Bourbon, Black Bart, Big Bears Part 3 (Day 2 Late Afternoon)

Dorian smiled as he lifted the second glass. “Cheers,” he offered. “Somethin’ yah should know. Marisol an’ Ah nevah had sex.”

Serena raised an eyebrow. “Don’t lie less you want lied to,” she warned.

He curled his pinkie. “Honest an’ swear.” As the girl listened, Dorian recounted finding the bug in the medbay, and enlisting Marisol’s help in creating a “radio drama” to lure the compulsively sexualized Jacy to expose herself. “So,” he concluded, “we thought playin’ it up would get her so worked up she couldn’t resist challengin’ one of us. She nevah did,” Dorian said as he lifted his drink. “Leastways, not til it served her purposes.”

“Did ya want to have sex with her?” The inquisitive teen pressed as she took a sip from the second glass, fixing her eyes on him as he spoke.

Dorian nodded. “Ah did. Marisol’s a beautiful woman,” Dorian said. “Wasn’t what she wanted. We did, howevah, become tha best of friends. Ah saved her life once….an’ she saved mine a few times.”

“Why wouldn’t she wanna have sex with you?” Serena asked, surprised, the idea seeming unfathomable as she finished her second bourbon, forgetting to hold it for a moment like he’d said.

“Married, fah one thing,” he shrugged. “Children at home. An’ she had responsibilities...believe me, our friendship is too valuable tah us both now, mei-mei. Ah love her like Ah love you. Would do anythin’ fah eithah one of yah.” He took a reflective sip. “That’s why Ah set you an’ Gill up. Sorry if it didn’t turn out like yah hoped.”

“Ah didn’t say it didn’t, ah like like Gil, but we don’t much talk on account of he’s always bumping into somethin’ or runnin’ away, so ah can’t tell yah much. Like where he’s from, you know, like you’re from Hera, or if he likes mustard on his sandwiches, like you don’t, Ah don’t know what his Dad’s name was, like yours was Charles, and his brown eyes aren’t the same as your brown eyes on account of yours have little flecks of gold in ‘em. He doesn’t even get what an oven mitt is, ‘cept something you use in the kitchen to take somethin’ hot outta the oven.”

Dorian smiled, a thoughtful expression on his face. “Guess that means Ah’m fortunate,” he lifted his glass toward the girl. “We had a lot of conversation...and that made us intah friends,” he clinked her glass before taking a sip. “Now, yah mah mei-mei...and that makes me happy. Maybe you’n Gill will get closah...if yah want. If not...take mah word fah it, Serena. Yah very beautiful, with a plain spoken nature an’ a kindness that people can see. Yah’ll have yah chance fah tha right man. Ah don’t doubt it a bit.”

“Yah think Ah’m beautiful?” She asked with a giggle. “Can ah ask you anotha question?”

Adler cast a glance toward the gunslinging bear. “Don’t suppose Bart Junior can save me now,” he shrugged. “Ask away.”

“Crew chief said he doesn’t like me like that. So how do yah know if a boy likes yah like that, or if it’s just yah the only girl ‘round his own age willin’ tah have sex or play spin tha bottle with yah?”

Dorian chose to forego any comment on Vas’ proclivities. There were demons lurking there, demons who would defy explanation to the black and white sensibilities of Serena Edwards. Jacy...Annika...didn’t help that boy at all with her grandstanding antics, he thought. Likewise, Yazmina. As the one person who might be able to undo some of the damage wrotught by the pervious “Companion,” she’d pretty much shunned the situation when Adler discussed te therapeutic value to Vas. Mayhaps I’ll hire him another, he thought to himself.

“Men are pretty simple, truth be told,” he offered. “Best way tah know if someone thinks about yah ‘that way’ is tha interest they show. Tell yah what,” he chuckled. “As we’re walkin’ around tha fair this aftahnoon, see how many boys an’ young men look at yah. Pretty girl like yah will have no shortage of interest. An’ Ah guaranty every one of ‘em will be lookin’ at yah ‘that way.’ It’s up tah you tah decide who yah spend yah time with...who yah let take yah out..who yah wanna get close tah. Now, Gill,” Dorian stopped to swirl the last of his second drink, “he’s still tryin’ tah figure it out. Yah can help him,” the medic said, “or yah can wait til someone yah like bettah comes along. Yah’ll have lots of choices in this life.” He finished the bourbon, and offered his hand. “Shall we go conduct our social experiment?”

Serena giggled again, he called me pretty, and took his hand in hers. “Yes!” she said finishing her bourbon as well, “I’d like tah be a connoisseur when it comes tah boys. Or… men.”

“Don’t fahget Bart Junior,” he pointed toward the gunslinging teddy bear. “Ah think he’s lookin’ at yah ‘that way” Dorian quipped as he and Serena left, arm in arm, to finish exploring the fair.

“C’mon, Bart Junior.” Serena said picking up the comically large bear. “We got bourbon to try and some social experimenting to do.”

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