Tied, p.9
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       Tied, p.9
 

         Part #4 of Tangled series by Emma Chase
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  Looks as if I’ll be taking matters into my own hands. “I’ll have a sit-down with my sister when we get back—find out what the hell her deal is.”

  Steven is vehement. “No, Drew. This is between me and my wife. Stay out of it.”

  I back off. “All right. Relax—don’t have a coronary.” But I still plan on talking to Alexandra. If you want something done right, you have to fucking do it yourself.

  We’re all silent for a minute.

  Steven says, “Look—I don’t want this to bring us all down. Just shelve it. For tonight, let’s just have a good time—like the old days. The only thing I want to think about is getting hammered and having fun. GTG all the way.”

  Matthew laughs. Because, like me, he hasn’t heard those letters in years. And they bring back some pretty awesome memories.

  He fist-taps Steven. “Fuckin’ A right—GTG.”

  Warren asks, “What’s GTG?”

  I smile. “It was our monogram back in the day.”

  “What’s it stand for?”

  I wiggle my eyebrows. “Good-time guys.”

  Later, going into the fourth round of the water-volleyball tournament, we’re in first place. Kicking ass and taking names. With only three more matches until the championships. It’s fun. Physical. We exert ourselves but have enough time in between games to kick back, socialize, and down a few drinks.

  Steven is currently getting down on the makeshift dance floor to “Blurred Lines.” Can you see him over there? Pointing his fingers John Travolta style and thrusting his hips in time to the beat? It’s not smooth or cool, but somehow Steven still comes off looking like the fucking man. The hip-shaking, hand-clapping, giggling girls surrounding him are loving it.

  Across the opposite end of the pool is a loud, big-drinking divorce celebration, to which Jack invited himself, and he ended up getting some action in the hot tub from the divorcée herself.

  Now he’s back at the table with Matthew and me. We’ve been playing it mellow. Despite a few panty-dropping offers, we’ve made it clear our interests lie in hanging out—not hooking up. Surprisingly, Warren has turned out to be the heavy hitter in the poontang department.

  Well . . . kind of. After our second win, he disappeared with a chick into the cabana. They came out half an hour later, retying their bathing suits. Fifteen minutes ago, he dove back in again—with girl number two.

  I’m not impressed because . . . how can I put this without making you want to snip my balls off with a pair of garden shears? . . . girl number one was . . . of the rotund persuasion. A jolly girl. The kind who has to broadcast an entertaining personality because she’s severely lacking in the shape department. Don’t get me wrong, big girls have their place in society too. Fat bottomed girls, you make the rockin’ world go round, and all that.

  And every guy has a type. One man’s hog is another man’s hottie. I’ve always preferred my women on the petite side—they’re easier to flip around and maneuver into just the right position. But I don’t think Warren has a passion for the plumpies. I mean, he held on to Kate for a decade, and she never went through a chubby phase—I’ve seen pictures.

  Plus, Warren’s girl number two was totally at the other end of the spectrum. Superskinny, with a rack as flat as a surfboard, and a hook nose that suggested a strong relation to the bald eagle.

  Pencil-dick himself emerges from the cabana with a satisfied grin. He sits down at the table and takes a long drag from his beer. Matthew, Jack, and I just stare at him.

  He looks back and forth between us. “What?”

  I jerk my chin toward girl number two as she walks back to her table of equally unattractive friends. Subpars tend to stick together.

  “What’s with you and the scary sisters?”

  “What do you mean?”

  “I mean your first hookup made Snooki look like Miss America. And that last chick is probably next of kin to the Wicked Witch of the West.”

  He sneers defensively. “She wasn’t that bad.”

  Matthew and Jack cough. “Butter face . . . butter face.”

  Warren asks, “What’s a butter face?”

  I roll my eyes at his ignorance. “It means everything is hot—but. Her. Face. Get it? And I think that’s pretty generous, considering there’s nothing boner-worthy about a woman with the hips of a ten-year-old boy.”

  Jack suggests, “Maybe it’s a fetish. You like to bump uglies with the uglies, Billy?”

  “No. I don’t have a thing for ugly girls.”

  I beg to differ. Still, I give him the chance to explain himself. “Then why are they the only ones you’re hitting on?”

  Warren squirms uncomfortably. “They’re just . . . easier. I like a sure thing.”

