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ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By Della Street


She was surprised to see him, he could tell, but the lack of advance notice couldn't be helped. The moment he had spotted that damn roommate of hers in the checkout line at Safeway, he had shoved the Raisin Bran back onto the shelf and rushed out to his car. The princess alone -- at last! It was so frustrating: Everyone knew the two women couldn't stand each other, yet it was almost impossible to get one of them without the other.

"Ogden!" she greeted him. "I'm on the phone." She gestured toward the receiver lying on its side on the table.

All right - a quick phone call, and then it would be Ogden plus Blair minus Polniaczek. He just needed to scurry Blair out of the house before She got back.

He could barely contain himself. Blair Warner all to himself. Not arguing with her roommate, not talking about her roommate, no roommate, period.

She sat gracefully at the table and resumed her call. "Yes," she said. "First, I would like a--" She picked up a piece of paper. "--combination fairing side panel and engine air scoop panel." She paused to re-read the words, then leaned back. "Now, what colors do those come in?" She pursed her lips at the answer. "It's sort of . . . grease-colored. . . . Do you have lavender? . . . Why not? I like lavender. . . . Oh." She frowned. "Well, I guess I'll have to inquire--subtly, of course. And you can have it here by the sixteenth?"

He shifted his gaze to the window. That wasn't a motorcycle he heard in the distance, was it? "Blair!" he whispered. "Let's go!"

She didn't hear him, apparently. Instead, she turned slightly in the chair and pressed a finger to her ear.


"All right," she said into the phone. "Now, what do you have in--" she picked up the paper again "--chrome-plated air vent fin louvers and inner fairing housings?"

He stared at her. What in the--? Oh, crap. The cycle rumbled loudly into the driveway and then, mercifully, went silent.

"Does it have to be chrome? I was thinking perhaps--" Suddenly realizing what the noise was outside, Blair spun around in her seat and stared anxiously at the door. "Nevermind, it's fine, I'll take four. . . . Oh, all right, two then . . . . Yes--you have my credit card on file?"

The door swung open and in strode the bane of his existence, scowling at him before she even placed the face.

"Yes, Henri, that will be fine," Blair said quickly. "Give my love to Marc." She hung up.

Polniaczek walked over to her. "Before you start in on me, they didn't have any brie," she said.

"Excuse me?"

"They didn't have any brie," Polniaczek repeated. "As in no brie. A complete lack of brie. They were brie-free."

Blair rose from her seat. "Did you ask someone?"

"Whaddya mean ask someone?"

"If they had any brie."

"Why would I? I know what the hell brie is, Blair. I looked, and there wasn't any."

He could sense his afternoon with the beautiful blonde starting to slip away. "Blair, we can stop by there if you want," he suggested, glossing over the fact that they had not actually agreed to go anywhere together.

That was a mistake, he realized too late. Now Polniaczek was glaring at him. "And do what?" she said menacingly. "They don't have any fu--fudging brie."

With a dramatic sigh, Blair laid a hand on her roommate's shoulder. "Jo, Jo, Jo," she said.

Polniaczek rolled her eyes.

"Do you even know how to spell brie?"

Through gritted teeth, the brunette growled, "There. Was. No. Brie." When Blair patted her shoulder again, Polniaczek grabbed the offending hand and said, "Okay, that's it." She plucked two helmets off the coat rack with her other hand. "You're gonna see for yourself, and then you're gonna say, "'Jo, you were right as always. I never should have doubted you.'"

"You don't mean on that horrid motorcycle of yours," Blair said.

"That's exactly what I mean."

"But it might clash with my dress," Blair went on. Suddenly, her expression changed. "I mean . . . I'm not even sure exactly what color that thing is . . . ."

"It's black, Blair. You said it goes with anything."

"True." Blair turned to her guest. "Especially my hair," she told him. "And my eyes. And--"

Polniaczek yanked her nearly off her feet. "And your brown-with-little-gold-flecks are comin' with me."

"My best feature, many say," Blair said to him.

What was?

"Although it's hard to choose one," she added.

"Hard to find one, ya mean," Polniaczek said.

Ignoring the insult, Blair said, "You know, Jo, gold might be a nice accent on your motorcycle. . . . Have you ever thought about that, I mean just randomly, not for any particular purpose?"

"Gold on my bike? Like I wanna ride around on Blair Warner's hair all day? Now blue maybe . . . ."


Enough talking, her roommate had apparently decided. She tugged Blair toward the door.

"Wait!" Blair planted her feet for a moment, and turned back to say something to the man standing in her living room.

He waited hopefully.

"Ogden, could you get my purse?"

Holding back a sigh, he reached for the bag on the edge of the couch, then walked up and handed it to her.

As an afterthought, she asked, "Was there any particular reason you stopped by?"

"Me?" He glanced at the woman still firmly attached to her wrist, eying him through narrowed lids. "No. Mother just wanted me to say hello for her."

And hello back to Mrs. Worthington, Blair said with a smile.

He watched the women zoom off as he climbed into his BMW. Damn his timing. A few minutes earlier and Blair Warner would have been cruising around town with him instead of someone she couldn't even stand. Oh, well. One of these days . . . .

The End

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