Ines watched from her seat at the table. Max was at the bar, asking Carmen for a drink. A little way along stood Federico, and then Miranda, a bottle of wine between them that was two-thirds empty.
Carmen handed the beer to Max as another customer joined them, a good-looking man in an expensive suit.
"Beautiful Senorita," he said, smiling at Carmen. "Scotch and soda please." Carmen smiled back. Ines suspected she was very used to dealing with flirtatious barflies.
Carmen poured the drink and handed it over with a smile. "Four-fifty," she said, taking the bank card the customer handed her.
"Would be worth twice that," he said, "if it came with your phone number?" He looked at her with hopeful eyes but she just shook her head with a grin.
"Not today, Senor," she said.
"Oh well," said the customer, picking up his glass and turning to Max. "Can't blame a guy for trying."
Max laughed and clapped the man on the shoulder. "Indeed not," he said, as the man began to walk back towards his colleagues. "Better luck next time," he called, the grin still on his face.
Ines watched as Max slid his beer along the bar to join Federico and Miranda. Rico was smiling and Miranda was ginning, her bottom lip caught between her teeth, her eyes on her wineglass as she tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. Max's face was fixed as he took in the scene. He picked up his beer and walked behind the couple, coming to rest on the other side, next to Miranda. He put his beer close to her wineglass and angled his body towards hers, a hand reaching out to rest on the back of her stool, his legs pressed against her hip. He frowned as Rico sent him a knowing glance.
"Don't mind me," said Rico, laughter in his voice, his hands up, both palms facing outwards. "I was just asking Miranda here if she had any plans for the weekend."
Ines watched as Max tensed, his eyes flicking quickly to Miranda before darting away again.
"Just Netflix and a good book," she said. "But Rico's going to the mainland for the weekend to see some old school friends."
Ines watched as Max's body relaxed, his usual grin returning as he started to question Rico about his plans. She thought about the customer who had tried to get Carmen's number, who Max had smiled at and wished good luck to. And she thought about Rico, and how Max had frowned as he'd sensed his intimacy with Miranda, only relaxing when the threat receded. Ines smiled into her wineglass. She didn't need to call on her 25 years of detective experience to solve this particular mystery. She wondered how long it would take Max and Miranda.