Dante, My Inferno

Chapter 22 A Home Cooked Meal

Blount smiled and handed Linzie his business card before leaving. She took it and put it in a pocket.

“Marshal Hickok I promise to play nice for this,” Blount told me. “And congratulations to you and Mr. Green.” With that he turned and left.

“Billy do you think he’s fishing?” Linzie asked me concerned.

“I don’t think he’s fishing,” I told them. “He knows about Dante and me.”

“Then why hasn’t he made it into a news story?” Dante asked me. Worry etched across his face.

“I don’t know,” I told Dante. “But we’ll need to keep our eyes open.”

Lunch was a long affair. As we laid down a rough outline of the Marshal’s posse idea. It all sounded good.

I asked Linzie to see if someone could look into Blount. Something was up and I wanted to know what. So she called the office and got someone started on it.

Later Sam and I called to reschedule our flights to Friday. Dante stayed with the Attorney General after lunch for a tour of the Department of Justice.

I went with Linzie back to the U.S. Marshal’s office. We planned for things the next day. Sam and Diane went to the Smithsonian. We even set up the conference room for the meeting.

“What about Bass and Amelia?” Linzie finally asked me, as we got ready to leave. I sat back down and looked at her.

“That’s your call Linzie,” I told her. “But so you know. I expect the young ladies will want to join as well. So you can count on Bass and Amelia wanting to join as well.” Which got me a flat stare from Linzie. I smiled at her.

“Well let them know that we will talk when I come for the Fourth,” Linzie finally said. I raised an eyebrow. ”Okay! Tell Amelia and Bass I want to talk about it before they can join.”

I smiled. “I can sell that,” I told her. “You made her the tough lady she is.”

“Her father started that,” Linzie told me. But I knew that. “I have kept it up.”

“I’ll get Dante to help,” I said standing up. “He’s made peace with her and she listens to him.”

“I can’t believe how quickly she took to him,” Linzie replied with a chuckle. “I’ll see you all there before the Fourth.”  She put a few things away in her office. Then we walked to the elevators. Linzie dropped me at the hotel.

Dante arrived a few minutes after I did. We could see he was giddy with delight. 

“So did Attorney General Ashworth offer you a job?” I asked Dante as we entered our bedroom. Dante turned to look at me and smiled.

“Sort of,” Dante said. “He told me I could work for the Department of Justice or any U.S. Attorney on any level.”

“He really checked me out.”

“What do you think you’ll do?” I asked a little afraid of what he would say.

“I know what I want,” Dante told me. Then grabbing me and kissing me. “Can I tell you at dinner? So mom and dad are there.”

“I can wait,” I told him. “But only until dinner.” Dante kissed me long and hard.

“I’m happy,” Dante told me. “And I know you’ll be happy.”

“Are you sure I can’t get you to tell me now?” I asked kissing his neck. We fell onto the bed.

“OH! No fair,” Dante moaned as I kissed his neck. Then he giggled. Then there was a knock on the door. And since we were sharing a suite with Sam and Diane. Diane stepped in.

“Dante are you going to…” Diane suddenly froze. “Oh! Sorry,” she said realizing what she walked in on.

“Mom, I’ll have him dressed in a few minutes,” I told Diane. Sam started laughing and gently guide his wife back into the living room.

“Go,” Dante whispered in my ear. “I’ll get dressed.”

“I keep forgetting,” Diane sobbed into Sam’s shoulder as I walked into the Living room.”

“Why do I do that?” she asked Sam.

“Because no matter what,” I told her. “He will always be your little boy. Diane I promise you, I will always take care of him.” Diane stood up and hugged me.

“I know that,” she said into my ear. Dante had stepped out of our room.

“Mom,” Dante said. “I will always be your little boy.”

“You heard that?” Diane asked her son. Dante smiled nodding his head yes.

“Of course I heard it,” Dante told her. “And Billy said it right.”

About then I got punched in the shoulder. Diane was looking miffed at me.

“Billy Hickok. You can call me mom after you and Dante are married,” Diane told me. I smiled at her.

“Fair enough,” I told her. “So are we okay?” Diane gave me a hug then she hugged Dante.

“It’s just hard to let go,” Diane said. “I’m just like your grandma. Just ask your dad.”

“She is,” Sam said before kissing his wife on the cheek.

“How long before she’s not scared of this?” Dante asked his dad.

“I am not scared!” Diane said defensively.

“I’ll have to tell you when it happens,” Sam told his son. Getting shot to his gut from Diane.

“What? Your mother still does it,” Sam told her. Which earned her another slap to the gut.

Just then the phone rang. The front desk informed me our ride was there. Diane slapped Sam again.

“Let’s not keep the Attorney General and his wife waiting,” Diane said grabbing her purse.

We all walked to the elevators and went down stairs. There a regular van there to pick us up. 

“Good evening,” Mrs. Ashworth said as she answered the door. ”I'm so glad you decided to accept the invitation.” 

“Or did James make you come?” she asked after seeing the look on our faces. While she looked accusingly at her husband.

“No ma’am,” Dante told her. “He did say that you wanted to meet me.”

“And I’m surprised and honored.”

“Well thank you Dante, and that’s true. I do want to meet you,” Mrs. Ashworth told us. “Now if you would. You can call me Sam.”

“Sam?” Diane asked.

“It’s short for Samantha,” She explained. “Jimmy?”

