"Click some ads," I said. "Join some mailing lists. You'll get email then. Promise."
"I should get a page on Suicide Girls. That'd get me some mail. I could use those pictures you took of me and Miranda."
"We were dressed, honey," Miranda said. "Barely, but dressed."
"People would want to see that," the Muse protested. "I want to see it. Put one on a T-shirt for me, I'll wear it around town."
"You are not putting photos of me on a T-shirt," Miranda said. "I'm not quite the exhibitionist that you are."
The Muse looked back over her shoulder at Miranda. "You should be. You're quite the yummy."
"You're both completely insane," Miranda said. "I'm not hot. Cute, maybe. I'll give you cute."
The Muse turned back to the computer screen. "Whatever. Hot."
"You are hot," I said. "The pictures prove it."
"Let's move on," Miranda said. "Give me your email, I'll send you something."
The Muse took a pen from Miranda's desk, and a yellow sticky note. "Sleepymuse@gmail.com. Use it. Send me some love. I'm tired of an empty in-box." She stuck the note to the corner of the computer monitor.
"Last night in town," I said to them both. "Anybody have a plan for the rest of the evening?"
"I vote for porn," the Muse said. To Miranda, she asked, "Do you have anything we can watch?"
Miranda shrugged. "You're the one on the internet. That's the only way you're going to get a porn dose in the apartment. I've got movies, but they aren't dirty."
"Movies are good," I said. "Want me to go pick up some food?"
"I've got pasta," Miranda said. "Run over to the store and grab some chicken and sauce, and I can make something."
"Works for me. Good for you, Muse?"
"Whatever," she said, not looking away from the screen. "As long as I can look at porn while we're doing it."
I leaned to Miranda and whispered, "She's a little worked up. All your fault, you know." Miranda shrugged and got to her feet, then headed into the kitchen. I got up and followed her. "Just chicken and sauce? Should I get anything else?"
She pointed at the bottles of alcohol on her counter. "I've got the booze. What else could we need?"
"A winning lottery ticket."
"Pick one of those up as well," she said. "I'll split it with you."
"You're far too kind," I said, "to give me a cut of my own lottery ticket."
"I'm generous. Oh, and ice cream. It's definitely an ice cream night. With whipped cream."
I glanced at the Muse, clicking away at the computer. "Might need a fire hose too, depending on how much time she spends with her online porn."
"I plan on looking at it all night," the Muse said. "It's the only filth I'm going to be getting around here, I can tell."
"You'll live." To Miranda, I said, "You could always come with us, you know. A little time off before your big move. Road trips are good for clearing the head."
"Can't. I have to work next week, and get packing. It's going to be too busy."
"Burn the place down," the Muse said. "Stuff's just stuff. You can always get more." She opened an image in her browser. "Ew. Hairy man butt." She clicked away from the page, further into the internet.
"You sure?" I asked. "I could use a little more company on this trip. You'd be welcome, provided you didn't mind having to share a bed with one of us when we have to hit motels on the way."
"With both of us," the Muse said. "We're already sharing a bed when we stop."
"We are? Okay, whatever. We'll get a king size. I'm sure we can fit three of us in it."
Miranda smiled. "As tempting as a Miranda sandwich might be, I'm gonna have to pass. I really have too much to do before I go, and I can't just blow off work my last week. That would look bad on a resume. I appreciate the offer, though."
"We'll mail you a card," the Muse said, and then leaned in to peer at something on the screen. "Wow. She must be double-jointed to pull that off." To me, she said, "You should come look at this. I don't know how she got her leg up there, but wow. I could make a fortune if I could do that."
"Bookmark it," I said, "and you can show me when I get back from the store." I whispered to Miranda, "Don't let her get you over there. You'll never escape. She's like a black hole when she's got dirty pictures around."
Miranda whispered back, "I can handle it. Go to the store. Feed us, oh strong and masculine provider. Don't forget the whipped cream."
"No," the Muse said. "Definitely don't forget the whipped cream. For whipped cream, I might just figure out how to bend like that."
I grabbed my keys off the kitchen table. "Okay, enough of that. I'm going, before Muse starts stripping over there. Filthy beast."
"I'll get the camera," Miranda said, "just in case."
"Don't encourage her," I said, heading for the door.
"Encourage me," the Muse said, grinning widely. "Please, encourage me."
I stopped by the Muse on my way out and held my finger up before her. "Play nice, Muse. Clothes on when I get back."
She pouted. "Meanie. I'm not going to have any fun on this trip."
"I'll send you back home in a Fed Ex box if you aren't careful."
"Yeah, whatever." I opened the front door and stood, halfway in, halfway out. "I want to see both of you exactly where you are when I get back. No excuses."
"Can I at least sit down?" Miranda asked. "I don't want to stand here for the next half hour."
"Sit on the sofa then. Muse, don't move from that chair."
She smiled. "I promise. I'll be right here when you get back."
I scowled at her. "I don't like that smile. That smile is like dogs barking before an earthquake."
"Go," she said. "Whipped cream. Don't forget."
I looked at the Muse, then at Miranda, and back at the Muse again. "Right in that chair, Muse. Stay right there."
"I'll be right here when you get back," she said. "With clothes on."
"Go!" she said. "Take your time."
I hesitated a moment, then stepped out into the hot summer air and closed the apartment door behind me.