Steve followed me toward the booth where my husband was seated, head flung back and snoring lightly. I was so proud. I kicked his foot lightly and he jerked awake, wild eyed for a moment before recognizing me.
"What?" He was a little irritable.
"Steve wants us to come to dinner."
"Yeah?" His tone changed abruptly. "Hey, that's great."
Steve leaned over and stuck out his hand. My husband grasped it carefully and shook it once before letting go. I had taught him well. The hands were the tools of the trade.
"I'm so glad your wife accepted. She's very talented."
My husband looked at me with unashamed pride. "Yeah, she's great. Your not bad either, ya know. I loved that movie, Watchers."
Steve shook his head, a puzzled frown creasing his brow. "I didn't write that."
"I know but I bet you wish you did, huh?"
I crushed the tip of his foot under mine in a subtle hint and spoke up quickly.
"Steve, why don't you call Tabitha and let her know we're coming? Don't want to get you into any trouble."
"Ayah. Give me just a minute."
He walked a few paces away and flipped out a cell phone to make the call.
"What the hell? You tryin' to make him mad?" I whispered.
"No. I really liked that movie. Who wrote that one again?"
"Dean Koontz. Not good, not good at all. You better be on your best behavior or I swear when we meet Dan Marino, I'm going to tell him you have Dementia and wear Depends."
"You wouldn't!" He gasped.
"Oh, yes. Yes, I would." I narrowed my eyes and curled my lip.
Steve walked back to us, his face not quite as happy as before. "We all set. You can follow me out to the house...unless your man there would rather spend the evening somewhere else? Maybe the Koontz residence?"
"Now, Steve. No need to be nasty. He was stating an honest opinion and competition is good for all of us." I smiled and tilted my head, pouring on the charm.
"I suppose." He returned the smile and we followed him out the door.
I could hear my husband muttering behind me, "At least the dog in Watchers was cool, could spell and everything. Not like Cujo."
Maybe when we met Marino, it would be me with the serious case of Turrets syndrome. I knew how to get even.