Chapter 11: Ms. Drunk
“What was that?”
Lucas stood stoic, both hands on his trousers as he leans so casually on the metallic walls. Thorin looks through their reflection inside the elevator. She was still shaking from what she had done moments ago. Her lips tingle as she still felt his on them. It was a toe-curling kiss, one that bound to shatter her being.
It was instinct. It’s not her fault that her aggressive state would lead her to kiss him. It’s not her fault that he looked too good in that mint green shirt. It’s not her fault that he looks so rough and wild when she riled him up. She should rile him up more. She would love seeing those sinful features contort.
“A thimble,” hiding her surging emotion as Thorin tries her best to jest. Quoting Wendy’s famous line from Peter Pan she added, “Surely you know a kiss is?”
Lucas gazed intently at her reflection, as he shakes his head. He let out a dry laugh, “Don’t use that Wendy quotation on me Miss Montréal.”
She crosses her arms and transfers her weight on her right foot. She closes and opens her eyes, unable to find the right way to get away from the deed that she created. Well, she happened to like the deed she did. It was the best naughty deed she had done.
“Should I go and start apologizing to Bugatti guy and McLaren guy?” Lucas prompted which caused Thorin’s ear perked up. She did not feel guilty. Not at all. For a fact that she’s been upfront with her feelings and told them the truth. That she’s seeing someone she likes. It was a white lie she had created just to save herself from the embarrassing rejection.
Thorin turned her body, facing Lucas. His placid face was unreadable. Thorin wondered what’s going on, on that pretty head of his. He’s always has been calm and composed. He was always encouraging and patient with her no matter how brash and cold she can be. Its as if those things don’t deter him. Though she sometimes caught him rolling his eyes, muttering something, furrowed his brows at her most of the time but never did he complain.
At times when she can’t control her mood swings, he’ll be there to subtly calm her down. He’ll be there to stop and warn her. He’s not scared to point out her mistakes, even though he knew his job is at stake in the situation.
She shakes her head, “There’s nothing to apologize for. I kiss you and I liked it.”
Lucas swivels his head and gazes down at her, “I kissed you back and I like it.” Thorin shrugs as she beamed at him. She could jump right there and then.
Lucas rose to his full stance, his eyes crinkle from his jovial melancholic smile, “However, I don’t want to be another part of your conquests Miss Montreal.”
His words rang through her ears as the elevator doors opened. Each word lingered and echoed through her mind. Each word pierced through her heart. Pain. It pained her. Did she do him wrong? He is not her conquest. He never was. Was he? She asked herself.
She just wanted him to be part of her.
She stayed rooted on her foot as she watches Lucas exited the elevator.
“Thorin I should stop you,” Wren purse her lips as she assesses her friend, Thorin.
“Why aren’t you stopping me then?” Thorin slurred as she stared at the amber liquid on her glass. She swears at the innocent amber liquid, she remembers Lucas irises.
He’s been ignoring her, though work-related talks are inevitable it’s just not the same as before. He’s been flippant and distant, nonetheless the respect he has for her as his boss is highly there. And he’s been reminding her as he emphasizes her title and position in the company.
The way he calls her Miss Montréal icily irked her down to the bones. What pissed her off more is the fact that when she looks at him, she remembers every minute of their soul-shattering cafeteria kiss. Dejected by the fact that it was only her that was greatly affected by the kiss. She didn’t know Lucas can be this cruel, his silence was loud enough for her to hear that she isn’t welcomed.
“Because I don’t want to. Nila has been bugging me to stop you but I’m not in the mood to stop you so here we are.”
“Good. Because you’re the bad one and Nila is supposedly my good conscience.”
Wren signaled the bartender, “Yeah. Call me, beep, me if you wanna reach me.” Hummed in tune as the bartender beamed at her waiting for her another request. She ordered the same, vodka on rock and averted back her gaze on Thorin’s tipsy state. “You’ll call me once in a while when you want to get drunk. Making me the bad one.”
