Chapter 39 - Healthy And Fun
Kate sat absorbing her new surroundings as she waited for Kayla to come back to their table with their drinks. She had heard about this place but never once did she think that she would actually be sitting here.
Who would have thought that Kayla would have brought her to membership only club, exclusive, that’s what she had told her when they were making their way up the stairs to up the ‘Fire & Ice’ Lounge.
After dinner with Nana And Tony, all she had wanted to to was going back to Taylor’s place and jump into bed. But then again, Taylor did want to talk, she thought and smiled to herself.
She couldn’t have been home now, if only she hadn’t confirmed drinks with Kay because Tony had excused himself earlier than expected and that would have given them plenty of time to do so. But talk? She suddenly felt nervous. What did he want to talk about?
God! Her face fell. She hoped that it wasn’t going to be one of those ‘you need to move out’ conversation because of the kiss they shared in that death trap.
She sighed at the thought and watched as a couple passed by her table and made the way to the exit ; suddenly not feeling as excited to go home as she had been a moment ago.
“Here you go,”
Her snapped up at the sound of Kayla’s voice as she placed a glass infront of Kate then took a seat herself.
Kate’s face scrunched aand her stomach churned at the green liquid in her glass. She looked over to Kay. “What is it?” She asked.
Kayla chortled over her clear expression of disgust. “Well you did say to surprise you, hence,” she gestured towards Kate’s glass, “A celery Martini. It’s both healthy and fun.”
Kate’s brows drew up, glancing back down at the cocktail with uncertainty.
A regular Martini is fun.
But this? She thought, then apprehensively grabbed on to the glass.
Lord, she prayed that it would at least be digestible, she didn’t want to offend Kayla by refusing to atleast give it a try.
Kayla’s eyes never left Kate and neither did the smile of her face. She watched as Kate hesitantly brought the glass up to her lips.
“It’s not poisonous.” Kay said, taking a sip of her identical drink just to prove her point.
“You look tense and I can assure you that I didn’t invite you out just to murder you.”
“You didn’t?” Kate asked before she could stop herself.
It was suppose to be an inner thought.
Kayla laughed, causing a few head to turn their way.
“Of course not. I just wanted to get to know you, seeing that you are a new addition to both Taylor and Brandon’s life.”
“Oh.” Kate replied, taking the long awaited sip from her glass.
A smile grew on her face at the first taste of the cocktail as it hit her palate. It wasn’t as bad as she thought. It was like a smoothie but with abit of spike. Fun. Just like Kayla had said.
“See?” Kayla chuckled, “Not bad, isn’t it?”
“You’re right. Not bad at all.” Kate agreed, except for the fact that celery wasn’t her number one choice of vegetable.
“Why don’t we start over? I have a feeling that I might have scared you earlier on.” Kayla suggested running a smooth finger over the rim of her glass in a circular motion.
Kate nodded her head at her, “Yeah, I think I’d that. Sorry but I don’t really know how to act knowing that Brandon --”
Kayla waved her off and interjected, “I’m not mad, if that’s what you’re thinking. I love Brandon and I know that he loves me.” She uttered, pushing back against the leather seat.
“Plus, I may or may not have done the same thing to him in the past,” she admitted, then as mischievous grin grew on her lips. “But that’s a story for another time.”
Relief was not a word Kate thought that she would hold on to, but she did.
“Do I need to scold him about it? Because that was my first initial thought. I warned Taylor that it might even get a bit physical.” She announced and smiled when Kayla’s head fell back and she began to laugh.
She wasn’t trying be funny. It was the truth. Brandon was really going to pay for putting her in this awkward situation. But thank goodness, Kayla wasn’t the vengeful type. She seemed really nice and outgoing.
“Brandon was right. You really are a breath of fresh air. I like you, Kate and I think we’re going to be going to be good friends.”
She rather liked the sound of that. Not that she had many friends. Well, one, if she counted Carl. The thought of having a real female friend sounded nice for a change.
Kate took her glass and lifted it up.
“Well, cheers. To the new, yet silently awkward beginning of our friendship.”
