Someone was knocking on the door, and so Angela opened it to find Roberto Diego standing there smiling with a champagne bucket in his outstretched hands. "Complements of the house," he said warmly. "What is a young lovers' honeymoon without something nice to drink?" It appeared that the bucket was completely empty, but when Angela plumbed its depths she did manage to find a couple cubes of ice and a tiny airplane-serving-size bottle of Grand Mariner, most likely from Roberto's own collection.

She was touched by the sentiment and kissed the small, well-dressed man on the cheek in gratitude. As he left, she turned to face Craig and held out their prize. "Lookee what we got," she said. "I don't think it's going to be enough for a drinking game, though."

Craig pushed the bucket aside and tried to pull Angela down into the bed with him. "Let's have some fun," he said. "Maybe we don't even need to get drunk first."

She followed him down onto the cheap mattress, but she remained completely aware of where their bodies were and she focused on keeping herself asexual, trying not to give Craig any encouragement save that of their close proximity. She could tell he was ready to kiss her, but she wasn't quite ready to do that just yet. "So what kind of fun did you have in mind?," she asked, not at all in a teasing, sexual way, but rather with the tone of a child who was in the mood for a serious game of Monopoly or Trivial Pursuit.

Craig rolled over onto his back and sighed. He didn't understand women at all. What did they really want? What was going through their thoroughly opaque heads? Something attracted him to Angela so much that it almost ached, and he felt it must be more than just her long legs and magical eyes, and more than just her playing hard to get, though no other woman he had ever known (which was quite a few) had played so hard to get. He did not want to screw this up, he felt inside that this might be a girl worth keeping, but damn it, he was so close and he had no idea what to do! Should he defer to her and wait for her to make the next move, or was she simply waiting for him to take control of the situation and go for it? Even as this ran through his mind he had to laugh because he knew exactly what he should do. She would not be here in the honeymoon suite of The Desert Chihuahua with him in this border town in Mexico if she did not like him...really, really like him. She was just playing with him now, but it was clear that he had already won the game. He leaned over towards the dark-haired beauty beside him and closed his eyes...

Angela jumped up as if she had just remembered that she had left an oven on somewhere very far away. "Man, I'm ready for a shower! We were in that car way too long and I feel icky all over. Do you mind if I freshen up? Can you find some way to entertain yourself for a little while?" She went over to her bag and started to rummage through her toiletries. "Damn, I don't think I brought any shampoo. Can I borrow your shampoo, Craig?"

Craig used this opportunity to lie through his teeth, grasping at the slim chance that he could get the ball back on his side of the court. "Oh, you know what, now that you mention it, I think I completely forgot my shampoo. In fact, I'm pretty sure I did, I can picture it still sitting in my bathroom back home. I guess you'll just have to wait 'til later to take your shower..."

No dice. "Hey, I'll bet that nice man from the hotel has some shampoo he can give me. I'll be back in a minute." And with that she ran out the door, leaving only Craig and the bed and the green walls.

Feeling somewhat defeated and deflated, Craig just lay there for the next few minutes trying to figure out where he had gone wrong. She didn't return right away, and he actually dozed off for a little while. When he woke up, it was dark outside and he had no idea where he was. Slowly he realized he was in Mexico and the memories of the preceding events of the day flooded into his mind, but looking around he did not see Angela there in the room with him. It was very dark, the only light coming from a street lamp that was a little too far away from the building. Craig reached over and fumbled for the switch to turn on the bedside lamp. When he could see a bit better he noticed that there was a handwritten note next to him on the bed:

"You must have been really tired! I've decided to let you get some rest -- we have a lot of driving to do tomorrow if we're going to get to Guadalajara. Don't worry about me; I've gone to get something to eat with Roberto Diego. We've been talking and he seems really cool. Anyway, he's finished his shift and so we're just going to go grab a bite. Be back soon. Love, Angela."

Craig put on his shoes and went downstairs, only to find Roberto and Angela laughing and drinking at the small hotel bar of which they were the only two customers. "There he is", shouted Angela and beckoned him to come over to her. She immediately put her arm around him and he could see the empty shot glasses lined up on the bar in front of her. Having her so close to him again it was all he could do to prevent himself from putting his hand upon her face and kissing those wonderful, smiling, tequila-smeared lips. He didn't kiss her, however, and instead focused the entirety of his thoughts as best he could upon a small stain on Roberto Diego's lapel...

Chapter 30


Chapter 29 was first written November 29, 2001

It was last edited December 30, 2001