~: FLASHBACK CONTINUES:~
Vegas evening lit up with neon and LED lights, twinkling on every corner, inviting people to come outside and have fun.
And the fun just started in our suite. Alice jumbled in her pile of clothes, choosing—what not to? Sage is waiting for the face mask to cake in, laid on the bed while talking on the phone. On the other hand, I kept it simple—tinted moisturizer on my face, a brush of bronze eyeshadow to accentuate my blue eyes, and dared–to–be red lipstick.
We all got dressed and went to the club. I noticed a ‘Do Not Disturb’ tag hanging on Aaron’s doorknob while passing through the hallway. A hint of a smile lingered on my face as I reminisced on our earlier encounter—the lovely moment.
“Something funny, Jess?” Alice asked.
“No, nothing.” ‘Damn, I didn’t realize it was that obvious.’
At the club, Alice flashed the VIP gold card to the doorkeeper, who let us in.
We entered through the dark narrow hallway opening to the flashing lights and heart-pounding music. The crowd was thumping on the dance floor. I, too, was feeling the music.
A man with a name tag on his jacket approached us, asking us to follow him. At first, we suspected him—reasoned him. He pointed up at the lounge sitting area and directed upstairs to the balcony towards one of those VIP rooms. The man unhooked the red velvet rope, and Alice was the first to make it to the leather half mooned couch with pillows stacked neatly.
“Your server will be here shortly to take your orders,” he said and exited, hooking back the velvet rope.
“How cool is this? You can see the whole dance floor from up here,” Sage leaned down from the balcony and yelled, “Woohoo!” pumping her fist.
A waitress came in. “Hi, my name is Meena. I’ll be your server tonite. Can I get you started with the drinks?”
“I’ll have a Daiquiri.” Sage placed her order.
“Manhattan, please.” Alice crossed her legs and made herself very comfortable on the leather couch.
“Whisky sour for me, and here put all this on my tab,” I said while holding my credit card at her.
“No ma’am, it’s all-inclusive. I’ll be right back with your drinks.” The waitress declined to take my card.
“I can’t believe this little pass can hold so much power,” Alice said, kissing the VIP gold card.
“All-inclusive? Since when did the clubs become so courteous to their guests? Something here is not right. I mean, we just got in and a lounge?” I set my eyes on, “Alice, did you make this special arrangement as a birthday surprise?” I gave her a quizzical look.
“Nope,” she responded.
“Do you think we should leave?” Sage questioned.
“I think so.” I was instantly ready to go.
“Maybe we should just wait for our drinks to get here, and then we can leave,” Alice suggested.
“Yeah, we don’t want that sexy waitress to keep looking for us. I mean, it won’t be fair to her.” Sage enthusiastically supported Alice.
“Sexy waitress?” Alice shot a murderous look at Sage. I gave them a questioning look. ‘Sexy’ I blushed on the word because Aaron had said that earlier to me.
“You’ve been blushing since afternoon.” Alice—always noticing the details.
“Yeah, what’s going on?” Sage reasoned quickly.
“Nothing, I—I just met a guy in the hallway,” I said casually.
“What guy?” Alice asked.
“His name is Aaron,” I told them.
“Who’s Aaron?” Sage asked.
“I’m Aaron.” A man’s voice suddenly came from behind me.
Startled by the voice, I turned around to look and somehow entwined my legs in a funny way that made me stumble.
“Whoa.” Aaron caught me by my waist. “You okay?”
“Yes, I-I’m fine.” I felt the heat rise to my cheeks. I managed to stand up straight and slung my purse back to my shoulder.
“I see you, and the ladies are having fun in the VIP lounge. You’re very welcome.” Aaron’s last words felt like such a snob comment.
“You did this?” I realized that he was still holding me.
“Yes. I’ve arranged it all, just for you,” he said. A hint of a smile played on his lips.
“Why?” I looked at him expectantly.
“So, I can spend some time with you.” He wasn’t even attempting to be subtle about how intriguing he found me.
I opened my mouth to say something but closed it back.
“Sage, isn’t this your favorite song, let’s go dancing?” Alice blurted out, signaling her to follow suit. Alice took hold of Sage’s hand and headed towards the dance floor below, taking stairs and leaving us alone.
I shrugged myself out of his hold. “Thank you, but I-we cannot accept this.”
“Just stay, consider this as a date.”
“Charming, but I can’t stay. I came here to be with my friends. Sorry.” I noticed he looked a little baffled.
“Come on; it’s Vegas. One date. One night. You’ll be impressed. Most girls do.”
I can’t believe he would presume that I would--Ugh ‘How cheap of him to even think of me like that?’
“What kind of girl do you think I’m?” I asked, looking straight into his eyes. Mad as I was, I looked at him like he was nothing but a scumbag, and to me right now, that’s what exactly he was. I walked out, slowly made my way through the crowd where Sage and Alice were dancing together.
“Damn, he is sexy, Jess.”
“Ugh... Don’t.” I grimaced.
“Hey, what happened?” Alice glowered. I briefed them about the move he made.
“You should be proud. You stood up for yourself.” Alice consoled me.
“Oh my god Jess, he’s coming over here,” Sage informed me.
“He is? Why?” I felt a jolt of nerves hit my stomach. I stayed with my back facing him. I don’t even want to see his face.
“Wow!” Sage exclaimed. “Even his walk is sexy.” She expressed her opinion. I rolled my eyes.
“Hi,” he said. I never turned around and remained in my original position.
“Hi,” Sage blushed. I glared at her. 'Could you be anymore, bi?'
“I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings, Jessica. I’m sorry I made a mistake. I’m sorry.” He sounded sincere, but I was hurt and angry with him. It might have brought a spur of regret upon him, but I ignored it. A moment and two passed, he waited, but I paid no heed, hoping that he would just go away.
“Have fun. Be safe. Goodnight, ladies.” He said, and left. I exhaled with relief now that he was gone.
Slowly I turned around and watched him weave through the crowd and exiting the club. I shut my eyes and sighed. For some reason, I felt terrible--I did.
Sage was right. He did carry himself confidently, but with a touch of arrogance.
“I’m going to find that waitress and pay for our drinks,” I told the girls, finding a reason to be alone for a moment.
′Why was I feeling so bad for someone I just met?’
When I came back to the same spot where I’d last seen Alice and Sage—they were gone. I searched the crowd and saw them both walking into the restroom—hand in hand. I followed and made my way to the ladies’ room.
I walked in on them and saw Sage and Alice—kissing.
They both froze like a deer in headlights.