“I’m sorry, I guess I’m not following. You’re a professional wingman?”
Harry, the Wingman to the Gods, said, “Not exactly professional, more like a very experienced amateur.” He gave the bartender a precisely calibrated nod which conveyed refill my drink and hers, put hers on my tab, but don’t tell her unless she asks, I’m not doing this to score points. The bartender nodded back and refilled Harry’s bourbon, then began mixing a new cocktail for his friend.
“What does it pay?”
“It doesn’t, really. I get payment in kind, I guess. While I’m working for someone they put me up and cover my expenses, but it’s not like I’m socking away cash and there’s no 401k.”
“No benefits and no pay?”
“Well, ah. My clients put me up, and the health plan is killer. Or maybe the opposite of killer,” he said, remembering his morning hangover’s fading to nothing with the first bite of ambrosia as Athena and Cindy laughed quietly at the other end of the table.
“I still don’t get it. You couch surf and help people get laid?”
“Not couches, as a rule. My clientele is… high end. Very high end. Mountains, clouds, that sort of thing.” Of course there was the occasional pit of fire or moldy castle under the sea, but this wasn’t the moment to bring that up.
She squinted at him, then noticed the drink. She started to turn to the bartender but Harry said, “no, it’s on me, my tab’s being picked up.”
She turned back, squinted at him, shrugged, and sipped. “How do you even get a job like that?”
“Eh. It’s less a job than a geas,” said Harry, remembering the cold grip on his soul as the Crone intoned the curse. “I’d rather not talk about it.”
“Okay. So is tonight your night off?”
“Sort of. I don’t really get ‘nights off’, but,” he looked across the room at Baldur, surrounded by a knot of beautiful men and women, each laughing uproariously at anything he said, each jockeying for position, trying to lay a hand or a finger on the impossibly beautiful man. At the end of the evening, he’d simply select one to three of the most interesting and then wave Harry over. They had the routine down, and the only reason Baldur would request him was to give Harry some rest. “Tonight I’m not really needed. So what do you do?”