CHAPTER ONE HUNDRED and SEVENTY-ONE
“Let’s just say, he’s always with the hottest girl in the room,” the young man said.
“He comes out here every year or so,” the young man said. “Mom tries to get in his orchestras because she says he invents the most interesting music. She says it’s her chance to work with a master. Of course, it’s great money. But I know it’s because she likes him.”
“She did,” the young man said. “When she was a hot young thing. Or so she says. Personally, I can’t imagine her being a hot anything but she’s my mom.”
Ava felt the young man look her up and down. She glanced at him and turned her attention back to Seth. He was talking to a female clarinet player. By the way he was acting, she knew they must have dated at some point. Watching them chat, Ava realized she and Seth had never had the ‘Who have you dated conversation.’
Ava thought for a moment. She started tallying the women she knew he’d dated: the Coroner for sure, that girl in Traffic, maybe her Commander, and… Her mind went blank. Ava sighed. She didn’t care enough to hang on to the thought. In fact, she couldn’t think of one reason why she cared who Seth had dated. She smiled.
“What’s funny?” the young man asked.
“Nothing,” Ava said. “I was laughing at myself.”
“When I sit up here, I wonder who O’Malley nailed last night,” the young man said.
“Who do you think?”
“I picked the buxom trumpet player,” the young man said. “I bet she has some skills he’d like.”
“Like what?” Ava tried to think of what Seth liked.
“You know trumpet?” the young man wiggled his tongue. Surprised, Ava snorted. He seemed pleased to make her smile. “Anyway, Mom said he looked like hell this morning. He told the orchestra that someone he cared about died yesterday. He apologized for being out of sorts.”
“Andy Mendy,” Ava said.
“That’s what Mom said. But you’ve got to hand it to the old guy. What a great way to get into a women’s beds! On top of it all, he’s sick with some thing he caught from a serial killer who killed kids. Women love that crap. I bet he’ll nail all of them before the month’s out.”
“Has that worked for you?” Ava asked.
Uncomfortable, the young man cleared his throat.
“Nope,” Ava said.
The orchestra was breaking up. The conductor was giving them instructions for tomorrow. Everyone seemed excited to be going to the concert. For people who’d worked all Saturday, they vibrated with a kind of musical energy. Using his canes, Seth made his way to her.
“Who are you waiting for?” the young man asked.
“Him,” Ava pointed at Seth. “Oh, and don’t worry about who he’ll nail tonight. That will be me. Last night too.”
Ava got up and ran down the stairs to Seth. He hugged her tight and kissed her neck.
“Are we going to see Harry Connick?” Ava asked.
“You’re going to see him,” Seth said. “I’m going to play.”
“Where ever Seth is, musicians come out of the wood work to play with him. We maybe going to see Connick, but before the nights out we’re bound see just about every musician in the city,” the conductor said. He shook her hand. “You must be Ava. Thanks for saving our Seth.”
“You don’t mind going?” Seth asked Ava.
“Sounds fun,” Ava said. Leaning close, she whispered in his ear, “You have to eat and take your meds.”
“Yes, let’s get some dinner,” Seth said. “If you’ll excuse us?”
The conductor nodded. Seth led her to the elevator where he kissed her.
“Thank you for helping me with what’s best for me,” Seth said. “But you don’t have to play nursemaid for the old man.”
“Don’t worry,” Ava said. “I’m not making sure you feel good for your benefit.”
Laughing, Seth followed her to the limousine.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…