware of the truth behind his activities. In fact, Perry was the liaison between him and his superiors on the force. Perry was a "friend" of Ray Nolan and worked with him on his cars as well. Obviously he was considered the one law-abiding citizen among Perry's friends.
As far as Pres's parents and his middle brother, Prince, and youngest brother Parker, were concerned he was the lovable kid brother who just liked to loaf. He wasn't really considered the black sheep because that role was reserved for Prince who was definitely pursuing the life of a criminal; hopefully a rich criminal. Certainly Phillip Everhart, the patriarch of the family, safely ensconced in an estate on an island off the coast of Georgia with the boys mother, Rhonda, was totally mystified. He didn't understand why Pres would finish college in the upper 5% of his class, join the police force and quickly become a detective only to quit to be a self-employed part-time mechanic, living in the worst part of downtown Crystal Creek.
Meanwhile, brother Prince let their parents think he was an executive in a prosperous Bluewater Village company (which at this point was non-existent). He had pictures of his new cushy digs that definitely promoted that idea.
Pres rented a little house, rather stark and depressing, with a small yard where he would work on cars and party with his rowdy friends. Of course, the department actually owned the house and it was furnished in a style to which "Ray Nolan" would be accustomed.
Nearly every room had objects in it that could be used as weapons in a brawl. Everyday items that could hide in plain sight. These "weapons" were unlikely items such as a cricket bat, a shovel, a hockey stick, baseball bat or even decorative swords. Pres knew how to use any of these items to deal serious injury or even death if he had to do so. Drunken brawls were pretty much a way of life and expected when Pres threw a bash with his numerous lowlife friends over-indulging. A serious attack or attempted assassination, on the other hand would be likely should his cover get blown. Not something he expected necessarily but definitely a possibility; his gun remained hidden but easily reached.
Once his cover was in place, Pres began to go up to the Lucky Cuss Tavern where he eventually met and befriended a number of frequent customers there. This was facilitated by Jerri Rasmus, a beautiful, redhead who just happened to be a fellow cop and had been undercover for a year already.
Jerri introduced him to many people she thought could be helpful; like the beauteous Giallelis sisters, Thalia, Sofia and Anneliese. Thalia was the tough-talking oldest sister, with a huge mass of long black hair; she worked as a waitress at the Fabulous Fifties Diner and made money on the side doing errands for low-level criminals. She had a good sense of humor and a raucous but sexy laugh. Sofia was the middle sister; a candy box blonde with peaches and cream skin, big brown eyes, and an ultra curvy body that was a tremendous aid in her job as a hooker. She was cuddly, strangely naive and sweet-natured in contrast to the hot-tempered Thalia. Anneliese was the youngest sister with heart-stopping green eyes and glossy black hair she chopped off short. She worked as a cashier at the supermarket in Pleasantview and was going to school part-time to become a paralegal. Thus she didn't spend as much time with them as she used to do. Three others Jerri introduced him to were Keith Mazura, Jed Hammer and Dana Conadera. They were all rough guys who made their living in nefarious ways that didn't bear close inspection.
Thalia Giallelis Sofia Giallelis
Anneliese Giallelis Keith Mazura and Jerri
Jed Hammer Dana Conadera
The first time Pres threw a party at his place things got complicated right away. While Jerri, Jed, Thalia and Keith were cozying up to the bubble machine in the backyard Sofia and Ray were becoming quite friendly. When the others left in the early, early morning hours the zaftig Sofia stayed. She didn't even charge Pres.
Pres had frankly begun romancing Sofia because she was a very good supplier of information. Unfortunately this was because she'd become convinced that she was in love with him and, although she was usually very loyal to her friends, she had no idea that he was a cop and she spoke freely. Hence she spilled secrets of not only her friends, but her johns as well to "Ray". He soon developed a real affection for her in spite of himself. Unfortunately this led him to become protective of her and soon to feeling like a creep for using her. His job required him to put aside those feelings but he was finding it harder and harder to do that.
Night after night Pres spent at the Lucky Cuss or Red's Hideout--when he wasn't over at Sofia's. By now he was becoming upset at the thought of her proclivities with men and yet knew that he had to leave her to do what she thought she had to do.
Two years later it was perhaps not that strange that Pres trusted the women in this group over and above the men. Lately Anneliese had quit hanging around with the rest of them completely. She naturally wanted a better life for herself and had finished training as a paralegal and went to work at the offices of Williams and Everhart, Perry Everhart's law firm. In addition she had a new apartment in the same building where Perry and Parker Everhart lived. Except for family get-together's at their parents' home, she now avoided Thalia and Sofia like the plague.
