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5. Alone & Interrupted with Interventions, Conversations and Wine: Part 1
“Would you believe that I missed watching sporting events with you?
Jane snickered. “No.”
“I did,” Maura smiled. “You’re always so happy and exited when you watch, its catching. That excitement can strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain and protect you from stress.”
“Would you believe I missed your Google talk?”
Maura laughed now. “Yes, actually I would.”
“Oh yeah, Ms. Cocky? We’re mighty sure of ourselves.”
“Well despite the inevitable eye roll I usually receive, I can always detect the slightest hint of pleasure. A micro expression actually. Your Orbicularis Oculi contract, which can reflect fondness.”
“My orbi whatzit?”
Maura turned in her seat placing one bent knee on the couch. She motioned for Jane to mirror her position.
“Your Orbicularis Oculi,” Maura repeated before reaching up and tracing the outer profile around Jane’s eyes. “These are the muscles you use to squint and they also help you blink. Micro-expressions, or very fast and subtle facial movements, tell things about our emotions that we may not want revealed but are unable to keep contained.”
Maura’s soft fingers continued to caress the side of Jane’s face and the detective made no move to escape them.
“Every time I go all Google, as you so affectionately put it, you show the tiniest hint of fond tolerance.”
“I have a tell, huh?” Jane said in much simpler terms.
“One of many,” Maura rejoined breathlessly.
“So I said, ‘hey buddy I’ll give you the damn car if you give me this parking space.'” Angela rolled a howling Constance into the kitchen from the back.
Jane and Maura guiltily slid apart to opposite ends of the couch.
“Oh, hey girls! What you up to?”
“Nothing, Ma,” Jane bellowed.
“We’re just watching a baseball game.” Maura said much gentler. “What has you two laughing so heartily?”
“I was just telling your mother about the Jimmy Choo shoes you got me for my birthday.” Angela turned to Constance. “I couldn’t walk for a week. It’s the last time I’ll ever compliment Maura on her shoes, believe me.”
Maura joined in on their laughter but quieted when she glanced at Jane.
Angela felt Constance tap her leg and gave an imperceptible nod.
“Maura, dear, I ran into an old friend of yours while at the hospital for my check up today.”
“Yes, a Dr. Sluckey”
Maura moved to look at Jane but stopped short. “Really? How is he?”
“Fantastic. He had nothing but nice things to say about you.”
“I’m sure,” Jane murmured.
“So I invited him over for dinner tonight. That’s why Angela and I are here actually.”
“You did what?”
“You heard me darling.”
Maura flushed. “Mother, you had no right. Byron and I did not end on good terms.”
“Well he certainly has no recollection of the past, I assure you.”
Maura sighed dramatically as the wheels in her head spun for something suitable to get her out of this. She almost wished for a homicide, but quickly pushed that terrible thought aside.
Angela seized on the moment of silence.
“Funny, I ran into Joey Grant at the market while we were getting supplies for dinner.”
Jane finally turned away from the game to face her mother. “You didn’t! He moved away, Ma.”
“Well he’s back.” Angela’s smile was wide. “And he’s anxious to see you Janey. He’s coming tonight too.”
Angela and Constance smiled at each other. “Double date,” they said in practiced unison.
“I can’t believe this,” Maura whispered in Jane’s direction when it was clear the mothers were preoccupied.
“This is a nightmare,” Jane replied.
“Jane you better run home and change, they’ll be here at eight.”
“Right, Maura dear, you know how long it takes for you to prepare, you’d better get started.”
“No!” Jane stood to her feet. “This is unacceptable, Ma. I told you not to meddle in my personal life and this the antithesis of that.”
“Oh, good word, Jane.”
“The same goes for you, Mother,” Maura joined.
“Well what would you have us do? They’ve already been invited and they’ll be here in two hours.”
Angela shot Constance a glare. “We didn’t get their numbers,” she said with more confidence than she felt. “And don’t you bother calling them either, their numbers have changed.”
Maura glared at her mother. “How convenient.”
“Look, what’s done is done,” Angela said with finality and she began to pull supplies from the cabinets. “Nothing can be done about it now so you better just get dressed and at least pretend to have a good time.”
Jane shook her head. “Damn it ma!”
Maura followed as Jane stormed toward the door. “I know this is…terrible to say the least, but I know you Jane Rizzoli, don’t you dare…” Maura searched for the word. “Bail! Don’t you dare bail on me tonight.”
“Oh, good word.”
Jane stood on the front stoop fuming.
“I don’t know what’s gotten into my mother,” Maura said gently.
“I do, Rizzoli has gotten into her. I can’t bail because this is my fault. Excitement is catching, well apparently meddlesome is too.” Jane raised her voice so it carried into the kitchen.
“Stop, calm down.” Maura placed a hand on Jane’s shoulder. “You can’t drive this angry. Just…take a deep breath”
Jane obeyed and Maura was happy to see her color return to normal. “Good, now lets just get dressed and try to make the best of this. If nothing else Angela will pull out all the stops and make a fantastic meal. We’ll be polite, let me down gently…again. And then we’ll have some wine to share as we lament over our failed love lives and crazy mothers.”
“You know, this isn’t much different than any other Saturday night,” Jane joked. Maura was happy to see her smile.
“True.” Maura’s hand slid down Jane’s arm to her hand. “Are you going to be okay?”
Jane gave the hand in her own a squeeze. “Yeah, I’m fine. See you in a couple hours.”
Maura was reluctant to let go but did. “Okay.”