Pieces of the Night
Cary held a hand up weakly and Jordan hauled her to her feet… and right into his chest. Just standing up this girl was sexy, the way she fit against his body. He considered how hot they would look together on their search for her missing friends. They’d have to find some of his friends too, so he could rub it in their faces. In the heap of clothes on the floor Cary found a one hundred dollar bill wrapped around the strap of her bra.
“What do you think this is for?”
Jordan shrugged. “You should be asking how it got inside your shirt.”
When he’d collected everything he remembered wearing, he joined Cary in the bathroom. And whistled long and low. She stood naked in front of the mirror, brushing her teeth. Jordan walked around naked all the time – occupational hazard – but he wasn’t used to girls doing it. They always seemed be hiding something or feeling insecure. He thought they were incredible.
Well at least this one is.
“Damn, Cary.” He laughed as he moved behind her to run his hands along her shape. She smiled at him in the mirror then bent right over to rinse. She even wiggled her ass.
She did offer her toothbrush though, and Jordan did what he could with his hair. It was getting too long again. When Cary reappeared, she was wearing tight dark jeans with high brown boots and a white scoop neck sweater. Her healthy skin tone glowed above the winter white, like some kind of snow princess. She held up one hand.
“What is this?”
It was tin foil, twisted into a round cylindrical base then pinched off and topped with a crude bowl-shaped top. It was rough, but it could only be one thing.
“That is obviously the Stanley Cup.” He didn’t remember it, but it looked about right.
Cary studied it again, like an ink blot that might reveal meaning. “You’re some artist.”
“Hey! I bet you made that.”
She pulled an edge that stuck out of the base – a receipt had been woven in. “We ate at a diner at 2:52 AM. Uh, we weren’t alone though. We spent a lot of money.”
Jordan took the paper. It was just the credit card signature portion, not a list of order. But it was only eighty dollars. “No, it was probably all me. And this place is right across the street.”
Even in last night’s clothes, Jordan looked so good that Cary had trouble walking straight. He wore a dark gray button up shirt rolled back over his forearms and simple black suit pants that stretched over his ass with every step. His suit coat hung open under his overcoat, and he even had a blue scarf. He collected his stuff, then looked right at her put his tie and knit hat back on the dresser.
Fucking A right you’re coming back here.
She’d nearly died when he said her friends would need another room. She’d take out a loan and buy a damned apartment if he wanted her to. Whatever he’d done to her in that bed was the closest she’d ever come to a religious experience. Now she wanted a revival.
They were passing in front of the check-in desk, Jordan’s hand on her back, when the receptionist called out to them.
“Miss! Good morning. Were you able to get in okay last night?”
Cary looked at Jordan, but he was blank. “Uh, yeah. Thanks. Did I get my key from you?”
“Yes. You misplaced the first one and stopped by for a new one. You were in quite a hurry to use the restroom, I remember.”
Cary made a face. “Sounds about right. But that was the middle of the night. Why are you still working?”
“Oh, I’ve got a double shift today. Working midnight to noon. So I know your friends haven’t been by to pickup the note you left them.”
Jordan leaned over the counter and the receptionist batted her eyes at him. “They won’t be needing the note anymore. Could we get it back so there’s no confusion?”
Jesus Christ, he could talk a nun out of a convent.
The woman behind the desk nodded like she was imagining his hands on her neck. She’d empty the safe if Jordan felt like robbing the place. She retrieved a white hotel envelope and passed it to them. “Enjoy your day.”
They moved to the far corner, out of earshot, and tore open the seal. Inside was a piece of printer paper, clearly borrowed at the time of writing. Jordan ripped it right out of her hands.
“What is this?” he howled. “Oh my God, you’re a serial killer. Is this a note demanding my ransom?”
She jumped up to snatch it. On one side, in handwriting fit for a mad bomber manifesto, was a note from Cary to her friends Sara and Liz.
v busy with Jodran Staal here
get other room
I have $
Jordan’s misspelled name was crossed out and re-written above in his handwriting, which looked equally sloppy and childish. Then Cary had helpfully illustrated the note with a giant #11 over it anyway. She ducked her head, cracking up. Jordan lifted the note up to the light like he was a detective.
“This is amazing. Can I keep this? I might have to hang this in my locker.”
He held it over his head so there was no hope of her reaching it. When she gave up, he folded the note carefully back into the envelope and put it in his inside pocket. “I can’t wait to see what the diner says.”
Jordan felt giddy. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d had this much fun with someone he just met. Cary was turning out to be an excellent take away order. Outside, she bundled deep into her green parka and Jordan put his arm around her, though they were only going across the street. He’d already made it clear he intended to have her again.
Why not enjoy the company?
The diner was pretty empty.; the Friday breakfast crowd had cleared out and it was still early for lunch. The woman behind the counter told them to sit anywhere, so they chose a booth off to the right.
“Hey, look who it is!” the waitress, an older woman with a red bouffant hairdo, strolled up with a tiny notebook in hand. “Didn’t think you two would be up and about so early.”
