Her mind buzzing with the happy prospects for profits from finally assembling the Conrad Veidt poster series—and perhaps boosting the auction value of her small appliance collection with the bonus Acme toaster—Alexia drove straight home to free herself from the punishing cardboard restraint which she'd fashioned to flatten her bust.
Robin had come through splendidly, besting the conniving Ross's glamorous negotiator, and Alexia wondered what she could offer to her neighbor as a thank-you.
A home-cooked meal was always welcome, but seemed too pallid a reward for such a victory, and her thoughts shifted to preparing for her house and dogsitting stint which was scheduled to begin the day after tomorrow. Pulling into a curbside parking spot a block from her flat, Alexia thought, I won't rest easy until Robin has the poster and bonus toaster in hand. I'll have to remind him to plug it in and make sure it works; it would be just like Ross to pass off a dead appliance as valuable.
Robin had left Kylie in a similarly buoyant mood—the angels of love at first sight were finally raising their impatient voices—and headed straight home, arriving by happenstance at the same time as Alexia.
"You did splendidly," Alexia gushed as they reached the entry to her flat. "I don't know how you squeezed that toaster out of them, and I don't want to know. I just hope I can repay you somehow."
Robin waved away her gratitude and Alexia suddenly grimaced in obvious discomfort. "Now I need another