Ricky paced the living room floor, jingling his keys. What could be taking so long? He stopped at the coffee table and tapped on the brass lamp. "We're going to be late."
He jumped back as the lamp shot blue sparks and smoke started pouring out. It took only a few seconds, but seemed like forever before Kalila appeared, hazy and clearly unhappy. "You mortals need to learn to be less particular. Time is an artificial construct."
She went on to say a few things about the sun and its position in the sky relative to the rotation of the earth, but Ricky was in no mood to listen. "Please tell me you're not going dressed like that."
She looked at him in bewilderment. "Is there a problem?"
Was there a problem? Only that her skirt was the size of a handkerchief and the gauzy blouse was so sheer it left nothing to the imagination. "We're going to dinner with an important backer for your next tour. What you're wearing is not only inappropriate, it's indecent."
Kalila blinked. "I don't understand. I thought--"
"We don't have time to think." Ricky glanced at his watch. "Just change into something else."
With a sigh of annoyance, Kalila vanished back into her lamp.
"Less skin, okay?" he called after her. He sat down on the sofa to wait.
A few minutes later, she emerged again, this time in embroidered crimson silk that reached from her neck to her wrists, clung tightly to her waist and fell in cascades to just above her ankles. "Better?"
Ricky struggled against the heat rising within him. How was it possible that she was even more enticing than when she had everything on display? Did she do this just to frustrate him?
Well, he only needed to get her to the restaurant; he didn't have to understand. He stood up and held out his arm to her. "You look amazing."