As promised, here is a sneak peek of the Ratone Carver story. For those that aren’t familiar with Ratone, I introduced him in the latest Lizzie Crenshaw book, Death Wishes Upon a Star. I had actually started writing Ratone’s story before I started the latest Lizzie book, and decided it would be a good way to introduce Ratone to you. Enjoy!
Jenny tried to pull away, but the man’s grip was surprisingly strong, considering his state of inebriation. “Why don’t I call you a cab to take you home?” she said, putting her hands against the man’s chest and pushing.
“Nah, that sounds boring,” he said, getting awkwardly to his feet. As he stood up, the bar stool crashed to the floor. He shoved his hand into his pocket and took out his car keys. “C’mon, babe. Let’s go.”
A large hand grabbed the man by the back of his collar and yanked him backwards. The man lost his grip on Jenny, who scrambled out of the way.
“What the hell?” the man yelped as he was dragged away from the bar. “Lemme go!”
The hand that had a firm grip on him let him go, causing him to fall to the ground. Grumbling, the man stood up as Ash quickly came over and stepped between the two men. “Sir,” he said, quickly snatching the keys out of the man’s grasp, “I’ve called a cab for you, and it should be here in a few minutes. Why don’t we go outside and wait for it together?”
“Not until I give someone a piece of my mind,” he said, shoving Ash aside. “Now, just who do you think you are, draggin’ me across the floor like that? Do you know who I am?”
“Unfortunately, yes,” Ratone Carver replied, crossing his arms and glaring at the man. “What are you doing in my restaurant, Sidney Greenberg?”
His eyes widening, Greenberg took a couple of steps backwards. “You aren’t supposed to be anywhere near me, Carver. I’ve got a restraining order against you.”
Ratone took two steps forward and leaned over until he was face to face with the scared man. “You better check that order, Sid. It expired yesterday.”
“I…well…impossible,” he sputtered. “It was supposed to be extended.”
“Did you tell your lawyer to make sure that happened?”
“Well, I meant to, but…”
Ratone reached into his back pocket and pulled out a piece of paper. “I carry this everywhere I go to make sure you don’t come near me.” He unfolded it and showed Greenberg the date. “It definitely expired yesterday. So I can put my hands on you if I want to, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
Ami appeared next to Ratone, holding a styrofoam cup. She held it out to Greenberg, who snatched it from her. He took a drink and yelped. “This is hot!”
“Of course it is,” she retorted. “I just made it!”
“You need to pay your tab and leave, Sid,” Ratone said. “And don’t come back here or I’ll have you arrested.”
“Assaulting my waitress. And you wouldn’t like jail, Sid.”
“You’d know all about that, wouldn’t you, Carver?” Greenberg sneered. “Maybe you’d like to repeat the experience.”
Ratone reached into the front pocket of his chef’s jacket and pulled out a metal potato peeler. “Only if I get to repeat the reason I was there in the first place.”
Greenberg went pale. “You stay away from me with that thing,” he stammered as he reached into his back pocket and took out his wallet. Taking out three twenties, he threw them at Ash, who let the money flutter to the floor.