To reach the inner’s beauty core one should first unravel the many protecting layers
Chapter 1: The Last Time
My vision of the sea of people dancing around me to the deafening, loud music is getting obscure; they all blend into one amorphous cluster.
Please, can someone please open a window. I can’t breathe. I need to breathe!
I am suffocating and these lights, these flickering lights, are blinding. Repeatedly blinking I try to even my sight. I brush back my long, blonde waves that had clang to my forehead. Air, I need air!
Pushing my way, I squeeze through the frenetic moving mass of bodies, bumping into sweaty body parts not really caring. I need to get out of here.
With my rear against the cemented cold wall I bend down to rest my hands on my knees and inhale the first lungful of compulsory, desired, cardinal breath of the night’s cool breeze.
You are fine now, Hales. Calm down.
Straightening, my head feels dizzy from the haste of my movement, or is it due to the vast amount of alcohol flowing in my bloodstream? Leaning my back against the wall I take in the air again, filling my lungs to full capacity, and slowly with long, warm whistle-like breaths, exhale, letting it gradually out.
How much have I had to drink so far? I am even not competent enough to do the math in my current state. How stupid was I to agree to Tasha’s juvenile challenge, "who can consume more Mojitos?" I shake my head, upset at my callow behavior.
I am okay now, everything is fine.
“Rough night?” The voice comes from my left, startling me. As I look for the source, my eyes fall upon a dangerously hot, tall and dark Latino with puffed biceps under a tight grey tee. He stands next to me on one leg, leaning back against the wall, bringing a burning cigarette to his flirtatious smirk as he takes his time sizing me up, ending on my somewhat glassy brown eyes.
“You can say that.” I smile at him, checking him head to toe just as he does me, and I end up liking what I see. Without any prior reasonable urge I giggle, not sure why or what about. My senses are not fully aligned with the current. It seems as though my mental clarity has temporarily faded along with the slightest sensibility I might have had before.
The guy’s eyebrows flash as he bites his lower lip, eyeing me all ready to attack like I am some easy prey. “Can I help make your night better?”
Game on, hot stuff. “I am pretty positive you could,” I say, “but I am not sure I want you to.” I flush a seductive grin at him, ending it with a slow motion of my tongue over my lips. Under his piercing stare, I push myself to stand. My legs feel wobbly, and it takes me a moment to regain stability. As I do, I sashay slowly, very conscious of my body’s enticing sway as I make my way back to the club. With one foot in I turn back to send yet another smile to the sex on legs who regards me with a lavish grin and a wink.
Got you. I beam to myself.
“There you are!” Tasha yells over the loud music, working her provocative dance moves next to Ian who counters her with his own sensual motions.
Had I not known Ian’s preference was for buffed, full of testosterone, alpha males I would assume they’d be all over each other right there, in the middle of the hectic dance floor.
“Come join us, gorgeous.” Ian extends his lean, toned arm to let me in between them. I squeeze in, hugged to an almost asphyxia amid my two best friends both loudly singing in my ears about being young and setting the world on fire.
I titter in response, synchronizing my moves to mirror theirs and the three of us dance energetically; our spirits elated, we occasionally caress or kiss each other with friendly pecks, giving the crowd a free threesome show.
“What’s the score?” Tasha asks in a high-pitched voice, grinning at us. Dancing to the music, deliberately inclining her chest forward, pelvis teasing in round motions. Her navy blue dress sways around her curves adding to her overall alluring act.
“Eight to six. Hales is lingering behind.” Ian advises, his face illuminated under the multicolored, flickering lights.
Tasha raises an impeccably trimmed eyebrow at us and declares, “Replenishment time friends,” then turns her face to me.
“You are behind, Missy. Let’s do something about it.” Her lips curve up, challenging.
I shake my head in playful disapproval as we leave the dance floor to move toward the bar, holding our hands together in a human chain passing through the thick smoke layer.