Thalia had left the diner and now had a job at the supermarket. She made good money as head cashier and rented a tiny house on the outskirts of Pleasantview. However; she still loved to rub shoulders with various crooks, ex-cons and delinquents, especially the upwardly mobile ones.
Sofia's fondest wish (besides marrying Pres someday) was to be a hairdresser. She'd been styling her various friends' hair for years, but she wanted to go legit and work in a beauty salon. She'd been practicing at her place using a second hand hair styling chair but had to abandon that when she was told by her irate landlord that they were not zoned commercial and he had no intention of getting in trouble with the law. As if he didn't know about her work as a lady of the night where, obviously, she brought men home for illegal activities.
The next time Pres came over for the evening she told him about having to give up working in her mobile home but said she had saved $550 so far to go to cosmetology school.
"How much is the tuition there?" Pres asked.
Sofia looked a little crestfallen,
"Well, it's about $8000 for the school in Bluewater," she admitted but then insisted, "But I'll get it. It's just gonna take a while."
"Yeah, I'll bet it's going to take a while," he said knowingly, "That lowlife pimp of yours takes most of your money. Plus you give financial handouts to anybody who says they need it."
"Let's not talk about that now," Sofia hugged him. She didn't want him to know that Lenny had beat her up the first time he found out she was giving "freebies" to Pres. She'd had to stay away from Pres for almost two weeks so he wouldn't see the bruises and black eye she'd sported. Eventually she made a deal with Lenny to give him a much larger share of her take on all her customers to make up for not charging Pres.
"Anyway, I made supper for you," she smiled now and her dimples always made it hard for Pres to argue about anything.
"Oh, you did," he grinned, "Mac and cheese?"
"Well, I know I burned it last time, but I've been practicing."
There was no doubt about it; Sofia loved pink. She nearly always wore various shades of pink or rose and all of the inside of her home reflected her fondness for this color. She liked things soft and feminine.
Later they made love in her very pink bedroom and talked and cuddled for hours before Pres had to go. Sofia treasured every moment with him. She'd never met anyone like Pres before and certainly never anyone who treated her like she was a precious and important person. Small wonder she'd fallen head over heels for him. She was not stupid and she was aware he was not in love with her, at least not in the way she was in love with him, but it didn't matter. She loved him and in her eyes there was nothing to do about it. She would be available as long as he wanted her. But deep in her heart she dreamed of a better day when she could be "decent" and have a real job in a beauty shop. Maybe then she could become Mrs. Ray Nolan. It was a dream all right, but she clung to it desperately.
The thing was, as much as Pres was drawn to Sofia, he did not believe he was in love with her. His own dreams of someday did not really include a wife. More and more he was questioning if he wanted a life in law enforcement let alone undercover work. He'd begun to wonder if he wouldn't really be happiest with a little garage of his own or a chop shop. Anyway, he had a job to do and falling in love would only have complicated it. But Pres wanted Sofia to get out of her risky, demeaning profession as soon as possible. Her efforts to always look on the bright side and keep her personal life separate from her work wrung his heart. He decided all she needed was a leg up and so he wanted to give her the cash to go to beauty school. He had the money but had to take it out of savings. As far as he was concerned it was well worth it to get her away from that creep, Lenny.
"Lover, I can't take money from you," she protested, "You know that. I'm crazy about you and you never have to pay me."
"Honey, this is not a payment in any way. This is a gift from one friend to another. I know you will be a fantastic hairdresser, you just need a chance."
She looked at him tentatively,
"I'll pay you back, I promise I will," she finally let herself smile and threw her arms around him.
"You don't have to pay back a gift, but what I do ask is that you go right away--tomorrow if you can--and sign up. I'd better not hear that Lenny the pig took any of it. The sooner it's out of your hands and deposited with the school, the better. Let me know if you need books or equipment of any kind."
"You're so sweet to me, lover," she was near tears.
"You just go, baby; just do it. Make me proud."
The next night Pres went out for an evening of snooping, first the Lucky Cuss Tavern and then to Red's Hideout where something happened that would change his life forever. He was ordering his favorite cholesterol-laden meal of salt and pepper catfish, french fries, coleslaw and hush puppies when a beautiful, fresh-faced girl walked in looking very young and innocent and very out of place.
Sweet mother of pearl, how did she get in here? The guys in this place will swallow her whole.
He didn't know it yet but her name was Arlene Jankowski.
Next blog update: The Brothers Everhart - Pres Ch. 2 Her Bodyguard Pt. 1