Chapter Four, Part Two - You Give Back Your Ring To Me

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A long day of interviews and appearances catching up with him, George slouched down tiredly in the backseat of the chauffeur-driven Cadillac. He hadn't recuperated from his nasty bout of strep throat.

Mal looked over at him. "How're you feeling?"

He rested his head back and closed his eyes. "I'm fab."

"You look knackered."

Mal thought George might nod off, and tried to keep him awake. "Louise wasn't feeling up to coming with this time?"

He'd purposefully left out her out. "She's leaving early tomorrow morning. Busy packing."

The driver spoke up. "Weather report says a chance of a snowstorm."

"Cynthia too."

George turned his head, opening his eyes, and looked over at his roadie turned chaperone for the evening.

Mal ran a beefy hand down his mouth, subconsciously trying to erase his words.

"Missing Julian then?" George suggested, prompting Mal to nod agreeably. He thought of what married life could be for him. George looked out of the car window. He didn't want to be like John with Cynthia. George wanted something different for himself and questioned if he could have it with Annette.


"Annette," Florence stopped at the door, putting her coat on over her nurse's uniform. "I can't wait any longer for him." She buttoned her coat.

"Who is he going to meet if you and dad aren't here?" She crossed her arms over her chest.

She pointedly stared at her daughter.

Annette dropped her hands to her sides.

"We could meet another day?"

Annette opened her mouth to reply, watching her mother open the door and step out into the hallway.

Florence continued, "Tomorrow?" She didn't wait for an answer. She hurried off down the hallway.

Annette slammed the door shut. She felt that pressure was off of her having to announce an engagement.

But, she wanted her parents to meet George and was frustrated plans had fallen through.

She believed that this meeting would've prepared them for the true nature of her relationship with George when she eventually told them.


"Let's get one thing straight," Officer Christie turned to George and Mal in the backseat. "No funny business."

George would've responded with a wisecrack, but he was holding onto his last reserve of funny remarks for Annette's parents.

He nodded, reaching for the door handle, George hesitated before opening the door and stepped out.

Mal leaned forward, resting his arms on the bucket seat. "Maybe, we should let him meet this girl's parents on his own?"

Christie motioned to George waiting for them on the sidewalk. "And, let that one out of my sight? I'm no rookie."

Mal smiled affably. "You know what it's like meeting a girl's parents for the first time. It can be bloody nerve-wracking." He mimed wiping sweat from his forehead. "We can see the front door of the building from here."

Christie sharply exhaled through his nose.

Mal continued, "He's not going to run off. If he tries it they won't be getting by you or me."

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