Torsen T-2 limited-slip differential

When the phone rang, Molly picked it up quickly, trying to tell herself she wasn’t hoping it was Glen.  The mild disappointment she felt when she heard Dobie’s voice suggested otherwise, however.  “Good evening, Miss Snow.”

“Hello, Mister Cassarell,” she said jovially, covering up her mood.  “And it is evening here, which means that it’s extremely early in the morning there, isn’t it?”

“It is,” Dobie said.  “But I’ve a busy schedule today, so I am up with the dawn, as they say.  I thought I would call to say hello, and to find out how things are going with the writing.”

“Things are fine,” she said.  “I can’t thank you enough times for setting this up for me.”

“I did nothing,” he said.

“How’s Lex?”     

“Well, I believe.  She is very relaxed, and last night I took her to the restaurant you suggested.”

“Did she like it?”

“Hard to say.  I think so, but I did not expect her to be so surprised by the cost.”

“You didn’t make her pay for it?”

“Oh, she insisted,” Dobie deadpanned, then broke into a chuckle.  “No, of course not.  However, she did inquire, and the prices apparently came as a shock to her.  I took the liberty of ordering her a full dinner, though she claimed to only want a side dish.”

“Good call.  The girl doesn’t eat enough.”

“And when I tell her this, she tells me that she prefers to hear it from you.”

Molly laughed, crossing her living room to drop onto the couch.  “Don’t let her blow you off.  She likes you.”

“Do you think?” he asked quickly. 

Molly regretted her choice of words slightly.  “Don’t read too much into my saying so,” she said, trying to backpedal a bit.  “I mean, the fact that Lex is even down there means she thinks you’re good people.  As to what she’s thinking beyond that, I’d have to see her face to know for sure,” she added, picking up a southeast Michigan real estate guide that Cygnet had sent to her.

“What else might she be thinking?”

“Really, Dobie, I couldn’t tell you unless I saw her.  Lex talks with her face and body as much as she does with her mouth.  Maybe even more so.”

“She wore her white swimsuit today,” he said.

Molly sat up a little straighter.  “Really.”

“I take it that means something to you.”

“Maybe, maybe not.  Ren bought it for her, and then they found out she couldn’t swim in it, at least not in public.”

“My pool is not public.”

“Then I guess you already know why it’s not really decent.”

“I do.”  She could practically hear a smile in his voice.  Dobie didn’t sound lecherous, just like he’d seen something that he found wonderful.

“They thought it was hilarious,” Molly said.  “It was kind of a special thing for them, and it always–” she broke off, stopping short of telling Dobie that Lexi often wore the white swimsuit as part of a long courtship dance.  Lexi and Ren could keep up their subtle foreplay for days, and Lexi had told her more than once that the sex at the end was invariably mind-blowing…and Dobie needed to know exactly none of these things.  “It always brought on a round of dirty jokes,” she finished.  That would do.

“Yes, she seems to enjoy those.  And she likes to threaten me with violence.”

“She does that to everyone,” Molly said lightly.

“You seem distracted.”

“I am, a bit.  I apologize.  Things have been somewhat hectic here.  I’m thinking seriously about moving back to Detroit.”

“Interesting.  You want to be closer to your friends there, yes?”

“That’s part of it.  I’m also not happy at this house any more.”  She didn’t want to go into details about what had been going on at home lately, and decided that a partial truth was best.  “I mean, Rich and I bought it together, and there are a lot of memories here.  And the mortgage is killing me.  I can afford it, but only just.  I’d rather put the money into something else, and be closer to my friends.”

“Admirable,” Dobie said. 

“So, anyway, I’m looking through some magazines while I talk, to see if I can get an idea of what I’m getting myself into.”

“Let me know if I can help, as always,” he replied.  “Would you like to talk to Lexi?  I believe she is awake, running around the house at the crack of dawn as she does.”

“That’d be great, actually.”

“I’ll transfer the call,” he said.