Chapter 3 Part 3
He wasn't just mixing and serving drinks; he'd got some damn good moves too.
Catching bottles behind his back, spinning, rolling, juggling bottles in the air.
Girls surrounded him, so obviously he didn't see me; too busy flirting and pouring drinks to the girls.
'Was I feeling jealous?'
I made my way towards him, "Sir, over here." I shouted to get his attention. I thought it would be fun to call him Sir, well, for one thing, he was the boss.
His eyes twinkled upon seeing me. He was speechless.
"Surprise me," I said and stuck a hundred dollar bill in the tip jar.
Sam caught my hand while in the jar, took it out, and made me walk along the bar. People hovering at the edge of the table either duck down or move back from the bar for me to walk around it.
'What was he doing?'
He held my eyes with him the whole time. Once I was in clear view, Sam pulled me. I almost crashed into him. I caught the faintest sniff off his scent, which had mixed with his cologne. His one arm snaked around my waist. He brought a glass of shot to his mouth and drank it. Then he got another one and drank but never swallowed--he dipped me, leaned in and pressed his lips on me, and poured the warm liquid in my mouth. The crowd went wild. I drank, and he kissed.
His moves are so unpredictable. I could never guess. What does he think? And How does he think?
He was full of surprises when you least accept, and bam! The jester jumps out of the box.
"You've no idea how happy you made me today." He whispered in my ear. The pleasure of his comment brought a smile to me. "Let's go."
"Liam, I'm out." He hollered. Sam took my hand in his, and we made our way to the obscure corner.
"So bartending? Part-time hobby?" I asked with a giggle.
"My friend owns this bar. The usual person was running late, and it was getting busy, so I took over to help." He explained.
Robert was right; Regan was humble.
"Well, I must say you were amazing with the crowd, especially with the girls." I teased. "You got some moves." I blurted out.
"You ain't seen nothing yet, baby." He'd a coy smile on his face. Oh, the way he said that made my gaze fall shyly. A delight shiver ran down my spine.
"Are you here on a date?" He asked.
"No, I'm waiting for my friends to get here," I told him to dismiss the bitter tension away.
Come to think of it. Where are Alice and Sage?
"Yo, Regan!" A man from the crowd shouted his name. Three guys were coming our way.
"Hey!" Sam greeted two of them, with a bro-handshake and a pat on the back.
"Jess, these are my friends, Ricky Eastin, Liam O'Leary, and Jacob Park."
"Hello." I shook their hands individually.
We sat around the table, Sam and me sat together, and all his friends sat in front, facing both of us, leaving plenty of space on either side of the sofa.
I checked my phone. Alice sent an apology text and said they were on their way.
Meanwhile, Sam had ordered all kinds of finger foods and beer.
Sam had to excuse himself for a phone call.
His friends all seemed like a very ordinary bunch of guys, but I learned more about each one of them independently. They all had achieved great form in their profession.
Liam was the owner of this same sports bar and two others, one in Los Angeles and another in Atlanta.
Ricky was a bigshot Industrialist. Jacob was a Director at the Semiconductor company in Silicon Valley.
"So, how do you all know Sam?" I initiated the conversation.
"I, Liam, and Regan were high school buddies. Jacob was a roommate in college." Ricky mentioned, "We became friends when Sam got in trouble." Ricky continued.
"Do you all remember, he almost got expelled," Liam said.
"Really!" I exclaimed. "Trouble maker, huh?" I looked at Sam, who was still on the phone.
"Not really, he got in trouble protecting me," Ricky said and told the horror story about himself. How he got bullied, and one day, Sam stood up and fought for him, as his saving grace.
I took a sip of my beer, glancing at Sam; he was pacing outside of the door, still talking on his phone. It worried me a little.
I felt even more compassionate towards Sam when Liam told me how Sam had helped him with his business and never asked anything back. His friend had a lot of respect for Sam, and they adored him.
Jacob was sharing his family pictures of his son Alvin and wife Michelle.
I was having such a great time with the guys. They proved to be quite a convivial group.
We'd have a few more laughs.
Sam joined us again. Then all of his buddies left us two alone and went to catch the remaining of the game.
"You're a devil; you know that," I whispered to him.
"Who called here?" He said. I laughed at his joke.
"It's a nice way to impress a girl by having your friends talk nice about thy-self." The remark drew a surprising response.
"Yes, however, they never mentioned any flaws or pet peeves. Maybe you need to come clean here, Mister?" I found the question very amusing, so I giggled. But Sam had a worried look on his face.
"Wow! You look like you're hiding something. Relax, I don't have to know everything."
Sam looked away briefly and then beamed straight into my eyes. "Come with me," he seized my hand.
