Old Man Trouble, You Won't Find Him Round My Door (an RP moment)
Dan Fielding and Jamie Ross were fans of piano bars, but CJ’s was relatively new to them. Like many bars of its’ kind it was cozy, the mahogany wood bar and low lighting lending an air of intimacy to the place. There were several tables and booths, along with the stage, atop of which stood a sleek red baby grand. They’d been there for a couple hours, at a booth not far from the stage, and the man currently at the piano was nearing the end of his allotted half-hour set.
“I’m not terribly sure about all of his song selections,” Dan commented, “But he can definitely play.”
Jamie smiled. “He can. Quite well. I’m glad you chose this place.”
“Finally, a place free of trust-fund hippies and old codgers,” Dan said solemnly.
She smirked at that, taking a drink of her whiskey sour.
At the end of the song, Bruce Springsteen’s “Hungry Heart”, Dan leaned over toward the stage. Jamie watched him, taking in his light gray suit and the open, crisp white button-down, hair flopping slightly over his glasses, which he’d worn because his contacts couldn’t be found.
“Besides,” he’d said, “I think I look more distinguished like this.” He’d been holding his pipe, and while he always had the air of a gentleman, he looked rather dashing to her like that. “Think of it,” he’d said. “Executive Assistant District Attorney Fielding…It just rolls off the tongue!”
She chuckled at the memory, as she watched him there in the bar, trying to get the attention of the man at the piano bench. Finally the man turned, and Jamie was amused to see that he, too, wore an open white button-down. His suit was black, though, and he was younger, with short dark hair and he looked very sleek, like he went with the piano that he played.
“Do you take requests, my good man?” Dan asked.
“Depends on the request,” the man, Larry Paul, said.
Dan gave a small smirk. “’I’ve Got Rhythm.’”
“Tell you what,” Larry said quietly, “CJ’s about to come out here, so I’ll see how she feels about that.” He leaned over into the mic. “Everyone please welcome the lovely CJ.”
At that moment, a shorter, middle-aged woman came out and went onto the stage, black dress, hair up. Larry began to play “Someone to Watch Over Me” while the woman, CJ, belted out the words in a strong, bluesy voice.
At their booth, Dan settled back into his seat, next to Jamie.
“If they don’t play it now,” he murmured, “I’ll play it for you when we get home.”
She scooted closer to him, smiling at that. She hadn’t thought anything would change when they got married—they’d been living together before that—but it had changed, and she was enjoying being a “newlywed.”
They continued listening, enjoying both the singing and the man at the piano, who was now singing backup for CJ. At the end of the song, Larry motioned to CJ and when she went to him, they spoke quietly for a moment before the lady returned to the microphone.
“It seems as though we’ve got a request tonight,” she said to the audience.
Dan smirked slightly at Jamie and she squeezed his hand. A moment later, Larry began playing “I’ve Got Rhythm.” When he did, Dan got up from the booth, taking Jamie with him toward the dance area.
He was a swift dancer—by no means professional but certainly elegant enough from the lessons that had been drilled into him as a child. Jamie had less experience, but he’d been teaching her here and there, and besides, it wasn’t too hard to follow as he led a basic box-step.
I’ve got rhythm, I’ve got music, I’ve got my girl,
Who could ask for anything more?
I’ve got good times, no more bad times,
I’ve got my girl, who could ask for anything more?
As the piano man played, Dan mouthed the words to Jamie while they danced. She grinned back, enjoying it—the lights in the background as they spun around, the closeness to him, the cool air that would greet them when they stepped into the clear night. It would be fall soon. It was so different than last year. Last year she hated the people who smiled like idiots. Last year, she’d barely met Dan…
Before she had time to think about it any longer, the song was ending and they were heading back to their booth as they clapped.
“Well, kids, what do you think?” CJ peered at the audience over the mic. “Should we bring Larry back here again?” Larry grinned and nodded at them all.
Feeling content, Jamie called out, “Bravo!”
Seeing her so cheerful, Dan added, “Magnifique!”
The applause continued and CJ remarked, “Seems like you’re coming back. Larry Paul, everyone.” He stood and bowed briefly, before making his exit toward the bar.