Thorin sighs exasperatedly. She roamed her eyes around the bar. It’s Friday, Friday. The bar with its loud thunderous music rang through her ears and is of course filled in with party-goers. Dressed so loose and casually, dance like nobody’s watching, act like a total lunatic. Trivial Friday nights.
She’s been waiting for this night to get drunk and forget things that she wanted to forget. It’s been a while since she hit the bar. She never really frequented the bar lately. Her party buddies were busy with their careers. The last time she took a step inside the back was a week before she met Lucas.
Great. She’s thinking about him again. The reason why she’s in a bar, with her wing woman of the night. Wren, the bird. The bird blocker. She laughs to herself which earned a nudge from Wren, “What are you laughing about?”
“Your name,” Thorin waved her hands dismissively.
“I’ll try my best to block you, Hot T.” Wren points out her outfit for tonight. She let her black wavy hair cascaded, covering her bareback, wearing her black, stretchy knit bustier bodycon dress. Paired with her pink Jimmy Choo Satin sandals, its dainty straps cross over the front before the style finishes with slim stiletto heels.
She’s been receiving side glances from the opposite sex. Back then she would welcome the glance but now it’s getting on her nerves. She dreaded herself for wearing this dress but she felt comfortable with it so she just goes for it. It’s not like she wants to get some tonight. She was just here to fuel her vessels with alcohol.
“And since you’re on your fifth shot, follow the tradition. Spill!” Wren encourages her. With much further adieu, she fills in the questions that Wren has been bugging her the moment she called her. She felt like a kid telling her mother about her crush who has broken her heart. The good thing about Wren is she’s a good listener. She won’t advise much but she’ll listen. And that’s what she needed tonight with some alcohol in her system of course.
“I’m intrigued by your mystery man, T. Do you have a photo? Because he seems like a character from some romance novel,” Wren pressed on, this earned a groaned from Thorin as she opened her brown YSL pouch. She fished out her phone and directly opened her photo gallery. She clicked on the photo that she took secretly. Lucas, of course, wearing his eyeglasses, focusing on paperwork, biting his lips and unaware of the camera.
She shoved the phone on Wren’s hand, “Holy cow!” Wren gasped incredulously. Thorin watches her as she zooms in and out the photo on her phone. Thorin couldn’t help but spill a few girly giggles as she waits for her friend to settle her horses down.
“Gotta break it to you, T. He has the appeal of a math book,” Wren said as she twists her lips and gives the phone back to Thorin.
“What?!” Thorin gasped at her friend’s opinion. By far, this was the best man she had chosen to end up with. To have a relationship with and Wren was such a witch for her comments.
Wren guffawed, she then empties her glass of vodka, and gaze back at Thorin, “I don’t know T, but I’ve never met anyone that opened a math book and didn’t say ‘fuck me’.”
Both ladies laugh loudly, as they clunk their glass together and emptied it.
“Yes! Finally, you’re here!” Lucas heard as he entered a VIP booth, he was engulfed into a hug. Her chubby petite body bobbed up, as she let out her giddiness. He hugged her as she pats her back, “Happy Birthday, Sofia.”
Sofia releases him, as Fray arrived and stood beside his wife, “Where’s Levi?” Sofia prompted. Fray playfully punches Lucas as he wiggles his brows and glances sideways.
“He’ll be here a soon since he came in with his friends,” Lucas reply as he let Sofia drag him to take a seat on a large leather sofa. Fray followed suit as he too pushes Lucas forward.
Lucas notices a few female strangers, must be Sofia’s friend he thought to himself. Sofia let him stand in front of the female strangers much to his dismay. Fray stood beside him on his left with his drink, while his wife stood beside Lucas on his right. “Ladies, I’d like you all to meet our friend, Lucas. The one who I’ve been talking about!”
Lucas elbowed Fray’s abdomen, causing Fray to spill his drink. He let out a few coughs, as Lucas hear female strangers squeals and snickers.
