"Hey, Mac?" Richie called coming into the store in socked feet, rollerblades in hand.
"Richie…" Duncan warned raising his eyebrows toward a customer.
"Sorry, my bad."
"Go get me the information on the Inca fertility statue."
"Take your skates," Duncan hissed when Richie tried to put them by the stairs.
"Sorry." Richie grinned at the couple Duncan was talking to.
He heard Duncan apologize as if, "He's 18," was all the explanation needed for the interruption. When Richie came back with the file folder, they were all smiling and chatting. He handed off the papers then excused himself back to the office. Duncan came into the office five minutes later and began to write up the sale.
"Finally getting rid of that thing, huh?"
"Get your feet off my desk."
Richie moved his feet and sat up. "So you sold it?"
"No, I'm practicing," Duncan rolled his eyes. "And what have I told you about barging in here like that when we're open?"
"Don't do it," he answered promptly.
Duncan chuckled. "One of these days Tessa and I are going to expect you to not only remember the rules, but to follow them as well."
"Baby steps, Mac." Richie smirked.
"Uh-huh." Duncan went back into the store, chatted with the couple for a bit longer, then they left with the statue and Duncan went back into the office. "What did you want?"
"Next Friday and Saturday."
Duncan sighed and sat on the edge of the desk. "What's her name?"
"Mac, it's not like that."
"So you don't have a date?"
"Well, yeah, but nothing romantic," Richie said. "It's just Angie."
"Angie? The girl who works at the shelter?"
"Yeah. I promised her last year if she didn't have a prom date I'd take her."
"Ah, so you're going to prom next weekend?"
"Of course you can get off, then."
Richie smiled and stood up. "Thanks."
"If you give me some help this weekend."
Richie groaned and turned around. "Doing what?"
"Just some grunt work, spring cleaning the store room."
"You were going to do it anyway," Duncan assured him.
"Oh, I was?"
"Yup. Now go get cleaned up and help Tessa with dinner."
"Prom?" Tessa's eyes lit up at the mere thought. "You're taking someone to prom?"
"It's no big, Tess," Richie shrugged it off as he set the table. "Its just Angie; she doesn't have a date so I'm taking her."
"I want to meet her." She handed Richie the trivets to put on the table. "Why don't you invite her over for tea? And her parents, too."
"You already met Angie," he insisted. "Besides, we don't do "tea" in America."
Tessa turned around from the Chinese dumplings she was frying in the wok. "Is she the girl in the bedroom?" she asked with a twinkle in her eye. He blushed and busied himself putting small bowls of dipping sauce in front of the plates. "She is, isn't she? Richie, she's so cute! You two would look adorable together!"
"It's not like that, Tess."
"Call her," Tessa encouraged. "I want to meet her parents, too," she reiterated.
"Tess," he sighed.
"Invite them to dinner this weekend."
"Because I think it would be appropriate."
"Why?" he asked again.
"If you two are going out together, then the families should meet."
"Her parents already know me."
"But they don't know us," she told them. "Call them after dinner or I will call them tomorrow."
"You don't know their phone number."
"I know where she lives, remember? I drove her home that afternoon."
Richie sighed, obviously defeated. "Fine."
After the dinner dishes were washed and the kitchen cleaned, Richie retreated into his room with the cordless phone and the list Tessa had given him.
"Hi, Mr. Burke, this is Richie. Can I talk to Angie, please?" he said when the line was picked up. He heard Mr. Burke yell for Angie, then hand the phone over.
"Hi, Richie," Angie answered. "What's up?"
"What are you doing Saturday?"
"Tessa wants to have you and your parents over for dinner sometime this weekend."
Angie laughed. "Why?"
"She said it would be 'appropriate' since we're apparently going out now."
"Let me talk to my parents and call you back."
He pushed the talk button to disconnect the line and sat back against his head board. Might as well get started on what all he needed to do before the dance. He rummaged around his desk until he found some paper and a pen to make a list of things he had to do. He was staring at the very short list…okay, blank list… trying to think of what he was missing when the phone rang.
"Got it!" he yelled before answering. "Hello? Oh, hi, Mrs. Burke… yeah, sure, hang on…" He covered the mouth piece and walked out into the apartment. He found Tessa on the couch with Duncan. "Um, Tess? Mrs. Burke wants to talk to you." He handed her the phone.
"What's her name?" she asked.
Richie shrugged. "Mrs. Burke."
Tessa and Mrs. Burke talked on the phone long enough for Richie to become disinterested. He went back into his room and tried to work on his list some more. He couldn't think of much more than "get tux."