Chapter 2: The Stranger
I first laid eyes on her stumbling out of the prep room backstage that all the performers used. She was wearing a short dark blue sequin dress and strappy heels. Her dark hair was tousled around her head.
Even from across the room where I was standing at the bar, I could smell the pungent odor of sex coming from her and her band mates. It awakened something in me, causing me to have to turn and avert my eyes or she would see the animal just beneath the surface.
The bartender, Jack, slid another beer my direction. “I know you’ve been gone a while mate, but I wouldn’t mess with the talent if you know what I mean,” he concluded winking. “Big Boss has taken a liking to the lead miss Breathless and –“
“Breathless?” I questioned, not caring that I cut him off mid-sentence.
Jack signed in frustration, “Aye, that’s her stage name.”
“What’s her real name?” I growled.
“Dunno, she’s never said and I never asked.” Jack replied shrugging. He sauntered to attend to other patrons in his flamboyant way. He was dressed in a fishnet see through top and tight pleather pants. If you asked me, he was trying too hard, but that’s just my opinion.
I returned my gaze to the girl who was singing earlier, I could see why Nicholas liked her. She was wild, with looks that could kill and a voice that would take you to heaven. Taking another long drink from my beer, I smirked thinking about all the things I’d do to make her sing for me.
When you’re in this business, you gain a lot of attention. Some good, mostly bad. But you’d never be lonely, I’ll say that much. At least physically lonely that is.
As my group and I exited the back rooms and made our way across the club, everyone was drawn into the arms of some welcoming body except Niko and I by the time we reached the bar.
Jack smiled wide greeting us both “Excellent performance, as always my loves!” He gushed. I swore Jack was our biggest fan, and he was a teddy bear of a guy that you couldn’t help but smile around.
“The usual?” he asked. I nodded, not wanting to have to shout over the music.
“Hey JoJo, I’m loving the shirt, is it new?” Niko greeted Jack with a warm smile.
Jack has been working here for as long as I have been coming to this place and Niko and I got close to him when we started working here.
He slid me my favorite post-set refresher, Sprite with a splash of grenadine and a cheery on top, just because Jack was a sweetheart. Niko took a light beer, wanting to cut through the hard alcohol we had already consumed.
Nodding my head to the music, I chatted with some of the patrons around us. While part of the job, it was nice to hear people compliment me on my vocals.
Niko had already gained the attentions of a cute blonde that was running her fingers up and down his slim frame. I nodded encouragingly when he shot me an apologetic look as she dragged him towards the dance floor.
Turning towards the bar to finish my drink, I suddenly felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Shivering in response, I scanned around the room to see what could have made me feel this way.
Glancing down the bar a striking man with piercing light green eyes was staring right at me. His eyes bore deep into mine as I could see a glint flicker across them when the lights flashed, illuminating the bar.
He tilted his beer to me before disappearing in another intense blink of the strobe lights. My breath caught in my throat. It was like I was some small rabbit being watched like prey. His eyes were that of a predator, unyielding and deadly.
Shaking my head I asked JoJo for a glass of water. I must have been seeing things.
I felt warm breath tickle the back of my neck as a deep voice rumbled behind me. “That was some show.”
The voice breathed. Turning, it was none other than Mr. Tall, Dark and Deadly standing beside me. Reminding to keep my breathing even, I kept my voice even.
“Glad you enjoyed it. Never seen you around here before, you new in town?”
If I were to imagine a Norse god, he is probably what I would have pictured.
He had sparkling light green eyes and tousled dirty blonde hair that fell just past his ears. His navy button up strained against the pronounced muscles in his arms. The fabric caught on his equally muscled chest, each time he took a swig from his beer bottle.
His large frame towered over mine as he leaned against the bar.
“No not new, just returning after a long absence.” His eyes hungrily roamed my face, resting on my lips.
“Let me get you something a little...stronger.” He stated, enunciating the last word, glancing at my water glass.
I eyed his features, this was a man used to getting what he wants, and I was happy to deny him that pleasure.
“No thanks handsome, I can get myself a drink on my own, and honestly I’m not that thirsty night now.” I said, curling my lips into a smirk as I downed the rest of my water and slid it towards Jack.
“You want anything else Bea?” Jack questioned.
“No thanks sweetie, I’m done for the night.” I replied to jack winking.
“Come on little bird, one drink won’t hurt anyone,” he smirked, a smile that would smolder the heart of any girl.
Unfortunately for him, I’m not any girl.
One of the rules in this game is don’t give ownership of yourself to anyone or anything. Letting a guy buy you a drink may seem harmless at first, but then they start to expect things from you. Like they own a piece of you, your time at first, but shortly after your body.
“Sorry handsome, but that’s not the way to make this caged bird sing.” I returned his smirk.
Tit for tat.
After spending my life in this city, I could resist even the smoothest of players. Seeing anger cross his features, I knew I had one this round.
Hopping off my stool I turned I glanced behind taking one more good eyeful of this enigmatic hottie.
A cold chilling smile quickly found its way to his lips. “Maybe next time,” I teased.
“I’ll make sure of it” he growled, eyes raking over my body.
I made sure to swing my hips and I strode out to the dance floor, successfully resisting the urge to look back. If not for my release with Niko earlier tonight I may have given into that mystery of a man.