Chapter 26: Escaping A Predator
The pulsating music of the club pounded against my eardrums, sexy in its beats. It was the sort of music that would turn any sane person into a lustful animal. The place resembled a strobe light illuminated jungle, where the wild creatures unleashed their primal core. Still, there was a certain level of class to it. Rising over three floors, the space was quite impressive. The guests weren’t too casually dressed. However, what they had in common was the lack of much clothing to cover their glistening skin.
William and Andy had left their waistcoats with the wardrobe staff. They still looked somewhat out of place, but it wasn’t a lost case. Looking at William, I saw that he had already rolled up his sleeves, which was a nice touch of casualness. All that was required was a little tweak. I put theory into practice by raising my hands toward his collar. When my fingers gripped it, he clasped my wrists and glared down at me.
“What are you doing?” His voice was chillingly low.
“Damn. I knew I shouldn’t have let you out of your cage today,” I muttered while I undid his top button. Andy roared with laughter beside us, but I ignored him. Undoing a second button, I then retreated a step to study my artistry. I immediately regretted it. Like this, he looked edible.
“Decent,” Andy commented and moved to copy my work.
“He’s texted me. He’s in there, far end!” Elisabeth exclaimed while she pointed into the crowd. A heartbeat later, she’d caught my hand and was guiding me into it.
Countless bodies grinded against each other, and against mine. Numerous eyes glanced in my direction, and most of them looked faded, drugs lifting them high above the clouds. Going in had been like sinking into quicksand. There was no way out, and the more I moved, the deeper I got. Andy and William had charged after us, but the moving crowd between us swallowed us up until they were no longer in my view.
Shit. William was not going to like this.
“Hey, Ellie!” I called and jerked her hand. “We lost the others!”
“They have my number! We’ll be fine!” she yelled back and continued warring through the crowd. Suddenly, a pair of arms hooked around my waist. Tugging me into a warm embrace, they successfully broke my hold of Elisabeth’s hand. Whirling around, I stared up at a face I had never seen before. Somewhat harshly, I pushed him away from me, determined to fetch Elisabeth again before I lost her, too.
Glimpsing her blonde mane, I charged after her. She had stopped, much to my relief, and her eyes were searching for me.
“Cara!” she yelled when she located me. Extending her hand to me, I grabbed it firmly.
“Don’t let go!” she told me and turned around again. She guided me through the crowd until we reached a bar at the far end. Among the people around it stood a group of five men. One of them locked eyes with me, before his eyes darted to Elisabeth’s person, and then to the man in front of him. Cocking his head toward us, all five of them gazed over.
The smile of one of them caught my attention, because it mirrored the warmth of Elisabeth’s. Beaming over at us, he spread his arms apart to welcome Elisabeth’s arriving figure. When she reached him, she swung her arms around him and planted a solid kiss to his awaiting mouth.
“Brian,” she uttered delighted as she pulled away.
“Ellie,” he purred and nuzzled his nose to hers. Beside them, his friends blatantly ogled me from head to toes.
“Hi,” I awkwardly said and paid them a wave.
Whirling around, Elisabeth watched me with a grin on her face. “Brian, you have to meet Cara. I adore her. She’s the new intern I spoke to you about.”
“Nice to meet you, Cara! I’ve heard lovely things!” he yelled over at me.
Since there wasn’t much room for conversation above the pounding music, introductions were a swift process. I was too drunk to remember the names of Brian’s friends, but I quickly picked out the one I found most handsome to drag him onto the dance floor with me.
Like William had warned, the drinks suddenly kicked in. The room spiralled around me while I danced against this good-looking stranger, lost to oblivion. We danced until we were glistening with fresh sweat. The music hypnotised us into continuing, despite the fact that we were out of breath.
I had to give it to him; he was a remarkable dancer. Did he have a single stiff bone in his body?
I didn’t know how long we’d danced for when I sensed his mouth begin to search for mine, clearly hoping for some action. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have minded a casual snog, but something prevented me today, and the reason wasn’t present. I’d lost him some time ago, and he still hadn’t found us.
It was all very weird, but for tonight, random hook-ups had lost their spark. The idea of them didn’t ensnare me. I was too preoccupied with locating William, because I felt terrible for being the reason that he had come here in the first place, and then I had just abandoned him. Sure, I hadn’t asked for him to join us, but I still felt partially at fault. While he had his best friend by his side, it didn’t relieve my conscience much.
