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“This has nothing to do with me, Al.” Shane countered while avoiding Carmen’s curious gaze.
“Why don’t we try something different, Alice? I’m going to tell you what topics are off limits and you can construct your interrogation as you see fit. However, if you suspect that even one question, before it even leaves your mouth, could potentially be harmful, you maintain, compose, and text me the question before you verbalize it.”
“Now you’re assuming she thinks before she speaks.” Kit muttered while Angus and Tayo again attempted to suppress giggles and Alice gasped a second time before looking in the table’s opposite direction at the lead singer.
“I believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt, right Alice?” Bette offered.
“Is it Pick-On-Pieszecki Day or Everyone-Be-Assholes-to-Alice Day? I can never tell the two apart.” Alice whined.
“Look, you can either work with me on this, or just sit there and look cute without saying a word while Tina is here. It’s really your decision.”
All eyes were back on Bette when she said Tina’s name.
“Tina’s on her way here?” Carmen asked with a huge smile on her face.
“Yes, Tina. As in, Tina A&R-Rep-for-Alphaville-but-whom-we-are-not-asking-for-any-favors-or-any-recording-deals-because-she-may-start-dating-your-business-manager Kennard. Are we clear?”
“Nice, Little P. She’s haaawwt!” Angus sang the last word in a high pitched tone earning him a look of death from Kit.
“Yes, Angus, she most certainly is.” Bette smiled, catching the look Kit gave him. “Okay, Al. Things off limits: record deals, professional opinions with regard to Kit and/or the Stouts, personal issues such as political persuasions, religious discussions, sexual fantasies, unless she opens the door to that topic, umm…” Bette looked up as she thought hard about anything else she wanted Alice to stay away from. “Oh, and under no circumstances are you to bring up the fact that you and I dated.”
Alice was mid-bite when Bette uttered the last off limits subject. Her arm froze, mouth remained open, fork just inches away. The other three female Stouts also stopped what they were doing and their eyes widened. Alice calmly set her fork down.
“Umm, I…. may have already…..alluded to…something…to…that…affect.”
“Define ‘alluded.’” Bette demanded, narrowing her eyes.
“Off the cuff, I think. Umm, ‘been there, done that’ type of proclamation.” Alice said cautiously. “She was wasted though, so she may not even remember.”