"Oh, there's my wife now," he murmured, half to himself.

She took her time making her way over. We all, the Walshes and I,
kept our eyes locked on her as she wandered through the room. I had
to check myself and force my focus back to my rye, lest Walsh get
the wrong idea.

When she got to us, she didn't so much as glance in my direction.
Smart girl. Still, it hurt like hell to be that close to her and
feel nothing but cold distance.

"Are you almost finished here honey? You know we have to swing by
the house one more time before going to the shuttle." she said, in
a bored sort of drawl. Yet, was that love I sensed in her gaze? It
seemed that way. It seemed she was talking to a guy she really
loved, a guy that wasn't me. I started to get a bowling-ball
feeling in my stomach.

"Yes, darling. We're all done here." Walsh got up and extended his
hand toward me. "Nice doing business with you Mr. Jules."

Now she finally looked at me. That look of hers still knocked me
off my feet so easily. It took me longer than it should have to
shake Walsh's hand.

"Yes, well, we'll be in touch after your trip," I muttered, still
trying to recover my senses.

Her eyes widened. They were staring right at me and fixing me in

"Oh, honey, you mean you haven't sorted all this out yet?" she was
looking at him again, and had re-adopted her bored expression.

"Yes, dearie, all finished."

"But, don't you have to /sign/ something? I really don't want to
have to bother with all this when we get back."

"That's not how these things work, my dear. Mr. Jules here has to
go and draw up the new policies for me to sign."

"Oh, policies! I'm sure he has plenty of those lying around,
right?" She looked right at me again. Her gaze seemed to be moving
my arm into my briefcase, forcing it to magically produce some

"Why, yes, yes I do," I said, sheepishly.

"Really?" replied Walsh, he was starting to get confused and

"Sure I do, sir. And they are those fine, airtight contracts I was
telling you about."

"But surely you don't go around with them... oh, anyway, just give
me one, we must be on our way. I'll look over it on the shuttle."

"Perhaps..." interrupted Judy, she still wasn't happy, "Perhaps
this gentleman could join us. Just in case you need to change
anything in the policy."

This was starting to get ridiculous. The risks this girl was

"That's absurd, darling. I'm sure he has much better things to be

I knew I had no other choice at this point. If I wanted her - I did
- I had to follow her lead, right to the bitter end.

I spoke up, just as they were all turning away from me,

"Actually, Mr. Walsh, I happen to have all the time in the world."

And just like that, we were all heading off to the stars together.