"Did you invite Stacy for dinner?" Mrs. Ashcroft smiled. "I wish I'd thought of that."
"You didn't?" He paused, his hand reaching for the swinging door panel. "Dinah, didn't you say--"
"I think you brought it up, Dad. When we were talking about what time Drake was getting home." Dinah shook her head. "I haven't talked with Stacy since I got home. But I plan on it tonight. Since she's coming to dinner, that sort of solves everything." She smiled and reached for the silverware drawer.
"How do you know she's coming, Dad?" Drake asked. He felt like a slug, just sitting there while his mother and sister worked, but something was off in this whole conversation, something missing, and he had to sit still to focus, or he'd miss it.
"Oh, I mentioned dinner tonight, and her meeting Troy. Where is he, by the way?"
"His plane got delayed again, and he's not arriving until eleven," Dinah said with a sigh. "He called about an hour ago, and we were trying to decide if he should just rent a car and drive the rest of the way. But you invited her for dinner, right?"
"Not exactly, I just assumed..." Mr. Ashcroft's smile faded completely. "I mentioned her coming for dinner, and then Rance Holwood stepped in, and honestly, Stacy never confirmed or denied it."
"Oh, dear," Mrs. Ashcroft said. "That poor girl.""What do you mean, poor girl? Stacy's like family. I'm sure she'll understand and laugh. It isn't like we haven't had communications mix-ups before." He stopped halfway through the swinging door and gestured at the telephone. "Call her before she starts making dinner." He winked at his son. "Do I have to think of everything for you people?" With a return of his grin, he headed out the door.