Taylor made his way over to the well groomed group of men lounging in the secluded part of the Lounge. They sat unbothered by the stares of the outside world, primed in their crisply pressed tailored suit and their ridiculously expensive shoes. The room was overpowered by the expensive musked of cuban cigars, hard liquor and the poor sombre visibility it displayed, but still, it held no match over the reek of power, money and status that lingered in the atmosphere.
The gentlemen’s club.
There was a reason why it was called so. It was a place of refuge, where they could all get together and just be themselves, leaving the outside world of rivalry and tabloids by the entrance where they belonged.
He hadn’t planned to go out tonight but when Grayson had called, urging him to drop by, he all be knew that it had to be important. He wouldn’t have insisted as much.
As Taylor approached them, he noticed several of the men looking his way with the similar smirk of envy that he had come to know so well. To the outsiders this could easily be mistaken as genuine smile but he, however knew better.
“Taylor!” The elderly grey hair gentleman called out from the crowded black leather couch.
“Join us my boy.” He said offering him a cigar.
“Grayson. --” Taylor daid in acknowledgement and took the cigar as he sat in the nearest empty seat.
Knowing old man Grayson, he was either here to get hands on information that he need or had information to he wanted to rub in Taylor’s face.
“What’s it going to be tonight?” Taylor asked, steching his legs infrong of him then clipped the tip of the cigar before placing it in his mouth.
He always preferred to be direct and with this old bastard, even more so.
“Straight for the kill, Price.” Grayson retorted, gulping down the remains of his Scotch. “How about a drink first?” Grayson offered.
But Taylor shook his head you a firm ‘no’. He had to go home soon and he wanted a clear head if he was to hold an actual conversation with Kate.
“I’m driving, Grayson.” He replied, in a cool, clipped tone of voice.
“It’s a shame.” Grayson shrugged, ” They have this new collection of rare whiskey on display tonight.” He announced, hoping to persuade Taylor.
“Hmmm. ” Taylor half groaned and smirked, as he lite and took a puff of the cuban cigar, allowing it to sit on his tongue for few seconds so that he could taste strong flavour of the tobacco.
“Alright,“Grayson caved, shifting in his sit. “I’ll get right to it then” He said leaning over towards Taylor so that their conversation wouldn’t be overheard.
“Thought that you should know that there’s a reporter snooping around asking about you. A certain Carl.”
Taylor’s jaw twitched but his face remained bland as he took his time exhaling out the smoke.
He had nothing to hide, he told himself.
But still, there was The Fregate Island in The Seychelles. If they were to find out about that, Brandon would probably hate him for the secret he had hidden there.
“This Carl, he wouldn’t happen to work at Daily House, would he?” Taylor asked, eyeing Grayson over the smoke that separated them.
His gut feeling screamed out yes, yet he mere sought the confirmation of Grayson.
Grayson smirked, “So you know? I guess I should have told you about it over the phone instead of dragging you down here.”
Taylor turned to his side and put the cigar out.
It was all that he needed to know.
Taylor’s lips half curved into a smile not giving anything away. “Thanks for the call, Grayson, but I have another prior engagement that I need to get to.”
He got up and made his way out the door leading to the bar area. It looked abit crowd tonight, but then again, it was Friday. He casted a look at the bar and noticed that it wasn’t Milo who was behind the counter, which was strange because he was always here on Fridays.
Kate emerged out of the ladies room and began to make her way back to their table. She had been right the cocktail didn’t settle quite well in her stomach. The first one was fine but after the third and fourth round, she had to excuse herself and make a dash for toilet.
That was it, she thought to herself, no more drinking fancy cocktail that you’ve never heard about.
She slid by the bar, hoping that it would be easier for her to make her way back towards Kayla. But the Lounge was now quite filled with rich snobs who evidently didn’t understand the meaning of “excuse me”. It was around the third push that she saw an open gap between a man who was face the bar and a woman wearing a leopard dress. She scurried forward but her effort landed her full face into a hard chest.
“Jesus!” She heard, as a pair of strong hands grabbed on hold to her arms, setting her to her feet.
“Honestly!” Kate hissed freeing herself from tge strangers grasp, “Are you blind?” She countered, jutting her head up ready for battle.
Her eyes widened as it fell upon Taylor.
He was here? She grinned.
Then her face quickly dissolved into into a scrowl.