  Matthew says, “You sold out Giants fucking Stadium six months ago. For you they should all be sure things.”

  Warren avoids eye contact and picks at the label on his beer. “I don’t know. It’s like . . . I was with Kate for a long time . . .”

  As if I could fucking forget.

  “. . . and I never really had a chance to practice my skills, you know? And chicks in LA? They’re bitches, man—they’re hot and they know it. So, it’s less intimidating if I stick with the easy scores.”

  There’s a story in the Bible about a guy who was a real mean bastard. One day he was walking down the road, and God knocked him on his ass. This blinding light came from the sky, and a booming voice shouted down from the heavens, telling him what he needed to do. How to fix his life.

  That’s what this moment is like for me. An epiphany. A divine revelation.

  If I can find Warren a girl of his own . . . if I can teach him the secrets of scoring quality pieces of ass . . . maybe he’ll be so distracted, he’ll finally stop sniffing around Kate. And maybe—just maybe—I’ll be rid of him. For good.

  I have seen the path to the promised land, boys and girls. And it’s lined with pussy.

  Energized by the prospect of a Warren-less existence, I propose, “I can help you with that, you know.”

  “With getting girls?”

  I nod. “Getting top-notch girls. The kind of females you’ve only seen in magazines and wet dreams. I can teach you how to make it happen. Once you taste gourmet, you’ll never munch junk food again.”

  Jack tells Warren, “Jump all over this, man. You’d be learning from the best. Evans is the master—before he gets married, they should bronze his dick, like DiMaggio’s cleats.”

  Jack’s praise is flattering. And a little disturbing.

  Still, Warren looks suspicious. “Why would you want to help me?”

  I shrug. “I’m a sucker for a lost cause—St. Jude always was my favorite saint. Plus, you’re Kate’s little buddy. If I help you out, I score points with her. And that’s always a good thing.”

  He seems satisfied with my answer, so I start with the basics. “What’s your game?”

  “My what?”

  “Your game plan. How do you approach these gorgeous LA women? What do you say?”

  He scratches his head, like the dumbfuck monkey he is. “Well, sometimes I’ll rush over, looking surprised, and I’ll say, ‘Are you all right? Did you hurt yourself? That fall from heaven was far.’ ”

  The guys and I start laughing straightaway. But Warren doesn’t. Then we stop.

  I ask, “I’m sorry—were you serious?”

  He looks away, slightly pissed. “Forget this.”

  I implore him, “No, we won’t laugh anymore. I want to help. What else?”

  He debates answering for a second. “Sometimes I tell a joke.”

  Matthew looks perplexed. “A joke?”

  “Yeah—you know—‘This guy walks into a bar . . .’ Shit like that.”

  I nod slowly. “Right. I can see why you think that would work . . . because every woman wants to screw Bozo the Clown.”

  Then we start laughing again.

  Warren growls, “Fuck you guys. I’m out of here.” He starts to get up.

>   “Wait—don’t go. Come on, man, we’re just busting your balls.”

  Reluctantly Warren sits back down.

  I begin my tutorial. “First mistake—you’re trying too hard. Women can smell desperation like a dog smells fear. And to them, it reeks like shit. You have to be calm. Confident. Like . . . when we were kids, Matthew’s uncle used to take us camping. At the campground there was a lake with all these sunnies swimming around, that all the kids would try to catch. There was this one annoying little prick who wanted to catch the most fish—so he brought a net. He’d slam it into the water over and over, but he never caught any fish. He just scared them away. I, on the other hand, would bring a little bag of bread crumbs. I’d drop in just a few at a time—a small taste. Then I’d sit back and wait. After a minute or two, all the fish would come to me. You see what I’m saying?”

  Monkey-boy nods. “Yeah . . .” Then he stops. “No, actually. Not really.”

  This is going to be harder than I thought. And the really scary thing? If Kate and I die together in a fiery collision? This dumbass is third in line to raise my kid.

  Forget global warming—that’s the thought that keeps me up at night.

  “You’re thinking too much.” I take a drink of my beer. “Forget the lines. Forget the goddamn jokes. Women aren’t that complicated. You just have to figure out what they want to hear. Then, tell it to them. You do that, and even the hottest knees will part like the Red Sea.”

