“Can I get another?” The bartender looks worried but doesn’t object to this obviously bad idea and pours me another shot. I got here not even an hour ago, and this is maybe my fourth shot. Sadly, the desired effect seems to be taking it’s time to show up. I had planned on going to the liquor store to buy a bottle of wine, but it was closed for some reason and this was the next best thing. I now have a running tab at a bar.
Life goals, man.
“Do you want to talk about it?” The bartender is a seemingly gay 23 years old with a built frame and hipster glasses. There is one other person at the other end of the bar and there is no else here.
“Not particularly,” I mutter and throw back the shot, savoring the burn as it glides down my parched throat.
“Okay, but I am cutting you off soon,” I nod and motion for another. He gives a disbelieving laugh but complies.
“You know, it might help to talk about it,” I glance to my right and see that guy, the one who Blondie cheated on. It seems oddly fitting that we end up here, like the universe is mocking us.
“I think I’d much rather drown my sorrows and go burn all of his shit in a bonfire,” the bartender gives me my shot and, again, I down it. The guy, he’s rather cute, hot even; he’s got medium brown hair that is swept to the side and the stubble on his chin brings him from hot to sexy. His arms are covered by a leather jacket, but it’s obvious he works out.
“Do you often do that? Drown your sorrows? It seems you have an impressive tolerance,” I laugh, but not because it’s funny but because I have resulted to drinking.
“I’ve never had more than a glass of wine,” this time he laughs, and I realize he isn’t on his first shot either. “How many have you had?”
“Honestly? I have no idea. I think four, maybe five,” He sighs. “So, two years?” I sigh, too.
“Almost, nineteen months last week. What about you and Blondie? How long were you guys together?” He chuckles.
“I was with Amber for six months. I was thinking about proposing,” I glare at the wall. People suck.
“I wish he’d respected me enough to at least break it off with me rather than lie to me,” I look to the bartender. “Can I have some water? I think I should go home soon. I have sad movies and junk food calling my name,” He nods and opens a fridge under the bar, grabs a bottle of water and hands it to me. I take it, the cold a welcome feeling on my warmed skin.
“You didn’t drive, did you?” The bartender asks; I shake my head, no.
“I walked,” I tell him.
“Then I’m walking you home,” This is from Cute Guy, I grin.
“I don’t think you are in any shape to fend off any criminals,” I tell him and he chuckles.
“That’s true, but at least together we have a better chance at getting away from the criminals,” I shrug and go to stand but stumble. Maybe the alcohol is taking effect after all. I reach out and grab the nearest thing, which happens to be the stool. Bartender Guy is looking at me knowingly.
“Sit back down, you need another water,” I go to protest, but he’s right. I look to the guy next to me as Bartender Guy gets me another bottle of water.
“So, what’s your name?”
“Alex. Alex Prize,” I smile.
“You have such a short name. My name is Natalia Rosalina Deveaux,” Alex laughs again. He has a nice laugh, deep and husky.
“Natalia. It’s pretty, like you,” I groan.
“No, tell me you did not just use that terrible pick up line,” He laughs that nice laugh.
“And what if I did?” I laugh, and it’s not miserable or sarcastic, I just laugh, and honestly, I needed it, so I keep laughing, I laugh so much I start crying and then nothing is funny anymore because Jackson cheated and I’m all alone and life just sucks.
“Mate, I know you aren’t exactly sober, but you are nowhere near as drunk as she is. Get her home. She needs to sleep it off,” the bartender looks scared and only then do I realize what a sight I must be. Drunk, today’s make up smeared down my face, my hair sticking all over the place. Shit. I groan and drop my head onto the countertop only to lift it a moment later.
“Thank you, Mister Bartender Guy. And Cute Guy. But I think I can get home by myself,” I grab my purse and this time I don’t stumble when I try to walk so I start towards the door. When I make it successfully outside, I pause. Where am I? I feel a hand on my arm and shriek.
“It’s me. You’re okay. You’re okay,” Alex’s voice is quieter and I nod, still trying to remember where home is.
“I think I have a problem,” I mutter glumly, looking left and right, but also not sure which way is left or which way is right, so I probably look like a bobble head.
“I have no idea where I am supposed to go; I don’t remember where my apartment is,” I giggle.
“I’m right across the street. You can crash at my place,” He starts guiding me down the sidewalk and I lean my head on his shoulder.
“Thank you,” I stumble again and his grip on my arm tightens. It doesn’t take long to get to his apartment and when we do, he opens the door and leads me to the kitchen.
“Have a seat at the table, I’m going to get you some more water,” I do as told and place my purse on the table with a frown.
“You had a lot of alcohol too. Why aren’t you stumbling and forgetting where you live?” He laughs.
“I had a lot of alcohol over the span of like four hours. I’m definitely drunk, just not nearly as drunk as you are. Honestly, I’m surprised you’re even coherent,” He sets a glass of ice water in front of me. “Drink this. Then I’ll show you to my room,” obediently I drink the water and when I’m done he takes the glass and sets it in the sink.
The room isn’t spinning anymore and I think I’m a little less drunk, not sober, but definitely less drunk. I look at his face and suddenly I want to poke his cheekbones. So I do and I go into a fit of giggles because, damn, his cheekbones are perfect. He looks amused.
“Natalia, I’m going to give you my room. The spare room isn’t ready for anyone to stay in. I’ll sleep on the couch,” I shake my head and I like it so I keep doing it, giggling hysterically. I feel him catch my head between his hands and I widen my eyes at him when I remember what he said.
“No, I can take the couch! You shouldn’t give up your bed,”
“My mother would beat me if I let you sleep on the couch, its fine. I promise,” I go with it, not in the mood to argue; especially when I have a feeling I’d lose anyways.
His room is normal. It’s also clean, which for some reason didn’t surprise me. He seems like the type to have a clean room. His bed is a king size with a white comforter and sheets. His furniture is all black, the desk, the dresser and the bed side tables.
“The bathroom is across the hall, there should be an extra toothbrush in the first drawer, go ahead and use it, there are also rags if you want to wash your face,” I thank him and leave the room going into the bathroom and doing as he said.
The bathroom is a decent size, with a bath tub and shower. The shower curtain is an attractive color of blue and a closet with blue towels; the obvious theme here is blue. My face isn’t as bad as I thought it was, but still, I wash off the tearstains and makeup then rinse with cold water. This actually does help to sober me up a tiny bit more, the cold water clearing my head a little bit.
When I’m finished I go back to his room and freeze in his doorway. He’s already changed into grey sweatpants, but he’s just taking his shirt off and I have a profile view of his chest, which is not at all disappointing.
I don’t realize I’m walking towards him, but suddenly I’m standing next to him, facing him, my hand is trailing down his arm and he is stood frozen. I move in front of him continuing to feel the warm skin of his chest and abs. He catches my wrist with his hand when I get to just above his pants.
“Natalia, I don’t think-” I don’t let him finish; I lean up and kiss him. He doesn’t respond at first but eventually, he kisses me back. His lips are full and warm and I push closer to him, needing to be touched, to be kissed. “Natalia, this isn’t-”
“A good idea? Maybe not. But we both need it, so shut up and go with it,” He contemplates for a few seconds and I feel a tinge of embarrassment, because he’s about to reject me, but before I can back away or apologize, he pulls me into him and kisses me. Hard.