Authors: Kate Stewart
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Genre Fiction, #Coming of Age, #Romance, #Contemporary
“Seth, this is my brother Dave, and if you don’t tell him that what happened in the park today…you see that guy scared shitless standing in the doorway? My brother is going to kill him.” I braved a glance at Seth who seemed amused with the whole situation.
“Who is the guy?” Seth whispered into my ear.
“My ex, we broke up last night.”
“Is that why you were sleeping in your car?”
“Oh my God, mind your own damn business!”
“Okay,” he said, making his way back to his table.
“Please, Seth.” He stopped instantly. I guess it was my clever damsel in distress tone of voice that broke him. He did an about face and walked directly up to Dave and explained. “I accidently hit her in the lip today at the park with my Frisbee golf disc.”
Dave nodded and kept walking toward Chris as if his mind hadn’t changed one bit.
“Dave, set up, please bro. I’ve got this,” I pleaded with him, stopping him only feet away from Chris.
“Fine, but,” he raised his voice again so Chris could clearly hear him, “if I see that piece of shit anywhere near you ever again, I’ll hurt him.” Dave turned around and looked back at me.
“Follow me home tonight and I’ll make you a key tomorrow.”
For some reason Seth was still lingering around. I turned to glare at him.
“You’re welcome,” he snapped, clearly irritated and walked back to his group. He grabbed his beer and eyed me again and shook his head as if he’d dismissed me.
I approached Chris, who looked like hell, and was apologizing when I reached him. “Laura, I’m so sorry, I—”
“Let’s go out front, Chris.” I surveyed the bar, the crowd was getting a little heavier, but Callie gave me the thumbs up and I grabbed Chris by the arm and took him outside. I could tell he was surprised by my absence of emotion when I gave him a cold stare. He was wearing the L7 tee I’d bought him for his birthday. His blond hair was a scattered mess and his blue eyes were filled with apprehension.
“Look, it’s over. We both know it. I think we’ve known it for a while. I don’t love you and it’s obvious you don’t love me, so let’s just call it quits.”
“You can’t be serious, Laura. I do love you, of course I love you. She wasn’t even my date, she was Roc’s!”
Roc was his best friend and was nowhere to be seen last night. I crossed my arms and glared at him.
“I didn’t see him, Chris. He wasn’t there.”
“I’m telling you, he screwed her last night, not me. I tried to get him to come here and tell you the same, but he’s working. Just ask him.”
I studied him for a minute and realized it didn’t matter. Either way, I was done with him. I actually did believe he didn’t cheat. She was on the couch and he was passed out on the floor in the next room. I hadn’t actually caught them in the act. I wanted it to be over and it was just easier to make him think I didn’t believe him. I could see his face was twisted in pain. I was such a bitch and I knew it, but I was going to do it anyway.
“You should have thought about how it would look, Chris, and now I could never trust you. I’ll be by tomorrow to get the rest of my stuff. You can keep the rent money in the account. I just want out.”
“Baby, please, I love you. Don’t leave me.”
“No, Chris, you really don’t love me and it shows. It’s over. Leave me alone and be gone tomorrow when I come by. I will have Dave with me.” I actually felt terrible at that point, but I wanted out. And I was getting out.
“Wow, this is really cold, Laura.”
“Not naked girl on the couch cold, Chris!” I knew I should be upset, I knew this should bother me, but it really didn’t. My only concern was how long it would take to get my own place.
“Fine, Laura, but I really do love you.”
“I wish I believed you, and I wish I loved you too, but I don’t. I can’t after what I saw.” I pretended to be hurt. I knew I was being manipulative and this was low, even for me.
“I will only take what I brought and I will leave the key.”
“Fine, you caught me. I fucked her.” He smirked, imitating my arms over his own chest.
“No, you didn’t,” I countered, knowing it wasn’t true and he was just trying to hurt me out of spite. I’d quickly turned the tables on him and now he looked more hurt and confused than ever. I had just admitted to him that I knew he didn’t cheat and I was dumping him anyway.
