“No.” I shook my head, looking up at the vibrating walls of the Echo. Vivian patted my butt gently to usher me forward.
“You don’t have an option,” She feigned a regretful frown before slipping into line with Dalila. “You’re going to love it, I promise!” I sauntered in line behind them with Dax following suit. As the two women in front of us flirted and giggled with each other, Dax and I stood awkwardly silent. After being interrupted in the middle of an intimate hug that I had initiated, I wasn’t sure how to start a conversation again. So we just didn’t talk. By the time we entered the bursting building, the place had become packed with sweaty, intoxicated people. Between the bar and the dance floor, people drunkenly dance against each other in an alcohol-fueled sexual desire.
“What’s your drink, Pequeño?” Dalila called over the music. I shook my head, knowing that if I could control anything in this situation, it’d be my sobriety. Dalila pulled her brother up to the bar and disappeared to retrieve drinks for everyone. When the siblings returned, they brought two trays with four small glasses on each.
“I’ve got shots!“Dalila beamed, setting her tray on the table we had found. Each of them grabbed a glass while I watched with growing nervousness, my stomach knotting as my eyes gazed over each of their waiting faces.
“You want me to drink?” I bit my lip as I looked at the liquid. Dax looked away quickly, throwing back his shot.
“Just take these two shots, for me,” Vivian pleaded. “Let loose for once!” Releasing my lip from my teeth, I nodded hesitantly.
“I, 2, 3!” We all threw our heads back, my throat burning harshly from the alcohol.
“What is this?” I choked out as they handed me the second one.
Two, three, four, five, six shots later. My stomach warmed with the help of my best friend Tequila. Dalila and Vivian eloped to the dance floor where they flirtatiously danced and touched each other. I sat on a cushioned bar stool, eating olives and Maraschino cherries. Dax had disappeared long ago, leaving me to my drunken thoughts. A hand appeared on my thigh and I whirled around in hope to see my favorite cop.
“Hey,” A tall man with a five o’ clock shadow slurred down at me. A gold chain around his neck dangled over his white wife beat which made me giggle with the thought of Jersey Shore. “Can I get you a drink?
“No, she’s good.” A voice growled from behind the tall man. I craned my neck around to see Dax’s angry expression, his arms folded across his chest in a protective father-like manner. The tall man scoffed and turned back to me, leaning against the bar to appear nonchalant.
“So what’s your name, Sweetheart?” He purred to me, his finger gripping harder on my thigh. “How about that drink?” As I fumbled with something to say, fingers gripped the back of the tall man’s neck and pulled him backward, his fingernails scratching my thigh as they left my skin. Dax filled the void of the tall stranger, looking down at me disapprovingly.
“What were you doing talking to him?” He scowled, ordering himself his signature scotch, neat.
“Um,” I couldn’t find words.
“He was going to drug you, you know.” Dax jaw flexed under the skin of his cheek as he held up a small bag of pills. “Pick-pocketed these from him when he was walking over to you.” I cocked an eyebrow at him.
“You knew he was going to target me?” I looked between the bag and Dax. He rolled his eyes, annoyed by the conversation before the bartender slid his drink across the table. Dax downed the liquid with ease.
“Please, you know you’re the most beautiful girl here. If it weren’t him, it’d be any other guy. I’ve been picking them away from you all night.” He groaned. A smirk threatened my lips as my stomach exploded with butterflies.
“You’ve been shielding me from guys all night?” I crossed my legs. Dax paled slightly, knowing he was boxed in.
“Why would you do that?” I interjected, not being able to control the ridiculous smile plastered on my face.
“It’s my job.” He answered unconvincingly, staring down at his empty glass. Deciding to let him off, I nodded and ordered myself another shot. “Are you sure you can handle another? You’re pretty wasted already.”
“I’m fine.” I nodded, swallowing a burp that was trying to escape my throat. Scanning the crowd for Vivian and Dalila, my eyes settled on a surprisingly sight.
“Riley?” I whispered, watching as he sloppily stuck his tongue down the throat of a skinny blonde on the dance floor. The bartender returned with my shot and I threw it back to distract my thoughts. Feeling the liquid courage course through me, I hopped off the stool and stalked forward. Once my boyfriend and his date were directly in front of me, I tapped him on the shoulder. “Hey, babe." I mocked his pet name for me. Riley turned and choked on air.
“Who’s this?” The blonde sputtered drunkenly, her red lipstick smeared across her mouth. I shook my head in disgust.
“What are you doing here?” Riley let go of the blonde to grab my arms.
“I could ask the same thing.” I shrugged, feeling surprisingly numb to the situation.
