By the time Devon and I made our way downstairs, the party was in full swing. The music was loud, people were dancing, and drinks were flowing. It was good to see people were enjoying themselves after being cooped up, but there were so many of them in one space that I could not believe my eyes. I expected to see more than a few, but the number of people here could have filled a bar establishment easily. And that thought there made me remember my circumstances of being here at this moment.
Frowning, I turned my attention to all the people here having a fantastic time and tried to put those dismal thoughts out of my head. It certainly felt like I had been here for more than just a few days, and I shook my head as I tried to shake off the feeling that I was starting to have attachments to these people.
“Cat!” Cordi came up to me and embraced me. Awkwardly, I let my hands pat her back as she squeezed me tight.
“Hi, Cordi,” I tried to add some enthusiasm into my voice, but it sounded weak at best.
She frowned at me putting on her best pouty face. “You’re not still mad at me about..” Shrugging, she did not seem inclined to finish the sentence.
Grumbling, I shook my head. “No,” I started before sighing. “No, I guess not.” Things may not have gone exactly as planned, but I still got my son back. The smile on my face broke. “I have my son back, and that is what matters most.” Cordi smiled at the genuine warmth and tone in my voice.
Cordi wrapped an arm around my shoulders and squeezed. “That is awesome, Cat. And there is still so much to do here…”
Giving her a confused glance, she turned to the bar. After turning back to me with a couple of glasses in her hands, she handed me one of them. “First on that list, is to have a drink, and enjoy yourself.” She smiled big before clinking our glasses together and taking a large swig of her drink.
Since Evan was conceived, I have not been out drinking or even had a drink. Bringing my nose to the beverage, I sniffed. The amount of alcohol in that one drink nearly brought me to tears. “What the dickens did you put in this thing?”
She and Devon shared a quick glance and smiled. “Oh, a little of this, a little of that…”
Devon laughed. “Try a lot of this, and even more of that.” Devon placed a hand at the small of my back and leaned over to whisper in my ear. “Just go easy on the stuff, Cat. Cordi makes a strong brew, but most of us have gotten used to it by now. We have a little bit more of a tolerance to it than you will.”
For some reason, his comment made me want to prove him wrong. I certainly could hang with them. Taking a look at Cordi, she was a lot thinner than I was. If she could handle it, why couldn’t I?
“Oh, I think I will be good,” I smirked at him as I raised the glass to my lips. Taking a huge gulp, I practically sputtered as it made its burning trek down my throat.
Devon chuckled as he brought his own glass to his lips, muttering a quick, “I told you so,” before taking his own swig of the Cordi concoction.
Placing a hand on his shoulder, I gave him a huge shove. Though I knew he was much stronger than me, he allowed it to nudge him over as he took a step away from me and dropped his hand off the small of my back.
Sniffing at it once more, I cast a wary glance at Devon. “What’s in here? Turpentine?”
He laughed heartily before shaking his head. “No, I am afraid it is something much worse. It would put turpentine to shame.”
I wrinkled my nose. “And you are letting me drink it?”
Chuckling, he shrugged. “I did tell you to go easy on it. But instead, you took it as a challenge.” My eyes grew round. “Oh, don’t think I didn’t see that little twinkle in your eyes when I tried to warn you. I got your number, Cat.”
Smirking, I brought the glass to my lips once more and took a light swig. It was only slightly more tolerable, and I only made a slight cough as the liquid slid down my throat. Still, Devon heard it and chuckled once more.
Turning away from him, I turned to watch those that opted for the dance floor as their entertainment. Some of them moved in a way that would make me blush, while there were others that were slightly less sexual. Maybe my view of the world has become tainted since Evan, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.
When a very good looking man walked out of the crowd of gyrating bodies and approached me, I could sense Devon step closer to me. The man shot me a smile meant to tempt and tease the panties off any woman, yet it just made me giggle. Men!
“Hello, beautiful. Don’t think I have had the pleasure of meeting you, yet.” His voice accentuated the word yet, the implication seductive in its delivery.
“Nor will you,” Devon’s gruff voice interrupted the exchange. He glanced down at me with a frown plastered on his lips before turning a snarl to the man before us. “Bugger off!”
