How To Get Lucky by Lauren Blakely



Good thing too. Because as much as I want to grab a stool and chat her up, this dude abides by the Do Not Do List.

I’ve got plans. So many damn plans. And they all start and end with not repeating the mistakes of the past.

So, with that firmly in mind, I head back to my perch to finish out this Saturday night.





Nighttime is my favorite.

It’s the vibe I know, the vibe I love. The club always feels a little off when the lights go up, the sounds go down, and the artifice is exposed.

It also means it’s time to go.

I turn off the amp, mixer, and computer, then slide my iPhone into my pocket and rap twice on the door to the DJ booth for good luck.

On my way out of the club, I stop by the manager’s office, since it’s always wise to be on good terms with the guy who signs your paychecks.

Something that wasn’t always the case at my last gig.

Plus, Archer is a cool cat, even if he likes Coldplay. I can forgive him for that sin, since the rest of his musical taste is top-notch.

When I pop in, he’s rocking out to My Chemical Romance, spreadsheets open on his laptop.

I point at the computer speakers. “An excellent choice. I saw them at the Palladium a few years ago. Sick show.”

“Love these guys. And glad to have the DJ’s approval,” he says, leaning back in his chair in that casual manner of his.

“Happy to give it. I’m out of here, but I’ll see you in a few days. We’ve got that double bachelorette party on Thursday, right?”

“We do. Bring your A game. Should be a wild one.”

I smile. “You’ll only get the best. I have some great new tunes and mixes lined up. I’m pretty sure the hot dancers are the main reason those ladies are coming, but hey, everything is better with a good soundtrack.”

“Great, Teddy. Always love hearing the stuff you find. Oh, also,” Archer continues, shifting gears, “your one year with the company is coming up next month.”

“It’s been that long already?” This job has been the best part of a year that started out as a dumpster fire.

“Sounds like a nice time for a raise,” he says, lifting his brows, leading the horse to water.

And, oh yes, I will drink that. Not going to turn down some extra cash. “I am a big fan of raises,” I say with a smile. I’m tempted to add sir in an eager-to-please way, but Archer would roll his eyes, and rightfully so.

I thank him and head out of the club, amped up by the possibility of not just a raise, but of doing everything differently this time around.





2





When most people envision life in Los Angeles, they think of beaches, celebs, and crazy-good food. And they’re not wrong. All those things rock.

But for me, one of the best parts of living in Los Angeles is the twenty-four-hour Target.

Do I frequently find myself walking its aisles at three in the morning? No. But when I do need to hit it after my shift ends, all-hours access to Target is awesome.

Plus, I’m amped up tonight. I can’t stop thinking about the brown-eyed beauty who seemed interested and not interested at the same damn time.

I turn that over in my head as I park my Prius in between two other Priuses. (Or is it Prii? Whatever it is, there are a lot of ’em in LA.)

Will I see her again?

Seems doubtful.

Best to put her out of my mind.

And since it’s pushing one a.m., I make a detour for treats and toys on the way home.

Not for myself, but for my fifty-pound rescue pit bull, David Bowie. I love that gray-and-white ball of muscle. He’s the only thing I salvaged after my breakup with Tracy—the only thing that mattered to me.

Bowie happens to be a dog-toy aficionado, so I make my way to the best aisle in the store and load up my red basket with braided rawhides, salmon chews, and a squeaky duck. Bowie mans the home front while I’m putting on the show, so now and then, he gets a reward for his security work. He’s excited to see me either way, but I’m sure the treats help. Hell, I like treats. I wouldn’t object to someone bringing home treats for me.

I grab some of the store’s special home-baked dog biscuits, then I throw a furry hedgehog toy into the basket because it is a truth universally acknowledged that all pooches in possession of a good hedgie must be in want of nothing. Props to Jane Austen for an epic first line in Pride and Prejudice—a line which can be applied to pretty much anything.

I buy the toys, head home, and give my boy a hello.