Knives were on sale—six carving knives with serrated edges glinting beneath the hard plastic shell. He found the prizes on the bottom shelf, and kneeling, Quentin reached for the temptation. Which was the moment when another shopper walked around the corner, finding him.
“You’re praying,” she said.
She was smiling, fiercely and joyfully smiling. “What are you doing?”
“Thinking about thunderbirds,” Quentin said, waving the package. “That big two-fingered bird buried out west. Lucida’s Terror. The first scientist to find one grabbed a sixty-six million year old tooth, and the cutting edge was still sharp enough to slice into two of her fingers.”
For one reason or another, Vinnie laughed.
“Amazing, huh?” he asked.
“No, I’ll tell you something amazing,” she said, one hand touching his knives and then his forearm. “I’m shopping for a gift.”
Quentin nodded, waiting.
“For my boyfriend,” she said.
“Well,” he said. “That is amazing.”
Laughter rolled out of her. “Oh, but it’s not you, Quentin.”
He was thankful, and wounded.
Then she was in motion again, her errand front and center. “And the best part? Besides the filthy sex, I mean.”
“It’s my mother,” she called back. “The old dyke’s halfway to crazy.”