My eyes widened. “Devon! I can handle myself, you know.”
The man cast a winning smile in my direction before giving Devon a smug look of victory. “I think the lady might like to dance.”
I genuinely laughed. His arrogance was only exceeded by one other man’s. “Now, I didn’t say that, either.” It was my turn to offer a smug look. I moved closer to the man with dark hair and brown eyes, the one with the gorgeous smile and bad boy charm. I smiled at him as I leaned closer. That seductive smile of his returned as he leaned down to me, a growl discernible at my back. When he was closer, I brought my mouth close to his ear. “Thanks for the offer, player, but,” I slowly and seductively twisted on my heel and wrapped my arms around Devon’s neck, catching him completely off guard. “I think I already have a much better offer on the table.”
The man’s eyes went wide. Clearly he was not used to rejection. Then, he surprised me when he started to laugh. “Darling, that is not a trade up if you are comparing player status.”
Smiling coyly, I placed my drink on the table and responded. “Maybe, but every player has a weakness.” Standing on my tiptoes, I lifted myself as high as I could before letting my hands pull Devon towards me. Letting my lips touch his, I could feel his body stiffen beneath my touch.
The man laughed. “Enjoy the ride, princess, but don’t say I didn’t warn you!” He strode off into the crowd, but not before Devon wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me closer.
Grunting at the sudden move, I placed my hands on the meaty part of his shoulder. Patting them gently, I smirked. “Alright, big boy, you can let go. Mission accomplished.”
Devon groaned before he let out a chuckle. “You shouldn’t play with a man’s affections, my dearest Cat.”
Rolling my eyes, I lifted a brow at him. “I wasn’t playing with your affections. I was using you for your body.” I smirked as Devon let out a roar of laughter that had those closest to us turning their attention to us and staring in wonder. Feeling a bit awkward still being in his arms, I stepped back to loosen his hold before adding, “as a player, I expect you would know the difference.” Another roar of laughter filled the air as he dropped his hold on me and I gave him a playful wink.
A song started up, and Cordi practically shouted with anticipation. “Oh, this is so my song.”
She tugged on one of my arms and Devon’s as she nearly drug us to the space that had been cleared in the middle of the room for dancing. Before I made it out of reach, I snatched my drink from the table and downed it as I tipped my head back. Liquid courage...somehow I felt I was going to need it to get through the night, even if I was starting to enjoy myself.
Song after song played, and I was starting to realize that every song was Cordi’s song. That one drink I had downed had started to leave in its wake a buzzing sensation that had a slightly familiar feel to it. It was the point at which I always stopped drinking. My happy place that allowed me to remain lucid and in control without tipping me past its brink to being drunk.
We laughed and danced, Cordi playfully grinding with anyone who came up behind her to start dancing, and Devon staying close behind me. It was nice being slightly buzzed, it had been so long and I felt safe being a little less inhibited with Devon around. It was as if he were warding off any unwanted attention. Considering the run in earlier with tall, dark and handsome, I am guessing that is exactly what he was doing.
“Well,” I turned to where he danced behind me. “Since you are running off all potential partners, I guess you’ll have to do.” I smirked as I placed my hand on his arm and started moving to the music once more.
As I stepped closer, Devon groaned. “Do you really have no clue what you are doing to me?”
Laughing, I let my body dance along his. “Nope!” I knew I was playing the tease, but I was just blowing off steam. Plus, seeing Devon slightly uncomfortable was actually kind of charming.
We continued to dance, although Devon remained a little stiff, until Cordi leaned over towards us. “Alpha alert!” Her voice was as much of a whisper as she could manage over the roar of the noise. She looked from me to Devon before twisting her head to the staircase.
There he stood, taking in the vast number of bodies that gyrated, drank, and occupied every space of the rather large room. When his eyes met mine, they lowered a fraction as he narrowed his gaze on me.
“Ah, flippin' A, no!” I brought my gaze back to Cordi, who just happened to have replaced her empty glass with a fresh one. Snatching it from her hands, I downed the entire contents as they both shouted at me to stop. Too late!
“Oh, this is not going to go well,” Cordi whispered.
