#4 Tattooed gods and crazy fights
When Thomas texts me that he’s here, I rush through the crowd in the club to get to the entrance. Aston has been getting hit on all night just like every single time we go out, only this time he’s not interested in anyone. I didn’t think that anything could hurt more than seeing him go home with girl after girl who isn’t me, but this is worse. He doesn’t want to sleep with anyone because he caught feelings for this Annabel girl. That’s so much worse than him just not being interested in a relationship. Annabel managed to get under his skin, while I didn’t.
Thomas is a welcome distraction right now.
“Franny!” He grins and wraps his arms around me when I throw myself at him. “Damn girl, how drunk are you?”
I’m pretty buzzed, but not anywhere near shit-faced yet. The night is still young, though. The alcohol is hitting me harder than normal, probably because I’ve been awake for so long and didn’t eat all that much today. Thomas feels good against me, and I tilt my head up to kiss him, knotting my hands in his shoulder-length blonde hair, messing it up even more than it already was.
He grunts into the kiss and grabs my ass, always willing to get right down to it. We’ve been hooking up on and off ever since I moved into the apartment next to his three years ago and he helped me put up my lamps and stuff. We cut things off every few months, going back to just friends instead of friends-with-benefits, but we always seem to find ourselves single again, ready to pick back up where we left off. I ended things with Thomas when I was sleeping with Aston, and when Aston told me that he just wasn’t into me that way, Thomas was dating someone new, but now we’re both single again. Completely unattached. It’s been a while since we last slept together and I pull him tighter against me when I remember our last time in my kitchen, when he made me come four times in a row. I’m not interested in a real relationship with Thomas, but he’s sure good at sex.
“Are we going to drink and dance, or should I just take you home right now?” Thomas asks when we break apart, his dark eyes glistening in the flashing lights of the club. “I’m good with either.”
“Dancing!” I exclaim, wanting to drag this out a little longer. I sure want to fuck him, but he did come all the way over here and this night is supposed to be about cheering up Shaughna, which will be hard to do when I’m in my bedroom with Thomas on top of me.
“Look at that guy,” Thomas says while I pull him through the club. He’s pointing at a couple making out in a corner, grinding against each other. “When I’m his age I sure hope I’m still in clubs getting it on with girls as young and hot as the one he’s sticking his tongue into.”
I laugh when I recognize Nathan and Caroline. “He’s married to her, actually.”
“Nice going,” Thomas says, sounding impressed. “My new hero.”
“I thought I was your hero,” I tease, grabbing us some shots at the bar.
Thomas pushes himself against me from behind, letting me feel how excited he’s getting already. “You’re many things to me,” he grunts in my ear before kissing my neck. “Now, let’s down those shots and dance, shall we?”
I turn around and hand him a shot, clink mine against it and throw it back, closing my eyes when it burns down my throat. He meets my gaze when he’s downed his own and there’s a sexy smile placing at the corners of his mouth. It’s a shame we’re not each other’s types personality wise. He’s a nice guy, but he’s just a little too… bleh for my taste. Too cocky at times, with old-fashioned views on relationships and marriage, ideas that I could never get behind. He may be a player, but what he really wants is to find a girl to settle down with, have her make him dinner every single night, knock her up as many times as possible and take good care of her and the kids. That’s just not me. I want love too, and maybe one or two kids, but I don’t want to just be a housewife and to have a guy expecting me to spend my days taking care of him.
That kind of dependance scares the shit out of me. My parents had a relationship like that, and then Dad died when I was fifteen and Mom’s whole world collapsed. She had no job, nothing to fill her days with, no strength, no independence… She crumbled. She’s fine now, and she’s working again and everything, but it took many years for her to find herself again. Trust me when I say it wasn’t easy for a teenager to watch her mother go through that.
Thomas doesn’t give me more time to think about heavy shit anymore, pulling me with him and crushing his mouth against mine the moment we get to the dancefloor, grinding against each other while his tongue explores my mouth. Damn, the guy can kiss. I forgot how much I like kissing him.
“Can I take you home now?” Thomas asks after half an hour, both of us starting to feel very much overheated. Our hands keep moving to body parts that aren’t really meant to be touched when you’re out in public and not back in your own apartment, in the bedroom.
“Yeah,” I breathe, moaning when his thumb brushes over my nipple through my thin black dress. “Okay.”
