A tap on the passenger window made Armand jump and his heart race. He looked over to see Marc grinning at him, motioning for Armand to unlock the door. A flick of a switch allowed Marc to open the door and climb in.
"So? You plan on staying out here all night?" Marc asked. Armand smiled back weakly then stared out the front window of his car at the back end of a blue Saab.
"Actually I was …"Armand began.
"No! Don't say it. If I don't convince you to come in, Angie is going to blow a gasket." Marc shook his head, his eyes closed, his hands thrown in the air.
"She was rather adamant I come." Armand answered matter-of-factly, a slight smile touching the edges of his mouth.
"That would be putting it mildly. She's pissed at Geoff, and I've already had to head her off a couple of times from taking him to task for… well… something she shouldn't get herself involved in," Marc said.
Armand laughed lightly and shook his head at Marc's embarrassment. The break-up with Geoff had been more than a year ago, yet people still talked openly about it, much to Armand's chagrin.
"You know she's like an older sister. Geoff has no idea how close he came to getting his ass kicked by your lovely wife," Armand responded with a sideways look at his friend.
"After tonight I'm relatively certain he's going to realize she's still more than just a little angry at him." Marc said. "And speaking of those two, I can't be away from the battle zone for long. They might decide to have it out on the mahogany flooring I just had stripped and resealed."
"That would be quite a sight," Armand answered with a hint of mirth.
"Agreed but I'd rather not have that going on this evening. Come in with me, why don't you? I promise to keep Geoff away." Armand laughed, grabbed the present from the dash and opened his door.
Marc got out of the passenger side and looked at him over the top of the car. "Who knows? Maybe Santa dropped off your gift early this year," Marc said, tapping the car roof for emphasis.
Armand chuckled as he hit the lock button on his remote. "Honestly, Marc, all I want for Christmas is a partner who won't cheat on me, finds me irresistible, and has a steady job. Think Santa might have one of those just lying around?" He walked around the front of his car.
Tye Boling had everything. He had a great job, a nice condo and a car. The only thing missing was someone in his life to share it all with. To keep those kind of thoughts from ruining his life, he volunteered nearly all his free time to the Saint Mary's Church soup kitchen on
Christmas was just two days away when Tye got tapped on the shoulder to serve on the food line. He usually prepared the food rather than serve it but one of the usual line ladies had gotten ill. Being the team player he was, Tye had no problem donning a paper apron, gloves, and a hair net. Waving a spoon in the air he moved into position, the women laughing at their new recruit.
"Potatoes beware!" Tye said as he pulled the plastic off the metal container and began ladling portions.
"Honey, they already been mashed, not sure they have much to fear from you and your spoon." Rynesha laughed and spooned gravy on top of the potatoes Tye had placed on the tray.
"I just wanted them to know who was in charge. Don't want to be wearing potatoes in my hair when I leave here tonight." Tye stirred the potatoes in the metal bin.
"Tye baby, you must lead a really wild life if the possibility of potatoes in your hair is going to get you all riled up." The shortest lady on the line, Madge, shook her head and pulled the plastic wrap off the bin in front of her.
"Well, you know us gay boys whoop it up every night of the week. Wild sex parties and all that."
"Uh huh," Rynesha said. "That why you here in the soup kitchen five nights a week?"
"Parties don't start 'til after ten," Tye replied as he felt the heat of a blush on his cheeks.
"Boy, you an awful liar. But God knows we loves you for coming down and helping. Not many who would." Madge spooned mixed vegetables on a tray and handed it to Tye.
The homeless, several prostitutes, and the working poor stood quietly in line, waiting their turn for a plate of food while the ladies and one lone gentleman greeted each and every one with a smile and pleasant word.
Tye felt like he was on top of the world, yet overwhelmed by the number of people who came through the doors. Nameless people. Men, women, and children who needed his help to make it through to the next meal. Yes, he took it personally but then again he took everything personally. Big personality flaw his old love,