Isaiah stepped between the women. "Good morning, Gloria." He attempted to deliver an affectionate peck to her cheek but she pulled back, protecting her makeup. She puckered her lips and simply kissed the air in front of her.
"Isaiah," she greeted him. "Slain any dragons lately?"
"I can't say that I've disposed of any mythical creatures recently, no."
Yvette draped her arm over her husband's shoulder. "But what he has done …"
He held a victorious beam. "Well, only if you consider the Hilton Head Town Council a dragon."
"I've persuaded them to close the Bare Trap on Madison Street."
Gloria smiled. "I can understand with a wife as beautiful as yours you have no need for strip clubs, but why would you invest your valuable time in such an insignificant crusade?"
"Insignificant? It's hardly that. We need to protect the children."
It was barely noticeable through her packed foundation, but Gloria's face creased. "Isaiah, why are you worried about strip clubs? As immoral as those places may be, they have checks in place to ensure they are kept as a visual orgy for adults; whereas all the children of today's world have to do is jump on the pornographic gateway known as the internet and they can see all the nudity they want—and heaven knows what other kinds of debauchery."
Isaiah shook his head. "It's too near the high school. Young girls see the strippers arriving at work in Corvettes and Mercedes and will give up their education to make money the easy and uneducated way. No, God has spoken to me. He asked me to shut down this particular playground of sin, and I answered. The council has accepted my arguments and the Bare Trap was closed down two days ago." He thrust both arms in the air. "Halleluiah!"
"And that's your dragon?"
Isaiah dipped his head. "No halo required."
"And they did it on that argument? Your students may become strippers one day?"
"I may have mentioned that a sophomore student was already a dancer there."
"What? At sixteen? Was she?"
Isaiah shrugged. "It's possible—one day … maybe."
Yvette stepped forward. "And statistically, the ratio of minority dancers to white ones was grossly out of proportion. The place is not only immoral; it discriminates against people of color."
Gloria looked at her friend. "And you researched this, did you?"
Yvette nodded. "As you mentioned, Isaiah is a busy man. I help where I can when discrimination is involved. Out of twenty-three performers at the Bare Trap, twenty-one were white, one African-American, and one Native American—I believe she dresses up as a squaw."
"I see." Gloria continued flapping her fan. "And you want to see more people of color taking their clothes off?"
Yvette frowned. "No, you're missing the point—"
Isaiah patted her hand. "Not to worry, darling. Those Jezebels won't be taking their clothes off for the underclasses of Hilton Head anymore."
"Thanks to you," Yvette congratulated him, then turned to Gloria. "He's one of God's angels."
"No halo required," Gloria echoed.
Yvette looped her arm through Isaiah's. "Let's go give God the thanks He deserves and get the heck out of here. My pom-poms want shaking."
They entered the church—Isaiah's favorite place on earth.