“God, I’m stuffed,” he said. “I think I just broke a commandment or something.”
“A deadly sin, you mean,” she said, smiling. “Gluttony, right?”
He glanced at her legs folded on his couch. Her skirt rode higher when she sat like that.
“I didn’t know a table could hold that much food,” she said. “I think I heard wood groaning.”
He bit the flesh of his cheek. Hard.
“Nah, that was my dad’s chair. Begging for mercy.”
She swatted him on the arm. They caught the glow of the TV in one another’s eyes. Quiet laughter died.
Staring at the muted football game, each grew painfully aware. The silence dragged into the fourth quarter. Game tied.
“Well, thanks for inviting me, Steve. It was a really nice gesture.”
Her feet struck the ground. Slipping those heels on.
“Oh. No problem. I know it sucks to be away from family on Thanksgiving.”
“And thanks for the record player! Yeah . . . wow.”
She was nodding really fast. Wine glass now consigned to coaster.
“Sure. I never really use it anymore.”
“Speaking of which,” she said, jabbing her thumb toward the door. “I should go ahead and load it in my car.”
“Really?” He cleared the whine from his voice. “I mean, it’s pretty cold out there.”
He shivered to prove it.
“Yeah, I should get on the road. ”
“It’s supposed to snow . . . ”
Her lips curved. A bit.
“Probably all the more reason I should go. Otherwise, I might be trapped here. Overnight.”
“Oh. Right.” His cheeks felt like two chestnuts, roasting. “Sorry.”
“Unless . . . ”
“Unless you have some good records here?”
On the television, some guy kicked a field goal.
“I think I can find something.” He stood, passing into the hallway. His pace struggled to match his smoking blood, but it was a losing ballgame.
Her ankles crossed on his coffee table. No heels. Wine glass cradled in her lap.
“Make it something warm, okay?”