“I didn’t have any idea, I swear. I only knew before you came,” Fray grunted as he took a step away from Lucas, crossing his arms against Lucas. “Lucas here has been single for 5--”
“Turning 6!” Fray hollered. “If I knew it’s going to be a setup, I should’ve had said N.O,” Lucas look down and leaned closer to Sofia. Sofia, laugh at Lucas and patted his back.
“Be nice,” Sofia hisses as she showed her pearly whites in front of her friends. Lucas inwardly moaned.
“Hello, Ladies. Glad you could make it to Sofia’s celebration,” Lucas said as he tried to sound enthusiastic and somewhat friendly.
He was about to hit the sack early when an impromptu celebration summoned his presence. Thinking that it has been a while since he had alcohol in his system. Clad in a light blue button-down shirt, grey slim fit chinos, Nappa-leather bomber jacket with wool-blend panels paired with black dynamic low-profile trainers. Though he’s not very particular on brands, yet he was pretty sure all he’s been wearing are from Hugo Boss. His mother’s favorite men's clothing brand.
As Sofia entertained her squad, he tried his best to be polite and socialize not forgetting what’s his main goal for tonight. Though the ladies were honestly pretty, he couldn’t deny the fact that Thorin-- He dared not to think about her. His shoulders slumped as he sinks in the leather sofa comfortably, a glass of wine on his left hand as his armrests on the sofa.
He tried to assess his surroundings. Being in a bar, with too many people isn’t his scene. Call him boring but loud booming music, crowd, and too much alcohol drains him just by observing. It bores him. His ideal party would be, a piece of soft jazzy music plays in the corner, wine, a good conversation with friends, an actual talk -- pretend they’re in 1986.
He surveyed the bar itself, this could be the place he wanted to chill in with a lesser crowd and lower music. The interiors feature details inspired by the British Colonial style favored by Hemingway, well-traveled gentlemen, and GIs of the last century. Trust Fray and Sofia to find an excellent place to celebrate and party.
“Lucas?” A soft voice awakens him from his reverie. He looked up and met a smiling lady. He forgot her name. He’s was sure that Sofia mentioned her a while ago, “Mindy. Can I sit here?”
Part of screamed the big no nonetheless he sits up straight indicating that she is allowed to sit beside him. He gulps down the red liquid from his glass and placed it on the center table.
“So, you don’t talk much huh?” Mindy propped as she plays with the ice on her empty glass. That or he just did not want to talk, Lucas wanted to reply. He caught a pair of eyes on him, Sofia. She pointed out her smile, Lucas only then raised his brows as he smirks at her. He shakes his head at this whole situation he was caught in, “I’m just tired.”
“Oh. Work must be very stressful huh?”
“Indeed,” he said curtly without facing Mindy. He let Mindy continued with her storytelling about how she was devastated when she found her dead cat at her neighbor’s door. He tried his best not to cringe. Lucas wanted to cover his ears so bad, he sent a few prayers to save him from this minute misery.
“Happy Birthday big sister!” Levi finally entered, oblivious to his brother’s plea. Lucas watches Sofia as he ruffled Levi’s hair. Levi kisses Sofia’s cheeks as Fray approaches him and gave him a wack.
Levi has been part of their little group.
As far as Lucas remembers he always tagged Levi whenever he’s out with his friends. It’s comforting to know that Levi is always beside him where ever he is.
Sofia then raises her hands as he surveyed everyone in the group, “Listen! Everyone!” she motioned Fray to come closer.
Fray reached out for her hands which Sofia gladly took, “We have an announcement to make.”
She gazed at her husband and beamed, ” All of you must be atypical by this sudden gathering but I can’t just keep this any longer..”
“We’re pregnant!” Fray and Sofia shouted simultaneously. Lucas jumps out from his seat and raised his empty glass on his friends. The little group of ten people shouted there congratulations on the couple. Lucas’ heart swelled with pride and joy, a bundle of joy is coming to his friends’ life. He couldn’t be happier for them.
“Big Sis! I should be the one to name the baby!” Lucas heard Levi prompt as he approached the trio. Lucas grabbed Fray and Sofia for a hug muttering another set of congratulations. “I’m happy for you guys!”
