Over to me, Ryan thought. OK, well, we need to slow this down and I think I know just the place.
Ryan pulled out his iPhone and brought up the Uber app. Uber, please save me, he thought.
Ryan selected his transportation and keyed in a destination. Pressing “commit” he thought, I hope this works.
He turned to Zöe who was looking nervously at the hotel door expecting Aaron to burst through at any moment, and said, “Uber is two minutes out. We’re OK.”
He paused, then said, “We have sanctuary. It’s a good thing.”
At that word Zöe turned around, looked at Ryan and said, “Do you really think so?”
Ryan looked at Zöe in silence. His eyes said, “Trust me. I’m doing my best. I don’t know.”
A blue Toyota RAV 4 pulled up to the curb, the passenger window down. “I’m Mike,” the driver said, “you Ryan?”
“Yeah,” Ryan said, “that’s us. Nice to meet you, Mike.”
“Same here,” Mike said, “hop in.”
Ryan and Zöe “hopped in,” bucked up and leaned back.
Zöe looked around and said, “I didn’t think sanctuary would be so spacious.” She smiled at Ryan.
Ryan felt another heart click. It wouldn’t be the last.
“Yeah,” he said somewhat nervously, “good leg room.”
They were quiet for a while, looking out their respective windows at the lights of the city passing by. Mike said nothing, but tapped on his GPS display checking directions and traffic.
Soon they arrived at their destination - Écrevisse.
The restaurant was a swanky joint, a place to see and to be seen. There were tables of “uncles” with “nieces.”
Zöe was concerned. “Are you sure this is a place we should be?”
Ryan said, “It’s a place to be seen and a place to be invisible. We could have a table right in the middle and nobody would see us.”
The Maitre d’ escorted them to a table in the center of the restaurant. Zöe was seated and Ryan chose a chair to her right, close but not opposite. The waiter arrived on cue and asked if they’d like a drink before dinner. Ryan said, “Vodka martini, shaken not stirred.”
Zöe responded, “I’ll have what Mr. Bond is having.”
Drinks arrived, Zöe picked up hers and proposed a toast. “To what,” she proposed.
“To what,” Ryan said.
They clinked their glasses.
Oooohhh, that martini went down smoothly, Zöe thought, I might stay here a while.
Ryan broke through the fog. “Where did everybody go,” he asked?
Zöe looked around and, sure enough, everyone in the restaurant was a faded, dull gray. Only she and Ryan were in sharp focus.
“How are we here,” Zöe asked.
Ryan looked at Zöe and said …