Emmanuelle fetches her bags from the lobby and both girls freshen up and change into more suitable clothing. Her sister's enthusiasm is contagious, and soon Gabrielle is laughing and sharing private jokes with her as the girls return to their normal relationship.
"That jacket is to die for, Emmy!"
"Is there anywhere decent to shop in this little town? If I'm going to stay very long I'm going to need some more clothes. I only brought enough for a couple of days.""You're going to love the little boutique downtown. It's called 'The Closet' and it has the cutest things!"
Before the girls arrive at the NY, let's take a look at what's happening there tonight and maybe catch up on some of the locals.
"Maile, I don't understand why you're dragging your feet on setting a date."
"I'm sorry, Yutaka, but I insist on my brother giving me away, and he has to make arrangements to come to the mainland. He can't just drop everything. Patience, Grasshopper!" She smiles.
I'm so glad I decided to stay here in TEKville after the trial. There are so many cute guys here! Not the least of which is that hunk in the band, but unfortunately he only has eyes for that redhead at the bar."Thane and Colleen are both on fire tonight! We're going to be two very tired groupies tomorrow." Peter grins and squeezes Morgan's shoulder.Where did I put my keys?Damn! I have GOT to catch her and get her number!
"Rhiaaaaaaanon""Miss? Hello? Wait!"Looks like our mystery man was in a pretty big rush. He left hundred dollar bills on the bar!Darius is keeping a close eye on the stranger. He keeps a tight lid on any inappropriate behavior in his bar.
"I promise I'll call him tomorrow and ask him to please hurry. OK?"
I wonder how Jes is doing. I haven't seen her for months!Ooooh, looks like Jenna, the new waitress, and Kendall, the part-time bartender, have struck up a little flirtation. We'll have to keep an eye on those two, as the last I knew, Kendall was dating Nikki, the TEKville realtor.When Gabrielle and Emanuelle arrive at the NY, all heads immediately turn in their direction. Singly they are beautiful; as a pair, they are visually stunning. Add this to the fact that they are strangers and they automatically invoke a great deal of interest. Accustomed to the attention they attract, neither one notices the curious and puzzled glances of several of the regular crowd.
The girls find an empty table near the back of the small, crowded room.
"I love this band! Aren't they great?"
OMG, they look SO much like Thane's ex-girlfriend's roommate!"What do you think of the place?""It's a pretty small venue. It would be much better if it were larger, but the band is excellent. I love that the lead singer is getting her Jethro Tull on!"They order drinks from the capable waitress, who delivers them in record time. Some of the bar crowd are still insatiably curious about this stunning pair.
"Maile, don't stare! It's not polite."
Morgan returns her attention to Thane to make sure that HE isn't staring, but Peter continues to watch the new arrivals furtively.Colleen displays her versatility as the band plays a lilting version of "Lara's Theme"."Here you go, ladies!""Darius, you really need to get serious about expanding this bar. Think how much more money it would bring in if you could double the crowd! Talk to that old friend of yours who was interested and see if he'd be willing to finance you, OK?"
I'm glad Francisco isn't here. He'd be ogling those two newcomers for sure."Shall I start a tab for you?""Here's your Corona, sir. I'll trade you for that empty!"The girls settle back to enjoy the music."Give to me your leather. I'll give you . . . my lace . . ."Later, as the band finishes their set and the crowd erupts in appreciative applause, a table empties near the door.
As the band retires backstage, members of the crowd turn their attention to each other.
"I don't think I've ever heard them play this well! They've got a real groove goin' on tonight!"
"Aye, Peter! We're goin' ta be bluidy exhausted by morning!"
"I'm serious, Darius! The space next door is empty. Talk to the building owner! I'm sure he'd be delighted to rent it."
"The band is fantastic, Gabby! That lead singer has a beautiful voice. Aren't you glad we came?"
"Do you want to call it an early night, Yutaka?"
"Thanks for coming with me tonight, Tanner. How are things at the garage?"
Just then the bar's door opens and a familiar TEKville couple enters.
Even Gabrielle and Emanuelle cannot remain oblivious as all eyes turn to Giselle and Gannon, and then return speculatively to the twins.
"Hey, Peter. Wha'ts up?"
"Hey Gannon. Umm . . . . I think you're about to find out."
Giselle begins to take a seat, but Gannon stops her, suggesting that she take the seat by the door.
