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Happy Hour (IC)


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Friday, January 4th

6:32 PM

Megan Howell stepped through the entrance of the Millennium nightclub alongside several of her co-workers from Summit Transnational Group. Today was the end of the first week of her internship with the international equity firm, short though it was, and she was out for a bit of socializing with some of the other twenty-something members of the Summit economic team.

Having come straight from Summit's headquarters in the Wading Way, the seven young professionals were all dressed in business attire. Megan was dressed in a black St. John Collection shimmer boucle satin dress, with matching jacket.

The club was filled with the heavy sound of base from the latest dance music, though the dance floor was currently almost entirely empty. The interior was futuristic, sleek and stylish, with green, red and blue neon lights throughout, which bathed the smooth lines of the décor in a wild pattern of colors. The bar and lounge areas were currently quite busy, and Megan knew that it would only be getting busier as more young professionals made their way in for drinks to end the week.

The new arrivals looked around for a moment, before heading over towards an open table near the dance floor. They had not been seated long before a waitress came over to take their order.

"This round is on me." Stated one of the group, Hakim Samid.

After ordering her drink, Megan took a brief moment to consider her companions. They were a rather diverse group. There was Hakim, who was from Saudi Arabia; Karina Romankow, from St. Petersburg, Russia; Teresa Johnson, an African-American woman from Atlanta; Lin Zhang, who hailed from Beijing; Halim Raviraj, from Mumbai; and Alan Lee, an Asian-American from San Francisco. Like Megan, Hakim and Karina came from wealthy families, while most of the others were from more middle class families. However, despite these differences, they also had similarities. Each had attended Ivy League schools, or their UK equivalent. They were also all highly motivated success driven individuals.

Megan was pulled from her thoughts by the sound of Teresa's voice. "So Megan, you grew up in Freedom City right?"

Looking over at the slightly older young woman, Megan gave a small nod. "That's right. Lived in North Bay my entire life."

Megan talked a bit about herself, answering some questions about what it was like to grow up in a city where superheroes were so prevalent. It was not long before the first round of drinks arrived and the group was toasting the start of Megan's time with Summit.

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Kyle Conners adjusted his sweater's collar as he stepped into Millennium. Scanning the crowd he found the table of his old college friends, men and their dates out celebrating their former teammate's landing a story on the front page of the newspaper. It may not have been Adam's dream of anchoring or reporting on SportsCenter but it was a stepping stone.

Which brought him back to why he was here. As he passed, he noticed a pretty blonde sitting with a bunch of, what he assumed from their outfits, her coworkers. Easy Kyle, don't get your hopes up. Send her a drink in a bit, maybe see if she wants to dance, he thought to himself.

Reaching his table he was greeted by several of his friend in high fives and bro-hugs. "Adam, congrats on hitting the front page man," he said to the six foot tall African-American man they gathered around. "First front page blurb while covering an FCU basketball win, how's it feel?"

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After the toast, the group went back to socializing, with the others each sharing a humorous story or two about the beginning of their time with Summit. But it was not long before the main focus of the conversations turned back to Megan. As the new one to the group, save to Lin, who had been a year ahead of Megan at Yale, the others wanted to get to know her better.

The nightclub continued to get busier, as more and more young professionals arrived from work. During one of the moments when the conversation was not focused on her, Megan took a moment to glance around the club at some of the other patrons. There were quite a few other groups that looked like the one she was with, if not always as diverse. In one group, she thought she recognized a few associates from her father's law firm.

At another table there was a group that stood out slightly from most of the others in the club. The guys in the group certainly looked to Megan like athletes, or at least former athletes.

The dance floor was starting to get a bit more crowded, and the beat of the music was certainly making Megan want to get out there as well. But there is no rush, it still early, so plenty of time. She thought as she focused back on the others' conversation.

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Of the group of Kyle's friends, several with dates made their way out to the dance floor. Leaning back in his stool he surveyed the are for any cute singles. He saw the cute blonde he had passed earlier lifting a nearly empty glass to her lips.

After catching the bar tender's attention, he wrote a quick note asking if she'd like to dance on a napkin and had it delivered with another of whatever she was drinking. While he waited for his order to be delivered, he took a pull from his jack & coke and tapped the foot of his good leg against the table leg. Adam called over the thumping bass of the music, "So, Kyle, no date tonight?"

"Nah man, I've been single for over a year now. Sucks but since Shelly moved to Germany... ," he trailed off with a shrug.

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By the time Megan had finished her first drink, the young blonde was catching Lin up on some of their mutual acquaintances at Yale. Hakim and Alan had gone over to talk to some people from Rath & Stromberg who they were working with on an acquisition. Karina had spotted someone she knew from Dartmouth, and had gone over to talk to him as well.

When the drink was delivered to Megan, along with a note from the sender, Teresa perked up an eyebrow slightly. "Oh, who's attention have you attracted Megan?"

Megan looked up in the direction that the waitress had indicated as the source of the drink. "One of the group over there." She replied, indicating the table where some of the guys she had pegged as ex-jocks were still gathered. Taking a large sip from the new drink, she then stood up. "I was ready to get out on the dance floor anyway, anyone else interested?"

"Not just yet, I'll be out in a bit though." Teresa replied. Lin and Halim both also declined.

