Elliot Andrews finds his way to New Orleans intent upon opening his own psychic shop. A big-hearted landlady, Mona May Markey, introduces him to Dennis Jordan at his first pre-Mardi gras party. Dennis is an older, well-respected entrepreneur known for his support of the street boys in and around the French Quarter. Elliot falls hard for the kind gentleman of many secrets, but soon after the two become lovers, he begins to have dark visions and night terrors of rainstorms and dark waters. With the use of Tarot cards, he struggles to understand what it all means, but nothing prepares him for the truth about Dennis.
Dennis owned and operated one of the most successful Italian restaurants which flourished for more than twenty years. This was a major success story in and of itself in a fluid and sporadic restaurant town. Dennis had also invested wisely in several real estate ventures. He bought a couple of houses along the broad and shady Esplanade, thoughtfully renovated the properties, and turned them into updated condominiums.
“Nice to meet you,” I said as I took his hand. I felt a tremendous warmth and connection to this man instantly, but I felt a feeling of forced gaiety with a cloak of sorrow behind the eyes of the smiling face. Dennis was someone I wanted to know better and by the impression I got, everyone else did as well.
Dennis was solidly built, well maintained, with a dazzling smile I’m sure must have cost a fortune. He had a mane of light auburn hair which came off as blond under the glow of the gaslights. He grabbed a beer and joined the party. I had not eaten and knew it was time to do so before I had anything else to drink, so I grabbed a gold paper plate and loaded up. I retreated to a corner where I could eat in some semblance of solitude, but I found I had led the charge to the food table and everyone followed suit. I was half way through the piece of purple and gold king cake when I bit down on something and screamed, “What the…?” I pulled out of my mouth a little plastic baby still half covered with frosting. “What is this?” I shrieked half mad and half curious.
“Elliot got the baby.”
“What is the baby? I almost broke a tooth.”
Dennis took it upon himself to explain the plastic baby was a good luck tradition, that every king cake was baked with one plastic baby, and whoever found it in their piece of cake would have a wish come true within the coming year.
“You mean I need to wish for something other than a good dentist?” I asked laughing.
It was a cool night as I made my way to the restaurant. I caught Dennis’s eye across the bar. He beamed his amazing smile and headed in my direction. He grabbed my hand and kissed me on the mouth which was a surprise, but a pleasant one.
“El, let me get you a drink,” he said as he escorted me into the banquet room.
I turned and said, “You sure know how to make a guy feel like a queen.”
Dennis and I gravitated toward the bar to wait for the remainder of the arriving guests. I took a high stool at the service bar and noticed a tall and thin sandy blond bending into the ice bin to fill a glass. I heard Dennis say “Arlen, I want you to meet someone here. Arlen Williams, this is Elliot Andrews. Elliot is a master psychic, and we want to make him feel especially welcome.”