The Night Before:
Jason Gold was just a little drunk, broke (although he did not know it yet) and still savored the sweet taste of victory. His left eye had begun to swell and discolor and his fly was open. He lost his shirt, had it ripped off his back, in a fight against two of the Venice locals who mistakenly thought the pale skinned, mild looking stranger would be easy pickings. It was their last mistake of the evening. Full of beer courage, they followed Jase out on the beach where he left the little bar to avoid trouble. Unless it was to protect one's self, Jason thought fighting was stupid.
On the other hand, to deliver a well deserved ass kicking to a couple of bar room bullies did feel good.
His antagonists suddenly lost all interest in everything except to get the hell away from this not-quite-so-sissified-as-they-thought stranger. They ran away from the fight as fast as they could, one with a broken nose while the other left his front teeth behind, lost somewhere in the sand.
In their hurry to escape, they left behind the two six packs of beer they brought along to celebrate their anticipated "victory." Jase spied the beer, smiled and shrugged. "To the victor belongs the spoils," he murmured to himself. He reached down and picked the two six packs up, held them at eye level to examine them in the semi darkness. He saw they were an expensive import. His smile turned to a wide, toothy grin as he shrugged at his good luck and jerked the cap off the first green bottle and thirstily chugged it down. He wandered out to the water's edge and drank the second beer. Fighting was thirsty work.
Jason Gold was not a man with a hungry ego and a chip on his shoulder. He did not like to fight particularly. On the other hand, though, he refused to tuck tail and run away. He mostly believed in facing whatever happened, then put the unpleasant things behind him as quickly as possible. He also believed in savoring the good things for as long as and as much as he could.
Now, barely past his thirty-fifth birthday, it seemed to Jase the unpleasant things happened much more often than the pleasant things. He figured it was about time to settle down. Well, maybe one of these days. However, not just yet; there was one more hill to head over, one more corner to turn and one more willing woman to meet, pretty or otherwise. And perhaps, with a little bit of luck, a whole bunch of pretty, willing women to meet, not all at the same time, though. The other ten beers of his "victory prize" followed the first two and, combined with the quantity of draft beer he had tossed down his throat earlier, he passed out. He lay there on the beach for the rest of the night, unmoving and alone.
The next morning:
He felt the sun beat harshly down on his fair skinned torso. It burned at his closed eyes. Suddenly he felt something shoving against his bared to the open air crotch. "Glaargh." he half moaned, half growled as he made the effort to open his eyes and looked at what was disturbing his more private parts.
A woman stood next to him, prodding him with a bare foot. She smiled, as she saw him open his eyes and commented in a conversational tone of voice, "Ah, I see we're awake. You better put your little pretty away before it gets all sun burned and blistered. Also you have another reason to put it away. There is a policeman coming this way and I don't imagine he would admire it the way I do."
Quickly, Jase got to his feet and adjusted his fly until everything was back inside where it belonged. He stood straighter and uncertainly and looked around.
There was no cop anywhere to be seen. Finally he looked at his female tormentor as closely as his hangover allowed. She stood about five feet four inches or so and was slightly overweight. "Chubbily pretty," would be his way to describe her. He guessed her to be somewhere in the neighborhood of forty, very well preserved, but still a solid forty. Her breasts were almost covered by a string top that barely hid her generous nipples. Her face was pleasant, even attractive in a wholesome sort of way. It seemed to tell the observer that here was a woman who knew her own mind and liked her own thoughts. Right now, her thoughts were obviously on the tall, younger than she, muscular man she had smiled down at with amusement
while she nudged him awake with her right big toe.
"What did you do, get drunk, get in a fight and wander down here to pass out?" She stood, weight evenly distributed on both feet, waiting for an answer. There was something a little imposing about her. He felt just the least bit intimidated by her attitude.
