“You didn’t have to buy dinner, Anja.”
“It was my pleasure.”
Dante pat her hand as it was wrapped around his elbow. They meandered back to his SUV on the cobblestone path, guided by golden lamps and adorned with starlight. Babbling Seneca Lake muffled the traffic noises from nearby midtown.
“You should send him a care package,” Dante said.
“Oh, Dante. That’s a wonderful idea!”
“Fill it with a ton of stuff that won’t help him at all, but will—”
“Make him smile,” she finished.
“You know, those old pill bottles that are filled with mints, and what not.”
“And the gummy band-aids,” she said.
“A corduroy teddy bear.”
“Okay, but if we’re doing this, we should drop it off tonight,” Anja said.
“What’s the rush?”
Anja slowed her steps, sensing her surroundings. “Well.” She tuned into the air and how dense it had suddenly become.
“Anja?” Dante searched the thinned out crowd around them.
Passersby, nothing amiss.
“He didn’t have luggage,” she said as if snapping out of a trance. “He might not be staying more than tonight.”
“Definitely include your phone number then.”
“Dante.” Anja gasped and clung to him in panic.
“What? What is it?” Dante cuddled Anja close as if he could save her from the impending danger.