“I didn’t know that you had a cat.”
“Yes, her name is Anya. I adopted her last year from the Feline Good Social Club.”
“The Feline Good Social Club? I never even knew such a place existed.”
“I’m thankful that it does. I understand that you and your wife will be spending Christmas in Rome.”
“Yes, we are.”
“Lucky you. When do you leave?”
“What about your family? I can’t imagine that they are happy that you aren’t going to be spending Christmas with them?”
“They weren’t thrilled at first but they’ve gotten used to the idea. What about you? Are you going to spend Christmas with your family?”
“Yes, we are. My sister has a cat too so Anya will have a friend.”
“Well, I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”
“Thanks. I wish you and your wife the same. She’s a very lucky woman.”
“I’m the lucky one. Good night.”
“Good night, Joel.” She opened her door and went inside her flat, thinking that it was too bad that he was married. He was absolutely gorgeous and obviously very much in love with his wife. She liked–what was her name again? It was funny, she didn’t have any trouble remembering his name but she always seemed to forget his wife’s. Was it Karen? Kate? Kayla? She knew it started with the letter K. Whatever her name was, she was lucky to have snagged a hunk like him.
“Guess whom I just ran into in the hallway?”
“Our next door neighbor and her cat, Anya.”
“Oh, yes, the cat.”
“I guess you told her that we’re spending Christmas in Rome.”
“This morning when we were in the elevator, she asked me if we were spending Christmas with your family or mine. Then, she said, ‘so you and Joel will be spending it alone.’ I said yes. She said why don’t we spend it with her and her family. There was always room for more people. So, I had to tell her that we were not going to be here. So, she asked me where we going to be. And, I told her that we were going to be in Rome.”
“All right, so you felt compelled to tell her.”
“I’m sorry. I probably shouldn’t have said anything.”
He put his arms around her and hugged her. “It’s not a big deal. We probably would have bumped into her coming back from the airport and our luggage would have been a dead giveaway that we had been away.”
“You know she has a thing for you.”
“Well, she’s wasting her time. Here’s the mail. Lots of cards.”
She took them from him. “She never remembers my name but she always remembers yours.”
“Maybe mine is easier to remember.”
“Tell me something, Joel. If you and I hadn’t met would you have dated her?”
“Why not? She’s very attractive. I’ve seen the way men look at her.”
“She’s not my type.”
“And what is your type?”
“Take a look in the mirror.”
She smiled. “Good answer.”
“It’s the truth.”
“Oh, I bought two negligees,” she told him, following him into the bedroom where he changed back into his comfortable lounge-wear. He had donned the sweater and jeans just to go and get the mail.
His eyebrows rose. “Really? I can’t wait to see you wear them.”
“They’re for the trip.”
“Hmm. I’ll need the patience of Job.”
She laughed. “I promise it will be worth the wait.”
His eyes twinkled. “I’m sure of that. And if they’re anything like the ones you wear now, I can promise you that you wouldn’t be wearing them for long.”
“You’re getting me all hot and bothered now,” she exclaimed, fanning herself with some of the mail.
“That’s exactly how I like you to be,” he murmured leaning over and kissing her on the lips.
The phone rang and they broke apart. “Saved by the bell,” she said, laughing.
He went to answer it while she went into the living-room to open the mail.