The Ballroom was already packed when Reid entered with Katie on his arm. “Can you tell me again why we’re here?” he asked, annoyed at himself for agreeing to go with her.
“Because it's going to be fun!” Katie said, “and the profit will go to charity,“ she added when she saw him frown at the mention of fun.
A perky, young blond woman came up to them, a clipboard in one hand, poised pen in the other. “Is one of you going to be part of the auction?” she asked and popped a bubble with her gum.
“No, I’m just here as a bidder,” Katie told her and started to fill out a form.
“You should be in the auction. I’m sure you’ll fetch a great price,” Reid pointed out.
“No, it’s still too soon for me to go on a date,” she answered.
“But it’s for a good cause,“ Reid repeated her earlier words.
Katie held up her little yellow sign she’d gotten after finishing signing up, and waved it in front of Reid’s face. “That’s why I’m bidding.”
The blonde was still standing in front of them. Reid glared at her but like an annoying nurse, who didn’t know better yet, she just popped her gum once more and smiled at him. “You’ll have to either sign up to be part of the auction or as a bidder,” she informed him.
“Then give me one of those,” Reid snapped at her and grabbed for one of the yellow signs.
“So what’s your excuse for not being part of the auction?” Katie asked as he filled out his form.
“I agreed to come tonight, but I didn’t agree to make an idiot out of myself.” They were finally done with the formalities and made their way to the bar. “Besides, I’m sure I‘d be the laugh of the town if I went up there“, he pointed at the stage, “and nobody would bid on me.” Reid turned and ordered drinks for the both of them.
Katie lifted an eyebrow. “So the great Doctor Oliver is afraid that nobody likes him?”
“Not afraid,” Reid pointed out, “just realistic. Now, if they could bid to get rid of my presence for a certain amount of time, I’m sure the bids would skyrocket.”
Katie grinned at him. “If you’d get up there, I’d sure bid on you.”
Reid laughed. “I’m sure you’d do. But then you’re one of the few sane ones in this town.”
Soon the lights were dimmed and the first candidate was asked to join the host on the stage. At first the bids came in slowly and low, but with every new candidate offering himself up the audience got into the spirit of the evening more and more. The first highlight being a heated bidding war over Dusty Donovan by no less than four women.
Reid soon recognized a pattern in the bidding. While there were some random bids in the beginning of each auction, in the end the winning bid belonged to the subject’s girl or boyfriend, their spouse or another well known love interest. And always at a price the bidder could easily afford.
“Will they go on two dates or just one?” Reid asked a cheering Katie as Beefcake Hughes ‘won’ his almost-bride just after she put a winning hid on him a few minutes earlier.
“Who cares, as long as they make the best of it!” Katie answered, still grinning. “And silence now, Henry is up next!”
Reid chuckled. Only Katie would ask for silence in a loud crowd like this to concentrate on a particular sale.
Reid leaned back against the bar, planning to enjoy the spectacle that was sure to come.
Nobody offered a bid at first and Reid grinned into his beer bottle. He knew that this would have been his fate too, but that didn’t stop him from enjoying it happening to Hank.
“Ten Dollars!” Katie yelled loudly and raised her sign.
Damn, the woman was a better friend than either Reid or Hank deserved.
“One hundred!” Barbara Ryan raised Katie’s offer.
“Bitch!” Katie muttered before calling out another bid. “Five hundred!”
Barbara glared across the room and called out: “A thousand Dollars!”
The room fell silent. This was the highest bid of the evening.
And Katie doubled it.
“Ten thousand Dollars!” Barbara said in a challenging tone, still looking at Katie rather than at the stage where Henry stood, watching the two women battle it out.
Anticipating Katie’s next move Reid reached out and forced Katie’s arm to stay down. It was his turn now to be a good friend.
Katie hit him hard against the shoulder as Barbara claimed her price.
“How could you let that woman win?”
“Because you couldn‘t win this! And while I don’t mind watching people make fools out of themselves, I don’t want you to waste that much money on something that isn’t worth it.”
Before Katie could create any more havoc on Reid’s body, the next item was put on auction.
Reid rolled his eyes as he identified the man now climbing on stage. Of course Luke Snyder would take part in this frivolity.
Reid’s annoyance quickly turned into amusement as he watched Luke blush as the first offers on his time came in. They included bids from both Beefcake Hughes as well as Luke’s mother.
After those first joke bids Noah raised the going to thirty dollars.
And nobody dared to go higher. Nobody except Reid, who raised his little yellow sign without thinking.
There was a murmur from the crowd at the unexpected bid, until Noah raised Reid’s bid again to a total amount of fifty dollars.
“What are you doing?” Katie asked Reid as he raised again, this time bidding one hundred bucks. “Noah can’t go that high! He‘s just a student.”
“Good!“ Reid said with a smile, “makes it easy to outbid him.”
Katie squealed. “I was so right about you having a thing for Luke!”
Reid ignored her in favor of watching Lily Walsh argue animatedly with Noah. Probably offering to pay for him if he just bid again. But the stubborn young man just shook his head, and moments later the hammer fell and Reid was announced as the winning bidder.
As he finished signing his donation paperwork with the girl who was still chewing on her bubble gum, Luke suddenly showed up at Reid’s side.
“I didn’t expect this, Doctor Oliver,” he said as he held out his hand to congratulate Reid.
“That makes two of us”
“So,” Luke shoved his hand into his back pockets, “do you really want to go out with me or was this just some stunt?”
Reid raised his eyebrow, “Mr. Snyder, are you trying to get out of this? I did win a couple hours worth of your time, and I plan to collect. If only to take you to lunch at the hospital cafeteria. That‘s what you get for taking part in such a silly auction. You took that risk and now you’ll have to suffer my presence during a meal.”
“I know, I know,“ Luke removed his hands from his pockets and held them up. “I just wanted to give you an out, not me.“
They stood across each other awkwardly for a moment longer.
“Ehm…” Luke scratched himself behind his ear, “I think the other winners sealed the deal with a kiss…”
“Did they now?” Reid asked with a long suffering sigh. “And here I thought signing the credit card slip did the charm.“ He held out one arm invitingly, “well, come here then, Mr. Snyder”
Luke stepped forward, and offered his cheek, but Reid just tsked and cupped Luke’s face with both hands, turning it until he could kiss him squarely on the lips.