Green Beer and Red WineMac wanted to laugh, but she looked so fearful that he couldn’t. He’d given her the wrong impression, which wasn’t his intention, but he had done it anyway.

“No,” he said, shaking his head. “I’m not a murderer. I drove her away. I… I made some bad choices. We fought one night and she went out to get away from me. She was in a car accident. She died on her way to the hospital.”

Christine visibly sighed. She took a deep breath and held it for a few seconds. Mac waited on the edge of his seat to see what she would say. Before she had the chance to respond their waiter was back, asking for her drink order.

“Whatever green beer you have,” she told him. Christine turned back to Mac. “I loved green beer. I’m sure it’s full of shit I shouldn’t have, but it’s such a treat. This time of year is the only time I drink beer at all.”

Mac stifled a groan. Just what he needed, a woman who liked green beer.

“I’m sorry about what happened to you. If you’re not over her, I’ll go. Well, after I drink my beer.” She grinned at him and Mac felt marginally better.

“Stay. Drink your disgusting beer-”

“Excuse me, green beer is not disgusting. It’s a rare find.”

“There’s a reason it’s rare,” Mac teased. “It tastes horrible.”

Christine scoffed at him and tried to hide her smile. “It’s delicious.”

The waiter set her beer down in front of her and took their orders. When he left Christine raised her beer in a toast. “To green beer and red wine,” she said, tapping her glass to his. Mac watched as she took a sip and grimaced. To her credit she swallowed the drink and set it down diplomatically.

“As good as you remembered?” Mac asked, trying to keep a straight face.

Christine didn’t answer right away. When she finally looked up at him her eyes were betraying the smile she was trying not to show. “It was delicious. It’s been a long time since I had a green beer though. A little… different… than I remember.”

“It tastes like crap doesn’t it?”

Christine’s smile broke through slowly until she was beaming at him. “God yes. The stuff is horrible. I don’t know if it’s the beer or the green, but I think I’ve had my last green beer.”

She went back in for another sip. He watched, fascinated, as she took a healthy swallow and held it in her mouth before swallowing with obvious effort.

“Dear God, that’s horrible.” Christine shuddered and glared at the glass as though something was going to crawl out of it.

“Here,” Mac said, passing his wine glass over. “Red wine is much better.”

Mary
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