I had this idea a while back, but only wrote this tiny bit and got a good start on the next chapter. I'm hoping to make this an 8-10 chapter fic, but we'll see

July 8, 2004

Sawyer sits with his head against the chair back. He lifts the bottle of whisky to his lips every so often. His a/c is busted and it's hot as balls in his apartment. He's set a box fan directly in front of him. It's on high and muffles all sound. It blows his hair back. Anyone looking at him in profile would think he was imitating the old "Is it live or is it Memorex?" cassette ads from back in the day.

He hears his phone ring, but the machine will get it. Probably Hibbs. Hibbs has been after him for some time, and Sawyer's actually starting to get interested in whatever cryptic thing it is he's been trying to tell him. "Got some news for you buddy," "Hope your passport's up-to-date," "Ever been Down Under, Mate?" and the like. Sounds like it might be an interesting set up. On the other hand, Sawyer is through with that guy and intends to keep ignoring his calls.

Especially today. Sawyer doesn't interact with the outside world on July 8 - not ever. When he's working a mark, it actually sometimes comes in handy.

On years he is working a mark, July 8 isn't that big of a deal. Works it to his advantage, actually. Chicks are pretty easy to figure out if you give it enough time. They fall into one of two categories. There are the broads who want to believe they are your end-all and be-all. That cling to you with desperation and desire. So, for them, you put up a big front. "Shit, it's horrible I gotta go check out this pipeline deal I been working on. Maybe I should cancel, just so I can be with you, baby. I don't know how I'm gonna manage being away for a few days . . ." And then she gets all generous and understanding and "I'll be here when you get back, baby."

On the other hand are the chicks who kinda dig the game, like the challenge. On them, you just disappear for a day or two, let 'em wonder why you ain't returning their calls, why you're all of a sudden ignoring 'em. Then you reappear a few days down the road, and they've all of a sudden got the fear of God in 'em. You could disappear at any moment, and take all that hot sex and loving and kind, considerate, listenin' boyfriend BS with you. Maybe they will talk to hubby about that deal you been talkin' about . . .

And that's it: two kinds of women in this world. Needy ones and ones who like to play the game. That's it. Well, OK, sometimes you also come across one who's needy AND likes to play the game. Whatever. He loves women, yes, but he doesn't really LIKE them. This neediness and game playing – it would drive him nuts if he wasn't really in it for the money.

He isn't currently working a mark. He could use some distraction. He should scout out the country club, look for a bored doctor's wife. Tomorrow, maybe, if he's not too hungover.

He keeps drinking. He's never yet gotten drunk enough to forget, but there are some years when he gets drunk enough to not care. This doesn't seem to be one of them. He finishes his whisky. He's made it through most of a fifth and he knows that he'll still have nightmares tonight.

NEXT: July 8, 1974