Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Tavern is buzzing like a drunken beehive, people coming and going, their arms laden with trays of food. I sip my Corona and watch the activity, but don't join in. My cooking carries the Lucrezia Borgia seal of approval; if I was planning on attending the shindig I'd just buy something from a deli somewhere.

As it happens, though, I have no plans to attend. Ob already stopped by my booth to issue an invitation about half an hour ago; I muttered something noncommittal and he went back to ferrying food. So far it looks like they have enough to feed everyone in Exton; well, except for those who have exotic appetites, like Nick....

A shadow falls across the table and I look up to see Pandora smiling at me, Teri cocked up on her hip. He regards me solemnly with enormous eyes. "Äre you sure you won't join us, Jack? There'll be plenty of food, good friends..." She trails off as she reads her answer in my face.

"Yeah, I think I'm gonna head on home, grab a shower and call it a night - but thanks for the invitation."

"Well, you're always welcome to change your mind. Patti and a few of the college girls will keep the Tavern open while we're gone, so don't feel like you have to rush out."

"Thanks, Pan." I flick a mock salute to the baby. "Nice seein' you again, Teri." He says something in Hamburglar dialect and waves back at me; then Pandora continues on her way to supervise the culinary goings-on.

I turn back to my Corona. I have a nice mouthful headed down my throat when my cell buzzes with an incoming text; I choke and spray good beer across the booth and flick it open, mash the button and see: "I miss you already. - Eira"

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