Chapter 9: The Dark
When Matt’s car finally stopped in some dark back alley, I thought Matt was playing a prank yet again about the party. I mean, I can’t even clearly see my own hands when we got out of the car, and I don’t hear any sound that might entail the location of the party. It’s so quite that the only thing I could hear is our breathing. This place is in the middle of nowhere!
“It’s a little dark here.”
“No way, Sherlock.” I rolled my eyes. I heard him chuckle before I felt someone grab my hand and pulled me to start walking. I tried to take it back but it won’t budge. “What the hell!”
“I know my way around here, you don’t.” Just imagining his smirking face after that sentence is pissing me off.
I tried to take my hand back earlier not because I don’t like him guiding me or anything, cause he’s right; and his touch actually felt nice and warm. It’s just that, the instant he held my hand I felt a new sensation ran through me, like I’m being electrified or something; though it still felt nice. But that’s only supposed to happen if you like the person who caused it, and in my case I don’t...right? Be sensible!!! Of course you don’t!!! Right?
Why do I feel like with every passing second I’m spending with him, I’m having the same feelings I did before? I mentally shook myself.
“Whatever.” I rolled my eyes, and trying my best to push away the sensations he’s making me feel. “Are you really sure we’re in the right place? Because if I’m not mistaken parties are usually with loud music and people shouting to be heard over the noise.”
“I’m sure.” He chuckled again. “TD usually do their parties on sound-proof buildings.”
“How considerate.” I said dully. I think I heard about that somewhere though. But whatever, they’re still gangsters.
“We’re really not that bad, Anderson.”
“Right, cause you don’t deal with drugs or underground street fighting.” I frowned at the back of his head which I could somehow see with the help of dimly lit bulbs we passed.
“We don’t.” He snorted. “Deal drugs, I mean. Where’d you even hear that?”
“Well, gangs usually do that.”
“Not The Dark.” I felt him shrug.
“Of course.” I replied sarcastically. Gangs are all the same, they do anything just to get what they want. I mean, I’m sure even Cicatrices have some tricks in their sleeves as well.
“You should first get to know us well, Anderson. I’m sure you’ll be surprised. You might even want to join.” He turned to me and smiled. I felt myself blush and was so glad the alley is dimly lit.
“L-Like I’d do that!” I somehow managed to say. Somehow that smile intensified the unwanted but nice sensations he’s making me feel at the moment.
He just chuckled. “If ever you change your mind, tell me. It’s not easy to get into TD but I’ll back you up, and the guys too.”
“You mean Joe and the others? They’re in The Dark too?” Seriously? No, wait…of course they’re in The Dark! What do I expect? That must be where the four of them meet. Me and my slowness. “Don’t answer that.” I immediately added before he can answer.
“We’re here.” He announced as we stopped in front of a small locked door of some kind of storehouse, something like you’d find on seaports.
The building was more than twenty feet high and was so wide I can’t even see the end on either side; well, at least I can’t with only the bulb in front of the door as light source. I can’t imagine what the inside looked like; it must be a two story building or something.
“Is this really the entrance?” I frowned. “How can a building this big have an entrance this small?”
“We’re in the backdoor actually.” He grinned.
“Huh? Why?” My frown deepen. Why in the backdoor? Why not use the front one? It’s not like we’re sneaking in, this party was for him after all. Unless my source is not accurate?
“I have to talk to someone first. He’ll be upset if I don’t. He’s kinda sensitive, considering his position.” He smirked. “And I want you to meet him.” Who is he talking about?
Before I can ask him anything, he knocked on the small door with his free hand, the other one still holding mine; to which I blushed again. Why didn’t he let go? Not that I mind. Not really.
“Who knock?” Boomed a brusque-sounding man as the door opened a fraction, enough for him to see who was outside.
“Hey, Bert. Long time no see.” Beamed Matt as he waved at him.
“Matty!” The door suddenly opened wide and Matt and I, surprisingly, was engulfed in a bear hug by a very bear-like man. Seriously, he held us so tightly that I thought my bones would break and he’s cutting off me air. The hell! I didn’t sign up for this! How can someone go on hugging strangers like this! Can’t he just hug Matt? Why drag me into it? I don’t even know him!
“Nice…to see you…too...” Gasp Matt. “You can…let go now…”
“Ohhh…Bert sorry. Bert only excited see Matt.” Bert said, smiling toothily, and sounding nowhere near the brusque man earlier; he sounded comical, not to mention the funny way he was talking.
“Yeah…” Matt responded as we both gasp for air.
“Who pretty lady?” Bert looked at me curiously. Then he frowned. “Pretty la–”
“Is Gene here, Bert?” Matt asked, interrupting yet again.
