Aweek later, Coker finished a lunch of Brie and fruit, patted his lips with a napkin, and pushed away from the table. Now was the time to implement his plan. He checked a number in his private address book, picked up the phone, and dialed. "Coker here. We have to meet," he said. "Yes, it's important. That's fine. Tonight at 7:00." Coker smiled slightly, then placed another call.
From his table in the dim cafe, Coker watched as the man strode up the sidewalk across the street. He stood outside the little Italian restaurant and glanced at his watch. The woman arrived from the other direction, almost bumping into the man. They paced nervously, each on their own side of the doorway. Coker noted that neither looked particularly grieved at their recent losses.
Coker took a sip of coffee and smiled as he saw them glance at each other, then away. Finally, at 7:20, he saw the man strike up a conversation. Through their body language, Coker could almost hear what they said.
"I guess we've both been stood up," the man said, shrugging. "Yes," she nodded.
He gestured to the restaurant. "Well, we're here, so we might as well eat. Would you like to join me?" He stuck out his hand and introduced himself.
The woman hesitated a moment, then shook his hand. "I suppose dinner would be all right."
The two entered the restaurant and Coker lost sight of them. He sat back and smiled to himself. It never hurt to plant a little seed, generate a little future business. They would have a few months-- maybe a year-- of undeserved happiness, before their individual selfish natures took over. He wondered how long it would take them to grow tired of each other, and for one or the other to enlist his services. Whichever one contacted him, and he was betting it would be Adam, he would be able to charge much more than his usual fee. After all, he knew their financial status.