© Clare London
“You know, he answers the whole damned lot?” I was still marvelling at my discovery of Robbie’s astonishing tolerance, even over supper. I’d taken a new date to the local bistro, where I knew I could get a reasonable steak and a couple of bottles of wine, cheap enough not to strip my wallet but strong enough to get the guy amenable to a more adventurous fuck. “All the sad, sorry letters I don’t use, he replies to them. Okay, so it’s a standard form, but if they give an address, he writes them. I thought he stopped that, months ago, when the mail started to increase. God, the time it must take, I never see him doing it in office hours. Guy must have no life outside work at all…”
“Alex.” My new guy broke in. I hadn’t heard that biting tone in his voice before. Hell, I’d picked him up in a hot, dark, noisy club, and the only other conversation we’d had so far were grunts of half-drunken sexual satisfaction, back at my apartment that first night. He left afterwards, not even bothering with a shower, but that suited me fine. It wasn’t often I took things on to a second date, anyway, though he’d been cute enough for me to consider it.
“Shut the fuck up with the work stories,” he sighed.
Looking more closely at him, I saw all the things I usually liked in a body – blond hair, good strong shoulders, thick, wide lips. And some other stuff I didn’t, like the frown on his face and the rather too sharp glint in his eye. “That’s all you’ve talked about, all evening. Robbie this, Robbie fucking that.”
“Robbie fucking nothing, I think,” I laughed, though a little too loudly. “That’s my whole point –”
The guy stood up, abruptly. I watched as he threw down a few bills for his supper and pulled on his jacket. He looked down at me and rolled his eyes. “Maybe you think I’m impressed with the fact your name’s in a magazine – maybe you think that’s all it takes, off the page as well as on. I should appreciate your incisive wit, your pretentious rants. I should be grateful to be your audience for the night.” I know my eyes widened with surprise, though whether at his attitude or his own obvious fluency, I wasn’t sure. “Yeah,” he said, nodding. “I guessed so. You don’t listen to me, but you expect me to listen to you. Well, that’s good enough for one fuck, but not much more. Not for me, anyway.”
I watched him walk out of the restaurant with a broad, strong stride. He had a damned fine ass. I picked up his half-finished glass of wine and poured it into my own. I’d have called out after him – tried to wheedle him back to the table – but, rather embarrassingly, I couldn’t remember if his name was Bob or Brad.
Dammit. I decided to take my time over finishing the wine, and maybe go on to a club. A different one. I didn’t want to bump into Bob/Brad again tonight, and listen to more of his cheap pearls of wisdom about my literary skills. I didn’t need professional critique from a lug like that. I didn’t need much conversation at all, to be honest. My dates were there to fuck and have fun, not fraternise.
For Christ’s sake, the last thing I was interested in was whether he was Really The One!