Crossroads: Book 1

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Chapter 63


“I’m just saying - you may want to tell your dad about that guy. I have a bad feeling about him. He was creepy,” Rachel voices her opinion as she applies some dark eye shadow on my lids.

“I know. I think I will...” I assure her to drop the conversation, hopefully.

“You better,” she reiterates as she touches up some lipstick on my lips; she smiles at me. “I’ve missed dolling you up.”

With an eye roll, I respond with a laugh. “You always put way too much make-up on me.”

“That may be, but you look smoking hot.”

“You do too!” I compliment her. “Paul will love that dress on you.”

My bestie smiles. “Aw, thanks, babe.” She applies a big fat brush to each of my cheeks. “Okay, go look and tell me what you think.”

I stand from the chair at the kitchen table and then walk into the bathroom to see what she’s done to me in the mirror.

As soon as I see my reflection, I can’t believe it. I don’t recognize this girl staring back at me. A smoky eye look surrounds my eyes; it really makes the color of my eyes pop. The red lipstick gives my face extra color and almost matches the blush’s touch on my cheeks.

“Rachel,” I gasp. The sound of her heels clicks on the wood floor as she meets me in the bathroom.

“Yes.” She smiles with confidence leaning in the doorway.

“You should be a beautician or something,” I tell her, still taking in my make-over.

“You like it?”

I give her a strong hug and thank her. “I love it. Thank you so much!”

After the hug, she goes into the bedroom for something, and I head back to the kitchen table. Strapping on the same heels I got for my birthday - I hear Rachel’s phone buzz on the table. I stand from one of the chairs to get it for her.

There’s a text from Hot Biker.Oh, Rach... With the phone in hand, I meet Rachel in my room; she’s finishing up a last-minute touch on her lips with some lip gloss. “You have a text from your Hot Biker,” I tease.

She giggles and holds out her hand. I place it in her palm, and then she opens the message.

“What did he say? Did he cancel?” I am unexpectedly hopeful that he’s texting to tell her not to bring me along.

“We’re meeting him at Charlie’s,” she says.

The bar is literally a hole in the wall. The yellow neon sign is all lit except the ‘h,’ and some of the sidings is peeling off. There are many bikes in the lot and a few women standing outside smoking cigarettes in hardly anything at all - all huddled together talking and laughing.

My hands are still on the steering wheel, even though the car is off. I’m debating on whether to turn the key and head back home or not. “I’m not sure about this, Rach.”

Her nose is in her phone. “I told him we are here, and he said to wait in the car until he comes out.”

I blurt, “That means it’s not safe for us to be here, Rachel.”

“You are too paranoid.” She drops her arms in her lap. “It will be fine; it will be fun. You’ll see. He’s probably just trying to be a gentleman.” She looks out the window for her prince. “There he is!” her squeal fills the cab with excitement as she points Paul out, walking towards us.

Rachel opens the door to crawl out. I still have my reservations, but I sigh and follow her lead anyways.

“Damn! Rachel, you could stop a truck with that dress, Mmm,” Paul announces as he greets Rachel with a hug then spins her around to appreciate her...assets. “Elena?” he questions once his sights land on me.

“Hi, Paul.” Awkwardly I wave.

“You are lookin’ fine, girl,” he compliments as he wraps me in a hug. “I am one lucky man tonight,” our date brags, offering each of his arms for us. “I am a thorn amongst the roses,” Paul shouts as we laugh.

We let go of Paul once we reach the wooden door; he wraps his hand around the handle then opens it. Right away, the rush of stale booze, strong perfume, and cologne, along with loud country music, fills my senses. It looks like a dump, but it has its charm and is most definitely a bar – a bar with a dance floor. The place has wooden floors with peanut shells covering it, wooden tables and chairs, a few booths, and low-lit lighting. The bar itself has wooden stools with maroon leather cushions, and the bar top is a dark color with a glossy finish. There is a large balding man with a long goatee serving drinks.

Paul leads us up to the bar, and I notice eyes on the three of us like predators scoping out their prey. I grip Paul’s arm a bit tighter. Rachel doesn’t seem to have a care in the world as Paul hugs her into his side.

In reaching the bar, Paul sits between Rachel and me. “What would you ladies like to drink?” he asks.

“Water for me,” I tell him.

They both look at me like centipedes just crawled out of my nose. “What? You’re at a bar, and you’re ordering water?” Rachel mocks.

“I drove here,” I remind her.

“I’ll be the designated driver, Elena. Come on, loosen up! Have a drink. I’ll have one shot, maybe two, and by the time it’s time to leave, I’ll be just fine,” she instigates.

I look over at all the liquor bottles. “I don’t know.”

“Just one drink.” Rachel is so good at peer pressure.

“Fine. Just one though,” I stress, and Paul claps his hands as Rachel laughs.

Paul calls out for a man named Dave, and the large man with the goatee comes over to hear Paul’s order. He orders a Bahama Mama for me and a tequila shot for Rachel, and then he orders a beer for himself.

Within minutes a tall glass of orange and yellow liquid inside with an orange and a strawberry on a sword is placed in front of me. This place may look rough around the edges, but Dave knows how to throw a cocktail together, that’s for sure.

I lean into Paul to whisper in his ear. “He never asked for an ID.”

“That’s because you’re with me.” He winks and takes a sip of his beer; I smile and bring the straw to my lips to take a few sips. It tastes like fruit juice; the Bahama Mama is very sweet with a hint of tartness.

In no time at all, I begin to loosen up and enjoy myself on this threesome date, which surprisingly is going quite well. Paul is very good at including me in conversation.

Without warning, the air shifts. Something in the atmosphere has altered. I crank my head to view the entryway, and there by the door, is the reason for the sudden change.

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