"I think you'll be more comfortable there."
"Oh Gannon, I know you want that chair because you refuse to sit with your back to the door! Don't play games with me."
"I think things are about to get very weird out here. Let's join Thane and Colleen and the others backstage."
Maile gives Yutaka a very intense look and slowly shifts in her chair.
Emanuelle whispers to Gabrielle. "Gabby! Do you see her? She could be our . . . ." She breaks off, not willing to say -- even think -- the words that spring unbidden to her tongue.
"Yes," Gabrielle says quietly. "She could. Emmy . . . "
"What are you having?"
"The usual, I suppose. Didn't Dariuis hire a waitress?"
Giselle waves to attract the waitress's attention, but Jenna's focus is on the martini that Tanner has managed to spill.
"No way, Gabby! She was taken as an infant! What kind of crazy coincidence would it be if we ended up in the same tiny little town as her! No, more likely it's just one of those weird 'double' things . . . you know . . . they say everyone has one."
"I'll be right with you!"
"What'll it be tonight, ma'am?"
Poppy follows Tanner to the bar, where Tanner intends to engage in a serious flirtation with the bartender, whom she knows from the garage where she works as a mechanic.
"I hear you, Emnmy, but . . .don't you think we should at least ask? What if . . . ."
"The waitress seems fairly capable. Is it hot in here, Gannon?"
Jenna's heart sinks as she sees the sexy redhead put the moves on Kendall.
"Wait! Maile! I can't . . . . . ."
"OK, OK! But what are we supposed to say? 'Pardon me, are you our long-lost sister?' That's insane, Gabby! She'll laugh us out of the bar."
"Oh come on, Emmy! We can do better than that! Come with me."
Gabrielle rises and drags her sister with her, crossing the room to the table occupied by Giselle and Gannon.
Together they stand, silently, until Giselle looks up.
A faint frown appears between Giselle's eyes.
"Yes? Do I know you?"
Gabrielle hesitates for a brief moment, then laughs uncomfortably. "Well . . . . we're not sure. May we sit?"
Giselle inclines her head and gestures. Gannon jumps up to push two tables together and arrange chairs, while Jenna comes to her senses long enough to clear off the table.
Giselle studies the twins curiously.
"You . . . you look a lot like me."
Gabrielle nods. "Our thought exactly. I am Gabrielle Diefendorf, and this is my twin sister, Emaneulle."
"Giselle. Giselle . . . Fuller." Giselle hesitates to use the last name of her despised foster father, but has no other name to give. "And this is my friend, Gannon."
The twins exchange meaningful glances, not sure how to proceed.
This time Emanuelle takes the lead.
"Ummmm . . . pleased to meet you, Giselle. Your name . . . your face . . ." She pauses, almost frightened to continue. "Our sister -- Giselle -- was abducted an an infant from our family's home in Germany. She has never been found. What . . . who . . . "
Emanuelle breaks off, realizing that she is being completely incoherent. Gabrielle takes over. "Can you tell us about your childhood, Giselle?"
Giselle's eyes narrow as the implications become clear. "I don't remember much about my childhood. I've been told that I was placed in an orphanage as an infant. I was passed around through a series of foster homes until . . . "
Giselle pauses and glances at Gannon, unwilling to share the rest of her story with these strangers, even though they do share her face.
Gabrielle and Emanuelle hang on her every word.
"Are you thinking what I think you're thinking? It's preposterous, of course. What kind of far-fetched coincidence would it have to be to bring us all . . . . " Giselle trails off, suddenly less sure of her ground. She turns to Gannon.
Gannon has remained impassive throughout the exchange between the three women, shifting his gaze from one to the next and back again. At Giselle's query he focuses his eyes on her. "I don't know, Zellie," he says cautiously. "It could be . . . it could be anything. But there is one way to know for sure."
He shifts his gaze to the twins. "DNA."
The twins exchange looks, then both turn to Gannon.
"Yes," says Emanuelle. "Yes, that is the best way to know for sure. We are more than happy to provide samples. Just tell us where and when."
Gabrielle clears her throat. "Ummmm . . . I have recently given blood at a local hospital. Not here in TEKville," she is quick to add, "but nearby. They would have access to my DNA records."
Emanuelle shoots her twin a quick glance of understanding, then turns her eyes to Gannon.
"Please. As soon as you can arrange it."
To be continued . . .