Emma moved along beside him, his fingers interlocked with hers as he pulled her along toward the entrance that was far off to the left of the parking lot. The sun had already set, and it was dark outside except for the street lights. They had stopped to eat a quick dinner at a small quick-service Thai place he liked before they headed over to the club’s parking lot.
They walked along a relatively uncrowded street, with very few other shops and businesses. It looked more like they were in the warehouse part of the city than a nightlife spot. Emma glanced up to the large brown building they were walking along, and she thought it certainly didn’t look like it belonged to a nightclub. There were a few humans congregating at the door, obviously unhappy at being denied entrance. Lucas didn’t stop, he pushed his way past the humans and the large bouncer, obviously, a wolf by his immense size opened the door for them. Emma heard the angry arguing behind them from the humans before the door clanged shut again.
Lucas tugged her a bit closer to him as they headed down the long dark corridor, and Emma could hear the blaring music already thrumming in the distance. Emma paused when they were nearing the bend that would lead them into the club proper. The number of scents that hit her was instantly overwhelming. She felt her chest tighten from the sudden anxiety. Why the hell had she agreed to this?
“Whoa... it’s okay.” Lucas said, glancing back at her when she pulled free of his hand. He moved forward, and gently cupped her face.
“Come on... it’s fine. These are friends.” Lucas insisted as he caressed her cheeks with his thumbs. Emma could barely breathe.
“Your pack?” Emma asked uncertainly. Lucas grinned a bit and nuzzled his forehead against hers. It calmed her a little.
“If any of them came tonight... but the wolves here are from packs all over. There aren’t a lot of places where we can mingle between us... so this is place is unique, so to speak.” Lucas said. Emma pursed her lips, thinking of all the packs that had chased her out of their territory.
“I... I don’t know if I can do this. Maybe we shouldn’t-” Emma started, turning back toward the exit. Lucas gently caught her hand again.
“Emma... this is good for you. You need to be around others of our kind. It’s in our blood... we aren’t meant to be loners. And trust me... no one here will judge you. There are no territorial issues here. Everyone just comes here for a good time.” Lucas said. Emma glanced back at him, frowning.
“But... what if I-” Emma started.
“You won’t. You haven’t had any issues lately, have you? Just relax... and you’ll be fine.” Lucas said. Emma licked her lips uncertainly.
“Trust me.” He said, and Emma studied his eyes. She felt herself calming, and she couldn’t even fully understand why.
“Okay.” She said. Lucas gave her a reassuring smile and took her hand again. He guided her along the corridor and they turned the bend to another set of heavy metal doors. Lucas pulled it open and held it for her, and the music increased tenfold. Although her only experience with clubs came from movies, the music was loud, but not as loud as she thought it should be. She assumed they were catering to a sensitive-ears crowd. Emma hesitated for a moment, before walking through it. Lucas quickly followed. They were standing on a grated second-floor walkway overlooking the club proper. The place was far more crowded then she thought it would be, the dance floor was full, as was the bar and nearly every booth and high-top. Finally, she glanced up to see the lettering of the club’s name above the stage where a live band was playing. In large clear letters, it said ‘The Underworld.’
“Really?” Emma asked sarcastically, glancing back at Lucas. He laughed.
“Dalton’s got a bit of a dry sense of humor. He thought it was hilarious... though I think he’s the only one that thinks so. But anyways.. he does pretty good business, especially with the humans. They like that themed stuff.” Lucas said, tugging her along toward the stairs.
“Who is he?” Emma had to shout over the sound of the club as they headed down the narrow grated stairs.
“The owner... friend of my father’s,” Lucas shouted back. They got down to the club floor, and Lucas began to weave their way toward the bar. Emma tried her best not to brush against anyone, still unsure of herself, but no one even gave her more than a passing glance. By the time they got to the bar, and still, no one seemed to notice her... Emma’s nerves started to settle. Lucas grinned at her.
“See? I told you. Stay here... I’ll get us a drink.” Lucas said, pulling her to stand beside an empty high top. Before Emma could tell him not the leave her, he disappeared into the crowd. Emma glanced around her nervously, but everyone seemed engrossed in their own conversations with their own groups of friends. She threaded her bottom lip through her teeth and fidgeted uneasily as she leaned against the high-top table, trying to make herself invisible.
