On Tuesday, Isadora and RJ took a mid-morning break to see the pop-up exhibits in the Rotunda. During the committee period and Session, associations and organizations set up stands and presentations in the Rotunda. It turned the area into a sort of trade show of ideas and issues that were being addressed that year. Isadora and RJ went to have a moment to speak informally with the volunteers manning the stands. From time to time, Isadora found that the volunteers provided her with better information than the official lobbyists for the organizations did.
She was wrapping up a conversation with some volunteers for the Girl Scouts, when she felt her phone buzz. It was a text from Karim.
-Did they try to sell you any cookies?
She giggled. She looked around, but couldn’t see him. She wrote back.
-No. They didn’t. Where are you?
She couldn’t hide her smile.
-Where are you, silly boy?
-Close enough to be envious of that scarf. I wish I could slide it off of you, let my fingertips take its place.
Isadora had to put her hand over her mouth. Her skin was humming again. As it had been too warm to wear the dress shirt she usually wore with her navy suit that day, she’d put on a white tank top. But, it was way too casual, so she’d added a thin, rectangular scarf. Getting dressed, she’d just draped it over her neck, half hanging down each side to her stomach. Before buttoning her jacket, she crossed the ends so the scarf formed rested tucked along the lapels.
-I would love for you to do that.
-Yes. Now where are you?!
Isadora turned and tried to casually look around. She couldn’t keep the smile off of her face, though. It took a minute, but she finally saw the Wine Association across the Rotunda. Karim was talking to one of the volunteers and accepted a handful of grapes that she offered him. He noticed Isadora looking at him and when the volunteer’s attention was turned, Karim looked up at Isadora and slid a grape into his mouth, his finger following it in. Her breath caught. Then he quickly licked his finger just as he had in her office. Her jaw dropped and she turned around, bumping into RJ.
“What was that?” He asked.
“What was what?” She wanted to get him away from the railing, so she started walking towards another stand, before she realized she’d already been there.
“Are you kidding me?” He asked. “You are seriously going to act like we did not just see what we saw?”
“I don’t know what you saw.” She said, trying to move on to another stand. But she was retracing her steps, she’d already been to all of the stands ahead of her.
“You know exactly what I saw.” She wasn’t looking at him, but she could hear his smile. “What have you two been doing? With grapes?” He could barely contain his laughter.
“Oh shut up.” She hissed.
“Isadora. I had no idea you were into fruit.” He kept his voice down, but she could tell he was having a blast.
She turned to go down the hall leading back to the senate office building.
“Nothing has happened with any sort of fruit.” She said. “Or any other food product.”
“Uh huh.” She glanced up at him. He looked like he was having the time of his life.
“What? You’re the kinky one, not me.”
She stopped in her tracks and stared at him.
“No one’s around to hear.”
“That is not why I stopped. Seriously? You’re giving me grief about being kinky?” She started walking again.
He didn’t say anything at first.
“Well…” he finally began. “If you really want to press me on it, I guess I could give you some juice.”
She was about to say something really inappropriate, but they’d reached the building and there were too many ears. He started laughing again and she just shook her head, stalking back into her office.