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She calls, asks if he wants to meet for drinks on a Friday night. She won a court case and feels like celebrating. He looks down at his jeans and passes a hand over his unshaven face and says, a bit reluctantly, sure, why not?

He gets to the lobby of the grand hotel first, finds the end bar stool, and orders a glass of wine. The older bartender has an interesting accent. A woman sits down a discreet number of barstools away. Then a man. Then another woman. Then another man. She's always late, it seems. The wine tastes good after a long week. He feels the alcohol hitting his spinal chord, zing!, right between the shoulder blades. Ahhhh, that's nice.

"Is this the place to meet cute guys?" He turns around. There she is, dressed to the nines. Yes it is. Sit your ass down before some other chick grabs it. She laughs and kisses him. Her perfume would make a younger man weep.

She wants a chardonnay like his, but she asks for a wine menu, then tastes one she's not heard of before. "Which one are you drinking?" I'm not much of a connoisseur, he thinks. OK, I'm NOT a connoisseur at all - I simply don't know wines. Got the house char. She tastes his glass, and gets what he's having. The bartender approves. He says the house wine is half as expensive as the one she just tasted, and just as good. He approves of this woman.

"Hope you don't mind the lipstick," she says. Not at all, he thinks. Hope you don't mind my leering at your legs. Damn, you look good.

"Oh, you," she says. She kisses him again, passes her hand over his stubbly face. "You're kinda cute yourself."

He glances down at her ever present cell phone. It was a quick glance, but she noticed. She turns it off and puts it in the purse. "Bet you didn't think I ever did that, did you?"

Then, in a slightly louder, sotto voce tone of voice, "Who does a girl have to blow around here to get laid by a good looking man?" Jesus Christ. He turns red. All conversation at the bar stops. The men all look down his way. He shrugs back at them. I swear, I don't know this woman. Even the bartender smiles.

She crosses her legs so that her top leg is right between his. She takes his hand and puts it on her thigh. He swears this must be some sort of setup. The white stockings under his hands feel... well, they feel goood? warm? sexy? He wants to do her right here on this nice slippery oaken bartop.

They talk and laugh. The truth of it is, they're old friends, and they meet like this frequently, but rarely does she come on to him so strongly. His cynical mind thinks she wants something. His animal mind says she must want him. His ultra rational mind tells his animal mind, what are you, fucking crazy? She's hot, and you're not.

Fucking crazy is about what his state of mind is. There are times in the conversation he just wants to believe she wants him for an evening of mindless sex. She leans into him and kisses his cheeks and nibbles on his ear, and he slides a hand a little higher up her thigh. She doesn't slap him. She asks what his smell is. He tells her the name of a cologne (he really doesn't remember what he put on this morning), but then adds, if you're smelling a smokey smell, it's because I smoked a pipe on the car ride over here.

"Ah, that's it. I love the smell of a man." His ex-wife would have berated him for smoking. And now this woman, her antipodal opposite.

Hands on cheek again. Hands lightly massaging his neck muscles. She's fully on tonight. She must be a tornado in the courtroom.

She has his undivided attention. Tailored black dress, spikey heels, a necklace that dips modestly between her lovely cleavage.

Then she kisses him full on the mouth. He just had a pipe in his mouth, and no time to brush his teeth. It must be like kissing an ashtray. (He can hear his ex's voice again.)

After a few more glasses, they're all over each other. Not so subtle kisses, a little hugging, a little groping. Then it's time to leave.

She gets the credit card out of her alligator purse (he is surprised - do women still buy alligator purses?) and pays their bills. The old bartender looks at him, raises his eyebrows and says, "You're going to have to teach me how to do that." Teach you? I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing. She’s driving the bus. I’m just the bus.

She takes his arm as they walk across the pale marble floor to the garage. They make quite a sight, this man in blue jeans and rumpled red flannel shirt with a trim woman in her best business dress on his arm, walking like the familiar friends they are. She waits for the valet to get her car.

"I'll wait for you," she says, "Follow me home?"

He shakes his head in disbelief. Sure. Did someone sprinkle fairy dust on him today?

It must be the Friday night before Valentine's Day. No one gets this lucky any other time of the year.

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