"Could you please get rid of these things," Price tells the busboy as he gestures toward the Bellinis.
"Wait, Tim," Van Patten says. "Cool out.I'll drink them."
"Euro trash, David," Price explains. "Euro trash."
"You can have mine, Van Patten," I say.
"Wait," McDermott says, holding the busboy back. "I'm keeping mine too."
"Why?" Price asks. "Are you trying to entice that Armenian chick over by the bar?"
"What Armenian chick?" Van Patten is suddenly craning his neck, interested.
"Just take them all," Price says, practically seething.
The busboy humbly removes the glasses, nodding to no one as he walks away.
"Who made you boss?" McDermott whines.
"Look, guys. Look who just came in." Van Patten whistles. "Oh boy."
"Oh for Christ sakes, not f**king Preston," Price sighs.
"No. Oh no," Van Patten says ominously. "He hasn't spotted us yet."
"Victor Powell? Paul Owen?" I say, suddenly scared.
"He's twenty-four and worth, oh, let's say, a repulsive amount of dough," Van Patten hints, grinning. He has obviously been spotted by the person and flashes a bright, toothy smile. "A veritable shit load."
I crane my neck but can't figure out who's doing anything.
"It's Scott Montgomery," Price says. "Isn't it? It's Scott Montgomery."
"Perhaps," Van Patten teases.
"It's that dwarf Scott Montgomery," says Price.
"Price," Van Patten says. "You're priceless."
"Watch me act thrilled," Price says, turning around. "Well, as thrilled as I can get meeting someone from Georgia."
"Whoa," McDermott says. "And he's dressed to impress."
"Hey," Price says. "I'm depressed, I mean impressed."
"Wow," I say, spotting Montgomery. "Elegant navies."
"Subtle plaids," Van Patten whispers.
"Lotsa beige," Price says. "You know."
"Here he comes," I say, bracing myself.
Scott Montgomery walks over to our booth wearing a double-breasted navy blue blazer with mock-tortoiseshell buttons, a prewashed wrinkled-cotton striped dress shirt with red accent stitching, a red, white and blue fireworks-print silk tie by Hugo Boss and plum washed-wool trousers with a quadruple-pleated front and slashed pockets by Lazo. He's holding a glass of champagne and hands it to the girl he's with - definite model type, thin, okay tits, no ass, high heels - and she's wearing a wool-crepe skirt and a wool and cashmere velour jacket and draped over her arm is a wool and cashmere velour coat, all by Louis Dell'OliO. High-heeled shoes by Susan Bennis Warren Edwards. Sunglasses by Alain Mikli. Pressed-leather bag from Hermes.
"Hey fellas. How y'all doin?" Montgomery speaks in a thick Georgia twang. "This is Nicki. Nicki, this is McDonald, Van Buren, Bateman - nice tan - and Mr. Price." He shakes only Timothy's hand and then takes the champagne glass from Nicki. Nicki smiles, politely, like a robot, probably doesn't speak English.
"Montgomery," Price says in a kindly, conversational tone, staring at Nicki. "How have things been?"
"Well, fellas," Montgomery says. "See y'all got the primo table. Get the check yet? Just kidding."
"Listen, Montgomery," Price says, staring at Nicki but still being unusually kind to someone I thought was a stranger. "Squash?"
"Call me," Montgomery says absently, looking over the room. "Is that Tyson? Here's my card."
"Great," Price says, pocketing it. "Thursday?"
"Can't. Going to Dallas tomorrow but..." Montgomery is already moving away from the table, hurrying toward someone else, snapping for Nicki. "Yeah, next week."
Nicki smiles at me, then looks at the floor - pink, blue, lime green tiles crisscrossing each other in triangular patterns - as if it had some kind of answer, held some sort of clue, offered a coherent reason as to why she was stuck with Montgomery. Idly I wonder if she's older than him, and then if she's flirting with me.
"Later," Price is saying.
"Later, fellas..." Montgomery is already about halfway across the room. Nicki slinks behind him. I was wrong: she does have an ass.
"Eight hundred million." McDermott whistles, shaking his head.
"College?" I ask.
"A joke," Price hints.