Devon looked down at me as he clasped my face in his hands. He watched my eyes for a reaction as he looked from one to the other. “Cat, you really should not have done that!”
“Done what?” I asked innocently, but already the drink had started to weave it’s magical spell over me. My whole body started to tingle, and I moaned loudly. “That feels so good,” I murmured.
The alcohol hit me faster than any I had ever consumed before. “Cordi, please tell me that you did not add anything extra into that drink you made.”
With a goofy smile on my face, I looked at Cordi. “Something extra,” I giggled.
Her face flinched and she hesitated. “Maybe,” she said slowly, drawing it out as she let her face wrinkle up.
“Ooh, you said a dirty word,” I chided as I grabbed the sides of his mouth with one hand. “You naughty boy!” Those tingles crawled all over my body once more as I let out another moan. “Heaven help me, those feel delicious,” I cooed at no one in particular.
When a hand slipped around my waist, those tingles skittered across my skin with more impact than before. I leaned back against the hard frame behind me, my whole body erupting as I moaned once more.
Devon and Cordi had already stepped away from me, and I noticed many eyes on me. If I had my wits about me, I would have blushed at my brazenness. As it was, all I wanted to know was who was causing those delicious ripples of pleasure to make its way across my flesh.
“Kateryna,” a dark, sensual voice whispered in my ear. The voice sent shivers down my spine, and I felt myself pushing closer to the source of that delicious sound.
“Hmm,” I practically hummed, as I pushed my backside flush to his front. The arousal there was hard to miss, and it felt incredible as it pressed against me with a desire I wanted to match. “Say it again.”
The voice growled, sending a ripple of madness to my core. Small explosions erupted within me, and I held my breath awaiting that beautiful voice to say my name once more. “Kateryna, you’re coming with me.”
All too well, it came crashing back. Even in my drunken state, I knew who now held me. I’ve no doubt I knew all along, but there was a part of me that was least resistant. But when he gave me that order, it made my blood boil. The bad thing was, it was not entirely in a bad way.
Swirling on him, I had to hold on to him in a death grip to maintain my balance and what was left of my composure. I had spun around too fast and my head had yet to catch up to my body. “Over my dead body!” My words had started to slur, and I was struggling to push him away for fear of not being able to hold myself up.
Another growl, but this one lacked any of the sensual vibrations the others had. No, this one sounded angry. “What the hell did you give her?”
I giggled again. I couldn’t stop myself. “Naughty boy! No cursing allowed! Evan might hear.” I placed a finger up to his mouth, but he did not look amused.
Devon stuffed his hands in his pockets and cast a quick glance to Cordi. “She is simply not used to how strong our drinks are. She underestimated the potency.”
Cordi looked worried, and cast her eyes to the ground. Gavin snarled at them both and I giggled. “Did you slip something into her drink?”
“No, no, I swear.” Cordi responded this time. “It was an accident. She saw you, and she…”
Laughing, I could not help but try to shed some light on the topic at hand. “She had a drink,” I pointed at Cordi. Then I brought a finger to point at myself and giggled once more. “I wanted a drink.” I let both of my hands spring out. “Viola! Instant drink!”
Gavin growled low and long before allowing himself to utter another word. “And did you lace your own drink?”
Cordi flinched as she brought her thumb and forefinger together. “Maybe a little bit.”
Turning a pretty smile up to Gavin, I tapped on his shoulder to get his attention. When he let his gaze meet mine, I asked, “can you please take me home? I don’t think I am feeling too well.”
Gavin hefted me up in his arms, and I yelped at the surprise and sudden movement of it all. "I will deal with you two later!"
Holding me close to his chest, he moved us out and away from all those that continued to dance and drink. As he started to climb the stairs, I felt myself snuggling into his warm, hard chest.
"I want to go home, Gavin," I whispered.
His arms tensed beneath me before he leaned over and pressed a kiss to my forehead. When he pulled away, he let his words whisper over my face as he watched me. “Valittu, you are home,” he stated as if it were indeed a matter of fact.
I smiled and curled more into him as he once again kissed my forehead. “I think we are going to like it here,” I murmured against his chest as my eyes started to shut.