Authors: Elizabeth Lynx
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Copyright 2014 Elizabeth Lynx
Published by Elizabeth Lynx
This book is a work of fiction. Any similarities to situations, locations, persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
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Dedicated to my real life Pierce, my husband.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
By Elizabeth Lynx
Cover Photo: Ben Heys
Cover Design: Elizabeth Lynx
"Woman, you look like a hag!"
That look on Luna's face makes me laugh. As if I emerged from the bathroom with blood dripping from my fingertips leaving marked footprints behind, instead of a simple cotton dress.
"Gee thanks Luna, now tell me what you really think of this outfit." I roll my eyes at my best friend of fifteen years.
Luna is beautiful, as if you were walking in the forest and stumbled upon a unicorn beautiful. She is average height, I think five foot four inches tall but don't quote me on that. Shoulder length strawberry blond hair and just enough curves that make men stop what they are doing and turn. Men fall for her hard and she eats them up like candy.
But the true test is sex for her. She has standards, which is one of the reasons we are friends. We grade them and if they don't pass the test, throw them away.
Of course she has a different set of standards than I do. Not everyone wants the same thing in the bedroom, but we both agree that men need to be confident in the sack or it's an automatic fail. Sorry guys, no virgins for us. I have never understood the fascination with virgins that men have? Where is the fun in having sex with someone who doesn't know what to do or is too scared to do it?
But when it comes to fashion Luna is the whore and I'm the novice. She makes sure she accompanies me whenever I go shopping for new clothes as she doesn't trust what I might pick out for myself. So, now I stand here in a simple white cotton swing dress that I saw on sale one afternoon while picking up some new running shoes at a department store. Obviously, Luna wasn't with me at the time.
"What? It was on sale, half off. I think it's cute."
That pisses her off. She glares at me as if I said the dress is made of feces and smells divine, the way her eyes are boring into my head.
"I don't even want to know when you got this old woman dress. Just take it off and throw on that white lace mini backless number I made you buy last month. Oh, and the nude heels with the thick gold buckle at the ankle. Those will get any man's attention!"
I wander back to my closet and hear her yell to me, "You will also want to rethink the jewelry too. As in that large gold Grecian cuff and nothing else, you got me Jos?"
"Yeah, I hear you Dr. Couture!" I yell out of the closet trying to find all the items she has prescribed.
Five minutes later in the mirror I have to admit that yet again, she is totally right. I looked like a dishrag before but now I look like a dish. I take some solace that I got my hair right the first time. My long black hair pulled back into a perfectly combed ponytail, accentuating my high cheekbones and large round eyes. I'm sexy and I know it. I may not steal men's breath the way Luna does, but I know what my appearance does to a man's libido. Luna may make men's hearts sing, but I make them drool.
Stepping out of my room and back into the living room for the judge's final decision I look up, "What do you think?"
Her eyes go wide and a wicked grin appears on her face as she nods her head.
"That's what I'm talking about Jos. Now, let's head to the club and hopefully by night's end we will have some eye candy on our arms and A pluses in our beds!"
"Is it just us tonight?" I ask while trying to fit everything I need into my tan leather wristlet.
"No, Dahlia is bringing her boyfriend Thomas with her. They are meeting us there."
I stomp my foot on the ground, shrug my shoulders down while sighing like a child about to have a temper tantrum.
"Not your work buddy Dahlia. She's cool on her own, but when she brings her boring ass boyfriend she turns into Debbie downer." I whine as we head out the door of my small row home in the Federal Hill neighborhood of Baltimore. We have to walk a block to hail a cab, but the humid June air keeps us warm in our skimpy attire.
"At least I can hang with people I work with, they aren't all dry twits like the professors in your department." She starts laughing at her own joke, "Remember you dragged me to that reception on Charles Street. I didn't realize men actually still wore tweed jackets. And the women!" She shakes her head in shame. "I'm surprised they found the place with their coca cola bottle glasses."
"Hey, there were only a few like that. Some of them are kind of cool."
"Which ones? Because I didn't meet them. Anyway, at least I work with some normal people."
"Luna stop being a snob."
She looks at me in shock just as the cab we flag pulls up in front of us.
"I may be a snob, but at least I have fun. If they wanted to go to dance clubs and let loose, I would be the first to invite them, but I suspect they are still holed up at their office or at home on their computer, still working on a beautiful Friday night."
She is probably right. If it weren't for Luna, I would be just like that. I love what I do and am good at it. I graduated high school at sixteen. When Luna and I met at Towson University, she assumed I was eighteen, it wasn't until almost a year later she discovered the truth.
She made my summers at home bearable. I'd call her up when my parents fought, which was often and she'd pull up in her old red Suzuki jeep and we would just ride around. One day she came to the door and heard them yelling about my upcoming birthday. When I hopped into her passenger seat she turned to me and said, "When you turn 18 we are moving in together." That was it, she knew I needed to get away. I think she suspected I was younger than her, but until she heard my parents she didn't realize how young.
My parents are the reason I studied so hard and became an assistant professor of psychology; I wanted to understand the human brain. Why people do what they do. I wanted to understand my parents and how they could stay married if it was obvious they didn't love each other.
The music is thumping and I can barely hear Luna at our booth.
"I'm going to the bar Jos, you want anything?"
I look over at Dahlia and Thomas, looking bored as ever and sigh. Why is she leaving me here with them? Ugh! Well, I might as well get some hard drinks in me so I'm not bored to sleep sitting next to them.
"Yes, get me a dry martini. Extra dry Luna! I want my mouth to gasp when I drink it!" I glare at her. She knows I am particular about my drinks. I'm not trying to be annoying, but if a bartender can't do a martini properly then they shouldn't be a bartender.