“Huh?” Bert looked at him then at me, then back to Matt again. “Uh, yes. Gene inside. Gene wait for Matt. Matt and pretty lady follow Bert.” And follow we did.
“You should really stop doing that.” I frowned at Matt as we followed Bert to the hallway; a well lit, well furnished hallway with cream-colored and paneled wall. And the floor looked so soft and clean that it felt guilty walking on it with shoes on.
“Interrupting people when they’re talking to me. It’s rude.”
“Maybe if you’re not being slow or cold, I would.” He grinned.
“Hey! What’s that supposed to mean?” I scowled at him. I’m not slow! Maybe cold, when I want to, but not slow! Okay, maybe sometimes I am. But he doesn’t need to say that in my face. That’s just rude!
“So, what do you think of Bert?” He suddenly asked, ignoring my comment to his reply.
“He’s okay.” I rolled my eyes. “He talks funny and almost killed me earlier, but I like him. He called me ‘pretty lady’.” I grinned as I looked at Bert’s back a few meters ahead.
Matt shook his head and grinned back.
After some turns here and there, Bert finally stopped in front of a door and knocked once before opening it. “Gene Matt here! Matt bring pretty lady too.”
“What pretty lady are you talking about?” Said a muffled skeptic voice that became clearer as we entered the room. “Matt doesn’t– Oh! Why, hello pretty lady.” He smiled at me sweetly, and then giving Matt a knowing look. I, on the other hand, looked at him with my eyes wide.
“H-Hi…” I stammered when I finally recovered from my shock. I’m actually personally meeting The Dark’s leader. I can’t believe it!
“Finally?” Gene asked Matt as he looked at Matt and mine’s intertwined hands. Matt though just shook his head and smiled at him.
I frowned at them and tried to take my hand away but Matt won’t let go, rather, he held tighter.
“Riiight.” Gene drawled, still eyeing our hands, while smiling cheekily. “Matt did say he’s going to bring someone with him, but I didn’t know it was indeed a pretty lady. So, what’s the pretty lady’s name?” He asked, giving me a friendly smile.
“Hello, Wish. It’s so nice to finally meet you in person. I’m Gene, boss of these ruffians.” He beamed at me.
‘Finally’? Seriously, why do I feel like all The Dark members I met ever since I got back, knew me for like, a very long time even though I haven’t really meet them? It’s really starting to creep me out.
“Matt, I’m so happy to see you again.” He turned to Matt again, grinning in a way that he looked younger. “I’m sure we’ll have a lot of chance to catch up later. Why don’t you and Wish go to the party first? I’ll follow later.”
“Really?” Matt raised a brow unbelievingly. “You don’t party, Gene. You’re old.” He grinned.
“Rude. I’m just a few years older than you guys” Gene rolled his eyes. “I just have a lot to do is all. I’ll show up sometime later or something.”
“Whatever you say, boss.” Matt grinned.
“Yeah, yeah. Whatever. Just get out of my office.” He playfully made a shooing gesture towards us, and Matt pulled me towards the door and out. “Enjoy the party, Wish.” I smiled at Gene and then at Bert, who both returned it warmly.
“So?” Matt asked me when he finally closed the door and we started walking in the hallway again.
“So, how’s the boss? He’s not that bad, huh?”
“Maybe…” I trailed. Then he grinned, raising a brow. “Okay, fine. He seemed nice. He doesn’t look like someone who would deal with drugs or something. But that doesn’t mean anything. You can’t judge the book by its cover!” He shook his head and continued grinning. Somehow what I said seemed off. “How old is he?”
“He’s on his late twenties. He’s really not that old; he just doesn’t like to party.”
“Oh…” Just like me.
“By the way, when will finally let me call you by your first name?” He frowned.
“When will you stop asking that?” I returned, and he just sighed.
As we got near another door, I could hear muffled sounds that definitely screamed party. I suddenly stopped walking, pulling Matt with me.
“What’s wrong?” He asked curiously.
“Are you really sure it’s okay for me to come?” I asked for the millionth time, I really have a bad feeling about this.
“Stop worrying.” He chuckled. “Gene didn’t mind, did he?”
“No more buts. I told you we’re not that bad. There might be a couple of bitches and bastards but, no one you can’t handle. I’m sure you’ll like everyone once you spend time with them. You did like me, right? And I’m supposed to be your most hated person.” He grinned.
“I-I don’t like you!” I stammered, whilst trying my hard not to blush. “I-I’m just tolerating.”
“Tolerating?” He raised a brow and I scowled at him. “Whatever, let’s just go. You’ll be fine.”
