It was late. Almost too late for him; he knew he had to return to that blasted office job the next morning, and early at that. He was up for a promotion, at last–after spending more than ten years at the job, slowly working his way up from the mail-room when he was in college. Now he was so close to the top, to a more cushy position, to one that was more powerful in the overall scheme of the company.
So, why on Earth was he following behind his three co-workers toward a nightclub?
“You’ve gotta relax,” one of them said, laughing. Ronald. He was kind enough, and a good worker when he wasn’t hitting on all of the females that worked within the company. Even the CEO’s wife wasn’t safe from the blonde’s shenanigans; everyone, save for her husband, knew of their torrid love affair.
“When was the last time you had a drink, anyway?” one of the other men asked. Eric. He peered over his glasses at his technical boss, a smirk on his face. One of his arms was around the shoulders of his secretary and long time boyfriend, Alan. “C’mon, William. Lighten up. You’re gonna burn yourself out before you’re thirty-five.”
A frown passed over his face as he narrowed his eyes at the other man. William finally released a breath. “One drink.” He paused when the other men cheered happily. Then, as one, they grabbed his arms and pulled him toward the loud, thumping music of the nightclub. In that moment, he knew it would be a folly to try to resist. Whether he wanted to or not, he was going to enter that damned place, with the loud music and the booze-scented air.
It brought up his anxiety, and he felt a bead of sweat roll down his forehead.
Alan reached the door first. He smiled gently as he ushered the other men inside. The bouncer at the door nodded to the smaller man. “Yer normal table’s empty, Humphries,” he rumbled.
“Oh, thanks!” Alan smiled warmly at the bouncer before motioning toward a round table in the corner of the place. It sat away from the dancefloor, closer to the bar portion of the club, and looked much cozier than the tables that sat in the middle of the humming lights nearer to the bar. As the group walked over to it, William found himself relieved to see that it offered a touch of privacy as well.
Still, he could see the people undulating and rocking their bodies on the dancefloor, should he cast his gaze in that direction. The thought of the sweat, the touching, the stench of beer-laden breath…It made him ill. He quickly turned away, facing toward Ronald as the blonde spoke.
“So, gentlemen…what do you wanna drink tonight?” He waved his hand at William. “I think you should pick first, Boss-man. You’ll be runnin’ the company pretty soon! I can drink to that. You’re a slave driver, but you’ve got a heart, somewhere.”
“Does he?” Eric chuckled. “I dunno. I haven’t even seen him smile before.”
Alan slowly shook his head. “Don’t listen to them, William. I’m pretty sure Ron already had a few nips of something before coming out.” He glanced at the other men. “…Eric, you too, hm?”
“Just a sip or two.”
William’s frown grew. “You drove, Slingby. Honestly…” He pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose. “I want your keys.”
“Ah, c’mon, Spears. No way. We’ll get a cab, okay? Need to, anyway. I’m gonna spend the night at Alan’s. Tomorrow’s our anniversary, remember?” Eric pulled his boyfriend close. He sneaked a kiss onto the other man’s forehead before grinning. “Four years. I can’t believe it. We entered the company on the same day, saw each other, and blam!”
Blushing, the shorter man leaned into Eric’s shoulder. “Oh, come on. You’ll embarrass me in front of our friends. Besides, the way I remember it, you met me in the employee’s bathroom and wouldn’t let me leave until I gave you my number. You nearly set my heart off. I thought you were going to kill me.”
At this point, William zoned out. His mind swam away, away from the lights, the thumping bass, the smell of alcohol and bodies. Outside of his thoughts of work, of getting home, of just making it through the evening, he was looking at his hand as it rested on the table. Then, suddenly, something slammed down next to his wrist.
William jumped, blinking up stupidly at Ronald. The blonde grinned, motioning to a rather large looking drink he had just haphazardly put down in front of his boss. “Earth to Spears, come in Spears…got you something nice.”
“What…is it?” Will found himself asking. His mouth and throat felt like sandpaper. How long had he allowed his mind to drift? When he looked up, he noted that both Eric and Alan were gone, though their jackets were still hanging off of the back of their chairs. The small knapsack that Alan kept with him, containing the medicine for his heart, lay on the corner of the table.
“You spaced out again, big time,” Ronald said. The joking was gone from his face as he scooted his seat closer to the other man. “You ‘mm-hmm’ed a rum and Coke. So that’s what I got you. And lime, since you seem to like drinks with lime, if I remember right from Eric’s party last year.”
