The woman who opened it wore a red dress, with a slit that ran up her thigh.

“You must be Dan,” she said to Gregson.

“No, I’m his friend.”

“Pleased to make your acquaintance?”

“Gregson.”

“What do you do for a living, Gregson?”

“I catch cheating husbands, solve murders, and enjoy beautiful women like yourself.”

She blushed. “I’m Suzanne.”

Dan said, “I write novels,” but Suzanne was looking into Gregson’s eyes, and completely ignored his outstretched hand.

“Better use that for later,” Gregson mumbled to him.

“What’s that?” Suzanne asked.

“Are you serving hors d’oeuvres?”

“We have some cheese and crackers with tuna and salmon on them. Try the wine.”

Gregson didn’t need to be told twice. He surveyed the room.

Is this what women look like when they reach the age of maturity? He wondered.

But there were some beauties in the crowd.

Many of them looked at him with distaste and with interest. It’s funny though—if he had been there with Murphy, none of them would’ve given him a second glance, but compared to Dan, he was a catch.

Poor Dan was trying to soak-up the alcohol with his cheese and crackers. His status as writer wasn’t doing him any good.

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