Mercy was drinking a helluva lot, and Diana was beginning to get worried about her. She looked as if another Henry's would send her flat on her face. Coming home roaring drunk probably would not have a positive effect on Mercy's domestic situation.

"What do you think we should do about Mercy?" she asked Adrian, stationed at the stereo. The frown between her eyes followed Mercy's unsteady progress towards the kitchen.

"Do about Mercy? I don't think we should do anything about Mercy. She seems to be having a great time." Adrian inspected the stack of records he had picked out. They wouldn't be able to listen to them all if the party lasted a week.

"But she's going to regret it tomorrow."

"So am I," Adrian said, grinning and taking another swig of his own Henry's. He put Stones on top of the pile to follow Traffic.

"But with George..."

"Leave Mercy alone, Di. She must know what she's doing."

"I'm not so sure."

"Well, she's older than you, remember. She can take care of herself." He put a comforting arm around her shoulders and she shrugged it off impatiently. Adrian finished his beer and went to the kitchen to get another without grudging her another word.

The house was full and the party was going well, but Diana's good mood was disintegrating. She wished Mercy hadn't gone and mentioned Clarissa, the house suicide.

Ignoring the Stones next to the turntable, Diana put on Pink Floyd, "Wish You Were Here," and automatically the level of energy in the room sank noticeably. As Diana was exchanging Pink Floyd for Springsteen's "I'm On Fire," Adrian returned with another beer and an impatient look on his face. "Hey, what's with all this sentimental junk?" he asked while Bruce's lonely guitar began to take it's melancholy toll. "We need some music to dance to. Everyone's getting depressed."

"After this song," Diana said, not looking up from the turntable.

Suddenly fed up, Adrian caught her neck in the crook of his elbow and forced her to look at him. "Do you really have to rub it in like this and moon after your lost lover while I'm around? You could save that for when I'm back in Seattle, you know."


Almost imperceptibly, the vise tightened, and Adrian pulled her closer to him. "I'm fine in your bed, but that's about it, isn't it?" Despite the vice, there was a note of humorous self-denigration in Adrian's voice.

Diana was hardly happy to be man-handled, but Adrian's intensity was initiating a physical response in her of quite the wrong kind and quite without her volition. She liked that even less than she liked the vise.

"If you try to hold me, you'll find yourself less one Diana," she said sharply. Springsteen was crooning about the pain of love and the two of them were beginning to attract attention. "Let go of me."

"If I do, I'll probably be less one Diana." Adrian suspected he'd already gone so far he could hardly make things worse. In the spirit of a true suicide mission, he smiled and pressed himself against her.

"I assure you it's the other way around, buddy." She could have killed him. Her underwear was getting wet.

Party on

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