“Mm.” William touched the glass. Cold, frosted, slightly moist from condensation.
Ronald looked over his boss’ shoulder to the dancefloor. “Oof. There’s a redhead making eyes at you, Spears.” He made a motion.
“Don’t you dare–”
“When was the last time you got laid, Will?” Ronald chuckled into the other man’s ear. “She’s cute. At least have a drink with her.” He glanced up again as the click click of painfully high heels echoed through the seating area. “Hello, mi’lady,” the blonde chuckled. “My friend here, William, well. He spotted you and he’s far too shy–”
“A-dor-able,” the voice came. It sent a shiver, despite himself, up William’s spine. The woman’s voice was deeper than he was used to for a woman, husky and sensual, with just a touch of…danger? Perhaps. If some sort of venomous snake could speak, he imagined it would sound like this woman.
Then he turned to look at her.
The color drained from his face for a moment before the blood rushed straight to his cheeks. William found himself standing, body working on autopilot. He carefully pulled out a chair for the woman as she giggled, mentioning something about the world not having enough gentlemen.
Ronald was right. She was cute–but in that, he was wrong as well. This red-headed creature was beyond cute. She was beautiful. Gorgeous. From the way her all-too high heels pushed her shapely calves into a delightful position, to the way her long hair swayed as she moved.
“I’ll leave the two of you alone,” Ronald grinned. He patted William’s shoulder, giving him a thumb’s up, before disappearing into the thrall of dancing bodies.
Before he could respond with a “Don’t you dare–,” the other man was gone. William felt his heart flutter in his chest as he returned his eyes to the beauty beside him.
She offered her his hand. “My name is Grelle,” she purred. Her eyes were half lidded and seductive; it looked very much like she was used to men falling at her feet–and perhaps into her bed. When she spoke, she pouted just a touch, just enough to accentuate the plumpness of her lips. The lipstick she wore was a deeper shade of crimson than her hair; almost the color of blood. “Your friend said your name is William?”
Then she said his name. William felt weak. He could listen to that voice for the rest of his life and never be sated. He wanted to drink her down. There were thoughts in his mind that he had never felt before in his life. Ideas, day dreams, wants–they pooled in his head until he couldn’t breathe.
He was drowning in her.
Worse yet, he realized that was okay.
Grelle giggled lightly. She put her hand on top of his. “What are you drinking?” she asked. She tossed her hair over one shoulder, showing off her svelte arms and the slender muscle beneath her perfectly pale skin. The dusting of freckles across her arms, chest, and cheeks were like stars in the sky.
His breathing hitched slightly, realizing that he wanted to lay tender kisses along those freckles, along the pale, creamy skin of her shoulders and throat. When she laughed again, he found that he was leaning in toward her. Even the musky, sweet, rose-scent of her was amazing.
“Um,” she tittered. “Are you already drunk, hm?”
“No,” William said as he crashed back into Earth. He sat a bit straighter in his chair. The drink was right at his hand; he pulled the glass to his lips to take a sip. It was heady, sweetened by the sugar of the soda in it. The lime was a good choice, serving to cut the worst of the alcoholic taste with a splash of sour. Ronald had been right. “Not yet.” Liquid courage; he would need it tonight.
He nearly spilled his drink when she placed her hand on his wrist. They looked at each other, eyes locking for a moment. A moment that lasted forever as he lost himself in the depths of the green of her irises. They were beautiful, but beyond that…
They were predatory.
She was dangerous. She was beautiful. She was perfect.
William swallowed hard as he realized their lips were painfully close together. Then they were touching, gently at first, then with more. More. More. More.
He needed her more than he needed air. He needed everything about her, every inch of her. She slipped her hand around his shoulders, pulling herself closer to him. Closer. She was sitting on his lap then. His hands grasped for her, supporting her as he pulled her tighter to himself.
When they broke for air, his glasses were fogged up. Hers had already been placed on the table, and she was grinning at him. “Are…are you trying to seduce me?” he found himself asking.
Grelle giggled. “I think I am doing a rather decent job of it, hm?” she purred before diving down for another kiss.
Across the floor, Alan, Eric, and Ronald watched. The three men were grinning from ear to ear. “Operation: Get Spears Laid–Well. I think it’s a pretty decent success.” They tapped their glasses together in a toast before draining them. The music around them thumped and crashed as the night wore on into the daylight hours.
When William awoke, there was a woman in bed with him, her arm over his chest and some of her hair caressing his side. He put his hand to his head. “Honestly,” he mumbled to himself.
But he was smiling.