Cameron arrived with six drinks and announced, “Your appetizers will be out shortly,” as he distributed each cocktail to each of the Kleens without any question of who got which drink. Delivery of drinks complete he turned his smile to Ron and Cherryl and asked, “Would you like something from the bar?”
“I’d like an Old Fashioned, please,” Ron replies. “Cherryl?”
“Perhaps some Pinot Grigio,” Cherryl says, “well is fine,” she adds.
“Very well, madam,” Cameron replies with a smile and a head nod before asking, “are we ready to order or should I add more appetizers?”
“Oh, this isn’t the couple we were waiting for,” Courtney says, “they haven’t arrived yet.”
Cameron’s inscrutable mask slips ever so slightly and Joe says, “They just looked so lost and lonely we invited them over for a drink, that’s all. The others should be here soon.”
“Joe!” Cherryl admonishes “Be nice, the man is trying to do his job.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Joe says with false contrition. “Cameron, they’ve already eaten and just stopped by to say hello. Just the drinks until our other friends show up.”
Cameron lowers his head but not his smile and looks at Joe from the top right side of his eyes. “Very well, sir. I’ll be right back with your drinks.”
“Are you always so much trouble?” Ron asks, his smile at odds with his words.
“Whenever the opportunity presents itself,” Joe concedes. “Life is short, might as well enjoy the ride.”
“Can’t argue with that, can I?” Ron replies.
“Can’t argue with what?” Kat says as she limps towards the table, adding, “Oh. Hello! You two were on the bus out with us weren’t you? You spoke up when that nasty couple was abusing Idurus.”
“Oh, Lord,” Ron says with a sigh, “guilty. Did I come on too strong?”
“Not at all!” Adam says. “I was really glad you set them straight. I think you had the perfect, ‘More in sorrow than in anger,’ tone.”
“Oh good,” Ron replies with a quadruple micro head nod, “I was afraid I came off a bit, shall we say, pugilistic?”
“Not a bit,” Kat assures. “I’m Kat Lane and this Adam. Pleasure to meet you,” she adds as she extends her hand first to Cherryl and then Ron.
“Cherryl Thomason, and the pleasure is mutual.”
“Ron Thomason. Here, here,” he adds as he pushes his chair away from the big round table. “let me get out of the way some, we’re just here for a cocktail, we’ve already eaten.”
“Oh good,” Adam says before his head jerks back at his faux pax. “Not good that you’re leaving! Just good that you already ate. You can let us know what you liked or didn’t.”