“Let’s go talk,” Lyle says, grabbing me by the arm. With a wave at the others, he steers me to the cafeteria.
“Isn’t it great, Lyle?” I say, a goofy smile on my face.
“I forgot to tell you about Ursula,” Lyle says as soon as we sit down. Neither of us is hungry, but I grab a piece of chocolate pie anyway. Lyle has a monster cookie which he is munching. Both of us have coffee as well.
“Ursula?” I look at him blankly.
“Paris’s birthmother,” Lyle prods my memory. “I never told you about our talk.” “Shit! That’s right! Dish,” I order. Lyle spills all he knows. As we guessed, Ursula tried to feint and dodge, but Lyle’s charm finally won her over. To a certain extent. She confessed that she had talked to Paris’s birthfather ‘once or twice’ since the blessed event, but refused to divulge his name or where he lived, saying it wasn’t relevant. She admitted to discovering Paris months ago, but sat on the information because she was nervous about facing him. Plus, she had a deadline for the book she was working on, and she couldn’t afford to let anything interfere with that. Her husband was still out of town, or so she said. Lyle couldn’t see any traces of him in the living room or the kitchen, the two rooms he actually saw.
“She was tense,” Lyle says, frowning as he sips his coffee. “She tried to cover it up, but I could tell. Everything was just a hair off. You know, laugh a little too loud; gestures a little too broad—that kind of thing.” I know exactly what he’s saying; it was the same way when we met her in Luna Park. An actor in a play of her own making—Lyle and I are just bit players on her stage. The spell she cast over me when we first met has long since dissipated.