Gregson never let anyone drive his car; it was a classic 911 Porsche Turbo. Mechanical, none of this electric bullshit. But Liz was different. He gave her the keys; he was in no mind to fight traffic, let alone a woman.

Liz opened the car door and two golf balls fell out. Your balls are rolling away,” Liz said.

“Don’t I know it.”

Gregson thought about the gym. He thought about Liz. He thought about the shotgun in the duffel bag.

“You’re awfully quiet, Liz said. “You got a girl?”

“Uhhh,” Gregson mumbled. He was 50; he just didn’t have the time, energy, or money to keep pace with a younger woman, or any woman for that matter.

“We need to work on your communication skills,” Liz laughed.

Gregson smiled. He was looking forward to his warm bed, a glass of rum, his pipe, and one of those books, so boring he’d be asleep before the second chapter.

Liz parked and looked into his starry eyes. “You’re not a fighter, are you?” She said. “You’re a lover.” She kissed him. Gregson didn’t understand women. “Thanks for the ride,” he said. “This is for your taxi fare.” He gave her a couple bills.

“Aren’t you going to invite me up?”

“Maybe some other time; when my head doesn’t hurt,” Gregson said.

“Then take care of yourself old man.” Liz gave him a hug and flagged down an Uber. Gregson climbed the steps to his apartment, one at a time. Then he puffed his pipe in the dark. It wasn’t his fault that women found him more attractive the older he got, but his priorities had changed. It wasn’t women that he thought about all night; it was solving crime; the thought of it kept him warm under the covers.

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