Fighting Fire

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Chapter 9

Athena’s POV

Now that I’m home I realize I have nothing to do. Can’t fight or train, finished a week’s worth of school in numerous classes, can’t even get laid till I heal some. “Ugh!” Now I’m screaming in an empty house, I need a drink. Dropping my bag and jacket by the door I head over to the cabinet for a bottle of whiskey, only to find it empty. “Fuck, beer will have to do.” Maybe I need a dog, I’m always talking to myself. “Aaannnddd, no beer. Must have had the last two for dinner and breakfast.” Nothing to do, and nothing to drink. Letting out a long sigh I decide to go out to the bar, maybe flirt, drink, and if I meet a guy who won’t ask questions, maybe I will get laid.

Lifting my shirt over my head I toss it onto the couch and continue walking down the hallways, stepping out of my jeans I kick them towards the corner. I’ll clean tomorrow night, it’s truly amazing I destroyed this house so quickly. Pushing my door open, I am reminded why I had to wear a dirty white t-shirt this morning. Navigating the dirty piles I push open my closet and start combing through to find something halfway decent.

Now that my outfit is settled all I need to do is add some curls to my hair and some lipstick to my earlier look, and I’m ready to go. Pulling out my phone I look up local bars, find a few that look promising and hop in my car. I’ll have to remember to stop and pick up some beer and whiskey on my way home tomorrow, it’s too much work having to go out for booze.

Eric’s POV

After a quick stop at the house to drop off our bags and change shirts, we head over to one of my father’s bars. Alex pulls the Hummer into a VIP space and we step out and head in. Even though it’s just Thursday night the bar is pretty packed, but Alex and I walk up to the bouncer and with a nod he lets us in. Next stop, drinks.

“How you doing tonight Liam?” I greet the regular bartender, as he looks our way with a smile.

“Eric, Alex, nice to see you two again! What can I get for you boys?”

“Just two beers to start off, thanks man.” Liam comes back with two draft beers, handing them over the bar while letting us know our normal booth is open. So after thanking him, we head towards the back and take a seat.

Alex’s POV

No fucking way, out of all the places. We were halfway through our second pint, chatting about the events from today, when over Eric’s shoulder I see her strut in. If you think she was hot in jeans and a dirty shirt… I swear every man and woman in the bar froze to their spot. She turns her head winking at the bouncer, at least I’m assuming that’s who it was. He must have let her right in, I don’t blame him, she’ll be good for business. Every fool in here will be buying her a drink.

Eric can deny it all he wants, but he is into her. I don’t know who wouldn’t be into that, but still, for him to almost jump me… He has never gotten jealous like that. I smile, remembering how she had read the situation and decided to mess with him.

“Alex! Dude what the hell, you’ve been zoned out for like five minutes. And what’s up with the goofy smile?” Shaking my head clear, I meet Eric’s curious gaze.

“Sorry man, long day.” He’ll see her eventually, she’s impossible to miss. I think I’m just going to let this play out, it will make coming out tonight totally worth it.

Eric’s POV

I know it was my idea to come out tonight, but come on it’s not like i had twisted his arm! He had been zoned out for five minutes when I finally called him out on it.

“I’m heading to the bar, you want anything?”

“I do, but I think Liam beat you to it,” Alex responds with a chuckle. I smile back, being the boss’s son, employees tend to take the initiative. Glancing over my shoulder I figured I’d meet him halfway, but instead I’m caught holding my breath. She was here, all the bars and she was here. As she walks across the dance floor toward the bar, I’m not exaggerating when I say the people parted like the red sea. Taking an empty seat at the bar, she crosses her toned legs and leans her elbows against the counter. The second bartender, a younger guy I didn’t recognize, doesn’t hesitate coming over to pour her drink. She flashes a jaw dropping smile and takes a sip of whiskey.

How is it humanly possible that she looks 10x hotter? Her fiery locks now had a few defined curls added, and her lips were a darker shade now to add to her earlier look. My eyes travel down her neck to her collarbone where I see a miniature pocket knife necklace, a small smile appears on my face. A loose, grey, silk shirt hangs on her shoulders, the top of her black lace bra peeking out. Defining her small waist, the formal tank top is tucked into a high waisted, leather mini skirt that fits like a glove. Fishnet stockings criss cross over her fair skin all the way down her beautiful legs, disappearing into the loosely tied black combat boots she had on from school. She is the most beautiful woman I have seen in my lifetime.

“Eric! Eric Romano!” My mind begins to clear as I hear my name. Focusing in on the voice, I see a concerned Liam waving his hand in front of my face and an amused Alex leaning against the back of his chair with his arms crossed over his chest. That bastard knew.

