“Cloak and Dagger and a dozen oysters on ice” was the order placed by a vaguely familiar voice in the corner.
Her interest piqued, Judy Lowe leaned in a bit to get a better look. Where had she heard that voice before? Finding it a little too dim to see, she decided to go over and check out the situation. Taking her Bloody Mary with her, Judy casually strolled to the end of the bar and wriggled her curvaceous bottom onto the stool.
“Pardonne-moi” Judy cooed. “The name of your drink is tres intriguing.” The man was older than Judy expected but extremely handsome with silver hair and a rich tan. “Has anyone ever mentioned you look like Cary Grant?” she asked smiling flirtatiously.
“Never” he replied in a clipped Bristol accent as he gazed appreciatively at Judy’s decolletage. “Ah, yes. The Cloak and Dagger: the perfect blend of Blackwoods Gin from the Shetland Islands, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, green chartreuse and Extra Brut sparkling wine. It’s the quintessential pairing with oysters.
“I’m Judy Lowe, a model from Los Angeles. And you are?”
“Enchanté, Judy. My friends call me Archie” and he gently kissed the palm of her hand.
Judy gasped; no man had ever kissed the delicate flesh of her palm. It was so European and sexy.
“Archie, would you mind terribly if I had a little sip of your Cloak and Dagger?” Judy asked. ‘A friend once told me the perfect drink with oysters is a Bloody Mary and I’d like to see who’s right.”
“Oh Judy, Judy, Judy! Whoever told you that was obviously terribly mistaken or an uneducated boor” Archie teased. “No, you may not have a sip of my drink; you shall have your very own. Barkeep! Please prepare a perfect Cloak and Dagger for the lovely Judy Lowe from Los Angeles.”
When the bartender set the drink before Judy, she clapped her hands in glee like a little girl and reached for the glass but Archie stopped her.
“Oh, no, my dear. This must be done right! It’s a process. First slide the oyster into your mouth and savor the taste. Delight in the pleasure; it should never be rushed. Now, follow with a sip of the Cloak and Dagger and let the juices mingle. That’s a good girl. Now swallow.”
Judy was in ecstasy. Never had she experienced anything so sensual. “Oh my God, Archie! That was heavenly.”
“Let’s raise our glasses, lovely Judy, to the noble oyster and the Cloak and Dagger. May they be forever immortalized as the true nectar of the gods!”
Archie stood and kissed Judy’s palm. “And now, my dear, I must bid you adieu.” He flipped his hat onto his head, tapped the brim and left.
When Judy came back down to earth she discovered a folded piece of paper in her hand. Gently she peeled back the corners to find it was a cocktail napkin on which was scribbled: “Dearest Judy: The world is your oyster. Always, Cary.”
July slowly exhaled. “Well, I’ll be damned!”