Chapter Four Master of the House

Chapter Four

Everybody loves a landlord, Everybody’s bosom friend”

“Harder.. harder” gasped Rose.

“I’m pushing as hard as I can…” Carlos grunted.

“Well you’ll have to try , it’s not coming”

“That’s because I can’t get a grip..hang on I’ll try this way”

“That’s better… no wait… still nothing” Rose sighed

“It wasn’t my idea to wear these gloves…” Carlos muttered

“Ooooooooh” cried Rose

“Euhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” Carlos felt like his muscles were about to explode.

There was a sudden movement and huge burst of energy that almost knocked both of them off their feet. They stood, shaking from the exertion, all the breath had left their bodies. Carlos wiped a sheen of sweat from his brow “That was a lot more difficult than it looked”

“It certainly was..” Rose placed her hands in the small of her back and stretched “Shall we go again?”

“Give me a minute eh?” Carlos was bent double trying to get his breathing back to normal.

“We don’t have much time. We open at six”

Carlos looked balefully towards the door “I know. And there’s seven more of those sodding barrels to shift”

Charming knew exactly what Marius was going to say the minute he walked into the kitchen. It wasn’t the look on his friends face that gave away the fact he’d just received the biggest ear bending of his life. Nor was it the dejected way he’d gone over to the coffee pot, helped himself to a huge mug full and added a generous amount of “flavouring” from the bottle in the cupboard.

“I’m in trouble” he sighed.

“So I heard” Charming had been privy to Cosette’s tirade, not that he’d been eaves dropping but when she started to shout you had no choice but to listen.

“Sorry about that..” he sat down on one of the chairs at the kitchen table.

Charming shook his head “You don’t need to apologise, at least not to me anyway”

Marius smiled sadly “I suppose it’ll cost me again in presents to make her happy”

“There are less expensive ways to make your wife happy Marius. Stop buying everyone a drink in every bar you go into for a start”

“True.. how do you do it?”

“How do I do what?” replied Charming carefully.

“Keep Cinderella happy. How do you do it?”

Charming was about to answer when Cinderella’s voice rang through the castle, and she sounded far from happy.

“With great bloody difficulty” Charming sighed, he went off in search of his wife and whatever disaster had befallen her.

He found her sitting on their bed, her mobile phone was beside her beeping the arrival of a text message. She made a “sshh” noise, putting a finger to her mouth and motioning him to shut the door.

“What’s happened?” he whispered

“Cosette’s coming here” Cinderella hissed.

“When??”

“Later today…she doesn’t want Marius to know. Wants to surprise him”

“Fabulous. I thought he was going home tomorrow” Charming sat heavily on the bed.

“Well” said Cinderella decisively “We’ll just have to make sure he does”

The phone began to ring just as the last of the barrels had been safely stored in the cellar.

“You have got to be bloody kidding me” Carlos stomped up the steps into the hallway and snatched up the receiver. Rose had followed him out, she sat on the stairs watching him “Who is it” she mouthed.

“Cinderella” he mouthed back.

As soon as the conversation ended, he immediately began dialling another number “Hook” he informed her then “Beast” and “just got to phone Charming back” all with no explanation of what he was up to.

Rose stood up and marched up the stairs, she wasn’t going to sit there all night waiting for him to finish calling all and sundry. She was tired, covered in whatever muck you find in cellars and in need of a shower.

She grabbed a towel and headed for the bathroom. The water was lovely, she closed her eyes and let it soothe her aching muscles.

Carlos reached the top of the stairs, he heard the shower running and thought about joining her. Just as his hand reached the bathroom door, it opened and a fully dressed Rose bowled out.

“Aw.. I was hoping to join you…” he pouted.

“Too late” she grinned “and you can just stay away from me now until you are clean”

“Come in with me anyway” he said casting his dirty clothes all over the landing “You can sit on the laundry basket whilst I tell you the gossip”

“Gossip? What gossip? Tell me!” she demanded as she followed him back into the bathroom.

They managed to get the bar open on time, Beast and Hook practically fell through the door when Carlos opened it “You two are keen”

“Belle and Tink have gone to meet Cinderella for a crisis meeting. I don’t see what all the fuss is about to be honest. I mean she’s his wife, what’s so bad about her coming here to see him” Beast grumbled.

“She’s mad as hell about the tab he ran up in here the other night” Hook informed him “Apparently it’s not the first time he’s done it, but she intends to make sure it’s the last”

“I’m not letting him off paying, I’m running a business here not a charity” Carlos poured two drinks and set them on the bar “That’ll be eight disney’s please Gents”

“I’ll get it” Beast pulled out his wallet and handed over the money “So how exactly does this involve us?”

“I’m not entirely sure” Carlos admitted “Charming just said to get you both here tonight. Says he has a plan”

Hook rolled his eyes “Then I hope Marius knows a good divorce lawyer, Charming’s plans are not known for their success”

“Maybe we should make a plan of our own” suggest Beast.

“Now that” Hook gestured with his hooked hand “is a very good idea”

“I have an idea” Rose chimed in “Now listen. What we do is…”

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