“This- She-” Riley’s eyes were suddenly looking past me. “Of course you’re here.” I turned, watching Riley glare at Dax. “You know what, Jane? Go ahead and fuck around with your loser cop.” He pushed me into Dax’s awaiting chest, his warm hands catching me before I could fall. “Brittney isn’t even the first girl I’ve been with tonight.” Riley winked before locking lips with the blonde once again. Dax made sure I was standing upright before charging forward.
“Push her again, I dare you-” I quickly grabbed Dax’s arm before he did anything he would regret tomorrow, pulling him back toward the bar. “Stop it, Jane!” He yelled, yanking his hand from my grip. I stood silently, looking at my converse-clad feet. Dax sighed and shook his head. “I need some air.” Before I could object, Dax stalked out the door.
“Jane!” Vivian grabbed me forcefully. “Jane, are you okay? We just saw Riley-”
“I’m fine.” I nodded reassuringly, forcing a smile. Vivian pulled me in to a tight embrace anyway.
“Jane, why don’t you come out and dance with us? Dancing is a constructive way to deal with emotion.” Dalila suggested, her hand squeezing my shoulder comfortingly.
“I don’t know...” I bit my lip, feeling a mess of thoughts and feelings that needed to be sorted out.
“C’mon, Jay. You’re a great dancer.” Vivian moved a few strands of hair away from my eyes and smiled softly. “It’ll be fun, and if it’s not, just say the word and we can leave.” I looked between Dalila and my best friend.
“Okay.” I shrugged halfheartedly, allowing them to pull me on the florescent-lit dance floor. The two of them melted into one as they danced closely to each other. The heavy, upbeat rhythm of the music began to move me, the alcohol giving me the extra push I needed.
(Play the music video above while reading the next part)
“That’s it, love.” Dalila grinned over at me as my arms shot up in the air and my hips swayed with the music. One song dissolved into another, the changing from upbeat to slow and sensual. The crowd enveloped me, Dalila and Vivian lost in their own bubble of infatuation to notice me anymore. As my hips made a move backward, a large pair of hands gripped them from behind with gentle force. His cologne wrapped around me in erotic familiarity as he leaned in the exposed flesh of my neck.
“I’m sorry for walking out, I just needed to calm down.” He whispered against me, his lips grazing against my skin. A fleet of goosebumps appeared and I pressed myself further against him.
“But you’re here now.” I mumbled in response, running my fingers over his hands that still held my hips. He leaned in, his lips now against my ear as one of his hands trailed down the length of my thigh.
“Dance with me.” He said, pressing my backside against his pelvis and guiding my hips with his to move to the slow beat of the song. My heart hammered in my chest, but my body was completely at ease with Dax’s presence. Without thinking, my arms weaved around to tangle in his hair, something that Dax greatly approved of as he pulled me impossibly closer. I could feel the hard muscles of his chest against my back as his head dipped into the crook of my neck. Sweat began to slick our skin as we mirrored each other’s movements, our hands not able to touch, pull, or feel enough. Dax suddenly spun me around to face him, our heavy breathing now mixing in the small space between our lips. His fingers dug into the fabric of the dress that covered my hips and I moaned ever so softly. And if the song hadn’t ended just as the sound had left my lips, Dax maybe wouldn’t have even heard it. But that wasn’t the case.
His eyes clouded over, darkening with something I had never seen in him before. I gasped softly, my stomach knotting once again as his pupils dilated at the sight of my lips so close to his.
“Tell me you want it.” He pressed his sweaty forehead against mine. “Say it.”
“I-I,” I couldn’t speak, the sheer amount of desire, lust, and alcohol clouded my mind indefinitely. His darkened green eyes peered into mine, stripping me of all thoughts that were beyond him. “I want it. Kiss me.” I cried out softly. And without another beat, his lips pressed against mine. Explosions erupted in my brain, waves of heat flowing between my legs. My fingers fisted his hair as the kiss deepened, my lips parting with another sound of pleasure. His experienced lips moved against mine in a hungry, yet gentle manner while his hands gripped me as if I would disappear at any moment.
And suddenly, he stopped. I watched him in shock as he regained himself, his eyes turning back to the bright green I was used to.
“Not like this.” He shook his head, holding his hand out to me. “I want you sober, so that you can remember everything I do to you and how it feels.” He sighed, brushing his thumb across my disappointed lips. “You will agree with me tomorrow, when you’re not drunk.” He wrapped his arm around my waist and signaled to Dalila and Vivian. I was walked out of the club and lifted into the car where I fell asleep. My eyes lazily drifted open momentarily as Dax slipped me into my bed and cover me up with blankets.
“Thank you.” Vivian said from the doorway.
“It’s not a problem.” Dax responded, kissing my forehead.
“Seriously though, thank you. She’s happy.” Viv paused. “I missed seeing her smile. When she’s around you, she’s like the old her.” I slipped back into unconsciousness before I could listen to the rest of their conversation.