Bixby deftly caught the art deco figurine before it hit the ground.
“Put that down.” Reynolds was standing behind him, holding a tray.
“I’m sorry,” said Bixby. “I just backed into-“
“I saw what you did. It doesn’t matter. Just put it down.”
Bixby closed his mouth, set the figurine back on the little table and went and sat down next to Benjamin on the sofa. Reynolds sat in the chair on the other side of the coffee table, putting the tray down as he did. The tray carried a coffee pot, milk in the bottle, three cups and a handgun.
“Don’t mind the gun,” Reynolds said. “It’s not for you.”
“Forgive me if I stay a little uncertain around it,” said Bixby.
Benjamin leaned forward. “Was it your wife’s?” He looked towards the figurine, her elegant hands reaching up to the sky, her lithe body draped in fluid ceramic cloth.
“Yes.” Reynolds poured the coffee, handed out the cups, sat back in his chair. “But we’re not talking about that now. We’re talking about you, Vasco. Why does nobody call you that?”
“My mother calls me that. When she’s sober enough to remember who I am.”
“And who does she remember?”
“A boy. A boy who didn’t know any better.”
Benjamin frowned. “I’ve come for your help. My girlfriend-“
“Is going to leave you,” Reynolds finished.
Bixby laughed. “Oh they said you were good, man.”
Benjamin stared at him, giving the proper question a chance to bubble up into his lips. “Why do you know that?”