Sitting at this little round table with Stacie’s probing questions and Quinn watching my every move I couldn’t help feeling nostalgic. What if this was the beginning of a future with Quinn?
The waiter arrived at our table with menus. Stacie whipped hers open in a flash. “You’re paying right?”
“Stacie! How rude.”
Quinn patted my hand gently. “It’s alright.” Then he turned to face Stacie as she perused her options. “I would be delighted to treat you to this lunch.”
“Good. I only think it's fair. After all, if I am going to be shot at because of you, then I’d like to be compensated.”
I wanted to be crawl under the table, but Quinn only smiled deeper at her. “That is a great life’s mantra, I’d say. I think I’ll adopt it too.”
After a slight giggle from Stacie she continued on with her interrogation. “So, you’re a baker?”
“No. I am a business man. My sister is a bakery chef.”
“Right, the sister who is ill?”
I kicked Stacie under the table but it deterred her none.
“How ill is she?”
“Why don’t you ask your sister some of these questions?” Quinn said with a hint of cynicism.
It caught me off guard. “I-I don’t know much. I...”
Stacie leaned over the table towards Quinn. “Look we both know she knows things but she doesn’t know things. I mean, she doesn’t know things but she thinks she knows things. You know what I mean.”
Quinn watched her closely. His elbow sat perched on the table and his chin in his hand. He rubbed at his cheeks as if he was really trying to make sense of her babbling.
“I think I know what you mean.” He finally added. “What should we do about that?”
Stacie straightened in her seat, crossing her arms across her chest. “For starters, you need to come clean with us.”
“I do, do I?”
“Well, yes. The way I see it, you’ve put my sister’s life in great jeopardy. And I don’t know if you realize that starry look in her eyes or not, but I think she likes you.”
I cleared my throat. “Excuse me, I am sitting right here. Don’t talk about me. Talk to me, please.”
Quinn and Stacie remained unnerved by my interruption. They never took their eyes off of each other.
“You think she likes me?” Quinn said animatedly.
The showdown had begun and I was powerless to stop it. Stacie leaned back towards the table again, resting her chin on her folded hands. The two of them sat intently squared off.
“No. At the age of three my father moved us to the Bedfordshire area. Remained there until I left home at sixteen.”
“That sounds young to leave home?”
“I’d have left years before if it wasn’t for Anna.” Quinn let out a disappointed breath. “She’s five years younger.”
“My mum died when I was twelve.”
Stacie gave him a startled look.
“Don’t care, either. Are we done yet? I would like to order.”
“Me too.” I said hoping to relieve the tension.
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