Vera stood at the railing and went through her options. They were few. The riverboat did not stop until the morning at Cairo and jumping overboard would ruin her dress and leave her luggage behind. Besides, she really wanted to get to Saint Louis. She had heard that there was a rolling craps game there that she could get a piece of if she had the cash.
She sighed and looked out over the Mississippi River. She'd come a long way from the starry eyed Political Science major at the University of Wisconsin. Mostly downward. Her father had always told her that the only options for a woman with that degree were to starve to death, work as a spy, or make a living gambling. He'd been too polite to mention option four. She'd done one and three, so far and was assiduously avoiding number two. What fun would that be?
She looked down at the ropes that tangled in the bow of the boat. A small grey dog was sitting there, looking longingly at the shore. He was cute in a horrid little way. His ears stuck out from the side of his head and he had a short little beard. Very expressive eyes, she noted.
What the Hell, she thought, I've always wanted a dog. She reached down quickly and scooped him up. The dog let out a yelp and scrabbled to get away. Too late, as Vera clamped down on his neck.
"You're a cute little bugger!" she said, keeping a firm grip on him and avoiding the teeth. "It's a good thing I don't have any children, or they'd want to steal you away from me." The dog visibly relaxed.
"I wonder if I have any food you'd like?" Ears went up and a stubby tail started vibrating. Vera got the disitinct impression that she needed to get him some bacon.
"I wonder what your name is." She held the puppy out at arms length and looked at him carefully. "For some reason, I think Vivaldi would be just the right name for you."
Vivaldi wriggled in joy.
"You know, it's almost like you can actually talk, little guy!"
"That could be... arranged." The voice behind her did not seem to be connected with any of the usual sounds one expects when being approached from behind. Like footsteps, for a beginning.
Pivoting slowly, she found herself face to face with Handsome. a chill went down her spine.
"Allow me to introduce myself, young... lady," he said hold out a card.
Vera looked at the card which read: "Magamont Montsnmags, MD (ret.)"
"It is my pleasure to... meet you, Miss Wayne! Oh, and this is... Adrian..." The doctor waved his hand at the air next to him.
Oh. He was that kind of doctor... Vera thought.
Last edited by pshrynk; 10-29-2009 at 03:20 PM.