How To Get Lucky by Lauren Blakely

Which is the point of his job—to make Brittney feel like the only woman in the room. And he’s damn good at it.

Even from my vantage point above the floor, Brittney looks as happy as I am when I find a fresh, new record.

Nearby, her friends cheer like they have megaphones. One of the many things I love about the women who enter Edge is how, while they don’t object to the beefcake, they’re so clearly here for the camaraderie with their friends. I don’t see many sad solo women nursing drinks in corners here.

And I do a lot of observing. Occupational hazard, you might say, but I think of it as a benefit.

I have the time to people-watch, and it’s become a favorite pastime of mine—studying human behavior—and few places are better than the fishbowl of a club.

A place where, technically, I could meet plenty of women to ask out on dates. But I haven’t.

Because work is work.

And because dating these days is scarier than clowns, dentists, and clown dentists.

As Bulge finishes his dance, he moves around the stage, ripping off his pants and unbuttoning his elbow-patched cardigan. The bills come out. Ladies stuff tens in his spandex briefs or tastefully throw fives on the stage. Over by the bar, a couple of guys do too, laughing happily as they tuck in some greenbacks.

Once Bulge has received his extra credit, one dude smacks a kiss on the other, then they catch the gaze of the woman with them, who flashes the biggest smile their way.

A bright, gorgeous grin that lights up her face.

Followed by an eye roll that is somehow both adorable and feisty.

And now I’m definitely glad that checking out the guests is in the job description because . . . holy shit. I’m not sure I can look away.

She’s like a sexy librarian with her hair piled on her head in a messy bun and adorable red glasses sliding down her nose. Her chestnut curls dance playfully off her cheeks, which have just the slightest hint of red in them, like she’s turned on or embarrassed. Or both. Or neither.

Now I wish my only job were to keep my eyes on the patrons, because I could stare at her all night.

But the last notes of Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher” are playing, and that means I’m up.

As the music fades, my voice booms over the PA system. “Professor Bulge has to grade some papers right now, but you’ll find him on the side stage in a little while. Right now, I have a very special treat for you. His business is taking care of your business. He’s the CAO of the most successful company in LA. It’s our Chief Arousal Officer, Mr. Jerkins.”

The lights shift, I fade to the next track, and Sam, now in his Mr. Jerkins attire, saunters onto the stage in his tailored suit while Bulge tosses out some detention slips on his way backstage.

Once Mr. Jerkins hits the lights, I take up the cause again, my eyes hunting for the sexy librarian, but she’s nowhere to be seen.

My shoulders sag.

I sigh, run my hand through my hair, and shrug.

But what can you do?

It’s not like I was going to jump over the edge of the DJ booth, sidle up, and ask for her number.

I want to keep my job, and hitting on patrons is numero uno on the Do Not Do List at Edge.

It’s a short list. House rules are hands off the guests, the staff, the money.

Easy as one, two, three. Like the Jackson 5 song.

As the night winds down, I program the next few tracks to play and head to the bar for a refill—water, of course. Seltzer, actually, since I do love my bubbles.

And I’m not alone.

The brunette thanks the bartender and reaches for what looks like a Diet Coke, her friends nowhere to be seen.

As I’m walking to the counter, Aerosmith’s “Crazy” hits the chorus, and she spins in her stool, playing air guitar like she’s auditioning for the band. Her gaze swings to mine, and I’m instantly lost in the most arresting brown eyes I’ve ever seen—they’re like brandy.

She doesn’t miss a beat. Just flashes me a smile and keeps jamming.

I don’t know what comes over me. Nothing. Everything. But without thinking, I tell her, “You’re in air guitar C, but you want to be in air guitar E for this part.”

Her hands freeze. “Perish the thought of playing in the wrong key,” she says, all dry and deadpan.

I’m about to reply when Jake slides my seltzer across the bar. “Here you go, DJ Insomnia.”

I whiplash back into the moment—work, I’m at work—and that’s my cue to go back to fucking work.