“I’m not sure I’m capable of drinking anymore,” I say. They both regard me, mischievously amused.
“It is not a matter of your capability to drink, it’s a matter of you loosing. There is a lot at stake,” Tasha utters dryly, twisting her mouth.
I feign a frown at them both while suppressing a smile, then turn to the bartender. Wow, steady Hales. Everything around me spins for what seems forever. I hold the bar and take a deep breath.
“Let’s find love.” I hear Tasha telling Ian over the music, Ian laughs.
I snort and turn my head to send her a sneering glance, she smirks back.
“It’s a myth, no such thing exists.” She rolls her eyes at me and shakes her head. “Myth,” I mouth and shift back, resuming my attempt to order yet another round of drinks.
“A shot of vodka from the gentleman across the bar.” The inhumanely tall and broad, blond bartender hands me a small, frozen shot glass preventing me from executing my original plan.
As I turn my gaze in the direction he gestures, my eyes meet the guy from outside. He raises a matching glass my way from the other end of the bar. Throwing it back, he keeps his eyes steady on mine.
I copy his action, sending him an inviting grin while running a hand through my hair. This is way too easy.
“Back to your old habits, are you?” Tasha whispers in my ear, admiring my flirting techniques. Not leaving his gaze, I lean back a little to whisper next to her ear, “just for tonight.”
“Are you certain, Hayley? I thought you quit that BS. You know how it makes you feel.” Cynicism left her voice, replaced by concern.
“I am fine.” I declare. Am I? Or is it the alcohol boldly talking on my behalf?
She touches my hand and looks sternly at me, assessing my state. I nod reassuringly and leave both Ian and Tasha toward where the latter segment of my night stands.
“Ben,” he extends a hand for a shake as I reach his side.
I don’t really care Ben, and your name is pointless to what I have in mind.
I never waste precious mental space on random names preservation.
I just take the palm of his hand in mine, deliberately disregarding his aim for a proper introduction, leading us toward the exit.
He follows with no hesitation though from the corner of my eyes I can see his astounded expression.
“Taxi?” he asks swallowing hard, seeming suddenly hesitant.
Come on, don’t pussy out on me now. That is such a turn off.
Before I can get further irritated by his sudden setback he opens a yellow cab door for me to get in. Following me inside he murmurs an address to the driver.
As our taxi melds with the flowing swarm of cars I pull him toward me, he eagerly cooperates and claims my mouth possessively; his hand too easily slides under my loose silver halter top reaching my bare breast.
The bright lights coming from the cars passing our vehicle as it maneuvers through the chaotic busy night roads reach me through my closed eyelids, at once mentally sobering me up.
“Stop,” I say abruptly, feeling all of a sudden terribly nauseated by his proximity, his touch, his smell, his silky tongue and most of all by myself. He keeps going.
“Stop now and let go of me,” I raise my voice and push him away vehemently with my entire body. He forces himself against me, reluctant to cease.
“Get away from me, get the fuck off me. I am going to be sick, get away,” I yell; my voice softens as I say the last fragment. My throat swelling up in repulsion.
He halts at once all flushed, letting me go, respiring, cursing under his breath.
“And you,” I snap loudly at the awe stricken driver. “Please stop the god damn car.”
With the car slowly rolling to a stop, I jerk the door open and leap out, slamming it hard back. Standing in the late evening pavement, I am shaken, trying to recuperate my equilibrium.
My nausea is gone but the terrible feeling, the disgust with myself, is now entrenched. I am so grateful for the next empty cab to appear as quickly as it does.
“Which number was it, Miss?” the Middle Eastern driver enquires with a heavy accent about the address I just gave him.
“Seven, it is the three story grey building at the end of the street,” I gust out the words. Hugging my bent legs I rock slowly back and forth, feeling empty and utterly sickened with myself.
Why, Hales? Why again? Why did you have to go and do that? You know you are not up to it; it doesn’t work for you anymore. Your long, purely physical emotions aside era is R.I.P.”