Arriving at the Centennial Hotel, Lana was the first out of the car, resisting the urge to bolt indoors. “What’s wrong, cheerleader?” Lois asked her cheerily.
“I will never ride in a car with you again,” Lana said. “Never. I’ll baby-sit your daughter’s insane shirt-diving ferret for a year before I get in a car you’re driving. And under absolutely no circumstances including the end of the world as we know it will I ever let you drive my car. Heck, I’ll let Tobie take me out drinking before I do that again! You are the most reckless, lead-footed…”
Tobie overrode her. “Look, I didn’t mean to get you drunk,” she explained. “I’m sorry, all right? Besides, I’m not the one who went back to the bar and ordered three more freakin’ Long Island Iced Teas!”
“You should’ve told me what was in them,” Lana reminded her, but without rancor. “Gin, rum, tequila, and vodka? Do I look like I drink any of the above on a regular basis?”
“You’re married to Richard,” Tobie replied. “That’d drive anyone to drink.”
Lana glared, but Lois hit her fellow reporter in the shoulder. “Shut up, Tobie,” she snapped. “Some of us are rather fond of Richard. Do you remember what I told you about him? Hmm? Remember what I said to you the first time you met him – it still applies.”
“Someday I’m going to ask you what that was,” Lana said, noting the embarrassed expression on Tobie’s face with interest. “I’m just glad we did that the week before, not the day before. Lois was hung over the next morning, and I can’t imagine how horrible that would be on the wedding day.”
“It was my fault,” Maggie said. “I was supposed to be staying sober enough to keep an eye on all of you so no one ended up in the hospital or in jail.”
“Maggie, I’m not trying to assign blame,” Lana told her gently as they headed to the door. “If anyone’s at fault, it’s me. I didn’t ask what was in the drink – I thought it was like hard lemonade, just with iced tea instead – and I never should’ve gone back for three of anything. We have a saying back home: if you can’t run with the big dogs, stay under the porch. And I definitely should’ve stayed under the porch.”
“I don’t know about dogs,” Tobie said, patting her shoulder with a grin, “but you’re welcome to run with this gang of crazy bitches any time.”
“Thank you,” Lana replied warmly. “But next time I’ll stick to something non-alcoholic for the sake of my own sanity. Lois, my keys, please? I’m sure my poor car is traumatized after that…”
“It’s a freakin’ E320 with a V-6 engine,” Lois complained, tossing the keys to her. “That’s how it’s meant to be driven! It ought to be illegal to drive it like someone’s grandma’s Buick. Jeez.”
And I know I have a terrific backlog of messages right now. It's been a crazy week and I apologize for not having replied to all of them yet. Good news? I'm off after tonight for the next three days, so I'll be caught up in no time!
And I'm up to posting Finally at BT.net! *happydance* Getting closer!