"Who's that, Liz?"

"Who? Where?"

"The dude. Down there."

"The dealer?"


"Name's Morgan."

"Yum. He's cute."

"He's weird."


"Only works on weekends."

Michelle runs coral-colored lips along the salt-encrusted rim of her margarita. Sculpted nails do a tap-dance on the glass. Her purple dress, its neckline scooped, is slit from knee to pelvis. Her three-inch heels impale the bar's raised floorboard.

Liz, in golden slacks so tight her lengthy legs look gilded, her pointy bosom swathed in a see-through camisole, nurses scotch. With polished bronze and silver bracelets cuffing wrists and forearms, she jangles like a wind chime when she drinks.

The pair sits side by side. They order seconds.

"Jesus Christ, Michelle, if you could see the way you're gawking."

"Like how?"

"Like how some stud sizes up a... "

"'Stud?' Aren't you projecting?"

"I know a namby-pamby when I see one; he's a poofter."


"The dealer. Rides a bike!"

"So what?"

"A ten-speed, not a hog. Besides which, he's been spotted writing poetry."


"On breaks."

"Seems you're disappointed you have boobs instead of balls. My guess is he's sensitive... and intelligent... A minority."

"A stuck-up little prick not worth your pasties."


"No sense talking horse sense to a brood mare."

Liz, dismounting, scans the field for suppler options, zeros in on Bambi (slurping rum and Coke by means of a candy-cane striped straw), and joins her for a spate of carbonated giggles.

Meanwhile, Morgan's traits absorb Michelle:
Beard and mustache—trim, from here. Face—sweet, a little skinny. Dressed—nicely, black tie, black shirt, gray vest. Age—young, twenty-five? Sure can't earn a living working weekends; must be moonlighting. Looks a bit detached—if not bored stiff. Those fingers fly—my, oh, my, how much I love dexterity!
Michelle moves closer.
Blondes are often cold when they have ice blue eyes like his, though. Grooves between his brows; he thinks too much. But does have brains. Funny how it shows when a man's not stupid.

Sensing someone's scrutiny, Morgan redirects his focus. Michelle, arrested, flirts back unabashedly. Neither blinks... though Morgan's beet-red blush betrays his shyness.

"Hey, hot pants. You're up next."

Liz gloats. Michelle delays approaching... detours past the jukebox... takes the stage.



a broad-beamed...

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