Levi draped his right arm around his brother, “Awe, Fray will have a baby soon. And my dear big brother is not getting any girlfriend soon.”
The trio laughs at Lucas’s state. Lucas shakes his head as he laughs with them when Mindy entered their little bubble. She was congratulating the couple as she smiled at Lucas then at Levi, “You must be Levi?” Mindy offered her hands which Levi took gladly.
“Yes. The only and you look familiar. You must be..” Lucas elbowed Levi but he dodged it. He knew what his brother is going to say, he doesn’t want to lead on any girl that passes through him but Levi had just to butt in on time. He never missed an opportunity to butt in and take the control, “My future sister-in-law.”
Lucas groaned at his brother’s nonsensical and mainstream pick up lines. Levi will call everyone his sister-in-law whenever he saw a girl with his bother. It always gave the ladies the wrong idea.
“He’s just joking,” Lucas countered with urgency. Levi shrugs as he waves comically at the lady. “Bye, sister-in-law!”
Levi dragged his brother away from Mindy’s daydreaming state. The brothers approach the couple who are sitting across the booth. Cuddling, whispering sweet nothings to each other, giggling like they have their world together.
“Should we dash?” Levi inquired as he watches the two. “We should bid goodbye,” Lucas answered as they reached the two. Levi and Lucas bid their farewells, noting that they should do it first before getting lost in a sea of people inside the bar.
“We’re getting laid!” Levi pumps his fist in the air, as the couple guffawed at his silliness and send them off to hit the presumable sack.
“You’re getting laid. Not me. Not tonight,” Lucas said curtly as he ruffled Levi’s hair and trudged towards the exit. But before Lucas could take another step, Levi pulled his jacket and drag his brother with force towards the bar, “If you’re trying to set me up again, I swear I’m going to beat you up!”
Levi released Lucas and snickered at his brother’s theatrics, as they sit on an empty barstool.
Levi called for the bartender and ordered, “Negroni, because he’s more on Italian than me and bourbon. Thanks!” The bartender laughs at Levi’s unessential explanation. Levi drummed his fingers on the bar table as they wait for their drinks. Minutes later their drinks arrived and simultaneously gulp it down.
“How are you by the way?” Lucas inquired since it’s been a while since he had seen his brother in the flesh. Levi turned his body, facing his brother, “Same old, same old. I think I’ll graduate on time?”
Lucas let out a dry laugh. “Mom will be coming on Sunday, Aunt Beth will drive her to the city,” Levi called in for another shot for the both of them.
The condition of their mother’s chemotherapy has been a touchy subject. Lucas mentally berated himself for going into that topic. He was mindless of the situation, besides a bar is not an ideal place to talk about such. Few of Levi’s acquaintances came and go, female and male and in between greeting him with enthusiasm. Lucas was introduced often to Levi’s peers. Levi was always called out by his friends to join the group but Levi refuses multiple times to catch up with his alone and single big brother, Levi’s exact words.
Lucas finally decided he wanted to go home and attempt to hit the sack, with a decent amount of alcohol in his system. The two stood up from their barstools, Levi was about to get his wallet from his back jean pocket when Lucas immediately place the exact amount of their bill and some tips for the bartender.
“Stop pretending you’re going to pay,” Lucas hit his brother’s arm with the back of his hand. “Stop blowing my cover!” Levi hissed jokingly.
As they retreated, two ladies bump into them. The two drunk ladies as their butt hit the checkered floor. “Wren! How--how many ti-times I told you to not get drunk?!”
The brothers took them by their slim arms, Levi took the long black haired vixen, and Lucas took the short blonde one. Lucas carefully steadied the lady, as she crinkles her nose and opens her eyes.
“Can you stand?” He said, checking her for injuries. She shakes her head, flickers her eyes at Lucas, her forehead creased as she narrowed her eyes on his face. She gasps, “Omg! You’re h-him.. him! Hey--.”
