AUTHOR'S NOTE: Beth is a minor character in Maelstrom. She is Ricky's ex-girlfriend from college and is the first club owner to book Maelstrom after Ricky becomes their manager. She's a tough cookie by the time we see her in the novel, but here she's just starting out. This is also a Three Word Wednesday story.
Beth stood behind the bar, gazing in exasperation at the water gushing from the broken faucet. One hour until opening. Was there something wrong with her karma? She had been running this small, dingy club for barely a month and it seemed like it was one thing after another.
“Can you fix it?” Joella asked.
“Do I look like a plumber?” Beth reached for her BlackBerry. “I just hope my guy isn’t too busy right now.”
“Joella fixed her with a look that could wither grass. “Guy? Why did you buy a lesbian bar if you aren’t going to keep the business in the community?” She shook her head in disgust, unlocked a cabinet and began pulling out bottles of scotch. “You need to call Dykes with Dykes.”
“Dykes with Dykes.” She said it slowly, as if Beth didn’t understand English. “It’s listed as Teller Lane Tools in the directory, but we—”
“Understood.” Beth did a search on Teller Lane Tools. “Do you think they’ll give us priority?”
“We look out for our own.”
The scrawny, snub-nosed blonde who showed up half an hour later didn’t look like any plumber Beth had ever seen, but Tommie carried the requisite case of tools and marched to the scene of the problem with such an aura of command that Beth didn’t ask any questions and jumped to obey her orders: more light, move the mat, and would someone please turn down the house music so a gal can hear herself think?
Twenty minutes later, the problem was fixed.
“Back in compliance,” Tommie said as she put her tools away.
Beth took the offered invoice. The price was more than reasonable, so she took some cash out of the till. “Thanks for everything. Can I buy you a drink?”
“No flirting with the plumber.” Tommie winked as she folded the bills and stuffed them in her pocket.
Beth wondered if she should mention that she was straight; that she had only bought the club to make a quick buck and move on to better things. But no, why go there? What people thought didn’t matter. “Well, the offer is good any time. Thanks for saving my butt.”
Beth watched Tommie go, then turned back to the bar. The bottles and glassware were set up, Joella was cutting limes, and all was as is it should be. Some day Beth would be a rich woman, if she had anything to say about it. But for now, this was enough, and maybe her karma was okay, after all.