Run, Girl (If You Can) - Chapter 508 - Phone Number

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 19:17:55]
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Though Mandy served a bunch of other people in her section during the time the classy guys were at the restaurant, her eyes always ended up back on them. The murderer was smiling and talking in a light, suave tone but he seemed undeniably sad to her. She wondered why that was.


And the way he smiled at her when she delivered the appetizers! Her heart was completely out of control.


What was wrong with her? She was too old to be acting like a schoolgirl with a crush. Just because it seemed like there was a rich, handsome man who might actually understand her didn\'t mean he would actually be interested. That was all wishful thinking on her part.


Yet she still found herself clinging to a tiny, pathetic scrap of hope as the meal progressed. He gave her that same dazzling yet slightly sad smile when she brought over their steaks.


Mandy found herself praying that he would be the one to pay the bill at the end so she could at least get his name. Luck was on her side because when she came back and delivered the check, he was the one who pulled out his wallet, insisting that tonight was his treat.


If he had been in prison for a long time yet still had the kind of cash that allowed someone to dine here, he must be loaded! If only she had been so lucky before she ended up in jail. When she came out she didn\'t have anything to her name.


She collected the check and made sure to get a peek at his name when she ran his card through the register. Michael Gray.


Mandy was so shocked that she dropped the credit card. She picked it up with trembling fingers to examine it again, making sure she wasn\'t crazy. It was definitely Michael Gray. How many men in their fifties in this city would share the same name as her old friend Mikey?


He had disappeared nearly forty years ago without a trace, going off to college in Boston. What would have brought him back to New York? Was it the same desperate desire for belonging that prevented her from ever leaving?


Without being 100% positive it was him, she still plucked up an uncharacteristic amount of courage and left her phone number on the back of the receipt. She brought it back to their table and flashed him her best smile, thanking them both for coming in.


Mandy didn\'t see them leave but later that night when her tip was calculated, she was shocked to find that Michael Gray had left her a $500 tip on a slightly less than $200 bill. Was he crazy?!


Did that mean he liked her? Or was this some sort of rejection to let her down easy? Did he do this because he saw her phone number on the back? The question haunted her for the rest of the night. She desperately waited for him to call or at the very least text her but her phone remained distressingly silent.


===


Gray was dumbfounded when he saw the waitress\'s phone number written on the back of the check. For one, it was a pretty gutsy thing to do when she had no idea if he was in a relationship or not. And that he obviously wasn\'t a part of the same working class as her based on his suit and the fact that he was eating at this rather expensive steakhouse.


Second, he was shocked that someone as young and beautiful as her was interested in someone like him. Her financial situation probably wasn\'t great but still. Daring to do something like that at work when you might get fired or at the very least reported to your boss…


Not that he had any intention of ratting the woman out. He was intrigued. Even if she did turn out to be every bit as much of a gold-digger as his other recent dates, she was the first one to approach him like this.


No fake dating profiles. No oozing buckets of charm. At best, Gray smiled tiredly at her a few times because his conversation with Aaron was draining him.


The jealousy about his brother\'s family was eating him alive and—would you believe it?—making him sad. It had been decades since he experienced such a basic emotion. And yet this woman was somehow interested in him.


Gray wasn\'t sure if he had the energy to try and go out with another boring gold-digger at this point but he was willing to leave her a big tip for amusing him. If she was working at a place like this at her age, she probably needed it. Most waitresses were in their twenties but she appeared to be in her late thirties.


That phone number bothered him long after he parted ways with Aaron. Was it worth giving her a call? Mandy might turn out to be different from the others. She did seem as normal as could be, not unlike Keeley Hale.


He wanted a Keeley of his own more than almost anything. Could a steakhouse waitress really accept him exactly how he was? He wasn\'t sure but was debating whether or not he should try.


Three days of intense debate later, he finally shot her a text. He was hardly able to concentrate on his work and figured he wouldn\'t be able to focus until he got this over with.


\'Hey Mandy, it\'s Michael Gray. You know, the one whose number you wrote on the back of his receipt a few days ago\'


Gray honestly couldn\'t think of anything better to say and cringed. Normally he was much smoother than that. The awkwardness of the message didn\'t faze her though. She replied immediately.


\'Hi! Good to hear from you. I thought your tip was a pay off because you weren\'t going to contact me haha Thank you for that by the way\'


So she\'d caught onto that, had she? This waitress was oddly shrewd. That was a part of the reason he had left it. He really hadn\'t intended to contact her at first. But what was a shrewd, beautiful woman doing working as a waitress?


\'My pleasure. Always happy to help out a beautiful woman\' he replied.


There. That was more like his usual self.


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