Lucas heard Levi’s orotund voice, “Miss Montréal?” Lucas’s ears perked up upon the mere mention of the name. The lady that Lucas was holding, shrieked as she jolts up and down whilst pointing at him. He released his hands from the lady as he titled his head and scrutinize the sanity of the lady. “You! Lucas! T!”
Lucas finally swiveled his head towards the lady that Levi was holding. Her face was covered with her long black locks. “Huh? Lucas. Lucas?” Thorin slurred as she wobbled.
Levi then carefully shove Thorin in his arms, as his brother took Wren instead. Lucas steadied Thorin, as he touches her strands of hair and tucks it behind her ears. Her pretty forehead was beaded with sweat. Her breath hitched, and Lucas notices this. She looks at him through her lashes as glowed, “I’m... I’m not drunk.”
“We need to scram,” Levi prompt as he struggles to steady Wren. Wren was pretty much a ball of energy as she sleepily watches Lucas and Thorin.
Once outside of the bar, Lucas took off his jacket and wrap it around Thorin’s upper body. They were standing meters away from the entrance, decent enough to hold a conversation between two sober men and two drunken ladies.
Lucas held Thorin by her waist, his grip was secured enough to control her wobbling legs. Thorin draped her arms around Lucas’s shoulder and gaze at him longingly. Thorin sighs as her dainty hands slip through his nape, Lucas tried his best to not to show any indication that it had awakened his carnal desires.
She yawns as she smiles at him, “I’m-- I’m dreaming.” He maintains eye contact with her. Her eyes tonight held untold secrets, secrets she so wanted to share but repressed herself to do so.
Lucas can’t help but wonder what were those secrets? He wanted to dive in, into the depths of her emerald orbs.
He wondered, how in the world such woman exist. How in the world he was privileged to be by her side and take care of her? Including her drunken state.
Levi elbowed Lucas, awaken him from his fantasies, “Stop eating her with your gaze. Call her driver or whatever. I already arranged for her Fri--”
Lucas gave Levi a knowing look. Levi gasps as he places his right hand over his left pectoral, “I called an Uber! I respect women! You’ve wounded your little bro!”
As Levi finished his little theatrical release, the Uber arrived. Levi helps Wren getting into an Uber and gave specific instructions to the driver. As the Uber passes the trio by, Wren peered through the window and screaming goodbye.
Levi sighs as his eyes followed the Uber, “What a lady, too bad. Older women are not my cup of tea.” This earned Levi a blow from his right abdomen. He coughs out loudly, crouching and groaning from the pain. “Again, I’m joking!”
Lucas was minutely distracted as Thorin places her on his chest. He looks down at her, she was snoozing like a baby. “What now? Take her to your apartment?” Levi asked innocently, whilst rubbing his hands together as he wiggles his eyebrows on his brother.
Lucas ignored his brother. Lifting his left hand from holding Thorin, Lucas fished out his phone and speed-dialed her driver. Noting the time, Lucas shakes his head at the third call. Levi raised his phone and shakes it above his head, “Uber is here to save the night. Oh right, its morning.”
As the brother stands quietly under the light of a yellow lamp post waiting for another Uber. Levi cleared his throat, glancing between Thorin and Lucas, “Can I join? I’m kinda cold.”
Lucas rolls his eyes on his brother’s jest. Truth to be told, as the night deepens, the breezes that hit off against their skin becomes colder. Levi has been warm all this time because he has been wearing a jacket, unlike Lucas. Who was too chivalrous, he gave up his jacket for his muse. An Uber arrives in front of them, Lucas helps Thorin in the car whilst giving the driver the specifics.
Levi came to help him out, Lucas notice as Levi took his wallet, he felt something slid at his back pocket but he paid no attention to it. His brother, being a slightly loose screw pushed him inside the car. He was thankful enough that he didn’t hit Thorin. He stumbled as he steadied himself. Lucas heard the car doors locked and felt the car move.
“Tear the foil in case of emergency!” Levi shouted as the car moves away from his treacherous brother.