I took a deep breath and let him lead me to the door again. I didn’t know what to expect as he pulled the door open.
I almost run back towards Gene’s office when the intensity of the music hit me. It’s the loudest noise I’ve ever heard in my life! I pulled Matt to another stop. I frowned at him when he looked at me. “My eardrums are gonna burst!” I shouted for him to hear.
“You’ll get used to it!” He shouted back, and half-dragged half-walked me to wherever he was first going; somehow managing to not get noticed as he did.
Seriously, this party is worst than the one at Matt’s. The music is louder, people are going wilder, and the place is so dark except for the disco lights dancing all-over. I don’t think I’m going to like this party at all.
Matt led me to the bar, where a lot of bottles, probably all alcohol, lined up on the shelf.
“What would you like to drink?” Matt turned to me after we settled on the stools by the counter.
“I don’t drink.” At least not alcoholic ones.
He said something that I didn’t catch because of the noise.
“What did you say?” I frowned at him. He can’t be insulting me. It’s not because I don’t drink, that I’m a sissy. Plus I’m still 20! Technically, I’m not allowed to drink yet; although it’s true that these days only sissies follow that.
He just grinned. “Hey Rocky!” Matt called to the nearest bartender, who immediately walked towards us.
“Hayo Matt! Long time no see man!” He and Matt bump each other’s fists, and started talking animatedly.
He finally let my hand go, and I instantly missed its warmth. Shaking my head, I turned in my stool and looked around; looking at the teens and not so teens dance on the floor, chatter or simply enjoy their drinks. They’re all so happy and carefree going about that it made me wonder if I’m really in a party of the notorious The Dark. Looking at them, it seemed surreal.
Suddenly I felt myself being turned in my seat again. “This is my friend, Wish Anderson. You CAN’T call her by her first name.” He shouted at Rocky who was grinning.
I frowned at him. “Actually, just call me Wish.” I smiled at Rocky warmly, just to spite Matt. I felt him make a sour look. Hmph.
“Nice to meet you, Wish. I’m Rocky, one of TD’s resident bartenders.” He offered his hand, of which I took immediately.
“Nice to meet you, Rocky.”
“What would you guys like to drink? I can make you anything.”
“I’ll have beer please. And she’ll have lemonade.” Matt said to him, of which the latter turned to me for confirmation. I just smiled. Lemonade is nice. I’m kinda thirsty too.
“Seriously?” Rocky asked disbelievingly.
“I don’t drink.”
“She doesn’t drink.” Matt repeated.
“Okay. Beer and lemonade coming right up.” He chuckled.
“You wanna eat something?” I shook my head, I’m still full with the early dinner Aunt Marry made me have. “I’m sure Dan brought some pastries with him.”
“Brownies!” I shouted eagerly.
He chuckled and patted my head. “I’ll get a plateful for you. Wait here.” I frowned as he left. What’d he do that for? I felt like he’s treating me like a kid or something. But it’s kinda sweet. I smiled to myself.
“Here’s your lemonade, Wish.” Rocky placed a glass in front of me, and placed a glass of beer in Matt’s post. “Where’s Matt?”
“Went to get some brownies.” I took a sip on the lemonade and smiled, it’s so refreshing.
“Here you go.” Matt suddenly appeared beside me and placed a plate full of brownies in front of me.
“Thanks!” I beamed at him and excitedly took one into my mouth. It’s been days since I last had one.
“What are you, a kid?” Rocky laughed at me and I scowled at him. He’s just jealous he doesn’t have any.
“Everybody’s looking for you, asshole.” Someone shouted behind us, when we turned around it was Ray who did, looking annoyed as ever.
“Nice to see you too, Ray.” Grinned Matt.
“Hey, Ray.” I beamed at him. My brownies really lifting my mood. Ray just stared at me and, without any warning, took one brownie from my plate. “Hey!” I protested and tried to take back my precious. Too late. “That’s mine!” I whined as he chewed.
“Be at the stage in five.” He simply said to Matt and left. Asshole.
“Will you be okay here, Anderson?” Matt asked me, clearly amused by what happened.
“Go on.” I told him, seeming annoyed. “Go, before he comes back and takes another of my brownies.”
“I’ll look after her.” Rocky offered, looking amused as well.
“I don’t need babysitting.” I scowled at them both.
“Okay.” Matt chuckled and stood up. “Stay here; you can have a good view of us play.”
Play? Oh, right. He did mention that the Black Forest is playing tonight. I stared at his retreating back and sighed. If this dork continued being nice, I might really not able to stop myself falling for him again.