Rupert had never wanted to bother with a tree. At one-thirty, they walked across a graveled driveway in Falmouth and knocked on Bogdolf Eric's door. Oliver was carrying Emma; Jennifer held a canvas bag containing a fat beeswax candle and two bottles of wine, a Chardonnay and a Merlot. "Ah, Jennifer!" "Eric," she said, handing him the bag and accepting his hug at the same time.

Her hair was brushed back; a small opal swung from each ear; something glittered around her eyes. "You look terrific." "Thank you." They sat at a table with a view of the mountains. "I don't drink much," she said as he ordered a Glenlivet and water. "I do know about Glenlivet. I'm Scots and Swedish." "Single malt wonderful stuff," he said. "I'll have a glass of Chardonnay.

In the morning, Oliver's spirits rose as the jet cleared the coast, high above the ocean. "Here we go," he said to the slim woman seated next to him. She smiled and resumed reading what appeared to be a textbook. He had a glass of Chardonnay with lunch, but he was too wide awake to sleep afterwards. The plane passed above slabs of cloud and intermittent vistas of empty ocean.

Why don't you come over in about twenty minutes? There's some Chardonnay in the convenience bar." "How are you going to get in?" he asked. "I have another one of these cards keys whatever you call them. Room 336." "O.K." She wheeled away and Joe leaned back in his chair. It was dark outside. Rain trickled down the windows softening the harbor lights. He was tired of being alone.

She pointed to glasses on the kitchen table. He poured Washington State Chardonnay for each of them and held up one glass in a silent toast. "Salud," she said. She turned the ruler over in her hand thoughtfully. "Did you say it was for your mistress?" "Yes," Oliver said. "The saleslady didn't say anything probably happens every five minutes." "Good job," Jacky said, looking at the ruler.