She giggled. “Which Mac? The one that’s old and grey? Or the young looking James Garner?”
Mac found himself laughing. “I’m the one with dark hair, blue eyes and a ready smile. Remember me?”
She giggled again. “Sure. In my dreams. Early thirties, I hope.”
“You got it in one. You’d make a good detective. I’m thirty–three next fall.”
“Okay mister. You got a date. About eight is good. Where you want to meet up?”
“My tab, you choose.”
“How about Lorenzo Tex-Mex?” Her words were gushing out. “My sister eats there sometimes, when she can get a date. Says it’s got class, but you still get change outta fifty bucks.” She paused. “I got to go Mac, customer.”
“Ok, sounds ok. Eight it is.”
Classy, huh. He put down the phone and looked in his wallet. The tooth wasn’t bothering him, but it had cost. Injection, cavity drained and drilled, white filling and general clean up and polish, plus dental floss and a new toothbrush and paste. He waved one of the guys over from the coffee machine. Senior detective Andrew Johnson. Bureau mentality. Played it straight by the book. “Hey Andy, you stake me a hundred?”
“You got a hot date, Mac?” snorted Andy, draining his cup and tossing the empty into Mac’s trash can. “She a good lay then, I thought you were wedded to work.”
Mac gave him the finger. “Andy, a man’s got to get a break sometime. And she’s a nice girl. You stake me or not?”
Andy pulled out a hundred and grinned. “There you go lover boy.”
Mac took the hundred. They’d give him the third degree tomorrow, sure as hell.
He sat there a little self consciously, dressed in a new polo shirt and slacks. Andy’s hundred.
“This ok Mac?”
“Yeah, the place is real classy like you said. It’s just that, well I’m not used to much more than a chili dog take-out and a few cold Buds at Joe’s Joint.”
She laughed. “Don’t worry, you look great. That is, for a cop. Even better, you take the price tag off.” She pointed to his polo shirt. “Here, let me help.” She leaned close and he felt her fingers remove the tag; they lingered and stroked his neck. “Nice material,” she murmured.
“Hey, Katie, I’m off duty tonight. I can be a regular Joe with my date. And you sure look great too.” She did. Cute sexy smile, blonde tresses, figure hugging blue dress showing a hint of cleavage, and lovely long legs.
The waiter placed a carafe of house red on the table and a bottle of still water. “You ready to order, sir?” he asked.
Yeah,” he said, reading from the menu. “Make mine the Tex-Mex special with fries.” He looked at Katie. “Make that two,” she said. “And extra salad, to be good.”
The evening was going well. They seemed comfortable together; Mac’s initial anxiety had mellowed with the house red. Katie had asked about his relationships, he said his work was priority; any partner would have to understand that. She seemed to accept that. “I guess a cop has to do what a cop does.”
He asked her the same. Katie spooned her coffee around the cup. “My sister has had one failed marriage; I’m single and intend to stay single, unless of course, the right man comes along.” Eyes moved to the left. Fact. True answer.
“What’s the right man look like?” he asked, hoping he would be in the frame.
She hesitated for a moment. “Someone a lot like you.” Eyes moved to the left. She touched his hand. “It’s getting late; you want to call us a cab.” Their eyes met. She raised her eyebrows. The invitation was clear. Then his cell phone buzzed.