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"A real elite." She pushed her hair back with both hands and turned to face him. "Look, we're running short of face time here. Maybe we better get down and get dirty before checkout time."

"Yeah," he replied tonelessly. "Boy, it's hot for that stuff, though. We're already sweating like pigs."

"Excuse me?" She gave the words the full Queen Latifah treatment. "Women don't sweat. We glow. Pigs do not glow."

He nodded a mock apology and she gave his shoulder a light punch. "I would have thought you jailbirds would kill for a shot a real-life hot, wet woman."

"Well, sure," Gaspar hastened to say. "I mean, just look at you."

"Yeah, look at us. An old married couple, sitting here chewing the fat on an unmade bed."

"Hey, we got our needs, right? I mean, you're a lot younger..."

"I can take it or leave it," Nan cut in. She patted his thigh. "You're not that old, either. And not a bad lover. But there's nothing wrong with a man your age not being a horny kid."

Gaspar sat for a moment, careful not to look at her. Not a bad lover, huh? Somehow that sounded more personal than stock whore talk. She picked up on his thought and leaned close to his ear. "And no, I don't say that to everybody."

"You know what I was thinking the other day?" There was something pensive and tentative in his voice. Nan sat still, careful not to derail his mood.

"I think I look forward to talking to you more than I do the sex." He paused to take a sip of Diet Coke, surreptitiously glancing at her for any sign of derisiveness or scorn or whatever it is men fear from confiding in women.

"It feels good." He seemed encouraged to explore this a little more. "Just, you know. Talking to the wife about the life."

She waited, but he put the can down by the bed and turned to her. "But yeah, we probably ought to do something here."

"Ought to?" She couldn't decide whether to be amused or insulted. "Gasman, what is it with you?"

He seemed to realize what he'd said and drew back a little. He leaned against the presswood headboard and looked at the blank wall as he spoke. Maybe he's seeing a painting there, too, Nan thought. He spoke suddenly, not looking at her.

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