Gorman held the bottle up to the light. “Well, that’s just about half the bottle. And according to the letter, I should save the other half.” He paused dramatically. “For the Future.” He raised his glass towards Duggan.
“Right. The future. Does the letter mention the next bottle?”
“Believe it or not, it does.” Gorman reaches down under the table again, into the little cabinet that has been installed there. “I think that’s the main reason I’m playing along. My uncle had good taste.” Duggan toyed his glass and set it back on the table, a little bit left in it. Gorman pulled out another bottle and set it on the table. “I’ll grab us some fresh glasses. No point tainting the bouquet.” He smirked as he said it, his tone raised; he stood up from the table and walked towards the front of the building.
“John. I’m surprised to see you here. This is unexpected.”
Duggan turned, seeing an older gentleman approaching the table from the rear of the building. The man looked quite a bit like James Gorman, though his hair was grey and his skin wrinkled. Duggan narrowed his eyes, and he blinked, shaking his head. “James? The fuck?” He closed his eyes for a moment, set his hands on the table, and then opened them again, looking at the new arrival. “You look must be his…” He trailed off. “I thought he said he didn’t have any family left. I guess that makes you the ‘dead uncle’, right?”
“Actually, yes. Though not the way you think. John, it’s been a long time, and while I’m glad to see he has a friend, I wasn’t expecting you here tonight. This complicates things.” He reached out and picked up Duggan’s glass, raising it to his lips and finished the glass in a single gulp.
Duggan frowned, his posture changing. He stood up and stepped out of the booth, standing a foot away from James’ ‘Dead Uncle’, examining his face. “The resemblance is strong. Since it was your bottle, I can hardly object to you taking a share. Though you could have just poured a fresh glass.” His stance had widened, his weight over the balls of his feet.
“True, but this saved some time.” The older gentleman tossed the glass at Duggan, who caught it reflexively. His hands full, his reactions were slowed as the man brought both his hands together, clapping him hard in the head. “I’m sorry about this John, I hope you don’t land in the middle of next week.”
His head fogged by the combination of the alcohol and the unexpected blow, he shifted into a defensive pose, as the man threw his full weight at him, shoving him through the doorway behind him. His sense of balance shifted and he felt himself falling backwards.