Rickie was whistling as he drove down Jalan Bako from the marina. The inspection on the gas derrick was completed quickly; he met the two consultants and they struck him as an odd pair. The petroleum geologist, John, was knowledgeable and chatty but had that slick feel of a used car salesman. The woman, on the other hand spoke very little and only the bare minimum number of words to create an appropriate response.
Still, it looked like the drilling would begin by Thursday or Friday, and Rickie was well pleased with the entire crew.
Rather than linger on site and eat with the team, he took the boat to the marina and headed back to the city. It would still be dark by the time he got there, but maybe he could convince Meaghan to go on an evening stroll, if she had finished shopping with Sethe.
He tried calling her cell phone, but it immediately went to voicemail. He left a message anyway; if she was still at the house, it would be only proper to offer her a ride home. Her sister Tina would be with them, too, but Rickie knew after the party, he had her full support to court Meaghan.
When he looked back, it was less than a month since they first met at that dinner party; now it seemed that he could barely tolerate a single day without seeing her.
Yeah, he had it bad.
He came out of his ruminations to find himself in front of the house. After he parked the SUV in the carport, he picked up the inspection report and strode into the house. The downstairs was quiet, so he went up to his father's apartment. There he found the elder Ahmad on a couch, reading a paperback novel. The older man looked up at the sound of Rickie's knock and broke into a smile.
"There is my son. How did everything go today?"
Rickie greeted his father, and then handed him the envelope containing the inspection report.
"We are actually a little ahead of schedule, and we should begin drilling the prospect at Tower # 3 in two days. It's all in the report. Is Sethe back?"
His father's eyes sparkled. "She hasn't returned yet. She called to say she was dropping the girls off at their house and would head straight home afterwards. Do you miss your sister that much?"
"No, no, I was just curious. Well, I'm going to head to my room."
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Rickie hugged his dad and turned to go, but then his father spoke.
"Sit down for a moment, Rick. I'd like to talk to you about your young lady."