Right at that moment he suddenly had a strange feeling the rest of his life was in the balance, to be weighed against whatever the words he chose to answered her. As the Brits he worked with on the last oil rig said, he was "right spot on, though neither one of them knew it then. "Well, sort of," he began his answer. "I was talking to a pretty lady and these two guys picked a fight with me. I tried to walk away, but they pushed it. So, we fought." He shrugged his broad shoulders. He stuck his hands in his pockets. They came back out empty. Starting to panic, he reached in both hip pockets and they came out empty. His billfold was gone. Bloody hell! He thought, panicked. He stared wildly around him, searching the sand for a sign of his property. Nothing...
"You looking for this?" his new acquaintance asked him. She held up his lost billfold. "I had a hunch this was yours when This was laying on the floor in the bar. By the time I found it, you had gone and I didn't know where you were. By the way, it was empty. Someone else seems to have found it before I did."
He nodded wordlessly. Well, it looked like he was going to have to find some kind of job sooner than he had planned. Already the effects of the alcohol were receding, to be replaced by pangs of hunger that became more pronounced as he realized that he had no money to buy food or find a place to stay. Christ, he did not even have pocket change to buy a cup of that almost undrinkable Mac Donald's so called coffee.
As if reading his mind, she asked, "You want a cup of coffee?" He nodded and she said, "Come on. I own the Beach Comber. We'll have a cup in there. My day waitress quit yesterday and I have to open up until I find someone I can trust." She turned on heel and began to walk toward her little bar. The Beach Comber made no pretensions of any kind at all, huddled on the beach all by itself at one end of the Strand. Jase numbly followed, unsure of how to act in this setting. He was also at a loss of anything else to do.
As they neared the bar, he hurried ahead and held the door open for her, an act as natural as breathing to him. "Well, I do declare." she exclaimed in a mock Scarlett O'Hara voice, "A true gentleman, in this day and age. And here, of all places." She smiled her thanks and royally entered, head help high like imaginary royalty.
He admired the way her sarong fitted securely around her slightly generous hips. Oh yes, he decided, this is one well put-together lady. He smiled to himself; his eyes followed her nice, plump butt as she entered into the darkened interior of the little bar. They stood still for a moment to allow their eyes to adjust to the darker interior of the bar. She sensuously walked around behind the bar, over to the Bunn coffee maker and poured them each a cup of coffee.
"Black, right?" she asked.
"Huh?" he asked stupidly, as his attention was drawn from her nice plump butt back to reality.
"The coffee." she told him, "You want it black, right?" He nodded and she shoved a cup across the bar to him.
"You broke?" she asked.
"Yup. That's what it looks like. Well, at least I got my ID back. It would be hell trying to get a job without any ID, especially here in Southern California. They might mistake me for a wetback. I have a hunch that right now work is going to be a bitch kitty to find, the way times are."
She did not answer him right immediately. Instead, she looked at him with a steady, appraising gaze that was direct but not challenging. It was a questioning, analytical look, rather than one of confrontation or challenge. Then she drew her eyes away, seemed to think for a moment and, coming to a quick decision, said, "Let's go get something to eat. I'm hungry, too."
They walked back outside, she first and he followed. She stepped past him, turned back and locked the door. She led the way to a not new by many miles Ford Bronco. It was well cared for and clean on the outside. However it had an air about it that said it had many miles on it, reminiscent of its owner. Not driven hard, but the mileage had begun to show. She gestured and he got in.
She slid behind the steering wheel and started the engine, waited for a half minute, as the engine warmed up, and then took off. They drove away from the beach toward Ocean Boulevard and turned north toward Santa Monica.
After a few blocks she suddenly turned up an alley and stopped at the rear entrance of a restaurant. She turned off the engine, slipped out and motioned for him to follow. Again, he hung back far enough to admire her ass. Too bad it's covered with all that cloth. He thought to himself, as he followed her inside.
Mentally, he removed the offending sarong and decided he liked what he "saw."
She waved to the waitress as they made their way to a booth near the rear entrance. She slid in, motioning for him to follow. Cautiously he slid in behind her, careful to only go in part way so he wouldn't crowd her. "Now that you no longer have my rear end to distract you, do you think you can decide what you want to order?"
.... There is more of this story ...