“I’ve got a new tattoo to show you,” he tells me, knowing exactly how much I love tats on a guy. And piercings. Thomas has a nipple piercing and a chest full of tats, which is one of the many reasons I keep finding myself coming back to him when yet another guy lets me down. Leonard, Aston, all the others… I can always count on Thomas to take my mind off them by getting me naked.
“Where?” I ask, moving my hands over his chest, enjoying how muscular he feels against me.
Thomas smirks. “Right… here.” He grabs my hand and puts it right where his belt buckle is.
I move my hand down, grabbing his cock through his pants, making him grunt. Okay, we really need to head home now or I’m going to fuck him right here and now, and that would be wildly inappropriate. Not that what we’ve been doing the past half our isn’t also completely improper, but that’s just me being me, I guess.
Just when I want to pull him in for a kiss, I spot Aston from my peripheral vision. He’s rushing in with an angry expression on his face, without Shaughna, who he stepped outside with not that long ago. I watch him order a beer and downing it immediately. I thought he said he doesn’t drink much anymore? Something is wrong, and as much as I’d love to ignore that, I know I can’t. He’s my friend, after all.
“Be right back,” I tell Thomas over the music. He looks at me like I’m crazy, but I’m already pushing through the crowd to get to the bar, where I put a hand on Aston’s arm. “Are you okay, babe?”
He spins around and looks surprised to see it’s me. “Hey, yeah, I guess.”
“Where’s Shaughna?” I’m concerned about the look on Aston’s face, but I also know that Shaughna needs someone to protect her at all times, since that douche Melchior might try to get to her again.
“She’s talking to her friend Joshua,” he assures me. “She just… got under my skin.”
Yeah, Shaughna does that sometimes. It’s interesting that she’s talking to Joshua, who she sort of dated before committing to Dshawn. I only met the guy once, when I helped Shaughna show him that his girlfriend was cheating on him. Joshua was dating this crazy whore named Jasmine who slept with Aston, Dshawn and me over the span of a year, which means that she was never faithful to Joshua. Poor guy. I smile at the memory of my night with Jasmine. She may have been a lying cheating bitch, but that night was pretty hot. It was the second time I ever had a threesome, both of those times with Thomas, of course. That time with Jasmine was amazing. I bet Thomas thinks so too. Maybe we should try that again now we’re back to being friends-with-benefits.
“What are you smiling about?” Aston asks.
“Nothing,” I say, not wanting to talk about sex right now. “You look upset. Do you want to talk about it?”
He shrugs. “Maybe we shouldn’t.”
Oh, Annabel again. Great. I can’t help but wonder what she looks like. Surely she’s one of those leggy blondes he seems to like so much. What’s so special about this girl anyway?
“Okay, fine, I’m going back to Thomas.”
“Fran,” Aston says, but I’m already walking away. I know he’s not actively trying to hurt me, but he is. Why did I even rush over to him when I saw that he was struggling with something? He made it clear that we’re nothing more than friends. I need to stop acting like we’re more than that.
Thomas is still on the dancefloor, twirling a girl I’ve never seen before. The moment he sees me, he says something in her ear and moves over to me, grabbing me and pulling me flush against him. He can tell I’m upset, I can see it in his eyes, but he doesn’t ask me what’s going on. He knows that I used to date Aston – if dating is even the right word for hooking up with someone time after time without putting a label on it. Instead of talking, Thomas goes straight to kissing me, his hands knotting in my hair.
After God knows how long, we break apart and start dancing again. I slowly get back into the sexy mood I was in before I spotted Aston. I’m ready to go home and take off all my clothes. Thomas’ eyes sparkle when he sees the resolve in mine and he squeezes my ass.
“Let me say goodbye to my friends,” I tell him, giving him another kiss. “Wait for me at the bar.”
I check the club to find Shaughna, but she’s nowhere to be found. Neither are any of the guys. The only person I spot is Caroline, rushing to the exit. I call out to her and she turns around, motioning me over.
“Where is everyone?” I ask her, tugging my dress down from where it rode up when I was grinding against Thomas.
“That’s what I’d like to know too,” she says, looking a little panicked. “I came back from the bathroom and everyone was gone, including Nathan.”
“They’re probably outside,” I try to reassure her, although I think it’s weird too. Why would Nathan leave the club without Caroline? He’s been no more than a foot away from her all night. He’d never just leave without texting her or something.
