The tequila burns going down my throat, making me grimace. I quickly bite the lemon to quell the taste in my mouth. “Aargh… that’s just horrible Cindy,“ I shout to my friend, battling to be heard over Prodigy’s ‘Breathe’ blaring from the speakers. Cindy signals the bartender for another round. “No way, Cindy. Tequila just goes to my head. It makes me do stupid things.” Cindy grins broadly, eyes twinkling with wicked humor. “That’s the idea Kim. Fucking live a little for once.” I roll my eyes at her but still agree to do another tequila shot. “Okay, but only one more.” The bartender pours another set of shots and we prepare ourselves with salt and lemon. I exhale before licking the salt off my hand, downing the dreaded liquor and once again biting down into a slice off lemon. Not too bad this time. I feel the tingling warmth spreading through my chest. But, when Cindy signals the bartender again, I grab her arm and pull her away. She just laughs at me. “You’ve become such a wuss.” “Yeah, yeah whatever. Let’s dance, that’s the only reason I’m here.” “Really?” Cindy raises her eyebrows. “I know how horny you get when you’re drunk.” I laugh, shaking my head. “Is that your plan? To get me drunk and get me hooked up with one of these vampire wannabes?” I indicate all the leather and velvet-wearing goths around us. “Come on, you need to start somewhere. How long has it been? You’ve been hiding away ever since Wanker left.” “Walter,” I automatically correct her. “Walter, Wanker, whatever. Good riddance anyway. He didn’t treat you right.” I don’t disagree with her. Walter didn’t treat me right and he was always making excuses for arriving late or even missing dates completely. Then one day he just stopped returning my phone calls. He didn’t even have the guts to break up with me face-to-face. I had to hear from someone who’d spotted him with another girl. Because of these fleeting thoughts, a familiar feeling of humiliation and broken trust returns. Suddenly, my shoulders slump and I’m not in the mood to dance. “Fuck, I’m sorry Kim. I should not have mentioned that asswipe.” I sigh. “No, I’m sorry Cindy. I’m not really in a party mood tonight.” “Come on, just stay a little while. At least till Cara comes. She’s going to join us after her shift ends. You can’t let him control you like that. He’s not worth it, Kim. Let’s dance and just forget all about it.” I listen and consider for a few moments. ”Yeah, you’re right. I’ll stay till Ankara escort Cara comes at least. Maybe I’ll get into it while we dance.“ I force a smile. I don’t know if I convince Cindy but she acts as though nothing is amiss as we head to the crowded dance floor. Even though the music is great, old school nu metal, with some of my all-time favorites playing, it’s still not enough to get me into the festive mood again. I feel overwhelmed by all the people and, with my non-gothic outfit, a bit of a misfit in this crowd. When I spot Cara approaching us, I say goodbye to Cindy. I see the disappointment in her eyes, but I will only ruin the mood if I stay. They’re better off without me tonight. Waiting for the attendant to get my coat, I breathe easier again. It will be good to just go home. “Leaving already?” a deep velvety voice says from behind me. It’s a voice that feels like it’s sliding down my body, penetrating my thoughts. A shiver runs through me, goosebumps appear on my skin. How can a voice have such an effect? I turn and come face-to-face with the definition of rakishly handsome. Blue piercing eyes, dark slicked-back hair, strong jaw, a smile playing across a pair of full lips. The man wears pinstriped suit pants, a white shirt with onyx cuff links, a matching tie and vest. He’s very dapper, but with an edge I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s like he has barely-contained violence just beneath the surface, looking very much like a 1930s mobster. Strangely enough, I don’t feel afraid even though he exudes danger. Somehow, I know he doesn’t mean me any real harm, although I’m sure he is capable of it. Suddenly I realize that I haven’t answered his question. Instead I have been staring at him, mouth open, devouring him with my eyes. Embarrassed, I swallow and stammer my less-than-intelligent response, “Yes, I was leaving.” “Hmm, the club was not to your liking maybe?” He cocks his head to the side pursing his lips. I see the challenge in his eyes. I try to explain. “Well, I’m sure it’s great if you’re into that sort of thing.” “That sort of thing?” “Erh, the whole vampire dress-up thing. It’s not really my scene as you can tell,” I say indicating my non-gothic appearance: a plain but finely cut top, short A-line skirt and old, worn purple docs that I just cannot throw away. He laughs heartily. It changes his appearance, making him look younger and a lot less intimidating. “You are Ankara escort bayan surely a breath of fresh air. What’s your name?” “Kim, Kimberly.” “Nice to meet