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CHAPTER TWO from my soon to be published novel!!


H E D G E D copyright: Citygirl Juliana

“If you bet on a horse, that’s gambling. If you bet you can make three spades, that’s gaming. If you bet that IBM will go up three points, that’s investing. See the difference?”

-- Blackie Sherrod



    I burst into the air doing a 10 foot wheelie on my mountain bicycle ignoring the warning signs that read: DANGER: MEN WORKING!

I land on the ground with a BAMMMMM and grin and speed up like a madwoman.

     Riding my bike with my childhood friend, Brittany, we’re cutting corners at unprecedented speed, racing each other through Pacific Heights. We’re both twenty-seven years old and have been best friends since we were five.

     Careening around a corner, we blow through a stop sign, blazing down another hill, almost missing a parked car.

     I brake in front of a traffic light, not even bothering to unhook my custom Sidi’s from the pedals. I maintain the bike in perfect, stationary balance. Just the right height for two guys in business suits in a BMW convertible to admire the results of my workout regimen.

     “We’re long a million shares of Rip.”

     Overhearing this, I turn to them with ecstatic eyes. “It’s a short… Check out the new currency Dragonchain.”


     “Buy 300,000. Sit on it a week or two. Then blow out when it hits 490.” I crack a smile. They’re impressed.

     The light turns green and I tear off down the windy street. “Hey, wait a minute!”

     But I’m gone.

     I swerve between two cars with six inches to spare, hedging it with pure precision.

* * *


     Brittany and I ride until we reach our final destination, the Clipper Yacht Club, the most prestigious marina in the San Francisco Bay area. Home of many fine boats and yachts, this exclusive club has an illustrious array of visiting motor yachts, housing eight hundred slips.

     Brittany jumps off her bike and puts her arm around me. “You always win, Jolette,” she says, out of breath.

     Inwardly, I grin, but I don’t rub it in. “Lunch is on me, my friend…”

* * *


     The crowd on the Yacht Club balcony is young, restless, and loud. A live band plays in the corner. We devour three plates of shrimp and grilled vegetables, and I’m still hungry. “I want steak, Britt.”

     “That’s not on the menu for team triathlon training. Fish, vegetables, and plenty of carbs.”

     “Are we really going to do this?”

     “Yep. This is going to be our year to win it!” Putting another shrimp in her mouth, she washes it down with a glass of Evian.

     “The Triathlon, Brittany? You know I don’t like being on a team, even if it’s just for training.”

     “It’ll be fine. We’re going to do great!”

     Her face lights up and I can’t help but love her enthusiasm. Brittany’s a cool, willowy blonde with classic style and an aspiring model. Her aquamarine eyes compliment her fine porcelain skin and perfect bone structure.

     “So what’s happening with your job, are they offering you any covers?”

She nods.

     “Wow, Britt, that’s great! Congratulations. Why didn’t you say something?”

     “It’s just a call back. I don’t think I’ll get it.”

     “You’ll get it.”

     “You really think so?” she asks lightly.

     “Of course you will. Why wouldn’t you?” I assure her, wiping my hands on a napkin.

     “You’re right, but if they don’t call, should I call them?”

     “They’ll call,” I say, and lean back in my chair. My gaze shifts to the Arioso; a huge, opulent mega-yacht with helipad, a glass encased swimming pool, and a triumph of amenities. “I want my father to upgrade to that.”

     “Your father’s houseboat is perfectly fine. Humble, yet charming in its own way. How’s he doing?” she asks, carefully. “Are you still worried?”

     I put my sunglasses on and take a sip of my iced coffee, nodding.

     “You haven’t slept, have you?”

     “Been up the past forty-eight hours trading.”

      “Gee-sus. Help your father then. You’re good at what you do.”

      “He doesn’t believe in me.”

     Brittany turns and looks over the crowd. “Oh great, Paul Zucker’s here.”

     I look over at his table. He’s sitting with a group of five hedge fund managers, cocky and rowdy. He’s a prominent Wall Street analyst known for his arrogance and tailored suits, but everything he makes goes right up his nose.

      “He despises you, you know that?” Brittany acknowledges.

      “…Now there’s a heartbreaker.”

      “What did you do to him?” she asks, raising a perfectly groomed eyebrow.

      “I don’t even remember.”

      I turn to Paul. His shrewd eyes are assessing and bear into mine. He raises his glass to mine. Smart and calculating, he possesses Ivy League mannerisms and his perfectionism runs deep.

      “If only I had the chance, Britt, I could do what they do, only better.”

     “You can’t take a balance sheet to bed with you, Jolette.”

      “Wanna bet?”

      The blades of a helicopter slice the wind making a loud TICK. TICK. TICK. sound, blowing our hair, and making it impossible to hear.

      A Bell-Boeing 609 tiltrotor appears in the sky. It hovers over the Arioso and lands on its helipad.

     We watch as the doors open, and a perfectly groomed man in a Caraceni business suit steps off. He’s thirty years old and stunning. Electric blue eyes radiate effortless confidence. He walks onto the yacht.

     “Now there’s a heartbreaker…” Brittany says dreamily.

He has blonde hair parted to the side, an athletic body, and expensive good looks. He deftly makes his way through the crowd, reading his cell phone.

     Bikini-clad bodies, oiled and gleaming, lie by the Arioso pool, and look up at him. A Slavic blonde, with cheekbones that could slice butter, shoots him a long look. Russian Oligarchs, Kuwaiti Royals, and other global jet-setters sip cocktails and survey him.

     “Who’s that?” I ask.

     “Noel Sheffield. A killer Wall Street broker in his prime. Cultured.    Charming. Troubled. Dangerous… ”

     We sit in contented silence watching him.

    “He’s a risk taker and a heart breaker. Dated some models I work with. I have to get myself a boyfriend…” Brittany admits.

     “Relationships – they’re like money, easier made then kept.” I take out a roll of cash and signal for the waitress. “I have to go. My father’s birthday party’s at four. Are you sure you can’t come by?”

     “I have that fitting at four thirty. Will your brother be there?”

     “Probably,” I reply, and rise from my chair. “Stay here then, enjoy dessert.”

     “I shouldn’t.”

     “You should.”

     “Thanks, Jolette. And don’t forget, first day of practice is Wednesday, 5:00 a.m. You’ll be there, right?”

     “Yes…” I say, manufacturing a smile.

      I get up exposed to every stare, but my eyes remain solely fixed on The Arioso… and Noel Sheffield.

* * *


     I see Paul Zucker standing outside in front of my bike. He’s talking with someone in a heated manner… Someone I only see the back of.

     “What happened?” the guy asks.

     “No, that’s the first thing I asked him. He came back from New York, empty. Benson didn’t buy in!”

     “Where is he?”

     “Yeah, he’s there. I mean, you’re on this, Noel, right? The clients I have in Sequenom – We need Benson!”

     I check my watch and can’t be late for my father. I walk closer, and as I approach them, I see Paul’s talking to Noel Sheffield.

     “All right, I’ll take care of it,” Noel says.

     They see me and freeze with their mouths gaped open.

     “Excuse me.”

      They move aside, and I pull my bike out of the stand.

     I jump on it and take off, catching eyes with Noel Sheffield, and my heart skips a beat. 


 * * *



To see some of the losses and trades, click here:

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@copyright Citygirl Juliana Jones 💕💋



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