“She’s totally checking me out.”
“She keeps looking over here! She wants me.”
“There’s no way a hot young thing like her is checking out an old man like you.”
“I’m only twenty-eight!”
“Seriously? That’s even more ancient than I thought.”
I smother a laugh. I’ve been eavesdropping on this trio of stockbrokers for the past twenty minutes. Well, I don’t know if they’re actually stockbrokers, but they’re wearing tailored suits and drinking expensive liquor in the city’s financial district, so chances are they work in finance.
Me, I’m the lumbering jock in ripped jeans and an Under Armour sweater, nursing a bottle of beer at the end of the bar. I was lucky to find an empty seat; the place is packed tonight. With the holiday season in full swing, Boston bars are overflowing with patrons taking time off from work or school.
The three dudes I’m spying on barely glanced my way when I slid onto the neighboring stool, which makes it easier to listen in on their douchey conversation.
“So what’s the final score for Baker?” one of the men asks.
He and his blond friend study their dark-haired friend—the ancient one. “Eight percent,” the first guy says.
The blond is more generous. “Ten percent.”
“Let’s split the difference and give him a nine. That’s nine-to-one odds.”
Although, maybe they’re not finance guys. I’ve been trying to figure out their calculation process, but it seems completely arbitrary and not based in any real mathematics.
“Fuck you both. I’ve got a way better chance than that,” Baker protests. “Have you seen this watch?” He flicks up his left wrist to show off a shiny Rolex.
“Nine to one,” the first guy maintains. “Take it or leave it.”
Mr. Rolex grumbles in irritation as he slaps some money on the counter. The other two follow suit.
From what I’ve gleaned, their game goes something like this:
Step 1: One of them picks out a woman in the bar.
Step 2: The other two calculate (I use that word loosely) the odds of the first guy getting her number.
Step 3: They drop oodles of cash on the counter.
Step 4: The guy approaches the girl and inevitably gets rejected. He loses the money he bet, only to get it back in the next round when the next guy also gets rejected.
This entire game is both pointless and stupid.
I sip my beer, watching in amusement as Mr. Rolex saunters over to a stunning woman in a skintight designer dress.
Her nose wrinkles at his approach, which tells me that his buddies are about to win some cash. These guys might be wearing expensive suits, but they’re still nowhere close to the same league as the women in this bar. And classy women tend to have no tolerance for immature jackasses, because they know they can do better.
Mr. Rolex’s jaw is tight when he returns to the group. Empty-handed. His friends hoot and rake in their winnings.
Just as the blond guy is about to pick a new target, I set my pint glass on the sleek counter and drawl, “Can I play?”
Three heads swivel my way. Mr. Rolex takes in my casual clothes, then smirks. “Yeah, sorry, pal. You can’t afford this game.”
Rolling my eyes, I slide my wallet out of my pocket and riffle through it—giving them a clear view of all the cash inside. “Try me,” I say graciously.
“You’ve just been sitting there this whole time listening to us?” the blond one demands.
“It’s not like you were being quiet about it. And anyway, I like to gamble. Doesn’t matter what we’re gambling over—I’m there. With that said, what are my chances with…” My gaze conducts a slow sweep of the crowded room. “Her,” I finish.
Rather than follow my gaze, three sets of eyes remain glued to me.
They appraise me for several long beats, as if trying to decide if I’m fucking with them. So I hop off the stool and ease closer to the trio. “Look at her. She’s fire. Do you think a bum like me could get her number?”
Mr. Rolex is the first to relax his guard. “Her?” he says, nodding not so discreetly at the pretty girl who’s ordering a drink with the bartender. “You mean Little Miss Innocent?”
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