Crispin shifted uncomfortably upon his haunches. This was a strange group, for sure. He glanced back over at his work comrades, noting that they were quickly proceeding into that stage of drunkenness wherein the stuff of legend occurs. Marissa was trying to obtain a shot from out of Thomas’ buttocks, her hands hooked around his thighs and her nose buried deep. Jesse was dry humping Lauren in the corner like a dog in heat, while Mike and Cain, water cooler buddies, looked on approvingly as they removed their shirts. Ah well, he was enjoying his strange cocktail, and he had to admit, there was something compelling about these outcasts who welcomed him so readily into their entourage.
They sat together in collective silence for a moment, sipping their drinks and soaking in the hedonistic ambiance of Club Zephyr. Crispin was, by this point, a bit tipsy, so he may perhaps be forgiven for failing to notice when Lydia slipped her hand into his pocket and withdrew his wallet. She handed it off to Kruger, who summarily withdrew the driver’s license and handed it back to her. Lydia pressed herself against Crispin a little harder, giving him some boob this time, and simultaneously slipped his wallet back into his pocket.The only thing that Crispin was aware of was thigh and boob. Kruger excused himself and tipped his hat to Crispin, who nodded back.
Looger leaned forward, his eyes a-gleam, his breath scented with shellfish. “Tell me, m’boy. Where did you learn them moves on the dance floor?”
Crispin flushed a bit. “Aw, you know. Just feel it in the hips. I used to dance to Michael Jackson in my underwear when I was a boy.” He wasn’t quite sure why he volunteered this information. But Looger nodded, seeming to approve of the dancing to Michael Jackson in skivvies as a perfectly viable method of learning.
“You’ve got the moves of a rattlesnake. You’ve got POTENTIAL, lad.” Kruger returned and handed a print-out to Looger, who consulted it, squinting, in the limited club lighting. Crispin took another couple of pulls from his Mordant Thief and drained the glass, giddy with Lydia’s silent and subtle attentions and Looger’s flattery. Crispin turned to Taft, who was happily drumming the beat of the music on his knees and watching the debauchery on the dance floor with interest, and offered to buy the next round. With a horse whistle, Taft called over the pony tailed waitress in black Converse and ordered them a new tray.
Looger examined Crispin piercingly over his glasses, his beard bedraggled in a somewhat majestic manner, now that Crispin looked more closely. “Don’t you think your talents are being wasted sitting behind a front desk all day?”
“Well, it’s a job,” Crispin began earnestly, “And the people I work with are fun. I mean, do I wish I was doing something more fulfilling? Of course I do. But isn’t that just the way adult life is?” Crispin looked around at the group, all of whom were gazing back at him intently.
“Wait a second. How did you know. . .?” By way of answer, Kruger flipped Crispin’s driver’s license onto the table like a card. As Crispin processed these events, the waitress distributed the drinks about the table and turned her sweet headlights on him. He automatically went for his wallet, then more urgently, realizing that his card may have gone wherever the ID had. But it was there, as was his cash, which he handed off to the waitress, who looked around at the table quizzically as she left.
“Sorry bub, just a routine background check. In this industry we’ve got to watch our backs,” Kruger said.
Lydia purred into his ear, “We just wanted to make sure that we could trust you. We LIKE you. If we are going to continue in this relationship, then we need to learn more about each other.”
Crispin’s head was spinning. He took a few pulls of his freshly delivered drink to ground himself. He took his ID and put it back into his wallet. He looked around at the group, all of whom were watching him. He smiled and raised his glass. “To new friends and new adventures!”
“Bravo, kid! Bravo!” Taft bubbled. Lydia squeezed his knee. Looger nodded approvingly. Kruger tipped his hat. They all raised their cups and drank.
“So what else do you know about me, then?” Crispin inquired.
Stay tuned, don’t touch that dial, folks. Crispin will return tomorrow!