Randy may not have been irresistible, but his cheese sauce certainly was. He served it over pasta, that dietary staple which had once been merely noodles, but at some time during the era of yuppiedom was promoted to a more culturally appealing title. The conversation was as satisfying as the food. In the same way they referred to noodles as pasta, they talked about relationships in terms of the philosophers, dressing the subject up in ethics, morality and questions of truth. Denis de Rougemont and Erich Fromm were cited to help discover the nature of love in the western world, and Hannah discovered the nature of the differences between Kate and Randy: Randy had two girlfriends and Kate didn't like it. Hannah smiled.

Randy shook his hair back and tucked it behind his ear with one long-fingered, delicate hand. In one ear he had a snake and an opal, in the other a small silver ring. Not conventionally handsome, he was attractive nonetheless, a dark-haired mophead. He impressed Hannah both with his mean cheese sauce and his knowledge of all the philosophical greats her mother had in her shelves. But in spite of all these charming characteristics, Hannah was in no danger whatsoever, and wouldn't have been even if Randy were available. She'd had enough of men to last her for a while. Youth may be resilient, but even Youth can suffer major setbacks.

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