"I saw Jason the other day," I commented.
"Oh, yes. Whatever happened with Claudia?"
"She and Erika left."
"Together?" she asked.
"Yes." She smiled. "He had a little money, so he gave her a down payment on the house, and he'll pay the rest over time. Part of the arrangement is that her parents' rooms are off-limits, and she can come back and stay there if she wants to. He's renting out the rest of the rooms to college students."
She smiled. "I guess we can stand the competition."
It was Jack who had thought of it first: that students attending college in the city might prefer living in U-town to living in the dorms, or to conventional off-campus housing. Some combination of price and culture did attract quite a few students, and we had had to scramble a bit to set things up.
Some didn't care for it, of course, and they moved back to the city, but then others came to replace them, once they heard what it was like.
Throughout the school year, there was a fairly steady trickle of students moving in and out of U-town, and some of them set up a deal where they could get credit for working at the U-town hospital.
"Talking about that case," I said, "and Vicki's question about infidelity, I know you enjoy teasing me about Christy–"
"You know it, pup."
I laughed. "But I'm sure you're aware that, of all the husbands in the world–"
The great detective smiled. "You'd have no chance, mister. I even knew about you and that barmaid in Bellona, the one you kept telling me was a lesbian."
I tried to keep my face neutral, but I admit that I had begun to allow myself to believe that this had actually escaped her notice. It had been a long time ago (before our relationship had become "unprofessional," as she always put it), but apparently she had been enjoying allowing me to get my hopes up, just in order to select the right moment to dash them.