"I'd like you to meet Mary", booms Ristain again.  

 

You introduce yourself and shake her hand, still feeling a bit uncomfortable.  The older woman looks you up and down.   For a moment you feel a bit like a thoroughbred up for auction.  She studies you a minute more and then turns her attention back to Ristain.  

 

"So will that be one special or two?"  She asks peering at you over her spectacles.  

 

"Two" you sing back with saccharine sweetness that makes your teeth hurt.  You smile a fake smile, realizing how ridiculous you sound but a kind grin from her puts you at ease.  

 

Mary heads off to the kitchen with your orders, leaving the two of you to your conversation, 

 

"So...how do you know her?"  you ask, trying not to sound too suspicious.  

 

"Mary?  Oh, you could say we go waaaaaaay back." He snickers, throwing his head back as he draws out the syllables.  

 

The answer makes you shift in your seat a little.  You quickly change the subject, not sure you want to delve any further into the mystery.