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 to the ground with a -- BAMMMMM! -- grinning and speeding up like a madwoman.

     I’m riding my bike with my childhood friend, Brittany and we cut corners at unprecedented speed... racing each other through Pacific Heights.

     Careening around a corner, we blow through a traffic light and blaze down another hill, almost missing a parked car…

     I break in front of another 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 black BMW convertible to admire the results of my workout regimen.

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

      Overhearing this, I turn. “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; swerving 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, loud. A band plays live in the corner. We devour three plates of shrimp and two plates of 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.”

     She puts another shrimp in her mouth and washes it down with a glass of Evian.

     “Are we really going to do this?” I ask.

     “Yes! This is going to be our year, to win it!”

     “The Triathlon, Britt?  You know I don’t like team events.”

     “You can be a team player for this. 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, they offering you any covers?”

Brittany nods.

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

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

     “You’ll get it.”

     “You really think so?” Brittany asks lightly.

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

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

     “They call,” I say, and lean back in my chair. My gaze shifts to the Arioso; a huge, opulent mega-yacht with helipad, 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. “You still worried?”

     I nod, putting sunglasses on and take a sip from my ice coffee.

     “You haven’t slept, have you?”

     “Been up the past 48 hours trading.”

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

     “…He doesn’t believe in me.”

     Brittany looks over the crowd. “Paul Zucker’s here.”

     My gaze shifts to his table. He sits with a group of five young hedge fund managers, cocky and rowdy.


     “He despise you, you know that?”

     “…Now there’s a heartbreaker.”

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

     “…I don’t even remember.”

     I turn to Paul. His eyes are shrewd and assessing and bear into mine. He raises his glass to me. 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.”

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

     “Wanna bet?”

     Our conversation is silenced by a loud helicopter in the sky.

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

     We look up as a Bell-Boeing 609 Tilt-Roter hovers over the Arioso and lands on its helipad.

     We watch as the doors open and a man, perfectly groomed in a Caraceni business suit, steps off. He’s 30 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, expensive good looks.

     Bikini’d bodies, oiled and gleaming, lay beside the Arioso pool. 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.

     He deftly makes his way through the crowd, reading his cell.

     “Who’s that?” I ask.

     “Noel Sheffield. A killer Wall Street broker in his prime. Cultured. Charming. Troubled. Dangerous. A risk taker and a heart breaker. Dated some models I work with...”

     We sit in contented silence watching him.

     “I have to get myself a boyfriend,” Brittany admits.

     “Relationships – they’re like money -- easier made then kept," I say, taking out a roll of cash.

     Signaling for the waitress, I tell her, “I have to go Britt.  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?”


     “Didn’t they arrest him?”

     “Not yet,” I say gravely, rising from my chair, “Stay here then and 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.

* * *

     Outside of the Yacht club, standing in front of my bicycle, is Paul Zucker. He’s talking with someone… A guy who I only see the back of. They’re in a heated conversation.

     “What happened?” the guy stammers.

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

     “Fuck! Paul, where is he?”

     I check my watch as I wait there, not wanting to move closer. But I can’t be late for my father.

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

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

     I can’t wait any longer. I walk closer and approach my bike, and then I see it. Paul’s talking to Noel Sheffield. They both see me coming, and freeze, mouths gaped open. “Excuse me, please.”

     They move aside.

     I pull my bike out of the stand, jump on it, and take off, realizing the truth: that Noel Sheffield didn’t even notice me.

* * *

To read Chapter THREE click here:

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

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For more random chapters of my novel, click here:

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@copyright Citygirl Juliana Jones 💕💋