“He said he would be here as a favor for all the favors I’ve done for him. I’ve got to warn you, he is in something of a lost love state. He dumped everything here in the city to chase after a female only to have her dump him. If he shows up and acts like a jerk, we can just leave and stick him with the bill. Agreed?”
Zara almost smiled and then looked out across the bar and submitted, “Ah, now that looks like a male survivor from a failed relationship. Is this him?”
Zara was amazed again at how small the world was. The man approaching the table was not only a friend of her new mark, Buzz, but she knew him from her contracted job to deliver a digital payload to the city offices that had ended in her disruption of their computers. She had been attracted to him then and was not surprised, that though he looked worn down, she was attracted to him again. She needed to guard what she said with him, as her appearance had been very different during that encounter, but her voice could be her downfall.
Buzz, now a little disappointed at Daria’s keen interest in Jacob, dejectedly answered, “Yeah, that’s him.”
Jacob caught sight of Buzz and directly walked over to the table. He looked at them both but did not immediately join them. He almost smiled yet seemed to be assessing Daria as he stood at the head of the table.
Finally he spoke. “Hello, my name is Jacob. I’m a recovering pen-testing code jockey. I’m here tonight to discuss my struggling road to recovery, as well as to discuss a potential contract job you might have available.”
Buzz stared blankly at Jacob as he tried to determine Jacob’s sobriety level. His behavior was not a total giveaway at this point. Buzz signaled the waitress to bring Jacob his usual.
Zara chuckled and smiled warmly as she raised her chin. She then, as she suppressed most of her accent, offered, “I am, Daria. Won’t you tell me of your recovery status?”
She looked at Buzz, who seemed soured at Jacob’s hit entrance. Zara suggested, “Buzz, you didn’t mention that this Jacob person had a humorous streak in his composition, as well as broad shoulders!”
She looked back to Jacob and gestured for Jacob to sit next to her, which put even more downward pressure on Buzz’s mood. Jacob shrugged, looked at Buzz and acquiesced.
As Jacob sat down next to her, he winced a little as his fresh tattoo was still a little tender against the sliding action into the booth.
Zara noticed the slight grimace and asked, “How does a young stallion have aches or pains that cause him to show discomfort? Have you spent too much time coding and not enough time exercising? You do know that muscles that don’t get taken out for exercise soon get even with you, yes?”
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