Taken by Bikers(3)

By: Meg Jackson

“No change,” he said with a smile. The bartender took the twenty, rolled her eyes, and walked back to the middle of the bar. She must have said something, because all eyes were on us again and the men at the bar were smirking.

“Leave a good tip now, good service later,” Brian explained to me. “Play pool, babe?” I didn’t want to play pool at all, but I figured it couldn’t be any worse than just sitting around. I took a big drink of my whiskey ginger, actually grateful that Brian had ordered me something strong. I thought I probably needed a little liquid courage to get through this ordeal.

I let Brian help me off the stool and we walked to a pool table in the corner that was open. Brian put money in the machine and set up the game. I stood with my pool cue, watching everything in the bar. It wasn’t really so much different than being at one of the college bars; people just talking and messing around, except that these were dirty bikers, not cozy Ivy leaguers from Brown. I even kind of liked the old fashioned music, and the smell had stopped bothering me. As I looked around, I noticed that a lot of the men had their eyes on me. It made me nervous, but it was also a little exciting.

I wasn’t very good at pool, and I’m still not very good. Brian sunk four balls in his first turn. I guess I was drinking faster than I thought I was, because by the time he finally missed my drink was empty.

“One more, babe?” Brian asked, grabbing my empty cup. I could feel the liquor taking effect, and normally would have declined, but it was early and it really took a lot of my nervousness away, so I nodded. Brian went back to the bar and I studied the pool table, trying to figure out which ball to shoot for.

“6 in the left pocket,” came a low voice from next to me. I jumped and looked over. Somehow, without my noticing, I had attracted company in the form of a big, muscular, older man with a black beard. He was probably in his late 30’s and he had a scar down the side of his face. He was huge, but not fat, just bulky. He had long, dark hair that was tied up in a bun and blue eyes.

For a moment I was speechless out of pure surprise, and then I was speechless because of how attractive he was. I’d never felt attracted to anyone so much older than me, and certainly not to anyone so…rough. His clothes were dirty, stained with dirt and mud, and his face looked like it was etched with stories of a long, troubled life. The scar looked old, and it somehow made his face look distinguished instead of repulsive. Really it was his eyes, though. They were crystal clear and the way they felt on me was like he was seeing my whole life, down to my deepest secrets.

He was smirking slightly, and the lopsided grin was friendly and inviting. His dark beard was shorter, giving his face just a hint of mystery. I tried to grin back at him but my heart was pounding in my chest and I’m sure it came out looking sheepish and silly. I blushed and grabbed my ponytail, wanting to do something with my hand so that I wasn’t just standing there stupidly.

My mind raced; what did I say back? Thanks? Shouldn’t I say something smarter? Was I supposed to say anything at all? Just as I opened my mouth to speak, Brian returned with another whiskey ginger. I grabbed it and took a sip, still looking at the big man.

“Hey,” Brian said, seeming a little nervous.

“Just saying she should go for the 6 in the left pocket. Think so?” the man asked Brian, half grin still on his face. Brian looked down at the table, taking a long sip of his drink.

“Yeah, that’d be good shot, that’s what I’d do, for sure, yeah,” Brian said, speaking too quickly. We all stood around for another moment in awkward silence. The liquor must really have gone to my head, because I developed a bit of courage and decided to break the tension.

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