The teacher walked out, and Pete puffed on his cigarette. "She won't do anything, you know," he said quietly. He stroked Daphne's hair absently. Her head rested on his thigh, her eyes closed, and I confess I did wonder about Pete's exact relationship with his "dog," since we now knew his relationship with his other roommate, but I suspected I might be just as happy not knowing the answer to that mystery.
Jan nodded. "I know. I've been reading the reports on her therapy sessions with Ray."
Pete chuckled. "So much for doctor-patient confidentiality."
She smiled. "Ray's not a doctor."
"That's true. Not that it matters anyway. He seems to be effective, even though he claims he has no idea what he's doing. I gather he hasn't had any training or anything."
Jan laughed. "If you're trying to be a surgeon, that would be a problem. With therapy . . . well, I studied psychology in college, and it is, to say the least, not an exact science." She shook her head. "I do have to apologize, though, Pete. If I hadn't invited you to join us for coffee, none of this would have happened."
He chuckled. "And if you hadn't decided that all of us should go and get our own coffee from the kitchen, I'd probably be dead. So, I'd say we're square."
Daphne opened her eyes, padded over to my employer, and licked her hand. Jan smiled and rubbed her head. "You're welcome, Daphne," she said, and Daphne barked happily.
Jan hesitated for a moment, then she said, "I do have one question though, Pete. What if you had been hurt or killed. What would she have done then?" This was overstepping, and we all knew it, but sometimes her reporter's instincts get the better of her.
Pete stood up, dropping his cigarette to the floor and stubbing it out with his toe. "I have my opinion," he said carefully, "but that's all it is, and I think I will reserve it." He took Daphne's leash out of his pocket and she trotted over to him.
Jan nodded. "Fair enough. Have a good day, Pete."