I grabbed a couple packs of salt and some napkins for my tray, and started looking for an empty booth. I was surprised to see Clara sitting at a table with a man I didn't recognize. She spotted me and waved for me to come over.
"Clara, I didn't think you were back from your book tour."
"Oh, I got back on Sunday. I'd like to you meet a friend of mine, Alex Heath." She smiled to her breakfast companion. "Alex, this is Chris Hudson, the nephew of a friend of mine and a fellow author."
"Well, well, another writer." Alex, who looked remarkably like Martin Landau, stood to shake my hand. "Nice to meet you, Chris."
I awkwardly held my tray and accepted his outstretched hand. "Good to meet you, Alex."
"Chris, put your food down and join us," said Clara.
Alex let go of my hand and I grabbed my tray with both hands again. "Thank you both, but I'm supposed to meet Uncle Billy."
"Oh, is William coming over for breakfast?"
I glanced out the window across the street at Back in the Day apartments. "So he said."
"You never know with William." Clara smiled. "Why don't you join us until he gets here."
"Well ... "
"Please. I'd love to hear about your projects," added Alex as he sat back down.
I glance warily out the window again. There was no sign of Billy. "Well, okay." I set down my tray and slid into a chair.
I pulled the lid off my coffee. "Do you live at Back in the Day, Alex?"
Clara answered for him. "Oh, no. Alex owns a book store in Saginaw. We met while I was signing books there ... he's just visiting for a couple of days."
"Are you in town for business?"
"Partly ... there is a GLIBA event at the Mariott."
"Saginaw was the first stop on my tour and Alex told me about the GLIBA event ..." Clara spotted the puzzled look on my face, "... Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association ..." I nodded and Clara continued. "Anyway, he said we should get together while he was in town."
"Clara is such a fascinating women, I just had to get to know her a little better."
Clara blushed slightly. "Alex was so helpful. He made sure there were plenty of publicity for my signing and I sold over a hundred books."
"A hundred books? In one stop?"
"It's a marvelous young adult book, Chris. I was pleased to have her in the store."
I blew on my coffee and gazed out the window. Uncle Billy was standing across the street waiting for the traffic to clear. "Oh, oh, here comes Billy, now."
"That's great," said Clara. "We can all have breakfast together."