"Where?" I asked.
"But, my friends-."
"Just for a few moments, if you trust me, that is?"
"Of course." I squeezed my grip on his.
The crowd was cheering and shouting at the game on the big screen tv. We dodge through the group and exit out of the back door into an alley.
We were now independent and free from all the noise and interference. I was leaning on the wall, and Sam was standing before me.
"Jessica..." He trailed off, averting his gaze perilously close to the edge of reason.
I gazed at him, "What is it?"
He put his arm above the wall, towering over me.
"What are you doing to me, Jess?" He asked, meeting my eyes.
"I don't know? What do you feel, Sam...?"
He pinned himself on me, "Every time you say my name, you make my inside go whirled with desire. I couldn't resist kissing that very mouth of yours." His thought was comforting and seductive; all the more, it had a dangerous sense to it.
"Do you like it when I call you that?" I asked, and he nodded.
"Nobody calls me by that name." He said.
I bit my lower lip, and he leaned closer.
"Sam." I tempted him, and he took my mouth and began to kiss me, I writhed on his sudden move, shocked, but I'd started it. My fingers went into his hair, and he deepened the kiss. Our lips melted, heads moved, tongue spiraled in such a twisty way. The kiss was enhanced and enlivened in the moonlight. I, myself, couldn't understand, 'Why does my heart get eager for you?'
We slowed down and pulled away.
His fingers were lightly caressing my cheeks, "Jess, I'm no good for you. We can't be together. I'm only going to harm you in the end." He looks down at me thoughtfully. Those words were painful. We were not even involved, and yet it felt like he was breaking up with me. My eyes stung with tears.
"You should go, find your friends. They might have arrived here already." He said and opened the door for me to go in. I walked in, but he never followed me.
'What was happening? What type of abstraction was this?'
I then found Alice and Sage. They'd just arrived. Despite wanting to go back home, I subsidized my heartache and hid my uneasiness for their happiness.
We got seated, and I drank to heal my sorrow.
At work, twice, we bumped into each other, and we both ignored each other as if we were strangers. Sam was like a mystery to me, and he felt a vague sense of warning, and yet I was intrigued by him--Like a moth to a flame.
The day of the merger. I'd reserved a conference room at the Four Season Hotel.
I, Patricia, and Robert, with three other colleagues from our firm, walked in, and Sam was already there, waiting.
I avoided him altogether.
"How was the traffic?" Robert asked Sam, and it sounded more like a tease.
"Well, the elevator ride from the top floor to the lobby would get crowded, so I left a little early." Sam joked.
Just then, the other party came in, and Robert locked the door.
"Hello, I'm Gerald Cox." He extended his hand to Robert, Patricia, and then Sam.
One by one, everyone introduced themselves, and the meeting began.
We all took a seat across from each other.
"The words throughout the agreement have changed significantly," Cox argued.
"What are you talking about? All the legalese is 100% equivalent to what it was last week ago." Robert retorted.
There was a lot of back and forth arguing—big legal words fired at each other. On the other hand, Sam was calm, listening to everything, but not reacting to anything. However, he seemed to look at me more often than usual.
Meanwhile, the deal was falling apart due to the legal issues. I left the room—getting away from all the yelling and screaming. I wander in the Four Seasons hotel lobby.
Then I spotted Sam. He, too, had got out of the room. His eyes were searching for me. Finding me, he treaded towards me, and I was checking his profile, and he looked so sexy in his dark suit, like a Lucifer, known as the devil.
"What are you doing here?" He asked.
"I'm sorry, it was just too much, so I stepped out for a bit."
"I don't blame you."
"Looks like things are going downhill," I spoke worriedly.
"No. We already have the deal. It's just Gerald. He likes to get people's blood pumping, vein-popping. He likes the rush. He is a person who derives pleasure by humiliating others. He is a complete sadist."
My jaw just fell open.
"Anyway, are you hungry?" He asked.
"Kind of," I agreed.
"Then let's go eat." He grasped my hand so easily and quickly, like I was his.
"Sa-Sir," I corrected myself, his Adam's apples bobbed. "I can't leave, and neither should you."
"Jess, we're already out of that room. Come on." He tugged my hand, but I didn't move.
"Why are you doing these things that only confuses me," I asked.
He was silent.
"I don't understand you. You show these affections, and then in another second, you push me away. Your constant ignorance, hurt full words, really caused me pain." I opened up.
"Jess... I-I can't stop thinking about you."
"STOP IT. STOP THIS NONSENSE, SAM!" I yelled. Angry as I was, I walked away--to stay away from him.
"I like you, Jess." He said, and my feet halted.