Luna rolls her eyes and nods while walking away. Scanning the crowd after she leaves I notice a few cute men, but it looks like a lot are taken. One in particular that caught my eyes, a tall lean blond is suddenly kissing his boyfriend. This crowd is proving to be disappointing.
A few moments later Luna arrives back with our drinks. I take one sip of my martini and spit it back out.
"I told you dry Luna, not bitter. Take it back and tell them to do it right."
I push the drink back in her direction. She frowns and gives me an angry look.
"I told them exactly what you said Jos, if it's still not up to your liking, you go back and tell them. It's not my drink, it's your Martini. Snob!"
I grab the drink and march back to the end of the bar. There are two bartenders, both male and look to be early 30's and good looking, but nothing striking. I yell at the closest one.
He ignores me for the customers that are vying for his attention in the middle of the bar.
"Hey, bartender I have a problem!"
Again nothing, so I do the only thing I know will bring them over, I pour the drink all over the liquor bottles on the other side of the bar.
The closest one whips his head around to glare at me, I knew he was paying attention. He stomps over throwing his arms into the air.
"What the fuck is your problem lady?"
"You, you're my problem. This dry martini was disgusting. How can you even call yourself a bartender if you can't even make a dry martini?"
His eyes are on fire and so is his face. His pale brow furrows in anger.
"That martini was fine. There was no need to pour it all over my work area. Now I gotta clean this mess up and still deal with a throng of customers."
I watch the crowd at the bar and then flip back to the mess I made.
"Look I over reacted a bit. How about you let me come back there and make a good dry martini. You can taste it, if it's better than yours then you are left cleaning up this mess and I get a free drink. But if it isn't, I promise the bar will be spick and fucking span when I am done with it. Okay?"
He looks at me for a minute with an odd expression of curiosity, anger and lust.
"Adrian, get over here and stop hitting on that chick. We got customers." The other bartender yells from the far side of the bar.
"Fine, but you can't be back here for long. My manager is stopping by in a bit and if he catches you back here, I'm fired."
We shake hands and he walks back to the middle. I swing open the bar entrance and walk back. I grab the vermouth and gin and get to work. In about a minute I have the perfect martini in my hand. Walking back over to Adrian, I tap the six foot, dark curly haired guy on the shoulder.
"Here you go, the best martini you will ever taste."
"How do I know you didn't drug that?"
I lean over the glass and press my lips to the cool edge. Tipping back slightly I let the burning, crisp liquid swirl my tongue and wash down my throat.
"I took a sip, now you."
He takes it with hesitation and eyes me as he sips. Suddenly his eyes grow large and he moans.
"Damn that is good. How did you learn to do this?"
"I had to bartend my way through college and most of graduate school. I worked with many really good bartenders in my day."
He smiles and throws an arm around me, giving me a side hug.
"I'm Adrian and you are?"
"Nice to meet you Jos. Your tab is on me. Feel free to make yourself another drink because I'm keeping this one."
His eyebrows jump as he takes another sip.
"I'll clean up the mess I made Adrian and then be out of your way. Thanks for letting me play back here."
"No problem. I got to get back, but I'm serious drinks on me, okay?"
I nod as he walks back to a young twenty something hipster who is making him list all the craft beers the bar has.
I proceed to make myself another martini.
"Hey lady I need an Appletini."
I look up to see a very drunk blond, swaying in front of me. She is pointing at me and leaning her elbows on the bar.
"I'm sorry, but I'm not the bartender. They are at the other end. And you do not need anymore." She gives me the worst look and huffs. While walking off she yells "bitch" back to me. I chuckle under my breath. From the bar entrance, just to my left I hear, "Finally a decent bartender. Well, I should say, one that makes me want to come to the bar, anyway."
The voice is whiskey, neat, on an October evening. Shivers run through my body and I haven't even looked at him but my nipples harden in anticipation of the features that might be attached to the modulation.
Wait a second Jos, get ahold of yourself. I can fantasize all I want but when I turn around it will probably be some average looking guy with an inappropriate grin or worse some skinny hipster with a scruffy beard that looks like it belongs on a man carrying an ax in the forest than a 'dude' in a nightclub.
I don't know how many times I've done this getting my hopes up thinking a guy is hot based on his words alone only to be crestfallen later. I have struck up conversations by emails with friends of friends and done the whole online dating thing, all end in tremendous disappointment. Even the ones who end up not looking half bad usually only earn a C- at best in the bedroom.
I did date an attractive man who earned a B in the bedroom once. He wasn't model gorgeous, but attractive enough to catch my eye. We were together for a few months, but week after week his grade started slipping; after a solid week that maxed out at C-, I ended it.
"Sorry, didn't mean to offend you." His voice breaks through my imagination and I realize I have been staring at the rag in my hand. I drop it in the sink; grab my drink and turn to face him to give him the brush off.
Holy fucking shit!
I nearly drop my martini, a mortal sin, at the sight of him. He is leaning against the brass rim, one elbow on the bar. While his muscular body faces the dance floor, his head is turned in my direction. I take note of his crisp light grey button up hugging tightly to his thick muscles as he smiles, puckishly, at me.
My nipples tingle, always a good sign, while I feel my lace panties start to stick where they shouldn't. Instinctively I bite my lower lip while lowering my gaze from his slightly tousled caramel brown hair, to his dark brown eyes, his lone dimple on his right cheek, to his thick chest pressing against the light fabric and finally resting on his hands placed gently on the wood of the bar.
You can tell a lot about a man from his hands, so I notice several things: no ring, no ring mark, smooth skin with a whisper of hair on the back, and they match his body – big and muscular. Oh, I like him already.