Conviviality Beneath the Blue Moon

“It’s Maddy,” she winked back at the handsome man asking her name. “And if you’re going to buy me a drink, come on and do it already.”

His smile broadened, and he stepped up to the bar at her side, signaling the bartender with a raised hand, his fingers half-curled in a beckoning gesture. It was only a moment before the bartender slid down to take their order.

Maddy met his eyes with the confidence of the veteran barfly. “Crown and Sprite, easy on the Sprite,” she announced, firmly.

Her unwitting victim raised an eyebrow at her tone, but quickly shrugged it off. Surely she was far too young to be as much of an alcoholic as his mother. He ordered more quietly after she turned her face to stare him down. “Make it two.” He pulled a twenty from his right hip pocket and laid it on the bar, watching the bartender shuffle glasses and bottles with an experienced hand.

He realized that he hadn’t introduced himself to Maddy. “Don Davis. I know it’s the most cliche ever, but do you come here often?” he asked wit ha smile, not quite as broad as he had begun with.

He thought he saw a sly glint come to her eyes, but dismissed that idea when she took a half step closer to him.

“I’ve been here a couple times, but I’ve only just moved back here from St Louis. How about you?” She winked again, and all of his second thoughts washed away with that slow, sultry wink and the arrival of their matched drinks.

Don took a sip of his, trying to collect his thoughts while she lazily stirred her ice around with the tiny straw. “You mean do I come here often? Actually, no. This is the first time.” Was it just his imagination or did her smile just become the tiniest bit more authentic? It had to be his imagination.

He grasped for a topic of conversation, any topic. Please, anything. His panicked internal monologue was rising in pitch as the seconds ticked by. Somehow, Maddy was still smiling at him, her cheek resting on her fist as her elbow sat on the edge of the bar.

“I majored in biology at State,” he offered, immediately kicking himself. That tidbit was definitely not going to win him any points with her. But surprisingly enough, it seemed to work.

“Really?” For the first time, honest interest sparked behind her eyes, and she sat up a little straighter. “I minored in zoology when I was in St Louis.” Her excitement waned a bit, and her voice dropped. “Before I had to drop out.”

Don was legitimately curious about the reasons she ‘had to’ drop out, but judging by her emotional cues, it wasn’t the best story she had in her repertoire, so he made the good decision to let it drop and talk more about happier things. “So we have more in common than not coming here often.” He grinned, and was pleased to see some of the distant sadness leave her face.

The bartender slid by as if he were on a track, eyebrows raised in the universal question. Don shook his head, and the bartender continued on his way.

“We both like Crown and Sprite,” she added.

He laughed. “You’re absolutely right. A whole laundry list of things we have in common.”

“Add one more,” she smiled. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure we’d both like to end up in bed with the other before the night is over.” She finished off her drink and turned her body to face his, brushing her hip against his crotch in the process.

His surprise was clearly evident, so she prompted him, standing on her tiptoes to whisper in his ear. “Drink up and let’s go.”

He obeyed, swiftly lifting his glass and emptying it down his throat before replacing the glass on the bar and letting her lead him through the exit door beneath the softly glowing Blue Moon clock.

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