“With an eight to one ratio,” Charlie whispered to Greg, “it would
be selfish of me to date one woman.” They watched ladies enter and
exit the coffee shop. Charlie leaned back in the chair and took a sip of
caramel macchiato. He placed his sunshades over his eyes as the sun
beamed through the tinted window.
“Variety is the spice of life,” Greg said. “Why take one piece of
candy when you can have a handful.” Greg took a sip of coffee while
enjoying the soft music in the background. They were real estate agents
and doing quite well in the business.
“She’s hot,” Charlie said while observing a lady approach the
coffee shop. He removed his shades so that he could get a better look.
She entered gracefully and smiled at them as she walked toward the
counter. The scent of vanilla permeated their nostrils. “She has
beautiful eyes and a sexy walk.” Charlie positioned his chair so that
he could get a better look.
“I have got to meet her,” Charlie whispered. “She has a wonderful
personality.” He took another sip of coffee. I would love to get
between those thighs, he thought to himself.
“Personality my ass,” Greg said. “That woman is beautiful. And we
both know what you want.” Charlie chuckled and took another sip of
She retrieved her coffee from the counter and headed toward the front
door. Charlie stared at her with a smile on his face as she approached.
“What?” she asked playfully upon reaching him.
Charlie stood up and extended his hand to greet her. “You are
beautiful, and I’d love to take you out on a date,” he said.
She scanned him up and down from head to toe. Her facial expression
changed from playful to serious. “I’m looking for a man, not a
little boy. I’m looking for a man who says what he means and who’s
not playing a lot of games.” Then she looked into his eyes. “Are you
“My word is my bond,” Charlie said. “I’m a grown man and I
don’t play games.” She reached into her purse and they exchanged
business cards. Charlie watched as she walked toward her car.
“My word is my bond,” Greg repeated while laughing. “You’ll say
anything to get a number.” He took a bite off his donut and another
sip of coffee. “My gut feeling is telling me you should walk away.
She’s different from the other women you’re dealing with.”
Charlie glanced at the card before stuffing it into his wallet. Sandra;
she’ll be a good team player like all the rest, he thought. He took a
bite of his donut. “My name is Charlie Mack, and I’ve mastered this
game.” Greg shook his head.
They finished off their food and walked across the street to the real
estate office. Charlie pointed up to the monthly sales chart. Greg’s
name was at the top. “I’ll be taking over that spot this evening,”
Charlie said, “and collecting that $500 bonus check for the most sales
this month.” He was settling on a $500,000 property, which was going
to net him $20,000. Winning, he thought as he looked at all the other
losers on the chart.
“I see somebody’s walking around the office with their chest stuck
out,” Greg said. “Just last month when I collected that bonus check,
you were quiet as a house mouse.” He penciled in his next appointment
on the calendar. “I guess drinks will be on you tonight, Big Money.”
“Not tonight,” Charlie said. “I’m picking up a dozen of roses
for my lady. “And to sweeten the pot, I’m stopping off to get her
some barbeque spare ribs.” A devilish smile appeared on his face.
“My island girl called yesterday and said she needed some loving.”
Visions of hot, passionate sex went through his mind. “I’m setting
the mood so that when I leave the house I won’t hear anything from my
“Yeah you’re setting the mood alright,” Greg said. “When you
leave the house she’ll be thinking you’re going to your part time
“Why make life harder than it should be?” Charlie asked. Then he
cleared his throat. “Roses put a smile on her face, and it’s easier
on her if she thinks I’m going to work.” Then he looked up at the
sales chart. This imaginary part time job has been a life saver, he
thought. It gets me out of the house with no questions asked.
Charlie made an about face and walked into his private office. He sat
down in the leather chair; then looked up at the wall clock. Money, he
thought; as soon as the deal is settled I’ll have my money wired into
For the next 2 hours, Charlie checked on the status of his current and
prior clients. It’s about time, he thought as the clock struck 12:00
pm. He stood up wearing a blue pin stripe suit, dress shoes, and a silk
and wool blend tie. Then he glanced into the mirror as he walked pass.