“Yea. I’m here, what’s up?” Alex chuckles in the background as I reassure Liam I’m not having a stroke.

“Just wanted to see if you were interested in another pint… Are you sure you’re okay Eric?”

“You’ll have to excuse him, he’s been a bit distracted today.” I shoot a glare towards Alex, he is having way too much fun seeing me like this today. It isn’t making it any easier for me to figure out what the hell I’m feeling at the moment. Turning my head back to the fiery beauty I watch her flag down the bartender for another drink, but suddenly my view is obstructed by a broad pair of shoulders.

“Well that didn’t take long,” Liam says, “Would have bought her a drink myself if I wasn’t working. You ever seen something that sexy?”

“No,” Alex and I say in unison. I send him another quick glare, while his smile grows impossibly bigger.

“Ummm, am I missing something?” Liam looks totally lost. I’m about to tell him not to worry about it, and that he is needed back at the bar to help with the flock of men who ‘need refills’, but Alex decides to continue, having fun at my expense. “She just started at our college today. It was eventful to say the least.”

“Lucky bastards,” Liam says with a teasing grin. “Well, it seems I’m needed at the bar. See you guys in a bit.” Liam turns and takes a step forward, but my little red head beats him to it... My? Using her arms to push herself up, she turns her body and sits on the bar. Next she swings her legs over and hops down, grabbing a spare apron at the same time, tying it around her waist.

“What the hell is she doing!” Liam panics and takes a couple quick steps toward the bar, but I grab his arm before he can move any farther.

“Wait.”

“What do you mean wait?! Eric I’ll get fired, a customer can’t just hop behind the bar!”

“I’ll take the wrath Liam. I’m curious to see what she does next.” Liam sighs and takes a step back towards our table, shaking my hand off his arm. All three of us sit and wait, watching as the second bartender remains stund and frozen to his spot. Athena starts taking drink orders from the men who originally came to the bar only to talk to her, and I chuckle as I watch them struggle. They aren’t sure whether they should walk away, admitting they had all rushed the bar to talk to her, or adapt their plans to and try to remain cool. All of them remain, trying to gain her attention. Bottles start spinning as she mixes each drink with precision and skill. Grabbing a pint glass she takes a sharpie and right ‘TIPS’ on it, then turns toward the second bartender to snap him out of his trance. She turns back to the men she had just served and points toward the register as they all pay in an orderly fashion.

This continues for 15minutes until everyone at the bar has a drink, and the tip glass is overflowing. Grabbing a shot glass she fills it with whiskey, throwing her head back she swallows the shot not even wincing. Sending a smile towards the bartender, whose jaw is on the ground, she ducks under the counter and walks back across the dance floor toward the door.

Liam jumps up and rushes toward the bar grabbing the pint glass of tips, then moves to follow her out the door. Alex and I exchange a quick glance, then follow closely behind. Once we are outside, Alex and I stop in the shadows and watch as Liam catches up to Athena.

“Hey wait up!” Liam stops, catching his breath and Athena spins around, taking a step back.

“And you are?”

“I’m the head bartender, I had just stepped away for a moment when I saw the bar fill up. Yet you beat me to my own job.” He ends his explanation with a chuckle.

“Oh,” she takes a breath and drops her defensive stance, “I just assumed you guys were short staffed. I’ve been in that position before and it’s fucked up, I figured I’d help.”

“And you did, quite impressively I might add!” She rolls her eyes at Liams smirk. “But you forgot your tips.” He sticks his hand holding the pint glass towards her.

“I didn’t forget, those are rightfully Allen’s. I’m sure he would have been able to handle all the drinks eventually, he shouldn’t be gypped because I needed an escape and hopped over the bar.” She explained this all matter of factly, then turned back toward her car.

“I WANT TO OFFER YOU A JOB!” Liam is now screaming, trying desperately to stop her from continuing her quick exit. I can relate. Looking over her shoulder, Athena throws Liam a genuine smile. Now fully turned around she leans on her car and pushes her hand through her hair, removing it from her face.

“I’m flattered, really, but I already have a job.”

“I’ll double what they pay you.” Liam knew that my father could afford it, and honestly if dad were here right now he would be offering at least the same.”

“Again, thanks for the offer, but you can’t afford to pay me double.” Slipping into her car, before Liam can ask the question on all our minds, a glint of metal catches my eye. Her skirt had rode up an inch or two revealing a throwing knife strapped to her thigh. ‘Who the hell is the girl!’

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