Blaise didn’t seem all that concerned or bothered by the desert heat. Her focus was squarely on the machine in front of her now.
“Come on, ya stupid thing! Ya worked perfectly fine yesterday! What is yer deal today?
She groaned in frustration as she tried to get the machine to start. In fact, Blaise was about to punch the damn thing when a voice stopped her.
“Doggone it, woman! Violence ain’t always the answer! I’m sure the machine is just having a bad day.”
“Yeah, probably,” she said to her husband.
While she was finally managing to get the machine to start going, Dennis pulled out his cell phone to check for any text messages from home.
It took a little while, what with all the other messages with attachments on them, mostly from Dudley and Alma. Dennis couldn’t help but chuckle every time he saw the picture of Brownie wearing Dudley’s hat.
He then kept looking, and got to a point where he was told he had ‘one missed call’.
“Y’ello?” He said after he dialed the number and connected.
The voice on the other end was unsteady, and was thick from crying. “Hullo? Boss?”
“Well, Mister Rotter! You sound as if you’ve just been punched hard in the gut! What’s bothering you?”
Sinbad took a shaky breath and coughed once, before he said what was on his mind. “You know that birthday present I was planning for your son?”
Dennis made a noise that indicated he knew. “Yeah, he found out about it. So there’s a good chance you and the Boss Lady might be delayed in coming home.”
“Oh, dear. I take it he was none too pleased in seeing the cost.”
“I couldn’t even tell him what I was getting. But yeah. You’ll probably have to wait a little longer before you get back to this cesspool of a town.”
“Very well, sir.” Dennis wasn’t even able to say goodbye before Sinbad hung up.
“So what’d ya say was the problem?” Once Dennis was able to get Blaise away from the slots, the two arrived at some place believed to grant wishes.
The arid and uncomfortable air made Dennis want to jump in to cool off. But he kept his composure as he explained to Blaise what was apparently wrong.
“Oh, it’ll take too damn long to get into the nitty-gritty, so I’ll just say ‘birthday misunderstanding’.”
Blaise nodded to this, before pulling out a coin from her pocket.
“Well, that’s a bummer. That mean we ain’t going to see Sharky for his birthday?”
“I couldn’t say for sure, madam. Hopefully things get all nice and ironed out before then.” He then watched as Blaise flipped her coin into the fountain.
“Well, I sure hope so! I can only wonder how much Sharky misses ya!”
Then Blaise stepped back to let Dennis have a turn at making a wish.
Before he threw in his coin, Dennis just stared at it, apparently deep in thought.
“Likewise, madam. I just hope Mister Rotter is trying his best to not make it so rough.”
“That don’t mean jack, Denny,” she said to him while she waited. “Anyone close with their daddy’s gonna miss him a whole lot if he ain’t there.
“Hell, I miss my own daddy all the time! Sometimes getting married ain’t a substitute for how close ya are to yer parents. No offense meant to ya in that sense.”
“None taken, madam! I understand perfectly well what you’re getting at. I wasn’t close with my own pa, but that’s possibly because he was an abusive prick. I suppose I just didn’t want to turn into him, in some sense.”
Blaise nodded. “And ya didn’t! Hell, I bet ya’d turn into the next John Marston on some troublemakers if it meant Sharky would be okay.”
Before he spoke, Dennis nodded. “I take it you’ve gone about the gaming community for the boy’s sake?”
“That, and Alma’s got an XBox 360. She got it a while back in an attempt to understand all the slang some of her students kept using, among other reasons.
“There’s just something hilarious to hear your best bud tell her students over Black Ops who failed their midterm exam.”
After some more irrelevant banter, the two ended up going back to where they were staying.
“I sure hope we get back home eventually. I want to meet my new grandpuppies!”