  He digests my words for a moment. “So I should tell a chick I’ll listen to her demo tape? Maybe get her a recording contract?”

  I shake my head. “No. Rule number one—don’t make promises you can’t or have no intention of keeping. Play it straight—anything else is just a scumbag move. And it’s the easiest way to turn a semi-normal chick into a stalker. After the deal gets sealed, if you’re in a jam and need an exit strategy, ask for her phone number—but don’t actually say you’re going to call. It’ll be assumed, but that’s not your problem.” I take another drink of beer. “It’s all about the moment—screw tomorrow. Decipher what she wants, right then and there. Some chicks actually want a dickhead—they get off on being treated like crap.”

  Don’t even think about telling me I’m wrong. Where do you think the whole “nice guys finish last” thing came from? Because deep down, some women live for drama.

  “Some just want a shoulder to cry on, or a good time. Listen to what they say, watch how they say it, and show them that, at least for the night, you’re exactly what they’re looking for.”

  Matthew says, “He looks confused, Drew. Maybe a little demonstration is in order?”

  “Good idea.”

  I scan the pool area and spot a waitress scurrying across the concrete. She’s got dark, curly hair, pale skin with a hint of freckles. She fills out her uniform nicely—a white blouse tied in a knot at the waist, high and tight, black shorts that look as if they were stolen from Hooters, and black heels. Bingo.

  I point her out. “What do you think of her?”

  Jack comments, “I’d bang her.”

  Warren agrees, “Yeah. She’s cute.”

  I wave my hand and call the waitress over. With pad and pen ready she asks, “Hey, guys, what can I do for you?”

  I’ll never understand why women set themselves up like that. Try to think like a man, for God’s sake. When a red-blooded guy hears this question? He immediately thinks of at least eight different things you could “do” for him, in about ten different positions.

  I give her my most charming smile. “Could you bring us a bottle of Jäger, honey? And five shot glasses please. Take your time, you look busy. We’re not in a rush.”

  “No problem. Coming right up.”

  She turns away and walks to the bar.

  Jack stares. “I hate it when they leave, but I love to watch them go.”

  Warren’s staring at her ass too.

  So I smack him. Slap. To get his attention . . . and . . . because it’s fun.

  “Focus. Look at her.”

  “I was looking at her!”

  “Not just at her ass—look at the whole package.”

  He glares at me, touching his cheek. Then he watches the waitress.

  “See how she’s rubbing her lower back? And wiping the sweat from her forehead? How she shifts her weight from one foot to the other? What do you think she needs right now?”

  His face scrunches up with concentration.

  After a minute, I can’t resist. “Don’t hurt yourself.”

  He sighs. “I don’t know—she looks like she could use a nap.”

  I smile. “There’s hope for you yet. A nap would be good, but you can’t give that to her. What you can do is make her feel important. Valued. Show her that you appreciate her as a woman, not just a server. Chicks eat that shit up.”

  Waitress girl starts to head back over, balancing a bottle and shot glasses on a tray one-handedly. Before she reaches us, I hiss a warning at Warren—just to be safe. “And don’t even think about telling tales to Kate that I’m screwing around. This is for purely educational purposes only. It means nothing to me.”

  That’s the absolute truth. It’s like . . . acting. I would have made a great actor. The Broadway kind. Because no matter what an actor feels for his leading lady in real life—when that curtain rises, he performs. Convincingly.

  She arrives at our table. “Here we go, guys.”

  As she sets out the glasses, I ask, “Is it always this crazy around here?”

  “Not always. There’s a podiatrist convention in town this weekend, so we’re swamped.” She brushes a hair from her face. “The tips are good though, so I can’t complain.”

  “Sure you can. Everyone deserves to bitch once in a while. I’m all ears.”

  She smiles and pours our drinks.

  “Better yet—how about you sit down for a few minutes? Take a load off. Have a drink with us? You look like you could use one.”

  She’s tempted. But then she glances over her shoulder at the balding, heavyset guy behind the bar. “It’s sweet of you to ask—but I can’t. My boss wouldn’t like it.”

  “Sweet is my middle name.” I jerk my thumb toward the bar, “He your boss?”

  She frowns. “That’s him. Harry’s a total slave driver.”

  I stand and hold up a finger. “Don’t go anywhere.”

  I jog over to Harry. “Hey, man, my friends and I are looking to have a quick drink with our waitress.”

