“I’ll grab something more to eat after I get there,” Lesli said as she prepared to leave for work. “Hit the commissary, then tackle that damned letter to the board. They have got to approve the plan to add a fourth floor. It’s expensive as hell, but baby, it makes sense. Even a big-shot operation like that has to keep up with the times and keep improving. Keep tourism here instead of losing it to other cities.”
She had a point. And he’d seen some of this woman’s well-written letters. The board would side with her on the expansion or have to come up with a damned good reason why. Funders knew about this beautiful, brassy exec with a mind like a steel trap. The director had seen to it. Yeah, that new floor likely was as good as done.
“Know what I feel like eating?” she asked. Idly, more to herself than to him.”
“Nope.” He had clicked on the remote and was watching the news with a lapful of Bruno, Butch and Sundance. For once the kittens were leaving the old guy in peace, hanging out, watching the news with Keith. “Not ’til you tell me, no.”
“A banana split. With the works. Different kinds of nuts, rich whipped cream, lots of syrup, the whole nine.”
“Mm-hm, sounds good.”
“And a bowl of tomato soup.”
Keith lowered the volume on the television. “What was that? Did you just say—”
“Yeah. Weird, right?” That quizzical look turned to one of slight alarm as she held her stomach again and dashed into the bathroom. He heard her throwing up.
She soon came back in, brushing her teeth, foam around the sides of her mouth. She stopped long enough to say, “Know what else? I have a hankering for a huge pitcher of Kool-Aid. Watermelon-flavored Kool-Aid.”
Keith simply sat there staring at her. “Anything else?”
She shrugged, popped the toothbrush back in her mouth, turned and went back into the bathroom, saying, “Really weird, hunh?”
He got up and followed her. Nope, he thought, not when you think about it. “Sounds to me, kid, like you knocked up.”
In the middle of rinsing her mouth, she coughed and sprayed water all over the mirror.
Most men in the business, the first question would be whether the child was his. One thing he’d always sensed about Lesli was, don’t give the lady reason to cheat and she won’t do it. Still, aside from his getting bent out of shape about that White man answering her phone, he hadn’t asked Lesli whether she’d slept with somebody else while they were apart. He damned sure wasn’t going to ask her now but filed that thought away for future reference.
Meanwhile, it was peace in the valley. She wiped her mouth, then took a towel to the mirror. He leaned in the doorway. “How the hell,” Lesli said, her brow knitted in genuine consternation, “did this happen?”
“Uh, okay. Let me explain something to you. See, when a guy and a gal like each other lot—”
She slapped him with the towel. Then stared at her reflection in the glass. Jaw slackening. “Honey?”
Lesli turned to him. “It’s not foolproof. I mean, I think the reliability is somewhere up around 98 percent or something. But, damn, that leaves a whole two percent. If your luck’s not running right…”
“Well, what can I say? You need to go see your crotch doctor.”
“That’s gross.” She hit him again with the towel.
Next week: Keith is confident they’ll cope.
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