“Hey, there,” a soft voice said as a hand gently rested on Jeremy’s shoulder. “Can I buy you a drink?”
Jeremy jerked at the touch and swiveled on the bar stool, nearly knocking over his beer in the process. “Um, what?” he replied. The woman was drop-dead gorgeous. Red hair, hint of freckles, pale blue eyes. She also looked familiar. Maybe she was a regular here, too? In any case, she’d clearly mistaken him for somebody else. Jeremy told her as much.
“No, sir,” she said with a smile. In a singly smooth movement, she pulled herself onto the stool at Jeremy’s right. “I have pretty good eyes. I’ve just been seeing you around here a lot and thought you might like some company.” The woman set her own drink on the bar, it looked like some sort of tequila concoction.
“Um,” Jeremy said again. He laughed nervously. “Sorry. I’m just… not used to… um, not the sort of thing I expect?”
“Sorry!” the woman said, flushing. “I just thought… well, I won’t bother you. Sorry.” She started sliding off the stool.
“No, wait!” Jeremy said, holding up a hand, catching himself short of grabbing her. Yeah, that would have been a great move. Straight from the male-predator’s handbook. “You can… yes, I would like some company.”
“Oh, good,” she said, settling back into place. “You said you didn’t expect it. To be honest, it’s not the kind of thing I ever do. But like I said, I’ve seen you a lot in here. I’m always catching fragments of your conversations with your friends. You sure don’t stick with the normal bar talk!”
“Yeah, a lot of it… it gets boring, right?” Jeremy replied, then immediately regretted. “I mean, not that it’s bad to talk about whatever… everyone’s got different…”
The woman held up her hand and stifled a laugh. “No, no. I agree. I’ve learned more about quantum theory listening to you than I ever managed in undergrad. That, and RPGs. Which I have always wanted to try. It sounds so fun!”
“Jeremy’s eyes lit up. “Really? You know my group just got an opening recently. I’d be happy to teach a new player.”
“That sounds like a great idea,” the woman said. “How about we start with names, though? I’m Ellie.” She held up her hand in an exaggerated pose. Jeremy took it to shake, weakly.
“Well what are you drinking, Jeremy?” Ellie asked. “And tell me all about this game you’re playing.”