Taking off her jacket and placing it over the back of her chair, Megan glanced back over towards the ex-jocks table and nodded towards the dance floor with her head as she started in that direction.

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Kyle finished his drink and stood up, wincing as his bad knee took too much weight too soon. "Stupid cold weather," he muttered, glad the music covered his voice. To the handful remaining at the table he spoke up, "Do excuse me a bit guys, seems my night is looking up."

Moving to meet the cute girl halfway, Kyle's faint limp eased out of his gate. Giving her a winning smile he said as they got close, "Forgive me if I was being presumptuous but I couldn't help but hope for at least one dance with someone as pretty as you."

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Megan watched as the guy who asked her to dance made his way over to meet her halfway. He was certainly good looking, with a muscular build of an athlete. There was certainly something familiar about him, but she could not quite place what it was.

"Only one dance?" She replied as she arched an eyebrow slightly. "I'd say were not being presumptuous enough."

She then gave a broad smile of her own. "Thank you for the drink. I'm Megan." She then turned back towards the dance floor, as she added, "I certainly hope you're ready to dance.†"

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"Kyle," he replied, moving into rhythm with her, "And I most certainly am. Just, pardon my right knee. The cold weather always causes the pins to act up."

After a few minutes of dancing, more than a few of which were spent staring at Megan's butt when she was facing away from him, he got a little closer. He knew his flirting more than a bit rusty and he found himself falling back on his journalistic instincts instead. "So, if you don't mind my asking, what brings a beauty like you out to a place like this? It can't be looking for gimpy reporters," he said, a self deprecating smirk playing across his mouth as he finished.

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Megan noted Kyle's comment about his right knee causing him a bit of a problem, so she made a mental note to keep that in mind while they danced. A few moments later, they were out on the dance floor, with Megan quickly finding the rhythm of the music. Her smooth, graceful motions the result of years of dance and cheerleading.

As Kyle moved a bit closer and leaned in slightly to try to talk over the loud music, the attractive blonde slowed down some to stay facing him so she could hear. At his question, she gave a small grin. "I wouldn't say that gimpy," she glanced down a moment before looking back up, "certainly fit."

"But I just started an internship and am here with some co-workers, and this is the place for young professionals."

"How about you and your friends?" She then asked, nodding slightly in the direction of the table where Kyle and his friends had been gathered. "It looked as if you might have been celebrating something."

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"One of my friends from college, this morning an article he wrote about last night's basketball game got a blurb on the front page and was the headline in the sports section. It seemed as good a reason as any to have a night on the town and catch up," he answered.

"Most of us parted ways for a variety of reasons. Reporting jobs, moving on to the pros," he said before pausing to add, "Career ending knee injuries." Continuing he added, "Those of us here tonight, we were all going for journalism degrees while on a sports scholarship. Well, except Wendy. She was the only one of our circle on the student paper not involved in football or basketball."

Keeping pace, though still favoring his knee he tried to maneuver the subject, "But enough about us, how 'bout you guys? What kind of internship did you land?"

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"Front page blub and headline on the sports section? That certainly sounds like an accomplishment to celebrate." Megan replied with a broad smile. As Kyle continued to talk about his friends a bit more, and mentioned his "career ending knee injury," Megan suddenly realized why he had seemed familiar. "Wait, your Kyle Conners right? My older sister once told me about how easy you made it look to score touchdowns when you were in high school during the game against North Bay Academy the year your team won the state championship."

She paused a moment, then gave him a more sympathetic smile. "I also remember reading about your knee injury. I'm very sorry."

When Kyle shifted the subject back to Megan and what she was doing, the young blonde understood that he likely did not want to dwell on the issue of his injury. "I'm interning with the economics group at Summit Transnational." She replied. "It's part of my final semester for my economics degree."

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Kyle tried to control his blush, which most guys would have erupt at being recognized by a cute girl. "To be fair, Mack," he said, indicating one of the guys back by his table, "Breaking his arm the week before softened up the Spartans up for the Eagles." Shrugging he added, chuckling at the end, "Besides, when I played, my job was fairly easy. Catch the ball, run like hell."

"Summit? I'm doubly impressed, I've heard about their standards. Beauty and brains, now I just have to ask for your number so I can buy you dinner."

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Megan smiled slightly as Kyle tried to down play his team's victory over North Bay the year the Eagles had won the championship. "Maybe." She replied. "But the Eagles went on to win the championship. I can tell you, it wasn't always easy being on the cheerleading squad at North Bay, though we had a couple of good seasons while I was there."

Then it was Megan's turn to try to keep from blushing too much at Kyle's compliments. "Thanks." She replied. "I had to work pretty hard to get into a position to even be considered for a place like Summit."

She then smiled at how Kyle had smoothly used the discussion about Summit and the compliment into asking for her number and a dinner date. "Well, how can I turn down such a dinner invitation?"

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"Tonight really is a night for celebration," she smiled, pulling his smartphone out between songs. He opened the contacts section and passing it over, allowing her to enter her number. Afterwards, Kyle continued dancing with Megan for a few more songs before the duo separated with the former wide receiver smiling like a fool as he made his way slowly back to his table.

Giving Adam another bro hug, he said over the thumping bass, "I said earlier congratulations about your article but now, I'm adding in thank you for for your success."

"I take it you and that blond number hit it off?" his friend replied.

"Oh yeah," he grinned.

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