Why was he here?
“Taylor? What are you doing here?” She asked.
“I could ask the same thing.” He said then lifted his head and gazed around the room, ” Where’s Kay?”
“I was just making my way back to her.“She replied, “But why are you here?”
He glanced down at her half pouted lips, knowing that she probably thought that he was following her.
Unable to resist, he brought a hand up and gently caressed her lips with his thumb.
“I was meeting with an old friend of mine.”
“Oh.” Was the only thing Kate found to say. The warmth of his hand on her cheek and his thumb running a smooth line over her lips made shivers up and down her spine, causing her to flush profusely.
And Taylor loved it when she blushed, but he wasn’t sure whether it was an act of innocence or if she really was, innocent.
“Uh, we were just about to order another drink, ” Kate briskly said, fighting against the strange impulsive to put her hands over his so that he wouldn’t remove it.
But when he did peg of dissapoitment fell into her stomach, yet she held a strong front so that he wouldn’t catch on.
“But Kayla’s already had a bit to drink and I don’t think she’ll be able to drive. We might have to take a taxi.” She cringed as the words left her mouth.
Why, oh why would you tell him that?
Taylor sighed before shaking his head in displeasure and Kate hated every minute ute of it.
“Take me to her.”
It was an order not a request and Kate was fully aware of that.
“We’re going home.” Taylor announced.
Kate stared at him for a few seconds and shook her head before grabbing on to his hand.
Would it kill him to ask if they were ready to leave?
She pushed her way through a small group of crowd and made a beeline for their table, all the while oblivious to gleeful expression on Taylor’s face.
“Oh God, Kate. Where did you find this one?” Kayla whined, blowing at a few strands of hair that was hanging infront of her face.
Kate tried to stifle a laugh when Taylor narrowed his eyes on her. She might have not been totally honest when she said that Kay had had abit to drink. She should have said that Kayla had had alot or way too much to drink.
After they had gotten past the awkward Brandon moment, they really started to hit it off. And she liked Kayla. She was friendly, down to earth and had a lovely sense of humour.
No wonder both Taylor and Brandon had taken such a liking to her. Except, she still didn’t know how they had all become friends.
“I bumped into him at the bar and I don’t think he’s going to let us stay here any longer.” Kate said, stealing a glance at Taylor.
And she was right. He wasn’t about to just walk out of there without either of them with him. Kayla was drunk and Kate didn’t exactly look sober herself.
It was a disaster waiting to happen.
“Go away, Taylor.” Kayla slurred, “I and Kate,” Her brows knitted, “wait..” she said, holding up her index finger in the air.
“I thinks it’s suppose to be Kate and I, right?”
Kate chewed on the inner sides of her cheeks and nod. She wasn’t sure how long she would hold on to this laugh that was tickling at her throat.
“Good. Kate and I are celebrating our friendship and we don’t need your dick of an attitude bumming us out.”
That was it.
The look on Taylor’s face was priceless.
He looked heavily constipated and Kate couldn’t hold it in any longer. So she laughed.
Causing a very annoyed Taylor to folded his arms over his chest and spared Kate a disapproving glare. “It’ll either be me who takes you home or I’m calling Brandon.”
Kayla immediately straightened up at the mention of Brandon’s name.
“Well, damn!“Kay cursed, gulping down the rest of her green cocktail.
“He pulled the B-card.” She then turned to Kate and muttered, “I think we better follow him, Kate. I can only deal with one brother at a time.”
“That’s okay.” Kate agreed, then turned and glanced down at Taylor, “I already guessed that it was over then moment I saw him.” She reached over and grabbed both their bags.
“Stop encouraging her.” Taylor scolded at her.
“I’m not. It wasn’t like you asked if we were ready.” Kate shrugged, moving past him.
Wait? Was she back to being annoyed with him?
Taylor wasn’t sure. Her whole vibe was off. Maybe she was just as tipsy as Kay.
He slipped a hand around Kayla’s waist and hoisted her up to his side. She laid her head over his shoulder and murmured in low whispering sound.
“I like Kate. She’s fun. Brandon’s right, she’s good for you.”
Taylor’s eyes laid glued to Kate as she made her way to the exit.
Maybe they were both right.