In the Dark (The Rules 2) - Page 37

Listen Audio

Ugh. She’s going to hate herself in the morning. “We should get out of here,” I tell her and she shakes her head.

“Ah, come on. Don’t be a party pooper. Let’s dance more! It’s fun.” She spins in a circle and then starts dancing around me, getting closer and closer, reaching out to grab my waist and make me dance with her. I fall into the steps easily, enjoying myself, smiling at the other girls nearby, noticing that most of the guys have backed off once again. Maybe they realized they weren’t getting anywhere with us.

And they never would. At least, not tonight.

The bar is packed, filled to the freaking brim with girls. Every kind of girl you could imagine. Tall, short, skinny, chubby, curvy, thin as a rail, red heads, brunettes and blondes, blue eyed, brown eyed, a few greens and hazels I’m sure, not that I can tell any of their actual eye color. The room is too damn dark. They’re all wearing…not much and there’s a lot of skin on display, plus the room is stifling what with all the bodies inside of it.

Yet I’m still here along with Shep and Tristan, holding the wall up with my shoulder and contemplating the scene. Tristan surveys the girls before them with such a possessive gleam I’m wondering if he thinks they’re all a part of his own personal harem.

Me? I’m not interested in a one of them. Meaning something is clearly wrong with me.

“They all look really young,” Shep observes, tipping his head toward mine so I can hear him better. “What do you want to make a bet the majority of them are in here with fake IDs?”

“I don’t want to take that bet,” I tell him because I know he’s probably right. Yeah, there are a lot of girls that are our age in here but many of them do look bright eyed and incredibly young. Like fresh out of high school young.

No thanks. They’re practically like jailbait and I don’t need the hassle.

Two girls chose that precise moment to walk past us, one of them flashing Shep a sultry smile and Tristan glares at him the second they’re out of earshot. “What the hell, dude? I thought you were our wingman?”

“I am,” Shep says, frowning.

“Then why didn’t you lure one of them in? Say something to them?”

“Didn’t realize I was supposed to do your job for you,” Shep says sarcastically. “Can’t you do that on your own?”

I roll my eyes and slump against the wall, not in the mood to get in the middle of one of their fights. I’ve done that before, countless times. We all three get along for the most part but every once in a while these two go at each other because they’re cousins and it’s easy for them to argue.

If they’re going to keep this shit up though, I’m out of here.

Ignoring them, I check out all the girls, waiting for one of them to catch my eye. They’re all pretty and laughing and drinking, a light sheen of sweat on their faces since the bar is hot as hell. I nurse my beer, not willing to let go and get drunk. I thought I wanted to get trashed and find a willing and ready girl but the moment I walked into this bar, I knew that was the last thing I wanted.

It’s irritating, how none of them interest me. I don’t discriminate. I like them all sizes and shapes and colors. I genuinely love spending time with women. Listening to them laugh, talking with them, flirting with them. It’s fun. They’re fun.

But these girls, they’re probably not much of a challenge. Seriously, just from watching them, I can tell none of these girls would be. They’re all on the make, just like Tristan is on the make, trolling for girls like a perv.

Jesus, I’m being totally judgmental. What the hell is wrong with me? Who cares if they’re looking to hook up or not? That’s pretty much how I survived college, especially my freshman year. I banged just about every semi-attractive girl who looked my way.

That sort of thing doesn’t interest me anymore. I can’t believe I’m thinking this, could probably never get around to actually saying it out loud, but…

The casual sex thing doesn’t sound fun. It sounds miserable. I want to find someone and be like Shep and Jade. I want a relationship.

More than anything I want Lucy.

That she continues to linger in my mind is frustrating as shit.

“You want another beer?” Tristan asks.

I shake my head. Hold up my half-filled bottle. “I’m good.”

Tristan takes off toward the bar and Shep sends me a nod. “Gonna hit the head,” he says before he heads off toward the bathroom.

I nod in return and stand there alone, smiling politely at the girls who pass by me but otherwise not really engaging.

Damn it, I want out of here. This is not my scene tonight and I’m not in the mood.

A flash of yellow catches my eye and I swear it’s familiar. I crane my head, looking at the crowd of women bouncing up and down and singing along to some empowering Katy Perry song. I roll my eyes and lean against the wall, telling myself I saw nothing. That yellow dress didn’t remind me of one Lucy wore.

No way. No how.

I see it again though. Then again. And the owner of said dress has dark hair, tanned skin…

But it can’t be my Lucy. No way in hell.

I lose track of her as quickly as I found her and soon Shep returns, along with Tristan. We’re deep in conversation about the upcoming football season when I see the yellow dress again. This time, though, she’s leaving, heading toward the front door. The way she walks, her hair, how she carries herself...

Yes, fine I’m fucking crazy, but she reminds me of Lucy.

“Excuse me,” I say as I shove my empty beer bottle into Shep’s hand. “I’ll be right back.”

They’re left sputtering after me but I ignore their calls. Instead, I exit the bar and stay far back, following behind her, noting again the familiar way she walks, the swing of her hair. She’s with another girl, one I don’t recognize. A tall girl with dark hair and a long stride.

Swear to God that has to be Lucy and I’m starting to trip out. What if she’s here at this university with me? Talk about a lucky opportunity. I lurch forward, about ready to call her name when someone steps in front of me, stopping my pursuit.

“Gabe! Oh my God, what are you doing here?” The shrill, overly excited voice is definitely familiar. And not entirely welcome.

Disappointment crashes over me. It’s freaking Audrey. And she knew we were both going to the same college so our running into each other is no surprise to her. She’s the one who flunked out of two other universities the last two years and this is the last one her parents are going to pay for. If she can’t get through the first semester, she’s done with college for good.

Not that she cares. I don’t think she goes to school for academic pursuits. More like to get drunk and party.

“Hey Audrey.” I give her a hug because she’s not giving me any choice. She practically tackles me, her arms going around me tight. “You knew I’d be here, remember?”

“Oh, that’s right. I guess I forgot.” She laughs and steps out of my embrace, then nudges her equally skinny friend with an elbow in the ribs, like they’re in on some joke. “It’s so good to see you! You look amazing.”

“Yeah, you’re looking good too,” I offer weakly, glancing around her to see if I can spot the yellow dress, but she’s gone.

Tags: Monica Murphy The Rules Romance