She stood inside the door and scanned the stool roosters for her prey. Her eyes met mine for an instant and moved on without expression. Finding the sucker she wanted, she sauntered straight for him.
Jake's Tavern was packed with the bottle water and boat shoe crowd for the Monday night football game. The Giants had first and goal, but at that moment, as her stiletto heels clicked on the wooden floor, Jake could have shut the TV off. No one would have noticed.
The women gaped. The men beamed and depending on what turned them on, hinged their eyes onto what was popping out of her halter top, or to her long tapered left leg as it flashed in and out of the slit in her skirt.
With no empty stool next to her mark, she stood before him, her hazel eyes boring into his baby blues and said, "Buy a girl a drink?"
He slithered off his stool like the snake he was and swept his hand across it as if he were Sir Galahad. "Have a seat."
If she had picked me seemingly at random, my first reaction would have been flattery. But soon my natural suspicions would have taken over and I would ask myself, why me?
Looks? A dozen guys in here had his look. Dressed like money? Same answer. Every denim shirt had a designer label on the breast pocket, and the gold watches on the men's wrists were so heavy they only used their right hands to lift their beers.
But, based on his smirk, I guessed this guy had an ego the size of my asshole father's. I was sure the only thought running through the dupe's pea brain was, of course me. Who else would you pick? I wanted to leap off my stool and smack his head against the bar.
She slid her gorgeous backside onto the padded seat and wiggled back and forth a couple of times to get comfortable. Her skirt fell off her legs and before she crossed them the guys at the tables let out piercing whistles. The slit in her dress was so high they had to have been able to see her underpants, if she wore any.
The mark turned to the guy panting next to her and said, "Pete, find another stool."
Pete pulled in his tongue, shut his drooling mouth, and sorrowfully dragged himself away from his buddy.
A portion of her hair lay across her chest. She swept it back and swiveled sideways, nearly brushing her breasts against him.
"Oh, look, the Giants are going to score," she said.
His leer told me he thought he was going to do the same thing. "What'll you have?" he asked.
"Beer," she said, pausing for him to get the full effect of her big smile and dazzling white teeth, then added, "For starters."
His eyes fixed to her chest as if stuck with epoxy, he yelled, "Jake, two beers."
It took all of my restraint to stay where I was.
Jake delivered the drinks, sloshing some on the bar when he recongnized her. She'd been in his place with me who knows how many times, though never dressed like she was now. Her hair was usually in a ponytail, sometimes topped with a baseball hat, and she always wore jeans and tees, or sweatshirts. You didn't wear anything good to Jake's. The Bar-B-Q sauce swathed on the ribs and chicken, and the hamburgers dripping with soft cheddar cheese required multi swipes of a napkin. It took a super finicky eater to keep from getting some of it on your pants and shirt.
That was another reason this numb nut should have been suspicious. In the get up she had on she was as out of place as my little seventeen-foot sailboat would have been in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
"Sorry," Jake mumbled as he mopped up the spill. He flipped his towel over his shoulder and marched down the bar to me.
"That's Bobbie," he stammered.
"What the hell's going on?"
"Shhh," I said, covering my ear with the receiver in it, blocking out Jake and the din of the crowd, many of whom had redirected their interest and cheers from the scantily clad girl back to the TV. It was now fourth and a half-yard to the goal line. The Giants, behind by fourteen to Washington had shunned a field goal attempt and with seconds left in the half, lined up for one last plunge.
Bobbie sipped her beer, put her glass down, and with disregard for my instructions, leaned forward. Despite the bug being miniscule, I still had a tough time hiding it on her because of her choice of clothes for tonight's sting. I finally taped it to the bottom of her left breast. But I told her she didn't have to shove herself into his face. The bug would have no trouble picking him up.
Resting her hand on the loser's knee, she said, "You have beautiful eyes. I spotted them from across the room."
His shit-eating grin grew, as I was sure did something else.
"It's almost half time," he said. "I don't live to far from here. How about we go to my place and watch the rest of the game?"
"You don't have a girlfriend? I'm surprised."
The Giants scored.
"I'm kind of between relationships right now."
I almost missed his response because the football fanatics were yelling at the TV screen. I hoped Stephanie didn't.
"Let me just hit the little girl's room for a second."
"Hurry back," he said.
I thought, you deserve everything you're going to get, Jerk.
Bobbie slipped off her stool and sashayed toward the back hallway, exaggerating the sway of her hips. With the game in half time and nothing to distract attention from her, the whistles and cat calls again erupted, accompanied by elbows jammed into ribs of their dates by the women who didn't appreciate their men acting like newly pubescent teenagers.
With a big smile on her face, Bobbie didn't miss a step. She seemed to be reveling in her new job. Too much.
I leaped from my stool and hustled in behind her, cutting off another guy who had gotten up the nerve to try and approach her.
"Hey," he protested.
"I'm her brother," I lied.
In my best scowl, I said to her, "The doctor is not going to be happy with this set back."
"I hate those shrinks," she adlibbed.
The unnerved guy slinked away.
I pulled her aside where lover boy couldn't see us and said, "Stand here for a minute and watch."
It didn't take twenty seconds for the fireworks to begin. Stephanie, who had been in my car listening on another receiver, burst into the bar and stomped over to our Romeo. She ripped a ring off her left hand, threw it on the floor, and, after it stopped bouncing, crushed it under her platform shoe.
"You pig!" she yelled. "My friends told me they saw you with other women. I didn't believe them."
"It's over," she said, the tears starting to flow.
He reached for her.
She slapped his hand away, whirled on her heels and tromped back toward the door. Bobbie and I ran after her.
I glanced at the asshole. His eyes seemed to have sunken into his head and he slumped on the bar stool like a sack of fertilizer that almost doubles in half when stood on end.
We caught up with Stephanie as she yanked the rear door of my car open. "I'm sorry it turned out this way," I said. I really was. Stephanie was a sweet girl and not a bad looker either. She was six inches shorter than Bobbie, but her figure fit her frame nicely with no excess bulges a short person sometimes had.
"At least I found out before I married the son-of-a-bitch," she said, burying her face in her hands to cover he deep sobs.
Bobbie put her arms around Stephanie in a comforting hug. A moment later my client composed herself and drew back. I handed her a bunch of hapkins I had taken from the bar. Ninety percent of these boyfriend fidelity stings ended this way, and I was prepared for the weeping, spurned fiance.
We dropped Stephanie off and I headed for my house. I said to Bobbie, "I'm sorry I let you talk me into this. The next time Caroline and Jackie are away at the same time, I'm turning the job down."
"Why? Didn't I do good?"
"Too good. Did you have to act so seductively? Did you have to touch him?"
"The great detective is jealous?"
"If you must know, yes. Where did you get that outfit anyway?"
"In a little boutique downtown called, Clothes For The Proper Hooker."
"Ha ha. You are wearing underpants?"
She snuggled close to me and kissed my cheek. It was times like this I appreciated my old Chevy with the bench seat.
"Lacy black one. Hurry up and get home so I can show them to you."