Hey, Arnold was created by Craig Bartlett; all related characters are the property of Viacom Inc. No infringement on their properties is implied nor should be inferred.
"Walking on Music" was composed by Mauro Malavesi, A. Taylor, and performed by Peter Jacques Band. No infringement on their property is implied, nor should be inferred.
No self-respecting member of the delicate gender would ever dare admit it to save her life, but all women simply adore a certain amount of trouble in their lives.
With all the evidence gathered from the specimen standing in front of her, starting with his strong shoulders, shiny dark hair, mysterious brown eyes, and ending with his charming demeanor, it did not take long to determine that this young buck in particular was more than well-equipped to accomodate.
With seductively garish Italian disco playing in the background, and the decidedly confident, shit eating grin of a convicted lady-killer plastered all over his face, the young man behind the counter shamelessly charmed, "It must be sister's day out."
As her well-sculpted eyebrow rose in quasi suspicion, Brooke Lloyd had to think that her discerning girl had impeccable taste; there was no doubt about that, and it was little wonder that her daughter had chosen him out of all the other fine stallions from the stable of the part time workers at Hillwood Country Club.
"How fortunate I am to be graced with the presence of two beautiful young ladies at once." The handsome boy added with yet another of his cunning smiles. "I'm not worthy of such a boon."
Brooke Lloyd, even though she did enjoy the flattery from a male old enough to be her son, just had to give a look to him that screamed, 'give me a break'.
She looked at her daughter's response to the gilded words, but despite the fact that her arms were crossed, if Brooke were not mistaken, a slight smile betrayed Rhonda's disinterested countenance, and a girlish blush graced her cheeks as she gave the boy shy, unmistakably loving looks.
Thad, also known in other more eclectic social circles as "Curly", knowing that he had laid on the flattery a bit too thick, said with a hint of abashed modesty, "Excuse me, Ladies, that was just for lagniappe."
Brooke could not help but notice that the young man focused a bit more on her daughter when he said it, than her though.
He was a handsome devil, she'd hand him that, as he in turn handed her the Caprini pantsuit she had cleaned with a genuine, friendly smile.
The boy came from a good family, and unlike so many of the others, he was actually polite, so for the life of her, Brooke could not understand why Rhonda and he continued to act as if they did not know one another at the country club, or out in public as they were at that very moment.
Brooke wondered if the two had been seeing each other in secret for so long, perhaps that was the only way they felt they could be with each other without anyone judging them.
It could be that their covert assignations were a thrill for them, and exhilarating to feel as if they were getting away with something supposedly forbidden by the now thankfully outdated notions of separation in regards to class.
Trying to take her mind off some of the more exotic trysting places they had chosen, like the clubhouse shed where the golf carts were stored, and the hole-filled tailgate of the boy's rusty old pickup truck, Brooke knew that Rhonda had gotten that proclivity honest.
Before her thoughts strayed too closely to zydeco, crawfish boils, lazy rainy days, and pirogues infested with snakes, the scenario that the thoughtful mother hoped for the least between her daughter and the boy, was that perhaps this was an immature dalliance with no love involved, and nothing more than a mutual physical exchange with no strings attached.
She hoped not, but of course, Brooke wasn't supposed to know anything about the true state of affairs between the two of them, but she had been young once too, and knew what a secret romance looked like when she saw it.
No matter the nature of the relationship between her daughter and the young man in front of her though, in Brooke Lloyd's mind, it was high time for it to end.
God save her soul, Brooke was truly going to enjoy the guilty pleasure of helping it along.
"Here you are, Ma'am," Thad said with a deep, resonant, voice as he picked up a piece of paper from the counter and handed it the older woman between his middle and index fingers with a stylish flair. "Thank you for your business, and this is a coupon for an article of clothing of your choice to be cleaned free of charge upon your next visit." The charming boy added with a tone that Brooke couldn't help but recognize as mischief as he added the perplexing catch to the gratis service while glancing at her daughter, "Except for furs, Mrs. Lloyd, that carries a special surcharge."
Forgetting whom she was with, Rhonda's face turned flaming red as her nostrils flared, and she glared at the boy across the counter with a sinister squint. In turn, as Brooke studied the two intermittently, Thad's eyes cut towards her daughter in groveling apology, beseeching her forgiveness for his trespass in silent discourse, bearing an almost unnoticeable shrug that begged to be back in Rhonda's good graces.
Brooke had to muse that at least Rhonda had Thaddeus well trained already.
It took years to break a man's spirit, and mold his will your own, but Rhonda had seemingly accomplished it in record time, and they weren't even engaged yet.
All motherly pride set aside for the moment, obviously the faux pas was a private, albeit one sided joke between the caddy, and her daughter that she would probably never be included in, unfortunately.
Judging from her daughter's reaction, it would be a highly entertaining story, if not a bit ribald.
Brooke would have thrown her head back and laughed loudly at the silliness of the pair, but she was to feign ignorance, so she dutifully respected that boundary for the most fleeting of moments, placing the coupon in her purse.
Soon enough, the two women turned to leave, but not before Brooke noticed Rhonda turning for a last peripheral glance at their server with a much softer look.
This time there was a slight blush on his face, married with a smitten smile.
Knowing she absolutely shouldn't be doing this because she was going to wait, but the last gesture of her daughter being the absolute last straw, Brooke Wellington Lloyd turned to the young man with a sideways smile on her rouge-tinted lips.
Although years of elocution lessons had mostly driven the accent from her voice, Brooke's tongue could still taste the rich, creamy mixture of the French/Spanish patois of the Terrebonne Parish of Louisiana that tempted her palate. "This Sunday evening, handsome, six o'clock sharp." The clever woman pronounced with a determined tone.
Thad brokenly asked with confusion, "E-excuse me, Ma'am?"
"Dinner, Sugar, lagniappe." Brooke finished with generous mischief, a cocked eyebrow, and an even an even thicker southern lilt, "That is unless you two want to continue to pretend to not be in love with one another a little longer?"
Rhonda looked at her mother as if she had just set fire to her entire summer wardrobe with a world war two surplus flamethrower strapped to her back.
Thad, who took the statement only slightly better than his girlfriend did, looked at Mrs. Lloyd as if someone had super glued his eyelids open. Upon finding his voice, Curly managed to squeeze out, "Thank you, Mrs. Lloyd." With a scratch of his well-coifed hair, he thoughtfully wondered, "May I bring a dessert or something?"
"No, only yourself, Curly." Brooke playfully mandated as a bemused look spread across Thad's face like warm butter, making the entire endeavor worthwhile in her estimation.
Enjoying herself thoroughly, and almost hating for it to end, Brooke then humorously addressed her misguided child with a wry smile as she took her hand to lead her out of the store, "Come, Rhonda, let's go to that new bistro on Hillcrest next to Suber's and try their mocha lattes, I hear they're to die for."