I continued to avoid Brian’s friend’s attempted kisses until my bladder became an imminent concern.
“Sorry, I need the loo!” I shouted to him and escaped out of his hold. Staggering toward the end of the crowd, I searched desperately for the ladies’ room. I could barely hold it in. When I found it, I rushed to join the queue and begged for myself to last until it was my turn.
When I saw my chance to pee, I reeled in a deep breath, determined to breathe only through my mouth to avoid the reeking stench of the place. I hurried to finish, because I absolutely despised lavatories in clubs and pubs. Thankfully, there was still a little soap left that I could wash my hands with.
Upon making it to the outside, I leaned against the wall. I was so drunk, and the thought of having to find Elisabeth again made me want to go home. It seemed so impossible a quest, but when I glimpsed Brian’s friend – the one I’d been dancing with – I saw light in the tunnel. He was just making his way out of the men’s room. Perhaps he had a better idea of where the others were currently located.
Our eyes locked, and the smile that caught his mouth was infectious. I hoped it wasn’t just beer goggles, because I did find him quite attractive. He had symmetrical features, and similar to Will, a neatly groomed stubble.
The music was quieter here, so when he said, “Hey, there. Cara, was it?” I could actually hear him.
I nodded my head and watched his approach with a cheeky smile on my mouth. When he reached me, he placed his hands against the wall on either side of my face. “Well, then, Cara. How are you?”
“Quite drunk,” I confessed and chewed on my lower lip while I gazed up into his brown eyes. His brown hair was longer than that of the average male, and groomed toward the side.
“That makes two of us.” While smirking, he lowered his head. He drew closer and closer to my lips, but just before he reached them, I turned my head. My gut twisted with discomfort. This didn’t feel right. I didn’t want this.
“Oh, come on, love. Just a little peck,” he pleaded and grabbed hold of my jaw to turn my face toward him. I wriggled against his grip and grabbed onto his shoulders.
“N-no,” I whimpered and tried to push him away. For a second, I truly contemplated whether to kick him the balls, but what happened next made it unnecessary. A large hand gripped onto his shoulder from behind, before it dragged him harshly away from me. Upon the removal of his body, I was presented with a seething William.
His eyes were ablaze while he glowered at Brian’s friend. “Try that again, mate, and I’ll rearrange your fucking face!” he growled and moved to stand in front of me, protective. “She made it abundantly clear she doesn’t want you.”
Peeking past his strong right arm, I saw Brian’s friend leap into the crowd, palpably intimidated. William continued to glare after him for another second, until he finally turned toward me. Immediately, his eyes softened.
“There you are,” he uttered in audible relief. “You okay?”
I swallowed up at him, overcome with lust. This wouldn’t do. I wanted him so bad. Wearing beer goggles didn’t aid my case. The waves of his hair cradled his ears, and the soft, big wave above his forehead made me raise my hands to run my fingers through it.
My breath hitched at the feel of it. It was exactly how I remembered – thick, but velvety soft. With wonder in my eyes, I gazed up at him, hypnotised by his male beauty. Day or night, he was a sight to behold.
“I’m sorry we lost you,” I murmured and dragged my hands to the nape of his neck to play with the hair there. Reuniting with him made me realise that I had actually missed his company during my while here. Immensely. It was amazing to be able to look into his eyes again – to admire him.
“That’s not what I asked,” he reminded me and lowered his head somewhat. Intensely, he stared into my eyes, and it made my heart wreak havoc within my chest. Merely by looking at me, he made me feel more alive than I ever had. What was this mysterious creature? What magic did he wield? Caught under his influence, I bucked my hips forward, wanting to be closer to him.
His lips formed a crooked smile as he snuck his arms around my waist to press me flat against him. “Cara. Say something.” His voice was intolerably sensual when he used that tone of his. I’d never heard a voice more inviting in my entire life. I knew he was merely speaking to me, but I could have sworn he was singing, luring me into my doom.
“I’m fine.” It bordered a whisper, but at least it was a reply.
His eyes twinkled upon the sound, and I knew at once that he could tell I was slowly submitting to his power. “I’m a bit disappointed. Of all women, I’d expect at least you to escape predators like that.”
With a cheeky smile on my lips, I pushed him away from me. Striding past his confounded person, I headed toward the crowd again.
“What are you doing?” he called after me. Vaguely, I wondered where Andy had gone off to.
Eyeing him over my shoulder, I sent him a lascivious smile. “Escaping a predator,” I teased and paid him a wink.