“Uhh…,” Jordan looked at Cary, who stared back as blankly as he had in the hotel lobby. “Hi. Did you wait on us last night?”
“More like this morning, hon. I’ve got the graveyard here, late night to lunch time. About to be off in an hour. Don’t usually see the late night people out before I go home.” She arched an eyebrow, smiling primly. “Don’t suppose you all remember much from last night.”
Cary smiled right back. “No ma’am. Did we miss anything good?”
The waitress’s name was Barb. She put her pad of paper down on the table and her hands on her hips, like a sassy mother would do. She was enjoying herself. “Well y’all are here together so I assume you made it home safely. ‘Course we get kids in here all the time after last call. Thought we were gonna have to throw you out for getting too fresh.”
Jordan was amazed that Cary held his eye the entire time the waitress spoke. Her lips parted in disbelief, but she wasn’t embarrassed. It looked like she was thinking about doing it all over again.
God damn this girl is hot.
“You could barely stop kissing long enough to eat what you ordered. Which was a lot. You took some to go.”
“Explains the Stanley Cup.” Under the table, Cary slid a foot out of her boot and put it right in Jordan’s lap. He choked on air, tried to cover it with a cough.
“But you left a big tip. So thanks for that.”
“Can we have what we ordered last night?” Cary asked, still looking right at Jordan.
“All of it?”
Jordan answered. “Yes, please.”
Barb walked away shaking her head. Jordan grabbed Cary’s ankle in both hands and held her foot still from rubbing along his thigh. “I thought you were hungry,” he said, tickling her.
She yanked her foot away with a laugh. “I wanted to see if we could get thrown out after all.”
They’ll throw us out if I fuck her on this table.
But some quick mental math told Jordan the table would never hold him, let alone both of them. And he did really need to eat, before a hangover presented itself. So he grabbed his water glass and slid out of his side of the booth and in next to Cary.
“This seat taken?” he asked innocently.
Those deep brown eyes rolled comically. “Just don’t eat my food.”
They hatched some crazy theories about what might have happened the night before. As the stories got more elaborate, their roles became more glamorous. They’d escaped a horde of Pens fans by dressing Jordan like a girl. They’d fit Jordan into the midget’s little house on the bar. They had robbed a bank or drag raced and won someone’s pink slip.
Speculation reigned about Cary’s missing friends. Jordan noticed that she hadn’t tried to call them, but didn’t point out this most obvious of discrepancies.
Hmm. I don’t want to share her.
Cary was in the middle of asking Jordan about his brothers when their food came. Barb set a big tray on the next table and carried over two large plates – one pasta, one sandwich. Then she went back for a pile of chicken parm.
“This one must be mine,” Cary said reaching for the pasta.
“Nope, honey. That one’s yours.” Barb hooked a thumb over her shoulder at another waitress, who was carrying an enormous hot fudge sundae with two cherries on top. Jordan pulled the pasta back to his side.
“Sounds about right,” Cary said. Barb gave them a look that said Oh, you crazy kids and left them to their food.
Jordan took a big bite of the pasta in red sauce. “Mmmmm,” he said loudly, as if Cary would be jealous.
She gave him a dirty look, plucked a cherry from her sundae and very slowly wrapped her tongue around the bright red blub. She pulled it against her full lips before allowing it to drag into her mouth. A tiny drop of bright red maraschino juice ran just below her mouth.
Sluuuuuuuuuuuut. Too much?
Just right. Jordan attacked her, crushing down a kiss big enough to lick the dark stain from her skin. Then he slipped his tongue into her mouth, as if he didn’t want her to miss an ounce of the taste. Cary’s body popped like a solar flare and she knew exactly why they’d almost been thrown out before.
Because Jordan could kiss a lollipop off its stick.
It took her a moment to get her breathing under control when he finally freed her lips. Then she held up the other cherry, offering it to him. He tilted his head and bit the dangling fruit right off the stem, keeping his eyes on her the whole time.
“Not matter how many you eat, babe, it doesn’t grow back,” he said.
He just called me babe.
They shared all the food, rotating the plates until Jordan had demolished most of the menu. Cary was full too, and good thing because her head was starting to ache. Whatever she’d had to drink was not good fuel for her system. Diner food would at least stick to her engine. As they worked on the sundae, Jordan casually put his hand on her thigh and kept it there like a dare.
When they could eat no more, they watched the last scoop of ice cream melt back into milk. Barb dropped off their check. “You all come back tonight if you want. We still got some ice cream left.”
Jordan palmed the bill folder, but Cary went for her wallet anyway. “Shit,” she said. “I’m missing a credit card. I probably left it at that bar.”
“I bet it’s in the midget’s house. Because you were definitely in there.”
“Ha ha ha,” she said drily. “I hope he didn’t use it to pay for that shitty punch he was giving away.”
“You have that hundred from you bra,” he reminded her.
“I prefer to save my stripper money for new thongs.”