“Well since it just us,” The Attorney General said. “That will be fine.”

Then the doorbell rang. “That will be Congressman Sanders and his wife,” Jimmy said as he headed for the door. I saw smiles on Sam, Diane and Dante. Then the Sanders walked in. 

“Uncle Jerry, Aunt Tina,” Dante said hugging them both. As did Diane while Sam shook the Congressman’s hand.

“Your Godparents?”  I asked Dante. All Dante could do was smile.

“Jerry was A.P.D. 'til he decided to go over to the dark side of politics,” Sam said. “And my partner.” 

“Marshal Hickok,” Congressman Sanders said, offering me his hand. Which I shook with a smile.

“Congressman, Mrs. Sanders.”

“How about tonight we go with first names?” Jimmy asked the Congressman.

“It’s your house Jimmy,” The Congressman said with a smile. “Sound good babe?”

"Definitely," said Tina Sanders.

“So Dante. Tell us about your love for this man,” Jerry said to Dante.

“You mean Billy? He’s mine, and I’m his.” Dante told him as he sat in my lap. Of course Diane rolled her eyes. “That’s pretty much it.”

“Dante there are those back home, and here that want me to find out more,” Jerry said.

“Like Congressman Walton Phelps?” Linzie asked suddenly very interested.

“For one,” Jerry told us. “As well as his dear friend, the Bishop David Lovejoy and his wife Beatrice.”

“Who is that?” Dante asked. “And why is it their business?”

“Have you heard of the Church Of God’s Light?” I asked Dante.

“Yes but,” Dante started. “Wait! Didn’t they just move to Albuquerque?”

“That’s them son,” Sam told his son. “They’ve been causing a stir.”

“They wanted to protest on the University campus during pride week,” Dante said remembering.

“Let’s change the subject,” Diane said, seeing the look on Dante’s face.

“Well dinner is ready,” Samantha told us. So we went in and sat down.

“So what should we talk about?” Dante asked us.

“Well Dante. You were going to tell us about what you were asked and decided about today,” I said peaking the interest of the Attorney General.

“Well yes, I did,” Dante said. “Attorney General Ashworth. Sorry, Jimmy asked me what I wanted to do after I got out of college.”

“I explained that I wanted to be a lawyer until after I was 21,” Dante said. “Then I would join either A.P.D. or the S.O. to get some experience under my belt.”

“Then join a federal agency until I retire,” Dante said with a smile. “Maybe be an A.U.S.A. for a while. So what do you think?”

I smiled and kissed his cheek. “I think that is an excellent plan,” I told him.

“Well Dante I would like to know more about you too,” Samantha said. “But from your mother’s point of view.”

“What do you mean? From my mom’s point of view?” Dante asked Samantha a little surprised by her request.

“Diane tell me more about your extraordinary son and his love?” Samantha asked Diane.

“What would you like to know first?” Diane asked Samantha as Dante turned red.

“Tell us about when you knew Dante was in love with the Marshal here?” Samantha asked. As Dante squirmed.

“Well Sam told me about when they met the first time,” Diane told her. Patting Dante's hand with a smile.

“From that first meeting you could see that Dante had lost his heart to Billy,” Sam told her. Stunning both Dante and me.

“Really?” Dante asked. “You could see that?” A few tears trickled down his cheek.

“Of course I could,” Sam told his son with a kiss on the cheek.

“And you weren’t concerned that this man had stolen your son’s heart?” Samantha asked him. I squeezed Dante’s hand under the table.

“Well Billy didn’t know anything about Dante being in love with him,” Sam told us. “Dante loved Billy from afar until his time came.” With that I leaned over and kissed Dante’s cheek again.

“So Marshal. When did you fall in love with Dante?” Tina Sanders asked me. “We thought Dante was love with a boy named Trevor...Bond.” 

“Aunt Tina!” Dante erupted at Trevors name. “What made you think of Trevor?”

“How about the time you brought Trevor over to our house so you could 'study',” Jerry Sanders told Dante with a chuckle. Causing Dante’s face to turn a brighter red.

“Trevor Bond,” I said pulling Dante’s chain. “I might have heard that name before.”

“Billy!” Dante growled.

 “Well Tina that’s an easy question to answer,” I told her. “It was on his birthday.”

“I was supposed to cook him supper and I was planning on letting him down easy,” I continued. “But I couldn’t cook for him. So he cooked for me.”

“See mom,” Dante told his mother. “I told you he loved my cooking.”

“I do,” I told them. “He was also naked in my bedroom.” With that, Dante’s jaw hit the floor.

“I told you he was naked,” Diane told Sam as she laughed. Sam joined her laughing.

“Billy!” Dante scolded me. But Linzie wasn’t going to let me pick on Dante. She told some stories I even forgot about.

Samantha Ashworth found out all she wanted to about me and Dante. 

Congressman Sanders asked if he or a staffer could be at our meeting. We said yes, why not?

The dinner was home cooked fair. Prepared by Mrs. Ashworth herself.

The rest of the conversation was about how Ethan was doing. How was Charlie doing. Then just usual dinner fair. Sam and Diane caught up with Jerry and Tina. Then we went back to the hotel. Sam also asked to be in on the meeting. I smiled and said yes. Especially after Diane said she wanted in.

The meeting was looking to be interesting tomorrow.  Both Senators the Congressman to say the least. Then back at the hotel Dante locked the door and smiled at me. I smiled back.