By: S. C. Stephens

Evan interpreted her question about our missing bandmates and raised four fingers. “They’re on their way.”

Jenny’s smile turned playful as she reached out and scratched Evan’s head. He closed his eyes and started thumping his leg on the floor like a dog getting its belly rubbed. Jenny giggled, and her eyes lit up in a way that was exceedingly attractive. I liked Jenny. She had a good heart, and she never openly judged me for the promiscuous nature of my life.

I’d discovered sex at a really young age, completely by happenstance, and like music, it had touched a nerve with me. I still craved that feeling, that closeness, and I sought it out as often as I could. I wasn’t picky about who I slept with—older, younger, attractive, homely, mothers, girlfriends, wives. Who they were didn’t matter to me, I only cared that they were interested. That probably wasn’t the best thing to admit, but it was the truth. Sex was a release for me. It made me feel like a part of something bigger than myself, made me feel connected to the world around me. And I needed to feel that way. My life was full of empty spaces.

I’d tried pretty hard to date Jenny when she’d first started working here, but she’d point-blank turned me down. She said she didn’t want to be anybody’s fling. She hadn’t turned away from our friendship though, and that meant a lot to me. I wouldn’t say no if she changed her mind and wanted to go a round or two, but I wasn’t going to push it again. I liked where we were, even if it wasn’t sexual.

As Jenny started walking away, I called out, “I’ll take a burger too! With bacon!” She lifted her thumb in the air, so I knew she’d heard me.

As I shifted my eyes from Jenny’s backside, Evan poked me in the ribs. “Hey, Kell,” he asked, “what do you think about Brooke? I was thinking about asking her to go out with me. I don’t know, but I think she could be the one, man. I mean, have you seen the dimples on her?”

Evan grinned and I couldn’t help but smile at him. “Yeah, I think she’s great. Go for it.” Evan found a new “one” every other month, it seemed. Might as well give it a go with Brooke. It could be the best month and a half of his life. My input given, I returned my feet to the table and waited for my food, my drink, and the rest of my bandmates to arrive.

“Oh my God. You’re Kellan Kyle…”

I turned at hearing my name. Thanks to my occupation, I got recognized from time to time, especially here at the bar. At the table across from me, a petite young woman with hair so blond it was almost silver was staring my way. Framed in thick black mascara, the girl’s irises were a turquoise shade of blue, like calm tropical water. There was no denying she was cute, and she seemed to know who I was, so I gave her a genuinely warm smile as I responded to her statement.

“At your service,” I said, tipping a hat I wasn’t wearing. She giggled, and the sound was oddly innocent, considering how she was eyeing me. The truth was plain though; this girl was no angel. Neither was I, so already we were a good match.

She asked if she could sit at my table and I shrugged. Sure, why not. After she pulled up a chair, she gushed, “I saw you play a couple of weeks ago in Pioneer Square.” Her hand came up and her fingers touched my chest, then trailed down my stomach. “You…were amazing.”

My lips parted as I stared her down, and her eyes tracked the movement. Just that brief touch sparked something in me…desire, longing. I wasn’t sure why, but there was something about human touch that spoke to my soul. A clap on the back from a friend could completely alter my mood, while a girl running her hand up my thigh could instantly put me in the mood. It was a potent and unexplainable connection that I shared with people when they crossed into my personal space, whether they realized the significance of it or not. And right now, this strange woman caressing me was opening me up to something wanton and lustful.

I was putty in her hands right now. I’d do anything…all she needed to do was ask. So ask, Ms. Ocean Eyes, and I’ll be anything you want me to be.

And at the end of the night, she finally did ask, in a roundabout way. “How about we go to your place for a drink? Where do you live?”