Sebastian lounged against a pillar in the underground bar they were currently in, his arms crossed over his chest as he watched the dancers on the dance floor. It was a gyrating mass of bodies, and he’d have joined them if he wasn’t so bothered by seeing Lana out there, dancing suggestively with Izzy and Daniel.
He couldn’t help remembering another dance floor, at another bar, in another city, just over a year ago.
Lana had just turned 21, and he’d insisted they go to Atlantic City to play a game of 21 as a means of celebration. Izzy, the ever-peppy roommate, had jumped at the idea. He hadn’t planned for her to come along, but Lana seemed to only consider it when Izzy insisted they all go. Lana had just broken up with her latest boyfriend – Kyle or something – and she could use some cheering up.
He’d let her out of her sight for what seemed like seconds, and by the time he found the girls again, Lana was beyond tipsy. She was a lightweight, and it didn’t take much for her to start swaying on her feet. He’d wanted to get her back to her suite to sleep it off, but Izzy had other ideas and suddenly they were in a club, dancing provocatively. Lana was laughing, having the time of her life, it seemed, and he’d started to think this might just have been what she needed to take her mind off things.
Then she’d wrapped her arms around his neck and swayed to the music when a slow song came on. He’d held her lightly, his hands resting on the small of her back, the intimacy of the dance unfamiliar when it came to the two of them. She rested her head on his chest and he held on a little tighter.
He’d felt something stir in his chest that night, old feelings resurfacing. He’d always cared about her, had always been protective of her, but he’d buried any feelings that weren’t strictly friendly. The dance had finished and Lana had slipped away from him. The next time he saw her, she was in another guy’s arms. Jerk-face Jerry’s arms, to be specific.
Sebastian shook himself out of his reveries. Lana was his best friend, and that was worth more than anything. His gaze refocused on the dance floor, and when he didn’t see Lana anymore, he looked around, his senses kicking into high gear. He spotted Izzy over at the bar and headed over.
“Hey, Grouchy,” Izzy said as he walked up to her. “Why aren’t you out shaking your groove thing?”
Sebastian ignored her attempt at wittiness. “I think you and Lala are doing enough of that for all of us. You see where she went?”
“Dancing,” Izzy shrugged. “Can’t tear Lanie away from the dance floor once you get her out there, you know. Speaking of… have you seen Jean-Luc?” Izzy stirred her drink and rose up on her tippy-toes to get a lay of the land. “I lost him in the crowd.”
“Lucky guy,” Sebastian muttered. “Hey, you left Lala to dance by herself? What kind of friend are you?” he glared at the curly blonde.
“The best,” Izzy drawled, eyes scanning the room, “She’s not alone, she’s with Daniel.”
“Who, the surfer?” Sebastian scoffed. “As if Lala would be caught dead with a…” he swallowed his words – and his drink – as he caught sight of Lana wrapping her arms around Daniel’s broad neck as the dance music slowed considerably. The surfer didn’t waste the opportunity to settle his hands on the small of her back.
“You were saying?” Izzy raised her eyebrows knowingly at Sebastian before she apparently spotted Jean-Luc across the room and hurriedly made her way over to him.
“Well, you look grumpy,” a voice drawled in Sebastian’s ear and he turned to find Sarah standing beside him, watching the scene on the dance floor play out.