Off the Clock
Arriving at the club a while later, we moved towards the growing queue outside of the guarded doors. The smell of cigarette smoke lingered in the air, and the loud, heavy thud of the music inside, made it feel like the ground was vibrating.
“There they are.” Dodger said, pointing towards the front where a group of familiar people were gathered together, conversing and laughing.
We reached them just in time for Pixie to do a little squeal about her favourite song, then begin to sway her hips provocatively. The beat picked up as it reached a chorus, and she did a little spin, coming face to face with me and breaking into a grin, pressing close and reaching out, her arms wrapping behind my neck. Now that I was nearer, I recognised the song from her playlist she used in the gym. I laughed as she pulled me into a little dance with her.
“C’mon Bane, loosen up.” She whined.
I could see Rosie watching closely, now leaning against Sam to make some room, and smirking at us. She looked stunning in a blood red halterneck top, and a fitted black skirt that ended halfway up her thighs, delicate black strappy heels completed the look, and her shoulder length brown hair was volumised in beach waves. The queue began to move, and Pixie released her grip on me, practically leaping into the air and moving closer to the door.
“Dodge, I swear to God, if these tickets don’t work, I’m going to make your life a living hell.” She warned, coming to a stop in front of the burly bouncer.
“And I’ll help.” Cain added, moving aside to let Dodger through to the front with the tickets.
He handed them to the bouncer who flicked through them, then surprisingly, moved to the side and allowed us all through.
“Told you!” Dodger exclaimed, turning to us all with a gloating smirk.
“Yeah, yeah, just move.” Pixie said, ushering him on, and grabbing my hand to tug me with her.
I barely had a second to find my footing before she dragged me inside, down the small flight of steps and out onto the overcrowded dance floor, instantly throwing herself into a dance and grinding her petite body against me. I was used to this spritely behaviour from her, she was always full of energy, and it was impossible not to feel it too. I let go of all the baggage from work and home, diving in and dancing with her. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Will, Jax, Rosie and Dodger join us on the floor, dancing as a group nearby.
It must have been another five songs that we danced through before she finally let up and we left the dancefloor, moving towards a cordoned off section of the club, where Cain and Sam were sitting with a table full of drinks.
“Nice moves out there Bane.” Sam smirked at me, skidding a bottle of beer towards me across the neon blue, illuminated table.
“Cheers mate. Not gonna head out there to show me some of yours?” I teased, lifting it to my lips and taking a swig.
“Nah, think I’ll leave it to you lot, don’t want to show you up.”
Jax, who had sidled up behind me, let out a roar of laughter, reaching around me to pick up a glass of clear liquid, throwing it back with a grimace.
“You, showing us up? Unlikely Sammy boy.” He sniggered.
I moved around the table, taking a seat, next to Cain, on the white leather sofa. Tuning out of their banter, I took a moment to get a proper look at the club. The dark room was lit up by the neon lighting of the tables, bar and beams on the wall, casting a neon blue colour throughout the area. What I could see of the floor, looked to be black with some kind of polished affect. Small tables were placed at random intervals around and a raised platform at one end, held a huge DJ station. A long, well manned, luminous bar ran across one side, the club’s name, Aqua, printed across it in a bold, simplistic font. I looked up, the next floor balconies were crowded with dancers and drinkers. For it’s opening night, they’d done well, the place was packed. I skimmed the crowd until I found Rosie. I watched her dancing with Dodger, laughing and enjoying herself as he spun her around and did some of his classic, awful moves. If it wasn’t for the fact that I knew he was in a happy relationship, I may have considered it flirting. He leant in close, and whispered in her ear. Whatever he’d said, she nodded, turning away to dance with Will, whilst Dodger headed towards us.
“What do you think then guys?” He shouted over the music as he reached us.
“You live to see another day.” Pixie smiled, reaching up on her tiptoes to plant a quick kiss on his cheek.
Chuckling with her, he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her into a quick hug, ruffling her hair affectionately, and earning a grumble and a shove in response as she straightened up, running her fingers through her long blonde hair.
“You did good bro.” I called out, picking up a beer and handing it over, just as Will and Rosie joined us, settling into seats and helping themselves to drinks.
Dodger listened to the praise with a bright smile, which only got bigger as he waved his hand through the air and motioned for everyone to take a seat.
“There was another reason for having you all out tonight actually,” He began, excitement sparkling in his eyes. “I have some news I want to share with you all.”
I put my drink down on the table and looked curiously at him, wondering just where this was about to go. Glancing at the others, I could see that they were all poised there with similar looks of curiosity and uncertainty.
“Me and Emilia are engaged.” He announced happily.
A roar of joy and celebration emitted from us all as we leapt to our feet and rushed him, dragging him into a group hug.
“And, that’s not all,” He shouted from the middle of our huddle. As we all fell silent, waiting for him to continue, he gave a small roll of his shoulder and looked towards the ceiling, trying to act casual as he said: “And she’s pregnant.”
We practically bowled him over as we rushed him again, the girls screaming with delight as Dodger laughed with glee.
I couldn’t even begin to grasp how happy I was for him, my friend, my brother. As we all broke apart and charged our glasses, we raised a toast as a family.
“To Dodge and Emilia!” Sam called out.
We all raised our drinks, and I stepped up to Dodger, throwing my arm around his shoulders, and adding:
“And to the newest member of Red Watch.”