“Can I get you a drink?” A woman’s voice spoke from behind her. Emma glanced back. A mid-twenties woman holding a tray with empty glasses was smiling at her. Emma stared at her for a moment, confused. It hit her immediately that this was no wolf... and definitely no human. She had a very slight silver sheen around the iris of her eyes and she smelled faintly of salt. Emma had no idea what she was, and it instantly made her uncomfortable.
“Um... I think my friend is bringing me something.” Emma said.
“First time here?” The woman shouted to be heard. Emma nodded. She smirked.
“I’ll bring ya something special.” She said and walked away. Emma took a slow breath and glanced back to the bar crowd to look for Lucas. She couldn’t see him anywhere.
“Hi there honey.” A woman spoke. Emma turned around. A very busty wolf stood leaning against the high top wearing a low-cut red corset. She was a slightly older woman with dirty blonde hair and was looking at Emma curiously.
“Uh... Hi.” Emma said awkwardly.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen you before. First time here?” She asked curiously. Emma pursed her lips a bit, and looked back toward the bar, searching for Lucas. The number of wolf scents in there was overwhelming.
“I’m... here with a friend,” Emma said uncertainly.
“Which friend?” The woman asked. Emma furrowed her brow, feeling increasingly uncomfortable. This felt like an interrogation.
“Lucas,” Emma said. The woman quirked a brow.
“Really now? First time he’s brought anyone here. I’m curious... How did you two meet?” She asked in a tone that was hard to read.
“Do you know him? Or something?” Emma asked, feeling even more uncomfortable. The woman laughed a bit.
“I’m sorry... how rude of me. I’m Lacey, Dalton’s mate.” Lacey said.
“Here you go, sweetie. On the house for newcomers.” The server said, setting down a drink in front of her. Emma glanced down at it.
“Thanks...” She said. It smelled strongly of alcohol, a little too strong. It almost burned her nose.
“Want anything Lace?” The woman asked.
“Nope, I’m good hon,” Lacey replied, and the girl moved off. Emma fiddled with the drink for a moment and started to pick it up just to make the moment less awkward, but a hand quickly grabbed her wrist. Emma jumped a bit.
“What the fuck Lace.” Lucas’s voice came from behind her as he snatched the glass away. Emma looked over at him, surprised.
“She’s half-human. That shit would knock her out.” Lucas said and set down two different glasses.
“Half-human? I didn’t even notice.” Lacey said, looking back to Emma. Something in her tone made her seem insincere.
“Yup, and my future baby mama,” Lucas said with a large grin. Emma couldn’t help the flushing of her cheeks. She wished he’d stop doing that.
“Well, she’s certainly a pretty little thing, I’m sure you’re mother would approve,” Lacey said. Despite her words, there was something in her manner that Emma didn’t like.
“Speaking of which... have you called her? She’s been worried about you lately.” Lacey said. Lucas sighed.
“I could be forty years old and she’d still treat me like I’m five,” Lucas said irritably. Lacey just smirked.
“Well, you’re still her baby, and she’s been calling here in a panic since she hasn’t heard from you in a few days. Call her, or at least text her and tell her where you are. You shouldn’t make her worry like that.” Lacey demanded. Lucas gave her an annoyed look.
“I will,” Lucas said. Lacey gave him a stern look.
“Jeesh woman, I said I will. Now can you leave me to my date?” Lucas continued. Lacey just smirked and headed out into the crowd. Lucas glanced back to her, and Emma gave him a weird look.
“Did you not tell anyone where you-” Emma began.
“Of course I told them. Not my fault she wants me to check in every five minutes.” Lucas said, a bit annoyed. Emma watched him for a moment.
“You should be happy you have people who worry about you...” Emma said. Lucas watched her strangely for a moment, but Emma quickly looked back to her drink.
“What is this?” She asked, changing the subject.
“Try it... It’ll help you loosen up a bit.” Lucas said a bit teasingly. Emma gave him a look and glanced back to the other drink.
“And what is that?” She asked.
“Something that would probably kill a human, but give a wolf a nice buzz for a bit,” Lucas said with a grin.
“It’s a little too strong for you.” He added and picked it up to down the whole thing. Emma stared at him in shock.
“God that burns.” He said and nudged her glass with a smirk. She looked down to it and brought it up to her lips. Emma took a slow drink and felt the burn travel all the way down her throat. She coughed and made a face. Lucas laughed a bit.
