As they walked down the sidewalk, Jennifer took in the warm night air, "So different than the east coast, I could get used to this" as the warm breeze passed over her exposed skin. Her mind drifted back to heat from her run in with Mr. Hart…Jonathan….
"Here we are! Let me get the door for you." Elliot said with enthusiasm. The glint in his eyes jerked Jennifer from her revere and back to planet Hollywood.
She looked at the sign on the door, "Pod and Jerry's". People were beginning to stream in from adjacent parking lot and the Valet service was madly trying to park cars along the street. At the entrance stood a larger than life security guard, "Good Evening Mr. Manning, (and with a casual nod toward Jennifer) …Miss. Welcome." The security guard unhooked the velvet rope to allow Elliot and Jennifer to pass, much to the chagrin of the customers on line. Jennifer looked over her shoulder at the security guard and memorized the path to the exit, "Just in case" she thought.
Inside the manager welcome the couple and seated them in the middle of the dining area. All eyes were on them and a few flash bulbs cast light in their direction. The noise was unbarable, music, conversations, dishes clinking, the staff taking orders and rushing around the room, the dance floor crowded with the pulsing throng of it's occupants.
Jennifer couldn't hear, but Elliot ordered for both of them and a bottle of California sparkling wine arrived along with a tray of oysters. Elliot smiled and poured a glass for each of them, Jennifer quickly sipped and Elliot promptly kept refilling the glass.
"Here's to new friends," he shouted as he leaned over and smiled, looking deeply into Jennifer's eyes. It was all she could do not to fall from her seat and choke on her drink with laughter.
"Really, he thinks that one will work? This isn't what I need tonight, I've got my deadline. Think Edwards, think, …aha!"
Jennifer stood quickly, "Whoa! Damn I should of eaten first, champagne, sparkling wine, why am I such a light weight on this stuff"
Jennifer chugged the last of her sparkling wine, grasp an oyster and with the utmost grace lifted the shell to her glossed lips, tossing back her head, red hair flipping over her shoulder and swallowed. Then with a riveting look in her eyes, she stood and motioned for Elliot to follow her to the dance floor.
Elliot sat stunned! "Holy shit she's sexy. No wonder Hart's got it bad for her. But shes with me tonight," though Elliot as he watch Jennifer bobble slightly as she walked to the dance floor. "And she has had just a little too much to drink, PERFECT!"
Jonathn couldn't get through this dinner quick enough. Max felt like he should apologize for Jonathan's less than patient demeanor. While everyone was ordering appitizers, Jonathan was puching for the entrée. The entire evening was a hurry up and wait race. Candace and Jay were completely derailed by this unexpected behavior from Jonathan Hart. If Candace began to ask him a question, he would interrupt with an answer. She was not going to get anywhere with this man, at least not tonight. She had never seen such a driven person, so focused, and determined to fulfill this obligation, a courtesy maybe. But Jonathan Hart wanted nothing of Candace Quinn or Jay Strattford tonight, that was obvious. After the entrée, Candace begged off from the dessert course with a head ache and insisted Jay take her home immediately. "I won't win him over this way and not tonight, what's up with him? I 'll go home regroup, consult Elliot tomorrow about tonight's failed attempt."
"Thank God, I thought we would never get finished. " Said Jonathan with relief and desperation.
Max added, "You weren't very polite, I know you're the boss, but I have never seen you so..so..rude, maybe even desperate? What's up?"
"That jackass?" replied Max. "What's the big deal? So you ran into him and he challenged you to a pissing contest. Looked like to me that you won."
"Not exactly. She went with him, " muttered Jonathan as he ran his hand through his hair, "but where? They were walking, a few blocks, someplace flashy is his style."
"What, Who? Flashy?" ask Max puzzled.
"Got it! Pod and Jerry's, three blocks. Max get the card and meet me at Pod and Jerry's, you know the place, right?"
"Sure, but why."
"That's where they went."
"What are you talking about? You've got me going in circles Mr. H!" shouted Max as he fumbled for the car keys.
" Manning, Jennifer!" yelled Jonathan over his should as he took off at a brisk jog down the sidewalk.