1. The bartender
Copyright © 2020 by MsAnastasiaWhite
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or used in any manner without written permission of the copyright owner except for the use of quotations in a book review.
This is a spin-off story of my "Family Ties: What about love?" book, can be read as a standalone.
This story is only for mature audience, as it contains mature themes, strong language and description of sex.
What the hell just happened? I blinked a few times, trying to realize the depth of shit I was in. I went to the bar with Mandy. I enjoyed myself in her company. However, something went very wrong as soon as I laid my eyes on a gorgeous man. The guy was very handsome and extremely hot. I wasn’t too discreet with my constant glances in his direction. Mandy was able to figure me out in a few seconds. I forgot how jealous and possessive she could be. I knew the blame was on me.
“I thought I wasn’t the only person interested in this relationship! Apparently, I was completely wrong! How can you do this to us, Brooklyn?!”
“Oh God, Mandy! You’re exaggerating!” She literally dragged me out of Full Moon. She made a scene right here, on the street, near the bar’s entrance. I looked up at the night’s sky. I was annoyed, and the alcohol I had in my system didn’t help me to concentrate.
“Brooklyn, you’re wrong! The saddest thing is that you can’t even admit that!”
“Admit what? That I ogled a dude? The bartender?” People started staring at us. Fucking perfect! “Mandy, honestly, I am getting tired of this.”
“You want to break up with me?!” She yelled at me. I saw tears started forming in her eyes. Dammit!
“That’s not what I said.” I took a step closer to her. Maybe, I have a chance to save the situation? Nope. She gave me no opportunity to do that. Mandy turned around and hurriedly rushed down the street. Okay. We talk later when she calms down.
I straightened my dress, glancing at the people near the building. With a sigh, I walked back to the bar. It was Friday evening, and the place was packed with people. The bar was perfect: laughter and good music, delicious cocktails. I loved it from the first second I walked in.
I had not lived in this town for very long. Two months ago, Mandy and I moved here. She landed a job as an accountant at one local company. She was very proud of herself. Mandy was the one who was able to prove others wrong. She showed them that she was better than they thought. For me? She was the delusional one because she was good with her job, and she didn’t need to prove anything to anyone.
Mandy and I had been together for more than two years. It was on and off relationship with a lot of heated arguments and even fights. The girl was crazy jealous over me even on days when I gave her no reason for that. That was just her second nature. At first, it turned me on. To the extent that I was always ready for makeup sex, even when she was in the wrong. This fog faded away very fast.
It was my first serious relationship with a woman. Before Mandy, I dated only guys, and I honestly never thought that I would switch to girls. Yet, it happened. Not only because she and I were attracted to each other and had crazy chemistry, but that also happened because of my breakup with Ryan. I was a mess. The guy was an asshole, but I loved him. I loved him, and I was ready to forgive him for the countless number of girls with whom he cheated on me. I forgave him even when he beat me. Yeah, I was young and stupid. I was perfectly aware of that.
To forget about Ryan was very hard for me. Since I continued to see him every day in college. I thought I would suffer for a long time, but then, I met her at a party, and my life changed completely. Mandy took care of me, becoming my friend, helping me to get through the hard times. I was friends with her for almost a year before she kissed me. I remember even now how genuinely surprised I was. I thought that happened because of alcohol, that was just a moment when we both got carried away. But I was wrong.
The next day after the kiss, I went to visit her at her apartment. She lived alone while I stayed in the dorm. I wanted to talk to her, to clear the air between us because I saw she was confused. I never thought that the talk would end up with Mandy and me tangled in bed. That night she confessed her feelings for me, and I decided to give it a shot.
“What can I get you?”
I blinked, returning to reality. My walk down memory lane was cut short by a man’s deep voice. I slightly turned my head and locked my eyes with his. It was the bartender at whom I continued staring while being with Mandy. His icy-blue eyes were hard to forget.
“I don’t know. Why don’t you surprise me?” I saw as he arched his eyebrow. His eyes roamed over my face.
“Sweet or sour?”
“What do I look like? Like a person who likes sweet or sour treats?” I bit my lower lip. I was already flirting with him. Mandy was right being angry with me.
“You asked for it.” The guy started preparing a drink for me. I watched his every move, I was that captivated. My first impression was confirmed just at this moment. He was hot, like hell: broad shoulders and a muscular body. It was a deliciously muscular body, if I can be honest. And damn, he had a tattoo on his neck. “Here.”
