The bar was packed with bustling drunkards, dancing and grinding against strangers they met just now. Just watching them having the time of their lives makes me feel a little bit green with envy. I used to be like them, carefree and with no responsibilities binding around their ankles.
Now, here I am, looking at them behind the bar counter in great jealousy. However, while sitting on the stool, taking away my attention from the crowd and wiping the things I used in serving my customers, a heavy feeling settles on my face. I lift my gaze once more into the crowd, searching for a specific pair of eyes that are focused in my direction, yet I found none.
What the hell?
“One more tequila!”
My soul almost jumped out of my skin, breaking the trance I was deeply trapped in soon as the shot glass smacked against the marble countertop, ricocheting over the blasting noise in the background.
“Come on you plodding, girl! Give me one more!” Drunkenly and impatiently, the large man with thickly tattooed arms garbled his words while shoving the glass further towards the edge.
My eyes shot wide, abandoning what I was doing and jumping to my feet, catching the glass before it falls off and glared at the man. Internally cursed him, reminding myself as well that I can’t banter with the customers. With a deep regulated intake of breath, I ignored his sneering and took a bottle of tequila, poured it into the glass, and slide it back into him.
“Hundred and ten dollars in total sir,” I shouted over the blasting loud music, hoping that he would hear me. But he just ignored me and snatched the last shot of tequila I served him and chugged down in one, stuffing the slice of lemon dipped in salt into his mouth.
“I ain’t paying this shit! You’re overpricing!” He spat angrily and left, flicking off his middle finger without paying.
What the fuck?
“Hey! You have to pay!”
I quickly sprinted over the counter, not thinking of going around the bar island since it will only take more time and give the fucking son of a bitch a chance to escape us. My pinky toe hit the stool and I almost tripped and fell, fortunately, I manage to find my balance and sweep my gaze through the throng of people. However, I lost sight of him.
“Damn it!” Cursing aloud, I ignored the pain stubbing on my toe.
“Kai, what’s going on?” Shereen, my work mate called me from behind and I responded to her without looking, “We’ve got a dasher!” Practically running straight through the oblivious crowd, following the bastard.
I weaved through the sea of bodies, pushing my way with very much struggle.
Just as I came through the less crowded area, I saw the tattooed man darting toward the door.
“Stop him!” I shouted to the bouncers standing right next to the exit, but my voice drowned over the loud music and they seemed pretty busy having their fill of watching the half-naked women dancing in front of them.
Aren’t they supposed to be working? I groaned in annoyance, tugging the strings on my apron haphazardly and marching through the door where I saw the dasher exited. I need to find him or else I’m going to be the one paying for all those drinks. Hundred ten dollars were too much than I can afford. I am not even sure if I still have extra for my salary to even buy myself a decent salad for lunch.
The cold crisp air greeted me soon as I stepped outside. All I could see was the queue of cars lined up at the parking lot and a few people staggering their way into their vehicles. Yet, the tattooed man was nowhere in sight.
“Damn!” In a fit of rage, I stomped my foot and smacked the palm of my hand into my own face. Jerome will definitely deduct it from my pay this cut-off. It’ll be listed for my inventory.
With my shoulders sagged in frustration, I turn on my heels and was about to go back inside, however, I wasn’t able to do so when a man suddenly blocks my way.
“You’re looking for him, miss?”
I gape at him. My heart skipped a beat. His presence, it’s quite familiar. However, what caught my attention was the groaning man he held by the collar. Blood was dripping at the corner of his lips, awkwardly standing while slurring words I barely understand.
“Let me go…you fucking bastard! I ain’t paying shit!”
It was the tattooed dasher. For a burly man, he seems thin compared to the strange man that subdued him. I don’t know if I am to be scared or amazed how he single-handedly managed to get him faster than any of our bouncers. The lighting outside the bar was dim, save for the flickering led lights above our heads.
Yet, it was enough for me to make out of his appearance.
Thick eyebrows affixed on his artist’s face, a perfectly chiseled jawline with stubborn stubbles growing after a few days from shaving. I couldn’t tell what color his eyes were, but I know it wasn’t dark. A shade of blue, or green perhaps, but the flickering light wasn’t of any help figuring them out.
He’s damn hot and sexy. But there’s no way in hell I’m telling him that. He’s a total stranger. A handsome but a total wacko might be.
“Yes…” My tongue faltered, my throat drying up as my gaze wander down to the fitted white shirt he wore, sculpting what was underneath and his pair of rugged jeans before I raked my eyes back to his face.
“Yes. He’s a dasher.”
Did I just check him out? Heck, I did, and I wanted to smack bludgeon myself for it. Come on, Kai. You work in a fucking bar. Surely you’ve seen a lot better than him.
No, I didn’t.
Great now, I am the wacko.
I wanted to play it subtly, but the little smirk on his lips tells me he already caught me red-handed and could see right through my thoughts, yet said nothing about it. My cheeks heated and I bite down my lower lips hard to divert my attention to the tattooed man.
“I already called the police. He’ll sober up once inside the jail,” says the handsome stranger, shoving his hands into the tattooed man’s pocket and pulling out some folded paper bills, handing them to me without checking how much it was. “Here’s what he owes you.”
Begrudgingly, I took it and counted the right amount I was owed and then returned the excess. “The drinks were only hundred ten dollars, sir.”
“Keep the change for the trouble.” He winks, letting the man go in one shove, dropping him to roll into the graveled ground and groan in pain. I fought the wince to grace on my face, suddenly feeling ashamed for what he did, but he kind of deserved it.
I turn my attention to the stranger that helped me and smiled at him. Really, a genuine smile. “Thank you.”
Something flashes in his gaze. I don’t know what it was but for a brief moment, his jaw clenched and the ball on his throat bobs up and down. Is he thirsty or something?
“Be safe, little lavender.” He responded in a low gruff tone and I immediately went still for a moment when he reach for my shoulder.
My knees locked but I was preparing myself to bolt and run as fast as I could if he dare do something unwanted. But then, he only hooks his index on at the front yoke of my blouse, fixing it up into my shoulders before he walks past me with his long strides. Leaving me a bit perplexed as to what just happened.
Little lavender? What the heck—oh. Oh no. Oh, God.
I completely forgot I took off my apron carelessly, and my blouse slid a little bit over my shoulder, revealing the lavender strap of my bra. Molten heat of embarrassment accumulated in my cheeks, but I quickly spun around, calling him.
“Wait, may I know your…” I trailed off upon seeing nothing. He was already gone.
A phantom black BMW car revved up and darted into the road. The headlights blink twice before speeding up.
It was him.
I didn’t even get the chance to know his name.