Bluff City excerpt: The GFE

While I finish out a deadline for the Chicago Sports Review, here’s a little nugget from Bluff City, my novel-equivalent of “Chinese Democracy.” More news on BC coming very soon; for now, here’s a little chapter involving Kevin Madden, a soon-to-be-former reporter for the local paper, and his…er, “date,” concluding matters on Kevin’s last night in Memphis. Enjoy.

———–
“You seen my panties?”
Mandy was rooting around in the corners of Kevin’s bedroom, overturning books, CDs, and the occasional pizza slice, and Kevin had to marvel at how he could watch a hot naked woman do anything.
“I think they’re somewhere out on Union Avenue,” Kevin murmured. “Hey, careful with those books. They’re in a very precise order.”
“Uh-huh. And I’m Oprah Winfrey.”
“Then you should know the value of fine literature, ma’am,” Kevin said, rolling to sit on the edge of the bed. “You know, you could come to New York with me. You’d love it there.”
“Sure. And you’re going to set me up in the lap of luxury, right? Diamonds and pearls and all that?”
“Well…I’ve got a studio apartment. I could spring for a venti latte every so often, though.”
“Pass. Do you know how many men come through my club looking to take me away? I was almost Mrs. Michael Jordan, did you know that?”
“I did not. I’m honored to be in your presence, ma’am.”
“And well you should be.” She wiggled into her jeans and t-shirt, laced up her high heels, then stood up and extended a hand. “Moment of truth.”
Kevin slapped her open palm. “Been awhile since I’ve given five for loving, but hey—it was pretty good, wasn’t it?”
“It was. And now it’s time to pay for it.”
Kevin scowled. “Pay? You have got to be kidding.”
Mandy smiled. “Come on, player. You’re good, but you aren’t that good. Nobody picks up a stripper in fifteen minutes. This is a fee-based arrangement, plain and simple.”
Kevin pulled on his boxers—it didn’t seem right to negotiate business in the altogether—and stood up. “But we were—you know, kissing and holding hands and stuff.” Kevin almost reverted to thirteen and said, “I thought you liked me,” but caught himself just in time.
“Aw, sweetie,” Mandy said, pinching his cheek. “You didn’t pick up on the whole GFE deal?”
“GFE?”
“Girlfriend Experience. You know, kissing you on the lips, holding hands, talking nice about you to your friends…”
“Take all my stuff and call my mother to tell her what a bastard she raised?”
“That comes later. Now, though—pay up.”
Kevin sighed. “And here I thought I was the friggin’ mack. Okay, how much?”
“Usually a home visit with full GFE runs three hundred. But since you were so good—and since you’re leaving town—” Mandy said, leaning in close to give him a full kiss—“it’ll be five hundred.”
“Eh. Still cheaper than being married.” He reached for his pants—which had been flung over the screen of his laptop—and found them disturbingly light. He looked around his desk—nothing. And then an image came to him, surfacing from the alcoholic mire of his memory—himself and Mandy fumbling around on his desk at the newspaper, planting her fine ass right on top of yesterday’s edition—and laughing at the picture of the mayor that smeared onto her left cheek. And somewhere in the course of the workplace gymnastics, he remembered his wallet popping out of his pants—and remembered thinking that he needed to remember to grab it—and then not remembering to remember.
Kevin smiled a sickly grin.
“Take a check?”
—————

Jay

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