“What’s that you’re drinking?”
“Yes. Want some?”
She made a face. “No, thank you!”
“It’s good for you, you know. I’ve been drinking it for years. Athletes drink it.”
“What’s it good for?”
“I can give you ten good reasons. It soothes muscle cramps. It helps you stay hydrated. It’s a fat-free recovery aid. It’s a budget-friendly alternative to more expensive workout beverages. It contains antioxidants. It contains lots of vinegar and apparently, consuming a little bit of vinegar every day may help you to lose weight. It helps control blood sugar levels. As I mentioned pickle juice has vinegar and vinegar is a fermented food. Fermented foods are good for your digestive system. What I’m drinking is Dill pickle juice which more potential benefits because it has quercetin in it and Quercetin has cholesterol-lowering properties. And a little bit of pickle juice freshens your breath because both dill and vinegar have antibacterial properties.”
“Oh. I love pickles but I’ve never had them as a juice.”
“Would you like to try some?”
“Maybe another time.”
“So, have you found a new secretary as yet?”
“Yes! I have. She starts on Monday.”
“I’m taking Sophie and her husband out for dinner on Saturday. Would you like to come?”
“What about Natalia?”
“You know she doesn’t get along with Sophie.”
“She’ll have a fit if she knew that I was going.”
“So, does that mean that you’ll come?”
“When you knock off from work, come and see me on the boat.”
“Are you going to take me for a ride?”
“No, but we can have dinner on the deck or below.”
“All right. I’ll see you in a few hours.”
“See you later.” He winked at her before he turned and walked away. Her break was over so, she went back into the store and took over for the cashier.
After she left the store, she took a taxi to the pier. He was waiting for her on deck. “Hi,” he said. “Where would you like to eat? Up here or down below?”
“Let’s eat down below and when it’s dark we can come up here and look at the stars.”
He smiled. “All right.” He led the way. They set the table and shared out the food. It was from a Cuban restaurant. For the appetizer, they had Tostones Rellenos stuffed with chicken. For the main course, he had the Bistec De Res Empanado and she, the Pollo A La Cubana with yellow rice. For dessert, they had French vanilla ice cream served with chocolate syrup and whipped cream on top which he prepared.
“By the way, I finished reading Magenta in Twilight,” she told him.
“I couldn’t put it down. I started it on Friday evening and finished it on Sunday afternoon.”
“Are you working on a new one or are you taking a break?”
“No, I’m not working on a new novel just yet. You’ll be pleased to know that I have been offered a film contract for Lost in Lava Swirls.”
“That’s great. Congratulations.”
“Sometimes I can’t believe that I’m friends with a Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award winning author.”
“I’m just a lucky guy who is doing what he loves.”
“I wonder who they will cast to play the part of Yvette.”
He smiled. “I hope that whoever she is, she will meet with your approval after all she will be playing you.”
“I’m still bowled over by the fact that you based her on me.”
“And I’ll tell you something else, she’s my favorite character.”
Shandra smiled. “That’s good to know.”
“How about we go on deck and stargaze for a while?”
They got up and went on deck. It was a beautiful, balmy night. A slight breeze was blowing. The water looked calm and above the sky was dotted with stars. She leaned against the rail and he stood beside her.
“I was standing here one night when I got the idea to have Agent Villegas live on a boat,” he told her.
“Would you ever live on one?”
“No, I can’t see myself doing that, although you can save a lot of money on rent. And I’ve heard that keeping the boat at a marina is the biggest expense besides the mortgage.”
“I don’t suppose that Natalia would want to live on a boat either.”
“Let’s not talk about Natalia,” he said.
They spent a long time on deck, enjoying the night and the stars and then, he took her home.