“Come on, it’ll be fun!”
“I told you, Sam, I just don’t feel like going out.”
The cheeky brunette sighed; exasperated.
“No. It is my birthday, and goddammit I will drag you out of this house naked if I have to!”
Liv, who really, really didn’t feel like accompanying her friend on one of her latest escapades, couldn’t help but feel the sharp pang of guilt hit her straight in the heart.
“Besides,” Sam continued, completely disregarding Liv’s visible discomfiture, “this is a place we’ve never been to before. Evidently, Cadee found herself one helluva hot piece of ass at this place, and I need to get laid. We both do.”
It was decided, then. Whenever Sam set her mind to something, she would always get her way, and there was nothing Liv could do now to change her mind.
Doing her little victory dance, Sam came up behind Liv, tearing away the book she had been so rapturously engrossed in, and tossing on the bed.
Liv protested, even though she knew it was futile. Sam shoved apart her closet doors, opening up the disorderly mountain of chaos to Liv’s mortification. At Sam’s gasp, she couldn’t help but cringe; her friend was a neat freak, while she was...not.
“Oh...my...god,” Sam punctuated, shocked at the incomprehensible level of messiness, “how in the hell do you find anything in here?”
“Well, if you think this is going to stop me, think again! Now, let’s see…”
As Same rummaged through her things, Liv got up from her cozy cocoon of blankets to help direct Sam to her ultra limited “night out” section of her wardrobe.
“No… No… Yes!... Fuck no!...Maybe… No… Perfect!”
Liv’s eyes widened at the extremely sheer, lacy blue number that was literally an oversized tube top.
“No, Sam. Not on your life.”
“Psh! It’s perfect and you’re going to wear it! Remember; it’s my birthday, okay?”
How could I forget…thought Liv.
Expelling a great big sigh of annoyance, Liv took the dress from her friend, who giddily scampered off to her room to pick out a risque selection of her own. Slumping onto the edge of her too-comfortable mattress, she started the long, agonizing process to get what Sam would call, “All sexed up.” Changing out of her oversized sweatpants and equally humongous hoodie, she slipped into the hallway bath to take a cleansing - and hopefully relaxing - shower.
An hour later and they were exiting their uber just outside the bar’s entrance. Liv felt immediately out of her element once she left the relative safety - and warmth - of the car, her cropped leather jacket not doing a thing to cover her up. The neon sign of the, ‘Wild Hearts,’ did nothing to appease her mounting anxiety. It was located on the outskirts of town, and had no digital trail at all, instead relying only on word-of-mouth to keep the place alive.
And it was hopping!
Though not the typical college scene, Liv could see many burly young men, all of them most likely in their twenties or thirties. There were some who looked older; early forties, maybe, but they all had a certain something in common… She just couldn’t quite put her finger on it. Hand in hand, the two young women sashayed in through the open front doors, the noise and cloister of bodies overwhelming to Liv’s sensitive nature. Sam, however, looked like she had just come home from a long day at work, and was already ditching her for some grizzly lumberjack type by the bar.
“Can I help you?”
Liv turned to see a man, maybe early to mid thirties, standing just beside her. She hadn’t even felt him come up next to her in the crowd. He was tall; six feet at the least, with bulging, broad shoulders, medium length blonde hair with shaved sides, and sparkling blue eyes. He was attractive in his own, Viking-esque way, and the timbre in his voice was non-threatening.
He asked, eyes crinkling at the corners; he was amused. When she only gave a short nod, he gently took hold of her forearm, leading her through the crush of bodies to the bar. A little uncomfortable at his forwardness, she brushed the minor offense aside, sitting herself down on the stool he’d dragged out for her. When they were both situated, he flagged down the bartender and then turned to her; expectant.
“Whaddaya want, babe,” he asked, dropping the pet name so casually, she had to bite her cheek from telling him off.
She was not his babe.
“Rum of the rocks,” she iterated directly to the bartender, ignoring the blonde brute.
He chuckled mirthlessly.
“I know your type, darlin’,” he taunted, leaning in a bit too close to her liking, “you’re all prudish and aloof. That is-” and he smirked, “until I’ve got you beneath me; writhing and squealing my name.”
His words sent a thrill of disgust through her; no way would she go anywhere with this pig! He hovered even closer to her now, an arm draped over the back of her stool, his fingers lightly tracing the curve of her buttocks through the thin material. Without turning or looking at him at all, she got up from the stool and left him to stare, jaw hanging open, while she slinked away from him to join her friend. She wasn’t about to put up with sleaze bags all night, even for her friend’s birthday. Sam was already entwined with some hunky hulk of a guy, and she didn’t want to be the third wheel, but…
“Rum on the rocks, miss.”
The bartender had seen her leave the daft bastard, and was mentally cheering her for her self-respect.
“Thanks,” she flashed him a shy smile, taking a sip of the burning alcohol.
“Liv! There you are,” Sam turned around, giving her the widest grin she’d ever seen, “This is Josh,” she squeezed the leather clad bicep of her companion.
“Hey,” said ‘Josh’, his brown eyes darkening to an unsettling shade of russet.
Liv brushed it off as a trick of the light as he wrapped an arm around her friend. Noticing their constant eye contact and murmurings, they both stood and stepped away from the bar.
“Josh and I are going to go to the, um, washroom,” she hinted, practically glowing with excitement, “be back in a few.”
“Okay,” she sighed, an obligatory half-smile giving her friend the green-light.
She knew what Sam really meant, was that she was going to go get her rocks off. Taking another sip of her rum, she glanced around, no one catching her eye. To be honest, she didn’t expect to find a halfway decent guy in this place. It just wasn’t that kind of place. Akin to a dive bar in the shittiest part of town, the atmosphere less inviting that its patrons, this was not where she’d imagined her friend wanting to blow off some steam for her twenty-first.
Why am I here?