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"How about it," Lanny demanded, "anyone else want to come over and talk to me about it."
No one answered. No one moved. "Where's my drink?" he demanded.
"Here, Lanny." The bartender came around the bar to hand it to him.
Lanny lifted the drink to sip it, and the woman came out of the shadows.
"Lanny, don't drink that, it's drugged."
"Kyla!" Her name burst from his bruised lips. He tossed off the drink before her words registered then stared at the empty glass. It looked funny. It slipped from fingers that couldn't hold it. The world turned to mush. His knees bent. He tried to straighten them. They hit the floor. He put out his hands to push himself up, but his arms wouldn't hold him. He stopped thinking.
Kyla heard Lanny's response to the challenge. He was going to get hurt. She pulled out her cell phone to call the police, but it was too late to stop. A blow flew at Lanny. He blocked it casually and knocked the bruiser who had to weigh at least two hundred and fifty pounds into a booth. It disintegrated and the man slid to the floor. The second man closed on Lanny.
She stood so she could get to her pistol as the man charged Lanny with a chair. He took it on his shoulder kicked the man's leg and planted an uppercut into the man's stomach so hard it made her wince. The man went down. Lanny focused on the other man. The man went down from a combination of blows, lefts and right to his torso, then a final one to the side of his head. The man, whose body crushed the booth, ran.
Lanny--Prince Garland Walden of Bordlandia--had trounced three angry, heavy-set ruffians. Then he challenged the room.
Kyla backed into adimly lit hallway and lowered her head so he wouldn't know her face until she was ready to speak to him. Again, he demanded his drink. The bartender poured in a few drops of something from a small clear bottle that wasn't a liquor bottle. Lanny, scanning the room, looking for an argument, didn't see what the man behind the bar had done.
"Here's your drink, Lanny," the barman carried it to him.
"Lanny, don't drink that, it's drugged!" she warned him, despite her simmering anger of how he'd treated her years ago and her parents deaths. He stared at her, called her by name, and gulped his drink. He looked at the empty glass and fell.
Two of the three who'd just messed with him, got up and started for him. "Now we'll show him," the one who'd tried to deck Lanny with a chair said.
"I don't think so." She pulled out her weapon. "Get out of here."
They stopped. "Lady, this is a private affair."
"Hardly. I'm in it, too. One more step and they can carry you out." She felt her voice go as cold as Lanny's sounded when he challenged them.
The bartender spoke. "Look, Miss, Lanny gets in fights in here, at least once a month. These guys ain't gonna touch him." The man held a sawed off baseball bat. She could see a dark blob of metal in the end. It'd been drilled out and filled with lead to make it deadly. "They're leaving right damn now. You put that thing away before I call the police."
"Good idea. The police, that is." Kyla pulled out her cellular phone and punched in 9-1-1 one-handed. She didn't lower her pistol.
People streamed out of the bar. The bartender lowered his weapon. None of the few who remained spoke to her while they waited for the police. She stuck her weapon back into her waist and checked Lanny's pulse. Strong. His breathing regular. The bartender started toward them with a wet towel.
"Stay back," she ordered. "I don't trust you. I saw you drug him."
Posted June 1, 2013