As the waitress ran Jordan’s card, Cary considered what to do next. She had to get to the bar and retrieve her credit card, either before or after finding her friends. That would start with a phone call. But the minute she did that, this little fun thing going with Jordan would end. Sure he’d left his stuff in the hotel room, but he made like three million dollars a year. He could lose a hat and tie. Once other people were around, she wasn’t sure their connection would hold up.
Breakfast was over. Even the longest of one night stands ended after breakfast. But Jordan had every intention of making his previous statement true – her friends were going to need another room. And he’d left his stuff upstairs anyway. That was his favorite tie.
“Should we go see a man about a midget?”
Cary covered her face. “They’re called little people. It’s insensitive to use the word midget.”
“Uh, no. Man-Boy calls himself a midget. They advertise the word midget. If he’s okay with it, I’m okay with it. Like if he wants to live in a little house and steal your credit cards. That’s cool with me.”
She punched him in the arm, which he simply caught in mid-swing and pulled across his body, so she was leaning into his lap. Then he kissed her. “This is fun. Let’s go.”
Go all day, so we can have another night. Then another. It’s only Friday.
Jordan got them a cab downtown just by saying “Casey’s.” In the backseat, he pulled Cary in close and took up as much room as possible. Along the way he pointed out a few of his favorite places. She asked questions and he wondered if he’d ever be able to take her somewhere, if she’d want to actually do something on purpose with him. Because this all seemed like such a lucky accident.
Casey’s was a dive bar with a great collection of random crap on the walls. A dark wooden bar to the left, a jukebox to the right and in the front corner, a little wooden stall like the ticket booth at an old theater.
“That’s Man-Boy’s house.”
“Oh my God. I remember!” That’s all Cary said. There were a few posters and t-shirts hung up, promoting Man-Boy and the nights he poured free shots. What could be a better bar gimmick? He only worked late though.
“You worked last night,” Cary said to the bartender. He nodded.
“I remember you. And you, Jordan, of course. I’m Dave.”
Well that part was easy, everyone in town knew Jordan. Cary was in investigative mode. “How are you on now if you worked last night?”
Dave polished a glass. “I got off at midnight, back on at eleven today. You guys were here a while before I left, take it you stayed till closing?”
Jordan settled his arm around Cary’s waist. He was suddenly a little apprehensive of what they might hear. “What makes you say that?”
From alongside the cash register, Dave pulled a black check folder like the one they’d had at the diner. He opened it. “What’s your name?”
“Yup, that’s you.” He passed her the folder. She opened it and almost passed out.
Jordan peered over her shoulder. The bar tab was $450. He barked a laugh. “Shit, Care, in a place like this do you know how much you have to drink?” Sure enough the receipt was folded over several times. He pulled it loose.
“Let’s see. Sixteen pitchers of beer - well, they’re small pitchers – a hundred and twelve dollars. Eleven shots of tequila, sixty-six dollars. Your dignity, ninety-nine cents. Five rum and cokes, fourteen Irish car bombs… and someone had four diet sodas. Those were a dollar. Jesus, Cary. No wonder we don’t remember anything!”
“I don’t remember offering to pay for it all!” she cried. “And wait. Why does the diet soda cost more than my dignity?!”
Dave put his hands up. “We haven’t run the card yet. The guy on late last night, Bobby, thought you might say that. He said you were pretty happy though, and that you might have left with this one.” He gestured toward Jordan. “We know where to find the guys, if you know what I mean. Not the first time someone forgot to pick-up their tab in the pursuit of, um… happiness.”
Happy ending, thank you very much.
Jordan immediately produced a credit card. He had been very, very happy and would gladly foot the bill. Cary put her head against his arm.
“We don’t remember anything,” she admitted.
Dave smiled like it was the oldest story in the book. “You were both pretty faced even before I left. A bunch of the players were here – even Crosby was throwing ‘em back. Drank about six of those car bombs you ordered.”
Cary’s stomach turned at the thought, she dug her fingers into Jordan’s arm.
“And you two were making out on the stairs.”
Sure enough there was a flight of stairs behind them that went up to a door marked “Private.” Cary closed her eyes. “Sounds about right.”
Dave laughed. “Thought you were going to make a run for the office, but you stayed out here. Least till I left. Bobby said later there was some line dancing after one of the guys got a hold of the jukebox. And I believe, if Bobby was correct, that some of the boys took home a couple of girls too. They yours?”
Jordan looked at Cary, they had their next target. “We will find out soon enough.”
Cary stopped on the sidewalk as the door to Casey’s closed behind her. “Don’t you think it’s weird?”
Jordan came back a few steps. “What’s weird?”
“That the receptionist, the waitress and the bartender from last night are all at work again? And they all remember us?”
He laughed. “Yeah, that’s pretty strange. But it sounds like we were pretty memorable.” His arms fit so nicely around the small of her back, and the way she looked up at him was just begging for a kiss. So he kissed her.
“Are we in a movie?” she asked, narrowing her eyes.
“I hope it’s Groundhog Day,” he said. “I could definitely do this morning over again.”