A gentleman's excuse me
Myriad voices chuckled and murmured, glasses clinked against each other, and whenever the door to the smoking room opened tobacco teased the air briefly. Esteban guarding the elephant-foot umbrella stand holding a crystal goblet of sparkling water, pretending it was Champagne.
“Why, you look just like a tall, dark and handsome stranger!” said Lady Eustacine Walrympole, tottering on high heels that still only brought her to Esteban’s shoulder. “Are you with anybody?” She lifted her goblet and threw the contents back like water, though Esteban could smell the whiskey. He was both impressed and appalled.
“My lady, no,” he smiled, bending slightly to bring his mouth closer to her ear. “I’m afraid I’m here all by myself.”
“Oh my, we can’t have that!” giggled Lady Eustacine, looking around for a refill. “That would make me a terribly bad hostess!”
Esteban smiled. “Meet me outside?” he suggested.
Esteban stepped out, confident the umbrella-stand bomb would explode before she refilled her whiskey.