"I did my best," John said, emptying half his wine glass in a single gulp. "You've certainly thrown an excellent party to celebrate."
"Not just celebrate, fundraise too, and don't think I didn't notice the little personal contribution you've made to the kitty," Marissa said, with a wink and a playful swat at his arm. She had always been warm towards him, and with the case out of the way, felt her professional duty was done and she could be a little flirty. John's smile was tight and he glanced at Isabelle for a second, dying to be able to back out of the room.
When he'd imagined this scenario in his head, she'd just fallen back into his arms, and they'd kissed and then he'd had to sort himself out. Not this awkward scene, with a half-drunk charity worker seeing if she could reel him in for the night and Isabelle's arm candy glancing between the two of them, the questions clear on his face at the change in his date's demeanour.
"I got a new cat," he said suddenly, and pinched the side of his thigh to make himself shut up. Marissa blinked twice, then laughed and cooed at the idea of John with a kitten.