THE SET UP
Vince lowered his head and walked inside The Beach House Lounge as he moved fast to one side, hoping to remain undetected while he rethought his part in this. He didn’t need someone else to find him a woman. Yes, he had made some rather bad choices before but had managed to control most of the damage.
His eyes adjusted quickly as he focused on the rear of the lounge. Being early would give him some time to relax before he had to fulfill his obligation to those at the office who pushed him into this. A crack of balls in the pool section caught his attention as he moved along the edge hoping none from the office arrived earlier. As much as he wanted a beer he decided he would return in a minute to order one. Perhaps he would be lucky and a waitress would be circulating in the bar.
A musty smell reminded him of late night ventures into this world. He only had bad memories of meeting women at bars and knew he would only be wasting his time—again. Still, he made a promise to show up. He checked his watch and noted the hour he had to wait to discover his fate.
He raised his head and scanned the room. Good, he saw no one he knew. He stopped at the entrance to the pool area. He saw many people moving around and knew they would be studying the next person coming in the door. If any of his friends where in there, they would surely notice him walking in. He turned back toward the bar and decided it would be a good time to order a beer.
Why was his heart beating hard? At 23 he was no kid any more. He had many women in his life before. His office had built this up so much during the week he considered their action almost comical. He now resented the way he had played around with them.
He only knew of two reactions to such a blind date. She could be very beautiful and fantastic in every way—but reject him. Or, she could be a complete freak and stick to him like stray puppy he could never get rid of.
As he sneaked over to the side of the bar he kept his head down and avoided the main door. A bar tender, a young beautiful girl with long blonde hair walked over to him. “What can I get you?”
Out of here is what he thought, but he glanced at the pulls on the beer center and smiled. “A Coors light would be good.”
She leaned over to match his sulking stance. She stopped inched in front of him. “I’ve seen this look before.”
“The guy sneaking into a bar and hoping word does not get back to his wife.”
“I’m not married.” He held up his hand to show no ring.
She flashed him a large smile. “I would guess you have it in your pocket or wallet.”
She acted brassy, but good natured so he decided to push his luck. “If you want to know my life history you’ll have to buy me a drink later.”
“I might just do that. I get off in about thirty minutes.”
Well maybe lady luck was on his side. “I’ll be here.”
She walked over and retrieved a mug and poured him a beer. He couldn’t resist checking her out as she had her back to him.
She smiled as he handed him the beer. “Did you enjoy the view?”
She turned and pointed to the mirror.
A flush of warm blood entered his face, one he had felt many times before. “I can see I’m not on my turf.”
“Don’t worry about it.” She leaned closer. “Your wife is not big mean and ugly is she?”
“I hope not, but I’ve been lied to before.” She laughed as she accepted his card for the drink.
“Keep the card to cover the tab. I’m sure I’ll be back soon.”
“I’ll keep your account open for you if you can keep your motor running.”
He smiled at her sassy manner but knew she perhaps used the same techniques on every bar regular hoping to receive a large tip at the end of the night. “I saw a dart game. You can find me there.” He turned and left as he heard another guy yelling for a beer.
He glanced around and moved through the door to the pool area and rushed toward the dart game coming open. Over the next thirty minutes he drank three more beers. The more she flirted with him the faster he finished one beer after another. Now, if only he could get out of seeing his friends and be paired with who knows what.
As he finished making his last toss at the board, he turned to see her walking toward him with two beer mugs. “I think I owe you a beer.”
“Thanks. However, I think I still have a tab open.”
“I clocked out and left it open for you. You can handle it when you leave.” She extended him a beer. “So, if you’re not hiding out from your wife tonight, what are you doing in here?”
“I’m supposed to be meeting some friends here shortly.”
She smiled as her super white teeth glowed in the low lights of the lounge. “I can tell you’re really looking out for your friends.”
“Let’s say it is a long story.” Damn he hoped she would not be asking too many questions.
“Well I hope it all works out for you. Perhaps I will see you again one day.”
“Are you leaving?”
“I’m off work and need to go somewhere to relax. Too many people know me here.”
Vince glanced around knowing his friends would be there any moment. “I know we just met, but I need to get out of here before my friends arrive. I’ll be glad to tell you the story later.”
“Ohh, I would love to but I have some friends wanting me to meet this guy after work. Perhaps later.”
“I see. I hope you have a good time with your friends. Mine will be here in a minute and plan the same thing for me. I don’t know about you, but it is nerve wrecking to have someone set you up on a blind date.”
She started to laugh. You don’t suppose . . .”
“No—well who knows. I’m Vince.”
“Wow, I’m BreAnna.” She leaned forward and gave him a surprisingly tight hug. “I think this will be one for the record books. You’re not at all like what I was preparing myself for.”
“I know the feeling.” Vince studied her in more detail, wondering how he could be so lucky. “Should we wait for them and let them know we met or should we let them wonder?”
“I would love to go out with you. However, I think this is too good to pass up. What do you think?”
“I think I see the workings of a plan to get back at some friends of yours and mine.”
“You got it.” BreAnna laughed.
Vince could see his friends coming in the door. “Okay, we’ll have to play this by ear.”
“Okay, let me disappear for a minute.” She ducked and eased off along the wall.
Vince walked toward his friends and greeted them. They all offered smiles like the proverbial cat that swallowed the bird as they asked him how long he had been there and other bullshit questions.
“I’ve been here for a little while.”
Linda, the office secretary in charge of this cupid club she formed with his friends glanced around. “I know she’s here somewhere. You might have seen her.”
“Really.” Vince formed his plan and prepared to execute. “Well I hate to tell you this, but I only wanted to stop by here to tell everyone you don’t have to worry about me anymore.”
“Why is that?” Linda passed a puzzled look around her friends.
“I decided it was best if I just found a girl and eloped, you know avoid all of the dating problems and just get married.”
“You get married. Well slow down big boy, don’t scare her off.”
Suddenly, BreAnna walked toward them with all smiles as she appeared to know some of the group.”
Linda assumed her role. “Hello BreAnna, this is the guy we wanted you to meet.” Linda turned to Vince. “What do you think?”
“I think she will do perfectly. Hello my name is Vince. I’ve decided to go to Vegas to get married. Are you interested?”
BreAnna rushed into his arms. “Yes, I do. Just give me a minute and let me tell my boss I’ll not be in for a while.” BreAnna stood on her tip toes and gave him a strong passionate kiss before rushing off.
Vince turned to his friends. “Tell Mr. Moore I’ll be out for a few days. And thanks for everything.” He winked, turned and walked out of the pool area and toward the door. Yes, it was going to be one hell of a night as he laughed with BreAnna over what their friends must be thinking.