"I'LL ask her," Regina volunteered, and headed upstairs. (She was relieved to get out of "That Guy's" presence.)
Alice came downstairs soon thereafter.
"Hello, Rafael," Alice said, obviously mistrustful.
"Alice--you look marvelous! It has been so long, and I have searched for you everywhere!" he said, grabbing her hands.
"What do you want, Rafael?" Alice asked, clearly annoyed.
'This is disgusting,' Bill muttered to himself. 'I'm getting my Glock, in case things get ugly with this oily perv.'
"All I ask is to take you to dinner tonight," Rafael pleaded to Alice. "So that I can explain my recent behavior, and hopefully to obtain your forgiveness."
He tried to kiss her hands, but Alice pulled away.
"I work from 6:00 tonight to 1:00 in the morning," she informed him coldly.
"Alice--you actually have a job??? How wonderful for you!!!" Rafael gushed, silkily. "IF," he added, "having a job makes you happy...."
"So, may I take you to lunch, instead?" he continued. "Just to talk--that's all I want. If--after you hear me out--you want nothing further to do with me, I will leave you alone for the rest of your life. I PROMISE. But I BEG you--please give me this one chance."
"FINE!" Alice said stiffly. (She figured if one lunch was the price for getting rid of Rafael for good, it was worth her time.)
"Thank you, Alice," Rafael said. "You have a very kind and generous heart." He wanted to hug her, but thought better of it.
"I will pick you up in an hour," he announced authoritatively, then left.
Peter found Alice upstairs near the dresser. "Soooooo, what are you thinking of wearing for lunch?" he asked.
"Gee, lemme think," Alice responded sarcastically. "Jeans and a T-shirt??? If the jeans are ripped, and the T-shirt has holes??? And maybe flip-flops."
"Alice," Peter told her firmly, "I don't know WHAT you want from that dirtbag, but WHATEVER it is you want from him, you MUST negotiate from a position of strength. So, let's get to work on your look."
"AND--" he continued, "call or text Rafael right now and tell him he's NOT picking you up--that you will get to the restaurant on your own. I will take you there. And I'll wait outside while you're with him, and you can call my cellphone if you get in trouble and just want out of there.
"And I'll TRY to get Bill not to show up with one of his firearms. But--hey--I'm not promising anything in that regard...."
Note from the author:
Rafael is modeled after "Rogelio" from one of my fave TV shows, "Jane the Virgin."