The Pickup Artist (Day 4)

“You have a slight accent, and I can’t put my finger on it. Where are you from?”

Luke averted his eyes and played coy, counting to two in his head before answering her. “Well, I don’t like talking about it much.”

“Oh come on, please?” She involuntarily moved her body in closer to him.

“Well, only if you promise not to tell anyone. It will be our little secret.”

Her eyes grew wider as the excitement filled her. “I swear, I won’t tell a soul.”

“Alright, but not here,” he stated as he stood up taller, dropping his shoulders back. “I only live a few blocks away. Care to join me?” She hesitated for a moment, but Luke knew he had her hook, line, and sinker.

“Okay, let’s go.”

Luke pulled two twenty dollar bills from his pocket and placed them on the bar, catching the bartender’s eye. Luke called out, “Keep the change,” as they strolled out into the brisk night air. He flagged down a cab and they quickly got inside, cuddling close. “So,” she said, her voice lowered to a whisper, “are you going to tell me?”

“Soon. We’re almost there.”

The cab ride was brief as they pulled up in front of his brownstone. He paid cash again for the ride and escorted her to the front door. He quickly unlocked the door and lead her into the foyer, closing the door behind him. “Would you like a glass of wine?” He asked her casually as he dropped the keys on the top of the short bookcase and reached into his pockets to empty out the rest of the contents.

“You know exactly what I would like,” she said with a sweet inflection in the middle. Luke couldn’t hold in the haughty smirk that formed, but stretched it into a broad smile as he turned to face her. “Now that’s not lady-like conversation at all.”

“I mean the secret.”

Luke knew she was lying, but he played along. “Okay okay, I’ll tell you. My name is not Luke.” He paused, letting the words linger in the air briefly before continuing. “It’s actually Jean-Luc, because I am French by birth.” With those words he forced out a stronger accent.

“I knew there was something sexy about you.” Her eyes narrowed as she licked her lips and shifted her weight to the other side to accent her curves. “How about you get me that wine now, while I slip off this jacket and get a little more,” she paused, “comfortable.”

Luke held character and casually turned away from her, heading down the hall and around the corner, out of her sight. “You know I don’t tell just anyone that you know.” He nonchalantly grabbed a bottle of white wine from the fridge, “I mean, that’s why I had to bring you here. I feel safe here.” He opened the cabinet and grabbed two glasses from the shelf. “With you.” Luke opened the drawer to pull out the corkscrew, setting the glasses on the counter. “You’re really an amazing woman, you know that.” He poured both glasses halfway, then topped off one of them an extra few ounces, recorking the bottle. “I really think we have a connection.”

He grabbed the glasses and walked back towards the front door. “You know, you are the,” he stopped mid-sentence as he found the foyer empty of her, her coat, and the items he had laid out on the bookcase. He quickly walked over to where his wallet had been to find an ebony business card laid gently on the bookcase. It was blank on the front, so he shuffled the glasses into one hand as he picked it up and flipped it over to find a handwritten note.

“French my ass. Sincerely, Destiny.”

This is part of a 30 day series of 2-3 minute short stories written for the 30 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, 2011. You can view all the stories in the Short Story A Day category.

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