crook takes pawn part 43

    Her car was a Nissan Maxima, and drove like it was on rails. The engine purred with sleek power. Rebecca drove with ease, one hand on the wheel, the other gently stroking a loose strand of hair.
"I need to gas up," Rebecca says, flipping on her turning signal, "Do you need anything? A drink maybe?"
"well, I guess an energy drink might perk me up a bit." Greg requests.
As they pull out, Greg also exits the vehicle.
"You can stay here," Rebecca says, grabbing her checkbook.
"I was gonna pump the gas for you," Greg explains, "It's a dirty job, see?"
    Rebecca giggles and heads inside, her boots clopping on the blacktop. Greg hits the automatic feeder on the nozzle and leans against the lavish car. The pump ticks repetitively as the digital numbers wrack up. Greg secretly was glad he was not liable for the gas. The total was just under $40. Greg's business was doing well, but not enough to splurge really. He was existing comfortable above rags but below riches. Rebecca emerged punctually with a large can of caffeinated energy soda. Greg popped the top and saluted her with his beverage.
    "where do you want to eat?"
"How about the Piano Lounge?" Greg says, taking Amy's advice.
Rebecca purses her lips and nods, seeming enthused.
"Fancy digs," Rebeca says, "We'll show 'em how to dress to impress."
    Rebecca cranks the Nissan and they tear out of there. Rebecca casually swings around the corner with excessive speed. Greg grips the window to balance himself. The car's shocks absorb much of the sway.
"Have you ever been there before?" Rebecca asks.
"The Piano Lounge?" Greg remarks, "No, but I heard it's pretty swanky."
"I used to go there all the time," Rebecca says as she pauses to check both ways, "My last boyfriend before my ex used to take me there a lot."
"Oh," is Greg's reply. He hoped Rebecca didn't ask about any of his ex-girlfriends. It had been a bit of a dry spell for little Greggie. But Rebecca was a fresh drink of water in a drought. It was set then, first stop was the Piano Lounge.
    As they walked through the pedestrian mall, Greg felt the errant looks people gave toward him and Rebecca. It was strange. Most of the attention was drawn toward Rebecca. Guys passed giving admiring glances, women gave cold jealous stares. A lot of them probably wondered how a big guy snagged a voluptuous vixen like that. But Rebecca was oblivious to all of it. It must feel so natural to have eyes on her all the time, it no longer phased her.     It played with Gregs ego a bit. He suddenly wanted to go out and about to every place he could think of. He wanted his friends and aquantances to see him with her. Greg had never acted like the expansion of his name, gregarious. Greg mostly minded himself, and let others do so as well. He had never really liked going to the bars. Lone guys by themselves rarely did well in that setting. Plus, it was too loud to really talk to women up close. Perhaps that was the point though: get drunk to the point where you dont even have to talk, just bump and and writhe against each other in ignorant abandon. Gregs party days were pretty much long gone. However, when Rebecca brought up the prospect of visiting the club, his interest perked up. It would be a lot more enjoyable to hang out if he already had a lady to go with.
    A serenade of piano greeted them at the front door. it seemed like a hi-brow crowd. No hipsters lingering around, looking ragged and huddled. Everyone had on savvy attire. Rebecca linked Greg's arm and tipped her hat at the seater.
"Hey Rebecca," The stranger greeted.
"We need a table, my good man," Rebecca says, raising her voice over the gentle music.
    The seater waves a hand at she and Greg, and they follow. One of the people clustered among a group points out to them.
"We've been waiting 20 minutes for a seat, what's the deal???" The upset bystander says.
    The seater disregards these shouts and leads them back to a small table towards the middle of the club. Rebecca has an unheard conversation with the man. They seem to be old acquaintances. It is primo seating. They are situated right next to the large grand piano near center. The pianist is in the middle of an involved rendition of Claude Debussy's Reverie, although Greg hadn't the slightest clue. It was good background sound, that's all he knew.

    Being the decadent one, Rebecca ordered an apple martini. Greg ordered a domestic beer. Rebecca paid for it. Greg gave a weak rebuke, offering to pay. She would have none of it. Her bills were crisp and new. The ones with Greg's wallet were battered and wrinkled. The previous owners of Greg's dollars must have held on to them tightly, and for quite some time. Rebecca did not struggle with money. Her cash came straight from her exes account, across the wire, and fresh outta the ATM.
    After eating a fairly light meal, (A mushroom and swiss burger for Greg, a grilled chicken for Rebecca) they sat and talked for about an hour. Greg mostly listened. He forgot how easy it was to get on a girls good side. Most of the difficulty is actually striking up an initial conversation with a chick. Once a guy got them talking, it was pretty simple. Just let them ramble, and all was well. It was the same with sales, Greg pretended to be riveted to what she was saying. Greg made mental notes on occasion as she spoke. Rebecca had a sister, Amy, who lived 2 hours away. Rebecca was a stay at home mom, but had just recently started back into school. She was majoring in writing and poetry. Hence the extensively crafted note. Greg would have to bone up on some of his reading. Girls who read sometimes had vivid imaginations, and could delve into romance with ferociousness. Or so Greg heard. Those University girls could be wild. Greg lived in a college town, and the steady stream of academic babes had once again picked up as school got into full swing.
    Rebecca asked the random question here and there, but Greg really did not have much to say. His life was decidedly boring and uneventful. Forget the Jessie incident, other than that, he was an average Joe, as boring as a plank of wood. He told one story about how a customer had recently tried to steal from him. Greg had caught the little punk by the arm and asked him to take the item from his sweatshirt front pocket. Greg had left the floor room to check on something, and caught sight of the little bastard snatching an mp3 player on the security monitor back there. Greg had rushed out with utmost anger brewing. The kid was young, maybe 12. He was a white suburban kid. The thief didn't look to be starving, judging by his designer jeans and fancily decorated Tap Out sweatshirt. Greg had hauled him into the back office, meeting little resistance from the suddenly whining tween kid.
    He begged Greg not to call the police. Greg actually had little intention of doing so, but wanted to put fear in the boy. Greg elected to call the teens parents, who came out to the Pawn and Payday post haste. They lectured the delinquent in front of Greg, and the boy began to cry. Greg took a picture of the boy on his cell phone and stated the shrimp was banned from his store. If he stepped foot on Greg's property, the police would be called. It was an empty threat, but Greg's bluff appeared to spook the boy greatly. Greg did not want to deal with the cops unless he had to. the police had helped capture jessie initially, but there had been no squad cars at the time Greg really needed them. The police had showed up at the same time as the ambulance, and surely the ambulance was called after the initial phone-in to the cop shop.
    Other than that, Greg had no great yarns to spin. He threw the conversation back to Rebecca, who picked it up and continued without pause.

Uploaded 03/20/2012
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