you Kimberly. I’m David.” He says it like he’s revealing a salacious secret. His gaze is locked with mine and searing hot. He has me thinking about how his lips would feel against mine, his tongue slowly teasing it’s way between them. I lick my suddenly dry lips and then come to my senses. Oh my god, this man is a danger to my sanity. He chuckles low before speaking again, “Kimberly, I wish you would give the club another chance. The VIP area is very different. It just might be more to your liking.” “But I’m not VIP,” I laugh, the thought of me being mistaken for anything like that is ludicrous. He doesn’t laugh with me but simply states, “With me you are.” Turning to the attendant he says, “Please hang Miss Kimberly’s coat again. She will not need it at this moment.” I shake my head at his audacity, but smile and take his offered elbow. I’m intrigued by his charisma and roguish elegance; flattered that he noticed me. I’m a nobody, a plain Jane, and things like this never happen to someone like me. I decide to just go with it and see where it leads. I no longer feel like going home. The evening has just turned very interesting. David leads me past a bouncer in front of a roped off area. “Mr. Sanders.” The bouncer nods at the man at my side. “You come here often?” I ask him. “You could say that,” he chuckles. We pass a set of heavy curtains and are transported into another place and time. Baroque furniture is clustered in small groups. The floor is dark polished wood, almost black and the walls are hung with ornate tapestries. It’s all very upscale, very posh, but still very goth. Most seats are already occupied by elegantly dressed men and women, all seeming to be absorbed in quiet conversation, drinks in hand. Slow sensuous music with dark undertones plays in the background. I don’t fit in here any more then I did at the other part of the club. We are met by a beautiful woman in a maroon sheath dress. It fits her perfectly, accentuating her every curve. “Your usual table, Mr. Sanders?” she asks my companion. “Not today.” He looks at me rather than the hostess as he continues, “Something more private is suitable for tonight.” The hostess quickly finds us the desired table and wishes us a pleasant evening before returning to Escort Ankara her post. We are sitting on a half circular upholstered burgundy chaise lounge, with ornate legs of dark wood. Beside us, a small table in the same style completes the picture of stylish goth. We are behind a privacy screen in a corner of the club, hidden from view. “So what do you think of the place?” David asks. ”It’s different from the other part. I found that a bit too dark and crowded. This however is a bit too…” I pause while searching for the right word, “ostentatious, for my taste.” He laughs loudly as a waitress approaches to take our drink orders. She’s very attractive: long legs, sultry walk, hips and bosom to die for. I feel mousy in comparison. What is this gorgeous man doing with me when he has all these beautiful woman surrounding him? “What can I serve you today?” “Nothing for me, thank you.” They both look at me incredulously. It makes me feel flustered. “I’m sorry, I kind of spent my money already,” I say sheepishly. “Don’t worry about the cost, I will cover you,” David smirks, making me feel stupid. Embarrassed and feeling totally out of place, I rise from my seat. “You know, this is not a good idea. I’m just going to leave.” ”Stay!” That one word is all at once filled with command, allure and hidden promises. I sit down, wondering if I’m losing my mind. Normally, I never let anyone tell me what to do. But I order a Black Russian, one of my favorite drinks, thinking it might help me restore my confidence. David orders a Scotch and tells the waitress to keep the drinks coming. ”Very well, Mr. Sanders.“ She smiles politely showing perfect teeth. “Enjoy your evening.” When she’s gone, I ask, “Do they all know your name?“ “They should, it’s my place.” Once more I feel stupid. ”Oh, I’m sorry. About saying those things about your club. If I’d known, I would never have…“ I let my words trail off, biting my lip, as I look at him apologetically. “Don’t worry about it. It’s refreshing to hear an honest opinion.” From what I can tell he’s telling the truth, his eyes twinkling with mirth. I’m a bit uncomfortable in my homely clothes, sitting next to this debonair man in this elegant room. When the waitress arrives with our drinks I swallow almost half in one gulp, the bitter-sweet taste of Kahlua mingling with the burning sensation of the vodka. I close my eyes, letting the liquor soothe my frazzled nerves. When I open them, I see David looking at me with inquisitive but kind eyes. “Feeling better?” he asks with a gentle smile. I smile back, nodding my head, something in his expression making me feel at ease. We sip our drinks and talk. I relax as the alcohol takes hold and start to enjoy myself, feeling less self-conscious.