Chapter Forty-Four

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The nightclub, Lush, is located in downtown Manhattan. The streets are packed full of people hopping from one club to the next. I blend in with girls with full-makeup and short dresses, and I hate it. The men we pass on the way down the block to the club whistle at me, and I have to hold Blue back from beating every single one of them into the ground for so much as looking at me. I made mistake dressing like this tonight. This reminds me no one would even breathe on me if I'd worn a simple dress and a cardigan.

Blue takes us to the bouncer at the front of the line, upsetting everyone we pass. I give apologetic smiles and hang my head low. "Blue—I'm part of the band performing tonight," he says and the bouncer flips through his clipboard before lifting the black velvet rope and letting us in. Not even a second later, I'm pulled into the glorious world of neon flashing lights, sweaty bodies, and terrible electronic music. No wonder Blue's band is playing tonight, to revive the music blasting through the surround speakers.

"We go on in half an hour and everyone is here, except Finn. He's almost here, but we're having drinks while we wait," Blue informs and leads me through the dancing crowd to the illuminated bar. "One whiskey flat and a water," he tells the bartender as I sit on an empty bar stool. I ignore the lustful stare of the man next to me and keep eye-contact from Blue to distract him from the disgusting man. I wonder if he'd still look at me this way if I were to announce I'm underage.

"Make that water a Sex on the Beach, please," I correct him.

Blue flashes him a fake ID and, perhaps assuming a 'twenty-three-year-old' man wouldn't be dating a nine-teen year old girl, the man doesn't ask for mine. He nods and starts making our drinks.

Blue smiles and leans in my ear to whisper, "If you're so obsessed with the drink, maybe we should make it a reality."

I flush and hold my finished drink to my lips. "Maybe we should... but for now I'm going to enjoy the drink version."

Blue smirks and accepts his drink, throwing down twenty-dollar bill on the bar. He looks dangerously sexy under the strobe lights. I push his curly hair back off his forehead and he playfully bites down on my palm. I giggle and pull away, finishing off my tall drink.

"Can I have another?" I ask him.

"If you think you can handle it."

"Of course, I can handle it." I'm lying to myself; two or three more drinks in me would result in utter chaos. I order another drink and dig through my purse for my wallet, but his hand around my wrist stops me.

"I've got it," he says.

"No, I'll pay for it, you already paid for the first one." I won't let him pay for my drinks all night. The first one alone was twelve dollars, and I brought a decent amount of money to pay for myself and even him.

"I said I've got it," he repeats. "Can you open up a tab? I have a feeling two drinks won't satisfy her." He's speaking to the bartender who types on a small monitor, but is staring at me, watching me flush all the way down to my chest.

"Thank you, but the next time we go out I am paying," I tell him and sip my second drink. I moan at the fruity cocktail, and he squeezes my thigh. I arch an eyebrow and bite on my lip.

"We'll see about that..."

Oh my. "Let's go dance," I blurt.

"I don't dance." He shakes his head.

"You are tonight, come on. Your gigs take an hour or more, and I want to spend time with you before you go on." I pout, but he doesn't cave in immediately. I can convince him, though. I slurp down the rest of my drink and drag him into the crowd. He lets me pull him. But not too far in. It seems the father in you go, the dirtier and sleazier the men are. I put my hands on his shoulders and start swaying to the slow beat of the music. It has an older sound and pretty guitar riffs I know he can appreciate.

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