“Good. Then I know you’ll be in my life for a long time.” I mutter to Del. And stop. Where the hell did that come from?
He looks at me. Surprise on his face. I see the clerk grinning behind him.
Del puts his hands on his hips. Shakes his head. “You didn’t mean that.”
“Yeah I did.” Pausing. Thinking about it. “Yeah Del, I do. It’s only been two days but I miss you. I miss our time together.”
“But you just said…”
“So I lied. I’m good at that. And it hurt that you’d think that of me.”
“Oh.” He bites his lip. Frowns. “Well, maybe I miss you a bit too. But damn it, Trev, you have to stop doing this.” He waves his hand around. “I have to make it on my own merit.”
“He’s not the only one who’s been buying your art work.” The clerk tells him. “Really. Several other people have too. I mean, jeez, you’re good Mr Draper.”
“See, I told you,” I say smugly.
“Yeah. Well. OK. Maybe.”
“No maybe about it Del.” I want to convince him. I don’t have to. Someone else does. A woman and her husband. They come to the counter. Two of Del’s sketches in hand. As they pay for them they’re raving about how good they are. I grin at Del. “See.”
The man hears me. Turns to look at Del. “You did these?” Del nods. He asks, “Would you consider doing one for me of my wife, but a painting?”
“He’d be glad to,” I tell him. Before Del can shy away.
“Very good. Here’s my card.” He hands it to Del. “Call me tomorrow and we’ll set up a time for the, what do you call it, sitting?”
“Yes sir. Thank you sir.” Del looks floored but takes the card. Puts it in his pocket.
When the couple leaves I grin at Del. “Maybe I should be your agent.”
“No way.” The clerk glares at me. Turns to Del. “If we knew you were willing to do that we’d have let people know. You’re under contract to us.”
Del starts to protest. I beat him to it. “For what you have here for sale, Del is, but not for any private work he gets. Unless you want to alter the contract that is.”
She nods. “I’ll talk to the owner.”
“Good.” I put an arm around Del’s waist. Lead him toward the door. Turn back to the clerk. “See that you do.”