Laguna Beach, California 2005
Is what O is thinking as she sits between Chon and Ben on a bench at Main Beach and picks out potential mates for them.
"Thatone?" she asks, pointing at a classic BB (BasicallyBaywatch) strolling down the boardwalk.
Chon shakes his head.
A little dismissively, O thinks. Chon is pretty choosy for a guy who spends most of his time in Afghanistan or Iraq and doesn't see much in the way of anything outside cammies or a burqa.
Actually, she can see how the burqa thing could be pretty hot if you played it off right.
Did, you know, the harem thing.
The burqa ain't gonna work for O. You don't want to hide that blonde hair, you don't want those bright eyes peeking out from behind aniqab.
O was made for sunshine.
Chon, he ain't small but he's thin. O thinks he looks even thinner than usual. He's always been cut, but now it looks like he's been carved with a scalpel. And she likes the short, almost shaved, hair.
"That one?" she asks, jutting her chin at a tourist-type brunette with really big tits and a retroussÉ nose.
Chon shakes his head.
Ben remains silent, sphinx-like, which is a role reversal, because Ben is usually the more verbal of the two. This isn't a high bar to jump, as Chon doesn't talk a lot, except when he goes off on a rant; then it's like you pulled the plug from a fire hose.
While Ben is the more verbal, O considers now, he's also the less promiscuous.
Ben is more Consecutive Monogamy while Chon is more Women Are To Be Served Concurrently. Although O knows for a fact that both of them — albeit Chon more than Ben — take full advantage of the Tourist Chicks who watch them play volleyball here at the beach, just a few convenient paces from the Hotel Laguna — encounters she refers to as FRSO.
"That pretty much sums it up," Chon has admitted.
Although at times he skips the room service.
Never the shower.
Basic rule of survival in the Greater Cross V Crescent Sandbox Tournament:
If there's a shower, take it.
He can't shake off the habit at home.
Anyway, Chon admits to doing matinees at the Hotel Laguna, the Ritz, the St. Regis, and the Montage with not only tourist women but also Orange County Trophy Wives and divorcees — the difference between the two being strictly temporary.
That's the thing about Chon — he's totally honest. No pretensions, no evasions, no apologies. O can't decide if that's because he's so ethical or because he just doesn't give a fuck.
Now he turns to her and says, "You have one strike left. Choose carefully."
It's a game they play — ODB — Offline Dating Baseball. Predicting each other's sexual preferences and hitting for a single, a double, a triple, or a Home Run. It's a really good game when you're high, which they are now, on some of Ben and Chon's supremo weed.
(Which is not weed at all, but a top-of-the-line hydro blend they call Saturday In The Park because if you take a hit of this stuff any day is Saturday and any place is the park.)
O is usually the Sammy Sosa of ODB, but now, with runners on first and third, she's striking out.
"Well?" Chon asks her.
"I'm waiting for a good pitch," she says, scanning the beach.
Chon's been in Iraq, he's been in Afghanistan ...
... Go exotic.
She points to a beautiful South Asian girl with shimmering black hair setting off her white beach dress.
"Strikeout," Chon answers. "Not my type."
"Whatisyour type?" O asks, frustrated.
"Tan," Chon answers, "thin—sweet face—big brown eyes, long lashes."
O turns to Ben.
"Ben, Chon wants to fuck Bambi."
From The Kings of Cool by Don Winslow. Copyright 2012 by Samburu Inc. Excerpted by permission of Simon & Schuster.