A moment later, Dan headed toward the bar himself to refill his and Jamie’s drinks.
“Scotch, please,” Larry was saying to the bartender as he stood at the bar.
Dan went over near him, leaning against the bar, and asked the bartender for another Bellini and another whiskey sour.
Larry glanced over, recognizing him. “Did the lady enjoy her song?”
Dan looked back and smiled briefly. “She did, thank you. Are you new to the piano bar scene?”
“I’m glad,” Larry said, “No, no, I’ve played around before. Not in this city, though.”
“Ah, so new to the city then?” Dan nodded. “I’ve played here and there…”
“You play?” Larry raised an eyebrow.
“I do.” Dan said, glancing at the bartender, who was rushing around to make the line of people their drinks.
“A pleasure to meet you, then,” Larry extended his hand. “Larry Paul.”
Dan shook the man’s hand. “Dan Fielding.”
As they waited for their drinks, Dan asked curiously, “How long’ve you lived in New York then?”
Larry looked at his watch, shook it, held it to his ear, listened, nodded, and then dropped his arm. “A week.”
“Ah. Well you just jumped right in then,” Dan said.
“I had to find something, and I was pointed in this direction,” Larry said. He took his drink and sipped it, glancing around for a woman he might flirt with.
“Good choice,” Dan said, glancing at his own watch, wondering when the bartender would return with his drinks. “My wife and I like to come here.”
“Yes, CJ seems like an interesting woman,” Larry said.
“So I hear,” Dan nodded.
“We might have to convince her to let you have a go on the piano,” Larry added.
“Ah,” Dan chuckled, “perhaps. I’m not sure what I play would be ‘hip’ enough for the…kids these days.”
“From what I hear, anything is welcome here,” Larry said. “I put my own set together, except for those last two numbers.”
Dan nodded. “I’ve got the resume for it, certainly, as I said. Several standing gigs at a couple of clubs.” He rolled his eyes. “And the occasional DA’s Office party.”
“You work for the DA?” Larry asked.
“I do,” Dan’s chest puffed out slighty. “Bureau Chief of White Collar Crime.”
“I see,” Larry took another drink of his scotch. “Impressive.”
“I like to think so,” Dan said, only half-jokingly.
“No, it is,” Larry said.
Dan only smirked. “My wife’s got me beat. She’s a judge.” He said it proudly.
Larry actually looked impressed this time. “Is she? I’ll have to remember that. Or forget it.”
“She is,” Dan nodded. “Jamie Ross.” He looked at Larry again with curiosity. “And what are you? A lawyer or a felon? Or both?”
Larry grinned. “Lawyer.”
“Ah-ha. What kind?” Dan asked.
“The winning kind,” Larry said.
“Good answer,” Dan conceded.
They continued speaking a moment longer before Jamie came up to the bar, stopping at Dan’s side.
“Making a new friend?” She asked him.
Before he could answer, Larry looked over, smiling warmly. “This must be the stunning judge you were telling me about.”
Jamie smiled at that. “Jamie Ross,” she said, holding out her hand.
“Larry Paul,” Larry shook her hand.
“Nice to meet you,” she said.
“You as well, Ms. Ross,” he told her, finishing his drink. “I’ve actually got to have a word with CJ before I head out…but again, good to meet you both.
“You too,” Dan said, as they watched him go catch the owner of the bar.
“Well he seemed nice,” Jamie said as they took their drinks and headed back to their booth.
“Seemed to be, yes,” Dan said. “He’s a lawyer, too.”
“Damned piano-playing lawyers are all over the place,” she grinned at him.
He made a mock-hurt face. “Are you saying I’m not your favorite piano-playing lawyer?”
Jamie laughed at that. “You’re my favorite.” She took his hand, happily. “The only one crazy enough to put up with me.”
He smiled, although he knew from their previous arguments that she half-believed what she just said, and he squeezed her hand back, reassuringly. “I could very well say the same of you putting up with me.”
“You’re not that bad,” she said.
“Neither are you,” he said.
“Are we going to be one of those silly couples who devolves into using cutesy language?” Jamie looked up at him.
“That’s so déclassé,” Dan huffed.
“Good, because if you call me Pookie, I’ll barf,” she grinned.