“Have you never drank before?” Lucas asked. She gave him a look.
“No,” Emma said. She’d never even tried human alcohol, let alone whatever the hell this was.
“Welp, got to try everything once, right?” Lucas said with a grin. She gave him a look. He picked up the second glass and took a large gulp. Emma stared at him, shocked he could handle that. She looked back down to her own glass. With a slow breath, she managed to down the rest of it, just wanting to get it over with. Lucas grinned at her.
“Want another?” He asked. Emma coughed unpleasantly and shook her head. She could already feel it a bit. She felt a little warm and weirdly giddy.
“All right then... want to dance?” Lucas asked with an even larger grin. Emma glanced to the dance floor. The bright lights and colors seemed way more vibrant then they had been just minutes before.
“I don’t know how,” Emma shouted to be heard over the music. Lucas gave her an incredulous look.
“Wuh? Everyone knows how! Come on.” He said and grabbed her hand, tugging her forward. Emma followed him, unable to keep herself from grinning. Lucas weaved them through the crowd until he found an open spot, and he tugged her forward against him. Emma pulled in a sharp breath at the feel of his body against hers. He nuzzled her forehead a bit playfully, and slid his hands down onto her hips, guiding her to sway them along with his own.
“Just listen to the music, and let yourself move,” Lucas said against her ear, before letting her go. Emma listened to the pounding of the music and swayed her hips in turn with it. The warmth of the alcohol in her blood made her uncaring if anyone was watching, but she couldn’t help but laugh a bit at how ridiculous she felt. Lucas just grinned at her.
“I told you I can’t,” Emma said with a smirk as he pulled her back against him again, guiding her to move with him.
“If that’s can’t... then I’d really like to see can, preferably... somewhere private,” Lucas said with a wolfish grin. Emma blushed, and took a slow breath, feeling his body so close, in such a grinding motion, was stirring something else inside her, but she found she didn’t want to pull away.
She liked it...
He leaned in and nuzzled her forehead again. Emma watched his eyes as his hands slid back down to her hips, guiding her to match his movements. She wrapped her arms around his neck, and he grinned at her. She couldn’t help but return it.
“So... this is why you’ve been playing hooky.” A male voice nearby spoke. Lucas sighed with annoyance, and glanced over, but didn’t let her go. Emma looked over too and was struck by the resemblance. Both the male and female wolves that stood nearby were in their mid-twenties, and both were obviously related to Lucas. His brother and sister, litter mates most likely, they looked the same age.
“What do you want?” Lucas asked, but there was an underlying hint of joking in his tone.
“Mom has been giving us hell about you. Have you forgotten you have a home?” The male asked. Lucas grumbled.
“It’s been like... a week.” He said. Emma glanced away, feeling a bit weird.
“Emma, this is my brother, Inman, my sister Bridget, and their mates Renee and Dorian,” Lucas said. Emma glanced back at them, having not even noticed the two others standing behind them. They waved with a polite smile. Emma returned it. Renee looked to be around her age.
“Hey,” Inman said with a smile.
“She is waaayyy too pretty for you bro,” Bridget said jokingly. Emma blushed and looked away.
“Fuck off.” Lucas countered, but his tone wasn’t serious. Inman just laughed.
“Watch it, little brother... I wouldn’t want to embarrass you in front of your date.” Bridget replied smoothly, though her tone too was joking. Lucas rolled his eyes.
“Where’s your furball?” Lucas asked.
“With mom... even us new mothers need a night out every once in a while. We got a table in our usual spot. Join us if you want.” Bridget said, giving Emma a polite smile. They all turned and left them alone. Emma glanced up at Lucas. He studied her eyes for a moment, and gently tucked some stray red hair behind her ear.
“You up for that?” Lucas asked. Emma licked her lips a bit. Hanging around his family was something she hadn’t expected. She felt instantly nervous, despite the buzz of the alcohol.
“We don’t have to-” Lucas started.
“No... it’s fine,” Emma said and smiled suddenly as a thought struck her.
“I’m sure they’ll tell me all kinds of stuff about you,” Emma added. Lucas gave her a look.
“Hm... on second thought-” Lucas began.
“Nooopppeee... come on. It’s about time I get you at a disadvantage...” Emma said, tugging his hand in the direction the others went with a large alcohol-laced grin.