"That's true. I probably should do that. I may start now. Or I might start staying at home again." He changed his tone. "Jim's getting older, you know."
Her mouth turned down. "And your point is?"
"My point is he's getting too old to go out on his own and drink too much. The bartender said he might have had to call the cops if he hadn't reached me."
"Lucky he did, then."
Mickey let out a long breath and stared out over his sister's head at the last vestiges of the sunset. "I'd have thought you might relate to how he was feeling."
"About Dominic Como being dead."
She turned up and stared at him. "When did that happen?"
"And I'm supposed to relate to how Jim's feeling about that because . . . ?"
"Because Dominic was somebody he'd spent years of his life with? Kind of like you and Craig." This was Craig Chiurco, formerly of the Hunt Club.
At the mention of her former boyfriend, she blinked a few times in rapid succession. A tear fell from her left eye and she wiped it away. Some of the tension seemed to go out of her shoulders. After another moment, she turned her head to face him. "What do you want, Mick?"
"I don't know, to tell you the truth. Maybe talk to you a little. Have you eaten yet today?"
Tamara's mouth softened, almost into a smile. "Food. Always food."
"Not always, but often. I figure it can't hurt."
"Probably not." She sighed. "And, no, I haven't eaten."
"Some cereal when I got up."
He gestured toward the city spread out below them. "Had enough of this view for today?"
"I suppose so."
Giving her shoulder a small, friendly, brotherly push, he said, "Let's go."
"So how much?"
"How much what?"
"How much weight have you lost?"
"I don't know exactly. Maybe ten pounds."
"More than that, I think. And you weigh yourself every day, Tam, so you know exactly, or pretty d.a.m.n close. Don't scam a scammer. How much?"
"Okay." She looked across the table at him. "Say eighteen."
"Eighteen pounds in six months?"
"That's way too much. Especially since you started at basically perfect."
"Not perfect enough, evidently." She tried a smile, but it didn't take. "I just don't have an appet.i.te anymore, Mick. I try, but nothing tastes like anything."
"The pot stickers here will knock you out."
She shrugged. "Maybe. We'll see. It's not like I'm trying not to eat. It's just I don't think of it."
"Well, you need to." Mickey slurped at his cup of very hot tea. "I don't like to see you getting this thin, Tam. It reminds me of Mom."
Tamara's teacup stopped halfway to her mouth. "I'm not like Mom. Mom was on drugs. She overdosed."
"Yeah, but before that she didn't eat well either. And now, seeing you, you look a little like she did. And it brings it back clear as a bell. And that scares me."
"Mickey, I'm not going to die.
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