The moment we’re outside, it’s obvious she was right to worry. There’s a fight going on, and our friends are in the heat of it, struggling to get a guy down to the floor. Aston is blocking Shaughna from joining in, and Nathan is standing to the side, holding his bleeding hand against his chest while he throws a punch with the other.
“Nate?” Caroline exclaims, rushing over right away. “Oh fuck, Nate!”
Dshawn, Shaughna and Aston are completely focused on a buff guy with black hair who is fighting them with a vengeance. I have no idea who he is, but he’s holding his own, which is impressive against a muscular god like Aston. Nathan is trying to fight another tall guy with a buzzcut and wide blue eyes that are a little red. Those eyes and his movements make it clear to me that he’s under the influence of something. Alcohol, at the least, maybe even drugs.
I recognize him from somewhere, but I can’t place him here, on the street, throwing a punch at Nathan.
“Stop it!” a younger blonde guy with a mess of curls yells, jumping on Melchior’s back. He’s got nothing on the buff stranger, but he’s still trying.
I can’t just stand by and do nothing, so I move over and take a swing at the big guy’s groin, making him double over with the blonde dude still on his back.
“Thanks,” he says, jumping down and giving the man a shove.
I recognize his voice now, and his face. Joshua. Shaughna’s friend.
“Look out!” Nathan shouts, throwing himself between me and the guy we’re fighting, ignoring the fact that he’s bleeding from his hand. He knocks the guy back, but it’s not enough.
“Nate!” Caroline shouts, trying to pull him back. “Be careful!”
“You bitches,” the guy grunts at me and Caroline, his wide eyes spitting fire at us. “You’re her friends aren’t you? That bitch ruined my life! If she hadn’t fired me I would still have a life!”
Fired him? Oh. I know who this is. I’ve met him before. Hollister. Some douchebag who used to work in the restaurant Shaughna is now manager of. He sexually harassed her and she fired his ass. A great decision in my opinion, but obviously he doesn’t agree. He used to have long hair, falling over his shoulders, which is why I didn’t recognize him right away. The buzzcut doesn’t suit him.
Aston throws himself at Hollister right when Joshua does the same and the three of them tumble onto the ground, fighting for dominance. A loud yelp sounds and Joshua rolls away from the other two, clutching his leg and breathing hard.
“You fucking piece of shit!” Shaughna shrieks while I rush over to Joshua to examine his injuries. His leg is definitely broken, but I’m more concerned by the fact that he seems to have trouble breathing. He may have broken some ribs, and I just pray that they are just cracked and not jabbing into his blood vessels or lungs.
While I ask Joshua if he can still breathe and examine his chest, I see Aston get up from Hollister’s body that’s being pressed into the pavement, Nathan and Caroline taking over to keep him down. When I see why Aston got up in the first place, my heart sinks. The other big fighter is now on top of Shaughna, grinding against her. Luckily, Aston and Dshawn pull him off and wrestle him to the floor.
“Shaughna?” Joshua asks softly, looking up at me with unseeing eyes.
“She’s fine,” I assure him, even though I don’t know if that’s true. “I’m Francesca. I don’t know if you remember me, but we met once.”
“You’re the girl who slept with Jasmine,” he says, coughing up blood.
Oh shit. He’s coughing up blood. That’s not a good sign. I want to yell for a doctor to get over here, to order a chest x-ray, but we’re in the street right outside a club. I’d give anything to be in the ER right now. I could totally stabilize him and get him the proper care.
“Someone call an ambulance!” I yell, but there doesn’t seem to be anyone listening to me.
“Am I dying?” Joshua asks, sounding strangely calm.
“No,” I assure him, softly stroking his curls. I want to give him a proper exam, but I’m afraid I will mess up without any equipment or a doctor to order all kinds of tests and a proper bed to put Joshua in. Poor guy.
“Is your hair purple?”
“Yes,” I reply, using one hand to stroke his curls while I use the other to pull up his shirt so I can see how bad his injuries are. He’s bruised pretty badly. There’s a good chance his ribs are broken. The blood concerns me, but he’s not coughing anymore, so that’s good.
“Okay, so I’m not going insane,” Joshua says with a sigh. “Is Shaughna okay?”
“Yes,” I assure him once again. “She’s fine.” This time, it’s true. The bad guy is being held down by Dshawn and Aston, and Shaughna is standing over them, looking like a goddamn warrior goddess.
I pull out my phone to call an ambulance myself, but then sirens sound through the block and a police car rounds the corner. Good. Joshua needs to get to a hospital asap.