As they reached the porch stairs, he extended his arm in a gentlemanly fashion, much the way one might offer to an elderly woman out of respect.
“Aren’t you the chivalrous one?” Jill giggled.
He managed to blush just enough to make her giggle even more as he pulled out a chair for her. Once she was settled in her seat, he left her to get her coffee and the phone. A moment later he returned with a tray carrying a small carafe of coffee, cream, sugar and sugar substitutes.
“I forgot to ask how you take it so I just brought the whole kit and caboodle, so to speak.” He said, smiling his debonair smile.
“I see you brought a friend too,” Jill replied as she became acquainted with his dog.
“He was supposed to stay inside but he’s always been a sucker for a pretty lady.”
This time is was Jill’s turn to blush from the attention of both dog and master. He took a seat next to her and poured himself a cup of coffee, while they got better acquainted. To set her at ease, he wove in a string of lies to cover the truth of who and what he really is. Jill was too busy chatting and petting the dog to notice he hadn’t taken a single sip. She had moved on to her second cup before he steered the conversation back to her. He needed to know more about how she’d tracked Marie and if he should expect others.
“So, you said something about tracing your friend to the Harmon place but how? Magic 8 ball? A tarot card reader? What?”
“You’re too funny! No, nothing so reliable as the Magic 8 ball…we have a, um… sorry, I felt a little dizzy for a second there. Okay, what was I saying again?” She massaged her temples for a moment in an attempt to clear the cobwebs from her brain. “Oh, yeah, Marie. She and I are close friends so we have that thing on our phones that track the other person. Anyway, I should probably call my ride so I can get home.”
“Sure, but how did you get here if you don’t have a car?” He asked.
“I have a car but it’s in the repair shop so my neighbor dropped me off over on Second Avenue. I’ve been out here for hours canvassing the area and trying to find Marie. Speaking of…I probably ought to head back home. I feel terrible since I intruded on your privacy and I drank all your coffee. Geez, you barely had any. Did I make you talk so much that you didn’t have chance to drink your coffee while it was hot?” Is it still alright if I use your phone?”
“Sure, why don’t you come inside? It’s much warmer in here.” He held out his arm and assisted Jill as she got to her feet. “Whoa, careful there. You’re a little wobbly, huh? Just right in here and straight back.”
“Over here? I don’t see a…”
He had sprinted around the opposite way, planning to crack her in the back of the head but there was no need. She was already collapsing to the floor. Gotcha!