  He looks over at our table. “With Felicia?”

  “Yeah, Felicia”—or, whatever—“and we’re willing to pay for her time. What’s a ten-minute break gonna cost me?”

  “Fifty bucks.”

  “Done.” I slap the money on the bar and beat it back to the table quickly—before the price goes up. Then I put my sexy face back on.

  I pull out a chair and motion for the waitress to sit. “You’re all set.”

  She looks surprised. “No kidding?” She looks at Harry, who gives her a nod, then she sits down gratefully. “Wow, you convinced Harry to give me a break? You must be very good.”

  I chuckle wickedly. “Baby, you have no idea.”

  I sit in my chair and raise my shot glass. Everyone follows suit and we down them together. Then I pour another for the waitress. We chat casually for a few minutes. She tells me about her dreams of becoming a showgirl, which were put on hold because of her mother’s emphysema. I listen oh so attentively and nod at all the right times.

  Then I dig a little deeper. “That’s a lot for a lady to have on her shoulders. Does your husband help out?”

  She drinks her second shot and shakes her head. “No husband.”

  “A boyfriend, then?”

  “Not one of them, either. Who has the time?”

  Then I go in for the kill. “A great girl like you doesn’t have a boyfriend? That’s a damn shame. Still, you should make time to blow off a little steam. Let loose. Have a good time with a good guy.”

  She l
icks the alcohol off her lips. “I squeeze in a good time here and there. When it’s worth it.”

  See her suggestive smirk? The invitation in her big, hazel eyes? That’s her signal—telling me she thinks I’m worth it. That if I offer to help her blow off some steam in any fashion I can think of, she’s up for it.

  That also concludes our presentation for the day.

  I glance at my watch. “Ten minutes are up. I wouldn’t want you to get into trouble with your boss.”

  She blinks. “Oh—right.”

  Then she stands up—but doesn’t leave right away. “I’m done here in a few hours. Are you guys going to stick around?” She asks all of us, but she’s looking at me.

  I let her down easy. Because that’s the kind of gentleman I am. “Unfortunately, no. We’ll be heading out soon and we’re busy all night. But it was a pleasure talking to you.”

  Back in the day, I would have kissed her hand for good measure. But these days my lips are for Kate alone.

  Her shoulders sag. “Okay . . . well . . . thanks for the drink.”

  “Anytime, honey. Don’t work too hard.”

  She walks away, sneaking a peek back over at our table as she goes.

  I turn my attention to Warren and spread my arms wide. “And that is how it’s done.”

  I toss back a shot. My voice is strained after it burns down my throat. “If I was interested, I’d hang around awhile. And if no other opportunities presented themselves, I’d take her home, bang her for a few hours, and leave her smiling.”

  Warren suggests, with a hint of awe, “Yeah. Or you could bring her up to your room for a quickie.”

  Jack, Matthew, and I simultaneously exclaim, “Nooooo.”

  I correct him, “With the high-end women you’re going to be scoring? You’re gonna want to take your time. And—rule number two—always have an escape route. Never take a girl back to your home turf. It could take a forklift to get her the fuck out.”

  Jack shudders. “One time I had to call the cops. And when they dragged her out, the broad was still clinging to my bed-sheets. That’s a mistake you only make once.”

  Warren nods. “You make it seem so easy.”

  “Getting laid is supposed to be easy,” I tell him. “None of us would be here if it wasn’t. God gave men instincts—even you. Just relax and let them lead you.”

  I slap him on the back. Harder than I have to. “Now, young Skywalker, your training is complete. Tonight—you become a Jedi.”

  He grins. “Cool. Thanks, man.” Then he cocks his thumb toward the restroom. “I gotta hit the john.”

  Jack stands. “And I see a new lucky lady. I’ll be back.”

  After they leave, Matthew’s eyes burn a hole in my face.

  I return his stare. “What?”

  “A few hours ago you could barely stand to be in the same room with the guy, and now you’re giving him pussy pointers. Why are you really helping him, Drew?”

  “I’m a helpful guy.”

  He continues to stare, waiting for me to elaborate.

  “And . . . if Warren’s occupied with his own snatch . . . he’ll stay away from Kate.”

  Matthew’s head rolls back with a groan. “Dude—you’re still hung up on that? Let it go, man.”

 
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