From Chapter 3

Note:  If you haven’t already done so please read the Introduction to this book, first.  It will be helpful to better understand these sample chapter extracts.

The Comisario’s Band – The Colonel and the Professor

‘I love their music,’ the Colonel mused silently as the taxi pulled next to the curb in front of the Club Scene. ‘But,’ he concluded silently, paying the taxi driver, ‘I’d hate to live their life-style.’

While the Colonel was relaxing and enjoying his drink, the renowned Basie Band musicians would be spending a restless night on a band-bus, traveling to another gig in some other city. The musicians called them hit and runs and they hated them.

The brown-skinned Colonel, looking smart in his white officer’s jacket, trimmed with gold braid, cascading from the epaulets perched on his shoulders, removed his white billed cap and threaded his way through the dim smoke filled lounge. He reached for his wallet in the back pocket of his black gabardine dress trousers and approached the crowded bar.

Vocalist, Margaret Reed, looked like an angel singing under a lavender pin light on the small bandstand. Outlining her standing trim body, a white jersey evening gown clung to her while tastefully covering her full white breasts, revealing a sensually delicate cleavage. Her shoulder length blonde hair shone like spun gold, partially hiding her long sparkling rhinestone earrings. Miss Reed was singing “never treats me sweet and gentle, the way he should….”

“Good evening, Colonel,” the gray-haired bartender said, straightening his black bow tie and pulling down his red vest in a nervous gesture. “Would you care for the usual?”

Severo confirmed his drink order without taking his eyes from the bandstand. Margaret Reed devastated Colonel López. She was the Colonel’s reason for being alive.

Colonel López met Margaret Reed on a cold February night when he sat next to her at the bar while she waited for the musicians to pack up their instruments. He bought her a drink and they chatted. Severo discovered that Professor Margaret Reed taught classes in political science at George Washington University during the week and sang with the quartet on weekends. She was smart and beautiful. Her singing was breathy, sexy, and infused with a quality that male customers loved and female customers envied.

Margaret coaxed the Colonel into telling her about his duties at the Mexican Embassy, which he did proudly, explaining how he occasionally planned and supervised embassy social affairs and events as well as performing his daily diplomatic duties. They finished their drinks and said good night.

The Colonel returned the following night and once again edged his way to the crowded bar where he stood cap in hand, transfixed, by the beautiful singing professor. He agonized over inviting Margaret to join him for an early breakfast, after her performance that night. He felt certain that such a gorgeous talented female would certainly be spoken for… or not at all interested in being in the company of a Mexican military man. When Margaret approached him at the bar he seized the opportunity….

Six months had passed since that night, when Margaret surprised the Colonel by accepting his nervous breakfast invitation. Once again, after having attended another diplomatic event, Severo stood at the bar at the Club Scene wondering how a beautiful creature, like Margaret Reed, could love him. Margaret insisted she found Severo’s brown skin, dark brown eyes and black curly hair striking. She assured him six feet was ‘just tall enough’. That pleased the Mexican Colonel, since his Aztec ancestors had not been tall people. She insisted he wasn’t chubby, but the Colonel knew he was out of shape from sampling rich food and tasting fine wines at the numerous affairs he attended. It was part of his job. He didn’t take the time required to work out at a gym.

Listening to his beautiful lover sing, Severo reflected on the first time the couple made love. He invited Professor Reed to join him at a cocktail party at the embassy on a Wednesday evening, knowing she wouldn’t be singing that night. He sent a driver for her and when the blonde lady arrived wearing a mint green linen suit – cocktail conversations stopped. Her soft pink blouse, matching high heel shoes and purse, made a perfect fashion statement for a conservative lady. Severo took her by the arm and led her to the bar, nodding and smiling at the stunned Mexican military dignitaries and other guests. For this occasion Margaret pulled her hair away from her face and wore it in a bun at the nape of her neck. The only jewelry she wore was a small wristwatch, small gold loop earrings and a plain gold chain. Margaret was the center of attention and because the Mexican officers and their wives spoke English, time passed quickly. Men asked each other why a beautiful young woman like Margaret was not married, but instead was teaching college courses…. Wives gossiped softly in Spanish, immediately recognizing the attraction between the beautiful young woman and the handsome Colonel. Seeing the lady professor at the Colonel’s side, while thanking the guests for attending the party, assured the officer’s wives of what they already knew, and relieved the husbands of their concerns. After driving Margaret home from the embassy, Severo said goodnight as he did the last few times he brought her home from a dinner, a theatre or after a late night breakfast. He yearned to hold and kiss her, but she gave no indication she wanted him to touch her.

Waiting on the sidewalk until Margaret was safely inside the front door of the building, Severo heard her call out. “Would you like to see my apartment, Severo? It’s really quite nice.”

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