“What?” I stared at him with my eyes wide open. I saw a lopsided grin on his face. He knew I was ogling him. He liked it. I was sure of that.
“Your drink.” He pushed a cold glass to my fingers, and I took it. Without breaking eye contact, I brought the glass to my lips and took a sip. He made it spicy.
“What is it?” I couldn’t figure out what ingredients were. I was too busy staring at him without paying any attention to the bottles he used.
“It’s a secret.” He started moving away from me, and I almost growled in frustration. What the hell was wrong with me?
“Wait...” The bartender looked back at me. I was sure that he was older than me. Maybe 4 or 5 years. “I need to pay for my drink.”
“It’s on me.” He started moving again. I wanted him to stay longer. I wanted to have a chance to know more about the guy.
“I don’t think that the owner of this place will be very grateful to you. You’re wasting the opportunity to earn money.” I saw as he shrugged his shoulders.
“Then, it’s a good thing that this place is mine.” I opened my mouth and couldn’t say anything. Was he the owner? For real? “Have a nice night, beautiful.”
“You too.” I held his gaze for a few seconds. He winked at me, turned around, and went to serve other guests. I sipped on my cocktail, being entirely out of my element. I had no idea what to think since this behavior was so not me. Never in my life, had I hit on guys so openly. Especially not on a guy I just saw the first time in my life. Or, on guys who were older than me. I was almost 24, and I always preferred boys my age. I thought older dudes were boring. This man intrigued me yet I didn’t ask his name. Fuck!
I gulped down my cocktail and stood up from the stool. I saw him walking out to the street. I wasn’t going to sleep with him or anything, but I was determined to know at least his name. I needed it.
As I was on the street, I noticed him right away. He stood a few feet away from the exit. Just my luck that it was exactly on my way home. I walked to him and stopped. He had stared at his phone screen until he sensed my presence. He looked up, and his lips stretched in a smile.
“What can I do for you?” I let my eyes roam over his face and down to his body. I had one thought in mind. He was handsome: platinum blond hair and the icy-blue eyes were a winning combo. A guy like him would be incredibly hard to forget.
“I was on my way home when I noticed you.” He didn’t believe me even for a second. He chuckled and shook his head. “I don’t have any ulterior motives. I just wanted to thank you for the drink. It helped to clear my mind.”
“Glad to be at your service.”
“Is that really your bar?” He was taller than me and bigger. I was sure that his palms were calloused. I can even picture how exciting it would be if he stroked my sensitive skin with them. Brooklyn! You are unbelievable!
“Not exactly,” he said and I arched my eyebrow. Had he lied to me? “My friend has his share too.”
“Okay.” Walk away, Brooklyn. He isn’t interested. That’s obvious. I pursed my lips, realizing my stupidity. In a month, I will be 24. Though, I was acting like a teenager now. “Have a good night.”
A second passed before I turned around and took a step away from him. I didn’t like this situation. Not my sudden interest in this stranger. Not my behavior toward him. Not his disinterest in me. The last one hurt especially strong. I was told not once that I am beautiful. But this guy looked immune to my charms.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen you here.” I slightly turned my head and looked at him.
“I have only lived in this town for two months.”
“Makes sense why I didn’t notice you before. I would have remembered. I have an excellent memory when it comes to people’s faces. I need to remember all the ladies that have been in my bed.”
“Why?” I was sure that I had known the answer before he even opened his mouth. This guy wasn’t interested in a relationship, only in sex.
“It’s a one-time offer.”
“That’s a pity. That way, your list of possible hookups will be less and less with each month.” He laughed curtly, and I smiled.
“Those are perks of working as a bartender.” His phone started buzzing. That was my cue to leave, even if I had no desire to do so. There was something about this man that I couldn’t figure out.
“Bye,” I said, and started walking away from him.
“What’s your name?” He called out to me. I looked back and locked my eyes with his.
“It was nice to meet you, Brooklyn.”
“You too...” I fell silent, expecting him to say his name. He pressed the phone to his ear when he noticed my gaze. He smiled at me.
“It’s Ethan.” Saying that he turned around and strolled to the back door of the bar.
I smiled, biting my lower lip. I had what I was after. His name was Ethan, and I was sure that it wouldn’t be the last time I saw him.