Allie gets out of the cab, clutching her purse and wine. The driver's window rolls down. “Happy birthday Allie,” a smiling man says. It takes her a moment before she realizes who it is. It's Brian, the obnoxious clerk from earlier in the day.
“Stalk much, do you?" she asks. He holds up a bag of something.
“Your pork rinds. The man you gave them to left without them and since I remembered your address from when you showed me your driver's license, I figured this would be as good as any of a place to start before shelling out any money for a lost and found ad,” he says. “Oh and I also have this vintage Merlot. Pairs best with pork rinds, or so I'm told,” he says.
Allie laughs and waves away the cab driver. “ I suppose you can come in for a drink,” she says to Brian. “But just one. And I'll have my eye on you,” she warns.
“ You weren't kidding about the 'having an eye on me' thing,” Kevin says, looking at Horus Revisited . “I love this.”
“You do? Really?” Allie takes a big swallow of wine and goes to turn on some music.
“Absolutely. The color choices, the brush strokes. Fantastic. Do you have more of this artist's work?”
“Sure. Most of it's still up here though,” she says, pointing to her head.
He grabs her hands and inspects them. “Somewhat. I'd expect at least a little paint on the hands of someone that talented.”
“Well it's been awhile,” Allie says, pulling away. Change of subject.
By the end of Allie's bottle, they have discovered that they have been to most all of the same reefs for scuba diving trips and they are dancing barefoot in the living room. Dancing was something Allie did regularly in the days when she was painting- with a partner or not. Allie can't remember the last time she did this. They are laughing at something Brian said about pooping in the middle of a dance-off in Aruba when Allie makes a move for the wine that Brian had set down on the coffee table.
He grabs her, stopping her short of the table.
“No! more!” She protests. She lunges toward the bottle but he throws an arm around her waist and pulls her close, turning and pressing her into his body. He smells like a fresh spring evening.
“I WANT SOME!”
“You're going to dance with me some more first.”
Allie points a finger in Brian's face. “You-yoouuuare such an asshole. Suuch an asshole. And did you know that you kinda look like my old fiance but fun...funner...funnerer? Erer! Ha! Wait, let me go. I have to go to the bathroom.”
“You just want more wine.”
She squirms. “I swear no. No, let me go or I'm going to pee on you. Let me go! Now!”
He lets her go. With lightening speed, she snatches up the grocery bag and scuttles to the other side of the room, laughing. She peeks in it, laughs some more and disappears into the hallway and then into the master bedroom, locking the door.
“Unlock the door,” Brian says.
“Corkscrew!” Allie demands. “Call the cab because that's where I left it,” she says. “His name is Ron. The cabdriver. You'd like him. Get him to bring it back and then I'll open the door and then the three of us can drink here in the bathroom. Forever. And ever. Amen.” Allie begins humming a tune.
“Unlock the door.”
“You have a corkscrew?”
“You'd better or I'm gonna call the police AND the firemen AND the dog catchers and Ron and we will drink you under so many tables you won't even know what a table looks like when it hits you on the way out,” she says.
She opens the door and sees, as she suspected, that he does not have a corkscrew.
“Liar!” she shouts. “But what's this for?” She asks, holding up a bottle of club soda.
“I brought it because I had a feeling that things were going to get