“Hi, I’m Edgar. I’ll be your server.”
“Hi, Edgar,” she says, beaming bright, a performance for his benefit. “Bring us your favorite item on the menu. We’ll share.”
“Alright, I know just the delight,” Edgar exclaims eagerly.
Carney looks inquisitively at her as he hands Edgar back the menus. “And a beer. Any brand. I don’t discriminate.”
She follows with, “Champagne or water. That’s all I drink.”
The waiter nods before leaving, and Carney can’t believe his luck. Feisty and exotic, a dangerous combination. He leans in, saying, “Do you always order for the man?”
“I do what I want,” she exclaims, “and I want good service. Plus, there’s too much wasted time looking at a menu when all you do is order the same thing, and what’s the excitement in that?”
“I would bet there’s nothing but excitement in your life,” he surmises.
“I see your game,” she calculates. “You bet on people. Right now, you’re betting on me. Only I’m not paying out for you later tonight.” She leans back into the booth, twisting her torso in a way that moves the slit of her dress up, tantalizing him with more skin from her thigh.
As difficult as it is for him, he holds his gaze and teases back, “Can’t it be more than that?”
She’s heard that lie before and asks, “How about a little honesty?” Crossing her legs to show more skin, she toys with him even more. “Let’s lay all our cards on the table and see how they fall. You can start with small suits if it makes you more comfortable.”
He’s eager to play and doubles down. “Alright, you seem like someone who’s one bad experience away from getting a gun and shooting up a bank. Maybe you need a friend. And I’m not a bad guy to spend the night with.”
She’s taken aback. That’s not the way she thought this was going. He is different, and different is exciting. She wonders if he really does see her that way or if he’s just trying to tear her down to a size more reasonable. She deducts, “You must be attracted to danger.”
His body language doesn’t necessarily disagree. “Perhaps I see a similar hopelessness in you,” he pecks.
“I look hopeless?”
“You look drop-dead gorgeous.”
“Well, now we’re getting somewhere,” she pecks back playfully.
But he continues, “The world around you is dark and decaying. Sooner or later, your beauty will go, and then where will you be?”
“Hung out to dry and on the lamb looking for you,” she smirks, playful or serious, it’s hard for him to tell which.
“Wouldn’t that be my fate?” he says as if his thoughts have spoken out loud.
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