Blurted out

“Why Miss Grace, that sounds mighty fine,” Connor had to agree, especially when she took his arm and he felt the heft of her bodice pressed against his. Her figure was impressive and being pulled in close enough, even just as the side as they were, he could feel the edges of her breasts rubbing against his arm. They headed to Buffalo Gals, a decent place and non-discriminating against any sort of folks as long as you could pay, and he took the liberty of ordering coffee, biscuits and jam (those were always good at least), and a table in the back so they might have some privacy.

Helping her into a chair, like a gentleman should and he intended on treating most women – especially her – like one, he took the seat across from her. He was pleased when the coffee and biscuits came quick so he’d have something to hold on to – his cup – and she wouldn’t see his shaking hands. “Miss Grace, I’ll get right to the point. I’d like to offer you a job. The town keeps getting bigger and the amount of folks in and out of my place ain’t decreasing and I could use the help. Now as you know, I don’t work my girl’s off of contracts, they are free to come and go as they please, but I had something a little different in mind for you, if you’re obliging to hear it.”

“You see, there are times where some of my customers get a bit antsy cause I can’t pour fast enough on the busier nights. And there are other times when I need to step away and it’d be nice to have someone other than Big Jim manning the bar. It’s not that he can’t, mind you, it’s just that as I am sure you know he’s heavy handed and if a pretty face or a silver dollar came within reach he’d hand out liquor like the sky pours rain. So what I’m proposing is to hire you on as bartender and to help with the girl’s. I’m sure they could use a feminine hand at times when dealing with some matters of a managerial sort and I’m sure they’d prefer to not be dealing with a man on certain matters of a woman sort anyway.”

“And truth be told… I sure do like the look of you. Having you nearer than across the street on a regular basis would bring me more joy than a sack of silver dollars would. I know you can hold your own too – like that time a few months back that tinhorn from back east got too frisky… I never saw a man run as fast as he did that day with you chasing after him with that fire poker,” he laughed. “I’m offering you steady pay and your own room, not with me or shared with the other girls. You could supplement your income if you so desired but that would be entirely your own choice and never an expectation. I was hoping though you’d feel comfortable enough to refrain from that as… as…,” and he got a little red in the face, “as… oh hell, I don’t know what I’m saying that for. You’re your own woman, fine and strong, and I… well I like that about you.”

Nearly knocking his coffee cup over, he reached across the table and took her hands in his. “So what do you say?”

(OCC-interject at any time or edit as you wish or I can go back and edit)

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