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Dave's Place Chapter 3 - Susan

"That was wonderful." Susan hit me with that smile again. It made me quiver down to my core, but I didn't let her know. I think she knew anyway.

"Do I get any of your story?"

"Not just yet. I'd like to keep you guessing. You could tell me some of yours though." My face darkened briefly.

I thought for a moment and said, "It's long, but I'll tell you next time you come in."

She pretended not to notice my dilemma. "Thank you so much for the stories and the conversation, Dave."

"My pleasure. I hope you come back for more. Quite a cast of characters come through here." I gave her my best smile as she was picking up her purse.

"I think I will. See you soon, then."

I reached across the bar for a handshake, letting it linger as long as I could and looked her right in her beautiful brown sparkling eyes. "You are dangerous, you know." She said nothing, but smiled a little more broadly and turned and left. I was frozen for a while. I hadn't met anyone with such presence for a long time. She knew what she wanted, how to get it, and how to make people beg to give it to her again.

As I sighed, Andy broke me out of my reverie, "Wow. That was something. I've never seen you so pre-occupied, and I'd give you shit, but I can tell every second was worthwhile."

"All the more reason. You know I can't follow through. You should tell me I'm an idiot."

"Not this time," Andy replied solemnly.

The rest of the customers came and went. Since I was such a slacker that evening, I told Eric I'd close the bar. I wanted to be by myself for a while anyway. This was a troubling development.

A few days later, she breezed through the door again. My smile must have been outrageous because she stated, "I take it you're happy to see me." The delightful smile appeared once again.

"Very," I replied. "I thought about you quite a bit."

"And?" She barely arched an eyebrow. She was so gracefully expressive.

"I would like to see you sometime... when you're not buying the drinks."

Her laughter was like music. "Maybe I'm a successful woman and I like buying the drinks."

"I have no doubt about that, but I'd at least like to split the tab."

She teased me, "You're the owner, you pay as much of my tab as you like."

I fought back this time. "Well sure, but if I'm paying I want something in return." She bristled, and I quickly followed up, "Just to have your attention for a few hours." I smiled.

Susan looked thoughtful and didn't immediately reply. It was the first time I saw her unsettled. "I was hoping you would ask, but I'm not sure it's a good idea." She changed the subject. "Tell me another story."

I was disappointed, but it probably was for the best. "I met Elaine long ago......"

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