“Wait, Laura.” He was too late, my back was turned and I was already walking into the bar where Gary was guarding the door. Chris made no attempt to follow me while Gary blocked the door and stared him down.
Wow, I was a cold hearted bitch. I would pay for that one day.
As far as karma was concerned, I totally believed in it. I also believed God watched me at all times too, and probably had his head in his hands right now. I quickly resumed my station at the bar and kissed Callie on the cheek to thank her, only to hear a ‘whoot whoot’ from the group of guys gathered around the bar. Callie loved me. No, she really loved me. She’d made sure I knew it nightly. Even though I’d never, or would never, jump to that side of the fence, if there was ever a remote chance, it would’ve been with someone like her. She was the most beautiful girl in Dallas. She stood at least 5’10” and had long platinum blonde hair and ice blue eyes. She had the face structure of a supermodel and perfect, full, plump lips and an amazing figure. She had huge full breasts, a tiny waist, and long legs. There wasn’t a spot on Callie that wasn’t attractive. She was my only girlfriend, since I had retired all the friends in my hometown Dallas suburb. Those friends had been in a totally different playing field than I was. They were all wrapped completely in their Barbie worlds. Most of them were in college and the rest had already graduated and were getting ready for their white picket weddings.
My world was full of the mentality of the 60’s. Though the music was different, the feeling was the same. The love of drugs and music was the most apparent in our world, though our movement was more of a rebellion against authority and the current standard of the American dream rather than a generation that would change things for the better. It was a revolution of sorts in music, the heaviest hitting rock, the Seattle Grunge, techno music, house music, and the continuous evolution of rap. And there were plenty of drugs to go around. Work hours were short, party hours were long, and the ability to sleep in never ran out. I loved my world. The cookie cut-outs with the 2.5 kids could have theirs.
Every night was something new. Dave was a major pot head, and while I didn’t care for it, he wasn’t a hypocrite when it came to drugs. Psychedelic drugs were back in a major way. You couldn’t go five feet into a party without being offered ecstasy or acid. The notion was, it was the way to see God’s world, and to open your third eye. Raves were a constant and no club in Dallas existed without having a top DJ in their midst. The latest drug craze was a form of ecstasy called a Scooby Snack, given away at all the raves. I had yet to get my hands on it. But I was definitely on the hunt. The funny thing was, I could handle my drugs. I could easily pick them up and put them down. Now that I’d decided to put them down, I had only one thing on my mind: my new lair.
“Two more, Laura, please.” Seth, though still pleasant with me, was no longer engaging. I guessed my little drama unfolding for him had him a little less interested. It was just as well. I was tired of biting his head off.
“Thanks, Seth, for earlier. These are on me.” I gave him a wink and my best smile.
His head snapped to attention quickly, as if he’d just changed his mind about me. Great, give a guy a beer…
He put a ten on the bar and grabbed his beers. His eyes lingered on me a little longer than they should have and I felt the heat rising to my face. Great, now I am blushing. What the hell is it with this man?
“How’s your lip?”
“Lips,” I said, as I separated the two with my pointer finger showing him the split in both of them. Realizing what an idiot I looked like, I quickly added, “I’ll live. I need a shot, do you want one?”
I grabbed the vodka, sour, and triple sec and mixed us a couple of Kamikazes. I tapped his glass with mine then tapped the bar. When he didn’t follow suit, I scorned him.
“You should always tap the bar when given a shot to show the bartender respect.”
“Really?” he mused, taking his shot glass and tapping it twice. “Laura, you aren’t really a bitch are you?”
“Oh buddy, don’t let my moment of weakness fool you. I’m happy right now.”
“Didn’t you just break up with your boyfriend? Shouldn’t you be brooding in a corner somewhere?”
“He was no loss.” I poured a second shot for us both and tapped his glass “To freedom.” I smiled coyly at him and he seemed to be a little confused by my reaction. I felt like I had to justify my statement.
“I walked in last night to a naked girl on my couch. I can’t trust him. I didn’t love him.”
