If he hadn’t known better, he would have thought it was a setup. Considering where things ended up leading, it might as well have been. All of it, just to meet that one girl.
Marlon was crazy. He owned a huge apartment in the expensive part of the city, and no one really knew where he got the money; he worked at a divorce attorney office, the kind that don’t require a spouse’s signature. He had first met Marlon when he still worked at the big law firm, and he’d fallen in with him right away – the guy knew how to throw a party.
He never quite figured out why Marlon left; something to do with his boss, who Marlon had never really liked. In his mind, that didn’t really justify leaving a cushy job with an almost infinite upward path for a downtown crap shack that got people out of your life for $300. There was no way he was making any decent money there, even if they kept things off the books (which was pretty likely). It didn’t change a thing; he’d kept the apartment, the expensive TV and white leather couches, and he still threw mad parties.
Most of the people who’d shown up were young urbanites fresh out of college (some still in college), starting their career and living the good life in a big city. There was always something to do on a Saturday night, and apparently this was the thing to do this night. There must have been fifty people crammed into that apartment, and there was wine and champagne and expensive beer. The music was loud, the people were louder, and there was a lot of laughter, a lot of joking, and a whole lot of flirting.
He’d come because Marlon had invited him; he liked the atmosphere, when people started getting hammered, when their hair and their guards came down. A lot of the girls were single, and it was a good place to pick someone up (or get laid, if the mood was right). At any given time, there was something or other going on in the bedroom.
Tonight, though, he wasn’t really all that into it. He’d just come off the back of a week of fifteen-hour days, and frankly was planning to stay an hour, get wasted, and go back to his apartment to sleep for twenty-four hours straight.
He’d secured himself a comfy seat in a corner near the windows, having made sure it was only big enough for one. He had a glass of scotch in his hand – no ice – and had surreptitiously liberated the bottle from the little bar shelf in the open-plan kitchen. If he didn’t finish it, he told himself, he’d be taking it with him. It was Marlon’s, and it was expensive, and he didn’t give a shit. […]
Read the full chapter here.