The suit doesn’t make the man, but it sure helps. He tossed a breath
mint in his mouth before going into the lobby to meet his clients.
“Everything is going fine,” Charlie said, as his clients sat
nervously anticipating purchasing their dream home. He escorted them out
the office and into his 650 BMW. It was loaded with all the bells and
whistled. He tuned his satellite radio to smooth jazz for the ride to
the settlement company.
“Today is the day,” Charlie said. “In a few hours you’ll be
walking away with keys to your new house.” He led his clients into the
office. When they signed the last page, Charlie handed the new home
owners a fruit basket and a $500 visa card. Then he dropped them back
off at their car and wished them well.
Charlie pulled out his cell phone and checked his bank account. A wide
smile spread across his face. The settlement company had already wired
the money into the account. It pays to be me, he thought. I’m winning.
Charlie sat in the car for a few more minutes. Brown sugar, he thought.
I can’t wait to see my island girl this evening. Then he headed to
Victoria’s Secret. I’m going to get her the skimpiest outfit.
“May I help you?” a young lady asked as he entered.
“Yes indeed,” Charlie said. Then he looked at her with lust in his
eyes. “My friend is about your size. I’d like to get her something
special for the evening.”
“I’ve got just what you need,” the clerk said. Then she showed him
some boy shorts and a matching bra.
“Would you put it on?” Charlie asked. “So I can see what it looks
“Funny,” she replied playfully. “I see somebody’s got jokes.”
“Baby, you can’t blame a brother for trying,” Charlie replied.
Then she rang him up. Roses, Charlie thought to himself. There’s a
flower shop on the way home. He stuffed the Victoria’s Secret package
in the back of his trunk. He placed a dirty old blanket over the package
to conceal it.
Shortly thereafter, having made a few stops, Charlie pulled in front of
his house with a dozen roses and a slab of ribs. She has a beautiful
body, he thought as he watched the neighbor attending to her yard.
“When you’re finished over there you can start on my yard,” he
“Ha, ha,” The neighbor chuckled. Then she stood up and placed her
hands on her hips. “How are you doing?” she asked.
“Great,” Charlie said. And looking at you in those shorts it’s
just getting better, he thought to himself. He grabbed the bags and
locked the car doors. They exchanged a few words then he walked into the
house. If I thought she could keep a secret I’d tear that thing up.
He walked through the foyer, around the stairs, and into the kitchen. He
dumped the ribs into a pan and discarded the boxes. He placed biscuits
in the oven and greens into a pot. Great, he thought. When Jackie enters
the house, I’ll pull out the ribs and stir up the greens.
It was 4:00 pm when Jackie’s keys rattled at the front door. Charlie
greeted Jackie with a kiss and a hug. Then he escorted her into the
kitchen. “Baby sit down and relax,” Charlie said. “I’ve prepared
you a home cooked meal.”
Charlie fixed her a plate of ribs dipped in sauce, with a side of greens
and a biscuit. The aroma saturated the kitchen. Jackie took a bite of
the ribs and licked her fingers. “It’s awfully funny how your home
cooked ribs taste just like the ones at Joe’s Rib Shack,” she said.
Charlie tried his best to maintain a straight face without laughing.
Then he got up from the table and walked into the dining room
snickering. “We both know you didn’t cook these ribs but thanks.”
Charlie got the roses from the dining room and walked back into the
kitchen. “Just a little something to let you know I still love you,”
he said as he placed the roses in a vase. Jackie stood up and kissed him
in the mouth with rib sauce on her lips. He ran his tongue over his
lips. “That sauce is sweet just like you.”
“Baby I wish I could stay here with you,” Charlie said. “But
I’ve got to go to work.” Then he put his hands on her waist and
kissed her on the forehead. This imaginary part time job is the best
thing since sliced bread, he thought. It frees up my time without
causing any drama.
Excerpted from "Playing Games" by Daryl Moore. Copyright © 2012 by Daryl Moore. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.