“Well then, to freedom.” He took his shot and tapped the bar and met my eyes for approval. His stare completely ruined me. It was the intensity in his eyes. His demeanor was naturally smug, it was like he had all the answers and the rest of us were just clueless. His red-blond hair seemed to have a trace of curl to it, but was cut too short for it to actually take shape. He had a narrow jaw line and squared chin and his top lip was only slightly thinner than his full bottom lip. His dark green eyes were almond shaped and had a sparkle in them. What I knew for sure is that I loved looking at him. He seemed to read my mind and leaned over the bar with his hand out. I flinched when he got close, but took in a breath to see where he was going with it. He ended up shutting the cooler door. Apparently, I had left it open again and my nipples were a little too much for him. I hadn’t even noticed this time. He was doing a number on my senses.
“Thanks for the beer, Laura,” he said heavily, trying a little too hard to avoid staring at my chest.
“I’m a free agent now, look away, baby.” Where the hell did that come from? Laura!
He stopped dead in his tracks from lifting his beers off the bar and caught my eyes again. This time a little less smug and with a lot more fire.
What in the hell was I doing?
“Seth, my beer, damn!” His friend ushered him with the wave of his hand from their tall cocktail table. He looked over and saw Seth was talking to me and quickly added, “Never mind man, damn, take your time.” His friend gave me another once over and quickly resumed the conversation at his table. I shook my head in unison with Seth and we both smiled.
“I better get back.”
“See you next beer.” I gave him a toothy grin and ended up wincing from the pain from my lips. I saw him wince as well in sympathy as he finally retreated back to his table, eyes still on me.
I found myself staring at his back a little too long. Seth. I like.
“Callie, my favorite bitch in the world, let us drink tonight and be merry, for I am free!” I shook up a few more shots in my shaker while looking around for Gary. He didn’t mind if we drank a little as long as we paid for it—yeah right—and didn’t get drunk. Tonight I was going to break the rules, well more than I normally did.
Dave started his first set and I felt the music start to pulse through me. House music started pumping throughout the club and everyone immediately celebrated. I waved my hands in the air behind the bar, all too ready to celebrate. His first set was an epic mix he had been working on the previous week. His brand of house music put everyone else’s to shame. His mix consisted of uplifting beats and sultry soul music that featured famous hooks, and was irresistible to even the toughest audience.
I waved to Callie that I was going to take this dance and she gave me her usual go ahead. Secretly, I knew she loved watching me dance. This was something I did and did well. I gave my brother a big smile as I stepped onto the dance floor with at least a hundred others and cursed my stupidity as another wave of pain hit me from my throbbing lips. Ready to dance, I let the music fill me up. The vibrations throughout the club filled the air and reverberated through my body, lifting me. My scalp started to tingle, drugs or none, when the strong wave of music got to me. It was one of my weaknesses. My brother seemed to know just which music made me tick. Damn, he was good.
I began to move my hips and feet in time, breaking it down with the best of them. A veil of sweat began to form in pools on my chest and the back of my neck. I lifted my hands in the air and let go, letting the music take me to my favorite place. The bass and my heart throbbed in time. I let myself get lost, closing my eyes, letting my limbs do whatever they wanted. The feeling was unbelievable. I felt airy and light as the beat came to a halt. In every good house mix there was always an atmospheric pause in the music right before it hit the hardest. It could last anywhere from thirty seconds to a minute, and a good DJ could make it last longer. It was the time when we made the most noise, and pumped each other up for the next blast of bass.
I took my hair off my neck and tied it into another self-adhesive bun on top of my head. I was just about to start hollering and clapping with the rest of the crowd when I felt fingers pluck and undo my perfectly tucked hair. I looked up to see Seth, a smile on his lips and heat in his eyes that instantly made me breathless. The keyboards were still streaming as if we were all in flight in space and cool fog entered the dance floor, blurring everyone around me. Seth directly behind me, close enough for me to feel the outline of his chest on my back, picked my hair up away from my neck and gently blew the moisture beading down my neck and dripping down my back, cooling me and heating me all at once.