My phone sat quietly in my pocket all day. It was burning a hole in it. I wanted to keep checking it for missed calls or texts, but I knew it was quiet. I hadn’t heard it all day. So now it sat in my desk drawer with my keys while I did my thing on New Year’s eve. It was one of our biggest parties. We had three live bands scheduled to play tonight. We were well stocked. I would be useful wherever Finn or Drew needed me. It was all hands on deck tonight.
When we opened I was working the bar. It was like watching a flood break a dam when Mike opened the door clicking furiously to keep up with the count of people inside. The music had felt loud until the drone of people started to fill the club’s atmosphere. Zion always felt wrong without people in it. The loud music became home. The black lights and the strobes going off around others. The dance floor looked sad without all the dancing
Finn buzzed me on the walkie and I finished my last order before stepping aside and pulling another into my place so I could handle whatever it was Finn needed.
Inside the security booth it was quiet compared to the club floor. He only nodded to the screen outside. In line and talking with Mike stood pretty boy. He stood in the corner of the velvet lines used to keep peopl from the door unless they were expressly let in. Mike waved another couple ahead of Angel as they continued their conversation. Finn interrupted my staring with a whisper, “He’s been keeping Mike company since opening.”
Was he waiting outside for an invitation? What the fuck was he doing? Why didn’t he come in. I watched the screen he didn’t look like he was flirting with Mike. His hands were shoved in his coat pocket and his collar of his coat was pulled up around his ears. He was sans hat and I idley wondered if he had showered before standing out in the cold. I left the security booth with the express purpose of seeing what Angel was doing, but I took three steps towards the door before a hand was on my arm. “Zane?”
I turned to see who was touching me and stopped cold. My heart fell to the floor and I wanted to punch that pretty little face. But I smiled at Very. “Veronica. What can I do for you?”
“You work here?” She asked.
“I own it.” I said with a bright confident smile even though I felt like running away. All thoughts of seeing my pretty boy inside where it was warm had fled and the girl who was my first everything smiled brightly back at me.
“Oh, wow.” She took my arm and craddled her hand in the crook of my elbow. “Show me around.”
I pulled my arm from her grasp and frowned, “Where’s Tristan?”
Very waved her slender hand, “Oh we broke up in college. I’ve not seen him since freshman year.”
Fuck! They ruined my life for what a tryst? Anger brewed in my blood and I wanted to go off. But I smiled and shifted my feet and polietly asked, “You here with anyone?”
A girl in tight red leather and a santa hat stopped next to us and handed me a beer. “Hey Zane,” she smiled and nodded behind me. “He says you look like you could use a cold one.”
I turned to look behind me and I saw pretty boy watching the dance floor sitting at a table. I looked at the label while I turned back to Very with a grin.
Very asked, “Who’s that from? Do you have an admirer?” She grinned playfully at me. It was almost like the good ole days where she was my best friend. But I’d changed since she last saw me. I wasn’t that naive boy who’d fallen in love with her.
I shook my head, “No, just someone who knows I wanted out of this conversation.” I smiled at Very and handed her a card. “Free drink, on the house. Enjoy your New Year’s Eve, Veronica.”
I took my leave of her as she stared at me open jawed. I had stunned her with my abrupt nature. And if she kept watching I was about to stun her again as I sat the beer down on the table in front of Angel. He looked up at me as I stepped in front of him and straddles his long legs as they stuck out into the aisle to easily watch the dancers. He didn’t smile at me, but he couldn’t help bitting that bottom lip. His habit was going to drown me. I leaned forward putting both hands on the arms of his chair trapping him between my arms and whispered into his ear, “What do you want Angel?”
“Just you.” He spoke back over the music.
“Why did you come here?”
“To see you. Even if it was to say good-bye.” His voice sounded sad and lonely. Like he was losing a friend and my heart wanted to crumble at that pain. Why would anyone want to hurt him? Why did I hurt him? I sighed.
“Why did you send me a beer?”
“Didn’t Ana tell you?”
I chuckled. “She did. I wanted to hear you say it.”
“You looked like you could use a cold one. That girl was making you tense.”
“That girl broke my heart several times over.”
Angel’s voice was even sadder. “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be.” I stood up and moved so I only had one of his legs between mine so I could stand closer to him. He looked up at me and I saw hope in his eyes. “I’m not what you want, why do you keep coming back?”
“What do I want, Zane?”
“You want a top, a dominant, a Dom. Someone to tell you what to do.”
He shook his head. “I want you. However you come. Just because it’s my past doesn’t mean it’s my future. If you think that you need to go chase after that girl who broke your heart and mend it the best you can.”
I watched as the hope had turned to anger in his eyes. The desire was gone. The casual bitten lip had been replaced by a tight jaw. His fingers were white where he gripped the edge of the arm chair. He stood up abruptly pushing me away a little as he did but his body slide along mine and I couldn’t help the warmth in my body as he stood in front of me staring me in the face with defiant eyes. He’d come to say good-bye. He’d come hoping for something and I was turning that hope to shit again. Fuck!
We stared into each other’s eyes for a few moments before he tried to step around me but I put my hand on his chest and he stopped. The set of his jaw said he was upset. “Why did you tell me about Ant? If you didn’t want me to be your … whatever.” I didn’t want to say it. I wasn’t going to be that no matter what.
He looked over at me his jaw clenched and I was afraid he was going to walk away forever. But he just looked at me. “He’s one of the men who fuck me just because I’m pretty. He can have his way with me and pretend he doesn’t like men. I told you so you’d hear it from me instead of from some gossip at the gym or Fiore. I think there was a part of me that wanted you to be angry at him for pushing himself on me even though in the past I’d have said yes. I could have said nothing. Let him treat me like shit. It’s how I feel now anyway, so maybe I should have just let him fuck me like a whore.”
Angel stepped around me and I stood there unsure of what to say. But if I let him go now, it was done. “You aren’t a whore.” I spun on my heels and grabbed his arm. “Even if I’ve accused you of similar behind your back.”
He looked at me with that chocolate stare and then yanked his arm free. His voice was quiet as he spat out, “I’m sure you don’t want to be seen with a whore.”
Fuck! My mouth just keeps getting me in deeper. He stalked away from me and I didn’t catch him until he was in the coat room. I grabbed him by the the arm and dragged him down the hallway leading to the offices upstairs. The noise from the club was gone and all I could hear was our heavy breathing and my heart in my ears.
I let his arm go in my office. He stared at me with more definace than I’d seen on his face when he and his father had gotten into it. “Look. I say shit I don’t mean when I’m afraid. Self sabotage. Whatever. It’s who I am.”
His features soften. “What are you afraid of?”
I scrubbed my fingers through my hair and started pacing. Two steps before I reached the wall and three back towards the door. Angel watched me walk back and forth twice before he moved for the door to leave. I hurried to stop him closing the door and locking it before he reached the exit. “Don’t go. Let me say it.”
He stood at the door waiting expectantly. I could feel the tension in the air. “I’m falling fucking in love with you and it scares the shit out of me.” I blurted out. Fuck! Why did I say that? I shoved my hands into my hair and pulled, closing my eyes for a moment. I opened my eyes to find Angel watching me with a faint smile lining his lips – his soft, warm, kissable lips. “Don’t suppose we can we forget I just said that?” I asked wryly.
Without warning Angel’s hand was on my shirt pulling me towards him. He whispered, “Our little secret, ” before his lips pressed hungrily against mine.