"So," I asked Ron, "did you miss us?"
"Nah. You weren't gone that long."
"Did Mom solve the case?"
She nodded, as if this was no surprise.
"I did want to mention one thing, Ron," I said.
"I know you said you were never going to date–" She made a face at the repulsiveness of the idea. "–but, you know, sometimes people do change their minds. Your mother and I, for example, we traveled the all over the world together, and people would always ask us if we were dating, and we would always deny it. We weren't dating, and we'd always say that we never would date, that we were perfectly happy how we were: employer and employee."
"Yes. And then we changed our minds, which turned out to be a very good idea. So, if you ever did want to change your mind, to date a boy at some point, that would be okay. Or a girl, of course."
"Well, some girls date other girls."
"Instead of boys?" She shook her head. "That's weird."
"Don't say that too loud," I said quietly, gesturing at Erika and Claudia.
"What do you mean?" Her eyes got wider. "They're dating?"
"They live together. As a couple."
She looked at them thoughtfully for a moment, then she shook her head. "I still think it's weird," she said, nodding as if this settled the question.
"Well, maybe for you. But it's not weird for them."
She was not convinced. "When did you and Mom start dating?" she asked after a moment. "Why did you change your minds?"
I smiled. "That's an interesting story. But I think it will have to wait." I gestured back over my shoulder, where I had heard the mail truck approaching.
Ron glanced around, then she bawled "MAIL!" so loudly that Claudia fumbled her cigarette case, which would probably have fallen to the pavement if my employer hadn't grabbed it and handed it back to her.