Harrison blushed. Beano barked from the backyard. “Pete’s not cooking my dog, is he? I better get out there.” He noticed the big toenail on Mandy’s right foot needed trimming. Out of his peripheral vision, he saw Janice tossing the salad. Ahead, the sliding door leading to the backyard was already open. A dead fly and an orange peel shared space on the door’s lower track. Harrison thought of mentioning this fact, but he was outside before he could say another word. A basketball waited for him on the patio table. His head started to ache.
Must be from the smoke?
The flames rose much too high, and the conflagration surrounded dinner. Zemdarsky, bedecked in a straw hat and checkered apron, stood too close to the inferno. Harrison shook his head and spotted Beano. Preoccupied, she sniffed along the wooden fence in the part of the yard that was farthest from grill.
After picking up the basketball, Harrison cautiously approached Zemdarsky. “They about done, don’t you think?” He tried spinning the ball on his middle finger.
“Willy, my boy, about time. Apparently, everybody here likes them well done. Don’t you?”
“I see you invited Janice,” Harrison said, kneeling. Beano trotted over to him. “Hi, girl.”
“She needs to eat.”
“I gave you more than enough food.”
“No, the Evans girl, not that girl. God, that’s warm.” Zemdarsky shuffled back from the flames. His eyes sparkled.
“She’s young.” Harrison lowered his voice. “I admit though, she seems pretty mature for her age.”
“And she’s very bright, Billy. I’ve read her report—hell, dissertation. ‘Gubernaculum and Jurisdictio.’ You will be impressed.”
Harrison ran his hands over the basketball’s surface and pressed it with his fingertips. “Can we just eat? Or, how about some freethrows?”
“Okay, okay. But I think she likes you.”
Fighting the urge to look over his shoulder, Harrison accepted a friendly lick on the cheek from Beano. “How was your week?”
“She’s a dog, Bill. She doesn’t have weeks. If you’re interested, mine was fine. How was yours? Did your client pay well for such a last minute arrangement? All the necessary fees and expenses taken care of?”
“Yes, of course. It could lead to more work too.”
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish