Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Today's muse: Three Word Wednesday
Today's words: jockey, kindred, lopsided
* * *
It had been a pretty good week, in Amanda’s opinion. She landed the Miller account and collected on receivables that she’d been chasing for six months. Both brought in over six figures. She’d have a quick drink to celebrate, then head home.
She crossed at the light in long strides, despite the narrow pencil skirt and three-inch heels she wore. She’d always thought that stepping into The Master’s was like walking onto a movie set. Walls were trimmed with warm wood. Sofas were covered in dark fabric. Music was quiet and comforting. The place just begged you to sit and enjoy a drink.
As she edged onto the last empty high top, Frank bustled over. “Do you want a table, Amanda?”
She shook her head, set her clutch on the bar. “I came to have a drink.”
Frank—the owner and occasional bartender—nodded. “Rough day?”
“No, actually, a good day. This is a celebration drink. Not a crying drink.”
He beamed a smile at her. “The usual?”
The man next to her leaned over. “I’ve always wanted to go to a bar and order ‘the usual’.”
He was about her age, Amanda judged, wore dark trousers and a linen shirt in robin’s egg blue. The cuffs were rolled a few times, revealing what she judged was a tattooed sleeve on his left arm. His eyes were trusting and danced with laughter. She decided he was harmless.
“In my case, it either means I’m predictable or I drink too much.” She shrugged. “Probably both.”
“That depends. What’s ‘the usual’?” He turned to face her, his body language telling her he not only asked the question, but wanted to know the answer. Okay, she’d play along. After all, he was cute and she was in a dry spell right now.
“Dry Martini. Bombay Sapphire. Neat. Three olives.”
“A kindred spirit.” He nodded his approval. “Stirred, I presume.”
Amanda smiled. The man knew martinis. “Of course. Bond doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”
Tattoo Boy snorted. “Right. Vodka. As if.” He lifted his glass in toast when Frank delivered her drink. “To a good day.”
She lifted hers in response. “Cheers.”
She jutted her chin at his tumbler. “Scotch?”
He nodded. “Laphroaig.”
He offered his hand. “I’m Sam.”
“Amanda.” She took his hand, pleased with his firm shake. Setting down her glass, she turned his palm. “Calluses.”
His eyes seemed to lose their luster then and he pulled his hand back. “I’m not a desk jockey.”
Instantly contrite, she apologized. “That’s not what I meant. It’s just that, well, you’re wearing that gorgeous shirt and with the ink.” She waved her hand and up and down. “It all doesn’t fit together.” She let her shoulders slump. “What do you do?”
“I’m a mechanic.” Sam all but barked out the reply, as if he dared her to ridicule him.
“Automotive or industrial?” She sipped her drink, could see her response surprised him. “My brother’s a mechanic,” she explained.
That seemed to relax him. “Automotive. And motorcycles for clients that have them.”
“Oh yeah? I’ve been taking my bike to Murphey’s for service, but it’s a little far. Where’s your shop?”
“You ride?” She could see he was stunned by this revelation, but he quickly recovered and smiled. His grin was crooked and showed a small dimple in his right cheek. He was rapidly moving from Cute to Hot.
She smiled. “I have a Triumph America.”
“Nice.” Sam narrowed a look at her. “Wait. You named it, didn’t you?”
She laughed. “Gertrude. It sounds British.” She smiled into her drink, watched him shake his head. “You didn’t answer my question.” She pulled an olive off the skewer, popped it in her mouth.
“What? Oh. Right. My shop’s in Malvern, off Windsor Road.”
He signaled Frank, waved a hand between them, lifted two fingers. “You’ll join me for another.” It wasn’t a question and she found she liked his authority. “What do you need done?”
She gave him a blank stare as her mind raced. Oh, she could think of a lot of things she needed done.
“With your bike,” he clarified.
Oh. Right. “Just regular maintenance. Get it ready to put away for winter. Fuel Stabilizer. Oil change.”
He smiled at her use of the term. “I’ll give you my number. Call me and we’ll set a time for you to come in for an oil change.”
Was he flirting?
“If you want, we can enjoy a ride first. Then I’ll look after,” he sipped his scotch, “...changing your oil.”
Oh, yeah. He was flirting.
She arched one eyebrow. “We’re still talking about motorcycles, right?”
He shrugged, gave her his lopsided grin. “Sure.”